Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Working Vacation

Last week I spent my vacation painting the gables on my father's house. What is a 60 year old man doing on a 16 foot extention ladder you ask? Keeping his 87 year old father off of it is the answer.
You must understand that the "Children of the Depression" are probably the hardest working generation, especially when it comes to physical labor. Since many of them grew up poor, they know what it is like to have nothing. Many of this generation grew up working hard for very little pay and they learned the value of a dollar at a very early age. Therefore, they don't spend their money of foolish things like paying someone to paint their house.
My father is an amazing individual. Last year he fell off of a bicycle and broke his hip. That's right, an 86 year old man is riding a bicycle! After an unprecidented recovery, he is still very active. So, when the house needed painting, the only way to keep him off of the ladder, was for me to take a week of vacation and go paint it for him.
I just hope I know what a bicycle is when I'm 86!
I'm tired and my legs hurt for a few days after spending all of that time on the ladder rungs. We decided next time we will spring for vinyl siding. We had a good week.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

BOOM!!! You're Sixty!

Last year Baby Boomers began turning 60. Being a first wave Baby Boomer, I turned the magic number last November. Have you ever noticed how kids will try to tell you their exact age? They will tell you they are 8-1/2 or 9-3/4 years old. Being older is very important them. By the time you hit 40, you hang on to the old age right up until the day you are required to change. In fact some people hang onto an age for two or three years. As long as no one notices, what's the harm.
I have noticed a few things have changed over the years. Remember as a child you could sit in the floor with your legs crossed and come to a standing position without uncrossing your legs. At 60, that doesn't even sound like a good idea.
In your 30's you enjoyed getting outside and mowing the yard. At 60, you take two ibuprofen before mowing and two after mowing just to control the swelling in the joints. If you can afford it, you've already bought the riding mower.
In your 40's you still spent one Saturday a month washing, waxing, and detailing your favorite ride. At 60, you're thankful for the drive-thru car wash with the auto applied wax.
In your 50's you were at the top of your profession and enjoyed going to work everyday. At 60, your still at the top, but if you're in management, it's starting to look a lot like adult daycare and retirement can't come soon enough.
Don't get me wrong 60 is a great age. You have a much better perspective of the world around you. You're not too excited about the Democrats or the Republicans because in the end, they're all just a bunch of politicians trying to get elected or re-elected. You realize that life is too short to always be in a crisis management mode. Slow down, enjoy the time with family and friends. I was a "child of the sixties", now I'm going to enjoy the sixties again.
I may have more to say on this subject later.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

You Might Be a Bass Fisherman If ...

I enjoy fishing. It has been a serious hobby of mine for nearly twenty years. I used to own a bass boat and even fished in a few tournaments. I noticed that you can spot a serious bass fisherman if you are observant. If you are not sure you are a bass fisherman or you're not sure someone you know is a bass fisherman, here are a few helpful hints. To borrow a line from Jeff Foxworthy, "You might be a bass fisherman if..."

  1. You've ever used a public swimming pool to tune a crank bait.
  2. The engine on your boat has a higher horsepower rating than your wife's car.
  3. Your truck and boat are color coordinated but your living room furniture isn't.
  4. You have more fishing rods than clean changes of underwear.
  5. Losing your tackle box will reduce your net worth by 30%.
  6. Your boat and truck payments total more than your home mortgage payment.
  7. You have ever used one of your wife's ear rings as a spinner bait blade.
  8. Your idea of the perfect second honeymoon includes Lake Fork Texas and a guide.
  9. You have a "sunglasses" tan line on your face.
  10. You have more than two years of "Bill Dance Outdoors" on video.
  11. You know Jean Claude Van Damme and Kevin VanDam
  12. You can cast a spinner bait into a hula hoop at 50' by the full moon, but you can't hit the toilet at point blank range in broad daylight.
  13. You refuse to help with your child's 2:00 a.m. feeding, but you will get up at 1:30 a.m. to be at the tournament launch ramp on time.
  14. You've ever missed work to attend a BassMaster or FLW tournament weigh-in.
  15. The catalog operator at Bass Pro Shops knows your voice and calls you by your first name.
  16. You buy plastic worms by the pound.
  17. Your boat has more electronics on it than a nuclear submarine.
  18. Your kids can water ski just using the trolling motor.
  19. Your boat's engine gets better maintenance than your wife's car.
  20. Your boat gets more attention than your wife.
  21. All of your credit cards are tied to "Outdoors" reward programs.
  22. The only shirts in your wardrobe with collars have embroidered patches from fishing sponsors on them.
  23. Your investment in fishing tackle would put your first child through college.
  24. You own more tackle boxes than your wife owns purses.
  25. The local tackle shop owner calls you when he is low on inventory.

I'm sure by now you have determined that either you are a bass fisherman or you know one. We're a rather eccentric group, but we're a lot of fun to be around. See ya on the water.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

33 Years and We're Still In Love

May 11, the Mrs. and I celebrated 33 years of marriage, and we're still in love. Granted, it is a different kind of love than the one that brought us together in the first place. We have been best friends from the beginning and that has not changed. We like hanging out together. We can spend an entire day doing nothing together and consider it a great day.
If any guys stop by this post, let me give you a piece of advice. Don't think that being a "Real Man", means following the example of Spike TV! ESPN SportsCenter and Best Damn Sports Show on TV don't have to be your favorites to prove your manhood. It's OK to watch American Idol or Dancing With the Stars. You don't have to limit your movies to Lord of the Rings, Dumb and Dumber, or the Steven Segal catalog. It's OK to enjoy a romantic comedy.
You don't have to refuse to go to the mall in order to preserve your masculinity. I go to the mall with my wife, we just don't spend time in the same stores. While she's in her favorite department store, you'll find me down at Sharper Image or Borders (checking out digital photo and computer magazines). We meet for lunch or have a cup of coffee at Starbucks and split up again for a little while. At the end of the shopping excursion, we have dinner and head to the house. It's been a good day.
Yes, if you want to stay married for thirty three years, you will have to learn to say, "yes mam", "no mam", and "I'm sorry, it was all my fault, I won't ever do that again" (and mean it.). Remember, during the wedding vows you said something to the effect that you took your spouse for better or worse. Well, try to do everything you can to make her day and your marriage better, not worse.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the perfect husband. I married a woman far better than I deserve. We've been together thrity-three years because we took those vows seriously... especially the "love, honor, and respect" part. I honor and respect my wife because I love her and because she loves me. She returns that love, and respect. We have our differences, and we've had some serious discussions, but at the end of the day, we kiss, say, "I love you" and look forward to another day together. It's worked so far.