"The Muffled Cries For Help From a Daddy of Four Beautiful Little Girls"

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hallo...whatintheworldwerethey THINKing?

My wife and I sort of enjoy the fun parts of the children's events this time of year.
There are costume parties and carnivals and lots of candy.

So far, we've made the religious/moral stand to avoid anything involving human sacrifice (or animal sacrifice for that matter).
And at our "Harvest Festival," scary costumes are forbidden. Every once in a while some child shows up who didn't get that memo, and they squeeze in anyway. One skeleton or mummy doesn't alter the mood of the event enough to humiliate the ill-dressed munchkin by bouncing him or her. Quite honestly, I think little tykes in strollers at these festival are more frightened by anonymous goons in football helmets than cute girls in black dresses and pointy hats...

...However, there is a new breed of children's costumes that is disturbing to me as a father of four girls.

Looking through online catalogs, there are so many cool costumes for boys: sports outfits, aliens, cowboys, public servants, comic book heroes, pirates, the list goes on.

Then you click on girls' costumes. After a few classic princess dresses, I noticed there's a heck of a lot more skin being exposed than I expected. Now I'm not advocating putting our girls in burkas (is that what they're called?), but let me tell you, there are some SCARY costumes out there for girls.

It's like someone said, "How could we modify that boys' pirate costume to make it a girls?" And instead of "let's put the buttons on the left side and put lipstick on the skull and crossbones," someone said, "I know! Let's remove the pants, give her a mini skirt. Slip on some fishnet stockings, plunge the neckline, put on a sexy black choker, and then when some 10-year-old girl models it for the photo, be sure to have her look angry/pouty/seductive."
Come on! Who DOES that? Evidently, quite a few companies.

Of course, some of it's just the nature of our culture. While it's cute to dress up a little preschool boy like a little man in a suit and tie or a tuxedo, what's the equivalent for girls?

Evidently, dressing them like prostitutes!
Slight exaggeration...maybe.
But I'm eager to hear how many young trick-or-treaters or party-goers you all come across this week in outfits generally reserved for the covers of movies in the back room of the video store behind the curtain.

Or, to restore my faith in humanity, feel free to describe the most creative, funny or otherwise enviable costumes that come your way.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

May the Voice Be With You

My voice started failing around lunch time yesterday.
I have to admit, on the spectrum of completely losing your voice to completely having it, the worst point is somewhere in the middle. I would SO rather have no voice than to have what I had yesterday afternoon
To get a feel for that precise spot on the spectrum, all you have to do is close your eyes and travel back to puberty, that hideously awful period in time when 12-year-old boys answer the phone and are mistaken for their 30-something mothers. Could anything be more humiliating for a boy going through "the change?"

Yesterday came close. But at least I knew there was light at the end of the tunnel. My friends and coworkers would only be mocking me for a day or two.

In the meantime, if you dare call me on the phone and mistake me for my mom, I will surely scream in your ear till it bleeds...well I WOULD, if I had a voice.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Phone Book Works For Me

I hunger so for knowledge.
Doesn't matter where I am.
Fortunately, I have one of those Blackberry thingies with email and internet and such.
With that I can Google stuff and not have to stress too long about "What WERE those lyrics to that one 80's song?" (I obsess over stupid stuff sometimes.)

But, before the Blackberry (and possibly AFTER the Blackberry if I ever go back to just a regular cell phone), I kept a handy resource in my car under the driver's seat.

The Phone Book. With yellow AND white pages.

That way, no matter where I was in town, I could verify the address of my destination--because I would NOT be stopping to ask directions. Or I could call restaurants to make reservations. Or call a towing service. Whatever. It's just a handy little resource that's useful in so many ways.

It would also be helpful to have a printed directory of lyrics from 80's songs.

for other practical ideas each Wednesday check out all the Works For Me Wednesday ideas over at Rocks In My Dryer. (Warning. It's mostly ideas from what looks like a bunch of smart moms, so don't expect a lot of lame suggestions like mine.)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Could This BE Any More Drawn Out?

What in the world?
I typed up the entire transcripts for the Awards Ceremony last night before midnight. And it never posted; it's just plain gone!!! Ugh.
It was really quite breathtaking. I inserted cues for you to imagine music and spinning spotlights and everything.
Then I ran through all the contestants, sharing their highlights and making sure everyone felt honored just to have been considered. Serioulsy, I wrote all that stuff up.

Then there were some special musical appearances by Beyonce' and Soldja Boy.
And lots of tears were shed at the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award (congrats Tim).

Finally, after a couple of brief commercials, I got to the part where I opened the envelope and revealed the winner...

Congratulations to CARRIE!
Here's her comment

"Well I saw Tim's blog and was in awe at the idea that someone would be so generous as to send FIVE items when only one was promised!!! So I honestly came over only to tell you that but now that I can see I, too, could have the life-altering event of receiving a package from you I MUST enter it....Thanks for the chance at a more fulfilled life..."
While many people were interested in specific items and ways they may be used to better their miserable existences, Carrie seemed truly just interested in the very act of being selected as winner. Whether it was a jar of fingernail clippings, dirty soccer socks or a rare coin from Kuala Lumpur, she didn't care; she just wanted to be...a winner.
And now she is. Everything she's dreamed about can now be a reality (except for the parts that aren't really real). May she enjoy many, many seconds of fame while she basks in the limelight and the after-parties and the endless media interviews that come with winning a prize of this magnitude.

Carrie, we invite you to share your acceptance speech via comment. Be sure to thank the little people. And all you little people, we invite to write your congratulations to Carrie, being sure to seethe with jealousy in your comments. After all, the more jealous you are of her prize(s), the more she will enjoy them.

Congratulations again to Carrie, and to all our fine contestants who truly each deserved at least a little something. Unfortunately, the cost of mailing, for example, a lint-covered butterscotch disc to Reallyniceday would excede the cost of just buying your own butterscotch and lint.

I Wish Everyone Could Win

Check this spot again later tonight to find out who won.
Really, this is hard.
I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but there can be only one winner...
...Which means the rest of you are technically losers. But don't feel bad, lots of losers ended up becoming presidents, explorers, ministers...evil geniuses.

Right now I'm taking my daughter out to eat for her birthday, so the judging will have to wait until we finish this ginormous brownie/icecream/whippedcream/chocolatesyrup/cherry-on-top monstrosity as big as her head.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Glove Compartment Bingo

You can tell a lot about a person by what you find in their glove compartment.

What can you tell about me? You don't need to bother thinking too hard about that because my "pencil pal" Tim will probably take care of that for you. He's so good at reading people.

But here is what my stash includes (and therefore what some lucky winner may find in his/her mailbox).

Chiclets Gum
35 mm film (used? new? dunno.)
French Lessons on CD
Gift Card for Texas Roadhouse
Duct Tape
Target receipts
A Toyota key (never 0wned a Toyota)

That's pretty good stuff, eh?
Click here and comment and it could be yours! But of course, you'll be obligated to right about it when it arrives and tell how your life has been changed. That's just how it works. Sorry to whoever wins.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Oh, Where Is My Hairbrush?

( if you're in labor or something else time-sensitive like the start of "Regis and Kelly Live," feel free to scroll down to the picture/logo for an actual Works-For-Me-Wednesday Idea.)

So my wife is gone for the morning.

Which leaves me with 4 girls to get ready. Granted they're all old enough to shower themselves, dress themselves, brush their own hair, and make their own ugly faces at me.

But they don't seem to be able to do so without banging on bedroom and bathroom doors begging for permission to enter and screaming when it is denied. So there's a lineup waiting for toothbrushes, mirrors, hairbrushes etc.

While we're on the subject of hairbrushes, I have a sneaking suspicion that all of our 29 brushes have run away to Vegas with half of our socks (one sock from each pair). I suppose that someday they'll return with their little half-sock-half-hairbrush offspring, but that doesn't solve the problem I'm living in AT THIS MOMENT.

If I were in a more cheerful mood, I'd sing Larry The Cucumber's "Oh, Where Is My Hairbrush."

Seriousy, daughter #2 just found a brush 5 minutes ago in another sister's backpack. And I've been just been informed that IT HAS ESCAPED! I kid you not. I saw it with my own eyes only moments ago, and now...

.....passage of time during which the Great Hairbrush Hunt # 3,918 takes place.....

Hallelujah. That brush was just found again. It was on top of the shoes by the front door. Clearly it was there looking for a vulnerable sock able to be lured from its mate.

I tell you something is going on in this house, and it's just plain unnatural.

I guess this isn't technically a "Works For Me Wednesday" idea, because it's not been implemented yet and therefore not working for me...yet. But I'm a guy, and I'm going to FIX THIS PROBLEM, so I shall refer to this post as a "It Better Work For Me Or I'll Scream Wednesday" idea.


Buy multiple hairbrushes, enough for approximately 12 for each room of the house (backups).

Since most hairbrushes conveniently have holes in their handles, tie a string or cord to the brush and tie the cord to some fixed object like an eye-screw attached to the inside of the brush drawer (or just the drawer handle if you hate using tools) .

I'd love to know if anyone has a solution like this, or perhaps a better one.

And if any of you live in Vegas, would you tell my socks and brushes that we're happy for them but we still miss them?


(and click here for other people's great "Works For Me Wednesday" ideas.)

Monday, October 15, 2007

daBlogi Code Revealed

This post contains the answers to the daBlogi Code, and I've hidden it here way in the past.

Clue # 1: In case you couldn't tell which of the paintings was the original Mona Lisa, it was Painting A.
So remember the Letter "A" as it will be critical for solving...the daBlogi Code.

Clue # 2:
The "mysterious" letters you saw? "W." There is a "W" in the solution.

Clue # 3: There's an extraneous "E" in "typoEs," and a missing "S" in "misSpelled." (Oh, I'm sorry. Did I mislead you into thinking those letters would be found in the Einstein quote? Silly me. Silly you.)

Clue # 4: Eleven. If ALL BUT ELEVEN are offline, that means the eleven are ONLINE.
Clue # 5: It's an "O" for a mouth, silly!

So here are the letters you should know so far: A W E S E L E V E N O

(note: these letters are not necessarily in the proper order. They'll get unscrambled when you have all the clues!)

Click below to email me your guess. Whether you're right or wrong, you'll be enterred for the prize drawing

Email Scott

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Change a Life, Change the World

Sometimes you wonder if anything you do is really worth it.
You give. You sacrifice. And at the end of the day you hope and pray that something you did made a difference.

Often we just have to hope that our influence may be recognized years from now.

But sometimes...hallelujah...the world acknowledges that you exist and thanks you for your contribution.

As a minister, I hope to change lives on a regular basis.

My goal as a blogger is about the same. And in case any of you out there doubts the ability of a blog to make a difference in a single life, then you don't know Tim yet.

He was clearly a loser before he won the contest here a week or so ago. And now that he won the contents of the back of my pencil drawer, things are looking up for him. Need proof? Read Tim's testimony about the day his prizes arrived.
(For the record, there is nothing loser-ish about Tim, other than the fact that he reminds me of myself.)

If that can happen for someone like HIM, guess what winning the contents of the glove compartment of my Chevy Blazer could do for YOU!

Yes. Literally, guess what winning the contents of the glove compartment of my Chevy Blazer could DO for you. Will it put a spring in your step? Will it give you the confidence to finally win friends and influence people? Will it allow you to get your first non-creditor-related mail in months? Will it restore your faith in humanity? Will it give you the courage to emerge from the cocoon you have made for yourself out of egg cartons?

Next Monday I'll select the commentor whom I believe is likely to have his/her life changed the most by winning. So just leave a comment explaining how winning will catapult you to new levels of bliss or something or other.

Without checking, I'm assuming the prizes may include (but are not limited to) your choice of condiments packets from McDonalds, broken tools, toilet paper, a whistle and some unfoldable maps (which, incidentally are NOT maps that can be unfolded, but rather maps that can not be folded...subtle difference). But don't surprised if there is some gem of a prize I didn't even realize was there...like a roll of quarters, a Starbucks gift card, or a package of ramen noodles. I'm pretty much stealing Christmas's thunder here.

You don't even have to know me to leave a comment. I'm about to change someone's life. Will it be yours?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Not That Chocolate's Bad Or Anything

Every year my wife hosts the decadently indulgent "Choctoberfest" at our home.

Typically, there are 30-70 women filling our home to the rafters, each bringing a chocolate creation of some kind. Then they eat and laugh and eat some more. It really is a joy.

However, I'm trying to figure out what the guy version would be. And here's what I've come up with so far.

Drum roll, please...


Fried cheese, nachos and cheese, pizza, cheeseburgers, veggies smothered in cheese (in case my mom is reading), cheese balls, cheese puffs, Cheez-its, and then a hundred-and-one varieties of cheese to slice or spread with crackers.

And instead of sitting around talking (girl activity), the guys would watch t.v., play video games, grunt, scratch themselves and lie about fishing or whatever.

Granted, Cheesetoberfest might be too close to Choctoberfest, so we might need to move it to Cheese-emberfest or Cheeseuaryfest. Or perhaps Cheesentine's Day or St. Cheese-rick's Day.

But why think too hard when all my friends in cyberinternetoblogoland probably have even BETTER ideas?

Monday, October 8, 2007

We Have a Winner!

Due to the overwhelming response to the give-away from last month's contest, it took longer than I planned to award a winner.

But congratulations to Tim at Duckabush Blog for his fantastic answer to the the question about how he spent his time waiting for my next blog to post:

Mostly, I've just been looking at the wall between hopeful refreshes of your blog homepage. Fortunately, we have an interesting stucco pattern...

As promised, Tim, you're entitled to a prize from the back of my pencil drawer. Please let me know whether you want:
1. A shrinkwrapped pack of play money from Milton Bradley
2. 5 Tic-Tacs ("Freshmint" flavor)
3. Letter "B" Scrabble tile
4. Nestle Hot Chocolate Mix (2 packs)
5. DVD of the 2005 smash hit children's musical at our church "Holy Moses"

Everyone else who is not Tim is invited to visit his family's blog where they can kill two birds with one stone by congratulating him on winning AND wish him a happy birthday.
(You can kill a third bird with the aforementioned stone by scrolling down to his post about Chestnuts and learn about nature, Nat King Cole, and how NOT to poison your dear family unnecessarily.)

NOTE: Honorable Mention is awarded to Javamamma who spent her time in prayer and fasting. No prize for her other than permission to resume eating.

How ELSE Would You Expect Us to Celebrate?

The big day is finally here.

Our family has been frantic for days with all the preparations for the holiday. I know a lot of you are in the same boat (the Pinta, perhaps?), getting ready for family coming into town to celebrate.

My kids have their Spanish sailor costumes ready, and they've paired up to make their Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria models for the parade later this afternoon.

A couple of the girls are entered in the "Junior Miss New World" competition which will start at the town square at 1:30 (or whenever the marimba concert concludes). Undoubtedly, there will be the typical dozen or more girls who do the Columbus-sailed-the-ocean-blue-recitation for their talent portion. So I've encouraged my girls to be more creative. Cassie has made the shape of the island of Hispanola out of traditional Spanish blood pudding, and Brynne has a baton routine set to the music "Eye of the Tiger." (Don't worry, having "1492" safety-pinned to her leotard allows her to still qualify without having to change anything else from the routine she originally worked up for Miss ZucchiniFest.)

Unfortunately, it's the hottest Columbus Day on record in Indiana, so the annual chocolate sculpture will likely be indoors in the lobby of the theater instead of at the top of the steps to the courthouse. This only means fewer people will get to see it, which is a shame, because a guy from our church made it and got all "interpretational," creating a Christopher C. in a Colts jersey where the horseshoe is made out of white chocolate.

Because of the heat and dangerously dry conditions in our county, the bonfire after the parade is canceled. This has left a lot of restaurant owners in a quandary. Almost all the restaurants here close that night because everyone's at the bonfire, but this year, they may stay open, which then messes with everyone's traditional plans and cooking and all. Seriously, who wants to go out to eat at Appleby's anyway on COLUMBUS DAY, folks?

For us, not having the bonfire just means we'll get home sooner to open our presents and spend more time with family assembled for the holiday.

I'd love to hear what YOUR family does on this special day.

Happy Columbus Day to All. (Unless you shun all explorer-related holidays, in which case I advise you steer clear of my blog on Magellan Day next August.)

My Apologies

My sincerest, heartfelt apologies to everyone who read the previous post and clicked on the link.

If anyone had to call 911 and be rushed to the emergency room to have your eyes flushed out with bleach to remove the horrid image burned on your retinas, I will gladly reimburse you for the cost of the bleach. (Just send a self-addressed, stamped envelope accompanied by a photo of you posing with the ER staff.)

I promise I will write something edifying next. And I can almost guarantee it will not require medical intervention.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Whatever You Do, Do NOT Click on the Link...

The two previous posts were kind of serious.
Please don't lose heart.
Unless photos like the one over on this blog cause you distress.
'Cause that's all I got today, folks.

Peace out.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Lives Interesecting

The past several weeks, a number of parents at our church have gathered together for "small groups" while their children enjoyed being in the kids' choir on Wednesday nights.

For a lot of people, "small group" means getting together with other Christians and studying the Bible together (which is good, of course). For others, like tonight's group, life is simply shared. Life is hard sometimes, and what a blessed thing it is to be encouraged by others who also know that life is hard and don't simply sugar-coat it.

Even though our printed discussion guide would have had us go down one path, one simple activity at the beginning where we opened our wallets or purses to find an item for show and tell got us going a different direction.

The right direction.

I've often told people that if they get through all 9 questions on that discussion guide, they may not have really chewed on the topics and ideas very much.

So I congratulate our group last night on doing a great job on question 1!

If any from the group are reading this, thanks for letting us into your lives and allowing us to see what God has already done and anticipating what He is going to do next. We certainly have much to celebrate and much to hope for.