I’m finally back home.  I’m a little bit tired, little bit jet-lagged, ready for my own remote control, my own keyboard but most of all just glad to be home and check the stock.  Everything was in good health and the warmer weather has treated them well.  

     This was a good trip to Phoenix.  No goats or other livestock, but a good trip, nonetheless.  I spent several hours on Monday afternoon driving skid steers–wheeled and track machines.  Deere, Cat, kubota, Bobcat, new holland and case machines.  Drive ’em like you stole ’em.  Trust me, I put all of them to the test on the obstacle course.  We sell a pile of skid steers, and I really like driving skid steers, so this deal kind of fit me.  I had fun on the drive the hell out of these machines parts of class.  The actual  classroom portions—not so much.  I’ve always been kind of a hands-on kind of person.  “Don’t tell me about it, just let me do it.”  I’m a big believer that you get better at something once you screw it up and learn not to do it like that again.  To me, that’s how you learn–by doing.  And yes, I’ve screwed up a lot of stuff.  

      It was fun talking to people from all over North America and how the winter has treated them, what they sell, etc, etc, etc.  Yes, we’ll have another round.  We’re talking business.  The weather in Phoenix was unseasonably warm.  So warm, that I felt compelled to spend Tuesday afternoon in an un-heated outdoor swimming pool.  Just a tad bit nippy, but very refreshing.  Even caught some rays on my ever-expanding mid-section and face.  

      Speaking of a gut, myself and four other co-workers enjoyed a top-shelf meal at Shula’s.  I’m not going to say that this was the best steak that I have ever had, but I will say that it might have been the best dining experience that I have had.  It wasn’t cheap, but it was incredibly tasty.  The filet was way good, the bartender recommended (not on the menu) lobster mashed potatoes were exquisite.  The salad was tasty, crisp and fresh.  The bread was excellent, but even better when used to sop up the juices left from the ahi tuna appetizer.  Let’s just say that this dinner was good–real good.  

      On Tuesday night, Caleb and I met up with my old buddy John Schoenhals at a really good mexican joint in Chandler, AZ.  John and I graduated together from Shattuck High, were room-mates at Okie State for a couple of years, then he went to ASU for graduate school.  He went to work for Intel, got married and has a couple of boys.  It was good to catch up in real life instead of via the phone, emails and texts.  Unlike years past, we were well-behaved, but it was a really good evening sitting on the patio of this diner with a couple cold ones, killer good salsa and way good freshly made tortilla chips.  

     I get texts, emails and voice messages when I am absent from the keyboard for a couple of days.  This cracks me up and it also humbles me.  At times, it also serves as an enabler.  It’s amazing that people actually read this crap, but then again I read several magazines, newspapers and internet sites that dispense crap that isn’t worthy of being on this blog.   Everything on here is the truth.  Everything–Most of the time.  

      Why don’t I post more when I am away from home?  It’s simple.  I would rather be kicked in the crotch than to type on a smart phone.  I know how to do it.  I just don’t like it.  It isn’t natural.  Thus, the reason that my texts will almost be something short.  I hate it when I get a text wanting to know how something looks.  “Really Good.”  What are they out of?  “Rumour”.   What are the mothers bred like?  

      This is where the wheels fall off.  At this point, I am done.  I will either respond “GOOD”  or “Way Good” or I just don’t respond.  If you want to know that kind of pertinent info, don’t text me.  I will respond via email when I am at my own keyboard or will tell you over the phone, but kick me in the shins as I won’t go very in depth responding to a text.  Me typing a text is like two boys kissing.  I’m just not comfortable with it.  

      Speaking of weird stuff.  My favorite daughter has taken a new job out there in LA land.  She is doing some kind of production work, (I don’t know the terminology) for some TV show that I have never watched.  She took a job with the Amazing Race.  I’ve heard of it, but never watched it.  Obviously, I am in the minority.  It doesn’t matter if I’ve seen it or not.  If she likes it and is happy, then I’m pretty stoked about it.  Now, if she ends up producing Law & Order, Sportscenter or the Cheers Reunion, then you would have me trying to get on an episode.  I can see how I could be a liability to a young aspiring producer.  I’m just tickeled/proud that she has a goal/dream and is working towards it.   She ain’t living in fear.  In the words of the great Jedi warrior, Yoda–“Do or do not.  There is no try.”  Hats off, glasses up.  Nothing but shamrocks and horseshoes to my girl out there on the left coast.  

       And speaking of kids.  I got home to my favorite son wearing a wrist brace.  Me–“What happened?”  Duke–“Fell out of a tree.”  Me–“Which tree?”  Duke–“The big one.”  Me–“Which big one?”  Duke–“The big one in the front yard.”  Me–“Why were you in that tree?”  Duke–“I wanted to climb it.”  Me–“Was there something in the tree?”  Duke–“Yep.  I was until I fell out.”  Me–“No cat, no squirrel with his nuts caught in a limb, no damsel in distress?”  Duke–“Nope, just me in a tree.”  Me–“How bad’s your wrist?”  Duke–“I can show.”  Me–“You sure?  How’s your grades?”  Duke–with excitement in his voice–“I’ve got that low D up to a real high D and it might even be a C by next week.”  Me–with excitment in my voice, “Keep the effort up.  Cs are way better than Ds.”

       Stay flexible but not limp.  It’s good to be home.