Friday, June 27, 2003


Lakeside, Ohio is a place that has taken on near mythical imagery in our family. It's a place to reconnect and recharge. To rest. To unplug.

This is where our family, on Amy's side, has converged annually each summer for many years and part of its appeal is there are no electronic exits. There will be no blogging at Lakeside. The house actually has a phone, unlike any we've rented in previous years, and a few other modern amenities, like a TV and VCR, but their use is discouraged if not banned outright. We will face facts and family...together.

I can attest that it is easy to drift away from your family. It's impossible to do at Lakeside.

To the outsider, Lakeside appears to have little to offer. Cramped quarters. Somewhat archaic entertainment choices. An ice cream shop. Candy stores.

But there is a sense of what's important at Lakeside. There is a peaceful passion to this place.

It's not all bliss. There will be confusion. Emotions will erupt. Moments of discomfort are inevitable as generations collide.

This is family.

Tomorrow I turn 46...and go back in time.

Thank you God for the opportunity of this blessing.

Many voices talking all at once. Children squealing. Small verbal skirmishes over planning. Hugs...howls of laughter

The instruments of a convulsive commotion.

The symphony of our family.

I like to sit, listen and savor the melody.

Thursday, June 26, 2003


Okay, so maybe I'll post a bit while on vacation.

Relatively uneventful flights. A small problem with our "carry on" luggage. Amy found a portable "cooler" that is essentially a carry on bag.

"You know you're a redneck if your carry on luggage is a cooler"- Jeff Foxworthy

Anyway, as they squeeze customers on airliners these days they squeeze out space for things like luggage. The "cooler" didn't fit in the over head compartment, or under any seat. We managed to sweet talk the flight attendants into stashing it elsewhere. I suspect it's an unwritten rule that you don't ask a lot of questions of people carrying frozen meat onto airplanes. This is no doubt a defense mechanism against hearing too many stories about "well, it's road kill we couldn't waste", or worse.. Sort of self imposed "Dahmer denial".
As usual I set off all the security bells and whistles at the airport. Had to remove my shoes, unbuckle my belt, stand like a scarecrow and be "wanded". I also discovered when I opened my suitcase last night that it had been "searched". The Transportation Security Agency left a nice little note telling me so, but I would have realized it anyway, because it was packed much neater than how I left it.
We started today by taking a clunker car Joey bought to a mechanic we've been told is honest to see if the car has any chance for redemption. It was overheating, dying, and spewing steam every inch of the way there, so I don't hold out much hope. However, you never know. Maybe they'll be able to fix it cheap, then I can drive it back to San Antonio. That would be an telling how much frozen meat it can hold.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003


I've been kicking around the idea of taking a small notebook with me on vacation and making notes to write here upon my I'm rejecting that idea.

Perhaps while on vacation I may find a computer and dash out a thought or two, but I doubt it. I am fulfilled in knowing that I have lived up to my challenge to write something here every day, but I am not going to be in bondage to blogging (blogage?).

I spoke with a close friend last night about the benefits of blogging as a discipline and why we feel compelled to write. I believe we are fleshing ourselves out, which is exactly what God asks of us. It's far too easy to live a lengthy life, only to discover you never explored its width.

Vacation is indeed a time to cast aside my daily burdens, but maybe it's also a time to set aside some of my daily joys and pleasures. I think I might appreciate them more that way. I am leaving some of our good friends behind for this short period of time,and I will leave The Main Point untended also. My friends will be here when I get back....and so will this space.

Besides I think everyone who reads this blog, with one or two exceptions, is going on vacation with me.

Monday, June 23, 2003


This is the forecast for my vacation destination:

Day Conditions Temp Rain chance

Jun 28 Partly Cloudy 75°/63° 20 %
Jun 29 Mostly Sunny 78°/65° 20 %
Jun 30 Partly Cloudy 78°/66° 10 %
Jul 01 Partly Cloudy 76°/65° 10 %
Jul 02 Partly Cloudy 77°/65° 10 %

Exactly the weather I've been praying for...hopefully the weatherman will be right for a change. It will be a wonderful way to recharge no matter the weather, but if we aren't all sweating it will add to the enjoyment. As I've stated here repeatedly...I can't wait for vacation to begin and I will be renewed when it concludes.

Not all things end well. Last week, a guy whose become known as "Thong Man", got another blitz of publicity for riding his bicycle barely clad. I gleefully mentioned him here.

Now Thong Man is dead.

He was found dead in Big Bend national Park, a rugged area in West Texas. He apparently fell, or perhaps jumped, from a 100 foot cliff.
He was naked when he was discovered.

Odds are his proclivity for flashing his rear was his way of crying out for help. Perhaps we couldn't see that because we were so fixated on what he was showing publicly.

Thong man came into this world bare bottomed, lived his life parading that bottom out in public , and died bottom's up at the bottom of a cliff . There is only one fitting way to sum up his story.

"The End."

Sunday, June 22, 2003


Today was a special day at church. We marked Gordon's tenth anniversary as Pastor. The "ceremony" has been in the planning stages for a few weeks and thanks to the work of several devoted individuals we pulled it off without Gordon or his wife Jeanene catching on.
For the past couple of weeks people have been coming up to me at the church, literally in the sanctuary within a few feet of Gordon or Jeanene, and handing me mysterious envelopes or cash. The antics went undetected. I could have been dealing crack out of the church just as easily.

In actuality, the envelopes contained letters written by members of the congregation and the cash was for token gift certificates to mark the anniversary.

It's part of being human to be focused on the day ahead, the task at hand, and ourselves more often than others. That Gordon overlooked clues that a conspiracy was afoot is not surprising to me whatsoever, and it didn't surprise him either.

What I think is surprising is that perhaps Gordon and Jeanene don't recognize how truly inspirational they are to the people around them. That quality is not rooted in their positions in the church, but in their very nature. They are on a journey to be closer to God and they welcome others to share the roadway.

Among those letters written by our church members were testaments about what Gordon and Jeanene mean to us. They were presented to Gordon by our littlest church members in a scrapbook carefully crafted by the talents of Cynthia.

It's abundantly clear "to us": We love Gordon and Jeanene. They are valued.

Our mistake is in assuming that others see what we see so plainly.

I think God was telling me today to spend more time letting people know the wonderful qualities I see in them.


Saturday, June 21, 2003


I just got back from the church where a friend and I did some mowing and then "assisted" in the moving of a large metal storage shed onto the property. Describing my role as "assisting" is really a stretch. Several young men and the husky dad of two of them came with a trailer, tools, tie downs, and trucks. We caravanned over to the home of the couple donating the shed and then I pretty much got out of the way. Oh, I helped lift and move it a few feet, but really the work was done by the other guys. The guy guys. These are guys who can tune up a car engine, change their own oil, fix stuff. They have pickups, and toolboxes the size of my car. They grunt. They spit. They grumble and look scornfully if you use a piece of equipment improperly and they reminisce about how they shared near death experiences involving power tools. When they hear the term "field dress", the image that pops into their minds has nothing to do with a garment worn by a character on "Little House on the Prairie."

They are entrenched in good standing in the "all things male" club.

I would never get past the membership committee.

"Are you now or have you ever been handy?"


When I remarked that the shed looked pretty secure on the trailer long before it had been tied down with multiple criss crossed two inch by 27 foot rachet straps tested to 10,000 pound breaking strength, one of the guys looked at me warily and said, "I was hauling freight over the Rockies when I was 18, I learned a few things".

With visions of Conestoga wagons and the Donner party swirling by, I waved the white flag.

"Are you now or have you ever been handy?"


I don't know when I strayed off the testosterone trail. Actually, I'm not really sure I was ever on it.

I truly wish I was adept at some of these things, but I've accepted the fact that I'm not...and I'm not ever going to be.

Our friends moved last week and Amy was helping them. During that process, I stopped by to drop something off and saw that Amy was taking the doors off their refrigerator so that it would fit through the doorway.

"Are you now or have you ever been handy?"

"No... but is there any chance I could join the club on my wife's membership?"

Friday, June 20, 2003


One point five miles. That's how far it is from my home to the carwash around the corner. It's nestled behind the auto repair shop that Amy and I have helped finance over the years thanks to busted belts, ailing alternators, hopeless head gaskets and the like. Close enough to walk to with my Visa card in hand to pay the mechanic if need be.

I measured the exact distance on my way home from work today because that's where a young man was murdered this morning.

He was 21. He also lived a few blocks from the carwash. He was gunned down in the carwash bay standing behind his truck at 2:45 a.m., the exact same time that I was gunning the engine of my oft repaired car in order to drive to work...and report that he died. The phone was ringing when I walked through the office door. It was Henry saying, "We've got a DOA".

This young man's last moments of life consumed my first moments of the day.

We had a neighborhood, the night and a carwash in common. This morning we obliquely shared fragments of time.

I don't feel especially close to him....but right now he seems too close to me.

My vacation starts in five days...that's not close enough.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Are we there yet?

The countdown has begun. Vacation is now less than a week away which in reality means my mind is going to be focused on little else between now and then. I have slipped into something I call "pre-vacation Tourette's syndrome." Amy and I will be sitting around and I'll suddenly bark out a revelation like, "We need to stop the mail" or "Have we made sure the dogs have reservations at the kennel?", or "We need to make sure the newspaper doesn't deliver." All references to "we" in reality mean "Amy" since I actually don't do anything at all to help in planning our vacation. My only contributions are these periodic eruptions of apprehension...fits of mental incontinence.
Amy makes all the arrangements, figures out how much money we have and even plans our meals. Yesterday she was scooping out spices and putting them in little baggies so she'd have them 'pre-mixed' when making meals at Lakeside. Can't wait until our luggage is searched and we have to explain the carefully rolled up baggies of oregano. Maybe I'll tell the airport guards it's "medical marijuana" prescribed so that my wife will still tolerate me enough to get on a plane with me. They'll have to guess which of us uses it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

The Moon and the Stars

I saw it this a police report. A man who has become well known in San Antonio for wearing only a skimpy thong and riding his bicycle around town was arrested. Last night he evidently decided the thong was too he went for less. A "flesh colored bag" is how one jail guard described it to me. The modern day equivalent of a fig leaf.

For the record: Parading around in public wearing only a thong = legal. Parading around in a flesh colored fig leaf = illegal.

This guy is a twisted freak, but people like him make my life easier. I don't have to worry about trying to guess what people are talking about as I assemble our morning news block. I only have to write the story and put it on the air. They'll talk about it. It makes my editorial life easy.

It's like someone handing you the Moon...or, in this case perhaps, Uranus.
There will be other folks parading around in San Antonio. The Spurs "victory parade" and celebration is tonight. The NBA champion Spurs, their coaches, wives, and girlfriends will ride down the San Antonio river on barges. Hundreds of thousands of people lining the river will cheer even though a handful of barges will also be stuffed with every local politician with the clout to glom onto the event.

The "politicos" will ride along behind the shining stars of the NBA trying to glisten and glimmer in their limelight. It won't work. The crowd will look at the other barges and only see a few more rear ends sticking out in public.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003


I noticed a small flaw in my blog today. I want to be able to send links to specific posts. There's every indication this can be done easily, but as usual I've wasted far too long trying to figure it out.

I usually have a solution to situations such as this...I ask Amy to figure it out :)

She should be home before too long. I think I'll put my energies to use on something I'm more adept other words, it's naptime.

Amazingly enough I managed to figure out how to accomplish what I wanted to without Amy's guidance. Of course, it probably wouldn't have taken me as long if I had her help me, but it's still satisfying. For the record, for the two people who read this blog, the 'link' function now works if you want to send a link to a specific post, and I've added some links to some of my favorite posts to the right hand side of the page. That way if a third person decides to read this blog, they can just hit highlights :)

Monday, June 16, 2003


SPURS WIN!! Yay! This was the perfect season. I was able to go to a lot of games thanks to the generosity of a co-worker. Tim Duncan was named MVP. Gregg Popovich was named the Coach of the Year. David Robinson ends his career with a championship. It wasn't a season without a price though. A lot of these games in the Finals with New Jersey were just plain ugly.

The Nets style of play is ugly too.

This season has given me some appreciation of what it's like to be a has been painful, yet I enjoyed it so much.
The whole town went crazy last night, and this morning. Everyone at work, including me, was wandering around with this dazed, exhuasted euphoria. We will have a "Fiesta" for the team on Wednesday and a "siesta" for the team today.

Unlike other cities, the folks in San Antonio have never felt the urge to turnover cars and burn them to celebrate anything...probably because it's too hot here already.

This is what the Yahoo forecast says for Friday in Ohio.

High: 72
Low: 53

This, by contrast, is the forecast for San Antonio.


High: Don't ask.
Low: HA! We laugh at lows!

I so need cool weather to last in Ohio for when we're there on vacation. That will make for a perfect season too.
We ordained our new Deacon and Elders Sunday

Right now that event is somewhat overshadowed by the Spurs frenzy. However in the long season of life, I'm fairly certain I know which of these two happenings will be the most important overall.

Sunday, June 15, 2003


Tiffany and Lisa spent some time with us last night for Father's day. They gave me a very loving card and a gift certificate to Starbucks. Amy and I swore off our Starbucks latte addictions to save money for the church building fund, so there is a certain amount of caffeine lust in the air. The girls were in high spirits and I enjoyed just watching them interact. I spent much of the night thinking how quickly they've become adults.

That's what Dad's do.
Today was ushered in by thundershowers in San Antonio. At my house that means thunder followed by the howls of Winston who knows something is amiss and is bothered by it, so he figures the best way to deal with the situation is to start howling so everyone else will be bothered by it too. I got up and tended to him. He eventually settled down. That's what Dad's do...even if their offspring are "special needs" West Highland terriers.
We'll mark this Father's day at church by ordaining a new Deacon and three new Elders. This is a moving ceremony which I've only taken part in before from the side of the folks being ordained. Today each member of our congregation will take a moment to whisper a few words of affirmation into the ears of these four people, encouraging them. We will lay our hands upon them.

I know some, if not all of these folks, were somewhat stunned to learn the church had chosen them for these roles. They have talents and potential that our church needs, even if they don't realize it. Today will be a little frightening for them, but oftentimes our abilities shine more to others than to ourselves. Being "called out" to use your gifts is a good thing.

And that's what our Father does too.

Psalm 2:11
Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.

Saturday, June 14, 2003


Lazy Saturday. Still basking in the afterglow of the Spurs' victory. Even when they win it's painful...but they won. I will relish it.

It dawned on Amy and me last night how we've both been trudging along because this week was dragging on forever. I blamed our upcoming vacation and the desire to be there. Now I truly think it was due to the Spurs losing on Wednesday. We were bummed out all week. After the Spurs won last night, Amy's mood changed quicker than a menopausal woman slipping off her pharmaceutical feed.

It's time for the NBA season to be over though. It's been emotionally draining. It will be a wonderful Father's Day gift if the Spurs win tomorrow night.
The girls are coming down tonight to spend some time with us for Father's day, which was unexpected and enriching. I was an awkward after thought on Father's day for the kids for many years. It wasn't their fault by any means. They were young. They had no guidelines of etiquette to follow. Stepdad's don't really have a "day" set aside by the greeting card companies yet...and I certainly wanted their father to bask in their love completely on Father's day. I still do. In recent years though the kids have really gone out of their way to make sure I'm remembered. I flatter myself in thinking that might be because I'm a better stepfather, but it's more likely the result of them becoming even more wonderful human beings.

In any case, I love the kids everyday. They honor me by the way they live their lives.

Friday, June 13, 2003


I could see the storm clouds gathering for the past few hours. I just finished mowing the yard, rushing to get my work done before forces of nature beyond my control blocked me.

I am and have always been cautious. I was the kid who checked to see how shallow the waters were before diving in or letting any of my friends plunge into their depths. I am the adult who often says "but what if" after someone offers a moment of spontaneity. I make no apologies for this, it has served me well. I didn't break my neck diving into ponds and quarries when I was young. Nor did any of my friends. I have managed to earn a modicum of respect from people of influence in my workplace because, in what is often an atmosphere dictated by the freefall of the moment, I sometimes can offer a more thoughtful and forward thinking perspective.

Yet at times I hate myself for this....because it is based, in part, on "fear". Fear of what's ahead. What may be.
20 years ago I thought I was in love. That marriage fell apart quickly. It deserved to. It had no foundation and the participants weren't willing to work at propping it up.

When I met Amy, about 10 years ago, her 13 year marriage had just collapsed.

It happened in different decades, but it was the much the same for both of us. Our comfortable worlds shredded. Uncertain futures ahead...fear was present in our lives.

Today I could not fathom my life without Amy. I love her deeply. I am "in love" with her as well.
I succeeded this afternoon in "beating the storm". As I was scrambling to make my last pass in the backyard with the lawnmower, sweat pouring off of me thanks in equal parts to the humidity and my lack of conditioning, the sky darkened.
The leading edge of the storm arrived.

But there was no rain. No lightning. No thunder. No hail.

Only cool winds.

Horizons always melt. I should fear them less.

Psalm 34:4
I sought the Lord , and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.


It's Friday...I don't care if it's Friday the's Friday. No Friday can be unlucky in my book.

More later. Go Spurs!

Thursday, June 12, 2003


It's vacation is still nearly two weeks away and I am counting down the days. I'm so anxious to get away from the office that I've already done my "last minute" vacation work that I normally save...for the last minute. Of course the potential of somewhat cooler weather may be fueling my desires. Please God...let it be cool in Ohio...anything under 90 will qualify, but a few days in the 70s would certainly replenish my soul.
Our fairly new neighbors are settling in. A minister, his wife, and four kids including three young boys. The boys are becoming very popular with our dogs since they reguilarly hit baseballs, whiffle balls, rubber balls, over the fence into our yard. I suppose that is something akin to doggie manna for our mutts. The other day I came home and found 6 whiffle balls in the back yard. Occasionally the three young brothers will trudge over, always together, ring the bell and ask if I could retrieve some of their toys for them. As far as problems with neighbors go ours seem rather minor.
Amy and I quickly dashed out this afternoon to clean the church. I forgot it was my week to clean and hate having "chores" to do on Friday. I don't really considering cleaning the church a chore. I actually see it as a form of worship although that's hard to explain to folks as I'm swabbing out toilets. I figure if you can't work for God, who can you work for? When I'm working for Him, I'm never tempted to watch the clock either.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003


McDonald's McGriddle? Do we really need an egg, cheese, bacon, english muffin sandwich with syrup in it?
KC and the Sunshine Band plus Joe Piscopo? This is the talent available for the NBA finals halftime show in New Jersey. Did I miss the memo that this was "Has Been Night"?
The New Jersey coach whined about the refs not giving them enough calls and low and behold Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Tony Parker, and two parking lot attendents wearing black all were called for multiple fouls in the first half.

Okay I'm a little bitter....I think I'll watch the second half in bed...maybe I'll have a snack...syrup covered fried chicken sounds good.

Still suffering from a distinct lack of energy and inspiration. I'm blaming the humidity and the fact that the NBA finals are dragged out for so long. At least the Spurs play tonight. That means that at least there will be something watchable on TV (although the way the last game was played "watchable" is a subjective term).

A couple of weeks ago we noticed our cable box in the living room was suddenly giving us all of the movie channels. We have called the cable company and informed them, since that's the honest thing to do, and we don't want to pay for 792 movie channels. They said not to worry because their new high tech system will reset our box automatically. We're still waiting. What is particularly disturbing about this is not that we're getting stuff we're not paying for (hey, we called I figure we're off the hook ethically) it's that with 792 movie channels, there's still nothing on TV. The movies on cable have to be the worst films ever made.

Of course there are some good movies...but how many times can you watch "Hoosiers"?

When "Legally Blonde" is the best film on television something is wrong with society....besides we've already watched it 6 times...we've had was free.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003


It's hot, muggy, there is no Spurs game today, and I have nothing to blog about. So I'm just going to stir the pot and see what comes to a boil.
I see the web counter has hit 600, which is reassuring only in that it reminds me other people are bored at times in this life too.
I see where the New York Times is running a story about how the Iraqi oil industry is hurting because of looters which the U.S. has failed to stop. Isn't this the same newspaper that accused the U.S. of letting looters ransack the Iraqi Antiquities museum because solders were protecting the oil ministry? Now it's finally being widely reported that the museum looting story was bogus (last count 33 items were missing). If I were running the New York Times (and who knows I could be soon under the "winning through attrition" school of business) I think I'd triple check my facts.
I see that the founder of ImClone has been sentenced to prison for 7 years. This is the company Martha Stewart is in trouble for investing in. I still don't understand this story. The ImClone founder realizes his company is about get hit with a negative report, so he calls his broker and sells his stock and tells his daughter to do the same. That part I understand. It's illegal.
Now the stockbroker is also the broker for Martha Stewart. He calls her and advises her to sell her ImClone stock. She does..and gets indicted. So does the broker.

I'm just a poor schmoe, I don't have a stock broker, but if I did I would want him/her to call me if he saw that a company I was invested in was seeing its major players liquidating their stock. Call me crazy but I thought that's what stock brokers did, safeguarded your investments. What I find really amazing is that Stewart is not charged with insider trading....but fraud, because she declared she was innocent of insider trading. Huh? You can be indicted for declaring your innocence?

You're innocent until proven guilty unless you say you're innocent, in that case you're indicted? .
I see where Hillary Clinton's new book is setting a record in "non fiction" sales. It would seem deserving of the same rank on the fiction lists in my book.
I see random Wayneness... I believe people named Wayne are a threat to society. Here is more proof.

Monday, June 09, 2003


My friend Henry had a heart attack yesterday.

I call Henry a friend, we've never shared a meal or even a cup of coffee, but I've talked to him or his son almost every day for 18 years. Henry is a creature of the night. A tough bird. An anachronism. A freelance television photographer who crawls the shadowy crag of the city's underbelly with gusto while seeking out the carnage, the cruel and gruesome, the sensational, which, like it or not, is all too often the newsworthy. He lives on the periphery of other people's tragedy replete with the din of a non-stop soundtrack provided by banks of emergency system radio scanners. He is crusty. Foul mouthed. And on the great scale of cynics, he makes me look like Mr. Rogers.

I met Henry in 1985 when I started working at WOAI. He advised me that he was the only reliable source for crime news in the city and I should not only depend on him because it would be to my benefit, but that I should trust him implicitly; ignore all others, and follow his lead and orders. Much of what he said was bravado, but a great deal of it was true. Henry is the best in the city. He doesn't chase ambulances...he beats them to the scene. He hears the blood pumping pulse of the metropolis and breathes in the oft times tainted scent of urban life.

Henry has a skin as hard as granite and relishes in detailing the goriest aspects of man's many misfortunes. As you might imagine, Henry can be a little tough for some folks to stomach but I've always fostered a relationship with him knowing that he is a good news source and that his calcified exterior comes with the territory. He lives in a world where the woes of others are minimized if not mocked because he is perched so close to their pain. It's a carefully constructed wall of protection. To be numb to it, you must reclassify it...remove yourself from it.

Henry's heart attack began at the scene of a grisly accident, where a man was run down and dragged. As his fingers began to tingle Henry opted for the tried and true cure of Diet Coke. When the tingling continued he drove himself to his office. When his chest began to seize he decided to lay down. Finally, he called his wife, who took him to the hospital. Henry opted to have his wife drive him to the hospital, where I stopped by to see him today, because Henry doesn't trust EMS. He told me, "They kill too many people." I had to change the subject in order to get him to stop recanting decades worth of horror stories he had at the ready to illustrate that point.

It appears Henry is going to be okay. Doctors cleared one of his blocked arteries. He could go home as soon as tomorrow. I'm glad he will apparently recover from his heart attack; however as I drove away from the hospital I couldn't help but think that no doctor could really cure him now. His arteries can be unclogged, but his heart is almost beyond repair...ossified by a lifetime of self-imposed mental distance from the worst of humanity which he has spent years within inches of in terms of actual physical proximity. I don't know if Henry's true heart can ever be fixed. I know it will certainly take more than medicines and surgeries.

Today I am praying for real healing of Henry's heart.

Matthew 13:15
For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Stuff to worry about

Well, the "new blogger" seems to be having more problems, so I'm not sure if this will get published or not. I guess I can't complain since Blogger doesn't charge for their service. It is frustrating though to write stuff and see it disappear because you can't trust blogger's system to publish it. Oh well, why worry about that when there are plenty of other things to worry about today.
Mormon crickets: Mormon crickets are on the march. It's bad enough to have an invasion of crickets but if they're proselytizing too...beware.
Weather control:This guy thinks the government is controlling the weather. That would explain a lot. People are complaining about the weather everywhere, so it makes sense to think the government must be running it.
More tattoos. My stepson Joey goes to college in Columbus, but he's missing out on this event. I saw a neighbor mowing his yard yesterday without his shirt on. He was a guy probably 10 years older than me. He had several tattoos. Maybe they looked flattering when he got them.
Monkeypox:Monkey pox in the midwest! Why on earth would someone get their family member "prairie dogs" as a present? "Happy Birthday Mom! Here's a rat!".
More hockey: The Mighty Ducks send the Stanley Cup finals to game I care? No. But Amy has been watching so much ESPN lately because of the Spurs she's now tracking every sport under the sun and a few that belong where the sun doesn't shine. The ducks seems like an odd choice for a team name but the "Mighty" ducks? What's next "Threatening Pigeons"? Really Mean Looking Robins? Fierce fluffy bunnies?
Another teenager: My niece Emily turns 13 today. The Bible talks about life in four stages: birth, child, adult and death...which proves one thing...God won't take credit for teenagers. Can't really blame Him.

Happy Birthday Emily!!!!

Saturday, June 07, 2003


Does anyone really need their backyard? I guess we have to have a yard because we have three dogs, but they're the only ones who use it. Amy and I rarely sit outside and "enjoy the yard". When you narrow down the days or nights when it's not too hot and the bugs don't outnumber the population of Beijing, there are probably about 4 hours a year our backyard is comfortable enough to use. Checking the schedule I see that day conflicted with something good on TV.

While walking today (on my supposed to be daily but is now turning out to be not quite that frequent walk) around the neighborhood I noticed the people I saw out in their yards. All the people I saw outside were "working" on maintaining their yards. Mowing, weed-eating, etc.... I didn't see any kids actually playing in their yards. I didn't see any families sitting on the neatly arranged lawn furniture or any family picnics. I saw a multitude of elaborate swingsets, all missing one The only kids that I saw playing were shooting hoops on a driveway.

It struck me how much effort we put into things we don't really need.
Amy has returned from Baylor after trying to assist Lisa in making her final preparations for college. Lisa is at that point in life where she's wanting to assert her independence and not quite sure how to go about it. We've been through this before but it's a hard lesson each time. You feel the kids growing "away" not just growing "up". I try to remind Amy that they'll know where we are "when they need us".
Tiffany drove in unexpectedly last night. She was apparently planning on spending the weekend with Lisa and didn't know Lisa wasn't going to be in town. Tiffany is getting a quick dose of reality now that she's graduated and is living for the next paycheck. I offered to give her money for gas last night and today knowing she could use it, but she is asserting her independence too and refusing to take it.

Before she leaves I'll slip ten bucks in her purse.

Today is one of those days when I know what I need. I need to be needed.

Philippians 4:19

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Friday, June 06, 2003

Grr Spurs Grr

Well so much for a sweep. As they say in Jersey, Idontwannatalkaboutit.

Spurs and Nets tonight. I'm trying to keep my optimism in check, but I still think the Spurs may dominate these guys. I haven't seen or heard an answer from the Nets yet...but who knows.
Speaking of silence...did you read about this guy? He's going in my Ignatius Reilly file. Doesn't speak for 29 years and his mother takes care of him the entire time.
There's some truth to the adage that children should be seen and not heard...but when they're still living in your house at 51 years old...they shouldn't be either.
Speaking of in the house....
There's an intern in the house..actually I have an intern at my office. That sentence has taken on a new meaning as a result of Bill Clinton hasn't it?

Anyway she's a nice young woman from Illinois who got the pleasure today of seeing what it's like to report to work at 3 a.m. and not have time for chit chat. I told her when she walked in, "This is the worst of times, this is the best of times. It's the worst of times, because it's 3's the best of times because if you really want to work, there's no one here to get in your way."
She got out of my way and after three hours of observing me in the daily frenzy I'm so used to of non-stop writing, audio editing, making calls and anchoring newscasts without getting out of my chair, I turned around and she was still there.
She said, "When do you pee?"

She's a keeper...she knows what's important.
Speaking of bodily functions....Aren't you glad you aren't the person studying this fascinating subject?

Thursday, June 05, 2003


Well, for all of the loyal readers of this blog (both of you), you'll note a new look. I got tired of that mucus green and grey template. I looked around at ways to personalize this a bit more and realized, "Hey, that's way too complicated for me". So I changed templates in blogger to something a little cleaner and a little brighter.

My delightful archive drop down menu caused a bug, so I switched to a monthly archiving system which only took me about a month to figure out how to do (it's amazing what happens if you read the instructions).

On to more important matters....

The Spurs won! Yay! I need to be convinced New Jersey has something else to throw at us or I'm going to start thinking the "s" word....

Get your mind out of the gutter. I was thinking about "sweep".

I'm bachin' it for the next day or so. Lisa and Amy have headed up to Waco for Baylor's orientation. This was a frantically arranged excursion, but I'm hopeful once they get up there and talk to some folks, all of Lisa's questions will be answered and we'll all be able to relax and get ready for vacation.

Since I spent all day figuring out the bugs in the blog changeover (yes, most were my doing)...I have no time to write more.

Lucky you.

Go Spurs!

Wednesday, June 04, 2003


What more needs to be said? NBA Finals are kicking off tonight. There really is no contest here despite all the sports pundits trying to hype the drama. San Antonio is the town of "Remember the Alamo"...New Jersey? "Forgetaboutit!"

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Let us pause..

For a moment or three of silliness. I revel in days like today. When the world seems to want to focus on the "important" and the ludicrous shouts it down.

Today our President and various officials are hoping to start to find a way to eventually agree on a "road map" to peace in the Middle East. I love that expression: a "road map". I feel like yelling, "When you get to STOP KILLING EACH OTHER you're there!".
This road map has been folded and unfolded for multiple lifetimes. What we need is someone who can stop and ask for directions.
Today the Feds say they're going to seek an indictment of Martha Stewart. Martha it seems made an underhanded stock deal which saved her a whopping 60 thousand dollars. 60 thousand bucks is a lot of money to me. To Martha that has to be about as valuable as the amount of dryer lint she'd need to whip up a table decoration for Earth day. It was silly, stupid and yes, illegal... So this has taken about a year and a half investigation to resolve? How many thousands of tax dollars have been spent on this? Martha says it's cost her about a half billion dollars already in the depreciation of her empire's stock price. So they indict her, put her on trial...and then what? No one is going to send Martha Stewart to one is that silly.

Michael's recipe for Martha
Cop a plea
Pay a fine
Stir gently
Fold in tears during an interview with Barbara Walters.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the public's attention span has waned completely, whichever comes first.
Let cool for a day or two.
Go make more billions.
The ultimate story of the day however is THIS ONE. It's like a sequel to "A Confederacy of Dunces". If you don't want to follow the link the Reader's Digest version is: A woman given the task of tending to a dog bequeathed to her by a wealthy woman she cared for, falls to her knees in front of an evangelist at a revival. She needs prayer to determine how much money to demand from the woman's estate. She believes God, with the evangelist's handy assistance, has given her a number. "Fifty, Sister" as in 50 thousand bucks. The dead woman's heirs are complaining, the lawyers are bickering and the dog provider believes Jesus gave her the dollar amount.

I say we resolve all of these issues at once. Send the evangelist to prison. Ask President Bush to host the next revival. Hand the praying woman and her lawyer a road map to Wall Street where they'll obviously fit in. Send the dog to the White House. Order Martha Stewart to pay 60 thousand bucks for the dog's care. Martha should then be exiled to the Middle East until she can cook up a peace agreement.

She should be able to wrap that up before supper.

Monday, June 02, 2003


It's empty nest time. Our last little bird has flown away. I had to double check when I got home today so I got on a chair with a mirror and looked inside the nest. I should have known there was no bird in there since I wasn't being squawked at or dive bombed by protective parents. I'm calling our straggling swallow Nemo since we saw "Finding Nemo" yesterday...the name seemed to fit. He's off on a new adventure. I can't really blame him for leaving, after getting a close up look at the inside of that nest I feel much better about our housekeeping. I think we'd be doing the birds a favor if we made them build a new nest each year, the current one reminds me of the places I lived in college.
Our little nest is emptying quickly too. Tiffany is in Kerrville working at a camp while preparing to begin her teaching career, Joey is in Sandusky, and soon Lisa will be headed to Waco. I'm thankful that I can count on the swallows and the children returning.
I will enjoy a little elbow room for a while. Soon we'll be heading to Ohio for our summer vacation. Our annual rest at Lake Erie which also brings back college memories, things like seeing how many people we could cram into a VW bug. We'll shove as many family members into one home as possible, and then add a couple of more. I can't wait actually. Sometimes crowds are comfortable.

It could be worse

Sunday, June 01, 2003


This weekend I watched an HBO piece about how Saddam's son would literally torture the country's athletes if they lost, if they criticized a referee he liked, or just on a whim. Serious torture, beating them with chains, breaking their bones repeatedly, holding them captive in cells with no water and no ventilation, having them dive into vats of raw sewage.

But we haven't found "weapons of mass destruction."

We've found graves filled with the brittled bones of thousands of Iraqi's killed because they opposed Saddam.

But we haven't found "weapons of mass destruction."

We've found hundreds of millions of dollars looted from the Iraqi people.

But we haven't found "weapons of mass destruction."

We've read stories of how one of Saddam's sons raped a 13 year old girl and when the girl's father complained, he was told his entire family would be killed. Then Saddam's boy insisted the father turn over his younger daughter too....and the father did. The stories of rape and abuse are seemingly endless.

But we haven't found "weapons of mass destruction."

We've found mobile labs that our experts can find no explanation for other than they were designed to produce biological weapons.

But we haven't found "weapons of mass destruction."

If you opposed the war and now want to say, "see we didn't have to attack them" and your entire argument is that "we didn't find weapons of mass destruction" please stand up and take a bow.

Now, all you folks who want Saddam and his sons to be brought back, and given control of Iraq please remain standing. Stand up and be counted.

I'm waiting.

As far as I'm concerned we don't have to find nuclear bombs, chemical warheads, or germ warfare plants. The weapons of mass destruction were Saddam and his sons.

We got rid of them. Thank God.