Do Crocodiles Actually Cry Big Crocodile Tears?

Vacation! It’s coming soon!

Do you know the last time we went on a real vacation? A real getaway? Me neither.

In a few weeks we are going to pack 900 pounds of stuff into the back of Momma’s truck, and guess what…it is all Ace’s!

Seriously, how can such a little guy require so much stuff? The list of stuff to pack is 3 or 4 pages long!

Anyways, if we manage to successfully drive the overloaded vehicle (at what point are you required to stop at the weigh stations with the semis?) halfway across the country, we are going to be in for some good fun in the sun!

So you are probably imagining a beach somewhere,  South Carolina? Florida? Nope, and nope…Iowa!  Yes, I said it…Iowa!

Seriously! We are driving to Iowa to visit some old friends, and we are staying at one of those hotels that have the indoor water park! I’m excited! (I’m really a 12 year old in a…man I hate to say it…almost 30 year old’s body)

Not only do they have an indoor water park, the hotel is located on a lake for some outdoor water fun as well!

I’m so excited!

Even though all of this puts a big smile on my face there is one thing about the trip that I’m sure will make me cry big crocodile tears…

The gas prices make me cry big crocodile tears!
I think I cried 23.743 gallons after filling up my truck. 🙁

I plan on taking a record number of pictures on our road trip, as long as I remember the camera (and we don’t have to pawn it off to pay for gas to make it all the way home) 😆 .  I should have some good shots to show all of ya’s .

Oh yeah!  If the weather cooperates, Ace will be visiting the zoo for the first time this weekend!  Please don’t rain! 🙂

This summer is going to be sooo much fun! 😀

Everything Ripped Away, What Would You Do?

I don’t watch the news.  So when I flew into Memphis, TN this morning I was in for a big surprise!  Last night they had quite a few tornados.  I don’t know all the details, but I did hear someone say that a tornado reached the EF4 status.  An EF4 has winds anywhere between 207 to 264 miles per hour!

As I was looking out the window of the airplane as we were coming in for landing in Memphis I saw something simlar to this…

Jackson, Tenessee Tornado 2/5/08

This is one of those big power line towers that carry the high-voltage lines bent over and touching the ground!

I left Memphis and started driving to Jackson, TN where I was working today.  On the way I saw tons of damage.   The median on the interstate was full of branches and trees that had been pulled from the highway.  Whole trees (roots and all) were lying everywhere.  Trees were snapped off like little twigs.

I heard on the radio that within a five mile stretch on the interstate there were over 20 semi trucks rolled over from the wind last night.  They were cleaning up the mess from the last truck as I drove by.  I had a hard time finding my exit because all of the road signs were bent over so far that they were touching the ground!

I thought the damage I was seeing was bad, but I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to see.  Once I got off on my exit I was greeted by this…

Jackson, Tenessee Tornado 2/5/08

And right next to that was this…

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The amount of damage down here is just unbelievable!  I have never seen this kind of destruction first hand.  The pictures do not do it justice.  The feeling I got driving through this area was horrible.

Seeing the damage down here is a real eye opener.  It makes me realize how small we all are in the world.  No matter how hard you work, no matter how much you prepare, no matter how big or smart or tough or powerful you think you are…you are nothing compared to the forces of nature.  Everything you have could be ripped away from you without warning.

When I get home tomorrow I am going to give Momma and Ace a big ole’ hug…just because. 😀

EDIT: Pictures used on this post are property of the following sites.  For more pictures  and information about the tornados visit the following sites…
http://bloggeddownworld.blogspot.com
http://picasaweb.google.com/j.razz1/

http://www.jacksonsun.com

Trick Or Treat…Without Me

Jack-O-LanternAs many of you know I am a travel some for work, and whenever there is something I really want to do, I end up being out of town that day.

Well, tomorrow, Halloween, is one of those days.  It is Ace’s first Trick Or Treat and there is a very good chance that I will miss out on it.

I got a call today informing me that I have to be in Baltimore, MD on Halloween day.  I can’t say no…it is my job.  This kind of thing is expected, but still sucks!

However, I am not giving up hope.  From what I’ve been told, this should be an easy job.  My flight gets in to Baltimore at 9:30 AM and I should be in the jobsite around 10:30 or 11:00.  If I work for three hours and get the machine fixed I can catch a flight out at around 4:00 PM and be home around 6:00 PM when Trick-Or-Treat starts.

My fingers are crossed…

The Traveling Dad

If you are reading this you have probably figured out that I am a Dad.  I’m guessing from the title of this blog and probably this post…  But is that all I do?

Nope.  I’m not a stay-at-home-dad (SAHD).  I unwillingly go to work Monday through Friday. (Unwillingly = Needs The Money).  So what do I do at work?  I’m an engineer.  Woo Hoo! (Woo Hoo! = Boring To Most People)

I travel around to different factories and fix their machinery.  I do most of my work in Ohio (that’s where I live) and surrounding states.  Sometimes however I do have to fly to other parts of this beautiful country (that I never get to enjoy because I’m too busy hauling balls to/from the airport).

I went down to Tomball, Texas on Tuesday.  Unfortunately I had to spend the night down there and fly home this afternoon.

While the one day trips are not that bad (not that bad = I would rather be at home), I do miss Momma and my little man.  With one or two day trips I am able to keep myself pretty busy to keep my mind off of missing the family. If it goes over two days I really start to get home sick.

Here are some tips to help ease your mind while traveling for work and having to leave your kids and family at home:

  1. Take pictures with you.  I have a picture on my laptop’s desktop.  I have pictures on my phone.  There are pictures on this site.  I have pictures everywhere.  I see pictures of Ace and Momma and remember that I am traveling for them.  It gives the time away from home a bit more justification.
  2. Talk on the phone.  While you don’t get to see your loved ones, you do get to hear their voice.  Ace can not talk yet, but I always hear him in the background playing and making noise.  Sometimes Momma hands Ace the phone so that he can hear my voice, but most of the time he is more interested in chewing on the phone than listening to it. 🙂
  3. Keep Busy. This is probably the technique that I rely on the most.  As long as I keep busy I do not just sit there and swim in my own pool of misery.  Mind over matter.

Being the geek/dork that I am, I have considered getting a web cam for home and one for my laptop.  That way I and the family would be able to see each other.  I have not tried this yet, but I think it is a good idea that might get implemented in the near future.

I found a good post titled, How to Cope With Travel Away From Your Kids Under Age 5.  This post will help me in the future, for sure.  It is geared towards the Dad with kids that can talk on the phone and get more involved in what you are doing on your trip.  Check it out…

Until next time…I hope your travels are safe and short so that you can get back home to see your loved ones!