Saturday, December 28, 2013

I Must Have Been a Good Boy

I tried updating the previous post to add this, but Blogger for iPad and going through the Google app to the web version of Blogger were no bueno either. So, I will just have to blow my 400TH post on showing off The Queen's absolutely awesome anniversary gifts to me.

OOoooo, what have we here? The Dave & Busters gift card is obvious, but it's intended purpose is stress relief. It will get good use. But, what about the rest???

MMMmmmm, a bag of M&Ms. The edible kid, not the Cutest Little Girl in the World (TM) kind. We have a history of M&Ms in this family. When I was slogging the commute back and forth between Dallas and Houston, The Queen sent me off with care packages of M&Ms and stuffed animals (there is still to this day a stuffed frog [aka Froggie the copilot) in the rear window of the Maxima. 

[drool, slobber, smack, ommmnommmnnommm] Ah, a veritable smorgasboard of chocolate (or "chockit" as M&M calls it). The 60% dark is just about as Dark as I like a chocolate to go. I will eat as high as 72%. Anything beyond that and it's too bitter for my taste. The white chocolate is self explanatory. Let's take a closer look at the rest...

Now, at first glance, I laughed when I saw these. I can, however, happily report that they are quite tasty. Sadly, the beef jerky doesn't taste too much like beef jerky and is more like regular milk chocolate with tiny bits of jerky in it. It's still good though. The BBQ tater chip flavor is very good. 

If the BBQ tater chip flavor is very good, the firecracker is awesome sauce in your mouth. It starts off with a little sparkly, then goes slightly salty, then the pop rocks really kick in and finishes with a little spiciness from the smoky chipotle. I never would have guessed that it would be as good as it is. I will be getting more of this. 

I will be reporting on the last of the Anniversary gifts after it is completed on Monday. 

10 Years Ago Today...

...The Queen and I said "I do."

Looking back, I amazed at what we have been through. We married right at the end of 2003. 2004 was pretty quiet all things considered. In 2005, The Queen lost her job taking 40% of our income with it. Just a few months later, we moved to Houston because of a better job opportunity for me which brought about half of that lost income back. At Thanksgiving that year, I came down with pneumonia, spiked a 105 degree fever, and The Queen thought I was dying (might have been for all I know...I really didn't care at that point).

2006 brought us the onset of The Queen's "mystery illness" that resulted in her moving back to Dallas without me so that her parents could help take care of her while I tried to find work back in Dallas. It took me almost two years to the day before I was able to get back to Dallas full time (that is one reason among many that my car has 345,000 miles on it). Two years of living in a friend's spare bedroom to save money. Two years of getting up at 4:00 AM Monday morning to drive to Houston and leaving Houston at 4:00 PM Friday. Two years of not knowing when the next panicked phone call would come from The Queen regarding her health and dropping everything to break every speed limit between Houston and Dallas to get home (three and half hours door to door is my best time from I-45 and Beltway 8 in Houston to I-20 and 408 in Duncanville if you ever want to give it a try).

It was no fun at all.

2008 to 2011 saw The Queen's parents and grandmother living with us. A 2200 square foot house gets to feeling a tad cramped with five adults, three dogs and two cats. Especially when one of the five is over 90 years old and in need of assistance for every need. More so when one of the other four works from home. We made it work some how.

2010 saw improvement in The Queen's health. It also saw the heart wrenching decision not to continue trying for kids of our own. No need to cry over that though because...

2011 opened with the passing of The Queen's 94 year old grandmother after a long, slow decline. It was as much a relief as anything, and she passed peacefully in her sleep. Following that, The Queen's parents took their leave of Castle Erickson and moved out to a house on my brother in law's property that they renovated while The Queen and I jumped head first into the world of foster parenting (and a brief dalliance with law school for me). Our very first placement was the little girl who would become Princess M&M. The end of the year saw me recruited in record time for what I consider to be the best job there is in my field. I ended my 9+ year (split up by an interlude at a company whose name I will not speak...[hock, spit]) relationship with my former employer on our 8TH wedding anniversary so that I could start...

...2012 with a fresh beginning at the new company. 2012 was a rocky year of ups and downs with the foster care system and the saga of M&M; however, by the end of the year, it was clear that we would be adopting her which brings us to...

2013. We started the year off right with the adoption hearing for M&M in January which still seems like it was just yesterday. The rest of this past year has been a blur. The Queen's health has taken a bit of dip again. Some of it is from the stress released after we adopted M&M and bailed out of the foster care system for good. Some of it is allergies. Some of it is a yearning for freedom from all the baggage (physical and mental) that we have accumulated over the years.

Looking ahead into 2014, I am working feverishly to declutter us from our excess physical junk while trying to get the house ready to sell. Our hope is to sell our house and downsize to a small rental for a time while we get our bearings on where we want to be and how we want to be there.

So, if you know anyone interested in a nice, 2 bed, 2 bath, 2 car garage, 2 living area, 1 sunroom/office/extra bedroom, 2269 sq. ft. house on one acre with a 1600 sq. ft. workshop conveniently located to Dallas and Fort Worth, drop me a line. I'll make you a fair deal.

Truthfully, despite all we have been through, I feel blessed. Blessed to have a wonderful woman who puts up with me and my imperfections. Blessed to have had a lot of good times interspersed among the trials too. Blessed to now be a father and a husband. Blessed to be here at all to enjoy it.

So far, we've lived 10 years of our vows: for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.... We haven't gotten to "until death do you part" yet; and, God willing, that will be a long time coming (although there have been times I thought I spotted The Queen searching the backyard for a good spot to bury me). I won't say marriage is easy because it does take both people working together to keep it going, but I will say that ours has been less difficult that most simply because we spent a lot of time (six and a half years in fact) dating, getting to know each other and making sure we were on the same page.

I am scheduling this post to publish at the time we have reservations to sit down for dinner at the "scene of the crime" so to speak. We will be dining at the restaurant where we had our first date, and where I proposed to her.

Reata is in downtown Fort Worth, and it is easily in my top three favorite restaurants ever. If you ever find yourself in Fort Worth, I highly recommend it.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Random Update and Stuff

Life, it seems, is never content with it's usual hectic pace. No, it has to find new and interesting ways to blow past the cops at warp 9 with the stereo blaring at 11!!!

First up, The Cutest Little Girl In The World (TM) got her first haircut last week. She was completely unphased by the whole event. Mimi was present as were several older ladies getting their hair done as well. One and all commented that M&M was so well behaved. The stylist was surprised that she sat through the entire thing without fuss or moving her head around.

The Queen was proud and justifiably so. It's her efforts in training M&M on a daily basis with lots of love and attention that get us the results that seem to mystify some people.

Case on point: we went for a stroll around the Granbury square on Sunday and stopped in a coffee shop for something warm to drink. It was around about M&M's nap time. We told her it was nap time. She asked to be rocked for a bit by both of us and then said "Bet." (bed). We put her coat down on the booth for warmth, and she promptly laid down and slept for an hour. She slept through the little boy her own age who came in, running around, hooping and hollering and making his parents crazy. She slept through us getting up, putting coats on and picking her up to leave. The mother of the little boy asked us how we do it. We told her, and she looked at us like we were aliens. People think it can't be done with their child, but it can. All it takes is patience, firmness, love and consistency.

I will get a picture of this sooner or later, but I saw a sign for a business that was amusing:

               Marian's Perfume Shop
               Concrete Tools
               Janitorial Supplies
               Plumbing Supplies

Seems like an odd mix to me.

Moving along to movements. M&M is well into her potty training now. She's really pretty good about telling us when she needs to go with or without a diaper. We're not quite ready for all night without a diaper, but we are making progress. The Queen did have a brilliant idea though. She bought a second potty chair for the royal chariot. Now, anytime M&M needs to go, The Queen pulls over, pops the rear lift gate, sets her on her throne, lets nature call and then gets back on the road.

I thought it was brilliant.

In other news, M&M's bladder can hold a surprising amount of liquid. Unsurprisingly, there is very little time between consumption and elimination.

I love that little girl.

In other news, customer service continues to be a dying and almost lost art. I went into two locally owned stores over the weekend to have a peek and was completely turned off by the lack of customer service.

The first experience was a stop into a western store to look for a new pair of boots. I despise most country music with a passion reserved only for child molesters and inconsiderate drivers; however, I have come to terms with the fact that a good pair of cowboy boots are about the most comfortable footwear on the planet for a man. I had a problem with plantar fasciitis about 18 months ago. Nothing helped until I bought a pair of boots. Problem solved. I even go through airline security in those having learned the fine art of pulling those things off without a boot jack.

Anyway, I was looking for a pair of brown boots to give my black ones a break. I walked into the store which was not terribly busy and appeared to be staffed by three or four younger people (late teens to early twenties). The employees were congregated around the cash register and appeared to be engrossed in something on the computer or the desk (I never got close enough to investigate). I aimed for the men's boots and started looking for my size. Finally, after a few minutes of looking clueless, a young man separated himself from the herd and came over to ask if he could help. I explained that I was looking for 10 1/2 to 11 and inquired if they had wide widths in stock. He explained that he had very few, if any, wide sizes and promptly shambled off to rejoin the herd.

No offer of further assistance. No inquiry as to exactly what I was looking for. No suggestion of alternate options. Not even a "sorry, have you thought about putting your feet in a vice?"

The second experience was worse than the first. I was driving along and saw, out of the corner of my eye, the siren song of "GUNS, TACTICAL, ARCHERY, AMMO" painted on a store front window with a blinking, neon open sign that I had not seen previously. A hasty U-turn later, and I was promising The Queen that I would only be a second or two.

At the most.

Turns out I was over estimating my time needs by a factor of double at least.

There was a few boxes of 12 gauge. Several items of camouflage gear for hunting. And not much else. I walked in and spotted a gentleman behind the counter. I was the only customer in the place. The guy behind the counter was on the phone with a distributor catalogue out on the counter in front of him to a page showing an AR-15. Not once did he acknowledge my presence. Not a "I'll be with you in a minute." Not a "Hello." Not even a grunt.

I left.

Oh, and I met GunDiva. Finally, after "knowing" each other on blog for about four years, I happened to be in her state for business a couple of weeks ago. She's a very nice person. I was disappointed that I didn't get to meet Bill, Juanita or Jay, but I did get to meet her sister. GunDiva even brought me a half dozen cookies (which were YUMMY!!!) and a gift for M&M (a copy of the children's book her husband Jay wrote and's way cool).

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

You Can't Handle the Cuteness!!

Okay, I know there are some out there who are just dying for their latest fix of The Cutest Little Girl in the World (TM). And, as the keeper of The Cuteness, who am I to deny you.

Zonked in the back seat of Daddy Hawk's car. She wasted no time kicking off her shoes and socks before getting down to some serious snoozing.

Chilling in the shopping cart with a 'nana. Who doesn't want to kick back and be chauffeured around Whole Foods?

M&M and her little Mona Lisa smile.

No cavities? Check. Nostrils clean? Check. Sound asleep? Yep, you betcha.

And, so it begins with the fifth generation.

Dead to the world. One of these days, I'm going to have to put a chalk outline around her.

Ride 'em....giraffe??

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

One Of These Days...

..., I'll get around to telling the story that goes with this picture.

One family. Four generations. All pilots.

I'll save you the trouble of guessing, the tall, skinny kid second from the left is Daddy Hawk on the day he soloed an airplane for the first time.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Little Humor

Ed. - I've been cleaning up my email folders here recently and came across the following gem that still tickles me every time I read it because I can see it happening for real. Rule number one for any attorney is to know the answer to the question before you ask it.

In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know me?' She responded, 'Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you w ere a boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you 're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.'

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?'

She again replied, 'Why yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.'

The defense attorney nearly died.

The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said, 'If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you both to the electric chair.'

Friday, November 22, 2013

More Advice For M&M

It's been a while since I posted any advice for my daughter. It's not that I've run out of advice to give her. It's just that I've run out of time to think about it, write and polish it. So, here goes:

1.    In general, men and women think and communicate differently. Learn to embrace those differencesand never assume that anyone (male or female) communicates or thinks the same way you do.

2.    “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” Proverbs 22:6-8

Credit is one thing. Debt is another thing entirely. Credit opens up options when managed properly. Debt limits options when mismanaged. I have had several discussions lately with couples who either have kids or are thinking of having kids and lament not being able to have one parent or the other be able to stay home with the kids because of debt. Eliminating debt and adjusting lifestyle to live within your means on one income opens up the possibility of doing things because you want to instead of because you have to.
Personally, I recommend skipping credit and debt altogether. It is possible to pay cash throughout your life if you plan ahead.

3.    "One size fits all" doesnt.

What works well for you may not work at all for someone else. If you dont believe me, ask me to get into a Mazda Miata sometime. Its not pretty.

4.    Subtle hints don't work well with men. Try using a sledgehammer.

Really. It’s true. Men are simple creatures. If we want a beer, we say, “Would you please get me a beer?” We don’t drop a hint like, “Gee, a beer should be nice right now…” expecting someone to automatically know that our expressed desire for said beer was directed at you in the expectation that you will fulfill said desire. I once knew a guy whose pick up line was “Do you want to [screw]?” Surprisingly, he was successful with that approach more than once. Unsurprisingly, his rejections involved physical violence. The point being, ask a guy directly for what you want instead of vaguely hinting. You’ll see better results that way.

5.    “Life is hard. It’s harder when you’re stupid.” John Wayne (allegedly)

Not knowing something is one thing. That can be fixed. Being willfully ignorant because you don’t want to know or, worse, ignore facts you know to be true because they don’t fit your preconceived notions of the way things should be is quite another thing entirely and quite hard to fix I might add.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hot Off The Presses: Bonus Picture

The Queen just sent this to me via text, and I had to share...

Two Years Ago Today...

...a miracle came into this world, and she has been making it a better place to be ever since.

The Queen and I are so very thankful to have M&M in our lives. Every day with her is a gift from God and a tremendous blessing for us. She makes everything we do more meaningful. I am proud to have been chosen to be her father.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Love Never Sleeps

6:00 AM.

The house is dark and quiet. The sun hasn't risen yet, and I've turned out all the lights after getting ready for work. The Queen is sound asleep in bed, and the cat has disappeared to wherever he goes to be alone.

I gather my things and head for the front door carrying my boots so that I don't make too much noise and inadvertently disturb my girls. I take a moment to put my boots by the door and detour into M&M's room to check on her. She is hot natured like me, and tends to migrate around the bed in an effort to escape blankets and other things that make her too warm.

With the light from my phone, I find a curly haired head rising to a sitting position in the bed followed by a drowsy "Daddy?". A small hand reaches to rub an eye as I kneel down next to her bed. Recognition seeps through the sleepy fog, and little legs unfold to carry her over to me with arms outstretched.

Slender arms with warm, smooth skin encircle my neck and left shoulder as she clings to me in a tight embrace. I hear a little voice whisper a contented "Daddy" next to my ear as a fuzzy head burrows into my shoulder and neck.

We stay there for a moment. Each of us enjoying the hugs we had stored up this week while I was away from home on business.

Then, a quiet request: "Up?"

My long arms adjust slightly to better hold her weight with her still clinging to me like she was never going to let go. Neither of us want to break the spell.

After a time though, I must go. I gently lay her back into bed whispering "Go night night. I love you, and I will see you at lunch." A kiss on the cheek, and I have to head to the door. Last I saw, she was snuggled back into the blanket with her dolls with her precious eyes closing.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Caution: Wet Floor

I thought I would take a moment to share a little slice of life moment from the weekend involving M&M. The Queen, M&M and I went out for breakfast at one of our favorite places that just happens to serve gluten free pancakes among other suitable breakfast items including killer omelletes. 

After gorging ourselves silly and waiting for the check, M&M took the opportunity to get out of her booster chair, toddle over to me across the booth bench seat at which time she proceeded to throw her arms around my neck and proclaim "You're my daddy." as clear as could be. 

Watch your step. The floor is wet from my heart just melting. For those keeping track of such things, she will be two in a couple fo weeks. 

Some People Have All The Luck

I had to attend a business meeting in St. Louis earlier this week. As part of the meeting, which was the final one before retirement for one of my business associates, there as a gift given by another business associate to the soon to be retiree in recognition of their long standing business relationship and friendship. 

This was the gift:

The pictures do not do it justice. It's an absolutely gorgeous gun; and I am, frankly, jealous. The recipient's only comment was "WOW. Just WOW." 

Lucky dog. Pardon me while I go take care of a drool problem. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Cutest Little Girl In The World (TM) Update

Well, I think it's time for me to retire the title of Cutest Baby in the World (TM) for M&M. As you will see in the photos to follow, she's getting so big, she's started potty training, she moved up to her big girl bed and so much more that she's just not a baby anymore (though she will always be my baby and little girl).

I do have to share one quick story with you. The Queen and M&M have made my days the last couple of days by trekking up to the dreary north away from Castle Erickson to where Daddy Hawk plies his trade for lunch with your humble scribe and other assorted activities. As we were sitting down for lunch today, I started to ask the blessing on the meal when  M&M lifted her bowed head up and gently reached for first my hand and then The Queen's hand before bowing her head back down. It was SOOO stinking cute. As far as we know, that is the first time she has done that. The Queen had taught her to bow her head during prayers, and we have both reached out for her hands during meal blessings. However, this was the first time she had done that on her own. It made me want to cry.

Love that little girl....

This was my ride in Houston last week when I was down there for a day trip to monitor jury selection in a trial. It's borderline cruel and unusual punishment to be given a convertible to drive on a warm, sunny day when you only have time to drive from the airport to the courthouse and back. To sum up my thoughts on the Camaro succinctly: it handles decently for its size, the V6 is adequate but not impressive, it's okay on creature comfort, and it's nearly impossible for someone my size to easily get in and out of that thing especially in a crowded downtown parking garage.

Candance should recognize M&M's accessories. For the last several weeks, M&M has shown no interest in them whatsoever. Then, out of the blue, she just HAD to take both of them on a walk to the park. Go figure.

I love the look on her face in this picture. The bear didn't stand a chance.

M&M napping in her big girl bed. The grey blob on the right side is Spanky McCloud curled up at the foot of the bed. Spanky has been on a mouse hunting tear since the great Mouse Hunt post. He has caught, killed and eaten/partially eaten three that we know of. He caught another last night that we managed to rescue (only for the mere fact that we did not want to be cleaning up mouse innards in the living room....AGAIN).

An early morning sunrise pic from the air southbound to Houston. In the past two weeks, I've been there three times. I'll be there three days next week unless the case involving the trial I am monitoring settles over the weekend. Did I mention that I am not fond of Houston even though I know it almost as well as my hometown? At least my Gold status with American Airlines is protected for another year.

A close up of M&M in her big girl bed. She was so ecstatic to be getting her big girl bed, she kept climbing in while were trying to put the sheets on it.

The Queen and M&M sharing a moment at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens.

M&M snuggling with her favorite travel buddies. That girl has more stuffed animals than any child I know, and she loves them all.

You never know what you will find on the shelves at Home Depot. Good luck getting a price check though. She passed out in The Queen's arms while were there getting some things and hadn't bothered to bring a stroller with us. An HD associate had the idea of getting a cart and putting a bath mat in it as a makeshift portable crib. Worked like a charm.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Crazy Idea

One the way home from work this evening, I had one of those crazy ideas for a prank that might have been done already but which I've never seen myself. I think it would be fun to set up a desk and chairs in a high rise elevator. When the doors open for people to get on, you ask them odd things like "are you here for the porn auditions?" or "can I talk to you about Jesus?". Another tack would be to tell them they are late for their proctology exam. 

Perhaps I've been a bit too stressed lately. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Quick Thought From The Road

It's really disconcerting to see a TV news helicopter hovering over your gate at the airport while boarding a flight.

Friday, October 4, 2013

M&M Update and Random Photos

In an effort to placate the masses (or at least one cranky woman with a know who you are), I thought I would take this opportunity to get ahead of the demand for more M&M coverage with more photos of The Cutest Baby in the World (TM). I suppose I will have to retire her TCBITW (TM) title soon as she will (or has already) graduate to toddler status soon. I can't believe she will be two years old in a little over a month. The time has gone by WAY too fast. I was just holding this teenie, tiny baby. Now, I am curling 30 pounds of almost a toddler. What happened?

But, I also do enjoy seeing her develop and grow from baby to little girl even if it does mean that I am that much closer to having to shoot a boy as an example to the others. Sleepy girl crawling up into Daddy Hawk's arms is something I cherish along with wet kisses, giggles and squeals, tights hugs and "pick me up" arms and eyes. I love the way she says "peaze" instead of please. I was a bit disappointed when Opa got her to stop saying "juish" in favor of "jewiss" when she wants something to drink.

My heart absolutely melted when she said "I love you daddy" for the first time recently. I died laughing at lunch today listening her trying to say "work". The way she tried pronouncing it...I never thought I would here a toddler drop the "F" word so innocently having never heard it from anyone that we know of.

Anyway, on with the slide show...

I just can't pass up a cute, sleepy girl photo. She is hot natured like me and hates to be under the blanket. Every night whether it's hot or cold, we put the blanket over her. Without fail, she kicks off the blanket and finds a way to ball it up and use it for a pillow or tuck it under her for more padding. I love the "butt in the air with feet crossed" sleepy night night position.

Just a little Mona Lisa smile and relaxed stare that says "Really? You go right ahead. I be here planning to take over the world."

Scenes from M&M's first boat ride. We rented a pontoon boat at Table Rock Lake near Branson, MO last week. She loved it. She has to be part fish because we can't keep her out of the water. The middle photo was taken just before she found the throttle and set it for warp 2 (which is about the best you can expect on this boat). It was a beautiful day for getting out on the lake.

She did not want to get out of the lake when it was time to go. I also showed her how to attract small fish with spit. She was intrigued.

I had never seen one of these before until Sunday when we decided to take M&M to the state fair. It says "Scorpion" on the side and sports some BMW logos. It looks like it'd be a scream right up until the moment that an 18 wheeler turns it into a flat beer can.

The Queen and M&M. That baby can nap anywhere, anytime when she is tuckered out.

Taken right after take off on my return flight from Alexandria, LA yesterday. It was almost kinda cool watching two downpours from my seat until I spotted the third one directly in our flight path just out of frame to the right.

The Queen and our girl at the state fair. It was The Queen's first time to the fair despite having lived in north Texas for most of her life. They both had a great time.

The Queen and M&M sharing some thoughts with each other during our road trip back from Missouri last week.

Is It Just Me...

...or does Texas Senator Ted Cruz look like a young(er) Bill Murray?

(picture source)

You decide.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I Am a Blessed Man

My father in law has been married to my mother in law for over 45 years now. In that time, he has probably had two or three professional massages all of which were given to him by my wife (when she was a practicing massage therapist). You see, my mother in law refuses to allow him to have hands laid upon him by any woman who is not related to him, and my father in law, being the typical man that he is, has absolutely no desire to have a man lay hands upon his body (I can't say I blame him either).

I told you that to tell you this.

My wife, The Queen, however, is cut from a whole nother other sheet of cloth.

Our normal, daily (work day that is) custom these days is for The Queen to text me when she is up and moving which usually happens between 9:00 and 10:00 in the morning. Tuesday's exchange went something like this (well, just like this actually since I'm transcribing things for you because I'm too lazy to screen shot things and edit out personal stuff).

The Queen: Morning

Me: Morning. How did u sleep? How u feeling today?

The Queen: Slept well believe it or not :). Started feeling good and then allergies hit again ugh. How did u sleep?

Me: Not too good. Stayed up too late. Had trouble getting to sleep. Woke up too early to try and beat traffic and still got stuck in it. Have a huge knot in my neck/shoulder. Blah.

The Queen: Go get a massage by what's her name (ed. - my "regular" once a year...massage therapist) or find a massage school and get one cheaper. You would b helping a student get their credit hours ;)

Now, it's almost impossible for me to get in to see my "regular" therapist for a couple of reasons. First, she takes a lot of clients from a chiropractor's office for injury therapy. Second, she keeps normal people office hours meaning she's usually working when I am at work which means that I have to schedule a partial day off to get in to see her. So, no last minute massages with her. She also does not like to do "outcalls" at people's homes (mainly because she has a family to take care of and likes her set office hours and leaving her stuff at her office). I do like her though because she is very good and doesn't charge a fortune.

Here is where The Queen distinguished herself from her mother and made me The Most Blessed Man In The World (TM). The Queen, on her own initiative, Google Fu-ed and called a couple of different massage schools and found me an appointment for after work not too far from the office for an 80 minute massage given by a student for the grand total of $42.50. How cool is that?

When I told her that the therapist was a little Asian girl with strong fingers, her comment was "Glad u enjoyed it."

My wife loves me, and I am blessed to have a woman who trusts me to be alone in a dimly lit room with another woman while I am lying flat on my back wearing nothing but my underwear (which The Queen assures me is the universal signal for men to give to female therapists that you are not a perv looking for a happy ending) and a sheet.

Now, if I can just get her to surprise me with new guns when I walk in the door from work....

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dear Starbucks,

We are not going to talk about the whole request to leave your guns at home thing. I'm at DFW Airport where I'm not supposed to carry my gun anyway. 

We are, however, going to discuss hiring retards for baristas in an international airport. I asked for Black Iced Tea. I received cloudy brownish liquid that tasted nothing like the black tea to which I am accustomed. I returned to the barista and said "That's not black tea.  Can you remake it?" At first, a lady of presumably Indian descent insisted that it was black tea. When I told that it was not, in fact, black tea, she admitted that they had run out of black tea and substituted Earl Grey. I advised her politely that pawning off Earl Grey as black tea with no warning was an abomination unto God and Lipton at which point she asked, "You don't like it?" 

Um, no. I don't like Earl Grey when it is hot. Why would I want it cold? 

So, now I am drinking green tea as a barely palatable substitute. Next time you run out of something, be courteous enough to let your customers know. Some of us can actually taste the difference between coffee and tea and don't like having our taste buds violated by morons. 

Have a nice day. 


Daddy Hawk

P.S. Your position statement on guns, while understandable, was one sided. A wiser business person would have reiterated their previous position and told the opposing sides to take their debate elsewhere and left it at that. As it is now, you've annoyed a significant portion of your potential customer base. 

P.P.S. Don't come crying to us when some liberal whack job shoots up one of your stores. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Difference Between Mommies and Daddies

Mommies take great joy in buying their daughters jewelry and clothes that go bling.

Daddies take great joy in buying their daughters guns which are bling that goes bang.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Who Can Resist Zombies?

No, really. I first heard about an online course called "Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC's The Walking Dead" on GunDiva's "regular" blog. So, seeing as I have posted on the subject of zombies a few times, I just couldn't pass up a chance to see how silly this is going to be.

I mean, really, four faculty members from University of California Irvine (three women and one man whose specialties are in social science, physics/astronomy, mathemetics and public health) are going to tell us how to survive a zombie apocalypse? Yeah, this ought to be interesting. That's like learning how to survive a shark attack from chum.

I betting that proper weapon selection will not be mentioned in the lecture portion of the class.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Random Cuteness and Other...Things

Y'all haven't had a dose of The Cutest Baby in the World (TM) lately. So, here you go you bunch of M&M addicts. I can hear you saying, "Who, me?" Yeah, I'm looking at you.

Someone was supposed to be taking a nap yesterday. Someone thought she had better ideas on how to use her time. Daddy Hawk heard some...exuberance coming from the wee tyke's room and went to investigate. The door was cracked just enough to put the iPhone camera up for suitable surveillance. She stops cavorting when she figures out she's being watched.

This is not what you want to see crawling across the floor when you are spending the night at someone else's house...on an air the middle of the floor where said creature was moseying along. At least it wasn't the biggest one I've seen at this location. The other one was huge and black and crawling up my leg while I was sitting on the toilet at oh-dark-thirty many moons ago. Let me tell you, that'll wake you up faster than strong coffee.

M&M loves to hang off the front of the shopping cart. In less than a week, she will be 22 months old. It's hard to believe.

I bet you didn't think it was possible for a toddler to completely take up a king sized bed. Neither did Mimi.

The cousins sharing a moment together at Cousin Twig's FFA show. Cousin Twig (left) is a senior this year and has plans to go into some field involving animals. Possibly veterinary science. We shall see. The lamb is Teddy Bear. Her current project. Cousin I Do It (right) has her learner's permit now and has expressed a healthy caution for solo driving given her ADD tendencies. This is a healthy attitude I think. Uncle Daddy Hawk and Aunt The Queen will be assisting with the driving instruction.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


In reviewing the comments today on another post, I noticed that Paladin at The Reluctant Paladin decided to pull up a pew here and listen for a spell. Paladin, welcome. I don't keep coffee around the place, but cookies and bourbon can usually be found in the pantry. I do my best to respond to all comments. To the rest of y'all, Paladin is already listed in the blogroll as I've been following him for a while (though his blog hadn't been downloading to my feed reader for some stupid [user error] reason which has since been fixed). Check him out if you are so inclined. He claims to be the father of the best daughter on the planet. The Cutest Baby in the World (TM) may give his girl a run for her money, but it will be a friendly contest for sure.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Quick Thought on Parenting

The Queen and I have been chatting here of late about the nature of parenting. It's been a discussion born of our experience fostering and then adopting through the foster care system. The Queen, being the humble soul that she is, remains concerned about how M&M sees her and whether she is being a good mommy to her.

I, being the dutiful husband/father, have assured The Queen on many occasions that she is, in fact, a terrific mother. The only mother M&M has ever truly known.

Then, I had a sudden fit of clarity if you want to call it that.

I told The Queen that being a parent has nothing to do with the blood, but it has everything to do with the love.

M&M sees us as her parents not because of any genetic bond. She sees us as her parents because we genuinely care for her and her well being, we praise her and set boundaries for her, we comfort her and make her feel safe, we hug her and kiss her and call her George.

We also provide for her physical needs, but that has nothing do with how she sees us as parents. She is too young to be materialistic. She has no idea whether the clothes she wears are designer labels or not. She has no idea whether the food we feed her is organic or conventionally raised. The only thing she cares about at this point is that she is with us.

It's just my opinion, but I think the world would be a better place if people put more emphasis on the love and less on the blood and material things.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Notice Anything Different?

Assuming you click through to the blog as opposed to just reading the text in a feed reader, you might be scratching your head saying, "Hey, Daddy Hawk. What the funky music white boy? Where'd the 'Other Preachers and Members of the Choir' and 'Inactive and Deceased Bloggers' sections in the side bar go?

Have no fear, all our friends are still right there on the blog. They have just been moved from the side bar to a page of their very own.

The side bar was starting to get a wee bit congested thanks to the 140+ blogs listed there. So, I decided to get ambitious and create a BLOG ROLL as opposed to merely a blog roll. Not only will this blog roll have links, it will be an annotated blog roll with brief (or less brief as the case may be) descriptions of the bloggers and their content.

It is a work in progress. So, be patient. Everyone's links should be there. If you are so inclined, double check to make sure yours is correct. If it's missing, just give me a shout so I can correct the oversight. If you have anything in particular that you would like your fellow readers/followers to know about you, let me know that as well.

The New Office View

The new office digs lookout to the north over the suburb where I grew up. Though not in this photo, I can actually see my old neighborhood from my office window.

This was taken at 7:47 AM this morning facing north. The relatively few cars heading north made my commute a surprisingly short 38 minutes this morning driveway to parking garage which beat MapQuest's estimate by three or four minutes.

I don't feel sorry for all those poor schlubs heading south either. Not one bit. Mainly because I will be one of those poor schlubs heading south this evening.