Southern Man

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Three Day Weekend

Southern Man seldom resorts to this but given the nature of Good Friday (the university closes at noon) he dismissed his Friday morning lab (and there was much rejoicing) to give himself a three-day weekend.

Of course there was geocaching.

One was hidden behind this tree.

Oh, there it is!

Southern Man spent some quiet time at the Ancestral Manor as well.

Southern Son demonstrates his musical talents. Southern Man does not count "rapping" as one of these.

Southern Father

With the completion of some new homes near the Manor the crews had left a couple of cubes of brick out by the dumpster so Southern Man took a couple of pickup loads out to The Land and unloaded and stacked them. Yes, he finds this relaxing, as it satisfies the urges generated by his pack-rat and scrounging genes.

And Sunday was spent in Sunday School and dining with good friends and then relaxing at home. Southern Man needs more weekends like this. Lord, you have heaped blessings on us. And the greatest of these was your Son, who died for our sins and intercedes for us before Your throne. We are ever grateful! Amen.

Monday, March 25, 2013


Just for the record, Southern Man does not like change. He's quite content to go on just as before. It's safe and secure and predictable. The grass is plenty green right here, thank you very much. The water in the pot is not boiling. And so on.

Life, however, has other plans. In the last few weeks Southern Man has learned that (a) he will not be returning to his university in the fall and (b) Teen Daughter is adamant that she is going to move in with him this summer.

The first of these is frankly terrifying. Southern Man has been on four (yes, count 'em, four) professional interviews in his life. Three of the four landed him jobs, the last two of which ran fifteen years each. He has no idea how to interview, or what the prospects are for employment in the fall. He probably shouldn't worry; he has great CS and STEM cred and the economy in Southern State is pretty good. But worry he will, anyway.

The second is something he's been working towards for a couple of years now. It almost happened last year but Teen Daughter backed out at the last minute and decided to give it one more year with her mother. This will mean finding a place to live in her preferred school district (one square mile!) and normally wouldn't be an issue if it weren't for the uncertainty of future employment. Oh, yes - her mother will fight it tooth and nail, so a court battle is probably on the horizon. Southern Man just loves going to court.

Given that he has six month's notice the job hunt will stretch out over the summer. He's already applying for the few open academic positions in the area and will apply for non-academic jobs in June in the hope of starting in early August when his summer teaching is completed. And he'll send the opening round of physical custody negotiations with the child-support check at the end of the week. It's going to be an interesting six months...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekend Update

Well, really more of a week update.

Monday was the Spring Birthday Celebration at Outback. Which is in part all about Southern Man.

Southern Brother

Southern Children and Nephews and Neice. Heads, from left to right: nephew, son, nephew, nephew, nephew, niece. Teen Daughter was seated by niece but for whatever reason wasn't in her seat for this pic.

Youngest Southern Niece with her mother and grandmother. Also, new glasses!

A good time was had by all.

The rest of the week was actually fairly relaxed as Teen Daughter was (mostly) content to hang at the Ancestral Manor with her grandparents. Southern Man had dinner there 'most every night and many games were played afterwards.

Teen Daughter declined to be photographed during this time.

Friday morning Southern Man and Teen Daughter were on the road to make the trip up to her mom's house but Southern Man had no intention of driving back that same night and had already reserved a hotel room so we had dinner at one of her favorite restaurants and we then retired to the luxury of the Motel 6 indoor pool and hot tub. The next morning after breakfast Southern Man took her home.

The return trip was all about geocaching.

If you're ever in Lawrence, there's a geocache tucked behind this sign.

This clever series had caches hidden in plastic eggs. The cache is visible in the lower picture as well if you look closely.

Some see red dirt and a muddy ditch; Southern Man sees the peace and quiet of Southern Land. And a pretty good spot to catch catfish.

Southern Man would bet good money that, back in the day, had Southern Father been asked to guess which of his three children would one day purposefully drive on dirt roads and stop just to take pictures of trains he'd need all three guesses.

Why, yes, Southern Man is standing on the track. And, yes, the train was stopped at the time. But the engineer did playfully toot the diesel horn for him.

This one goes to eleven!

But this is one better.

The return trip took ten hours (the first two 'caching, the next five dashing through the leading edge of a snowstorm, and once out of the storm and near home the last three 'caching again) and netted Southern Man his best 'caching day ever, thanks mostly to the twelve-cache bird nest power run.

And today was Sunday School and lunch with friends (Mediterranean buffet), a little time at the office to prep for tomorrow and upload photos and update the blog, and deer stew for dinner. Back to the grind tomorrow...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Game Night and Shopping and Movies, Oh My!

After a morning of - OK, basically nothing - out at The Land Southern Man headed to the Ancestral Manor to pick up Teen Daughter The Younger for an evening of fun and games.

Southern Mother working puzzles in the Library.

Another library shot with TDY.

Southern Father hard at work. That's the pecan orchard in the background.

The kickoff event was Vintage Game Night at the church.

The Game Of Life

TDY makes her move.

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots!

Battleship Couples Therapy.

Then Southern Man and TDY headed to the mall to shop...

TDY cashed in on three months back allowance and spent every cent at Vera Bradley.

...and then we went to see The Call, with an excited and engaged opening-night crowd.

The haul from Vera Bradley spread out on the couch for Southern Mother's inspection.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bowling Night

It's that time of the month again!

The Girls

P Gives A Lesson

Clowning Around

Feasting On Mexican Food!

Southern Man Gets A Pedicure

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happy Pi Day

That's all. Just "Happy Pi Day."

Monday, March 11, 2013

Southern Man Has A Birthday

And, yes, he is still thirty-something.*

*In hexadecimal.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Breezy Weekend

A fun weekend, but breezy and c-c-c-cold! At least for March.

Friday was actually pretty nice so there was after-work geocaching and puttering around at The Land. Saturday morning was the aforementioned cold and breezy so Southern Man came into town for errands (laundry, renew driver's license, post office, and so on) and then payed a visit to the Ancestral Manor to see the Southern Parents. Then after an afternoon of not going outside in the cold wind he came back into town for an evening Bible study at a local Panera Bread. Pics later, if anyone posts them. Then Sunday was the usual morning at the gym for a light workout and shower, Sunday School (where there was a surprise birthday cake and card signed by everyone in the class) and visiting with friends afterwards, and then off to RCJs to tinker with his laptop and do a little more geocaching.

A good weekend. Lord, you have heaped so many blessings on me. Thank you! Amen.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Color Guard

Southern Daughter on duty at Fort Meade, MD.

Pics stolen from her friend's FB.

Why, yes, Southern Man is a Proud Navy Dad. Why do you ask?

Tuesday, March 05, 2013


Genre? Christian post-apocalypse hardcore grunge rock. Enjoy it!

Monday, March 04, 2013

Monday Blues

Got the Monday Blues? Here's an hour and a half of Eric Clapton and Duane Allman. Hit play and get back to work!

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Geocaching at the Lake

After church this morning Southern Man stole a few hours to himself and picked up a few geocaches at a local lake.

The recent rain has raised the water level, at least a little.

A geocache? On that thing? You think?

The windsurfers were out in force today. This was a nice test of the new camera's telephoto lens and auto-stabilization circuitry - not a bad pic at all, considering it was taken handheld in the wind at full zoom.

There is really nothing like spending a few hours walking around a lake. Lord, thank you for surrounding me with beauty and peace. Amen.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Coffee and BBQ and Music, Oh My!

This full Saturday kicked off with the monthly church singles "Coffee Talk." For whatever reason turnout this time was mostly guys so we had some good guy talk, especially after the outnumbered girls retreated to the kitchen for girl talk.

But the big event for today was that about a dozen and a half of us had tickets to Winter Jam 2013!

Southern Man is not a big fan of contemporary Christian rock but he does love concerts and he figured there would be at least a few good groups there. He would not be disappointed.

We met at a local BBQ place...

The gang's all here! Photo by a kind passer-by.

The decor. Another hint to the identity of Southern State - all of the Texas tags were hung upside-down. As they should be.

Then we carpooled to the venue where thanks to the Southern Man Ticket Acquisition Group (in other words, we paid extra for early entry) and some not-so-subtle line jumping we got floor seats one section off the tee-shaped stage, in a front row so there was plenty of room, and near the bottom of the "tee" so we were only a few dozen feet from the performers when they came down that part of the stage.

Ready to rock! Photo by one of the gang, and cropped to hide the fact that Southern Man has neglected his diet of late. Which did not stop him from flirting shamelessly with every girl there.

The groups that played, in roughly this order, were Capital Kings, OBB, Jason Castro, Royal Taylor, Sidewalk Prophets, NewSong, Jamie Grace, Red, Matthew West, and TobyMac.

Turns out there was a small stage behind us as well and our row - yes, our row - was the conduit for musicians to run back and forth. Yes, the girls all squealed when Jason Castro came by. And one of our guys ran into Toby McKeehan. Twice.

The top two pics were nabbed from Instagram; the bottom one from T's FB page.

Red was amazing. At one point the lead singer came down into the crowd right in front of us; that video was shot from Southern Man's side (not sure who, everyone had their cameras out but this was probably by D). Christian rock sure didn't look or sound like this in Southern Man's younger days. After their set Southern Man ran upstairs and nabbed their latest CD.

Southern Man was also delighted to see that Christian music could sell out a 17,000-seat arena. It was a terrific night! Lord, the Psalmist wrote that they praised You with drums and dance, with strings and flute. Let our praise tonight on electric guitar and keyboard be equally sweet to Your ears. Amen.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Laser Quest

The weekend is here at last and it will be a full one! Tonight the "boys night out" and "girls night out" once again combined, this time at Laser Quest.

Ready for action!

We took a mid-game break at the Taco Cabana across the street...

A wretched hive of scum and villainy...we must be cautious.

The highlight was the "Ironman" round - thirty heart pounding minutes of action. It was great fun! And, yes, Southern Man did come in first - yes, first - in one of the rounds, against thirty-odd opponents. That's a rarity as he is usually put to shame by the younger players (the young man in the Missouri Tigers shirt in the pic above absolutely cut him to ribbons during the Ironman game) so he's going to go ahead and brag about it.

Tomorrow is also a big day! Stay tuned for details!