Saturday, March 31, 2007

Dixie Cups

My Father in Law passed away a little over two years ago. Assuming the statute of limitation has expired on any crimes I committed, I shared the following story with Char and the neighbors.

I called Vic one day when he was in assisted living. He was upset. It seems like one of the doctors visited him and once again recommended hospice. This was the third time in a few weeks they had tried to get him to go to hospice. The reason - all the medications were doing was prolonging his life. Excuse the h*** out of me, but I thought that was what medicine was suppose to do.

Somewhere in our conversation, Vic mentioned he felt like a drink. In all the years I knew him, he never did drink much, although he did have an occasional Coors beer.

I went to visit him and upon walking into his room it was evident he was still upset. We talked a little about the doctor’s visit and about dying. Neither one of us felt like there was any need to rush it.

I told him I had brought him a present and produced one can of Coors beer. He looked at it, shook his head, and said he didn’t know about that. I started to put it back in my pocket when he said, “I said I didn’t know about it, not that I wasn’t going to drink it”. Vic invited his roommate, Vern, over for a toast. We proceeded to talk about “guy’” stuff - cars, power tools, etc. We also talked about death and dying.

Suddenly a nurse opened the door and stuck her head in. She was checking to make sure everything was all right. What she witnessed was three grown men setting in an assisted living center, scrambling to hide their rose imbedded Dixie cups with 2 ounces of beers so they wouldn’t be busted. She smiled and closed the door.

Vern remarked, “That was close”. Vic shook his head. Then they started to laugh.

I set there for an hour listening to those guys tell stories that started with, “I remember a time when. . .” and ending with “I don’t know remember how it ends but it sure was funny”. All the while laughing and sipping beer from a Dixie cup.

Vern offered to give me dollar “for the hooch”. I told him he could buy next time. That resulted in even more laughter. When I left they were still going strong telling stories and laughing.

Driving home, I started having second thoughts. How was that alcohol going to interact with their medication? Was beer good for their hearts? By the time, I walked in the house I realized it was the right thing to do. The laughter and the lift in their spirits would most likely offset any harm two ounces of hooch in a Dixie cup could do.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Hints and Traces

I have come to hate computer models. I have attended workshops, seminars, and conferences where all that was presented were computer models. Theses models are no more than a prediction of what might happen under certain conditions. The problem is they are only as good as the information entered. What I have found is this information is generally entered by someone who rarely leaves the research station or office. Because of that, some of the models have been way, way off the mark.

A few days ago, I listened to the news and according to one station, their ‘computer model’ indicated we would get “a trace” of snow. Another station said their computer model forecasted just “a hint” of snow. Even listening to them, I thought what is a trace and a hint?

It snowed just as they predicted. I now know that a trace and a hint equals six inches of wet, heavy snow.

On the positive side, it is a Spring snow. When the sun comes out this “hint and trace” will be gone in a matter of hours.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Up's and Down's

Well, it is raining in Colorado. It started last night. It rained most of the night and it is still coming down hard. The downside of the rain is the concrete that was to be poured in our backyard today will be postponed until at least Monday. Also, there will be no golf this weekend.

The upside is – you don’t have to shovel rain.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Hey Batter, Batter

Char and I enjoy many meals with Geno’s family. Geno is my best friend who is now nine. Some of these meals are eaten at their home some at ours. It’s fun, easy and it fits with both families lifestyles. While I often refer to it as communal living, I also know I need to be careful where and when I use that word. For many, communal living is more than food. For us it is food.

They invited us over for a very nice dinner the other night and I offered to bring a salad and dessert. For dessert, I decided on double chocolate brownies. Geno wanted to help. Not a problem – it’s part of that communal living thing.

Geno’s job was to clean (lick the bowl) after the batter was mixed. He did quite well. He had batter everywhere, on his hands, on his arms, on his face, one his chin, and on his clothes.

While Geno and I were walking towards his house with the warm brownies, I knew someone had a lot of explaining to do about the chocolate on his shirt.

I just hope his Mom believed what I told her.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Taco Fortune Teller

Today at about 3:00 I realized I was really hunger. Most likely because I had been running around all day and had not eaten. When leaving a building I noticed that right next door was a Taco Bell – fine Mexican cuisine. I decided to get one taco to tide me over. I placed my order and asked for a lot of sauce (used to hide the taste of the food). The sauce packets now have sayings on them. Some of them are quite creative.

My last post had to do with change. Change is not one of my strong suits. Right now there is a lot of change going on – at work, at home, etc.

That might be why I saved the sauce packet which reads, ‘Don’t squeeze me. I can't handle pressure very well.’

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Change is in the Air

I don’t handle change well, I need time to adapt. Had I known all the changes that would occur in early 2007 I would have cancelled my New Years Party and we would now be in the 15 month of 2006.

For the most part the changes are good. But they just came one after another after another. Before I could adjust to one - another came along.

A few days ago I found out other people have a hard time adapting too, it’s not just me. SOR (Son of Ralph) called and our conversation started liked this:

SOR: Well, wish me luck. I am really, REALLY, nervous.
Ralph (clutching his heart with one hand, cell phone with the other, while trying to act nonchalant): Hi Nate, what’s going on?
SOR: I’m going to Great Clips for a haircut!
Ralph (releases fast beating heart while trying not to laugh): That’s it? You’re getting a haircut?
SOR: Dad, you don’t understand. I have gone to the same barber for fifteen years!

He was right. For the past fifteen years both Nate and I have gone to only one barber shop.

Nate went on to explain that he knew nothing about getting a haircut. He would go in set down in the barber chair talk to them about work, golf, and the likes and they would cut his hair. The barbers knew how to cut Nate’s hair, he didn’t.

I told him to call when he was done. Just before he hung up I think I detected a nervous quiver in his voice.

He called later that evening and said it was ‘okay’. It was a two week haircut, meaning he would have to get another haircut in two weeks because it wasn’t cut the way “our barber” would have done it. Great Clips didn’t use a razor to trim the back of his neck and he was covered with hair – his own hair when he left. He went on and on about it not being a real barber shop.

Yep, change is in the air.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Signs of Spring

I am not a big fan of daylight savings time. Although the change is only an hour it takes me a good week to adjust. I’m not sure why. But it is a good sign that Spring is on the way! But there are other signs as well.
Such as snow golf. The weather started to warm up and the snow started to melt. We called around until we found a course that was open. There was still a little chill in the air and we knew the snow might pose a few obstacles – but we had to go.

While it was fun getting out, we quit keeping score after the first few holes. One reason was we weren’t sure how this shot should be counted – is it a penalty if you kick your golf ball out of a snow drift? But the main reason is we realized we are just as bad, maybe a little worse, than when we quit last Fall. It was a long winter.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Another of Life's Mysteries

When I’m trying to solve a problem, get off a long conference call, or leave a meeting that had some difficult moments I have found it is good for me to just walk away. Literally. Leave the building and go for a walk. There is something about being outside, getting some fresh air, hopefully some sunshine, and being alone for even a few minutes that helps me “process” things. It works for me.

At the airport office there are two routes I generally walk. One takes me by the terminal and all the planes. Trust me there is nothing quite like the smell of jet fuel first thing in the morning! The other route takes me down by some open fields, a clump of trees, and has very little traffic. This is my preferred route. Going this way there is a section of sidewalk. This picture shows where it starts.

This picture shows where it ends. This sidewalk is connected to nothing. It runs for about a third of mile and serves no purpose except for me and few others to walk on. It has no reason for being there. Which has always made me ask the obvious – why was it even put in? Just another one of those questions that will have to wait until we get to heaven.

These pictures were taken earlier in the week. The sidewalk and fields are snow covered once again. Which might lead to another of life’s mysteries – will we EVER have a Spring this year?

Thursday, March 01, 2007


The town where Cliff and Marilyn lives is in the midst of a blizzard. Please pray for Marilyn. She is stuck in the house with Cliff!