Thursday, July 24, 2008

My New Friend..............Alice!!!

Okay, so most of you know that I am not really good with directions or finding my way around. I sometimes leave my neighborhood and go the wrong direction. I don't think that it's a mental capability issue, as much as i do a mental overload issue. I mean I usually have so much on my mind that I am always "one turn" ahead of myself which is why I have no idea how to get to where I'm going, even though I may have been there 186 times. Don't get me wrong.......I know where virtually every street in our hometown is and have lived on at least 29 of those streets, it just takes me a few extra minutes and a few extra turns to get there. When other people are in the car I just blame it on "taking the scenic route". My wife sometimes blames it on a Memory Issue I have. I sometimes agree with her because if I have an errand to run, I can leave the house and go to town and come home and still have the laundry in the front seat of the truck or the bill envelope that needed to be dropped off sitting on the console. What did I do in town??? To this day, I am still trying to figure it out. Well, after 20 years of driving I finally broke down and purchased something that will help me. I know these little guys are not new to society but they are new to me. My father purchased a truck last year that has GPS/Navigation in it and I have been hooked. When we leave the office to go to lunch I like to punch in the address of the place we are going even if it is Lola's. For those of you that don't know, Lola's is a restaurant that is about half a mile from our office...........on the same street. Anyway, I did it. I now have a GPS/Navigation system. My only regret is that it didn't come installed on the NEW Cadillac CTS-V I have been eyeing online.
I would like to introduce you to "Alice". She is a Magellan Roadmate. She sits nicely on my console or sometimes hangs from the front windshield (except when I am in California or Maryland - where this is very illegal). She is very nice to me and tells me exactly where to go. I've only had her a few days and I can tell a difference already. I am more productive in my workday and get home much sooner to start cooking dinner. A big plus in the wifes eyes. Here she is..............



There is just one thing that Alice won't do..................................

SHE WON'T TELL ME WHEN THERE IS A LOW HANGING TREE BRANCH OVER THE ROAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you believe that? Alice could take me from here to Katmandu and back and tell me where all the starbucks and target stores are (for my wife of course) but she doesn't warn me of a tree? Not even a big stop sign on the screen or nothing. I mean all the bells and whistles on this thing and she can't even say "Hey watch out for that tree you moron, you have your 8 foot deer blind tower in the back of your truck!" Yep, that's right. On my maiden voyage using Alice to find my way to the deer lease which I have been to before this is what happened.






I had the tower portion in the bed of the truck strapped down really tight. No big deal. We made it under every bridge, gas station canopy, stop light, etc, etc.. But we did NOT make it under the tree that hangs over the road less than half a mile from the lease. *Note to self: On next trip to deer lease with NEW tower, put tower on trailer and lay tower down.*

The interesting thing is that all 3 people in the truck were commenting on how the tree overhangs the road and how someone has a chain and come-along holding the low branch up but noone thought about the tower sticking up so high. So......after one ruined tower, one banged up truck, and a little hurt pride, here we sit.

I can build another tower, get my truck fixed, and take another trip down to the lease (with Alice's assistance of course), but I'm sure I will never be able to live down the "stories" that will be associated with this incident.

Really, I have no idea?

P.S. - No trees were harmed in this portrayal. Really, the tree didn't have any kind of visible mark on it at all. I guess that's why they left it in the middle of the road.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Vacation from the Vacation before our Vacation.

Vacations Galore! Yes, just one more reason I am such a lucky guy. Now not all these "trips" could be classified as vacations, but hey, it's the thought that counts. First of all my company allows me to travel and my family has always been the traveling sort. Not like a carnival "carnie", but more like a traveling salesman. Now we don't always go to glamorous destinations around the world, but hey we can't ALL be so lucky to go to Lake Palestine for a WEEK WITH YOUR IN-LAWS, now can we (I love you MeMe). Anyway, I'm sure some people reading this will have been far more places than I have, but it's a start right? Anyway, July and August are no different. We have been "vacationing" locally, but have plans to go chillax in Mexico in a few weeks, "Seriousally". Then it will be a Brazlian adventure with our church, and then the usual trips to Vegas, Florida, Georgia, California, New York/Massachusetts (hopefully - so Chainsaw can see his Uncle), and who knows where else.




View of the .3 Star accomodations in beautiful downtown Berclair, Texas (deer camp) where I have set up for some bonding experiences with the kiddo.

View of the 2 Star Accomodations on the beautiful Guadalupe River where we have hung out and camped out with the kiddos.

T-Rex footprint? or advertising ploy? This "thing" was on the nature trail at the place we stayed in Wimberley, Texas with some friends for some much needed R & R before we head to Mexico with 6, yes 6, did I say 6 kids (and 2 grandparents) - we'll be the dorky ones dressed alike at the airport!!!!! Please pray for us.

View from our room in Wimberley, Texas

Check back later for pictures from who knows where.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

DEER LEASE!!!

Several years ago I was able to get on a small parcel of land to hunt and fish. It was great (for a few months). I had the whole place to myself. I could come and go as I wanted. I could fish, hunt, camp, or do what I do most of the time and just take pictures. Well, to make a long story short, the lady I leased the land from wasn't the sole owner. To make a longer story even shorter, I gathered my stuff and never went back. That was over 4 years ago.
A few months ago, a friend of mine asked if I would like to get back on a deer lease. I immediately said "YES!" and then decided to try and convince my wife that this was a good thing. It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission, RIGHT?!!! My wife said "Of course, whatever you want to do." Uh oh. This is one of those trick answers isn't it. I've read about these in those very enlightening men's magazines I subscribe to. This answer of hers could either mean:
a - Of course, whatever you want to do.
or
b - What are you thinking? That is not what you want to do at all.
or
c - (There was no answer C - this magazine really inhales profusely)
Now I'm back to square one.
Do I get on the Lease or not?
I really want to because Cheney and I could really bond and become one with nature and I can teach him survival techniques using a spoon and a rubber band. No, really, I can. I could also hang out with some old friends from school (there are 4 other guys on the lease I went to school with). We too could bond and "discuss" all the deep issues in our lives today. You know, like potty training, how great our wives are, politics, gas prices, who is the best "42" player, how cool we used to be, etc. etc..
Well, it didn't take much convincing. She said no problem, as long as I didn't go EVERY weekend and didn't miss any family events. By the way, I asked her as we were getting pedicures. I knew if I asked her about it while getting a pedicure my odds would be better that she would agree. There is something cosmic with my wife about pedicures and when I sweep and mop the floor. It's weird, but I am in NO WAY COMPLAINING. I love you honey. Wow, you've probably never seen those two things together in one "blog". Deer Lease and Pedicures. I hope none of my buddies from the lease read this. Well, this weekend was one of the few weekends I was able to get down there and "set up". Here are a few pics of the Lease.
Entry area
Bunk House (complete with carpet grass)
View from my blind to one of the Senderas

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I Admit It, I'm a Junkie!

There are not too many things I obsess over. But.......
If you ask my wife, I'm a shoe junkie and a t-shirt junkie.
I used to be a cd junkie
(thanks to technology, I am now a music download junkie)
I "had" been training for triathlons so I became really interested in having
a good pair of running shoes. I'm not training anymore, but that's another blog (I think the appropriate title will be "I'm Lazy").
Anyway, my brother-in-law turned me on to the Asics brand.
I love these shoes. The Gel Nimbus are my favorite. I know, right now you're going blah, blah, blah. Don't worry, I do have a point to this blog.
Lately since I have not been training my running shoes have become my
daily wearers. I have several pair and one of the pairs I wear most often have
been looking a little ragged.....................
Do you notice something about the pair above? They are very comfortable and lately have become very "airy" on top. Yes, those white dots on top by my toes ARE my toes looking through the tops of the shoes. This has embarrassed my wife.

I decided to remedy my wifes embarrassment today. I went down to our local family owned shoe store for some new kicks. This is one of the pairs I picked up today.


This is the second pair I bought today. I couldn't decide on which pair to get, so I just bought both pair. I figure this might be a good way for me to force myself to do some training. We'll see.


This is an aerial of part of my "stable". My wife thinks that 13 pairs of tennis shoes (8 shown) qualifies one to be a "junkie". I think I have about 30 pairs of shoes total not counting flip flops, but who counts flip flops, right? What most people don't know is that my wife is a junkie too............


You see, the above tote bag is what prompted this blog post. When i was checking out with my new shoes, they asked me if I wanted a "tote bag" for my purchase. I immediately thought of my wife because SHE IS A TOTE BAG JUNKIE. I did a quick count one time and she had about 23 tote bags. This my friends is creepy. I mean seriously, how much stuff does one need to tote to justify 23 tote bags? Some of these totes have been purchased, others passed on from the tote queen herself (my mother-in-law), and yet others received for free with purchase as was mine today. You should have seen her eyes light up when I walked in this afternoon with the tote bag. She wasn't lit up about spending the day at the spa or about the 161 tomatoes that we harvested off the vines today or even about seeing her fabulous husband for the first time in over 8 hours. She was totally stoked about the new tote bag that I got for free!!!!

Yes, I am a lucky guy.