Happy Annular Eclipse viewing for my son in Albuquerque celebrating his birthday today! Also for my Mom in Lubbock, Texas if they can keep the skies clear enough just before sunset. Here are viewing times and tips from NASA and your friendly announcer dude:
In general I’m not big into April Fool’s Day. Those that know me pretty well are usually surprised to hear that. I tend to be a fun-loving guy who likes to laugh a lot. I guess it can be surprising when I say that I have a tough time coming up with April Fool’s pranks, or jokes, that are good.
Sure, stoopid April Fool’s jokes are a dime a dozen. Usually it’s based on a lie that isn’t hard to detect as a lie. Everyone has an uncomfortable laugh and then gets on with the day. Worse yet is a made up tragic story that causes wailing and sobbing only to be replaced by fists flying when the truth is revealed.
However, I do have one story of a joke that I actually planned out and pulled off that wasn’t half bad. This is that story.
It was years ago in Roswell, New Mexico. I was the main Weather Anchor on the 6:00 and 10:00 news on KBIM-TV. I brought my son and daughter to work with me on April Fool’s Eve along with the suit and tie that I was going to wear the next night. I used a photog to shoot the video. By the 6:00 o’clock news on April Fool’s night, I was ready. I instructed my director to mess with the clipping on the weather wall shortly after I started my weather and then roll tape once I walked off camera. It worked brilliantly. Here’s what the viewer saw that night in 1993:
We came out of the commercial and I got 10 or 15 seconds into the weathercast when I started to fade in and out on the air. I turned to the camera said, “something’s not right, I’m gonna go check this out.” I then walked off camera and out the studio door with the camera following behind. I walked into the control room and up to the “director” and it was my 4 year old son and 10 year old daughter. My son had the headsets on and my daughter was at the controls of the switcher. I looked at ’em and said, “I know it’s your first time directing and all, but can you please try and get it right?” They said in unison, “OK Dad. NOT!”
I then walked back into the studio shaking my head and went on with the weather.
Fun times! Great team work between a news photog, director, tape op and my kids. My only regret is I didn’t save a copy.
Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brother Chris! Seriously.
I was going through some old videos and found these from Michael playing football in high school. They are short clips, but they demonstrate has versatility on the field! I’m hoping to find some of his track stuff.
Taken in Roswell, New Mexico in late 1992 (I think). The kids came over to my small place on Kentucky Ave. and we made a snowman. Michael’s mittens got soaked and he managed without them after that. Great job kids!
When does 340 feet feel like a mile? When it’s almost straight up!
I did my usual part way up Pusch Peak hike yesterday. Since I had the day off, I decided that I had time, and just enough extra water, to climb to the next “saddle.” My normal hike starts at 2,682 feet at the parking lot on Linda Vista. I then hike about a mile and a half up to the “first saddle” on Pusch Peak. That’s about 3,670 feet, so just short of 1,000 feet vertical. It’s a really fun and challenging hike, although you have to be careful coming down. It is steep and the loose rock can help you to fall!
Once I made it to the “first saddle,” I rested and looked up to the next one. It’s very vertical, and according to Google Earth, it’s 4,010 feet above sea level. That’s another 340 feet. So up I went. I’ve just started hiking and biking again, so I’m not nearly in my best shape. I had to rest several times on my way up. However, Once I got up there, the view is AWESOME! Here’s a look at my apartment complex taken from the “second saddle” in July of last year:
Now the entire hike all the way to the top of Pusch Peak from Linda Vista is 2,679 feet (vertical), which means the “second saddle” is over half way up!
This is really good to know, because I may have found a more direct, although much steeper, way to the top of Pusch Peak! The last time Michael and I climbed to the top, it took over 6 hours round trip! Of course, now that I think about it, I was out hiking 3 hours yesterday.
My legs are sore. That’s a good thing!
Is NOT an oxymoron. Not anymore (not that it ever really was). My son Michael has made it official. He is now a proud member of the Army Reserves and I am now a proud father of a member of the Army Reserves!!!
Michael is one of the smartest people I know. I don’t say that just because I am his Dad and I am proud of him. He truly is one of the smartest people I know! He has a full scholarship to an honors college where he has maintained a 4.0 GPA. In high school he founded the Calculus club. His Junior year he was a member of an engineering test team that finished second in the State of Texas and twenty-first in the nation! He had enough AP math credits from high school that he has been taking Junior level math classes his freshman year in college (honors college, remember). He is far enough ahead that he is considering finishing school a year early!
So, now he adds to his “resume” the Army Reserves. He scored high enough on the ASVAB to qualify for any job in the Army. He choose intelligence! First God gave him intelligence and now he has chosen it as a job. Seems appropriate
He is taking the Fall semester off to go to basic training and then learn his job. He can’t be deployed as long as he is in college and he can’t be stationed any more than 50 miles from school. He is making enough $$ to quit his tutoring job in the math department which will give him more time to study.
He’s always talked about joining the Army since he was a kid. The volatile world we live in did not deter him. He wants to serve his country. He is even looking for adventure on top of a military clearance and experience. The Army is getting one class act of a
kid man! Army Intelligence indeed.
I couldn’t be prouder, even as I pray for his safety.
I remember being a kid and going to visit Grandma and Grandpa and looking forward to a great big plate of spaghetti! Grandma’s sauce was the best! After all, she was born in Sicily and made the sauce her whole life.
As I grew older, I realized I wanted to learn how to make the sauce my own self. I asked Grandma for the recipe. Not only did she provide the recipe, but actual one on one instruction on some of the finer points. I think I was 21 or 22 when I really started making the sauce on a regular basis. I remember once having a party and making two or three batches for everyone. Of course, when I got married, it was something I made for the family regularly. After my divorce I made the sauce often when Michael would spend the night or the weekend. One time he gave me the best compliment ever.
“Hey Dad, you should open a restaurant.”
“I only know how to make four things.” I said.
“Yeah, but they are all good!”
After my divorce, my ex-wife once said, “Your sauce is the only thing I miss about you!” She was joking… I think
Michael gets upset when I share the recipe. Last night I was over at friends and brought the sauce. My friend Matt was very kind and said nice things about the sauce. His wife Mary and our Pastors wife wanted the recipe, so of course I passed it on. Don’t tell Michael!
I’ve taught my daughter Amber how to make it. Michael has the recipe as well. The sauce lives on!
I guess next time it’s time to make the meatballs. Those are awfully good too!
Can I brag about my son for a minute? He’s awesome! God has given him many gifts! Michael called me today to tell me he is going to take a piano class at school. He is a freshman at Texas A&M Commerce. As a freshman, he’s taking junior level math classes, but I digress. He has shown a real talent for music for some time now. The first time I noticed was when we went to Oregon in 2003. He was plinkin’ around on my sister Karen’s piano and was picking up on it fast! Even playing things by ear right there on the spot. So, that Christmas, I got him a keyboard. He taught himself parts of popular songs, and some chords. He started reading some music and was even playing some Beethoven! Now, he’s decided to take actual lessons and grow in this talent God has given him!
In case you didn’t know. Michael has earned an academic scholarship to the honors college at Texas A&M Commerce. In high school he founded the Calculus club. As a junior, he was part of an engineering test team that placed second in the State of Texas and twenty-first in the nation! He’s also an artist and has discovered rock climbing. Did I mention that he was fast enough to run on the varsity 4 x 100 relay team?
Talented kid and I am most proud of him. Best part? He calls and we talk like adults who actually like each other. ’cause we do If you ever read this Michael. I Love you son!