Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sunday Funnies

A young boy just got his driving license. He asked his father if they could discuss his use of the car.

"I'll make a deal with you," said his father. "You bring your grades up, study your Bible a little, get your hair cut, and then we'll talk."

A month later the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss his use of the car.

"Son, I'm real proud of you. You've brought your grades up and you've studied your Bible, but you didn't get a hair cut!"

"You know, Dad, I've been thinking about that. Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair."

"Yes son and they walked everywhere they went!"

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Growing Up Ralph - My Christmas Story

(Char and I want to wish all my blogging friends a very Merry Christmas. I also want to thank you for the comments you have left throughout the year and for the stories you have shared on your site – those have been nice gifts.)

Ah, Christmas. That time of year when young children go to bed on Christmas Eve knowing Santa Claus will find their house and leave countless gifts. Every noise they hear is reindeer landing on the roof followed by Santa placing presents under the tree. But, it wasn’t always so. Only a few people know how Santa Claus almost ruined Christmas.

I was perhaps six or seven years old. One of my sisters was born and I think my brother was as well, but he was young.

Following dinner, my Dad told Mom he had to run to a few errands and would be back shortly. I remember my mom smiling at him and telling him to hurry home – after all, it was Christmas Eve.

Mom asked my sister and me to stay in the kitchen and tell her what we wanted for Christmas. This is an important topic for a kid so we were more than happy to stay and talk.

We were going down our mental list of what we wanted for Christmas and my mom was dragging out the conversation with thought provoking question like why did we want a certain gift and what would we do with it. And that’s when it happened. . . .my sister let out a blood-curling scream and pointed at the window. I saw it and screamed - two eyes and a beard staring at us through the window.

I ran. My sister followed. We ran into the bedroom and slammed the door. My sister hid in the closet, not knowing the safest place in the house was underneath the bed up against the wall. That’s where I was.

There was more screaming and crying and then the bedroom door opened ever so slowly. My mom told us to come out and there standing next to her was. . . . Santa Claus!

Forget all those Christmas specials you’ve been watching – this was not a happy reunion between Santa and the kids. Questions like, “Why are you here already?” “Why were you looking in the kitchen window?” And, yes, even “Where are your reindeer?” All questions that needed to be answered before warming up to the guy in the red suit with the beady eyes.

Finally, peace was made and my sister and I told Santa what we wanted for Christmas. There was no way were we getting close to him. We told Santa what we wanted from across the room.

Santa left and a few minutes later, my dad returned. Boy, did we have a story to tell him.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Package Deal

In the previous post, I talked about how Santa Claus has started some early deliveries in the neighborhood. Every morning along with a small gift, Santa leaves a picture of himself. It always the same picture although the sizes do differ. He must have bought the package deal that includes an 8 x 10, a few 5 x 7's, and some wallet pictures.

The amazing thing is, the kids will not let mom or dad take the pictures off the screen door. They open the door, see all the pictures and just start laughing. So Santa just keeps adding to them. Fortunately, Christmas is just a few days away.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Pre Christmas

Char rolled her eyes when I said, “A whole cul-de-sac full of people and yet I have to do it. I don’t know why it always falls back on me.”

A few years ago, Santa started making some pre Christmas visits in our neighborhood. Santa visits the young kids and leaves things like a small box of candy, a coloring book, a candy cane, or a little toy. The gifts are always wrapped. After all, half the fun is having something to open.
Santa’s visits started a week or so before Christmas. Santa makes deliveries between 5:30 and 6:30 in the morning, before he has to go check on the elves at the North Pole. Every morning Santa leaves a picture of himself on the door so the kids know he has been there.

I was talking to a neighbor and she said her two young kids have already been asking if it’s Christmas yet. Hearing her kids are excited about Christmas, I told her I would speak to Santa. He and I are pretty good friends. I also asked her to have the kids check the porch every morning. It’s a little known fact but Santa can only go down chimneys one night a year - it has something to do with Homeland Security.

However, as I said earlier, “I don’t know why it always falls back on me.” A whole cul-de-sac full of people and yet I'm the one that has to talk to Santa Claus!

Well, I spoke to Santa. He started the pre Christmas tradition this morning. The two little kids had a gift waiting for them. Santa will make sure they do every day through Christmas Eve – at least that what we talked about.

So, what was Char doing while Santa and I worked out the details? She was putting up the tree. Complete with our favorite top ornament.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sunday Funnies

There were four country churches in a small Texas town. Each church was overrun with annoying squirrels.

One church called a meeting to decide what to do about the squirrels. After much prayer and consideration, they determined that the squirrels were predestined to be there and they shouldn't interfere with God's will.

In another church, the squirrels had taken up habitation in the baptistery. The deacons met and decided to put a cover on the baptistery and drown the squirrels in it. The squirrels escaped somehow and there were twice as many the next week.

The third church got together and decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God's creation. So, they humanely trapped the squirrels and set them free a few miles outside of town. Three days later, the squirrels were back.

But -- the fourth church came up with a brilliant and effective solution. They baptized the squirrels and made them members - now the squirrels only show up at Christmas and Easter.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Growing Up Ralph - The Door

Most people use the word crazy, I prefer eccentric. If you want your neighbors to think you are eccentric here’s a simple way to do it.

Take a door out of your garage, prop it up against an outside wall and start taking pictures of it. You’ll have three neighbors in your front yard within minutes. To convince them you’re eccentric, tell them why you kept the door for forty years and you are going to write a story about it. They’ll walk away shaking their heads.

Like any thirteen-year-old boy, I wanted a room of my own. When my father and grandfather decided to finish the basement, I was one excited kid. Every night I would be down in the basement doing what I could to help especially when they got to the part of the basement that would be my room.

Finally, one night my Dad announced that with the exception of hanging the doors the basement was finished and I could move into my room. Not having a door wasn’t bad except there were three younger kids in the family. They would just walk in whenever they felt like it.

One afternoon my Grandpa showed up and in the back of his station wagon was a beautiful site. A hollow core door and setting next to it was a doorknob complete with a lock. My grandpa saw me looking at the doorknob and made the most profound statement I had heard in my thirteen years of life, “No use closing the door if you can’t lock it.”

We framed in the door jam and then my Grandpa measured for the doorknob. He measured it several times before taking out his carpenter pencil and marking it. Even as he marked it, I didn’t think it looked right but hey, I was thirteen and had never hung a door. What did I know?

Soon the door to my room was up. That’s when Grandpa stepped back, looked at the door, frowned, and said, “My glasses must have slipped.”

His glasses did slip. He put my doorknob two feet off the ground rather than the standard three feet. I had to reach down every time I opened the door.

My Grandpa felt terrible about that mistake. He often talked about that door and repeatedly offered to replace it. Each time Grandpa and I talked about the door, the more significant it became.

Maybe the word isn’t eccentric. Maybe it’s sentimental.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Making History

Today I made history - again. I used the words “snow” and “beautiful” in the same sentence.

I’m not a big fan of snow. But, when you have sparkling white snow on the trees with a crisp blue sky, it does equal another great day in Colorado.

I hope I remember this in the upcoming winter months.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sunday Funnies

A drunk guy is walking down the street. He sees this nun, runs up and knocks her over. The nun is really startled.

Standing over her the drunk says, "There, bet you don't feel so tough now, do you, Batman?"

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Speed Bumps

Yesterday two speed bumps were installed on the main street in my subdivision. These speed bumps are raised mounds of asphalt. The purpose is to make speeding cars slow down. I’m actually glad they were put in. A lot of young kids walk along that road on their way to and from school.

For whatever reason I started thinking about the speed bumps in life, those unexpected events that surface from time to time. Some of life’s speed bumps are negative and they startle us and catch us off guard. But many of life’s speed bumps while first appearing as obstacles turn out to be positive - if we let them.

Anymore I prefer to slow down, ease over the bump, and enjoy the journey. It might be an age thing.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Eye of the Beholder

For a year, every time I ate a piece of bacon or a slice of ham I wondered if it was ‘him’.

A few years back, Char and I were in Nebraska visiting Cliff and Marilyn. One morning over breakfast Cliff said, “Well, Ralph I don’t know what you want to do today. You can stay here and help Char and Marilyn make a thousand mints for the wedding. You can go with me to haul feeder pigs. Or you can do something on your own.” There wasn’t a choice. I made mints before and I had done things on my own before but I had never hauled feeder pigs. I grabbed my camera ready for a new experience.

While the semi trailer was being loaded, Cliff told me that feeder pigs weigh about thirty pounds and are raised in confinement pens. While in confinement pens, they rarely see the light of day. Because of that, they are afraid of sunlight. They’ll run to the end of a shadow and stop, not wanting to go into the sunlight.

After the semi was loaded, Cliff drove to the auction house in Columbus. Having never drove a semi I was amazed at Cliff’s ability to maneuver through traffic. But, I was extremely impressed how he backed up to the shoot where the pigs were to be unloaded.

Cliff wasn’t happy with the shoot leading to the ramp. The design of the shoot left a gap between the trailer and the ramp. Cliff remarked, “Before we are done a pig will squeeze through that gap”.

Cliff went into the semi and started herding out the pigs. A guy from the auction house stood on a ledge next to the ramp, with an electrical prod in his hand. At the end of the ramp, there was sunlight and the pigs stopped and started stacking up, at times, they were four deep. Soon the only noise you heard was the sound of squealing pigs as the guy on the ledge poked them with the prod, trying to keep the ramp clear.

I was taking pictures when it happened just like Cliff said. Upon leaving the trailer, one pig managed to squeeze between the truck and the shoot. He went tumbling to the ground. Then another and another, soon four or five little feeder pigs were running around, always staying in the shade.

I put my camera on the ground and asked the guy on the ledge if I should try to catch them. Saying he would get them, he handed me the prod and told me to keep the ramp clear.

The pigs were already stacking up at the end of the ramp. Taking the prod and as gently as possible I touched a pig. That pig turned around and gave me a “what was that” look. Then I noticed the button on the bottom of the prod. I poked the pig again and pushed the button, giving him a mild electrical jolt. Squealing he jumped off the ramp into the sunlight.

Keeping the ramp clear sounds easy, but it’s not. Soon, I was swearing at the pigs but had mastered the prod.

The truck was empty and the ramp was clear. I turned to get my camera just in time to watch one of the loose feeder pigs back away from the sunlight. He was backing up towards my camera. Afraid he was going to step on it I hopped of the ledge, but not in time. He had backed up to my camera and crapped all over it! Now, is where mastering the prod paid off. I jabbed that pig in the rear and laid on the button like never before. The pig squealed and jumped high into the air. It turned and was facing me. I raised the prod high in the air while yelling, “You want some more of this you @#$ %^&* pig?”

That’s when I saw Cliff standing at the rear of the semi trailer watching me, chuckling. “That @#$%^ pig deserved it. He crapped all over my camera,” I said. I knew I didn’t have to defend my actions, Cliff hates feeder pigs.

I was dripping with sweat and covered with pig crap but even so as gingerly as possible, I retrieved my camera from the still steaming pile. Holding the camera away from me, I went into the auction house and cleaned it the best I could.

Walking outside, still holding the camera at arms length, I again told Cliff, “That @#$%^ pig crapped on my camera.” Finally, Cliff’s laughter slowed to a chuckle and he was able to say, "You know Ralph, a little Febreze will take that smell away.”

I’ve cleaned that camera. I sprayed it numerous times with Febreze, but I still can’t bring myself to look through the lens.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

This is Worth Watching

This week we will be taking a break from Sunday Funnies. This was sent to me by my friend, Alan. This movie takes about one minute and it is so worth watching. It is called, ‘An Interview With God’. To view it click here. Be sure to turn your volume on.