Friday, August 31, 2007
Kelly, our business manager left us last week for new position in the Bay Area that pays in six figures. You go girl!
Here's Kelly at last week's party having a ball with 35 of our employees.
And then there's John at the party - the John who never drinks anything other than water. When John entered the room with a glass of wine everyone "whoo whooed" John. His face turned the color of his wine then John gave everyone a thumbs up and a grin.
It was a great send off for Kelly. She was the financial rock of our district. Damn she was good.
I'm leaving, too. Today is my last day filling in as superintendent. It's been a month on the job. The new superintendent will be on duty the day after Labor Day.
It's been a great month - full of challenges but also a lot of fun. I've loved being back at the helm of the district that means so very much to me. Eight years of my life was spent as their leader. Coming back this month to help out once again was really like coming home.
The picture is of two favorite teachers of mine peeking into my office to say hi (I have more than a few favorites) - Janet on the left and Joan on the right. We tease, play practical jokes and laugh a lot.
Work should be like that but don't tell the taxpayers we're having that much fun. They might want their money back!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
I'm not certain what it is with me and trucks. I've owned a bunch. But a the ones owned in the last four years have caused problems.
Two brand new Fords - there were engine problems. Oil leaks. Turbo failures. I stopped buying Fords.
Here's the 2006 Dodge bought last year right after the last Ford's turbo blew as we were pulling the trailer up a mountain summit. No power to continue. Barely a place to pull over. Talk about sweating bullets. I had enough of Ford.
The Dodge? Off the get go oil leaks. Today it was a failed navigation system and an outside temperature display that was stuck at 84 degrees. I like 84 degrees myself. It's comfortable. You don't work up a big sweat working outside. I tried to pretend that even though it was 105 outside the truck that it really was 84 degrees. That worked for like one day. I gave it up and called the Dodge dealer.
Today I took the truck in to be repaired. You see, it's under warranty and even piddly things like these need to be repaired. Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch.
After the paperwork was finished with the service manager he asked, "Will you be needing a ride?"
"Oh no, " I said. "My husband is coming to pick me up."
Service Manager: Blink, blink. "Ahh, ohhh, okay, that's good."
Me: "You bet it's good. You should try it sometime."
Service Manager - mouth wide open - says nothing more but I know he's thinking on what to say when he walks in the door of his home this evening and his wife says, "Hi honey, how was work today?"
I walked out of the service department to where Candace was parked waiting for me - my good looking redheaded wife who I love to call my husband just for the hell of it. Someone has to be the bitch in the family and that title suits me just fine.
Hi. My name is Bob. And I'm a bitch. :)
Monday, August 27, 2007
wish I could recapture all of the times I've heard this song and remember where I was, what I was doing when this song played. It all started in 7th grade, slow dancing in the junior high gym with Diane Tillmanshofer. . . the first of many adolescent flames.
That said, TUEDAY MORNING - 3 A.M PDT AN ECLIPSE OF THE MOON. I'LL BE WATCHING, PLAYING THIS SONG. . . AND slow dancing with the best of the best - Candace.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Here's another picture worth a thousand words.
Grace met Diego last weekend at one of Cow Town's many strip malls.
Grace: "Papa? Diego was like Mr. Clownhead."
Me: "How's that Grace?"
Grace: "I think you are Diego just like you are Mr. Clownhead. I saw Diego's shoes. They were just like yours."
Me: "Now Grace, I'm not Mr. Clownhead and I'm not Diego. Doesn't Diego speak Spanish? I can't speak Spanish."
Grace: "Diego spoke English. He sounded just like you and he had your shoes on. It was you, I just know it."
Me: "Do you want me to be Mr. Clownhead and Diego?"
Grace: "No. I just want you to be you and nothing else."
Like everyone else in our family, it didn't take Grace long to figure out Old Bob's game. She definitely takes after her grandmother.
Note to self: Get Mr. Clownhead out of the closet, wear shoes, pants and shirt that I never wear and do my Mr. Clownhead thing in her kindergarten class. She'll never know it's me . . . or will she?
Saturday, August 25, 2007
It's not easy being Bob. Being Bob means doing stupid things, saying stupid things and looking at the stupid side of life. Being Bob and being stupid is not all bad - in fact it's fun.
The other day I took my fake turds and put them on the toilet in the guest bathroom. Grace uses this bathroom and she calls it hers.
After I put the fake turds on the toilet there was time to add a little peanut butter to them.
Then I yelled, "Ohhhh my gosh, who did this in the bathroom?!
Wife and Grace come running. Gasps of their surprise echoed off the walls of the room.
"Who did this?" I said. "Who?"
Grace: "Papa, I think it's pretend poo poo. You're playing tricks again."
Me: "Nope, I don't think so. Let me see if this is fake poo poo" as I stick my finger into the pile of fake turds.
I put my finger in my mouth, lick off the peanut butter and "Yuck, this is poo poo!" You taste it Grace!"
Grace running out of the bathroom, "OOOOOH! Gross!"
Wife: "No more shit like that, Bob."
And that's why it's fun being Bob.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Actually, where I'm going to be. The Oregon coast within the next couple of weeks if I have my way.
I love it when I can have a view like this - the trailer backed up to the Pacific Ocean with a full view out the back window - just like this which was taken nearly a year ago.
My kind of camping looks like this on the outside. The fifth wheel is a lean, mean, camping machine - if you call this camping.
Me and the dog running down the beach - she chasing a ball every step of the way and bringing it back. I miss that.
Did I mention the sunsets?
Brookings Oregon at it's finest.
I'm thinking I need a break and I'm a gonna take one.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
One of our kids is close to losing his home. He's unemployed. His wife is unemployed. He's borrowed 50k against the equity on their home. The first and second loans are 2 - 3 months in arrears.
We went through this 6 months ago. The son asked for $15,000 to get the first and second loans up to date. He was unemployed. His wife was unemployed.
Seeing the handwriting on the wall - "No can do", I said. And they borrowed 15k money from his wife's uncle.
After 6 months of no contact from these two there was a telephone call two days ago from the son:
"Dad, it's going to get better. Just lend me the money to catch up on the payments. The house is for sale and we'll pay you back." Same scenario. In six months, nothing had changed.
I love our kids. We raised them to be optimists - you know, the glass is half full and not empty.
But there's a line between optimism and stupidity. In this case:
40% of the homes in their area are in foreclosure.
In their town only two to three homes are selling every month. There's a huge glut of homes for sale.
Neither of these two seem to be willing to go out and be employed. They talk it. They're not walking it.
As they say, those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.
Deal or no deal? To lend the money or not to lend the money. Clearly, this would be a bad business deal with no return and our son and his wife put off what's going to happen anyway: They're going to lose their home. If I want to squander money I'd rather have fun doing it in Vegas.
We're calling in the wolf to blow the house down.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Isn't that right about kindergarten? Think about it - the first day of the rest of your life.
Kindergarten is the platform for a K-16 education. Nine years of elementary school. Four years of high school. Another four years of college. And, if anyone wants to get ahead in this world, another 2 years in graduate school and you have the ultimate K-18 experience.
Been there. Did all of that. Add four years of military experience to my K-18 school of hard knocks. It took a long time for me to get from there to here.
The first day of kindergarten. Here's Grace by the bell in the front of her school. This bell once hung in the belfray of the first school constructed in this area back in 1860.
And on the first day of kindergarten Gracie gave her next year's teacher the gift of a flower. How sweet. Poison Ivy in California produces the best of blooms.
Like grandfather, like grand daughter.
And then there was lunch. Our favorite time of the school day. Domino's pizza served up with chocolate milk, water melon and something else that cannot be identified (we're talking school lunch here).
Then on to Bus 44 driven by Mr. Cliff - and dropped off into the care of Grace's grandmother.
In terms of the first day of kindergarten, it does not get any better than this.
Indeed, this was the first day of the rest of Grace's life in school. All 19 years of them.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Faces in the window usually freak people out. Here's Zoe, fresh from her trek in the wilderness, seeking refuse in Old Bob's house.
THE FACE IN THE WINDOW!
Freak you out? Let's try this at midnight. All is calm. The coyotes howl in the moonlit night.
Suddenly, a face in the window! Holy cow and run for the shotgun - it's a 4.5 pound Pomeranian in the window!!
Hello, 9-1-1? I've just sighted a slightly neurotic Pom in my window. She's armed with a large tongue and she's licking me to pieces. I'm fearing for my safety. Please send an officer now!
All this aside - Zoe goes outside. When it's time for Zoe to come inside, she looks in the glass door window of the family room for a familiar face to let her in. Smart dog.
Who couldn't love an dog like this?
Well, someone didn't love a dog like this. True story. Here's the facts:
Born in Canada and flown eight years ago to a Northern California breeder solely for breeding.
Cost to the breeder: $900
Breeding: Flown to and from Canada for stud service unaccompanied and housed in a crate in the cargo area of an aircraft for breeding. Yield: one stillborn pup.
Second breeding: Flown to Canada for stud service again unaccompanied and housed in a crate in the cargo area of an aircraft for breeding. Yield: one pup.
Conclusion by the breeder? Not a good investment, get rid of this dog.
On a tip we contacted the breeder who was willing to cut their losses and give us Zoe for nothing.
That was six years ago.
Zoe came to us with no social skills. To this day if anyone picks up a stick or anything like a stick, raises their voice, makes sudden moves or is a bit too aggressive, Zoe runs for the border. It's very apparent that our dog Zoe was abused.
Zoe has since been trained as a Delta Society service dog who visits assisted care facilities, intensive care units and hospital wards - to bring cheer and light to those who need it the most. She's a love.
Today Zoe herself is loved, well cared for and is the apple of our grandchild's eye.
Why would anyone want to hurt or abuse something like this?
Why would NFL Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick? . . . okay, innocent until proven guilty . . .
But still, why?
If you've never known the unconditional love of a dog, it's time that you did.
You'll never regret the experience. Ever.
Time for you to visit your local "humane society", adopt a pet and see how that special being enhances your life.
We walked the dogs last week at the Arboretium. As we approached the gates a notice to watch for rattlesnakes took the fun out of what should have been a carefree walk in the park.
There are cities in California that should post any one of these signs at their city limits:
Idiots Live Here. Use Caution.
Or, Stupid Kids With Guns and Knives Live Here. When In Doubt Shoot First and Ask Questions Later.
In spite of the warning we still walked the park and were mindful of every step. The flowers of summer were in full bloom and filled the air with their fragrances.
While I love walking the dogs there are oh so many questions from people we pass.
"They're soooo cute! Are they mother and daughter?"
No, they're both 8 years old and the smallest of the two didn't eat her veggies and smoked cigars until she was 3.
"Ohhhh, what are they?"
They're Mongolian bear cubs who can walk on four legs. They're very rare. If you want to buy one you'll need $25,000.
I just wanted to walk and didn't want to share information about our two Pomeranians
that have haircuts. There are always questions about the dogs. They are cute. They are unusual. And yes, they're a conversation piece.
Note to single men: If you want to meet the babes, get yourself a Pom with a haircut. You won't need the ultimate pickup line - the dogs will speak for you.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Mom used to wake us up at the dawn of every new school year by singing School days, school days, good old golden rule days . . . you know how the song goes. We hated that song because it meant the beginning of 10 months of book learning. Boys should be outside doing what boys do best and not cooped up in a stuffy classroom - - - or so we thought.
And this singing the song continued whether I was in junior high, college, graduate school or employed as a public school administrator I could always depend on mom phoning around 6 in the morning to sing School Days.
Mom's been gone since 2000 and I have come to miss her calling on the first day of school. It's interesting in what we long for when it comes to parents who have long since passed away.
Grace's first day in kindergarten is tomorrow. Here she is with her teacher, Miss Lori We want nothing but the best for our Gracie. You can rest assured that Lori's the best.
I'll be singing to Grace on the telephone come six a.m. Monday.
Here's another good friend, first grade teacher Miss Joan. See that look on her face? That's Joanie. She's always like that - smile on her face, upbeat personality. Happy is as happy does. First grade teachers need to be like that.
This picture was taken last week when she was in the midst of readying her classroom for the first day of school. One of her former students, Heather, is seen in the background helping Joan. Heather's in high school and returned to school to help her old first grade teacher organize the classroom.
I'm not sure what they teach in kindergarten and first grade these days. I should know since it was my job to know those things not so long ago.
They say everything you need to know you learned in kindergarten. That's a whole bunch of stuff.
Guess I missed out on the kindergarten lesson on poking holes in a potato before microwaving it.
If nothing else, an exploded potato in the oven makes for a clean microwave. Now there's a lesson for ya.
Happy first day of school!
Saturday, August 18, 2007
I'm stupid when it comes to microwave ovens. The first encounter was with and oven owned by my parents and loaned to me while they were out of town on vacation.
It was all about one rainy morning and the morning newspaper that had been delivered without a plastic wrapper on it to keep the paper dry.
I thought, "Let's dry it out in the microwave". Then it was, "Let's run get the fire extinguisher to put out the fire in the microwave!".
Newspapers and microwave ovens are not meant for each other.
Last week the wife was gone somewhere and I fended for myself come dinner time. Steak. Salad. Baked potato.
Microwaving potatoes first requires that you poke holes into the potato to allow the steam to escape from the inside of it. Last week I thought that I did that. I really did.
After about 7 minutes of microwave cooking my potato there was a "boom". Potatoes all over the oven. The picture here is horrible but I wanted you to see the mess I made.
You'd think at this age I'd be mindful when it comes to cooking a potato in the microwave.
Stupid is as stupid does.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Papa's blog is working again.
Damn! What a way to start the weekend - pictures on the blog.
A blog without pictures is like a day without beer.
Ain't that the truth.
Anyway, here's the wife and Grace whispering about how they can spend my money. Like two peas in a pod.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I invented Middle Finger Logic about the time Blogger stopped allowing me to publish photographs. Working within the system yielded not a thing. I bought 6 gigs of memory from Google thinking it would solve my the problem of not being able to publish pictures on this blog. Blogger has no help desk only forums. Forums allow you to comment or pose a question. Whther the question is answered or not is a variable and not a constant.
Not having a lot of time to spend on this I'm thinking new blog . . . another site. Middle Finger Logic comes into play. You know the concept: When everything else that's logical doesn't work you fly the middle finger and say "screw it!" Middle Finger Logic dictates the irrational, the out of bounds behavior and often defines a psychotic moment. Throw the middle finger as a precursor to a bout of road rage with the idiot in the BMW who just cut you off or in the first stages with a fight with the spouse and better yet in a fit of anger with your boss . . . you've just invoked Middle Finger Logic where all bets are off and nothing routinely logical makes sense.
Welcome to the Twilight Zone. . .
Blogger? Take this finger and . . .
Sunday, August 12, 2007
I've been away. It's all about working 11 plus hour days. Eat, sleep, work. No time to blog. Not a way to live.
Blogger is having problems again. Pictures cannot be uploaded to my What About Bob? blog. This has happened before it's happening again.
Pictures are worth a thousand words. I'm speechless without pictures.
This blog was going to be entitled, "Dances with Scarves". You'll just have to wait for that one and until Blogger gets their act together.
I have a blog at the Word Press site but I can't access it. You see I've forgotten the password. Word Press seems to be without hassles and a bit more user friendly.
Now, if I can just figure out that dam password. . ..
P.S. After an hour of attempting to find out what' s wrong it appears that I'm out of the 350MB memory allowed for each blog. It's either buy 6 gigs of memory or start a new blog. More later.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Hand-in-hand Grace and Candace paid a visit to my office today. Grace is enjoying the fact that I'm the head cheese of the school district, albeit temporary, of where she goes to school.
Here she is with my good friend and associate Kelly. In 2003, having lost a highly experienced business manager I hired Kelly to take her place. One of the best decisions I ever made. Kelly went from a green recruit to someone who's irreplaceable. I know talent when I see talent.
Past my departure in 2005 Kelly has remained with the district and as you can see is smiling and happy. Grace is very happy too as Kelly is handing her every Tom, Dick and Harry candy that she has on hand.
Note to Kelly: Knock off the candy to the grandchild! We had to peel Grace off of her bedroom ceiling later that afternoon. She was soooooooooooooooo hyped on sugar.
I also hired Helen in 1998 to be our accounts payable and receivable clerk. Wonderful person. Great friend of our family. There's no one like our Helen. Mark up one more great hiring decision that I made quite a while ago.
It's nice to leave a legacy in regards to the fine people I've hired.
Monday, August 06, 2007
I love it when my dog sleeps with her tongue sticking out. Within in the hour, I'll be snooched up alongside my dog and we'll both probably be sound asleep in no time at all . .. with our tongues sticking out.
I'm one tired puppy. Up and at my desk at 6:15 a.m. - the day filled with meetings, phone calls and teacher interviews. Home at 5:15 p.m. after eleven hours of non-stop "stuff".
So you see, I have earned the right to hang my tongue out.
I seem to always write about sleeping with my dog. Okay, I sleep with the wife, too. We're one big happy family.
Last night. Jilli started out at the foot of the bed and on her blanket. Come 1:30 a.m. she gets cold, moves up to my pillow and sits on my head thinking that this is the best spot to get warm.
Has this dog no sense of civility?! Having my head sat on at that hour of the night not my idea of what Man's Best Friend is all about.
I'm tired and loopy. Better stop here before I put that foot in my mouth even further.
Tomorrow's another big day. Time to close my eyes and let that tongue hang wayyyy out.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
A late Sunday morning stroll around the garden yielded these pictures.
Nature, when consistently observed, seems to be a mystery to me. Who? Why? When? Where? How did nature's beauty come to pass?
In spite of 100 degree temperatures, our roses continue to prosper.
There always seems to be Kumquats on our tree. Several nights ago I picked a handful to stuff inside a Cornish game hen. Citrus with poultry always applied a zing to the taste.
Our red tomatoes are nearing the end of their productivity. Yellow tomatoes planted a month after the reds were put into the soil are just now coming of age. They're delicious.
Until the first frost, basil has a place of prominence in the garden. We use a lot of basil in salads, on pizzas and in various recipes.
It's been a lazy Sunday, a time to reflect and count all of the day-today blessings that go unrecognized.
It's a busy life. There just has to be time to stop and smell the garden . . . and the flowers, too!
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- I Only Have Eyes For You
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- ME BEING BOB It's not easy being Bob. Being Bob m...
- WHERE I WANT TO BE Actually, where I'm going to be...
- BLOW THAT HOUSE DOWN! One of our kids is close to ...
- TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE Is...
- THE FACE IN THE WINDOW Faces in the window usually...
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- SCHOOL DAYS, SCHOOL DAYSMom used to wake us up at ...
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- BLOGGER IS WHAT BLOGGER DOES I've been away. It's...
- GRACE VISITS MY OFFICE Hand-in-hand Grace and Cand...
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