October 2006


For reasons that I’ve never understood, some years are better than others for fall foliage and this year is one of the best I’ve ever seen.  The colors are remarkable and every tree seems colorful.  Very few are simply turning brown like they usually do.

I’ve been out with my camera several times and it just keeps getting better, especially with the intense blue skies we tend to get this time of year.  I think it has peaked though and they are starting to fall.  Just in time for Halloween.

I can never think of anything more creative to call these summaries that cover so much ground.  Perhaps I should just create a category.

This was the weekend of lateness.  Everything ran late.  Friday night’s football game started out our weekend.  Basically, I drove into the garage, switched cars, and headed out again to drop Erin off at the play where she is pushing props between acts.  Then to the game.  It was getting chilly with temps in the 50s.  When you add in a light wind and factor in the fact that you’re sitting motionless in this weather, you can get pretty cold so I bundled up in preparation.  We have one advantage in that we paid another $15 this year to get season tickets in the center section where the seats are actually plastic and have backs.  Nice tough when you’re pushing age 47.

The Pride was using halftime as a dress rehearsal for a contest to occur on Saturday and so they pulled out all the stops.  It was most impressive but I can’t seem to photograph it or video it.  A marching band performance has such a wide scope and such a huge dynamic range of sound that nothing seems to really capture it.  Perhaps if we had a kickin’ sound recording system and about five cameras and a professional cinematographer to edit it all down you could get a feel for it.

The first quarter was notable for the fact that Broken Arrow ran the ball every time and the first series took up the entire first quarter except for 45 seconds.  That’s extraordinary in my book.  They converted a number of fourth downs when added to the impressivness.

We left at halftime.  It was too cold and the game wasn’t that interesting.  We were early to pick up Erin so we stopped at a newly-opened coffee shop.  For a coffee snob like I’ve become, they weren’t so great (too many sweet things masquerading as cappuchino) but they did have live music.  Mel and I were the oldest creatures in the joint by far except for the owner and so felt a bit out of place.

Evan rolled in about 11:00 and had to be back at the school to leave for the contest at 7:15.  For a teenager, that’s pretty tough.  This was the Oklahoma Band Association contest and they once again, took it all.  But it ran long and they didn’t actually get back into town until 3:00 AM!  Mel was getting pretty worried at that point.  We had taken his cell phone away for an earlier infraction and so screwed ourselves out of the obvious value of having a cell phone:  knowing where he was.  But he finally rolled into the house at around 3:30.  Needless to say, we all slept in.  Erin had done the play again and so had been out till 11:00 or so.

I forgot that Erin had a sleepover Friday night with her church small group and so had had even less sleep than usual.  We had to hurry to pick her up from that in order to get her to a play rehearsal at 12:30.  This is one at the middle school that she has a part in.

So it was pretty busy.  The extra hour of sleep, while welcome, was not nearly enough.

Last night, there was a college fair at the high school gym which we went to.  Afterwards, we went for pizza at B-52’s and took along Evan and his latest girlfriend.  That was, as always, exciting.  For Mel and I that is; I’m not sure he got all that worked up about it.

She seemed like a great girl.  She is also a regular church-goer which is a plus in my book as a parent.

I go out every morning to feed my dog.  The dogfood is kept in a plastic bin made for the purpose.  This morning, I went out as I always do but got quite a suprise.

When I opened the door a big possum was in there looking back out at me.

Well, that certainly gets a mans heart going.

How it got there is anyones guess but it certainly explains why Dixie suddenly wanted out in the middle of the night and why she kept barking randomly.  Apparently, she’d bark at it, the possum would faint and go quiet, Dixie would get bored, possum would wake up, and the cycle would repeat on about a 20 minute cycle.

The creature really didn’t want to come out.  He was in a cave just like he liked it, he had food enough for the winter, and there was a huge growling beast just outside the door.  No, he was not coming out for anything.

Except the hoe.

I finally managed to rake him out with the above-mentioned hoe but not before having him turn around and jump back in several times.  Meantime the dog was inside watching all this with unbridled enthusiasm.  She was near to being able to talk.  Finally, I raked him out and he took off for the edge of the yard.  I let Dixie out and she escorted him off our property.

I probably should have let Dixie handle it.  I could have opened the dogfood door and said “Get it!” and she would have not only handled it but had a story to tell all her dog friends in the neighborhood but I wasn’t thinking clearly.

I hope he doesn’t come back.  That’s a pretty sweet hangout for a possum.  There’s danger sure, but the location is fantastic.  Lot’s of people persist on living right on top of the San Andreas fault for similar reasons so there’s a precedent there.

I went to the optometrist last week to get a new pair of reading glasses and, much to my dissappointment, when they arrived, they were for distance vision rather than near vision. (Whoa – too many commas in that last sentence.)

In case anyone forgets, my distance vision is 20/20; thus, those glasses were pretty much worthless. Fortunately, they will fix things for me.

Here I sit at home waiting for the electrician to come. Mel found a new range she wanted this weekend; we bought it, and now I am waiting for the electrician to come hook it up. Normally I would do something like that but the wiring is a little weird and a range is the sort of thing you want to be done correctly.

Evan went to St. Louis this weekend for a band competition. This is a five-state thing and was in the whatever-dome in St. Louis. It appears to be a pretty big deal but we didn’t go to watch because we are cheap. They took second place overall though and won “high music” whatever the heck that means. It’s good though; everybody was happy. It made them feel all “world class”. And I guess they are. I’m certainly impressed; I just refuse to become such a fanboy that I embarrass myself.

Evan didn’t actually have that much to say about the trip except that the little gift-bag that Mel fixed up for his girlfriend was kindly recieved. The fact that she actually wore the scarf/gloves that Mel bought says it all.

Erin’s stage-handling experience at the play went well too. Mel and I attended and enjoyed it immensely.  It was Agatha Christie’s “Cards On The Table”.  It was better than I expected from a local production.  We went on opening night which was apparently when the “Mimi Buses”, i.e., vans full of retirees, show up.

Erin really loves drama class this year.  This week, her teacher gave some of them a chance to see what it’s like working backstage at the local community theater shoving props around between acts.  Plus, the community theater got some free labor.  Win-win!  But it’s really been keeping her out late.  This week was mostly fall break in the public schools so the lateness wasn’t such a big deal except that I and/or Mel had to go pick her up and that has made me tired at the office.

It turned nice and cool this week and so last night’s football game was a bit cool.  A bit too cool actually since I failed to prepare fully.  I had plenty of layers of clothing on my upper body but only one on my legs and nothing to sit on but the aluminum bench and so my legs got pretty cold-soaked.  That lead to a problem with leg cramps when I got home and went to bed.  This is not a way to get a good night’s sleep at all so I’m pretty beat today.

The Pride of Broken Arrow doesn’t usually suit up for away games but this game was just across town and so was a quick trip.  They weren’t invited to perform at halftime but we allowed to perform their entire show immediately after the game.  They are headed for St. Louis to a competition this weekend so this was like a dress rehearsal.  Evan didn’t come dragging in until about midnight and he was totally beat.  Erin dragged in a half hour before him and headed straight to bed without so much as a word.  I think we all need some rest.  Hopefully Evan will get some on the bus to St. Louis.

In fact, they headed out this morning.  Evan had been looking forward to it and I expect they will all have a good time.  He went last year and they are all looking to place highly in the competition.  I hope they have fun but I really don’t care how the competition turns out.  That’s for the band directors to worry about.   And believe me, they worry about it plenty.  Evan has a new girlfriend and so has conflicting priorities.  Mel prepared a little gift bag for her with goodies for the trip and so that little bribe should give them something to talk about.

Most of the kids take along lots of candy which is what Mel put in the sack.  There are a few of them who should probably consider other types of snacks.  As surreal as this sounds (and I never thought I’d hear myself say anything like this), part of their show involves the color guard pulling their dresses up over their heads.

Yep.  That’s what I said.

This is exactly the kind of thing that little girls do right before the parents speak sharply to them and tell them that little ladies just do not do that.  I guess there are times when they do; in the interest of art apparently. The candy tie-in (or the thoughts that some of them should eat something else) becomes more obvious when you see this part of the show; particularly from behind them as you sit on the visiting side of the stadium.

That’s all I have to say about that.

I hope Evan has fun.

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