My Top 10 List

10. The number of years I chewed tobacco. Such a disgusting habit that I picked it up while I was in the Navy. I tried to quit so many times, and I think I did everything imaginable to try and make it happen. But finally I did quit and I have never looked back. It kinda helped that they had to cut out a small part of my tongue (don't worry it grew back) and told me if I didn't quit I would probably lose most of my tongue. So I was convinced. I got on a program, took a drug to help with the cravings, and have been off the stuff for more than 6 years now.

9. The number of years I have been owned by the fat basset. We rescued Captain Furry Pants from the shelter in 2000 and have been loving him ever since. He came with a lot of baggage because he was abused by some douche bag, and he has severely tested my patience. But deep down he is a good dog and I am a better person for having him in my life.

8. The number of places I have called home (I was a military brat) - Alaska, Idaho, Japan, North Dakota, Nevada, Missouri, Oregon, and Illinois.

7. The number of surgeries I have had on my left ear. I was born with a cholesteatoma and it took the doctors a long time to figure it out. By the time they did the damage had been done and I was pretty much deaf in my left ear. I have about 90% hearing loss in that ear, but for the most part is has not been a handicap and I have been able to get along just fine with it.

6. The amount of days I spent in the Latah County Jail. Let's just say I was young, dumb, and full of that stuff that looks like tapioca pudding. It was a misdemeanor but the judge wanted to teach me and my friends a lesson. Lesson definitely learned. Thank you judge dude.

5. The number of years I have been married to the wonderful Mrs. Shife. I don't know where I would be without her, and I feel so blessed that she is my wife. I will never win the lottery but I have won the heart of the most beautiful person I know and that is worth more than any amount of money.

4. The number of years ago I started this blog. Back in 2005 I heard about this blogging thing and thought I would give it a try and it has been quite a journey. Initially I was just going to write about me and my adventures with Quincarelli but the blog evolved into something more and now it is a pretty good thing. I have met a lot of great folks along the way and I sincerely appreciate all of you coming back to say hi.

3. The number of sporting venues I still need to visit. The Dean Dome in Chapel Hill, North Carolina to watch my beloved Tar Heels in action, the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona to watch my beloved football Cardinals in action, and to spend a nice, long week in Omaha, Nebraska to watch the College World Series.

2. The number of microwaves I have destroyed in my life because I put things - a metal pot and a telephone - in the microwave that do not really do well inside a kitchen appliance that cooks food by passing an electromagnetic wave through it. The metal pot got me grounded for the summer, and the telephone ... well let's just say one day I will be making a donation to a university some day to hopefully atone for that act of stupidity.

1. It only took one. One look, one touch, and one day to feel something I have never felt before. The moment I got to hold my son for the first time was when I felt the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of love, and I soon discovered that for me the world had been transformed.

And here are some pictures of my son enjoying the fall weather ...


  1. Great list Shife. It is good to look at the things in life that matter and be thankful. Everything I see here, from the stay in jail to being an army brat who sees a variety places has brought you something of great value and you have such a wonderful attitude about it!

    Most of all, I am impressed with the depth of the feelings you have for your wife and son. It is a pleasure to read.

  2. Thanks Ananda girl. I definitely like to think I look at life through a different set of lenses. And if you ever had the pleasure of spending time with my wife and son you would see how easy it is to have those feelings. They are my life and without them I am just a dumb, white guy.

  3. this is a grand post, shifester!

    i am left wondering why you put a phone in a microwave?

  4. The simple answer Kylie is I was a little inebriated and not happy with the outcome of a phone conversation I had with a girl so I showed her by putting a phone in the microwave and letting it melt like butter. I was young, dumb, and full of that stuff that looked like tapioca pudding back then too.

  5. #2: High comedy :-D
    #1: Aww.

  6. Why thank you Red. I try to find a nice balance between humor and sappiness.

  7. I love the humor and the sappiness, who wouldn't get all sappy when confronted with that little guy?

    My dad was a Navy man, he stormed the beach at Normandy. And he had a dear friend that lost 3/4 of his tongue from chewing tobacco. Glad you didn't!

  8. Yep Elizabeth he brings out all kinds of emotions in me but mostly the good ones. I bet you are very proud of your Dad. My uncle was a Navy pilot in the Pacific during WWII. And I am glad I didn't lose any more of my tongue; it was such a nasty habit and I am so glad it is behind me.

  9. I love your blog. You are one special guy!

  10. Thank you KaLynn for your comment and stopping by to say hello. I feel very blessed to have the family that I do.

  11. I was lucky on the tobacco thing, got sick and threw up one of the first times I tried it, that broke me.
    I wasn't exactly a military brat but my parents worked for the Federal gov, so I moved around a lot. Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas. No foreign countries though.

    Great pics of the little guy!

  12. is your happy marriage due to mrs shife sitting on your left side?

    sorry but i couldn't resist.

    ruby was also an abused shelter dog and she has also tested my patience but saving her might look good on my resume when i meet st peter.

  13. Geez, could your blog be anymore lovable?

  14. Beautiful post, Mr. Shife. And need I say it again? BEAUTIFUL boy.

  15. Multiply #6 by 6 and get back to me. And yes, I thanks the judge, too!

    But never mind all that, Baby Shife in the Leaves is truly awe inspiring.

  16. I really dug this post. Good work Shifey. ...though I must ask, what possessed you to even contemplate putting a telephone in a microwave?

  17. Anonymous11/18/2009

    You're right, my friend. Number one is One beautiful boy. Well done!

  18. I'm always uplifted after I read your blog and get to see those precious pictures. Thanks, Mr. Shife.

  19. 10 (downwards since that's the way the list goes... grins). I didn't know tobacco could do that to a tongue. Good job you quit.
    9. Fat Basset is a very lucky dog.
    8. Wow, that's a lot of homes.
    7. Mine was repeated mastoid ops. Right ear, same percentage. No problem!
    6. God bless the judge!
    5. Yep, Mrs Shife is beautiful. You're truly blessed.
    4. Hi, Shifey. It's a pleasure.
    3. What no Bach on Sunday?
    2. To hell with microwaves. Mine liked setting themselves on fire. Don't use one anymore.
    1. Your emotional acceptance of love is inevitable when you have such a wonderful son.

    Talking about Baby Shife, he gets more lovely every day, adorable in every way.

    Have a good week.

  20. Great Job Shife...sentimental mixed with just enough meanderings that explain who you are....the phone in microwave thing...that's funny...dumb, but funny.

    Baby Shife in the leaves...all shades of awesome

  21. You lost a bit of your tongue and it grew back???! Amazing. Just like a lizard's tail.....or somethin.

  22. First time ass blog.
    Great blog to get to know you. I am weaning myself off dip off many many years.....even working on the wussy pouches. Anyway, great list and while you don't hear people jealous of Army brats, it's cool it grants you the opportunity to be worldy.

  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  24. That? Was hilarious! Awesome kidling!


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