Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It's That Time of Year

While everyone is thinking about New Year's Resolutions I'm sitting here thinking, "How the hell did I manage to bust this button on my pants?"
Maybe it's time I think of a resolution. . . to use metal buttons.

Monday, December 29, 2014


My daughter's concert was a few weeks ago.  Her last concert at the middle school.  It was fun watching her perform in the lobby prior to the concert.

After a few songs playing solo, a few other band members came over to join her and she proceeded to boss them around.
That's what you can do when it's your last middle school band concert.
Also, can we talk about this guy with a full beard?  Sitting in the middle school band?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Still

I'm pretty sure my neighbor is making a still.

Next thing you know he is asking you to bring over a few mason jars.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hurry Up!

Tomorrow is your last chance for Christmas shopping.  I'm well experienced at shopping on Christmas Eve but I won't be doing it this year!!

I finished all of my shopping over a week ago and even got everything wrapped last weekend.

So how does it feel to have all of my shopping done while other men are all out rushing around looking for last minute gifts?  It feels awesome.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Gun

My dad brought this to me last year and I haven't taken the time to photograph this for identification until now.  There are some pretty interesting markings on here that should help someone that knows what they are talking about to identify it.

I'll post an update when I get some additional information on this gun from the 1800's.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Subterfuge Game - Diplomacy

I joined a game of Subterfuge about a week ago.  Ten players are put on a map of outposts.  The goal will be to create mines and the first player to mine out 200 wins.

It sounds easy, but there is much more going on here.  The map is crowded and there isn't much room to expand without fighting with one neighbor or another.  The biggest tool available to you is the chat box.  I opened it and started greeting my neighbors.

I declared peace with 3 of my 4 neighbors and everyone agreed.  Before long I was given an offer to join two players in attacking a 3rd.  We would all benefit as we split up his property.  This victim was a neighbor that I had already declared peace with.  Now what?

The moves in Subterfuge are purposefully long.  As I send a submarine to attack a nearby outpost I see that it will take 17 hours to arrive.  The pacing is intentional.  First of all, this allows me to play a strategic game without having to constantly be on my phone or away from work, family, etc...  In Subterfuge I can just check in for five minutes a few times a day to be sure my allies haven't betrayed me (they will).

The second benefit to this pacing is to allow time to negotiate.  Things happen a little slower so you have time to talk to the other players to make deals.

Late in my first game, as I was being attacked, I knew nearly twelve hours ahead of time that I had lost a major property.    Remember that neighbor that I plotted to destroy with two others?  He has come back with an alliance of his own to destroy me.  That'll be the last time I break off peace on the first day.

The game can be a bit stressful.  Who do you trust?  What info do you give another player?  Where do you move your troops, because once committed they are gone for the rest of the day and bringing them back takes equally as long.

It takes about a week to play a game and I'm currently about two days away from the end of my first game.  I've been severely beaten back from my lead position but I'm still alive and trying to fight back where I can.  I won't win at this point unless I can get the help of some of the other players.

It's time I get back to that chat window and see if I can turn this around.

If you are interested in playing and have an iOS device send me a message and I'll get you an invite to the Alpha.  (Android devices coming soon!)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Photo 2014

Getting five people to stand nice and smile at the same time is harder than it sounds.  I admit that it is getting easier as the kids get older, but now we have a hold out when it comes to the fun photo:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bed Time

As a kid I couldn't wait to be an adult so that I wouldn't have a bedtime.   Now that I'm an adult I have realized that I'm not responsible enough to set my own bed time.

Sunday, December 07, 2014


Everyone in the house has specific chores that they are responsible for.  One of my chores is NOT doing the cat liter.   That job falls to someone else.   When that person can't get to it there is a back up and that backup person is NOT me.

But what happens when the chore owner and their backup are both unavailable?

Wednesday, December 03, 2014


I'm very spoiled with a beautiful wife that looks out for me.   Very often on Saturday she will let me sleep in and then bring me up a cup of coffee.  Now that she is working I asked her how I was going to get my coffee in bed.

That was a mistake.  She suddenly became aware of HOW spoiled I have become and she apologized for making me so helpless.  She is going to try and right the wrong by not bringing me coffee anymore.

I'm not sure if that is the answer I was looking for.

Monday, December 01, 2014

My YouTube Channel

After uploading my latest video to YouTube I realized that this may be my chance to focus the content of my channel.   Some people have channels dedicated to recording themselves reviewing video games, others are making videos about dancing, fixing stuff, breaking stuff, singing, or just about anything else you can think of.  

I think my channel will be giving my daughter 10 seconds to eat dessert each night. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tallest Stones

Driving through a cemetery I asked our youngest daughter about a very tall monument.   She said that person must have really loved God.

I told her that I really love God and asked if I would also have a tall monument.  She answered that you also have to do all the right things with God and follow the rules.

I told her that I do my best to do the right things and I asked her if she thought I do all the right things.

She said, "I guess".

Not very convincing, I better get crackin' on doing all the right things.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Be Thankful

There are plenty of people that don't appear to appreciate what they have.  These are the ones that seemingly enjoy complaining and generally being unhappy.

When you realize that every single morning that you wake up is a gift from God you can hardly be anything but thankful.

James 1:17 says:
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Serial Podcast

Podcast is the new radio.  If you aren't doing it you are probably missing some great programs.

The Pocket Casts app that I use on my phone downloads any new episodes every day at 4am.  When I get in the car I have a list of shows to listen to.

One of the latest and greatest shows to download is Serial.  This show has reached the 5 million downloads / streaming faster than any other podcast to date.  This is what I was talking about when I said you might be missing some great programs.

Serial is a weekly podcast where each episode continues on the same story.  Currently we are at episode nine and listeners are anxiously awaiting episode 10.   Don't worry if you haven't been listening because the great thing is that you can download all the episodes and get caught up.

The current story is about a man in prison for murder.  He says he didn't do it and the reporter / host decided to do some investigating into his case.

The production and story telling in this series is awesome.  As I listen to each episode I go through a range of opinions and emotions.  "OH, he is certainly guilty!!", in one episode becomes, "They convicted the wrong guy!", in the next.   And then every few episodes you start saying, "Why isn't Jay in jail?".

If you have a smart phone and enjoy a great story.  Get yourself an app to listen to Podcasts and search for Serial.

Their website can also help get you started:  SERIAL PODCAST

There are some other great podcasts available and I believe we are going to see a trend of entertainers moving to this platform and away from radio as time goes on.  Get on the bus everyone because this is the way we're headed!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

YouTube of the Week

Watch this.  It gets better and better each minute that it continues.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


I see people on Twitter and Facebook doing this thing.  TBT - Throw back Thursday.
From what I can tell you are supposed to post an old photo so we can say, "Oh, look at my hair from the 80's".

Well,  here's my first TBT submission. It's one of my son and my sister-in-law.  Does it count as TBT if she still wears these glasses?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

800 Miles

Last week I made the 800 mile trip with just the youngest with me.  We did great together and I was surprised how quiet she stayed for the majority of the thirteen hours together.
One of the highlights was when we were driving in snow.  It wasn't that much snow, not enough to put the wipers on, but it was snowing.
 Why flip flops?  Because she wanted to wear them.

As it came time to make the return trip, the forecast had a chance of multiple inches of snow.  I was warned about this weather but declared that I would be making the journey home no matter how much snow was on the ground in the morning.
When we woke up there was no snow on the ground and we all got in the car for the 13 hour adventure home.  Coming home there were six of us in two cars and we did remarkably well at sticking together on the highway.   We never did see snow on Sunday but we had plenty of rain.  Nearly the entire day was in light rain.   At least we didn't have the sun shining in our eyes all day.

While I do enjoy driving I think I hope I get a bit of a break from these marathon sessions for a while.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

At Least She was Happy

Here is a photo of Crazy as she was headed to catch the school bus last week.  For a few days it was just she and I running the house and I think she was glad to spend most of it at school.  At least she was happy.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Missed a Vote

I'll be honest with you.  I didn't vote last week.  I believe that is the first time I haven't voted since having the ability to do so.

There's not a lot of excuses for my not voting but as I thought more about it I think a few things happened.

One, we no longer have cable television and we only watch Netflix and Hulu.  This puts us out of the loop on political advertising.  A blessing for sure but it does mean I become less aware of the issues being argued.

I also don't read the local newspaper or watch local news except for catching headlines from local media on Twitter where I will click through to stories.  Again, this puts me out of the loop except for headline type stories.

As we got to election day I was aware that it was time to vote but I really felt disconnected and unaware of exactly who / what I would be voting for.   On Tuesday morning, as we headed back home from our camping trip, I decided that I would abstain from voting this round because I was unaware of true issues.

I'm pretty disappointed with myself and I have decided to be more active in finding local stories to keep me more in tune with the politics of my State.  I won't be missing the vote again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Camp Fire Video

We played a game where one person would start a sentence and then go around the fire with each person adding just one more word.  We had some great results so I decided to get out my camera and film one round.  Here are the results:

Monday, November 10, 2014

Table Rock photos

I'm working on uploading the video from our camp fire stories to have posted in a few days.  For now, here is a few more photos from our trip.

All 11 of us:
 At the playground:

 The many expressions of my daughter:

 Hiking to the mountain:
 Panoramic view:

Climbing at the rock wall (Methodist camp nearby):

Saturday, November 08, 2014

What Did you Do To Me?

While camping we had a camper fall asleep half in and half out of his tent.
Initially one of the adults noticed motionless legs sticking out and asked if he was okay.  Instead of telling you the rest of the story I think it may be more entertaining just to show you some photos. . .

Yes, everyone was okay.

Thursday, November 06, 2014


This past weekend was the coldest weather we have had so far this season.  It was also the weekend we went on our family camping trip for three nights and four days.

We went on this trip with some friends and the 11 of us did our best to stay warm during the nights.  It was extremely cold the first two nights and we each put on multiple layers to stay warm.  When that wasn't sufficient we added an extra layer and stood next to the fire.  The boys even had an electric heater with them as they sat near the fire.

Once the sun came out in the morning the weather was great for being outdoors and camping.  We were at Table Rock State Park and spent a little time each day hiking.  The longest hike we took was around the lake trail.  We expected it to be around 1.5 miles but by the time we explored all the sights around the lake I clocked us at closer to 2 miles.

One of the favorite parts of our trip as declared by one of the kids is that we had s'mores every evening.

Our other meals were well prepared by Cari and Becca as they made great use of a few crockpots to keep us from having to eat hot dogs roasted over the fire for twelve meals (only did that once).

As we Cari packed for this trip I made a few comments about all the stuff she was bringing along.  It seemed like we had way more than we would really need.   I think my preference for camping is still to be minimal and closer to backpacking but I now admit I was glad for the stuff that Cari packed.  When you have as many people in the group as we had with a mix of ages and camping experience it's better to error on the side of comfort.

It was a very relaxing trip, and that was helped along by being in a place with nearly no internet connection (very minimal cell phone reception) to distract me from taking a break.

Over the next week I'll be sharing a few more photos (I took nearly 300) and stories from our trip and I believe I even have some video to get uploaded for sharing.