Thursday, September 23, 2010

Smart Phones

We live in the era of smart people using exceptionally smart phones. One thing for sure.... these phones are smarter than I am because I can't figure out most of what these phones do. And most all of these smart people carry their smart phones with them.

So why do smart people with smart phones do such stupid things? I seldom hear someone admit that talking on the phone while driving hinders their driving. Yet I see dozens of these people each day wandering aimlessly down the road with their phone glued to their heads. And when I see someone driving a little goofy or is just plain going so slow they are impeding traffic, I always make a bet that they are on their phone. They are almost without exception.

Also, there are a lot of people with these smart phones that don't use them when they should. Like the sub-contractor who tells me he will be someplace at a certain time... then isn't. So I get a call from from my client wondering where the contractor is. Now, this guy's phone is hanging on his hip. What's the big deal about actually using it. I'm sure the phone is smart enough, but I wonder about the guy using it. Heck, I'm not even smart enough to figure out all the things these smart phones do, but I am smart enough to use my phone when I should.

Then, of course, there is the smart guy using his smart phone in the restaurant. Not too smart if you ask me. I don't really care if his girl friend is breaking up with him. At least I don't want to hear about it over dinner.... especially if I am not sitting at his table. I mean, something like that even ruins a good cup of coffee, which in my estimation is pretty hard to do.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I don't remember the author of this poem, but it is not me. I thought you might get a chuckle.

I met a man from Blackheath
Who sat on his set of false teeth
Said he with a start, O lord bless my heart
But I've bitten myself underneath.

How's this for a tongue twister:

Thadius Theopholis Thiste, the thistle sifter, thrust three thousand thistles through the thick of his thumb.

Or this one:

The skunk thought the stump stunk,
but the skunk thought the stump stunk.

This one is supreme:

Sue sold six silk sheets to six sheiks at her sea side silk sheet store.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"I'm a Woman"

The other day I was doing a staining job for an elderly couple. We had already completed their roof repairs and were now finishing up by staining their deck, which is quite extensive. Part of the process is having the customer pick out a color, which I did. Then I bought the stain and my crew went to work.

The next day I received a phone call from the woman stating that the deck was not the color she had picked out. I knew that it was and took the color chart we had marked over to her home for comparison. Sure enough, it was the right color. The fact of the matter was, she did not like the color after it was applied. This was a solid stain and she was now stating that she wanted natural wood to show through. I think she was expecting that I would have a magic wand and just change it and eat the cost of the work done so far.

I asked her what had changed from the day before. she said, "I'm a woman, I have a right to change my mind." Excuse me, but I didn't see that clause in the contract.

I told my client that I would make any changes she wanted in the stain at cost (meaning there would be additional costs but no additional profit). So her daughter was going to help her pick out new colors. Later that day I received another call. All they wanted to do now was change the color that the benches would be stained. Fortunately, the benches had not yet been stained. It seems the daughter liked the color..... so now it must be okay again. My only fear is that her daughter is a woman, too.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Welcome New Followers

Once again I would like to welcome the new followers to Rod's Blog. I hope you find it interesting and will continue reading. I also write "Coffee With Blogger Rod" and "Rod's Home Repair Tips". The former is settling into an inspirational blog while the latter is how to perform home repairs.

Enjoy reading!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I am a figment of my imagination, meaning I do not really exist. I only imagine that I exist, that is if my imagination is real. Right now I am sitting on the deck with my wife, or at least I imagine that I am. She is wearing a brown sweater, green blouse and blue jeans.... if she is really there. We just ate pepperoni pizza.... or am I imagining that?

The reason I know that I am only a figment is because no one can really see me. For example: today I was at a corner where there was a double left turn. The lady in the car on my right crossed over into my lane as though she never saw me. When I honked at her she did not even acknowledge that I was there. Maybe I only thought I was there.

Then at the store when I was crossing an aisle, a lady with a shopping cart pushed it right at me as though she didn't see me. I tried to get out of the way and get around her. But where ever I went she aimed the cart right at me. It's as though I was not there. Maybe I wasn't. Maybe it is all my imagination.

At the store I found my wife and asked her if I was here. She said, "Where?" It was as though she implied I really wasn't there. I must have only imagined it. In reality, I don't exist.

But maybe I do. If you are reading this blog it must prove that I really do exist. That is.... if you really exist. Maybe you are just imagining you are reading this blog. Better pinch yourself. Then imagine that it hurts.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Pain in the Butt

I finally got the bicycle out this morning. At 7:00 AM my friend, Cory, and I went for a ride down town. There is a Starbucks there that Cory likes to visit, so off we went. From my house to the Starbucks is about 12 miles, then 12 miles home again. We took the route along the S. Platte River. It was a nice ride.... nothing difficult. We sat for about an hour and chatted and enjoyed our coffee. Then we rode home again. It was a 24 mile round trip for me.

Every one is asking me if it wore me out. Well, no, it didn't. Well, not exactly. My legs felt good, I felt good. But I had a real pain in the Butt. I mean.... well.... my butt hurt. I am convinced that seats to bicycles are not really meant to sit on. I think they are just caps so you don't sit on that little post. But believe me, it felt like I was sitting on the post. If I invented a real seat for the bicycle would manufacturers actually install it on new equipment? Would bicyclists actually use it. Or is this some "tough guy" thing where it proves you are a man if you can actually bicycle for several miles sitting on the post cap.

Ya, ya, I know. They make biking trousers (for lack of the real name) that have padding in the seat. This is conspiratory. They purposely make and install these skimpy little seats knowing that you will be back to buy the padded trousers. What choice to do have. Oh, wait! I did see a big cushy seat in the hardware store. But if I actually used that everyone would think I'm a sissy. A guy just can't win.

Or, maybe it is just that my 60 year old butt isn't meant for this. Do younger butts fare better? I don't know. But I do know that my ride today would have been much more enjoyable if it wasn't such a pain in the butt.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Working Hard

Remember that saying: "Hard work never hurt anyone." Well, whoever made that up has never worked hard. Take just yesterday for instance. I had this deck repair job where I needed to add joists, jack the floor to the proper level, and re-attach more joists. I'm just about 6' tall and the bottom of the floor joists was about 5' from the ground and the beam was about 4' from the ground. I guarantee you I was working hard.... in a bent over..... stooped fashion. That is kind of a back killer, but a head killer, too. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't quit banging my head on the bottoms of the floor joists or the beam. I did that maybe 40 to 50 times before the job was complete.

I was installing this one joist that weighed about 75 pounds. I had to grunt like crazy to get it into place, but it wouldn't quite go into place. Instead it wedged out of position. I couldn't get it in or out. I had to reach for a hammer. That's when the joist decided it wasn't wedged any more and fell on my head. It hurt like the dickens (what ever that is). I thought it had ripped my ear off. No, it was still there. Well, that didn't knock any sense into me and didn't help me hear any better either.

To add to my misery, as I was installing a joist hanger in a difficult place. I said to myself, "This is a good place to smash my finger with the hammer." So on the very next swing of the hammer, I did. It's been years since I've said "Damn!" Haha.

This hard work also took its toll on my knees. By the time I finished this job my knees hurt so bad that I popped 4 ibuprofins. They helped my ear pain go away, too. The medication enabled me to carry the lumber waste and heavy tools back up the hill to my truck. That poses another question: why at the end of the day when a guy is dog tired, his knees ache, he's thirsty and all that stuff..... why do the tools always have to be lugged up hill?

Well, I just thank the Good Lord for my job and am thankful I can still do this. I guess it keeps me from getting fat, and that's good 'cause if I wasn't working I wouldn't be able to afford the bigger clothes. And that makes me ask another question, why do my jeans cost the same as the big guy's jeans. Doesn't it take more material and sewing to make his. Why do us skinny guys have to subsidize the big guys. We work hard (literally work our butts off) and the big guy who stuffs himself until he looks like a blimp gets rewarded by having me help pay for his jeans. Go figure. But this brings up yet, another question: why is my size of jeans always missing from the rack. There are tons of little tiny jeans and great big jeans... but none my size. Maybe these garment makers would sell even more jeans if they made them for the people that actually wear them.

Anyway, this article is just to prove that sometimes hard work does hurt someone. So if you are reading this, get yourself a good college education. I will need you to help pay my social security in a few years.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I'm Blind

Speaking of the dog days in my previous blog reminded me of the time I went blind. It was while I was in 4th grade, I lived on Second Avenue, and it was during the heat of the summer. That was the same summer I was pushed off the porch and broke my arm.

Anyway, at this time both my parents worked and so a sitter was hired. She would arrive early, before the Speed kids were out of bed. Well, this one morning I woke up and everything was black. I panicked because I couldn't see a thing. I started yelling out "I'm blind, I'm blind!" I stumbled down the hall and felt my way down the steps. I remember being very afraid. I yelled it again "I'm blind." I think I was getting a little out of control.

The sitter didn't know what to do so she took me over to the neighbor lady's house. She looked at me and tried to calm me down. The next thing I knew there were hot, wet cloths put over my eyes. She began to rub my eyes and soon I could open them. She washed at my eyes for a few minutes. Then she told me I had a bad case of pink eye. The puss from the pink eye had glued my eyelids shut.

After the broken arm and the pink eye, the sitter had had enough. she went home early that day and never came back. I got a lecture from dad and mom for making such a ruckus. Now they would have to find a new sitter.

Dog Days are Over

The dog days of August are over. Thank goodness. The 90 degree heat is diminishing and the hot days are not quite so long. This makes my job as a home repairman much easier. Everyone in any type of construction knows that all building materials are heavy and everything that needs to be loosened is hard to loosen. So in these dog days a guy gets home dog tired.

I do remember the dog days as a kid, though. I grew up in Minnesota, land of 10,000 lakes. Dog days meant more swimming and I didn't mind that at all. And there were certainly a lot of lakes to swim in. It seemed like public beaches were everywhere. The swimming pool (or the cement pond, as Jethro would call it) was virtually an unheard of concept to me. However, the year after I graduated they had a pool in the new high school.

I would go to Lum Park and swim at the beach. We had a diving board, trampoline, and a raft. Only advanced swimmers could use those. I looked pretty smug standing on the raft. Some friends and I would often go to the Nokassippi River to swim. There we would dive off the bridge into a deep pocket of water. It was there I saved a person from drowning.

In Minneapolis I swam in lake Calhoun. It was also there that I was baptized. It was also there that I saved the guy who baptized me from drowning.

So, when I was a kid, dog days was no big thing, except for one thing..... school was right around the corner. I always looked forward to gym class. But I didn't think too much of the other subjects. I got tired of getting Cees and Dees. Phy Ed was always A's. But I did like getting together with my friends once again.

The dog days of summer also meant going to the county fair. Our county fair had a midway carnival, stock car races, country singers, the 4-H, commercial buildings, live stock, rodeos, and all of the exhibition buildings. I won two blue ribbons and one red ribbon at the fair without even trying. One day my friend, Greg, said to me, "You did really good at the fair." I had no idea what he was talking about. It turns out that my 5th grade teacher entered some of my art work (paintings) in the fine arts building, and all my paintings won ribbons. So the next year I tried really hard to do well and didn't win anything. That was the end of my art career.

The dog days of yesterday were much better than those of today. Now I work in the heat during the day and sit in air conditioning at night. Sometimes it's too hot to eat out on the deck. Now we close the windows to cool it off when we used to open the windows.

I do have one bad memory of the old dog days. We lived in this two story house and all the bedrooms were up stairs. It would get so hot in the room at night it was impossible to sleep. The screen on my window had a tear in it. I remember the mosquitoes coming in and buzzing around my head. I'd swat at them, but there was always more of them than me. Finally I would fall asleep. They must have feasted.

New Follower

I want to welcome Ashley (Speed) Simmons at a new follower of Rod's Blogs. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Scripture tells us that there is a "friend that sticks closer than a brother."

When I was a kid I had no problem making friends. I only had a problem making friends that my parents approved of. The only friends i was allowed to have were those who attended our church. Dad had a problem with all other friends because he had a problem with my friends' parents. Somehow dad always figured I was running with the wrong crowd. I found myself grounded a lot. Not because of what I did, but because of who I hung with.

My friends weren't the hoodlums in town. In fact, I spent a lot of time dodging the hoodlums. I remember going to the skating rink and the hoodlums (Rock Evans, the Ingrams, and guys like that sat in their cars and waited for me to leave the rink and head for home. I'd run as fast as I could, but they'd chase me down with their cars. They'd jump out and surround me. That's when I discovered that my ice skates made a pretty good weapon of self defense. No, my friends weren't like that.

Some of my friends did attend our church. One was the preacher's son, Darrell. Another was the deacon's son, Harlan. And there were others in the church also. There were about eight of us that hung together. These are the ones my dad wanted me to hang with. Ironically, these are also the guys I got into trouble with. No, not serious trouble. We raided gardens, corn fields, apple trees, and stuff like that.

The worst trouble we got into was in the fall of the year after the leaves were off the trees. We stood up on this hill in the woods overlooking the main highway going out of town. There we hurled freshly raided tomatoes at cars as they passed by. One of the guys hit the windshield of a semi, which promptly stopped. We spent a few minutes laughing about it when suddenly we heard someone coming up behind us. Then we all ran, and a voice behind us yelled, "Police, stop or I'll shoot! Police, stop or I'll shoot!" We ran all the harder, down across the highway to our parked cars. And we left there promptly.

Suddenly we noticed that one of the guys was missing. We were just hoping he wasn't caught. After a few minutes we drove back up into the area and Harlan, the guy missing, flagged us down. He got in the car and off we went. He told the story of how he had tripped in the woods, quickly covered himself with leaves, and a few seconds later a police officer walked right by him. Whew! that was close! We behaved ourselves for a few days.

These were the friends my dad thought he could trust. In reality, my friends that he didn't like never got into any trouble. But I still remember how many friends I lost because my dad didn't like them.

But I am now reminded that there is a friend who is closer than a brother. He will never leave us or forsake us. He is always by our side. That friend is Jesus. Do you know Him?