That’s One Big Pile of Leaves

Another week has gone by and I have lived another episode of “How It’s Made,” this time my unofficial tour took place inside one of the manufacturing plants of largest privately owned corrugated board (trust me, they get a little upset at you if you say cardboard) manufacturer in the United States. I swear, there cannot be all that many jobs that allow someone to see as many cool places as I have seen since I started working with GE and the fact that I have one of them is awesome! As a side note, I am now convinced that nearly every mobster movie in existence that has a scene where a guy is dragged into a manufacturing plant from some “persuasive conversation” takes place in a corrugated board manufacturing plant. Nearly every single piece of equipment in this place was specifically designed for flattening, smashing, cutting, stapling, or imprinting… it would probably make an excellent place to “convince” someone to talk.

It is that time of year again where every single leaf in the state of New York falls off of the trees and somehow gets deposited directly onto my lawn. I don’t remember if I tossed around this idea last year, but right now I’m seriously wondering how much trouble I would get into if I just burned my yard… it rained the other day, the ground is still reasonably wet. Last year when I started raking leaf piles Jack was still young enough that when we put him in the leaf piles he did not really enjoy the sensation of all those things touching him; actually, I remember him screaming pretty intensely after I set him down and started backing up so I could take a picture. This year was a different story entirely. Now he cannot wait to play in the leaf pile. I raked a pile that was about twice as tall as he was and he just dove right in trying to scale the pile. Of course, all that really got him was being buried under a mound of leaves, at which point all I could see was the vague outline of movement as he wormed his way through the pile and burst out the opposite side roaring at me like some mutated leaf monster.

Yesterday I went in to Jack’s room to get him up from his “nap.” I say nap in quotation marks because he was supposed to be napping but, in fact, had spent the last couple of hours playing in his room. First just playing with his drill while lying on his bed and talking to himself, but eventually getting up and finding other ways to amuse himself. Anyway, I walk into his room and found him playing with Mickey Mouse, but what he had done to Mickey Mouse may my heart swell with pride. He had arranged Mickey as shown in the picture below and in a deep growling voice kept alternating between saying “Mickey Mouse” and “Batman.”

Winter is coming and I am grateful to say that this year you should not have to endure my complaints about having to shovel snow as I am now the proud owner of a tool most of you Southern people probably had no idea even existed, a snow blower. I was able to get a good deal on a 179 cubic inch 2-stage gas powered snow blower, a machine that is worthy of a manly grunt in its own right. But now I have beefed up the engine and made a couple of aftermarket modifications this baby should, be throwing snow clear onto the neighbor’s driveway.

I had the opportunity to preach a full sermon this morning. It’s the first time I have had the opportunity to speak a full message to an adult congregation and I had a lot of fun. I had intended to post the link to the audio but our church is having issues with our website and it is not available for your listening pleasure at this point in time. I’ll post the link once things are back up and operational. For those of you who would prefer the text version, send me an email and I’ll give you a copy, but I do so with a warning; somehow there must be quite a bit more content on the audio version because every time I practiced this message it ran between 23 and 25 minutes, my actual message this morning lasted much closer to 40. As it turns out my jokes about being long winded had more than a grain of truth to them. I’m not quite sure what those extra 15 minutes contain but it will likely be as much of a surprise to me as it is to you.


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