Saturday, February 28, 2009

Dads Can Be So Cruel

So about 4 months ago I took my two youngest out for a little time with Dad. "Time with Dad," or as my wife calls it, "Goof off time," is like a box of never know what you're going to get. We stopped by the grocery store and picked up a loaf of bread and headed down the street to the decorative ponds just outside our neighborhood. These ponds are home to scores of ducks and geese. These ducks and geese appear to be permanently "on the dole," living the life of Riley while being constantly fed bread by saps like me. Nature's "Stimulus Package" I suppose. But I digress...

Anyhoo, we hopped out with our bread in hand and thus began the feeding frenzy. Frenzy was right. Those ducks and geese must have had a slow bread day up to that point. They were on us before we knew what was happening. My daughter began growing uneasy at this point which, of course, is my cue as a father to do something mildly cruel to her but immensely funny to me. I waited until she was preoccupied with one geese (who, by the way, are pretty mean) when I dropped a particularly appetizing bread chunk right behind her. A large geese took the bait and moved in. Just as the geese grabbed for the bread I told my daughter to look behind her. She didn't like that one bit. Next thing I know I'm wearing my daughter as a hat. I told her the same thing my Dad used to tell me, "Geese don't have teeth...they won't hurt you." It's hard to believe that when those things have your finger two knuckles deep down their throat.

I thought it was pretty funny and I thought she did too after sufficient time had passed to dull the fear she'd felt that day. I talked with her about it today. She still doesn't think it's funny. In fact, she said, "I mean, what kind of father would do that?"

"One who loves you very much, girl. " I told her one day she'd laugh.

"Not likely."

"Well...your kids will if you ever tell them about it."

My son chimed in at this point. "Yeah," he said, "I'll make sure your kids know all about it!"

Kids are so much fun.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

More Snow

We had a stretch of about 4 days last week of highs in the upper 50s and sunny skies. I think one day even touched 60. For here that's Spring weather (shoot, sometimes that's Summer weather!). Woke up this morning to a fair dusting of snow on the ground. My wife and I have decided that we both belong where it's warm. No offense, Todd my friend, but wearing a sweater in June is not my idea of Heaven. I like to break a goodly sweat in November, get a suntan in March, and wear shorts at Christmas. That's just me.

I've found myself pondering retirement from the Air Force as, sadly, the majority of my career now is behind me rather than in front of me. I've been blessed to have seen a large portion of this great land and have a new project to think about--where to retire? South Carolina tugs at the heartstrings...I guess a piece of me will always call it home. Probably won't be Columbia, though. Coach Yawn used to call Columbia "the armpit of South Carolina--no ocean like Charleston and no cool weather like Spartanburg." That was when he wasn't paddling folks with his boat oar. Texas is really nice, especially around San Antonio. Hot is the word there, though. Good Mexican food, George Strait, cowboy hats as accepted fashion accents, and pickups. Florida is warm but a bit crowded. Virginia? North Carolina? What about the deep South? Alabama?

Anyone else thinking that far ahead? Am I showing my age?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

10 Things I Learned This Week

I had the pleasure (?) of participating in a mobility exercise this past week which consisted of trying to operate aircraft in a fictitious location while getting attacked in various and sundry ways. It was educational for me in many ways, ways I'd like to share with you right now:

1. You can drink coffee all day. I figure Rick knows this already, but it was news to me.

2. MREs, which stands for "Meals Ready to Eat," have come a long, long way. I had a Veggie Burger in tomato sauce on Thursday that was not half bad. I'm not real sure what vegetable is square, brown, and tastes like a hamburger, though.

3. Coffee left cooking at the bottom of the pot will keep you extra awake when you drink it.

4. When it's cold outside and you go pee in a porta john, the steam that comes up is pee, too.

5. Wearing chemical protection suits for 3 hours is no, I repeat no, fun.

6. You get used to body odor after 3 days and become blissfully unaware. Others, however, still remain painfully aware.

7. No one should have to get up at 4 a.m...ever.

8. It's possible to be so tired that you can't get to sleep, though it may have something to do with drinking coffee at 5 o'clock in the afternoon.

9. 9-year-old boys think these mobility exercises are the coolest thing in the world. My youngest boy asked me if I got to carry a weapon. I told him that the next time I was going to requisition a grenade launcher and carry it like Arnold did in Terminator 2.

10. A burger king Angry Whopper has got it all over a Veggie Burger (and with only 800 more calories!).

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Shootin' Hoops

My youngest had his first basketball game at the Y today. To my great enjoyment, he scored the first 3 baskets for his team and finished with 10 of his team's 18 points. He was an animal, running up and down the floor, dominating on both offense and defense. Of course, I cheered louder than anyone and sat back with no small measure of fatherly pride. Good genes. He isn't inflicted with a case of the "slows" like his dad, though. NBA, here we come...

Been crazy-busy at work getting ready for a big mobility exercise next week. Had to come in at 0345 this morning (on a Saturday!) to process through the mobility line. This consists of various checks of your equipment and gear...lots to "hurry up and wait." Chuck, you probably remember those days, right? Being 40 now, I needed a 2 hour nap this afternoon to get me back in fightin' trim. I get to sleep in tomorrow morning. It's the small things one looks forward to.