Friday, June 9, 2017

Dolphins....

Marlina and Trish decided that our excursion down in Ol Mexico was to be one that they had always wanted to do, but disguised it under the rouse that it was something the kids would always remember.  I think I will always remember it as well.

We got to swim with the dolphins at a place called Chankanaab Wildlife Park.  When we arrived at the park, we found our place to change into swimsuits, then watched in amazement as we saw the dolphins in the lagoon.  We got paired up with our host and photographer and prepared to enter the water.  It was chilly, but not too bad.  At least not to me.  Marlina thought otherwise.  But she managed to push through it.

One by one, they called us to touch the dolphins and rub their bellies.  Then they pulled Marlina and Kate out to swim with the dolphins.  Katie got to grab the fins and go for a ride.  Marlina did the same.  When it was time for Luke and I, they tried something different.  We got a boogie board and were told to place our legs straight out.  The dolphins came from behind us and their noses hit the soles of our feet and pushed us through the water at a surprisingly fast rate of speed.  We created a wake!


We spent the rest of the time playing around and watching the dolphins do tricks until it was time to leave.  After we got out, we walked around the pier and got to see a manatee.  I have never seen one of these beasts until that time. What a large animal!  We took several photos of the dolphins and manatee, but then we discovered how they get ya.  We were not allowed to bring our cameras into the dolphin area, but they did give us a personal photog.  She took awesome photos and they were glad to sell us the disk for $200 per family.  We politely passed and went to lunch.  But before we left the park, we negotiated them down to a slightly less obscene price and bought the CD, but they only allowed us the photos of the kids.  Sorry, but no bikini pics of Marlina (or me).



We had a blast.  Trent and I then rented snokels and took off.  I saw a lobster under the water that was bigger than anything I had ever seen in a tank.  Bring on the butter.  Too soon, it was time to leave and get back on the boat.  After a stop in downtown at the Hotel Barracuda, a lovely plate of nachos and cold margarita later, we boarded the boat and prepared to cruise back to Galveston.  Good times....Good times....

Monday, May 22, 2017

Cruisin......

Well, Marlina and I got to do something that I have always wanted to do.  We got to surprise the kids with a vacation.  I am talking full on surprise here.  We dropped the kids off at school for the day, then showed up at the school office at 10:15 to pick them up.  They had no idea of why they were being called to the office.  We loaded them up in the car under the guise that Dad had taken the day off and wanted to go to Galveston.  As we crossed the Causeway bridge, Katie looks at the cruise boat docked and asks, "Hey, when do you think we will be able to go on that cruise boat?"  We looked at each other sheepishly and changed the subject.  First stop, the Olympia Grill on the Strand.  This is where the Murphy's walked in.  Trent and Trish walked in with both of their kids and we all got seated together.  At that point, we told the kids to turn around and see what was on their chairs.  The ladies had put together a backpack for each of the kids.  Inside the backpack was a pair of sunglasses, some sunscreen, a travel journal, an envelope with $75 spending money, and a note that read "See that big boat anchored up right outside?  Here is your ticket, now lets go get on board!"


 The cruise was set for one day at sea, one day in Cozumel, and one day at sea. The first day at sea was quite windy. Luke was a bit disappointed as the Sports Deck was shut down due to the high winds.  Even the water slide was closed.  However, we still managed to have some fun and the kids and ladies picked up First Place in the on-board scavenger hunt.  We ended the night with show about music through the years.  We loved it as the kids cringed as we danced along to the sounds of ABBA and Barry Manilow.  

We got up and we were in Cozumel.  It occurred to me as we headed out on our excursion that our kids had never been in water where they could see their feet.  Boy are they in for a treat.



On the next post, I will fill you in on dolphin encounter excursion.........

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

To Build a Bear, or not to build a bear, that is the question....

This past weekend,  I had to work on Saturday.  Marlina and the kids had no definite plans and that usually means trouble for me.  Sure enough, they call mid day and explain that they had to get out of the house and they are going to Academy so Luke could purchase a basketball jersey.  Well, I get home to find out that he purchased the jersey and Katie purchased a geology kit where she dissolves this brick of mud to expose the buried gems inside.  Well, she gets ripped off in the fact that this particular one only encased one ugly rock instead of the normal 8-9 crystals.  Lesson learned, I assumed.

After showing me their treasures (or lack thereof), I decide to settle down for a late afternoon nap.  After snoozing for a few, I was awakened by my little girl announcing that it was time for Dad and Kate time, bemoaning the fact that, in her opinion, it had been forever since we had spent some time just her and I.  I relented and got up.  She suggested a few places to go, and I suggested we go to Kemah in hopes that we could have a happy hour together at one of the many fine establishments on the water.  She had other ideas.

We ended up over there and she immediately drug me to the new Build A Bear workshop.  Thats fine, I said to myself, we will just look.  And, she had already purchased a new toy earlier in the day.  But.................She really, really wanted one, but my Dad voice took over and I shut down the episode.  Then she brought out the big gun.  "Dad, I will use my own money!"  Normally, I would think this was great, but A)She had been telling me for weeks that she wants to save enough money to purchase and Apple watch and B)She had already purchased one toy the same day, and C)25$ for a teddy bear is a bit absurd, then you have to purchase the clothes separately.  But....on the other hand, A)who am I to tell someone how to spend their own money, even if I don't agree with what they are spending the money on, and B)I don't really want her to have an Apple watch anyways, because a 6 year old doesn't need that kind of toy.


Well, as you can see, I was in a bit of a pickle.  This is what I did, and I don't know if it was right or wrong, but it is what I did.  I shut the plan down on site.  I explained to her that she informed me that she wanted to save her money for a larger purchase down the road and that by spending her money she would never accomplish that goal of saving up.  She didn't cry, but she was disappointed.  I couldn't even get her to eat ice cream.  We made the journey home and she went upstairs and shut the door to her room.  I waited a few minutes going through everything in my mind and then I also went upstairs.  I knocked and entered.  I then sat her down and explained to her that I wanted her to think long and hard about it over night and decide if she truly wanted to spend her money or would she rather save it up.  If she truly wanted to spend her money, we would return the next day.  After all, it was her money.  Her face lightened up and she said she would think about it.  She liked the plan.

Well, long story short, we returned the next day and she purchased Rosy the bear with her own money.    I didn't want her to get that Apple watch anyways......

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

March, where did you go???

Well, here we are, already in April, and I didn't manage to blog once in March.  Now that I am looking back, it is a good time to evaluate those new year's resolutions. 

1.  Exercise three times a week, minimum--Well, I have joined a gym, and am efforting to get there three times a week.  I have started going before work, but have not found it always conducive to do so.  After work is not an option either, as the gym is crowded and someone needs to cook dinner.  That only leaves during lunch time, which I might try on days that I don't make it before work.  I have enjoyed it, and it does make me feel better.  But, then again, it has only been one month of doing so.  Lets see if the habit sticks.

2.  Go camping 5 times--Well, we have been once, and are scheduled to go again in May.  Two times out of the first half of the year is not going to cut it.  Need to up that and see if I can go again before May ends.  We ended up going to Huntsville State Park with the Garza's, Murphy's, and the Sender's.  We are going with them again, only this time we are going to Austin State Park in Sealy.  I have never been to this park as an adult, so I am curious as to the amenities.  There is not much to do around Sealy, so I am a little skeptical, but will come with an open mind.  I would love it if yall shared some insight on this park.  Also, when we went camping with this bunch last time, Marlina and I were the last around the campfire, and definitely had the most empty containers around us.  Hopefully, this time around, the campfire will be attended better. 

3.  Read 5 books--I have completed one, and am halfway through the next one.  The first was Huck Finn, by Mark Twain.  It was the first time I have read this classic and I will admit, it took me a while to get in the flow of the language.  Those of you who have read it recently will remember that the entire book was written in the "language" of the uneducated American youth of the late 1800's.  That takes a smidgen of time to grasp when you used to the politically correct climate of today.

That was it, or at least as much as I am going to share today.  My other resolution was to blog more.  I did pretty good in the first months of the year, but fell off in March.  April will be better.  Don't forget to click the link below to subscribe. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Roller coaster of emotions

Last night, Luke had his playoff basketball game.  So far this year, the Bulldogs were 0-8, but were improving every game.  The boys played hard but always seemed to come up a bit short.  Coach Steve played every kid and no kid played the entire game ever.  I am not one of the people who believes that every kid deserves a trophy.  Nor am I am guy who says there are no winners or losers.  Of course there are winners and losers.  The team with the most points at the end of the game wins and the other team lost.  Period.  But you go out there, try your best, give it your all, and aim to win.  Every time.


Well, as of the start of the game, Luke had been held scoreless for the year.  The usual final scores for Freshman Basketball are somewhere in the neighborhood of 18-14, so it is not like the NBA.  Luke had been shooting better, but still having trouble getting his shot off without the defense blocking it.  Well, that changed in the playoff game tonight.  I saw him take a pass, and head straight for the hoop.  Just before the defense arrived, he stopped and popped.  He missed, but great try anyways.  Well, the game got tight at the end, and Luke made a great steal to give his team another chance at tying the game up.  He posted up, then became free.  The point guard saw him, and made the pass.  Instead of driving it this time, Luke jumped and released the ball.  Swish!!!!  The pure joy I saw on his face as he pumped his fist in the air was priceless.  He was determined and it paid off.  His whole team celebrated. 

Well, it turned out that this was not the game winning shot.  The other team managed to score a few more times and took a 3 point lead to what appeared to be the end.  Suddenly, Luke was guarding the opponents best player (the opposing coach's son who was never taken out of the game and was responsible for 80% of the opposing team's points).  That boy was driving when Luke reached out and grabbed the ball, tying him up for a jump ball.  The possession arrow was pointing Bulldogs.  Luke had given his team one last chance to launch a three pointer on a pure hustle play.  Alas, the Bulldogs couldn't get a shot off and the other team won by 3, ending the Bulldogs season.

The tears were shed by many on the team, and Luke couldn't take a compliment for 30 minutes afterwards as he was "decompressing".  But I am very proud of the way my boy competed. 
He loves basketball and his looking forward to playing again in the summer.  Maybe I will have to show him some of my old Globetrotter moves, if I don't pull a muscle or two in the process.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Food porn without a photo

I know, I know, I am committing an error, but I couldn't help but share.

Yesterday, I hit up Tejas BBQ in Tomball after reading about it in a blog shared by Michael Berry.  Actually, the name is Tejas Chocolate Craftory.  Thats right, it is half BBQ joint, and half chocolate factory.  I arrived right after 12:00, lunch time.  I grabbed a menu and waited my turn to order.  I had just about made up my mind when I got to the front and read the daily special:  A house-smoked pastrami ruben on rye, with Shiner Bock sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and Russian dressing.  I couldn't pass it up.

I don't believe I have ever had pastrami made in Texas.  At first, I thought it would be just eating a brisket ruben, but you could definitely tell it was pastrami.  But the star of the show was the Shiner Bock Kraut.  It was more like a compote.  Imagine carmelized onions and cabbage that just melts in your mouth.  I wished they served it as a side dish.

I did not make it to try the chocolate on this journey, but look forward to doing so soon on my next trip back.  Luckily, I have a couple of jobs in the area, so I am in Tomball at least twice a week.

On a separate note, I have an unopened bottle of Rowan's Creek Bourbon. I am not a shooter, but do like a cocktail.  Any suggestions as to what I should make?

Saw this video on YouTube and thought it was awesome.  I love how the girl dotes on her father.

Have a good weekend everyone!!  Carti-gras is happening in our neighborhood.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Push Goal

Push goal....Anyone heard of this?

One of the podcasts that I listen to is Build Your Tribe by Chalene Johnson.  In this podcast, she refers to a "push goal."  The push goal is defined by the one goal that, when you accomplish it, will unleash all your other goals.  Without achieving the push goal, you cannot reach your ultimate goals.
In other words, accomplish the thing that is holding your other goals back.

Well, last week, I determined what my push goal is.  This is exciting for me, because I now know what is holding me back and I get to try to find a way to accomplish this.

Specifically, my goal is to find a replacement for me in my day to day business life.  I am too busy working in the business to work on the business.  I need to find someone to do the things that I am currently doing at my work in order for me to get the time to work on the things that I currently don't have time for.  Does that make sense?  Do you believe in all of this?  Are you following me here?

To summarize, I now have a goal and I know what I must do.  And, as GI Joe says, knowing is half the battle.