Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12 of 12 August 2011

12 of 12 Basic Idea - 12 pictures from your life on the 12th of every month. This month, the 12th was on a Saturday.

10:44am - Friday morning Bible reading (again with Sully)

10:50am - Boo was supposed to help me get Amanda out of bed, not join her in bed.

10:59am - The 30 Day Shred continues.

11:24am - Amanda washing her clothes to help out Mom so she won't have to do it after work.

12:00pm - Sully getting some Amanda love.

1:10pm - One of Amanda's favorite summer past times...swimming at the Kerrs. But don't ask her about it, she'll just tell you she does not get to go enough.

1:45pm - Had to drop my Kahr P9 off to have some work done by the gunsmith. 

3:43pm - Our favorite time of the day...Sonic Happy Hour!

3:44pm - Amanda had a coupon so we stopped by Bath and Body Works for her to get some stuff.

7:12pm - Sully always go first with the hair cuts. He comes up to me and let's me shave him. He likes the attention.

7:55pm - Always have to hunt down Boo. Whenever she sees me getting the shaving stuff out she runs and hides.

9:29pm - Sully wants some snuggle time after his haircut.

Monday, December 19, 2011

12 of 12 July 2011

12 of 12 Basic Idea - 12 pictures from your life on the 12th of every month. This month, the 12th was on a Tuesday.

6:27am - Up paying bills before work.

6:48am - Reading my Bible. Sully always likes to sit in my lap while I read. He even lays still so I can highlight and write notes.

7:08am - Level 3 of the 30 Day Shred. My arms always feel like they are going to fall of by this time.

8:08am - Snapping a quick picture of my wife looking all pretty or work. I love this lady!

11:08am - The staff just loves posing for this shot every time the 12th falls on a Tuesday (NOT!)

12:15pm - Returning a computer after More Tech Savvy got done fixing it.

6:38pm - Little Tuesday night practice with my ping pong buddy, Mark.

9:47pm - Sully hanging out with me in my office. He's my buddy.

9:47pm - Brooke on the phone with Meagan. She didn't want the flash in her eyes I guess. 

9:48pm - Boo had to check me out to see what's up. She was laying down next to Brooke while she was on the phone. Boo's my "big momma". She is not big and she was never a momma. I think she got this name because she is the alpha dog at our house.

9:51pm - My princess, asleep.

9:53pm - The health nuts, eating a late night snack and watching some TV.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Which Is Worse...The Scum or the Enabler?

The church secretary got to looking at our church phone bill yesterday and saw a charge on the last page of the bill for $49.95. It was one of those "services" that billed to your phone bill. The description said, "Business Management Tools Monthly Charge". I knew we didn't order that, so I started calling.

First call was to AT&T to report this scam and another one that had been on phone bill, unnoticed for months. I give an A+ to AT&T's help with this issue from their end (however, it is frustrating they would allow charges like these to show up on phone bills knowing that a LARGE percentage of these are not legitimate!).

Next I visited the website listed with the charge, ILD www.ildteleservices.com This was not the company that was charging us, rather this was the company that was billing us for the bogus services provided from yet another company. While I was on hold, I read through the billing company's web site. Their business is letting other companies use them to charge customers' phone bill for their services. They claim they carefully screen their customers and have measures in place to keep people from getting crammed (signed up for services they did not want and did not know they were being "signed up"). ILD told me they would connect me with the correct company to cancel these services. I told ILD what I had read on their web site about their careful screening, etc and let them know we had been crammed. They told me I would have to be transferred to have the "services" stopped. In other words, they didn't care one bit about the business practices of the companies who use them. Then again, how could they care and be in the business they are in?

Next I called the company offering this bogus product. I asked who authorized this transaction and they gave me the name of a staff person they talked to on the phone. The staff person NEVER authorized anything. It was one of those "please confirm your contact information" calls that somehow claims you authorized a bogus charge on your phone bill. To me, nothing screams "WE ARE NOT A LEGITIMATE BUSINESS" louder that "we will bill your telephone bill...without telling you!" This company said they would send a check to refund the charge. Later, they told me there was a second charge more than a week out for next month that would go through and could not be stopped (over a week out?!). They wanted to hang up, but I told them they would owe me a refund for the second charge as well. If I had not made a scene, they would not have done this.

So this brings me to my question in the post title...Which is worse the scum or the enabler? Is it the scum company that used deceitful questions to sign us up for something we did not ask for, did not need, did not get and did not even know we were signing up for, or is it the company that bills for this company and many others like them (the enabler company)?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Dogs vs. Cats

Excerpts from a Dog's Diary

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Excerpts from a Cat's Diary

Day 983 of my captivity: My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Day 991 of my captivity: Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Idiots!

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my
confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Day 997 of my captivity: Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe, for now..........

Monday, August 15, 2011

Shampoo Warning

Check your shampoo bottle label.

I don't know WHY I didn’t figure this out sooner. It’s the shampoo I use in the shower!

When I wash my hair, the shampoo runs down my whole body and (duh!) printed very clearly on the shampoo label is this warning,


NO wonder I have been gaining weight!!!

Well! I have gotten rid of that shampoo and I am going to start using Dawn dish soap instead.

Their label reads,


Friday, August 05, 2011

When The Grass is Too Green

Does anything seem out of place here? I was walking along the sidewalk in front of the church and saw this lush green patch of grass while the rest of the property is a nice color brown. I'm not a lawn care expert, but I had a feeling something was wrong with this picture. As I suspected, the ground was soft and there was actually standing water in the middle of the patch. I hoped it might be waste water, but as I walked out to the water meter by the street, it was a straight shot from the meter to this spot. I checked the meter and sure enough, the meter was moving despite all the water being shut off in the church. Looks like I'm gonna be doing some digging in this 106 degree weather.

Pastor Philip was kind enough to help me start the digging.

I told Pastor Philip he had to take a picture of me shoveling, too. If I did not do this, I knew Ron and Ken would harass me, "So you just sat there and took pictures while Philip did all the work?"

This is what we found once we got down a couple feet.

And THIS is what happened when we turned the water back on after uncovering this T connector. Look at us...we found the leak!

A little more digging uncovered the fact that the T connector here didn't do anything. The T was actually capped off. What??

Once we found the problem, we called in a professional. Paul is literally a licensed plumber and he knew exactly what we needed to do.

Paul and Pastor Philip cutting a piece of pipe to put in where the T was cut out.

Paul and I attaching a compression fitting at each end of the replace pipe piece.

And the job is complete. No more "too green" grass and no more leak!

The Beautiful Underwater World of Bali

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

God At The Movies Starts This Sunday

Dear Friends,

Welcome to God at the Movies, a three week sermon series beginning today. Jesus was a story teller and he used stories to help people understand truths about the Kingdom of God. In our generation, story telling often takes place at the movies so, over the next three weeks, we will be using story lines and scenes from recent movies to help us understand God’s truth today. The movies are not “religious” or trying to communicate a religious message...they are merely stories of our time that can be used to illustrate truths from God’s Word.

Illustrations for today’s message are taken from the movie 127 Hours. If you are familiar with the real-life story behind this movie, you know it’s a pretty shocking story...and that’s precisely why we are referring to it today. We often like to quote Jesus when he said things like “Love your neighbor” and “judge not lest you be judged”, but sometimes we forget that Jesus called people to do some pretty radical things. Jesus was killed because of what he taught, and today we’re looking at one of the less tame teachings of Jesus.

For those of you who like it a little more tame, next week Pastor Philip’s message will be illustrated with the movie Tangled and will be kid-friendly as our children will be staying with the adults during the sermon. Then our series will conclude on August 7th with Pastor Matt using the movie Tron Legacy.

We are going to have a great time and I hope you can join us for the whole series. Be sure to pick up a bag of popcorn on your way out today and be sure to invite a friend next Sunday!

(This post comes from the Pastor's Note column in Sunday's bulletin, 07-24-11)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Shooting With Daryl Parker

Today I cashed in my Father's Day present and got my two hour private shooting lesson with Daryl Parker from Top Shot, Season 2. I learned a lot and had a blast (literally...but more about that later). There was nobody else there besides Daryl and me, so I only got the one picture. Getting just one picture was the only thing I regretted.

I met Daryl at the future location of his Top Shot style shooting competitions. It was not a range with bays, concrete, backstops, etc. It was a wooded area surrounded by berms and ideal for shooting. When I arrived I saw a stand for paper targets, three different style steel targets and a line with coke cans hung on it.

My first exercise was a dry fire exercise so Daryl could give me pointers on my grip, stance and trigger pull. He said my grip was fine but gave me a few pointers on my stance. Then it was time to shoot!

Most of our shooting was 5-9 yards I would guess. I first shot at a bullseye target from 7 yards or so. All my shots were center mass, but quite a few were low and left. Daryl said this was common for right handed shooters and meant that I was jerking the trigger and probably holding the pistol too tightly with my pinky fingers. I adjusted for the next magazine and went right...a common over-compensation for what I had just been told. Basically I was limp wristing. I then shot at different point numbers on the target at the 12,3,6 and 9 o'clock positions. Again, the majority were going left and low, but not as low (slight improvement after a few rounds of this).

Next were the larger steel targets. I have shot these at Texas Combat Shooters, so I did OK. There was one steel plate that would swing back and forth after being hit it and I was supposed to hit it, let it swing and hit it again as it was swinging back away from me. The drill was for timing and accuracy. When I tried to focus on both of these...they BOTH suffered. But I got better as I went on.

After that, Daryl asked if I had ever drawn from my holster and shot from my hip. I have not, so he showed me what to do and let me give it a try (maybe 5 yards). I hit all 5 shots in center mass.

From there we went to the dueling tree. This one made me nervous because I have not done so well the only other time I tried these at Texas Combat Shooters. I hit about 50%. Daryl gave me some pointers and then we did a modified duel. I did not shoot his targets, but he shot mine back after I would turn them. No competition there, but it was fun.

After that, Daryl pointed to the coke cans hanging on the line and suggested I give those a try. I REALLY did not have much confidence that I could hit these. To my surprise, I hit the first one with my first shot. It was not luck because I hit others, but I was still missed plenty hitting only 4 of the 7 cans using 8 rounds during my best attempt.

At this point I had shot about 100 rounds and we took a break because it was HOT outside in Texas (imagine that). We talked mostly about the Top Shot show and what it was like being in the house and on the show. That was interesting.

After the break, Daryl put up a hostage target which was a challenge to me because the guy is holding the gun in his left hand meaning a miss to my typical low, left would hit the hostage. I did pretty well making my head shots but I was not too quick. I drew and fired 2 good shots in 2 seconds. We practiced a couple different drills with this target.

The next exercise was a 4 stage run, two shots at the larger steel target, run to the next stage and put two rounds into the head of the bad guy on the hostage target, run to the swinging steel target and hit it twice and then hit the coke can behind the swinging target. On my first run, I could not count when I loaded my magazine so I ran out of ammo before my coke can shot. I ran it a second time and got a perfect score. I just barely grazed the coke can but Daryl said a graze counts as a hit, so I'm sticking with my story.

Lastly, Daryl had me practice some magazine changes. One round to the head of the bad guy on the hostage target, drop my magazine, reload and another round to the head. He gave me some pointers for smoother, faster magazine changes and this is something I need to work on.

So my lesson was over but Daryl told me he had a surprise. He brought out a rifle chambered for .17 HMR and a video camera. I have never shot this round and did not know much about. The bullet is smaller and much faster than a .22 long rifle. Anyway, he brought out the rifle, the bullets and all the stuff to mix...EXPLODING TARGETS! There were some the size of a half dollar that I got to shoot from about 60 yards and then some that produced serious concussion. The small ones were not as loud, but they were pretty cool because there was a lot of flash. Watching them explode through the scope basically blinded you from seeing anything else when they first exploded. My first shot at the larger explosive container was a hit only after a ricochet off the table so it did not explode. The container was compromised and even another shot did not set it off. Daryl brought the container up closer to where we were shooting pistol. I asked him if he wanted me to video tape since he was shooting this one but he said no because he did not think it would explode. Boy do I wish we got that on tape. A HUGE explosion that totally destroyed the paper target stand that was holding it! After that Daryl let me shoot the magnum exploding target...4x louder than the one Daryl shot up close. I think it took two shots to hit this target, but when it did...KA-BOOM! And the coolest part of this...Daryl captured this part on video and said he would be posting some of the footage on his Facebook page. I will post a comment/update when the video is online and/or I have posted it to my Facebook page.

My only regret today was not getting a few more pictures and some video. I learned so much and had a great time. I hope I will be able to show an improvement next time I shoot with Texas Combat Shooters. Daryl was a true professional and a very nice guy. I got every penny's worth of the money Brooke spent to purchase my lesson. I believe this was the best Father's Day gift I have ever received.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Spoiled on Father's Day

My wife is very good to me. I found this used gun (Kahr P9, 9mm) at Cabela's at a great price. Made a phone call and asked if I could put it on lay-away and, of course, Brooke said it would be OK. I saved money from my computer work to pay it off and asked if I could pay off the last little bit as my Father's Day present. Again, Brooke said "yes", so I got my Father's Day present about two weeks early this year.

I am very thankful for a wife that loves me and let's me have my "toys". I was expecting nothing else for Father's Day, so I didn't quite know what to do when Brooke came home this week, got three pieces of paper from my office and said, "I'm going into Amanda's room, so don't bother us for a little bit." I kinda figured it must be a Father's Day thing since that is not a normal conversation for us, so I thought maybe Amanda was making a card or something.

A little while later, Brooke and Amanda came out and told me meet them in the living room. Well, I right, they had made a card. With great ceremony, I was given this first card (picture of front and inside of card below):

Having lost weight recently, I could use some new clothes. "Very nice" I thought.

And then I was handed a second card:

Again, very nice. Date night with Brooke at a concert (probably wearing my new clothes!)

But they were not finished. I got yet another card.

No way!!! Are you kidding?!?! A month ago Amanda and I were at a gun show and met Daryl Parker from Top Shot, Season 2 (see Amanda's picture below) and I registered to win a 2-hour free shooting lesson. I did not win, but I did get signed up for his email list. I forwarded one of his emails to Brooke to show her info about the range Daryl will soon be opening. Well, she did more than check it out...she bought me a gift certificate for a 2-hour private shooting lesson. I got my gift certificate in the mail this week and now just have to call to schedule my lesson. How awesome is that...not only a two hour shooting lesson, but from a competitor on Top Shot. I am totally spoiled and LOVED by my family.

Amanda with Daryl Parker from Top Shot, Season 2, at the Frisco Gun Show in May of this year

12 of 12 June 2011

12 of 12 Basic Idea - 12 pictures from your life on the 12th of every month. This month, the 12th was on a Sunday.

#1 - 6:32am - Up before the rest of my family, updating my Facebook page for the special occasion - our 18th wedding anniversary.

#2 - 6:35am - Starting my day off in the Word. I call Sully "Bible Dog" because he always sits in my lap while I read my Bible.

#3 - 7:34am - 30 Day Shred, Level 2.

#4 - 11:53am - We wanted a picture with the pastor who married us to celebrate our anniversary.

#5 - 11:55am - The rice boy for our wedding...all grown up! (Jason handed out the rice bags for our wedding)

#6 - 12:02pm - It was a day for taking pictures with those who were with us when we got married 18 years ago.

#7 - 12:34pm - Amanda Kay took our picture at Chili's after church.

#8 - 1:18pm - So Amanda says, Let me see the pictures you have so far for today, which really means, Let me have the camera so I can take a picture of myself! We love our Amanda Kay.

#9 - 3:59pm - At Stephanie's graduation party. Pastor Matt smoked some good BBQ!

#10 - 4:21pm - Hanging out with friends at Stephanie's graduation party.

#11 - 7:27pm - Pastor David leading his part at Arlington's gathering for the National Day of Prayer.

#12 - 10:23pm - Me and my love. End of the day celebrating 18 years of marriage.