Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dropping a Deuce

I hope the title of this blog post does not have you cringing and worrying that I am going to take off my hat, and then just dump a hot, fresh pile of clever and witty thoughts. Sorry. Not today. And sorry for painting that unflattering and unnecessary picture. I am just going to share 2 things today. That is all.

  • My e-mail address is, and every time I tell someone that address over the phone, I always have to spell it out because what I say and what they hear are not even in the same county. It is always interesting what they come up with. I guess it is probably a little like going through the drive-thru and having to repeat your order 47 times. So I say "M ... R ... S ... H ... I ... F as in Frank ... E ..." The F is always tricky over the phone as I must mumble or I sound like I am gargling Doritos when I pronounce my Fs. Anyway just to be a devilish bastard I am thinking about adding to my list of e-mail addresses. I guess I am feeling ornery today.
  • The second item of the blog post is a video of Hayden with Kyle's voice in the background trying to make her laugh. The princess was having a rough morning as you can see in the video by how red her eyes are from crying,  and I could not do anything to make her happy but big brother came to the rescue. He was bouncing around on the couch and making dragon noises and evidently that is what appeases 6-month-old baby girls these days. I think my Daddy certification training for 6-month-olds might have expired.

  •  I will persevere. I will be moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Friday, May 25, 2012

    Random Acts of Shifeness

  • Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and support regarding my Aunt Alice. I appreciate each and every one, and I extremely grateful that you take the time to stop by and say what you have to say. 
  • After returning from St. Louis, it has been a busy week at the Shifley household. The one and only awesome 3-year-old in our house pooped in the toilet. When he showed me his accomplishment I think I scared him because I was so excited about what he did. So it looks like we are getting close to getting this potty training thing knocked off the to-do list.
  • Kyle also traded in his toddler bed for his bunk bed. He is pretty excited to be in a "big boy" bed and I am pretty excited that it is finally put together. Sweet Lincoln's mullet that was a project. I knew being a parent had some tough times but being the chief engineer on some of these builds can be frustrating on both my mental facilities and my liver. 
  • Also this week, Little Miss Hayden turned 6-months-old. She is doing well and hitting all the right numbers on the charts. She is growing up so fast and is already starting to accessorize.

    • Finding this quote by Bob Marley - "Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for." - especially relevant this week. I was hurt recently by a person I have known for a long time, and this person has hurt me numerous times in the past. From my vantage point, I have done a lot for this person but I will no longer be helping out as they are not worth the anguish. It hurts me to do it but it needs to be done.
    • Here is a little amusement to balance out some of the humorless points: Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a gun shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says "OK, now what?"
    • Hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. As we gather with family and friends on Memorial Day, we need to remember to celebrate the blessings of our hard-won freedom and those who made it possible. 

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream. 

    Friday, May 18, 2012

    Goodbye Aunt Alice

    I am in St. Louis today to pay my final respects to a great lady. My wonderful Aunt Alice passed away this week just shy of her 96th birthday. We knew it was coming but it still does not soften the blow. On the one hand, I am comforted that she is no longer prevented from doing things as the last few years have not been kind as her once-sharp mind and able body fell to the ravages of time and disease. The Shifleys numbers have certainly dwindled over the years, and Aunt Alice was my last connection to that part of my life so watching her deteriorate was certainly upsetting. I was robbed of the opportunity to talk with her as she was too weak to hold a phone much less engage in small talk with me. I still corresponded with her through letters and cards but I greatly missed being able to hold a conversation with her especially about the Cardinals or the Blues.  After my Mom, she is the other woman that had a deep and substantial influence on my life, and without her guidance and support I don’t think I would be where I am at today. Unable to have children of her own, I leaned on her for advice to decide if having kids was something that I really wanted in my life as I had resisted that endeavor for many years. She told me without hesitation that I definitely needed to try and start a family.  She also bailed me out in college when a momentary lapse of sound decision making left me embarrassed and without enough money to finish the semester. I asked for help from others but no one else could lend a helping hand, and Aunt Alice did not make it easy on me. She thought long and hard about it before saying “OK” to really let me know that I had done something irresponsible and it was one of those pivotal moments in my life where I could have been sent adrift but she was there to help keep me on course to complete my studies so I would eventually graduate, and eventually meet the love of my life, the lovely Mrs. Shife. Without Aunt Alice in my life, I have no idea where I would be today, but thankfully her guidance, generosity, and love, I have ended up right where she knew I should be, blessed with the love of wonderful family and friends just like the ones that were here today to say good bye to her. Thank you Aunt Alice for being a role model, an inspiration, and a guiding light in my life and for so many countless others. You will be missed.

    Some people come into our lives
    and leave footprints on our hearts
    and we are never ever the same.  -- Flavia Weedn

    P.S. I will visit your blogs soon I promise but it is hard right now as I am out of town and spending time with family. Take care.

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Friday, May 11, 2012

    Do You Take This Man?

    Gay marriage was kind of a big deal in the news this week. I don't know how you feel on the matter but I support same-sex marriage. I just think it is crazy that in the year 2012 people are being denied their civil rights. As best as I can tell, we only get one ride on the roller coaster of life so if you find that one special person who makes you happy then go for it. Life on Earth can be hard and I think everyone should go be able to go through it with a person they love. You may disagree with my opinion - and that is totally cool - but I just hope your reasons are not because it is in the Bible. As you will read below, it may not be a great idea to do everything the Bible tells us to do. 

    On her radio show sometime prior to 2004, Dr. Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant 
    Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, 
    and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an 
    open letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a US resident, which was posted on the 
    Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:
    Dear Dr. Laura:
    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law.
    I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge
    with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual
    lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly
    states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

    I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of
    God's Law and how to follow them.

    1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
    pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They
    claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus
    . In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her
    period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I
    tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and
    female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A
    friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not
    Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

    5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2.
    The passage clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated
    to kill him myself?

    6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
    abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I
    don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

    7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a
    defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my
    vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

    8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
    around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27.
    How should they die?

    9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me
    unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different
    crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two
    different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse
    and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of
    getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we
    just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people
    who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

    I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable
    expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.

    Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

    Your adoring fan,

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream. 

    Friday, May 04, 2012

    Is May Going to Be The Best Month Ever?

    Well at least the best month so far in 2012. Today is Star Wars Day so May the Fourth be with you. Cinco de Mayo, a full moon, and the Kentucky Derby tomorrow. Mother's Day is coming up and warmer weather. Then there is Memorial Day at the end of the month. Not too shabby, huh? I am sure there are a few more awesome days that I am forgetting but May looks promising. So take it from the dumb, white guy that May has all of the possibilities to be legend ... wait for it ... dary. It will be really, really smooth,  everything will fall into place, and you will feel in complete control.

    So be positive, enjoy the month, or I am afraid you might end up as a chaperone at a Justin Bieber concert, and nobody wants that.=)

    And a special thanks to BuzzFeed for the cool GIFs and inspiration.

    P.S. Thank you for the birthday wishes, and during my trip around the blogosphere I ran across some cool music, "Kiss Me" by Ed Sheeran (Thanks RG) and "Storm" by the Yoshida Brothers (Thanks Jay).

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.