Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Circle of Trust

Well, since Jamie was not at home yesterday evening, I decided it was time to have a man to man talk with Winston. Yep, it was time to have the talk with him.

You see, Winston is demonstrating great signs of progress to acclimating to life in the Ford household. He is responding to commands that I give him. I know he may not comprehend my words, but he undoubtedly understands my tone of voice and voice inflections. In short, Winston is recognizing that I am the pack leader - the alpha male - of this domain. I am tough but fair. Commanding respect but giving it as well. Stern but affectionate. Truly, I'm a benevolent leader.

When Winston and I first sat down for our talk, I expressed to him that I had found him worthy of my love and attention. He is a good dog, and Jamie and I have enjoyed making him a part of the family. But that level of familial membership - the unconditional love thing - is actually rather superficial. Indeed there is a deeper level of membership that I told Winston he must attain: the Circle of Trust.

Yes, the Circle of Trust. What is this Circle of Trust? If you strip away the pomp and fluff from the description, you are left merely with this: I will not watch you like a hawk and supervise your every move if I can trust you not to pee on my floor. After I explained this honorable idea, Winston readily acknowledge his understanding of the sacred Circle of Trust. He was excited, exuding an almost arrogant confidence, that he was ready and worthy of joining the Circle.

Yes, I have seen this scene before. Many well-meaning individuals have innocently believed they were ready for the Circle but have suffered an early demise. I told Winston not to be too confident in himself. Why, Jamie herself has just attained full membership in the Circle of Trust (just kidding). After I again reinforced with the Winston the seriousness of this journey, I ended our meeting by reciting a poem I had written for the occasion. It was joyous but solemn, capturing the excitement and gravitas of the moment. I wished him good fortune in his journey.

I will continue to document for you, the faithful Ford Retort reader, Winston's journey to achieve full membership in the Circle of Trust.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Quotes: Weekend Edition

  • "If my water bill goes up, I'll know why."
  • "It is not convenient for me. I'm on red."
  • "I've looked at the website, and I didn't know there were problems."
  • "Winston just peed on the rug, and then when I took him outside, he preceeded to attack every piece of shrubbery in our yard."
  • "I thought these phones were supposed to be able to follow you to the bathroom and wipe for you."
  • "FYI, my weed eater is working. I couldn't stand the thought of you gloating all weekend."
  • "My only question is when does the training conference go back to Las Vegas."
  • "I don't like all this workin' late."
  • "Winston...NO!!!"
  • "I know you can't appreciate it, but we got some really nice Christmas stuff."
  • "Well I've got a lawyer friend - he's a Scott County Public defender."
  • "You should have gotten a cheap one like me. You had fair warning."
  • "In our household, eating poop is looked down upon."
  • "You suggested that literally years ago, right?"
  • "Your hair isn't gonna look like (insert name here), right?"
  • "The problem is that it was built on an old platform."
  • "I actually take Tyler out to eat because I try to learn something from him each time."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hair Announcement

In keeping with previous years, I'm beginning my journey to a beard and longer hair. I chose to go ahead and let everybody know, hoping to avoid the comments about lost razors and the like. So you've been warned.

I know I'm going to let my hair get longer, but I'm not 100% sure as to how I'm going to wear it. So I've put together a little video of some different options. Check it out!

Thoughts on Winston

Well, I think I've spanked Winston enough for an eternity.

Mrs. Ford and I are certain that Winston understands that when we take him outside, he's supposed to go to the bathroom - he does that well. But just when we think he's getting the idea about inside vs. outside, we'll find a yellow spot on the rug. Oh Winston, I hope you get the hang of this soon. I keep reminding myself he still is a puppy after all.

I was chatting with my neighbor yesterday afternoon, and she boosted my confidence by telling me that she house-trained her dog in about 3 days...with only 2 accidents. Well congratustinkinlations. Of course, her dog is an uppity-looking, metrosexual acting dog (he prances when he walks). I'm sure he poops odorless turds, barks in French, and most likely plans to vote for Obama.

I genuinely distaste disciplining Winston. It's a lot of trouble, but I know it must be done. I feel bad. I wonder if he simply doesn't have complete bladder control. Or we're not taking him out enough (I'm almost certain that is not the problem). Maybe he doesn't feel loved and is doing anything to get attention. Oh...and then, that pitiful face he makes as he hides under the chair...just gut-wrenching. Believe it or not, I'm not totally heartless!

On a positive note, Winston is starting to understand and respond to commands. I remember the first time Jamie called me and told me she couldn't get him to behave. She called me and said he wouldn't stop whimpering while he was in his kennel. After some consoling comments, Jamie remained annoyed by Winston and wanted me to do something. So I told her to put Winston on the phone, and I'd try to talk to him. She didn't appreciate my humor.

I have to believe Winston knows he's loved. He gets a lot of care and attention. It won't be long when we miss his puppy days.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Evening Reading

Jamie Is Blogging

Because Mrs. Ford made me some delicious bread pudding last night, I agreed to give her a shout out on the Ford Retort.

Jamie is blogging at jamiebford.com. Go check it out!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

An Encouraging Fable

Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village. Although poor, he was envied by all, because he owned a beautiful white horse. People offered fabulous prices for the horse, but the old man always refused. “This horse is a friend, not a possession,” he would respond.

One morning the horse was not in the stable. All the villagers said, “You old fool. We told you someone would steal that beautiful horse. You could at least have gotten the money. Now the horse is gone, and you’ve been cursed with misfortune.”

The old man responded, “Perhaps. All I know is that my horse is gone; the rest I do not know. Whether it be a curse or a blessing, I can’t say.”

After fifteen days the horse returned. He hadn’t been stolen; he had run away into the forest. Not only had he returned, he had brought a dozen wild horses back with him. Once again the village people gathered around the old man and said, “You were right – what we thought was a curse was a blessing. Please forgive us.” The old man responded, “Perhaps. Once again you’ve gone too far. How do you know if this is a blessing or a curse? Unless you can see the whole story, how can you judge?” But the people could only see the obvious. The old man now had twelve additional horses that could be broken and sold for a great deal of money.

The old man had a son, an only son. He began to break the wild horses. Unfortunately, after just a few days, he fell from a horse and broke both his legs. Once again the villagers gathered around the old man and said, “You were right. The wild horses were not a blessing; they were a curse. Your only son has broken his legs and now in your old age you have no one to help you. You are poorer than ever.” But the old man said, “Perhaps. Don’t go so far. Say only that my son broke his legs. We have only a fragment of the whole story.”

It so happened that a few weeks later the country went to war with a neighboring country. All the young men of the village were required to join the army. Only the son of the old man was excluded, because he had two broken legs. Once again the people gathered around, crying because there was little chance their sons would return. “You were right, old man. Your son’s accident was a blessing. Our sons are gone forever.”

The old man spoke again. “You people are always quick to jump to conclusions. Only God knows the final story.”

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Point: Ford Retort

Eh eh eh...I've got one up on you now, Neil. Beat this one!

Sorry, I need to again remind myself about not being territorial with the world wide web.

I'm a Friend of God & Jesus Is My Friend

I'm kind of ticked off because I ran across the above video earlier this week...and I had every intention of posting commentary on it...but I got busy at work...and next thing I know, Neil beats me to it! Oh well, I guess it's a bit fatuous to be territorial with the world wide web. Hold on a second...stop that, Winston...sorry, Winston was chewing on my toe.

I'm going to proceed with my original thoughts. Here it goes!

If you belong to a "contemporary" church (whatever that is), you've probably at one point heard and most likely sung Friend of God. I have never had a warm spot in my heart or mind for this ballad. Now before you start writing me emails and leaving comments (exponentially increasing the work loads of Official Blog Observer Joe Nathan Snerdley and the Ford Retort interns), just placidly read on.

As soon as I heard the song in the above video, I immidiately thought of Friend of God. Don't pretend like you're not already hearing some similarities. Putting aside the fact the Church is saturated with anthems that flowerfully describe how great it is that God does stuff for man (man-centered worship songs always strike me as paradoxical), I always come away from that song with basically one thought (read: feeling): boy, I FEEL GOOD. The endorphins are kickin'. God, you are lucky to have me on your team.

Uoh, I feel slimy for even having sarcastically written that last sentence. Before I go take a shower, I will entertain the notion that I don't have the correct perspective about Friend of God (due to benign ignorance or a malevolent character flaw). Nevertheless, I doubt too many people have gained a deeper perspective about the majesty of God from listening to or singing Friend of God.

Ok. Now carry on!
  • I'm thoroughly enjoying Google Chrome.
  • Mrs. Ford changes Winston's collar almost every day (I was previously unaware he even had more than one collar). When I questioned her about this, she said, "These collars are his wardrobe. You don't wear the same clothes every day." Then she gave me a dirty look.
  • If you're yearning for political discourse crossed with Christian music...here you go. Good article!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Winston FYI

Faithful Ford Retort reader Sarah Denley recently proposed a question I intended to previously address? But I simply failed to do so. Where's Snerdley when I need him?

What does the "E" in Winston's middle name stand for? Well, let's look at this, piece by piece. Many of you incorrectly assume that the "E" stands for Edward. After all, Edward is my middle name. No. The "E" stands for...well...nothing. Winston's middle name is the letter "E."

This practice is not without precedent. You'll note that President Harry S. Truman had the same situation with his middle name (although most grammarians posit that convention dictates that a period be placed after the letter).

Hope that enlightens you a little more.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

For the Birds

This house training is for the birds.

House training Winston can be a bit testing at times. He's a good dog, and Jamie and I have thoroughly enjoyed him, but trying to figure him out is challenging.

Jamie and I took Winston outside to go potty, and he did # 2. As I looked on, Jamie pointedly rebuked me for staring at Winston while he went to the bathroom. "Don't look at him while he's pooping...it's degrading...how would you like it if he stared at you on the toilet." I replied, "Jamie...he's a dog!"

  • Here is a good article on the alleged economic meltdown/disaster/Apocalypse.
  • The drive-by media is on the prowl to tar Sarah Palin because she belonged to an Assembly of God church. Here is all you need to know about the Assemblies of God.
  • Quote of the day, from a friend of mine: "He told me I needed to eat more fiber, but I'm not sure why he needed to stick his hand up my butt to tell me that. Thanks, Doc." It's ok...you can laugh at that.
  • Something about this made me laugh.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Winston Update

If I didn't know better, I would say Fall is fast approaching. It was a delightfully pleasant day in central Mississippi.

Winston is doing well. Thanks for asking. Some observations:
  • This house training process is interesting. I feel a bit silly rewarding anything for going to the bathroom. And I feel a bit humble being down on my hands and knees cleaning up anything's excrement (fortunately, this has only happened thrice).
  • I'm expecting ongoing self-esteem problems since I am planning large amounts of my day around Winston's bowel movements.
  • Bulldogs are lazy. Winston spends a lot of time laying around and sleeping. Yeah, I'm jealous.
  • Is Winston named after Winston Churchill? Yes and no. Jamie wanted to name our puppy Winston; I did not. I had for all practical purposes decided on another name, but as I was reading a bulldog magazine Jamie had purchased (coincidentally we were also discussing dog names at the time), I stumbled on a small article in the magazine describing why Churchill was nicknamed "the Bulldog." Churchill was tenacious and stubborn (like a bulldog) and had joules and broad shoulders (like a bulldog). I considered my timely find a sign from on high that our puppy shall be named Winston (cue the angelic voices and harps).
  • Winston loves to be around Jamie and me!
  • Neil discovered a picture of Winston. Check it out at the end of this post!
  • Brittany almost got pooped on (by Winston), so we took her to eat Mexican food. Brittany, I need some more direction on your "he needs to learn to chew appropriately" comment.
  • I can't be sure, but tonight, I think Winston attempted to establish himself as the alpha male in our household. I quickly squelched his aggression and established myself as the pack leader.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Winston E. Ford

Ladies and gentlemen, faithful Ford Retort readers of all ages and sizes, it is my distinct privilege to announce the newest addition to the Ford family: Winston E. Ford.

This morning, we met these fine folks at this place and retrieved our new English Bulldog.

You'll be reading more about Winston a little later on.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Almost Time

The time I've directed to the Ford Retort has been a little light this week. Sorry...I guess.

So back to the exciting news I alluded to earlier in the week. Jamie and I will receive final confirmation by the end of the day about our news, and we are excited. Some might say it's a little early for this; after all, our 6 month anniversary is 9/15/08. But I figure someone with a large number of hoary hairs on my head (like me) is old enough for this change. But tomorrow or Sunday, I'll post a picture to "officially" announce our new addition.

Tonight, Jamie and I and some friends are headed to Bonsai Steak House. Yes (cue fist pumps)!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Aura of Inevitability Continues to Crumble

As Politik Ditto notes: if Barack Obama had been there, he could have commanded Chuck to rise up, walk, and sin no more!

Notes & Asides

  • I love to keep Caleb, Colin, and Claire (like Jamie and I did last week)! At the risk of being dramatic, I must say that Claire is majestically beautiful. And very cuddly as well! The boys are becoming very crafty; I'm training them in stealthy tactics through the tried and true occupier of childrens time: hide and seek.
  • As I was traveling Hwy 18 in Jackson yesterday, a elderly gentleman who was wearing a Burger King crown provided for a hearty chuckle.
  • A quick note on change: neither ticket for the presidency is capable of the broad, sweeping change they are promising.
  • I've wondered about this.
  • Sarah Palin governs and spends your tax money as a conservative!
  • And check out these little known facts about Governor Palin.
  • Jamie and I have an exciting announcement to make. After an appointment at the end of the week, I will release the news to you, the faithful Ford Retort reader.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Santa Career for Me?

I have chronicled several weighty incidents on the Ford Retort for you, the faithful reader.

There was the time I was accosted at church by a man inquiring if I'd put on any weight. Then there was the time I tried on a pair of dress pants...and they didn't fit me in the waist (I probably kept that moment private because it depressed me). And then there was the time (or times) Jamie has told me to stop sucking in my gut (I have also kept those moments private because Jamie is not funny).

Then today...the straw that broke the camel's back...the end all be all.

The button on my britches popped off. Yep, it's to trite, to predictable, for me to make this up.

I heard a pop while walking around the office, and I looked down to inspect my belt...I was afraid it had broken. Nope...it was the button on my pants.

Jamie always acts like I have a gut (she apparently forgot this man's advice from marriage counseling: a man's ego is fragile), but I still feel confident that I'm a long way off from initiating a career as Santa.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Some More Video Fodder for the Weekend

Ever felt guilty for being horrifically self-absorbed? This will make you feel better.

Thanks, Glen, for your perspective. While watching the above video, I was granted a moment of discernment (I would tell you about my epiphany, but you might accuse me of being self-absorbed)!

I know the McCain campaign saw the above video? Wonder what's going on? P. Diddy may have been right.

The above video made me laugh (it did, but I really just needed a third video).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Palin Speech Notes

Below are the notes I took while listening to Sarah Palin's speech:

The delegates are ecstatic! Now this is real woman power! Shoot us some straight talk, Sarah!

Doesn’t she look great! She exudes confidence and her calm demeanor is so soothing. Is that an accent of some sort? Alright, stop buttering John’s buns…we want to hear you! Baby’s daddy looks uncomfortable!

Snow machine racer? I think that’s the Alaskan equivalent of a NASCAR driver. What’s a haberdasher? Difference between a hockey mom and pit bull? Lipstick. I’m waiting for her to pop open a beer.

You know, certain world leaders had a crush on Condoleezza Rice. I wonder if Vladimir Putin will have a thing for Sarah? Sell the state plane on Ebay? Now that's fiscal responsibility. A woman who ain’t afraid to use a veto pen gets me going!

Sarah knows energy! She accomplished a lot in her two years as governor! Sarah just called out Barry Obama as a diva! And just then…a pseudo messiah. That’s right, Sarah, he does want to raise taxes…but only on those rich people and businesses. You’re right again…taxes reduce personal wealth and potential jobs for Americans.

McCain’s biography is an important and prescient reminder to remember and relish our fighting men and women around the world. YES WE CAN!

This lady is a serious person…a serious politician! She has a history and record, although a relatively short one, as a reformer.

Conclusion: Senator McCain, thanks for picking a conservative!

p.s. After Governor Palin's speech, Jamie and I took a stroll around our neighborhood. Jamie wanted me to document her significant observation: Sarah Palin kind of looks like Tina Fey.

Video Fodder

Watch about the first minute of the above video (a tip of the fedora to drgeli for this find).

If you turn the volume off on this video, you can make it into a rather hilarious Whose Line Is It Anyway game.

What's the worst thing about hurricanes? Geraldo. I like a quote from the Wikipedia entry on Geraldo Rivera..."He is known to have an affinity for dramatic, high-profile stories." Have you seen the above video? Best I know, this is the closest that he has come to getting his head ripped off as of late. To bad Bill didn't sock him.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

Friday afternoon, I was on the phone with an associate of mine and told him to have a good Memorial Day weekend. For some reason, I always get Labor Day and Memorial Day confused.

Friday evening, Jamie and I babysat my three cousins Caleb (age 5), Collin (age 3), and Claire (age 1). I'll write more about them later. Saturday morning and afternoon, we traveled down to Port Gibson to celebrate Jamie's grandfather's birthday. Saturday evening, the two of us and some friends attended an M Braves game. Sunday morning, Jamie and I were at church. We grabbed some lunch with friends, and then killed a couple of hours at my office. Sunday evening, we cooked out with family. Busy weekend!

I was contemplating what to write about the events that transpired this weekend. Then it hit me! This might rock the blogosphere.

Ladies and gentlemen, faithful Ford Retort readers of all sizes and ages, you're about to experience the biggest "you might have heard these things said" list in the history of the Ford Retort. And to add some more girth to the list, I'm including quotes from our early August trip to Memphis! So, get ready, because...if you were with me this weekend (or in Memphis), you might have heard these things said (cue the applause and wild screaming):
  • "Claire, she's just beautiful!"
  • "She's always wanting those last two inches."
  • "These peoples is killin' me!"
  • "How'd he get that gig?"
  • "Man, this is refreshing."
  • "I'll get a Call-a-Cab."
  • "What was the name of that show...HANG TIME!"
  • "They must have been robbed because he was outside doing this..."
  • "Get behind me, HDMI cable."
  • "My problem is getting white women to find me attractive."
  • "I'm back on green."
  • "What type of fish is that?"
  • Sometimes, he's so Christ-like, we just can't stand it."
  • "Ready or not, here I come."
  • "Poolside."
  • "If it doesn't get better, I'm just gonna yank on my neck."
  • "By December, I'm going to be a mountain man!"
  • "Poor guy, he's a dork." (about 45 minutes later) "Whoa, he's a pimp!"
  • "Nope, Gustav is going to hit Florida."
  • "So how we gonna do this?"
  • "Don't worry...I'll sit in a corner and you'll never even know I'm there."
  • "Caleb, let Collin have a turn."
  • "Let's hit up that Piccadilly!"
  • "Ya'll go in Kelly's room a second."
  • "Turn left in 0.2 miles."
  • "You travel about as well as Amanda."
  • "Shhh...you're gonna wake up Claire."
  • "And I pulled my stitches out cuttin' the hog wire out of the mower."
  • "Don't be tellin' nobody about our purses."
  • "Ok, you can put on your jammies."
  • "No Thirsty Thursday?"
  • "Me and Mike are about to be up in the middle of that party!"
  • "Have you read The Shack?"
  • "Jamie, Michael's naked!"
  • "Let's go, Bravos!"
  • "Before we go to bed, you'll have one more chance to find me in my super-duper secret hiding spot."
  • "Put it on cruise control."
  • "When you get out of dental school, we're comin' up here on your dime."
  • "Does Jamie think The Hills is real?"
  • "Man, that's sorry."
  • "Don't touch that!"
  • "Why do we even have a budget?"
  • "And here's the Ford Retort to the right of Rush Limbaugh."
  • "I don't want to go to that restaurant where they have fire."

Are You Their?

Official Blog Observer Joe Nathan Snerdley repeatedly admonishes me for my incorrect usage of "their" and "there" while writing the Ford Retort (thankfully, I don't have a problem with "they're"...that's just ignorant).

For your benefit, and to reinforce what I know, "their" is a possessive pronoun while "there" is used as an introductory subject and adverb. For example:
  • "Who lifted their LSD?"
  • "Hey look, Snerdley just dropped a hot dog over there."