What do you get?

Q: What do you get when you mix a family with a moderate religious background (i.e. an early familiarity with traditinal Christmas hymns), a dad (who just may be a "father of five") that has a pretty silly, and twisted sense of humor, and a 7 year old girl that is on overdrive from Christmas?

A: Revised Lyrics. Tonight after church, #4 of 5 revised the lyrics from "Hark, the Herald". She changed only one line, (actually half a line) but it still made her dear old dad chuckle in spite of himself....

Original lyrics:

Hark! the Herald Angels sing,
Glory to the new-born King,
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinner reconcil'd.
Newly revsed lyrics:

Hark! the Herald Angels sing,
Glory to the new-born King,
Peace on earth and smell my feet,
God and sinner reconcil'd.
Smell my feet ?!??!?!?

Now, where did that come from exactly?
(And, no fair asking the Mother of Five where it may have originated from!)
(Blushing, looking down at the ground and scuffing my foot against the dirt...)

All I can say is thank goodness we were already home, and not still singing in church!!

Christmas 2007

First of all, as many of you may have noticed - I have been absent here since before Christmas. I did not even really send out a Christmas Wish - but rest assured, you all were in my thoughts and good wishes for Christmas (or whatever Holiday you celebrate).

But, now it's almost over.

Christmas 2007 has come, and is almost finished.

We have one "event" left - Christmas at the in-laws. Originally, we were going to get together and celebrate Christmas when two of my wife's "out of town" siblings were going to be "in town". Unfortunately one of the two were able to make it, but we kept the date anyway. This will be Christmas 2007's last hurrah, and that takes place on Saturday.

Well, in the past I have mentioned some of the downfalls to working in the field I do. This last week has been the exact opposite! This week, I was able to enjoy one of the upsides to my job, and it's rotating schedule. My days off this last week were Wed, Thurs, and Friday! That means, I have had a blissful set of days off, spending time with my family, and with my children!

I have had three glorious days filled with non-stressful time playing...

American Girl Dolls with #4 and #5 of 5... (Nikki, and "Julia" (Nikki came pre-named, "Julia" came without a name, and #5 of five (3 year old) had to come up with her own name.)) Nikki and Julia came with enough accessories to keep these girls changing clothes, hats, shoes, diapers, etc for quite some time... (They have yet to stop)

Legos... LEGOS ROCK!!

Helping #3 of 5 assemble and play with the"City" (Police and Fire) sets he received - FD Hovercraft, a ladder truck, with a and pull behind rescue trailer / zodiac rescue boat, police motorcycle, fire / resuce helecopter, squad car, and "paddy wagon" (do they still call them that???)

Helping #2 of 5 assemble and play with the "Mars Mission" sets he received - Alien Mother Ship, Recon Drop Ship, MT-31 Trike, and the Alien strike

You cant forget watching #2 of 5 play his "Age of Empires III" game, all the kids play the new DDR (Dance, Dance Revolution) game, the Pirates of the Caribbian Life Game, and the Rubix Revolution.

Then, there was setting up my wife's new countertop convection / toaster oven (I cant find a link), filling my new Sansa e260 with enough music to choke a horse!), and programming the new family Remote Control. (No one knows how it got under the tree, the "To / From" tag only said "Just try and loose this one")... This is still a family mystery! I wonder who could have done this?? (Grin)

These are just some of the highlights of a few of the things I spent time doing with my kids this past week.

As I reflect back on Christmas, I can see that we have much to be thankful for, and as I complain about life in general, I can see that I have no true basis to complain. I have a wonderful life. I have great children, a loving wife, a nice home, and (by no means am I wealthy) I do have the means to keep my family afloat, and even enjoy a few nice things for Christmas.

Today is my last day off, and I start back to work tomorrow morning at 3am, and start in a week full of overtime... Nothing like jumping back in with both feet forward... (Or, jumping into a wood-chipper - feet first)...

Taking back some of what is mine!

With a quick break in the cold / snowing weather - I decided to "take back" some of what is mine.

Specifically, my DECK. It was nice enough outside today that while the girls were making their snowmen - I took my deck back from Mother Nature!

Too bad we are expecting another 2-4 inches of snow this weekend!

I guess the old saying is true.. "It's not nice to fool mother nature"...

Digging into the archives

By now (if you have hung around FOF long enough) you know my weakness for humorous talk radio.

Prior to Ron & Fez, I was involved in a long term affair with Loveline (with Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew Pinsky). When my shift switched, and I could not listen to them on my way home from work, I bought a FM Radio recorder for my computer. I started making MP3 recordings of the shows. I have just about a years worth of shows recorded that I have not yet listened to. (16 CD's full)

Last night, for the first time since 2005 - I broke one of the shows out, downloaded it on to my MP3 player, and laughed my arss off! Man, I forgot how entertaining Crolla and Pinsky were together.

Corolla has a morning radio show (Official Link) but it is not syndicated here in Minnesota, and I am still on dialup - so downloading is not an option...

Is there a "talk radio twelve step" program?


They say bad news always happens in threes...

In the catagory of "way too early"...

First was Kevin DuBrow of Quiet Riot.
Next came Dan Folgelberg (who I was never a fan of, but do enjoy "once and a while")

Anyone want to venture a guess who will be next? Kind of like a Death pool...

Busy Schedules

Due to some slots that are empty, and several illnesses that have gone through a few of my co-workers, my work schedule has been... well lets just say it has been a little hectic (to say the least). One of my newer readers - Linda, along with several of my co-workers will understand this schedule, but the rest of you can expect to see little swirlys in your eyes while you try and figure this out.

You first need to know that I work rotating shifts. 7 days on, 3 days off, 7 days on, 4 days off - then start the rotation all over again.

Due to some shortages, many of us have had to work a little extra on our days off. (Thanks to Bill!). Because of this, I am on day five of a nine day workweek. Of the nine days, five of them (so far) have been 12 hour shifts, with a total 28 hours beyond the normal 56 I work in a (normal) seven day workweek. Of the five 12 hour shifts, four of them were planned, and one was a "forced early in".

(A phone call at 6:30 pm that says you have to be back in at 3am instead of the normal 7am.)
(A 3am start means a 1am alarm clock for me.)

Needless to say - I have had very little time for posting. This morning though (because of a 3 hour nap, and an 8pm bed time) - I am wide awake at 4am. (This is going to hurt later I am sure...)

I got caught up on reading some of my comments, and leaving one (longer one) on Dad Stuff. (Man, do those hyperlinks take extra time or what???)

Tonight is our kids school Christmas Concert. Since #2 is in sixth grade (the highest grade at St. John's) - this will be his final year. St. John's puts on a musical play each year that involves ALL the students (Two levels of preschool (The "Littlest Angels" and the "Wee Angels" up to 6th grade). The 6th grade class is the one that gets to preform the acting portion of concert, and the other grade levels fill in with the musical numbers.

This will be very odd for me - #2 will be the first of my five (#1 was half way done with 6th grade when we moved here) to actually perform in the acting portion. It will feel very odd - but I am looking forward to this!

(I just pray to God that there is not another Scheduling conflict at work - otherwise I miss it.. Maybe as you read this you can say a quick prayer, or mediate, light an incense stick, or whatever your belief has you do to help make sure I can attend. Just no "sacrifices" that include killing anything please... That is bad karma in my book!)

If any of you think it would be a good idea to become a police dispatcher, or have children who think it would be a good idea to become a police dispatcher - please, get in touch with me. Although it is very rewarding, and very interesting, the "costs" that are associated with this job sometimes make me wonder.... Don't get me wrong.. I love my job - If I did not - I would have been gone a long time ago - it's just from time to time, the job keeps me from "life".

It has it's costs and sometimes they are quite high.

So, other then trying to keep my head above water, work, and getting ready for Christmas, I am getting a little burned out. I will be missing another "lunch" with fellow blogger Lisa from "Many Things Do Not Fly, Don the always witty former webmaster of the now defunct http://www.offthedeepend.org/ (and soon-to-be published author), and our mutual friend Jenny. (Come on Jenny - give me something to link for you!). But after reading Lisa's most recent post, I am wondering if that may not be such a bad thing!?!?! (Grin).

I do have something planned that will undoubtedly result in a good (and lengthy) post - something that I am looking forward to. But I have to keep it a surprise for now.

Until then - thanks for checking back in.

Some Ron & Fez talk.

I am listening to my recording of Tuesday's Ron & Fez show, when East Side Dave made an announcement!

Although I don't know them personally, I'd like to congratulate East Side Dave and his wife Casey Elan for their expected new baby!

It's hard to not feel personally involved with your favorite radio personalities - especially Ron & Fez, and even more so with East Side Dave. He openly talks about his crazy life, and even got married live on the show! I think that is what makes me love them so much! You get to feel like you know them - personally.

Well, this will certainly result in some really good radio!

I dont know if you will ever see this post, but if you are reading this Dave or Casey, congratulations, and good luck from one of your Minnesota radio buddays and fellow parent!

(Now, you only four more left to go!)

Another Missive titled "Dear Friends,"

Yup - it happened again.

If you use a feed reader you will have seen two empty posts titled "Dear Friends" (one referring to a PDF file - that was not present here on FOF), and a second talking about how "you know the drill". A few of you may have even received an email WITH the attachment. Regardless, I feel I need to explain.

Once again have been victimized by a slightly moderately severely disturbed co-worker who is hell bent to try and convince you of my insanity. This time, the suspect created (ahead of time) a PDF file with the text and photos you see below.

Ignoring (for a moment) the insane ramblings, and inane archaic references to bizarre historical "pop culture" events - The fact that this suspect would go to such lengths (building a PDF ahead of time and keeping it "in wait" till the opportunity presented itself) is frightening enough, but when you add the creative disturbing text along with how much work they put into getting these "Missives" out - it is just frightening.

No wonder the therapist refused to see this person anymore. There are some very disturbing areas of this brain that are better left undisturbed. The world will be a better place.

Sit back, and enjoy.


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Dear Friends,

I am compelled to make some corrections / additions to my blog.

Some time ago, while thinking of a name or title for my blog - no matter how long and hard I thought - I could not come up with a good portmanteau. "Blog" is short and to the point. Everyone who has any semblance of conciousness knows what a blog is. "Spork" – saves money and resources by combining a spoon and a fork – especially handy for eating salads. I had tried "Fathive", "Lifherive", Thifetherive" . . . nothing would work.

Try something else, then.

Unfortunately, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" was already being used so, I would plagiarize another's graphics and enter my own title:

"The Life of a Father of Five" aka . . . "Chaos in Paradise"

Ha! More words! More chances at getting hits on the search engines!

Pity the other blogs with shorter names, thus, not as well-known as mine:

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FOF Observation #6

"After all, who really sees the bottom of your shoes anyway? . . . Hey, come-on... They are comfortable if nothing else!!"
Father of Five . . . . (ME!)

It has been brought to my attention than my shoes are in need of some minor repair. I have been warned if I do not tend to them immediately; my old shoes will be forcibly removed and replaced by a new pair of Nike tennis shoes. The shoes are the "Marshall Applewhite" model of Nike, which is from the "Heavens Gate" collection.

I looked them up on Ebay:
- "39 pair of Nike tennis shoes - Like New - Worn Only Once"
- "Free UFOlogical Study Guide DVD With Each Pair Sold! "
- "Free Phenobarbital/Vodka Drink Mix "
(and wait, there's more . . . . )
- "Free Head-Sized Plastic Bag!"
- "Free armband – "Heaven's Gate Away Team""
Next-Day air shipment from Rancho Santa Fe, CA is available.
That sounds like quite the deal, and, who wouldn't mind co-workers using force to replace one's worn footwear? I mean, who am I to resist if I were to be "punished" for being a dirty, nasty boy?

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I don't know how to title this post.

It's either "The End of an Era" or "Man, do I feel Old".
You see, I heard today that Kevin DuBrow (former lead Singer of Quiet Riot) died today.
(AP News Article)

Well then, I have to choose another band to replace Quiet Riot.
Hmmmm . . . . let me think . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Got it!

Porcupine Tree used audio samples taken from Applewhite's video message for the song "Last Chance to Evacuate Earth Before it is Recycled" which appears on the bands album, Lightbulb Sun.

If you fall asleep with me
You can dream and drowse
The minutes turn to hours

We could climb a tree or two
And watch the sun go down
Upon our sleepy town

After all the time I spent with you
Summer went away
And we just weren't the same

It's just you and me alone
Not grown ups but not kids
You kissed me on the lips

Last Chance to Evacuate Planet Earth Before It Is Recycled
la la la la la laaaa la allalalalalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa


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Sleep Depravation

By the time I go to bed tonight (Tuesday - Hopefully around 9 or 10 pm) I will have had
a grand total of 14 hours of sleep since Friday morning.

de·prave - Pronunciation [di-preyv]
– verb (used with object), -praved, -prav·ing.
1. to make morally bad or evil; vitiate; corrupt.
2. Obsolete . to defame.

- noun
moral perversion; impairment of virtue and moral principles; "the luxury and corruption among the upper classes"; "moral degeneracy followed intellectual degeneration"; "its brothels, its opium parlors, its depravity"; "Rome had fallen into moral putrefaction" [syn: corruption]
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.

Okay, next post will be about deprivation – you all know I am depraved and somewhat morally putrefied.

I so much enjoyed that song above, as it speaks of sleep and dreams. Oh, to sleep and dream . . .

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Why can't someone find a use for my old shoes? Maybe some type of doorstop, emergency birth control device or temporary housing for vermin? – There has to be some way to reuse them. I am very concerned about my carbon footprint and greenhouse gas discharge; hopefully I will succeed in a twenty-percent reduction this year alone! I went to the very helpful website http://www.carbonfootprint.com/Minimise_cfp.html and found several things I could implement immediately.

1. Reduce intake of cabbage, legumes and egg products
No more cabbage borscht
No more eating an entire 84 oz can of Van Decamps Beans
No more pickled eggs

2. Eliminate rumination
No more regurgitating food for a second, third or fourth "chew"
No more belching methane
No more pies (less evacuating ON the earth)

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Does this make me less interesting by conforming? Will I become dull, bland, listless . . . Sounds like my life needs a bit more cowBELL! What is missing in my life? The ART BELL radio show.

How I long for his caller's UFO abduction stories, the tales of cattle mutilations and other barnyard tales.

True, Ron & Fez show is a worthy replacement for Art, but something is still missing.

I believe it is the way in which I listen, not what I am hearing.

For example, when I would listen to Art Bell, late at night, under the covers with my Ray-O-Vac 2D-cell flashlight, I was in my own world. I would leave just enough opening in the covers over my head so I wouldn't pass out from hypercapnia.

At night, with a sandwich-size ziplock baggie containing Keebler crackers, a can of Hawaiian Punch at my side and my trusty transistorized AM radio, I was in bed heaven.

I would wait until my wife was asleep, then ever so slowly, ease the mono earpiece from it's coil around my transistorized friend. After cleaning out the offending earwax onto my wife's pillow, I would push the phone into my ear, turn on the radio eager to hear Art's show. Sometimes, the tuning control would inadvertently move to another station, making me guess how far and which way to turn the dial. On rare occasions, I would need help from Mr. Shine (my trusty Ray-O-Vac flashlight) to find Art's show.

With the covers now over my head, my breathing vent adjusted and in my Star Wars Boba Fett jammies, I could nibble away at my Keebler's while Art would inform me of the past, present and pending UFO conspiracies. It was so much fun in my safe place!

All those late nights have taken their toll on my sleep pattern. Now, I lay awake at night, staring at the ceiling, breathing fresh air, stereo headphones on, listening to 32k MP3 music for hours.

Sadly, now, the music numbs me rather than to inform, the fresh air keeps my organs alive and functioning well, the stereo phone keeps me from hearing approaching danger, Mr Shine - damaged beyond repair long ago from leaking zinc-carbon batteries. I miss my nighttime snacks. I miss the man on the Hawaiian Punch can. Now, packaged in plastic, with some label showing pictures of fruit . . . big deal, I want the punch-guy back!

I have lost a part of myself. (Usually I lose my keys, wallet and checkbook) I have lost that "safe" feeling. (My wife told me if I ever, ever went under the covers, spill-pop-and-get-cracker-crumbs-in-the-bed again! - I would beg and pray for a quick and painless death.)

The other day, I found my transistorized friend inside the bottom dresser drawer, wrapped in the Erik Estrada CHiP's throw blanket. No battery, so I took one from the kid's room smoke detector. Turning it on all I could find was "CCO – 830" and a horrific squealing / squawking noise. No matter where I tuned, all that would come through the speaker was this awful sound! I thought to myself, "There is NO way Ann Coulter can be on EVERY station!"

Sadly, I can no longer listen. With the intercom system, cordless phones, computers, video game consoles, handheld video games, handheld personal massagers and constant irradiation from my neighbor's WIFI network, my radio . . . my transistorized AM radio. . . my friend, is useless.

The torch has passed . . . that special thing you treasured . . . replaced by IC's and MP3's, PDA's and PTO's, DVD's, STD's . . . pass the peas.


A Major Award!

Today I received word that I was the recipient of a "Major Award". No, I do not believe it will it be delivered in a large wooden crate nor was it made in Fragile, Italy - but it is exciting just the same!

Last week, fellow Dad Blogger Phil over at "A Family Runs Through It" talked about "Bad Guy Bob", and Bob's "influence" on the TV and computer time at his home. He also announced a contest enabling a "Bad Guy Bob" to help another family needing his assistance.

I submitted an entry (which you can see about half way down in the comments on the Bad Guy Bob post).

I was informed that Bob will be coming to our house!

Boy oh, boy... Wont my kids be excited!

On behalf of my whole family (since I do not think my kids will be very "thankful" for Bob to arrive) I'd like to thank Phil, and "A Family Runs Through It". If you get a chance, be sure to swing by there. "A Family Runs Through it" was one of the first "Dad Blogs" I started reading on a regular basis (and because of it's "alphabetic-power" starting with the letter "A") his blog is on the top of the list in my feed-reader, and therefore is the first Dad-Blog I visit each day! A Family Runs Through It" is a great example of what Dad-Blogs are all about!

If you want to find out more about Bob, visit his website, stop by Amazon (the reviews have been great so far!) and be sure to check back here! I'll give our family a month to get used to Bob - then I'll let you all know how it has been going!

Stay tuned for more info on BOB!


Well, I finished up getting the Mother of Five's "Christmas Presents" installed, and running (you can see the "test towell" floping around in the dryer (unit on the right)).

The towel has some green on it, and you can see it towards the top of the porthole.

I still have a couple of things I want to "tweak" (like insulating the rest of the vent line) - but they are both operational!

Tonight starts a new round of having to be up at 1am and working 12 hour shifts... By the end of the week I'll be putty again. I hope to stay ahead of the curve - and as soon as I have this post typed - it's off to bed!

Merry Christmas?

Not quite what I had in mind for our Christmas, but...

..Washer (The photo of the washer is not on the pedestal.)

..Dryer (Both the washer and the dryer on pedestal like this one)

Merry Christmas Mother of Five!



It snowed (and substantially snowed) a whole month earlier than last year.

As I type this we are in the midst of our second snowstorm of the year.

Snowstorm #1 brought between 6 and 8 inches to the ground. Today we are told to expect between 4 and 6 inches.

By tomorrow morning, we should have a foot of snow!

Enjoy the photos!


I just want to give some Kudos out to Jeff at JDZ Photography for a successful NaBloPoMo!
I know I couldn't have / wouldn't have been able to do it, and he got sick of it by the end of the month, but he stuck with it all 30 days!
If you have not swung by, go check it out.  He has some great pictures up there!
Congratulations Jeff (and all NaBloMoPo participants), you have earned some well deserved time off!

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