this afternoon i learned of another natural symbiotic relationship that yellow jackets have (for the first symbiotic relationship see the entry from [url=http://www.parkviewyouth.org/blog/?postid=5] August 23rd[/url]). today noah’s tiger cub den had a field trip to the bluebonnet swamp reserve to observe nature and to do a service project. the service project was picking up trash around the reserve. the observing of nature was watching the mass of yellow jackets swarm out of the area in which we were picking up trash.
we were walking around the pavement picking up small pieces of trash and trying to make the reserve look better. what we didn’t know is that yellow jackets have apparently not only made a bargain with bushes to protect them but they have also cut some type of deal with random pieces of trash. i’m not sure if the deal works for every piece or trash or not but i am sure that is works for tootsie roll wrappers. one of the kids there saw the wrapper and bent down to pick it up. at first i didn’t see what she was picking up, because if i had i would have screamed for her to stop. i have vast personal experience with yellow jackets and i am familiar with all the symbiotic relationships they have. therefore, i knew about the little known yellow jacket / tootsie roll wrapper deal. unfortunately she didn’t so she picked up the wrapper.
yellow jackets apparently really believe in keeping their promises because the second she picked up the wrapper they began to attack every breathing thing within 100 feet of the disturbed tootsie roll wrapper. if you think the thought of a 35 year old man running from yellow jackets is funny, just imagine six tiger cubs running away from the little beasts. it was chaos.
of course, the midst of all the action only two people were stung – 1) the girl who disturbed the tootsie roll wrapper, 2) me – the knower of all things yellow jacket. oh, i hate the little pests. i think i will begin killing all the yellow jackets i see. they can have a symbiotic relationship with my fly swatter.
some of ya’ll know that pam, my wife, is a speech pathologist. this means she has the incredible job of helping children and adults learn and sometimes re-learn how to communicate with the world around them. she does some fascinating stuff. awhile back she was telling me how certain individuals with various communication problems are able to communicate better with animals or puppets (for those who stutter or love someone who stutters you can relate this to the way so many people who stutter have a much more difficult time talking on the phone than they do talking in a one sided conversation face to face). the biggest problems they face are with talking with humans. because of this some therapist have started using animals and puppets with very young individuals to get them focused on learning to communicate. pam read about therapists who did their therapy through puppets and the children would communicate with the puppet and basically forget that what was going on was actually therapy – i know this sounds a little odd but if it helps a child to be able to talk and interact with his/her world then i am all for it.
being the great speech pathologist that she is pam decided to give this whole thing a try. she order a puppet and had two children picked for a trial run with the whole thing. the first test of the therapy was today and it met with less than stellar results. when pam started talking through the puppet it did not help her two subjects to communicatebetter. they did not find it easier to talk with the puppet than with pam. no! the puppets simply scared the crud out of both of her test subjects. instead of opening up to the world around them each child stared wide-eyed, slowly backed away form the puppet, and then hide in the corner of the room whimpering about the crazed little person that was coming after them. so much for puppet therapy. now these two poor kids have to go through psychotherapy to chase away the nightmares of the killer puppets within their speech therapy. chalk one up for modern science.
okay, here’s my disclaimer. pam is amazing at what she does. i can’t tell you the numbers of people who can now talk because of what GOD does through her. she blows me away. she just told me this story today and we both laughed about the humor of the puppets not only not helping but actually scaring the kids. she knows i put the story in the blog, so i’m not talking behind her back. she’s great … even is she does terrify small helpless children.
i got to pet a tiger today! seriously. for some reason a guy brought a 12 week old female bengal tiger by the church building today. he is sometype of educator or something (honestly i didn’t really listen to him very much, i was too busy looking at the tiger). and takes this bengal around to schools to show the kids and teach them about tigers. apparently he was trying to see about bringing the tiger to the school at the church. anyhow, he sat there talking about the tiger and i finally asked “can i pet her?” nobody else had asked but after he said “yes” everybody jumped in and stole my idea (i always hate that – it’s kind of like ordering the same thing at a resturant that the person in front of you ordered – don’t steal people’s ideas, pick your own meal and make sure it is different from the person who ordered in front of you). it was pretty cool to be able to pet a tiger.
of course, after i was through petting the tiger i thought it would be cool to tell some other people so they could have the experience also. i tried telling a few of the students and teachers as they went by. i shouted out “hey, there’s a tiger in the white building.” for some reason they wouldn’t believe me. why would someone think i was lying about a tiger in the white building? have they had someone lie to them about tigers in the past? have they had a “boy called tiger too often” experience before and therefore they made a vow to never believe anyone again when they said “hey there’s a tiger”? just doesn’t make any sense to me. who would lie about a tiger? an elephant or an ardvarck i could see lying about but not a tiger. the moral of the story is you should always trust a guy when he says “hey there’s a tiger in the white building. if you do then you may get the chance to pet a tiger. if not, then you’ll probably miss out.
today was the day (actually you can probably say that about any day – for example “yesterday was the day” – it’s a just a given that any word that describes an actual day, today, yesterday, sunday, is the day but that’s really neither here nor there – another saying which doesn’t make much sense – what does geography or proximity have to do with anything?). this afternoon was the day in which pam and i were opening adam’s room back up to him. i told ya’ll a couple of weeks ago that we were going to redo adam’s room and that he said he didn’t tust us. what i didn’t tell you was that we were doing this whole thing alla “trading spaces”.
most likely you’ve heard of this show but i’ll describe it for you just in case you haven’t. “trading spaces” is put on by “the learning channel” (which should be renamed “the let’s take not-so-reality t.v. and base all our programming on it channel) and it involves interior decorators coming into two neighbors houses and completely trashing everything in 48 hours, only to leave the neighbors to hate each other afterwards (this is where the real show should be – they should make a show about the neighborhood wars and battles between the two couples that start just after the cameras are turned off ove4r the fact that one of their living rooms was painted with leopard print – that’s educational television). the only rule seems to be that you can’t actually see what happens to your house (there are actually other rules but they break these all the time). this is done so that you can be embarrassed and have it caught on cable television.
well, it’s sad to admit but we watch this show (i’m not really a volunteer in this process and usually just skip it all together). pam and my boys love the show. so they came up with the idea of doing each other’s room “trading spaces” style. they’re actually too young to do any of the work so “trading spaces” style for a 9 and 6 year old means when it is their turn getting kicked out of their room until their room is finished. so we kicked adam out of his room thursday and started on the road to redoing everything. it took until last night to finish it but after much blood, sweat, and tears everything was done and after school today it was time to unveil adam’s room.
we brought him into the room and the kid who told his loving parents that he didn’t trust them went bezerk. he loves his room. his general remark on the whole thing was “i didn’t think ya’ll had a ‘taste of cool’ at all but apparently you do.” powerful words from a 9 year old – at least i think they are – i’m not really sure what “a taste of cool” is. i hope it’s not like the monkeypox or anything. i’ll post a picture or something later (if i can figure out how to do that) for now i’m going to take me and my taste of cool to bed…i think i feel a fever coming on or something.
one of my children frequently sleep walks (i’m not saying which one because if anyone actual does read this thing there is a slim chance that you might know my kids and i don’t want you walking up to them and saying dumb stuff about him sleep walking). last night this dna match of me apparently decided it was time to sleep walk again. pam and i were laying on our bed talking about the day when my little blood twin got up and walked into our room. pam asked him what he was doing and as he walked around our bedroom intently looking for something he said “i’m looking for my…..” and then it faded out. pam asked again and while he continued to walk around the bedroom he said “i’m looking for my…..” and once again it faded off. one last time pam said “what are you looking for?” this time walking zombie responded by saying “i’m looking for my name.”
apparently he found his name at that time because without saying goodbye or anything he turned around and went back to bed. of course, he didn’t remember anything this morning. i really just think he is trying to set things up for when he is a teenager. that way if he tries to sneak out of the house he can really say “oh, i was just sleep walking.”
today somebody did something that cut me deep. someone that i have invested alot of time into betrayed me. i doubt seriously that this person knows that he/she betrayed me or considers their actions as such but they did. if the rolls were reversed they would be screaming for me to repent and talking to brother bill about my job. but since their decision involves church it’s “okay” to do what they did. therefore, i can’t say anything about it. it wasn’t anything sinful but still it took all the trust i had built into this person and smashed it. my stomach hurts. ministry would be awhole lot easier if it wasn’t for all the people.
of course, that’s really the point isn’t it. JESUS has called all of us to work with very fallen people (myself foremost amonst them). in return for people caring about us we do really stupid things to them. we did these stupid things to JESUS and still HE loved and work with us. so if i’m going to follow in HIS footsteps then i have to be prepared to serve and sometimes be betrayed and then love and serve those people anyways. it still stinks though.
after a long and exhausting day my family and i are now back home in baton rouge. at 11:30 this morning we started our trip back home from a wonderful weekend at gulf shores, alabama. we figured the traffic would be a little heavy so we had planned on allowing an hour and a half, or at most two hours, to make the trip to mobile, which normally takes 45 minutes. turns out we were way off. apparently all the drunks and just generally bad driver in the southeast decided to get together over labor day around gulf shores and hold a “how not to drive” convention. it would appear that part of this convention was a demonstration on highway 59. the bad driving demonstration clogged up 59 all the way from gulf shores to the interstate (about 30 to 40 miles). it would appear that the bad drivers were having such a good time chocking up the roadway that they quickly voted and unanimously decided the take their convention into mobile via interstate 10. this of course messed up i-10. the trip from gulf shores to mobile lasted until 3:00 p.m. (almost 4 hours!). that made for a world of fun, in fact too much fun for us, so we decided to stop and finally eat lunch and visited with my parents. this took about an hour. we figured by then all the crazies would have left the road. we had three hours worth of driving ahead of us between mobile and baton rouge. we were looking forward to a pleasant journey for the rest of the time. of course, i hadn’t thought of the fact that the people leaving the bad drivers convention would be going in all directions and spreading havoc as they went. our three hour drive extended itself to 5 hours. all in all this made our 4 hour trip into a nearly 9 hour trip. we averaged about 33 miles per hour. pretty excellent speed for a horse, but not for a 626.
here’s the point of all this. my kids decided to start asking questions. what place would you most like to go it? not a restaurant, but what geographic place (i.e. state or country). what car would you most like to drive? etc. my 9 and 6 year old made the journey enjoyable. without them I probably would have just fumed over the long trip. instead, i laughed a lot with my family. life is a journey… try to enjoy the journey. i’m trying real hard.
i hate my dog!
i can’t say that enough.
i hate my dog! i hate my dog! i hate my dog! i hate my dog! i hate my dog! i hate my dog! i hate my dog! i hate my dog! i hate my dog! i hate my dog! i hate my dog!
for some reason my dog, whose name is “hero”, has decided that it is fun to escape from the back yard and run around the neighborhood. he’s not suppose to be able to do this because he has tendons in his back right leg which are messed up. he walks fine but running is suppose to be a no-no. well he has recently started finding ways under the gate of the backyard fence. of course, since he can�t run very well it is usual not a problem to catch him. a crippled dog owner typically has the advantage in a dog on man race (i highly recommend crippled animals as pets, it usually makes life much easier). today, i was in front of the family abode shooting air rockets with adam and noah (the air rockets are incredible) and out of the corner of my eye i saw hero escape form the backyard. i started after him thinking that as usual it would be no big deal to catch him. apparently, unbeknownst to me, someone has been slipping drugs to my dog because he didn’t act like his normal maimed self. no! instead of hobbling around hero would run in front of me staying just out of arms reach. i believe i chased him for 3 miles, uphill, both ways, in the snow. it was awful. i swear the dog was laughing at me. if there had been a shotgun in my hands i would have killed “man’s best friend” and left his body there to be eaten by cats and other dog hating animals.
after much sweat and shouting i finally catch the mutt, scold him, and carry him all the way back to the house (i didn’t bring a lease with me). i place him back in the back yard and decide to get some cold ice tea to cool off with. as soon as i get inside that hound begins to whimper and limp around the back yard looking for sympathy from me. sure his leg is find while he’s running from me, but once he is back home it hurts and he wants me to take care of it. i hate my dog!
okay just a few minutes ago i was trimming the bushes in front of our house (yes when you get to be an adult you too will get to do such exciting things). apparently the bush i was trimming did not like me cutting on it and decided to release a yet unknown weapon against me. it would appear that bushes have a symbiotic relationship with yellow jackets. i don’t know the specifics but apparently the relationship works something like this – i’ll give you a place to live if you will insanely attack anyone who comes near me with clippers. i’m not sure how long these particular yellow jackets hav lived at these bushes because it has been around a year since i have approached this bush with clippers (though i have walked all around it without a cutting device in my hand and never been attacked – that’s the key – you must have clippers in your hand for the yellow jackets to live up to their part of the bargain). today though i had clippers in my hands and the yellow jackets decided to honor their arrangement and they actually seemed to enjoy keeping the bargain. they attacked me viciously. by the time i realized what was going on i had been stung 5 times around the ankles.
yet this was not the end of the battle because being a former boys-scout i was prepared. i had in my possession a can of wasp and hornet killer and i quickly ran for it (maybe hobbled toward it would be a better description). i came back with my own weapon and attacked both the bush and the yellow jackets. vengeance is mine saith the homeowner! as the yellow jackets squirmed i laughed over the bodies. i of course, ran away like a little girl when one of the remaining yellow jackets flew towards me, but still i laughed.
i’ll update you later on the battles of the bushes if there are any new skirmishes.
well i believe that i actually have this thing working now. this means that i can try it out and see if this is something that will be good or not. i’m not exactly sure what i am going to do with this thing but i figure that will come along as i try it out. if nothing else i may just start writing out a thought that runs through my head every now and then. of course, that doesn’t happen very often.
anyhow i’m sitting beside pam right now, she’s on one computer and i am on another. we’re reading things that people have posted on various websites and we are both sad because of what we are reading. not because people are talking about anything particularly bad (some are and some aren’t). we’re sad because the majority of the statements we are reading come from people who talk as if they are settling for what they can get because they have given up hope for something better. that’s not what life is supposed to be about. i know that we aren’t meant to settle for boring, pathetic survival. we are meant for so much more. it’s sad we settle for less.