Friday, May 30, 2008

A Night At The Ballpark, Part 1

Off we go, into the great Cubs yonder!!

Yep, me and the top three, maybe I should re-phrase that to the oldest three, went to the "Friendly Confines" and saw the Cubs beat up on the Rockies.

No, I wasn't too happy - for the result, but I did have a great time with the kids AND Jessie got to see her first major league baseball game. Whoop-whoop!

Alas, it has been a long day, got home at 1:30 AM - yes, I said 1:30 AM! Then had to go to work all day and most of the night (just got home), so... I will have to continue with Part 2.

And Pictures. I promise.

No, really. I do.

So What Would You Take?

Check out what this guy is planning on doing:

French explorer and adventurer Xavier Rosset is about to embark on a 300
day trip to live alone on a remote tropical island in the South Pacific. His
adventures will be filmed and used for a 52 minute documentary.Xavier’s only
luggage will be a Swiss army knife, machete video camera and a solar panel for
charging the camera. He will spend 10 months alone on an island to develop
another way of life through an exciting adventure, a return to the elemental
sources. Xavier will survive alone on an island without human interference and
without polluting emissions.

OK, so aside from the craziness of the idea, and I won't get into the whole lack of "human interference and polluting emissions" because I think that in itself is a farce and all he's trying to do is get publicity in this "green" world.

What would you take with you?

H/T - The Islomaniac

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Night At The Ballpark, Prologue

That's right. A prologue!

Which means that I have no idea what will happen in future posts since, well, they are in the future.

Anyway, I know this, Andy, Benjy and myself are going to the Cubs and Rockies game tonight. Who will be our mysterious fourth? You will just have to come back and see.

No promises of pictures, only because I might forget my camera - I'm bad that way, but I'll try.

One more thing...


Hey Kids! Look What You Can Read This Summer!

Go here or here to see some fine selections for your summertime reading enjoyment.

You know you want to... Benjy!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

For All the DIT's (Deacon In Training) in the World

Deacon Greg at The Deacon's Bench had this, so I thought I would share it with my few readers, in case you might know anyone training for the Diaconate...

... Go visit his site when you get a chance, you won't regret it.

BTW, there really isn't a book, so don't look for it at your local B&N.

Subway = Not Thinking On All Cylinders

Okay, maybe the title is a little harsh, but I mean come on, excluding home schoolers from a contest. Sure they can probably justify it because part of the "Grand Prize" is $5,000 of playground equipment for the school. If my kids were able to enter the contest and win, we would give the equipment to their former elementary school, I mean just because we are home schoolers doesn't mean that we aren't a part of the community, right?

At least they fixed their glaring misspellings, as noted here and here, but the promised explanation hasn't shown up. Isn't it amazing what kind of power the blogging community has.

Anyway, if you aren't home schooling your kids (WHY NOT?), and want to enter the contest, you can go here for more details. Not sure when the contest ends though.

I changed the title, so as not to appear too harsh. :)

Besides, I ran out of steam because I was distracted... follow the links for more coherent thought.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The ABC's of Music

Now I promised Catherine that I would do another, and here it is. Now I have the Sardonic Catholic Dad to thank for the idea, since I saw him do something similar. He's got eleven kids, so he is a much wiser man than I, or crazier, but after four who knows the difference anyway. :)

Here goes something:

A - Abba, Air Supply, Alan Parsons Project, A-Ha, AC/DC, Adam Ant, Aerosmith, Akon, Alan Jackson, Alanis Morrisette, Alice Cooper, Alice in Chains, Alison Kraus, Allen Sherman, Aly and AJ, America, Amy Adams, Amy Grant, Andre Previn, ANdrew Lloyd Weber, Augustana, Avril Lavigne

B - Bon Jovi, The Beatles, Beethoven, Bach, Bad Finger, B-52s, B.B. King, B.J. Thomas, BTO, Backstreet Boys, Bad Company, Baha Men, The Bangles, The Beach Boys, Beastie Boys, Berlin, Bette Midler (Ugh!), Big & Rich, Big Bopper, Bill Haley and the Comets, Billy Joel, Billy Idol, Black Eyed Peas, Blind Faith, Blink 182, The Blow Monkeys, Blue Oyster Cult, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Bob Rice, Boston, Bowling For Soup, Bow Wow Wow, Boys Like Girls, Boyz II Men, Brad Paisley, Breaking Benjamin, Bruce Springsteen

C - Charlie Daniels Band, Cheetah Girls (I have three daughters), Cher (It pains me to write that), Chicago, Carpenters, Carrie Underwood, The Cars, Casting Crowns, Celine Dion (Ugh X 2), The Charlatans UK, Cheap Trick, Chris Brown, Chris Padgett, Christina Aguilera, Chuck Barry, Coldplay, Collective Soul, Cream, CCR, CSN, Crossfade, The Crescendos, The Crickets

D - Danger Boy, Dave Brubek, Daughtry, David Bowie, David Sanborn, David Seville, Death Cab for Cutie, DC Talk, Deep Purple, Def Leppard, Depeche Mode, Derek and the Dominoes, Destiny's Child, Devo, Dexy's Midnight Runners, Dire Straits, The Dollyrots, Don Felder, Don Henley, Don McLean, Donal Fagan, The Doors, Dropkick Murphys, Duane Eddy, Duffy, Duran Duran

E - Eminem, The Eagles, Eagles of Death Metal (stupid commercials - made me buy this),Eddie Money, Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Elvis Costello, Enigma, Enya, Enrique Inglesias, Erasure, Eric Carmen, Eric Clapton, Eurythmics, Evanescense, Everlife, The Everly Brothers

F - Franz Ferninand, Falco, Faith Hill, Fatboy Slim, Fats Domino, Finger Eleven, The Five Satins, The Flamingos, Fleetwood Mac, A Flock of Seagulls, Flogging Molly, Foriegner, Fountains of Wayne, The Four Tops, Frank Sinatra, Frankie Avalon, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Frankie Valli, The Fray

G - Garth Brooks, Genesis, Godsmack, Gnarls Barkley, Gloria Estefan, Goo Goo Dolls, Good Charlotte, Gorrilaz, Grand Funk Railroad, Grateful Dead, Green Day, Guns N' Roses, Gwen Stefani

H - Hamburg Chamber Orchestra, Hank WIlliams, Hannah Montana (just knew that she'd be here), Hap Palmer, Harry Connick Jr., High School Musical Cast, Hilary Duff

I - I Nine, Iggy Pop, Incubus, Insyderz, INXS, Iron Butterfly, Ironic Weasels (Andy's Band)

J - J Geils Band, Jackie De Shannon, James Brown, Janet Jackson, Jefferson Airplane, Jesse McCartney, Jessie Daniels, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Buffet, Jimmy Eat World, Joan Jett, Joe Walsh, Joe Cocker, John Lennon, Johnny Cash, Josh Groban, Jonas Brothers, Journey, Judas Priest

K - Kaiser Chiefs, Kajagoogoo, Kansas, Kanye West, Kate Bush, Karsh Kale, Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson, Kenny Chesney, Kid Rock, The Killers, Kingston Trio, KISS, Korn

L - Led Zeppelin, Less Than Jake, Lifehouse, Lindsay Lohan, Linkin Park, Lipps Inc., Lonestar, Louis Armstrong, Lynyrd Skynyrd

M - Madness, Madonna, Mannheim Steamroller, The Maranatha Singers, Maroon Five, Marvin Gaye, Mary Chapn Carpenter, Mason Williams, Matchbox Twenty, MC Hammer, Meat Loaf, Men at Work, Megadeath, Men Without Hats, Metallica, MercyMe, Miley Cyrus, My Chemical Romance, Mr. Mister

N - 'N Sync, Nat King Cole, Nazareth, New Found Glory, New Order, Newsboys, Nickelback, Night Ranger, Nirvana, The Nylons

O - OMD, Oasis, The Offspring, Ozzy Osbourne

P - P!nk, P.O.D., Panic! At the Disco, Pantera, Papa Roach, Paramore, Pat Boone, Paul Colman, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Pat Boone, Peter, Paul& Mary, Pink Floyd, Phil Collins, Plain White T's, The Platters, The Pogues, The Police, Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, The Posies, Prince, The Proclaimers, Puddle of Mudd

Q - Queen, Queens of the Stone Age, Queensryche

R - R.E.M, The Ramones, Randy Newman, Rascal Flatts, Ratt, Raven-Symone, Ray Bolz, Raffi, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Relient K, REO Speedwagon, Ricky Nelson, Riggs, Rush, Rihanna, The Rolling Stones

S- Sammy Hagar, Santana, Sara Evans, Schoolhouse Rock (Conjunction Junction!), Seal Sean Paul, Seether, Sex Pistols, Sha-Na-Na, Shakira, Shania Twain, Sheryl Crow, Shop Boyz, Silhouettes, Simon & Garfunkel, Simple Plan, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Slipknot, Smash Mouth, Smashing Pumpkins, Snow Patrol, Soft Cell (and their ONE hit), Sonicflood, Soulja Boy, Spirit, Steven Curtis Chapman, Steve Earle, Steely Dan, Styx, Stevie Nicks, Sting, Stray Cats, Sum 41, Supertramp, Systom Of A Down

T - Taylor Swift, Take 6, Tenacious D, They Might Be Giants, Third Day, Triumph, Thomas Dolby, Tim McGraw, The Ting Tings(another commercial sensation), Toby Keith, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Toni Basil, Tony Melendez, Toto, Transplants, Trapt, Trick Daddy, Twisted Sister

U - U2, Unwritten Law, Usher

V - Van Halen, Van Morrison, The Ventures, Village People, Vince Gill, Violent Femmes, Voice of the Beehive

W - W's, Wang Chucg, Warren Zevon, Weezer, Weird Al Yankovic, The White Stripes, Whitesnake, The Who, Will SMith, Wilson Phillips, Willie Nelson, Wilson Pickett, The Wonders


Y - Yanni, Yaz, Yes

Z- ZZ Top, Zebra

Alrighty then, that's it. Each and every group or solo artist on this list is in my iTunes catalog, at least without the external hard drive attached. If I did that, it would be a lot longer - 220G will do that to you. :)

Again, if you are so inclined, feel free to join in the fun!

I Have Been Amiss

I forgot to tell everyone that Maggie is back from her "Tour of Disney world."

Everyone was excited to see her come home, especially Danny.

Who knew? I mean the way these two fight sometimes...

Anyway, I am sure that there will be plenty of pics of Maggie's grand adventure, once I get them, so stay tuned.

Welcome Home Maggie!!!

Going Hog-Wild?

Okay so Jeff (Big Boss) and Dan showed up today, while riding their motorcycles...

Dan is training to get his license and finally Jeff was able to ride with him - meaning that it was warm enough for the big guy to take a ride.

I think that he is trying to convince me of getting a motorcycle. Uh, no. Mostly because Jenni says that she will divorce me if I do, but seriously, I don't like doing maintenance on a car so owning a motorcycle (which needs way more attention than a car).

Anyway, we convinced the kids - you'll see who was the hardest to convince from the pictures, to hop on board. As you can tell, we may not have to worry about Danny and motorcycles.
Maggie on the other hand...There might be a picture of me on one as well, but until I get clearance from Jenni (she doesn't want me to have anything to do with motorcycles, period.)I won't be posting that one. Plus my Obese side shows WAY too much.

Must do more Wii Fit!

Friday, May 23, 2008

ABC Meme!

Whoo Hoo! A Meme I can do, as long as I can recite the alphabet. :) My favorite French Blogger Catherine challenged/asked anyone to do this, so why not...

A- Andy
B - Benjy
C - Catholic
D - Danny (Disney was a close second)
E - Eucharist
F - Family
G - Goofy (both the character and the personality trait; I should mention that Grumpy was a close second here as well)
H - Happy (Not the dwarf this time, sorry.)
I - Idealist, I think.
J - Jessica (You know Jenni is here as well...)
K - Kaitlynn
M - Maggie
N - Neurotic (who isn't these days?)
O - Optimistic (why not, I have so much to look forward to, here on earth and otherwise)
P - Proud of my family
Q - Quiet is a word that is generally NOT associated with me.
R - Roger - that would be me.
S - Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (checking spell check, both computer and otherwise)
T - Truthful
U - Unique (again, who isn't? So does that mean I'm not?)
V - Vicious - unfortunately I do have this trait.
W - Weight, as in I NEED TO LOSE A LOT!
X - Xanth - This is always my answer for X, followed by Xanadu
Y - Young at heart
Z - Zinger - I am always quick with one, which sometimes leads to V, but is supposed to make people H.

Okay, that's kind of me in a nutshell. Now it's your turn, maybe I'll do one with a new twist later this weekend.


UPDATE: -Spell-check had NOTHING for S, just so you know. :)

Can This Be Paradise?

I think I wanna go here...
Thanks to Uncle Alan for the photos, more to come no doubt.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What's Wrong With This Picture?

What Your Fridge Says About You

You like to be surrounded by things you love. You aren't exactly greedy, but you can be materialistic at times.

You are not careful with your money. In fact, you rarely think about how much you are spending.

You don't tend to be a very adventurous person, but you do surprise everyone now and then. You have a bit of a wild side.

You try to be responsible, but you don't always succeed. Your heart is in the right place though.

You are likely single - and a workaholic.

Everything seems to be okay, until that last line... I am very happily married, thank you very much!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Phase Two - Photographic Essay (With some words)

Welcome to the Phase Two Photographic Essay...

I will try to limit my wit, but sometimes I just can't help myself. :)

Meet the Head-Banger...

The Head-Banger is synonymous for, well, banging one's head on. Hard to imagine, right? What with it being all of two feet above the stove. At least it kept me from safely looking into a pot - only a few minor burns...

This would be me inspecting the top of the Head-Banger...

Why you ask? Isn't it obvious? Momma never lets me climb on the counter tops, so... I found an opportunity and I took it! That and I wanted to share a life lesson with Mr. Lee, aka Cubbie, about why marriage is such a joy, because you get to do projects like this.

He is starting to seriously consider the seminary I think. :)

What's a project without a little demolition? Need I say more? I thought not.

Here's a close-up of the damage, with a little birdy* in the attic.

*that would be Benjy, in case you were wondering.

Look ma! We got ourselves a crack!

No, don't look at that, look at me, holding up the H-B! That is what is important here. The crack will just have to wait for another day/post.


Okay, I really thought that I had adjusted this picture so it was right side up, unfortunately, I was wrong.

Those of you with laptops can still enjoy the artistry, just tip your laptop clockwise ninety degrees, and there you have it. :)

One of us needs to lose some weight, I mean really Roger, what will your family think?

You don't want to know, I imagine.

Actually, you can probably guess.

There's Benjy again...This is the ugly old stove...

This is kind of what it looks like now. I know, can you believe that we don't have a picture of the hole? So, I started to play with paint and... well, I need some practice, I think.

That's it. And that is as far as I have gotten, so far.

Hey! I work during the week, give me a break.

I think that I am supposed to sand the old hardwood this weekend... too bad there won't be any sanders available for rental...

Shhh. Don't tell.

I leave you with a two and three year old playing on the trampoline - in a driving rain storm...

Or through a screen at least.

Sheesh, you all must think I am something awful.

American Idol note... Go David!

I can't lose with that one. :)

Good Night and God Bless!

Monday, May 19, 2008

A New Day = A New Project

Yep, and there will be pictures!! Not for this post though.

As you all know this past week, I celebrated finishing what I am now calling Phase 1 of basically a complete kitchen remodel. (If I only knew...).

Anyway, I was just getting comfortable with a book, that I can't find the time to read, yesterday (Sunday) when the love of my life pointed out that the kitchen isn't done yet.

What do you mean? I ask.

What about this half of the floor that needs to be sanded, and this head-banger over the stove, and the stove, and... (I think that I may have passed out at this point).

So, I pick my lazy butt up off the couch and proceed into the kitchen to survey the work that needs to be done.

Sanding the floor - Nope, I need a sander and conveniently do not have any money to rent one. Plus, it's messy and excuse after excuse, ad nauseam.

Head Banger? - Well, I would have to climb up into the attic and figure that out, removing power, taking apart the vent, and removing the head-banger itself. The head-banger is an exhaust fan with light that is over the stove, you know to exhaust my burnt food, and light it up so I could see it. Anyway, it earned it's name because it sits rather low, and I think you know the rest. When the baby started banging his head, we just knew it had to go. :)

Stove removal - Should be a piece of cake right? Lift out the stove and disconnect the hose to the gas supply.

So what do you think I did?

Stay tuned....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Oh How I Hate That

I got this in my email today...

Dear Valued Customer,

We want to provide you with the most up–to–date information about the tax rebate to which you may be entitled.

Recently, you may have received a letter from the IRS advising you when to expect your Economic Stimulus Payment (rebate). That IRS letter may have inadvertently left off some important information. Taxpayers who chose to have their tax preparation fees deducted from their federal tax refund will receive their tax rebate in the mail, not via direct deposit.

Our records show that you chose this payment option in TurboTax. As a result, the IRS has determined that you will receive your tax rebate in the mail. This may result in you receiving your rebate on a date later than expected.

This situation, while not unique to TurboTax, is understandably causing some concern and confusion. To help further clarify the situation, below is the most current IRS rebate payment processing schedule, as well as additional resources about the tax rebates.

I hope you find this information helpful. If you still have questions, the best source for the most up-to-date information is (see the "Rebate Payment Questions" link).

Well, at least now I know why I haven't received it yet. Would have been nice to know this information earlier though. Like when I filed them in January!

Why don't we just quit paying taxes? The morons in D.C. don't know what to do with the money anyway.

Bad couple days for the Bug - sorry. Must be post floor-done-but-not-quite-yet-says-the-BOSS syndrome. :)

Stay tuned, I may be back with a new feature...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Little Something New

Check this out...

It's this cool little blog tracker thing that you can visit, that shows you blogs from around the world. So, for example, imagine that you wanted to find someone that blogs in Kenya. Go to Verve and voila' you can look up a blogger from Kenya. Check out Mildred's blog and learn about the ROFFEKE - ROck,Film,FEstival KEnya, whose motto is: Friendship, Fun, Freedom! Granted she hasn't posted anything in a while, but it was the first one I grabbed. :)

There is also Don Hongo who has a community of Gospel artists.

See the possibilities are endless! Heck even Auburn University has one... :)

Okay, I better get back to work, see ya!

Not sure how to "Hat Tip" but I got this info from Kelly at Big A little a so if you really don't like it...

He Should Have Stayed In Sports...

I used to respect Keith Olbermann.

Now I just think that he is another whacked-out-liberal-that-hates-America-and-all-it-stands-for-looking-to-incite... something, I don't know what?

It doesn't really matter what you think of the sitting president of this country to me, you can love him or hate him. Some things he does I like, some things I don't.

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

One of, if not, the most important rights we have as American citizens. However it does not give a person the right on a nationally broadcast station (granted his audience is only around 400,000 people) to treat the president with such disrespect. Especially, when he is speaking out of his nether region.

What an A$$.

Okay, I'm better now.

Some Age-Old Advice...

As this time of year comes around, you start thinking about commencement addresses, from High School and College. Some are full of sound advice, others will allow you to catch some shut-eye before the party begins.

This article has been attributed to Kurt Vonnegut by various people, but as you can see it was actually penned by Mary Schmich from the Chicago Tribune.

Below is the text of the "speech," which was composed by Ms. Schmich on a "Friday afternoon while high on coffee and M&M's." Following the "speech" is Ms. Schmich's story. I like reading her articles on occasion, and this one is definitely memorable. Unfortunately it's memorable for the wrong reason, because it was attributed to Kurt Vonnegut it probably became more popular than if it was originally attributed to Mary Schmich. At least she ended up getting some royalties out of it, when a song was made using the text. Not to mention a book.

Anyway, enjoy the speech and remember that when you get the email stating it's from Kurt Vonnegut's commencement speech at MIT, it's not. In fact, the commencement speaker at MIT that year was Kofi Annan. I think if I were from that graduating class, I would rather have Ms. Schmich's.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts.

Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't.

Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't.

Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.

Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body.

Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.

Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander.

You, too, will get old.

And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you.

Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.

Advice is a form of nostalgia.

Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Subject: WEAR SUNSCREEN: Burning Saga Continues
------------------------------------------------------------ Following is the Sunday Chicago Tribune column, dated August 3, 1997, by Mary Schmich the woman whose "Sunscreen" speech was mistakenly identified on the Web as a Kurt Vonnegut commencement address to MIT: ------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sunday, August 3, 1997 Source: Mary Schmich. Section: METRO CHICAGO Parts: 1 Copyright Chicago Tribune


I am Kurt Vonnegut.

Oh, Kurt Vonnegut may appear to be a brilliant, revered male novelist. I may appear to be a mediocre and virtually unknown female newspaper columnist. We may appear to have nothing in common but unruly hair.

But out in the lawless swamp of cyberspace, Mr. Vonnegut and I are one. Out there, where any snake can masquerade as king, both of us are the author of a graduation speech that began with the immortal words, "Wear sunscreen."

I was alerted to my bond with Mr. Vonnegut Friday morning by several callers and e-mail correspondents who reported that the sunscreen speech was rocketing through the cyberswamp, from L.A. to New York to Scotland, in a vast e-mail chain letter.

Friends had e-mailed it to friends, who e-mailed it to more friends, all of whom were told it was the commencement address given to the graduating class at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The speaker was allegedly Kurt Vonnegut.

Imagine Mr. Vonnegut's surprise. He was not, and never has been, MIT's commencement speaker.

Imagine my surprise. I recall composing that little speech one Friday afternoon while high on coffee and M&M's. It appeared in this space on June 1. It included such deep thoughts as "Sing," "Floss," and "Don't mess too much with your hair." It was not art.

But out in the cyberswamp, truth is whatever you say it is, and my simple thoughts on floss and sunscreen were being passed around as Kurt Vonnegut's eternal wisdom.

Poor man. He didn't deserve to have his reputation sullied in this way.

So I called a Los Angeles book reviewer, with whom I'd never spoken, hoping he could help me find Mr. Vonnegut.

"You mean that thing about sunscreen?" he said when I explained the situation. "I got that. It was brilliant. He didn't write that?"

He didn't know how to find Mr. Vonnegut. I tried MIT.

"You wrote that?" said Lisa Damtoft in the news office. She said MIT had received many calls and e-mails on this year's "sunscreen" commencement speech. But not everyone was sure: Who had been the speaker?

The speaker on June 6 was Kofi Annan, secretary general of the United Nations, who did not, as Mr. Vonnegut and I did in our speech, urge his graduates to "dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room." He didn't mention sunscreen.

As I continued my quest for Mr. Vonnegut - his publisher had taken the afternoon off, his agent didn't answer - reports of his "sunscreen" speech kept pouring in.

A friend called from Michigan. He'd read my column several weeks ago. Friday morning he received it again - in an e-mail from his boss. This time it was not an ordinary column by an ordinary columnist. Now it was literature by Kurt Vonnegut.

Fortunately, not everyone who read the speech believed it was Mr. Vonnegut's.

"The voice wasn't quite his," sniffed one doubting contributor to a Vonnegut chat group on the Internet. "It was slightly off - a little too jokey, a little too cute . . . a little too `Seinfeld.' "

Hoping to find the source of this prank, I traced one e-mail backward from its last recipient, Hank De Zutter, a professor at Malcolm X College in Chicago. He received it from a relative in New York, who received it from a film producer in New York, who received it from a TV producer in Denver, who received it from his sister, who received it. . . .

I realized the pursuit of culprit zero would be endless. I gave up.

I did, however, finally track down Mr. Vonnegut. He picked up his own phone. He'd heard about the sunscreen speech from his lawyer, from friends, from a women's magazine that wanted to reprint it until he denied he wrote it.

"It was very witty, but it wasn't my wittiness," he generously said.

Reams could be written on the lessons in this episode. Space confines me to two.

One: I should put Kurt Vonnegut's name on my column. It would be like sticking a Calvin Klein label on a pair of Kmart jeans.

Two: Cyberspace, in Mr. Vonnegut's word, is "spooky."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Catching Up (a little at a time)...

On a little project... Before floor = white tile, After floor = pretty laminate.

Notice the time stamps. Yes, it did take me nearly a month of procrastinating, but it is done.


I enjoy these kinds of blog posts, because I don't have to think too much. Which is good. Right?

Here is Cuddlebug in her communion dress...

No Benjy or Jessie in this pic. Why? Glad you asked, because they were definitely there. They were singing in the choir, and we never got a chance to get all six together at church. Crazy mobs of people, let me tell ya!I like this picture, even if Katie doesn't look all there. I see my Cuddlebug and her crazy/ditsy/sharp-as-a-tack personality all rolled up in this one picture. Whereas you see a cute eight year old. Pretty cool that perspective thing, don't you think?

Katie and Monsignor Daniel Deutsch.

Finally, we have...

All Aboard the Disney Express! Yep my baby girl is in Disney World as we speak, probably dreaming of her dinner tonight with Cinderella and the other princesses. I'll have to post the picture that the in-laws sent up of Mags in her very pretty dress. Now if they could just get her to try a ride or two...

Off they go, to a wonderful world of magic. I am so jealous, but at least we will be going later this year in December. Woo- Hoo!!!

I think that catches us up. I promise to have more details later regarding all of these and then some - I'm like that you know. Right now, I am in need of my pillow, because 3am will be here before I know it.


Good Night and God Bless!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Because I Can

Your Vocabulary Score: B+
You have a zealous love for the English language, and many find your vocabulary edifying.
Don't fret that you didn't get every word right, your vocabulary can be easily ameliorated!
That's funny my grade didn't show up. So I got an "A" I'm pretty sure that's what it was, or maybe it was a B+.
Kalynne and her dang ethics!

Seven Wild and Amazing Facts (Or what I try to do to get attention)

Okay, Alane over at Confessions of a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom, for all of you that aren't quite acronym literate), tagged me with a little meme about, well, me. I of course, being a good little blogger said, "Sure I'll play along."

First The Rules:

1) Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog (Okay, I have done that, but in case you missed it, go here to see who Alane is and her seven things).
2) Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. (Maybe I will shoot for just randomly weird, adds some excitement to the mix).
3) Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. (Okay, this will be more difficult since whenever I tag someone, they don't always comply. In an attempt to beat that "curse" I choose you. Yes you. You who just read that past sentence, or two, and this one. So, TAG you're it!) (only if you want to, of course)
4) Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. (Okay, see three above - and if you don't have a moving buddy blog, get one!)

So here goes... something:

1) I am a convert to the Roman Catholic faith, although convert is kind of too strong of a word, since I was baptized and confirmed in the Eastern Greek Orthodox Church (or was it the Russian Orthodox?), anyway, one of the promises that I made to Jenni when we were married was that I would go through the RCIA (Right of Christian Initiation for Adults) process and become a full fledged Roman Catholic. After seven months and plenty of build up to my confirmation (Catholics can see where this is going), I was 'welcomed' to the Church. So much for using Maximilian as a confirmation name. That's okay, I still have Peter and Paul from the other one. :)

2) I have always wanted to have six daughters (no, really). Even had names picked out; Samantha, Tabitha, Jessica, Rebecca, Veronica and Jennifer. No, I didn't like 'Bewitched' and apparently I couldn't think of another name that ended in an 'A.' God has saw to it that I have at least three, I am so blessed. Jenni didn't go for "my" names either, although we do have a Jessica. One out of six, not too bad.

3) I have a mail-ordered bride. We'll let that sink in for a minute, okay now we'll move on to the jokes about me being so ugly that I had to "mail it in." Finally, I will let you all off the hook and tell you that Jenni is not mail-ordered, but I did meet her through the mail. You see, I was a young airman stationed in England writing letters to my cousin in Colorado. She had a best friend - Jenni. Well one letter from Tanya, Jenni wrote a little blurb of a hello. The rest is, as we say, history. Maybe I'll share the whole story some day.

4) I am a die-hard Denver Broncos fan. Can't add anything to that now can I?

5) I am a prolific reader and have on occasion read several books at the same time (one at work, one in the car, one in the bathroom, one...).

6) I used to watch the Weather Channel, and actually enjoy it. Back when they just told the weather. Kind of like MTV back when they actually played music. Nothing better than a cold front descending upon the hot plains of western Texas, let me tell you. Now that was living!

7) I love the beautiful game of soccer. Love to play it (okay loved to play it - that dog just don't hunt no more. At least I have elastic ankles that can predict the weather now), love to coach it and love to watch it, especially on the Spanish stations. They get so animated, who cares if I can't understand them, my eyes see the magic on the field.

Okay that is seven, and I hope that you have learned something about moi. Why? I don't know, just because Alane said so.

Have a good night, although I may be back later....

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

And Then There Were Five

That is right, we are now down to five children. It's okay, she's on her way to a 'Happy Place' and we couldn't be happier for her.

Who you ask?

Why Baby Girl, of course. She's on her way to Disney World.

I am so jealous.

I am also going to have to do some blog cleanup, after all the countdown for her trip has past 'go time.'

I'll try to get the "Disney World Express" pictures up for tomorrow. I'm too lazy for it tonight.


Plus I went to the Doctor and the Doctor said, "no more little monkeys jumping on that bed."

Cheerios, think Cheerios.

No, I don't know why.

Oh yeah, anyway the Doctor gave me a brace for both wrists. Do you know how hard it is to type with braces on both hands? Well, at least my hands aren't going numb.


Okay, I will. Nighty-night and God Bless!

( A small sample of the voices running through my head. Hey, I warned you that it wouldn't always be pretty. )

Because I'm A Copycat

Kalynne and Alane did this already, so being the follower that I am... I did as well. :)

You Are Cheerios

Like other Cheerios eaters, you want to be a responsible adult.

But you can't help but still be a kid at heart!

You try to make good decisions. You're a clean cut, conscientious person.

You're the type of person who would never skip breakfast.

Part of you thinks that breakfast is too important to miss...

But a bigger part of you knows it's too fun to miss!

At least I got a cereal I like.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Is There Anybody Out There?

Hello, I am from the planet Zonar I have come to take away all of your stink beetles.


Good Question, and wouldn't you like to know the answer... Maybe someday I will share it with you.

Right when I am fat and happy living the life of luxury on Synod.

Now, where are they?

We here at the Galactic Listening Post just thought that we would share a little of what we get to listen to and read everyday. That being said, there are fewer and fewer of us to keep track of the alien life forms individuals, like these fine chaps from Zoltan.

So, who's in?

The money isn't the greatest, nor are the locations. However, if you want to write that great American Novel...

This ain't the place for that either.

You want to come here for the greater good of all mankind. Think of what that will get you...

At least we have cable.

*** Just a funny aside, spell checker didn't like some of my wingdings. Unfortunately, since I can't really read wingding, I don't know what I spelled wrong. Oh I am sure that someone out there may translate it into English, or French, but I can live with the spelling error. This time.***

Good Night and God Bless!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Let's Talk About Prom

In honor of last weekend's prom for Andy (okay technically it was Megan's prom), I thought that I would let the pictures be the voice...

First off let us go back a couple of years (I can't believe that this was a year and a half ago). This is Andy and Megan.
Aren't they cute? I had the honor of being their chaperone driver. I don't think that they even tipped me. :-)

Next up, we have Andy a few months later, going to Prom with Kelly (a senior!). I even let him borrow the car, cleaned it up a bit as well.
I would have a picture from this past Homecoming, but let's not go there okay.

Here's the handsome seventeen year old... See what a year can do to a kid.

I remember when he was that small...

The lovely ladies... Not all for Andy.

The couples...Mom and son... Lauren and Megan, and some 'crazed' man...

Back to the couple of the hour. Two very good friends that really enjoy each other's company.

Okay, for this to work, remember that the pictures are telling the story... :-)


Oh what to write about first...