Monday, August 4, 2008

Shark Attack

Saturday, Tim Haverty, a former neighbor, and I went fishing in Tampa Bay. We caught so many fish we lost count. Sea Trout was the main attraction, but I was able to bring in a nice Mangrove Snapper. The snapper and the trout made good table fare. Tim landed a nice 3 ft. black tip shark. We brought the trout, snapper, and shark home.

I helped Tim clean and steak the shark. It was delicious. He marinated it in some wine, basil, rosemary, and garlic. He then cooked it on the grill. Outstanding.

My snapper made to the grill with a bit of salt and pepper. I topped it with a lemon butter sauce with basil and plum tomatoes. Excellent.

We had such a good time I can't stop thinking about it. I only wish we could be back on the water catching more fish. That's the great frustration of fishing: there is never just "one more cast." There are only pauses between casts, some being much longer than others.

So until the next cast -- and the next fish -- I'll be content with memories and motivated by anticipation.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Joseph's Mission Interview

Wednesday night, Joseph has his mission interview with President Patrick. I can hardly believe "junior" is going on a mission.

I am so pleased with him. He has been a delight to have for a son. As he prepares to leave, our time together as father/child, is coming to a close. When he returns it will be a father/son relationship.

I am anxious for him to grow and develop as he devotes himself full-time to the Lord. His mission will set in order his life. And, as it does, he will know the sweet joy that comes from bringing others to the Savior.

Wherever Joseph goes, he goes there with my love.

4th of July Celebration

For the 4th of July we had barbecue hamburgers and homemade ice cream (raspberry). We went swimming at the Williams. Later in the evening we went to watch the Temple Terrace fireworks. It was a nice, relaxing day.

Attached are some pictures of the kids swimming.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Well, it happened. Stephen has beat me twice in a row at chess. He's developed a way of recording every move, which he diligently studies after each game. He plays chess on the computer daily. He's become so proficient it's a real struggle for me to beat him.

The last time we played, he let me know that "you have to control the middle of the board to win." So I thought I'd have a little fun. I kept moving my knight out and then put him back. Stephen scratched his head and said, "what you're doing doesn't make any sense. You can't win doing that."

I replied, "well, Stephen, I'm in a defensive posture. I'm waiting for you to attack before I move my pieces into place. Sometimes the best offense is a good defense."

He thought about it for a moment, and said, "maybe, but I'm going to control the middle of the board and you're going to lose."

I made a number of erratic moves that Stephen couldn't quite figure out. I was seeing how well he could handle the unexpected. He simply ignored moves that made no sense and continued to execute his strategy with great discipline.

He beat me. Deservedly, so, I might add.

Dealing with Aspergers

RaLene, Stephen, and I met with a social worker from school yesterday. He is doing a new analysis, trying to decide what our next steps are with Stephen.

Dr. Eason did an 8-week study last summer, where we had verified Stephen has Aspergers. This meeting was the basis for additional analysis to help decide academic planning as well as begin working on which high school to send Stephen to.

RaLene and I have wrestled with how to help Stephen grow. He is such a smart boy when it comes to mathematical and scientific thought, but he's lacking in common sense, social grace, and physical coordination.

He's been on ADD medication for nearly a year, and that has helped him focus. There is so much more he needs to learn so he can function in high school and college.

We'll continue to fast and pray for him and ask the Lord for guidance as we raise him.

Monday, June 30, 2008


I am something of the Chief Morale Officer at work.

One of the people I have worked with and coached gave me a Guy Harvey picture of a snook in appreciate of the coaching I have given her. I was so touched by her expression of gratitude I had my picture taken with her and the picture.

My Front Lawn

My neighbor mowed my lawn. He cut it so short a large area has died. I've been very upset. RaLene has been more tolerant of his "expression of neighborly kindness."

It started a few weeks ago. We went to the Williams for a summer party. We took the boat and went tubing on East Lake. When we came home I found our neighbor had used his riding mower to mow the easement in front of our house. I was unhappy about it because I go to great effort to make sure all the grass in front of my house is the same length and groomed the same way.

I was ready to talk with the neighbor, but RaLene talked me out of it. Most of the time, listening to my wife is a good thing. Not this time.

Last week I came home from work and found most of my front yard butchered. It was so short I could see the dirt. Neighborly kindness moved from the easement to the yard. I was flabbergasted. In exasperation, I snapped a few photos and decided I would speak with my neighbor.

Unfortunately, he wasn't home at the time and I had church meetings that evening. I decided to talk with him the next day. However, when I went to talk with him I realized I was still very upset and decided to delay the conversation until I wasn't so emotional.

I have been more upset than I thought, because it has been five days and I still feel as passionately about the situation as I did the first day. I'll admit my neighbor is a nice guy, but I have dumbfounded that he would be so presumptious as to mow my lawn.