Wild Life Of A Little Monster

Others are scared of me because of all the fun I have. Considered a vigilante by my Eponine.

3/4 Away

When the U.S. State Quarters were first introduced in 1999 I remember thinking that I'd be in a nursing home when the Oklahoma quarter would be revealed. With 2007 halfway over and having just inserted Montana's and Washington's quarters in the handy-dandy quarter board, I now realize that there's just three more quarters to go. Oklahoma's is just around the corner!

The 46th state to join the Union, Oklahoma's quarter will be the first revealed in 2008. I was certain it would have the image of the state on it, but it doesn't. It's interesting which states have their image and which states selected something else. Oklahoma has a bird.By the way, throughout 2007 Oklahoma is celebrating its centennial. Statehood day is in November, when the state proudly turns 100. Of course, the state's history goes well beyond 100 years. That's just when it got a star on the U.S. flag. And is now eligible for a quarter.

Who came afterward, you ask? New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii.

I haven't gotten into the Presidential dollars, but I intend to. From what I hear, you have to go to the bank to get those.

Collegiate Golf

At a golf course in Virginia, on Wednesday the Oklahoma State Cowboys will start their quest to a consecutive national golf title. It would be the first time for a team to win back-to-back titles since the University of Houston won in 1984 and 1985.

There is a good chance the Cowboys will do well, but it is not likely that the team will pull off a championship. They are ranked No. 5 in the country and seeded No. 11 in the championship. The five players on the team must have top games to compete strongly.

Here's a shout out to the team's success. The Cowboys have made the NCAA Championship every year in the program's 61-year history, winning 10 championships and posting 15 runner-up finishes. The second-longest streak is currently Arizona, with 21 NCAA Championships appearances in a row. Next are Georgia and Georgia Tech with runs at 10.

Travelin, Travelin, Travelin Through

Charlie and Daphne are traveling monsters. They hit the road with me on Sunday. In the pics here they are lounging in the back seat as we zoom down the highway.

By the way, I wasn't going to post this because I didn't tell MMcB's mom, Charlie's human, what was on our day's agenda. Thus, I don't want MMcB to know. However, I don't think she reads "Wild Life" as much as she glances to see any pictures. That's my bet. :)

We hit 71 Highway noonish or so, after a quick run through a McDonald's drive through for some road treats, for a dart to Oklahoma. We got there around 4:30.

We took a stroll through some of the streets of Collinsville and decided that little town would better be named Dogville. There had to be 100 barking monsters in various yards and porches. It was almost creepy. I wondered if the vets there were living in mansions. The business possibilities are limitless.

We grabbed the Mom and started on the trip back to KC. We stopped in Joplin and visited the Grandpa's grave, placing a few flowers and a U.S. flag. We also made a Braum's stop, which included some tasty, tasty burgers for the traveling monsters and a mocha, mocha something malt for me and the Mom. We were back in KC and running around in the yard around 11. There was lots of rain on the southern-bound trip, but it was smooth sailing when northern bound.

Daphne and Charlie slept mostly, but did spend their share peering out windows, barking at toll both operators, walking through a cemetery, eating treats and just being great companions. It's all in the day's work of monsters, an OK dog uncle and halfway decent son, and a Mom.

Lincoln, Nebraska Pics

Earlier in May went on a field/work trip to Lincoln, Nebraska. Traveled with a great group of co-workers together in a van. The journey to and from provided at least half of the trip's fun. Learned quite a bit while there too. Also got stopped by a Lincoln cop while checking out Nebraska's Capitol. OK, I admit I was going the wrong way on a one way. No citation provided, though!

Mouse over the pics for details. Click on them for a larger view.
a sticker on a van that I was following fairly closely :)Interesting eggs from the breakfast buffett. I had to eat three to make sure it was an egg.I liked our reflection in the working dude's sunglassesNebraska State CapitolDiscovered an interesting museum to visit on the next tripBanner on 'Huskers' stadium

Working 8 To 4

The goal is to work 9 to 6. It usually ends up being closer to 6:30 or 7. And the start time is more 9ish. I can do earlier. It's just not a preference. Over the last 15 years of employment I have learned that even if I arrive at 6 a.m., I'm still there at 6 p.m. Controlling the start time became the workable option.

Speaking of start times. Recently had to go on a work trip and was told we were leaving at 8:15 a.m. from the parking garage. At 8:10 one person predicted I'd arrive at 8:14. Like magic, I pulled up with about 20 seconds to spare. I hate being predictable, but so it is.

Generally I wake early, have coffee, sit outside on the deck, watch birds and the sun rise, listen to NPR, watch a bit of GMA, sometimes walk a dog if babysitting, log in to work a bit from home, and then start the beauty routine that transforms me to all that I must present at the office.

Recently learned that it is now suggested that we hold our steeering wheels while driving at more of a 9 and 3 position or even an 8 and 4. For a variety of reasons, the 10 and 2 position is no longer recommended.

Pay attention to this. I want all you driving cats out there staying safe on the highways. No longer driving like Toonces with your paws at the top of the steering wheel. Got to grab it lower.

I often worry that a future employer may suggest some different times to me. I'll worry about adjusting if and when that day comes.

Pounds Of Poop

Poop is often a key part of a cat's life. Usually a daily experience, with a specific place to make it happen. I suppose many cats take care of business outside under any bush. Or maybe in a child's sand box, a flower bed or garden, or someone's yard -- like dogs. But many lucky cats get to take aim in a box. I always chuckle when Edsel The Pooch calls his sister poopy.

Humans with small, new humans often like to talk about poop too. Describing it and providing details. It's always a great pre or post-dinner conversation. Not something I enjoy during dinner, but I have never had any small, new humans. Who am I to judge?

Older humans, sometimes living together in a place that includes helpful humans wearing scrub-suit type stuff, talk about poop. Like a proclamation of completing the task after days of not being able to produce.

One insomnia-ridden night I turned on the tube and around 4 a.m. there was this show with some dude talking about poop. He provided details about intestines and how human bodies work. Although his tan, hairdo, and skinny, wierd mustache had me thinking he was an odd duck, his dialogue was that of an expert. He even had facts, stating that John Wayne's autopsy revealed that he died with pounds and pounds of poop. Elvis did too!

Within minutes of watching I was convinced. My long-sought-after diagnosis finally was in sight. I was full of poop. Getting rid of it would solve all my problems. Of course, this dude on tv was touting some kind of miracle liquid that would cleanse your system quicker than any tall glass of milk or huge bowl of ice cream.

Just as I grabbed the credit card and headed to the phone to dial that toll-free number, my cynicism arrived. Of course I headed straight to the Internet for the facts.

A google search led straignt to this revelation on snopes.com that the John Wayne and Elvis claims are false. Nothing but lies. Urban legends.

"Well, darn," I thought. Then off went the tv and I went back to lying in bed, wondering why I couldn't sleep and what possibly could be wrong with me. Certain that a search to the diagnosis would continue.

Catching Up

Looking out the plane window, here are the mountain tops that the the plane flew over as we left the Denver airport headed to Salt Lake City. If my geography serves me right, it has to be the Rockies. I found it breath taking.

My usual westward route, which has been seldom over the years, always has been more southern. Dallas, Las Vegas, Phoenix. That always leads to wonderful views of the Grand Canyon. Viewing the mountain tops was an incredible experience.

Still have more pics to post. Slowly but surely I'm trying to catch up. Sorry to bombard.

B - I - N - G - O

My company does a pretty good job creating a program for "Bring Your Kids To Work Day." It takes place in April and officially I think the name is bring your "daughters and sons" to work day. It started years ago as exclusively a daughter thing.

The last couple years I've been the official Bingo caller. It's always a good time. I also think I do a pretty good job at, if I say so myself. The kids seem to have fun and find me crazy as I holler out "Bingo caller says!"

This year's program included learning about different jobs. We went outside to check out this dude on a bucket truck. The kids got a kick out of the fact that he banged his head on a building awning as he raised the bucket. There was no serious injury. I tried to tell them about my job but they were none to thrilled about my description of sitting at a desk, reading, moving papers around, replying to e-mails and talking on the phone. The audacity!

Remembering Oklahoma City

While in Oklahoma City in April on a work trip, I joined a few folks to take the few-block walk from our downtown hotel to the Oklahoma City Memorial. It is at the site of the former Murrah Federal Building. It honors the 168 folks that died during an act of terrorism in downtown Oklahoma City.

There is a chair for each person, organized by the floor where the worked in the building. A very touching and moving memorial. Nice to visit during the day, very special at night.

So Long And Farewell

My favorite attorney, the most awesome attorney in Kansas City as a matter of fact, has left town. It was a sad day for all.

MegMacB left me. She grabbed up George and Stanley, The Boyz, and dumped me. They moved about three hours north on 29. Just like that, they're gone. I'm sad.

No more lawn blow-up capers, Sweet Tomatoes runs, art walk looking, Target jaunts, dinner outings, photo opportunities, Scooter rides to the old Stroud's, cakes and smiles at Succotash ... oh, the list goes on and on. And it's not like it all just ceases. It just likely requires a tad more advance planning.

Behind her is the life of a big-time lawyer at a large firm. No more clients calling, timesheets, mean and psycho partners, and all else that comes along with a firm. Mostly no more timesheets. Now it's the high-flying corporate life. I'm sure it will suit her well.

Kansas City Folks

While watching network television Sunday night, one would have been hard pressed not to hear Kansas City mentioned.

The featured family on "Exreme Makeover-Home Edition" was from Kansas City, Missouri. This husband and wife, with nine kids, actually live about four or five miles from me. I mentioned in a post a while back when the dream home team was in town.

By the way, just recently heard that Ty, the host of that show, was arrested on a DWI charge. That's too bad. When watching that show, it does sure seem he's pretty wigged out.

The winner of the newest "Survivor" claimed Kansas City, Kansas as his home. He now lives out west, but from what I understand, he made sure everyone knew he's a Kansasan. Good for him!

Now, if only the next big-time lottery winner would be from Kansas City. And let it be a cowboy.

Hello My Friend

View from plane windowJust a quick post from the land of the Mormons or Latter Day Saints, Jazz basketball players, a Republican presidential contender, and the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics.

This pic was from my plane window as we hopped over the mountains and approached the Salt Lake City Airport. An incredible site.

The intent is to post more pics and talk more about this trip over the weekend.

Love Keeps Us Together

Caught the tail end of American Idol Wednesday night. I was a bit surprised at how old Barry Gibb looked. Surely he's not that old. Maybe life is just aging him faster than normal.

Back in the day I thought it would be cool to have talented brothers who would want to travel and sing with me. My fantasy included me as the lead singer. Would it be any other way?

On the "Celebrating a birthday today" segue on NPR the other morning, I am certain I heard them say that Toni Tennille turned 67. There is no possible way that is correct. Is it?

I kind of had a crush on her. It was during those years that she was on "Love Boat." It was a pretty serious crush. Even just a few years ago I went to a 40th birthday party that required everyone to arrive in costume dressed as a musical act of the last four decades. I was The Captain while I proudly held on to my date very sharply dressed as Toni Tennille. She can do it to me one time, because I don't think I'll ever stop loving her. Even if she's an old hag.:)

As for unique sounds, I'm impressed with Blake's beatboxing on American Idol. Although I don't have a crush on him, I just might have to get inspired and call in to vote next week.

By the way, Melinda's claiming Tennessee as home. That is home only after she attended Belmont University. She's from Tulsa. I promise you. One of her childhood pics shown Wednesday night was from in front of a building on the Oral Roberts University campus. She's an Okie alright.

Cross The Wide

I'll never forget the floods we had in 1993. Kansas City got hit hard. Had a major highway closed and many other issues. Just on the northwest side of our downtown is the confluence of the Missouri and the Kansas Rivers. Although we have never done a good job developing our riverfront, it is still a site to see.

Lately, the Missouri River is a bit wider than usual. Derby was kind and left a comment on a recent post checking up on me. What would a Cowboy do if he didn't have buddies wanting a status update? Thanks, Derby. Although the river looks pretty full in Kansas City, the city proper is escaping harm.

The worse news has been coming from up north around St. Joseph, Missouri or even farther south toward Jefferson City, the state's capital. However, I think I saw a dude on Good Morning America the other day broadcasting from Parkville. That's just around the corner and actually is where the Little Monster rests. But that's a good hike from the river.

One thing for sure, my lawn is green, green, green. I even need to mow. The third time in about 10 days.

Speaking of weather issues, can you believe that tornado wiping out the small, Kansas town? Wow. I look forward to hearing how those folks will join to rebuild.

Do you remember the song in elementary school "Oh Shenandoah"? Back then singing along at Washington Elementary in Collinsville, Oklahoma, I never dreamed that my daily trek would take me across the wide Missouri. But that's my reality. I'm bound away.

Cleanliness Next To Godliness

Was super busy Wednesday with a variety of tasks before heading out of town on Thursday. The day was supposed to end with me attending the annual United Way Leadership Gala. I didn't get out of the office in time, though. Good news is that I did make it by the little tailor lady's shop to get the newly expanded suit pants!

Other accomplishments included Mother's Day card purchasing and sending. The list included RMc, a lady back in Collinsville, Janeen's mom, JMc, The Wife (of The Artist), The 40-year-old sis who is expecting another child, and Cowboy's Mom. I'm proud to report the process was not too burdensome. I was downright pleased with my selections.

For The Wife, I sent a card with three little kittens on the cover looking over a fence. Their little faces and paws on display. The first says, "Mom, I can't find my mittens." The second says, "Neither can I, Mom." And the last one says "None of us can." I determined the three represented O, M and The Artist. It's a fun card.

Was busy enough that I never ate the entire day. Famished, on the way home I opted for the BK drive through in Northtowne. Exited one too early, though, and on my way to the BK I discovered a business called "Hi Gene's Cleaning Services."

One of these days, I just know it. I'm going to find the just-right business concept with the absolutely stellar business name. I just know it. I'll bet my lunch on it.

Let's Jump!

Working from home this morning. With the ongoing downpour and reports of various roads that are closed or with difficult passing, I thought I would take it easy. Plus, I have two meetings this afternoon at our downtown office. It's much closer to home than the normal workplace.

While working from home a question popped into my mind. Why does a contestant jump nonstop up and down when they win on "The Price Is Right"? Which made me wonder why does a pageant winner use both hands to cover their mouth while being crowned? Or a politician gives a gallant thumbs up when declaring victory?

I'm going to challenge myself to perfect just the right gesture/movement. Something unique and cool. Just in case I'm ever in one of those situations.

Various Pets

All the rain (see post below) I think is helping to bring me some new pets. Worms on the driveway, ants crawling on the kitchen counter and an occasional spider.

The "squirrel-resistant" bird feeder is bringing lots of little birds mostly to the backyard. The squirrels are now ground feeders. While mowing Saturday I think I came across what seems to be intrusion in the yard by a mole. Deer keep eating the tops off the daylilies and of course there's the occasional bunny.

I bet if I give them a name they will all become very obedient and loving. I just don't want any of them getting some crazy idea that they get to crawl into bed with me.

It's Raining, It's Pouring

We had a break from rain Saturday. I even mowed the lawn and my neighbor's front lawn. For many days last week and all day Sunday it has done nothing but pour. I keep checking the basement. Just in case! I'm totally fearing a re-creation of a scene from "Titanic."

All the grass seed I threw down a few months ago is now creating lush green spots. Aided greatly by all this precipitation. Very nice. However, I feel like I need to mow every three or four days. It's crazy. About three inches predicted over the next 24 hours. Possibly five to six the next few days. I think I heard tonight that it could rain the entire week.

Another Reason To Exercise

I have got to go on a diet. Plus do some serious exercising. I was concerned when I reached baby elephant weight, then it moved on to adult elephant weight. Now it's more like rhino or maybe even whale weight.

OK. I admit that I am not "obese." But, no clothes from even just a year ago summer fit. Just a little too snug in the midsection (belly through thighs). That's girth, folks.

Had to run by Men's Wearhouse Saturday to get the measurements done. Sexy Lady and Army Boy's wedding is in just two weeks. I'm in the wedding and get to don the fancy duds. I made the measurement dude promise me he'd share no results, but I did still see the extra-large numbers on my receipt. At least I got to see a car with an Oklahoma State sticker in the parking lot. I smiled at that. They're not that common in Kansas City.

Providing more motivation for this occasional traveler is the TSA's new security program. It scans and checks out people under their clothing. That's right. It makes a scan of you naked. It's currently only at the Phoenix airport, but the goal is to introduce it next at JFK and LAX.

Although usually not that shy, but at whale weight I just might blush. I wonder if we can keep our shoes on.

When I left the Men's Wearhouse I didn't blush but almost felt I needed a cigarette (I don't smoke, by the way). Those sales folks sure like to touch and feel you. I'm told it is called "customer service." Besides feeling me up, the sales person did inform me that with my hips and "muscular quads," I should stick to double pleats.

Dead Or Alive

Checking in. Sorry for the absence. The laptop fully was on the blitz, then the work laptop failed (I think I overworked it). Combine that with fully swamped workdays preventing me from blogging while at the J - O - B (how dare they?!!) and shazam, I vanished for a bit. There was some traveling, mowing, sleeping, and other stuff in the mix too.

I have been carrying around a Post-It in the calendar that is chock full of subjects for posts. Consider yourself warned!