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.


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.


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.


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.


Monday, September 14


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'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.


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.


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.


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!!


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.