Wednesday, April 13, 2011


My kids have discovered the joy in the humor of the window blowfish face.

The first time they showed me they acted like it was a new thing. I thought I may have deflated the moment a bit by telling them we did that as kids too. It wasn't intentional just stated the facts. It didn't matter much, it's still high-larious to them.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Call Waiting

Today a customer called me with a problem. Not a new problem but one due to their own issues and the weather still plagues them. A problem that I was probably more familiar with than he was. He proceeded to rehash the problem and the steps they've tried and the ones they've ignored. That was annoying enough but I was patient and let him go through the steps he needed to.

At 4 minutes and 23 seconds into the call I hear a phone ring in the background. He says it's his cell and he needs to grab it. Whatever. You called me buddy. He proceeded to take the call. I watched the time tick away on my phone which records the length of calls. Thirty seconds... forty five... a minute... a minute ten... patience... a minute thirty... patience evaporating... a minute forty five... ahhhrrrggg... my fingers on the release button... two minutes and he's still yapping... click! I'm out.

He calls back ten minutes later asking for me and I'm on the phone. He leaves his number. I'll call him tomorrow.

I was irritated. Not without good reason. First, he called me. Second, in the past three weeks this has happened to me five times. All five times it was somebody that called me and proceeded to take another call during ours. Not once in each of these five incidences did I have the opportunity to even tell the person to call me back when they are done. All five quickly said "I need to grab this" and then proceeded to take the other call.

What this shows me is a total lack of respect for me and my time. I'm all for customer service and giving the customer my best but I draw the line at disrespect. There was a day when I would have been mortified to hang up on a customer. I guess those days are gone.

Sunday, April 03, 2011


Today Alex and I took off in the Jeep to explore the back roads of the Tillamook National Forest. Our ultimate goal was to find a place to shoot. Despite the fact that all his play time and toys revolve around fire power and weapons, Alex has never fired a real gun. We gave him the opportunity to buy a .22 rifle last year but he chose instead to get a bow and arrow. So this weekend I borrowed a .22 rifle from my co-worker and out we went.

We drove along for quite a while before we found a place that looked safe. The problem with that forest is the amount of dirt bike and four wheel riders there are in the area. I stopped and asked a few about good places to shoot but none were too helpful.

Once we were settled and the target was in place we went through a number of safety points. That done I fired a few rounds so Alex could see and hear what it was like. His turn. After a few moments of reluctance he finally fired a round. His face lit up. He was hooked.

Since the gun was a bit heavy for him I let him rest it on a stump. The target which was about 30 yards away didn't stand a chance. Most shots were low and to the right but they were all hitting the target.

At the end of the day his hands were cold and tired, the Jeep was muddy and it was time to head home. His last words before leaving the forest were "Dad, I think I like shooting more than the bow and arrow." Not surprised.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Taekwondo Tournament

Last month Alex competed in his first taekwondo tournament here in Portland. He had a great time and we had fun watching him. He took a silver in his form and a bronze in his breaking. I had the pleasure of holding for him during his breaking.

The competition was long but a lot of fun to see. Outside of The Karate Kid I've never seen a tournament like this. Next year Brianna and I will probably compete as well.

Here's Alex with Brianna and Kathi after receiving his first medal. Kathi's shirt is proof that she loves me.

Alex performing his competition form for the judges.

Alex breaking two boards with a flying side kick, me sweating profusely.

The girly. Ain't she cute.

Patiently waiting for his turn to compete.

Here's a picture of the team published in the Hillsboro Argus. Although the photo was submitted by Molly Frazier I must let you know that it was taken by yours truly.