Monday, November 29, 2010

GPS Journey

GPSs are cool. 

When I left Danny's deer lease outside of Sweetwater this past Sunday morning, I hit the home button so it would calculate my arrival time.  That way when I called Carol I could give her a good guesstamation of my arrival.

I then realized that it was not taking me back they way I expected.  It was going to take me on the back roads on top of what I learned was 9 mile mountain. 
Anyone who has ever driven on I-20 between Abilene and Sweetwater, know they can see a bunch of windmills to the south.  My route to Abilene took me right through the middle of them.
For some reason I am fascinated by the windmills and truly enjoyed the trip through them.  Carol often accuses me of avoiding the back roads because I am not interested in the journey, but the destination.

I enjoyed the journey this time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

College revisited

This probably deserves so many more blog posts than I am going to give it, but life is moving real fast right now and the past week is going to get away.

I have spent time the past week or so with college friends. Some I have not seen in over 20 years. This strange journey started on the campout. Due to a very strange circumstances, my college friends Lauren and Steve were actually camping right next to little Troop 5 with their boys Dallas Cub Scout pack.

On the following Monday, I saw a significant portion of the college gang at our friend Rod's father's Rosary. Rod was one of my many college roommates, but also a member of my Catholic service fraternity, Chi Rho. Although a funeral is not the most happiest place to see old friends, it was still nice.

Then on  that Thursday, I ended up at Chi Rho happy hour in Irving. A larger group than Monday and even more people I have not seen in a very long time. It was also a nice time. I spent most of it breaking down the Texas Tech football season. It has become very clear and rightfully so, that I am perceive expert on all things Red Raider sports in the college group.

Saturday I drove to Sweetwater and picked up Danny Ortega at his deer lease to head to the Tech game in Lubbock. Again a Chi Rho college buddy, but I had not spent this much time with Danny in years. It was really cool to get a good visit and catch up with the details of our lives. I even spent the night at the deer lease on the way back. The REI camper hanging with the Cabela's crowd. It was fun.

Finally this past sunday night, I hung with two dorm buddies from my freshman year at Tech. I had not seen then in forever. Jay, Ken and I shared old college stories that I have not told in a long time. My freshman year I was given the nickname "German" because of coming from Heidelberg Germany. It was quite amusing when it all came together for Jay's wife, "so you're German!?!?".

I am not sure what all of this means, but I really feel like my college days have been reset and it will not be a long stretch between visits with these friends.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Camryn McIntyre

This past Tuesday, November 16, 2010, Camryn McIntyre became Little Troop 5’s 23rd Eagle Scout. (18th under my watch as Scoutmaster) Like most of my Eagle Scouts, Camryn is yet another screaming Eagle finishing everything just under the wire, but he made it

I did throw him under the bus when I introduced him to the Eagle Board. I always call Camryn the troop’s Labrador Retriever. He kind of wanders around to the beat of his own drum, but he is great to have around, and is a good crew mate. More importantly, the young Scouts are not threatened by him at all and follow his lead. This at times involves throwing rocks into the river, the pond, or the lake or the field. I think Camryn alone has caused the Brazos to raise a foot by the amount of rocks he has tossed into it.

I took Camryn to his first Scout Camp at Slippery Falls Scout Ranch in 2004. He was a wonderful apart of the 2008 Philmont crew. He is the only Troop 5 member to work both at Worth Ranch and at Sid Richardson Scout Ranch.

Camryn’s involvements in the troop lead to my friendship with his father Randy. In addition to Randy serving as committee chair, he was one of the three adults that went as Advisors to Philmont in 2008. If you have to spend 12 days camping with me and still talk to me, you have to be a friend.

Congratulations Camryn! Well deserved.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Life has been real busy and I am behind on my blog. It has been a good busy so I have lots to share.

I am not real sure who actually reads this blog, but the therapeutic nature of writing it down and publishing my thoughts have become real important to me. I will far exceed my goal of 8 posts a month in November if I get my act together.

So look for something soon.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nolan Tull

Nolan arrived yesterday weighing in at 8lbs 6oz and 19.5 inches long. I will save Tamara the internet picture of them together.

Words cannot describe how luckily I am to get to share in this experience. As previously noted in this blog, my first trip around with a baby was with Aedan. It was really cool to get to hold Nolan yesterday. He seems really huge in comparison to Aedan, who was 4lbs and 3oz.

I sent Tamara and David a text this morning at the hospital that summed up where I am on the arrival of a second grandchild.

Good morning to a glorious new world.  I am very proud  of all four of you.  Thank you for sharing your family with me.-7:07am Text

Monday, November 15, 2010


Little Troop 5 spent the weekend at Camp Constantin on Possum Kingdom Lake. Although completely surrounded by the Longhorn Council, Camp Constantin is the Dallas Council Camp, or as known in Scouting, Circle 10 Council.

I always tell parents if you want to know a scout troop, go camping with them. Little Troop 5 is a camping troop and this is what we do best. So we had a group of Webelos take us up on the offer. They Webelos might report differently, but I believe their campout was quite successful.

I was looking forward to our hike up to Johnsons Peak on this trip. I had done it one time before when the Troop made its only other visit to Camp Constantin 8 years ago. I had built it up to boys as the “Kyle Mountain” Trip for this camp.

So the crew of 15 boys and four adults embarked on the trip up to Johnsons Peak on Saturday morning, via the trail signs at Camp Constantin right outside the nature area. As always, I took my position in the back to have the boys get us up the trail. Besides the extra 15 minutes we spent trying to find the nature area, the boys did a good job of figuring out the map.

However, it became increasingly clear, that the trail to Johnson’s Peak had not been maintained since the last time I hiked on it. There were times where it felt we were not even on the trail, we were flat out bush whacking. I was very pleased with the boys keeping their spirits up as they dodges cacti, mesquite trees, and over growth as we made our way the mountain. It turned what should have been a 90 minute hike to the top to a two and a half our hike.

Due to the fact that the boys did not want to trudge back through the same brush, through some adult encouraging, we took the main trail back down to Park Road 36 with the plan to road hike back to camp. The extra time started to wear on the boys, particularly the Webelos. By the time we made it to the road, we were really straggling.

Luckily for the hikers, two assistant scoutmasters who were coming out on Saturday were at camp. Through the expert use of cell phones, the tired hikers were rescued on the side of the road. I still think we ended up doing about 7 miles of hiking, so it counts for something.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Clyde, Texas

As always, a Texas Tech football win makes it easier to write. Tech played one of their most complete games they have played in long time to beat the Missouri Tigers. Jeff Bennett made the journey with me for this game, because Carol could not bear to watch them play poorly in person. She was willing to watch them on TV and it was handy to have Carol at home to text me what replays were showing.

As a slave to routine, I always stop in Clyde, Texas on the way to or from Lubbock to eat at Whataburger. It is almost perfectly halfway if you take I-20 to Highway 84 route to the Hubbaplex to Dalworthington Gardens.

As Jeff and I were headed back home from Lubbock, in my eco-friendly little blue car with the road bike rack, it became clear we were part deer hunting, camouflage wearing, big truck convoy back to the metroplex. Apparently we are all creatures of habits and we all stopped at the Whataburger in Clyde.

I am not passing judgment on hunters. I respect anyone who gets up in the morning on a weekend to do something they love. Whether its golf, tennis, cycling, running, sailing, fishing, or in this case hunting.  I just want to note that the little blue Aveo with the peace sign hanging from its rear view mirror could not have been anymore out of place if I was trying in the Clyde Whataburger Sunday morning.

Jeff was concerned for my personal safety as I started to talk to all the hunters about their weekend exploits at the deer lease. I may not hunt, but I can talk the language. Most were not successful, but as they all agreed, that just means they have to go next weekend.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Heidelberg American High School

This past Friday evening, Carol and I met up with a bunch of Heidelberg American High School alumni. Carol was quite understanding.

Heidelberg was a very important part of my foundation in life, but I just viewed it as a place I was passing through and not a home. Before the age of the internet, I just assumed that I would never run into classmates again. Even the ones that ended up at Texas Tech with me, we seemed to part ways.

What seems to be a theme this year, through the magic of Facebook, I have been to reconnect with High School friends. More importantly, it has allowed me to connect with those that have a shared experience in Heidelberg.

We all have long lists of regrets in our life, but it becoming clearer that I should have cherished the people in High School as much as enjoyed the experience of living overseas. My visit with Francisco and now this past Friday has seemed to driving this point home.

One of the purposes of the evening was to commit to doing a Heidelberg Reunion during the Houston Live Stock and Rodeo in February 2011. I have concluded this is a must.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Micheal Kahlig

This past Tuesday Micheal Kahlig became the 22nd Eagle Scout in Troop 5 history. He is also the 17th under my watch as Scoutmaster.

Michael’s first summer camp was a Slippery Falls Scout Ranch in 2004. It has been fun to camp with Micheal over the years. He has been with me to New Mexico and was part of the 2008 Philmont Trek.  I can still see Micheal’s backpack in front of me, with everything in the world strapped to it as we are heading down the trail. We had no concerns of sneaking up on a bear with the noise his backpack made.

One of the blessing that Micheal has is that is like his father. Charlie Kahlig is one of the finest Assistant Scoutmasters you could ever have in your troop. Charlie is an Eagle Scout as well and understands the mission. He is supportive of the boys as the troop and when Charlie finally speaks his mind, is always relevant and thoughtful.

A second generation Eagle Scout is something special. Way to go Micheal! Congratulations!