Saturday, September 30, 2006

Living at the rodeo....


Since we missed going to the Four States Fair and Rodeo last week due to rain and doing other things instead, I promised the kids we would go to the Southwest Arkansas Region Livestock Show and Rodeo (and Fair).

The fair was great! Lots of rides for kids and for 'older' kids. Shan and Emily rode the carousel. Then, Tyler and Emily rode in the spinning strawberries (what us 'older' kids would call a modified version of tilt-a-whirl). Then, Tyler and I rode the Tornado. The Tornado is like the Octopus, if you remember that ride, but not quite the same... The biggest difference is that you can control the spinning... It is like the Octopus and Tilt-a-Whirl had a vomit-inducing child... :-) It was great! Though, I did find that I had to concentrate on watching Tyler if I was to keep from losing my head (or lunch perhaps!). We had a blast!

After that, we ate some fair food and walked around the fair checking out the exhibits until it was time to head to the rodeo...

The PRCA has an AWESOME Dodge Ram truck... (I'll post a picture later)

The kids had fun - Emily especially! Of course, being four, she had lots of questions, and her own interpretations of the answers....

Question: "Are the Texas ones the Tex-Bulls or Tex-Cowboys, or what?"
Answer: "These cowboys are from all over - Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas..."
Response: "Arkansas?? Hey! We live in Arkansas!"

Question: "Is he from Arkansas?" (Asked while pointing at one of the riders)
Answer: "Yes, he is! And, he is from Hope! We are *IN* Hope! He lives here!"
Response: Emily's eyes grow to the size of silver dollars and her mouth drops open. As she looks around, she asks, "He lives HERE?? In the RODEO!?!?!"

It took some explaining before she understood that the poor man did NOT live in the arena.... Of course, I'm not sure that she entirely convinced... :-)

Friday, September 29, 2006

Exchange rates at the supermarket...

While shopping for groceries, we were walking down the cereal aisle (one of my favorite aisles!!), and someone had decided that they no longer wanted their healthy food. On the shelf with the Reese's Cereal was a discarded package of Centrum Silver... So, I got to looking.... A few aisles over, someone had decided that instead of a bag of prunes, they wanted Wheat Thins (a VERY good swap in my book!). And in another aisle, someone had decided they didn't want their black beans anymore, and swapped it out for chips (I believe).

So, I wondered how this worked... You take your list... Ahh, yes, I need some tomato sauce... After grabbing a couple cans, you spot something else... Say, oregano... You put one can of tomato sauce on the shelf, since you don't REALLY need two cans, and swap it out for the large plastic bottle of oregano... A few aisles later, you see it... The oft-coveted box of Hostess Ho-Ho's! Oh yeah, who needs oregano? I can get Ho-Ho's! So, there goes the other can of tomato sauce... Now, you still want sauce for the pasta you're having later, so you rationalize buying Ragu. Well, you still need something healthy.... Let's grab a bag of prunes... Okay, no... Bags of prunes are there for the sole purpose of grocery swapping... Trust me. You put prunes in your buggy and they are the free-for-all swap item of the month! Chips? Candy? Slim Fast? Heck, I'd trade a bag of prunes for Preparation-H for crying out loud!

Which, no self-respecting person is going to check out with Prep-H in their buggy... No way... That's what spouse's are for! Or better yet - KIDS! "Here Johnny, go pay for this for your Mother... Yeah, I know she sent me to buy it, but cant you see my buggy's full of Ho-Ho's, Ragu, and a new socket set??"

Thursday, September 28, 2006

CDLRTX Training...

I haven't posted on here in a few days because I have been in training in Little Rock with the Center for Distance Learning Research in Texas. The group that hasbeen going through an online class all met in Little Rock for the face-to-face component of the training.

It has been interesting, and certainly entertaining! I'll post more after things end here later today.

In the meantime, have fun!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Truly, one of the most unbelievable stories....

Shan came in and told me about this story:
http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/09/24/killed.fetus.ap/index.html

This is probably one of the most bizarre stories I have ever heard in my life. To summarize, a woman called police, saying that she had just given birth, but that the baby was dead. At the baby's funeral, the woman told her boyfriend that baby was not his, and instead was the baby of a woman she had killed. He called police. The murdered woman had been found with her body cut up (evidently with scissors) to extract the baby. The dead woman also had three children. When questioned, the accused woman told investigators to check the washer and dryer for the missing children. Apparently, she had drowned the children then put them in the washer and dryer....

I am still trying to figure this one... I know, you cannot rationalize the irrational.... But this is just... unbelievable....

Just My Luck... and the Steelers.. :-)

Well, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to Cincy... Lots of problems there for sure. Some were Ben's fault, other problems were just stupid mistakes... "Miscues" the pros call it... Ironically, even though they lost, my All-Steeler fantasy team did pretty well this week.. :-)

Last week, I got a call from the movie store in Hope because I hadnt been there to rent a movie in a while. they offered me a free movie. Turns out that we were also there on free movie night, so we got 3 movies for the price of one! Very cool!



We rented Wedding Crashers, Just My Luck, and Bringing Down the House. Wedding Crashers was funny. It was, "Hey, I don't have to think" funny... :-) Silly, stupid, but a good time anyway. :-) Just my luck was cute in that "Nickelodeon" kind of way, though the language was not pre-teen. Yes, I know it is a PG-13 movie, but still...

So, after the movie, we decide to have pizza. I turn the oven on to pre-heat it, get the pizzas out of the box and put them on the cookie sheet. After setting the timer, I came to sit down. After watching some of the Giants/Seahawks game, the timer went off... So, I went in to see if the pizzas were done cooking or if they needed more time. I turned off the timer, opened the over door, and was suddenly reminded that I had NEVER PUT THE PIZZAS IN THE OVEN! Yes, exactly. Nice hot oven, nice cold pizzas on the counter... DUH! I have NEVER forgotten to put pizzas in the oven! The first thing I do after watching "Just My Luck?" Forget to put pizzas in the oven! I'm not saying there's a connection there.... I'm just telling my story... :-) Maybe I shouldn't drive....

Saturday, September 23, 2006

When selling your vehicle....

While driving home from Texarkana today (Saturday), we passed an older (to be polite) van that was either using the Interstate as an advertising platform, or had broken down about 25 years ago and finally came to rest along the side of I-30...

You see, as we passed, Shan noticed that there was a FOR SALE sign in the window... Yes, a FOR SALE sign... How does that work? You call the owner, and say, what? "Hey, there, buddy, I saw that there van you left on the side of the road, and I noticed you were sellin that puppy! Boy, what I wouldn't give for a classic piece of transportation like that one!"

Are you kidding me with this?? Of course, I'm sure the FOR SALE sign was on that thing long before they left it on the side of the road... But, it seems to me that if I was trying to sell a vehicle and it broke down on the side of the road, I might want to take the signs down for a while! Then again.. One man's trash and all that...

-----

On a much more serious note.... As you may know, I used to work for the educational cooperative in Camden. During that time, the Director was Mrs. Pat Ward. Yesterday, her husband, Bob, passed away after battling several things that seemed to keep coming at him... The Bob I knew was a wonderfully intelligent, gentle man, who could tell you stories that would leave your jaw hanging - whether those stories were funny, amazing, or poignant. I know there is a grandson who will miss him dearly, and I hope Rob always remembers the times he spent with his Grandfather. My heart and my prayers are with "Miss Pat" and her family. Bob was a great, wonderful man. Those of us who knew him were blessed to have been fortunate enough to have known him.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Indians and HemiTruckClub....

Well, the Indians (Cleveland, that is) lost their final game in the series with the A's... Okay, let's be honest... The Indians have lost a LOT of games... You don't get to be 20 games out of first place by winning, right? Well, see, here's the funny thing... I still love the Tribe. Always have, always will! :-) Which brings me to my next point....

If you've read my other posts here, you know I was born and raised in Pittsburgh. Yeap. I happen to love the Pirates, too, though not with as much zeal. Sorry, guys, just the way it is...

Now, the STEELERS!? Oh, yeah! I love that black-n-gold!! :-) And I am really hoping they smoke Cincy this week! :-)

I ordered a logo from hemitruckclub.com and it came in the other day. It does not look like the cool oval logo on their web page. So, I cut it up the way I wanted it, and I put the hemitruckclub.com line on my rear glass just below my cargo light. I think it looks pretty cool.. :-)

Watched the premiere of Grey's Anatomy tonight. Great show! We watched Boston Legal the other night. Now, THAT'S FUNNY! :-) Though, I'm not sure I heard Shatner once say, "Denny Crane!" Hmm... I'll have to watch it again (DVR'd it!)...

I am getting caught up in my online class.... The face-to-face part is next week. I'll blog about it each night (or try) to keep you posted on what's happening... Then again, you never know what will pop in my head! :-)

Circus Peanuts.... Have I blogged this already? I despise those little orange puffs of air-filled something-or-others... UGH! Candy Corn? No way! Who came up with that? Nasty stuff.... Peeps?? Okay, now Peeps are awesome! i love Peeps, but I eat them a little differently than most folks... I have to open the package and let them air out for a day before I can eat them... Otherwise, they are too.... well, soft.... UGH... After a day, the air and the sugar mix just enough to give some resistance! :-)

As I am typing this, the TV station went to an infomercial about ATV's... Whatever... :-) So, I switched it to ESPN, of course...

Well, seeing that it is now 1:00 in the morning, I suppose I should get my happy butt to bed. I do have to work in the morning....

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Overhaulin' + Corvette = AWESOME!

Overhauled Vette
HO-LY COW! While surfing through the channels tonight, I decided to see what was happening on Overhaulin... And what I saw blew me out of the water! Some of you know (and some are about to learn) that I am a HUGE Corvette fanatic. I watched with my jaw hanging open for most of the show... This is one tricked out car!
Now, not many people know this, but I have always wanted my vehicle to be Overhauled, Pimp'd, whatever! When I had my 2003 Impala, I wanted it tricked out. Now that I have my Ram 1500 HEMI, I would love to have it tricked out. The biggest trick I want? Call me crazy, but I want a flat screen monitor embedded in the tailgate, protected with that shatter-proof plexiglass stuff. What would be displayed on this monitor? Cool, pulsating graphics that move with the music in addition to displaying the lyrics of whatever song I happen to be slammin out my speakers! :-) Of course, with the DVD player that would be installed in the truck, I could also show movies IN the tailgate! Talk about a tailgate party! :-) Yeah, I have other ideas, but I'll keep those for myself... Just in case... :-)
Where's that sixty mill when I need it?? Dang.

Fred Fredburger!

I was right... Shan was able to remind me what I was going to blog.... It is Cartoon Network's Fred Fredburger! Have you seen this little guy??

Image of Fred Fredburger

He basically goes around singing his own name over and over and over and over... well, you get the idea... :-)

I am a cartoon junkie. I love cartoons! Okay, I like "CSI" and "Deal or No Deal" and live action stuff, but I love cartoons. Emily has discovered Tom & Jerry as of late, and she HOWLS at the screen no matter how many times she watches the shows! There is nothing like watching your children laugh and laugh... Tyler and Emily will roll on the floor together while they watch cartoons!

Of course, I'm partial to Spongebob myself... :-) Silly, stupid, mindless... Sometimes, it's just what the doctor ordered.... :-)

Where'd I go?

It has been a few days since my last post on here. That does not mean that I have had nothing pop in my head for this long... :-) The funny thing about this head of mine is that I tend to FORGET what it is I was going to blog...

So, for now, I'll start with the Steelers... In case you hadn't heard by now, they lost their second game of the season 0-9 against Jacksonville. Now, the biggest news was the return of "Big Ben" just 14 or so days after his appendectemy. I've had an appendectemy. If I recall, after 14 days, I was at the "Holy crap, I think they left a scalpel in there!" stage. It is my understanding they do things differently these days. "In my day," (now I sound REALLY old) they made a 2-3 inch cut across the right side of your belly and worked their magic, which led to about 6 weeks of recovery for the "average" person. Okay, granted, Ben would not be considered 'average' since he is in top physical form as a professional quaterback. But, still... FOURTEEN days!?

Now, I am not into making excuses. Jacksonville kicked our ever-loving rear ends. Yeah, it was only 9-0... The Steeler defense was AWESOME up until the very last part of the game. In fact, both teams did an incredible job of defense. The reason the score was 9-0 was because the Jags were held to 3 field goals. That says a lot for both teams.... Let's just hope Pittsburgh learns from this... :-)

Since I still can't remember what I was going to write about, let's just see what pops in my head....

I am WAY behind in my online class... Hopefully I'll get caught up pretty quickly. This time, the class is for a different certification (yu may recall, I recently earned my PBS online facilitator certification)... Maybe it's burn-out, maybe it's laziness, maybe a bit of both, who knows.. :-)

The Cleveland Indians are taking reservations for Fantasy Camp. For $4500, a person can go to Florida and live out their dreams, becoming an Indian for a week. Play with pros, learn from Hall of Famers, get very cool stuff.... Uh, did I mention it costs $4500!? Let's see, for about $2500, I can go to Cowboy College (that's Cowboy-U for those that watch CMT), and still have change left over... :-) I see why they call it "Fantasy Camp!" If I win the lottery, I'll have Fantasy Camp on my list of things to do!

So, yeah, one guy won the mega lottery... He won 160+ million bucks, and after taxes, fees, etc, he "only" got 61 million... Okay, yeah, he won 160+ and got 60+... A lot of people will moan and groan about this... Me!? I'm thinking, "Hey, I just won 60+ million friggin dollars here!" So, what would I do with 60+ million bucks? The first thing I would do is take 10% and give it to various churches, charities, etc... After that, pay off my debt. I would share the windfall with family, of course, but what we're talking about here is what I would do with it... One thing I would is set up a scholarship foundation. Not sure what the qualifications would be, but it would be for college to help students go to college... Then, I'd invest a chunk of it. Okay, now that my responsible side has been taken care of, we're talking STUFF... :-) I would buy my Corvette. Not a brand new one. No way. The value of those things drops through the floor at first, so I'd get a Vette that was a little older... Escpecially since it would be my first... :-) Of course, there's the Indians Fantasy Camp and Cowboy College. Yes, I would do both. You only live once - might as well learn how to ride a bull, right? :-) Would I quit my job? SIXTY MILLION DOLLARS... Uh, yeah. Right after I called my lawyer (right after I GET a lawyer), I'd put in my two weeks notice. No, I wouldn't just walk out the door.... That's not fair.... Then, I'd concentrate on my Indians baseball card collection...

Yes, I collect Indians baseball cards. I have over 5000 unduplicated singles. I have been an Indians fan since I was about 5 years old. I am not a nut-case fanatic.... I just have always loved the Tribe... Now, I am Pittsburgh born and raised. The Pirates and Steelers are in my blood, always will be and that is like a given... :-) I am a true-blackngold Steel City native!! :-)

I know I had something I was going to write, and it has escaped me. My wife will remind me, and then I will forget it by the time I can blog again.. :-) That's me - there's a lot of space between my ears..... a lot of space.... :-)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The New Challenger and Fudgecicles...

Dodge has a new Challenger... It is a modern-day version of the '71... Just look at this bad boy:



This thing (due out in '08) will feature a 6.1L HEMI! Ohhhh yeaaaaahhhh!! If I wasn't so hooked on my truck, I could seriously consider trading it in on one of these! Speaking of HEMIs, I am a member of the HEMI Truck Club.. :-) (www.hemitruckclub.com) My window sticker should be here soon.. :-)

So, what's up with fudgecicles? Have you ever opened a popcicle or a fudgecicle and had the paper stick to the treat and you spend forever trying to peel it off? Well, I thought I'd share a solution I learned a LONG time ago... :-)

Tear off one end of the wrapper (preferably the stick end!). Now, give mouth-to-mouth to the wrapper. Seriously. Place the opened end of the wrapper fully in your mouth, making sure you can blow into it. Gently breathe into the bag. As you blow, you will see the wrapper inflate away from the treat! Now, sometimes, the wrapper is stubborn... No problem, you can either blow harder, or breathe...well...hotter... When the wrapper is fully away from the fudgecicle, quickly pull it out of the wrapper! Voila! :-) Sometimes, you have to repeat the procedure if the wrapper gets 'restuck' to the treat.... :-)

Don't say I never taught you anything.... :-)

On another note, evidently one can use super glue to repair one's fingernail if it gets torn away from your finger.... Okay, not completely torn off, but more like if you catch it on something and tear the nail away without pulling it off.... Personally, I'd just bite it off and go from there... But, Shan decided that she was tired of wearing a band aid, I guess... :-) She did make sure the glue was dry before showing me that she could run her fingers through her hair without getting the hanging nail caught... :-) So, if you weren't aware of this little trick, I've taught you something else... :-) Okay, okay, SHAN taught it THROUGH me... :-P

I've been watching Mythbusters specials where they test various movie-related myths... Hugely entertaining! I especially loved the Dukes of Hazzard car jump... :-) Can you say busted? As in the whole front end of the car!? :-) The jump is great - it's the landing that'll kill ya! :-)

I suppose that's all that has popped in my head this evening, so I'll let you off the hook easy... Be careful out there...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Nine-Eleven

I admit it... I had planned on either not posting today, or at the very least not mentioning the fact that today is 09/11....

But, the truth is, there are events that occur in our lifetimes that affect us so deeply and profoundly, we can never really keep them out of our thoughts. For me, there are certain events that I can recall as if they occurred just a few moments ago, even though they happened many years apart. Some are good and some are not.

One of the earliest memories I have of actually paying attention to the bigger world around me is that of President Ronald Reagan being shot. We had a radio with a tape recorder built in and I popped in tape after tape, recording everything that came across the airwaves.

Next would be the Space Shuttle Columbia.... It was the first time a "regular" person was allowed to go into space that I knew of, and a teacher at that. I was in 10th grade at Westminster High school in Colorado. A student ran through the school yelling that the shuttle had exploded. I was standing outside of the media center, and I couldn't believe it until I saw it being played on the televisions....

The attack on the federal building in Oklahoma City is next. That is when I started listening to NPR. I was glued to every radio or television set I would come across. Timothy McVeigh was everywhere in his orange jumpsuit.

There may be other events between those and September 11, 2001, but right now, nine-eleven is what comes to my mind next. September 11th is a day I will never forget. I worked for the educational co-op in Camden, Arkansas, at the time. It was like watching a movie, but you knew it wasn't one. And when the buildings fell, I cried. I pulled myself away from the televisions, went into the men's room, and cried. Once I was through, I was ready for a fight. This was OUR country, the friggin U.S. of A. If there was more to come, I was preparing myself mentally to protect my family, my friends, my way of life. No, I am not a militia-type. That is not what I mean. I just mean, from that point on, I found the true, blue, deep American in myself. I am damn proud to be an American. I never take for granted the life we have. There are men, women, and children who die every day because they are Americans, or are IN America.

Do I support war, or sending money all over the globe "in the name of" America? No. Do I believe we should hunt down the people behind what happened on this date five years ago? You bet your rear-end, I do.

It's been five years. Does it seem long ago, or just like yesterday? Do you watch the programs that have been produced since that day? Do you purposely turn them off or avoid them? Do you wish everyone would just let that day fade into history? Do you wish we talked about it even more than we do? Do you (still) tear up when you watch the towers collapse? I'm just throwing out things to think about.... You see, in America, you have the right to think about what you want to. You also have the right to express your beliefs, even if they are unpopular or contoversial or as mundane as peanut butter and jelly on bread...

Some people gave their lives five years ago, even though they had no intention of doing so when they woke up that morning. Some people gave their lives five years ago because they banded together in order to prevent a plane from reaching our nation's Capital. Some people helped others, giving up thier own lives so that other people wouldn't die. Some people made a left turn instead of a right, took a different plane, stopped to get coffee, took their children to kindergarten and ended up not losing their lives that day. When is it "our time?" Why are some people "spared?"

When you hear "nine-eleven," how does it make you feel? What do you think about? Where does your mind go? Is it a coicidence that in America, 9-1-1 is the number we dial for emergencies and this happened on 9/11? Is it a coincidence that the towers fell essentially straight down, rather than toppling in one (or two) directions? Is it a coincidence that the people on Flight 93 happened to be the very people who would come together to sacrifice themselves in order to prevent some other tragedy?

I had planned to talk about the new Dodge Challenger......

It is Sepetember 11. It has been five years. It feels like yesterday.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Taking a leak....

Why do we say things we don't REALLY mean?? "Hey, I'm going to take a shower." Really? Where are you taking it? Are they hard to carry? Do you have permission to take it?

"I need to take a leak..." Um... No offense, but really, I'd prefer if you LEFT it right where you put in... If you did actually take one, what would you put it in, and just where would you take it? And, more importantly - WHY would you take it with you in the first place??

"I'm going to the bathroom." Makes sense in the house, no so much in the restaurant... Last time I checked, you could not actually bathe in a restaurant... And, yes, I almost said, "you cannot TAKE a bath...."

I think it's funny that we still say things like "Don't touch that dial!" When was the last time you saw a DIAL on the television set? How about the telephone? And a radio? Okay, some radios still have a "dial" but really, you aren't using it to move the little orange station indicator anymore.... It's all digital... My truck even has a dial-knob for the volume control... Remember when you could turn that knob when the vehicle was OFF and it actually affected the volume? Oh, what fun to get into Grandma's car and turn the volume all the way up before anyone got in.. And then, when the car was started, **BAM!!** Everyone would scream and holler and cover thier ears as they dive for the volume control knob!! Ahh... The good ol days... :-)

Do people still say "roll up" the windows? How about "wind up" the windows? I know, not all vehicles have power windows, I was just curious as to which phrase people are using....

Like snow... When snow falls and it accumulates, do you say it's "laying" or "sticking?"

Does anyone in your family (still) refer to the microwave as the "zippy-zapper?"

Yes, these are things that pop into my head on a Sunday afternoon watching football... Well, okay, some of these things came to me after watching a re-broadcast of George Carlin's "On Campus" and Richard Pryor's "Live from the Sunset Strip..." Classic comedy... Of course, Richard Pryor's was on a channel where they silenced the audio everytime he said a "really bad" word... It was like listening to him on a cell phone with a bad connection... :-) "If I don't get the --- I can --- this couch!" Yeah, just not the same.....

Friday, September 08, 2006

Four-Wheelin and It's FRIDAY!

Yesterday (Thursday), Tyler and Shan's Dad took off on the 4-wheeler together. Lately, Tyler has been riding the ATV, but sticking mainly to first gear. When he came back from his 'venture, he was so excited because he had been taught how to ride and shift gears. :-) I have a feeling we'll never see the boy again, except maybe at mealtime... :-) Or when Pokemon is on, though he uses the DVR for that now, so really that's not going to get him back into the house.. :-)

It is FRIDAY! Okay, okay, so this was a short work week... But, still, IT IS FRIDAY!

And, I checked my fantasy team, and except for the people on there that have zeroes, I am in LAST PLACE! Woohoo!! Seriously, I have never been good at the whole fantasy sports thing. I do it because... Well, honestly I have no idea... :-) Just to do it, I guess. One year, maybe 2 or 3 years ago now, I did every fantasy sport known to man (well, known to THIS man): baseball, hockey, basketball, english futbol (soccer), football, racing, golf.... Yes, fantasy GOLF people! What the blankety-blank is up with that one? Ironically, I actually faired pretty well in golf... Go figure.... Figure... There ya go - fantasy figure skating for the women (or guys, i guess) who don't care for other sports.... How about something like fantasy prime time, where you trade characters from TV shows... Earn your fantasy points based on things like dramatic effect, comedy, one-liners, how many times they roll their eyes or pick up some prop.... You laugh now, but I'm telling you, fantasy games based on TV is coming... Heck, they already have Fantasy Idol... FANTASY AMERICAN IDOL??

We are in the "Information Age." And, with the 5th anniversary of 9/11 coming up, we should be reminded that no matter how much "information" you have, it is useless if we don't look around at what's happening all around us.... No, I am not suggesting we all start taking up arms. Good Heavens, that's like the polar opposite. I just wonder how long this "age" will last before the next one comes along... And, what will be the next one? Once a nation has industrialized, informationalized, then what comes next? Hmm... I'll have to let that one roll around in my head for a bit....

In the meantime, I better go check my eTopps portfolio... :-)

See? Ya just never know.... Thanks for tuning in. Y'all come back now, ya hear?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Black-N-Gold are Back-N-Bold!



Pittsburgh wins 28-17!! That is awesome! Yeah, okay, Miller was out of bounds at about the two yard line.... Even so, there is a HUGE chance we still would have scored the TD... The best part, of course, is that Hines Ward is on my fantasy football team.. :-) Big Ben is too, but I benched him this week for obvious reasons (he's out).

Emily and I took Daisy out for a ride before the big game today. Daisy was not happy since she hadnt been ridden in a while... My fault, mostly. The best part was when we put her up and she stood by her feed bucket, stomping her feet and snorting at us. :-) She knew it was supper time! Speaking of suppertime, that girl (Daisy) has really filled out since we've been feeding her and she has lots of grass to munch on! :-)

I'll post more later - right now, I'm hitting the bed!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Can you say Kouzmanoff??

Photo of Kouzmanoff from MinorleagueBaseball.com

Okay, DUH! How'd I forget to blog this??

Kevin Kouzmanoff gets called up from the minors for the Indians.... "Kevin? Uh, yeah, how'd you like to come play in the bigs for us? Yeah? Okay, we'll see you in a few hours..."

Oh, by the way, if you get called up to the majors, and you REALLY want to impress the whole flippin world, just hit a GRAND SLAM on the very FIRST PITCH you ever see in the Big Show!

Yes, no one has ever hit a grand slam at their very first pitch in the majors! Even if Kouzmanoff fades into the background after this, he will always be the first (and most likely the ONLY) player to EVER hit a grand slam on the very first pitch of a major league career!

From MLB.COM:

ARLINGTON -- Before the game on Saturday, Kevin Kouzmanoff was a discombobulated mess. His plane to Dallas was delayed, he nearly missed his first pregame stretch with the big-league club and he had to ask a random reporter how to get to the dugout from the visitor's clubhouse at Ameriquest Field.

But when Kouzmanoff stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the first inning of the Indians' eventual 6-5 victory over the Rangers, he certainly looked to be in his comfort zone.

Kouzmanoff swatted at Edinson Volquez's first-pitch fastball, sent it hurtling 417 feet over the center-field wall and found his place in baseball history. He became the third man to hit a grand slam in his first Major League at-bat, and, it's believed, the first to do so on the first pitch.

"It's pretty cool," Kouzmanoff said. "It's pretty hard to top that."



Dumb luck? Incredible skill? Either way - AWESOME!

The Governor, Chips, and Sweet Tea

I had the (good) fortune to be invited to the gala press conference hosted by the Governor, Mike Huckabee, that launched the online professional development portal. This is the online site for which I recently became a certified facilitator. I have to say, it was entertaining - we were told that the Commissioner of ADE (Dr. James) could not be present because he had a root canal the day before. It turns out his pain medicine contains a wee bit of codeine. Evidently, Dr. James took some medicine early this morning and was feeling "the effects" of the codeine... I believe the exact words for his escorted trip home were, "He was pretty loopy." As I mentione, he was ESCORTED home... That was made perfectly clear to those of us in attendance... :-)

Frankly, I think the presenters spent too much time talking about their various contributions to the project, and not enough time explaining exactly what the program is, how it will help teachers in the state, and how it works. But, that's just me... :-)

For the record, the web site is: http://ideas.aetn.org/

So, I've become addicted to some kind of kettle-cooked sea salt and pepper potato chips. This, of course, got me to thinking about my all-time favorite chips: Grandma Utz.... These are the first kettle-cooked chips I ever had, and I became hooked instantly! That, of course, led me to remember eating chipped ham sandwiches back in Pittsburgh (For those of you in the 'burgh reading this, that last sentence reads: eating chip-cham sammitches back in the 'burgh). I have no idea what KIND of ham is used for chipped ham, but there is nothing in the world that compares to chipped ham from Isly's (May be spelling that wrong).... I remember that like it was yesterday... :-) And, that of course, brings back memories of walking to the Mount Vernon Dairy, getting an ice cream dish, and having Jimmies put on it! For those of you that may not know, Jimmies are sprinkles... Specifically, I believe they are chocolate sprinkles (though I call all sprinkles Jimmies)... Yeah, I could google it, but I'll leave that for you to do.. Call it homework... :-)

Now, since I've started the whole food thing, let me say that the Sonic in Hope, Arkansas, does NOT sell sweet tea... Okay, so, what are there like 3 Sonics that actually SELL sweet tea?? Well, all I know is that ONE of those is in Prescott, so I'm covered... :-)

And, for those of you that don't know, I eat peanuts with the shell ON... Okay, I said it. There it is... Yes, it's weird. Think about it, picture it in your head, try it if you dare, and then get over it... :-) I also happen to eat Starburst in the wrapper on occasion... Call it a treat....

Aside from that, I am a NON-MIXER! I do not want my food to touch if at all humanly possible. In fact, if the restaurant world would just serve everything in compartmental trays, I'd be good to go! I also do not eat things that do not follow the natural order of things... For example - potato salad. You COOK potatoes. You eat them HOT. Yes, I know, some people eat HOT potato salad, but that is just trying to get back in the good graces of the food gods, and they know you're just trying to trick them! Another example? Pasta salad. Cold Pizza. French Fries that taste like potatoes. How about the snow pea medley thing? COLD PEAS??? Good heavens, what are you people smoking?? I am also a very (okay, okay, VERY V-E-R-Y) "textural" eater... I cannot and will not eat tapioca pudding based on the TEXTURE alone! UGH... I've tried squash... Tastes great - can't stand the texture... blah! :-)

Okay, I think that's all I have for tonight.... If not, I'll post again... :-) Tune in next time when we see what amazingly bizarre things come from within the deep recesses of my mind.... What will be the next thing to pop into my head???

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Steve Irwin... Rest In Peace....

I will be the first to tell you that I was not a HUGE "crocodile hunter" fan. It was entertaining, sometimes shocking, sometimes disturbing. But, no matter what, Steve Irwin put his family above everything else. He died doing what he loved in life - chasing the next wild beast...

I know there are millions of fans out there who will miss him dearly, and his family will never be the same.

While surfing around the net, I found this tribute video. There are a lot of them out there, but the music and pictures show Steve Irwin as he was. The photos of him with his family are truly precious. May he always rest in peace.

Tribute Video to Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin

Monday, September 04, 2006

Seedless Watermelon and Soccer

Well, Happy Labor Day to everyone out there in Web-Land! :-)

Got up this morning, surfed channels for a bit and then Emily woke up, so we went out to feed Daisy. While we were at it, we decided to check her water... It was looking a bit on the green side, so Emily helped me empty the water barrel and refill it. Ever give a 4-year old a hose?? Think about that next time it crosses your mind... :-)

We did the cookout thing... I'm pretty sure my knuckles were not quite as.. umm.. pink ... as they are now... ;-) Call it impatience, call it stupidity... In either case, call it SINGED fingers!

After lunch, I had planned to ride Daisy, but Emily had ideas of her own, which led to a round of soccer. Now, I don't know about most 4-year olds, but in my little girl's world, soccer means a lot of different things... First, we start off with simple kicking the ball back and forth... This inevitably leads to my "throwing" the ball in the air to her. Now, before you get ahead of me, you'll notice I put throwing in quotes... You see, in my daughter's eyes, for me to throw the ball means that I get the ball on my foot and kick it sky-high in the air. Then she tries to either head the ball or catch it... Eventually, we began placing two soccer balls at one end of the yard, walking to the other end, then having a race to see who could get their ball first then run back to the starting point. If you haven't seen me in a while (or if you've never met me and couldn't tell by the few photos on here), you notice I am not in the greatest shape... Not even in good shape... Can you say running heart attack?

Of course, this little game gives way to her jumping on the trampoline and having me "throw" the ball onto the trampoline - up and over the safety netting... Of course, the netting is old enough now that it has nice, big holes in it where soccer balls can easily pass through (as well as children, if you're not careful!).

At some point, this game gives way to her convincing me to push her around in her little pink car (it has a push-handle on it, like a stroller almost). As we are running up and down the hills, Shan comes out and gets sucked into the game... Now, we are taking turns pushing emily in her car (BTW, if you push her downhill, you can let go and she travels in a mostly-straight line...) and then going after her... :-)

I think we did that for an hour... or maybe two... I lost track after the knees went out, the hip did a weird 'pop' thing, and the sense of vertigo set in....

That's where the seedless watermelon comes in... We bought one on friday, so I cut it up this afternoon. Emily wanted to know where "the little black things" were... When I told her this was a seedless watermelon, she gave me a look as if I had just landed from outer space and asked where the bathrooms were.... She did, however, ask for a slice, so I gave her one. She took one bite, and decided this just wasn't working for her... Yes, I ate it... :-)

I did manage to watch bits and pieces of the Pirates game, though did not see who won.. I saw the Pirates go from a 5-1 lead to a 5-4 lead, but that was about it...

At about 5:30 (the tima at which I am writing this very sentence), emily is playing with some kind of wind-up car in the kitchen and Shan, Tyler, and Shan's Mom went up to the walking track. I think Tyler took his bike... All I know is that when they come back, they are bringing a nice, big, Route 44 Sweet Tea with them for me.. :-)

Speaking of sweet tea... We went to Sonic in Texarkana on Saturday, and they do NOT have sweet tea!! What the --? How do you NOT have sweet tea in Texas?? I am at a loss.... Which reminds me - we bought lottery tickets (didnt win) and some scratch-offs. Emily won a dollar, and decided to but another scratch-off.... She didnt win, but still wanted the dollar that she won from her other ticket.. Smart girl! :-)

I may take Daisy out for a ride.... I may not... We'll see... :-) I am pretty wiped out from all the running, pushing, kicking, pulling.... Yeah, I'm not in great shape, but I am also not particularly unhappy about it... :-) Not thrilled, but not necessarily unhappy... :-)

I had something else I was gonna say, but ..... I lost it... hmm... Well, if it comes to me, I'll let ya know!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Sudoku and the Razorbacks

So, I've joined the gazillion people putting pen(cil) to paper and I'm doing sudoku puzzles. I'm still doing the "easy" puzzles, though I've tried a couple of the harder (and some MUCH harder) ones, I have discovered that if I don't concentrate, I can't even do the easy ones.

To that end, I introduce the Arkansas Razorbacks 2006 Football game. Even though USC is kicking our ever-loving rear ends (I am typing this while the game is still going - 4th qtr, presently 44-14), I cannot keep one eye on the game, one eye on our daughter, and my brain on sudoku! :-)

Thought you would think since we are getting KILLED, I would not be keeping one eye on the Hogs, but it *IS* the first game of the season...

BTW, there are HUGE props to EPSN for the special piece they did on Paul Eels! They could have simply mentioned Paul, but to show his picture, play some of his work, and to have talked about what an important part (and loss) of not only the Razorbacks, but Arkansas as a whole, was absolutely top-notch! I applaud ESPN.

And, if you ever find yourself buying a new halter for your horse and are brand new to owning your own horse, I recommend you BRING the halter currently being worn by the horse (if you have one) for comparison sake... We bought Daisy a new halter, and we got it one size too big... Ooops... Well, we made it work, and it looks very good on her! They did not have pink in her size, so we bought a very nice-looking blue one... Also picked up a sweat blade (which I will actually use to squeegee water off her when we bathe her), a couple brushes and combs, some fly spray, and new reins... :-) I've decided we need a tack room and Emily says we need to build "some stables" for Daisy where she could have a few blankets in case Daisy decides she wants to sleep with a blanket a night! :-) Dontcha love kids?? :-)

We also went to Cold Stone Creamery in Texarkana, too... :-) I love that place! Excellent ice cream, for sure! :-)

In the words of Dale and Roy: "Happy trails until we meet again....." (And yes, I am aware that Roy had the tune and Dale wrote the words to go along with it... :-) )

Friday, September 01, 2006

Just when I finished one...

Well, my PBS TeacherLine training is all done! From the grades I see posted for my work, it looks like I am in fact going to be a Certified TeacherLine Facilitator! YAY! And, just as I finish that online course, it urns out the Distance Learning Coordinators (which I am one!) will be starting an online course to become certified through an organization in Texas (CDLR, I believe but I could be wrong.. LOL). So, here we go again, I guess!

Emily wanted to go out riding yesterday (Friday), so I saddled up the horse and several of us rode her around for a bit. Something was wrong wit the way her bit sat in her mouth or something because she was not happy about it... I tried adjusting it, so I'll have to watch that in the next couple days... Oh, I should stop here and talk about how little miss Daisy led me to the back right edge of her pen area before she would let me get a lead rope on her... Silly girl! She was not happy to see me since I was wanting to saddle her up before she ate! So, I'd take a few steps, and she'd let me get close, but not close enough to grab her halter... Then she'd take a few steps, eyeing me the whole time... Once I got her cornered, it was a showdown, and I knew I'd lose if I went in hard and fast to get her, so I just meandered a little, put my hand on her side and talked to her, then grabbed the halter. She never flinched... In fact, I am pretty sure she was smiling about the whole thing... That little snort she gave after I attached her lead rope was a laugh, I'm sure! :-)

After riding, or really, while other people were riding, Emily and Tyler and I kicked the soccer ball around a bit (it is a small one, pink with Disney Princesses on it - wanna guess who owns that one?). I helped Em ride her bike, too...

Shan made cinnamon rolls before she came out to watch us riding, so after we were done, I went in and had one! Excellent after-ride treat, lemmie tell ya! :-) Of course, since it contained no chocolate, it did not count as dessert, so I ate a fudgecicle after the roll... :-) I may not be doing what I need to do to lose weight, but I'll die happier.... :-) (or something like that)

Guess I better skee-dattle... I am doing this at work (dont tell my boss) before heading out to a school to do some audio troubleshooting... :-)

Hide-The-Oats! (that's "Adios" in Dave-speak)