Night Hens Caught on Camera

The Night Hens at The Black Sheep Coffee Shop. This was transcribed from a series of phone videos.

MD: I’m going to name my son Pandora, so I can always talk about Pandora’s Boxers.
TL: You’re terrible!!!
RM: What if he wants to wear… briefs?
MD: I won’t allow it.
RM: What about……. … …
MD: NO! Remember in Shrek 3?
TL: That was Shrek 2. It’s a THONG!
MD: And his nose goes woooooooooopp *mimes a growing nose*
RM: What if he wants to wear a loincloth?
TL: Oh yes, a manly… manly… *recording ends*

RM: *saying a crossword clue* Slice of cake.
MD: Yummy!
TL: Dericious.
MD: I looooove cake. I loooove wedding cake.
RM: You love your own wedding cake.
MD: I love cheesecake… for breakfast!
TL: *wiggling the camera* I like bread and butter… I like toast and jam. *turns camera upside down*
MD: *bounces from side to side*
RM: Are you taking a video of us? Upside down? *recording ends*

TL: *Turns camera upside down*
RM and MD: Aaaahhhh!!! *waving arms in the air*
RM: Help! Heeeelp!!!
TL: *turns camera right side up*
RM: Oh, I feel better.
TL: *turns camera to the side*
RM: I’m feeling sick. Eehllllaaaaahh….
MD: This is the best ride ever!
TL: *once again, upside down*
MD: We’re upside down!
RM: Are we? Oh. I hadn’t noticed.
MD: Okay, that’s enough.
TL: Oh, fine. *recording ends*

TL: *recording secretly*
TL: *turns camera upside down… again*
MD: *noticing* ahhh!!!
TL: *right side up*
MD: I… I was upside down… but now I’m better…
TL: She turned me into a newt!!!
MD: *looks aghast* A newt– *recording ends*

RM: What’s an unstressed vowel?
MD: *looks aghast* Regular?
RM: Silent?
TL: Relaxed?
MD: I am silent like the ninja!!!
RM: Relaxed? A relaxed vowel…
TL: Oh… that might not be good…
RM: Drugged? Groggy? Napping! A napping vowel!
MD: Wait… did you say vowel?
RM: Vowel! Yeah! What did you think I said?
MD and TL: *laughing uncontrollably*
TL: *breathlessly* Bowel!
RM: Bowel?! An unstressed bowel… *laughing uncontrollably*
*recording ends*

The Night Hens apologize if your delicate sensibilities were offended in the transcribing of these videos.

Regarding Kevin

by the Night Hens

Regarding Kevin

RM’s friend from the blog Zumbro Falls Impressionist is with us today.

RM: We need to start being funny pretty quick here.
MD: I think we used up all our funny last night
RM: That’s inappropriate funny for the blog.
ZFI: How would you define what is appropriate for the blog?
MD: Hmm…anything that Kevin would comment on saying, ‘I really want to comment on this, but if I do, I’ll get killed’ would be inappropriate, I think.
ZFI: Who’s Kevin?
TL: Oh, Kevin’s always saying, ‘I’m going to buy you a beer to tick off your dad.’
MD: Because we’re underage.
RM: He’s interested in guns, and MN Militia…
MD: And hunting.
ZFI: Oh my.
TL: He was threatening Ben with a harpoon when he and MD were courting, because, you know, ‘decapitate the first boyfriend’ and everything. He didn’t end up stabbing him though, much to the chagrin of me and most likely the unending joy and gratitude of MD.
RM: He ended up giving the harpoon to them when they got engaged.
ZFI: Wow! He’s probably got some story about having that!
RM: No, he just bought it online someplace.
*much laughter*
RM: Last year I saw this sign at Micheal’s Craft Store that said, ‘No Trespassing. Violators will be shot. Survivors will be shot again.’ I picked it up and showed it to MD and TL and said, ‘Who does this remind you of?’
TL: No, I showed you it and said that!
RM: Oh, did you? Whatever. Anyway, I gave it to Kevin, and he got a big charge out of that.
TL: Although he said it was an insult.
MD: Yeah! ‘So you’re implying that I wouldn’t kill them the first time?’
ZFI: So you think that when people drive by his house and they see the sign, they think, ‘Oh, who lives there?’
RM: He said he would hang it on his door. But that would be pretty un-neighborly, and from what I’ve read on his blog, it sounds like he has some sort of connection with his neighbors. He probably hung it in his garage someplace.
MD: There was that time when we opened the can of whoop-dance because of that dare…
ZFI: How’d it go? Who won?
RM: Faith won… no question about it.
MD: Kevin was like, ‘I don’t want to do that.’ And I said, ‘You’re doing it, Kevin!!!’ and he was like, ‘Okay…’ and Ben said, ‘You know, MD, I’m gonna beat you because even though I’m a white Lutheran boy, I got rhythm!’ And I said, ‘Yeah right, Ben!!!’ And I kicked their butts!
ZFI: So he may be good at hot dish…
RM: And lutefisk…
ZFI: And lutefisk!!! But he’s not good at dancing. Neither of them are.
TL: And should we talk about his girlfriend?
ZFI: Kevin has a girlfriend?
RM: So what about that lovely young lady? Why does she hang around him?
MD: Oh you know Kevin is a ladies man.
RM: So if he’s a ladies man, why does she hang around him? She must see right through him!
MD: It’s because he’s a ladies man and she sees right through him!
MD: And why didn’t they come to the Superbowl party?
RM: *dramatic gasp* They spurned us!!!
MD: So now we’re gonna talk smack about him on the blog, because he spurned us!
ZFI: And you know he’ll love it!
RM: Oh yeah, he’ll be all over this.

RM: So do we have anything else to say about Kevin? He is someone of such great depth…
MD: He is an enigma.
RM: Kevin is an enigma!
ZFI: So is this a long blog post?
TL: Not really.
ZFI: No? You should do a part two!
RM: Kevin Revisited!

*We’ve segued back into inappropriate topics that will not be posted.*

55 random things

I was tagged by Gabrielle at I’m Free Now. The “55 Things Meme”:

55 Things
1. The phone rings; whom do you want it to be?
Ummmmmm, Publisher’s Clearinghouse.

2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart?

3. If you had to kiss the last person you kissed, would you?
I think so.

4. Do you take compliments well?
Yes, thank you very much.

5. Do you play Sudoku?
Yes, but I’m not obsessed like some people I happen to live with.

6. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive?
It seems unlikely.

7. Do you like nipple rings?
Never seen one up close and personal, if you know what I mean.

8. Did you ever go to camp as a kid?

9. If a sexy person were pursuing you, but you knew he/she were married what would you do?
Cough, cough. That happens all the time. I just ignore it.
NW: Hey! *puff, puff* Come back here!

10. Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you?
I’m married so I quit dating a few years ago.

Night Chicks at the Diner

The Night Chicks, without the mother hen, but with special guest, the top rooster! At The Copper Dome on Randolf and Hamline:

NW: Brrr. I wish I had worn my fleecy vest
MD: I know, it’s cold.
TL: Really? I’m hot.
NW: Just slurp away at the hot coffee…ahh, the mug feels good in my hands.

NW and MD are mesmerized by the tv, which is positioned above and behind TL. It is tuned to FOX News.

TL: You’re so lame, just watching the tv with that glazed expression on your face.
NW: Mmm, glazed. Makes you think of having a glazed donut…
TL: Should I get peaches or blackberries on my waffle?
NW: You could ask the guy, I bet he knows.
MD: They won’t let me get any kids portions, would they?
NW: Ask the guy, and bat your eyelashes.
TL: Bludgeon him with your eyelashes!
NW: The tv’s talking about the Coleman-Franken race, and here I haven’t had my breakfast yet. Oh, the inhumanity!!
TL: What’s so important on that tv that’s more important than me and Faith?
NW: Well now they just had video of wildfires in California, and then they put Bill Ayers’ photo on the screen. I think the story is that Ayers is responsible.
TL: That explains it.
NW: Obama came in here (Copper Dome) when he was in town and had blueberry pancakes.
MD: I’m glad I’m not getting the blueberry pancakes.
TL: Is that why there’s not very many people in here?
NW: In this neighborhood? I think they’re having his booth bronzed.

MD: (looking at TV) Ooh, it’s the Ashton Kutcher commercial.
NW (Talking to tv): Get a shave, kid.
*Waiter thinks NW is talking to him*
NW (muttering): Was talking to tv, never mind…

NW: So where’re the mounds of hilarity? You guys are a lot funnier when you’re with your mother.
MD: It’s not sunny enough.
TL: Plus the tv’s on.
MD: As you can see, our hilarity depends on our surroundings.
NW: Well, I know it’s not me.

Optimus Prime has a Stop Sign Except it Says . . .

The Nighthens attempt to bailout the Nightwriter who is defaulting on blogging for more serious pursuits.

Before leaving the house for coffee:

MD: Mom, are you drinking coffee?
RM: Yes, I have some coffee on Friday before we leave.
MD: Then you have another cup later?
RM: I regularly have two cups of coffee in the morning. It’s not like I can’t stop anytime.

Here we are at Moose and Sadie’s, downtown Mpls. having coffee and other things, which are delicious. It’s lovely sitting outside on the deck, watching the world go by.
MD: I can’t believe it, you’re eating like a European.
RM: Eating with the fork in her left hand and and pushing it around with the knife in her right?
MD: Yeah.

MD: Mom, It’s less than eight months til I get married. Isn’t that amazing? This time last year I thought it was going to be 4 years.

TL: I was practicing the dance moves last night.
RM: The christmas program dance moves?
MD: Yeah. I’m so bored with everything I come up with for dance moves.
TL: You need to do lots of spins and kicks.
MD: That’s what we always do. And lots of crazy arm-waving.
TL: That’s because its cool! And when I do the dance moves, then my hair flies in my face.
MD: So you just do dance moves because it makes your hair look cool?

MD: Mom it’s your birthday on Monday.
TL: Holy cow, it is.
TL and MD in unison: What do you want for your birthday?
TL: You might get 80 degrees for your birthday. Heck, that would be great for my birthday. But I had to born in Feb.

A strange man approaches: Are you all going to be here a few minutes? Could you make sure no one walks off with my laptop, I have to go plug the meter.
RM: Sure.
MD to TL: You should be in position to chase after anyone who takes his laptop.
RM: Yeah, you can do that head/neck separation thingy.

MD: We need something exciting to happen around here.
TL mumbles.
RM: Someone to raise our taxes?
TL: No someone to attack us.
MD: Attack us, raise our taxes. They’re not much different.

TL: Look there’s an airline pilot over there.
MD: Maybe he’s a stewardess and not a pilot.
Hey, look at that. It’s like a poop sign, except it says stop!

MD: Did you hear me give Kevi my verbal ‘save the date’ last night?
TL: Doesn’t he want to come to the wedding?
MD: He usually goes camping with a bunch of his hunting dude buddies on Memorial weekend. But he told me he’d try to make it. I said I would hang onto that.
RM: It would really ruin it if Kevi weren’t there.

TL bothers MD, like she’s going to poke her in the nose.
MD: Get away from me you crazy argonaut!!!
TL: Hey don’t sneeze on my notebook.
It’s like a blank page, except it has ‘snot’ on it.

MD: That guy has a transformer’s messenger bag. That is so cool.
TL: I wonder what it turns into. (High pitched voice): Optimus Prime, I knew you were real. They all laughed at me, they didn’t believe me and they put me into the fun house.
I mean funny farm. But I knew you were real! I’ll show them! Let’s go tear up this stupid, un-believing city! Shun the non-believer! Shhhuuuuuuunnnnnnaaa!

We’d better get her home. Bye.

Behind Police Lines at the RNC

Last Saturday we shut down our super secret chaplain headquarters in downtown St. Paul. I’ve been asked not to name the location, but I can tell what we did. Police chaplains from around the state got together and set up a haven for any and all law enforcement personnel. We provided hot food, a place to sit and eat, bunks, showers, an area to relax with a TV, and most important of all, appreciation and encouragement for men and women doing a tough job. We had cops from Cedar Rapids, IA, Chicago, Tucson, Arlington, TX, and New Jersy, not to mention from all over MN. And those are just the ones I either saw for myself, or heard were here.

Each of the about 50 chaplains who made it through the vetting process were asked to work at least one 4-hour shift during the Republican National Convention (RNC). The shifts were from 2-6 and 6-10 every day, however, after day one, it became apparent that we needed to be there much longer than those hours. There were also many people from local churches who volunteered to work in our impromptu kitchen and mess hall.

We had a huge grill set up in back of our building and 15 or so tables inside. We set up two buffet lines: One for burgers, brats, dogs, and sometimes steaks, and one for desserts, mostly homemade. Everything was provided and paid for by the chaplains and their ‘faith-based organizations’, or by people and companies with which they were affiliated. Nothing we provided was paid for by the RNC or local police departments.

As chaplains, it was our job to connect with the law enforcement personnel and let them know what we had available for them and that we were praying for them. Monday, I worked the first shift with about 18 -20 chaplains from various cities. That day I chose to work the ‘outside’ perimeter which is anywhere on the street. The ‘inside’ perimeter being actually inside the X. We had been encouraged to take care of our own cops first, so I wanted to head to Fleming Field, So. St. Paul’s airport, where I knew one of ours was stationed. Since we were required to use the buddy system I went with Clyde, who is with the same department as I am. We took bottles of water and candy bars along to distribute. When we got there, we saw the police car out in the middle of the field and we couldn’t get to it because it’s completely fenced and locked. So Clyde called dispatcher and asked them to radio the car and have them meet us at the terminal. It turned out to be a lady who I know pretty well, and with whom I have done ride-alongs. We chatted with her for awhile. She had been on since 11:30am and was scheduled to work until 12:30am. Ugh. The St. Paul and So St. Paul airports were closed down for the duration of the RNC, so this was a pretty boring assignment. While we were talking two air marshalls arrived and we passed out water and candy. They seemed happy to have a break as well.

Clyde and I then made our way back downtown and began stopping on any corner where we saw cops gathered and handing them water and candy. That was just about every corner. We informed them of the super secret chaplain headquarters and mess hall available only to law enforcement. This was the only time it got scary for us. I turned left onto old 7th Street, which is a very narrow one-way. There was a police car ahead of us and ahead of it was a group of protesters in the street, some of whom were wearing black scarves over the bottom of their faces. This group looked like they might cozy up to a touch of anarchy. Clyde and I agreed this would be a good place to leave, but we were blocked in and had to wait til the protesters cleared the street. It was a very weird feeling watching these people whose intentions were unclear and maybe less then pleasant. Two of them stopped in the middle of the street and just stood there. This couldn’t be good. Then I realized they were posing for their friend who had a camera. Somehow that made them seem a lot more human. Hey, they just want to get their picture taken protesting in St. Paul. Who wouldn’t?

We eventually made it back to HQ and decided to walk around town and talk with cops we ran into. They were everywhere. We saw some making arrests and I got the strange sense from the arrestees that they were satisfied with whatever it was they had done — as if being arrested proved that they had succeeded in their protestations!

We spoke with one cop, stationed on the street, who told us they were happy to see chaplains around offering them food and water because they knew they could trust whatever we gave them.

That was Monday.

I worked the first shift again on Thursday and during our briefing, our head chaplain told us that the protesters planning a real ruckus, since it was the last day. He said the cops would be using ammo like paintballs, only larger, to mark protesters to be arrested. He warned us that if we got caught in the middle of something and ended up getting painted, we should just lie down, otherwise we might get a cracked skull. Thursday seemed like a good day for me to stay and work food service at HQ. I spent my time cleaning tables, wrapping sandwiches, and serving food to law enforcement, who were unfailingly grateful for what we were doing for them. I greeted a cop who had ‘Arlington’ on his arm patch. I have friends who live in Arlington, (MN). When I heard his voice I knew he wasn’t from around here. “You’re not from Arlington, MN, are you?” I said. He said “I thought I was doing such a good job not sounding like a Texan. I’ve only said ‘Y’all’ once.”

Altogether, the leader of our group estimated that the chaplains served more than 10,000 meals (in the land of 10,000 lakes) to the police during the four days of the convention and Saturday morning’s clean-up. It was interesting being behind the scenes of something like this. I really had the feeling, any time I drove downtown, that there were just a lot of people who didn’t look as if they belonged in St. Paul. The police had a tough job trying maintain order and protect property and people (including those protesting) in a high pressure situation while under a lot of scrutiny. They really were a long-suffering group. In the end, I’m very happy to have been able to encourage some men and women with peace and kinder words than they were hearing on the streets and I hope our prayers and presence helped create a more positive outcome for everyone who was downtown last week.

I Join a Motorcycle Gang

That is, if three a gang does make.

The thoughtful Night Writer suggested I spend a day at the spa during our recent Arizona odyssey. I looked at the price of a day at the spa and decided that was ridiculous. Especially since I am the Finance Minister at our house. Then he suggested I rent a Harley Davidson. I’m not a big fan of Harleys, but I discovered you can rent pretty much any kind of bike you want, if you’re willing to pay the price. And it was about the same price as a day at the spa, but a much better value, if you ask me.

There I was on the beautiful morning of Wednesday last, picking up the BMW 1200 RT which I had reserved before leaving MN.

BMW 1200 RT

It’s a huge bike, the biggest I have ever ridden, weighing in at 600 lbs, wet. Did I mention it’s a bit top heavy? At one time in my life I owned a BMW motorcycle which was probably almost as heavy as this one, but it was shorter and had a much lower center of gravity. Does it sound like I’m defensive at all? I hopped on this thing after being briefed on its various accessories (heated seats, heated hand grips, car-like cruise control, vertically adjustable windshield) and functions (LED screen that lets one scroll through more information than anyone could possibly want to know). The owner and his admin. assistant had gone back in the building and, hopefully, weren’t watching me because I couldn’t get the monster upright off its side kickstand. Boy, did I feel stupid. Then I realized I had my foot too far away from the bike and if I moved it in as close to the bike as I could get it, I could gain just enough purchase to shift the bike upright. I took off looking, I think, exactly like I knew what I was doing.

I rode around the block and started to get the feel of the bike. I could tell it was weighted differently than what I used to ride, but other than that it felt like riding a BMW. It felt great. The BMW shifting has always sounded a little clunky, and still did with this model, so that was normal. I rode out of town on a route that would take me into the mountains.

(Rev.) Motorcycle Mama

It was a gorgeous day, about 65 degrees, clear and sunny. Why had that couple who had rented a bike just ahead of me put on all that gear? Nylon pants over their jeans, heavy jackets, big gloves. Jeeez, it was a nice day. I began going up, up, up, into the mountains and, oh my goodness, the temperature started going down, down, down. Still, I didn’t feel cold until my first stop at Jake’s Corner Store, after riding about 60 miles. I got off the bike and went into the store to get coffee and check out the facilities. And I started shivering. I hadn’t even realized I was cold until I stopped riding. The coffee felt really good going down. As I was standing by the bike drinking coffee and eating a banana I saw two bikers I had passed earlier at some wayside stop pull in. They didn’t stay, however, and pulled right out and drove away. I noticed, however, they were both riding BMWs. I got back on, managed to right the bike, turned on the seat and hand heaters, and took off.

Another thirty or forty miles through the mountains and I came to the Roosevelt Dam, where I decide to stop for the view. I took a right into the parking lot and, lo and behold, there were the other Beemer riders and a few other bikers, as well. Of course, I wanted to look very cool as I pulled around gracefully into a spot, positioning myself so I would be pointed in the right direction when it was time to leave.

Just as I came to a full stop, however, my balance shifted slightly left and … the bike and I went down. As my (helmeted) head hit the pavement the thought ocurred to me to just lay there till I died of embarrassment. I didn’t think it would take too long. But I heard the bike was still running so I leapt up and hit the kill switch. At that moment another rider ran up and said “Let me help” and lifted the bike up for me. I was mortified. I started chattering about how I hadn’t ridden, really, for years, and was rusty and anything I could think of that would make me look less of an idiot. But he, and his friend who also came over, said this could happen to anyone. They were very gracious and did their best to make me feel better.

We began admiring each others’ bikes (turns out they were the guys on the BMWs) and just talking motorcycles, my recent lack of knowledge of which would fill large volumes. We rode together to another view of the dam from the other side, and then, because we were going the same direction we all rode on in a group. Thus, a gang. Of three. All on BMWs. Pretty cool. Especially since I had the biggest bike. If you’re wondering how intimidating a gang of BMW riders, picture this: “Hello, we are Hans, Franz und Eva, and we are here to … pump you up!”

We stopped in Superior, AZ for lunch and got to know each other better. I found out Leon was a retired ironworker, living in Scottsdale and Doug was a Baptist missionary on sabbatical for one year from his work in Taiwan. I knew that God had sent them to watch over me and I was very glad of that.

We continued on after lunch, heading back in the general direction of Scottsdale where I had rented the bike. At some point, Doug had to leave us and head home, but Leon stuck with me all the way to the rental agency. When we stopped at a gas station so I could refill the tank I actually had to have Leon lift the bike to upright for me because the combination of very smooth cement, my very smooth-soled boots and a small amount of weariness from riding 200 miles all left me unable to raise the machine to vertical.

Here’s a photo of me and my guardian angel and his immaculate (1976, I think) BMW 1000.

Leon and his bike and me.

Results in Romania

Patience and I are now safely back in hot and sticky Garden Valley, TX.

The preliminary results of the ministry that we are involved with in Romania are very promising. Every day, our two teams went to two different parks and put on a Vacation Bible School for any children who were there. That means four different parks and four different groups of children. After the first day the children were waiting for our teams to show up and there were more children each time. Over the course of the four days the gospel message was presented in a progressive way beginning with what God had made, progressing to how man had sinned and been separated from God, and then to what Jesus did for us, then to what God now requires of us. At the end, on the last day, the children were given the opportunity to offer their lives to God. Many, many of them did.

What will happen now is that Salem church, with whom we have been working, will send teams of people back to those same parks one day a week to meet with the children and continue teaching them about Jesus. Their hope is to actually find an opportunity, at some point, to visit each child’s home and invite them and their parents to church. What a marvelous thing it has been to be involved in the very beginning of an outreach like this.