Thursday, June 30, 2005


Having time to think about a few things in the hot sun this week, here are a few ramblin' thoughts that have crept in:

1. Why do some guys wear sunglasses propped just above their eyebrows? It just seems wierd-like some sort of Man-Tiara.

2. Is China headed for an eventual war with the US?

3. Do you have a forgiving heart for inconsiderate drivers? We'll I was one today. I honestly try to be a very good driver with respect to others in the traffic flow. In an effort to get across Manchester Road (the traffic stinks on this road), I hustled across the westbound lane to get over to the middle turning land. I did notice there was this lady in a Lexus SUV (50's trophy wife) that was facing me trying to make a left to get across the eastbound lane. She was probably waiting a deal longer that myself. Finally there was a break in the eastbound traffic. A more generous driver than myself would have deferred to her. I thought about it for 1 nanosecond, and gunned it. I almost felt guilty, so cut me some slack-or Grace if you want to be Biblical. I looked at her as I was performing the inconsiderate vehicular deed. She looked at me with her nicely couiffed blonde hair, and promptly stuck her tongue out at me. Lesson learned.

Monday, June 27, 2005


Today was a Psycho day. It's true that I have a temper, and boy did I get some practice out of it today. It seemed alot of little things with my latest projects have gone south. The opressive heat and lack of a good breakfast did not help with my attitude. The saving grace (besides lunch) was watching Adoption Story at lunchtime. Granted I didn't have much time, but it was about a family adopting in the Ukraine and Guatemala-2 years apart. My attitude shifted, and I thought..."hey man, buck it up-things are going pretty darn good". The temper ended, and I started looking at these "problems" as opportunities to think and evaluate the situation. Most of the time thinking isn't my strong suit, but hey-I"m working on it.

With the new found attitude adjustment, I resolved to go to Home Depot to buy a tool which would accomplish a task I desperately needed (as the missing piece to my installation). Tool worked, lines were set, lights were put in (but not functional yet). It ended great. My "Psycho" day isn't a bad connotation-after a good day of sweating and getting caked with mud, it all washes down the drain like the scene in Psycho. Mission accomplished. It's good to have bad attitudes and dirt head in the same direction (down the drain). Incidentally, the "blood" in the movie wasn't blood at all. It was Hershey's chocolate syrup.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Back from Hilton Head. It was nice to cozy up with a beach chair and umbrella, and just look at the water. The more time I spend around beaches, the more I love them.

Last night was the EJ awards banquet. Just being there got me pumped up for all the brokers. This is one event I miss since moving to the "home office". Geri's old region in CO had some very good families that we miss seeing at those meetings. During the banquet we had a slideshow of a broker currently in Iraq. He is from a true Ed Jones family-with several family members as IR's. Hardly a dry eye in the house after the slideshow. Whether you agree with this war or not, it is inspiring to see soldiers quietly doing their duty. It would benefit all to keep up prayers for those soldiers fighting over there-as well as the civilians. War takes a toll on so many people, whether in uniform or not.

On a bright note, the Crum's finally received their referral from China. She is a very cute little girl, who will have a great family from now on. I am still optimistic that Chris/Christine and Jason/Amanda will be hearing from China sooner than they think.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Fathers Day and Gifts

I finally experienced my first Father's Day-in abstentia. So what did the new daddy get? For starters-Pizza Hut carryout. My favorite is Thin Crust, with Mushrooms, Hamburger and Jalapeno's. Quite a delicacy in the Cope household. Gifts were right up my alley. Geri had just flown back from regional meetings in Texas-so the Father's Day schwag was a Super Ball that lights up when bounced (compliments of Goldman Sachs).

If you haven't figured it out, gift giving for me is very easy. It can be categorized into 3 areas:
1. WWII Stuff
2. Gift Certificates to B&N, or a sporting goods store.
3. Silly and meaningless fun stuff (ie: anything that makes a noise or bounces. For example: harmonica, super balls, Nerf balls, whoopee cushion, pens that light up, shiny coins, a rock, a jar...or, basically anything from a mutual fund company.

I am still pumped about Bennie, and find myself constantly looking at his pictures. I am such a girlie-man. For example I was telling Geri that I feel like my emotions are like the soft magma underneath a very thin crust of lava rock. Once we are able to hold Ben, that crust is gonna break into a million pieces, and burn pure love into the core of my soul. That is a great feeling to know we will be responsible for someone else other than each other.

For the past few weeks I have been internalizing a lot of these emotions. If you have ever been through the adoption process, it is quite frustrating to know you have a child that is growing little by little every day-without you. I had quite a few days and nights of heart palpitations, got it checked out, but am still waiting on the EKG and bloodwork results. I ultimately think it is "Anxious Bennyitis". I think our good friend Jules had the same affliction a few years ago in dealing with Guatemala (Anxious Ianitis).

So now you know a bit more about me. I internalize alot of emotions, am a girlie-man on the emotional scale, prefer thin crust Pizza Hut with select toppings, and like silly little gifts over big ones. Don't let that stop you from giving me big gifts if the spirit moves you, though.

Oh...I love to collect Starbucks mugs from cities we have visited. So far: Denver, STL, Berlin, Wash DC. This is a great idea from our dear friends, the Shaffers. It sure beats bringing home all that touristy crap (although a Berlin Super Ball or Washington DC political Whoopee Cushion would be cool). One touristy gift I liked growing up was the obligitory "Rocky Mtn Gold" from Colorado. For $10 you could buy a tiny vial of "gold" that was magnified 29x, to make it look like you really had the mother lode. It was probably tin-foil that was spray painted.

All in cup runneth over.

If you want a good heartwarming story-check this out (along with slideshow):

Friday, June 17, 2005

Ramblin' Thoughts

Barry, if you are reading this. Happy Birthday!

Do you ever get tired of dealing with the gov't? I do-oh, let me count the ways. Between keeping up with personal and business taxes, I get tired of the hassle (although I am not too efficient with the paperwork necessary for my business). To top it off, I realized that the tags are expiring on Geri's Highlander. I went to the tag agency only to be told that I need to go to the Clayton city hall to get proof that we paid our personal property taxes. After that I need to get the car inspected. After this I need to have the emissions tested. After soaking in all these instructions from the casually-mannered, immensely tattoo'd counter help at the agency, I hop in my car to start on this quest. We'll I would have, but noticed that her car is running on fumes-yellow light on the gas gauge. No gas in the tank-which is the way I felt after hanging at the tag agency. So what does an honest taxpayer do after receiving his marching orders--he goes home to watch the US Open. Why do today, when you can put it off until tomorrow.

On the business front-the projects still keep coming. I met with 2 older ladies (retired physicians) who have lived and travelled together for 40 years. Quite a pair! I will be working at their home after we get back from Hilton Head. After that it's off to AA/UK's. That will be a fun project, given all their trees.

On the adoption front, we received a copy of the DNA report from Guatemala. More government "efficiency". The fact is that the mother went to the hospital to give birth to Ben. The next step is for the birth mother to come back to the hospital to take a DNA test to make sure this is indeed the child she gave birth to. Seems kinda strange not to put 2 and 2 together at the time of birth. The lab sent us a copy of the test results along with a Polaroid picture of the birth mom with Benjamin. The photo is required for the records in Guatemala. All I know is that she is young, single, and has sad eyes. I don't know if we will ever show the picture to Ben, but I thank God she had a heart of adoption instead of abortion. We can't wait to go down and bring him home. I catch myself looking at his pictures and wondering what he is doing-several times a day. It's a good feeling knowing I'm a dad. Speaking of paperwork, once we get Ben, we'll start the process over again for a few girls.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

If you like good television-check this out. This is a great show about families in the process of adopting.

Monday, June 13, 2005


Admittedly I have been to some very good concerts. To name a few good ones would include, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, Jimmy Buffett, Bruce Springsteen, Hall & Oates, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, The Smithereens, Johnny Reno & The Sax Maniacs. Did I mention Jimmy Buffett? I managed to get his guitar pick a few years back. A stellar concert would have been Van Morrison at Red Rocks this past weekend. That would have been verrrry classic.

I remember going to see Van Halen (post David Lee Roth), and witnessing a big-time fight between 2 very drunk, stupid idiots wearing alot of black. I distinctly remember thinking "where do these concert people come from, and where do they work?" They just seemed like big, jobless ignoramouses with long stringy hair and body odor. After watching the Michael Jackson circus after the acquittal, I am thinking the very same thing-given all the people around his Neverland front gate.

What would cause a grown-up (probably with children) to come to the cause of someone so troubled as "The King Of Pop"? Is their life THAT troubled and lame? Is it celebrity? Is it possible fame from being caught on camera? I do not get it. Spend some time doing something positive! I remember walking around in Berlin this fall, looking at the window where Michael dangled his baby. That was a long way down. I can't even imagine dangling a cat from there (we'll maybe a mean cat with dander and sharp claws).

After a bit of thought, In some way or another I'm probably guilty of this as well. I'm not looking for fame or fortune, but like those goofy people hovering around Michael, I seem to fixate on things that really don't matter-just chaff. It's not as evident as hanging around Neverland Ranch with a big sign above my head, but still evident to those that matter to me. I guess I'll take the log out of my eye, and try to do a little better. Hey at least I don't have long, stringy hair and body odor.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Before Geri took off for a week to work in Martha's Vineyard and Houston, we spent the evening with some Edward Jones friends. Louie and Lori live at Lake St Louis. Now I have never liked lakes in general, but I could grow to like this little community. It is a closed-in community that doesn't allow the public to bring boats. Only the owners can have boats on the water.

To top off a nice night, we went for a sunset cruise and saw Nelly's house (rapper), some MLB umpire's house, and Eddie George's mothers house (running back). That is a lineup somewhat more "impressive" than our neighbors. The only neighbor of note is Ed and his dog, Sparky. Ed has a habit of wandering in people's yards and garages while trying to be discreet. We (as in the entire neighborhood) overlook his tendencies because he is older, harmless, is a nice guy, and makes a good neighborhood watchdog. Now if we can just stop him from going the bathroom in our yard. Just kidding.

Friday, June 10, 2005

I have finally managed to squeeze a in few holes of golf today. What I like about golf and skiing isn't necessarily the sporting activity, but getting to know the people I am spending the time with. This philosophy is vastly different than when I was in my 20's. I still have the competitive fires inside me, but I guess they have mellowed with age. Today Aaron Robinson and I shared a cart, and just had a good time. We both have alot going on in our lives, but he is definitely busy with a sick and pregnant wife, a little girl, buying a home, being in charge at work, teaching a class on Sundays, getting a house ready to sell. The list goes on. He has a good heart, and a great work ethic. I think he got this from his mom. When Aaron was growing up, Mrs Robinson was a single mom, raising 3 boys in Mt Vernon MO. Kinda reminds me of an old friend Andy, from back home. I am always amazed at single women trying to hold a family together. If you are interested in our scores. We didn't keep them. I did beat Aaron in the lost ball category (1-0), and the sandtrap category (4-1).

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Here's a question.

With the exception of a book about Winston Churchill, why is Bill Clinton's book the largest one in the Barnes & Noble biogrophy section. He is a "wordy" guy, I'll give him that. Usually the ones that drone on and on and on...have the least to say in interest and relevance. I wouldn't vote for him, but would love to sit down and have coffee with him.

Originally uploaded by Eric Cope.
Here is a recent pic of BBC sucking his lip. Word of note: We are not responsible for the OSU jumper. Will work on getting him some OU, Bronco, and Cards gear

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

8 years ago it was raining all around OKC-with the exception of the wedding garden area. The flowers were beautiful, you were beautiful, and the wedding cake was awful. All in all a perfect day!!

Happy Anniversary Geri! I love you even more with each passing year. On your card I wrote about your uniqueness. There is no one like you. You are Godly, beautiful, smart, witty, insightful, loving, caring, fun, and full of good energy. We have managed to travel the world, go camping (at places with a clean bathroom), get to know many wonderful people, do scrapbooking, and dance badly with each other. And yes, I even love you even despite your lack of enthusiasm for Sooner Football, but I am glad you are on board with The Cards.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


I was thinking about prayer yesterday. Have you ever told people "I have been praying for you", or "I'll be praying for you". Unfortunately I say this, but often forget to actually pray about that person, or situation. My goal is to be an authentic Prayer Warrior, not just to pray for my family, or our situation/circumstances. I guess this is a spiritual journey of growth, and starts one prayer at a time.

Today I'll be praying for Andy Crum. Andy will be going to a heart specialist this week for some tests. He had open heart surgery as a kid, and is experiencing some problems again.

Let me know if you have any prayer requests. I'll be glad to lift them up.

Friday, June 03, 2005

BBC. Not just the network anymore

Growing up, Dad always said I'd make lifetime friends in college. As I approach 40, those words are true. This seems to prove just as true each passing week. If you polled anyone in our college "group"-I'm sure they would echo that sentiment.

We did some nutty things back "in the day"-some to be told-some that should be just as well locked in our pea-brains for the next several years. Things such as messing with occupied parked cars, painting dead bodies on the sidewalks, phone calls to college officials, calls tipping the campus cops about a fake panty raid in the middle of the night (just so we can secretly watch and snicker at campus security trying to "stake out" the impending crime).

The funny stuff from college seems to come back to me at the strangest of times. For example, when I visit Darrel and the girls, I'm sometimes requested to tell a bedtime story. Like good sales professionals, Abby and Carly give me some leading questions and suggestions as topics for my story. Typically it goes something like this: Tell us when you and Daddy were in college, and they hid cheese in your bed, and you didn't find it for a few days. Or, tell us when you and Daddy were in college and Daddy was taking a shower, and you and Mark put shaving cream on his head. The premise is that they know the story, and have already told me the story. Now I am forced to embellish. That's where it gets fun.

To some back at OCC, we were probably a strange bunch, but I always had this feeling that everyone else not in our "group" was missing out. By this time this group was well mixed with both guys and girls. We were (and still are) tight. Instead of the 3 Amigos, Darrel, Mark, and I referred to ourselves as "GRF". This was short for George, Ralph, and Fred. Then along came Barry. It didn't seem right for someone in this inner sanctum not to be represented in our acronym. Like the Constitution-we somehow amended this "GRF" nickname to "GARF". This was the biggest stretch of improv in history. It stands for George (G), And Barry (A), Ralph (R), Fred (F). Folks, Nothing Else Worked! There are others that we consider of equal standing-that could be part of that "A" in GARF. This includes Jana, Leslie, John and Todd to name a few. The point is that for 20 years we have remained tight, and always seem to see each other at least once a year-no matter how many timezones we happened to be living in. We also talk with each other with regularity. As we get older, we sometimes actually talk about our regularity. Well, come to think of it-we did that back then as well (painstakingly and cheerfully graphic details). Ahh..the priviledge of being a guy with a love of all things bathroom.

Darrel will always be part of my life. We now are in-laws. We have to keep each other entertained during long stretches of family time. I feel closer to him the more time we spend together.
Mark will always be part of my life. He is my brother from a different mother
Todd will always be part of my life. He is my older brother. We have shared alot over the years, and talk almost daily.
Barry will always be part of my life. I consider him my brother. I love the fact that we can debate on issues and agree to slightly disagree. I have always appreciated that for years he freely opens up his heart and feelings, and isn't afraid to share them. I love this about him. Also, despite his physical dominance over my scrawny body, I still think that one day I'll beat and humiliate him at wrestling. Call me an optimist.

If we have 4 boys, maybe I can honor all these good friends in name (no, not GARF). For now, we will start with Benjamin Barron Cope. To quote a great Superbowl beer commercial....I love you, man!