Wednesday, August 27, 2008

They're For Unity

There seems to be a lot of talk around Denver about unity. Many side conversations focus on moving forward, speaking with one voice and working together. I have to admit - I agree.

I think it’s time we blend things together without losing the individual identity of each. It’s time we merge concepts for the better good. It’s time things come together to make them stronger, better, and in unison.

Yes, I’m for unity and here’s why. . . . .

Hot peach cobbler with a couple scoops of ice cream - unity at it's best. I wonder what was for dessert at the Democratic National Convention.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Yes, They're Starting To Arrive

They started arriving late last week. A large number arrived over the weekend with great fanfare, pageantry, and splendor. They will be arriving for a while and that’s fine with me.

They will not get the coverage the Olympics did but they must be drawing national as well as international attention. Supposedly, fifteen thousand reporters are in town. This is a big deal for Colorado. It makes you proud to live in the state. I for one will miss them when they’re gone.

Yes, that’s right Colorado Peaches have hit the stands.

Now if we can just keep them away from that bunch at the Democratic National Convention.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sunday Funnies

The following are actual church bulletin board bloopers found in churches across the United States.

Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles, and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church.

Evening massage - 6 p.m.

Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 to 8:30 p.m. Please use the back door.

Ushers will eat latecomers.

For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, "Break Forth Into Joy."

During the absence of our pastor, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon from J.F. Stubbs.

The music for today's service was all composed by George Friedrich Handel in celebration of the 300th anniversary of his birth.

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.

On a church bulletin during the minister's illness: GOD IS GOOD Dr. Hargreaves is better.

Potluck supper: Prayer and medication to follow.

Don't let worry kill you off - let the church help.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


On occassion, I’ve been accused of not acting my age. Last night might have been one of those occasions.

I was in the front yard fertilizing the flowers. Several young kids (ages 3 – 6) gathered in my front yard and I overheard one of them say, “Let’s scare Ralph.”

They moved a little closer and yelled, “Boo” before running around the corner of the house. I pretended not to hear them. Soon they came back and moved even closer. They yelled boo and ran again. I still pretended not to hear them.

The same scenario played out once more with the kids a little closer. This time when they ran off, I hid behind the corner of the house. When they came back around the corner, I jumped out and scared them. They ran off yelling and laughing when one of them yelled out they should turn me into a zombie. Within seconds I was chasing them around the cul-de-sac using my best zombie impression. I was about to catch the six year old when she stopped and yelled, “Overs.”

I know what ‘overs' are but wanted to see how a six year old explained it. She told me, “When you’re playing and don’t like the way it’s going, you call 'overs' and it starts again.”

I knew there were perks to not acting your age.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Medal Count

I’ve been caught up in the Olympics, both watching and competing. I know some of you will be shocked to hear I decided not enter the swimming competition. I did however medal in pool.

My quest for the gold started one Friday afternoon in a meeting. Something made me realize that all summer my friend Geno (who is ten) and I had talked about playing golf but had never gotten around to it. When a follow-up meeting was scheduled for Monday morning I decided to miss it and take Geno golfing.

We went out and played a par three course. At the medal presentation, I received the gold. Geno took the silver. Nothing makes you prouder than being able to beat a ten year old at golf.

SOR (Son of Ralph) and FON (Fiancée of Nathan) came to visit. I had the opportunity to participate in more events.

First, it was Wii. In case you haven’t heard of Wii, it’s a video game where the characters on the screen mimic your body movements. If you bowl, you have to act as if you are rolling a bowling ball. That’s fine if you like passive sports. We decided on boxing.

FON's mother was matched up with Char for the first boxing event. To Char’s credit she held her own . . . for a while. However, in the third round she dropped her guarded and took a brutal blow to the chin, resulting in her being knocked out. The gold went to FON’s mother. Char took the silver.

While this picture may appear blurry, it’s not. My body movements are so rapid they are hard to capture with a camera. I held my own for a while but then a surprise sucker punch knocked me out. Nothing can humble you faster than being knocked out by a ten year old. Gold went to the ten year old. I took the silver.

It was time to return to my primary event - golf. SOR and I had competed on the greens before but since his move, neither of us had trained much. Tension ran high as we stepped up to the tee box. It was a dead heat; neither of us was really favored to win. In the end SOR took the gold, I the silver.

Then DOR (Daughter of Ralph) and SILOR (Son in Law of Ralph) arrived in town and wanted to try their hand at pool. The teams were set - DOR and SILOR against Char and I. I wasn't holding out much hope of winning a medal. I hadn't played for a long time and Char hardly knew how to hold the pool cue. But after a few warm up games it all started to come back to me. The comment of the night had to be made by SILOR who said, "If you make that shot I'll walk home." My response after the ball landed gently in the hole was a modest, "SEE YA." Char and I took the gold, DOR and SILOR the silver.

The next stage of the golf competition was against DOR and SILOR. I heard all the media hype and knew I was favored to win. Hype is good but I counted on my raw talent and dedication. I took the gold, DOR and SILOR tied for the silver.

Having won the previous round I qualified for the final event – nine holes of golf with SILOR. The evening before the final event, I tried my hand at trash talk like some of the people in Beijing. It didn’t work for me either. SILOR won by three strokes. SILOR took home the gold, I the silver.

The final medal count was in:
Geno: O Gold 1 Silver
Char: 1 Gold 1 Silver
FON’s Mother: 1 Gold 0 Silver
10 year old: 1 Gold 0 Silver
SOR: 1 Gold 0 Silver
DOR: 0 Gold 2 Silver
SILOR: 1 Gold 2 Silver
Ralph: 3 Gold 3 Silver

At the closing ceremonies, I had the most medals - thanks to my endurance and perseverance.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Sunday Funnies

A Sunday school teacher asked the children to draw a picture of their favorite bible character. Walking around the room, she stopped by Susie who was working diligently on her picture. The teacher was impressed and asked, “Susie who are drawing?”

Little Susie answered, "I'm drawing God."

The teacher said, "But, Susie no one knows what God looks like."

Without looking up from her drawing, Susie replied, "They will in a minute."

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Growing Up Ralph - The Hammer

Marilyn gave me this hammer on one of their visits. It’s a Nebraska Cornhuskers hammer and has a grip with football laces. What Marilyn doesn’t realize is a hammer was the “weapon of choice” the first time I committed “murder”.

I was about ten years old. The sun was just setting on what had been a perfect summer day. Everyone was outside, running around, playing all sorts of games, and having a good time.

My sister was in the front yard playing with a ball about the size of a volleyball. On one of my many trips into the front yard, I noticed she was throwing rocks into the tree. Okay, that’s weird even for me. I stopped and asked what she was doing. It seems her ball was stuck in the branches of the tree and she was trying to knock it out with rocks. She had hit it a few times but not hard enough to dislodge it.

The answer was simple – she wasn’t using the right tool for the job. I ran and got a hammer knowing that would do the trick. I threw the hammer into the tree and although the branches moved quite a bit the ball remained. I threw the hammer again this time hitting the ball, moving it just far enough to get entangled in another set of branches. The third time I threw the hammer with all my strength. It hit a low hanging branch and immediately started its journey back to earth. It would have made it too except the top of my sisters head got in the way. The hammer hit her square on the top of the head. She went limp and crumpled to the ground.

I knew I had killed her and instincts took over. First, I hid the “murder” weapon by throwing it in a bush. Secondly, I ran into the house to beg for mercy.

Busting through the front door, most likely with tears rolling down my face, I yelled at the top of my lungs, “I didn’t mean to kill her! It was an accident!”

Fearing my mom didn’t hear me I started to yell it again. Before I could get all the words out my Mom was in the front yard standing over my sister’s lifeless body. Mom quickly turned and ran back into the house. That just confirmed - my sister was dead.

Returning with a washcloth my Mom began rubbing my sister’s face, no doubt getting her ready for the funeral. Then my sister started to move. Somehow, someway my mother had brought her back to life. I didn’t kill her! I wouldn’t go to jail. I wouldn’t rot in hell!

For years following that little incident, whenever I wanted to terrorize my sister all I had to do was grab a hammer and chase her around the yard . . . . . not that I would do anything like that.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sunday Funnies

A nun was at the airport waiting for her flight. She looked over in the corner and saw one of those machines that tells your weight and fortune. She thought to herself. "I'll give it a try just to see what it says." She put her nickel in and out came a card that read, "You're a nun. You weigh 128 lbs. You are going to Chicago."

She sat down and thought to herself, “It probably says the same thing to everyone.” She went back to the machine, put a nickel in and out came a card that said, "You're a nun. You weigh 128 lbs. You are going to Chicago. You're going to play a fiddle." The nun says to herself, "Now I know it's wrong, I have never played a musical instrument in my life." As she sat down and a man came over and placed his fiddle case next to her. The nun picked up the fiddle and starts playing beautiful music.

Startled, she looks at the machine and said, "This is incredible. I've got to try it again." In goes her nickel and out comes the card that says, "You're a nun. You weigh 128 lbs. You're going to Chicago. You are going to break wind." Now, the nun knows the machine is wrong, "I've never broke wind in public a day in my life!" Well, she tripped, fell off the scales and broke wind.

Stunned, she said to herself, "This is truly an unbelievable machine. I've got to try it one more time." She puts in a nickel and took the card. This time the card says, "You're a nun. You weigh 128lbs. You have fiddled and farted around and missed your flight to Chicago."