Archive for July 2012

My mother is laughing at me, part 2

July 11, 2012

A couple of years ago, I posted a story about how I ran around, looking for a particular gift that A just had to have for Christmas. My mother had done a similar thing for me years ago, running all over the suburbs of Minneapolis, looking for the elusive Jawa action figure from Star Wars.  Last night, it was my turn for a sequel.

You see, J and A are in golf camp this week.

Yes, golf camp.  It’s what happens when K plans their summer activities.

They already had a couple of clubs (a hybrid driver and a putter) just so they could practice at home.  But when they came back from their first day of camp this week, we were informed that having only two clubs (and no bag) simply would not do. So, thinking it would be a simple task to get them each an additional iron and a golf bag, I took them out last night to a local golf shop.

Mistake #1 – thinking it would be a simple task.

So, we pull up to the store and, low and behold, the junior golf section is right up front.  They’ve got individual junior irons and bags sitting right there. I’m thinking we’ll be in and out in under two minutes.  J sees that the clubs and bags are red, and he is good to go.

Then A sees the full set of pink clubs, complete with pink bag.

Mistake #2 – taking children to store with me.

She is then focused on nothing else but that set (which, BTW, runs $120.  On sale).  My quick in and out trip now turns into a lengthy explanation of what $120 really means, and why we aren’t getting a full set since they already have two other clubs, and, … and, … and then A gives me the sad puppy dog look.

Mistake #3 – having a girl who has me wrapped around her finger.

I finally get A to understand that we’re not getting the whole set, and she’ll just have to scrape by with a red bag.  As we check out, the clerk can’t find the UPC code on the bag, so he looks up the items on the computer.  As he does this, I see something magical on the screen.

A stand-alone pink juniors bag.

After finding out that they sell a pink version of the bag we were about to purchase, I give A a choice.  She can either have the red bag for class tomorrow, or she can not get a bag right now and wait for the pink bag to be in stock next week.  She actually took the delayed gratification route and asked for the pink bag.  We purchased the red clubs and one red bag and left.

Mistake #4 – not asking clerk if other stores had bag in stock.

After we get home, my curiosity gets the best of me and I look up the pink bag on their website … and notice that it is in stock at their store 10 miles away.  This is where my inherited “must get child Jawa action figure” instinct kicks in.  I order the bag online, select store pickup, and dash out to make it to the store before their closing time in 45 minutes.

Mistake #5 – not checking the weather to see the huge thunderstorm heading directly our way.

Sloshing my way through a “wait, isn’t that an ark”-type of thunderstorm, I arrive at the store 25 minutes before closing.  I think I frightened the poor 17-year old kid working the counter with the desperate, deranged, “you’d better really have this in stock” look that I gave him.  Luckily, the bag was there.  I gathered my kill and sloshed my way back home.

This makes it all worthwhile.

The “Thank you Daddy” hug is kinda nice, too.

Ready for camp


In the beginning …

July 3, 2012

In the 76th hour of our walking in darkness, God said “Let there be electricity,” and there was electricity. And God saw that it was good.

Now, God, can we talk about restoring Internet access at work?

From 1st World to 3rd World

July 1, 2012

To say this has been a weekend of contrasts would be an understatement. On Friday, K and I went to one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the region to watch the AT&T National golf tournament


We saw some great golf, including some guy named Tiger


We knew the forecast was for high temps, but I believe 104, with a heat index of 115, goes a little beyond “high” into the “Africa hot” region.


After getting home, the news was all a-buzz about storms moving into the area. You know it’s not good when one of the local weathermen breaks into regular programming to announce “Big storms are coming. You willlose power.”


We did lose power, and brought the kids downstairs to ride out the storm. After it passed, we could tell it was pretty bad outside, but could only see some vague shapes in the darkness. We slept without power Friday night and awoke to this in our front yard.


This is the top of three large trees that snapped off about 60 feet up. Our neighbor came over with his chainsaw, and we cleared most of the mess before it got too hot Saturday morning.


This tree is just off our driveway. Luckily it seems to be headed away from the driveway, and behind another large tree. We escaped the storm shaken, but without any damage.

My brother was not so lucky.


He had an 80 foot oak tree take out his front porch. Luckily it didn’t go inside the house, but it’s still a mess.

Overall, over a million people in our area lost power. Our house not only didn’t have power, but we lost landline phones, water (since we’re on a well), and even cell service. So, for all intents and purposes, we were cut off from civilization. We couldn’t even get out of our neighborhood because a 3 foot diameter tree was across the only road out of our area. Luckily neighbors banded together and cut it up by about 2pm.


We were able to make it out to find active cell service, receiving a dozen texts and phone calls that had been queued up since Friday night. Most of my messages were concerning what to do about church, since power and phones were out there as well. Even though our main church campus didn’t have power as of Sunday AM, we forged ahead with one service. It was actually pretty neat. I call it Church Unplugged.

Power came back up at church about 3pm Sunday, so it’s business as (somewhat) usual on Monday. We still don’t have power as of Sunday evening, so we’re staying with my dad, who never lost power. They are saying that power may not be back up for some residents until later this week.

Gives you a little perspective.