Friday, February 27, 2009

the truth...or at least my truth

Brook wrote some thing about our relationship on her blog. Unfortunately, she has some things skewed just a bit. It is only appropriate that I correct her fabrications and confabulations. Her original post appears below in black. I will do any editing in Red. Sorry Brook but the truth must be told :-)

This is kind of like the 25 things - except there are pre-decided questions and it's about you and your spouse, not just you. Come on, play along - inquiring minds want to know! ;-)

♥ What are your middle names?
Brook and Blake (we both go by our middle names too). (Our first names are Randy and Miranda, and we are both named after our dads who are both named Randy. Both of our mom's middle names are Lynn). TRUE…and how cool is this?!?!

♥ How long have you been together?
9 years Also true

♥ How long did you know each other before you started dating?
24 hours…technically it was one week. We met on February 22 and our first date was the following week.

♥ Who asked who out?
Blake asked me Very True. I would have been blind and insane not to ask her out.

♥ How old are each of you?
Blake is 33 and I am 28. True

♥ Whose siblings do/ did you see the most?
Mine, since they live in town. True, though we don’t see any of our siblings very often…or as often as I would like.

♥ Do you have any children together?
Yes, three sons Very much so

♥ What about pets?
Reagan (Old English mastiff), Meredith (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel), Fontana (Simese Himalayan), and 2 goldfish named Shark and Whale True again

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
having opposite interests and likes and dislikes. It's really sacrificial for us just to have fun together sometimes I would say this is true as well

♥ Did you go to the same school?
technically UAB, but not at the same time True…because I’m old!

♥ Are you from the same home town?
No We are from the same state though

♥ Who is the smartest?
Depends on the subject. He covers the left brain subjects, I take care of the right OK, I'm not going to argue is way too sticky. I will say that Brook is incredibly intelligent. However, when it is to her benefit she can pretend that she is as dumb as a bag of hair.

♥ Who is the most sensitive?
hmmm...that's a tough one. I am usually more emotional about things, but Blake is more easily offended than me Brook is a drama-queen. The question wasn't who is more easily offended...however, if it had been the answer would have been the same...Brook.

♥ Where do you eat out most as a couple?
La Spada, Highlands Bar and Grill, and Surin as a couple
La Spada, Baha Burger, Pablos, Mellow Mushroom, and Indigo Joe's as a family True

♥ Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
either Bonaire or Banff, Canada Actually Hawaii would the furthest distance…but who is counting?

♥ Who has the craziest exes?
Blake I think answering this question would require a less ambiguous definition of “crazy”…though in reality it would likely still be me

♥ Who has the worst temper?
Blake's is probably the worst, but I have only ever seen it once and it was in our first year of marriage. Mine is vicious, though, and it comes to visit usually every month or so My temper is absolutely outrageous but Brook’s temper will be seen early and often. You have to really try to piss me off enough to see mine and even then you probably won't see it…or just hurt one of my boys…then you have immediate and serious issues. I win the quality aspect of this but Brook beats me out by a landslide on quantity.

♥ Who does the cooking?
I am the regular, but you would rather eat Blake's cooking. He actually enjoys it. I do love cooking…but Brook is a good cook too.

♥ Who is more social?
Umm... probably Blake umm…it probably depends on if being social means hanging out with closer friends or being a social butterfly

♥ Who is the neat-freak?
Me!! Absolutely true. I am the antithesis of a neat freak. I'm not a slob, I just don't care that much about "neat"

♥ Who is the more stubborn?
That's a toss up depending on the subject again I am way more stubborn…hands down. And I refuse to budge on that point. I am more stubborn.

♥ Who wakes up earlier?
We usually wake up around the same time, but that's a new thing. Traditionally it has been Blake That's true if by “traditionally” she means 5 out of 7 mornings…I am almost always up first.

♥ Where was your first date?
We started at Purple Onion off of Lakeshore (he was like 45 minutes late, I can't believe I waited), and then we drove around and talked the rest of the night. We talked about getting married that night. I was late because I volunteered at a church event and someone didn’t pick up their kid until late. We did talk about marriage thought that night…how cool.

♥ Who has the bigger family?
Blake by just a few I don’t feel like counting right now…but probably true.

♥ Do you get flowers often?
yes, but I buy them for myself. No one knows what I like better than me. I married the only woman in the world who told me that she would rather not receive chocolate, flowers and jewelry. Don’t worry though, she goes and buys what she wants.

♥ How do you spend the holidays?
Running around like crazy trying to see all our families! Pretty much true…except to be more candid we run around doing a ton of things with me bitching and moaning about being busy and running around doing things. Nothing says, “Happy Birthday Jesus” like driving up and down the interstate system. The holiday season alone is reason enough to never get a divorce. I refuse to make the boys hop-scotch the state of Alabama because their parents couldn't keep it between the ditches. But I digress.

♥ Who is more jealous?
Blake Blake Blake! Absolutely false. Brook has a skewed idea of jealous. I am way more protective but not more jealous.

♥ How long did it take to get serious?
It was love at first sight, so like 5 minutes if that long

♥ Who eats more?
I actually think I do, but I rarely see Blake eat since he is usually at work. I know he VERY rarely eats the food I cook, so there ya go. You will have to forgive Brook. She is mental. Occasionally her tendency to leave the road of reality and fall into some alternate universe leads to statements like this one. You can look at us and tell that I eat way more than her maybe even twice as much…end of discussion.

♥ Who does/ did the laundry?
I do the laundry. Blake is not allowed in the laundry room. I don’t touch the laundry at all…true enough. However, I did manage to do my own wash for 7 years before I met Brook. I am more than capable and I really like to do laundry…folding excluded.

♥ Who’s better with the computer?
Blake I am not sure about that…Brook rocks with photo-shop type stuff.

♥ Who drives when you are together?
Blake. He doesn't let me drive. I don't blame him. :) Good Lord, the fact that I am sitting here and am able to move my hands enough to type is proof that I drive…no exceptions. The only reason she is allowed to haul the kids around is because we own a Volvo…essentially a small tank that is impervious to missiles, bombings and the occasional car, tree, neighborhood kid and animal Brook will hit. If only Volvo could engneer some tires that don't destroy my lawn when Brook misses the driveway.

So there you have it…The Truth…at least my version of it :-)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

SM Lockridge

This is the audio of the famous speech wherein SM Lockridge speaks for 6 minutes about who Jesus is to him. Many would agree with him. This has always been inspirational to me. Hope you enjoy.


I am sick of the government making decisions for me. Moreover, I am tired of the government mandating that I give them money that I have made in spite of their absurd regulations on almost every industry in the country and then spending it in ways that make me sick to even consider.
For example, despite what people want to say about our government providing healthcare to those around the world, they are also making sure that our tax dollar financially supports abortions around the world as well. So my tax dollar helps pay for the killing of a child in another country...our founding fathers must be spinning in their graves.

So how else does the government shaft us with taxes? I'm glad you asked. Here is a list of just some of the taxes we have to pay:

Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax (Fed)
Federal Unemployment Tax (FU TA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Tax
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Tax
Vehicle License Registration T ax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

And to think, we left British Rule to avoid so many taxes...does anyone think it is time for The American Revolution part 2?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Siran Stacy's Story

If you have a few minutes and wish to be challenged and inspired...this link is for you. Warning: don't start this link without tissue handy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Where is Robin Williams?

I am enjoying Obama's a weird sort of way. Other than Obama and Congress trying literally screw us for generations yet to be born with this spending bill and other than thinking that one of the first acts of his presidency needed to be the funding of abortions in other countries and other get the idea...

I know the media and Obama supporters will be as hesitant to admit that Obama is flawed as I was to admit the same about Bush but I must continue on the "call a spade, a spade" thought...

In an interview George W. Bush said "I'm the decider". Apparently George was caught up in the moment and failed to realize that "decider" is not a word. Let W. make up a word or say something stupid, redundant or otherwise funny and the Hollywood-types and other media people went nuts. A few days after Bush said "Decider", Robin Williams appeared on a late night show, Letterman or Leno or something, and was wearing a t-shirt that said, "I'm the decider". It was funny and people got a laugh.

If Williams is going to be consistent and fair...which I doubt as that would mean he isn't biased at all...he will now have 2 new t-shirts made. One would simply have about a thousands "uh, uh, um, uh" lines on it. I am as sick of hearing Obama say "uh" and "um" as I was of hearing Bush laugh at his own statements. Both behaviors get under my skin. The second shirt would have the following on "The NUMBERS don't reveal NUMERICAL STATISTICS". He said it and I heard it.

So is Bush and idiot and now Obama has already started doing the same thing? I don't think so. I think it was in the interest of the "left" to portray Bush as a moron. The fact that you won't hear the media discuss Obama's equally moronic statement is because it is in their interest to make Obama look good. The problem with this is that a certain journalistic integrity is expected and we should all understand by now that "journalism" and "integrity" have little in common these days. If you don't believe that, I suggest that you hold your breath until you hear the media laugh about Obama sounding like an idiot. God luck with that.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Family Genealogy

Since this past summer I have been compiling a rather vast family tree. In one branch of my family I have traced back 11 generations to "Thomas Wakefield" who was born in Maryland in 1618. Another branch leads back to Scotland and the year 1628. William Waldrop was born then and he would go on to be Knighted by King Charles and received a land grant from England in the new world...We know the part of the "new World" in which he settled as Virginia.

Going through my family history has been interesting and has revealed some things to me. Some of the things are pretty obvious and others aren't. I think the more evident facts still help keep things in perspective. Here are some of my observations thus far:

1. The most obvious and yet profound observation is that most of the people in my family tree are DEAD. I have over 300 people on my family tree website and only a very small percentage of them are alive. This is a good reminder to me that death is something we all have in our future. It should be respected but not feared. The fact that one day our time in this world will end also reminds me to make days, hours and even minutes count. Even the times when the kids are driving you nuts, or your spouse doesn't seem to get you or whatever...those times are really sacred as well.

2. It has also been interesting to see how culture has changed. Some changes seem to be due to technological and/or medical advances. For example, the more recent families don't seem to have 10-15 kids. It is also interesting to see how certain social norms seem to migrate over time. If you heard of a 14 or 15 year old female getting married today, there is an assumption of pregnancy and extreme dysfunction. Seeing marriages at those ages years ago wasn't really terribly unusual. For the record, the youngest age I can find in my families past to get married is 11...she had her first child at age 12. That leads to my next observation.

3. Solomon says in the book of Ecclesiastes, "there is nothing new under the sun". I have heard and believed that by and large girls have started developing much quicker. Puberty seems to happen sooner for young people these days and menopause and andropause seem to hit people earlier as well. As it would seem though, my 12 year old relative gave birth to a child. I assume she was probably pregnant at age 11 which obviously means that she had hit puberty early. Don't get me wrong, I don't really care when my relatives first developed armpit hair or acne. I do think it is wise to look at any social, spiritual or familial issue through a broad lense. We must understand that this current generation doesn't exist in a vacuum. We are a product of people and events that have lived and died way before we ever came on the scene.

4. Statistically my great-grandchildren will not know my full legal name. How many of you know your paternal, great-grandfather's first middle and last name? I imagine some of you do but the large majority of you do not. I was at a men's retreat once that featured Gordon Dalbey. By the way, should you ever have a chance to spend some time with Dalbey I highly suggest you do so. I digress...he said "a tree with no roots, dies". That really stuck with me since I have been interested in the people who lead to me. It especially sticks with me now as I attempt to think of some way I can impact positively those who will never even know my name.

I guess I could go on for a while but those things are the 4 biggest observations that stand out to me thus far. Have a good Tuesday.

Friday, February 6, 2009

So what now?

All we heard about during Bush's last 2 years was the horrible war crimes and torture tactics used by mean Americans. After we begin to see some "truth" about people and things I wonder if those so opposed to the "attrocities" of the Americans? It seems that those who blindly tossed out some of the most venomous rhetoric during Bush's administration now have to recant those statements...when under oath. They knew we know better now?

Leon Panetta...

Or what about the people who claim the people held in Gitmo are not criminals and if freed they will go about their peaceful lives? Seriously?,2933,489473,00.html

Let's call it both ways if we are going to call it at all.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Message in a Napkin

Why Did Jesus Fold the Napkin? Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection?

The Gospel of John (20:1-7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes. The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed separate from the grave clothes.

Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone was moved away from the entrance. She ran at once to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, breathlessly panting, "They took the Master from the tomb. We don't know where they've put him."
Peter and the other disciple left immediately for the tomb. They ran, neck and neck. The other disciple got to the tomb first, outrunning Peter. Stooping to look in, he saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he didn't go in. Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there, and the napkin used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself.

Was that important? Absolutely! Is it really significant? Yes!

In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition.

When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it. The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished.

Now if the master were done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table. The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, 'I'm done'.
But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because..........The folded napkin meant, 'I'm coming back!

Monday, February 2, 2009

My Prayer For Today

Father, you are my shepherd! Because of your great mercies and abundant kindness, I don't lack anything.
My rest is from you as you have bedded me down in the softest meadows. You have covered me with a blanket of the warmest clouds and have given me the stars of the universe as my celestial nightlights.
My daily provisions are from your hand alone. You find me quiet pools from which to drink. Because of your faithfulness, you let me catch my breath beneath the shade of your wings and once refreshed, you send me in the right directions.
Even when the way you direct me leads me through Death Valley, when I want to be afraid and anxiousness comes natural to me…I'm not afraid. I don’t have to ever be afraid because you walk at my side. Your strong hands and boundless love bids me to feel secure.
You serve me the best food, my favorite dish in fact, right in front of my enemies. Through this you teach me from whom my power emanates and in whom I find my deliverance.
You revive my drooping head and remove all guilt and shame from my world. Oh God, my cup brims with blessing and droplets of your greatness spill over the lips of my being…proclaiming to the world that you are the Great Shepherd.
Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. May I slow down daily and allow myself to be found by you and to be redeemed by your love. At the end of my days may you find me and keep me. Then all will know that I'm safely back home in the house of my Shepherd forever and ever and ever.

Lord, make it so. Amen