Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I'm Homeless!

Well, after all my moaning last year, this year I did it.  I raised my money and I did Homeless for a night.  This is a fundraiser put on by the Fuller Center.  The Fuller Center was started by the same man that started Habitat for Humanity.  It’s a pretty awesome charity, and they’re doing big things in my area.  I decided to help everyone see what was happening during the night I’d start a twitter hashtag and tweet all through the night.  If you want to search for all my tweets, you can visit my twitter feed, or search for #homelessforanight in twitter.  Guys this event was so awesome to be a part of.  It’s really eye opening.  Sure it was cold being out there with the frost and all, but I knew that this was just for a few hours.  I knew that at 7:00 they were sending us all home, after donuts and chocolate, and I could go get in my nice warm bed and curl up with my sleeping bride.  Speaking of my bride, before she left me for the night, I asked her for her socks.  I already had on two pair and my toes were frozen solid.  So she was nice enough to loan me the thick fuzzy socks that I let her wear out of my drawer before we left the house. 
In total we all raised just over 29,000 dollars!  That’s just over half of the cost to build a deserving family a home. 
At the start of the night I figured I’d stay awake through the whole thing, but around 3:00 I decided that standing around a fire barrel wasn’t going to give me the full experience.  I walked way away from the warmth of the barrels and climbed into my home for the night.  Two cardboard boxes that I taped together to make one home big enough for my long body.  I was surprised at how well the boxes kept in the heat once I was inside and closed off all the openings.  Granted, this is not the ideal sleeping arrangement, but for one night, it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  I couldn’t imagine having to do this every night though. 
To start the night we had local bands playing, some kids playing football, and a soup kitchen making potato soup.  The rest of us were setting up our homes and decorating.  Everyone kept it a secret from my Bride that there was a contest for the best decorated box.  The prize was an iPad2.  They all knew if my Bride knew there was a decorating contest they didn’t stand a chance so they cheated and left that little piece of info out.  She would have had me a two story cardboard house with a dinning room and seating for eight.  I would have had a working fireplace, a chandelier, DirecTV, and a white picket fence.  My bride is crafty yo!  But alas, no one told us so we had one sad little pumpkin that I had taken from our put away fall decorations and placed him in front of my boxes.  Below are some of my tweets, in my sleep deprived mind these were twitter gold.

My home for the night. #homelessforanight

Hands are frozen, hard to type on the iPhone. #homelessforanight
Made my bride @howardsmithhome surrender her socks before she left for our nice warm house tonight. #homelessforanight
All these extra layers are making using the restroom a challenge. #homelessforanight
Getting a little frosty #homelessforanight

Someone apparently didn't check the weather before coming to #homelessforanight

Someones cardboard box just got jacked. It's hard out here on the streets. #homelessforanight cold blooded.
Cardboard box is very ineffective at dampening train noise. I think it's coming right at me. #homelessforanight
Now that I'm settled I really have to pee. Getting up would destroy my house. I'll have to hold it. #homelessforanight
As a grown man of 32 years I'm very disappointed in myself for not going to the bathroom before getting in my box. #homelessforanight
I can hold it no longer I will risk destroying my house in an effort for the comfort of an empty bladder. #homelessforanight
I'm all hopped up on mountain dew so sleep evades me. Standing by the fire it is. #homelessforanight
5:30 temp update. #homelessforanight the thick sheet of ice on my windshield tells me it's cooler than advertised.

Standing between two fire barrels is 360 degrees of heat and like beck said, where it's at. #homelessforanight

Final temp update. Weather.com is a lying pirate hooker. #homelessforanight

Wearing a toboggan for an extended period has made my head and hair quite itchy. #homelessforanight
And here are just some pictures from the night.

Here's my view from inside my box, iPhone 3G doesn't have a flash.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

As Random as it gets

So, I put on twitter that someone needed to remind to post a blog on Friday, and no one did.  So here I sit on a Saturday night posting a random blog.  This blog is all youse guys fault. 
So, I don’t know how many of you guys are followers of mine on twitter, or on friends on the book of faces, but if you are you know that my cat Snoogans got out last weekend and was missing.  How did he get out you might ask?  Well Saturday morning my bride and I were getting ready to go to my folks for their Thanksgiving events.  I woke up not feeling all that great and was dragging around the house.  As the primary car loader in our family I’m guessing on one of my trips o the car to load stuff Snoogs snuck out behind me and into the great outdoors.  Normally when we go out of town we close off our bedroom, which means we have to do a pet count to make sure no one is locked in.  Well, we were in a hurry so we left our bedroom open and hit the road.  Snoogans is out on his.  That long story was told just to tell you this.  My bride and I went out in our area looking for him.  We made the standard flier that we posted around the area with a picture and our numbers.  My Bride goes to a near by trailer park and talks to some of the locals.  Upon speaking to one local and showing her a picture of Snoogans from her phone my bride ask, “Have you seen this cat?”  The replied she received, “YES!  His picture is on that flier posted to the mailboxes.  I saw him in a picture right over there.”  Thanks for your help lady, but no thanks.  Side note, Snoogans found his own way home Tuesday evening and is once again safe at home.
While eating at a new sports bar and grill Thursday night we were told by the owner that he got a discount on his window tinting because he let the window tinter advertise in the window.  The owner then said, “I don’t have a problem with it, if NASCAR can have sponsors, hell, why can’t Vic’s?”
A new liquor store has opened at the corner of my street.  We pulled in the parking lot before it opened to see what it looked like inside.  We noticed they sell, liquor, cigarettes, and prepaid cell phones.  So you have everything you need for a night out.  Drinks, smokes and cell phones to drunk dial and drunk text your exes. 
I’m watching “Vietnam in HD” on History right now.  I know that wasn’t a popular war, but those that fought in that war need to be treated as the hero’s they are.  They went where they were sent and did what they were told.  They didn’t want to be over there, but they were there for us.  So to all our Vets, I thank you. 
This dog has to go out again.  This is serious the third time in the last 30 minutes.  Has she been drinking beer or something? 
As I am every year about this time, I’m already over Christmas.  When Christmas is used as a money making event and not the Holiday it truly is, I get sick of it.  It starts earlier and earlier every year because everyone wants to get in on this Christmas money.  Radio stations in my area were playing Christmas music before Halloween.  So instead of “nightmare on my street”, “Monster mash” and “Thriller” Kids in our area are listening to Jingle Bells as the Treat-or-Treat.  People, this is just wrong.  Someone needs to put Christmas back into check.
The last payment on my truck was made in May of this year and I still haven't gotten my title.  Is that normal?  I've never paid off a car before, but this seems like a very long time for them to mail me my title.  I don't think they understand how bad I want this document.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

To each their own

Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam…  (Name that movie).  Alright, so I bet you’re wondering what that has to do with the price of tea in China.  I’ll be happy to tell you how, (DirecTV is playing a commercial with that line from Rango in it over and over and it’s stuck in my head).  A few weeks back my Bride and I went to a wedding of a friend of mine.  The invitations had cowboy boots and said to dress “wedding casual”.  Cool, no suit, just a tie.  Well… what I define as wedding casual and other people’s definition is slightly different.  My Bride told me I was going to be over dressed, but I told her I was still going to a wedding and I had to respect myself while I was there.  More on that in a minute.  I think a wedding should represent the couple getting married.  It’s their day, let them have the wedding they want.  If they don’t want the formalities in their wedding fine, take them all out.  Stand up there in a bathing suit smoking a cigarette, it’s your wedding, and your wedding photos.  I will not judge you for having the wedding of your dreams.  BUT judging and laughing are two totally different things right?  Before I go any further let me just say I enjoyed the wedding, it was perfect for the couple and all the friends and family just kept commenting on how it couldn’t have been a better fit for the bride and groom.  Again, I’m not judging, I’m just making commentary on this beautiful wedding.  With that out of the way, let the festivities begin!
The wedding was held on a local farm.  A very nice setting I might add.  The road leading in was lined on both sides by pecan trees just outside of a white post horse fence like you see in the movies.   In this fenced in field is where the wedding would be held.  I wish I would have thought to take a picture of this, but I didn’t.  But I did get a picture of the Alter.  As we’re sitting waiting for everything to start I lean over to my bride and ask her if she’s Tom Arnold or the crew of “My Big Fat Redneck Wedding”.

And I got a picture of what is considered “wedding Casual” here.  Or basically as much college football attire you can pack on one body.  It was a gameday though... I was a little more than slightly over dressed in my khaki’s and tie.  (I'm also guilty because I purposely wore a navy and orange tie. War Eagle)

I also noticed that Granny got the seat of honor.

Something very fun about this wedding is that all the bridesmaids and the bride came in the back of a huge monster truck.
All the groomsmen had to help unload the bridesmaids.  How gentlemanly of them.

After unloading everyone the groomsmen, in their very crisp overalls, escorted the cowboy boot wearing bridesmaids down the aisle.

I wish I had a better picture of this, but the ring bearer carried the rings in the bed of  toy Ford truck instead of using a pillow.  How cool is that?

And no wedding is complete without the bride.  This might sound totally gay, but that is one beautiful dress she’s rocking.

Here’s the bride and groom at the alter.
And what wedding is complete without play Quad City DJ’s “C’Mon N’ Ride it”, or better known as the ride that train song,  as they walk back down the aisle after saying I do.
Have any of you guys had a fun wedding like this, or been to a wedding like this?  Again, not making fun of them, this was their day and they really seemed to enjoy everything about it.  It was very short, sweet and relaxed.  At the reception the groomsmen even took their shirts off from under their overalls.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday Randoms

I haven’t had too much happen lately that was blog worthy so I’m going to put my small thoughts together in a randomness blog.

Tip:  To save power and quickly dry your dishes if you’re around your dishwasher when it finishes the last cycle, open the door.  The quick flash of cool air mixing with the hot damp air in the washer will flash dry the dishes.

One of our cats has been having seizures and it’s so sad to watch.  We’ve taken her to vet and are awaiting the test results.  She’s gotten some shots that seem to be helping though.

I haven’t flown anywhere since my trip to Canada in January, and I kind of miss flying.

I remember when you used to have to have a perfect dollar for a vending machine to take it, now the vending machine will take any wadded up bill you
have.  You can even give some a 10 and it’ll give you change back.

Sometimes I don’t comment on peoples blogs because I don’t want them to think I’m stalking them or something.  I think I feel this way because I’m a guy and most other bloggers are women.  Does anyone get bothered that a guy keeps commenting on your blogs?

I might not be able to cook a lot of thing, but the things I do cook, I cook pretty darn well!

My bride and I are trying to get a jump on next years vacation by planning it now.  If it works out it’s going to be beyond awesome.

Today is the coldest day of the fall and my company is serving us ice cream…

We only took about 40 pictures on our last cruise, most of which are all of the same things.

I’ve submitted a request with my company to get an iPhone4s.  Fingers crossed it gets approved.

My bride thinks if I get the iPhone4s it will become hers and I’ll inherit her old iPhone4.

So that's it, my waste of time for the day that I don't really expect anyone to read.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cozumel Mexico

Well hello everybody!  I hope everyone had as great of a weekend as I did.  I don’t want to brag about all the fun I had soaking up the rays from the Lido deck while on the open seas, taking mid-day naps just because I’m so relaxed it’s making me tired, or driving around the island of Cozumel Mexico in a Jeep with the top down.  Ok, I really do want to brag about that or else I wouldn’t have even mentioned it.  The bride and I had a wonderful 4 day cruise out of Mobile AL to Cozumel Mexico.  This was my first cruise out of my home state of Alabama, all my other cruises have been out of Florida.  I heard things this weekend that I never expected to hear on a cruise.  While going through the security check to get on the boat the man in front of us had the line held up.  After standing around bored for what seemed like forever, especially since I can see the boat right out the window to my left, I decided to start ease dropping the conversation to see what the holdup was.  Upon opening my ears this is what I hear, “Well I didn’t know I couldn’t bring my pliers!?”  Really?  You think if the boat breaks down they’re going to call on you to go down to the engine room with your pliers and get us rolling again?  Really?  Apparently this same guy thought Carnival was just going to let him walk onto their ship carrying 4 cases of Diet Pepsi, 2 bottles of wine, and a box full of assorted snacks?  Really?  Thanks for delaying me from getting onboard so I could enjoy my first of many hamburger buffets and endless Panini’s.  But also thanks for giving my bride and I a good laugh since it became a running theme to randomly say, “I didn’t know I couldn’t bring my pliers!?”  You know it’s bad when the cruise staff is making fun of Alabamians.  While on stage performers would say something totally redneck, followed by “Row Tide”.  All the classic Auburn/Alabama stereo types were in play as well.  Well dressed older man with docker shorts and boat shoes, Auburn fan, a man holding a bud light, smoking in the non-smoking section of the boat, wearing a ratty bathing suit, Alabama fan.  I don’t think I want to go on a cruise out of Alabama again because I realized that I cruise to get away from these people, not be trapped on a boat for days with them.  Thanks for Classing up the Boat and Cozumel Alabama, and Row Tide.  You guys have no idea how bad it was.  Thank God I was on a cruise and completely relaxed.
When we got to Cozumel my bride and I signed up for the “Go Jeep, Tequila and Beach Adventure”.  We really enjoyed this excursion.  In the description of the excursion it clearly said that all jeeps are stick shifts.  Apparently my bride and I were the only ones to read this part as most everyone else stood with their mouths open when our tour guide dropped that bomb.  Four people had to get into one Jeep so we had to find us some riding partners.  When they told us to find our jeeps I raised my hand and said, we have two and need two more.  These two sweet old ladies came running to me and asked, “Can you drive a stick?”  I said, “yes, I can”, so they hired me to be their driver.  Off we went, driving through downtown Cozumel was a treat, there doesn’t appear to be any lines in road, and mo-paders just seem to do whatever they want, including, but not limited to, putting helmets on mom and dad, but no helmet on little Olga who is either sandwiched between mom and dad, or sitting on the gas tank drinking a juice box.  *Yes we saw both of those situations.  Helmet law for adults = yes, helmet law for childrens = no.

Once out of downtown we hit the open roads!  That is until we stop at the Pee-Pee Station, complete with a urinating alligator painted on the sign.  We saddle back up in our jeeps and continue down the road to drink Tequila, that’s right, all the Tequila we want driver or no driver, belly up to the bar.  Since I was the driver and was being watched like a hawk by my passengers I didn’t partake in the sweet nectar of the Blue Agave plant.
Back on the road again we head to our final stop, the beach.  The water is beautiful beyond words, blue, warm, and crystal clear.  After a short hour and a half we go to jump back into the jeeps, only to be met by swarms of bees.  Apparently the local gang of bees was enjoying our “souvenir” Margarita cups.  Every jeep had dozens of bees in and around them.  We quickly pulled our “souvenir” cup out of the jeep and poured out the contents and washed the cup out.  I then stuck my leg into the jeep, started the jeep, and put it in neutral.  (Also engaging the emergency brake to prevent rolling.)  After letting the jeep run with the air on we noticed that most of the bees left so we hopped in and continued our journey.  After driving about 5 miles the jeep in front of us breaks down.  We have been instructed to just keep going, the guide in the back will handle such things.  So we pass them and leave them for dead.  Well a little while further down the road a caution light comes on in the dash of my jeep.  I have no idea what this light is about, I check the temp, it’s good, gas is good, jeep seems to be driving fine, not my jeep, not my problem.  We continue on to the drop off point with no apparent mechanical issues.  I’m driving along happy as can be, I want a jeep, and I want a stick shift, I forgot how much I enjoyed shifting gears.  All the while that light is still lit, and it’s still beeping at me, again, not my jeep, not my problem.  We roll back up to the starting point to return our jeeps, I park, shut off the engine, make sure the jeep is in first gear, reach to engage the emergency brake…  Oh, the emergency brake is already engaged…  Um, hey babe, grab our bags and lets walk away, smile and keep walking…  hahaha.  Well, at least I’m pretty sure I know what all the beeping was about.  Too bad that guy didn’t have his pliers to fix any issues we caused with the Jeep…

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sept 11th

I hadn't planned on making a pot for today.  Today is my first anniversary with my bride.  The church we got married in was only open for this day because no one seemed to want to get married on this day.  We viewed it as a way to bring the day back to the good.  Something positive on a day that is so sad and emotional.  On this day 10 years ago I was working second shift as a conference call operator.  I was still asleep when the first plane hit.  One of my roommates came and woke me up and told me something was happening and I needed to get up.  As we sat in our living room watching in shock I still knew I had to get to work.  Work was strange that day.  On this day came one lowest moments as an operator.  A call was put on my schedule to call 4 people and connect them to a conference.  the first three numbers were 212 area code.  I got ring no answers from all three.  I then dialed the last number.  On the last number I told the person that answered that I called the other three numbers and didn't get an answer.  He then asked me if I knew where those numbers went too.  I said 212 is New York, he said, these numbers go to the World Trade Center and then hung up on me.  I felt so low at that moment.  I don't know these people, I don't know if they lived or not.  I pray often that they did live and that the man I spoke too forgives me and understands that I was just doing my job.  After this I was moved to lead a call that was lines connected to a conference keeping communications up following the president.  Where he was, if he was on the ground, in the air, where he was heading.  It was interesting, but I couldn't wait to get back home and get this day over with.  I think of  this every year on this day.  I was hoping I could replace these memories with new memories of what I did leading up to marrying my bride, but they're burned into my mind.  I'm so happy to be celebrating my anniversary with my bride today, but sadden at what happened on this day 10 years ago.  My bride and I have decided that we will spend one of anniversaries in New York in remembrance of those that lost their lives on that day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Rentals

Here we are once again, me on my side of my blog writing, and you on your side of the blog reading.  I had a good weekend, I hope you guys did as well.  My parents came into town for their yearly vacation so my bride and I spent the whole weekend trying to entertain them.  I don’t know if they’re trying to pay me back from when I was kid and lived with them or what, but they sure have become needy and demanding.  We had to have constant entertainment for them, and they seemed to always be hungry.  No lie, my bride and I are in the kitchen cooking dinner and from the couch we hear, “I sure am hungry, we don’t eat as late you guys do.”  I’m cooking as fast as I can mom, I’m sure you don’t want to eat your chicken raw, I hear bad things can happen.  One morning I’m in the kitchen making breakfast, my parents walk in and proclaim that they’re ready for breakfast.  I tell them that we’ll be having cinnamon rolls and they are almost ready, so they decide to just have cake for breakfast.  Then when I pull the cinnamon rolls out of the oven, they say, well I wouldn’t have had cake if I knew you were making cinnamon rolls.  Really folks?  Was I really this bad and annoying?  It didn’t even stop with food, a picture was knocked off of a wall, we hear it hit the floor so my bride and I go to investigate thinking a cat has done something, what do we find? Our picture that used to be on the wall stacked on a bookshelf, I know our cats, they don’t stack.  It would have taken just as much time to hang the picture back on the nail.   I half expected them to give me the, “Are we there yet” when we went out Saturday!  The other times they have come to the house they came to help us move, do some yard work and meet my bride’s dad.  Apparently I’ve learned that when they come there needs to be tasks laid out for them to do or else they’re going to get bored!  Apparently they see my house as their house as well, because my dad got up from the table, turned on the weather channel and promptly feel asleep.  Welcome home dad, welcome home…
I really do love my parents, and I’m very thankful for everything they’ve given me, so don’t think I’m just off bashing my parents.  It was just to the point of being comical this weekend with the goings on that just weren’t expected from my parents.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I hope everyone had as good of a weekend as I did.  Nothing special happened, I just didn’t have to work.  Well I guess I did have to work, just a different type of work, yard work.  A while back I had my old push mower die on me so I had to get a new one.  Well I didn’t really know what to do with my old dead mower so it just sat behind the shed letting the grass grow up around it.  (And yes I did do redneck fixes on it to keep it running as long as I could, but it finally just couldn’t take it anymore.)  Well, my bride has been on me for a while, I guess about 2 years, about getting rid of it. Since I was in the yard working yesterday it seemed like the perfect day to do something with the old mower.  I’ve heard rumors about people cashing in scrap metal for money so I thought there had to be some big bucks in this.  I tell my bride, we’re cashing in this old mower and some other scrap metal and we’re going to have ourselves a date night!  We load up our old rusted and holey fire pit, some random car parts that I’ve gotten out of the ditch from in front of our house, and the old mower.   I just know in my heart that I’ve got at least 40 dollars of metal in the bed of my truck.  I pull up to the scrap metal place beaming with pride and thoughts of big bucks.  I back up to the scale and we start unloading.  I’m watching the weight increase on the digital screen, 75, 90, 124 pounds!  JACKPOT!  We’re going to Western Sizzler tonight, put on your fancy blue jeans, and a shirt that doesn’t have a hole, we’re living the high life!  Aw man, I just can’t wait to have all these bills counted out into my hand.  I’m doing the old Cha-Ching fast food commercial dance in my head.  Now, my bride has stayed in the truck for all of this, and her window doesn’t roll down, if you remember from last week, so she has no idea what’s going on.  This is going to be the surprise of her life.  I walk inside the place to settle up my tab and end up having the biggest surprise of my life.  We went from Western Sizzler to sharing a Happy Meal at McDonald’s.  I walked away with a hole whopping $7.20, I spent more in gas driving to the place than I made.  Talk about a blow to your ego!  The ride up there was filled talking of ways to spend this money!  Now I have to get back in the truck and hand over a 5, two 1’s and two dimes?  Ouch, I’m never going to hear the end of this one.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

There, I fixed it

As of May 2nd, I became the proud 100% owner of a 2005 F150.  That’s right the last payment was sent in and the truck is mine after 6 long years of making payments.  The last three May’s in a row something has happened to my truck that has cost us a lot of money.  With the last payment being made and the truck officially mine, I had a feeling that this May was going to be the worst May of all.  I was on pins and needles all month, and on June 1st I was happy to report that nothing happened to the truck!  Well Sunday August 7th, my luck ran out.  My lovely bride rolled down the passenger side window to talk to a friend, and as she rolled the window back up we heard a loud, CRACK followed by a POP.  My bride thought the window broke, but I knew what happened, because a few Mays ago the same thing happened to the driver’s side window.  The pulley system that rolls the window up and down snapped and so the window fell down inside the door.  The last time I had to get this fixed it cost me 360 bucks.  With my bride’s birthday coming up and our first anniversary looming , I really wasn’t too hip to dropping that kind of cash to fix a stinking window.  What to do, what to do…  I know I’ll get my redneck on!

I started this repair job off the right way, at Home Depot!  What redneck can’t fix their car with building supplies bought from the home depot?  I knew to fix the window properly I’d need two small C-Clamps and four rubber washers.

I didn’t take any pictures of me taking the door apart, so the next photo is of the C-clamp in place.  I raised the window to its shut position, I then positioned the C-clamp on the track right below the bottom of the window on the right side of the door.

One side down, now to the left side track.  This side proved to be a bit more difficult due to there being no space for my hand or clamp at the bottom of the window.  Again tapping my inner redneck I decide this is nothing that a scrap piece of trim and a coping saw couldn’t fix.

So I cut two pieces of the trim, one to be the stop for the window, and the other make a wedge to keep the stop in the track and in position.  Next I took my handy C-Clamp and clamped the trim in place.

Now for the fun of putting the door back together.  Because I’m left with this hot mess.

First I need to put the moisture barrier back in place.

With that done I bring the door panel back and take a look at it.

I snap the door pannel back in place after returning the hanging door handle to his home.

Then I need to hook the wires back to my electric door controls.

And snap them back into place.

Next the speaker needs to be put back into his hole, making sure I have clearance around one of my C-clamps. (Something I probably should have done before this step)

Lucky for me there was clearance, Clarance.  I Returned all the trim, and the job is complete.

So, there you go, if you have an F-150 that has the window break like this and don’t want to spend the money to get it properly fixed and you don’t like the look of ducktape on your car, follow these instructions and you’ll be good to go.  Other than the gallons of sweat I lost, the R rated words that were dropped and the skin and blood left inside my door it’s a pretty simple process.  Just don’t forget to put a sticker on the door that says “winder don’t work”.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Weekly Report

I know I’ve already posted one blog this week, but below is my weekly report lead in.  I hope you enjoy.
Afternoon ladies!  I hope you enjoyed your weekend.  I enjoyed my weekend, but it was a busy one.  Let me drop some knowledge on you about this guy named Cas that sends you a report once a week.  I’m not a guy that has ever been around the childrens much, never really even been that big of a fan of the childrens.  I’ve lived 32 glorious years without the childrens, and plan on living a few more sans the childrens.  But this last weekend, my beautiful and loving bride, volunteered me to help her babysit two childrens for some friends of ours so they could go off and enjoy their anniversary.  Seeing how I’ve never really been around the childrens before, I had no idea how much work they are!  Sweet Baby Jesus, Toy Story, and Harry Potter 15, these childrens never stop!  I thought little kids liked to take naps and go to bed early!?  Apparently, not so much… Wow, I gained so much respect for parents, because “Mr. Cas”, as I was called all weekend, is way too selfish and lazy to be having the childrens right now.  One of the main reasons I agreed to this “adventures in babysitting” was because our friends have a pool, and “I’ve got to get me one of these!”.  So in my head I envisioned me sitting in or around the pool for 2 solid days.  Well it rained for two straight days, so Mr. Cas was stuck inside playing Wii games while trying to remind myself that they’re just kids take it easy on them.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to sit at the finish line of Mario Cart and wait while the other drivers aren’t even half way through with the first lap?  All jokes aside, I had a great time with the childrens this weekend.  It was definitely an eye opener for me though.  I’ve got my work cut out for me when it’s my bride and I’s turn to have the childrens. 
That was my weekly report, if you read this post as being negative please note that it was written for comedic value, even if I failed horribly at being funny.  Having childrens is a challenge that I’m totally looking forward too.  The more time I spend with my bride, and around these childrens, the more I realize I’m ready for some childrens of my own, as long as the childrens is singular and a girl. 

Here is a picture of me with the childrens
*sidenote, I try to drop at least one random Will Smith movie or quote into each report...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Product Review

I almost feel like a real blogger posting a product review!  This is probably going to be a surprise when you guys read what I’m reviewing.  I’m reviewing our cookware that we got as a wedding gift.  We got Calphalon’s Contemporary 12 piece set.

I’ve been a stainless steal cookware person my entire life so I didn’t know how I felt about this black hard-anodized set.  Most of my reserve was based solely on the look of the cookware.  To me pots and pans should be stainless.  That’s how I picture chefs cooking, that’s how I pictured myself cooking.  I quickly got over this when I had to wash the pots.  When they say non-stick, they mean non-stick!  It’s amazing how everything just falls right off these pots.  The pots aren't dishwasher safe, but that’s ok, I don’t like taking up valuable space in the dishwasher with huge pots, bowls, or other large items anyway. 
We’ve added some other pieces to our set, another 1.5 qt and 3 qt sauce pan, a 13 in covered skillet, and a square grill pan.  I love the square grill pan.  It’s awesome for quickly “grilling” chicken and pork, it even puts the grill lines on the meat!
The one major downside to this cookware is the lids.  The handles on the lids get super hot and can’t really be removed with the bare hand.  It gets a little annoying always having to reach for a hand towel or oven mitt to remove the lid to stir. 
So I’ve gotten over the lack of shine on my pots and really embraced the non-stick aspect of this set.  We still hope to add some more pieces, we’d love the double boiler, and the Panini press, but we really don’t have to have them right now.  And to be honest, I’d really like to add some of the stainless pieces from this line so I can still have a little bling.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Where have I been?

I'm sure no one has wondered where I've been, but too bad, I'm going to tell you anyway.  I've been working away, doing nothing too spectacular.  But part of my job is to do a weekly report.  At the start of the report I've started writing little lead ins that I try to make humorous.  Apparently since I've started doing that I've been neglecting my blog.  I've posted a few of my lead ins into my blog just so I'd have something posted, but no one knew that's what I was doing.  But now that the cat is out of the bag I figured I'd post another one.  This is my lead in from my report sent on July 5th.

Welcome back from the long holiday weekend everyone.  I hope everyone enjoyed their 4th of July and are back at work typing with all your fingers.  I can just picture how much fun the first 4th of July was.  George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Ben Franklin, Davey Crockett,  and Paul Giamatti hanging out around the pool, knocking back some brews, grilling some meat Davey C rocket had killed that morning, and telling stories about their wild and crazy youth.  Those founding fathers of ours were having such a great time that they decided to declare every Fourth of July Independence from work day, which was later shortened to Independence Day to better fit on the calendar then shortened even further to ID4 to fit on the cover of the moving picture history book of the greatest Fourth of July ever when Will Smith stopped the Alien invasion.  Those Brave men had the foresight to know that all future generations would enjoy a day off of work in the middle of summer to drink adult beverages, fire up the grills and hang out in and around bodies of water.  George Washington, being the prankster that he was, thought it would be funny to light some explosives in the air to scare the other guys.  While he did scare them, the sight and sound of the explosion was such a beautiful ending to a beautiful day it was decided right then and there that every fourth of July be ended with a bang, thus creating our tradition of the fireworks spectacular. Thinking like this is what has made our country the greatest country in the history of countries.  Ask yourself, does Rome have a 4th of July?  What about France?  I would bet my paycheck that if you looked at the calendar of any other country they skip straight from the 3rd of July to the 5th of July because only America is great enough to have a 4th day in July.  So God Bless our founding fathers, God Bless America, and God Bless, *company that this report is for*

Monday, June 27, 2011

Beach Vacation

Welcome back everyone, oh wait, you guys didn’t go anywhere.  I on the other hand, had a nice vacation in Destin FL.  It’s hard to beat sitting on a beach taking in some sun rays and reading a book.  That is, of course, until you get out of the shower, look in the mirror and notice the nice nerd tan that you have.  Nerd Tan – a tan line created by the sun being blocked off of one’s stomach and chest by the shadow created from holding a book while sitting in the sun.  Since everyone is trying to picture this, I do have an oddly shaped white spot on my stomach that was caused by the book I was reading while on the beach and sitting by the pool.  You can laugh, it’s ok, it’ll only hurt me for a few years.
Other than reading I also really enjoyed snorkeling.  It is kind of scary when you snorkel and see all of the shark’s teeth that are washing up close to the beach.  We probably found 25 to 30 sharks teeth near the beach.  I’d have to say the snorkeling find of the week would have to go to the unopened bottle of Smirnoff Blueberry Lemonade.  Not because we planned on drinking it, but because we like to keep our oceans clean.

I guess I should go back and tell everyone of how my bride and I scored this awesome almost free beach vacation.  My bride and I had talked about taking us a weekend beach trip, we were both excited as we LOVE the beach.  Well then April 27th happened.  It wasn’t even a question, our beach money was spent in the recovery efforts.  I took off some days and we headed up to North Alabama to help.  While up in North Alabama I was talking to a guy and he was asking me some questions about why I was helping and just general questions.  Well I said that we were talking about going to the beach for a vacation, but then this came up so we decided we’d spend or beach trip volunteering.  As soon as I said that the guy I was talking too told me we’d be rewarded 10 fold and that we would get a beach trip this summer.  You hear things like this from people and you think they’re just being nice.  Well let me tell you, we were rewarded 10 fold.  Our two to three day weekend beach trip that we were planning turned into a seven day almost free.99 beach trip.  We were only asked to chip in some money for food, and we were on our own to get there.  Can you believe that?  God is good… 

You know you had a good vacation when you realize you forgot to take pictures.  So other than the artist rendering of the nerd tan, we don’t have much for pictures from this awesome vacation.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Post Rapture Blog

Well hello my fellow Rapture survivors.  Hopefully none of yous guys maxed out your credit cards, or stopped paying your rent or mortgage due to the pending rapture that was supposed to take place this past Saturday.  I’m real interested on what Harold Camping spoke about Sunday morning to his congregation.  I have a feeling it might have gone a little something like this, “See, what.had.happened.was, Jesus was going to come back yesterday, but then…  uh…  his car wouldn’t start, then his dog ate his bus pass, he blew out a flip flop and stepped on a pop top?”  I’m sure Harold Camping lost some friends on Facebook after this major bust.  This might even be a bigger false prophecy then Al Gore’s Global Warming, or since the globe isn’t warming they now call it global climate change.  But he’s still super super cereal about man-bear-pig.  *I hope I’m not the only Soutpark watcher out there. 
One good thing about the world not ending, I created a K-Ci and JoJo channel on Pandora today.  Only down side to how awesome my K-Ci channel is, is that it’s very hard for me to fight the urge to bust out singing.  If you heard my singing you’d be praying for the rapture.  I think I might be the last person to get in on the Pandora thing.  But the box has now been opened, I think my iPhone is starting to get jealous of all the love Pandora is getting lately though.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

North Alabama

My Bride and I went up to North Alabama this past weekend to help the Tornado survivors.  We went to a small rural area around Moulton Alabama.  We really had no idea what we’d be doing, but we were ready to work.  My Bride worked her booty off before we went to gather donations, get trucks, and round up volunteers.  We turned our church into a drop off site, and we were overwhelmed with the support our church and community gave us.  It was so awesome to see how giving of a community we have.  We loaded up my truck and hitched a trailer to it and took as much as we could, and we still had another two truckloads left at the church. It felt so good to roll up to Kierra’s Hope and unload all these supplies. 
That was the easy part, the rest of this I just don’t know if I can put it into words…  I have such a renewed belief in the spirit of people now.  I honestly don’t know where to go with my words right now, so many thoughts, so many things to tell, but where to start?  How can I describe with words the things I’ve seen with my eyes and felt with my heart?  We got there a week after the storm came through.  The people of North Alabama had all pulled together and cleaned a lot of the trees up.  We took the supplies that we brought to Kierra’s Way and loaded up in a truck and open trailer and went down the roads handing out cold waters, cold Gatorades, and juice boxes for the kids.  We had several people make us peanut butter sandwiches so we had those to hand out.  We were also donated hotdogs so we grilled them and handed them out.  If someone needed anything on our runs we’d take orders from and run supplies back to them.
Tents were donated, and I really hoped that since it had been a week since the storms came through we wouldn’t need to give out any tents, but I was wrong.  People still didn’t have anywhere to sleep, and were very grateful to be given a tent.
We met some amazing people.  We met a family that lost pretty much everything, but invited us to their child’s first birthday party that was being thrown for them by a local church’s youth group.  We went to the party and they made us play on the inflatables and slide down the slide.  This family said that after they made it through the storm they came outside to take pictures of their house and email to family.  One family member called balling his eyes out after getting the pictures and asked if they had looked at them.  When they looked at them they could see an angel over the corner of the house that everyone was in as the storm when by and ripped the roof off the house, almost sucking some of the people out of the house.  Another family member was in a trailer that got picked up by the tornado and rolled several times, moving almost 400 yards from where it stated, before coming to a rest in a pile of debris.  There were three people in the trailer, and all made out it out with only one of them having just as much as some cuts.  The trailer?  If you saw it you wouldn’t even know it started out as a trailer.  How anyone survived in that I’ll never know.
We stayed with a family who’s house was in the direct line of the tornado.  They put their faith in God, read Psalms 91, prayed and watched the tornado go by without as much as breaking a window in their house.  Their neighbors that lived behind them were killed.  The house completely destroyed.  The man we stayed with found two of his neighbors bodies laying out in a field.  A father and son killed.  The mom wasn’t at the house when the storm went through.
We met a lady who had set up a tent on the slab of what used to be her mother’s house as she was waiting on the insurance people to arrive.  Her mother was in the house when it was taken away.  She was found a few days later in a pond wearing nothing but her bath robe and still holding her Bible.  What do you say to someone that has just returned back to the slab where her mom used to have a house just a few hours after burying her?  I’m not equipped to handle a situation like this.  Saying, “We have cold water, Gatorade, and some sandwiches” just doesn’t seem to be what this family needs right now.
These same people that lost so much, pulled together and started picking up the pieces of their lives, but not only their lives, they went to neighbors houses and helped them remove trees, find belongs, and start the rebuilding processes.  Am I a strong enough man to lose my Bride, and not only start picking up what is left of my life, but help a neighbor start picking up their pieces as well?  Could I stand in my living room staring down a raging tornado, put all my faith in God that I will not be harmed, read scripture and just pray?  I don’t know if I could, but I am strong enough of a man to donate what little money I have, and some vacation days to go and help these hurting people. 
Please remember that this is going to be a long process, if you can donate anything, these people will need it.  They no longer have a kitchen to go get a snack out of.  They no longer have a car to get into to drive to get groceries, or a hot meal.  What is left of some of their entire lives now fit in a Rubbermaid container that was given to them by someone that donated it.  I know not everyone can do the things my bride and I were able to do, but at the very least, please say a pray for everyone that has been affected by this storm.  I’ve taken some pictures, but I have uploaded to them to my computer.  I’m still debating on posting them or not.  They are just pictures to us, but to someone they mean a lot more and are so much more personal.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Don't worry, I got this

I jokingly put “Don’t worry, I got this” as the caption for a picture of my Buddy Christ bobble head on Facebook.  I was subtlety implying that it did mean that what he “got” was our salvation, but it was in a fun, light hearted manner.  Friday night we went to our Good Friday service, and as our praise group was singing it donned on me just how right I was.  When they sang “Jesus paid it all”, a light went on in my head, “He’s got my debt”.  I’ve tried to keep my blog from being too religious.  I don’t honestly don’t feel I have any right to try and preach to anyone, I know I have my bucket of sin so I don’t want anyone thinking I’m something that I’m not.  I just couldn’t help but share the revelation I had Friday night though.

Don't worry, I got this...

I know this is a little out of order, but I thought I'd give the important stuff first.  Our youth stuffed all our eggs for our Easter Egg hunt Tuesday night.  I took my Buddy Christ to the egg stuffing event and it turns out he was a hit.  So below are two pictures we took just having fun with Jesus.

And yes, my truck did come with a tape player, how jealous are all of you!?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Oh so random

So I’m sitting at my desk today working and I have All4One’s song “So much in love” pop into my head for no reason.  I’m singing right alone in my head when I get to some lyrics that I can’t remember.  I hop on my good friend Google and search for the missing lyrics.  This makes me happy.  As I’m reading (reading = singing) the lyrics off the screen I notice in the margins of the page one of those, “If you like this you might like this” type of deals.  What I saw changed my day for the good.  If you like All4One you might also like Az Yet.  Why YES!  I do like both All4One and Az Yet.  A few clicks later I’m watching “Last Night” by Az Yet on the Tube, it's a little dirtier than I remembered.  From there a whole one click later I’m watching “Hard to say I’m sorry” also by Az Yet.  These songs had all but been wiped from my memory, but now they’re back.  How did I make it these past few years without these songs?  How did I go my wedding day/night without that All4one song?  We just didn’t know how good we had it musically back then.  Now I need to start working on a R&B CD, something we used to call a “Panty Wetter” CD back in the day.

Since I try to learn something new everyday, what I've learned from Az yet today is that apparently no matter what you've done, giving a puppy to a woman equals instant forgiveness.  Thank you Az Yet for that knowledge. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

See Rock City?

So the Smith’s have started a garden.  We have planted all our below ground veggies, and will start on the above ground veggies this weekend.  I knew our yard was rocky, but jeepers creepers!  If anyone has ever ran a tiller before than you know that tillers and rocks don’t really get along.  It’s like the bloods and the cripts shooting it out and I’m the poor lone cop trying to control the riot.  Everything is fine and going great, me and the tiller are getting along great, moving at a nice pace, then BANG, the tines hit a rock, the tiller bucks up in the air like a spooked horse, and we’re off to the races.  It’s a good five feet of me being drug through the yard before I can calm this beast of a horse down.  Apparently I have Alabama’s rockiest yard!  I think I’m going to put Rock City out of business!  I need to put a booth up and start charging admittance to come see Alabama’s Rock City! I really hope all this hard work is worth it.  If we have another summer like we did last summer, all the money we would have saved by growing these veggies will go right back out the hose pipe in watering the garden.  Time will tell if all this work will be worth it or not.  If this turns out to be a big bust we won’t be doing this again next year.  If it works out then I’ll build my bride a stand so she can sit out at the road with her straw hat and overalls selling the fruits (and veggies) of our labor.  I wish I had some pictures to share of me fighting the tiller, and my bride being a hoe, I mean using a hoe, but we left the camera in the house.  Maybe I’ll break the tiller back out and have my bride snap a few shots of me acting like I’m being drug through the yard for sh*ts and giggles. 
On another note Rock City is a special place to me and my bride, so I didn’t mind the rocks too much at all.  Every time I would hit one I’d think of our wonderful weekend together in the late crisp October air.  I’ll also always remember our “wonderful” *insert as much sarcasm as possible here* hotel choices.  I will say that at least the hotel I chose had heating and air, can’t say that for the hotel my bride chose for us.  You know it’s never a good sign when they hand you your remote when you check in and demand that you turn it back in with your key when you check out.  I swear someone was murdered in our room.  But the blood stains had all but disappeared into all the other stains and unmentionable fluids that made the carpet so matted and sticky.  Bad as it sounds, those things are what made the trip great, and they’re memories we’ll always share and laugh at.  I’m sure the story will get funnier and more meaningful as the years pass.  Love you babe!  We need to head to the beach this summer and Rock City this fall!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just because

Just so I’ve posted more than one blog this month I’m posting a quickie.  Things have been crazy busy here lately.  One, work has picked up, and two the rentals are coming into town tomorrow!  GASP!  So our house has to be spotless.  My Bride is a bit of a Martha Stewart so she always has the house looking cute and homie, is that how you spell it in that this context?  Or did I just pour out some liquor for a homie?  We’ve been scrubbing and cleaning things that often get over looked.  We’ve vowed once again to make a chore list of these task that are forgotten about so we’ll know each week/month that on a certain day the task needs to be done.  Do any of you guys have such a list?  We’re normally very good at the normal task, laundry, dishes, trash removal, with our pets my bride vacuums no less than twice a day.  (FYI, if you have cats with white fur, don’t EVER buy black rugs, OMG at the amount of times you have to vacuum that.)  Were we’ve been lacking is the cleaning of the blinds, baseboards, our rarely used guest bathroom and bedroom.  With the pets we keep our guest rooms closed and forgotten about, don’t want pet fur on the bed and pillows.  And holy hot hell, our office was post wedding storage central.  So many little things from the wedding that needed to be put away/filed/etc.  I’m happy to report that the office is once again in Martha Stewart order (minus a few things that my bride has been on me about hanging that I just haven’t gotten around to yet, oops), all the brides craft supplies bought for the wedding are neatly put in their respective bins, and all the wedding gift boxes that we were hoarding for God knows why have been properly disposed of.  Maybe we thought if we kept these things as they were the honeymoon would never end?   I don’t know if I told you guys this, but we were in a mad rush to try and get out the door for our honeymoon, 16 hours to Key West is a long time.  We unloaded both our cars, had to finish washing clothes for the honeymoon, pack, reload my Brides car for the LONG drive, and get everything ready for our friends that were stopping by to check on the cats.  (We ended up walking out the door around 3:00 am.) We carried our stuff in from the cars to the office and opened our arms and let it hit the floor.  (ok, joking about that, but you get the mental picture right?)  The wedding planner told my bridge that she holds the record for most stuff brought to a wedding, if that gives you any indication of the amount of stuff hauled in.  However, it is a title my bride wears with pride.  (She probably also holds the record for most stuff taken on a honeymoon.  Wow this post is going to get me in trouble.)  I don’t even know how I got to this point?  Oh well, my rentals are coming this weekend with their tiller and they’re going to help us get our garden started.  Here’s to living the Green Acres life in our little country home.  My Bride is trying to talk me into letting her get chickens, but that’s a negative ghost rider, we’re not that far into the country.  Sam’s sells 18 eggs for under 2.00, that’s cheaper than these chickens are going to be, and those eggs don’t come with the all the poop!  Here’s to good weather and back breaking labor at the Smith House this weekend! 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

iPhone Photo Dump

I just got a new iPhone so I don’t have many pictures, but here are three that I figured I’d dump on everyones. 

This first one is a parking fail.  My bride met me for lunch at work one Friday and while I was trying to find a place to park I was denied by this great parker.  When I parked the minivan wasn’t there, so I was very happy to find the minivan parked that close to them when I returned.  So it’s a parking fail with a parking win.

This is a picture of the TV I mounted over our dresser in our bedroom.  I’m pretty happy with it there.  (Notice me watching The Dan Patrick Show on the 101)

 Last is a text message that I received one night and my reply that I thought was pretty funny.