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The First in the Deck Series

Our most recent DIY experience through the process.

Out With The Old, In With The New

Gotta love a new beginning, right?

Peppermint Shortage

Just a funny afternoon.

Coffeyville, KS

I loved this experience so much that I had to write about it. Then, through e-mails it spread to Coffeyville itself.

Photo Restoration

I had a lot of fun with this "old school" photo. It turned out too cool to not blog about it.

Kitchen Remodel (part one)

This is the first of a nine-part series documenting the remodel of our 50-year-old kitchen in our 100-year-old home!

New Neighbor


We have a brand new neighbor. I saw him (or her) moving into a freshly dug hole underneath one of the landscaping logs/railroad ties that separate our driveway from our front yard. He's definitely a city bunny since he wouldn't run off until I got closer than about seven feet away. And, even then he she only hops enough distance to keep that seven foot safety area. I like this neighbor the best already. Unlike our other neighbors, (we'll call him a boy just so I no longer have to refer to both sexes when using a pronoun for it) he doesn't burn questionable firewood that almost smokes us out of our house, he doesn't grind/sand/bang out/weld the various body parts to his and every other low rider vehicle in town all night long, he doesn't smoke weed and smell up the whole street while doing it (or at least I think that it wasn't him), and he doesn't come knocking on our door at 7:00 in the morning to explain to us that he's not crazy. He's really quiet and almost unseen really. As far as I can tell he's single so I don't need to worry about him populating up our front yard or anything. I think that this new neighbor will really work out. And here is a good shot I got of him. Also, just in case you didn't know, you can click on any picture that I load into these blogs and it will open up the page that I have them stored on so that you can see them nice and big.

Happy Halloween!

Well, it's that time of year again. It's that wonderful time to use your creativity and come up with a fake persona for an evening. We were going for a "Cleaver family era" look. We get to also put my '59 Ford to good use and let it play its role as well. It was a fun evening at Andy & Bridget's on Saturday night despite the little fact that the boys lost to the girls in a game of Trivial Pursuit. We intend to dress up again Tuesday. Jodi will once again bake a fresh apple pie to top off her costume of which we will delight in eating afterwards. The pie, not the costume.
If you have been reading my blogs for some time back in my MySpace Blog days (a link to my old MySpace blog can be found on the right, in the links list) then you might remember a particular blog that I wrote back in June that showed what was going on in the world back when my '59 was new. I followed that list of "at-the-time-current events" with a sidenote daydream that went as follows:

I bet that the first owner of my truck was some farmer that went out on a limb to splurge on this automotive marvel. I bet that he and his wife would cruise into town on their way to the monthly church banquet. He would be in his best tweed suit. She would be in her favorite poofy dress and be carrying a freshly baked hot apple pie in her lap. As they rolled down the street people would gawk at the beautifully crafted mechanical masterpiece. The 223 straight-six would exert a throaty growl as it accelerated through the curves of Main Street. After the behemoth was parked in the best parking place no doubt reserved just for it young men would gather around it and discuss its complex and brilliant design and hope for permission from the owner to touch it.

This was me going off on a tangent. But, Jodi had suggested that we do just this for Halloween. And, alas we have. Have a happy Halloween!

Our relaxing weekend

My wife and I are busy people. Sometimes, we get so caught up in busy-ness that we actually have to schedule and plan a relaxing weekend. And even other times we have to pick up and leave town to stay relaxed for any amount of time. (sidenote: Earlier I said "busy-ness". This was very much on purpose. I wanted to stress the "busy" part and I also did not want to confuse the reader into thinking that I own a business. That time I meant business like bizness. Or maybe bidness if that's how you pronounce it. I just would like to clarify that I can spell and that public schools in Missouri may get a bad rap, but they get the job done. Are we clear on this? Good. I new yall id getit!)

So, we packed up and headed for the bluff. Poplar Bluff that is. It may be 182 miles from Springfield, but if that's what it takes to have a good reason to not work, then it's a short trip and a small price to pay. We started out Saturday morning by waking up dark and early. Yes, I said dark. And my wife decided for us to sleep in, so we did. Who's gonna argue their way out of bed with a hot blonde? That's right. Nobody. One cookie for you. So, we left a little after the time we originally intended on arriving there, but that's okay. We got there and relaxed for a bit and then ate and relaxed some more. We then went and rented some movies and got a driving tour of Historic Downtown Poplar Bluff. Then, we ate at a five-star chinese restaurant. Gabe and I went bowling while Jodi did Becky's hair. (my scores: 179, 141, 228, 192 I'm awesome) Then back home for a relaxing movie Thank You For Smoking. Up late watching Iron Chef. Sleeping in Sunday and following it with a Sunday afternoon drive through Mingo National Park and Recreation Area. Then, more relaxing until we finally took the relaxing drive home. Here is a good picture I got of Jodi relaxin'. Have I said 'relaxing' too much for one blog?

A good movie choice...

We rented a good movie last night and I thought that I would officially recommend it by writing a personal review. The movie is Brick. It's one of those independent films that carries a recommendation on the cover from one of the well known film festivals of which the name escapes me. Maybe Sundance? Anyway, I found it to be an excellent movie. It starts out in the middle of the movie and then backs up to show you the events leading up to it. It catches up to it rather quickly (maybe 20 minutes in) and then the movie gets thrust into action from there. I won't ruin the movie by discussing any of it's plot so don't worry. But, I will say that the movie has a somewhat unique style. It is written in a "Cloak and Dagger" mystery/action/thriller style. You know the movies where a crime takes place and someone takes it upon themselves to solve the mystery. Well, this movie is quite the same. There's a drug lord, the rebellious "muscle", the big money drug sellers, the punk street gang, and various other powerful groups. What makes this movie unique from the others that fall in this category, though, is that this movie takes place in a high school. All the characters are purposefully written to be ridiculously adult-like, super-serious, cunningly intelligent, and melodramatic. It's interesting to see a movie where they take all these qualities and tie them into a movie entirely made up of teenagers. The ridiculousness isn't lost on the writers, though. They don't seriously think that life is like that in high school. They prove this by adding in some humor amidst all the drama in strategic places making fun of itself in a way.
Overall, it's highly entertaining with some great twists and some edge-of-your-seat mystery thrills. A great rental! Check it out.

Hmm... which one should I vote for?

(spoken like George from Seinfeld) Well, they've done it now! I'm getting really angry here!

I'm so mad right now. First of all, I no longer fall for the old trick that the Democrats and Republicans pull every election year. They both use their corporate influence and their blood money to convince voting Americans that there is really only two people to choose from in the elections. The sad thing is that most people fall for it. They go with the "sucker's choice." What's a sucker's choice, you say? I'm glad you asked. It's a cheap argument tactic. Here's how it goes: "Of course I'm going to drive to Kansas City! What do you expect me to do? Take a magic carpet?" It's the classic sucker's choice when the argumentative person shuts down constructive conversation by making a statement that would insinuate that there are only two ways of doing something. Their way or a completely absurd way. Naturally, the other person is left to either agree with their choice or sound defensive while they feebly try to explain their way back to making sense. Meanwhile, the original cause of the argument remains unargued. Understand?

Well, here is my problem. Claire McCaskill and Jim Talent agreed to have a debate and televise it on one of our local stations. They also, however, denied any other candidates invitation to said debate. And when another candidate attempted to request permission to join the debate they were denied any contact with anyone who would answer them. So, what is a political debate if two parties only allow themselves and no one else? Are they afraid of having someone make both of them look bad? Is it possible then that they are working together at least to some extent to make everyone believe that there are only two candidates?

I was planning on voting against them anyway, but they secured their demises when they had KY3 cut into regularly scheduled programming to air their debate. Do you know what they cut into? Let me tell you. They cut into Heroes!!! I will now see to it that both of them lose this election! I will use all my political power to see to it that both Claire McCaskill and Jim Talent will be in the Unemployment line by January. How dare they?!

Be a Hero and vote Libertarian!

Attention: Heroes watchers!

I'm sorry, but I must take back something I said in my last blog:

Past episodes of Heroes cannot be watched on YouTube.

I'm not sure who to blame on this one. It may be YouTube itself removing these videos or maybe it was them pressured by NBC. I don't know the exact events surrounding the removal of the past episodes from YouTube, but I will say this, "what?!" I personally have no interest at stake here, after all I've seen all the episodes to date, because I was one of the lucky ones who watched the illegal videos before they were ripped away from the copyright nazis. However, I can't help but defend the poor people out there who are just like me and actually might want to watch a decent television series and also have the added benefit of making sense out of it by having seen all the shows to date. I have to give credit to NBC, though. They do have on their website the most recent episode, but there were two others before it that they don't care enough about to leave up. I would think that they would leave at least the first three up. After all, it can only benefit them by getting brain-dead, television watching Americans to get hooked on their smack. We'll all come back begging for more and then NBC gets to shove a bunch of expensive advertising slots into our strung-out faces. Don't think that we don't know how this works, NBC. We're pretty smart television addicts. We'll go to your supplier and cut you out of the deal, Nazi Broadcasting Company!!! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!AAYYIIIIAAAYYII!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whew! Sorry about that. Flashback from Nam. Sometimes the Agent Orange starts running the show upstairs, if you know what I mean. Anyway, so just for the record: I did not lie. You could watch the show on YouTube. I am not responsible for the upkeep on those videos nor for their sudden unexpected removal. I also would like to point out that I was not wrong. I was indeed correct if even just for a limited time. I admit no wrong doing nor will there be any apologies. Not by me. I'm perfect.

I was merely trying to build some support for a show, because the lack of support burned me in the past. Remember about 8 months ago a show called Reunion? FOX had started it up and ran about 5 maybe 6 episodes and then cut it from the schedule. The show was a good idea. It was a murder-mystery based at a 20-year high school reunion and every episode represented one year. 20 episodes was the season and for every episode the plot grew and the possible motives also increased. My wife and I got into the show and now like all the other Reunion watchers we will probably never know how it ended or who dunnit. Thanks, FOX. You suck.

I'm not getting burnt again. So, even if you missed the first two episodes there is still time to catch last Monday's episode on the NBC website. Then tune into NBC on Monday nights at eight o'clock for all new episodes. I need your support!

Maybe Television Is Not So Bad...

Ok, ok. I know I mouth our modern day television programming a lot. I can't help it. I never find anything that I want to watch. There's those shows that I don't mind watching to kill an hour or to be entertained with while we get a chance to relax for once, but no station ever comes up with something that I feel I just can't miss. That is, until now. NBC is doing something different. They're using an age-old idea, but modernizing it and bringing the story of it once a week into our living rooms. Heroes. The idea for the show is not all that creative what with Superman, Batman, and the like being hit shows back in the 40's and 50's. The thing is super-heroes are loved by the majority of people, however their popularity tends to fluctuate between different audiences. One generation will find super-hero stories appropriate only for children and call them kids activities, while apparently our generation has never let go of them and because of that there becomes a huge rise in super-hero story popularity. Think about it. X-Men, Fantastic Four, Electra, Unbreakable, The Punisher, Batman Begins, and the list goes on and on. In the last 6 years or so there has been noticible growth in the demand for these stories.

I for one have been part of that demand. I love super-heroes. Everyone at one point or another wonders what it would be like to be able to breathe under water, fly, be invincible, turn invisible, etc. I'm no different. I've thought about it. admit it. You have, too.

Well, this new show is good. It's got me waiting for Monday. That's saying a lot. I also admire the lack of in-your-face-advertising for this show. Since about July, I think, there have been commercials for this show, but they were spread out in such a way that you never saw more than one commercial a week. They were careful not to annoy everyone about it before the show actually started. How often does that happen? I've despised a lot of things for no other reason than their annoying advertising.

I haven't yet watched an episode on television yet. Jodi and I have watched the first three episodes on the internet at our convenience. So, just in case, you think it's too late to get to see them in order, you're wrong. With a search through YouTube you can watch the first two episodes and you can always watch the most recent episode straight from NBC's website. Just Google "Heroes" and it's the first link they'll give you.

What's my motivation?

I guess, I'm losing steam on this whole blog writing thing. I've been really busy with work and fun lately. At work, I'm in the SRC Leadership Academy and am spending a lot of time trying to get my project together. We are presenting in front of the "big-wigs" in four weeks from now. It has to be a 20 minute presentation. It's going well, but there is still much work and adjustments to be made as well as speeches to memorize.
Outside of work it seems that my wife and I are in a hurry to get as many activities in as we can before it gets too cold to do anything. Maybe we'll slow down when it drops below freezing, but until then we're getting passed around like a hot potato.
Then, of course, there was my gimp-maker injury. I twisted my ankle while working in the backyard on a fun little project. One minute I was gathering up all my tools to put up in the shed and the next minute I was hitting the cement. I got right back up with some serious pain in my ankle, but unlike the days of old when I would just get back up and go on, I'm apparently too aged for that these days. I couldn't put weight on it for almost 18 hours and even then I looked like an old war veteran or a pirate with a peg leg. Or Forrest Gump as a kid. You get the point, right? Anyway, just two days after my debilitating injury I got sick. I had flu-like symptoms for eight days. I must say, though, the weight loss from it looks pretty good on me. Eight pounds lost!
Anyway, that catches you up a little bit. If I decide to continue writing about my very cartoon-like life then I'll let you know. Have a great day and smile about something.

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