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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's The Little Things Really

I love blogging on my Blackberry. I don't want to rub it into the faces of the Berry-less, but I really like that I can post while sitting right here...right HERE in the waiting area at the Grease Monkey oil change.

Because if I didn't have the ability to write this RIGHT NOW, how else would you know that there is a bowl chock full of Twinkies for patrons like me.

I haven't had one in years. Looks like there are just enough to make up for lost time.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Filler Material

While we're out celebrating Labor Day Weekend in grand style, I thought I would get nostalgic and replay an old post from February.

It perhaps evoked the most emotional comments of any of my other posts.

It is relevant again because it reminds me of that story on tv of those guys in England who raised a lion cub then visited it later at a preserve.

Here goes:

Sometimes these "heartwarming" stories are a bit too sappy for me, but this one is truly interesting. I can't believe I hadn't heard it before. Maybe you already have.
It came via email from my friend Annette, but I'm trying to track down its original origin where it originally originated.
In 1986, Mikele Mebembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air.

The elephant seemed distressed, so Mikele approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Mikele worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.

The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Mikele stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled.
Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

Mikele never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Mikele was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Mikele and his son Tapu were standing.

The large bull elephant stared at Mikele, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Mikele couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant. Mikele summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.

The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Mikele's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Am I Imagining Things?

I'm not usually paranoid. Not usually, but when I am, I assure you I have very good reason to be. After all, I know the government would love to get their hands on the computer chips implanted in my nose. (How else do you explain the massive size of my nose?)

Anyway, sitting here quietly at the Bloomington Plasma and Leech Center, I read the sign "Warning: this facility operates heat sealers that emit low levels of electromagnetic radiation...blah blah blah." Evidently, if you have a pacemaker, not only do you have to fear the frozen-chimichanga microwave at the Quickie-Mart, now you have to wear a lead suit at the plasma center.

With all of the radio waves, cellphone signals, microwaves, wifi, plutonium isotopes and what-not in the air, I can't help but wonder "What exactly is traveling through my body at this moment?"
(Besides that chimichanga, burp.)

And then a moment ago, my foot vibrated. It felt exactly like a cell phone going off inside my foot. Clearly, something inside me is set at the same frequency as something else around here. Have I been programmed for some kind of government mission, waiting for a signal to trigger my response to off the head muk-muk of some rogue organization?

I kind of jest. But just a little. Once, my cell phone holster had broken and I carried my phone inside my front pocket. After a while, I stopped that practice after reading about sterility issues. (After an expensive vasectomy, the last thing I needed was issues with my sterility.)

And THEN I began to have phantom vibrations on my thigh where the phone used to rest. Felt exactly like the phone buzzing. Not just a little like it. I would excuse myself from meetings in order to step out and answer my...thigh?

I just thought I would share this bit of info to cause you worry and concern in case any of you were sleeping too well at night, forgetting that waves from National Public Radio might be absorbed into your pancreas or worse.

Have A Nice Day.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fundraising/Preservation Idea

With all the costs of activities for the kids, it's a great idea to get them involved in raising a little money to support their gymnastics/soccer/iTunes habits.

Evidently, my kids are a step ahead of us with a plan to raise an easy $20,000.

It's a bit unorthodox, but ransom notes may be the next fund raiser your school needs to consider.

By the way, I'd recommend having your children be more specific in their ransom notes than ours were. "That 1 tree in L.A." is pretty vague. I've been to L.A., and there are at least a dozen trees.
This isn't a serious fundraising idea. duh.
I couldn't just throw this note away when we found it. Obviously, the children were playing their usual games of pretending to kidnap and murder and steal and blow things up. (Clearly they're watching way too many old Disney flicks from the 70's.)

After all, we want to cherish these special memories. So out came the camera and the laptop to memorialize their ransom attempt forever.

You should use your blogs as well to preserve fond moments like these.

Ah. Fond moments indeed.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More Interesting Visitors

I am an equal opportunity blogger.
All are welcome to come and read. Please, have a seat and read my blog for a while.

Yes, even you, the person who found my blog by googling "why we vomit for kids." I'm sorry that my blog doesn't actually give the reasons WHY adults normally put on vomit demonstrations for our children, if I read your question correctly. I shall only venture a guess that the reason why we vomit for kids is simply to torment them. That's why I do most of the things I do.

Welcome also to the person seeking "how to be happy when you're married to a jerk." I believe you meant to find my wife's blog over at www.stillhisgirl.blogspot.com. Don't get your hopes up, though. She's still trying to figure this one out herself.

And for the gentleman inquiring on Google about "North Carolina barbeque ice raw chicken," I believe the restaurant you're looking for is Salmonella Buddy's on the Outer Banks. They will be able to take care of all your raw barbecue chicken needs. Just be sure to get there early enough in the day before the dog in the corner gets all the good raw meat.

So, again, welcome to you, one and all.
Except you, that freak who keeps googling "feeding husband to children." I'm holding out hope that you are just a confused person who speaks English as a second language.

Now, in an effort to lure more unsuspecting Googlers, I shall type in random phrases that will attract all kinds of searchers.
Obama photos fishnet stockings
Olympics high dive into small tub of cranberry juice
Oil prices rise due to high price of oil

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pavlov's Dog--or--His Face Sure Rings A Bell

I've tried hard not to write constantly about our new puppy.

After all, we DO still have lives beyond just being first-time new puppy owners.

But as thrilling as those lives are (homework, organizing a soccer league, vacuuming, laundry, ministry, expanding our investment portfolio, de-pilling the couch, blah blah blah), it's time I told you some uncontainably exciting news.

Cheddar goes to the bathroom OUTSIDE. A LOT.

For weeks, we've been taking him outside often. Often enough that he'd have no excuse for having accidents inside. It was quite tedious to go out as frequently as we did, but there were six of us to share the load...

...until school started and Cindy was home alone with PoopMachine 2000.

However, having the foresight to see that day coming, Cindy instructed us to install a jingle bell near the front door. Every time we took Cheddar out to relieve himself, we'd jingle the bell, then out we'd go. Each time.

Theoretically, Pavlov would say that Cheddar would be conditioned to associate the bell with the door opening to go outside. (O.K. Those of you already familiar with the Poop Bell, don't spoil it for the rest of the readers. Just let them believe that this is a geniously original idea. Ooooooh. Ahhhhhh.)
Sure enough, one day Cheddar up and rang the bell himself with his cute widdle nose.
Then we took him outside.

Then he went to the bathroom!
Then we did a jig...with the heel-clicking and all.
Now he rings it all the time. I really don't know when the last time was that he peed in the house. And even when he deposits a log on the carpet, it has an imaginary note tied to it written in scraggly imaginary puppy writing: "Here's a present for you as a reminder to you to open the stinkin' door when I ring the bell, folks!" He's that smart.
Of course, he's working the system to his advantage now.
He rings the bell when he wants to:
1. Lay in the sunshine
2. Dig in the mulch
3. Chase butterflies
4. Bark at the neighbor's dogs
5. Intimidate bike riders
6. Run in the freshly cut grass, heavy with dew and drag 12 pounds of clippings into the house.

And occasionally, he'll even poop or pee.

But I don't mind all of that other stuff. I'm just glad he's house-trained (98%).
I'm so happy, I could pee,
But not until AFTER I ring the bell.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Worth More Than Olympic Gold

The Olympics draw to a close.

And I will finally be able to go to bed at a decent hour. Or, more likely, stay up just as late watching something else.

There were so many incredible moments in this year's Olympics. Here's one I just read about today from Associated Press coverage over at msn.com:

...[IOC President Jacque] Rogge, who visited every venue, said the most touching
moment for him came after the 10-meter air pistol event, when gold medalist Nino
Salukvadze of Georgia embraced runner-up Natalia Paderina of Russia even as
their two countries’ armies fought back in Georgia.
“That kind of sportsmanship is really remarkable,” Rogge said.
So I hunted down a little video to get a glimpse myself. [note: the video shows these two are silver and bronze medalists, contrary to the msn article. maybe they've corrected it by now.]

I do pray for peace on earth. We may not be able to quickly change the course of governments, but as individuals we can affect our small corners of the world and extend the hand of peace, forgiveness and friendship to those who would be our enemies.

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you..." Jesus, from Matthew 5:43-44.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Weddings Always Make Me So Emotional

Today I performed a wedding. I do these occasionally. And funerals.

It was fairly uneventful as weddings go. No fainting. No loud outbursts. No drunken uncles. It was just simple and sweet. However, I shall note a couple of highlights for your general enjoyment.

Before the wedding, everyone was hanging around killing time waiting for the start. They had taken all of the photos beforehand, and did it in record time. Everyone was just so cooperative and laid back.

This gave a couple of the groomsmen plenty of time to enjoy some big wads of tobacco out in the parking lot. They walked back in, carrying Coke cans (if you've spent time around tobacky-chewers, then you know they're always carrying cups or cans to spit their foul refuse into). A young lady friend of theirs reached out and grabbed a can from their hands asking, can I have a drink? I debated whether or not I should stop her, but figured I had to get blog material from somewhere. So drink away, young lady in a white dress. Drink away.
A little later, one of the grandmas was doing what grandmas do best: passing out mints and butterscotches to all the wedding party. Sometimes you just need a little bit of flavor and freshness, doncha know? Of course, this occurred only moments before we entered the wedding hall. So as the groom entered, I saw that he was still sucking away on a butterscotch. His eyes grew wide as he realized he was stuck with a big piece of candy in his mouth at the most important event in his life. I used my eyes to direct him over to the front row. As a final act of motherliness before she married off her little boy, the mother of the groom extended her hand as the groom took the candy from his mouth and deposited into his mother's palm. Everyone laughed.

And then the rest of the groomsmen entered, chewing candy too.

Don't you just love weddings? Such tender moments.

#2 (heh heh) Reason To Have DVR

I am thankful for our DVR for so many reasons.

The latest?

I had to use it today to rewind TV. I thought I heard the Olympics commentator mention that so-and-so on the women's basketball team had a bowel problem. Seemed kind of personal, but if he wanted a billion people world-wide to hear about it, I didn't want to miss it.

Further review indicated it was indeed a "FOUL" problem.

Guess I can stop waiting for her to mess her pants in the middle of the gold medal match. That WOULD be foul.

We Also Have Rice Krispies As A Backup

I love people's quaint comments and emails expressing their concern for my children while Cindy is away at some Beth Moore thingie in the faraway country of Texas.

Fear not. We have more than enough Lucky Charms for breakfast,
AND dinner.

Cindy's doing all right too, it sounds like. She's got a brand new tiny cell phone, so I texted her last night. It costs 20 cents because we didn't get the plan with free texts included.

I wrote "You're worth 20 cents to text you that I love you."

I meant to write "You're worth AT LEAST 20 cents..." but it would've cost, you know, an additional 20 cents to send the correction.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Vulnerable And Home Alone

My beautiful bride is going to be traveling this weekend (galavantin' with Bethie Moore and coveting her hair), so the kids and I will be home alone for a few days.

I know it's dangerous to mention this aloud on the internet.

After all, stalkers who know that Cindy's gone may see this as an opportunity to break into the house and steal the half-eaten pizza that will undoubtedly be left out all night on the coffee table

Or some masked bandit may try to sneak in and wash the 3-foot-high pile of dishes that will most certainly be collecting in the sink.

And what if someone does my laundry when I'm not looking?!

Be warned. I have a nosy neighbor keeping an eye on us while my wife's away. She'll see you leaving that homemade lasagna on our front porch before ringing and running!

Thank you for your prayers for our safety and well-feeding.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

When You've Been Married This Long

So I was heading off to use the restroom, and I says to the wife:

"I'm going to the bathroom."

(Because, you know, true love announces its potty breaks.)

"O.K. See you tomorrow," she replies.

I don't quite know why I felt it necessary to write about that. Probably has something to do with the fact that we're grounded from the TV, so I can't write about the Olympics.

Tra la la la la la

By the way, here is a late addition to the previous post. It really DID need a photo.
While this isn't actually a photo of ME, it pretty much captures the whole mood of my floor routine. All that's missing from the picture is about 20 classmates, a youth minister and yes even the teacher laughing their spandex off.
While we're on the subject, daughter Shelby was watching the women's floor routines with me the other night. One of the girls had some musical accompaniment that didn't meet Shelby's high standards for international competition.

"I can't stand this music. Dad, you don't even KNOW how much I hate it."

Sheesh! Chill, child. It's not like YOU are the one with intense gymnastical scars from your youth.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Flashback To Horror And Shame

Yesterday we were watching a little women's gymnastic floor routine action. It's very beautiful to watch the fluid motions and the incredible flips and twists.

It took me back to high school when I signed up for a semester of gymnastics as a gym elective.

Couldn't even touch my toes, but it sounded like a cool way to spend an hour each day with a lot of pretty girls. There was one other guy in the class who was thinking the same thing, but he had the advantage of being able to touch his toes...with his HEAD.

That stupid floor routine for guys is just pathetically sad when you're a guy who cannot touch his toes, flip, twist, do cartwheels or walk without tripping. I swear, all that was available from my repertoire after a whole semester was gay little prancing from corner to corner with an occasional kindergarten somersault sprinkled in here and there. It was humiliating, and I was so thankful that only one other guy had to witness it...and he was actually too busy by this time folding himself into an origami swan to pay much attention to sad prancy white boy frollicking across the floor.

Unfortunately, a mole in the class invited my youth minister on the day of the floor routine "final." I was obligated by his presence to throw in a few "manly" moves in place of the planned skip-dee-doos. I think that scratching my crotch and burping may have cost me technical points, but saved a little face.

I DID receive a 10 on the parallel bars, though. (Out of 100?)

[and he bows to the judges...then the audience...then skips gleefully off to await the final scores from the judges.]

Monday, August 18, 2008


I don't know if it's regional.
Or perhaps it's age-related.

I giggle a little on the inside when I hear someone add a "the" in front of something that generally lives without a "the" (in MY mind at least).

For example:

The Diseases
"My great-niece has the epilepsy.". The same goes for "the cancer," "the diabetes" and "the gonnorhea."

The Technology
Looking at the Keyword searches which led people to my blog, someone had found me by searching for some commercial "shown on THE you tube." I instantly pegged that visitor as older than the average web surfer.

The Name
O.K. Not rally a lot using THE in this way, but you'll see a few people who refer to themselves with the definite article. The Todd (from Scrubs) for example. A teacher acquaintance had a student name "The Mac." That was his name. As he might grow to become a famous rapper some day, this would save him the trouble of changing his name. If only Puff Daddy had actualy named his son Puff Daddy to begin with.

Please tell me other interesting uses of THE. When I started writing this post, I thought I had lots more examples. I was wrong.

Medal Standings

I shall now take a moment to peel myself off of the couch where I've been plastered since pretty much the beginning of the Olympics.

("Plastered" as in "laying for so long that there is now a Scott-shaped indentation"...NOT "plastered" as in "eyeballs floating in 12 gallons of tequila." Just clarifying for those who don't know that I'm saving the tequila for "America's Got Talent.")

We've held a few qualifying heats in the Human Vs. Animal competition in the past few days. There is indeed drama as anyone would expect with these games. The backstories on some of these participants are real tear-jerkers.

For example, less than two months prior to the Games, one of the contestants was torn from his mother and forced to live with strangers who began coaching him for the "Sit," "Stay," and "Stop Crapping Every Time We Turn Our Backs" events.

Another contestant has recently become homeless when the umbrella he's been living under was suddenly opened and exposed to daylight.

The other 5,317 contestants live in a hole in the ground and have no clue that their entire kingdom is likely to be flooded with gasoline and possibly lit as part of the festivities of the Closing Ceremonies.

Well, here are the results from the All-Around Nuisance event.

The Bats: Gold
Cheddar: Silver
The Yellow Jackets: Bronze
Me: Diddly Squat

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Forgotten, But Not Gone


They live!
Those are a couple of the 5 gazillion yellow jackets residing beside the back steps.

I'm trying a Cranberry Chutney candle next time.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Because We Need More Pets, I'm Tellin' Ya'

Pretty much, we're finding out that puppy ownership is a breeze.

People told us it would be a lot like having a newborn and demand a lot of time and attention. However, we're learning this thing is a cinch. Of course, if we wanted him to stop chewing electrical cords, tearing up chairs, barking, biting and pooping in every corner of the house, we should probably invest a little more time and/or energy.

But seeing as how I head off to work each day, it's my wife who's home alone with this fuzzy parasite. Friends have said it can be a lot easier with a second puppy so they can play together and keep each other company. I'm guessing they would also hold each other accountable and would each remind the other to stop pooping in that corner by the TV. That's my assumption at least.

So you can understand why I was excited when I came across these furry friends--three of them--out on the back deck hiding inside the closed patio umbrella.
I'd seen a growing pile of small animal droppings accumulating on the patio table beneath the umbrella (come on over for a picnic) and figured it was time to investigate. I spent the next several minutes taking gobs of pictures. That was followed by another several minutes spent ducking as I was dive-bombed by these menacing winged demons.

If you look closely, you can see Bat #1 circling and preparing to return to latch onto my neck.

I'm sure you can picture my wife enjoying having some bats in the house to keep Cheddar company during the long, lonely days. How lucky for us to have found them.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Should Anyone From the FBI Ask...

I'm just trying to work out my alibi in case anyone comes snooping around.

If anyone asks you, I was at church camp with my family all last week.

I have the mosquito bites, sunburned scalp and bags under my eyes to prove it.
There's also the constant ringing in my ears to the tune of "Ride A Broom Around the Room."

Death By Yankee Candle

I don't profess to be wise in the ways of insect extermination.
Or safety.

Since I have the internet, I have access to all manner of dangerous knowledge that's out there. So when my wife asked me politely (12 times) to do something about the yellow jacket nest in the ground by the back steps, I headed straight to Google.com to figure out my plan of action.

Now, I have a history with yellow jackets from my childhood. These boogers live in some kind of colony underground, and you'll see them coming and going from a hole. Something about the yellow jackets' pheremones causes 10-year-old boys to want to stick marshmallows into those entrances, with little to no concern about what irate stinging insects will do once they come out of their OTHER entrances.

Sting the 10-year-old boy repeatedly in the face, that's what they do.

As stupidity would have it, I completely disregarded everything I read online because I didn't have the products the sites recommended. Certainly, other insecticides I DID have would work well enough, right?

About the only thing I acted on from my online reading was to make my move at dusk or later, as the yellow jackets will all be tucked in for the night most likely.

Unfortunately, the hole is completely in the dark of the shadow of the steps, so there was no way to see it well. Based on my previous experience, I was not going to attempt this without being able to see the swarm and thereby have at least 0.18 seconds for my miserable life to flash before my eyes.

Since the flashlights would've taken an extra minute to find and I am prone to laziness, I grabbed a Yankee Candle (McIntosh Apple, thank you) and a lighter from the kitchen. It not only cast the right amount of light on my target, it also provided me with a pleasant aroma to enjoy while I massacred my tormentors.

It also provided me with the flame necessary to accidentally light the aerosol insecticide spray I was using, creating a giant fireball which singed the hairs on my right arm and blinded me for a second.

I'm not completely stupid, I should have you know. About half a second before the explosion, the thought did cross my mind, "I think this may be a bad idea." But by then, it was too late.

So the answer to your question? I'm guessing the fireball also went down into the hole and did some damage. This morning, I didn't see a single yellow jacket coming out of the hole where usually there are dozens at a time. Just a single one coming in late from an all-night party that hovered for a couple seconds and flew away from that den of death.

Oh, the answer to your other question would be "apple and burnt flesh."