Thursday, July 30, 2009

Trip Progress

We've now completed our fourth day of driving and I'm please to report the scenery has been phenomenal (if you're really, really into unobstructed views of farmland).

Here's our story told in photos:
Indiana ...

Illinois ...

Missouri ...

Iowa ...

South Dakota ...

North Dakota ...

Manitoba ...

And of course, you will recognize ... (wait for it) ... Saskatchewan!

Toward the end of today's trip Andy observed: You know, Dad, the view through the windshield:

Really isn't a whole lot different than the view in the rear view mirror:

Don't be ridiculous -- in the mirror things appear much farther away than they really are.


Things Andy and I didn't say to the Canadian border agent, eh:

  • So like, how fast over the speed limit can you go in Canada, eh? I mean in Texas it's a-boat five miles an hour, so like that's a-boat eight kilometres, eh?

  • So like, a-boat how much can you get away with before you get deported, eh? I mean, so would like urinating in public get me sent home, eh?

  • So like, you want to know, if I own any firearms? Aren't you stereotyping Americans a bit, there? I mean, how would you feel if I asked you, "So like, is Celine Dion great or what?", eh?

  • So like, I could sure use a pain-killer a-boat now. So like, what drugs does the government give away in Canada, eh?

  • So like, you want to know when I was last in Canada, eh? So like, you're saying it bothers you that we Americans don't come up here to freeze near as often as you Canadians go south to thaw, eh?

  • So like, where's your red jacket and Smokey Bear hat, eh?

  • So like, when you say "firearms", are you like including like blasting caps, eh?

And here's a random photo taken today of a yellow field of canola (a.k.a. "rape"):

And here's a photo of a yellow cat:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Corn on the Cob

Today we left Saint Louis at 9:00 AM, arrived in Sioux Falls at 9:00 PM, and saw corn in between. While the cat was asleep, we crossed the Mississippi River once and the Missouri three times. Bedtime now. Canada tomorrow.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Caption Contest

Since you've all been clambering for wedding photos (of the grandchild, I mean), just to satisfy the incessant demands of my vast readership, here's a shot Lauren took of her own feet next to the flower girl (just moments before walking the aisle).

For the life of me, I can't think of a good caption. Maybe y'all can come up with something.

Emma Sends Greetingsrtfggggggggg

The title of this post includes Emma's editorial addition. No kidding -- I just typed the words "Emma Sends Greetings" when the cat actually stepped on the keyboard.

Today was a good day. We awoke after nine-plus hours of sleep, completely making up our sleep deficit. Then it was off to get Andy's loaded car weighed. I can't tell you what the weight difference is between a loaded car (with me in it) and a loaded car (without me in it). I know what that difference is, but it's too embarrassing to tell.

From there we headed over to pick up Emma (the typesetting cat). Andy and I were well ahead of schedule, and since we figured it would be less bother to get breakfast without a cat under foot, we stopped at the Bob Evans in Xenia, OH. As we pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant, I noted out loud, "Look Andy the sign says: '30 MEALS FOR LESS THAN $599'. That's almost twenty bucks per meal."

Andy drolly replied, "Yeah, that's bad, but the worst part is, you can't order it 'to go' -- you have to eat all thirty meals in one sitting."

By 9:00 (8:00 Central Time) AM we had the cat in the car and were headed back to Wright-Patt for Andy's scheduled 10:00 AM final out-processing. He reported a few minutes early, and was finished by 10:20, so we hit the road a good hour and a half ahead of the time I figured we'd get away. We drove onto the lot of the shipping facility near Saint Louis at 4:25 PM -- which sadly, was twenty-five minutes too late to get Lauren's car dropped off today. That's okay, we weren't planning on doing that today anyway. We knew they quit receiving vehicles at 4:00, but since the gate was open, we just figured it wouldn't hurt to test our luck and see if there was someone willing to take the car. Anyway, we left in the car inside the fenced area. They locked the gate at 5:00 PM.

Now we're off to a copy center and make sufficient copies of Andy's orders to make the shipping folks happy. So tomorrow Andy and I head north in the remaining vehicle -- next overnight stop, Sioux Falls.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

After-action Report

The wedding was beautiful; the reception was fun; the bride was radiant; the groom was beaming; the flower girl was cute; the bride's parents were charming ... and the groom's parents are bushed.

Andy and I are now at DFW Airport, about to take off for Dayton, where we'll embark on our Arctic adventure. They just made the first boarding announcement for our flight.

UPDATE (3:00 PM Eastern Time): Andy and I just checked into the Air Force Inn at Wright-Patt. Andy opened his bag, pulled out a pair of jeans, and said, "Oops, these look like Lauren's."

So I had to ask, "How do the rest of the clothes in that bag look?"

"Like mine," Andy answered.

I sighed, "Boy, that's a relief -- I'm not sure I could have coped with you in Lauren's clothes for the next nine days."

UPDATE TWO (3:45 PM Eastern Time): Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. While Andy and I were standing at baggage claim at the Dayton airport, I finally let rip a really satisfying bit of flatulence. Andy commented, "You're not alone. I've been farting up a storm all day."

I thought to myself, That would explain why my expulsions and my smelling those expulsions seemed so out of sync. It's a good thing Andy and I were so stealthy about fumigating the plain -- I don't think anyone else in the packed plain noticed (though I bet their pretzels tasted a bit off).

UPDATE THREE (7:45 PM Eastern Time): Here's the first picture from our trip.

Andy took this snapshot while we were sitting on the shuttle that runs from the car rental lot to the terminal at DFW. It was about 3:45 in the morning (after we gotten to bed at midnight -- thus the tired look in Dad's old eyes).

Tomorrow the real fun begins -- we begin our 4200-mile road trip with a cat.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Eve of the Big Event

The wedding is tomorrow. And the stress level on the eve of a young lady's big day can be almost too much for her to bear. Sadly, I have to report, at the rehearsal this evening the effects of the pressure were showing. For the most part she managed to hold back her tears, but then came that moment when she just couldn't take it anymore, and she cried out (to no one in particular), "Help me!"

And it really didn't help that everyone laughed uproariously at her sorrowful plea. But then ... there's just no way we could keep a straight face when this two-year-old (who'd been rolling on the stage between the legs of the bride and groom) begged for mercy as Mom carried her to the back of the church.

Weddings are way overrated ... well, at least they are from the flower girl's perspective.


Hat tip to Prairie Pundit for sharing this helpful public service announcement.

Monday, July 20, 2009


When a liberal says: "if it saves just one life", as in: If banning all industrial production saves just one life, it will be worth it.

It means: Quit thinking rationally and just admit that I'm smarter than you and mine is the superior moral position.

When a liberal says: "for the sake of the children", as in: The National Organization of Women is pro-choice ... for the sake of the children.

It means: I have no rational argument, so I'm feigning concern for children as a smoke screen to foist my agenda.

When a liberal says: "can't we just get along", as in: We have to ask the jihadists and zionist alike: "Can't we just get along?"

It means: Can't we just blame the actions of the guilty on the innocent so I can feel good about myself?

When a liberal says: "let's talk", as in: What's wrong with Barack Obama's simply saying to Iran: "Let's talk"?

It means: Let's throw Israel under the bus ... it'll win Barack Obama a Nobel Peace Prize.

When a liberal says: "give peace a chance", as in: We beg the Israelis and Palestinians alike: "Give peace a chance."

It means: Make no distinction between perpetrators and victims.

When a liberal says: "embrace diversity", as in: Those who will not embrace diversity will not be tolerated.

It means: Your age-old morals that call perversion evil are inferior to my trendy new ones that call perversion good.

When a liberal says: "tolerance", as in: Tolerance is the cornerstone of democracy.

It means: Keep your moral judgments to yourself ... or else.

When a liberal says: "intolerance", as in: The only thing that can't be tolerated is intolerance.

It means: The only thing that can't be tolerated is an opinion I don't like.

When a liberal says: "think globally; act locally", as in: To solve Earth's environmental problems we must think globally and act locally.

It means: Ignore the realities of human nature that are right in front of you, and never miss an opportunity to throw sand in the gears of the economy.

When a liberal says: "it's your upbringing", as in: You may be a violent person, but it's your upbringing that made you that way.

It means: Claiming victimhood is so much easier than facing the evil within you.

When a liberal says: "it's not your fault", as in: You may be a violent person, but it's not your fault.

It means: Claiming victimhood is so much easier than dealing with the consequences of your own bad decisions.

When a liberal says: "it's George Bush's fault", as in: There's violence in the Middle East, and it's George Bush's fault.

It means: Chimpee McHilter (along with his handler, Karl Rove) is almost as good a patsy as the Jews.

When a liberal says: "you're entitled", as in: As your personal injury attorney, I'll see to it that you'll get what you're entitled to.

It means: If you'll just adopt an entitlement mentality, I can use that to manipulate you.

When a liberal says: "it's a disease", as in: You can't do anything about your kleptomania, your lying, your gambling, etc. -- it's a disease.

It means: Claiming powerlessness over your misconduct is so much easier than reforming.

When a liberal says: "you were born that way", as in: You can't do anything about your homosexuality -- you were born that way.

It means: Claiming powerlessness over your misconduct is so much easier than reforming.

When a liberal says: "regime", as in: The time has come for regime change in Washington.

It means: This is how I refer to any administration I don't like.

When a liberal says: "terrorizing ...", as in: The repressive regime in Israel is terrorizing the peace-loving Palestinians.

It means: Blaming the Jews is tried and true.

When a liberal says: "we've got to do SOMETHING", as in: Maybe it won't work, but we've got to do SOMETHING.

It means: You can't make me think in terms of cause and effect. More of whatever caused the problem is sure to fix it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Returns of the Day

When I checked my Stat Counter this morning, I discovered that my Irish visitor who's fascinated with "tube 8 farts" had returned. That's all well and good (mostly, good that my favorite fart fetish fan lives in Ireland and not down the street). But the really good part of this is my discovery that whenever the mood strikes you to learn all that the vast World Wide Web has to tell you about "tube 8 new woman farts" the first place to look is ... that's right, you guessed it ... my little off-ramp of Al Gore's information super highway. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Academy and all you "little people" who made this possible ...

As if that weren't bloggy good karma enough for one day, we then went to church and found Tennessee Ernie/Liberace/Nick Winters once again tinkling the ivories and verging on a rousing rendition of the "Star Wars" theme. If you haven't already read that previous post (and aren't inclined to waste any more time than necessary on this pointless topic), here's the Cliff Notes version: A few weeks back a guy who looks strikingly like Tennessee Ernie Ford subbed for the entire "worship team" on Sunday morning but morphed into Liberace the moment his fingers hit the keyboard. Fifteen minutes into a medley of all your favorite hymns and praise songs that were pepped up to the point of being unsingable by the congregation, Tennessee Ernie Liberace suddenly broke into song, thus revealing his true identity as Nick Rivers, Bill Murray's lounge singer from hell (you remember the "Star Wars" guy, right?).

But unlike the music extravaganza a few weeks back, today's "worship" service began so tantalizingly close to normal -- holding (almost within reach) the promise of a real song service -- you know, one in which the congregation actually ... dare we hope ... sings). We began with an honest-to-God hymn -- "It is Well With my Soul"). Admittedly, the sustaining notes had a few more thumb-rolls than your standard-issue hymn, but it was still recognizable as a song with a regular-enough beat that we could conceivably all gustily join in. Things began their leftward turn when Tennessee-Liberace-Winters had us stand for the offertory. He looked up from his fancy finger work about halfway through the second verse of the Doxology ("Holy, Holy, Holy! All the saints adore thee, casting down their golden crowns ...") and discovered (much to his surprise) that the congregation was more than a little distracted by the passing of offering plates. It seems standing and singing for the offertory proves somewhat awkward -- what with folks having just two hands with which to juggling hymnals, offering plates, billfolds and wallets.

Oh well, just a little misstep there. After all, Christianity is all about forgiveness and bearing with each other, isn't it? So ... we managed to get the plates down the aisles and the Doxology concluded ("... God in three persons, bles-sed Tri-ni-ty!") with just one surprise change of key. We then sang a "praise song" that no one had heard before, but if you know any four bars of any praise song you know them all, so (though we, as a congregation, did have to mumble our way through some of the tune) again, no harm no foul. Then Liberace did what he's always wanted to do -- he abandoned his candelabra-bedecked Steinway and strolled over to center stage where he regaled us with his microphone-swallowing Nick Winters shtick. It was the perfect set-up for a sermon about "Promotion".

After the substitute pastor finished his ten points on how much God wants to bless us monetarily, Joyce and I quietly walked out, got in the car and agreed, "If what that 'preacher' says about God is true, then Jesus sure blew His shot at prosperity, didn't He?"

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Barbara and the Uppity Negro

It seems Harry Alford, the Chairman of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, doesn't cotton to being told by those financially sustained by his hard work what he's allowed to say and think as a Black person.

C'mon, Boy! Why cayn'cha git in step with all th'other Coloreds and daynce fo' the White lady? Iff'n ya don', she a-guine ta haf't have summa her mo' betta' Neegros woop up on ya.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


We ate lunch with the near-newlyweds today. Sitting at the restaurant, James was acting goofy (where he gets his goofiness is a mystery to me). Amber leaned on his shoulder, looked up into his eyes and swooned: "Oh Baby, no one plays air guitar like you do! {{Siiigh}}"

"That," said James scornfully, "was my air banjo!"

I suspect this marriage will make it.

The Big Day

The big event is nearly upon us, that long-anticipated day every girl dreams of her entire life -- the wedding!

Let's just hope the bride doesn't spoil the flower girl's big day by wearing something tacky.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bolshevik Czars

Just as President Obama promised, 95% of us will see our income taxes go down under his administration -- especially if one happens to be a GM dealer has no political clout with our gangster government. In that case, your income taxes will go way down because you no longer have any income.

Cling to your guns and religion, folks -- you need them both.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"The Incoherents"

On my last post about Nate, I had a couple of family members comment, agreeing that Nate comes by his wit the old fashioned way -- he inherited it from his dad (a.k.a, my big brother Roy). Now I won't dispute that. I grew up with Roy and, though he rarely sought out opportunities to socialize with his weird little brother, I was under-foot enough to have picked up on most of his jokes, which were usually so subtle that the intended target of ridicule was unaware of the insult.

A case in point was brought to mind just today in an email exchange I had with Roy. I was encouraging Roy to get a Facebook account so he could revive old high-school friendships, and (as inducement) I sent him a link to the Facebook page of the creepiest guy to haunt our teenage years. I lied and told Roy that this drugged-out kook had an opening for him in his Rock band. (Surely you remember that era when "El Paso Rock" swept the nation! ... No?)

So Roy then emailed back, accusing me of being the lead singer for the Rock band formed by the guys who lived in the Carranza's house. (No silly, they weren't the Carranza brothers. They lived in the Carranza's house after the Carranza's moved out.) Anyway, the brothers were named Alfred and Bobby. Bobby (who was my age) was a regular guy, but his older brother Alfred (Roy's age) was special, which is probably why he was in that "special" education class. I believe Alfred's IQ was a very comfortable room temperature. Anyway, I happened to be in the front yard and overheard Alfred asking Roy, "Hey man, can ju play ah instrument?"

Roy (who was well on his way to becoming an all-state orchestra french hornist) admitted he could, so Alfred ask, "Hey man, ju wanna join our band?"

Rather than pointing out the Rock and Roll doesn't typically lend itself to french horns, Roy diverted the conversation, "D'ya know what you ought to name your band?"

"No man, what?"

"The Incoherents!"

Alfred demurred, "Well man, jeah, Ees a perdy good name, but ... I think we'll jus' stick with 'The Kings'."

So Roy declined, "Well, in that case -- nah, I don't don't wanna join any band named 'The Kings'."

Thus, after nigh fifty years, Roy has delivered his crowning insult -- accusing me of joining the band that he himself wouldn't join unless it was named "The Incoherents". The only difference is, on me the joke isn't lost.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Odd Friendship

My nephew Nate (a school teacher) just accepted me as his "friend" on Facebook -- which if you think about it, is kind of strange ... I mean he's my nephew so that sort of makes friendship superfluous, at least to my way of thinking. In any case, because he's now my "friend", I can read stuff he's shared about himself. He did one of those 25-things posts, all of which were good (some revealing, some touching, some hilarious). This one absolutely slew me:
19. Abraham Lincoln is my favorite president, and it's not for any of the reasons why people usually love him. It's his hat. I'd keep sandwiches in there.

From there on he started pleading desperation in coming up with more things about himself until he concluded with:
25. Um... I avoid flossing when I can. I'm officially out of ideas at this point, and I'm ready to go to bed, so... Yeah. I'll go with flossing. Why not?

Ya know, I kinda like having Nate as my friend.

Here's to You Mr. Jefferson

I have nothing to add to this. Just listen and enjoy.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Decision 30

Andrea Mitchell here, with breaking news from the front lines of "Decision A.D. 30 -- The Selection of Messiah", reporting from the Yeshua campaign.

Yesterday, on the eastern shore of the Sea of Tiberius, came incredible reports that the son of a carpenter (who just weeks ago sprang onto the national scene seemingly out of nowhere when Yohan the Baptizer selected him as his running mate) had fed an estimated 5000 people with just five barley loaves and two fish -- yet reportedly everyone had plenty to eat and twelve baskets of left-overs were collected after the picnic. In an attempt to substantiate these claims of miraculous Messianic powers, this reporter was determined to confront Yeshua of Galilee with my usual incisive questions. But when I arrived yesterday afternoon, Yeshua's handlers informed me that he'd wandered off to the Golan heights on a nature hike. This morning when all the members of the press corps that follow the Yeshua campaign went down to the sea where Yeshua's followers had set up their headquarters, we discovered that they'd mysteriously disappeared during the night, leaving only the empty docks where their boats had been moored the day before as clue to their whereabouts.

Scouring the shores of Galilee, we caught up with Yeshua's twelve-person campaign staff in Capernaum (way over on the west bank). There we discovered that Yeshua had rejoined them. When this reporter confronted the campaign staff about the inconsistency of its previous story that he had gone camping in the Golan and yet we now find him with them on the opposite shore, (insisting that they had in fact told the "Gospel truth") they fabricated an even more incredible tale of Yeshua walking across the sea in the night (in the middle of a storm no less) and rescuing them from drowning even though they were in a boat and he was on foot.

Having determined that Yeshua's campaign staff is either loaded with certifiable lunatics or pathological liars, this reporter sought out Yeshua himself to get to the truth. I found him surrounded by an angry mob who ironically seemed to be upset that he'd escaped from their attempt to crown him king of the Jews. In answer to my ever-probing questions about his having fed 5000 people the day before, Yeshua cryptically answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled."

This reporter assured this so-called Messiah that I didn't see any miracles, I hadn't eaten any "Wonder Bread" and I wasn't buying this load-of-carp story about the fish and chips. The crowd picked up on my skepticism and began shouting, "What then do you do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe you? What work do you perform?"

This reporter in an attempt to confirm the reports of miraculous feedings, derisively shouted out: "Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'HE GAVE THEM BREAD OUT OF HEAVEN TO EAT'."

Sensing my sarcasm, Yeshua rudely shouted right back, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is my father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world."

So I mockingly replied, "Lord, always give us this bread."

Then came his shocking reply (which, no doubt, all of you have seen on YouTube), "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me will not hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst. ... I am the bread that came down out of heaven."

The crowd (many of whom were from Yeshua's home town of Nazareth) began mumbling things like, "Isn't this Yeshua, the son of whatsisname that carpenter? How can he say, 'I have come down out of the sky'?"

Yeshua then (sensing that the crowd was beginning to turn on him) totally lost it and petulantly screamed at them, "Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him ..." And then he repeated his absurd claim a third time, "I am the bread of life!"

But then (as if claiming to be a loaf of barley bread out of heaven weren't crazy enough) he added the even more ridiculous assertion: "Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This bread {pointing to himself} is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."

The stunned crowd began saying things like, "How can this guy give us his own body to eat?"

Then Yeshua completely flipped out, saying (and I quote verbatim), "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever."

Remember now, this wasn't just some lunatic shouting profanity on the street corner. This is Yeshua, who (up until this morning) was the leading contender for the Jewish monarchy, speaking in the synagogue and urging people to commit cannibalism in order to live eternally in the sky.

Needless to say, the call for Yeshua's immediate coronation ended and the crowd quickly dissipated -- even several members of Yeshua's own campaign staff withdrew their endorsement.

In this reporter's many years of following Messiahship campaigns, I have never seen anything that even remotely resembles the political debacle I witnessed today. This wasn't just a mere misstatement that's cost the front-runner a few percentage points (like that pathetic Katy Couric interview) -- this appears to have been a calculated decision to terminate any hopes of ever becoming the Messiah.

So, Bob here. With my imagined news report out of the way, let me ask you: "Do you agree with the mainstream media's analysis that Sarah Palin's resignation speech was a career-ender?"

Friday, July 3, 2009


Today is a day for jubilation, the day to celebrate the birth of ... nooo, not the United States, silly; that's tomorrow ... the birth of that sweet girl who foolishly married me way back in 1978.

She's given so much: our home (without you it's just a house, with you a castle), our laughter ("No, I love you more" ...), a few shared tears (the Grandpa who hitched the wagon for "Number One" did the same for the sons of that first grandchild), a butter-licking cat, a few good beatings (she beat me at Scrabble again just last night) ... and most precious of all, she's given three handsome sons.

But it's not what she's given -- it's who she is. She's my wife, my lover, my friend, my comforter, my helper ... my Joyce.

Thank you for marrying me, Joyceee.