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The best way to start 2008

Yes I did go to a New Year’s party Monday night. Believe it or not, I also got some sleep, woke up before the first sunrise of 2008, and went out to shoot pictures.

I didn’t shoot pictures too well, though. I’m not sure what that was all about. For the most part, I was really really lazy, driving up and down some residential blocks in town, sticking the camera out the window and snapping away before frostbite set in.
The pictures came out mostly blurry, which I’m still trying to understand. I probably had the settings on “slow speed,” which matched my mood Tuesday morning.

I did get out of the car at Gordon Lake. The thing I didn’t like about the first sunrise of 2008 was the total absence of clouds. Clouds help sunrise and sunset shots.

There were no clouds around, so to be truthful – other than the fact it was the first sunrise of 2008 – it turned out to be pretty boring.

Maybe I was still in my “holiday vacation mode” which started Saturday morning and ended Wednesday morning. Even in that four-day reprieve, I found myself spending entirely too much time at work.

Other than that, I had plans with my two sons, Brady and Dillon.

Brady lives in Fort Worth, is getting past his “lost youth” period and now runs his own landscaping company.

Brady also plays drums like a bat out of hell, and is practicing with his Dallas band, IMI, for an upcoming studio recording session.

My other son, Dillon, flew in from Indianapolis Saturday evening. Since you can’t meet the passengers as they walk off the plane (for security reasons), Brady and I decided to shadow Dillon when he approached the baggage carousel like two spies from the Bourne Ultimatum.

Problem was, the plane was one and a half hours late, and American Airlines kept changing the baggage carousel on us.

Meanwhile, Brady and I attracted the attention of airport security. Evidently they were a little concerned we were slipping from one concrete beam to another, using hand signals from across the room like Green Berets in Somalia, and using families for cover.

Fortunately, we weren’t carrying anything illegal, were both completely sober, and the seriously dedicated pat down by security officials lasted only 20 minutes and left nothing but minor bruises on our egos.

We still managed to snatch Dillon away from the airport, but only after he spotted us first from about 50 yards away, laughing all the time we were being undressed by airport security.

Another hour lapsed before his baggage actually arrived on the carousel, and we drove like demons on US 121 to make it back to Fort Worth before Salt Grass closed and the boys could order the largest steaks on the menu.

Then, on Sunday, we ate at our favorite hamburger joint, Chaps, in south Fort Worth, before driving way north to Roanoke for some paintball wars.

Everything went great at Chaps, until Brady decided to perform the scene from Pulp Fiction where Samuel Jackson is discussing Kahoni burgers. A large church group, mostly young kids with a few adults, all stared at Brady as he played the role to the hilt, fortunately cutting himself off before the scene’s profanities began.

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief, most especially Brady’s parents.

Following that, we spent five hours doing paintball battle. Ok, Brady and Dillon went into battle. Daddy wasn’t dressed for the part, and he was halfway through a Hunter S. Thompson biography.

Ok, and I didn’t want to show up the young ones with my finely-honed skills in the bush with a paintball gun.

Following that, the three of us drove to Plano to listen to Brady drum away for four hours with his band at a suprisingly-nice practice location.

The next day, Brady went back to working on yards, while Dillon and I drove back to Iowa Park. He’s had some fun with his cousins, especially New Year’s Eve, and now at presstime Wednesday I’m almost positive he is watching ESPN Sports Center with his PaPa.

We’ll kick around town today looking for things to spend money on, then head back to Fort Worth Friday after the Lady Hawk’s district opener against Burk.

Brady and I will accompany Dillon to the airport again Saturday in a way-too short week. We’re thinking Dillon will look good handcuffed, accompanied by federal marshals into the AA terminal. That is unless we run into the same security personnel from Saturday, at which time the gig will be up and Brady and I might end up spending time in a room without windows.

I just wish I had both boys closer to me. Like a block away. If that happened, this town would never be the same again.

For now, 2008 is being pretty good to me. I couldn’t appreciate it more.

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