Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Suite Life and the T-shirt Folly

I started this blog a long time a go, but never got around to finishing and posting it until now.

Saturday night was another memorable evening at the Astros game. Last week one of my fellow managers sent me an invitation for myself and a guest to attend the Saturday evening game in the company suite. I have been to the company suite a number of times, but this trip had an added "bonus". As the follow-up email explained, the Chairman and CEO of the Company had taken two of the tickets and there was a good chance he would be at the game. Just as a general rule, I don't go out of my way to interact or rub elbows with Executive Management. At some point it may limit upside, but it also limits downside (as in committing a career limiting move, and there are those who have had their career limited or even extinguished). I must admit, I did reassess my invitation to Jacob to be my guest for the evening.

As it turned out it was just another pleasant evening at the ball game (even with the CEO in attendance), except for the fact that we came home without the coveted ball game T-shirt souvenir. I'm sure you've all seen them launch t-shirts with a super sling shot at one ball game or another, and this night was no different, except for the fact that they actually launched one our way. In fact the launcher's aim was so good it even hit Jacob right in the chest. Unfortunately since we were standing in the front of the suite, it bounced right off Jacob's chest, over the rail and fell to the girl in the level below. Yes you can throw Jacob a football or a basketball and there is a pretty good chance he will catch it, but apparently the same can not be said for a t-shirt. Jacob's explanation was that it was flying a lot faster than he expected. Since they launched it from the top of the dugout up to the second level, he might have a point, but I'm pretty sure we will never let him forget the fact that he couldn't catch a t-shirt that hit him right in the chest.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Are you OK?

I am starting to work my way through compiling and editing our home videos. Whatever you do, don't try this at home.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saturday Afternoon Sunshine

Maybe you've seen the move "Friday Night Lights." The last game the home team plays against a bigger, faster team that seems to be mean and nasty. The Eagles (Jacob's team) could relate to what that felt like yesterday, except for the fact that the Eagles had more of a Disney ending, and came out on top 14-12. It was a very satisfying victory, particularly after last week when the Eagles lost (0-6) to a team they should have beat. This was really a defining game for the team and put them back into position to make it to the play-offs. It was really a team effort to get the win this week.

The win also capped a week of challenges and adversity for the Eagles since 1) the head coach who normally calls the offensive plays was out of town, 2) one of the starting running backs was out with an ankle injury, and 3) Jacob has been battling a case of Osgood Slaughter (or Osgood Schlatter depending on where you hail from) and was not 100%. Osgood Slaughter causes pain just below the knee and is apparently a pre-cursor to a growing spurt.
In spite of the pain Jacob played with a lot of heart. Jacob was knocked out of the game more than once (helmet to the elbow, forearm in the chest by someone getting up after the play), but kept coming back. I knew his knee would be painful, but as a I expected he ramped up his play as the game went on. He scored a touchdown, threw for an extra point and had a key interception.

While the Assistant to the Assistant looks on, Eric tells Jacob, "We need you man"

A victory helps the curb the pain

Go Eagles!

We look forward to seeing Makenzie back out on the soccer field next week. She was ready to play Saturday, but the soccer fields were closed due to all of the rain this week.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Amazing day on the football field, IR

Jacob had a pretty good day on the football field: 3 touchdowns, multiple completed passes including a 2 point conversion, 1 forced fumble and a 60+ yard run. With cutbacks the run was probably closer to 90 to 100 yards of actual running. He was close to scoring on the long run, but got tackled at the 2 yard line. Apparently since he was slow getting up, the players and ref were asking him if he was hurt, "no, I'm just tired." It was a good game for the Eagles, but not so good for the Rams (40-6). We were able to let a lot of kids carry the ball, who normally don't get the chance to carry the pigskin.

Normally, we don't have cheerleaders on our sidelines, but since the other team's group was so large, half of their cheerleaders were on our sidelines. For some reason one of their dads kept standing amongst our players and coaches (my coaching task for the day was to track our offensive play calls). He didn't know who I was, but during on of Jacob's runs he commented, "that kid is amazing." My reply, "yes he is, (pause) I think he gets it from his mother." (As a side note, the father must hang out with Brittney's friends, because in their group everything is "amazing".)

Makenzie was placed on Injured Reserve (IR) for her soccer game today. It is likely she will be out a couple more weeks. Her lower leg and ankle were x-ray'd last night, but the initial interpretation is that they are negative for any chip or hairline fracture. It gives me great confidence, when the PA asks you, "so do you think we should get an X-ray." I wanted to reply, "obviously I think there is an issue if I brought her in, but since you're the trained (and paid) medical professional, maybe you should provide the recommendation." Makenzie's ankle is sprained (possibly this didn't occur at the same time as the initial injury/bruising), and since there is quite a bit of soft tissue damage, we'll follow-up with another more highly trained (and higher paid) medical professional early next week.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Role Reversal

Did you ever have one of those ideas that seemed really good at the time, but when the actual time arrives, you wonder what you were thinking? Today was one of those days. I am excited for Marti today as she travels to Provo to visit Matthew for parent's weekend, but it was a little bit of a role reversal when I dropped Marti off at the airport. (I'm the one who is usually getting on the plane and leaving the rest of the family at home.)

I am happy to report that the first few hours have passed without incident, but I am sure that surprises await me as I learn about all of the things that Marti takes care of and manages without us/me even realizing it. (Even as I'm writing this blog there has been a request that I'm sure Marti would normally take care of, "Dad, can I have $16 for tomorrow...")

The big question for the weekend is, who should I be most concerned about this weekend, bicycle boy or slumber party Marti? The second big question of the weekend is what should the rest of us do at home? A few ideas I have brainstormed:
  • Shop for my new vehicle
  • Buy another remote controlled helicopter
  • Vacuum and leave outlandish patterns in the carpet
  • Make spaetzle in the kitchen
  • Open the package that just arrived to Marti from Nordstrom's and see what she ordered (Brittney just informed me that it is her homecoming dress, and "oh, we had to buy the more expensive one").
  • Order my birthday present
  • Enroll all of the kids in Piano lessons, since sports seem to be inflicting too many bumps and bruises
  • OCH
  • BBQ the good steaks

If you have any other ideas or suggestions, please submit them for consideration.

Actually the one thing I will really be doing this weekend is anxiously waiting for Marti to get back home. I love you Marti!!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Bumper Sticker - Warning Label

Yesterday, I wish a car would have had this warning label:
It was a time when I wish someone had dark tinted windows.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Phone Call - ZZ Top

The following may or may not be a fictitious conversation.

Ring (actually ring song).


Yea dad, my roommate and his brother are thinking about going to a ZZ Top concert... in Las Vegas, and I was just wondering what you might think about me going?

How are you going to get there and what do you think it is going to cost?

I was thinking I would drive (background conversation... ticket, hotel, food) and it would probably cost $150.

Are there any concerts closer that you can go to?

I don't know.

Is the $150 in your budget?

Well I was thinking it might be kind of a gift.

Oh, so what about the laptop, having the truck for the summer, not having to work during the summer while I pay for tuition, room and board?

Well if you want to say no, that's OK.

OK, No. How's the truck running anyway...............

Post Phone Call Conversation

Who called?

Son #1.

What did he want?

He was wondering if he could go to Las Vegas for a ZZ top concert.

I don't think so!!!!!

Yea, that's what I told him.

Friday, July 10, 2009

First Date

Well, my oldest daughter has departed on her first date. I'm not sure who's stomach had more butterflies today, Marti's or Brittney's, but for different reasons. Marti, because her daughter was going on a date or Brittney being concerned about what I/we might do when her date arrived.

As tempting as it was to try and harass, intimidate, or just outright scare the living daylights out of the young man (otherwise known as the current Brittney Fan Club President (BFCP)), I resisted. For those who may have read my earlier post about the "obstacle course," it was tempting to stake Peach (our big yellow lab) out front and have Jacob hide in the bushes and jump out of the bushes and whack the current BFCP with a plastic bat a couple of times before running off. It would have been good blog material. Maybe next time.

But Brittney, you should know that even though it might be fun to tease you, I resisted embarrassing you because I Love You and want all of the best things of this life and eternity for you. (And please remember the things I told you during our pre-date talk/lecture: no sitting in parked cars, post pubescent boys are evil (loose interpretation of Mosiah 3:19 and 16:3), no back rubs, be home early, you're only 16, etc.) Have fun and be home by 8:30 pm.

P.S. For any current or future BFCP's who might stumble upon or be directed to this blog, one final statement: Yes, I am proficient with my .357 magnum.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hummer Time

With the recent struggles of GM they had to sell the Hummer unit to the Chinese. Just makes me wonder if they'll be using lead based paint when they build these Bad Boyz.

It's Official

And after two weeks of vacation I'm back to work, Whoo -hoo!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Time to play more golf?

I've been playing on a team in a league at the ConocoPhillips center. Two weeks ago my team placed second in the end of the season tournament. They have a sign in the gymnasium that says, "___ people have been injured in this work area this year." Last time I read the sign it said 10. They'll be glad I wasn't in their gym to become #11. I sprained my ankle last Saturday, but I was at our local health club playing in a game along with Matthew and Jacob. (That was after I beat Matthew in a game of one on one. He's beat me once or twice, but that is the exception rather than the rule. He gets tired of my low post move, but I tell him why change what works.)

I've played a lot of basketball in my life, but I've been real fortunate and this is the first time I have ever turned my ankle black and blue. I sure enjoy playing basketball, but my body isn't as young as it used to be. Maybe it is time to work on the golf game.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Doggie Jail

What happens when you're a bad dog? You go to Doggie jail.

Hopefully somebody will be able to post bail soon.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Day at the Range

I took Matthew, Makenzie and Jacob to the gun range today. I remembered to take the camera with us, but I forgot to take any pictures. I guess you'll just have to visualize us in the "Rambo" pose of your choice. Next time we'll have to take the official family photographer with us.

A couple of bumper stickers for the day.

I saw this one a couple of days ago on the freeway.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Know Your Roots

While standing in the hall at church today with one of the other young men leaders, suddenly a young boy "popped out" from a behind a placard stand. The other leader asked, "well, where did you come from?" The young boy promptly responded, "I'm from the Bancroft family." Not the answer we were expecting, but you're never too young to know your roots.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

So you want to date my daughter?

So you think you want to date my daughter? All you have to do is make it through the obstacle course. The obstacle course is simply making it up the sidewalk from the curb to the front door, but beware of the following:
  • Cujo, the hungry rottweiler staked out in the front yard
  • Shotgun pellets falling from the sky
  • One to three males swinging baseball bats at your kneecaps
  • Hot Rod, the drug sniffing dog (trained to signal he has a scent by biting the crotch area)

If you have enough skill and perseverance to actually make it to the front door, ring the door bell and request an interview. Here is a sampling of the questions you might expect:

  • Is your GPA 4.0 or better?
  • Do you have a job now and what are your career plans?
  • Do you have a car?
  • Have you gone through puberty?
  • Do you know how a male cow becomes a steer?
  • Spell and define castration?
  • What do you think of my dull, rusty knife?
  • Do you have ED?

Actually the questions don't matter, because there is absolutely no way you're ever going to pass the interview anyway. Good luck on your way back to the curb.

It seems unrelated, but recently I have had this strange urge to clean my guns and go to the shooting range.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mothers are Special People

Mothers are special people. I want to express my love and appreciation for the three most important women in my life.

Mom, thanks for bringing me into the world, providing me the guidance I needed in my life and for being my "Mom". I remember on my mission other Elders would refer to some of the senior missionaries or older members as "mom" (or dad). I could never do that, because I only have one "Mom" (and Dad) and that title is special to me.

Thank you Betty for bringing Marti into the world so that I can share this life (and eternity) with her!

And happy Mother's Day Marti! I am a better person because of you, and you are the reason our children have such a bright future!

This just seemed like yesterday.

Thank you for marrying me!!! You are indeed the one for me!

I love you lots and lots,


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bumper Sticker #3

Just to go along with yesterdays driving/commuting theme.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bumper Sticker #2

This bumper sticker sums up some of my feelings while commuting in rush hour traffic. I was tired of not being treated fairly by other drivers while commuting in a Toyota Corolla, so I've been driving our "Old Suburban". Amazingly, people don't cut you off or try to take your space when you're in a bigger vehicle. I have thought of adding a few dents just to be a little more intimidating. Who hasn't seen that car going down the freeway that you just know you need to steer clear of? On second thought I'll just let Matthew or Brittney drive it to the high school parking lot. I'll have all the dents I need.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bumper Sticker of the day #1

Once in a while I have what I think is a pretty good idea for a bumper sticker. Rather than put them on my vehicle, I'll just share my thoughts on my blog. Here is my first attempt.

For those who may not know KISD = Katy Independent School District. In Texas we don't have personal income tax, but we have the opportunity to make up for that with property taxes. On top of that add fees, lunches, booster club fees, admission fees, pictures, annuals, etc., and it all adds up.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Half Full Day

Yesterday was suppose to be a full days worth of activities, but half were cancelled due to rainy, cold weather. I started the afternoon out with the last game of Macho Man Volleyball. Matthew's team won in 2 sets. It really wasn't much competition. The team on Tuesday was much better and more exciting. After that was done I headed over to Jacob's school. He was in a basketball game of kids vs teachers/staff. He won the right to play because we bid on it at a silent auction at a school fundraiser. He and his best friend Thomas have done this for the last 5 years. It's a lot a fun, but kind of sad since this will be his last one. Makenzie was suppose to have a track meet after that, but the weather did not cooperate, which was too bad, Makenzie had been looking forward to this particular meet. This meet was at our high school and she was getting to do all of her events. It probably won't even be made up. Boooooo!!! Jacob was also suppose to have soccer practice...cancelled also. We got to spend a relaxing evening at home, which was nice since Dale had been out of town for a few days and just got home last night.

Smilin' Matt....That's what teachers call him

Matthew is in the middle. The other two guys are his best football buddies. The one behind Matthew is the kid he quarterbacked with all through high school. The one up close is Matthew's favorite receiver, Eugene Smith, his "brother from another mother" is what they say.

Congratulating the other team

Yes, you are #1

Pictures from Jacob's game
Jacob going after Mr. Smith, the Vice Principal

Office workers are good basketball players

But Jacob still stole the ball from her
Working his way in for a basket

Trying to guard Mrs. Karlsson (she was his 3rd grade teacher and his favorite teacher)

Stealing the ball away from his PE teacher.
I wonder if she will make him run today???
The whole crew
Jacob, Mrs. Karlsson, and best friend Thomas
Here is the other goodie we won at the silent auction.....

An autographed Elvin Hayes basketball... or "The Big E".
He is one of the 50 greatest NBA players.
Even if we didn't win the ball we had connections to get one. Mrs. Karlsson (in the above picture) is Elvin Hayes daughter. She actually told me to stop bidding and bring her a ball and she'd get it signed, but we actually won the one that night. Jacob was happy to be able to bring it home that evening.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Home Repair (?)

A simple home repair riddle for yopur consideration. How many trips to the hardware store does it take to replace a thermocouple on your water heater? (For those who may not know, a thermocouple is a special wire that when heated creates a current. The current tells the controller the pilot light is burning and it is OK to send more gas to the main burner. If someone has a simpler, better explanation submit it in the comment section.)

Anyway to answer the riddle, it takes at least three trips. The first trip is to Home Depot to purchase the only replacement thermocouple they carry. After disassembling the burner section, you realize the initial thermocouple you purchased appears to be too long. Trip two is to Lowe's to purchase what appears to be the correct length part and also the only thermocouple they carry. Returning home you then realize that the two thermocouples you have purchased are right hand threaded where they screw into the controller. This is a problem since the original part is left hand threaded i.e. not righty tighty, lefty lucy. This requires a third trip to the hardware store to find out that, no they don't carry left-hand threaded thermocouples and the sales guy didn’t even know left handed threaded thermocouples exist. He did inform me that the length of your thermocouple really doesn’t matter, unless it’s too short (or screws in the wrong way).

By now it’s 8:00 Saturday night, so you put the old thermocouple back in. Previously the water heater would light, even if it went out after a day or two. But now that you’ve disassembled the thing and put it back together, it no longer even lights. So what do you do at this point? Call the 24 hour plumber, but no he doesn’t carry or have any left hand threaded thermocouples. However, he does happen to know from an experience earlier that day, that the particular brand you have is the only brand requiring a left-handed thermocouple. To get a replacement you have to call and have the factory ship a replacement part. Since it is the week-end it will be Tuesday before the part can be delivered to your home.

So after three trips to the home improvement store, two phone calls and few days of waiting, you too can have hot water restored in your home.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dirty Shopping and Waffle Making

While the family was at the mall shopping one evening, I called Brittney and asked her to do some Mother's day shopping for me. I told her there was a store near the Nike Store where Matthew works where she could pick something up. A few minutes later she called back to ask which store I specifically had in mind. I told her "Frederick's of Hollywood." There was a pause and then her response, "I'm not doing your dirty shopping for you."

A few weeks later one of Marti's friends and fellow girls camp counselors was over at the house. Marti shared the "dirty shopping" story with her while I was nearby. Her response, "I can't believe you did that." My respone, "hey, I figured it was a win/win situation." (If she did the shopping great, but if not the harrassment was still well worth it.)

During this same visit, Marti's friend shared that her and her brother were teenagers before they realized why their dad was always smiling and whistling while he made waffles on Saturday morning. Since then I have repeatedly put a waffle maker on my birthday/Christmas/anniversary list. Matthew and particularly Brittney do not find this request nearly as amusing as I do.

If our children need therapy someday, now you know why. Of course there is the point that after what our children say at the dinner table, maybe I'm the one who needs therapy.

(P.S. No pictures will be included with this blog posting.)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Winter Camping?

Matthew and I went camping Friday after Christmas. We went to the Big Thicket National Forest near the Louisiana border. It was a pretty good drive (2 1/2 hrs), but it seemed to be time well spent since this is probably one of the last camping trips I will go on with Matthew before he graduates. A few pic's.
Putting up the tent. We had some practice at Philmont.

How many Eagle Scouts does it take to start a fire?
(Apparently one more than we had with us.)

Be Prepared, or just use some aluminum cans out of the recycle bin to boil water if you forget your pots. Matthew and I just ate or attempted to eat some "old" MRE's. I don't suggest the Tuna Noodle Casserole if it's been in storage for a really long time.

Chill'n by the fire. It's December 26, but notice the shorts and T-shirts. Good thing I remembered the bug repellent.

Sitting on one of the fallen trees in the forest. This is just one of the many trees that were blown down in the recent hurricanes. I wonder if anyone heard it fall?