Posted by Jon in HB | 9:51 PM | 2 comments »

I lived in Indiana for almost ten years. When people find out, they usually ask “Don’t you miss the seasons?” My standard answer is “No! The summers were too hot and the winters were too cold.” Which is absolutely true and a very real reason, among several others that I moved back to California. But in my answer, I realize that I’ve left out the other two seasons.

I never really liked spring either. Spring was wet and rainy. It just sort of popped in right after a long, cold, dirty-snow filled winter. It started out cold and wet and it was just one big count down to another hot sticky, mosquito infested humid summer.

But there is one season I miss, fall. Keep your snooty ‘autumn’, to me it’s ‘fall’. It was the first respite from that heat and humidity of summer. Once fall hit, it began to get cool and crisp. You could wear jeans again and flannel shirts. You got out the blankets and put them back on your bed. No longer did you sleep sans sheets in nothing but your underwear, constantly flipping your pillow looking for the cold side. Caps kept your head warm when the cold breezes began. You got excited to be able to rifle through that top shelf in the cedar closet searching for the gloves and scarves that have been hiding from the moths since last February. Friday nights were for football. Leaves began to change colors. And it was all the leaves, not just one tree on the block. They turned gorgeous hues of orange, red, yellow, and brown. But not just any brown, a rainbow of browns that you’d only ever heard of on a Bob Ross painting show on PBS. Browns like; burnt sienna, raw umber, auburn, and sepia; each with their own character and richness. They would eventually fall to the ground and crunch under your feet. People would burn leaves and smoke would travel through the neighborhood. Fall was a picture of a turkey made from the outline of a child’s handprint. Fall meant apple picking, harvest festivals, pumpkins, and nuts. Pale yellow remains of recently harvested corn stalks fill the fields. Fall was Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It’s not commercial. There’s no pressure to buy a card or a gift for someone. It’s about family and food, two of my favorite things. In Indiana we would usually rotate houses for the big meal every year. Our house, then my aunt’s then Grandma & Grandpa’s then back to our place. It was always potluck and we got to use the good china, the silver and the nice linens. And it was those old standards on the table every year. There was always, roast turkey with bread and celery stuffing, candied yams with marshmallows on top, that green bean casserole with the fried onions, warm dinner rolls with butter, and mashed potatoes. Dessert was served after the table was cleared and dinner had digested a bit. And dessert was always pumpkin pie with cool whip. After dinner grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, & cousins would sit around the living room and talk and laugh.

I loved that tradition. Gina & I enjoy a similar tradition now, with her father’s side of the family. But we’ve always thought how wonderful it would be to experience all the things that we loved about the holiday with close friends. So for five years now on the Sunday before Thanksgiving we invite some close friends over for a potluck turkey dinner with all the fixings. It is a time that I am truly thankful for. It has been a rough year for some. There was sickness, death, relationship struggles and financial troubles. But through it all everyone was thankful. I am thankful to have those people in my life. I am thankful to know that other people struggle like I do, so more, some less. I am thankful that no matter what comes my way I have a group of friends that I can count on to get us through.

I am thankful for the blessings that God has given my family and me. I am thankful that I make enough money that my wife has been able to stay at home to care for our kids. I am thankful that someone as selfless and caring as Gina, saw something in me that made her want to live her life with me. I am thankful for my loving caring son Dylan. I am thankful for my spirited little princess, Megan. I am thankful for my salvation and relationship with Jesus Christ. I am thankful for our church and school. I am thankful for my wife accepting Jesus. And I am thankful for the fall.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Word Verification

Posted by Jon in HB | 10:07 AM | 3 comments »

This was my word verification to make a comment on a friend's blog the other day. Very odd, I just thought I would share.


Posted by Jon in HB | 12:07 AM | 5 comments »

We've got 'em again. A couple of years ago we had a rat in our attic. I'll never forget the call i got at work when Gina was screaming that they were poking their way through the ceiling attacking her and the kids (not exactly, but it makes for good blogging stories). But there was a big one up there. So big that Gina's Grandma's handy-man happened to be over doing some work for us and he set a trap for it. When he caught it, I was told that it filled up a shoe box and it was the biggest rat that the guy had ever seen.

Well it's back. And Grandma no longer has a handy-man around. So now it's my job to step up and take care of business.

This little sucker is smart. I first heard him about a week ago. I was putting Dylan to bed and I thought I heard a little scurrying across the the ceiling in his room. And my kid has the most panic crazed thoughts that I did not want to scare him. Seriously Dylan worries about if there is no such thing as God and Heaven. What if it's only the Devil and Hell and he's just making up the good stuff so people won't be so freaked out that every one will spend eternity in Hell after they die. Seriously! And he's only seven! Too Kafka-esque for me. So do you think I'm gonna acknowledge that I thought I heard a rat above his ceiling as I tuck him in, Hell no!

Then a few days later Gina and I are in bed talking before we go to sleep and we hear it again. At this point i have to fess up that I've heard it before, it didn't go away, and I will have to be the big man and take care of it and protect my family.

So a few days later I find myself at Home Depot staring at the billions of options for killing things that should not be in your house. There are really expensive sonic/electronic devices. There are humane little cage things. There is poison. There are the old fashion traps. But I decide on the glue traps.

A large square of plastic filled with a very gooey sticky stuff that traps them. I thought this would be good, no big spring trap to crush them and possible get blood and guts all over. So I wait til the kids are asleep and put a ladder in our closet to access the attic. I clear a little spot on the rafters and set the trap with a bit of peanut butter for bait.

The next night I look for my prize catch. THAT LITTLE SHIT WAS TOYING WITH ME! There was the trap with fur stuck to it and little nail marks in the glue. It checked it out and got away!

Well no more Mr. Nice Guy! I bought a big ass trap, loaded it with peanut butter and smiled while I set it.

His ass is mine. Nobody mocks me! Who does he think he is. No I wait. Tomorrow night i will one again make the trek up the ladder to see what me efforts will produce...

Ha ha ha ha haha!!!

I'm a PC...NOT!

Posted by Jon in HB | 10:18 AM | 3 comments »

Am I the only one that has noticed these "I'm a PC" commercials that Microsoft has put out there as a rebuttal to the hip and trendy I'm a Mac & I'm a PC ones?

They are PC user made and they have the WORST video quality ever! Seriously? You are proving the point that Mac is a superior quality product!

Political Blahs & Yawns

Posted by Jon in HB | 8:09 PM | 2 comments »

There were no good slogans this year. Nothing memorable. Not that there has been for awhile anyway. What happened to those great political slogans of yesteryear? You remember them...

"Tippecanoe and Tyler too"

"A Chicken in every Pot and a Car in every Garage."

"I Like Ike"

"All the Way with L.B.J."

"Are you better off today than you were four years ago?"

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman!"

Or what about those cool phrases that described policy or programs, like...

The Square Deal -Teddy Roosevelt

The New Deal - F.D.R.

The Fair Deal - Truman

The New Frontier - Kennedy

The Great Society - L.B.J.

1000 Points of Light - Bush Sr.

You just don't hear cool stuff like that these days. When's the last time a President made a really memorable quote, the kind they put in history books? Like...

"Speak softly and carry a big stick."

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

"And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

"A man who has never lost himself in a cause bigger than himself has missed one of life's mountaintop experiences. Only in losing himself does he find himself."

"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."

"If anyone tells you that America's best days are behind her, they're looking the wrong way."

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."
(Uhh, what was that?)

When the smoke clears tonight we will have a new President. And while some hope that the next four years will show big change in, health care, the war in Iraq, taxes, immigration, social issues...I just want to not be bored. I want I snappy quote here and there. I want a President that shoots from the hip and does not sound like a Styrofoam cut out regurgitating some speech writers thoughts. This years was so planned out, so scripted

I want someone to tell it like it is, someone with passion. What ever he decides to do in office, be convicted, and do it with your whole heart. Don't do it to please one side or the other. do it because, right or wrong, it's what you believe in. I don't want politics as usual. And may God bless the winner and guide him in his thoughts and choices.

My Dirty Little Wife!

Posted by Jon in HB | 1:46 PM | 4 comments »

Gina set her alarm for 4:00am this morning.
She and my sister woke up and drove to San Dimas to participate in the 2008 LA Muddy Buddy race. I am so proud of her! She is a kick-ass stud athlete! I'm sure she'll blog about it later, but I couldn't resist posting these pics now that she's home.



She rocks!