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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!

Pizza Delivery Tip #4

Pizza Delivery Tip #4 - Choose Your Friends Wisely

You never know when your friends may turn on you. Especially when they're broke and they know that you have a job that requires you to carry around a significant amount of cash.

I delivered pizzas for almost two years right out of high school. Most of my friends at the time were ones that I had been running around with for years. Still, there were others that even though I was around a lot, I must admit that I didn't really know all that well. All of them were loyal friends and would've done whatever they could to help me out, but never underestimate what friends lacking morals might do.

I was hanging out with some friends one night after work and was let in on the fact that at one time in the not-so-distant past they had conspired to wait until the end of my shift out back behind the store. When I came out with one of the last deliveries of the night, the plan was to knock me over the head with something and take off with my bank bag. They were really proud of themselves, it seemed, that they had "thought it out" so well. They weren't planning on hurting me too badly, and I would wind up with half the takings, but only after all the police statements and such. See, they wanted to pay me for my trouble, but they didn't want me to know anything about it so that I could honestly tell the police all that I knew about the attackers and not have to lie. This way, I was told, it's completely foolproof.

After they revealed to me their once-upon-a-time-but-never-did plans, I informed them that the "money" that a pizza deliverer carries around with them is mostly in the form of checks, then signed credit card receipts, and finally cash. The first two wouldn't have done any of them any good, and they would've been very disappointed to learn that their "cut" wasn't much more than enough to buy a couple of pizzas with. Furthermore, upon getting my "cut" for the head injury I received, I would have proceeded to beat the tar out of them.

So, beware that your life-long friends may at times just see you as a target for some easy money rather than the pal you've always been to them. It might be a good idea to print up some "Friend Applications" so that you can interview potential friends, have permission to run background checks on them, sift through their school records ,and thoroughly pelt their listed references with every question you can think of.

In reality, though, we choose our friends based off of stipulations other than relational safety. Relationships of all kinds can be hazardous. But, people need people. So, despite the danger, we continue to be a relational creation. It does pay, however, to choose who you relate with, lest you find yourself getting knocked out by your friends who are looking to make all of you a few bucks.

5th Anniversary

This year's anniversary was our fifth! My mom took the kids so Jodi and I could run off to Branson for the weekend. It was a lot of fun hanging out with my girl all weekend with almost nothing on the agenda.

It was also a very successful weekend. Many weeks ago (not sure how many) Jodi's mom sent her a picture of a tall lady statue that was clearly from the same maker as the tall lady statue that Jodi bought at a yard sale a long time ago. Jodi wanted it, so we decided that we'd look for it while in Branson. Long story made short, we found it. Jodi had painted the one that she bought years ago. This one has its original paint on it still and looks good.

At the same flea market, I found (in a basket of random old photography stuff) a 58mm polarizing filter for my camera lenses. I have wanted one of these for a while, but have failed to buy one until now. They're not real expensive or anything, but with shipping and everything I've just never made that commitment. There was no price on it so I asked the owners of the store and they called the owners of the booth who relayed back to me that they wanted $2.50 for it. SOLD! I love it. It really cuts out the glare in outdoor photos.

We ate a lot of good food over the weekend including panini sandwiches with iced mocha cappuccinos at Big Cedar Resort. We also ordered some yummy dishes from the White River Fish House on the Landing with which we started with an Alligator Tail appetizer. We also were able to sit and do some relaxing with some good ol' HGTV. We love that channel and rarely get to see it.

A nice ending to our weekend was when Jodi defied what she was told and decided to go out on a limb anyway and try to sell some of the jewelry that her and Tara had been making. She casually brought it up to the Accessories buyer for Apricot Lane and the girl immediately bought 18 rings from Jodi! AANNDD, they discussed becoming a supplier of these rings for both the store on the Landing and the one in the mall in Springfield. I'm so proud of her!

So, great weekend! We missed a bunch of things going on, but we had a pretty good excuse and I wouldn't trade quality time with my wife for anything. Love you, baby!

Spanish Fat Lady's a-Singin'

With 64 games in 31 days, I've been busy. Too busy, in fact, to write a blog, just in case you've been wondering what happened to me. However, yesterday concluded the 2010 FIFA World Cup with Spain winning the golden trophy. I enjoyed this year's games, but I think overall it will be remembered as the World Cup with all the surprise game results. There were many upsets and it was truly a tournament for the underdogs.

While I usually root for the underdog in a game, I couldn't this time. My World Cup teams were chosen long ago. They are the US, Italy, and Germany teams. This year, I added Ghana to the mix since we have an emotional attachment to the country.

The USA did fairly well, in my opinion. But, their wins seemed to be a little sloppy. I long for the day to watch the US team play against the big boys in such a manner that no one can sneer and say that they were just lucky. But, I didn't feel that their World Cup performance really lived up to that standard.

Italy just blew it. What a disappointment! They came in last place in their group! What more is there to say?

The Germans did fantastic! They were typical Germany football: mathematical, fast, precise, with a strong defense. I loved watching them play, but due to having a stupid job, I missed their loss in the semi-finals. I heard that Spain dominated the game which I find hard to believe, but I'll find out for certain when I watch the game later. Still, Germany put on a great performance. It was exciting to watch their games for there was rarely a dull moment. They even won third place with a whirlwind of thrills.

Ghana did very well. They made me proud until they beat the US. I could have done without that, but whatever. My heart really goes out to them the way they were taken out of the tournament. If you haven't seen it, you should check it out on YouTube. No doubt, it's on there. In short, a Uruguay defender standing on the goal line purposefully used his hands to block the ball from entering the goal. He was ejected with a red card for it which puts him out the next game as well. I have to give the guy a lot of credit, though. He made a lightning quick decision to sacrifice his own playing time and reputation by deliberately breaking a rule for the greater good of team and country. That decision gave them a chance to win the game where they most certainly would have lost. And, they did well to make that chance turn into a victory. Hopefully, Ghana will be able to forgive Uruguay for pretty much stealing their chances from them.

I was disappointed that Africa didn't do better. Only Ghana made it out of group play. For the first World Cup being hosted on the continent, I was hoping that Africa could see some major victories. Alas, they'll have to be happy with how far Ghana made it.

I really enjoyed the World Cup, though, as a whole. I liked seeing my family get into it with me. I'll miss it. Today, I go back to being a non-sports fan. There's always the next World Cup to look forward to. Only 47 months to go!

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