4th of July in Branson

July 11, 2010 4th of July in Branson
We drove down to Branson, Missouri to spend the 4th of July weekend with Grandma Joyce. On Saturday night, we went to the Landing to wait in line for food at several restaurants and battle a huge crowd of people to find a space to sit for three hours to see twenty minutes of fireworks. It was so worth it!
There are some interesting characters to watch at the Landing like these two gentlemen from a group called Buckets n Boards. For a couple of guys who basically just beat on stuff with sticks, they’re remarkably entertaining. Here’s a video I found on YouTube showcasing some of their shtick:
We stood in place for a long time, when suddenly a nice man offered Grandma Joyce a couple of chairs. Lucky for the kids, Aunt Tracy volunteered to share her seat. After watching them for awhile, I felt like I was more comfortable just continuing to stand instead of joining them.
The fireworks were supreme as can be seen on our faces. Well, most of our faces.
On Sunday, we rented a pontoon boat to go cruising and tubing on Table Rock Lake.

Uncle Dave was excited to discover that the marina provided free air jobs.  This young lady was so friendly and accommodating that we almost felt like we should just spend the entire holiday with her!   But we didn’t.

Instead, we went out on the lake and thrust our bodies through the air in as many challenging and interesting ways that our minds could create.

The kids all wanted to stay on the tube for the entire four hours we had the boat. Well, all of them did except for Luke. He was having flashbacks to his last tube ride with Uncle David (which can be relived here) so this was about the longest we were able to get him to stay on the raft.

Grandma Joyce didn’t witness the Memorial Day Tubing Carnage so we were able to get her to go out there for her first tube ride in her life. She seemed to get the hang of it pretty quickly.
Miss Sheri also went for a ride, but didn’t seem to enjoy it that much. Something about that whole not being able to swim thing seems to steal some of the tubing joy from her life.
I was the last adult to go, which was probably OK with the children. I tend to take up more than my share of the raft. Grandma Joyce said they all thought I looked like one of the humans from the movie WALL E, but I’m not sure I see it.
I drove the first half of the trip and Uncle Dave drove the second half. Most of our drama happened during his portion of the trip. The big scare came when he thought it would be fun to drag the kids through a huge wake created by a nearby houseboat. So he dropped the hammer and directed us directly in to the path of the huge waves. The thing we didn’t anticipate was that the boat might not be able to make it through the wave especially when we found the boat dipping into it and a huge surge of water slamming into all of us seated at the front of the boat. We thought it was funny until we discovered the sheet metal of the boat and been smashed in and the front door latch was busted. That sure is some powerful water they have there in old Table Rock Lake.

Every time we drive down to Branson, we always see the billboards for a place called Fantastic Caverns. It’s billed as “The Only Drive Through Cave in the United States” so on Monday we thought we’d go there and see what all the fuss was about.

The kids didn’t want to go into the cave without proper headgear and lighting, but we talked them out of it.
I must admit, the cave entrance looked a bit intimidating, but it was too late to turn back now!
I was pretty freaked out to discovered scary cave faces inside, but none of them seemed all that interested in eating us.
Eventually, I was able to just settle down and enjoy spending time with my family 150 feet below Earth’s surface. And then I started worrying about falling rocks….
The best part about when we get together is all the dogs that we get to gather together in a small space. Lassie really loves being made to pose so close to Daisy!

Quote of the Week

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” — Benjamin Franklin, Inventor Link To Last Week’s Diary Entry
July 4, 2010 A Visit with Krazy Kory

Shortarmguy's Crazy Emails for January 6, 2013

Playoffs 2013

Good News For Grandma

Shark Eating Shark

Shortarmguy's Crazy Emails for December 30, 2012

Christmas Funnies 2012

Stacking Wood

Still The Light, By Cameo Smith (Mt. Wolf, PA)

Twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
their smiles were contagious,
their laughter filled the air…
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.

They were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say.
Remembering nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
“Where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
“This is Heaven.” declared a small boy. “we’re spending Christmas at God’s house.”

When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.

In that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew to the arms of their King
As they lingered in the warmth of His blessed embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.

And as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”
When He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe

He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”
“may this country be delivered from the hands of fools”
“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”

Then He and the children stood up without a sound.
“Come now my children, let me show you around.”
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.

and I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”

Shortarmguy's Crazy Emails for December 16, 2012

Dear Santa, How are you? How is Mrs. Claus? I hope everyone, from the reindeer to the elves, is fine. I have been a very good boy this year. I would like an X-Box 360 with Call of Duty IV and an iPhone 4 for Christmas. I hope you remember that come Christmas Day. Merry Christmas,
Dear Timmy, Thank you for you letter. Mrs. Claus, the reindeer and the elves are all fine and thank you for asking about them. Santa is a little worried all the time you spend playing video games and texting. Santa wouldn’t want you to get fat. Since you have indeed been a good boy, I think I’ll bring you something you can go outside and play with.* Merry Christmas,* Santa Claus*** * *
Mr. Claus, Seeing that I have fulfilled the “naughty vs. Nice” contract, set by you I might add, I feel confident that you can see your way clear to granting me what I have asked for. I certainly wouldn’t want to turn this joyous season into one of litigation. Also, don’t you think that a jibe at my weight coming from an overweight man who goes out once a year is a bit trite? Respectfully, Tim Jones * *
Mr. Jones, While I have acknowledged you have met the “nice” criteria, need I remind you that your Christmas list is a request and in no way is it a guarantee of services provided. Should you wish to pursue legal action, well that is your right. Please know, however, that my attorney’s have been on retainer ever since the Burgermeister Meisterburger incident and will be more than happy to take you on in open court. Additionally, the exercise I alluded to will not only improve your health, but also improve your social skills and potentially help clear up a complexion that looks like the bottom of the Burger King fry bin most days. Very Truly Yours, S Claus * *
Now look here Fat Man, I told you what I want and I expect you to bring it. I was attempting to be polite about this but you brought my looks and my friends into this. Now you just be disrespecting me. I’m about to tweet my boys and we’re gonna be waiting for your fat ass and I’m taking my game console, my game, my phone, and whatever else I want. WHAT EVER I WANT, MAN! T-Bone * *
Listen Pizza Face, Seriously??? You think a dude that breaks into every house in the world on one night and never gets caught sweats a skinny G-banger wannabe? “He sees you when you’re sleeping; He knows when you’re awake”. Sound familiar, genius? You know what kind of resources I have at my disposal. I got your shit wired, Jack. I go all around the world and see ways to hurt people that if I described them right now, you’d throw up your Totino’s pizza roll all over the carpet of your mom’s basement. You’re not getting what you asked for, but I’m still stopping by your crib to stomp a mud hole in you’re ass and then walk it dry. Chew on that, Petunia. S Clizzy * *
Dear Santa, Bring me whatever you see fit. I’ll appreciate anything. Timmy * *
> Timmy, > > That’s what I thought you little bastard. > Santa

Not Afraid of Heights

Snow Quilts

Artist Simon Beck must really love the cold weather!
Along the frozen lakes of Savoie, France, he spends days plodding through the snow in raquettes (snowshoes), creating these sensational patterns of snow art.
Working for 5-9 hours a day, each final piece is typically the size of three soccer fields!
The geometric forms range in mathematical patterns and shapes that create stunning, sometimes 3D, designs when viewed from higher levels.
How long these magnificent geometric forms survive is completely dependent on the weather. Beck designs and redesigns the patterns as new snow falls, sometimes unable to finish a piece due to significant overnight accumulations.
The main reason for making them was because I can no longer run properly due to problems with my feet, so plodding about on level snow is the least painful way of getting exercise. Gradually, the reason has become photographing them, and I am considering buying a better camera. – Simon Beck