September 29, 2014

Twister at the 7-Eleven

Very rarely do I remember dreams. So when I do recall one, it's usually a real doozy. Case in point from last night:

In my dream I was at work; but it wasn't my current workplace, and I didn't recognize any of my coworkers. I was in a tall building in a corner office, and suddenly I saw through the window that there was a very skinny tornado approaching. I braced myself, and I could hear the tornado banging against the corner of the building. There was some structural damage to the corner wall, but that was all.

Image credit: noaa.gov

Now suddenly, the scene changed as best I can remember. I was outside walking through a city that didn't look like any particular city that I know. There were several tornadoes spinning in the distance and slowly getting closer. This was some sort of rare and catastrophic weather event. People around me were running for cover, and I wasn't about to stick around either.

I couldn't get into the first building that I tried. Next door to it was a 7-Eleven convenience store, so I ran inside and ducked down as low as possible against a display wall. I recall seeing two people standing right up against the window looking at a big tornado approaching, but they were not taking it seriously and were even mocking it. I figured those two would be seriously injured, or worse, if they didn't move.

I don't know what happened to them. But the tornado hit the building, and debris was suddenly scattered all over the store. The tornado moved on, and I wasn't hurt. So I got up, walked over to the manager of the 7-Eleven and shook his hand to thank him for letting me take shelter in his store. I guess he was some sort of germaphobe because when I tried to shake his hand, all he did was reluctantly grasp the tips of my fingers. Maybe he was disappointed that I didn't buy anything.

That's all I remember. There wasn't an exciting conclusion to the dream. If there are any armchair dream interpreters out there, have fun with this one.

 

September 26, 2014

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 91 (Podcast promo, Turner time, bad bag and more)


--- 1 ---

I enjoyed visiting with Sean Herriott on the Faith as a Second Language podcast yesterday. Check it out right here. And if you missed my wife's interview on the podcast from earlier in the month, you'll find that one over here. She was a tough act to follow!

--- 2 ---

In case you want to delve even more deeply into my life (but as an introvert that's not really want I want), starting next Wednesday I'll be contributing a couple of posts per month over at Austin Catholic New Media.

 

--- 3 ---

I'm not afraid of shots, so I happily received my flu shot the other day. Getting a flu shot is something I never used to do until I became a parent eight years ago. Before then I had always thought flu shots were just for the elderly or people with chronic illnesses. Nowadays getting a flu shot seems to be the cool thing for everyone to do.

 

--- 4 ---

I had an 80s flashback when I received an Outlook invitation for a meeting that was supposed to start at 2:05 p.m. It reminded me of Turner Time when Ted Turner decided to have all programming start at five minutes past the top or bottom of the hour on Superstation TBS. I watched many Atlanta Braves broadcasts that started at 7:35 Eastern Time during the 80s.

--- 5 ---

When I was buying new tires for my car last weekend, someone came into the shop to get some work done on his daughter's minivan. The guy said to the mechanic, "Watch out. It's a pig sty inside the van. My daughter is a slob." The mechanic chuckled. But I thought, wow, I would never talk about my daughters that way.

--- 6 ---

Here's a quick conversation I had recently with my eight-year-old:

Adam: Don't eat your hair!

Daughter: I thought it was cheese.

--- 7 ---

This is the last thing I would have expected to see printed on the bottom of the goodie bags that were given away at a children's birthday party:

How are you supposed to keep a bag full of goodies out of a child's reach?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary.

 

 

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September 19, 2014

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 90 (Cross talk, bulb buying, calculator confusion and more)


--- 1 ---

You see many people wearing a crucifix around their neck, but you never see anybody with a little guillotine or electric chair on a necklace. The priest used that as an example at Mass on Sunday when talking about how sometimes he forgets just how striking the cross is. Just like the guillotine and the electric chair, the cross was a tool used for death. But unlike those others, the cross also represents life. We get used to seeing the cross all the time. But it's still important to notice it.

 

--- 2 ---

I wonder how long compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs really last. We have several recessed CFL lights in our kitchen, and two of them burned out at the same time this week. I'm pretty sure they may have been the last two of the original set of bulbs we put in when we moved here about seven years ago. I'm tempted to write the date on the new bulbs with a Sharpie so I can see how long they last.

 

--- 3 ---

Something else I've always wondered: Do zinc lozenges really shorten the duration and severity of the common cold? I've always thought they tasted terrible. You're supposed to let them dissolve in your mouth, but that takes forever and isn't worth putting up with the horrible taste. The other day when I wasn't feeling well I tried the newer "quick dissolve" zinc tablets. They taste a lot better and melt quickly. But can they stop a cold? The jury's still out.

 

--- 4 ---

Here's a sign you don't see everyday:

It was in a toy store. Is there a vibrant toy making industry in Latvia?

 

--- 5 ---

The funniest things can fool a toddler. Most people don't need calculators anymore since every other electronic device has its own calculator. So when my little one saw this calculator, she thought it was a cell phone and held it up to her ear pretending to talk. She was fascinated when she discovered that little numbers showed up on the screen when she pressed buttons.

 

--- 6 ---

She was also fooled by cream cheese. When she was eating part of a bagel with cream cheese on it, she insisted she was eating peanut butter. I said, "No, that's cream cheese." She replied, "No, peanut butter!" Okay. I let her win that one.

 

--- 7 ---

I'm not an admirer of bugs, but this one was worth photographing. My kids found it on the slide at the playground. Maybe that pattern would make a nice necktie.

 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary.

 

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September 12, 2014

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 89 (Horsing around, deadly shade, I'm skinny and more)

--- 1 ---

I'm going to start off my Quick Takes with some locker room-level humor just to get it out of the way. Then you can quickly move on to my more eloquent prose if I haven't already scared you away. I saw this picture on a newspaper's website and immediately said to myself, "I thought it was just dogs that greeted each other that way."

[Courtesy: chron.com]

 

--- 2 ---

Soon I will be contributing occasional posts to Austin Catholic New Media. (I promise no horse jokes over there.) I'm not sure how I'll find the time to take on the additional writing seeing as I'm barely able to crank out a weekly Quick Takes post on my own site. But we'll see.

 

--- 3 ---

I'm a big proponent of sun protection, so I got a good laugh when I saw this headline on the cover of Bottom Line Personal:

That's always the way it is. One day the "experts" tell you something's safe, and the next day they say you're going to die. I'll take my chances and keep recommending sunscreen.

 

--- 4 ---

Is it really necessary to predict the chance of rain right down to a single digit? I noticed this forecast on the The Weather Channel's app. I'm not sure how differently I should plan my day depending on whether there's a one percent chance of rain vs. a two percent chance.

 

--- 5 ---

In lieu of having a wardrobe consultant, I have children. The other day my 8-year-old said, "Daddy, that shirt doesn't look good on you." What bothered her was the single stripe. She thought the whole shirt should have been striped.

 

--- 6 ---

You know you're a parent when you say things like this. These are actual phrases said by either me or my wife in our household this week:

"Don't put cream cheese in your eye!"

"Stop! I can't see what you're doing, but I have a feeling it's something bad."

"Dora the Explorer's head is disturbingly large."

"Did you accidentally whack your sister in the face with the DVD case?"

 

--- 7 ---

Rarely do I actually open and look at advertisements that come in my email. But this one sounded especially ridiculous:

How exactly do they make an outfit "figure flattering?" Maybe they just stitch the words "I'm skinny" into the back for everyone to see.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary.

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September 5, 2014

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 88 (Cancer chronicles, strange sign, holy humor and more)

--- 1 ---

If you really want to know what's hidden behind my introverted exterior, you'll have to hear it from my wife. She chatted with Sean Herroitt on the Catholic as a Second Language podcast yesterday to share the story of our daughter's battle with cancer. Grab some tissues and check it out right here. You should listen to the whole show. But if you're in a hurry, the interview starts around 15:30.

 

--- 2 ---

Give me a break, or in this case, a brake. My brother spotted this sign at a car wash. I guess this is for all those people behind the wheel who missed that day in driver's ed where they explained what the brake is for.

 

--- 3 ---

I don't know anything about hunting, but dove season sure sounds a lot like the 4th of July. The police must have received a lot of calls first thing in the morning on day one of hunting season, prompting this text alert.

 

--- 4 ---

My toddler is quite prophetic. The other day she woke up from a nap, looked out the window and said, "thunderstorm." It was sunny at the time, but a thunderstorm rolled in just a few hours later. Maybe she has a future in meteorology. Another time, she woke up from a nap and said, "Jesus." Well, he is coming again one of these days!

 

--- 5 ---

She has become quite an artist for a 22-month-old. This is the first drawing where she actually explained who everyone is. Do you recognize my family? She said she's the one at the top. The three people at the bottom are Mommy, Daddy and big sister. She said the other circle is a bee. Why is there a bee in the family portrait? Beats me.

 

--- 6 ---

It's been about ten years since I last had a cat. (I had to make an important decision when I married someone who's allergic to cats.) After all this time I still have some leftover cans of spray carpet cleaner for cat vomit. My cat had quite a reputation for binging and purging. Now I rarely need the emergency cleaner. Thankfully my kids throw up much less frequently then the cat did.

 

--- 7 ---

Here's another one for the funny priest file. The other day I was chatting with a semi-retired priest who walks very fast. Someone else in the conversation mentioned that it was hard to keep up with him. So the priest replied, "I'm almost 85, so I'd better hurry. I may not have much time!"

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary.

 

 

 

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