Saturday, September 25, 2010

Norma's Tribute

This is the P.S. to the prior post, Neil Y. Fugal's testimony (turn off playlist and hear Norma's Tribute below).

Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, 'A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!' Robert Browning


Oh, it's a long, long while from May to December; But the days grow short when you reach September. When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame; One hasn't got time for the waiting game. Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few – September, November – And these few precious days I'll spend with you.

Norma's Tribute from Gail Adamson on Vimeo.

I well remember Daddy singing this song to Norma that last week of his life. And reciting Psalm of Life. And many more. (And by the way, it’s the Bing Crosby version he’d have listened to, as I still have it, but memorized possibly after Frank Sinatra's version. Which reminds me of the time I said I really liked “My Way,” and he pointed out that I wasn’t here on this earth to do things “My Way.” Occasionally it is picked for a funeral number which, since his comment, makes me wince.)

September 26, 1986. The day my Dad died. It breaks my heart, even now, but underneath I do acknowledge it is intertwined with memories I’d never want to forget.

I place the experience of witnessing the last weeks of his earthy presence at the top of my treasured memories, along with the spring I was truly converted to the gospel, and the summer I studied the church's 12 steps manual.

You might think that odd, but he showed exactly what he was made of in his dying – no need to go home to set a few things straight, no lamenting, no fear. He bore his testimony both in how he lived and in how he died.

I asked him if he would give me a blessing as he never had, and then immediately felt guilty for asking. He couldn’t kneel nor even sit up, but he put his hands on my head while I knelt and among many other things asked me to strive to obtain a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I thought he should know I already had one, but the summer of the 12 steps manual proved me wrong.

He was larger than life. And how does one get “there”? Honor. Valor. Dedication. Respect. Patience. Geniality.

Neil's Testimony

I invite you to turn off my personal playlist and hear Neil Y. Fugal speak. “Enhanced” unfortunately by the drone of a cassette tape in an ancient player. I imagine Norma must have requested he speak slowly and distinctly, as normally his speech clipped along quicker than this, even when reciting.

Tell me not, in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream! –
For the soul is dead that slumbers, And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal.
Dust thou art, to dust returnest, Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow, Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow Find us farther than today.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting, And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle, In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle! Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant! Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, – act in the living Present! Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us, We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another, Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing, With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Interesting that he says "Finds" in the third stanza above. And "lonesome" in the second from the end.

(Following this poem, you'll find his testimony a little harder to hear but upping the recording volume I'm unable to offset the distortion.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


More laughter at work today, passing these around:

1. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

2. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

3. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

4. You're never too old to learn something stupid.

5. War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

6. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

7. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

8. Some people are like Slinkies ... not really good for anything, but you can't help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.

9. Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

10. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.

11. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

12. I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming like the passengers in his car.

13. If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.

14. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

15. I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

16. I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.

17. Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

18. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.

19. I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.

20. The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

21. Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

22. How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

23. Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "If an emergency, notify:" I put "DOCTOR".

24. Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

25. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

26. Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?

27. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

28. There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.

29. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

30. If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?

31. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

32. Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.

33. The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

34. A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you look forward to the trip.

35. Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were.

36. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

37. I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted pay checks.

38. A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don't need it.

39. Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

40. Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.

41. When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

42. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

43. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

44. A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.

45. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Interesting, learning new things at my age. A good thing of course, but often unexpected. The old dog/new tricks theory. After six months of Sirius FoxNews I was NOT saddened nor surprised when it suddenly expired. Supposedly it was going to ce la vie at three months, and just before the supposed deadline I spent HOURS on hold waiting my turn for a sales rep to sign me up a la carte. No dice, a la carte. Apparently there's Sirius and then there's subSirius. No doubt coincides with the relative social ranking of the branded auto. With the three months long gone, I wondered if they figured I needed a double dose to get hooked enough to cough up more bucks for it. Now this FoxNews was class. The audio of the cable tv network. And since I'd watched it endlessly at Jewel's the weekend of Hayd' birthday, the faces matched the names. Loved it. But not enough to pay more than a la carte prices for it. Ditto the tv version. So now I'm totally enjoying 10 music and a couple of talk radio stations. I will miss The Factor. But that's about it. And Dave Ramsey's just as totally entertaining and educational. Maybe I'll live longer and enjoy it more for that matter – more music, less politics. Seriously.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Miscellanea Photomania

As you can tell, we're prime for fires, but it's cooled down enough we've probably dodged that bullet.

Not quite the color that is emblazoned in my memory September 26, 1986, and probably won't get there by that anniversary.

This year's promo, Wild Wild West Days, kicked off in August.
Wild Wild West Day (Turn off the personal playlist, above.)

We borrowed a life-size bull, and had fun snapping silly pictures (embedded above). Each school will host similar event using the same decorations, with the kids dancing and singing along to country music.

Yesterday we visited the first of 18 schools.

(In between events, I did take several phone pictures the short time I was at the reunion, but I was so out of it I didn't press "save" so I gather #2 took the place of #1, etc., and the last and only one was worthless.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Life is hard but it helps to laugh or else you'll cry. Work has been draining but this morning we got so silly it was positively entertaining.

One of our school kitchen managers is in charge of the parties this year and she announced the details of our opening social and it sounded so fun and she has such a positive and bouncy personality, it made me think of "Dancing Queen." She also occasionally posts the beginning words of a song on FB with the implied suggestion that we try our hand at completing it.

So I sent an answer back to all of the managers in honor of the party mode, suggesting they give me the refrain to "Friday night and the lights are low, Looking out for the place to go ... You're in the mood for a dance, And when you get the chance...."

No doubt I was influenced by the fact that the boss was gone to SLC, Fridays are normally pretty quiet, and I was sick of the weeks of endless data entry with its equally endless array of rules and regulations. So this is what followed (and I ended up feeling kinda guilty at the end considering how long it went on, but it was worth it for all the laughter):

The other office secretary, Colleen:

You are the Dancing Queen

Young and sweet, only seventeen

Dancing Queen

Feel the beet from the tambourine

You can dance, you can dance [jive]

Having the time of your life

See that girl, watch that scene

Dig in [diggin'] the Dancing Queen

Me: Colleen wins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(And she's playing it as we speak.)

Her answer: Although I have to admit I should proof read before cut and paste....

I promise I know the difference between beat and beet

ha ha ha

Me: Boss away and the mice will play....

Her answer: I know your fingers are still flying over the keyboard putting on apps! You can listen to music, it's allowed!

Manager A responds with another verse and I mistakenly congratulate her as WINNER NUMBER 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Manager B responds with the same thing and I look closer and inform her: No prize for you, not the refrain, but hey! Love it too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Realize B's going to be annoyed re A, so "me" says: And yes, oopsie me, Colleenie is truly the one and only winner, refrain-wise. :) :) Hummm, I wonder where Jenny put that crown.....

[Once Colleen was feeling neglected and went on about it so much the boss made her sit in the front of our managers meeting and wear a crown.]

She [in the next room] responds by email: Bite me Gail!

Me: Nah, I'll save it for your party treat. Which I am absolutely positive will melt in my mouth and make the angels sing!

We get a sprinkling of other responses.

Then Colleen: Some may wonder why Gail and I aren't just having our own inter-office communication ( yelling across the room ) like we normally do... well...


Me: Yeah, we'd need [the boss] Jenny here to referee for that....

Manager A: OH MY!!! if you two don't stop it I will wet my pants.

Manager A, privately, asks me: What is a refrain? No wonder I didn't win. I have no clue what a refrain is?

Me, privately back: Sorry, as I am ROFLing, I should have called it a chorus....


Well duh. LOL LOL

I then ask her if I can share this with everyone to keep the saga going. Meanwhile,

Colleen: Let's play "I'd rather be..."

There is a 4 inch stack of Nicholas Invoices and a month's worth of e~funds NSF's in front of me and I'd rather be...

...cruising Pacific Coast Highway 101 in a black jeep wrangler with the top off, and Beach Boys CD blaring! Gotta keep those Good Vibrations!

Where would you rather be?

Then I send Manager A's reply, which was: Send it, I love this whole thing, and I add: Thank you, not only do you do rocking parties, you have a great sense of humor....

Colleen says: oh sure don't play 'MY GAME' I know who the popular one is! [The attitude, which she knows full well, earned her the crown.]

Another manager answers where she'd rather be.

Me: I'm playing!!! I promise!! Keep your pants on....

Next email I answer where I'd rather be.

Two more managers chime in.

Manager A, answering Colleen's 'oh sure,' says: Ha! I played, neener neener, and I gave up my lunch break to respond [realizing she might get called on the carpet for participating so much].

Manager C says she'd rather be in a stinky cow pasture eating a bucket of nails.

We sympathize and find out she's cleaning out the feezer walk-in, which is v-e-r-y hard and icky work.

Manager A: Sounds like toture, who eats nails without a good sauce?

Me: Well maybe she has some left over from the pork.... [We have some wonderful new menus this year, included official Chicago dogs and pulled pork.]

By now Manager A has read what I said about promising to play Colleen's game and keeping her pants on.

Manager A: She has her pants off again?

Colleen and I are 'almost' literally rolling on the floor laughing and make lame attempts to top it.

Colleen: EWG (evil wicked grin), just remember, Jenny, GAIL was the one who started talk of the pants!

Me: CRBT (crying real big tears).

Manager A: Responding to EWG and CRBT: Mom, mom, mom.

We were a little puzzled on that one until she pointed out that we were acting like children, "Mommmmmm, SHE's looking at me," etc. On purpose of course.

Me: I just have to tell you, I don't think the two of us have ever laughed harder, and so far, we just can't top it. So you (Manager A) win after all.

Boss came back. Nary a laugh as she read through all these emails. But she didn't fire or ground us or anything. Later she admitted she stifled a few chuckles.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Feeling good, mostly because I stayed long enough to know I'll get the payroll finished on time, add to that listening to this song at top volume on the drive home, add to that thinking about what I'll spend my August extra 32 hours of time-and-half on (with another nine comp saved for a rainy day)...more thermal windows or new sheds? (Not that the o.t. will cover it of course....) ((Yet.))