Much like your parents attic, treasured memories lay within. So, wipe the dust off my ruminations and remembrances, sit back and enjoy!

2009 - A Men's Fashion Retrospective

From the runway's of Paris to the stages in Milan, 2009 saw some pretty incredible fashion's for men. Not sure exactly what it was, but the fashion sense and the way the designers really captured what the average male wants or needs in a good set of clothes REALLY meshed this year! Well, I could go on, but I'll just let you see for yourself...just keep in mind, these are real designs from real fashion shows...

Introducing the Inspector Clouseau fall/winter line of men's outerwear for 2009.

Whether Gadget, or Clouseau himself, you'll be the envy of detective society in this ensemble.

Nothing says 'smart' like a mismatched hat and fake mustache...

“Vince, I know you're a Network/Computer guru and have access to private databases. I was wondering if you can help me find somebody? When I was in grade school there was this class dork...His mother used to dress him in his dad’s old hat and a big scarf, and she’d put him in a stupid coat that didn’t fasten right. We used to shove him down and take his lunch money. Can you find him for me? Since the economic downturn, times are hard, and I could use some lunch money again.” Mr. Johnson

Well, Mr. Johnson, there’s certainly nothing I enjoy more than helping the school bully. I tracked your dork to Fashion Week in Paris, where he works as a model. I’m sure he’d love to have a sentimental class reunion with you. By the way, he now has a black belt in Karate, and a license to kill. Enjoy...

I can't decide if this guy is some 'fancy-boy' gun-slinger, an extra in a Jonny Depp/Tim Burton movie or a member of the Volturi...

All I know is if I was caught wearing this entering a small town Iowa tavern, I'd soon be introduced to someone's beatin' stick.

I believe designers should be required to include, on every outfit they sell, a label suggesting places where the thing can be worn.

Where I honestly haven't a CLUE where any SANE male would wear any of the above (or below) outfits, I can tell you they are NOT appropriate attire for…

a) A visit with Grams in the nursing home
b) The 6:30 a.m. Delta Shuttle from DC to New York
c) A Vikings home game
d) An appearance on “Ice Road Truckers”, "Deadliest Catch" or "Dirty Jobs"

With all due respect, I am sitting here right now, waiting for a designer to tell me where to go in one. Oh wait...maybe they already did.

Hey! it's Alabama! No...wait, it's the Oak Ridge Boy's! Er...guess not...but that guy on the end looks like the psycho dude from 'I Know What You Did, Last Summer'.

Anyway, here's the latest in 'National Whittlin’ Museum' tour guide attire from Buenos Aires Fashion Week in 2009.

In light of the impending swine flu pandemic, the designers this year had a real dilemma...how to stay safe and yet chic

To be honest, for guys with seriously messed up teeth or breath so bad that it peel's paint, this could be your lucky day!

So check out what designers are offering to help you send the oh so, subtle message: “Hey cutie, remember you said to come back if I was the last man on Earth?”

...Really? Wow...yeah, that pretty much sums it up for me.

Quick quiz: The guy shown here is…

a) The star of a cheap “Tootsie” remake
b) The star of an off-Broadway “Tribute to Corporal Klinger”
c) A dude who lost a really high-stakes election bet
d) An actual model wearing a “creation” from a genuine designer at Milan Fashion Week.

Yeah, this one fooled me, too. Turns out this is really from a men’s collection in Milan, so get ready to go shopping, guys!

It’s kind of an interesting outfit, but it isn’t clear to me whether we’re supposed to wear it to the office, football games, or just for casual evenings out with the family.
Until I sort that out, I’m leaving mine on the hanger...

Here we have the latest in Jihad summer wear fashion.

Out are the plain grey, black or just plain burlap head coverings...in are the cobalt blue scarves and cod pieces!

Who says that Jihad and fashion sense can't mix!

With these men's fashion hits of 2009, I can't wait to see what 2010 brings!

~ V

The Christmas Message I Really Want To Leave...

OK...so my wife tells me that my last couple of posts have been on the...sour or bitter side. I guess I was just speaking what was on my mind at the time and let the situation(s) get the best of me. Yes, there's a lot going on in the world right now; stuff that I may not like. Even stuff I believe all Christians should be aware of and object to...but this is the Christmas season, a season of hope of love and of peace. Please take the next 3 minutes and watch this video.

Such a simple message...

To everyone who reads this:

May the light of the Christmas star shine on you,
May the comfort of home and hearth warm you,
May the cheer and good will of friends smile on you,
May the hope of a childlike heart guide you,
May the joy of a thousand angels fill you,
And may the love of the Son and God’s peace dwell in you.

Merry Christmas...

~ V

The Holiday I Love...

I’ve literally sat here, in front of my computer, for over an hour thinking about how to write this post. The subject of Christmas and what has and IS happening to it, haunts me much like Ebenezer’s ghosts did him. I LOVE the Christmas season…I always have. I most likely garnered my love for this holiday from my mother, who loved everything about it from decorating the house and putting up the tree, to the candle light service at our church, which was held every Christmas eve. The mountain of issues, opinions and materials covering both make me unsure where to start and I’m finding it a bit overwhelming, but here goes...

It’s no secret that Christmas can be traced back to a pagan festival (the Roman feast of Saturnalia) and that Pope Liberius added the nativity to the Christian calendar in 354 AD to provide an alternative celebration for new converts and to Christianize the ancient festival. Christmas really wasn’t widely celebrated until the Middle Ages, starting from around 400 AD. Celebrating Christ's birth was not seen as highly important back then. In fact, many rejected the idea of a birthday celebration altogether. Focusing instead on Christ's life, crucifixion and resurrection, which was considered much more important. The December 25th date was observed as early as the third century and became more accepted throughout the fourth century as the Roman Empire converted to Christianity.

While the history of Christmas is fascinating, this is not the point. Critics of Christmas aren’t so much interested in the nature of the holiday itself but how their orientation to it differentiates them from other people. I argue that for the most part people recognize this in themselves and are OK with the differences. They either adjust and open themselves to how Christmas is celebrated in America, or they observe (or don’t observe) it as their cultural heritage taught them. But that’s not good enough for some groups.

There was a time when Christmas played a very different role in the United States. It brought people and families together and everyone did so with joy in their hearts! Many of the secular cultural symbols we associate with Christmas are American creations. For instance, the American writer George Pintard added reindeer to Santa’s sleigh in 1821 and Clement Clarke Moore raised the number to eight in his classic poem ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’. Our modern, bearded fat man with his fur-lined suit was the creation of the cartoonist, Thomas Nast (have you seen some of the older drawings of St. Nicholas? Those pictures of a scrawny, rather serious looking old man are scarry!) , and Santa’s suit is red because the Coca-Cola Company showed it this way in its advertisements. The classic Christmas songs, ‘White Christmas’, ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’, and ‘Silver Bells’ were all written by American composers, who also happened to be Jewish. Indeed, the holiday was celebrated by many Jews and Christians alike, by the native born and by immigrants, all of whom adopted American customs and added some of their own. They didn’t seem to have an issue with it…they didn’t go running to the local court house and demand that the nativity scene that’s been on display for 75 years be taken down because it offended their…what? Sense of being different? I thought that was the banner of this age, being accepting of people’s differences.

Today, we live in an age where businesses and retailers are careful NOT to wish anyone a Merry Christmas, but wishing people a Happy Hanukkah or Happy Kwanzaa is perfectly acceptable. Right here in my own small home town, the elementary school no longer has a Christmas or even a Holiday program…gone are the picture and video moments where you could capture your child dressed up like a Christmas present and record that kid who sang LOUDLY off key. There was something magical about those moments…that was replaced with a Fall Program where our kids sang songs about: Responsibility, I’m OK You’re OK and Education Rocks…I’m not kidding…I wish I was, but I’m not. It was sad seeing our kids reduced to little Politically Correct mantra repeaters. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe it’s important that we teach our kids to be responsible, to have self respect and to do well in school, but aren’t WE the parents supposed to teach OUR kids those things? We should be teaching our kids about character, respect and values…the school should be teaching our kids about history, math and writing. Sorry, I digress…

The point is this, millions of dollars and huge amounts of time have been wasted by the ACLU and other groups to try and change American culture. They use bully tactics and threats of law suits to force this change. It no longer matters what the majority wants and honestly, I don’t think they even care what the minority wants…they only care about their agenda. School systems and local governments have limited resources…the ACLU’s coffers run deep…VERY deep. And so, small town America caves to the bully under fear and intimidation. This has gone on for so long that our county boards and education boards second guess everything and erring on the side of caution, tend to throw the baby out with the bath water as it were. Threats; real, perceived or imagined are acted on in a ‘proactive’ manner. Something’s wrong with an America where our children can’t have a Christmas party in school or sing Christmas songs in a Christmas concert. Something’s wrong with an America where we are being told that celebrating and observing cultural traditions that are steeped in American history and make us who we are, is wrong.

…and quite frankly, I’m sick to death of it.

~ V

On my Soap Box about Health Care Reform

When it comes to health care, let me ask you three questions:

1) what are the progressives getting? What are those in Washington gaining by passing this health care bill by any means necessary? Bribery, coercion, lies and deception have all been employed — so what is it that this health care bill is really all about?

2) They say that health care is in trouble; what is the best way to save it?

3) Is this anything that can be found in the Constitution. Would our Founders have done this?

Let's start with question No. 1:
After vowing not to vote for this health care reform debacle, Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., lasted nearly all morning — but not quite — before caving in completely. Here's his statement:

SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN: 'I'm getting toward that position where I can say what I've wanted to say all along, that I'm ready to vote for health care reform.'

Huh? By the way, that's entirely consistent with what he's said "all along:"

LIEBERMAN: 'Though I was against the public option, I was not against health care reform. And of course, I did that before the finance committee bill came out with this very large and again, I'd say generous, but I supported, system of subsidies to bring basically lower and middle-income people into the health insurance system.'

Is there anybody — one American patriot — who will stand for the republic?

To be fair, I know that enormous pressure was brought to bear on Lieberman — look what they did to his wife. They're so desperate to pass this "reform" that liberal groups went after Hadassah Lieberman, who is the global ambassador for the Susan B. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research, demanding that her salary not be paid or that she be outright fired.

If they can't bribe you, they'll try to destroy you. Which one happened here? I don't know. Was Lieberman promised something or did he cave in to their intimidation tactics?

Remember what they gave Sen. Mary Landrieu?

SEN. MARY LANDRIEU, D-LA.: 'I am not going to be defensive about asking for help in this situation. And it's not a $100 million fix, it's a $300 million fix.'

Excuse me...but if I interpret that correctly, she told them that if THEY wanted her support, it's going to cost them $300 million??? Yes...that's $300 MILLION of your and my tax dollars...

According to the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, once fully implemented, the true cost of this program is $2.5 trillion, it will raise taxes by almost half a trillion dollars and by 2019 it will STILL leave 24 million people uninsured.

Tell me, what's even left in this bill? Why is it so imperative that it pass? Supposedly, there's no public option left and now there's no Medicare expansion? It's all about the structure being built, it's all about control. They don't care what's in the bill. This bill doesn't do what the president said what he wanted it to do, so why bribe, control and coerce? It's about control.

Second question: Is our health care system in crisis even though 80 percent of Americans are happy with their health care? Robert Creamer, the convicted felon, wrote in his "blueprint" that progressives needed to create an atmosphere of crisis. We don't believe there's a crisis, but they keep pounding that message.

The best way to fix health care is to fix it the same way you fix the economy: Get the government out of it; stop protecting people from their own mistakes.
The Democrats are pursuing this bill with absolute reckless abandon. But as usual, as the government tries to protect everyone from harm, they're actually making it more likely we'll be injured.

I know that sounds crazy, but look at the NFL's efforts to protect their players from head injuries. NFL players wear the most protective helmets modern technology can provide. Yet, nearly every week, another player winds up with a concussion or worse. In the Australian Football League (what we call rugby) players don't wear a helmet at all. Yet, head injuries in that league are 25 percent lower than in the NFL. How can that be? In the NFL, the players know they have the best equipment in the world protecting them and it causes them to be more reckless in their behavior on the field. Players are much more likely to lead with their head and engage in head-to-head contact. Aussie rules players know they have to be more careful. So, which is more compassionate: Providing the high-tech helmets or no helmet at all?

Look at the systemic failure here: The more protection large entities provide, the riskier the behavior. You've seen it in the financial institutions: The more they performed collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps, the worse things got. And why? Because the "helmet" of Fannie and Freddie had been put in place; you couldn't fail.

The way to fix health care is to get the government and insurance companies out of the way. The closer the decision and consequences are to you, the closer you'll be to a system that works. A system that will work is a system that says, "I have to run four tests on you" and your response is "How much do they cost and are they necessary?" A system where the doctor can write a script for a generic or name brand without asking, "Is insurance paying for this?" is a system that will control costs. A system that will work is a system where the attorneys won't be rewarded for pursuing a case where a doctor gets sued for not running a test for toe fungus.

The third question is: What would our Founders do?
Ben Franklin was considered perhaps the most important man of his day. He was obviously revered in the Colonies, but he was also so respected around the world, that there was hardly a house in France that didn't have his portrait in it. Franklin was a man with tremendous influence in society. He was so beloved, that during the Constitutional Convention, prisoners carried him back and forth from the Convention everyday on a padded chair, because the pain he was in from kidney stones, made walking on the cobblestone streets too painful. He hated opium — the only serious pain reliever of the time — because he didn't like the effect it had on his mind.
So, this was a man who understood the need for health care and had a vested interest in it. He'd already known about the need for health care in America, for decades. Back in 1751, Franklin and like-minded citizens saw a need and put their money and resources together — yes, private funds — to open America's first public hospital: Pennsylvania Hospital. It's still in operation today. Franklin saw that there really were, at that time, sick people wandering the streets of Philadelphia without anywhere to go. But he didn't expect the government to fix the problem. In fact, he refused money from the politicians and instead went to friends to secure the funding.
So the answer to question No. 3 is no. The Founders could have written it in the original Constitution — they had health care problems back then too — but they knew the answer was private, not the government.

So why are we traveling down this road? Ask yourself three questions:

1) If this plan is not going to cover everyone (as they said it would and MUST but statistics from the Senate Budget Committee shows that it doesn't) and there's no public option (as they said it should and MUST) and it won't move people to Medicare/Medicaid — you're not even fixing those programs, just taking money from them — then what is it doing for us?
If they're dropping everything they've been asking for, why is the president putting all his eggs into this one basket and bringing the political pressure, bribery and blackmail to bear on this issue? What does he get out of it?

2) Why are they strapping helmets on us? Tell the government to stop putting helmets on us; let us feel the small bumps — the pain helps us avoid more serious contact. Yes, we need some protection, but we don't need this. We don't need to recklessly ram our heads, headlong into socialism and have our free market paralyzed and strapped down.

3) Show me specifically where in the Constitution the Congress is empowered to compel an individual to buy something in order to be a citizen in good standing. Where is that?

These members of Congress are now saying: I don't know where it is in the Constitution, we'll have the legal scholars work that out. No, you won't! You've taken an oath of office!

They have it backward: Congress is saying we want to do this and we'll have the weasel lawyers find a way in the Constitution to make it happen. The Constitution should shape the legislation you write, not the other way around! You don't vote on something and then say we'll have the constitutional lawyers work it out later. You determine whether it's constitutional before you vote on it.

We MUST demand that they answer to us — WE the people...remember?. We must demand that they answer to the Constitution!

This was taken from a transcript from Glenn Beck's show and like him or not, what he's saying here is 100% spot on. I think we ALL agree that Health Care costs are out of control and even that those who need access to Health Care but can't afford it, should have it...but this 'Push forward at ALL cost' approach is neither wise, nor patriotic.

~ V

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

Today was a lot of fun! Woke up to 17 inches of snow...and because we had 40 mph windgusts...4 foot snow drifts to boot! Everyone hunkered down and we FINALLY put up our trees and decorated them. It was a nice bonus day and the kids played in the snow for awhile and of course needed hot cocoa when they came in...here is some photo highlights

The top of our grill on our deck had about two and a half feet of snow on it when we woke up this morning.

Trying out the macro-lens on Lisa's camera...

...still testing...

Now you know why I was testing! Here are some of my collection of Star Trek ornaments...beautiful aren't they! (you're a little jealous aren't you? Come on...you can tell me!)

...And here are the rest of them. In the past I had never put the character ones out on the tree...this year Lisa talked me into it (I'm still not sure if this was for support or to get an extra laugh...)

And of course, Kirby joined in the fun too!

~ V

What our kids do when we're not watching...

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


The sun that dim November day
Had failed to kiss the clouds away
From quiet Nature's furrowed face,
Where autumn tears had left their trace.

And, by and by, on fields of brown
The feathered flakes came floating down
From Heaven to this world of ours,
Like spirits of departed flowers.

And fast and faster through the night,
Till Morn arose on meadows white,
And o'er the landscape lightly stepped
Where tired Nature, smiling, slept.
- Albert Bigelow Paine

Lisa captured the miracle that is a snowflake, in her photo above. It was more than just a dusting on Friday, but nothing more than an 1/8 or possibly a 1/4 inch snow fall...but it was BEAUTIFUL! As I went out to my van to drive home, I could feel the crunch of the snow under my feet and smell the crisp, cool air...it's almost as if the snowfall itself cleaned the air. I stood there for a moment, watching the snow fall against the back lighting of the street lamp...it was truly miraculous!

Think about it...it's a well known fact that no two snowflakes are alike. Each crystalline structure and shape are unique. Now think about how incredibly tiny they are and how many billions of them (piled up) it takes to fill just YOUR driveway...and how many billions of trillions of them fall each year over the whole Earth...no two alike...each of them unique. But have you ever stopped to think why they're unique? Their beauty and symmetry and uniqueness testify not only about a God who is almighty and all powerful...but also about a God who cares about the tiniest of details...and if He, the God of ALL creation cares about the design and structure of each and every snowflake, how much more must He care about you and I...

~ V

For an incredibly mind boggling article on snowflakes and how their structures are mathematically echoed within the creation account, read the CREATION SNOWFLAKE

Just another manic Monday...er, Wednesday...

I feel like I've been on roller skates with a jet-pack strapped to my back ALL week! Part of it comes from having Wednesday through Sunday off last week. Isn't it funny how none of YOUR work gets done while you're off from work? It just piles up; papers, emails, voice mails...I'm not sure about you, but I take time off because I need just simply need some time away! But what's the point if you have to work TWICE as hard when you get back just to get caught up!...not so funny after all...oh well.

Vinny entered the realm of teenager-dom yesterday...I honestly can't believe it! Actually I can, because he's been showing ALL the signs...getting taller (either that or his pants are getting shorter...) and his voice has been cracking lately...A LOT actually! And it's been pretty funny teasing him about it! I know I don't say this nearly enough to him, but I love him... He can be quite impulsive at times and not very nice to his younger siblings, but he's a good sport, LOVES to laugh and deep down, he really does have a heart of gold...He cares and I love that about him. It's weird (and dangerous!) to think that in 3 years he'll be driving...he's growing up SO fast and I NEVER agreed to allow that!

On a side note, the Christmas season was always my mom's favorite time of the year and mine as well...I really miss her this time of the year and always have, but for some reason I especially miss her this year. But, more on that later...

~ V

Black (and blue) Friday

Did everyone have a good Thanksgiving? We certainly did...we had 18 people, family and boyfriend/girlfriends. I did the majority of the cooking, which is fine, because I love doing it...however, if you ask Lisa, I get stressed when I cook for a big event such as Thanksgiving...I must admit that it's true...but I only get stressed because I put alot of pressure on myself in an attempt to make everything perfect. I hadn't thought much about it before this year, but I think I'm subconsciously trying to re-create the Thanksgiving's I remember as a child (where's Dr. Phil when I need him!). Anyway, we survived and everyone stuffed themselves, which left us with very little left-overs, so that MUST say something about the quality of the feast!

Lisa, Donna and Brittany (wife, sister & daughter), decided to keep capitalism alive and well in the USA, by going out and braving the 'Black Friday' experience (them and every other household in America!). They aren't quite as fanatical as some that I know, they got up around 7am, had some breakfast and were out the door before 9am, but I know they had fun!

Thinking about Black Friday, and the hoards of people who trudge out at un-holy hours, to act like barbarians and scratch and fight over the last 'Tickle Me Elmo', got me thinking about all those toys that I JUST had to have...so, in memory of Christmases past, may I present...

Everything on this list is totally insane. Maybe you have fond memories of some of the items on this list, but remember: we were kids, and our logic was impaired. Of course we all thought watching metal roll down steps or spinning on a plastic disk until you threw up was a reasonable way to spend our time. But now that we're parents, let's look at these toys with a little more perspective . . .

10. Jarts

The object of Jarts (or lawn darts), was to place two plastic circles twenty feet or so apart and similar to horseshoes, throw these METAL TIPPED missiles into the air, trying to get them to land in the circle...I personally think if you remained un-punctured by the end of the game, you were a winner! Lawn darts, with their sharp metal projectile-ness, came from a simpler time when only one out of three kids survived childhood and everybody was okay with that. You should never allow your child to play with a toy that you'd be wary to have drunk Uncle Frank play with. Just read the warning label...YA THINK?!!!

9. Skip It

Hey kid, don't have any friends to jump rope with? Do the neighborhood kids choose you to be IT during hide-and-seek and then proceed to run into their prospective homes, leaving you to search for hours on end? Did mom and dad have to tie a steak around your neck to get the dog to play with you? Let me introduce myself — I'm Skip It, the jumping game for outcasts like you! We're going to have a lot of fun together. By the way, if you fail to jump over me, I will slap you hard in the leg...

8. The Hokkaido Poo Poo Bear (Japan)

This is simply a poop-themed bear...Does it poop? Don't know. Does it eat poop? That's not clear and honestly? I don't want to know. The only thing that IS for sure is that this bear is quite enthusiastic about associating itself with fecal matter. Yes, disturbing...Maybe poop means something different in Japan...

7. Airport X-ray Security Machine
What every kid dreams of...pretending to be a TSA agent! Spend hours of fun trying to catch terrorists and smugglers! Make your friends take their shoes off and line up for special pat-downs and wand searches! Coming soon; The Kiddy FAA Cavity Search Kit, and My First Guantanamo Bay Playset with Habeas Corpus Removal Wand!

6. Pet Rock
How about a 'Pet-I'll-Chuck-This-Back-At-Your-Head-You-Cheapo-Dad?' Need I say more??

5. The Rubber Band Gun

Merry Christmas kid - here's a gun, and while we're at it, here's your glass eye! With the potential for ocular injury associated with this toy, couldn't they have just called it The Lil' Cyclops Starter Kit?

4. PRO Thumb Wrestling Playset

ARRRRE YOOOU RRRREADY TO RRRRUMBLE??? 'I had him, I tell ya, I had him! I was bobbin and weavin, bobbin and weavin...I had him up against da ropes when outta da blue I got da woist hangnail...I coulda been a contenda, I tell ya...I coulda been a contenda.'
Hey kids! Check out this Pro Thumb Wrestling Playset. All you do is add thumbs...or maybe you could just thumb wrestle without binding yourself in this sadist's sharp plastic prison!

3. Lightning Reaction Extreme
What is the goal of this game? To not get electrocuted. What do you win? The right to not be electrocuted. Hope your kid doesn't have a weak heart or bladder for that matter. This toy quasi-safely allows your kids to explore their urge to electrocute themselves. As your kid grows older, he or she is naturally going to want to experiment with electrocution...it's perfectly natural...doesn't every kid want to feel the excitement of electrocuting themselves? Wouldn't you feel better providing it for them in the safety of your rumpus room rather than one day finding them attaching jumper cables to their friends in the garage?

2. Shirtless Sunburned Construction Worker Figure
The question is, is this a construction worker who just got hot, or is this a guy who spent too much time waiting on line for Village People reunion show tickets? I think the mustache says it all...The real question is, why is this necessary for a kids toy?

1. Sit and Spin
If you think about it, by giving a kid a toy...ANY toy, you the parent are saying, "Here, now go busy yourself with this and stay outta my hair for a while." And what better way to keep your child busy than with non-stop vomiting? This little wonder comes from the "nausea = entertainment" class of toys. It's like a mini version of the Gravitron ride at the county fair, but without that familiar carny smell. Operation of this toy is simple: the child sits, they spin, they get up and stagger away like a drunken sailor on fleet week, and then they walk directly into a wall.
So...whatever your little cherub has his/her heart set on this year for Christmas, I hope you were able to find it this past Friday...and I hope it doesn't end up on someone's future WORST list!
~ V

Missing the Mark ~ fin

Hello?...Hello?...Anybody there?...Anybody? I wouldn't blame you if you weren't...it's been awhile since I've posted and I left some things hanging. For those of you...those few...who've checked back regularly and have been met with...nothing, please accept my deepest apologies.

I mean to BLOG...I honestly enjoy it and it's very therapeutic, but I find myself either busy with the kids or the house...or mostly just droning out in front of the television while my brain leaks out of my ears...so, I'm going to try to leak less and write more...

OK...so where was I? Hmm, oh yes...we live in a fallen world. I hate to go on a side note here, but I just can't help myself...have you noticed how saying 'we live in a fallen world' has become the 'pet phrase' of many of us Christians?

Another gang related crime? We live in a fallen world...there's nothing we can do about it

Your city counsel has decided not to allow the nativity scene that's been up for the last 75 years to be displayed this year? We live in a fallen world...there's nothing we can do about it

I have to be honest, I know I've used that as an excuse to not get involved and work for positive, God fearing change. I've tossed that phrase out, crossed my arms and have shaken my head...then turned and walked away, doing nothing. Hopefully you're better than me...hopefully you see that when God gave us His two greatest commandments; to love Him and to love others as much as we love ourselves, He didn't say, 'Unless you live in a fallen world.' There's no fine print that gives us the freedom to give less than love if the world we're living in is less than perfect...or if our circumstances are less than perfect...correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a fallen world, a world that needs to be shown love the most? The depths we sink to as a society forces us to love deeper...the darker things get, the stronger the need is for brightness.

The bottom line is this, living in a fallen world isn't an excuse to shutter out the world and give up...it should be our motivation, our battle cry to try even harder. God put me here...put YOU here, in this time and place, under these circumstances because this world...this fallen world needs HIS love more than ever!

Dealing with stress in my life, from the kids...from work...from everyday life is but a chapter in this life that God has given to me...but as I heard yesterday in church...my story isn't finished yet and with God as the author of my life, He will NEVER miss the mark.

~ V

Have yourself a nerdy little Christmas...

...taking a break from my apparent downward spiral (actually, I'm trying to get to a point, but that will have to wait)...

Yes, I know we're a few months out from Christmas and we JUST finished with Halloween, but in case you weren't aware...this past weekend was Hallmark's Holiday Open-house. 'I have been and always shall be...' a collector of Star Trek ornaments made by Hallmark and this year there are two that I am hoping will find their way onto our Christmas tree...

Yes, I know...but you have to admit, there are worse hobbies to have! You'll have to ask Lisa about last year and getting the Communicator...
~ V

Missing the Mark (still continued)

...When times are good we're happy! But what do we do when times aren't so good...when times are right down terrible? Consider this...God is the author of all of our days and He made the one as well as the other. What does this say about the character of God? Doesn't He care? Don't EVER be fooled into thinking that God doesn't care. In spite of our sin and rejection, He gave His son...would you have? I don't think I could have. The fact is this...because of Adam and Eve's original sin, we live in a fallen world.

...More tomorrow

~ V

...To be continued

...Time is something I don't have today...

~ V

Missing the Mark (continued)...

...The weight of their plight lies heavily upon me. I'm not perfect...the Lord knows I have and continue to make mistakes and while I know I've tried my best, I still feel like I've failed them. Despite my prayers and the tears I've shed while on my knees before God, I sit back seemingly helpless and watch as the tapestry of their lives un-fold before me.

I've discovered the hardest thing for a parent is to watch your child grow and turn a blind eye, a deaf ear to the wisdom (wisdom born of a life filled of your own mistakes) you SO desperately want to give them...You sit, eyes wide and knuckles white from gripping the chair, as they fly straight for the side of the mountain, all the while telling you; 'I know what I'm doing', 'I can handle this' and think; 'What do you know, old man',

Blessing and cursing, health and death, good times and bad, wealth and poverty, happiness and sadness...these all fall indiscriminately on the righteous and unrighteous alike. No one is spared...so what's the point?

...More tomorrow

~ V

Missing the Mark...

The past week and a half has been pretty stressful for me...work, kids, the house...sigh. More than once, I've wondered; what am I doing: here, being a parent, working there...Do my opinions matter...Do I matter...For all of my guiding, proding and discipline, I may have changed the outside response of my children, but have I honestly changed their hearts?

...more tomorrow

~ V

Parcel Postal

I was on my way to work this morning when I remembered that I had a package in the back seat (yes…the back seat of my KIA…) that I needed to mail. I was ahead of schedule, so I ran to the post office before going into work. I got the rather large box out of my back seat, and went to the doors…I stood there and just blinked. The hours on the door read; Open 8:30am to 4:30pm. Who was the genius that thought, ‘Let’s open AFTER most everyone is already at work. OH, and let’s close BEFORE everyone finishes their day.’ I must admit that I just stood there…kind of dumbfounded. If a small business set hours that seemed to specifically be inconvenient for its customers, they wouldn’t be in business for very long. The United States Post Office is a service-oriented business…or at least I thought it was…

"Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night shall keep these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." – Um, just as long as it’s between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm

~ V

Parts is Parts...

This is my van…it’s a 2007 KIA Sedona. I purchased it 2 plus years back after my Dodge Grand Caravan was rear-ended and consequently totaled (here’s the kicker), parked out front of my house…yeah, I was really happy about that…anywho, I’ve been happy with my KIA and while it’s not a Grand Caravan, it’s a pretty good van. The fact that the first time I took it in to have the oil changed and the service station not only didn’t have the correct oil filter for it, they couldn’t even find it to order one, should have clued me in as to how maintenance on it would go. To this day I can’t find headlight replacement bulbs even in our local O’Reilly’s Auto Parts store…I have to order them online and wait for them to arrive, hoping that I either don’t have to drive at night, or that I don’t get pulled over!

But, all of that put together doesn’t even scratch the surface to the joyous time I had last week…I needed to replace the front tires, actually I needed to replace them about 3 months ago, but I had been putting it off and after a couple of frosty mornings last week, I knew I couldn’t wait any longer. So, I went into our local Fleet Farm (or is it Farm & Fleet here? I can never get it straight…) and asked about getting my front tires replaced. The service dude took my info and looked up what KIA recommended for replacement tires…guess what? The manufacturer calls for a special touring tire with a T speed rating (whatever that means) and oh, they don’t carry them…SURPRISE!!! So, I get back into the van, look up Tires Plus and give them a call, the guy tells me they have them and they’re $162 a piece! I have NEVER spent more than $75 for a tire in my entire life and I wasn’t going to start now…I told him I thought that was ridiculous and no thank you. So, I went home and decided to look at what I could get them for online. The prices were much better, about $90 a piece for them, but shipping would be about $30 about having someone install/balance, etc would most likely be another $30 plus…and then I remembered that our Wal Mart has a service center! On Monday of last week, I went down and they actually had a Goodyear tire that would work! And they were about $100 a piece…more than the $75 that I was used to spending, but a heckofa lot less than $162 (I STILL just shake my head about that price), so I told them to put them on and that I’d wait. About an hour later, I sort of overhear two service guys talking about my KIA and something about the valve stem, one of the guys comes out and says that it’s important to keep the little caps on the valve stems because they can get corroded and that mine were corroded and while he was trying to take one of the ‘cores’ out, it broke and that he couldn’t just replace the core because my van has a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (in essence, this a fancy idiot light that tells the driver when the tire pressure in any given tire falls below a pre-programmed level) and the valve-stem-core is all attached to the TPMS module that is actually IN the tire itself…I said, ‘Ok…replace it then, I NEED those tires replaced.’ The service guy went back to the garage and I hear MORE talking about my van and a few minutes later, the same guy comes out, this time with the service manager…guess what? They don’t have that particular TPMS module and they don’t even have it in their catalog…SURPRISE!!! They said that I could order the module from KIA, bring it in and they would install it. Meanwhile I call over to O’Reilly’s and found out they could order it OH and it cost’s $85…sigh…I tell Wal Mart this and they inform me that new TPMS modules have to be calibrated with the computer in the van (of course they do!) and that IF they have the correct calibration device it will cost $40 per module (of course it will!). Per module, I ask? Yes, the other front tire was also corroded and they’re afraid that when they go to take the core out of that one it’ll break too…So a $200 tire change looks like it’s going to turn into a $480 job!

Again, I went to the internet and found a TPMS module for $55…better, so I just order one (determined to make Wal Mart be extra careful on the other valve stem)…it arrived today and I take it out of the package to look at it…I notice immediately that it’s NOT one single piece, the valve stem screws into the base of the module. I thought about that throughout the rest of the day, ‘two pieces…why wouldn’t KIA sell these two parts separately? It doesn’t make sense’. After work, I stopped by the NAPA Auto Store on a whim and asked the guy at the counter if JUST the valve-stem portion of the TPMS could be ordered…drum roll pleas…YES! Finally something’s going my way with this whole mess! And the cost? $11…and best of all? Because I’m using the same TPMS modules, they won’t need to be calibrated! So…the price is actually back down to around $250 when all is said and done!

Have I mentioned that I LOVE my KIA? Actually I do…but I must admit that the relationship was a bit strained!

~ V

Another Milestone...

Soon I will be a grandpa…honestly I’m not sure what to think about that just yet. I feel I’m too young to be a grandpa and yet I KNOW I’m old enough to be a grandpa. I have ALL of these feelings…I want to be there for my son…for my grandson. I want to offer the wisdom of my years…wisdom born from trial and error…born from failing, picking myself up and trying again. I don’t want him to have to experience the pain of failure…and yet he will…we all do. I want him to be a good...no, I want him to be a great father. I want him to be a better father than I.

A fathers ego is a fragile thing. We so desperately want to help our kids...to bestow our knowledge and wisdom in hopes that it will make their lives easier...but the real fear is that they will reject our wisdom or worse, regard it with disdain. Because in spite of all the bravado, chest thumping and growley voices we conjure, our success lies with how others...specifically our families value us.

I want my son to know that despite how he got to this point...I love him. I need him to know that while I wouldn't have chosen this path for him, that choice is over and to the best of my ability, I am here for him...always.

For Jaden,
This little child has a place in my heart that only a child can see,
where patience, love and tenderness rule and young hearts run free.
A place where understanding lives and kindness guides our way.
A helping hand with lots of smiles and laughter every day.

This little child will know the love of a Grandpa filled with pride
a gentle touch, a whiskery kiss; with tickles on his side.
A game to play, a song to sing, some time to fly a kite
a lesson in the love of God and learning wrong from right.

A tear to share, some days to dream, a hug that's really tight
a rainy day, a baseball game, a campfire late at night.
This little child will come to know that Grandpa's love is real
weathered to last the test of time, a love no one can steal.

My past and future are forever tied to this little boy,
My heart it sings! I praise my God; I jump and shout for joy!
For this little child will grow to know what God has given me
a special love; a Grandpa's love that only a child can see.

~ V

A Festival and Glass

This past Saturday Lisa and I went to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. It's been 24+ years since I've been to it and it was fun to go...with a few exceptions. When we pulled into the place, it was after 2:00 in the afternoon and well...it seems that the rest of the state decided to show up on Saturday as well, except they were already there...we ended up parking about a mile and a half away from the castle gates (I wish I were joking) and walked!

Yes, people brought their dogs...ALOT of people brought their dogs...which poses the question, why? And then I saw this dog...Yes, you too can purchase fairy wings for your pet. And why wouldn't you want to? They look just SO darned cute...

I've always been fascinated by artists who work in glass. If our local community college offered a course in glass work, I would definitely take it!

We watched this artist make this piece from the first molten blob pulled out of the furnace...

and blowing it into the initial shape...

Then adding an artistic flair...

And further shaping it...

Then using some additional molten glass...

And creating the base...

Re-heating the entire piece...

So he can form the inside of the vessel...

...every minute or so, he would re-heat the piece, keeping it at a certain temperature and pliable. And as he added and shaped more glass, he would transfer the piece to a different metal rod. The old rod always had some residual molten glass on it. He would place the old rod in a large metal bucket, glass end down. Within a minute, we would hear a loud POP! Which was followed by a small (contained) shower of glass. You see, when cooled too quickly, glass will shatter. When a glass artist finishes a piece, it can't just be set aside to cool...it has to cool VERY slowly over 24 or so hours in a kiln that gradually lowers the temp. This process can't be rushed...

Thinking about this process, I started wondering about God working in our lives. He draws us to Himself and through trials and testing He develops and builds our spiritual framework. The problem is, most of us are impatient...we want a shortcut...we want to avoid the difficult and often painful portion that trials frequently include. The fact of the matter is, the endurance and perseverance we show during these times, are the very things that develop, build and strengthen our spiritual framework. God knows that just as heating and cooling and re-heating and cooling increases the temper of glass, trials and blessings tempers us...increasing our spiritual resolve.

God is making a masterpiece in you. He who created the minds of Da Vinci, Renoir, Monet and Rembrandt...the Master of the masters, is slowly and purposefully, making a masterpiece in you. His timing is perfect...His artistry flawless.

~ V

Don't you need One? I Certainly Do...

A few weeks ago on our way back from Lisa's sister's wedding, we were driving back from Des Moines Iowa when I heard the following song on a local Christian radio station. Give it a listen...

...here are the lyrics:

I'd Need A Savior ~ Among The Thirsty

How many names can I use to explain the love of my Jesus,
the life that he gave and so many times will I praise you today.
I lift up my life ‘cause you’re always the same
and my offering to you I bring

Your name is Jesus. Your name is Jesus.
You’re the Wonderful, Counselor, my Friend.
You’re what I hold on to; I know that you brought me through
all the days of loss, to the cross you knew
I’d need a Savior.

How many songs can I sing to proclaim,
your wondrous love and beauty so great?
What would I say if you brought down the rain and everyday
I walk through the pain my heart would still say…

Your name is Jesus. Your name is Jesus.
You’re the Wonderful, Counselor, my Friend.
You’re what I hold on to; I know that you brought me through
All the days of loss, to the cross you knew
I’d need a Savior.

I’d need a Savior…
You’re what I hold on to; I know that you brought me through

All the days of loss, to the cross you knew
I’d need a Savior,
I’d need a Savior,
I need you, Savior.

I can't get this song out of my mind...off from my heart. There is nothing...not one thing that is good inside me outside of my Jesus and what He's accomplished in my life. When I sit and think of the heart and character of Christ and compare that to the sin and selfishness that has comprised my life, I am ashamed...utterly undone. And yet, He's still there...the proof of His love showing in the nail scarred hand He extends to me...grace and mercy showing in His eyes.

It's so incredibly obvious that I'd be lost without Him...

~ V

I baptize you in the name of...Starbucks?

I absolutely LOVE my wife! Her ability to laugh at me, herself (and anyone for that matter) in spite of stressful situations. Trust me...living with 5 kids and blending two families, you HAVE to be able to laugh at life...OFTEN...otherwise we'd go insane! Anyway, I digress...This past weekend, Lisa's sister got married...in Los Angeles. We flew into and out of LAX and let me just make this point...there is NO WAY that I would EVER want to live in or anywhere near LA! Traffic is insane and I would die of stress from driving in short order...sigh. Anyway, I'll let Lisa talk about the actual wedding in her own BLOG. When we got to the airport to return, we were already running late because we got separated from the other car (6 of us went, which meant we had to take multiple cars everywhere we went) and because the traffic, again, was crazy. So, by the time we checked our luggage, cleared security and made it to our gate, we had about a half hour before we were supposed to board. Some of us hadn't had the chance to eat anything yet that day, so it was a scramble to quickly find a place and get something that was already prepared because we didn't feel there was enough time to order a burger and fries. So, we bought subs, some drinks and found a seat to chow down and await our flight. I had just started in on my sub-standard and yet somehow filling sub, when I heard Lisa say..."Vince!...I NEED you...NOW!" Evidently, when she removed the plastic wrap from around the cap on her Starbucks Frappuccino, it also removed the actual cap...which she hadn't noticed...and she went to shake it up...REALLY hard! When I looked over, she had frappuccino running down her face, dripping off her nose and in her hair! Honestly, I wanted to laugh SO hard...but I didn't! I quickly grabbed the handful of napkins that I took when we bought our food and gently wiped Lisa's face and eyes...patted her hair and handed the rest to her. Once she was adequately dried off, she was able to laugh it off and joke about it. This may sound strange, but I really love that about her...she doesn't take herself more seriously than she should and she can see the humor in almost everything!

In this day and age when everyone and their dog is worried about self image and every little (actual or imagined) offense has people running for a lawyer, I find Lisa attitude both refreshing AND attractive...yeah...VERY attractive!

~ V

I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, toto...

My wife TOTALLY out did herself...not only did she out do herself, she also completely surprised me as well! This past Sunday night, we had a planned date. We were going to go to Rochester to one of our favorite Italian restaurants (Victoria's) and then to a movie. We were both looking forward to this as we rarely take (or have) the time to do a full fledged date night...but Lisa was down right giddy about it. When we got down to Rochester, Lisa couldn't stand it any longer and finally said...'Hon, we're NOT going to a movie...' I looked at her and just said, '...OK...what are we going to do?' She asked, 'You don't know do you...? You really don't know?' to which I answered, '...I have no idea what you're talking about...' After a few more minutes of barely contained giddiness, she finally let the cat out of the bag...'We're going to a concert! We're going to Kansas!' I was confused and needless to say, a little stunned.

Kansas has always been one of my favorite bands, but I had never seen them in concert...I actually had the opportunity quite awhile ago, but I had heard they were really bad in concert...so, not wanting to ruin the image of my favorite band, I never pursued seeing them in concert. I must admit that I thought back to what I had heard and was a little trepidatious about what I might hear. This was a concert in the park thingy, so it was outside and just so you know...THEY ROCKED! Kansas celebrated their 35th anniversary this year and I am here to say they haven't lost their edge. They did all of their songs in the original key and it sounded spot on! Yes, Kerry Livgren wasn't there, but the band sounded great!

Here's a little bit of Kansas history that I found quite amazing: After 3 albums in 2 years failed to provide them with a hit single, Kansas in 1974 was under pressure from CBS records to write a hit. Livgren and the band realized it was their last chance. Due to Steve Walsh experiencing writer's block, most of the writing duties fell to Livgren and he rose to the challenge to write or co-write all the songs for their fourth album, Leftoverture. On the last day of rehearsal for the new album, Livgren brought the band one last song which they performed once before heading to the studio...That song was, Carry On Wayward Son which became Kansas' first hit.

Thank you babe, for making a memory that will last forever...thank you!

I love you!

~ V

A wedding...and memories

Today, after 27 years of single living, Lisa’s mother got married. It was a beautiful day and they got married in the park with flowers and a water fountain behind them. Lisa and I were honored to be their witnesses and the kids were there as well. We pray God’s blessing on their union and wish for them many, many years of happiness and love!

Tonight on the way to pick up Trevor from work, we drove past the lakes. As we drove past, I looked out over the darkened lake at the yellow and white lights reflecting off the water and it brought back a myriad of childhood memories. I remember family vacations that we spent in northern Minnesota or Wisconsin, staying in cabins that overlooked a lake and I loved sitting outside watching the lights across the lake at night. It was quiet and peaceful…sometimes you could hear laughter and talking from several cabins down…sometimes you could see someone light off fireworks across the lake.

I loved those times…times spent with my family away from the normal track of life. Times that were uninterupted by a phone or TV...Times that were spent playing games, fishing and just re-connecting as a family. It's times like those that I long to have with my kids and memories I hope they will have.

~ V

Rollin' Along

Our town is just a little spit of a town of around 650 people. When I moved here last year I knew Lisa and the lady who bought Lisa's old house (...what's her name again??) and that was just about it. Since then, I've met some of the parents of the kids our kids hang out with and coaching baseball introduced me to a whole new group of people that serve on the baseball board as well as more kids and their parents.

This weekend is Our Town Days, just a small town festival that includes softball and volleyball tournaments, Karaoke, fireworks, a street dance and a lot of other activities. So, last night we wandered down to city park with the kids and this is what I saw...I saw our neighbor, Mrs. D talking with Hope and standing in line to do karaoke. I saw Bev and her husband Paul working in the concession stand, serving people and talking with them. I saw Sally, Nadine and Jackie...three of the ladies that Lisa used to work with. Sally was brought up in this little town and honestly knows just about everyone. I saw Jaden, Issac, Cody and Gabe...some of the boys that I coached this year. I saw Bob and his little girl sing karaoke together...I saw my own little girl sing 'It's my party and I'll cry if I want to'. I saw Bridgette and her son Cody walk through and wave at us. I watched 4 little girls sing a song SO badly that I couldn't figure out what they were singing...and I heard the crowd applaud all the same. I saw families coming together and laughing...I saw the amazement reflected in the eyes of the children as showers of light flickered down from the fireworks. I saw friends...families, an entire community come together. And as I was sitting there...I realized that I knew a lot of these people and knowing that really made me feel part of the community. And I also realized that not only do I live here...this really is my home...

This is a peaceful little town and I love it.

~ V

When will the construction be finished?...I haven't even gotten the permit yet!

For the better part of...well summer, Hope and Kyle have been like oil and water! Seemingly everything Hope does (from humming or laughing to simply glancing his way) bugs the snot out of Kyle and Hope is exceedingly jealous of the amount of time Kyle spends with Lisa. Actions that I am fairly confident exist in other families the world over. Except in a blended family like ours dealing with issues like this that cross family lines are tough and honestly are breeding grounds for hurt and resentment. What do you do to lessen Kyle's annoyance? Softly humming honestly isn't bothering anyone, but for Kyle, it's like someone raking their fingernails across a chalkboard. And what do you do to lessen Hope's jealousy? Kyle should have unfettered access to hugs and cuddles with his mom, not to mention that he's 8 and she doesn't have very many good hugging years left with him! Since the beginning of summer, we've seen Hope's jealousy increase as well as Kyle's irritation. There are times when they get along splendidly and then there are times that the friction is palpable. Lisa and I have talked for hours about the two of them and their ever increasing angst. We have even tried several corrective approaches...and in a word, FAIL!

Lisa and I have hung in there together about this, but in all honesty I know that we have felt the stress of it. How could we not? They're our children and we LOVE them! And so we've searched for reasons in the "Well, if I only had's" and the "I'm just not good enough's" and have found that a thousand reasons does nothing and we end up back where we left off...trying to resolve it.

Then last Sunday in the middle of singing with the worship team, God spoke to me...and it went pretty much like this:

God: Vince...

Me: singing....mentally furrows brow...singing

God: Vince...what was the main message that you and Lisa picked for your wedding?

Me: singing...um, I'm kinda preoccupied worshipping you...singing

God: Yes, I know...what was the main message that you and Lisa picked for your wedding?

Me: singing...uh, Psalms 127, verse 1...singing...unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain...singing

God: ...why aren't you letting me?

Me: ...

The fact is this...I haven't been letting God do the building. I see these issues and fear the potential long term effects they could have not only with Hope and Kyle's relationship, but with Lisa and I. And like many men, when I see a problem I want/need to solve it...the key word here is 'I'. It has nothing to do with me feeling like I can do a better job than God, instead it has A LOT to do with pain. I don't much like pain and so, the quicker a painful thing comes and goes, the better. I want this situation (that is causing pain) to go away...quickly! And so, my impatient, pain avoiding self, picks up the hammer, a hand full of nails and attempts to do the building myself. Except I don't have the blueprints...God does. Have you ever tried to build ANYTHING, let alone a house, without the instructions, or blueprints? Unless you want your house to look something like the tree fort I attempted to build when I was 10, I wouldn't advise it. Not only do I not have the blueprints, but I keep hitting my thumb with that stupid hammer...in essence, causing more pain. We know that growth and learning comes through effort...pain. A diamond can only be made through extreme heat, pressure and time. A precious child comes into this world through the pain and labor of it's mother.

God wants better for us than some ramshackle tree house built with ill cut and badly warped planks. He KNOWS what's better for us and that's why He wants to build our house...your house. And yes, there may be times that are painful...periods of momentary trouble, but God is faithful and through the pain and sweat, He will bring beauty...I KNOW He will!

2 Corinthians 4:17 - For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweights them all.

So, who's building your house?

~ V

Man Law #6

YES...It's the return of Man Law Tuesday! I've been a little busy (doing MANLY things of course!) Hope you've missed me! So, we'll start right off with law number 6:
The MAN Purse....

I DON'T care if it's European or Metro-sexual...men aren't meant to carry purses! OK...as a boy, we ALL were fascinated with our moms purses and what treasures they held! But we're no longer boys are we? According to lovetoknow.com, 'It is no surprise that men would like to have a place to carry their necessities and avoid the ugly, full, back pocket or clanking change phenomenon.'...um, necessities? Yeah, my drivers license, debit/credit card and car keys! and since when is the sound of jingling change a phenomenon? and what exactly does that even mean?

On Fossil.com, they offer what they call 'duffles' take a look:

I am almost positive that my mom owned this purse when I was 5...

Or take a look at this SWEET little number!

...for those times when shoving your pockets full of junk STILL isn't quite enough room...Oh and this one was named The Veneeto...yeah, as in Neeto Veneeto...

I think we all can agree that this one is just right out!

...thin strap, flip over clasp, yeah! This is exactly what I've been looking for to help proclaim my masculinity!

Ok, men listen...if you need to carry more than will fit in your wallet or pockets buy a brief case already! and if a brief case isn't big enough then buy yourself a backpack...'nuff said.

I'm a man, and that's MY law!

~ V