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?"

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday Morning Videos



I'm more horrified that he's using the cheesy pseudonym of "Chuck Storm."



Sorry, guys. You won't see this at "Thirsty Thursday."



Frank
, sorry it didn't work out like you planned.



And I found this looking for the video of Frank. Beeerrrrrrtt Case!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Confession



Confession is good for the soul only in the sense that a tweed coat
is good for dandruff - it is a palliative rather than a remedy.


I messed up. Big time. It could have been a very bad thing. Oh...the poor Winsty Baby!

On Thursday, Jamie worked during the day, so she left the house rather early. I was in a rush to get out the door that morning as well, so I hurriedly did all the things that Jamie requires me to do before I leave the house - turn off the lights, make sure the doors are locked, and set the thermostat to the right temperature. This is in addition to the default task of getting Winston situated for the day - making sure he has a clean towel, filling up his water bowl, and ensuring that he has had adequate time to go to the bathroom outside. Yeah, I'm busy in the mornings.

Jamie and I didn't get home until about 10:30 pm on Thursday night. We had a birthday party to attend at this place (a birthday tip of the fedora to ABB (and I guess JEM)), and we didn't get started until 8 pm. Jamie worked until 7:30 pm, and I stayed at the office until then as well. I give you those details to remind you that Winston had not seen us for around fifteen hours.

I arrived at the house before Jamie at the end of the night. I got Winston's bowl of food prepared, and as I went to get him out of his crate, I was completely befuddled when I found the crate door wide open - without a Winsty Baby. That's when I hear Winston at the back door - outside at the back door. I quickly let him in...I was in somewhat of a daze...and he explodes into the house coated in mud. Then it hit me: I forgot to let Winston back inside before I left the house that morning. Uh oh!

Bulldogs cannot handle heat. It can easily be fatal to them. So let me be very frank: I would have been in deep, deep shit had anything detrimental happened to the Winsty baby because of my irresponsibility! Bad, bad things...

The Winsty Baby doesn't appear to be scarred from his abandonment. Although Thursday was a humid day, Winston showed no signs of overheating. In fact, I think he wallowed in the mud to help cool himself down. I've always said Winston is not the smartest dog around (much to the chagrin of Jamie), but his MacGyver-like survival skills did leave me with much to ponder. Maybe he's a little smarter than he lets on. The bottom line is the Winsty Baby is ok. After his bath, he seemed back to his old self, and today, he has received a lot of attention and love. We have fanned him with palm branches for a majority of the day, and he has received an extra helping of doggie treats for his "never say quit" attitude. Scoot over, St. Bernards...you have met your match in the Winsty baby.

I'm still pondering what the self-imposed penance for my parental neglect will be. I'll let you know if I come up with something.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Thief in the Night

After eating here last night with some friends, Jamie and I came home and went to the bedroom...actually, the "upper room"as we continue to sleep on the floor. But I digress. Our early bed time is the most likely explanation of our early wake up time.

Jamie was already in the kitchen when I came down the stairs at around five am this morning, but my entry into the lower level of our humble abode was less than graceful. I'm guessing I missed a step, but I can say for sure that I fell head over heels through Winston's doggy gate.

Although I badly scared Jamie (not for my safety...she thought a thief had come unexpectedly in the night...cue biblical allusion), I'm more concerned that Winston will figure out it wouldn't take much for him to knock his gate down. Oh well.

Monday, May 4, 2009

You People


Hmmm...

This is from the Delaware Department of Transportation's "Diversity Spotlight" Spring 2009 Newsletter. Now isn't that special! And they say Southerners are backwards....

A tip of the fedora to the folks over at the American Thinker for this find.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Come Thou Fount



This is quite nice!