Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Three cheers for Jack!

He won an Honorable Mention for his entry in our church's chili cookoff. He called it "7 kind of heat" because he put in 7 peppers: 2 jalopenos, 1 serrano, 1 habenero, 2 poblanos and 1 can of green chilies.
Yes it was hot.
Yes it was DELICIOUS! He shoud have won first. Maybe next year.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Glad you asked!

Here is some info on Toastmasters.

“The mission of Toastmasters International is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.”

A typical Toastmasters meeting at my club goes something like this:
The Toastmaster opens the meeting with an invocation and is responsible for keeping the meeting running smoothly. He or she invites each participant to the podium. The participants are the Reader, Jokemaster, Table Topics Master and one or two speakers. Next, the evaluators take the floor and share their thoughts on each participant’s contribution, pointing out what went well and offering suggestions as to what could be better next time. The whole group votes on the best Table Topics speaker and the best Speaker of the day.

The Reader: offers a reading of 2-4 minutes in length. This can be anything; poetry, humor, contemplative. The “Chicken Soup for the Soul" books are a popular source for this section.

Jokemaster: Tells jokes for 2-4 minutes.

Table Topics Master: The TTM takes the podium and invites three members to practice their extemporaneous speaking skills by calling on them one at a time with a different question for each one. The questions usually are drawn from current events. The respondents speak on the table topic for 1 ½ - 2 ½ minutes.

The speakers: Members work their way through Toastmasters International manuals of speaking assignments. The first book of 10 speeches is formatted to emphasize the development of 10 different aspects of communications skills (research, speaking to inspire, speaking to inform, using visual aids, etc.). After completing Book 1, members can choose from a wide variety of offerings from the Toastmasters International publications. After my first ten, the next ten I worked on were Storytelling and Interpretive Reading. Most of the speeches are from 5-10 minutes; getting longer as you move through the assignments. I am now working my way through a Leadership Manual. Following the completion of every ten projects, members are awarded certificates of achievement.

I’m staying in it in order to disguise the fact that I am actually extremely introverted. Toastmasters gives me a chance to pretend that I’m not!

I hope this answers your questions.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I’m changing jobs.
Feb, 29th will be my last day at TST and I will be starting at the HyVee in Fremont on March 3. This will be a good change for everyone.

In my local Toastmasters club, I qualified to participate in an Area competition, which will be in Norfolk March 15th. The speech is entitled “20th Century American Athletes.” It’s about the 11 Triple Crown winners in TB Horseracing. I posted all about it awhile back – June 8, 2007. I tried to insert a link, but it didn't work. I don't know what I'm doing.

Walkin’ around in town

Yesterday morning it was just to flippin’ cold to take my morning walk and I had a 2:00 appointment to get my oil changed in Fremont, so rather than sit in the waiting room at the car dealer for an hour, I decided to bundle up and go for my walk. For those of you who know Fremont, I headed south on Luther Road and walked from Highway 30 over to Military, went west a little and started back on William St. William doesn’t go all the way back to 30, so I got a little sidetracked through some winding avenues and cul de sacs before I found my way beck to Luther Road. I had used up the entire hour by the time I made it back to Steffey’s.
Walking in town is sure a lot different than going down my gravel road. There is a lot more exhaust in the air, for one thing. On my gravel road, the traffic is considered heavy if I encounter one vehicle in the 40 or so minutes I spend on the road. On Luther Road, I think a car went by every 30 seconds or so.
On my road, the only dog I see is mine. In town, I passed by several, who announced my presence with much barking and hopping on the other side of the privacy fences. And speaking of fences, at home the only fences I pass are barbed wire. Luther Road is flanked on both sides almost all the way to Military with privacy fences. Yes, I peeked over the top of some of them, at places where I wasn’t getting barked at. Very nice houses in there.
When I got back to get my pickup at the appointed time, the service guy took one look at the paperwork and said, “Oh no! They haven’t even started it yet!” So I wound up sitting in the waiting room for an hour, anyway. He was very apologetic that it wasn’t ready when he’d said it would be, and I ended up getting my oil change for free.

I’ve just discovered that for reasons known only to the internet/blogger demons, I can come around and read all my favorite blogs, but I can’t open the comment box. So please don’t cross me off your lists. I’ll get back into the swing of things as soon as I can.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Redneck Valentine Q & A

Where did you meet your wife? At the family reunion, just like ever’body else.

What first attracted you to each other? She liked my truck and my dog liked her.

Was it ‘love at first sight’”? It was fer me. I thought she was outta my league, tho, cuz she bowls on a different night than I do.

What do you and your wife like to do for a romantic evening out? Well, we used to go over to Footstompers and line dance and ride the mechanical bull, but now she likes me to take her to Sam’s Club fer groceries and I like her to buy me a new gun. Or at least some ammo. Unless it’s Saturday. Then she wants me to take her to the laundrymat. I don’t mind, though. They got cable TV there.

What’s your wife’s favorite thing about you? She likes how I smell, ‘cuz I take a bath once a week whether I need one or not.

Have you ever been divorced, separated or widowed? Why? What have you heard?

Do you have any children? She’s got two boys and one of mine on the way. And I don’t care what Widow Wilson says, her kid AIN’T mine!

What song did you dance to at your wedding? We ain’t had our weddin’ yet. We’re waitin’ til after her mama’s.

Do you two have a special song? She likes it when I recite all the vowels in one burp.

Is she a good cook? She does purty good with the fresh stuuf, but what that woman can do with roadkill is absolutely meraculuss!

Now it’s your turn! Add your own Redneck Valentine Q & A in the comments! And have a Happy Valentine’s Day, whether you’re a Redneck or not.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Today we observe the birthdate of President Abraham Lincoln.

A few words from his Second Inaugural Address:

"On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it--all sought to avert it. While the inaugeral [sic] address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war--seeking to dissole [sic] the Union, and divide effects, by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."

Monday, February 11, 2008

Isn't this beautiful?
This is Heather and Little Joe - the wife and son of Joe who is my posting partner here at OSM. This picture was taken January 9th. If, like me, you are sitting in zero degree weather and looking out the window at a white landscape, doesn't this warm your heart?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Collective Consciousness In Couplets

You can have a shrewdness of apes or a passel of hogs,
A cete of badgers or a kennel of dogs.

How ‘bout a gang of elk or a colony of bats,
A rafter of turkeys or a horde of gnats?

There is a business of ferrets or a pace of ass
A span of mules and a kindle of cats.

A sounder of boars or a yoke of oxen,
If you have a skulk, it’s a grouping of foxes.

Meerkats and ‘roos are grouped in a mob
There’s a knot of toads and an army of frogs.

It’s a sleuth of bears and a murder of crows.
How much farther do you think I’ll go?

Clams and oysters are found in a bed,
Find a confusion of weasels, but not in your head.

When birds fly together it’s called a flight,
But a brace if you’ve killed them for supper tonight.

Geese, when they’re flying, are grouped in a skein;
On the ground it’s a gaggle, now ain’t that a pain?

Hawks are in kettles when they’re flying right
But they’re a boil if they start to spiral in flight.

Herons and cranes both gather in a sedge,
Swans walking: a bevy, in flight they’re a wedge.

Eagles in a group are a convocation
And larks sing together in an exultation.

It’s a parliament of owls and a committee of vultures.
A pandemonium of parrots could stir up our culture.

A group of rhinos is called a crash,
If you have a tower, it’s a group of giraffes.

You’ll find hyenas in cackles, lions in prides
Leopards in leaps, you can run, but not hide!

Be careful, when swimming, of a jellyfish smack,
And also watch out for a crocodile bask.

Hippopotami come together in a bloat,
You could have either a tribe or trip of goats.

A streak of tigers, a labor of moles,
A warren of rabbits, blue jays in a scold.

Squirrels gather in drays, or sometime a scurry,
Just keep on reading, what the heck is your hurry?

It’s a covey of partridge and a bevy of quail,
A congregation of plovers and a pod of whales.

A flamboyance of flamingoes, an array of eels,
A coalition of cheetahs would sure make me squeal.

I could continue ‘til you’re ready to stomp,
Did you know that otters collect in a romp?

Peafowl live in a pulchritude,
Don’t leave now, that would be rude!

It’s a barrel of monkeys, and that ain’t no joke.
A rhumba of rattlesnakes should not be provoked.

You have buzzards in wakes and turtles in turns,
A cover of coots and a sedge of bitterns.

I suppose I can stop now, if you really insist,
Even though I’m not near to the end of my list.

A couple of websites helped me with this:
Purlgirl, The Dog Hause and the USGS.

Friday, February 08, 2008

This is the most incredible thing I've ever seen!
Flip Flop, you need to get this horse for Blondie next year.
It takes about 6 minutes to watch.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

In case you missed Nora's comment, go check this place out: www.secondhelpings.org