Friday, October 30, 2009

TNP Tailgate

Today at lunch was the Teague Nall and Perkins Tailgate. Every year Carol’s work has a Tailgate party during football season. It started on the Friday before the Texas Tech/Texas A&M game. There was a time when half the engineers from her office were from each school. However, times have changed; the University of Texas at Arlington has made a fine showing, so now it is known as the College tailgate.

All I know is that she is in her element during this event. Last night we bought all the meat for the Tailgate. We loaded up two baskets at Costco and I made a run to the Neighborhood Store to finish up what we needed. She spent until midnight getting all the meat seasoned. We got the grill loaded in her truck and had the cab of the truck stuffed with the food.

Carol spends the entire morning at work grilling. TNP invites all its clients, business partners, friends and family to attend. Carol never sits down during the whole event. She is grilling; making sure the food is stocked to be eaten. All the senior partners look to her to make sure it is time to start eating

Today I sat with TNP’s Office Manager, her husband and TNP’s insurance salesmen. I noted as they watched Carol working hard that it was my job to relax for the both of us.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Troop 5 had a wonderful open house this past Monday. We had visitors from three different packs check out all our boys, adults and equipment. I believe it was quite successful.

Since I just wrote about a Significant Object, I thought I would keep the theme going.

Troop 5 is a full uniform troop, with a neckerchief. I always set the example at meetings and campouts by being in full uniform. Little Troop 5 is one of the few full uniform troops in the council. In addition we wear our neckerchiefs drape around the neck without a slide or a woggle. This is done for three primary reasons. 1) It looks good 2) It looks different and 3) you don’t have eleven year old scouts losing their woggles. The bottom of the neckerchief is tied with a “friendship knot” better known as the “square knot”.

At the open house, I wandered around trying to look and act like a Scoutmaster. The troop had set up a backpacking camp site, a traditional camp site, food table, info booth and a slide show. During one of my visits, Mamoon Siddiqui presented me with a woggle that he had purchased at Baden Powell’s house in England. It is rather touching when one of your scouts gives you a scouting gift, so I slide the woggle onto my neckerchief and continued my trip around the open house

Chaos suddenly struck the boys and the adults of Troop 5. Why was I wearing a woggle? No matter where I turned people would ask. Some of the parents have not even seen me since I had the cast remove did not notice that, but the fact their scoutmaster was wearing a neckerchief slide big news. I had to explain over and over again it was a gift.

Funny how such a little thing can draw attention. Despite the distraction, the Open House carried on.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Weeekend Rides

I rode with Big Dave up to the normal 8 am Saturday ride at the shop. It was good to see the cycling gang. I may spend quite a bit of time with these people, but we only see each other on the bike. Rumors of my injury did filter to the group. I had to do some clarification and explanation as we began the ride.

I had already decided that I was only going to go out for two hours. That did give me plenty of time to do my traditional jawing with Tom Fumagalli. I chose a good time limit, because at the turning point the group was about to drop me. As I faded to the back with Big Dave to start to head home, Jeff Donovan noted that I was missed and that Tom had nobody to argue with while I was gone.

It is important to note that 2 hours on the bike makes you guilt free as you spend the rest of Saturday watching football with Aedan and Carol. As a rather young football fan, Aedan seemed more interesting in playing on the floor, but that worked for me as well.

When I sat down on my bike on Sunday, I quickly learned which muscles were the most sore from my Saturday ride. But it still was good to do back to back rides.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Slate Contest

I entered the Slate Signifigant Object contest. The paramaters of the contest was to write a 50o word or less story about an object. Below is my submission about the object above. I found it fun to do and staying under 500 words a chore.

Susan had married into the Grayston family twenty-two years ago and had had escaped hosting Thanksgiving Dinner. Family matters had been out of sorts since the family matriarch, MiMi Grayston, passed away in April. The Grayston clan would meet for the holiday at an 1100 square foot house in Old Town for the perfect Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by Grandma Mimi. Karen’s family was left out.

Susan had married the Grayston’s beloved youngest grandson, Robert. That man could do no wrong in the eyes of his MiMi or his parents. Of course they were not married to him, had to do his laundry, or listen to him explain the fallacies of the prevent defense, again. Her only family standing was the fact that she bore two Graystons--seventeen year old, Emily, the current reigning clan princess and twelve year old, Robert Jr.

She was annoyed, but it came as no surprise when her husband announced at MiMi’s funeral that he would host Thanksgiving Dinner that year. Susan knew then that she would spend two weeks getting ready for the horde and it could never meet the standards of MiMi. Susan knew why she was spending time getting ready; Robert would sit in his chair, give the remote control a work out, and watch her work herself into a tizzy.

MiMi was not a bad person. In fact, she was the sweetest lady Susan ever met. She was the only Grayston to treat her as part of the family. She died with such dignity even thought cancer ravaged her body. Susan remembered her last visit MiMi; her eyes were grey and her frail frame was just a shadow of herself. That is why Susan found herself crawling in the basement looking for that little brown Bar-B-Q sauce brush pot MiMi gave her that last visit. Mimi had looked at Susan and smiled, and said in a frail voice, “You need to have this. It has brought me such joy.”

Susan had no idea why this little dust collector was so important, but she did realize that it must be on her table for Grampy Grayston to see. She set the table, placing her treasured center piece sauce pot in its place of honor in front of the patriarch’s seat.

She felt ready for the judgment of her husband’s family and hoped, maybe this once the Graystons would appreciate her effort. The multitude gathered around the table. Karen was ecstatic when critical Aunt Lilly even complimented Susan on her efforts. The illusion of civility was there when grace was said and was abandoned when devouring of the over abundance began.

Robert Jr took the little pot to brush some sauce on his turkey. Susan swelled with pride as Grampy took the little pot out of Robert, Jr’s hand. Grampy looked at it carefully and announced, “Boy, I wouldn’t use anything out of this thing. That brush tickled your MiMi in places we can’t talk about at the table.”
Susan remembered MiMi’s smile.

Monday, October 12, 2009

October Campout

Little Troop 5 had a very uneventful Campout at Worth Ranch this past weekend. Considering in August, I broke my thumb and in September I crashed the bus, it was very nice to have an uneventful camp out.

The purpose of this campout was to begin the long journey to Philmont Scout Ranch with the first year scouts. One day, they will all go to New Mexico for a 10-day 70-plus mile backpacking trip, but this weekend was about getting them up a mile and a half up Kyle Mountain.

I have noted before there was a movie, but first years look like hobbits with their backpacks on heading out with the fellowship. Regardless of the advice you give them, they always take too much and over strap their backpacks. The journey up Kyle Mountain took them the amount of time I expected, I did not factor them in getting lost, but they still made it to the top.

I did make the journey with my portable Satellite Radio so I could listen to the Red Raiders play the Kansas State Wild Cats. I was in a very happy place sitting off to the side, listening to the Red Raiders roll, watching the boys cook on or by the fire, and staring at the stars. It was a wonderful scouting evening.

In the morning, we were greeted by a misty rain. I rolled over and found the classic vinyl rock station on the Satellite Radio. I very luckily woke the troop up with the boom box cranking “Get Back” by the Beatles. What an awesome way to start a day, as one of the boys noted, to “Rock Band” music.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


My life with a cast was cumbersome, although I quickly became fat and happy.

I attempted to stay in some kind of shape by riding the stationary bicycle. I quickly learned by sweating, the cast just stunk. It was not very enjoyable typing on the computer and smelling the cast.

So last Tuesday, for all intents and purposes, I exercised for the first time since I broke my thumb in August. I just ran a mile and a half. I have spent the last two days with my legs feeling like they did after I ran the Austin marathon.

It is amazing how quickly I fell out of shape. Yet I ran again today, there is always hope.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Visit from the Folks

I need to figure out time to blog. I really enjoy it and feel guilty when I don’t get to it soon enough.

My folks came into town for my birthday this past weekend. It was an enjoyable visit. Besides lots of fine Mexican food, barbeque, and fried cheese, we had wonderful visits with family. We had dinner on Friday with Brett, Brittany, Tamara, David and Aedan. It was really neat to introduce my parents to Aedan. This little 9 month old bundle of joy did not disappoint. We also had dinner on Sunday night with my Uncle Bill, his new wife Bet, my cousin Mark, his wife Julie, and their two children. In between there was shopping, a tour of the Tarrant County Court house and a football game in Lubbock.

It is always fascinating when your parents grasp a part of you that they really never understood. This accrued due to an interesting encounter with another Red Raider at Academy in Arlington. My sister sent my folks on a mission to get some Texas Tech T-shirts for her boys. My Mom, Dad and I were standing around quite the array of Texas Tech memorabilia. I was noting that we owed this section to Michael Crabtree for making that catch against Texas last year, because it used to impossible to find good Tech gear in the metroplex.

As I was waiving my hands around, I almost struck a guy. I turned to apologized and he had a Texas Tech Hat on. We struck up of conversation about the Red Raiders, where we were when Crabtree caught the ball, and the current situation with the team in Lubbock. He was another metroplex resident with season tickets in Lubbock that graduated two years before I finished my undergrad. I lost track of my parents as my new friend and started discussing games from the 80’s and 90’s. The conversation ended with a dissection of the current season. My new friend and I shook hands I went in search of my parents.

My Dad noted that he never saw two people talk so passionately about their football team before. I explained that is why I had season tickets, so that I could surround myself with likeminded people. I don’t think it was until my Dad witnessed this passionate Red Raider discussion with a complete stranger did he grasp the depth of my commitment. The kids and Carol were not surprised at all when the story was retold.

Friday, October 2, 2009

No Cast!

The cast came off today. The thumb is real stiff, but it is nice to take a shower without a bag over ones hand.