Sunday, November 29, 2009

Evidence against evolution

I have a hard time accepting at least part of the evolution theory lately because of a lack of recent evidence. I've done a lot of driving in my life and something I have to insist on is that if evolution is indeed fact and not simply theory, possums, armadillos, and raccoons are not actively participating.

The automobile has been around for more than 100 years now. That can be nearly 100 generations of the previously listed animals, and yet these animals have not developed the hind quarters which will allow them to leap over a two lane road, or the brain capacity that will allow them to turn away from the high beams of my Chevy.

I have done a little field research beyond the accidental splatting of these animals. I have spoken with hunters who have bagged more than a few in the past 50 years and they all agree on two things: first, that I asked a very weird question and secondly that these animals appear to the be same as they ever were.

I also questioned a guy who I've seen walking up and down Highway 67 and asked what he thought about it. He said road kill is free and he hopes they don't evolve. He also asked if I was going keep the grasshopper stuck in the grill of my car. I gave him the grasshopper and then drove away wondering about elephant trunks and giraffe necks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

She travels

We took a trip last week to Florida. The PGA Resort in West Palm Beach to be precise. It was a business conference for the waste water industry manufacturers that my company has been involved in for more than 30 years. In fact there is an award given out annually named after my grandfather to the outstanding member of the year at a banquet.

I haven't attended in some time because I have another conference that I have to attend just two weeks before and I don't like leaving Tina home alone with Amanda with such a short turn around. There has to be a little recovery time. But this year I had had enough of leaving them or not going, so I took them with me.

Amanda has never flown before, but we have talked about it for years. We took her push chair, an oversized stroller with a weight capacity of 130 lbs. Amanda doesn't walk long distances, handle crowds, or new places well so the chair worked perfectly.

American Airlines was great host. We boarded first, the push chair was gate checked and when we deplaned it was even set up for us. The gate agent in Atlanta, because everyone has to go through Atlanta if they are east of Phoenix, was the best of the best. She didn't like the row we were on, 20, and moved us up to bulkhead. With that position we didn't even have to wait for the rest of the passengers to deplane.

Other people who made the flights easy were TSA who gave Amanda a pat down instead of requiring her to stand in line and walk through the metal detector, and the waiter at TGI Fridays who gave me a dozen straws because it was the one thing we forgot to pack.

Amanda loved flying. She is small enough where the seats are comfortable and she likes the big cookies that AA "sells" on the plane. I say sell, because the attendants liked Amanda so much they were comped.

Amanda used a restroom on an MD-80. The smallest restroom known to the western world. She sat down by me afterward and said she was "so nervous bout dat." On the return flights she said she didn't trust them and would just wait.

Her best moment was when we were waiting on the tarmac at DFW for about an hour for a storm to move through. Amanda announced, "This sucks." I agreed but corrected her vocabulary, but I think she said it because she was reading my mind.

While we were at the resort Amanda had pancakes every morning which she thought was awesome. She also attended three dinner parties. The highlight was when she helped present the award named for my grandfather. It was announced that this was Amanda's first conference and she had plenty of business cards. After the dinner more than two dozen company presidents asked to exchange cards with her. She shook their hands and thanked them. It was indeed inspiring.

I'm aware that people will play favorites for various reasons. That not all actions are fair. But what I am thankful for is that if people in general are going to show great acts of kinds even on a limited basis, at least they show it towards people like Amanda. People who do not posses the skills or abilities to take care of themselves in even some of the most basic ways that us so called normal people take for granted, like walking, drinking proficiently from a cup, or making conversation in a crowd. Small efforts by us norms make for the best days for those like my dear one and because of that I no longer feel the apprehension of showing Amanda what is beyond the border of her town.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I know something you don't know

Like Inigo Montoya from "The Princess Bride," I am not left handed.

I noticed that both my brother and my father wear their Blackberry phones on their left side, I wear mine on my right. Neither of them are left handed so I wondered why they do this. I tried it myself and while I can operate the phone with my left hand I can't draw it from the holster worth a darn. In fact I even dropped it a couple of times. And then, just this morning I was working my office phone with my left hand and I couldn't even recall the command sequence for my extension and password. I was just staring at my left hand and thinking that my thumb was pointed the wrong way. It was most peculiar.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

She gets by with a little help from her freinds

With a little help from half a dozen men at my factory, Amanda was able to participate in the poster contest. Everyone put in a couple of minutes and then Amanda spent more than half an hour on her part.

I think she did a fine job.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

All I am saying is, give peace a second chance

Amanda has decided she wants to enter a poster in a contest being put on by the local Lions Club. Its theme is peace, and the poster cannot have any numbers or letters on, it cannot be 3D or and anything glued to it. All pencil marks must be erased.

Amanda loves to color, but it isn't very controlled and looks a lot like Tye Dye. So I came up a way to allow her to utilize her strength by getting her a stencil for a peace sign. The company I work for is a metal fabricating facility. First I went to engineering and we did an auto-cad drawing of a peace sign, it was cut out on our plasma burning table from 1/4 steel with a diameter of 11". It then was hit with a grinder to remove the rough edges, and finally spray painted. The whole process took just a few minutes. I took it home, Tina loved it. My older sister who is the artist in the family came over and said, "When we're done with this can I have it? I just bought a horse named Mercedes." OOOPS!

So, we made another one this morning, the right way.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

3 Things, but i like the middle one the best

Amanda had three things on her mind last: eat dinner at Subies, see Heather and Cop (Heather started out as Amanda's after school sitter 7 years ago and has become the mainstay in Amanda's life, now Heather is married to a TXK police officer Amanda calls Cop), and at bowling beat her rival.

Dinner was great, as is the usual with Subies Deli on a Monday night, Heather and Cop joined us and surprised us with a great honor. Heather is pregnant with her first child, a little girl who she and cop have given the middle name of Amanda. As Heather said, "Amanda is and always will be my best friend." It swelled me up so much I wanted to change Amanda's middle name to Heather.

And finally there was the bowling. Amanda took down her rival in the first game by opening up with a spare and never looking back. Even when he got a strike in the 8th and the 10th it was too little too late. The second game didn't go as well but Amanda seldom cares about losing one game if she wins another.

This morning when I dropped Amanda at school she jumped out of the car yelling, "Amanda Amanda Amanda, Cop Heather!" I explained what she was talking about to the teacher and then Amanda went on into the school with a big smile.

Monday, November 2, 2009


This year's Halloween was great. More than 200 trick or treaters came by to collect at my house and while this is a large number it is actually down from the past years.

The best costume goes to the 13 year old boy dressed as static cling. He was in all black with socks stuck all over him.

The cutest went to the 3 year old girl who told me, "Happy Christmas."

And honorable mention goes to the dad dressed as the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz who had about a dozen kids with him.

Someone asked what Amanda was for Halloween, per her usual, she was generous. Amanda doesn't like going out at night because she doesn't see well or maintain her balance with any real confidence when in the dark. She has discovered the joy of giving, and she loaded the kids up this year. A lot of them knew her on sight and would yell out, "Amanda's lives here." And then more kids would yell. That makes for a fun night.

I hope everyone else had a fun time too.