Thursday, December 04, 2008

Two-score and One For Two



This is the annual "Jay and Todd" birthday week. Our birthdays are exactly 7 days apart. I cannot recall a time when Jay was not a part of my life. We have remained close since 2nd grade in Miss Owens' class at PRMS. We were 7 years old. One of us said something about Star Trek, and we have been pals ever since.

The things we have experienced together would make Moe, Larry and Curly look like gentlemen. Jay was there for the births of all 3 of my children. My son, Cody, was given the middle name of James in honor of my pal. He stood as best man at my first wedding, and I had the honor of officiating his. He attended my second wedding via Tim Hill's cell phone. He spoke at my ministry ordination. I was delighted to be able to celebrate our 40th birthdays last year in Seattle. Bash 41 will be delayed this year, but we will get together at some point.

I have been blessed with many great friends. Some of whom I have known for 20+ years. At the top of the list is my brother Jay.

So, once again, happy birthday, ol' chum. Soon we will hoist a Smithwick's at the Blarney Stone, but until then, I hoist my bottle of water.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day 2008

I am thankful today. Every year I try to pause on Thanksgiving Day and return thanks for the blessings in my life. In no particular order, here is a sampling:

I am thankful for my wife. In good times and not-so-good times, Tracy remains a steadfast, loving, giving companion.

I am thankful for my children. Ever since I was a young lad, I wanted to be a father. I could not be more proud of Cody, Jenna, or Katie.

I am thankful for my step-children. They each have giving hearts like their Mom. I am proud of all of them.

I am thankful for my health. I have had some scares this year. These have served to help me appreciate the bod I have. I am trying to take better care of it.

I am thankful for my friends. Your steadfastness through the years never ceases to warm my heart. The laughs, the memories, and the ploys enrich my life beyond words.

I am thankful this year especially for my grandparents, Hiram and Theo Vick, and Clare and Nellie Redders. Though they are no longer here, they have each instilled a legacy into me. I tell my children to treasure their grandparents, because when they're gone, they're gone. My Grandma Redders put her heart and soul into many Thanksgiving feasts. My Grandma Vick never forgot our birthdays or failed to send us Christmas cards and gifts such as handmade shirts, sweaters, and fruitcakes. My Grandpa Vick was a kind and gentle man, and my Grandpa Redders could fix anything. I miss them all so much.

I could go on and on, so I will curtail things here and wish you Happy Thanksgiving 2008.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Time to Blog and be Thankful

After several days straight, I am now officially off until Monday. I have not had time to blog in awhile. Some big things happened over the last 3 weeks.

First, we have a new President. President-Elect Obama has made history. Now, there is much work to do. Time will tell if he was, in fact, the right choice for our leader. He has my prayers and my support.


Second, we got another dog. Sunshine comes to us from the same family who grossly neglected my late Golden Retriever, Levi. I believe she is a Pekingese and around 8 years old. She is already spoiled...rotten. She looks a lot like Gizmo from Gremlins.


Third, I have been treated by and released from my cardiologist. After many expensive tests, it has been determined that there is nothing wrong with me that diet and exercise cannot fix. Since dieting before Thanksgiving is next to pointless, I will begin the diet and exercise on December 1.

So, there you have it, gentle reader. All is well in Todd's world. I miss my Wisconsin relatives very much, and I wish I could be up there to carve the turkey with them. However, I will be with my Mom, stepdad, and sisters tomorrow. Tracy's dad is down from Ohio, so we will be surrounded by family. Rumor has it the Kirks may be around for a quick visit. I am looking forward to tomorrow.


Thus endeth the pre-thanksgiving post.

Friday, November 07, 2008

2008 Birthday Wish List

Please excuse me while I display, unashamedly, my narcissistic hedonist side. However, I remind the reader that one "Has not, because he asks not." So here is my asking.
  1. Round trip airfare to Seattle. I miss the Kirks, and would love to visit Das Ritterhaus.
  2. Tickets to a Packer game at Lambeau field, airfare included.
  3. A night on the town, along with a designated driver (should I stay up past my bedtime).
  4. Tickets to Manilow in Vegas, with airfare included.
  5. World peace (ha ha).
  6. Caryn's novel--published and autographed.
  7. An iPod.
  8. A Blackberry.
  9. Any Wisconsin Badger/Green Bay Packer paraphenelia.
  10. Van Halen to play at my birthday party!

A feller can dream...

Monday, November 03, 2008

Political Observation


Here we are, one day away from Election 2008. I am off work today due to more testing at the SC Heart Center. I'm home now, and I just want to add one more voice to the political commentary arena. My voice.

I'm not going to discuss who I am voting for and why. Frankly, that is my business, and I really just want to avoid anymore debate on why "I'm wrong and you're right." However, I would like to make an observation, and I wish to dedicate it to the late Gene Roddenberry.

Tomorrow's Presidential election is incredibly historical, regardless of the outcome. It will be an election of firsts, either way. We will either elect our first African-American President, or we will have our first woman VP ever in the White House...fascinating!

It fills me with hope that we have come this far as a nation during our lifetime. Gene Roddenberry, with Star Trek, painted a hopeful picture of a galaxy with no racism, no poverty, and full equality for all. He showed us a visionary possibility for our future. Since Trek's maiden voyage in the late 1960s, our technology has evolved at breakneck speeds. In addition, because of Star Trek, scientists and quantum physicists are making significant breakthroughs, at least in theory. No doubt Roddenberry would be impressed.

Is it possible that we as a nation are finally growing beyond the pride and prejudices which have been handed down to us for generations? Are we expanding our horizons and reaching for newer possibilities we have never before considered (at least seriously)? Will we then lead the rest of the world to do likewise by our example?

I want to believe it. I want to believe that Roddenberry's vision of the 23rd century could very well be unfolding before us in the 21st century. I want to believe that somewhere people like Roddenberry, Dr. Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, or anyone who has ever dared to dream of a better world are pleased that the dreams for which they died may be right in our collective grasps.

I want to believe. For my children's children's children, I want to believe.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

6 Quirky Things About Me

Tagged awhile back by Rick and Caryn, I offer 6 quirky things about myself. Though it would be much easier to post quirky things about Rick and Caryn (ha ha), I will do my best. It was hard to narrow the quirks down to only 6.

  1. I have an odd taste in music. I would rather listen to Sinatra or Tony Bennett than anything mainstream. I also dig Hall and Oates and Manilow. Yet some days I will go completely metal. Classic Rock is always good for me. I find it quirky that I was born in the 60s, raised in the 80s, and yet I prefer the music of the 70s. I don't have an iPod (yet) but when I get one and load it, it will be all over the place.
  2. I can't draw very well, but I am a great doodler.
  3. When I am in the men's room, washing my hands or what-have-you, when I hear a bathroom noise from one of the stalls, I immediately recall an incident in the new 100 hall at AHS in 1986. Steve Ritter and I were in the men's room and a noise escaped the stall. The look on Steve's face is as clear to me 20 years later as it was then. Bottom line is: I have to control myself from laughing in the men's room. Not because of the noises, but because of the look on Ritter's face. Classic! I am so immature at times. Isn't it wonderful?
  4. I love to read, but I seldom complete a book right away. Right now I have about 11 books I am reading. Whichever one I'm in the mood for, I pick up and read. Then I may not pick it up again for a month. I do eventually finish books, but not very expediently. Now and then I may find a book that I cannot put down. Still waiting for Caryn's book...
  5. I have a shoebox full of pictures that I am finally getting around to putting in an album. Don't be surprised if a photo shows up on my blog of me with any of my blogger pals "back in the day." You have been warned.
  6. My family heritage is important to me. I have discovered many things online about my ancestors. I am currently working with a museum about retrieving a wood carving done by my great-great-great-great grandfather, Torbjorn Vick.

I hereby tag you, but only if you want to play.

Monday, October 20, 2008

De-Pressurizing and Re-Discovering

The melee began as usual, on my knees, fixing a machine in the QA area. A co-worker who had recently suffered a stroke came to me and said, "Todd your face is awfully red; do you have blood pressure issues?" I replied, "It's possible." So she advised me to go to the security office and let them check my BP. I was not aware that they were so equipped, so off I went.

First reading: 194/121; second reading: 191/112; third reading: 192/117. Security officer says, "Todd, I'll be right back." Within seconds, the "First Response" crew at Flextronics was surrounding me, offering to call me an ambulance and hook me up to some oxygen. Feeling my bp slip up another couple points, I insisted that I felt ok and that my doctor was just down the road. Before I left, however, they gave me a brief dissertation and family history of their own issues with BP and BP meds, sending my systolic up 2 more notches. I thanked them and my boss for allowing me to drive myself to the doctor. Doctor prescribed BP meds, told me to go home and rest all weekend (bummer), and see a cardiologist.

Today, after a weekend of attempted R & R, I spent 1/2 the day at the SC Heart Center. Over the next few weeks, I will be undergoing many tests to determine the exact cause of my hypertension, which I already know are work-related. But since I have medical insurance, I figured I would allow them to poke and prod at will and run as many expensive tests as they deem necessary.

Changing the subject, on Saturday I went to Family Christian Bookstores with Tracy. Those who know me well know of my disdain for the "big business" of Christianity. Stuff's cheaper at Wal-Mart. I went in anyway. I browsed the music section and discovered three amazing things:

1) It has been 20 years since the release of Amy Grant's Lead Me On. Jay, Rick, and myself have many special memories at WQXL surrounding the original release. The live concert was one for the books, eh, fellers?

2) I saw that my musical hero, Paul Smith, released a new CD in 2006, and I had no idea. I am so out of touch with Christian music, which brings us to number 3:

3) Other than Amy Grant and the Smiths, Paul and Michael W., I was not familiar with ANYONE in today's Christian Music culture. I was once an encyclopedia of facts, song lyrics, and John Fischer articles in CCM Magazine. Today, nothing. Nada. Zilch. What was I talking about...?

Well, there you have it. You are now up to date, and I have been restricted to rest until Thursday. Maybe I will blog some more. Lots I want to catch up on.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Make Your Own Caption



Following in George's fun-with-blogging genius, I offer a photo taken of me at work yesterday for the "Make Your Own Caption" nuttiness.

Hat tip to Dan for the photo, which was taken on his new Blackberry (which I covet...oh, the shame).

This should be a hoot! Bloggers, start your captions!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Matrixx Revolution Continues


Create Fake Magazine Covers with your own picture at MagMyPic.com

I miss my Harley...


Create Fake Magazine Covers with your own picture at MagMyPic.com

And On We Go



My steady progression toward total geekness continues with the creation of my own personal Avatar.

I have now acheived something that even my more computer literate children have yet to accomplish. Future generations of Vicks will behold great-great-great-grandpa Vick's Avatar with awe.

Nah, it was just something I wanted to try out. Mad props to Rickwell for helping me choose an Avatar site.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday the 13th

No, I really am not a superstitious person. However, I am a huge fan of Garfield and his disdain for Mondays, especially Monday the 13th.

Anyhoo, I was short 2 technicians and a tester in my area at work, so I had to wear more hats than usual, but it was ok, and the day went by fast.

I had a date with my wife at our local IHOP and we enjoyed the time sans children, cats, and dogs.

So, despite it being Monday the 13th and a full moon, today was not too bad.

Of course, tomorrow IS Tuesday the 14th....

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sunday

I am off today. I slept late. It is quiet right now. Soon wife and step-kids will return and the all-too-usual chaos will resume. To quote Forrest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that."

I noticed that I am not the only blogger in my circle who seems to have little to say lately. What is there to post about besides the upcoming "election," high gas prices, economic collapse and government bailout (who will bail the gov't out I ask?), work, and football? For me, not much.

I struggle to find faith in all of this. I am trying to find my spiritual footing once again. I'm looking for a place to stand.

I am struggling with the inevitability of aging. One of my co-workers passed away last week. He was only 58. That is not very old. I am a lot closer to 58 than I used to be. I thought kickboxing would be good for me, but lately my left shoulder is killing me. I haven't wrestled since May. I'm not sure if I can anymore. I am getting more gray hair and I am tired all the time. I have been working out since June, and I have lost 10 lbs, but no more. It seems to be harder to lose weight than it used to be.

I am still young. I am relatively healthy. I have more of my hair than I should. My kids still want me around. There is still much to be thankful for in an age of uncertainty and possibility.

So much typing. I think I need a nap.

Friday, September 26, 2008

In case anyone was wondering

I have been working for 12 straight days to satisfy a huge End of Quarter push. We came out on top, and I have the next 2 days off.

The other day I spoke less than favorably about Facebook. Since that post, I have uncovered 3 more friends from my school days. Maybe I just need to ease up on FB.

School has been good. I really need to kick it into high gear in Algebra. My IT class is really cool. I am going to start programming stuff next week. Totally cool. I am such a geek, but proud of it.

The other day I saw a stupid church sign that made me laugh out loud. In Pelion, SC, there is a church sign which reads:

Do you know where you will go
When you die?
You will die.

Are you kidding me? That is why people like me are sick of church. The old Baptist-me would have applauded them for being so frank. The more relaxed me thinks they are a bunch of kooks.

Hoping to catch up on some football and some rest this weekend, with lots of time with my posse.

Starting right now.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Whatta Weekend!


This weekend of no work was spent with family, food, and football. We celebrated Papa's birthday (9/11--what a bummer) with dinner at Ryan's. The grandkids adore their Papa. I kinda like him, too. He is one of the kindest people I know.
Although this photo was taken 20 pounds ago, the fact I am wearing my Badger t-shirt underscores my excitement for their victory over Fresno State. The Gamecocks lost. Again.

I have over 300 channels, yet could not find a Sunday broadcast of the Packers v. Detroit game. Yet I have watched the post-game coverage with great excitement over Aaron Rodgers and the Pack triumphing over the Lions 45-28. Seeing as Favre and the Jets lost, I hope we can squelch the Favre/Rodgers comparisons once and for all. In the immortal words of Packer Coach Mike McCarthy (regarding Favre), "That train has left the station."

Furthermore, we ALMOST went to church this morning. Forgot to set the alarm, but we had full intent on going and trying to find a new place to worship. I think I am ready to ease back in. No rush, and no mentioning of my being a former minister. I do not want to fall back into that sterotype. Not yet. Perhaps someday. Maybe when USC has a perfect season. (sob)

On the less positive side, I can no longer wear shorts to work, my son is almost taller than me, my girls are growing up way too fast, a buddy is dating a stripper, Norm hasn't blogged in awhile, and I have an Algebra test tomorrow evening. Procrastination is alive and well.

Lastly but not leastly, I have completed all 9 seasons of The X-Files. Now I am ready to see the movie. But wait! It's no longer in theaters. The conspiracy will have to continue on DVD.

Alas, I need a beer...and a shower.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm Just Sayin'...

  • Aaron Rodgers impressed the heck outta me this past Monday night.
  • I should have become a gas station owner. The money is a lot better.
  • Norm and Dan are better friends than I even realized. Thank you, gentlemen.
  • I find Facebook annoying. Though I have caught up with a couple of people I haven't seen or heard from since High School, Facebook makes me grumpy.
  • Where's a good Bruce Lee flick when you need one?
  • Slaw dog for lunch today was a very bad idea for painfully obvious gastro-intestinal reasons. Go ahead, pull my finger.
  • Google Chrome has not impressed me. Maybe I just need more time.
  • "Google Chrome" sounds like the name of a high-tech dance club. "Hey, let's go hang out at Google Chrome!"

I'm just sayin'...

Friday, September 05, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom



Dear Mom:

I know you don't always understand me and the choices I make. Maybe sometimes you don't understand me at all. Most of the time, neither do I.

The truth is, I am more like you than I ever thought I would be. You did your best raising us on so little. We never went without and we didn't ever appreciate the sacrifices you made. Now that I am a Dad, I understand it a lot more.

One thing I know for sure, whether I am playing football, in the band, graduating college, wrestling, preaching, or just being a Dad to your grandkids, I have had no bigger fan on this earth than you.

Thanks for everything, Mom. Happy birthday, and I love you.

Where Have I Been?

For the last couple of weeks, I have been rather immersed in work and school. I have begun pursuing an Associates Degree from Midlands Tech in Computer Technology, with hopes of furthering my career at Flextronics. What is humbling about going to school (other than being the oldest person in my classes) is that my 8th grade daughters are doing the same math as I am. I offered my math whiz son a bribe to do my homework for me.

No go. Good lad. Poor Dad.

Add to that the opening of football season (Go Badgers, Go Pack), the DNC, the RNC, Rick's charming Twit commentaries, kids' birthdays, kickboxing, and trying to stay on target in the gym, I have been rather busy. Not even time for wrestling, which is probably a good thing for my brittle (but shrinking) bod.

And, so, for the first time in months, I have Saturday AND Sunday off. I am going to nap frequently, catch up on homework, work on my van, and nap in between football games.

After a nice dinner at Shealy's tonight, however, I am ready to crash. I have missed my blog, and have many more thoughts perculating in my head, which I will post later. At the top of the list is my anticipation in catching Aaron Rodgers leading the Packers on Monday night. I will be in class during kickoff, but thank goodness for my DVR!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Four-Letter Word

W-O-R-K.

I have been spending much time on the job lately, with very little time for a 3 letter word, "F-U-N." My recent promotion to Lead Technician has brought with it many new challenges and opportunities to grow professionally and personally, as well as some more gray hairs. It's all good, and I am enjoying what I do.

The children are all back in school and summer vacation is officially over. For THEM, that is. Dad did not get a vacation.

I'm not sure why, but I have been listening to Manilow in the vehicle a lot lately. His music has laid the soundtrack for much of my life journey. Keeps me mellow I suppose. Would still love to catch him in Vegas. Jay, let's do it.

I finally have a day off and I am grateful for that. I will try and catch up on some some sleep. I will start now, with a nap.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Again, I Say, "What the...?"


Click photo. To a hardcore Packer like myself, this is treason of a high and aggravated nature.
Excuse me. I need a moment.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

A Week, A Job, A Perspective Shift

I am not complaining. I truly enjoy my work. More than I have enjoyed a job in a long time. My problem is, "Where have I been for the last 20 years?"

My friends have always spoken of deadlines, meetings, Friday crunches, pressure, politics, and long hours. At 40, I am just now getting it.

I was in the ministry for the last 20 years. There were meetings, sure. Pressure? Maybe. But the life I led there is completely different from the life I lead now in terms of work. I never saw the ministry as work. I got paid to teach, preach, mingle, counsel, and eat...a lot. It was fun, and I got paid.

Now I work for a living. I think I prefer it this way. The money is better and the people are much nicer...well at least more tolerable.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My Daughters Are Insured By Smith & Wesson



These are my daughters. Take a good look. This is as close as you will get to them without going through me.

If you want to date them, you are welcome to be interviewed by me and undergo my 12-step background check.

If you hurt them, you will not be safe anywhere.

They are the bomb, though. They always make me smile.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Posting a Posted Question and a Post

The other day I blogged that I would give anything to redo the last 25 years of my life. The thought itself almost gives rise to a country song. It was really just a thoughtless comment I threw out during one of my over-thinking sessions. Nevertheless, a fellow blogger posted a question:

Paula Faye said...
What would you do with those 25 years? Just interested.


A fair question, and it actually got me to thinking. In no particular order, here is the short list of but a few things I would love the chance to redo.
  • If I could, I would relive over and over the births of my children.
  • I wouldn't have married so quickly.
  • I would have made more of an effort with my Dad while he was still living,
  • I would have spent more time with my grandparents. Gosh I miss them.
  • I'd have gotten closer to my step-dad sooner. What a great man he is.
  • I'd have taken better care of my teeth as a teenager.
  • I would have dated more.
  • I would have taken a chance and roomed with Jay and Homer. Could've been a blast!
  • I would never have smashed my KISS albums after that IBYC thing. That is really the ONLY thing I'd do differently about that whole event. Of course we didn't have the prospect of one day selling them on e-bay back then.
  • The 1978 Honda Civic. What the hell was I thinking?
  • Sylvia, Michelle, and Candy. What the hell was I thinking?
  • I'd have treated certain people better, and been more faithful as a certain best friend's assistant Sunday School teacher.
  • I should have tried harder at USC. I was so screwed up.
  • I wish I had read books then as I do now. I guess it's never too late.
  • I would have fought to stay in Mrs. Rawl's AP-English class.
  • I would have kicked Robbie B. and Joel T.'s asses when I had the chance. I'm proud of myself for taking the high road, but oh for just one good punch.
  • I'd have started the pro-wrestling at a much younger age.
  • I would have asked a certain girl out instead of being a coward (oh, like YOU didn't do that too!). I sometimes wonder how my life would be today if I had.
  • I would have gone to see Johnny Cash at the Living Vine book signing.
  • I'd have taken more chances. Not deadly ones, but social ones. Asking chicks to dance, etc. Did I just say "chicks?"
  • Speaking of which, I would have slow danced with Donna Stephens instead of just the fast dancing. Say it with me people: "coward." If you knew Donna Stephens, you would concur.
  • I would have been more stern in Deacon's meetings. Some of those guys were just asking for it. Once again, Todd takes the high road. Yay me.
  • That girl at the Pizza Factory. What the hell was I thinking?
  • I wouldn't have cussed Ray out on his voicemail; I'd have done it to his face.
  • I wouldn't allow so much repressed anger into my soul (chuckles).
  • I'd have spent more time with James and Chuck when we all lived at The Park.
  • I would have stayed in touch more with George while he was at college.
  • I would have stopped Alan liked he had asked me to. But then, we wouldn't have had as much to laugh about in the Pinto that night.
  • I'd have kept the 240-Z and taken better care of it.
  • I'd have done all of the above right the first time so you wouldn't have to read this.

Rest assured I really don't dwell on these things anymore. It was kinda neat to think through them for a bit. Ultimately, I believe that things happen as they are meant to, and it is wasted energy dwelling on past mistakes. My life has made me who I am today, and I'm good to go with that. I have many stories for my kids and grandkids (someday), and friendships that are closer than family. I have no complaints. These are my memories. I'll keep them.

Anyone else want to play? Could be interesting blog fodder through the weekend. My imaginary shrink thinks it may be a healthy release.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Matrixx has celebrity fans

I had the chance to schmooze with Scooby and the Gang last month. Daphne couldn't keep her hands off me, and Fred tried to start a fight with me because I laughed at his ascot. After a romantic candlelight dinner, Daph and I joined the rest of the gang and solved the mystery of the bloody ascot...Matrixx style!

Todd Matrixx Makes the Cover!


Random Ruminating...Again

  • Olivia Newton-John is still a babe.
  • No female singer holds a candle to Streisand.
  • The Who have posted their US tour dates. Atlantic City anyone?
  • Since Ric Flair retired, I have had no desire to watch televised wrestling.
  • Boston's song, "More Than A Feeling" always provokes a tear or two. Good times!
  • I may very well be addicted to the X-Files. My imaginary shrink is exploring this with me.
  • I miss my dog Levi.
  • Having no grandparents is very sad.
  • I actually subscribed to PC World.
  • I have not worked out this week. Not once. Haven't been feeling well this week.
  • Would trade anything for the opportunity to redo the last 25 years.
  • Are atheists spiritual people?
  • Ok...that'll do.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Goings On

I seem to have developed a bit of a sniffle. Hopefully it will be short-lived.

I have recently been "promoted" to Lead Technician in my department. No more money or anything. Just more stress and more taking the blame for slow production. It's cool. I am truly thankful for this job and for the opportunities that may open up.

On the homefront we seem to be getting closer to moving into our new place. It is a slow process with a great deal of "hurry up and wait" thrown in.

I would like to offer a hat tip to my boy Cody for the Stooges photo. He has become quite adept at PhotoShop. James, a framed copy of said photo is reserved for you. It will go wonderfully with your 3 Stooges bathroom (should it ever be completed).

I heard that The Who will be touring the US. Sweet.

Gonna go hit the NyQuil now. Goodnight all.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Dodged the Bullet

I am very grateful to still have a job after today. Over 20 people were not so fortunate.

So now I am nicely settled into my 3 day weekend. Enjoying the annual "Twilight Zone" marathon on Sci-Fi, and being reunited with the children, who have been gone for a week.

We will be seeing some family tomorrow,and otherwise just chilling. I will finish building my shed and begin the journey toward our new home.

Dan, my laptop looks great. Food and beverage of your choice is coming to you. Say where and when.


Monday, June 30, 2008

Kickboxing For Dummies


Step One: Have an over-inflated confidence in your ability to hang with, say...the class.

Step Two: Put on your best Bruce Lee face and act like it doesn't hurt that much...really.

Step Three: Suppress those crying and vomiting urges. There will be plenty of time for that after class.

Step Four: Don't be terribly intimidated by the fact that even your earlobes are sweating.

Step Five: Please, oh please, don't break wind during the final stretches.

Step Six: Go back to class again on Wednesday and repeat.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

So Long, Sophie



Mere days after taking in Sophie and getting her vaccinated, she began to appear ill. Tracy took her back to the vet where it was discovered she has the parvo virus. She has been at the vet for several days now receiving fluids and 24 hour care.

All to no avail. Today Sophie was euthanized.

My guess is that Sophie's mother had parvo and passed it on to her litter. Rather than give the puppies proper care, the irresponsible redneck idiot dog owners just turned the puppies loose to quietly die in the woods somewhere.

From there Sophie made it to our home, where, all too briefly, she had a family and lots of love.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Remembering George Carlin 1937-2008

In my mind, George Carlin was the extreme side of me. I have always been sort of counter-culture and non-conforming, but not nearly to the extreme that he was.

He always seemed to say things that made me think, "Yeah, that's right." Although I wouldn't have verbalized the thought with the pure vulgarity for which he was best known.

For example, in his last HBO special, one of the first things he said was, "F--- Tiger Woods!" And I thought, "Yeah, that's right." But I wouldn't have said it. I am sick of Tiger Woods. So he is a great golfer. Big deal. According to George Carlin, golf is not even a sport; it's an act of lunacy.

"Any activity where you hit a ball with a crooked stick, and then walk after it, and hit it AGAIN, is no sport."

This weekend, I am going to record all of the Carlin HBO specials on my DVR, and enjoy watching them and celebrating my favorite comedian, and surely one of the true philosophers of my generation. Right up there with Fred Sanford and the Nature Boy Ric Flair.

R.I.P. George. Thank you for all of the laughs...especially the ones on flatulence!

"Do you remember as a kid the first time you farted in church...no wonder they call the seats 'pews'."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New Family Addition



It had to happen sooner or later. Yesterday I came home to:

"Look at the puppy we found? Can we keep it?"

With the look that only a dad adamantly opposed to anymore pets in our humble abode, I was about to utter those infamous, timeless phrases:

"Are you going to take care of it?"

"Who's going to get up with her during the night?"

"I have too many mouths to feed as it is."

"What will the cats think?"

Instead, I stood there with my manhood broken and uttered, "Of course we can keep her! Aw, wook at da widdle pup-pup!"

What can I say, I am a sap. I'm weak.

Tracy took her to the vet today where Sophie had her shots updated.

For the record, Sophie was found wandering on the side of the road. As I have documented before in my blog, we have a passion for rescuing animals.

Welcome Sophie to our rather large family.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Ache, Therefore I Am

The last two days at the gym have been awesome. I have started working out with a group of young guys who are pushing me to my limit. In short, when I left the gym today, every muscle from my neck down was shaking. I will feel it tomorrow for sure, but I needed it.

In other news, I start school in August at Midlands Tech. I am going to pick up an Associates Degree in Computer Technology. This will open some good doors at work down the road. What's even better is that my out of pocket cost will be ZERO.

A Bowflex body and a free education. Not bad for a middle aged, overweight, ex-preacher, pro wrestling try-to-be, who married out of my league and has children who rock!

Speaking of which, Tracy and I, with our struggling credit, have been approved for our new home. In a nutshell, here is what happened:

It was Saturday at approximately 6:00 pm. We were on our way to yet another home place, only to find out they were closed. On a whim, I suggested a place close to the airport that we had talked about visiting before. We pull up and out the door walks Mr. Clarence Pope, a man who I have known for over 25 years. He pulled in a few favors, and we will soon be owners of a fine new home on Tracy's family land. (takes deep breath)

Most of my blogger pals will remember "The Pope." Fondly, I am certain.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

R.I.P. Tim Russert

We are all shocked at the very untimely passing of NBC's Tim Russert. His passion for politics and acute insights as a political analyst made him the best source for information. Tim helped us understand exactly what was going on in the complex world of politics.

I will miss him this November. As a nation, we are now politically dumber without the mind and wit of Tim Russert.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Weak One

After my first week of weightloss effort, I have dropped 5lbs. I hit the treadmill but two times last week. Not a good start, but a start nevertheless.

I thank Mot, PF, and Chuck for the encouragement.

Monday, June 02, 2008

And We're Off!

Day one of my lifestyle change has commenced. I hit the treadmill after work today, and it was great to work up a sweat. Tomorrow I will bring a book to read while I tread.

I have also decided to cut down meal portions and sweets. I am also going to take Nikita Koloff's advice and give myself a "cheat day," where I can eat what I want one day each week. It will probably be Sundays, since they serve Krispy Kreme before Connection Groups.

I feel very good about today. It will be a long uphill battle. Technically, for my age and height, I will need to drop 50 - 60 lbs. I will try to get to 10, then 20, then 30, etc. Then I will work on keeping it off.

Going forward, I will post only occasional updates, as I don't want this to become "Todd's Weight Loss Blog." If I feel I have something to share that may help someone (like Chuck does with the Dave Ramsay information), I will post it. I will be writing mostly about my weightloss in my moleskine journal (thanks Rick).

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Mid New Years Resolution Update



Alas and alack, I have failed thus far to lose the 30 lbs I set out to lose at the outset of 2008. Instead, I have gained 30. I feel awful and I am tired all the time. It is time to regain control of my body.

Tomorrow evening I will begin going to the fitness room at my plant. I am going to begin by using the treadmill 3 - 4 times a week. I am not going on a diet. I am going to cut back on portions and drink more water.

I weighed in this morning at 252 lbs, the most I have ever weighed in my life. I sense that this weight loss effort will be my most difficult ever. At least for the first month. I owe it to myself, my wife, and my children to get this weight off.

Prayers and encouragement are not only welcome, they are desperately needed.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Does this look fake?



I received this hand print courtesy of my wrestling nemesis, T-Money. The hand print is the result of a chop across my chest.

For those who would ask:

1) Did it hurt?

Yes, it hurt. It was like getting hit in the chest with a frying pan. The sting only lasted a moment though.

2) Then why do it?

Because it is what wrestling fans want to see. Plus, we earn the respect of our peers when we "take heat" like this in the ring.

3) Are you mentally disturbed or something?

Probably.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Mayhem



While most of you were grilling and chilling for Memorial Day weekend, I was tag-teaming with Ace Hardy against T-Money and Matt Cruz.

The venue was the Chapel of Redemption. It was a great night, and I am happy to report that not only did I avoid serious injury, but I pinned Matt Cruz for the win. I am also excited to report that I was in my first ever Main Event match.

To have had the honor to grapple with these guys is beyond words. More photos will be available soon at my MySpace.

Other than that, the family and I chilled the entire weekend.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Meet Dan

Say hi to my pal and co-worker, Dan. You will find him to be both fascinating and youthfully refreshing.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I Demand A Recant

After doing some Wikipedia and WikiAnswers research, it seems I was mistaken about John McCain having once been a Democrat. I find myself wondering if I had not mistaken Sen. McCain for someone else. Regardless, I offer my apologies, although as a mild disclaimer, I have never declared my blog as being politically accurate much less politically correct.

At any rate, I offer a full and complete retraction of my earlier faux pas.

Sincerely,
The Editor



Friday, May 16, 2008

Welcome the Norm

Say hello to a good pal of mine, Norman, who has joined us in the blogosphere. In addition to being a pal, he was my boss all too briefly.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Get Outta My Head!!!

Following are but a few random thoughts which I need to dump in order to make room for more pointless, random thoughts. Enjoy...
  • Would Rachel Ray have her own show if she weren't so darned cute? And what does this say about Dr. Phil?
  • I am convinced Pete Townshend is one of the greatest songwriters of...ahem, "My Generation." Some of you will not get that. It's cool.
  • If Barack Obama were white, would there be so much negative digging into his political past? Does anyone recall that John McCain was, until recent years, a Democrat? Why is no one talking about this? Why did he cross party lines? To get elected maybe?
  • Speaking of Pete Townshend, one of his songs seems appropriate during this election season:
    • I tip my hat to the new constitution, take a bow for the new revolution, smiling free with the chains all around, I pick up my guitar and play, just like yesterday, then I get on my knees and pray...we don't get fooled again.
  • Pete Townshend would probably like Steve Taylor. I like him.
  • I have the coolest job ever.
  • I am getting bifocals. I always knew this day would come. I am actually looking forward to being able to read again.
  • Can we ever acheive a world without prejudice?
  • KISS is touring in Europe. Will they return to the states? I hope so.

That's about it for now.

Monday, May 05, 2008

That's My Boy!

My boy Cody informed me of his intentions to begin a Bible Study at his school. He has already cleared it with the administration. I am more proud of him than words can say.

In the midst of all my pouting and detoxing from church, my son is seeking to advance God's kingdom at his school.

Me and my pals did the same thing in our school. At one time, we had over 30 peeps. That was when my Christian faith was pure and unfettered by churchianity. I hope Cody and the others will avoid those pitfalls and enjoy their faith.

In kindergarten, Cody would tell the other kids that they needed to invite Jesus into their hearts so they can go to Heaven. With all that I have done wrong in my life, I must have done something right by my children.

Acceptance Is One Click Away...


This film has become a recent favorite of mine. I have been able to enjoy it with my son Cody as well. He is almost 15 and the movie is PG-13. I miss him being little , but it is so cool having a son you can watch the 3 Stooges and Star Wars with, as well as the movie Accepted.
But as usual, I digress.

The film is about a group of High School graduates who fail to get accepted into any colleges. To appease their disappointed parents, they use 21st century technology to create a fake college and send themselves letters of acceptance. The ploy even goes so far as to create a website (I said "ploy"...oh, the memories). Unbeknownst to Bartleby (a parent actually named a kid Bartleby...?), the website was made fully functional and suddenly many students show up for orientation with their tuition at the fictitious South Harmon Institute of Technology, or S.H.I.T. (Todd...your immaturity is showing.)

What touches me about the film is that when Bartleby realizes his deception has gone too far, he is urged to tell the new students the truth about their acceptance at South Harmon. Instead, he sees a room full of people who, just like him were rejected for various reasons. So rather than spill the beans, he welcomes them to S.H.I.T. (snicker), and a college life people can only dream about ensues, along with a tribute to The Ramones (I love it when the young people show respect for the classics).

Basically, the movie looks at the system of education the way I look at the Church. Only the right kind of student need apply, and these are taught how to play the game of life, while people like me who don't quite fit in are thrown under the bus for daring to have a mind of our own.
Church should be like South Harmon, where people with no place else to go can be welcomed and made an integral part, using their unique gifts and talents to better the whole group. Instead the Church says, "Here's how we do it. We'll teach you how to do it our way."
In the end, Bartleby gets the girl, and S.H.I.T. gets accredited.

The moral of this story: In order to be accepted, one must step into S.H.I.T. (boooooooooo)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Best Laid Plans Lead to Ice Cream


Well...scratch an evening with my brutha-frum-anutha-mutha. He was diverted to Charleston. I suppose I could use another trip out West...

I will also have to miss the blogger luncheon on the morrow. Work must intrude.

Today was a metaphor for my life's journey. The machines were beating the crud out of me. Something about Lithuanian currency and the evil Coin Acceptor was wreaking havoc on my nerves. Were it not for the Little-Red-Haired-Engineer's intervention, I would not have won the day. I walked out of work with the guttural grunt of triumph! Perhaps victory will be mine in my spiritual life as well in the near future.

Such a pity James...I could have used a brewsky. Alas, another day, another pub.

In your honor, sire, I enjoyed an ice cream cone from Sonic with my Little-Red-Haired-Daughter. All in all, a near-perfect day.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Day After

I have read and re-read my post from yesterday, as well as the comments from my pals. Boy, did I ever vent!

If I had yesterday to do over again, I'd have used the word, "bullcrappeth" several more times. Other than that, I stand by every word.

I am taking the next couple of Sundays off from corporate churchianity. Instead, I will either be working or reading.

Heartfelt hugs go to Rick, Mot, George, and PF for leaving comments. I have many of Joyce Meyer's books, and I have read most of them. I enjoy her TV ministry on occasion as well.

Mot--I have actually considered Catholicism before. Can't convince the wife unit to join me, though. Although I believe I could follow the Latin pretty well. Ha!

Rick--you da man...as always. As long as your around, I am not totally alone in this.

George--to me, you just being there is more important than you knowing what to say. Heck, I don't know what to say to me either!

Tomorrow I am going to wear my FIREBRED t-shirt to work. On the back of the shirt are the words, "Satan Sucks." Well...he does.

Tomorrow night I am going to enjoy the company of my hetero lifemate, James, who will be in town for an all-too-brief visit. Five points, here we come!

Thanks again to the blogger gang for chiming in and for not branding me a lunatic.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

One of Those Posts I Just Have to Write


Hi. Thanks for stopping by. If you are a regular here, I'm delighted; if this is your first stop, then you may want to jump over to one of my blogger buds. I am going to be candid today. I have something that has been brewing inside of me for about 10 years and I have to dump it somewhere. If you choose to stay, well...I warned you.


I'm fed up with organized religion. There, I said it.


I no longer want to be a part of it. I have given my life to it. I was educated and indoctrinated in it. I fought the good fight both here and abroad. I lived it, taught it, bought it, sold it, marketed it, pitched it, played it, and passed it.


I thumped my Bible with the best and worst of 'em. I have preached up and down the east coast and in Mexico. I have share the gospel hundreds of times with all kinds of people. I have laid hands on sick and seen them healed. I have watched people die. I have comforted and mourned with their families. I have performed 32 weddings and way more funerals than I ever would want to. I have baptized over 100 people including my wife and all but one of my children. I have sung hymns and choruses. I have led worship and I have been a worshipper. I have read my Bible through 11 times and studied it in its original languages. I have pastored 3 churches and ministered in prisons and on the streets.



Now, I just want out. It's not real to me anymore. I just can't do it any longer.


The Jesus I know would have called me a hypocrite or a brood of vipers ten years ago. He would have been right. I couldn't live with that, so I changed. I became more compassionate and tolerant. I learned to show grace. When I myself needed grace, there was none, except from the Lord, my children, my family, and the few wonderful friends I still have. Nevertheless, I continued to serve my Lord. There have been bumps in the road for sure.


Recently a man in my church behaved inappropriately toward my wife. When I called him to inquire about this, he hung up on me. I called him back, and left a not-so-gracious message. Now this whole ordeal has become about ME cussing at him on his voicemail and not about how he sought to ruin my marriage. I have been asked by my pastor (and friend for 8 years) to "fly below the radar" for awhile until this blows over. Until WHAT blows over? Me trying to protect my wife and my marriage? Are you kidding me?


I have lost faith in this system of control which is wrongly labeled, "Christianity." It has hurt me for the last time. Ministry has turned me into a bitter person. I am nothing close to the man I was 20 years ago. In some ways that is good. In other ways not. Those who know me best know what I mean.


I'm tired of not being able to be myself because I'm a "minister." I am tired of having to allow people to walk all over me because I have been given some title by the organized flock.


Here's the thing: I am a test technician now. I was a minister, but that was stripped from me after my first marriage collapsed. I have not renounced and will not renounce my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I renounce my part in the lie. What I need right now is a fresh path to walk down. Not a new path. A fresh one. One that has more than the one I have trodden up and down for 25 years now. For 25 years I have read my Bible (almost) daily, prayed, tithed, served, taught, etc. The path is just worn. There is nothing left there for me to discover. God cannot simply consist of those few disciplines of the faith. He can't. If that's all there is, then I'm out because its a sham.


I see people in Darfur who have been driven from their homes. Men are killed, women and children are raped and tortured, and someone in my church is upset because I said "sh_t" on someone's voicemail. And because they are big tithers, I have to stop using my gifts publicly for a season so they won't leave the church. The truth is, they have already left, but if I were to preach again, they wouldn't come back.


I can't take it anymore. I am reminded of a church bulletin blooper: "Don't Let Life Kill You; The Church Can Help." Amen and Amen. After 25 years, the Church organized has slurped the joy of life right out of me.


I suppose it is somehow my fault that my hair is too long and I refuse to wear a coat and tie. I once went to the hospital to visit an elderly widow in my church in Walterboro. I prayed with her, held her hand, and hugged her. I stayed with her over an hour. That night, I received a phone call from the Elder Chairman (this title is in the Bible where...?). He asked me to make sure that I am more appropriately dressed for a hospital visit next time. You see, it was 115 degress that day, and so I wore khaki shorts and a polo shirt. SHAME ON ME! After everything I did, the old widow only mentioned that I wore shorts to see her. (in Yoda's voice) Fed up I am!


So where do I go from here? I dunno. But I'm done with this baloney. I feel like a man without a country, or a rebel without a cause. I feel alone in my ministry misery.


Does this make me sound more like Jesus? Probably not, but I believe I can sorta understand why He asked for "this cup to pass from Me." Yet He chose the path which led to the cross and suffering and death.
Like I said, I am just looking for a fresh path. Assuming you have read this far, would you happen to have any ideas? Thanks for hanging out, and for letting me vent.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby!

Happy Birthday, Tracy!

This pic was taken at Broadway At the Beach in N. Myrtle Beach, SC last month.

We are posing in front of the KISS Coffeehouse. Oh, the bucks I wanted to drop in there!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Pursuit of Feeling Better



For the last couple of days, I have been down with the crud. During this time, I have endeavored to catch up on some DVR recordings. This morning, I finally caught The Pursuit of Happyness. The more I watch Will Smith, the more I respect him as a serious actor. He has successfully severed his image from that of "The Fresh Prince." The interaction between him and his son made for a beautifully done film.

I have not been so moved since "The Man From Manchester 3," which will be available on Hi-def DVD...well, someday.

I still feel crummy, but the Pursuit was worth it.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fools

First day of April, and no one has blogged except Rick, who, I am embarassed to say, reeled me in, hook, line, and sinker.

Good one, sir. May I have another?

Monday, March 31, 2008

Times They Are A-Changing


It's official. The 35 year career of Ric Flair has come to a glorious end. I now live in a world where my hero is no longer a mainstay. It feels weird. Last night at Wrestlemania 24 The Nature Boy took his last bow. I confess to getting a bit emotional.

So now what?

Tracy and I are very close to getting the paperwork done to begin the process of purchasing a home to place on the family property.

I am returning to school. I have applied to Midlands Technical College where I plan to earn a 2 year degree in Computer Technology. This is going to help me in my career path. I am also endeavoring to achieve my A+ Certification, followed by Linux+. To those who don't know what I am talking about, welcome to the club!

Things at work are settling down a bit. The end of the quarter push is behind us, and I should be back on the 40 hour a week rotation for about 6 weeks. I will miss the OT though. It will be there again soon, however, as we prepare for the next quarter.

Spring Break is behind us, and we all seem to have picked up a case of the crud. This week I am making my yearly trip to the dentist, and next week I will be visiting my doctor for my 40 year old physical ("You using the whole fist there, doc?").

All-in-all, March was a busy and emotional month. To sum it up in one word, I quote the "Nature Boy" himself: "Wooooooooooooo!"

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

To Be the Man...on Raw!


Last night Tracy and I were treated to a live WWE event at the Colonial Center. It was Monday Night Raw, and, as he did in the 70s and 80s at the Township Auditorium, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair stole the show.
The moment he stepped out onto the ramp and made his way to the ring, I was suddenly a 14 year old Flair-maniac again. In all of his regalia, he was, perhaps for the last time in Columbia, The Man!
I am but one of millions of guys who got into wrestling because of our hero, The Nature Boy. Flair raised the standard of what wrestling was then, and pioneered it into what it is today. He is the benchmark by which everyone is measured. He is one of my heroes. To see him once again as he was back in the day, was awesome. Plus I was on TV twice!
I know many of my pals probably find my devotion to pro wrestling a bit childish and sophomoric. To them I say to be at the Chapel of Redemption on May 24th when I make what will probably be MY last in-ring appearance with the WFJ. My career was much shorter, and less colorful than Ric Flair's (talk about a gross understatement!), but growing up with him as an icon drove me to do it. I just had to. I had to experience it for myself. I am so glad I did.
Ric Flair is going out as he has always been: at the top of his game and in style.
I am just going out in my church's gymnasium. But like many of today's famous, paid, and well-respected professional wrestlers, I got into wrestling because of Ric Flair, and I am walking away from it because of him, too.
At work today, I told my boss, "I can do anything today, because I saw Ric Flair live!"
My young, 20 year old co-worker asked, "Who is Ric Flair?"
I weep for the future.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Still Alive, but...



10 hours a day, 7 days a week right now at work. No time for much blogging, and not much to say that doesn't have to do with Unix, servers, or CPU modules.

Just popping in to let my blogger pals know I am still around.

Starting tomorrow, it will be 12 hours a day for a while. Loving the OT, though.

Need a haircut, too.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

"Everything that has a beginning..."


"...has an end."

These words of the Oracle from The Matrix are so painfully true. Two of my sports heroes are bringing their fabulous careers to an end.

I saw the news that Brett Favre will not be returning next season. Although I am not surprised, I still feel a profound sense of loss as a Packer-Backer. Brett is the only QB whose career I have followed since day one. He helped lead the Pack to championship status, where for years it had seemed hopeless. I will miss seing Number 4 lead our team next year. I really will.



There is also much speculation and likelihood that the Icon of pro wrestling, The Nature Boy, Ric Flair, will be ending his phenomenal career this year. He is 58 years old and still mixes it up with the best.


I cannot remember a time when Ric Flair was not in my life. As far back as I can recall, Ric Flair was there, either on my TV or at Columbia's Township Auditorium. The sense of loss I feel at the thought of him being anything but a wrestler cannot be described here. Furthermore, to try and encapsulate the 35 year career of this man in my humble blog would be an impossible task. I have the chance to see him live, for the first time since I was 15 years old, on March 24th. It may very well be the last time I will see him in this way. I am excited about it, but also profoundly sad.


Maybe the impending retirements of two of my heroes serve to remind me that I am not 15 anymore. Nevertheless, I am thankful for these two men and how they have both entertained and motivated me through their colorful careers.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

R.I.P. Larry Norman



One of the great pioneers of what we call Contemporary Christian Music, or CCM, has gone home. Larry was perhaps best known for his signature song, "Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?" And with that question, set to rock and roll, church music would never be the same.

I miss those early days of CCM. Concerts and merchandise were usually free, and we loved our "Jesus music." I remember being told how shameful it was to use rock and roll to tell the story of Jesus. I remember being told how CCM was all about drawing attention to self. Most importantly, I remember turning it up louder.

Thanks, Larry, for igniting the spark of CCM. Crank it up in Heaven for us!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Doctor. Doctor. Doctor.



While this is one of my all time favorite movie scenes, seeing the real doctor is not as much fun as it used to be. I had a routine checkup this morning, and had to face an unpleasant reality: high blood pressure. This morning, though I was very calm and cheerful, my BP was 153/106. It has never been this high.

I am now on BP meds and have a follow up visit next week. It seems the sins and Tom Foolery of my youth are now coming back and asking for payment.

In conclusion, my two least favorite words in all the world, diet and exercise, are now essential parts of my life. They are no longer a suggestion or a good idea. My first order of business is to drop 50 pounds. So much for the Krispy Kreme diet!

I will keep you posted on my progess. Failure is not an option.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sometimes, you just gotta stop...

...and blog.

My work schedule and my blogger schedule have a few crossed wires of late, but I am working out the kinks. I do very much enjoy the reunion of old friends here in the blogosphere. My original intention behind blogging was to open myself up on matters of faith, etc. and hopefully leave behind something that my children and future Vick generations could have.

Now blogging has created a place where I can keep up with my dear pals as if they were right here with me. Our lives and families have taken us all over the globe, and it's great that we can reconnect here. Though I confess to a vision of all of us blogger buds hooking up sometime, somewhere, and enjoying a group hug. Preferably before the 25th AHS reunion. Did I just say 25th?

(the blogger pauses to reflect and catch his breath)

Here's a question: Does anyone besides me ever get the urge to stand in a crowded elevator or restaurant and yell, "WOLVERINES!!"

I will take that one up with my therapist.

So with that, have a great day, blogger pals, and to my great-great grandchildren, my apologies.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Happy Super-Fat-Tuesday

Today is Super Tuesday for those who would be President. Following the day with an attitude of prayer.

It is also "Fat Tuesday," or, as I like to call it, "Loading Up Before Lent." Before giving up something for lent, one overindulges oneself in the thing today. What a world, what a world.

For me, today is just Tuesday. I am going to work soon to earn my keep and pay for my stuff. Yesterday my wife picked up a couple of refills under our new group policy from where I work. One prescription was only $10.00, the other was $138. Here's hoping that our next President will truly make healthcare reform a priority and not just a slogan to get elected.

Maybe I should run for office. I hear Gaston, SC is looking for a new mayor...

Friday, February 01, 2008

Like Father...?

Last night I had the privilege of seeing my daughter Jenna be inducted into the National Junior Beta Club at her school. I remember the Beta club when I was her age, but I was on the outside looking in. I was in the Honor Society in 8th grade. That's about all I can remember regarding my middle school academia. The rest is a blur of singing telegrams and other nuttiness with Jay.
I am proud of all my children, but this was a big deal in Jenna's life, and I hope her success only grows, as I wish for all my children.
To make me even more proud, Jenna recorded several radio spots for 96.7 here in Columbia during her job-shadowing project for school. She was supposed to come with me, but the company no longer allows it.
For those who wish to listen, she can be heard again at 3:15 pm and 5:11 pm. Out of towners can stream over the net. Hearing her over the airwaves took me back to my days at WQXL in Columbia back in the late 80s. It was the most fun I ever had making $3.35 and hour.

The Other Day, I Woke Up Differently


Back in the day, I was a die hard Republican. I voted Republican in every election, and I believed (and I still do) that Ronald Reagan restored hope and pride to America. I was a proud member of my local, "Silver Elephant" club, and I attended the meetings. In 1994, a fellow Elephant tried to convince me to run for chair of my local precinct. I wimped out. What if...?
I digress.
The other day, I woke up with a startling realization: I like Barack Obama. I like his vision, and the clarity with which he casts it. I like his attitude. I have not seen any mudslinging from this guy. I feel like I can trust him. He says the things that I would say if I were running for President. Of course, all of my speeches would begin with, "You don't know me, but..."
In an odd twist of events, my longtime pal, Rick, the king of java-related fair, announced on his blog the very same day I woke up different that he has chosen to support Senator Obama as well. Today I find that Steve is changing too. Could it be that George's music has somehow subliminally swayed us from the straight and narrow?
Maybe (kidding George), but I prefer to think that we gents are just growing up. Having children and realizing that there may actually be fewer days ahead than behind have changed what used to be important. For me, it was just important to be right, or at least on the side of "right." From 1996-1999, I couldn't be wrong. Then life began to change for me. The things I was "right" about were way beyond "right and wrong."
A treasured friend began to challenge me and my right wing way of life. And then, when my life had the rug pulled from beneath it, my right-wing comrades dropped me like mucus-filled tissue. The people who stuck by me taught me the only really "right" thing of eternal value: Love God and love others. I have never gone wrong in trying to practice this commandment.
I see the world differently than I did 20 years ago. I am ready to do whatever is necessary to ensure that my children have a decent world to live in after I am gone. Senator Obama is giving me a glimmer of hope that this decent world may actually be within our reach. I am excited to watch this process play out while I cast my vote at the appointed time.
Many of my friends support former Gov. Mike Huckabee. Mainly for his conservative, Baptist values, to be sure. Nothing wrong with having values...not at all. But do we really want to trust the free world to the Southern Baptist Convention? Nah! Huckabee will drop out soon (my prediction), but don't fret, his loyal supporters. He will have enough high paying SBC speaking engagements to last for quite awhile. I realize I am speaking "in the flesh" here. But it is just so much fun!
Have I also mentioned that I don't think Oprah is a total flake anymore? This is another topic for another post, but, while I do not agree with her spirituality, I applaud what she has done with her fortune. She has my respect.
The Other Day, I Woke Up Differently. At least I find myself in good company.
Editor's Note: After several attempts, I could not get my paragraphs to separate. This is a common problem I am having with blogger, and not a lack of English Grammar training courtesy of Dr. Mad Ox. Thank you for your continued support and for reading between the lines! Ha!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Not Much to Say, Not Much Time

Work has been very busy in a good way. The job I do requires quite a bit of thinking and rationalizing. I am happy that my idle mind is given little room to roam. Perhaps senility will be pushed back a few more years.

I am sad beyond words that the Packers blew their chance at another Super Bowl. Needless to say, and no offense to anyone, football season is now officially over for me. I have high hopes that the Pack will be back next season.

I have been learning about giving grace rather than receiving it lately. It hurts. It is much harder than I care to admit. Loving God and loving others is a tall order at times.

To my blogger pals, I continually enjoy keeping up with everyone through the blogosphere. I hope for a day when we can fellowship face to face.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Lordy, Lordy and Greenbeans

Two of my pals made history this year.

George has joined the "I'm-40-but-I-can-still-kick-your-butt club," and, at long last, Alan has crafted a blog.

Combined, these two gents have made me laugh more than any human beings in the history of, well...human beings. All I can say is, you had to be there!

"Toilet Paper!"

"Spyhoin..."

"Sound the adjutant's call!"

"Silver dollar!"

"You eat dirt Moe!"

"George Bradley has hemorrhoids."

"Dern! Who farted!"

"Look! Catoe has his towel in his pants!"

Again, you had to be there. I WAS there, and I will always treasure George and Alan in my own, nutty sort of way. Thanks, Dooks.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

My 2008 Is Up and Running


Precious little time for blogging these days. I enjoyed catching up on my blog reading last night. Everyone appears to have had a joyous holiday.

I had a thought today. I am blessed. Truly. Two of my pals spent Christmas away from family. I had family coming out of my ears! I was talking with a co-worker who is also a believer, but tends to follow the "name it/claim it" ilk. He spoke of having more "God's way." I suppose I could be selfish and find things to covet. Nah! Been there, done that.

I am at a good place right now. I am richly blessed in every way. I want to give more love in 2008.

I suppose losing a few pounds wouldn't hurt, too.