Sunday, December 24, 2006


Maybe it's just nostalgia, or maybe even a mid-life crisis, but whatever it is I'll take it. I've not had a pair of cowboy boots in a very long time. It's not like I never wore them though, it was the footwear of choice for me for years. I've had more than my share of boots and I'm not entirely sure how I came about not having boots. Oh, there's a pair of cowboy like work boots suitable for trudging through the odd pasture, or through the woods, or into the dungeon when the combination of space heater, microwave oven and electric griddle get the best of a breaker, but they're not anything I'd slip on as casual attire.

This wasn't just some passing fancy either. Heck, I was married in a pair of boots. Oddly enough, that was the last decent pair of boots I had. I bought them specifically for the wedding, and wore them about 5 years. They were very nice, super soft, caribou hide Dan Post boots. So, what happened to these special boots? I was at a music store hanging out and the shop owner commented on my boots. I jokingly offered to sell them to him. He chuckled and asked, "How much?" Like the bonehead I am I told him $100. I went home barefooted.

A few months ago I wandered into the Corral West store looking for a jacket and this gentleman was behind me trying on boots. He asked me "What size boots do you wear?" I told him and he tossed me a pair and insisted I try them on. I figured if a customer was this sold on these boots and liked them so much that he would suggest them to a complete stranger, I should try them. Holy moly! These were comfortable. My boots never felt this good! They were Ariat Cobalt XR Pros. I had never heard of the brand, but of course I hadn't shopped for boots in 15 years. I had to have these boots!

So each time we'd go by Corral West I'd stop in, try out the boots and wonder what was stopping me from biting the bullet and taking them home. The last time we were there Tina said, just stick them in lay-away and each time we come by we'll pay a little on them, and it'll be like they're free. I sure like the way she thinks.

Samuel, our son, loves boots too, and a couple of days ago he announced that his were too small. Ok, so he needs boots too. So, with Christmas money in hand we head to the western store to get him a pair of boots and pick up mine. While we were their Tina found a pair of boots that she wanted so all three of us spent our holiday allotment on boots. Yes, all three of us bought Ariat boot. As I've already noted, mine is the Cobalt XR Pro. Samuel's pair is the Heritage Crepe and Tina finally opted for the Canyon style.

Does this sound like a commercial for Ariat and Corral West? Probably, but we're all thrilled with our new boots. We're also happy to have discovered a new brand that is incredibly comfortable - beyond anything I've ever had on my foot! Perhaps it's just the nostalgic mid-life crisis along with the fact that it's just darn nice to have a nice pair of boots again! I'm excited, can't you tell?


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Winter Wonderslam

Tina (my lovely wife) heard an advertisement on the radio regarding a concert that was going to feature the band Family Force 5, a rock group from the Atlanta area. Mind you, I'm not exactly what you'd call a rock and roll concert goer. I've been to less than a handful of concerts in my life, but this was different.

It was different in the respect that I knew of the drummer, Jacob Olds. He's the boyfriend of Bethany Dick. Some of you may remember that Bethany played with the Lone Mountain Band for about a year as a regular guest.

A few months ago I heard about a Family Force 5 video that Bethany was in, so I went looking for it. You can watch it on their MySpace site. I recommend it, but even more, my son Samuel recommends it!

Now, back to the concert...

I realize most concerts are not the place you'd consider taking a 6 year old for an outing, and though I thought it would be a lot of fun, I really needed to get an idea of what I should expect, so I got in contact with Bethany, realizing she'd be my best source of information regarding what we might hear or see at the concert.

She indicated that Family Force 5 shows were fun with a lot of dancing, and no bad language or content. She warned that the show would also be loud. This was good news. I was still concerned about the other groups, but she explained that the other groups were Christian and played what I figure would be best categorized as Christian rock. It was Toby Mac's Winter Wonderslam Tour. I figure at this point that Samuel and I would go to the concert. Ticket prices were well within my budget, and we wouldn't have to drive too far, so I figured this would be a great "father-son" outing and a great first-time rock concert experience for Samuel.

Samuel had the bright idea to take earplugs, and we're glad we did. It was loud, but honestly, we had a blast. The other groups (Hawk Nelson, Ayiesha Woods, The Afters and Toby Mac) were great and Family Force 5 was awesome!

We hung around after the concert and met Jacob (Crouton) and talked with him a minute or so, got autographs and the picture of him and Samuel. I felt as if I should know him after spending so much time with Bethany, and knowing what a great person she is. He was as nice as I had expected and hoped for.

Oh, I almost forgot. Here are some pictures of the Family Force 5 show!

Family Force 5