We have reached another one of those milestone moments.

Two summers ago, he volunteered as a seasonal “Councilor in Training” at Phillipo Scout Reservation.

Last summer he took a (paid) seasonal position as Kitchen Staff (while his younger brother did a stint as “C.I.T.”) at Phillipo Scout Reservation.

These were great experiences, but the reality of having to drive him back and forth (two+ hours round trip) up to four times a week really took its toll on our time management, gas budget, and wear-n-tear on our vehicles.  It was less than ideal, but in this economy and job market – I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help my kiddos become successful in the future.   


BKThis year (actually a few weeks ago), #2 of 5 he accepted a “regular” part-time (non-seasonal) position…  LOCALLY!!

Yup, you got it!  BURGER KING!


bkkingAlthough I’d LOVE to see it (and would be willing to pay some of my hard earned $$ to make it happen), I am pretty certain that #2 of 5 will NOT be donning that creepy oversized Burger King head, climbing through your window and into bed with you to hand you a breakfast croissant when you wake up, or stalking you outside your bedroom window handing you an eggnormous, meatnormous and cheesenormous sandwich when you open your blinds,  But, gimme a break, eh?  A dad can have aspirations for his son, cant he??  Wait… Isn’t (or wasn’t) Burger King’s slogan “Have it your way”?


Hold up a minute…  Come to think of it, I just may be able to overlook the creepy-factor of it all if someone (even in the creepy Burger King dude)  were waiting outside my window to hand deliver a breakfast sandwich that is described as “eggnormous, meatnormous, and cheesenormous”…  I’m just sayin’…  

All kidding aside, it is indeed fact.  Huzzah-Huzzah, ring the bells!!  #2 of 5 is now gainfully employed!

He filled out the on-line application (with very little help), and the next day they called him for an interview.  His interview was delayed, and then almost forgotten on the re-schedule date, but in the end they offered him a job.  We ran out to get him pants and shoes while waiting for a uniform shirt to arrive.  Finally (about two weeks after being hired) he started working / training, He has slowly begun working a couple of days a week as fill-in during their rush-hours, and is learning his way around the business.  He has now been working for about a month.

One day last week, the following Facebook banter appeared on #2 of 5’s wall (I am blue, he is red).

“So, working at Burger King today, I had a person ask me if we sold McChickens three times after saying this is Burger King.  Oh, the intelligence of some people…”
“Wow!  Some people amaze me…  That being said, I’ll take a Big Mac”
“No.  Don’t even…”
“Oh, all right then…  Just make it a McDouble and I’ll leave you alone!”

Then, one of #2 of 5’s maternal uncles chimed in.

“#2 of 5, in your blood is a long and proud lineage of Burger King flippers.  Good to see you carry on the tradition over there.  There can be only one true champion of fast food.  Their food (presumably referring to the McChicken, Big Mac, and McDouble references) is subpar and not worthy of mention in the hallowed walls of Burger King.”

That’s when I remembered…  The Mother of Five, each of her siblings, and #1 of 5 were all Burger King employees at one point in their lives!

I guess he is just fulfilling his destiny.

Gun Shopping

This week kicks off this season’s Trap Shooting Season!  #3 of 5 wanted to partake again this year (which I suspected) – so this year I wanted to increase on his success from last year and upgrade him from shooting 20 gauge to 12 gauge.  

Like his father, #3 of 5 is a lefty.  Unlike his father I wanted #3 of 5 to have access to a left handed gun, so we started our search several weeks ago.  Due to “budgetary concerns” our choices were pretty limited.  It was going to be a Browning BPS (bottom eject) or Remington 870 (left eject). 

We went to a couple of different stores, and had him shoulder each gun.  I had him slide the action, sight down the barrel, swing the muzzle, work the safety, etc.  I have always shot a Mossberg which has a tang safety.  The Browning BPS uses the same style which I thought #3 of 5 would like best  but in the end (all things considered) he liked the Remington 870 best.  He said he liked the feel of the grip and forearm better, the lower vent rib sight picture, and felt as if the 870 was a little lighter. 

Since we were fitting #3 of 5 with a right handed gun, I began my search for a left handed 870.  I called and stopped in to an number of places.  My experiences varied greatly. 

The first serious inquiry I made was with Gander Mountain (where we were trying out the fits of the various guns).  When I asked about the availability of a Left Handed 870, the staff member told me he “thought” Remington stopped making them years ago.  He did not bother to look in his inventory, his order catalogue, a Remington brochure, or check with any of their other local stores.  In fact, this sales representative made NO effort to help me out what-so-ever.  It was not even busy at the time.  He seemed generally disinterested in the fact that I was there wanting to spend some of my hard earned money thus causing me to be generally disinterested in spending my hard earned money patronizing his laziness.  (Gander Mountain used to be my “go to” place for hunting / fishing / outdoor needs.  My experiences with Gander Mountain have gone so far down hill – that this may have been the nail in the coffin lid for my shopping at Gander Mountain.)

Next stop was across the highway at Mills Fleet Farm (think Walmart for all your farm and fleet needs).  They have a decent sporting goods department.  I was helped by a very friendly fella who knew they did not have what I was looking for in stock, but thought they may be able to order one for me.  He pulled out an order book confirming that info and gave me the name and number of the Department Head for me to call the next day.  (He offered to have the Department Head contact me the following day, but I was still early into my search, so I thanked him, but only kept it as an option).  Who would have guessed that the customer service at Fleet Farm would have FAR SURPASSED that of Gander Mountain?? 

My third attempt was with Cabela’s.  We have two in Minnesota.  I telephoned both, neither had any in stock, but I also got the same offer that Fleet Farm made (to have someone check and call me back).  I have had luck shopping at Cabela’s in the past, so I decided to let them do some looking into it for me, and if they could find one, I would purchase it.  I left my name and number and was told to expect a call early next week to let me know either way.  Early next week passed, and another week passed with no calls from Cabela’s staff.  Another strike out for the big Sporting goods chains… 

In the mean time I had checked with some smaller local shops, but no one seemed to have or could even obtain a left handed Remington 870.

With my time running out, I called Fleet Farm back, and spoke to the department head I was referred to.  He confirmed the story the salesman told me about two weeks ago (that they do not have any in stock but would be willing to look into ordering one from a nearby store or Distributor).  He took my name and number, and promised to call me back.  (Since Gander Mountain and Cabela’s customer service failed me, I was not expecting much from Fleet Farm but I took the chance.)  The following day the Department head called me back.  He told me that the soonest he could get his hands on one would be mid-late May (the trap shooting season would be almost over by then).  I thanked him for his effort and just before we disconnected he suggested another store for me to try (something that none of the other stores did).

He gave me the name and number for Allman’s in Morristown, Minnesota.

The next day I telephoned Allman’s.  The staff at Allman’s were very friendly, and told me that not only did they have one in stock, that they had TWO of them!  I was ecstatic!  I told the salesman that I would likely be down sometime during the weekend to take a look at what they had to offer. 

Unfortunately, I was unable to make it down that weekend, but the Mother of Five and I made a little afternoon “road trip” (lunch and gun shopping) on a day that we both did not have to work (but the kids had school).  When we arrived we were greeted by the staff, and when I told them what I was looking for, another salesman from further down the counter said (in a jovial manor) “Couldn’t make it on on Saturday huh?”. 

This guy remembered helping me on the phone from almost a week previously!  That’s when I knew I was in the right place.  I did spent a little more at Allman’s (not to mention the road trip and lunch out with the Mother of Five) – but in the end it was all worth it.  While it was true that they were the only place I could find one in stock, it was also Allman’s OUTSTANDING customer service that got them the sale!   

Left Handed Remington 870

I would be remiss for not passing along a little kudos to Fleet Farm too.  Their willingness to refer me on to their own completion (and calling me back in a timely fashion) has guaranteed them my continued support!  What’s even better about this??  Fleet Farm is opening a new store just a few miles from my place! 

The story of the new gun continues… Stay tuned!

Hair Metal Mania

I have previously written about my "quotation mark” family (and a little get together we had last fall).  Recently, I discovered that a member of that “quotation mark” family has become a professional performer!  Yup, it’s true!  If you are reading this post, you can claim (through six degrees of separation) that you are connected to the one… the ONLY - Davey Roxx of Hair Metal Mania!!! (Smoke x Spandex x 80’s Rock = Hair Metal Mania!!) 

Well, since the last time I saw Davey Roxx play was 29 years ago for our 8th grade graduation party (and he blew my mind then), I figured it was time to see him again – so I started watching their gig-list…  Truthfully they usually played a little too far south for this practical “father of five” to road trip so I kept a vigilant eye on their website, and their FB fan page.

HairMetalManiaThat’s when it happened!  Another mutual friend posted a link to a FB event titled “Hair Metal Mania invades the Babe’s”.  Quickly, I clicked through to find out that Hair Metal Mania was going to be playing close enough for me to seriously consider going!  I checked with the Mother of Five and she agreed to be dragged along attend!  Thus began my FB media blitz!  Over the next several days I posted (repeatedly) that I would be attending, and invited any of those “quotation mark” family members who were interested, to join me!

The night of the concert arrived.  We fed the kiddos, and got them settled in – then headed out!  The Mother of Five arrived and (due to crowded conditions) were seated in a booth with an obstructed view.   Thankfully, we watched the other booths closely, and it was not long before a much better one opened up and we quickly took the spot. 

Before the show Davey Roxx saw us at our booth, and came over to say hello!  We visited for a short time, but he and his fellow band-mates were busy preparing for the show.  Not long afterwards my fried Lisa and her husband Andy joined us, then Chris and her husband John, and then Bekky (another classmate).

Folks, it’s not too often that this Father of Five let’s his hair down like he did during the show – but let me tell you it was JUST what the doctor ordered.  It gave me a chance to unwind a bit, to relax a bit, and to socialize a bit – all which I do not do often enough!

I tried several attempts at taking some photos during the concert – but the camera on my iPod just didn’t cut it.  The video camera on the other hand, did pretty good.

Here you see Hair Metal Mania preforming Smokin’ in the Boy’s Room.  (Did I mention that my Cousin Bob and I saw Mötley Crüe preform this live during their Theater of Pain tour (circa 1985 – 1986)).  The camera handling was a little shaky at first, but I soon got the handle on it. 

You will see some GREAT footage of a Davey Roxx solo between 0:30 and 1:15!!   

Yes, I had way too many (four) beers (I hope I didn’t make an ass of myself) – but, I also had a GREAT time!  If you get a chance to check out one of their shows, do it!  I really had a good time!

Many thanks to Davey Roxx, Kari Layne, and the rest of Hair Metal Mania for truly great night!!

One Hundred Years Ago Today

GmaBettyjpgToday would have my final living Grandparent’s 100th birthday. 

I had very close relationships with ALL my grandparents, but from the age of 13 until 36, my Grandma Betty was my last living grandparent.  I was fortunate enough to have a relationship with her both as a child and as an adult.  I truly enjoyed the unique time I got to spend with her as an adult.  She meant a lot to me, and still holds a very special place in my heart. 

Happy 100th Birthday “Grandma-Grandma” – I miss you (and love you) very much!  

(Special thanks to my sister for the “gentle reminder” about this special date – and I’ll have a better scan of this photo up in a day or two.)

Garden 2012 – #1

After last year’s gardening success, the Mother of Five and I have kept some plans for gardening in 2012 in the back of our minds throughout the winter.  We talked about what we wanted to do with the garden, knowing that we had to do some planning ahead of time to make gardening a successful endeavor again this year.

Yes, yes, yes… We have had a mild winter indeed – and the days are now starting to warm up again – but it’s still early March, and this is Minnesota…  So our plans are still just that.  Plans.  Today though – I took the first step in this year’s garden plans. 

I was on my way home from a Boy Scouts of America summer camp informational meeting (and having found a couple of GeoCaches) when I remembered that I needed to stop at the local Home Improvement Center for a replacement part that I was needing.  It was there, on my way to the cashier lanes when the large display of garden seeds and supplies caught my eye. 

As I looked over all the ordinary and unordinary selections of vegetable offerings, I could not help but remember that the Mother of Five was at work for the day, and that one (or more) of our brood would be at various other locations, so I started thinking about planting seeds as a fun little project for the kids that were home.

Much like AtHomeDaddy’s experience (and still riding the “high” of last years succes – and the thought of making a fun afternoon out of planting) – I was unable to turn away from the siren’s song, and was lured head first into the seed packet isle.  Also much like AtHomeDaddy’s experience – I walked away from the isle twenty dollars poorer, but seven seed packets, two seedling trays and two bags of starter material richer!

Since we had not fully decided on what we were going to do with or in the garden, I picked up what I considered to be basic garden staples.  Tomatoes, green beans, bell peppers, lettuce, cucumbers, pickle sized cucumbers (the Mother of Five picked up a end of season clearance priced canning set last year so I thought pickles would be an easy fun idea), and Zucchini.  I figured it was a safe bet because the bell peppers were my only “me” choice.  We both like tomatoes, green beans, and lettuce.  The cucumbers and pickle cucumbers, and Zucchini were specifically chosen for the Mother of Five and various children in the house (but not me).

Who knew there were so many varieties of the same vegetables? Seeing as this was my first foray into the seed buying experience – I went with whatever option looked most like what we buy in the grocery store.  I still have LOTS to learn!

Once I got home with the booty, I took inventory (of the kids) and found I had two out of five home with me.  #3 of 5 and #5 of 5

#2 of 5 had a friend over the night before (i.e. an all night long XBox360 fest) so given the option to plant seeds, he was less than interested – and proceeded to curl up on the couch and fell asleep.  That left #5 of 5 and I to do the “dirty work”!

We had a blast!  We filled both seed starting trays with the seed starting mixture, and got one of the trays planted with seeds.  We left the other seed starter tray for when the Mother of five and #4 of 5 can be home to partake. 

IMG_0910  IMG_0911

IMG_0913  IMG_0917

IMG_0918  IMG_0919

#5 of 5 (seen above) asked if I would leave some of the cardboard I used to make the labels so she could make a sign that read “#5 of 5 and Daddy’s Garden”. 

I said we sure could!!

Science Fair - 2012

Today was St. John the Baptist’s annual Science Fair.  The fifth and sixth grade students can work solo or as a pair and come up with a Science Fair Project.  They are required to identify a problem and use their project to come up with a solution.

#4 of 5 decided to team up with one of her closest friends.  Together they came up with a project that tries to solve the age old problem of stain removal. 

The project consisted of staining twenty fabric squares and treating a portion of each cloth with one of ten different stain treatment options.  One set of ten were washed in hot water and the other ten in cold water.

They conducted the experiment a second time and documented their results, wrote a project paper, constructed a display board, and then presented their project to two independent judges.

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The above video was taken for our local newspaper, the Jordan Independent.

The girls (along with a few other contestants) were featured in an article for the paper.  Be sure to visit THIS LINK to check out that article!

IMG_0591The result?

They tied for first place!!

The girls and their project move on to the Regional Science Fair in Mankato in April!

I am so proud of these girls!! 

(And special thanks to the other girl’s mother who’s washing machine was used, and who put a lot of work into helping make this project so successful!)






Our previous year’s Science Fair Projects…  (#2 and #3 of 5’s Science Fair)

Science Fair – 2008

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