Friday, May 7, 2010

I Saw A Mullet Today

It was Field Day at my daughter's elementary school. I took some time off work to go up there, cheer her on and take some pictures. I was looking through the viewfinder of the video camera when I spied a mullet. I looked up from the camera and sure enough it was a for real, business in the front, party in the rear, "number one on the sides, six on the top and don’t touch the back" mullet.

Upon further inspection, there was actually a horizontal part in the hairline between the short hair and the flowing locks.

I don't know why I was so shocked. I mean, I live in Winder, GA, probably one of the foremost mullet capitals in the deep south. Don't forget we still have the Winder-Barrow Speedway just over the ridge from my house where every Saturday night we are blessed by the symphony of roaring engines until 11:00pm at night.

I still remember the first spring we lived in Winder. I heard the races from inside my house. I stepped outside onto the front porch and was so astounded by the volume that I called 911. The 911 operator yelled over to someone named Crystal and asked if the races had started up yet. She thought it was too early in the spring but no, Crystal confirmed, they start in March.

My investigation of the races the following week confirmed my fears. I heard phrases like, "Darlene, I think they're taking your husband to jail. Yep, they got him." I knew I had moved to Mulletville, USA.

I divagate.

Later, when the kids were playing on the playground between events, I saw the Mulletman playing with his daughter. Then I realized he was gamboling with several of the kids, carrying a zip line back and forth so the kids could ride. I couldn't help but think that under that coiffure was a person who loved his kids. He had taken the time to participate in her school event. Was this man anything like me? Could I larn anything from this gent?

In the post-apocalyptic red dawn, I'll probably be at his doorstep begging him to take me hunting for food for my family. In the mean time, it should be a crime to wear a camo t-shirt, denim painters' shorts, flip-flops with a mullet in public.

I say leave 'em in the 80's and don't look back.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Yesterday's Jam

"Look at you! My IT Team. Team players each and every one of you...Team! Team, team, team, team, team! I even love saying the word "team"! You probably think that's a picture of my family. Uh uh. It's the A-Team!" Denholm, The IT Crowd, Series 1, Episode 1.

I am very proud of my team. I am writing this post while logged onto the web using the wireless cloud at The Woodlands of Columbia that is part of a CATV and Internet package we installed. Everyone played a part and it works beautifully.

This has been the largest, most complex project we have ever tackled. Along the way we have had many hardware disappointments where something didn't work as advertised and we've had to go back to the drawing board. Each time my team has come up with an alternative solution and here we are today. Official move in day and everything is working, 2 days ahead of schedule. Congratulations guys.

Now more about my new favorite TV Show, "The IT Crowd".

Why hasn't anyone told me about this TV series. It is probably one of the funniest shows on TV. I must admit that when the American version came out a couple of years ago, I never watched it because I thought it was called "The It Crowd" as in another "90210" or "The Hills". Anyone wanting to watch a show about the "it" crowd probably doesn't want anything to do with the IT crowd and so you can see why the show failed to produce a following.

Check it out on Netflix or buy it at Best Buy. It won't disappoint. It delivers, just like my team.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

How Get Me To Cuss Like a Sailor,

One Thing I Hate About Christmas,

You Gotta Have the Right Tool for the Job

It takes a bit to get me rattled. I'm usually described as calm and even tempered. However, at the beginning of every Christmas season, my vocabulary is reduced to four letter words strung together in tirade of filth and foul. What, you ask, could possibly reduce this otherwise mild mannered father of 4 into a crazed hate spewing monster?

Simple, the lighting of the Christmas Tree.

Yes that time honored tradition of Daddy putting the lights on the tree while expectant children impatiently await their turn at decorating the tree.

It got so bad that a few years ago my wife decided to purchase a pre-lit tree.
This certainly would be the end to all despair and restore peace in our home at the beginning of the holiday.

The situation has only gotten worse. Now every year I wrestle this 200lb monster out of the attic and down the steps. When I get it set up and ready to plug in, I wait expectantly like Clark W. Griswold for the 1000 light extravaganza assembled by some penniless sweat shop worker who will never see the finished product in all its glory, and think to myself how smart I am to have authorized the purchase by my wife of such a holiday shortcut and then, drum roll please...

Nothing.


Now I've been told by countless thousands about how these days Christmas tree lights are now wired in parallel, not like the old days where if one bulb was out, then the whole strand was out. I remember as a boy helping my poor Dad unscrew and replace every bulb from our old school, over sized, C-9 1/4 colored lights. This method worked great as long as you only had one light out, but heaven forbid you have multiple failures on a single strand. You could be hours replacing bulbs.

Today it's supposed to be different, but you know that isn't true. We've all seen sections of lights out in an icicle strand. How is this possible.

Two years ago, I wore my fingers out while replacing each bulb in the broken part of the strand. Each socket has a little plastic lock and then the replacement bulbs have these little filaments that have to fit into little holes just so.

Generally, in today's economy with the aforementioned sweat shops pumping out strands of 100 lights for $2.99, it's just easier to traipse off to Walmart for another set.

This was my plan last year. Angela and I just purchased a couple of additional strands to replace the sections that would not light. We discovered, however, that the sweat shop employees were diligent workers and had secured the wires to the prickly branches with a dexterity unmatched by soft American computer user hands. Six man hours later and looking like a couple of first year marrieds had wired their first Christmas tree, we had replaced the two burned out sections.

This year I was determined to outsmart the Christmas Tree Light Grinch and I Googled for possible solutions on how to fix Christmas tree lights.

Could it be true? Could it be possible? The Light Keeper Pro was the answer to all my holiday problems. God bless Google and God bless Rich Frederick.

I ran down to my neighborhood Ace Hardware store so I could pay full retail price for this tool. Not to be tricked by some snake oil salesman, I took the top of my tree with me and I planed to test the Light Keeper Pro on site at Ace and return it if I was disappointed.

The nice ladies at Ace made wonderful suggestions, "Honey, why don't you just buy another strand?" and "You could just wrap some new ones in with the old ones." but I was undeterred.

I bought the Light Keeper Pro, found the nearest outlet and proceeded to follow the instructions to a "T". Surrounded by Ace hardware staff and customers, I was prepared to pull the trigger the maximum of 20 times in order to get my lights working but with one unclimatic pull of the trigger all the lights came to life. It has worked as advertised. Christmas is saved.

Most miniature Holiday Light set failures occur when an individual bulb "shunt" fails to energize. These shunts are energized when a filament burns out. This causes a section of lights, usually 35 or 50, to go out instead of just one light bulb. This is because miniature light sets are wired in "series" and electricity must flow through each bulb, to the next, for them to light. The LightKeeper Pro Quick Fix Trigger sends a shaped, electrical pulse through the defective bulb, clearing the shunt. This allows it to operate properly. The current can then flow through the light set completing the circuit and illuminating the other bulbs.


I completely endorse this product and recommend it for every pre-lit tree or lawn ornament user.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wisdom at Waffle House


I met a man last weekend who gave me some unsolicited advice but I haven't been able to shake it.

He was a working man in blue coveralls with his name embroidered on the pocket. He was an older, local fellow with some teeth missing and askew. He noticed me waiting for a table and stopped to comment on my children. He mentioned that he had raised 3 girls in his lifetime. And then proceeded to give me some advice. I leave you with his own words as best as I can remember them:

"People say raising girls is harder than boys, but I say it's easy. You just gotta be right there for them when they need Daddy. When I'm at work and I get a call from home, I just close up my tool box and head on home. My friends ask me, 'Don't you have a job?' but I tell'em my wife has 3 kids to raise and she can't do it alone."

I've reflected on his words all week and they strike a chord within me. You can find morsels of wisdom anywhere you go.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

There's Something Happening @ Fusion

I'm not exactly sure what is going on, but something is happening at Fusion Church.

We took a few weeks off after having the baby and when we came back, wow, the place is jumping.

Let's break it down:

  1. There are people I don't recognise and I wonder from where they came?
  2. The energy is really high. It seems expectant that God is going to do something.
  3. Scott Stewart is leading like a Fortune 500 CEO and working like dog.
  4. Stephen Lowe, who has my dream job, is doing an excellent job getting the church to run on all 8.
  5. The worship has been great. Seth is doing a great job. It is so nice when there is a full sound with 6 musicians.
  6. Chad's announcements and closing are hitting a stride that is very natural and upbeat.
  7. And the Preaching -

Let's talk about preaching for a minute.

My primary reason for going to church is to worship God. I do that through song and prayer and giving and the hearing of the Word.

If you are going to make the effort to get up on Sunday morning and attend church, you want the preaching to be life changing. It's not the preaching solely that changes your life, it's the application of the Word into your life.

You don't spend the time and money to go to the doctor and then not do what he says. Why then would you go to church, listen to the pastor unpack the Word, give you lessons for life and then go home without giving it another thought.

I'm telling you there is no way you could have attended Fusion Church today and walk away unchanged and a large part of that was the preaching. Pastor Tony was giving it everything (insert link to video when available here) he had to get the message across. Well it worked.

I'm not here to lift up one man. I know it is the Holy Spirit working through him, but he has to be yielded to it and do his due dilligence in preparation. I really appreciate what a gem we have in Pastor Tony. I have attended many churches and listened to countless pastors preach and very few are as good at communicating as Pastor Tony.

If the One Prayer series was indicitative of the best of the best preaching in America, then we really don't realize how blessed we are. And literally, thank God for One Prayer. Pastor Tony got a study break and look what it did for him. We should support him and make sure we give him the appropriate time off on a regular basis.

All in all, I could not wait to get home and post about this amazing experience. More importantly, I can't wait to apply all that I am learning into my everyday life. I am looking forward to the rest of the series and seeing the changes in my life as well as those around me.

Great job guys!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Skills


This young man has skills.

Not only karate skills, but intellectual and people skills. He is continually on some type of Dean's list and was recently awarded the Star Citizen Award at his school.

Now he has graduated to the level of Black Belt which to me shows dedication to personal fitness, discipline of the mind and body and commitment to a higher set of values than most young men his age.

I know that his whole family is very proud of him, especially his mother and father. I just wanted to publicly announce that I am one very proud uncle. I can't wait to see the great things you will accomplish in your lifetime.

Congratulations, Nick!