LOT OF POKEMON CARDS THAT MY KIDS TRIED TO SNEAK BY ME

I came across this Ebay Auction this week and felt it necessary to share.

Apparently, this woman has 6 kids that she had to take to the grocery store. Each time is an adventure, but this last time, she got more than she bargained for (I know, I know… never end a sentence with a preposition… but “more for which she had bargained” sounded stupid).

The original auction is located at this location.

However, Ebay only hosts their auctions for up to 90 days after the auction expires and I felt this gem needed to be immortalized so I have cloned it at this location.

Keep your eyes open for the new up and coming author, dawnm5723.

Enjoy.

Great is Your Faithfulness

Recently, I had the privilege of being put on the schedule at church for special music.

I decided to write something new for the team to play, hoping to tap into the creativity of each member of the team to make something great.

One of the trends in recent worship music that I’ve really been enjoying has been the updating of classic hymns.

For weeks, our worship band has been enjoying a little diddy that I came up with to play with. Originally, it started with just a jazzy bass-line that I’d play on the keyboard and one by one, each musician would join in and contribute something to it.

My hope was to build something around that little diddy, but wasn’t sure how to start.

One night after practice, I stayed late and rifled through an old hymnal, reliving my childhood in our small Bethany Baptist church in Toledo, Ohio.

One hymn that caught my eye was Great Is Thy Faithfulness; one of my favorites. I tried to retro-fit it into our little diddy, but it didn’t seem to work so I went on looking.

After a while and a few moments of prayer for direction, guidance and thanksgiving, I gave up and decided to scrap the whole “diddy” idea and start something new.

Again, my eyes fell on Great Is Thy Faithfulness. At first, I dismissed it because it was in a 3:4 time, but decided to try to fit it into a 4:4 time and slap it into a minor key.

Happy with how that seemed to work, I reworked the refrain, pulling my favorite phrases out. I also decided to integrate several of the names of God into the song since the curriculum I’ve been teaching Junior High Sunday School has been revolving around God’s greatness and the significance of each of His Hebrew names.

As I was writing the chorus and integrating the names of God into it, I was overwhelmed by His goodness and love.

When it was done, I realized that based on the new chord progression, I could re-integrate the team’s little diddy we’d been playing with.

This Sunday, our church worship team performed the song for the first time.

Here is the result:

If you decide to use the song at your church, please send me a recording of the performance.

Copyright Paul Yuen 2007

Me and My Car

Last night, Natalie and I had planned to go to Menard’s to look at dehumidifiers, filters for the heater and maybe a standalone AC unit for the house.

Later, we found ourselves too tired to actually make the trip.  There’s something about Menard’s that just drains our energy when we’re there.  It’s one of those stores where we’re pumped when we get there, but then we spend so much time trying to find what we’re looking for and getting interested in other things that before we realize it, we’ve blown an hour or more there and are exhausted.

Being already in a state of low-energy, we decided to forgo the trip.

As I was sitting in the kitchen with Natalie and looking out the window, I noticed that her car was not parked in the garage.

“Why didn’t you park your car in the garage,” I asked.

“I thought we were going to go out, but then we decided to stay home,” she replied.

“Do I have enough room to get out tomorrow morning,” I asked again.

“I parked on my side of the driveway,” she answered.

…so you can see where this is going…

Thursday mornings, I have a business networking meeting at 7am for which I am habitually 5-10 minutes late.  For those of you not in-the-know, mornings and me don’t quite see eye-to-eye.

This morning was no exception as I dashed out the door to get to my meeting.  We have an unattached garage, which means I go out the back door, enter the garage from its side-door and hit the garage door opener on the wall.  Normally, I go back outside and walk around to my car because Natalie’s car is also parked in there and rather than squeeze by the two cars, it’s easier to just go around… but this morning, I dashed straight for my car, uninhibited by any vehicular obstructions.

I stepped in my car, checked to make sure the car was in neutral (another story for another time) and backed out, watching my driver-side mirror to make sure I didn’t wipe it off on the side of the garage.

I heard it before I felt it: the crinkling/crunching/cracking/breaking sound of something that was sure to be expensive later.

The thing about running into one of your own cars with your own car is that you have to get both of them fixed.  If you run into someone else’s car, you feel like a dumb-ass, but you only have one car to deal with since Michigan is a no-fault state.

If you run into your own car, you feel even more dumb-asser.

That was me this morning at 7:04am.

Frustrated, I stormed into the house to get Natalie’s keys and move her car so I could get to my meeting.  Of course, all the commotion woke her from bed and she came out to see what had happened and why I was storming around.

By the time she made it outside, I was already coming back in to put her keys back.  Seeing her outside and since I was already running late, I decided to toss the keys to her.

Quick tip:  when angry, never toss keys to your spouse.  You might toss them harder than you expected and hit her square in the face with them.

“I’m going to pay for that later,” I thought to myself as I quickly apologized in even more frustration on my way back to my car to squeal out of the driveway and be on my way to my meeting.

Interestingly enough, I couldn’t concentrate at the meeting this morning as we were voting on new officers and deciding on a move of location.  I was a little rattled.  Figures, since it was a day we needed to make all kinds of important decisions.  I think I ended up volunteering to be the Event Coordinator and on the Member’s Committee.  I couldn’t tell you for sure, though.  Maybe I’m the President, I dunno.  I vaguely remember hearing someone say, “ok, Paul will serve as our next president.”

Anyway, it turns out the damage to the cars wasn’t horrible.  My rear passenger-side fender is scratched up and will need some paint and Natalie’s front driver’s-side parking light is busted.  We have a guy at our shop who is going to try to find the parts we need at a junkyard.  All-in-all, it probably won’t be a shockingly horrible expense.  Hopefully, I’ll get away with a few hundred bucks in repairs/paint cover-up for both cars.

As for smacking my wife in the face with her own keys, last night I told her she could spend $100 on some new Pampered Chef things.  She asked, “why are you being so nice to me?”

There really was no reason but I should have gazed into my crystal ball and responded with, “because tomorrow I’m going to whip your keys at your face after smashing your car.”

Me and my bees: pt.1

Recently, Natalie and I noticed that there was a tiny breech in the eaves on our house where there appeared to be a few bees congregating.

We thought there must be a hive up inside the roof somewhere, but weren’t sure how big it was.  The bees also seemed to be rather docile, so I didn’t really give them another thought.

…until Friday.

I was putting out some trash and as I was going back inside the house, I felt a sharp pain in my left calf.  It caused me to stumble as I was going up the stairs and I tripped my way into the sun room and landed on all-fours.  My sandal had fallen off in the clumsy display and wasn’t in the room with me, so I reasoned that it must have fallen on the steps outside the screen door.

Being the coordinated individual that I am, I went to open the screen door, but kinda missed the  latch, so the door didn’t open.  This revelation didn’t reach my brain until my already flat nose was flat up against the glass and I could see my breath steaming up the window.

You may be asking, “what was going through your mind as this was happening?”

We don’t have to talk about that right now.

I managed to open the door, retrieved my sandal and then noticed a dull pain that quickly became a sharp pain in my left calf.

I remembered, as a kid, being stung and that experience seemed to closely resemble what I was currently feeling.

I went back inside the house and looked out the window to see that where there had once been a few bees that rarely moved, I now saw four or five buzzing around.

I recalled that the previous owners had left some hornet/wasp spray in the basement, so I went down to find it.

I’ve also heard that when you mess around with bees, you have to be ready to 1.) run yer butt off and 2.) have a secured place to hide for cover.

I donned my “run yer butt off” shoes and made sure the back door was unlocked.  It would not do to spray the bees, get them mad and chasing me and then find myself locked out of the house.  That would be Sucksville.

Once outside, I took a deep breath, pointed the bottle and let fly, expecting a spray of magic chemical death to spray out of the can.  Instead, a stream of white foam shot straight in the air.  I watched it go up and stepped aside as I watched it come down and land where I had been standing not 3 seconds prior.

“Cool!”  I said aloud.

I calculated that I could stand roughly 15 feet away from my target, shoot a stream of instant death on my tiny foes and head for the hills.

I took another deep breath, re-adjusted my aim per my previous experience, and thought to myself, “FIRE IN THE HOLE!”

To say that the clump of bees fell on the ground would be an understatement… more like they… exploded.

They landed on the ground, DOA.  A twinge of guilt struck my heart as I imagined what my Biologist friend, Erin, would think of my insecticidal activity.

Then I thought of what it would be like if a million mad bees came pouring out of that tiny crack… so I emptied the bottle into it.

Nothing happened.

“I guess that’s it,” I thought, as I went back inside.

Lenny the cat greeted me at the door with a look on his face that said, “do you have any idea what you just did?”

I patted his little head and said, “daddy’s a big strong conquerer, isn’t he?”

Lenny didn’t reply… he just kept looking at where I had just sprayed, whimpering.

As I went to throw away the empty can, I thought “I wonder if he knows something I don’t?”

Moments later, I glanced out the window to see 3 or 4 bees buzzing around the window.  I went to the window to take a look and saw a few more… well, hundreds more.

They were EVERYWHERE… and mad.

I made two phone calls:  one to Orkin and one to Natalie to tell her I did a dumb thing and to be careful when she comes home.

When she got back, it was like trying to time the search lights in a war zone.  She pulled into the unattached garage, lowered the big door and waited at the side door until we both felt the coast was clear.  I motioned for her to make a run for it and held the door open as she sprinted into the house and I shut the door behind her.

The bees calmed down after about 40 minutes but since the issue hasn’t yet been resolved, this story is incomplete.

To be continued…