Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kites on Ice

This is an amazing video!  I've seen quad line kites, but I've never flown one.  Quad line kites have four (quad) lines attached to them, on the top and bottom of the right and left sides.  They attach to handles like so:

The beauty of quad line kites is that they can hover, back up, spin in place, and do other amazing tricks.  If kites were birds, they'd be the hummingbirds of the species.  Very expensive hummingbirds.

I never would have thought to combine kites and skating.  This couple makes it look so effortless.  If I could stand up on ice skates, I'm sure I'd end up tangled in the lines, the personification of Charlie Brown's kite-eating tree.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Today is the anniversary of Elvis' passing (alleged passing, that is).  This is one of those moments where "I remember I was ____ when ____."  I was traveling down I-35 in a two pickup caravan headed to Dallas, TX.  It was an FFA trip to Six Flags before my Freshman year started. 

The other vehicle called on the CB that they heard a news report that Elvis died.  We couldn't believe it.

I wasn't old enough to fully appreciate his contributions to music.  To me he was just an old singer that my sisters liked when they were growing up.  It wasn't until later that I came to understand how important he had been.

What better way to commemorate his death than with a pun.
I'll freely admit this isn't original - I'm lifting it from a friend's Wall on Facebook.

Six months after Elvis passed away, a fan, not believing Elvis was dead, broke into the grounds of Graceland and dug up the grave.  When he opened the casket, he found Elvis fastidiously erasing sheets of music.
He said, "Elvis, what are you doing?"
Elvis replied, "Decomposing."

Thank you! Thank-you-verra-much!

Are you old enough to remember what you were doing Aug. 16, 1977?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)

I heard this song as I was channel surfing the radio driving home from work this week. I can’t remember ever hearing it before, even though, according to the Internet Repository of All Knowledge, it’s almost as old as me.
 Some of the blogs I follow have posted questions to answer from this site, so this idea isn’t original, but I decided to see what I could come up with for the questions posed by the Beach Boys when they were still boys on the beach.

Will I dig the same things that turn me on as a kid?  In some ways, yes, but others, no. I still like the classic horror movies, but not the new ones. They don’t leave anything for your mind to envision.
Chinese food, check. Mexican food, check. Dr. Pepper, big check. But, now I also enjoy Thai food, asparagus, and multiple variations of tea.

Will I look back and say that I wish I hadn't done what I did?  Back in high school there was the party I attended to make sure I was one of the cool kids. I was standing holding a full cup of a 3.2% beverage that none of us were old enough to have. I didn’t like the taste, so I was just standing there holding it, doing my best to look cool. I had my foot propped up on a log when someone moved the other end causing it to roll, and me to lose my balance, cutting my thumb on the log on my way down, definitely not cool. Of course, everyone thought I was - literally - falling down drunk. I have a scar on my thumb to still remind me of that night. That’s the only incident I’ll admit to in a public forum.

Will I joke around and still dig those sounds? I still like rock music, but I’m more sensitive to their lyrics (did I really sing “Cat Scratch Fever” at the top of my lungs?). When songs were being chosen to sing at the high school graduation ceremonies, I still remember thinking, “What is this strange song titled ‘My Father’s Eyes', and who is this Amy Grant person?” Suffice it to say, Christian music has matured as well, over the years. Instead of KISS, I more Skillet. I still love to rock ‘n roll all night (well, maybe just ‘til midnight), but Monster and Hero are what give me goose bumps now.

Will I look for the same things in a woman that I dig in a girl? I think that's true. While I’ll admit to owning a Farrah Fawcett poster – what boy didn’t have one – I was really more into girls who made me laugh, were fun to hang out with, and accepted me for who I was – the band geek who never played on any of the sports teams and was “like a brother” to all the girls. Today, I’m married to a wonderful woman who, 25 years into our marriage, still makes me laugh, is fun to hang out with and loves me for who I am (most of the time).

Will I settle down fast or will I first wanna travel the world? If traveling from Oklahoma to Michigan counts as “the world”, ok. Then I went back six months later, got married, and took her back to Michigan.

Will my kids be proud or think their old man is really a square? They may correct me, but I like to think I’m a pretty cool dad. There are things I would’ve done differently, but as they become adults, I think they’re just as proud to have me for a father as I am to have them as my kids.

When they're out having fun yeah, will I still wanna have my share? I’ll let them have their Ultimate matches (think football with a Frisbee) and their Panera Days, but I still like for us to go to movies, amusement parks, and to play WiiStation 360 video games.

Will I love my wife for the rest of my life? I refer you back to the “settle down” question. We both agree that it wasn’t a marriage contract we entered into, it was a marriage covenant. Those aren’t entered into lightly, nor are they broken.

In a lot of ways, I still feel like that skinny (relatively), fresh-faced kid who spent probably hundreds of gallons of gas driving 1.1 miles dozens of times a night -- you know, "dragging main."  Society tells me I'm in mid-life.  I'm still waiting for the crisis, if that's true.  I still think I've yet to reach that point.  Reading an article about the bad eating/living habits of old people, I think I've got a long way to go.  Maybe I'll revisit these questions when I actually do grow up to be a man.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

When the Chips Are Down

Our "baby" is going off to college in less than three weeks.  We threw a party for him and his friends that was a graduation/off-to-school soirĂ©e.  We told him to invite a "few friends".  We were thinking 30 max.  His invitation list through Facebook was 42.  That didn't include the spouses of some of the parents, either. 

Two years ago we did kind of the same thing for the first-born, but we sent out invitations with the graduation announcements, we had no control over the RSVPs, and it was billed as a come-and-go open house.  We planned for 75, and got a lot less. 

Plus, the first time around, we ordered all the food from a local Mexican restaurant, because 1) Mexican is cheap, 2) most everyone likes it, 3) we could lay it all out and people could assemble it in whatever combination they wanted (nachos, burritos, tacos, with or without beans, etc.), and 4) it was easy.

As I said, we planned for 75.  We ordered food for 75.  They delivered what seemed like enough for 150.  We fed everyone that day.  We sent some with a couple of friends.  We ate on it for a week.  We took the rest to a family gathering and fed 20 people two meals with it.  So, I'm not kidding when I said we had a lot of food.

So, you'd think we'd learned out lesson, right?  Originally, we ordered for 30 people.  Two days before, as we watched the Facebook replies surpass that mark, we decided to increase the order to 40.

Just a few chips
This is the left over chips.  in case you can't tell by the drawstring, that's a "tall kitchen bag" size trash bag that we're storing them in.  We also have a gallon-sized ice cream tub full of queso, and a 1 pound margarine tub of salsa to go with them.

Plus, with all the beef, chicken, beans, and rice, we haven't been lacking for meals this week.  We froze the remainder so we wouldn't have to throw it out.  I may trade in my normal caps for a sombrero before it's all gone.