Wednesday, August 31, 2005

2:30 am

I was up a little late last night. At around two am, Cari came into the room. "You still awake?", she asked. I asked her if she was feeling alright because she normally doesn't get up at two.
She said she was fine and went back to bed. I assured her I would be to bed soon.

Soon is not really a measurable term. It's open to interpretation. If I found a hundred dollars in the road, I would say I found a lot of money. If Donald Trump dropped a hundred dollars he wouldn't say he lost a lot of money. I like words like "a lot" and "soon". You can never go wrong with a term like that.

So when I said I would be to be soon, Cari must have been expecting me within five or ten minutes.

She got up and came back into the room around 2:30 am. "I thought you were coming to bed soon.", she told me.
"yeah. It hasn't been soon yet.", I replied with a smile. She went back to bed and I heard the bedroom television come on. I figured I should get some sleep or I would certainly pay the price at work. I shut the computer off and went in to bed.

Cari was watching hurricane coverage on the weather channel. I tossed and turned for a bit and realized I couldn't get to sleep.
I was almost scared to ask, but I looked over at Cari and asked, "are you going to turn that off soon?". She turned from the TV to face me with that look. "It's after two thirty in the morning, can you watch that tomorrow?", I continued. She gave me a smirk and turned back to the weather.

Without even looking back at me she replied, "I'll turn it off soon.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Is the grass always greener on the other side?

The answer is NO. Unless you are my neighbor. Then yes, the grass is greener on the other side.

Friday, August 26, 2005


Brand loyalty is very strong in this house. Nascar promotes that ideal. Jeff Gordon is a favorite for Randy and I. Pepsi sponsors Jeff. Calling someone a "coke drinker" is a very derogatory remark in this house. When you see someone you don't like, they are a "coke drinker".

Cari will drink Coke (diet) because some of the drivers she likes drink Coke.

Last week, some friends came over to watch the race with us. He brought along a bottle of Coke. He was quickly informed by Randy that he was a Coke drinker. Our friend is a Jeff Gordon fan. How good of a fan can he be, if he is drinking Coke?

When I got home from work the next night, I saw that mostly full bottle in the fridge. I was thirsty and there wasn't much else in there.

There was a noise over to my side, then the flashes started. Cari was clicking away on the camera.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!", I shouted.
"Getting proof to show your son.", she said with a smirk.
She continued, "Wait until morning, when he finds out his dad is a coke drinker!". Now she was laughing.

Cari went on to bed and I sat up thinking how I would get out of this. Maybe she would forget.

The next afternoon, I was sitting at the table and Cari walked in with Randy.
"Ask him.", she prodded Randy.
The color must have left my face as my son looked at me with a face of disapproval.
"Dad, are you a coke drinker?", he finally asked.
"nope.", I told him. This was not a lie, because I don't really drink coke. I just sipped it that one night.

Randy holds up a paper, then sets it on the table. Pictures.
I explained to him that I was tasting it because I wanted to see what it was like.
He asked me if I liked it and I told him it was extremely nasty. I won Randy back, but he will never forget that image of his dad drinking Coke.

If you are coming to my house, please don't bring any Coke.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

My reality TV

I like to watch reality shows. Last week I realized that my life at work is a reality show.

I have to use strategy in what I say and who I say it to. Certain people you can count on to spread things you say. You can use this type of person to get a message to the intended target without actually saying it to your target. I also know who will talk to me because I sit quietly and listen. I can get a lot of inside information this way. Then there is the person who I can attack. These are the people that I can say anything to and have no fear. They generally have no influence on others.

A lot of things I say at work are very calculated. It's my opinion that this really helps me get information and use information to my benefit. I can also influence decisions without actually being named as a decision maker. This is a good thing sometimes.

The other day I learned that someone, Mr. X, would be losing his job. I don't like Mr. X at all. We are polite to each other, but really limit our contact together. He would be losing his job the next day, and he didn't know it. That night, I went up to Mr. X and had this conversation:

me: How's it going tonight?
X : what?
me: I said how's it going.
X : (laughing) I thought you asked if I was working tonight.
me: (oh, did it show in my expression? Does he know something?) No. Of course you are working. You are here.
X: Sorry I haven't done that paper work lately. I'm going to get myself focused on doing it. By next week, I should have it down pat.
me: (heh. next week, you'll be filling out a different kind of paper... like applications). That's great.

When I approached him that night, I had the intention of being overly nice because I thought it would be my last time talking to Mr. X. I was enjoying it.
A little voice in my head was saying, "The tribe has spoken!", "You have been evicted from this place of work!", and of course, "Mr. X, YOUR FIRED!"

Maybe I watch too much television. Even if I do, I feel that I have learned about dealing with different personalities after the past few years of reality TV.

(Yesterday, I learned that Mr. X did not lose his job as expected.)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Emotional Roller coaster

Imagine my face when I saw this on the ground the other day. I didn't see anyone else around, so I bent down, picked it up, and shoved it in my pocket without looking back.

I don't have cash on me very often. When I do, it's normally no more than three dollars. I felt like I had just won the lottery. What great things could be done with this enormous fortune?

While I was working, I thought about what I may do. Maybe breakfast with Cari in the morning. Maybe something more selfish.

None of that mattered though. As I was walking out to my car that night, I reached in my pocket to get my keys. I felt that ten dollars in my pocket and pulled it out. I'm sure if you had seen me at that moment, you would have seen this special glow in my face. My eyes sparkling, my mouth smiling.

I started to unfold that bill to put it in my wallet. That's when my dreams came crashing down.

I was standing alone in the parking lot, but I spoke out loud.
"What the . . .!"
"I've been had!"

The sparkle quickly left my eyes and was replaced with fire. The smile on my face had turned upside down. WHO would do such a thing? WHY ME?

I flipped over this mock up money and saw the word, "disappointed?"

Heck yeah, disappointed! The rest of the text talked about being saved and offering your life to Jesus. Is that what it takes to get Jesus into someone's life? Give them hope and dreams, then take them all away? When you are at your lowest, you will go ask Jesus for help. Is there not a better way to get people into church?


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

No hablo espaÃnol

There is a County commissioner in Idaho trying to fight illegal immigration. First he petitioned the Governor to declare his county a disaster area. He was denied. Then he sent a bill of about TWO MILLION dollars to the Mexican government. It has not been paid yet. Now he is suing companies that hire illegal immigrants under racketeering charges.

THIS GUY IS AWESOME! His name is Robert Vasquez. Yep, Vasquez. His grandparents migrated here from Mexico. He refuses to speak Spanish in interviews. He says he is a government official in the United States, and we speak English. HooRah!

When we lived in Florida, I had many people tell me that I should learn Spanish because so many more Hispanics are moving there. I refused. I believe those people need to learn English.

I'm not against LEGAL immigrants, but I love how this commissioner is fighting the illegal ones. There is now a group fighting against him. They say that all people should have a right and he is taking their opportunity away. That makes me so angry. There is a process to come here rightfully. There is a process to get work visas.

These people are causing American citizens to lose their jobs. Companies are closing up because they can't compete with the cheap labor that illegals create.

I hope Mr. Vasquez sets a precedent that spreads across the country!
You can read a bit more about this here. Or just google his name.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Glassy Mountain: defeated

On Saturday I made a trip up to Glassy Mountain. There is a trail that runs up the side of the mountain. It is about a mile hike. Toward the top, you come out on this rock facing. It drops off pretty sudden, and it kinda scary standing up there. I sat there for about fifteen minutes. Just checking out the scene in front of me. I had my binoculars and camera with me also. I took a lot of pictures up there. Six pictures I shot turning just a bit every time. This was my first attempt at making a panoramic picture. It's not perfect. I read about some tips on making this after I got back, so my next one should turn out better.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Preschool for the Pretty Princess

Little Princess started school last Thursday. She was very excited. Had her backpack and lunchbox ready to go. She goes Monday through Friday, for half days. She loves it. Her mother does not.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Who put that wall there?

I was walking in the hallway at work looking at the posters on the wall. I got to the bathroom door, and I was still looking to the left at the posters in the hall. I turned to go into the bathroom and


My nose brushes the wall and my forehead smacks the door frame. My first thought was, "ugh." I didn't even want to know if anyone saw that. I just ducked into the bathroom. On my way out, I looked in the mirror and saw a huge lump forming on the newly formed red spot. Only once during the day did someone ask me about it. I told her I walked into a wall. She kinda laughed and then asked me what really happened. Guess she never heard of people walking into walls.

In other news, you should try and check out the PERSEIDS meteor shower that will be happening the next two nights. The report I read said peak times for us will be just before dawn Friday and Saturday. So, get up early and check it out. I have to get up early for work tomorrow anyway. So, if there are a good amount, I'm going to try and snap a few pictures. I'm sure you'll see them here if any turn out. Times are EST, so adjust accordingly:

Best viewing windows: Thursday evening into Friday morning, August 11/12, from 11pm until morning twilight gets too bright (4:30am or so). The best hours will be the morning ones. As a second option, Friday evening into Saturday morning, August 12/13, from 11pm until 4:30am. Rates may be fairly steady throughout the night.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Talkin Hand Returns!

A while back I was banned from posting on this blog. That is due to my poor judgement and creative writing. This post is only to let you know I have posted some pictures over at my own blog:

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Rainy Day Adventure

I had Cari and Meredith (Randy was in school) go on an adventure with me yesterday. We headed out to see some more waterfalls. These falls have several names, Twin Falls and Eastatoee falls are two of the names. It was raining when we got up there. I was determined to get a picture of these falls. So, the three of us walked up the quarter mile trail. In the rain.
We stopped under a large tree for about ten minutes to see if it would stop. When the rain did not let up, we continued. As we approached the falls, we saw a observation platform with a roof! When we reached the platform and I got my camera out, I realized it had stopped raining.

I took my pictures but then realized that taking pictures from the observation tower was not suffecient for me. I must climb to the bottom of the falls!!
I had done this at the Issaqueena Falls also.
In this picture, I am standing on the rock, between the two trees in the center. I have a black camera bag over my shoulder. You will probably only see it if you click for the larger version.

So, I began climbing over the granite rock and tree roots. I reached the bottom. This was still not good enough. Camera in hand, I started to make my way up a section of granite that would take me to the very base of the bigger falls on the left side. Water rushing all around me, I chose my steps carefully. It didn't matter how carefull I was because it only took one slippery rock for me to being sliding down. As I was sliding down, I had my camera held up, my free hand was trying to grip the smooth rock, and I looked toward my feet to watch the water get closer. Just before I thought I was going to swim, I stopped sliding.

I took a few more pictures.

Then I decided I should not try and climb to the base at that time. But I will be back!

Monday, August 08, 2005

copyright or wrong?

In school you were taught about copyrights. Especially at times of writing a report. You can not copy straight from a book into your report. UNLESS you put it in quotes and give credit to that author.

So there are exceptions to the rules, right?

There was a time that I would download any game I wanted. I knew how to search it out and where to find the files. I would only buy one out of ten games I played during that time. I have stacks of CD's of these games. Some of them I only played once or twice. I think in some cases it was the "thrill of the hunt". I didn't really want ALL those games. It was certainly stealing, but I didn't feel bad about it. I would NEVER go into a store and shoplift. Somehow this was different to me. Maybe because there was no physical merchandise. I'm not sure why. Last month a game came out that I wanted to try. I attempted to download it from my known sources. As it was transferring over to my machine, I had an unfamiliar feeling. I felt downloading this game wasn't right. What's wrong with me, I thought. I stopped the download.

So why is music different? I still download music, and I scoff at the people that buy CD's at the store. They play all these songs on the radio, so I'm just making up my own radio station. Right? With how popular devices like the iPod have become, does it not encourage downloading music? I know it can now be done legally. Why pay for something you can get next door for free? When the masses are doing it, it doesn't feel as bad.

Cari came back from the store yesterday and I flashed a new CD I had just burned.
"What did you make?", she asked.
"I got a bunch of new songs to listen to in the car. I found some Rich Mullins, Michael W. Smith, Casting Crowns, Mercy Me, and stuff.", I told her proudly.

"You stole Christian music?!", she asked me with a smirk.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Fun with photos

This original picture was used in an entry at the end of July. I really liked this picture but I didn't feel it was a great picture. I actually took this picture very quickly because I didn't want this man to see me taking it. So, I didn't take time to really frame it other than I wanted his drum in the picture.
Something about that drum is what kept me interested in this picture. So, when I decided to play in photoshop with it, I focused on the drum. I also added a character to the picture (meow). A couple of artistic touches and poof: new picture.
Finaly, I cropped some of the extra stuff off the edges. Trying to take some of the distraction of those trees in the back away from my subject.
So what do you think?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Hunting tips from Uncle Ron

Uncle Ron loves to hunt. So, you can imagine his enthusiasm when our campsite became overrun with deer. Bucks, Does, and fawn. We had all members of the family. At one time, we had six deer running around camp. Uncle Ron took the opportunity to teach us some things about deer, and about hunting them.

Tip one: fatten them up.

Uncle Ron
gives Cari
pointers on
proper feeding
of the deer.

Tip two: Take the innocent children inside.

Hidden safely inside,
a buck on the
rampage would be
unable to harm the

Tip three: show no fear
Armed only
with a sharp
grilling fork,
and his cat like
Uncle Ron
takes aim at
this buck.

Tip four:
know the rules

Deer season
does not
begin until
August 15th
in South Carolina.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


We went camping at Hunting Island last night with Cari's uncle, aunt, and cousins. For the short stay we had, it was a great time. I have several great stories to tell. The first one is about Hunting Island lighthouse (and giftshop). Every sign for the lighthouse reminded us that there would be a giftshop.

The lighthouse was built in the 1800's and it has a lot of steps inside. It has so many steps because it is very tall.

Randy and I took the walk to the top. The entire time I was reminding him to slow down and hold on to the railing. The boy was fearless. When we made it to the top, you can walk out on the platform that circles the outside (just below the glass). You can see what I'm talking about in my picture. There is a freaking lady wearing a pink shirt in my picture. I sat in this field for about five minutes waiting for that lady to move. I finaly got tired of waiting and had to take my shot. I'll be photoshoping her out before I print it. Freaking slow poke! As we are standing on the outside platform, I have a firm grip on his arm. He is still fearless. When I decided to take his picture up there, I told him to hold on to the rail and not to move as I took a few steps back. Pretty much the same story can be told for our trip down the stairs. Slow down, and hold on.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Stumphouse: defeated

Third time is a charm for me! My third trip to Stumphouse I took my wife, kids, and my parents.
To freshen your memory, you can read about trip #1 and trip #2.

So, we all headed out, flashlights in hand. Entering the tunnel was no problem, even for the children. As we got to the vent shaft the children started getting nervous. This is the farthest I had been previously. Mom wasn't really thrilled with being in this tunnel, so she volunteered to take the kids out. This worked out great, because as we ventured farther back I didn't want to be listening to my children cry.

We walked past the second doorway and things got darker and colder. At this point, when you turn off your lights, it is BLACK. The pathway became a raised, narrow walkway and the sides were designed to hold water. This added to the creepy factor. The back of the tunnel is a sloped wall. There is a shelf at the top of this slope. After all this time, I was not leaving until I touched the back of the tunnel. So, I climbed up and touched the very back. Cari asked, "What's it like up there?"
"Wet rock.", I responded.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Welcome to the FUTURE!

We got a new washer and dryer yesterday. We didn't need them, our old ones worked fine. It was such a great deal I couldn't pass it up. Also, the news units have quiet a few LED lights the old ones didn't have. More lights and buttons make it much better.

The new machines are the Whirlpool Duet set. It's a front load washer. After we hooked it up, we immediately had to use it.

You would think Cari and I have never seen a washing machine. The washer door is clear, so you can actually watch your clothes getting cleaner. That's exactly what we did.
After a few minutes I started getting bored of watching the washer, so I walked out of the room. Cari called back to me from her spot in front of the washer about a minute later, "It spins the other way too!". Big deal, right? Well, I went running back to the laundry room to see it tumble my clothes counter clockwise. Amazing! The things technology can do. My favorite part is the spin cycle. This thing will spin your laundry at 1,000 RPM. It sounds like a jet engine (but quieter). Towels come out so good, you could dry yourself off with them. Even after we had started our second load of laundry I had to run in there and check it out when I heard the spin cycle start.

Got to go, I think it's getting ready to rinse!