"Dad, can you fix this?" I used to hear that every once in a while. And with my mechanical abilities being what they were, my best answer was usually, "It's doubtful." But I would pull out my trusty tool chest and give it a shot.
It's common to most every religious tradition, some ceremony or service where you dedicate or commit your new child to God. In some Christian traditions, it takes the form of baptism. Others have a brief baby dedication. The last baby we dedicated was our youngest child and that was more than a few years ago. I held the little guy in my hands. I don't do that anymore. Times have changed. I don't pick him up anymore. I would hurt myself badly. He picks me up literally. I mean, he'd greet me at the airport and pick me off the ground and spin me around. That's my baby. A lot of things have changed. One thing never has.
In recent years, commercial flying, of course, has become more of an adventure. You've got closer scrutiny just going through airline security. They x-ray, they wand you, they search passengers, they do more hand searches of your bag, they check for explosive residues, and they confiscate lots of things: knives, fingernail files, tools, box cutters (I hope, yeah), clippers. And not many passengers object really. I mean, we know if we want to avoid tragedy, you cannot let anyone or anything that could do something damaging aboard. Yeah, I'm for it.
Kids count the days. Teachers count the days. Principals count the days. Until everybody can shout those happiest of all words, "School's out!" Police cars sport bumper stickers that warn drivers to be extra careful. Same reason: "School's out." And graduations are real milestones because you don't ever have to go back to that school if you don't want to! Listen, I hate to rain on anybody's parade, but that "school's out" thing? Yeah, that's a myth. Or at least it should be.
Some friends of ours were at Universal Studios, and they wanted to see behind the scenes of TV and movies. So they went on the tram that takes you on their backstage tour. They had their preschooler with them, and they weren't really too excited about him being terrorized by King Kong and the shark from "Jaws." So, when King Kong appeared on one side of the dark tunnel, they just turned their child's attention to the tunnel and said, "Ooo, look at this dark tunnel! What's this inside your hat?" It worked. He never saw King Kong. Never saw "Jaws." As the shark was jumping out of the water near his father's back, the little guy was studying the scenery on the other side. Whew! He never saw the shark.
Let me give you a little weather preference test (as if we get to vote). Why don't you rank these one, two, three from the best to the worst: rain, snow, ice. I just gave you my ranking. Rain is no problem. I grew up in the Midwest; and I lived in the Northeast so I can handle snow. Even when you have to walk or drive, there's at least something to dig into. But ice? Oh, man, ice storms can leave some very nice things behind. Every branch, limb, and home is glittering with this beautiful coating of ice. But it is a pain if you've got to go anywhere. Reminds me of an old song, "Freeze a Jolly Good Fellow."
Well after years of being City Boy, living in the country. Yeah, and boy, I learned a lot from the Country Girl I married. One day I was sitting on the front porch, just peacefully reading my Bible, and I noticed that a calf from across the road had decided the grass was greener on the our side of the road. Somehow, he had picked his way across the bars of the cattle guard, wandered down the road and was slowly munching his way toward our yard. Now, we agreed we really didn't want him in our yard all day while we were at the office. He'd probably eat the flowers. He'd probably fertilize our lawn in a way we didn't want it fertilized. My wife stuck her head out the door and said, "Just yell at him; scare him back across the cattle guard and into his pasture." OK, I yelled at the calf. He didn't move. My wife said, "You'll probably have to chase him, too." Oh, she saved that for later! Oh great! Here goes City Boy running down the road (you want to try to picture this?), waving his arms and yelling at a cow. Hey, it worked! The calf went running back down the road, across the cattle guard, and back where he was supposed to be. I wonder if it had anything to do with the fact what I said to him, "Burgers to go, boy!"
Whenever you look at a sports schedule for the season you'll see one of two letters next to each game - an H or an A. Now those H's are the ones the players look forward to the most - that's the home games. And, of course, the A is the away games. Now, if you're an athlete, you know that your best chance of winning is usually in your home setting. In sports, it's generally easier to win at home; it's tougher to win on the road, which is actually the opposite of how it is in our personal lives.
I just think all the emphasis on body image is so sick. But there's plenty of it. It's no wonder so many American women are unhappy with their looks. They're comparing themselves to these magazine pictures of these flawless models. Of course, that woman doesn't really exist. She's the creation of hair stylists, makeup artists, wardrobe specialists, special lighting and hundreds of continuous-frame photos, from which one good one is selected and then airbrushed to remove all the imperfections. Nobody looks good compared to that mythical icon - including the real girl in the picture! But with our obsession with a certain kind of beauty, the word "makeover" has become more and more popular. In the past, there have been TV shows where they were totally devoted to transforming a woman thought of as "average" into someone much more stylish. Then they'll take them backstage, and the hair, makeup, and wardrobe magicians work on them. And then with the split screen showing her "before," out steps this glamorous "new woman" with her makeover!
The Greek ferry boat was loaded with more than 500 passengers, and a lot were visitors from other countries. Suddenly, that ship plowed into a rocky outcropping, and in minutes the ferry went down two miles from shore, claiming the lives of 66 people. But you know what? It was a tragedy that never had to happen. Those rock outcroppings are clearly marked on navigational charts, and the ferry had passed by them countless times, and there's even a light atop them that's visible for seven miles. But the captain and three key crew members were not at their posts that night; they were reportedly down below watching a soccer match on television. A Greek newspaper headline proclaimed, "A blind course on autopilot." So as the ship was on a collision course, the captain was not on the bridge.