Thursday, December 30, 2010

So what's the plan?

I think the more traditional question when a man arrived home from work was, "So, what's for dinner honey?" But, being smooth like I am and not wanting to imply that I am a sexist pig who expects his wife to cook for him every night, I ask a more subtle question like, "So, what's the plan for the evening?" That generally generates a conversation about our dinner menu or dining plans for the evening, satisfying both my interest in food and the need to have a plan (I'm an engineer).

But I must admit the more carnal part of me hopes for a response something like, "I''m sending the children away for the night, we're going to the best restaurant, and I've shopped for new lingerie." Now that's a plan! But not wanting to be picky, I would be fine with leftovers and old lingerie.

Maybe I am a sexist pig, but at least I'm not a picky sexist pig.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ham Sandwiches and I Love My Dad

We were having a family conversation about what to do for dinner the other night. Marti said there were some "Shell" casserole leftovers, at which point all of our (at home) children rolled their eyes and turned up their noses.  (Matthew would probably love some Shell casserole left-overs about now.)   At that point Marti said, "Dad will eat it for breakfast Saturday, he eats all kinds of weird things for breakfast." And yes I did it eat for breakfast, but it made me think about my own dad. I remember my dad getting a slice of bread and throwing a couple pieces of ham on it, folding it over and heading out the door on his way to work (this recollection must have been before my teen-age years).

So maybe I got my breakfast habits from my dad, but I learned so many other things from him as well. I learned to love my wife and put her on a pedestal. I learned from his example to do my church calling, even when I may be tired and there are so many other things to do.  He was often off to work before the sun came up and not home until it was dark. Even then I remember going on trips with him in the pick-up or truck to either look at or pick-up equipment (often I got to miss school to go on these trips).  I never recall my dad doing or saying anything mean or judgemental. A few weeks ago the girls had a daddy-daughter activity night and someone brought ropes to teach people how to rope a steer. Of course I learned this long ago roping with my dad at the fairgrounds (and yes I can still throw a pretty good loop).  Just about every picture I see of him he has a big smile on his face, and I know some of those times weren't so easy. I still have a lot to learn.

I love my Dad!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

MyFitness and Chicken Poo

I got an IPAD for my birthday last month. One of the problems I had when using an ITouch was that it was so small, I had a hard time working the touch screen effectively with my fingers. The IPAD is bigger and easier to operate. It’s kind of an ITouch for older people. I’m slowly getting up to speed and starting to download some apps (I’m learning to speak the lingo too). One of the apps I have downloaded is MyFitness. It’s an exercise and calorie counter. I’ve put in my target weight and it tells me how many calories I can consume each day. So far it seems to be working as I am showing some positive results. I’m actually surprised by how much I can eat in a day. The big thing is to avoid those binge meals or snacks where I hit the buffet (wing or Chinese), consume more than a pizza at one sitting or munch down a full pan of cookies.

This week I was entering my food for the day, which included some chicken for lunch. We had gone to a seafood place, and the chicken had some kind of sauce on it. The MyFitness app has a food database with a search feature, so I was searching for the appropriate entry. That’s when I came across the food item listed as “Chicken Poo.” Being of the curious nature I had to wonder what the description and nutritional value of “Chicken Poo” was. I thought I was going to experience enlightenment on some exotic food. But all the database had as a description was the name, a serving size is 10 oz and there were no nutritional values entered. Now I was really curios, so I put my IPAD to use and did an internet search. Google asks me, “Did you mean Chicken Poop.’ There were plenty of search findings for Chicken Poop,” but none for Chicken Poo. Then I had a thought, search for “recipe for Chicken Poo.” Google still wanted to return “Chicken Poop,” but there was one recipe site returned. By now with some anticipation I clicked on the link, but when the recipe site came up there were “0” entries for “Chicken Poo.” At this point I’m thinking whoever the practical joker was who added this item to the food database could have carried it one step further and added the following recipe to the recipe site:



This is where I decided that maybe I really didn't need to finish this blog.   But, I will leave you with this one line, If live chicken does not provide a flavorful feast, make chicken noodle soup.

Happy Thanksgiving and if you want, take the day off on counting calories.  I'm going to.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Did Obama Call?

I just checked the caller ID on the phone.  It said, "Community Event."  I wonder if Obama was calling to organize something?

Bucket List - Before my 50th B-day

Here's my bucket list of things to do before I turn 50:
1.  Get my private pilot's license
2.  Successfully complete 2 of the following 3:
          a. Sprint distance triathlon
          b. Meet the standard for a Navy Seal (my work fitness center recently had this challenge)
          c. Ride in the MS-150 from Houston to Austin
3.  Visit Canada, Mexico, Alaska or Hawaii and take Marti with me.  (Just FYI, I'm already an official member of the polar bear club on a previous trip to the North Slope of Alaska, but it was mostly a business trip.)
4.  Visit a foreign country not contiguous with the L48 and take Marti with me.
5.  Go 4-wheeling in the Colorado Rockies and visit some of the ghost towns along the way.
6.  Go white water rafting (and take the kids with me).
7.  Not scare the crap out of myself when I write "50th B-day"

Post any other suggestions you might have in the comments section.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Genius Boat Trailer Guy

So I'm driving down the road yesterday and see this guy in a pick-up truck pulling this boat trailer for what must be a huge boat.  It was a three axle trailer and probably 2-3 times as long as the typical boat trailer.  Then I had the thought, maybe he really doesn't own a boat to put on the trailer, he just has a trailer for a really big boat.  He probably just tells everyone his boat is on the water somewhere.  I'm thinking, that guy's a genius.  He gets all of the social status of owning a really big boat, but all he really bought was an empty trailer.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'd Rather Ride With Her Too...

Last week during the homecoming game the stands were crowded, especially down in the student section, so Brittney and a couple of her friends came up and sat by Marti and me.  While they were sitting next to us, Marti and I quietly had the conversation that it was nice to know that our children are comfortable enough with us to come and sit by us at a football game.  (There are many who would be appalled to even be seen with or maybe even seen by their parents during a football game.)   Marti then made the statement, "We really do have good kids," followed by a pause and then the statement, "in spite of their mother."  I think we were sent pretty good kids right out of the package, but let me tell you they are not really good kids "in spite of their mother."  Marti is a great mother.  She is supportive without hovering, spiritual without being overbearing and generally just a fun person to be around.  Often, when we are going somewhere as a family and we end up taking more than one car, it is not unusual for all of the kids to want to ride with their Mother.  Heck, if I had my choice I'd ride with her too.   

Marti, I Love You.  We make a great team and you are the MVP!!!

18 Sweep, or Whatever

And so like, Jacob, Makenzie, Marti and me went to dinner.  We went to like Chipolte for dinner (I know, big surprise).  While we were waiting in line, like Makenzie and Jacob were telling us about their days activities, or whatever.  And so most of their stories of the day were like related to practice, coaches or team mates, (I know another big surprise) or whatever .  And so, like as dinner went on, I started listening to their speech patterns or whatever.  And so, I've noticed it before, so I decided every time I heard Jacob say, "Or whatever," I would say, "Really."  This frustrated him after a few times and he even denied once or twice that he said "or whatever."  And like, once he became conscious of it, he would start a sentence with "and so...," and then could hardly complete the sentence.  Sometime during the conversation I had to ask Jacob the question, "So when you call a play in the huddle, do you say something like "18 sweep, or whatever?"  I'm not sure Jacob found this so humorous, but it could explain sometimes why the offensive line and everyone else is not blocking or executing the play.  They are just doing "whatever."

If you were wondering Makenzie's phrase is "like" or "and like...."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Irony with a chance of Sarcasm

As I was driving to work one morning this week, there was a traffic jam as result of about 8 cars crunched together accordion style.  It seemed ironic to me that the last car in line was a police vehicle.  Is that really a case of irony?

I remember being in 11th grade English composition and the teacher giving us a lesson about irony.  In class he made the statement that "irony was a sign of intelligence" and then gave us a writing assignment that had to illustrate irony.  For whatever reason I still remember the impression that this teacher didn't think I was really all that intelligent. When I received my writing assignment back it said, "This is more sarcasm than irony."  Perhaps it's ironic that most of the systems and machines that do real work in the world and keep the grandma's of the world warm (or cool) are based on mathematical derivations and illustrations, that do not require the complex and poetic style of writing my teacher was looking for from his students.  Perhaps it's even more ironic, that those of his students who went on to master and utilize mathematical expressions have probably done pretty well for themselves.  I wonder how many of my teachers "intelligent" students/master writers wish they could integrate and take derivatives as they head to their second job?

Parents even if your children can't write flowery dissertations, there is still hope.  An engineering degree stacks the odds in your favor that they will likely not be moving back in with you (although engineers tend to be cheap and they may squat in your domecile just to save a few bucks).

I don't know what sarcasm is a sign of (I think I heard once and it wasn't a good thing), but whatever it is, I'm likely full of it. 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Who Ate My Cookies?

For those following Matthew's Mission blog you know that last week some new elders joined him and his companion at the DR MTC as their new roommates.  They are from a different cultural background and just after arriving they helped themselves to the last few cookies in Matthew's care package.  If you read Matthew's email you know he was not happy about this.  In contrast this last week he and his companion made extra efforts to help these new missionaries adapt and improve their language skills.  They seem to be getting a real satisfaction from helping them. As I talked with my mother this week, she related that one of her co-workers has been diagnosed with advanced stages of cancer and likely has only weeks or less to live.  I share these two stories this week as a reminder to myself that when life's aggravations come my way, I need to remember:
  • to keep the proper perspective
  • to seek first to understand
  • to have patience (and faith)
  • to serve others, regardless of the circumstance
  • to make sure it is not "my" pride that is the root of the aggravation
  • that "football is life" but it is not eternal
  • the Lord will guide the footsteps of those who are "being a good boy."  Things may work out in ways yet unforeseen.
But, I must say I got a great workout (late) Friday night as my mind churned over the events and situation.  Now if I could only find some cookies to eat.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Whistle Carrying Authority Figures

     Last week Jacob and I joined the older scouts from our ward at their high adventure camp.  It's Texas so high adventure backpacking and camping isn't really convenient.  This summer our group planned to camp at a lake, water ski for two days, canoe down a river one day and go to Schlitterbahn's, a big water park, on the last day.  Jacob and I joined the group on Wednesday to canoe and hit Schlitterbahn's on Thursday.  I'll post pictures of the canoe trip sometime in the near future, but this post is about our trip to Schlitterbahn's.
    After arriving at Schlitterbahn's in the morning and getting our spot set up for the day, Jacob and I headed off to find our first ride.  We gathered our inner- tubes and headed up the hill.  The park is a little confusing for first time visitors and we finally climbed the right path and found a ride we could go down.  The ride is riding your inner-tube down a series of steeper "chutes" into the next slow pool area.  It's supposed to be a re-creation of a spot on the river we went down the day before and some of the areas have eddies which recirculate you around in the pool rather than down the next chute.  If you're in a hurry it's the wrong ride to be on.  There were some teenagers in the group behind us and they were in a hurry so they were standing up and walking ahead.  Apparently the park doesn't like you doing this and the lifeguard blew his whistle at them and told them to stay on their tubes.  Just after this Jacob and I hit the next chute and when we hit the next pool area he fell out of his tube, so he stood up.  The lifeguard saw him standing and blew his whistle at him and told him to not stand up.  Without hesitating Jacob shot back at him, "I fell out of my tube."  The thing I found humorous was that Jacob responded with the same gesture and body language that he does when called for a foul on the basketball court.  Apparently he has an issue with whistle carrying authority figures.  As the family discussed this event it became apparent and our consensus that it's likely the whole family has issues with whistle carrying authority figures, and we are certain there are even those in the extended family who have similar issues. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dilbert Management Moment

There is an employee in my group that sits down the hall from me.  Over the past couple of weeks I have noticed that there often seemed to be somebody in his office talking to him.  Knowing the nature of his job, it's not likely that most of these conversations were work related.  So the other day during staff meeting I suggested to his supervisor that he suggest to this individual that he might need to focus more on his work and even close his door if he needed to concentrate on his work.  His direct supervisor replied, that's fine, I can do that, but the last coaching we gave him (apparently at my suggestion) was that maybe he should keep his door open to be more accessible and part of the team.  The reason he had given for keeping his door closed previously, "people are always bothering me and I can't get my work done."   Go "pointy haired boss" team.  Some days I do more than just look the part.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Funions and Goldfish

So Marti and the girls are off to girls camp, leaving me home to manage the home front.  As Jacob and I were eating dinner at Taco Bell I asked him what he had for breakfast.  Chocolate chip muffin.  Okay, what did you have for lunch? Funions and Goldfish.  Hmm, so chocolate chip muffin, funions, goldfish and taco bell  for dinner.  I'm not sure but I think there is room for improvement on applying the old food pyramid. 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hanging On and Letting Go

It's hard to hang on and let go all at the same time.
Matthew and Me
Philmont July, 2007 - One of the great experiences I had to share with Matthew.


Dropping off Matthew at the MTC, but he will be going on this adventure without me. 

Good luck Matthew.  We love you and you have our support.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

It Really is a Big Deal

Sometimes people don't think their birthday is a big deal (especially when you spend part of the day showing them a good time by fulfilling your family's assignment to clean the church), but Marti I want you to know that recognizing your birthday really is a big deal because without You,
There would be no Us And without Us, there would be no Them



Happy birthday to the girl of my dreams!!! You make all of us better. We Love You!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Prius, Volt

I saw a Toyota Prius on the freeway behind me today while I was driving my new Toyota Tacoma. I changed lanes.

I saw a headline the other day that said the Chevy Volt will have to save GM. Whatever happened to all the buzz about smart cars? Sell your GM stock now.

Friday, May 14, 2010

25 Yard Post

Jacob recently shared a couple of comments from the Junior High Football coach. I found them humorous.

What do you call a quarterback that can't throw a 25 yard post pass at Cinco Ranch Junior High? Answer: A Guard.

What do you call a receiver that can't run a 25 yard post route? Answer: A Tackle.

Fortunately Jacob can throw the ball 25 yards and can run a post route, because he's not big enough or wide enough to be a guard or tackle.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Today Wasn't the Day

I thought today might be the day, but it wasn't. Matthew has only beaten me in one on one basketball once in his life. That was several years ago and until he beats me again, I consider that loss a fluke. As we headed to the health club, I thought my reign might be nearing its end. In the past when I wasn't shooting well I could always back Matthew back down under the basket and make relatively easy lay-ups. Since he spends more time in the gym than me these days, I knew that might be more difficult. As it turns out, I brought my outside game with me today and even if I did use the glass a couple of times those 3 pointers still count. I guess the dream Matthew had last night of playing for the Jazz and bringing them back to win a big play-off game was just a dream. Old age and treachery wins again.