Monday, November 30, 2009


A new blog I tripped over the other day. Well actually it was force up on me a bit – it is new and has no one reading it because it is still a secret.. You all could encourage the newbie by all reading and giving him a Hi - howdy do. The first thing I liked was its name KevQuill – nice! Doesn’t it have a pleasant ring to it? The second thing I liked was his topic, ‘Father in Law’ – he must be smart.
Now everyone go and encourage the young whelp.
I offer you this convenient link: KevQuill
Pulling a little inspiration from KevQuill – I offer a Father in laws perspective of Son in law’s both good and bad.
A few years back my daughter came home from college and began talking about a young lad she was dating – just so you know most dads are pretty suspicious of any young man who wants to date his daughter. Implementing my highest degree of listening skills my antenna was up paying attention to any inkling of what this lad’s character might be. As I listened I discounted the good things I heard. I have this belief that by the time a young man has reached his courting years he will have become a master of hiding socially unacceptable character flaws unless of course he’s a complete dim wit. So, even though many glowing examples were given of this man’s high character I took it all with a grain of salt and with held my judgment. I knew time would tell…you see people with serious character flaws really are unable to hide the telltale signs forever – it takes just too much lying. So, I waited and over the months kept watching and kept listening. My biggest concern was, did this young man have true respect for women, mainly my daughter, or was he a faker.
As the months rolled by the young man did not disappoint me. I have found him to be kind, considerate, a hard worker, competitive, direct in his communication, filled with mercy, and he was willing to challenge me all the while maintaining respect. In the end he asked for my daughters hand in marriage like a man would do.
This is a young man I believe in and trust. He continues to face adversity in a down turned economy with a positive can do attitude. I think these two are going to do fine. I expect great things from them both. I still pray for them daily but I am confident I will not be disappointed.
BTW – he plays a mean game of racquetball.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Handsome and Handy

If the women don’t find you handsome they should at least find you handy.
Ever since I heard Red say that on the Red Green Show I have tried to be handy.
I have been thinking about changing my profile picture to my brother’s picture – the women find him handsome and handy. Now that’s a combination.
I am bringing this all up only because today was a special day – a first. And as we all know when firsts come they never come again. I got on the scale this morning and guess what – I now weigh exactly one hundred pounds (45.3 Kilograms) more than I did when I first got married – I sure hope my wife is finding me handy.
I know many of you are thinking wowzer Grayquill, you really must have been busting out the Twinkies – actually I haven’t had a Twinkie in years – HA!
In-spite of this banner day my pride is peeking his head around the corner and yelling defend yourself Grayquill this sounds horrible.
Okay, pride – stop whining I’m coming. Even though I stood 6 feet tall when I got married I only weighed 125 Lbs. My waste was 27 inches. I am not sure what my wife saw in me physically; maybe it was my hair. That was the early 70’s and if I do say so myself I had great hair. Once a service station attendant came up behind me and seeing my flowing locks said, “May I help you mam?” I decided to grow a beard – I am not sure that helped the back of my head look, but it did make me feel more manly.
So, is there a lesson here? Of course there is why wouldn’t there be – I don’t want to say it – It means pain, hard work, denying myself, stepping away from the refrigerator – D’OH!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Men Cry

Sitting in the car he rested his head on the steering wheel for several minutes. Tired so tired; he had driven aimlessly through the last hour and here his wondering ended. Inside the house was stability where childhood scrapes and bruises had once been tended.
He was in his prime but felt ancient as he worked his way out of the car and onto his feet, he moved toward the house each step an effort, slumped shoulders, head drooped, and the downward gaze cast a gloomy curse on the ground with each forward motion. It had been a particularly hard week full of grief, and his fractured heart dragged behind him adding to the weight. Nothing in his thirty-five years had prepared him for the course now set before him.
Across the room an aging mother observed her son as he entered the house and a mother’s intuition emerged, “how are you doing son?” As they embraced a greeting, “You are not doing to good are you?” The words broke him and the tears soon turned to sobs and she held him.
The father stood to the side not moving. After several minutes the son looked up with tears cascading down his face and the two men’s eyes connected. The younger quickly diverted his eyes but not before a small amount of shame leaked out knowing his father saw him broken.
The father stayed motionless and gave no rebuke. He was dealing with his own brokenness. Here his son was hurting and he felt small and helpless. He wiped away a tear but it went unnoticed by the son.
After all men don’t cry.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy Marriage - Top 10 Male Traits Needed

Top 10 things a man should know and accept before getting married.

Inspired by Anita from her Top Ten Husband Myths

I dedicate this to the young men who pass by this way now and then.

Okay, let’s get to it – Oh just so you know none of these 10 points below apply to Mrs. Grayquill (see point 3).

1. You must never say – “I never said that” if she said you said it, you said it.
2. You must never say – “that is just not logical” Male logic is useless. Female logic is that time once a month when she will tell you she has complete and total clarity. Try hiding.
3. Understand and accept that a happy wife makes for a nice life in contrast a cranky wife makes for a sad life.
4. Develop the skill of mind reading this equates to survival – if she actually has to tell you something she needs – it will be meaningless when you do it and it could actually be held against you.
5. Realize the three most important words you need to know in the English language are “I am sorry.” These three words must be practiced so that you can say it with conviction even when you have no idea what it is you are sorry about.
6. Learn to tell yourself you are in-charge in-spite of massive evidence to the contrary. Denial is a must for keeping ones manhood intact.
7. Do not think for a minute, that the infraction you did 6 months ago or 6 years ago is forgotten.
8. Realize that what you did is not a small thing regardless of how insignificant you thought it was. Remember a woman can say to another woman I see you wore your blue dress today. That single sentence can make the two enemies for life. Go ahead furrow that brow and scratch your noggin it won’t help you won’t be able to understand, it is much better just to accept it.
9. It is self deception to think that those flowers will get you out of trouble. The only thing that has a chance of working is whatever you buy must cost a minimum of one month’s salary; then you might have a chance but only a small chance – Good Luck!
10. Never, I mean never, think it is okay to belch or fart within hearing distance of your lady and if by some weird phenomena she happens to fart or belch pretend you didn’t notice. Why you ask? Just trust me on this one.

11. will help if you can stand on your head.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Max Aswell Announcement

Max Aswell here…

It's been a while, woof, woof,... I have been begging Grayquill to let me tell you my really exciting great and wonderful news. I have a new son, Buster. Actually Buster is my cousin but he feels like a son. If I had a lap like you humans do, Buster would be right up in it wanting to be cuddled and loved on, that is if he could sit still. I am beginning to think my son could be A.D.D.
Having a little tike around the house is more tiring than I ever expected. He wears me out chewing on my ears, tail, and paws. Now and then I have to be a bit firm with the little guy. He has to learn manners and I guess it’s my job to do the teaching.
For the longest time it was just me and old Pepsi. Pepsi has gone to doogie heaven and I am still a little sad. Poor Pepsi was older than dirt and he smelled bad if you know what I mean. I have heard old people develop an old person smell also. Grayquill’s son says, Grayquill smells that way already. Now my nose is pretty sensitive and I noticed Grayquill smelled bad but I didn’t know it was old person smell – YUK!
I know you are not going to understand this, you being human and all, but we canines for the most part find the smells you humans abhor heavenly. In fact the stronger it is the more we want to roll around in it. But that Grayquill smell you can forget it, I am staying as far away from him as possible.
Buster apparently hasn’t noticed the odor because he likes Grayquill almost as much as Grayquill likes himself…. Sickening, that’s what it is - just plain sickening. I am hopeful Buster will develop a little wisdom before my parenting is completed. I have heard all parents feel like failures at one time or another. Hmmm…I wonder if I will ever feel that way? I sure hope not.
Well here are all the statistics: Buster is 18 pounds, has a size 13 paw, hair is yellow; he is just like me, 100% yellow lab. You know in dog world it is just like the commercials, ‘blonds have more fun’. Abe, that’s my master just in case some of you forgot, a few years back he had my plums cut off and I don’t have no fun no more. Oh sorry – Grayquill just reprimanded me. I guess that is over sharing…hey, I am a dog I don’t know all your stupid social norms.
Shhh…Grayquill’s not here right now let me break the rules again. Abe says Buster will get his plums cut off too and it cannot come soon enough. Buster keeps wrapping his front legs around me and doing the strangest thing. Abe says Buster will stop that nonsense as soon as he visits the vet and the vet goes snip snip. Honest! I can’t wait! It is so annoying! I was beginning to think he is homosexual and that was worrying me a bit. Abe assured me, Buster is as normal as I am. I guess that last comment wasn’t too politically correct seeing how I live in Seattle where if it isn’t normal it would be normal or if it was normal it wouldn’t be normal. I am so confused.
Here comes Grayquill everyone be quiet and don’t tell him what I told you he might be angry. In case you didn’t know, Grayquill is wound a bit too tight for living in Seattle.
I could tell you all about Busters really cute clumsiness but that would just be boring. I could tell you how all he wants to do is play and how adorable he is but that would also be just plain boring. I am trying to keep in mind that people are not as excited to hear, as I am to tell, cute stories about my new son.
So until next time; signing off - over and out.
Oh, one last thing; not to toot my own horn but at my house I am in charge unlike Grayquill’s house where a cat is in charge – now that actually makes me feel sorry for Grayquill. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody, not even Grayquill.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Where are GQ's Glasses?

Have you ever been the brunt of your own joke?
The client and Grayquill were standing at the counter working out some business. The client was a rough looking character, the owner of a small construction company. He had just come off the job site. His wild hair flew out in all directions, mud flakes scattered the bottom half of his blue jeans, his boot laces hung carelessly, his wide unshaved jaw jutted out with purpose.
Lying on the counter as usual were Grayquill’s glasses. Grayquill didn’t really need glasses but at the time he had them supposedly to alleviate headaches that came and went as often as his glasses were misplaced. Grayquill would go days without his glasses and sure enough if he was patient they would show up again. Of course somewhere along the line they were misplaced a bit too well and Grayquill has been without glasses for going on twenty-five plus years – hmmm…I wonder if that has anything to do with his accidents?
On this particular day, Ted, Grayquill’s brother in law, decided to fluff his feathers and play a great joke on Grayquill. He made some pathetic excuse to go up to the counter next to Grayquill and in a sly manner slipped the glasses away. To the back room he went where a red felt pen became the instrument of evil in Ted’s hand. He inked a swirl on one lens and then a backwards ‘Hi’ on the other.
Ted then maneuvered the glasses back to the counter where he had originally found them. Unable to contain his glee he glanced at Grayquill. Grayquill turned and met Ted’s eyes. Ted was real cool he did not even flinch when he notice Grayquill peering at him though a pair of glasses.
Ted being above average intelligence instantly realized his error. The glasses he defaced had to be the clients, oops! (Hey Ted… brilliant deduction you’re brighter than I thought you were…sorry for that outburst I just couldn’t help myself; I will go back to being the author now.) I gotta give Ted credit he didn’t panic. He simple repeated his ruse and retrieved the glasses one more time and this time into the back room he scurried intent and focused on a quick glasses cleaning. He accomplished this with limited success. You see the lenses were plastic and the marker was permenant. A print shop has a plethora of chemicals and so he removed the ink in quick order. The problem a slight imprint like a watermark was left on the lense. The image could be seen oh so slightly when you held the glasses up to the light.
Ted figured he could do no better and not wanting to have the dumplings kicked out of him by a two person gang of Grayquill and customer. He returned the glasses efficiently with no one being the wiser.
Ted still had a belly laugh telling Grayquill the story. Grayquill didn’t laugh at first and then latter he did allow a small chuckle to slip out but he did not allow Ted the pleasure of seeing said chuckle.
Is there a lesson here? Not really but if any of you find GQ’s glasses he would like them back.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Personal failure comes in many colors and shapes. It can be the result of a man’s sin but those times are remedied when a man humbles himself. Then there are the failures that accompany regret and haunting times that result from a lack of courage, lack of knowledge or simple selflessness.
One more hour and the night would begin its retreat giving way to another wet Seattle day. A man shuffled along, his head drooped down with discouragement. His missing underwear and wet clothes chaffed the inside of his thighs with each step as he wondered the night away unable to find a place out of the weather. For the umpteenth time his sleeve served to wipe away the dripping snot from his nose. His stomach grumbled and he couldn’t remember the last time he wasn’t hungry. The beginning stages of hypothermia dulled his thinking more than usual.
Five months ago he had a home, a wife, and a job. Since then he had endured several beatings and abuses living on the street. His limited ability to process cause and effect followed a crooked trail in his thinking. In-spite of this handicap his intuitive instinct to survive brought him out of downtown where a plethora of services existed for the homeless but few for the mentally ill. Here on the edges of the suburbs, there were very few services but it was a safer place, away from the downtown predators that stalked and took advantage of him.
Without really looking he slowly angled across the street. A blue pickup slowed but turned wide and went on by. For the last hour interior house lights had begun flipping on symbolizing warmth, safety, and full bellies. His deranged thinking managed an incoherent prayer as he continued on down the hill.
Grayquill had seen instantly the man was not doing very well and he groaned as his conscious told him to go back. “Ugh!”
“How are you doing? You don’t look so good. Where you headed?”
Alex looked up and there was the blue pickup that had passed by earlier. A face leaned low and peered at him across the cab. In his trance like state his brain tried to line up if this was a threat or something else. Cautiously he stepped off the curb and leaned low to peer into the passenger side window. The warm air from the little truck brushed past his face inviting him closer. “Up, down uh…, that way.”
“You hungry? Get in we will go down the hill for some breakfast.”
“Pancakes? Can I have pancakes?”
“Yeah, there will be pancakes,” Grayquill pushed the door open.
In the restaurant Alex ordered pancakes and Grayquill quizzed him on how he had come to such a state. Alex’s words did not track in a straight line. Patrons at another table were eyeing them both and Grayquill being way out of his comfort zone keep telling himself that it didn’t matter what others were thinking. It bothered Grayquill that it bothered him. He followed the guest’s eyes to Alex’s feet. No socks, loosely laced ankle high boots, the laces had been tied together where they had broken and a small puddle of water had formed around his boot.
Several hours later in Grayquill’s office Alex spoke to his wife on the telephone. “I have a job I’m getting better maybe I can come home.” Grayquill had given Alex a broom with instructions to sweep the shop, which he was unable to accomplish. Desperation changed sweeping a floor into a job that would return him home to his wife.
The conversation did little to loosening the chain of responsibility that grew heavier by the hour around Grayquill’s neck. “Alex, can I talk to your wife?”
“Jenny, my new boss wants to talk to you”
“Hi Jenny, my name is Grayquill and I picked up Alex this morning. He wasn’t doing to good. What is going on with Alex? Can you tell me how Alex ended up on the street?”
They were divorced. She explained paranoia and emotional issues that lead to their divorce and now Alex’s homelessness. He had a mother and father who had washed their hands of him. Her story reinforced Grayquill’s first attempt to rid himself of the gentleman. Handing Alex some bills Alex had stared at them and suddenly threw them back at Grayquill almost shouting, “666.” Large scared eyes glared at Grayquill. The serial number of the bill had three sixes scattered within the number. That was when the chain first slipped around Grayquill’s neck.
Grayquill decided the best place to take Alex was the Union Gospel Mission. Half way there Alex comprehended Grayquill’s plan and almost broke down crying as he began pleading with Grayquill to not take him there. “Those people will take me apart.” The chain around Grayquill’s neck got a bit heavier. Turning around, not knowing where else to go they headed back to Grayquill’s print shop. That afternoon Alex got a shower and some clean clothes. Grayquill in his ignorance did not think to buy the man new underwear. The pants Grayquill had scrounged up had a small hole in the right check of the buttocks and allowed an extremely white piece of skin to shine through.
It wasn’t long before an employee wanted to know what was going on and when Alex would be leaving. Alex slept that night on the floor of the print shop. The next two nights were a repeat. Grayquill was getting nothing done – his days centered around Alex, and what to do with him. The weight of responsibility was beyond what Grayquill understood or was willing to accept. Phone calls for advice and help produced ideas but none helpful. In the end Grayquill to his own personal shame dropped off Alex in front of a Welfare Office even though he knew there was no help for him there.
Grayquill here - This experience has haunted me over the years and I carry it as a personal failure. The enormity of the responsibility of just one homeless person kicked my butt. I wish I had shown more courage and this story had a good ending. I have no idea if Alex survived. I am pretty sure I will find out one day when I stand in front of my maker.
Many might say, you did good by helping Alex even if it was only for a few days. You and I both know that is not the truth. Years later I was able to serve in an organization that helped homeless people. That was a much better experience and maybe there I did do some good.
Is there a lesson? Of course there is: Homelessness is one of the very complex problems in our world. Progress can be made by sharing the burden. Many hands make light work…or something like that.
Sorry, for the long post…