Wednesday, June 28, 2006

top 10 things i plan to do on vacation.....

10. Leave my watch on the nightstand
9. Rest, relax, recharge
8. Build a few sandcastles with the girls
7. Take a walk or two on the beach with the bride
6. Enjoy spending time with Chris and his family
5. Attempt to lose no more than 3 golf balls per hole - I mean - round

4. Completely ignore my e-mail from work
3. Battle Kathy on a daily/hourly/minutely basis for control of the thermostat (act your age, Mrs. Moffitt, have a hot flash or two!)
2. Walk to the pavilion and have ice cream every night

And the #1 thing I plan to do on vacation:

Unintentionally snort gallons of salt water up my nose every time I wipe out on my boogie board

OFIT, out.....

thanks, shaun.....

I read a post from Shaun Groves' blog yesterday that really got to me. Shaun is a contemporary Christian artist, has been nominated for several Dove Awards, and goes to our church. And on top of that, he's a genuinely nice guy. We're by no means close (he probably couldn't pick me out of a lineup), but we have talked a few times over the past couple of years. He said that the strangest thing at church is that all the kids always call him "Shaun Groves" and never just "Shaun". I told him that's what my daughters did, and he told me to tell them to just come up to him and say, "hey, Shaun!"

Here's the post. If you can read this without welling up, put a mirror under you nose and see if you can fog it up. If it doesn't fog, you're not alive.


She looked to be about nine. Blonde hair. Cropped just below her earlobes. I took her hand.

"I'm Shaun, what's your name?"

She told me shyly, handed me a CD and asked me to sign it for her.

"Sure, I'd love to...Who are all these people with you?"

She introduced her three little brothers and her smiling aunt to me.

The oldest of the boys, a brown eyed seven year old, piped up as his name was said. "Today's my Dad's birthday."

"Really," I said. "Well, where's your dad?"

"In Heaven." And the smiles of the four siblings relaxed into straight lines.

"How long has he been there?" I regretted asking the moment the words fell out. I didn't know where this was going. There are only six basic directions an after-show conversation usually heads: autograph, how old are you, where you're from, where are you headed next, wife and kids, prayer request or other need. I've mastered them all. I'm a professional. A professional now stumped, now drawn out of the routine and into the life of this little boy. My dad's in Heaven never comes up.

"About a month and a half."

I handed the signed CD back to his big sister while their Aunt explained what had taken place in their family over the last six weeks. A stranger, a man, put his arm around her as she told us the tale. The line waiting to talk to me and have something signed, stood patiently, leaning in, eyebrows furrowed by shared pain. And eventually smiles returned - by the simple miracles of time passing and conversation.

"Thank you for making their dad's birthday a special celebration," the aunt said as we hugged good bye. "Love your kids," she whispered over her shoulder as they walked away.

And I'm reminded once again that your job, no matter how great you think it is, sucks compared to mine. I don't mean to ruin your day, but I get to do this every week. I play some chords, sing some words, and then the good stuff happens: I hang out with people. I hear the most amazing stories. I meet people who have been healed. I get hugged by little kids and told I'm loved by them. I have conversations with skaters, moms, stock brokers, painters and astronauts. I get prayed for and get to pray for people in tremendous pain and trouble. I listen to eight year olds tell corny jokes and I laugh. I get to feel, every night, like all that stuff about Christians being family because we believe in the same God is actually true.

And tonight I got to be the entertainment at a dad's very important birthday party in Lincoln, Nebraska thrown by his four kids. And just being together we all got a taste of the world he lives in.

I told you. My job is better than yours.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

that's my story and i'm stickin' to it.....

Ronald Blankenship, a shoe repairman in Birmingham, Ala., finished second in June's Democratic primary for sheriff and was placed in a run-off, when the Birmingham News discovered details of an apparently shady past: faking his death in connection with an insurance policy, assault and passing bad checks. Blankenship's defense, a week later: It must be another Ronald Blankenship (even though "both" men have the same middle name and birth date and coincidentally are married to women with the same first, middle and maiden names).

Birmingham News, 6-13-06

Monday, June 26, 2006

one of the shortest parties you'll ever have.....

I realize this is going to sound morbid, but I look at the obituaries from my hometown newspaper on a weekly basis. Even though I don't know nearly as many people there as I used to, occasionally I'll see that someone I grew up with has died - a teacher, Sunday School teacher, classmate, etc.

I started looking at some of the names last week (the ones with nicknames like "Tater" and "Dood" always get me; I've asked the bride to include a name like that in my obituary when I die, just for fun) to see if I recognized any of them. Then I looked at the hours of visitation. It's usually for about 2 hours, with another hour for the service. That's 3 hours. And it's really not even 3 hours, because the visitation is more like an in-and-out kind of thing. If the line's not too long, the person visiting may only be there for 15-20 minutes. And alot of times, if you go to the visitation you may not go to the funeral service.

So I got to thinking about this whole thing. If funerals are supposed to be a celebration of someone's life, why are they so short? Think about birthday parties you may have gone to in the past. You're there for usually an hour or so, sometimes longer depending upon how good the food and company is.
Maybe there need to be funeral planners out there like they have party planners. They take care of the food, the guest list and all the amenities. Need someone to watch the kids while you visit with the dearly departed's family? Send them out back to play on the inflatible jumping castle. Just come from work and you're starving? Go through the carved meat line with your choice of roast beef or turkey, slap the meat on some sliced sourdough, add some spicy mustard and you're good to go. Got a story about the deceased? See the videographer and he'll record your amusing anecdote.

If you're reading this and you think I'm crazy (those of you who know me probably made that call years ago), just think about it again. Yes, there are circumstances when you wouldn't want a jumpy-thing out back for the kids. But there are times when you actually want to celebrate a person's life. And it's difficult to do much celebrating in 15-20 minutes.

Maybe I need to patent this idea.....

Friday, June 23, 2006

if i squint, i can see a small light.....

I started running again this week. According to the bride, I picked a bad week to start up again, because the temperatures have been in the low-to-mid-90's with plenty of humidity. (For some reason she won't let me leave to run until she can call our life insurance agent to make sure my policy is current.) Actually, I don't mind the heat. As long as I'm dressed for it, it's no big deal. And there's something about coming back from a long run or coming in from working in the yard and being all sweaty that makes me feel like I've accomplished something.

I'm just working on a mile right now. There's a point in the run when I start to give out, but then I spot a "marker" that lets me know I can make it. When I see that street sign about 1/10 of a mile from our driveway, I get a little spark and I run a little faster to the end.

Looking at the calendar/planner on my computer this morning, I spotted another kind of marker that put a little spring in my step. I got a call from someone about a lunch meeting next week and clicked over to check out what I had going on for the week. Then I saw it - next Thursday's my last day of work until the 10th of July. On the section of the screen for Friday was one my favorite words, and probably my favorite 8-letter word - vacation. I mean, it's not like I'd forgotten about vacation, it's just that seeing it gave me a good feeling and a sense of relief.

There it is, that small light at the end of the tunnel.....

Thursday, June 22, 2006

honey, i love you, but we could use the money.....

Last year, in order to soften the transition from an agrarian economy, the rural village of Renhe, China, offered to give farmers apartments in town - one-bedroom flats for single people and two-bedroom units for married couples. But in a fit of greed, hundreds of couples promptly divorced for no other reason than to qualify for two apartments so that they could rent one out.

When officials learned of the scams, they modified the rules, according to a May dispatch in the Los Angeles Times, and turmoil resulted, as newly divorced couples failed to reconcile, leaving children in broken homes while husbands ran off with younger women.

Los Angeles Times, 5-8-06

I wonder what the bachelor pad of a former Chinese farmer looks like.....

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

yep, it's still alot like mayberry.....

Franklin is growing. In a recent survey done by the city, many residents thought that the growth was much too fast. Nissan is moving its US headquarters here over the next 12 months. Road construction is everywhere. Fiber optic lines are being installed all over the city. But with all that progress, the city still has a problem when it comes to replacing lights when they burn out.

A friend of mine who lives in the neighborhood behind ours said he noticed that several large street lights were out on a road near our houses. So he called department responsible for replacing/repairing street lights. The conversation went something like this:

Bob: "Yes, I was calling to talk with someone about having some street lights repaired on Center Point Lane."

City: "OK, now where is this located?"

Bob: "Alright, if you come down Royal Oaks and turn left onto Center Point, just after Home Depot."

City: "OK, um, let me get the map out. Let's see....."

(Silence for about 30 seconds)

Bob: "Hello?"

City: "Just a minute, sir, I'm trying to locate the street. OK, there it is. Now, which lights are out?"

Bob: "Well, there are about 5 of them, sort of random. They've been out for about 2 months now. Don't y'all have someone who checks on lights every now and then to make sure they're working?" (here it comes, get ready)

City: "Yes, sir, we do. But he gets off at 4:00 every afternoon, and since the lights don't come on until it gets dark, we really don't have any way to know that a light is out until someone like yourself calls to let us know."

Bob: (silence for a few seconds, attempting to stifle his laughter) "OK, so about these burned-out lights. Are they numbered or marked so that I could go by there, get the number off the pole, then call you with the numbers of the ones that need to be repaired?"

City: "(long sigh) Um, no, sir, I don't believe they are. Ummmmm, let's see, how can we do this? (another long sigh)"

Bob: "Tell you what, I'll go by there tonight and put some colored electrical tape on the poles of the lights that aren't working. Would that work?"

City: "(sounding hesitant, like the tape is going to cause a power outage) Well, I guess that would be alright. When will you be putting the tape on the poles?"

Bob: "Tonight, right after it gets dark."

City: "OK, we'll have someone out there in the next few days."

I'm happy to say that within 2 short weeks, we can now see our way to get to Home Depot when it's dark. And.....scene! Fade to gray, background music of guitar strumming, whistling and finger snapping.....

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

top 2 reasons i'm glad i'm a dad.....

This picture brings a tear to my eyes. To think that Meg had her arms around Sara's neck without actually choking's almost more than I can handle. And the fact that Sara sat still without turning around and kicking Meg.....again, I'm on the verge of tears.

For some reason, God has chosen to bless me with 2 healthy, beautiful daughters. And I'm extremely grateful everytime I hear them call me "Dad".....

Saturday, June 17, 2006

when you have to eat words, seasoning helps.....

"Nobody told me tonight was going to be family night! Whenever I want to have a family night, y'all are either too tired or you want to watch a movie by yourselves!" These were words Meg would soon regret.

All of this started in motion Sunday afternoon, June 11, at around 4:00. I was asleep on the couch in the bonus room when the bride came into the room carrying my notebook computer. "Oh, were you asleep?" "Yes..." was my groggy reply. "You need to look at this." she said, pointing toward the notebook. It was a car she'd found on "Honey, I'm not ready to look yet. Let's get back from vacation, then we'll start looking. Besides, she won't turn 16 for another 3 weeks." She was persistent. "OK, fine, I'll look." Looked like a good deal. "So, are you going to call?" I hesitated, but I gave in. I talked to a gentleman and decided to go look at the car at 4:30 Monday afternoon.

The bride and I met in a church parking lot a few miles from where we were to see the car. When we got to the house, we knew it was the car for Meg. They'd already had a dozen or so calls about it, with someone else coming to see it later on that afternoon. We took about a 45-minute test drive and decided to take it. When we got back to the house, the lady had received 6 more calls about the car. I said, "How about if we stop those calls for you? We'll take it." We arranged for a time to pick the car up on Tuesday.

I picked the bride up around 11:30 Tuesday morning and we went to pick the car up. We got it titled and then parked it at the bride's parents' house. The next evening I went there after work to wash and wax it, and to finish the detailing that the bride had started earlier in the day.

We had originally said we'd give her the car on Sunday, then moved it up to Thursday. However, we had a VBS thing at church on Thursday, so we bumped it to Friday. We thought we'd go out to dinner then drop by the in-laws' house and give her the car. One slight problem. The bride forgot to tell Meg about "Family Night". Meg had already made plans to hang out with friends at the mall then go to see a movie with them. So we said we'd compromise - go to eat, then we'd drop her off at the mall.

After dinner at Ci Ci's, we got in the van. The bride said, "Hey, let's run my Mom and Dad's." Meg was starting to panic. "We're not going to stay long, are we?" I told her that we'd be in and out, and that she'd have plenty of time to see her friends. She was frustrated, it was obvious. She and Sara picked at each other non-stop in the van, and this made it worse. Then we got "the speech" that I opened this post with. The bride was laughing now, and I worried that she'd give it away with her laugh. So I started laughing with her, and I said "Meg, do you remember when you were about 5, I told you that there would come a time when you'd rather hang out with friends than your own parents? Sounds like that time has come." I didn't have to look, I could feel her rolling her eyes.

We pulled up to the house, and there the car sat on the carport. "Honey, looks like your parents have company. We don't need to stay too long." So we went inside and I asked Ken whose car was on the carport. He said that someone had asked them if they could keep it there for a few days. Without her looking, I put the keys in my pocket and said, "Hey, Meg, let's go look at it." She reluctantly came out and commented that the car was cute. Then she looked in the driver's window and saw the sign that the bride had made for her in the seat that said "Happy 16th Birthday, Meg!" Meg put her hands to her mouth, started jumping up and down and screamed "Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, ohmygosh!!!!! Are you serious?????" I handed her the keys and said, "I think these are yours." She sat in the driver's seat and her eyes started welling up with tears.

Need another reason to prove that I'm getting to be an old man? My oldest daughter now has a car. 'Nuff said.....

Friday, June 16, 2006

ever feel like.....

Ever feel like things are going on around you that you're just not quite in sync with? Like maybe things happen around you and they just don't quite make sense?

I've been known to pull pranks or surprises on people, and that's alot of fun. (A good friend reminded me of one I did to him about 10 years ago. That's a very good story for another day.) But it's almost a little unsettling (can be good, can be bad) when someone does it to me. I've been accused of being able to dish it out but unable to take it. Fair statement. But it sure is alot better to be on the dishing out side.

For example, I have a friend who lost his job a few months ago. Looking back, he said he should have seen it coming. His boss went from being congenial towards him to almost ignoring him. He said one day his boss just quit coming by his office and joking around with him, and a week later he was told his job had been done away with. He sometimes wishes that he'd struck up some sort of alliance or accord with him, thinking that would have possibly saved his job. Accords can sometimes be nice and helpful.

Another example, a complete opposite, would be when my parents surpised me with a television on Christmas morning when I was 10. The night before they had me open a present, a pair of house shoes, and explained to me that things had been tight that particular year and this was the best surprise gift they could muster that year. The next morning there was a small television sitting under the tree with my name on it. Looking back that Christmas morning to the night before, I realized the house shoes were a set-up. A set-up, but a good one.

Here's hoping surprises that happen to you produce the good kind of shock rather than the bad kind.....

Thursday, June 15, 2006

hand + cookie jar = suspension.....

RICHMOND, Va. Henrico County school officials have upheld an eighth-grader's one-day suspension for eating a stolen cookie.

Superintendent Fred Morton IV says he can't discuss specifics of the case because of student privacy laws ... but he says there's more to it than just eating someone else's cookie.

Caryl Maitland says her son, Jeremy, told school officials that someone knocked over a cookie jar in the Hungary Creek Middle School kitchen and he ate one of the cookies as he picked them up. She says the family received a letter from the assistant principal telling them the cookies were a staff member's personal food. Jeremy was disciplined under the school's theft code.

The boy's mother says she believes he should be punished ... but that suspension is going too far.

Good thing he didn't drink any milk with that cookie. Sounds like he could have been wearing an orange jumpsuit and picking up garbage on the side of the road if he had.....

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

and, one for the road.....

A semicircle of about 100 formed around Jim Werych as he got down on all fours in the middle of Lisbon Road, stopping traffic in both directions.

A robot groundhog danced at his side as Werych stared at the pavement, the flowing black locks of his wig resting on the ground.

Then he licked.

He dragged his tongue across the tire-stained asphalt, leaving a streak of saliva a good six-inches long on Lisbon Road.

Calling it a lick doesn't even really do it justice.

This was like a starving dog lapping up the last crumbs of food from an empty bowl.

Amid the gasping, groaning audience, Werych stood up and declared his annual proclamation.

"Hear ye, hear ye: Bring 'em out boys. This street is cleansed!"

And with that, the sixth season of Wednesday Night Classics was officially under way.

Werych's ceremonial stomach-turning antics served a purpose, sort of.

He was purportedly checking to confirm that the local roads were free of winter salt, making the thoroughfares once again safe for rust-sensitive classic cars.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

uh, sir, your cell phone is ringing.....

A sure sign of aging is when you have cool ring tones on your cell phone but you can't use them because you can no longer hear them. I've got some great Billy Joel ring tones on my phone, but I can't use them any more because I can't hear them as well as the other ring tones that came with my phone. So instead of hearing "River of Dreams" whenever someone calls me, I now hear "Tone 4" (plus vibrate, for good measure) which sounds a little like La Cucaracha. If there happen to be teenagers around when my phone rings, they look at me like I'm 112 years old because my phone isn't singing "My humps, my humps."

I read in an article today that now teenagers are downloading ring tones that adults can't hear. Students can then receive text messages while in class and the notification ring tone for the incoming message goes undetected by adult ears.

According to the article, as people age many develop what's known as aging ear - a loss of the ability to hear higher-frequency sounds. I think that may have happened to me already.

The ring tone is a spin-off of technology that was originally meant to repel teenagers - not help them. A Welsh security company developed the tone to help shopkeepers disperse young people loitering in front of their stores while leaving adults unaffected. The company called their product the "Mosquito."

A teacher in Manhattan says a colleague played the ring for a classroom of first-graders - and all of them could hear it, while the adults couldn't hear anything.

As if it wasn't difficult enough to keep up with kids, now they're using stealth technology on their phones.....

Monday, June 12, 2006

top 5 chick flicks that I actually like.....

We watched “Miss Congeniality” over the Memorial Day weekend. I’ve used the line “You want to kiss me, you want to hug me” several times on the bride over the past couple of weeks whenever I’m good and sweaty from working in the yard or after a softball game.

So I’m sitting there watching and enjoying “MG” when it hits me – this is a chick flick, and I actually like it! (The guy I coach softball with said that he did one of our game’s line-ups while pretending to watch “Must Love Dogs” with his wife.) Is there something wrong with me? Should I question my masculinity? I immediately curled up into a fetal position and wept openly. (OK, I made that last part up, but it seemed to fit so I went with it.)

Later I started thinking about other chick flicks that I like. Here’s my top 5:

5. Elizabethtown – Excellent movie, excellent soundtrack. Small southern town life at its best.

4. Father of the Bride - Love is wonderful. Until it happens to your only daughter."I used to think a wedding was a simple affair. Boy and girl meet, they fall in love, he buys a ring, she buys a dress, they say I do. I was wrong. That's getting married. A wedding is an entirely different proposition. I know. I've just been through one. Not my own, my daughter's."

3. Miss Congeniality – Who wouldn’t like Sandra Bullock in this movie? She’s an attractive tough girl who turns into a beauty queen while maintaining her edge. Michael Caine plays a great role.

2. Bull Durham – Yeah, I know, it’s a baseball movie. But Susan Sarandon’s in it, so it’s a chick flick my default just because she’s in it. Best part of the movie is the scene where they try to decide if candlesticks are an appropriate wedding gift while on the mound.

1. Jerry Maguire – Granted, Tom Cruise is now officially a nut case. However, in 1996 he seemed normal. Cuba Gooding Jr. stole the movie with his portrayal of the character Rod Tidwell.

OK, that’s enough of that. Think I’ll watch "Die Hard" a couple of times tonight to sort of cleanse the palate….

Friday, June 09, 2006

what an addiction.....

I overheard a lady say this the other day:

“I am soooo addicted to Avon deodorant. I’ve tried to go back to my other deodorant, but I just can’t give up my Avon.”

I keep imagining her hunched over in the corner of a dimly lit room with the ball of the deodorant container wedged half-way up her nose saying things like, “Don’t judge me! You think you’re better than me? Well, you’re not! Now get out of here!!!!!” defines addiction as follows:

Every addictive substance induces pleasant states or relieves distress. Continued use of the addictive substance induces adaptive changes in the brain that lead to tolerance, physical dependence, uncontrollable craving and, all too often, relapse. Dependence is at such a point that stopping is very difficult and causes severe physical and mental reactions from withdrawal. The risk of addiction is in part inherited. Genetic factors, for example, account for about 40% of the risk of alcoholism. The genetic factors predisposing to addiction are not yet fully understood.

So there’s a chance that someone in this lady’s family was addicted to Avon deodorant in the past. Maybe she didn’t first buy it during recess from a shady Avon lady hanging around the elementary school playground. Perhaps she was genetically predisposed. Or maybe the Avon deodorant simply induces a pleasant state or relieves stress for her. We may never know the reason for this poor woman’s addiction.

So if you’re reading this and you work for Avon, just know that your deodorant has another person on the hook. I hope you can sleep at night…..

Thursday, June 08, 2006

when really good isn't good enough.....

I had the opportunity to play in the 103 WKDF Cystic Fibrosys tournament yesterday. It was a beautiful day, the weather couldn't have been better. While none of us on our team would ever be considered "A" golfers, we played respectable. We got on a roll and made 5 birdies in a row at one point.

On our 11th hole of the day, #3 of the Governer's Retreat at Hermitage, I stepped up to hit first. I think it was playing about 137, so I hit an 8 iron. As soon as I hit it, I thought it was going to be close. When it landed, it looked like it was about 2-3 feet from the pin, but it's sometimes hard to tell from the tee. Sometimes it'll look like you're right on the flag stick, then you get to the green and you're 12 feet away. So I didn't get excited, I was just pleased to be pretty close. As we drove up, one of my partners let out an "OH, YEAH!" I walked over and saw my ball sitting about 8-10 inches from the cup. I signed the card on the marker (closest to the pin on this hole was supposed to win something) and saw that I had gotten it closer than 2 other guys. And one of those guys was Craig Hentrich, the punter for the Titans. So I've got that goin' for me. One of my partners said, "Man, you've got this one. NOBODY'S going to put one closer!"

About three holes later, we heard a group celebrating a few holes back. That happens alot during a scramble, guys cheering for a good eagle or birdie putt. I didn't think much about it. We're in the fairway on the next hole, and a guy from our group gets a phone call. I hear him say, "You're kidding me!" Turns out the cheering was for a hole-in-one on #3. One of the guys in our extended group (there were three groups of 4) thought he hit it pretty close, but didn't know just how close until they walked up on the green and saw the ball in the cup.

It just goes to show you that no matter how well you might do, there's always someone better out there. But that's OK with me. I'm getting closer to that hole-in-one all the time.....

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

not quite the fairy tale ending we had hoped for…..

I’ve heard it said that the worst thing to happen to kids sports is the parents. That point was proven last night.

Sara’s team was one game from the Williamson county championship. Jeff and I had a great time coaching them this year, and the girls had come a long way. No one expected us to win a single tournament game this year, and we had won 4 going into last night’s game. The girls were excited and ready to play.

Things were going fine, and then the coach from the other team complained about our pitcher’s delivery. What made it so bad was that he stood in front of our pitcher while he complained to the umpire. This scared our pitcher so bad that she started crying, and she never recovered.

We’d played about 20 games this season before last night’s game, and this had never been an issue. So she had to completely change her mechanics in about 3 minutes. Ridiculous. I went to the “head guy” of the tournament and couldn’t get any help. He chickened out, I mean, took the easy way out, I mean, deferred judgment, saying it was up to the umpire in charge.

Ultimately, the blame goes to the umpire in charge. He gave in to a bully rather than do his job. I asked the home plate umpire if they were going to call the game or if they were going to let the other coach take charge. He smiled, gave me a look like “Hey, it’s not up to me. If it was, this wouldn’t be happening.”

Parents were upset, with emotions ranging from sad to angry. Tears were shed, by both moms and the girls. I told them that they had nothing to be ashamed of, that in life there would be people who tried to change the rules in the middle of a game and take advantage of the situation. But they acted like young ladies, and for that I was very proud of the way they handled it.

It’s not so much what other people do to you, but rather how you handle it. And last night our girls passed the test…..

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Our junior high football coach, Coach Walling, used to use the letters "PGD" before games and pep rallies. "PGD" stands for "Pride, Guts and Determination." While that was almost 30 years ago, I still remember it and I've found over the years that PGD doesn't just apply to football or sports. PGD can be used in everything you do in life. Last night, I saw a little PGD in both Meg and Sara. OK, it was during their softball games, so it does apply to sports in this instance.

Meg's team has been pretty up and down all season long. One minute they're making a great play, the next minute they're doing handstands in the outfield between pitches. The parents/spectators never quite knew which team would show up. Their season ended last night with a 15-5 loss against girls who were obviously on steroids. (Test results are pending.) But there were a few of the girls who didn't give up. They gave 100% every game, regardless of how bad they were getting beat. That's what leaders do, and Meg was one of their leaders. Leaders take pride in what they're doing, they've got the guts to play hard, and they have the determination to keep on going even when it ain't exactly fun.

Going into the playoffs, we weren't sure if Sara's team would win even one game. Alot of the girls seemed to have had their minds on something else as the regular season came to a close. But something happened in the first game of the tournament. They found out that they could win, and now we're 4-1. Another win and we play for the county championship. (I originally thought if we won last night that we'd be in the championship, but I found out last night that we've got one more team to beat in order to get there.) Anyway, leaders come through in the clutch. Last night in the bottom of the 4th, bases loaded and 2 outs, Sara came to the plate. She'd been walked both times in the 1st and 2nd innings, and she was dying to get a pitch to hit. We were up 4-2 and the time limit was coming up. With a 2-2 count, she came through with a grand slam making the score 8-2. We ended up winning 8-4.

I doubt that either daughter will remember last night's games 20 years from now. But they're both learning things now that are forming their lives. Pride in a job well done; guts to persevere; and determination to finish the task.....

Monday, June 05, 2006

not so fast, my friend.....

Softball tournaments started this past weekend for the girls. To be very honest with you, I didn't expect either team to win a game. Both teams have some talent, but it seems that with summer here neither team has seemed to have it together. It's like all of the girls (well, most of the girls) have their minds elsewhere.

Friday night's games were rained out, so they had to do some juggling and fit all those games into Saturday. It was not exactly smooth. Meg's coach told us Friday night that we'd be playing Saturday morning at 9:00. I help coach Sara's team with another guy, and we didn't know about our game until 9:30 Saturday morning. One of the teams in our league had their game rescheduled but they weren't informed about it, so they ended up having to take a forfeit because they didn't show up for the game. Let's just say that their coach was less than pleased with our league commissioner. But there was alot of that going around this weekend in our league.

It's now two days later, and Meg's team is 2-1 and Sara's team is 3-1. They're both in the semi-finals tonight, and a win sends them into the championship game. Sara's team played two games on both Saturday and Sunday and Meg's team played one game Saturday and two yesterday. By the end of both days, I smelled like a dirty sweat sock that had been left in a duffle bag for 2 months in the trunk of a car over an Arizona summer.

The weather was perfect over the weekend. The sky was clear and crisp on Saturday, and just a little overcast on Sunday.

Good luck to Focus Financial Group and the Luna Constuction Lunatics.....

Friday, June 02, 2006

bet this guy's wife didn't ask about his day.....

Man injured after truck strikes portable toilet

Nature called at an unfortunate moment for a construction worker in Oak Point on Thursday.

While working on a new subdivision in the small Denton County town just south of Highway 380, the unnamed man ducked into a portable toilet outside a home under construction along Niles Court.

Within moments, the wide load of a tractor trailer turning onto Niles from Woodridge Drive struck the portable toilet and knocked it over.

The victim was taken to Denton Regional Medical Center, but his name and the extent of his injuries have not been released. The portable toilet sustained moderate damage.

Police said they don’t anticipate filing any charges against the driver of the tractor trailer.

Whew! At least they gave us info on the damage to the toilet.....

Thursday, June 01, 2006

a day of special occasions.....

Yes, it's a big day around our house, in our family and in the state of Tennessee:

1. Today, Meg says goodbye to a close friend - her braces! That's right, just 3 1/2 years after Meg and her braces first met, Dr. Kemp will be severing the relationship.

2. Hattie also says goodbye to a friend of hers today - her cast! At least, she hopes that's what will happen. Best case scenario, she gets a walking boot. She doesn't want to think about any other possibilities. And neither does her butler, Ken.

3. The great state of Tennessee came into existence 210 years ago today. If you've never visited our wonderful state, you need to do so. The scenery is beautiful. It's one of the prettiest places I've ever been, and I'm proud to have called it my home for the past 41+ years.

So Happy Braces Removal Day, Cast Removal Day, and 210th Birthday.....