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What She Wants in a Man


The past few days have been wonderful and just plain full! As I reported in the last blog entry, Thursday was a big day with a birthday, an anniversary, the arrival of loved ones, preparations for the rehearsal dinner, and the rehearsal and the dinner. The wedding of our son Mark and his fiancee Katie, Friday evening, June 29, could not have been more beautiful. We were so happy to have in attendance dear loved ones, and many friends from various periods of our lives, past and present. We will treasure the memories from the last few days. Below are some pictures from the rehearsal dinner and the wedding:

The pork barbecue from Henry's Smokehouse and everything prepared by Linda Abrams was delicious! Below is a picture of Mark and Katie going through the serving line at the rehearsal dinner at Lake Robinson. An enjoyable evening at a beautiful place!

Mark and Katie at the rehearsal dinner

Mark and Katie both have nephews named Drew.

Here's a picture of the parents and Mark and Katie...

This picture is of Katie's immediate family...

This is a picture of Mark's immediate family...

Here's the wedding party...

Mark and Katie having a little fun before the wedding began...

Our grandson Drew was not having fun before the wedding.

Here's our couple with both nephews in their finery - kind of like whipped cream on an onion - one Drew in his tux and the other Drew in his searsucker suit...

For several of the pictures, special thanks to moss-foto.com! (They're the pictures above that I'm in - I couldn't photograph myself very handily. 8-) ) If you go to moss-foto.com, you can see all the wedding pictures.

One thing I love about young people in general is their youthful optimism, being an eternal optimist myself. Today's iv highlights how optimism meets reality through the course of life.

What She Wants in a Man, Original List:

1. Handsome
2. Charming
3. Financially successful
4. A caring listener
5. Witty
6. In good shape
7. Dresses with style
8. Appreciates finer things
9. Full of thoughtful surprises
10. Imaginative and romantic

What She Wants in a Man, Revised List (age 32)

1. Nice looking
2. Opens car doors, holds chairs
3. Has enough money for a nice dinner
4. Listens more than talks
5. Laughs at my jokes
6. Carries bags of groceries with ease
7. Owns at least one tie
8. Appreciates a good home-cooked meal
9. Remembers birthdays and anniversaries
10. Romantic at least once a week

What She Wants in a Man, Revised List (age 42)

1. Not too ugly
2. Doesn't drive off until I'm in the car
3. Works steady - splurges on dinner out occasionally
4. Nods head when I'm talking
5. Usually remembers punch lines of jokes
6. Is in good enough shape to rearrange the furniture
7. Wears a shirt that covers his stomach
8. Knows not to buy foods I don't like
9. Remembers to put the toilet seat down
10. Shaves most weekends

What She Wants in a Man, Revised List (age 52)

1. Keeps hair in nose and ears trimmed
2. Doesn't belch or scratch in public
3. Doesn't borrow money too often
4. Doesn't nod off to sleep when I'm venting
5. Doesn't retell the same joke too many times
6. Is in good enough shape to get off couch on weekends
7. Usually wears matching socks and fresh underwear
8. Appreciates a good TV dinner
9. Remembers your name on occasion
10. Shaves some weekends

What She Wants in a Man, Revised List (age 62)

1. Doesn't scare small children
2. Remembers where bathroom is
3. Doesn't require much money for upkeep
4. Snores only lightly when asleep
5. Remembers why he's laughing
6. Is in good enough shape to stand up by himself
7. Usually wears some clothes
8. Likes soft foods
9. Remembers where he left his teeth
10. Remembers that it's the weekend

What She Wants in a Man, Revised List (age 72)

1. Breathing
2. Doesn't miss the toilet

WHAT SHOULD SHE HOPE FOR AT AGE 82?!

quotation...

"God will spare no means in order to be the center of your attention and affection." - Andrew Franseen

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

HE: Gross! This coffee tastes like mud!
SHE: That's funny, it was fresh ground this morning.

Zen Sarcasm


I have received several lists of sayings that are called "Zen Sarcasm." I thought of them today at work at IT Help Desk when we were talking about the Novell Zen agent used on the network. I don't know that either the agent or the list of sarcastic witticisms have a thing to do with "Zen," but I pass the sayings along for your amusement.

Zen Sarcasm

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.

2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.

3. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

4. Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else.

5. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

6. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

7. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

8. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

9. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

10. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

11. Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.

12. Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

13. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

14. Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

15. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

16. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

17. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

18. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

19. We are born naked, wet and hungry, and get slapped on our bottom ...Then things get worse.

20. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and laxative on the same night.

21. There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

22. No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.

23. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday ... around age 11.

24. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

25. That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

26. The journey of a thousand miles sometimes ends very, very badly.

27. The secret to success is knowing who to blame for your failures.

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This is a big week in our family. Thursday is Nora's birthday, Megan and Jim's anniversary, and Mark and Katie's wedding rehearsal. Jim, Megan, and little Drew should arrive sometime Thursday mid-day. And then Mark and Katie's wedding is Friday evening. I will probably post some pictures this weekend of all the various activities and celebrations.

I've been a bit nostalgic this week with all the things going on in our family, and I thought of one of my favorite pictures of a delicious moment in parenting. This week's bridegroom was 6 months old in the picture below. Sunrise, sunset....

quotation...

"Into the fabric of the normal, God weaves miracles." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

(If you can't hear me, it's because I'm in parentheses).

Oldly Weds


The wedding of our son Mark and and future daughter-in-law Katie is only 10 days away. We know so many young couples getting married this summer and even this fall - I guess that goes with teaching at a university and attending a large church. With all these young couples, I thought it would be fun to enjoy the experiences of two older couples.

There were two elderly people living in a Florida mobile home park. He was a widower and she a widow. They had known each other for a number of years.

One evening there was a community supper in the big activity center. These two were at the same table, across from one another. As the meal went on, he made a few admiring glances at her and finally gathered up his courage to ask her, "Will you marry me?"

After about six seconds of "careful consideration," she answered, "Yes, yes, I will!" The meal ended and, with a few more pleasant exchanges, they went to their respective homes.

The next morning, he was troubled. "Did she say 'yes' or did she say 'no'?" He couldn't remember. Try as he would, he just could not recall. Not even a faint memory. With trepidation, he went to the telephone and called her.

First, he explained to her that he didn't remember as well as he used to. Then he reviewed the lovely evening past. As he gained a little more courage, he then inquired of her, "When I asked if you would marry me, did you say 'Yes' or did you say 'No'?"

He was delighted to hear her say, "Why, I said, 'Yes, yes, I will,' and I meant it with all my heart." Then she continued, "And I am so glad that you called, Dear, because I couldn't remember who had asked me."

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On their way to their vacation destination, an elderly couple stopped at a service station. The attendant came out and said, "Hi! Fill it up?" to which the old man replied, "Yes, please."

His wife asked, "What did he say?" and her husband yelled, "HE ASKED IF WE WANTED HIM TO FILL IT UP."

To pass the time during the fill up, the friendly attendant asked, "Where ya goin'?" to which the husband replied, "We're going to spend our vacation at Hilton Head, in our son's condo."

His wife asked, "What did he say?" and her husband yelled, "HE ASKED WHERE WE WERE GOING. I TOLD HIM TO HILTON HEAD."

The attendant then said, "You're in luck - the weather there is supposed to be perfect for the next two weeks.

His wife asked, "What did he say?" and her husband yelled, "HE SAID THE WEATHER WILL BE NICE."

The attendant then asked the man, "Where do you live when you're not on vacation?" to which the husband replied, "We live in Richmond, VA." The attendant said with surprise, "I know a woman from Richmond. She talks non-stop and drives her husband crazy!"

His wife asked, "What did he say?" and her husband yelled, "HE SAYS HE THINKS HE'S MET YOU BEFORE!"

quotation...

"Our human heart is an idol factory." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

A lady wrote to an advice column in a newspaper, "I have been engaged to a man for some time, but just days before the wedding, I've found out he has a wooden leg. Do you think I should break it off?"

Dads Survive Somehow


Grandma and I are enjoying seeing our grandson Drew on webcam over the internet as we talk by Skype to Megan. He's cooing and smiling more and more, just like his grandfather. At Drew's check up last week the doctor said he's now passed the 8 pound mark and is doing very well. Yippee!

As a final installment for Father's Day, here's an article by Dave Barry I found in my files. I chuckled and LOL often while reading this one - it's so exaggeratedly true!

Miracle of Birth: That Dads Survive
by Dave Barry
Sunday, January 23, 2000

So my wife and I are preparing for childbirth. When I say "my wife and I," I of course mean "my wife." She will be the most directly involved. On behalf of all men, I just want to take a moment here to get down on my knees and thank whoever invented our current biological system, under which the woman's job is to have the baby somehow go from the inside of her body to the outside of her body, in clear violation of every known law of physics, and the man's job is to stand around looking supportive and upbeat and periodically no matter what is actually happening to the woman, say, in an upbeat and perky voice, "You're doing great!"

My wife thinks the only fair system would be, every time the woman had a contraction, she got to hit her husband on the body part of her choice with a ball-peen hammer. Of course she is kidding. But only because her contractions have not yet started.

We've been going to Childbirth Classes, which involve sitting in a classroom filled with expectant couples and a mounting sense of dread. The teacher usually starts with a scientific discussion of childbirth, in which she shows us various models and diagrams to give us an idea of what will be happening when the Big Moment arrives. In my opinion, the most informative way to do this would be to hold up a bowling ball and a drinking straw, and say: "Basically, this has to go through this. Ha Ha!"

But our teacher keeps fairly technical. After a while, we're starting to feel confident about this childbirth thing. We're thinking, "OK, all that has to happen is the cervix has to dilate to 10 centimeters! How hard can that be? I wonder what a cervix is? Also, centimeter."

So we're pondering these abstract questions and maybe thinking about what we're going to have for dinner, when suddenly, with no warning, the teacher turns out the lights and shows a horror movie. Oh, it starts out innocently enough: There is a nice couple consisting of a woman who is pregnant and a man who is supportive-looking and generally has a beard. They seem happy, but you just know she's going to go into labor. You want to stop her. It's exactly like those scary movies where the heroine goes down into the basement, and you want to shout, "Don't go down into the basement!", except in the childbirth class you want to shout, "Don't go into labor!"

But she always does go into labor. It seems to last a lot longer than necessary. Hours turn into days, and still she is in labor. Outside her window, the seasons change. Her doctor grows old and gray and eventually is replaced by a new doctor, and still this poor woman is in labor. Her husband keeps telling her that she's doing great, but you can tell from her expression that he's very lucky she doesn't have a ball-peen hammer. Eventually she becomes so deranged that she apparently does not even notice that there is a cameraperson shooting extreme close-up footage of...OK, let's just say that it is not her most flattering angle.

When the woman gets approximately to her 15th year of labor, she begins making noises that you rarely hear outside of nature documentaries and her husband edges back a little bit in case she gets her hand on a scalpel. The movie now becomes very explicit, causing the entire childbirth class to go into a mass cringe, all of us hunched up and involuntarily protecting as many of our body parts as possible. I use this time to practice my squinting, which is the most important thing the husband learns in childbirth class. I use a special Lamaze squinting technique that enables me to prevent virually all rays of light from penetrating my eyeballs.

When the woman in the movie makes a noise identical to what you would hear if a live yak went through a garlic press, I unsquint my eyes just enough to see it happen, the Blessed Event, the timeless miracle that makes the whole thing worthwhile: An alien bursting out of the woman's chest cavity. No seriously, what happens is that the woman has a baby, via a process that makes what happened in "Alien" look like a episode of "Teletubbies." Then our childbirth-class teacher turns the light on, and the pregnant women all turn to face their husbands, and they all have the same facial expression, which says: "this is not fair." We husbands respond supportively and pat their arms in a reassuring manner because we're sure that they're going to do great!

quotation...

"The task of Christian parents is to transmit their heritage to the next generation." - Dr. Jim Deuink

=^..^= =^..^=
Grandpa Rob

People who say they sleep like a baby obviously don't have one.

Job description: Dad


As Father's Day approaches I want to post one or two things about dads. Today's is a job description for the position of "Dad." Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Subject: JOB DESCRIPTION
Position: DAD

Long-term team players needed for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in faraway cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

RESPONSIBILITIES
Must provide on-site training in basic life skills, such as nose blowing.

Must have strong skills in negotiating, conflict resolution and crisis management.

Ability to suture flesh wounds a plus.

Must be able to think out of the box but not lose track of the box, because you most likely will need it for a school project.

Must reconcile petty cash disbursements and be proficient in managing budgets and resources fairly, unless you want to hear, "He got more than me!" for the rest of your life.

Must be able to drive motor vehicles safely under loud and adverse conditions while simultaneously practicing above mentioned skills in conflict resolution.

Must be able to choose your battles wisely and then stick to your guns.

Must be able to withstand criticism, such as "You don't know anything."

Must be willing to be hated at least temporarily, until someone needs $5 to go skating.

Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.

Must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat, in case this time the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.

Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers.

Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys and battery-operated devices.

Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.

Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.

Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.

Must have a highly energetic entrepreneurial spirit, because fund-raiser will be your middle name.

Must have a diverse knowledge base, so as to answer questions on the fly such as "What makes the wind move?" or "Why can't we just stop all wars?"

Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.

Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.

Other responsibilities include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT AND PROMOTION
Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you. One possible promotion is to "Grandpa," but that's really a totally different job.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE
None required, unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

WAGES AND COMPENSATION
You pay them, offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

BENEFITS
While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered, the job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life, if you play your cards right.

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Since the blog post earlier this week, seedlings are already beginning to appear in the flower box! Cool! More updates as they develop (we hope).

Three weeks from today is our son's wedding. Time is flying by!

quotation...

"There are almost always human causes for what happens in history, but there are also hidden, divine causes working in it all." - Andrew Franseen

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

It rarely occurs to young people that the day will come when they'll know as little as their parents.