Tuesday, July 8, 2014

To Selfie ... Or Not To Selfie

I don't like selfies.

Wait. No. That isn't entirely true.

In certain situations and for particular reasons selfies are appropriate.

Really, it's the selfie that is taken just to draw attention to oneself that I dislike.  You know the ones. The fiftieth self-shot photo this week in which the person is in the same position, same location, same duckface, different shirt.

Here are some situations in which I personally have found it acceptable to take a selfie.

1. When you are pet-sitting for a friend, and you want him/her to know the little darlin' is alive and well.
Birdie is having a great vacation so far.

2. When there aren't adequate words to describe a gift that was given to you by a child.

Isaac made me a new tie for Father's Day.

3. When you want to commemorate an accomplishment.

We made it!  Five whole miles on our bikes!

4. When you want to capture a special moment with your son.

Jesse and I are enjoying a hot dog and vanilla coke at Jimmy's, a place from my childhood.

5. When you meet a former student at the ball game.

Look who I found at the game - it's Joe!!

 Recently I was challenged by my daughter, her friends, and her friend's mom to pose for a typical selfie.  I laughed at the idea, expressing my utter displeasure with the whole "selfie" idea.  But then I realized that I had, in fact, taken some selfies under the above guidelines that, when taken for the right reasons, were perfectly acceptable.  Anyway, they "challenged" me (they say dared, I say challenged because everyone knows I do not accept dares *cough, cough*) to post a typical teenaged bathroom selfie, wearing my best duckface, complete with the requisite toilet in the background.

So, here it is.

A duckface, a "Duck Commander" t-shirt, and a toilet make for the perfect selfie.

Challenge completed.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Memories of Dad

I visited your insurance office many, many times when I was a kid.  you always put me to work sorting papers or copying letters.  Sometimes you gave me a rubber address stamp and an ink pad and I would stamp over and over and over on a piece of typing paper.  I was so proud of myself for helping Dad "make insurance."

Every few weeks or so you sent me next door to "Honest Frank" for a haircut.  After I came back we would go next door in the other direction and get a sandwich and pickle from the Spic and Span Deli. We ate and talked.

We went to Stevens' Bakery on Sunday mornings and bring home those huge cinnamon things that were so big you could stick your thumb right through them and it wouldn't come out the other side. We called them "thumb buns." I'm not sure what the real name was.

When I had my first accident with your car, you dropped everything to be on scene within five minutes.  Even though the mishap was my fault you didn't yell or blame.  You just put me in Mom's car and took me out for lunch.

All those times you came downstairs and caught me getting a snack in the middle of the night ... you never ever ratted me out.

When I graduated from college you gave me a file box filled with every concert program, every newspaper photo, every picture you wer able to save from my whole life up to that point.

You helped me build things ... a rabbit coop, a bike, a styrofoam igloo.  You never said anything was too hard.

You helped me through night after night of math homework and all the temper tantrums associated with it.

You encouraged me to follow my dream, even though it destroyed your dream for me.

Dad, I miss you every day. I hope I eventually become half the father you were. This song is dedicated to you.  Happy Father's Day!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Boom! Crash!

I'm writing this post from my front porch where I came to enjoy this glorious thunderstorm.

It's something I've done since I was a little kid. Whenever I heard the crashing sound of the thunder or saw the powerful flash of light across the sky, the world stopped. All the busyness of homework or chores came to an abrupt yet excited halt as we rushed to the front porch to view God's powerful handiwork. Sheltered under the protection of the roof , we delighted in each white flash and frightening BOOOOOOM!!!

And so I am here again this evening, just as I was so many years ago, toes and pants slightly damp for the misty spray of the water hitting the banister.

Yes, for one blissful moment I can sit here and ..........ahhhhh.......

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Typical Sunday Morning

My wife and I have a bunch of kids and we love them dearly, really we do.  But there's just something extra special about a whole family trying to get ready for church on a Sunday morning that, well, gives me a special headache. 

For example, here are just a few of the questions and comments that were fired at Dear Ole' Dad (a.k.a. me) this morning between 9:00 and 9:30.

  • Can I have a banana?
  • Do you have to go to work today?
  • How many days until we go to New Jersey?
  • Will you download Monkey Soccer on my GS?
  • Are we go8ing to church?
  • Are we eating lunch at church?
  • Does this sweater match?
  • Will you get my shirt down from the hanger?  I can't reach it.
  • I can't find my shoes.
  • Did anyone feed the dogs or the birds?
  • How many toys can I take to church? 
  • Will you take me to Kmart for batteries?
  • What's for breakfast?  Can I have a banana?
  • Can I have a cookie?
  • Are you gonna finish that coffee?
  • Do I look stupid in this?
  • Can I watch a movie?
  • Will you button this?
  • Can I have a piece of cake?
  • Will you open the garage so I can get my bike out?
  • Are we going to Grandmom's today?
  • Can I watch TV?
  • What was your favorite song in "Frozen?"
  • You should direct a play.
  • Can I audition for Tri-Town Theater?
  • Do you like Clifford?
  • Is this too small on me?
  • Did anyone see my pocket knife?
  • Will someone please go down the cellar for toilet paper?
  • Can I have some Mentos?
  • Will you unbutton this?
  • Can I have a piece of tape?
  • Will you pour me some milk?
  • Can I have another banana?
  • Maggie's chewing my sock.
  • Are we having pizza?
  • Is anyone going to make more coffee?
  • Why is she having a cookie???
I just thought I'd share a typical, peaceful Sunday morning here in our house. :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

I'm Cold.

I've never been cold.  Always warm.  Even in the middle of winter I have comfortably worn a t-shirt without being subject to the shivering that is so common when the temperature drops to arctic depths. Maybe I needed a coat to keep me warm, but I was never uncomfortably cold.

That is, until I had surgery.  In the time after a minor health issue and a few surgical procedures I have turned into a different creature.  I'm cold.  Shivering, shaking, creaking bones, can't catch my breath cold.

It's true that I complain just as much about the summer heat, as I am unable to breathe when the temperature rises. But I am ready to admit that I have had enough of the climate in New York and I am ready to move south to a warmer place. 

Yes, I'm that cold.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy Birthday To Me

Birthdays.  They come every year.  Yesterday was mine.  I’m getting close to the “mid-point,” if you know what I mean, and as I gain years and wisdom I find myself thinking more and more about what really makes me happy.
Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

The question “what do you want for your birthday?” inevitably comes up when my special day approaches, and I never know what to say.  Sure there are things I want but do I really have to have them?  I also want some things that aren’t things, but I have pushed aside many of them as impossible or at the very least too exhausting to achieve. 

I generally answer the question by stating that as long as (1) my family is around me and (2) there is cake, I’ll be happy.  Presents are nice but in the end they are things that don’t last.  The non-things I desire are what will bring true happiness. 

Yesterday I had a steak dinner, birthday cake and ice cream, was surrounded by my family and friends, and received a few gifts that I both wanted and needed (okay, maybe I didn’t need a grocery bag filled with M&Ms)

It was a good day.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Hwy 7 Bar and Grill

Last night I went to Hwy 7 Bar and Grill in Bainbridge, NY to have a late supper with some friends.  The atmosphere sort of reminds me of a cross between a friendly neighborhood bar and a Texan sports bar with rustic charm.  A number of flat screens are tuned to different channels throughout the place and classic rock mixed with 60s and 70s tunes were playing over the sound system. Our table was in a warm corner and even though it was near the door, we were quite nicely protected from the cold air when people entered the

The staff was very friendly.  We even had a personal visit from the owner, as did every other table in the joint.  Our drinks and food arrived quickly after being ordered, and refills were offered frequently enough that we didn't run dry.

The food ... The first thing up was a dessert pretzel item that included a sweet, creamy white chocolate, whipped cream dipping sauce.  This was the most unusually delicious appetizer I've had in a very long time.  It seemed almost wrong to have a dessert-like appetizer, but it sure was tasty!

I ordered the American cheeseburger, which consisted of 1/2 ground round with American cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion on a brioche roll.  Cooked medium, please. :)

That's what I ordered. I received the "Amazing Bacon Burger."  Someone else got my order.  I decided to not make a big deal of it.  After all, it was still a burger with a; those things a burger normally has, PLUS BACON!  And even though it was well-done as opposed to medium, it was juicy without soaking the bun, and the condiments were well-placed on the burger so they stayed put without destroying the integrity of the sandwich. 

So, even though my order was wrong, I still had a very good sandwich and a pretty good experience at Hwy 7 Bar and Grill in Bainbridge, NY.  

I definitely would give it another try.