Marty's Joke of the Day

Marty's Joke of the day is an internet column that I've written for more than 5 years.
I tell humorous stories about my "sweet wife" and raising our 4 young sons, named #1, #2, #3, and #4.
After 5 years of story telling, in August of 2005, doctors found a brain tumor in son #4.
Our focus here has changed little as we still try to find humor in our lives.

Monday, July 30, 2007

7/30 - More Fun in the Sun!

Monday, July 30, 2007

So I told you in my last issue that I’d tell you what the
worst thing in the world you could hear while you’re on a
week long Pioneer trek. How about if the Stake President
(Who, by the way, plays a mean guitar background while penny
whistles are playing!) came up to me during the trek on
Thursday afternoon, put his hand on my shoulder and said,
“Your mother-in-law called one of my councilors to relay a
message. It seems you had some flooding problems at your
house.” Ugg... Ok, not the worst thing in the world, but it’s
up there on the list.

On Wednesday night when son #3 came down to let Buddy the dog
in, everything was fine. But when he went back on Thursday
morning he opened the front door and there was water spurting
out from under the kitchen sink. He ran back to Grandma’s
house to alert the troops. I guess a fitting on the hot water
supply line came apart right under the sink fixture. We
figure it ran all night long, maybe up to 15 hours.

Grandma and Grandpa ran down, turned off the water main line,
and stood there in disbelief. It was a huge mess. The two
basement drains worked pretty well, but not well enough.
There was about 2 inches of water over most of the basement,
and it got to most everything; all of the carpet, my sweet
wife’s art supplies, some of her finished paintings, the
kids’ video games, their computers, the laundry, and all of
the “stuff” that comes with having 6 messy people in a modest
home. Fortunately my computer and a lot of my genealogy
pictures and files were saved.

After working on it a while, Grandma and Grandpa decided it
was a larger job then they could handle. Luckily they were
collecting our mail and found an insurance notice with our
agent’s phone number on it. They called and the agent got a
clean up crew out there within an hour. Funny thing though,
since then I’ve been working with the insurance adjuster, but
I have yet to hear from my agent. He hasn’t even called to say,
“So, how ya doing?” yet. Hmm... Do they just sell you
stuff and then collect money over the next 30 years?

In the basement, with 70’s style paneling and a (really?) wet
bar we rarely used, we’ve decided to rip everything out and
remodel. We think this plan will fit nicely in to our
schedule. However, now that the Pioneer trek is over, there’s
still a small matter of week long Boy Scout camp, being in
charge of a 25 year HS reunion, “ride for kids” and the
“rubber ducky derby” next month. So we’ll just take one day
at a time.

On the other hand, with all trials there are always some
lessons to be learned. Here are a few of mine;

1.) Trudging across the Rocky Mountains pulling everything
you own on a handcart, gives you a different perspective on
the blessings you already have. So now, whenever I tell
people about our flood, I use my new three favorite words;
“It’s just stuff”

2.) Although living down the street from your in-laws can be
a double edged sword, if your in-laws are a cool as mine,
it’s really a blessing. (At least for us it is, I can’t speak
for them [grin])

3.) Having replacement coverage insurance is a must. I think
this is the only claim we’ve had on our homeowners insurance
in the last 20 years, and I’m grateful that our adjustor is
good to work with. (But that agent of ours...)

4.) Having replacement coverage insurance is also a double
edged sword;
“You have $7,000 worth of contents (or “stuff”) damage.
But, the depreciation value is $4,500. In order to get your
additional $2,500, you have to buy $7,000 worth of “stuff”
and show us the receipts.”
Not that having to buy $7,000 worth of “stuff” is necessarily
bad, but it would have been nice to put the money in the bank
and buy “stuff” only after we needed it. When I first heard
about the flood, I was looking forward to just throwing out
most of our “stuff” and starting over. I’m now convinced that
this is result of the scripture ‘prove me now herewith...
...[I’ll] open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a
blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it’
(Malachi 3:10). Ok, I get it. Tithing works, very well thank

5.) And finally, I’ve learned that there is perspective in
everything. Years ago I would have thought that a trial with
a flooded basement was a big deal. After dealing with a
pediatric brain tumor and all that goes with it, this trial
is a walk in the park.

So, day to day, we’re still learning and plugging along.

And, hare are a couple more things that are happening. Son #4
got invited to a golf tournament put on by Smith’s grocery
store, raising money for Primary Children’s Medical Center.
(his brain tumor hospital). Son #4 got to play in a pee-wee
golf tournament with Rod Zundle, one of the local sports
casters. Rod seemed pretty busy practicing his swing at the
driving range, calling on his cell to get the Jazz Bear and
his cameraman there, but once they started playing golf, they
seemed to do well. I’ve got some good video that they played
on the news last night; I just have to remember how to post
it on the web for you to see. Out of the 8 teams, son #4 and
Rod didn’t get the best score, but he did win a blue 4 gig
Ipod nano. It holds 1000 songs. I’m not sure he even knows
that many songs! [Side Note; The night before the tournament
I told son #4 we needed to get out my putter and practice
putting. His response? “What’s a putter?” When he won the
Ipod, Rod Zundel (on camera) said, “Look son #4, you won an
Ipod!” His response? “What’s an Ipod?”]

Son #4, Rod Zundle, and the Jazz Bear

Son’s #1 and #2 thought the Ipod was pretty cool, but son #3
was a bit jealous. “Mom, it’s been 2 years since son #4 had a
brain tumor, and he’s STILL getting free stuff. It’s not
fair!” Yup, he’s right, but what can you say to him?

“I’m sure he’d trade you places if he could...”
“He’ll be blind all of his life...”
“He didn’t ask for it...”
“People are just trying to be nice to him...”

None seem to be the right thing to say.

And, what do you do?
Buy son #3 him his own? No, that rewards whining.
Buy #1, #2, and #3 their own? No, too expensive and wasteful.
Sell son #4’s and get something he could use? Maybe...
Convince son #4 to give it to dad and all will be well with
the world? Yeah, that’s the best idea.
We’re trying to pay more attention to son #3, but he senses
it and wants even more. How can 4 personalities be so

So, life goes on...

Enjoy Today’s Jokes

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

7/24 - A few short stories

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Yes, we’re still around and Its Christmas! (even though it’s
Pioneer day in Utah.)

Ok, it’s not really Christmas, but this month seems like a
December. Not because it’s cold. (We’ve had record days above 100º
this month) But, because this month is so darn busy!

Here are some updates, and some stories I can remember;

My Father’s estate; The antique auctioneer guy came and hauled all
of the antiques out of dad’s house. The auction is August 12th in
Ogden Utah, if anyone is interested.

We got my sweet wife’s little brother married off in Manti Utah.
It was on 07-07-07. I don’t think that Manti Temple has ever been
busier. They had something like 36 weddings there that day. On the
Friday before the wedding, we came down early and went fishing. I
caught 3 fish, but grandpa said I only caught 2 (and tied with
him). Probably because I let son #4 reel in one of my catches. But
I know I still out fished him! – At the reception when the groom
threw his new wife’s garter to the single males there, son #1
caught it. Now he just needs a girlfriend and a driver license!

Let’s see, what else? We’re getting a simple bath room remodel
done. But, our handy dude has gone missing for 3 days, and we’ve
got two huge holes in our basement floor, all the way to the dirt.
Looks like this is going to be a long job. [Huge update on this in
my next issue...]

A Funny; Son #4 said to my sweet wife today, “Mom this eye,”
(pointing to his “good” eye) “is for seeing. And this eye,”
(pointing to his totally blind eye) “is just for decoration.”

One last thing I can remember; Last night we took the Scout troop
up past Alta ski resort (at about 9200 feet) and had a quick camp
out. There were 6 Scouts sleeping in a large tent. There was a lot
of wile life around. We saw a full sized male moose wandering
through our camp, and heard several coyotes the next morning. But
that night, at 10:00 pm, I went over and told the boys to be
quiet. At 10:30 I did the same thing. Still no luck. At 11:00 I
had had enough. I quietly went over to the tent, started
‘sniffing’ and snorting. I moved the gravel around with my foot to
make them think something was out there. Then I scratched their
tent and made more noise. They kept on chatting. But, one boy
finally said, “What’s that? Be quiet! What was that?” After about
15 seconds they were all listening to me. Finally one boy stood
up, started to undue the window, and I growled really loud,
scaring all 6 of the boys, pretty good. They screamed and yelled,
and I finally said, “Now get to bed and be quiet this time!”

But, unfortunately, it was one of those, “Boy, that was a dumb
thing I did” moments. Those 6 boys were so scared, that they
stayed up most of the night scared to death of what was out there.
I even got a call from son #2 at 4:00 AM saying, “There’s a Moose
or an Elk sniffing outside my tent and I don’t know what to do!”
Yeah, right. At 4 AM while it’s pouring rain. Mr. Moose is bedded
down somewhere. Anyway, it was one of those nights.

I’ll tell you more about our Pioneer Trek adventure and “what’s
the worst thing that could happen to your house when you’re out
for a week” in my next issue.


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