Guess Who's Back!

One week later, and I'm FINALLY posting from my own home computer again, and this time from my own high - speed internet connection!

WOW! YouTube, and Internet Radio, and downloads, and..... arrrr... My head is spinning in circles! What do I check out next?? Yikes... If I was not A.D.D. before, I'm sure going to be now...

How do you all do it?

Perhaps the initial shock value will wear off, and I'll grow accustomed to this as I did my dial up!

So, first off... Sorry folks.. Many of you had some good posts - that I wanted to comment on, but due to limitations - I did not.

As of now, my Google Reader is PACKED full of goodies! I cant wait to dig in and check out all that I missed over the past week...

Secondly, I'd like to thank those that stuck with me during this ordeal... It's still not TOTALLY resolved, but the 'net surfin' is good to go....

I see that Motherof8 tagged me with a meme... This one does fall into my "meme guidelines", so give me a couple of days - and I'll get that up here.

But now I do have to get to some WAY OVERDUE online bill paying...

Wish me luck.
David.

Creativity - in the form of a new Arch-Villain

Another post from the land of "internet - limbo" with a "very special" thanks to Comcast and their inability to discover why this cable modem is being uncooperative...
Hint: Hey Comcast... This modem.. It's a RENTAL. I got a novel idea.. Instead of spending the numerous hours you claim to be trying to find out how to get this modem to cooperate, why not simply send a tech out with a NEW ONE and swap this piece of.... um... piece of "useless crap" for one that... oh, I don't know... For ONE THAT WORKS?

Ok... Bitter rant over. Think of your happy place... Think of your happy place... Think of your happy place...
Now, back to the topic at hand. In addition to having "Loads-O-Fun" with Comcast, I am having "Tons-O-Fun" at work... Putting in over twenty hours of overtime in the past several days. This has come at the cost of my sanity, my sleep cycle, and my family time.

Having seen precious little of the kiddos over the past few days - Last night we sat down for a (well needed) family dinner. Just prior to dinner, the kids were either reading or drawing in the living room. At dinner, #3 of 5 proudly announced that he has "invented" a new comic book villain. Being (what I would consider) the least "creative" (i.e. More realistic of the 5 - not a bad thing), anyway, being the least "creative" of the bunch, I got really curious as to what he could have come up with...

Comic book guy - I am not. Super-Hero guy - I am not. Creative guy - Not too much.

Yet, my own #3 of 5 has created the arch-villain... The Rotten Carrot.ã

You want to know what super powers #3 of 5 gave The Rotten Carrot? The Rotten Carrot's primary power is (and I quote) the "ability to make your vision get worse"...

What?? Make your vision get worse?? Just where in the world would that come from? What sort of sick, twisted mind comes up with a super villain who can give you glaucoma, cataracts, or astigmatism?

Oh, wait a minute... I get it now...

Eating carrots are supposedly GOOD for your eyes, so the antithesis of eating carrots for optic health, would be a "Rotten Carrot" that would cause optic degeneration.

So which nether-region of his deep dark psyche this came from, I am fearful to consider, but... consider if you will the duality of the story... The constant battle over good vs evil, over ocular health vs degradation, over vision vs blindness... It's not all that far fetched of an idea! I can hear the dialog now!
The Rotten Carrot.ã - Stay back (Insert your own super hero's name here), or you will force me to form a clouding of the crystalline lens of your eye, causing an obstruction of the passage of light into the eye, which will gradually cost you your sense of sight.

(Your own Super Hero) - Noooooo!!! I have no way to defend myself against the mighty vision debilitating powers of The Rotten Carrot. You win this round Rotten Carrot, but you can expect that I will return...
Wow... What a creative little story. GOOD JOB #3 of 5!!! There may yet be hope for a sick / twisted sense of humor outta you yet! If I ever get out of internet limbo - perhaps I could post an original drawing (made by the creator) of The Rotten Carrot!

I better get outta here - before my vision degrades...

Still waitin' to see you on the high speed end of the net!
Father of Five.

Fourth Day

This one will be short and sweet - as I am not even on my own computer...

I'm still waiting to meet all of you on the "Comcast High-Speed" side of the internet - but we will have see just how long that wait will be.

The installer came out on Thursday. By Thursday evening there was still no connection. I called Comcast that evening and was told that my cable connection appeared to be too "noisy" - and they would be sending a technician out the next day to check the line. Since I had to be at work - Mother of Five would be there to let them in.

After the technician left, I got a call from the Mother of Five that he had arrived at our house, and that he had taken one look at the Scientific Atlanta 2100 cable router that the installer provided us. The service tech then told her that they had a bad batch of these modems that needed to have some sort of re-boot done to them, and it could ONLY be done over the cable line from "Denver". He had not even checked the line for noise - so I was hopeful. He told my wife that he would call Denver to have the reset done and then call us back to let us know when it was ready. I was hopeful it would be working when I came home from work. That was Friday morning.

Since then, I have made two separate phone calls to Comcast. One on Friday, the other on Saturday.

When I made the first call to Comcast, I provided all the info I knew about the problem. When I made the second call, I played "dumb" - claiming to not know anything about why my new fancy-dancy high-speed internet is not so high-speed at all.

In both instances I was given the same story that the technician had provided, and was told that although unlikely (because they had staff working over the weekend to do what I needed to have done) it could take up to 48 hours. (Which would be great - but the fact is that we are now quickly approaching the 72nd hour - and I HIGHLY doubt I'll see or hear anything until well past the 96th or 120th hour mark (4th or 5th day)).

At this point, my "dial up" service was much faster and more reliable than my (yet to be seen) "always on" (yeah right...) Comcast high-speed internet connection.

- - - - - -

I'll say this much about Comcast. If you do a Google search for Comcast - you'll read all kinds of horror stories about dealing with them...

I have had Comcast Cable - and recently upgraded to their "Starter level" digital cable package. Overall, I have been pleased in my dealings with them. The staff has been happy, friendly, and knowledgeable - and this is really the first and only problem I have encountered so far. So I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt... for now.

- - - - - -

I do not think that it is an unrealistic expectation to have this resolved by the end of the business day on Monday. That would be five days from the time the internet was first installed. At this point I'll patiently wait to see what happens.

Stay tuned folks....

"Sorry FOF, You Tiger Now"

"Sorry FOF, You Tiger Now"
These are hopefully words that I will not have to hear.

Ok, I hear you all asking.... "Why would you ever hear these words?"

For those of you who have not seen the "You tiger now" commercial... Let me elaborate...
A man (named "Roger") tattooed from head to foot in tiger stripes - is calling a tattoo shop (in what we are to presume to be a "remorseful buyers" situation). When told (apparently for the umpteenth time) that his tiger stripe tats are permanent, "Roger" (the main character of the commercial) advises the employee of the tattoo parlor that the answer could be different "this time". "This time, I am calling from my new Comcast digital phone line" says Roger (who was under the impression that Comcast digital phone is supposed to make everything sound better). The commercial ends when the tattoo shop employee apologizes, and reminds our remorseful friend of the (seemingly) obvious message... "Sorry Roger, You tiger now..."

(Link to YouTube video for "You tiger now" commercial).

While Comcast digital voice can not help fix EVERYTHING, it can help fix one thing for me...
My leap into the world of High Speed Internet!

Yup... You read it right folks... the frugal, cheap-skate, skinflint of a father that I am is stepping out of the late 80's early 90's and moving from a dial up connection to a high speed connection!

I have avoided doing this for quite some time, ignoring the "introductory rate" offers - knowing full well that the prices (after the "introductory rate") are outrageous. But last night, a very nice fella from Comcast came by while I was working in the garage. He too had the "introductory rate" offer for their highest tier - premium services. I told him I was not interested, and why. He let me know about Comcast's "entry level" services, and how I could get high speed internet, and telephone for what I am paying for dial up and phone service now - all without any contracts. No, it would not be the "premium" service - but it would be noticablly faster than my current dial up connection.

Current
48.00 (phone) + 10.00 (internet) = 58.00

Comcast's Offer
24.99 (phone) + 24.99 (internet) + 3.00 (cable modem rental) = 53.00

So while the "break-down" is different, the final cost is the same.... Only it will provide high-speed internet access.

With this offer comes Comcast's Digital Phone Service... With the Comcast Digital Phone Service comes my promise... No full body tiger tattoo's for this Father of Five!

Expected instillation - Thursday.
See you all on the other side of high speed!

FOF Observation #9

The "FOF Observations" is a series of "Perpetual Posts" where I will share with you, my readers, short little "one line" observations that I have made (or will be making) on being the father of a large family. You will be able to access each of the posts in a cohesive list by clicking on the "FOF Observations" link in the "Perpetual Posts" group on the sidebar.

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What do you call a collection of car seats that were gathered from my car, the Mother of Five's car, and in perpetual storage in the garage?

theater seating

I don't know about you, but this looks like "Theater Seating" to me!

============================================

I wish I had invested in the car seat companies BEFORE I got married.... sigh...

A "Mini-Contest"

Ok... No prizes or anything (other than bragging rights), but who can most accurately describe what I did today?

IMGA0507

Another Sort of Payday

Well, if you have not checked out my BLOGROLL before, I'll let you in on a little secret. It's long. There are a lot of dad blogs on there, and it gets overwhelming to try and keep up with. I have quite a number of dad-blogs that I read... Both regularly and faithfully.

Reading through all these blogs, some posts catch (and keep) my attention more than others.

One of my favorite features of other blogs is the regular "weekly summary" of posts (from other bloggers) that the author enjoyed. It's a nice way to get a taste of, or introduction to other dad-blogs I may have never known about before.

Honestly... I cant imagine being able to keep up a schedule - posting once a week.

So, what I'd like to try is to start a bi-weekly (once every TWO weeks) compilation of posts that I feel deserves some extra attention.

I'll will try to post them on Payday - because... well, because Payday makes the Father of Five a happy-boy. Happy-boys like posting more than un-happy-boys.
But... in all honesty, I SHOULD not be all that happy. The money that is deposited in my account on Payday is not really mine. No.. The money belongs to my mortgage company, my car loan company, my insurance office, the gas company, the electric company, and to a couple of miscellaneous credit card companies....

When it's all said and done, and I get to see what little I am left with after the Government and everyone else get's their portion of my paycheck, I am sad to see what little is left of what I earned... That (you would think) would make me an un-happy-boy.
I'll try and come up with some sort of cute name for this "regular feature" (like the FOF Observations)...
(but to be honest - "Another Sort of Payday" does not sound all that bad!)

Here are the first group.

- - - - - - - -

Do you role model Forgiveness? by Discovering Dads
This post is a couple of weeks old, but very insightful and even more inspirational. I started to leave a long comment on it - but never had the time to finish it like I wanted to. So, instead - I'll give it some attention here instead.

This is a series of articles on Discovering Dads where a select group of dads answer a question from one of a select group of moms have asked. Topics include "Honest Communication", "Flirting", "Porn", "Mom's Body after Baby", and "Quality Time".

Dear Pedophile by Black Hockey Jesus
BHJ writes a (satirical) letter to the local "alleged" pedophile who frequents the kiddy-pool in his Homeowner's Association. If I cant, I'd like this guy (BHJ) to be looking out for my kids at the pool!
(Caution: BHJ's Blog Title (not posted here) may not be considered "apporopriate" in certain circles)

Why I can't Relax by Daddy's Toolbox
Wow... It takes A LOT to get me to feeling emotional about most things. This story really left me feeling... feeling... I guess it left me feeling thankful and lucky. I too feel like I can not relax - but this is a whole different level. Very moving post.

Put Your Top Back On!

Ok, since I did not have a camera with me to document this, you'll just have to believe me.

#3 of 5 had a friend over for the night. His mom was going to drop him off after I got home from work. I was inside, and the kids were all outside. Suddenly #2 of 5 ran into the house - almost gasping - "Dad, you have to come out and see ______'s mom's new car..."

Assuming I was going out to see that she had been in an accident, or something like that - I stepped out and found myself face to face with the rumbling V8 of a late 80's model all white Corvette convertible with it's top down - and #3 of 5's Friend's mother behind the wheel. It looked EXACTLY like the one in the photo below (only the top was down...)

VetteThis was an odd sight to see, as this family are dairy farmers. I am used to seeing them in a van, truck, or SUV.

The mom had a big grin on her face, and told me the story of why she was "using" this car. (A visiting relative boxed her in, and so he told her to take his car.) She said she could see #2 of 5's jaw drop as the 'vette rolled up our street, and into our driveway... We had a pretty good chuckle! After a few minutes of visiting, I was asked if I wanted a ride.

I have to admit - first and foremost I am a Ford Guy. I have always had luck with the Fords I have owned, and I have owned several.

'76 Granada
'84 Ranger
'90 Tempo
'94 Escort

My idea of a dream sports car would be a Mustang. Sure I love the looks of the classic (60's era) Mustangs, but when I "came of age" into the world of the automobile (16-18 years old) - my dream car was an 1986 or 1987 Mustang GT. I loved the body style, and in 1988 when they change it, I felt sick. I felt it looked more like a spaceship than a Mustang. But - I am (if nothing else) "cautious" and "reasonable" - so I stuck with my 76 Ford Granada instead.

Regardless of my affinity for Mustangs, and my general dislike of the GM muscle cars (Trans Am, Camero, and Corvette) - I am not "below" an opportunity to take a ride in a genuine US Muscle Car (regardless of it's origin), so telling #2 and #3 of 5 to watch all the kids for a few minutes, I grabbed "shotgun" - and we took off!

The first thing I noticed. Getting into a small two-seat sports car is not for me. Thank goodness gravity worked in my favor! Next, I was grateful that the top was down. Because had the top not been down, my head would have been pushing through the top. The top edge of the windshield would have hit me somewhere between my forehead and the bridge of my nose. The top edge of the windshield actually inhibited my view of the road. And of course, having struggled to get INTO this car, you can imagine what getting out was like.

But even with all these things, the ride was oh-so-worth-it.

  • There is nothing like the throaty rumbling of an idling V8 - except maybe "feeling" it from inside the car while hearing it!
  • I have never had my hair (or what's left of it) blowing in the wind in a convertible before - it was quite an exhilarating experience!
  • My 2000 Saturn 4cyl lacks the "in your seat" g-force factor that a Corvette provides when you (may or may not) "Punch it" a little (not that we did that mind you... That would be "illegal" and slightly "irresponsible".)
  • The noticeable "head turning factor" as you drive down the road in an all-white classic Corvette.

Thanks to K________ for a great trip! It made me feel "young" again!

Just a side note back on the topic of the Ford Mustangs. The body re-design they did around 2005 (the current body style) is one of the best looking cars on the road today. They look even better than the 87's... If anyone from Ford is reading this, and in need of a review for the Ford Mustangs - I'd be happy to take a complementary one off your hands - and give it a full review here on FOF! (wink)

Back to the Grindstone

It has been an enjoyable two weeks home with the family. I wish every day could be like this. But like "all good thing" - my vacation must "come to an end".

Here I sit at 5am - Back to my regular routine of a quick check in to the blog world before I head off to work - help to protect the citizens of the city I work for (for 8 - 12 hours) - then home again with my family.

As I ponder my calender, and look over the remainder of the summer - I can see that any sleep I caught up with over my vacation will quickly be taken from me - as I am seeing a horizon full of overtime.. Overtime of the "early in" variety. Early in as my shift starts at 3am - with a 2:45 report time - with a 1am alarm clock... (Snooze bar'ed until closer to 1:30).

Sigh... Only 28 more years to go before retirement.... Assuming there is such a light at the end of my rainbow, or I live long enough to see it.

Being "Bean Boozled"

*** Caution - This post is not for the faint of stomach - Read at your own risk ***

We got a nice little gift today, when my sister (the mother of Two Texas Twins) was in town for a three hour lay-over. She and her husband are relocating from Texas to New York, and this weekend is the first of three trips that his business has allotted them to fly to New York to look for a new home. My sister's husband intentionally booked a flight that required a plane transfer here in Minneapolis / St. Paul - and they had a three and a half hour layover!

IMG_0001The Mother of Five had to work (which we were all pretty disappointed about) so, in between my errands, working on my Father-in-Law's basement, and MOF's work - she dropped the kids off with me, and I took them to my parents house where my Dad was bringing my sister and her husband. (The twins were left with their grandparents back in Texas).

My sister brought her nieces and nephews a little "cache" of treats, trinkets, and gifts.

Inside the "cache" (in what can only be described as some sort of payback for something I did wrong many-many long forgotten years ago) , was some candy called "Bean Boozled" by Jelly Belly Jelly Beans.

"Bean Boozled: Dare to Compare" says the package.
It also adds "CAUTION: Contains weird and wild flavors".

Well, in a most devious sort of way, Jelly Belly (catering to the 13 and under crowd who thinks this sort of thing as a "challenge") packaged some wonderful flavored jelly beans along with some outrageously nasty flavored jelly beans - IN THE SAME COLOR. The thought behind this sick and twisted idea is that you'll never know exactly which flavor you are getting - the weird or the wild.

For you doubting Thomas' out there, I left the image large enough to read (you may need to click it open to see the full sized image) but just in case, I'll list the flavors of the duplicate jelly beans. This is a scan of the acutal box of "candy" my sister gave her nieces and nephews.

IMG_0002----------------------------------------------------

Licorice - Skunk Spray
Buttered Popcorn - Rotten Egg
Cafe Latte - Ear Wax
Juicy Pear - Booger
Coconut - Baby Wipes
Top Banana - Pencil Shavings
Berry Blue - Toothpaste
Peach - Vomit
Carmel Corn - Moldy Cheese
Plum - Black Pepper

----------------------------------------------------

After a wonderful dinner my Mom prepared for all of us, the kids were anxious to rip into these "ripe" flavors - so we all agreed, sitting back and watching in our own form of great anticipation as they began the candy adventure.

#2 of 5 was the first to pop one in his mouth, and just before he took the plunge, he proudly announced that he was either going to be tasting Booger or Juicy Pear.

As he started chewing, we were all on the edge of our seats... We asked... "Well....?"

#2 of 5 said (and I quote) "Well, it 'aint Juicy Pear" as he began to grimace...

The rest of the evening was full of "Ewww's" and "Blech's", and "Disgusting's"...

Thanks Sister-o-mine...

A Valliant Effort

This weekend, (the 4th of July weekend) the wayward, prodigal and oft M.I.A. son (#1 of 5) decided to show up for the first time since way before the demise of the 'scort (and his own means of transportation).

One of the "revelations" that came from having him around this weekend, is that he had been considering a career in the military. His (maternal) grandfather is former Navy, and he was actually EXCITED to talk to us about, show us (on the net), and contemplate with us - a life in the Navy.

On Monday - this wayward and prodigal son had asked me to take him to the recruiting office. Not wanting to diminish his enthusiasm in any way - we did just that.

Upon arrival at the Navy Recruiting office, we were met by a shining example of what a Navy officer is all about. He really was a stand up sort of guy.

#1 of 5 and the recruiter talked for a few minutes - about Navy Life, and the recruiter said that he needed to gather some information before they went too much further. He started off by having #1 of 5 fill out a basic information form, and they (the Recruiter and #1 of 5) went through it. After successfully completing that initial form, the Recruiter took out a second form - this was a medical form...

Very quickly we learned that #1 of 5's hearing impairment, and diagnosis of Tourette's Syndrome left him "ineligible" for service. I should have realized this before we even left, but to be honest - he has overcome these things so well, that I forget about them completely. (He wears hearing aids in both ears, and as far as the Tourette's goes, you may never know he has it if he did not tell you)

We thanked the Recruiter for his time, and headed home. The drive home was almost surreal in it's silence - when compared to the dive too the Recruiting office - in which I could not get #1 of 5 to stop talking.

I felt a significant sorrow for his let-down. More than I have felt in a very long time for him... He really found something to motivate, and excite him. Something that would help him move foward, but found yet another road block. I am trying my best to keep his spirits up, and to "shift" his level of enthusiasm from the Military to something else he can find an intrest in, but I fear that this will diminish significantly, and (as much as I do NOT want this to happen) we will see a return of the wayward, prodigal and M.I.A. #1 of 5 that we have come to grips with.

Regardless of the outcome, I am proud of what he TRIED to accomplish.

So this is how it begins...

A moment in time...  A life of crime...  That's all it took, to become a crook...

Yeah, ok.. So I'll never be a poet - but after yesterday's "fiasco", I may have to consider a life of crime.

As most "large families" can attest, getting ANYWHERE on time is a challenge... There is bound to be one or two that can't find their socks, shoes, need to go potty, need one last drink, forgot (fill in the blank), needs (fill in the blank again), or having been lost in the confusion (in Home Alone fashion) is still in their pajamas.  We are no strangers to this generalized rule

Yesterday was no exception.  Church started at 8:00 am, and we were leaving the house at... PERCISLY 8:00 am.  Needless to say we were rushed.

Now being the "extreme" kind of guy I am - I have recently gone from one extreme to the other.  If you are a regular from WAY back, you may remember my post titled "A 'Key' to Happiness".  There you will find a story (and photo) of my key ring.  I used to (used to being the operative phrase here) carry ALL the possible keys I would ever need in a day (and a few I would almost never need).  I was teased.  I was made fun of.  I was ridiculed for my keys.

When I got my new car, I vowed to change my ways, and decided to go the other direction, and carry (on my key ring) only the two CAR keys.  I went from 30 some keys to 2.  Now, I do have to admit I like carrying two around much better (as do the lining in my pockets) - but I still feel naked without the rest of my keys - So I carry them with me in my work bag.  (Which on any given day is in my car...)  But since I am on vacation, I had the work bag in the house, and therefore my house key inside the house.

When we left in a hurry, I failed to remember that I left my house-key inside (as the Mother of Five usually has hers) - but since I was driving, she too left her keys at home.

Upon arriving home from church, we quickly discovered that we I had locked our family out of our own home...  MOF tried the garage service door, and I tried all the windows and doors.

burglary1We were able to access the (attached) garage - so I started digging through the garage for anything that could help me out.  I contemplated hammers, drills, crowbars, and other various BURGLAY TOOLS.

I opted for a screwdriver to try and remove a screen to the one window we oft forget to lock.  Once said screen was removed (in broad daylight) we were devastated to find that the (usually unlocked) window was locked.

I went back into the garage, and tried the service door one more time (since I never checked it myself).  I found the knob locked, but when I went to "rattle" the door - I pulled on the door, and >>click<<.  Even though the door knob was locked, the door had not latched.  In other words, I could have just pushed the door open...  But instead I locked the door...  I gave my wife a little bit of a hard time (in a joking sort of way...) and quickly broke down, knowing what I had to do.

So the children would not see how easy it was to break into our house get hurt by any flying shrapnel - I had them all leave the garage, as I took out my frustration for locking ourselves out (twice now) on the innocent lockset.

Entry was made, the decapitated lockset removed, and a spare passage set installed in it's place.  The collateral damage was minimal (a small indentation, and paint scraping to the inside of the door).

burglary2 burglary3

So begins a life of crime.  First notch in my belt... Burglary.

An American Image

This post started off as a comment left for AtHomeDaddy, and his Lawnmower Not Included post. As I wrote, and the comment grew - I decided to morph it just a wee bit into a post of it's own - dedicated to AtHomeDaddy, Marge, and CoffeeShopPop's comment.

I'm adding CoffeeShopPop to the Blogroll, and my reader - Funny guy... Although, I TOTALLY disagree with him on the whole Chuck E. Cheeses issue... For THIS father (and his social anxiety issues), an afternoon at Chuck E. Cheese may as well be an eternity in Gehenna...

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An American Image

I can almost see the group of 11 year old little-leagues in the back of Marge (yeah, I know.. it's "unsafe", probably "illegal", and politically "incorrect"), but I can still see 'em back there, on their way home from a 1970's era little-league game, all eatin' 25 cent hot dogs from the concession stand (that normally would taste like cardboard, but because they came from the ballpark, they have that little extra magic somethin'-somethin'), exaggerating the exploits (still fresh in their imagination) from the game that just finished a few minutes ago

A Proud Dad in the front with his 11 year old son, and six of his friends in the back.

The truck full of kids and one dad bounce up the long gravel driveway to "the farm". The kids all hop out and are greeted by "mom" (and they all call her "mom") who is holding a fresh baked apple pie (and some ice cream) for "her guys"...

The boys (hot, sweaty, and dirty - covered with catchup and mustard from the dogs) all high five each other, and they all turn to one kid and say "your parents are SO cool".... That kid (blushing slightly, but with a smile brimming from ear to ear) turns to his parents and tells them "Thank you".

An hour later, with bellies full of hot dogs, apple pie, and ice cream - Dad tells all the boys to hop back in the bed of the Chevy, and drive them home... Visiting for a few minutes with each of their parents as he makes his rounds.

Marge is seen driving down a dusty dirt road into the sunset. The dad (with one hand on the wheel and the other arm (proudly) around his son's shoulders) sit in the car in silence, just enjoying each other's company.

That is what I see when I look at Marge... I see an American image!

An American Image...

Brought to you by the mind of "Father of Five" - Inspired by "Marge", AtHomeDaddy, and CoffeeShopPop.

Today's Feature... A Guest Post

Today's feature is a guest post over at Dad's Outdoor Journal.

My closest friend Ed, told a delightful little tale of friendship. In fact, it was so delightful, I asked him to write it down as a "guest post"!

THE UNEXPECTED SLUMBER PARTY

R.I.P. - 1994-2008 - Teal Green Ford Escort

1.9 liter, 4 cyl, 4 door sedan, 5 speed manual, 35(+) mpg



#1 of 5 (the wayward / prodigal / M.I.A. son) called home to tell us that he crashed it for it's fifth and final time last Saturday. (That's the 5th crash in less than a year for anyone who is counting....)

Man, does this kid have a guardian angel or what... 5 crashes, and (thankfully) NO ONE (from either vehicle - each time) has been hurt...

This was the first car that the Mother of Five and I bought together after getting married, and has since been passed back and forth within the family over the years. This little vehicle required little to no maintenance over the years... It was EASILY and BY FAR the lowest maintenance vehicle I have ever had the pleasure to own...

Timeline
1994-1996
- Leased by us.
1996-2003 - We chose not to renew the lease - Vehicle was purchased by my parents through us.
2003-2007 - Back in our hands after Parents replaced it.
2007-2008 - Given to #1 of 5 as a means to get to work - abused (literally) until it's untimely death.

While my parents had the 'scort - it was totaled in a hail storm. My parents kept the salvaged vehicle and drove it for a while - then gave it (back) to us. The "golf ball" surface of the vehicle was a running joke at my work, and particularly with my good friend Bill - "The King of Clubs" who said he could recognize the car instantly due to the hail damage... It was always worth a good laugh between us.

We gave it to #1 of 5 as a gift for doing as well as he was doing (on his own). The freedom the car provided quickly changed his lifestyle into something a bit more "reckless". Unfortunately, he did not use the newfound freedom to continue his "progression", and instead, the car became a tool of "regression".

This news (about the 'Scort) is (in my humble opinion) a blessing in disguise.. Now he will be unable to pay for insurance, let alone a replacement vehicle for some time to come. "Hoofing it" or taking the bus for a year or so is bound to help him appreciate what he had, and hopefully (when the time comes) his next vehicle, and the freedom it provides a "wee bit" more.

Little 'scort... Thank you for your years of faithful service. You will be sadly missed, and thought of fondly. Rest in peace my little friend... It is well deserved.

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