Archive for October, 2012

Dear Bro and Co.,

Apparently Tammy and Kristian’s scholastic and academic accomplishments have inspired Mathias to finish his school work early (Congratulations to both of you!) We love you and are proud and happy for you both.)  He is doing roughly one week’s worth of school each day, and doing a right good job too.  Amanda and I have ben pleasantly surprised and impressed by this new surge of self-motivation.  In fact, now that we know he can do it, we are going to hold him to it.  The hardest thing about homeschooling isn’t getting them to learn the material, it’s keeping them focused and motivated to do the work….

Mathias is super smart and when he is in the zone, it seems he can do anything – quadruple stupor decker multiplication problems in seconds.  A whole chapter of Science or English in minutes – Amazing!!!

Still more amazing ???  The same kid with the same brain will suddenly get a vacant look in his eyes and suddenly can’t seem to do basic skills.  Suddenly 2+2 is a trick problem.  What happened????

…Speaking of Fugue, I’ve been giving it some thought lately – Mom has created the ultimate escape clause.  Brilliant!!!  Now if your wife or boss ask you those difficult questions:

  • Where are those reports?
  • Why was this not done?
  • Why did you turn here?  This is the wrong way.
  • What do you mean you dropped the baby???

All you have to say is , “I’m sorry, I must have fugued.”  See, all accountability and culpability are eradicated!!  Of course, it still won’t keep your job or your butt from being eradicated; but in a desperate situation – it’s worth a shot.

…..Speaking of Mom, I dreamt up a little scenario.  In case you’re not familiar with the show “House”, it’s about a doctor who solves seemingly impossible medical cases, has a gimpy leg, and treats everyone like crap including his patients and staff.

…..Speaking of saving thing – Friday we helped Papa Troy carry out and clean the heavy stuff out of Gigi’s burnt trailer.  Had it just been he and I, I think we would have finished in about 4 or 5 hours.  As it was, with the ladies helping, it took closer to 10.  Janie was useless; Amanda worked and did a great job – but both of the were impeding progress with sentimental salvaging.

To be fair, I didn’t grow up with the stuff; and our Mom usually threw stuff away before you could bond with it.  Things mysteriously disappeared all the time.  If Dad didn’t bring home money, he’d have probably “disappeared” a long time ago.  As it is, he’s becoming more sedentary in his old age and I can see Mom eyeballing him – you know how she hated clutter in her house.

…..Speaking of cleaning, Janie got to laughing and making fun of Gigi’s house being dirty.  Wha?!?  That’s like Pigpin calling Linus a slob for dragging his blanket everywhere.  As the Bible says, “Don’t condemn your Brother for the splinter in his eye when you have a beam in your own.”  Or, in this case, don’t make fun of the speck of dust when you’ve got a freakin’ dirt clod of your own.

Not to say Janie is the Devil; but, her adversarial approach in relation to Gigi combined with the soot and resin effect of the smoke got me to thinking about our adversary – Satan.  Not only is his mission to steal, kill, and destroy – He is the Accuser of the Brethren and his home:  a lake of fire.

The soot and resin from the fire at Gigi’s did something interesting – it clung to all the dust and cobwebs in the house which of course made them not only more visible, all the more gnarly looking as well.  It serves as a reminder that it is all the more important to keep our spiritual houses clean as possible lest our Accuser come with smoke and ash to make us feel condemned and unworthy of the peace and joy found in Christ who takes away the sins of man and makes us clean and pure.

All that being said; Dude!  You should have seen those spider webs – black, thick strands of evil netting set up in almost every nook and cranny and blanketing most everything belonging to this old Granny.  Heck, some of them may have been antique.  If you’ve seen the third installment of the Spiderman series, then you know about the Venom (Black Spiderman) character who shoots just such a web as I have described.  Going through the house and moving and cleaning the furniture, I couldn’t help but imagine just such a creature living there.  And if Janie thinks that is all funny, then I think this is even funnier…..

Right after Janie made her comments about how bad Gigi’s house was, I looked over and on Janie’s fireplace, I saw it….. apparently the venom spider had escaped the fire at Gigi’s only to fall prey to one of the Rabid Dust Bunnies at Janie’s house!!  Her fricken’ filth killed the super spider and from the looks of things that Arachnid never stood a chance.  I love irony.  Now that’s what I call Poetic Dustice.

Breaking News!!!!  KeiLynn has broken in her first tooth.  Now I have a little Snaggle-toothed  punim on the loose.  She is growing, changing, and progressing everyday:  sitting up, rolling, inch-worming, independent play and laughter.  She is acquainting herself with all her accessories and resources and making good use of them..

…..especially that new tooth!!  The other night, she had a choke hold on an empty water bottle and was going to town with her new little chomper.  Which gave me a great idea…..

Baby bottle openers!!! – Brilliant!!!!

Amanda posted pictures of the water bottle session on her facebook page.  They’re pretty funny.  If you get a chance, you ought to check them out.

I opened the bag and there it was…a big, red, freaky eyeball gazing up at me.  It was a magazine:  ‘Pigeon Racing Digest’.  I thought, “What a funny joke!!”  It’s no joke.  There were several issues seriously dedicated to the apparent serious sport of Pigeon Racing.  I guess there is a magazine for everything!!  Thankfully, this was not as disturbing as ‘Pig Penthouse’ – a magazine that took admiration of “Pork” to another level.  Joke or not, that was freakin’ weird.  Trust me, there is no good lingerie for pigs.  Have mercy!!!

On the slim chance that I should ever race a pigeon, I think I will name my bird – Flock of Seagulls.  Pigeon Jockeys!!!  Ha!!!

I started guitar lessons last Thursday.  Lesson one – changing strings; two hours – one string.  Granted, there are  30 people in the class, half of which are bored teenage punks (I used to be one – teenager, that is.)  I was quite excited to learn and figure if I get nothing else, this alone will be worth my $20.  -Fast forward to Saturday night; Amanda and the kids are in Oklahoma, this is a great time to use my new knowledge.  Right??  48 hours had passed.  I had slept since then….

…..but I had the jist of it.  Right??  Roughly one hour into this endeavor and I’m praying, “Sweet Jesus, what have I gotten myself into?”….

That guitar was playing me!!!  Actually it wasn’t too bad.  One and a half hours later – all new strings – tuned and ready.  I feel empowered!!  Hoo-rah!

As you will hopefully see, I tried my hand at the “No Mean City” album cover.  Although I always try to replicate the original as best as possible, I usually end up putting my own touches in here and there.  I’ve had a hankering for some steak – so it seemed appropriate.

…..Speaking of eating things up – our Rainbow seems to have quite the appetite when it comes to our new carpet.  Even after a half-dozen or so sweeps, the waste receptacle is still full of purple fluff.  Normally, I am able to dump the contents out by the curb;  the purple fluff, however, has required empty butter bowls and such for disposal purposes.  I was a good neighbor up until this last sweep – the fluff wasn’t quite as massive and I had no disposable canisters; the end result…it looks like the Cheshire Cat coughed up a giant hairball at the end of the driveway.  My hope is that this is natural “shedding” of new carpet.  Otherwise, my Cheshire shag is gonna turn into a Mr. Biggleworth…. and my neighbors will hate me.  (I don’t actually care what the neighbors think, but I try to be nice.)

Amanda and I got to go out on an actual date to celebrate our Anniversary (#11).  To my surprise, she wanted to go see the Wolverine movie.  It was a pretty cool flick – nigh indestructible dudes trying to destroy each other – always entertaining.  Of course, it got me to thinking:  instead of Wolverine vs. Sabertooth….

     …..Someone’s gonna bite the Dust!!!

     I dare say everyone enjoys living in a clean house; yet so many people don’t.  I guess most people don’t enjoy exercising the restraint and executing the efforts it takes to maintain a clean house.  Although ours is generally clean, it certainly isn’t perfect.  Hard to do with five people, one of which is a whirling, toy dispensing dust bin (Kiara of course).

     I bring this up because of the verse in scripture that calls us to not only love God, but to love His law. (Psalm 1:2)

     I hadn’t ever really thought about it – do I love God’s law?

     I certainly try to obey and follow His law – with varying degrees of success depending upon the Commandment and time and circumstance.  Same thing with man’s laws – the law of the land if you will:  I obey these laws because I don’t want a ticket or jail time.  But do I love the law?  Some yes, and some of the time.

  1. Do not steal. Great law!!!
  2. Do not assault your neighbor.  Great law…till my neighbor royally pisses me off.  (Sometimes, I wish I could punch people without risk of jail time.)
  3. Speed limit.  I don’t really love 55 mph that much.  75 mph is much hotter with a great personality – but she gets me in trouble.

So I love the law when it benefits me and serves my purposes.  Of course, God knows how we are and in His wisdom carved His commandments on tablets of stone instead of:

  1. Playing cards
  2. Chalk boards
  3. Paper

     Tablets of stone – permanent, as long as the guy chosen as the Deliverer doesn’t smash ’em.  I can certainly understand Moses’ anger – if I had gone through all that and come down the mountain to see the Israelites misbehaving, I’d have wanted to smash something too….

    ..but God was none too pleased about that broken tablet.  Thankfully , God had it backed up on his hard drive….Ha!!!

     I can just imagine  the Good Lord teasing Moses a little – after He cooled off that is.

     To be fair to Moses, the poor dude asked God to choose someone else.  He just wanted to forget Egypt and herd his sheep on his own land.  The guy went through a lot, and did a right good job considering (I think God only wanted to kill him once).  Much love and respect to Moses.

     All that being said, do we love the law?  For that matter, why should we LOVE it?  It comes to this, God is the Law and He is Grace; if we love Him, then we should love His Law and His Grace equally.  He is the lover of our souls and we as His Church are His bride.  Think back to when you first married, you were so head over heels that you overlooked, in fact embraced your wife’s habits, quirks, and rules (laws) – like, “Don’t use that hand towel, it’s a decorative towel only!” Wha??  That doesn’t make any sense to a manly grey matter brain, only a pretty pink, girly brain; but because we’re stupid in love and twitterpatin’, we not only do it; we do it with a smile because, “I love her!  I love everything about her!!!”

     But, alas, no man and no woman is perfect and soon enough you get mad at her, wait till she leaves the room and then proceed to cuss under your breath and wipe your grubby hands all over that stupid decorative hand towel.

     Our God, however, is perfect.  Not only should we love Him; we should love “everything” about Him, even His Law.  After all, when we love to do something, it’s all the easier and better to do it.  I’m head over heels and I’m trying to keep my house clean – even the decorative hand towels.  🙂

Dear Bro. and Co.,

Today I am writing to tell you the story of Sgt. Stubbs or just “Stubbs” as I like to call him.  “Who the heck is Stubbs?” you ask. – He is KeiLynn’s high chair.  How did he get the name of Sgt. Stubbs?  – We’ll get to that soon enough.  First, let’s start at the beginning.

As you know, KeiLynn is getting bigger and has begun eating solid foods:  baby food prunes, yogurt, mashed potatoes, lasagna, T-Bone steaks (bones included).  As her diet and appetite expanded, so did her reach, making it nigh impossible to try to eat and hold her at the same time.

Believe me, I held out as long as I could.  That’s how it usually is with such things.  I ask the tough, important questions:

  1. Do we really need a high chair?
  2. How long will we actually use it?
  3. How much space will it take up and where are we supposed to put it?
  4. Why can’t we just use zip ties?
  5. Does the baby really have to eat? – It only leads to more poop!

The combination of us being poor and me being “frugal”, O.K. – cheap (a direct result of being poor); led us to the second-hand store.  Over the years, this particular stores prices have sky-rocketed to astronomically ridiculous stupidity for their “gently abused” hand-me-downs and pass alongs.  No need in all of us getting out.  I sent Amanda in alone – confident that her mission to find a decent, non-crap crusted high chair for $20 or less was doomed to fail.  As she disappeared behind the forest of custom overpriced hair bows and ribbons and bleach and acid restored junk, I smiled and eased my seat back with confident satisfaction that my bank account would go unmolested this day. 🙂

Amanda had been in there a good while – never a good sign.  I began to squirm in my chair: an ever-increasing sense of doom began to loom.  Sure enough, she came frolicking out beaming and glowing in girlish retail ecstasy….. “Oh, crap!!!”  She had found a really “cute” one for $40 and another one for $20.  She sent me in to check them out and to hopefully check-out with baby throne in hand.  I stepped out and began the long walk……the Green Mile: the walk that leads to the total and complete annihilation of the small bit of cash still in checking soon to be executed for the crime of heinously having not yet been spent.

I trudged in and all the lady associates looked up and grinned eyeing me like a sick gazelle fallen behind its family – they knew why I was there.  The sound of cha-ching and the smell of wallet carcass filled the air.  I made my way to the back of the store and sure enough there they were, side-by-side like some odd couple in the middle of the floor.  It didn’t matter what she said or what she did – my brick wall determination was impervious and impenetrable.  No feminine wiles would work this day – I wasn’t going to pay more than 20 bucks for a blasted high chair!!!  I looked them over, thoroughly hoping for any excuse, any flaw or safety glitch to get me out of buying the thing.  Much to my chagrin, they were both solid.  “Crap!” Then to choose:  the girly pretty one had all the bells and whistles and seemed to smile and flirt saying, “Buy me, Big Boy!”  – Such flattery will get you nowhere with this grinch.  The other was plain, but adequate, and the price was right.  But he seemed sullen and angry; as though he were saying, “If you separate me from my woman, you’ll regret it for the rest of your days!” Of course, it’s just a baby chair:

Funny vibes aside – the price was right.  And so began the Dark Odyssey of High Chair Hell Fights – it was on; right from the beginning he proved to be a cantankerous contraption.

At first, Amanda blamed it on me being bitter about parting with 20 bucks.  She totally underestimated the Crankiness of this chair.  Her love of this baby throne would soon turn to loathing; for on the very first evening at home with it, this happened:

And thus it was the first of many stubs in our house.  It seemed no where was safe.  Not even another room.  Nothing and no one was beyond his reach.  The average foot in our house looked like this:

It was soooo bad, I went to Subway and ordered a Footlong.  When I got home and opened it, my sandwich had turned into a wrap!!!  What the….

Messing with my sandwich?  That was the final straw!!!  I snapped…..

They say some people go Ape; I honestly don’t know what I was…. other than mad and set on making this son-of-a-lazy boy pay for his trespasses against humanity and against my sandwich.  I had him bashed and nearly trashed; mashed and quite literally on his last leg when he did something rather remarkable……

Blast!!!!  He was right.  I couldn’t kill him yet.  So here we are with KeiLynn at 9 months and I’m just counting down the days till I can finish what I started.  I know what you are thinking, “Why not wait it out and sell him to get some of my money back?”  I dislike Sgt. Stubbs so much it’s worth it to destroy the evil rather than collect $5.25 for his sorry seat cushion.  Oh yeah, I’m gonna kill him.  And, I hope and pray that when they salvage him from the scrap yard that they melt him down and recycle him; I hope they bring him back as a toddler training toilet.  That, is the fate that he deserves!!!

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