Monday, March 30, 2009

Tuesdays Tribute- Bitchin Amy

I am keeping it simple. First, thanks to Jay & Deb for the TT platform. I like people who keep it real, who are edgy, who are maybe just a bit off their rocker, because they keep life interesting and bright. There is just something cathartic about the odd, fun folks of the world. As I have stated before, "If you're bored, you're boring." Life is too much of a freak show circus to get all serious. Sit back and allow yourself to enjoy the show.

This gal has become a very supportive friend of mine. She is very creative and fun to follow. She is thought provoking and sarcastic. She provides a life view from a little different latitude. She and her husband share a deep love for the Virgin Islands, as do my wife and I. She is a very loving mother and wife. All I know is that computers work everywhere AmySprite. I am expecting more hilarity from you once you move across the pond to England. Go check out her blog, it will not disappoint. Thanks Amy, you really do rock sister!!!

Tuesday's Tribute
A Jay and Deb Production.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Just Another Day At The Zoo...

So it is spring break, and what do kids love more on a budget than spending the day at the Zoo? Who knew that we would also get a sex ed class for our price of admission? OK, so that was in fast forward. We are about half way through the Zoo and stopped to look at the primates. They have little windows for the kids to view the animals (not so different than the store fronts in the red light district of London, but I digress.) So our kids go running up to the somewhat large 3ft by 3ft cave looking window to see the monkeys. Low and behold (yes, he held her low and was beholding) - I was just behind them, the kids that is, but too late. The quarter had been put in the wall and the show was on. Oy Vey, a gentleman and his wife in their 60's just snickered and let out a low chuckle as they listened to me try to herd my young ones away form the public display of well, affection.

So then I came across an article that brought this into focus for me. Did you hear about the recent study which “showed” that male monkeys basically “pay” for sex by grooming the females? Wow! Here all this time I thought we’d evolved from the apes, but it seems they’ve got us beat. Apparently, according to the study, they also spend less time working on any one potential mate if there is an abundant supply of females to choose from. Well of course they do. Who wouldn't? From where I sit, it’s the scientists who are the ones dragging their knuckles on the floor when it comes to understanding the act of mating. The irony is stunning, in that only the un-evolved would think that preening was "transactive" in the way that humans use dinner at a nice restaurant or a little black box from Jared to "score."

With nature being what it is, why would anyone assume first that the touch of another living being translates into an economic equation? Maybe the female enjoys the way it feels to have a male running his fingers through her hair. I for one love having my head rubbed. I am told even plants seem to like it when they are given the opportunity to brush up against each other.

Maybe in the jungle it's the feeling of being groomed that turns a girl on. It sounds to me like the monkeys have figured out how to put a prospect in the mood better than we humans have. Think about it. Given the choice - an exchange in goods and services or being messaged by someone who caresses and lathers you up with wonderful slippery smelly good oils? Gimme a break. You tell me... Which is more likely to get the heart pounding and juices flowing?
Just something to think about.

I hope Monsters vs. Aliens is a bit more gentle to my fragile psyche.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

ATWT - Let the sun shine

To my loyal followers, I apologize for being absent the past few days.I missed Tuesday's Tribute and Wordful Wednesday. I am sorry if I disappointed you. To use a term of one of my radio hosts. I have been in the basement. I have been in what I will describe as simply a personal tornadic psychological event( after 6 wks of non stop efforts to find a new executive job- the lion was cornered with the reality that nothing was happening right now!Those realities came crashing down on me , and I was ill prepared for that.Call me a wimp, punk whatever- I do not care I am tough enough to handle what you have to toss.). Nothing really prepares anyone for major life change.
It is spring break here and I have been trying to do things with the kids like play hoops, crafts and silly movies and other inexpensive things to ensure they have a fun break. Kids say the darnedest things. My little man Jordan, 5 1/2, offered the other day to use his "piggy money" to pay for his movie ticket.

" I just want to help out dad."

Tell me that does not pull at your heart strings? As my friend Deb @ Dirty Sock & Pizza so eloquently expressed in her post yesterday, it can get to you no matter how big and tough you think you are. Props to my friend Jay@Halftime Lessons, he told me a few weeks ago when I was really down.

"Good things happen to good people, I have to believe that, because if it doesn't, I don't know what to believe."

Thanks Jay, that has meant a great deal to know that even far away you care. And what helpful advice and support for so many who are going through this with their families. We had some good luck here today. Colleen, my beautiful and loving wife, who quit her 20 year career as a Delta flight attendant (coffee, tea or me?) 3 yrs ago to be a wonderful stay at home Mom (full time job in itself), has landed a job with my favorite store. I am so proud of her. I mean, the last time she interviewed she was a sexy college sophomore and Delta said -
"Hey hottie with the nice legs and pretty face, want to be a stewardess?"
Well now, still sexy and hot she will be donning an orange smock. Let's hope this is the first of our luck coming back. I Christen Thee with the ever so coveted smock.

Cheaper Than Therapy

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday Are Always Tough

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Faith - Calling All Angels For My Friend SAM

You may have read about my friend Sam. He has been very sick at the childrens hospital for the past 5 days. They cannot seem to figure out what is wrong. He has been very dehydrated, can't seem to keep anything in and has extreme pain. I could go into all the medical details but, suffice it to say, it is critical. He could really use as many prayers and as much positive karma as he can get from everyone. He is a very special little guy. May God Bless him that he will have the strength to pull through this very scary and life threatening situation. Please join me in sharing a prayer for him. He and his family really appreciate it. Thanks y'all.

I have a friend and as we like to think a brother named Sam. Sam is a bright , loving, engaging fellow. He is extremely smart, brilliant in his own right. What makes Sam so special is the vibrance his smile brings to every room he enters. From the first time I met Sam he and I made eye contact and without hesitation he smiled his loving infectious smile at me, and ever since, we have been buddies, friends and brothers. Every time our eyes meet when we get together for BBQ's or just drop by to say hello or play in the neighborhood I am greeted with the same smile. My family and I love Sam. Sam was born April 27th, 2005 to Barb & Mark Rizk, our friends who are such loving parents. Sam, however, was born with Down's syndrome, or trisomy 21, a chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. It is named after John Langdon Down, the British doctor who described the syndrome in 1866.

Some refer to this as a disorder, but to meet Sam you would soon find that this is not a disorder but a specialness that defines him. He seems to define himself through love of the world around him, his friends, family and his beloved dog JJ. I sat with Sam on the beach in Oregon this summer and we watched the waves and the birds and smelled the clean ocean air. Without any words, Sam conducts a symphony of life among all things around him. I just know he has an inner brilliance and understanding that none of us will ever realize. An intuitiveness that defies explanation. Sam will aspire to greatness one day and it will be grand pleasure to be there to watch him ascend those heights. To know Sam makes me a better person. To know that I am Sam's friend is an honor and a privilege.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

ATWT - I've Officially Lost My Mind !!

This day's take: $4.35 and an apple.
"Dad, I told you that damned briefcase would come in handy one day."


If you care to enjoy your own "I've Officially Lost My Mind!!" moment, copy and paste the button to your blog or give it out as a friendly little gift to your slightly or totally deranged bloggy friends...compliments of me.Thanks for making this Harbor one of your stops.

Cheaper Than Therapy

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute, Ο καλύτερος φίλος μου και αδελφός του Pete

Ok... no, I have not lost my mind. (Well, Deb or even my wife may tell you differently and I have come to accept that.) You will find out at the end what the title says.

This Tuesday's Tribute has been a long time coming. I have a rule about writing about someone. I have to have their blessing or ευλογία. Some folks do not like to be in the spotlight or on camera. I respect that. Secondly, as most know I am very selective about the friends I choose to keep. Friendship takes a sincere, lifetime effort. If someone has no desire to reciprocate that effort, except when it is convenient to their liking, then you are a welcome acquaintance around my campfire always but probably not a friend. With that said, let's get this party started.

About 16 years ago I had the honor of meeting Ο καλύτερος φίλος μου και αδελφός του Pete. He was dating a very close friend of mine and she was running a river rafting company out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. So we set out for the weekend to visit our friend Molly and check out this new guy she was so ecstatic about. I guess I figured she had had way too much high altitude air, was lonely and had just found some trust fund resort nerd. WOW, that assumption could not have been further from the truth, and thankfully so, as this guy has become one of my dearest friends.

He lives life with a highly infectious zest that permeates everything. Just being around him inspires you to want more from your short journey on this planet. He recharges your spirits like a great massage invigorates the body and soul with energy and excitement. If you have never had the chance to meet someone like this I bless that one day you will. One of my favorite things he does is his Greek breakdown of words. Seriously, it is one of my 10 favorite things about Ο καλύτερος φίλος μου και αδελφός του Pete. He loves to break down words by their Greek lineage from which everyone can learn, or to show how freaking smart he is, which he is.

He is one of those people for who life's glass is always half full if not flowing over. He is a tremendous father who gives endlessly of himself to his wonderful wife Molly but also to his beautiful children. In the above picture he is teaching my son how to drive his boat. Literally, he would give the shirt off his back for you if it was the last thing he owned and he knew it would help you live a little bit better. He has always embraced life and my family, for which I will be eternally grateful. For the past 8 summers we have spent a week in August in Sun Valley, Idaho with him and his wonderful family celebrating his Naming Day.

(In Greece, everyone celebrates the "Name Day" of the saint that bears the same name. This usually has no relation to a person's actual birthday except by coincidence.

Greek Name Day and Naming Conventions in Greece
Naming conventions in Greece are still followed quite strictly, with the result that certain names are used for many individuals in a generation. In each generation, the eldest grandson in each family will be named for the grandfather, and the eldest granddaughter will be named for the grandmother. If someone had three children, and they all produce a male grandchild, all three of those cousins will have the same name. To top it all off, all those with the same first name will celebrate the same saint's Name Day.)

Oh, what fun we have had over the years helping him celebrate this date in his life. This usually means a huge party of 50 people and on one occasion 300 people. We cook full lambs and chickens and his wife and family help in preparing authentic Greek dishes for weeks in advance. MMMMMM Spanakotyropita (also known as spanakopita).Or τυροπιτάκια (pronounced tee-ro-pee-TAHK-yah)

Now for some time I have coined him as the "Mayor Of Sun Valley". He owns a quaint little burger beer joint called Grumpy's. As well as the Silver Dollar Saloon just down the street in Bellevue, Idaho.


"Same day Service" is the motto. He has worked tirelessly to build this place into a very successful business. Greatest burgers and special fries sauce for miles in any direction throughout the Sawtooth range. Colleen & I even made his hall of fame.( picture above of us holding the fish).
Last Fall, Ketchum, Idaho lost one of its timeless icons on Main street, Whiskey Jacques, which burned to the ground. Well, my friend "The Mayor" and his mates from all around, honored Whiskey Jacques on New Year's Day with a Main street party like no other. (only in a small town)

Hats and clothes off to you gents. We held a huge family gathering there not a month prior to this tragic news.

I promised, if you waited, I would tell you what Ο καλύτερος φίλος μου και αδελφός του Pete meant. It is "My best friend and brother Pete" in Greek. I love him like a brother, and look forward to many more years of our families building and sharing memories. I wanted to make sure that he knew what an impact he and his family have made on our lives through their kindness, love and unconditional friendship. Pete, you are one of a kind to be sure. You are my friend, for that I am forever grateful ,appreciative and honored. God Bless ya brother. OPA!!!!!

Tuesday's Tribute
Yet Another Jay and Deb Production.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Friday's Fight.... We Collectively Can Beat This !!!!

OK, I am stepping away for a few days to try to help my family weather this economic storm. As daunting as my challenge may seem to me, and maybe to others who I am thankful follow me, there are kids out there who face a far more uncertain and overwhelming future. I would ask that if you can, please, please, take a moment to donate to the St. Baldrick's cause. Even if it is only $5. Every dollar counts. Every dollar means a small bit of joy in the face and eyes of a child whom, without your donation, might not get to feel joy or happiness before their struggle ends due to the insidious disease of cancer. In the words of my good friend Jay "Billboard Melon" Cooney.

Cancer Sucks.

And for kids?

Cancer REALLY sucks.

We have all come to recognize names like Tuesday and Cora, not because of anything great they got to do, but because of how their lives were cut tragically short. But remember that kids survive cancer as well, like Sunny Atwood, and this ONLY happens because of research!!

GO HERE TO HELP...Thank you so much.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Thousand Word Thursday

Mr. J is our resident paleontologist and comic.

A few years back, but... Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome Drew Carrey to the stage.

That is one of my favorite photos of the crazy, wild man in training.

Cheaper Than Therapy

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wordful Wednesday - TVFD & My Crazies

So a few Saturdays ago we had the chance to attend the grand opening of our new neighborhood fire department. We had already met some of these fine men and women when they came to visit us a week before when we had our chimney fire. We are so happy they are so close. I called 9-1-1 and within 60 seconds you could hear the sirens and then a split second later they were here. The station is about 3/4 of a mile away. Good for us as the cap on the top of the chimney was a scalding orange with huge sparks flying out. All turned out well, though. That same week they saved a choking 2 yr old. If it weren't for the new location of the department, those fine fire fighters would not have made it in time. As you can see, the kids had no fun at all. Colleen actually said she is thinking about trying to go through fire fighter school.

Thanks Angie

Tuesday's Tribute

I am saluting humor on this fine Tuesday. Yes humor. I have been overdosing on 2 & 1/2 men episodes and constantly looking for something funny to soothe the psyche. It seems that humorous situations, acts, signs or events have been a real lifeline for me lately during this very non humorous time in my life. I came across this website while listening to the Situation Room on CNN. "This is why you're fat". This is just one of many very intelligent culinary choices. I also liked the deep fried White Castle burgers.

Twinkie Wiener Sandwich

Hot dog with twinkies for buns covered in Cheese Wiz.

I wonder what she’s looking at?!

Finally, one of my favorites from Cajon, as he traveled the Wisconsin countryside. Hmm, makes one wonder what a place like that might be like? I am feeling kind of mellow.

Tuesday's Tribute
Yet Another Jay and Deb Production.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thousand Word Thursday - Ink

Ok, so the creator and CEO if you will of TWT Jen The Mom has opened the door today with revealing tastefully one of my favorite things. INK. I can not explain why, but I love tattoos and their origins. So I share my most proud display of this artistic expression( straight off their birth certificates ). I simply believe that if done tastefully no matter where you put it, ink is NICE. I know a lot of folks do not like tattoos for one reason or another. I get that.That is their right.I won't hate or dog you for not having any ink if you will show me the same respect for my choice to have it.

A Tribute To My Tribe

I have had their birth dates added for id purposes ( probably mine ). My oldest and I are working together on a shoulder piece to be announced later. She is very interested in the art of the skin.

Cheaper Than Therapy

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wordful Wednesday

What do kids like most in the summer next to the sun, playing and the pool? Bubbles. So my little scientist set her sights on showing what mixture would serve her and her brother best this coming summer as her entry to the school science fair.
Secret: ( H2O, dish washing liquid & Glycerin )

Alayna says it helps to play Kid Rock's "Roll On" while doing her bubbles that rocks.

We are so proud of our budding 3rd grade scientist. She also made the "Super Spellers" list. A very prestigious honor in her class.