Wednesday, December 30

End of Year clean-up

Also, I think I am going to clean up around here a bit. Going to go thru the bloglist and remove dead links, etc.

If I remove ya, let me know. Cuz I am checking the m all out and seeing if the links still work.

PeacE

The End is Near

Now, now. No need to worry too much. I only meant that the end of the year is near. Well, maybe the end of the world too, but I could care less about something like that. And I am not ready to quit this lil blog thing neither. Almost got yer hopes up, eh?

The Christmas holiday was nice again for us. The kids enjoyed the many presents they received, and we all had a good day spent together with family. Looks like we are doing a repeat of it New Year's Day as well. I know our plans are to be at the Sis's place Thursday evening until after midnight, then return the next day for lunch. The three older kids will be staying the night. Reverend Mother will be making ribs and coleslaw. Man, I love her coleslaw.

The interesting part? The daughter's boyfriend has been invited to hang with the family, Thursday thru after dinner Friday. Yeah, staying the night, eating with us.... a "get to know the family" type thing as my Wife calls it. It'll prolly prove interesting.

Not much else happening at the moment. Been taking care of a friend's place while she is back in Dayton, OH. She has a kitty there that is missing her terribly. I am going to try to get thru the Christmas pics today to see if any good enough to post. I say good enough, because most seem to have blur spots from the kids moving, or my shaky hands. I would never make it as photographer.

PeacE

Friday, December 25

Merry Christmas!!

A quick step-in as the family is getting ready to head for the first location today. Our family morning was wonderful, and I am sure to have a pic or two come Monday. Kids are excited, and not fighting for once....

First stop is my in-laws. Then we head to the Reverend Mother's for exchanges and lunch. And lastly, over to Sis's where we will pretty much end up for the day... until time to go home and unload everything.

Hope your day is going as great as mine!!

PeacE

Thursday, December 24

Down to the Wire

So, it is Christmas Eve today. Everyone is scurrying around trying to get that last minute gift picked up for that last minute person. My BIL, he will be going out today to do all of his shopping. Several years ago, he told he always waits til today to do all of the shopping for things he wants to get.

I remember looking at him, probably with a a shocked expression, and asking why, in the world, would he wait til the last minute? You'd have to deal with the crowds, and stuff being out of stock... hard telling what else! He said that actually, there are fewer people. And he said you can actually get the price talked down at certain places. It made some sense the way he explained it. I could never do it though. Heck, I thought we were done and forgot someone.... imagine me doing that!

Today is another day I don't care about this holiday. Getting to bed at a decent hour is impossible it seems. Even if I am ready, the Wife still has stuff all over the bed trying to get the wrapping done. Why don't I help? Obviously, you have never seen my wrapping! Though, I should try and do that today for the gifts for the Wife. Then again, I could wait and have the daughter do them tonight....

Okay. So I am going to be gone for the next day, or two. At least I probably won't be posting. My best wishes for a Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

PeacE

Wednesday, December 23

Yep. Holiday week.

Yeah, I am so stuck in holiday week. It's early Wed morn, so basically, 2 days to that holiday. I am done committing to the commercialization of it, in other words, my shopping is done. Those that I shopped for, well, I like to say that my gifts go beyond the season. In terms for everyone else, they hate my gifts. Sorry Reverend Mother, but FUCK THEM!

Yeah, that pretty much covers my sentiments for everyone that don't like the gifts I bought them. I don't care if they are family or not. Be happy you got one, that's it. Oh hell..... That day to "unwrap them" ain't even here yet!

That teaches us two things tonight. Appreciate the gifts you get, no matter what; and, don't let Uncle Ralph drink Whiskey, even if you got a really good gift!

Easy for the ones under 21 (thankfully, the nieces and nephews are in that bracket).

Everyone else better keep some in stock, cuz it is your ass I have to drink to deal with.

That, and I wish I had a bottle at home. No, I don't. Yes I do. No I don't.

(sigh)

PeacE

Monday, December 21

Heeellllllloooooo Monday!

Yeah. Monday morning at its finest. For a change, this has been a decent start of the week for me... aside from having to get up early.

I took our minivan into the shop to have the oil leak situation looked at. Once again it was just the oil filter had worked loose. They recommend a new one, I decided to do it later. I asked about my other vehicle. The radiator has started to leak again. I had brought it in just a few months ago, and had the radiator replaced for a leak, and they said it is still under warranty. So I will be taking it up there after the holiday. For now I am grounding the car anyways. I can't go more than a few miles and it is starting to get in the hot zone...even after topping off the radiator. Hopefully, it won't cost too much to fix that problem. This morning only cost me 20 minutes of my time.

I need to call my Sis today. The BIL had asked about me bringing my boys to their house this week for the day to let them play with their cousins. Prolly will set up a date and time for that. Whatever day it is, that morning we can run out and pick up some stuff for the Wife for Christmas too. I got an idea or two from her from Saturday while we were out. Plus I gotta get that last present yet. Gads, I hate shopping.

Friday is the holiday. For everyone traveling, be safe.

PeacE

Sunday, December 20

Decisions, decisions

It's a nice, bright Sunday morning here in the Valley of the Sun. I am debating what I should do this morning.

I did my rounds on the Internet: my emails, Facebook, Myspace. I don't need to update my Netflix as I have movies here to watch. No one loves to comment here, so no new comments to read.

The Wife asked me what my plans were this morning, and that's where my dilemma is. She had asked on the pretext of once they get out of church, and were to stop somewhere to grab some lunch to bring home, would they need to bring for me as well? Or will I be out and about and not interested?

So - do I stay at home sitting on my fat butt playing World of Warcraft this morning, which would probably end up being most of the day.... Or do I head over to one of the local pubs and get a free breakfast buffet, a beer, and sit on my fat butt reading a book for most of the day... Such a hard choice. At least I know I will be doing it sitting down.

The kids were at Reverend Mother's yesterday afternoon. They made a variety of cookies, and brought them all home. All of them have already told me to stay out of them, that they are for them, not me - (some Christmas spirit, huh?). With the afternoon free, the Wife and I finished the shopping that needed to be completed. Well, so I thought. About mid-way through dinner at RM's, I realized we had forgot one person. So I will need to go back out this week to get that one thing. At least that isn't too bad.

Monday I got to take our minivan in to the shop. We have had an oil leak for about a month or so. Had the same problem earlier this year, that turned out to be a loose oil filter. I am hoping that this is the same problem this time. I just can't get to the damn thing to find out. Will have the mechanic do it for me. Maybe do an oil change while they are at it.

Okay, that's it for now. I need to make a decision in the next few minutes about what I am, doing for lunch.

PeacE

Saturday, December 19

It's Saturday Morning

Things are starting to look good. Not that they were bad, but just, looking good. The sun is out and shining; the boys are actually cleaning up what I told them to clean up; and it's almost lunchtime. Yeah, I slept in that late today. I felt I deserved it.

The Wife has taken the daughter (at some point earlier today) to go get her eyes checked. This will also include new lenses for her glasses, and new contacts. At least we won't have to get new frames too.

The Reverend Mother is due to call early this afternoon. She will be having all four of my kids over to her place for the afternoon. She has does this the past several years with each family's kids. Does the whole "Grandma and kids getting Christmas-y" thingy-ma-jig-bobber-doo-hickey. As an added bonus, the Wife and I come over for dinner in the evening (the Wife doesn't have to cook - happy for her!). So, while we adults have a free afternoon, I have emphasized the past couple days we should take that time to finish the shopping and sort thru everything. What do I mean sort? I mean, I need to know who gets what, as next week will be full of wrapping paper and tape for me. Yee Haw.

Okay, I am off to do some other stuff whilst waiting on the phone call from Reverend Mother.

PeacE

Friday, December 18

Did I Fix It?

Okay. After an hour of frustration, trying to learn HTML and remove Haloscan, I finally gave up and reset pretty much everything. Comments should be up and working through Blogger just fine.

Going through everything, I noticed that maybe I want to do some changes around here... then again, maybe I don't. I prolly should go thru my list and clean out some non-existing ones.... should.

Okay, if you have any probs let me know, unless that is your prob!

PeacE

Another Small Change

As many have read from other blogs, Haloscan (current comment program) is changing over to a pay service. I am cheap. I don't see paying $10/mo just so I can get 5 comments (if lucky).

So, I think I got it removed from here. If not, would you email me any probs at ralphd00d@gmail.com and let me know? Maybe, if you removed it yourself, you could even hint at where I need to look and delete something still....

PeacE

Wednesday, December 16

Life is like a Country Song

Geez, I am sure many of us have heard that title phrase before. And the first thing ya think is, my Wife left, momma died, and the dog was put to sleep. Here's a tear for my beer.

It's weird though, when part of the words of a song (doesn't necessarily have to be a country song) kinda make ya go, "Man, that sounds like me." I think the one I am thinking of this morning is Alan Jackson's "Everything I love is Killing Me". It's got that chorus starter something like:

Everything I love is killing me
cigarettes, Jack Daniels and caffeine

Just those two lines says enough for me. I should stop smoking and drinking and try to stay away from the last one.... So what makes me think of that song this morning? I went drinking last night. If yer thinking I put one on, like I usually do, well yer wrong. For once in my life I was a good boy and was home actually early. But this morning made me think about my age again.

See, Saturday night was my friend's Christmas party, the Wife and I attended. It was wonderful time, seeing some folks we hadn't seen in a while, good food, and I had a few drinks. Well, Sunday morning, I felt I knew how Johnny Cash felt with "Sunday Morning Coming Down" except there was no way in Hell I was getting up to walk around town to see all that shit. As it was, I was in bed til like 12:30.

Then of course, my Redskins were playing the Raiders that afternoon, and my buds wanted me to join them. I had cleared this with the Wife the night before, so up to the bar I go. Game started at like 2pm, and I walked in the door about 12:30am. Needless to say, one could tell I had had a few. Monday morning, I don't know how I functioned. I felt groggy almost all day. Tuesday I felt better, so went out. Today, I feel a bit blah, but not as bad - cuz I was a good boy.

Bottom line is, I guess I can't handle knocking 'em back like I could a couple years ago. Over the past half a year, I have done so good about cutting back on my drinking, and trying to eat a little better, that I guess my body is liking it enough that when I do get a drink on, it rebels on me the next day. And I am getting older. I know, I may be a pup to some of ya's, but I am starting to feel the years, and all that I didn't do to take better care of myself.

So enough of that damn pity party. We oughtta go out and have a few drinks to celebrate life! Except I really don't feel up to it. How about I just raise my iced tea up and nod yer way? Works for me...

PeacE

Tuesday, December 15

Tuesday, another yeehaw day

It is still fairly quiet around the house this week. Thankfully, the kids have school until Friday, then they start the Christmas break. Otherwise, it's just the spawn of Satan running off the walls around here, and me yelling at him to settle down. Like the damn cat is gonna listen to me.

Not much else going on. I guess Reverend Mother is debating taking my 4 kids for the day Saturday to help her do some baking, and maybe dinner. Then have hte Wife and I over to share the dinner. I likes them free dinners...lol.

Yup. That's pretty much it today. Unless I find something of interest.

PeacE

Saturday, December 12

Welcome to the Weekend

It's Saturday, thank goodness, and just under 2 weeks to that damn holiday I don't care much for.

This week has been another ordinary one, here at my place anyways. We had a nice birthday dinner at Olive Garden for the Wife's bday (it was her mom's as well, and so we invited her and dad along).

Tonight we have a Christmas party at a friend's house we will be attending. I got the daughter for once in her life (it seems) to do something around the house and watch the boys. Plus they are to be getting the Family Room ready for us to put up the tree. Another thing I don't mess with. But the Wife and kids love doing it.

The Wife went shopping today, and I think she pretty much concluded what else we needed to get for people. There might be one or two more runs for items to round it all out.

That's it for now.

PeacE

Tuesday, December 8

Happy Birthday My Dear Wife

Today is my Wife's birthday. I won't disclose her age, because she would probably beat me to a pulp if I did, and those marital extras that happen every now and then would be fewer and farther between. I know where my bread is buttered.

I thought of posting a pic, but I don't have a really recent one. Though, she wouldn't like me doing that either.

Maybe a little humorous story? Hmmmm, I can't think of one off the top of my head.

I guess the important thing is I am glad she is with me, and I love her. Happy Birthday Honey!

Tonight the family will go out to dinner to the restaurant of her choosing. Last night she was hinting at Olive Garden, but I don't know if she will change her mind during the day. The daughter has an orthodontist appointment this afternoon. She will be getting some more of her appliances put in for her braces.

Yesterday I spent most of the morning getting shopping done. The Wife's birthday presents were picked up, as well as some for her for Christmas. I was able to scratch a couple more names off the list for gifts.

Not much happening otherwise. Maybe watch a movie this morning since WoW is doing its regular Tuesday maintenance and I can't play yet.

PeacE

Monday, December 7

Only 3 weeks left? That's enough time?

Editor's note: I didn't realize the date today, until I posted this. A moment of remembrance for WWII vets and the bombing of Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941.

Man, I dislike shopping for other people. Especially when they have given you no clue as a specific thing to get. 'Find something they like', or 'Anything a (particular) color'. C'mon! Give me something!!! He wants a '95 Corolla with a 4 speed manual, AC and wants it in green. Okay! Have it tomorrow!! Not that I am buying people cars mind you.... was just the example that popped in my head. Maybe I should use like a specific Movie title, or music group CD. Either way ...

Shopping. Oh, let me add, this subject gets worse for me when it comes to shopping for a woman. Woman, wife, mom, aunt, daughter, niece, whatever - female. You would like something? Go there, take a photo of it. Most people have digital cameras, so it shouldn't be too hard. Take a photo, and email it to me with the details - where ya saw it, how much, etc. Then guess what? You'll get it!!

Yeah, takes the whole "surprise" thing out of receiving a gift, doesn't it? I don't care. I'm not giving you a gift to surprise you. If I were doing that, I wouldn't have asked what you wanted, or for gift ideas for you. I would have picked up that ultra-large, orange-fluorescent colored sex toy, and had you open it in front of your parents, or something. You want surprises? Heh.

Okay, so shopping vaguely for someone, and females. Yeah, shopping sucks.

What I *truly* hate, and I use that word (HATE) with the full definition of it, is Christmas shopping. Oh, society had to go and not only make it another commercialized holiday where you are "supposed" to spend money to make everyone you love happy, they made it mandatory (almost completely mandatory) to go vaguely searching for a gift that a particular person, male or female, would appreciate. You throw in the time limit that is continuously announced everyday as a huge count-down. As if not getting all the gifts and stuff would be the destruction of the world if I had to give them out AFTER the 25th. Then you throw in, seemingly, my whole list of pet peeves and major dislikes in the world:

Crowds: I just cannot tolerate them. I dislike having to narrowly avoid touching, or invading the personal space, of every individual in the five state area, who are ALL shopping in the Kmart that is 22,000 square feet. I dislike them doing the same to me. Oh, and the people... this leads into....

Stupid People: These are the ones that you just wanna shoot to clear out someones' gene pool. I mean, you make eye contact, they see you with arms full of sacks, etc, and they had just walked in a door. They let it shut in your face. They do the "brush-by" into your personal space and make you loose balance with everything. They pay no attention to limits of items in lines. They pay no attention to mall parking lot signs, or hell, regular traffic signs for that matter. They keep harassing the only check-out clerk about the item they had on sale in the paper that is out of stock, and the cashier has referred them to the manager 15 times, but they want her to take care of the problem. Oh my... I could go on forever in this category.

Sales: I just shake my head at this one. I never leave the house on what they call "Black Friday". Mostly because of the people listed above, and the traffic thing. But I think most of the sales out there are pure crap. Mark them down a few bucks, make it look like a lot...someone will buy it. Definitely one of the people listed above. Now we got this "Cyber Monday" thing I heard about on the radio.... WTF? Doing the shopping online to replace the "hassle" of going out in public? Sounds great to me!! But, the count-down timer has gone too fast and there is no time to ship before the needed date. Just fucking fabulous.

I am all worked up now. I can feel my heartbeat has increased; some sweat has begun to form on my brow; and my stomach has started a rhythmic beat of pain that matches the heartbeat. Okay, I was just adding the part about my stomach, but still, you understand what I mean.

So I spew all this shit out that pisses me off about shopping and Christmas, and having the both collide into something people call Christmas shopping.... can you guess what I am going to be doing today and tomorrow?

Understand how I feel now? How I will feel tomorrow night? Tomorrow night if I am not done with it all?

(Sigh) (deep breath)

Did I mention, that tomorrow is my Wife's birthday as well, and no one had bothered to tell me until yesterday, "Dad, we didn't get Mom anything for her birthday". Now I got to find something, for a female, for a birthday, from the kids, and then for Christmas, and for the rest of family members....

I ain't going to be writing for a couple days, unless by some act of Reverend Mother's, her prayers work and I bless God for making it easy for me one year. I'll probably go to hell for that comment....

See ya in a few days. I might have some sanity (and hopefully money) left.

PeacE

Saturday, December 5

We're off to the show!

It's been another slow week around the house here. Trying to get things in order, to figure out what shopping still needs to be done for whom, and when am I supposed to go do that. Yeah... I need a list. I can't just "go looking" for a gift for someone. I'll never find anything.

And my wife's birthday is Tuesday - guess who is screwed?

Soooo, what else is new? Well, today my daughter had an Honor band concert. Seems her's is the only HS district to do it, but they compete (similar to Regionals) for chair position, and then have a concert. She made 4th chair out of 6 high schools. This Thursday she has a choir concert - at the same time as the oldest son's Christmas concert for band. Again! You'd think the damn school district would not schedule things like this for the third year in a row!!! My god! I can't be the only one with kids in HS and grade school!!!

Okay... and tomorrow, we are going to see Trans Siberian Orchestra, for the third year. My wife and I really enjoy it, and the kids have as well. Tickets were bought months ago, and I almost missed the date. I was thinking it was next weekend....

My brother Stuman is off to Germany today for two weeks for some Army stuff. He called yesterday. He has started a tradition thing where every time he goes to Germany, he brings me back a stein. He called to see which ones I had again, and he is trying for another this time as well.

We ordered the announcements for the daughter's upcoming graduation. Over the next three months, I am sure we will be getting the needed addresses from family members and friends for her to bankrupt us with getting postage for them.

Ok. That's all I got for today.

PeacE

Tuesday, December 1

Ass Kickin'

Once again it has happened. I have had my ass handed to me yet one more time. This particular opportunity was used by none other than the Common Cold. Yeah, I am still sick. I just can't get rid of the nasal congestion, and of course, it has worked its way down into the chest, so I am coughing up phlegm way too often in my opinion.

No, it is not the flu. I am not, have not, ran/running a fever. As I said, congestion. And I just feel pretty miserable.

So, since my body is just wiped fighting this fiendish villian, I am just sleeping alot. Makes real exciting to read about, ay? Going to watch "Angels & Demons" today. Saw "Star Trek" finally last week - and I really enjoyed it.

That's it for now.

Oh. Hey. My niece (7th grade) had to make a 1-minute public service message. Watch the clip!! You'll see me in there somewhere!!


PeacE
video

Thursday, November 26

Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving Day to you readers! May your day be filled with good times, memories, and all that good stuff.

I am sitting at home alone today. All by choice. No, I am not boycotting the holiday, I am just sick. Yesterday, a head cold/sinus infection leapt upon me. By last night, I was wanting to crawl up and just not exist. This morning, I feel a very small fraction better, but now I ache (where I wasn't aching before) and still am clogged up, pressure build, etc. I guess the family will be heading to up north without me today... no sense in getting everyone else sick too.

I'll have to beg them to bring me back turkey.... my most favorite meal of the year. And I am sick.

Not a happy camper here today folks.

Ok, back to bed for now. Just took my pill.

PeacE

Sunday, November 22

Life is going on....

So it was a week that I care not to repeat. Though, knowing how things go around here, it will at some point in time.

The daughter and I are at least back on speaking terms. I sat down the other night and let her know what I thought about the whole thing. Told her basically I was tired of it all; it wasn't worth having a heart attack over; and that if she didn't start acting her age and responsibility level, something else was going to have to be done. I guess it helped.

Other than that, we are prepping to go into the Christmas shopping season. Thanksgiving will be spent up at my Bro-In-Law's place in Payson. I am making dessert. I have to make double, as my side of the family has already requested it too, though we won't be eating with them.

Be putting in a new garbage disposal tomorrow. Yee haw.

That's it for now.

PeacE

Tuesday, November 17

dot dot dot

It's been awhile. I almost missed being here. I say almost, because, for once in my life, I was doing the right thing. The 'right thing' as I see it is spending the time I have with my family. Yes, I can see many of you agree, it is a great and noble thing to do. Why waste your time here, when you have those things to do....

Which brings me back to here.... it feels like home.

In the last month, and maybe some more days than that, I have devote myself back to the family unit. Back to being more in the daily life of my children than I had been before. Trying my best to be more of a father than I had been before. Sounds pathetic, in a sense doesn't it? Why would I have to be more of one, if I was a good one before?

Simple answer. I wasn't/weren't/ain't the good father I thought I was....

No. None of the children are in welfare. None are in danger in our home. None are beaten senseless in drunken rages, or abused in physical way. And as I see it, none are verbally abused either....

Best place to start, they always say, is at the beginning...... I like to drink.

You'd think drinking is bad enough, but that is what I do... now. And even that is being controlled by me. How much you can trust an alcoholic? Well, my Wife trusts me. That trust has done wonders.

But, that's not the home problem. It's about growing old. Or for some, growing older.

I am a 38 year old male, who loves his High School Sweetheart, (whom I married) and we have had 4 WONDERFUL children together. My extremely talented daughter (18) and the three boys (11,7, 4). That's if I got their ages all correct. I am not a stickler for that.

Last night, there was an altercation. Mom and the daughter were in another room, and the all I heard was the daughter 'sassing back' to her mother. Strictly my interpretation of it. So I verbally broke in, and told daughter to not speak to her mother that way.

From there, it went to hell.

I have an 18 year old daughter telling both her parents to "fuck off" (yes Reverend Mother, exact words of your 'Princess') and not listening to anything. It's all about her. Let the police show up and take everyone to jail, because she can be out of this house.

Gotta love that. In fact, it sounds so good, I should have a PBR in my hand, and live in Kentucky!

Needless to say, the Wife and I are at wits end. The Daughter graduates in June, and is going to U of A in Tucson. We have told her for years, she gets R&B there, plus whatever else we can help pay over what grants/scholarships she gets.

It's all true. But to me it ain't right. The Daughter still has what they call here, 'Early Hour' band practices. So, she still needs to be driven to school early, before regular hours. This week, the Wife has vacation - one of those job things. Use it or lose it. This is her week she took to get it used.

So, after last night's 'fiasco', I awake and find a letter from the daughter. After reading it, I assume it is an apology from the 'fit' she had the night before. No, it is a letter placing blame on every family member for her problems, and total blame on me, for how she has become a failure in life.

The letter stated that *I* did not: support her choir concerts, her band concerts, the marching band activities, the theatrical plays, the class plays, in short... everything she has extracurricular in HS. True, I have not been to all of them. And the important ones, like the seniors walk at last home game.... she verbally said she did not want me to walk with her.

If this don't sound like a bad 'redneck' family, you tell me!

Tonight... I went to a bar. I drank. More than I have in over a month. I waited purposefully, before coming home. I wanted all the kids in bed. I said ALL.Especially the daughter, tonight. I asked my loving Wife, if the daughter and her had talked about the 'letter'. No.

(sigh)

I don't know how ot phrase it, but I have had the WORST kind of things happen in my life, been presented with the WORST sort of situations, and SUFFERED the consequences of my actions.... but this instance with the Daughter... I am at a loss.

I gave up on Christ years ago. I gave up on believing in family about the same time. My self belief - heh, I question it at the most important times. My Wife, who has been there through it all, has been the one thing I don't question.

So, what do I do?

(sigh)

I ain't really asking for no one's opinions..... just getting shit off my chest I guess.

Like the song says... 'God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy".

Good luck to the fucker that can figure my life out. Call me if ya do.

PeacE

Sunday, November 8

Been busy!

The last few days I have actually been sorta busy. That's my official excuse anyways.

The Daughter had Senior Recognition night on Friday. Which turned into the last home game of the season. And a loss of who knows what. I left after halftime, and the score was 48-7. Saturday, the band has State marching competition. They placed an Excellent with a caption for percussion. Unfortunately, they will not be going further - so marching season is basically done now.

Had a nice evening with the family last night. We sat down and watched GI Joe. Wasn't the greatest movie, wasn't the worst. Wasn't too bad coming form a toy/cartoon beginning.

Thinking about heading to the pub today to watch the race with some friends.

PeacE

Tuesday, November 3

UPdate with pics

So, I went to the dentist this morning. Seems the one tooth he had rebuilt 3/4 of the way is in ned of a root canal. Either that or pull it. Due to it's position (all the way in the back) he would need to refer me out to a specialist to have it done. Or I could have it removed. Then that side of my mouth would look like a jack o'lantern. I need to decide what to do and get it done as soon as I can. He was nice enough to give me a 'script for the pain at least.

Here are some pics from Halloween.

This is my youngest. He looks so cute in his fireman/truck outfit!

This is him l at the door of the real firetruck that was at the place they went.

All three boys decked out.

PeacE

Monday, November 2

A Weak Relapse

Gee. I hadn't realized it had been a week since I last updated. You'd think I would notice these things more, but I don't. What's happened in that week? I mean, besides all the hoopla about the N1H1 (or whatever numbers and letters) vaccine and other BS from the Gov't.....

I was sick. Yep. Arizona had a nice little cool down last week where it dropped to 60's during the day (one day prior being in the 90's). The wind had kicked up bad for the whole day before the temp drop, and I think between allergies and the common cold, I caught it. The cold that is. I was out about Thursday through the weekend. I am feeling much better now though.

The daughter had a marching band competition Saturday and received an 'Excellent' rating, but no captions. Tonight the HS district had all 9 HS bands perform their shows for free. It was a nice family night to watch them all play and brings back memories of my high school days. This coming Saturday she has State Competitions going on. I need to find out where to see if we are going to attend or not. If they place high there, the following weekend may send them going the big game representing Arizona.

And see... that's about all that happened. Oh yeah. Exciting.

Tomorrow morning, I once again return to the dentist chair. I have been having some pain near where the last bit of dental work had been done. I shrugged it off as residual pain - I mean, I had had 2 root canals and a tooth rebuilt plus 2 visits for 'planing and scaling' my teeth all within like 5 weeks of each other. I figured it was my mouth adjusting to sore gums (and would lessen as they healed) and the teeth being a bit more temperature sensitive. But after the last week living on ibuprofen every chance I get, and waking up with a major pain at early hours of the morning.... no. So tomorrow the dentist gets to play exploratory dentistry as he dives in to find out what the problem is. I am hoping it is just a bad cavity and easily fixed.

That's it for now. Try to post some Halloween pics of the boys tomorrow.

PeacE

Monday, October 26

Back Around to Monday

It's actually nice this Monday. To be able to feel like slowing down a little bit from the activity over the weekend. For the most part, things went well.

Saturday the daughter had the marching band invitational. I don't know what they scored...considering she did not make it home until after her curfew we had set. Yeah. A big, bad mistake. This is the second time she has pulled that shit, and frankly, I am fed up about it. She has just decided in the past 2 months that being 18 means she 'doesn't have to follow house rules' and that because she is going to college, she can do as she pleases now, as she will when she is there.

We decided that she needs to learn a few things more before we release her to the world. First being, what Daddy says, he means, and that's the rules.

Needless to say, we have ruined her life now and she informs us she is a "failure" because of it all. I smile and just say "I love you". Mainly, because if I say anything else, I'll lose my temper - and no one wants that. I try to think to myself that in 10 or maybe 15 years, she'll be more appreciative to the things we allowed/didn't allow her to do at this stage of her life. She'll see the "WHY" behind the parenting. We're not asking for thanks.... just for he hope that the children she has grow up to be just like her at this age. PLEASE!!!!

Had a nice time at the Sis's yesterday. We celebrated the Stuman's bday and that of his middle child and wife. I threw in the presents for his daughter too, as it looks like we may not make the party in a couple weeks or so.

I feel like I have put on some poundage this weekend. The food that has been placed before me has been terrific. The Wife made Pork roast, mashed potatoes, and corn on Friday night. It was so juicy and tender... I had to have seconds. And Sunday at Sis's we had meatloaf, turkey, cornbread, mac & cheese, some kind of apple dish, plus crackers with salami and chips, salsa, etc. Oh man. I ate another 2 plates there, and then one of my boys didn't finish half of theirs, so that went to daddy too. Too much good Food!!!

Got nothing exciting planned this week. Halloween is Saturday. No clue what we are doing yet. See ya laters.

PeacE

Friday, October 23

It Seems to have been a long one

This past week has been so uneventful, it feels as though it has dragged on forever. Not that I was THAT bored, just seemed longer than a normal week. It's ending on a busy weekend though.

It is Friday, and I am getting ready to let one of the boys on to play some WoW. Then I won't have the computer back til later. Saturday will be busy as the daughter has a band invitational to attend, that we may go and watch as well. It is being held at my Alma Mater. Then Sunday we are getting together at Sis's place for a 4 birthday get together.

The Wife had scheduled today off from work. It was pick a day or lose it basically. But it made for a nice day. We went to lunch and did some shopping (for the mentioned kids birthdays on Sunday). It was nice, even if we had the youngest with us. Tried out a place we hadn't eaten before - Golden Corral. I was unimpressed, and for the drive it definitely is not worth it to me.

Guess that is it for now. We'll see how I hold up through the weekend...

PeacE

Tuesday, October 20

Geez, Where does it go?

It's been a few days since I last threw something up on here. Seems like it was yesterday I posted last, but I see it wasn't. And it is not like I was so busy I forgot the time...

Nothing exciting happening. Kids are back in school after a week off for fall break (and being sick too).

I got nothing else today.

PeacE

Saturday, October 17

Cuz I is Lazy - with a Z

Here it is, late Friday night. All week you have been wondering where the d00d is, how is things going, kids well? found a job? all that other normal bullshit.

Yeah. Nothing has changed. Except the kids are better. The oldest came down with bronchitis nd an ear infection, but a 'script and rewst does wonders.

Okay, not much time cuz the Wife is on me about other things. I gotta look up the first marching competition location for tomorrow, and a bunch of other stuff I put off to the lat minute.

Til next time.....

PeacE

Tuesday, October 13

Quick Words before Bed

I am headed to bed, but figured I better throw some words up here to make sure you have something to waste your time on. Heh.

Sunday was good day. Enjoyed about a little over half the Cards-Houston game, and the blast at the tailgate party. Today though I am a bit sore from all the walking.

Daughter ended up in UrgentCare today from being sick. She has come down with Bronchitis and an ear infection. Some antibiotics and rest will do her up fine. We had to re-schedule her SATs until January though. Boys seem to have recovered well enough.

Tomorrow morning I go in for the remaining planing and scaling. It should be the last trip for the year for me. I hope.

That's it til next time.

PeacE

Sunday, October 11

Late Posting

It's 2am. Yes, I truly am headed to bed at this nice early hour. Too much gaming I guess. Tomorrow is a big day though. A friend invited me out to the Cardinals football game, so some tailgate partying and NFL action going on. Plus Church of Holy Beer and Softball first in the morning.

RM reminded me I forgot about the shirt they had given me for my bday. It was a late gift, but I love it anyways. Across the front is says D.A.D.D. (Dads Against Daughter Dating). Definitely cute. I am wearing it soon to somewhere in public to see what sort of comments I will receive. And RM, no, as usual I forgot to call the next day.

So oldest son is well, all other kids are still sick. The Wife and I are doing everything w can to care for the sick ones, and not catch it ourselves. Makes for a boring weekend (except for later today). At least they are off this next week for break.

I am taking my camera - maybe get some good pics to share!

PeacE

Thursday, October 8

Sometimes it is just a blank look and ....

WTF?

Yeah, that's it. with a total blank look, and a half open mouth. Why? I just can't figure out what the heck is going on. It's been one of those days, though I should have seen it coming all week.

Thursday, started out wonderful. By noon I was thinking it was going to be a good day. I headed out to the pub in the early afternoon to meet up with a couple buds, and Buds, for a nice round or two of video golf. Was out having a good time - when the phone call came.

Actually, it was a text. About 5:40'ish, I get this text from the daughter - something along the lines of: Boyfriend is coming to concert tonight, and asks if I can go to dinner afterwards.

(pondering look on my face) Concert? Tonight? Huh? Dinner with B boyfriend? It's Thursday....

I text back a quick "Call me", thinking that would be easier to get the answers I need about what is going on... teach me to think.

About that time in the process, the phone rings and it is The Wife. She is calling me to talk about the same thing. As we are talking (barely past the "Hi" and "What's up?") the phone is beeping for the other line. I miss it of course, and it was the daughter. I sigh in exasperation (because already this has confused the hell outta me) and call the Wife. She explains, rather patiently I might add, that the daughter has a Vocal Ensemble concert tonight (which no one had informed me of) and the whole boyfriend/dinner thing.

Fine. We worked out that yes it was fine - be home by 10 as it is a school night. Oh, but wait! There's more for this prize winner!!

Backing up to Tuesday, the oldest son became sick - fever over 100, coughing, other flu-like stuff. He misses 3 days of school this week (including today). Now on the phone, the Wife tells me the next oldest son has over 100 temp, and feels sick. Older better, next sick, and one in the wings just waiting I know. Now the Wife can't afford to be sick with Flu-like stuff in her line of work. They make them stay home mandatory 7 days (she works with geriatrics).

Damn, sometimes I am a good husband. I said okay, I would stay home with the sick boy, and any others wanting to NOT go to the concert. What time does daughter need to be there? In 20 minutes - and I am 10 minutes from home yet.

Sometimes it is good there is a police station on the way home from where I was. Because it seems the police are never in that area to pull anyone over. I made it home in REALLY good time.

The evening goes on, Wife comes home. Pizza had been ordered and we kicked back watching "Return of the King". Daughter due home at 10pm. At 9:58'ish, the Wife says, " I just got a text message from the daughter."

Huh? She is due home like in 2 minutes... Turns out, they supposedly were caught in traffic and were running late. Okay, sounds legit. I call her back and ask just where are they? Ten minutes from home... and she is just now calling to say oh, they were late.

Needless to say, she was later than 10, 15, or even 20 minutes following the call. Yeah. Traffic my ass. And she knew we were not happy about the whole thing. As soon as she came in it was tears and crying. We three sat down and as parents explained why we had guidelines, and how she is not following them. Next came what should we do to enforce them... blah blah blah.

Sentencing is held off until Saturday to allow the Wife and I to determine proper procedure.

So, if you are out in the early evening (Arizona time that is) and from the West (or East if yer in Cali) you hear a distance scream of rage and pent-up frustration.... That's me!

Children - don't know why I have them, except it was so much fun making 'em.

PeacE

Edit: And Uncle Mike, for some reason, I was trying to be a bit vague rather than point fingers at ya, but I guess Reverend Mother would have figured it out anyhows. From now on, you'll get name mention!! You're a great mentor!!

Wednesday, October 7

Wait. How much does it cost me?

I think every teenager, or son-to-be ones, start hating this question early. I know at my house, the daughter *still* hasn't learned to provide that info up front when asking me about something. It is almost the first phrase out of my mouth every time, answered with "I don't know" from her.

Well, not every time. But it sure feels that way. The Wife and I have been pretty well blessed, even with the economy today, and the job market (interpreted as my lack of a job) we have been able to "get by" and still do extra things family-wise. OF course, sometimes that means just going out to eat considering the size of the family.

So what brought up this topic today? Nothing really. Just me thinking. Saturday the daughter has her SAT testing scheduled. No one has mentioned the need for a possible fee. I am sure there is going to be one. Isn't there for everything when it comes to college prepping? And no one (meaning the daughter) has provided me (read as The Driver) any idea what time and exact place she needs to be. Evenings at my place are going to be repetitious for the next few evenings I am sure.

On the growing up side, the daughter is supposed to "instruct/teach" the 11 year old son how to operate the mower and weed-eater Friday evening. She has had the 'employment opportunity' of landscaping maintenance for the past few years, and now they pass on to younger shoulders, to allow her to prepare for Life's 'real work' ahead. This should be interesting. Wondering if I can find a place to take pics and listen in without them noticing too much.

Enough of my rambling. On to other important matters....

I wanna throw a quick shout out to MLAH over at this place. Someone had the balls to stand up for the Cowboys (though we will never figure out why...). Go give them a quick read. I did, and had a few laughs, too.

I received some email this morning from a family relative. Sorry Reverend Mother, but the desire to share is here. I was informed that today is SYBSTD. For those of you not able to figure out them acronyms, it's Show Yer Buddies Some Titties Day. So, (might as well end reading here RM, and go to the next site) here ya go to all my online buddies!

PeacE

Monday, October 5

Starting the Week off

Yesterday gave the week a good start. The Redskins won, Dallas lost; I won third place in my NASCAR pool (won money) and I won some money at GoldenTee 2010. All in all it was a good Sunday afternoon.

Of course, that was after the oldest son knocked out the middle son's tooth (which was loose anyways). Yeah, that was fun.

The daughter has her SAT tests this coming Saturday. I need to figure out where the HS that they are having them at is located. Be my luck will be across town. Which means I can cancel trying to get to my nephew's bday party out in BFE.

Tomorrow I got for a planing and scaling of my teeth - well, at least the left half. Then next Tuesday will be the other side. I am learning the meaning of a "million dollar smile". Been feeling less pain now. Maybe it is just some pressure on the teeth that has adjusted now - I don't know. Just glad it doesn't hurt as much.

PeacE

Saturday, October 3

It's a Little Distracting

So Thursday morning I went in to visit the dentist again. I was concerned about some pain I had been having, feelinglike it was coming from the general area of a 3rd tooth we had discussed about crowning. Thought it was going to be another root canal, and mentally psyched myself up for the possible pain like last time. No root canal - YEA! Instead, about 1.2 the tooth was removed (decay) and they did a build up. This one will need a crown as well.

The worst of it is I still hurt. Later that day when the novacaine wore off, I had a severe pain from the teeth in front of where he worked that morning. Needless to say, ibuprofen had been a regular part of my diet prior to the visit, but that was supposed to have been fixed. Well, now it is Saturday, and I wake up (early of course) and I am in discomfort again. Notice I didn't say in pain. ?But I still popped a couple ibuprofen.

I think I figured out what happened. In rebuilding the tooth (which was the furthest back of molars) he had to put a band around the area. I think the rebuild has added some pressure against the tooth in front of it, causing the chain effect of moving my teeth just slightly forward. Similar to how braces are used to the same effect. I noticed the pain isn't as severe as it has been, and hopefully if this is the correct explaination, it should be okay come Monday. It's just very distracting right now.

So "Stargate:Universe" started last night onthe SyFy channel. I don't have cable, so I called in backup (Sis) and asked her to Tivo it so I can see the 1st episode. I enjoyed the other Stargate series, and have a feeling I will like this one as well.

Sis also brought over last night the last of my Bday stuff. It had been ordered and late in arriving. It's a cool shirt made for my WoW character! I love it! A friend had ordered one for my son, and now I have one!

Guess that is it for now. I haven't been doing much since the teeth been bothering me. Maybe next week will be different.

PeacE

Friday, October 2

Early Friday

I guess this is where I upset the Reverend Mother. I mean, Mom, skip about 4 lines before you read more. (ok, make it more like 6)

What the Fucking Hell?!?!?!?

I was laughing about Stuman and Sis doing a contest about physical fitness, and running the mile, or doing push-ups/sit-ups. Now, by yer own admission, yer in on it too?

And I thought I was the fat bastard of the family.... and no one challengedme into this fitness battle. No one asked me, even dared me, to lose some weight.

Guess everyone loves my teddy bear hugs more.. I know my wife loves them, but she can get them no matter what.

Yeah. I see why I wasn't invited. Gets expensive, holding a bottle of Jack Daniels at the finish line every day so I can make it there ... sooner or later...

Besides, I'm lazy.

PeacE

Thursday, October 1

Appointments, Cancellations, and the Usual

I notice how rough the skin is on my hands this morning. I have no idea why I am noticing it, besides it being uncomfortable as I rub my eyes. I need to put some lotion on I guess.

And hopefully, that will be the most painful thing, or closest to it, I will feel today. I head back to the dentist chair in about an hour. Third procedure that he says should not be a root canal, but I feel differently. I hope he is right and it is just my regular pessimism that is going to be surprised.

Either way, I am canceling all appointments to the dentist for myself for the rest of the year. Seems my dental insurance coverage has already been maxed for this year. So after I finish fixing the painful things, I will wait til next year to complete the process to being "healthier" in the sense for my teeth.

Not much else going on around here. Weather is cooling down to the mid and low 90's. It is October, so I guess time to start trying to get some Christmas shopping done early if we can. Yee haw. The daughter needs me to run to the bookstore today to get her "Jane Eyre" which they are reading in English.

Okay. That's it. Getting ready for my appointment, and debating where I want to go for breakfast afterwards. Thinking BK or McD's sounds good. Maybe I'll just wait til lunch.

PeacE

edit: no root canal - rebuilt 1/2 a tooth though, and the pain is still there. GuessI will be seting another appt.

Wednesday, September 30

What Do I Say Here?

It's been weird around here. Weird is such a good word to describe things sometimes.

Last week had some momentous occasions in it, that I was so busy with them, I couldn't even post some wordage.

Yer right. I lie. It weren't that bad. Well, some of it anyways. I did have the second root canal done, and that one gave the name 'root canal' it's bad reputation. Leastways, the pain I felt, and what the dentist sayed, it's true. T'weren't pleasant like a stroll along the lake!!

So we moved on into the weekend, and the last construction of what I thought was a tooth started yelling. I been sucking Ibuprofen like a drug addict since. No, not yer normal dose of 2 every four hours - let's talk like 4 every 2. Sis offered Vicadin if I needed, but I was like, ... no. Best if I don't do that.

I finally broke down tonight and used some Jack to help. And it is only Tuesday. My appt ain't til Thursday. Guess I got enough tim e for the Jack to wear off til I see him. Good thing - Bad thing. I dunno. Prolly better in the long run.

My daughter turned 18 this past Monday. Kinna makes ya feel weird when your oldest one actually hits that age. She is a senior, and doesn't graduate til June-ish. She had Homecoming this past weekend and I'll post a pic of her at the end of this drivel.Okay, I guess we are at the end of my drivel, at least my mind and everyone else in my head says we is. Here is a pic of my daughter for homecoming....


And you pervs - don't even. I know too many good people with guns.

PeacE

Friday, September 25

Short one of no content

It's Friday. I am happy it is because that is one more day I can check off until my next dental apoointment. My last one until the start of the year anyways. Dental insurance coverage was maxed out with just a small portion of the last visit, so everything else is out of pocket. I have a bad feeling this next one is another root canal, but won't know for sure until they get inthere and clean it out. Crossing my fingers it isn't. However, other indicators are pointing to that direction.

Wedsnesday the office called to follow up from the root canal. My jaw ached a bit, but it was more from holding open for the procedure. But later that evening, that last trouble tooth decided to let me know it was jealous of the others for getting more attention. Ibuprofen has been my friend the past few mornings and evenings. Now if I can just get thru the next 4 days....

My daughter has her Homecoming game tonight. The dance is tomorrow night. Her boyfriend is comoing up from UofA in Tucson to go with her. The Wife's school has their homecoming game tonight as well. She has been undecided about to attend the daughter's game or her own school's. This morning she decided on her own school. I told her to call me when she got off work to determine how I felt about being able to go as well. If the pain from this tooth is bad enough, I'll stay home and try to not scream and cry about it. Well, more like not have anyone to whine to about it, except you of course.

Monday is my daughter's 18th birthday. Sunday we are planning on doing a family dinner at teh place of her choice. I asked this morning if she had decided on a place yet. Her asnswer was no. Probably thinking about the dance more than anything else I figure.

My middle son is his class's 'Star of the Week' next week. This weekend he gets to fill out a form about likes, and his "autobiography". He is excited about it. Remember, he is only in 2nd grade.

alright, gonna head down for a bit of sleep. Maybe the ibuprofen will kick in and it will stop throbbing for a bit when I get up.

PeacE

Tuesday, September 22

Tuesday Already?

Man, seems like only yesterday I was at this point, trying to find something to post about. But, as the facts show, it was last Thursday. What happened to my weekend? I have no clue.

I go back in this morning for the possible 2nd root canal. Not too worried after the care of the first one. My only problem is there may be a quick change of plans. One tooth we were only filling and crowning has began to ache terribly on a couple occasions over the weekend. I have a feeling (heh, filling if ya wanna be punny) that it will need a root canal now. Hopefully the regular one scheduled for today won't - that will help save a bit. Find out in the next hour or so.

Things are normal for my place otherwise. Kids are doing well in school. Food on the table, roof above the head. That's all I got for now.

PeacE

Thursday, September 17

Gotta Love the d00d

I am in pain. Just a little bit. Enough to irritate and make me grouchy. Ibuprofen is working so-so.

Why do I hurt? I had a root canal done this morning. First one I have ever had. The second one is scheduled for Tuesday. Hopefully won't need it. The dentist says we will determine for sure once the decay is cleaned up as to how bad it is. Might get by with a filling. Still going to need crownson both though. And another one.

So not much to share today. It's noonish and I am thinking of laying down. However, I also want to get to the store to get some computer speakers. Prolly wait until tonight when it is cooler. Yeah, and the Wife wants me to get some button-sized battery, but I forgot what size.

Okay. I am outta here.

PeacE

Monday, September 14

Reggie

I updated last night, catching you all up with my wonderful life. I don't have much for today, at least at this hour. I received an enail about a week or so ago. I was moved by it and, of course, forwarded to many friends. One of my boys sent it back to me, not realizing I had sent it to him I think. I re-read itthis morning, and even though I knew what it was about, it was still moving to me. So I am going to share it for today's spot. I have no clue who the author is, or even how true it may be. The only editting I did was to take out the "<" things at the beginning of each line, and remove the email forward infos. Enjoy.

They told me the big black Lab's name was Reggie, as I looked at him lying in his pen. The shelter was clean, no-kill, and the people really friendly.

I'd only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open.

Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.

But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn't hurt. Give me someone to talk to.

And I had just seen Reggie's advertisement on the local news.

The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn't look like "Lab people," whatever that meant. They must've thought I did.

But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis balls, his dishes, and a sealed letter from his previous owner.

See, Reggie and I didn't really hit it off when we got home.

We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home).

Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too.

Maybe we were too much alike.

For some reason, his stuff (except for the tennis balls - he wouldn't go anywhere without two stuffed in his mouth) got tossed in with all of my other unpacked boxes.

I guess I didn't really think he'd need all his old stuff, that I'd get him new things once he settled in.

But it became pretty clear pretty soon that he wasn't going to.

I tried the normal commands the shelter told me he knew, ones like "sit" and "stay" and "come" and "heel," and he'd follow them - when he felt like it.

He never really seemed to listen when I called his name - sure, he'd look in my direction after the fourth of fifth time I said it, but then he'd just go back to doing whatever.

When I'd ask again, you could almost see him sigh and then grudgingly obey.

This just wasn't going to work. He chewed a couple shoes and some unpacked boxes.

I was a little too stern with him and he resented it, I could tell. The friction got so bad that I couldn't wait for the two weeks to be up, and when it was, I was in full-on search mode for my cellphone amid all of my unpacked stuff.

I remembered leaving it on the stack of boxes for the guest room, but I also mumbled, rather cynically, that the "darn dog probably hid it on me."

Finally I found it, but before I could punch up the shelter's number, I also found his pad and other toys from the shelter. I tossed the pad in Reggie's direction and he snuffed it and wagged, some of the most enthusiasm I'd seen since bringing him home.

But then I called, "Hey, Reggie, you like that? Come here and I'll give you a treat."

Instead, he sort of glanced in my direction - maybe "glared" is more accurate - and then gave a discontented sigh and flopped down.

With his back to me. Well, that's not going to do it either, I thought.

And I punched the shelter phone number. But I hung up when I saw the sealed envelope.

I had completely forgotten about that, too.

"Okay, Reggie," I said out loud, "let's see if your previous owner has any advice."

_______________________________________

To Whoever Gets My Dog:

Well, I can't say that I'm happy you're reading this, a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by Reggie's new owner. I'm not even happy writing it. If you're reading this, it means I just got back from my last car ride with my Lab after dropping him off at the shelter.

He knew something was different.

I have packed up his pad and toys before and set them by the back door before a trip, but this time...it's like he knew something was wrong.

And something is wrong...which is why I have to go to try to make it right.

So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it will help you bond with him and he with you.

First, he loves tennis balls. The more the merrier. Sometimes I think he's part squirrel, the way he hordes them. He usually always has two in his mouth, and he tries to get a third in there. He hasn't done it yet. Doesn't matter where you throw them, he'll bound after it, so be careful-really don't do it by any roads. I made that mistake once, and it almost cost him dearly.

Next, commands.

Maybe the shelter staff already told you, but I'll go over them again: Reggie knows the obvious ones - "sit," "stay," "come," "heel." He knows hand signals: "back" to turn around and go back when you put your hand straight up; and "over" if you put your hand out right or left. "Shake" for shaking water off, and "paw" for a high-five. He does "down" when he feels like lying down - I bet you could work on that with him some more. He knows "ball" and "food" and "bone" and "treat" like nobody's business.

I trained Reggie with small food treats. Nothing opens his ears like little pieces of hot dog.

Feeding schedule: twice a day, once about seven in the morning, and again at six in the evening. Regular store-bought stuff; the shelter has the brand.

He's up on his shots. Call the clinic on 9th Street and update his info with yours; they'll make sure to send you reminders for when he's due.

Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet. Good luck getting him in the car - I don't know how he knows when it's time to go to the vet, but he knows.

Finally, give him some time.

I've never been married, so it's only been Reggie and me for his whole life. He's gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can. He sits well in the backseat, and he doesn't bark or complain.

He just loves to be around people, and me most especially. Which means that this transition is going to be hard, with him going to live with someone new. And that's why I need to share one more bit of info with you...

His name's not Reggie.

I don't know what made me do it, but when I dropped him off at the shelter, I told them his name was Reggie. He's a smart dog, he'll get used to it and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt.

But I just couldn't bear to give them his real name. For me to do that, it seemed so final, that handing him over to the shelter was as good as me admitting that I'd never see him again.

And if I end up coming back, getting him, and tearing up this letter, it means everything's fine.

But if someone else is reading it, well...well it means that his new owner should know his real name. It'll help you bond with him. Who knows, maybe you'll even notice a change in his demeanor if he's been giving you problems.

His real name is Tank. Because that is what I drive.

Again, if you're reading this and you're from the area, maybe my name has been on the news.

I told the shelter that they couldn't make "Reggie" available for adoption until they received word from my company commander.

See, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could've left Tank with... and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq, that they make one phone call to the shelter... in the "event"... to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption. Luckily, my colonel is a dog guy, too, and he knew where my platoon was headed. He said he'd do it personally.

And if you're reading this, then he made good on his word.

Well, this letter is getting too downright depressing, even though, frankly, I'm just writing it for my dog.

I couldn't imagine if I was writing it for a wife and kids and family. but still, Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long as the Army has been my family. And now I hope and pray that you make him part of your family and that he will adjust and come to love you the same way he loved me. That unconditional love from a dog is what I took with me to Iraq as an inspiration to do something selfless, to protect innocent people from those who would do terrible things... and to keep those terrible people from coming over here.

If I had to give up Tank in order to do it, I am glad to have done so. He was my example of service and of love. I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.

All right, that's enough. I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at the shelter.

I don't think I'll say another good-bye to Tank, though. I cried too much the first time. Maybe I'll peek in on him and see if he finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth.

Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home, and give him an extra kiss goodnight - every night - from me.

Thank you,
Paul Mallory
_____________________________________

I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope.

Sure I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even new people like me. Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago and posthumously earning the Silver Star when he gave his life to save three buddies. Flags had been at half-mast all summer.

I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog.

"Hey, Tank," I said quietly. The dog's head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes bright. "C'mere boy."

He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor. He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn't heard in months.

"Tank," I whispered. His tail swished. I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time, his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood him. I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my face into his scruff and hugged him.

"It's me now, Tank, just you and me. Your old pal gave you to me." Tank reached up and licked my cheek. "So whatdaya say we play some ball?" His ears perked again. "Yeah? Ball? You like that? Ball?" Tank tore from my hands and disappeared in the next room.

And when he came back, he had three tennis balls in his mouth.

Sunday, September 13

Football Season and Homecomings

Yes, it is that time of year, when the pigskin is cherished and revered more than life itself it seems. NFL started this weekend, and to be honest, I have been scared to find out how my favorite team has started their season. I will probably look and cringe, then cry, after posting this - we'll see.

Football is also biginthe schools -as I am sure you parents are aware. My daughter is in the marching band and they play at all home games. Their Homecoming game is like in 2 weeks - way early than it should be it seems, but who am I to complain about a calendar the chool puts together. Lord knows they wouldn't listen to my voice anyways.
Either way, I gother Senior pics and said I would post a couple. Here ya go.



Yup. Takes after her Mother. See y'all next time, I am off to get some rest.

PeacE

Friday, September 11

Overcoming your Fears

I know many, many people in this day and age have a severe fear of something. Several of us won't admit it; others talk about it openly like they were at an AA meeting. But 99.9% of everyone has one of some sort. I know I do. But I am not here to share about it. I'm just saying....

So if everyone has at least one major, severe fear, wouldn't it make sense that there are other things in life that scare them, just not as bad? Death is a fine example for me. I am scared of dying in a sense, but I know it is going to happen at some point. Maybe the manner in which I die is more scary than actually dying...

Another issue I am not here to talk about today. I am getting good at not getting to the point. Please elect me President.

*Sigh* Okay. I swallowed the bile tasting saliva, tightened up the belt, and overcame one of my more severe, but not the most severe, fear.

I visited the dentist.

Yeah, I know. Many people have fears/dislikes for the Tooth Doctor. Mine I think is just based on bad experiences while younger. I am not saying I am a toothless, younger than 40 (that's for you Sis) guy - just that the dentists I visited never explained procedures, didn't check my comfort with the numbness, etc. In fact, I see more and more of these dentists offices conforming to society by going out of their way to make them nice experiences. There must be many more like me.

So the Wife and kids have been visiting this one clinic about a mile and half up the road. Nice. Close to home. Kids like him. I have a filling that fell out a couple years ago. It hurts. I'll see him. Called - got in the next day (yesterday). I knew I was a new patient and there would be x-rays galore. But digital pictures too? And a tour of the office? Dang .... Nice place.

This Doc sat down after a brief exam and history, explained what is going on wrong with my teeth, using very understandable jargon, digital pics of the tooth being discussed, and the x-rays. Gave me options for each problem, suggestions, and recommendations - all based on his opinion and let me know the cost involved as well. This has got to be a dream I am thinking.

Then, the filling I lost was actually between 2 teeth, and for immediate purposes, he filled the holes with a plastic compound so it would stop hurting for the short term. I loved this! Concerned about my pain! This guy was good! I think they sucker punched me with some really good nitrous or something int he back room when they did the x-rays - the nurse was out of the room several times....

Bottom line came down to: 2 root canals, 3 crowns, and several cavities to be fixed. Worked it all in to about 8 appointments. First root canal starts next Thursday. Then Tuesday, Then a planing and Scaling of the plaque a couple weeks after that. Yeah. Not looking forward to that one. But he (the doc) actually helped me overcame a fear of dentists by walking me through the process and explaining everything (even if I thought some of it was boring).

So, that was the excitement of the week. How about you? Can you beat it?

The daughter has Sr. photos now. Will have to see if Daddy gets any and will post.

PeacE

Monday, September 7

Labor Day

It is the final day of a nice three day weekend. I am sitting here, too damn early in the morning, hoping you all are going to wind up this evening, recapping a wonderful weekend. I feel like my weekend is already over and know mine was one of a kind.

I spent way too much time this weekend playing WoW. Of course, Saturday, it had rained most of the morning. I had presumed my nephew's football game had been called due to the rain and lightning, but I guess where they played, it didn't rain until after the game. It was only 2 miles from my house, but it was pouring here.

Sunday, my birthday was nice. Spent the morning playing on the computer when some friends called early in the afternoon. Went to my regular pub, where they had got me a coupe presents and a decorated Choc-Chip Cookie (they remembered I don't eat cake). So had a few with them then headed home. Our family tried a new place for my dinner. It was called Black Bear Diner, and had a little bit of a New Hampshire type theme. Food was great and priced well for the good sized portions. I had the Meatloaf dinner - and had to bring about a good 1/3 home. I think almost everyone brought something home. And the bill was still under $70 before tip. The Wife and I added it to the list of places we like to eat at.

For the loot -I have been scoring pretty good. The Reverends (both are ordained) got me a Barnes & Noble gift card. Rev Mom made the comment she finally realized it is better to let me pick my own type of books out then try to guess what I would like to read. My brother is in Massachusetts, but when he had come home from Germany last month, he had given my present early - a authentic stein and T-shirt from Germany. Sis emailed me and said she has something for me I need to pick up, or she can bring to me. I don't know why she got me more - they already gave me this newer, upgraded computer setup a few months ago and told me it was an early birthday present. I wasn't expecting anything more from them. My friend Ginny got me a gift card for my choice of 4 different restaurants. I told her I would save it for when she and I go to Red Lobster here sometime soon.

For the best present so far, the Wife and kids have not given me anything. I have been dropping the bomb about what I want for my birthday for the past month or more, and it worked. I get to go to the 'Big Boys Toy Store - Electronics' and pick me out a really nice sound system for the computer. Right now I got a crappy pair of tinny speakers that distorts the sound when you turn it up just loud enough to hear. Been using the headphone/mic set to hear games, etc. But now I can get some good speakers and maybe a sub-woofer. If I price it good enough, I might even upgrade the head/mic set too. That would be a nice bonus!

Thanks to everyone out there that have sent nice thoughts and wishes my way for that special day. More to come soon.

PeacE

Thursday, September 3

Babies and Labor Day Weekend

For family today's choice of titles - NO! TheWife is NOT pregnant!!

It's Thursday, and today I get the wonderful decision to figure out what is going on this weekend as far as what my family plans on doing. I know many have big gatherings and have barbecues, beer and whatnot. This year, I don't know what to do. The daughter's boyfriend will be back in town from college and she has already asked about spending "part of" a day with him at some point. I know that means as much time as she can get away with. The Wife said she would rather just stay home and do things around the house. The boys just want more chances to play WoW.

Me. I just celebrate. See, I am a Labor Day baby. Back many years ago (but not 40 of them, Sis) I was birthed into this world on the holiday. Now, my birthday only falls on that day every 11 years, but the weekend is always a big deal for me. This year, I have no idea what I am going to do. Most years, I have Stuman drive me around the pubs I visit, get my free birthday drinks, plus drinks from friends, etc. But this year, he is leaving for Mass. for a couple weeks for training having to do with his Army job. So he won't be my DD this year.

Actually, though, the past few months, I have been doing good about not going out drinking as much, so I probably would not want to do that this year anyways. Makes the Wife happy at least.

Either way, this Sunday is my birthday, and I need to figure out how to celebrate this year. I thnk it will come down to taking the family out to dinner at one of my favorite places to eat. Only, then I have to make a decision as I have so many!!

Hope everyone has a good weekend coming up!! I know I will one way or another!!

PeacE

Wednesday, September 2

Mid Week Blahs

Hump day is here and finds me lacking in the 'Interesting' department. I am beginning to think that because of the summer temps here in AZ that is the reason I don't have much going on. I prefer to stay indoors as much as possible, so I don't do anything.

Tonight theWife and daughter are going to look at her Sr portrait proofs and place the order. Another half a grand gone I am sure. Twenty years ago when I was a senior, I don't recall everything being so high-priced. But then I guess that is the way things go.

Sis and family are starting to feel better from their colds. I guess their poodle had some pups last night too. If I recall correctly, the BIL said there were 3 in the litter, which is a normnal size litter for the small poodle. I have reminded my kids again, that NO, we are not getting one of the pups. Still have the Spawn of Satan, Rusty, here in the home.

Rusty and I have come to a good deal. HE doesn't bother me during the day, and I don't toss him around the house, or kick him out of my way. So far, he is doing good on his end of thebargain.

My uncle informs me he started a blog recently. I am going to have to bug him to find out where it is and see how things go for it. Maybe if he likes I can link it over ont he side so other family members that read here can learn a thing or two.

Ok, I am typed out for now. See y'all next time.

PeacE

Sunday, August 30

Sunday Morning Coming Down

It's early. Well, for me on a Sunday morning it is. For some unknown reason, 6:00am knocked me up the side of the head and wouldn't let sleep hold me in it's arms. Si I am up doing the the daily surfs.

My nephew won his first football game for PopWarner. I wasn't able to make it like I had hoped. Maybe htat's why I can't sleep this morning becuase Saturday morning I couldn't wake up. Mighthavebeen for the best though. Sis made a comment that it seems some of the people are coming down with colds anyways. Don't need to catch any of that.

The Wife and Daughter go Wednesday night to proof the Senior Portraits. Some year after that (and the hefty price we have to pay) we will have some pics of her for her senior year. I am sure I will get one posted once I get one.

Other than that, it has been a typical weekend. The family did some chores around the house, and they will attend church this mornig.

See y'all later this week.

PeacE

Friday, August 28

TGIF

Another slow week has come to an end. A nice ending if I pretty much figure it all right. Excluding the mishaps that happened, the week hasn't been overly bad.

The daughter had 4 teeth pulled over the course of the week. She is gone tonight to stay at a friend's house until tomorrow.

My nephew is having his first PopWarner football game I will be doingmy best to make an appearance at. Sis invited me over for lunch afterwards. Sounds like a win-win situation.

I had a glass of vanilla milk this morning to start the breakfast. Can't beat that.

Played all the Mafia Wars on Myspace and Facebook - guess it is time for some WoW.

PeacE

Tuesday, August 25

Crappy morning

Today can only get better, I hope. This morning has been full of enough stuff to disappoint me, that short of being in an accident, or dying, I don't know what else could be worse.

In the mornings I take the daughter to school. She has what they call zero hour for band - gives them an extra hour to practice for marching season, and during regular season, for music practice. It is one of those things I don't care to do, but ya gotta be a parent sometimes. Anyways, I usually drive the Wife's vehicle, as it has AC and is a nicer ride than my POS car. This morning, it also blew out the driver side front tire on the way. Luckily, we were a very short distance from the school and the daughter didn't have to go far. I on the other hand, am at the parking lot entrance, in old T-shirt and grungy old shorts - clothes I just threw on to do the 15 min run to school and home. No shoes, shorts barely staying up, bending over trying to get the tire changed. I am sure passing traffic loved the view of my fat ass wagging at them.

As chance would have it, I actually had grabbed my cell phone and put it in my pocket before I left home. Something I never as a rule, do.

Tire got changed, asked the FIL to run the Wife to work, and I was out front of Discount Tire 15 min before they opened. Ten minutes later, I have 2 new tires, a free rotation, and spent $205. So, seemed easily fixed for the 20 minute butt-shaking show I gave North Phoenix today. Normally one would have to pay to see something like that....

I get home, shower the sweat and tire grunge off me, and start my daily routine. By the time I got to where I log into my WoW game, I find out it is down for maintenance until supposedly 11AM. It;s after that now and it is still non-operational.

I am just having a bad morning. Needless to say, I have to pick the Wife up from work later on - not too bad. At least I'll have AC to do that in. Supposed to be 109+ today.

Okay, I need to get off of here I guess. My Uncle is asking for some pics from my IN trip. Good thing I finally downloaded them just yesterday for this occasion. I know he'll be happy! Ya know I luv ya Uncle Mike!

PeacE

Monday, August 24

Pathetic

That's the way this post is going to be. I just have nothing going on in my life. It is so droll, I can't even make up something worth lying about.

Daughter gets to miss the last class of school today. I am sure she was excited about that. Until she found out it was for a dental appointment. To have two teeth removed. And another appointment on Thursday. For two more to be removed. So they can start her braces.

Oh yes. Thrill a minute here at B&B!!

I ge tthe wonderful task of taking her and writing out that check. I think my Wife likes my signature on the checks better - so she can blame the spending on me. Well, it sounded good anyways.

Okay, I am out of here for the day. Hopefully, something funny will happen this afternoon and I will have content for you tomorrow.

PeacE

Friday, August 21

Week's End

TGIF - seriously! Not that I feel anything relief from a full work week or anything, I am just happy is Friday. No major reason, just sounds good.

An uncle from Indiana came into town yesterday to visit for a couple days. Took the family over to Reverend Mother's for supper of Taco Soup and chips. Don't ask - I couldn't explain it. Just know it was good and I had 2 helpings. She also had tried to make some old fashioned ice cream, but it wouldn't harden up. So we had shakes instead. We visited for a while then did the tag team with the Sis and her son. Today I guess RM and he are going to 'walk the mal' and do whatever they feel like doing.

I have mentioned before that the daughter is a senior this year. That means all the extra things we have to do as parents. Saturday she has her Senior Portraits scheduled. We are doing the next to smallest package, and it is still like $300. I was shocked to see some packages are upwards of $800, plus a 'sitting session fee' for additional poses/clothe changes/etc. I'll never understand it all. Then she mentioned SATs are coming up in October. So there is another $45 I think, plus having to take her where ever the place of testing is located.

*Sigh*

Only three more kids to do all this for after her.... Joy.

Alrighty, time to head out of here. I have ran out of good stuff to write about that is even remotely interesting.

PeacE

Wednesday, August 19

Hump Day - you know what that means

It's been another slow week so far. Members of the Wife's family have finally gone their way, returning to where they came from. Things have settled down somewhat. The kids are getting into a routine with school - though we are still working on the bedtime issue - especially with the oldest.

Nothing else much to add today. I think I will have to go out and havea few beers tonight with my friend G. It's her birthday today, and I know she has planned the rest of the week off. Think I might cab up to the pub instead of driving...

Til next time...

PeacE

Monday, August 17

Beautiful Monday Morning

That sure is a word most people don't use to describe a Monday morning. I thought twice before I actually used it. I debated using "nice" instead, but for a Phoenix morning, it is quite beautiful. I drove the daughter to school and the temperature was great; the sun was just about to peak over the mountain to the east; the morning colors of the sky were displaying a calming combination. Just beautiful.

So, I was able to waste that much space with drivel. Beautiful. You know it is bad when your friends read your blog, and when you don't update for a few days, they actually email you telling you that the blog is lacking content for them to waste time reading. Pathetic!! But, being under the thumb of my readers, I am here to complete your requests.

This weekend was another busy one. The kids had just finished their first week of school. Nothing major. My in-laws celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. A very big. The Wife and her brothers had made it a surprise celebration at a local restaurant and two of her brothers had been able to attend from out of state. Needless to say, they were surprised and excited. The Wife has off today to spend some family time before one of the brothers leaves for home.

The in laws celebrated the 50th on Saturday. But Friday was a celebration as well. The Reverend Mother and her hubby celebrated their Anniversary on the 14th. I don't know how many years (not 50 yet obviously) but still. I spent Sunday afternoon at the Sister's playing Wow with the BIL And nephew. We are kicking so much butt at that game!! The Wife had the kids spending time with her family.

And that was all the excitement of the weekend. I know. Kept you at the edge of your seat, huh? Well, the Wife is planning on going to a place called Ridemakerz today. It is someplace you take your boys (or girls too I guess) and build model cars or something like that. Her brother brought his youngest son, and she thought he might like that. Me? I an going to play WoW.

Okay. That's it for now. I am still a bit groggy from staying up late last night, and the thought process is running slow. That and I will be spending the next 20 minutes trying to spellcheck this post. Have a good day!

PeacE

Wednesday, August 12

Something is Different Around Here

Not much to write about today. My life has been somewhat boring of late - which is nice. No drama, no soap operas. Just clean boring regular day to day stuff. It's gotten so boring, I don't care about my punctuation anymore. Well, at least I may not always correct it....


So let's play a word game today. I don't know the name of the game, but I give a word, and you see how many words you can make from it.


Today's word is : BARED


One clue - bread don't count. What the hell does that other word have to do with anything? Well, it went bu-bye this morning. I couldn't hear the "Taps" playing over the sound of the hair trimmers, but that is okay. It got a fitting 'lay to rest' in the bathroom trash.


In case you wonder why this was such a deal, we have to go back several months. The families had gotten together near the end of January to celebrate the Sis's and her son's birthdays. Stuman and my BIL had both decided to grow beards, and had both started about Jan. 1st. I had only a goatee, so I jokingly asked if it was a contest as to who could grow the most the fastest. Laughingly, the answer came back yes.


Being of the somewhat competitive natured person I am, and it would be even lazier to not shave, I started to let mine achieve it's desired potential. Here is a picture of me July 4th after 5 months of growth.





Well, I did my Indiana trip, and had many comments about looking like 'Grizzly Adams' or how I reminded some of certain family members when they were younger. But the combo of facial hair, being fat, and sweating a lot in the Arizona heat (and dry air) created the effect of Monster-Sized dandruff and raw skin from scratching. My cheeks look reddened by rouge, but it is from irritation - and I haven't broke the razor in to 'baby-smooth' the cheeks.


My kids are so attentive. They didn't even notice this morning. But the were concerned about how leveled up I got my WoW character. Go figure.


Okay, I wasted enough of our time together today. Think about this while you are enjoying today....





PeacE

Monday, August 10

It's That Time of Year Again

I know I waited somewhat anxiously for this day to come, and though I was prepared for it, we were still caught by surprise.

School started today. The three older kids are back in the classroom as I type this, and I love it! Now instead of hearing how bored they are, they will be complaining of homework, and telling stories of what happened during the day.

So, like the wonderful parents we are, the Wife and I had pretty much everything ready for today. Supplies had been purchased and distributed among the clan; they were instructed to have clothes out for the next day; even the early (wish it were earlier) bedtime last night.

All for the Wife and I to oversleep.

Yes. I don't know if it didn't get turned on, or got turned off in her sleep, but there was no noise I heard this morning of the alarm. Either way, 7:05 was blazing in red numbers as the Wife jumps out of bed and exclaimed "Oh, no!" I readily, hurriedly, and uncolor-coordinatedly dressed and rushed the Daughter to school. She was to be there by 7:15. Well, 7:21 ain't too shabby for a wake up like this morning. The boys made it to school in fine time as well. I presume the Wife made it to work with no problem as well, but have not heard.

I have to confess. I am now officially the "Bad Son". We had celebrated the Reverend Mother's Glorious 60th Birthday on Friday night, but yesterday was the exact day. Me, being the over-thoughtful, loving, caring, doting son that I am - forgot to call and wish a Happy Bday. I made a call about 5 minutes ago and pled my case before the Reverend Mother, who in her infinite love exonerated me and allowed me to keep my status as her favorite. Well, she said it was okay since I had a bunch of other stuff on my plate at the time. And I am not talking about food.

Okay folks, I need to get going on some other stuff (like playing WoW and leveling up). Y'all have a good one!

PeacE

Saturday, August 8

*YAWN*

MAn, I am ready for bed. Just got done playing some WoW. My bro in law hooked me up with a set of headphones w/mic and I installed the software so I can talk with them while we are all online playing. It's pretty rad for a bumpkin like me! The boys are excited to get their chance to try it out with their cousin!

The Reverend Mother celebrated her 60th bday with a surprise party for her tonight. I can't explain how hard it was to not mention anything that would tip her off as to the shindig. Needless to say, it came off as a success. Sis did a wonderful job with a picture video put to music she made ont he computer. Good enough I got some tears going - and I watched it like 4 times before the party! For relatives reading this, I am sure I can pass word along if you would like a copy of the video (hint Uncle Mike). I know my Aunt will be here til Wed. I am sure Sis can burn a copy to send back.

The Daughter and I had a nice conversation over breakfast this morning. We worked out the problem, and made better guidelines as to what each of us expect. Maybe making the mistakes now with her will make it easier when the boys get that age. Somehow I doubt it.

Nate had a wonderful birthday today. He scored a number of programs for the computer, and Saturday (today) we are going to the place of his choosing for lunch. Go figure it is a place similar to Chuck E Cheeses (or Showbiz - depending on where you are at I guess). I know he will be getting more stuff tomorrow. Not a bad haul for a 7 year old.

Okay I gotta git as my eyes are falling down.

PeacE