Saturday, December 17, 2011

Shout out

I want to give a shout out to my nephew.  He has started his own website called  And when I say started his own website, he is learning the background code and design.  So you guys show him some love and visit his site.  

And while I am shouting - how about a Merry Christmas to everybody.  I just read that our Congress is not allow to send any correspondence with the words "Merry Christmas".  Well I am no Congressman but I am an American and as of today I am free to say...

Merry Christmas
Happy Birthday Jesus
Merry Christmas
Jesus is the reason for the season
Merry Christmas
May the blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ shower upon you and your family
Jesus Saves
Merry Christmas
For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son (aka Jesus) that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:16
Merry Christmas

I may have over done it, but I feel better.  :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Freaky Fridays

Two weeks ago on a Friday afternoon around 4:00 I got a call from home "there's been an accident".  Just two weeks later nearly to the hour, while in the middle of a crisis at work, my phone buzzes again "Home" is displayed on the screen.  I thought, I will have to call back later.  As the crisis at work escalates, my phone buzzes again "Capt Kirk", my neighbor is calling.  I thought - uh oh something is going on again.  

I managed to excuse myself with "I am sorry but I think something is going on at home."  I stepped into the breakroom to check my voice mail.

Message 1
My wife Wonder Woman:  Kipp I need you call me when you get this message.

Message 2:
Capt. Kirk:  Kipp call me and let me know how Kipp Jr is doing when you get a chance.

Message 3:
Wonder Woman:  Kipp I am taking Kipp Jr to the orthopedic doctor at 3:30.  She has a knot on her arm and we are going to check it out.  If you try to call back we may not be home.

Did I once hear somebody say that being a dad is one of the most stressful jobs in the world?  Maybe it was just my outside voice.  

With the work crisis at its crescendo, I inform my supervisor that I need to leave if at all possible to meet Wonder Woman and Kipp Jr at the orthopedic doctor because of an apparent broken arm.  "Are you...(let me loosely translate)...'really' serious!? I mean yes that is fine.  What happened?"  

"I am not sure.  They called about the time all this crisis started and I have only had time to get a message that they are going to the ortho at 3:30."

"Sure, get out of here." 

On the way to the ortho office I make several calls on a low cell battery.  I called Dad to ask him to pray for Kipp Jr as she has an apparent broken arm.  I called Capt. Kirk to see what he knew had happened.  He said it appeared Kipp Jr had fallen out of the trampoline door (the safety net door) while jumping on their trampoline.  He was concerned about Jr and wanted me to let him know how she was doing after the ortho visit.  I told Capt. Kirk I appreciated his concern and would call him when we left the doctors office.

After working my way thru the office staff at the doctors office (think TSA airport security) because Kipp Jr was already back in the back, I walked in to Exam room 2 to a sad little girl and a nervous Wonder Woman.

Kipp Jr was sitting down supporting her right arm across her lap.  She was staring straight ahead with little emotion.  I sat down in the wheeled spinning chair normally reserved for the doctor.  I wheeled close to Kipp Jr and put my hand on her knee.  I asked her if she was in any pain?  She said, "A little."  I asked her if I could see her arm - where it hurt.  She gave me the sad puppy dog eyes and nodded slowly.  Wonder Woman tells me to be careful not to hurt her.  

I pulled up her t-shirt sleeve up to view the injury.  I could see no visible signs of redness or protrusions.  I then went rolling about on the wheeled doctors stool acting as if I was the doctor.  I pretended to hold a medical record chart.  I then pretended to put reading glasses on and pull them down on my nose.  

In my best southern drawl, not much of a stretch really, I looked at Kipp Jr. and said, "Lit-tall Miss Beed-ford, I have here the results of uur X-raay pick-toe-graphs.  And I jus want to let ewe know in my pro-fess-nal o-pin-yun..."  Wonder Woman is starting to giggle at this point.  "...well I tell ewe, it's mo of what my ol daddy would to saay. 'If it ain't a bleedin or got a bone a stickin out then u aren't a hurtin." 

These antics brought her to a giggle.  Her Papa is well known by his grandkids for saying that very thing when they run up to him crying about the smallest injury.  We shared a laugh for a minute before Wonder Woman told me I had better stop before the doctor walked in.  I took her advice.

I looked at Kipp Jr. and said if the doctor happens to talk like that when he or she walks in here...please do not laugh.  "What if I can't help it?" asked Jr.  "Well then let me do the talking and I will explain."

A few minutes had passed and Kipp Jr. was back to looking like she was not comfortable.  She was holding her arm on her lap and had a serious look on her face.  The doctor knocked on the door and entered.  He was wearing his long white coat and a set up of blue scrubs underneath.  He of course was holding a medical record chart.  I looked at Kipp Jr. and shook my head no.  She was not looking at me.  

He sat down in the wheeled stool and wheeled himself right over to Kipp Jr.  He was holding the chart very similar to the way I had been pretending to hold it.  I glanced over at Wonder Woman and she would not return my look but she shook her head ever so slightly to indicate - no I am going to look at you.  

The doctor cleared his throat, "I have to tell you, you have broken your arm."  Kipp Jr. looked at me and Wonder Woman with a look as if she was saying I told you so. "The break was pretty clean but we are going to have to put a cast on her arm."  Suddenly she lit up like a school girl at a Justin Beiber concert.  She was smiling from ear to ear. Wonder Woman wanted to know "What are you smiling about?" 

Kipp Jr picked blue for her cast.  The nurse putting on her cast wanted to know what happened.  Kipp Jr responded with her normal summary of events. "Trampoline."  The nurse smiled and said "Ah I love trampolines and skateboards.  I like to call them, job security."

As we left the doctors office I had to make some calls to family and friends.  I reminded each of them I needed to keep it brief due to my low battery.  I had called Dad and Paw-in-law before calling Capt. Kirk.  I thought for a minute before calling him.  The conversation went something like this:

Capt. Kirk: Hey man thanks for calling how is she?
Me: She is doing OK.  She broke her arm.
CK: Really!?
Me: Yeah it was a clean break.  She is doing OK.  She is really really proud of her cast.
CK: Man I hate that, tell her I am sorry.  If there is anything I can do, let me know.
Me: We are good man.  But I did want to let you know your story and Kipp Jr's story about what happened do not match.
CK: (His voice changed to a very serious tone) What do you mean?  What did she say?

Brief side note: Capt. Kirk is bigger than me.  He is a big dude.

Me: She said you were on the trampoline playing "crack the egg" and bounced her out of the trampoline through the door.  She said it was all your fault.
CK: .................(10 seconds).................(20 seconds)...................In a stunned quiet nearly whisper he said, She said what?
Me: The game 'Crack the egg'.  Where kids lay on the trampoline, ball up holding there knees, while somebody bounces on the trampoline trying to get them to let go of their know crack the egg.  She said she held on for your first cannon ball bounce and she thinks she would been able to hold on for a few more but when she went flying out the door...the second cannon ball you reigned down was too much.
CK:...................................................(20 seconds).
Me: Just saying, your story and hers do not match up.  (I could not hold it any longer, I started laughing)  KA-BOOM!
CK: .....Man you ain't right.  You ain't right.  
Me: You couldn't crack her egg without bouncing her off onto the ground?  That has to be against the rules.
CK: (snickers) Cannon ball bounce - you come up with that one yourself?  Funny Kipp.  Real funny. 
Me: We thought that version would be better than what really happened.  So when people ask us what happened...this will be our story.
CK: Man you know that thing couldn't even hold me.  Call me if you...if Kipp Jr needs anything.
Me: Will do.   
Battery finally died on my phone.

I am hoping the next few Fridays are not so adventurous but some people say bad things happens in threes.  The bad news wave at this point consists of a plumber and a physician.  Not sure what the third is going to be, but if it happens on a Friday, I will let you guys know.


At the time of this posting, Kipp Jr is healing nicely.  She is already out of her cast and in a sling.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Water spicket

Bare with me here for a minute while I set this up.  Home improvement projects seem to be popular right now.  OK by popular I mean me and EmptyNester have home improvement projects going on right now, the rest of you rockbottom dwellers may need to jump on this wagon before you get left out of all the fun :)  

Well my home improvement project has been two fold.  The first phase was replacing the windows in our sun room.  I will spare you the details, but suffice to say we paid somebody to replace them.  The second phase was painting the outside of our house.  It is mostly brick so the project was not as combersome as it could have been.  We decided for the second phase to keep it inhouse (do it yourself).

I blocked off a Saturday to commit a full day to painting the outside of the house.  We had to put a coat of primer on the fresh siding around the new windows and a coat of new paint on the front door and eves (after my wife had spent Friday morning stripping the paint from the front door).  My father-in-law joined in on the fun as well and contributed a coat of paint around the eves and flashing around the entire house.  When we wrapped up the painting at the end of the day we basically had a coat of paint or primer on everything except the front post and the garage.  

Because we did not finish the project in a day and a half as planned.  We extended the plan into the following week.  The new plan was for my wife to continue to paint what she could reach throughout the week and I would once again paint all day the following Saturday to wrap it all up.  Well mother nature had other plans.  It rained Monday - Wednesday with Thursday not such a good day for painting.  

My wife pulled the paint supplies back out on Friday as I left for work.  When I got home for lunch she had put a second coat on the front door.  Her plans for after lunch were to paint the window seals on the front porch we had forgotten all about.  So she asked me to get the A-frame ladder out for her.  As I returned inside I told her to be careful using the ladder.  She mumbled something about only having to get on the second step.  I returned to work.

My cellphone rings about 10 minutes before quitting time.  "Home" is displayed on my cell phone screen.  
Me: Hey what's up?
My wife: There has been an accident.
Me: What!  What happened?! 

The signal cracks up.  I think the company I work for has installed cell phone blockers in my building.  Surely it cannot be AT&T's wonderful service.  I got up and left my office to see if the reception would get any better. 

Me: Are you OK?
My wife: Yes I am fine.  There has been an accident.
Me: OK I heard that part, what is going on?
There are voices in the background
My wife: I broke the water spicket.

Dramatic pause.  At first I was thinking, as you probably were, that she had fallen off the ladder and hurt herself.  With the voices in the background I was thinking maybe the ambulance staff was helping her into the ambulance or the neighbors were helping her into their vehicle to transport her to the ER.  When she mentioned the water spicket, I thought the spicket is not on the front of the house it is on the side of the house with the driveway.  Why was she painting over there?  The only thing to paint over there are the eves.  She was not supposed to be painting the eves.  

Me: Wait...did you say water spicket?    
My wife: Yes I was leaving to get some more paint because I had ran out.  I was backing out of the driveway making sure I was being very careful because Will (2 year old that lives next door) and Dixie (Jack Russell terrier lives across the street) were out playing.  Anyway I heard a noise and the van started getting sprayed with water, like somebody was squirtting us with a fire hose.  I do not know how it happened but when I ran over the hose it pulled the spicket off the wall.  Mindy said Tanner's dad is on his way over and he is a plumber.  Can I have him fix it?
Me: Yes.
My wife: OK bye. 
She hung up.

So I, and now you, are left to imagine what is going on at my house because in her state of mind staying on the phone to provide me more information of the accident was apparently not a priority.

Pulling onto my street I see more people out and about than normal.  There is a truck parked in my driveway and a gentleman chiseling away at a brick on the side of my house.  My wife is standing in the driveway supervising the plumber.  My kids are next door playing with Will and Dixie.  I get out of my truck and start a conversation with my wife.

Me to my wife:  OK I am glad you are not hurt.
My wife:  What are you talking about?
Me: It is not a good idea to start a conversation with your spouse with 'There has been an accident.'  It tends to produce an adrenaline rush in the spouse hearing that statement.
My wife:  Sorry but there had been an accident.
Me:  But I thought you had fallen off the ladder and somehow hurt yourself and broken the spicket.
My wife: But I was not even painting near the spicket why would you think that?
Me: Sooo...what happened?
My wife:  (Read this faster as you go cause she got faster as she talked) Well I had run out of paint and knew we would need some for tomorrow.  I thought I would run to the paint store before they closed and pick up another gallon.  Instead of putting everything up, because the store is so close, I left everything out and told the kids to get in the van.  The hose was across the driveway.  As I was backing up, careful to watch out for all the kids and dogs out playing because you know how cautious I am, I heard a noise and suddenly the van is being sprayed with water.  I looked over and it appeared it was coming out of the wall of the house.  I pulled the van up some and noticed the spicket did not look right.  I got out of the van and tried to put the spicket back in the position it was supposed to be in, because it was bent sideways.  That seemed to just finish it off.  Water was going everywhere.  I ran to the street to try to turn of the water.  I have never seen what is under the lid.  But I got the lid off and saw the valve, but I could not turn it off.  I could not budge it.  I called over to Toby (neighbor across the street).  He must have just thought I was saying hello cause he just put his hand up.  I screamed back over him "I need your help!"  He seemed to look past me this time to see the water coming out of the house.  He came jogging over realizing what I was trying to do.  He was unable to shut off the valve.  He ran back to his house and brought a tool over and was able to shut off the water.  I told him what happened.  He said he could fix it.  I asked him if he could fix it before Kipp gets home?  But I must have interrupted him, because he said he could fix it if it was his house.  He would not want to do ours in case something went wrong.  So he went to get me a number of a plumber he knows.  I then walked over to check on the girls.  Mindy wanted to know what happened.  I told her.  She tells me Tanners dad is on his way over to pick him up for the weekend and matter of fact he is in the neighbor now, maybe he could do it, because he was a plumber.  Cool right? When he pulled up I asked him if he would do it.  He said he would do it for $100.  I told him he was hired.  This is when I called you and asked if we should hire a plumber.  Cause the way I saw it, having no water for more than a few hours, trying to find a plumber on a Friday afternoon, much less how much would it cost for weekend pay after hours, I thought asking Tanner's dad to do it seemed like a great option.  Now tell me, would you have wanted to hear all that on the phone or what I said when I called?
Me: First of all - good job.  Secondly - Why did you even call me? :)
My wife Wonder Woman: Because it made me feel better to have you say you would hire a plumber.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Is yours like this?

I guess it goes without saying that mothers always think the best of their children no matter how we turn out or how old we get.  My grandmother thinks the world of her son.  My Dad's mom thought he could do no wrong.  Ask my aunts if you don't believe me.  Not sayin these fellas aren't good fellas but in the eyes of their mothers they are pretty high up on the tower of ivory.

Why am I thinking about this?  Well my aforementioned grandmother was recently in the hospital.  She had a few injuries that needed tending too after an unexpected fall.  I took an extended lunch break to make a visit to see her in hospital.  On my way into her room I of course had past a nursing station or two.  

Do you ever get the feeling that if you make eye contact with the nurses they may ask you "Where the heck do you think you are going? or "Sir, you aren't allowed back here."  I always walk with my head up and eyes forward like I know where I am going.  If I get lost, which can happen in an instant in a hospital, I start patting my pockets acting like I forgot something and turn around. 

I finally got to the room number mom had given me.  I reach the number on the door.  You guessed it, it was right by the nursing station.  

As I am facing the door, with no name sticker to identify who is supposed to be in the room, knowing the nurses are giving me the evil eye for not asking them for a patient name this thought crosses my mind - a janitor's closet.  What if I am about to walk into a janitors closet right in front of the nursing station?  No.  What I am thinking?  My mom would not do that to me, she would not embarrass me in front a group of nurses.

To make things even more awkward, I suddenly remember how my preacher man father tells stories of his more adventurous hospital visits.  "You never know what you are going to walk into when you enter a hospital room...even after you knock and somebody says come in!"  

Not really wanting to experience a sponge bath or a potty break nor the shame of knocking on the janitors closet another thought hit me.  If it was a closet, I could make a comment about the "23-19 code violation of not having a fiberglass door on a janitor's closet".  (remember act you are supposed to be there - throw in some code violation jargon and people will leave you alone)  

I finally knocked.  

Am I the only one that gets the hebee-jeebees at a hospital?  Really? 

I decided not to enter unless I recognized the voice or the door was opened from the inside.  I knocked on the door and waited for a response from my mom or grandmother.  I heard mom say, "Come in".  

Safely inside the room, I was able to shake off the feeling I was being watched.  But once in the room I noticed something odd.  There was no hospital bed.  Even stranger there was no Nanna.  I must have had a strange look on my face.  "She just left to get an MRI.  I tried to call you but I guess you did not get the call." mom quickly informed me.  

After our hello's and an update on Nanna's status, she could not seem to wait to tell me all about how exciting it has been during their day and half stay at the hospital. "It's like a soap opera up here on the 2nd floor." 

For example, the gurney men transporting Nanna to and from Xray, Imaging, and other places seemed to be quite the Don Juan Quixote's.  According to mom, Nanna seemed to think they were trying to get fresh with her a time or two during her gurney trips. "They were being so friendly and talkative."  Mom said the nutritionist seemed to be showing her some special attention.  Although I later found out they had failed to bring them dinner the night before.  Yeah you might get some special treatment from the staff if they failed to bring you a meal in a hospital.  I told mom "you should not worry about all that, maybe they just don't get too many folks on the 2nd floor that can carry on conversation.  Maybe these folks are just excited to have people to talk too?"  She snapped "I don't think so son."   

I told her, "Well I can't see any harm in folks wanting to carry on a conversation.  Plus with all the people that come in and out of these rooms all day and all night I do not think you two have anything to worry about.  Even so, you are right across from the nursing station.  At least it gives you two some entertainment while you are in here."

Mom went on as if I was the one talking non-sense.  She explained some more about a few apparent love affairs she had picked up on amongst the staff.  Most of it seemed pretty normal to me, especially when you get men and women together in the same place for extended periods of time - they tend to talk to each other.  

As my time started wearing short, I told mom to tell Nanna I was sorry I missed her but hopefully she would be out soon and next time I saw her she would home.  Mom walked me out of the room into the hall and told me she loved me, thanked me for stopping by, sorry you missed Nanna, she would tell Nanna I stopped by, Nanna would be sorry she missed me, Nanna would be glad you stopped by, you better call her later...You get the idea, she was being a mom.  I finally stepped in and gave her a hug and told I had to get going.  

As I got about four steps down the hall from her I hear her say this in a bold booming voice, just a guess here but most likely directed at the nursing station, "That's my youngest son.  Isn't he good looking?" 

Pull the needle across the record.  ~~screeeech~~

I did not even turn around.  I just kept my head up and kept walking a little quicker than I had arrived.  In case you haven't been following along, guess who seems to be generating all the soap opera story lines?! 

As if that was not quite embarrassing enough, when I called mom later that evening to check on Nanna she tells me all about what happened after I left.  "When you left I told those nurses at the station you were my son.  One of them walked up and asked me if you were married.  I told her you were; happily married."  The lady then said, "Ms. Bedford it's just too bad he's married.  I could make that man real happy."  Mom started laughing she thought that was soo funny.

Deciding to turn the tide on my mom, I said as serious as I could muster in a low voice "Really?  Which one was she, is she still working, is she still there?  Maybe I might need to come back up there cause remember I didn't get to see Nanna."  

Starting to laugh now I said, "I might need to give that nurse a big hug for taking care of you two!"  Realizing I was pulling her leg, she laughed, "You will not.  Son don't talk like that."

Gotta love our moms.  No matter what we do or how old we get...


Friday, October 28, 2011

Do you or don't you

I was perusing the internet the other day as I sometimes do, and came across a interesting story - haunted hotels.  Of the top 5 on the list, I had spent the night in one and visited another.  If the list would have been a top ten I am sure I have stayed in a third and fourth.  So it got me thinking about making my own list.

  • Hotel del Coronado - San Diego, CA  ++
  • The Myrtles Plantation - St. Francisville, LA ++
  • Copper Queen Hotel - Bisbee, AZ  xx
  • Pinebridge Inn - Spruce Pines, NC  xx

++ - on the Yahoo! list
xx - awtta be on the list

The common theme for all my visits to these hotels; I did not know about the "paranormal spirits" until after I arrived.  Sometimes not knowing until the next day when somebody in town asked "Where did you stay last night?"  Upon providing my response, "O my, did you know it was haunted!?"   

They would then want to know how well I slept or if I had heard or seen anything.  My response was always the same.  "No, can't say that I heard or saw anything while I was sleeping." 

The Myrtles Plantation and the Copper Queen Hotel were so proud of their paranormal activity at breakfast the next morning the Myrtles staff would ask if you saw anything unusual.  The Cooper Queen had a ghost register at the front desk - they wanted you to record your experience.  All these places had names for their ghosts hosts.  When I failed to give any accounts of encounters of the ghostly, "You will before you leave."  

I am not saying there are or are not ghosts, but I will say that given the chance to fill ones head with stories before you go to sleep or while you are staying a "haunted hotel", you may start hearing things and seeing things that make you wonder: is that where I left my toothbrush, I thought I left the TV on ESPN before I left for dinner, I don't remember putting water in that glass, was that somebody dragging their finger nails across a chalkboard, who is that standing behind the curtains...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Few updates

Just a few quick updates of note.  Based on recommendations by social media everywhere, it is said followers/readers like to see who they are reading about or texting.  On the over one year of my blog anniversary, my ugly mug is now displayed on the left.  

That's me over on the left with the big lips...the one with the spiked hair on top....the one on the right side of the picture to the left...the one wearing the sunglasses...for Pete's sake put your glasses on.

Secondly thanks to those who have either downloaded a sample of Rockbottom the ebook or have purchased a $0.99 full copy.  It is very of kind of you.  If you have a full copy, I would love for you to leave a review on smashwords.  Leave your name on a good review so I can thank you.   Make up a false name for bad review so I can't find you...just kidding.  Seriously, just kidding.

Thirdly I have added the book cover picture to the ebook on smashwords further down on the left column.  The hidden picture, that is not so hidden for some, has generated some fun guesses.  A hawk, your wife parachuting to find one of your golf shots in the woods, a kite, an air assault armadillo exterminator...

Last note about the ebook, unless you ask, but it is pending approval from smashwords to be put on amazon, barnes and nobles and other more recognizable sites.  Just saying - things could either get real embarrassing, nasty, or crazy and expensive.  :)   

***As of 10.7.11 smashwords approved Rockbottom for their premium catalog.  It will now be available on 7 different ebook outlets including amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and Sony.***

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Where have you been?

To everyone reading this post I want to say "Thank You!"  
Thank you for the support and encouragement.

I also wanted you all to know; my first ebook has been self-published on smashwords.  It is called Rockbottom.  (smashwords made me capitalize it)

What is smashwords you ask?  It is a marketplace for self-published material from around the world.  It is for readers and writers.  For the reader, it provides a library at your finger tips.  For the writer, it provides a platform to create an ebook for the reader. 

Why did I publish on smashwords?  Because I thought it was cool.  ebooks are cool y'all.  Why did you buy your iphone, ipad, tablet, Kindle, or Mac?  Right, because they are cool.    

If you decide to checkout Rockbottom at smashwords, it will be familiar to you as it is a compilation of some of the original rockbottom posts put together all in one place for easy reading.  The effort put forth to make it an ebook has been both challenging and exciting.  It has taken me several months to organize, edit, and format to the specifications of smashwords but I finally got it. 

The only favor I ask is - go check out the book cover - I am curious to know how many of you will be able to pick out the hidden picture.  If you can't, I guess you will just have to spend the $0.99 to find out what it is.  :p

Big THANKS to my buddy Phil for providing the artwork for the bookcover.

Here is the direct link to Rockbottom on smashwords:


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cusp of history

rockbottom dwellers we are on the cusp of blog history...hold on for this.

We are currently at 49 followers.  49 wonderful followers have made a bold decision to push the "Join this site" button.  Think about it.  It is not an easy decision.  The thought process you all went into before clicking the button.  "What if this blog advertises or writes something that I totally disagree with?"  "What if my friends find out I am following this blog?"  "What if he does not join my site?"  Those are some seriously tough questions.

Clicking the "Join this site" button is more than just clicking the button.  It is deciding to commit to reading the blog everytime a new post arrives at least once in a while.  And like I said once you click "Join this site" your profile button is displayed on the blog publicly for all to see.  It's personal.  And it does not stop there it goes a step or two further.  

As a follower, every time a new post appears it shows up on your blogger dashboard.  If you have a gmail account, each post shows up on your google reader!  Following is a BIG decision.  It is almost like getting a tatoo - you thought it was a good idea at the time.  It was cool, you thought: Hey I like this.  And unfollowing a blog can be just as stressful.  Remember the first time somebody saw your tatoo and laughed and laughed?  You had second thoughts right?  But the process to get untatooed is difficult.  Getting rid of it is way more stressful.  Unfollowing someone's blog is about the same.  It is nearly as impossible.  You just can't bring yourself to do it.  Much like that old ridiculous tulip tatoo; you just can't erase that memory from your life.  So for all of you that decided to click that button and join rockbottom - thank you.  For all of you that have thought about unfollowing and have not yet clicked unfollow - thank you.

And contrary to where you might think this is going I am not all about numbers or having a follower drop off the rockbottom dweller list.  Haven't we all been to the blog of note blogs where the recipient describes how suddenly they have hundreds of followers they cannot possibly respond to individually.  Who wants that?  I mean - right?  Although obviously I have had no such recognition; I think I concur with them.  Who wants all that worry?

I would rather the people that have joined rockbottom be interested in what I have to say.  I really do want the stories I tell to put a smile your face.  Laughter truly is the best medicine.  I want each post, or as many posts as possible, to be quality work...OK seriously, how cool would it be for rockbottom to have 50 followers?  We made it to 49 we can make it to 50 right?  

It is not like we are offering them a new member deal like the cable company does.  If you sign up now as a new cable member we will give you every channel, and an extra DVR for every room for your first year.  And just because we like you, we are going to throw in a 7 foot LED HC TV for free.  You do realize, you the existing customers, foot the bill for these new customers?  You that paid full price for the basic installation, were over charged for the basic service and charged for each extra DVR, on top of having to buy your own plasma HD TV that heats up your living room so much you had to install a ceiling fan?  It is just so wrong.  I promise that will not happen to you here at rockbottom.  The newest member, the 50th follower, will not be treated to one extra perk you first 49 followers have not received here at rockbottom.  Promise.

One more and we hit 50!  One more.  Didn't your grandmother just get a iphone4 last week?   Sign her up.  Again it is not about numbers.  Just one number.  50.  See the difference? :)  

rockbottom history is near.  Stay close y'all, we are on the cusp...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The River Trip

Another Sunday School trip.  Last time it was a beach trip.  This time it was a river house.  We have a couple in our class that is doing alright.  They invited the whole class to join them one Saturday afternoon for a day on the river at the place they had bought for the summer.  The amenities were kayak's, fishing, jet ski's, boat ride, inter-tube riding (us southerners call it "tubing") kiddie pool and slide, swimming and of course my favorite - food.  

We had a great turn out.  There were probably 12-14 couples plus kids.  Since The Beach Trip our SS class has been fruitful and multiplied.  At one point we had 7 expectant couples.  Something was definitely in the Holy water.  I am just saying, it was very nice to have a SS party where our kids were not the only ones in attendance.  More kids with more distractions less attention on any specific child.

My girls were pretty stoked about the party but mostly the chance to fish.  The other things were somewhat foreign to them.  I had warned them the fishing on the river is different than on a pond.  (They may not catch anything)  We had just put the fishing poles down by the pier and had said hello to about three people when I hear the host say, "Come on, Kipp you ride with me."  He was sitting on a running jet ski.  I checked with my wife to make sure she was cool with it...I mean I said "Heck yeah, let's go."  

There was a couple, who I did not recognize, sitting on a second running jet ski.  My host explained the couple was engaged to be married and while she was still in school he was working for the host.  Host (who will now be called Thurston) had invited them to join in on the fun.  Thurston wanted to take them out on the river and show them where they could ride.  I was instructed I was going for the same basic reason, when I got back I would relieve Thurston of jet ski duty and show others where they could ride.  This would ensure more people would be aware of where to ride quicker.

The river house was up a creek/slough about 500 yards from the river.  We had to cruise at idle speed as to make no wake until we reached the river.  Once we hit the river there were three options left, straight and right.  Thurston chose right.  I grabbed the bar on the back of the seat as he throttled down on the jet ski and we planed out within seconds.  

He is yelling over the motor pointing out the landmarks to help me identify how to find my way back.  We made it through a few turns and out to the big river where it appeared most everyone in the area was hanging out.  There were party barges, wake boarders, tubers, other jet skis, joy riders, you name it.  The water was bit rough in the main river so Thurston made a U-turn and opened the throttle to get back to the smother water.  

He was sure to point out the creek/slough that led back to his house.  As we passed it, we took a right (which would have been the straight option when we started out).  This path turned out to be very smooth water but had about 4 hair pin turns involved within a short distance.  As we approached a bridge, there was a big wide spot in the river.  Thurston slowed down to idle speed and hollered to the other couple that had been following our every move, "I am going to let Kipp drive.  If you guys want to switch up and let her drive this is a good spot."

Jet ski's have gotten a lot bigger than when they first came out years ago.  I consider them to be about the size of a small boat.  Thurston starts explaining that although it appears to be big and stable it can tilt about like a canoe.  "We need to be careful about our weight distribution."  He removes the kill switch leash from his wrist, hooks it on the left grip and stands up.  Almost under his breath I hear, "OK this is a lot easier with my wife."  

I did not fully understand this comment until he stood up and I realized there is not much room to exchange positions on a jet ski without having to possibly rub up against the other passenger.  Then he offers some real enlightening advice.  "Just go slow on that side so we can counter balance as we go."  We were both standing with our arms out as if on a high wire yet somewhat leaning over the seat.  How can I describe this next part...guys...most guys...some guys...real...I am not comfortable...shaking hands is about the most...we were trying our best not to hold each other nor inadvertently rub against each others...middle parts.  When it became apparent that certain "middle areas" may get too close for comfort Thurston reacts rather suddenly and leans back and says, "Counter balance!"  As I try to counter the balance, I reach over and forward for the handle bar for support.

Somehow as I blindly reached for the handle bar I was successful at grabbing the right side of the handle bar and pulling it toward me.  However at the same time, I was very successful in squeezing the throttle.  My reaction time in releasing the throttle was enhanced by the thrust force of the jet ski which was suddenly no longer under my feet.  I found myself in a picture perfect Nestea plunge pose.  Having seen the movie Inception recently, I would have to say, this is the moment I would have woken up from my dream.  

I was laughing before I hit the water.  There were so many things to laugh about.  First why did we just try that?  Really...the one place on the entire jet ski you grab is the throttle?  Thurston's employee is going to have a story to tell his coworkers Monday about the day he saw his millionaire boss being thrown from his own jet ski.    

I breached the water to hear Thurston saying "I cannot believe that just happened."  
I said, "You were right, it has to be easier with your wife."
I glanced over at employee and his finance' and notice that finance' was in the drivers seat.  Employee says, "Yes it was much easier for us.  She just crawled over then turned..."
Simultaneously Thurston and I interrupt with "We know how she did it!"    

We were fortunate the jet ski had been powered upstream while missing the jungle gym couple.  The river current brought the idling jet ski back toward Thurston and I.  Thurston reached the jet ski first but while he was trying to explain to the jungle gym couple what happened to us, I went ahead and climbed up on the jet ski and into the drivers seat.  Thurston finally crawls on board explaining he will not ever try that again with anybody other than his own wife.  He had no sympathy for my hat as I explained how nearly lost it.

We arrived back at the dock to looks of wonder and bewilderment.  The first question we hear, "What happened to you two?  Wasn't Thurston driving when you guys left?"
I heard Thurston inhale and before he could get a word out I went ahead with my response, "We hit a killer wave out (using my hands to display a jet ski jumping a wave) on the main river behind a Contender, as I leaned forward upon our decent, pointing the nose of the jet ski toward the water (pointing my hand down), we went all the way under like you see on TV before popping back up; it was killer dude."
"You fell off didn't you?"

KJ was standing there laughing at her father.  I asked her if she wanted to go for a ride while I still had dibs on the jet ski.  Thurston was being beckoned to take the boat out for some of the ladies and a few tubers.  KJ was ready to go.  She put on a life jacket.  I put her in front of me and off we went.  

After the no wake zone we stayed out of the way of the weekend warriors.  KJ loves going fast (I suspect her mothers driving).  We started going in circles and jumping our own wake waves.  She was loving it.  We hit one wave that sprayed water all over our faces.  She giggled like a little girl about that.  We zipped around for a few more minutes before heading back to the dock.  I asked her if she thought Squirt would want a ride.  "O-Yeah."

We get back to the dock and I send KJ to find Squirt over by the kiddie pool.  "Tell Momma about the plans and see what she says."  Within a few seconds, Squirt was standing on the dock wearing a life jacket telling her mother "See ya later mom." 

Squirt's experience with vehicles of any kind is limited to a mini-van, a compact truck that would not be able to pull my hat off my head, and her Sea Turtle training wheel bicycle.  Squirt excitedly hops on the jet ski between me and the handle bars.  I instruct her where to hold on to the handlebars as to not hit the throttle ;)  

KJ screams at Squirt.  "Tell Dad to go fast!"  So the next 500 yards all I heard was: "Dad can we go fast?  When are we going to go fast?  Can we go fast yet?"  I told her I would let her know when so she could hold on.

When we reach the river there was a boat that appeared to be out of gas.  The girl in the bikini was tinkering around near the motor.  I think I figured out she was switching out the gas lines on the outboard.  But just in case, we pulled up and asked if they were OK or if they needed any help.  "Naw man, we are good. But thanks for checking on us.  Have a good day."  (That was the man in the boat by the way)
"No problem ya'll too."

"Squirt, now we are going to go fast so hold on."  I opened up the jet ski about half way.  Squirt squealed like she was riding Thunder Mountain at Disney World.  Then she started laughing.  We took a ride around the 4 hair pin turns on the smooth water back up in the creeks at a pretty good clip.  She was loving the speed and the wind her face.  We got to the place of the earlier incident and turned around to head back.  

When we got back to the open space just before the slough and no wake zone, I cut loose on some circles.  I was not going quite as fast with her as with KJ, so the waves were not causing the same splash in the face affect.  I stepped it up just a little and finally got the affect that KJ liked so much.  Well Squirt laughed out loud as well.  I guess the shock of the cold water is exciting.  

We slowed back down and started the long idle speed trek back to the dock.  I was pointing out some things in the yards of the river houses.  We got quiet about 100 yards from the dock.  Squirt turns so I can see her face.  She is grinning from ear.  Then she reduces the smile and raises her eyebrows.  She gives me her cool look.  Looking up at me under her eyebrows with a half smile, "Dad that was waay cooler than the kiddie pool."  I could not help it, I laughed out loud.  "I think you are right Squirt.  This is way cooler."

Many thanks to Thurston and his family for inviting us out for the day.  If you aren't taking time to get out with your family or spouse, you are missing out all kinds of fun. 

By the way - I have no idea why some paragraphs have more line spacing than others.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Dear Neighbors

My name is Kipp.  I am your fellow neighbor.  I have been a victim.
Before you get too alarmed, let me explain the atrocity.

As dry as it has been this summer I have not mown my lawn but twice.  During each of these two lawn care maintenance activities I have found gross evidence of over a half dozen canine poo pile deposits.  Apparently we have a rogue canine owner who refuses to pick up the poo pile after the business has been dropped off in the yard.  OK maybe this is alarming you.  

I want to make it known I do not object if the sample is temporarily stored in my yard until the plastic bag collection device, that you feel confident protects you against the mess but not the warmth, as you scoop up said deposit.  But I strongly object to those that are letting their animals freely roam the neighborhood to deposit their poo pile anywhere they deem appropriate after three to seven nose to the ground circles all the while, you wait for your canine to return home a little lighter on the paw.  

I fear these two are working together.  The non conforming canine owner and the canine poo pile bandit.  I want it known the owner of this canine poo pile bandit is not walking the dog according to city ordinance.  If you see a rogue canine after dark and before dawn without an owner please take a photo of the canine making the deposit.  Beware the photo may be graphic but please understand your assistance may help us crack the case.  Please take caution as to not approach the deposit after it has been left.  These deposits can be very slippery.  We will rely on the image taken for verification.

Let me issue a personal warning.  These poo piles can be hidden just beneath the surface of the lawn.  Once run over with a open discharging 6.0 hp Briggs and Straton self-propelled lawn mower can cause many issues.  Some are, but not limited too: ricocheting back on the pusher of said mower when mower discharge is too close to a tree or porch causing some serious poo rage for the push mower operator; splatter onto next door neighbors parked vehicle passenger side door causing some sophomoric giggles yet quite a mess for said neighbor; or worst yet, not seeing the poo pile deposit but knowing exactly what has happened as soon as your flip flop suddenly slides across the lawn as if he was suddenly ice skating.
What action will we take?  We wish to approach the owner politely and ask they follow the city ordinance.  However, if they refuse to walk the dog according to code, we have a safe and environmentally friendly return deposit bag that can be left on their door step or front porch to remind them of their responsibility.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Yours truly,

Neighborhood Pooper Trooper (self appointed)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Land of the free

You like free?  I like free.  Who does not like free?  

We were given some free tickets to attend a local minor league baseball game recently.  Since we enjoy going to these games anyway the benefit of the game being free...I mean like...wooohooo! 

Every Friday night home game the park puts on a free a firework show after the game.  So not only did we have free tickets, not only did we go on free fireworks night but we picked the kids Library night on top of that.  One of the perks of signing up the kids for the library summer reading program is a night at the ballpark that includes a free gift.  This was the second year the girls participated in the summer reading program.  Add up all that free and you get a goo-hood (read that 'good' extended a bit) time.  

When we arrived last year the library staff was directly behind the entrance gate passing out T-shirts.  This year when I picked up my two free adult tickets and presented the certificate for the girls free tickets to get the girls free gift the man at will-call instructed me to go to Customer Service to pick up the kids gifts. 

Upon passing through the gate I did not see the library staff I remembered from last year.  I spotted a stadium staffer and asked him to point me to Customer Service.  Have you ever heard the expression "if it would have been a snake it would have bitten you"?  Customer Service was about three steps from where I was standing.  We got in line to receive the summer reading gift.  Turned out it was the same shirt from last year.  My wife wanted to know if the girls really wanted the same T-shirt.  KJ was quick to respond, "I didn't read those books for nothing.  I want my shirt."  They grow up so fast.

Before the Customer Service Representative (CSR) took the shirt sizes, a gentleman stepped up to the desk looking like he just wanted to ask a quick question.  You know what I mean?  We have all done it.  You see the long line, but just you have a 'yes' 'no' question, you feel your question is so insignificant you should not have to wait in such a long line, but yet you really need to know the answer to your quick question, so you do what we have been trained to do, you skip in line and ask your question.  To signal this, you approach the desk with your finger pointing in the air or pointing left or right and your eyebrows up as high as they will go.  For some reason this body language has worked for generations.  But this inconsiderate punk gentleman did not have a 'yes' 'no' question.  I was duped. 

He says, "Yes that will be fine put me down for it." 
Apparently he and the CSR had had a previous conversation I was unaware of...they continued. 

She looks at him and says, "Would you like to be the Auburn or Alabama player?" 

(OK for those of you that may be from around here - in my state, when you are born, your parents have to declare your allegiance to one state school or the other.  You are either a follower of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide or you are a University of Auburn Tiger.)

If you have been to a minor league game in the last 10 years you know during the middle of every inning there are games or some form of attention grabbing diversion while the teams switch sides and prepare to bat.  Some times they throw T-shirts or hats or hot dogs to the crowd.  Other diversions are games involving morons on the field doing things that make them look like complete idiots.  Have you ever wondered how people get picked for the various games?  Well let me tell you.  All you have to do is sign's free.

She then asked for his name.  He provided it.  She wrote it down.  She then looks at me and says, "What size T-shirt do your kids need again?" 
I told her Small and Medium. 
"We are out of small."  (good information to know before you ask somebody ... but no harm) 
"Two medium's will be fine." I said.

Then I asked the all important question.  "What do I need to do play one of the games tonight and are there any left to sign up for?" 
"No and you have to be 18 years or older."
"Bless your heart sweetie." (she must have been blind as bat to think I was under 18)
"Just kidding; what's your name?"
Why do people have to be so cold hearted?
" name is Kipp"
"And are you good to be the Alabama representative?"
"Absolutely - sunshine."
"Great, be on the third base sideline at the start of the 7th inning."

I did not sign anything.  I did not have to provide any identification.  Best of all it cost me nothing.  I was going to be one of the morons entertain my girls on the baseball field in front of hundreds of people.  Sometimes you just have put yourself out there and see what happens. Right?
My wife: "Kipp what did you just do?"
Me: "Not really sure, but I will be on field during the 7th inning representing Alabama.  AL-LA-BAM-A...ROLL TIDE BABY!"
My wife: "Oh gosh."


I will skip to the 7 inning for you...but will say we witnessed a grand slam by our home team. in the 2nd inning, quite the excitement.

After several innings of hearing "When are you going to play the game Dad?"  "Is it the 7th inning Dad?"  "What are you doing again Dad?"  "Kipp what are you playing for?" The 7th inning finally arrived.

I left the stands with strict instructions to wave and acknowledge my girls while on the field.  I was asked to verify I knew where they were sitting.  I left to high fives and good luck wishes. 

I met the staffer on the third base side and he provided me with a Alabama jersey.  "Put this on.  You know what to do?" 
Me: "No."
Staffer:  "Throw as many footballs through the hole in the board as possible in 30 seconds.  Find a seat in this section and I will call you when its go time."
Me:  "OK"

As I sat in the seat off the third base line I started thinking about all kinds of stuff:

  •     The number on the jersey was 2.  The most popular player at Alabama to wear number 2 was David Palmer.  When he played the popular expression screamed at the TV when he would return punts and kickoffs for touchdowns was "The deuce is loose."
  •     Alabama's first Heisman trophy winner was Mark Ingram he wore 22. 
  •     I could flash the Heisman trophy pose when I get out there.
  •     Cam Newton won the Heisman trophy last year for Auburn.
  •     He wore number 2.
  •     That makes 2 in a row for the state of Alabama.
  •     Does this mean I am going to make 2 good throws?
  •     Does this mean I am going to come in 2nd?
  •     How many people are here?
  •     What if I miss the whole board?
  •     Why am I doing this?
Staffer:  "Kipp!  We're up.  Lets go!"

I trotted on to the field and started realizing hundreds of people may be watching my every move.  Man the lights are bright.  As my name was announced over the Public Address system I finally decided to look up in the stands.  Oh man there are a lot of people out here.  Where is my family?  Did they move?  Maybe theY moved closer to get a better view.  I do not see them.  I should flash the Heisman pose before its too late.  (I flashed the Heisman Trophy pose ...left arm out straight - left leg up as if running - right arm tucked close to body as if carrying a football - add the smile)  Wonder if anybody saw that?  Scanned the crowd again for the girls, still no girls.

The man over the PA explains the rules again.  "Guys you have 30 seconds to throw as many footballs through the hole in the board as possible.  The player with the most points wins.  Go!"

I threw probably 15 Nerf footballs at the hole in the board.  The hole was about the size of a dinner plate.  I hit just about every possible point around the hole but never once did the ball go through.  I was embarrassed.  Shut up...  Time was up and had 0 points.  I turned to see if the Auburn side was indicating any numbers up to the press box.  The PA announcer informs everyone the game is a tie, neither player made any points.  Somewhat relieved to know the other guy had as much difficulty as I did, the PA announcer makes another statement.  "Ladies and Gentlemen in the event of a tie we go back to who won last time and give the prize to the other team.  "Tonight....(people in the stands are starting to scream "Alabama!" "Auburn!"...the winner is...(more screaming)...Alabama!"

I got a little excited.  I started waving my hands up as if to try to get the folks to stand up and cheer.  I think I got a few kids to stand up.  

Staffer:  "Kipp follow me to Customer Service to collect your prize." as he motioned me to follow him.  I looked up again to see if I could spot my girls...nope.

I got to Customer Service about the same time my opponent got there.  The staffer pulls out a prize bag from our local coffee and tea company.  "Here you go, congratulations."  As I turn around with a smile and my prize my opponent says, "Congratulations, good game."

Me: "Hey.  Thanks.  I cannot believe I did not get one ball through the hole."
Him:" Me either it is much more difficult than it looks from the stands."
ME: "I finally just started throwing like a wild man trying to get one through."
Him: "Ha.  Yeah I know what you mean."
Me: "Good game.  See ya."

I get back in the stands and there are my girls sitting right where I left them.
Me:  "I guess I got turned around I did not see you guys."
Wife:  "Well...we had to pee.  We missed the whole thing." 
Me:  "WHAT!"
Wife:  "I know.  I am sorry.  We have been waiting for the 7th inning for like two hours but Squirt couldn't hold it any longer.  What did you win?"
Me:  "So you guys missed the whole thing?"
Wife:  "What did you win?"
Me:  "I only did that to entertain the girls."
Wife:  "How many did you throw through the hole?"
Me:  "You missed the Heisman pose."
Wife:  "How many did you throw through the hole?"
Me:  "I won some coffee and tea."
Wife:  "How many did you throw through the hole?"
Me:  "I got to wear an Alabama jersey and everything."
Wife:  "Kipp! Did you not throw any balls through the hole?"
Me:  "No.  It is much more difficult on the field with all those people watching and no they do not allow any practice and the 30 seconds goes by really really fast."
Wife:  "How did you win?"
Me:  "The players from the visting team were LSU fans and heckling me."

Wife gives me the look.

Me:  "It was Alabama's turn to win the tie breaker."
Wife: "Does not sound like we missed much.....just kidding."
Me:  "Have I told you lately how funny you are?"
Both: HaHa :)

I see my opponent return to his seat about 8 rows down from us.  I tell my wife I will be right back.  "What are you doing?" 
Me: "It was a tie, I should share the prize with him.  I will be right back."

I take a box of tea and a bag of coffee down to my opponent who was completely shocked I was giving him half the prize.  I wished I had thought of it earlier.  I told him "Had I scored a single point you would have seen none of the loot."  He laughed and agreed.  (Then these thoughts hit me while I was sitting beside him...the guy had shown up at Customer Service at the same time I did to claim my prize.  Who does that? Was he trying to get me to split the prize with him at that time?  He had not been sitting in our section prior to the game.  I mean he was hard to miss.  He was a man that stood out in the crowd - bright orange T-shirt and bald head.  He probably followed me to my section...he reminded me of Howard)  I snapped out of my trance when he spoke again.

Auburn dude: "What else was in the prize bag?"
I thought, Oh my gosh Howard has siblings.
Me: "More tea and coffee."
Auburn dude: "Cause I do not drink coffee."
Me: "How about you...(I wanted to soooo bad but I held it back) it."
Auburn dude seemed to have sensed my state of staring as if I recognized him and my hesitation before providing the re-gifting idea.  I had to throw him off the scent.
Me: "Are you Howard's brother?"
Auburn dude: "What? No.  I do not have a brother."
Me: "No?  OK.  Well then I just thought since we tied I would share the loot.  Enjoyed the game hope you have good evening."  I stood up and walked off.
Auburn dude:  "You are very kind.  Thank you."  
I returned to my free seat, unharmed, to finish watching the game with the girls.  

The night was a success.  We had some good family fun.  Some of us more than others.  The home team won.  The free firework show was cool.  The kids loved their free T-shirts.  I was excited about my free loot for scoring 0 points in a contest where the object was to score more points than the other person in front of a few hundred people...although none of whom I knew...that ended free of any points scored.  And to top it all off, we got a coupon for a free Hardee's sausage biscuit on the way out of the park.  Is this a great country or what?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Just asking...

Just asking...

When did it become OK for you to bang your car into a parked car in a parking lot then drive off leaving no contact information?

When did it become OK to leave out words to the Pledge of Allegiance?

When did it become OK to not sing all the words to the Star Spangled Banner?

When did it become OK to drop your kids off at the movie theater as if it were a supervised baby sitting service?

When did it become OK to charge $15.00 for a coke and popcorn at the movies?

When did it become OK to litter in the movie theater but not in the movie theater parking lot?

When did it become OK to skip all the way to the front of the line on the interstate during road construction zones?

When did it become OK to sit at a green light while I watch you prepare or respond to a text message and then see you subsequently flip me off for honking my horn so you will know the light is green?

When did it become OK to stereotype on SNL but not on stage at a comedy club?

When did it become OK for a person to verbally abuse another but not allow the abused time for a rebuttal because you have issued your public cookie cutter prepared apologetic statement just after everybody in the world heard your insult?

When did it become OK to say/show that on TV?

When did it become OK to talk on your cell phone while "sitting" in a restroom stall?

When did it become OK to dress like that?

When did it become OK for me to take something back after 18 or 24 months of use and be given a brand new one because I do not think the picture is as clear as it was in the store when I bought it?

When did it become OK to have no outs in Little League baseball?

When did it become OK for you sit in front of me at a base/basket/football game holding up a home made poster where you spent hours trying to make a coherent collaborating home team sentence out of the capital letters E-S-P-N not allowing me see the field? 

When did it become OK to take every piece of freshly dropped off piping hot large thin crust pepperoni pizza off the buffet table and stack every piece on one plate as you go through the line in front of me?


When did it become OK?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I don't do mornings.

EmptyNester has a post about the HEAT in her neck of the woods.  In her post she mentions wanting to smack someone because it is just so freakn HOT.  Which led her to another group of people that need smacking, "singy songy" early bird morning people.  Did she get a witness?  Hello...waving my hand over here!
(Follow the link above to her post)

I can so relate to this feeling.  As long as I can remember when I first wake up, the last thing I want to hear is some bubbly personality telling me how wonderful it is to be up so early; "what a beautiful day it is going to be".  Pretty much anything beyond a grunt or a "mo'ning", I consider to be too much morning joy.  There have been many a morning I have wanted to smack somebody.  My tolerance for such "singy songy" (great description EmptyNester) people does not wear off til about 9:00 AM.  I barely remember the first pot of coffee.

Take for instance the other day as I pulled in the parking lot at work.  It was about 6:40-6:45.  There were a few cars in the parking lot.  Let me digress for a second: We have radio-frequency badges that unlock the doors to our building.  Cool right, I know.  I think they are the best thing since cable TV.  Not only is it cool but you do not have to use a key to open the door, you just have to sort of wave this badge near the card reader and the door unlocks.  (Bond...James Bond).  Another cool feature of the badge is it can be electronically coded to limit entry access of the badge holder.  For example, I have 24/7 access but others only have access from 6:45 AM to 5:30 PM.  All that to say there were some employees in the parking lot waiting until 6:45 to enter the building.

As I exited my vehicle and proceeded to walk just in front of one of the employees sitting in her car with her window rolled down, she laid on the horn.  Most people with a pulse would have jumped out of their skin at this prank; but I really don't do mornings.  So the only reaction she got out of me was the stink eye I gave her as I stopped still in front of her car and pulled down my sunglasses (think Horatio from CSI Miami).  As she cackled about her prank, in my mind I too was cackling.  Because in my mind I had just pulled the trigger on the taser gun and the darts had hit her square in her left shoulder and I was holding down the triggers sending volts and volts of electricity through her horn blowing way too early in the morning for crap like that prankin self.

I do love the smell of a fresh pot of coffee brewing in the morning.  

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Identical twin

We recently visited the girls great grand father, Big Pop.  Although Big Pop's house has more than one bedroom, my family always seems to end up in one room and more specifically in one bed at night.  As the girls have continued to grow, even a king size bed is no longer accommodating for four people.  The last trip was finally the deal breaker.  It was finally time to kick out the little folks.

You may be asking "How bad could it be?"  Consider this, every time you rollover to change sides waking up to see if you are not going to squish, crush or otherwise maim the person beside you.  And although not as bad as tent camping sleep, it is not the one of the most restful nights sleep one can get.  The big commotion must have started about 2 AM.  Least this is what I was told at breakfast the next morning.  

Mom: "Girls y'all are not sleeping in our bed tonight.  It is time for you two to graduate to the sofa bed/hideaway bed.  I did not get much sleep from being kicked in the gut and slapped in the face." 
The girls responded with concern as would anyone would when presented with change.  
Girls: "We do not want to sleep in there; it's scary in that room." 

Negotiation strategy is all about providing the bad guys something they want, or better yet something they have not thought of.  Either way the goal is to distract or provide an alternative prize.

Me: "Girls there is a TV in the extra den with the sofa bed. You can watch TV." 
Girls: "We can watch TV!"  They ran back to the extra den right then to check out their new pad.
Mom: "Why haven't we thought about that before?"
Me: "They have never kicked you in the gut or slapped you in the face while they were sleeping before."

We spent most of the rest of that day on the golf course.  The girls love the golf course.  They run up and down the hills, through the sand traps ("Hey get out of there!"), but most of all they love the golf cart.  There favorite part is when we let them drive steer the golf carts.  There is something intoxicating for kids, and those that feel like a kid, driving an electrical vehicle around on a paved path with the wind blowing in your face.

Later that night after we settled down from our golf outing and dinner I was given instructions to set up the sofa bed for the girls.  I went to perform my duty about 9:00 PM and found a surprise.  Big Pop had made up the sofa bed with his magical powers.  (Grandparents are so tricky.  Not sure when he did it...maybe when we were watching Swamp People on the History channel.  Swamp People, have you ever?)

We finished watching the last episode of Swamp People for the evening and sent the girls to their new bedroom.  They were so excited.  They turned on the TV as soon as they arrived.  They found Good Luck Charlie on the Disney Channel.  They even shushed me when I tried to tell them good night.  However, I was able to lay down the law provide instructions to KJ, she being the oldest. 
Me: "KJ it's 10:00. It is already way past your bedtime.  As soon as this show is over, I want you to turn off the TV.  You got that?"
KJ: "Yes Dad."
Me: "Don't loose your TV privileges the first night."
KJ: "We won't.  Goodnight Dad."

Because of all the restless sleep the night before, I slept like a log.  Walking into the kitchen for some breakfast the next morning I was greeted with "Do you know what time your children went to bed last night?"
"Considering I feel asleep shortly after..." 
"1:30 Kipp.  They were still watching TV at 1:30."
"I told KJ to turn if off at 10:30."
"Well at 1:30 I woke up to Squirt running down the hall to go to the bathroom.  I checked on them and they were still watching TV.  You need to go talk to them, cause I slept really good last night, other than putting them to bed at 1:30, and I do not want them back in the bed with us."

I go back to the extra den to find my juvenile delinquent children.  I put on my disciplinary dad face.  With a parental speech on disobedience prepared, I find KJ stretching on the sofa bed trying to wake up.  

Me: "How did you sleep last night KJ?" 
KJ: "Fine."
Me: "What time did you go to bed?"
She shrugged her shoulders and grunted I don't know.
Me: "Mom said you guys were still up at 1:30".
KJ continued to stretch sensing nothing wrong at this point.
I have learned as a parent this is the best time to drop the proverbial hammer.
Me: "I thought I told you at 10:00 to turn the TV off at 10:30 when the show you were watching was over."
KJ sensing danger, suddenly sat up on the sofa bed.  She was on her knees in a instant.  With her hair a mess and her eyes as wide as saucers she starts talking as fast as humanly possible, "But Dad you did not say '10:30' you said when the show was over.  She stretches out her arms as far as she could, "It was a Good Luck Charlie marathonSo the same show kept coming on over and over.  And you said when the show was over to turn off the TV, and I was going too, but it kept coming back on."
Me: Laughing out loud I responded, "Well played.  Your mother may not understand, but I get you loud and clear.  O my - you are just like somebody I know." 

I can see teenage years are going to be...