Monday, October 30, 2006

What They Don't Teach

This is a picture of DOR (daughter of Ralph) and FOR (friend of Ralph). FOR actually has a name - Jason. Jason has come out to visit a few times and we get along exceptional well. He laughs at my jokes, I laugh at his, and both of us are told we have a "weird" sense of humor – whatever that is.

DOR and FOR have a lot in common. They go to the same college in Chicago. They both are great basketball players. They both have torn their ACL. They both work or have worked with younger kids (yes, DOR and FOR you are still young enough for me to refer to you as kids).

I knew I would like FOR the first time he came to Denver and I had to pick him up at the airport. For days, I had bugged him by calling just to let him know how irate I get if my name is spelled wrong and that it does not have an “f” at the end. I wanted it spelled right on the sign he was to hold up so I could recognize him. There he was with a sign and of course had my name spelled totally wrong.

This is the only picture I had of DOR and FOR in a costume. I hope it is not how they dress up at Halloween. I really don’t want to say, “All that money on a college education and they still haven’t taught you at Halloween leave the guns at home and take a large bag for candy.”

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Comments - last night that one word answered a question I’ve been thinking about. I’ve often wondered why I don’t have my own cooking show. I like to cook and most of my creations are edible.

Last night I made stuffed Mahi Mahi on a bed of rice along with a spectacular salad. Now before we go any further, yes I know what Mahi Mahi is. Yes, I know I ate Flipper - but at least he had the proper seasonings and spices. Anyway. . . I realized it was my comments while cooking that are keeping me off the airwaves.

I bought a box of rice that was proud of its ‘New and Improved Packaging’. While pouring it a large amount ended up on the counter and the floor. That’s when I said, “Okay, who’s freakin’ love child designed this new and improved package?”

At another point, I thought it needed just a little more lemon zest. I proclaimed, “It needs a pinch more. Now a pinch is not to be confused with a dash which has been made popular by Rachael Ray and Emeril.”

Finally, there was a lull in the cooking action and I noticed one container listed the serving size as a fourth of a cup. I couldn’t help it. I just blurted out, “Are we cooking dinner here or just making a sample platter?”

Dinner was great. But, it’s also nice to know why I haven’t been called by the Food Network.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Brief Visit

Saturday we had a brief visit from Herman. It snowed Friday night leaving us a couple of inches of the white stuff. Saturday my good friend, Geno, who is eight, decided I needed a snowman in my yard. He did a great job of building “Herman” complete with a chocolate chip smile and a carrot nose. You can tell Herman enjoyed his visit just by his smile.

The weather turned warm with high’s in the upper 60’s. Herman had to cut his visit short. He only stayed about twenty minutes.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Celebration is defined as the observation of a notable occasion with festivities. The older I get the more I appreciate notable occasions, which can be anything you want them to be. I also value festivities more. Again, festivities are what you make them, a toast with a few close friends, or an elaborate gathering of the masses. I’m starting to think we should pause more often and raise our glasses in celebration to all achievements, large or small. It might be an age thing.

A few days ago, we had a reason to celebrate. For years I had been saying, “Some day I’m going to write a book.” Char, both the kids, and many friends had heard those words over and over again. Well, five copies of my book arrived. I was on the 14th hole of a golf course when I called Char to see if any packages had come. To my surprise she said yes. So there I am on the golf course a few holes to go knowing my book had arrived. I didn’t finish very well. I wanted to get home, gather a few friends and celebrate the long awaited ‘book’.

Several things should be pointed out about this book. While I had talked about it for years, I really didn’t get serious about it until January 2006. That’s when I took many of my 2005 blog stories and decided that would be ‘the book’. After spending hours and hours reformatting and reviewing the stories it was ready to be published. I talked to printer after printer in the metro area and only a few were interested in printing it. But, the cost was enormous. It might have had something to do with the fact I only wanted a few of them. Frustrated I pushed the idea to the back burner.

Then Cliff made a post called, Cliff's Excellent Adventure. Marilyn and Dan had found a way to turn Cliff’s blog into a book. Thanks to them, my book idea resurfaced. I studied how to do it, learned new computer skills and spent many evenings and weekends reformatting ‘the book’. Thankfully, Char was pretty patient with me (again).

Homespun Headlines 2005 will never be a best seller. It won’t show up on Oprah’s booklist either. But it is done. For me it is a great way of capturing some stories and perhaps passing them down to future generations. You can view the book by clicking here.

For a while, it is giving us another reason to celebrate.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Nick of Time

In early June I signed Nate and I up for a series of golf lessons. Last week we completed them. This is a picture of our graduating class. The teacher took the picture on the fifth hole. I think we got through ‘school’ just in time. . .

. . . this was on the ground this morning. Most of the trees and shrubs still have their leaves. While I am not a big fan of snow, it is the time of year where in a couple of days it will all be gone. Then we can get back to golf.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Home Schooled

A while back, I started a special project which caused me to spend a lot of time at the computer. It was a project I had been thinking about for years. The computer time seemed like a small price to pay. What I didn’t realize was I would need to learn a few new computer programs. Fortunately, some computer projects at work helped get me ready.

As I started the project, I realized the computer issue could be handled in a variety of ways. First, I could pay someone to do. While not a bad option, I had no idea who that would be. Secondly, I could ask my wife for help, she teaches technology. Char is a great teacher but Ralph is a poor student. As I debated this option, a slogan from the sixties popped into my head, ‘Make Love, Not War’. I ruled this option out rather quickly. So, I went with option number three, I would teach myself. Yes, that’s right, I was going to be home schooled.

Home schooling is hard work especially if you have a poor student, and I am a poor student. Often I would find myself uttering a few choice words and stomping out to the garage. Occasionally I would catch myself talking (if not yelling) at the computer.

But, even though they were short lived, there were moments of victory. I had spent most of the day in front of the computer teaching myself how to do headers, footers and page numbers. That night I jumped up and proclaimed victory. Char just stared at me before saying, “Is that what you have been working on all day? I taught that to my class in four minutes". Some people are just showoffs.

Well, the project is done and report cards have come out. The project is good but I got a D in class. I should have had a B but marked myself down for excessive use of profanity and consuming alcoholic beverages on school grounds.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Weekend Getaway

This past weekend we made out annual Fall trek to Palisade. This should not be confused with our annual Palisade Spring outing. This has always been a fun time, and this year was no exception. The weather was great, we were with fun people, tasted some good wine, and had some excellent food.

Charlene, two of her high school friends, their husbands, and I made the journey. We visited nine vineyards. What I noticed the most was the difference the elevation plays in the vineyards. The ones on top of the hill were finished for the year. The grapes had been harvested and the leaves were turning and falling off.

While down in the valley the leaves were turning but nothing like those on top of the hill. The valley vineyards were my favorites. They still had green leaves. Some vines still had grapes. This briefly made me think that Winter is farther away than it is.

But, there is more to life than just good wine. We also had two great picnic lunches, discovered a good Chinese restaurant, and drove through Colorado National Monument.

Every year we go with a different group of people. This year it was fun with Char and her high school friends and their husbands. But it left me wondering who will we take next year?

Only time will tell.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Okay, I Shouldn't Have. . .

. . . laughed, but I did. It was funny.

A few days ago, I was in a four hour meeting with eleven other people. We were using a meeting room at the municipal library. It was one of those meetings where you could get up to get a cup coffee, use the restroom, make a phone call, whenever you needed to.

One lady stood up and left the room which went unnoticed by most the group. Most of us had left the room at one time or another.

Suddenly the door to the meeting room flew open and the lady came rushing in. Then in a loud voice she blurted out, “I don’t want to alarm anyone but it smells like natural gas in the ladies restroom.”

The only redeeming feature here, was she stopped and said, “Well, that didn’t sound right” and started to laugh before I and a few others did.