Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Gospel on the Beach

Sunday night we went to the children's program at the church. The children do one large program each year. The director of the children's choirs really does an excellent job with the kids and they respond with a great program. This year the two oldest grand daughters were in the program. "Scooter", the oldest, had one of the lead roles. She was the "Southern Belle" and she came up with a dead solid perfect accent. She never got out of character and that accent was there the entire night! It was great.

Em' got a chance to use her dance training and she did a great job as well. She loved every minute of it. She is pretty introverted for the most part, however, put her on a stage and she is smiling from ear to ear. It is a sight to behold. Oh, by the way, Em' is the one on the far left and on the horse.

The real joy here is that the kids grow up with an understanding of just who Jesus is and what He has done for them. They grow up enjoying church and all the activities in which they can participate. The best part is that Nana and Pawpaw get to see it all happen.

Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert!
Scooter turned 12 last month. A boy from her class showed up to see the program Sunday night. He brought flowers!!! Dad, Pawpaw, man your battle stations! It has just begun! All leaves are canceled, everyone back to the base!!! At least he came to church, so we can't kill him here.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Mission Organization, Mission Accomplished!

Today the garage is the cleanest it has been since the day we moved in this house, almost four years ago. Saturday, I did indeed take everything out of the garage, sweep it out, power wash it, and then put back only the stuff I wanted. That means that one pick-up truck load of stuff went to Helping Hands, and numerous empty cardboard boxes went to the recycle center. Among the Helping Hands items were three tackle boxes I no longer use. No, I haven't given up on fishing, I just use a different storage method than the plastic, hard side tackle boxes. I still have more fishing tackle than most amateur anglers and only slightly less than some professional fishermen. I will probably thin that herd later this summer. Clear plastic storage tubs have solved several of my storage issues. I also still have a few pieces of construction material (medium density fiberboard) that will probably find their way to the dumpster later this year.
By 4:00 P.M. Saturday, I was worn out. But it was a good day.

Next Post:
Sunday evening the two oldest grand daughters were in a program at church. Film at 11:00.

Coming Attractions:
April 29th: Grandparents day for Lexi. Nana and I will have lunch with her at her school.
May 1st: Ditto for Em'.
May 11: Mother's Day and our 34th Wedding Anniversary.
May 30: Our company moves into it's new home!!
June 21: Family Vacation to Disney World! Multi-post entries for sure.
November 20: My birthday. A humorous look back at my world through pictures and an all too often faltering memory.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Late Spring Cleaning

Tomorrow is Saturday and if the weather will clear up, it will be a day of Spring Cleaning, the garage episode. As a part of a fund raising effort by the youth ministry at the church, called "Rent-a-Youth", two of the young men will be here to assist in the cleaning effort. They have no idea what I have planned.
First,we will unload virtually everything out of the garage. This will take on the look of "Mission Organization". I plan to put stuff in three areas, give away stuff, throw away stuff, and back in the garage stuff. I will then vacuum the floor and probably run the power washer on it. Once the floor is clean and dry, it will be time to put everything back. While most of my stuff does have a specific place to call home in the garage, it will be an opportunity for a little reorganization effort. Well that's going to be my Saturday...what does yours look like?
It is Friday and that is time for the inspirational song. I don't have anything specific in mind so here is a short acapella medley by the Martins. Enjoy.

Acapella Medley - The Martins

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thursday Thirteen No. 24

Thirteen Reasons to Get in Better Physical Condition

OK, I said at the beginning of the year that I needed to lose 100 lbs. I posted earlier this week that the battle had begun and that five pounds had already left the building. Well, most of us need a good reason to embark on a life changing endeavor. One of my blogging friends, Joyce suggested that I do a Thursday Thirteen on the reasons for getting in better shape. So, in no particular order of importance, here we go.
1. I feel better. I know that five pounds is a long way from 100, but the exercising is already making me feel better. I can actually tell a little difference in my clothing.
2. I may get off of the blood pressure medicine. I have been taking medicine for high blood pressure for about three years now. I have noticed that my blood pressure is dropping and is routinely in the normal zone (120/60) now, especially after exercise. Eliminating the need for BP medicine would save about $25.00 per month.
3. More energy. I love the grandcrew, but there are days that I can't keep up with them. That will change about 75 pounds from now. I want to be able to play a little basketball with Scooter and 'Em as well as play catch with "The Big Guy".
4. I hate shopping for XXL shirts! Yes, I shop for all of my own clothes and I enjoy the experience, I just don't like spending my day in the Big and Tall department. Regardless of what anyone says, the selection is not as good in that area of any store. It's getting better only because America is getting larger. I wouldn't mind being in the Tall department, it's the Big part that bugs me.
5. Magic Kingdom. We're taking our daughter, her husband, and the grandcrew to Disney World in about eight weeks. I would like to be 25 to 30 pounds lighter at that point. At thee pounds per week, that is statistically possible. The goal here is to not look like Jabba the Hut in swim trunks or opt out for just watching everyone else enjoy Typhoon Lagoon. I mean, I'm paying for this trip so what's the point if I can't enjoy it.
6. Wade fishing creeks and streams. Every year myself and several friends head to the Buffalo River to do some trout and small mouth bass fishing. Putting on the waders can be a chore. Getting them off can be an event for America's Funniest Home Videos. That needs to change. Besides, I am truly tired at the end of the day if I actually decide to do much wading. Again, the option currently is to stay on the bank and limit my opportunities to catch the big one. I hate that.
7. No longer be the person everyone else on the plane does not want sitting next to them because I take up more than my allotted space! That's all I'm going to say about that subject.
8. Be comfortable in any car...almost. OK, at 6' and even if I get to 195, I know I'm not gonna be comfortable in a Mini-Cooper, but I would like for the experience of entering and exiting the vehicle to be more normal.
9. Tie a tie without a real short and a real long end. I don't know if I need to explain that or not. I don't think so.
10. Motivate my daughter to lose weight as well. If I can do it, anybody can. With four kids and a hectic schedule, she has precious little time for herself, but she was a drop dead gorgeous teen and now she is filling out way too much and way too early in life.
11. Look more like the Department manager and not the old fat guy in the corner office. I don't think this needs any further explanation either.
12. Make my dad proud of me again. I know he is concerned about my weight and I'm pretty sure he says something about it to others. That's OK, because it's the truth. Don't get me wrong, dad is proud of me and all that I have accomplished in life, in every area of life. I'd just like to relieve his concerns about my weight and health.
13. Perhaps the most important reason for this mission is to make my wife happy. I love her and I want to do what makes her happy and is in the best interest of the family. Being healthier and living longer is in the best interest of our marriage. I am within five or six years of retirement and she wants me around for a long time after I retire. I know she has big plans for us to enjoy the retirement years together and she can't do that if I'm not around. Next month we will celebrate our thirty-fourth wedding anniversary (will most certainly be a multi-post event) and she wants me around to celebrate our fiftieth, sixtieth, and so on.
OK, now you know thirteen reasons why I'm on this mission. If you need to drop a few pounds or, like myself, lose a small person, then find your motivation where ever you can. Stay focused on the goal and celebrate the results. I will keep you informed. This is one of my accountability methods. I don't want to disappoint you either and I want to continue to bring you good news from the battlefront. So, now...what's your excuse? I didn't think so.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Weight Watching for Dummies

At the beginning of the new new year I posted that I needed to lose 100 pounds this year. That was not a joke. Well, three weeks ago the journey began. I joined Weight Watchers Online and returned to the gym.
I really like the online version of Weight Watchers. I can track my meals and weight from anywhere I have computer and Internet access. I don't have to carry around a couple of charts and a book with all of the food values in it. I don't like paperwork and this is a really good option for me. I find myself at Subway and Quizno's a lot during lunch. Their small sandwiches are good and are just about the right point value. Maybe I'll be the senior citizen version of Jerrod in the Subway commercials. The real secret of this process seems to be water...drink lots of it.
Unlike most people, I really like the time in the gym. I played football and baseball in high school. During the off-season we had a weight lifting and exercise program to stay in shape, so I've always liked that stuff. The other factor is that my body seems to respond pretty well to weight training, or at least it did once upon a time. So far, I must admit that I do feel better and some muscle tone is beginning to return to this overweight and out of shape physique.
I refuse to post a "Before" pic. You really don't want to see that! Besides, I try to keep this blog "G" rated and a "Before" pic would just not be a good idea. Maybe later, when there is an "After" pic to go with it.
So, "How's it going?", you ask. Thank you for asking. It's going Ok. The first couple of weeks not much happened. I think my body was telling itself, this won't last, hang in there and he'll give this up in a few more days. Then, last week, three pounds fell off in four days. Another two pounds has abandoned ship in the past five days! I know, five pounds in three weeks isn't much, but it doesn't take a great deal of success to motivate me at this point. That's probably a good thing. So I am increasing my visits to the gym from three days a week, to five days a week. I'll keep you advised from time to time how this is going. More water!!!
Well, I gotta pack. I'm going to Houston tomorrow on business. It's just an over night trip, so I should be back in time to post that Thursday Thirteen...if I can think of a topic.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Week-end Update

My first blog anniversary has come and gone. I want to thank everyone that stopped by.

Look, I got an award. Someone thinks I actually think before I comment. Well, I do try to engage the brain before turning the fingers loose on the keyboard, but I'm not always successful. My blogging buddy and fellow celebrator of their first blogging anniversary, Ornery's Wife, presented me with this award. I appreciate the fact that my comments occasionally meet a need in someones life. All of us need encouragement, support and a kind word from time to time, even if it comes from someone we have never met personally. Thank you Mrs. Ornery.
We've had two serious rain storms in the past three weeks. The first storm dropped 5" of rain on us and soaked the ground. Last Thursday night we got another storm that dumped another 5" or 6" on us and there was no place for it to go. The result was some serious flooding. I have not seen water this high in the twenty-one years we have lived in this area. It rained again last night. We may get another 1" or 2" tonight, so I don't think there will be much flooding. At any rate, here are a few pictures of one of the local golf courses as it appeared last Friday morning.

This is not supposed to be an island tee.

This is not supposed to be an island green!

The fairway is out there somewhere to the left.

The course is closed!

Wednesday the two middle granddaughters went to a mid-week event at church. They were supposed to make cars out of cardboard and have a car show. Of course, they were sure that Pawpaw could build the cars for them. So, I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased some of those cardboard displays that we all used to for our elementary and junior high science fair projects. They now come in several colors, which means that I don't have to paint the cars! The girls wanted jeeps, which simplified the body style. The computer and PrintShop supplied some nice graphics. It was alot of fun and the girls had a ball in their new rides. Here are the finished products.

Tomorrow the kids are coming out to the house to celebrate the second granddaughter's birthday. We're going to have BBQ pork ribs, Italian chocolate cream cake, and chocolate ice cream. Yes, she is a chocoholic like her Pawpaw. What's wrong with that?Well, I think that's all I've got. I guess it's time to close this post down with the weekly inspirational song. Next month the Booth Brothers will be in the area for a concert. My wife and I are going. My friend that has ALS is doing ok, and we are taking him and his wife with us. They are one of our favorite groups, so it will be a wonderful evening for all. In spite of all of the difficulties that my friend faces with this terrible disease, he has the assurance of his final home and because of that he is "Still Feelin' Fine". Enjoy.

Still Feelin' Fine - The Booth Brothers

Monday, April 14, 2008

My First Blog Anniversary!!!

Today is the first anniversary of my entry into the blogosphere, so get yourself a slice of this cake and enjoy your time spent here. That first post wasn't much of a read, but then, most of my posts aren't. I did mention that I wasn't sure where this effort would take me, but there would be time spent doting on the grand kids. Mission accomplished. This effort has taken me to new blogs of some very interesting people from all over this great land and a few foreign countries, although Canada is almost like family. I have enjoyed the journey so far and I intend to continue exploring parts of this blogosphere that are currently unknown to me. Who knows, my readership might actually reach double digits someday.
So, let's get this party started with a little music from one of my favorite artists, Mr. John Fogerty. It is springtime in the Ozarks and we have a new AA minor league baseball team, so what could be more fun than "Center Field"? If you're old enough to remember how baseball used to be, you're gonna love this video.

Center Field - John Fogerty

OK, that was fun. Now what shall we do? I'm not going to post a whole bunch of links and wax sentimental about past posts. If you want to know what I'm all about, do a little exploring on your own. That's what I did when I went to your blog. I know, let's play "fun with PhotoShop".
As you know, I've been taking an online course in PhotoShop Elements. I have really enjoyed the experience. The following example is something I did long before I took the class, so there isn't much expertise required, just an inquisitive mind and no fear of buttons (you can always click on "Revert" to restore the original photo that you took. OK, here we go. A couple of years ago we had an extremely dry summer. The water level of the lake that supplies water to this area dropped nearly 20' below normal. That exposed multitude of photo opportunities. One such opportunity was this sunken boat. So, here is the original photo.

It's an interesting enough photo and with a little work, it could be suitable for framing. But let's create a little art. First I cropped it. Then I converted it to black and white with just a couple clicks of the mouse. Finally, I used one of my favorite filters, Sketch/Graphic Pen to make it look like a pen and ink sketch. Now we got something we can frame. Fun stuff. Here is the result. This technique is great for architectural photographs.

In my very first post I indicated that I would dote on the grand kids. So, no party is complete without them. I posted these pics a few weeks ago, but I have cropped them again for more effect. And yes, I converted them to black and white for drama.

Well, I guess it's about time to wrap this party up. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate that you took some valuable time out of your day to spend with me. As you regular visitors know, I have a love of inspirational music and a special love for Southern Gospel. I have been posting a hymn of the faith or other inspirational music video each Friday for a couple of months now. So, in the tradition of some of the early 60's television variety shows, I will close this post with an inspirational song or two. Tell all your friends, this party is going to be here a few days. Oh, there's plenty of cake left, so take a piece with you. And now, two of my favorite Southern Gospel groups, Signature Sound and the Gaither Vocal Band together. Thanks again for stopping by. Enjoy.

Holy Highway

I Then Shall Live

Friday, April 11, 2008

Too Much Stuff

I've gotten myself into a situation of having almost too much stuff going on. The result is that this blog will suffer a little over the next few weeks. I still have two lessons to finish in my online PhotoShop Elements class, which I love. I have two lessons in my Bible Study, Experiencing God, to finish this week. Two of the grandcrew need cardboard cars (like in the Tahoe commercial), and think that Pawpaw is just the man for the job of designing and building them. I have my final meeting to go over the 80 wage reviews for my department Monday. Tuesday is Em's (second grand daughter) birthday and my first blogoversary!! Oh yeah, I joined Weight Watchers online and I'm going to the gym four days a week, but that's a whole other post. In the words of Calvin and Hobbs, "The Days are Just Packed".
So, the blog may be a little low on posts the next few days. Bear with me. I'll get this ship turned around in a week or two.
But it is Friday and that means an inspirational song to help you through the week-end. I was grumpy this week and without good reason. I let some things into my life that brought about feelings of self doubt, anger, and a touch of depression. Such are the storms of life that we all endure. However, as a practicing Christian, I have a source of strength, comfort and joy to turn to in such times. When I fail to cast my troubles, sorrows, and trials upon my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, then I suffer the consequences. It is in times like these that I must remember:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It Is Well With My Soul - The Issacs

Thursday, April 10, 2008


OK, so I've been a little Grumpy these past few days. In fact I really haven't been in a good mood since Sunday afternoon. I don't have a real explanation for it. There have been several events recently that have just put me in a foul mood. I'll get over it, but it usually takes a few days. When I get in one of these moods, thankfully not very often, I get pretty quiet, there isn't much that I find funny, and I'm really not someone you want to be around.
I'm just Grumpy. The result is that I have nothing for a Thursday Thirteen. Sorry, maybe next week. I'm feeling better now, just not up to a Thursday Thirteen. Next week I promise I'll be...


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Soccer Fever

This week-end marked the beginning of soccer season. Scooter's team should have played two games by now, but they have been rained out. This morning they played their first match, which ended in a tie. This afternoon they weren't so lucky. They ran into a team that had obviously not had any matches rained out and have probably competed in one tournament already. Let's just say, "It was not a pretty sight." Oh well, at least I got some photos to share. Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Pregame Warm-up

Free Kick - No Goal!

Not all of the good photo opportunities are on the field. Since the entire family was at the match, there were some other photos to be taken in the stands.

Mom's Boy

Dad's Girl

Hangin' With Dad

Lil Sis

Certainly it would have been a better afternoon if we had won, but we spent a couple of hours together as a family, went to a pizza place for dinner and just enjoyed being outdoors together. The season has just begun.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Let It Rain

It's been raining here off and on for over a week now. It started with a 5" downpour that flooded things that had never been flooded before. Now, every new shower threatens to swell the creeks out of their banks, flood some streets and bring some construction projects to a halt. It rained again yesterday, last night, and more is predicted for today, but the radar indicates that we may get a break today through Monday. However, it has definitely put the fishing trip I had planned next week in deep trouble.
Eight of us were going over to the Buffalo River to do a little trout fishing. All of the run-off from these rains is not helping the water level of the river and it has actually flooded the camp where we stay. I am not convinced that the river will clear up and the camp dry out significantly by next Friday. Since the gound is soaked, any more rain simply turns into run-off and that will take several days to return to normal. The area where we camp has gotten more rain than here locally. This last round of rain will keep the water levels up, the river muddy, and the current way too swift to fish. Oh, well, there's always next month.
This evening my wife and several of her friends are having a girls night out. It starts this afternoon. They are meeting for lunch, do a little (a lot) of shopping, going to get massages, probably take in a movie, and spend the night at Embassy Suites. Tomorrow morning they are going to a ladies meeting at the church.
So, how am I going to spend this bachelor time? I'm probably going to take most of the afternoon off, get a haircut, look at some new landscaping for the house, resolve a couple of software issues on my computer (I hate that part), rent "I Am Legend" and start cleaning out the closet in the home office. Or, I may just piddle around in Circuit City, Best Buy, Office Deopt, and Lowes all afternoon. I think I like "Plan B" better. I will definitely finish up my last couple of PhotoShop Elements lessons. Hope you have a dry and safe week-end.
It is Friday and time for the Inspirational song of the week. Here ya go, enjoy.

Michael W. Smith - Let it Rain

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thursday Thirteen No. 23

Thirteen Albums on My MP3 Player

I'm sure you've been asking yourself the question, "What kind of music does this guy listen to?"

Well, I like a variety of music. I love Southern Gospel, but that is another post for another day. When I am working, driving, or just sitting around surfing the net to tunes, these are some of the tunes I have qued up. Some will be familiar to you, some, not so much. If you're looking for some different tunes next time your shopping for music, you might give a couple of these a listen.

Eric Clapton/B.B. King - Riding With the King

Joe Cocker - Organic

Loggins & Messina- The Best Sittin' In Again

Linda Ronstadt - Greatest Hits Vols. 1 & 2

The Eagles - Long Road Out of Eden

The Eagles - The Very Best of The Eagles

Stone Country - Various Country Artists

(Tribute to the Rolling Stones)

Delbert McClinton - One of The Fortunate Few

Garth Brooks - The Hits

Various Country Artists - Tribute to Tradition

John Fogerty - Rivival

John Fogerty - Blue Moon Swamp

Sir Elton John - Greatest Hits 1970-2002

Well, there you have it. Since I have an 8Gig MP3 player, this is only a sampling of what is on it, but, you get the idea. Now I've shown you mine, you show me yours.

Here's a little Delbert McClinton for you blues fans. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Musicaly Inclined

I scored a Far Out
90% on the
Quiz by SheGoddess: Lose Weight Fast

I never really considered myself a music trivia junkie, so you know this quiz can't be that hard. There are only twenty questions and if you are a child of the 70's you probably will have a perfects score. I'm pretty sure that the two questions I missed have to do with identifying the correct lyrics. While I was a child of the 60's, my "clubbing" years were early 70's, so many of these songs were pretty easy to figure out. Go ahead, push the button, take the quiz, you'll have a good time. Bond and Travis are required to listen to the tunes, look at the multiple-choice answers and then determine the question (Carnak style).