Thursday, March 29, 2012

YouTube of the Week

This has been going around for a week or so and I heard the couple was on Good Morning America last week.
I thought I'd post it and do my part of keeping you up to date with this stuff.

It's been suggested that she wasn't hearing the question correctly and just over thought it.  She did a lot of other calculations in her head, but she was so focused on the miles per minute, that it threw her off.

It's also been suggested that he's a jerk.

What do you think?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bananas and Volleyball

Volleyball season is NOW!  The basketball players have left the court.

I find myself in the stands trying to invent new ways to make volleyball more exciting.  Last week, Randy and I were discussing some of the new rules for this season.  This is the season where each team is given a team monkey.  After the third point is scored against you, your monkey is released onto the court.  If he happens to walk to your opponents court, which he will be trained to do, the girls on the scoring team should beware of the monkey latching onto their legs (yes, he bites).
Of course, each coach is armed with three bananas to try and distract the monkey off of the girls.  While the monkey is creating chaos on the court the game must continue or the serving team risks a delay of game penalty.  
 After watching the first two games of this season, I started to realize that the quality of play is much improved since last year.  There have been several exciting volleys with four or five hits per team before a point is scored.  All this exciting play had me thinking about the sport.
It turns out the monkeys aren't needed to make an exciting volleyball game after all.  I guess that frees up the primates to be used in those boring baseball games.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

YouTube of the Week

I had a different video selected for this post until I saw this one yesterday.  Watch all the way to the end.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Baby girl got her ears pierced yesterday.  She did such a great job.  No screaming.  No crying.  Unlike her father probably would have been.  Here's the video, taken by Aunt Amanda.  Thanks Amanda!!

When I got home from work I asked what she did during the day.  She didn't say anything.  She just turned her head to show me the little earring.
And by 8pm she was un-pierced.  She managed to pull one earring out and refused to have it put back.  After some crying and a little talk, the other one was removed.  We'll have to wait a while before this one has earrings again.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


My wife left me on Thursday evening.  When I came back in from the driveway there were three kids looking at me.  My three kids.  It was going to be just the four of us until Monday night.

Meredith was the first to speak.  She looked at her brother and said, "YES! No rules!"  He smiled in reply.  Seriously?  They think mom's gone, so no rules?  If anything, I'm about to impose NEW rules.  I quickly corrected her before a mutiny could form, "You mean, MORE rules?"

I started my show of authority over the children Friday morning.  "Drive us to school", they demanded.  "Take the bus.", I demanded.

Over the next few days things ran fairly smoothly. . . for the kids.  They all wanted expected to be entertained.  Don't get me wrong, I love doing things with my kids, but now there was no adult around to share in the fun.  The only real problem I had was if I was giving attention to the youngest, the oldest would get bored.  If I turned to do something with the oldest, the youngest couldn't participate and would become bored.

The biggest success in involving everyone came with a game of monkey in the middle during a trip to the park.  We were all monkeys in a game that knows no age limit.

Back at home, I was following my food menu to the letter.  I had written it before Cari left and she did my grocery shopping for me.  The menu was posted to the refrigerator and the older kids would reference it a few times a day.  I was never asked, "What's for (breakfast / lunch / dinner)?".

By Sunday afternoon I couldn't help but to be excited about Monday.  I've never been excited about Monday's before.  But this Monday was a SCHOOL day.  That would leave me and the baby on our own for the day.
It was also the last day of #mrmom because the real mom returned Monday night.  And it's a good thing she did because I'm not sure how much more I could take.
For those that were wondering, yes, I kept the house clean but I do have one question.  Does #mrmom have to do laundry?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Oolenoy Baptist

Today's post is going to be a bit of history and a bit of picnic.

The youngest and I had a day together last week and we agreed to do something outside.  We packed a picnic and drove over to Pumpkintown to see what we could find.  Pumpkintown is one of those places, that if you look down to change the radio station, you missed it.  If you want to find the good stuff, you'll have to leave the main highway cutting through town.

We initially stopped over at Soapstone Baptist church.  There is some history there, but there was also a dog sitting beside the building.  I didn't see much of interest in the new-ish building and decided not to get out of the car.  Of course, my four year old daughter wanted out to pet the dog, but I over-ruled her.

Next we stopped at Oolenoy Baptist church.  No dog in their yard, so we hopped out and started exploring the cemetery.

Oolenoy church was founded in 1795.  When Rev John Chastain organized the church, a community had already been established.  Cornelius Keith was likely the first white man to live in this Cherokee area when he settled in 1743.

The cemetery holds some very interesting markers and is the resting place of some significant people that first settled the area. The Oolenoy Baptist Church Cemetery is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  
 Cornelius Keith.  One of the first settlers in this area.


 Interesting design with the peak along the center line of the stone.  This was a pair, placed next to each other.

 Look at the battles that this man was a part of:  (stone on the left)-
 Here is the sign near the parking lot.  Double sided.

 We found an open area of grass near the cemetery and had our picnic. . . briefly.  The wind was blowing her hair into her face and her dad wasn't smart enough to bring some sort of hair clip, so we moved our picnic into the car.  Having a picnic in a car was such a novelty that it became one of the headlines of the day.

Our short walk around the Oolenoy Baptist cemetery was just enough to get build my interest.  It's on my list to revisit and learn more about the people buried there and how they shaped this area. It's also on my list to travel with a hair bow in my pocket when the youngest is with me.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Smell The Flowers (DON'T)

It's SPRING - one of the first trees to bloom around here are the flowering Pear trees.  They are beautiful white blooms covering the tree.
It's tempting to point your nose to the tree and smell SPRING.  
 But you'll only do it once.

My daughter told me they smell like dead fish.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Feeding the Monster

Here's another post about the boy's 13th birthday.  First of all, we took him to his most favorite restaurant, The Beacon, in Spartanburg.  He ordered the J.C. Pounder. No way he was going to finish it.
That would be his food for the next two meals.
Next he had his mohawk shaved off.  Wait. . . is this his mom's birthday or his?
 Then we spray painted the 13 on his head so I could take his picture for the post on his birthday.
He wasn't happy about the hair cut, but he thought the red paint dripping down his head was pretty cool so it balanced out ok.

To reward him, we fed him a big pile of cake.
Turns out that keeping a teenager fed is more difficult than keeping a twelve year old fed.  Maybe this has something to do with why China puts their kids to work.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Look!  We created our first teenager!
Oh my....what have we done?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Drama

I had such a dramatic morning a few days ago. I got a call from my boss asking me to come to his office. It was a thirty minute drive to his office and I was a bit nervous. He sounded irritated on the phone. On top of that there were a few issues cropping up through the week that had my name on them.

When I arrived, he was on a conference call and I had to wait an hour for him. My nerves went from crazy to calm to crazy in that hour. During the wait I got a call from a coworker. He appoligized for getting me involved in an email earlier in the week. This made me more nervous. My world was collapsing. If he called to appologize, someone must be getting upset. That someone was probably on a conference call in the next room.

Then my boss called me in.

"Why did I call you over here this morning?", he started. That's the worst question ever. How much does he know? Am I about to open up more crap? I just gave a blank stare and hoped he would answer his own question.

Today wasn't my lucky day because, as he sat down at his desk, he asked me again. "Why do you think I had you come over here?"

I answered with the smallest issue that he had already raised during his phone call this morning. He smiled and told me we would get to that in a few minutes but that it wasn't the reason for our meeting.

At that point I knew exactly why I was facing him. I said, "I suppose you want to know about my email to corporate."


My email to corporate was an inquiry to someone I knew. I was just trying to help a coworker get some info. Trying to help the same coworker that called and apologized a few minutes ago. Unfortunately, my question got forwarded to half a dozen people at corporate. Those six people forwarded it up the chain until someone decided to call my boss about it. He was blind sided by the question coming to him.

Letting your boss get an unexpected phone call that has your name attached to it is never good. Just an FYI.

After we sorted out that mess we moved onto issue number two. At this point my nerves were gone and I calmly expressed my view on the problem. It went well.

At the end of the day we had another conversation that made me feel much more comfortable about my relationship with him.

What started off as a morning full of nerves and praying turned out to be a successful day.
Let's hope I can avoid any more drama for a while. My nerves can't handle it.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Self Portrait Day

While I was dressed up a bit, I thought I should take some photos of myself.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

RIM is a Sinking Ship

I'm not going to tell you anything that a hundred tech journalists haven't already told you.  But I also get the feeling most of you don't read the same tech sites I read, so I don't feel too repetitive today.

Recently at work we've been talking about how companies have to be willing to change, sometimes drastically, to stay relevant. The business model that took you to the top yesterday may be the model that sinks your business today.

This seems to be happening more and more over the past decade.  Newspapers, music, movies, and now books are all re-thinking their models.

At work we call this falling into the "sea of sameness".
I found a company that is sailing their ship directly into the middle of that sea, and it looks like they are taking on water.  That ship is RIM.  The company that makes Blackberry phones.

Remember the day when every business person carried a Blackberry?  Maybe some of your friends had them. Maybe you had one.

Those days are changing.  Now that Apple has delivered the iPhone and Google is developing Android phones, Blackberry devices are not the first choice for consumers.  They are also, more frequently, not the first choice of business customers.  That's bad, because RIM has built their base on business customers.

Yet, Blackberry is determined not to change.  As the competitors were building a bridge over the sea of sameness, RIM was building a bigger boat.  They think their cute little keyboards and small screens is what their customers still want.  They're wrong.

They're going to sink. My comment to my coworkers was that I wonder how the employees at RIM feel.  Are they sitting there wishing the captain would change the course of the ship?

Monday, March 05, 2012

A Jehovah Witness and a hiker go to a state park. . .

After the storms came rolling through on Friday night, I thought Saturday would be a great day for a hike.  I grabbed my camera gear and got rolling just before lunch.

It was a little damp out and overcast and that seemed to be enough to keep the crowds away.  The parking lot at Table Rock State Park was not very full for a Saturday afternoon which was a good sight.  I was hoping to keep away from a lot of people and to help my odds I chose to hike the Pinnacle Mountain trail.  Pinnacle is less popular than it's neighbor, Table Rock.
Once I figured out how to carry all my camera stuff, a tripod, an unneeded jacket, a bottle of water, and an apple, I was moving pretty fast.  I only had just over an hour to hike before I had to turn back and get home.
After the Pinnacle trail split from the Carrick Creek trail I slowed down and really took in my surroundings. With no leaves in the trees to be rustled, there were some areas away from the creeks that were silent except for the sound of my foot steps.  I took photos of the little bit of color that was near me.  This meant a lot of photos moss growing on trees.  

A new sound arrived just before I turned around.  It was the sound of a hawk or Peregrine Falcon.  A moment later I saw him soaring over my head.  Thankfully Falcons mostly eat small birds. Seeing the bird reminded me to eat my lunch.  No, this isn't the apple that rolled off a cliff a few weeks ago.

At the two mile mark, I turned and started back to the car.  During my hike I had my camera out for the whole trip and took over sixty shots.  Back at the trail head, I stopped to re-arrange my gear and get my camera put away.
That's when I was approached by an older man that wasn't dressed for hiking.  He had a young girl with him that seemed to be his granddaughter.  She also wasn't dressed to be going for a hike.  The two looked like they had just come from church.  That should have been a clue, but I didn't catch on as he made small talk with me about my camera.

A few minutes later he was handing me a magazine about what being a Jehovah's Witness means.  He started to talk about schools teaching evolution.  I'm not sure if he was trying to bait me into an argument, but I wasn't taking it.  I finished the small talk with him and continued packing my stuff.  I could tell he was getting the hint.  I thanked him for the information and headed to the car.
With lower crowds in the park on Saturday, I encountered very few people on the trails.  I guess that also made it easier for the Jehovah's Witnesses to find me.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Duck's YouTube Pick of the Week

I have watched hour upon hour of YouTube videos this week searching for the very best so that you wouldn't have to.  Here's the best video on YouTube this week:

Your welcome.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Liberty 100 Years Apart

I saw this old photo posted on a local website.  He credits the original poster to our current mayor.
That is a photo of Liberty, SC from around 1900.
Looks like a traffic jam to me, with the front cart oxen taking a nap. . . or dying.  Below, is my photo of the same stretch of street.

The tan building - the 2nd two story building is the first building in the old photo.

I found that it is much harder than you may think to perfectly line up two photos.  You have to know where the photographer was standing, what type of lens he was using, etc. . .
Anyway, it was really interesting to see such an old photograph of a place that I pass almost daily.  Incredible to see these buildings with wagons parked outside on a dirt road.  I love history.