Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fun and Games

Have you ever wondered how much fun and games can be crammed into a weekend? To find out you should take a whirlwind trip to Illinois with Char and I. The answer is - a lot.

After calling and waking us up, DOR (Daughter of Ralph) picked us up early Saturday morning and we drove to the SOR’s (Son of Ralph’s) and SORSO’s (Son of Ralph’s Significant Other) house.

We went to a seven year olds basketball game. I don’t know if he was the leading scorer but he scored ten points. Prior to that game his high had been two points. It was a fun game to watch.

Then it was off to the fourteen year olds solo vocal competition. She did a wonderful job of singing ‘Amazing Grace’. Another fun event and she took second in the competition. Somehow, a bouquet of flowers ended up behind a door and she was surprised when they were given to her.

Have you eaten at Meat Heads? Probably not, as this is the only one in the nation according to the guy who stopped by our table. The food was good but ordering it was a complicated process. They have too many choices of toppings and sides and extra's.
Later in the day, SORSO made some really great tacos for dinner. As much laughing as she was doing, it’s a wonder she was able to prepare dinner.

Then it was off to SILOR’s (Son in law of Ralph’s) last college basketball game. The game went into overtime where SILOR scored six points making a victory possible for his school. The game was exciting but SILOR was under a great deal of pressure. It was an away game and we were there as his personnel cheering section. To make matters worse, right before the game the seven year old walked up to him and said, “I made ten points at my game. Do you think you can do that?” I have no idea who put him up to that . . . well, maybe I do. At the end of regulation play SILOR had nine points, good thing it went into overtime.

Then we had a birthday party for SILOR. SOR and SORSO did a nice job of making the arrangements. This too was a fun time, full of laughter.

The next morning Char spent some time playing board games with the kids. Yep, more fun as can be seen in the picture.

We spent the first and last night with our good friend Millie. We had a great visit with her adding that much more too all the fun we had.

But there was a downside. At DOR’s and SILOR’s apartment, I learned playing video golf is as frustrating as the actual game.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sunday Funnies

An elderly woman had just returned home from an evening church service, when she was startled by an intruder. She caught the man in the act of robbing her home of its valuables and yelled, "Stop! Acts 2:38!"

The burglar stopped in his tracks.

The woman calmly called the police and explained what she had done.

The officer cuffed the man and asked him, "Why did you just stand there? All the old lady did was yell a scripture at you."

"Scripture?" replied the burglar. "She said she had an Ax and Two 38s!"

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ralph On Fire - Garbage Cans

The fire crew was on the bus driving to yet another fire. The bus wasn’t a luxury coach like the one you might be picturing. Rather it was a surplus school bus. The last two rows of seats had been removed for fire gear. Air conditioning consisted of open windows and a six-inch fan mounted at the front of the bus. My friend, Alan, was the driver so I always sat directly behind him. After a few moments of silence, Alan leaned back and said, “Maybe we’ll get to eat out of garbage cans again.” Alan had given me something to look forward to. . . .

Several factors determine how well you eat on forest fires. Larger fires bring in caters who specialize in serving fire crews. Some are exceptionally good. Others left you hoping for food poisoning so you could skip breakfast. It’s hit and miss.

On small fire, you may get sandwiches from a local supermarket or a few loafs of bread and some meat and cheese to make your own. C rations were popular for a while and really didn’t taste bad, as long as you didn’t look at the expiration date.

We had been on the fire a few days and our meals had consisted of C rations, sandwiches, with cereal and donuts for breakfast. We weren’t starving but we weren’t eating well either.

Returning to fire camp, we were told a caterer had arrived and was setting us a mess tent. Hot meals would be served in an hour. Just the fact we would have a hot meal and a place to set while eating raised the morale of the crew.

Standing in line with a hundred other people waiting for a meal was common. You always tried to be as close to the front as possible. When caterers started serving, the portions were larger. As people kept showing up the portion size decreased. Another benefit to being near the front was generally the food was hot.

We had reached the table that held the trays, plates, plastic ware, and napkins. Past the table, four 55-gallon garbage cans were setting on burners. Behind each can, a person with a huge pair of tongs waited to dish out dinner. When I got to a garbage can, the person with the tongs reached in and placed a round steaming object on my plate. I stared at it, and then stared at Alan who just looked at me and shrugged. I looked at the caterer and asked, “What’s that?”

The caterer looked at the bag on my tray and replied, “Roast beef.”

“No,” I said pointing towards the steaming bag, “what’s this?”

I was holding up the line – that makes caters nervous. He did take the time to tell me it was a boiling bag meal. Alan got his and we walked over to the tent, found a table and sat down.

Cutting through the mesh netting, four steaming plastic pouches fell out. One had meat and gravy, another potato’s, the third a vegetable, and the fourth desert. I was staring at the pouches when I noticed no one was talking. Everyone was busy eating.

On that fire, and many more, every morning and every evening I stood in front of a garbage can waiting to eat. Some of the best meals we had on fires were served out of garbage cans.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Simple Minded

Okay I’ll admit it, I made a mistake. Last week while in a hurry I sent an e-mail with a misspelled word. I didn’t run spell check. Purgatory is waiting!

I received nine (yes, 9) e-mails telling me about the misspelled word. Not one about the context of the message. I sent the entire group a follow up e-mail that read, “It’s a pretty simple mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.”

So far, I have one response. It is from a lady who said she would call me when she quit laughing.

While I'd like to take credit for that witty saying it actually came from Peter.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Sunday Funnies

An eye doctor, a heart surgeon and an HMO executive die and go to heaven.

God asks the eye doctor why he should be let into heaven, and the doctor explains to God that he helped people save or regain their sight. God says, ''Welcome to heaven, my son.''

God then asks the heart surgeon what he had done in life that should allow him into heaven. ''I saved people from death from heart attacks and heart disease,'' the doctor replies. ''Welcome to heaven, my son,'' God says.

God then turns to the HMO executive. God asked him what he was, and the man replied that he worked for an HMO. ''Welcome to heaven, my son,'' says God, ''but you have to leave in two days.''

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Once, sometimes twice, a month we have a meeting to set ‘direction’ for our agency. Twenty people attend these meetings. That’s far more people than you should have in any one room trying to reach agreement. On top of that, these meetings usually last six to seven hours, far to long for certain body parts to endure.

One lady attends the meetings to record the minutes. I’m not sure what she did to get that assignment but it must have been something pretty bad. Seriously, she does a great job of capturing what is covered in the meetings. She sends a draft copy of the minutes to a few people to review before sending them out to everyone.

Today I got the draft copy of the minutes from our last meeting. I was scanning through them and as usual, they looked good. I sent her an e-mail that read in part, “Thanks for not capturing my little outburst at the end when we were talking about (whatever). I appreciate that.”

She replied immediately, “Sure thing, Ralph! That's where you'll usually read – “a discussion was held....”

Monday, February 04, 2008

Early Lunch

Around 5:00 this morning, I was in bed fighting the urge to stay there. I listened to the weather on TV and heard, “The snow will be starting around noon today.”

While getting around, the news continued in the background and three more times I heard, “The snow will be starting around noon.”

I got to work shortly after 7:00. The snow had already started. An hour later, this is what it looked like. I suddenly realized I was really, really hungry. No matter what my watch said, my stomach had heard the subliminal message, “the snow will be starting at noon”.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Sunday Funnies

A couple was driving to the church to get married. On the way, they got into a car accident and die. When they arrive in heaven, they see St. Peter at the gate. They ask him if he could arrange it so they could marry in heaven.

St. Peter tells them that he'll do his best to work it out for them.

Three months pass and the couple has heard nothing. They bump into St. Peter and ask him about the marriage.

He says, "I'm still working on it."

Two years pass and still no marriage.

St. Peter again assures them again that he's working on it.

Finally, after eight long years, St. Peter comes running with a priest and tells the couple it's time for their wedding.

The couple gets married. But after a few months, they go to St. Peter and tell him things are not working out, and that they want to get a divorce.

"Can you arrange it for us?" they ask.

St. Peter replies, "Are you kidding?!! It took me eight years to find a priest up here. How am I gonna find you a lawyer?"