First Boy Scout Camping Trip

April 18, 2010 The Shortarmguy Family’s First Boy Scout Camping Trip
It was a beautiful week and we took every chance we could to get outside including going on a 3 mile bike ride around Cleary Lake. We could have gone longer, but the boys wanted to stop every five minutes to either go to the bathroom, get a drink, or just do something to get us all to stop pedaling.
On Friday night, we drove to Cannon Falls, Minnesota to go camping at the Phillippo Scout Reservation.
We had 40 Boy Scouts and 15 adults go on the two night camp-out. On the first night, Luke’s group was trying to set a new record for the “Loudest Tent at Boy Scout Camp.” Finally, at about 1am one of the other parents went up there to quiet them down. I’m not exactly sure what he said, but it worked. I’m hoping to have that parent come stay with us for a few months.
I doubt we would have gone to camp had it not been for our old friend, Karl Z, telling us how much fun it would be. I have to admit, he was kind of right.
We hadn’t spent much time with Troy since his son had graduated from Cub Scouts a year before ours did, but it’s been nice seeing him again. He’s been teaching us the ropes about Boy Scouts. He also acted as this weekend’s Head Chef for the adults and he spoiled us with all sorts of good food that could be made in a metal pot over an open flame.
All the food was good, but this Bucket of Meat stole the show!
The sons of Avery’s basketball coaches are in the troop so we had fun getting a chance to spend more time with Coach John & Coach Tom. We went for a long walk in the woods that admittedly made me pretty tired and kind of knocked me on my butt. I worried that they were going to want me to do some basketball drills before we finished, but luckily for me, they didn’t.
The coolest part of our Boy Scout Troop is that it’s “Boy Led”. Meaning the boys are supposed to do absolutely everything for themselves including their own cooking, cleaning up, and basically taking care of themselves for the entire time we’re there. This is such a foreign concept for my boys that they started speaking in Spanish and French to try to get us to start doing things for them again, but it didn’t work!
Avery decided he really wanted to buy a new carving knife while we were there and he became a little bit overzealous with the whittling. This gave him the chance to get a little pre-training for his First Aid Merit badge from some of the leaders. That Avery. Always trying to think of ways to stay ahead of the other boys!
We had a great time, but man, did it get cold at night! I didn’t pull out my thermometer, but I heard it was down in the upper thirties. My shrinkage meter confirmed it was somewhere down there as well. I guess camping in Minnesota in April creates that possibility. Who would have thunk it?
All in all, we had a pretty good weekend in tents in the deep, dark woods. I only got scared once or twice which is better than I usually do even staying at home!

Quote of the Week

“You are younger today than you will ever be again. Make use of it for the sake of tomorrow.” – Norman Cousins, editor
July 11, 2010 4th of July in Branson

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