Friday, February 28, 2014

More Cuteness

Well, it's Friday, and I've got nothing brilliant for you all today. So, allow me to distract you into the weekend with more recent photos of The Cutest Little Girl in the World (TM).

Ahma gonna make 'em an offa they can't refuse.

A happy girl and a proud Daddy Hawk

Sweet little girl kisses

Mimi and M&M studying something intently

Riding the Carousel unassisted (but not unattended)

She picked out he own horsey..."dis one"..."tink que"

Okay daddy, I've tackled him. Now what do I do?

M&M's costume for a church social this weekend

Thursday, February 27, 2014

More of Daddy Hawk's Advise for M&M

1.    "You are always beholden to someone." Mimi
            Whether we like it or not, no one is truly independent unless they choose to reject society entirely and live life as a hermit. Whether you view it as a responsibility or a common courtesy, there will always be those in your life to whom must keep informed of your intentions and continued existence.

2.  Learn to live on less than you earn.
            If you can do this one simple thing, you will likely never have to worry about money. I am a big fan of Dave Ramsey's message on financial peace and managing your money. I haven't always been successful at implementing that in my own life, but I'm working on it. I would encourage you to learn to live on 50% of your take home income if you can swing it and no more than 70% of your take home pay. That way you will always have your tithe and savings built into your budget.

3. Decide what is important to you in life, and make your choices accordingly.
            This is another episode in learning from Daddy Hawk's mistakes. When I was younger, I never took the time to decide what was important to me. I tended to, and still do to a certain extent, react to circumstances as they arose rather than proactively planning a course of action. Education was important because my mother made it important. It didn't matter what kind of education as long as I got one. Likewise, I never took the time to determine what made me happy and made my life more meaningful. I have always felt the need to build and create; and, yet, I got a degree in liberal arts and pursued a career in a knowledge based service industry. I have been fortunate to have found a wife and been blessed with a daughter who give me tremendous enjoyment and make my life more meaningful. However, there is still a part of me that wants to go back and kick my 15 year old self in the head to wake up and make some intelligent decisions instead of coasting along aimlessly.

4. "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." Hippocrates (460 to 370 BC)
            In some respects, food has a bigger impact on how you feel than any other thing in your life. A lot of medical and health literature refers to a connection between the mind and the gut. I have found that to be true in my own life. When I am stressed, my gut is upset. Also, food allergies are a huge deal now too. More so than when I was a kid. For myself, when I avoid gluten and caffeine and limit dairy, I feel much better, my skins clears up and my sinus congestion lessens if not disappears entirely. There is a reason The Queen and I have avoided exposing you to the typical "kid diet" of McDonald's chicken McNuggets. We have also tried to provide you with the best food we can lay our hands on and expose you to a wide variety of foods and cooking styles. Keep that in mind as you get older. Food can be very comforting too. There are times when nothing makes you happier than a particular food.

5. Everything in moderation, except moderation.
            Excess and obsession in any aspect of your life can become unhealthy. Gluttony can lead to obesity and serious health issues. Drunkeness and drug addiction have serious side effects in addition to potential legal complications. Spending too much time on social media can lead to problems interacting in the real world. Learn when to stop or say that's enough.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Oddities: Children's Toys

So, last night, The Queen talked me into meeting her and M&M at the mall after work. I really wasn't in the mood as I had stayed up too late the night before and despise the mall on general principles, but...time with wife and daughter. So, shut up and suck it up buttercup.

The Queen had taken M&M to the mall to play at the bounce house only to discover that said establishment had shuttered its doors forever. No worries though. There is a free (we like free) play area in the mall as well as an inexpensive ($2 per ride) carousel to which M&M has taken a liking.

She selected the horse herself

Bonus picture because I couldn't decide between the two
Anyhorseyride, after the carousel was done, we headed off to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. I am not a fan of the Cheesecake Factory's food (there's so much on the menu that it takes forever to read and they don't do anything on the menu particularly well), but their cheesecake is mostly worth the mediocre and over priced meal. My wife's pleasure at getting a slice gluten free Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake makes up for the difference.

Anylongsetupanddigression, I told you all that to tell you this. After dinner, we cut through Barnes & Noble to get back to the main part of the mall to get to the place where we had parked. As we headed through, M&M spotted a lego table that B&N has thoughtfully set up to distract young tricycle motors while their parents become self absorbed in dead trees. Right next to the lego table (which M&M had more fun making mommy and daddy build something as opposed to doing it herself "Daddy, sit here." [patting a way to small cushion that put my knees around my ears {thus continueth my love affair with parentheticals!}]) was a clothing rack holding children's costumes for dress up play. They had firemen costumes complete with fire extinguisher and helmet, construction worker, cowboy/cowgirl, princess...and these two:

Now, here's what I find odd. Notice first the pirate outfit: the first thing you see is a big (for a kid) freakin' sword (which, for those of you educated in government schools like me, is A WEAPON). Notice the police officer uniform: badge, handcuffs, radio, ticket, hat, belt. No gun. Where's the freakin' gun? Is this England? Is that supposed to be a British Bobby outfit? This is 'Murica. Cops carry guns here. What kind of PC el toro fertilizer is this?

So, what's the message here? "Hey kids, it's okay to stab your friends when you play pirates and helpless victims but we can't point a fake gun at your friends when you play cops and self employed wealth redistributionists." Oh, and while on this subject, there was a distinct lack of Indian outfits. Also, the cowboy/cowgirl outfits lacked guns or knives. Apparently, the wild west for this generation is more mild than wild.

I feel sorry for kids these days and M&M in particular. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Oddities: Livestock Edition

The Queen and I have some friends that we visited yesterday. We were invited by the family of seven to go to lunch and see the teen boys (ages 15 and 17) play in a basketball tournament later in the evening. Between lunch and tip off, we went out to their place...which is in the middle of nowhere about a half hour west of Sherman, TX (approximately an hour and a half north of Castle Erickson give or take a few minutes). 

Directions to their house ('s the largest double wide I've ever's like the Winchester Mystery House of mobile homes) include "...turn off the paved road...."

I'm not kidding. 

Do you see where this is heading yet? 

So, anyway, the man of the house (who has known The Queen since they were both younguns growing up in the Sherman area ages ago) offered to let M&M "help" feed the goats and chickens. Before going any further, I should mention that said man of the house is, by all accounts and his own admission, the quintessential redneck. 

As we approached the goat pen, I hear Mr. Redneck say "So, have you noticed the 'apparatus' on the head of that one goat?" 


It took me a moment, but then I spotted this:

The explanation is that this particular goat likes to stick his head through the fence at which point its horns become stuck and it is too stubborn to let people help it extricate its moronic self from the predicament. 

Solution: screw two sign posts across the horns preventing its head from going through the fence. 

It's ingenious at the same time as it's absolutely ridiculous. 

For those that may be concerned, no goats were harmed in the making of this post. The screws do not go through the horns, and the goat could probably figure out how to rid itself of the "stocks" if it were so inclined and smort enough to realize that pushing its head through the fence hard enough might cause the wood to slip off the horns. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Oddities: Car Edition

I think I am going to start a semi-regular feature (depending on how regularly I can find content) involving odd things I come across in my daily walk through life. It may be part "People of Walmart". It may be part "WHAT THE HELL????" Who knows. We will experience this together.

For instance, who can forget this sweet ride?

Or this?

Given that I live in the Dallas Fort Worth area and spend a significant part of each working day in the car commuting to or from work, I have a better than average chance of running into something odd.

Like today's automotive oddity:

Sorry for the picture quality. It was the best I could do with the phone while trying to stay in my lane at 70 MPH. It's hard to tell in the middle photo; but, not only do the wheels match the paint, so do the windshield wipers. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that someone REALLY likes pink.

Thanks to the window tinting, I cannot give you any information about the driver. The picture was taken on I-20 in South Fort Worth. So, it could be anyone really. If I had seen it in Oak Lawn....that's another story.

Since it's a Ford Mustang, I'm not sure this rises to crimes against humanity like the pink BMW with Playboy Bunny accents did. I knew a guy in high school who would be offended to no end. Then again, he races a heavily modified Mustang. So, he's probably biased.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Riddle Me This, Batman

So, the news is all a flutter about former New Orleans Mayor, Ray Nagin, being convicted of corruption and due to be sentenced today. My question is this: what took them so long?

Bear with me for a moment. Hurricane Katrina was in August of 2005. Even back then, almost 9 years ago, it was no a well known fact that he was for sale to the highest bidder. One incident in particular stands out in my mind.

Following Katrina, there were literally thousands of flooded cars in and around New Orleans that needed to be disposed of. A car crusher in east Texas offered to pay the City of New Orleans $100 per car for the privilege of bringing their equipment to New Orleans and disposing of the cars. The offer would have netted the city approximately $5,000,000 and the work completed in about 15 weeks. Nagin declined the offer and attempted to steer a contract COSTING the city $23,000,000 to a company that had neither the experience nor the resources to do the job. See the Snopes article for more details.

Given the illustrious history of Louisiana politicians penchant for corruption (I mean, who could forget William Jefferson's "cold hard cash"?), wouldn't it just make sense to present election winners there with an indictment for corruption to save time?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Little Slice of Married Life

The Queen and I are reclining in bed enjoying a movie after a lovely repast of homemade burrito bowls. 

The Queen looks over at me and says, "Did you know you can exercise your butt while watching a movie in bed?" She says this while looking at me earnestly as her pelvis moves up and down thanks to the flexing of her derrière. 

I look over at my lovely bride and reply, "But I don't want to exercise my butt."

Who says love is dead?

These Are The Days a Daddy Lives For

Just a quick story about M&M that I wanted to record here for posterity.

Sunday, I was about my business around the house trying to get progress made on some projects on the never ending DIY home improvement so we can sell it list. M&M was up and about needing some entertainment. Somehow that escapes my memory now, she found herself sitting very proper in the middle our king sized bed asking to watch Finding Nemo (her second favorite movie after Wall*E).

So, I sat down on the edge of the bed to run the DVD through its start up to get the movie going. I had only intended to sit there for a moment while the movie started before resuming work.

Yeah....that didn't quite work out as planned.

You see, M&M started scooting and butt wiggling her way from the middle of the bed until she was in snuggle range at which time she leaned up against me and proceeded to get comfy.

What's a daddy to do? I threw my arm around her, and we snuggled in to watch the movie for a bit.

So much for getting stuff done around the house.