Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Need a Fix ?

It seems like there sure a lot of pharmaceutical companies ready to treat our ailments with the latest greatest pill. If the side effects of these magic elixirs don't kill you there's a chance that what they're peddling might just help.

It's this possible "side effects" portion of their advertisements that really amaze me. I actually remember hearing an ad for a sleep aid that said it might cause insomnia. Now that's a good Idea! However, by comparison to some products that really isn't so bad. How about excessive bleeding, vomiting or diarrhea? Sounds like a long night by the porcelain throne to me. All those are child's play though when put up against the "big ones", paralysis, stroke or even death. Call me crazy, but whatever one has it probably isn't as bad as death.

My all time favorite has got to be the disclaimer for the various erectile dysfunction tablets. They all seem to say roughly the same thing, "If you experience an erection for more than four hours call your physician." Are you kidding me? First of all, my doctor is probably going to be the last person I'm thinking of and secondly if I'm calling someone it's going to be The Guinness Book of World Records!

I'm sure as I get older I'll need something to "fix" me, but for now a couple of aspirin from time to time seem to do the trick. Nice thing is, they haven't made me grow a tale or anything else funky like that.

Monday, October 29, 2007

We Don't Need Another Hero

Here are five "heros" you may not have heard of:

Impotent Man - "To boldly go where he's never gone before."

Captain Couch Potato - "Able to avoid household chores while eating a half gallon of ice cream in a single sitting."

Butt Kiss Boy - Side kick to The Silver Suck-Up. Can often be found hiding out in the cubical cave

Shopping Girl - "Able to spend daddies money faster than a speeding Jetta"

Boro - Masks his incompetence by exaggerating his accomplishments

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I'm Hungry

The fourth and quite possibly the final World Series game of the year starts in a little bit. What's a game without some munchies?

Think I'll have some....



Maybe some...


In the seventh inning would you buy me some...



Of course that's all junk food, so for dinner I'll have a bowl of...


and a big juicy...


Bon Appetite and enjoy the game.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

It's world series time again, so please enjoy this classic.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Why do some people insist on wearing so much perfume or cologne they could choke a camel from a hundred feet away?

Have you ever hugged a woman who has so much perfume on that it rubs off on you and now you get to "enjoy" it for the rest of your day too? ..YUCK.. It always seems that this transference of stench is from a fragrance that is probably called O'da Skunk #5.

How about the wonderful aroma of petuly oil (aka hippie juice). I'm not sure how this toxic sludge is made but I'm pretty sure some of the essential ingredients are old sweat socks, diesel fuel and used bong water. I worked in a natural foods store in California for a time and it seemed that about every twentieth customer was a long hair, dope smokin', Birkenstock wearing, braided armpit hair hippie freak who insisted on wearing this elixir of nastiness. It made me want to take a wire brush to the inside of my nose each time.

This is not a put down on lifestyle, just my opinion about smell.

What about the "The Guy Who Wore Too Much Cologne"? (sounds like a bad James Bond title) You know the guy, he's the one who gets into the elevator with you on a hot August afternoon. Three floors later you're dizzy from olfactory overload. Do the world a favor and save the thirty-nine cents it cost for that bottle of gack.

Oh how I'm so glad I have such an acute sense of smell. Think what I'd miss without it.

Please remember if you find your self saying, "I wonder if this smells bad?"


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Men's Retreat

I spent my past weekend on a men's retreat at Wildhorse Canyon in Central Oregon. It's about three and a half hours away from Portland and it's in the middle of absolutely nothing. Literally an oasis in the desert. If you're unfamiliar with Oregon the western part of the state is what most people think of, rain, lots of trees, rain, mountains, rain, beautiful beaches and of course rain. The state is very different on the east side of the Cascades however. It's much flatter and quite arid, more of a high desert.

This particular spot sits on 64,000 acres of ranch land. (that's 100 square miles) For years it had been used as a huge sheep ranch. That is until in 1981 when a cult from India led by the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh moved in. Let the freak show begin.
During their four year invasion they spent millions of dollars on buildings and infrastructure. Much of which is still in use today. The beginning of the end came for the cult when the tried to spread salmonella via salad bars at some of the nearby restaurants. Their ultimate demise though came when the feds busted them for tax evasion. Yes, these were bright people.
Eventually they were either arrested or deported, which left the property in the hands of the state. From here a gentleman by the name of Dennis Washington purchased the property with hopes of some day turning it into a resort destination. With all the problems from the past tenants he was unable to get the proper zoning, leaving him with a very large piece of property that was great for grazing cattle, but not much else.
Enter Young Life. YL is a christian outreach organization that operates several "camps" throughout the country. It was about this time that Mr. Washington was invited to one of these YL camps during the summer. He was so moved by what he saw that he offered his property to YL, free! This was obviously great news to YL, but with that came the reality that here was another religious organization that wanted permission to set up shop.
Through many cups of coffee and discussions with neighbors and an undisputed land use process they were given the green light to start their ministry. When God is ready things happen!
That's the short version of how Wildhorse Canyon came to be.
It really is a pretty amazing place to have a retreat. In the middle of the property are 800 acres that are available for use. The hotels and meeting facilities are situated on beautiful green lawns with a swimming pool, large pond and an 88,000 square foot sports complex.

Here are some photos of the camp

I love the contrast between the sunlit hills and the dark sky.
This rainbow was only visible for about ten minutes, so I felt fortunate to get this shot.

The high ropes, aka confidence course. It's a series of obstacles and challenges you have to navigate while being approximately thirty feet in the air. I was quite alright being on the ground taking photos.

A view from the ropes course area looking back toward the "hotel" where we slept.

Really ruffing it eh?

What may seem like an ordinary pile of rocks is really a testament to changed lives. When someone accepts Christ into their life while staying here they are invited to put another rock on the pile. It's about six feet tall and around twenty-five feet long!

Cool life size bronze in the foreground. The hill in the backdrop is called Communication Hill. As the name implies it has satellite stuff (technical term) at the top. I hiked up it last year. It's a straight up climb with no switch backs. Starts off steep then gets really steep. I thought I was going to throw up a lung. The view of the canyon is spectacular from up there.

Suffice to say, I had a great time and am looking forward to going back next year.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Short Note

I just got back from a weekend men's retreat with about 250 guys from the church I attend. What a great time! I'll see if I can get some photos posted along with some details about the weekend. I'm not sure what I have to do to publish the photos so please wish me luck. To say I'm computer savvy would be a gross overstatement. Anyhoo, I'll get back into the swing of writing tomorrow, but for now I'm playing catch-up on rest.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Another One Bites the Dust

It's the dawn of yet another age in the world of electronics. Best Buy retail stores announced today that it has pulled all analog television sets from store shelves. Why did they do that you ask? (go ahead...ask) Because Congress has set February 2009 as the month and year when U.S. broadcasters will switch to digital signals. The original date was Dec 31, 2006, but through a loophole that I'm sure only Congress could have devised, that fateful date was reset. Ah yes the wheels of government moving at pace only a banana slug could be proud of!

So this got me to thinking, as most things do, about what other electronic wonders have bitten the big one. Now bear in mind this is the perspective of someone at the ripe old age of forty-one. For those of you that are a bit more, shall we say, "seasoned in life" (aka older than dirt) you may have many others. Feel free to share.

One of the more recent items to go deep six was the floppy disk. (no sexual reference intended) I remember my brother Mark having a Commodore 64 computer that used the 5 1/2 inch floppy for all of it's memory. Doing anything on it was quite slooooooow.

How about the rotary phone. I think its demise came when that modern "convenience" came around known as voice-mail. Press any number, it doesn't really matter. I can hide in my mail box as long as I want to.

The music industry is no stranger to technology improvements. Cassette tapes, 8-track tapes, or how about reel-to-reel? I vaguely remember seeing R2R, but I don't think our family owned any. Lest we forget the dying but not completely dead ALBUM. 78, 45, 33 1/2 Maybe it's nostalgia but there's still something special about listing to a well used LP with its unmistakable pop, pop, skip, pop.

Then-VHS (beta doesn't count), Now-DVD, Next-Blue Ray, The best thing about DVD's is the ability to put add on material at the end of the movie such as a gag reel. With the crap that Hollywood keeps flinging at us lately this can actually be more entertaining than the movie itself.

The list could go on and on.

Then there's all the items that have been invented or changed in an effort to "improve" our lifestyle. Some are viable, some not so much. Microwave vs stove top; good for reheating, but for general cooking, no thank you. We have food processors instead of knives. Electric razors instead of blades. Not bleeding under the chin is a good thing. How about debit cards instead of cash. Sure they're convenient, but when you count out dollar bills it seems to resonate more than a quick swipe of the plastic.

There are so many things going on in the way of technology I'm not sure we appreciate the new things so much anymore. Take for example something like space travel. It used to be when an Apollo flight took place everybody stopped to watch or listen. Now I'd be surprised if many of us could remember where we were when the last shuttle took off, let alone when it happened.

I'm certainly not trying to poo poo all things tech. Take for instance, when I hit Publish Post, through the magic of the net, everyone in the world will have access to it. Wow that's impressive.

So I guess if there's a point to all this rambling it would be this: Sometimes it's good to just slow down and enjoy the simple things. I don't think any electronic input can equal the sound of a child giggling, watching a bird in flight or the power of a waterfall.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Boys Will Be Boys

Some time ago Lisa found and interesting treat in the bathroom our two boys share. Now, take a moment to ponder that sentence.............

If you're a parent, especially of boys, I'm sure your mind has already conjured up all sorts of possibilities for what was lurking in the shadows. Was is some sort of disgusting boy made by-product left behind in the bowl? Not this time (thank you Lord) How about a tub full of Jello? Wrong again, although the next time I visit my brothers house that might be fun to try. No, this was something altogether different.

As Lisa was going through the regular get ready for school rituals, "did you brush your teeth?, go potty?, wash your hands?, etc.", she happened to glance over at the waste basket. Looking in she noticed it was filled to capacity with Dixie Cups that, to her recollection were not there the night before. Fortunately, a mothers common sense kicked in and rather than pick up anything to investigate further, she simply called the boys in to start the inquisition.

Now getting straight information from a six and eight year old can be an art form in itself. It can be even more challenging when they know they've done something wrong. Well I don't possess Perry Mason-confess on the spot skills, but Lisa does. It seems when I try to sort out the typical, "It wasn't me, it was him" statements I just end up with a headache. I have found however, with enough perseverance and Tylenol I do eventually win.

Fast forward to that evening. Upon entering the house I was greeted by my bride of fifteen years with, "You need to have a conversation with YOUR children." When I hear, "your children" it's code for they've done something that requires discipline. Had it been, "our children" she would have followed up with a nice story about how they had done something cute or noteworthy at school. Not being the case it was time for me to put on my "serious father" hat and head upstairs.

When I walked into their room they both looked up at me with that we've been caught look. It's the same look a pet gives after they've been digging in the flower bed. "What's going on guys?", I casually said. With my low key greeting I could see them relax and their faces changed to more of a look of "maybe we haven't been ratted out". Ah, they should be so lucky. That familiar look returned when I followed up with, "Mom says you've got something to tell me." Busted!

It's now time for them to come clean with dad about this big mortal sin they've committed. I should tell you that Lisa did already let me in on what they had done, but being the big "tough" father, I wanted them to tell me for themselves.

"Well, you know those cups that were in the trash can?(one started)... Well, we filled them with pee.(the other finished)" Yes, you read correctly. They each filled one or two cups with their own pee and then proceeded to pour the contents into several more cups until they had used up all the dispenser (cup dispenser that is) had left. I honestly don't know what prompted me to ask why they did it, maybe some built-in parenting response, because their reply was as you might expect, "We don't know."

Now, well after the fact, I think the whole thing is quite hilarious. At the time, not so much. I sure am glad my brothers and I never did anything like that to our dear sweet mom. Yeah right!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I Scream, You Scream,

We all scream for ice cream !

I just finished a bowl of yummy Cold Stone ice cream. Man was that good. I had them mix together chocolate and peanut butter ice creams with chocolate chips and pecan pieces. Lisa had a creation called "Banana Split Decision". By itself that's not bad, but she went and ruined it by having marsh mellows mixed into it, YUCK! It could be worse though. Take for instance what our youngest son Matthew ordered last time. Bubblegum and mint ice creams with marsh mellows and gummy bears mixed in. Now if that doesn't make you reach for the TUMS nothing will. (well maybe motor oil, see Tastes Like Chicken)

So now I'm in a predicament. I'm jacked-up on sugar but my body is beat from climbing ladders all day. This is what I call wide awake sleepy. It should make for some interesting dreams though.

Well it's time to get horizontal, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..........

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cut It Out!

Things you don't want to hear from a chain saw operator.
  1. Actually, I think it looks better that way
  2. That's gonna leave a mark
  3. Hi, I'm from Texas
  4. There, just a little more.........oops
  5. That finger's not really useful anyway
  6. He was standing under me just a minute ago
  7. First time that's happened
  8. I don't know, I ain't never run one of these before neither
  9. I didn't see that coming
  10. TIMMMMMMBE...........never mind
  11. Oh, you meant those trees
  12. Gimme another beer
  13. This is how my daddy died

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tastes Like Chicken

In order to laugh at the world it's important we remember to laugh at ourselves once in a while. So please enjoy a chuckle at my expense.

Nearly a decade ago I went on several backpacking trips throughout the northern California area with a longtime friend of mine. Randy and I covered a lot of ground back then, ranging from places like the Marin County coast at Point Reyes to Desolation Wilderness in the Sierra Mountains near Lake Tahoe. This particular late summer morning our destination was slightly farther north, to a place called Bloody Rock. This is a remote area in Humboldt County where Cold Creek (which lives up to its name) runs into the Eel River.

Getting to the trail head from the city we lived in meant about a two and a half hour drive, so we decided to maximize our three day weekend by getting a early start. I had my Camero loaded and ready for the drive. It should be noted that this was not one of my brightest moments in history. You see this wonderful American made piece of automotive technology had a habit of dying at stop signs and burning through oil faster than a hummingbird on steroids going after nectar. Oh, and did I mention that we would be driving the last hour of our trip on a gravel road through the foothills in a sports car? OK so now you know I'm not exactly a rocket scientist, but hey, I was younger then and figured I had thought through parts one and two already. I threw three quarts of oil behind the front seat and figured we weren't going to encounter a lot of cross traffic at stop signs up in the hills.

4:00am the alarm rings. It's a quick shower and I'm off to pick-up my buddy. 4:02am and I arrive at Randy's house. He throws his gear in the back of the car and suggests we stop by the bagel shop where his wife Mo (short for Monica) is working so he can say goodbye. She's busy getting ready to open the shop by five, but takes the time to give Randy the obligatory "be safe, do you have your cell phone?, did you put on clean underwear?........".

While we're there we load up on still warm, fresh bagels and coffee. I also grabbed a Superfood drink for later. Now if you're not familiar with this, it's a fruit juice and Spirulina blend with several other goodies mixed in just for fun and giggles. It tastes great but looks kind of like pond scum, (i.e. thick and dark green) It tends to make people go "yuck" just by looking at it and phrases like, "you're not really going to drink that are you?" are common. To tell you the truth I think that's really why I like it. Armed with all the essentials, it's out to the car. Putting the bagels and juice behind the front seat we are now ready for our big adventure.

The first hour of our journey is filled with laughter and stories. Just regular fun, but otherwise uneventful. That my friends is about to change! We had just crossed over the green bridge on our way into Hopland, the coffee is long gone and I'm a bit dry from munching on bagels. Perfect time for my Superfood! So I reach behind the seat and grab my treat, shake it up well, twist off the plastic lid and take a nice big gulp.

Let me pause for a moment and remind you that it's late summer at around 5:00am. It is therefore, still dark outside and I'm not completely awake yet. Once again that is about to change!

As I slam on the brakes swerving to a stop at the side of the road I grab the bag of bagels and jump out of the car. At this point Randy's eyes are about the size of frying pans and he's yelling, "WHAT !?!" over and over again. Meanwhile I'm grabbing bagels, biting off hunks, chewing them for a couple of seconds then spitting them out along the roadway. All the time Randy is getting more agitated, "WHAT, WHAT, WHAT'S GOING ON!!!" he insists.

Let me pause again and take you back to an earlier part of this story. We've already established that it's dark and I'm not wide awake. Now remember the part about my car needing oil on a regular basis? Friends, early in the morning it's not always easy to feel the difference between a plastic juice container and a quart of Castrol 10W30 motor oil. I have never tasted anything so foul in all my days before nor have I since.

Now I only recall my friend crying one time before and that was because of a death in the family, but let me tell you he cried tears of laughter that August morning. For the rest of that weekend any time it would get quiet he would get a smirk on his face, followed shortly after by chuckle or an amusing (to him) comment.

I'm pretty sure the laughter was one sided that weekend, but looking back at it now, it's a memory with my friend I wouldn't change for all the wealth in the world.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Wood Chuck

How much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

If a wood chuck could chuck wood, How much wood would a wood chuck chuck?

I don't know and frankly Scarlet I really don't give a damn!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Columbus Day

515 years ago Columbus pulled a Gilligan, completely missed the Indies and ended up "discovering" America. Does this surprise any of you? Columbus was a man, asking for directions was not an option!

In honor of this momentous day I thought I'd share a few of my own discoveries.

I've discovered that:
  1. Playing a three hour game of Rail Baron (a board game) with my son is better than three hours of anything else without him
  2. A closed mouth gathers no feet
  3. Given enough opportunity some people will disappoint you
  4. My dad was an awesome father
  5. Footballs don't bounce in a straight line
  6. Life is better without hangovers
  7. I married up
  8. Passing the guy in front of me probably won't get me there any faster
  9. When I listen to God, what the world tells me doesn't seem as important anymore
  10. Bills continue to show-up in the mail regardless of how much money is in the bank account
  11. Orange juice tastes really nasty right after brushing your teeth
  12. The Federal government will use any excuse, even a lost Italian guy, to take a day off

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Where's My Sunday Paper !

I got up this morning (some people didn't you know) to find my Sunday paper in the gutter. Not on the driveway where one might expect it to be and heaven forbid that it'd be on the front porch where it would be easy to get to. No, I suppose those days are long gone.

If your over the age of thirty you may remember when the news paper was delivered by a neighborhood kid on his bicycle. Yeah, they actually used to ride their bikes back then. No I'm serious, real bikes, not computer simulated ones played on PlayStation or Xbox. Anyway, as I recall these kids would make an effort to get your paper to a spot where you might actually find it. Of course if you were one of those grumpy old farts that would dodge them on collection day or conveniently forget to leave a tip in the envelope then all bets were off. You'd have a better chance of finding an Easter egg in a tall field of grass with a blindfold on.

Yes, this is when their pitching practice would really shine. Somehow they knew the pattern of a sprinkler system without ever actually seeing it in action. Armed with this God given talent they were then able to loft this three pound piece of news print high into the air, arching it over any obstacle, so that it would land in precisely the right spot. This would be where the sprinkler head would pop-up and catch the edge of the plastic bag with its spray of water, thereby soaking the entire contents into an unidentifiable homogeneous paste. Yes, the very same bag that was supposed to protect it form the imminent rainfall (that of course never came unless the paper was delivered without this little "raincoat") was now its new burial chamber.

Ah.......... those were the days.

So, if you're fortunate enough to still live in one of those rural areas where a kid fires up his Schwinn each morning to bring you the paper; please remember him on collection day, because he will surely remember you all the other days.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

And away we go.........

So here it is, night one, post one, keystroke one. Now what? Do I spell out the meaning of life as I know it or do I amuse with the latest joke?

It's an interesting thing having the entire world as your audience and a wide open forum. To tell you the truth I'm not coming at this with any agenda or a predetermined list of umpteen things I feel you must read. Really, I decided to start this blog because I was inspired by my brother Gene. Logging onto his sight has shown me a completely different side of him. It's kind of a view into his soul; a what makes him tick. Now I don't pretend to have the writing skills that he does, but I figured if he's willing to share with world who he is, why not give it a try myself.

So if you're reading this and wondering, "where's he going to go with this?", I don't know yet. Heck, I haven't even completed the profile portion of this site yet. One things for sure however, life has a way of happening all around us, so there won't be any shortage of topics to discuss.

I look forward to opening the windows on life as I see it and letting you look through with me.