Sunday, December 26, 2010

2010 Holiday Wrap-Up (pun intended)

1) According to the packaging of most of the toys my kids got for Christmas, the North Pole is actually in China.
2) Four gift exchanges in 24 hours will do in a 3 year old. The boy was sacked!
3) Brief snow on Christmas Eve morning is almost as good as a "White Christmas"
4) When properly inflated, the tires on our 4Runner allow us to get over 300 miles on a tank of gas. For an 8 year old SUV, I say that's pretty good.
5) Things to locate before opening presents: flathead and philips head screwdrivers, assorted batteries, sturdy scissors for opening clam-shell packages, band-aids for when I cut myself on said clam-shell packaging, and whiskey.
6) I don't care where you are, 16 degrees F is dang cold.
7) You try to untangle the wires that hold Buzz Lightyear in the perfect marketing pose inside his box, while a 3 year old is not so patiently waiting for you. It'll make you doubt the existence of God.
8) There is nothing sweeter to me than a child saying "thank you daddy".

My hope for you is that you find joy this holiday season!

Evidence!

Santa left a little bit of his trousers!



Merry Christmas





Road Food

Noah got really hungry on our way home from Christmas trip.



Saturday, December 18, 2010

Photos

I think my photos are getting better. Here are a few shots from recent inspirations. Both taken in mid October with a Canon EOS Rebel XTi with the standard EFS 18-55mm kit lens.

The cat is Ringer. She's pretty shy with me most times, but there in the sun I think she must not have cared too much.

Then some renegade grapevines on the fence around the pool. I love the color changes.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

nerd alert



iPhone pic of son with 3D glasses.

Christmas In Name Only: Jim Inhofe Snubs "Holiday" Parade



UPDATE: Local blog "The Lost Ogle" also commented on Inhofe's Christmas parade crusade. Check out their post here.
And The Daily Show with John Stewart made fun of Inhofe, as is their custom.

U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) endured personal grief and severe emotion in deciding to not participate in the Tulsa parade that recognizes and celebrates the special moments in religious and commercial life that occur this time of year - formerly known as a "Christmas Parade".

Now the leaders and planners of the Tulsa event have changed the name to include "holiday" rather than "Christmas" so that they are more inclusive of other religious and non religious persons who feel the need to celebrate. The parade is actually called "Parade of Lights", which makes me wonder if Inhofe's reason to boycott the event might be because "Parade of Lights" sounds kinda Hanukkah-ish. Which begs the question, can a parade have a religious affiliation? I am most certain that there will be floats in this newly named Holiday Parade of Lights. And I'm most certain that at least one Christian church will have a float in said parade. And if that is the case, then surely that church would mention CHRISTmas somewhere on their float - maybe even have a nativity scene depicted or something.

So it's still a parade with Christmas elements. I'm sure it also has marching band, Shriner, Lions & Kiwanis club, Elks Lodge, auto dealership, firetruck, military, police, snowman, reindeer, gift packaging and Santa elements too. So really, good ole Cowboy Jim just wants a chance to tell the Fox News world how he had to put himself out so much just to find a parade to ride his horsey in that had Christmas in its title. Broken Arrow? It's like 10 miles away. To paraphrase VP Biden, big freakin' deal.

Tulsa is too big for you Jim - you may be a home town boy, but you're not a homeboy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

o Christmas Tree

Step one- set up the stand with tree securely in place.

The Fraser fir.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Falcons Hope to Learn from Loss

The 2010-11 Del Crest Middle School 6th Grade Lady Falcons Basketball squad continues to build on its success from the last season. After a tough loss to Jarman Middle School last week, the Lady Falcons looked to regain composure this week. And with a 22-16 victory over conference rival Monroney Thunderbirds, the Lady Falcons are now 3-2 on the season.

In a practice transition not yet seen by a Falcon team under coach Becks tenure, fundamental training is being replaced by practicing a more aggressive defense. And coach Beck is implementing an offensive strategy that is challenging even the teams athletic leaders. "I think they can be pushed to the next level, and really come together as a team." said Beck. "I know we can move the ball to the rim, now we need to focus on controlling the pace of the game and taking advantage of our speed on defense."

The Lady Falcons will get to put it to the test next Tuesday when they take on Kerr Middle School.

Letters of Lament: Education Edition

Yeah.



"Dear _____,
I am sorry that I did not do my work. I keep on forgeting things. When I do remember it is to late. My teachers and parents don't belive me. One time in second grade I was accused for cloging one of the toilets with toilet paper. They didn't belive me when I said "I didn't!" So please belive me. I also forget notes. I am sorry
Sincerly,
________"

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks-LIVING

Here is my article from this weeks "Midwest City Christian" the weekly newsletter of First Christian Church, MWC:


Happy Thanks-living week! We celebrate Thanksgiving within the church as an aspect of our worship and praise to God. But sometimes I wonder if Americans get caught up in celebrating abundance and forget about being thankful. On its own, abundance isn't a bad thing. The Old Testament story of Joseph and Pharaoh includes Joseph convincing Pharaoh to store up an abundance of food to prepare for a famine. The problem with abundance is when it becomes the object of worship. Careful financial planning for life's adventures such as retirement are necessary. But grabbing up everything in sight for the purpose of having it all serves no purpose. Greedy abundance breeds arrogance and smugness, while thankfulness breeds humbleness and modesty.  But what do humility and modest living have to do with being thankful to God?

A thankful life reflects God's passion for reaching the outcast and marginalized. It says, "thank you God for letting me be the person to show this sister/brother your love." A life of thanks-living is a daily practice in praising God for God's abundant love. The plentiful harvest is found in God's grace, and in the church that cares, and in the house that welcomes in the lonely. The abundance that we are thankful for isn't in material possessions, it's how we treat each other. Be thankful for one another, for God's grace that sustains, and for the earth that produces such amazing foods!
 
Be Excellent To Each Other!

Turkeypalooza 2010: 5 Things I Learned Today

"White meat, dark meat - you just can't lose."

The best part of the above video is the pic of the kid at the 1:40 mark. That'll be me about 11:45 Thanksgiving morning. Right now, it's yeah - 12:52 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. I'm up, blogging while the paint dries on a picture I've been putting off painting that'll eventually go over the mantle in our living room.

But on to the good stuff, and the reason you're here: 5 Things I Learned Today.

1) The inside of a turkey is actually pretty clean. Once the turkey factory cleans it all up and puts the guts in a nice little baggie for me, that is.
2) Elijah Craig whiskey makes salting, stuffing and rubbing down a turkey go much smoother.
3) It takes 120 feet of Christmas Lights to outline the main areas of the front of our house.
4) Painting an orchid on canvas can be fun - therapeutic even.
5) Don't listen to the father-in-law when it comes to which side of the turkey goes up. He may or may not have had a lengthy conversation with Elijah Craig.

That's it for now - more Turkeypalooza bloggins acomin' up later.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Name-Change Reason #1

So for the last few years I've been weighing the benefits to changing my last name. Specifically, every time I hear or read anything from Glenn Beck. Editor's note: [Just to clear things up, I am not related to Glenn Beck in anyway that I can tell. An uncle of mine has done an extensive genealogy of our family line, and I am assured that there is no connection from my family to Glenn's.]

Glenn Beck has attacked the church and the social justice movement, saying that believers should stay away from churches that essentially teach people to care for one another. And now he goes after people who are concerned about the planet. An Ethics Daily commentary  puts Beck's charge under the microscope. In an effort to discredit and smear the good works of folks who are interested in preserving the balance in our environment, Glenn Beck makes the claim that those folks worship what he says is the Babylonian weather god Baal.

The only problem is that Baal was not a god of the Babylonians, rather the Canaanites. This group of people are often referred to (as Davenport acknowledges in his commentary) Phoenicians. Any 6th grade Social Studies student should remember that. And as Karen Armstrong points out in her book A History of God, and as Davenport reminds us, the god of Babylon is a god named Marduk.

So Beck hits a couple of wrong notes, but that's not really the point. He is deliberately playing up a factually untrue position about earth stewardship to his right-wing and climate change denying base, all the while using his pseudo religious rhetoric to make absolute truth claims. The danger of his statements is how he deliberately vilifies the people who he himself has identified as non-christian. The only teeth his argument has are the ones that he implants in it. If Beck didn't make the claim that environmentalists were in his view devil-worshiping heathens, he wouldn't have a claim against the work they are trying to accomplish. So in Beck's intellect, the cause of environmentalism is dangerous, ungodly and worthless only by an association he has made up in his head, to rally his ideological base and most importantly to get TV ratings.

This kind of self-satisfying, egomaniac logic is really what is dangerous, ungodly and worthless.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Halloween 2010

Halloween at the Beck Haunted Mansion came with a rush of ghouls looking for candy. I wanted to go as "Crazy Newspaper Face" but Elizabeth said no. Actually she said, "I don't get it." To witch I replied "That's why I love you."

Noah was Woody from "Toy Story" and Maggie was cute!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In-Laws Bathroom Final update

It's been a while since I updated on the summer project-a-palooza. Check here  or here for a reminder of what was going on.

Now it's all said and done and here is photographic evidence.


The next 2 pics are lesser quality because they were taken with the camera phone.

But there ya go. Bathroom upgrade finished. Call HGTV and get me a contract!

Lady Falcons 2010-2011 Season

The Del Crest Lady Falcons are back on the boards this week, fighting their way through the Monroney Invitational. Facing Del City rivals Kerr Middle School and cross-town hopefuls Carl Albert Middle School, the Lady Falcons' only wish is to expand on last years success. "We gotta play it one day at a time" says Coach Beck before her players hit the hardwood for a pregame warm up. "It's the little things that we're focusing on - the fundamentals. We've got the talent and the skills, now we're ready for some competition."

And competition is what they expected in their first match against Kerr Middle School. But the Eagles were pale in comparison as the Lady Falcons soared higher than an Eagle, and outscored them almost 2-1.


Game 2 of the Monroney Tournament was a late game that put the Lady Falcons against the Lady Titans of Carl Albert Middle School. Del Crest didn't fare as good against a talented and disciplined Carl Albert team. While Del Crest played good basketball, too many fouls and missed open shots left them 6 points back at the final buzzer.

The final game of the tourney pitted the Lady Falcons against non Mid-Del school Crooked Oaks. Fresh off their first loss of the season Coach Becks' girls were ready to reclaim some lost ground. And that they did, outpacing Crooked Oaks down the court and to the hoop. "We're really set up for a more fast-paced game than we have been. Several girls have not only good hands on the ball, but are quick footed, and that helps us move up and down." said Beck.

The Lady Falcons enter district play 2-1 when they visit Jarman Middle School Thursday for what is always a tough road game. But from what it seems, early in this season at least is best summed up from one of the referees at the Monroney Tourney. "This looks to be the best Del Crest girls team in 10 years." Let's hope they are right.

Check back for more detailed analysis of the the Del Crest Middle School 6th Grade Girls 2010-2011 Basketball season!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mo in Octo

The Oklahoma Becks were able to visit the Missouri Becks of the North Country. Here is a photo-essay of the visit. 







Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Month off? Month ON!

November is Blog Month for me - meaning that if you're good, I'll make more of an effort at posting blogs. This will actually be much easier than the last few months because there are many upcoming events / celebrations. For starters, i've got pix from our MO trip a few weeks ago - then I'll be posting posting pix of Halloween in the Beck house. Then there's Turkeypalooza, Maggie's 1-year birthday, and Christmas!

Not just those big events, but there's also some major housework, landscaping and neighbor issues to share.

But wait, there's more! Lady Falcons 6th Grade Basketball begins in a week! Expect full reports and game analysis from your source for Del-Crest 6th Grade Girls Basketball.

Don't forget to vote today!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fam Spam

As we're getting ready for the big fall holiday (not the turkey one), here are a few pics of the kids at a local church punkin patch.



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jerome Corsi's thinly veiled attempt to call President Obama "the Devil"

Jerome Corsi (right-wing fear monger, closet Birther and NY Times best-selling author) wants President Obama to renounce Lucifer. In a recent address to the "Taking Back America 2010" event in Miami, FL, Corsi is quoted, "I'd like to hear Barack Obama come out and renounce Lucifer," "I don't recall hearing him do it." He might as well have added "Muslims, Liberals and Kenyans".

Wisely, a Huffington Post commenter who goes by the handle "Angelaaaa" writes:
     Very clever - to renounce[:] "to give up a claim, right, belief, etc. usually by a formal public
     statement". So you CANNOT renounce something you never claimed to begin with. And if you DO
     renounce it, it is tantamount to confessing that you DID believe or claim it previously. The devil is
     in the detail (and definition).


So for starters I'd like Corsi to renounce idiots, bullies, snake-oil salesmen, and morons.

Second, I don't ever recall President Obama renouncing the boogey-man (different from the Boogie-Man or the Boogie Man), or the Trix Rabbit, or Willy Wonka.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The pen is mightier

Refraining from any "Celebrity Jeopardy" SNL jokes, here in the real world - the pen is certainly mightier than the sword. Or in my case, the keyboard.

Earlier today I posted a response on the Facebook page of the Mid-Del school district. The comment I was responding two was a call to action by another community-aware citizen who was asking what could be done to improve the quality of education in the district. In the comment, the individual mentioned that in the elementary classes, some teachers have up to 30 students per class, and questioned if the students were receiving adequate instruction.

Here's the pull quote:
"School has been in session for a week now. You cannot have an effective learning environment with 30 kids in an elementary class. Parents are being patient, kids are getting distracted, teachers are going above and beyond to try to teach our students and our administrators are continuing to evaluate the numbers & dol...lars. Our kids are "safe". Their current "challenge" is they are only getting a fraction of the instruction time needed. If they spend an entire school year (or even a month) in too large of a class size, they will not be "ready" for the next grade. How can Mid-Del parents and patrons help?"

[note: "Safe, Challenged, Ready" is the byline on the District's Facebook page.]

So I respond by suggesting that maybe parents and patrons should encourage a decrease in administrative staff and let that money funnel into hiring more teachers for the classrooms.

Background: Mid-Del received Federal Stimulus money and created a bunch of new positions in the educator and administrative areas. Great teaching positions like Literacy Coaches are being funded by this stimulus money. But as that money dries up, those positions are on the chopping block, whereas newly created administrative staff positions are not.

In some instances, there are not enough teachers in the classrooms, as the commenter points out. Conversely, there are some administration-level positions that have additional secretary-level staff under them, which were also jobs created by stimulus.

One major problem I have with all of this is that if the teaching positions are allowed to expire but the admin positions are not, how will they be paid for?

Oh yeah, the district has canceled its commitment to teacher retirement - that's how.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Can You Find It??



See if you can find:

* Skittles
* Air Hockey puck
* Wall-E
* Sweet Potato baby food
* Diamond "Strike on box" matches
* Carmex
* Food Markers
* The National's "High Violet" CD (courtesy of ModernSuburbanite author, Michael Ross)

First prize gets an e-five. Good job!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Back in the saddle, again.

Today marks the return to work for Mid-Del teachers. They have 1 week to prepare classrooms for the impending onslaught of students.

It also marks my return to being "Daddy Day-Care" minus Eddie Murphy of course. Though I wouldn't mind if Kevin Nealon stopped by.

What was once a place of relative productivity earlier this summer, has now been once again transformed into a wasteland of sorts with Goldfish crackers on the floor, dirty diapers in the trashcan and [finally], a sleeping 7 month old on the floor.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

what I did on my summer vacation

Imagine, if you will that you had all the time in the world. What would you do? That's right - you'd remodel your in-law's bathrooms!

The first step is to remove the strange 12" knockout above the sink area, just to realize that there is nothing separating you from the 6-10 inches of blown fiberglass insulation in the attic. This is where plastic trash bags come in handy.


Step 2 is to realize that there is a 3 or 4 inch PVC sewer vent pipe that angles out away from the wall just about 4 inches from where the ceiling meets the wall, which was the reason for the larger 12" boxed area above the sink.


Step 3 is to come up with an ingenious plan to both hide the PVC Pipe and still conquer the big intrusive knockout from the ceiling. 11" long and about 7 inch wide 45 degree partitions that still raise the ceiling above the sink.


Step 4: Sheetrock it all up.


Step 5: let the wife scrape all the popcorn crap off the ceiling so that the new Sheetrock ceiling and the old one can blend together with a new hand made ceiling texture.


Step 6: Paint new wall portions and hang new track lighting.
Step 6.5: install support beams and hangers for new granite and porcelain sink top.


Step 7: Glue down granite sink top and backer-board for porcelain side pieces.


Somewhere in there the vanity got a coat of mahogany stain, and the wall cabinet units got a coat of white paint.

More pix and the rest of the story once the porcelain, tile, sink bowl and faucet go in. The plumbing might be tricky.

Quest to Questa!

Each summer, I plan a week-long mission experience for the youth of our church. This year the adventure took us to Questa, NM where we worked with Habitat for Humanity of Taos, NM.
While we were there we put a roof and the scratch-coat of plaster on a house, preparing it for the smooth-coat surface treatment, and making it much more weather-resistant. Doors and windows won't be in until mid to late August, but this was a major start to getting it winter ready.



While we were in the area we decided to do some great outdoorsy stuff like hang out at some hot springs in the Rio Grande river gorge.





And do some horseback riding in Bobcat Pass, just east of Red River, NM.





And finally we hiked 2 miles up to Williams Lake, near Wheeler Peak. The elevation climb is about 1500 feet and seeing as we started at about 10,100 it was a challenge for most of our group.



Thursday, July 22, 2010

MOVED IN!

We're moved in, and every once in a while we're coming up for air from under the ever-growing pile of empty boxes. I promise we'll put pictures up, once we find the camera.

But in the meantime, here is what we have been working on over at the Putthoff residence. You see, because Elizabeth's parents were so kind as to let us board with them for over 6 weeks, we felt it our obligation, nay, our duty to compensate them in some manner.

So we remodeled 2 bathrooms.

Below find a few pics of some of my handy tile work in the downstairs 1/2 bath, and note the skillful wall texturing and fashionable paint color applique care of Elizabeth.

The upstairs bathroom was/is still a challenge and unfinished.




Sunday, June 27, 2010

House Hunting (part 5)

Inspections on a new house this Tuesday! We made an offer that was accepted immediately with no changes... which kinda made me nervous.

But back to the good story:
We walked on the other house because of the mold issue. Smart move by all accounts. We requested that our earnest money be returned to us because of the mold, and are still in "negotiations" with the seller about if we can in fact get our money back.

In the process of preparing to close for that house, our lender made it explicitly clear to us that they would not let us close until some very specific work was done to the house to fix the major duct damage. Part of that work required us to have an irrigation study and have a French drain installed. So we did. And then we had rain of seemingly biblical proportions.

And if you remember, faithful reader(s), that's when we discovered the mold.

The seller is of the opinion that the French drain was installed incorrectly and that during the rains it actually contributed to some water coming into the garage. Fact of the matter is, that the side door off of the garage was severely damaged due to repeated and continued water exposure, which was due to poor drainage on that side of the house. hence the need for the french drain (not to mention the damage to the duct fittings). This door was to be replaced by a metal exterior door according to our agreed upon and signed contract that dated May 5th.

Interestingly enough, the door was to be replaced by the seller's agents husband. But it never happened. Our final opportunity for closing was going to be June 21st, and as of that date the door had still not been replaced.

So now we're probably not getting the earnest money back because the seller wants to hold US liable for damages caused by the water that got into her garage due to the incorrectly installed French drain (not the bad door or lack of a replacement, or the 11.5 inches of water we got in 4 hours.)

Damages to what? The seller was supposed to have moved out!

Fun Times! Stay tuned!

Perspective

I had the opportunity to drive our church bus for a special program called S.O.A.R., which is an acronym for Supporting Offenders Achieving Reintegration. As a part of this program, mothers who are incarcerated are allowed to participate in a "Play Day" with their kids, 4 times a year. A group of women from Church Women United organize vans and buses to take kids to the Eddie Warrior Correctional Center near Taft, OK. Taft is near Muskogee.

This is a ministry that has been going on for at least 20 years, according to one volunteer I spoke with.

The kids on my bus were super excited about seeing their mothers. And when we turned on the gravel road to the prison, one yelled out-
"Hey ya'll, we're here! I get to see my mom!"

The joy in his voice was a pleasant change of pace, as for a long part of the trip 2 boys sat behind me making "yo momma" jokes.
"Yo momma so fat, she makes the groundhog think it's winter." "Yo momma so dumb, she tried to paint chalk."
"Yo momma so stupid, she in prison."

Finally, a much older youth piped up to the others -
"Don't you get it? The joke is on us. ALL our mom's are in prison. You need to respect."

And with that, the 2 boys fell silent.

















View from bus of main yard where children entered.

The kids got 3 hours with their moms. Seems pretty short. One child traveled from west Texas to OKC just to hitch a ride. She spent more time traveling to get there than she did with her mom. One volunteer suggested that this is because Oklahoma has one of the highest incrimination rates among women that other states. That, and Oklahoma has a higher number of privately-owned prisons per capita than other states, so we get lots of out of state transfers, i was told. Additionally, many women face harsher and longer sentences than their male counterparts do for the same crime.

After the volunteers had lunch at Golden Corral, we went back to pick up the kids, ALL of whom had red cheeks, puffy eyes and runny noses. Even the tough older teenage boys. The silence as they loaded the bus was unbearable...

--- haiku ---
A still, hard silence
penetrates deep inside
longing for some love.


The silence was shattered by the wail of a 4 year old who, for the first time, was able to MEET her mother. You see, the child was the product of a violent assault, that left the mother in the midst of a drug deal gone bad, a dead lover and the criminal system for being an "accessory". The child was born in the system, removed from the mother and placed in the care of a relative.

4 years old, 3 hours to meet your mother. This is harder on the child, or the mother?

So after such a spectacle, I have a distinct new taste in my mouth. A distaste actually, for the profiteers and fat cats that make money off of a corrupt legal, criminal and judicial system that encourages incarceration rather than treatment and separation of families rather than systemic therapy and monitored involvement.

Because remember folks, like it or not we live in a society where "family values" and the benefits of a moral society are only for those who play by the rules. Everybody else gets the shaft, children included. But these children are victims themselves, of an overly punitive and unjust criminal system that is sold out to corporate prison firms. Inmates are just "products" that the taxpayers "buy" in order to keep the prison (store) open for business. The more products, the more opportunity for sales and income.

I was told on this trip that former Oklahoma First Lady Keating owned or part owned or somehow benefited from the larger than normal prison complex in the state, and that the state's prison population grew dramatically under Gov. Keating's watch. I do like a good conspiracy!


Jr. High Drama (6)

As the summer slips away and you need internet entertainment, your faithful blog-master once again provides a fresh insight to the daily grind of the Middle School Educator.

******************************

Shanna- Mrs. __________, can you call my mom and tell how much money I will need for when we go to McDonalds... please and thank you.
PS. Also can you tell her I'm not getting in trouble anymore.
PS. Write me bakk please.

Mrs. ___________ - I will call her and give her the good news. I am very proud of your hard work!

Shauna - Okay, thanx Mrs. __________ and I want to know how I been doing through out these few months so far? I'm glad that you are glad of my hard work like I am too.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

House Hunting Part 4: A Suckerpunch Haiku

Pull out the rug please,
we are falling anyway.
Sitting for a while.


The house we are trying to buy has lots of mold in the duct-work, according to the guy who came to suck out the water from the recent rain storms. This is news that has punched us in the collective gut, considering that the 3 people before him who looked into the ducts with cameras didn't mention it at all.

So we're now thinking about how we can negotiate walking away from it, because the cost of containing the mold or treating it - or flipping the HVAC system - is not something that we wanted to expense before or after we bought the house.

We are going to step carefully, and probably take a few leaps - and hopefully we're going to land somewhere upright.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hosue Hunting Part 3

Things are progressing, albeit super slowly. To bring everyone up to speed, we've made (back in mid-May) an offer and have had a solid contract with the seller. This house is in the Chimney Hill addition in Edmond, just off of 15th street and Coltrane. We had originally set up our closing date for the 1st of June, which came and went. We're currently trying to get the work done that our lending bank is requireing us to do:

1) irrigation/french drain installed on west side of house to divert water runoff to the street. The uphill neighbor doesn't have gutters and all their rainwater flows right over the retaining wall and in the past has flooded the garage on the house we're interested in, and damaged an exterior door. Additionally, the retaining wall is pretty damaged/rotted. It's the standard railroad-tie retaining wall, that 30 years later is falling apart.

2) the seller is responsible for replacing a window (DONE!) and an exterior door. Interestingly enough, the selling realtor's husband is responsible for installing the new door, and it hasnt been accomplished yet, even a month after we had a contract and nearly 5 weeks after our banks appraisal of the property.

3) We're having the duct work (which is set in the concrete foundation) cleaned. This was supposed to happen on the 14th, but with the super heavy rain we've had to punt to the 16th. Which leads to...

4) having 7 of the vent boots/sleeves replaced. This actually was finished last Monday the 7th, and with aluminum (no rust!).

5) Some (a few) of the metal connections for the plastic (PVC) duct work have rusted through due to the water coming under the house from the lack of drainage on the west side. (See, it all comes full circle.) So we have to have some parts of the system coated with a safe, and permanent spray-on sealant. Interestingly, in 1981 PCV was available for the straight sections of the duct-work, but was not available for the fittings and connections, so they used metal - which rusts. And that guy cannot come do his work until the system gets vacuumed, which is on hold because of the new water in the ducts from the recent rain.

6) Then an HVAC repair guy is coming to replace/repair the plenum (which is the hub of the central heat/air duct system).

And all this needs to happen before the bank will let us close, which is re-rescheduled for Monday the 21st. So here we are...

Oh, and by the way - the seller is super nice. We inadvertently dropped in on her while meeting the duct spray guy. But her Realtor is quite a difficult person to work with.

Stay tuned!

Oh, and we want to close

Water Water Everywhere...

Early Monday morning we had some pretty heavy rainstorms in Edmond. They started at 4:00 am, and by 7 am we already had about 5 inches. I left to head up to Tulsa for my concentrated course and drove through super heavy rain at a snails pace. Driving 35 MPH on the Turnpike is killer.

Overall we got about 12" of rain from 4 am to about 7 pm. There were over 20 emergency rescues from vehicles that drove into deep water, from houses and business that were filling up with water, and from creeks and drainage ditches. Amazingly, no one was hospitalized and there were no fatalities.

Here are a few pics some friends have put up on facebook of the flooding:

Here's 2nd Street and Coltrane in Edmond, about 3/4 mile from our new house:

















Here's Covell & Western in NW Edmond.

















Here's 122nd & Penn - check the TOPS of the SUV's!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ghost of President's Past

Got this via email today.

I couldn't get past the first sentence. Not because of the topic of the piece, but because of the amateur lead-in. Get a thesaurus. Anyway, click the pic for the bigger picture.




Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Rundown

1) had a repair estimate appointment cancel on us, forcing a few other appointments to also be canceled.
2) took some headache medicine.
3) ran past the bank, dollar tree, post office, Old Navy and the new house to see if the exterior door had been replaced yet.
4) shook fist in anger at the yet to be replaced door.
5) had half of a left over Chik Fil-A chicken salad sandwich.
6) learned how to send email from my phone as a text message.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Yay! Something political/moral to rant about!

Here's an awesome bumper sticker I saw recently.














Don't strain your eyes.... here's a closeup:







You can get your own here, or here!

But why would you? Sure you're pro life, I mean who wants to kill unborn babies and death row criminals. Or terminally ill patients, or people only alive because of machines, or enemy soldiers? Killing is killing, right??

And we're all pro-God. Because Jesus said so. Who wants to be on the other side of that argument? No thanks. Besides, Jesus was really saying this because he and the disciples were about to go up against their biggest rival in the Judean Boccie-Ball tournament, and he was trying to pump up his team. I'm in seminary. I know these things.

And sure you're pro-gun. We have the right under the Constitution to bear arms and assemble a militia. Hey, I like a good Rambo movie as much as the next guy. But that doesn't mean that I want that happening in my front yard or even at the park down the street from my house...during a peace rally.

But my main concern with the bumper sticker, (and various other garments) is how can anybody claim to be pro life and pro gun in the same sentence? The gun is made for one thing: killing. And before we get off on a "guns are good for hunting" tirade, I agree. It sure beats the bow and arrow or the oh so popular spear. Merit Badges? Got 'em.

However, the gun pictured is designed not for hunting, but for killing at a short range, and usually that means people.

So I wonder how that puzzle gets put together. Being pro life and pro gun?? Maybe it should say "Anti-Abortion" "Pro-God" "Pro-Second Amendment".

Nah, that's too hard to read on a bumper sticker, and too many words to write on a hand.

House Hunting Part 2

So it's been quite the journey selling our old house, and buying a new house. As noted earlier, our first choice of house fell through. But our second choice seemed to be a hole-in-one. As I've learned, there is no such thing as an easy deal when dealing with Realtor, bankers and stubborn sellers.

Our old home sold in 2 showings, in 6 days. This was good. But it forced us into finding a new house super quick because we were quickly approaching homelessness.

Enter Chimney Hill edition in Edmond. We looked at a sweet house and just thought it was great. The only drawback is it's a small-ish lot and we like to have some space to roam. But the timing was working out great and we made a good offer.

Long story short (again), we're currently trying to get some HVAC ducts repaired so that the bank will allow us to close. We're already 3 days past our original closing date. Oh, and the seller is dragging her feet on doing some REQUIRED repairs to an exterior door and a large window.

You can see all the public access info about this property at the Oklahoma County Assessors website.

Stay Tuned!

This Old House

Here's Doug (father in-law) and I trying to get the fridge out of the house. we had to take off a door and nearly took off the other by accident.
















And a final shot of the front of the house before we drove away for the last time. Sad? Not really. Sentimental? Sure.