Monday, September 29, 2008

"Steve Talk Thai. Steve Talk Thai Real Good..."

Got a wild hair the other day. So I figure it takes me 30 minutes to go to work and 30+ minutes to drive home from work. I've done it for 2 months now and I've about had my fill of Conservative Talk Radio. No, that doesn't mean I'm ready to switch to Air America or the Obama Network. Seriously, there are a few good ones out there (Dennis Miller and Hugh Hewitt leap to mind). The others are a little too dogmatic in their support of the GOP.

I digress yet again...

Thirty minutes to and from work. Right. So I figure I might as well make this time productive, right? Well, I'm driving, so taking and typing on a laptop is right out. Talking on cell phones is illegal in Washington now (though everyone still does it). What to do? Why, learn Thai, of course! There are CDs in the base library on speaking Thai. I figure my mother-in-law is full Thai, I can practice my lessons on her when she calls. Lesson 1 was today. I learned to say, "I speak Thai a little," which is true, I suppose. I tried it out tonight on her when she called, grabbing the phone from my wife.

"Oohh, Steeb. That sound good!" [spoken in a Thai/English accent].

Good feedback. I speak English with a Thai accent really well, by the way. I figure if I stumble over real Thai, I'll just fall back on English with a Thai accent, speaking it really, really loud. That way they'll be sure to understand me.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Saturday

Random musings...

Big shakeup in college football today. What is it about college sports? There's something more energetic to it than pro sports, isn't there? Most of those kids won't ever see the pros, and you like to think they're doing it for the love of the game. Makes it seem more pure somehow.

My two youngest watched "The Wizard of Oz" for the first time tonight. I had forgotten how scary those winged monkeys were. Toto is a good dog, too.

Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream is, perhaps, one of the world's most perfect foods. That, and Chunky Monkey. I could survive on a desert island with those two things.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

High School Memories

I was reminiscing today about High School. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those that wiles the day away thinking of "the good ol' days" in High School, wishing I was back there. There are times I wish I was 17 again (well, 17 with the mind of a 40-year-old). But all in all I find that each year is better than the last. Like a fine wine.

Anyhoo, High School. Stay on target. Airport High class of 19 and 86. I was thinking about some funny events from High School that never fail to bring a chuckle:

- David Cobb's wet spot on the front of his pants at a school assembly (he wouldn't stand up)
- Robert Strickland's student body president campaign and the coolest campaign poster I've ever seen (thanks to Jay and Alan).
- Jeff (can't remember his last name--40-year-old-mind) pulling someone out of his parking spot on the Senior lot (he was sent home for the day).
- Martha slapping David Cobb. Watching them two was like watching a soap opera.
- Mrs. Rawl...
- Lunch in Roscoe's classroom

Good memories.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Shaka Zulu Goes to School

My son passed along a funny story from school today. Seems one of the boys in his class won a fake lion skin (with head) at some contest at the state fair. I don't remember any prizes like that at the South Carolina State Fair. The prizes there consisted of roach clips with feathers, small mirrors with REO Speedwagon printed on them, or AC/DC posters. But I digress...

This lion skin was quite the sight. Nathan said he draped it around his shoulders and wore the head like some sort of strange Shaka Zulu headdress. He got all the way to school with it before a teacher called him on it.

"It's part of my religious beliefs," was his explanation for wearing it. The teacher had none of it and into a box went the lion skin.

Nice try. Another one of those "colorful characters" that make it work going to school/work sometimes.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Camping Weekend

Weather's been very nice here in the Pacific NW. Took the family camping North of Seattle to Deception Pass State Park last weekend. We met up with some Canadian friends of ours that were our neighbors in Germany. It probably took the fact that they were depending on us to go for us to actually make this trip. Camping seems to be one of those things that you really have to make an effort to do. Lots of preparation involved. By the time we got a trailer hitch (our old one had been stolen in the move), picked up the rented pop-up camper, bought food, and packed everything away, I felt like I had prepared for an African safari. The park is absolutely gorgeous, the weather was great, and we all had a wonderful time. I spend most of my time around the campfire cooking...and had a blast. I got to dust off the old dutch oven and iron skillet. I also rediscovered that my wife is a firebug. She can't keep away from the fire. Poking it. Prodding it. Mesmerized by its dancing flames, she's drawn to it like a moth.

I also remarked that if I had been born in the 19th century, I'm convinced that my calling would have been as a chuck wagon cook. I was all over the place cutting, prepping, ladling. Good times.

All in all, we all had a great time. Wife wants to camp more. Kids enjoyed themselves for a weekend without the Playstation. I got to cook up some outdoor food. Good weekend.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back to School and Sarah Palin

Kids went back to school today. It's a little different experience here in the States than going back to school in Germany. I drove past the local high school and saw cheerleaders and a pep club cheering from the corner as folks clapped and cheered on their way to school. I don't remember being that happy to go back to school. I guess there was good things about back-to-school: New clothes, a brand-new Trapper Keeper (that always ended up at the bottom of the locker after week #3, never to resurface), seeing old friends, the smell of a freshly sharpened #2 pencil, and Mrs. Rawl. That's about it. I asked my son Benjamin what his favorite subject was after he got home today. He responded, "Lunch and recess." That's my boy.

Did you watch the Sarah Palin speech tonight. She's pretty impressive. I think the McCain campaign just got a huge boost. I also like what Newt Gingrich had to say about her executive experience as both a mayor and governor. Pretty impressive when you compare her to Obama's lack of experience. Newt asked, "What has he really done other than write a few memos and give some speeches." Will she pull in all the Hillary voters? Martha, you gonna cross over to the "dark side?" Resistance is futile...

Love it.