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Friday, May 31, 2013

Don't Wear While Broiling


Free stuff.  Who doesn’t like free stuff?  I received a “free gift” in the mail for renewing my Running Times Magazine subscription.  Said freebie was a Sports Watch (or looks a little like a sports watch anyway).

In addition to the most complicated instructions on how to merely set the time of day, it came with a *NOTICE* that contains amazing warnings about everyday use of the watch.  Yes, it was Made in China.

The comedy begins in Item #1.  Stop me when you feel the first speed bump.  “This watch is safe to wear while swimming and washing car,”  STOP.  Washing Car?  That’s strangely random.  Why not something more common like washing dishes or bathing a child?  If we are going to single out car washes we might as well get really creative and include volunteers in a dunking booth, water balloon fights, and shampooing a monkey.  Maybe this is a computer generated message that inserts something totally insane after swimming because the Chinese know darn well that any average red-blooded American doesn’t know how to read…read instructions that is.  They play joke.

The awesomeness continues with Item #2.  We’re still cruising through the Wal-Mart parking lot so expect another speed bump.  “Do not wear it in broiling or freezing environment.”  Hey, you’re supposed to say STOP at BROILING.  I suppose they needed something more extreme that HOT, but I think they overshot the thermostat with BROILING.  Maybe it is a typo and should read BOILING.  Oh, wait, that is too extreme as well.  This is a tough one.  Just when is it too hot for cheap electronic gadgets to operate safely?  Maybe they meant BOWLING.  Yeah, that’s better.  Don't wear while bowling.

I really don’t want to be accused of dog piling so I’ll stop my remarks with Item #3.  “Do not wear it in puissant electric field, static or high cycle environment.”  What the hell?  That’s funny.  They misspelled pissant.  Not sure what that has to do with an electrical field exactly or why they seem so concerned about wearing the watch in the circus while riding a unicycle during the high wire act.  Ah, those darn Chinese are playing with me again.  I never said I was very bright, but I’ll be damned if PUISSANT ain’t a real word.  Seriously, I looked it up.  It comes from Old French (figures) and basically means Powerful.  I have no idea how to pronounce it and would not recommend using the word in public.  You’re bound to get slapped.

Man oh man.  I’ve posted the full *NOTICE* below for your reading enjoyment.  If I get bored later, I’ll take on items 4-12 in Don’t Wear While Broiling, The Sequel.

Sadly, those folks over in China, who probably know about eight languages, have a bigger vocabulary than I do.  No wonder I’m the sap who shelled out my hard earned cash for a crummy “free” sports watch.

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace



Friday, May 17, 2013

Graduation Letter to My Son


High School Graduation Day - 2013

It has certainly been a tremendous honor to have you as my son.  Watching you grow to be a young man has been a lot of fun for me.  Yes, I worried a lot, but you made it easier on your old man than many fathers must endure....easier so far anyway.

I have been blessed with a son who’s not too cool to hang out with his dad.  A son who has willingly
let his parents be involved in his life in every way.  A son who is loved and who loves back.  Simply observing your tenderness toward your sisters tells me all I need to know about your character.

Not having you around once you head off to college is going to be tough on me.  Yet, I am excited for your future.  Push yourself all the time. When someone says you can't. Trust me, you can.  Regardless of where things go from here, it is a gift to part of it.  Please know that I am your biggest fan.

Success in life is a bit like a golf scramble. In order to do your best, you need others to pick up the slack in your down times.  Reach out and grasp the hand offered to you.  That hand is usually the hand of God, but it might look a lot like a roommate, a friend or even a random stranger.

Return the favor.  Put both hands in and rescue others...even when they don't think they are in trouble.

I’ve said it a thousand times:  Garbage in, Garbage Out.  You know it is true.  Pay attention and put the garbage where it belongs.

“Sooner or later you figure out life is constructed specifically and brilliantly to squeeze a man into association with the Owner of heaven.” - Donald Miller

Yes, I will always urge you to grow your faith.  Continue the habit of worship and service.  Read God’s word and pray...a lot.  Don’t put God off for later.  Later might not ever get here and God
deserves your best everyday.

Be prouder of your next 18 years than your first 18.  Thank you for being such a great kid.

I Love You!

Dad

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Victory, So Sweet!


This was one of the most anticipated golf outings of the year.  Yes, the 2013 Grapevine United Methodist Golf Tournament.

A year ago, I captained a team of high school golfers (including my son, Parker) to second place.  In “captain” I really mean the guy who paid the entry fee.  Yet, it would be unfair to say that I was not a contributor to that success.  Beyond the funds, I made several lengthy putts.  The green was my only area of contribution, however.  Seventeen year old boys can hit the ball a long way.  Seventeen year old boys who play on the golf team can hit the ball a long way straight.

It was about two months ago that Parker asked me about this year’s tournament.  Shortly thereafter, he mustered up the guts to suggest that maybe they needed to take four “A” players in this year…since it was their senior year of high school and all.  This sounded like a great idea until I realized that I was NOT an “A” player and the phrase “they needed” and “A” player was not “we needed”.  Yes, it is true.  My own son kicked the Team Captain, his Father, his Key to Economic Survival and his Inspiration off the team.  How do you get kicked off a church golf team?

This was another teaching moment that needed to be explored.  I could have cried, complained, refused to quit or given him the silent treatment for a few decades, but no, I took it like a man.  I wanted to show him how to handle disappointment.  I’m sure the first time he gets fired from a job or deserted by his wife, he’ll think of me and how I handled being sacked.

So here’s the kicker.  In a redemptive effort, Parker asked me to remain the coach/captain….and sponsor.  I’ve never been more proud!

I’m happy to report that “Our” plan worked.  It turns out that four 18 year old “A” players can shoot 18
under par in a scramble and win by 5 strokes.

The room was full of old and medium geezers who could only clap and silently accuse the boys of cheating as the winning team was announced.  I got to act like Mark Cuban or Jerry Jones and take all the credit for my general managing skills and ownership abilities to field such a remarkable team.  Nobody likes and arrogant owner, but I had to play my role.

Afterwards, one of our daughters asked Parker what he had won.  He told her and then made sure to point out that it was not about winning a prize.  It was about Victory!

After 10 years of playing in this tournament, Parker finally had his victory….and so did his dad.

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace