Reveille XIII Becomes New Texas A&M Mascot

11 08 2008

I was hoping they would move away from the “pure breed” collie, but it is nice to know there will be something on the sidelines.  Maybe this one won’t be as crazy.


My Dog. . .Deacon

5 08 2008

Yes, I know my dog is named Deacon and I am a deacon at my church.  I admit it is a little odd, but when Laura and I named him (years before I thought about being a deacon) we had just moved away from our first apartment on Deacon Ave.  Not to mention the name means servant, which is what a good dog should be, right?  Now that we have that out of the way.

I wanted to give a little “shout-out” to Deacon as the summer winds down.  During the summer I start to feel a special bond with our dog since I am around the house all day.  For example, on those days when Laura leaves early and I lay in bed for a while longer, Deacon will jump on the bed and burrow next to me.  Naps on the couch with Deacon curled up around my feet are a close second.  I get to see how his daily goal is to find any bedroom door left open so he can push the covers and pillows around until he has made a little nest for lounging.  When you walk in to the room he will look up at you like, “you left the door open?”  Then roll over on his back in absolute submission.  He has a uncanny ability to find the three square feet with the most cushioning possible.

He will also follow me around watching me do things and tilt his head to the side every once-in-a-while when my actions confuse him.  Soon I find myself talking to him and asking him questions.  “Would Laura think this is too much mayonnaise for a turkey sandwich?” A few nights ago I had a dream where he talked to me.  It wasn’t one of those dreams where he was talking with some familiar voice in a way that makes you think he has had this ability all along and now has decided to confide in you the fact he is vocal.  It was more like he was uttering his first words.  As if he has understood me for a while, but is now trying to take the next step and say something back.  It sounded like a dog would sound if they were trying to make words with their canine vocal chords. When I remembered the dream later in the day, I stared at him for a while reasonably sure it was a dream.

Deacon is my first dog, so I don’t have anything to measure him by except the time I spend with other people’s dogs.  He seems to like people as much as I have seen any other dog, craving to be in the presence of anyone with hands.  While I admit he can be a little excitable when he sees a person for the first time, the craziness is limited to wagging his tail frantically and sitting as close to the new person as possible–usually on their feet.  Unless you are Ben Dunson, this excitment fades in about one minute.  He has learned just about every trick I have been able to come up with, but what sets Deacon apart from other dogs is his love affair with a blanket.

The first thing Deacon does when I let him in from being in the yard is make run for his blanket, which he picks up, arranges over his front paws and then sucks on.  Yeah, he sucks on it.  Sometimes eyes open, other times eyes closed for a full bliss-out.  Sometimes you can hear a high pitched wine.  We think it stems from the fact that he never spent any time with his mother and had to be bottle-fed.

Deacon’s nemisis is a squirrel.  He has the ability to know it is lurking outside without seeing it, and hates it with a white-hot anger not known to humans.  I have seen the squirrel look down at him from just out of reach on a tree trunk and taunt him by making wierd noises and flicking its tail. At times like this I will find a rock and throw it at the squirrel for no other reason than to show Deacon some moral support.  I believe he appriciates this.  One night Laura let him out into the back yard (like we do multiple times every night) and Deacon stumbled upon a opossum on the back porch.  Ten seconds later the opossum’s neck was broken and Deacon was staring at Laura unsure of what happened.  It is nice to know there is a little terrier somewhere in the pedigree.

There you go.  That’s our dog.

Campaign for President?

24 07 2008

I am the first to admit the presidential race is not very high on my list of conversational topics these days, but I can’t help but notice Sen. Obama’s most recent trip around the world. One might think he is campainging for head of the European Union.  One might also suppose that he must be pretty sure of his impending victory in November to spend time courting people who don’t even live in the United States.

Thorns and Sin

30 06 2008


When I set up my Picasa account I added pictures of these Honey Locust thorns we have on our property. Some of you may have heard my refer to these in conversations. Let me just say a few things about Honey Locust. I hate these thorns. They are evil. When I think of sin, an image of this plant springs into my mind. More than once I have had a thorn from these bushes push its way THROUGH the sole of my shoes and stab me in the foot. When God told Adam that the land would produce thorns, I believe he had these suckers in mind.

I pruned some near the house back to mere stubs during the spring, but have watched them steadily grow back over the last few months. With a free day last week I took some out, and attacked more in the field on Saturday. You see the only way to fight these things is to take a shovel or pick axe and pull the entire root system out. It takes work, but unless you attack the root you will be out there in two months getting stabbed in the foot again.

As I was sweating and nursing a few puncture wounds while I pulled and dug, I realized how very much like sin these thorns really are. You can try to hide both with quick fixes and cosmetic remedies, but this is only temporary. To get lasting results you have to attack head on, and most likely it will hurt.

Not only is going after the root of sin and honey locust the best course of action, but unfortunately it is not a permanent fix.  There is no guarantee it won’t come back in the same place, but hopefully each time you fight it, and tear more of it out by the roots it will become a little more rare. I hope that next summer these thorns will be more harder to find.

New York City Quick Hits

18 06 2008

This last weekend I took a flight up to New York to see my lovely wife while she is on a business trip.  These little weekend trips are great because we don’t have to pay for a hotel, and can also eat for half price on the Novartis per diem.  Here are some things which stuck out to me on the trip:

  • iPods.  I have never seen so many people with the white ear buds stuck in their heads.  I don’t even think most people were listening to music because they kept touching their iPods over and and over.  It was like they only wanted to listen to the first twenty seconds of each song, then went looking for another Justin Timberlake song to nod their head to.
  • Dirty in so many ways.  On the train ride back to New Jersey one night, the only two open seats next to each other were right in front of the restrooms and we were forced to sit there. While we sat there, a mere three feet from some of the foulest filth imaginable, and watched people slip in and out (sometimes two at a time. . .) we realized that if we could go into our back year and rub our hands in dirt, Texas dirt, we would feel cleaner than any hand sanitizer could make us.
  • Public Transportation.  Aside from my last point about the overall dirtiness of the experience, I was impressed with our ability to navigate our way around the city.  The complexity of the system is amazing when you think of all the different levels of tunnels and stairways crisscrossing their way under the entire city.
  • It is all so old.  Here in the Great State of Texas the land is either for the most part undeveloped or newly developed.  Shopping centers and buildings are torn down and rebuilt every few years to keep them looking new.  Nothing looked new in New Jersey.  Only only Time Square looked new in New York.  I don’t mean this to be all bad.  There were some very quaint buildings that looked nice here and there, but for the most part I couldn’t understand why someone didn’t tear a lot of it down and build a descent looking building.

I wish I had a pencil-thin mustache. . .

24 03 2008

Leading up to our trip to Colorado, I let my manliness manifest itself.  Partly out of laziness, and partly to provide protection against windburn as I travel down the ski slopes at record speed. Anyone who has seen or heard of my skiing prowess will know how ridiculous, and unnecessary the second reason really was.

By the time we got back, I had built up a substantial amount of growth.  I think it is safe to say, it is closest to a beard I have ever been in my shaving career. Since Laura was not the biggest fan of it, and likened kissing me to kissing our dog, (I don’t want to go into the details of how she was able to make such a comparison) I decided to grab my razor and get to work.

However, since this was the most substantial growth I have been able to achieve, I thought it was best to document the shaving as a testament to my testosterone. Here are the pictures.  Think of it as peeling back the layers of my face.  The shades and crazy hair are there for extra visual effect.

it begins
So it begins. . . .
stage 1
Cleaned it up a little. . . .
How ’bout some chops?
The goatee.
Fu-man-chu (I don’t know how to spell it)
Oui, Oui!

Living with the Sickness

9 10 2007

Some of you might remember me making a comment about deep contemplation of God causing something near nausea.  Well, hours after writing those words I found myself with some of the worst tummy rumblings ever.  I guess I get what I asked for.

As bad as it was for me, my sweet wife seemed to get the worse of it.  A night spent on the bathroom floor for her, and trips to the other bathroom for me.  The next morning we were surprised to learn that three of our friends were also suffering from the same symptoms, beginning at almost exactly the same time.  It seemed like an episode from House.

After phone calls and a few emails, my team (Laura and Deacon) and I were able to come up with a diagnosis.  Our first hypothosis, tainted chicken tenders eaten after church, was thrown out because the Krajcas were symptom free.  This led us to consider the possibility of something wrong with the fajitas we ate with our friends Saturday night.  This would explain the Brunones, and Lindsay Newcomer’s symptoms as well.  However, once again the Krajcas were mocking us with their full bellies and solid stool.

Our next theory was the delicious cheesecake we had for dessert after the fajitas.  The Krajcas slipped out moments before the cake was cut and eaten.  Although Kyle never presented symptoms, he is known to have an amazing stomach beyond the grasp of mere mortal science.  Plus, it was his recipe, and he might be immune to whatever poison was put in it.

The one missing component in our diagnosis was the status of the last members of the dinner party Saturday night.  A few more emails and phone calls later, it turns out that Mr. Daniel had been having some “digestive issues” on Friday.

There you go.  Brought down by a lowly stomach virus. . .I am ashamed of my immune system.