Showing posts from 2007

Snow-time like the Present

I went XC skiing today. I actually went for the first time all year last night. It was beautiful with the snow covered trees and the silence of the woods. A few hairy moments on the hills when I fell out of the tracks that were pre -formed and blazed my own trail. Not recommended, by the way. So today I went out determined to do more and get a real workout. As I set out with great zeal, life was good. I had my new Ipod going, the trails were fast (and visible), and I felt invincible. I passed a couple and a family trying to look like the Olympian I never was. Now I thought I had a decent understanding of the trail system at Minooka Park. It's a County park near us and while it is impossible to get lost, it seems they've added a few miles of trail since I last skiied it. I kept taking the "long" trail because, as I mentioned, I was invincible. Well, as time wore on and I began to tire, I thought " Hmmm ...where am I anyways?" I took a path that I thought

A Heart 2 Times Too Small

I stayed home from work today, sick with a head cold. Ben was sick with a stomach thing too, so it was a boys "Ferris Bueller's day off" today. I HATE getting sick. I don't expect anyone likes it much. Last night as I was walking home from another forgetful day at work, I came across a stranded Carroll College motorist who's car was dead in the middle of a busy street. A woman had stopped to help, but both of them were just standing in the street looking at each other like God was going to magically jump the kid's battery without provocation. When I joined the deer-in-the-headlights party I suggested we PUSH the dead car out of the intersection into a nearby lot. Let's move everyone out of harm's way shall we? So this student finally comes to and says "Yeah, I guess we could". Yeah let's, I think. So he gets in and steers while this poor woman and I push. Evidently he's never seen the open-the- door-and-push-and-steer method, but pre

A Holiday Whoobee Whatee?

Ah, the famous quote from the Grinch movie. (The Jim Carrey grinch). Speaking of grinch, I did my Christmas shopping today. It was as bad as expected. A beautiful snowfall ruined by traffic and frantic shoppers. I tell ya, it's insanity. Everyone and their father Mitch was out today. You'd think Christmas was next week or something. Criminy sakes. And don't even get me started about the parking thing. I would have been better off parking at home and walking the 6 miles to the mall, I kid you not. I'm not one for the mall anyway. I don't like them. I start hyperventilating looking for a parking spot, especially this time of year. I end up abandoning my vehicle in a distant snowbank thinking, "Yeah, this'll do." Nevermind that it's usually a 20 minute walk to the mall. Hey, as long as I can see the store logo, I'll find my way. It's snowing again. It's been snowing all day. All month really. If it keeps up, I'm going to have to get a

Blog Drought

A holiday hiatus it was. I missed blogging, but had a good break nonetheless. Thanksgiving is gone and done with for another year. A successful trip to the polar ice cap known as MN. Cousins played together nicely with no incidents of not. Well, maybe one. When Ben returned from an overnight stay at his cousin's house, he whispered to me, "Dad, Hunter shot me in the ear with his pellet gun." When I expressed my surprise and shock at the statement, he added "…but it didn't hurt as much as when he shot me in my side." Horrified, I thought this needs addressing. Until I realized he was smiling and was adamant that both incidents were accidents and that he was OK. He also mentioned that the gun had been taken away and that he didn't want Hunter to get in any more trouble. I shrugged it off as a boys-being-boys moment and told him to be careful and not get hurt. I can't say I never shot my brother with a projectile before. I had Ben's third grade teac

All I want for Christmas is...a laptop! ;-)

It's poor-man's blog again. (MS Word on a disconnected network.) I could get used to this laptop thing. Of course having an internet connection would make the deal even sweeter, but alas. Maybe when I get big I can get a laptop. When I get real big. The sweetest part of the whole deal is I can watch the Bears lose while I blog. Of course, watching the Bears lose while doing anything makes it better. The Pack seems to be for real this year. There isn't a person on the planet that would have picked them to start out 9-1. I would have guessed they'd be 3-7 at this point. It's a long road to the Super Bowl, but is sure would be saweet ! Why do they bother making a Chevy Tahoe Hybrid? Why do dogs roll in stink? These are the questions that run through my head. We took Toby to the Dog exercise area today and he ran like a dog possessed. He had a blast with Yoshi the French Bulldog and with Coco the poodle mix. He was covered in dog slime by the end of the 40 minutes and

Double Click Here >>>

Now here's a new twist on the old blahg. I'm actually composing this on a laptop in my living room. No, it's not quite what you think. I'm not composing this online using a wireless network. I'm using the poor-mans blog technique of using MS Word and, once complete, I'll cut and paste it into blogger. I've always said I'd write more if I had a laptop, so I guess I'm living the dream; or maybe "dream-lite". Hey, at this point, I'll take what I can get. I figure I'm one step from typing it on a typewriter, scanning it and then doing a cut/paste. Whatever it takes to put pen to paper. The laptop I'm writing on is actually a happy story. Donna has a friend who was told that it needed a new hard drive. Desperate for any help at all, and wanting simply to save her pictures, she asked Donna if I would look at it. I said sure and figured what is there to lose. When I started it up on Wed. night, it would freeze instantly after the deskt

Puppy Love...Yeah, That's It!

Ben is having a friend over tonight for a sleep-over, and so I managed to steal away while they're watching a movie. We got new phone books the other day. Is it just me, of does this seems to happen about every 3 months now? I really don't know. I don't remember getting phone books this frequently as a kid. Of course, back then we had 2 books, yellow and white. Now we have "Waukesha Yellow", "Waukesha White", "Milwaukee and Surrounding Yellow", "Milwaukee and Surrounding White", "Business to Business Yellow", "Upper Midwest Yellow", "Planet Earth White". It's sheer madness. So, I'm left wondering why we seem to be getting so many books. Is it that I'm getting old an unaware of how fast time is passing? (This is the one I'm hoping to answer No to.) Or perhaps it's that the phone companies are making too much on advertising and can afford to spend it on publishing books before the last o

Scary Passport Photos

Wow, I just got a good look at the photo on yesterday's post. Wooo , scary stuff. I needed to add it to my post in order to be able to add it to my profile. So from this day forward, I'll look like a man who's just seen a ghost, or discovered he left the baby on top of the car when he gets to work. The picture reminds me of the old joke that if anyone actually looked like their passport photo, NO country would let them in. Part of the reason I look so scared in this photo is because it was clipped from one of my Canada pictures where I'm holding a 32" northern. In other words, I am a bit scared in the picture, actually. Not of the fish's teeth particularly as much as whether it is ready to flop at the moment or not. If you know Northern Pike at all, they're slimy fish to begin with. Throw into that mix the excited/nervous energy resident in the "catcher" and it makes for a tenuous mix, at best. Picture two grown men thrashing around a boat trying

News from the engine room

A beautiful day in Milwaukee today. Mid-50's and no wind. Not bad for the 11th of Nov. I'm trying to dream up some trivia questions for my 3rd grade Boys Club gym activity this coming Tuesday. I'm in charge of games and have come up with an "intellectual" relay. Combining physical strength and speed with team-based trivia question answering. It's not dodge ball, but I never professed to be a gym teacher. The kids would likely prefer bashing each other in the heads with dodge ball anyway, but we're discouraged from falling back to that every week. So trivia racing it is! I do love leading Boys Club, but it really is one of the most functionally disorganized organizations on the planet. There was a classic case of this last week. I heard nothing about what we were doing that week. The schedule we were handed out at the beginning of the year had what we were supposed to do, but we had done that the week before. So, thinking logically I figured we would be doi

Ever wonder?

Ever wonder why it is that every time I go to the blog start page and sign in, I click the "remember me on this computer" box under the password, but it never does remember me? What's even weirder is that I continue to click it. Like it will magically fix itself and actually remember me. They say a sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Well, I'm no Pavlov, but... As I'm walking the dog tonight I'm thinking, you know I'm interested in the people driving by, what they look like, the cars they're driving, but you know what? Toby doesn't care about any of that. He only cares about the residual dog smells on trees, tasty leaves and trash tidbits that tend to be in his path. He cares nothing about the tricked out Chevy Impala SS burning by, or the ghetto-mobile blaring hip hop/rap (what's the diff?) Dogs are so shallow that way. It's my daughter's 12 th birthday tomorrow. She's having a

A dim light, but light nonetheless

Just wanted to post for post sake. Ben is reminding me that I am "past due", so will keep it very brief. My Small Life: I had to "charge" an .88 cent cup of coffee today at PDQ using my debit card. I thought I had a couple bucks in my wallet, but alas I'd been pandered of that the night before at church by my daughter for a couple of sugar cookies. Needless to say, I didn't make the poor clerk punch my free cup card because I figured she'd already cost the corporation a good chunk of change sending my .88 cent charge to Visa and back. Moral: Never travel with at least 1 dollar in your wallet. This I learned in kindergarten and have since forgotten. Gotta go. Jim

Oh the dogmanity!

Well, I'm currently organizing Donna's trip pictures, burning disks, listening to Pandora, ) listening to Ben try and guilt me into playing web-games with him and blogging, so as I see it you have at least 20% of my attention tonight. This whole multi- tasking thing is a bit exhausting . Kind of like the spinning plates, without the cleanup. Why do we do this to ourselves? It used to be that if I went to work for 8 hours and stopped to pick up dry cleaning, I needed a nap. Now, we're expected(?) to do 3 or 4 things at a time and not leave the baby on the roof. All of this reminds me of the story of Toby a few weeks back. I was taking dirt to the dump in my van. (Yes, that is a lunatic story unto itself. Suffice it to say that a Plymouth Voyager is not a dump truck, yea, nary a pickup truck. It's really a van and nothing more. Even with the seats taken out...Yep, still a van.) So, I'm taking the dirt to the dump and am very focused on finishi

Post Halloween Musings

I hope to get back into writing on this blog, at the urging of my lovely bride, goes. Check back frequently if you like. At a minimum, I'd like to get to it on weekends. More if my kids let me on this 'puter. Yeah right. I had to run out to get gas, return a movie and get dog food and milk. So I'm at the gas pump today and I do it all using a debit card. I get to the end, and of course I'm in a hurry and it beeps and says "Print Reciept?" I click yes and it reads out "Printer Error". I thought it was funny because I really didn't need another receipt flopping around the car to go with the other 3 old receipts, the peanut M&M wrapper and the 37 cents and two capless pens floating around the console. So to the poor lackey who made a crappy printer for the Speedway pumps, I say "thank you". So then, I get to the grocery store and that's always like a kid in a carnival for me. I used to go shopping with Donna as our "

The return of sense and sensibility

Well, she's back and life is back to approaching normal. She and Jill and the rest of the team arrived at 11:15 last night, so we're all a little tired and cranky. She had a great trip with many stories. If you're interested in seeing some of the photos, they have some on the Church's website at: Otherwise, I'll put a bunch into a photoshow in the next week or so and publish it out. I'll also be selling the complete photo collection for $2995.00 for anyone interested. Just make the check out to "Over the Top Roofing Inc." Please no further questions at this time. I'm going to go and take a nap now, before I go to bed. Buenos Noches. Jim

Houston, we have splashdown!

Well, I've come to the end of what I might term "a bit of a long week". I seem to be battling a case of CFS...Constant Fatigue Syndrome. A weariness that can only be explained by two children, two felines and a mentally challenged, infant canine. I came out the victor, albeit battle scarred and limping. Dazed and confused comes to mind. But to keep this from being a big downer, I'll change course and focus on the positives of the week. Things like; Ben never once got beat up at school because I dressed him funny. Toby didn't get lost or run away, though I think he was thinking it might be a more stable environment. Chester and Isabel seem unfazed by the whole deal. Of course they sleep 20 hours a day. I found the matches to 3 odd socks today. Boy I'm setting the bar low. I need to get back to work. The carpet only has 2 small holes in it from Toby. (Hey, it could be worse.) I can still recite my address and social security number...if you catch me before 5 PM

Are we done yet?

Blogspot's image upload is giving me grief, so no photo today. A video at the bottom though! Picture my cat Izzy here --->>> {:-X< One would think that the weekends would be easier as a single parent, but they aren't so much. Some of it is my doing, as I'll explain later, but in general, the world of dirty laundry and pet maintenance doesn't stop on Fri. Sure, there's no "work" for Dad, but as I can attest, "work" was the least of my problems this week. Heck, I'd even say work was fun this week. My quiet cubicle, my computer (sans kid grime), my cd player, why, I might even go tonight and put in a few hours. Seriously though, it has been a good day. God chose to have mercy on me by sending two of the best weather days of the year our way today and tomorrow. That has made all the difference. There's nothing worse than stress cloaked in gloomy weather. Sarah rolled in at 7:30 AM from her overnight lock-in thing and promptly fe

What does 7 Times 45 equal?

At breakfast this morning, Ben asked how old he would be in dog years. I quickly computed 7(dog years) x 9 (Ben years) and told him 63 years old. Sarah said that that was wrong that "dog years" should be calculated as follows: 10 years for the first year, 7 for the second , then 3 for each year after that. Not to be showed up by his sister, Ben said it was actually 7 years for the first year, then 5 years for each subsequent year. Ya know, when I was a kid it was always a 7:1 ratio, pretty simple stuff. I don't know if these kids are blowing smoke, or if they're teaching something different in the schools now days, or what. I only know that it interrupted a perfectly good bowl of oatmeal, and now of course I have to google it to find out what the real answer is in case it should actually matter someday. I had one of those scary moments on my way home for lunch today when you don't remember like 1/2 of your ride. I remember getting in my car and my first turn, the

8 Minutes of Serenity

The circumstances of the week have required me to drive to work every day, so I can drive back at noon, let the dog out, and drive back to work. This really is a stupid human trick because I live 1.8 miles away from work. I can barely roll my windows down and I'm pulling into work. This drive however has become my little bubble of bliss, my bastion of solitude, my no-think tank if you will. It is my chance to turn my music to my volume and just check out for 8 minutes at a time. I call it "8 minutes for Jim"; a time when I don't have to pick up any socks, stop the dog from tunnelling into the back of the couch, or try and remember who's turn it is to play first on the computer today. Grant me this one wish...please bury me in the Santa Fe with Casting Crowns rattling my dead old fillings. I'll need a double sized lot, but if necessary, you can compact me prior to burial. (Think Green) That truck is my favorite place on least this week it is. So I

Maps and Legends

So I stop at a Mobil Gas station for milk on the way home. It's priced at $3.80/gal. No way I say, I just paid 3.00 on Mon. at a different station. So I go in protest to said station where I promptly pay $3.89/gal. Where is this milk from, the Middle East? I've seen price fluctuations, but this is ridiculous. It was a gorgeous fall day here today until 4:31 when it started to rain. Yep, I get out of work at 4:30. Hmmm... Things are much better today so far. Of course, I'm kidless at the moment, but that will change within the hour. I know it's getting late in the week because of some telltale signs around the house. Signs like: The laundry I did two days ago still has not folded itself or put itself away. What is the wait-time on this, can anyone tell me? We are almost out of Mom's homemade desserts (cookies and brownies). Sarah and I will either bake some choc. chip cookies tonight or its oreos for everyone! The dishwasher is has only been run twice or so since Don

Groundhog Day

Are we there yet? As expected, this was likely the longest day of the week. With School, Soccer, and Boys Club and Nexus, it just keeps on going. If I didn't know that Donna was having a long day as well, I'd complain. (I am anyways ;-) Lesson #1 learned today: Making lunches ahead of time is only "organizational" if you then pack the lunch in the backpack at Go time. Yes, I got the call from Sarah, luckily before I headed to work, so made the dropoff w/little interruption. So in my trivialities of the day, I begin to think about what might be happening in Guatemala. I think about the good that is being done and that has been done by the many who have served before. It makes me think of Donald Miller, author of "Blue like Jazz" and how he said that he once had dreams of owning a Volvo. When he started to think about the story or movie of a man whose goal it was to own a Volvo he thought it made a pretty boring story. He then challenged himself and us to ma

Deep Thoughts and Ruminations

Well, it's starting to take effect. I got on the scale today and I've lost 3 lbs. Hmmm...That works out to about a 10 lb loss by the time Donna gets back. I don't think its from lack of food so much as additional workout. You're kind of in Rev mode all the time when you're the only parent. Which brings up an interesting story today. I got a phone call from Sarah at 3:45 today confirming that they were home from school. "Great, thanks for letting me know. Bye Bye" I thought to myself. No, from there it went into an argument over who gets the computer first. "Ben got to go first yesterday" Put Ben on. "Sarah said she'd let me go first if I helped her with something." Ben says with the tears starting to flow. Put Sarah back on. "Please let Ben go first" , I say. More tears. "But he went first yesterday and the day before...blah, blach blah" (More tears). Is anyone out there feeling my pain yet? I reply through gritt

Las Adventuras Dias Dos

The kids have been enjoying the "Spanish for Dummies" DVD's that have been in our car since Donna started her Spanish crash course a few weeks ago. Of course the word the memorized first was Bano which means bathroom. Some things are so predicatable. I got a call from Donna at about 5:30 CDT and she said all was well. All she said was Guatemala was "very different" from the US and/or what she expected. She said it was going to be a very interesting week. That was about all the report I got. We continue to keep her in our prayers here and look forward to the next report. Sarah and I had a great night last night. We took Toby to the dog exercise park in Brookfield and he did OK. Being the smallest dog there doesn't help, as he tends to garner most of the attention from larger dogs not to mention the occasional raptor passing overhead. (Tastes like chicken!)We ate out at Oscars and watched Ghostbusters later that evening. Couple that with the frozen pizza we ha

Day One of the Adventure

Hello all, Today begins an adventure that I thought I'd capture in a blog. Donna took off for an 8 day short-term mission trip to Guatemala today, and so I've got mom/dad duties. It should be and interesting week and I love to write, so I thought this would be a great way to capture my thoughts and allow you all to partake on the journey with me/us. We dropped her off at Jill and Steve's last night about 10:00 PM. Sarah had a bad time of it, saying goodbyes and such. She has such a big heart for family, so it's tough any time either of us leaves. The 6 of us said a prayer for safety and God's protection before we left, which was comforting for all I think. She's better least so far. This morning Donna called about 9:20 to say she had made it to Charlotte, NC. Hooray for leg #1! Ben had his soccer game today and, well, let's just say they remain winless. (Lost 6-0). They fought to the bitter end though and I was very proud of all of them. More impo