Monday, December 29, 2008

2008-The Year In Review- November

There were a lot of highlights in the year 2008. I will try to get done with a series of posts on the subject by the end of January. They will be in no particular order but published at random . This, unless I get side tracked. That is unlikely as there is nothing worthy of mention coming in January of 2009.
First off, in November, my friend Ralph brought his lovely to look at wife Char and came to spend Thanksgiving with us. The primal instinct runs deep in Ralph, to hunt and fish and provide for his family (and ours). We decided to see if we could go in search of, and to bag a turkey for dinner. With gun in hand he could be seen stealthily moving from machine to machine in one of my sheds. Then, almost as though by instinct alone, something caught his attention and he wheeled to his left and started to approach what seemed to be the best possible hiding place in the area for the wiley birds of which we were in search.

Fortunately the bird didn't flush as he drew down on the young tom. We were in luck. This one had a pop-up timer in it's breast. This comes from centuries of inbreeding I am told.

Nothing can ever take the place of that first picture of the hunter...and the hunted. Victory oh sweet victory.

Here is one last picture of 'The Hunt-2008.'
I know it will be hard for some of you to understand the gravity of this moment. As nature speaks to the hunters, yea, those of us who provide for our families, we shall always go forth and provide.
Right after this picture was taken we cooked the turkey. Not some fancy 'deep fried' version, nope not us. (because I couldn't find my propane cylinder and the 100# bottles I did find wouldn't fit the cooker) So we had the women build a fire in the cook stove (turned the dial to 350 degrees) and we baked it. We may have over cooked it a bit. Our first indication of this came when we found the pop-up timer, popped-up and laying in the chest cavity of the bird.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ahhh, it’s Christmas. That magical time of year. Unless of course you’re a man and married, then it gets to be a problem. We usually make two trips to the city to buy presents that are unavailable here in our little town. My wife will try to clear a day from her schedule. Then in a desperate attempt to avoid the trip I will try to get an appointment to, oh say, get a root canal done on a perfectly good tooth.
Failing all diversionary tactics, I go along for the ride. I like to say things like. “I’ll drop you at the door and when you call, I’ll drive right up to the door and pick you up.” Then the words all men just love to hear come out of my wife's mouth. “I’ll probably need your help carrying things back to the car.” "Oh good, I get to go inside."
While walking into the mall is when the ‘magic’ I spoke of earlier, really begins. Groups of boys wonder aimlessly by, wearing my old jeans or what look like my old jeans; large, baggy, worn out, and somehow magically suspended half way down their rears. I can’t help staring at them. I’ve been to too many rodeos in my life to not expect a trick dog to jump out of their pants followed by an explosion in those Fruit of the Looms.
Next you lay your eyes on some young ladies I call the no mirror people. This verbage started in our family years ago. I’d be walking through a mall with one of my kids and say, “No mirror.” They would say “What’d ya say Dad,” and I’d motion toward some gal wearing shorts that needed forty more or forty fewer pounds in them and say, “Poor kid, She must not have a mirror at home.”
Now as for shopping for wives, this is the ultimate challenge. So many times we men buy things that our wives don’t like, or it’s the wrong size, or it’s poorly made or in my case last year, the wrong color. When this happens they just say “Oh how thoughtful” and you’ll never see it again. My wife didn’t use last years’ gift even one time. I got the 24 inches right, but it was red. Apparently not the color she was looking for in a snow blower. I could just as easily have bought a black one. Who knew.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cantata Sunday Night

This is a pic of Marilyn and her Mom. It was zero degrees out and windy so we picked her Mom up an hour early because that's when we needed to be there and so we had time for stuff like picture taking.

Update: It's over and it went very well. It was nice that I wasn't in the middle of everything this time. Well, I did sing a short solo and did a reading or two. This is the men of our choir.

This was taken 25 minutes before the performance. She's hard to see but daughter Juli is playing the Christmas music on the piano. That was a highlight for me. I wish I would have had time to sit down and listen.

Our church is blessed with a couple of ladies who have 'the touch' when it comes to decorating. Our guests were invited 30 minutes early for hot cider and cookies. These next two photos are of the serving table. Notice the cookies shaped like piano keys. I ate two middle C's. Also please 'Note' the other cookies.

We must have had at least 100 people there. Not bad considering the weather. They say there are two kinds of weather that keep attendance down in churches. They are good weather, and bad weather.

The ladies of the choir. And one of our Ed's. This was the green Ed.

This was the original post.
We've been working for sometime now on our Christmas Cantata at church. It will be tomorrow night. Cookies and hot cider will be at 6 pm and the program will begin at 6:30.
Juli will be playing Christmas music for a half hour pre-show. That in it self would be worth the effort it takes to get there.
The musical will be complete with bow ties and cumberbunds. My cumberbund fits, but barely. It is elastic. I have encouraged eye protection to be worn by anyone standing near by. I pray injuries to be slight if something happens. If it cuts loose from the strain, I hope it's not during my solo. It looks like what my Dad used to call 5o pounds of mud in a 5 pound sack.
We have it blocked, rehearsed, and it is ready. Barely ready, but ready none the less.
We are blessed with our new choir director/minister of music. She is extremely talented, professional, and organized. Everything our old director was not.
If you're in the Tekamah area tomorrow night,(Sunday) I believe this program should warm up your spirit for you.
If I can get someone to take a pic or two, I will post them.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I'm Off. But you knew that.

I'm off to the state convention. As always there wil be some things worth sitting through and some a waste of time. Now if there was just some way to determine that, before you commit 2 hours of your youth to it, then you'd have a deal. I've tried putting the pictures of Ralph(s) from the camera to the new computer and somehow, the new computer doesn't 'recognize' the USB port. I tried introducing them nicely. I'm planning a new attack when I return. A hammer perhaps. For this post I am swiping words from a midwestern magazine.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008 4:33 PM CST
By Cliff Morrow
The Midwest Producer
I've been to the big city Christmas shopping in the past. I've also done a lot of Santa work in years gone by. I have stopped helping Santa. Both of those activities - shopping and Santa gigs - have brought me joy, laughter, a desire to reach out and help, and sometimes to give someone a pat on the back. They have also caused me concern, sadness and, in a couple of cases, a desire to slap the face of a few parents. And I've even had occasion to shed a few tears.
As Santa, I've had to tell Mothers that their screaming child, the one over there with terror on her little face "doesn't want to sit on Santa's lap, maybe next year, or maybe you could talk to me from across the room where the child might feel safe." And to others I've wanted to say "why don't you put that cigarette out and spend what little money you have on food and clothes, or soap, and if you don't quit yelling at those kids, Santa's going to step on your toe with his big black boot."I've had to ask Santa's helper to find out who those people are, and their address, to see if we could round up some help for them.
I've had little eight year olds who were showing signs of really needing some parenting (soap, food, clothes, toothbrush…) ask Santa not to "bring me anything but could you please bring my little brother and sister some nice clothes to wear." While shopping, I've observed couples staring at each other with pure HATE for each other in their eyes. I've recently watched as parents threatened their kids by yelling at them in front of 50 strangers. We've never even yelled at cattle like that.
Easy folks, take a deep breath, it's Christmas. Find someone to listen to, to help, to counsel, to love, to share the real story of Christmas. You know, the one with Jesus in it. Find someone to sit and be quiet with, or someone to mourn with. There are many people in each of our lives with pains and sorrow. To help someone else a little will mean so much, and the rewards for you will be many. And lastly, if you know someone who helps play Santa in one of our small towns across Kansas and Nebraska, thank them. Everything they heard and saw wasn't always easy to deal with.
Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

WildBlue Satellite Internet Problems

I've had Wild Blue Internet for several years and can now tell you that you should stay away from it. It is nothing but trouble.
They say I've uploaded too much stuff and am in violation of their FAP> fair access policy)
They say that over the last three days I've uploaded 3200 MB per day. This during a time when the computer has been shut off. They are rude at the customer support line. DO NOT USE WILD BLUE!!! Or you'll be sorry.

Chivalry May Not Be Dead

Ralph and Char were here for Thanksgiving. That is always a treat. I'll have more on that next time. It will include a hunting expedition you won't want to miss.
The delay is because I'm having a computer built. One that works. The other one died. When I get it back I'll begin to try to catch up on all of the bookkeeping entries necessary for two businesses and then load pictures from my camera. That is where the pics of Ralph and his hunting expedition are located.
While Ralph was here we were watching a little TV. And thus many commercial announcements. One got our attention and gave us an idea. I then took Ralph to the porch and pointed to the vast expanse of barren ground out there and told him of my idea. He thought it was too cold for my idea but opined that if I wanted to try it that I should proceed on my own. If successful he said he would do the same thing in his culdesac.
SO here's my idea...., picture a grayish-brown soil with a wisp of dirty snow on it. 150 acres of frozen ground. It is about 20 degrees and then right in the middle of this barren ground, you find two of these side by side.
I hope I don't have to wait for Ralph to find someone to use these with. Marilyn hasn't warmed up to the idea yet. I don't understand that. The folks on TV seem to be having fun.
I'll probably end up sending them back.