Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's a Birds Life

This morning when I went outside it reminded me of a scene from that old horror movie; The Birds. There were literally thousands of birds in our yard. There were blue jays, cardinals, finches, ladder back's and some things that I didn't recognize. However cow birds made up the majority. Well I don't discriminate when it comes to feeding birds so I filled the feeder and let them have at it.




Now you would think that birds would be afraid to come around here because we have cats. However out of the 4 cats that we have, only one likes to get birds and the others are more like this one:


"Please wake me when it is time to eat."




So here are some of the other birds that were in the yard this morning.


"Do you mind. We are trying to eat here."




This cardinal was acting shy. He is in the previous picture but he is hiding.


This is inside my greenhouse. I was going to try to get a picture of the resident Carolina Wren but he too left before I could take the photo.


Yes we have peppers in January. Eat your heart out or should I say eat your stomach linning out. These are supposed to be really hot and I haven't had the guts (nice pun) to try one yet.

This is called Butterfly weed and the Monarchs love it.


We don't have a problem with bugs this time of year but we do have a problem with other plant eaters. These tracks were in my front yard, not 10 feet from my house. Brave little things aren't they.



This pear tree thinks it is spring. It looks like the freeze last night didn't hurt it.



And finally one of our camelia's is in full bloom. You gotta love the south.


Have a great weekend. I am off to work in the greenhouse.
Greg

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Bits and Pieces

You know you made it, when you can get fired and they keep paying you a salary. I doubt I will ever make it if that is the measure of success. Most of us just want to keep getting paid when we are working. I can't imagine getting paid for not working.


It’s official. We are in a recession. I heard it this morning. I expected cutbacks but not this. Girl Scouts of American has decided to cut back. The boxes will be the same size but when you open your Girl Scout Cookies, you can expect to see more spacers and fewer cookies. The good news is that the price should be the same as last year.

I just heard this, not one minute ago. There is a play here in Charleston tonight. It’s Show White and the 7 Dwarfs. But here is the kicker. Don’t bring the kids to see it. It’s an adult version of the play. I don’t even want to think about what this could be. I can see some couple bringing their little darling to see this “children’s” play and having to rush them out because of adult content. What is this world coming to?


*****Weather alert***** Weather alert*****

Possible snow next week in Charleston. Twice within two weeks. I love this global warming. How long is it until spring? My pear tree is in full bloom. Where is that groundhog when you need him? I think my brain is frozen.


I came up with a money making idea that I need your opinion on. “Body part futures.” Think about it. You could get money now for body parts when you die. Now the people investing would be taking a chance that these parts would still be usable when you die but that is why it is called investing. If the parts were still in good shape, they could then sell them and make a killing. Now don’t say no before you give it some serious thought. My job would be to broker these parts and I would only get let’s say 10% off the top. Ok bad idea but at least it is an idea. (see frozen brain comment above) Maybe I can come up with something better in the spring.

Have a great day,
Greg

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Today's post is brought to you by the letter H.

There is a meme going around where you are assigned a letter and you come up with 10 things that you love that start with that letter. My friend over at My ADHD Me offered so I accepted the challenge. She gave me the letter H. So here are 10 things I love that begin with the letter H.

For starters, it’s Hot, Hot, Hot. I love hot wings, hot summer days and hot tubs.

1. Hot wings. I love good hot wings. I never met a hot wing I didn’t like.(well unless they were under cooked….Yuck) And no Hooters doesn’t have the best hot wings. That is just an excuse that we men use to get in the door. Theirs are ok but I have had ones that were a lot better. Sorry guys, I spilled the beans on this one.

2. Hot summer days. I prefer hot summer days over cold winter ones. Give me sweat over hypothermia any day. I welcome Global warming. Bring it on. Just kidding but I do like it hot.

3. Hot tubs. When it does get cold, you can find me in our hot tub or any hot tub for that matter. Yes we have one at home. We get in ours daily. Last weekend while in Orlando, we got in the hot tub at the hotel where we stayed. It was a little too hot but that is better than not being hot enough.

4. Honest people. I hate liars. I really respect someone who has the backbone to stand up and tell the truth even though it might not be pleasant. I like Sarah Palin. There I said it. I was being honest.

5. Halleluiah. That is my favorite word and one of the reasons I like Christmas songs so much. You get to sing “Halleluiah” in lots of them. I also like the words Emanuel and Noel. There is nothing like a great Christmas song.

6. Honorary Discharges. I have the upmost respect for anyone who serves or served in the Military to protect our freedom. Freedom isn’t free and these guys and girls are the ones paying for it. Thank you all.

7. Happy. I love being happy. I think it is a personal choice to be happy. I have seen really wealthy people who are sad and really poor people who are happy. So it has to be a choice. I do my best to brighten everyone’s day at work but some people just refuse to lighten up. What’s your mood today? Do you want me to call you? :)

8. Home grown tomatoes. To quote a song: There’s only two things that money can’t buy and that’s true love and home grown damaters. Take two slices of fresh white bread. Add a thick slice of beef steak tomato, add mayo and some salt and pepper and you have a slice of Heaven. Yum.

9. Hardies Thick burgers. I am struggling with my diet this morning and as I was thinking about what I love that starts with the letter H, this is what popped into my head. I would kill for one right now. It has to be better than these wheat things and this orange.

10. Honeysuckle. If you have never smelled honeysuckle you are really missing out. In the south, on warm summer mornings, you can go outside and the smell of honeysuckle fills the air. We have it growing all along our fence and in the woods beside our house. The only things that smell better are gardenias and ginger flowers.

Well that’s my 10 favorite H’s. I won’t tag anyone else because most of you have already played but if you would like to play along, I would be glad to pick a letter for you.

Have a Honey of a day,
Greg

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Welcome to Charleston, The UN-Holy City????

Charleston was nicknamed The Holy City because of the numerous Churches in the area. It is hard to travel more than a mile anywhere in the area without passing a Church. In some areas, you will find a Church on every street corner much like gas stations in other cities. You will find any Denomination you want too so if you are planning a trip here, it won’t be hard to find a place to worship. However, you also need to know that there is an Anti-God movement on the rise here as well and that only stands to reason.

Newton’s law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This not only applies to mass it also applies to religious beliefs. It seems that the stronger the religious society gets the more opposition there is to it. As some people try to move toward God, others try to move in the opposite direction. This has been happening since the beginning of time and will continue to the end.

Since 9/11, there has been an increase in the attendance at Churches in our area. I have heard that it is the same in other areas. Along with this rise in attendance there has been a rise in the atheist population. I don’t think there are more of either group. I think some people who started going to Church after that event only became aware of their own mortality similar to how some people react just before they die. In response to this, some atheist felt threatened so they became much more vocal.

What brought this to my attention was a recent Billboard that was placed in Charleston. It says. “If you don’t believe in God, you are not alone.” Ok I will give them that. So what’s the point? We want you to not believe like we do? Are they wanting other atheists to feel more comfortable? I just don’t know.

So I have been doing a little research and I did discover that this movement has been going on for some time in other cities. These billboards are all over the United States but this is the first one in Charleston. I must live under a rock. Anyway, I can find no explanation for these billboards by anyone who placed them however they do give a website that you can go to if you are interested. It’s kind of like the dollar bill billboard that was up here in Charleston a short time ago. It was a lead in to a future billboard. It was just to grab your attention. I am sure this billboard will draw a lot of attention here as well.

So I went to a couple of web sites where they were discussing these billboards and the reason for them. Apparently, people who don’t believe in God feel threatened by God. Ok that makes no sense but I will play along. Next some of these atheists go into a long explanation of why they don’t believe in God. The most common reason is that they have no proof and it is beyond their comprehension so they can’t possibly believe in something that they don’t understand. Ok I will give them that one too if that makes them happy. I really don’t understand how the sun can just sit there burning in space without spontaneously going pop and exploding but it does and I don’t argue because it feels nice and warm and I like it that way.

My point is this. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t negate its existence. I admit that I don’t know everything especially when it comes to God but I know he exists. Oh and this was rich: One person compared God to the Tooth fairy, saying that neither one existed. Then they went on to curse Christians for trying to convince them that there was a God when they didn’t want to believe. I wonder if he attacked his parents with the same anger for telling him that there was a Tooth Fairy. Maybe he should give that money back since it is all a lie. And don’t get me started about returning those Christmas presents.

And that’s my take on the situation. And no I am not trying to cram God down someone’s throat as some of them put it but I am available to discuss Him if you are interested. And Charleston is still a great place to visit and really is the Holy City so come on down.

Have a Great Day,
Greg

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

American Standard

This past weekend, while at the Ritz Carlton in Orlando, I needed to use the little boys room. If you have never been to a Ritz Carlton hotel you are missing out. They are really fancy and the bathrooms are no exception. Since most of you have never been in a men's room, let me tell you about it. The walls are covered with marble and the floors are imported tile. There is usually an attendant in the men's room, keeping everything nice and tidy. There are no paper towels or any those air hand dryers. Instead they have monogrammed cloth towels to dry your hands. Then they also have perfume dispensers in case you need to freshen up your after shave. Sometimes they have a tip basket in case you want to leave one. The toilets were fancy designs made my American Standard.




Now on that same day, we went to the Worlds Largest Flea Market in Daytona. While there, I had to use the little boys room. See a pattern developing here? Anywho, when I entered it I was surprised to see an attendant there as well. The walls didn't have any marble on them but there was press and stick tile on the floors. Strangely enough they had the same toilets that were in the Ritz. (make a note, invest in American Standard toilets) Also just like at the Ritz, there were amenities available to the rest room patron. Instead of a paper towel dispenser the attendant had pulled the paper towels off the roll and folded them on the counter. And there was one of those air hand dryers but it wasn't working. There was also a bottle of old spice there in case someone wanted to freshen up their after shave. But this guy went one step further. He has placed some mints on the counter beside his tip basket. Talk about class. While I was in there, he happened to see a friend outside and not wanting to leave his post, he simply opened the door and held it open so that he could stand inside and talk out. Of course by holding the door open, he allowed everyone walking past too see in and there were lots of people walking by. I am guessing he was in training for the Ritz job but in my opinion he had a long way to go.


Oh and about the Ugly mug contest... I am not bitter for not winning. I am simply going to beat that ugly mug of mine with a sledge hammer this evening when I get home. I may even video tape the destruction. :)Unless of course someone wants it.



No more contests for me. Well unless I am sure I will win.


Have a nice day,

Greg

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Ugly Mug story



For those who didn't know about it (which should be just about no one since she told everyone who blogs about it) Today is the ugly mug contest hosted by Linda at 2nd cup of coffee. Please go visit her so she will get off my back. :) Just kidding Linda.

A wise man once said; "It's not the destination so much as the trip that makes life insteresting."

As I said in an earlier post, I don’t own any ugly mugs. Well until now that is. I have been searching for weeks and weeks trying to find one for Linda’s ugly mug contest though and with no luck here in Charleston. I searched, second hand stores, Goodwill, yard sales and was about to start going through people’s trash cans in an effort to find just the right mug. But I did have an ace in the hole.



This past weekend, as some of you know, my wife and I went to Orlando Florida for a wedding. To get there, we had to travel past the World’s Largest Flea Market which is in Daytona Beach Florida. The highway literally takes you a block from the Market so on Saturday, we decided to drop by and find an ugly mug. Surely there would be one at the World’s Largest Flea Market. Well guess what? The World’s Largest Flea Market turned out to be the World’s largest disappointment. There were very few flea market type vendors. It is almost all stores that had relocated themselves to the Market in an effort to avoid paying higher store rents. Again we struck out.



On Sunday, we traveled back to Charleston. Our plans were to stop at the Pecan Park Flea Market to buy some fruit to take back home. There is an Indian River fruit stand there that has the best citrus so we usually stop. While there, I thought that I would give it one last try to find that ugly mug and I am so glad I did.



This market too had mostly stores but there were a few individuals selling stuff. After passing the World’s most disgusting restroom, I headed down the aisle in search of a mug. The smell wafting out of that place was intolerable and I hurried to escape the toxic vapor. It however followed me like a funk that just wouldn’t die. Just as I began to enter a safe breathing zone, I got hit right in the face with another not so pleasing aroma.





It was the snack bar up ahead. It was 10am and they were already cooking the first batch of funnel cakes in sour grease that had to be a month old. I could just imagine how wonderful those funnel cakes must have been after being fried in the same oil that had cooked thousands of onion rings, corn dogs and chicken tenders. I turned my head in search of an escape route and that’s when I saw it. A small booth only 6 ft by 8 ft, containing priceless artifacts from the past. I hurried into the booth.



This place was full of collectable antiques that seemed so out of place at a flea market. No these treasures belonged on the Antique Road Show and I wondered if I could afford to shop here. The shelves were made of old plywood slats that were propped up with upside down milk crates and there was a film of dust on everything. Obviously no true collectors had found this place otherwise it would have been cleaned out long ago. There on the second shelf, located between the Miami Dolphin’s plastic travel mugs and the jelly jar juice glasses, I found it. The cow mug.



I picked it up and admired it. It has been 30 years since I saw one and knew I had to have it. Just then, from out of nowhere, I heard a voice. “I git 3 dollars each er 2 fer 5 fer ma mugs………But you kin have it ferr 2.” The voice came from a man sitting there in the corner. He was wearing a Daytona 500 ball cap from 1998 and he was clipping his greasy fingernails. He didn’t even look up but I could see a big plug of Redman in his swollen cheek. He too was covered in dust and I had at first mistaken him for part of the exquisite decor. I quickly put the mug down so as not to let him know I was interested.



In an effort to fool this well seasoned salesman, I quickly looked at several other items before returning to the cup. I picked it up and again examined it only to find that it was not the true antique from the 70’s but was a cheap imitation made in 2002. I scrunched my nose and put the mug down and proceeded to leave it behind. Just then the man spoke again. “You kin have it fer a doller.” A smile came to my face and I quickly said; “I’ll take it.” I handed the mug to the man and he proceeded to wrap it for me in a piece of moldy yellow newspaper and then slid it in a torn grocery bag. As I handed him the dollar, he smiled and I thought for a brief moment that I saw a tooth without a cavity in it. I thanked him and said; “Have a nice day.”



Once home, I bleached the mug, washed it with Softscrub, poured boiling water in it and then washed it in the dishwasher. And now it’s ready to use. Well I won’t use it. That mug will never touch my lips and to tell the truth I really didn’t feel good about getting it that close to my face for the photo. I may just have to save it for a giveaway and make sure that Linda wins. J
So now that you know the rest of the story, here are the photos. So please vote for me. I deserve it.

This side is Cow by Pablo Picowisso.





This side is Starry night by Vincent Van Cow.





And this is me and my new found mug at 4 am this morning. I need to win.



Have a great day, And vote for me.
Greg

Sunday, January 25, 2009

We now return to our regularly scheduled program.

Wow it's Sunday night already and yes we made it back home safe and sound. We had a great trip to Orlando. It was for my niece's wedding and everything was awesome. The wedding was a a small college chapel and the reception was at the Ritz Carlton. My wife and I decided to stay at a smaller hotel just around the corner so that we could have a little time to ourselves. I have a lot to tell about the trip but we still need to get things unpacked and cleaned up. I hope everyone had a great weekend. Here are a few photos I took.

This is the view from our window at the hotel where we stayed. We really liked the Hottub which was right beside the pool.



I took this as the sun was setting at the Ritz. They had the coctail hour out on the veranda at sunset.


First dance for the bride and groom. The groom is an officer in the Navy and the bride is a lawyer. Don't let her looks fool you. She is a pretty tough cookie from what I hear.


Here is the chapel where the wedding took place.




Have a great night,
Greg




Friday, January 23, 2009

Hold that thought, Please

We now pause for station identification........



You are reading Greg's General Store, a collection of funny stories, serious thoughts and earth shattering news that surround the life of me, Greg. Unfortunately I have to take a very short break this weekend but will return on Monday (maybe sooner) with a big bunch of photos to share with you all. (that's yall for my southern readers and youse guys for my northern readers)



I thank you all for reading and commenting on my blog and hope that you will continue. In the meantime, while I am gone, I will be taking suggestions and/or comments on ways to improve my blog. If there is something that you like or dislike, now is the time to tell me. Since I will be away, I won't be able to retaliate and you can get away with saying anything that you like. Please keep it kid friendly because my kids will be reading daily I am sure. I will also be reading your blogs as well as mine should I get the opportunity.



Oh and don't feel sorry for me not being able to blog. I will be down in sunny Florida basking beside the pool. That is when I am not dining at the Ritz or riding in that limo. :)

I see I still only have 23 comments on that last post. Let's see if we can correct that problem people before Chatty Kelly or Linda from 2nd cup of coffee tell me I am a failure. Kelly set the standard and of course Linda perfected it.





Be back soon and yall/youse guys have a great Weekend.



Greg

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Can you believe it?

I can hardly believe it myself. No I am not talking about the snow we had in Charleston yesterday although that was pretty amazing too. But this was bigger. Much bigger and almost earth shattering. Well for me anyway.

It is hard to believe that something this big started less than two years ago. I mean I never dreamed that it would come to this. At first I just hoped it would happen. Then I wished it would happen and finally I almost prayed that it would happen. But until it actually happened I don’t think that the magnitude of it actually set in. And I owe it all to you. Yes you made it happen.

Confused? It’s ok, I stay that way. No I am not talking about the presidential inauguration. No way. Those things happen every four years just like locus swarms but this is a once in a lifetime event. This is bigger than that. Much bigger. Let me give you a hint:




Figured it out yet? Here is another clue.




That’s right. Last night, I passed the 10,000 visitor mark. So who was the wonderful person who put me over the top and helped me reach that 10,000 visitor milestone? Was it a thief in the night that popped in and didn’t leave a comment? Was it someone who was visiting my blog for the first time? Or was it someone who visits regularly and always leaves a comment? I may never know…..but wait. There is hope. The same Sitemeter that logged the 10,000 visits also logged some other information. I quickly went to the location page which logs the location of the visitors. And after subtracting the number that I was over 10,000, this is what I discovered.




Yes the person was from Canton Ga. Now who could that be? Well by process of elimination and since I only have one reader from Canton, I can deduct that my 10,000th visitor was Chel from Chel's leaving a Legacy. Whooo Hooooo. Time to celebrate.

Thank you so much Chel for being a faithful (in more ways than one) reader. And thank you everyone else for coming back time and time again to read my blog. Now if I only had something to give out as a prize. Maybe I can come up with something. Maybe I already have. Who knows what surprises God has in store for us tomorrow?


Have a wonderful day,
Greg

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Breaking News

Wadmalaw Island is hit with a severe winter storm. Near blizzard like conditions left the island paralyzed and cut off from the rest of the world. Well it could have been that way if it had snowed a lot harder and a lot longer. However we did get snow and I have the photos to prove it.

Here is snow on our park bench.





This one shows snow on some of our Loquat trees that we are growing.





In this photo you can see my son standing out in the driving (well almost driving) snow. I made him do it,



If you look close enough you can actually see some snow. The unofficial report says that we had .1" of snow. It melted before I could even make a snowman. :(

All I can say is this is global warming at it's best.
Have a great day kids, no snow day here.
Greg









Monday, January 19, 2009

They call me the Fireman, That's my name.

No not really. That is a George Strait song lyric. However recently, I had a visitor named Eric who asked me if I was really a Fireman and really in the Navy. He saw a comment I left on my favorite fireman's blog; Monkeys are funny. My answer would be kind of and Yes. First off Yes I was in the Navy for 20 years. I was kind of a fireman because everyone on the submarine went through firefighting school for obvious reasons. Being isolated on a submarine, often hundred of feet below the ocean and thousands of miles from land, we all had to be ready in case a fire broke out. There was no one else to fight a fire so we had to do it. An oil fire on a submarine would be out of control in less than 15 minutes and the compartment would flash, which means that everything and everyone in it would burn.



Actually, my father was a fireman for most of his life. In his later years, he was the Fire Chief for the City of Ormond Beach. Before he was a fireman, he was a lifeguard on the beach, He spent his whole life working for the City of Ormond. When he died they had his hat bronzed and gave it to us. However my older brother lost it because he was too lazy to pay a storage space rental but that is water under the bridge now. Grrrrrrrrr



Anyway, I was actually an Electronics Technician, Nuclear. That means that I worked on electronics in the nuclear area. During our offcrew however I also went to other training. I got a marksman ribbon for the 45 caliber pistol and I also went to firefighting training. Those were given twice a year. So don't try to sneak up on me. I have a gun and I really know how to use it. :) As for the fire fighting training it was really intense. We went through a series of exercises ending in the big oil fire.



To do this one, we had to each put on breathing equipment and enter a building engulfed in flames. We went in as two teams, one cooling the teams with a fog and the other brushing back the fire with a more intense spray. For about the first 19 years I enjoyed the training. I trusted my partners to protect me and had no trouble going into a smoke and fire filled room. However the last time that I did it, I began to hyperventilate and knew that it was time to give it up. I lost my nerve and knew it. So thankfully I retried shortly after that and never had to be put to the test. I did however attack several small fires but nothing big. I am good with a co2 extinguisher.



So hats off to my father and all the other firemen out there. I know what you go through and appreciate the job that you do. I would also like to remind everyone of the Charleston 9 who paid the ultimate sacrifice and are our hero's. They lost their lives in a Charleston fire when the roof collapsed.





Have a great day,

Greg

Sunday, January 18, 2009

It was a dark and dreary night.

Wait this isn't about tonight. Its about today. Let me start over.


It was a cold and rainy day. It has been raining here all day and the temperature never got above the mid 50's. So when the going gets tough, the tough get baking. I started my day by reading many of your blogs but it was so early that there were very few new blog posts. So I decided to hit the kitchen and do a little baking.



First up, Cinnamon rolls. And not out of a can either. These were from scratch. I started with a basic yeast roll recipe. After letting it rise until it doubled, I rolled it out to about an 18 X 18 inch square. Then I brushed it with some butter, and sprinkled it with Cinnamon and sugar.








Next I rolled it into a log and then cut the log into 1 inch slices. I then laid them out on a lightly greased baking sheet so that the sides were almost touching. Then I sprinkled the top with a little more Cinnamon, covered the pan and let them rise a second time for 30 minutes. Then I baked them for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. After they were done, I let them cool for 15 minutes while I made some glaze for them. Take 4 tbs of melted butter and add 3/4 cup of powdered sugar. Mix well and then add 2 tbs of sour cream and 1 tsp of vanilla. If it is a little thick then add some more sugar. I put it in the microwave for 10 seconds just before I use it to thin it a little. Just drizzle it over the buns and let them cool slightly before serving.






Lunch time came and it was still raining so I thought I would make Pizza. I have been threatening to for about a week now. I got the dough recipe from Katherine over at Smoky Mountain Cafe'. The dough came out great but I am not that good at spreading it so it didn't look as good as it tasted. It was a little thick in some places and a little thin in others. Just call me Betty Crocker.








Well it is night now and yes it is a dark and dreary night but I am tired of baking so there will be no more. Well for today anyway. There is always tomorrow. I am not the only one that cooks in the family. My wife likes to cook and can bake and make pies better than anyone. Yesterday my son fixed lunch and it was great. He made a recipe out or a Food Channel cookbook. It was an Italian dish made with mushrooms and lots of cheese and spices. Check these babies out.







You put it all together and then baked it on low for over an hour. You put the mixture over some pasta. I thought it would be bland but it turned out great. There was none left so what does that tell you?


Ok I just gained 15 lbs just writing this so I better go work it off. I hope everyone had a great weekend,


Greg

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Double Tag

I know I could shake a single tag but two of my readers tagged me and a double tag is just about impossible to not-address. But here's the thing. You all don't know just how boring I am so when you see what the results of this challenge turns out to be, you may just stop visiting. Ok I have stalled enough. Here is how this thing works. I am supposed to go to my photo library and then go to the 4th folder and pick the 4th picture and post it. Then all I have to do is to explain what it is and tell something about it. After that I am supposed to pass this along to someone else to do.



So without further ado, here it is:










This is a photo of a plant that I grew this year in my front yard. It is a Castor bean plant. Supposedly you can take one of the beans and push it down into a mole hole and when they come along they will eat it. Castor beans are deadly poisonous so the mole should die. I ran into a few problems though.




First off this was the idea of someone that I used to work with. He got the seeds and we each planted some. His grew to about 15 ft tall and mine only got to about 8 ft tall. His never went to seeds but mine did so that is why I took the photo. I wanted to rub his nose in the fact that I am a better gardener than he is. However two days after I took this photo, we had a freeze and Castor beans can't take the cold so it shriveled up and this seed pod never developed.




One other odd thing was that ants kept eating these plants. If these are deadly poisonous like they say they are, then how can ants eat them? What's up with that?




Well there you have it. Riveting wasn't it. Not nearly as interesting as the posts by the two people who tagged me, Edie and Edwina. Maybe you learned something here today anyway. Ok I had fun. And since most of my blog friends are already tagged or will be soon, I won't tag anyone. However I would love for you to play along if you like.

Have a great day,

Greg

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thank God it’s Friday

I thank God that I am alive. A drunk driver ran a red light right in front of me this morning and could have easily killed me.

I thank God that it is freezing this morning. It keeps the mosquitoes and sand gnats in check.

I thank God that all the passengers in that airline that crashed survived. It could have been a lot worse.

I thank God that I was physically able to go to the gym and work out at 5 am this morning. Many people were unable to get up.

I thank God that I had this job to go to this morning. Millions of Americans are out of work.

I thank God that the heater is working in my office and I am comfortable while I sit here and type. The homeless man I passed this morning in the street can’t say that.

I thank God for good friends old and new. I love my new blogging friends.

I thank God that I have enough Gas in my car to make it home today. Payday is just around the corner.

I thank God for unexpected bills that are helping to keep me on my diet. Going out to dinner really isn’t on my diet.

I thank God that the sun is shining through my window and warming things up a bit. It makes me thankful that I live in the South.

I thank God that I can still see, hear and type so my body isn’t totally gone. Things are a little rusty but they still work.

1 Thessalonians 5:
16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Have a great day.
Greg








Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wrong is wrong.

You know, I shouldn’t let things like this get to me but for some reason I can’t help it. Last night, I was watching CBS evening news and this story came on. It was about a Drum Corps from a New Jersey school that was going to be in the Inaugural parade. Sounds innocent enough doesn’t it but wait, hear the rest of the story.

Well for starters it really isn’t a school. It is a home for boys that have been in trouble. I thought that part was great but it gets bad. The home director whose name is Bill, really wanted to get his boys into the parade, so he wrote a letter to the committee asking if his Drum Corps could be a part of it. Still so far so good but here is where the problem is. He lied. He put on the application that the Corps consisted of 12 marching drummers and he went on to describe their colorful uniforms and how good they were.

The truth is there were only 6 members of the “Corps” and they had never marched a day in their lives. They also had no uniforms. He made it all up in an effort to get into the parade and was, as he said "hoping for a miracle" if he got in. Well to make a long story short, they got accepted. Once accepted, some other kids decided to join the corps since it would get them a free trip to Washington. Then a music company donated some new drums because it was great for publicity. Next some town’s people donated some uniforms so that they wouldn’t be disgraced when their town was mentioned on TV. Bill said it was a miracle. I say this is a bunch of crud to say it nicely.

When I was in High School, our band (The Seabreeze Marching 100)was asked to play in the Rose bowl Parade in California. This was a great honor for us especially since we were coming all the way from Florida. In addition to the parade, we were also slated to compete in a battle of the bands in Pasadena. We were really excited and for a year, we practiced and did everything imaginable to raise money. I gave up afternoons and weekends and I worked my tail off to get there. We chartered an airline and it was the first time that Eastern Airlines crossed the Mississippi. We even arranged to use a parking lot in California to practice some more for the competition. That morning, we arrived all pumped up and ready to win one for our home town.

As we got off of our bus, a TV station was doing some filming and we were asked to be quiet. There right in front of us they were filming the Spring Branch Texas Majorettes with Mac Davis accepting the trophy for winning the competition. This was before the competition even took place. We were all angry to say the least and some people said they weren’t even going to perform. After a brief huddle, we decided to go ahead and perform and give it our best so that anyone who saw the competition would know we were the best. (We were by the way)It was a flawless performance.

My point is this. Somewhere out there is a band or other performer that really wanted to be in the inaugural parade. They followed the rules, they worked hard, they did what was required to get in but they were one team away from getting in. They didn’t make it because someone else lied and was deceitful. At the end of the segment, Katie Couric said how wonderful t was that this drum corps had made it in and that it truly was a miracle. She said she was looking forward to seeing them in the parade. Has she gone mad?

Miracles don’t start with lies and the end never justifies the means. Katie and CBS should be chastised for taking such a stance and supporting lies and deceit. Now that this is out of the bag, if the inaugural committee allows this to go unchecked it will only be a sign of things to come with this administration. And that’s my two cents worth. No I'm not bitter but I did swear that if I was ever at a parade and the band from Spring Branch High School was to come by....I would shout Boooooo. Ok I'm all better now.

Have a great day,
Greg

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sticks and Stones

The other night we were discussing some of the problems in the world and how PE "O" wasn't going to be able so solve some of them. My youngest son walked in and upon hearing some of the things we were discussing said; "We were talking about the dark ages too in school today." Now my mind was still thinking present time and the PE and I quickly put two and two together and came up with five so I responded; "What did you say young man? " He said; "We are studying the dark ages in school. Isn't that what you were talking about?" Is that egg on my face?


Well to tell the truth I have always been gullable and thoughout my youth I was the brunt of many a cruel joke. That happened throughout my preteen years so that when I reached my teens I had such a inferiority complex that I crawled inside my shell. It wasn't until I went to my class reunion that I realized that I let a few bad people change my whole life. While at the reunion, several "it" girls approached me and said that they had always liked me but since I never spoke to them they assumed that I didn't like them. But that's water under the bridge and I am very happy where I am today.


I really don't know why so many kids picked on me when I was young. I guess because it made them feel big. I saw a few of those people at my reunion and you know they were still small people and still trying to make themselves feel bigger. So tell me. Would you pick on a kid that looked like this? Ok put down that spitball this instant. I am shocked.






Have a great day,

Greg

Monday, January 12, 2009

Table for two

Notice how nicely these post just seem to follow one another. :) Purely coincidence I assure you.

Many years ago my wife and I took a vacation to Dominica Republic. When most people think of vacation spots, Dominica usually doesn’t come to mind but through a series of complicated events, we ended up there. (I will save that for another story) I don’t know why, but some of the most beautiful places on earth are tucked in among some of the most poverty stricken places on earth. Dominica is no exception.

The place where we stayed was called Playa Dorada which means “golden beach”. Inside the security fence were beautiful hotels, lush gardens, tropical swimming pools, golf courses and lovely beaches. Just outside the fence was poverty like you have never seen in America. And to make matters worse, the area where we stayed was said to be the “Better side of the island.” I can only imagine what the other side is like. Patrice, one of my blogger friends knows because she has been there. She went there, not on a vacation but on a missionary trip. In fact she is going again this year so contact her if you want to know more. But on with my story:

So inside this complex were several really nice resorts. Each had its own restaurant and in addition there were restaurants not associated with any particular resort. Most of them were casual dining as were most of the restaurants inside the various hotels. There was one restaurant inside the complex that was said to have a really great menu and in the brochure that we read it said: “proper dinner attire required”. The brochure said that this restaurant had the best Lobster on the island so we decided to check it out. My wife put on a nice dress and I wore dress slacks and a nice dress shirt.

It was only a short distance from where we were staying so we decided to walk. When we got to the restaurant, the lobby was packed. There must have been 30 people waiting to be seated. They had on everything imaginable from bathing suits, to t-shirts. Some had on flip flops and cut off jeans and most looked like they came straight from the beach. We don’t like waiting in long lines so we decided to go someplace else. Just then, the maître d spotted us and pushed everyone to the side and signaled for us to come forward. When we got to the front of the line, he said; “We have a wonderful table, just for you”. He proceeded to give us a great table and yes the meal was wonderful and the service was superb. We had the biggest lobster I have ever seen on a platter and it was all we could do to finish it.

On the way out, there were still lots of people waiting to get in and some were arguing about the dress code. Did I feel bad about being let in ahead of them? Yes, just a little but the requirements to get in were posted where everyone could see them and the restaurant was merely sticking to it. All you had to do to get in was to dress appropriately. There were other restaurants featuring things like burgers and flying fish sandwiches that didn’t have a dress code so there were plenty of places to eat. No one was forced to go inside but if you wanted to, you had to dress properly. That’s the rule, there are no exceptions.

It bothers me when people try to bend the rules for personal gain. And in the process they sometimes ruin it for other people. That maître d’s job was made so difficult by all those people who were trying to get in even though they knew what the rules were. I mean think about it. No one made them enter that restaurant. They wanted to come in. So why not do what is required, dress appropriately and make it easy on everyone? And you know it is usually only a few that buck the system even though those are the ones that you hear about. There were probably more than a thousand people staying in that complex and most of them were content to eat somewhere else but those few were bent on eating at that one restaurant. Oh well such is life.

In a totally unrelated story: (wink wink)

This week our pastor (Pastor Greg) decided to do something a little different. Because of the many things happening in the world and the fact that so many people are troubled by things that they don’t understand, he decided to answer questions and incorporate them into his weekly sermon. He answered some difficult questions about discrepancies between the Bible and scientific discoveries. He also answered questions about current happenings that just don’t make sense. I can expound on them if anyone is interested but let me just say that it was very enlightening. I am hearing these arguments more regularly these days. Let me say that Pastor Greg is a brave man because he was taking these questions by snail mail, email and yes, even by text messages during his sermon.

Near the end of the sermon, he looked at his monitor and got this comment/question: “With all the people and religions in the world, how can you say that your beliefs are right especially when your religion condemns seemingly good people to hell when they die?” Wow, that’s a biggie. I have also heard this said: “How can you call yourself a Christian and think that innocent little children who believe differently than you will not be allowed into heaven.” Pastor Greg is going to answer this question next week. So what would I say if I were in his shoes?

First off let me say that I seldom hear these arguments from people of other religions who truly believe in their own religion. I think that is because if they truly believed in another religion then they wouldn’t worry what Christians say. The majority of the people I hear arguing that “Christianity is wrong” are people who are lost in their own search for a belief and have decided that it is better to “not believe” than to believe in something that they don’t totally understand or that crimps their lifestyle. So the three biggest arguments that I keep hearing against Christianity are:

It condemns people who don’t believe.

I don’t totally understand it.

It restricts my lifestyle. (lots of people don’t like to admit this one)

Ok first off, if you don’t believe in God then for you there is no heaven or hell so we are not condemning anyone. In fact even if you do believe in those things, WE aren’t condemning anyone. The Bible offers heaven to anyone. It isn’t exclusive. You just have to believe and know how to get in.

Second. I consider myself a Christian or at least I am trying and I don’t totally understand everything in the Bible. I also don’t totally understand everything that is “Scientific” and since no one can answer all the questions and not every scientist agrees on any theory this sounds like a standoff. I bet most of you reading this don’t have a clue what Binding energy is or how it relates to nuclear power but you know nuclear power is real.

Item three seems to be a sticky point for many people. I believe that there is a Heaven. I also believe that there are those out there that want to believe that there is a Heaven but are looking for a loophole or an alternative way to get in. They want to go there but they don’t want to follow the “Dress Code” and because of this they look for ways to disprove that there is a Heaven. It is easier justified in their minds that it doesn’t exist than it is to follow the rules. All I can say is read the Bible and find out what the “dress code” is decide for yourself. The requirements are right there in black and white just like they were in that restaurant brochure. And don’t wait until you are on your death bed. Some people don’t make it that far. It would be bad to be standing there in your bathing suit and find out that you needed a coat and tie to get in. (Just an expression. That isn't a requirement)

Have a great day,
Greg

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Seafood Maranara

I thought I would try something a little different to see if I could get to the 25 comments needed to achieve the "They like me" status. So without further ado, let me take you to my kitchen. Here is what I cooked up today.


"Seafood marinara"

You will need:
10 lbs of frozen tomatoes (don't freak on me, I will explain)
1 medium onion
4 cloves of garlic
2 tsp salt
2 tbs oregano
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup white wine(more of you are like me and watched the galloping gormet on TV)
1 lb mussels in the shell
1 lb large scallops
1 lb fresh shrimp


Ok about the tomatoes. We take fresh tomatoes every year and freeze them in 1 quart bags. All you have to do is wash them and them bag them. When you are ready to cook with them, simply put them under cool water and the skins will come right off and they you cut the top off and dice them up. It is really easy and much easier than canning. You can take out as many as you like when you want to use them. I wanted to let the sauce get thick so I used a lot, diced them and then let them cook several hours. I started with the pot almost full but there was only about 4 inches in the pot after they cooked down. See photos












Next I added the diced onions and garlic and the chopped parsley and then the oregano and let it simmer on low for another hour.


Then I added one cup of white wine. That is the basic marinara sauce.



When you are done, the sink should look like this.



Not like this.





Then you add whatever you want to make the variety desired. I cut it in half and saved one half for another meal. I will freeze that half.

I wanted seafood so that is what I added. I steamed the mussels and then removed them from the shell.



Some fancy restaurants leave them in the shell but that is just something you have to deal with at the table so I took the shells out. Then I added the steamed muscles, raw scallops and peeled and deveined shrimp to the sauce and let it simmer for another 20 minutes. While this was simmering, I cooked a package of linguine to put the sauce on. After the linguine was done, I drained it and put it on a large platter and then added the sauce to the middle and decorated with garlic bread and some of the leftover parsley. There you have it. Bon appetite.



Wait before you serve it put on some Andrea Bacilli to set the mood.



Now stand on the porch and holler "Come and get it or I'm giving it to the kitties,

Have a great day,
Greg

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The legend of Flat Stanley (A Horror Story)

There are a few things in life that upset me: Spiders, rude people, unruly children and spilling my coffee to name a few. But nothing gets my blood boiling faster than hearing the name Flat Stanley. On the surface, Stanley sounds like something innocent, but I am here to tell you that he is evil and has the power to tear your family apart.





Flat Stanley was the brain child Dale Hubert, a third grade teacher from Ontario Canada. Back in 1995, he decided to start this project to inflict pain on unsuspecting parents and students as well. The concept is simple: You take a picture of Flat Stanley and decorate it. Then you cut it out and there you have it….Flat Stanley. Then you send it to other people and they take stupid photos of them with Stanley or you take him on vacation with you in order to ruin your vacation and Dale should be shot or better yet put in a pot of boiling oil and slowly fried and tortured and and and Ha Ha….Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha….Whahahahahahahahaha





Sorry this happens every time I start to talk about Flat Stanley. I’m ok, really I am. So where was I. Oh yes….. The legend of Flat Stanley.

It all started on a warm spring afternoon. It was the last day of school before spring break and my wife went to pick up our youngest son. She parked the car and waited for our son to exit the building and he soon did. As usual, he broke into a run towards the car as soon as he left the school property. He hated that school and the people in it but that is another story for another day. As he got into the car, my wife made the statement; Yea, 5 whole days with no school and no homework, I know you are happy. Our son said, yes, but I do have to do this Flat Stanley Project and he handed the folder to my wife. Inside was a cutout of Flat Stanley and some instructions for completing the project. It sounded simple enough. Take Stanley with you during the break and take photos of your family with him. I guess Stanley is on his way to Orlando Florida. (Insert thunder sound here)

The next morning, bright and early, we headed out on vacation to sunny Florida. It was just my wife and I, our two boys and oh yea, Stanley. What could possibly go wrong? (Insert thunder sound again) We made it to our first stop which was Shoney’s for lunch. Everything was going just fine. We had our lunch and then decided to take our first family photo with Stanley. I managed to take a quick photo without anyone seeing much to my relief. Then it was time for everyone to take a quick bathroom break before hitting the road again. Soon we were back in the car and ready to head out but someone was missing. Stanley was missing and we all ran back in and franticly hunted for him. Turns out he was in the car and had slid under some paperwork. Whew that was a close one.

The rest of the trip down was very slow. There were traffic jams and detours and we arrived late, tired and aching. Stanly had a few mishaps including a near brush with death when a coke was spilled on him and he accidently got folded in half. We were able to straighten him out and dry him though so not all was lost. We all just went to bed early, tired and aggravated.

Day one of our vacation started and all was well. We were heading to Wet and Wild so Stanley couldn’t come along. Paper and water just don’t mix. So my son and I got up early and took some photos of Stanley in front of the Wet and Wild sign then we returned him to our hotel room. We stayed at the park until noon then went back to our hotel room to eat and visit with Stanley. We spent the afternoon back at the water park and tried to come up with other photo opportunities for our little friend. By the end of the day, I had heard enough about Stanley and if our son hadn’t needed a good grade on the project, we would have simply tossed him in a trash can. Not to worry though, we had enough photos for that day so we concentrated on dinner and forgetting about our little friend.

Everyone wanted something different so I got some fast food for my wife and youngest son and my oldest and I decided to go out to dinner. We both like Japanese and there was a restaurant just down the street so that is where we decided to go. There is nothing like a Japanese steakhouse to take your mind off your problems. Well we got seated with a family with young children and they were unruly throughout dinner so no relaxation there. I ordered some Saki to try and help me forget. Just when I thought everything was going to be ok, I heard some commotion at the next table. They were all moving to one side of their table to pose for a family photo. Everyone was smiling and happy and that’s when I heard the small child speak. “Wait, we have to get Stanley in the photo.” They were doing it too. I spewed Saki from my nose and I left the restaurant in a really bad mood. Enough is enough I thought

The next day we headed for Wonder Works because my son wanted to go there. The entrance takes you through a dark spinning room and my wife immediately got an attack of Vertigo. Inside, she had to sit while the kids played and I took photos of Stanley including one on a bed of nails. After she was feeling better and the kids were bored, we headed out to find something else to do. Next door was a putt putt golf course so we decided to do that. We all had a great time until we got to the end and you know who was missing. It was beginning to rain and we all ran around like mad men looking for Stanley. We finally found him just as the bottom fell out and we all ran soaking wet and angry under a covered area. My wife and I began to argue and soon we were shouting and the kids were crying. Stanley just lay there with that stupid smile on his face knowing that he had successfully ruined another family vacation. After cooling off and calming down, we decided to head back to the hotel and rest a while.

As we waited for the shuttle bus to arrive, evil thoughts began to run through my mind. I thought about bringing Stanley back to Wonder Works and this time impaling him on that bed of nails. I thought about matches and paper shredders and I even thought about letting the tram run over him just so he could have tire marks on his body. It would be a sign of defiance to the teacher. But no, we refrained from such violence and decided to put Stanley back in the car. His vacation was over and he spent the rest of the day cooking in the car because it was so hot outside.

Well we finished the project and after paying 30 dollars to have the film developed, our son got a C on the project. It really didn’t matter at that point. At least the horror was over for us. We took Stanley out back for one last adventure and as we put the match to his little feet and watched him go up in smoke, we realized that life is too short to spend a vacation with Stanley. So if you are ever told to do the Flat Stanley Project, make sure and put up a good fight. It would be better to take ticks on vacation than Stanley!

Now for any of you that are stuck with the project and have to send Stanley to friends or relatives, here is a form letter you can use:



Dear (insert name)
You are receiving this letter because you are the only one that I thought would be gullible enough to go through with it or I just hate you. (You decide which it is). Anyway, here is what you have to do. Take a bunch of stupid photos with this stupid character and then spend a fortune getting the photos developed and send them to me with Stanley. My Child’s education depends on it. But don’t let that influence your decision to do this or not. In case you are wondering, there is no official scoring method but here is what I know about the grading scale:



Photos with Stanley in the Bathroom = F (too nasty)
Photos with Stanley in cheesy family poses = D (been done a million times)
Photos with Stanley ruining a vacation = C (You are a sucker like me)
Photos of Stanley with a celebrity = B (And it better be someone big, see Buzz below)



But we are hoping for an A so here are the options we want you to choose from:
Photo of Stanley with a pr*stitute (in a compromising position gets an A+)
Photo of Stanley at a funeral (inside the casket with the deceased gets an A+)
Photo of Stanley in Mars (with a Martian gets an A+)

Please pick one of the above three choices and hurry, Time is running out.

Thanks,
Your ex friend (Insert Your Name)

Have a great day,
Greg




PS, For more information on the subject, Google “Flat Stanley Project”. If you dare. Wahahahah.

PPS. This post was my son's idea so blame him if it is too long

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Newest Bestest TV Show

I know I told you a long time ago that I am not a big fan of watching TV. My favorite shows are Cash Cab, Animal planet and of course, Local on the 8’s. (the weather channel) That was up until this week. My wife actually found this new show and turned me on to it and now I am addicted. It was just like one hit of Reefer in Reefer Madness. One try was all I needed and now I am a TV junkie. Ok I just dated myself with that one. I am of course talking about “The Repo Man.”

For those who have not seen this show, you are really missing out. It is about the repo-man. He is a very large Mexican Gentleman who along with his wonderful family and a tattoo covered strong man go out and reposes things that people aren’t paying for. His family consists of his son and daughter who seem to be quite normal but then there is his sister. She is another really large individual, (not that there is anything wrong with that), but she chooses to wear slinky outfits to show off her body. Then there are her face piercings. Those really don’t do anything for me. (Enough said, you get the picture or should I say you don’t want that picture)

So then go to homes or businesses and walk in and drive out with stuff. Last night, they went to reposes a truck and a boat because a couple was way behind in both payments. When they got to the house it was a stroke of luck for repo-man. The couple there was getting the boat ready to take out so it was hooked up to the truck. When they walked up and told the couple what was going on, they did what everyone else does. They denied that they were behind and put up a fight. (more lying) Then the wife came out in her bikini and got into the action. At first she argued with the repo-man but then her husband accused her of not making the payments. (nice ploy but it didn’t work) After a brief front yard fight, the repo-man prevailed and got away with the goods.

In other segments, they repossessed a hotdog stand, 6 cars from a car lot, an Audi and a $60,000 motorcycle. What amazes me the most is that these people think that they should be allowed to keep these luxury things even though they aren’t following through with their contracts? What’s wrong with people these days?

Now before you jump all over me for watching such a bad show, let me tell you why I like it. The truth is that these people that are getting things repossessed are living in nice houses and have all kinds of other luxuries that most people don’t. (At least not people who are making less than a hundred thousand a year) I have yet to see them go to a poverty stricken family and take away a $60,000 motorcycle. No, that motorcycle was parked beside a $100.000 boat hidden in a garage where the man worked. It seems that many people these days think that if they want something they can just take it and get away with it. Let me warn you: You touch my stuff and I WILL call the repo-man and his sister. You don’t want to mess with them.


Have a great day,
Greg

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The truth is...........

The reason that I haven’t been posting much lately is that I have been really tired and I have been sleeping a lot. It’s not due to depression though. I think it is an allergic reaction to our cat. You see, he has been inside a lot lately after his attack. I really think there are a lot of dogs hanging around the neighborhood so we keep him inside for his protection. The reason that all these dogs are hanging around is because there seems to be several foxes living in the woods by our house. I am sure that they are there due to the increased number of birds, mice, snakes and other vermin that have taken up residence around our house. The “fox food” is here because there is still a lot of green vegetation around that would normally be brown this time of year and it is all due to global warming. So you see the reason that I haven’t been blogging much lately is due to global warming. And that’s the truth.




Yesterday I was thinking about my youth and all the things that my parents taught me. They taught me how to speak, write, swim, hunt, fish, draw, ride a bike, drive a car and many more things than I could ever mention here in this post. But there is one thing that they didn’t teach me. I learned it myself and in fact I can honestly say that I was born with the ability to do it and many of you were too. Even though I was born with the ability to do it, and did it the first time by myself, with no formal training at all, I did over the years learn to perfect this skill to the point where it is today. I am talking about the ability to lie. Now before I take all credit away from my parents, I am sure even though they didn’t teach me how to do it, they possibly pushed me into doing it the first time.



Picture this:



A small child is sitting quietly in his bedroom. (Too quiet for his own good.) The parent walks in and sees him sitting there with a crayon in hand, a box of crayons sitting beside him and a wall covered with crayon scribbles. Now what is the first thing out of that parent’s mouth? “Did you write on this wall son?" Now also imagine that the parent sounds upset, and they are so much larger than the child and the child knows this so he is left with only two options. Tell the truth and face possible consequences or lie and try to talk his way out of it. From a child’s perspective option two looks pretty good. And the beauty if lying is after the first time, it keeps getting easier.



The teenage years are difficult but they can be made easier by a telling a little white lie or two. That friend that you really don't want to hang out with can be held at bay with a fake sickness or maybe a “my father says I can’t come over” or even an “I have to watch my brother” excise. I remember my girlfriend in high school once pointed to this really attractive “it” girl and asked me if that girl was prettier than she was. What was I supposed to say? I lied. So the teenage years really are the developmental years when it comes to lying. By the time a person reaches adult hood they stand ready to blend right in with society and its acceptance of lying.



It really amazes me how accepted lying is these days. Think about it. When a person is put on the witness stand the first thing they make them do is place their hand on a Bible and swear to tell the truth. (I know there are alternatives these days but the point is the same) People have to be reminded and encouraged not to lie. This whole concept is ridiculous because the reason that people are in court in the first place is because someone is lying. Think about it. If no one lied, then there would be no reason to go to court. People would simply say: I did it or it’s my fault.



And to make matters worse and ease society’s conscience, we have come up with less offensive terms and reasons for lying. Here are a few: Omitting the truth, Fib, Partial truth, Little white lie, It’s what they wanted to hear, They never asked, I wasn’t under oath, It was for their own good etc etc. And the reason that we came up with these alternative names for lying is so that we can rank our lies in order to make some of them sound OK.



The problem though comes when we start making those little fibs acceptable. Sure they are seemingly insignificant but they tend to grow. In order to cover up that little fib, we may need to tell a little larger lie to make things work. Then the next thing we know, we have to make up bigger and bigger lies to cover the previous ones and before you know it, we are doing nothing but covering up what started out to be a little fib. If we continue to let our lies grow, sooner or later we get confused or our lies become so complex that we slip up and oops, we get caught. We are labeled “ a liar.” Have you ever told someone that a dish they prepared was good (when it wasn’t) and later had that person make it again just for you. Remember having to force that food down. MMMMMMMMM Yummy. But if you were a quick thinker you came back with, "Oh, thank you but I am not hungry right now." Then shortly after that you forgot about the dish and asked the same person of they wanted to go out and get something to eat. Oops, caught.



The truth is that to some extent we are all liars. We have all told lies at one time or another in our lives. They may have been little white lies or maybe even biggies. I try not to lie unless it means hurting someone’s feelings. I guess that makes it ok, or does it? Just something to think about. What’s your opinion on this subject?

Have a great day,
Greg

Saturday, January 3, 2009

It's a cat's life

I posted a while ago about our Cat named Mr. Tee. If you remember he was attacked by a dog and almost died but I am happy to say that he has fully recovered. I would be even happier if the Vet didn't charge me 400.00 to save him. That was his second brush with death, third if you count that he was abandoned when he was young so I guess he only has 6 lives left. He will be down to 5 if I catch him sleeping on my bed again. Anyway......







In an effort to make him comfortable, I took a box and put in some straw so he would have a comfy place to sleep.











Lets face it, I am a nice guy (when I want to be). Now you know any dog would just be happy with the straw box and just stay there and enjoy being inside. But not Mr. Tee. No he goes for some place where he can really stretch out and really relax. See what I mean.












He loves laying on the back of the couch. Talk about a couch potato! I think Cat in the box sounds better than Cat on the couch. I know where I stand in this house. My wife just confirmed my suspicion on this issue. I need to see if I can fit in the box. Meow!!






Have a great weekend,



Greg

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 Report Card

Happy New Year everyone. I just know it is going to be another great year. But before we get to my resolution and plans for 2009, I wanted to quickly go over 2008 and see how I did.

Ok let start with my 2008 resolution. Who remembers what that was? Anyone, anyone anyone, It had to do with reading the.....anyone, anyone, anyone, The Bible from cover to.....anyone anyone, anyone, that's right it was to read the Bible from cover to cover in 2008. Well if you have been with me that long, and I am very happy to say that some of you have, then you may also remember that early in the year, I amended that resolution. Early on, I realized that I am a really slow reader and I wanted to slow down even more to let the meaning soak in. So how far did I get you ask? Well I finished the Old Testament and I am up to reading the book of John. I think that is a great accomplishment and I would say that this was the first resolution that I actually stuck with.

On to the report card:

Since I started with the Bible, let me continue with 2008 spirituality. In addition to reading the Bible all year, our family found a Church that we all enjoy and we continued to attend it all year. Now we didn't attend every week but we did go most weeks and we got a lot out of the sermons. We also discuss the weekly messages and I really feel great about where we are heading.

I would have to give myself an A- on this one. Pretty good but I could have done a little better.

I have to say that financially, we are about the same as we were last year. But wait, there is a plus side. With the state of the economy, just maintaining is a great accomplishment. But wait there is more. In the latter part of the year, we made some lifestyle changes and we are now living a simpler life and a less expensive one. Because of this, we are actually stretching our money further so in essence, we are better off. We have new goals and with God's grace, we will continue to improve in this area.

Financially, I would have to give myself a B+.

I am feeling pretty good this morning. I didn't over do it last night. I started a number of diets during the year. Most of them didn't work but the one I am on now seems to be. I lost 14 lbs since Thanksgiving and I am going into 2009 in the losing mode. Our family has resolved to eat better and I really believe that we will all be living a healthier life this year. My wife has lost too but I am forbidden to post those results but I will say that she has lost more than me. Hopefully, you will be seeing less of me this year.

I think I should get an B- in Health for 2008.

We attended a great party last night and I met a lot of new people. The sad part is that many of them are our neighbors and we have simply never met before. The party was at the "Horse owners" house (That was the horse from an earlier post) and we had a great time. We made some new friends that I am hoping will continue to be friends through the year. In addition, I made lots and lots of Blogger friends in 2008. I feel like I know some of you and I hope those friendships continue as well. Lastly I met a bunch of new friends down at the Market and I am sure some of those people will stay in my life. So 2008 was definitely a friendship kind of year.

I give myself an A+ in Friendship.

So lets get down to the biggie. "Inner peace". Have you heard that saying, when life gives you lemons make lemonade? Well I am here to say a great big WRONG. Well unless you really want lemonade that is. I prefer to think if it this way. When life gives you lemons, just be thankful that you got lemons and didn't get spiders. It doesn't mean that you have to do anything with them or make anything with them, it just means that you now have lemons. For some reason a lot of people think that everything negative must be turned into positive or you life is over. They spend a lot of time trying to correct mistakes and trying to change what has already been done. Well you can't do that. So why try. Why waste your precious time and energy trying to make lemonade out of lemons. Why not just forget about the lemons and go on with your life. Besides, all that sugar isn't good for you. To wrap this up since I am probably losing blogging friends by the minute, here is what I learned in 2008;

Life is way bigger than anything I can comprehend. I don't know why life gives me lemons but it does from time to time and I was spending way too much time trying to make lemonade. By doing so, I missed out on a lot of other great things that were happening around me. There I was stuck in the kitchen making lemonade while outside the sun was shining and the birds were singing and life was moving on. In the latter part of 2008, I finally realized that I can't do it all. No matter how I try, I can make lemonade from sunup to sundown and even in my sleep but the next morning, that lemon pile is still there and sometimes even bigger.

There is someone out there that is an expert on making good things out of bad things. It is His specialty. He knows the best way to do it and in fact He wants to do it. So from now on, when life hands me lemons, I am not going to get bogged down trying to make something with them. I won't complain about having the lemons. I won't try to push them off onto someone else. And I won't sit and worry about the lemons. From now on, when life gives me lemons, I am simply going to say; I don't know why you handed these to me so help me out God. Please handle these. I'll be outside if you need me.

In life I give myself a big A+

Thanks everyone for being my friend in 2008.
Have a great 2009.

Greg