Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


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I've enjoyed seeing the many family pictures from Easter that everyone's been posting on Facebook the last couple of days.  The Cruzers had a great time in Alabama this past weekend.  So here's one of my favorite pictures from the entire weekend.  Thank you CJ for this classic Easter Sunday photobomb!

Nothing like a good photobomb on your birthday.  This one is from a couple years ago.  I'm sure CJ is happy about that iTunes gift card he's holding up and the birthday cake in the background but for some strange reason, no one notices those two things in this picture.

Little cousins like to photobomb.  Andrea and CJ thought they were having fun with blueberries but Cooper jumped in and had a little fun of his own.  For me, this picture symbolizes the joys of summer.  

I had no idea how popular photobombing was until I Googled it.  I almost busted a lung at what I found.  Allow me to share.

Cats photobomb.

Cats photobomb other cats.

Dogs photobomb. 

Dogs photobomb other dogs.  Some dogs even photobomb their own breed to make it look like they are one super long slinky dog that can walk around corners.

Horses photobomb.

Fish photobomb.

Here is the extremely rare giraffe photobomb.

Photobombing is very equal opportunity.  White people photobomb.

Black people photobomb.

Asians photobomb.

Even little people photobomb.

Would you believe that Stephen Hawking photobombs?

 The covert photobomb.  Do you see it?

We even had a photobomb of the classic Cruz pose.  The horror!

Thanks for taking this stroll down photobomb lane with me.  Until next time.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

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Monday, April 2, 2012


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So a couple of years ago, Abercrombie & Fitch got their pee-pee shwacked:

In April 2005, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California finalized a  settlement of Gonzalez v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores.  A&F had to pay $40 million to several thousand minority and female plaintiffs who charged the company with discrimination. A&F also had to institute a range of policies and programs to promote diversity among its workforce and to prevent discrimination based on race or gender.  A monitor will regularly evaluate and report on the company's compliance with the provisions of the consent decree.  These provisions include:
  • "Benchmarks" for hiring and promotion of women, Latinos, African Americans, and Asian Americans. These benchmarks are goals, rather than quotas, and the company will be required to report on its progress toward these goals at regular intervals;
  • A prohibition on targeting fraternities, sororities, or specific colleges for recruitment purposes;
  • Advertising of available positions in publications targeting minorities of both genders;
  • A new Office and Vice President of Diversity, responsible for reporting to the company's chief executive officer on the company's progress toward fair employment practices;
  • The hiring of twenty-five recruiters who will focus on and seek women and minority employees.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Diversity Training for all employees with hiring authority;
  • Revision of Performance Evaluations for managers, making progress toward diversity goals a factor in their bonuses and compensation;
  • A new internal complaint procedure; and
  • The company's marketing materials will reflect diversity by including members of minority racial and ethnic groups.

The info above comes from Wikipedia which means it's absolutely true.  I want to bring something up really important though.  Have you been inside an Abercrombie & Fitch store lately?  What is up with the crazy loud music and the heavy marine layer of cologne and perfume floating in the air?  The only redeeming quality of the overpowering music and cologne is that you could do the crop dusting fart thing in their store for as long and as loud as you'd like and no one would ever notice - not even the worker girl that needs permission from the store manager so you can enter the fitting room.

I do like some of their clothing but dang, the freaking shopping bags they give you are enough to make you stop shopping there.  Or go workout.  What guy wants to walk around holding a shopping bag with a half naked dude on it?  We got this one shopping bag recently that had a picture of a dude fully nuded up.  At least that photo was taken such that none of his twigs or berries were showing.  Very considerate of you A&F.

Now I fully realize that I may have surpassed A&F's target audience (18-22 years old) by a couple of years.  And by "years" I mean "decades."  Maybe that's why they're purposely fumigating me out of their store with that rancid cologne like a dang mosquito spraying truck on a muggy Alabama highway ridding the county of its unofficial state bird.  Carol is usually an enthusiastic shopper and she even refuses to go in their store now because of the massive barrage on her senses.

And so what's my point?  Online shopping is awesome.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Run Duck Run!

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During summer breaks away from VMI, on the weeks when I wasn't aboard a Navy ship during my midshipmen summer training cruises, I was off earning my keep and being a contributing member of the society known as Virginia Beach.  Many of my college peers were smart enough to strap on business attire and do administrative support type work in cushy, air-conditioned offices for their temporary summer jobs.  As for me, I was barely one level above an illegal migrant worker hopping into the back of a total stranger's pickup truck loaded with farm animals to break my back with some serious blister-producing man labor.  And you know what, I've got zero regrets about sweating my tail off during those "summer breaks."  There's something very humbling about good old-fashioned manual labor.  We need to teach our kids this lesson.  God loves a hard worker.

And so my destiny in life for a few summers was to be a member of the Timberlake Community Association maintenance crew.  Our charter was to keep the homeowner's association happy by maintaining the grounds.  We were the silent refrigerator trolls that scurried around out of sight, beautifying the neighborhood and raising property values whenever the refrigerator door closed.  We landscaped, cut grass with tractors and mowers, manicured the curbs with edgers, and took a weedeater to every square inch of that huge community.

Whenever a private homeowner was lax with their lawn mowing duties of their own personal property, they would receive a nasty-gram from the homeowner's association.  If they didn't cut their grass after several warnings, the association would call in the maintenance crew to cut the slacker's yard - whether they wanted it cut or not.  It was communism at its finest.  The cherry on top was the over-inflated bill these slackers would receive in their mailbox shortly after the covert grass cutting.  These homeowners were never pleased to have total strangers cutting their yards.

I remember one angry old man standing in his doorway as we're about to crank up our faithful Toro mower, cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth with two inches of ash barely hanging on, beer-stained wifebeater t-shirt covering his gut, and double-barreled shotgun at his side.  I swear I heard him mutter under his Pabst Blue Ribbon breath, "Go ahead, mow my lawn."  Yeah, we weren't gonna take a chance on that one.  Considering that the best years of our lives were still in front of us and that our current salaries were just a smidge north of minimum wage, we collectively decided that we wouldn't test that guy's resolve on that sweltering day.  I can imagine that old guy's explanation while proudly standing over our dead corpses, "They were on my property officer!"

We encountered a wide gamut of characters during these attempted "forced mowings."  At one end of the spectrum was the trigger happy old man wielding a shotgun.  At the other end was the slightly attractive cougar clad in her open bathrobe revealing enough cleavage to make Christina Aguilera blush.  Btw, have you seen Christina as a judge and mentor on the singing competition show, "The Voice?"  My gosh girl, cover those things up.  It's incredibly distracting.  Makes for a titillating show, but still.  Anyway, back to the cougar.  I think this Mrs. Robinson wannabe was purposely letting her garden grow just so she could get a rise out of our sweaty band of migrant workers.  It worked.

And so one of the funniest memories from my days as an, ahem, Professional Landscape Technician, was when one of the filipino guys on the crew started eyeballing the ducks.  It was a nice neighborhood with several quaint ponds.  The ducks were plentiful.  During the spring, the yellow ducklings would follow Mama duck around.  Cars would politely stop as the train of ducks would cross the streets.  Very cute stuff.

Well, my filipino buddy hadn't been in the US for all that long.  His accent was still very thick and more importantly, his attitude on life was still thick with the filipino culture and life challenges.  It can be tough living in the Philippines to say the least.  I saw that with my own two eyes when I visited my parents in the PI back in 2008.  Depending on where you live, food can be hard to come by, especially meat.

As time passed, my buddy's infatuation with the ducks steadily grew.  It was pretty funny watching this grown man chase the ducks around and never catching them.  This guy knew how to make us laugh.  The work we were doing was back breaking stuff.  I felt like the kid from Charlie Brown that always had the dust cloud surrounding him.  I had multiple callouses on my hands from whacking weeds all day long and was extremely dark from hours sweating under that Virginia Beach sun.  And so my friend's dalliance with the ducks was much needed comic relief.

Until one day, he chased down one of the neighborhood ducks, caught it, took it home, cooked it, and ate it for dinner.

I guess he wasn't joking after all.  I'm pretty sure he only did it once.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Super Ariel!

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Flashback Friday

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Uncle Don and Alexis

This was from Alexis' 16th birthday party down in the country.  I think Alexis will be like her Mom in that she will always keep the family close to her heart.

So if you have room on your prayer request card, please pray for Uncle Don's health.  Like brother Steve preached at church this past Sunday, nothing is impossible with God.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - The Joys of Moving

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