25. A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That: Part II

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March 9, 2013 by bdetienne

"Here is [the rest of] tonight's top ten."

“Here is [the rest of] tonight’s top ten.”


Our last post gave you some idea of the adventures we participated in during our furlough but we were just getting started. Here’s the rest of the top ten experiences during our time away.

6. Kansas Basketball

It’s no secret that the Burtogram staff loves college basketball, particularly the Kansas Jayhawks. From Mid-October to early April, it is not unusual to have the TV on ESPN. Even the best big screen, though, doesn’t compare to the feel and look of a game in person. I was lucky enough to take in two games at the incomparable Allen Fieldhouse and another at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. (Sidenote: if you ever get a chance to catch a game at The Phog, do it. You won’t be disappointed.) KU was victorious in all three bouts, so if you are the superstitious type, perhaps the university would ask us to join them for all postseason games. It’s a win-win! All three games were seen before the conference season commenced and the Hawks ended up tying for the conference championship, their 9th straight. March Madness begins now and therefore the next four weeks will be the least productive of the year at Burtogram HQ.

7. Superbowl Party

Ever since I was little, I recall getting together with either friends or my family to watch the Superbowl. My team has not participated in the NFL’s championship since I was born but I have still enjoyed a great game, fantastic commercials, or both. We hosted a party this year for the big game. The commercials were not bad but the game appeared to be a rout early on. However, following a 34 minute power outage, a furious comeback ensued and came down to the final seconds before the Baltimore Ravens emerged as the champs. Overall, good times with friends to close out the football season.

8. My wife, the preacher

I have gone to church my entire life and have always respected the man or woman who stands at the pulpit and delivers the sermon. You only see them speaking for 20-40 minutes but the time spent preparing for them is several days. It’s even more impressive when you are married to the person preaching and have a front row seat to the lesson planning as I did when my wife stepped in for our senior pastor one week. On top of her normal duties; an unplanned funeral that she had to officiate; and making time for me, she prepared a message about misplaced priorities. I am biased, but she hit the sermon out of the park. I discover more and more how talented my wife is every day and it was a joy to see her in action.

9. O Canada

Last month my wife’s grandmother passed away. She lived in Canada and we decided to attend her funeral. My wife flew into New York and drove up with her parents while I flew in separately and drove up to meet them. (Sidenote: I learned a very important lesson- know where your passport is at all times. It can save you from having to move back to another flight which cost you more money. It can also save you from flying into an airport at 12:30 in the morning with a four hour drive ahead of you when you could have caught a ride with your in-laws earlier in the day. It can also save you the headache of driving into a snowstorm on an unknown road in an unknown country.) Despite the circumstances surrounding the trip I was glad to be there. It was great to see my in-laws but I also had the opportunity to meet several of my wife’s extended family that I had never met before. They were incredible. Kind, gracious, loving, genuine people. I really enjoyed the time with them during the visitation, dinner, and breakfast the next morning. Sadly we had to leave earlier than we wanted to make the journey back to the States (and eventually, home) but I am grateful for getting introduced to the family. Thank you to the Lemons/Hammond clan for the memories and I hope we meet again soon. (Sidenote 2: my wife’s grandmother seemed like a person I would have liked a lot. I never met her, but with all of the stories I heard on the trip I gained a good idea of what she was like and how much people loved her.)

10. Duck Dynasty

After returning to the States from Canada my wife and I discovered that the snowstorm that hit the Kansas City area was so bad that they had to close the airport. We were able to get to Chicago but were temporarily stranded there until the airport reopened and a flight became available. We found a hotel for the night and after grabbing some dinner settled into our room. I turned on the TV to see what was on and came across a Duck Dynasty episode. I had heard about the show from my father (a fan) but I had never seen it. Curiosity got the better of me and we watched the episode. Wow was it funny. Where has this show been all my life? I think we watched three more episodes after that- I couldn’t turn it off. Each show was better than the previous one. I am not usually a reality show guy but this was an exception to the rule. After we finally got back to our house I immediately proceeded to our DVR box and made sure that all episodes of Duck Dynasty coming on would be recorded. I can’t wait to sit down and view them all!

Perhaps by living vicariously through me you were able to enjoy these stories half as much as I did when they happened. We look forward to sharing more stories with you in the future, only not so long taking place between when they occur and when they are reported.


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