Thursday, December 29, 2005


I don't really have a Resolution for the New Year this year.

I just don't feel like coming up with another one this year for some reason. I mean, I already have enough on my plate as it is.

I exercise 3 days a week. I go play Bluegrass once a week and have periodic concerts. I write books and send them out to publishers. I spend time with my wife and child. I help cook and clean. I lead singing, teach classes, and do other things about church. All this on top of a 40 hour per week job.

I honestly don't feel like I could wedge another resolution into my already packed existence!

If I must add one, it will be to finish the book I'm writing now and do my best to get the first or second one (or both) published.

Any resolutions from the peanut gallery? What are you all doing to progress in the new year?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Remember that Large Cat?

I seem to recall some expeditions at Faulkner surrounding an oversized black cat. Some thought it was a jaguar. Well, it seems we are not the only ones to fall prey to a case of mistaken identity. Maybe we should have called WSFA channel 12.

Mountain Lion cub?

A Government Job in China

After thinking about it, I've decided to move to China. The only place I've ever know that has a law that women working for the government must have "symmetrically shaped breasts."

Read here.

All of MP3

Rachel and I got an MP3 player for X-Mas. It's one of the coolest inventions to date, in my opinion, mostly because the tiny things can hold TONS of music and you can download from the internet from some prime warehouses if you know where to look.

Check out this site:

When you get there, you'll see the cool thing about it. It's a site based in Russia and they charge very little for songs. You give them no less than $10 and every song is $.02 per megabyte! They even have a deal now where you get 20% more for each dollar, so we're getting $12 worth for $10. And that, my friends, is a lot of good music.

Selection's great, too. I got Yes, Rush, and Bruce Hornsby so far. But, they have everything from the Dead to Disco.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


I decided to post something because no one else had for a while. You all are probably too busy to check this, but I have nothing to do. I really don't have anything important to discuss. So, here are some topics we can choose from:

George W. Bush: Worse Than Hitler?

Why Everyone is Going to Hell Except (your name here)

Why Doesn't Charlie Like "Lord of the Rings" as Much as the Rest of Us?

New Orleans: They Had It Coming

I Hate (insert ethnic/racial/social/political group, etc here) Because...

Why People Who Don't Think This Post is Funny are Stupid

What's With The Weather?

Should We Run People With Cell Phones Off The Road?

Comic Books are Cool, and so are People Who Read Them

Yankees Who Don't Like the South Should Just Go Back Where They Came From...Am I Right, People?

Seriously, What's With the Weather?

Which is Better: "Citizen Kane" or "Batman Begins"?

Irony: Is it Dead?

That should give you guys something to chew on for a while. Later.


P.S. I will not be offended if this post gets deleted. This is (I hope) an obvious attempt at humor on my part. Sorry if this actually hurts people's feelings or is taken the wrong way. Crybabies.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Customer Support Silliness

I had an interesting conversation with's customer support tonight. I have a feeling they have outsourced to India or something. If bad grammar maddens or tickles you, have at my blog; I felt it was too long and likely too narrowly appreciated to post here.

...everyone of us.

Merry Christmas.

God bless you all.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

If God can do it, so can I.

Howdy gang, it’s time to get back into the meat of this blog and get the old gears cranking.

Read this and ponder the following idea.

For once in my life I’m excited and happy to hear that people are trying to create life in a Petri dish. I filmed and interviewed a debate between the guy who was in charge of creating Dolly the sheep and a creationist who was opposed to the whole idea of cloning and genetic manipulation and have since been keen on the whole subject.

So after reading this why am I happy? I think they are finally going to hit the metaphysical / spiritual wall. In this article the lead scientist states that they have no way, once they get their little gene sequence, to make it turn into something. I’m all for evolution so long as it can prove the original creature, one cell, or 2,000,000 it doesn’t matter to me. Evolution has yet to give a really good answer on how we formed out of raw material into something that had a function.

This is the same problem Mr. Smart guy has. He’s trying to create something from proteins he’s collected. Once his proteins are inline he doesn’t know how to make them sit up, roll over and fetch. Let’s say he creates his DNA, cheats and inserts into an existing microbe to create what he going to call a synthetic life form. He’s still screwed because he had to collect the protein from something which already existed to even begin.

I think I’ve told the joke of the scientists who told God he wasn’t needed anymore. God consented on one condition. “I’ll leave humanity alone if you can create a man from what I used.” The scientists talked, collected some dirt and said “Fine.”
God closes by poofing away their specimen and says “Get your own dirt.”

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Grinch That Saved Christmas

So I will let the cat out of the bag since the surprise no longer exists...

My Christmas gift for my wife was to be the following:

A cabin at Lake Lure, NC. This cabin had a fireplace, one bedroom, all the typical features you'd need when staying in a "house" away from home, including a hot tub, and of course seclusion.

My plan was to stay there Sunday through Wednesday. Biltmore all day Monday, Blue ridge Parkway all day Tuesday (and some of the Biltmore village), and head out to Chattanooga on Wednesday... all with fine dining in between. Sunday night, I was to cook her dinner at the cabin.

Saturday night before we leave, I get an email from the owner of the cabin. An ice storm on Wednesday has left the community that the cabin resides in without power to this very moment. Water is pumped in by a well, so without power, there is no water, and without power, there is no cooking.

Immediately, I make reservations for the Baymont inn about 1 mile from Biltmore. Big mistake.

I call the owner that night and we talk, she says for me to call her Sunday morning as we are leaving. I can always cancel the Baymont reservations. But the Baymont is growing on me because instead of a 60 mile drive to the Biltmore, I am looking at a 2 minute drive. So we go to Panama Street C of C early service at 6:45. Not as bad as I thought it'd be, then we head out. On the road, I call her. Good news! Power is coming back on at the cabin. Bad news, I am still sold on the closeness of the Baymont.

It was at this point I had to reveal the entire plan to my wife and let her decide. The more we discussed it and thought about it, the more the Baymont sounded right. Besides, Ill get rewards points for it since it is owned by La Quinta.

So we call the cabin owner and tell her we aren’t going to make it. She understands, but she must keep the $130 deposit. I understand and am cool with that since, due to the hotels price, I am actually making out ahead. We arrive safely (Although, much of the gas stations were out of gas as we got close. The ice storm created a gas run) and have dinner in the Biltmore village, at the Corner Kitchen. Not bad. But not great. I wouldn’t go again. Afterwards we head to the hotel and (censored)...

Monday was a BLAST! See my Webshots page for more of the pics besides the ones you see here. We spent the whole day at the Biltmore estate. Sure, we went there on our honeymoon, but we were stupid kids then. This time, I scheduled us to go to seminars on property; we went to the winery, the horse pens, the gardens and to the bass pond. We basically got as much as we could for the ticket price. The tour was pretty new to us as well. We went to a "party entertaining" seminar for 30 minutes, then a 30 minute cooking class. Then, at 5 pm, we went to the winery's cellar and had a wine and chocolate tasting session. It helped solidify something my wife and I have known for quite sometime; we still hate wine. We were at the Biltmore from 9am to about 5pm and we used every minute of that time doing something.

We had lunch at the Bistro that is on property (thanks Mullins!) and afterwards we had a VERY enjoyable dinner downtown Asheville with some friends that live there in Asheville. The gal used to cut my hair and Larissa's hair when they lived in Montgomery. She also played volleyball with Larissa at her former community college. Brittany’s husband (Brett) was a guy Larissa also knew from school and I had never met, but we all got along great and our dinner lasted for 2 hours because we talked so much.

They invited us to their home afterwards (at 9:30pm) and we accepted. Brett tried to convince us (Like Mullins and Chuck always do) that it depends on the type of wine you drink and he offered us some sort of white wine... which we still hated.

Tuesday proved to be less enjoyable, but not horrible. And it had a very happy ending. I had about 5 hours sleep. This king bed in Baymont was old and it sagged in the two spots where people typically sleep. I can’t stand this. So after a fitful nights sleep I wake up around 8-ish and my wife and I go out to drive the Blue Ridge parkway (which, by the way, is extremely fun, even if you never get out and just drive it.) Well, due to the ice storm, about a 10 to 15 mile stretch was the only part open. Luckily, the folk art center was on that stretch and we spend over an hour there. Great stuff there. My wife bought 3 books about backwoods cooking and we took some pics of some looms of different shapes and sizes. I’m still bushed at this point, so after driving as much of the parkway as we can, we head back to the hotel so I can nap. Our bed sheets are in the floor, as if the housekeeping staff is mid-way through cleaning. So we go out to the Biltmore villiage for a bit of walking, shopping and eating at the tea room there. After lunch, we go back to the hotel so I can nap. Sheets still in the floor.

I go to the lobby, express my dire need for sleep and we sit and watch the weather channel in the lobby (Well, my wife reads her new books). I get back to the room finally and am too wound up to sleep. My mind races. I whip open the laptop and go to the Grove Park Inn's website. I make a phone call and tell my wife to pack the bags. I get hit with a $25 fee for checking out too late, but I don’t care. All I can remember from the conversation with the Grove Park Inn lady was "Soft down queen size mattress."

We've packed up and we arrive at the Grove Park Inn in about 10 or 15 minutes. Ironically, this inn is about 3 or 4 miles from the very bed and breakfast we stayed in on our honeymoon. We do manual parking, though valet is available. If I go again, I'll be bringing a few extra bucks with me. Valet would be worth it as the parking lots are confusing and on a very STEEP incline (and I scratched up the back bumper of my wife’s car backing up in one of them, so yeah, the valley cost and tips is worth it to me). We are in awe as we enter this place. It is the size of the hotel in Steven Kings book "The Shining" but much nicer. There is a fireplace in the main lobby that it big enough for 6 men to stand in, without crouching. We check in with the greatest of ease as a HUGE lobby behind us is full of people just sitting around, enjoying the fireplace and the view opposite of us of a valley below.

We get into an old timey elevator (which, surprisingly, uses the very same shaft that the huge fireplace uses to vent out the smoke) and hit the 5th floor. The elevator operator tells us all we need to know about our floor (except the ghost) and shows us to our room. The rooms all have doors made of real wood paneling, which gives the place a ski-lodge feel. In fact, the whole PLACE has a ski lodge feel. Describing the hotel and the rooms is impossible. You just have to go there. The rooms are like nothing I have ever been in inside a hotel. I honestly felt like I was staying in a very rich friend’s home and not a hotel. The bathrooms did NOT feel like a hotel bathroom. And the bed was... zzzzzzzzz. Huh?Wha? Oh, sorry, the beds were awesome. The whole place puts the Gaylords Opryland to shame. In fact, it put any hotel I have ever stayed in to shame.

Fortunately for us, they had the gingerbread house contest in this hotel a few weeks ago, and many of those houses were on display in the inn (And the contest was filmed and broadcasted by Food TV). Albeit, these houses spread far and wide, but looking at them would give us a chance to see the whole Inn. After unpacking, we set out to see the eatable homes and set out to get lost in the hotel, which we did, which was fun! We came back and prepared for dinner. Given the fact that the vacation was nearing an end, funds were tight. And the restaurants in the Grove Park were pricey. As we prepared to hit the Tupelo Honey Cafe in downtown Asheville, I emailed Mullins, telling him that everything he said about the Grove Park was true. He emails me back telling me to ask the elevator operator to tell me about the ghost and the haunted floor...

...Which I do as soon as we head out. We go down to the lobby. I see the elevator dude, a tall black man. I ask him if he knows about the haunted floor; "I do" he replies. I ask him if he knows about the "pink lady"; "I do" he replies. I tell him I would like to see them sometime; "I'll take you now if you want!" So he closes the gate on the elevator and back to OUR floor we go. He walks out with us to room 545 and tells us the story of how the lady was staying here back in the 1920s and committed suicide off of the overlook there in the middle of that hall. She haunts our floor, just moving things, turning lights off, etc. I asked if anyone ever stays in that room; "It is the most requested room in the whole hotel" he tells me. After he takes us back down, I shake his hand and give him a few bucks for the personal tour. Honestly, he deserved 5 or 10 bucks since he was the only elevator operator at the time and due to his courtesy, others probably had to take the stairs.

Dinner at the Tupelo Honey Cafe is OUTSTANDING! Downtown Asheville is full of hippies, freaks, yahoos, homeless guitar players, and gay-friendly well wishers... I’m told the city as a whole is quite conservative and just like any other southern city, but downtown is where the yahoos congregate. Within all of this is a restaurant that people do not want to leave that has true southern flare! We waited half an hour to be seated (Like I said, people just never wanted to leave) and it was worth every minute of it.

This place will serve grits with almost anything, yet it was full of "hip" looking people, enjoying true southern food. It was, by far, the best meal of the trip, thanks Mullins (again).

Even me backing into a rock wall and ruining my wife’s back bumper didn’t ruin this vacation! The night in the grove park was nice, and the ghost didn’t bother us one bit. We wished we had stayed longer. Moral of the story: I want to go back to Asheville (Unlike after our honeymoon) and I want to stay at the grove park in for many days in a row. I have no desire to stay in the $1,000 a night rooms because our bottom-of-the-barrel room was the nicest hotel room I have ever been in. I look forward to tagging along with Jules and Mullins next time they head up there. And I hope some of you other folks wanna go there too. I rank it as vacation fave number 2. Under my #1 trip, Disney with the Sippers. Kingston Plantation trip in Myrtle Beach would be ranked number 3.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Rear-end review

Tomorrow, this blog will be exactly 6 months old.

In these past 6 months we have learned what BumStats are, who gives names to inanimate objects, many wonderful ways of getting things for free , why we have all lost our desire for cotton candy , who is and who is not a blog nazi , whether drinking is okay or not okay (And I still am not sure), That Stubbs doesn't like us (I couldn't find a post to prove this, because, well, Stubbs doesn't like us), that, despite alot happening in Chucks life, the only info he will send our way is when he wants something for free , and a host of other interesting tid bits.

You wont be hearing from me for over a week. The firstplace we are going doesnt even have phone lines, so I will be "roughin' it" i guess you could say... with central heat and hot water and a roof and food and, ... well, okay, it wont be that rough.

I challenge you all to find the best of the best. Email me or Brew your entries. You can't vote for yourself.

Vote for the following categories:

-Most talked about blog (got the most RELEVANT comments)
-Best blog with RELEVANT pics
-Best written blog (doesn't necessarily need to have the most comments)
-Blog in which you learned something about the writer that you didn't know before
-Funniest Blog, one that made you LLOL (Literally Laugh Out Loud)
-Best all-around blog

I meant to blog yall and get some suggestions for such categories, but i waited too long.
When the new year of 2006 starts, look for a blog containing the winners.

Instead of the Emmys, we will have the midnight cafe-ys.. ill come up with a trophey design.

So, get your votes in before Jan 1st. You have 2 weeks to research your winners!

Oh, and Merry Christmas all!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Friday Shoes

One of the few things I bought for myself before leaving France was a pair of tennis shoes. European footwear is a bit different than their American counterparts. Where our tennis shoes tend to come in either white or gray, with a flourish of brighter colors in small flashes, European shoes are often very bold, bright and colorful.

I decided I wanted the most obnoxious pair of shoes I could find. So I got a pair of bright, neon yellow and green Adidas. They are fantastic!

As with many American companies, the workplace to which I am employed has casual Fridays. On this one day of the week I am allowed to dress down as it were and wear blue jeans and tennis shoes.

Being that my Converse Allstars now have a big gaping hole in the sole and that I left my only other pair of tennis shoes in France, I generally wear my obnoxious Adidas on Fridays. Everybody at work loves them. They have become my Friday shoes. Without fail, every Friday many people at work comment on my Friday shoes and laugh at how bright they are.

These shoes have become such a big deal that when I don’t wear them on Fridays, everybody is disappointed. Towards the end of Autumn I decided to wear my sandals on Friday, knowing the end of sandal season was coming soon. As soon as I stepped into the door I got a barrage of

“Mat, where are your Friday shoes?” Last week we got several inches of snow so I wore my bigger, more snow worthy Doc Martens. Once again I immediately got chastised for not wearing my Friday shoes.

There’s snow on the ground, those shoes have the thinnest of all soles, and have air holes cut into them. My feet would be soaked if I wore them. These things I tried to plead as my case.

They wouldn’t listen. Like a Texas jury they had no sympathy, but only wanted to see me and my big yellow shoes.

Looks like I’ll be wearing the same shoes every Friday for the rest of my life.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Choppin broccoli

Okay, someone had to be the jerk who pushed Sips post down... sorry it was me... :^(

Should have posted this sooner, but had some free time this eve...

Yet another fun trip to Sips folks house. Got a chance to do some real "work" even though it only laster a few minutes, it was still fun.

Got good food afterwards, and then some good ole music jammin'. My dad described it as one of the most fun times he has ever had!

I wish that when everyone came in FUNgomery that we could take a day and go to Sips folks house and work or something.... or watch other people work....

Below, Josh and I get our aim...

Josh hits his log splits it... i miss, horribly, but kept smiling...

(This subtitle is for Brew) Jamison tries to remove his ax from the log, as Josh looks on...

Rach, Rissa, me, and our niece

The jam is in session!

More "behind the scenes" pics can be found at my webshots page... when i finally post them, that is...

Again, sorry for being the blog booter :^( If it weren't me it'd be Brew's cat post or another of Chuck's seimen washer post, so i figured thsi aint so bad.

Yeah, Baby!

Just wanted to tell all who have not yet heard that Rachel is PREGNANT!

The little one is due around the 19th of August.

Interesting side story # 1:

A week before we found out Rachel was pregnant, she and Luke were lying on the couch, about to take a nap. While snuggling with her, he momentarily leaned back and looked at her and said, "Baby" just that clearly! Then, he did it again! So, who thinks we'll have twins?

Interesting side story # 2:

Today, Rachel went to the gym. They have a daycare there for moms who work out. Usually, Luke goes in there and has a great time, no problem. But, today, he not only pitched a fit, but went so mental on Rachel and the daycare folks that she had to leave without getting to exercise at all! She told the lady in the daycare that she is pregnant and the lady said, "You're gonna have a girl!" She told Rachel that her boys were never like that till she was pregnant with a girl.

Anyway, I thought it would be cool if we had twin girls! My bro and sis-in-law did after their boy. What a crazy coincidence twould be...

Friday, December 09, 2005


Before someone gets ontpo me for using the term in a comment on Dianna's post, read this

From: Wikipedia

Xmas (or X-mas) is an abbreviation for Christmas. It is derived from the word ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, transliterated as Christos, which is Greek for Christ. Greek is the language in which the whole New Testament was written.

Originally, in "Xmas", X represented the Greek letter χ (see chi). It was pronounced with an aspirated [kh], which is the first letter of Christ's name in Greek. However, because an upper-case χ has the same shape as a Latin alphabet letter X, many people who do not know the history assume that this abbreviation is meant to "take Christ out of Christmas" as a means of secularization or a vehicle for political correctness.

The occasionally seen belief that the X represents the cross Christ was crucified on has no basis in fact; St Andrew's Cross is X-shaped, but Christ's cross was probably shaped like a T or a †. Indeed, X-as-chi was associated with Christ long before X-as-cross could be. The use of X as an abbreviation for cross in modern abbreviated writing (e.g. "Kings X" for "Kings Cross") may have reinforced this assumption.

In ancient Christian art χ and χρ (Chi Ro--the first two letters in Greek of Christos) are abbreviations for Christ's name. In many manuscripts of the New Testament and icons, X is an abbreviation for Christos, as is XC (the first and last letters in Greek, using the lunate sigma); compare IC for Jesus in Greek. The Oxford English Dictionary documents the use of this abbreviation back to 1551, 50 years before the first English colonists came to North America and 60 years before the King James Version of the Bible was completed. At the same time, Xian and Xianity were in frequent use as abbreviations of "Christian" and "Christianity".

The abbreviation is widely but not universally accepted; some view it as demeaning to Christ, whilst others find it helpful to use in text messages and emails to save space. Similarly, Xianity is sometimes used as the abbreviation for Christianity (although this usage is much less common than "Xmas"). This usage has extended to "xtal" for "crystal", and on florists' signs "xant" for "chrysanthemum" (though these words are not etymologically related to "Christ" — crystal comes from a Greek word meaning "ice", and chrysanthemum from a Greek word meaning "golden flower", while Christ comes from a Greek word meaning "anointed").

One Hundred Ninety

That is how much I now weigh (down from my max weight of 215 a few years ago). I didn't realize that when we got together for the smokefest. That weight is the lowest I've weighed since 1995 when I met Jodi. I had been working out that summer with Thomas Cooper at Gold's Gym.

No wonder you guys were like, "Dude, you've lost weight." Well the reason I was so hesitant was that I knew I had gained a few pounds after Thanksgiving. I think before then I might have been down to 185. Which if that was the case is the lowest I've been since my Junior year in HS. Maybe next time you guys see me I can claim that weight as confirmed.

Did the ox and lamb really keep time?

We sell these Christmas CD's at BBW that go toward the Make a Wish foundation. My little sister went to Disney World with Make a Wish foundation, so this organization is very close to my heart. I was talking about the CD to a woman yesterday who seemed interesting in buying it. I discussed that it has three discs, only costs $10, goes toward a good cause, you get the idea. She was looking at the song list and one title caught her eye.

“Little Drummer Girl by Alicia Keys?” she asked.

“Yeah, she’s great.” I responded.

“That’s nice, but Little Drummer Girl? Why not little drummer boy?”

“I’m not sure; I guess she just changed it to a girl.”

She scoffs at me and puts the CD back.

“I’m sorry,” she says. “I just can’t buy that. It’s the religious side of me.”

I finish ringing her purchase, tell her to have a Merry Christmas, and send her on her way.

As she walks away, I’m confused. Last time I read the story of Jesus’ birth, there was no mention of a child who went and drummed for him. Let alone a little boy. It’s a song. The little drummer boy story didn’t actually happen. I wanted to shake the lady.

I shared the story with one of my fellow managers. “Did she actually read the Bible?” J says.

The rest of the day I had to suppress my giggles. I couldn’t get through anything without thinking of that woman. Even now I still chuckle at her.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Friends, Fun, and Fusic (Music just didn't fit)

These pics were from a mini-reunion months ago.

Chuck just now got them to me, Sip, I will give you your copies in the days that follow.

I don't know why I feel that I must turn myself into an idiot when a camera is pointed at me. (Brew, insert witty comment here)

Speaking of photos, it is likely that J.A.S. (aka Josh) will be put into the new yearbook that is being published by the school I work for.

Why you ask? Simple. The yearbook staff came up with a cute idea:

"What faculty members do for fun/in their spare time."

So I submitted a picture of us jamming with the old guys in the bluegrass group.

Sip, your moment has arrived! What moment that may be, I do not know.

Funny thing happened today that really buoyed my spirits (bowing as everyone applaudes me for using a cool word correctly)

There is crazy little radio show on 1170am here in town. It is a talk show that never touches the political rehlm. Basically, this talk station needed to fill a 2 hour slot, so they took a DJ from the FM side to do a "show about nothing" for 2 hours.
Anyway, sometimes I feel sorry for the guy because there are sometimes when no one calls, so he just talks about women (big time woman-izer) or some girls will call in and tease him (sexually speaking), etc (like the "cake lady").

Anyway, I started calling in maybe once a week if I caught the show (Due to the other talk radio station being on a commercial). I would do a George W Bush impression that, I thought, was okay, but this guy thinks is hilarious.

Well, apparantly, I have become a "regular" caller. I caught the show today (again, just because there were commercials on the other channel) and he was asking people to call in and say what they want for xmas. Sounds dull, but the guy is a career DJ, and he makes it interesting. He said if no one calls he was going to just play a song, which, I hate when he does that. So I call and I say:

ME "First off, I am not a girl" (I say this because he likes women to call)
DJ "I can hear that"
ME "I dont really have anything to say, I just wanted to call so you wouldn't play a song"
DJ (Laughs, says something that I cant remember)
ME (I kind of freeze and say) Fun fact; I am the guy who always calls in doing the Bush impression.
DJ then goes on about how great I am at it and that I should call more often. I tell him that I dont feel I am all that great at it. We banter back and forth a bit, me jumping into my Bush voice from time to time, him laughing. He even has added "Hail to the chief" to his sound board to play whenever I call now.

Anyway, I end the call, and turn my radio back up to listen to the end of me talking. Then, an older lady (60-ish) calls in and says:
"I just love that last caller. He is my most favorite of your regular callers, I hope he is listening" and the DJ remarks about how great I am...

Wow! That makes a cold, rainy day pretty tolerable!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


That should at least get Sips and Jamison's attention. I read through the "Smoke Night" blog. No objections, I'm looking for a new job anyway. As you can see from the pics, I was using a $4.50 corn cob pipe. Great for beginners, but not good for those who want to have more than 10 smokes per pipe. It's also a quite warm to the touch. Anyway, I enjoyed the night so much, that I logged onto eBay and bought this:

Real Briar Pipe with black mouthpiece

I was going to post a picture, but the picture service was down.

I also have a plan to get my Dad's old pipes that he used to smoke before he had my oldest brother. Both of them are around 50 years old. I'm planning on framing them along with the story of their purchase and a plaque saying when my dad stopped smoking.

Have you ever...

Have you ever woken up to a strange car in your driveway, and not after a night of drinking? That happened to me this morning. I walk outside to get into my car and BAM! there's a white Nissan Pulsar from the 90's sitting in the drive. I looked inside. There was a Walmart (or Sams) badge on the rearview mirror. It read Monique. In the backseat was a small, pink child's chair (not car seat) with the word "princess" across it.

We think that our neighbor's were out-of-town, but their teenage son was still home. Hmmm...a little freaky-deaky going on? His dad is a minister. You think I should ask him about it?

Monday, December 05, 2005

So this is Christmas

This post is being written on pure emotion, so beware.

Why I hate Christmas.

I think i hate Christmas because I am self-sufficent to some degree.

If I want something that I do not have, I can:
a) Buy it
b) Save up for it, then buy it

If I NEED something (Like a stove, a microwave, a vacuum cleaner) then I can't ask for it because that makes an un-fun xmas gift (Please let me go the rest of this post by refering to Dec 25th as xmas, it is so much shorter to write).

Family members hound me: "What do you want? What do you want???" So if I tell them, they get it for me, and on xmas day I get to think "Oh wow, what a surprise... exactly...what...I...asked...for...."

But if you say "Dont get me anything" (Which, honestly, I would prefer) you ruin everyones xmas because they WANT to get you something.

BUT if you say "Get me whatever you think I will like" you make a huge mistake and end up getting a sweater that you pretend is nice and you never wear.

I swear, my brother is so easy to shop for for xmas. You ask him, and he tells you: "Cash".

If he doesn't ask for cash, he is very specific and thats what I get him, and no one is shocked on xmas day. One xmas he got me the star wars trilogy. Lo and behold it is what I asked for. Well, he asked for it too, so I got it for him. HOW STUPID! Thats like trading 20 dollar bills with someone.

Here are my favorite all time items that I own:
A polo shirt my sister in law got me. It is 4 years old and to this very day people tell me what a nice shirt it is. I did not ask for it, she did not ask me, and she picked it out on her own.

A belt I found at school on the ground

A hat I found at school, on the ground.

Donny Nesselroads torn up shirt he put in the trash can in the laundry room at Faulkner. I loved that shirt, now it is gone.

A free boat Josh and I share, it is almost 40 years old.

My plain ole black truck, that I bought after getting rid of a fast, red corvette.

So I am easy to please. My most enjoyable gifts are those people bought me without asking me. But, for some reason, I am afraid to ask my family to just buy something and surprise me with it. THERE ARE THE BEST GIFTS! But all xmas is now is:
"what do you want"
"I dunno, what do you want"
"just pickout something"
"youll hate it"
"no I wont!"
"ok, i need to buy a gift for 565 dirty santa parties this week though"

AUGH!!!!!!!!!!! GO AWAY SANTA!

oh, and decorations.... why is it that for 30 days, the tackiest, most awful looking decor is acceptable? I ask my wife "If it is so beautiful, why dont we leave it up year round?"

I am a mean one, Mr Grinch

Sunday, December 04, 2005

How to smoke a pipe

1. Pack the pipe weed into the pipe

2.Light up and suck the flame into the pipe... while listening to your friend talk...

3. Make a concerned face after you puff a few... wait on your friend to catch up with you..

Thursday, December 01, 2005

After-Thanksgiving fun

Fish heads fish heads... and tails... and guts... and bones...

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, Mark D invited me, my father-in-law (Brad) and Sip to fish at his wife's grandfathers pond deep in Elmore county.

I had fished there many times, so was ready to reel in the big ones. Due to their size the last time, Mark suggested we all bring coolers and keep some, to control the population as it seems the big ones are keeping all the smaller ones small, and making themselves only bigger.

Well, it was slow, naturally. Fishing is never really great in cold weather, but if you can hook one, you are doing good. I was disappointed honestly. I have fished that pond for over a year and never went 10 minutes without catching something. When it comes to fishing, I am not one of those people who say "I don't care if I don't catch anything, just being out on a boat is relaxing." Screw that crap, I want to catch fish!

Well, Josh and Mark were on one boat (with a trolling motor) and me and Brad were in another boat (with one paddle). I explained this to Brad before we left and he kept saying "You don't need a trolling motor for a pond." He changed his tune quickly when he learned that I was there to fish and not paddle. (He ended up giving me money for xmas, and said 'buy a trolling motor with this.") Oh, see the picture of Sip peeing next to the big tree. I couldn't resist taking that pic...

Anyway, Mark, using his secret weapon, (which isnt so secret because he uses it every time he fishes) started to reel them in. By the time he had 3 good sized bass, Josh had one too. I had none and Brad had none. Of course we both had about 4 that got away. When they jump out of the water, they would sling the hook out of their mouth. I guess we weren't setting the hook hard enough.

Anyway, the smack-talk started across the water. I would yell something to Mark and he would say "Sorry, I can't hear you due to all the fish flopping around in my cooler!" Or he would see us paddling and he would pat his trolling motor and say "$149 at Wal-mart baby!"

Well, I eventually reeled one in, nothing spectacular, maybe 2 pounds, but I was happy. Brad had no catches, so eventually we headed to the bank. As us 3 younger guys were putting all the bass in one cooler, and getting the boats ready to leave, Brad is fishing off the bank, and sure enough, hooks the 2nd biggest of the day (Mark pulled in the biggest) so he left happy.

But the best part was when we got home.

I had never fileted or cut up a fish. Brad had. We made a make-shift table in my driveway, pulled the fish out of the icey cooler and got to work. Brad taught me how to cut up the fish, so he fileted 3 and I fileted 3. I wasn't as gross as I thought it would be, since we didn't really "gut" the fish. The outside of a fish stinks, but the meat doesn't smell at all (Unless of course it is old.) The blood was minimal, or wasn't bothersome. And we got loads of meat off of them. 3 nights ago, I made a fish corn chowder that we like to make, only this time, I put bass meat in it. It was wonderful!

The feeling of having gone fishing, caught a fish, cut it up, then made a meal and ate the meal with the fish in it is wonderful.