Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Watermelon Cutting 2006

'nuff said!

Do You Enjoy Your Job?

I do enjoy my job. Isn't that important? I like to think that I make a positive difference in people's live, especially children. So do my co-workers. I have often thought that so many of the "helping" professions are not paid as much as professions that are less critical to the "needs" of people. I suppose that helping those who are disadvantaged or disenfranchised in some way is inherently not ripe for financial reward. But financial rewards are not everything! Knowing that you have made a positive difference in the life of a child and have promoted personal responsibility is priceless. Just a thought for today. I feel better now!

A New Judge

My friend and co-worker has been appointed by the governor as our interim District Judge, pending the results of the November election. A little birdie told me this was going to happen some time back, but I refrained from violating a confidence.

Being a District Judge is heavy duty stuff. The lives of so many children can be affected in a positive or negative way depending on the judge's decisions. Shelly has what it takes to be a tremendous judge. Notwithstanding the importance of upholding the law, I believe Shelly will bring her common sense and Christian world-view to the bench.

Last Day

Without any fanfare or much notice, a judge who has served our county for 26 years conducted his last child support docket today. Actually, he retired a couple of months ago, but I think he is too dedicated to just let things go undone. Thank you, Judge, for your great service!

Bank Street Deli, Reprise

Several of us made another visit to Bank Street Deli yesterday. I mentioned it in an entry on June 19. I thought I'd include a photo this time.

Decatur Daily Article


Here's a cool article on President Theodore Roosevelt, sent to me by a friend.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Happy 76th!!!

Dear old Dad has made it to 76! This is the guy who has done everything from coaching me in baseball when I was 10 to putting me through college! Thank you Lord for a great Dad and I hope he enjoyed his day as much as I enjoyed spending it with him!

Terry's Pizza

Matt's team party was at my favorite pizza place, ever.

Joe sat with me...

David and his friend stuffed their faces...

Time to chow down!

Terry's Pizza brought Chicago-style pizza to Bama two years before my parents immigrated here from Illinois...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Saturday's Stars Game

Matt's team party was Saturday. After a trip to Terry's Pizza on South Parkway, we all headed to the Huntsville Stars baseball game versus the Chattanooga Lookouts. Huntsville is in the AA Southern League of Minor League Baseball. The team was founded in 1985 and is currently the AA affilliate of the Milwaukee Brewers organization.

Saturday was free bat night at Joe Davis Stadium. The kids all received free bats and my boys obtained some autographs, especially my oldest son, David, who got around a dozen.

Joe Davis Stadium was considered "state of the art" for minor league baseball when it was built back in 1985. Joe Davis was the mayor of Huntsville who was instrumental in bringing minor league baseball to town. He was also the mayor during the years of unprecedented growth during the 1970's. During the past year it has undergone some much needed renovations, including new seats. One of the best things the park to me has always been the view. The mountains east of Huntsville, including Monte Sano, create a scenic backdrop.

I had season tickets to the Stars during their first few years in Huntsville. I got to see many future major league players rise tthrough the organization, such as Mark McGuire, Jose Canseco, Terry Steinbach, Walt Weiss, and many others during the 1980's and 1990's.

Despite the 4-3 loss to the Lookouts, the boys all had fun! One of the best moments was when Lookouts player Noochie Varner lined a foul ball into our section. Matt's teammate, Landon, had the ball hit the back of his seat and ricochet against his back and land next to him. I reached back and got the ball. I gave it to Landon and told him that he earned that ball the hard way. He had a big red spot on his back that will turn into a nasty bruise. I hope, though, that he always remembers the excitement of getting the ball! I think I won a friend for life after I gave him the ball!

Game summary from Lookouts website.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

CF Penns

Yesterday I ate at a Decatur dining "institution" with some of my co-workers. C.F. Penns specializes in good old-fashioned burgers cooked in grease. I ordered a double cheeseburger "all the way". If you want to reduce the grease a little bit, be sure to ask for one that's "well-drained".

Decatur Daily Review

"Deep-fried devotion", article in the Decatur Daily

Busy Weeks

The last few weeks have been busy. I don't think I ever had time to blog about half of the things the boys and I did in June. I was off work some but with one of our workers having just retired, I had to still try to keep some things "afloat" by going in at least a little wile on most of my "days off". A few highlights of the month included: Vacation Bible School, the boy's baseball games, trip to Lake Guntersville and Buck's Pocket State Parks, visiting with my sister and parents, taking the boys to work and to court, an Xbox baseball tournament with the boys, a pick-up baseball game with the boys and their friends one afternoon, watching the movie "Cars" at the theater, buying the boys some cool baseball tee shirts, going to church, and the list goes on and on! July looks like it will be busy and fun as well...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Braves' Slump

I am a huge Braves fan and always will be. Right now they are in the middle of an 8 game losing streak and they are 3-18 in their last 21 games. This is the worst stretch of games in manager Bobby Cox's career. That's amazing, because he was a very young Braves' manager in the late 70's when the Braves were one of the worst teams in history. If the Braves have any hope at all, it is that last year the Astros were behind by 14 and 1/2 games on this date. Unfortunately, I just don't think the Braves have the pitching they need.

The Braves have a professional sports record 14 division championships in a row. I hate to admit it, but I am resigned to that streak ending.


I'm sorry. I am having a huge problem with Myspace. If they were responsible they would SHUT THEMSELVES DOWN until they put sufficient safeguards into place so that they cannot be a vehicle for pedophiles.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

This Old Chair

Back in 1970 I was five years old. I had a "girlfriend" across the street. My love life was better then than it is now (LOL)! I lived in Illinois and there was a cornfield in my back yard. My favorite song was "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" by B.J. Thomas. I played it and sang it to my "girlfriend" over the phone, according to my Mom. I had my first record player and I wore out that 45 RPM record so badly I had to get a new one. And this was the chair that I sat on at the dinner table...

Monday, June 19, 2006

A Sign of the Times

An Awesome (Father's) Day

I am a father. I have three boys if you haven't figured that out already! I am so blessed. Despite some problems, I love my life and I am thankful to the Lord for blessing me so much. Think about this: anyone can complain about something that has gone wrong in their life. That's too easy. I don't care what your circumstances are; I hope you know the Lord and how good He is to you. I can certainly testify that He has been faithful to me through the worst of circumstances. I have been blessed with three boys who have accepted Jesus as their saviour and if nothing else good was to happen in my life, that would be enough. Thank you Lord. Somehow, I think You will do even more!

Yesterday was a great Father's Day. I woke up at 6:00, eagerly anticipating my time with the boys. I got a bath, dressed, and was off to pick them up at their mom's at 7:45. They were ready, albeit half-asleep. We rode home to Vinemont. After breakfast, I made sure they all took a bath and brushed and flossed their teeth before church. I was defeated in an Xbox baseball game by David. Joe shot his bb gun in the yard. Matt hung out and got ready. This was not spiritual, I know, but we listened to WXRT Chicago online for Terri Hemmert's "Breakfast With the Beatles" program. Hey, it was an historic day, musically, being Paul's 64th birthday.

Anyway, I wondered at one point if the boys would even remember that it was Father's Day. That concern was put to rest when Joe and Matt walked into the house with a flower and said "Happy Father's Day!" Yes, my heart melted! By the way, David later also told me the same. We headed for church at 9:45. As is the norm, we took time to pray together. We went to Journey Church in Eva, Alabama. The pastor preached a great message. He reminded us dads that our greatest resonsibility and highest calling was to teach our children about Jesus. He instructed the children to ask their dad who is Jesus. Another thing the pastor mentioned was the gift of letters from fathers to children. I took that as an affirmation. That's one of the main purposes of this blog. If David Michael Wilhelm, Joseph Patrick Wilhelm, and Matthew Ryan Wilhelm ever read this in the future, they should know one thing above all: their Dad loves them with his whole heart!

After church, we rode home, had a frozen pizza for lunch, an awesome smoothie for dessert, and then headed out to Matt's all-star game. Matt's team won the 2:00 game by default - the other team didn't show up. Then we had 3 and 1/2 hours to kill. Matt's team practiced a little while. Then I surprised the boys by taking them to the matinee of the movie "Cars". I was pleasantly surprised by that movie. I really enjoyed the moral lesson of love at the end of the movie.

Matt's team lost the 6:00 game. Matt was 1 for 1 with a double. After the game the team went to the Dairy Queen in Hanceville. Joe sat with me and we had a good time. I got hugs from all three boys at the end of the day. Now that's a great day!

Not Bad For 64

Cool article; great present for 'Beatle Paul'.........

Bank Street Deli

Today at lunch, two of my workers and one of my attorneys and I visited the Bank Street Deli in Decatur, Alabama. I had a great BLT, bag of chips, and chocolate chip cookie. It was the best part of a busy court day!!!! We had a great time talking about our children and our experiences in Washington, D.C.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Devil, er, Bush, Made Me Do It

Washington Post Article

The author of this article is the "poster child" for the modern day "Ugly American" who fails to take personal responsibility for immoral behavior. It is also typical of the liberal left, who blame President Bush for everything bad, even the weather!

I'd like to hear your comments about this article!

Rainforest Cafe

Wednesday evening the boys and I ate at the Rainforest Cafe in Nashville. It was a cool experience for the boys. Dad had fun too! It turned out to be the perfect day to take the boys because kid's meals are $1.99 on Wednesdays. Matt and Joe ordered the pizza kid's meal and David ordered the popcorn shrimp. I chose an appetizer for my meal. I ordered the calimari and marinara sauce. It also contained squid. We all really enjoyed our meal. The boys all sampled the calimari and liked it. Before they knew what it was, they tried the squid. They didn't like it too much. After I told them what it was, their dislike changed into hatred! Maybe it's the name; it just sounds too slimy! I'm not too crazy about squid either. To me it tastes like fish-flavored rubber bands. The highlight of the meal was the "Volcano"! A volcano is made up of four large brownies topped of with ice cream, whipped cream, caramel, and chocolate syrup. The waiters bring it out and say out loud, "Vollllllllcaaaaaaanooooooo" as they bring it to your table. It was pricey ($11.98) but it was large enough for the four of us. Every 30 minutes or so the restaurant has a pretend "thunderstorm" and a gorilla roars. The rainforest environment was fun, but the temperature was pretty cool and the air was pretty dry for a rainforest. Sorry, that's just the weather geek in me coming out! Before they left, the boys got their faces painted and balloons.
It was great fun for the kids!

All Star

Matt had his first all star game today. His team lost to Hanceville. He did not bat and only played in the field.

We Are Family

Mom and David

Joe and Cara

The boys and I at the Grand Old Opry Museum

Cara and the boys

Friday, June 16, 2006

When I'm 64

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah...the author of the song fulfills his prophecy on Sunday. Well, maybe not exactly, but it's a day that seemed so far into the future, only yesterday.

Download this song if you have lived under a rock and have never heard it!


When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now, Will you still be sending me a Valentine,birthday greetings, bottle of wine? If I'd been out 'till quarter to three,would you lock the door? Will you still need me, will you still feed me, When I'm sixty-four? Hmm------mmm---mmmh. You'll be older, too.Aaah, and if you say the word, I could stay with you.

I could be handy, mending a fuse, when your lights have gone. You can knit a sweater by the fireside, sunday mornings, go for a ride. Doing the garden, digging the weeds, who could ask for more? Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty four?

Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight,if it's not too dear. We shall scrimp and save. Ah, grandchildren on your knee, Vera, Chuck, and Dave.

Send me a postcard, drop me a line stating point of view. Indicate precisely what you mean to say, yours sincerely wasting away. Give me your answer, fill in a form, mine forever more. Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty four?


Chicago Tribune

USA Today


CBS Photos

CBS News

Monday, June 12, 2006

Baseball Wrap-Up

This weekend was the end of the 2006 baseball season for the boys.

On Friday June 9, Matthew's team played a doubleheader at Hanceville. They lost both games again, but they showed some improvement. Matt was 1 for 1 in the first game and 2 for 2 in the second game.

On Saturday, Joe's team defeated Fairview at Fairview, 15-2. Joe was 0 for 1 with a walk.

David's team played a doubleheader at Fairview on Saturday. They won the first game and barely lost the second game. David made his pitching debut in the first inning. In the first game David was walked once and was hit by a pitch. He scored one run. In the second game he was 1 for 3 with a double and one run scored. It was a hot day and one of David's teammates was carried off the field aftersuffering from heat exhaustion.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Here's Mama Cat

Stray Cats

What do you do when a stray cat decides to take up residence on your front porch? Before you ask, NO, I have not fed it, nor have I been particularly welcoming in any way; neither have my boys. Don't get me wrong, we haven't been cruel, we were just assuming for a long time that the cat belonged to someone else. It didn't appear to be starving or abused in any way. Well, that persistent thing has now hung around long enough that it has apparently thought it has found a home.

To make matters worse, she became pregnant and gave birth to four cute kittens last Thursday night. Now what do we do?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Lake Guntersville and Buck's Pocket State Parks

Matt...Buck's Pocket

David...Buck's Pocket

Lake Guntersville

Buck's Pocket

Davis at Buck's Pocket

Matt at Buck's Pocket

Matt at Lake Guntersville

Joe at Buck's Pocket

Thursday, June 08, 2006

We Went a Courtin'

On Tuesday afternoon, 6/6/06, the boys and I went to visit the District Court of Morgan County. Judge Bibb has been sitting in even though he is retired. The election was held Tuesday and perhaps Governor Riley will appoint an interim judge.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Wheeler Wildlife Refuge

Friday the boys and I spent a little time at one of Alabama's treasures along the Tennessee River.

Camino Real

The boys and I ate at Camino Real in Decatur Friday afternoon. I guess you could say it was your typical run of the mill Mexican restaurant. The boys got the cheese dip and I got the two burrito meal. It was all good. One good thing about it was that we all enjoyed our meal and it didn't cost much more than fast food at Mickey D's.

Snake on Board

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Monty Coles was 3,000 feet in the air when he discovered a stowaway peeking out at him from the plane's instrument panel: a 4 1/2-foot snake.Coles was taking a leisurely flight over the West Virginia countryside in his Piper Cherokee last weekend and was preparing to land in Ohio when the snake revealed itself.
"Nothing in any of the manuals ever described anything like this," said the 62-year-old Cross Lanes resident.But advice given 25 years earlier from his flight instructor sprung to mind: "No matter what happens, fly the plane."Coles attempted to swat the snake but it fell to the pilot's feet, then darted to the other side of the cockpit.While maintaining control of the single-engine plane with one hand, Coles grabbed the reptile behind its head with his other."There was no way I was letting that thing go," he said. "It coiled all around my arm, and its tail grabbed hold of a lever on the floor and started pulling."The next step was to radio for emergency landing clearance."They came back and asked what my problem was," he said. "I told them I had one hand full of snake and the other hand full of plane. They cleared me in."After a smooth landing, Coles posed for pictures with the snake, then let it loose."That snake resides in Ohio now," he said.A service of the Associated Press(AP)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Rained Out

Baseball Update

Tuesday 5/30/06:
David's team lost to Cullman 15-8. David was 0/3.
Joe's team lost at Hanceville 5-2. Joe was 0/1.

Thursday 6/1/06:
Matt's team lost both of his games to Good Hope, but the second game was shortened due to rain. Matt was 0 for 1.
David's team lost to Holly Pond 16-1, but he didn't get to bat.

Friday 6/2/06:
Joe had a doubleheader at Fairview. Vinemont lost the first game 11-1. Joe was 2 for 2 with an RBI. Vinemont won the second game 15-3. In the second game Joe was 0 for 2 with one walk and one run scored.

Monday 6/5/06:
Matt's team lost their double header to Fairview at home. Matt was 0 for 1 in each game.