Wednesday, December 27, 2006


The best part of the holiday (besides the most important fact that it is Jesus' birthday) is that moment when two sleepy eyed little boys went downstairs to find that Santa Claus brought them exactly what they wanted. I didn't care if I never got a present. The joy and awe on their faces was enough to last all year.

Now, we just have to find a place to put all the toys.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Oh, yeah

One more thing....I just have to get this off of my chest, then I'll leave it alone.

This morning, I took the twins to day care, as usual, and was looking forward to a nice ride home listening to my favorite radio host, Glenn Beck.

Well, I get in the truck, turn on the radio, and set the station to the talk station. Instead of hearing the wit and wisdom...(okay, the wit, at least) of Mr. Beck, I hear Tejano music!!

Now, it wouldn't be so bad, but we have more or less 20 stations here in this area of Texas. about 12 of them are Tejano stations. One rock, one English Christian, on Spanish Christian, one sports, one news/talk, NPR, THREE hip/hop, rap crap, pop music. They all sound the same. Honestly. Radio is getting as bad as TV.

I may need to get my XM radio out of my truck and put it in the family car.

'Tis the season

Yesterday, the twins officially turned four. I sang "Happy Birthday" to them and they looked at me like I had three heads. I know they were thinking, "We already had our party, so we're four. You're a little late, old man."

Just a couple of quick exchanges that happened since last post:

Me (to The Boss): Well, I am cleaning upstairs. I'm about halfway done. I'm just taking a break.

Connor (after crawling in my lap): That room's not going to clean itself!!

Me and The Boss: (Laughing hysterically)

Another one:

Me: Yeah, our decorations we got at KMart look like redneck decorations!

The Boss: I don't care...they're festive, dammit!!

Logan (with stern look to The Boss): Do you kiss your mother with that mouth!?

Me and The Boss: (Laughing hysterically)

4 days until Christmas.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Cowboys

My new favorite Dallas Cowboy is Martin Gramatica. He hit a 46 yard field goal with 1 second left to beat the NY Giants for the NFC East lead.

Also, the Colts lost to Tennessee, and Rex Grossman for the Bears sucked. The defense won that game for them.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The shoe dropped

Yes, gentle readers, about two weeks ago, I was fired from the toy store. The reason I was given was that I couldn't handle a high-pressure environment (I am trained as a paramedic, remember), and that some things were wrong with how the deposits played out. Well, you know, when new cashiers drawers are off, the deposit will be off.
The real reason, I surmised after talkign to the other assistant manager, is that the district manager and store manager allegedly wanted to bring in an assistant manager from their old place of employment to the current one. Since I was the one who had the most talking-to's about stepping up my performance (and did, so the regional manager told me), I was fired first.
I found, on the state workforce page, that the other assistant manager spot was up for grabs as well. The other asst. manager didn't seemed surprised, and she has another (and much better paying) job waiting for her.
I'll just keep my chin up, pray, and keep persuing work. I have some unemployment coming to me, and I'll have a job soon. I know that God is looking out for me.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


It's here....the opening of my store today. I have been chomping at the bit for this to happen!! It's going to be hectic, but good for me. I spent last night getting our floor waxed, and moving and erstacking the bulk stack. I hope everything looked alright afterwards. I didn't get a call from my manager that it sucked, but that doesn't mean he won't get on me (if it wasn't up to his standards) when I get there today. We'll just see. Pray and wish me luck.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Work, work, work...

Here's been my life...Work, eat, play with my boys, sleep....Sometimes not in that order!! Anyway, I was working one day with my regulation khakis, navy blue shirt with the logo on it, and my lanyard around my neck (I have to. I wouldn't wear an orange lanyard anywhere else on Earth.) when TWO, not one, but TWO people ask me the same stupid question...
"Excuse me, do you work here?" Then, we had some items buy one, get one half off. The signs say "FAMOUS BRANDS"(in BOLD LETTERS) and which brands were buy one, get one for half price (also in BOLD LETTERS). People would ask, "Excuse me, which famous brands are buy one, get one for half price?" I would point to the brand name. Man, I'm loving retail!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Money, money, money

I have to make it. So, I am working at Lowe's to make some. I am starting as assistant manager with KB Toys probably next week, but we'll see. I was assured I am in, it's just a logistical matter. My feet hurt, but I like it. I get to talk to people. Money, though, is dirty. I feel it on my hands after I have handled it, and it's just nasty. After one hour of handling it, I feel like I did those 2 or 3 days after I planted all our plants and flowers at our house in San Antonio. Oh, I got my final rejection letter from the syndicators. Yay!! Now, I just need to write another column. When I have time.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Okay...had my first day of Lowe's training....boring...but I got a good feel about it. Tomorrow, I have an interview with K B Toys at 5 p.m. We'll see if I get a good feeling about that one.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I have Jobs

That's right...I have 2 people who want me to work for them. Lowe's offered me a cashier position for $9 an hour, but it's benefits until it becomes permanent, IF it does. KB Toys asked told me they decided to "go foward with me" for an assistant manager position at the brand new store they are opening. 10 bucks and hour, but benefits, plus I would have to drive a little ways. I'll keep everyone posted.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I know

Yeha, yeah,'s been a week or so since I have posted. There's really nothing to post, other than me going on job interviews and doing the whole dad thing. I do have some irons in the fire still. My last paycheck got lost in the mail, so I had to make a special trip today to sign some stop payment paperwork, and I have to go back tomorrow to pick up my new check. Ah, the glory of the USPS. More when something happens.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


It's my last day of work at the College, and it's also my 36th (read: OLD) birthday.

Wife and kids threw me a Star Wars party. They were all wearing Darth vader helmet masks, and my in-laws and a friend of ours came over. Had cake, blew out the candles, and Logan and Connor helped me open presents. They them proceeded to wear my new shirts I got until bathtime.

I have a lead or two on jobs. I am still looking.

My sister called me already this morning. (Thanks, Kris).

I'll keep everyone posted on what happens next.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Still going

I am still in the job search...I have some good leads, I just don't want to say what they are, in case they don't pan out.

We'll see what happens. I am putting my trust in God and my wanting to provide for my family to guide me.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

And so it begins

I have been searching for a job for 3 days now. No calls. I know that it's going to take a while, but I can always hope that it doesn't, and that I transition seamlessly from one job to another. We shall wait and see.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

As The Shoe Drops

Well, my birthday will be bitter-sweet...(okay, just bitter, since I'm over the mid 30's hump). I found out yetserday that the federal government will NOT be renewing our grant keeping us afloat at the college, and I will be umong the ranks of the unemployed.

But, I have a resumé, and I am NOT afraid to use it!! I also have extra refills for my G-2, and I will be getting reference letters here before too much longer. So, I am set. Now, if I could just learn Spanish in 2 weeks.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Now that the blurb announcing this blog to friends and family ran in the paper, I need to update it more and keep it pithy.

What was I thinking?

Impulse control is not one of my better attributes...

Monday, August 14, 2006

School's in!

First day of Pre-K for the boys. They are excited. Logan wanted his mom to hold his hand while he checked things out. He then went in, started playing, and forgot about his mother.

I think they'll adjust fine.


My new colmn is out. You can read it here:

Friday, August 11, 2006

Smart Kid!

My in-laws were watching the twins, when Logan climbs up in my father-in-law's lap and tells him "Your name is God Popo (my last name)."

My father-in-law asked him why was that his name, to which Logan replied:

"Because you love me more than anything, like God!!"

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I just bought this new stuff I saw on TV to relieve headaches. It's called "Head On". Does anyone know where to apply it?

Oh, well

I got my first rejection letter from the syndicators today. It was from Tribune Media Services (TMS), and it read as follows:

Dear Jason,

Thank you for your proposal for possible syndication at TMS. Rest assured that your work was reviewed by and editor. While we may have found merit in your york, we are not currently launching new features in this content area. We are concentrating on other areas or have sufficient content at this time in the field in which you specialize.

TMS receives many submissions that are of high quality, but we can not take the vast majority. Each submission requires extensive marketing and selling effort, and we introduce a relatively small number of new features each year. Also, TMS editors often solicit and develop material for syndication that does not arrive in the form of a submission.

We do appreciate your interest and wish you the best in placing your feature elsewhere. Should we shift our focus to your area of expertise, we now have you on the radar for consideration.

Thank you,
Mary Elson
Managing Editor/Tribune Media Services

It doesn't hurt when you expect it. One down, three more to go...

Friday, August 04, 2006

The widow

About a month or so from now, my wife will be what is usually referred to as a "Football Widow". The NFL is kicking up soon, and I will be spending either my Sunday afternoons, nights, or Monday nights watching football. And watching more SportsCenter and ESPN News so I can catch up on the games I missed. She hates this time of year for that reason alone.

Maybe Connor and Logan will start watching it with me....

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Today is the birthday of a friend of mine from Jr. High and High School, named Baden Rowland.

I haven't seen you in 15 years, but still...happy birthday.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


I have received two critiques for my work. The first one was from B. A. Mata of Brownsville, TX, which read:

"I had a good laugh at the well-written essay on overly seasoned food printed May 7 written by Jason Wreden, which was titled “No reasoning for the seasoning.” I have cut the letter out and added it to my collection on the refrigerator door."

Thank you, Mr. or Ms. Mata. I aprreciate it.

Then, I had Mr. Don Kique, also of Brownsville, TX, respond to my "Real men wear tights?" column with a great, one word critique:


So eloquent, Mr. Kique. I wrte back and asked what he didn't understand about the column, and I would be more than happy to explain it to him.

Any other questions?

Not so Blue Sky

"Blue Sky" is the Allman Brothers Band song that is stuck in my head this morning, and I WANT IT OUT!! I don't want any Allman Bros. band song in my hand, since I am boycotting them!
A little background:

I was a HUGE Allman Bros. fan for many years. I had the anthology, a few of their albums, and knew every lineup from the 60's until now. I may not have agreed with their politics, but I LOVED the blues-based rock. Then something happened that made me angry.

They fired Dickey Betts.

So? You may ask. They fired one guy. Big whoop. You have to understand that Dickey Betts was the writer of "Ramblin' Man", one of their (if not THE) biggest hits. He also wrote some great jams, like "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" and "Pegasus". I even had a variation of the spelling of "Enlightened Rogues" (one of their best, but under appreciated albums) as a screen name for a while. He is arguably one of the best rock guitarists ever. On the same level as Jimmy Page, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Billy Gibbons, Ted Nugent, and Jimi Hendrix. He gave them some of the greatest lyrics as well.

If he has just left, it would have been different. It wasn't amicable, and they won't have anything to do with him. So, I don't want anything to do with the Allmans any more. Until they bring Mr. Betts back.

Monday, July 31, 2006

New column

I just wrote a killer column about Logan. I will definitely link when it gets published. Now, to write killer ones about Connor and Molly.

I have also been sick since Friday. I was supposed to go see a congregation member in the hopsital, but I couldn't, because I don't want her infected with the creeping crud that I have.

Anyway, it's Monday, and no class today, so I'm just hanging out today.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Boys will be boys

We were cooking last night, when Connor fell off of the bench beside the stove. He was holding a can of cercent rolls, since he was helping cook, and grazed his mouth on the counter.

Me, being a dad and paramedic, scooped him up and sat on the couch with him. Because he was holding his mouth, I asked for some ice. He cried "NO ICE, NO ICE", and took his hand away from his mouth. Thankfully, there were no broken teeth, no cuts, no anything.

He then informed his mother that he dropped the can of crescent rolls.

After he calmed down, he managed to pick himself up, and played. After a while, he climbed back up on the bench, and promptly fell again. This time, he came up stunned, but not crying.

He can no longer help us cook.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Dogs and Boys

I watched "Must Love Dogs" last night, because my wife and a friend rented it. For a trite, banal, predictable, formulaic chick flick, it had a good one-liner or two. I did get my testosterone replenished by watching SportsCenter.

My boys put a washcloth in the toilet this morning after trying to clean up a pee-pee accident. I was "otherwise occupied" at the time. Anyway, I found it and asked them who did it. After poitning fingers, I tried to explain to two 3 year olds about lying. It sunk in, becuase Logan admitted he put the bathtub stopper in the toilet, which was hidden under the washcloth. After a while, Connor broke down and told me he put the washcloth in the toilet. Methinks they're learning. We'll just see what happens next time something like that happens.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sunday, July 16, 2006

New column

I don't come up with the titles for these things...that comes straight from the newspaper guys.

Friday, July 14, 2006


This is Logan. This is one of the VERY few instances when he isn't wearing

a) his cowboy hat

b) his cowboy boots

c) both

See, Logan IS a cowboy. He will tell you that, too. But he's not just ANY cowboy.

That's right, he's a SUPER HERO COWBOY GUY!! It's funny when he has on his boots, hat, and cape.


This is Connor. Connor has some words he says wrong, and part of it is being three, but part of it is being funny. A friend of ours said that both Connor and Logan (his twin brother) are smarter than the 4 year olds she was a substitute teacher for. I'm downloading the Harvard, Dartmout, and Princeton applications for them today. Anyway, Here are just a few words that Connor says wrong, and what the words really are:

"Ma-tee-ya": Tortilla
"Men-strup-shuns": Instructions
"Thames": James (his middle name)
"Men-oc-lars": Binocluars
"Ball-cay-no": Volcano
"Doctor": Stethoscope (he calls the doctor doctor, too) "Maprade": Parade

Monday, July 10, 2006


It rained for the first time in a while. We love rain. The boys got an inflatable swimming pool, and now all they want to do is swim. So, we let them. It leads to naps for them and my wife.

We were going to go see "Superman Returns" (well, actually, I was going to, and my wife and her friend were going to go see "The Devil Wears Prada", which I think he really would), but they dislike crowded theaters. It was Friday, the premiere of the new pirate movie.

I sent in a new column....I'll link when it gets published.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Batman Begins

Okay, so I'm a little late for the dance, but I just saw "Batman Begins". As a superhero fan (I WAS Superman when I was 3), this was a true to the story version of the Dark Knight. The movie was fantastic, and brings in Ras Al Gul (sp) and the Scarecrow. The one beef with me is that they could have developed Scarecrow just a wee bit more, but all in all it was a great movie. For those of you who have no back story on The Bat, check out the film.

Christian Bale was great as Batman, but when he put on his cowl and altered his voice, I thought he sounded like the WWE's Triple H. Anyway, all in all a spectacular flick. And, it's wide open for a sequel, based on the ending. It's one to buy.

Now, I still need to see Superman Returns.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


We watched "Munich" last night. I don't know why all the hype. That was the loooooooooongest 2.5 hours of my life. And, I want Spielberg to give me those hours back. Easily his worst movie since "1941", wait, "1941" was at least intenitonally funny.

if you're an insomniac, go buy this film so you can fall asleep with it. If that doesn't work, watch C-Span.

Let freedom ring

Yesterday was a great day. Independence Day always is great. I thought about all the troops over the past 250+ years who have given their lives for all of us. And, I thank them all. From the Battle of Concord to the present war, I sincerely say, "Thank you".

THIS is the best verse in "America, the Beautiful", and sums up Independence Day perfectly.

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self the country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

German for "clumsy oaf"?

Irrelevant news to my life, but oddly funny. Especially since, as a paramedic, I have a morbid sense of humor. David Hasselhoff cuts hit arm with chandelier glass and severs a tendon while shaving!?!?!? First of all, who's bathroom was he in? An Oompa-Loompa's? Second of all, what is a chandlier doing in a bathroom? I mean, I know it happened in England, but come on!! We all know those things belong in closets. And, who put the chandlier directly in front of the mirror?

Friday, June 30, 2006


Logan, one of the twins, told me last night he wants to go see Superman Returns...and he's only 3. I want to see it, myself, being a life-long Superman fan. The only thing is, he's not heavy enough to hold the seat always flips up and traps him unless I hold it down.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

New phone

My new phone...I had the same one for almost 5 years. I called it my "geek phone", since I had to tape the antenna on with LOTS of scotch tape. It's nothing fancy, but it's mine...mine, I tell ya!!

I must be bored, to find a picture of my phone and post it.

Future stars

My wife works with the wife of the local weather man in town, and all of our kids go to the same school. So, the weatherman took his daughter to a cooking class with my twins, and videotaped the class to use on the news. My wife made him a deal...if he showed the clip at 10 pm, she would watch his daughter this afternoon...he called it a no-brainer. His wife has a conference all week, so he was taking her to work. We taped the was a good 10-15 seconds of air time!! They were extremely cute.

Speaking of deals, the Spurs took another) forward, and traded him to the Milwaukee Bucks for a draft pick in 2007. That's okay, because they had traded for a shooting forward and a F/C a couple of days before. So, I smell another NBA Championship this coming season.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Entertainment Apathy

Okay....which do I care LEAST about? Moose, the dog who played "Eddie" on Frasier dying, Star Jones leaving the man hating nag-fest called "The View", or Charles Gibson moving from Good Morning, America to World News Tonight?

I never wanted to throw my TV out of the window so much since Katie Couric jumped ship, and everyone was acting like she was retiring (which wouldn't be a bad thing). But then again, I want to throw my TV out of the window every month or so.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

New Not-so-Super Heroes

It seems that one of my twins, Logan, was saying something all weekend and we couldn't figure out what it was. It sounded like American Indian or something. It sounded like "KrimmonKin".

Then, as the boys were cruising in their tractors (yes, we're from a farming family), he jumped off, got in the classic super hero stance, and said, "THE CRIMSON CHIN!!!"

The Crimson Chin, for those of you without either Nickelodeon or children, is a superhero that appears sporadically on the Nick show "The Fairly Oddparents".

I SERIOUSLY need to rent some Batman and Superman videos for these boys to watch. Or turn off the TV.

Monday, June 26, 2006

New column

For those of you who don't know, I write a monthly column in my local newspaper. I don't get paid for it, but I do it because I like making people laugh.

I posted the link on--where else? The links page.


Friday, June 23, 2006

Jason the Elder

Just in case I don't post this weekend, I'll let you know now that I am being installed as an elder in my church. This is a humbling honor for me. So, I may have a picture or two to post next week.

The guy on the avatar is Martin Luther, since I can't use the official cross of the Luthern Church-Missouri Synod. And that is his symbol, the Luther Rose.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Here we go....

All right....I watched about 2 inutes of that new show "Master of Champions"...can anyone say "That's Incredible" without the old hosts? Oh, yeah, there's that re-make of "The Gong SHow" with David Hasselhoof and Brandy...didn't know Brandy was as far down on the star lst as Hasselhoff.. While I am at it, Discovery Channel has "Deadliest Catch", about crab fishermen in the Bering Sea. It's considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Now, though, they have "Lobstermen: Jeopardy at Sea". No, they don't play the game while lobstering. It's not as dangerous as crab fishing. Next thing you know, they'll come down here to the Gulf Coast and do "Shrimpers: Caution on the Whitecaps".