Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Out with the old...

Out with the old and in with the new.

There is some of the old that will be kept and will share space with the new.

This past year has been a journey in itself. Parts of which will bleed over into next year like a red sock in with your t-shirts and underwear.

Like most folks, I will make a resolution or two here in a couple of days, and forget about them in about a month. Me? I got no will power when it comes to keeping resolutions.

For 2010, let's say I will try and do better with any resolutions I may make.

Things that will bleed over:

* This blog of mine. I hope to improve my freelance writing skills.

* My current job will end in the next few months...future not quite known but have a couple of leads.

* Garage that needs about bleed over, there's stuff in there from years ago.

* Go fishing. I have lures that have never seen the water. Will change their status.

* Get more exercise. I have a perfectly good neighborhood with paved streets and lighting that beckons me to try and wear it down. Here's to going for a walk.

* Try to eat out less. The convenience just ain't worth it.

* Support my writing buddies and buddy-ettes more through their efforts with comments and feedback.

* When I see someone that looks familiar or I might know and haven't talked to in a while, stop and say hello. By the way, this drives my wife up the wall...but it also offers material for the blog.

So let's say good bye to most of 2009 and welcome with open arms and minds the new year of 2010. A new decade to embrace. New friends out there to meet and old ones to grow older with. And if you continue to come back and visit this blog spot, I will do my best to give you something to talk about, even if it is just my meager life.

Here's wishing you a Happy and a Healthy New Year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What's in a name?

I know I am talking to a few of you out there that beat me to the experience of being a grandparent, but still, there is so much material to write about I just have to.

Once our granddaughter, ABBY arrived; all 8 pounds and 8 ounces of her almost 20 months ago, the topic of conversation concerning what she would call her grandparents surfaced.

Oh yeah, we all had our preferences and expectations, but never actually realized that we, our desires would never figure into the equation.

In our family there has been nieces and a nephew that had to discern between two grandfathers of the same name...Harry. That situation was diffused with them being called Little Grandpa Harry and Big Grandpa Harry. The kids worked it out themselves I guess. I may have to ask them who actually came up with it as they are now all grown.

When we venture out to my mother in laws home, to explain it to Abby, we just tell her we are going to "other grandma's..." and she is perfectly happy getting out and into the car for an adventure.

Deep down, you just hope your grandchild takes a liking to you for whatever the reason. The fact that my wife is keeping our granddaughter during the day while our daughter works, gives us the 'home field' advantage. Abby is training us as best she can and wrapping us around the smallest of pinkie fingers known to mankind.

Oh sure, our daughter had ideas as to what she thought ABBY should call the grandparents, but believe me you...that didn't quite work out. (is that one of them regional phrases??? believe me you..?? kind of like, 'fixin to'..?? fixin to eat, fixin to leave, fixin to start getting ready?)

Well, the idea was for Abby to call us, Grandma and Grandpa. In her mind and she is a quick study on the 'stuff' in her world; when she needs either one of us, she just calls out...

Na-Maw.. or Pee-Poe, depending on how big the need is.

To capture the effect of 'things' in her world today, we have the vacuum cleaner standing guard over the Christmas tree and making sure she doesn't venture too far into the ornaments that are proclaimed...'low hanging fruit' for her inspection.

She helps me push on the oak tree in the front yard. Something that is only understood between granddaughters and their grandpa. We have to keep it growing in one direction right?

I haven't bought her a fishing rod yet...YET I said, but it will not be too much longer. Getting her near the water without a U.S. Coast Guard certified rope tether to the nearest pine tree will likely be in the top ten list of precautions prior to a fishing trip...but that's another story.

Friday, December 18, 2009

In my mind's eye

What was it that first caught your attention?

Was it something in the wind or actually the wings of an angel brushing the air around you?

It's right about now that you are able to focus on the booming reverberation of the distant words that find your ear.

You search the area near you, making a scan of the horizon knowing you will find the source of the words demanding your focus, but there is nothing.

The air is completely filled with familiar words. So many that you wonder how can it be that you are perfectly positioned to understand and comprehend each and every word.

It's surround sound in its prime, yet you are outdoors with no obvious generating source for the ever increasing din of this supernatural event.

Suddenly and without any introduction you recognize the message from days past, years of your youth, years involving your basic foundation.

"Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name."

There is something different about the prayer this time. It's not really a prayer, but more of a proclamation. An announcement to all within earshot of what has been forgotten.

Bold"Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven."

A reminder of our teachings from days gone by. Basics that we opted not to keep in front of us.

"Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."

Giving thanks for the blessings we have and for the blessings we are still to receive, and the protection from our enemies.

"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."

Keeping our focus on what is real and not of the flesh that will only hinder our journey.

"For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, forever and ever. Amen and Amen."

As the quiet settles over our being, our existence, the realization becomes evident that we have just witnessed the obvious. Where we have turned away from our Creator, the actual creation has had to respond in our stead and cried out in our behalf.

"And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins."

Remembering the Reason for the Season, giving thanks in all things.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Catching Up's been almost 2 weeks since I last posted. Reckon some of you may be wondering where the heck I have been or what's the deal.

Wish I had a good story to tell you other than it's been a wee bit hectic around the Chambers' household of late. To steal a line from Mel Brooks he had in one of his movies....

"Work work work work work..!"

I haven't had a full day off since the Friday after Thanksgiving. So this coming weekend is looking might enticing with it leading into the final two weeks of 2009 and me getting the final 16 days off before heading back to the grind.

The grind is simply writing procedures to turn a chemical plant into a parking lot.

Weird sort of stuff at work it is. Our corporate office made the decision back in May to shut our little production unit down....using the words to describe the move as... "exiting the business". And the catch phrase from our CEO who does a pretty good mimic of Katherine Hepburn, kept telling us that this over and over again.... "It is what it is..."

And yes, that is where I came up with the name for this blog...trying to be a straight-shooter with the way I see things leads me to is what it is folks.

I talked recently about a good friend that is also a writer and has his own blog on a national web page...and it got me to thinking about these cyber world friendships we develop. Everything and everyone is so reachable and available now due to the amazing Internet.

Remember way back when you had a pen-pal and you actually wrote letters to each other and having to wait on the U.S. Snail Mail for your correspondence? This caused me to think about those folks that were into HAM radios. Having friends all over the world and tethered together by the microphone of your radio set.

Today, its the keyboard and flat screen monitor that allows us to maintain the global friendships we take for granted. Just let the system get hung up with a virus or lose your hard drive and you are just about helpless. Helpless to the point where you have to dial your cell phone if want to talk ear to ear to your friends.

My friend lives in Virginia. We hope one day to meet up and share some time on the water chasing the elusive little green fish we have come to love and hate at the same time. The little green slimy fish that thousands of anglers chase with a fevered intensity only to be angered to the maximum effect by a cold blooded creature that is unknowingly adept to creating such turmoil and chaos in a human beings world.

Pick any of the species of the bass. Largemouth, smallmouth, or the spotted bass. Each one can deliver you a boat load of grief on any given day, which is usually the outcome for most of us. But we continue on with our quest and we even write about our ordeal with the wily bass.

Simply stated and often heard around these parts, it's something in the water. Yes, I believe it is at least is something in the water and it is what it is.

Let's try and get together a little more in the future okay? You folks take care now and have yourself a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and may the Good Lord take a liking to you.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Unexpected Trouble

A good friend of mine writes for a national magazine's website.

Big surprise here, it's a fishing web page. Even more of a surprise, it's a bass fishing web page. Imagine having a friend....a writing friend at that.

Jaison has been writing his column for about 2 years now, and even though we have never met in person, we have talked on the phone, swapped comments back and forth, and even found some time to talk about bass fishing, and our writing.

The column Jaison shared this week was one of a close call. His chosen title was ... if I remember it correctly .... "Life Is Too Precious for Stupid".

My buddy lives in of the many states that experience actual seasons and all that comes with the different seasons. Cold weather that comes and sticks around for a while type of seasons.

Seems that Jaison and one of his fishing buddies hit the lake recently. Seeing as it was a cold day, all the precautions were taken to ward off the cold as best a person could and still be able to move around in the boat. The usual layering of clothing was the standard attire, topping off with a good parka over big overalls.

If you are a regular boater, you may see where I am headed with this...if not, just read on in the next paragraph.

Finding a desirable spot to fish, the big motor was stopped and Jaison found his way to the front deck of his boat, sitting on the pedestal seat to work the trolling motor. This all being pretty standard operating procedures among bass fishermen.

As the story goes, Jaison remembers reaching for something, but ends up looking up at the boat from the outside of the boat in the inside of the lake. The cold lake that is.

To answer your next question....No, Jaison had taken off the (his words) bulky life jacket when he sat down on the pedestal seat.

Efforts between Jaison and his buddy were fruitless in getting him back into the boat. The extra clothing was dragging him down. My guess is right about now, Jaison was at least 2 or 3 minutes from meeting our Creator face to face.

Through sheer refusal to quit the fight, a grip on the side of the boat was managed and his buddy got the motor cranked and idled towards the shore where Jaison finally was able to touch solid ground and make his way from the lake.

I haven't talked to Jaison other than a couple of emails where I relayed to him my concern for him and grateful that he survived the ordeal. Not making light of the situation, he did recall in his column about making a deal with God. Probably not much more than any one of us would have done had it been us in his shoes....let's make that...his water-soaked bib overalls and winter parka.

I did ask Jaison if he remembered to mark the coordinates of the 'hump' they were fishing, so he could go back another day to try again....but then, that's my jab at him for now.

Glad you're OK Jaison and thanks for sharing your story.

Folks, if you want to read his story in his words, go to and look for Jaison's story under The Reel World.

Humor Me

It was just one of those opportune times where the guy on the other end of the phone had set himself up perfectly for one of my patented retorts...and feeling generous, I gave him just what I thought he deserved.

Coming home from my monthly appointment with my shoulder doctor, I got broad sided by a Texas sized hunger pang or pain....your preference here, kind of like poe-tay-toe or puh-tah-toe...but back to being hungry and wanting a pizza with everything on it...and the story unfolded like this.

Found the number for this particular pizza shop who in my honest opinion makes the best pizza this side of the Louisiana border here in Texas and dialed them up.

Ring. Ring.

PIZZA GUY: Hello, this is Dave and thank you for calling your favorite pizza making place. Would you like to try one of our special large all meat pizzas for the low low price of....

ME: No, not today thanks, what I want is one of your large with everything on it pizzas...

PIZZA GUY: OK sir, you gonna want that with jalapenos?

ME: No, no jalapenos...just everything else.

PIZZA GUY: What type of crust you want on your pizza? regular, thin, pan ......

ME: Regular...just make it regular please.

PIZZA GUY: Will you be wanting any dips, drinks, or bread sticks with your order today?

ME: No, just the large pizza with everything on it.

PIZZA GUY: OK sir, we have one large pizza with the works, regular crust and no extra dips, drinks, or bread sticks...will that complete your order?

ME: Yes, that's it.

PIZZA GUY: ...and how will you be paying for your order? Cash?

ME: No, I will paying with my debit card...

PIZZA GUY: .....and what type of card is it?

here it mind you this guy has a manner of speaking, his voice was so clear and concise..great enunciation, things were rolling right along, but when he asked me what type of card it first response was simply...

ME: It's plastic..... (even my wife cringed on that reply......) oh you mean the type...Visa.

his silence pretty much let me know either or eye-ther, he didn't get the humor or wasn't in the mood for me and my hunger quenching quest of word play.

PIZZA GUY: Can I have the number please?

ME: No......., I will give it to you when I get there.

PIZZA GUY: ......sooo you're gonna pick this up?

Don't you think he would of asked .....Pick up or delivery.... way back when we first began this conversation about the type of pizza and the crust? He even had asked for my phone number and with all the caller-ID programs there are out there, he even knew who I was, where I lived, and probably the history of all the pizzas we had purchased in years past.....

I fully intended on apologizing to Dave when I got to the pizza place, but he was waist deep with another phone order when I got there with my plastic Visa debit card....

..trying to find a discount for the large pizza order that was coming in...the rolling of his eyes, the grip on the phone, and the body language told me to think again...after all he still had my large, regular crust pizza with everything on it well within his reach.........his humor-less, having to deal with public phone ordering, minimum pay, if you wanted a cheap pizza why don't you call the cheap pizza store....... reach.

Dave won that round today and I can only imagine the eye roll he gave me, when I laid the 'plastic' answer on him.....glad he wasn't the one making my pizza.