Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Story Telling

You never know when an opportunity will come along to connect with your children. I am usually pretty good at reaching out, especially to Ben and Grider. I look for ways to connect and parent with them. Life gives us all times we can share and help. Sometimes, however, great opportunities come when you least expect them. I really connected Sunday while the boys and I were picking blackberries.
The blackberries we were picking were the edible type, not communication devices. We were actually skipping youth at church and enjoying what may be the last cool weekend day before October. As we looked for and picked the berries, I began telling them stories. I shared with them then experiences I had growing up on the farm and since we were there, I could show them places that action had occurred.
I love telling stories. If you don't tell me to shut up I will go on and on when I am on a roll. I was on a roll Sunday. I told these freshmen in high school, (at least for another week,) stories for over an hour. Finally I knew I had to stop so we could get home in time to watch the Simpsons. I had a captive audience and took advantage.
The real surprise came Monday morning. As I drive them to school I always ask if they had a good weekend and what was their favorite part. Last weekend was full of good things for the boys. When it came time for Grider to share his favorite part he said picking berries and listening to Pop's stories. I could have wept.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Going to the Dogs

Sometimes I can't believe how my life has changed! Things I did while growing up now seem impossible, and things I thought were crazy just a few years ago now seem normal. The best example is the way I baby my dogs.
Let it be said quickly that no one loves dogs more than I. I had great dogs growing up and always expected to be a dog owner. Even as a young man I considered my dogs to be friends and partners. I used them hunting and worked livestock with them. Even more important they were companions, and companions that rarely talked back or yelled at me. I treated them well, for then, and gave them more love than I gave most people. The last times I have cried have been over then loss of dogs. I am getting misty just thinking of that.
Even though I love dogs, I would have never given much thought to spoiling them. My dogs stayed outside and hoped they never got bad sick. My grandfather was a pragmatic person. If it costs much more to cure a dog than a bullet- he would find a new dog. He never took a dog to the vet, and the only time my father did was to keep all his family from revolt. The irony is that the dogs that we took to the vet usually died anyway.
Yesterday my dog Trixie had a bad foot. She was limping around the house all day, (something none of my father's dogs would do. First they weren't allowed inside the house, second was a limp could mean time for a puppy to appear.) I checked her paw out and could find no cut or obstruction, but it was red. I gave her part of an aspirin to relieve her discomfort. Last night she slept in bed with Joy and myself, (she didn't feel good and her kennel is too small.) Topping off the evening was that Joy held her paw all night so Trixie would not lick it.
Was is this world coming to. Joy won't hold my hand all night, even if I did have the bad habit of licking it. Now not only do I let dogs stay in the house, they sleep in our bed! Sometimes I wonder- who trained who?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Am I a Techie?

  I am a fairly old fashioned type of guy. I tell stories of yesteryear, have a great grasp of history and cultural geography, and do not really understand computers. That said, I also tweet, use facebook, have a myspace page,(but I don't use it,) and several blogs. So I ask myself; Self-am I a techie?
  The answer is easy. No. I am not a techie, I just like toys. Come to think of it, all my tech toys have been gifts from my wife. My XM radio, my tivo, my iphone, even my PC were gifts from Joy. Therefore... Joy is a closet techie!
  While writing this piece I completed the title and then the thing mysteriously posted and then froze. That answered the question.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Old Sci- Fi

This morning I watched some old Sci-Fi. No, it was not reruns of Shantner-Nimoy Star Trek. It was War Games, (would you like to play a game?) Yes, I invested a few minutes watching a 30 + year old computer movie, and caused me to ask some questions.
Why did Matthew Broderick quit playing misguided youths (Ferris Bueller) and start playing Leo Bloom in a Mel Brooks Broadway? Obviously he captured teenage angst as well as anyone, and did not need tats or piercings to do it. Oh, that's right. He grew up. I think we all learned this lesson.
What ever happened to that superstar talent Dabney Coleman? He was VERY hot there for a while and now was fallen off the map. Is he doing dinner theatre in Peoria? My theory is that he is still in acting. I believe he has shaved his head and changed his name and teamed up with Oprah and the folks at Harpo. Yes, Dabney is now Dr. Phil.
The movie is now so lame it is funny. I use more technology to write and post this blog than the government used to safeguard the nation in that movie. It was made many moons ago, and all 30 year old movies do not age as well as...Blazing Saddles, (when on a Brooks roll- go with it.)
Saturday mornings- good times.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

So Now What?

Son Ben wants to be a writer like his Pop. I take that as a huge compliment. I like writing and entertaining so I try to encourage him. The rub is that his writing and mine are not similar, no his writing and mine are almost polar opposites. I write in a folksy way and tell stories of the past. Ben likes Sci Fi and writes about future.
A few weeks ago he started writing a novel, ( he is 14 and is working on a novel! ) He had compiled a bunch of ideas through the years, had written them down and now he wants to organize them in the form of a Sci-Fi novel.
His thoughts may not be similar to mine, but he has good ideas. The best part is that he works on his "project" a lot while he is at Pops. He has much more self discipline than I ever thought of. He is looking forward to summer so he can spend weeks at a stretch with Pop and can really get some work done.
I do read his stuff, and even though it is not my cup of tea, he does some things well. I will help him try to get it published, and I figure that even after rewrites he should have a finished manuscript by the fall. He could pitch it for years and still be ahead of the game.
Maybe his story will strike a nerve in his peer group. He may even sell more books than his Pop. Even if he doesn't, the fact that he wants to be a writer like his Pop makes me feel wanted and loved.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Tribute to Dad

In today's Lufkin Daily News a contributing writer wrote a piece on Dad. Jim Moore was a student and was one of Dad's tennis players. Dad was a great tennis coach. During his tenure at Lufkin High School the goals were not winning district, that was a given, but doing well in region and state. Now in a Lufkin team gets past the first few rounds in district they get headlines.
Jim also talked about Dad as a science teacher. Dad liked to coach tennis, but he loved science,(still does.) I have had many of his former students tell me how he encouraged them and challenged them. He taught two (2) Westinghouse scholars. To my knowledge, they were the only two LHS has ever produced. What makes this a little more impressive is he only taught science for less than a decade.
I also am a contributor for the Lufkin Daily News, but I seldom write nice things about Dad. He is usually the comic foil for the bad things that can happen in life. I do this because he has a great sense of humor and doesn't mind the press. I am very glad former students do write about how Dad touched their lives. He has touched mine as well. Lets face it; the things he did he did very well. No one can touch him as a tennis coach or a science teacher. These are documented facts. The truth is that the best thing he ever did was be my Dad.


I usually do not show much discipline in my life. I tend to live day to day, not worrying much and caring less. This should be obvious because my blog has not been updated since January. This doesn't mean that things do nort happen that should cause concern. In the past few months I have lost my job, my benifits have been held up, and my parents are still getting older. The resulting financial and emotional stains have been tough on me and my family. I like to work and I enjoy selling, but my organizational skills have really hindered my employment search. I needed help.
That help has arrived in a different form. Joy and I have been participateing in Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University at the church. Joy is so fired up that she is causing me to be on board and has budgeted our household. Now, not only do I have specific written limits and boundaries with money, I also have had to make time budgets as well. So far so good.
I am not promoteing this course per se, but the discipline it has brought to my life has been needed. Stay tune to see if it continues to work. Following my update schedule I should update again around Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Year

I understand this is the 21st day of the new year and this is my first update. I do not have a lot of self discipline so it is not unusual for me to put things "off" for a few days, weeks, months, or even years.
That being said, "HAPPY NEW YEAR!"
There, I have updated. Now I can get down to serious things like worrying about things I can't control.