Saturday, February 18, 2006

Just Like Willie (Nelson, that is)

OK, I'm officially on the road again. I flew in Phoenix this morning (back-to-back 4:00 AM mornings are no fun, let me tell you) and was met by the guys. If you have never seen a 13'2" bus creep along a road with 12' clearance, you've missed it. It took about as long to get out of the airport as it did to fly in.

We made it to Claim Jumper for lunch. Oh man, as soon as they brought out the barbeque baby back ribs, the confirmation of my call came. I know I'm supposed to be here. I had never even heard of the restaurant, but I have to add it to my list of favorites ( Good stuff!

We're heading for Fountain City, AZ tonight. I'm going to sing a few songs with the group. They're also going to have me sing a song with the rest of them that I don't know very well. They said, don't worry we'll turn your mic off. Nobody will know the difference. Sounds like a Bible college quartet I used to sing with. So, here we do: karaoke time with Keith. Whoo-hoo!

Well, I'll touch base later. Hopefully with some pics.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Or So I Thought

I woke up at 4:00 AM for the flight that never happened. We got to the airport at 6:00 AM and at the ticket counter I was informed that I was not guaranteed a seat and that the flight was oversold. Great.

I walked down to the gate and tried futilely to finangle a seat on the flight. So, the guys boarded and I'm left negotiating with America West personnel. Finally, they agree to get me on tomorrow morning's flight (a first-class ticket, no less) and give me a free round-trip anywhere in the lower 48 states.

I'm bummed about missing tonight's concert, but I'll catch up with the guys tomorrow.

By the way, the girl working for America West at B-18 needs to take a few lessons in customer service. She was all attitude and no eye contact. Fortunately, they brought over John, who did a great job working with the customers. The girl literally refused to help find me a seat. John was trying to get information from her, and she told him, there's nothing we can do. Just forget it. I'm filing a complaint. I've never done it before, but her service was unacceptable and a disgrace to the company. I'm feeling better already.

On the Road Again

I'll be posting again on Monday, unless I find a WI-FI connection somewhere this weekend. I'm hitting the road for the first time with Liberty. I'll be singing 3 or 4 songs each concert, but primarily I'm going along to get a feel for my responsibilities. I'll let you know how things go. Keep me in your prayers.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Is there anyone else out there who is sick and tired of stupid comments going unchallenged by the liberal media? Check out this incredibly ridiculous statement that no one will comment on:

You know, I oppose any type of racism, whether it comes for white OR black OR (Fill in the blank with another race). However, I am growing weary of the rampant bias in the media. If Gumbel would have said that he wasn't watching the NBA because of the lack of white athletes, he would have already been fired (see exhibition A: Rush Limbaugh). Let's have some consistency here, people.


For all you that have been making fun of my ankle injury, I have news that will hopefully make you feel guilty for your jocular attitudes.

I just returned from the hospital (my first trip in forever). Due to the increased pain in my ankle and foot I decided to have it looked at, just in case something was messed up and I was making it worse. The prognosis is that I have torn ligaments in my ankle and there is quite a bit of internal bleeding which has contributed to the discoloration and inflammation. The doctor told me that I can't hike, play sports, or do anything strenuous for a month or so. Great! There goes the Mt. Everest vacation! Lori's crying over that one. how do you feel about your sarcastic, caustic comments? What? Yeah, that's what I thought. Oh well, I had to give it a try and make you feel guilty. So much for that. I have such a support team.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A glimpse of the past

Yesterday I was thrilled to receive the hot-off-the-press DVD "Allegiance, LIVE". Filmed among the beautiful cornfields of Noblesville, IN this release features the powerhouse vocals of this immensely popular trio. This was a special evening as it also featured the talents of a bass vocalist, Mike Mater. Mike actually added some legitimacy to our music. If only he could have emceed.

Our trio found ourselves in numerous awkward, perplexing, and downright hilarious situations. Who can forget the concert in a humongous high school auditorium with 26 people in attendance? That number 26 included the members and bands of the three featured groups and assorted family members. I don't know if I have ever laughed so hard in my life as I did that night at the ludicrousness of the whole experience.

While we enjoyed singing and rehearsing together, the real fun of our short traveling stint was our after-concert critiques of ourselves. Man, those were the days.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Ask

Since it's Valentine's Day I have to tell a romantic, emotional, tear-jerking story from my past.

After a year and a half of dating, I had decided that Lori was the woman that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. She was everything that I wanted in a wife! So, following proper engagement etiquette, I made an appointment to speak to her father. Now, at the time, I didn't know him very well. In fact, I had only been with him a couple of times in my life. So, needless to say, I was a tad bit timorous about approaching him to ask for his daughter's hand in marriage.

We were going to be traveling through Pennsylvania on a band tour, so I asked to speak with him privately following a concert. That evening, with a look of utter sincerity (or maybe it was utter fear) I requested his permission to marry Lori. He didn't smile much. In fact, he didn't smile at all. He cocked his head sideways, gave me a searching look, then asked, "Do you think you can provide for her?" I (not having an idea what the future would hold for me employment-wise) gave an emphatic "You better believe it!" hoping that he wouldn't ask how. After what seemed like an eternity, he gave his assent. Whew! I couldn't stop grinning after that.

I thought that I had overtaken the toughest hurdle and looked forward to popping the big question.

It was a beautiful evening in June when I put my plan together. Earlier in the day, I had slipped flowers and her engagement present up to her apartment (Dave and I would later assemble the present, which is a whole other post) and was prepared for a great evening. I took Lori to our favorite Cincinnati steak destination, Longhorn Steakhouse, and initiated the unfolding of my plans.

Well, maybe the most accurate phrase would be the "unraveling of my plans." I was planning to get on my knees in front of the entire restaurant and in a quixotic moment propose. Well, it didn't happen that way. As I was trying to work up the nerve to carry out my preparations, Lori chose to talk about some of the weirdest stuff in the world, subjects that didn't remotely fit into my anticipated romantic jargon. I kept on trying to get the conversation around to our relationship, but she would have none of it.

OK, change of plans. I thought to myself, "I'll wait until we get out to the car, drop to my knees and ask her in the parking lot." Riiiight. We get out of the restaurant, following fascinating conversation about the names of friend's children, is there life on other planets, and the such. On the way out of Longhorn Lori said, "I have to find a restroom. I'm not feeling well at all." She headed down the hall to the ladies room, leaving me stressed, brainstorming as to how I was going to salvage this moment. I worked myself up so much that I became sick to my stomach and ended up running down to the men's room.

By the time, we staggered out to the car, it was appearing that all of my great plans were ruined. Lori muttered the entire way out to the car about getting back to her own restroom, while I was vainly trying to think of a way to bring the subject back to romantic topics.

I tried to talk her into going to a park in the area, but she wouldn't hear of it. "Just get me home!" she demanded. We are driving down I-71 N towards GBS, and I'm sweating it, knowing that as soon as she walks in she'll see the flowers and the present and my plans will be blown.

I suddenly whipped the wheel to the right and swerved off the road, screeching to a halt. Lori starts asking 20 questions: "Are you speeding? Are you being pulled over? Are you sick? Are you going to throw up? What's wrong?" I calmly said, "Lori, will you marry me?"

She replied with those words that every man proposing wants to hear. "You're crazy! Don't be stupid." I told her, "No, I'm serious. Will you marry me?" "Whatever!" was her reply. After 3 or 4 times of asking, I finally pulled out her engagement present receipt to prove that my proposal was legitimate. She finally said, "Yes".

It's been a great life! Even if I did have to work for it.

So, wipe those tears, and realize that there is hope for you. It can't ever be that bad. Just ask.

I Love My Family

Happy Valentines Day, everyone! Hopefully, you have spent some quality time with (not to mention money on) your true love. Our family just returned from a fun evening out at Applebees (motto: "1 of 3 decent restaurants in Nampa"). Lori and I were laughing this afternoon about the fact that our celebration of holidays has changed dramatically with the addition of children. I was talking to a friend earlier in the day who mentioned that he had made reservations at the Mona Lisa (the #1 date destination in Nampa, owned by our good friends Dustin and Angie) for he and his wife this evening. He was looking forward to a nice evening with just the two of them, celebrating their love. It goes without saying that they don't have children. Dr. Keaton told me that he was going to try to get on the reservation list at the Mona Lisa this evening. The best romantic option available to Lori and I not including a babysitter is Applebees. Nothing says I love you like their honey-barbeque riblets.

You know what? I wouldn't change a thing. We spent a lot of time laughing together, playing Pictionary on the children's menu, and teasing Trey about giving his Oreo dessert to a hungry Zambian named Sammy. It was fun! We all gave each other Valentine cards, handed out a few little presents to each other, and made it a great day.

I hope that whatever you did to celebrate the day with your family gives you the same fulfillment.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Suds and Duds

Here I am hard at work, doing my best to qualify for "Husband of the Year". Check out the cool outfit. In this picture I am styling the hard-to-find Santa Claus pajama pants. You definitely don't want to splash the detergent on your jeans, you know what I'm saying? I am a pro, having had years of experience of soapy hands. My parents had two dishwashers. They were named Keith(ie) and Bobby. We fought every night over who got to do what. Dry or wash. It always ended up with suds flying about the kitchen and Mom hollering, "Keith (referring to my dad), you need to put down the paper and get in here and separate the boys." Dad's reply was something like "ughyyeahmmm". He wasn't a masterful communicator when reading the newspaper. Great memories.

Chairwoman of the House

Kassady's destructive force has now been fully unleashed. This weekend she discovered that she can stand up on a chair and reach just about anything. Here she explores the imcomprehensible results of the lightswitch. On/Off/On/Off/On/Off/On/Off/On/Off/On/Off...this will slowly but surely drive one to utter insanity. I'm there.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

probably the weirdest personal picture I will ever post on the blog

I messed up my ankle pretty bad this past Thursday evening playing basketball. It doesn't really hurt that much, but the ankle is still swollen and my whole leg pops a lot when I walk. I apologize for the graphic content of this post, but it looks pretty nasty (not to mention has featured several colors including purple, green, yellow, black, red, and blue) and I just had to share with someone besides Lori, who is not impressed.

Gladiators, yesterday; Hockey Players, today

The following is a press release from the hockey game I attended last night. You must realize that I know next to nothing about the game. It was only the second hockey game that I have been to, so I am truly a spectator rookie. The only thing that I could relate to were the fights. What is up with hockey and fighting, anyway? The refs do nothing to stop the pounding, standing idly by while Victor Czeckhvgil loses more teeth. Football has a lot more contact, but you don't see players flailing away at each other following a tackle. I don't get it. There were 4 or 5 fights during the game, 2 leaving blood on the ice. I will admit that it contributes to the excitement of the contest. Maybe soccer should look into this facet of the game.

The cool thing about the game is that #1, the tickets were free, #2 We were placed in a suite overlooking the arena with all the free food you could eat, and #3 I was in the presence of knowledgable hockey fans who could explain the game to me (namely, Marc patiently explaining the terms "icing", "clearing the zone", and such).

I'm not sure what an "even-strength goal" is (maybe it refers to the fact that no team members are in the penalty box), but regardless, here is the game summary:

Feb 11, 2006
Steelheads Press Release

BOISE, Idaho - Condors’ forward Mike Hofstrand scored an even-strength goal with just 4:56 left in regulation to lift the visitors to a 3-2 win over the Steelheads in front of 5,182 fans at Qwest Arena on Saturday night.On a rush into the Steelheads’ zone, Hofstrand took a feed from center Brian Collins and slipped the puck past Steelheads’ goaltender Steve Silverthorn (26 saves) to give the Condors their first lead of the game. The win allowed the Condors (20-18-5) to take four of a possible six points from the Steelheads (26-16-6) in the three-game series. Two more meetings between the clubs still remain with both of them coming next week in Bakersfield.

From Trey

Trey has been dying to type on my computer, so here is his first post (I'm only sounding out the words for him):

Wow trey ir


VP Cheney takes aim

I know this isn't really funny, but my weird sense of humor is making me laugh at this story:

The Vice-President of the United States accidentally shooting a fellow hunter will be talk-show fodder for the next week. Fortunately, the man he shot "alert and doing fine" after being sprayed with shotgun pellets. There are so many great punch lines in this story.

Funny Man

Trey is beginning to practice stand-up comedy. He is starting to get past the knock-knock jokes, thank goodness, but his brand of humor does require a bit of forced chortling. Today, he added his own twist to a classic, asking, "Why did the chicken cross the road?" To which he replied, "To get to the other side...and because another bully chicken was going to get him."

I would offer advice on how to improve the quality of his jocularity, but I've never been known for my wittiness, as to which my Allegiance comrades can wholeheartedly attest. I am very good at laughing, however. I make a great audience member.