Friday, October 22, 2010

Well, this IS my first rodeo.


Tonight we took the kids to the Purvis High School rodeo.  Yes, rodeo is a real high school sport.  If you don’t believe me, then go to the Mississippi High School Rodeo Association website.  There is even a National organization, too.

I don’t think I have ever seen more denim-per-capita anywhere else in the world!  The average belt buckle size was at least 8” in diameter, too.

For those of my readers who are tuning in from outside the US, High School is the American term for secondary school.

It will probably come as a shock to you, but they even allow home-schooled kids to compete!  They even will announce the name of the your home school if you give them one so your kids feel more like they go to a real school like everyone else.

Since I often use the phrase, “Well, this ain’t my first rodeo” to convey the point that I have experience in a particular thing, I guess it is good that I have finally gone to a real rodeo, so I can be truthful when  I use the phrase in the future.

I will say this: The rodeo was very cool.  The skill required to ride a horse at full speed, lasso a calf, jump off your horse, flip the calf upside-down, whip out a rope and tie the calf’s legs together in under 10 seconds is incredible.

Another amazing event is called Steer Wrestling.  I almost had my kids convinced that two steers were going to come out and wrestle each other.  What actually happened was even more incredible.  Young high school Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors compete in this event in which a cowboy rides out chasing a steer.  When he gets close enough, he jumps off of his horse tackling the steer by the horns, and then flipping the steer over on its side.  Very cool.  I don’t have a video from the Purvis High School Rodeo, but this one is pretty cool, too.

The Poles event is very cool, too.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Is OCD hereditary?


I come in this evening to find my three year old son, Max with my wife’s cotton makeup removal pads (he calls them Fuzzies):


Nigel has many a time organized shoes, pencils, pens, etc.

While it is true that I am very particular about a lot of things, I don’t technically have OCD.  OCPD, maybe.

Maybe that is why I collect things like coins, pens, knives, watches, guns, rocks, bayonets, tools, etc.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bizarre Accidents will happen


On the way home from church today in Laurel, my son Nigel and I were on I-59 heading south when I noticed a car coming very fast towards me from behind. I swerved onto the shoulder, almost into the median.  The car went between me and the car next to me, and continued at a very fast pace.  I was going almost 80 mph, so the car, a silver Honda, must have been going at least 100 mph.  Soon after that, maybe 10 or 20 seconds later, I saw a cloud of dust, smoke, brake lights and debris flying towards me.  I immediately pulled onto the shoulder and came to a stop.

I told Nigel to stay in the car, and I ran towards the smoke.  When I got to the Honda, it was already on fire.  The driver was out, screaming and crying.  Although it looked like a man, it turned out to be a heavyset black woman in baggy clothes.  She was yelling and fighting with a couple other people who had also stopped to help.  Within a few moments, a couple of the passersby had her pinned to another car with her arms behind her in a double hammer lock.  She was yelling and screaming, “why didn’t I die?!?”


I walked over to the burning Honda, and started looking through the windows to see if there was anyone else in the vehicle.  The other passersby started yelling, “get back, it could explode,” but I continued to look to make certain no one was still in the car.

The Honda had hit a small Mazda, and the two cars had spun out of control onto the grassy shoulder and they rested some 20 to 50 feet off the roadway.  The Honda was engulfed in flames.  I called 911, and as I was talking to the operator, I asked other motorists for a fire extinguisher.  By the time someone found a fire extinguisher, the Honda was completely engulfed.

Inside the Mazda, a 40-something white woman was laying in the driver’s side seat with the airbag deployed.  She was in pain, but was talking to the other people who had stopped.


Within minutes the police arrived, followed by three fire trucks.  In the end, the driver of the Honda had hit three or four cars, and the police handcuffed her and put her in the back of the police car.  She was hysterical.


To make matters more confusing, about half of the witnesses still thought that the woman was a man, which totally confused the police.  They took my driver’s license information and my phone number.  To Nigel’s credit, he stayed put in the car.  He even made a friend by talking to a boy in another car.



Sunday, October 3, 2010

A tribute to a living legend


While driving from Orange Beach, Alabama to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, my wife and I were able to see a number of monuments to those that have gone before us.  There were several civil war memorials, and a beautiful tribute to 9-11 in a small town along the way.  Those are fine, and important, but what I want to recognize in my blog today is an unsung hero, a veritable living legend, a man who is dedicated to preserving a key and important part of our culture.  Yes, that is right, this blog is dedicated to Gene Morris, the greatest living spear hunter in the world.

Colonel Gene Morris, Ret. is a man dedicated to preserving spear hunting, a lost art that once was so crucial to the survival of mankind.  To preserve this art, Col. Morris has built an amazing spear hunting museum in Summerdale, Alabama.

Spear Hunting Museum Sign

Not only does this museum have an LED sign, it also has some of the trophies that the self-named spear chunker (he calls himself this in spite of the fact that it is actually a racial slur) has claimed using nothing but a spear. 


DSC_5042 DSC_5039

In case you don’t get a chance to go there in person, I have attached a few photos.  The museum has two artist-quality murals of the man himself.


In this mural, you can see the ferocity and the dedication of the greatest living spear hunter in the world.  If I were one of his prey, I would be stunned into submission by his leering gaze alone.


If you are lucky, you might get the spear-hunting icon to give you a demonstration from his custom-built spear hunting platform which is out back behind the museum.

DSC_5034For the amazingly inexpensive price of $3.00 US, you can get a self-guided tour of the museum.  For a paltry five dollars more, you can get a guided tour.  Children under 5 years of age are free, which is due to the fact that they don’t have the intellectual capacity to understand the greatness of the living legend’s abilities with a spear, nor are they capable of retaining any of the pearls of wisdom that an older person would gain from touring the museum.

Also, it is an added plus that the famed spear-hunter looks a lot like Gene Hackman.

Gene2Gene Hackman  

    Gene Morris is happy.                     Gene Hackman is not.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Rediscovering my loves


This weekend I took off of work on Friday, and my beautiful wife, Rebecca, and I drove to the Gulf coast for a weekend without the kids.  It was like being newlyweds again!  What I realized, in very short order, was that while I have been working like a demon for the last several years I have forgotten some key things that I love.  In some cases, I forgot them entirely; in others, I have forgotten how much I love them.  Here are some of them:

1.  I love Rebecca.  Wildly, madly, deeply and thoroughly.  She is the coolest person on the planet, and I love spending time alone with her.  I love it when she smiles at me, when she laughs at my dumb jokes, when she has a cool new insightful thought, when she teases me, and when I catch her watching me when I am intent on something else.  Time away alone without the kids is an amazing aphrodisiac, and it is true what Rebecca says: “Physical intimacy is the reward for being an adult.”  I feel incredibly rewarded this weekend.



2.  I love to read.  Novels, mostly, but I love to read all kinds of books.  I think it is very cool that books over 100 years old are now free on the Kindle.  This weekend, I read an interesting Sci-Fi book, I am number four.

3. I love the ocean, especially my favorite ocean in the whole world, the Gulf of Mexico.  I love swimming in the ocean, seeing the fish, the gulls overhead, the waves, the sand on the beach, the shells, the blue-green water touching the blue sky, the lovely breeze and everything that comes with the Gulf of Mexico.

4. I love my Omega Seamaster Chronograph.

Omega and Frog crop

5. I love exploring new places.  I have been very fortunate in my life to have visited Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Canada, Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Holland, Japan and China.  I have been to 39 states.  I absolutely love to travel to new places, and to see new things.

6. I love working out.  This is one I had definitely forgotten about.  I feel charged about getting back in the habit of working out!