Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In The Lion's Den

When I went to bed last night, I had decided that my next blog entry was going to be a rant about how pathetic it is when married men piss and moan when anyone dicusses anything related to a woman's period around them. Especially men who are fathers.

However, in light of the recent passing of Senator Edward Kennedy, we here at Snack for Later had a unanimous vote in favor of a look back at his life and career instead of a rant about menstrual blood.

Sorry to disappoint.

A very distinguished gentleman passed away last night. Among most Americans, I think he was most known for his lineage as a Kennedy as well as his long occupation of a senate seat for Massachusettes (47 years!).

I wish people better knew him for the actual work he did while in the senate and not just the length of his senate career. He may not have put much of his brain power into foreign policy or the economy, but his list of accomplishments describes a man who wanted to improve the quality of life for his fellow Americans. See highlights from that list below:

  • Chairman of United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Penisons
  • Immigration and Nationality Act
  • Bilingual Education Act
  • National Cancer Act
  • Title IX
  • Employment Opportunities for Disabled Americans Act
  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Ryan White Aids Care Act
  • Civil Rights Act
  • Mental Health Parity Act
  • Family and Medical Leave Act
  • State Children's Health Insurance Program
  • Public Health Threats and Emergencies
  • Family Opportunity Act
Clearly, this was a humanitarian. Elephants and donkeys aside, the way you vote does not change that this was a great senator. Of course, he wasn't the end-all-be-all. There are events of his past that he's not proud of (some of which that may have kept him from winning his party's bid in a presidential primary) and even legislation that he worked to pass that Snack for Later does not fully endorse. But here's to a man that worked to leave his nation and fellow citizens in better shape than he found them. May we all have the balls to do the same.

Keep It Real!

Post Script: It should be noted that this blog entry was created separately and without the knowledge of a recent and very related blog entry from our friends over at A Cage of Words. Any similarities are completely coincidental, yet probably a sign of similar intelligence between the two authors.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Not going to use too many words. Just watch:

Keep It Real!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hog Wild

Following the end of summer camp, Leni and I have made our way down to Killeen, TX where his wonderful parents live to lay low and visit with them for the better part of a week. The first night we were here, we spent with them, and his brother, Landon, in a little house on a hunting lease north of town. We had a great time shooting both clay and real pigeons, fishing and grilling the fish right there on the side of the water, driving Leni's 4-runner over some rocks in a nearby river bed...all sorts of fun!

The guys got up early in the morning to go pig hunting. Before they returned, I heard two shots in the distance and hoped that it meant that they would come home victoriously. Sure enough, when the truck pulled in, I could see some hooves sticking up out of the bed and knew someone had been blessed. I approached and saw not one but TWO dead pigs in the back. It was a blood bath back there.

I was quite excited to watch as they guys gutted and skinned their pigs and cut them up to toss in the coolers. Once we got home, they were out in the backyard doing some more butchering and putting meat in the slow cooker and sealing it up in plastic for storage in the freezer. It was an amazing process to see yet one that, understandably, grosses out a lot of people.

I myself wasn't even raised in a hunting family so I completely understand those who can't stomach the sight of the whole thing. That being the case, I still very much admire and respect the idea of hunting for food and using animals bodies to the greatest extent possible. Two nights ago I enjoyed a feast of grilled fish where the fish was caught, prepared, grilled and eaten all in the same spot. Compare this to the chicken you may have had for dinner last night. Chances are, you bought it at the grocery store and didn't think twice about it. Let's take a closer look...the amount of time that passed from the time that the eggs was laid to the time that it found itself in your kitchen was likely close to 45 days. 45 DAYS! That's absolutely disgusting. That is such a short amount of time for an egg to be laid, wait to hatch, grow from a young chick to an unhealthy, hormone-pumped chicken that weighs twice what it should, be "couped up" with 2 million of its (physically) closest friends....some of which probably died from harsh conditions and then were ground up and fed to the survivors), be inhumanely slaughtered, packaged, and then sold in your grocery store or perhaps served to you last time you had a hankering for some wings at your local Buffalo Wild Wings.
But I hope you enjoyed it. Let us consider the short lifetime of that chicken while also acknowledging that the pig that my brother-in-law, Landon, shot probably never even heard the shot that killed it. Long, healthy life....instantly dead. As it should be.

Just to satisfy my own somewhat morbid facination with the gutting process that I observed yesterday morning and to possibly gross out you, my few but loyal readers, here are some delightful pictures:

Landon and Leni with the fruits of their morning's labor

The guts came FLYING out!

Leni preparing to smoke the pork

Keep It Real!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The End of an Era

This weekend, I said "good-bye" to our last bunch of campers for the summer. 9 weeks of summer camp....done. This wasn't just any summer. This was my last summer. This ended 10 consecutive seasons of summer camp employment. If you combine time spent training staff with all the weeks spent with kids, that's 107 weeks of my life. 749 days. 2.05 years. Want to count my time as a camper and a volunteer jr counselor from when I was younger? Then make it 119 weeks. 833 days. 2.3 years.

The list of things that summer camp has given me is endless. Here's a sample:
  • Growth in faith
  • Understanding of humility (anyone need a toilet plunged?)
  • Uncontrollable laughter
  • A deeper appreciation for God in nature
  • Unbelievably amazing friends (nice to have a place to stay anywhere I go!)
  • Strength and courage that I never knew existed
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Leadership skills (based on my observations and personal experiences of how to do it and how not to do it!)
  • Better judgment
  • First Aid/CPR certification
  • Challenge Course certification
  • Outdoor skills
  • A never-ending repertoire of songs and games
  • Dehydration
  • Stitches
  • Sunburn
  • Herpes
  • Just kidding about the herpes
  • Utter frustration
  • Bee stings
  • Possible yet not probable exposure to H1N1
  • Front row seats to incredible summer storms
As long as that list may seem to you, it could certainly go on and on. Maybe this is my last summer ever at summer camp, maybe it's not. But for now, I'll leave you with the various ways that different camps in my life have taught me to say "good-bye" and to remember special times:

Keep coming back
Bye for now
It's just goodnight and not good-bye
I'm the better one for the knownin' of you