Sunday, July 26, 2009

What can I do now?

Filling up long periods of time is difficult. Try to help a 5 year old do it. Now, imagine that wirey, energetic, non stop blur of a 5 year old couped up in a hospital room for a week. How do you do it? Well, if you are the Dad of such a child, you let that responsibility mostly fall on the Mom! One of Tasha's favorite activities, besides not eating and playing in the play center, is to color. She loves to color! So much in fact that one of the days I spotted her burnt, blistered finger, the one that they no longer wrap because it was healing, looked like it was either bleeding or severely burned! Upon further investigation and a little panic ( that's what Father's are for), I discovered that it was colored from the markers Tasha was using. Now, with all the fine pictures that have been created, what do you do with them? Throw them out? Not in front of the artist. You hang them on the wall, of course! Without further ado, here are just some of them:

This is a picture from stage left. You start to get the idea of how many there are. You will also see some of the cards and pictures that Tasha has received.

Her are more of them, stage right. At this point the artwork takes up about two thirds of the wall!

Center stage of course!

Here is a close up of one of the pictures Tasha helped H with. She has had lots of practice and is getting good!

Thank you to all the people that have given books and coloring markers and for all the fabulous gifts and cards and notes!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

July, 25th, 1954

Today would have been Walter Payton's 55th birthday. He, in case you didn't know, is the GREATEST RUNNING BACK OF ALL TIME! Just ask my family, the know. But the thing about him, he was a great person. He was humble. Always. He made the ultimate sacrifice. He died of a rare liver disease. He was elgible for a life saving liver transplant. Payton had been given a chance to receive a liver, but declined saying that if he received the liver he would be taking away someone else's life. He died waiting for his turn. Here are some cool things:

He played his entire professional career with the same team: The Chicago Bears.

His nickname, "Sweetness", was given to him in college in honor of the way he ran and played the game.
He was a track star in high school. He was all state in the long jump. He didn't play football until he was a junior, because he didn't want to compete against his older brother, Eddie. After Eddie graduated, the coach begged him to play, so he did.

Made the NFL Pro Bowl 9 times in 12 years; not once did he refuse.
Won the NFL MVP award twice.

His induction speech into the NFL Hall of Fame was delivered by his son Jarrett.

He graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor's degree in communication. This, during a time, where few athletes actually completed a degree.

During his career, Payton had received additional accolades for his exploits as a blocker, receiver, emergency punter, and quarterback.

He performed with his teammates to record the Super Bowl Shuffle. It climbed the charts and stopped at # 41. It was stopped on purpose so it would not break the top 40, thus not being played nationally on the top 40 shows. Although some found the lyrics boastful, profits from the song and its accompanying video were given to charity, backing Payton's claim that the they are "not doing it because we're greedy, the Bears are doing it to feed the needy."

In 1985, The Bears went on to a 15-1 record that culminated in a 46-10 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. Although Payton's offensive prowess had assisted the Bears throughout the 1985 season, the New England Patriots prevented him from reaching the end zone. According to quarterback Jim McMahon, he was targeted by two or three defensive Patriots during each play. In a later interview, Ditka stated that Payton's lack of a touchdown in this game was one of his major regrets.

Over his entire career, Payton rushed for 16,726 yards and scored 110 touchdowns. Also, he caught 492 passes for 4,538 yards and 15 touchdowns.

His jersey number was retired by the Bears.

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

The only game he missed in his 13-year career came in his rookie season of 1975. His ankle was injured, and an assistant coach held him out of play; the miss rankled Payton for years afterwards.
Payton's motto was Never Die Easy. His autobiography, bears the same name.

One of Payton's signature maneuvers was the "stutter-step."

He revived the practice of stiff-arming.
After scoring a touchdown, Payton declined to celebrate; instead, he would often hand the ball to his teammates.

He disapproved of the growing practice of touchdown celebrations; he preferred post-game antics such as rushing into the locker room and locking his fellow teammates out in the cold while taking a long shower.

In 1996, he founded "Walter Payton's Roundhouse," a restaurant that also hosts a museum of Walter's sports memorabilia. He was interested in cooking, often making meals for friends.

He was an avid chess player.

He was known for making practical jokes, including untying referees' shoelaces during pileups, setting off firecrackers at unexpected moments, taking calls at the Bears' switchboard, and calling his friends' wives pretending to be their girlfriends.

Payton spent his final months as an advocate for organ transplants, appearing in many commercials to encourage others to donate organs.

Payton's legacy continues through the charitable Walter and Connie Payton Foundation. His own appeals—and after his death, his foundation's—for greater awareness of the need for organ donations are widely credited with bringing national attention to the problem.

Many modern NFL running backs have cited Payton as a source of inspiration.

Emmitt Smith tearfully paid homage to Payton after breaking Payton’s rushing record.

LaDainian Tomlinson, named Payton as one of his foremost mentors and inspirations.

Ahman Green, a former player for the Bears' rival Green Bay Packers is said to have idolized Payton, viewing the highlight film "Pure Payton" before each game.

Walter's son, Jarrett Payton, was a running back for the Tennessee Titans.

On November 1, 1999, Payton died from the complications that arose from his illness.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

Alan Jackson

I have been a country music fan for many years. Yes, my wife, then my girlfriend, gave me a challenge. I used to say the two worst types of music was country and western. She said to listen to it for a week, solid. If at the end of the week, you still do not care for it, then don't listen to it. Well, her challenge worked. I have been listening to it ever since. Most of the songs are good, but not all. Sometimes you get songs that do not make sense, but at least they sound good. Alan Jackson's song "Where I Come From" is got to be the worst song ever written. It does have a catchy sound to it, which I guess why is was so popular. It also came out during a time where Jackson could do no wrong. Most of the lyrics do not even rhyme! In the first verse:

Well I was rollin wheels and shiftin gears

round that jersey turnpike

When barney stopped me with his gun

Ten minutes after midnight

Said sir you broke the limit in this rusty ol truck

I dont know about that accent son

Just where did you come from

I give him the benefit of the doubt on turnpike and midnight, but truck is not a rhyme with anything and son and from doesn't work!

Third verse:

I was chasin sun on 101

Somewhere around ventura

I lost a universal joint and I had to use my finger

This tall lady stopped and asked If I had plans for dinner

Said no thanks maam, back home
We like the girls that sing soprano

Ventura and finger? I don't think so. Dinner and soprano? Not even close.

Forth verse:

Well I was headed home on 65

Somewhere around kentucky

The cb rang for a bobtail rig

Thats rollin on like thunder

Well I answered him and he asked me

Arent you from out in tulsa

No, but you mighta seen me there

I just dropped a load of salsa

Kentucky and thunder? Really? Tulsa and salsa? Sorry, not good enough.

Now I get that its a catchy tune. But the lyrics are stupid and don't make any sense. It is songs like this that make me tune into KSLX, 100.7, Classic Rock. This was released during the"Alan is King of Country era, but does such a mainstream artist put out crap like this? It's just "turrible, turrible!"

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me !

Another year has come and gone, and yes it went by very quickly. Every year, you contemplate what you should do to celebrate. Just another day, I tell myself. Not a big deal. No big plans, just let the day unfold. After it was all over, my day was pretty good. Here is a recap:

Wake up later than usual. I slept in 30 minutes longer. Yes, by design.

Go to work. Work hard. Have a good day by measurable standards. Get a card from your old team members. Have your current team buy you a cake to share, give you a balloon that lets everyone who passes by know it's your birthday, sing Happy Birthday loudly, and announce to the whole building: "Hey Everyone, It's Bill's Birthday!".

Get a call from your father wishing you a Happy Birthday.

Get a text from your son wishing you a Happy Birthday.

Leave work early.

Attend the Temple with your wife (who is truly the best person in the whole world) and your best friends. It had been way to long since I had attended. With the help of Jared (sounds like a title to a section of Scriptures), manage to complete the session without fear of not being able to complete a session. Spend time in the Celestial room (Heaven her on Earth).

Go home and spend time with your kids. They were sweet and got along.

Have a simple dinner (at my request) prepared for you. Have the best dessert ever that was prepared for you, by your daughter, while you were attending the Temple. No Bake Cherry Cheese Cake. I dare you to try to come up with anything better!

When you finish eating, play the birthday card and leave clean up for everyone else.

Relax in the living room while your kids prepare another simple gift for you.

Receive gift from your two excited kids. A bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. The best candy in the world!

Wind down the night with your wife as the kids get ready for bed. This actually went pretty well.

Get a call from your Mother in Law, wishing you a happy birthday and setting up a time to go out to dinner to celebrate your birthday. ( Mother in Law doesn't do her justice. She is my Mom).

Read two stories (not one, because your daughter really is cute when she asks for two. Me: Pick out one story. Tasha: How about two? Me: OK.) to your youngest daughter to help her wind down.

Snack on the sweetest strawberries you have ever tasted. Eat too many because you take advantage of the fact your wife can't get mad for eating too many because it's your birthday.

Watch an episode of one of your favorite shows: Boston Legal. William Shatner is King!

Go to bed with the intention of going to sleep. Staying up to talk to my wife about the day's events. The rest is censored!

Drift off to sleep with a smile on my face, thinking that everyday should be a birthday!

Thank you to all who played a part in my day. It was a great day!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Top 12 Indicators the Economy is Bad...

12. CEO's are now playing miniature golf.

11. I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

10. I went to buy a toaster oven, and they gave me a bank.

9. Hot wheels and Match box car companies are now trading higher than GM in the stock market.

8. Obama met with small businesses - GE, Pfizer, Chrysler, Citigroup and GM - to discuss the Stimulus Package.

7. McDonalds is selling the 1/4 ouncer.

6. People in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and are learning their children's names.

5. The most highly-paid job is now jury duty.

4. People in Africa are donating money to Americans.

3. Motel 6 won't leave the lights on (Gore & Pelosi are thrilled).

2. The Mafia is laying off judges.

And the Number 1 indicator...

1. If the bank returns your check marked as "insufficient funds," you have to call them and ask if they meant you or them..