Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Feeva


Amazing what temperatures above 50 degrees and a little sunshine will do to your mental state. Amazing and crazy all at the same time. Let's break that down shall we:

Amazing - in the sense that anytime during the winter weather I didn't want to do anything, I used the same excuse. "It's too cold." An excuse usually agreed upon by another party. "Yeah, man. Screw that. It's too cold." Body just goes into shut down mode. A sort of mobile hibernation. Things only get, or got, done because they simply had to. Now that it's starting to warm up a bit, the body and mind are more like, "Okay, I finished that. What's next? I have to be doing something! Can't waste a beautiful day like this!" Amazing the 180 that occurs. Which in turn leads me to the crazy......

Crazy - In hindsight it is absolutely crazy that so much was put off for 1/4 of the year because I didn't like the weather. Do I do that every year? Let's just say that I have and just count the time that I've been married. That would put me at roughly a year and a half of my marriage that I've not gotten anything done because 'it's too cold'. My poor wife. I'm sorry dear. Or let's even go back further to when I started chores. Say age 12. If I went on shut down during the winter starting at that age, that means I've managed to get out of doing things by using the 'cold' excuse for 78 months, or almost 7 years, so far. What's even crazier about it being warmer, is it makes you think that you will get 127 things on your to do list completed in a day and a half. "I need to put up a fence, build a swingset, go running, take the kids to the park, build patio furniture, go camping, fishing, paint some spots around the outside of the house, plant a garden, run some electric out to the shed, mow the lawn, play fetch with the dog, and eat dinner by 8 o'clock." And the crazy thing is, I KNOW I can make that happen.

I love this weather. I love watching life spring up out of myself, my wife, others around us, and every other living thing that's taken a nap. It's exciting isn't it? The winter months are not the best, but it really makes you appreciate the life that it brings out when it's over.

So, thanks for doing your job winter. Now let's get out and do something!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Don't Hear that too Often....

The other day I was out working in a neighborhood I frequent on just about a daily basis. I was in someone's front yard locating when I saw an elderly lady approach me.

At first we struck up some small talk. She wanted to know when her yard was going to be dug on, how long was the work going to be going on in the 'hood, will her yard be made pretty again after it's been dug up, etc.

I told her that they would probably be working on it either the following day or day after. She informed me that she didn't know if she'd be around then. She told me she was 86 years old (give or take a couple of years) and that she would be dying soon. I didn't pry into that, but she did mention she had a doctor's appointment that day. Then she looked at me and said, "but ya know, I'm ready to die."

"Oh, so you're ready for that?" (never really had to respond to that statement before)

"Oh yes. I'm ready to die. I've lived a good life, and I've got a beautiful house. I think I'm ready to go."

She also told me she had lost her husband some time back. A widow. She retired in 1980. Said that she had lived a full life........

How often do you hear someone say to you those words, "I'm ready to die"? It didn't dawn on me until I had heard it that I quite possibly have never had someone utter those words to me in a conversation. We all (anytime I use 'we', this is including myself) spend so much time making sure we make it to the next day, next hour, next minute on a daily basis. Safety is a big part of society, and some practice it more than others, in the hopes that we make a conscious effort to continue to live. We save money, or try to, so that we either have money to buy things for ourselves to upgrade our status or comfort, or to put back for the kiddos, with the notion that we 'know that tomorrow WILL be here so how do I make it better?' We plan, we plan, we plan. But do we plan to die?

This surely sounds like a ramble, and that's kinda what that statement did to my brain. Threw me off a tad. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with planning and wanting to better yourself, because the opposite of that would be a sluggard that waits for things to be handed to him/her. I pray that the majority of us do not fall victim to the latter, but I am saying this........what treasures are we planning to attain? Are our plans for a better life filled with 'meisms'?

I say all of this because the realization of this life ending stared me in the face that day, and also the realization that I don't think about death much, if at all. The one thing I wish I would have asked here was what she did in her life for her to be at a point where she was okay with the thought of dying. I'd be willing to bet that if she's fortunate enough to know when that time is, that she won't be sitting in her living room thinking, "man, I'm glad I bought that flatscreen HDTV," or in the garage going, "if I wouldn't have had that BMW, I don't think I would have fulfilled what I wanted in this life," or.......well, you get the point. She surely won't be taking that with her when she goes.

What a statement, huh? "I'm ready to die." Right now, I'm too busy thinking about my "immortality". Puts things into perspective when you hear something like that. My hope and prayer is that when it gets to that point in my life, I can look back and say, "yeah. I feel good about this. Let's go home."


Monday, February 22, 2010

Hurry Up!

"We're going to be late, again!"
"I can't believe these people in front of me are going so slow!"
"Is our food ever going to get here?!"
"I don't want that for dinner. Takes too long to cook."
"You need to work faster!"
"I wish we could hang out, but I just don't have time"
"Just put it in the microwave"
"I don't have time to listen to you now."
"I wish this pastor would wrap it up. I'm gettin' hungry."
"I need this done by tomorrow!"

Is it just me, or does everything in life have a deadline now? And I'm talking everything from getting up to going to bed, and everything in between. Everybody (myself included) seem to be in such a hurry for everything, everyday. Like life is going to collapse, or sift through our fingers if it is not done on schedule. My 'schedule'.

Observant examples from today:
- I'm working at an intersection. Car waiting to turn. Car behind car waiting to turn grows a little impatient (both been in turning lane for maybe three seconds). Car behind car begins to blow horn. Car doesn't turn. Car behind car blows horn again. Car still doesn't turn (up to about eight seconds now). Car turns, and as car behind car turns it lays on the horn and stays on it for about ten seconds. Apparently, car behind car had somewhere to be and was not there.
- Contractor needs utilities located. Tells me what he needs and I told him it might take a while. He tells me that he needs to dig now before I've even started to locate for him. Guess I better get going. (I locate underground utilities BEFORE people dig)
- I'm driving through a park. Upon exiting the park I see a woman walking a dog at the exit. She's walking across the exit with her dog where I need to drive through to leave. I'm barely moving as I approach the stop sign, giving said lady time to walk across. When I make it to the stop sign she looks at me and yells, "SLOW DOWN!" So I did, which means that I came to a complete stop since I was barely moving in the first place. She is apparently so aware of the rush everyone's in, that even when I'm not rushing, I'm prompted to slow down?

I mean really, is every task of everyday so extremely important that if not done within a certain amount of time then life as we know it (or plan for it to be) will unravel right before our pupils?

-Every meal that is eaten now is huffed down like it's going to hurdle off of the table if not consumed immediately. Why can't we take the time to enjoy the company and the food.
-Every time you drive, you're running late and the person driving in front of you is holding you up. So leave a little earlier so the entire drive to your destination is not one of pure anxiety (this I am guilty of almost daily).
-So what if the meal at the restaurant is not on your table five minutes after your order is muttered out of your mouth. Lest you forget that you are being served, as well as the other 50 customers in the restaurant? And how about enjoying the company you're with while waiting for your food?
-and on and on and on and on..............just think about the countless examples.

What's even more strange is that the majority of the day is filled with rush, rush, rush, but there is still plenty of time made to watch tv, or take a nap, or surf the web, or write a post on a blog, or........well, you get the point.

When you really get right down to it, being in a hurry is selfish and sinful. Maybe just from my perspective. I can think of numerous things about myself and my lifestyle I can change to keep from being in such a rush. When I get in a rush, it's all about meeting a schedule that I'm already fully aware of, but have failed to plan accordingly. Anything or anyone in my way of getting there will be thought less of, because it's all about me and MY time. When life gets in such a hurry, I really think life is missed out on. Hurry causes you to be so absorbed with your own destination and schedule that you have to meet, that you don't care about anyone or anything that's going on around you. How many conversations, or opportunities for service, or appreciation of surroundings, or just plain moments of silence and sanity are passed up because of the blinders that hurry puts on us.

I speak of this as much, and if not more, about myself than anything. I would just like to make myself more aware of not being in a hurry all of the time, just for the simple fact that it would make me more aware.

Let's just slow down and make time instead of time making us.


Sidenote: Cool thing happened today. I lost my bluetooth earpiece for my phone a couple of months ago. Was working on Westport today, and looked down and saw it lying on the ground. That thing's been through all of the snow and rain we've had since January, and it's charging as we speak. Kudos to Plantronics.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Daughters Teach Daddy New Tricks

So Bay taught me how to dance like the young folk are doing these days. If you are in my age range, you can see just how much dancing has evolved since we were three years old. I've never seen moves like the ones she was throwin' out there! Borderline contortionistic. I tried to keep up, but it was near impossible. Random analogy........If energy were an uneaten apple, Bay is still on the tree and I'm more like the core about to be thrown in the trizash.

June had a couple of her own moves. She can throw down when she feels the need. Gibson decided to chime in on the end as well. I think he was probably mad b/c he doesn't have the moves that the girls have.

If you care to see what I'm talking about, you can check it out here.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Pawn Stars

I watch Pawn Stars. That's a show that I enjoy when I'm jonesing for the glass teet that is the TV, which sadly is more often than should be.

Anywho. Wouldn't it be cool to own a business, see things that are out of the ordinary everyday, and have enough money to spend 100,000 bones to repair a helicopter because you know that you can sell it for 150,000 bones and make money off of the intial transaction. Phenomenal.

Or have people come up to you with a piece of history in their hand and try to wheel and deal to hand that piece of history over to you? Someone on the show tonight had a lottery ticket that was signed and numbered by George Washington. I mean there were three different guys handling a lotto ticket that was once handled by the first president of the US. I can't imagine the coolness of having my tips touch something as historical as that. The most historic my hands have gotten is with an NES (old school nintendo. Tecmo Bowl days for any uninformed)

You've also got the other side of it where someone will walk in with what they think is a prized possession that has been sitting in their garage for years. They walk to the display case to wheel and deal, only to find out that what they thought was their prized treasure is really a phony piece of junk. How do you react to something like that when you have so much faith in the authenticity of an item, and you have someone tell you that it's not real? That's gotta feel like a throat chop.

My everyday hope is that my life is an everyday reflection of the un-phony. I respect and admire that in other people, and people like that motivate me and inspire me to do things that are noble. The stories you read or the people you know that give you that feeling always have a faith in something tangible, and is shown in the way they carry themselves, react to trials, smile a smile as real as the oxygen in your lungs, would rather put others first, and exhibit all of the other characteristics that a story contains that gives you goosebumps. That is a matter of things that matter.

My hope is that someone doesn't look at my 'things' and tell me that they have all the evidence they need to know that it's fake.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

It's Been A While

It's been a while since I have written for this blog
It's been a while, and there's alot that's happened that I haven't logged
It's been a while since I've gone and wrote some stuff just like I used to do
It's been a while, and since then there's been many times that I have stepped in poo

(All sung to the tune of the old Staind song)


So,.......It's been a while.

I've had the itch to write lately. On this blog, letters to certain people, lyrics for music that hasn't been written yet, etc. There's quite a few things rolling around in my head at this point and time, and maybe if I write about some of it, it won't just be like sheets of loose leaf paper lying on the floor of my brain that have no organization whatsoever.

It's snowed today. Again. We never used to get snow in Mississippi. The first time Annette and I saw the first good snow in Louisville, we were super excited about it. This was about 5 years ago, and it was like we had seen something that we new existed, but didn't think it was real. And we could touch it, and roll around in it, and make balls out of it and smack each other with them, and create snow people out of it, and urinate on it to make it change colors (reference to myself only), and use it as a medium to make life sized angels with it on the ground, and scrape it off of windshields and windows, and eat it (only if it's still the original color). The many possibilities of snow! It's fantastic!

...................we also shoveled the snow. And shoveled. And shoveled. And shoveled. And cried. And wiped snot off of our faces. And shoveled. And......well you get the point. Needless to say, I'm not as fond of snow anymore. It's still great to look at, but it's only fun if you don't have to put any work into it, right?

Got me to thinking about how many things in life that are so awesome, but we're so used to it that it's lost it's awesomeness. Snow, for example, is so insanely weird that it even happens. I mean, there are white puffs of percipitation that fall from the sky, cover the earth, and when it happens I just think, "I freakin' wish it would stop snowing." Did you know that there is not one single, solitary, identical snowflake? Amazing.

Let's see what else:
-Our earth is warmed by a big ball of FIRE that sits in a space that is outer and we're pretty used to that so......not so awesome. What would be even more awesome, but in a bad way, is if the sun just decided not to fire up one day. We have a sun. That's pretty awesome.
-The birth of a child, or the birth of anything for that matter. Too many inexplainable intricacies involved here. Something that happens every minute of every day. The awesomeness of that usually isn't there unless it is closely related.
-The fact that we can taste food. How awesome is that! Imagine if everything you put in your mouth tasted like water. Or better yet, tofu. If everything had the flavor of tofu, that would be lame. Not knocking tofu, but come on, where's the flavor? A grape tastes different from an apple tastes different from a cookie tastes different from a hot dog tastes different from a sponge cake and so on and on. That's pretty cool, and pretty fortunate for us.
-Having a job.........that's pretty awesome and pretty self explanatory.
-Friends = Awesome
-Family = Awesome

I think I can write about this forever. Think about it though. What is your life filled with that is awesome when you think about it, but you don't ever think about it. I know that with myself I have a tendency to remember and only dwell on the crap of life. The things that happen that I don't want to happen. It's consuming if I let it be. So, I need to think of things that are awesome more, because when you really stop and weigh the pros and cons of life, I think I'm alot more spoiled and blessed that I give credit for.

It can always be worse. I know this is probably overdone by now, but think of Haiti. I bet their 'awesome' list might look like this:


Bare necessities that most of us have no problem having our hands on every day. Thank God for what we have and give what we can so others can have (i.e. time, goods, services, an ear, money, etc). Shouldn't that be what it's about?

So yeah, it's been awhile, but the snow really got me to thinking today...........


Wednesday, June 18, 2008


So I'm a painter.

I go out and put a tatoo on the faces of the earth everyday.

I locate underground utilities.

The thought of ever doing that never crossed my mind until I stumbled upon the job posting for it. At the time I was working at a boys home for at risk youth making 9 an hour. Man are there some stories I could share from that gig. I would like to think that I made any inkling of a difference in the boys I 'mentored' everyday. Definitely makes you thankful for your blessings in an environment like that. I wrestled alot at that job. Which is good, because I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by nothing but females my whole life (and I have 2 daughters. Go figure. Evidence of God's sense of humor) so I never get to exert my testosterone in that manner prior to working there.

The only wrestling I did as a kid was with my little sister when she'd let me. It was super cool that I could talk her into doing that. It went a little sumtin like this:

Me: "Hey Tiff. Can I please, PLEASE, do a pile driver on you! Your head will hit the couch. Nothing to worry about."
Her: "No way bro! I'm tired of wrestling!"
Me: "If you don't then I won't talk to you at school anymore."
Her: "So?"
Her: "Okay. But this is the last time."

That was it. As long as I got her to let me do the first one, I'd do wrestling moves on her the whole time WWF Monday Night Raw was on............and it was a 2 hour broadcast.

Working at the boys home was different. I usually wrestled and restrained them because of the imminent need to do so. I'm pretty sure every bit of man that needed to be released after years of captivity was done so during that job. It wasn't fun, but exciting nonetheless.

So I left that life to paint. I locate utilities. I paint blue, red, orange, green, and yellow lines on the ground all day. I deal with irate homeowners and contractors that don't have markings on the ground in time, I'm first on the scene when a utility is damaged, I rarely eat because it's so fast paced day in and day out, I see numerous black widows and wasps everyday, I open manholes, invade people's property, and weild the power of safety cones and a beacon light on my truck (amazing what power you have when you block off a lane of traffic with cones and cut on a safety beacon. People either regard you and care for your safety, or they totally disregard you and fly by, cuss you out, and throw whatever aluminum soft drink can they might have.....still full of the soft drink).

I like this job. I work outside all day. The minutes race by and the work day's over with before you know it. No punching a clock. I wake up, drive to my first job site, and work. The company pays for a take home truck, which goes without saying it a total thumbs up with gas prices these days.

I just stepped down from a supervisor position today. A million reasons why, but I found that I seem a little bit more sane when I don't have 16 different people's problems, and that's not counting contractors and homeowner's issues, to deal with on a daily. A copout? Maybe. But I know that I'll be in a better mood when I come home, and I know that the part of my job I have the passion for is locating, which I can't do as a supervisor. It was a grand experience though. Wouldn't trade that growth for all the beans in Italy.

That's my job. I'm a painter. It encompasses most of my life, which I don't like, but that's my own vice that I need to fix. I've been there 2 years now. I have now accured 2 weeks vacation. I shall now end this blog to fill out a request for said vacation. Sweet.