Friday, October 31, 2003


Amy and I are preparing to head out for the night. She's packing up her food supply, and doctoring it in advance, so that we can avoid the crush of trick or treaters. I have mixed feelings about Halloween. I went door to door as a kid and never thought anything evil of it. Our kids dressed up for Halloween. My aversion to it now has less to do with my religious beliefs, as it does to the commercialization associated with it, and in all honesty the annoyance of having the doorbell ring every few minutes. We have three dogs...leave them outside on Halloween and they bark their heads off. Bring them inside with the doorbell ringing every few minutes, they bark their heads off.
Therefore we will turn off the lights, and head out the door. We will seek sanctuary.

Starbucks here we come.

I was driving along yesterday when I saw angels.

There's an Air Show at an air force base down the road this weekend and the Blue Angels were apparently doing a test run. It was an awesome and unexpected sight.

I guess all angels are...

Thursday, October 30, 2003


If you search the Bible for the word "laugh", you won't find a lot that's funny. Depending on the search system you use, you'll probably hit on the word "slaughter" more often than laugh or laughter.
At first blush, there are very few instances in the Bible it seems where laughter is met with approval. Abraham and Sarah had some explaining to do when they laughed at God. Ecclesiastes talks about laughter being foolish but there is the more oft quoted there is a time to laugh passage.

There are plenty of instances in the Bible where laughter is referred to as something the person laughing will eventually regret.

I know some Christians who read the Bible that way. They are dour. Laughter is frowned upon.

I don't laugh at God, but I laugh a lot.

I think God laughs at us...often. Can you really blame Him?

I laugh at things other people don't see the humor in.
I laugh at times when it's probably not appropriate.
I laugh at the world on a regular basis.
I see humor in almost everything, and as long as it's not hurtful to someone else, I can find no reason not to laugh.

I won't laugh at you if you are convinced the world is a place of no humor. In fact I will be sad for you.

Don't get me wrong.

I pray a lot.
I pray for things that I believe go unnoticed by others.
I pray in places I suppose many folks would consider inappropriate. I've prayed while sitting on the john.
I read my Bible there too..quite often.
I pray for the world a lot.

I see God everywhere and I don't have a problem talking to God no matter where I am.

Call me warped if you want. I'm sure if I allowed some head examiner to crawl around my mind he would determine I use humor as a defense mechanism. Is that a bad thing?

Are we supposed to be defenseless?

What mechanism would you choose?

Considering the unkind ways I'm often tempted to defend myself, laughing certainly seems among the least egregious.

Now, if your laughter goes on the offensive that's a different story.

But it's a funny story.

I'm not a hunter, but I found this funny.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

(UNDATED) - Highly respected researchers in South Florida have come to the startling conclusion that recent emissions from the Sun are only going to get worse. In fact, they're predicting waves of radiation may pummel the Earth with such force that life on most of the planet could cease to exist. The scientists, whose claims are being rapidly scrutinized by governments world wide, say the electro magnetic pulses have already destroyed large asteroids within view of Earth. If their research proves true, the first deaths will likely occur within the next two days. "I believe all of mankind will be eliminated from the Earth by this Friday", said Dr. Herman Eisenforth, a noted astronomer and Nobel Laureate. "I'm devoting all my remaining time to my family, there is no sense doing any additional research."
Government officials in Washington are cautioning Americans not to panic and say a statement from President Bush will be forthcoming.

The above story is a complete fabrication.

I was just wondering what you would do if it were true?

I've been thinking about gifts today. It started with my winning a paper shredder at the company picnic. I went by the palatial corporate offices today to pick up my prize only to discover that somehow the folks in charge of the drawing had confused a paper shredder with a ten piece silver plated photo frame set with the photos included. I was a little befuddled, and so were the corporate folks. No one could explain it. It wasn't something I wanted to waste any time on, so I simply took what was offered. I have as much use for a paper shredder as I do for an ugly set of pictures.

I wasn't appreciative, and I am a little saddened by my reaction. Yes, this tacky frame set will end up in a garage sale or at Goodwill, but still it was given to me freely. It got me thinking how often I am presented with gifts which I overlook or choose to ignore simply because they were not what I expected or wanted.

It's often only in retrospect that I realize their true value.

God, help me see the blessings and gifts before me. Help me appreciate all that I have, for I have an abundance.

Overslept this afternoon...and that's always a good thing. However I have no time to write. Maybe I'll knock out some inspirational thoughts after church tonight.

Okay, that's unlikely.

A Wednesday without my wisdom is like....gee, it's like every other day I suppose.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003


Blogging on the road again. I'm helping Amy with some clients this afternoon. One client has moved his law offices into an old house. It's still being renovated. I'm using my PDA and keyboard to dash out a few words. There aren't any chairs in here, but I've found something to sit on.

Considering the number of people who feel like they're getting soaked as well as those who kind of feel a little dirty after dealing with lawyers, perhaps every law office should have a bathtub.

I'm a winner!
Amy and I attended my company's corporate picnic over the weekend. The weather was horrible. A gusty north wind, rain. Last year the weather was much the same, and turn out was low. The company gives away prizes at this event and last year there were dozens of really cool, concert tickets, weekend vacation packages.

We didn't stick around for the drawing this year, but I received email this afternoon that my name was chosen for a prize.

Imagine my excitement when I learned what it was...a paper shredder.

The company that pays me in part to write has rewarded me with a paper shredder.

Life is so fun.

Monday, October 27, 2003


I am wrestling Tiger Woods.

I got an Xbox last year. Didn't pay for it. Some game company wanted me to do reviews on Xbox stuff, and when I mentioned that I didn't have an Xbox, suddenly one appeared. Radio has its perks.

I like computer games, but don't play many. Amy and I use the Xbox primarily as a DVD player in the bedroom. I still do game reviews on occasion. I will probably produce 20 to 30 game reviews this year. I produce close to 300 computer related radio features a year. If I did them all on games, I'd have lots of games on my shelves, but no food in my pantry.

The games I do write about are usually good games Why waste radio time talking about something that stinks? Most often I play the game a few times, look over the materials, maybe do an interview with a game developer and then write my piece. After that the game sits around to be played every so often or never again. In past years Amy has persuaded me to give many of the games away to charity groups or kids in church so we can clear space.

The newest game I've been playing is Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004. I received it on Thursday and it quickly has consumed me life. I have never played real golf. I don't own any golf clothing (although I nearly had some yellow pants that would have looked swell on the course). I don't really even know the golf lingo.

Now, I'm a pro. I know when to use a wood. I know how to boost the power of my driver. I have played John Daly and won. I have scored a hole in one on a professional course in Hawaii. I have a double eagle to my credit and have won 150 thousand dollars on two professional tour stops.

I accomplished all those things without getting out of bed. Oh yeah, and I did a radio piece about it.

Admittedly, as I'm yellng, "FORE!" Amy can occasionally be heard mumbling stuff about organizing a Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 intervention, but so far I think my new hobby is going great.

It's not like I'm addicted. I haven't played at all today. Okay, maybe that's because my thumb is too bruised from playing all weekend, but I have it under control...really. Take the word of an old Duffer won't ya?

Watch out Tiger. I'm gunning for you. As soon as my thumb heels.

I only remember hearing eight words in church yesterday. Sure, I listened to the sermon. I even taught a Sunday school class. I shook hands with a bunch of people, and talked with lots of folks, but when I came home I could only think of those eight words.

They were spoken by one of our teenage members during the prayer request time. Many people may not even have heard them. Lots of folks were speaking up. They asked for healing and health, help with jobs, traveling mercies, and strength. The words I heard weren't spoken loudly. They were uttered with a quiet sadness amid that sea of hope.

And they commanded attention.

"Pray for my friend Katy, who cuts herself."

Those eight words stung my heart. I don't know Katy, but I know the torment of youth. I know all too well the unseasoned thoughts that rush through young minds and how they are too often followed by reckless actions.

I know those eight words are ringing with me today.

And I know I will continue to pray...for my friend Katy, who cuts herself.

I'm not above shameless plugs. This is the email address for the " Christian Blog Awards People's Choice awards"

There's a lesson in humility just have to look deep to find it.

Saturday, October 25, 2003


There once was an evening to write
But alas nothing true to recite
So I made the decision
To cease with revision
And simply call it a night.

Friday, October 24, 2003


This would give one pause.

Anytime you start thinking there are too many pessimists, remember this article.

Two thirds of Americans believe they are going to Heaven.

There goes the neighborhood.

I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.- Shakespeare

I don't really hate anything. I have strong dislikes for any number of things, but hate seems like overkill. However I will make an exception when it comes to Daylight Saving Time. I hate it. Sleep is big in my life. Trying to find time to sleep, and still feel like a regular human being, is always a challenge. I've gotten better at it over the years, and less fixated on it, but everytime the powers that be decide we need to gain an hour, or lose an internal clock goes haywire.

Is the country really more productive with more daylight? This whole idea of changing time seems outdated to me.

I guess I shouldn't waste any more time thinking about it though.

Time flies like the wind. Fruit flies like bananas.- Groucho Marx

Thursday, October 23, 2003


I know it's not the weekend, but I'm taking a vacation day Friday, so my weekend has started...and really, when it comes down to the crux of the situation, it's all about me isn't it?

Is it just me, or is everyone else getting a ton of new spam offering the same drugs that ensnared Rush Limbaugh? I sure am glad he didn't admit to some seedier addiction.

Amy and I went into "Ross Dress for Less" yesterday. I'm not much of a shopper, but this is the type of store that is dangerous for me. I can convince myself of deals that are too good to pass up.

Here is how it almost happened yesterday within the confines of my skull:

Hey, this pair of pants on the clearance rack is only 7 bucks!
The label says they're size 38/30, but they're longer than that.
They're name brand.

(Holding them up)
Yeah, they're longer than 30's. These would fit me!
Name brand for seven bucks!
Even when we're broke it's hard to turn down a deal like this.
Name brand for seven bucks.
I should show these to Amy and see if she agrees.


They're yellow.

I won't wear yellow pants.

Not even name brand for seven bucks yellow pants?



I don't remember seeing any other guy I know wearing yellow pants....unless they were golfing.

I don't golf and taking up a sport to justify yellow pants seems a bit extreme.

Maybe it's the light...maybe they're beige.

No..that's yellow alright.

I guess that's why they're seven bucks

Wednesday, October 22, 2003


Jurassic Park anyone?

"Close the door, were you raised in a barn?"

I heard that a lot as a kid. I never understood it.

I knew the intent, "Hey kid, shut the door", but I didn't really comprehend the barn reference. I never lived on a farm, but I assume you would still shut the door even in a barn. Why have barn doors at all if you don't shut them?

Amy has been witnessing for some time to a friend who is not a churchgoer. She and her husband had a "bad experience with church" and stopped attending long before we met them.

I've heard that a lot, and I've seen unhealthy churches. I can see where people would leave a church that they felt was harming them spiritually.

But I don't understand leaving God.

If you had a bad experience at the grocery store would you stop buying food?


The new Yellow Pages arrived the the other day. This morning, I was thinking about the idea of church actually becoming a barrier to a relationship with God and started thumbing through that new phone book. There are literally thousands of churches listed in the San Antonio Yellow Pages. In fact, there are 21 pages of churches (pages 506 through 527). Some have big ads, but hundreds are listed, one after the other, in tiny print...single spaced. Line after line. I suspect there are hundreds of other churches, like ours, that don't buy space in the Yellow Pages at all.

It reminded me of the story of the devout man who was down on his luck. His business was failing so he prayed to God that he would win the lottery. He didn't win and he lost his business. Again, he prayed asking God to let him win the lottery so that he wouldn't lose his house and car. He didn't win. The repo man came. The faithful believer got down on his knees again and begged the Lord, "Please God, I have to win the lottery just to get back on my feet!"

At that point he heard a voice from the Heavens bellow, "Buy a ticket! You have to meet Me halfway!"

It's a two way street.

The folks at the first church Amy and I attended on a regular basis were very devout. They were also very cloistered. We'd do all sorts of outreach projects. We'd wash the cars of anyone who drove by and refuse any offer of a donation...because we wanted to show God's love. We'd hand out cold soft drinks to thirsty high schoolers for free. Those outreach projects didn't work. Very few people came through the door of the church, and when they did they found people inside who didn't relate to them. The people inside didn't listen to secular music. One couple never watched television, except for the Olympics, because the programs were unGodly. There were any number of folks who didn't pay attention to the news because it was "of this world."

When visitors came into the church, they heard the door shutting tightly behind keep the real world out.

Maybe that's why they leave barn doors open....God did.

Proverbs 14:4

Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003


I can think of few reasons to get a tattoo. However, if this guys thinks he needs one, I'm all for it.

Personally I think I'd be able to remember my head catching on fire and shrimp barbecuing in my bass boat without a lightning bolt tattoo, but who knows?

When left to my own devices, I find places like this.

My voice left me this morning. I came in to work and did my usual writing, but once that was done, I had little else to do. I couldn't leave, although my coworkers kept asking why I was there (that always makes you feel important). I had to stick around the office for an interview I had prearranged. Time passed s l o w l y.

It did give me time to reflect. The things I take for granted are often the most important things in my life. Being able to talk...that's a biggie. Especially in radio.

My voice is returning this afternoon. I'll be back in the usual routine tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be a little wiser, and maybe I'll remember that I can often learn a lot if I just keep my mouth shut.

Monday, October 20, 2003


We crate trained all our dogs, one of the few training efforts which we attempted that actually stuck...with us, and sometimes with the dogs too. Our two little dogs still sleep in their cages, and they are quite content.

If you are an animal rights activist who believes no dog should ever sleep in a cage, please email me your address. We'll negotiate a way to allow the dogs to come visit, so they can run free throughout your household day and night. Please include the cost of shipping and handling, plus a signed and notarized release for all damages.

Our big dog, Klondike, still uses his crate when we have company over, and on certain other occasions, but he usually has the run of the house. Most of the time though he'll stay in whatever room Amy and I are occupying.

Our special needs dog, Winston, enjoys his crate. He likes to stretch out and exceed the confines with his toes. Usually while resting on his back and dreaming of someone rubbing his belly.

I saw a blurb from a Harris poll this morning. I couldn't find any additional references to it. I'm not a big fan of polls as news stories, since they never tell you the questions that are asked, only the "surprising results." I suspect this might have been an online survey, which makes its results even more suspect.

Anyway, this was what it said:

"According to a Harris Poll, 42 percent of Americans say God is male, but only 1 percent say the Almighty is female. 11 percent say God is both male and female.

As I do quite often with questions of deep theology, and meaningless pop culture, I emailed it to my Pastor . He came back with the logical retort, "What about the other 46 percent?"

I didn't have the answer to that, but suggested that perhaps that was the number of people who thought the survey was silly. One can only hope.

I guess that's being flip. I know there are people who spend hours agonizing over issues such as this.

Is God male, or is God female? Is God both?

In all honesty, I don't spend any time at all on such things. If you want to believe God is male...great. If you believe God is a female, fine! If you want to stick your toes out of the confines of convention and say God is a both male and female...I really have no problem with that either.

We can still all agree on one thing.

God is.

That's all I really need...though I won't turn down a belly rub.

Sunday, October 19, 2003


About to head out to church, Amy is packing her gear. The way this feeding gizmo works, she has to be hooked up for 14 hours, then take blood sugar readings at a couple of specific times after she's unfettered. Most all of the stuff is neatly stowed in a back pack, but due to the timing of it all, she'll have to unhook herself at church, and do a blood sugar reading midway through Sunday school and right before she begins leading the music team. It's likely to be an interesting sight. To top it off, I've come down with yet another cold. Today's sermon is on the trials of Job...really!

Yesterday afternoon we ran into our next door neighbor. I hadn't seen her for several days. It turns out her husband, a Lutheran Minister, is gravely ill with strep pneumonia and at one point they feared he wouldn't live. They have four kids, including 3 very young boys. Now, thank God, it looks like her husband has taken a turn for the better.

Late last night our friend, Rhonda, called Amy. Her son had been badly beaten. The sound of a Lifeflight chopper could be heard in the background, as medics were rushing her only son to the intensive care unit. Doctors have put him into a drug induced coma to keep his brain from swelling. Amy prayed with Rhonda over the phone. Her son is only 15.

Anytime I start to feel a little self-pity I merely need to look outside myself.

Then I look up...and praise God for our many blessings.

JOB 1:21
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.

Saturday, October 18, 2003


I was never really exposed to Chick tracts until after I became a Christian. My wife and friends who grew up in the church are intimately familiar with them though.

I assume this lovely Chick tract is intended to be handed out to kids who come trick or treating.

Did anyone ever get one of those in their trick or treat bag?

Frightened to that's scary.

Fall is in the air this morning. The dogs are frisky. There's a slight breeze. It's going to be a glorious day. I can't believe Halloween is just around the corner.

Friday, October 17, 2003


Despite all the upheaval this week, tonight there is a sense of peace in the house. Amy is home, and although dinner time isn't quite the same, we're comfortably settling into a routine. Tiffany and Lisa have both come in for the weekend too. Actually I'm operating on the assumption they're both here. They've already gone out for the night, but I know they'll be back since home is where....

the dirty laundry is.


Psalm 107: 30-31

They were glad when it grew calm, and He guided them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men.

I'm dusting off my tuxedo, and working on my acceptance speech.

Well, actually I don't have a tuxedo, and if I did have one, I'm sure it wouldn't fit. I do have a suit, but I've already had a tailor let it out once.

Anyway, my little ramblings have been nominated for the " Christian blog awards." These are awards given out by a young, on fire Christian friend - and new daddy, in the Phillipines. Much like the coupons proffered at WalMart, the awards have no cash value, but I have to admit it was a nice little ego boost to be reading along and see my name.

There's also a certain irony in being nominated in the categories of Most Enjoyable Male Christian blog, and Most Humorous blog. If only those two categories had been combined into one...something like, "Christian fools", I think I'd be a shoo-in.

Seriously, thanks Ganns, you made my day!

This liquid nutrition thing we've got going with Amy has been a real education. I assumed all we were going to have to do is hook her up to one of the bags of mush each night and off we'd go. As usual, my fanciful visions of simplicity have evaporated rapidly.

When the home health care nurse stopped by last night I took notes. Yes, I used my presumably non-washable PDA with the keyboard.

Each huge bag of milky looking blandness has to be injected prior to infusion with all sorts of other stuff from insulin to vitamin K . That in itself was enlightening since I didn't know there was a Vitamin K. In fact I kind of thought that was a slang drug term, or maybe a knockoff breakfast cereal. It's all very precise. There are swabs, syringes, tubes, vials, and needles. Some stuff has to be refrigerated, other components can't be. There's a computerized pump that beeps and whirs.

There's even a backpack in case Amy gets the urge to go hiking. I already figure that'll make for a great hallowe'en costume, no one else will be dressed as an escapee from Mount Kilimanjaro Hospital.

I actually took down 60 different points involved in the process of preparing one sack of sustenance.

It may be in a to go bag, but it's not fast food.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Only a minute available to write. Amy is home!!! As always things didn't go as expected. She was all set to be discharged when she experienced a severe drop in her blood sugar. That's something we had been warned might happen, so now we're on 'high alert' mode. The home health nurse is due here momentarily to explain how we're going to keep up this feedbag approach to nutrition.

Amy is feeling better, I think in large part because she's out of the hospital and away from her roommate. That story is for another day.

Right now it's simply a time for prayers of thanksgiving, hopes of better health, and an acknowledgement of my sincere appreciation for the prayers from folks in the blogosphere and elsewhere.

God Bless.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003


This is an attempt at blogging while at the hospital keeping Amy company.sort of. I'm typing away on my little PDA with the big keyboard in the dim light of Amy's room while she checks her email on her handheld. What a couple.

She may get out Thursday, God willing, and then we can be at home together...each on our own computers. I'm hoping she'll get sprung around the time I get off work so we can avoid some of the highway lunacy I've experienced recently.

There are few advantages to driving into work at 2:30 in the morning, but one of them is the lack of congestion on the freeways. Most mornings I daringly get behind the wheel and operate on the assumption that everyone around me on the road is drunk. This provides for a fairly simple driving philosophy: Stay as far away from everyone else as possible.

These trips to and from the hospital each day during peak traffic times have enlightened me to what it's like for the rest of humanity. San Antonio doesn't have anywhere near the traffic nightmares of many large cities, but the bumper to bumper moments are still readily available. What I've noticed is that the more intense the traffic, the more hostile the drivers. If traffic is at a standstill then most of the other motorists have their guards up. No one will give ground. Every inch of asphalt is disputed territory. If you try to inch into another lane folks act like you're stealing food from their children. It's positively nuts.

Yesterday I experienced a maniacal soccer mom in a minivan barreling down the freeway at 80 miles an hour. I tried to get out of her way but she swooped around me only to exit about a half mile up the road, where she promptly got stuck in another line of traffic. It's like a pack mentality - surrounded by steel and exacerbated by speed.

It's a statement on society that I cope better with drunks on the freeway than soccer moms....not a good statement, but a statement nonetheless.

I swore I'd never use a PDA. I never thought I'd have a use for one. I don't want to have a life busy enough to need a PDA.

Amy has had a hand-held computer for some time, and she recently acquired a new one. I say acquired, because we didn't pay for it (see previous posts on poverty). Anyway, since she has a new fancy one, I decided to take her old Palm Pilot and see if I could find some purpose for it in my life.

I've had it less than two weeks and now I'm wedded to it. I write notes to myself....reminders. I keep all my church phone numbers in it. I no longer have to reach around under the seat of my car looking for a wadded up church directory when I want to call someone. I log my work interviews and set alarms to remind me of them. With Amy in the hospital, it's been invaluable in helping me remember what stuff she said she needs, and what work stuff I need to work around.

Amy even found me a folding full sized keyboard (99 cents on Ebay plus shipping) so I can type away no matter where I am.

This little gadget has wormed itself into my life with legitimate purpose, in addition to providing me a way to relive the thrill of Tetris and other games gone by.

There were some caveats though. I don't use it for email. I have email at work, and email at home...I don't want email in between. I need email free zones in my life.

The other requirement was that there be someway to protect the PDA from me. I tend to drop things. Luckily, Amy already had an indestructible case for it.

The case is aluminum, but it feels like steel. It offers solid sanctuary from my stumblings.

This morning I got to the office and pulled out the shiny silver case. I popped it open with anticipation, knowing I had dutifully organized my day. I was ready to tackle the tasks before me.. I was anxious to be digitally organized.

It was then I realized how sad I had become.

I've gotten in the habit of using the thing. Now if only I could get in the habit of actually putting it inside the shiny case and bringing it with me too.

Another analog Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003


Amy is back in the hospital as expected. We had a little more drama in the process. A friend drove Amy to the hospital so that I would not have to take off another day of work, and they got rear-ended on the highway. Thank God, no one was seriously hurt. The woman who ran into them already was in a neck brace, she was on the way to her doctor. Anyway, I had to rescue Amy off the freeway to get her checked in to the hospital while our friend waited for police to come take a report.

I'm sure I'll see the humor in all this...eventually.

Anyway, Amy should be hooked up to her food source sometime soon and then she'll spend a few days getting adjusted to it all. I pray this is the right diagnosis. I pray for patience. I pray for safe travel on San Antonio's insane freeway system. In a nutshell...I'm just praying a lot.

I think that's a good thing.

Monday, October 13, 2003


"Be careless in your dress if you will, but keep a tidy soul." - Mark Twain

For a long time I had this image of the typical Christian man. He usually wore a white short sleeve shirt, through which you could see his undershirt, and he always wore a tie. Oftentimes he wore blue or brown polyester pants. If he wore glasses, they were always plain, black frames.

When Amy and I got married, I bought some typical Christian-guy shoes.

They're shiny black Wingtips, with little perforation marks around them in a pattern. Very conservative.

Mine are actually also very cheap. They're knock offs from PayLess, because when I bought them I knew that I would never wear them except to special, "Dress like a Christian" occasions.

I wore them to our wedding, to a couple of funerals, and I think to a banquet at a large church that was giving our little church money. I still have those shoes. They don't have a lot of miles on them.

I still meet a lot of Christian men who adhere to that particular code of dress. That's a good thing in many ways. I don't mean to deride those folks at all.

I see them and immediately think, "There goes a conservative Christian."

I'm also a conservative Christian.

When people see me, that's probably not the first thought that crosses their mind though. I may not be in short sleeves, a tie, and polyester, but I'm no fashion plate, that's for certain. I think if one were to drop my name into a word association therapy session regarding style, the word disheveled would probably crop up more often then I'd prefer.

I was once in a meeting at my office and someone mentioned I was a Baptist church Deacon and there was an audible gasp. The newly hired sports guy had been spewing forth a string of profanity moments before and felt awkward. He looked at me and said, "You're kidding?"

I assured him it was true. I was a Baptist, and a Deacon.

Later, that sports guy tracked me down and apologized for swearing in front of me. I laughed. I told him it was okay and I admitted I swear occasionally too.

We agreed that he could feel free to be himself in front of me as long as I could be myself in front of him.

I also warned him to be wary...a lot of Christians are sneaking around out of uniform.

Romans 13:12

So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Sunday, October 12, 2003


I found this group of Monks on the Internet.

I think it's cool that these men of faith have found a modern way to fund their calling. However really the only reason I mention it at all is that when I saw it, a wonderful pun came to mind.

Monk E-Business.

It's been raining for the past several days. That means the children must play inside. In our case, the only children that are at home are the four legged variety.

In recent weeks, Avery has taken on yet another new personality quirk. She already is the dominate dog in the house, although she's the smallest. She's the smartest dog in the house, and the most stubborn. She is the only female, but at times she seems somewhat gender confused (I won't detail that, but if you watch enough PBS you can surmise what I mean). She can be the sweetest dog among the trio, and she is by far the most aggressive. She rarely makes noise when inside, but outside she has been known to bark incessantly.

Now her schizophrenia has reached a new level.

It appears, Avery is becoming a cat.

She's always tended to clean herself, pulling mud off her feet and such, but now she's taken to sitting on the windowsill in a Sphinx-like pose, staring out at the wonders in the yard below.

I'm hoping this is actually some form of evolution, because my only other theory is that if you stay in the house long enough with me, you'll gradually go insane.

Saturday, October 11, 2003


It's a full day today. Amy and I are doing some computer work for one of her clients, trying to get everything settled before she goes in to the hospital next week. Before that I went out to the church do try to keep ahead of the landscaping.

I was so intent on getting our list of things done this morning, that I actually hauled my mower out to the church about an hour before dawn. There's a street lamp across the roadway from our little house of faith, and I figured I could trudge through the darkness with only a glimmer of light and still make some progress against the ever rising grass. I got a few odd looks from early morning motorists, but actually I managed to get quite a bit done before the sun came up, and upon later examination it was evident I had not really gotten off track.

As I was pushing the mower through the darkness I thought that really this is not such an uncommon practice in my life. I forge ahead blindly quite often, thanks to the the assurance provided by one light.

Friday, October 10, 2003


Amy's doctor has a new diagnosis. Her doctor is not really sure about it, but as we spoke today it seemed to fit all her symptoms. I don't remember the name, but it boils down to some rarely occurring syndrome where certain parts of her body are restricting other parts. It's gotten worse as she has lost weight, and she's losing weight because it hurts to eat.

The good news is, the first approach to resolving this is non-surgical. The bad news is Amy will back in the hospital for several days next week and then for six weeks she'll be getting force fed the equivalent of a chicken fried steak dinner with all the fixins' a couple of times a day. The worse news is she'll be fed through another PICC line so she won't exactly be enjoying a good meal.

I'm not sure what type of wine you serve with intravenous mush, but a red wine would seem appropriate.

Thursday, October 09, 2003


I remember the first church Amy and I attended on a regular basis. A small, non-denominational, charismatic church in a strip center. They never passed a plate. All offerings were made quietly and privately at a small box at the back of the little sanctuary. I found that charming and inviting.

Then, there's this:

real. It's The Offering Machine!

It makes my skin crawl.

I've been looking at this picture and wondering why I have such a strong aversion.

I'm a geeky, techno-oriented type of guy. I have all sorts of gadgets. I live off my ATM card and don't even carry a checkbook.

Yet this bothers me.

The obvious objections I think are to the imagery. A cash machine emblazoned with the cross seems so very horrible.

But quite honestly, I don't think it's the existence of "The Offering Machine!" that offends me as much as the realization that there are churches that exist where this can sit in the sanctuary and fit in.

I read where Arnold Schwarzenegger says he will do no more movies now that he's the Governor-elect of California.

Suddenly I find myself hoping Alec Baldwin runs for office...and Dolph Lundgren...and Rutger Hauer.

I'm having visions of a "Draft Jean-Claude Van Damme" movement, although the participants motives might be suspect.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003


Lo and behold, the woman in the office of Amy's doctor who couldn't find time to call her back for the past week, suddenly found time yesterday. Since I had already arranged another doctor's appointment, the call netted nothing in terms of comfort or information, but I suspect she was fulfilling a directive from on high. I hope so. Amy sees the doctor on Friday. I plan to be with her. I want the doctor to get to know me better (ahem) and I think I want the doctor's office staff in refresher course mode for a while yet.
Got the bill for Amy's five day hospital stay . The stay which produced no cure and not even a cogent diagnosis.

Thank God for insurance.

My health insurance costs are going up next year and I can't blame the insurance company one bit. Eight doses of some unspecified medicine they gave Amy cost 3 thousand dollars. No cure. No diagnosis. The total bill: 20 grand.

Amy is sick...but our health care system is sickening.

So California had 100 plus gubernatorial candidates on the ballot. Every county in the state had the candidates names in a different order on the ballot. Every imaginable method of voting was used from the much maligned punch card ballot to the high tech touch screen system.

No hanging chads? No voters flustered? No one confused? Where are all those folks who were going to be disenfranchised?

Californians are smarter than I thought. Okay...they're smarter than people in Florida.

Seen that picture before? It's been sellout on QVC for five years running.

I'm okay with that I long as I don't dwell on it. At least it's not on black velvet.

Okay boys and girls it's time to play, "Who's an idiot?"

(Insert annoying theme song here)

First guess:

For the second time, I left my favorite digital camera, the one that's so small it can easily be overlooked, in my pants pocket . Once again it ended up going through the wash and a good portion of the dry cycle.

Despite that, it still works...sort of.

The repeated rinse cycles have washed out the screen that allowed me to know that I've taken a picture. The spin-dry silenced the beep that offered additional reassurance. Still, if I push all the buttons, point it and pray, it usually gets a shot.

It's pathetic to look at, and certainly not the robust little camera it once was, yet I've been enjoying carrying it around with me now more than ever.

I slip my hand into my pocket and am reminded how very often I must look at what's facing me in life...on faith alone.

Luke 17:6

"If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003


I don't pitch fits too often. I can really only think of one or two occasions in recent years when I've gotten in someone's face to drive home the fervency of my point of view.

Once was some years back at DFW airport. Amy and I had had our flight cancelled the night before from Colorado, and then were delayed on the flight back the next day. When we finally arrived in Dallas, tired and wrinkled by the rigors of travel, we were informed there was no room for us on the only available flight back to San Antonio.

I remember asking Amy to go find a quiet spot well away from the ticket counter because I was going to be noisy. I had heard that airports were places where causing a scene sometimes pays off, and I figured we had nothing to lose.

I bellowed and barked, complained and accused. I huffed and was haughty. I dropped names and flung my arms about in exasperation for all to see.

It was embarrassing...but our seats on the next flight were quite comfortable.

I've pitched a few fits at work over the years, primarily when I thought we were making grave errors in editorial judgement. In truth, I'm paid to do that. I've won some of those battles, and I've lost one or two.

Amy has been out of the hospital for a week and a half and we still have no answers. She is still in pain. She had another test a week ago, but no one has called us with results. Amy has politely called her doctor's office six times in the past week seeking guidance, and no one has had the courtesy to even call her back.

I know patience is a virtue...but today I didn't see it that way.

The doctor's office staff now knows me. Not a voice on the phone. Me -- in person. I drove to their office and presented them with a close up look at an anguished, tired, husband who has watched his wife double over in pain on a regular basis far too often. A husband who has grown weary with being helpless.

I pitched a fit. It was a polite fit, at least I thought so, though I didn't stick around for the reviews.

The doctor, of course, was not in the office, but I wouldn't be surprised if he calls this afternoon. Actually I'd be shocked if he doesn't. I did succeed in getting Amy put on his schedule for later this week and I suspect when she arrives at his office they will attend to her needs expeditiously.

I hope so...that would be quite fitting.

Monday, October 06, 2003


I have to write something here today...but I don't have to write anything worth reading.

That should probably serve as a warning.

I've started writing about ten times today, but I think I've been caught in a trap of trying to be profound. Where the heck did that come from?

I'm not profound. I'm at best coherent.

I'll leave the profundity to someone else.

Sometimes even if I don't know what I'm doing, I have to at least start doing it or I won't get started at all.

Was that profound? If it was, my apologies.

Item of interest:

The next time someone says they wished God would just send them a clear sign... Tell them this story.

Make sure to read the last sentence.

Sunday, October 05, 2003


"Jack 36" was in church today. Jack is my Pastor's father in law, and a wonderful gent. He is about my height. Jack also is under the impression that I can somehow squeeze my carcass into size 36 pants.

It's not that Jack's vision is fading, it's that I don't see Jack very often; he lives in another city. At one point in our history I was a size 36, but that, alas, is not now the case.

When I saw Jack today, he immediately mentioned that he had some pants he wanted to give me. Size 36. It's wonderfully generous. In past years he's gifted me with some quality slacks and jeans.

Now he's presenting me with something else I suppose. Inspiration.

I've made enough excuses. I have to start walking again.

Pardon me if at first it appears closer to a waddle.

Sure, deck your limbs in pants,
Yours are the limbs, my sweeting.
You look divine as you advance . . .
Have you seen yourself retreating?

- Ogden Nash

A fluttering wisp of light that glinted off a rearview mirror forcing my mind to ignore the words I was hearing and to focus my attentions elsewhere. Those words might have inspired or convicted, but I never heard them.

I've seen him.

The snide humor that was written by an adult, but spoken by a child on TV that made the room, including me, erupt in laughter. It was only later, upon reflection, that I winced.

I've seen him.

What once was innuendo is now blunt and raw and apparently accepted. When did that happen?

I've seen him.

I see him.

Thank God, I at least still see him.

Saturday, October 04, 2003


Remember: The camera adds 10 pounds.

Amy and I are working on a computer project for a client up the road today. My work is done, so I'm killing time by writing meaningless stuff here.

Did you know that the happiest place on Earth is Nigeria? Those email scams must be working.
Frog eggs anyone?

Friday, October 03, 2003


What a nice feeling...breathing.

Amy's had a stretch of a couple of fairly good days, which is helping me breathe easier. Plus, I think the viral invaders are on the run and I actually feel like a return to normalcy, as defined by me at least, is feasible.

I'm really only dashing out a note here to abide by my vow to write at least something every day. Amy and I have had a full day attending to one of her clients. Now it's time to relax and enjoy each other, and the unburdened ease of Friday night.

I actually came home intent on blogging about Rush Limbaugh, the sad state of journalism in America, and Satan. Not that I think those three are intertwined by any means, but all three topics were on my mind. However it all seemed too heavy. I hit delete.

Perhaps I'll ruminate some more and maybe the end result will manifest itself here...or maybe I'll just let it all go.

It's Friday.

Thursday, October 02, 2003


Thursday already? Another week has shuffled by virtually unnoticed, and worse yet, not fully appreciated. This has probably been the nicest weather in months in San Antonio. We've missed most of it...too absorbed in an almost pitiful state of medical misery.

Amy is still undiagnosed and battling pain. We should hear from the doctor today, no doubt to schedule some other test. I'm still wrestling some neurotic viral plague which can't seem to decide if wants to attack my nose or my lungs. I'm alternately sounding like an elephant with a gnat up its trunk and a harp seal trying to hack up salmon that went down the wrong pipe.

I hauled Amy out to church last night so we could at least see some other people. I don't think we were a pretty sight.

I should have known it was bad when our Pastor immediately started bringing up the trials of Job.

Speaking of Job...actually jobs...I love this story.

How would you like to have that career?

"What do you do?"

"I hand carry messages to God."

Now that I think of it, I guess we all do have that a way.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003


I got cut off in traffic on the way home today. Actually it was more of a mini-road rage incident. A driver came up behind me at about 80 miles an hour in a big red truck and then proceeded to ride my bumper to express his outrage that I was impeding his attempt to become the first human to reach light speed on asphalt

At first I couldn't move over without getting hit, and then that bizarre semi-suicidal symbiotic relationship that is almost exclusive to highways suddenly came to bloom. I got obstinate. I decided to ignore the maniac behind me, and drive the speed limit. I wasn't going to move over no matter what. He would have to go around. Within seconds he did, and then he pulled in front of me and slowed down to 40 miles an hour. I wasn't in a hurry so I didn't really care, he was the one rushing to get somewhere didn't he remember? I tried to change lanes but he pulled in front of me blocking my way. I changed lanes again and he did the same thing. Eventually I slowed down and let him get caught up in the waves of traffic which propelled him safely away. I watched him exit...and I made a mental note of his license plate number.

The Internet is a wonderful thing. When I got home, I looked up my highway jousting friend's plate. I found out his name, Hector. His wife's name. Their address.

I actually started to send him a note. I wanted to word it so it wouldn't contain any overt threat. I figured an anonymous note letting him know I knew who he was and where he lived, while he didn't know anything about me, besides a certain intimacy with my front and rear bumpers, would imply enough.

How silly is that?

Hector was probably having a bad day. I've had plenty of those. Hector was in a rush. I've been in a hurry before too. Hector wasn't thinking straight. I've been there also.

I'm ashamed I let myself get caught up in such ugliness, even for a brief moment. I'm thankful though that moments like that pass.

Hector, wherever you are, I hope your day improves.

We're all on the road together, and none of us are truly behind the wheel.

PSALM 25:9

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.

Does anyone think 'cherry flavored' Nyquil actually tastes like a cherry? To be fair it's not just Nyquil..everything man-made that purports to taste like a cherry, doesn't come even remotely close to the real flavor.

For that matter those green lifesavers don't taste like a lime either.

I think God has a legal cause of action here.

Of course God may not know many lawyers.....