Fantasy Football’s Greatest Moments

Hi Everyone,

In the history of mankind and throughout our brief thousands of years here on Pappy’s Planet there has finally evolved a real Man’s Game! A game that offers we armchair quarterbacks the true gut emotions of winning and losing each week. A game that changes through the season and holds our attention even when the home team loses. No, not Baseball or Hockey, not Basketball or Swimming, but something much more meaningful, something that man can count on each week. Yes, sports fans you know where I am going with this..A LONG TIME AGO IN A GALLAXY FAR FAR AWAY..CAME FANTASY FOOTBALL!

We guys and gals have learned to enjoy this game and the trash talk that comes with it each and every work day until finally the weekend comes and all hell breaks loose. We have Studs and Duds on our teams, not ball players. We have players “GO OFF” weekly versus perform well. And don’t forget the word combinations, ‘A STUD GOING OFF’. Its almost as good as sex and much more frequent!

We go to the bar and laugh at each other’s teams, players that we have chosen that went off and but have been carried off the field a week later. “There was always week 3″ says one guy, and the other guy says “You have to live in the past when the present sucks”! Then are trades that should have never have been made that has sent some teams to infamy and others to the Pour House.

To be a Fantasy Stud you have to watch 4 games at a time on the weekends. You may be a Fantasy Football Player if you Monopolize the TV from 12 noon Sunday until 10pm that night. You may be a Fantasy Player if have your cell phone is charging during half time. You may be a fantasy fan if you monitor all those games that aren’t available on TV through the Internet while cursing each other’s players as they out point yours.

Yes, Pappy has discovered this fine, fine game this year and I Like It! Now about once a week we guys go out to eat courtesy of the biggest loser of our group. We treat the loser, or the buyer, depending on your perspective with the great dignity of that afforded to fallen gladiator who was given the thumbs down from the Fantasy Gods. We eat the loser’s lunch as if we will never be the buyer again. Somehow that $10 lunch always tastes better than our other lunches throughout the week.

There are now girls who play the game but seldom go to the sport bars with us guys. We guys exaggerate our fantasy capabilities as our adrenaline is running as much as any middle linebacker on Sundays Game of the Week. Win or Lose, we don’t care, the question is did our our team go off that week. Did our Studs live up to their names? All that matters is that if you are at the top of the Pyramid. One point is as good as a mile.

We dance in our living room end zones holding up our arms like Rocky and celebrate all week long. We eat lunch free and have bragging rights. Pappy has had a lot of fun this year as you can tell. For some reason I have never played this before now and I am making up for it.

My team is really stacked now after a trade I made this week and I have a real shot at the goal line or playoffs. I can smell it. It starts again this Thanksgiving Thursday. We have the Cowboys versus the Indians. “Ride Em Cowboys! Yeehaa! But either way, win or lose its all about the points. Running Backs get a point every 10 yards, 6 points a touchdown and 1 point for each reception. Our computer programs keep track and sometimes we even get involved in the game itself.

You College Football Fans will love the Frogs and The Horns this week, but there’s nothing like the pro-ball players racking up the points in Fantasy land. We Fantasy Players get to be Owners  GM’s and Coaches of our very own Fantasy Club each week that suits up and justifies our football acumen. Our egos rise and fall with Fantasy scores like hot air ballons and deflated footballs.

No horseshoes or badminton for this ole Pappy. Give me the excitement of a Sunday afternoon at every stadium in the country simultaneously with all the league members looking on. For 10 hours we are playing “The Game.”                           Pappy

 

 

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Texas Style Actiivities

Hi Everyone,

Most weekends there are several choices one could make, living in the Texas area to recreate. This weekend is no different except for one main thing, “The Great State Fair of Texas” is open! I, Pappy took the whole clan to the fair yesterday and enjoyed an amazing experience that enlivened the human condition and titillated the senses. A annual fair goer, even I was surprised by the choices and experiences to enjoy.

We arrived at about noon after parking, $10.00. We walked across the street to the grounds an purchased 4 tickets for $68. We immediately went to the motor chair place for Ella my middle daughter, 26, who was having back pain and leased a motorized chair, $45. Off to Big Tex where the primary Fletcher’s Corny Dog stand. We purchased 4 dogs and 4 beverages, $50. You get the idea. The rest of the day was just like the beginning.

This year we did as always, hit the Midway right off the bat. Amy rode swings and huge rides that inverted and flipped her very person at altitudes that astronauts would not want to partake. She was spun and twisted, she was flipped and jerked. Average ride cost is $5-7 each.

After the Midway we strolled over to the “Juicy’s” hamburger and Turkey Leg stand where we continued our caloric intake. I had a cheeseburger and part of a Turkey Leg with a water. $20. After filling the tank again we were of to the “Spirit of the Horse” exhibit. That was a really terrific surprise. The Primary Cowboy was a very savvy guy which knew things about riding that have occurred to ole Pappy and probably even a few sage ranch hands. Amy and Ella love horses and were enthralled. I highly suggest giving this a try if possible.

Around the corner from the horse show was a cow milking exhibit were they show you how to milk a cow and how much milk a cow can produce per milking. They also had fliers about what a cows milk has in it in terms of vitamins and what products the milk makes for us. Up the way about 50 feet or so was the Police Horse stalls. Wow, what big horses they have.

Later in the day we saw the Police riding down the middle of the street on horseback. This pretentious show was to let everyone know that they are safe and better darned well behave. Message received! Another similar safety message came with the outstanding marching band of the U.S. Marine Corps.. Armed with merely tubas and bass drums, and a variety of horns I felt much safer suddenly. Funny how a entire Marine company can make you feel that way.

On to the Auto Show we toured. There were really cool Toyota Prius “V”s, and Amy loved the small black sleek Hyundai sport car. Stopping only for grand-baby souvenirs we made over to the Dodge, Chevy and Ford building. What is it about Mustang convertibles? I have several shots of Nana, Amy and I pretending that we were racing down the highway in our newly purchased street rods.

Passing Big Tex again, (Pappy waving at him) we took our annual tour of the Women’s Bldg. and as always looked at the hot tubs and the beds. We saw cooking and sewing. We saw artists and ate fudge. Ooh that Woman’s Bldg. <sigh>.

On the other side of the Woman’s Bldg. there is a food court that is irresistible. We fell prey to our second corny dogs of the day and had a “Blooming Onion”. It was the best! You must have one. Amy was ency and we had to take her for more rides immediately or she would have had a skin rash. This time she rode rides in the dark at about 9pm. She and Ella played Midway games, while Nana and I ate funnel cake.

By 10:30pm we decided to head back to the truck. We checked in our scooter and walked across a well patroled street to our parking place. We had walked about 4-5 miles by then and we were tired. It was the good kind of tired. This kind of tired made you look into the faces of all who went and realized they did all they came to do. The played, they ate, and they were thoroughly entertained and now they were happy to go home.

Thank you Fair People for making Pappy’s Clan so happy! We’ll see you again next year Big Tex!                      Pappy

 

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Accellerate to Warp Speed

Hello Everyone,

Ever had one of those months that seem like life has been condensed into a short period? Its like so much is going on at once that it is impossible to get your head around all of the developing stories in your life. Pappy’s Pad has been abuzz with such activity. We have had ailments, sickness, and unwanted change. We have seen many world changing events such as elections, (if you pay attention to such trivial matters), the start of football season, Fantasy Football, and of course the baseball playoffs being finalized. We have to deal with school, work, and the bills. (Don’t forget the new I-5 for the ole Christmas sock!) We have to deal with QE and oh yes the end of the world in December of this year. So, there is some stuff on Pappy’s plate.

Let’s take one subject at a time. First there’s our family’s health issues. Cancer and tumors and stints , oh my!! We have had all three with a caveat of memory problems and bipolar issues intermixed. We are “An American Family!” We have had relatives passing and at the same time, catching hell from other relatives.

There is nothing like action packed text messages from your loved ones. They say you always hurt the ones you love and now I am beginning to understand it. We have gotten some very interesting messages whereby certain adverbs and descriptive phraseology has been used very creatively. Being a blogger, I can certainly appreciate a well turned inappropriate sentence fragment or two. Most of the colorful grammar comes from pressure being applied to us as we age. Our parents illnesses now affect us, “the kids”.  When we kids are affected there is stress and our lives are put upon. Children of parents become parents of children. Nothing like turning the world on its end, like a upside down shaken snow-globe.

Our parents have real issues. Issues of the heart. No, the “Actual Heart”. They require hospital stays that can last for weeks and who gets to watch over this daily process? There is no planning for health emergencies, you can only react to them. We do what we must do. These parents of ours raised us. They sheltered and fed us. They bought us clothes and toys and took us on vacations. Now, its Payback time!

In the midst of care-taking our daily lives do not stop. We coordinate with family, friends, jobs and doctors. We still have to live our lives without dropping a single ball. Yeah right! We are unable to give the same time to our own kids which causes more stress at home, we aren’t as able to do our jobs, causing stress at work, and of course our own internal stress affects everyone around us.

And, there is the end of the world in December too. That will have to keep. I’m busy on that day. But whatever you do, no matter how busy or poor or troubled, no matter if the bills get paid or the IRS is at your door make sure to pick up your new I-5 Apple Phone. After all we must communicate. We must text, we must email, and we must string adjectives and adverbs together when we become upset with each other over all of the above.

Stop! Wait a minute! We are free beings able to elect to do things not for ourselves but out of love for each other. A remarkable concept that all must remember when “you know what” hits the Proverbial Pappy-fan. These are the times when our hearts must step up and remember what and why we are here to begin with. Maybe I wasn’t put here just to text and email and work. Maybe I wasn’t put here merely to raise my kids or pay my bills. Maybe I am here to serve others starting with my own family.

Its true these works of love and caring are not without punishment. These near term punishments lead to personal growth for ourselves and those around us. We realize during these moments why we are here. To know that we are needed and that the world can stop for a few minutes to be with your family when there is an ailment.

Pappy praises those who do these selfless acts of care-giving for their family and loved ones. During these selfless acts we do in fact find ourselves. So, I say “Pappy let me introduce you to the new Pappy.” Roll up your sleeves fellow baby boomers, our time is here. So, Chekhov you have the com, Zulu give me Warp speed! Fellow Boomers do your Service Work from your hearts and your lives will be enriched. Engage!

Happy Fall Everyone!                      Pappy

 

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Blog# 51 Evolution of the Species

Hello Everyone,

Has anyone ever had a loved one pass away and there be a huge fight over the estate?  Its usually not the one you think it will be. Over the last 25 years I have seen many such fights where spouses turn on each other, brother against brother and it soon becomes a free for all. Is it the money? Is it about power or greed? Or  is it just plain ole jealousy and envy.

We humans are complex predatory creatures. We love the ones we pick apart. We hate those that try to pick on someone that you Yourself pick on. Wait a minute that’s my bitch! lol. If we looked at things from a certain perspective I am sure we would all find our emotional center but its so hard when we are having so much fun with the drama. Yes, its true, we love to have our tiffs, dig in our heels and be stubborn. It can feel better than the emotions of “like” or “greed” . Maybe I should rank the coolest feelings to have:

1.Love 2. Hate 3. Stubborn  4.Envy 5. Like etc..

Remember that movie with Michael Douglas when he says, “Do you know what you get when you have a multi-millionaire? Ans. “A frustrated billionaire! Like he said in Wall Street 1 “its a zero sum game, nobody wins, nobody loses, funds are merely transferred from one account to another.” Such is the case now days with estate settlements.

So when is it time to “Go to the mattresses?” When do we “Make someone an offer they can’t refuse. “Badda Bing!” Nobody knows when the next feud may spring up. Which friend ,loved one, or stranger will be first to pull the knife, the gun or even worse, the dreaded attorney? Pappy’s Predatory Planet!

Most of us love our blissful lives of low stress and family love absent of drama. We pretend that it will always be that way. There will never be another disagreement and we will live happily ever after. As a fellow student of human nature, I have witnessed folks turn into animals when it comes to money. There’s the rat, who tells everyone on you. There’s the wolf who will tear you to shreds and loves to attack in a pack, then there’s the alligator who works alone and will surprise you being quick and lethal. Yes, in the jungle of life on Pappy’s Planet there are many such creatures. Do any of these remind you of yourself or a loved one?

Most Family’s or groups have a pecking order. Where do you belong in that order? Are you “The Godfather”?, The Matron?, or The Doormat? Do you prefer the offense, the defense, or just plain being on the fence? Its fun to be able to ride the fence watching others go at it. Few actually play offense while most of us are content being defensive. How do you respond when being attacked? Do you assume the position, fight back or pretend you didn’t see it?

Yes, on Pappy’s Planet we have an evolved social order. First it was the dinosaurs with the plant eaters, then the meat eaters, and finally T-Rex the King.  Then the meteor hits and it all starts again with mammals. So, we do come from a stout “Natural Selection” process that breeds survival instincts. Man is a creature that adapts to the situation and becomes whatever is needed to survive. Therefore, all the animals in the jungle are mimicked by man.

Charles Darwin would be proud of his evolutionary work today (published in 1859), if he could see the level of adaptation man has acheived, even against himself.  I think he might suggest that the attorneys are the new T-Rex’s. There is also the dreaded Politician/Attorney which is the highest form of predator on today’s Pappy’s Planet. Yes, this dangerous species can eat you alive with taxation, deprive you of your freedom, and even create wars that last for years.

Avoidance of conflict is the best answer you say? Stay clear of the fray? Pappy’s position is like most of you, do what you have to in order to survive. Truth is you can’t always avoid a fray, sometimes you have to do the unthinkable and be offensive. Be careful out there fellow Pappy Planetarians because after all, it is an election year and the Politician/Attorney Erectus is roaming the countryside.

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite predator!                       Pappy

 

 

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Blog# 50 Apocalypse Cow

Hello there Everyone,

I, Pappy have recently read many articles about catastrophic events and tragic occurrences that could, would, or should possibly happen in the not too distant future based on historical or should I say hysterical findings. Most of us love to watch TV ala “Ancient Aliens”, “Through the Wormhole”, “Alien Sightings”, and “Biblical Prophesies”. While entertaining, most of these programs propose that only aliens, and/or some supernatural beings could have built the Pyramids, or could have constructed the Mayan Temples, or lifted stones weighing over a 100 tons on the Easter Islands.

I guess I’ll have to take a minute to review my Nostradamus book to determine what really happened all those many years ago. After all the scientists and engineers finish their what ifs, let ole Pappy take you down a slightly different path. Pappy’s perception of past planetary events stem entirely from just Pappy’s Planet only.

Take the Egyptians of past pyramidal days. Most of the experts say the stones had to be levitated by some alien lifeforms into their precarious positions. The stones meeting so precisely perfect that a piece of paper cannot be put between each stone due to an ancient laser. That’s pretty darned impressive stuff. What if the Egyptians merely turned the stones on their sides and walked them up ramps using ropes, tipping them back and forth, like a domino walking up a sheet of ply board. What if they had a day time crew and a night time crew that worked around the clock? What if they rounded the stones on the face and sanded them into place making them fit Pappy perfect?

Did the ancients make stone monuments that could tell time? Yes they probably did. Did some structures track the sun and moon and stars. Sure! Were they meant to be a nuclear reactors or landing pads for the aliens? Nope, no way! Most of the ancients were concerned about accurate calendars for growing food. I would guess there may not have been a lot to do in ancient spare time but to watch the stars with your girlfriend.

Has there ever been an extinction event in our planet’s past? Yes, but I would think it not too likely unless there was a meteor colliding with our planet, or a gravitational pull from a comet coming too close for comfort. No doubt the Mayan calendar will undoubtedly run out on Dec.21st 2012.  What should we do about it you say? Maybe we should build a pyramid and climb down to the bottom of it in case of sudden weightlessness and hopefully ride it out. Oh, and make sure you take some Lay’s Potato Chips and Diet Coke to tide you over.

How about all those Mayans that walked off into the woods one day and disappeared? Throughout all civilizations there have been regime changes, plagues, pestilence, and my personal favorite food and water shortages thereby making an area uninhabitable for a period of time. How about Marabunta from the old Charlton Heston movie in Africa?

Did Atlantis sink into the ocean? Did it sink into the Bermuda Triangle as a result of a wormhole? Did the Greek Gods actually walk the earth and Achilles slay Hector? It boggles the mind to contemplate all the what ifs we allow our minds to ponder. My biggest concern about all of the theories that they fall on a gullible public. We believe what we see and half of what we hear. If its on TV then it must have some truth to it. Right?

I believe there may be some intelligent lifeforms out there perhaps, but I don’t think they have been visiting us nor will they. Why would they want to mess with this small planet when there are millions out there like this one but totally uninhabited? If they have been here before it was for just a short period until they saw the downtown streets of Manhattan during rush hour.

Planetary alignment you say? Maybe, but polar shifts can happen from melting ice caps too. If we take a few moments to examine our own situation I think we may decide that the people are the ones that create Apocalypse these days. We are often times compared to cows out in the field chewing our cuds while the tornado comes along and tips us over. “Apocalypse Cow!”

Pappy’s Planet has been spinning around for quite awhile now and I believe only God knows when it will end. Until then, let’s come up with some more sitcoms like “Everyone Loves Raymond” and “Cheers” to keep us entertained instead of doomsday tales. Most faiths have a Bible like mine that describes the end, but lets take our time with it. Instead, I propose a moratorium on tragic tales, unpleasant prophesy, and all of Pappy’s Planetary prevarications.

Let’s just have a pleasant Pappy’s Planet and a fun filled Fourth of July!              Pappy

 

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Blog: #49 Vacation Cruise

Family Members: Pappy-me, Grammy-my wife, Claire-my oldest daughter 28, Phil-Claire’s husband 28, Ella-my middle daughter 25, and Amy-my youngest daughter 16 .

Hi All,

About a week or so ago we went to the Bahamas aboard a popular cruise ship with the whole family less my grand daughters. Grammy and I took full advantage of the wonderful food, housekeeping and activities that the ship and shore excursions offered. We did almost everything but relax. Don’t get me wrong we had a great time and so did the kids, but, there only a few moments of actual relaxation during the entire 8 days and 7 nights.

Grammy and I are not strangers to cruise vacations and know about the perils of cruising. First of all you have to get a balcony room or a suite to feel comfortable in your room. When Grammy and I took our first cruise to the Southern Caribbean, St. Marten, St. Johns, etc we had a small cabin in the lower part of the ship with a single round porthole. The cabin was no wider than the width of the bed which tended to toss all night while we tried to sleep. (The seas were a bit rough back then.) I awakened queasy and became sicker as the day went on. Our dining table faced the sea view and I watched the ship rise and fall, rise and fall.

Since that time we never go without a balcony cabin up higher in the ship decks and try for a table that doesn’t face the sea view. This year was the first cruise ever for my son-in-law, “Phil”. He had more fun than any 3 of us as he was either a contestant on a game show aboard or attending the Comedy Shows at night. He never slept, so he enjoyed all the ship had to offer. “Claire”, his wife, my oldest daughter tried her best to keep up with Phil but by the end of the cruise, fell prey to the Lido Deck’s allure. The Lido Deck offers a huge pool, water slides, kewl music, games and tanning. They waiters bring you things when you ask for them, ala beverages of choice and more.

My youngest daughter, “Amy”, spent her time in the evenings hanging with the kids club aboard the ship. They would play pool, video games and just chill together. Some nights they went out on the Lido Deck for the parties. They would dance till they dropped and then play miniature golf or join Pappy and Nana for a late night snack via room service.

Amy’s order is always the same, two peanut butter sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies and milk. We could eat sitting on our balconies late at night or watch the Lido Deck’s ongoing parties on our room TV. “Ella”, my middle daughter, liked the games like bingo, and slot machines. She loved the art auctions and shore excursions the most.

Our first port of call was Key West Florida. While Amy and Grammy went parasailing, Ella and I did the trolley and shopped. We ate Key Lime Pie at Kermit’s and enjoyed the Hemingway Home and the aquariums together. Finally, we wound up on  the streets wandering in and out of little shops, buying souvenirs for the family.

Claire and Phil went out on their own and toured the areas bars. They took them to about every bar on the island. By the end of the day the kids were pretty soused. They made it back to their room and still were able to make it to dinner. (I was very impressed!)

The next port was Free-port, the Bahamas. Phil and Claire stayed aboard to recover from the bar tour while Grammy, Ella, Amy, and I took a combination beach/jeep trip. We first ate the local cuisine at the beach club, our first stop, then, had Ella’s hair braided island style. It began to rain and turned our jeep trip into a mud-ding trip which suited Amy just fine. They allowed Pappy to drive one of the jeeps leaving Grammy and the girls hanging on for dear life. After 2-3 hours of back road mud-ding and touring the posh homes of the island we barely made it back to the boat in time. They were waiting for Pappy’s party, and as we climbed aboard they pushed off within minutes.

Our last excursion was a whole family tour to Nassau, Atlantis. After reading all the complaints about the long lines and crowding at the Atlantis Water-park, I was pleasantly surprised. Since it was raining, no one was at the park allowing us to be first on the water-slide rides. We enjoyed downhill speed water tunnels again and again without so much as a five minute wait.

One thing I learned from Atlantis that I had forgotten from my childhood, is that if you don’t cross your legs while going down a speed ride, you get a major wedgie. For those of you who have not had one, it involves your swimming trunks winding up around your shoulders when you hit the water going way to fast.

Atalantis was great fun and Pappy palatial inside the hotel lobby. On the way back, the bus driver gave us a tour fo the city of Nassau complete with home remedies from the surrounding foilage they would cook up for medicines when he was a boy. (I like to hear local stories.)

What I enjoyed the most about our sea cruise were the wonderful meals and entertainment every single night that our family enjoyed in the dining hall. There was a fabulous singer that would sing most nights as we ate dessert. Some nights we all would get up and dance. It was just real nice. We still miss our fantastic servers “Nelson” and “Jesse”. Grammy still wakes up some nights calling their names!

If you haven’t ever cruised before, please give it a try. Pappy highly reccommends the experience for too many reason to even name especially for kids. For those of you going on a cruise to relax, “Good Luck”! Go instead for fun fun fun. To all of you that have already booked, have safe travels, and Bon Voyage!

Pappy

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Blog #48 A Gift for my Birthday

Hi Everyone,

I just enjoyed a birthday last week and realized again how lucky I am, we are, for living in this great country where we can form bonds of friendship that endure throughout our lives. Birthdays are so welcome when we are younger and yet when I was younger, my birthday was celebrated very few times.Now that I am married Grammy makes sure I get a good old fashioned party at least once every ten years or so.

I remember when I turned thirty. Grammy threw me a surprise party at her aunt’s home. She conned me into going over there as a stop over to her taking me out to a nice quiet birthday dinner in Dallas. We stopped in, walked through the house and 30 of my friends screamed SURPRISE!!!! Augh!! Once I could breathe again, I began to enjoy the evening.

When I turned forty, Grammy, with the help of my sister, arranged a similar party but without the surprise so that my heart might continue beating. This party had many of the same faces but she also included a blackjack table for fun. It was also a big hit and pappy’s partys became a decade event.

Last week she erected a tent in our backyard, cooked a brisket and had Claire, my oldest daughter make me a DVD of my life in a 10 minute presentation. It was complete with pictures, subtitles, and music. It was really quite fantastic. Steven Spielberg move over! I, Pappy am hardly ever awed by anything once I turned the ripe old age of 50, but this party was really something. She even had my friends send me memory cards of their favorite memories of past experiences with me to enjoy after the party.

For about a month before the party Grammy began her evil birthday party plan. She got all the family together first for pictures for my office and home for my primary gift. Then she went to my father’s house to get pictures of me as a child to help make the DVD. Next she created a cool invitation theme, “Let the Good Times Roll” and she was well on her way.

We have a large patio in our backyard and she covered it completely with a tent, brought in tables and chairs, and even had a banner made of me as a kid driving in the soap box races. Finally the time had come, the party was all set and the guests began to arrive. My whole family was there and friends going back to grade school days. My old work buddies and wedding party in full were in attendance.

Pappy’s past was a middle class good upbringing with humble beginnings. I was taught to not draw attention to yourself unnecessarily. I was taught good manners and a sense knowing your place. Now, try have a big party when you are suddenly the center of attention. It’s a darned hard thing to take. Hardly having any time to go from one friend or family member to another, having broken conversations and pulled and tugged upon doesn’t come easy to this Pappy.

Before we cut the cake Grammy and the girls had me come into the house to view the DVD with everyone. As the DVD played, I began to realize how many people my life had touched over the years. I noticed around the room there were a few tears along with laughter. I felt much better suddenly when I knew the party wasn’t all about me, It was all about us! We sat in the den and watch 40 years of memories of family and friends go by. We held each other emotionally for a lifetime in that 10 minutes.

So you ask me, about my Birthday Gift? My gift was to see for a brief moment in time that my life of family and friends has been overwhelmingly amazing. The gift of love and joy that filled my heart and burst over to my friends and family during the viewing. It was truly one of the few self-actualization moments in my life and it rushed over me like a tidal wave.

They called for a speech, but I was speechless. All Pappy could say was “I’m just overwhelmed”. “Thank you all for being in my life and helping me along the way”. They all understood. They knew in their hearts as did I, that there it all was. It was perfect.

Perfect for Pappy.

 

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Blog# 47 Spring has Sprung

Hi Everyone,

It is that time of year again. The time when small insects fly about with colored wings. When baby birds sing from the newly hatched eggs and the squirrels run amuck in the trees. Its the time when the birds and bees do their thing while no one is looking. It is also the time when we gaze out our windows aimlessly in a daze and have fuzzy thoughts about our lives and futures. We allow ourselves to wonder in the spring. I wonder what others are going to do for their vacations, or I wonder what other friends are doing on such a fine beautiful day.

On such days as these when a coherent thought is seldom considered, and we are mesmerized by the sheer perfection of the temperature and the clear blue sky we must force ourselves to keep pushing onward at our jobs and daily activities. Hay fever can further complicate our mental malaise. We sneeze when the sun gets in our eyes and it provides a welcome release of our joy that’s kept within and followed with a smile of satisfaction. Sometimes we repeat the process several times like a kitten in the window.

Pappy pursues these lackadaisical expressions and embraces them with a certain fondness and appreciation. When we stare into a sunlit window there is a sense of self actualization.  We no longer fear the aging process and welcome what is to come, like a caterpillar ready to emerge from its cocoon welcoming the past and future. We are all renewed again, reborn, and have a sense of awe that we did as 4 year olds. We look at the world as through a prism of glass and see only the pretty colors of sliced light.

So prepare yourselves, all of you Pappy’s Planeteers for another gorgeous springtime of self absorption into a mood that finds you gazing lazily out of your window. I hope your thoughts drift far from reality to a place where you find your supernatural self. A place that you can’t share with anyone, but can only appreciate from within.

Exchange a dopey smile with a friend, while you let your mind float from that important task at work or school. We are here only once, allow yourself the moment.

Happy Spring!  Pappy

 

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Blog #46 Retirement and Other Myths

Hello Everyone,

Welcome again to the Pappy’s Planet Blog! I have enjoyed conveying my thoughts and sentiments on many subjects near and dear to my heart, and the subject of retirement is certainly one of them. As I approach retirement age, like many American aging “baby boomers”, I reflect on the thoughts regarding retirement after my working years. Most of us have dreams and aspirations of what retirement is and what it should look like, feel like, and be like. In our lives prior to retirement most of us may have been a little surprised at the future as we were when looking at our pasts.

Remember when you were finally a high school senior and you thought “This is my year!” Or when you received your college diploma you thought “The world is my oyster!” Or when you got your first job, or when you got married, or when your first child was born, and on and on? We all have preconceived notions of how these life altering events would change our lives instantly and we would forever live in bliss, harmony, and unrealistically “The Good Life” forever and ever. Most of us aging boomers now realize the rent goes on. Taxes must be paid annually. What we own, owns us. Therefore retirement must be given some advanced thought as well. This last 20-30 year chapter in our lives we all wish will be written with grace and style. We want a lavishness of travel, warm friendships, and memories of “The Good Life” perpetuated and punctuated with profound, perfunctory pleasantries to written in Pappy’s pastimes pamphlet. None of us wants to go out with the relative obscurity of the average man or woman.

Retirement in all its forms must be examined thoroughly by our generation first before fully enjoyed. The very thought of retirement connotes the full departure from work and work related activities. It paints the picture of sleeping in everyday, reading a book in the old easy chair, and bouncing the grand-babies on our Sunday afternoon laps after a roast beef and potatoes dinner.

The reality of retirement for many baby boomers may be reflected as more work than in their working years. Most of us have allowed ourselves “The Good Life” all through our lives allowing for less retirement dreams than past generations. Boomers have already traveled, we have taken cruises, we have purchased Harley’s and flown planes. Some of us have gambled or sought adventure with our nest eggs that may encumber our realization of the retirements we originally desired. If we couple this thought with the new economic picture of potentially less retirement benefits and health insurance, we may find ourselves extending the working years until 75-80. Whoa!

What’s wrong with this picture you say? What happened to the American dream? Where’s the cherry atop my hot fudge sundae? The answer lies embedded within our very lives. We are already so blessed and lucky right now that making the future even brighter may be a difficult task.

I talk to people everyday about retirement and very few can give me a definition of what it looks like to them other than a few ideas immediately following their retirement. I believe most will find themselves thinking of the good times that they had in their working lives while planning for retirement. Life is a journey and those we meet along the way are a big part of that journey. Where do we meet these people along the way? At work of course! Other places include school, church, and organizations we may join.

My point is that retirement may be highly overrated. The human condition requires adventure and a sense of future activities that we look forward to daily. If this routine isolates us or takes us out of the mainstream, I submit that retirement is a myth. Oh sure, slowing down a bit may sound appealing now but what happens when there is less in our future than was in our past? Were our working years the good old days?

Wait a minute, I have an idea! Eureka! What if we look upon retirement as working as much or as little as we desire with enough to manage our monetary affairs in old age with a level of respectability and decency? Is this too low of an expectation? Can we not still add to the human experience at that level of existence?

I, Pappy, look forward to the day when I can spend more time working and fishing at my father’s farm. I want go four-wheeling down the tree lined tank road and stop occasionally to cut down a limb that inhibits my open path to Pappy’s fishing hole. I wish to work mending fences, cutting brush and just having a few weeks of the year to do it. It seems so simple yet I will still need my current life to enjoy those moments as well. The contrast means everything!

We all have a retirement dream or two floating around in our imaginations. Please leave me a few of yours and I will make sure to publish them under the comments section below.  Retirement dreams are truly yours and yours alone. The fulfillment of your dreams may have already happened for you and therefore, the retirement dream may be a mere extension of your present. Let me know your thoughts!

Pappy

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Blog #45 Home Makeover?

Family Members: Grammy-my wife, Pappy-me, Claire-my oldest daughter, Phil-Claire’s husband, Annie-Claire’s newborn, Beth-Claire’s first born, Ella-my middle daughter, Amy-my youngest daughter.

Hi Everyone,

I know a man’s home is his castle but what happens when the castle turns against the man. No, its not haunted. There are no ghosts spooks or specters in Pappy’s pad. There are however, many projects in play that make it seem as if there could be ghouls in the pipes, or at least in some of the home improvement stores that we frequent.

Grammy, my wife and I decided to throw a baby shower for a girl at Ella, my middle daughter’s workplace. We shopped for new doors, new ceiling fans, and a new kitchen sink and disposal. We left the store with our goodies only to get home and wait for the bad news. Last week the plumber came out and told us he cannot cut our sink opening to fit the new sink into the countertop. It seems they become responsible for the countertop if they miscut the opening. So now we have no kitchen sink as he had to remove it first to give us this news.

Next, we had a nice fellow come out to hang our fans. Three are now hung but all are out of balance and one may require an electrician to fix the wall outlet. These so-called home improvements do not come without a cost to your frayed nerves and patience. As I now sit waiting for the plumber to arrive, I’ll give you the last shoe to fall on King Pappy’s castle. I woke up this morning to raw sewage backup in my shower and tub. Did I say we weren’t haunted?

It seems I have a few hours to kill as I sit waiting for the chance to take my morning shower before work. Today Grammy is set to have the old kitchen sink put back in as no one will take the responsibility to cut the countertop to make the new kitchen sink fit properly. A second plumber is coming to handle the raw sewage backup and all the toliets malfunctions.

Grammy is also expecting the guys who can hang our new doors to come out today. We will probably find out the doors can only be hung by left-handed, union backed journeymen who have the day off on Greek bailout day. Wait a minute did I just see an apparition float by? I could use Harry Potter’s friend Hermione Granger about now to waive her wand pronouncing “Occular Repairo!”

Forget the Goblins in the sheetrock. phantoms in the woodwork and spook in the attic. We have a real red alarm here at the pad! Reality can often be more scary and trying than mere movie characters. Try not being able to shower and use your toliets for awhile. How about letting the dishes stack up in the sink or watching all your new fans wobble from side to side or not even work at all.

I am a little bit scared now. I am frightened of the new set of door hangers coming today on top of the plumbers and lighting professioinals that did make us feel ghastly. Ahh the smell of raw sewage in the morning…Did I tell you the plumber finally arrived and can’t find our outdoor cleanout? He looks and laughs a bit like Vincent Price. We all have our demons to exercise and face down but at 6 am on a Monday morning? Comon, give me a break!

Alas, Pappy and the Pappyclan will recover! We will bounce back! Just wait and see. It may take a day, a week or well maybe a month to fight off this Murphy’s driven scenario, but we will emerge victorious.

Yea, we will rise from the ashes of what is ultimately left of our happy home. We will take back our property and yes our happiness from these would be trators of their trades. Our ceiling fans will work, our toliets will flush again, and yes our doors will lock. We will go forth into the work a day world and make the money needed to own and operate a home in suburbia Texas!

Do not fear Pappy is here! Boy am I here. I am stuck here until my Pappy plumber puts in the fix. I will write checks, I will follow-up with future billings in the form of online payments. Order will return to prideful Pappy’s life. Even now, I smile to my self thinking about the helplessness of my predicament. AGHHH! I think I saw Casper!

Happy home keeping,               Pappy

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