Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Here's a retread of the kids-with-Santa post I did last year - well worth the revisit. Take a close look at the last kid - he may look familiar to you.

Ah, yes! The annual trip to the local shopping center to sit in Santa's lap and share with him all the things a little boy or girl could possibly dream of for Christmas morning! No doubt this experience is the highlight of every child's Christmas season!

That is unless you get stuck with some creepy-lookin' Chris Cringle! You'd be crying too if you heard what this Santa had just whispered in their ears!

Ever wanted to know how Santa really felt about his gig at the mall? Just take a closer look at Santa's left hand!

Although her two little brothers were unaware, Jessica suspected something was up when she realized this year's Santa was really just a mannequin the mall had borrowed from Macy's.

Santa will have one of two effects on most children. One child will glow with Christmas joy while another will experience fear itself - especially if Santa is wearing make-up!

While most older children delight in telling their siblings that there really is no Santa Claus, Mary chose this moment to instead tell Jeffrey that he was really a girl and Susan that she had actually been adopted from a family of coneheads!

The twins agree - vertical stripes do nothing to slim Santa's figure.

Some kids like to show how tough they are by shaving their hair into a mohawk while wearing skull & bones t-shirts with camo pants. But we all know that Santa's lap is the real litmus test for true toughness!

Have you ever seen a Santa mail it in any worse than this guy? Of course she's screaming! I bet he waited until mid-October before he even started growing out his beard!

The first thing they teach you in Shopping Mall Santa Class is that screaming children aren't near as bad after your 4th Crown & Coke!

And finally, Tate shows us how easy it is to keep your composure when you just keep repeating to yourself, "Calm, cool, and collected! Calm, cool, and collected!"

Actually, Tate wasn't afraid of Santa - he was perturbed at the 3 little elves with nerve-wracking noise makers trying to get him to smile!

Hope you don't have anything to scream about during your holidays!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Audra's 25 Christmas Questions

Audra has a great set of Christmas questions on her blog - I thought I'd write in my own responses. The post with her questions & answers is now buried beneath a stack of cute baby pictures of Drew . . . so you'll probably never get to her Christmas question post.


1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

I’d wrap presents more often if the wrapping paper had built-in tape like diapers do – that would be awesome!!

2. Real tree or Artificial?

See here.

3. When do you put up the tree?

ASAP after Thanksgiving. Tate’s birthday is the first week of December so if we don’t get our tree up quick then it will never go up.

4. When do you take the tree down?

It’s Kelly’s job to take the ornaments off so I have to wait until she finishes with that first. Usually it’s down pretty quick after New Year’s . . . but there was that one year when it was practically Valentine’s Day before the tree was back in the attic!

5. Do you like eggnog?

No, I'm allergic to nog.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

• My dog Bonkers – who was appropriately named.
• My Mellinium Falcon – It helped establish my adolescent coolness because I was the only kid in my neighborhood to have one . . . at least until Jeff, a kid down the street, got one for his birthday the following January . . . jealous!

7. Hardest person to buy for?

Kelly is not the hardest person to buy for but she can tricky sometimes. Some years she gives me a list, other years she just drops hints. I’m much better with lists than I am with hints.

This year is a list year, thank goodness!

8. Easiest person to buy for?

Me, of course!

9. Do you have a nativity scene?

Yes, doesn’t everybody?

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?

Christmas Cards. I’m better with pictures than I am with words.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

A family member gave me Mickey Mouse suspenders one year. I might have enjoyed them but I was in the 6th Grade and had already become self-conscious about my social status among my peers.

I got the suspenders from the same person who, only the previous year, scored big when they gave me a Jose Canseco and a Mark Maguire rookie card! How do you go from Canseco-Maguire rookie cards one year to Mickey Mouse suspenders the next???

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?

Christmas Vacation – why even ask?

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

Usually the week of.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

Yeah, if you count tossing a brand new pair of Mickey Mouse suspenders in a Goodwill Store collection bin.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

Blue Bell & Magic Shell

(You should have known I was going to say that!)

16. Lights on the tree? Is there an option?

I’m with Audra – white lights and lots of them.

17. Favorite Christmas song?

(Click Play to start)

I like the Barenaked Ladies' version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen . . . otherwise, I like the Mute button. Sorry, Christmas music makes me loony!

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?

There’s no place like home!

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?


20. Angel on the tree top or a star?

Whichever doesn’t scrape the ceiling.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

Both. We got our normal presents on Christmas morning but my parents gave us “The Spirit of Christmas” gifts on Christmas Eve. They were the presents that they wanted to give us - meaning, these gifts weren't on our Christmas lists.

Which usually meant you were pretty disappointed as a kid if you were expecting a toy. But now I love those gifts because they’re usually special and well thought out – except for the year we all got house shoes. Apparently my mom couldn’t think of anything unique or special that year! But hey, at least they kept our feet warm on our cold concrete floors!

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?

Don’t get me started! I don’t mind playing the scrooge this time of year because I think most of our society has totally missed the point of Christmas. Audra said it well on her post.

Rick Atchley also said it well from the pulpit this weekend [paraphrase mine], “Even Christians become so consumed in celebrating baby Jesus that they forget that the only reason he was born in the first place was so that he could eventually die for us on the cross!” Meanwhile, we all just sit around admire the stack of gift cards we've piled up over the holidays.

Other than that, I love this time of year!

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?


24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?

You can’t go wrong with the standards – turkey, ham, stuffing . . . and . . . oh! Blue Bell & Magic Shell!

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?

This year, all I want is for it to be January – and not for the reasons you think!

. . . more on that later!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Kelly-ism #17

Last weekend, my awe-inspiring wife completed her 2nd White Rock Half Marathon.  

For her effort, she was given a medal, a really cool New Balance workout shirt, and a really big blister on the bottom of her foot!  

Since then, I think she was trying to garner sympathy because she kept propping her foot up for me to see her blister - each time sending me into violent convulsions since I'm a little squeamish with those sort of things.

Kelly finally got tired of my dramatics and exclaimed, "Love me - love my blister!"

I'm still trying to think of a response!

(Read here for an explanation to why the name above Kelly's number is Tara!)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Little Man Tate Turns Two!

It has been as busy here as it has been for everyone else so it took me a while to put this together.

Happy Birthday, Buddy Boy!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Orange Infused Water?????

I noticed this placard on the refreshments table while attending a conference in Orlando this week. You'll have to look closely to read what it says - the almighty iPhone doesn't have a flash.

Orange infused water?

Oh pa-lease! What's wrong with just calling it what it is? Water with orange slices!

I decided against the organge infusion and just got ice infused water instead!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Real vs. Artificial . . . No Contest!

I can't believe it's that time of year when I, yet again, pull out my slam dunk argument in favor of artificial trees over real trees.

But first, let's take time to 'ooooo' and 'ahhhh' at Kelly's gift for holiday decor . . . .

Now on to my list of con's against real Christmas trees:

1. In order to get a real tree, you have to drive to a tree lot, fight for a parking space, lay claim to the most non-odd looking tree, haggle over the price of said-non-odd-looking-tree with some guy who has a Marlboro hanging out of the corner of his mouth, strap said-oddity to the roof of your car, admire the affinity between tree sap and the roof of your car, and drive home at a snail's pace so the wind doesn't strip all the needles off of your over-priced drendologic freak of nature.

(Previous paragraph summed up in one word: Beating!!!)

2. Finally finish 2 hours of stringing lights, hanging ornaments and balancing a tree topper on your now needle-stripped tree only to have your wife come in and say in a very unimpressed tone, "It's still leaning too far to the right!" . . . you decide against pointing out to her that it leaned a little to the right even in the forest before it was cut down.

(Smart move!)

3. A week later, you causually walk through the living room and notice your real tree going up in flames because it caught fire from the Christmas lights after you forgot to keep it watered!

4. You spend Christmas morning trying to convience your 5-year old how cool it is to be the only girl in school who has Melted Barbie.

5. Once Christmas is over, you pay a $250 ticket because your tree-hugging neighbors caught you dumping your real tree at the park and turned you in to the police.

Wow, sounds like a merry little migraine if you ask me!

Now the list of pro's for an artificial tree:

1. You bring your artificial Christmas tree down from your attic - perhaps you may need to enlist the help of your neighbor . . . the one who has a Marlboro hanging out of the corner of his mouth.

2. You spend only 45 minutes setting up artificial tree perfectly straight in its stand, plugging in pre-hung lights (man's greatest invention, by the way), and hanging ornaments.

3. You spend the rest of the holidays doing things like watching your neighbor haul his charred real tree to the curb after it BBQ'ed his Christmas. He looks up just in time see the smirk on your face from knowing that your artificial tree is fire-retardant.

4. Instead of consoling your family who is distraught over gifts of Melted Barbie and warped gift cards on Christmas morning, you instead enjoy countless hours reading instruction manuals and searching for another pack of AA batteries . . . actually both of these may be con's!

5. You spend all of 30 minutes after Christmas taking down your artificial tree and putting it back in the attic . . . with or without help from Mr. Three-Packs-A-Day!

6. Finally, You later sleep with a good conscience knowing that, because you didn't purchase a real tree for Christmas, you have single-handedly curbed global warming!

Once again, I rest my case!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Wade vs. Big, Fat Squirrel

We spent Thanksgiving Day doing those typical time-honored Thanksgiving traditions. Eating turkey. Watching football. Going to the zoo.

(Excuse me, did you just say 'going to the zoo'?)

Yeah, we figured a house full of kids wouldn't stand the whole day so Kelly came up with the idea of going to the zoo. The great thing about going to the zoo on Thanksgiving Day is that there are only about 4 other people there as well . . . I love my genius wife!

One would think the highlight of a day at the zoo would be the baby lion cubs, the white tiger, the penguins or even the poop-hurling monkeys who apparently don't throw poop on Thanksgiving. But the highlight was actually a fearless squirrel who, quite literally, had gotten fat off of stealing scraps from picnic tables!

He started off cute and cuddly, which is probably his strategy most of the time. But as you can see in the video he quickly wore out his welcome. Darn little thing wouldn't leave us alone!! He kept jumping up on the table trying to snatch a snack! I was about two minutes from grabbing Tate's stroller and turning that rabies-carrying rodent into road kill!

What you don't see in the video is that Big, Fat Squirrel and I battled in a final climatic light saber duel - it ended in a draw!

I'll be better prepared for him next year, the little fat rat!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Transcript of An Actual Wendy's Drive-Thru Discussion

Me:  "Hi, what size is your small Frosty?"
Male voice:  "It's pretty small . . ."

Me:  ". . . no kidding?  How small exactly - how many ounces does it have?"

Male voice:  "Um . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "

Female voice:  "It's 8 ounces."

Me: "OK.  How big is your next size up?"

Male voice:  "Our next size up is a medium."

Me: " . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . no kidding?"

Female voice:  "Our next size up is 16 ounces."

Me:  "Great!  Let's go with a 16-ounce medium Frosty."

Male voice:  "Would like fries with that?"

Me:  (Joking) "How big is your medium fries?"

Male voice:  "Um . . . . . . . ."


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Kelly-ism #16

Kelly and I had a quick budget pow-wow the other night.  This was part of our conversation:

Kelly:  "And we also need to pay Tate's kryptonite charge."

Me:  "Tate's huh????"

Kelly: "You know, that kryptonite thing for Tate . . . "

(I give her a look of complete, utter confusion)

Me:  "Are you talking about the cryogenics storage charge for his cord blood?"

Kelly:  "Yeah!"

Me:  "Oh dear Lord! . . . . Kelly-ism!"

FYI, a cyrogenic lab charges us to store Tate's frozen cord blood in case he should ever need it in the future.  

Kryptonite is the metal that robs Superman of this strength!

Monday, November 17, 2008

What Goes Around, Comes Around!

Deep inside, I knew this moment would eventually come. It wasn’t a matter of if but a matter of when – especially considering all the destruction I caused while growing up.

There was the time when I played tackle football with a friend inside the house. My “Hail Mary” pass sailed over the couch (which was the designated end zone) and split my mom’s crystal candlesticks like an extra point attempt splits the uprights.

Her ensuing rage was justified seeing how the rarely-used-but-now-shattered candlesticks were a wedding gift. And suggesting that Elmer’s glue may possibly provide a quick fix didn’t do much to calm her down either.

Another time, I had the great idea of writing a poem to my mom on her bathroom mirror – perhaps I was still feeling guilty about the candlesticks.

I was a bit surprised how unimpressed she was with my resourcefulness of using every lipstick and make-up pencil I could find in her drawer as writing utensils. The poem was short and needed overly-detailed illustrations of me and my mom for visual effect. Unfortunately for me, neither the poem nor the pictures achieved their intended effect - quite the opposite actually seeing how I ruined her entire stash of lipstick!

But I feared fear itself when I wrecked my dad’s beloved 1984 Mazda RX-7 . . . twice! You know the one with the rotary engine? I was 15 years old the first time I laid a scratch coming out of second gear – and don’t ask why I was laying scratches when I was only 15 years old!

Unfortunately, I laid much more than just a scratch when I slammed it in into 2 other cars. It took a month to find a car insurance company that would cover me!

I recount my own adolescent path of destruction so as to remind myself not to get too bent out of shape when Kelly tells me, for instance, that Tate has bent my glasses out of shape.

It’s hard to get upset because it’s partially my fault. Anything within Tate’s reach is fair game and these were left on my night stand. Besides, how do you lecture a 2-year old about how he should keep his sticky little fingers to himself and not further handicap his visually-impaired father?

I can't help but wonder if Tate is trying to send me some kind of message through my mangled specs. Perhaps I've been putting his diapers on a little too tight lately. Maybe he's getting sick and tired of being forced to listen to all-Beatles-all-the-time in the car. Maybe he really does prefer Elmo over The History Channel.


Oh well, I had just hoped that the inevitable destruction would happen later rather than sooner.

What goes around, comes around - right?

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Best $250 I Ever Spent!

I know you have all been eagerly awaiting an update on my TV-viewing situation. For those of you who don't know, my beloved HDTV became terminally ill a couple months ago with "mysterious green column disease" (see below) and had to be put down - a truly sad day in the Strzinek household!

First, thank you all for your kind words, letters of encouragement and candlelight service - which was very thoughtful but perhaps a bit over the top!

I'm sure you will all be relieved to hear that, thanks to the extended warranty I purchased along with my TV, I was able to get a replacement at no cost! And not just any replacement - since Sony no longer makes my model any more, the warranty company called and said they would have to replace my TV with an upgraded model!

"Well, if that is my only option then I guess that's OK."

While I was still on the phone I began to silently dance around my living room like a complete fool!

Ever since the new TV was delivered, I've never been so happy to watch Dirk go 5 for 15!

The crazy thing is I actually remember debating on whether or not I should spend the extra $250 for the extended warranty. The TV repair guy who took my old TV said that it was money well spent as there are few repairs he could do on a TV for less than $250.

He also said that although these LCD and plasma TV's have a great picture they don't last nearly as long as the old conventional TV's. Most of his LCD/plasma TV repairs are on sets only 18-24 months old. Whereas most of his conventional TV repairs are on sets 7-8 years old. They just don't build them like they use to!

So if you plan on upgrading your family's TV-viewing experience this Christmas and the guy at [insert name of electronics store not filing for bankruptcy here] asks if you want an extended warranty for your new fancy-schmancy TV be sure to respond emphatically, "YES!!" - it'll be the best $250 you'll ever spend!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Spell Check is Your Friend, People!

This was one of those moments when I stopped and actually questioned if I was the one reading the sign wrong.

After that, I just tried to imagine the senario at the Copley Place Marriott in Boston that could have lead to this tinsy oversight.

The best I could come up with was the "Wall-Mounted Sign Department" had spell check on their computers but the "Ceiling-Mounted Sign Department" didn't. 

Beyond that, I figured I was just wasting time and burning brain cells - which is a heckava lot more than what this Oversight Committee has ever done!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Now This Is How You Do It!

So that I can prove to all of blogosphere that I'm not a total scrooge when it comes to pre-emptive Christmas celebrations, let me take a moment to actually endorse a local dining establishment for how they are marketing their yule time products.

Now this is how you do it!  Notice how Krispy Kremes is marketing the sale of their Christmas doughnuts starting on November 28th.  

(I'll pause so that everyone can check their calendars to see that November 28th is indeed the Friday after Thanksgiving!)

No pre-emptive Christmas celebrations here!  It would be so easy for Krispy Kremes to start selling their Christmas doughnuts before Thanksgiving but they know that would be un-American!

In fact, there's no better way to bring in this year's holiday season (as well as continue the fight against terrorism!) than by ordering a dozen holiday bites of heaven from Krispy Kremes on November 28th - the first day after Thanksgiving!

So let me sum up:  Boycot any establishments involved in pre-emptive Christmas celebrations (which we all know only worsens the effects of global warming) and eat lots of Krispy Kreme doughnuts!

See, I'm not a total scrooge!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Why I'm Not Worried On Election Day

1. No man in the Oval Office has ever ruined my life.

2. No man in the Oval Office has ever made my life.

3. And speaking of the One who actually did make my life, no man in the Oval Office has ever had or ever will have any bearing on my eternal life.

Obama. McCain. Take 'em or leave 'em (and I'd much rather leave 'em all!), I'm really not worried.

But there is one thing I do wish for.  Kelly, my wiser and smarter in addition to my better-looking half, recently pointed out that the one thing that has been missing from all the political banter is grace.

Grace for those on other side of the aisle.  Grace for those with views and beliefs different from your own.  Grace for the winners and grace for the losers.   Grace for those who must also extend grace to you.

(See what I mean by wiser and smarter?)

And by the grace of God this will be all over within just a few short hours!

Friday, October 31, 2008

My Observations From Our 10-Year Reunion at ACU Last Weekend

1. Don’t sign up to help with the Annual Fund Campaign unless you’re comfortable with calling people you haven’t talked to in a really long time to ask them to donate large sums of money to ACU while the economy is bad, they're still paying off students loans, and/or they’re expecting another baby soon.

2. If you haven’t heard from me in years but suddenly notice my name pop up on your caller ID . . . don’t pick up the phone unless you’re comfortable listening to me stammer around for 20 minutes while I work up the nerve to ask you to donate large sums of money to ACU and then beg you to come back for Homecoming.

3. In case you forgot, Eastland is a speed trap!

4. In case you get pulled over in Eastland, be polite, smile, apologize and whimper as if you’re about to cry. Apparently that’s all it takes to get away with only a warning!


5. There are two ways to be cool at ACU. First way: Pull out your iPhone in the middle of Chapel and text the person sitting two seats down from you – hey, all the other students were doing it!

6. Or, the second way . . . you can just be Kooooooooool!

(Is it just me or am I starting to look like Kool with my sunglasses and whiskers????)

7. Of all the people I bumped into, only once did I find myself in a conversation with someone who I apparently was supposed to know but had absolutely no clue who they were. I just kept thinking, “Keep the conversation as vague and generic as possible!”

8. There’s no quicker way to endear yourself to the President of ACU than by handing him your child and making he and his wife pose for a photo by saying, “Full Scholarship!”

(Now I have photographic evidence that he promised Tate a full ride!)

9. Judging by how things went during the Gamma Sigma Phi Breakfast, the guys I was in club were the most fun. All the younger alumni were way too serious and kept looking over their shoulders at us. All in good fun, boys!

10. Carrying a highchair through The Bean for your son to sit in is a very surreal moment.

11. Why is it that when Tate screams at the top of his lungs and runs circles around The GATA Fountain all the college girls giggle and comment on how cute he is . . . but when I did the same thing 10 years ago they all just looked the other way and acted like I didn’t exist?

12. You know you’re old when you can be overheard saying while walking across campus, “Wow! I can’t believe how big these trees have grown!” I must have said that 20 times!

13. You also know you’re old when you’re actually excited about going back to the hotel for Tate’s afternoon nap instead of going to the football game – GSP breakfast came really early that morning!

14. I now have another reason to be insanely jealous of my best friend/college roommate's back swing. Not only did Brian's group win the Homecoming Golf Tourney but he made a freakin' hole-in-one! I'm telling you, his back swing is such sweetness!

The sad part is that there was a hole-in-one contest for a free pick-up truck on the front nine - Brian made his ace on the back nine! But don't feel sorry for him, he still walked away with a free set of irons. Plus, this is his 3rd hole-in-one!

He's such a show-off, the jerk!

(Thanks Amy for letting me steal your photo!)

15. The two things that make the weekend all worthwhile: Great friends & great memories!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Random Fast Food Drive-Thru Signs

Leave it to Whataburger to take all the fun out of driving around town while wearing my gorilla mask!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

US Airways: A Sith Apprentice or A New Hope?

I’ve never been shy about voicing my displeasure against The Evil Empire. Needless to say, I was happy to fly the friendly skies instead with US Airways to a conference in Phoenix.

When I took my seat, the first thing that I noticed was how hot it was on the airplane. The second thing I noticed was how the guy sitting next to me had a nervous laugh and couldn’t keep from fidgeting with the air vent even though no air was blowing out.

There’s a long list of things that are inappropriate to say in any social setting. Those things are usually written in BOLD if your social setting is taking place on an airplane. And I’ve mentioned before how poorly I react to those socially awkward conservations.

It all came about when the guy finally got frustrated with the lack of A/C and blurted out, “I don’t why the let these planes get so hot! It’s so uncomfortable particularly since I sweat more than most people!”

How are you supposed to respond to that? 

“I’ll pray for you!”

"Please don't drip on me!"

I stuck with my standard: “So . . . uh . . . crazy weather lately, huh?”

Eventually the air kicked on and Sweat Man was able to cool off.

I had the following conversation with the flight attendant on the way back . . .

Flight Attendant: “Sir, would you care for something to drink?”

(She hands me a napkin)

Me: “Water would be great!”

FA: “Sure, that will be $2.”

(I had the napkin back)

Me: “Actually, I fine! Thanks!”

$2 bucks for water?????? It’s not even bottled!! $2 bucks for a cup of water!!!!!!  

You’ve got to be kidding!

As we were beginning our decent into D/FW, I turned off my iPod and put it in the magazine pocket in front of me along with my headphones.

45 minutes later while driving through Grapevine I suddenly realized that I left them both on the plane!


Showing no regard for posted speed limits and/or on-coming traffic, I pulled a U-ie and raced back to the airport terminal – after all, this WAS an emergency!

Since I came in on a late flight, the baggage claim area was completely disserted when I arrived. Just as I was about vomit in my mouth at the thought of losing my iPod and noise-cancelling headphones forever I noticed the US Airways Customer Service office just as the lights were being turned off.

I rushed over and stood in the open doorway wide-eyed and panting from running across the parking lot and through half the terminal. Without my having to explain anything, the guy behind the counter gave me a look and said, “If you can tell me what song is playing when I press Play then you can have your iPod back!”

No joke!

Thank The Lord for honest airline custodians!!!

There’s plenty I can say about an airline charging me $2 for a cup of water. But I’ll let it slide since I would have had to pay plenty more to replace my iPod and headphones!

. . . but I seriously doubt I would have been able to say the same had it been The Evil Empire!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Monday, October 06, 2008

Wade & Tate's Little Adventure

Kelly, Tate and I drove down to San Antonio this past weekend to visit some friends who just had a baby. Since Kelly wanted some “Kelly time” with her old college roommate and baby Campbell, Tate and I hopped on plane back to D/FW on Saturday.

OK, so did you get that? Tate and I hopped on a plane . . . by ourselves . . . just him and me . . . no Kelly . . . no help . . . no supervising adults . . . no problem!

So here are a few observations of our 45-minute excursion at 25,000 feet.

1. You can get through security a whole lot faster when you’re a single parent with a child. Apparently TSA agents are suckers for blond-haired, blue-eyed, nearly 2-year olds who make an effort to show everyone his Hot Wheels car.

(I’m not sure if that’s supposed to make me feel better or worse about homeland security!)

2. Unfortunately the single-parent-with-child doesn’t get you squat at the food court. All I wanted to do was to purchase a cup of fruit yogurt. But after 4 minutes of standing at the cash register while waiting for the guy whose name tag simply said “trainee” to figure out how to run my credit card I caught myself actually wondering how bad it could be if Tate didn’t get a snack before getting on the plane. I never found out because “trainee” eventually figured it out.

(And yes, it was 4 minutes! You tend to notice how long things take when you're carrying two bags and restless child!)

3. At home, we’ll use videos from time to time when we need to occupy Tate for a few minutes. But apparently all we have to do is park a MD-80 in our backyard and he’ll stay glued to the window for hours.

4. There’s nothing better when you’re flying alone with a 22-month old when the lady at the gate informs you that there are only 30 people on your flight and you’ll have the entire aisle to yourself!

(Kudos to Kelly for booking us on this flight!)

5. There’s no doubt left in your mind on whether your 22-month old understands that he’s flying in an airplane when he starts yelling, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” during take-off so loud that the pilot can hear him!

6. Thank the Lord in Heaven for portable DVD players!

7. The Evil Empire isn’t doing you any favors (and they rarely do!) when they make you stow away all your toys, books, and games prior to landing and then make you sit on the tarmac for 15 minutes with nothing to distract your child while you wait for some other plane to pull away from your gate. Have you ever tried to make the booklet explaining the emergency exits sound exciting to your child?

“And look, Tate! After we crash land in the ocean, we get to use our seat cushions as floatation devices until help arrives!”

It was a great little adventure for the two of us! Tate obviously won’t remember it, but it’ll go down as one of my favorites!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Tate-ism #16

When Tate and I pulled into Krispy Kreme's parking lot this morning, he pointed and said, "Elmo car!"

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Adjectives That Describe My TV-Viewing Time

Every time I sit down to watch TV I feel some of the following:

Agony, anguish, bitterness, despair, disappointment, dissatisfaction, distress, grief, heartache, letdown, misery, pain, purgatory, ripped off, sorrow, suffering, torture, tribulation, as well as general unhappiness.

Want to know why? Take a closer look at the picture above . . . focus on the right side of the TV screen . . . do you see it????

Yep! Right there on the on the right side of my 40” LCD HDTV is a 4-inch wide column of green who-knows-what!!!!! Just appeared out of nowhere!

For 2 years this Sony Bravia has brought me nothing but heavenly HD precision! But all of a sudden - only 3 weeks into the Cowboys’ regular season – Satan has found himself a foothold within my HDTV!

Kelly first noticed it while watching Oprah. Hmmmm, I wonder if that had anything to do with it!

Demon be out!!!!

Nope, didn’t work – still there! (Both Oprah and the green interference, that is!)

I first tried finding a solution by chatting on-line with Sony’s technical support. Waste of time!

Then, I posted the problem on to try to get an answer from people who actually know something about this stuff. Not much better.

I guess it’s time to lug this thing all the way to a certified Sony repair shop in Richardson. Or I could save money on gas and go down to my local Best Buy and just buy myself a brand new one – it’ll probably be a wash!

I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, anyone want to buy a 2-year old LCD HDTV?

Friday, September 26, 2008

The World's Best Boss Is Back!

I haven't been blogging much lately.

I've been camped out in front of my TV waiting for the new season of The Office to start.

Now that it has, I have a sudden unresistable urge to grow out a goatee!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Smack Home Depot On The Forehead!

It’s usually not until after Halloween when my yuletide radar goes up. Having to listen to Bing Crosby’s Have Yourself A Merry Little Migraine for the entire month of December is bad enough alone.

But when stores beat me into musical submission by pretending it’s Christmas starting the first week of November, I actually pray that I do get run over by reindeer! Maybe then I'll be mercifully put out of my misery!

Thank goodness nobody would have the gall to pull this stuff out in September! That would be utterly inconceiv . . . .



I can’t boycott Home Depot this early in the year! Where else am I supposed to get my [insert inane, over-priced gardening tool that I really don’t need]?

And don’t suggest Lowe’s either – I don’t like Lowes. It’s too . . . . blue!

Yeah, home improvement projects are supposed be done in orange! Why do you think they always use orange signs for highway construction zones?

But now that the temperature has dropped all the way down into the 80’s everyone’s thinking, “Burr! Christmas must be around the corner! Better rush off to Home Depot before they run out of red and green blinking icicle lights and plastic Santa roof ornaments!”

Go ahead, run! We all know those things don't get any cheaper the closer Christmas gets so you better be the first in line!

Doesn’t anyone ever read Ecclesiastes anymore? There a time and place for everything, people! How can we possibly celebrate Christmas in September? It’s only the third week of football, for crying out loud!

Home Depot, you've just been put on notice!

(And don't call me a scrooge or a grinch! I'm right about this! Besides, I prefer "grumpy old man"!)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Smack Me On The Forehead!

Here's one of those moments where I ended up smacking myself on the forehead . . . unfortunately only those with Facebook accounts will get the full meaning of the story!

It started this morning when allergies caused me to excessively rub my left eye. Unfortunately, that lead to . . .

Problem #1: My contact lense somehow doubled over and slid way up underneath my eye lid! Ack! Who'd ever thought that could happen???

(Actually, this is not the first time this has happened to me!)

As you would think, this lead directly to . . .

Problem #2: Half-blurry double vision. When you look at the world through both eyes but only one contact lense you get half-blurry double vision.

Looking at the world through your good eye is like watching TV in high definition. But looking at the world through your bad eye is like watching that old video of Bigfoot - you think you know what you're looking at but you're not quite sure!

Problem #3: This all occurred while sitting in my car in Granbury, Texas - at least an hour away from home!

Being the good citizen that I am, I gave a public service annoucement of my impaired vision/impaired driving via a Facebook Status update and warned everyone to stay off I-35W for their own safety - I'm such a nice guy!

Now fast forward to later in the day when I received a voice mail from a co-worker asking about a rep of ours out in Midland. I decided to text her back on cell phone and tell her that he had quit and left the company. Here's what I actually wrote:

"Jason quit last month. He's now at a oil/gas drilling company in Midland. Actually a cool deal - the company had been chasing him for months."

Problem #4: Because I was half blind from losing a contact lense, I didn't see that instead of texting my co-worker I was actually texting my Facebook Status update.

Problem#5: Instead of my private text message going only to my co-worker, it was sent to over 200 of my friends on Facebook . . . one of which was Jason!

An hour later, I got a message from Jason, "Uh, why is your Facebook status about me?"

Raise arm. Turn palm towards forehead. Smack!!

The moral of my little story: Get LASIK!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What A Game!

I'm dreery-eyed. I have no voice. And my ears are still ringing.

But those aren't the reasons why I can't sleep at 12:45 AM - it's because I'm so fired about the Dallas freakin' Cowboys!

If you have no idea what I'm talking about then all I can say is that you are not living your life to its fullest potential! Be a Cowboy fan!

My friend Noah scored some choice tickets to tonight's Monday Night Football Game between Dallas and Philadephia. Seeing how this is the last year in Texas Stadium before the Cowboys move to "Jerry World", I wanted to be sure to take it all in.

(Cody, Noah, Jody, Me)

It all started with Cody's best kept secret on how to beat the crowd to the game! I was a little skeptical at first when we had to run across 183 - but it sure beats paying $80 bucks for parking!

Next we had stop and pay homage the "man in the hat". Unfortunately the guy I asked to take the picture was apparently unfamiliar with the functionality of a zoom button! Sheesh! It looks like he took the picture from the other side of the parking lot!

Then we had to stop and grab something to eat. Can you say "Tums"?

After that, we had to stop, stare and simply ask, "Why?"

The sad thing about this guy is that he came to the game by himself!

Finally, we got to celebrate!

My favorite part was seeing Felix Jones get his first kick-off return for a touchdown!

Cowboys 41 - Eagles 37

Go Cowboys!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

On The Road Again . . . And Again . . . And Again!

As some of you know, my car is company issued. I drive it all over this blessed state . . . and them some!

When I got my Escape on Labor Day weekend two years ago, this is what the odometer read:

And this is what it read as of Labor Day weekend two weeks ago:

In the two years I have had this car, I have driven 74,373 miles!

Let's do the math!

- While driving this car, I have averaged 3,100 miles a month for 24 months.

- I have purchased somewhere around 3,725 gallons of gas!

- Me and my company have spent somewhere around $12,085 on gasoline! Gulp!

I would figure up how much money I've spent on speeding tickets during the past 24 months but that would require me to admit that I received such citations . . . and that ain't gonna happen!

I will admit that I did have one teeny, tiny accident but it wasn't my fault - even the police report says so!

As for my new ride? It's a Ford Fusion - sorry, no pics at the moment!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Oh great! One more thing to worry about!

I tripped over this little blurb on . . .

"Scientists cheer atom smasher success"

"Scientists applauded as one of the most ambitious experiments ever conceived began today. The Large Hadron Collider -- designed to simulate conditions of the Big Bang -- was switched on this morning. Skeptics claim the experiment could create a black hole capable of swallowing the Earth."

Does this mean we don't have to worry about global warming anymore?