Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Father of Five Sneak Attack, Part 2

This is a continuation of the post I wrote a few days ago, sharing the story of how I lucked into spending a few days with Father of Five (and his much, much better half).

Father and Mother of Five (The of Fives?) and walked up to me at Torchy's Tacos and surprised the heck out of me. I was speechless. Which anyone who has met me in person will tell you that is something that does not happen easily.

FoF and MoF (Mother of Five) laughed at the kids while we were all waiting in line to order lunch. The Talker and the Princess showed their ninja-like table stalking skills when they spotted an open table inside the restaurant, in the air conditioning. The kids were off like a shot, away from the table they had been holding for us all out on the patio (far away from the air conditioning). The fact that they jumped to the better table without a word from me or The Boss Lady was pretty funny. FoF and I looked away for a second and the kids were instantly sitting at inside, with all the cool kids!

We sat at Torchy's for an hour or more, chatting and getting to know each other a little better. And drinking Dublin Dr Pepper of course!

After lunch we headed down to Zilker Park to see some Austin sights. We checked out the pool and the spillway below the pool, where the cheap people swim and where the shade is at. The kids and The Boss splashed around a bit, while FoF and I chatted some more.

I cruised back to the house with Minnesotans, giving them the nickle driving tour of Austin on the way home. We drove past the capitol and the UT Tower and I pointed out the Artist's Market on The Drag, but there was a surprising lack of freaky people out on the streets in the 100 degree heat.

There was more hanging out and talking when we got back to the house. I am pretty sure that David and I could sit for days and not run out of things to talk about. We hung out for a while at the house before the guests of honor headed to their hotel to check in and to rest a little bit (I hope), since they had been up waaay to late for an old guy like Father of Five on the previous night.

We met up again for dinner at another of my favorites. Pok-e-Jo's Bar B Q is always easy to get into, the food is decent and it is a pretty good representation of Texas (meaning Correct!) BBQ. I knew that we would be able to sit and yuck it up for a while too, so we passed on the other BBQ places around here.

The night wasn't over after dinner. We headed over to Amy's Ice Cream next. The kids ate theirs quickly so that they could climb on the nearby cow statues. And The Fives, The Boss and I sat and talked while we ate ice cream. (Big Surprise there, huh?)

While we were watching the kids I was tempted to run off with FoF to the nearby Cigar store. But I assumed that we were all due for an early night, so I passed on that opportunity. We went our separate ways after 9 o'clock. It was almost the end of a great day.

When we got home the Talker and The Princess got the bum's rush to bed and I went out to pick up the lawn equipment. Right then I realized that the lights I had strung across the yard for the party would make it real easy to finish up mowing the yard, even though it was closing in on 9:30. But it was also about 85 degrees. So I mowed by the light of a couple of hundred twinkling Christmas lights.

After all of that day's excitement I really didn't sleep very well. I watched a few old movies and tried to finish up plans for the party.

There is more to this story. But the laptop battery is dead and I am at the end of my cigar. So you'll have to wait for it.

Monday, July 26, 2010


The scores are just in from my last state exam. I passed and am now certified to teach your children in High School English Language Arts and Reading. (Along with all-grades of Special Education and the Elementary graded classes.)

I am officially finished with my teacher-training program. I registered for the program on March 1 and less than 5 months later I am ready to jump into a classroom full of students who are hanging on my every word and waiting for me to fill their minds with knowledge.

Hopefully a job offer will follow soon.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Grab a snack and sit down. This post is going to take a while...

This will probably end up being the first in a multi-part post. That is the sure sign of a good weekend, right?

The Boss Lady was at work on my birthday, and we were both real busy getting ready for the biggest party we have ever thrown at our house, so my actual birthday was a real low key event. Which was fine with me. It is too hot to get too excited about anything right now.

Unknown to me, the wife had made big plans for a couple of days later. REALLY big plans. Been working on getting everything arranged for a couple of months big. I mean to say, big plans.

Friday, while I was getting the backyard ready for the party, The Boss Lady came out and told me "Go take a shower and get dressed, we are going to lunch." Lunch didn't really fit into my yard work plan, but it is hot out there, so I didn't complain too much. I packed up the yard work and we headed to lunch.

She demanded to drive to lunch, so I was pretty sure something was up. See, I am quick like that.

When we parked at Torchy's Tacos, I reminded The Boss that the kids and I had eaten lunch there two days earlier. She had a very diplomatic response. Something like "Too bad. So sad. This is where we are going to eat." OK then. The line was pretty long, so the kids and I grabbed a table and were settling in for a long wait. Mainly because that is what The Boss Lady told us to do.

I was helping the kids get settled when a guy, a big guy, I mean a REAL big guy, walked up to me and said "Excuse me sir, I've never eaten here before and I was wondering what is good." Actually, that is a paraphrase. I don't remember exactly what was said, because he about 5 words in when I started to figure out what was going on.

The big guy's face sort of looked familiar, but I was not putting a name with the face very easily. At least not until I looked at his T-shirt. Right through the middle of the shirt it said Jordan. And then it hit me. I was in the presence of greatness and legend. The Father of Five and his lovely wife, fresh in from Minnesota, were hanging out, with me, at my favorite restaurant.

I was absolutely speechless. The video likely shows that I cried a little bit.

Standing right in front of me is a guy who I have know for 3 or more years, but I only knew him online. We had never met in person. In the last year or so we have gotten to know each other as well as a couple of guys could through Facebook and a couple of blog sites. We have entertained a couple of ideas to meet up, but those plans always seem to be made for the future, thanks to the 1400 miles that separate our home towns. And now Father of Five was in my town, to hang out with me at my birthday party.

Cool! Beyond cool.

The Boss Lady claims to be no good at planning surprises. After she and David arranged all that it took to pull off this visit without me ever catching a whiff of the plans, I don't think either of them can claim that title again.

There is more to the story and I'll get to it soon, so come back for the rest of the story. And pictures. Loads of pictures.

Follow this link to get to the second post in the series.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nailing down the party prep

Unless you are one of the handful of people who know the background information, you'll just have to wait for the full version of the story. I'll get to it in a few days.

But here is a little glimpse into the party preparations for our shindig this Saturday evening: We have enough people coming that I decided to take down a section of our fence to make it easier for the herd of party-ers to get in and out of our backyard.

While I was working on that this morning, I needed to remove a board that had been nailed onto a post. Evidently it was nailed on by King Kong, too.

If you will please notice, I broke 2 (Two! BOTH!) hammers trying to pry out that #$*& nail. First to go was my 23 oz. framing hammer with the pretty red hickory handle. She gave lost the battle, but not before leaving me enough space that I could go after the board with the smaller hammer and you can see for yourself how that worked out for the little claw hammer.

I was successful. I got the nail pulled and I got the board removed. But what price success? I used Big Red for pretty much every building project around here in the last 11 years. Before Big Red I went through a slew of framing hammers to find one that I really liked.

Now it looks like I'll be back in the hammer hunt before I tackle the chicken coop building project.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

No paycheck for my birthday

I didn't get the job. Bummed but not surprised. I think several more "warm-up interviews" are in my future.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Follow up interview

I am just back from a second interview - a follow up to last week's screening interview. This time I met with a high school Principal and the campus Director of Special Education.

I tried to make sure I was a little more focused on giving thorough, and well-thought answers. Last week I walked out feeling that I had spent most of the interview "shooting from the hip". I think the job interview went as good as I could have hoped and after talking with the Principal for an hour, I left thinking that I would be glad for my kids to go to that high school.

Should be a few days before I know anything further.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Job Interview

I have my first teaching job interview scheduled for tomorrow at 10 AM. This is just the "screening" interview with Human Resources, so there are several more steps to go before the school district starts issuing me a paycheck.

I have not been on a job interview since 1997. I am sitting here wondering if my amazing and awe-inspiring interview skillz are still sharp. Probably not.

Let's just hope I don't embarrass myself. Or the interviewer.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Patriotic Poetry
Lucky for you it isn't mine

Yesterday afternoon the family and I were at a public event and the emcee recited a couple of nice pieces of poetry that seem highly appropriate to re-post on the Fourth of July. The first is called The American's Creed. It was written by William Tyler Page.

"I believe in the United States of America, as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.

I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.”

William Tyler Page, The American's Creed

A little more information about The American's Creed can be found here.

The second poem gives us all a moving and meaningful look at our flag. It is called Toast to the Flag and was penned by John Jay Daly.

Toast to the Flag by John Jay Daly

Here's to the red of it -
There's not a thread of it,
No, nor a shred of it
In all the spread of it
From foot to head,
But heroes bled for it,
Faced steel and lead for it,
Precious blood shed for it,
Bathing it red!

Here's to the white of it-
Thrilled by the sight of it,
Who knows the right of it
But feels the might of it
Through day and night?
Womanhood's care for it
Made manhood dare for it,
Purity's prayer for it
Keeps it so white!

Here's to the blue of it -
Beauteous view of it,
Heavenly hue of it,
Star-spangled dew of it
Constant and true;
Diadems gleam for it,
States stand supreme for it,
Liberty's beam for it
Brightens the blue!!

Here's to the whole of it -
Stars, stripes and pole of it,
Body and soul of it,
O, and the roll of it,
Sun shining through;
Hearts in accord for it,
Swear by the sword for it,
Thanking the Lord for it,
Red, White and Blue.

Have a fun and safe Fourth of July, everyone!