Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Later that night I got to thinking about some of the kids that have been in my Sunday school classes and on the van routes that I drove. I have taught & driven for over 20 years, so I have seen a lot of kids go through my class. It still tickles me to have kids tell me that they don't want to grow older because that means they will have to leave my class.
In addition to the above mentioned pastor, There have also been a wealth of other ministers who have called me teacher. One young man has been an Associate in Missions, preaching and teaching in The United Kingdom (mostly in Scotland) and in Eastern Europe (mostly in the Czech Republic). Current and former church music directors, numerous church musicians, choir members, Sunday school teachers, and bible college students have also been my pupils. In the secular world, nurses, nurses aides, and airports security screeners spent time as youth in my ministries.
I does me good to see the young person who was backward (or perhaps the other extreme) become responsible young adults. You never know what that child in you class will grow to be.
Friday, October 24, 2008
We got back to Violet's house, and got everything packed into the car. All the goodbyes were said and were piled into the car. We were headed back to Ohio with another marathon driving session. We would be doing most of the driving at night because traffic wouldn't be as heavy.
We made it home without incident. Bonnie was dropped off first, then Doris dropped our family off. I liked Florida, but I was glad to be back home. It would be another 25 years or so before I ever made it back to Florida.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
When our old dog "Onyx" passed, we decided that we really didn't want another dog. As the weeks passed, we decided that we were too much "dog-people" not to have another dog roaming the halls of Castle Nottaguy. We contacted the local animal shelter, and told them to give us a call if a small dog came in.
A few weeks later the phone rang, and we were asked to come take a look at a Rat Terrier that had been picked up because the older lady who had it could no longer care for it. She had nine dogs, and she was allowed to keep three. This dog being the smallest, didn't get much food, therefore, he would tear into the neighbors garbage.
He was bigger than what we wanted, but decided to take him anyway. When the worker reached into the kennel to put a leash on him, he bit at the worker. "What kind of crazy dog are we getting?", I asked Lady Nottaguy-TYG. "He's just scared.", she replied. We took the leash, filled out the paperwork, and exited the animal shelter.
When we got to the car, he wouldn't get in. In fact, he vigorously shook himself, and off went the collar & leash. Zoom, he was off & running. I've seen greyhounds that looked slow compared to the speed that he was displaying.
A week & a half later, we get a call from the animal shelter. "We found the dog again, if you still want him, you can come pick him up". We were ready this time. We had picked up a harness to use, instead of a collar. We got to the shelter, put the harness on him, put him in an animal carrier, and got him home. We named him "Sparky" because he reminded us of the small dog in the movie "Beethoven" that bites the bad guy in the rear at the end of the movie.
When I took him into the house, we put him into a back room, with the carrier door open. We checked on him every 10 minutes to see if he had come out yet. After a while, with him still in the carrier, I decided to take him out. Remember the dog shelter worker, I donned gloves, and approached the carrier. GROOOOWL, came the sound from the carrier. Undaunted, I reached in to take him out. In a flurry of snaps, bites & gnaws, I finally got him out of the carrier. It was almost like putting my hands into a food processor.
I lead him out the front door on the leash attached to the harness. I walked him around our landholdings so he could know his property. Since it was January, I didn't want him to get too cold, so we headed back to the house. When we reached the stairs, he had no desire to go back in the house. I gave a small tug on the leash. He responded by shaking like a hula dancer having a seizure. Before I knew what had happened, he had slipped out of the harness, and away he went.
Two weeks later, we get another call from the animal shelter. We had hunted, the area for Sparky to no avail. They found him a mile away. " If you still want this dog, you can pick him up, but if he escapes, and we pick him up again, it will cost you the adoption fee again". Off to the shelter we go again. This time, we have harness and a choker chair (I preferred not to use one, but we were at our wits end). We head Sparky to the car using two leashes (one for the harness, one for the choker chain). When it was time to take him for a walk, we did the same thing. Boy, did we get some strange looks, but he didn't get away.
That night we put him in a downstairs room when we went to bed. Yap yap. Bark bark. Scratch scratch. Whine whine. Lady Nottaguy-TYG said "He sounds lonely, why don't you bring him upstairs to sleep with us?". I looked at her, and said "Are you crazy? This dog just came from the pound. How do you know that he won't rip our throats out while we sleep?". "Go get him." she says. So I go downstairs, open his crate, and coax him upstairs. He follows, and jumps on the bed, rolling over to show us his belly. "See, he is showing us that he trusts us." my wife says. We both pet him for awhile, and allow him to sleep at the foot of the bed.
Now we wish he would stay at the foot. He likes best to work his way between me & my wife. He also likes to sleep under the bedspread. If he gets cold, he will jump off the bed, and pat the side of the bed with his front paw to tell us he wants covered up. My wife spoiled him too much. Whats funny is that if he is under the bedspread, and someone becomes "The Wind Beneath My Sheets", he will jump off, and stay in the other room for a few minutes.
Loud noise also scare him (maybe that's why he jumps off the bed?). During a thunderstorm, or around July 4th, he is a basket case. I was showering one day during a pretty bad storm. BOOM, the thunder crashed, and before I knew it, I had company in the shower. We think that perhaps he was shot at when he was tearing into people's trash, and that's why loud noises scare him. We normally wrap him in a blanket, and sit with him to calm him down
He also HATES radio controlled cars, or any toy car that makes a similar noise. When Ninja John lived with us, he would at times take out his RC car and let Sparky go after it. One year, we found a Christmas train at a yard sale. When we had set up the Christmas tree, I got the train out and set it around the tree, like you see in the old pictures. When I turned the train on, Sparky became "Dogzilla", and ran over, bit the engine, and derailed the train. Oh well, maybe another year.
He may have his quirks & idiosyncrasies, but we love him anyway.
Monday, October 20, 2008
1. Link the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules
3. List 6 unspectacular things about yourself
4. Tag 6 other bloggers
Since nearly everything I do is unspectacular, it is difficult to narrow it to six, but here goes.
1) I've worked at the same factory for over 20 years, the same position for over 19 years.
2) I am a packrat, both at home & professionally at work.
3)I enjoy playing fantasy sports.
4) I've read the entire writings of Louis L'Amour.
5)I'm a meat & potatoes kind of guy.
6)I also like to spend time with my grandchildren.
Since I don't have six friends (because I'm so anti-social), I tag YOU. (Too late to hit the back arrow on your browser.) If you decide to play along, please leave a comment saying so.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
It was to have started at 9AM, but there were people already lined up at 8AM (Me included), so when the workers got into place, they opened early. Hand in the paperwork (Which I already had filled out), pay the fee, drive up to a nurse, and get shot. I was through before 8:30. I thought it was a great idea.
Related joke: Q:What goes clip clop, clip clop, bang, clip clop, clip clop?
A: An Amish drive-by shooting.
Friday, October 17, 2008
When I was but a young lad, that thought of going away anywhere for vacation was as foreign as eating escargot. It just didn't happen around our house. But one day, that all changed.
Dad's best friend Chuck, was married to Doris. Doris had a sister, Violet, who lived in Florida. Doris, and her sister Bonnie wanted to go visit Violet, but with just the two of them driving, they were afraid that the driver would fall asleep while the passenger slept. Chuck couldn't go because he couldn't get off of work (a likely story), so they asked Mom & Dad if they wanted to go along.
They agreed, and the seating arrangements were like this: Picture a '72 Buick with three adults & one baby in the front seat (Doris, her baby Jewel, Bonnie & Dad), and one adult with three children in the back seat (Mom, Sir Gattabout who was 14, Me at age 10, and Doris' oldest child Nigel who was four). Cozy, hmmm?
The plan was to drive non-stop from central Ohio to Fort Meyers Florida where Violet & my Mom's Uncle Percy lived. When the driver would get tired, the front seat would rotate like a volleyball game. Driver takes passenger seat, passenger seat takes middle holding baby Jewel, and middle becomes driver (this was before child car seats were around). Pull out your map kiddies, this is a long drive (Yahoo Maps says it takes 18+ hours to make the trip).
Well, the trip was made, but it wasn't non-stop (you tell eight people that they have to drive nearly 1200 miles without a potty break and see what happens). During one stop in Tennessee, we were at "tourist trap" showcasing mountain life (log cabins, smoke houses, stills, etc.). Part of the mountain life was that the bathroom facilities consisted of outhouses (Woo Woo! We drive 600 miles to use an outhouse, when we have two in the backyard?). When we were ready to leave, we couldn't find Mom. Not in the gift shop. Not over by the car. Not anywhere to be found. The search was on. Dad finally found her. She was the last to "use the facilities (or lack thereof). When she entered the outhouse, part of the door frame trim came loose, preventing her from opening the door & exiting the outhouse. She was locked in. Dad said this must be how the mountain men got their wives. While we were looking for Mom, Nigel swiped the rest of my can of Mountain Dew. Little creep.
When we entered Fort Meyers city limits, I had a major letdown. It was a fort, wasn't it? Where was the tall wooden stockade fence like in Fort Apache? We finally got to Violet's house. There was much hugging & mushy stuff. It was determined that we would spend the night at Violet's before making our way to Uncle Percy's. Violet lived in a three bedroom trailer, and she had a husband and four kids. Add the eight of us, and we got cozy again. In the morning, we took Doris' car (the '72 Buick) to Uncle Percy's as Doris & Bonnie were going to stay the week at Violet's.
When we got to Uncle Percy's, I was amazed. He was a fisherman deluxe. He had all kinds of large fish mounted on his walls. I walked from room to room looking at his trophy fish while the adults talked. To this day I don't remember what he looks like, but I sure remember those fish (especially the sailfish). Since he and his wife lived in a small bungalow, there wasn't room for us to stay there, so we went to get a room at a motel.
I had never stayed in a motel before.To be continued.......
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Cup ediquette states that only players on Cup winning teams may hold the trophy over their head, but anyone can get their picture taken with it (like I did during Lady Lemon's band trip to Toronto during her senior year in high school).
But please don't do this.
Friday, October 10, 2008
We now have indoor plumbing.
Indoor plumbing is something that most people take for granted, until they are forced to do without it. Most of us can find the bathroom in a half-sleep stupor. Go, flush, go back to bed. Nothing to it. But what if it wasn't so easy? Most of us have had to stop at an "outhouse rest area" a time or two in our lives. If you haven't read it yet, I have a Flashback Friday about our outhouse. But this post isn't about outhouses, it is about us getting running water indoors for the first time.
I was at an auction recently and spotted this chamber pot (the auctioneer called it a "thunder pot"). This is similar to what our indoor toilet looked like until I was nine or ten years old. I am currently mid 40's, so I am referring to 1972 or 1973. It was the responsibility of the kids to empty the pot. We had to carry it back to the back fence & dump it. During the "Tingler" & the"Blackmail" days, it became my daily duty.
In the house that we lived in, there was no bathroom. We kept a chamber pot like the one above setting on a couple cement blocks by the side entrance of the house. The room it was in had some shelves on the wall, so it held everything from extra canned goods to tools. The "pot room" was to be used only at night, or in bad weather, as we had two fully functional outhouses on our property. The room had no door, just a blanket hanging from a couple of nails. The rest of the house contained two bedrooms downstairs, plus a living room & an eat in kitchen. There were two bedrooms upstairs.
Dad decided that we needed to get water hooked up to the house, so we moved the items from the kids bedroom to one of the bedrooms upstairs. My parents took over what used to be the kids bedroom, and the now empty bedroom was to be fitted as a bathroom. We had no fixtures, but with Dad being a carpenter & all-round handyman, he rounded up what was needed.
The first thing you need in a bathroom is running water. I don't know too many bedrooms that have that, so Dad had to run a water line under the floor. The house had an almost full basement, but not under this room. Dad, and his best friend Chuck, cut a three foot by six foot hole in the floor to give them access to the crawlspace under the floor. This they would cover over with a four by eight sheet of plywood when they weren't working.
Things went together quickly and before you know it, they were just about finished. As the final water lines were hooked up, a cautious still hung in the air. Chuck was in the basement at the main valve, while Dad was upstairs ready for the final inspection. As each knob was turned, water flowed. YAY! Now the shower, again water flowed freely. Now the toilet. We all waited anxiously. FLUSH. Hooray! It Works.
Dad asked "Who wants to try it out first?" Of course, I had to be first. Dad picked up his tools, carried them out & shut the door. But the one thing he forgot was to put the plywood over the gaping hole in the floor. I knew I couldn't, so I inched by it over to the toilet. When I was finished, and all the paperwork done, I stood up to pull up my pants. In doing so, I lost my balance and plunged into the hole. SNAP, went the new water line, and before I knew what had happened, there was a beautiful fountain in our bathroom, shooting all the way up to the ceiling.
"HELP, HELP" I cried. Dad shot into the room, saw the fountain, and hollered "Turn the water off Chuck, Hurry". The water was turned off, and Dad pulled my soggy little body out of the hole. About an hour later, the line was fixed, and the hole covered. Until the day we moved out, the sheet of plywood was never nailed down (It was the access panel for the plumbing). The bathroom may have had a "redneck" look to it, but at least it was indoors.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
The first picture, I took last year during "Black Friday" in Columbus (You can see my reflection in the bumper). The second was sent to me by a friend who know my feelings on the subject. "Nuff said!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
On a side note, I am also thoroughly enjoying the fact that the Yankees are watching the playoffs on TV, while their former manager, Joe Torre, is taking the Dodgers to the second round.
Friday, October 3, 2008
(Pictured-Sock Monkey, Lincoln logs, Tinkertoys, Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Legos, plastic soldiers and cowboys & indians)
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
1) While at a large retail store, a couple (man & woman, these days you have to clarify) asked the salesman where they could find matching shirts. The salesman told them" Please follow me, there are some bi-sexual shirts over here". Really now?
2) At work we were talking about a local funeral home building a crematorium near several restaurants. A blonde female co-worker came into the conversation at the end.
Me- I think having a crematorium next to a restaurant is gross.
Blonde- What's so bad about it?
Me- You do know what a crematorium is, don't you?
Blonde- Isn't that where the make donuts?
Blonde- You know, cream filled donuts.
I love donuts, but I think I'll pass on those, thank you.
3) In Sunday school we were talking about going to Heaven. I told the children that when we get there we will all get a crown. Then when we see Jesus, we will take the crown off and cast it at his feet. One little boy raised his hand, and said " I don't think I want to do that". "Why not?" I asked. He replied, very seriously " I don't throw very good, and I'd be afraid that I'd hit Him in the head with it."
How do you retain your composure after a remark like that. I assured him that he would do just fine.