Saturday, April 18, 2009

Life Altering Event

I have recently met and made a new friend and I have been sharing stories. I used to be a bit embarrassed by the story I am about to tell, but, hey it's part of who I am... I thought I had this story on this blog, but it's not here, but on another website, so here it is - for those who haven't heard it..

It’s been nearly 40 years since I graduated from High School and I suppose I’m like a lot of people who ponder the life I’ve lived, the choices I’ve made, and the lessons I’ve learned. Upon reflection – one of Life’s Lessons I learned is that we are never aware of the ramifications of the choices we make in life, because we simply cannot see into the future. To illustrate...

After graduation, I decided that I was going to attend a private school (name not released in case they’re still mad at me – as you will learn), one which was expensive, and perhaps out of my reach financially. I was going to be a theatre major, get a fine arts degree, go to New York and then on to Hollywood, fame and fortune. I ignored the advice of my parents, who suggested that a junior college closer to home, would be a better choice. To heck with parental advice, I was now an adult! I went to the private school, majored in theatre, and was prepared to make my mark on the world.

Trouble started almost immediately when I rebelled against taking a “regular” gym class. I thought I was done with that ... I ended up signing up for ballet – something recommended by my counselor. Ballet didn’t turn out too bad – it was a class filled with 10 women and 2 men. This fed right into my other majors in college, wine and women. I excelled...

One Friday evening, while I was studying the “wine” part of my education, I ended up consuming an excessive amount of vodka. This led to my acquiring a box of Tide; why, I have no idea, but I found myself standing in front of the college’s very colorful fountain. There were water sprays, and different colored lights – it was so inviting.

I discovered that an entire box of Tide makes a nifty bubble bath – it was a warm evening, the bubbles were inviting, so, I stripped down and jumped in ... most would think that this was my biggest mistake, but no! After my nice bubble bath, I walked around campus au naturel and introduced myself to the couples who were sitting on the benches. This was still not my biggest mistake!

The biggest mistake came when I introduced myself to the local campus security person. That was the mistake that changed my life.

He invited me, okay, took me, to his office and called the local police. To my good fortune, the policeman who showed up was the brother of a friend of mine, so he escorted me back to the dorms with the admonition about never, ever, doing something that stupid again.

Little did I know that my “bath” would affect the entire rest of my life. It was 1970, and the school authorities invited me to leave the school. As a result, I lost my student deferment from the draft. It wasn’t too long before I won the only lottery I ever won – the draft lottery! I was drafted, but I fooled them -- I joined the Navy.

That one bubble bath, that one moment, that one box of Tide, put me on a path which saw me completing 30 years in the Navy – who knew?!


As I was unpacking from our shopping trip to Hobby Lobby I asked my wife what she was going to use this cute little plate holder, easel for? She said, That's not mine. You got that."

"No I didn't.."

"Yes, you did 'cause I didn't."

"I didn't, and if you didn't who did?"

She thought a minute, "I bet it was that lady standing next to me and she put it in our basket."

Guess we now have a new "mini-easel".

At least there was NO ASSEMBLY required...

Hobby Lobby Easel With NO Instructions

Those who really know me are aware of my mechanical abilities (they suck). I feel comfortable inside your computer, but "some assembly required" scares the bejeebers out of me. At any rate, I've been looking for a simple easel and found one at Hobby Lobby. It also said, "assembly required", but really, how tough could an easel be?

We got the easel home, opened the package and looked for directions. Directions? Where are the directions? Perhaps they're printed on the back of the label? No - there are NO directions. So, if anybody else buys this product and discovers there are no directions, here are a few hints...

#1 - lay the legs on the floor. Each leg consists of 2 parts. The with the "cap" on it is the bottom. Place the parts so that the round part is facing toward you and and the "little shelf" it makes is also in front. Do this 3 times... (3 legs).

Assembly the legs and then using a longer screw hook them together as illustrated in the above photo.

What comes next took a while and I had to call upon an engineer's daughter (my wife) to assist in figuring this out. She also excels at putting together puzzels where puzzles give me a headache. At any rate, we had 2 pieces of wood left - each with a hole in the middle. We tried to line up those holes every which way with no success and then - we (she) discovered that the two pieces that form the shelf are placed on the outside of the legs and the other one behind the legs. Then you use the long bolt "thingy" (technical term) with the loop at the end to connect the two pieces together and you then clip the chain to the loop as seen in the next 2 illustrations.

And, now a finished easel. I almost want to go out and buy another one just so I can put it together with ease...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Alter or Altar?

Alter or Altar - why the world needs proofreaders...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Curve

If you have been reading my posts you will remember that several weeks ago I was talking about the past, the present and "curves". I didn't say what the curve was - I was coy - but, here is the rest of the story...

In 2003 I was contacted by a high school classmate with whom I graduated from high school with in 1969. She was trying to get together a mailing list and database to facilitate re-connecting with our high school classmates. Our Class president was in the final stages of cancer and she wanted to let as many people know as she could. She envisioned a website where we could post information.

She was looking for somone to put together a website. Now, I had the ability, but did not volunteer that information real quick. After a couple of weeks I finally confessed - and in 2003 our Class Website was born - It has been a labor of love. We have re-connected and made new friends.

I don't quite remember how it happened, but before too long there were 4 core members who helped feed information, run ads in the Iowa Falls paper to generate web traffic, and provide information for newsletters. Other classmates mailed in donations to help with the website, others sent in pictures and newspaper clipping from when we were in school. Mothers also called and let me know where their kids were because they heard we were looking for them. And, friends, and realtives of classmates also called. I have heard from, or received emails from, around the country. I have even received calls and letters from other classes around the country that wanted to know how to do what it is we do... One thing led to another and suddenly our little group "morphed" into the 40th Reunion Planning Committee. It has been fun, challenging at times, but fun. So, I hear you saying, "so what, what about it..?" Neat story - but, so?

Well - a couple of weeks ago I was contacted by the Des Moines Register in regards to our class reunion. The Register is interested in doing a multi-media project that focuses on an Iowa high school reunion. They like the idea of 1969 because it was an interesting, pivotal year. They like the idea of Iowa Falls because of its size, relatively close proximity to Des Moines, and they like our IFHS Class of 1969 because our class is on the ball in terms of planning. They see a lot of possibilities with multi-media storytelling and have assigned a reporter and photographer to meet with us and record our reunion. They recently did a “Buddy Holly Remembered project, and our high school reunion project would be similar.

They are planning to show how the class of 1969 dispersed across the nation and globe after graduation and they envision a rollover map that would bring up our yearbook and current photos with thumbnail bios. There would also be video interviews with members of the class. And, of course, they would showcase ’69 culture (TV, music, sports, news events, etc.) The project has been approved by the senior staff of the Register [it means they agreed to devote the time and resources] and they believe that it’s a cool project that would resonate with many Iowans.

A bit of history
One of the senior editors at the register wanted to do a story on a 1969 Iowa Class Reunion and went to the internet to do research – he landed on our website. He was intrigued by not only our website, but with our planning and the fact we are going to hold the reunion in the old high school. The editor assigned a reporter who contacted me about doing a feature story and I met with her for 3 hours yesterday.

There will be a feature story before the reunion and then another story after the reunion along with a newly designed interactive web site featuring our class and our reunion. It is my sincere hope that classmates who have not decided whether or not to attend, reconsider and join us for what promises to be a memorable reunion. We're in the process of sending out a newsletter to let everyone know what's happening.

Who would have thought that 6 years ago that by building a website and keeping it going would lead to the Des Moines Register doing a story about our town, our class and our reunion? Life is truly amazing - sometimes weird, but amazing notheless.

Let the little children not hinder them

My wife and I go to an Episcopal Church and we have a young priest who is serving the parish. We really love his enthusiam and energy. He races in triathalons - something I can't even imagine. My triathalon would consist of trying to eat ice cream, chocolate brownies and a cheesburger at the same time...

At any rate the following conversation was heard in church a couple of weeks ago:

The priests wife was trying to reason with a rather talkative 3 year old, "Be quiet...stop talking we're in church."

"Daddy's talking..."

"Daddy's the priest..., now sh-h-h-"

A couple of minutes later the reasoning went out to the hallway where I assume reason prevailed. Some people seemed to be be bothered if kids make noises in church, but they are the life blood of any church or organization. They are curious, filled with love and enthusiam, and brighten most everybody's day. So, if the 3 year old wants to start preaching early, I say go for it!!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

A Quick Post

I have a quick post which contains an important message - "...if you get up in the middle of the night to take a Zantac for your heartburn - turn the light on to make sure it is a Zantac and not a Dulcolax, and do not say to yourself, ' if 1 is good 2 is better...!!'"

Enough said...