Sunday, November 30, 2008

We're Off to the Big Apple

So how did New York City acquire the nickname the "Big Apple?" False etymologies abound, but if you're interested to know the truth, our friends over at Wikipedia seem to document a reasonable explanation. Just a random introductory thought...

Jamie has never been to NYC, but I have once before (I was actually there on the six month anniversary of 9/11). We're both very excited about being in NYC this week. Jamie actually has planned the entire trip. I really don't know much of what is going on (not much different from every other day). From what I overhear, we'll be seeing some Broadway and off-Broadway shows...taking a bus tour of the city...eating at some famous places...and other random events.

As for Winston, he will be spending the week with Jamie's parents. Surprisingly, Jamie and I both handled our goodbye to Winston very well. Winston definitely knew something was up a couple of hours before we took him to his vacation home...the pitiful look on his face was just particularly terrible all afternoon long!

I hope to make a few posts while we're gone, but we'll just have to see how that works out.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Since Thanksgiving Is This Week...

Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. James 1:17

Since Thanksgiving was yesterday (I'm only a day late), here is a compulsory list of things I'm thankful for:
  • My wife Jamie. This gal never ceases to amaze me!
  • Winston. Not only is it incredibly soothing to watch television while he's in my lap, God has taught me more than one lesson while dealing with my favorite canine.
  • All Christmas decorations are up!
  • Regardless of who you voted for earlier this month, I'm incredibly thankful that we live in a country where we have a peaceful exchange of power between leaders/factions that differ in ideologies. In many countries, leaders are "elected" by who has the most bullets, not votes.
  • Good health. I was in a restaurant the other day, and I saw a lady in a wheelchair. For some reason, I really struggled to hold it together when I saw her. I wasn't sad because of that young lady's circumstances; she appeared to be a very content individual. I was overwhelmed, though, with my own passive ingratitude for my great health.
  • Our fellow citizens in the military who are protecting our freedoms.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sunday Service Serendipity

Just a random thought...

Each Sunday, our church service contains a brief minute for folks to find someone with whom they might not haven spoken to yet and greet them (this is not a time, though, to establish a meaningful relationship). After the invitation from the minister to do this, mild chaos breaks out as folks wonder to and fro greeting friends and strangers.

I've recently noticed something that happens during this time. When "meet and greet" time begins, about three or four young girls come to the area in front of the stage. And as music plays, the girls hold hands and spin around. For some reason, it really makes my day! I don't know what it is about this simple gesture, but my heart is warmed each and every time. I dare say this may be my favorite part of the church service.

p.s. While we're on the subject of quasi-religous topics, I have a challenge for you, the faithful Ford Retort reader. As families and friends gather together to give thanks and celebrate blessings this holiday season, many prayers will rightfully be offered up to the Almighty. But this year, I plan on keeping a running count (and would encourage you to do the same) of how many times people say this phrase in a prayer: "the reason for the season." This set of words hasn't always bothered me, but as of late, I will confess that my nose itches or my skin crawls each and every time somebody uses that phrase in a prayer. There's nothing inherently bad about it, but like a bad gift from your weird aunt, the phrase "reason for the season" never fails to make me smile akwardly. So, see how many times you hear (or catch yourself saying) this banal phrase...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Winston E. Ford Update

Well, Jamie and I thought it would never come, but Winston is starting to mellow a little bit. Don't get me wrong. He still has moments when he gallops through the house like a gazelle with his ass on fire, but those times are subsiding.

Recently, Winston underwent a habitat (Jamie's word) change. We moved him from his kennel to a small hallway by our laundry room (after installing a puppy gate). Winston seems to really enjoy his square footage increase. But if he scratches the wall any more than he has, he's going back to the kennel. 

Winston recently experienced a brief illness. He didn't have much of an appetite and had more than one...oh let's say runny...accident in the house. He has recovered from that. Also, Winston must be the cleanest dog in the neighborhood. Not only have we spent more money on his healthcare than we've spent on our own, I wash either his towels or bedding (yes, he has bedding for his bed) at least once a day. No exageration. And this kills me - Winston loves when Jamie bathes him.

Jamie is now finally admitting that Winston loves me more than he loves her. That dog must spend every waking moment thinking and hoping that he's going to get to sit with me in my recliner. Jamie still insists that he obeys her more...not sure of that.

Winston still does try my patience. Any time he thinks he can get away with it, he'll dash in our bedroom and hunt down a sock or shirt or shoe to chew on. But I'm handling his antics a little better. It's really pretty simple. I use what's for me a familiar coping mechanism: a Southern Gospel song. 

Well I've had my share of troubles and trials. Sometimes the going gets rough. Ohhhhh. But when Jesus says it's enough, it'll be enough.

You ought to hear me sing it!

Yet Another Reason

One more reason why John McCain lost the 2008 Presidential Election: Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt endorsement

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

One in Three

Faithful Ford Retort readers know that I'm a big fan of Sal and Mookie's. But did you know that the folks who own Sal and Mookie's also own Bravo! Italian Restaurant and Broad Street Cafe (both of these are also delightful eateries)? Well it's true!

So if you're looking for different gift this Christmas, consider the three-in-one gift card!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Clever Man

Mr. Connor’s lawyer offered evidence in the proceedings that Mr. Connor had a medical condition that caused his eyes to wander and not maintain focus.

Now how come I didn't think of this? Check out the full story here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ice Ice Baby

For all of the Vanilla Ice fans out there, be aware that he's coming to Jackson the day after Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm Excited

I'm excited because tonight, Jamie and I get to eat with our long-lost friend Julie "Judy" Smith. Yes!

I'm kinda wondering if she has some news for us...

Losing in Heads Up, Seven Up

Me in the First Grade

On the night that we received Winston's diagnosis of delinquent dog from the veterinarian, I told my Dad about Winston's pronouncement as a problem pup, and how I felt like I had been called in to the principal's office upon receiving the exhortation from the vet. After I finished, my Dad quickly told me, "Now you know how your Mom and I felt when you said 'damn' in the first grade." Hmmmm. I don't think I've told you, the faithful Ford Retort reader, that story yet.

Now seriously, I was a good child. Virtually zero discipline issues. But I pick up on things quickly.

Mrs. Prudden was my first grade teacher, and best I recall, she was a delightful person. Mrs. Prudden would reward our class's good behavior with extra recess time or a movie or a fun game. One Friday afternoon, we finished our studies early, so Mrs. Prudden let our class play our favorite game: Heads Up, Seven Up. If you are unfamiliar with this game, I refer you here to understand it. Heads Up, Seven Up is a fairly simply game...not much to it.

One round, I became one of the lucky seven who got to go around the classroom and pick someone. My other six classmates and I did our duty and returned to the front of the class to see if our victims could successfully identify their perpetrator. So it came time for my victim to guess and see if they could identify who picked him.

"I was Michael."

"Damn,"I shouted.

Ooops. The funny things was, I knew as the word "damn" was rolling off my tongue that I was about to be in trouble. The details are a little fuzzy, but best I recall, I just sat down and my spot was taken by my would-be victim. No furious words from Mrs. Prudden. No trip to the principal's office. Nothing. Some of my classmates knew I just cursed; some didn't. I remember a couple of days after the incident, my mother confronted me about it as we were rinding in the car. She wasn't particularly mad. Again best I recall, I never really got in trouble. In fact, I was mad at my mom because she wouldn't tell me who ratted me out.

So after my first "child" acts out, my Dad finally tells me some of what actually happened that spine-chilling day of my first grade year. Apparently, Mrs. Prudden was doing everything she could to not laugh in front of the class when I cursed. She actually thought it was funny! I always wondered why I didn't get in major trouble at my small, ultra-conservative Presbyterian school. I'm guessing I wasn't reported. Still to do this day, though, I don't know who ratted me out (my parents apparently don't remember). So, along with who shot JFK and if we really put a man on the moon, maybe I'll find out the truth on the other side of eternity...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the soldier, who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

-- Father Dennis Edward O'Brian, USMC

Thanks for Your Service, Mr. Snerdley

Several folks have recently inquired of the whereabouts of Joe Nathan Snerdley, the Official Blog Observer for the Ford Retort. In preparation for the impending Obama presidency, I was forced to make the hard decision to lay off Mr. Snerdley.

Most of you know that I make obscene amounts of money from my musings on the Ford Retort (it's not uncommon to find toilet paper made of $500 bills at the Ford Retort underground blogging bunker). Notable Ford Retort sponsors include Halliburton, Rupert Murdoch, Karl Rove, and Ann Coulter. Enter: Obama presidency. Since Mr. Obama will now insist that I do the unselfish thing and pay other people's mortgages, the luxury of a staff has been obliterated. I've also had to eliminate several magazine subscriptions. Hey - I have a high standard of living!

Again, thanks to Mr. Snerdley and the Ford Retort interns for their faithful service.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Weekend

Yes, there really is such a thing as a sturgeon!

What a fun weekend! Jamie and I had a blast with each other and some friends and family.

Sunday at lunch, we went to eat with my parents. They both have November birthdays, so we had a two-for-one-let's-eat-lunch-with-our-parents-party. On Sunday night, Jamie and I hit up Keifer's with Neil and Amanda (after discovering that Old Venice was closed). Again, I was reminded that the best thing about Neil Tullos is undoubtedly Amanda Tullos. And just remember, Neil, when your Monday is becoming unbearable, know that relief is on the way via the one o'clock post-lunch beating.

I won't say that the most fun we had this weekend was on Saturday night, but I will say that the most quotable outing we had was on Saturday night. Jamie and I dined at Julep Restaurant with some friends. Afterward, we headed up to the house and and played Balderdash. And so, if you were with me and Jamie on Saturday night, you might have heard these things said:
  • "The blogosphere is going to be lit up tonight!"
  • "We bonded at your rehearsal dinner."
  • "Do y'all remember on New Year's Eve..."
  • "I think your line of sight is crooked.
  • "It's pronounced brah, not braw."
  • "Yeah to watch television, I'm going to rig up a complex system of mirrors."
  • "What's a sturgeon? Michael wrote that one..."
  • "I'm so glad our significant others are fierce consumer advocates."
  • " not lick me!"
  • "I think he just licked my wife."
  • "I have not even LOOKED at my Sunday School lesson."
  • "Winston, come see Amanda."
  • "American Tradesman Society."
  • "That's what she said."
  • "Ba..rack....O....baaaaamm....aaaaaaaaaaaaa"
  • "Is your upstairs decorated?"
  • "A saw blade."
  • "Mama Bridges."
  • "In Hebron, Utah, it is against the law to paint shoe polish on vehicle windows."
  • "Thad and I connected on the Italian man."
  • "What is John saying?"
  • "A Brazilian dance."
  • "Don't come that quick."
  • "I just found one of Jamie's pony tail holders in the vomit."
  • "By the way, Amanda, Sir Edmund Hillary was the first person to climb Mt. Everest."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President Obama

Well, it wasn't because I didn't vote...

Barack Obama will be the next POTUS.

I went to bed early last night, but I woke up at around 3 am. I turned on the television and heard the words "President-elect Obama" and immediately went back to sleep. This morning, I got up and went to my mailbox. Since I didn't find a check from the President-elect, I decided I better get up and go to work.

Monday night after I had gone to bed, Jamie stayed up and made what she called an "election night cake." She mistakenly used blue icing (believing that blue represented Republicans), so she was quite upset when I told her it was red that represented Republicans. But I would say her mistake might have been a prophecy..

The silver lining to the election is that resident Mississippi pinhead Ronnie Musgrove was defeated by Senator Roger Wicker. Hopefully, the only time I'll see Mr. Musgrove again is when he is singing in the choir at FBC Jackson. I catch them on television a few Sunday mornings out of the year...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day Bash: Part XI

I know this isn't related to the presidential campaign, but Ronnie Musgrove is such a pinhead, I couldn't resist it. Apparently, Barack has some competition in "the Messiah" race...

Election Day Bash: Part X

Small (maybe a big) problem: Miss Buffalo Chip mostly feature topless (and sometimes bottomless) contestants.

Election Day Bash: Part IX

Bipartisan unity!

Election Day Bash: Part VIII

57 states...not counting Hawaii and Alaska.

Election Day Bash: Part VII

And now a word from the man who I wanted to be the next POTUS, Senator Fred Thompson.

Election Day Bash: Part VI

Haven't seen much of ol' Jesse, have we?

Election Day Bash: Part V

Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright

Election Day Bash: Part IV

Joe Biden: an American Gaffe Machine

Election Day Bash: Part III

Hey, I'm with Barack on this one: if you're not cheating, you're not trying.

Election Day Bash: Part II

Yep, Rush is always right. Check it out here.

Election Day Bash: Part I

The Obama tax plan applied: check it out here.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Day Bash

Tomorrow, the Ford Retort is hosting an Election Day Bash. Every hour, from 8 am to 6 pm, I will be posting something (usually a video) relating to the presidential campaign. So as you're sweating and praying tomorrow, come join me for a video or two to break up the monotony of the Drive-by Media's Obamagasm.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Deliquent Puppy

Jamie and I find that there are many similarities between having Winston and having children. Winston is a very high maintenance puppy. He currently has an ear infection, so we have to put drops in his ears twice a day. Winston also has several infections on his belly (secondary to his allergies), so we put triple antibiotic and hydrocortisone on his scrapes. Of course, his nose is prone to drying out, so we put vasoline on it. His jouls collect and hide dirt and grime, so we clean them daily as well. This, in addition to his ongoing house training and the love and affection he requires, takes up a lot of our time. Since I've had to learn to be this unselfish for a dog, I can't even imagine the level sacrifice that would be expected for a little Michael Jr. or Jamie Jr.

Thursday, Jamie and I picked up Winston from the veterinarian. He had to get some shots, get his infections checked out, and we got his nails trimmed. When we arrived, I told the receptionist we were there to pick up Winston E. Ford. I explained to her that the "E" didn't stand for anything; it alone was his middle name. She said, "Oh, ok." After scrambling to find Winston's chart, she briefly perused it and said, "Do y'all mind staying for a second? Dr. Peterson would like to speak with y'all." Of course, we said sure.

Jamie and I sat down, and Jamie's skin begin to get splotchy. Her skin does this when she gets upset. In the five steps from the receptionist to our seats, everything that could possibly be wrong with Winston went through Jamie's head (and mine, too). But I was sure it was probably nothing. Jamie on the other hand wasn't so sure. After she had a couple of more minutes to thoroughly think through all of the worst case scenarios, my wife was on the verge of tears. Heart worms. Congenital heart disorder. Parasites. Canine Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Bulldog Ebola virus.

Eventually, we were brought back to a waiting room. We still hadn't seen or heard Winston. The clinic had long since closed. We were starting to brace for the worst. Forty five minutes later, Dr. Peterson pops in. We quickly exchange pleasantries so she can tell us what's going on. Winston, she says, is fine. They treated his infections. No big deal - common for puppies, especially bulldogs. Then she told us about his fingernail clipping. While they were doing that, Winston became very aggressive and bit one of the vet techs. They had to restrain him to finish clipping his nails. Dr. Peterson told us that this level of aggression in a puppy is uncommon, and that she is recommending obedience training for Winston.


At that point, I felt like I had been called in to the principal's office and told my child was an incorrigible delinquent. Jamie and I were mortified. We were really shocked. Our baby...our precious Winston...acted up? We apologized profusely! After asking Dr. Peterson some questions, we finished up, acquired Winston, and got on our way.

While riding in our vehicle, the first thing I told Winston was that he had been told on, and he was about to undergo some serious in-house discipline. And then it happened. On our way home, it happened. In our car, it happened.

Jamie says, "You know, I just can't see Winston doing that. He's just so sweet and precious, and he's being so calm right now. I think they probably did too much to him at one time." And with that, it begun. The worst nightmare of teachers like Sarah Denley and Amy had begun. The scorn of youth ministers like Neil had just occurred. Yep, Jamie basically said: "My child is a precious angel and there's no way it's his fault so you must have screwed up." We just became the parents who blame the authority figure for our child's bad behavior. Sigh.

Jamie and I do agree on this much: Winston is not going to obedience school. Bulldogs as a breed tend to be stubborn, and we definitely see this in Winston. Indeed, we will definitely be training him hard. Winston...sit...Winston, SIT!!!