Sunday, April 30, 2006


Maybe it's the weather. Not raining anymore...sun's out...not too bad.

Maybe I'm just feeling better about myself and my situation.

Maybe I'm letting good intentions lure me in...again.

Maybe I've forgotten Who has brought me thus far and will lead me home.

Maybe I just want something better for my family.

Maybe I don't want the worries of making the bills each month even though we always do, always have, and probably always will because of the One who provides.

Maybe I'm forgetting there are more important things than things.

Maybe I don't want the responsibility of management even though I can do the job fairly well.

Maybe I do care when I say (and feel like) I don't.

Maybe I'm just tired of caring....nah...

Maybe I've accepted my lot in life and should give up the fantasy of trying to improve it.



Monday, April 24, 2006

This Young Man Understands

Clay Spencer's Manga Page w/Naked Woman

Clay Spencer is the son of Michael Spencer, the Internet Monk (IMonk for short). As Michael says in his post at BHT, this is the kind of 18-year-old I wish I'd been. Instead...I was doubting, seriously, the faith of those who did this kind of stuff. Couldn't get past my 5-Point-Anal-Retentive-Baptist-So-Narrow-You-Could-Look-Through-A-Keyhole-With-Both-Eyes way of thinking.

Read the comments....and downloading the picture!


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Chili Cook-Off

(I've seen this before but it's still stinkin' funny! If you've never had Texas won't understand!)

If you can read this whole story without laughing, then there's no hope for you. I was crying by the end. This is an actual account as relayed to paramedics at a chili cook-off in Texas.

Note: Please take time to read this slowly. If you pay attention to the first two judges, the reaction of the third judge is even better. For those of you who have lived in Texas, you know how true this is. They actually have a Chili Cook-off about the time Halloween comes around. It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the San Antonio City Park

Judge #3 was an inexperienced Chili taster named Frank, who was visiting from Springfield, IL. Frank: "Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table, asking for directions to the Coors Light truck, when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Native Texans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy; and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted and became Judge 3."

Here are the scorecard notes from the event:


Judge # 1 -- A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.

Judge # 2 -- Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.

Judge # 3 (Frank) -- Holy crap, what the hell is this stuff? You could
remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames
out. I hope that's the worst one. These Texans are crazy.


Judge # 1 -- Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.

Judge # 2 -- Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.

Judge # 3 -- Keep this out of the reach of children. I'm not sure what I'm
supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to
give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw
the look on my face.


Judge # 1 -- Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick.

Judge # 2 -- A bit salty, good use of peppers.

Judge # 3 -- Call the EPA. I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting ****-faced from all of the beer.


Judge # 1 -- Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.

Judge # 2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili.

Judge # 3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the beer maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. This 300 lb. woman is starting to look HOT... just like this nuclear waste I'm eating! Is chili an aphrodisiac?


Judge # 1 -- Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.

Judge # 2 -- Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit
the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.

Judge # 3 -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted, and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I'm burning my lips off. It really ticks me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw them.


Judge # 1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices and peppers.

Judge # 2 -- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb

Judge # 3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. I crapped on myself when I farted, and I'm worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Sally. Can't feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my butt with a snow cone.


Judge # 1 -- A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.

Judge # 2 -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. **I should take note that I am worried about Judge # 3. He appears to be a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.

Judge # 3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel a thing. I've lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my shirt. At least during the autopsy, they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing it's too painful. Screw it; I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I'll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.


Judge # 1 -- The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.

Judge # 2 -- This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted, passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it. poor feller, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot chili?


Monday, April 17, 2006

Funny Thing About Governments....


If the soldiers were truly asleep when the body of Jesus was removed, however, it is reasonable to question their merit as witnesses of what transpired! Anyway, their story became the official line, and evidently Pilate did not inquire too closely. Governments tend to get upset when someone rises from the dead; it messes up the bookkeeping over at Vital Statistics.

Funny guy!


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Eostre

(From Uncle John's Trivia daily email)

Today Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Christ . . . but the name “Easter” really comes from Eostre, the dawn goddess of Anglo-Saxon myth. Before the advent of Christianity, she was honored with an annual festival at the beginning of spring. It was also an ancient pre-Christian tradition to give people decorated eggs—a symbol of birth and resurrection—as gifts in the spring. Today, we call them Easter eggs.

(From Northwestern University professor emeritus and author of What Jesus Meant Gary Wills.)

The Gospels are scary, dark and demanding. It is not surprising that people want to tame them, dilute them, make them into generic encouragements to be loving and peaceful and fair. If that is all they are, then we may as well make Socrates our redeemer.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Pics of the Nephew

Here he is...John David or JD as he goes by. My brother was right...looks just like hair and all!!


Saturday, April 08, 2006

I'm Not An Aunt...

...I'm an Uncle...again!

My brother's wife, my third sister-in-law, popped out their first on Friday, April 7, 2006. John David, JD Lancaster, was born 6:26 pm Canada time (CDT) weighing 6 lb 9 1'2 oz. 21 " long. He has reddish blond hair which is not unusual. My brother, JD's father, was a carrot-top when he was born. My dad had red hair and my mustache, and when I grown one, my beard has red hair in it. 6 lb, 9 1/2 oz is a bit small for the Lancasters...I myself was 8/8 (that was big for the 1960's) and my brother was over 8lbs as well. My kids were 10/7 and 9/2. I guess Heidi's family breeds them smaller!

Now my son has finally gotten himself a boy cousin. (At least one that we know is legitimately a member of the family, not one who was pawned off...long story....) But, as the boy said, "I'll be twenty by the time I'm old enough to play with him!" That and the kid is living in Canada! Oh well.

So...Welcome to the World John David.

As a side note. I'm not sure if my brother did this on purpose but it seems that way.

My dad's name is John Scott.
My name is Eric Scott.
My brother's name is John Kurt.
My son's name is Matthew Scott.
My nephew's name is John David.

See the trend? I hope he planned it that way. I did it on purpose to honor my dad and I hope if my son has a son, he will adopt the same middle name as me, my dad and my son. Sort of like a Sr., Jr., III, IV, etc but without the pretension of being a Jr., III, IV, etc.


Friday, April 07, 2006

School Pranks...

Apparently CalTech, Harvey Mudd and MIT colleges have a thing for cannons. In 1986, Harvey Mudd (Claremont, Ca) students heisted the CalTech (Pasadena, Ca.) cannon and made a bit of history. Harvey Mudd/CalTech Cannon Story Here

Now it seems MIT has gotten into the fun and games. MIT/CalTech Cannon Story Here

Which reminds me of a couple of pranks pulled in 1982 and 1983 by the respective graduating classes at Upland High School (Upland, Ca.), my Alma Mater.

In 1982, we showed up to school one balmy may morning to find a new transfer student from Ontario, Ca. His name was Bob and he was a big boy. WAS Bob's Big Boy. You may recall the restaraunt chain that had a Big Boy holding a plate with a Big Boy Burger on it. Well...the seniors of 1982 "borrowed" Bob from the Ontario Big Boy shop and parked him on top of the Admin Building. Great prank! He stayed there for a day or two then quietly made his way back to Ontario.

Not to be outdone, my buddies and I, from the class of 1983, decided to have a little fun as well. My buddies had found the hulk of an old VW Beetle. It had been spray-painted multiple colors and a giant band aid had been placed over one of the dents. We loaded it on the back of my soon-to-be brother-in-law's pickup and drove around town showing it off to some of our friends. Soon we had a about 15 guys with this Bug wondering what to do with it.

Earlier in the school year, a tree had blown down in the Quad. All that was left was a stump about 2-3 feet above the ground. The light bulb went off. It took ten guys to hoist the bug off the truck (I was one of them) and lug it across campus on a Wednesday night. Now the school hosted Bingo on Wednesday nights, a fact we'd forgotten about. We dropped the Bug, with a loud bang, on the stump and my friend Larry jumped up and down on the bumper to wedge it in for good measure. About that time, one of the janitors heard us and gave chase.

Our plane, if caught was to split up and make our way to our individual homes. We were dumb. We all ran for our cars and trucks and beat feet. Curt dropped us all off at our homes around 10 p.m. Everyone except Dan. Dan got caught. To make matters worse, Dan had a bench warrant out on him for failure to appear. (He tried to fight a traffic ticket, got the cop to the courthouse, then forgot what day it was and blew it off!) Cops got called, Dan got rousted, not looking good. Dan spilled his guts, amid tears, and several of my friends (not me) got a phone call from the police.

"Mr. Hanks...Mr. Curt Hanks? This is the Upland Police Department...yes I know it's almost midnight but some of your friends need help removing a car from the High School campus...yes...we'll see you in a few minutes."

Ten guys had lugged that Bug, now five guys had to unlug it. Back on the truck it went. When asked what they should do with it, Upland P.D. said they didn't care as long as it wasn't within the city limits. For years, if you went up Mountain Avenue, passed 24th. Street, and off to the west to the dam. If you looked over the edge you could see a brightly colored VW Bug resting at the bottom of the drop-off.

Needless to say, the Admin was not amused. We Seniors were called, one by one into the Asst. Vice Principal's office. Mr. Ritter gave us our choice. Pull weeds in the Quad. Clean up at the Senior Breakfast. Or skip Commencement.

I wanted to skip Commencement as did my buddies to make a point. Our parents thought otherwise. We cleaned up after the Senior Breakfast. When people asked why we were doing it, we told them. Many laughed and said, "Great Prank". Others shook their heads. Some nodded their heads and said, "Cool man".

I wonder where that car is today?


Thursday, April 06, 2006

They Gave Me... "on-call" pager.


But I don't blame the Chief Pilot...he is just plain sick and tired of the 3:00 AM phone calls to go somewhere. After a just drives you up the bloody wall. It's something that I hated before and am reluctantly doing now. It's my job's what I was hired to do.

Good news is, I am only the "on-call" after hours/weekend pilot every other week. Works for me!

In the job-hunting department...

The Chief Pilot received a call from a local company that has a Beechjet. She was asking him how to find a pilot. He mentioned one of the many pilot job boards and then asked her where she was located.

"In Redding", she said.

"I know you, I flew you to Yuba City once, he said.

"I know you too", she said.

"She know's me too", I hollered. (I had flown her to Yuba City a week after the CP did and then two of her co-workers to Oakland. These two guys had their IPods out on the way home and were ripping up a mean air guitar all the way back to Redding!)

They laughed.

She asked if he was available and how much he wanted for pay. He said yes and gave the $$ amount. I said I was available too for the same $$ amount. She said, "Keep this on the QT...I'll call you back."

I pulled out my checkbook and said, "How much should I make this out for you to mention my name?"

Chief Pilot laughed and said, "They're looking for two pilots...I'll make sure she knows about you too!"

She called back, he emailed his resume and added my name as a potential candidate. one in the hopper.


Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Boy Flys!

My son really hasn't expressed an interest in flying and I haven't encouraged it either. It's a tough life. His gifts and talents lie elsewhere. But I had to fly an airplane on Saturday to break in a new engine. 45 minutes of running high power just flying around to nowhere in particular. My wife said to take the boy. I figured he'd be bored but he perked right up when I asked him.

Out to the airport we went. Hopped in and took off. Not a bad day...a little rain around the hills but the valley was fairly clear. I showed him the inside of a cloud, we circled around Red Bluff, looked at our old house in Shasta Lake City, flew over his school and I let him fly a bit.

Here's some pics...