White Trash Is Contagious!

Remember the post I wrote a while back titled, Momma’s Going To Kill Me!?

I confessed to having a small addiction to free things that have wheels and a motor. Momma commented on the post and was joking about how we may need a permit and a taller fence due to all of the junk piling up behind our shed…and she suggested that I may be white trash (As if it isn’t obvious). Remember that?

Well, look what I captured on the digital camera the other day…

Momma and Ace On The John Deere

Sorry Momma! Looks like I must be rubbing off on ya a little bit. 😀

(I can’t lie…if anyone has rubbed of on anyone, it has been her rubbing off on me. I was full fledged white trash before…now I just have some white trash tendencies.)

Ace loves riding the mower around the yard (almost as much as I do), and I do not blame Momma one bit for temporarily white trashin’ it up and cruising around the yard with her little man! 😀

As you probably remember, I found this mower for free on Craigslist! I knew it didn’t run, but when I went to pick it up I found out it did not have a mowing deck either. So, I planned on it being a “lawn tractor”…not a “lawn mower”. Many of you even suggested turning it into a racing tractor (which I seriously considered) 😆

Well, that has all changed thanks to some awesome folks Momma and I had the pleasure to meet last weekend!

After the first post about the old John Deere 56 tractor I got an email. The email was from a guy named Jerry in the Pittsburgh area who reads DadThing. Jerry said that he had a mower deck for this mower that I could have for free! Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-FREE!

Sweet Jesus! There’s that “F” word again! I just can’t help myself! 😀

Last weekend Momma and I drove to Pittsburgh, PA (we spared Ace the 6 hours of being in the car since he just got done with a 28 hour car ride) and met a really cool family…Jerry, Lynn, and Tyler.

When we arrived Jerry asked, “Where’s Ace?” Which caught me off guard because we have never met before, but then I realized he reads DadThing. He knew all about our trip to COSI and our trip to Iowa. It was kinda cool for me to meet someone that actually reads the stuff I write!

Jerry didn’t know Momma’s name, so he referred to Momma…well, as Momma! I loved it! 😆

Jerry and Lynn have a cute baby boy named Tyler who, at only 7 months old, already has his very own awesome Camaro! Guess what! Dad Jerry (who is a very involved father as well) has a cool Camaro too and plans on drag racing (and beating) his son some day! 😀

Thanks Jerry, Lynn, and Tyler for the mower deck! Hopefully I’ll post some pictures of it chopping up some grass in the near future.

It was a pleasure meeting and talking with you! And Jerry, make sure to send me a video of that drag race one of these days! I got this funny feeling Tyler is going to whoop your butt! 😆

In no way shape or form am I implying that Jerry, Lynn, or Tyler are white trash by mentioning their names in this extremely well titled post! Unless being white trash really is contagious…then they may have caught it from me and will be mutating to white trash in the very near future 😆

Vacation to Iowa!

Vacation to Iowa was great! It was nice to get away from the daily grind for once. No rush hour traffic. No cell phone. No worries!

We left at about 3 AM on Thursday night.  It took us about 14 hours and two tanks of gas to get from Ohio to Storm Lake, IA. (Can you say “Empty wallet and pooped?”) Have you ever driven across the Midwest? It is sooo exciting!!! Here’s a picture I took through the rear view mirror with my camera phone to show you just how much fun we were all having… 😆

Momma and Ace sleeping in the car on the way to Iowa

We stayed at a hotel in Storm Lake called King’s Pointe. We reserved a double queen suite with a crib and a lake view a few weeks before hand, but when we arrived we got a handicap double queen room with a parking lot view. 🙁

The handicap room would not work because it had no bath tub for Ace, and we really wanted the lake view with a balcony (the hotel was non-smoking and the balcony would be our smoking area 😆 )

After a bit of persistence they gave us the room we reserved and all was well.

Dad and Momma on the balcony at Kings Pointe in Storm Lake Iowa

The hotel had an indoor and outdoor water park! (I was so excited…I’m just like a little boy when it comes to this kinda stuff 😆 )

King’s Pointe Indoor Water Park Resort

The closest Ace has been to going swimming was splashing around in the bath tub, so I was very curious to how he would react to the swimming pool. After a few minutes of scared-shitless-ness accompanied by a white-knuckled-death-grip on Dad, Ace started to relax and enjoy himself!

We had so much fun being in the water with him that we really didn’t get out to take many pictures of his first time swimming! Here is one that I managed to snap of Ace and Momma lounging in the pool…

Momma and Ace In The Pool

Even though he thoroughly enjoyed the swimming pool, he was utterly amazed by the fountain…

Ace Staring At The Fountain

…or was it the Bud Light sign? 😆

One reason we went to Iowa was to visit some old friends who’s daughter was graduating from high school. We went to the graduation, which was in a small non-air-conditioned (Can you say “Hot As Balls?”) gymnasium.

Ace has been self-propelled for a while now and really likes it that way. Ever since he has learned to move under his own power, he absolutely forbids to sit still. It was hot in the gymnasium… sweaty, and smelled like the locker room after football practice! So, I took off Ace’s restraints (joking!) and took him outside to play in the shade while Momma stayed inside to watch the graduation ceremony.

We get outside and there is no shade! So I’m chasing after Ace in the burning sunlight on concrete hot enough to fry an egg when I smell something a bit different than the sweaty smell I had become accustomed to in the gymnasium… You guessed it…I smelled a baby biscuit getting baked in Ace’s diaper!

Luckily I grabbed the diaper bag on the way outside, but there was no where to change him.  So, Ace and I head off on a two mile trek to the car where we enjoyed a fresh diaper, a drink, and 45 minutes worth of gas wasting air-conditioned heaven! 😆

The drive back to Ohio was not so nice. Ace had some of his molars breaking through the skin, and he was not enjoying the car ride a single bit.  So, we stopped half way and grabbed a hotel room in Illinois.  Luckily, I travel a lot for work and earn TONS of hotel points, so we got a room for free for the night. The hotel had a pool where we spent most of the evening splashing around…

After a good swim and getting a good nights sleep we headed out in the morning to finish the last half of our journey home. We took our time. We stopped for a packed lunch at a rest stop with Mr. Smarty Pants himself…

Smarty pants eating his lunch at a rest stop

…and then Ace napped most of the rest of the way home…

Ace relaxing in the car on the way home from Iowa

Despite the sore rear ends from sitting in the car for over 28 hours, the mix up with the hotel room, the incredibly hot gymnasium, the fried diaper biscuit, and the crying restlessness of a teething child strapped into the back seat of a gas guzzling SUV…we had a very good time and enjoyed the visit with our old friends!

Back to the grind… Ughhh… 😆

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! 😀

If I Die From McDonald’s Rootbeer…

McDonalds CupI left the house at 4AM this morning to catch a 6AM flight to Baton Rouge, LA for work.  I arrived in Baton Rouge about 9:30.

I was hungry.  I skipped breakfast, so I stopped at McDonald’s and got a breakfast meal…somewhere around 9:45 AM.  I usually get orange juice with my McDonald’s breakfast, but since I had a two hour drive ahead of me I got a root-beer.  The root-beer is bigger and would last longer.

Anyways, I was driving down the highway enjoying my breakfast and root-beer on the way to the place I was working.  Over the course of the two hour drive I finished the root-beer.  It was flat and tasted a bit funny, but I was thirsty so I drank it anyways!

I finished my job and hit the road at about 2:00 PM.  I was thirsty again, so I stopped at a gas station to get a drink.  When I picked up the McDonald’s cup out of the cup holder, I shook it to see if it was empty.  To my surprise I heard…

THUMP….THUMP…

Why was the cup thumping when I shook it?  It had been sitting in the 80 degree car for over four hours.  All the ice should have been melted, right?

I opened the lid of the cup to see what the hell was going on.  What I saw made my stomach wrench!

I’m sure you’ve heard the stories about finding fingertips, mice, and other strange objects in fast food.  What I saw was not as bad as a fingertip or dead mouse, but it still grossed me out!

I saw a soggy chicken nugget!

Somehow a chicken nugget found it’s way into my root-beer…and I drank the whole thing without noticing…

The chicken nugget was just lying there at the bottom of my cup.  All of the breading had become soggy and broke off.  Pieces of the breading were covering the inside of the cup.  I probably sucked up most of the breading through my straw when I was drinking it though…

The thought of a chicken nugget being in my drink doesn’t gross me out.  Added protein, right? 😀

What grosses me out is that it was 9:45 in the morning.  They were still serving breakfast… Chicken nuggets shouldn’t have even been out and about yet.  So where did this chicken nugget come from? 

Did someone find it on the floor from the previous night and put it in my cup?  Ya know, after the mice, flies, and bugs got through nibbling and shitting on it?

Was it an uncooked chicken nugget that someone put in my drink?  Can you say salmonella..!

So, if I die from drinking McDonald’s root-beer I want all of the Mom and Dad bloggers out there to unite and form a group.  The group will be named P.A.C.I.F.I.E.R.

Parents
Against
Chicken Nuggets
In
Fast-food’s
Icy Drinks,
Especially
Root-beer

Take McDonald’s to court.  Sue them.  Give some money to Momma and Ace to make sure they will be taken care of for the rest of their lives, and donate the rest to charity.

Can I count on all of ya to follow through with this?

I’ve got other things to think about right now…like keeping my dinner down. 😐

McDonald’s cup photo by SoloXis

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…

 tn-tornado-4.JPG

 tn-tornado-3.jpg

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