Sunday, December 25, 2005

t minus 10 minutes.....

It's Christmas morning, 6:50 a.m. The bride is drying her hair, and Meg and Sara are doing their countdown upstairs. Though they're 15 nd 10, Christmas morning brings out the 3-year-old in both of them. And although I'm 41, I can still relate.

Excitement. Anticipation. And all those other emotions all rolled into one. Think that's how Joseph and Mary felt over 2000 years ago?

Christmas morning. Nothing like it.....

Thursday, December 22, 2005

four of the best words ever.....

1 - out
2 - of
3 - the
4 - office

Yep, after today I won't be back in the office until Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006. That's like next year!
This was the Christmas card that our family sent out for 2005:

We decided to add Coach Fulmer to our list this year. Along with the card, Sara wrote him a letter. When I got in from work yesterday, the bride had me open a large cardboard envelope that we had gotten in the mail. Inside was an autographed photo of ol' Phil himself. The bride said that Sara was so excited that she was out in the driveway jumping up and down! We may have to get a frame for this one.

To all three (OK, that's stretching it a bit, probably more like two) of you who read this on a regular basis, and for anyone else who may have happened upon this site, Merry Christmas! I hope it's your best ever.....

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

yeah, i'm 41, but.....

I had a Circuit City gift card in my billfold that needed to be used. I got it when we played "Dirty Santa" Saturday night at Julie's house. The funny thing is that I actually took the gift card to the party, and I brought it back home with me that night.

So after getting a haircut last night, I went to Circuit City and bought this:

Yes, I know it comes on television ever year, but we missed it this year. Now we won't ever have to miss it again. The plan is to watch it together tonight.....

Monday, December 19, 2005

just one question.....

It could be that I missed the memo on this one, but since when did Dan Fogelberg's song "Same Old Lang Syne" become a Christmas song? The only thing I can figure is that it mentions "Christmas Eve" in the second line of the song, but after that it has nothing to do with Christmas. It's not that it's a bad song - it's just not a Christmas song.

I'm partial to the old, traditional Christmas songs. Give me Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" over NewSong's "Christmas Shoes" any day; Perry Como's "There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays" over any Christmas song Michael Bolton has ever done (his voice makes me cringe); and Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song" over Celine Dion's "Happy Christmas (War is Over)." There's just something soothing to that music that seems to fit the season much better.

Like all families in the 70's, we had an 8-track player. And we had a grand total of one Christmas 8-track tape (The Living Voices' Little Drummer Boy). Sure, we had a few Christmas albums (Perry Como was my favorite), but the tape could loop and you'd never have to turn it over like an album. You would just hear the same songs over and over. (That was pretty high-tech back then!) But even though we heard the same songs over and over, thinking about the songs on that one 8-track tape brings back so many good memories.

CD's may have improved the sound quality and convenience of music, but they'll never be able to improve the memories of past Christmases.....

old friends are the best friends.....

We went to Otter Creek Saturday night to see their Christmas concert and came away from it feeling wonderful. Partly from the music, but mostly from the friends we were able to see. Getting to visit with the Lusks (both sets of Lusks!), the Thomases, the Englands and so many others was great. Even though we were just there for a little under five years, we made friends there that we'll (and I never use this word because it sounds hokey, but here goes anyway) cherish for the rest of our lives.

I guess Michael W. Smith knew what he was talking about when he wrote the song "Friends" all those years ago.....

Friday, December 16, 2005

for the turtle who has everything.....

WATERTOWN, N.Y. - Hermie the Turtle's little defective beak made meal time a struggle. Unable to close his mouth completely, the tiny 20-gram reptile's very existence was at stake.

But today, this map turtle has a new lease on life thanks to the work of two doctors who outfitted young Hermie with braces. Now, some are calling the orthodontic work a Christmas miracle.

"I've worked on animals before but nothing this small," said Dr. Peter M. Virga, a Watertown dentist who along with veterinarian Jeffrey G. Baier performed the unique procedure.

After receiving Hermie in May, zookeepers at the New York State Zoo in Watertown's Thompson Park noticed the turtle was having difficulty eating. Medical exams then showed Hermie's lower jaw growing downward.

"He may have adapted to eat like this, or he may have not made it," Baier said.

Turtles, who are toothless, use their beaks to break food down before grinding it with the plates in their mouths.

After Baier injected Hermie with two anesthetics Wednesday morning, Virga inserted four pins into the turtle's jaws, according to the Watertown Daily Times which published an account of Hermie's ordeal Thursday.

During a meeting with reporters, the doctors placed the immobile turtle, believed to be between 2 and 3 years old, on a table. As Baier held Hermie's head, Virga placed two rubber orthodontic elastics — the same kind used by children with braces — on the pins across the turtle's mouth.

While Hermie recuperates, zookeepers will remove the rubber bands once a day to allow the turtle to eat. In keeping with the spirit of Christmas, the doctors chose red and green rubber bands for Hermie's beak.

"It's very exciting and I was glad to help," said Virga, who's performed root canal surgery on dogs.
Baier's wife, Angela, the zoo's executive director, said she was thrilled such a small zoo could take part in such a rare procedure.

"Miracles happen this time of the year," she said. "Hopefully his beak will be fixed."

The good doctor and I obviously have different definitions for the word miracle.....

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

mature beyond her years.....

I was like most kids about this time every year when I was younger. I knew what I wanted for Christmas, and I'd cover all my bases by telling both my parents and Santa. But I took it a step further by not only itemizing my list, but by also including the prices then figuring the tax. I didn't know if Santa had tax-exemption status or not but I wasn't taking any chances. (The word you're searching for is thorough, not anal-retentive. You're welcome.)

In Sunday's message, our pastor told about a young girl in our church. She decided that she didn't want any presents this year. In fact, she's asking everyone who would normally give her a present to just give her money. I know, you're probably thinking "What a brat!", but there's more. She's asking for money because Wednesday night she's renting a limousine, and along with her father they're picking up 12 homeless men from the downtown Nashville mission. From there, they're going to Famous Dave's for ribs and barbecue. Then for two hours they're going to be driven around in the limo and look at some of the Nashville-area Christmas lights. Once they're finished, the limo will bring the men back to our church when they will spend the night out of the cold and in our warm church building.

We all sat there, around 1,500 people, with our jaws down around our navels. The pastor said he was actually a little jealous that he didn't come up with the idean himself.

They say that one person can't make a difference. To 12 homeless men in Nashville, one young lady from Franklin will make a big difference this Christmas.....

Monday, December 12, 2005

the holidays can be difficult for some.....

The bride and I went out to eat Friday night then ran a couple of errands on the way home. When we got home, we wrapped Christmas presents for about 2 hours. As I was sitting in the floor of our bonus room, surrounded by stuff wrapped and to be wrapped, I started thinking about how blessed we are as a family. We've got so much to be thankful for because we have each other.

This thought stayed with me all weekend. It's not that I don't think about this quite often, but for some reason it just kept coming back - like the thought was trying to tell me more. When I got to the office this morning and logged onto my computer, I decided to check my Juno e-mail account. As I clicked on the Internet Explorer icon, my screen was filled with Yahoo's front page. At that moment, I saw a picture of someone that made me realize what my thoughts were trying to tell me - there are less fortunate people in this world who don't have anyone to spend Christmas with. Who am I talking about? Jessica Simpson.

Think about it. She and Nick just filed for divorce, so she'll probably be all alone this year for Christmas. Plus, her movie "The Dukes of Hazzard" didn't exactly take the world by storm this summer, so she's probably pretty depressed about that. That's when it hit me - I should invite Jessica Simpson to spend the holidays with us! I think it might be one of my best ideas yet. She could spend time with us and not be depressed about her marriage breaking up or her movie tanking at the box office. She could travel to East Tennessee with us! I'll bet Chris and Landon would even welcome her with open arms when we go to see the Moffitts, because they're very compassionate people!

This could be big.....

Friday, December 09, 2005

good thing it wasn't over krispy kreme.....

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. - A police officer has been charged with using a Taser on his partner during an argument over whether they should stop for a soft drink.

Ronald Dupuis, 32, was charged Wednesday with assault and could face up to three months in jail if convicted. The six-year veteran was fired after the Nov. 3 incident.

Dupuis and partner Prema Graham began arguing after Dupuis demanded she stop their car at a store so he could buy a soft drink, according to a police report. The two then struggled over the steering wheel, and Dupuis hit her leg with his department-issued Taser, the report said. She was not seriously hurt.

Hamtramck police union lawyer Eugene Bolanowski said he expected Dupuis to hire a private lawyer.
Hamtramck is a city of 23,000 surrounded by Detroit.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

no snow...yet.....

Once again, the Nashville weather forecasters tried their best to scare the public into believing the world was coming to an end because their might be some snow flurries in the area. It's hard to have snow when the temperature's in the low-40's. Could get ugly later, as it's been raining all day and it's supposed to get down to 18 tonight. Might be a bit tricky driving into work tomorrow.

Spent the day Christmas shopping with the bride, most of day at Opry Mills. Apparently it's OK for schools to take field trips at malls now. There had to be over 500 kids there today. Combine that with the busloads of retirees, and you've got yourself a pretty full mall. Nothing like attempting to swim upstream through a river of flabby-armed people with name badges that read "Claude", "Millie" and "Gert."

I'll probably be one of those flabby armed people 30 years from now.....

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

thoughts from last night.....

We were watching Charlie Brown's Christmas last night and a commercial came on for Welch's grape juice. Here's the way the conversation went:

Meg: Oh, I love that little girl!
Me: (sarcastically; I know, it's a stretch) You don't even know her!
Meg: Ha, ha, Dad.
Sara: I'll bet that little girl never gets zits.
Meg: Yeah, she's got smooth skin.

Now here's the difference between the way girls think and the way boys think. Girls see a little girl on TV talking about juice and start talking about her skin. A boy sees the same commercial and thinks, "Hmm, I'd like to have some juice."
Since when did Garth Brooks and Santa become such good buddies? And do you think that Garth cries himself to sleep every night knowing he sold his soul to Wal Mart?
Tom Petty won an AMA last night, their Century Award. I've always liked his music. He's never been what most would call a handsome man, but last night he did look a bit like someone's elderly aunt who forgot to take their daily dose of estrogen.
I now have a UT Christmas tree in my office, compliments of Meg. Here's a shot of it:

So with the help of the tree and being able to watch Charlie Brown's Christmas with Sara last night, Christmas is here, baby.....

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

less than 3 weeks away, but.....

Maybe it's just me, but it sure doesn't feel like Christmastime. Yes, the past few days have been cold enough to freeze off certain body parts, but I just haven't gotten that Christmas feeling yet. Part of the reason is that I missed my favorite Christmas show last week - Rudolph.

When I was little, Rudolph sort of "marked" the start of the Christmas season. I remember having to be home on that night just so that I wouldn't miss it when it came on. (I feel like an old man - "In my day, you couldn't use your fancy Tivo or high-falutin' video recording machines! We had to watch it when it came on or we missed it! And we liked it that way!") I also remember missing it a time or two when I was younger, and I had that same sick feeling last week. Sure, I'm 41, but when I was channel-surfing last Wednesday night and saw that Rudolph was almost over, it was sort of depressing. (I also missed the Charlie Brown Christmas show last week. But it's coming on again tomorrow night, and I made sure to set the DVR set to record it. So I've got that going for me.)

Yep, I'm needing a dose of Christmas spirit right about now. I'm starting to feel like Charlie Brown, just before Linus came out and gave his great speech on the true meaning of Christmas.....

Monday, December 05, 2005

state mottos.....












10,000 LAKES, 10,000,000,000 MOSQUITOES
















Friday, December 02, 2005

mid-week pick-me-up suggestion.....

Ever feel down about yourself? Feel like your life is terrible? I've got the perfect solution for you -watch Fox's Trading Spouses on Wednesday night! Within the first 30 minutes, you'll be on top of the world!

I'm not really sure why I'm "drawn" to this show, and even if "drawn" is the right word to use here. It's almost like a car wreck that you can't turn away from on the interstate - before you know it, you're staring.

I guess the most puzzling thing to me is why people would want to be on this show. I mean why publicize how bad you've got it? And why risk being made fun of for weeks after the show airs? For example, the crazy woman named Margarite from Louisiana - someone made a bobble head doll of her and loaded some of her outrageous sound-bites into the bobble head so that every time you bopped her head one of her stupid sayings from the show would come out. Silly? Yeah, so silly that this guy sold the bobble head for $870 on e-Bay.

No matter what your current situation in life is, there's an excellent chance you'll be feeling mighty good about yourself and your life after just one episode.....

Thursday, December 01, 2005

o' what fun it is to pose.....

We finally got the picture for our Christmas card last night. We usually just take one that was made during our annual beach vacation, but since we didn't go this year we had to come up with something else.

I knew the direction we wanted to go with it, but actually getting it done is something else. I spent a few minutes rearranging the bonus room and adding a couple of things, then we got the girls upstairs to start the "photo shoot." Have you ever been told to look sad for a picture? Doesn't work. Especially when the "photographer" is the dad, the mom is the "assistant", and the kids are laughing. And sometimes the "sad" or "serious" pose looks more like "constipated." Yeah, that's what we want for the ol' Christmas card.

So after a couple dozen or so shots, I think we got what we were looking for. Not exactly, but pretty close. Besides, with models like we used, we can't go wrong.....

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

talk about your arranged marriages.....

RIYADH (Reuters) - Four Saudi women teaching in a remote village school have married their driver so they can live closer to work, Al-Watan newspaper said on Monday.

The newspaper said the women from Al-Baha province in south-west Saudi Arabia were impressed with the man's "good morals" and decided to marry him and live together in the village where they teach -- avoiding a tiring daily commute.

They were married in a short ceremony, and have agreed to pay the driver a share of their monthly salaries, Al-Watan said. Women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, while men can marry up to four women according to Islamic law.

Why four women? Two words - instant carpool!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

you know you're in the south when.....

What you're about to read is a true story, with no embellishment on my part at all.

A guy stopped by my office yesterday, and the conversation went something like this:

Him - Hey, I got a doe Thursday morning!

Me - Great, congratulations!

Him - Yeah, I got up to go to the bathroom. I looked out the bathroom window and saw three of 'em just standing there near my fence.

Me - Do what now?

Him - Yep, I'm standing there in nothing but my Santa Claus boxers, and I look again to make sure I saw what I thought I saw. The kids were still asleep, and my wife wasn't home from her shift in the ER yet, so I went downstairs to get my crossbow. I pulled it back, then grabbed an arrow. I opened up the door to the deck real slow, then put on my wife's flip-flops so I wouldn't slip on the deck.

Me - Wait, let me get this straight. You're on the deck in your Santa boxers, your wife's flip-flops, and you're about to shoot a deer with your crossbow.

Him - Yeah, so I get out there, and they all moved about 3 steps. I thought I'd scared them off, but then they stopped. I aimed and got 'er. She took about 2 steps and dropped, and the other two took off. Then I went back inside and put on some clothes so I could go outside and get a better look.
When my wife got home and saw it strung up just past the fence, she wanted to know why I didn't just field dress the deer where I shot it. I said, "I did!" She didn't believe me at first. Then she wanted me to go outside in my boxers and her flip flops and stand beside the deer so she could take my picture. But I wouldn't let her. I'd never live that down.

Even though I'm not a hunter, the look of pride on his face made me unusually proud for him.....

Monday, November 28, 2005

10 people in one house.....

Family. To some, this word invokes bad memories. Unresolved differences. Something you run away from. To the 10 of us, family is something you run towards.

Now, would I want to live 365 days a year with the other 9 people in the same dwelling? No, because there'd probably be a killing sooner or later, and yours truly may be the one to go down. Let's face it, people can only take so much needling before they snap.

The drive up took a bit longer than normal. TDOT was working on part of I-40 that morning near Carthage, then Knoxville traffic was a a little congested, but it was the day before Thanksgiving. We had dinner with the Moffitts at Olive Garden in Johnson City, then went back to their house for a few hours. Always good to spend time with them, wish we could do it more.

Most of the long weekend revolved around being lazy and eating food. I excelled at both. (One negative note - I've found that eating lately has been less enjoyable because my clothes have appeared to shrink over the past few months.) We spent most of the day Friday at Mamaw's, eating another Thanksgiving meal. We got her Christmas decorations up before leaving.

Saturday's trip back went pretty well, no traffic delays. The bride and I listened to the UT game (finally, a win) while the girls played on the PS2, slept or watched movies. That night I got the Christmas tree up in the den. Sunday after church we met Susie's family at Buca de Beppo for lunch. We came back home, watched the Titans' game (a long-overdue win) and did a few other things around the house. I got the outside lights up before the rain came in. Tonight we'll get the tree in the den decorated, and possibly put up the tree in the bonus room.

Thinking about the many things for which I'm thankful, I thought of a new one this morning on the way to work. I'm glad I'm not someone who looks forward to going back to work after an extended long weekend. That would be a miserable existence.....

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

and don't you ever forget it.....

My grandmother recently lost two brothers (Hayden and Glenn) over the span of 9 days, and it's been pretty hard on her. Having family around this weekend will be good for her.

Mom was talking to one of Glenn's daughters yesterday. Rebecca said that any time she or her other brother or sister would leave their parents' house, her father would look at them and say, "I love you, and don't you ever forget it!" She said when she thinks about her father, that's the first thing she remembers.

The older I get, the more I appreciate Thanksgiving. Christmas is and always will be my favorite holiday, but Thanksgiving keeps getting more special. It seems that everyone is always so rushed during the Christmas season, while Thanksgiving is more laid back and it allows us to just be with people we love.

Sometime over the next few days, tell someone "I love you, and don't you ever forget it!" Chances are they won't ever forget it.....

hey, i'm italian.....

The bride sent me out after a few items at the grocery store on Saturday. It was probably good "medicine" for me since UT had just lost to Vanderbilt. But I will give everyone a warning - unless you absolutely HAVE TO go to the grocery store the weekend before Thanksgiving, don't. It's too crowded and everything is picked over.

For example, one of my stops was at Panera Bread where I was to pick up a couple of loaves of sourdough bread. I walked in with my list and coupon (one loaf free) and was promptly told that they were completely out of sourdough bread. Panera Bread (emphasis on the word "Bread") was out of sourdough bread. That's like McDonald's being out of hamburgers. Or Fazolli's being out of spaghetti. You get the point.

So I go to Kroger's. Sure, they have sourdough bread, 2 loaves even, but they both had mold on them. Mold. Very nice. I called the bride, and she suggested that I go to Publix to get the bread and the other two items on my list. Fair enough.

I end up at Publix. We've started coming here more often than Bi-Lo for one main reason - self-check-out's. Bi-Lo pulled their self-check-out's, so we pulled our business. So I go to the back, find two nice sliced loaves of sourdough bread and look at the other two items on my list - vanilla ice cream and parmesan cheese, the kind in the shaker.

I don't know about you, but we keep our parmesan cheese in the refrigerator. Therefore, I looked for the parmesan cheese in the refrigerated section near the other cheeses. My logic is that cheese is cheese, and they'll ALL be together. I looked beside the mozzarella, the cheddar, the swiss, but there's no parmesan. I did find some expensive kind, actually a 3-cheese mix, in another section, but I knew I just wanted the regular Kraft in the shaker. In desparation, I did what most men hate to do - I asked for help.

Lois seemed nice enough, and was eager to help. "Sure, let me show you!" I followed Lois to the expensive 3-cheese mix.

"Actually, I did see that, but I was looking for the plain kind in the shaker."

Lois then handed me a block of parmesan cheese, sans shaker. "Oh, then this is what you want."

"No, I want the plain kind already in the shaker. I don't want to grate it." (The whole time I'm thinking 'what part of shaker did you not understand?')

"You don't want that, it has toO many other additives and preservatives."

"Yes, I really do want that kind."

She then turned to me as if she was about to bestow upon me some great measure of profundity and said, "Hey, I'm Italian, and I know parmesan cheese."

To which I replied, "Hey, I'm married and I know what my wife told me to get. So if you'll just point me in the direction of the Kraft brand, that'll be great."

I think I stunned her with that one. A bit miffed, she told me which aisle to find the additive-laden Kraft parmesan cheese.

Much to our delight, no one at dinner that night died from ingesting any ill-advised preservatives.....

Monday, November 21, 2005

enjoy it while you can.....

While driving around at lunch today, I heard an awful lot of cocky Vanderbilt fans on the radio sports talk shows. They need to enjoy this while they can. It reminds me of a Winston Churchill quote.

A woman had accused Churchill of being drunk, to which he replied:

Yes, madam, I am drunk. But in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.

In September, when both UT's and Vandy's football teams are 0-0, Vandy football will still be Vandy football.....

not the end of the world.....yet....

First it was the tsunami. Then came the hurricanes and the earthquake. Now, UT loses to Vanderbilt in football. If THAT doesn't convince you that we're living in the end times, I don't know what it's going to take.

Some say they're glad to see Vandy finally win, that's it's good for the rivalry. What rivalry? Tennessee had won 22 straight, there's no rivalry there! All that's there is Vandy wishing for 22 years that they could somehow, someway beat Tennessee.

Did Vandy deserve to win? Yes. Jay Cutler picked apart UT's defense the entire game. Tennessee let opportunity after opportunity slip away. Chances to score were wasted all afternoon.

But you just don't lose to Vanderbilt.

Many people, even Vol fans, don't know that UT was winless in their first 12 games to Vanderbilt. Their best effort was in 1900 when they fought to a 0-0 tie. Their first win over the Commodores was in 1914 when UT beat Vandy 16-14 and wrapped up a 9-0 season, winning their first ever title - champions of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

But that was then, this is now. And you just don't lose to Vanderbilt.

Our junior high football coach, Jack Walling, used to fire up the student body during pep rallies by talking about PGD - pride, guts and determination. Watching Saturday's game, I'm not sure that UT had any of that going for them. Pride is certainly gone from the hill in Knoxville.

Coach Fulmer said UT has hit rock bottom. I sure do hope so, but I'm not sure. I don't know if they can get back up and win against Kentucky next weekend.....

Friday, November 18, 2005

i'm starting to need some of this myself.....

California vintners in the Napa Valley area, which primarily produces Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio wines, have developed a new hybrid grape that acts as an anti-diuretic. It is expected to reduce the number of trips older people have to make to the bathroom during the night.

The new wine will be marketed as Pino More.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

it's beginning to sound alot like christmas.....


Yes! I heard my first Christmas song on the radio yesterday! Chrissie Hyndes and The Pretenders' "2000 Miles." WOOOOOHOOOOO!

It was sometime yesterday afternoon, and I was sitting at my desk. I listen to WAPS out of Akron, Ohio, courtesy of (If you've never been to this site and you like to have some background music in your office during the day, this is the place to be. Just pick your music genre, then choose from the 100's of stations. Very cool, and it's FREE!)

I tried to play some Christmas music one day last week during supper, but the bride said it was too early. Hearing this song yesterday, I may have to overrule on that decision this week.....

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

for every daughter's father.....

This was Dave Barry's column yesterday.....

Every school-day morning, my wife and I take our 5-year-old daughter, Sophie, to her elementary school. We go to the cafeteria, where we wait, along with many other children and their parents, for the teachers to come and take the students to their classes. It's a loud, happy, social scene, the cafeteria, and a rare chance for parents to watch their children interact with classmates.

There's a boy in Sophie's kindergarten class who clearly has a crush on Sophie. Every day when we get to the cafeteria, he comes right over and says "Hi, Sophie!" She generally ignores him; she pays attention only to her girlfriends. But the boy does not give up. The other day, he brought something to show her: It was the instructions to his father's digital watch -- one of those little booklets, written in like eight different languages, that tell you how to set the time, date, month, etc. -- the booklet you always lose 15 minutes after you buy the watch, which means if the date ever gets off, you have to throw the watch away.

When we got to the cafeteria, the boy came running up, holding out the booklet. He said, "Sophie! Look at this! It's for my father's watch!" Sophie glanced at the booklet for perhaps one millionth of a second, then went back to chatting with her girlfriends. The boy was disappointed; clearly, he had thought Sophie would be wowed by the the watch instructions.

Seeing his face, I had mixed emotions. On the one hand, as Sophie's dad, I'm glad my daughter is not easily impressed by boys. On the other hand, as a former little boy who tended to have crushes on unobtainable girls, I sympathized. My guess is that the boy is in for a lot of this sort of disappointment before he figures out how to impress girls. I personally tried humor, which allegedly is attractive to the opposite gender, but you could not prove that by my experience in grade school: I could make loud farting noises with my hands, but for whatever reason the girls managed to resist me anyway.

So farting noises and watch instructions are not what girls want. My guess is that the boy in my daughter's class will spend years trying to figure out what they do want. I wish him luck.

But not with my daughter.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

i could have told you that.....

Ever see a headline in a newspaper or online and realize just how obvious it is? Here's one I saw last week:

Smarter kids may live longer: study

This one's easy to figure out without even reading the article. Here's why smarter kids live longer:

  • smarter kids don't play in traffic
  • smarter kids get dumber kids to do dangerous things in their place
  • smarter kids don't eat things from mouse traps
  • smarter kids don't hang onto the bottom of garage doors and ride them up and down while their friend pushes the button

Wait, I may have to get back to you on that last one.....

Monday, November 14, 2005


It's hard to remember a weekend when both UT and the Titans didn't lose a game. UT finally won again, beating Memphis 20-16. The Titans didn't play, so they didn't have the opportunity to lose. Alot of people in middle Tennessee are adopting a Chicago Cubs type of an attitude - wait 'til next year.

Mom and Dad were down for the weekend, and we had a good visit with them on Friday and Saturday. We helped Devonna move on Saturday, and got everything done in just a few hours.

I did learn on Saturday that my niece, Grace, has written about a character I created for her in her journal at school. A few years ago I started calling her "Pootydoot". I don't know why, it just came out one day. Ever since then, that's been her name. Of course she says that I'm the real Pootydoot, but she's only six so what does she know? So now her teacher knows all about Pootydoot. Whether or not it's the real one, I'm not sure.....

Friday, November 11, 2005

don't be late for school.....

These were the words I used when I called the bride this morning at around 8:00.

About a month or so ago, the bride decided that she was ready to get back into the work force outside the home. She's been doing some stuff for a local financial planner, but nothing on a regular basis. So she decided that in order to be able to have a similar schedule as the girls, she would apply to be a teacher's assistant in a Franklin-area elementary school. When that didn't work out, she decided to go for an interview as a sub in the same school system. She went for the interview yesterday and it lasted about 7 minutes. About 2 hours later she called and said she already had a job subbing for a teacher's assistant on Friday. Not only is it what she wants to eventually do, but it's at Sara's old school, so she knows almost all the teachers there. Good starting situation for her to ease into the job.

As Sara was leaving for the bus this morning, she told the bride how to do a portion of her job. As she walked out the door, Sara told the bride, "Have a good day at school, sweetie!" I just hope she doesn't start hanging with the wrong crowd on the playground.....

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Sara went to her best friend's (Amanda) birthday party yesterday. It was a shopping birthday party. She wanted to go shopping at the mall with her friends. So each child was armed with $15 (and any other cash they might have sneaked out of the house) and went shopping.

One of Sara's purchases was at Candy Craze, the bulk-candy store in the mall. You know the one - bins and bins of different ridiculously overpriced candy. She came out of there with $8 worth - over half of her $15. The bride commented on how small the bag of candy was and Sara said, "Mom, I'd already eaten alot of it before I got home." Our dentist should love us.

I remember doing that when I was little. One of my buddies and neighbors, Stevie Keesling, and I used to save up money and go to the local Jiffy Market about a mile from our house. It was always an adventure because it wasn't in the neighborhood. 90% of the trip there was uphill, then we'd have to cut through a couple of yards to bypass the highway that fronted the store. We'd come out of there with all kinds of candy and little pop-up toys. Good times.

Now I'm 41. I'd love to take over half of my next bonus and spend it on fun stuff for the girls and me. Why not? I mean with computers and everything, is it even necessary that the girls go to college? I'll have to think on that one.....

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

sticky situation gets even stickier.....

DENVER (AP) -- A man who sued Home Depot last month claiming a prank left him glued to a toilet seat made a similar allegation about another restroom more than a year ago, an official told a newspaper.

Bob Dougherty's lawsuit alleges employees at the store ignored his pleas for help on the day before Halloween 2003 because they thought he was kidding.

But Ron Trzepacz, former director of operations for the town of Nederland, where Dougherty lives, told the Rocky Mountain News in Tuesday's editions that Dougherty told him in the summer of 2004 he was glued to a toilet seat in the town's visitor center but pulled himself free.

Trzepacz told the paper he inspected the bathroom and found "no indication that anything had been on the toilet seat." No police report was filed, he said.

Dougherty's lawyer, Mark Cohen, denied his client made such a claim and said Dougherty, 57, is willing to take a polygraph test.

"The allegation doesn't make any sense," Cohen told The Associated Press Tuesday.

Neither Trzepacz nor the Nederland town administrator immediately returned a call from the AP. Nederland is about 45 miles northwest of Denver.

Dougherty's lawsuit, filed Oct. 28, said officials at the store in Louisville called for an ambulance after he had been stuck for about 15 minutes. Paramedics unbolted the toilet seat, which separated from his skin, leaving abrasions, according to the suit.

The lawsuit also said Dougherty was recovering from heart bypass surgery and thought he was having a heart attack when he got stuck.

The lawsuit claims he suffered pain, humiliation and financial loss. It seeks $3 million.

"It's not about the money. I want my health back. I want to be back to normal," Dougherty said. "I want to make sure this doesn't happen to anybody ever, ever again."

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

old people food.....

Talk about your self-fulfilling prophecies! I mentioned moving into a nursing home yesterday, and today I'll be eating "old people" food for lunch.

Yep, I'll be lunching with about 125 retirees today. The reason I call it "old people" food? Last year, while at the same banquet, one of the retirees put his arm around me and said, "Make sure you're near a salt shaker when you sit down, Wade. Today you're eatin' old people food." He let out a hearty laugh while slapping me on the back. And it was a ripple effect all around me as all the other retirees in ear-shot started laughing. They're all a great group of people. It's like being around 125 of my grandparents all at once.

I'm actually a pretty popular guy when I'm at these retiree functions. No, it's not my great personality or my biting wit. The reason? I bring the restaurant gift cards that are given away after lunch.....

Monday, November 07, 2005

youthful utterance.....

Conversation between Sara and me last night when I reached into the entertainment center to get a couple of cd's to take to work with me:

Sara: "What's that?"

Me: "A couple of cd's that I want to take to work with me."

Sara: "Who is it?"

Me: "U2's two latest ones."

Sara: "I thought U2 was a bunch of old guys."

Me: "Uh, no, not really."

Sara: (looking at a picture of the band on the back of one of the cd's) "Yeah they are!"

I should be checking myself into a nursing home any day now.....

Friday, November 04, 2005

had a tevye-esque moment last night.....

There are pictures of the girls all over our house, all taken at various ages. But some of my favorites are the ones in the foyer, on the right, just before walking into the den. We took them at Mark's and Jennifer's house in Nashville about five years ago. I had set the mode to "sephia" on the camera, so they have this bronze/antique look to them. Meg's hair is shorter, Sara's is in braided pigtails. Both girls were missing teeth.

During a commercial of a show we were watching, I went into the kitchen. On my way back, the bride and I crossed paths. I put my arms around her and looked at the pictures on the wall. Thinking about how young the girls looked I said, "Boys call these same little girls now."

As I went back to my recliner, I started thinking that ten years from now I could be a grandfather. A very young looking grandfather, but a grandfather none the less. Not that I'm complaining. It's just that sometimes the "now" seems to contain much less time than it used to, and the "then" seems much too far away.

My personality is such that I'm almost always looking forward rather than existing in the moment. Going past those pictures last night made me think that might I need to work on that a little more.....

Thursday, November 03, 2005

stuck in a moment you can't get out of.....

OK, I've known people who had been in the bathroom so long that I thought this had happened to, but.....

Man Sues After Using Glue-Covered Toilet
BOULDER, Colorado (AP) - A hardware retailer Home Depot has found itself in a sticky situation, defending a lawsuit filed by a man who claims the chain's Louisville store ignored his cries for help after he fell victim to a prank and was glued to a toilet seat.

Bob Dougherty, 57, of Nederland, said he became stuck to a bathroom toilet seat on which somebody had smeared glue on Oct. 30, 2003, and felt ``tremendous panic'' when he realized he was stuck.

"They left me there, going through all that stress,'' Dougherty told The (Boulder) Daily Camera. "They just let me rot.''

His lawsuit, filed Friday said Dougherty was recovering from heart bypass surgery at the time and thought he was having a heart attack. A store employee who heard him calling for help informed the head clerk via radio, but the head clerk "believed it to be a hoax,'' the lawsuit said.

Home Depot spokeswoman Kathryn Gallagher said she could not comment on pending litigation.

The lawsuit said after about 15 minutes, store officials called for an ambulance. Paramedics unbolted the toilet seat, and while wheeling a "frightened and humiliated'' Dougherty out of the store, he passed out.

The lawsuit said the toilet seat separated from his skin, leaving abrasions.

"This is not Home Depot's fault,'' he said. "But I am blaming them for letting me hang in there and just ignoring me.''

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

forgotten halloween memory.....

I must have been around 8 years old, so this would have been around 1972. Most of the yards in our neighborhood were around an acre or so, so you had to do alot more walking then to get as much candy as kids do now who live in neighborhoods with 1/4 acre lots. Dad took me and the Keesling kids around that halloween night.

We were about half way through the night, and Angie decided that her Casper mask was getting too hot to wear. Remember those plastic masks with the elastic string on the back? After about 5 minutes of breathing, you fogged up the inside of the mask so that there was a constant misty layer hitting your face from the inside of the mask. Angie had hit this point with her mask, and asked Dad to hold it for her. The four of us kids walked up the driveway on the next house, and Dad stayed behind to wait for us.

When we got back down to the bottom of the driveway, Dad had his back to us and was facing towards the woods. The first thought that crossed my mind? "Oh, this is great, Dad's taking a whiz and he's not finished yet!" All of the sudden, Dad turns around and screams with the Casper mask on. Scared us to death.

I think the four of us kids walked around with moisture running down our legs for the rest of the evening.....

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

halloween came and went.....

Every year since moving into our neighborhood, we convince ourselves that we'll have TONS of trick-or-treaters. So we buy plenty of candy, and we always have plenty of candy left over. That's not always a bad thing. I was able to sample quite of bit of it during the night.

I would imagine we had maybe 50-60 kids come by last night. In a neighborhood of 200+ houses, we expect more kids. But again, leftover candy is good.

On another topic, Randy Sanders made alot of Vol fans happy yesterday by stepping down. Although I'm glad to see him resign, I feel bad for the way it happened. I think the pressure of losing finally got to him. There were reports of his children being harrassed at their schools because of UT's anemic offense. I'll admit that I never cared for his play-calling, but his family should be off limits. It's a shame that some people just can't seem to separate the coach from the man.....

Monday, October 31, 2005

it's not you, it's me.....

Dear Phillip Fulmer and Jeff Fisher,

I have an apology to make. I've watched your teams' games and gotten upset because we're losing this season. I've yelled at the television, complained to others about your poor execution, and even posted to some bulletin boards out of anger. But the lovely bride brought something to my attention yesterday and now it's all clear. She said, "You know, our teams just aren't doing well this year." That's when it hit me - it's not you, it's me. I've jinxed both of your teams by rooting for them.

Coach Fulmer, it has nothing to do with the following:

lack of discipline; the inability to name and stick with one quarterback; injuries; a lackluster offensive scheme that everyone in the country figured out years ago; complete absense of leadership from the players; bad luck; dropped passes and fumbles; poor routes run by the receivers; or slow play-calling.

Coach Fisher, it has nothing to do with:

pass plays that average 8 yards per completion; a defensive secondary that, if it were a cheese, it would be Swiss cheese; young, undisciplined players; mistakes made by veterans at crucial moments in the game; an offensive line's inability to block; or blowing up the team on the off-season.

Again, guys, it's my fault. Apparently the very fact that I am on your side is causing you to lose. So I'm going to conduct an experiment next weekend. I'll not watch either of your games, and maybe that will help you beat Notre Dame and Cleveland. No, I'm not looking forward to missing either game, but if it helps your chances by having me not watch, I'll do it.

Your loyal fan,

Wade Stapleton

PS - If both teams continue to lose, here's a couple of names to think about - David Cutcliffe and Matt Leinart.....

Friday, October 28, 2005

the pivot.....

pivot ('pi-v&t) [noun] "a shaft or pin on which something turns; a person, thing, or factor having a major or central role, function, or effect."

I read an article in Rolling Stone a few days ago that really resonated with me. It was an interview with Bono from U2. Yes, he's controversial at times. But in things that I've read about him over the years, I think he's for real.

The interviewer asked him about whether or not he felt rock music was incompatible with religion, and he said this:

"The music that really turns me on is either running toward God or away from God. Both recognize the pivot, that God is at the center of the jaunt. So the blues, on one hand -- running away; gospel, the Mighty Clouds of Joy -- running towards. And later you came to analyze it and figure it out. Both deal with the relationship with God. That's really it."

The pivot. I've never thought it it that way, but in a Christian's life God is (or should) be the pivot. Sometimes the "jaunt" may be all downhill and stress-free; other times it's like running uphill at a 45 degree angle in 95 degree weather. Regardless of the difficulty, God is the pivot, right in the center of it all.....

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

we almost forgot about halloween.....

I don't know about you, but October is a special month for us around our house. Yes, football season is in full swing, and the leaves start to turn to show their range of beautiful colors. It's more than that, but you probably already know where I'm going with this. If you're "in the know" at all, you know that October is National Toilet Repair Month.

We've stuck to tradition for the most part (Toilet Repair Month trees decorated with small plungers, bowl deodorizers and such), but this year I was able to pay homage to the Tidy Bowl Man by constructing a robotic display of him rowing his boat. Much to my embarrassment, many of our neighbors have commented on its originality and creativity. It took over 5 months and 179 man-hours, but it was well worth it.

For anyone who drops by our house, we have the bride's rest room journal on the coffee table. Some of you already know about this masterpiece. The bride has chronicled her facility visits in a small leather book. There are journal entries from our honeymoon in Hawaii, some from Monterey earlier this year, as well as many other places around the country. Nothing crass, mind you; she simply reports on the uniqueness of each lavatory. The bride has visited approximately 52% of all possible rest rooms in the Southeast. Quite an accomplishment for someone as young as she!

So remember to celebrate National Toilet Repair Month. And do so with someone you love. It will mean so much more to you if you do.....

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

the bottom has fallen out.....

I was met with ice on the windshield yesterday morning, so fall is officially here. Sunday was one of those upper-40's/low-50's/misty rain/no sunshine kind of days. And since we had days in the 80's less than a week ago, upper-40's feels like 15 below.

PumpkinFest is this Saturday, October 29th. If you're in the Franklin/Nashville area, take the time to come by and enjoy the day. The bride and I will be manning the duck pond booth on 3rd Avenue South from 1:30 until 2:30, so stop by and say "hello" if you get a chance.

Have you looked at the calendar today? Only 60 shopping days left until Chrismas.....

Monday, October 24, 2005

tough football weekend.....

Every fall I wait to hear Bob Kessling utter those five words that every Tennessee fan loves to hear: "It's football time in Tennessee!" The problem this year is that someone forgot to tell the team that it's time to play football.

This morning's Tennessean said that out of 117 Division 1-A football teams, UT ranks 105th in scoring offense. Yep, there's only 12 teams who have scored less than Tennessee this year. Their total offense comes in at 94th. This team was supposed to have it all. The only problem was supposed to be a controversial decision on who would play quarterback.

What's the reason for the bottom falling out? Is it coaching? Some would like to have Randy Sanders fired and bring back David Cutcliffe. These are probably the same fans who complained about Cutcliffe and his conservative play-calling ten years ago. Is it discipline? Many would point to all of the off-season problems this team had. Is it the fact that all three losses have been to top-10 teams, and all three teams were better than us? I'm not so sure about that one. In all three games Tennessee had chances to win, they didn't get blown out. That's what was so frustrating about Saturday's game against Alabama. They should have won, but three turnonvers in the red zone killed them.

Where do they go from here? Fulmer is saying all the right things that a coach in his position has to say. They'll keep on fighting, find out what they're made of, blah, blah, blah. What else can he say?

Then there's the Titans. They lost to the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals. The team who had only won once this year. Now they have the same record as the Titans. Watching yesterday's game was alot like watching paint dry, and having someone sit about 5 feet from you throwing small ball bearings and hitting you in the side of the head - boring, annoying and after a while it started to hurt.

On a more positive note, Christmas Eve is just two months from today. Maybe Santa can bring UT a new offensive coordinator this year.....

Friday, October 21, 2005

on-line pumpkin carving.....

Are you ready to carve your pumpkin for halloween? This site will let you practice for the real thing.....

Thursday, October 20, 2005

so i hope you were kidding.....

I don't watch NBA games. I haven't since Jordan retired the first time. Most 48-minute games come down to the last 30 seconds, so why bother watching the whole thing? (And the last 30 seconds usually take 15 minutes because of fouls and timeouts.) If anything interesting happens the first 47 1/2 minutes, you know you can see it on SportCenter. Plus, the game is nothing like it used to be. Greed seems to be in the forefront. Case in point:

Marcus Camby of the Denver Nuggets, whose contract will pay him nearly $50 million over the next five years, told an interviewer before the new dress code (requiring NBA players to wear a suit or sports coat when traveling with his team during the season) was imposed, "I don't see it happening unless every NBA player is given a stipend to buy clothes."

Let's see, $50 million divided by 5 years is $10 million per year. Including pre-season games and possible playoff games, let's say he plays 100 games in a season. That's $100k per game, or $2,083 per minute, assuming he plays all 48 minutes. Let's assume he pays $1,000 per suit. Add shoes, socks, a shirt, tie and belt, so add another $500. That's $1,500 for an outfit. Buy 6 outfits for $9,000 (that's pay from 4 1/3 minutes of a game) and rotate them. It's that simple.

So Marcus, follow the league rules. Your job is to play a game, so just do it. Buy a few suits at The Men's Warehouse. You'll be glad you did.....I guarantee it.....

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

here's a quiz.....

Please complete the following simple quiz. Call me with your results before taking your car on the road.

When is the best time to sort your grocery store coupons?

a. Sunday afternoon, at home in the den floor
b. Monday night, on the kitchen table
c. during my break at work
d. while sitting at a traffic light with a long line of people behind me who really need to turn at this light during the lunch rush time

If you answered "d", I've got three words for you:


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

pretty good meeting.....

You always think that "other people" are the ones who go to these kinds of meetings. This kind of thing would never happen in your family, you say to yourself. Then you realize you were only kidding yourself, because you've seen all the symptoms. You're the family member of a Buncaholic.

What better night to start going to meetings than Bunco night? Sara and I made up an excuse to buy school supplies and left just before 7:00, right about the time the bride left to go across the street for a night of "good, clean" fun. (We had to pick up one of our neighbor's children because she was too busy playing Bunco to pick him up. It actually worked out well because the meeting was being held near the place where we picked him up, and we took him with us.)

Buncanon is like alot of other support groups for people whose family members are addicts. Sara and our neighbor's son were a bit apprehensive at first, but they made friends pretty fast. We were only able to stay for 30 minutes because we didn't want to be late and have anyone get suspicious. (The bride is never in a good mood after Bunco. She may love the dice, but it's not a mutual kind of love on the dice's part.....) There were tears shed, but they were cleansing tears. We drove home in complete silence, still taking in our first meeting.

Will we go back to Buncanon? I'm not sure. Our hopes are that if we do return, it will be with the bride and her friends so they can get the help they need. Yeah, I know, it's a long shot. But without hope, what else do we have? What else indeed.....

Monday, October 17, 2005

so this is october.....

Even though it was only about 40 when I left for work this morning, the days lately have been unbelieveably beautiful. I got to spend some time on the golf course Friday. The temperature was in the upper-70's with a little bit of a breeze. Perfect.

I spent most of the day outside Saturday, doing yardwork and washing cars. Again, it was around 80 degrees with a little bit of a breeze. Yesterday was a little cooler, but still wonderful.

October weather in Tennessee is great. I know the bottom will drop out at any time, and we'll all wonder what happened to autumn. But I'm enjoying this while I can.....

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Deflectors are never wrong. When backed into a corner they like to blame someone else for their misfortunes. They'll even blame others for things completely unrelated to the situation at hand, hoping to steer you off the subject. They're the kind of people who love authority but resist responsibility. Let me order you around all day, but I don't want any accountability.

These are the same people who claim that nothing is ever fair. They usually want to make sure they get their fair share, but if they happen to get more than their fair share they usually don't try to even things out for others.

They're also self-promoters. They like to give you details of just how busy their days are. Their boss never has a chance to tell them how proficient they are at their job because they're always telling their boss just how hard they work.

Deflectors are typically color blind, because they only see black and white when it comes to judging others. Odd that areas of grey appear when it's convenient for their own use.

Today's column was brought to you by the letter "R". "R" is for rant.....

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

uh, yeah, ok.....

I've got nothing today. So I decided to Google my name under images and here's the first entry:

No, I've never been a cross-dresser. The lady on the left is the 1973 Miss Culture winner, Lucena Stapleton-Wade.

Actually, when I input my name into the opposite-gender name generator it comes up with Yolanda, the ballerina. Interesting.....

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

so i've got that going for me.....

I've got a new friend. I've known about him for years, but had never met him until Saturday afternoon. His name? Phillip Fulmer, but I call him Coach.

There we were - Chris, Landon, Meg and I - lined up with all the other Vol fans, waiting for the processional to begin that is known as the Vol Walk. All the coaches and players walk from the practice facility to Neyland Stadium before every home game, and fans line the sidewalk to watch them pass by. Coach Fulmer always leads them out.

So as Coach Fulmer approaches, I stuck my hand out and said, "Let's go get 'em, Coach!" He shook my hand, looked my way and said, "I appreciate you." Yep, he sure did. And I'm pretty sure I was the only one he said that to on Saturday.....

Monday, October 10, 2005

a punch in the gut.....

Yep, that's what it felt like Saturday night. The game was close, still within reach for us. Then we forgot how to cover a punt, and Georgia returned it for a touchdown. Game over. Just like an unexpected punch in the stomach that leaves you both stunned and sick at the same time. Sure, there was alot of time left on the clock, but there was no way we were going to come back. When your lone scoring drive up to that point was for 1 foot, chances are you're not going to be able to come back.

Even at halftime, Chris and I said that to have played as poorly as we did and be down just 10 to nothing, we still had a shot. Then it was 13-0, and we still felt OK. When Wade intercepted Shockley, Neyland stadium went nuts. Clausen scored and we were within reach. But the punt return sealed our doom. The bottom line was that every time we did something well, we committed a penalty. We just didn't play well enough to win.

It was a tough loss, no doubt. I know the locker room had to be a depressing place after the game. Our prayers go out to Jason Allen, that he would be able to recover from the hip injury.

The trip home was going to be long enough after the loss. After we'd been in traffic for about 15 minutes, the bride called to tell me about a plane that had attempted to land and crashed onto I-40. Both lanes were shut down. The normal 3-hour trip took about 4 1/2 hours.

But the company was great all day long. Meg and I got to spend alot of time together, and being with Chris and Landon is always alot of fun. The highlight of Meg's day was getting to touch Eric Ainge's hand. She said he was even cuter up close. If only he were as good at QB as he is cute.....

Friday, October 07, 2005

the wanderer.....

It was a normal Wednesday afternoon. I'm driving this week, so I was taking Gene home. As we turned onto his street we saw a little boy, maybe 2 1/2, and a dog walking along the side of the road towards a somewhat busy street. The little boy was blonde and wearing nothing but a t-shirt and a diaper. Gene said, "That doesn't look right." Gene got out of the car and started talking to the little boy.

He didn't seem to be scared or lost. Gene asked him his name, but he just smiled at him, pointed at the dog and said "Max!" OK, so we knew the dog's name. He took Gene's hand and started walking the opposite way, away from the busy street, so we assumed he lived in one of the houses near Gene. While Gene and the little boy went from house to house, I followed along in my car. A guy in a truck pulled out of his driveway and was heading my way. I flagged him down and asked him if the little boy looked familiar. He said that he had never seen him before. The truck guy, George, then went over and started talking to Gene and the little boy. I drove around the general area to see if anyone was looking for a little boy, asking neighbors who were outside. No luck. I came back and George called the police department.

I deceided to make one more loop around the area. I turned off the street where we found him, took a left onto the busy street. In the driveway of the second house on the right, I saw a VERY pregnant lady and a little girl. The lady was on the phone and she had a panicked look on her face. I rolled my window down and said, "Are you looking for a little boy?" With a very pitiful-sounding voice she said "Yes!" I said, "What was he wearing?" She described his outfit and I said, "We found him, get in the car and I'll take you to him." Holly and her daughter got in the car. She was doing all she could to keep it together and not break down. We got to Sam and Max and she was very relieved, to say the least. She said that she remembered letting the dog out, but she didn't lock the door back. Evidently Sam decided to follow the dog, and they went on a little journey.

As the four of us got back in the car (George loaded Max up in his truck and followed us) I asked Holly when she was due. She said, "Saturday, if not today." Oh, and it's another boy. She thanked me several times as I dropped them off at their house. As I drove away she called her husband to let him know that Sam was OK. I know he had to be relieved.

We've never had that happen with either of our girls, but I can imagine the helpless feeling that this lady had. And if she was thinking ahead to this weekend, she probably had an even more helpless feeling because #3 is coming on Saturday.....if not before.....

PS - Meg and I are heading to Knoxville tomorrow to see UT and Georgia play. CBS is carrying the game, I think it's a national telecast. Look for me on television. Our seats are in the southwest corner of the endzone, about a dozen rows from the field. I'll be wearing orange, you won't be able to miss me.....