Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Favorite Commercial

I saw this commercial for the first time about three weeks ago at Dad's (It's been around since the Super Bowl, but since we haven't had a TV for nearly 25 years, I hadn't seen it.). You've probably seen it more times that you care for. I love slapstick humor and I love Pepsi Max (in fact I am drinking some while I post this). I also thought of Chaos Jamie when I saw this, because she loves Pepsi, but hates diet sodas.

Monday, June 29, 2009

I Wore My Major Award

As suggested in an earlier post, I wore my "Major Award" for Sunday School yesterday.

My lesson was about the wisdom of Solomon. After the lesson, I asked the kids if it would be wise to wear my tie if I was trying to be totally serious about something. They replied "No". "How about to a funeral?" "No" again. "How about to a job interview?" "It depends", came a reply, "Are you interviewing to be a clown?" The kids enjoyed the fact that I actually wore the tie (some had asked the day I received it why I didn't wear it for the evening service). Many of the adults thought it was cool that I wore it. The Muffin, Spanish Speaking Leprechaun, and Lady Notaguy-TYG all saw it and can confirm if you don't believe. me.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Very Stressful Day

Yesterday I went over to my parents house to do some work on a trailer on their property. They had rented it out, and the renters moved, leaving a mess. It not only needed cleaned, but there are repairs that need made to it also. I had intended to fix a hole in the floor caused by a leaking air conditioner and clean the kitchen ceiling, which looked like it took the brunt of a french fry vat explosion.

We were about an hour & a half into the work (Dad is the supervisor), when Dad got a call. His only remaining nephew had suffered a heart attack, and his sister (his only sibling) wasn't handling it well. He was told that he was needed to help calm his sister.

Well, we stopped work, and started getting ready to head to my aunt's house. Dad called her house and got the answering machine. Where is she? Dad called back the person who called him and was told that she was at Katie's house. (Disclaimer: If you are reading my blog and say, "that not so-and-so's name", I don't use real names on my blog. If you can't figure out who someone is, ask me in person.). Dad said he had to go to the bathroom before we left, so that gave me a few minutes to slip under the trailer to check out the floor from below. Just as I was heading under, I heard a loud "THUMP". I hollered in "You OK?", no response. I ran back into the trailer to find that Dad had fallen, and had lodged himself between a couple piles of things that had been left behind. He was laying on his left side,pinning his arm down, and is cell phone was in his left pants pocket (since he is left handed). Had I not been there, there would have been no way he could have gotten himself out of that predicament. He had talked earlier in the day of coming down to the trailer and working by himself to help clean it up. I told him that wasn't a good idea. His fall put the exclamation point on my statement.

When we got through the fall, we got in my truck and went to Katie's. She didn't know anything was going on. Dad makes another call. Guess what, we were at the wrong Katie's. It just so happens that my cousin's wife is also named Katie. We got back into the truck and headed over to my cousin's house. At this point we still don't have any conformation about the severity of the heart attack Eli had. When we got there, there was an emergency squad and a dozen cars. The paramedics had Aunt Bessie hooked to several monitors and using a breathing mask. (This is the Aunt I spoke of in Flashback Friday #4 dealing with the "Tingler") We discovered when we got there that Eli's heart attack was quite massive, and he died in his sleep. The morgue hadn't picked him up yet because they were having trouble finding the Coroner. Dad asked me if I would take him into the bedroom, to see Eli one last time. He was curled on his left side sleeping the sleep that one never awakens from. I had never seen a dead body outside a funeral home before this.

The medics (and family members) convinced Aunt Bessie to go to the Emergency room to get checked out. Some of her vitals indicated that she may also have had a heat attack, due to the stress. She had only been out of the hospital for a week, due to several breathing issues. I then helped Dad into the truck, and off to the ER we went.

After several tests, it was determined that most of the symptoms she was experiencing were due from anxiety, but there were a couple that came back iffy. It was suggested that she go to a hospital in Columbus, where there are heart specialist on duty around the clock. She originally didn't want to go there because when her dad (my grandfather) had his heart attack, that is where he went, and he died. It is also the place where her mother (my grandmother) was taken after she had her stroke. She also died there. This is where Dad had his heart surgery and knows the doctors better tan we wish he did. He convinced he to go, and she agreed.

My brother, Sir Gattabout, and his wife stopped by Aunt Bessie's house to pick up some things that she had requested, and went to Columbus to help Aunt Bessie get settled in. I took Dad home because leg was starting to ache from the fall. I told Mom that I would stay with Dad until she got home from work. When she arrived, I laid out what had transpired. I then headed home. By the time I got home, it was going on 7PM. Since my wife was waiting for me for supper, we went out to eat. After rambling through dinner, I chilled with a movie while my wife got the stuff ready for today's family reunion (Mom's side). I have a good wife.

Please pray for the family with the funeral coming later this week. Aunt Bessie lost one son at age 17, the other on yesterday at 55. Ironically the time line on my Flashback Friday post is at the point of her younger son's death in a car wreck. Last week, I was tossed between which post to do. The Lawnmower was the easy out. Friday I face the more difficult one.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Flashback Friday #44

The Riding Lawnmower

Hi folks, and welcome back for some more ramblings about people you don't know and places you'll probably never go to. In last weeks Flashback Friday #42, I mentioned in passing the riding lawnmower we had. Anyone who has ever had to mow a large area with a push mower realizes what a blessing a riding mower is. We had two lots (we had purchased the neighbor's lot when I was four), and that made for a good sized yard.

Dad had mowed the yard with a push mower up until I was about nine years old. One day he came home in one of his friend's truck. In the back of the truck was the prettiest green riding mower I had ever seen. Beeing green, you can guess the maker of the mower. At first, Dad was adamant that he was the only person to use the mower. After a while, he had a brainstorm. "I have two kids", he thought. "Why am I outside mowing the grass while I could be inside watching TV?" It wasn't long before he trained us to work his pride & joy.

One day I was tooling around the yard (I was nine or ten) and I guess I wasn't paying too much attention to where I was going. When I realized what was going to happen, I tried to take evasive action, but I was too late. I was headed , full throttle toward the swing set. As I hit the leg of the swing set, the wheels kept turning, and sent me right up the support leg. There I was sitting on a lawn mower that had just climbed the leg of a swing set, and would have kept going if there had been anything for the wheels to grip. I was lucky that it didn't tip over and crush me. Dad rescued me, and Sir Gattabout made my life miserable by teasing me about it for weeks. Here is a lesson to be learned. Never tease someone for something that they did, because it might happen to you. A few weeks later, Gattabout was mowing when something distracted him. Before he knew what was happening, he was climbing a tree with the mower. Fortunately, he didn't get hurt either, except for a bruise on his ego.

Drag racing was a popular pastime with the mower. Since our road was fairly quiet, you could set up races against neighboring teens. One kid would be the starter (usually me), one kid would be the finish line judge and two kids would watch for traffic(one watching each way, seeing we were using both lanes). A shout of "CAR" would send the mowers off to the sides of the road. Dad never caught Gattabout racing his lawn mower. He would have grounded him forever.

We always hung the key to the mower just inside the front door. One day, Dad went to get the key, and it wasn't there. Nobody knew what had happened to the key. Since he had kept all the papers that came with the mower, a spare key could be sent for as long a the serial number of the tractor accompanied the request, but it would take 4-6 weeks to come in the mail. By that time we would have had a jungle in the back yard. As everyone continued to search, I came up with an idea. I went though some of my "good junk" and came up with a sardine key. I took it to Dad and asked if it would work (since it was a "key"). He laughed and told me that it wouldn't work. While they were looking for the real key, I decided to try my key to see if I could get it to work. I stuck that sardine key into the ignition and turned it. The mower started, and I drove it around to the front of the house. Dad asked where I had found the key. I held up that sardine key. He told me there was no way that I could have started the mower with that. I turned the mower off, re-inserted the sardine key, and started the mower again. You could have knock him over with a feather. We used the sardine key until the replacement came, and hung it behind the key,"just to be safe".

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"The Ties That Bind" or "The Ties Have It"

As requested by Mrs. Nurseboy, I will astound (or perhaps bore) you with the details of my necktie collection. I straightened & organized them last night to get an accurate count (and to put to use the tie hanger I bought at Goodwill for 59 cents).

When I finished counting them, I came up with 88 ties (not counting my major award). 30 of these ties are what I refer to as comical/conversational. The balance of the ties are the stripes, solids and geometrics that you find in any man's closet. There are times I must at least look dignified even if that is a mind-boggling image for those of you who know me. These do get used, but here are the ties I enjoy wearing the most:

Pictured are Pooh & Tigger (sorry for chopping you off Pooh), Three Stooges, Football Looney Tunes, Sesame Street, Dilbert & cow-orkers, Mickey, Charlie Chaplin, Pooh & friends and Super Taz.

Next we have Pooh & friends, Mickey & friends, Looney Tunes montage, Disney geometrics, Looney Tunes, Snoopy sports, Donald Duck, Disney paisley, and Looney Tunes with Bugs Bunny Stamp.
Now these are my conversational ties. We have American Flag, Lions, Columbus Blue Jackets, Philadelphia Eagles, Money, Peace, Books of the Bible, Mission from God, lighthouse, I AM, Church and Noah's ark.

I didn't take any pictures of the GQ ties, because you can open your husband's closet and look at those. I haven't paid more than $5 for any of my ties. Most have been given to me, or discovered at Goodwill. I can't pass up a $1.99 cartoon tie.

We had a missionary from Africa come through our chuch one time, and he explained that due to the heat, suits are unheard of there. If you dress up, you put on a tie, and he asked us to weed out our ugly/outdated/unwanted ties we didn't want and give to him. He said it doesn't matter what the tie looks like, one of the native preachers will love to have it. He got a dozen of mine.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I Won a Major Award

Anyone who has ever seen "A Christmas Story" remembers the "major award" won by Ralphie's dad. It's the infamous leg lamp pictured below:

Yesterday, at church, I won a major award (no, it wasn't a leg lamp). Two of our ministers annually give "fabulous prizes" out on Mother's Day & Father's Day. These ministers have great senses of humor (of which I like to think that I helped cultivate). Yesterday they gave awards for the oldest pick-up truck (a roll of duct tape), the person who grills out the most (an apron), the man who drinks the most coffee (sippy cups), the greatest outdoorsman (little toy bow & arrow, man who snores the loudest (ear plugs for his wife) and the man with the most ties (a huge plastic bow tie). My major award is pictured below:
When asked who had the most ties, nearly my entire Sunday school class jumped up and pointed at me. I make it a habit to wear a different tie every Sunday, sometimes incorporating my lesson in the tie. Talking with Lady Nottaguy-TYG last night, I may even wear this tie for next Sunday Morning as part of my lesson on the wisdom of Solomon.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rumblings & Ramblings

Many of you know that our computer was fritzy for a while. There were some things in the news that I wanted to blog about, but I had no way of doing it (time was pretty short too). here are a few things that caught my attention while I was offline:

The Penguins win the Stanley Cup in a dramatic seven game series (I love seven game series). The NHL is beaming because their poster boy, Sidney Crosby, finally has his name on The Stanley Cup. On a related note, Marian Hossa didn't get his name put there. He signed a one year deal with the Redwings to make a run for The Cup. He turned down a long term contract extension with (drum roll please) the Penguins. I've heard that Starbucks is coming out with a new drink called "The Hossa". You get the coffee, but no cup.

David Letterman, you're not funny anymore. The joke about Sarah Palin's daughter "getting knocked up by Alex Rodriguez during the seventh inning" went beyond crass, seeing that Palin was touring with her 14 year old daughter. He said he thought it was her other daughter, then several days later offered an apology. Sorry Dave, you're just not relevant anymore. Open your eyes, your beloved political party of choice has a ton of material waiting for you. A good comedian can poke fun at BOTH parties.

Traffic construction in our downtown is nightmarish, to say the least. The semi route has been closed forcing the semis onto streets not designed for semi traffic. One driver who comes to our factory (and whom I have unloaded more times than I can count) was written up by his company because a resident called and complained that he was driving on a "no truck traffic street". The driver had just received an award for driving 25,000 accident free hours. It just so happened that his next delivery, after he was informed of the write-up was to the newspaper office. His rants were picked up by the paper and they called the city safety director. He in turn called the drivers company and explained that there was no other route to drive other that this "no truck traffic" street. The city was at fault, if anyone was he explained. The driver's company dropped the write-up off of the driver's record.

I'm sure there were other things that caught my attention, but I probably forgot them. Getting old is the pits. They say your mind is the first thing to go. I can't remember what they said the second thing was.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Flashback Friday #43

Let's Go Fishing

Hello. Welcome to another edition of Flashback Friday. With Father's Day just around the corner, I saved one of my favorite memories about Dad until now. We will have to get into the Way-Back machine and jump the timeline, back to when I was six years old.

Sir Gattabout and our neighbor (the flaming marshmallow flinger of Flashback Friday #3) were going to walk down to the creek and go fishing. I wanted to go to. I had never been fishing, but it looked like so much fun on TV. "You're too little" Gattabout told me. "You stay here." My little heart was broken. I wanted so much to go fishing. I burst into tears.

Dad came home to find me crying my eyes out. "What's wrong?" he asked. "The boys went fishing and told me I was to little to go along." I blubbered out. "Let's see what we can do about taking you fishing" he said. He was tired after a long day at work, but he could stand to see me in my heartbroken state.

I didn't have the first piece of fishing equipment, so Dad scrounged around the house to see what he could find. He found an old cane pole upstairs in one of the rooms that we didn't use (we had just recently moved into this house). It had been left behind by the former resident. He then tied about three feet of string onto the pole. A cork become the bobber and a Christmas tree ornament hanger became the hook. We were ready to go fishing.

He walked me back to the creek. It was only about a half mile, but it seemed like a thousand to a six year old. We found a prime fishing spot, complete with a very large rock to sit upon. It was an angler's paradise. I "casted" my line and waited for the great haul of fish that I knew were just waiting to be caught. We fished for hours (or six minutes, which ever came sooner), and I told Dad that the fish weren't biting today, and that I was ready to go home. Did he fuss about spending all that time preparing my gear only to fish for about six minutes? Nope, he smiled, took my hand and we walked back to the house. He was happy because I got to fish, and now I was happy.

The images of sitting there "fishing" with Dad are forever burned into my mind. I never really cared for fishing after that. It may have had something to do with Gattabout chasing me around the yard with fish guts from a fish he had caught, but I really think it was because it couldn't have been any better than the first time. Thanks for taking me fishing Dad.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Sorry I haven't posted, or commented on your blogs lately. The computer has been sick, and it has taken several days to get it functional again. When we asked the virus what it's name was, it responded "Legion, For we are many" (Those of you who have knowledge of the miracles of Jesus will understand that joke).

Friday, June 12, 2009

Flashback Friday #42

Gattabout Gets-about

Hello all, welcome to another trip down memory lane. On this trip, we will not be walking. Sir Gattabout will drive us (YIKES!!!)

My brother, Sir Gattabout was sooooo excited when his 16th birthday rolled around. He could now drive (legally). He had been driving on back roads with Dad, and some of his older friends also allowed him to drive their cars. That was how he was involved in a car wreck before he had his license.

One of his buddies let Sir Gattabout drive when he was about two miles from home. He over steered and wrecked the car. He was the only person hurt. His friend told the sheriff that he swerved to miss a deer and wrecked, so Gattabout wouldn't get into trouble. In the rural area where we lived, that was totally believable.

But I digress, I mentioned that Gattabout was injured. He had a three inch gash on his forehead and another one on his left wrist. Did we take him to the emergency room? Nope. We called our family doctor at his house and drove Gattabout over there to be stitched up in the doctors kitchen. He only charged us for an office call that way.

Gattabout had been learning to drive for years by driving our riding lawnmower. He even arranged drag races with other older teens with their mowers. If Jeff Foxworthy didn't say it, it's still true, If you've ever drag raced with riding lawnmowers,you might be a redneck. More about the riding mower escapades in a future post.

Gattabout's first car was a tan Pinto. Out family wasn't real good at picking cars. Dad always had a big car like a Buick or Cadillac, while the other car was a Pinto or a Nova. Gremlins were my favorite car back then. Gattabout always fantasized about putting the motor from dad's Cadillac into his Pinto.
Once Gattabout got his driver's license, his favorite activity was going to the drive-in movies. Mom told him, if he was going, he had to take me. How can you go to a drive-in with your girlfriend and you little brother? He figured out a way. When we got to the drive-in movie, he would take a quilt out of the back of the car and lay it on the ground in front of the car. He would then give me $3 (which would buy soda, popcorn, and two candy bars) and told me not to move off of the quilt until the movie was over. Worked for me. I saw "Smokey & The Bandit" 21 times. I doubt if Gattabout ever saw it in it's entirety.

The first driving lesson I ever had, he gave to me. We were about a mile from home coming home late from the drive-in. He asked If I wanted to drive, I said sure. I was 12. We pulled into a church parking lot and switched seats. Now I had always noticed that when someone is driving, their hands don't stay still, but are constantly moving and making minor corrections to keep the car straight. I thought they did this on purpose. After we pulled out onto the road, I moved my hands right and left, back and forth, I thought I was doing a good job. Gattabout was white as a sheet and had a death grip on the car door. After a few minutes (which probably seemed like an eternity to him) he barked"Stop the Car!!!". "In the middle of the road?" I asked. "YES, NOW" was his reply. I guess I had really scared him. Serves him right for scaring me all the time with "The Tingler"

Thursday, June 11, 2009

VBS- The Final Day

Sorry to be a blog slacker this week. Our church is holding VBS (That's Vacation Bible School for those of you not in the know). I have been teaching the puppet class ever since we went back to doing VBS four years ago. It is one of the favorite classes offered.

The days are long this week. After spending eight hour in the factory, I have time to grab a shower, get my puppets for the night (I use different puppets every night), and get to church by 5:15. Service is over by around 8:30, and with the clean up & chit chat afterwards, it's after 10 when we get home.

Tomorrow starts the Junior Bible Quizzing State Finals (also held at our church this year). My wife and I are officials, and will be setting up for that tonight after VBS. It's a two day, double elimanition tournament. What a busy week.

Monday, June 8, 2009

That Makes Me Happy

The other day, we took the Ogre's children out to eat. We let "The Boy" decide where we would eat. Being almost eight, he, of course, chose McFastfood's. He got a Happy Meal. Although the enclosed toy didn't make him so happy (he chose to run amok in the play area) it fascinated his sister.

What is this fascinating creation? Something that can keep a four month old mesmerised for nearly a half hour? This is it:
It is a "Night at the Museum" toy. It is Octavius the Roman centurion riding a squirrel. She loved watching it hop around like a rodeo rider. Watching her giggle & laugh was worth eating at McFastfoods.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Flashback Friday #41

The Creek

Hello all. I promised many moons ago a post about the creek that ran behind our house. That creek has been mentioned in Flashback Friday #17, 28, 32, 35, & 37 (and probably a few more that I missed). Here it is.

The creek that ran behind our house (a good half mile behind) was a feeder creek to Alum Creek. I'm thinking that it was a part of Big Walnut Creek. Under normal conditions, it didn't get much higher that my chest in any of the areas that we frequented. It was about 20-25" across. After storms, I've seen it jump it's banks and come up close to our back fence.

Anyone who has read these rambling reminisces knows that I can't swim. Why would someone who can't swim constantly be around a creek. Perhaps he's not the brightest crayon in the box? Or, could it be that it was so much fun back the that he couldn't stay away.

As long as I can remember, we were allowed to go back to the creek. Sir Gattabout always complained that I was too little and he didn't see why he had to watch me. Whenever he would threaten to throw me in, my fear of the water overrode my fear of him. "If you do, I'll tell Mom!" After the dunking I got in Flashback Friday #4, he could beat me up all he wanted, I didn't care to relive that.

In the spring, summer & fall, we would wade, skip rocks, make boats, look for stuff that washed down from upstream, catch crawdads or just lay on the banks with our feet hanging in the water. Sir Gattabout liked to fish, but never caught anything really worth taking home. We would also do crazy things like make a mudslide, and slide like otters into the creek (what a mess) or ride our bikes off the bank into the creek. When the creek overflowed, we would roll 55 gallon drums into the field behind us, and try to"ride the bronco". When you put a 55 gallon drum in water and then try to sit on it, the results are hysterical. It's a shame we didn't have a home movie camera.

One of the things that I enjoyed doing was making "Bigfoot" tracks. You do this by entering the water on the other bank, and get out where there is mud (firm mud, not the real squishy kind). As you exit the water, put all your weight on your heel, and put your other foot down normal. You then lift your heal and step down with your toes 11-12" from your heel. Adding an extra toe with your thumb was always good for an added measure. You then smoothed out where your stationery foot was and you've got yourself a "Bigfoot" track.

During the winter the creek froze over. Sometimes it wasn't very thick (we always had to tempt fate and see if it would support us) and other times it was quite thick. One time during a very frigid winter, we got a few days of warmth. The ice cracked and buckled. Like most Ohio winters, the warming trend didn't last. The ice refroze, forming weird silhouettes of upraised ice. Some of that ice was a foot thick. Sir Gattabout & I took a piece of log and used it as a battering ram to break off a piece of ice that was sticking up.

I think the most dangerous thing I ever did at the creek was cross it on a tree that fallen across it. What's the big deal, you may ask, doesn't everybody do that? I did it during spring thaw. The ground had become spongy causing a tree to fall. This was a new development from the last time I was there. A natural bridge (the real bridge was only 100 yards away). I got on that tree and straddled it, scooting myself across while icy torrents of water that hovered just over the freezing mark rushed beneath me. I got about five feet from the other side when the tree petered out and I would have had to wade to the shore. I then stood myself up, turned around, re-straddled the tree, and went back to the shore I came from. If I was my Dad, and found me doing that, I would have tanned my hide for sure. Had I fallen in, if I didn't drowned, hypothermia would have killed me.

I was at my parent's house last week and stopped on the one lane bridge that crosses the creek to snap a picture. I had considered walking back, but most of the neighbors who knew me as a child are gone. You tend to tolerate a little boy walking through your field much more that a 45 year old man.

This is the view from the cab of my truck. I spent many a day in the waters of that old creek. Did you have a natural playground like this when you were young?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The sounds that you'll hear in darkest Africa

I was discussing communication techniques with my Sunday school class of 3rd & 4th graders. We had been talking about witnessing, and I asked the kids to brainstorm how information is being passed currently, as well as in the past. They came up with an impressive list:
cell phones/texting
e-mail/ Internet
walkie talkies
carrier pigeons
I had two others in mind, and I gave them hints. The first was how did the indians communicate with each other in the cowboy & indian movies. They got smoke signals right away.The second hint was in the Tarzan movies, when the people and walking through the jungle, they hear this musical instrument, and stop to listen to what they are saying. (The answer is drums for those of you who may not have figured that out yet)

One little girl's hand shot up and guessed "Violins?"

I guess I'll have to go back and watch some of those old Tarzan movies again to see what I missed.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Can You Spot The Identity Thief?

Identity theft is a serious problem. An identity thief is shown somewhere in this picture. Can you find him?