Monday, September 28, 2009

Rules are important. Follow them!

As a rule, everyone hates rules. In fact most people's rule #1 is: there are no rules. That works until about 5 minutes after one peels themselves out of bed. Then rules apply. Like no one should be occupying the bathroom within 10 minutes of my awakening. My morning relief must take precedent over all others' needs! My second morning rule is I absolutely have dibs on the sports page.

So do me the honor of allowing me to opine on the subject or rules. Enjoy mine below. Most have to do with driving, of course.

1. If you're in the right lane at a red light, please turn right. I hate having to wait for green as the second car in line when I could clearly be on my way to make it before Sonic Happy Hour is over.

2. Mmmmm Sonic. I actually have my own Sonic rules. They apply to the drive through. Only ice cream and drinks in the drive thru! Maybe, maybe cheddar bites or tots. Family of 4? No way! Pull into a slot. Burger? Slot. Two orders of cheddar bites? Close, but slot it. 4 drinks max. Basically, I should never really have to ever stop my car's forward motion while in the drive through. Why can't people get this? This isn't rocket science. It's not all about you, Captain Youplanet.

3. Car's should come packaged with multiple horn sounds. And each sound should be a universally understood tone, as follows.
Beep Beep-- Hey, excuse me, sir, but the light has been green for a couple of seconds now. I'm sure you'd like to go as much as I would.
Beep Beep Beeeeep-- OK, seriously, are you waiting for a specific shade of green?
Honnnnnnnnnk!!!!!-- You actually just sat through an entire green light. This horn automatically emits a signal to the DMV who dispatches an officer to revoke the driver's rights to operate a motor vehicle anywhere on earth except Shanghai. If several people in the same district transmit this signal simultaneously, the DMV will catch on fire and burn to the ground killing all who have fallen asleep in line. So use this horn only in dire situations. Like at 3:58 at the intersection within throwing distance of Sonic.
4. Cars should also come with easy to access message centers that display on windshield, back glass and side windows to easily share one's thoughts with passers by. Who hasn't been driving or riding along and you'd like to say something to the car you are passing like, nice hair, bodacious poodle, your right back tire is flat, your teenage daughter is making out in the backseat, or some snide retort to their bumper sticker?

5. Bumper stickers. While I would like to outlaw them, I realize that--quite hypocritically--I occasionally find one rather amusing. Therefore, let's just offer reform. No more than one bumper sticker per cause/candidate/club. If you hate republicans, dislike Christians, support Darwinism, like recycling, or think homespun saying are funny, then it just takes one Calvin urinating sticker, one fish with legs, or one zinger to amuse (or shake your fists at) victims stuck behind you. If you do choose to deface your back bumper, glass and/or tailgate, at least have the common decency to pull to the shoulder and let us pass.

6. Speaking of passing, let's discuss the use of the left lane. If you are driving anywhere near the posted speed limit, you have no business in the left lane. If you have to pass, do it quickly. Else, get over with grandma and enjoy the Oklahoma scenery.

7. Scenery. Not a lot in Oklahoma. But we do enjoy a good wreck. That is why we choose to slow to 10mph to gawk at the remnants of a crash that is often in the other lane of traffic, off in the ditch, or somewhere that does not require the over use of one's brakes. Rubberneckers should be charged $15 for the view. Proceeds go to fix the car that was smashed.

I have so many more, but I am tired. I promise an update on Francesca soon. She is talking like crazy nowadays. Not English. Probably not even Klingon. Just her own vernacular. I think she just says poop and feed me over and over again. Rule #8. Babies should come with subtitles.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Guest Blog Part 1 - My dad, Wayne Bullard

So, my mom and dad are on vacation to DC. Actually, greater DC. My dad was a sailor on a ship called the USS Johnny Hudgens back in the day. And the surviving midshipmen are having a reunion. And, as he did 2 years ago with the USS Lexington, my dad made a showing. I may add his first email later, as it is as hilarious as this, depending on demand.

The following is his second email to me detailing his trip. (Actually addressed to all 4 of us children)

Well, we made our cruise on the river OK.  It was a dinner cruise and the food was OK.    Some  kind of unidentified bits and pieces of meat in some sort of  sauce....I mean if you care for stuff like that-- we floated about and passed some of the old parts of town and watched the scenery from a window-- through the misty rain.   Lots of old sailors here.  Tonight we    had a meal of "potato crusted Halibut" just for the heck of it and it was OK.  Hope they didn't catch it in any of the muddy polluted waters we spent 3 hours on.
    Tomorrow they will "haul" us down to the Mall and I don't know where else yet. 
We are going to decide that tonight-in a few minutes I think.
Sunday is a free day.  There is a  big march tomorrow on the capitol called the 9/12 thing and I will see it I guess, whether I want to or not.  I believe it is another tea party.  Glen Beck is to speak.  I don't know what is left to see after tomorrow, but that's what Sunday is for.  We will probably just drive around, out to Mount Vernon and places like that.  I want to spend a little time in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.  I may go back to the Holocaust museum too, it's very interesting.
    Anyway, we are doing OK.  Except for the fire.
Last night the fire alarm went off.   At 1:35AM it did.  Very loud horn (brand new) and a white flashing light woke up our tired old bodies.  I peeked out and told Pat..."don't worry about a thing...I'm pretty sure it's a false alarm as I put on my pants."  I walked down to the desk and there about 55 people were on their way out.  Outside.  A fire truck  could be heard zonking his way toward the hotel.  Another one was coming too.  The Pakistani clerk was answering two phones a time saying..."Fire on floor 3, get out now!!!"    
    I went back to 131 and told your yawning mom, "just a false alarm but let's get dressed."  She is a gentle soul and I sure didn't want to alarm her.  "You might want your purse, your car keys, your cell phone, and anything else you would want to save in case the fire is real and we can't come back in," I said, calmly. 
     With that, and a backward glance at my laptop I went back to the hall.  By this time the loud fire alarm had about ruined my hearing but I could see a new and alarmed group in the main lobby which is where we went.  I went on outside to look for smoke.  Harry said, "it's up on 3rd floor" as I noticed he was in undershirt, PJ bottoms and one sock on his right foot and a bare foot on the other.  I stared at the foot and he said, couldn't find my other sock and didn't look for the shoe.  My room is on the 3rd.  "Did you see any fire?" I asked Harry, but he said, "no, just smells like the place is burning down and it's smokey."
    That was enough for me.  I didn't know which to do first, move my DeVille further off from the hotel and then go back inside and encourage my frightened wife to come on and say to her   "Let's  go to Oklahoma."  I decided my car was far enough away as the firetrucks continued to arrive along with police cars.  I scanned the parking area for TV vans to see if any of them wanted to see how I was taking all this, but saw none.
     I went back in the lobby from the chill night and my wife was doing an excellent job concealing her fears and concerns.  In fact she was trying to cheer up some of my old shipmates and showed no signs of the fear I knew was bound to be enveloping her very being.  I let her be....ready to make a break for it by way of my soon to be afire room if I had to.  Two more firemen, carrying axes, followed closely by two wearing OBAs**  made-their way to the stairs as a cop warned people not to go back upstairs nor use the elevators.  I hadn't seen such pessimism since Bill Cathey had delivered his prognosis on main street Allen one night about a car wreck out on 48 which had "killed" Glenn Hunnicutt...or so he mistakenly thought.  **Oxygen Breathing Apparatus
     My friend, Happy John and his live in Church of God of Prophesy girl friend had yet to show up and I was concerned but I didn't know what room he was in.  I should not have worried.  I couldn't have awaken him or her if I had  wanted to.  The next day John said he and Margaret had gone to their  room and gone to bed after taking out their hearing aids, their teeth and unscrewing their fake appendages and ingesting a few sleeping pills.  They heard nothing and were quite bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning--in stark contrast to the Jap across the hall who fled wearing only his T Shirt.  I didn't look back at him to be sure if he had any shorts on or not but I know your mom did.  Had my name been Lot, she would be a pillar of NaCl.
     I was more than a little bit let down when the firemen starting coming down on elevators, as spic and spiffy looking as they had looked going up...the fireman, the one who stopped and explained it to us,  said it was a bag of microwave popcorn mis-programmed on a microwave and while there had been no actual blaze, had there been one, he would have put it out along with the other dozens of dedicated ax swingers in attendance. 
     Tired and disappointed we all went back to our chambers where we tossed and turned for more than a few minutes before drifting off to sleep. 
     I will now take your mom down the hall, where a rousing party is underway in one of the meeting rooms and continued this blessed meeting.  Have a good night, Love,
Wayne Bullard
601 E Lee Street
Allen, Ok.74825-0517

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ode to the Padres and other Sub-par Teams

So my Padres climbed out of last place last night. That's really the only silver lining in my dark cloud of sports recently. My Sooners just had an awful terrible weekend which culminated in their entire All-America team being out for the season. (exaggeration but probably will happen before season's end) Guess I'll have to buy a program on Saturday. Who are these people?

Of course, my quixotic nature still fixates on a national championship. But, I'll surely wake up and smell the overpriced coffee. Or at least drink a cup.

But back to my Padres. Yes, I have been a hopeful fan for 27 seasons now, 14 of which--including this season--have been below .500. So yes I am faithful. That makes me a good husband and perhaps a better Sooner fan in the long run. Yes we are spoiled, us Sooners, but we shall persevere. In the 90s, even when things were bad beyond belief, the stadium was still 85-90% full. With only 2 exceptions, at least 65K people came every year from 1994-1998 (the dark ages).

But I was brought up that way. Don't abandon your teams. Don't abandon your family. Don't abandon your church. Lord knows we could've left our church a few times. Geez, it was just terrible at times. But we never left. We stayed through thin and thinner. Guess that's why I have very little understanding of "church hoppers" but I guess it's necessary on occasion.

So here's to you, 4th place Padres! And to you, last place Thunder! And even to you, 0-1 Sooners. I'll be there on Saturday. I'll cheer you on against the Idaho Kiwanis Club. And I'll be there at the end, when Bedlam strikes, even if things don't look promising for the Crimson and Cream.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Steve's Long-Awaited Football Preview

It's football season, and I've always wanted this kind of forum. No one ever gave it to me before, so I had to create my own. Thanks, Blogspot, for having me.


Who knows? Steelers? Patriots? Cardinals? Vikings? Giants? Cowboys? Colts? Probably one of those.

Three NFL Predictions for 2010:
1. Tom Brady will break a fingernail and it will lead off Sportscenter.
2. Tony Romo will enter a new relationship in the vicinity of mid-December (silly if only for the reason of having to buy her a Christmas present, then turn around and come up with something for Valentine's Day) and the Cowboys will lose their last 4, including the first round of the playoffs.
3. The Detroit Lions will win 2 games.


As much as I would love to see my Sooners win it all, it just seems unlikely. First, we play a very difficult schedule. And while all our games are winnable, it seems like there will be a trip-up somewhere, even if we slip by Texas. Plus, Sam Bradford could rescue an entire orphanage from a fire and still fall painfully shy of surpassing Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy in Jesus Points. It really is difficult to watch. Now, I'm all for players being strong Christians, I just hate it when they have to play for such evil empires. What's next, Rick Warren's son playing at USC?

So, who is the favorite? The only good thing about Florida returning 42 starters (seemingly) is that with all their top recruiting classes they have stacked up, it means keeping those guys off the field another year. Florida and USC are the only 2 schools who benefit from graduating players.

Oklahoma State. Since many of my readers are Oklahoma State fans, allow me to make a few prognostications for you. First of all, your season consists of three games. The rest are not only winnable, but double-digit favorite winnable. You are assured of 9 wins. But, welcome to the big time where nine wins is a letdown! This is how it feels to be unsatisfied with mediocrity. Isn't it great?

Game 1: Georgia. How to beat the mighty Bulldogs from the SEC. One, jump on them early and often. Bulldogs can smell fear. And mailmen. So don't show up with any letters in your satchels...or stuffed in your pads. Breaking in a new quarterback should mean that Georgia will not score early. The Pokes need to jump up 14-0 after one quarter of play, cruising to a 21-7 halftime advantage. The second half may be a little more difficult. Georgia has perhaps the top offensive line in the country. This group of fatsoes will take over in the second half if OSU cannot sustain drives. My prediction: OSU does jump ahead and holds on for a 31-23 win. Cowboy fans drive home happy with the game and completely distraught over that intro song that country music poser wrote. Even Toby Keith would be embarrassed.

Game 2: Texas. Vince Young was in 5th grade the last time OSU beat Texas. But shorten the game to 30 minutes and OSU owns the Horns. So that's the key to this one. Figure out a way to cancel the second half. I am sure with a little creativity and a lot of Boone Pickens' money, this could happen. Whether he buys a thunderstorm, Gallagher-Iba tips over, Al Brown streaks across the field, or some cows get loose on the field, I don't know. But I know this: at the half, OSU 27, Texas 10.

Game 3: Oklahoma. Well how can I possibly be objective on this one? Oklahoma is unbeatable at home, only losing twice in Bob Stoops' career. Once to TCU and once to ... uh oh. Could it be? Could OSU pull off the unthinkable again? Um, no. This is Sam Bradford, not Nate Hybl. But it also won't be the blowout the past 3 games in Norman have been. Bedlam will also be shockingly low-scoring this year. Final will be in the neighborhood of 24-14, much like the 1984 showdown in Norman, which I attended as a 10 year old. And yes, Zac Robinson is no Rusty Hilger.

As for the Sooners, I predict a nice opening win over the Mormons. We'll call it 37-14.

Next blog: I promise a Francesca update. And, Breck, I'm working on your request.