Thursday, June 30, 2005

startling discovery.....

I've been doing some covert research over the past six months and I've made an incredible discovery. There appears to be a direct correlation between the molecular structure of fabric and the combination of constant eating and lack of exercise. Now, I'm not a scientist by any means, but apparently when you don't exercise and when you eat whatever you want whenever you want something interesting happens - your pants shrink. That's the only conclusion I can come up with. It can't have anything to do with age and added girth.....

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

determine your season.....

I heard a lady say something about her "season of life" earlier today, and it made me wonder what season I was in. So I did a little figuring:

Assuming that I'll live to be 78 (just a guess, I have no real insight to this), I'm about 52.56% of the way through life. If you convert that to which month I'm in, it would be July. (Take 52.56% times 12 [the number of months in a year], and you get 6.3, which means I'm past June, and 30% of the way through July.) Roughly speaking, it's July 9 for me in life. So right now, I'm in the summer of my life.

In golf terms, I'm on the back 9, actually on number 10, probably getting ready to hit my approach shot. I just hope I don't chili-dip any shots here on the back 9.....

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

new level of maturity.....

On the way home from work yesterday, the girls and I stopped by the Brentwood library. The bride had to come by the office, so the girls stayed with me for the last couple of hours at work.

So we go in the library and we left with 8 or 9 books.....and TWO of them were MINE! That's correct, I checked out TWO library books at once. And these aren't picture books or comic books. No sir, these are all-word books, with chapters and everything! BIG books, HUGE books, GROWN-UP books, I tell ya'!

I'm thinking of buying a tweed jacket with suede arm patches, along with a pipe, so that I'll look scholarly when I read them.....

Monday, June 27, 2005

like being at the beach.....

Having Chris, Kathy, Landon and Katilyn down this past weekend was alot like one of our beach trips. Everyone was around, eating, laughing, just enjoying spending time with each other.

They got to our house around 3:00 Saturday afternoon, and were met by us and 3 shirtless men up on our roof. The roofers were supposed to be there last Monday or Tuesday, but "surprised" us Saturday afternoon at about 2:45. (Don't you just love dealing with people who think there's no big difference between Monday and Saturday? I know I do!)

We left for dinner at the Mellow Mushroom at around 5:30. Saturday night was apparently "Feel Like You're Standing in Front of One of Our Brick Ovens" night. Since it was an artic 91 outside, they decided to open the doors and let the hot air circulate. After a few minutes, we adjusted to the heat and had a good time in spite of the temperature. We walked around downtown for about an hour, then drove to see the big bridge on the Natchez Trace. That night we hung out talking and having fun.

Chris and I played golf at Forrest Crossing Sunday morning. I woke up and it was raining, but it didn't rain us out. It sprinkled a couple of times, but nothing major. And the clouds remained all morning long, so that gave us some relief from the heat. We came back, ate lunch, then went to the mall. After we got home, most of us went to the pool for a couple of hours. Then we came back for supper and another good evening at home.

We'll miss going to the beach with the Moffitts this year. But being able to spend some time with them the past few days was very nice.

Friday, June 24, 2005

stepford vs. glendower.....

The bride and I watched "The Stepford Wives" last night for the first time. Yes, I know, it came out a year or so ago, we're just late seeing it. But I checked it out at the Brentwood library last Friday and it had to be back today, so last night was our last chance to see it before I had to return it.

It was a little bizarre, but it had it's funny moments. Glad we didn't pay to see it in the theater or to rent it. Nicole Kidman was very good, and Christopher Walken is one of my favorites. Later in the evening I hugged and kissed the bride, and she complained about my garlic breath. I said, "A Stepford Wife would never criticize my breath." That was met with a sarcastic "ha-ha" on her part.

I started thinking of the differences between the Stepford neighborhood and our cul-de-sac on my way to work this morning. Allow me to compare and contrast:

In Stepford, the husbands are always right.
On Glendower, the husbands know left from right.

In Stepford, houses are kept in perfect order.
On Glendower, windows are washed once a year whether they need it or not.

In Stepford, the wives meet at the local spa for aerobic activity.
On Glendower, anything more strenuous than carrying a folding chair next door is akin to running a marathon.

In Stepford, cookies and cupcakes are baked from scratch.
On Glendower, cookies sliced from a cookie dough roll is considered homemade.

In Stepford, the family pet is a robotic dog.
On Glendower, neighors think you have a carpeted garage floor because of all the hair your dog sheds.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

i can see clearly now.....

I believe I talked to the bride more yesterday than any other day since we met. I received (almost) half-hourly reports on the window installation during the day. Well, some weren't so much reports as they were panic alerts at times. All in all, the windows look great so far. The guy's going to be back today and tomorrow to finish up the job. He got about 20 of the 27 windows done yesterday. Oh, and the bride is pleased and a little less stressed.

I picked up Meg from Taco Bell last night at about 9:30. She and some friends had decided to hang out there after church. Hard to believe that child will be 15 next week. Seems that not too long ago I was taking pictures of the bride on the front porch of our first house (in profile view) the morning we went to the hospital. Less than 8 hours after those pictures were taken, we were no longer a couple but rather a family.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

top 10 things you'll never hear me say.....

  1. Honey, we need to have another baby
  2. Man, I'm too skinny
  3. Give me a sappy love story over a comedy any day of the week
  4. They need to fire Phillip Fulmer *
  5. Halle Berry is just so homely
  6. I'll take the most expensive one
  7. I can't WAIT for the NBA season to start
  8. The movie starts in 15 minutes, but I don't mind being a few minutes late
  9. No, I'm not in the mood for fried chicken
  10. Can you pass the fried okra, please?

*ok, I might say this after a bad loss…..

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

here's the two reasons why i like beling a daddy.....

Originally uploaded by wstaple.
This picture is probably about 8 years old now. One of my favorites.....

i like the name daddy.....

I've got alot of different titles - husband, son, grandson, president, neighbor, friend, brother, just to name a few. But of all the different names I go by, one of my favorites is "daddy."

I got to celebrate my 14th Father's Day on Sunday. I'm blessed in so many ways, but one of the biggest blessings the bride and I have is that of healthy and (most of the time) happy children.

During both pregnancies, we would pray for a healthy baby; and both times we were blessed with a healthy baby. I still pray for their good health, but I also pray that they would be given wisdom and make good decisions. And I pray for wisdom as their father, that I would do things that would help them grow into the young ladies they need to be.

I love the movie Parenthood. Keanu Reeve's character, Tod, was a teenage husband/soon-to-be-father. In one scene He and his mother-in-law, Helen (Dianne Wiest), were talking about a problem Helen's youngest son, Gary, had with his father. Tod had one of the best movie lines ever about fatherhood: "You know, you need a license to buy a dog, you need a license to drive a car, you even need a license to catch a fish, but they'll let any ***** be a father."

Yep, being a "daddy" is a big responsibility, but it's one that I absolutely cherish.....

Monday, June 20, 2005

charlie babbitt was right.....

I set foot in the Franklin K-Mart for the last time Saturday morning. I've said this before, but this time I mean it. The ONLY way I'll go back in there is if the bride or one of the girls are in dire need of medicine. That's it.

I had decided to wash our cars Saturday morning. I knew I needed a few things for the wash bucket, so I went to K-Mart at around 9:00. It didn't look to crowded when I went in, but as I got back to the automotive section I saw 30-40 people congregated around a couple of tables. I went around the back aisle to get the Armour All and the wheel cleaner. At the end of the aisles sat the two tables. I looked closer and saw stacks and stacks of Hot Wheels cars. And the huddled masses didn't include any kids. They were mostly men over 40. Yeah.

I grabbed my items and went to the checkout lines, or should I say line. One register was open. One. There were 8 people in line, and another 5 people wandering around with their carts with that "surely there's another cashier" look on their faces. The bride says she always goes to the customer service area and checks out there when it's crowded, so I did just that. There was only one guy in line, but I looked at his cart and knew it wasn't going to be a quick transaction.

This guy looked to be in his early 50's, and he reminded me alot of the character "Comic Book Guy" on The Simpsons. He had a determined yet satisfied look on his face, and when I saw his cart I realized why he was so thrilled. Comic Book Guy was buying somewhere between 300 and 400 Hot Wheels. And to top it off, the cashier was scanning them Upon seeing this, I sat my purchases down on the nearest shelf and left.

I've always complained that our local K-Mart never had enough lines open. As much as I despise Wal Mart, at least they have alot of lines open (even if they're always full). Looks like the new Target will get my business from now on.

Oh, gotta' go. Ten minutes to Wapner.....

Friday, June 17, 2005

songs about lawnmowers and i-ee, i-ee, i-ee's......

Last night was the big wrap-up service for VBS at church. They actually finish up VBS classes this morning, but they always do a program for the parents and grandparents of the kids. It was amazing and exciting to see almost 800 kids up on stage singing and doing hand motions all at once.

I remember VBS when I was growing up. We didn't have all the elaborate themes and musical productions that they have now. (I'm starting to sound like Dana Carvey's old man character that he used to do on SNL. "We didn't have all those big, fancy video screens! All we had was the youth pastor singing off key! AND WE LIKED IT!") I'm a little envious of the kids now.

VBS is our church's biggest outreach of the year. Almost 1/3 of the kids there this week don't go to our church, and some of them don't go to church at all. It's incredible how many families start coming to our church just because their child came to VBS.

Well, looks like our windows will be installed next week. Hopefully the roof work will get done then, too. Then next Saturday the Moffitts will be in town for the weekend! We're all really looking forward to that!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

yep, they're right on this one.....

Texans are a confident lot for the most part. Most Texans will talk about how great this or that is Texas. How much better something is in Texas than wherever it is they live. And honestly, that can get pretty annoying. But I'll have to give it to them on one thing for sure - Blue Bell ice cream is the best ice cream out there.

For years I had heard about how much better Blue Bell ice cream was than Purity or Pet or whatever brand you wanted to name. I kept thinking, "Oh great, here we go again. Another Texan bragging about something else from Texas." Last year I had meetings in San Antonio and I stayed at the Marriott Riverwalk. In the shopping center connected to the hotel, there was an ice cream place that sold Blue Bell. I was hooked from the first spoonful. I had it every night I was there. My favorite was the banana pudding ice cream that I had to celebrate UT's win over Florida after the game.

Blue Bell now has a distribution center in Nolensville and it's now available in middle Tennessee. It's been in the Memphis area for a few years, and I know a man who travels to Memphis on business once a month. He takes a cooler with him, and on the way out of town he buys (at least) four 1/2 gallons of Blue Bell and a bag of ice.

I got the chance to play the front 9 at Forrest Crossing after work yesterday. (First time I'd played my own ball this year, and I shot a 41. I'll take it!) I got home and both girls were gone. The bride was out watering flowers and I said, "I'm going to Publix to get some Blue Bell. Wanna' come with me?" We bought a 1/2 gallon of banana split ice cream. As she was eating her ice cream, eyes half shut and glazed over, she said, "You know, we can't eat this every night." I reluctantly agreed. But I reasoned that since I had walked instead of ridden 9 holes that I could justify a huge bowl of Blue Bell.

If you've never had Blue Bell, get the vanilla first then work your way up to the other flavors. Pacing yourself is important.....

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

new watch.....

I'd like to have someone invent a watch that would work on God's time, not my time. Can you imagine the demand for such a thing?

I have a good friend who's been going through an interview process for the CEO position of a non-profit organization for the past 2 months. He made it as one of the final 3 candidates for the job. 2 weeks ago, the headhunter told him that the he was their guy. In these past 2 weeks, the board has back-peddled somewhat, and while he's still the only candidate they're considering, they're drawing the process out.

I know what's he's going through. The interview process for my current job took almost 3 1/2 months, and it was pretty frustrating. I'd call, they'd say they still hadn't made a decision. In the end, my persistence was one of the things that got me the job. The recruiter said that it was obvious that I wanted the job.

In the first chapter of Acts, Christ appears to his apostles and they ask Him when Isreal was going to be restored. He replied, "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority."

To me, the hardest part of the Christian walk is waiting. I had a hard time with waiting for something I wanted, and my friend's having a hard time waiting for this thing to happen for him. And that's where faith comes in. Complete trust that regardless of the outcome, God has a plan for His own time.

OK, so I'm off to research this God's-time-watch thing. Maybe I'll check on e-Bay.....

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

sponge-bob (or mary, or joe, or jill) .....

Sponges are things that soak up moisture, and they rarely release what they've absorbed unless they're squeezed. When they do release the liquid, what comes out of them is what they've soaked up.

People are like sponges - they become what they absorb. Ever spend any time around someone who's contantly negative and try to inject their life with some positive stuff? It's not easy because a sponge can only soak up so much, and until it realeases what it's holding on to there's nothing else getting in.

Most people don't want to release what they've captured, even if it's terrible and negative. It may be awful, but doggone it - it's their negative stuff! They become so attached to it that they don't know how they'd live without it.

I try to avoid negative people but it's not always possible. The trick is dealing with them in a manner that allows you to exist in their presence without wanting to physically harm the person. And that's easier said than done. So if I ever learn that trick, I'll be sure to pass it along.....

Monday, June 13, 2005

rain and friends.....

The rain from the tropical depression made its way into middle Tennessee this weekend. We spent the day inside finishing up Sara's room. I cleaned the aquarium and fixed the leaky commode in the upstairs bathroom. Such fun!

Sunday was a busy, but fun, day. After church, Meg went to lunch with some friends and the rest of us went home for lunch. We took a few things to church for this week's VBS, then came back home for a going-away party across the street. Two families are moving, one to Montgomery, AL and the other to Michigan. The Montgomery friends left a few weeks ago, and the Michigan neighbors leave this week. The misty rain continued on during the party, but we just set up shop in the neighbor's garage. We stayed about an hour-and-a-half, then headed home to get ready for Sara's end-of-the-year softball party.

The team's sponsor had offered to have the party at his house. We'd never been to this part of Franklin (although it's only about 3 miles from our house), and we would have never known anything like that was back there. It was just behind the new Target shopping center on Columbia Pike. Unbelieveable. They own about 25 acres and it was beautiful. The house was very nice but unpretentious. We had the party out in what he called "the barn." It looked like a barn, but the bottom level was a garage that was about 40 x 25, and the upper lever was half horse stalls and half screened porch. The kids ran from the zip line to the tire swing to the trampoline for two solid hours. The adults stood around talking and eating. Most of these girls have played together for 3-4 years, so they know each other well and the parents have all gotten to know each other pretty well, also. Everyone had a great time.

Now we're back to Monday. The bride's parents are set to arrive in Nashville at around 7:30 tonight. VBS will keep the bride and the girls busy all week long. And my week should be pretty normal.....busy.....

Friday, June 10, 2005

the end must be near.....

I watched the show Hit Me Baby One More Time last night. The five music acts were: The Knack, Tommy Tutone, Haddaway, The Motels and Vanilla Ice. The show's premise is that the five bands perform their #1 song from years ago, then they cover a more current song from another artist. At the end of the show the audience votes for their favorite performer.

And the winner was.....Vanilla Ice. Uh, yeah. Rob Van Winkle. My choice would have been The Knack, but then again I'm a little older. I guess the audience's choice just confirmed that very fact.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

are you a cat lover? don't go here.....

This is one of those things that gets funnier every time you watch it. If you are a cat lover, you might not want to view this. Don't worry, it's nothing gross or inhumane, just funny. However, if you're a cat lover and decide to watch this, just ignore the guilt you feel when you laugh.

And what did the cat learn today?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

boldly going where no man likes to go.....

Every husband has heard it from his wife. "Oh, since you're stopping by Target, can you pick up....."

Here's the thing, wives - if the next thing out of your mouth is "peanut butter", "furniture polish" or "shampoo", we husbands are cool with that. But when you mention "one of those" products, we're either going to start laughing, freeze up, or possibly do a little (or alot) of both.

I got this kind of call from the bride yesterday. Actually I called her to say that I needed to stop by the library on the way home. So she asked me to stop by Target and pick up something for me that she had meant to pick up earlier that day but couldn't because it was storming at the time. I agreed, and she then said "Oh, and could you pick me up some *****?" Silence. "Uh, what? You're serious, aren't you?" She said, "You're a big boy, you can handle it!"

The first time I saw this topic lampooned was in the movie Mr. Mom. Michael Keaton had an item on his list that he was nervous about buying. When he got to the register, the cashier had to do a price-check for the very item he tried to downplay. Bill Engval also does a similar routine about having to do the same kind of thing, except his 10-year-old son accompanies him to the store.

I pull up and park at Target, check my list again and head toward the front door in the rain. I grab a small basket and decide to get "those things" first. I start searching for "the aisle" and find it soon enough.....only there's a lady with her young daughter already there, so I go down a few aisles, pretend to be looking for something else, and come back about 90 seconds later. She's still there! I'm thinking, "Hey, you shop for this kind of thing all the time, what's the holdup here?" I make another trip down a few aisles and come back....."the aisle" is empty.

So I'm on the aisle, and all I know is the brand, the color of the box, and a descriptive word. I find the brand, I find the box color, but I can't find the descriptive word. I start to panic. I feel a bead of sweat start to form on my brow. Then, for some unknown reason, I start to laugh. But it's a muted laugh, the kind that you try to keep from coming out of you mouth but it makes its way through your nose. I don't know if it's because I've suddenly become a 12-year-old boy or if I'm thinking just how funny I look trying to find these things, but I can't stop laughing. This goes on for about 45 seconds, but it seems more like 2 hours and 1 minute (the actual length of the worst movie ever, The Accidental Tourist). Then finally, I find the word I'm looking for. It's in the lower right-hand corner of the box with white lettering and a subdued mint green background. Very hard to read, particularly for husbands who want to make a fast getaway. I may have to write the manufacturer about fixing this problem.

As I start to leave the aisle, the laughter comes back. This time the laughter is brought on from relief, knowing that I've conquered the beast. Then I realize I've still got two more hurdles to clear. First, I have to walk around with "these things" in my basket, then I'll have to have them scanned by a cashier who will more than likely be a female. The first thing I did was get something else on my list and cover up my first purchase. As I go back to get tea bags, I run into the indecisive lady from "the aisle". I realize she probably didn't even see me there, but I saw her and I'm automatically embarrassed.

As I walk towards the registers, I stopped to look at some DVDs near the front of the store. As I put the movie down and resumed my walk I hear, "Sir, I can get you down here!" Yep, it was a female cashier. So I head to register 10 and proceed to pay for my four items. At first I was determined not to make eye contact. But then I figured she'd have to know that (a) they weren't for me, and (b) I must be a great husband for doing something like this for my wife. I paid for the items and headed for my car. Once in my car, another round of chuckling ensued - first from relief, then from the absurdity of my apprehension.

When I got home, the bride commented on how proud she was of me. I told her the story, and she laid on the bed and laughed.

Later that night, I actually carried the bride's purse from the kitchen to our bedroom. That's TWO major hurdles I cleared in one day. I'd better slow down and pace myself.....

Monday, June 06, 2005

the cubs have a saying.....

The Chicago Cubs have a saying - wait 'til next year. That's what Meg and Sara will be doing when it comes to softball. The tournaments officially ended for us Saturday evening at about 6:00. We started the day off Saturday thinking that we'd have games at 9:00, 12:00, 4:30 and (possibly) 6:00. We ended up with just 2 games at 9:00 and 4:40.

Meg's game ended in a tie, and we went to the tie-breaker rule. We lost 9-8, mainly due to some questionable "hustle" in the outfield. However, we didn't hit all that well, either. Meg's team went undefeated last year, but she said she had more fun this year.

For some reason, Sara's team just went dead for the tournament. We were in both games for only the first innings, and that was it. The head coach was out, so I assumed his duties. (Nothing like losing on a interim basis, huh?) It's hard to win a game when your team strikes out looking FIVE TIMES. In all fairness, it was miserably hot Saturday, and the girls were feeling it in a big way.

I told a couple of the dads on the way to the car Saturday that all the softball equipment will be taken out of my car and replaced with my golf clubs. I hope to be able to play a little more over the next couple of months.

We came home after the first service yesterday morning. The girls were practically zombies, so we figured they could use the rest. Of course, the bride and I set a good example by showing them how to properly rest. We spent a couple of hours at the pool late in the afternoon. Then after supper, we started prepping Sara's room to be painted this week.

Here's to the rest of the summer......

Friday, June 03, 2005

man, we need the rain.....just not the rain-out.....

Another night of softball, another rain-out. Wednesday night's game was called after 1+ inning, and last night's game never got started. (Although we could have/should have played last night, because it cleared up for a couple of hours.)

Looks like the tournament games will be played on Saturday and Sunday now. Actually they'll start tonight, assuming that the fields are dry enough to play. We'll be doing the split-family thing again tonight with Susie and Meg at one park, and Sara and me at another. But the bride and I will be giving each other updates on our cell phones between innings, so that will help.


Seems that something amusing always happens when I visit the Wendy's near 100 Oaks. As I stood in line, I noticed that they had a new item on the value menu - strawberry yogurt with granola. So I ordered my chicken nuggets and the yogurt, and I get this blank look from the cashier, followed by, "What yogurt?" I said, "The one on the value menu, about half-way down." She turned, looked for about 10 seconds, then turned back to her right and said, and I quote, "Charnice! What yogurt he talking about? I don't see no yogurt!" I realized that I probably should have just taken the chicken and told her to forget about the yogurt, because this was now backing up the already-long line behind me.

Just when I thought things had calmed down, I made another grave error. The total was something like $3.57, so I gave her a 20 and 57 cents. Again with the blank stare, but this time she was staring at the money. Thankfully, she didn't have to have Charnice come over the do the change thing for her. I think she was just expecting me to give her the 20 and let it go from there.

If that Wendy's wasn't so entertaining, I'd definitely have to find another cheap place to eat.....

Thursday, June 02, 2005

for those who take life too seriously.....*

Save the whales. Collect the whole set.

A day without sunshine is like...night.

On the other hand, you have different fingers.

42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.

99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

Remember, half the people you know are below average.

He who laughs last thinks slowest.

The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.

Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.

If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.

How many of you believe in psycho-kinesis? Raise my hand.

OK, so what's the speed of dark?

When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.

Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.

How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?

What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened.

Light travels faster than sound. That is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Life isn't like a box of chocolates... it's more like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today might burn your butt tomorrow.

* thanks to Ms. Pickle for the list

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

honeysuckle alley.....

I love to drive with the windows down in my car. I guess the big draw of that is the fact that I'm in an office all day long, and I love the feeling of doing 75 and feeling the fresh air circulate through my car as I'm going down the interstate.

There's one special stretch of road that I look forward to every day during the summer. I've nicknamed it honeysuckle alley. It's about a quarter-mile from the entrance to our neighborhood, and the fragrance of honeysuckle almost instantly overwhelms me. It's sweet, but not too sweet, the kind of scent that brings a smile to one's face.

Whenever I smell honeysuckle, it makes me think of my summers growing up in Kingsport. Most days were spent on my bike, riding around the neighborhood, going from yard to yard and playing with friends. We would spend most of our time in what we called the "clayfield", which was pretty much several acres of undeveloped red clay. We'd ride our bikes on trails. We even had some "sweet jumps" set up in one area. And we'd play baseball in heat that most kids today would call intolerable. Near the clayfield, there were some grapevines we'd swing on that went over a creek. That was where the scent of honeysuckle was the strongest.

That was 25-30 years ago. It's amazing to me that a simple smell can take me back that far.....