Wednesday, June 18, 2008

And the winner is....

I received the following picture today and would like to go ahead and submit it as the official photograph of the 2008 parents of the year.

The photo came in an email with the subject 'The moment before the pain begins.' I think this certainly qualifies. At first glance you can't help but notice the guy getting smacked in the face by the bat (at a Rangers game no less - no comments about Rangers batting - at least they're .500 so far).

But look a little closer. I especially like the lady in the tanktop who continues shoving in nachos as if she knew the guy's face would take the hit. Everyone else is taking cover like they're in the middle of a hail storm. Except for the little girl in the middle. Yeah, that's her - the one who is basically being shoved toward the bat like a miniature human shield. I'm assuming that's dad and guessing mom's already under the seats. Congratulations to our winners.

I'd like to think that I would have reacted differently. You know, throw myself in harm's way to protect my children. But therein lies the problem. There's four of them. Do I grab the closest? The smallest? The girl? There is no good solution. No doubt any of these scenarios would only make way for future counseling sessions over the way 'dad liked you better' or 'always made things easier for you.'

So it's every man for himself. Kudos to this guy for figuring this out in advance and letting everyone take their chances.

We leave for New Mexico tomorrow and I'm ready. I leave here a pile of work and take with me lines and songs to memorize for the VBS musical and two bible lessons to write for summer camp. That's a vacation.

Seriously it will be great to get away for a little while. Even though I've been tied to the office and not seen the gym in three weeks I'm still planning a trip up Wheeler Peak. My partners from last year - Tate, Aaron and Kevin will have just returned from a Vegas getaway. Slackers. I'll text them from the top.

Be back on at the end of the month - unless our mountain accomodations have wi-fi. Don't count on it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dillon's a Mess

Like most parents, we like to joke about our children and refer to them as being a 'mess.' Well last Thursday the joke became reality for Dillon. In one of his first events as an official member of the Legacy youth group he had the pleasure of being turned into a sort of human mixing bowl.

See, Thursday was the annual messy game day. I actually had never heard of the event but it was refererred to as 'annual.' In any case, you can see it was messy and as you can also see - that was fine with Dillon.

Thanks to Allan for the pics. You can click on these for a larger view.

He was turned into a human sundae.

Then had some mustard, ketchup and I really don't know what else added.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Which costs more?

Next week we leave for Red River, New Mexico. Shanna's parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last November and instead of a party they opted for us all to take a trip together. I'm really looking forward to it and I know Shanna and the kids are as well. What I'm not looking forward to is a loaded down Suburban pulling a trailer being filled with $4 a gallon gas. Shanna and the kids do not yet know that we will be foraging the forest for food.

Note: This run up in oil prices really chaps me. Quit feeding me this garbage about it being a 'supply and demand' issue. Should some of this ridiculous price increase be attributed to increased demand and/or decreased supply? Sure. But think about this - the price of a barrel of crude in June 2007 was about $65. Today it's over $133. So logically if it's supply and demand one of two things has happened in the past 12 months. Either we're now using twice as much or there's half as much.

Ok, I realize that conclusion may not be sound from an economic theory standpoint but consider this article posted on CNBC Tuesday:

Bubble, Bubble, Oil Is Trouble …
Posted By:
Daryl Guppy
Topics:Commodities Energy Asia
Sectors:Oil and Gas
Is the world running out of oil? Or gold, or rice, or wheat, or almost any other commodity you care to name? Despite some usual shortages that have been offset by a surplus in other areas, there has been no significant change in the fundamentals of supply of most commodities.

Nor has there been a dramatic unexpected increase in demand from China, or India, or elsewhere for products in the commodity markets. The most likely culprit for the persistent and strong growth trend in commodities – speculators.

“Since the price hit $105, everything above $105 is speculation. Something like 50 – 100 billion dollars has poured into the market the last 2 months”, says Dr. Fereidun Fesharaki, CEO of FACTS Global Energy Group.

The disconnect between oil prices and fundamentals is a disturbing bubble...

Alright, enough of my rant. Check out this link for an interesting perspective on the price of oil:

CNBC - Which Costs More?

I found it very amusing until I got to Tabasco. That really hurt - I love Tabasco.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I guess I'm it

I've been tagged - or at least Allan's blog says I've been tagged. I don't know how this tagging stuff works and I'm not sure Allan does either. I wouldn't have known about the 'tag' if I hadn't read his entry for today. We may need to check with Mrs. Brownstone or Jennifer Green to find out the official tagging rules. Anyway, here it goes...

My life from A to Z:
A. Single or Attached? Attached. Very Attached.

B. Best friend? Shanna Leigh Corley Byrnes

C. Cake or Pie? Ouch. This is a hard one. I guess I'd have to lean toward cake since it pairs so well with ice cream.

D. Day of Choice? Now it's Saturday. Soccer's over so it actually feels like a day off.

E. Essential Item? My Crackberry
F. Flavor of ice cream? Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

G. Gummy Bears or Worms? Bears

H. Hometown? Home is North Richland Hills, TX. Born in New Orleans and lived there a year. Always planned on going back to see my first home. Mom says don't bother now.

I. Indulgences? Chips and hot sauce. It really should be it's own food group.

J. January or July? July

K. Kids? Dillon 12, Dawson 8, Delanie 6, Dakota 3

L. Last Movie I Saw in a Theater? Honestly I don't remember. I had to check the movie listings. I think it was Nim's Island with Shanna and the kids.

M. Middle Name? Barnett

N. Number of Siblings? Zero

O. Oranges or Apples? Oranges

P. Phobia or Fear? Allan singing 'One Day More' in the VBS musical

Q. Quote? "I don't want to shoot you and you don't want to be dead." Danny Glover in Silverado. Couldn't help it -it was on last night.

R. Reason to Smile? Too many to list. This sums it up...

S. Season? Summer

T. Tag Four More: Let's just say if you're reading this consider yourself tagged.

U. Unknown Fact About Me? My freshman roommate at OC was featured on Letterman's Stupid Human Tricks.

When we were roomies I don't think his face would have held more than three cans.

V. Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals? If by 'oppressor' you mean someone who likes to eat meat then that's me. However, I do enjoy a side of vegetables with my steak.

W. Worst Habit? Time management

X. X-Rays or Ultra-sounds? Ultra-sounds. I never bought any of those glasses - I didn't really think they worked. I know from experience that ultra-sounds work.

Y. Your favorite Food? Mexican. Any. Three meals a day.

Z. Zodiac? Capricorn.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Almost historical

I have to digress for a moment. I know I still owe the blog more pictures from the wedding. I'm still going through all of them. For now I have to express some sports frustration.

I enjoy sports. I watch it when I can and when I'm interested. Like many I become much more interested during the playoffs, championship series and even during certain streaks.

This year has seen it's share of streaks. I think it's fascinating to watch as a team tries to accomplish something that hasn't been done in thirty years or more. I just knew that this year I would be witness to history. I would be the person thirty years from now saying "I remember that season" or "I remember when that happened."

So let's review...

The Patriots. Tom Brady was quarterback for the fantasy team that Tate Tefertiller and I co-manage. Certainly Tom was a big reason that we were in the money for the second year in a row. But there are plenty of other teams I'd like to see in the Super Bowl - namely the Cowboys. However, by the end of the regular season I was pulling for the Pats to win it all. But I'm not a fan of the Patriots. I'm a fan of the game. I'm sure that the 72 Dolphins were great but they've had some miserable spokesmen and honestly I'd like someone to shut them up. So this was the year. The Pats were going all the way. The Super Bowl was merely a formality. Oops, they lost. And with that loss came more talk from certain Dolphin fans and ex-players about them being the greatest team ever. Don't even get me started on strength of schedule for the 72 Fins or the fact that Eli Manning should have been a Charger. Just leave me alone about the perfect season that almost was.

The Tigers. I don't follow the Tigers as close as I should considering my strong Memphis ties, but I do try to keep up as much as possible. This year they make a push to be the first undefeated team in NCAA hoops since 1976. Somehow they manage to lose to Tennessee at home. Payton Manning was at the game.

Note the obvious Manning connection.

By this point I'm getting a little desperate in my quest to experience sports history. Let's talk Stars hockey for a minute. The Stars had a good season and were definitely the underdogs in their playoff series against the Red Wings (who went on to win the Stanley Cup). They get off to a horrible start - down three games to none. Only two times in history has a team come from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series. The first time? 1942. The second? 1975. The current year? 2008. How many years between 1942 and 1975? 33. Between 1975 and 2008? Thats right, 33. You can't make this stuff up. You could say it was in the stars for the Stars to win. They win the next two games. Then they lose in game 6.

I didn't see the Kentucky Derby. I did watch the Preakness and saw Big Brown glide to victory by over 5 lengths. Doing so he became the fourth horse to win both races and still be undefeated. Much like the Super Bowl, the Triple Crown seemed just a formality. 30 years since the last Triple Crown winner. Big Brown ended up going out of the gate at the Belmont at 3 to 10 odds AND...

It wasn't even close. It was so bad that Brown's jockey basically pulled him from the race and had him trot the final straight.

Best I can tell, there's not much on the horizon. The NBA playoffs seem pretty normal. Still too early to tell for baseball. Oh

I will be able to tell my kids and grandkids that I remember when Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron's home run record. I can then go on to tell them the heartwarming story of BALCO, performance enhancing drugs, scandal, grand juries and congressional hearings.

I'll be straining my memory for something else unless the Rangers find a way to win their first ever playoff series. That would be more than historical - it would be miraculous. And it would require them to actually make the playoffs.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Halie's Wedding

We traveled to Quartz Mountain Resort this weekend for the wedding of our niece, Halie Swan (now Halie Thompson). Naturally the entire event was beautiful with pretty much everyone in the family, the whole family, having some part. Dawson led Dakota down the aisle on a miniature horse. Yes, you read that correctly - a horse.

Once the horse riding ring bearer (Dakota) and the horse leader (Dawson) are set, Dillon leads the horse off stage left. Now everyone is in place. In the video you will see Delanie - the flower girl on the left. You'll also see Dakota - the short one in front, and Dawson.

Dillon had a little lower profile role as far as the actual ceremony went. Now he was a tremendous usher. Of course the whole wedding thing is really an auto-pilot performance for him now. This was his ninth wedding to be in. With the exception of singing, performing the ceremony and actually being the one geting married, I don't think there's much he hasn't done.

After getting everyone seated he becomes the horse whisperer. He does an excellent job of keeping 'Scooter' happy and occupied during the ceremony. Then he leads him to the front so Dawson and Dakota can exit the same way they came in.

What happened after I really can't explain. I actually caught as much as I could on video just so I would believe it actually happened. Dillon, who had played a pretty low-key role during the wedding, decides it's time to take center stage during the reception. So that's exactly what he does.

More pictures to come as I'm able to go through them. I just promised Dillon I'd get him on the web ASAP in case Dancing with the Stars is looking.

By the way, Toby Keith was there too. Ok, he was actually there on vacation but Shanna fought past her normally shy nature and got him to pose for a few shots.