Friday, March 31, 2006

The ultimate lawn ornament

I didn't ask the guy at the salvage yard what it was from (ship, tank, armored vehicle, soccer-mom minivan?) or how much he wanted for it, or even where he got it. I just took the picture and day dreamed the following conversation...

"Please honey, I'll plant some impatiens around it and you'll hardly even notice it!"

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Today's lesson from a 3-year old

Click here for a short video demo.

Any questions?

Hello Kitty seems a little out of place here on the prairie. I imagine lots of them end up as meals for Hello Coyote, Hello Bobcat, Hello Roadkill, and Hello Big Mean Cujo-esque Barn Dog.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Breaking a man's tool

On our recent spring-break-o-rama, we took the girls to the Discovery Center of Springfield, in Missouri.

I dig these types of interactive science-based ankle biter museums as most geeky fathers (who have yet to grow up) do.

You know you're out there, men, so speak up.

The girls dug it, S tolerated it, and I bounced from display to display, finding one experiment cooler than the next.

C took to one hands-on exhibit more than the others -- it was a huge magnet in a trayful of sand, and stuck to the magnet was oodles and oodles of black iron ore micro nuggets.

She was fascinated by every aspect of the display, the "stickiness" of the "black stuff" to the magnet, how you could mold it into shapes, the black color, the texture, and most of all, by the fact that the iron ore was hiding in the sand, just waiting for a person with a magnetic personality to free it from it's granular bounds.

Once I told her that we could perform the same ore mining activity in her sand box when we got home, she was hooked and became obsessive/compulsive girl at the prospect of finding the same black gold in her very own golf course hazard in a box.

The road trip eventually ended, we eventually came home and I was eventually searching in my garage for a suitable ore mining magnet as C excitedly hopped up and down 14 dozen times or so.

Then the mistake occurred. I gave her my tool.

It was a muscular, telescoping pick-up tool, with a stainless steel shaft, cushioned grip, and handy pocket clip.

He (cars are "she", tools are "he") had a nuclear powered 16 lb. magnet on the end, capable of lifting up engine blocks, houses off their foundations, or stray bolts that had fallen out of reach under the engine compartment. I had picked this tool up at an auto swap meet some years ago and it one of those tools that you didn't use every day, but when you did need it, it became a time-saving, back-sustaining, profanity-suspending life saver."Daddy, I broke something..."
My 6-year old version of Tim "The Toolman" Tayler had managed to lose the magnet when she was attempting to hammer (yes hammer), the stainless steel shaft of the telescoping pick-up she had accidentally bent, back into shape. The hammering caused more damage that it had originally intended to fix, providing additional bends, tweaks and dents under the careful hands of my daughter.

Rendering my beloved tool beyond repair.

This is me, counting to ten...

Tools can be replaced (most of them). Memories such as this can't.

Best part of the whole deal was when C slyly told me that it was MY fault that it was broken, since I was the one who let her use it.

Now, where did she learn that behavior?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Variety is the spice of gas

Spotted at a gas station on our recent trip to the Show Me State.

Who knew such freedom of choice existed at the pumps?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Don't touch that dial

The stereo in my El Camino has 12 preset buttons for FM, and 6 for AM.

I installed an old, used Sony that $5 plus $8 shipping from eBay sent to my doorstep. The wires were cut and not labeled, there was no faceplate, no manual, and no knobs -- which is why it went so cheap.

I was able to correctly connect the myriad of wires to their appropriate appendages, am running it without a faceplate, found a manual for it online as a pdf file, and put some knobs on it donated by an old car stereo from my past.

Lately, I'd been disconnecting the Elky's battery at night and taking it inside the garage to be trickle charged. It was on it's last leg and I was procrastinating buying a new battery since I was only using the red and white car/truck beast on runs to the dump, or to pick up large items that S would buy at an auction.

Disconnecting the battery would all but wipe out the preset radio stations that I had assigned to the Elky's Sony. Since the car was only being used for short burn-out free trips around town, I usually didn't even bother turning on the stereo, opting instead to relish in the sound of a healthy American V-8 expelling exhaust gasses via 2.5" exhaust pipes and dual fully-welded SpinTech mufflers.

Besides, resetting all 12 FM stations always proved to be time consuming, as I hadn't yet memorized the station selections of choice.

Those days are no more. It's taken me almost a year, but I think I have finally memorized the main 12 FM preset radio station buttons in my car stereo.

This may not seem to be a big deal, but historically, whenever I would travel and rent a car, the first order of business was channel surfing the FM band to find radio stations to my liking, assign them sequentially to the numbered preset buttons, then figure out the various other controls of the rental vehicle.

Somehow, having the radio presets tuned to stations of my liking provided me with a sense of security and familiarity in strange surroundings. Besides, I didn't want to have to be constantly scanning the FM band trying to find decent background music for my life, all the while navigating highways and byways foreign to me.

Stands to reason then, that I was anxious to find stations suited to my taste in music when I made the move eastward.

Fortunately (or not), OKC is somewhere in the top 100 media market listing for the US, and as such gets all the same, syndicated radio station prattle that one can find in just about every major market city.

We have a KISS-FM. We have the new "iPod-on-random-play-like" station BOB-FM (called Jack-FM in LA, thanks Mark B). We have several golden oldies stations, a couple different levels of rock (from KLOS to KROC in LA), the required easy listening tunage (very KOST-FM like), one or two rap oriented signals, and yes, even a country music radio station or two...or three...or twelve.

I finally broke down and bought a new 1000 CCA megabattery for the Elky (car show season is quickly approaching), and took the time to set the presets on her stereo. Much to my surprise, I was able to scan and set the 12 FM stations by memory, recognizing the numbered station ID's as they blipped green on the digital readout of the stereo.

It was small moment of triumph, but a significant one. I am no longer a visitor here. I am starting to feel like a (gulp), resident.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Cajun termites

Beware the hidden dangers in your mulch.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Watching the end credits

Like most younger siblings, I was influenced in ways both big and small by my older sibling.

For instance, my brother and I have always watched the ending scroll credits of a movie. Looking back, I think it was his way of forestalling the inevitable end of the temporary escape that the movie offered.

Amazing that the long scrolling closing movie credits are a relatively new phenomenon, credited (I believe) to George Lucas and Star Wars - Ep IV. Think about it. Before 1977, the end of the movie was generally, the end of the movie. The End, Fin, that was all you got.

As I got more interested in the filmmaking process, first as a youngster with my Dad's old 8mm Canon and Kodak tape splicing kit, then as a semi-serious undergraduate tv major, to a much more serious graduate film student at UCLA, only to become a not very serious at all worker bee in the independent film world, my childhood routine of watching the entire end credits of a movie grew to become a necessity. A required part of the movie going experience.

It was fun to watch for familiar names in the myriad of proper nouns that passed up and out of frame.
Hey, there's Susan. Guess she's still at ILM.
Look, Donald worked post on this.
Wow, Todd was 2nd AC.
Oh, remember Paco, was he a PA on that Corman film you worked on?

As time has passed, quite a few of my friends, acquaitances, co-workers, and people I knew or met through other people have moved from the small fonts at the end of the film to the large fonts at the beginning of the film. Yet, I still get a thrill at seeing a familiar name.

And like any good parent, I have passed this odd behavior instilled upon me by my brother, onto my daughters.

Yesterday evening, I took the girls to a matinee of Aquamarine," which C has been "just dying" to see since she saw the trailer a few months ago.

Duly trained, as the film ended happily ever after and those around us gathered their belongings and made way for the nearest bathroom, the girls didn't move a muscle.

Conscious of the rolling credits, parental instinct kicked in and I proceeded to perform my fatherly duties -- collected up the coats, hats, mittens and toys that the girls had strewn about our aisle.

The credits rolled.

Turned the ringer on my cell phone back on and checked my lap for the missing Milk Dud that I just knew had gotten wedged between my shirt folds instead of the death pit of the theater floor.

And still they rolled.

Checked the girl's popcorn buckets and determined whether or not there was enough to salvage for my wife to munch on later that night.

Rolling, rolling, rolling.

Finally I said, "You guys almost ready to go?" C pointed to the screen, still sitting contently in her chair and muttered, "They're not done yet."

I looked up and whadya know...staring me in the face was a familiar name, Alex Dai.

I still find it amazing how your eye-brain connection can pick out a single name in all those scrolling names, and instantly playback a memory about that person in the movie theater of your mind, all the while continuing to scan the still scrolling names.

Alex was credited as the Storyboard Artist for the film. I had known him as a Tech Support Agent at my former cube-farm job.

He was a talented, fledgling comic book artist at the time, and a helluva good Mac Tech Agent. During our "sentence" as TS agents, we shared some good laughs over tech support calls, ate some nasty fast food during our alloted 30-minute lunch breaks, and generally got along pretty well. My brother is a talented undiscovered comic book writer, and Alex and I would talk at length about the dificulties of breaking into that industry. I actually do recall mentioning to Alex the possibility of trying his hand at Storyboarding, since I knew of some artists who were doing it and making decent dinero.

I lost contact with him when our company outsourced most of it's call center jobs offshore. Guess he decided to go a different direction with his art. Good for him.

The end scroll was over, the girls were ready, the lights were up, and I had another one of those moments that makes life itself, an interesting movie indeed.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


My 3-year old daughter has a playmate who she calls "Frannie."

Everybody that my daughter is afraid of, Frannie is afraid of.
Everything that my daughter wants for Christmas, Frannie already owns.
Everywhere that we go together, Frannie has already been there.

In my daughter's words..."Frannie is a little girl with black hair, blue eyes, wings, and is dead."

Frannie is my daughter's imaginary playmate.

At least, that's what my wife and I believed.

Since moving to our 100-year old house, both my wife and I have become accustomed to hearing the sound of child-sized footsteps on our wooden floors, approaching our bedroom in the middle of the night.

Thirst, nitemares, chilly evening temperatures -- all seek to drive my daughters from the relative warmth and comfort of their own beds in their own room to the absolute warmth and comfort of mommy and daddy's bed in mommy and daddy's room.

I'm a heavy sleeper. My wife is a light sleeper. Yet we both awake when we hear the unmistakeable sounds of one of our offspring waking and coming in for a feather bed landing. Parental/instinct type of ESP.

Lately, after being awakened by what we both perceive to be the sound of one of our daughters coming to have a 2 a.m. bedside picnic and discussion of the days events, we are finding neither one of them on approach to our bedroom.

Call it the house settling, or the floor settling, or the outside temps making the floor boards expand and contract when coming into contact with the inside temps.

Call it what you want. But we call it our little ghost.

And our 3-year old daughter?

She calls it "Frannie.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Stop sign down

Guy gets in his truck to change out a stop sign.
Guy hits the stop sign with the truck.
Stop sign hits car parked near stop sign.
Stop sign causes $1000 worth of damage.

Stop sign - 2
Citizens - 0

Monday, March 20, 2006

Spring Break-O-rama

Just returned from a Spring Break road trip from our neighboring state to the northeast, Missouri.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the slideshow.

Oooh, get your hands washed today...
S smiled slyly at me and muttered, "an interesting hand wash experience awaits you," as she returned from the ladies lavatory.

I was nonplussed.

Until, that is, I output several pints of Sonic vanilla Diet Coke in the Missouri Welcome Center men's room, and went to wash my hands.

I found this wonder of handwashing technology awaiting my soiled metacarpals.

This was going to be a great trip.

Amusing amusement park
Silver Dollar City is a jacked up version of Knott's Berry Farm. Only without as many thrill rides, but much more atmosphere and eye-candy for adults interested in arts, crafts, and all things Ozarkian.

C was thrilled to be over the 42" height limit on all but one of the "big people" rides. S reported that C screamed and whimpered through most of the 2-minute vomitfest known as "Powder Keg."

I'm still in shock that S volunteered to take C on it, since she hates anything fast, spinny, droppy, or twirly.
S said this was her very last thrill ride in her life.

Must have been pretty good.

We stopped momentarily to watch one of the dozens of stage shows (we were, after all, only a few miles from Branson proper) going on at the park. Our "favorite" was the appearance of the "American Kids" and their rousing teckno/disco version of "Joshua fit the Battle of Jericho."

And the walls came tumbling down.

It seemed as if the majority of folks we were spending our time and hard earned cash with in the park were spring-breakers from Oklahoma, as just about everywhere we turned we saw bellies stretching out OU sweats, sweaty heads in OSU hats, entire families adorned in Eskimo Joe tees, and cute as button couples in matching Hornets team wear.

Themepark theme of the day was "large people on small rides."

Missouri on a full stomach
Had some great sourdough pancakes at a little eatery called BillyGails Diner on Highway 265. C made a face after her first bite, since they weren't what she had come to expect from a traditional pancake. But I loved them for their uniqueness. My only suggestion would be to serve them with a warm fruit compote (berry or otherwise) instead of the pure maple syrup on the table.

Highlight eatery of the trip was Lambert's Cafe in Ozark, home of the Throwed Rolls. Yes, both of the girls caught several of the warm, chewy rolls "throwed" at 'em. A proud parental moment indeed.

During our short trip, we all had one too many servings of fried okra. As good as it was, the overabundance of the slimy fried vegetable sent us out into the chilly Missouri night to find a more varietal menu. We lucked upon a Greek restaurant of all things, shouted "Opaah!" again and again, until we found out that their special of the day was...a ribeye steak with deep fried okra.


We avoided the local special and instead ate our fill of dolmades, souvlakia, and hummus. Food of the Gods, baby.

What the f*ck?
We took the girls here.
No comment.

Then came Branson -- with apologies to Michael Parks
Branson itself is a trip. What apparently started as a single musical theater back in 1959 to entertain the local fishermen has become a bustling town catering to an elderly crowd of rv-er's, goldwinger's, retiree's, and multi-generational families stuffed into 4-door domestic sedans. Bragging to have over 40+ musical theaters in one town, Branson is very Las Vegasian without the gambling.

Impressions on driving in Missouri.
MoDOT sucks.

Call me a spoiled, Los Angeleno-raised-on-CalTrans'-relatively-well-thought-out-lowest-common-denominator-signaged roads, but when it came to deciphering the road signs on the Missouri highways, both S and I were stymied.

Arrows pointing in the wrong direction, a full 10 feet of warning before roads ended or merged, confusing as h*ll overhead signs on the interstate...

I don't know. Maybe driving around on the OK highways for the last year has dulled my ability to navigate the highways of a foreign land.

Final thought...
Why do Missourian's pronounce their states name as "Missouruh?"

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Big freakin' ancient jurassic park fish

Hey kids, get on your swimsuits and let's go a swimmin' with these harmless little lake fishies...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Okie faux paux?

Recently, we celebrated my youngest daughter's birthday over at my in-law's house.

My Mother-in-law brought out a beautiful chocolate bundt cake, decorated with pink frosting and titanium coated packaged sugar decorations.

It looked awful....BUT, since it was what PK asked for, it was what she got.

The cake was tasty when accompanied by a strong cup of joe, the girls just licked the frosting off of their pieces, and we sang several choruses of the HB song, indulging the birthday girl's desire to blow her candles out multiple times.

Eventually, table talk got around to the origin of the cake. Knowing that ready-made bundt cakes are not readilly available even at the get-ready-to-git-n'-go WalMart Supercenter bakery, I haphazardly asked my M-i-L when she found time to bake the bundt.

She smiled, pointed to the freezer and said, "I thawed it out yesterday."

Which leads me to my question for today...
Would serving a chocolate bundt cake that was brought over to my Mother-in-law's house by a well-wishing friend for her Mother's funeral services and has been cooling in the freezer since my wife's Grandmother died to my 3-year old for her birthday, be considered an entertaining faux paux?Now, I know it is a big thing here for friends, neighbors, bring over baked goods and casseroles during the time of a lost loved one. My in-law's kitchen table and counters were brimming with goodies, snacks, and full 10-course meals adorned in saran wrap and foil wrapping during the weeks following my M-i-L's mother's passing.

And rather than toss away what couldn't be consumed in a timely fashion, why not freeze the rest, to be enjoyed later...right?

I'm ignorant to such things and when I asked my wife, who is vastly more knowledgeable of such things, it led to a discussion of such things as behaviors which are most definitely of the faux-paux nature here in the Land of the Red Man.

Here are a couple things that my wife has told me are "faux-ho-ho-ho paux" (her phrasing) in the social circles of Oklahoma society.
  • Including information on a gift registry in your wedding invitations.
  • Apparently you should get this information from another source if you want to find out where the bride/groom are registered. To include this info in your wedding invitation is presumptuous and sends the signal that "you are only being invited to our wedding if you bring a gift."
  • Having a family member give your bridal shower.
  • Apparently, the shower should be arranged and hosted by a friend of the bride, and never a direct family member. It should also not take place in the bride's home or home of a direct family member. Addendum to this is that a bride should never, ever, ever give a bridal shower for herself, in her own home/apartment. Faux-ho-ho-hi-de-ho paux.

    There are others, oh yes. There are many, many others.

    Life can be complicated out here on the prairie.

    Monday, March 13, 2006

    The Way of the Slurp

    It had been a particularly grueling morning at our upstairs consruction site, building furdowns around the recently installed heating/ac ducts. I was physically wiped out, but I took the time to make a decent lunch for the entire construction crew - my Father-in-law and I.

    I prepared spaghetti with meat sauce, sweet italian sausage and made-from-scratch-hot-from-the-oven garlic bread sticks for lunch.

    Amazingly enough, this was the first time in almost 20 years of knowing my Father-in-law, that I actually watched my him eat spaghetti.

    He spread the pile of sauce laden pasta evenly out on the plate and used his fork to cut off bite-sized squres from the oodles of noodles. Each square was a perfectly symmetrical assemblage of spaghetti.

    It then occured to me that in my F-i-l's view of the culinary world, this dish of pasta was just another type of casserole. Serve it on a plate, fork off a piece, and consume it promptly. Neat, tidy, no fuss, no flying sauce, no need for a bib or safetly goggles.

    When publicly consuming pasta, etiquette and good manners forces me to practice the fork-twirling-in-the-spoon technique. Get enough on your fork to fill your mouth, fill your mouth, bite off any straggling noodles, catching the bitten off pieces on your spoon before they sloppily land back on your plate.

    However at home, in the presence of my immediate family, I practice the Way of the Slurp.

    I blame my Hawaiian/Asian roots for this, but noodles in soup of any kind (ramen, saimin, udon, soba, etc.) only tastes right when they are slurped loudly and with all the gusto of Winnie-the-Pooh eating a jar of honey.

    Which brings me to the task of which I am now faced. That of teaching my daughters the Way of the Slurp.

    Once they master the technique (it's not easy to slurp noodles and soup without the occassional gagging or coughing a noodle out your nose), then I'll teach them the more "public" methods of eating noodle dishes.

    It is my hope that the day we take our daughters to the land of their ancestors, order some steaming hot ramen noodles, break apart the chopsticks and commence to consume the delightful delicacy in a bowl, they will slurp with abandon, impressing natives and locals alike.

    Friday, March 10, 2006

    In search of...pastrami

    Pity me, for it's been almost a year and I haven't found a good pastrami sandwich here in my adopted state.

    To clarify, I'm not a New Yorker, so I'm not a corner-deli-cold-pastrami-on-rye-with-mustard kinda guy. Sure, there are some authentic-feeling deli's in the metro area (I say "authentic-feeling" cuz any New Yorker reading this will argue that the only "authentic" deli's are in NYC -- the same ones that say that pizza places outside of NYC claiming to serve "New York style pizza" are frauds since you need to use NYC water to make authentic NY style crust.)

    I'm a So Cal native, so I like my pastrami steaming hot from dripping stainless steel troughs, piled high and fatty on a french roll, dipped in some au jus, with a miniscule dab of spicy brown mustard and kosher dill pickle slices lining the bun.

    Open faced, open mouth, iron stomach, pass the freakin' Tums.

    Where I grew up there were two greasy joints that served it up the way of the So Cal pastrami samurai...

    The Hat - $6.49 for pastrami that is both extra lean and fatty at the same time, then dipped in au jus to become heaven on a bun. For extra punishment, try the double-cheese-pastrami burger. Yep, it's viciously that good.

    Top's - $6.29 for a pastrami torpedo worthy of a Tim Burton themed, gluttony induced nightmare. Feeling suicidal? Try the chili-cheese fries (half order only, since a full order will feed all the Katrina hungry for a year). Just don't the let chili-cheese cool off, or you'll need to rent a jackhammer from Home Depot at $50-a-day to get to the fries underneath.

    I google'd "pastrami oklahoma" and came upon this fellow's website. He's a paper pusher at OU and in his profile professes to be on the search for "a quality pastrami sandwich in the metro area."

    I emailed him and he wrote right back."Not yet, but hope springs eternal!"Nice sentiment, but it still leaves my gullets predilection for pastramic paradise sadly vacant.

    Thursday, March 09, 2006

    From the police blotter

    I'd file the first story under, "When high school girls and the big purses they carry go BAD."The second one would have to go under, "Didn't that happen to little Ren McCormick (Kevin Bacon is 5'7") when he was driving around in his little yellow beetle in the little Texas town of Beaumont in the little 80's classic, Footloose?"

    Wednesday, March 08, 2006

    B-ball is king

    C came home with a note in her backpack from school yesterday.EARLY DISMISSAL - THURSDAY, MARCH 8TH
    School will be dismissed early on Thursday, March 9th. We will start loading buses at 1:00p.m. Parents, please have your children picked up NO LATER THAN 1:30 P.M.

    I still haven't gotten used to the elevated status that high school sports play in this part of the country. High school scores are regularly included in the local evening news shows. Big games are commonly broadcast via tv or radio. Even my father-in-law knew that the girl's team at our small town's high school had made it to state.

    Our local paper devotes an entirely separate section to the local sports scene.

    High school sports are serious business in my small town.

    I varsity lettered in wrestling back in my high school daze at 168 lbs.. I don't think I would have even made the 3rd string team had I gone to high school here.

    Maybe the Mat Maids would have had me.

    Tuesday, March 07, 2006

    Breakfast with the Captain

    My wife bought the girls their first box of Captain Crunch.

    It's a sugary sweet taste treat, that along with toast, juice, and milk makes for a complete breakfast.

    I hadn't had a bowl in well over 20 years.

    It tastes the same.

    Afterwards, C asked me to look into her mouth to tell her if she's bleeding. She had apparently fallen victim to the infamous "Captain-Crunch-making-mincemeat-of-your-upper-palate" syndrome.

    Unless you allow the sweetened cubes of the Captain to soften up a bit by soaking in milk for a year or two, the sharp butted nuggets effectively scrape the first two layers of skin off whatever fleshy surface they come in contact with.

    Rumor has it they came out with the crunch berries (spherical shaped for less blood curdling screams) to lessen the effects of the golden nectareous ingots.

    Many a saturday morning cartoon marathons were marred by the long lasting effects of the Captain's lethal crunch.

    Friday, March 03, 2006

    Chocolate from cowboy way of Walmart

    PK and I trekked on down to the closest WalMart Super-dee-duper-center to get some j-rice and a jar of kim chee. The only other stores I've found nearby that carry these two much needed items in my household are the Asian grocery stores just north of downtown OKC - a good hour drive for me.

    Amazingly, the Walmart Super-freakin'-center about 30 minutes south of my small town, carries both items on a regular basis.

    My steady hands gripping the cart with PK riding shotgun, we made our way for the entrance nearest to the groceries. Just outside the 40-odd doors of the southern entrance, I noticed several young high school types hocking candy bars as a fundraiser for their church school.

    Myself being a hardened veteran of C's Campfire Kids USA candy sale, and her elementary school candy/nuts/cookie dough/frozen desserts fundraiser, I nodded knowingly to the tall freckly girl in the middle and murmered that I would swing by on our way out.

    Unfortunately for them, I exited the building from the north entrance (oxymoron, I know), a good 7 clicks (WalMart Supercenters are marathon man huge) from where the waifish Baptists were selling their quickly melting candy bars (it was unseasonably warm and in the high 70's that day).

    I completely spaced on my murmered promise until I was more than half way done overstuffing the 1 cubic-foot of available space in Otto's trunk with freshly purchased Wal-groceries.

    Oh well. The church school loses out and my family goes cocoa-bean less for another night.

    Just as I slam dunk the trunk, out of nowhere, a tall, slim stranger, wearing a tan-suede cowboy hat (I couldn't make this stuff up), steps up, hands me one of the huge almond-laced chocolate bars that the girls were selling and says in what had to be the best non-Brokeback Mountain cowboy twang I've ever heard, "Here ya go, pardner. I don'ta each this here chocolate, but I wannid' ta support them gals and their school."
    With that, he tipped his hat to my 3-year old who was staring in awe at the parting cowboy.

    I felt like yelling, Shane! Come back Shane! We love you Shane!"

    Thursday, March 02, 2006

    Four stomachs aren't easy to fill

    Out here on the prairie, if you tire of your neighbors failure to take down their holiday decorations, just turn your herd of cattle on their lazy behinds...

    Wednesday, March 01, 2006

    Meth day is here!

    Last night I attended a countywide presentation by the local law enforcement authorities and health department called "March Against Meth."

    The collection of parents, civic leaders, law enforcement personnel who assembled for this event at the high school gym seemed genuinely concerned about the issue of meth manufacturing, use, and trafficking in our community.

    As a group, we were educated on drug awareness, emerging drug trends, internet drug trafficking, and how to keep our kids drug free.

    It was relatively well attended by the community, but not nearly as crowded as the girls varsity basketball game I took the family to last weekend.

    Basically, it was a preview to what our kiddies were going to see this week in their classrooms, and they wanted to give the parents a heads-up to what was coming up.
    Mommy, what's a meth-head?/
    Daddy, is that what Uncle Festus went to jail for?
    Pa, why can't we get Sudafed in pill form in Oklahoma..I hate those gel-caps?
    Ma, why is that dog sniffing around your spare tire?
    The majority of questions from the floor were about signs of use, how much a hit of Meth costs, where to get it, how to get it, what exactly is it, and how does it feel.

    My questions focused on whether or not the highway that runs through our small town is a major meth traffic artery, are the transporters sticking to the main highways as opposed to the back roads, and whether or not they're recruiting locals who know the roads, speed traps, and drug busting capacities of the local authorities.

    It is.
    They are.
    Yes. Heavily.