Sorry I have not posted in some time. I really enjoy posting but simply have run out of time in the day. In the grand scheme of things, bogging is actually pretty low on the priority list so it has fallen off the wagon. Perhaps I will be able to resume at some point but will sign off for the time being.
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Char and I are from the South so you wouldn’t think there would be much that takes us by surprise. However, there are a couple of things that still make me go, “hmm?” I take the back roads to and from work so I get a chance to see what’s off the beaten path. First question, why is the single wide mobile home still so popular? If you have ever been in a single wide, you know that it would be a unique living. Especially when you add a couple of dogs and kids. I might have figured it out coming home one day when I saw a good ole boy pulling one behind an F350. It’s all about doing it yourself I guess.
The second thing that is interesting is the decor of the garage (this is clearly for those who have moved up from the manufactured home). Every southern garage has a theme, whether it be NASCAR, college football, or professional football. You know who the man roots for if you have seen his garage. Nearly every garage has both a refrigerator and deep freeze. The refer is usually for the beer (Miller Lite for some reason) and the deep freeze is for the deer meat.
The last thing that is in the garage but usually not noticed until it’s on the road are the fake testicles hanging from the rear bumper or trailer hitch or rear differential of many 4X4 pickups. I might see 10 – 12 sets of truck testicles on my way to and from work. Some are larger than others and made with a variety of materials. My favorite are the stainless steal balls hanging from the differential. I mean that guy had to try hard to get those things up there and when he hits a bump they spark a little.
Ava routinely instructs us on what music to play while in the car. Some of her request would raise eye brows and her latest is no different. I made a CD about 10 years ago with a couple of Hank Williams Jr. songs on it. Like other CDs we burned off Napster, they were unlabeled and got mixed together with the other favorites. The CD with Hank got moved into the car and arbitrarily played. Now, about 50% of the time we get a request for “Jr.” Char and I wonder if she thinks Jr. is the same Junior on Veggie Tales. Needless to say we have been listening to Country boy can Survive fairly frequently. Considering the subject of the song and the context of our world today (Stock market down, etc.) got Char and I talking. You know, if the world really started falling apart, it would be the country boys that survived not the intellectual, politician, stock broker, sports star, college professor, actor, singer, music writer, or celebrity. Don’t you find it funny that the majority of the people the county admires are so dependent and would be the first to starve if civilization failed. My grandparents and parents for that matter all had gardens at one point or another. My grandfather had a great relationship with 3 or 4 of his neighbors. Each planted a garden and each focused on a group of vegetables. My grandfathers was corn, green beans, squash and Potatoes. The 3 to 4 would get together 4 times a year around the seasonal harvest times and trade / share. Everyone ended up having a nice variety of produce for the year. Don’t you find it interesting that many look down on country folks and think of them as backwards when in all actuality they are the only people that are self sufficient in this country.
Char and I have planned most of the major events in our lives. We spent our first years of marriage having fun overseas, traveling to wherever the Navy sent us. After about four years our parents would subtly ask about our plans for having children. After about seven years they were not so subtle and soon after figured that we may have decided not to have children at all. We always planned to have children but wanted to have our fun first. We knew that we would have more than one and that one of every two would be adopted. We felt that if they were close in age they would play together and learn from each other. However, we never expected for our first two to be as close at this… Regardless of how much you plan, there will always be those things that you can’t control. Binh and Ava are learning from each other but not exactly how we expected. Binh has suddenly began learning a couple of new words and behaviors. The most recent and significant word is “Mine” and the behavior is… well you should just watch the short video:
Like a pack of wild animals, they will work out the order of things and settle down eventually… won’t they?
The blog world has changed considerably in the last couple of days. The political blogging pages have went from accusing McCain of being old and making fun of him not knowing how many homes he has to shedding flesh. I have never read so many attacks on one person anywhere but then again that is the power of the Internet and blog world. You can find claims of an affair in Wasilla, kick backs from oil deals, racial slurs against Obama, and so on. Most reference unnamed sources. Not that I think anyone who matters would actually take these attacks seriously but it is the sweeping level of coordination that is alarming. On the lower end of the spectrum, some “neighbor of Sarah” emerges with a blog that says alot of things that are not substantiated, cannot be substantiated, half truths, or simply an opinion. On the severe end of the spectrum there is talk of her using racial slurs and her using her position to corruptly serve herself. These are all from second hand sources that do not want to be named. I decided to read every piece of legitimate source material from these articles and use any supportable facts from the articles to find an indication of character, which is what really matters, right? This is what I found:
1- She lowered her salary
2- Her City grew (which could reasonably explain the need for additional tax revenue supporting infrastructure)
3- Her popularity was sustained at a high level
4- She cut ALL property taxes, not just ones for “big business” as suggested by some
5- She sent out $1200 checks to Alaskans when the oil / gas money started rolling in
6- She kept her campaign promises
I did not find one supportable fact that would lead me to believe that Sarah is not who she says she is. She accomplished all this while still participating in life, raising a family and dealing with the challenges that go along with it. One must then wonder why so many want to cut her down, smear her record by telling half truths and labeling her as heartless… No wonder it is so hard to find good people in politics regardless of which side of the isle your constituents would want you to sit.
We average a move about every 2 years, so it seems we are constantly packing and unpacking. Over the last couple of years we accumulated a number of boxes that we simply never unpacked. In other words, bunch of stuff we did not really need any more. We don’t have a storage unit, big basement, or storage shed like in the past so it was time to have a garage sale. All those things that you kept telling yourself you were going to use… take it from me, you’re never actually going to use 95% of it. That tape deck, those roller blades, or that picture without the glass in it… junk. Junk that was taking up half our garage space. Not really sure why but I feel this uneasiness when the garage is in disarray. I don’t feel that way when I throw my clothes on the floor at the end of the day or leave the commode seat up but the garage is sacred for some reason. Its a man thing I guess, perhaps its the man-nest!…. Any way!, My point is that it felt great to actually get money for that old stuff. The first pic is of our little sale after the initial rush What I did not consider was the type of people that would show up, the questions they would ask and what they would and would not buy. You have the old ladies that arrive really early and try to get you to open early so they can get first dibs. Beware, these ladies will tackle you for quilts. Next come the old men. They usually don’t really look at what you have, they just ask you if you have X or Y. When you tell them no they ask, “Why not?” I’m not really sure how to answer that one. Then come the middle aged couples. These usually seem to be the best buyers (should be your target market in my opinion). Get ready because they are going to Uzi you with questions about prices and deals. But it is the middle aged singles that are most concerning.
Here is an example question I got from this group:
- How much for that thing up there in your garage? (clearly not part of the the sale)
- Do you have any cell phones, what plan are you with, can I see your cell phone?
- Guess how many wives I’ve had.
- Did you know that Asian nail salons use Dremels to buff nails?
These represent the first questions, it goes down hill from there. I appreciate them for helping us purge our extra stuff. If you’re in the South, I can assure you that you will attract a colorful crowd. The second pic is of the kids reliving good times on an old toy.
There are plenty of things to talk about and be thankful for this past week. First, Fay has come and gone and luckily done little more than help “water-in” our fire ant granules. I spent a lot of time moving big things around this weekend only to find that they either did not fit or didn’t look good. We still tried to have fun doing it though.
One benefit to having a small child (below the 50th percentile) like Binh is that the Pediatrician reminds you at every visit to keep the calories up. One way we do that is to put real butter on nearly everything we give him. Basically that means I also get to put that same rich delicious spread on just about anything that will hold it.
I am also thankful for beat up knees. Ava is a little clumsy at times however these cuts and scrapes are the kind you never feel because you are having too much fun at the time. She was not even aware of these until I asked her about them.
I am also thankful for all the laughs the kids provided this weekend. We have some great videos to post in the coming days (Getting a little late tonight). However, I just had to post this video tonight. Char and I put a desk on Craigslist and had the computer open to check the sale. Next thing we know Ava is up at the table and pushing buttons. Char asked her what she was doing and her response was so funny I grabbed the camera and asked her again and she returned the same response. The sobering fact of the matter is that in 5 more years I’ll be asking her to program my TiVo…