Monday, May 30, 2005

But I'm Not Dead Yet!

Great line from one of my all-time favorite flicks, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".

The last ten days or so were a marathon for me. Won some important battles, faced great battles with my OCD, and, pretty much slept the holiday weekend away.

So, really, really honestly, I am coming back for lots of good blogging, now that my two out-of-town trips are behind me (including the one that paralyzed me for days emotionally), and I've gotten some rest.

One highlight before I go......:)

May 21: The wedding in the mountains! I performed the wedding ceremony for a co-worker's daughter on that Saturday. Her and her now husband are two of the most laid-back people I've ever met. Not in the "hippie" type way either; I mean they'll live 'til they're 115 with no high blood pressure-type way.

The location was a scenic stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway called "Ravens Roost", at mile marker 10.7, south of the Afton Mountain entrance to the parkway.

The ceremony went well ('cept for the moment I DROPPED A RING!!!), and you could not ask for a more breathtaking setting. The couple, when they looked at me, probably were so distracted by the panoramic view of the mountains that I'm shocked they were able to make it through the ceremony. (Just kidding! These kids love each other!)

I thank my beautiful "apple of my eye", Rachel, for joining me on the trip, which took me about 100 miles from home; a HUGE victory for me in my battle overcoming depression and separation anxiety.

It was my pleasure to be a part of such a unique experience.


"24"---Chewing on the season finale

"Star Wars: Episode III"---Review, I will!

"My trip back to 9/11"

"Overanalyzing in life"

....and more.


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Don't quit checking, I am alive!!

Just overwhelmed with work, and stress admittedly, right now.

To come right here on this very own slice of the blogosphere:

--"24" Season Finale

--The wedding in the mountains

--The gagfest I attended tonight

--Other thoughts and musings....

--And, if I'm smart, I'll predict the exact date the Orioles actually fall out of first place in the AL East.

Now, wait a minute. You didn't honestly think they'd stay there, did you????

Saturday, May 21, 2005

I Do? I Do? They Did!

Had a beautiful outdoor wedding today in the mountains on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I'll have details of that and my long-awaited journey with my son to Star Wars Episode III (that's tomorrow after church), in my next entry.

And I promise not to overanalyze the movie. But I guarantee you something makes me cry. :)

Friday, May 20, 2005

Yep, I'm around.....

Let's see:

I'm working (huge surprise!)

I'm, ah, working

Rachel is sick :(

Star Wars is here! Robbie and I go Sunday afternoon.

Have a wedding Saturday. Can't wait to give you details; it's going to be the most laid-back wedding ever. Honest.

I burned my lip eating pizza tonight.

And, that's all for now.

But, I'll be back!

And the much, much longer post will probably contain less good material than this one did.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Questions abound at 5am.....

It's 5am---do you know where your nuclear warhead is?


Facts and questions........

1) Jack stops at nothing. See the preview? That little girl has no idea who she's dealing with.

2) Tony---at 445am I thought he would die (based on my wife's hunch) of 5am, I'm not sure he will, simply because it's become such an intrical part of the storyline. Though, it would make sense, what with Tony and Michelle finally breaking the ice. So, I'm totally up in the air on this one; it could go either way.

3) Chloe---I love Chloe. Period. :)

4) Curtis---if Tony goes, he's the new #2 man. He's established himself after briefly having his feathers ruffled over Tony's arrival. Solid character.

5) Michelle---is she gonna be able to keep it together? (Based on the preview, I'm not sure, unless all CTU leaders scream when they see explosions)

6) Audrey---If Jack gets to talk with her, what difference does it make?

7) The Speaker of the House---He looks like Newt Gingrich, combined with Jim Wright, and is as power-hungry as Hillary Clinton. Well, look at the good side, he falls for good acting from a bad actor (namely, President Logan).

8) Habib Marwin---Now, if he had the place covered outside, it must mean he really wanted to get away, which means he can't be finished. This day isn't the only motive. Otherwise he wouldn't have had that cover.

Oh, and when you've got the #1 Terrorist in custody, the man responsible for the nuclear warhead which now graces our airspace, DON'T YOU ESCORT HIM WITH MORE THAN TWO GUYS?? Pathetic.....

Well. It's all come down to the next 120 minutes. And remember, we haven't even touched China yet (and you'll bet we will.)

More and more through the hour I see how they can "cliffhang" us next Monday night and just pick right up at 7am next January.

The only concern I have is for the stamina and bladders of the likes of Jack, Curtis, Chloe, et al. After all, everybody's gotta go sometime.

And, hey, Newsweek---there won't be any Koran pages going down that toilet, either!

This is supposed to impress me???

1972: The Poseidon Adventure becomes one of the greatest "disaster" films of them all, with great performances by the likes of Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters, and Red Buttons, just to name a few.

Now, check the A-list talent listed first in NBC's press release today on their "new" version.....

(thanks to for the info!)

"THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE" -- NBC presents an edge-of-your-seat new version of the classic disaster film "The Poseidon Adventure" that brings the story into the 21st century. The three-hour movie stars Steve Guttenberg.....


Guttenberg...Hackman. Guttenberg....Hackman.

Chopped rib.

Good Lord.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Not Since Woodrow Wilson......

.......have we had a permanent resident in the White House from the Old Dominion. Maybe this has a chance of changing???

Read here for Robert Novak's take on insider thought on 2008, featuring a guy named Allen.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

So, what do you think?

Just found this blog and post while surfin' (and verifying that you can find my blog by Googling "things that stink"---I'm on page one, result #3...)

What do you think of Joel Osteen and Lakewood Church? My comments later; click here and check out portions of a Chicago Tribune article and many takes on the subject.

Rob :)

Hey, I Did Some Livin' Today!!

First, in reference to the end of my post last night....

What do I see on my Blogpatrol account tonight? That earlier this evening, someone Googled "things that stink".....and got my blog.

Nothing more needs to be said. :)


Got the best seat in the house for the race. Home. So far, #9 has pretty much dominated, and I'm sure a huge roar went up from the RIR crowd when Jeff Gordon had to go behind the wall.

Today wasn't half bad, as Saturdays go. We weren't sure how long my folks were hanging with us, so I told Bonnie to take the van and that we would not be trying to get to Kids Day at church. Turns out they planned to leave early as usual. That's cool---we'll see them soon.

So, I got some rest (much needed) this morning, then we headed out this afternoon, for the inevitable....had to happen....could not be avoided trip to.....


At least it was the one in Ashland.

We got, for the growing boy, clothes for the girl with explosive growth...The Sandlot II on DVD (which they just finished watching), and some other stuff. You'd think I would remember more since I think we ended up in there for TWO HOURS. Nothing but the grace of God gets Rob Witham through 2 hours in Wal-Mart.

Later, Bonnie said she fully expected to come home and I'd stay in bed, so it was a pleasant surprise to her that I stirred. That made me happy. :)

So, tomorrow is Pentecost Sunday (Happy birthday church and rock on Holy Spirit!!)

Church, followed by home and a nap, followed by a quick trip to the station to dub in a few network spots, then home in time to catch up on Desperate Housewives.


In closing, catch any of the news regarding the church controversy in North Carolina? The pastor tells Kerry voters to "repent or resign"? The pastor ends up resigning and 30 others leave with him.....

I'm sure there's more than meets the newspaper article. Church splits seem to always be that way.

I hate 'em. Went through one when I was, like, seven, and yes, I can remember some of it. Nasty. No fun when you're the baby in the pastor's family. Family members turned against each other, some leaving, some staying.

Here's the rundown from Christianity Today.....

And to all of you surfing by, stop by anytime! I can't promise Pulitzer Prize winning material or any breaking news, but I'll talk about life, and that's reality and opinion enough, isn't it?


Friday, May 13, 2005

Various and whatnots on a Friday night.....

The last five days (save "24" and "The Interpreter") have been one long workday. There's something just not right about that.

Bless our hearts, what I didn't tell you about our "date" last night was, we got out of the theater and started up the van at precisely 10pm. We didn't realize (the old fogies that we are), that our part of Glen Allen practically dies at that hour.

Ukrops: Closed. Can't get "used food". (What? You ask...I'll explain later...)

Chick-Fil-A: Closed.

Gino's, our favorite family hangout: Just closed.

Applebees: PACKED. Bar looks thanks.

So, we finally stop at McDonalds to get Bonnie one of those new subs. We ask for one, and we're told, "I'm sorry, the sub machine is closed."

Two thoughts: Did I hear right? A sub machine? Anything like a submarine?

And....we left.

We came home, of course, wanting to relieve our niece/babysitter reveling in the last month of her high school career (I remember those days like they were 20 years ago....oh, wait. It WAS 20 years ago....)

I ate leftover hamburgers from the kids' lunch/dinner. While I blogged.

I'm a cheap date.

OH, A "LINE" UPDATE: I TOLD you I pick the wrong line, EVEN WHEN THERE'S ONLY ONE LINE!!!

Last night, no line to the tickets, no problem. Next up, the popcorn. Only one person in front of us. Cool.

Ten minutes

There was one employee, and two customers. It was as if they were closing on a house.

Finally, we get our Mello Yello and use our free small popcorn coupon.

Then, to top it all off, Bonnie declares as we hand 'em the tickets, "It's stale."

Long wait in a short line for stale popcorn. Sounds like a country song in there somewhere.

In other news:

NASCAR is in town this weekend. So's my brother and sister-in-law. They came up today for qualifying and the Busch race; but they can't stay for the Nextel Cup race tomorrow night; bro's gotta preach in place of his pastor on Sunday. Richmond goes bonkers when NASCAR comes. I wouldn't go 5 miles near the track. Why?

Simple....the five mile parameter around Richmond International Raceway becomes one huge parking lot. People pay money to park in people's yards near the track. One church near the track was featured in an article in the paper this week about what they do when fans come asking for a small piece of God's land in which to place their vehicle.

Before it's all said and done, I've heard they're gonna keep building the stands skyward until they can seat, get this, 150,000 people. There's only 200,000 in the entire population of the city of Richmond itself!!

Now, put 150,000 people, not counting the many mingling trackside, and the drivers, and their trucks, etc, and tell me something....where ya gonna park???

The only race I'd consider going to now is the Craftsmen Truck Series September race. Thursday night, MUCH smaller crowd, and, honestly, better racing.


I got my hair cut tonight. Thank God!! Number one and a half, all the way, the usual. I lost two pounds. Good, only 54 to go.

Speaking of which, my cholesterol has jumped from like 200 to 76,000 or something like that. Doc isn't happy. Neither should I be. I'm almost 38. Dad had his first heart attack at age 43. Now, granted, he was in the middle of a divorce while trying to pastor a church (that's enough to give most people a heart attack), but, still, he never met a salt or pepper shaker he couldn't empty.

So, somehow, and some way, I've got to get out and walk up and down Tavern Way, especially this time of year. This is where the sleep apnea sucks the most. When you don't get quality sleep, your energy level is reduced. Thus, a day at work, which should be followed by an evening of light or exercising activity outdoors with family on a nice spring night, is instead a struggle from start to finish, happy just to make it to the front door that evening.

20 years ago, leaving high school, full of vim and vigor, I never dreamed I would be in this daily drudgery of a fight. It's funny. I love my sleep apnea mask now. I woke up with a sinus headache this morning, so I had to take it off. It feels so weird to try to sleep without the mask. How odd....


So, where am I today? Well.....

--I'm tired. (duh)
--I'm swamped at the office.
--My wife is in pain (shoulder, back and lingering crap from shingles)
--My son is 13. Enough said.
--I miss my mom.
--I'm concerned for my friend.
--I'm happy to be alive!
--I'm thankful for the people I work closest to daily.
--I'm glad I don't raise pigs.
--I cry at least a couple of times a week.
--I laugh more than I cry, though, and that's a good thing. :)
--I'm enjoying our trip through Revelation at church.
--I love teaching/leading/fueling our Sunday School class. It's real fun.
--I'm so glad I discovered blogging.
--I'm really struggling with symptoms of OCD recently. This, too, shall pass.
--I'm not ashamed of the OCD, and openly discuss it so those who have it and think they are the only one in the world going through the madness will realize there are more passengers on their boat, and they want to help.
--Today is Day 380.
--I'm waiting for the Baltimore Orioles to collapse.
--I miss the Stanley Cup playoffs.
--I'm counting down to football season; high school, NFL, and fantasy!
--I've traveled a long way, and, Lord willing, I've got a ways to go.

Watching the movie last night, part of me was stirred, wanting to take in every moment I have. The other part of me was tired.

And therein lies the rub. The constant battle daily of body fatigue versus human desire, tinged with a few dashes of recovering from depression.

Well, that's enough rambling for one night. God only knows what Google searches will lead people to this entry.

"Stanley Cup Depression"
"in line at Applebees"
"shingles interpreter"
"pig heart attack"

In closing, a recent search which led to this blog was simply, "Lord what do I do".

Amen, surfer. I'm just thankful He answers! :)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Two fantastic performances from Sean and Nicole in "The Interpreter". See below entry for my take. Then take your butt to the theater and watch it. Posted by Hello

Do you watch, hear, or listen?

Just got home from watching "The Interpreter", the first movie Bonnie and I have gone to see, just us, in three years. No offense, but a movie without a cartoon character, Pixar, or Hillary Duff was a welcomed diversion!

The movie, the face value of what I expected, was well done. The intrigue, the suspense, the whodunit, etc.

What I did not expect, and what moved me the most, was the depth of emotion in the characters played by Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn. What reality of depth. Two people, who are kind of kindred spirits if you will, begin on "opposite sides of the river".

Sylvia, pouring herself into her role at the UN, trying to make a difference after losing family members in her native land (now under siege by the very dictator coming to speak to the UN who is the target of the terror plot she overheard), watching her gradually shift and briefly return to her brazen, reactionary side that held guard for a short time in Africa, long enough to bring out some incriminating photos that didn't help her case when Tobin (Penn) absolutely didn't believe her.

Then Tobin....tough guy, to a point. He lost his wife in a car accident a couple of weeks before, he admits to her one night before leaving her apartment after she had given up more information. The poignant moments:

--early in the film, he's at the bar; he unplugs the jukebox to restart it so he can play his song, while getting on the phone to call his home, just to hear his wife on the answering machine.

--getting home, and listening to the last phone message she left.

--in the final scene, finally announcing her name in the same way Sylvia read from her brother's journal of all the victims he witnessed dying back in Africa.

You want a combination of intrigue, suspense, and surprisingly deep emotion?

Then don't miss it. I cried. I never expected this movie to make me cry. You live it, you feel it.

I want the DVD (and I normally don't buy any). Four stars. Go see it. Especially next week when the line is really short because all the Jedi are in line to see that other film....

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

PTA: Not political? Be serious.....

Anyone who knows me knows my feelings regarding the National PTA (Parent-Teacher Association), who pretends to be "non-partisan and non-political", but most certainly is not.

This doesn't mean I'm against the wonderful volunteers who make up thousands of local PTA Chapters. What is a shame is, many of them have no idea who they partner with when they take on the identity of "PTA Member".

With me, it's simple. A group like PTA needs to spend all its resources on improving the educational experience of children. Period. They should take NO political side, and should especially NOT get involved in politically-charged issues that may have some, or even no, relevance to schoolchildren.

I could care less if the political stands are liberal, conservative, communist, whatever, none of them are appropriate for an organization "claiming" to be non-political.

For instance, please click on this to see how the PTA discriminates against points of view and allows in a group whose leader, Ron Schlittler, openly states he thinks beliefs of his organization are "superior". (See 4 paragraphs from end of article).

This could be the other way; the PTA bringing in the ex-gay group and prohibiting PFLAG, and it would STILL be wrong. Why? They don't have any business dealing with either one.

"But what about gay bullying?", I hear from the masses.

That should be dealt with professionals who independently deal in the subject of "bullying". Note the lack of word in front of "bullying".

Let's see, what's after "gay bullying"? "fat kid bullying"? "kids with lisps bullying"? How 'bout "high water pant wearers bullying"?

We need specialized groups representing kids with pants too short?

My point exactly.

Let the pros handle "bullying". All of it. And leave the politicos with their dirty lobbying money on the side of the road.

Oh, and did you know the National PTA gets in bed with 527's? Honest.

Click here to learn about their initiative to allegedly "establish great public schools for every child". The headline reads: "National Mobilization for Great Public Schools".

Oh, and who chipped in some bucks to "educate" voters on who can make great public schools? Click here and look at the "Check It Out" box. Right after the U.S. Hispanic Institute, we find a group that became really well known in 2004.

And a group that's about as far away from "non-political/non-partisan" as it gets.

No wonder 75 percent of parent teacher groups in America now are NOT PTA's, and their membership has fallen nearly in half over the past 40 years.

Oh, and no, I'm still not released to share my PTA political sham of this past year. One day....but not today.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Comment from previous post....

I waxed poetic some time back (see the entry here) and received a response. I've now got five moments to post and not necessarily reply, but comment back, I guess.

"If your pastoral situation distresses you, then perhaps then it is time to do something about it. As the leader, it is incumbent upon you to set direction and expectations while sharing your ideas and views with others to drive congregational creativity. Foster the culture by strongly leading with integrity, trust and respect to unleash the wonderful resources of your people.

If the aforementioned is not in your plan, you need to ask yourself the question: “Should I be here?”"

I strongly agree with the core meaning of the comment; it sounds great and is definitely a set of goals with which to strive for.

Now, some reality. There are a few who have set forth new energy and new passion to see the church grow in many ways recently. We've seen several new people become regular attendees recently for which I'm thankful! It's nice to hold children's sermon and I can't fit all the boys and girls on the front pew.

Then there's that other core. You know, the ones who remind me of the two elderly guys in the balcony on the Muppet Show; only they don't make me laugh. I'm saddened instead. You can't make anyone listen. You can't force any response. That's the Holy Spirit's work (thank God!). So, the way to face the ones with the negative comments about everything (even both sides of an issue simply because they enjoy being negative) is to:

A) love 'em as Christ would
B) kill 'em with kindness
C) call 'em out when behavior disrupts the spiritual mission of the church

I don't like doing C), but I will, and I have before.

OVERALL---for all situations, there's only one missive: PRAYER. Pray for the "dead wood" to come alive; pray that those encouraged will not easily become "discouraged", pray that new people coming in will focus more on what's happening and how they can be an active part, as opposed to hearing the same dirty laundry from 1972 (how many churches have that problem? Answer: Most.)

Most of all; pray that He will use us to bring in those sheep who need to hear the Gospel before it is too late. Note I didn't say bring to us. We gotta a part to do in that as well.

I believe that churches experiencing lots of numerical growth fall, with some exceptions, into one of two camps:

A) The Holy Spirit is rocking the house; the Word is preached, the blood is not ignored, and God's people are passionate to bring their friends, family, etc. into God's presence.

B) The "church" is little more than the "feel-good religion house" where I can come in Sunday mornings, be told how much God loves me without anyone "forcing something like salvation down my throat", because, God forbid we scare away the seekers (and yes I use that term knowingly). We certainly don't want to offend them.

Sure there are other instances, such as targeted age demographics, growth in population around the church location, new program not found elsewhere in the area, etc. For the most part, though, you've got A and B.

In short, give me "A" any day.

But, enough diatribe; back on task (said the ADD/OCD guy!).....

Interestingly enough, my situation doesn't "distress" me. The fact that I am in the face of the visitor from opening announcements to benediction is what is frustrating. "Does anyone else do something here?" has to cross their mind, especially if they're really searching for a church home.

Obstacles? Lots of people who "can't pray in public". Yeah, I know, trust me. Now THAT distresses me. I can scream bloody murder at the college football game, but please don't ask me to say grace over the latest casserole extravaganza.

Missives that are not continued by those in responsibility: the deacon board was to rotate as lay leader participators in service (doing announcements, responsive reading, etc...), and they basically fell apart and stopped with no explanation. The discussion returned to a recent meeting and I'll be pushing for that.

There is, though, one sentence from the comment that begs some detail:

"Foster the culture by strongly leading with integrity, trust and respect to unleash the wonderful resources of your people."

This sentence assumes that either I'm not trustworthy or respectful, otherwise the unleashing would already have occurred, or jumps to the conclusion that I alone have the power to leash or unleash the people's resources.

Interestingly enough, I find many people who sit on their resources, talents, and abilities God gave them and act as if they are laying eggs.

The above quote is true, but is only part of the "unleashing". It begins with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to sway those that people find "unswaying", so to speak, surprising us when we see them become fired up about God's work. It continues with fostering the individual who is passionate, who is ready to work, not just to find them a "job" or "committee", but to give them reality to the purpose God gave them when He led them to the church to begin with.

It keeps from being derailed when you completely ignore those who do nothing but whine and complain in the "fostering" area. You hear them, you monitor their possible effect on the community (and individuals, first), and most importantly, you pray for them.

In the midst of all this, the above quote from the comment is absolutely dead on. The only problem I had was it only showed one view from the prism of spiritually growing the church, individually as well as corporately.

I'm sure some of you (maybe even the anonymous comment-er) may either scoff at this, not like this, or even think I'm trying to shirk responsibility. Absolutely not. To quote the author of this post from earlier this evening:

"I strongly agree with the core meaning of the comment; it sounds great and is definitely a set of goals with which to strive for."

And that leads us to the most important responsibility that envelopes and encloses everything else written of tonight, in the case of me. And that is, making sure I am trustworthy, respectful, and a man of integrity.

I got issues, but I'm working on it. And I'm glad God's the foreman of the project.


Monday, May 09, 2005

I'm afraid we have lift-off.......

Okay, who's the idiot of the night?

A) The covert operation team member who didn't say anything about his mask being lifted for a second (a second too long I might add....)

B) Edgar, for actually talking to the Chinese Government rep.

C) Edgar, for actually talking to the Chinese Government rep.

I think you know my answer. :)

Well, let's see.....

Audrey can block out death better than Erin Driscoll, who I guess we really have seen the last of. I wonder, though, if seeing that nuclear warhead on a missile suddenly jolted her out of her "Beltway" mentality....

Jack changes clothes pretty quickly, and didn't even look like he sweated profusely under his second mask in less than 24 hours. He also holds his best with anyone when it comes to covering up.

Logan sucks. Plain and simple. Someone give him warm milk and 100mg of Seroquel and put him in the bed. It's in the interest of national security.

Palmer isn't done playing his cards yet, even with the warhead taking off. Just because it's airborne doesn't mean it necessarily lands....

But don't be stunned if Logan has Palmer "escorted" away in the next three hours.

FINALLY----Tony and Michelle break the ice. Gosh, I'm impressed. I couldn't break the ice with a girl in high school if given the icepick, the ice crusher, or even the barge to break into the weak points of the glacier, and he puts his truth move on in the middle of a nuclear/Chinese cover-up crisis.

Buchanan. Well, around 7am, I hope Chloe goes up to him, uses the best of her "personality disorder", and kicks the tar out of him. In the interest of national security, of course....

Oh, and you can tell Curtis hasn't been with Jack at the moment of truth. Jack walks a fine line between control and unleashed rage. Curtis, he ain't gonna kill him. He knows better. But Jack makes 'em sweat better than any of them.

So----it's 4am.....

The return of Secretary of Defense Heller, and his wayward son, who, apparently has something to say after all.

Where does Audrey fit into this? Dead husband, "traitor" boyfriend (so she thinks) and now, traitor brother??

Meanwhile, what do the Chinese do? It may end up that the China crisis takes up more time in the final two hours two weeks from tonight than the warhead, which arguably could be wrapped up next week.

And if the superpower crisis isn't at least calmed down by 7am, well, we've got the groundwork for season five, don't we?

In fact, I suggest we just continue through the next 24 hours.

But, first, give the cast from May to January to pee and shower.


I can't wait for 3am....I mean 9pm....I mean both!!!

This could quite possibly be the best ever episode of "24", with the plot lines set up the way they are.

I hope I'm not jinxing it!

China gets ticked, Palmer will probably slap some sense into Logan, Jack confronts both Audrey and his past, Tony, Bill and Michelle are all doing the same thing, whether they admit it or not, Chloe is applying for NRA membership, Edgar is, well, Edgar, and the Chinese clue to Marwan is, well, precariously hanging on for his immunity and new home at "parts unknown".

And Marwan would be........where?

And the warhead would be........where?

Enjoy the hour; I hope to be back at 4am, or 10pm, or whatever world I'm living in at the time.


Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day! Tough Mother's Day.....

Well, the end of Mother's Day is upon us, so I can get ready to do two things:

1) Be glad I finally got around to buying the Mother's Day present for the mother of my children (Rachel got me off the hook by making Mom a card, another card, and several pictures.)

2) Complete my third Mother's Day without being able to pick up the phone and call, well, my Mom.

So, on the one hand, Mother's Day is cool--the kids enjoy it (even if they don't like the idea of Mom getting to plop on the recliner for the evening), and I'm glad to help give credit where credit is due: this house would have been condemned years ago if not for her.

On a totally different thought for a makes me wonder....had I still been the stay-at-home dad when all this depression crap showed up, would there ever had been another dish washed or towel folded. Ooh, let's forget I pondered that.

Back to the story.....

Rachel's card said Happy Mother's Day from her, Robbie, Dad, Blue (her late fish), Katie Pickles (our very much-alive cat), Mr Crabs and Mrs Crabs (the crabs in her aquarium) and "19 fish". When asked who the "19 fish" were, she replied, "they are all the fish we've had, including the dead ones." And most kids forget 'em two days after they're flushed.....

So, what did we get Mom for Mother's Day? Well, what she asked for, of course, a gift card from Lowe's!!! What? You mean that's not the preferred store of your mom??

You know, (and here's a great segue), the best gift for Mama on this day would also have been a gift card from Lowes. She never met a home improvement store she couldn't board in. Honest; give her some lumber and tools, and she'd make a mini-apartment between the greenery and the appliances and she would have been perfectly happy.

I can't tell you how much time I spent with her at (Lowe's, Builder's Square, HQ, insert name here)...and I only spent a fraction of her total shopping time with her. Most people close bars out; my mom had to be thrown out of HQ an hour after closing. ("But I'm not finished comparing the ceiling fans!!!!")

So, in that sense, Mama lived on today. Guess it was appropriate for me to run into a Lowe's, eh?

If your mom still graces this earth, I pray you at least spoke with her today. And, if for some reason, there's aught between you and her, please, swallow the pride, take the responsibility, and reconnect before it's too late.

Trust me, you'll come back and thank me for the anonymous advice.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Thanks for a Thousand!!

Since I started using BlogPatrol, I am now at the 1,000 unique hit mark!

Over 1,700 total hits.....

So, to the three of you that have visited several hundred times....


Hee hee......

Seriously, I'm glad people stop by and hope you will continue to do so.


Thursday, May 05, 2005

Follow Me and I Will Ensure You Wait In Line!

I made a chilling discovery at Ukrop's this morning.

Whenever there's a choice between two checkout lines, I'm stupid enough to get in the "slightly shorter" one.

The "slightly shorter" always ends up excessively in waiting time.

You know, the price check....followed by the "I wanted six of those if they're on sale", and, my personal favorite (and God PLEASE don't let me be this way if you bless me with old age), those who wait until everything is totaled to either begin writing their check (like the date's gonna change while we're there, though sometimes I wonder....), or, better yet, counting the exact change.

Outside, I smile and wait.

Inside, I question why my instincts are so ridiculously off.

See you in line.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I Could Care Less......

Well, I guess the empire that is "American Idol" is about to take a hit.

Given the choice, I'd watch a rerun of one of my all-time favorite TV shows, "The Gong Show", I'd take a hearty dose of Chuck Barris, Jaye P. Morgan, Milton DeLugg and his band with a thug, the Unknown Comic, and Gene Gene, the Dancing Machine over American Idol any day.

That Seacrest guy is about as plastic as they come.

Simon? Who cares.

Paula? Whatever.

Randy? Is that his name?

Notice I don't watch the show??

So, I could care less about anything American Idol.

And that's that.

Now, "24", on the other hand, is a TOTALLY different story......:)

I'm at lunch today with a couple whose wedding I'm officiating in two weeks, somehow got on the subject of "24", and couldn't stop until I explained the entire last scene of the 2am hour with Paul's death and Audrey's reaction.

Come to think of it, here's another question: Will Secretary of State Heller beat the crap (or at least try to) out of Jack when he gets the news??

And so........

--I realized coming home tonight that I haven't cried this week! So far....could I actually go a calendar week? Hmmmm.....

--It's taking more and more time daily to complete my work at work. And that includes the fact I'm about to log off so I can log on my work computer and, ah, work some more.

--We ALL overslep this morning. My fault; I turned the volume down on the TV when it came down; I didn't think too low, but apparently so. Rachel didn't wake up 'til just after 8am. She was very disappointed at getting her first tardy. :(

Way to go, Dad!!!!


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Egregious Butt-tations!!!!!

It's starting to really get to me....

Especially once I learned MY WIFE DOES IT!!!!

After dropping Rachel off at her school, we head to Robbie's school to drop him off. There's a big intersection we pass near our house all the time. Getting through it during the trip between both schools take us from a four-lane to a two-lane road in a strange way.

Woodman Road is four lanes on one side of the intersection, and after crossing Mountain Road, it's four lanes for another, oh, several hundred feet.

So, right-laners must merge into the left.

On morning drive....(bet you know where I'm going).....people will chronicly stay in the right hand lane, not filing into left lane traffic, speed up to the end of the right hand lane, and butt into the line in front of those of us who have patience and some general common, decent respect for the fact everyone else around me has a destination, too.

Some days I let 'em in; other days I ride as close as I can to the car/van/SUV in front of me forcing them to wait until after I pass to butt in (usually, after doing this, I feel bad and ask God to forgive me...)

Monday morning, Bonnie's driving everyone to their destinations (since I didn't have my drivers license; it was still at the pulpit at church, 45 miles away), we discuss the inevitable traffic problem each morning at this location, when she announces:


WHAT???? I about came unglued.

And thus I coined the new phrase, "Butt-tation". A butt-tation is when a car speeds to the front of any closing lane (naturally, due to construction, accident, whatever) and deliberately butts in line as if his/her car belongs at Will Call or First Class.

Then, this morning, with her continuing to drive me everywhere (I got my license back at church tonight...), we are confronted with a, shall we say, "butt-tator".

Only, this time, the Lexus decides to get in front of us at the merge point AND DID NOT EVEN HAVE THE DECENCY TO USE THE TURN SIGNAL.

Thus, I coined a second term: Egregious Butt-tation.

So, I pray that your days are filled with glee and worry-free moments, as well as butt-tation free rush hour traffic.


Monday, May 02, 2005

It's That Friendly Fire That Gets In The Way.....

First, another tip of the hat to Chloe for PACKING HEAT!!!

Best line of the 2am hour:

Edgar: "Maybe you'll freak out about it in a couple of hours."

Chloe: "I hope so."

Wow! Jack steals the man from the Chinese (gosh, China isn't THAT stupid, they KNOW it's in U.S.), does a heckuva job running holding a body, and shows deft knowledge of medical procedure.

Unfortunately, he couldn't save Paul.

I think we can pretty much say goodbye to Jack's love interest, and his cushy D.C. job, which he was never cut out for to begin with.

So, from here??

We know the warhead will be pointed to the sky (remember, it'll be 3am in Los Angeles, so 6am in New York) and the detonator will be ready.

Will the Chinese gentleman fess up? Will he even be able to?

Does Bill and Tony get in a fight, or will Michelle overrule in the end?

Oh, and by the way, in Season 5, Chloe must have at least one outside operation!!!

We're now at 3am. Suddenly, it feels like the Araz family was two years ago, not 20 hours.


Sunday, May 01, 2005

Happy May!!

Well, to start off the month......

Burger King forgets Bonnie's crossandwich (we did find out in time to turn around and get it) but also forgot the Cini-Mini icing (which we didn't discover until 8 to 10 miles down I-295.....

Some Sundays, the ride home seems endless; today was one of them. I finally got to rest about 3:30, and, of course, never fell asleep.

After dropping Rachel off at Awana, I'm driving to the office, and realize....

....I was wrong earlier. I just knew my "bag" was in the van. It wasn't.

No big deal, except my wallet, my cell phone, my life is contained inside it. So, I'm driving illegally, much to my surprise.

Equipment trouble led me to use two studios to dub in commercials while at work after taking Rachel to Awana.

I got done just in time to drive home to pick up the family, drive the Cougar up a mile to Bill's to get it inspected (should have been done April 30...oops!!), then rush to Staples Mill by 8pm to get Rachel.

Oh, but a TRAIN interrupted the trip home by several minutes.......

But, we did get great Gino's food for dinner. So that's a good thing.

I've updated my class reunion blog, and now prepare for yet another week of who knows what. It will be glorious if I can just at least stumble through all five days without stumbling to bed (except to go night-night, of course....)


Lucky Winning Numbers Update: (I forgot to put March's on the blog, so....)

MARCH: 9, 10, 24

APRIL 2, 14, 14, 19, 29

Nope, not a misprint. 14 was drawn twice. Lucky number.....

Oh, and again, what do they mean? That's your mission to figure out.....