Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Grad School?

Greetings!  Welcome back to a blog!

Meet Jason Richard Hedger:  

Jason is one of my closest friends from college.  While students at Oklahoma State, if we weren't dreaming of crazy sweet road trips, successfully pulling off crazy sweet road trips (ALASKA BABY!), or going nuts at OSU football and basketball games, we could be found studying hard in OSU's Edmon Low Library.  Okay, actually, although we both enjoyed the majors we later received degrees for, oftentimes studying took a back seat to the aforementioned craziness.  In fact, I once took this picture of Hedger because it was so rare to see him studying... 

Because of this fact, it's a bit ironic, and has come as a great surprise to many of our friends, that the both of us are starting grad school this fall.  Turns out, we both have passions that we're hoping to successfully turn into future careers by tackling a couple more years of school.  While Jason is studying to get his Master's in Counseling from the University of West Virginia, I'll be studying for a Pastoral Theology Master's Degree from Ave Maria University (I'm in a program that offers classes one weekend a month - with tons of reading/writing/and studying in between).  Our hope is to one day work at the same high school; Jason as the school's top-notch counselor - Me as the Church History teacher and soccer coach (this is actually a dream I just came up with, but I'm thinking Hedger will be game). 

Because there isn't a Panera within a 50 mile radius of camp, I needed a pleasant study area right here in my own apartment.  It's about time my two years of high school wood shop experience came in handy:  

In case you're scoring at home, the bottom frame of the desk is painted orange.  For those of you that have been to camp, the top of the desk and the bookshelf are built out of an old table from "The Joe" that was struggling to stay attached to it's metal legs.  One of my camp buddies, Joseph, recently visited and after seeing my desk he exclaimed, "Oh, looks like you built it Andy Miller style."  Mr. Miller, I hope this desk passes your "Andy's Dandy's" quality control inspection.  

Lastly, the response for the new "monthly mailbag" feature here on a blog has been overwhelmingly positive!  Letters have been flying in at a pace that has kept all of us here at a blog on our toes.  Please, please keep the letters coming, as we're excited to continue answering these questions, which we'll be posting soon.  If you haven't emailed your questions yet, you still have time!  christopher.clyde.aderhold@gmail.com

Thanks for tuning in! 

Peace be da journey. 

P.S.  Oh, and how 'bout them Cowboys!  Go Pokes!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Clyde the Horse

Last winter, our stables handy man, Jim, traded two of his older horses for a young and vibrant gelding horse. Not unlike getting any other new pet, Jim had a task on his hands: What was he going to name this new horse?  Because I may have hinted at some point that Clyde was a good, strong name, Jim paid me homage by naming the horse Clyde.  

A couple months later, Jim stopped by the office at camp to take care of a few things.  The following conversation took place: 

Chris:  Well, howdy Jim! 
Jim:  Aderhold
Chris:  How's things going in your neck of the woods?
Jim:  Fine
Chris:  Hey!  How the heck is Clyde?
Jim:  Clyde's dead.
Chris:   What!?! 
Jim:  Winter did him in.  
Chris:    Well, why didn't you call me?  I would have helped you bury him!
Jim:  Oh, I just dragged him into the woods for the coyotes. 
Chris:   Good heavens, Jim.  What the heck?    

A couple months later, Jim got another new gelding.  The following conversation took place over camp walkie-talkies: 

Jim:  Aderhold, come in, Aderhold
Chris:  Go ahead, Jim
Jim:  Just got a new gelding.  He's got a big head and he's ugly as sin.  Looks alot like you.  Should we try again with the name "Clyde"?
Chris:  That didn't work out to well for us last time, now did it?
Jim:  I'm willing to give it one more shot if you are.  
Chris:  Thanks, Jim.  I'm honored.  

And now... I'm proud to introduce:  Clyde 2

Unbeknownst to many, the staff at "a blog" have both street and book smarts, not to mention a strong opinion, making us the perfect forum to get all your questions answered.  "a blog" is excited to introduce "the monthly mailbag" feature.  Ever wonder what our opinion is on a certain topic?  Well, there's only one way to find out!

Send questions via email to: (christopher.clyde.aderhold@gmail.com).   

Thanks for tuning in, friends! 

Peace be da joureny. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A blog returns...

Sound the horns!  Release the hounds!  Kick the tires!  Saddle up and ride!      

A Blog is back!  

I've been looking forward to this day for a long, long time, friends, and my sincere hope is that you have also had countless nights sans sleep in anticipation of this fabulous day! 

Much has happened in the 104 days since I last logged in to this portal of fun.  Yes friends, we have a lot to catch up on, so brew some coffee and pull up a chair.  Go ahead and picture yourself sitting at your local Panera Bread Co.  Don't worry, I'm there too, sitting across the table with a cup of coffee in one hand, an apple in the other, and a smile on my face.  In case you need help with this picture, here's a visual:  

Also, imagine we have nothing but time to chat because this is going to be an experience you won't soon forget.  

Actually, although I just said we have nothing but time, we actually have so much to catch up on, there is no way we can finish today.  You know how when you finally get together with someone after you haven't seen them in months and you have a ton to say, but you only briefly touch on the highlights to fill them in a scosh, and then you say, "I promise we'll get together again soon so we can finish catching up!" and then 3 more months go by and the "friend" doesn't call you back and then you're in the same darn position as before?  Okay, that first part is you and me right now, but the second part isn't us.  Don't fret, I'm a bit of a local legend at the particular Panera you and I are currently chilaxing at, so they'll save this table (I prefer booths, but I'm not a big enough deal yet to reserve booths - just wait for summer 2010 (did you say twenty-ten, or two thousand and ten?  I know, we're in the midst of a quagmire not seen in some time.)) for the same time next week.  My bottomless coffee mug, apple and smile will be there, will you?  

So, to whet your appetite (or to make you scratch your head with confusion), here's a brief overview (some with visual aid) of some of the more exciting moments from the previous 104 days, with stories and details soon to come... 

- I conquered Beaver Dam Falls (with the help of Jeff) 

- The Pirates sweep the Mets
- Summer Camp Begins 
- Camp closed for 10 days due to Swine Flu: 

- I discover an appreciation, NAY!, a Love for John Denver:

- My voice cracks during the parent program we have at the end of our camp sessions.  No worries, only 300 were in attendance
- John Denver slips to second as Neil Diamond effortlessly slides into first in the "Favorite old musicians list" - a list of old guys that I've always known about but didn't give a chance until now
- Mark finds his hat!
- Clyde the horse!
- Pirates lose to Cubs 17-2, fall to 19 games back
- Summer Camp extends to a 10th session
- Northwoods vacation
- Grad school here I come!  

It feels good to be back, friends.  I'm excited to once again be your weekly voice from the 53959.  We'll see you next week with a full length feature story filling you in with more detail on one of the many exciting moments from summer 2009.  Thanks for tuning in!  

Peace be da journey.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'll be seein' ya.

As the sun sets on "a blog" for a few months, here I sit, in my shabby recliner, with a can of Orange Crush and a foot long Tootsie Roll, pondering what to write about...    

Here's a thought:  Sitcoms don't go on all 12 months of the year.  What do they do on TV during the down time from certain television shows?  That's right, they show re-runs.  The fact that I'll be taking a sabbatical from "a blog" for a few months is no reason to panic.  It's simply a time for you to check back on some of your favorite stories (and if you're new to "a blog", this is your chance to catch up - sort of like the time I watched the first 3 seasons of The Office on DVD over the course of only a couple weeks so I would understand the upcoming premiere of season 4 - and speaking of The Office, has it really been terrible lately, or what?  Man, what happened?).    

For those of you that can't imagine life without my weekly stories and jocularity, I wanted to pass along a new option for both keeping up with me and this great place in which I am employed: 

Camp Gray's blog has been moved to blogger!  Due to some technical issues with our last blog site, we've transfered the Camp Gray blog (affectionately named "Misplaced & Found") to the more familiar and user-friendly blogger.com interface.  I've been extremely excited with this process and I'd love to hear your feedback!  Plus, now I can post at work and not feel guilty about it (just kidding Jeff & Rebecca!).  But seriously, you could say I'm now a professional writer because I'm getting paid to blog!  Sweet! Check it out here:  Camp Gray Blog

All that being said, I've come up with the summer schedule of "a blog" re-runs.  Check back weekly to view some of my favorite posts!

Have a terrific summer, friends!  I know I certainly will.  Please keep Camp Gray and our hundreds of campers (and our phenomenal staff) in your prayers.    

May 19 - What's scarier than a grizzly bear... - Attack of the Killer Shrew

May 26 - Why do I love Panera? - Panera Bread Co. 

June 2 - Growing a mustache is hard.  - Mustache Diaries IV

June 9 - "You want me to cut off what?" - Bucky the Deer

June 16 - It's business time. - Freedom of Choice? 

June 23 - An epic (true!) story about a young man and his head light... - Haiti

June 30 - Instead of a re-run of "a blog" this week, you should check out this video I made to introduce our co-directors to our new staff this past spring:  A Star is Born!

July 7 - Skiing the Lakeland Loppet, part 1 (skiing is a loosely used word, as form took a back seat to surviving sub-zero temperatures) - The Lakeland Loppet Part 1

July 14 - Skiing the Lakeland Loppet, part 2 - The Lakeland Loppet Part 2

July 21 - The tale of a first time hunter and lessons learned... - The Chris Aderhold Inaugural Deer Hunt Journal

July 28 - Why are they called, "coon hounds"? - Coon Hunting with Jim Riggs

August 4 - Gary, Sr:  A man among boys... - The Mustache Diaries Super Grand Finale 

August 11 - "ESPN called.  They heard things about your hunting..." - World Class Hunter

August 18 - Tall people have the ability to balance things well. - The Peacock Feather

August 25 - The sabbatical is over, and the fall line-up has been determined.  The sun is rising again on "a blog" and it's going to be a good fall (with lots of good stories - and maybe another mustache...  probably not, though)...

Peace be da journey!

- ChrisTopher

P.S.  Oh, and by the way.  With mother's day on Sunday, and my dad's birthday on Friday, I wanted to recognize them both with not only this shout out, but with an amazing picture of them hiking at Devil's Lake (which is a mere 13 minute drive from Camp - yep, you should come visit and we'll go there.  Yes...  You.)  
Happy Mother's Day, Mom!
Happy Birthday, Dad!

I love y'all!

P.S.S.  The Pirates have lost 8 of 10.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It's May!

Can you believe it's already May?  Goodness, gracious, 2009 is flying by at warp speed!  

With the coming of summer camp (at the time of press there were only 40 days until the first week of campers!), comes the realization that my time to devote to "a blog" will become less and less.  If you've been thinking lately, "Gosh, Chris' posts have become pretty stale and short the last couple weeks (minus the amazing picture of Chris & Andrew sporting OSU jerseys last week)," then you'd be correct (especially regarding the part in parenthesis).  Already, time to devote to "a blog" has been tough to come by.    

Because of this realization, I've had to come to a difficult decision.  I've decided that my post next Tuesday, May 12th, will be my last weekly post until after summer.  I've hated that my posts lately have been well below the high standard we typically strive for at "a blog", so this seems like the best solution.  When will weekly posts return?  Let's shoot for Aug. 25, 2009.  It is truly a sad realization and an enormously tough decision to make, but I'm incredibly excited for summer camp 2009, so I can't complain.  
So, next week will be my last weekly post for over 3 months.  What should I write about?  It would absolutely make my day to hear from you with suggestions on a topic.  (christopher.clyde.aderhold@gmail.com) 

Because next weeks post will be difficult enough, I thought I'd take this time to personally thank you for reading my blog.  Yes...  you.  I know who you are.  Well, most of you, anyhow.  With google analytics, I have the ability to see how many folks check out my blog each week.  Not only that, I can view a map of the world with the city, state, and country of every hit my blog receives, and there are a lot of you (which makes me so very happy!)  One of the highlights of having "a blog", is viewing this map and attempting to figure out who is tuning in to my blog.  For instance, over the course of the past month (since April 5th), I've had 20 hits from Omaha, NE (Derek?), 13 hits from Broken Arrow, OK (Caleb?), 7 hits from Chicago (Katie?), 13 hits from Lawrence, KS (Lauren & Kristen?), 36 hits from Edmond, OK (hmmm?),  24 hits from Onalaska, WI (Ford at home?), and 13 hits from La Crosse (clap and point), WI (Ford at work?).
There are also hundreds of other hits that I can't identify.  A small sample: in the past month I've had 6 hits from Sheboygan, WI; 3 hits from the ATL; 6 hits from the Twin Cities; 4 hits from Denver, 11 hits from Texas, 4 hits from Davison, MI, and 6 hits from Westlake, LA.  I've even had hits from places such as Turkey (Istanbul), China (Laiwu), and Spain (Santa Cruz de Tenerife).  (Who are you people?!)  All told, since the inception of "a blog", I've had hits from 37 of 50 states, and 6 countries!  It's incredible to think that people literally all over the world read my weekly ramblings.  

So, thank you.  I love writing, and it makes it that much better knowing people enjoy "a blog" enough to tune in each and every week (or just once - such as the single hit I have from the dude in China).
For you students, Godspeed during upcoming finals.  For you working adults, don't forget to get outside and enjoy spring!  I can't wait to see you next week!

God bless!   

Peace be da journey.    

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Birthday Boy!

Yesterday, April 28th, was my 26th birthday.

Many thanks to the many warm wishes, phone calls, and emails.

The guys at camp took me out to Milwaukee for my very first Pittsburgh Pirates game, as they were in town battling the Brewers. More details to come, but again, thanks gentlemen for a terrific evening.

This was all well and good, but the best part of the day? It had to be Andrew insisting that he wear his new OSU Cowboys jersey in honor of the big day...

Peace be da journey.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The ECM160


Happy 21st of April!

After 70 degree weather last Thursday and Friday, I awoke this morning to temperatures in the 30s and a light snowy drizzle.  Being disgusted all day because of the inclement weather (I don't mind Wisconsin winters, but don't tease me with 70 degree days in the middle of it..), made this evening that much sweeter as Jenna busted out her newest toy:  The Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso & Cappuccino Maker - ECM160.  Thankfully, Sean has nearly a decade experience as a Barnes & Noble Barista, so he jumped in the drivers seat and whipped up lattes and macchiatos for all.

The ECM160 boasts that its 4 cup espresso maker makes it easy to enjoy 1 to 4 cups of delicious espressos, cappuccinos, or lattes.  Additionally, the powerful milk frothing nozzle and frothing aid helps steam milk to perfection, and for only $35.oo, you'd be foolish not to invest in an ECM160.  

While learning from Sean how to make a caramel macchiato ("It's a layered drink, Chris.  You start by filling the cup with a splash of vanilla, followed by steamed milk and a dash of foam.  Topping the foam with the espresso is vital to give the drink it's kick, and it's finished off by a nice pattern of caramel on top." - Sean), I also learned that Starbucks is making an approximate 800% profit when you purchase a $4.00 caramel macchio from their store.   

The moral of the story is:  I will be buying an ECM160 very soon, and I recommend you do the same.  Some photos of the fun evening:  

The ECM160 is ready to roll
Caramel Macchiato: by Sean
I think you'll have trouble finding even a hint of difference.

This was the best homemade macchiato I've ever had.

Even Andrew was impressed by the ECM160

Pittsburgh Pirates Update:  Since choosing the Pirates as my favorite MLB team of all time, they've gone 4-2 and have pulled within a game of first place in the NL Central Division.  The Bucs go for the sweep of the Marlins tomorrow afternoon.  

Birthday Wishes:  It's my good friend Jason's birthday on Wednesday the 22nd.  If you've got a free minute or two, I'm sure he'd love to hear from you (even (especially) if you don't know him): jasonrhedger@hotmail.com.  Maybe in the subject line you could just put that you know me, that would be great.  

I need your traveling advice:  If you had 7-10 days to travel anywhere in the U.S., where would you go, and why?  christopher.clyde.aderhold@gmail.com

Peace be da journey. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Go Pirates!

In the nearly 7 months of 'a blog', sports have been the topic of posts strangely few times.  I love sports with all of my heart, but there are plenty of excellent sports writers out there (Bill Simmons, Rick ReillyPat Andera).  Plus, why limit my audience to only sports loving folks?  I have found great enjoyment writing about everyday adventures and comical situations I find myself in, however, I realized something the other day as I was driving to get coffee.  Sports occupy my mind approximately 74% of the day (43% of statistics are made up on the spot).  I'm constantly thinking about upcoming sporting events, last nights big games, my dream to one day play a professional sport (95% of guys still have this dream btw, and the other 5% are lying), the next time I'll play pick-up basketball (I played the other night with Tim, Pat, Jenna, and Sean - it was quite delightful), and if the Oklahoma State Cowboys football team will have enough of a defense this year to match the fire power of their offense.  Oh, and daily I think about the $100 bet my brother Matt and I made 2 years ago:  I bet him that OSU would win a national championship in football or basketball in the next decade (I've got a good feeling about this years football team...).  Yes, I think about sports often.  TGIF?  Nope, TGIW.  Hump day to some means the work week is half over.  In my world, hump day means it's Sports Illustrated day.  This is the one day a week I wish mail wasn't sorted until 5pm.  It's torture focusing on work on Wednesday's from 2pm-5pm as my SI rests in my mail slot a mere 3 steps from my desk (unless someone from NASCAR is on the cover).  

You may be thinking to yourself, "Well, Chris, why after a thrilling college football season, an exciting slew of bowl games, a phenomenal Super Bowl, and an extremely memorable college basketball season and March Madness, would you wait to write about sports until now?"  That's a tremendous question.  April-August has long been considered a dead time in the world of Chris Aderhold sports.  Sure, there is the occasional enjoyable Masters Tournament (as there was this past weekend), World Cup Soccer (See ya in S. Africa in 2010), the Summer Olympics, the NBA Playoffs (unfortunately it lasts 3 months) and so forth.  For the most part, however, summers have always been slow in my world of sports, because the main sport played is baseball.  

There it is folks, I have never been very fond of baseball.  I've actually been to several MLB stadiums (Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Old Yankee Stadium, Miller Park, County Stadium, The Ballpark in Arlington, Kaufman Stadium, Old Busch Stadium, The Coliseum, Minute Maid Park, Camden Yards, Shea Stadium, The Cassidy AF, and U.S. Cellular Field), not having seen a game in each, but a few.  I love the history of baseball, and I think it's amazing that baseball has been played in our country for well over a century.  Yes, there are aspects of the game that I find intriguing, I just can't stand to watch the sport (especially on TV!).  

A friend of mine, Pat, has been encouraging me for a few years to give the sport another chance.  "If you'll invest time in following the sport, or even just a team, you'll start to really enjoy baseball," he's told me more times than I count.  

It would be fun to have a favorite baseball team.  Sure, in the past I've always bashed the sport because of the absurd number of games each MLB team plays, but if I enjoyed the sport and had a favorite team, wouldn't I want them to play tons of games?  As I was flying home from Oklahoma yesterday morning after a lovely Easter, I decided I would do as Pat said.  I will pick a favorite team, and I will be the best dang fan in the country.  I'll give baseball another chance, but if they mess it up, I'm through with baseball forever.  At least this way, if I still end up disliking the sport, I can honestly say, "I really tried to like baseball.  I mean, I really, really tried.  I just hate it."

So who do I root for?  The Rangers are the closest team to my hometown in OK, but the Cardinals are also fairly close, and I've been to one of their games (even caught a baseball).  I saw the Red Sox play in Fenway, but I'd fit in as a Yankee fan because their fan base is full of bandwagon fans.  It would be easy to root for a team with a recent championship and a huge pay roll.  But you know what, that's not how I roll.  I root for the Dallas Cowboys, even after their 1-15 season in 1989, and I cheer for the Oklahoma State Cowboys football team despite a 0-10-1 record in 1991 (I cried when OSU lost to OU that year - a tradition that has sadly occurred many times since).  Supporting a terrible team sure makes it that much sweeter when they finally turn things around (3 Super Bowls in the '90s for Dallas; 38-28).  

After much deliberation and discussion, I have decided to pick a team with some tradition, although most is long forgotten.  Similarly, any past success is hard to remember since they haven't had a winning season in 16 years.  This is a team with a mascot with an intimidation factor that is polar opposite of their pitching staff (see, I actually have no clue if their pitchers are bad, so that'll be my first lesson).  

Without further adieu (drum roll please), my favorite baseball team is:  The Pittsburgh Pirates!

This 2009 MLB season will be one to remember, as I will now follow this team with the same gusto and enthusiasm as I do following Oklahoma State's football team.  Don't worry, "a blog" hasn't turned into a baseball column.  I will only update you on life as a Pirates fan as I see fit, but I'm excited to occasionally document my journey following one of the worst teams in MLB.  (As of right now they are tied for 3rd in the NL Central with a 4-4 record and they play Houston tomorrow at 12:35pm...  GO BUCS (I just visited their website and learned this is a common nickname for the boys in Pittsburgh)).  

Thanks for reading, friends!  Go Pirates! 

Peace be da journey. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

There are still Pirates?

Pirates have been in the news often in the past couple weeks!
Tune back in on Thursday to hear about Pirates. 

Peace be da journey. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Camp Gray Retreat Team

Do you have a spare 10 minutes?  

You ought to check out what goes on out at Camp Gray 53959 from September to May...  

Have a wonderful Easter everyone!  

Peace be da journey.  

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Peacock Feather

Last weekend, nine (9) of us from the year-round Camp Gray community made our way out to the big city of Chicago for a three day camp conference put on by the American Camp Association.

It was a wonderful weekend to spend quality time with the crew from Camp Gray, as well as a great opportunity to meet folks from other Camps.  We attended many different sessions to hear camp professionals speak about everything from behavior management and supervision tips, to neat ideas for marketing.  The event's closing speaker, Scott Arizala, gave a wonderful talk on the importance of youth development, and it left me fired up for summer camp.   

Of course, no camp conference would be complete without a little competition, and wouldn't ya know it, on the first night there was an intense Baggo tournament.  I was teamed up with Jenna Keller, Camp Gray's Administrative Coordinator.  For three years running, the Camp Gray Administrative Coordinator has won the Baggo Championship, so I was honored to be paired with Jenna.  

As Yoda so eloquently put it in Star Wars, 
"Do or do not, there is no try." 
Well... we did not.  But, we competed hard and fair.  I was proud of the effort put forth by Ms. Keller, even if the pressure of keeping the Administrative Coordinator winning streak alive ultimately destroyed her.  Because of this crushing defeat, Camp's Co-Directors, Jeff & Rebecca, have decided to discontinue the Administrative Coordinator position indefinitely.       

After dinner on the last night, the organizers of the conference were kind enough to schedule some camp appropriate entertainers to aid in digestion.  "The Wacky Juggler", Andy Head, put on an impressive display of juggling and jocularity.  Early on in his performance, he asked for a volunteer from the audience, so of course I emphatically raised my hand high in the hopes of being picked.  Unfortunately, I didn't make enough of a commotion to be chosen.  However, a lesson was learned, and the following thought rattled around the brain of Chris Aderhold: 
"The wacky juggler likes wackiness...  If he asks for another volunteer, how can I get his attention?...  Hmmm...  Wait a scosh!  What is this clown nose doing here?  That's it!..."  

Luckily my brain worked quickly, because the next thing I knew, The Wacky Juggler was asking for more volunteers.  On the clown nose went, and up went my hand.  A quick thanks is due to my friends from Camp Gray for doing the infamous "point at the guy who wants to be picked and scream" technique - because IT WORKED!

Turns out, Mr. Juggler needed 8 volunteers.  Once we arrived up on stage, he handed each of us a large peacock feather, and asked us to balance the feather on our hand.  

(It should be noted that I love to write because I enjoy being very descriptive.  However, when my Baggo teammate happens to video the aforementioned events, I feel as though I should share... Enjoy!)


As you can see, the balancing came pretty easy for me.  Also, you might have noticed, at the end of the peacock feather-balance test-run, Mr. Juggler pats me on the back.  I believe that is the good vibes I needed for the next portion of our time on stage. 

Well, the test run was a warm up for a competition.  Mr. Juggler challenged us to see which of us eight could balance our feather the longest.  I accepted his challenge with vigor, and felt confident with the support of the fine folks from Camp Gray - A Catholic Summer Camp (plus the support of the WeHaKeers), I would take home the gold.  

As you'll see, the clown nose was removed, because the clown nose isn't a part of my game face...  

(You will now need to tilt your head 90 degrees to the left...)

There you have it, folks!
I am the ACA Midstates Conference Peacock Feather Balancing Champion!  I've been told that winning feather balancing competitions like this can have a major influence on future job opportunities in the fields of entertainment, wildlife management, and aviation education.
I would again like to thank the fine folks from Camp Gray for their wonderful support.  
(Also, I'd like to take a minute to publicly apologize for slamming Jenna's Baggo performance.  Baggo is the ultimate team sport, and because of a recent discovery of tendonitis in my throwing shoulder, I was less than effective in the tournament.  I take 100% blame for the devastating defeat.)  

Thanks for reading everyone!  

Peace be da journey, 


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Letter of Recommendation

Because my blog writing time this week was spent writing a letter of recommendation for my friend, Luke, the aforementioned letter has become this weeks post.  Enjoy!  

Dear Selection Committee:

I am writing to recommend Luke Meinholz for the SEEA 2009-2010 Scholarship.  I have had the great privilege of knowing Luke for nearly three years, and have had many opportunities to witness his strong character.  I first met Luke in 2006 when I was his counselor at the summer camp at which I am employed, Camp Gray.  Spending two weeks with Luke left me extremely impressed, and I remember encouraging him to consider working on our staff when he was old enough.  Two years later, Luke was hired as part of our summer staff.  Having the opportunity to be both a mentor and a peer to Luke has given me plenty of insight into his attitude and character.  

The summer that I was Luke's counselor was my first summer at Camp Gray.  Luke had been a camper for several years.  He was the type of camper that our returning staff knew well because of his great love of Camp Gray, his strong leadership among his fellow campers, and his terrific attitude.  Upon meeting Luke, I instantly recognized these qualities, and  was also struck by his incredible work ethic.  Luke was a camper in our two week Advanced Ranch Camp that summer.  Before the campers were permitted to ride, they would feed and tend to their horses, and then complete other chores around the stables.  Luke was, without question, the hardest working and most positive camper in our group those two weeks.       

During the fall of 2007, I was thrilled when Luke told me that he had applied to be on Camp's summer staff for 2008.  Luke wasn't old enough to be a counselor, so he instead was hired as the Maintenance Assistant.  Not the most glamorous of positions, I was confident that Luke would nonetheless shine, and shine he did.  Allow me to share an incident from last summer that I think exemplifies Luke's strong commitment and dedication.  I returned to the office one evening and was informed that there had been an unfortunate sewage disaster in one of Camp's bathrooms.  I headed toward the bathroom to assess the situation, and was pleasantly surprised to find Luke already nearly finished cleaning the bathroom.  To make light of the situation, he had donned a helmet and an orange reflection vest.  What impressed me most was that he hadn't been asked to clean the bathroom.           

Luke will be on staff again this summer, this time as a counselor for our campers in 2nd - 8th grade.  I can't help but feel like a proud Grandpa as one of my first campers will soon have campers of his own.  Luke's strong character and attitude will be on display for hundreds of campers this summer, and I'm ecstatic for those campers to have the opportunity to be mentored by such a wonderful young man.   

In closing, when I step back and think about Luke's positive attitude, his loyalty to his friends and family, his strong work ethic, and the wonderful example he is for both his peers and young people, he stands out in my mind as an ideal recipient of your 2009-2010 SEEA Scholarship. 


Chris Aderhold

Assistant Director

Camp Gray

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Luke Meinholz

Luke asked me to write a letter of recommendation for him for a scholarship.  I enjoy both writing and Luke, so I agreed.  I will have the letter finished by tomorrow evening, and will then post it to "a blog".  Feedback and suggestions would be great.  Let's make Luke some money.  

Peace be da journey, 


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sorry friends!

I meant to get a post up yesterday, but my only access to internet was with an iphone, because I'm in Tennessee at a conference for guys only.  I briefly attempted to type an article, but it was my first experience with an iphone, so things did not go well.  

Come back next week when I'll be posting an article that I think could be one of my best.  

Peace be da journey. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Lakeland Loppet Part 2

The first heat of 8k skate style skiers (14-18 year olds) left 4 minutes before, and the heat I was to be sent with (19-39 year olds) would be getting the green light in a mere 60 seconds. As the rest of the skiers from my group were lining up to start the race, I was still trying to decide whether or not I should race with my fleece jacket on. If I kept the jacket on, I would be somewhat warm, however, if I removed the jacket, I could show off my sweet "Team Aderhold" t-shirt; the brain-child collaboration of my Aunt Jan and Grandma Aderhold. Ultimately, it was a no-brainer; Team Aderhold it was. I removed my jacket, strapped on my gloves, and got in my ready position (which looked a lot like this: click here).

The Lakeland Loppeteers line up for the start of the big race

Yup, that's me in the white. At 6'4" and weighing in at an impressive 178 lbs., the old man to the right can't help but be impressed with my terrific ski posture.

"3... 2... 1... GO!"
And just like that, we were off!  

After 1k I still hadn't fallen, which was a small victory in itself. However, 20 yards after the 1k sign, I guess I got a little cocky, and biffed it pretty hard on a winding downhill. Was I embarrassed that I wiped out so horrifically? Not really. I was so far behind the pack that nobody actually saw me. I picked myself up and continued on. I was pretty content that I could just enjoy the beautiful trails and not worry about people passing me or, unlikely as it sounds, me passing other people. On the way to the race I was a student in "Ski Race Passing Etiquette 101", which to me definitely seemed more like a 400 level course.

This contentful (it's a word... look it up) thought process came to a sudden and crashing end near the 3k sign when out of nowhere I got passed on a steep uphill by a man on my left.

"What the heck?", I thought to myself, "Where is he coming from?"

I was, without question, in last place. How could I be getting passed? I didn't say anything, just smiled and watched him fly by me.

Approximately 45 seconds later, another man flew past me. Then another. Then another. Then a woman.

Then it hit me... This was the 40-59 year old wave of racers that began 5 minutes after my group started. And yes, they were smoking me. I could only think one thing, and those were the classy words of my friend, Eddy: "Cheese and biscuits!"

I began to wonder if wearing the Team Aderhold shirt might have been a bad idea. I was concerned that I would be giving us Aderhold's a bad name. "Oh well", I thought to myself, "At least I'm not Roger Clinton."

Finally, after only falling a half dozen times, getting passed by another dozen or so races, and then repassing a woman with less than 1k to go, I finished the Lakeland Loppet in just under 52 minutes! Such sweet relief!

Following my race, I watched Mo-T finish the 25k race, and then we packed up our gear and loaded our ski's into my truck. With a 4 hour drive in front of us, I was pretty intent on heading on home. Mo-T had other plans. She asked if I wanted to stick around for the awards ceremony, which initially I thought was a joke. She wasn't very happy with her time, so I assumed she had no chance at winning a medal. Certainly there was no reason for me to stick around. Not only did I get last in my heat, I think I was close to last in the "old folks" heat as well.

She finally talked me into staying, so we headed back up to hear the official results of the race.

After only standing there for a couple minutes, the PA system announced, "And in 2nd place in the male 19-29, 8k skate ski division, Chris Aderhold (which sounded more like "AID - ear - hold"). Pandemonium ensued! For exclusive video footage of the chaos, click here.

Sure, there were only two of us males in the 19-29, 8k skate ski division, but that didn't matter. Ten years (or more likely 2 months) from now, I'll forget to mention to people that there were only two of us. I have my second place prize (a Lakeland Loppet travel coffee mug) prominently displayed in my apartment, and will forever boast of winning the silver in my very first nordic ski race.

(Oh, and Mo-T ended up being the only female in the 19-29, 25k classic ski division, making her the champion. Not a bad weekend.)

Peace be da journey.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Lakeland Loppet Part 1

As I promised last week, this week's story is the non-fictional tale of a novice cross country skier (me) attempting  to successfully complete an 8K cross country ski race in sub-zero temperatures.  Be warned; the events of this story are real.    
After spending last Friday night at a friends house in Land O' Lakes, WI, I awoke at 6:15am from a delicious Sealy PosturePedic slumber, only to learn that temperature were hovering near -20 (that's negative twenty) degrees Fahrenheit.  2018 Winter Olympic Cross Country Skier Mo-T Wilks joined me on this adventure, as she would be skiing in the 25k Classic Race later that morning.  I had a scrumptious bowl of strawberries and cream oatmeal, and we hit the road by 6:45am.  An hour drive to Minacqua loomed, which is home of the annual Lakeland Loppet Nordic Ski Race.

As we pulled into the Minacqua Winter Park, I couldn't have felt more out of place.  Talk about a fish out of water.  I felt more out of place than Christian Laettner on the '92 Dream Team.  I felt more out of place than Gus Frerotte's neck after he celebrated a touchdown by head-butting a wall.  I felt more out of place than I did during the one semester I spent as anArchitecture major.  Okay, you get the idea.  I felt out of place.  Why?  Because sometimes I agree to do things before I really think them through.  An 8k race when I haven't been on cross country ski's more than 10 times total?  This had disaster written all over it.  

To be continued...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Not quite done with this week's post.  Check back on Thursday!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Panera Bread Co.

I love Panera.  I once drove an hour to the nearest Panera and spent the day there.  I arrived around 8:30am and ordered a delicious cinnamon crunch bagel with hazelnut cream cheese and a mug for bottomless coffee.   I typically opt for the hazelnut coffee with a quarter inch of half & half cream, and a splash of sugar.  I sat and read for a couple hours and spent some time on my beloved Mac (Free Wi-Fi at Panera - eat that Starbucks).  Later, I strolled up to the counter to order lunch, which consisted of a Chicken Chipotle Sandwich and a bowl of French Onion Soup.  It was heavenly.  I finally headed home around 3:45pm, after being there for over 7 hours.  

People will often ask, "Chris, how can you enjoy a restaurant so much that you'll spend an entire day there?"  To which I'll reply, "Actually, it's a bakery-cafe, friend, and the reason I can spend an entire day there is 3-fold.  #1  The food/coffee at Panera Bread is delicious.  #2  Panera Bread does a commendable job of hiring only the friendliest and happiest people around.  #3  Lastly, but most importantly, I twice-monthly yearn to spend an entire day at Panera because of their phenomenal ambiance."  

Yes folks, the ambiance at a Panera is second to none.  With comfortable chairs and booths, large day-dreaming windows, fireplaces come standard, bottomless coffee, soothing music, incredible people watching, and wall-to-wall carpet, you just can't beat it.  

Recently I found myself at a Panera Bread in Madison as I was on my way back to the 53959.  I knew as soon as I walked in that this was going to be a caramel latte and cobblestone day.  If you're not familiar with a cobblestone, then before you finish reading this post, you should find your way to the nearest Panera and get yourself a cobblestone (Tell 'em I sent ya!).  Actually, you should wait until you're done reading, because I have vital information that may aid in your next Panera Bread adventure...

After I ordered my delicious snack, the friendly Panera lady said, "That'll be $4.88." to which I respond, "Yes ma'am!  You got it! (a little cheesy, yes, but I find the more excited I am about something, the cheesier I get - I've never been cheesy when ordering a snack at McDonalds, especially since I recently experienced an unfortunate "eye lash incident" at the local McDonalds - don't ask questions, just don't eat there anymore)

As I was reaching for my wallet the gal said, "Oh wait, is that for here or to go?"  As much as I wanted to stay, I knew I should be getting on home, so I responded, "Let's get 'er to go, please."  
She then said, "Okay, then that'll be $4.77."

"Wait," I replied, "it's 11 cents cheaper if I get it to go?"

"Yes," she answerd, "if you get it for here you pay for the ambiance."

"Ma'am... you just blew my mind."

This got me thinking:  What if while ordering at Panera Bread, you told them you'd like your order to go, but then instead of leaving the bakery-cafe, you sat in a booth and enjoyed your beverage and snack inside?  Would you technically be stealing "ambiance"?  Discuss... 

Next week:  I will be attempting my first cross country ski race this Saturday in the north woods of Manoquwa, WI.  Tune in next week to read about my triumphant victory!

Soon:  More Haiti stories to come, however, I hope to receive more photos from team members so I can fully illustrate the incredible experience.  

Peace be da journey, 
Chris Topher

Love the story, hate the story, have a better idea?  Comment or send an email:  christopher.clyde.aderhold@gmail.com

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Howdy friends! I'm back! 

I arrived safely back to the good ol' U.S. of A. last Sunday, and have since been searching for the words and stories that would best illustrate all that I learned, experienced, and cleaned up, during my 10 days living among the poorest of the poor, in Thiotte, Haiti. 

Because I'm still searching for many of the aforementioned words, I think it better that I just start things off by telling one of my favorite stories from this great journey.   

If you'll remember in my last post before leaving for Haiti, I wrote that I had many goals for this adventure, but that two of my main goals were: #1) I hoped to help deliver a baby, and #2) I wanted to play lots of soccer with Haitian children.  

I know what you're thinking, "Gosh Chris, those were some lofty goals.  No way you accomplished both of those, especially that baby delivery goal..."

I am proud to introduce my Haitian story #1:  

"The Miracle of Birth Seems a Little More Miraculous When You're In the Front Row"  

On Thursday, February 5th, as the Wisconsin Haiti Medical Mission team took a lunch break from saving Haiti (a bit of an exaggeration, but it really was quite incredible the number of patients our team saw, treated, and repaired during the five days we had a free clinic open to the people of Thiotte, Haiti.  Actually, I hesitate to say it was a clinic for "the people of Thiotte, Haiti", because people walked or rode mules from all over their mountainous country in the hope of seeing an American doctor.  Humbling, to say the least).  As we were enjoying yet another plate of rice and beans, Bobbi, a nurse on our team, said, "Hey Chris, an expectant mother came in this morning at 4 centimeters, and will probably be giving birth at around 9:00pm tonight if you want to come help out.  (It should be noted that at the time, I had no idea what "4 centimeters" meant, and you only mistakingly say "4 inches" once before a half dozen women give you dirty looks and correct you with just a hint of disgust.) 

Of course, I was all over this invitation, and counted down the hours with much anticipation and glee until the ETB (estimated time of birth).  

At a quarter to 9, I excused myself from a rousing game of "Spoons" (which by the way, really shows the true character of some people...), changed back into my scrubs and excitedly headed over to the clinic (which would have been the perfect time to say, "well friends, I'm out like a fetus", but I didn't think about it until just now - snap!).  

As I entered the clinic, groans from the expectant mother could be heard echoing down the hall, which turned out to be the first of about 89 times that night I thanked God for making me a man.  The woman was only at 8 cm when I arrived, meaning she still had two whole centimeters before she could finally push the big guy out.   

As we waited patiently, Dr. Lois, and Nurse Bobbi, two fellow Americans, filled me in on what I should be expecting, as well as how I could contribute in delivering this baby.  I tried to soak up every word so I wouldn't be too overwhelmed, which is exactly how I felt back in high school when my freshman biology class watched a birth on TV.  When the time finally came to join the mother in the delivery room, a strange calm came over me.  I had my game face on, and I had the feeling I was going to contribute to this birth in ways you don't see in the United States of America.  

Another important fact to note is that in the town of Thiotte, electricity is only available by generators, which are extremely rare, to say the least.  The clinic and the church in the village share a generator, which they only run from 6:00pm until 10:00pm.  One would think, as I did, that if a baby is on his way out, they would allow the electricity to run late.  Well, one would be wrong, as I was.  At 10:00 sharp, the electricity cut off, which left us scrambling to find flashlights.  Thankfully, I had worn my head lamp over to the clinic that night, so naturally I became the Birthing Light Technician (BLT for short.  And no, I haven't added this job, nor its description, to my resume, but it has crossed my mind).  

From that point forward, my main job was to keep the beam of light from my head lamp aimed squarely at the birthing mother's mystery zone.  Oh, and don't you worry; as I did my best to keep the birthing area properly lit, I multi-tasked like a champ as I cheered and encouraged the mom and baby.  We found that yelling "Push!" was getting lost in translation, so we asked the interpreter how to say "push" in Haitian Creole.  

Ironically, the word for "push" in Haitian Creole sounds like the vulgar and offensive five-letter English word that is a slang term for a woman's private area and is also sometime associated with cats.  

It took the three of us Americans some time to warm up to yelling this word, but once we did, we began to yell it with gusto!  We yelled and yelled, late into the night, until finally, at 1:35am on Friday, February 6, 2009, a beautiful baby boy finally got a good enough running start to free himself from the barriers and restrictions found only in the uterus of a first time mother. 

The rest of the night was a blur.  I helped Bobbi clean the goo off the baby, and then helped Lois clean the goo off the floor.  The birth of a child sure is a sloppy endeavor, yet one that I found quite natural and beautiful.

I finally went to bed at 2:45, but before I fell asleep, the realization of what I had just experienced came rushing over me.  I had just witnessed the miracle of birth.  

I guess this is why people tell you to aim high when you're setting goals.  

Thanks for reading, friends!  We'll see ya soon!

Peace be da journey, 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Freedom of choice?

On Thursday, I'm leaving for a 10 day medical mission trip in Haiti with a group of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals from my church (no, I have no medical knowledge, except for my Wilderness First Aid training and my Lifeguard certification from the American Red Cross), but I've been blessed with this opportunity to aid these folks anyway I possibly can  (I have two goals - 1. Help deliver a baby  2.  Play lots of soccer with Haitian children).   I'm excited to write all about this great experience once I return, and since I'll be gone for nearly two weeks, this will be the last post you'll see from me for some time.  

I know what you're thinking, "Goodness, Chris better leave us with something good since he will be gone for a while."  

Well, I want to leave by urging all of you (even if there is only a dozen people that read this blog) to educate yourself on the horrifying "Freedom of Choice Act" (FOCA).

What is the FOCA?  

Regardless of who you voted for in November, I incite you to set aside your political allegiances and open your eyes to the repercussions of the "Freedom of Choice Act".  

Just a few of the repercussions if FOCA is signed: 

1.  FOCA forces taxpayers to fund abortions 
2.  FOCA requires all states to allow "partial birth" and other late term abortions.  (If you're unsure what "partial birth" means, click here - however, be warned, these diagrams are disturbing). 
3.  FOCA violates the conscience rights of nurses, doctors, and hospitals (Did you know that with the signing of FOCA, even doctors at Catholic and other Christian hospitals would be required by law, to perform abortions.  Where's the freedom of choice in that?  And speaking of freedom of choice, what choice does the unborn human life have?)   
4.  FOCA strips parents of their right to be involved in their minor daughters' abortion decision.

"What about moms that will have to raise their child in poverty?  Shouldn't they have the right to abort a life?" 

Answer:  Please watch this powerful video.

Have you noticed that groups of people are popping up all over the place in opposition of this heinous act?  Churches are becoming involved.  Websites are sprouting up (my favorite is whatthefoca.com).  Yes friends, if there is a silver lining to this ridiculous and heart-breaking act, it's this: folks are coming together in overwhelming numbers to defend the most innocent living beings on this Earth, the unborn human.  Don't be afraid of standing up in defiance of this terribly backward legislation.      

"The greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion, which is war against the child.  The mother doesn't learn to love, but kills to solve her own problems.  Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want." 
- Mother Teresa

Disclaimer:  I realize this post strayed dramatically from my typical posts of  funny stories, odd facial hair growth, and awkward situations.  I held a beautiful and happy baby boy today.  His name is Andrew, and he's one month and ten days old.  I smile and make funny noises, and he smiles back.  Life is a precious and amazing gift.  Roe v. Wade has taken away that gift 50 million times.  FOCA will take it away even more.   

"What can I do?" 
Spread the word, and send an email to congress.  Click here

Thanks for reading.    
(See ya in two weeks!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Attack of the Killer Shrew

What is a shrew?

Before I relive the horrific story of the attack of the killer shrew, I think it important that you get acquainted with the layout of the Camp Gray Office. Please refer to Figure 1.


1. Front Door - The front door of the Camp Gray Office happens to be 1/4 inch shorter than me, which is frustrating (and painful) on days that I forget this fact.

2. The desk of the Camp Gray Administrative Coordinator - This 9 month volunteer position has proven to be a breeding ground for excellence, as a who's who cast of Camp Gray All Stars have manned (or womened) these reigns. In the past 4 years alone, the likes of A.J. Steinbrecher, Andy Miller, Sexy Pat Andera, and Jenna Keller have called the A.C. desk home.

3. "Pee-Wee" - This quaint little desk is home to a Dell laptop from the mid-90's, which most likely has a background picture of a cross country skier. Mo-T and Pat, our co-head cooks, frequent this desk space (and laptop) to order delicious and nutritious food for the thousands of campers that visit Camp each year.

4. Work counter

5. Sharp Arm237 Multifunctional Printer

6. Mail slots for the staff of Camp Gray - My box is usually empty save the occasional card from my mother. (hint, hint)

7. Desk of Camp's Program Director, Sara

8. Desk of Christopher Clyde Aderhold - It's usually a little more disheveled than it appears in this life-like drawing.

9. Desk of one of Camp's co-Director, Rebecca

10. Clock

11. Desk of Camp's other co-Director, Jeff

12. We'll just call this Tricia's Bungalow - In this tiny 8'x11' "office", Tricia handles every single retreat and rental group registration, as well as all 1,330 summer camper applications.

Now that you have an idea of what our office at Camp Gray looks like, we'll continue with the terrifying events of January 15th... Please refer to Figure 2.


1. As is the case on most days, Jenna, our current Administrative Coordinator, was hard at work doing A.C. stuff on this chilly and overcast afternoon.

2. Mo-T was using the afternoon to order delicious and nutritious food.

3. Although I had been busy at my desk TCB (takin' care of business) and jamming to my Pandora radio, I overheard Mo-T and Jenna engaging in some important Camp business, and decided to join the discussion to offer my professional opinion. As I was discussing the aforementioned important information, I glanced to my left and noticed creeping slowly behind Jenna's desk a huge shrew (located at the X), to which I pointed and excitedly exclaimed, "RAT!" (because I thought it was a rat).

4. As panic overtook Jenna and Tricia, Mo-T and I sprung to action, but by this time the shrew had galloped (are horses the only gallopers?) behind the staff mailboxes (which still had no mail from friends). Mo-T just so happened to be holding an arrow from the archery shed (don't ask me why), and immediately she decided the best course of action would be to impale the shrew with the arrow (which I personally felt was Mo-T talking a big game - I mean seriously, who wants to stab a shrew with an arrow?). As the little guy waited patiently for us behind my empty mail slot, we decided to make noise to scare him out, which worked, but then he bolted for the safety of the underbelly of Rebecca's desk (Underbelly? Yeah... don't tell me you saw that one coming).

5. Five marks the spot where Tricia passed out and hit the ground (okay, no one actually passed out. I don't remember why I put the "5" here, so this is your opportunity to make up the most ridiculous side-story of this whole ordeal).

6. As we continued our stomping and scaring strategy, a chair may have been kicked, which then slammed against the desk causing the clock to come crashing from the wall. Yes, it was an intense time in the Camp Gray office.

7. Tricia quickly engaged the "Ketch All Multiple Catch Mouse Trap" (which actually doesn't kill the mouse - it only catches them in the box so they can later be released back into the wild. If you were concerned earlier by the threatening behavior of Mo-T and her questionable arrow, and now have peace of mind because you're relieved to read that we strive to harmlessly eradicate rodents from our buildings, then you should stop reading, exit this blog immediately, and sleep well tonight with the thought that no rodent is harmed at Camp Gray).

If you're still here, please refer to Figure 3...


1. It should be noted that as the shrew was hiding under Rebecca's desk, no doubt contemplating whether or not Mo-T had the guts to actually pierce him with an arrow, Jeff & Rebecca strolled into the office with Andy Denny, their 3.5 week old son. A.D. was sleeping when they entered, and they placed him here as he lay in his baby seat.

2. Not three minutes after the shrew had sought refuge under Rebecca's desk, the rascal decided he liked the prospect of safety in Tricia's Bungalow (or maybe he caught wind of Tricia's secret stash - which is frequently stocked with delicious snacks and candies. I can't tell you where it's located, but I can tell you that it does exist, and it is spectacular - so, no, I don't blame the shrew for putting his neck on the line for this kind of paradise).

3. For whatever reason, the shrew paused here, although there was no cover and therefore no safety. I was able to remove my left boot and heave it at him (which, regardless of what Mo-T tells you, wasn't underhanded), but he scampered behind Tricia's filing cabinet scant seconds before contact. He popped his head out a minute or so later as if to mock me, which gave me an opportunity to redeem my previous boot throw with another (this time with my right boot), but again, his quickness and nimbleness of foot prevailed.

4. Most likely realizing that when you anger Tricia, you anger Mark, the shrew bolted from Tricia's Bungalow, turned on a dime, and dove behind the copy machine.

5. The little guy came to rest under the shelf stocked with colored copy paper, which sits between the copy machine and the work counter - present location of the still sleeping baby.

6. Sensing that safety was toward the front door, our heroic friend made one final dash for freedom, but came to rest here as he quickly remembered that unlike velociraptors, shrews lack the ability to open doors.

7. Wanting to avoid a Mo-T Massacre, I lunged toward the front door and swung it open, hoping beyond hope that the shrew would realize that although it was -20 degrees outside, it would be better for him in the cold than to face Tricia, Mark and Mo-T. I wanted nothing but freedom and safety for our new friend. Obviously fully aware of the sacrifice I was making for him, he nodded at me as if to say "thanks", then jogged around the open door where I quickly pushed open the screen door and then slammed the front door. FREEDOM!

I was thrilled! 20 minutes of hard work and dedication resulted in a shrewless office, a still sleeping baby, and peace of mind knowing that one more shrew would be around to live another day.

That is until Mo-T decided to check on our friend outside. She opened the front door, only to find that when I had swung open the screen door, it recoiled too quickly for our obviously exhausted new friend.

The shrew met his maker on that cold afternoon, not because of an arrow or a trap, but because of an office screen door (it should be noted that the screen door most likely only crippled the shrew, but luckily Jeff finished him off with a large size 12).

Rest in peace, Shrew, Rest in peace.

(This is what happens when I get a day off (MLK) and I spend the afternoon reading and doodling at McDonald's with a d-lish McDonald's Mocha)

See ya next week!

Peace be da journey,


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Mustache Diaries Super Grand Finale


It's all over, friends. Nearly three months of dedication came to a sudden and heart breaking end in the men's bathroom of the New Hope Baptist Church in Duncan, OK on Saturday, Dec. 27th, at 5:21pm CST.

All this time, I think part of me tried to convince myself that I wouldn't have to shave off my 'stache. Denial aint just a river in Egypt. I'm glad I didn't know the way it all would end, the way it all would go. Our mustaches are better left to chance. I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance.

I wanted to take this time to share something I've learned during my extensive perusing of beautiful mustaches. I've commented on the sweetness of Rollie Fingers mustache a couple times on "a blog". I found a great quote from him explaining why he initially grew out his mustache:

“I’m obviously very proud of my mustache. I actually first grew it while pitching for the Oakland A’s in 1972. Reggie Jackson came to spring training intent on playing with a mustache, which at the time was unheard of in baseball. Our owner, Charlie Finley, wasn’t thrilled about it. So he paid us $300 each to grow a mustache with hopes that if Reggie didn’t feel like such an individual, he’d shave it off. Well, it all caught on, it grew on Finley, and next thing you know – we’re having mustache days at the ballpark.” In fact mustaches were so prevalent among those early 1970s A’s teams that they were known as the ‘Mustache Gang.’”

Hundreds of years from now historians will wonder why in an era of clean shaves or full beards, 7 men from different parts of our great country came together to form the sweetest unity of facial hair since the 1970's Mustache Gang. One thing will be certain, though, and that is this: The Bailey Wedding Mustache Pact will be the start of another mustache revolution.

It was an honor to grow a mustache for my friend Gary. Would I do it again? In the words of Gary Bailey Sr., "The next time you grow a mustache, it will come in quicker and thicker". I think that just answered your question.

In a word: Incredible

The groom and I share one last mustached smile.

A moment that will live in infamy:
7 jaw dropping-mustaches removed.

Gary Sr: Scratch Golfer. Heck of a Guy.
Champion Mustache Grower.

Thanks for tuning in, friends. Be sure to check in next week for more Christopher Clyde fun.

Peace be da journey,


Monday, January 12, 2009

World Class Hunter

Apparently, my coon hunting efforts have been noticed by ESPN:

After the window pops up, click on the link that says "Launch Gallery" under the 2008 December Hunting Gallery.  

Click on over to picture 31 (You won't regret it).  

Tune in tomorrow for the Mustache Diary Finale!


Thursday, January 8, 2009

It's been way to long!

My deepest and darkest fear was realized over the course of the past two weeks as I neglected my blog more than I neglected my 3 pet gerbils in 4th grade. Pele, Jordan, & Pippen were my first shots at parenting. Little did I know, the fumes from remodeling the downstairs of our house would be strong enough to claim all three lives. Why didn't I move them upstairs? I neglected them, hence, their lives were lost. It was a painful loss. We buried them in an old cheeto balls tin in our backyard under the hammock which was hung between two fence posts under a large evergreen. Two months later our dog, Smokey, unearthed them.

I hope to never neglect my loyal readers again. You deserve at least one post a week, and at least one post a week I shall write.

My email has been overflowing with questions & concerns of my bearings. I've included excerpts from my 3 favorite:

1. "Has anyone seen the author of 'a blog' Last known whereabouts was Wisconsin. He is said to be a tall, dreamy, and elusive man, with the ability to grow facial hair rapidly".
- redbeard

2. "Much like a cheddar cheese that is put in a cellar to age for 10 years, the anticipation of the return of 'a blog' may be to sharp for some, but true fans always want more".
- Thor

3. "What does 'a blog' and Brett Favre have in common? No one is sure if they are retired or not".
- Mr. Miller

I'm back, friends; I assure you, I'm back for good.

After reading fan mail for several hours last night, I got to thinking: "What's the deal with the name of this blog: 'a blog'?" (I never know whether the " goes before the ?/./! or after - little help?)

Anyhow, when I started this blog, I never could have anticipated the enormous amounts of feedback I've received and the jaw-dropping number of "followers" I have (nine - not that I'm counting). That being said, I think it's time to improve the name of 'a blog'.

I'll be accepting ideas for this historic change (think the Oklahoma State University Tigers changing their name to the Cowboys in the early 1900s - very historically similar) for the next 10 days, with the final suggestions being accepted on Jan 18th. Please type your ideas at the bottom of this post in the comments section. A cash prize will be awarded to the winning idea!

Lastly, I'm sure many of you have been overflowing with anxiety to hear stories on the Mustache Wedding. Check back Tuesday (we'll be returning to our regular scheduling), to read all about the fantastic times we had rocking our disgustaches.

Happy 2009!

The Toph