Archive for March, 2014

First Day of Vacation:  Did a little sightseeing near home.

First Day of Vacation: Did a little sightseeing near home.

Most people want to go somewhere warm and exotic for spring break, or some decide to hit the slopes for some last skiing.  Where did I go this year?  Iowa.  For the second or third or fourth year in a row (I don’t remember).  I use spring break to take my daughter to visit relatives.

But I digress.  I need to talk about my last work rotation, which started in Garden City, Kansas and ended up in Texas.  I flew from Garden City to Corpus Christi, spent a couple of days there, then drove to Hebbronville, then to Roma.  After finishing up in Roma, I drove back to Corpus Christi via Harlingen.  The weather in Garden City sucked (12 degrees and snowing sideways when I left).  The weather in Texas was awesome (50’s and 60’s and mostly sunny).  If I hadn’t been working, Texas would have been a great spring break.  I ate at three barbecue restaurants.  Two were good (Miller’s and Rudy’s) and one was so-so (Bill Miller).  I ate at a restaurant in Hebbronville called Peppers, which had awesome pork chops and served so much food on the plate, I couldn’t even eat half of when they gave me.  I felt so inadequate.  The night before leaving Texas, I got to visit with my uncles and aunt who winter down there, and I got o meet a friendly little Yorkie named Dexter.

Kayla and Her Lucky Dad

Kayla and Her Lucky Dad

Now, about spring break —— Took my daughter Kayla to Iowa.  She spent the first night with her grandma and the second with her sister.  The next day, we got together with my cousin Kim and her family for pictures.  the day after that, Saint Patrick’s Day, we didn’t wear green, and we went to the movies and walked around a mall (I found a place that sold second-hand clothes, selling Hawaiian shirts for $6 — kinda wish I still wore them).  Kayla and I returned home on Tuesday.  We’ve hung out at my apartment for the rest of the week, until today when I took her back to her mom’s house.  During our spring break, it snowed three times (not much accumulation, though).  We saw two movies at the theater and a whole slew on Netflix.  We walked around a retail mall and an antique mall.  We went to church.  We ate out 14 or 15 times.  Since I started traveling for work, I haven’t been stocking food in my apartment, and yet we managed to go to Hy-Vee and Wal-Mart about a half-dozen times.  Well, maybe we ate out less often than I thought.  I managed to work out a few times (but not enough).  And I slept in every morning.  And Kayla got up earlier than usual so she could message her friends on Facebook before noon.

Now Kayla’s back at the house.  She goes back to school tomorrow morning.  But I still have two more days of vacation left.  I’m going to sleep in until I go back to work.  I’ll go see the new Muppet movie.  I’ll do laundry.

I’ve already found out I’m scheduled to be working in Oklahoma on April 1st, so I’m hoping my entire next rotation will be there.  I like Oklahoma — I’ve eaten at a few good barbecue places and diners there.

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Heaven Is for Real

A few years ago, I read this book about a little boy who said he’d gone to heaven and the way he’d described it to his family.  I was amazed at the things I read.  Since then, I’d forgotten the details of the book.

This very good movie reminded me of the details, and once again made a believer out of me.

My only criticism is that the church congregation in the story seemed too perfect.  The church in Nebraska may really be the way it was portrayed in the film — everybody wore dress clothes on Sunday morning and most were attractive-looking (in fact, I kept finding myself eyeing up the mom-character, because she was so sexy).  Most were extremely nice folk, and even when they weren’t, they really weren’t that bad.

The cast of big-name stars like Greg Kinnear and Thomas Haden Church distracted me a little, as I kept wondering whether these actors actually believed in what their characters were saying, or were each of their roles just another role?  The cast did a very good job, but I couldn’t help wondering if lesser-known (and physically plain) actors would have been less-distracting?

All in all, I liked the movie.  I did get the feeling it was geared to church-folk, but that was to be expected, as I don’t see many atheists attending, seeking answers to their burning question about whether heaven is for real.  The crowd seemed like a church crowd, considering the reactions I heard to some of the scenes.  The crowd seemed less cynical than I am.  Considering the innocent nature of the audience, I felt the security guards standing in the front of the auditorium during most of the advance screening, watching for illegal recording, was a little off-putting.  I understand piracy is a big problem, but sometimes the movie companies need to remember who their audiences are.  When the film is finally released next month, I’d recommend seeing it, then you can decide whether heaven is for real, or not (and what does heaven look like?).