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