Thursday, August 30, 2007

Remember When. . .

True story.

I was probably between 8 to 10 years old. I was invited to go with a friend and his parents out to dinner. They took us to Pizza Hut. My friend and I sat next to each other in a booth, with his parents across from us.

Sometime after the pizza arrived, my friend and started playing a game. How much coke can you suck up and hold in your mouth at one time. (Do you see where this is going?) We both had our mouths full. Cheeks puffed out, carbonation up my nose, full. Then something triggered a giggle. The giggle turned into a laugh. Not good with a mouth full of coke. Even worse when my mouth turned into a coke sprinkler and the parents were sitting across from me.

Coke sprayed everywhere. If I remember correctly, my friend aimed most of his back in the cup and managed to contain most of the mess to his own clothes. I wasn't that smart when the game started to go horribly wrong. For some reason I looked straight across the table as I lost it.
We left immediately. We didn't even get to-go boxes. I remember my mom meeting us in the driveway. I don't remember getting in a lot of trouble over this. It was pretty embarrassing, and I never got to go out with that family again.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Notes from a 6 year old

This illustration shows Meredith's brother and his friend knocking her tooth in, causing her to swallow it. Notice the smile on her brothers face as he punches her face. Realize that the three of them were playing together when this happened. She bent down to pick up something and the boys reached to take it from her. I don't feel holding her down and punching her face was what really happened. Maybe she was trying to get sympathy money from the tooth fairy.
The PLEASE is her hope that she will still get money without any tooth under the pillow. She drew this to explain her situation.

She was really excited to get a dollar for her note. Last night, she wanted to write a thank you note. This morning at breakfast, Cari asked her if the tooth fairy took the thank you note.
"Yeah, she took the note, but she didn't leave me any more money."

Monday, August 27, 2007

You Won't Die

She said, "I hope I don't die."
We didn't get that out of her until after she calmed down. At first it was a frantic crying of, "I'm going to die."

This all came about when the kids were rough housing around. Meredith bent down to pick something up and got knocked by Randy. Her loose tooth fell out of its place and slid down her throat.

Then she came running, blood pouring out of her mouth with screams that she was going to die. This was not the most calming scene in our house tonight.

She swallowed a tooth, and we reassured her that she would not die. As Cari nursed Meredith's wound, Meredith's new concern became the tooth fairy. Meredith made a note for the tooth fairy. I'll try to get it scanned in tomorrow. It is a picture of what happened. To explain why the tooth is not under the pillow. Meredith suggested sleeping with a smile so the tooth fairy would see the empty spot.

As she went to bed tonight, she said, "I hope I don't die tonight." What was funny was that she wasn't crying. She wasn't upset. She just said it very plainly.
At the same time, Cari and I replied, "You won't die!"

Sunday, August 26, 2007

You just lost a customer

Time for a haircut again. If you remember a few weeks back, I talked about trying a new barber shop because my normal place was closed. Before I left the house I asked Cari where I should go. I pretty much already knew what I wanted to do, but I was curious what she thought. She told me to try Rowland's first. He has been my barber for three years. That's exactly what I did.

Drove over to Rowland's and found this:Closed when he should be open. He just lost a customer. No more visits to Rowland's shop.
I'm all about routine. I think most people are. People tend to fight change. Mark (the barber) forced me to change my routine twice now. I'm developing a new routine for getting my hair cut.

I went into town and walked into the barber shop where I let a woman cut my hair about a month ago. Nobody was inside except a barber. A female, but not the same one as last. Melody told me a little bit more about this barber shop.

She said it has been a barber shop since the 1920's. The building has only had two remodel upgrades since then. In the 1970's they put up wood paneling and about five years ago they changed the floor where the barber stands. She said there are showers in the back that people in town used to come in and use on Saturdays. I guess everyone didn't have running water.
The barber chair I was sitting in had an ash tray in the arm rest. Melody told me she wouldn't want to imagine the place filled with smoke every day. The old man that owns the place is in his 80's. She said Don used to shine shoes in the one room shop when he was boy.

Melody did a great job. Not only did I get a nice hair cut, I also got a history lesson. I really like my new barber.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A few changes

I have been playing around on the Blogger page a while tonight. I upgraded my template, which you probably can't tell because I chose the same template.

Today, Google added the ability to post videos directly to the blog. No more posting to putfile.
Also, I can now add polls to the blog. I am not sure how often I will use this, but I think it is fun. I guess the amount I use it will be based on your participation in the poll. It will also depend on my creativity in creating one. I already have a poll up. It will run through the week.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

BEES! The conclusion.

Over the past few nights, Cari and I have walked down the driveway to check the status of the bees. It had been several days since we last discussed it, but when I wrote about it on the blog earlier this week, I revived the discussion of the bees.

So last night we stood there looking again. "Pull some of the rocks away from the nest", she instructed me. I hesitated and thought of some excuses.

"I kinda like those rocks there.", I told her.
She demanded the rocks get removed. I climbed down and quickly flicked a rock on the top of the pile. No bees came out. I picked up that rock and set it near her foot. I was relieved nothing flew out. I declared a success and started to walk away. She told me to dig out a few more rocks. She wanted to prove me wrong. I think she WANTED me to get stung last night.

I was honestly a bit nervous, and felt like I was pushing my luck with these stupid bees. I couldn't tell her that after getting so far. Climbing back down, I pulled three more rocks off the pile. This pile was all around the opening to the ground bees nest. Still nothing flew out. At her request I dropped a large rock on the opening twice and removed it to prove no bees lived there anymore.

Frustrated, she decided the bees had in fact left. But she refused to give me any credit for the bee removal. We walked back into the house. I was prancing around victoriously. As I did, Cari picked up a bowl and filled it with water. Then she took that bowl of water outside and started down the driveway. I stopped prancing.

I tried to stop her, but she was determined to dump the water into the nest. I pleaded with her not to do it, and she asked why I was so nervous if there were no bees.

I let her dump the water. A few seconds later one bee emerged and she drowned him with the rest of the water. No other bees came out.

As we walked to the house again she declared that she had to remove the bees herself.

"WHAT!! YOU???? Oh, you killed ONE bee!", I hollered.
"You did nothing.", she claimed.
I told her of my struggles to talk the bees out of the nest but she wasn't going for it.
We went back and forth like this for about five minutes. I struggled to get credit for removing the nest of bees. She didn't see it that way.

Fact is the bees are gone.
Thanks to my superior negotiation skills.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Work commute

This is not what I had planned on writing about tonight. It looks like you will wait one more day to find out the next part of my BEE situation.

Tonight, we were sitting at the dining table when we heard this loud noise outside. It was louder than a train. It sounded like a helicopter. The thing about it was that it sounded like it was going to land on our house and was not moving away. We ran outside to see what was going on. Sure enough, a helicopter was slowly moving over our house, just above the trees. It moved across the street and behind my neighbors house. Then it lowered to the street.

My neighbor, hopped out and the helicopter lifted straight into the air. It flew down the street fast and high then banked sharply as it made a 180. It flew fast over the street and off in the distance.
Most of the neighbors came out to see what was going on. We walked over and talked with the neighbor that had gotten out of the helicopter. He works on helicopters and he said he was taking that one for a test drive after putting an engine in it. They decided to take him home. My other neighbor was relieved to find out the copter was not coming back in the morning to take the mechanic back to work.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Meredith's Birthday

We opened presents a few days ago because it was a Saturday and I was off from work. Last night was her birthday.

We took her outside for a special pie that we made just for her birthday.

We sat her down in a chair and started singing happy birthday. We never finished.
What followed was a major whip cream fight in the yard. Whip cream was being thrown in all directions. It was smashed into clothes and hair. All four of us were covered in it.
Both the kids thought it was great. Throwing food and getting messy is always fun.

I'll get a few more photos of this onto flickr.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Welcome to the city of Pickens. They put up these pretty banners along main street.

After seeing these pretty banners, what conclusions do you make about Pickens?
When I see this, I think the city of Pickens rests on a lake. A nice boating community.

But this is not the case. Pickens sits near the mountains. Not on the coast of some great lake. There may be a small farmer pond near town, but no river. I've never seen a sailboat in it, just cows trying to keep cool.

Someone was daydreaming in city hall when these were approved.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


I hesitate to write this. Every time I write about the bees, I dread the moment when Cari will read it.

Last week when I walked the trash cans to the curb, I looked across the driveway toward the nest of ground bees. I didn't see any flying in or out, so I went to investigate.

I had procrastinated a long time on this issue. Cari says the bees must go and are a problem. I disagreed and put off dealing with it, even against threats of her calling an exterminator.
Standing on the driveway for a few minutes, I couldn't find any bees.

The next morning I told Cari the bees were taken care of. I walked out to get the mail with her. She didn't see any bees either. Cari asked what I did to take care of them. I explained to her that I asked the bees to move away, and they did.

She frowned at me and declared the nest to still be active. We didn't see any as we stood there, but she refused to believe the problem was over. I stepped down into the grass and moved some rocks the kids had thrown near the hive opening. No bees attacked me. I'll admit that I was a bit nervous moving that rock, but I couldn't tell Cari.

A few day passed without issue. Then Cari came in from getting the mail and said I have bees to go deal with. There was about a five minute discussion about how the bees returned. I tried to convince her that the bees had left, and that this was a new colony. I told her I would go have a talk with these new bees and they will leave.

That was about three days ago. Cari has seen bees a few times since then. I still have not gone out to witness this myself. After I write this, I'm going out to talk to the bees. I want them to know the danger they are putting themselves in.

I'm hoping there won't be anything to see when I walk out there.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


You know every little girl LOVES getting underwear on her birthday!

The second picture is her holding up a hand drawn card. She drew it. Then she folded it up and put it with her presents. When she picked it up, she acted surprised about it and said it was from mom and dad. She loved the picture!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Picture Project

I have a frame that is a box with three panes of glass in it. Since I've had it, I had displayed small photos of flowers in it. It was really un-interesting and cluttered looking. Friday, I had a better idea of what to do with it.

I printed out the picture I wanted to fill the frame. Taped it to the back layer. Then I cropped the photo to enlarge parts of it. I printed the same size as the first. Then I cut out everything that was in that focus range. In this case a sunflower and some leaves. I taped it to the middle pane.

Went back to the computer and cropped it further to enlarge the next section. Printed and cut out the next closest focus area. I taped it in place on the closest pane and put it all together. Here's what I got:For a first go at it, I am pretty pleased. With the right photo, I think I can do some really interesting things with this.

As I was developing this idea, Cari is the one that suggested enlarging each closer layer to enhance the 3d feel of it. This really helped make each element pop.
When I took this picture, I held the flash low and to the left to help create the shadow on the back layers.

I think I'm going to try and create this same effect without the frame. Just use some type of cardboard post behind each layer to bring it out. Not sure how I will box it on the wall yet.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Last year I posted a video of a snake getting ready for a meal. We dropped a mouse in and waited. And waited. Then we gave up. We never saw the snake eat last year.

This year, we returned and filmed the snake feeding again. With RESULTS. I teased this about a month ago but have not taken time to finish the video.

I had a little time today and finished it up. Not as produced as some of my others, but it didn't need it. I will warn you, this video shows a snake eating a mouse. It happens quick and isn't bloody. The snake is a constrictor. My five year old daughter watched this live without ill effect, so I believe you all can survive it. It's about 1:40 long.

Here it is:

The music was a last second thought. So I did not credit the music in the video. It's obviously R.E.M.

Monday, August 13, 2007

End of Vacation

We took a trip to Atlanta on Monday. We headed down there to visit the Georgia Aquarium.
Getting there was no problem. It is only a few blocks from the interstate.

I don't have a lot of interesting things to tell you about the aquarium. It is a good place to visit if you are in that area. They have some great exhibits. I touched a shark, stingray, and sea urchin. Whale Sharks are HUGE. Lunch was expensive.

Let's take a minute to discuss lunch. Eat a large meal before or after the aquarium. Learn from my mistake and do NOT plan on eating a large meal there. Feeding two adults and two children a meal slightly better than McDonalds should not cost $50. It shouldn't, but it does at the Georgia Aquarium.

That's the only negative thing I have to say about the entire trip. It's a great place. When you go, when you get to the penguin exhibit, take a look for Cari and Meredith. They are on display somewhere in the middle.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


A few of you asked what Picross is from my previous post.

Picross is a nonogram. A type of logic puzzle.

Here is a Wiki link that describes it and has pictures of it.
Using number clues, you fill in boxes to create a picture.

I came to know of it through Nintendo. They publish several picross games. Most of those were only released in Japan. Recently they released a new one for the DS. If you liked Suduko then, you will probably like a game like this as well.

Here's a link to a website that lets you play online for free. They get tough quick, so start with #1 if you try it.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Lazy day.

What did you do today? Here's my day.

woke up late.
Played Picross.
Went swimming.
Built lego's.
played Picross.
watched tv.

What a rough day I've had.

You think I'm crazy?

Cari got home Thursday night at midnight. She was at an annual consignment sale. This sale is huge. This year it is being held at an old, empty, grocery store. The sale filled the building. Thursday night they allow the volunteers to have first go at the stuff. Cari went with our neighbor, who had been a volunteer.

She came back with a ton of stuff. . . at midnight. They had left around 6:30. Most nights, Cari can't keep her eyes open past ten. The power of shopping kept her going, I suppose. I told Cari I thought she was crazy shopping so late like that.

We got to bed around 12:30am. I was very tired. Within five minutes, Cari said, "Please take your shoes off."

Yeah. I was in bed, under the covers, dressed with shoes on. A little crazy maybe. The crazy part was I was so tired I didn't realize my shoes were still on.

I promptly took them off and fell asleep. Cari let me know that I can't say anything about her shopping late after that.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Growing a baby

May 13

Aug 6
Changes to the hormone levels not pictured but should be assumed.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Protecting Your Investment

Cari told me to go get a vasectomy. I thought about it for about half a second before answering. Now that we will have three children, we decided we've had enough. After she asked me to go get fixed, I started thinking about having four children. If it means getting cut, maybe I can handle more kids.

"No.", I answered.

Most of my answer was related to the fear of being cut. I don't need to go to the doctor and have them messing with me. Especially there.

As our discussion continued, and she tried to pressure me into agreeing, she presented another reason for me to have it done. This is her logic.
"You don't want to do it, because you want a younger wife!"

She explained that in the future, I'll leave her as I search for a younger wife. If I was fixed, I would be less attractive to a young woman wanting kids.

I had never heard this before. Cari obviously heard of it and was certain that this was an argument for having it done. She cited two recent examples as evidence in her case to send me to the doctor.

She said she was at the neighbors house yesterday with three other women talking, and one of the women told this story about her friend.

The friend started dating a guy, and they were really getting close. A serious relationship had been formed. That's when she found out he was fixed. She stopped talking to him. He is useless to her future, so she left him.

Evidence number two:

Cari took the kids to the dentist. The young girl that cleans the teeth prior to the dentist coming in said that she had a new baby sister. This girl is in her late twenties. How did she get a new sister? You guessed it, her dad remarried a younger girl and they had a baby. Good thing he never got fixed or he wouldn't have gotten that younger girl.

Let's be clear. I have NO intention of finding another wife at ANY time, younger or older. This has no bearing on my decision to not have a vasectomy. My decision is based on a doctor taking a scalpel at my privates!

I'm just protecting my investment. Cari says she is as well.

Monday, August 06, 2007

I picked the winner!

Me and roughly 3,500 of my neighbors got together on Saturday night. That may not sound like a lot, but keep in mind that the population of the city is approx 3,100.

We all met downtown for the final night of Liberty Idol. The final five contestants would sing, the five or six judges would give their opinion, and the crowd would fill out their ballots to be counted.

As the final five were introduced, I noticed that they were dressed to impress. The cheering crowd really identified their favorites to win. Henry had a huge crowd of family and friends up front. But he wouldn't win this year.The city put on a good show, with guest singers between contestants. After volunteers collected the ballots, a band down from Asheville entertained the crowd. They did a great job and were fun to listen to. The show was several hours long in total. Of course, Randy started getting a bit bored toward the end. He stated, "There is nothing to do but watch this grasshopper."
There was an injured grasshopper hiding under the chair in front him. Meredith was having more fun than watching a grasshopper, as she was dancing and sucking down some cotton candy.
The ballots were counted, the mayor got up and said some things, including an announcement that there will be another Liberty Idol next summer, and then the winner was announced.

The winner of Liberty Idol 2007 (the second year of the event) is
ADAM! The best thing about it is that I picked Adam on my ballot. I PICKED A WINNER!
Cari wants me to point out that we were all asked to select three out of the five on our ballots. This gave the contest a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize. She doesn't feel like it was such a feat to choose the winner when I had a 3 out of 5 shot to get it. I still argue that Adam was my favorite of the night.

He won a check for $2,500 and his winning statement, "Let's go spend some money!"
Yeah, boy! That's my kind of winner.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Saturday Night on the Town

I actually have several things to write about but I haven't had much time to sit down and get my words organized.

I worked all day today and was thinking that tonight may offer an opportunity to share some things with you.

That was until I realized tonight is the FINAL night of LIBERTY IDOL!
A winner will be decided by counting the votes of those in attendance.

We are headed downtown tonight to check out the event ourselves. Maybe I'll write something tomorrow. Or maybe Monday. Perhaps I'll get something written just after killing the bees.

OH MAN! The bees!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Our Day

Cari went shopping today, so the kids and I spent the day together.

At the park, the sprinklers were on. The water was calling to us.
Check out the boy running in the water behind her.

This last picture is really proof of how good our day was. I dare you to try and get a picture of my kids hugging any other day.
I should point out that the bees are still happily living at the bottom of my driveway tonight. A fact that Cari is less than thrilled about.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


It's been a busy week and I haven't had time to post.

I did manage to get my grass cut and see the Simpsons movie a second time. When is the last time I saw a movie twice at the theater? Um. . . never. Cari and Meredith haven't seen the movie yet, so last night we all four went and saw it.

Cari has been complaining that we have some bees at the end of the driveway. She said they have a nest in the ground. She said they don't seem to bother anyone, but if the kids were playing around the area they may get stung. I was at work when she was telling me about this. She said she sprayed a can of hornet/wasp spray on them, but it didn't seem effective. A WHOLE CAN. I was told to buy more spray before coming home from work. I complained about wasting $3.00 on a can of spray and declared I would take care of the bees. This coming from a guy who spent $60 on the Simpsons movie this week. I came home without any additional spray.

My solution to the bees? Tell the kids to stay away from them. They don't seem to be yellow jackets, just some type of bee. I'm not sure, because I haven't actually gone near the nest area to investigate. Cari didn't seem to thrilled with my solution. In fact, she let me know that my solution wasn't acceptable.

Maybe tomorrow I'll take care of it. Maybe.