Guest Post #3 By Submitted By Michael Dozier

This picture explains everything…I compare Obama to a baby. Obama tells the American people that change is what we need and he is the man to bring that upon us. As far as the baby situation…a baby cries until you give them what they want because they don’t know any better. Obama is very similar…He tells you what you want to hear until you give him what he wants…power. I’m still trying to find out what kind of change he is going to bring because the only thing i have noticed is that we are 750 billion dollars more in debt…but i guess it will take 4-8 years before we see results like every president says. I’m not saying he is supposed to just snap his fingers and the economy be great but don’t preach about how much change you’re going to bring to the world and then push us back a fortune more in debt. But I have to say Obama was RIGHT on ONE thing…North Carolina winning the NCAA Championship in basketball. Let me remind you that this is a blog…feel free to comment however you may…everyone has their own opinion!!! Good Luck and God Bless!

News Update II

Oh, almost forgot about this! Was walking with Gabe into school this morning when I see a kid, maybe 9 years old, running towards us. I figured he had forgotten something. Then I see the crossing guard, Robin, running behind him and, using my keen sense of deductive reasoning, I determine that something may have gone horribly wrong here. When she yells at me, “CATCH HIM!” Then I’m sure of it.

At that point I spring into action and break down in my “I’m about to end this by grabbing you” stance. If the kid can get over his aversion to school, he might have a career as a running back because he then juked me out of my flip-flops with all the grace of Reggie Bush and suddenly cut left between two cars.

Not to be outdone, I dart, as much as a 40 year old fat guy can dart, between two cars and cut him off from the gate that leaves campus. He turns away from me and heads back toward Robin and Mr. Glass, who has joined in the fun, where he is taken down in the parking lot after about a 40 yard gain. Actually, he isn’t taken down, but picked up and carried back into the school kicking and screaming.

He was quick but he was no match for the very effective zone defense employed by Robin, Mr. Glass, and me. We knew we wouldn’t be able to match up with him man to man but could contain him if we played smart defense. It was a big win but we’ve got to let it go and focus on the next escape attempt.

My first order of business for next time will be to wear actual shoes rather than flip-flops. Tough to run in those. Can’t hear what people are yelling because of the loud pop, pop, pop, pop. We’ll be ready next time, though, aight!?!?

News Update!

Just in case anyone has missed the news for the last few days, allow me to recap: Swine flu, swine flu, swine flu, swine flu, swine flu, swine flu, swine flu,swine flu,swine flu,swine flu,swine flu,swine flu,swine flu,swine flu,swine flu,swine flu,swine flu,swine flu,swine flu,swine flu, conservatives suck, George Bush sucks, swine flu, swine flu, swine flu.

The President

Is it just me or does anyone else think that President Obama is like the proverbial dog who finally caught the car? Now that he’s got what he was after, he isn’t really sure what to do with it. It’s late and I don’t want to be up all night so I’ll defer to someone else or another time to climb up onto my soapbox. Meanwhile, feel free to get on yours and speak your mind on here!

Let Us Pray

In Sunday School this past Sunday, I made the comment that I was going to call on someone in particular to pray. I knew that this person wasn’t comfortable praying in front of a group of people, which is understandable, and I was just joking with her. I, like my father the retired pastor, don’t ever call on someone to pray without knowing they will say yes. If I don’t personally ask them beforehand, I have heard them pray in “big church” before.

I have been praying in big church for several years now and don’t really get nervous even in front of large groups of people. That hasn’t always been the case, though. Back in 1992, when I first started going to Santuck Baptist Church, I became a sort of regular offering-taker-upper. I had grown up in small churches and Santuck was a huge church to me and for the first time I didn’t know practically everyone in the church.

At some churches, there is someone who is designated to pray at the offering time. At Santuck at that time, the minister of music would call on one of the offering dudes to pray. So, the six of us offering dudes take our places at the front of the church and as the music and singing stops we close our eyes and wait for the music guy to call on one of us. Now, I had only been going to this church for a short time and didn’t know everyone’s name and everyone obviously didn’t know mine. So when Rod Rodie, the music dude, said, “Brother Chad, would you lead us in our offertory prayer?” I just figured there was a guy named Chad who would start praying. After what seemed like forever with no one praying, I raised my head and looked up at Rod who was by now staring a hole through the side of my head.

I was Brother Chad. Brother Chad was not ready for this. Brother Chad was mortified. Nobody had ever asked me if I was comfortable with praying in front of a big crowd. I wasn’t.

I managed to ramble through a prayer to the Lord, at least I hope that’s who I was talking to because I don’t recall the exact content of the prayer. What I do remember is that at the end I said, “Forgive ME for MY sins, Amen.” As if to say, “Don’t worry about these other 300 or so people who are in this room with me now. I’m not really concerned with their sins. Let them ask for their own forgiveness. It’s just me and you God.”

The rest of that service is mostly a fuzzy memory as it took all the way to the invitation hymn for my heart to get back under 140 beats per minute. There are still several people who call me Brother Chad to this very day because of that incident.

Ever since that day, though, I never assume they aren’t going to ask me to pray. So, like anyone who has ever prayed in public, I always start going over what I will say in my mind so as not to be caught off guard again. Don’t tell me you guys don’t do that. You’ve got an offertory prayer, a closing prayer, and a whole collection in your head.

Thanks for visiting with us here on the blog today. Hope to see you back here again next time. Troy Evans, would you close this post with a word of prayer?

Maybe I’m Sharing Too Much With You People

I told this to some people in Sunday School this past Sunday. They laughed at me. Not sure why I did this but…When I got the news from my ex-wife that she wanted to be my EX-wife I was working at MAX FCU. After walking into the women’s restroom, not realizing I was actually in the women’s room until I realized there wasn’t a urinal on the wall, I decided I’d go home. Consider that this was about 15 years ago. I stopped on the way home and bought a 4-pack of Zima(anyone remember Zima). Why, I don’t know. But when I got home to my little trailer, I decided it would be a good idea to climb to the top of a very tall pine tree and sit and drink the Zima. So I did. I’m not sure why. I think that maybe I was thinking that she would come home and see my car and not know where I was and be worried. She never came home, though. So I climbed down after about an hour. I’m not sure why I told this story. I suppose there is something funny about a guy whose wife is leaving him, sitting in a tree drinking a girly beverage.

FYI…I quit drinking altogether in 1998. Haven’t climbed a tree since.

Who Wants To Go Camping?

Camping has never been something I was good at. If camping is, in fact, something one can be good at. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, I do. It’s just that camping for the sake of camping doesn’t thrill me. Camping in my world has always been the prerequisite for something else. Like whitewater rafting down the Ocoee. Camping is part of the big picture but not the whole picture.

My first foray into camping came in about 1978 when my RA group from church went and camped at Lake Lurleen. My most vivid memory of that trip is that someone told me that it might rain that night. I was afraid that the tent would collapse if it rained so I cried and ended up sleeping on a cot outside the tent next to my dad. That was the beginning of my considerably less than stellar camping career.

It would be another 6 or 7 years before I ventured into the great outdoors to camp again, this time with my brother-in-law, his brother, and my two nephews who were probably about 7 and 9 or so at the time. I was excited. After all, I was older and wiser and braver. Maybe not wiser and braver but I was older and I knew that if the tent collapsed I would probably be able to make it out alive. Even if I did get trapped I knew that the oxygen wouldn’t run out in the 10 or 15 seconds it took for me to be rescued.

So, we loaded up the truck and off we went to Coosa County(no, we didn’t move to Beverly…Hills that is)to what is in camping circles commonly referred to as an “improved” campground. My best guess is that this means there is an electrical plug and a bath-house a couple of hundred feet away. There was a place to rent canoes, a small store with snacks and supplies, and lots of other people camping also. I rather enjoyed it. But it was not good enough for my brother-in-law, Jimmy. He and his brother William decided that it would be a good idea to go somewhere more secluded.

We loaded up again and after driving through the woods on not much more than a logging trail, we ended up parking the truck about 15 feet away from the water. They said that we were on the backwaters of Lake Martin but it didn’t look like the Lake Martin I was familiar with, with all the boats and people everywhere swimming and skiing and engaging in all sorts of aquatic revelry. In fact, I couldn’t even hear a boat. Or a car. Or even see an airplane. It wouldn’t have surprised me to have heard a woman screaming, though, as where we set up camp was eerily similar to a Friday the 13th movie set.

This is when things began to get interesting. Apparently the trip from the campground to the middle of nowhere got everyone quite grimy, so the first order of business was to take a bath in the lake. First of all, you can’t get clean in a lake. I don’t care how much soap you use. Rinsing off sweat with muddy, fish-poop water does not constitute cleanness. Secondly, I’m not certain why it was necessary to be in a state of full undress for a “bath” in the lake. Others did. Needless to say, I did not take part in the cleansing. Everyone else appeared to enjoy it, though. I just sort of hung around inside the tent until the festivities ended.

When everyone was good and “clean” we settled in to do some fishing and swimming. Fully clothed. It wasn’t long, though, before the sound of birds chirping and wind blowing through trees was replaced by what sounded like gunfire and a tank engaged in a battle of armor in a war. Turns out it was Junior. Junior was Jimmy’s and William’s uncle. I liked Junior, at least what I knew of him. He lived not far from me. To say the least, though, Junior was a little rough around the edges. I was a dyed in the wool mama’s boy. I still am. So as you might imagine, I was a little afraid of Junior. So, up pulls Junior in a old station wagon followed closely by Hoss, another uncle of theirs. They each had a woman with them, their wives I assume, and there were two younger kids, boys, with Junior.

I don’t feel like I need to give a long biography of Hoss. I think the kind of guy Hoss was can best be summed up by sharing this little anecdote: Hoss got shot once, I believe it was at the Greek Goddess Lounge but I can’t swear to it, and all it did was make him so mad that he beat up the guy with the gun. Hoss was not a big man but apparently could handle himself quite well when it came to fisticuffs and bullets.

One thing that can occur when one is stranded in the middle of the woods is thirst. The thirst I had that day probably ranks in the top 5 thirstiest moments of my life. Number one would still be the time we kayaked down the Coosa River and by the end of the trip I was seriously considering taking a huge swig straight out of the river. Forget Dysentery, I was dying of thirst!Anyway, we had run out of everything but some water in a cooler. The two kids who came with Junior, one of which almost drowned after being at the campsite for about 10 minutes, were drinking Cokes. I remember thinking how good an ice cold Coke would be if I could just get my hands on one. Rather than simply ask for one, my nephews and I began to conspire on how to get one out of the cooler in the back of the station wagon without being caught. As if Junior would have had us drawn and quartered if he were to catch us attempting to purloin one of those 12 oz. cans of pure, icy-cold joy. In fact, I’m sure he would have said, “help yourself” had we actually asked for one. I can honestly say that that never crossed my mind. Guess teenagers really don’t know everything, huh?

We were able to procure one or two of the Cokes without being detected and apparently that was enough to sustain us through the rest of the trip as it was rather uneventful after that. A little swimming and fishing, one more night, and then we went home. Turns out that for all the racket and reputation for roughness that had preceded Junior and Hoss, they actually were pretty nice to kids. Junior was the rescuer of the kid that almost drowned. They’ve both passed away since then but I don’t suppose I’ll ever forget that weekend deep in the woods of Coosa County on the backwaters of Lake Martin. It’s one of those stories that you want tell to your son about your childhood to make him understand that you were a child once, too.

That is unless you want him to go camping with you.

Camping can be fun. I actually have a couple of tents and sleeping bags that get pulled out every now and then when I’m cleaning out the storage room or Gabe wants to “camp out” in his room and sleep in the sleeping bag. Maybe it’s time for him to take part in that time-honored rite of passage; actually sleeping in the woods in a tent with his dad.

Or it could be that it’s time for me to ask a buddy of mine if I can borrow his 5th wheel camper that comfortably sleeps 6 and has a bathroom. I hear Fort Toulouse is beautiful this time of year.

Q&A With CBR Bullfighter, Sid McKissick

Some of you know Sid McKissick. He grew up here in Wetumpka and still calls Wetumpka home. Those of you who do know him probably know that he is a professional bullfighter. If you’re like me, when you hear the term “bullfighter” you probably think of the guy in Spain with the funny little hat and the knee-length pants. While Sid would look great in that outfit I’m sure, that is not the kind of bullfighter Sid is. Sid, on purpose, gets into an arena with a bull that not only wants to remove and injure the rider on his back, but wants to injure Sid for trying to protect that rider. It’s crazy, I know. I sent Sid a list of questions about bullfighting and he was kind enough to answer them. Thanks, Sid! You da’ man!

Thad: How in the world did you get into bullfighting?
Sid: There was a practice pen in Millbrook and I was there to ride broncs. They needed a bullfighter, so I stepped up.

Thad: How long have you been bullfighting?
Sid: 25 years

Thad: What made you pick bullfighting over riding bulls or broncs or some other rodeo discipline?
Sid: I liked it better. I felt like it was more of a challenge. That, and it was a sure paycheck.

Thad: How many championships and giant belt buckles have you won?
Sid: I’ve won five championships.

Thad: What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had bullfighting?
Sid: Look at the pictures. Oh, and I lost one of my pinky fingers.

Copy and paste the links below into your browser to view a series of photos of Sid dealing with the business end of a bull.

Thad: Someone told me that you were scared of horses. Is that true?
Sid: Yes, I’m scared of horses. Because they will turn on you and are unpredictable.

Thad: Do the bullriders ever take you out for a steak dinner after you save them from getting killed by a bull?
Sid: No! Sometimes the will tell you “Thank you.”

Thad: What’s the worst injury you’ve ever seen a bullrider sustain?
Sid: I’ve seen a guy get paralyzed and a guy who actually died in the arena.

Thad: What does your wife and family think of your profession?
Sid: They don’t like what I do, but my wife has supported me.

Thad: Would you ever want Denver(his toddler son)to do what you do?
Sid: NO!! But I will be behind him and support him in whatever he does.

Thad: What would you say to someone who was interested in getting into bullfighting?
Sid: If bullfighting is something that they really want to do, they need to set some goals for themselves, find a practice pen and a bullfighting school.

Thad: How did you get involved with the Red Bull bulls and motorcycles thing?
Sid: I was working for Tuff Hedeman(3-time PRCA World Champion Bull Rider)and the CBR, Championship Bull Riding, and Tuff set the deal up for me. It was on TV and I was actually on one of the commercials than ran nationally.

Thad: What is the difference between the different bull riding organizations?
Sid: I am with the CBR. The other major organization is the PBR. They are both just professional associations.

Thad: Have you ever gotten into a fight with Don Gay(former bull rider and iconic rodeo announcer)? It seems like with a name like that, he’d be easy to whip.
Sid: HA! HA! HA! No.

Thad: Who do you think is the coolest guy you know? Other than Tuff Hedeman.
Sid: You are Thad. Without a doubt, you are.

Okay, I made that last one up. You got me. If you haven’t ever met Sid, you’re missing out. He is one of the most easy-going, laid back guys I know. You can see him around town involved in all sorts of stuff. Often with his wife Laurie, daughter Sidney, and son Denver. If you do, stop and introduce yourself to him and you’ll feel like you’ve known him forever. You’ll be glad you did. Tell him Skidboot sent you. He’ll know what you mean. Just don’t tell him about that last question.

Q&A Postponed For A Day

Hey, that rhymes. Just heard from the guy who is the subject of our first Q&A. He said he has been extremely busy but promised me that he’d have his answers back to me tomorrow. I told him that if he didn’t…well, I didn’t tell him anything. But if I would have it would have been very mean and tough sounding. Not actually tough, though. Just tough sounding. I’m a lover, not a fighter. Well, really I’m not that either. I’m just a plain ol’ no-talent dude. But I’m not a fighter for sure. Which reminds me of a funny story. Then again, pretty much everything reminds me of a funny story. Maybe I will post that one later tonight. It’s about my boxing career. But I digress. Q&A tomorrow unless something crazy happens. New post tonight if I can stay awake. Not that anyone cares…

So, Anyway…

I’m still waiting for my Q&A answers to be sent or brought back to me. So while we are waiting I’ll rehash the David Phillips story to bide my time.

When I was 19, I enrolled at and attended, for about 2 weeks, an institution of higher learning in Montgomery. I had a friend who went to the same school and one night we decided it would be a good idea for us to ride together. So, we made plans to meet in Wetumpka at the Winn Dixie parking lot (where else?) at 7:00 AM.

At that point in my life, actually having and holding down a job for more than just a few days wasn’t something I put a lot of emphasis on(think Mountasia miniature golf for 2 days, but that’s another story). I got there a little early that day. Getting up early was not something I did a lot of then so I wanted to be sure I wasn’t late. I pulled into the parking lot and, not seeing David yet, pulled into a parking space and waited.

Within 10 minutes I saw him pulling into the parking lot. He obviously didn’t see me because he pulled into a parking spot several spaces away from me and in a different row altogether. I took a deep breath, opened the door and began to sleepily shuffle over to his car.

I open the door, flop down into the passenger seat, close the door and say, “Man, I’m gonna’ have to get used to getting up this early. I’m tired.” For the next 7 or 8 seconds there was complete silence. Which doesn’t seem like a long time until you read the next part of my story. After those seconds had passed, I turned and looked at David to see what was the matter. Only it wasn’t David. Sitting, staring at me, with a half bewildered, half afraid look on his face was…some guy I’d never seen before!

Without missing a beat, I said, “If you see David Phillips, tell him I’ll be waiting for him in my car.” With that, I got out and walked back to my car to wait for David. It took me a year before I ever shared that with anyone. I don’t know if there is a moral to this story or not. Apparently not, but it did fill up a little space for now.

Hopefully, I’ll have something that is actually a little interesting later this evening.

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