Friday, October 31, 2008

Enjoy the show.

It’s going to be a great day. Sometimes you just wake up and feel great. Do you ever get that feeling? Like no matter what you do, things just seem to turn out right. I started with a great workout at the gym followed by a clear ride into work with only a little traffic. All the while the radio station I was listening to played nothing but songs I like.

I stopped for coffee one last time because starting Monday I will be making coffee in my office. Here is another figure that will amaze you. If I stopped for coffee on my way to work every morning, I would be spending $400.00 a year on coffee. If I make coffee in my office ever morning, it will cost me less than $80.00 a year plus that gives me another 5 minutes to work out at the Gym in the morning. I will also be guaranteed to get a great cup of coffee this way. It’s another win-win-win situation. Can you see these savings adding up?

And speaking of the gym, I am running 2.5 miles a day. I enjoy running in the gym because I don’t have to worry about rain or dogs and I can watch music videos while I run. Each machine is equipped with a TV and a headphone jack. You may not know this but I really love music. Almost every kind of music. I like a song with a good beat and full background music. I would even like rap music if every other word wasn’t a curse word. I enjoy music videos too when they are good ones. There are a couple of new performers out there that I really like. They are putting out good wholesome songs and there isn’t any cursing going on. They are upbeat songs that make you feel good just like I do today.

So if you have time, check out this video. I know nothing about this girl except that she is from Australia and she looks like I feel; Very happy. It’s a little bubblegumish(new word I made up) and cutesy but I like it. Just sit back and enjoy The Show. Yes I am weird but I like me like that.

And have a great day,
Greg

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Answers, Riddles and more Answers.

Here is the answer to the riddle I told this past Sunday. It really is quite simple. The problem is that no matter what you ask, each girl will give you the same answer and there is no way to tell who is telling the truth and who is lying. So you have to essentially ask both girls at the same time and then you know the answer is a lie. But remember you can only ask one question so here it is;

“If I asked your sister if you were the liar what would she say?

No matter which answer you get it will always be false so just invert it and you have the right answer. For instance if you ask the liar that question she will say that the sister would say NO. The sister (the truthful one) would actually say YES but remember you are asking the question to the liar so she will lie and say NO. Confusing isn’t it? The opposite would happen if you were talking with the sister who told the truth.

Now if you wanted to figure this out mathematically you could use the formula

A(–A) = -(A(squared)). Where A is the truth and –A is a lie.

In other words the answer will always be false no matter what value you put into the equation. Or once you insert a lie into a situation, no matter how many truths you have, you still have a lie.
King Solomon was faced with a similar situation where he was asked to make a decision based on what two women were telling him. One was telling the truth and the other one was lying. These two women came before Solomon both claiming that one baby was theirs. Solomon had to decide which woman the baby actually belonged to. It was impossible to make a determination based solely on what the two women were saying because he didn’t know which was telling the truth. So he made a decision to cut the baby in half and give half to each woman. I don’t even like to think about that decision. One woman agreed to Solomon’s decision to cut the baby in half. The real mother however quickly spoke up, putting the baby’s life ahead of her possession of her child and said to give the baby to the other woman. Solomon knew from both responses who the real mother was and awarded the baby to its’ rightful mother. If you want to read more about this story go to 1Kings 3 verses 16 through 28.

Very soon we will be required to make a decision based on what we have heard and what we know. It will be an important decision and will change the course of history. Unfortunately I am not wise like Solomon was and I don’t have the ability to even ask one question or make a statement to see how the candidates respond. I can only make my decision based on what I have heard and what I know. Both candidates say that they are the best choice for America so one of them is lying or at least stretching the truth. There are so many lies out there that no one really knows who is telling the truth.

Next I looked at endorsements but you know just because a celebrity is behind a candidate doesn’t make them right for me. When I see someone whose values are questionable get behind a candidate then that says something to me. (see the above equation) Also when I look back at past presidents, very few of them did what they said they would do during the election. So I am throwing all that out and simply looking at candidates actual history and whose values fall closest to my own.

This makes my decision easier and pretty firm. ( just do as I did and toss out all the name calling and the he said she said and see how it comes out) So I am going with the one who I agree with most. And that is why I am voting for…….. (darn, I ran out of time)

Have a great day,
Greg

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I don't HEART funerals.

I told in my last post about my most recent sermon and how at the time, I felt like I didn’t get anything out of it. This is about another sermon where I got more than I bargained for. This is a bit long and let me add a disclaimer in case anyone is offended. If you are then all I can say is; you had to be there. This is true in its entirety. I didn’t make this up. The names were changed to protect the innocent.

I have a confession. I am not a big fan of funerals. I guess no one really is a "fan" of them. I have never liked them. It’s much deeper than “not like”. I put funerals right up there with spiders. I hate them. If there were a way not to attend my own funeral, I would do it. I hate the sadness and sorrow but mostly I hate “the body.” I don’t need to see the body to have closure. Some people do but not me. Ok in some cases it is an urn full of ashes but you get the picture. And then someone always has to make the statement; He looks so peaceful, or doesn’t she look good? Ummmm No. They look dead to me. Am I the only one who can see that? If I am forced to attend my own funeral and if someone decides to let people look at me, the only thing I want people to say is; “Oh my God, it’s a miracle, he is still alive.”

Several years ago, I was asked to attend a funeral for the brother in law of a co-worker. It was one of those things where the company I worked for expected someone from the company to attend the funeral so they asked who wanted to go. I really didn’t want to go but I said I was available since I did like the co-worker and I felt that someone should attend just to show we care. Seriously I do care for this person and think a lot of her but I just don’t like funerals. After asking for volunteers, Nancy (another co-worker) and I were chosen. I have to stop right here and tell you that the fact that Nancy and I were “chosen” was in itself suspicious.

Let me give you some background. At the time, I was working in a very small town. The town’s people loved funerals. It was considered a town event and everyone went to them. If you even knew someone who knew someone who knew the deceased, you would attend the funeral. If a friend’s dog died they would have a funeral and by golly you better be there. If granny was in her nineties and had a cold, they would start arranging for her funeral just to be prepared. There is no since waiting until the last minute for a funeral. Granny’s going to go sometime so why not be prepared. So it was strange that no one else from where I worked was attending THIS funeral. Also I have to mention that Nancy and I were the only two people in our office that weren’t from that little town.

Now to make matters worse, the church where the funeral was being held wasn’t in the little town. And it wasn’t in the adjacent, even smaller town of Bubba’s crossroads. It was actually in between the two towns at a little bump in the road that wasn’t even on the map. We had the option of attending any of the events including the “sitting up” the "viewing", the funeral or the gravesite service so we chose the funeral. I figured it was the best thing to go to since usually no one is forced to see the body. The day before the funeral, we heard whispers in the office about this little church and it’s preacher. When I asked what they were talking about they just said he was a little strange but it would be ok. Then they whispered some more.

I also want to tell you that through my years I have been to almost every church denomination out there. Everything from Seventh Day Baptist to Catholic and I have even been inside a Synagogue and heard a Rabi speak but this was different from any church I had ever been in. This was a small town, one room, non air conditioned "deep in the heart of dixie" Evangelical Church. I wore my best (only) suit which was navy blue and I had on a very light blue shirt with a dark blue tie which had a diagonal stripe on it. Nancy wore a black dress which was cut just above her knees with black heels and pearls. It was a little bit low cut but I thought we looked pretty good. Oh Nancy is about 25 years younger than I am. Stay with me, I am just trying to set the stage here.

Ok so we arrive at the Church and like any good Baptist we park in such a way that we can make a quick escape if we need to. (back pew sitter here) We were a few minutes early so we sat in the car and talked. As we looked across the street at the people outside the church, Nancy asked if anything looked strange. I gave it a long look and then noticed what she was talking about. All the men were standing in a group on one side of the church and the women were on the other side. ALL the men were wearing black suits with white shirts and slim black ties. The women all had on floor length dresses that were grey or brown. They were buttoned up high, right to their neck and they all had on black shoes. None of them had on any makeup. I looked at Nancy (who had on makeup) and asked; what have we gotten ourselve into? We both tried to find reasons not to go in but we both wanted to be there to support our friend so we reluctantly went inside.

We could feel people staring at us as we approached the church so we tried not to make eye contact and we quickly slipped inside. Darn, the back rows were reserved so we had to sit about mid way up. You would have thought we were brides walking down the aisle with the way everyone turned and stared at us. We found a pew with only two people in it so Nancy went in first and I slid in beside her. The man she sat beside looked disgusted but he didn’t move or say anything. So there we sat with people staring at us as the church began to fill up. Before long, the pews were full, all except the two seats beside me. Obviously no one wanted to sit there. They brought out the folding chairs which quickly filled up and people were standing in the isles but no one was sitting beside me. Then just before the service started, two young girls in their 20’s came in and they sat beside me. They were also wearing short skirts and theirs were more colorful than Nancy’s. They also had on more makeup and lots of jewelry.

Ok now I am starting to sweat and not just because there was no AC in the building or the fact that there were 100 people in a church designed for a maximum of 50. I could feel the eyes staring at “Big Daddy G and his 3 Ho’s.” I wanted to get up and move myself but it was too late. The service started. Could this get any worse? Oh yes it could. The first thing they did was to prop up the coffin so everyone could get a good look at “Brother Jim.” There was no escaping it. They raised the end of the coffin so that everyone (including me) had to see him laying there.

The preacher was a tall thin wiry man just like I imagined. He held a small black bible in his hand and began waving it as he preached. Now I enjoy reading the Bible and most of it cheers me up. All except for one book and you guessed it. That’s where he opened the Bible and began reading: “It says right here in Revelations that all sinners are going to burn in Hell.” Hey I thought this was about Brother Jim. Why is he looking at me? Maybe it was my imagination but every time he said the words burn in hell, I felt like he was staring right at me and the ladies beside me. Now I really start to sweat. He even jumped (literally jumped) off the stage a couple of times and ran (literally ran) up the aisle and stood beside us as he shouted about fire and damnation. By the time the service was over, Big Daddy G was sitting in a pool of sweat and I have to say Nancy was equally drenched. This didn’t help matters for her either because her once modest dress was now very clingy. When the service ended we were the first ones out the door and we paid our respects to our co-worker and then headed for our car. We were now glad we used the rapid escape plan and we pulled away even before they had Brother Jim in the long black Cadillac.

Once inside the car, Nancy reached under her seat and found her emergency cigarette (she had recently quit smoking) and with shaking hands lit it. Fortunately she only had one because I would have joined her. (I am an ex smoker too and it has been over 15 years since I have had one) I think she took about 4 drags on it and it was gone. We hardly said a word as we drove away from the church. We decided to stop for lunch to calm down before returning to work. When we got inside the restaurant we looked at each other across the table and burst out laughing. Nancy said she would never step foot in a church again but I know she was just joking. I used my company credit card to pay for the meals. As I saw it, they owed us that much.

Have a great day,
Greg

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What does it all mean?

I love a good riddle. They make me think and use that grey matter that God gave me and that is a good thing. Too many people go from day to day in the reactive mode and don’t think about what they are doing or saying and really need to exercise their brains to keep the cobwebs out. They want everything spelled out so that they don’t have to think.

Here is one of my favorite riddles:

A father offers his two daughters to a young man to pick one for marriage. They are identical in looks but they are very different. One is wise, faithful, wealthy, and always tells the truth. The other is foolish, wicked, squanders money and cannot tell the truth. He can have either woman but he must chose by asking only one question. What question should they ask to decide which woman is which? Think about it. Remember one will be lying and the other telling the truth but you don’t know who is who.

Riddles come in many different forms. Some are straight forward like the one I just mentioned and others are simply a collection of happenings that just don’t make sense. Take this week’s sermon for instance. I am working today (Sunday) so we went to the Saturday evening service. The regular preacher is out of town so we had a substitute. I have never heard this preacher before so I had no preconceived notions about him.

The service was about Jesus teaching in the temple and how he was such a great speaker. Yet this preacher was not a very good speaker. I struggled to gain meaning out of what he was saying. In fact at one point I was concentrating so deeply that my wife nudged me and asked if I was ok. He was going over one of my favorite verses; John 8; 32 but it did little for me to hear him reading it. He talked about how people change their actions but not how they truly feel inside in response to things that happen in their lives. He talked about the woman who was brought into the temple for Jesus to judge and how Jesus said for the one who was without sin to be the first judge of her. All good verses but I got nothing. Usually I get something out of the service but for some reason I felt nothing. Nothing at all. So I left feeling empty and lost like when I am told a riddle that I just couldn’t figure out. I guess it will come to me.

Well I am working today. I can’t complain. We really can use the money. End of the year bills you know. The ride in this morning went well. Since it is Sunday, traffic was light. That was a good thing since there is still water on some of the roads after the torrential rain we had on Friday. I was able to drive slowly without having someone running up behind me.

I stopped at a gas station on my way to work and got my morning coffee. Another car pulled up about the same time I did but they weren’t going to work, they were coming from a bar just down the street. It was a silver Cadillac with dark tinted windows. There was music playing so loud that I could feel the vibrations shaking my car. Well I guess some would say it was music. It was a rap song and every other word was a curse word. I won’t even repeat what was being said but it was vile.

The driver rolled his window down to toss out a cigarette butt so I got a look inside. There were 3 very large black men inside all sporting flashy jewelry (bling) and all dressed in black and gold. At the same time, someone else was getting out the other side of the car. It was a young girl and I wondered if she were even old enough to be out all night much less in a bar. She hurried inside just in front of me.

She was a very petite girl and she was wearing clothes that most people would consider trashy. Her jeans were tight and very low cut exposing her thong. She had on a halter top that was two sizes too small exposing her stomach and enough cleavage to make a sailor blush. She had a naval ring, lots of other jewelry and had her hair up with a weave in it. Her face was covered with heavy makeup and she was wearing tall spiked heels.

It didn’t take me long to figure out what kind of girl this was. "What a tramp" I said to myself. After she left and while I was paying for my coffee, the cashier made a similar comment and I agreed with her. In a matter of seconds we were able to evaluate this girl and judge her. When I got outside I saw the Cadillac pulling away and I felt bad about what I had just said. I thought; who am I to judge this woman? I am defiantly not without sin. Although I have been trying to change my actions to be a better person, maybe I need some more work on what is inside. And maybe I need to be more knowledgeable of the truth. So much to think about. There is nothing like a good riddle to make you think. I guess it was a good sermon after all.

Have a blessed Sunday,
Greg

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cutbacks, Layoffs and getting back to basics.

It’s a jungle out there. I know that some companies are already doing cutbacks and layoffs but so far not my company. Thank God for that. However my wife and I decided that before we were forced to make some cutbacks, why not make a few on our own. We are cutting back on some things, laying off others and getting back to basics.

There is a new Sprint commercial where the CEO of the company holds up a cell phone and says; “I can’t believe they still call these cell phones” Well I have to agree. I can think of a few adjectives to go along with the description. How about: complicated, overpriced, difficult, extravagant and not necessary. Yes I said it, “not necessary.” I lived for 40 years without a cell phone and I can do it again.


Yes we have decided that we can live without cell phones. It will take some getting used to but we think we can manage. It’s not a bad thing though. There are some advantages though to not having a cell phone.


For starters, how about and extra $60.00 a month. That doesn’t sound like a lot but that is $720.00 a year. These little things add up.


Then I will be less likely to have an accident by not using a cell phone while driving. It’s a fact that people talking on cell phones causes accidents.

How about having less worries by not having to frantically search for the missing cell phone on a daily basis.

I will have more privacy and more time to myself. Do I really want to be bothered all the time? Just think about all the times you have to turn your cell phone off these days in places like church, meetings, libraries etc.


I don’t see the fascination with texting and. I don’t play games on my cell phone so I won’t miss those. I also don’t use it as a calculator, a message reminder, a storage device or an alarm clock. Never have and now I never will. And I am not even going to mention the use of the more adult functions.


Ok now don’t take offense here but this will mean that I no longer have to talk with someone in Argentina when I have phone problems. That always aggravated me.

The truth is that if they had kept them simple I may have stayed connected. At one time I considered giving up my land line and going straight cellular. That thought quickly left me though when they started coming out with a new phone daily and not supporting the old stuff. So Mr. CEO of Sprint, you did this to yourself by not keeping it simple. You tried to wrap everything into one little bundle and now you lost my business. So from now on, if anyone wants to “reach out and touch us” call us at home. If we don’t answer please call back. Now how hard was that?

As far as layoffs, I am still laying off the gas pedal and getting over 40 MPG. Now with the new low gas prices, cough cough, it is only costing me around 30 dollars a week. I will be paying for half of my gas with the money I save by not having a cell phone. We are also laying off unnecessary trips to town and combining trips when we can.

Now as for getting back to basics, have you noticed that we have run out of ideas for games, movies and books? Everything hitting the market these days is simply a remake of an old idea. I have been thinking about going out and getting some original board games for the family to play. You know that a family that plays together stays together. I refuse to pay money to see most of the movies being made these days. How many times can you see a person being cut in half with a chainsaw and still be entertained? I don’t really read many books but frankly I haven’t seen any recently that even interested me. I guess I need to start writing that book I promised everyone. I assure you it will be an original. I am also still reading the one book that is still an original….The Bible. It has something for everyone so why not give it a try.

Have a great day,
Greg

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A fractured fairy tale.




Remember Fractured Fairy tales? It was a segment on the Bullwinkle show. It was a short story that was retold in a different perspective. So today I offer this view of an old classic. The Wizard of Oz.



"Weeeeerrrrrrr off to see the Wizard"







A lot of bloggers are talking about politics these days so I decided to do something different. I thought I would keep with the Wizard of Oz theme going for this post. It is one of my favorite movies of all time by the way. It has a nice girl, munchkins, witches and those adorable flying monkeys that give children nightmares. And of course there is a good moral to the story and that is the best part. What’s not to love?






It starts out with a girl who has lost her direction. (or so she thinks) She doesn’t like the way things are going at home so she decides to run away. You might say that she needs change. She meets up with the Wizard. He is a stranger from a strange land. She is immediately in awe of him just because he is a smooth talker and different from anyone she has seen before. He is a fortune teller and tells a great tale.



He tells her just what she wants to hear and so she believes him and runs home to make things right. Of course there is a terrible storm on the way so before she can make things right she is hit on the head and goes into her dream world.


Her home is taken away but she wakes up in make-believe land where everything is colorful and wonderful. After a brief meeting with some little people she heads off to see the Wizard who is going to make everything wonderful again. Along the way, she meets up with some other needy people who decide to go along and see what they can GET from the Wizard. For this little band of misfits it’s all about “They have and I want” And “me me me me, Woe is me.”



They find the Wizard in his big Emerald castle and ask him to help them out.





Unknown to them, the Wizard isn’t really a wizard so he stalls and makes them go out and do something to prove they are worthy. In actuality he sends them off to do his dirty work. He wants them to get rid of some evil that he himself has been unable to do. So the people do as the Wizard instructs. They go out and slay the evil witch and then come back to get what he promised them.



Instead of giving them what they want, he merely uses his fast talking again to trick them into believing that all is right with the world. He gives them papers, fake medals and toy clocks to symbolize the things they really asked for. Pretty slick if you ask me. Then he decides it is time to leave before all the people discover that he is a big fake. But the Wizard makes some mistakes as he heads off and Dorothy is left behind so the Wizard is the only one who really got anything out of the deal. He also leaves his kingdom in the hands of the bumbling idiots; the scarecrow, the cowardly lion and the tin man.



But thank goodness there is a real hero in the story; Glenda the good witch.




I have to say that I liked her from the start because she was attractive, knew what she was talking about and very down to earth. Way back in the beginning she told Dorothy to hold tight to the ruby slippers because they must be worth a lot because the wicked witch wanted them so bad. Dorothy however was skeptical about Glenda’s abilities because she didn’t look like a witch. As she put it, “witches are mean and ugly’ and Glenda was neither. So Glenda shows back up and saves the day, telling Dorothy how to get back home. In the end, Dorothy is reunited with her family and she realizes that she had what she wanted all along. Gosh I love a happy ending.

Oh I almost forgot the morals of the story:

1. Instead of chasing rainbows, try being happy with what you already have

2. Don’t listen to someone just because they SAY they are a wizard, they SAY what you want to hear and they are a good speaker.

3. Just because someone is pretty doesn’t mean they aren’t powerful.
And last but certainly not least:


Put your trust in God and not Wizards. (Ok that last one wasn’t from this story but it is from another story and it is a good philosophy to live by)

Now aren’t you glad I stayed away from politics?



Have a great day,
Greg

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's Scarecrow time





For some reason this time of year, people feel the need to decorate their homes with scarecrows. Isn’t this the wrong time of year to put out a scarecrow? And why are you trying to keep crows out of your house? I guess it has something to do with the fall theme and it goes along with the Indian corn and pumpkins. Maybe people are just bringing the entire garden indoors to keep reminding them of summer as the weather turns colder. I really don’t know. This time of year though I do think of a scarecrow I once made.


Back when I was young and growing up in Florida, I always had a garden. One particular year, I decided to put up a scarecrow. It wasn’t that we had crows in the garden. I just wanted to have one. So I went onto my closet and got out some old clothes. Then I sewed the shirt to the pants and stuffed them with straw. Next I got some paper and masking tape and formed a head. I drew on eyes with a magic marker and then put a hat on the head. I found some old gloves to make hands. When I put it all together, I have to say that it looked great. In fact from a distance it looked like a real person. I didn’t have a pole to prop it up, so I attached it to the fence at the back of our yard. So just imagine, this lifelike scarecrow leaning against the fence behind my garden. After I put it out, I left for the day.

When I got home, later that day, my mother was home from work. I could tell something was up because she was pacing back and forth and had all the curtains in the back of the house shut. I asked her what was up and she told me there was a peeping Tom in the back yard. I had forgotten about the scarecrow so I went with her to the back window to see this guy. On the way to the back porch she said; “The nerve of that guy. He is just standing there staring at the house”.” I am going to call the police” When I looked out the window I asked where he was. She said; “Right there, in the back of your garden. ” I burst out laughing and told her it was my scarecrow. She kept insisting it was a real person so I went out and walked up to it to show her. She said it gave her the creeps and she made me take it down. I ended up sitting him in a chair where she couldn’t see him.
I have another scarecrow story but I felt it best not to post it here.
So who remembers what the first thing the scarecrow said after the wizard gave him a brain? Just wondering if there are any other W.O.O. fans out there?

Have a great fall day,
Greg

Friday, October 17, 2008

I won

Before I get to what I won, let me tell you about my weekend. Saturday was cold and rainy but we did ok at the market anyway. We got soaked first thing in the morning but the rain finally stopped around 9:30. That's when the temperature started dropping which made us miserable. Good thing I took a megga vitamin C in the morning. So far so good. No signs of a cold.

Today was much better. As is usually the case, I made breakfast this morning for my family. I enjoy cooking and especially breakfast. I am out of the house before they are awake during the week so I almost always fix breakfast on Sunday. Today I made bacon and egg biscuits for three of us and piggies for my youngest. Piggies are pigs in blankets, made with those little smokie sausages.

After that big breakfast, we waited on lunch until 1pm. Today for lunch, I made fried grouper, baked sweet potatoes, baby turnips and three bean salad. For desert me made smores. I made them in the microwave and it is simple. Just put the bottom graham cracker on a paper plate and cover with half of the Hershey bar. Place one marshmallow on top and microwave for 10 seconds. Take it out and immediately add the top graham cracker and smush it down a little. They are almost as good as the outside variety and lots easier. Now on to the award.







I have received an award from my new BBFF Patrice. I don't know what I did to deserve an award but I will proudly accept it. I don't get many awards and this one looks special. If anyone deserves an award it is her because she is the one who designed my new blog. If you are thinking about doing a blog makeover I highly recommend her. I have to say though that I tried to use the card at Walmart but something was wrong and the cashier said the balance was Zero. Just my luck.



After giving it some thought I realized that the reason the balance is Zero is that true friends don't come with a price. They are worth more than money can buy so actually they are priceless. Thanks again Patrice. Now I am supposed to pass this along to other bloggers so they can enjoy it as well. I already have one BBFF but I can always use another. (BBFF stands for Best Blogger Friend Forever by the way) So today I would like to pass this award to one of the newest members of the blogging community. Brooke. Today (Sunday) makes one month, two weeks and three days since her first post. And you thought we forgot. :) Oh and don't try to use this card for one of those on-line sales that I know you like either. I would also like to pass it along to Scarlet. She is the one who talked Brooke into blogging. If I ever make it down their way again, I hope we can all go out for some Cuban food. That would be awesome. I wonder though, do they just call it food? I love their perspective on life.


Have a great week,


Greg

Letter to Sarah Silverman.

Dear Sarah

I know you are much too busy and important to read fan mail so I decided to post this letter on my blog. I am sure you read it daily. Doesn’t everyone? I recently saw your political ad for Senator Obama. I must admit that I found it not amusing and highly offensive. I know you are a comedian or at least some people think so but there are some things that just aren’t funny. Things like saying that if your grandmother doesn’t vote for Obama then you won’t visit her next year and that hopefully she won’t get sick. You will feel really bad if she does get sick or dies after saying what you did. So let me tell you about my grandmothers.

I knew them both and had them in my life thorough out my entire youth. Grandma Green was born in upstate NY in a little town named Alfred. She had 6 children which she raised alone after her husband left her. They lived in a small house on the edge of a gravel pit and the town’s people gave her the nickname Gravel Greenie. She had a hard life which was made even harder when she contracted TB. Back then, everyone who got TB usually died so they farmed out her children to other families and sent her to an insane asylum to die. She was a tough one though and pulled through. This was unheard of in those days. After she regained her strength, she set out to reunite her family and she managed to get all her children back. Later she moved to Florida and lived the remainder of her years there in the same town as her daughters.


Grandma Lottie was born Carlotta Jones but later married a Cushing and she became Lottie Cushing. Her husband was an alcoholic and in fact the town drunk. The only memory I have of him was lying in bed, passed out with a bottle of whiskey beside him. He died when I was very young. Lottie raised her 6 children alone just like Grandma Green. She would drive the school bus for our town’s grade school and then stayed at school and cooked lunch. In the afternoon she again drove the school bus, taking the kids home. She was able to keep any leftover food from the school cafeteria to help feed her children. She was very well known and respected in our little town.


Both of my grandmothers died while I was serving in the Navy, on a submarine, thousands of miles from home and hundreds of feet below the ocean. When Lottie died, I was called to the XO’s stateroom and handed a piece of paper with a 25 word message telling me that she had died and that my wife would be attending the funeral in my absence. I wasn’t notified when my other grandmother died. I didn’t have the luxury of spending time with my grandmothers before they died. I loved them for who they were and not who they voted for. How dare you make such a statement concerning them, joking or not. I really don’t think you were joking or funny. You should be ashamed. Now that I have that off my chest I feel better.

Have a wonderful day,
Greg

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Keeping it positive

I pondered this morning over whether or not to post my latest creation but after giving it some thought I decided against it. I read it over and even though it was written in a lite forum, the subject was negative. I know I need to be more positive on my blog so I deleted it. I used to have a neighbor who was always positive. No matter what happened in her life, Wilma always had a smile on her face and was glad to see me. She has since passed away but I still think about her from time to time.

I remember one day when she called me and asked if I could come over because her sink was broken. Now at the time, I believe she was in her 70's. When I got there she explained that the drain came loose under her sink and she just wanted to borrow my pipe wrench so she could fix it herself. I laughed and told her I would do it even though she kept insisting. After I finished, she tried to stuff some money in my pocket but I wouldn't take it. There were many such incidents and always she tried to get me to take money and when I wouldn't she just said "bless you". She didn't have much money and it was my pleasure to help her out.

My fondest memory of Wilma didn't have anything to do with plumbing repairs. It was late one rainy afternoon and she called to say that there was a strange dog in her house and she needed me to help her get out. As she explained, she heard something on her porch and she opened the door to see what it was. Just as she opened her door a clap of thunder went off and this dog ran inside to escape the storm. I was a little aggravated because she certainly didn't need my help to get a little dog to leave but I went over anyway. When I got there she told me it was hiding in her bedroom so I went down the hall and opened the door. I was expecting to see a Little poodle or a shi tzu or something like that but instead I found myself staring at a fill sized German Shepard. I didn't know whether to run or freeze so I slowly closed the door to regain my composure.

After giving it some thought, I got Wilma to get me some scraps from the refrigerator and we coaxed him outside. Once he was out he headed for his home. I told Wilma, next time let me know if it is a big dog. We both laughed.

Have a great one,
Greg

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My bailout plan....Yes I have one.

I have been listening to both sides of this political circus and I have to tell you that neither side has a real plan. Trying to nail either one of these candidates down to a solid plan is like trying to push a rope. It can be done but it would take divine intervention. And it isn’t just the presidential candidates beating around the bush. (no pun intended) I heard a couple of congressmen being interviewed the other day and they couldn’t say it either. The host kept asking what their plan would be and they kept saying things like; “The American people want…” and “The American people need….” The host kept asking; “so what is your plan?” But no one being interviewed had a plan.

It really reminded me of the first time a girl said I love you to me. I knew I had to say something but not “that” so I beat around the bush. (There I go again) I think I said something like; “I really like you a lot” or “you are more than just a friend”. If I knew then what I know now, I would have just said it, and gotten it over with. The government should just say it too and get it over with: “we really don’t have a plan and we really don’t know what we are doing.” Thank you, now we can get back to our regularly scheduled shows.

Have you heard they are talking on giving us another stimulus check next year? The problem is that in the present state of the economy, people would just hold on to it instead of spending it on luxuries like food or gas. But wait, some senator then came up with this idea; Instead of giving out money, give out gift cards with an expiration date so that Americans will have to either spend them or lose them. That plan makes me proud to be an American. Hold on, I need a tissue. I think I got a tear welling up. It may be time to invest in Walmart stock.

So here is Greg’s plan. This was so simple a moron could have thought of it but I am posting it here to get credit for it. You know once they see it, one side or the other will want to use it and get all the glory but let the record show, this is Greg’s plan. (drum roll please) I call it…..




“Buy a piece of the rock”



We reverse mortgage the United States to pay off our debt. Think of it, this is perfect. You know how a reverse mortgage works. You borrow money from the bank and you get to use the money right away. When you die, the banks own the property. In my plan, when every American who is now living dies, the country belongs to the lending institutions. This is genius I tell you. It is too big to sell it to one bank so we break it up into chunks and mortgage it in lots.
Just imagine it. No national debt. We can live like kings. And we will no longer need a military either. People won’t attack us they will attack the owners. Now the Saudi’s will probably buy most of the mortgages but who cares. Let them fight for it. As I see it, we have about a hundred years to use this country however we chose and they will have one heck of a cleaning bill when we are finished. (You know how it is when you have renters. They never take good care of the place.) This will also give our grandkids about a hundred years to move to Mexico and Canada. Sounds interesting doesn’t it.

So just remember, you heard it here first.
Have a great day and
Buy a piece of the rock.
Greg



Monday, October 13, 2008

Not again!!!!

I just finished my last tag and got that behind me and now I have been tagged again. This one is a doosey though. My parents always used that word “doosey” but you know this is the first time I have tried to spell it so let’s hope spell check can work some magic and fix it if it is wrong. This one came from Patrice. Patrice by the way is the one who redesigned my blog and I think she did a great job although I kind of wanted to see a mermaid in the water. :) She offered a blog make over in her blog as a prize and I won.

The challenge is to list 4 things that you hate to admit about yourself. Well here goes nothing

1. I prefer the company of women over men. I hate sports for the most part unless it is a team that I like. Going to a bar with a bunch of guys and talking sports is boring to me (fishing excluded of course). When I was young and my parents would take me to picnics or parties, I would hang close to the women instead of the men. I had a crush on one of my mom's best friends. She was much younger than my mother though so it wasn't one of those Mrs. Robinson kind of things. And no it never went further than infatuation. I also enjoy spending time with my family over drinking with the boys.

2. I am afraid of spiders. I know I have said this before but I have never expounded on this issue. I am not just a little afraid of spiders, I would scream like a little girl if one got on me. This stems from when I was a small boy playing in the Florida woods. I was running through the woods one day and ran into a spider web. It was a banana spider and it got right on my face. It was about 4 inches across and I screamed and freaked out until I got it off. Ever since then I have hated spiders and go out of my way to pick on them or worse, kill them. Spiders are the devil.

3. I am not always right. There honey, I said it. BUT if I am not right I am darn near it and close enough that I can bluff my way through the situation. I am a good bluffer. I would have to say that I am right though about 95% of the time though. I also have this knack for telling when the other person is bluffing so I will go out on a limb when I know that is happening. I like to feel other people out and expose the other bluffers. I am one bad dude when it comes to this.

4. I kissed a nun and I liked it. Afterward I had this sick feeling that I was going to burn in hell for doing it. It was back in high school and in the back seat of a car. Ok she wasn’t a real nun but she was dressed like one for a costume party. I have no idea where she got that habit. I also thought Sally Fields made a cute flying nun. I wonder if I have a nun complex? I better get off this subject before I get into trouble.

Ok now that you all know this how many readers did I lose?

Have a great day
Greg

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday morning

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Sunday. It is cool and rainy here in Charleston this morning but the birds and plants are happy so I am too. For those of you just getting up, you missed breakfast. I made bacon and cheese omelet sandwiches and a special omelet for myself which had bacon, cheese tomatoes and bell peppers. We also had orange juice and your choice of coffee or tea. See what you missed by sleeping in.

I had planned on doing a video post this morning but we experienced technical difficulties as they say on TV. The video actually came out ok with a few exceptions. The light was behind me so you got a great view out my window, however I looked like one of those people being interviewed that wanted to remain anonymous. You could tell it was a person but not who it was. And to make matters worse, the camera slipped when I hit the record button so all you got was from my nose down. It wasn't supposed to be a humerus video so I deleted it.

I will try to do another sometime this week and cover the same material. I am still reading the Bible daily and am now in the book of Daniel. As some of you know my New Years resolution was to read the Bible cover to cover this year. Looks like I am not going to make it. So I adjusted my goal and now plan on reading the Old Testament this year and the New Testament next year. It actually makes more sense because I will be starting on the New Testament around Christmas time which works out great. I am behind in my reading for two reasons. First I am just a slow reader. I can read faster but I will miss a lot so I have to read slow. Secondly, I am going back and reading some parts again trying to understand what I am reading.

Here is something interesting that I will pass along. I knew most of this before but understand it better now. I find the story of the Israelites very interesting. They were slaves and God got them released and led them to a new world. There were many troubles along the way but they persevered and turned into a great nation. After a while they became haughty and forgot how God saved them so they began worshiping shiny idols made of gold and silver. Over many years, God gave them chance after chance to change their ways but the Israelites wouldn't listen. Finally he had no choice but to take away their shiny idols and punish them. He took away their money and their homes and they were attacked by their neighbors. The good thing is he returned them to their land after a while so the story does have a happy ending. Now where I have I heard about something similar to this happening today? I'm sure it is just coincidence.

Have a great Sunday,
Greg

Friday, October 10, 2008

Aliens are among us.

The girl over at "This just in" blog, was talking about her aquarium aliens and it made me think of my own aquarium aliens. Yes they really are aliens or at least I believe that is what they are.



I have this aquarium in my greenhouse which has mostly green slime in it at the moment but it also has aliens. I don't know where they came from or how they got in there so I can only assume they were planted by the mother ship on a recent trip to earth. It is a freshwater aquarium that we used to keep water plants in for the winter but we gave up on doing that. Usually our winters are warm enough that some of our water plants will make it through and if they don't, we can always get more at the pet store.



The aliens though are disguised as snails but they don't look like any fresh water snail I have ever seen. They are have long pointed shells similar to some saltwater snails I have seen. But here is why I think they are aliens. From time to time, they line up in parallel lines, facing up and I know what they are doing. They are facing the mother ship and getting ready to be picked up and taken back to the snail planet. Shortly after they do the lineup thing, they all disappear and I know they have gone back. Then without warning, they are re spawned and go through the same process.



Now that I think about it lots of snails go through this same process. Could it bet that all snails are aliens? Think about that then next time you order snails in your favorite restaurant. You just may be planting alien seeds in your belly. And if you saw the movie aliens, you know where that leads. As for me I am not taking any chances. Snails are now on my do not eat list.



Have a great day and Bon Appetit.



Greg

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tagged yet again.

Tagged by: The Monogram Queen.

The rules of the game:

RULE #1 : People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs and replace any question that they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves. (chicken's way out)

RULE #2 : Tag 6 people to do this quiz and they cannot refuse. These people must state who they were tagged by and cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by continue this game by sending it to other people.

Greg’s disclaimer:

I did not write these rules…whoever did write these rules needs to “pop a Xanax” as a certain fellow blogger would say. I would also like to say that I seldom participate in these exercises in truth because I have trouble giving a straight answer. But here goes anyway. I am going to be brave and not change any questions.

Questions:

1. If your lover betrayed you, what will your reaction be?
I am not sure what I would do but my wife would probably kick her butt. Just kidding dear.

2. If you have a dream you’d like to come true, what is it?
I would wake up and find out that I am still only 30 and loaded.

3. Whose butt would you like to kick?
This is easy. My brothers. It wouldn’t do any good as far as he is concerned but it would make me feel a whole lot better.

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
I would buy a red mustang convertible and ride down a busy street with the top down tossing money out. Then I would like to go some place interesting like South Africa. Maybe join the Peace Corps.

5. Will your best friend always be your best friend?
Yes I believe so. That would be my wife. (A serious answer)

6. Have you ever been in love with two people at once?
No can't really say I have but I am willing to learn.

7. How long would you wait for someone you really loved?
About 10 minutes. At that point I would go in the bathroom and get her.

8. If you won the lottery, would you quit your job?
I have given this a lot of thought and my answer is: Not initially. I would go into work for a while and make everyone else’s lives miserable. I would do things like spill coffee and not clean it up. Be obnoxious, tell off color jokes etc. I would have fun and when they were about to fire me I would say…too late, I quit.

9. Who is on your celebrity top 5…you know, the ones…that if you ever had an opportunity…
I usually don’t play favorites but there are a few celebrities that I find how do I say this.....Interesting. And of course there is always SP.

10. What sucks the life out of you?
STRESS. Oh and I hear leaches do too but I have never tried those.

11. How would you see yourself in ten years time?
With a good pair of glasses I suppose. And a mirror. My eyesight isn't what it used to be.

12. What’s your greatest fear/phobia?
Without a doubt, spiders.

13. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
She is a wonderful person. A goddess and a saint. She would give someone the shirt off her back. She paid me to say this. Just kidding. I really don’t know since she refuses to visit me even though she comes to town often. Maybe she is a stalker and is secretly watching me. I see you in those bushes. Now come out and identify yourself.

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married but poor?
I have already tried married and poor and single and poor. I think it is time to try married and rich.

15. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Turn off my radio alarm.

16. Would you give all in a relationship?
Are we talking paychecks here? I already do.

17. Is your career vitally important to you?
Who said I had a career? A virtual career sounds interesting. I could pretend I was going to work and get a virtual paycheck. I wonder how long I could pull that off?

18. Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing someone has done?
Forgive yes, forget no.

19. Do you prefer being single or having a relationship?
Having a relationship. Relationships are like beer. There is nothing sadder than one by itself.

20. List 6 people to tag:
I won’t tag anyone at this time but if you would like to open up and tell the world about you please do. But make sure and put down something great for an answer to question #13. Remember if you are trying to describe me, God-like is hyphenated.

Have fun day and keep smiling,

Greg

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I thought that went well.

I was really impressed with both candidates last night. They both did a super job of dodging the questions and changing the subject. I also thought they both displayed a childish attitude that I have to say has been missing in my life since I left grade school. The only thing missing was some "na ne na na’s" and some “Your father is a doo doo head” comments. Let’s face it. We are in a world of trouble.

But you know the thing that impressed me the most is the way Americans are blaming everything on the government. In my humble opinion the questions should have been combined into one simple statement; “I got myself into a terrible mess and I want the government to get me out. What are you going to do to save me?” And here is why I say this.

Just a few short years ago most people in America were happy. We had great jobs and were making lots of money. We were living the good life. But we wanted more. We wanted to have things like Winnebago’s, Lexus’, 3000 sq ft houses on golf courses, Ipods, cell phones big screen TV’s etc etc. And we got them even though we didn’t need them or have the money to pay for them.
But no one made us buy those things. No one forced us to spend money we didn’t have. Yes our financial situation is bad. But just think, if we didn’t have all those luxuries, we wouldn’t be in debt and we would be doing just fine.

Now I know there are some people out there that are struggling and aren’t squandering their money or what little they have. They are the ones who are really feeling the heat from this fire. I really feel bad for them. The rest of us will just have to learn to live more modestly and do without a little. I actually think it will be a good thing for most of us. I think slowing down and living a more simple life is what this country needs.

I hated the format of this debate to tell the truth. All that high tech stuff that showed the mood of the people in attendance is just another example of American waste. I have a solution that will make it more interesting and will keep the candidates on track. Instead of letting the audience have “mood meter” controls, give them “shock” controls. Then make each candidate wear a shock collar and when the audience thinks the candidate is lying or off topic, they simply give him a harmless but effective 200 volt shock. Worst case is we shock some sense into these two politicians. Would someone please answer the question that was asked!!!!

And finally I leave you with this interesting comment made by our wonderful senator Lindsey Graham.

“I know most of my constituents want me to vote against this bailout bill but I am going to vote for it anyway.” Whatever happened to a government for the people and by the people? Sounds to me like Lindsey needs to rejoin the masses.

Have a great day,
Greg

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What I hate about Fall

I guess “hate” is a harsh word so let’s just say that there are a few things about the fall I dislike. They have to do with school so let’s just get to them.

1. School fund raisers.

Why do we have to do this year after year? If you have children in school then you can feel my pain. It makes no sense at all. Originally these sales were not designed to raise money as much as they were to instill school spirit. When I was young, we were handed boxes of candy and told to go sell them to make money for the school. I can remember taking my big box of katydids and lugging it door to door and listening to one excuse after another but finally selling them all and feeling good about what I accomplished. These days door to door sales are forbidden so what’s the point? Our children bring home catalogs of overpriced stuff and we parents either drag it into work, and force our subordinates to buy it or we hound our relatives until they cave in. The children have nothing to do with it at all other than bringing the paperwork back and forth. In the end they win some cheap prize like a squirt gun or a yo-yo. That is if they sell hundreds of items which isn’t going to happen in our house.

I am thinking of hiring a lawyer and getting a restraining order out against the school system. "Here take this 50.00 but leave me alone." After paying for these items they can't make that much anyway.

2. School projects.

Before I complain, I have to brag a little and say that I have never gotten below a high B on any of my children’s school projects. That’s right I said it. “I” got all A’s and B’s on my children’s school projects. Now when my oldest son was doing his first project, I thought it was still like it was when we were kids and I let him do the entire project. He did a great job too. The project was to make something dealing with the space program so he made a rocket. He used a shoe box and a paper towel roll and some other cardboard and glued it all together and made a launch pad and a rocket. It looked like he actually did it and I was very proud of him. A few days later we were at school and I saw the projects that “his classmates” did. One particular rocket stood three feet high and had working parts and was made to exact scale. I thought “wow, now that is a talented 1st grader.” I am sure the only part the child did in making that project was to keep quiet while his father was working.
So long story short, I still make my children do their own projects but I make sure they stay on track and that they look professional. You know, like something a child would make.

3. School special nights.

I do enjoy going into school and seeing what my boys are working on but for some reason they always give a lot of homework on those nights. We have been working on a big Egyptian project and tonight it will be on display. I get home at 4 and the school meeting starts at 5 which means that I have just enough time to wolf down dinner and then head out to the meeting. I imagine it will last a little longer than an hour and it will be around 7 when we get back home. Then we have to get homework done, pack the book bags for the next day, shower and get to bed.

This project was a little different too than ones I have previously seen. Along with having to write a story about king Tut and making some props, my son had to write a rap song. With my help, we completed the project and even though I am not a big rap fan I want to see my son perform this masterpiece. He is such a ham I know he did a great job on it. We did it to the music from “All summer long” by Kidd Rock. Maybe I can post a copy of that at a later date.

So that is why I dislike Fall. I am however enjoying this cooler weather. Maybe heading to the mountains to see the leaves change will brighten my spirits. This is a photo I took last year up in the mountains of NC.



Have a great day,
Greg

Saturday, October 4, 2008

It doesn't get any better than this.

I have to say that today was as close to perfect as anyone could want. I had my doubts about today after yesterday. I took the day off on Friday and my wife and I went fishing. We had to take the smaller boat because our bigger boat had some steering problems. As soon as we went to take off though we knew something was wrong and we were only able to idle down the river. Later we found out that the gas we bought a few weeks ago during the big gas scare was half water. But that is water under the bridge. Despite the problems I thanked God that we had a day together and we did catch some fish.

Today started out good and it just kept getting better. I woke up early so I decided to go ahead and leave for the market. The weather was cool and clear. I think it was about 58 deg F. As I said, just about perfect. About 8:00, people started showing up. Lots of people. I have never seen so many people at the market. I asked around and found out that it was parent day at the College of Charleston. That college is only a block from the market so everyone came down there to spend the day. Two things were going for me. Parents were in town with nothing to do so they bought wine because it was something local. I sold out of the wine. Most of these parents had visited their children's dorm room and saw that they were bare so they bought plants to go in them. It was a win win situation for me. I was however working by myself because my son was working at the winery. St. Johns Episcopal church was having their annual picnic and he was there helping out and also watching his plant stand.




When I got to the winery, the picnic was in full swing so I just did what I could to help out, We all had a great time and my son did quite well at his plant stand, So let me leave you with some photo' s and a video of the gospel band.
This picture I took at the market. This guy had a Fox for a pet. I didn't know this was legal but he had it.


The food at the picnic was great. They had BBQ and all the trimmings. I think I gained 10 lbs. The girl walking on the left under the deer head is an author and she writes religious children's books. I may do a giveaway one day and give away some of her books. Her name is Judy Brantley.



These are some people eating out by the vineyard


Check out these deserts.



This is my son Gregory. See how tall he is. He is only 16 and he is 6ft 4" tall.



These are some of our cut flowers.



They had some of these books that they were giving away. Some of them looked interesting.



Ok this was the band' name.






And finally, here is the band. Sorry I missed the first part of the song.



Have a blessed Sunday,

Greg

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What would you do?

A radio station I listen to on the way to work always starts a topic of conversation every morning. Usually I listen to something else because their conversations are usually mindless dribble. This week they have had been talking about the economy so I listened in. Yes the topics were interesting but the conversations were the same old dribble. Monday it took less than a minute to find out that they didn’t know what they were talking about. The topic was 401k’s. They all three have 401k’s with the radio station where they now work. Let me stop for a second and tell you that the radio show is called “Two girls and a guy” and that is what there is.

So the first girl says that she doesn’t know how much is in hers. She then admits that she puts money in it every payday but has never looked at it. Next the guy pipes up and says that he has looked at his and knows how much is in there but has never done anything with it. This is when the third person who is always a “know it all”, speaks up and tells them how wrong they both are for doing this. Next she dishes out some really bad advice. She tells them; no way, you have to work with your stocks if you want to make money. The two students eagerly ask her what to do and this is what she said. “If I buy stocks for let’s say $14.00 a share and I see that they drop down to like $9.00 a share, I sell them and put my money elsewhere.“ Ok let me do the math here. So if you had a thousand shares at $14 a share and you sold them for $9 a share, let me see, figuring here, bring down the zero, borrow a 9….almost done here…… Wow you just lost $5,000. At this rate you will be a millionaire before you know it. Sign me up.

So Tuesday rolls around and the topic is “what would you do if the government gave us all a mortgage holiday? What would you spend the money on?” This is some crazy idea that some really stupid individual came up with. The idea is simple. You pardon everyone for a month from paying their mortgage and they get to spend the money on anything they like. It is supposed to be a way of stimulating the economy. Of course if you are the one who is expecting that mortgage payment to arrive you just got stimulated in a different way. :)

So the guy starts out saying that he would remodel his garage and turn it into a movie room. He would get a 64” plasma TV, surround sound, big comfortable chair, refrigerator, nice lighting system and all the decorations to go with it. The girls both thought it was a great idea. Ok first off just how big is his mortgage payment? I can tell you that it isn’t that big because he then said he would have to finance a little of this remodeling. I have to say that I would buy something a little more sensible.

So my point is this. There are people out there who are probably listening to this and thinking; “Yea man that’s great advice.” And this is the reason we are in so much trouble in the first place.

Thank you everyone for visiting yesterday and today. I think I set a personal record. I visited more blogs and did less work than most days. :)

Have a great day,
Greg