Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I needed a bit of cheering up today, and new pics of Benny did the trick. Here is my favorite of the 8 that came across the wire today. I love his big eyes. As someone pointed out the other day, his expressions make it seem like he has something to say. He's finally wearing some of the clothes we sent down.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Today was a long one. I woke up early and drove 7 hours for a 2 hour meeting. After the final handshake, I turned right around and drove another 7 hours home. On long drives like this-especially alone-I try and connect with God either in songs or listening to religious programs. I had a hard time focusing, and sat for most of the trip with my finger on the scan button. The main thought running through my head was how in the world did gas jump $0.30 in a day. The $2 barrier took a bit getting used to, but the gloves are off, and I am seeing gas hit $3 by years end.

Not too long ago I read a funny story about a group of waiters in a NYC restaurant. At the end of a shift, they made milkshakes for everyone. All the milkshakes were simple vanilla, with the exception of one. This one was a beautiful Oreo crumble with whipped cream. The waitress (who wasn't very well liked for good reason) automatically claimed the Oreo. After licking a bit of whipped cream on top, she exclaimed "Mine !" and retreated into the other room to gobble it up. This is where she learned a valuable lesson. Whipped cream always tastes good, but Parmesan Peppercorn dressing looks just like an Oreo shake. Lately I have been feeling just like that Oreo shake. Ever feel that way?

By the way, the Guatemalan gov't rejected something in our paperwork. Our clock was reset on Aug 19th.

I'll end with a few observations:

Why don't we have more refineries here in the US? Special interest groups have waaaay too much power, and often supercede practical needs for the country.

Is it me, or has there been a calculated move over these past few months to slowly leak/integrate soundbytes to the media of "events" that will lead to impending gas price increases? (my personal Venezulan/OPEC conspiracy theory to condition us as to their intentions of raising oil prices).

I am taking a hiatus from reading other blogs.

I am tired of all the political rhetoric on TV and Radio. I am taking a hiatus from listening to it. These don't fill my soul with good.

Pat Robertson, Al Sharpton, or J. Jackson do not speak for me as a Christian. As a matter of fact, I am sick, sick, sick of everyone equating one political party over another as the "Christian" party. I also don't agree with theological views of Bill O'Reilly. He is Catholic, but believes the Bible is a collection of stories and parables. Not exactly true events that happened. He also thinks that Christ's expectations for us are unrealistic (with regards to issues like sex).

Even though everyone that calls into Hannity's show is referred to as a "Good American", I have my doubts as to whether some of the callers are actually good neighbors.

Feel free to comment on any of these. Am I on the wrong track?

Monday, August 29, 2005

Next project before we pick up Benny is the hallway bathroom. Here's a few "before" pictures.

Tin Reasons Why Live Coverage Is Sketchy At Best

Before I start the day, I pray that the folks down in LA/MS will be safe. I wonder if other countries have disaster units they actually dispatch to the US in our times of need. Or do they think it is our responsibility to automatically help ourselves and everyone else out. This isn't a snide commentary on other countries, just a question.

Anyways, it seems most people are trying to seek safety (even if it is The Superdome, with a big super big roof)-we'll except the meteorologists. I finally quit watching the Breaking Live Coverage on one of the national stations. Here is basically how the conversation went prior to my turning off this riveting news.

News Guy: "Mr Weatherman"

Weatherman: "Yes, Mr News Guy"

News Guy: "It seems pretty windy out there. What have you clocked the windspeed at?"

Weatherman: ".........." (he didn't hear him because of the wind)

Weatherman: "Mr News Guy, sorry... but I keep looking over my left shoulder. I keep thinking I see debris is coming my way".

News Guy: "We'll check back in a few minutes....back to the desk for todays news"

---------a few minutes pass------------------------

News Guy: "Mr Weatherman"

Weatherman: "Yes"

News Guy: "Mr Weatherman, we have footage of some corrugated tin racing down the road behind you"

Weatherman: ".....Yeah...."

News Guy: "Can you tell us how you felt as that was skimming down the road behind you ?"

At this point the story became the piece of tin. Sort of like when the debris hit Geraldo Rivera a few months ago in Florida. Time to turn off this Breaking News. Call me crazy. Flying tin and a bent a stop sign in the background don't seem that newsworthy. I think I'll stick to the Weatherchannel from now on.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Critic's Corner

If you are looking for recommended reading. Here's what's on my nightstand:

1. "Searching For God Knows What" by Donald Miller. He is the author of Blue Like Jazz.
2. "Radical Human Presence" by Landon Saunders. This is a manuscript I printed off the web.

3. The Bible. There is no substitute-although I don't read it as often as I should.
4. "The Strength Of Mercy" by Jan Beazely.
I remember going to my Grandparents 50th Anniversary party when I was a kid. WIth exception to the cake, the party as I remember it seemed hopelessly boring. Not to mention I was forced to wear a suit on a non-church day. Everybody seemed old.

Fast forward to 2005. My Aunt and Uncle took a different approach to their milestone. Happy 50th to the couple who redefined the "Golden Anniversary" as the "Lets Take The Kids To Alaska On A Cruise Anniversary". I guess I had better rethink this old thing when thinking of a 50th. It's all in perspective I guess. Of course when G and I celebrate 50 years together, we'll flat-out be waaay over the hill.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Monday we will hit day 20 of up to 30 business days for the final Guatemalan court. During this time our paperwork can be kicked out-rejected-delayed-for any small reason. Each delay would result in another month he is in Guatemala. This is also the final stage Bennys birth mother can use to keep him under her custody. Despite this fact, I have been optimistic there will be no delays, and he will be placed in our arms shortly. I think this has weighed on G's heart lately. Mine too.

I can't wait to establish family routines with him. I guess like D&L have with the girls in going to Ted's almost every week for Mexican food. Of course it makes me nervous thinking of the routines Benny will be subjected to with his Mom. "OK Benny, lets get our nails done..." "OK Benny, lets get a facial..." "OK Benny, lets go over the ERISA rules for Owner Defined Benefit Plans...while Mommy is getting her pedicure". I jest. She will be an excellent Mom. I think I would like to climb a mtn with him every year, and get him hooked on Jimmy Buffett tunes.

There are alot of people I would have wanted Benny to meet. People that have been a blessing to G and I. First would be Grandma for many obvious reasons if you ever knew her. I still have a hard time listening to her tell her life story on tape to AA. Then there is Edith from OKC and Edie from Golden, CO. Both ladies had a sweet disposition, and a strong heart for prayer. As a matter of fact Edie hosted a shower for my sister when she was born in CO. That was a big connection when we first moved to Denver. Then there is Aunt Inez. If there was ever a drug that made you laugh, she was a strung-out junkie.

We'll, gotta run for now.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Dateline: August 24, 2005
Peru, Indiana.

According to reports, a custodian for the First Baptist Church (Peru, IN) was busted for Felony Manufacturing of Methamphetamine. He was cooking the stuff right there in the church building. Clearly this guy isn't the brightest bulb in the room, but wouldn't this make him a METHodist instead of a Baptist?

I know-bad joke.

On a more serious note, I think it is important to find something that inspires you. I'm not talking about cheering when someone conquers Everest or K2, but being inspired by the way people handle adversity and pain after great losses. I have had 3 cousins that have had children pass away. They have managed to turn their sorrows into a living message of Faith. They are sad and grieve, way more than others could ever, ever realize. They have used sorrow to bring glory to God. This has affected children in other continents, students, friends, co-workers. The list goes on. This inspires me more than Jerry Maguire. Isn't this the way God intended it? The same with M & P in OKC, and of course my "hero"-Granny. Makes me think Heaven will be a blast when everyone can be reunited. No tears there!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Baseball. Pre-Steroids.

Here is a very grainy pic of when I was a member of the much vaunted Knights Of Columbus. My coach was Mr. Petit. He is now lives in the house between Dad and Granny. I'm not quite sure what year this was, but the NL East standings on the back of this newspaper clipping had STL trailing Philly and Montreal by 1 1/2 games. My how things change. And I still don't like to tuck in my shirt.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

When I was a younger man in my early 20's, I used to make "Best Of" lists. Just the fact that I had time to make and think about these lists might give you an insight to the sheer boredom I experienced while watching the world unfold around me as a drive-through teller at The Bank. I'll get to the lists later. The location was in Oklahoma City at 63rd & MacArthur, but my mind was always somewhere else.

Despite it's "entry level" position, I had a great time. At the time I was the only guy employed at the branch. This was an automatic plus. Being single and not having a steady girlfriend made me an outstanding commodity with the women folk. My favorite customer even tried to hook me up with her granddaughter. I passed. We even had a 75-80 year old "regular" who claimed to be part of Hollywood's glorious good old days. I think I believed him because he actually painted on a litle black moustache. He was probably part of the good ol' days in the closet in Hollywood, though. Ahhhh, the good days at $950/month PLUS Saturday pay (that is a different post entirely).

I was very sad to leave my "girlfriends' behind on my last day at The Bank. There was Donna (the smoker), Kim (the divorcee), The Manager (the drinker), and a few others. I cannot recall their names, though. Those ladies were so nice, they even sent in a "character actress" to commemorate my leaving. Before you get on your moral high-horse, she didn't take all her clothes off. I was however dumb enough to believe her pre-strip story. The "cop" had to ask me a few questions about my car. It seems that it was involved in an altercation the night before. I didn't check her badge, because, well, her badge was somewhat distracting.

Please realize that Yours Truly is not the brightest bulb in the socket. I still didn't catch on. As I remember, two thoughts ran through my mind:
1. Hmmm, I DID loan my car to someone the night before. What the heck did he do?
2. Man, she is a cute cop. I wonder why she's a cop?

Needless to say, good prank. Being a guy has it's priviledges.

As I was saying. I used to sit at the drive-through just daydreaming. Yes, I made real lists on the back of blank deposit slips. These lists usually included best places to camp (typically in CO), Best drives to listen to Eric Clapton (the winner was I-25 from Denver to Co Springs-at dusk), Best places to ski (again, in CO). Do you notice a theme??? OK, I was somewhat obsessed with this particualar state. Best Songs (Springsteen and NON Springsteen categories). Best Campfire Songs.

Today If I were to make a list of "Best Days With Friends", I would have to put one particular night in the top 5. This was in June, 1999. A group of us from Golden CofC went to Grand Mesa, CO (here we go again with the CO thing). Yes there were mosquito's the size of bats, but this was truly a great weekend. We did the usual hiking, paddling around the lake, swatting mosquito's, getting to know each other...but the culmination of the weekend was at "Lands End" where we watched the blazing sun sinking over the eastern plains of Utah. This dramatic scene was breathtaking, and we couldn't help but break into songs of praise. Jenna captured this moment perfectly when she made each family a picture frame with these 2 pictures, and the words to How Great Thou Art inscribed between the pictures. This was good praise. We didn't worry about the others milling around, and we weren't concernd about how we were dressed. I doubt there would have been discussions if someone there chose to clap or raise their hands in praise. No matter what the song. God was simply being praised, and we were doing what we were created for-praising the Creator.

Other "Top 5" days with guy friends (from the top of my head):
1. Camping out in the mountains with Barry, Mark, John, Paul...Big rains that let up in time to cook dinner, play poker via campfire, and light up stogies.
2. Camping at 11,500' with Lars. Unsucessful 14'er attempt due to lightning.
3. July in my office with Bennys Uncle and Mark. Just talking, knowing the girls we love were downstairs, and the world was somehow right
4. Spending quality apres-ski hottub time with Wib (and Jimmer). Listening to WIb complain about his knees.
5. Laughing in the tent with Aaron.
6. Sitting at the moonlit, Mexican beach with Eric and Chris, just talking about life.
7. Learning to open up on life, to Landon, Mark, John, Brice, and Anthony.

I hope you find lots of lists in your life...............

Monday, August 22, 2005

Blue Like Jazz

After a brief absence to the Lake Of The Ozarks, it's back to the real world. I wasn't back an hour when my cell rings for me to come out to a jobsite. It seems there was an irrigation problem, and I had to re-cement down a pathway light.

We had a great time at the Lake. G and I got to know some great kids (college graduates), and good couples-one guy, Mike is an F-15 pilot. Pretty cool job if you ask me. It was also an opportunity to plop my lazy butt on the dock and couch to finish one of the most thought-provoking, and best books I have read. This book is called "Blue Like Jazz", and is written by Donald Miller. He raises up some great thoughts on being a Christian. I think he characterizes this book as Nonreligious Thoughts On Christian Spirituality. Like so many things/events unfolding around me these days, I am challenged to actually think about the why's and what's of my life and relationship with God, friends, and family. These days I feel like I am softening up quite a bit. Not to the extent of comprimising my beliefs, but trying to look at the other side to the story.

Onto other thoughts:
1. No news is still good news (Guatemala).
2. Geri managed to get a few cute outfits for Benny at the outlet mall by the lake.
3. I'm still working on making my other business a reality.
4. I am skipping Bball tonight, in order to work on the upstairs bathroom.
5. I have started another book by Miller: "Searching For God Knows What".
6. My shoulders are still sore from "tubing" behind the boat this weekend.

Friday, August 19, 2005

This has to be the largest building I have ever seen. When we saw it for the first time-it boggled my mind and senses. It's the Duomo, located in Milan. Don't get me wrong, I love big old cathedrals in Europe, but they always make me think of the old saying "Don't fence me in". Huge cathedrals are certainly architectural marvels to behold, but why were they really built? Are they mans testament to himself and what he can accomplish? Mans testament and offering to God?

I would suspect cathedrals such as this were built from forced labor, and financed with money of suspect origin. The finished result (to me) rests in a conventional thought that these buildings were meant to "house" God. It sure makes religion very convenient. Walk in a church building....there's God. Be good, and be quiet-stop unwrapping your candy so loud. He's watching and listening you know! Walk out of the cathedral (or church bldg) are free to resume your life. God will be waiting until next time. After all, we built this building to fence Him in.

Truth be told. I have felt small and in the presence of God when we have visited The Duomo, The Vatican, St Pauls, and all the other "hallmark" cathedrals. There is a wonderful feeling of personal insignificance when you stop and pray with a 200' dome over your head.

Fortunately we can't fence God in, and it doesn't take breathtaking stonework, or brick and mortar to feel that God is near. I'll take God's handiwork of the open sky with a beach or mountain any day. I'm glad He is everywhere-especially in a small house in Guatemala. Ultimately I know it is me that has to work at not fencing God in.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

As I print off mailers for my marketing campaign, I wanted to post a pic of the crib (notice the new ceiling fan!). These days our motto is "No news is good news". Guatemala has up to 30 days to review all our paperwork, in this final stage. If they find some glitch-we will be notified-and the process will be dragged out another month or so. Two weeks into this stage, no news. Yippee.

In our home we have numerous pics of relatives and friends in AR, CO, GA, MO, OK... We have pics of one particular neice who is growing up, and hitting a significant milestone. Today is the day Nichole goes off to college. I am very excited for her. In a way I hope she finishes out at OC. Given her interests, it would serve her well to sign up for the Vienna Studies Program. I would even try to help make this happen provided this is something she would want to do. This very experience certainly impacted G in a positive way. Her Vienna experience was at a time when many Europeans were breathing freedom for the first time-and The Wall was finally being hacked up for souvenirs. We will be celebrating her 15th Vienna Studies Reunion in Edmond in November. This is certainly an experience that stays with you a lifetime.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Just a quick note as I start a small marketing blitz for my lighting business, finish hanging the ceiling fan in Benny's room, and hang a towel rack for Geri. I am ready to head out the door to drive across town to pick up a kid, Avion. He is a sweet, big ol' 12 year old that I met teaching Wed night. His usual "ride", TJ (and his awesome Godly family) just moved to North Carolina. He wants to go to church, but evidently doesn't have a family car. I'll work on getting his mom to come on along. Well....gotta run to U City.

Friday, August 12, 2005

A Few Pic's From CO

Benny's Room

Ramblin' Thoughts

Finished a job at a Catholic school west of town. It looks pretty good if you ask me. One thing I do not lack is confidence in my "finished product".

Here some Ramblin' Thoughts:

1. Yesterday I ate lunch right next to an older guy named Dorrel. He seemed like a nice guy. He was dressed in a Polo shirt, and seersucker pants, and had a pretty older lady as his company. You could compare him to a Q-Tip--sporting white hair on one end, and white sneakers at the other. Our waitress told me that she told the gentleman that he looked like someone famous. He promptly said that she was right on the mark. He even showed her some jewelry on his finger to prove it. By the way, Dorrel usually goes by a nickname. Can you believe it-I sat next to Dorrel "Whitey" Herzog, and my 18 year-old "employee" had no clue to who he was.

2. I bought a new book, Blue Like Jazz. So far it is a good read. The author is bringing up some interesting thoughts about his initial perceptions of God.

3. We finally finished painting the nursery. It looks professionally done-6 multicolored stripes above the chairrail, with dark blue below the chairrail.

4. I detest Mango. Nasty flavor, nasty texture. G sure liked it on the grilled shrimp last night. There's nothing like summertime grillin'.

5. Rafael Palmiero needs to come clean with the public/media. We have seen redemption time and time again (ie: Jason Giambi), but it all starts with something more than a really lame comment.

6. I want to see "The Great Raid". Which leads me to another thought. To my knowledge none of my family has been to the Phillipines to see Uncle Jiggs' grave at the American Cemetary in Manila. This is totally understandable given the huge distance from Here to There. I would like to visit there to pay my respects. He was my Dad's uncle that was KIA in the Philippines. I obtained some interesting records/letters about him thanks to AA & UK.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Part III

Waking up at 5:30 is no easy task. Waking up at 5:30 from a comfortably warm tent is even more of a challenge-but not so much when you "gotta go". My first thought was that it probably was chilly. I was right-but only a bit o' chill to the bones. It was a downright awesome looking day. Pull on my shorts, lace up my boots, sit in Harry's hooptie (seat heaters), and munch down a Power Bar and Starbucks Double Shot Espresso before taking to the trail.

We all loaded up in my beater, and headed 1.8 miles up a 4WD trail. It was there that we spied some great campsites for future use. We also went through one of the most beautiful Aspen groves in memory (pictures are coming). Ahhh...the beautiful sky, the smell of pine, and great views. Heaven on earth.

The trek up Mt Elbert took us along a steadily uphill trail that ended with a great view after 4 miles, and 4,100' vertical. The only miscalculation was that Aaron and I thought we would drink more water. We overloaded our packs with mostly water/Gatorade. I guess better safe than sorry. Mark hustled the last 20 yards to be the first to summit, while Harry and Michelle were about 15 minutes behind our pace. There were 50-60 people and a few dogs to greet us at the summit! So much for mountain solitude, and reflective thinking. I have to admit that it was cool to make a few phone calls to G and Dad. Ain't technology great.

The trip downhill was fairly easy. I can report no soreness, broken bones, broken skin, or anything of the like.

After loading up our gear, we headed to Keystone via Vail. We stopped there for a bit to eat, then headed to our condo for a nice soak in the hottub. After that we decided to try and watch one of the all-time stinker movies--Passenger 57. After an hour of making fun of the movie-lights out. We woke at the crack of 3:15am-took showers, and headed home. It was good to see G, and hear about her weekend excursion as well.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Part II

So on to day two. Daylight finally comes after a fitful night dodging spiders in my dreams, and trying to constantly make 2 smallish blankets cover my body. It really wasn't that bad, but the next night will provide more creature comfort. As the daylight wears on, Aaron and I decide to prepare for our golf game by getting tanked up on caffeine. We go to the local bookstore and grab a bit of breakfast and a cup o' joe. After getting the grub, It's off to Harry's to pick him and Mark up. Harry pulls through with a 2 for 1 special. Since Highlands Ranch Golf Club isn't exactly bargain-basement, this really hits the spot.

Fast forward 4 1/2 hours and we finish up on the 18th. Nothing of note, but golfing there brings back a flood of memories. Between some fairways and holes, there are a few bike/hiking trails that G and I used to ride on. The last time Harry and I played there, a hawk swooped down full speed in front of us, and picked up a baby rabbit. That little rabbit sure got the ride of his life. He was hanging down like a torpedo (head first), screaming like he knew that rabbit was on the menu. Anyway, back to the story...

After golfing we hurried to the grocery store, and to dole out baby gifts to Mark/Tracy, as well as Jimmy. Unfortunately his office was closed, so we'll have to mail them out to him and Jenna. Once the gifts were delivered and babies kissed, it was off to Twin Lakes. Keep in mind I have a 10 year old Tahoe. Once we hit I-70, Harry passed me like I was an Amish donkey cart. Also keep in mind that he drives the quintesential pimped-out Escalade, referred to as The Hooptie. Rapper slang for a decked out car. The only thing that ride needs is some Spinners, and he would be legit. After finally passing him, and leading the way, we make our way to Leadville.

It turns out that they had the streets blocked off, and were celebrating "Boom Days". I'm not sure what that is, but it was a big deal for that town. After navigating the detours, it was off to Twin Lakes to stake our claim, and set up our tents. We drove around and found the perfect camp site for all 4 tents. Once this task of putting up the tents was accomplished, it was time to test the gastronomical highlights that Leadville offered. We found a great Mexican food restaurant/bar, and proceeded to have a feast on chips and salsa. After that, our meals were served-I had Huevos Rancheros with green chile sauce. Just the meal to get you started on a huge hike.

After we meandered our full bellies back to the campsite, we were greeted by some friendlies-Chris, Landon & The Boys. They were there to fish, while we were there to merely conquer the 2nd highest peak in the lower 48. We chatted for an hour or so, and stood there with necks outstretched-marveling at the stars. You are certainly missing out if you've never experienced stargazing at 10k feet. God's creation is marvelous. The starry view was even better when I ventured out of the tent in the middle of the night, to heed nature's call. The funny thing is that when we went to bed, Aaron and I were still full of jokes.

More later.....

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Trip --- Part I

A month or so ago, I decided to travel back to CO and climb a 14er. This trip really had 2 objectives. With the latter being mentioned, the primary reason was to see friends left behind 20 months ago.

OK, so here we go. I picked up Aaron at 5am on the dot. He kissed his sweet wife goodbye, and off we went. I met Aaron at church, and somehow we have hit it off. He is a great guy, and we share the same sense of humor. It just so happens that he grew up in SW MO-just like yours truly. Here we are motoring along I-70 trying to "feel one another out", since we haven't had the chance to spend much 1on1 time (with the exception of golfing 9 holes).

We both brought IPods, so we started out sharing music we like. This is where we differ (ie: Tomatoe, Tomato). He (like Benny's Uncle) likes Bluegrass. He also likes fringe southwestern flavored music, and Gospel. After listening to his selections, I still haven't embraced Bluegrass or Gospel. There's some definite talent there, but I prefer not to hear someone belt out nasaly, falsetto, yodels. In the background, it always sounds like some coot on speed is hammering away on a banjo-like he is experiencing hillbilly nirvana. Regarding Gospel. I can appreciate it, but just find it ....we'll...boring. I'll take Contemporary Christian any day. One bright spot was a band called "The Shins". They have a great song called "New Slang". Liked it so much, that I went out and bought the CD today. This is definitely 2 thumbs up.

So here we are, driving in the dark across I-70 listening to tunes and just talking. Around KC the A/C pulls a Ricky Williams. It just quits. Taking it in stride, we crack the windows and keep chatting. We talk about life, family, likes, dislikes, crack jokes, and share thoughts on Hot Button Issues such as Stem Cell Research (adult and embryonic), and The Death Penalty. I think there are great possibilities with researching adult stem cells, and am starting to sway on my traditional death penalty stance. I realize there always needs to be consequences for actions, but it's getting harder to endorse the death penalty. It's fine that it is "on the books", but my preference would be to not push it. Despite the fact that Jesus was a victim of Capital Punishment, It just seems contrary to the overall message Christ was living out. If you believe in capital punishment, that is fine. Stick to your beliefs.

So back to the drive. We end up getting to DEN after 12 1/2 hours. It was great to be back. The first thing before heading to L&L's house was to drive by our old house. No changes. 20 kids playing in the street. We even had one girl riding her bike giving us the evil eye, because The Tahoe dared to tread on her street while she pedaled away with her friends.

Once getting to L&L's, we set out to Colorado Hacienda. I had a hankering for Chile Rellenos. With that checked off my To Do list, we went back to hang out. We played foosball, Tiger Woods Golf, and JL came over to say howdy. He is a great guy that I really miss. Aaron and I planned on sleeping downstairs. I gave him the bedroom, and I planned on sleeping on the couch. That was until I saw a little brown spider (non-poisonous). They scare me, so I ended up sleeping on the floor with 2 little blankets-as far away from the couch as possible. I'm such a wimp with spiders. I even tried to breathe shallow as to not create much heat-thinking that spiders are attracted to warmth. How crazy is that.?...I'm trying to figure out which is worse. Brown Spiders or Bluegrass.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Hot Hot Hot

Just back from CO, and G is getting back from CHI. Stories coming soon. One note: Driving through Kansas isn't fun when the A/C is not working. Hours spent sitting in a hot seat, with a hot sweaty shirt on, having a hot breeze coming out of the hot vents, drinking hot bottled that is livin' large!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Today we finally made it to the PGN stage of the adoption process. The Guatemalan gov't has 30 days in which to kick out our application. For whatever crazy reason, it is expected to be "kicked back" at least once. Each rejection pushes back the entire ordeal 20-30 days. It's hard to believe we are stepping closer and closer to getting Benny. Just to think of the things we need to do between now and then almost seems overwhelming. We'll just keep plugging along. The bedroom isn't finished, and the bathroom is in a shambles. I guess things could be worse.

On to other things. We played b-ball last night, and it's a good thing I brought my key. Everybody was waiting in the parking lot, since the "usuals" weren't there to open up.

As the 2nd oldest player, I was again left to guard the oldest-Harvey. Harvey is 62 years old, and a workhorse. He frustrates me on the court because of his defense. That guy can block out the basket with some power (like George). Harvey was getting the best of me, so I went back to my all-time favorite tactic. That would be to run around like crazy to wear him down. I think it worked, and I was even able to get a few clean-up shots in the process. That goes to show you that hustle can take the place of skill.

The running around tactic does have it's price when going "in the paint" with some speed. While it is true that I came with the key, I left with a shiner on my left eye, and a sore neck from getting "an adjustment" from a big ballplaying Hoss from Texas. Incidentally he went to high school with Mark Clayton (former OU standout), but nonetheless detested my OU shirt. I guess he thought that it was a big red bullseye.