Friday, December 23, 2005

Little Vegas

Last night I took the chillins to check out the legendary Christmas light display of Ransom Canyon. For those who have never been to or heard of Ransom Canyon, I can only describe it as: if you were to cross a city with the $$$ homes of Park City with the lakeshore town homes of Schofield, you would have Ransom Canyon (without snow). Ransom Canyon is located about 10 miles East of Lubbock, TX. I don’t know if there is a city/town ordinance that requires each and every home owner to display Christmas lights or not, but there is a certain compulsion that the townsfolk take very seriously and it involves Christmas lights. Perhaps they all suffer from “Keeping up with the Jones’ syndrome”. Everyone in this town has to try and outdo his/her neighbor. Fortunately for the spectator, the effect with so many lights and the reflection off the lake is truly breathtaking (and it’s also free to the rest of the poor folks). Unfortunately, a camera could never do this vision justice. Some people have Temple Square to visit, others have the Festival of Lights, and the rednecks of West Texas have Ransom Canyon (lottery: yes-slots: no).

Monday, December 12, 2005


I was at school the other day and a fellow student was looking very worn out and tired (perhaps it was a result of cramming for the end of the semester) and I said to her, “So how long have you been divorced from sleep?” Her reply was, “Oh, we’re not divorced; we’ve just decided to separate until the kids grow up and move out of the house.”

Not two days later, I found myself in Elder’s quorum and the good brother giving the lesson apologized for not being as prepared as he normally is. His excuse, “Sorry, I was becoming with reacquainted with an old friend named Sleep.”

Lack of sleep was never an issue when I was a kid. I remember being able to sleep on the cold hard ground as a boy scout, rocks, tree branches, pine cones and all couldn’t keep me from sleep, but alas that is no longer my lot in life. Now that I am 30+, married with children, and still a student, I find my self longing for bygone days. Sleep and I may go way back, but now, were lucky to pass each other in the hall and nod our heads, barely acknowledging that the other exists. Perhaps, after the kids are grown and moved out, Sleep and I will come to realize that we’ve both been too hard on each other and we’ll be able to make amends.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Overheard at a Bus Stop

Favio: You went from a “D” man to like a low “B”. How’d ya do it?
Jumpy: “I jus’ figures out how to work the system brother.
Favio: Nobody’s ever beaten the system.
Jumpy: Nobody’s been at it as long as I have.
Favio: Man, you could make a fortune
Jumpy: Well ya see, there’s a certain level of complications to the whole process.
Favio: What’ya mean?
Jumpy: I s’pose I can trust ya.

Both then leaned their heads together and their voices became nothing more than a gentle whisper. Favio chuckled softly, slipped Jumpy a twenty, and walked away shaking his head and with a grin on his face exclaimed quietly to himself:

Favio: Smoke and mirrors man. Who would’a believed ole Jumpy would’a figured that out. Smoke and mirrors.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Help! I’ve Been Tagged and Can’t Get Past Go.

Thanks to a certain fellow blogger who will remain anonymous, but for the sake of the conversation I will refer to her as Sister P. No . . . S. Pottymouth. She has tagged my blog which means I have to list 5 things people probably do not know about me and then I have to tag 5 other people. My problem is- I do not know 5 other bloggers. But in the spirit of semi-good humor, here is my list:

1. I know where the Bedrock mall is and have actually been there.

2. Turtle taste good. Just don’t ask me how to prepare it.

3. Like the person who tagged me, I have never been snow skiing even though I spent almost 30 years in Utah.

4. When I was 10, I performed during halftime at a BYU basketball game.

5. I have been to Hogwarts Castle.

For Compulsive Writer and anyone else: Perhaps this act of kindness will get me out of "tagged" mode. ;-)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

"V" is not for Victory

For some, (such as Disney) the sky may be falling, but in my life, the sky is alive and moving. The annual migration of the Canadian goose makes Lubbock, Texas “a must see” on their journey. I have never seen so many geese in my life. I think perhaps the promises of Abraham have fallen upon their seed. For weeks now, the geese have been flying this way and that, to and fro, honking the whole time. Lubbock does have a plethora of ponds and llanos scattered all over the valley, which I’m sure is a big attraction to these water fowl. We have pictures of the pond across the street from where our children go to school that show “standing room only” for the geese. As soon as one flock moves out, another takes their place. I’ve been told that a great number of these honkers like to cut their travel plans short and make Lubbock their winter home. I have yet to decide if this is a cool thing or an annoyance. If it turns out to be an annoyance, I’m sure you’ll hear about it.
(each little speck in the picture is a goose)

(Mission accomplished)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Idle hands and the Devil

Once again the devil has sought control of my idle hands, as I found myself making another pointless, high-in-sugar morsel. This time, the end product of my idle hands and the devil was the infamous Rice Crispy treat(s). Some say that the devil knows our weaknesses and I am here to testify that he does. For whenever I find myself on such occasions as this, the sweet cravings are the call of the siren and my hands become subject to the control of superhuman powers. Last time it was chocolate chip cookies and the time before that it was the crème-de-la crème, the made famous by thousands of missionaries in the MTC: The Captain-Crunch-Berry treats. Anyone who has ever had them, knows that the aforementioned Rice Crispy treats are like comparing Transformers to Go-Bots, MP3’s to eight track . . .

So now I have all of these Rice Crispy treats with a longing desire for the treat of supremacy, and I’m sure that I can force myself to do more than my share to put them away like a quarter-pounder with cheese, but I have this fear lurking in the back of my mind telling me that before the night is through, I’ll be making tapioca pudding. Are there any support groups or advice on the internet that I can turn to in hopes of liberating myself from this compelling power?


Please help: before I find myself licking the Dumb-Dumb residue from sucker sticks carelessly thrown on the ground.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Not only does my mind wander from time to time but so does my family when they are lost in a corn maize.
Tips for taking young kids to a corn maze:
Never go at night. You will hear too much complaining about being lost and can't see, and I am tired. or I am cold. (this depends on time of year and where the maze is located)

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Monday, October 31, 2005

Buy a House and We'll Give you Cookies

Being part of a new neighborhood brings with it certain time-tested traditions or obligations. In specific terms, I am referring to the congenial tasks of taking a “baked good” to other neighbors. Having moved into a new/still being constructed neighborhood and being one of the first residents, it has been a challenge to find that opportune moment when both parties involved in the exchange of pleasantries are present.

Last Sunday, I began pulling items out of the pantry, fridge and cupboard to gather together the elite components for making chocolate chip cookies. I mean, what better “baked good” is there to use when introducing your family to strangers? If aliens landed on Earth (in the US) I’m sure the government’s first response would be to shanghai Mrs. Fields or the Pillsbury Doughboy into the Whitehouse to mix up a batch of chocolate chip cookies to present to the newfound neighbors. It would not even be too far fetched to assume that the aliens just might have their own space-alien chocolate chip cookies for us to eat. (We all saw E.T.’s reaction to the Reese’s Pieces and those were mostly peanut-butter flavored) Do you think he would have left Earth had Eliot dropped chocolate chips in the forest instead?

So there I was measuring out my sugar, butter, vanilla, flour, etc. thinking to myself, “These are gonna be great!” In went the whole bag of chips (milk chocolate, can’t stand the semi-sweet: let’s keep it real) into the mix. Several minutes later, out came those, oh so hot, sweet and gooey chocolate chip cookies that just beg for an ice cold glass of milk to go with them.

After they had a chance to cool slightly and sampled properly for approval, we placed some on the traditional disposable plate and covered them with plastic. We rounded up the kids, got them in their shoes and herded them out the door and down the street. Much to our dismay, the intended target was not at home. We returned the plate of offering into the basket beneath the stroller and proceeded to another street in hopes of finding someone that had moved in. On the next street over, we saw a car parked in a driveway. We had hope! A lady exited the house and proceeded to walk in our direction. We quickly exchanged formalities and discovered that she and her husband were just looking at houses in the neighborhood. We wished her well as she turned away and our nine year old daughter called out to her, “If you buy a house, we’ll give you some cookies!” Another testament to “kids say the darnedest things”. We just hope the lady was too far away to have heard because otherwise we would probably have all sorts of new neighbors, including ones from outer space, lined up outside our door waiting for their plate of chocolate chip cookies.

Now pass the milk. Please!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Halloween Robbers

As a favor to a friend. I post this picture of Rosie

This story was featured in Newsweek, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Daily Harald, Chicago Sun, and the National Enquirer. Because I have a friend that subscribes to each one of these, he gave me the heads up and the two of us are now in the process of notifying the nation to bring this alarming story to your attention and if we all band to gether and pick a day to not do any business with any lawyers, we can force them to succumb to our demands and leave the frivolous lawsuits to single-celled spineless avian flu viruses that are bound to wipe out at least 2/3rds of the world's population.

AP: Holoween Robbery
The fun of Halloween has been sucked dry by the now infamous Mrs. Schtick, of Salem California, who has officially filed a law suit against her neighbor. The suit basically explains two specific grievances. First, there is the complaint about how the scary music that her neighbor, Mr. Rapsody (now known as the defendant), was playing on the night of October 31, 2004 which caused Mrs. Schtick such undue anxiety that she was unable to sleep that night and as a result, it affected her ability to safely drive her kids to school the following morning in a responsible and alert manner, which of course, resulted in her crashing her car head-on into a parked school bus while it was in the process of unloading kids at the school (the drop off for the bus is a one way zone).

The second grievance is related to the panic attack she suffered when she went to Mr. Rapsody’s home (October 31, 2004) to complain about his scary music. She pressed his doorbell, which set off a loud buzzer and switched on a flood light simultaneously. She claims that she is now seeking therapy to help her overcome her now uncontrollable panic attacks when ever she hears a sudden loud noise (like when she crashed into the school bus and when the crash set off the horn in her vehicle, which I think caused her more embarrassment than anything).

Well it took her a year of lawyer searching and hatching out a plan to bring this lawsuit to court. Her day in court is set for this October 31, 2005. She is asking the courts for $1,250,000 (which she claims will help pay for her car and therapy sessions and all the other usual demands). So Happy Halloween everyone. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Special People Left Un-checked

In a world of uncertainty there is a need or there should be a need for “special people”. I’m not talking those with special needs or those that people get all goo-goo-ga over; I’m talking about individuals that sometimes are best left out of the public eye but we never manage to do so because that would be inhumane, assuming that you could actually lay your hands upon the person. In the life of semi-sane full time student, full time husband and father, I have become acquainted with just such a person and he has begged for his chance to tell a tale, as the case may be. With some trepid reservations, I give you, lippi:

On a recent blustery and stormy day, lippi found himself surrounded by little dust devils that danced and spun in random or pointless directions. when the rains began, the dust devils died, slowly, oozing into mud to await a later resurrection from the sun and wind. not quite three full days after the expiration of the dust devils, lippi created a 'lil number he calls "dust devil to go: in all environments". true to his form, lippi danced in an ever dizzying, random, pointless direction everywhere he went that day. upsatairs, downstairs, bathroom, kitchen, outside, garage, even the store. people around him stared in amazement equal to lippi's own amazement three days earlier. sure, things were tipped over, knocked off, stepped on, broken and left for dead, the human dust devil never tired until that fateful moment, across the street, in the yard of Mr. and Mrs. Gwenston, did lippi find himself on their lawn at the exact time that the sprinklers came on. The "dust devil to go: in all environments had forgotten, just one dust devil weakness and in such negligence found himself "oozing into mud", sprawled out on the grass, waiting for the sun and wind...and world to stop spinning.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The kitty chronicle continues to unravel into many threads, waiting to be re-woven into a new pattern. Our Jane-doe kitty passed away less than two days after being found. The following morning after taking the kitty in we noticed that she was in a lethargic state, neither eating nor drinking. We proceeded to take the kitty to the vet who delivered a split prognosis. She did not have leukemia, worms or FIV (which are supposed to be common in feral cats); however, she was extremely dehydrated and malnourished. The vet helped us realize that the odds of the cat surviving were slim. We began giving medications to the kitten using a dropper and tried to get liquids into her and at first we had hope. By the morning she was still alive, but stiff and lethargic. Within the first couple hours she passed away and now lays buried behind our home.
In the best interest of those in my family, we proceeded to a pet store and bought a beautiful little gray female that is quite healthy and full of spunk. Now the debate comes in deciding indoor/outdoor living, names, etc. and hopefully moving on and attempting to adjust to the newest member of our family.

p.s. I do not intend to use this blog as a feline forum. There are many other things that will come.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The last thing I expected after a long day at school was to find out that my wife would be indefinitely late in picking me up and she wouldn’t specify why. So I found myself grading papers for yet another hour of the day. No big deal. Little did we know what was in store for us because of this delay.

My wonderful wife picked my up and made the return exodus back to our humble abode in southeast Lubbock. As we turned into our developing neighborhood we saw to our surprise a little, scrawny, frightened looking white kitten with a hint of Siamese, crossing the street right in front of our mini-van. Now anyone who knows me well, knows that I have not had a cat since I was twelve and until recently had never wanted another. (I was never able to bond well with cats and besides, men are not supposed to like cats anyway because a dog is man’s best friend. However, I wasn’t ready for another dog either because I hate scooping poop). As I said, until recently I had not wanted a cat. My wife and I had talked off and on over the past year or so about having a pet other than our fish and had decided to wait until we were more settled, until the kids were a bit older, etc. Yet here was this, make Puss-in-boots from “Shrek”, with his oh so cute-n-cuddly eyes look like a ferocious beast, kitten, so alone and scared and in desperate need of food and love. My kids (I’m sure you can hear them pleading, oh please daddy can we keep him?) rarely hold so much power over me, or maybe it was just the power of the kitten . . . So I broke down and proceeded to lure the kitten to us with a can of tuna and the kitten came.

The kitten is now in the safely of our back yard, still looking so adorable as we search for a vet that can give the shots and do the “Bob Barker” treatment as Donkey likes to put it.

So now it looks like we will be having a cat again and now I sit here typing this post eating a scrumptious cinnamon role that my wife baked (that is why she was late picking me up because they were in the oven) and ponder about what predicament I just got myself into.