Please Put On More Clothes

Or my fashion advice

A few weeks ago the Big Guy and I were at the mall for some reason, on a Saturday. I know absolutely crazy and I’m not much of a shopper.  I have a 5 store shopping limit. Oh, well that is a post for another day back to my original rant. We had stopped at one of those over priced chain coffee type places. The Big Guy was enjoying chai tea, I’m sure I had something with coffee in it. So we were sitting in the “outside” seating area by the coffee shop watching a live music group, that too is for another post, I’ll try to post some pictures of the group. Anyway we had great seats until others decided to stand in front of us. That is mildly annoying but fair because of the location, except for the one young lady (either a teen or 20 something) who decided to stand right in front of The Big Guy. I think she must have been wearing her little sisters shorts, because these shorts were way too short. Good grief butt cheeks where hanging out. Of course this was not a sight either one of us wanted to  see.

So for the past couple of weeks a few thoughts have been bouncing through my head.  I have a couple of decades experience working with teens and young adults as an educator, church and on the job. One issue that often has to be dealt with is what is acceptable dress.  Even when I was younger I never really got into wearing skimpy clothes. Shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops are more my style.  When I wear shorts I prefer cargo pockets because of all the pockets.

It makes me cringe when I see a teen or young woman dressed like that. I think  the message that media and our society sends is that to get a guy you have to dress in a provocative manner. I just want to scream have a little respect for yourself. It is okay to dress attractively but you don’t need to provide a full show for everyone. One of my high school teachers used to say be careful about the bait you use, because you might not like what you catch. Don’t allow yourself to be defined by a single aspect.

So here is my fashion advice: Seriously, people watch what you wear.  It just is not attractive if you have body parts hanging out of your clothes. Oh, yeah and look in a mirror before you leave home.



Repost: What is Barbecue?

Barbecue Grill

My failed trip to a new restaurant claiming to be a barbecue joint inspired me to repost this. It seems this so-called BBQ place only served ribs, pulled pork and ham. It is appalling and should be illegal to call one’s-self a barbecue restaurant and not even attempt to serve real BBQ. Originally posted  February 12, 2008.


Sunday I wrote about my Top 10: Favorite Foods. Number #5 barbecue has created a little bit of discussion. So, I have decided to devote an entire post to it. While I do not claim to be a barbecue expert I am from Texas and that is about the same thing. In Texas we are serious about are beef especially barbecue.

That is right I said beef. Barbecue is beef! It is not chicken or pork. Turkey, ham and German or Czech sausage are also acceptable. I prefer brisket although I do like a good Czech or German sausage.

Now that we have established what type of meat to use let’s discuss how to cook it. First, dry rub and then marinate it for a long time. Yes, I did say marinate and dry rub, it is not either/or it is both. The meat should be slow cooked in either a pit or a big smoker rig. The trick to making a nice tender brisket is to dry rub it & marinate then, cook slow cook it over heat. If you can get mesquite wood for cooking it is even better and it smells great.

Ok, we have the meat cooked lets talk about how to serve it. The meat should be served hot with a warm sauce. There is no need for 400 gazillion sauces all you need is one or two good sauces. If you want variety make a mild one and a spicy one. It is however important that the sauce is warm. Also, mustard is for hot dogs not barbecue do not add it to the sauce. You may however add jalapeno, honey, molasses, beer or Dublin Dr Pepper (Don’t know what Dublin Dr Pepper is then read this.) Barbecue is about the meat not the sauce. If you cook it right, you don’t have to hide it under the sauce. Brisket should be served in thick slices for a plate dinner. In a sandwich it can be either sliced or chopped. Brisket is never to be served thin sliced or pulled. Keep your hands out of my meat! A barbecue sandwich contains bread, meat, pickles, onions and maybe a few jalapenos. Keep your slaw and other frilly vegetables away from my meat. After all this is barbecue not a salad bar.

One last thing about barbecue. When you have people over for burgers and hot dogs break out the grill that isn’t a barbecue. That is grilling or cooking out. It isn’t the same thing. Barbecue involves the use of smoke.

Of course that is just my humble opinion about real Texas style barbecue.

Because it is the right thing to do

AKA another rant.

I had an interesting experience last week.  I was called to testify as a witness for a traffic accident.  When I was notified about the hearing I was shocked that the kid was fighting the ticket. He failed to yield to an oncoming vehicle and was clearly at fault. There were numerous witnesses besides he had to know it was his fault.  As I sat in the courtroom I was amazed at how many people got off simply because either the other party or the officer didn’t show up.  The kid got off not because he was innocent but because one of the key parties failed to show up. The kid was smiling as he looked at his dad after the judge dismissed the case. I walked out of the courtroom disgusted at the entire process .

I was appalled that the dad didn’t use this opportunity to teach his son a valuable lesson about responsibility. Instead his son learned to fight responsibility. There seems to be a big problem in our society today with responsibility.  When faced with responsibility for one’s own actions many would rather blame someone. It is easier to sue, blame others or run from our responsibilities rather that be held accountable.

Yes, the kid had a right to fight and waste taxpayers money. It wasn’t a case of being wrongly accused it was a case of a failure to own up to it.  It might have had somewhat harsh consequences for the kid but sometimes it is necessary to do something because it is the right thing to do.

Year 2: July 2008-June 2009

This month begins the 5th year of the current version of The Dee Zone.

16 July 2008: Just Move Over

Today as I was on my way to work I observed one of my pet peeves. (Yes, I know you are probably wondering which one since I have so many.) Well, today’s rant is about knuckleheads who refuse to move over for emergency vehicles. More …

06 Aug 2008: C is for Cades Cove

Cades Cove is a part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is full of a variety of wildlife but also includes an 11-mile loop that features historic buildings from the late 1800′s and early 1900′s. The abundance of wildlife made a popular Cherokee hunting ground. Learn more …

05 Oct 2008: Thoughts on Church

Recently, I have been reconsidering church and what church is or should be.I have read several things that indicate many today see the church as irrelevant to their lives. One quote that really struck me was that many were not opposed to Christianity but just the organized church. The message of the Gospel is timeless and as relevant today as it was in the 1st century. Maybe it is our concept of church or the way we do church that is irrelevant. I have been analyzing my own experiences and thoughts about church. More…

23 Nov 2008: Real Housewives and Real Children (or Another One of My Rants)

Last night I couldn’t sleep as I was channel surfing I ran across The Real Housewives of Atlanta. I had never seen the show before but I read something this past week that Elf Nino’s Mom wrote about the antics of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. I am really not into reality shows, because most of them seem to feature a lot privileged people whining or type A personalities trying to outdo each other. The reality shows I watch are shows like Food Network Challenge or Trading Spaces. Continue Reading…

05 Dec 2008: Sky Watch Friday – Sailing Away

Taken near Bocca Grande, FLSee more

16 Jan 2009: Sky Watch Friday — Wind Turbines

Time Machine Effect: Crosshatch Process

 More Wind Turbines

06 Feb 2009: Sky Watch Friday: Church of the Heavenly Rest

See More

23 April 2009: Dual Citizenship

am proud to announce that this weekend I was bestowed with a very special honor.  The Big Guy and I became honorary citizens of Walt Disney World. Yes, that’s right I am now have Walt Disney World Citizenship. You may be wondering how this rare award was bestowed. Well, the Big Guy and I were given the pins below when we entered Disney’s Hollywood Studio this past weekend.

Pin we recieved at Walt Disney World.


02 May 2009: What Makes a Good Pastor?

Our church is in a period of transition. As a part of the process we were asked to complete a survey. Most of the survey focused on the type of pastor desired for the church. While pondering my responses I began thinking about the survey, vision for our church, and qualities I want in a pastor.

One of the first things that struck me was maybe I/we are asking the wrong questions. Instead making a list of qualities I/we want in a pastor shouldn’t I focus on what God wants.  It is possible that the leader God has chosen for our church is very different from the one I would pick out. Of course, it is also possible that I am actually being open to God’s leading and not influenced by my own personal biases.  Read the entire post.

4 Years Going on 5

Well it has been 4 years for this version of The Dee Zone.  In honor of that I thought I would share some of the highlights from the past 4 years.

Year 1 in Review July 2007-June 2008


07 July 2007: Dyslexia Explained

In recent months there has been much discussion about Dyslexia and its existence. Some experts claim that it does not exist. Yet dyslexia does exist. It is the most common cause of reading problems.One common misunderstanding is that dyslexia is simply seeing or reading things backwards. Dyslexia is much more than reversing letters it is a processing problem that can affect both written and spoken language. The International Dyslexia Association defines dyslexia as: “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.”  Read more…

frusboy.jpg24 August 2007: What Every Parent of A Child With Learning Disabilities Needs to Know

First learn about your child’s learning disability. Find out the symptoms or traits and problems this disability may cause. Be sure to keep a record of every meeting, test results and diagnosis your child has. More…

grad.jpg09 Nov 2007: A Well Rounded Education?

Our society has become obsessed with getting good test scores. Standardized test scores have become the most important benchmark for accessing the quality of schools, teachers and students. Unfortunately, this has created a school culture that focuses only on tests scores. Teaching to the tests and basic standards has led to the elimination of subjects that are deemed unnecessary. Education should be about preparing students for life not just passing a test. Read more …

Itchy tags 19 Dec 2007: Itchy Tag

I’m trying to work  but unfortunately I’m distracted by an itchy tag. There is nothing worse than creating the optimal work environment only to be distracted by something as trivial as an itchy tag. I just hate the little tags in the back of shirt collars. So, if one tag isn’t bad enough some shirts have a tag on the side as well. More…

ryan.gif11 Feb 2008: Why Roger Clemens Will Never Be as Great A Pitcher as Nolan Ryan!!!

A couple of years ago I read a discussion in the Houston Chronicle about Roger Clemens and Nolan Ryan and who was the better pitcher.  Recent developments have convinced me that Nolan Ryan is and always will be a better pitcher. Here’s why. Read More …

27 March 2008: Sky Watch Friday: Here Come the Bats

This is from my first Sky Watch Friday. It is still one of my favorite photos.

The bats look more like transparent little kites. They are fruit bats at the U.F. bat house.

More on the bats.


David Crowder15 Apr 2008: More Thoughts on Christian Music

Last week I wrote a post about Christian Music. There were some comments about Christian musicians imitating secular musicians. One complaint I have heard many times is that some Christian musicians do not look very Christian. I believe that we should judge music by the lyrics. What message is it sending. More…

01 May 2008: Sky Watch Friday — Animal Kingdom

That tree is actually a person.

This is one of my favorite shots. Look closely the tree is really a person.
See more, including the sky shot.

Annoying people18 Jun 2008: Don’t Take This Personally

Recently, I had a conversation with someone that began with “don’t take this personally” and was followed by a very judgmental blanket statement. Of course, I was offended my character was being attacked. When I became upset the person said now I told you it was not personal. This person did not even understand why I would be upset. Apparently prefacing a personal attack with “don’t take personally” somehow absolves he/she from any responsibility. It is a free ticket for rudeness. The other contention I had with this individual was the use of blanket statements. More ranting…

Road Rant

It seems like some days on my way home from work I get behind someone who believes that driving 15-20 miles below the speed limit makes them a safer driver.  Yesterday, Miss Pokey-Car got in front of me and insisted on driving between 30-40 in a 55 mph zone for over 20 miles. Little Miss Pokey-Car even put on her brakes and almost came to a complete stop to creep over three sets of those pavement grates intended to get you to slow down.  After the first one she was only going 5 mph was it necessary to slow down any more.  Oh, yes did I mention that every time I could pass she would speed up or move over so I couldn’t get around her.

Other days I encounter the other extreme. There is the driver of the light gray Lexus that nearly runs me off the road every morning. This driver is unable to understand that if the car in front of them is going slow because of a car or cars in front of them passing and/or tailgating will not help. The Lexus apparently doesn’t have brakes because when the driver approaches a slower moving car he/she immediately first tries to pass on the right and then the left. If there is any opening even if it is only big enough for a gnat he/she will zip in and around any cars. One morning as I was waiting to make a left turn into work. Lexus dude decide that it was imperative that he pass my car and the two cars in front of me on the left.  Oh, did I mention there was an oncoming car in that lane. I guess owning an expensive car gives one invincibility or something.

Then there was the day I was run off the road by some dude in a white Escalade that must have been texting. He started on on the opposite shoulder (my left) and kept drifting into my lane. I’m sure he was going at least 65. He never even stopped or slowed down. My guess was Mr. Fancy SUV never even  saw me.

In case you are wondering there is a point to my rant. Remember you are not the only driver on the road.

Allergy Rant

Newsflash, I’m ranting again. A blog is such a good platform for ranting. The Big Guy would rather I rant on here than to him.  The topic for today’s rant is allergies. At least I haven’t used this title before I checked.  Well, the other day as I was picking up a $1 sweet tea for the Big Guy I noticed the drink machine at a local McDonald’s drive through. It was one of those evil kind that has one line for all drinks and a push button thing to select the drink. I asked the guy at the window about it. From his shirt I think he was actually management.  He responded that the line clears each time. My response no it really doesn’t and it is death waiting to happen. Unless the machine is completely flushed and cleaned including the nozzles cross-contamination is possible. For a food chain that caters to children it is surprising how oblivious McDonald’s as a company is to food allergies and cross-contamination. I had an allergic reaction once from a shake, the shake machine is similar to the drink machine. Both times even management doesn’t seem to know or even care about food allergies. With shake the “manager” lamely asked do you want a new one and then informed us to get out of line and move on. No are you okay, do you need an ambulance, or even talking to us to the side of the line.  So McDonald’s is not only unhealthy, they are now becoming a dangerous dining establishment.