On The Road With Dave

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Now Appearing in an Extended Engagement! Join Dave Robison as he takes you into his world and his daily life of reviving a stand-up comedy career. Prepare for side trips exploring Public Relations, marketing and business ethics. Enjoy some frequent detours describing his observations on life. Read the exploits of this self-proclaimed Renaissance-man and blooming blogger as you go On The Road With Dave.

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Name: Dave Robison
Location: Mobile, Alabama, United States

From Mobile, Alabama comes Dave Robison, a confessed Internet-aholic, middle-aged-married-man, who's generally a nice guy--he just has one or two issues. Stand-Up Comedy by Dave Robison is available for corporate events, college campuses, and nightclubs.

 

 

On The Road with Dave


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On Love

Before I began blogging, I kept an infrequent journal. In 1983, I was writing in a journal book/calendar that I purchased from Writer's Digest. At the beginning of the first month of that year I made an entry that I had met the friend of a friend at a local nightclub.

"Tonight, I met Cheryl's lovely friend, Renee. We danced. It was nice. I hope to see her again."


That "meeting" led to a series of meetings, dances, and dates. I made any excuse to see her again and again. It was a whirlwind romance. But, I was scared. This romance was serious. She had even told me that she was in love with me by the second month. She just knew.

Looking back, I was already in love, too; but as a guy--I just could not seem to express the feeling in words, vocally. I know, it's hard to imagine me not saying what was on my mind, huh?

Towards the end of March, Renee and I were finishing up a romantic evening and I had told myself that I would tell her that evening how I felt. I searched for the right moment and several came and went, but I could not say "I love you". (Chock it up to immaturity or dumb machismo) So, when all else failed, I began to get silly and goofy. I was joking around with her and talking in "third person".

"David Robison likes this"

Finally, I looked at her and kissed her. "Renee Evans..." I said.

"Yes, David Robison"

"Renee Evans...David Robison Loves You"

After I finally left that evening, I went home and wrote in my journal.

MARCH 23, 1983

David Robison Loves Renee Evans

Over the years we celebrate that day as much as any couple would celebrate a wedding anniversary. It is our "I love you" anniversary. Some years, I will semi-quote myself as I did on that rainy March 23rd saying "Renee Evans...David Robison STILL loves you"; but since that long ago March 23rd; I have never been afraid to show my feelings to her, nor been afraid to say the words to her two dozen times a day.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, RENEE!

Just for the record--I Love You





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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Getting Re-Married Ceremony

The following video is the actual ceremony that my dear wife and I participated in on Valentine's Day 2010 with Steve Durkac officiating.

Read The Story Here At On The Road With Dave.





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Getting Re-Married: A World Record Attempt

It's not everyday that I'm challenged to break a world record. In fact, up until last Friday, I've never been challenged to break a world record. But my dear wife of 26 years asked me to participate in a world record breaking attempt that she figured I could handle. Her challenge--"Let's get re-married!"

The "re-married" part seemed easy enough. Rustle up a preacher, justice of the peace, or local Elvis impersonator and say the "I do's". How is that breaking a World's record?

Gulf Shores, Alabama restaurateur, Lucy Buffett(sister of singer, Jimmy)and owner of Lulu's Homeport had staged a Valentine's Day event to break the World's Record for most Married Couples to Participate in a Re-Vow Ceremony. The record stands at 1087 couples according to Guinness Book of World Records.

Last Sunday, on Valentine's Day, my dear wife and I made the 40-minute drive down to Gulf Shores and was greeted by other couples standing on the white sands of Lulu's complex which includes her restaurant, marina, playground, gift shop, and her outside bar, Bama Breeze.



TV crews from Good Morning America and local news stations as well as official Guinness record keepers were in attendance to witness the event. "Lulu" had prepared a stage for preacherman, Steve Durkac, and an emcee, that I swear must have had some Buffett blood in him somewhere to officiate the ceremony. Wedding cake, champagne, flowers, were all provided by Buffett.


Each couple, held two helium-filled red balloons during the ceremony ready to be lofted into the air upon saying, "I do", once again.





The Gulf Shores Fire Department provided a ladder/boom truck as a photographer pedestal to capture the crowd on film. The truck positioned itself across the dock canal/marina. In addition to the record attempt, Lulu provided prizes to the couple that traveled the farthest for the ceremony(3031 miles); Longest-married couple(68 Years); and Shortest-Length Married(3.5 hours).

My wife and I stood among the crowd as preacherman, Durkac, spoke to the couples and then we stared into each other's eyes and repeated the vows as they were given. We said our "I do's" and laughed and we were pronounced, "re-married" and kissed as we let our balloons free.

Did we break the record? Yes and No. We broke the record for the state of Alabama with over 400 couples in attendance, but well shy of the 1087 needed for a World's Record. A gallant attempt, indeed; and "Lulu" set a new vow to continue the tradition next year. I think I can be up for another attempt; after all you can get "re-married" to the same person more than once and in my case, that's a pleasure.




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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Another "Quit Date": Smoking

For my loyal readers, you know that I generally keep my word or have a good excuse why I couldn't. I have a pretty good record of living up to any public commitments I make through this blog. When I made the decision to quit multilevel marketing, I agonized over my decision and was reluctant to quit when I did not reach my goals, but it set in motion an eventual departure from that business.

One commitment I have not been able to keep over the years is a commitment to quit smoking. I've looked at it from a financial perspective; I've tried the nicotine patches and tapering off, and cutting back, and twice I tried "cold turkey" for about six hours. Truth is, I like smoking. I know the health risks, the damage to my lungs, teeth, throat, etc. I also know that it affects my breathing and stamina while performing. Professional ventriloquists rarely interrupt their acts to cough and hack up a piece of lung. Also as a comedian, I can't cancel a gig because I'm suffering from my almost yearly bout of winter bronchitis.(Knock wood, didn't happen this year)

But I truly like lighting up. I smoke when I write, I smoke, when I drive, I smoke while watching TV, I smoke when I wake up, I smoke after I eat, and I smoke after...nevermind; I like to smoke.

Of course in light of a recent event that led to an ambulance ride, my health and longevity has been on my mind and I'm considering more and more the possibility of quitting smoking. I'm not looking forward to it and I'm a bit scared to attempt it.

So, in true "On The Road With Dave" fashion, I'm putting it "out there" for all the world to see. I'm setting another "Quit Date".

ON OR BEFORE MAY 6, 2010(My Birthday)I WILL BE AN EX-SMOKER.

That's in a little less than 3 months. In that time, I hope to find a method that works for me to quit smoking without the added stress of quitting smoking. Recently, a friend at work has started using one of those new "e-cigarettes", and maybe I'll give that a try. The thought of actually still holding something that feels like a cigarette and simulates smoking might work for me. I do realize that electronic cigarettes and patches and gum, take away the smoking addiction, but not the nicotine addiction. But maybe, that can be a first step. I haven't decided yet what path I'll take.

Medications have been offered by my doctor, but their list of side effects are as long as the ills of smoking. I joke that smoking prevents me from killing myself, and some of the stop-smoking pills say that killing yourself could be a side effect of taking the stop-smoking pills. Sounds like a no-win situation to me.

I'm going to re-visit all the alternatives to smoking and all the smoke cessation programs, except maybe hypnotism. I kinda like the "sex instead of a cigarette" method, but I'm pretty sure the wife won't go for that one for any length of time--but it's still an option.

I have 86 days to figure it all out. Can I do it? Will I need to make an excuse? I've set My "Quit Date".

ON OR BEFORE MAY 6, 2010(My Birthday)I WILL BE AN EX-SMOKER.

We'll see what happens.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ambulance Rides Are Not Funny

I spent Tuesday night in a hospital Emergency Room. It wasn't my first choice, but it seemed like the entire day had it out for me. Here's the complete story...

I generally stay up late and Monday night was no different. After spending some quality time online at Twitter and Facebook; I had decided to turn in around 3AM. As is my custom, I went to the 'fridge to pour one last glass of tea and smoke my last cigarette for the evening. Upon opening the fridge, I noticed that "de-frosty" smell you get when your refrigerator is not working. This led to the next couple of hours of emptying the refrigerator, digging out a cooler, chipping ice, and saving the perishables. At about 5AM, I crawled into bed for a few hours sleep before work on Tuesday.

Now, work is just work. I answer phone calls from customers of a cellular company and hash out their bills, fix their phones, and answer questions. Some customers are nice, some are not so nice. There's goals to meet, expectations, rules, and stress. I handle it all pretty well.

At about 9:30 or so,Tuesday night, I finished a call; said "Thank you for calling" and experienced a sudden sharp pain in the middle of my chest. I catch my breath a couple of times and put my phone software on hold. Another sharp pain in my chest and my right arm begins to hurt. Right away, I'm NOT thinking heart attack, because it's supposed to be your left arm and the pain is supposed to be more to the left, not in the middle. I'm thinking some indigestion is at work. Generally, I eat lunch before work and just wait until I get home at night for dinner. My lunch break is only 30 minutes and I generally use it to de-stress and smoke an extra cigarette before returning to take calls.

But the pain doesn't subside, and I catch the attention of my supervisor, and call her over. By this time, my fingers feel a little tingly, I'm kinda "clammy" and I'm not feeling so sporty. She calls Security, and they grab my stuff and walk me to the front of the building. I'm not walking too good by now and for some reason I'm feeling kind of disoriented. My wife is called and arrives and on the advice of the security guard, my wife takes me across the street to the local fire department.

After I explained my symptoms, they sit me down, they take my blood pressure,(157/90, put some Oxygen on me, start an IV and hook me up to an EKG machine. The EMT tells me that something doesn't look right and gives me a spray of nitroglycerin and some aspirin. I tried to stand back up but my legs went out from under me. An ambulance is called; much to my dismay, and I head to the local university medical center. I'm not liking all this. I have no medical insurance and I'm stressing about the money. On top of all this; now, I have a headache caused by the nitro.

The nice EMT, Donna, tried to relax me in the ambulance and asked me questions and I was slow to answer her and couldn't really think well. I couldn't remember my phone numbers, but I could tell her my Social Security number. We finally arrived at University of South Alabama Medical Center.

At the hospital--they hooked me up to another EKG machine. This is the third EKG of the evening, The EMT in the ambulance had also wired me up for the ride into Mobile. I have the little sticky patches all over my body by now. The hospital staff do a chest X-ray, draw blood, take my blood pressure(127/90) and asked me a hundred questions. "Rate the pain on a scale of 1-10" (7-8) "Use drugs?" (No) "History of heart disease?" (Yes) "How old was your Father when he died?"(89) and then I begin to wait. By now, it's about Midnight and the pain is a dull ache and I'm kinda hungry. Remember, I was going to go home at 10PM and eat.

The doctor came back in and said that my heart rate was good and the EKG looked normal. I answered more questions, but my two questions; "Can I go home? and Can I eat something?" are answered, "NO". The doctor said I needed to stay at the hospital for a second round of blood tests. I didn't know this, but the second round was for comparison purposes with the first round. During a heart attack, our hearts are kind enough to release an enzyme marker to let us know if we experienced any heart damage. Thankfully, my pain had subsided by now.

My wonderful wife who had been let into the room by now, decided to leave me to drive back home to gather up some stuff for me for what appeared to be my stay at the hospital. (By the way, did I mention that this was HER BIRTHDAY? Yes, she wakes to a busted 'fridge and is now at the hospital with her apparent "busted-heart-husband)

I laid in the hospital bed, listening to my heart monitor. I messed with the Oxygen Saturation monitor on my finger and made the wavy line on the monitor mess up and I read the same posters over and over again. "CALL BEFORE YOU FALL" and "YES YOU CAN ASK US IF WE CLEANSED OUR HANDS", with a smiling nurse washing her hands. If I had been thinking clearly, I would have called some one to ask them, but I missed that opportunity. Instead, I kept adjusting the hospital gown as it fell off my shoulders, tried not to move my IV-needled hand, and moved all the wires around so I could put a sheet over me. I also watched my blood pressure cuff as it automatically kept checking my BP(120/80).

At around 3AM, more blood is drawn through my IV tube,(That hurt like a "mother") and my dutiful-beautiful wife arrived back at the hospital.

A little after 4AM, the doctor said that my test results were negative for a heart attack. She said that I'm under a lot a stress and I smoke. (I knew that part) and that the chest pain was stress induced, possibly reflux, the pain raised my blood pressure and I probably had some anxiety and panic from it all. (I don't remember being that panicked) She also said I needed to schedule a stress test with my regular physician and that I needed to relax more, and quit smoking. To add insult to injury, she threw in, "You know if smoking doesn't kill you, it eventually causes impotency in men". (How,rude!) But the good news was that I could go home and take Wednesday off from work. My wife stayed home with me today, as well.

I do want to take this opportunity to thank the fine guys at Saraland Fire Department, Newman's Ambulance Service from Mobile, Alabama and the nice staff(Amy) and Dr. Costello at USA Medical Center.

Today, I've been sleeping a lot. I received some well wishes from Twitter and Facebook friends that read my status updates today and my wife's boss called to check on me. I've been thinking about my little "wake up call" that Tuesday decided to give me. Ambulance rides are not funny and I certainly don't want another one for quite some time. I suppose some changes are in order; Doctor's orders.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Just Like Our First Christmas



Look at us now, Part of it all,In spite of it all,
We're still around

Lovers in love,
Just like we were
Being apart's a lonely sound

When people ask how we stay together
I say you never let me down
And you make it feel like Christmas
Even when things go wrong
I hear the sound of Christmas in your song
All year long
Yes, you know that I do

Look at the sun
Shining on me
Nowhere could be a better place



Lovers in love,
That's what we are
I reach for that star out there in space

'Cause you make it feel like Christmas
Even when things go wrong
I hear the sound of Christmas in your song
All year long
And you know that's it true

Sleepy we are,
But happy together
Sounds of forever
Greet the day
So wake up the kids,
Put on some tea
Light up the tree,
It's Christmas day

Yeah, you make it feel like Christmas
Even when things go wrong
I hear the sound of Christmas in your song
All year long
Yes you know that I do
All year long
Light up the tree,
It's Christmas time


--Neil Diamond; You Make It Feel Like Christmas

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mele Kalikimaka Is Hawaii's Way

As some of my readers know, I lost my Dad back in 2001. He was 89. Dad had spent many years in "The Hawaiian Islands" during World War II and was a survivor of Pearl Harbor. The "Islands" always held a special place in Dad's memory. In 1977, at the age of 65, Dad traveled back to Honolulu to visit his memories. He brought back the photo at the right taken shortly after the traditional lei greeting.

In my current job, my supervisor is also from Hawaii. Our team cubicles are decorated with plastic lei and "island" references are used to motivate us or describe our team. I'm reminded often about Dad's passion for all things Polynesian.

As Christmas approaches, I can't help but think about Dad and Mom not being around anymore, but looking on this picture always makes me smile. Dad always looks like a kid opening a present on Christmas morning. (And the pretty wahine probably has something to do with it)

So, for Dad; Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say
On a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day
That's the island greeting that we send to you
From the land where palm trees sway
Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun to shine by day and all the stars at night
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii's way
To say "Merry Christmas to you".

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Georgia On My Mind

As Christmas approaches; corporations, small businesses, and organizations are celebrating the season with annual Christmas and Holiday office parties. Two such parties I know of this weekend include my employer's Christmas party and my wife's employer's Christmas party. In the past, I've always attended the annual Medi-stat Christmas party. My wife has been a long-time employee and for a few years it was also my employer. Medi-Stat's parties are always fun, but this year their annual Christmas party conflicts with my new employer's party.

So, how did we choose which one to attend?


Ryla Teleservices' annual Christmas party is in Atlanta at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel. That means an overnight stay in Atlanta at the hotel, with dinner and dancing. Travel out of town, you say? Okay, we're there!

This morning, we catch a free charter bus at the Saraland, Alabama division of Ryla and ride to Atlanta for the night. Since our anniversary is just shy of two weeks away, the wife and I plan to not only enjoy a party with some fellow employees and the upper management of the "home office"; but also make it a mini-anniversary celebration.

My wife bought a new dress, my suit is pressed, and the bags are packed. If I can snap a few non-proprietary, non-incriminating photos of fellow employees and friends at the party, I'll let you know how it turned out next week.

Until then, I'll still have Christmas...and Georgia on my mind.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Working The Night Shift

I have a new job.

Last month I tendered my resignation at my old job. I wanted to do something else. Something different. I gave it some thought and left on good terms and well-wishes from my former bosses.

Unfortunately, I didn't give it enough thought in this economic cycle and with the state of Alabama nearing a 10% unemployment rate, there were not many job offerings for a "wannabe" comic looking for "something different".

Lucky for me, a company opened a new branch office near my home and hired me several weeks ago to start on August 10th. Training consists of 7 weeks of classroom instruction from 4:30 in the afternoon until 1:15AM. As I write this; it is 3 o'clock in the morning and I'm still winding down from work before I go to bed.

So far, I'm trying to stuff all the new information in my head, so that I can pass through each learning module on my way to the "real job". I have to discuss with Human Resources any restrictions they may have on me blogging about the job or any other Social Media restrictions that are in place, before I will publish the company name. But, I think it will be safe to say that the company is a national call center and I will be working as a customer support representative.

Yep, it's almost like my old "8-5"--not really the something different I was looking for; but at least I won't get more behind on bills for the moment and it is some PLACE different.

I'll keep you informed.


Photo courtesy of Mokra

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Erica!

Hey Baby Girl, it's been a long time since this birthday party photo. Of course, no matter how old you are now, married and with a kid of your own--I'll still think of you like this; my little girl.

Happy Birthday Erica! 23 years old and still a kid at heart.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

See Mobile, Alabama With Renee



The above lovely feet belong to my lovely wife. Those waves lapping over them are from the Gulf Coast waters of Dauphin Island Beach. A day at the beach is the subject of my lovely wife's first blog entry at "See Mobile Alabama".

After 5 years of putting up with a husband that blogs and lives on the Internet, Renee has decided to provide a service to vacationers, tourists, and local residents in Mobile, Alabama on the subject of "what is there to do here".

FROM "SEE MOBILE, ALABAMA"

"Since I moved to Mobile several years ago I have repeatedly heard the locals complain that they hate living here because there is nothing to do. Really? Nothing? I have lived in towns where there is truly nothing to do and Mobile is not one of them. I'm guessing that these people just don't know enough about our community to know where to go for fun....In fact, there's always something to do in Mobile and a lot of it won't cost you a dime. Join me as I give an honest critique of the best and worst of what the area has to offer for our entertainment."


Of course, you've already guessed, I'll be putting "See Mobile, Alabama" under my "Links That I Like".

Good Luck, Renee with your blogging efforts and one more thing..."It took you long enough!"

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

"Sunday Thoughts"

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."

--Mark Twain

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Graduate


It doesn't seem like it's been that long, but today my last child, my youngest--has graduated high school.

Congratulations son!

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

"Sunday Thoughts"

"Getting down on all fours and imitating a rhinoceros stops babies from crying. (Put an empty cigarette pack on your nose for a horn and make loud "snort" noises.) I don't know why parents don't do this more often. Usually it makes the kid laugh. Sometimes it sends him into shock. Either way it quiets him down. If you're a parent, acting like a rhino has another advantage. Keep it up until the kid is a teenager and he definitely won't have his friends hanging around your house all the time."

--P.J. O'Rourke

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thieves And Honest People

Being a victim is the worst feeling in the world.

Several years ago, a drug dealer crashed his motorcycle into the side of our car while my wife was driving it. He quickly picked up his gun that he dropped, hopped back on his motorcycle and sped away. He was later caught for another crime and through the proceedings was charged on other crimes, but not for hitting our car.

Sometime after that, the same car was stolen while it sat in the parking lot at our workplace. It was recovered a few days later. The thief did eventually go to jail for a short time (He also had other charges facing him as well)

Today, while buying some Chinese take-out food, my wife dropped her wallet in the parking lot of a shopping center in our town. When she discovered it missing, she and my son frantically searched for it for over an hour. Upon returning home, disgusted and disappointed, she was met by two honest women who had found the wallet several miles from the original location, with its contents scattered on the road.

The women found a voters registration card with our address on it and returned the contents. Except...My wife's drivers' license, her Social Security Card and all her cash from her paycheck. They told us where they found it and we drove to the scene to see if we could find anything else. We found a few bits of random paper, but no ID or cash.

The women stuck around and let us use their cell phone, while we called a police officer to write up a report for the inevitable visit to acquire new identification.
We thanked them for their time and their honesty to at least return us to the scene and some of the wallet's contents.

But somewhere tonight, thieves are enjoying the fruits of my wife's labor and not their own. An entire paycheck is gone. The only silver lining to the incident is that if these thieves try to steal my wife's identity they will sorely be disappointed with our credit rating...maybe creditors will call them now.

I'm saddened that I can't understand why someone would not have just returned the wallet and the cash to one of the stores in the shopping center or found our address like the other two women and brought it back to us. I could not look upon finding someone else's money as my good fortune and belonging to me. Couldn't they have had the self-respect to know that taking that money was hurting someone else?

Being a victim sucks, being a thief is worse.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Anniversary



25 years seems like a long time.

A quarter of a century.

More than a generation.

One score and five.

And yet, it has passed by for me in the blink of an eye. And in that blink, I can remember all the happiness, all the trouble, all the joy of living in a life with a never ending, all forgiving love.

A silver anniversary is a major milestone in a marriage...but silver seems so worthless compared to the value of reaching that milestone.

Yes, a marriage, any marriage--my marriage; is never perfect. Nor is the couple involved, but perfection wasn't what it was--it is; all about. The inconsistencies, the imperfections, the flaws, not only made it unique, but also made it strong. Perfect, no; but everlasting, yes.

25 years is not a long time; because I want, I need another 25 years. It has passed by much to quick. I look forward to the beginning of yet another 25 years.

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

"Upon Pearl Harbor Let Us Remember"

Poster, One Year After The Pearl Harbor Attack


FROM THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

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Friday, December 5, 2008

In Pursuit Of A New Pillow

In which Dave rambles on and on about the joys of sleeping on a cotton pillow and searching for raw cotton:

I can't sleep on any other pillow except my own. I travel with it. In hotels, I throw the chain's pillows on the other bed or the floor and I sleep on my own pillow. If I'm staying with friends or family and I'm offered a pillow, I say, "No Thanks, I brought my own. In my 40+ years, I have owned 4 pillows; numbers 2 through 4; they have all been cotton pillows. An aunt living in the Mississippi Delta made my first cotton pillow when I was about 5 years old.

To the uninitiated that may view my current pillow, they would see a lumpy, misshapen blob that looks anything but comfortable. They would be wrong.

The lumps are perfect. By moving and squeezing just right, you get perfect neck support that would rival any bead-filled or polyester fibers, or foam cervical support pillow. If you move the lumps together just right you can bury your face in comfy cold goodness; and if you roll to your side and place one hand under the pillow you can wistfully fall into a heavenly, cool on your cheek, slumber.

This perfect sleeping accessory in my possession is over 15 years old, and sadly the covering of the cotton pillow has seen it's last days. For months, bits and pieces of the miracle ingredient has been leaking from the pillow and finding itself on my bed in the morning. The seams are beyond sewing and the ticking is thread bare. Believe me, I have tried stuffing the material back through the holes, and currently, I have doubled-pillowcased my prized possession.

Now, I knew way back in March, that I needed a new pillow. A new pillow required cotton. You are probably thinking about the kind of cotton in an aspirin bottle or the soft white cotton that you might use in a craft project. You'd be wrong.

A perfect cotton pillow requires raw, ginned (as in, cotton gin)cotton. But, back in March, the local cotton gins in and around Mobile County were silent. The first cotton plants of the year were yet to be planted. I visited a local cotton gin at the time to inquire as to the season's end and harvest time, so that I could return when thousands and thousands of pounds of harvested cotton would be available.

In Mobile County, that would be in November and December. Back in North Mississippi, where I grew up; harvest time comes a few months earlier. So on Tuesday of this week I paid a visit to the Producer's Gin Company in Theodore, Alabama and made my odd request to the manager. I would like to buy a bag of cotton.

Now, the reason this was an "odd" request is that cotton is sold in large bales by the ton--NOT by the sack. I was even questioned by the manager's wife as to why I needed a sack of cotton. I told her my story. She laughed. I later found out that they had received a request some time ago by a gentleman in an RV to purchase merely 500 pounds of cotton. 500 Pounds? They were suspicious.

I asked why they would be suspicious? Is a mere 500 pounds of cotton somehow dangerous? Used in explosives? Drug making? No, actually, cotton is purchased in small quantities by individuals to make money. Not to sell to make money, but to make "money", counterfeit money. Well, they decided that I was not a counterfeiter, I was just a goofy guy that needed a new pillow. Manager, Arland Starr, was happy to accommodate me and escorted me to the gin and collected one ample sized garbage sack with my fluffy addiction. Cost of enough cotton to make THREE cotton pillows? I'd say PRICELESS, but Starr and his wife said, "No Charge, happy to help you out."

My thanks to Arland and Mrs. Starr. This weekend I will purchase new ticking and my wife has agreed to sew a new pillow for her husband. I couldn't be happier. Trust me, by Sunday, I'll be sleeping better than you.

If you live in a big city, never seen cotton and have no idea what a cotton gin looks like; take a look at the video about Producer's Cotton Gin in Theodore, Alabama. This is a story about last year's harvest and was aired by WKRG-TV in Mobile, Alabama.


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Monday, September 1, 2008

On The Edge Of Hurricane Gustav

If you've been watching any network news this morning then you are probably experiencing Hurricane Gustav coverage fatigue. Since early yesterday afternoon CNN, MSNBC and The Weather Channel have all converged onto The Gulf Coast and New Orleans as Hurricane Gustav moved close.

The Hurricane moved on shore early this morning and most news footage has centered on New Orleans. Here in Mobile, Alabama we are experiencing the edges and outer bands of storms accompanying Gustav's landfall. Last night the Bankhead Tunnel's doors were closed and our Causeway is flooded. The Causeway is a highway that crosses Mobile Bay at the water's edge. It's prone to flooding. A higher Bayway,
(part of Interstate 10) is the raised artery between Mobile and Baldwin Counties. It is open.

Rain has been steady this morning with numerous Tornado warnings across the area. Currently, as of this writing, there's another Tornado warning just issued for north of my area.

We expect rain and more rain for most of the rest of the day. No damage to speak of where I am. But, I have seen problems on television for Mississippi. This could affect my job over the next couple of days and I'm hoping all the preparations we took for my job prior to the storm will prove helpful.

If you're interested in our local news coverage, I'd suggest WPMI.COM. Usually, I suggest WKRG-TV; but they have me confused today.

Last night, we got wall-to-wall coverage at WKRG pre-empting network shows for local interviews with everybody and their cousin prior to the storm--and today as the storm has made landfall; all we're getting is CBS tennis coverage with a small picture-in-picture "radar box" in the corner of the screen.

But for those concern with my well-being--all is fine over here on the edge of Gustav. I think I'll watch the Star Trek: Next Generation marathon on the SciFi Channel for a while.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Preparing For Hurricane Gustav

I'm tired.

As you might know, I work for a medical equipment company. One of the services we provide is home oxygen therapy.


Patients who need assistance with breathing and maintaining a proper oxygen saturation in their bloodstream are provided oxygen via an electric oxygen concentrator. The Concentrator basically takes "room air" and filters it to release pure oxygen that runs through tubing to a nasal cannula. This machine provides great relief and a certain amount of freedom in the patients' homes.

The main problem with these oxygen concentrators are that they operate on electricity.

Let me direct you to the following map.


That's Hurricane Gustav entering the Gulf of Mexico.

I looked up the meaning of the name, "Gustav". It means Staff of the Gods or the Lord's Cane. Which means if the storm happens to hit Mobile, Alabama or the Mississippi Coast then thousands of people will have their electricity fail due to being hit by a really big "stick" swung by God.


Part of my job for the last few days has been preparing my patients for possible power outages due to the impending storm. So, my co-worker Paul and I have been riding the roads of Lower Alabama and Mississippi delivering supplies and portable oxygen cylinders to all our patients not evacuating for the storm. Amazingly, many(and I mean many) are electing to stay in the area for a variety of reasons.

Paul spent the day in the Gulfport/Biloxi, Mississippi area dropping off racks of these cylinders to patients with the memory of Hurricane Katrina still fresh in their minds. (Today, is the 3-Year Anniversary). Of course with each delivery, was time spent talking and calming the anxieties of these older citizens of the Gulf Coast.

My job was to deliver cylinders as well as Liquid Oxygen containers called Dewars to patients in the Mobile and Baldwin county area.


A dewar(pronounced like the fine Scotch whiskey)provides a self-contained refrigerated liquid oxygen that fills a portable unit worn by the patient to provide oxygen therapy. A dewar can fill and refill the portable unit for weeks at a time.

These dewars are the reason why I'm tired.

Besides, climbing in and out of the back of my van to get the smaller cylinders I also delivered 4 of these containers. When they are full, they weigh about 170 pounds. Unlike the photo, mine had no wheels and like an idiot I did not have a moving dolly in my van today. So, after lifting these dewars down out of the van and tilting them slightly and rolling them to the patients' doors. I also encountered many many thousands of steps and stairs(okay, okay, it wasn't thousands) in order to get the units into the patients' homes. Did I mention the weight?

After my last delivery, I headed back to the office to finish preparations for the office, and for the weekend. Paul and I re-stocked all of the vans in case we have emergency deliveries over the weekend and immediately following the storm.

Paul will officially be "on call"; but I could be called in as well, if the volume of calls are extreme.

All this preparation could be for nothing, if Hurricane Gustav decides to move and hit further westward. But an ounce of prevention is still worth a pound of cure.

I'm hoping all of the preparations and sweating in the 90 degree heat is for nothing. But, the "overtime" will be nice.

I'll keep ya informed as Hurricane Gustav moves closer to the coast. Keep your fingers crossed.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Taking It Easy In The Big Easy

"There it is, a proper enough American city, and yet the tourist is apt to see more nuns and naked women than he ever saw before."

--Walker Percy





Don't look for me online, Saturday; cuz I'll be spending the night at an Historic hotel in New Orleans. Of course if you see me walking around the French Quarter, feel free to to stop me and and say "Howdy!"

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

Okay folks, here's a couple of stories that tie together in the end.

First story--My just-turned-two-years-old grandson and "his Dave" have this game we like to play. We roll a ball back and forth and about every fourth roll I will take the ball and hide it under my shirt and say, "Where'd it go?" and hold my hands up.

My grandson will get this sad look on his face and say, "Ball" real pitifully and then he'll pull it out from my shirt and laugh. We'll then start rolling it back and fourth again and then he'll grab the ball and hide it under his shirt. Holding his hands up and looking confused as to say, "Where'd it go?"

I'll get a sad look on my face and say, "Where's the ball?" I'll then grab him and get the ball under his shirt and we both laugh. We'll play this game for a while.

Second story--My last stand-up comedy performance went pretty good. I have this "bit" in my act where I turn to the audience and ask them, "How do I look?" Their reaction and answer determines my next "bit."

At my last performance, a particularly attractive woman in the audience gave me a good compliment as I was onstage. Let's just say that it increased my ego two-fold and the expression, "I'd do ya" was used.

The Tie-together Story--I returned home from that performance riding a pretty good high. I got paid. I did okay on stage. I got a compliment.

Greeting me back home was the family and my daughter and grandson came over to the apartment. I was sitting on the balcony with my grandson and daughter and I was regaling her in my triumphant performance when all of sudden my grandson gets a really sad look on his face.

I say, "What's wrong, baby?"

He pats my stomach and says "Ball", and holds his hands up.

Nothing like a reality check from a two year old. "The Dave" needs to do some sit-ups. Out of the mouths of babes comes the all time best heckle.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

"Sunday Thoughts"

"Father! - to God himself we cannot give a holier name."

--William Wordsworth

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

"Our Bodies" In Mobile, Alabama

Next month we celebrate Father's Day, but today I got my "Father's Day" present early.

For the last several months here in Mobile, Alabama at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center; visitors have been fascinated by the "Our Body, The Universe" exhibit.

The traveling exhibit features Human specimens that have undergone the "plastination" process of preservation.

My daughter and I have talked about going to see the exhibit since it arrived in Alabama and it ends next weekend. She thought it would be a great early-Father's Day present to take me today to "oooh" and "ahhhh" over the exhibit.

Although some people may feel queasy at the sight of looking at cadavers and Human body parts carefully infused with a "wax" process and displayed in cross section, dissection and full view cutaways--I'd have to say the exhibit was fantastic and the exhibitors treat the "subjects" with a reverent dignity.



As I viewed the specimens there was no doubt I was looking at what was once a fully living breathing human being from China; but there was also a scientific detachment that allowed me to learn and explore the human body from the inside out and appreciate the universe that resides in each of us.

The Our Body exhibits are currently in Mobile, Alabama, San Antonio, Texas and Oklahoma City and will be in Wichita, Kansas soon.

Certain parts of the exhibit may be too intense for small children and people with religious sensitivities may find some of the specimens in the Human Reproductive System area offensive as they explain the stages of pregnancy.

I'd also recommend the IMAX film we watched at The Exploreum as well. "Wired To Win". is a great documentary explaining the processes of our Brain set upon the backdrop of riding with the Australian Biking Team on the Tour De France.

Thanks Erica, for a great day.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Final Destination 4: My Son Will Be A Movie Star...Sorta


It seems that Hollywood decided that Mobile, Alabama might make a good place for a movie and decided to have a casting call for movie extras for the upcoming Final Destination 4 movie. My wife and oldest son decided that they'd like to get up at 5AM last Saturday morning and head down to the Mobile Civic Center to stand on line for a chance at being a face in the crowd.

I'm happy to report that today, my oldest son, Aaron, was "called back" and will be an extra portraying a photographer(among other "photographers") in the opening sequence of the movie to be released in 2009.

Filming starts Tuesday.

(By The Way, the "casting call" link is a news story from Mobile's FOX10 news and at the video link of the story; watch carefully the first 4 seconds and you'll get a glimpse of my wife and son. My wife is in what appears to be a white shirt on the video and sunglasses.)

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

To Renee

"I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you
Every long lost dream lead me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you"

Happy "I LOVE YOU" Anniversary, Renee!

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

We Give Thanks

Thank you, O Lord, for the bounty you have set before us...






HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

A New Premier!

Matthews Productions, in association with Robison Studios, announced that on Friday, June 23, 2006 at 3:16PM, the newest premier of the Matthews Family debuted.















For those interested, the "premier" had an APGAR rating of 9/9

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Dad And Me



This photo was taken around 1965 in Parchman, MS. Dad was a watchman at Parchman and we lived in the "camp housing"; just across the gravel road from "Camp 4". One of my earliest memories is tossing a lunch sack over the high fence to Dad, while he made his evening rounds. I guess you could say Dad was a "work-at-home" dad in some small way.

The dog in the picture was named, (what else) Spot. He was the first in a long line of dogs named "Spot" for me.

To all that keep memories of their Dad close, Happy Father's Day!

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Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Down At Lulu's

The Saturday before Mother's Day, we decided to drive down to Gulf Shores, Alabama and have lunch at Lulu's.

What's Lulu's?



Well, you've probably heard of Jimmy Buffet....Margaritaville...Son of A Son of Sailor...okay...for you Country Music Fans; he sings a duet with Alan Jackson; "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere"...yeah, that guy.

Okay, so Jimmy has a sister, Lulu; and Lulu owns a restaraunt in Gulf Shores on "the canal".

Lulu's doesn't resort to giving kids crayons at the table, she give's them a bucket and a shovel and they get to play in their own sandpile.



You can drive to the place or dock your boat.



What did we have for lunch?

Cheeseburgers...in Paradise; of course.

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Monday, May 29, 2006

For All Who Served...

WE REMEMBER
























FOR ONE IN PARTICULAR




I REMEMBER

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

"Happy Birthday, Renee!"




She's been battling "the flu" for over a week now, so today may not be the happiest of birthdays, but I want her to know that her birthday is a big present for me, because it means she has been in my life for one more year.

Happy Birthday, Renee! (and I'll throw in a "Get Well Soon!; while I'm at it)

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

17 Weeks




He'll be taught to call me just "Dave". (No "Grandpa" for me, just yet)

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Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's Day From My Daughter




I guess humor runs in the family.

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Friday, December 24, 2004

My Best Christmas

It was December 24, 1983.

On record as one of the coldest days in Columbus, Mississippi. (5 degrees at Noon)

At approximately 11:00AM, in a small Church of Christ in Caledonia, MS; the preacher asked the woman standing beside me would she promise to love me, not just be "in love with me" for the rest of her life and stand beside me as my wife.

She said, "I will."

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