Friday, May 30, 2008

not the best way to demand better service.....

Fort Pierce Tribune - 4/8/08

In April, according to police in Fort Pierce, Fla., Amity Joy Doss, 24, grabbed a young McDonald's employee by her shirt to emphasize her dissatisfaction with service and demanded to the manager that she be fired. A call was made to police, and Doss wandered outside, climbed a tree, hung upside down by bended knee for a while, then descended and lay down on the hood of her car before re-entering the restaurant and asking if the girl had been fired yet. She was arrested on several charges.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

something so simple yet difficult.....

I read a book during lunch yesterday. That's right, I'm a fast reader. I can even read dozens of chapters at night. (The bride is laughing at me now because I've been reading alot of James Patterson's books lately and the chapters are typically 2 to 5 pages long. So I'm always telling her how fast I can read a chapter.)

I picked up a book at the library called "The Present" by Spencer Johnson, the gentleman who wrote "Who Moved My Cheese?" It's a life-lesson kind of book that tells a story about the secret of life. The "present" is living in the present, learning from the past, planning for the future and all the while doing these things with a sense of purpose. I encourage you to read it when you get a chance. I'm even thinking about giving the book to a few friends.

I tend to get caught up in the future, planning for things that aren't here yet, and forgetting about the here and now. It was a good reminder for me. I've got alot of good stuff going on in life that I'm liable to miss if I don't pay attention. And I'm probably not alone in this line of thinking.

It never ceases to amaze me how difficult simplicity can sometimes be.....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

does anybody really know what time it is.....

Wall Street Journal - 4/25/08

In April the Swiss watchmaker Romain Jerome (which last year created a watch made from remnants of the Titanic) introduced the "Day&Night" watch, which unfortunately does not provide a reading of the hour or the minute. Though it retails for about $300,000, it tells only whether it is "day" or "night" (using a complex measurement of the Earth's gravity). CEO Yvan Arpa said studies show that two-thirds of rich people "don't (use) their watch to tell what time it is" anyway. Anyone can buy a watch that tells time, he told a Reuters reporter, but only a "truly discerning customer" can buy one that doesn't.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

new milepost.....

26 years ago I thought having a high school graduation party was ridiculous. I figured that if I could graduate with a solid 'B' average without ever bringing home a book, anybody could do it. So why should you celebrate something anybody could do? (Well, that plus the fact that I had just started dating a really, really, really cute girl named Sabrina and didn't want to go to my own graduation party. But that's another story for another time.)

While celebrating Meg's graduation this weekend, I started looking at it in another light. It's not necessarily about the accomplishment, but rather the beginning of another chapter in life.

It made me think about the children of Israel after they crossed the Jordan river. God told Joshua to choose a man from each tribe to retrieve a stone from the middle of the river and bring it back to the shore. There they stacked the stones as a memorial, so that for generations to come they would remember how God had blessed them.

God has truly blessed Meg, I don't doubt that one bit. He's given her abilities that are unique to her and no one else. She's fulfilling her purpose in life every day and will keep on doing that for years to come. And she's stacking stones with all kinds of memories.

We made it through graduation weekend without any tears. Probably because our minds were on so many things - graduation, lunch with family, a dessert reception later that afternoon, etc. We figure those tears will come when we drop her off at MTSU later this fall.

Here are some pictures from the weekend.....

Thursday, May 22, 2008

here's what can happen in 13 short years.....

Saturday. It's been a long time coming. Meg's graduation.

I can remember Meg's first day of school. She looked like this a few months before while holding her sister for the first time:

Now, 13 years later, she looks like this:

And despite how they act around each other 99.99% of the time, these two actually love each other. They're going to miss each other more than they think this fall:

By the way, for those of you who haven't had a child graduate from high school yet, here's a couple of tips:

* No matter how hard you think it's going to be on you, it will be that much harder on your child to act like they want to be around you before leaving for college. Seriously. It's time.

* Planning graduation activities takes more time than it did to plan our wedding 20 years ago.

* Don't do any remodeling/upgrading of your home the month before graduation. Unless you're pretty confident about the strength of your marriage. Again, seriously.

Graduation pictures to follow this weekend.....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

gender identity crisis.....

I received a voice message from a friend of mine on Monday. He said, "Hey, just calling to check up on you. Didn't know you'd had a sex change. Call me." Completely confused, I called him back.

My dad and I work in the same industry. After 44 years, he's retiring next month. Several state and national publications have done articles on him the past couple of months to announce his retirement. He did a phone interview for one of the major trade publications a few weeks ago and it appears in this week's edition. The article mentioned that he planned to play alot of golf, spend time with his kids and grandkids, and that he had a "daughter" who was CEO of a company here in Nashville.

I called him Monday night and said I didn't know he'd never wanted a son. We had a laugh over it, as have other people here in the state. I'll probably get alot of kidding from others over the next few weeks.

For those still not convinced, allow me a little liberty with a quote from Mark Twain - the reports of my gender conversion have been greatly exaggerated.....

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

i had the place to myself.....

Last week I attended a conference in Chattanooga. We finished up early one day and I decided to see a movie. I drove out to Hamilton Place and decided to see "Baby Mama." It wasn't the best movie I'd ever seen but it did have some funny moments. Not awful, just good. Although Steve Martin's part was very good.

I got there at 4:20 and the movie was supposed to start at 4:25. Actually the previews started at 4:25 and the movie began at 4:45. But just before the previews began, I looked around and noticed that I was all alone. The projectionist even came down from his room on high and made sure there was someone really watching the movie. I think I scared him when he came around the corner and realized someone was sitting in the theater.

They showed a preview to the movie "The Stangers." Being in the theater by myself, I looked around to make sure there were no hooded people sitting behind me. (You think I'm kidding? Sit in a movie theater by yourself and watch that trailer. Then talk to me about it.) Thankfully, there were no hooded people.

So my advice on "Baby Mama" - unless you get the theater to yourself, wait for the DVD.....

Monday, May 19, 2008

new formula.....

a shortage of time


a lack of creativity


fewer posts

Yeah, that's were I am at this moment in life.....

Thursday, May 15, 2008

wake up call.....

This was my inadvertent wake up call at 6:15 AM today:

Hayuppy birthday tew yew!
Hayuppy birthday tew yew!
Hayuppy birthday, dear Phi-yul-luuuuuuuuussssss!
Hayuppy birthday tew yew!
And many mo-wer!!!!! (laughter ensues as if they've just pulled off the greatest prank of all time)

I'm out of town at a convention. I have a hard enough time sleeping when I'm on the road. The last thing I need is a family of 4 or 5 singing "Happy Birthday" in a hotel room with paper-thin walls at 6:15 in the morning.

Phyllis, I hope you have a wonderful day. But I sincerely hope I never have to hear about your birthday again.....

Thursday, May 08, 2008

WCBS-TV (New York City)/AP - 3/13/08

Student Vinicios Robacher, 15, said in March he was preparing to file a lawsuit against school officials in Danbury, Conn., over an ear injury. Robacher said that, while he had his head down, sleeping in class, the teacher slapped his desk so hard with her palm, to wake him, that he still has constant pain.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

not what we'd hoped for.....

Have you ever bought something that didn't work like it was supposed to work? I'm not talking about exercise equipment that's promoted by people who spend 18 hours a day in a gym. I'm talking about stuff that you buy, bring home, set it up, and it's supposed to do what it says it will do on the box.

About a week ago, we noticed ants on the kitchen countertop near the sink. "Fear not, fair maiden," I told the bride. "I shall fetch ant traps from yonder store, and ye shall worry no more about these wretched pests." (Actually, I think it was more like, "OK, OK, I'll get the ant traps! NOW can I finish watching 'The Office'????") So I bought the ant traps from True Value Hardware and set them out. One day later, the ants were still there. Three days later, there were more of them. Now a week later, and they seem to be thriving.

I decided to get a closer look into the traps last night. To say I was surprised at what I saw is an understatement.

I peered inside the first trap and saw a small shopping center, complete with a Vitamin Shoppe, Whole Foods and Walgreens. The second trap contained a night club. As I watched in utter amazement, I saw a bartender with dozens of patrons, a couple of waitresses, and a band setting up on a stage to the side. The last trap had what I suspected all along - a fertility clinic. The female ants were coming out of the clinic with big grins on their faces.

I think I need some different ant traps.....

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

not too proud to ask.....

WLOX-TV (Biloxi) - 4/8/08

Gulfport, Miss., resident Michael Petro pleaded to a documentary filmmaker (in a clip later uploaded with his permission to the Internet) for help in recovering from his shattering loss during Hurricane Katrina, when his 115-year-old house was destroyed. Since then, he said on the video (reported by WLOX-TV in April): "Church groups have not come through, the government has not come through, insurance has not come through like was promised," and "(S)omebody has to fight to get these things back and going." According to WLOX-TV, the house that stockbroker Petro lost was 2,500 square feet, and the replacement he's pleading for help with is 6,000 square feet. Said Petro to the station, "I'm not too proud to ask ...."

Friday, May 02, 2008

simple pleasures.....

I had to go to Target during lunch yesterday. On my way to the checkout counter, I saw a little boy riding in a shopping cart. He wasn't in the seat of the cart; he was standing on his knees, leaning forward on the front section of the cart. He had his arms spread wide open, his eyes wide open and a huge smile on his face. He had that "Leo Dicaprio/king of the world" look on his face. What showed more than anything was that something as simple as riding in a Target shopping cart made him happy.

It made me think of riding in a shopping cart in the Oakwood grocery store when I was growing up. Mom always promised me a doughnut to get me to behave. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn't. If I got the doughnut early, chances are I started misbehaving as soon as it was gone. I guess that's why Mom usually made me wait until she was almost finished shopping. But once I got that doughnut, I was happy. (Note to self: sell Krispy Kreme on the idea of opening up a small store in malls. While wives shop, their husbands could eat doughnuts and be content. Brilliant!)

This post proves a point to women everywhere: men are simple. And because we're simple, no matter how old we are, it doesn't take much to make us happy. Oh, how easy women have it in respect to trying to figure out the opposite sex.....