Thursday, November 04, 2004

If you were four yours old...

Track Meet-Sean &Bec
Originally uploaded by sbmi92.
This is what you would see in my house. Straight up my nose. All the time. No wonder my youngest thinks I'm losing my mind. He can see straight up there!

My wife and I thought it would be funny to cut Isaac lose on the camera while we were watching Mitchell in a local track meet. Not bad for a midget.

I'm a bad loser. The next four years will torture ALL of us, regardless of your party affiliation. I was told by a friend at work that just because Bush, Jr. is a bad public speaker, don't make him a bad president. Um, yeah it does. The man is representing me as an American like a frickin' retard on Looney Tunes. I had it a couple months into the previous term. How can over half the United States be so ignorant? I mean, was Kerry really that bad of an alternative? And this electoral college crap has to be modified or revised to make me think that "my vote really does count". BS. I live in Kansas where only 2 counties in the entire state are Democrat. How does my democratic vote help anything here? It doesn't. So sad. All these so-called republicans have no idea what they have just done. Time will tell them and their pocketbooks real soon. Hey, don't look at me. You all put 'em there. You deal with him.

Mine is coming for Thanksgiving. Since none of them even know I have this site, I can tap this one pretty hard. -Hell, no one but me reads this.- Wonder if anyone who invites themselves over ever truly appreciates the fact that a host, on average, will spend between a small fortune and a full heard of livestock on getting ready for said company. I made a list of everything I will need just to "get by". This is going to hit the bank harder than I imagined. Do they know it? No. Do I dare tell them? No. Why? Because I just recently got over the guilt trip my mother gave me for pelting her house with over-ripe plums straight from the tree. That was approxiamately 23 years ago. That is exactly the reason why I shut the face when these things "happen". I can feel like I am paying her back for all the paint she had to slap on the house after the "plum bombing". It was her fault for plantiing that tree so close to the house. Right? She was asking for it. Silly woman. She cut it down the very next year.

I have more. MUCH more, but it is getting later in my head than it really is because my wife is in San Fran on business (yeah, right) and I had to balance EVERYTHING without any help. It's amazing how you realize how much someone does when they are absent.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Birds are decent people...

Originally uploaded by sbmi92.
Have you ever felt misunderstood? Maybe you just have a bad day at the office and need someone to talk to? I have that in my bird. Lola is a green cheek conure and very receptive. She talks jibberish back to me when I am talking to her. I let her know how lucky she is to be protected from the harsh reality that is "the world". Everyone should have a "Lola".

The problem I am having is a double edge sword called communication. How do you communicate with people who have not been properly taught how to communicate? How do teach such a person how to communicate if they can't let you know they are learning how to communicate? This exact reason is why I admire the handicapped who are unable to comunicate in a "traditional" manner. These people take nothing for granted and value any communication skills they were given. Some of my co-workers suffer from this "commnication retardation" and it is driving me nuts. Lola understands...

Is there anything quite as frustrating as this? Well, other than the World Series and why they play baseball to begin with? I mean, honestly, calling baseball a "sport" is quite a stretch. A sport, to me, is defined by the amount of agility and strength is harnessed in a team effort to reach a common "goal". I saw more standing around, spitting and whinning tissy fits than an actual "sport" happening there. Honestly people, try soccer. You might actually run a little and use some athletic ability. Baseball players are some of the laziest kind ever made, I swear. Look at them. I could only stand about 23 seconds of the World Series on TV before I was flat sick. These are athletes making millions and spending it on what? Beer? Those guts are inhuman. Geez...

In closing, mascots. Cardinals and Red Sox? Are you serious? Foot underware is something to fear now? Only if left unattended near a chemical labratory after a 10 hour work day outside. Then, maybe, I might fear them. Have you ever seen a Cardinal? We have alot of them here in the midwest US and I can tell you, they are not exactly "beasts to be dealt with". They are very pretty though. Does this say something about the St. Louis team? Hmm.

Birds are just decent people. Let 'em be. More people should be more like birds.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

This is Hotshot...Hotshot, say hi.

This is one of new horses
This is one of new horses,
originally uploaded by sbmi92.
Since switching to a Mac, I had to figure out how to post these pictures I have and no one to share them with because I had no idea how to do it. Well, here ya go.

This the younger of the two guildings I get to work with. He is a specticle to behold. To give you a perspective on the size of this magnificent beast, the man next to him is my boss, Geoff. Geoff, say hi. Good boss. He is not a small man by no stretch of the imagination. He is 6'4". Get the picture. Well, now you do. A horse is measured in stacked hands from front toe to shoulder crest. A hand is approximately 4-5 inches depending on how wide your hands are. Hotshot is a solid 17 hands high. Quiz on Friday. Class dismissed.

This blog will be nothing but pictures if I have anything to say about it to accomidate my ramblings now. I feel my words can only say a fraction of what a picture can do. I mean, look at this horse and understand why I am always talkin about him? Not everyone is a horse person. I understand this. With that in mind, this the best way for me to have you experience my blog a little more. I am proud of them. Well, I have to get to my chores. Enjoy...

Friday, October 15, 2004

I DID IT! Now what...

The things they do when they think you are not watching. My four year old is always keeping me in check. Example? I was sitting at the kitchen bay window reviewing this year's ballot, when I got up and told him not to stand in the deck swing while he was waiting for his brother to get home. I sat back down and just watched him. It was amazing how much my words had close to no effect on him what-so-ever. He looked inside the door window and went straight to stand on the swing. Normally, I would go to correct him instantly. This time, I decided to let him think he had deceived me and continued to observe. After all, we have all done it. We have all been told by the people who love us not to do something, and did it anyway just to see if you could.

It was amazing. Primitive determination at its best. He started from one end and with solid concentration and serious wabbling, gained his balance and slowly walked the length of the swing. I don't even think I would have been able to that. But once he conquered the swing, he dismounted onto the deck and danced a fool like nothing I had ever seen before. Once he was done dancing, he started toward the door like he was thinking about coming inside to tell me of his astounding feat, and suddenly relized he wasn't supposed to be doing it. This was heartbreaking for me to watch. I couldn't very well go out there and share in his "happy dance" for something I told him not to do. He then turned and made a closed fisted "Oh Yeah" gesture and sat on the swing.

One day, I might tell him I watched him conquer the swing. Until then, I will continue to warn him of possible dangers that come up, but realize he may still try. To see this in action made me realize how many of those grey hairs I might have caused on my mother's head if she had only saw HALF the stuff I did at that age. Funny how it all truely does come around.


Life on the farm is great. I can feed all the livestock. I can harness and saddle with little to no supervision. If I mess it up, I'm quick to realize it's messed up. The horses know how it all goes on and let me know quick it don't feel right. Who ever says horses are dumb animals need to be on a ranch for one day and realize they are TERRIBLY MISTAKEN.

We had 6 guinea hens running loose at one time about 3 weeks ago. They were there to control the bug and fly population. The staff and I also used them for comedy relief. I mean, honestly, they are really something ugly and make funny noises. We are now down to one, and I give it only about 48 hours. Next season we will get 30 more and hope they will have more strength in numbers.

I started teaching school groups last week. It's what you might call "Trail by Fire". I know soccer. I have studied soccer like an art for the past decade. So I know kids and I know how to handle them in a teaching environment. I know livestock. I know how to maintain them. However, I do not know how to maintain livestock while I teach about them. Goats are unpredictable. Horses don't stay put around large groups. Cows don't show well. And without fail, one of these animals are going to leave a dump right there for everyone to watch and make a big deal out of. So what do you do? Wing it. Heck, kick it right there in front of them. I have found this to be the best way to defuse the "poop" comments. Do I care if the animals do it? No. They don't have the luxury of closed doors and toilets. So, why not defuse it quick by mere recognition. It works like a charm. Besides, I'm used to it.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Muscles in the strangest places...

Have you ever worked out more than you should have and woke up the next morning feeling like you might as well be dead? I did that. I rode one of our horses yesterday. Dan, our site "pet" palamino hasn't been saddled up in over two months, until yesterday. He was a little rusty and needed some remindin of who the boss was, but he caught on fairly quickly. Everything went well. Dan shines up like a new penny. He has a gait (little faster than a walk) like a champion stud. After two hours of re-training him in the machne yard, I was done. And now I get to feel it all day today. WOW. But it was worth it. Every Sunday, I have to punch in, feed the animals, get some chores done around the barn and then I HAVE to saddle him up and work him for a couple hours. Oh darn.

My four year old has been taking more naps than usual lately. Not for certain, but I think he might be going through a growing spell. Plus, you might think that a well rested child makes for a more pleasant child to deal with. Not sure about that me. He gets his mother's "no happiness" wake up gene as explained earlier. Ya have to be kiddin me. He stomps all over the house and calls me things I didn't ever realize he knew how to say, much less what they mean. Obviously, I have to address these words the second they come out. This just makes things worse. He's spending a majority of his fourth year in his bedroom and in "timeout". I feel this is definately something that could turn into one of those "Remember the time..." kinda moments. I hope. Or maybe that is the reason most of us don't remember our early childhood. I have probably blocked out most of my childhood I spent with my face in a corner because there's not much to remember of a blank wall. Ah geez. I could be creating blank wall memories for my kid right now...

Thursday, October 07, 2004

The Leary Approach

Short but sweet. What I like to call "Leary" style blogging. Denis Leary and his ability to be firm, loud and straight to the point is genius. More people should endulge in this style of communication so we would all have more time to do something else.

Macs kick major butt. Normaly, I would say to junk all PCs. But then Macs wouldn't kick so much butt. So, America, keep all your PCs so us Mac users can keep the good life.

New horses arrived from Iowa tonight. First work with them tomorrow. Should be interesting. Let you know.

Soccer was canceled today b/c it stormed. What's that all about? My coach made me practice in it. Just b/c they're 8 and 9 years old. SUCK IT UP. Geez...

I am a Kansas City Chiefs fan. We are used to failing sports franchises around here, so what's the big deal? The big deal is life is much nicer in this town if the hometown team wins. We just won our first game of the season and the whole town is acting the Big One just landed in our lap. More on that later...

ADVICE: Life is good as long as you don't fluff the covers.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

It aint broke, so don't replace it...

GOT to be kiddin me. While waitin for my Mac to arrive, which should be tomorrow, I decided to beat up on my PC to try and remove the adware I had acquired. With the help of several well written websites and no help from any free spyware program, I removed the fricken thing myself. *sigh* Oh well. I'll have two computers. Worse things have happened. Any suggestions as to what one could do with a unused, functioning and up-to-date computer?

Four is an interesting age. They know most everything at that age. They want no help what-so-ever doing anything. They want to make their own breakfast with too much cereal, too much milk, and nothing short of a snow shovel to eat it all with. Just to be "full" two bites later. Are you fricken kiddin me? I haven't made any meal for myself since the first one was born. Why? It's a proven fact that one parent can survive off everything your children wastes in the first six years of their lives. After that though, you might starve. My eight year old eats out of a trough. Not sure what happens at that age, but it does and it means business. Problem now is getting them to eat what I fix them.

I love my wife. Let me get that out there first. But she is not a morning person. WOW. I wake up and I am ready to get to work, where ever that my be. She, on the other hand, or on the other side of the bed might be, refuses to get up until she ABSOLUTELY has to. This is usually about 8 minutes before she must leave the garage to get to work 5 minutes before she has to be there. The point: I tried to wake her up before she was ready to rise this morning, just for giggles, and got beat up for it. For someone who is as sweet as honey during a weekend, she can really turn it around and clobber you if you try to make her up before she is ready. OUCH. As I sit here and lick my lip in pain, I now realize our marriage is best kept trouble free if all communication happens mid-afternoon.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

On my mind...


Today was the first day I got to drive the stagecoach, and I loved it. It was very different from what I am used to riding saddle. Kind of difficult at first, but lots of fun. I have been around the farm for almost 4 months now, but today was my first day as an official employee. That is the only reason I was allowed to drive.


Now that I got that out of my system, I have to vent slightly about the first debate. I am not the most politically involved person, but how is it that anyone can say Bush won this thing? Please explain this to me? Kerry was on target, precise with his answers, and able to close an answer on time. Bush wasted more time looking lost than actually answering the questions that were asked of him. I am not endorsing one candidate over the other. But I do have an opinion as to what type of person I would like to see representing me as an American for the next four years. Bush was not even close to it.


My PC has some sort of minor "infection" with an attachment to a network of websites. Be very careful if you hit "next blog". I have been hijacked. My home page is unable to be changed; my yahoo companion bar has been changed into an elite bar, whatever that is; and pop-ups are unblockable. The code is attached to the website from everything I can read about this type of "hijacking", so all of you seeing this are safe. Is this a virus? Not by definition. Can anti-virus software stop it? No, it can't even detect it. Can a firewall stop it? Only on maximum protection with all 3rd party cookies blocked, which then makes the internet completely inaccessible. How do you solve it? Pay another program more money until hackers go to work on another way to get around standard protection. I now have three different programs on this computer and need a fourth just to remove this crud. Not me. Not this time. We bought a Mac.

I can't do the PC thing anymore. Owning a PC reminds me of what it used to be like to be single and dating. Right when you think you know how to deal with her little fits, she dumps you. Right when you think it's safe to take off the raincoat, she tells you she has been sleeping 3 other guys. The heartbreak and extended hours trying to make it all "the way it used to be" is too much to bear anymore. Everything I read and all the people I talk to made the decision to switch SO easy. Are they more expensive? Hell yeah. Is it worth it? We'll see, but I think in the long run, we made a better choice. She will be here on Wednesday.

In closing, all is really good. I have no drama and things are very good.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

All this work, just for you...

Believe it. I have killed most of my day today making this site as pretty as I can make it and adding other stuff to do when you are bored with me. But it was worth it, because don't believe it for a second that I did all this just for you. I am just an anal perfectionist with a little too much time on my hands today. That will all change next week.

I have been a stay home dad for the last 3 years with soccer to keep me sane and the blessing of my lovely wife, Becky. Re-entering the productive workforce feels weird. Oh, poor Sean. He has to go to work now. No, I don't. I want to. For the first time in my life, I want to go to work. I want to go and teach the sport that has been so good to me and share that with other coaches, parents and players. And I also want to go to the farm and chase chickens, maintain horses and share the farm with our visitors. The frosting on this cake is my beautiful wife of ten years and my two boys I get to share this all with. Not a bad place to be. Not at all.

Am I still a stay-at-home dad? Yes, I get to keep that luxury. Do I still get to sit at home during bad weather and play PS2 once in a while? Yes. Yes, I do. It keeps getting better and better. My youngest and I get a lot done around the house and we go out running errands. Was it always like this. No, it wasn't.

The first 6 months of staying home with with a 4 year old and a 1 year old for me was REALLY hard. In order to pull it off, we had to reduce to one vehicle and my wife needed it to get to work everyday and some Saturdays. Even in the middle of Kansas City, you get tired of going to the park EVERY SINGLE nice day we had. Most guys might think that sitting at home and playing PS2 all day would be THE LIFE. Let me tell you now, you get done with it pretty quick. Money is tight, so new games are far and few between. You can only play so many years in your franchise mode of NCAA before you start seizing in the middle of night and complaining of thumb cramps. The worst injury I ever sustained was searing all of my fingertips off from accidentally placing my hand on a hot manifold of a lawnmower. OUCHEE! Bored, injured, in pain and grounded to the homestead. I'd hit ROCK bottom.

The step down was hard for me. Or should I say, step ASIDE. Some other men might have been able to do it with more grace than I did. But I was a whiner. It was made easier for me by doing one major change. Swallowing your pride. I had to suck it up and be a man. My wife beat me at the career game and for good reason. She keeps her mouth shut at work. I learned to do that over time. Lots of time. But not when I was young. I thought everyone wanted to know how to do everything better and more efficiently in the corporate world. I was wrong, and it earned me more pink slips than I care to count. Oh well. I was young and retarded. I got the hint. So we moved from Colorado to Kansas City for my wife's career and the betterment of our situation. It worked out in the end, but I had my doubts in the beginning. My marriage became stronger, my boys received some much needed fatherly parenting, and my own idea of a career eventually landed in my lap by freak accident. Funny how it all works out...

This is me with my boys. During the summer months, I shave their heads due to the humidity out here. My youngest in the middle has the uncanny ability to look lost the moment a camera is in the room. He is really mine and I didn't find him on this vacation in the Ozarks.

We have a good time for the most part. My oldest is wicked smart. He and I get along and connect on most everything. I mean, look at the picture. He looks like he robbed me of everything I have on the genetic level. He is now in Cub Scouts and plays soccer as a goalkeeper (imagine that). Don't get me wrong, I had something to do with that choice. But he can choose anything he has any interest in. But I do have hundreds of soccer balls and all of the equipment all over the house, so the choice easy to make. I started kicking soccer balls at him when he was just a toddler and used to carry him to games and practices inside my soccer bag. He would just sleep through the whole session. It was very convenient.

My youngest and I just recently got to know each other, so I will let you know how that turns out. He was a momma's boy for the first three years of his life, although I was the one who stayed home with him and did EVERYTHING for him. Sounds odd, I know. But it's the way this balled bounced out. And no, I didn't bounce him, often. I mean, ever. :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The "farm" part explained...

Is there really a farm, you ask? Yes, there is. Why, do you ask? Not sure. Do I own a farm? Yes and no. Let me explain this now...

I have two boys. One is 8, the other is now 4. That, in my opinion, is a farm. If you have kids, you are shaking your heads in agreement. The rest of you are in the "I don't get it" category. Don't worry, we still like you. Then, I have my other farm. We moved from the big city (Kansas City) to a suburb south called Olathe, which means "beautiful" in another language. It's my own slice of heaven. Well, when we moved here, we discovered a farm just a couple of blocks away. It is a city maintained old farmstead and stagecoach stop with rich historical value. They have a barn with a lot of diverse livestock. Better yet, they have horses. Honestly, I love horses. They have a deep personality like no other animal. They can say more with a single body movement than some people can say in 10 minutes of deep conversation.

I began volunteering to feed all the livestock on the weekends just after my grandpa died. He was a true Texan rancher and my personal childhood summer escape. He taught me everything he could about horses, saddle breaking, roping, barrel racing, cattle ranching, etc. I enjoyed those summers more than he will ever know. After volunteering at the farm for a couple of months, I was asked if I would be interested in a seasonal position working with the livestock as a guide, driving the stagecoach and breaking the horses for events and parades. Let's see, another volunteer opportunity turned paid position. Lemme think, um, ok, yeah.

Am I busy? Yes. Do I mind? Not at all. My days are filled with exactly what I wanted to do and was willing to do for freein the first place. Sweet gig. Definitely.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

A history of the "soccer" part of the soccerfarm...

Allow me to let you get to know me better. Not well enough to stalk me. But well enough to know why I might name my site the way I did. Soccer saved me. Soccer showed me where I might find happiness. Not immediately, mind you. But in its own subtle way, it led me to my own personal salvation. Let me explain...


When I was school-age, I was tall, skinny & shy. Not athletic with a regular build, but undersized and awkward. My best defense was an equally awkward sense of humor and fast feet. So, I survived any possible beatings I might have received due to my speed. No shame in that. When I was in 3rd grade, I asked my mother to sign me up for soccer. Not because I thought I might be good at it, but because everyone else signed up and I hadn't yet. Honestly, what was I going to do after school while everyone else was at soccer practice. Right?

Well, my speed was discovered almost instantly, so I was placed in the "wing" position so I could outrun my opponents while all of my friends who had a little bit of natural skill were placed in "central" positions. She forgot to teach us alot. Like that whole passing thing for starters. The ball came to me close to never. When I did get the ball, it was just short of a disaster. I had no ball control because I was faster than the ball; I always had a bad first touch off the ball and I was mauled near the sidelines, so I just kicked it out. After that, I became the kid no one would pass to. After an entire season of useless practices and horrified games, I was done. That was my first season of soccer. Use your imagination how fast I was willing to sign up again. You guessed it. Many, many years.

My next experience was my sophomore year in high school. Amazingly, I was able to make the JV squad. It was amazing. I figured I fooled the coaches into thinking I was a good soccer player by just running down field. Coach wasn't as fooled as I thought. I played my first game as a defender. Not exactly a speed position. Coach was short defenders and no one else would volunteer. In the midst of trying to defuse an offensive assault late in my first game, I went to head the ball out of the box off a deflection from the keeper while he was down. As my head hit the ball, it felt like I was suddenly heading a medicine ball. An opposing striker was going for the fancy "bicycle" shot to finish the offensive series. Imagine the foot-ball-face sandwich. Eww is about right. Long story short, this game would be the last in my record short scholastic career.


Why, do you ask? Not quite sure. I mean, the sport had made it's imprint on me in more ways than one. Well, I was a senior now and life was getting kind of boring. My high school graduation requirements were all but done and I decided I needed to take a new lease on this whole soccer "thing" and try coaching on for size at age 17 . My little brother's team needed a coach for the same parks & recreation department I played for when I failed. I mean, played. This was my chance to redeem myself for being a goof of the sport.

I studied the sport from any media resource and experience I could get my hands on. I ended up tasting just enough success through that experience that I kept coming back for more, and more, and more. I went from volunteer coaching one team in a po-dunk (ever think you would see that word in print?) little GI town to coaching other coaches and players now as an academy instructor for my little town in Kansas. It gets better. They now pay me to do something I have been willing to do for free for the last 12 years. Pretty sweet deal, you say? OH yeah...

Friday, September 24, 2004

This is me. I'm kinda skinny, but I don't care. Life is too short to care about little things like that. Besides, I had my "drink" handy and I wasn't moving. This is what rafting is like in the Ozarks. Reminds me of fishing in a stagnant pond with more "drinks" than you really need. Oh well, I was having some fun.
Posted by Hello

In the beginning...

My friend, Derek, suggested I create this site. I'm not sure why I did it. Is it perhaps a form of mind control? Somehow, I doubt it, if you know Derek at all. He suggested it to me more than once because I "have kids. And you never run out of things to type about when you have kids." He could have a point there. I have always wondered where I should put bizarre life experiences and personal takes on life.

So, here I am. If you have ever been to Derek's site, he has the ability place sound bytes and add his own spice on life with a successful career as a "multimedia DJ". That's my word, but you can use it. It means, for me, the fantastic ability to communicate by means other than just face to face. Although, don't underestimate his ability to communicate in this fashion. But he can get his point across much easier if you just let him type it or put it to music. His wife might disagree with me, and then maybe she won't. All in all, this site is all because of him and if it sucks, it's his fault. With that, I will close this post and make my site more attractive so some of you might actually enjoy being here. Thanks, Derek.