Friday, July 27, 2007


I have no idea what that title means...but it came to mind when I looked at my blog after getting an email from Travis - thanks Travis!

I've been messing around with some website design, not really this one, and a little sleep deprived following a late night dinner our two house guests arranged with a bunch of their far too young friends...apparently somewhere along the way I did a technical change to the blog, the wrong way.

I came home from work and slept all day...and if Travis hadn't sent me an email saying, "Um, did you know your blog looks like a train wreck?" or something along those lines, I might have let it go all weekend. I mean, I don't "read" my blog, I'm not really sure why you do, but I only look at it if I've written something so I can see how many spelling and grammar corrections I can spot before "my old friend Harlan" or Amy.

In any case, if you visited here earlier today and saw a jumble of were splurgled...sorry..

Now I suppose I should say something more substantive...

(tapping fingers)

(humming out of tune)

You know, I could make this a "Mime blog" instead. That might be a first, although I'm afraid to Google it to find out. I did find this photo of "Mimes for Jesus."

They actually look like they have an interesting ministry, although their website does have sound...reminiscent of a Monster Truck Show radio ad. I've said it before, whatever brings folks to Christ...I'm not going to judge.

The mime ministers presumably don't ever have to worry about praying too loud, which I also noticed is apparently a heated issue in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Evidently a prayer assembly of some sort (hey, I just woke up from a long nap, you want me to research the facts?) really ticked off some folks...especially since it lasted into the early morning hours. It appears public sentiment about the gathering is mixed, at least from what I read on-line.

I do love the comment saying essentially, "You folks are really gonna complain about the noise when Jesus comes back."

Oh by the way, I realized I have the wrong photo of me up on this blog. I don't know who that old guy is....this is the real Michael Main.

Yeah, right. Well, I mean he is Michael Main, he's just not me.

Sigh, the hazards of "ego-surfing." Apparently some very intelligent parents named their strapping son, after me.

Oh, let an old man dream.

That Michael Main may one day be a big league ball player...the upside being I may be able to sell him the rights to my website for a fortune. Although if his eyes are really that blue, Amy may just give it to him.

Speaking of giving...apparently the "virtual world" of Second Life is turning into a new a mission field to reach heathens or at least people with hedonistic fictional web identities.

I've never spent a moment on Second Life. Having an "on-line" life seems like extra work to me, something I'm rather adept at avoiding in this life.

I think I'll stop now.

Yes, I realize all of this appears to be unrelated rambling, but that's all part of being splurgled...look it up.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I'm Sad To Announce...The End

Of being nice.

Chuck Sigars! You've been punked! A little earlier than I planned because...well, I'm tired of messing with this...

Don't worry folks, you're just being redirected to another page for the next day.


Okay, originally this post was set up to redirect you to another page, which I'll give you the link to in a moment, that was put up in honor of Chuck's birthday...alright it crudely mocked him.

I did extensive research for this project....okay, I actually just went back through Chuck's archives to find his birth date. It was all set up late yesterday afternoon, designed to zip people over to that page and it worked beautifully.

Then I got an email from Chuck. It was very nice...all accept for the part about how his birthday isn't today, IT'S TOMORROW!

This is not my fault! His archives say TODAY is his birthday. Chuck claims this is a mistake due to his messing with his template or some such blather, I suspect it might be early onset Alzheimer's. In any case, I've now modified the "punked" page a little to reflect Chuck's latest claim. Maybe he's punking me, but it's probably for the best since Blogger really doesn't like the way I tinkered with the code to redirect the website. Plus you can leave comments here if you wish.

So instead of being surprised - it surprised Chuck and who else really cares about Chucks' birthday anyway? - I'll just let everyone else click on a normal link to reach the page.

Click here if you have no idea what I'm talking about...yes, I realize that's everyone who is reading this...sigh.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Look For The Revolutionary Label

"A house divided against itself cannot stand." - Abraham Lincoln

"Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. - Jesus Christ

The time has come...for revolution.

That's right...damn the threat of Gitmo. To hell with The Patriot Act. I will not back down, I will not be silenced. I am sounding the clarion call for rebellion and I do so fearlessly.

We must overthrow the enemy and my friends, the enemy has a huge head start.

The enemy has an organized army. A fortress built on a fabric of fear and reinforced with walls that can not be breached by bombs, or guns, fire, or half-hearted faith.

The enemy is well funded, well fortified and operates like a well oiled machine, sparing nothing in its' path. Its plan of attack is well honed, well operated and well proven. The enemy's assault is being waged every second of every day and has been for decades, perhaps centuries.

And we haven't noticed...or haven't cared.

Worse yet...we pay the enemy's fact some members of the enemy's army are actually waging war against themselves. We fund their weaponry. Hell, we cheer them on, feed on their plunder and the spoils of their war are often surrendered us.

I want it back.

I want every damn bit of it back.

I am calling for a revolution. You can call me Che...but only if I get to wear the beret.

"Eager souls, mystics and revolutionaries, may propose to refashion the world in accordance with their dreams; but evil remains, and so long as it lurks in the secret places of the heart, utopia is only the shadow of a dream" - Nathaniel Hawthorne

I'm not kidding...and I'm not backing down. I detest playing defense.

Don't tune me haven't even begun to hear and so help me God if we fail to learn to listen we all will suffer consequences so severe they will threaten every possession you have and every person you love...our planet...our existence.

Overly dramatic? I'm not kidding, I mean every word.

Some of you have already made up your minds, you've labeled me.

Label me me names,

"Face it, he's another conspiracy nut on the web."

"So far I think he's just long winded."
- Made up people.

You would be wrong to label least at this point. Okay, with the possible exception of the long-winded label.

But it's labels that are the very weapons that the enemy is using...every day, everywhere you look. You can't close your eyes to them, we can't tune it out, we can't even stop ourselves from using them! The weapons of the enemy!

Maybe I am a nut, but I'm a nut who believes there is only one thing to do...fight back.

TV does it, radio, the Internet and newspapers do it. Politicians, preachers, and Pulitzer prize winners do it. Ad men and mad men, altruists and Ayatollahs...they're all using the same weapons of war...labels.

On the face of it, it seems harmless. Labels are simple ways to categorize ...every belief you have, every dream, every value, every person...heck even every state.

Are you Blue or Red?

Not Communist red...Republican red.

If you're Republican Red than you favor big business, you vote "conservative," you are "pro-life," you are religious...not spiritual...most likely a Christian...a fundamentalist. You are pro-Israel and anti-Muslim, you don't watch Public television or listen to National Public Radio, you favor school choice, and believe all unions are corrupt. You are pro-gun, pro-military, pro-death penalty, anti-immigration, you like NASCAR, think soccer is for kids and foreigners and you don't understand hockey. You are pro-family, but think children are best seen and not heard...crying babies should be removed from the church service.

You object to paying five bucks for coffee, but you do. You are Red, and a real American. You think the poor are slackers, welfare is out of whack, and you'd home school your kids if you weren't working so hard to afford your SUV. You believe flag-burning is a real issue of monumental importance, you want prayer back in public schools and you claim to read your Bible every day, but you can't quote scripture too well. You listen to talk radio and only watch FOX news and you don't give a flying fart about trans-fats. And of course, above almost all else these days, you are certainly NOT green.

No, you can't be green if you're red. The labels least that's what the people labeled "fashionistas" and political experts tell us. Only people who are Blue can be green.

Blue people are pro-environment, pro-choice, anti-war, and want to legalize gay marriage. They believe surrender is not the same as withdrawal, red meat will rot your gut, red wine is good for you and in a pinch so is beer. You may have grown up in a trailer park, you who are Blue , though Blue people are proud to boast fluent Starbuckese while trying hard to deny that was them at the Star Trek Convention 10 years ago. Blue people vote for Democrats, and if they're not the poor, they help the poor, get down and dirty with 'em because they know it's the Red people holding them down. Unions are always good, corporations are always bad, America is usually wrong, and Hollywood is something to be admired. Blue people think they have a better chance of winning the lottery or American Idol than they do of ever being wealthy. Blue people still smoke...but only in certain Blue people places, where the family farm is being trampled by the Red people's greed.

Is that crazy?

OF COURSE THAT'S CRAZY! You think I'm really that much of a nut?

Turn in your blue badges, turn in the red badges too. Wave the white flag because you've already surrendered to people who are not dividing a house against itself....they've diced it.

I've been a reporter for more than 30 years. I have covered horrible murders. I once followed police around Denton County, Texas as they retrieved garbage bags off the sides of roadways...inside the bags were the dismembered body parts of a woman, killed by her deranged husband. I've listened to a man scream...wail at God, moments after learning his four children had been carved up by a cocaine crazed kid.

But I've never seen anything as gory as what I see on T.V. shows every week. Law & Order SVU, CSI Wherever...these shows, which are "Emmy" winners...have invaded our homes with story after story after story of depravity and deviance...each story seemingly worse than the last.

But someone is making those up. Most of our society isn't that way...those stories of horrifyingly grotesque acts of violence just don't happen. Yes, John Wayne Gacy did did Jeffrey Dahmer...but they didn't exist in our homes three nights a week...every week.

We've come to believe that those types of shows depict "reality" while programs labeled "Reality shows" are not reality...the only reality is that they are cheap to produce...and they use the enemy's favorite weapon too. They divide us...label us.

The "haves" versus the "have-nots"....grab the greed, one case away from happiness, one race or sex against another...people of faith against people of perversion...or so we're led to believe. The shows are edited. Those people are one dimensional on TV no matter what size TV you've been convinced you "have" to own by the ads that run every few minutes making you feel inferior for not "keeping up" with standards that are made up by someone in an advertising agency. In real life those people are three dimensional, unedited...and I don't believe nearly as shallow.

We're told the world "hates" America...some say it's because of George Bush (that's usually what we hear the "Blue" people are saying by the way).

We're told immigrants are a threat to our security, welfare pigs, and lazy. That's what we're told the "Red" people say...and we hear it so much we believe it.

But the people telling us those things...are they the "Red" people you know? Or the "Blue" people living next door?

Probably not...they're either politicians, or race activists, or more likely the "Perfect People" in the picture tube with the fresh breath, and sparkling white teeth, who never get bed head. No matter, all of them have their own reasons for labeling other people as "for this" or "against that" or mean or pitiful...they need to keep your attention...on them. Either to win your vote, or to get you to give them money, or to convince you to buy something that truthfully you probably don't really need.

Labels...even on a can of beans labels are not plain black letters on a white background...why?


Almost everything created by man is designed to distract you from something else...and that's the enemy's weapon.

I don't know if the world hates America because of George Bush or if they hate America because of what they see blaring into their homes...our fixation with fame, and wealth, and celebrity and labels. I don't know if the world hates America at all.

"The world" doesn't people, blue people, green people, media people, lots of people who are quick to lob labels speak...and while we may be bombing the wrong people in the Middle East, I can tell you with certainty we are attacking the heart of the values of people all over the world with a skewed view of our country and I can't blame them for feeling under siege, because I feel that way too.

We fought wars in places most of us have never and will never be, yet we have been and are still under unrelenting attack right here, right now. In every state, every county, ever city, and every home in America.

We are losing...badly.

So I am calling for a revolution.

A stewardship revolution.

Sign up today.

Be a good steward of your values, be they red or be they blue. Be a good steward of your money. Be a good steward of our planet. Be a good steward of your children. Be a good steward of your faith. Foremost be a good steward of your careful what you let in there, what you take as truth, and who you allow such liberties.

And be a good steward of your tongue...label less, listen more.

If we were really to do that, with all our hearts and our souls and our God Almighty, THAT would be a real revolution.

"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." - Thomas Jefferson

"I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings." - Jesus Christ

Friday, July 20, 2007

Morphing Mental Mud

I apologize in advance for the next thing I post, not for the content but because I haven't been able to formulate it before now.

I suppose I should actually apologize for all the crap I've written in the past couple of months, that would make more sense.

I haven't been suffering from "writer's block"...I think of it more like "writer's clog."

You see, although I have other things to write about I have been haunted by this one idea for some time and actually vowed to write about it months ago, but until today I couldn't fit all the pieces together in a way I wanted.

I still don't really know how I'm going to do it exactly, I don't normally plan out anything I write, I just sit down and spout.

This time it's different. It's an important thought...or at least I think it is, and obviously it has come to dominate a portion of my brain where other things are waiting to be expelled into the blogosphere.

Every time I have tried to sit down to write about it though I realize I want to say it in a different way, or my thinking is not complete, or maybe it should rhyme (I'm not kidding).

So it has morphed into this cerebral"blob" of sorts...

Okay, it's hard to probably already picked up on that by now huh?

Think of it as a great mass of twine that I've been trying to neatly wrap into a fine ball, but I keep getting more twine which knots and tangles and results in me having to unwind all the previously strung together bits and begin again.

This afternoon - at least I think, heck I pray- I finally assembled all those crumbs of cognitive flotsam, separated them a bit and came to the conclusion I'm ready to really try to wrap it all back up.

I've got to. I am determined to force it out of some other orifice if need be...although that conjures up another mental image for which I really don't have room.

I'm too tired to do it now....I've been tossing and turning and untangling for hours just thinking about it.

I need sleep.

And tomorrow's almost here.

So I'm going to stop explaining, stop thinking, start sleeping and with a healthy measure of God's grace in the hours to come I'm hopefully going to engage in a serious dose of "writer rooter."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Big Reveal

If you're the parent of a Harry Potter fan or a Harry Potter fan yourself, I'm going to tell you what happens.

You see, I don't believe in keeping secrets.

I'm a member of the's my duty to report the news, and I already know. I know everything that's important about "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows."

You have to admit this is "news."

I'm a news man.

So here it is...are you ready?

You're sure now?

This is big.

Absolutely positive?

It probably won't happen again.

Personally I think you should know in advance so you can plan for the jolt you are about to receive, but I know there are those who disagree.

So you really want to know before the book is released in a media string puppet frenzy?

You want to know before everyone else on earth realizes this?

Okay, you can't say you weren't warned.

Here goes...

Brace yourself.

This weekend, you'll be able to watch want you want on T.V.

You'll be able to get on your home computer whenever you like, to surf the Internet with abandon, and your children won't complain at all, in fact they won't even come near you.

They'll actually be quiet.

You won't even hear their little thumbs clicking about in curious ways instant messaging their friends on their phones despite having "unlimited weekend minutes."

This is YOUR WEEKEND Mom and Dad...

Think about it.

No kid knocking at your bedroom door.

No kids fighting about what's on TV.

Being able to watch an "R" rated movie in the living room if you really want to because your child will be upstairs...reading.

Sorry, I had to reveal all that today, but I really feel it's an obligation.

I mean, come Monday, no one is going to miss the magic of Harry Potter more than parents.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Blessed are the young and mobile.

Thao, one of our summer house guests, had no problem driving 120 miles round trip to pick up our 74 thousand pounds of luggage, and us, at the Austin airport at midnight. We're dragged everything into the house, dropping most of it inside the doorway to deal with later...and were safely entrenched at home by 1:30 this morning.

Needless to say we don't have a lot of energy today.

But we're home.

Another family vacation survived...and savored.

I have some thoughts I'll no doubt share in the days ahead, but today I need to try to snap back into some type of schedule, which basically means, pay bills, eat something and then go back to bed so I can go to work in the morning.

The house we stayed at in Lakeside, Ohio was built many years ago and has gone through a number of incarnations, but atop a cabinet in one of the rooms is an old photo of what I assume are members of the original family who came to the home each summer.

In the photo below (which you absolutely have to click on to enlarge and appreciate) you'll see a porch behind the folks in the center of the image. That's the same porch our family is standing on in the photo immediately below the other.



However I can recognize more than the home.

I recognize a feeling...a love...and a faith in God, which has been shared by two families...separated by slightly less than a century...and enduring to this day.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Delta Is Ready.....Long After You Are...

Well, let's see we managed to packed 700 pounds of luggage into 4 suitcases...convinced Delta airlines it was only 200 Amy and a small portion of her 40 quarts of Nyquil and make-up through the TSA guardians...okay she had to slug down some of the Nyquil before we were no longer a terror threat...and now we've been told our flight to Atlanta has been an hour.

Our hopes of getting immediately transferred to another flight were dashed...Delta is confident we'll make our connection.

Although there's no explanation for the delay, it really isn't a big deal since we have an hour lay-over in Atlanta before we fly to Austin...although at this point we haven't found a "friend" to drive to Austin at midnight on a Monday to pick us up.

I'm hoping we might be able to parlay this whole situation into another "bump" or at least a direct flight San Antonio...our luggage can arrive whenever it's allowed.

Right now I'm sitting at the Columbus, Ohio airport - which has free wi-fi - Amy is quasi-asleep on my shoulder (she wasn't going to let all that Nyquil get confiscated) and all is well.

I'm really only posting this because I can...I bought a new laptop (for the business) before we left, and once we get home it'll actually be mine to this is really my first opportunity to play with it. It's nice to have a laptop with all the keys, plus a battery that recharges without me having to use a hammer or some form of Santeria.

As always, there appears to have been significant changes at my job while I was gone...I long ago learned to leave that stuff up to God. Presumably I'll have a job when I get back.

If not maybe I'll take the laptop back :)

If anyone reading this is going to be sober in Austin at midnight (Monday night/Tuesday morning) and wanting to drive to San Antonio (you must have a car that can hold two people and 9000 pounds of luggage) feel free to email me or Amy...or call us if you're familiar enough with us to have our phone numbers.

Signing off now....

In Nyquil we trust.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Back...Sort of

I'm back among the "wired," not exactly back in Texas yet, and unless I find a way to jettison about 50 pounds of Amy's luggage I may have to stay in Ohio and let the suitcase take my seat.

Our little haven away from it all, was a little less away from it all...I'm not sure Wi-Fi is a good thing. I stayed unplugged for the most part but seemingly everyone was on a laptop or cell phone or other gadget.

I'm thinking I may need some sort of electro-magnetic pulse ray gun next summer.

Maybe I'll look on Ebay...

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Oddly Familiar

We made it to Ohio uneventfully with the exception of Amy packing our entire house to take with us. Tomorrow we'll be driving up to Lake Erie, possibly by passing it for Cleveland to pick up our youngest child (if we can't con one of her cousins into doing it) if there's room in the car with all our luggage.

We won't be taking the "little truck that might" this year, which is good in that we've probably stretched our success ratio with that vehicle about as far as anyone could expect. It also means we'll have air conditioning and will be able to actually talk to each other on the way since the windows won't be rolled down...but it's a little sad that the little truck tradition is falling by the wayside. Yeah, I won't mourn for long.

Okay, I'm over it now.

I'm not sure if we'll take the back roads either, which is my usual preference...although I hope to get an up close look at the Solid Rock Church which I wrote about a few years ago when they were still in the process of building a giant statue of Jesus right next to the freeway.

I'd like to see it now that it's done. Lots of people have opinions about the giant Jesus, mine hasn't really changed in the past few years. Would I have spent money on such a thing? No. I have other theological priorities, but if it makes people feel the welcoming arms of God, gets someone to think about Jesus who perhaps wouldn't otherwise...who am I to judge?

I see the giant Jesus has now been immortalized in parody on YouTube...which really increases my desire to drive by it.

Oh yeah...we've got to drive by it at least.

Of course I'm trying to determine if we can go by Dublin, Ohio too. To see the "largest ears of corn" in the world.

I love stuff like that...but not everyone no one in my family seems to share my enthusiasm especially when it involves the word "detour."

My impaired sense of direction is already well documented, so if we happen to "get lost" and accidentally land in Dublin...well, it's just another twist in the road.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Family Comes Fourth

I'm not used to this...this July 4th thing.

Don't get me wrong, Independence Day is one of my most cherished holidays not only because it's nice to see folks celebrate our nation at least one day a year, but also because I'm usually on small town America.

It's an odd feeling not to look out a window and see someone who has made a patriotic fashion choice - without the influence of alcohol - one which they probably wouldn't make anywhere else.

In a few days we'll be back in "small town" America...but not today.

Today we're home in the big city, and although there are various parades, and ceremonies, and fireworks shows...they're scattered all about so it lacks that feeling of community...of family.

July Fourth represents many things to me, but for the past decade or more it has come to represent a freedom with which I was in truth unfamiliar. The liberty to be loved unconditionally by family. I'm used to gathering in a great group and watching fireworks, listening to the family members who can sing (that being every family member except me) harmonize patriotic hymns on the shores of Lake Erie. I'm used to eating far too many brats, burgers and still having room for ice cream. I'm even used to trying to appreciate the fifteenth firetruck in the local parade even knowing it's about to blast its siren at ear splitting levels, just like the fourteen firetrucks before it.

It's corny and antiquated...and altogether charming.

So, in all honesty, I feel a bit too independent on this particular Independence Day.

Yet that realization, makes me appreciate such blessings all the more.

Our family celebration is still near at hand, and forever etched in my heart.

God sovereignly made me the first, the basic, before he did anything else. I was brought into being a long time ago, well before Earth got its start. I arrived on the scene before Ocean, yes, even before Springs and Rivers and Lakes. Before Mountains were sculpted and Hills took shape, I was already there, newborn; Long before God stretched out Earth's Horizons, and tended to the minute details of Soil and Weather, And set Sky firmly in place, I was there. When he mapped and gave borders to wild Ocean, built the vast vault of Heaven, and installed the fountains that fed Ocean, When he drew a boundary for Sea, posted a sign that said no trespassing, And then staked out Earth's Foundations, I was right there with him, making sure everything fit. Day after day I was there, with my joyful applause, always enjoying his company, Delighted with the world of things and creatures, happily celebrating the human family. - Proverbs 8:22 (The Message)

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Minimalist

Blogging is going to be at a minimum for a couple of weeks. It's time to focus on family and spiritual renewal, which means "unplugging" from the rush of daily realities a bit.

It's a good thing.

I still have another day of work...and a few days before we leave. One of the many advantages of having folks share our house is that things like "dog-sitting" aren't too much of a concern, and we have a dear friend who I think we've conned into checking on things occasionally as well.

But I know the next few days will be filled with panic and order to relax.

Sadly, I've wrenched my back in a way I haven't done before, which I guess is God's little reminder that I've crossed the trellis into a new age bracket. I think I'm just going to pack two pairs of jeans, some underwear, a couple pairs of shorts and few tee-shirts.....socks & shoes if they'll fit in something not too heavy.

Right now though, sitting up is not pleasant...and I have yet to learn how to blog on my back, so I'm going to limp over to ibuprofen and back to bed.

I'll check in before we go....perhaps once we arrive. But if you don't hear from me for a while...don't fact just the opposite - praise God.