Thursday, July 28, 2005

Profile of a seven year old

My son, Kyle, turns seven on Saturday. If you know my son (which I think both of you do), then you know that he is absolutely crazy. He is also the most loving kid I know. Kyle loves God, his family, his friends, and sports. He also likes torturing his sister.

When Kyle grows up he is going to be the Riddler. My son asks 4 billion questions a day. Often times, he asks the same thing four ways:

Dad, are you drinking grape soda?
Does it taste like grape?
Is it good?
Do you like grape soda?

This kind of questioning should lead to a great job as a Lawyer or Psychologist.


I asked Kyle yesterday what his favorite sports teams were. His answers:

Football - "I like the Colts even though you like the Patriots. I'm sorry I like a different team than you. I also like the the Chargers (because of the Lightning Bolts) and the Bengals. I kinda like the Cowboys." (That is what I like about Kyle - he doesn't put all his eggs in one basket...)

Baseball - "Rangers. I like Michael Young. Can I get a Michael Young jersey?"

Hockey - "Dallas Stars. We haven't watched Hockey in a long time Dad. Why?" (a special thank you to the NHL for putting me in position to explain a labor dispute to a 7 year old)

Basketball - "Mavericks. But I kinda like the Lakers. Can I root for both?" (a resounding 'no' to that question)

College - "I know you like Tennessee, but I like Texas. They are both orange so is that okay?"


Other Kyle tidbits:

Kyle is an awesome kid. He loves people. If you are ever around him he will talk your ear off. But he just loves to talk to you. He makes me feel like the greatest Dad in the world. He would throw the baseball 24 hours a day if we could. He is the human rain delay when it comes to batting. He spends more time perfecting his warm-up than the actual swing. He is scared of the diving board, but fearless about jumping off the side. He loves Tabasco sauce and watching "Emeril Live". He used to be scared of the trash truck, but not anymore. He loves to hold his little wooden cross while he prays at night. He loves God.

He is the greatest son I could imagine.

I love you buddy. Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Blues in the chord of SRV

I've been listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan for most of the week. I have found that ever since I started taking guitar lessons, I appreciate those who play the guitar even more. Watching or listening to SRV or Clapton or Satriani or any of the other guitar greats is just ridiculous. They make it look so easy. I never realized how difficult it was to actually hit those notes.

Plus, I figured out something else. It is one thing to learn to play the chords on the guitar, it is completely different to learn to play the guitar. I mean, sure, you can learn to play a song that is written and make it sound a little like they do, but to know what the guitar is going to do when you play it a certain way? That is talent. These musicians are incredible. The music they write is unreal. They were just born with it. I was not born with it. I just hope I don't disgrace the guitar (however...I am an excellent air guitar player).

Anyway, I'm listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan this week and every time I do that I remember the day that Stevie Ray was killed. My friends Christian Brooks and Colin Batchelor held a candlelight vigil in their apartment in Sherrod (at ACU). They kept the lights down and shoepolished "We'll Miss You SRV!" on their sliding glass door. We listened to Stevie Ray for like 8 hours straight in the candlelight. It was quite a day. He was the greatest.


Since we are on a music discussion (Well, at least I am)...

One of our favorite topics of conversation when our group of friends gets together is music. We come up with things like first concert, best and worst concert, favorite album, the "desert island game", etc... But my favorite questions that have been asked are:

"What band do you like that you shouldn't like or are embarassed about?"
"What band do you dislike that everyone says you should like?"

I love these questions. They are very revealing and lead to comments like: "You listen to Eminem? And Iron Maiden? Wow...I don't think I know you anymore." or "How can you not like U2? Are you insane?"

So I pose this question to you:

"What band do you like that you shouldn't like or are embarassed about?"

Me? I can't really narrow it down to one band. How sad is that? I am embarrassed of an entire genre of music. I am sad to say that I love 80's Hair Metal. Give me Whitesnake, Cinderella, Ratt, Great White, Warrant, Winger...all that horrible 80's Hair Spray music. I love it...and I know no one else does.

Sure I listen to good bands like the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Buffett, SRV, James Taylor, the Stones etc... But every once in a while, I gotta have Cheese Metal by Motley Crue or the Scorpions. I'm not proud of it, but I can't help it.

Alright, it's your turn. All you Britney Spears fans, I know you are out there. You too, Air Supply Fan (Lav). Let us have it. Who are you a closet fan of? It can be very liberating and yet a little embarrassing to get this off your chest.

It's easy. Now you know that sometimes I listen to bands that wore spandex and lipstick. Boy, would my kids be embarrassed. But, I can't help it...I'm old.

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to listen to some more SRV.

Followed by some Poison...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Food Finds

My good friend Kevin Roberts has an amazing talent.

Name a city. Big. Small. Big population. Little Population. It doesn't matter. Do it now.

Alright, got that city in your head? Kevin can tell you the very best place to eat in that town. And here is the scary part...he's always right. Mention Dallas, you get Gennie's Bishop Grill. Mention Clayton, New Mexico, you get Rabbit Ears Cafe. Chicago? Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak, and Stone Crab. Buffalo Gap, Texas? Lola's Mexican. Everywhere you want to go and even some you don't (see: Clayton, NM)...he has a place to feed your face. I keep telling him that he needs to write a book...anyone know how to do that?

In celebration of my friend (who just was blessed with his third child)...I give you my Top Five Favorite Restaurants:

1. Downstairs at Erics -
Breckenridge, Colorado
A hole in the wall sports place (decorated with tons of old pennants...including the USFL!) that serves the most incredible pizza. Your choice of white, wheat, garlic white or garlic wheat crust. I could eat there everyday. It is hands down mine and my wife's favorite place to eat.

2. Perini Ranch Steakhouse - Buffalo Gap, Texas
If you've never been to Perini, you are missing out. The Green Chile Hominy is not to be overlooked and some would say that the
"Zucchini Perini" (Sliced zucchini baked in Italian meat sauce with fresh grated Parmesan cheese) is to die for. And the desserts, oh man. Homemade Strawberry Shortcake and Bread Pudding. Now, I'm getting hungry. Oh yeah, the steaks are unbelievable as well.

3. Smith and Wollensky Steakhouse - Dallas, TX
One of the best meals my wife and I have ever eaten. The Prime Rib is bigger than my head. They also make homemade Macaroni and Cheese (trust me) and the best seafood platter you can imagine.

4. Aloha Angel Cafe' - Kona, Hawaii
Found this little gem before snorkeling. Then we ate there the next day too. We each ordered the same thing. I've never eaten anything but breakfast there, but they have the best coconut syrup for your pancakes on the planet. The view of the ocean and the Coffee Beans growing on the trees outside make for an amazing experience.

5. Roy's Waikaloa Bar and Grill ("Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine") - Waikaloa, Hawaii
This is a personal favorite of my wife and I. They change the menu every night. Yep, one night you could eat Swordfish and then never see it on the menu again. Everything from top to bottom is amazing. You don't even have to go to Hawaii to eat there. They have them all over the Southwest (even in Dallas)

One of my favorite things about this list is that I have shared a meal at three of these restaurants with Kevin. Here's to you my friend.

It's no "desert island game", but think about your favorite places to eat. Eating always brings back good memories. Maybe it will brighten your day.

We have been blessed with some amazing cuisine in this country. Be sure and thank God today for the ability to eat and drink.

And pass the coconut syrup...