Weekly photo challenge: threshold


So I’m three days late on posting this. I actually took this photo last week well before the weekly photo challenge deadline but such is my life… a day late and a dollar short.

Well, in this case… three days late.

Below is what would have been my submission for “Threshold”. For the sake of following the rules I didn’t link this to The Daily Post but wanted to at least show what I was going to submit.

This was taken at Minute Maid Park where the Houston Astros play their home games. It was the 7th game of 2014, practically the beginning, a metaphor of hope… on the “threshold” of the new season.

Go ‘Stros!!!

threshold of a new season

threshold of a new season

Big time at the ol’ science fair


I live within the boundaries of one of (it may actually be) THE biggest school districts in Texas.  It’s pretty crazy how big the district is and the number of schools within it.

So a couple of nights ago the district held what it calls the Gifted & Talented Showcase. It’s a science fair of sorts but it’s for the smart kids…. like the really smart kids. Each school has a program that helps challenge the students that are gifted and talented but then each school designates four “teams” made up of the smartest of those smart kids to represent the school at the showcase. My stepsons were on the teams that represented the third and fourth graders.  Pretty cool huh!

So The Deistette and I did our parental duty and attended the event. Honestly, I thought I was going to hate this. But in retrospect, this was actually pretty cool.

HOLY CRAP!!!! though there were a lot of people there. Each school in the district (that’s elementary, middle and high school) brought four teams to show the smartest of the smartest.

volcanoOf course there was your classics like volcanoes. This was one of at least three that I saw. It was pretty damn cool, too.  The parents who built this thing (and you know they did) cut slivers of space in the paper mache, placed red cellophane behind where the slice was made and put a small light inside the volcano to make the “lava” glow. Then they had a little fan of some sort inside the volcano that Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street life


citizens1

So here’s my first submission for WPs weekly photo challenge. Does this one count? I mean, because it was taken a long time ago but coincidentally this week’s challenge is the type of photography I did a lot of: Street Photography

I honestly can’t remember when I took this photo. I think it was in 1998.  I do remember however that it was part of a series of images I planned to pitch for exhibit, called The Citizens.  Each image in the series was almost exactly Continue reading

it’s in the staying there


Yesterday evening The Deistette and I got back from one of the longest stretches of days of vacation without her two boys that I can remember. We were gone for four whole days and three nights! It’s sad that the excitement is genuine over a measly three night outing in Granbury, Tx and Dallas which are about four and a half hours away from us.

As many kids are this time of year, the boys were on Spring Break and had left last weekend to be with their father who lives about an hour east of Dallas. We took advantage of them being gone by… well, it’s sad to say but resting and sleeping and basking in the silence. But on Thursday morning just before lunch we headed out toward Granbury to visit with her aunt and uncle as well as her grandfather.

It was absolutely wonderful. And I hate to say it but it was entirely because the boys weren’t there to drive up the anxiety of her already anxiety stricken aunt.

The main reason we left Casa Deist for a few days though wasn’t to visit her family or head toward Dallas to pick up the boys after their visit with their shit-for-brains father. Nope… it was to celebrate a mile marker of ours.

the-deistette-and-deist

Taken near Post, Tx
Sept 13, 2008

Continue reading

The “talk”


So last week I had…

“the talk”

with my oldest stepson.

Many of you know I have a daughter who is 20 years old (my long time readers know her as Little Fawn. And can you believe??? 20! She’s 20!  Actually not until end of May but close enough) Anyway… although I was a Wednesday night and every-other-weekend daddy for 16 years before she went off to college, I took every opportunity that arrived, after she was about 10 years old and used them as teaching moments to inform her about sexuality. She started becoming curious and asking questions so I figured it was time.

So after dozens of teaching moments over a year or so, when she finally had her first menstrual period she wasn’t scared, freaked out or worried. She knew what was happening and I’m sure in part because of me and our “mini talks” and most certainly her mother too. I cannot stand the woman at all but to her credit she did a pretty good job raising an absolutely beautiful child.

But my daughter’s a girl as well as quite mature and wise for her years. She always has been… wise and mature. Well she’s always been a girl, too. :mrgreen: Anyway, my point is those talks never seemed awkward for either of us.

This situation though… with the boy
is different.

He’s a boy who is unbelievable immature. He’s silly, doesn’t focus well — at all, is a ham, doesn’t take things seriously half the time that he should and laughs when he gets nervous. Basically he’s a nine and a half year old little boy.

So last week The Deistette calls from upstairs, “Hon! Can you come up here please?!?”

“Yeah! Can you give me a minute. I wanna finish watching…

“No.
No, no. I can’t give you a minute.
Come here now please!”

So I go upstairs to see what’s going on and she says, “can you handle…

this…

and explain why it won’t go down. I’ll be downstairs.”

I look at the boy to see he has a pretty tremendous boner in effect. My first thought is “wow, youth really is wasted on the young.”

He looks down then looks up kinda grinning (remember I said he laughs when he’s nervous) and says, “why won’t it stop staring at you?”

Well played young sir… well played.
So this is how it’s going to go huh.

I can barely contain myself from bursting out and figure Continue reading

healing after the ice storm


magnolia_leafSo mid week last week the temps had fallen into the mid-20s or so and with a mist of rain in the air during the night, ice formed on pretty much everything outside. Here are some pics from my backyard. My magnolia tree shouldn’t look like this in March.

On the drive to work that morning, I noticed a lot of tree branches had snapped and fallen during the night. Not sure if they were already dead branches or if the weight of the ice caused them to break or both but there was a trail of pretty big branches that started with a neighbor’s house a couple of houses down and just kept going almost all the way to work 15 miles away. It was strange. Some of those branches were pretty big and yet they snapped because of the heaviness.

magnolia_branchesSo all this happened on Tuesday and on Saturday I was finally able to help my neighbor out by cutting the really big tree limb that had fallen in her yard.

After cutting it, we talked for a while Continue reading

Clean livin’ son. Clean livin’


The link below is to an interesting vid on the front page of NBC News.com from a couple of weeks ago. Is there a fight ramping up over the death penalty again?
http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/debunker/crime-deterrent-debunking-death-penalty-myths-n40571

Also making its way around the interwebs, is a letter by convicted killer Ray L Jasper who is scheduled to take in his last breath on March 19 of this year.

I’ll probably ruffle the feathers of a few of my left-leaning friends with this post and surprise those who know me from my UU church with my opinion on the death penalty.

I am from Texas however and as the comedian Ron White says, “as other states are trying to abolish it [the death penalty] my state is putting in an express lane.”

After I viewed the NBC News video from that link above though I couldn’t help but come up with my own monologue about Continue reading

baking bread and patience


kneading bread

the boys helping knead
bread dough in November 2012

I’ve recently (the past 12mos or so?) been trying my hand at baking bread. I actually have to come to enjoy it and my two stepsons like to help out whenever they know I’m about to start the alchemy of putting flour, water and yeast together.  I’ve done it maybe seven or eight times and have had some success in that it actually tasted ok. Sometimes it turns out quite nice with a tangy, homemade, yeasty flavor to it. Other times, not so much. They were just… meh.

One thing that they all had in common though, tasty or not, was they were pretty substantial. Solid. Heavy… that is until this last loaf I made. This one was rather light and airy and I’m sure it was because I cultivated a little patience and let the yeast do its work.

Patience… [sigh]
If you read my “Exposed” post, you know I’ve been going through a bit of a rough patch. Actually putting it that way is a very nice way of saying I feel like my world is crumbling around me.

I don’t mean to be too cryptic about it so I’ll just say The Deistette and I are having marital problems, we’re having internal family problems and host of other problems all of which are tributaries and offshoots of the main issue… litigation with her ex. I’ll leave it there.

So to cope and deal with… well, with all of it I’ve been trying to do things that occupy my mind but don’t necessarily require a great deal of thinking… like, mowing the grass, raking leaves, hemming my slacks, finishing out a replaced window or…

baking bread.

Believe it or not, I can be somewhat domestic and baking bread is something that makes me think about the task at hand, not so much that it becomes real work, but enough to let time pass.

A couple of weeks ago I and my oldest stepson were working on a batch while his younger brother and momma did some grocery shopping.

I’ve noticed with both boys over the years that they are “pleasers.” They’re behavior is better when they have a job they actually want to do and that they feel is actually necessary and that they feel is helping the family or others.

do what you loveIsn’t that all of us though. I think I wouldn’t be so depressed, frustrated and angry if I were working in an occupation that fulfilled that list: was something I felt was really necessary, something I enjoyed or looked forward to doing and something I thought actually helped others and/or contributed to the common good.

Anyway… so the boy and I were mixing and measuring, kneading and pounding. And finally we were done.

I looked at it and thought, “What a miserable excuse of dough for a loaf of bread.” It was rather puny and I thought, “this won’t make much at all.”

We put it in a bread pan and then in the oven that was slightly warm. I kept thinking maybe we should just fire up the oven to 350 and be done with it. But the boy kept saying “no, the directions said to wait an hour for it to rise.”

So we waited. And waited.
And waited, and waited and waited.
And waited some more.

What’s that saying?… “a watched pot never makes the dough rise as fast as you want it to?” :mrgreen:

Finally we reached an hour and in that time I think I added a little bit of that virtue with the help of the boy as we continued our exercise in patience. Not only had I gained a little virtue but that little bit of dough had doubled in size!

It wasn’t the best bread I’ve made but making this batch (particularly with the help of my older stepson) certainly taught me something.

Patience my boy…. patience.

I’m trying hard to cultivate the virtue of patience in my life again. I have strayed from my spiritual path and with awareness, faith, Providence and if I’m lucky grace, I’ll have it back again.

ill spent days


Like many of the approximately 100 million viewers of the super bowl last night, The Deistette and I had plans for the game.  We’re not real big sports people but we were really looking forward to a kid friendly, grown up party. I mean it’s the first time in the almost five years we’ve been married we actually had a super bowl party to attend… probably because we’re not big sports people. I honestly can’t remember the last time I went to a super bowl gathering though it’s been that long.  I think it was when da Bearsss had that horrific super bowl shuffle song and The Fridge helped them to a super bowl win.

So… yeah. It’s been a while.  We were both looking forward to it.  I mean, The Deistette even made a HUGE batch of really tasty buffalo chicken potstickers. All four of us got in on the assembly of putting dollups of meat into 100 wonton wrappers that were specifically for the party our friends had invited us to.

But as The Fates would have it, there was a different plan.

Sunday morning about 4:30am, Continue reading

one little microcosm vs the zombie apocalypse


So today is my birthday. No, not my blog birthday but my birthday, birthday. You know, the anniversary of the day my gooey, sticky body fell outta my mom’s belly and it breathed in air for the first time.

Gah… that’s not a fun description of a baby being born. :mrgreen:

DPS_officeSo one of the things that comes along with a birthday is a LONNNNG wait at the Department of Public Safety (where we Texans go to renew our driver license) also known in some parts as the Dept of Motor Vehicles.

It’s a fascinating place really. I mean like my title reads, it really is a microcosm of the city. There was just about every walk of life in that small building… black, white, brown, yellow, fat, short, tall, beautiful, not-so beautiful, single, married. I mean you name the demographic and it was mostly likely represented by at least one person. Really!… I mean there was someone in a wheelchair and even someone who was blind.

O_o

I’m going to assume the blind person was there along for the ride and was not attempting to get a license.

And as my imagination will most often times do in a situation like this I began to wonder what would happen if some calamity broke out. I mean like really bad… you know like battle of Armageddon bad. Zombie Apocolypse bad. The Deistette says I have a problem. At least one morning out of the week she’ll say, “so did you dream about a dystopian, post-apocalyptic future where you were one of the last people on earth again.”

She knows me so well.

So back to the microcosm. If worldwide plague wiped us all out and we were a lone pocket of humanity that had been spared these would be the people with whom I would ride the storm out.

Would we make it? Who would emerge as a leader. Would we pair off and attempt to repopulate? Would I be able to fight them off when they tried to eat me after we ran out of food?

*Deist pauses for a bit*

Wow… I really need to get out more.