Sunday, December 31, 2006

All Things Witham: 2006 in the Witham Nation

Good news!

No broken bones.
No unscheduled hospital trips.
No major hurricanes.
No blizzards.
No rationing of Mountain Dew needed.

It's always good to start a year in review blog entry with some good news.

Now for reality. Hee hee.....

I'm not purposely going for chronological order; I'm too old to remember that stuff now. :)

January began with change. No, really, I mean it! We switched around our cubicles in our office (there are four of us, and three switched; one remained stationary), and it ended up being one of the toughest psychological battles of the year, for several reasons. As of now, I'm still not totally comfortable there, but it's much better than 12 months ago.

The New York Giants received a home version of the NFL Playoffs when Carolina promptly ran them off the field. The Colts choked again.

But just when you needed an emotional boost, it was the return of one of the five things I live for:


More shortly.

Finishing 2006 on the job, it was the first year since 1986 where I only held one job the entire calendar year. Good thing, because work at work is, well, always piling up. One of my employees saw her position eliminated, and we had a late year change in my department; I'm very excited about the person taking over the post. OH!!! I took a full week of vacation without going into the station in six years! I was getting used to that "vacation" stuff, I highly recommend it!!

2006 in sports saw the aforemention Giants dismissal, followed by two teams showing up this fall; one who wins, and one that implodes. They've backed into the playoffs and I'm sure Philadelphia will take care of them once and for all.

The Super Bowl was a bore. Totally. Halftime, too. I cannot stand the Rolling Stones.

NC State had their usual season, at least getting into the NCAA Tournament. After so many years NOT making the tourney in the 90's, I'll take a trip to the Dance anytime! They bowed out after a second round loss. Then Herb went west, several people snubbed the Pack, before they went old school and chose Sidney Lowe to be coach. FINALLY----a connection to the glory days of Jimmy V.

Oh, and two words describe March Madness.........GEORGE MASON??

The win against UConn in the Regional Final was my number two favorite game of all-time in the NCAA Tourney, behind, of course, the '83 Final. "THEY WON IT!! ON THE DUNK!"

Peter Angelos still owns the Orioles, so we'll skip baseball. We made it to one Richmond Braves game; the team's future being a big area story in 2006, when we heard of 4, 377 possible places to build a new stadium to keep the R-Braves, all of which stunk.....until someone finally realized that building/refurbishing at/near the current facility, combined with revitalization of that neighborhood, could end up making the baseball park the centerpiece of a new area of sports, bars, restaurants, parking, et a night at the park could be an "experience".

The BEST sports event of 2006, without a doubt: "The Carolina Hurricanes Have Won The Stanley Cup!!!!!" What a ride; especially the finals against Edmonton. I was livid after they gave away Game 5 at home, and didn't show up for Game 6. But, when I was very shaky about their hopes, their came through in Game 7. The Cup's in Carolina! Whoo hoo!!!

Then it was wait for Football Training Camp, POF and Patrick Henry Football broadcasts! PH finishes 8-2, losing to Hermitage 41-14 in the final game, costing them a playoff berth. The Deep Run game was by far the best game of the year, with it ending the same, yet exactly the mirror image, of their 2005 game. The home team won in the first OT session, when the visiting team was stopped attempting a two-point conversion to win the game.

2005: Patrick Henry 20, Deep Run 19
2006: Deep Run 21, Patrick Henry 20

AND......CURLING at the Winter Olympics! Had it on TV every day at work, and even got a co-worker interested when he realized the women curlers are babes!

Television played a bigger role in our house in 2006 than maybe in any year since we got married. Wifey became "the easily addicted drama watcher". Dad endured the following:

Lost, Invasion, Greys Anatomy, Numb3rs, Psych and Heroes.

Dad accepted: Monk, Desperate Housewives, The 4400, NCIS, and The Unit.

Then Dad saw Mom get into: CSI and CSI: Miami; Vanished, and Standoff.

Dad enjoyed sharing in: Gilmore Girls, The Dead Zone.

Dad thoroughly enjoyed: The Closer. Easily my second favorite "show" (news and sports not included) on TV behind............

MOM AND DAD'S ONE TV APPOINTMENT: Jack Bauer, Chloe, CTU, and the gang. "24"!!!!

After season four ended with Jack walking away into the sunrise having to shed his very identity, we wondered how in the world the producers would top it. No problem, as we quickly found out.

One complaint: Frank Flynn resumed being Jack Bauer much, much too quickly. Other than that, it's hard to find flaws.

Plus, I will, for once, feed my ego, for suggesting the return of the Chinese, which indeed came to pass at the end of the 24 hours. The last scene of season five was exactly what I thought the last scene of season four was going to be!!

Now, a quick look ahead:

--President Palmer's brother will now be President. He's bad news now. I still say HE was the one who outed Jack; NO ONE ELSE was in the hotel room when he perfectly positioned his brother, David, at the window where he could be assassinated by a sniper.

--I hope it takes at least three or four hours for Jack to get back on American soil; as well as find a Gillette.

--And I STILL SAY, at whatever season they decide to wrap it up.....Jack and Chloe must get together. Period.


Robbie's 2006: He finishes middle school (already??!!?), enjoys another choral field trip to Busch Gardens, starts playing at the weekly Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments at Books-A-Million, and starts high school. (High School??!!??) He turns 14, has some lady friends, and got maybe his favorite Christmas present ever when he and I went to the WWE Armageddon pay-per-view LIVE here in Richmond earlier this month.


Rachel's 2006: Finished third grade (her hardest year yet); started fourth grade (she likes!.....except for some classmates who don't like her/it's more like they're jealous), had the flu at the same time as Mom, was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder in April after having MAJOR separation issues from Mom after returning to school. Spends mucho time with her cousins, has one spend the night almost every Friday night. Is in love with Howie Mandel.


2006 will be remembered for:

---The Go-Go's Concert, May 15th; Rachel and I went and I had no voice!! Couldn't holla! What a great show!
---Mom's Caribbean Cruise, November 9th thru 18th. Me and the kids experiencing lots of "missing Mom". VERY happy to see her at the airport terminal late that Friday night, home safe.
---Getting a sneak peak of "Happy Feet" while Mom was gone.
---The Match Game Hour, 11 to midnight on GSN.
---Letterman, Rupert G, and, of course, "Will It Float?" Best hometown newspaper blooper, in a supermarket ad......."Boneless Bananas, 10 lbs for $1.00".
---Play-mania debuting on GSN (I LOVE MEL!!!)
---Waking up to Fox and Friends, not the radio, for the 2nd year in a row.
---Mom's Ob-Gyn procedure in November, followed by Lap-Band Surgery in December.
---Dad? Who's Dad? He works or sleeps!
---The "heat" of the summer, discovering our HVAC is too small to cool the house on a 95 degree day. Two window unit air conditioners, anyone?
---Summer #7 of the backyard pool.
---Getting to know the first shift workers at Ukrops.
---Getting to know the second shift workers at McDonalds.
---Surviving "Eliott Yamin" mania, when, not only do my co-workers in the office go ga-ga for him, HE COMES TO THE RADIO STATION one day and we're given specific instructions where we can and cannot be while he's there. I just went in the back room, went to my office, and hoped it was okay to run 10 feet down the hall to the kitchenette to get a plastic fork.
---The second time he came, this past fall, nobody noticed. But I did see him.
---Learning how to communicate via email/phone messages when work prevents you from getting to talk with your friend.
---Yes.....lots of weekend sleeping.
---A trip to Busch Gardens to meet Seka and friends.
---Dad shocks the world and takes the kids to Busch Gardens one nice August day without Mom, and without Mom even knowing it!!!
---Rachel has a piano recital and begins her second year of lessons. Watch out Van Cliburn!!!
---Our summer trip to Monticello.
---The kitties are definitely full-grown cats.
---Listening to CD's in the car rather than Richmond radio.
---Goodbye to my Cougar. My last drive: March 9, 2006, coming home from work on a cold night with the broken drivers-side window all the way down.
---Hello, Ford Windstar! I acquire it when Mom buys a conversion van, since she may have up to five kids with her on any given day.
---The Brick Oven Bistro.
---They go in the Ashland Wal-Mart, I sit in the van. :)
---Watching the entire Indy 500 for the first time in ages! See what Danica Patrick does to me?
---A car crashing into the Wonder Bread store on Staples Mill. Front windows and door destroyed; first row of bread still perfectly stacked.
---Tropical Storm Ernesto. Lots of rain, no repeat of Gaston, but Battery Park got nailed. A sad scene for so many residents.
---No snow. The only significant snow of last winter was in December of '05.
---Mom and the kids' holiday weekend trip to see Mom's best friend Stephanie outside of Greensboro, NC.
---Low key Thanksgiving and Christmas!
---Thank you, Dr. Buxton!
---Goodbye to Crown Gas Stations.
---Citgo equals Hugo Chavez. No more stops at Citgo.
---$3 per gallon for awhile. Currently $2.17. $1.49? Never again.
---Katie Couric took my job as anchor of the CBS Evening News.
---Church family reunions at a couples' dinner, the "24" finale party, and church on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
---Mom's annual "if at first you don't like the way you rearrange the great room, rearrange it again!"
---Glenn Beck's new TV show.


In 2006, we said goodbye to :

Gerald Ford (38th President of the United States)
Paul Lindblad (1970s pitcher--Kansas City Royals)
Lou Rawls (You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine)
Don Stewart (Guiding Light's Mike Bauer)
Jack Snow (LA Rams wide receiver, then broadcaster)
Ron Jessie (NFL wide receiver)
Marc Potvin (NHL player)
Shelley Winters (The Poseidon Adventure)
Wilson Pickett (singer)
Gene McFadden (Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now)
Coretta Scott King (widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Darren McGavin (Kolchak: The Night Stalker)
Don Knotts (Barney Fife)
Dennis Weaver (McCloud)
Anthony Burger (Southern Gospel pianist, toured with Bill Gaither)
Curt Gowdy (what sport did he not call??)
Johnny Grunge (WCW's Public Enemy)
Al Lewis (Grandpa Munster)
Caspar Weinberger (Secretary of Defense under Reagan)
Lyn Nofziger (Press Secretary under Reagan)
Buck Owens (Hee Haw, Saturdays at 7pm on Channel 6)
Ray Meyer (DePaul Basketball Coach)
Maureen Stapleton (actress)
Peter Tomarken (No Whammies, Big Bucks, STOP!!)
Boom Boom Geoffrion (Montreal Canadiens star, Lite Beer ad fame)
Kirby Puckett (and we'll see you tomorrow night!)
Dana Reeve (husband of the late Christopher Reeve)
Steve Howe (LA Dodger pitcher)
Zola Levitt (Messianic Jewish broadcaster)
June Pointer (The Pointer Sisters)
Steve Mizerak (pool champion, Lite Beer ad alumnus)
Craig "Ironhead" Heyward (NFL Fullback)
Lloyd Bentsen (Senator, Dukakis running-mate in 1988)
Dan Ross (Cincinnati Bengals tight end; scored in Super Bowl XVI)
Johnnie Wilder, Jr. (founder of Heatwave..."Boogie Nights", "Grooveline")
Floyd Patterson (world heavyweight boxing champion)
Earl Woods (Tiger's dad and mentor)
Aaron Spelling (Ladies? Hi, Charlie!)
Billy Preston (Nothing From Nothing.....)
Red Buttons (The Poseidon Adventure)
June Allyson (The Glenn Miller Story; Depends commercials)
Jan Murray (game shows)
Glenn Ford (actor)
Bruce Gary (drummer for The Knack)
Mike Douglas (talk show host)
Bob Thaves (Frank and Ernest)
Craig Kusick (Minnesota Twins 1st Baseman)
Byron Nelson (PGA Golfing legend)
Ann Richards (thorn in George Bush's silver foot)
Steve Irwin (Crocodile Hunter)
Bob Mathias (Olympic Decathlon Gold Medalist)
Red Auerbach (THE Boston Celtics)
Marijohn Wilkin (wrote "One Day at a Time")
Joe Niekro (pitcher, Phil's brother)
Sandy West (The Runaways)
Jane Wyatt (Father Knows Best)
Don Christensen (cartoonist)
Christopher Glenn (CBS Radio and "In The News")
Freddy Fender (Tex-Mex singer)
Johnny Callison (Philadelphia Phillies)
Cory Lidle (Yankees pitcher, NYC plane crash)
Ivan Murrell (MLB Outfielder with Padres, Astros, Braves)
Buck O'Neil (Negro League star; ambassador)
Pat Dobson (Orioles 20-win pitcher)
Bo Schembechler (Michigan Football Coach)
Tiger Conway (Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling)
Gerald Levert (R&B Singer)
Jack Palance (Oscar-winning actor)
Ed Bradley (CBS News; 60 Minutes)
Johnny Sain (Spahn and Sain and pray for rain!)
Paul Mauriat (Love Is Blue musician)
Saddam Hussein (evil)
Chris Brown (MLB player 1980's)
Jose Uribe (MLB player 1980's; teammate of Brown)
James Brown (Get in the hot tub!)
Joe Barbera (Hanna-Barbera)
Larry Sherry (LA Dodger pitcher)

---------------------------we interrupt at 11:59pm.........

The ball is dropping, Cody is joining me, Robbie's in his room, Uncle Frank's out, and it's 2007!!!

The Year of "40" has arrived. Where's the Metamucil? Where's the Depends? Somebody run to Wal-Mart! I need Geritol!!


We continue......

Don Jardine (Destroyer/Super Destroyer, Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling)
Mike Evans (Lionel Jefferson)
Lamar Hunt (owned KC Chiefs, began AFL, named Super Bowl "Super Bowl")
Peter Boyle (puttin' on the ritz!---Young Frankenstein)
Jeane Kirkpatrick (former UN Ambassador)
Andra Franklin (NFL Running Back--Miami Dolphins)
Lloyd Wright
Roger Hedgepeth


And, in closing, the five top events of 2006:

5) WWE Armageddon----Dad and Robbie's first-ever live wrestling show.

4) Season Five of "24"----provided great fun w/wifey, and a great email discussion group every Tuesday morning!

3) Mom's 40th birthday; featuring surprise party and surprise from Dad. :)

2) The Go-Go's; Live at Innsbrook on May 15th. Rachel and I go "Head Over Heals" for the fab five!

1) Mommy's LapBand Surgery, setting up a healthy future for her, and radical life changes in the Witham Nation.

Happy 2007 everybody!

The year of "40".


Saturday, December 30, 2006

And on the last Saturday night of the year......

....I reflect back upon the trip back in time my brother and I had today, as we took part of the afternoon and drove up to Beaverdam, our hometown. I've done this at least a dozen times or so over the years, but today's trip was THE MOST SURPRISING one I've ever experienced.

You always expect to see new homes being built, since the town is only 40 to 45 minutes from Richmond in a very popular suburban county. Hanover is a "two-part" county. The western portion has always been very rural, and Beaverdam is at the most northwestern point of the county, so the farthest away from Richmond. The other side of Hanover (which is basically cut down the middle by Interstate 95) is much closer to the eastern side of Richmond, so it was developed much earlier. So, by 1985 when I left Beaverdam for college, my home was still in its quaint rural setting, while Mechanicsville in Eastern Hanover had almost become overdeveloped commercially on Route 360 around a high school, and houses were popping up here and there.

Well, Hanover leadership apparently went from liberal to conservative when the questions of developing Western Hanover came up. By this time, Glen Allen had been transformed from a quaint historical village into a large conglomerate of an area that need three different zip codes.

LARGE commercial development, then the advent of many subdivisions, cause "Richmond" to creep closer and closer to Western Hanover. This growth all took place in neighboring Henrico County, so Hanover avoided the development issue, but had become more accessible for people working in Richmond who didn't want to live the city life.

So, in the past 20 years, houses started to pop up, first along Route 33 between Glen Allen and Montpelier (the "enemy" town of Beaverdam in the Southwest quadrant of the county), then around Montpelier, then on Route 715, the main road between Montpelier and Beaverdam.

So, today, a trip to Richmond from my old home in Beaverdam is like 35 minutes, rather than 45 minutes plus, since Ukrops has a store much further west on Staples Mill Road, etc. :) It also means more jobs are closer to Beaverdam, too.

All that being said, it seems major home development finally broke through up at home. There's an old dirt road just above my old homestead (which was a parsonage then, by the way), and I'd read some development was on it, so we took the dirt road to its end, turned around and came back out. Back at the road, you resume straight on 715 and a tenth of a mile to your right is my one and only childhood home.

Just as we're preparing to slow down to view as much of the house and its surroundings as we can while driving, I let out the biggest "WHOA!!!" I've ever shouted. To the left, was a road. A new road. A road where the woods my brother played in for years used to stand. Seeing a new house somewhere is one thing. Seeing A NEW ROAD almost in front of my old house is another. I stopped at it, then got back on 715 so we could see the house. A young couple bought it a few years back and the outside looked basically unchanged (they've added a nice shed where Dad used to park the school bus) but I've been told the inside has lots of TLC. :)

I drove down to the next dirt road, went by Union Baptist Church, and around the old dirt road where on more than one occasion I drove a little too fast, trying to make sure I got my girlfriend home by her midnight curfew! I knew a new subdivision had been started at the other end of the dirt road, near her old house; I had driven in what parts had been established a few times over the years.

Then, thanks to the thinking of Uncle Frank, he put two and two together. At the end of the main road of the subdivision has been another road. Turn right, and it ends after just a few lots. Turn left, and there were new lots up for sale over the years, but that road wasn't very long, coming to a point where, unless you owned a dump truck, you had no business trying it.

Well, the dump trucks obviously made it through to the other side, because this was the road that, now completed, came out almost in front of the parsonage. Nearing that road's end today I told my brother, "we've never seen our house from this view before!!!"

So once where the woods reigned supreme and young boys acted like Daniel Boone, not needing a game controller and a Playstation to stimulate imagination, now stands many very nice homes (big enough that we can't afford one of them!) with more lots available.

So the growth continues. Exponentially. If I return once a year from now on, I fully expect to see accelerated growth and will be surprised if i do NOT see it. The exact opposite of the mindset I've had for 21 years.

Oh, and in the old cowpasture next to our back yard where we played football, baseball, et al.....about where the barbed wire fence always was.....we saw some heavy equipment parked there. So, soon, where cows once mooed and where I once walked a half-mile behind the house to a pond at the back of the cowpasture, should be replaced with rooms.

As Peyton Manning says in the latest MasterCard commercial to the guys who let the piano (I think) get away from the moving truck and it heads downhill to its inevitable demise, "They're not saying 'boo', they're saying 'mooooooversss..'".

The times, oh they are a'changin.


There should be enough Doritos left at your local store now to top off your New Years Celebration.

He won't need anymore.



So, on this night when Saddam Hussein was finally, finally executed...............

CBS News has an "exclusive" with the most bloodthirsty commander of the Taliban, Mullah Dadullah. The interview is filmed at the Afghan/Pakistani border. The report on TV shows the Taliban blowing up a US/NATO coalition vehicle.

If he's so flippin' dangerous and an enemy of America, WHY IN THE WORLD DID THEY LET HIM GET AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One of the most wanted people by the United States in the entire world is in front of CBS News and they do......nothing.


I'm sorry. I just shake my head; I simply don't understand.

Next, The Early Show sends Harry Smith to the border to do a cooking segment with Osama Bin Laden??!!!????

Ah, heck.....bring 'em back to America while you're at it, let him cook on the Rachael Ray Show, then get him back to whatever cave you found him in.

What's the difference between my suggestion and what CBS just did?


Except poor Rachael isn't involved.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Quick news and notes......

This morning's Richmond Times-Dispatch front page concerning the death of President Ford was incredibly classy and touching. Probably the best obituary front page photo I've ever seen them published (and I delivered their papers for 14 years).

John Edwards is running for President. Yawn. Joe Biden will get a double yawn.

There were, like, three more bowl games today. Why? A friend at work mentioned all the empty seats at a bowl game in California last night between Florida State and UCLA. I guess so. Do you think fans of schools of that caliber are going to go to San Francisco to see an Emerald Bowl? (Note the "spin" on the attendance figure in paragraph two of the story on the game's website.) Apparently, UCLA fans weren't even excited by the fact they didn't have to leave the state to see the game!

Now, what's the over/under on Miami fans flocking to Boise, Idaho for the MPC Computers Bowl?? 500? Am I being generous??

R.I.P. to my one and only Mama, who passed four years ago tonight. Doesn't seem that long. I continue to miss her, and always will.

In conclusion, 17 days until the return of Jack Bauer and "24"!!!! Therefore, you'll know what over half of the blog entries will be effective January 15th!!


Third annual New Years Eve blog, "year in review", coming Sunday night. Insomniacs rejoice!!

This, though, bothers me......

.....concerning "new" information from the late President Ford from "embargoed" interviews.

I saw the CBS 1984 interview clip Wednesday night where the President said how he really didn't want the phrase "long national nightmare" in the speech he gave immediately after taking the oath of office. That was interesting, and I could see why he'd want that saved.

But the headline on my CBS News Email at midday today talks of an interview Ford did in 2004 concerning his opposition to President Bush's decision to invade Iraq.

His opinion is fine, but, why did he want this embargoed?? He seemed to be very thoughtful and passionate about the subject, as I believe Ford would have been. He would have carefully thought it out before forming that opinion. But why embargo???

Did he not want to deal with the press, knowing they'd "use" him as a way to prove Bush wrong? My Lord, he was 91 at the time; I could see why he wouldn't want to deal with them.

Did he simply try to respect the office he once held?

For whatever reason, CBS News sure looked horrible to me today. I am sure I'm not the only person who saw this story and thought, "Dear Lord, he's not been dead two days and he's already being used as a political whip (no Congressional pun intended) against Bush."

Okay. Sorry. Just had to voice my opinion.

President Ford, a thanks.....

I'm sorry to hear of the passing of Gerald Ford, who was the non-politican President of sorts. It was perfectly fitting that he was the only President to serve and not be elected. He came up from our ranks and played a pivotal role in not only restoring faith in the Presidency, but bringing some normalcy back to American life. How?

The end, THE end of Vietnam.

No more Watergate pre-empting soap operas every day. That's NOT a smart-aleck statement. Watergate HAD to be "ended", "put behind" the American psyche. I was seven at the time of Nixon's resignation, and didn't understand a whole lot, but I liked Ford then and I better appreciate him in light of the prism of history.

I sure wouldn't have wanted the job. Think of "America-thought" in 1974.

We failed in Vietnam.
We were at the end of one cultural revolution.
Our governmental foundation had been rocked.

There were not a lot of people "waving the flag". The best two things to happen to America in the mid 1970's were Gerald Ford and the Bicentennial.

Well, the third was the premiere of Saturday Night Live, back when it was funny. :)

Thank you, President Ford, for a lesson in humility and leadership.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

POST #500----No, not the Gap Band and NOT a Lap Dance.....

First of all, Merry Christmas!

Secondly, I want to thank everyone who's been bored enough to check out this blog over its two plus years of existence. Today we type in post #500. For once in my life, I started something and actually kept it going.

On this Christmas Eve, what will our post #500 discuss? A radical change here in the Witham Nation.

My wife has been overweight since childhood. In our 19 years together, she's lost weight on two occasions, but "plateaued" at a level which was still over her ideal weight. Add some other health issues in recent years, and she recently decided to have Lap-Band Surgery.

What is it? Click here. She now has a "tiny" stomach, then the rest of her stomach. The goal is to change eating habits by having lesser portions, eliminating certain foods, emphasizing others, especially any food with lots of protein----then add regular exercise and water consumption.

Her goal? Lose 100 pounds over the next 12-24 months. And, as opposed to gastric bypass surgery, it provides gradual weight loss, rather than radical loss early. Here's a comparison of the two procedures.....

The number one reason she chose Lap Band was it did not require any stomach stapling, etc. It is also a reversible system. They can take the Lap Band out just as quickly as they put it in.

She stayed at the hospital overnight; came home around noon Friday. She is taking longer to back up and running than some others, so we're glad she doesn't return to work until January 5th (though the paycheck sure takes a hit!).

She has been and is still worried this "will not work". I continue to tell her it will because she has the will and strength to see it through. She wants to be physically able to be active with our kids, then with our grandkids.....we want to see her leg pains, back pain, HBP and thyroid conditions to improve or completely disappear.

And, yes, she was posed the inevitable question by several people, "Did you do this for your husband?" And, we ALL KNOW what they mean by that question.

Her answer to them has been, "He married he fat, didn't he??".

My answer is: well, yes, she did do it for me, so we can enjoy healthy active lives for many years to come (and now it's my turn to get some physical issues straight)!

BUT, it has NOTHING to do with any "lack of attractiveness" concerning her AWESOME body. It's always attracted me. :) :)

I will admit, though, that intimate relations after she loses 100 pounds should be very interesting, to say the least, in that new avenues and opportunities will arise. So, I'm excited about that and I know she will be, too, in time. Right now, her entire focus is on the culinary and lifestyle revolutions that have begun.

And looking at the five tiny and one medium-sized incisions 'round her belly.

We'll, of course, keep you posted on her successes, and, do you know anyone who has had the surgery? Click on "comments" below and give us your story!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

This is HILARIOUS----and NOT insulting!

Caught the end of a new "Monk" commercial on USA the other night. They have taken the early 90s rap song "Down with O.P.P" and turned it on its ear.

Are you down with O.C.D??

I can guarantee you there will be some people with O.C.D., some medical professionals, and some plain ol' fussbudgets out there who will get "insulted" by this "Monk-Mocking" of the disorder.

OCD has been a part of my life for, well, most of it. The real onset was at age 12, but I can remember things before that which, had people understood the disorder in the 1970's, would have signaled the "train coming down the track" as it were.

I LOVE the song. Click the above link at get down with OCD!!!!

It's true--regular wrestling fans do have a voice!

I've visited regularly since discovering it several years ago. It's the BEST site on the web for not only wrestling news, but excellent commentary as well as some funny comedy and parodies.

After getting home from the Armageddon PPV Sunday night, I sat down immediately at the computer and emailed them my synopsis of the evening. Being a longtime fan, but a first-timer at an actual event, I was excited to share my thoughts.

They sure weren't obligated to, but they published it today! I am honored they decided to do that. Make sure you do two things:

1) click on the above link and assuage my ego (ha!)

2) save to your favorites if you're a wrestling fan. You'll be glad you did.

Monday, December 18, 2006

WWE Armageddon----it almost blew up before it started.....

So, tell me something......why would the Richmond Coliseum and WWE decide to keep thousands of fans in line outdoors (one line was so long it curved back to itself and formed a second layer...I know, we were in that line) until literally minutes before their PPV. It's not like they can start 10 minutes late, considering the show is on TV worldwide.

I was already fired up to blog about the WWE's lack of planning when, finally, we got into the building, walked around to our seats........and sit. My son and I sat down at 7:47 for the 7:45 bell time. Ironically, now I'm glad they started three minutes late in house.

My son's early Christmas present was a BIG hit; he was as happy as I've ever seen him. We had a wonderful time----it was the first live wrestling event for both him and me.

Robbie? He was psyched for every match.

Me? Chris Benoit.

Until.......they changed the tag team title match from a regular team vs. team match to a ladder match AND added two more teams previously unannounced. So, instead of a possibly run-of-the-mill tag match, we saw the match that STOLE the show. How they sacrifice their bodies like that, running into ladders for 20 minutes, is beyond me. One wrestler ended up with a broken nose and tons of stitches. I won't tell you how it happened (it's kinda gross), but suffice it to say, his injury was NOT part of the script for last night's show.

Overall, a fascinating experience. I probably wouldn't go see them every time they came to I'd make my wife take Robbie next time. :) :)

In closing, it's pretty cool when your 14 year-old son looks at you in the middle of a live wrestling pay-per-view and isn't ashamed to say "I love you."

That was MY Christmas present.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Looks good on paper.......

Here I go, being cryptic again. :)

You've heard the term......

....a sports team trades for and signs free agents, trying to create the "best team money can buy". Then you look at their line-up, and say, "On paper, there's nobody who can beat these guys!"

Inevitably, some team that did not merit a piece of paper and investigation would come along and expose the dream team's fatal flaw, proving again that what looks best "on paper" isn't always the winner, and doesn't always translate to the reality of life.

This analogy can also be placed in human relationships, too. Family, spouse, parent, college buddies, neighbors, friends since childhood, doesn't matter. The analogy can work. Ponder this awhile; comment if you think any of this makes sense.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

.....that list you know nothing about, part five (with updates from parts I--IV)....

WJRA and WILD.....

......I've been corrected that Dave Kasale did not deliver eggs in the land of "Johnny and the Marbles". Rose did. I must admit not remembering a character named Rose.

......I also didn't remember that Johnny and Dave were police partners as well as brothers. We should revive this as "Law & Order: The Kasales".

......the game "fumble recovery" on the.....more like, diving onto the bed. Put all the pillows and blankets from my bed and my brother's bed into his bed to create the "defensive line". One of us tries to dive over the line, the other is on the bed as the middle linebacker of sorts. That poor bed, as my brother recently commented. Of course, we'd play until we heard footsteps coming down the creaky wood hallway.

Dad: "What's going on in there??!!??!!"

The Brothers Witham (now in their individual beds looking like they're watching TV): "Oh, nothing, Dad, nothing at all."

Loudest nothing you've ever heard! Oh, and then you can always throw the little football (you know, the kind the cheerleaders throw into the stands at halftime of your local high school football game.....) into the bed with pillows and blankets....and yell "fumble" and watch two guys scramble for the ball as if it were a Victoria's Secret model.

More things......

......Alan Smith and Karna Small anchor the 10 O'Clock News on Channel 5 in Washington.
......I watched some of the first ever episode of "20/20", and yes, if you know anything about this event....the show was THAT BAD.

......I also saw the first-ever "Nightline" with Ted Koppel, March 24, 1980---which, up until that time, had been a weeknightly (is that a word??) special report on the Iran Hostage Crisis. ABC decided to change it to a regular late-night news program which goes to this day. Why was I up at 11:30pm on a Monday night in the 7th grade?? Because earlier that night, I watched Louisville defeat UCLA 59-54 to win the NCAA Basketball Championship.

......the trampoline at elementary school. I never did do a forward flip. Awkward I was, which later led to the demise of my right shoulder in the summer of 2004....

......and kudos again to big brother for reminding me of a most painful day.....during that 7th grade/6th grade softball tournament we played in P.E. for day, the other team's power-hitting lefty came to bat and I switched from left-center to right-center. As I was jogging into position, the ball was hit...DEEP into right-field. I motor it as fast as possible to make the catch and show the position switch to be justifiable and successful.

I ALMOST got to the point of snagging the deep fly ball.......then BAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You see, the school basketball courts were kinda "behind right field"; you could call the chain-link fence surrounding the courts the "right field wall". But there was something else in that vicinity......right in front of the chain-link fence. That would be a soccer goal.

A soccer goal with a net......and made of....well...the kind of stuff you make soccer goalposts with.

Goalpost? Robbie. Robbie? Goalpost.

The entire left side of my body slams into the goalpost, immediately bringing my journey to the quickest of halts. I had enough wits about me to try to find the ball, which, along with my glove, were behind me kinda entangled or behind the netting. I got the ball, flipped it to my teammate, and, of course, by the time that happened, all the runs had scored.

My long-time next-door neighbor played on the other team, and later told me that, from his point of view back in the dugout, his first thought after I hit the pole was, "Oh, God, is he dead??" We've laughed long and loud about this since.....well, probably the day after it happened.

I look back and realize God was very gracious, allowing this incident to cause NO injury, and, a life full of funny anecdotes. Brian says my run back to the dugout at the end of the inning was somewhat staggered, and my next at-bat was a joke. Three pitches, three swings, have a seat.

What a day. :)


......the orthodontist with halotosis. He was much nicer, though, than the original orthodontist, a very cranky old man. Sorry, but the truth is the truth.

......the opening day of the 1982 Worlds Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. I was there. Weekend 9th grade French class field trip.

......cowboy baths....

......the ultimate measure of athletic greatness in elementary school: The 600 yard run.

......Frog dissection. Cool!!!

......the first night the air conditioner was in my window in the spring. :)
......the first night the air conditioner was out for the winter. :( NO NOISE!!!!! first dance (8th grade junior high).

......"good job". Those two words led to my first love. Didn't need a pick-up line to hook, line and sinker me, huh?? :)

......The Unknown Comic!!! Gene-Gene the Dancing Machine!!! Tossing my hats at the bedpost, trying to land the hat on said part of furniture.

......the first letter I received from my first love, on my 14th birthday, June 23, 1981.

......let me clue you in that, well, we never became an item. BUT we are friends to this day and I love her dearly (but more like a sister now.....hee hee).

......The Ridge Cinema Theatre.

......"The Top 100 of the 70's" radio special, New Year's Eve 1979 on Q-94 in Richmond, sponsored in part by Tiffany's Bridal, with the jingle, "Tiffany's, where the gowns are!", sung by an average lounge singer.

......come to think of it, that's about all I ever was, too. :)

......WKBW, Buffalo. Music in the nighttime, baby! brother listening to the Lou Dean Show on WRVA.....he was the all-night host at the time.
Unbelievably, I worked with him over 20 years later. I still can't believe that.

......Murphy's Mart in Ashland.

......The Annual Family Day for church, held at the Ladysmith Ruritan Club.

......The Penny Crusade.

......the elderly couple who came as they were able to church on Sundays, driving a Chevrolet Corvair. I would ask myself, "what kind of car is that??"

......and, finally, in this edition.....The Ultra Code.

The perfect lead-in to my high school years---FILLED with stuff you know nothing about.....:)

Just a brief political thought......

......maybe Hillary Clinton is giving Sen. Barack Obama some moments in the spotlight........ when she accepts the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination, she has a natural running mate poised and ready to go.

Thinking like this "THIS" early, you say?!?

Wouldn't surprise me.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Balance of power hanging in balance--who controls Senate? Who will be committee chairmen?---oh, and by the way, how's the Senator from South Dakota?

I absolutely flippin' do not believe what I've seen the past few days in press coverage of the emergency brain surgery and critical health condition of Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota.

Let's break this down......

---Wednesday midday, Senator Johnson falls ill.

---630pm, ABC and NBC lead their newscasts with the "possible stroke" suffered by Senator Johnson, but cannot resist going into a conversation with "Washington correspondents" about the sudden political implications with the balance of power so even in the Senate.

---635pmish.....CBS gets to the story, goes to Gloria Borger, who first says that, of course, the first priority now is to think of the Senator and his family, then launches into the 94 percent of her report....which concerns how his health possibly affects the balance of power in the Senate.

---7pm ET-----SENATOR JOHNSON GOES INTO SURGERY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The poor man hadn't even entered the operating room and pundits around the nation were talking as if we'd better prepare for his temporary or permanent departure from the political landscape, and since the Governor of South Dakota appoints a successor, and he's a Republican......yadda, yadda, yadda.

My dad had major brain surgery in May, 1984 for an anuerysm, and let me tell you, you know NOTHING but approximate percentages of risks going in, and NOTHING definite as to short and long term damage until days, weeks, MONTHS later.

But meanwhile, Dick Cheney is back practicing pounding a gavel with a smile and Sen. Harry Reid, privately, is.....well, one has to wonder what the political part of him is thinking. I wouldn't want to be him right now. He's genuinely concerned about his fellow Senator, he visits the hospital daily, the press I'm sure hounds him as he leaves, etc....etc.....

So.....before we determine the Senate seating arrangement, anoint 2008 Presidential nominees, elect one.....etc.....

how about we pray for the good Senator's recovery? Step by step, day by day.....

....I guarantee you he'll show much more progress during a difficult time of recovery and therapy than any legislation will NO MATTER WHO IS IN CHARGE of the Senate.

Thank you, and good night.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

As I was driving home.....

.....I wondered late tonight if there was any significance to December 13th in my personal history.

Didn't take me too many years counting backwards to realize....

...I had my last "real" conversation with my Mama four years ago tonight. Our communication in the hospital was very little; most of it as she slipped into a coma for the last time.

Four years already. Happy thought: is NOT the last conversation I'll ever have with her.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Remember this?

I'd be shocked if there are more than four or five still running today.

The Chevy Monza I alluded to in the last post. :)

Yo, bro---remember?? Didn't it have an FM Radio, or am I dreaming?? :)

...that list you know nothing about, part four (so as to not forget I'm still doing this and haven't done so in over a month....

--bedroom basketball (when the suction cups stayed on the mirror, that is....)

--the first time I got to stay home instead of having to go with the church choir to another boring revival service because I wasn't old enough to stay home....

--July 1982, a church that shall remain nameless in Louisa County, Virginia, where I witnessed, to this day, still, the worst sermon my ears have been privy to. In fact, I think the conclusion is still echoing somewhere in the countryside near Mineral or something.....

--Dear Dee.....


--Card Sharks, the TV game, and the game I played pretending to be a game show host, with a deck of cards.

--Three Stooges at 4:30, Gilligan at 5, Get Smart at 5:30.

--my first hair permanent (1/24/81, the day before my Raiders won Super Bowl XV).

--Meatballs (the movie! Going to the theatre with my brother to watch it, and today wondering why it's NEVER on television)

--Star Wars in the Ashland Theatre, Ashland Virginia.

--My best ever trip to North Carolina, 1982, summertime. Bro and I travel during the overnight to get there; spend a few days at Granny and Granddaddy's, enjoying the land, checkin' out the garden, going into town in Granddaddy's '66 Red Dodge Truck, shelling peas on the front porch. The last night, a visit to Aunt Wanda's near Raleigh, then the trip home, again in the middle of the night, arriving at 3:45am, just in time to see Dad get up to go to work at Ukrops!

--My worst news after returning from my best trip to North girlfriend wrote to break up with me. That night, I stayed up 'til 3:45am listening to the radio and, at the wise old age of 15 years, 1 month, trying to pick up the pieces.

--Nichols Dept Store, Fredericksburg, Virginia

--Dad loved the subs from KMart in Fredericksburg. Always stopped to get one if he had to go up to visit a church member in the hospital.

--My one season in Little League. The highlight? A two-run single to rightfield. :)

--Monzas. Two of them.

--Is it me or is the chimney leaning?

--The 7th grade/6th grade P.E. softball spring tournament....(my team won--I think we won 15 games, they won 13.)

--Fluffy! Fluffy Dog! Fluffy, Fluffy, Fluffy, Fluffy, Fluffy Dog!

.....more to come.......

Rosie says, "Be tolerant of my was just comedy!!"

Wonder if Michael Richards could have gotten away with that??

If you haven't been clued in on Rosie's "humor" recently on "The View", mocking Asians while explaining how the drunk Danny DeVito appearance would be covered in, say, China.

Well, click here for the story.

I do want to emphasize the statement from her spokesperson....

"She's a comedian in addition to being a talk show co-host," Cindi Berger, O'Donnell's spokeswoman, said in a statement. "I certainly hope that one day they will be able to grasp her humor."
On Dec. 8, O'Donnell wrote in her
blog "it was not my intent to mock." She clarified her position on Dec. 10, calling the bit "comedy."

Grasp her humor?? Heh?? What?? Comedy??

When she does something, it's comedy. When you do something, it's despicable. I think it's a very fair statement to say, when it comes to insulting a race of people, there's no real difference between the actions of O'Donnell and that of Richards a few weeks back.

Whether Richards was truly sorry, we don't know.....he did say he was. Either sincerity or damage control.

Rosie? She just chalks it up as "comedy" and her self-perception of her perfection continues.


Remember, Rosie also showed keen insight into today's Evangelical Movement back in September by saying....

Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have separation of church and state…"

I have no problem with her saying this. I don't want to call for any boycott. If anything, it makes me sad that she would make such a statement without obviously doing any serious analysis of Christians in 21st Century America.

Last time I went to a Baptist church, for example, I don't remember the women veiled and ordered to shut up, or a business meeting after church to discuss finding and apprehending a church members' cousin who recently converted to Islam so he could be tried, convicted, and beheaded.

You want a Christian jihad?? Bring the subject of "what color carpet do we want in the new fellowship hall?" up at a church members' meeting and see what hell breaks loose!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I knew she was attractive and very smart......

...but this makes it official!!!

I love Michelle Malkin. She's left-handed!!!

Now, three great reasons to love Michelle.

PLUS, for all you leftys out there like Michelle and I, check out this post from her blog. Eat your heart (or hand!) out, rightys!!

The Latest From Iran.....the brave, the haters, and the secret lover of women without a veil!!! two-day conference to discuss the Holocaust.

Here is a brave Arab at this "event". I pray he lives to see 45 and beyond.

And as for the award-winning seminars? Well, check out paragraph six from this article. Somehow, I think "Knitting and You" got bumped at the last minute.

And finally today, let's see what President "I'm A Jar-Head" was caught doing that goes against the teachings of Islam! Guess he tells people he didn't check out the Victoria's Secret Special last week thanks to a special satellite uplink. Ha!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Glenn Beck Show, November 30, 2006---the transcript (blog catch-up, part 3)

Want to know the real reason President Amhadinejad (aka President Tom, aka Scary Doofus) wrote "a letter to the American people"?

Want to know why political correctness is corrupting us (the U.S.)? Why are we so scared to call out the nutjob extremist Islamofacists that truly do want to destroy Israel and Western Civilization (if you don't think so, I suggest a Reader's Digest study of the history of Islam and Christianity, the battles of the past, and the rise of today's extremists, which arguably had their coming out party at the Munich Olympics in 1972 with the world watching....)??

Why are we (the U.S.) stupid enough to think we're invincible?

Read the first half of THIS transcript, in case you missed the 11/30 Glenn Beck Show on Headline News.

You oughta watch Beck sometimes (7p, 9p, and midnight eastern)....yeah, you might give up an edition or two of Jeopardy!, but you might be smarter after watching Beck rather than Alex!!

I'm the 360 man, not Anderson Cooper!!! (blog catch-up, part two)

So, it starts out like any Tuesday with outpatient surgery scheduled for the wife. Up early, to the hospital, she goes in, she comes out, she doesn't throw up (Thank God!! She gets big-time ill on anesthesia), and we're home by 10:15.

Procedure goes flawlessly, Mom is really groggy, is in pain, and is nauseated.

I log on to my work computer, and within the half hour, I discover an employee in my department has resigned.

Now, I'm in pain, mentally nauseated, and I wished to be groggy.

So began a day of....

1) Taking care of wifey (meds, soup, crackers, etc....)

2) Damage control at work, by working from home.

13 hours later, I signed off the work computer, and, though still pained, Ms. Witham was feeling better and no longer nauseated.

As for me? I felt better, much more mentally stable, and enjoying the medication that made me feel that way. :) :)

So, my day is spent in the computer chair. 180 degree turn to wifey, 180 degree turn to computer. Stay in chair, take care of the world.

Glad it worked out that way, because I'm still dealing with traveling far from home, so I'm not really ready to spend a week in Turkey. So, Anderson, you can keep that assignment.

But, I'll fight ya for the "360" label. :)

The Wolfpack frustration continues..... Chuck Amato is let go as N.C. State head football coach.

I credit him with the Philip Rivers era (the highlight being the slaughtering of Notre Dame in the Gator Bowl New Years Day, 2003), but with it comes responsibility for the past few years, especially 2006.

It's sad, because he injected some serious life into the football program. Now it's time for another dosage. But who comes to Raleigh??

Butch Davis is moving in at Chapel Hill, Wake Forest just won the ACC Championship (congrats to the Deacons!), and Duke doesn't count in football. :)

I have no idea who may be on the list, but think of this.....

---When Amato came in 2000, it was still basically Florida State and the rest of the league. State beat FSU four out of the past six years, including the first league win by anyone against FSU in Tallahassee.

---Now, going into 2007, it's wide open in terms of which ACC team wants to step up and be the "Wake Forest" of the year. So.....

...would this not intrigue some coach (a good, hungry one; I don't care about name recognition at all) into coming to Raleigh, recruiting voraciously, adopt and follow a set plan, and, maybe, sooner than you think, it's the Wolfpack in the BCS??

This is how open the ACC is now.....Virginia beat Miami this season. Virginia stunk. Questions?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Construction crew returns......

...yes, another change or two to our blog.

--New link list, easier to distinguish each one on this template.
--Good type and font to read.

Working on other things, too. Thanks for your patience!

Connecting with Cats (blog catch-up, part I)

Haven't been here this week, and now, on a late Saturday evening, I can begin reviewing this past week, all its craziness, and why I'm playing "Blog Catch-Up".

Monday 11/27: That appliance I referred to two posts ago? It was delivered Monday morning. I had backup to "house sit" for me in case the delivery arrived after 10am, but cancelled it when the guys showed up before that. They did a great job (and quick, too!), and before you know it, I'm heading out the door for work....

.....when all of a sudden, I have this feeling to make sure the cats are okay. Normally, the only thought I give them is, "don't kill the house or each other", and I head for the van. This time was different. I had to make sure they were in the house....probably because the front door was open alot during the demise of one washer, and the debut of the other. Recently, the cats have been taken into the backyard for some outside time by the rest of the family, so, remembering a day in spring 2005 when I couldn't find Katie Pickles on my lunch break (finally did), I commenced searching.

"Kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty!"---usually gets us a double response of jingling necks. Not this time.

Again. Nothing. More nothing. Then, I get worried and head outside to the front yard, looking. Nothing.

I come back in the house, turn to the hallway, and there's Cody, staring at me. Whew! "Cody....where's your sister??" For awhile he just kinda, well, was a cat.

A few minutes later I realized that where I went, Cody went. I dig into our walk-in closet in the bedroom, where she's been known to be found, and Cody joins in.

When I stop, sit down in the living room and call Mom, Cody lies down on the floor in front of me. We check closets, behind the new washer, even the kids' rooms even though their doors were closed.

Zoe loves to hide under our bed. Not there. My worry is now panic. I can't go through another episode a la Katie Pickles (having to tell the kids a pet is gone or dead).

I tell Cody to hang on, run to the van, and take a SLOW drive around the block calling for her and looking (as best you can) for a cat whose colors blend in well in portions of the great outdoors.


Did she get out the front door, climb the fence, and get in the back yard? to the porch to look out the windows. Nothing. Finally I was going to open the back door and go in the yard (which I didn't want to do fearing Cody would follow), and I just happened to look behind the TV stand on the porch.

There they were---Zoe's eyes. Apparently the movers scared her and she landed in the porch corner behind the small TV and stand.'s big enough that Zoe realized once there, she couldn't get out.

I helped her out, sat on the porch floor and bawled. They scared the crap out of me. But I learned something that morning........I connect with those cats more than I thought. And they even like me. :)

So, in a word......Whew!

November's Winning Numbers.......

.....7, 18, 20, 25, 25, 30.

You didn't know numbers were eligible for multiple appearances?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Yo! Still here....

Working on re-doing my link list and it's taking a bit of time (the links are too close together!) after I take my wife for outpatient surgery in the AM, I hope to work more on it tomorrow.

More post-cruise news, a big scare with the cats, and a new appliance....all still to come.

Boy, a new appliance. I get excited about that??!!??

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thankful to go home......

I mentioned at the end of my last post (and forgive me for my absence, but doing five days' worth of work in three is, ah, a daunting task.) that it was time and we were going home.

To our home church. Where I pastored for nine years.

We hadn't been back since my closing service last Christmas. I had specific reasons for waiting this long.

1) I began a sabbatical. It was time to be away from pastoral responsibilities and be the parishoner for a season.

2) Quicker is cleaner. Coming right back to visit within a few weeks just isn't a good idea.

3) My most important reason by far: I never wanted to cause any problem or delay in the impending search for the next pastor. So, as they as a church family began to move to their next era, they needed to be focused forward.

We had two times in May where we visited with some of the wonderful people. One was a couples' event, the other....yep. That "24" finale party.

But for about a month now I'd been seriously thinking about heading down one Sunday morning. I'm not sure when I made the decision, but I told the kids about it during Mom's cruise. Boy were they excited!!

So, off we went down I-295, stopping for breakfast on the run at Burger King, and getting south to Prince George. The biggest change was going 'round the final curve on the road where you get to the church.

The woods to the right always obstructed the view of the church so that it "came up on you" on the road (easy to pass it before you realize it).

Rounding the curve last Sunday, my three passengers let out a collective "WHOA!" when they saw that all the trees had been cleared on that right-hand side. Now, you can SEE the church rounding the curve!!

"What's so big about that?", you ask.

Any time you are marketing anything, from a can of peas to a church, sight can be very important. It's NOT the most important, though (remember, I work in radio!).

But, in this case, the church, really off to itself at the fork of two back roads(one well traveled, the other not), needed this.

It was great to see everyone, not many that were there during our time were not there that day. There was Thanksgiving dinner after service, which is why I chose this particular Sunday, giving us a chance to fellowship with 'em after church.

It won't be another 11 months before we return again. They have a wonderful interim pastor (former missionary who is a neighbor of a church couple. She filled in when I was on vacation several times.) Her grace and ministry style is perfect for the church in this season.

I don't know how the search for the next pastor is going. As long as it's following God's will, I need no details. Go get 'em, Bethlehem!!!


Hope you've had a great Thanksgiving. The family was surprised to have me AWAKE for once. I even rode to Wal-Mart this morning!!

Dinner at Bonnie's "oldest younger sister's" house, and football! Tonight, I gave the TV to my wife to enjoy her shows instead of watching NFL Network's inaugural football game broadcast.


1) I'm a nice guy. :)

2) I heard Bryant Gumbel call a few wasn't good. Let the rumor mill commence as to who the voice of NFL Network coverage will be in 2007.

For those of you prepping to go out and spend five hours in line tonight in whatever kind of weather so you can get the buy of the year at 5am....I'm happy to say you will not be joined by me.


Saturday, November 18, 2006


The final of the Dozen Days was very trying. I had to ask a family member to pick up the kids to bail me out so I could keep my head above the huge pile of work on my desk...... half-day scheduled ended up at 7pm. So, rather than having the 4p to 10p block to clean the house and prepare for Mom's arrival, it was more like 730 to 10p.

We went thru this house like a white tornado. Understand, we did NOT let the place go into a "trash-heap" condition, but we weren't quite on top of the game Wednesday and Thursday due to outside issues; plus, we spent MOST of our time on the kids' rooms. Gee, that's a shocker. :)

"Camp Witham" was diassembled so Mom would see her bedroom rather than a virtual tent. Then, Mom called thrice from Charlotte, apparently a plane issue ended up forcing her to another gate and a different plane, but, thankfully, the take-off time wasn't affected.

We celebrated on the ride over to the airport; Rachel and I watched the "countdown" on miles to go on the flight on the arrivals board until the word "arrived", well, arrived.

We sat briefly, then Rachel wanted to go stand at the gate when she saw others doing the same. Heck, even Robbie came over. A minute later, around the bend, comes Mom. I told Rachel, go hug her...then realized the security checkpoint was still between Rachel and Mom. Oops.

"BUT DON'T GO PAST THE SECURITY GUARD!!!!"---I yelled. All turned out well. The reunion was followed by everyone's favorite activity, "BAGGAGE CLAIM".

Ran into a friend from work just returning from a California vacation....

Wait a minute....

ME----Monsoon in Glen Allen

What did I do??!!!??!!?? :)

Back to the story, the bags arrive, we head for home, grab some Wendys (hey, it's 12:15 and there's no Taco Bell close by) and pull into the driveway.

Mom opens all the souvenirs and passes them 'round, the kids talk to Mom....and talk....and talk.....and.......

....Robbie cashed in first, then about 1:53 I said I gotta call it a night.

And thus, we were in the first day of the "Post Dozen Days" era. And she was home. And it felt like home once again.

And, I can guarantee you this.

As long as Rachel has ANYTHING to do with it, Mom will NEVER be gone nine days and eight days ever, ever, EVER again.

There's a new appreciation for Mom in the air. Now, it better translate into taking out the trash the first time you're asked........


Tomorrow? A surprise trip to a familiar place. It's been long enough. We're going home.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Son of Gaston.....

....soon I will post about a wild day of weather here yesterday that made me immediately think back to August 30, 2004.

Getting Rachel from school was, well, very trying on the ol' nerves. Thanks to God for seeing us through!

Oh, and as of now, MOM is back in Puerto Rico!!!

Plane arrives tonight at 1049pm-----can't wait to see her. But, first....WE GOTTA GET THE HOUSE CLEAN!!!


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Yeah, it must be middle age...

....when we went to see the preview of "Happy Feet" last night, new recording artist Gia Farrell performed before the movie. Her first single, "Hit Me Up" is on the soundtrack to the movie.

Last night it was great.
Late last night the tune hummed in my mind.
Tonight I'm listening to it over and over and over again. I can't stop. I cannot remember the last time a current song did that.

So, head to this site, and turn it up (I'm especially fond of the drums--great beat!)

And why do I say it's middle age? Because Gia was born AFTER I GOT MARRIED!!! Now I KNOW I'm getting old!

For those of us who don't sleep well at night.....

I wholeheartedly suggest GSN's "Playmania", starting at midnight eastern. Very attractive hostesses, and at least enough games to keep your mind from being so frustrated about how, once again, you're not sleeping.

I prefer nights with Mel. She's in the bottom picture. Beautiful British accent and can speak for three solid minutes without taking a breath, much less a pause. She must have oxygen off stage for what few breaks they take during the show. :)

You go, girls! This would have been great had it been on in 1981 when I was 14 with growing opposed to the CBS Late Movie. Ugh.

Well, mom is alive and well in the Caribbean...

....we got a phone call tonight around 630pm. She's doing fine and is ready to be home. I figured an 8-day cruise would be too long for her; five days would probably have sufficed.

She goes across the sea tomorrow and arrives in San Juan Friday morning. Our reunion is a little more than 48 hours away.

Today--Day 10: School, work, medicine for a friend, a trip to Ukrops to shop and waste time, and we dirtied more dishes tonight than I think we have in the past five combined! Spaghetti. Mmmmmm......

I'm doing everything in my power to pace myself for the remainder of the week. So tonight is an early night; going to bed at 9:30, NO later than 10p.

Tomorrow night will be a marathon of work, I'm sure, and, Friday night, I know I'll be on pure adrenaline, so, I'm not worried about then.

Whether Bonnie will feel like attending the annual gala at work Saturday night is another story, but she's being honored for ten years of service, so I urged her to make it.

Well, back to work via home computer. It's felt like three weeks, but now we enter the homestretch. I told Rachel today, "'ll be rolling your eyes at Mama before you know it."

I'm right, don't you agree?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Happy Feet was such a cute movie!!!!


yeah, I said "but".

I should have caught on about 1/3 of the way in when portions of an iceberg fell and with it a long buried "trawler" type machine (man-made, you know).

But then, halfway-ish through the film, "Happy Feet" reveals itself for the true product that, sadly, it is.

If you're not sure about going to see the movie, here's the plot (my view):

---Penguins were born to sing, therefore that's how they find and mate
---Dad dropped the egg during hatching season
---Baby Mumble came out with NO singing ability, but boy did he have happy feet!
---This is called the "Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer" syndrome. You get the picture. Where does outcast go? Well....(the main plot now weaves into the very good subplot of the underdog making the difference...)
---Penguins need fish.
---There are no fish.
---"Aliens have taken fish".
---Main character goes to the ends of the earth to find the aliens, who are found to be gawking at him at an aquarium.
---He gets a message to the aliens that penguins need fish.
---Aliens fight politically, then the U.N. says "send 'em fish".

So, the moral of our story is, every time you eat fish, there's a Gloria, or Mumble, or another penguin out there near the South Pole starving because it was theirs, and not yours.

I am ALL FOR taking care of our planet and its inhabitants. In fact, (Thank you Rick Warren!), some Christians are really beginning to take it seriously because, well, after all, God said to take care of the place when He sat Adam and Eve down here.

The word dominion can be also be termed "domain": tells us...

"1 : complete and absolute ownership of land -- compare EMINENT DOMAIN b : land so owned
2 : a territory over which dominion is exercised

But what we tend to forget is that absolute ownership does not mean the right to do whatever we please at the cost of affecting others. God NEVER gave man any "absolute" power; there's always a reason for it and accountability, too.

So, in that, I am supposed to take care of the earth and its creatures.

So I have no problem with that message in the movie.

But why did the humans have to be called "aliens" and determined to be the "evil ones that were taking the fish"?

Heck, one device, some beeps, and a copter later and you've got five aliens in red parkas sending video of the penguins back to the mainland so the politicking could begin.

They didn't need to go that route. The simple message of taking care of each other and all creatures would have sufficed.

The U.N. symbol was the last straw.

Take the kids? Yes, they'll enjoy it, especially Mumble's feet! The amigos he hangs out with later in the movie are the most hilarious characters by far.

But remember to tell your kid after dropping your popcorn receptacle IN THE TRASH CAN (don't leave it on the floor!!) that he's not evil because he likes going to Red Lobster.

Ne'er on dry land......

.....thought came through my mind (not many do) as the kids and I came home from seeing "Happy Feet" (a sneak preview, my review is above this post) that my wife became the first Witham in our family today.....

....ever to spend an entire 24 hour period at sea, never placing her feet onto earthen soil.

I don't know, that just struck me as pretty wild, being that, well, my idea of a cruise is taking my car down the street to Wawa for an Icee and some Cole Slaw.

It's Day Nine of The Dozen Days, and, we must admit a bit of "what?" to the fact that we've not received a phone call since Saturday at noon. I haven't seen the ship on CNN, so I know they're okay, and I know CRUISE LINES OFFER NO WAY TO TALK TO YOUR FAMILY IN THE OUTSIDE WORLD THAT COSTS LESS THAN AN ARM AND LEG!!!!

But, hopefully tonight she will call, to just make sure all is well, before her last, and longest (maybe biggest) excursion, to Aruba. Ship arrives 7am, they can party 'til midnight,'s back on the ship for the first leg of her journey home.

Again, we're hoping she doesn't decide to stay on for, like, employment with Royal Caribbean. The three of us would be against that.

There are 209 hours from 5am last Thursday, when she waved goodbye at security at RIC, to 10pm Friday night, when we're on the way to back to RIC to pick her up (flight arrives at 10:49pm...I hope!).

We're coming up on 136 hours down, 73 to go.

And, oh, it's almost 10pm on the ship. Wonder if she got to watch Gilmore Girls at sea?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Thanks, Ed

Was stunned to see the breaking news email come over last Thursday at work that Ed Bradley had passed away at 65. I, as millions of others, had no idea he was ill.

The last time I saw him was reporting on the Duke Lacrosse story on CBS Evening News early into the Couric era. I don't remember him looking or sounding out of sorts.

I'm so sorry to hear of this----not just a barrier-breaker for African-Americans in journalism, but one of the greatest reporter/interviewers ever.

Asked the tough questions, used body language (his) to his advantage, knew that he wasn't the story, knew exactly how to do it right.

Rest in Peace, Ed, and thanks.

"You don't see me; I'm not here...."

I wasn't supposed to be there.

But I was.

Long story.


Welcome to the highlights of day eight of The Dozen Days!

--Bonnie: Enjoying the spoils (and the humidity?) of Casteries, St Lucia.

--Robbie: Enjoying (?) another Monday at school, leaving a bit early to go to the orthodontist where the light may be at the end of the tunnel. Hmmmm......

--Rachel: Another Monday at school, and she's stuck with Dad the rest of the day. Poor soul.

--Me: The above discussed, work from home, and not much else.

In other words, it's been a flippin' BORING Monday at Witham Nation Headquarters.

My use of the word "boring" does confirm that a nap was not in the cards. That sucks.

TOMORROW: Bonnie travels, to arrive in Aruba on Wednesday morning, so a whole day on the ship. Gee, buffets, entertainment, sunsoaking, swimming pools, pretty ladies in bikinis (oh..sorry, that would be on my list), buff guys NOT in Speedos...what more does she want?? :)

HERE?---Work, school, home.

As consistent as Tinkers to Evers to Chance.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Our own little water expedition.....

Bonnie wasn't the only Witham around water today.

Now, the circumstances can't be compared.

Bonnie: On the island of St. Kitts, temps in the 80s, the beautiful ocean awaiting their return to the cruise ship.

Rob, Rachel, Robbie: Wet getting to the van, watched the creeks and front yards in the neighborhood flood, get wet getting into the church, and wet getting out.

I think it's still raining outside. Two inches today, plus wind. A perfect day to stay inside.

Good timing, honey. Be glad you were in St. Kitts.


--Back to school
--Dad's day off cancelled (too much work)
--Robbie to the orthodontist

...oh, and Mom? A longer trip overnight through the Atlantic to make it to St. Lucia tomorrow, their fourth stop in four days, but, their next to last.

Tuesday is a travel day so Wednesday they can be in Aruba (she'll be so close to Caracas, Venzeuela---would she shake hands with Hugo Chavez? HA!).

They get 7a to midnight there as kind of their "super final stop", as Thursday they travel and arrive back in San Juan Friday at 7am.

They have some time to shop there, then head for the airport. Two airports later, there will be some people waiting for her. All of their last names are Witham.

Thus ends day seven of The Dozen Days. Day eight is next after another restless night because someone's not in the bed with me (no, I'm not talking about the cats!)

Miss you, sweetie. :)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

It doesn't feel right......

....that's the summation of Rachel and I with Mom being gone this Saturday.

Mom called!! She was in ANTIGUA at the time and is doing well, other than the jacuzzi being broken and she said her air conditioning sucked.

You'd think with all that money to run a cruise ship they'd buy a new jacuzzi and have a better AC system! For the price you pay, they should! But, ne'ertheless, the excitement and excursion continues for Bonnie, Sharon, Stephanie and her hubby.

And the excursion continues here in Witham Nation, with Dad having some trouble getting up this morning (Rachel says I was talking weird when she first got up, and I do remember talking to her but having a dream at about the same time.)

Today's checklist:

Wash some dishes, soak the others.....
Rachel's clothes dried, she put 'em away.
Robbie did something, I just can't remember what. :)
Robbie and Danny to Yu-Gi-Oh tourney.
Dad and Rachel to work.
The three of us to Ashland for Ponderosa!
A stop at Ukrop's, then the arrival of "the dreaded cousin" to spend the night with Rachel and go to church with her in the morning.


We might fight some thunderstorms.
The days in the 70s will come to a screeching halt.
My first chance to experience Winns.
We'll finish the dishes (Dad is telling everyone over and over as they open a cabinet door..."paper plates and cups!!!")
I will work many hours via the home computer.

Mostly, we'll think about Mom as she takes in St. Kitts, her third port of call in three days.

And, I'll wish to be able to take a nap. :)

Nite all!

The Dozen Days: We're halfway home.

Thank God it' Saturday!!!

This Friday (11/10, my 7th anniversary at WRVA) will go down as one of the busiest on record.

Workload like you would not believe today; I'll be picking up the pieces and tying the shoelaces over the weekend to make sure I can still take Monday off and SLEEP!! Well, at least during school hours. :)

Then, tonight, late for the PH/Hermitage game, because we're late leaving work (THANK GOD FOR AUNT SHERRY, who was kind enough to bring the kids to work), have to grab something to eat, run home and make sure the hamster is okay (someone left Rachel's bedroom door open, which is a no-no, being that the cats could hypothetically go in, see Chloe (aforementioned hamster), and salivate.

Then, it's off to Hermitage High School to call, as my broadcast partner Stubby Price dubbed it, "The Witham Bowl".

Robbie's first year at Hermitage, so it's officially a father vs. son game.

Score one for the son! Big time.

Patrick Henry was 8-1 with a simple mission. Win tonight, you go to the playoffs. Lose tonight, the season is over. Hermitage was 6-3 and their playoff chances were about as good as the chance you'll ever find me on a seven-night cruise.'s senior night, and Hermitage's field is, to me, a pretty imposing place to play. It's built for good home-field advantage.

Tonight they could have played anywhere and it wouldn't have mattered. Hermitage senior running back Nick Lockhart could never have dreamed this scenario for his final home game.

253 yards.....five touchdowns.


Before a minute had been played, Hermitage was up 6-0. PH scored to take the lead, then Hermitage scored their 2nd TD, retook the lead and never looked back.

Plays of the game? Two of them. PH had the ball at the Hermitage 4 yard line, not once, but twice in the first half, where, on the next play, they fumbled the football.

Arguably, 14 points lost. Add that to the fact that Lockhart and Quarterback Ju-Ju Clayton were running at will against the Patriots defense whose reputation for speed was known throughout the district, and the halftime score was 27-7.

Final score: Hermitage 41, Patrick Henry 14.

So, that ends the post-season hopes, the 2006 campaign, and we say thank you to D.J. Thomas, Todd Bowden, Hunter Osborne and several others who graduate this year.

But, as Coach Long said in a TV interview tonight, he has eight returning offensive and seven returning defensive starters plus more players coming, his outlook for 2007 seemed VERY optimistic. He also spoke like a man who has no intention of retiring after this, his 25th season as head coach.

Hey, and 8-2 record with a sophomore quarterback, and after losing lots of players to graduation last year? Not bad. It's just a shame everything went against them tonight.

The costly fumbles. Several guys went down hurt (mostly cramps or sprained ankles), one of their best lineman did not play due to an injury, and then the excellent play of the Hermitage running game, and, as the game went on, the Panther defense's speed and tenacity.

Plus, lest we forget senior night for a proud program..... all equalled Patrick Henry home next Friday, and congratulations to Clover Hill for making the Division 6 Playoffs as the fourth seed.

#4 Clover Hill will face #1 Varina in one semi-final...
#3 Highland Springs travels to #2 L.C. Bird for the other....

My thoughts? L.C. Bird is the three-time defending Division 6 Central Region Champions. I consider them the favorites until somebody (Varina?) can finally knock them off.

Then, in Division 5, where PH would have waltzed into the playoffs (if the school had 50 to 75 less students, it would qualify to be a "Division 5 Sized" school.), we have these wacky results.

#3 Huguenot will travel to #2 Deep Run (Colonial District Champs) in a rematch of a semi-final game from 2005....
#1 Matoaca will host......#4 Hanover. HANOVER???

Yes, that Hanover. They finished 5-5 and they're in the playoffs for the first time. I'd like for someone to look into the record books to find out the last year a Hanover County team other than Patrick Henry made the playoffs in the same season where PH did not.

Matoaca has been ranked #1 in the region pretty much all year, so they have to be favored, even though if they get Deep Run in the final, that's a game I'd drive and pay to see.

So, Stubby and I finish our 5th season together, a disappointing one for me because I lost out on some games due to illness. I told Stubby on the air tonight, by next season, I will have passed 40 years of age, the issues will have straightened themselves out (hee hee) and we'll be ready for a full campaign.

And, the way Coach Long looked after the game, I think he and his guys will be ready, too.



Rachel: School, picked up by Aunt Sherry, meets Dad at the station, sits in the booth for the Hermitage game, has stuffy, runny nose, takes medicine and goes nite-nite.

Robbie: School, including a choral performance, meets Dad at the station, sits in the booth, too----wins "Witham Bowl I", knows a coach who's in the press box, comes home, eats, and now sleeps.

Dad: Kids to school, Ukrops quickly, work, work, work, breathe, work, get the idea---off with the kids eventually to the game, broadcast from there, come home.

Mom: Anyone know anything about Philipsburg, St. Maarten?? Well, Mom does now. Can't wait to hear the details (or read), as we didn't catch up to each other today.

So, it's 2:23am on the ship, 1:23am at Witham Nation Headquarters, so I guess it's welcome to The Dozen Days: Day Six.

Happy sailing!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

She's on board!!

Her Richmond to Charlotte flight started and ended a few minutes early.

Her Charlotte to San Juan flight was only a few minutes late.

She called around 7pm AST (she's an hour ahead of us)......

....and as of about 45 minutes ago, they set sail.

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was today following her travels on the Internet to make sure she got there safe and sound.

Now, I cannot begin to tell you how much I miss her. Bonnie and I have never been apart more than five nights in 19 years.

So, the kids are camping out in my room, and Rachel and I are using Kleenex. Robbie's the typical 14 year old boy (miss who???), but I know what's deep down in his heart.

So, Mom, if you get access to read this-----

Thursday went fine.
Rachel says every day it'll get easier and easier.
I have to scratch HER back!!!
Robbie's ready for his choral performance.
I have a mountain of work to do in seven hours tomorrow.
No one starved.
All the animals were fed (including the human kind)....

....and this place is just not the same without you. We love and miss you very much and WANT YOU TO HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE!!!

Because we don't mind giving up a few days of our lives with you so you can relax and enjoy this trip which you so incredibly deserve.

The Dozen Days....four down, eight to go.

She's off!

Rachel and I have just returned from the airport (which has changed so much since my last trip there three years ago) and Mom should be getting ready to board her US Airways flight; first to Charlotte, then to San Juan.

I had not been inside an airport since 9/11 and didn't know you couldn't go to the actual gate entrance and say goodbye anymore, so we did our hugging at the first security checkpoint and off she went.

AND, I didn't even pay a parking fee! In and out in under 30 minutes.

So, time for a quick, quick nap, then it's up, off to work and school!

Let the madness begin! :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Welcome to the Pre-Cruise Show!

Today is day three of the "Dozen Days", the final day Mom is "in da house"!

She's supposed to take off from RIC airport at 6am tomorrow. Heh. 615, 630 anyone?

This time tomorrow night, she'll be on the Empress of the Seas, setting sail for eight nights and seven days of food, food, fun, food, being catered to, and food.

This time tomorrow night, I'll be here, in front of my computer, with an update, then I'll return to working from home, which I'll do alot the next eight days.

My daughter (age 9), who doesn't remember that I cooked when I was home with her and her brother (albeit when she was a baby), might be concerned that I cannot cook, therefore, she'll starve.

She's in for a surprise. DAD, YOU CAN COOK??!!???

Another surprise...."See Robbie and Rachel, YOU CAN WASH DISHES!!!"

Oughta be two wild rides, one in the Caribbean, the other at Witham Nation Headquarters.

Ahoy, mates!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Too much to blog....

.....concerning tonight's election returns.

The Senate Race here is razor thin close as of 10:04pm.

I'll be around the next few days.

My wife won't! The cruise is calling! Soon!

I will follow you, Michelle..... still my beating heart.

Fox rocks for many reasons, but here's another. Want blog talk? No one's better than she is!

Monday, November 06, 2006

...that list you know nothing about....part three (so as not to forget I'm still doing this....)

U-Tot-Em Stores, who sold the original Icee.

Icee, the first word I ever said!

Getting knocked unconscious playing football in the backyard

Shadow football

Knee football

Indoor basement hockey (cardboard box goals, tennis ball as puck, putter or 3-iron, your choice, as hockey stick)

Injured shins as a result of indoor basement hockey

Five-Second Ball

The Witham Memorial Open Golf Tournament

The nine-hole golf course at home.

Hole Five, a par five. Dogleg it right around the house to the green in three or be brave and try to knock it over the house and make the green in an amazing one (or two) out for the LARGE PICTURE WINDOW right in front of you!!

I still can't believe we never broke that window as many times as we teed off from there.

So, don't even try to begin to tell me there isn't a God. :)

.....more to come.....

The Dozen Days: Day One

CRUISE COUNTDOWN: 3 Days and counting

"The Dozen Days" will consist of the three days of prep culminating in Mommy's cruise to the Caribbean with her best friend, Stephanie, which will take up days 4 thru 12. Today was day one.

Mommy says bye to co-workers at the Credit Union (several of whom attempted to hide in her van to be a stowaway). Tonight, she enjoys some TV (I wonder if they can watch CSI: Miami on board??)......

.....Rachel and Robbie on day one? School. But they are out tomorrow, so Rachel's staying up late to watch Rascal Flatts on the CMA Awards (God help me!) while Robbie, of course, is watching another flat episode of Raw (which is why I don't watch anymore, but, hey, he's 14 and I'm not). First, very happy to say no chest pains today! Work was BUSY, am working from home now, and have another long day ahead tomorrow.

Tomorrow: Parent-Teacher conference with Rachel's teacher, going to vote, and working ALOT. Because I will be home Wednesday night at a GOOD time (got to spend my last night with wifey before she gets conned by some Don Juan on the boat, you know!)

So, day one? A normal Monday.

See you day two, when "the cruise" will be "day after tomorrow"! Oh my gosh!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006


The only way to describe it.

Friday morning's trip to work was normal as normal could be until a pain came upon my chest that felt as if Wile Y. Coyote and his anvil had fallen on it.

Serious heartburn!---thought I. I searched the building for Tums, et al, all the while in tremendous pain, found some pepcid (thanks, Amy!), but it didn't go away (I know, Pepcid doesn't work in 13 seconds....)

So, given family history, I called Bonnie, she came to work, picked me up, and we went straight to see her sister and brother-in-law to get an EKG. By now, most of the pain had left.

Results looked about normal. Anxiety, stress, lack of sleep most likely cause.

But with my family history, I must say....the most raw emotion that whisked through my body and my mind Friday morning was "scared".

Happy to say, today (with lots of sleep last night and this morning) has been better.

Hopefully, soon, I can get back to that list of things you don't understand....

....but this was so real, I had to relate, knowing many of you can relate, too. Either as patient, or caretaker.

Now, to practice my latest quote----"don't let stress break your heart". Good nite.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Lament, October Winning Numbers, another lament

I am alive. I just wanted the three of you who check in to know that. :)

I am SO busy at work right now, it's surreal. Hopefully I can catch up this weekend, because I miss this outlet of venting, celebrating, etc. very much.


Not enough winning numbers. That's my second lament.

P.S.---Want John Kerry to attend your local Veteran's Day event next week?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

...the list that doesn't matter to you, part II....

Happiest homecoming after school: Dad's spaghetti simmering (and me stealing some because I just couldn't wait 'til dinner and, heck, he was still driving the bus).

Worst homecoming after school: Three words---Corned Beef Hash.

Cash and Carry Grocery, Beaverdam Virginia. The third of the trifecta of buildings that made up half the "town" proper. First, the bank (remember United Virginia Bank? Nah, not Crestar nor Suntrust...), then the post office (we were Box 11), then the store. Ms Gurdey, the manager, if you will....the Sealtest ice cream sandwiches. Looking at every new Box of Twinkies when delivered by the Hostess guy to see which cut-out baseball cards were on the bottom of the box.

Mama taking me to Cash and Carry at age four to have pictures done, complete with red sweater and black tie. (Training to be Mister Rogers??)

There were TWO car dealerships in a, well, TINY village. Beaverdam Ford, Trainham Chevrolet. We were a Chevrolet family. I still don't like Ford, but I drive a Windstar. It was the best option available at CarMax the day we had to buy something.

---Playing Mr. Brownlow in "Oliver Twist" in the fourth grade.
---Being teased about high-water pants around the same time.
---A bottle of 4-Way Nasal Spray in my left pocket every day (couldn't do that now)
---Being thrown off the slidingboard ladder onto blacktop because one kid was going after another and, well, I was in the way. Closest I ever came to fighting at school. Didn't need to----a teacher slammed him against the brick wall asking him what in the world he was doing. Meanwhile, I'm in the office watching Mrs. Swift, the secretary, get small pebbles out of my elbow
---I still have a scar there to this day.

More to come..............

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

And now for a list that will mean completely nothing to do.....

....but it means the world to me.

And now, a partial list of words or phrases that bring back memories from early on even until today.....but in no particular order.

--Mommy, I'm finished!!!
--Thursday morning at Food Fair
--playing in the telephone booth while Mama checks out at Food Fair
--one hamburger, one small bag of fries, one small dollar at Hardees.
--the small hill in the back yard which was the only place there were pebbles the size of pop rocks. Great spot to play, conserved them pebbles.
--Wild strawberries ready for picking late May.
--The garden. Pop's domain. Behind the wooden basketball goal.
--standing in front of the TV happy, for some reason, that NC State had just upset UCLA.
--Johnny and the Marbles.
--This anthology starred Johnny Kasale, the pastor of the town church.
--...his brother Dave, the egg deliverer...
--...George Carson, the big fat silver marble with a small smooth portion...
--...Johnny Neat, the new guy in town
--...Arteen and Washington, the brothers who played piano and organ at the church.

Various and sundry other marble people. This was back in the day when you used your IMAGINATION to play for hours. All it took was a quilt, Matchbox-sized and larger cars, and, well, marbles. Pretty simple stuff, and lots of fun.

Kasale was the brainchild of the founder of Johnny and the Marbles, my brother. Carson was my sister's main character. And, when they decided I was old enough to play and not cause a ruckus, I brought in Johnny Neat.

You should have seen the marble evacuation when there was a chance of a REAL flood in our basement, where we played.

--jealous that my first week of first grade, my teacher called someone else our "window opener" knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt I could do the same thing.

--the afternoon Mama subbed for Ms. Thompson for the last 30 minutes of school, and how I straightened the desks in the room to make sure it looked good for her.

--my friends who were twins (I sat between them at lunch), and how sad it was when they moved away.

--reciting Lizzie Borden in the 2nd grade
--THE oak tree on the playground
--the day I faked a stomach ache to get out of recess (scared of a bee, I believe).
--Dating Game at 2pm, Newlywed Game at 230
--I played my own game show, "The Money Game", during Split Second when it aired at 1230....

--MAJOR crush on Toni Tennille when her and her captain had a variety show.
--watching Flip Wilson
--watching Helen Reddy
--while my brother listened to the Waltons one night (TV Channel 6 is also at 87.7 FM), I remember being wrapped up in my bedspread feeling more comfortable in a bed going to sleep than I ever had before or since.
--waking up to dry poo-poo on my forehead when I was, like, five, then trying to explain to Mama that it was because of the humdity or barometer I heard about on the weather that night.
--Baltimore Orioles baseball on WFLS in Fredericksburg.
--naming my cat Al Bumbry, the Orioles' centerfielder.
--seeing my brother name his Bernie Parent, after the goalie of the Philadelphia Flyers.
--One word: Filmstrips.
--Duke, the first dog I remember.
--Getting Teko from a "house pound" on Route 33 near where they are building huge homes now near the river.
--Teko was/is my all time favorite dog.
--Saturday afternoon equaled, 5pm Wrestling, 6pm Hot Dogs and B&M Baked Beans.
--Trying to avoid the Donny and Marie show at all costs.
--The Mandrell Sisters, too.
--When Channel 8's signal went from a tower in Petersburg to one in Richmond, and now we could watch Happy Days in a clear picture.
--Their slogan was, "Welcome to Sharper, Brighter, Clearer TV8."
--Shock Theatre.
--The CBS Late Movie, when they really showed movies, not Kojak reruns.
--Cold when you woke up? Dress while sitting as close to the heating vent on the hallway floor as you could!
--Oakland Raider pajamas.

....Part Two coming......