Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chaucer

Jamie and I are pleased to announce the birth of our next English bulldog, Chaucer E. Ford.

Chaucer and his four brothers and two sisters were born mid-day yesterday. All puppies and their mother are doing well. Chaucer is the nephew of the late, great Winsty baby (his mother, Maddie, is Winston's sister).

Jamie and I will be visiting Chaucer and his siblings at some point in the near future. We expect Chaucer to be in our household by mid-February.

And on a personal note, Chaucer will be known as the Chaucey baby.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Handout

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lady Gaga


Recently, I was involved in a conversation.

Although this happens a lot (the conversation part), this doesn't: during said communication, a comparison (a serious comparison) was made between this guy and Lady Gaga.

Hmmm.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gulf Shores


The week before Thanksgiving, Jamie and I spent some time in Gulf Shores. Jamie's goal was to shop; my goal was twofold: 1) rest 2) avoid using my brain. Overall, I would say all objectives were met. By the way, this strikes me as a good time to state the best vacation rule that anybody (i.e. me) ever devised: wherever I am is where I'm supposed to be.

While the week was enjoyable, we did have one minor snafu. After we arrived at the condo, I noticed a bill had been left for the owners detailing the replacement of the hot water heater. Great! A new hot water heater that was put in three days before our arrival would certainly ensure I was going to take a refreshingly, hot shower every day. Wrong! After discovering that the absence of hot water was due to a short in the breaker box, the owner's graciously upgraded us to another condo they owned. Of course they didn't send anybody to pack up our stuff for us, so this means we had to pack up and move (cue the guttural growls).

I tell you that story really for the sole purpose of making some commentary. This situation is a great manifestation of the personality differences between Jamie and me. You see, any time we pack up a bunch of stuff in a vehicle (vacation, for instance), my opinion is that we need to make multiple, leisurely trips to unload everything if we can't comfortably unload everything at one time (emphasis on leisurely and comfortably). Jamie on the other hand disagrees. She feels if there is any way humanly (or not humanly) possible to load up the entirety of our crap stuff on one freakin cart, regardless of how cumbersome the load may be, let's go for it (love you, hun)!

I already have a genetic predisposition to being highly suspicious of family vacations (thanks, Dad), so this experience was more than an inconvenience for me. Nonetheless, we did it. We loaded everything on one grocery cart (the carts the condo provided were grocery buggies on steroids). And I pushed that damn cart to our vehicle. I was pleasantly surprised...the contents of our cart fell completely off only a mere 32 times. As I pushed, I explained to Jamie that steering it was about like driving an 18 wheeler without power steering or pushing a wheel barrow without the wheel. But...hey!...like Jamie said, we only had to make one trip! Jamie really became a bit perturbed with my bad attitude when I asked the lady at the front desk where the produce section was as we passed by her. Jamie told me to go on to the vehicle, and she'd just do it herself. I obliged.

As usual, Jamie and I overcame our one snafu and had a delightful trip (just don't mention anything to her about getting shut out in the Gulf Shores Open). When we spend a lot of time together, just the two of us, I'm reminded that I'm very fortunate to have married a great gal. Love you, babes!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Naivete

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Red Sweater Vest


Before I left for work yesterday morning, Jamie and I had a heated discussion concerning if I had the suave, the charm, the looks, and the chutzpah to pull off wearing a red sweater vest. Undoubtedly, my decision was a big gamble for me, but as I told Jamie, frankly...yes, I am absolutely manly enough to pull off a red sweater vest.

I told Jamie to snap a quick picture last night, so we could just let the faithful Ford Retort readers decide.

Teleprompter Malfunction


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Reverberations in 2009

I like to poke fun at Jamie, especially when she makes a verbal snafu. Not long ago, we were having an intense moment of fellowship. As we were reaching a resolution, she said, "I am so nice to you, but I feel like that kindness is never reverberated." I responded, "Jamie, it's' reciprocated, not reverberated." Well, I guess you could say it's the thought that counts.

So to be fair and equitable, I feel it is my duty to be an equal opportunity mocker. Consequently, Jamie was able to have a little fun with my ignorance the other day. Most faithful Ford Retort readers know that I'm a big fan of Christmas music (yes, I've been caught listening to Christmas music in May). Jamie and I were traveling around town this weekend, and we were listening to "The Christmas Song." I was soulfully singing along, and I got to the line in the song that says, "And so I'm offering this simple phrase, to kids from 1 to 92." I sang that line, and with an ad lib, I changed the lyrics to, "And so I'm offering this simple phrase, to kids from 1 to 2009."

Immediately, Jamie shot me a kooky look and laughed at me. She asked me why I said 2009, and I explained to her that I was simply "updating" the song to reflect the current year. Jamie then preceded to disclose to me that "from 1 to 92" in the song refers to ages, not years. Hmmm. When I thought about it, I certainly have to admit that it makes more sense. And I guess Jamie's interpretation also makes the song make a bit more...oh what's the word...timeless.

National Dog Show




The 2009 National Dog Show was televised on Thanksgiving day. And yes, I felt a tinge of pride when the bulldog won the non-sporting group.

Go sweeties!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thirty Days of Prayer


I've recently come under conviction. Although Barack Obama is ruining our great nation with every public policy decision he postulates, this does not preclude me from my responsibility to lift him up in prayer.

Starting today for thirty days, I'm committing to praying five times a day for President Obama. And I won't be praying those weak "hey, God, bless him" prayers for the Commander-in-Chief. Oh no, I'll be praying specific scriptures for the president. Yes, five times a day for thirty days, I'll be bathing Barack in Psalm 109:8, entreating the good Lord to honor this claim in the president's life.

Man, I'm spiritual! And now that's change we can believe in.

The Best and Worst of Times

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received,

for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.


Charles Dickens,
"A Tale of Two Cities"

Well hello there.

As Dickens said in his famous novel, it is indeed the best of times and worst of times. For Jamie and me, I suppose you can say it is the best of times. We're rocking along strong! Jamie and I have been working hard and playing harder. And since we've been running the roads a fair amount, I'll catch you up in due time on what has been going on.

From a blogging standpoint, it's probably been the worst of times. I got out of sync with my habitual blogging after the untimely death of the Winsty baby. And frankly, I've been about the busiest I've ever been (you know, the whole best of times deal) with work AND with play. But since we're about to close out another year (can't believe it...) and since I'm not much for New Year resolutions (it does seem like a logical time to start anew), it is now time to get back to blogging (cue wild applause)!

As I mentioned earlier, Jamie and I have been running around a lot as of late. Thankfully, we're done for awhile, so for the rest of the week, I'll be recapping some of our travels. Alright, now let's roll!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Problems in the Bedroom

Jamie and I have been experiencing problems in the bedroom.

Bet that got your attention.

You see, Jamie is an unapologetic cover snatcher. If you don't know, a cover snatcher is someone who throughout the course of a period of rest methodically snatches the covers off his or her bed buddy. When we lay down to go to sleep every night, I'll start my respite warm and toasty, firmly ensconced in bed sheets and covers. However by morning time, my core body temperature has dropped approximately five to ten degrees because Jamie is warm and toasty, firmly ensconced in bed sheets and covers!

To me, creating an invisible wall (tip of the fedora to the Usual Suspects) in the middle of the bed as well as drawing a big, red line on the center of our comforter is the only logical thing to do. This would provide an objective measuring stick to equally divide the bed sheets and comforter. Jamie disagreed (she muttered something about breaking my nose if she even saw me in our bedroom with a red marker).

Until Jamie and I reach a compromise, I'll probably remain uncovered during the night, left to writhe in cold temperatures. Cue the sad violin music...

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Life in Demise

Well after this morning, I discovered a sure-fire way to ruin my life: drive down I-55 south every weekday morning.

Jamie left her work ID badge at home this morning, so I drove to this place to take it to her. By the time I left her and arrived in Clinton, I had considered the positive effects of copious cocaine use, methamphetamine abuse, and sniffing concentrated sodium hypochlorite.

Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

AFV



Jamie and I have long been fans of America's Funniest Home Videos. But I've always been disappointed with the videos that win the grand prize on the show. They're rarely the funniest video of the episode, let alone just funny!

To me, the funniest video usually involves someone with a glorious lack of sophistication and couth falling flat on their face. But that's just me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jim Carrey Does Horatio Cain



I've always been a sucker for television police/crime dramas. Not sure why, but I do like them.

David Caruso brings a special brand of predictable cheese each and every episode of CSI: Miami (but oddly enough, I find myself still wanting more). Take a look at Jim Carrey with his impression of ole' Horatio Cain.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Winsty Baby Flashback


Jamie set up her Fall display at our front door not long ago, and my mind immediately drifted back to one of our first classic pictures of the late, great Winsty baby.

He was a sweetie!

One and Half of One


When I was out of town last week, Jamie texted me early Tuesday morning and said, "Happy one and a half year anniversary!" Uuuuhhhhhhhhhh......

Indeed, I recognize that the Ides of March is my anniversary, but I was under the impression that you only have to count whole years once you reach the first one. I guess not. Nonetheless, Jamie made me this extravagant chocolate cake. And it is good!

Bacon, Bacon, Bacon!



If Jamie ever attempts to modify my eating habits and curtail my junk food intake, may there be no doubt in your mind that I will respond like this.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Weekend

Well hello there.

For Dixieland...I was born....early, Lord, one frosty morn...look away, look away, look away...Dixieland...

Sorry. I've been listening to Elvis sing a little Dixie. Let me tell you this: most modern day "singers" aren't worthy enough to carry the King's jockstrap. But I digress.

I don't have much to say about this weekend because not much went on for Jamie and me. But let me catch you up on last weekend.

I was privileged to be in my good friend Russell's wedding. Ole Tuss found him one heck of a gal, and Jamie and I have enjoyed getting to know Jessica! And as usually is the case, Russell married well above himself. It was also fun to hang out with my fellow groomsmen. While I was the lone Choctaw, I still was amongst a good group of dudes. Russell and Jessica, congratulations!

I got up early last Monday morning to take a business trip through the great state of Tennessee. We spent some quality time in Memphis and Nashville and a couple of places in between. While it was a whirlwind of a trip, the boss man and myself were able to ride through Franklin, TN. This might have been the highlight for me because "rural Franklin" is a beautiful part of the world. If you're in the area, take some time to ride through Franklin's rolling hills.

Let's chat soon.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

God of Rockets Firing Bright



Now here's a great old hymn...

Well you won't be hearing me say that about "God of Earth and Outer Space." This hymn...and technically it is a hymn...made an appearance as Hymn #20 in the 1975 edition of the Baptist Hymnal (but didn't make the cut for the '91 edition). I wonder if this was ever sung during a favorite hymn night (if you're not Southern Baptist, you probably don't know what that is).

And by the way, in addition to the lyrics, the music is included above. Feel free to sing along!

God of earth and outer space,
God of love and God of grace,
Bless the astronauts who fly,
As they soar beyond the sky.
God who flung the stars in space,
God who set the sun ablaze,
Fling the spacecraft thro the air,
Let man know your presence there.

God of atmosphere and air,
God of life and planets bare,
Use man’s courage and his skill
As he seeks your holy will.
God of depth and God of height,
God of darkness, God of light,
As man walks in outer space,
Teach him how to walk in grace.

God of man’s exploring mind,
God of wisdom, God of time,
Launch us from complacency
To a world in need of thee.
God of power, God of might,
God of rockets firing bright.
Hearts ignite and thrust within,
Love for Christ to share with men.

God of earth and outer space,
God who guides the human race,
Guide the lives of seeking youth
In their search for heavn’ly truth.
God who reigns below, above,
God of universal love,
Love that gave Nativity,
Love that gave us Calvary.

Getting Old

It hit me the other day. At twenty-four years of age, I'm definitely getting old. Well I feel like I'm getting old. And the Usual Suspects think it's hilarious to call me paw paw. Now I haven't started shopping for caskets or anything like that, but I have given some significant thought about what I want to do for my mid-life crisis. Really...I don't know what to think about it all...but I'm pretty sure the evidence below indicates I'm teetering on the brink of Depends.
  • I've started having horrendous heart burn in the middle of the night. This is a new experience for me. Damn my burning esophagus! Thankfully, some basic care (pun intended) usually can fix this problem.
  • I'm becoming a little obsessed with the undisputed official show for old folks, Wheel of Fortune. This is a bit embarrassing to admit...even for me...but I now DVR the Wheel (old folks call it "the Wheel"). My Wheel addiction started out rather innocuous. I was watching Pat and Vanna one evening, and I became enraged (seriously, I was stomping around the house) because I couldn't solve any of the puzzles. So I figured I needed some intense puzzle-solving practice. Next thing you know, I find myself addicted. But I am starting to get a little better at the puzzle-solving.
  • My hair started turning gray when I was in college and marrying Jamie accelerated that process (just kidding, hun...not really). I don't mind the gray hair, but my hair line has started to recede. Yep...it's started to thin out around my forehead. I'm just a little upset about it. But one thing I've always had in my favor is that the facial hair is still black.
  • I'm not sure if snoring is a sign of being old, but it sure makes me feel old. Apparently I snore. At least that's what Jamie tells me. I guess I believe her. In fact, if I ever didn't, I sure do now. A couple of nights ago, I awoke to Jamie standing over me grabbing nose. "What are you doing," I asked her. "Fixing your snoring schnoz," she exclaimed. Finally I realized she was slapping a breath right strip on my nose.
I do have a couple of thing going for me. I've yet to start watching the Weather Channel (MTV for old folks). I do drive fast. I don't get up early in the morning. And, oh yeah, I'm still twenty-four.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Undeniable Truths of Life

Former Ford Retort Official Blog Observer Joe Nathan Snerdley and his wife joined Jamie and myself for dinner at our home yesterday evening. Emerging from the meal and concomitant conversation is a set of statements that I have decided is worth recording. Faithful Ford Retort readers, I present to you the Joe Nathan Snerdley Undeniable Truths of Life:

1. Everybody thinks their public high school is the best high school in the state.
2. Every male thinks they got a great deal on his wife's engagement ring.


While we now only have two established undeniable truths, I'm looking forward to many more. I'll make sure the interns keep this list up to date.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Ladies Man



Jamie and I just got back from dinner. I'm pretty sure that the Ladies Man Leon Phelps served us our food at the table. Yeaahhhh...

Sitting at the Feet of Jesus

Now here is a beautiful, old song (and the last verse is also a beautiful prayer). If you've ever heard these lyrics sung with conviction, it is marvelous!

Sitting at the feet of Jesus,

Oh, what words I hear Him say!
Happy place! so near, so precious!
May it find me there each day;
Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
I would look upon the past;
For His love has been so gracious,
It has won my heart at last.

Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
Where can mortals be more blest?
There I lay my sins and sorrows,
And, when weary, find sweet rest;
Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
There I love to weep and pray;
While I from His fullness gather
Grace and comfort every day.

Bless me, O my Savior, bless me,
As I sit low at Thy feet;
Oh, look down in love upon me,
Let me see Thy face so sweet;
Give me, Lord, the mind of Jesus,
Keep me holy as He is;
May I prove I’ve been with Jesus,
Who is all my righteousness.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Weekend

Hi, my name is Michael, and I'm addicted
to fruit from the vine of cluttered garments.


This weekend, Jamie and I didn't do much of anything. Oh, well let me back up before you get the wrong idea. We did things...just not fun things. Actually, this weekend consisted of me wearing my "migrant worker" hat and Jamie wearing her "slave driver" hat. But before we travel down that road, I won't gloss over the fun times we had with the sis's on Friday night. There was a birthday bash to be had, and we had it (be proud, Cindy...you get a shout out....AND the Usual Suspects weren't involved)! True to form, the dinner conversation somehow turned to hygiene and other unholy topics. But you can't beat a few cheap laughs, can you?

Jamie wrote recently that she spent the weekend "organizing her life." Don't be fooled. This is nothing more than a pretty little euphemism to describe a wretched weekend for me. Jamie worked me like a cheap piece of meat. So we cleaned. And we I washed. And we I ironed. And we threw away. And we tidied up. I will admit that my primary vice for which I suffered is my clothes. They have a certain affinity to scatter themselves around our bedroom. And, yes, they do get out of control. This weekend was almost like being in detox. After spending my life boozing on fruit from the vine of cluttered garments...yeah...I pretty much was drunk. The withdrawal symptoms were not pleasant, but Jamie runs a top-notch detox program.

I'll let you in on a little secret. The real problem? Too many clothes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Jobs?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

Divinely exquisite!

O Love that will not let me go,

I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Furniture Store



Watching television in the Jackson, MS area entitles you to seeing copious amounts of advertisements from this furniture store. Well...not surprisingly...they don't have a website. I'm talking about T&D Furniture. In my humble opinion, the commercials produced by T&D are amazingly annoying, painfully uncreative, and scream, "Hey, we're located in Pearl!"

T&D, if you're listening, take a few tips on television advertising from these folks (and see above video). Now they know how to make commercials for tacky furniture stores!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Weekend: A Tardy Post

  • Life around the house this past weekend was productive. The grass got mowed, flower beds were weeded, clothes were washed, and paper was shredded. I love it!
  • Saturday night, Jamie and I went to a wedding reception at the Northpoint Barn in Jackson. This band played. Most importantly, I got a sink repair out of the deal!
  • Sunday night, Jamie and I ate dinner with these folks. As I told them, we were excited to actually get to spend time talking with them instead of only reading about them. Of course, you know talking in person is sooo 1990's. In this age of texting, blogging, and social networking, communication among warm bodies is a bit...you know...old fashion.
  • Jamie and I talked about the Winsty baby this weekend. We still miss him a lot, but we're not quite as sad as we have been. We have several pictures of him around the house. They keep us smiling!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Communication


I was recently speaking with a coworker, and she was telling me about how wonderful her boyfriend is. From her stories, her beau strikes me as an alright fellow. However, my coworker did go on to say that from time to time, maybe when the moon is full, she and Prince Charming have mild disagreements. She gave me some penetrating commentary on their tiffs. "It's usually due to a lack of communication."

Back in 1992, the folks at Time magazine must have been incredibly proud of their reporting when they published the earth-shattering observation that men and women are born different (see above image). Unfreakinbelievably profound, I must say. Volumes of books have been written on the subject of the differences between males and females (and how to reconcile those differences), but like my coworker, the communication barriers plague me the most. Here's a story to illustrate.

The following series of events takes place every two to the three weeks around the Ford abode, and the reactions and results are the same. Any given evening, Jamie will find me sitting in my recliner, relaxing and reflecting on everything good. And then Mrs. Ford makes this declaration: this house is a disaster! My reaction? Nothing. Now let's explore this. From Jamie's point of view, approaching me and declaring that our house is a disaster should invoke a certain response. Jamie expects me to drop what I'm doing, hop up, and vigorously inquire of her how this disaster can be fixed. Anything less, and I solicit her wrath. Let's explore what goes through my mind.

I hear Jamie say, "This house is a disaster!" Admittedly, I hear her, but I don't listen. Why? It's actually quite simple. In my mind, a disaster is something like a dormant volcano exploding in our living room. If I asses the alleged disaster, and the solution to the alleged disaster involves between five and ten minutes of light cleaning, I ignore her. Simply put, disasters require more than five to ten minutes of light cleaning.

I know many female Ford Retort readers still need further explanation, and because the Ford Retort strives to be a digital domain of positive education and unbridled reconciliation, I will take more time to expound on these ideas. If Jamie came up to me and said, "There's a big, purple elephant sitting on my head, so stop what you're doing and come help me get this big, purple elephant off my head," I would ignore her. I believe you probably understand why. That Elephantidae scenario is beyond the realm of possibility. Thus, when Jamie says the house is a disaster (and since I associate disasters with dormant volcanoes exploding), I ignore for her the same reasons I would ignore her if she said, "There's a big, purple elephant sitting on my head, so stop what you're doing and come help me get this big, purple elephant off my head."

Jamie and I discussed this particular communication issue not long ago, and because she's a very level-headed gal, she definitely understood where I am coming from. Communication...try it...it's a great thing!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Supper Club

Jamie and I joined our first ever supper club (the Usual Suspects don't really count as one)!

I'm not really sure why I put an exclamation point behind the previous sentence because I'm rather confident that membership in a supper club indicates that you are an old fart.

We did have a good time, though, and enjoyed sharing several stories with old and new friends. We ate at this restaurant. Not half bad...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Been In Trouble With The Law Since The Day He Was Born



It seems as of late that I've had a few run-ins with local authorities. Let me tell you about them.

While driving home one evening a month or so ago, I came upon a license check being run by the Highway Patrol. I expected to produce my license and proof of insurance for the officer and then sail on my merry way. Frankly, I enjoy a good license check...you know...keeps the vagrants and filth out of the neighborhood. "Mr. Ford," the officer said after giving me back my license and proof of insurance, "are you aware your inspection sticker has been expired almost a year?" Uhhhhhhhh. "Please pull off the side of the road, and I'll be with you momentarily."

I left that encounter with a ticket for having an expired inspection sticker. And while the Highway Patrol officer exemplified the agency's motto of, "courtesy, service, and safety," I didn't exactly drive away fond of my experience. Nonetheless, I am glad to report that mailing proof of a new inspection sticker (which I acquired approximately 12 hours after my chastisement) along with the ticket to the local county courthouse will expunge the ticket and its penalty from your record. Since my entire experience was rather painless, it may have been worth it to see what is plastered across the bottom of one of Mississippi's uniform traffic tickets. Directly above the space for the signature of the officer of the peace is a statement along the lines of "infringement against the honor and innocence of the State of Mississippi..." I laughed aloud the first time I read that and thought to myself, "Did I just rape the State of Mississippi?"

My latest run in with local authorities occurred yesterday. Jamie and I were eating dinner with half of the Usual Suspects at our house, and she recounted an incident that occurred earlier in the day. Apparently an agent of the county came aboard my personal property and removed a pampas grass from my flower bed. From our inspection, we hypothesize that the county feels my pampas grass is obstructing my water meter. I was a little peeved when Jamie told me she watched this guy (apparently a big guy) extirpate my pampas grass without accosting him. She told me that he was a big guy and the chainsaw he was wielding scared her. I told her that if the guy was indeed one buffet line away from a myocardial infarction, he probably wouldn't have been a formidable foe (chainsaw or no chainsaw).

I'll have to consult with my legal counsel, but I have a feeling there is nothing I can do (legally) about the pillaging of my verdant property. And yes, the fat guy really did use a chainsaw to dig up my pampas grass!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Morning Update

Good morning!

It is now official. These folks have come and gone. They told us what we already knew: we have no deficiencies! For now, I'll have a break from ensuring continuous compliance with so many of their silly standards. Uhhhhhuuuuuhhhhhhhhh (that was me taking a deep breath).

There's a lot to catch up on (blog-wise and life-wise). Saturday during the day, I did little to nothing. And I have no qualms about it. But yesterday night, Jamie and I were able to catch up with some friends (known as the B B club to some) I originally met at this place. Good times!

I need to run for now. Jamie is working today, and I'm about to take her and her coworkers lunch from this place. Check back in soon. I look forward to chatting and catching up!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Jamie's Lasik Surgery

Jamie went under the laser Friday morning for Lasik eye surgery. I am pleased to report that the procedure and recovery so far (according to this gentleman) are going well. Other than the fact that she's annoyed with me because I'm asking her to read everything at a distance of greater than twenty feet, Jamie is very pleased with her Lasik decision. She's looking forward to throwing away the glasses and contact lenses.

I stayed out of the office on Friday so I could chauffeur Jamie around for the day. In addition to my transportation responsibilities, I also spent some quality time catching up on this show.

Before they took Jamie back for her procedure, we lingered in a waiting room among twenty or so people. Jamie and I were particularly humored by a gentleman who sat near us. I'm going to guess this gentleman was born and raised in Bude, Mississippi. He was rather loquacious, and because he had undergone several medical procedures, he went out of his way to let everybody know the ins and outs of what was about to happen to them. After listening to him talk for about ten minutes, I leaned over to Jamie and whispered, "I think that guy could really help out the doctor in your surgery. I'm about to go ask him if he'd be willing to scrub in." As I leaned forward to get out of my chair, Jamie pinched the back of my left arm and brought me to my knees as I cried out in pain. Surprisingly, nobody paid much attention to our incident. I think we were simply among fellow clowns in the circus of a surgery center.

Several associates of mine have voiced a bigger concern about Jamie's Lasik surgery: now that she can see you better, is she going to stick around?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Freak Out!




YouTube is awash in freak out videos. A friend showed me this one the other day. I also particularly enjoyed the Super Mario remix below.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

I'd Rather Have Jesus

Have you ever been in church, singing a hymn or any song for that matter and just had to stop singing? For me, it's happened more than once with this song. "I'd Rather Have Jesus" is a great hymn, but I've often been overcome with the words I am singing. The lyrics are direct, and the message is a bold proclamation. These are not small words, and I've found myself crippled with conviction a time or two.

I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I'd rather be his than have riches untold;
I'd rather have Jesus than houses or lands,
I'd rather be led by his nail-pierced hand.

Than to be a king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin's dread sway,
I'd rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.

I'd rather have Jesus than men's applause;
I'd rather be faithful to his dear cause;
I'd rather have Jesus than world-wide fame,
I'd rather be true to his holy name.

Than to be a king of a vast domain
Or be held in sins dread sway,
I'd rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.

He's fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He's sweeter than honey from out of the comb;
He's all that my hungering spirit needs,
I'd rather have Jesus and let Him lead.

Than to be a king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin's dread sway,
I'd rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Georgia



This won't shock you: Jamie and I have spent many hours over the past month in sadness over the premature death of Winston. We really miss him. On Saturday, July 4, Winston would have reached the ripe, old age of one year. And while our little puppy had matured to 60 plus pounds of dog, he was just a big baby if you ask me.

Jamie and I will be getting another bulldog. Let there be no doubt! In fact, we planned on getting one of Winston's siblings because his mother, Georgia, was having another litter of baby bulldogs. However, we received some unfortunate news from Wendy earlier this week. Georgia lost all seven of her puppies. Heat is tough on bulldogs, and it may be the culprit in this case. Jamie and I experienced a twinge of disappointment. We were looking forward to having Chaucer aka the Chaucey Baby.

Georgia is a little under the weather right now, so I've been thinking about her often. The above video (admittedly a little out of context, but hey, it was the best I could do) is in honor of her. Get well soon, Georgia!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Fourth


To celebrate Independence Day, the Usual Suspects spent the weekend at Eagle Lake in Vicksburg for some fun on the water. We had a grand time in what I like to call "acting da fool." If I told you that the weekend birthed many a notable quotations, would you be surprised? Of course not! So if you were with Jamie, the Usual Suspects, and me, you might have heard these things said...oh wait...


Well I did forgot about that. Our gracious hosts for the weekend were beyond accommodating, but they did have the above stipulation. I can't help but feel compelled to honor their one request: what happens at the lake stays at the lake. Sorry (but remember, Usual Suspects, if any pictures of me get posted on the world wide web...I will renege and write a "tell-all"). Truth is, most of the good quotes aren't repeatable anyway. So I'll mention two stories instead.

Apparently, unannounced to me, the party-planning committee authorized an expenditure in excess of $100 dollars to decorate the redneck party barge for the Eagle Lake Independence Day boat parade. Essentially, the residents of Eagle Lake have this tradition of decorating their boats to show off their pride in our great country with an annual aquatic parade. I was unequivocally assured that our garish decorating efforts would bring us nothing less than the glory of a first-place finish in the competition (my decorating contribution: staying out of the way). Unfortunately, we had to settle for the internal pride we felt for our country, because much of our competition resembled floats you would see in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Nonetheless, I was proud of our team.

During the weekend, I discovered an amazing solution to a divisive national security issue that our country faces. Some limp-wristed politicians find waterboarding to be an objectionable enhanced interrogation tool to extract information from terrorists. Wimps! Thanks to our trip to Eagle Lake, I submit to you a new "water-based" enhanced interogation technique. Let's round up the terrorists, put them on an inner tube attached to a boat being driven by Big Richard, and take them on a ride around a lake. Even the hardest terrorists will melt, cry like babies, and start singing "God Bless America."

Maybe, on Saturday like me, you came to this realization: while I was out on a lake playing and enjoying liberty and civilized society, we had brothers and sisters around the world defending our freedoms. I'm not interested in your political views or affiliation, and I don't care what your opinion is of the current conflicts in which our country is fighting. But I'll tell you this: there are evil people in this world that have a burning desire to destroy America and Americans. And it's not our fault. If you believe otherwise, you're extremely naive or misguided at best.

God bless America, and those who defend her!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Has Anybody Seen a...Michael?


Well I am back. To say that I haven't enjoyed my hiatus from blogging would be a gross lie. And to say that I've reaped great satisfaction in shirking my journalistic duties would be true. Nonetheless, it's time to end the Summer slump and get back to the serious, world-changing duties of publishing my indispensable thoughts in my small corner of the world wide web.

The love of my life and I have not been idle these last couple of weeks. Hopefully between her blog and the Ford Retort, you'll be able to piece together a picture of what has been happening with us. We've had a wedding here, a wedding there, an outing here, an outing there, and of course a little bit of work. You know how it is.

I devoted some time and real estate on the Ford Retort to the master bathroom renovation that took place not long ago in our house. What received considerably less attention was a bit of landscaping in our yard that Jamie and I undertook. Thanks to the good folks over at Deep Roots, the moaning and groaning was considerably attenuated (they put in beds and borders; Jamie and I planted). I'm very pleased with the way everything turned out, but since I still haven't figured out who is responsible for making it rain, I've dragged miles and miles of hoses and sprinklers around the yard for the last month.

At our front door, Jamie planted several flats of Zinnias. Before we move along, I need to emphasize that these Zinnias belong to Jamie. I have nothing to do with them. I don't water them (unless it's with a bleach solution). I care for the them in no way. I hate a Zinnia! Given the choice between planting Zinnias and breeding African cockroaches, I'd say bring on the crawling critters (uhh...that made me shiver). Frankly, the Zinnia strikes me as a bland and uninteresting flower. It must be a flower that the French adore. Even more frankly, I think the French dog that lives next door to us is very fond Zinnias. You know the French dog...I've mentioned him before...he barks in French, strides in an uppity manner, and voted for Obama.

Winston never cared for the French dog, and I am confident he wouldn't have cared for Jamie's Zinnias. After all, Winston barked with a slight English accent, walked around with little sophistication, and voted for McCain (although he did so grudgingly due to McCain's faux conservative credentials). So if you stop by the house, please admire the aristocratic Japanese Maples and the variegated Monkey Grass, but if you kindly will, simply walk past the Zinnias.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Senator Boxer, Meet Dr. Evil



Senator Barb Boxer and Kate Gosselin are in a raging quest to see who can have the highest unfavorable rating among human beings who simultaneously posess X and Y chromosomes.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Best of '09, So Far: Part 5

With much vexation and chagrin do I report that the greatest nuisance of Clinton, MS, is now back in operation. Argghhh! Let us revisit though that brief time when its reign of terror was stopped.

Nuisance Unplugged

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Best of '09, So Far: Part 4

My tiffs with Jamie are always a popular topic with faithful Ford Retort readers. I can say that this problem has been solved. Thanks, hun, for your cooperation in this matter!

Garage Parking

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Best of '09, So Far: Part 3

Before the untimely death of Winston, it sure seemed he got me into some odd predicaments. But we sure had A LOT of fun together. I do know this...he loved it when I sang to him!

Singing with Winston

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Best of '09, So Far: Part 2

The Usual Suspects are notorious for making appearances on the Ford Retort. And it's a pretty well known fact that they only keep me around in order to record the notable quotations (I didn't even get a single vote when we cast ballots on the new party planning committee)! Even as I drown in my acute awareness of where I stand among the group, I must proclaim that ringing in the New Year in Memphis is the most quote-worthy event to date (a close runner-up would be the time an amalgam of the Usual Suspects got together). Remember these quotes?

Ringin' In the New Year

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Best of '09, So Far: Part 1

My hair journey is a regular topic of the Ford Retort. Remember this phone call?

Hair Style

Summer Slump

  • The Ford Retort is in somewhat of a Summer slump. But read on. There is a plan.
  • I'm still messing with these folks and their silly standards. Should be done soon though.
  • I pulled off a pretty tight Trace Double the other night. Jamie was a touch peeved when I successfully passed her along with the other vehicle.
  • My brother Jonathan is getting married this weekend.
  • Have you been suffering from the drought of rain...and quotes? Of course you have! Just sit back...relax...and sip them in...
-"I wish Google Maps had an 'avoid ghetto' option."
-"I think I'm just going to call her Lo."
-"You have to remember that they're still over there throwing spears at each other."
-"I'm without a doubt the smartest person I know."
-"He's a loose cannon."
-"MySpace is the Facebook for people who can't list anything under 'Education.'"
-"Dwight is way cooler than he is."
  • Jamie and I have been adjusting to life without Winston. We miss him most when we get home from work or an outing. He was always so excited to see us when we got back home! So while the house is a little quieter these days, Jamie and I have not backed away from discussing so many of the fun times we had with Winston. We loved our Winsty baby!
  • During the Summer slump, I've decided to do a Ford Retort "Best of, So Far '09" series. This week, I'll be directing you to some of my favorite posts from this year. And who knows, I might even throw in a some present-day commentary. Should be a fun and relaxing stroll down memory lane!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Guy #3



I saw this video on Neil's blog. Marketing guru extraordinaire Seth Godin had some insightful commentary about it. I just thought Guy #3 (looks like Jack Black) was really funny.

Nonetheless, Seth's comments might surprise you.

Paul just sent over this video of a dance tribe forming spontaneously at a music festival.

My favorite part happens just before the first minute mark. That's when guy #3 joins the group. Before him, it was just a crazy dancing guy and then maybe one other crazy guy. But it's guy #3 who made it a movement.

Initiators are rare indeed, but it's scary to be the leader. Guy #3 is rare too, but it's a lot less scary and just as important. Guy #49 is irrelevant. No bravery points for being part of the mob.

We need more Guy #3's.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Homeowners' Association

Let me air a minor squabble of mine.

Living in a neighborhood most likely entails membership/indentured servitude in a homeowners' association (HOA). In theory, these associations are rather innocuous entities. They collect yearly dues to perform duties such as making sure the grass and flower beds at the entrances of the subdivision are cut and maintained, managing pools and playgrounds, and facilitating community-building functions. My neighborhood does have covenants, and while it appears they're selectively enforced, I can't personally report any of the horror stories that I've heard of overbearing HOA's.

On the whole, I'm content with my neighborhood association. They've made no gross intrusion into my life, nor, to my knowledge, have they made any egregiously ignorant decisions. So I'm going to have to assume the members of my HOA became a little bored at the last meeting. You see, they sent out a letter that requesting that residents not blow their grass clippings on the street. Really? And here's why that requests strikes me as particularly asinine. A letter I received before the aforementioned one communicated that the association is lacking over $20,000 of homeowners dues (I estimate that our HOA has a yearly budget of approximately $40,000). Residents are basically choosing to not pay them.

C'mon, guys. Humor me. When you get, oh let's say...99% of those funds, then ask me to stop blowing grass clippings in the street.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Since Jesus Passed By

Below are the lyrics to a great old gospel song, "Since Jesus Passed By."

Like a blind man I wandered
So lost and undone
A beggar so helpless
Without God or His Son
Then my Savior in mercy
Heard and answered my cry
And oh what a difference
Since Jesus passed by

Since Jesus passed by
Since Jesus passed by
Oh what a difference
Since Jesus passed by
Well I can't explain it
And I cannot tell you why
But oh what a difference
Since Jesus passed by

All my yesterdays are burried
In the deepest of the sea
The old load of guilt I carried
Is all gone, praise God I'm free
Looking for that bright tomorrow
Where no tears will dim the eye
And oh what a difference
Since Jesus passed by

Since Jesus passed by
Since Jesus passed by
Oh what a difference
Since Jesus passed by
Well I can't explain it
And I cannot tell you why
But oh what a difference
Oh what a difference
Oh what a difference
Since Jesus passed by

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Winston E. Ford, RIP


Jamie and I are deeply saddened to announce the untimely death of our beloved English bulldog, Winston E. Ford.

Yesterday afternoon, Winston was acting extremely out of character. He was anxious, panting, and slobbering badly. But at no point did he show any traditional signs of sickness. We had several probable explanations for his behavior, so we didn't become concerned. During the evening, we also consulted with our vet, and he felt like there was no need to be concerned as well. 

Around 10 pm, Winston became very agitated and begin convulsing. We immediately loaded him up and took him to the Emergency Animal Clinic off High Street in Jackson. As we were driving, Winston began seizing. For all practical purposes, Winston died during our 20 minute drive to the clinic. Jamie and I believe we heard him take his last breath probably one to two minutes before we entered the clinic doors.

When we arrived at the Emergency Animal Clinic, the vet was able to revive Winston and briefly stabilize him. Jamie and I spoke with the vet after this, and he made us aware that Winston had classic symptoms of brain damage. Before we could finish our conversation with the vet, he had to leave us as Winston had entered in to cardiac arrest. Jamie and I felt very strongly that the most responsible and compassionate decision that we could make for Winston was to let him go. His suffering needed to end. 

Before we left the clinic, Jamie and I were allowed to spend a few moments with Winston's body. Although it was gut-wrenching to see our once vibrate Winsty lifeless, we felt at peace with the decision we had made. In the presence of his body, Jamie and I verbalized to our Winsty how much we loved him and reminded him of the insatiable joy he gave us. We communicated that we did our best to take care of him and of our great relief that he was no longer in pain. Ultimately, we felt extreme gratification to know without any doubt that Winston knew we loved him so much!

Jamie and I are deeply saddened by Wiston's premature death. We were planning on throwing a party for him for his first birthday. Winston would have been one year old on July 4. We feel a strong void in our life right now. We expected for our Winsty to be a part of our family for awhile. We wanted our children to love Winston like we loved him. We wanted to see him get older and lazier than he already was. And it probably wasn't likely, be we hoped our Winsty baby might have even become a little sweeter. He loved to be a sweetie and get love! You can't imagine what I would give to walk out of my office as I write this and find Winston playing with his toys, lying on his bed.

On the way home, Jamie and I vehemently agreed on this fact: we are extremely blessed! Even in the aftermath of an unexpected life-changing experience, we couldn't ignore the reality that the good Lord has shown His favor to us. He has blessed us individually and as a couple! And let's not loose sight of this: He gave us Winston for nine months!

Jamie and I want to thank all of the kind folks who have contacted us to express their condolences. We appreciate the kindness and sympathy you have shown us. Jamie and I would also like to thank the staff of the Emergency Animal Clinic for their compassionate care and valiant attempts to save Winston. They gave us much dignity in a difficult process. 

As I've mentioned, Jamie and I have decided we will honor Winston's life by doing our best to do what our Winsty baby did best: giving joy to others! Faithful Ford Retort readers, I encourage you to do the same. So I feel it is very appropriate to leave you with this: has anybody seen a Winsty baby?


video

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Good Morning

Good morning, faithful Ford Retort readers.

These folks are keeping me from my normal writing habits, but I hope my preoccupation with there silly standards will end soon!

Until then, sayonara!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Winsty Wednesday


Has anybody seen a Winsty baby with a dirty mouth?

Monday, May 25, 2009

It Is Finished


I'm sure faithful Ford Retort readers are tired of my moaning and groaning about the inconveniences of our master bathroom renovation, so it's a good thing this blog is about what interests me, and not you. Nonetheless, here's your saving grace: it is finished! Jamie and I moved everything back in our bedroom and bathroom this weekend, but it was not without moaning and groaning. So here it goes (hey...stop your whining...you'll get a couple of quotes out of the deal).

Friday night, Jamie and I had a delightful dinner before we got to work. Once again, I'm giving heavy consideration to quitting my job and working to get Jamie on stage to do her impressions. I think I could help her develop a couple of monologues, make a couple of DVD's, and we would retire very wealthy people. But until then, we had to put our bathroom and bedroom back together. Winston even got in on the action. We found him with a lot of our belongings in his mouth. Unfortunately though, he wasn't putting them back in their proper places.

And I knew it was going to happen. I expected it to happen considerably sooner than it did, but it sure enough did. Of what do I speak? After about 45 minutes of work, I had my "I've had enough-you pissed me off-you'll find me in my office if you need me" moment with Jamie. That's right...we do have intense moments of fellowship from time to time...and I was expecting this one to happen about 40 minutes sooner than it did. The fact of the matter is that Jamie and I don't work well together. We have two completely different...oh what's the terminology...project management styles. We did eventually kiss and make up, and completed Part A of our project.

Saturday night, Part B took place. Jamie re-hung various and assorted pictures and mirrors on the bathroom wall. Now here's a piece of friendly advice: if you want to know how strong your marriage is, go either move furniture together or hang pictures together. Be forewarned - superficial adoration you feel towards your spouse will pass away and you will find yourself emotionally stripped naked...naked in raw emotion before your spouse. It can be a painful and scary thing.

After several testy moments, I told Jamie that she was done for the night, and I would be hanging the mirrors. There was spitting and stomping and colorful hissy fits, but I was not going to rest until those mirrors were hung symmetrically and correctly. So I started over. I dismantled Jamie's work, and she became my assistant and I the master carpenter. After measurements, double-checking, and thought, I hung two mirrors the way they were intended to be hung...symmetrically and correctly.

So here's what you've really been waiting for: if you were with Jamie, Winston, and me Saturday night, you might have heard these things said:
  • "If I had a nickel for every time Winston snotted in my face, I would be a rich man."
  • "Measure twice, cut once."
  • "It looks crooked."
  • "Stop double-checking my work!"
  • "Math rules, impetuousness drools."
  • "Feel free to call me "Tim 'The Toolman' Tailor."
  • "Toolman, get your ass over here pick up your stuff."
  • "The level does not lie."
  • "Give me another nickel."
  • "You can go ahead and pat me on the back."
I guess there's a lesson to be learned here: women should leave the real work to the men if you and your spouse work together, you can accomplish anything.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

God of Our Fathers



Here's an appropriate hymn for Memorial Day weekend.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday Videos




Isn't this unfortunate.





I imagine this guy is going to need to see his chiropractor.





Not sure about this "No Boundaries" song...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Worst Invention Ever



The fax machine is the worst invention ever.

Maybe that's a hyperbolic statement, but I do feel certain that the fax machine is one of the top three worst inventions of mankind. I've written on the Ford Retort before of my ill feelings concerning faxes. Insecure data transmission, manual process, annoying noises, paper jams/depletions, cover sheets that say "# of pages including cover"....ahhhhh...what a flawed communication medium! Please note the three following facts:

1. Attention Baby Boomers: facsimile transmissions do NOT fall in the category of cutting-edge communication. I'm not impressed that you can fax anything.
2. I once used a blow torch to mutilate a fax machine just because I could.
3. Alexander Bain (1808-1903) is traditionally credited as the inventor of the fax machine. Recent studies of Mr. Bain's life indicate that he was a dedicated pagan, known pedophile, practicing freak, and intellectual buffoon. He also routinely practiced bestiality.

At my office, we've long utilized an eFax service. All incoming faxes are efficiently routed to the inboxes of designated recipients as PDF documents (other formats are an option). We do pay for this service, and while the charges are minimal, I do daily agonize that we patronize any service that perpetuates faxes. So in the event you are asked to fax something by a dinosaur from 1982, I would encourage you to use Fax Zero. Upload your digital document to the Fax Zero website, type in the number, and wait for your document to be faxed to the reipient (the service is free because an advertisement will be placed on the fax cover sheet).

Friends, with your help, we can eliminate worldwide hunger and the fax machine.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Stress Relief

Well, the end of this week should signal the completion of the master bathroom renovation at the Ford household. I believe this is the rule of thumb for construction projects (whether you're building the Taj Mahal or a small tree house): take the anticipated completion date that the contractor gives you for the project and add 100% of that time period to it. In our case, 10-14 days has transmogrified in to at 21 days.

Jamie and I have grown weary of being displaced from our bedroom and bathroom. We're tired of sleeping on the floor. The "quality time quota" for the remainder of my life has been met. Seriously. Marital tensions from time to time have been a little high, especially when Winston comes inside covered in mud from his last bathroom break of the night before we go to bed (also something about me leaving my crap all over the house). But Jamie and I do have a secret weapon when wedded bliss turns in to marital strife: we both can make each other laugh! Let me share with you a couple of our "secret weapons:"
  • The Funny Face Game. If Jamie and I get bored, it's inevitable that I'll say, "Hey, let's play the Funny Face Game." Jamie usually resists initially but eventually gives in, signaling her capitulation with...you guessed it...a funny face! The rules of the Funny Face Game are simple. The participants take turn making funny faces, and the first person to laugh loses. When Jamie and I play, I always lose. Probably for two reasons...I'm not good at making funny faces (Jamie says I always make the same face, although that's not my intention), yet Jamie is good at making funny faces. Laughs abound!
  • Jamie's Impressions. If you know Jamie well, you're probably aware that she's really good at impressions. No, she doesn't do famous people, so that precludes her from a profitable television career. That is unless the people she does impressions of become famous. Highly unlikely. Jamie and I were out to eat last week, and she told me a story about one of the individuals she does a dead-zinger impression of. Before you know it, she launched in to the impression as she was telling the story, and my laughter approached hysteria. This is particularly obnoxious and uncouth when we're in public.
Ah yes, it is the holy Scriptures that say a merry heart doeth like good medicine, so brethren, I do tesitfy! Laughter can diffuse the negaitve evergy of a master bathroom renovation. Jamie and I actually have planned another stress-relieving activity soon, and I'll write about that a little later. For now, so long.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Winston


Has anybody seen a Winsty baby?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mr. David

Yesterday morning, I attended the funeral of David Wooten, a good friend of my family whom I've known all of my life. He fought a laborious and lengthy battle with cancer, and while death may have won the battle on this side of eternity, Mr. David is the final victor in the war. I know Mr. David would have been very honored by the kind words spoken about him at his funeral. Instead of belaboring the stories and memories which others have of him, I'll share with you several memories I have of Mr. David.

My fondest memories of Mr. David undoubtedly involve our church camping trips. Two or three times a year throughout my childhood, my church would have a weekend camping trip somewhere around the state. As Activities Director for the church, Mr. David had the responsibility of planning each trip, everything from location to meals. My father acquired the responsibility of helping Mr. David each trip, specifically by using his truck for transportation. Each and every trip, I can remember the expectation and excitement I felt about getting out of school in the middle of the day to go on one of Mr. David's camping trips. My dad would come pick up Jonathan and me, and we'd swing by the house to pick up our supplies before heading a couple of minutes down the road to Mr. David's house. Here are a couple of specific memories:

Mr. David was a talented magician. Some folks say this magic I speak of is nothing more than the talent of being a "master packer," but I'm convinced that Mr. David's ability to use every inch of space, sometimes even defying gravity, couldn't be anything other than hocus pocus. After pulling up at Mr. David's house, I'd hop out of the truck only to see what seemed to be acres of camping supplies and equipment in his driveway and garage. Tents and tarps and canopies and tools and pots and pans and stoves and duffel bags. Acres of equipment and supplies that had to go with us! But every time, Mr. David gracefully packed these infinite bundles of equipment and cumbersome stacks of supplies into the compressed bed of a Ford pick up truck.

Every camping trip testified to Mr. David's meticulous attention to detail. Planning meals for large crowds of people certainly seems overwhelming to someone like me who can barely get motivated to prepare food for himself, but I never worried about eating when I knew Mr. David was cooking. The man could cook! Mr. David was not exactly a "lean cuisine" type of cook. In fact, Saturday breakfast on a camping trip consisted of my favorite recipe of Mr. David's: the "one pound of butter to one pound of grits" entree. Seriously, if you went to dip out a large helping of grits on your plate, there was a good chance you might pull out a stick of butter! But again, he was a meticulous planner. We never never ran out of food nor did we bring any excess home.

There was always one event during a camping trip that tended to scare me. Even though I wasn't ultimately responsible for it, helping put up Mr. David's tent was always a daunting task. If I remember correctly, his tent was about 1,500 square feet and had approximately 850 poles to assemble. It seemed that way anyway. I'm still dumbfounded that he put that tent together without a single set of directions. Here's another thing: after a hard day of preparation and work, Mr. David always had a restful night of sleep. Nobody else at the camp site did, but he sure did. Mr. David was a world champion snorer. We slept in some scary and secluded places sometimes, but I never feared for my safety. Mr. David's snoring easily scared off any creature with malcontent.

Mr. David was not an easily excitable guy, but I can recollect one memory of him getting agitated. One camping trip, we spent some time chopping fire wood when we first arrived. A campground manager soon showed up and confronted us about our great sin i.e. chopping firewood while camping at a state campground. You see, the campground manager was particularly worried about the byproduct of our activity - wood chips. That's right. The campground manager was concerned about having to clean up wood chips at a camp site, and Mr. David didn't take real kindly to being told he couldn't chop wood. But we did have our revenge. A couple of the kids (I'm pretty sure I headed it up) decided to put out our campfire on Saturday morning with pine straw. Why pine straw instead of water? Well, burning pine straw produces a thick white smoke, and we took great care to fan the smoke to the camp manager's nearby trailer...definitely smoked the guy out. It was awesome! Mr. David definitely didn't call us off on that one.

Mr. David had a wry, straight forward sense of humor. To this day, I still remember this rather random story about him. Before we left town for a camping trip one Friday afternoon, we stopped by a convenience store to pick up some snacks. By the way, let me give you a brief summary of our traveling arrangements: two adults and four kids in the front cab of a truck. I'm getting claustrophobic just thinking about it. Anyway, I noticed Mr. David coming out of the convenience store with a bottle of coke and bag of chips I didn't recognize. Some type of spicy and cheesy chips. So I asked Mr. David what they were, and after giving me the answer, he said, "yep...guaranteed to make you poot." I still smile when I think about it!

For Christians, funerals aren't for the deceased but for the friends and family left behind. Mr. David no longer has a sin-scarred body, but a healthy and supernatural body. Thanks, Mr. David, for your servant's heart. Now every day for Mr. David is truly just another exciting day.

Happiness



Let's switch gears from the Sunday hymn to the Sunday sermon.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Weekend


Good day, faithful Ford Retort readers. Let's catch up a little bit.

On Friday, I took the day off from work because, simply put, Jamie and I had too much happening (random thought: I used to work with a guy that used the word "simply" too often e.g. "I simply placed the eggs in the basket" or "I simply sat down in the chair"...simply annoying). I hacked away at some thick grass for a couple of hours in the morning, and after eating lunch at this place, Jamie and I took care of some errands around town. Friday evening, we attended a wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner here for my good friend Landon and his fiance wife Julia. I feel very comfortable saying that Landon is the coolest guy I know (cynics might suggest that this means I need to work very hard to meet some new folks, but I disagree). So I was pleased to be in his wedding at this place on Saturday. After the reception, the Usual Suspects met and held a brief get-together. We had to vote on a new party-planning committee or something like that.

Sunday (I hope you know) was Mother's Day, so Jamie and I had some of our family up to our house for lunch. You know, who doesn't love a good hamburger? And Sunday night, we spent some time with Jamie's sisters and their families. Again, who doesn't love a good hamburger? And on a side note: I knew it was going to happen eventually! The project manager for our bathroom renovation asked me this morning, "Now exactly who is Winsty Baby?"