Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday, November 09, 2009

Right F-Stop for an F-18

My son-in-law took this shot of an F-18 "flirting with the sound barrier" at the Randolph Air Force Base Air Show on Sunday.

Pretty cool.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Presidential Dressing

Sorry, this is not a recipe for some special White House stuffing for Thanksgiving...that would probably require more pork than I could stomach.
However I was relieved that in addition to no longer having to worry about car companies, banks, and health care...I can also now not have to worry about how to dress thanks to the President.  Yes, I  now get advice on how to dress from President Obama himself at a website called "Obama Weather"

This is today's suggested outfit for San Antonio.

Presumably that's for this morning, since it's supposed to hit 80 degrees this afternoon. I went to work this morning in a heavy shirt, jeans and flip flops...but I'm not a jacket type guy.  If I were to be wearing a jacket and sweater this afternoon I'd probably keel over...something I am trying to avoid at least until free health care is available.

I must say the President appears to have better web fashion sense than Angelina Jolie, who can also provide clothing suggestions based on the daily forecast.

 Personally, I tend to doubt you'd ever catch Ms. Jolie dressed in "frumpy chic" attire...then again, it's not like a guy wearing flip flops at the office is going to be forecasting fashion trends any time soon.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Dem Bones

Stream of consciousness...

Okay, so I'm writing news this morning for some radio stations in the Rio Grande Valley and there's a story about a guy who was hauled in by the feds on allegations he was making grenades at his house...makes you want to get out and meet your neighbors huh? Anyway, authorities also say they found "human and animal" bones at his home along with a blood stained shrine.  Charming.

So I'm expecting this is going to turn into another murder story when I discover that police say the suspect apparently bought many of the remains "legally over the Internet."

Yeah, I know nothing should surprise us about the Internet...but I really wasn't ready for:

Apparently this is not as ghoulish of an outfit as it sounds.  They provide legitimate specimens for schools, museums and "collectors."

The Brownsville Monitor quotes the founder of Skulls Unlimited as saying they get their "inventory" from "wherever we can get a legal supply"...including road kills.

That's for animals...for people bones, the prime choice is apparently Asia where there is not as much of a stigma to selling your dead relative's remains.

The quote I really love is this one: "Every culture is different, it would be taboo to sell grandma."

That should be of some relief to the Grandmothers out there.

Oh...almost forgot. This is the company's advertised "Special."

Gives a new meaning to the idea of getting a head start on your Christmas shopping.

Happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Be Careful Where You Sit

This may be the winner of the worst baby Halloween costume of 2009...

Monday, October 19, 2009


Stream of consciousness....

I drive home on the backroads when I can...I mean I hit the highway and then at the first feasible chance I find a way to get home where I'm not going to be frustrated by traffic.  Chalk it up to the fact that for more decades than I wish to count I've worked very early in the morning and the only thing I have contend with at that hour are drunks.  I'm used to drunk drivers...I can't handle the maniacs in regular traffic.

So I'm driving home today on a little used road by our home called "Lookout."   Amy and I have laughingly referred to it as "Lookout Mall" since it's usually strewn with crap folks have dumped for whatever reason: couches, mattresses, entire furniture sets, and Lord only knows what types of hazardous waste.

Today I had to swerve to miss a Christmas tree.


Today being October 19th.

I'm serious.

I am as much a procrastinator as the next guy, probably moreso but....IT'S OCTOBER!  Someone just now is getting rid of their old dead Christmas tree?

They must live in a different reality.

I've decided "reality" is a subjective term...What's apparently real to me is not real to far more people than I wish to imagine, much less meet.

Yes, this idea was spawned by the realization that this nutjob "family" in Colorado apparently captured the media's attention (sorry I slept through that drama - if I can't fast forward past the commercials I don't watch it) by pretending their 6 year old kid was in some bogus weather balloon.  All this in hopes of landing a contract for a "Reality" TV show.


What reality are they in?

Are they in the reality that thinks the "Real" Housewives of____________ are ...."real" housewives?

I mean I never see these housewives taking out the trash or doing laundry or...well...being "real."

I've never seen them without make up much less making uncomfortable noises in the bathroom...not that I want to, I'm just sayin'....

My reality is not worth a sales pitch.  That may change though, one day some network may actually pay me to videotape my seemingly senseless chore of  washing three muddy dogs...that'll be compelling.

My reality is I have a dog that growls like Popeye...I'd post the video but in reality my SmartPhone is having a senior moment and I don't really want to sit here and figure it out.

My reality is I struggle to figure out why one car thinks the door is open when it rains and another decides the windows should stop working in wet weather ....Oh yeah, the windows only go down not up during thunderstorms.

My reality involves things like strange hairs growing in my ears faster than any other place on my body, and funky smells in the kitchen I can't seem to trace.

Pretending your kid is trapped in a makeshift duct-taped weather balloon?  Wondering if you got the right return on your $100,000 dollar kitchen makeover?  Having some commando come and redo your hair salon?

That's a different reality.

Time to face reality.
I'm never going to have a TV show.

A sitcom...well, that's a different story.

A Head Start On The Week


Everything seems fine.

Still something appears to be just not right.

Gotta get my head on straight.

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Mog Days Of Fall

Fall arrived in South Texas exactly on schedule...I mean to the day.   It's cooler and it's wetter.  We've actually had real rain, which is a blessing in almost every case...the exception being if your lawn has dried up and blown away during the past two years of drought and now your backyard is just dirt.

Rain + Dirt = Mud

Our smaller dogs, who are genetically inclined to be filthy, have it a little easier since they are a older, lazier and smaller.   Winston, whom we're convinced is mentally challenged to begin with, has decided not to venture off the remnants of concrete rubble we fondly refer to as our back porch.   This makes for some not so delightful surprises if you go outside barefoot without watching where you step.

Abby, who still has quite a bit of puppy vigor in her, hasn't quite figured out the rain plus dirt equation.   We can't really blame her, she's only seen rain a few times in her life.

However she's noticing the consequences.

 She bounds outside and within a few seconds finds herself a little slower...a little heavier and much filthier.

Mud + Dogs =?

Several times each day she is now being  transformed from a dog to a "mog'....half dog/half mud.

I suppose even when God blesses us there will always be days when we still must carry an extra load.

My eyes are ever on the Lord for only he will release my feet from the snare - Psalm 25:15

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Taking The Plunge

So these days I'm cranking out newscasts for a variety of radio stations, cities...states. I'm finding it interesting how many stories overlap...swine flu, cash for clunkers, health care...etc.

However, occasionally there are stories that are one of a kind...and for that you have to thank God

One such item appeared on the police blotter in Wichita, Kansas. Apparently police responded to a robbery call for a couple who were robbed amid the throes of passion...while in a dumpster.

These were not teens lacking a decent car back seat...the man and woman were in their 40's. However their hormones were apparently raging so rampantly that they trashed all sense of dignity and tossed themselves into a dumpster for what police describe as "an intimate moment."


Dumpster Susie, Dumpster Sam
Do the jitterbug out in Dumpster land
And they shimmy
And Sammy's so skinny

Alas, some uncouth bandits broke up the episode of lust in the dust (and goodness knows what else) by robbing the couple at knife point.

Police eventually caught the thieves and returned the couple's property....but that special moment...that one time refuse rendezvous ...that's something they can never get back...although I'm sure the memory will linger...until at least laundry day.

And they whirled and they twirled and they tangoed
Singin' and jingin' the jango
Floatin' like the heavens above
It looks like dumpster love..

Thursday, September 03, 2009

He's Not Looking...RUN!!

We happen to have the chief spokesperson for San Antonio's Catholic Archdiocese hosting one of our radio station's morning show today - he used to be my boss, it's not like we drag Deacons off the street. I saw this photo in the Wall Street Journal and had to ask him if perhaps the Catholic church needed to work on some trust issues with the Dalai Lama...

Photo Credit:REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I Know....I Know...But....Look That Way!

Yeah, yeah...haven't written anything except Amy and I are sailing new seas metaphors...that's all going great. I've actually been tied up lately...well, on blogger, trying to design an old fashioned "web log" for work related purposes, but have been a little stymied by the workings of the web and the fact that I want the system to be very simple and somewhat idiot proof.

Anyway, in God's most efficient manner He's gifted me with the perfect distraction from working on this project and writing any more about how I'm not writing more.

Look! A baby picture!

Erin - the very first guest in our "Upper Room Ministry" - is living a new life as a Mom!

She and her husband Ron have new son! Kyler!

Welcome to the world Kyler! You're in wonderful hands!

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another
- John 1:16

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Psalm 134 - The Song of Michael

So this is God..I see Him here.
I see Him and I face my fear.
I pray that He will guide my way
Yet I hear Him say "This is YOUR day."
This is free will...or so it's said
Will I rise up from the dead?
What matter such thoughts as these?
When the Lord, my God...I pray to please.


Saturday, August 08, 2009

Yes. It's Too Hot To Type.

Finally an excuse. A previous commenter asked if I had essentially succumbed to the heat. Well, that's a better excuse than I was thinking of which was, "I've been riveted to the CSPAN coverage of Sonya Sontomayor."

This is I believe day 43 where the temperature will top 100 degrees in San Antonio, and rain...well, I don't even remember rain.

That's not really any excuse, in truth I haven't been focused too much on writing these days outside of my office. I have been focused on primarily on being quiet, listening for direction, eliminating some things from our lives that were taking our lives in a direction that was not pleasing to us, and I'm sure not to God.

This has been a tough season, weather-wise and life-wise. However we're getting through it and we're on the right path. It has been a lonely path at times and will continue to be for a while. So there are still some hills to climb, perhaps some rough seas and there are some adjustments which require Amy and me to continue to focus...on Amy and me.

Plus, it is still hot as Hell.

Please know we're fine. We'll be better.

The dogs are fine...they'll never be better. I've resigned myself to the fact that we attract psychologically damaged dogs.

The job is fine, better than it has been in a while, and I have nothing to complain about, which may also have resulted in a bit of writer's block since complaining is always a good way to start my writing juices.

There are better times ahead. I will write more, but some chapters of this stage of our lives are best held close to the vest...for now.

Amy and I are looking ahead...and seeing wonderful things to come.

The rough seas behind us, thanks entirely to God's grace.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Net Side Story

I truly loved this...

Thursday, July 09, 2009

In God We Trust....

From the Denton Record Chronicle:

A man commissioned a tattoo artist to imprint "Only God can judge me" on his upper arm Monday and then left without paying, the victim told Denton police.
The tattoo artist said the man came in to the shop in the 200 block of West University Drive with some friends and asked for the motto along with the image of praying hands.
The artist completed the work and asked for $200, according to the report. The man handed over a credit card, but the charge was declined by the credit card company. The man waited in the front of the store for a bit with his friends, and the friends slipped away.
Then the man ran out of the store, according to the report.


The tattoo parlor's new policy: "In God we trust...all others pay cash."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Music Of Your Life

I had the opportunity last night to watch an "Elvis" impersonator. I mean...in person...and not at gunpoint.

For the record I didn't pay for the experience nor did I take advantage of the offers to have my photo taken with the impersonator for $5.00.

He actually was very entertaining. This impersonator and his entourage are known as Michael Albert and the Big "E" Band.

I've heard it said, and I tend to believe, that most of us identify with the music from our high school years. Whatever we listened to during those years is the type of music we associate with the best times of our lives, even though I suspect high school would not rate as the best time in most of our lives by any means.

Elvis' popularity peaked (at least on the music charts - in general terms it could be debated he might be even more popular today) before my high school era and my music tastes - or at least the types of music I am most familiar with and link to the "good times" in my life - are from the early 70's to early 80's.

Not that I didn't occasionally listen to Elvis music - and I still do today.

Elvis impersonators are a different story. Michael Albert is the first Elvis impersonator I've ever gone to see "live."

I was struck by a couple of things during his performance and make no mistake he put on a very fine performance. He's not a dead ringer for Elvis, in fact I'm sure when he removes the white, rhinestone covered pants suit and the over the top black wig with sideburns, he can probably go just about anywhere without anyone thinking he's "Elvis." However on stage he did demonstrate the same type of charisma, he knows how to work the crowd, and appeal to his core audience while entertaining those of us who were not quite as enamored with Elvis or his legacy. However make no mistake if you truly want to enjoy the full show of an Elvis impersonator, you need to watch more than the performance. Such events, at least to me, are much like watching professional wrestling...if you aren't spending as much time observing the audience then you are missing a major component of the show.

There were people a decade or three older than myself who were swaying in their seats, many were mouthing or singing the words to songs which I had never heard performed before - by Elvis or anyone else. In fact I initially thought that I might be watching the only Elvis impersonator who specialized in doing the "B" side of Elvis singles. However he eventually started singing a few more songs with which I was familiar...and the crowd ate it up even more.

I didn't stick around for the whole act...or even the entire first half of the program. Still what I did watch was entertaining, and some of the elder members of my family stayed for the whole show and seemingly loved it.

As I left I couldn't help but wonder if in 10 or 15 or 30 years this same auditorium might be packed with folks watching a similar program. A "tribute" act to a musician representative of a time in their lives when the healing power of our memories eventually tilted life's ration of good times to outweigh the bad.

I would feel equally out of place since that entertainer also reached his peak at a time outside of the most influential musical era for me.

Like Elvis though, he was a musician who had a lot of imitators when he was alive and who died too young and too suddenly.

Both were pioneers.

It will be interesting to see if Michael Jackson's legacy will include a "tribute industry."

Time will tell.

However if there are Michael Jackson impersonators working the circuit in 15 or 20 years...take my advice...try to catch the show...and remember to watch all the participants, including the folks in the seats in front of you.

If nothing else, I think you may have a better understanding of the cliche "larger than life."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Business End

"Have you done your business?"

That's a euphemism at our house when dealing with our dogs, usually when we don't have the patience to deal with them much longer.
Amy or I will often try to hurry the dogs along so we can put them in the house after we're certain they've eaten their most recent meal. However before we can be certain that they won't intrude upon our sleep or other highly important project by whining, or howling or suddenly barking incessantly (their three individual ways of communicating with us) we've been trained to make sure they've taken care of their basic digestive functions. Thus we'll often stand around on the patio asking, "Have you done your business?"
Or encouraging, "Hurry up! Be good dogs. Go do your business!"
If our patience is wearing be bit thin - we may be more demanding, "GO DO YOUR #%*!( BUSINESS!"

Except for our dogs and possibly my physician, I do not willingly have discussions with anyone regarding the "business" side of life, albeit I have been roped into some conversations about babies where this topic seems to be appropriate and for some, the source of great glee. I usually try to get out of those discussions post haste.

All of us have our personal boundaries and one of mine is that I also really don't want to discuss anything while "taking care" of my own business.

At home, this is not really an issue. I mean when the kids were young, they might wander by the "reading" room and I'd hear someone mutter, "Gross!" and during my college days I had a roommate who was fond of remarking as he passed by occupied facilities, "Whooa! Somethin' crawl up inside ya and die?"

Without exception, I've always considered such comments to be rhetorical rather than actual conversation starters.

On occasion at my office I've found myself trapped "mid-business" when someone, whose identity I can often only try to guess by their shoes, will park themselves right "next door" and begin conversing. I believe these type of people do not care with whom they are striking up a dialog, they are happy simply to have a captive audience.

I realize many people have differing views about how manners/propriety/personal hygiene and other matters come into play when it comes to this topic. Let me make one thing clear: I don't care what you think about the topic. I do not wish to discuss your thoughts and most certainly I don't want to hear your thoughts, or anything else emanating from you, during the actual course of "business."

So, when confronted by such situations it is my policy to completely ignore the other person except to study their shoes as closely as possible so I can avoid them in the future. I also make a mental reminder to always try to use our company's "same sex" facility since it is not designed to be shared while in use. Should a conversation erupt in that room, it would be symptomatic of a larger problem... or certainly the fodder for a rather lurid office scandal.

Considering my personal policy, my writing about this topic must seem a bit odd to some of you...actually I would hope it seems strange to all of you.

Not to worry...blame DFW airport.

Amy and I were at DFW yesterday waiting for our flight when I decided to take advantage of one of the few, if not the only, things at that immense and lavish travel hub that doesn't require you to possess either an amazing amount of cash or a credit score on par with that of a pre-stock market crash Bill Gates.

The Mens room.

So I asked Amy not to let the our plane leave without me and then boarded a tram, rode the moving walkways, zipped up an escalator, two or three stairwells, bypassed sixteen or seventeen 5-star restaurants as well as the only Taco Bell on earth where a taco costs more than many small cars, and I finally arrived.

I knew, of course, that should I need to "attend to business" during our upcoming flight I wouldn't be bothered by someone striking up a conversation "mid business." However that benefit could not outweigh memories of the untold number of unpleasant past experiences with on board aircraft facilities. The fact is I knew that in flight I would be risking all of the disgusting prospects presented by what can generously only be described as an "airborne Port-o-Potty" - only less spacious than the ground versions and apparently designed by the same folks responsible for the amenities which brought fame to the Hanoi Hilton. Although I will concede that it took me a while to understand that not having the ability to actually inhale while inside aircraft restrooms should indeed be considered a plus.

Also I didn't realize that an airport the size of DFW apparently has a strict policy of no more than one restroom every six or seven miles.

Anyway, as is the case in most airport facilities, the people using them tend not to break into spontaneous conversations with one another, since no one knows anyone else. This obviously is fine with me...I think it should be the law everywhere.

Also, to put this delicately, the nature of my particular "business" at that moment was such that it could be done while standing, so to speak. Therefore I wasn't running the risk of being trapped next to some chatty guy while worrying that DFW Airport might institute a "pay as you go" policy while I was seated.

So, after recovering from the journey that's required to actually reach the Mens room, I entered with little or no concern.

I selected one of 4672 available places of "business" set aside for standing clientele and was occupying my thoughts by trying to remember the course I'd need to take to get out of the restroom, not to mention directions to the gate where Amy was still waiting, when my thoughts were suddenly interrupted:

"So, let me tell ya! This is BIG! I mean it's HUGE! Giant I tell ya! You really need to meet me so you can personally SEE the size of this deal!"

It was a very loud voice and every word resonated thanks to the fact the walls were all covered by an elaborate display of hand carved marble tiles each of which was I believe individually selected and flown back to DFW on separate aircraft paid for by the profits from the airport's Orange Julius stand.

I couldn't discern the speaker's precise location, but I knew he was behind me and in a seated position amid the 4682 places set aside for clientele of that nature.

"Joe....I'm tellin' you...this is something you will want to see to believe! Get on a plane now!"

I was somewhat amused but also cursing my imagination for conjuring up any number of distasteful images as a result of this guy's desire to make sure everyone at the airport (and possibly all of Texas) could hear every word he was hollering into what I now realized was a cell phone. I was starting to feel a bit relieved that at least the echoing gibbering fool was not making a sales pitch to some poor schmoe helplessly locked in the next enclosed seating area when I heard:


Mercifully my mind could not react quick enough to incorporate that sudden addition to this sickening serenade with the previously conjured images I was still processing..

"Honestly, if you miss out on this opportunity fella, yer gonna feel like...."


"Noise? What nois....Oh! Ya know what that is Joe? That's the sound of the last guy who passed up on seeing this thing Joe..."


"I'm tellin' you it's unbelievable..."



I'm not certain how long it continued...too long I know. One guy talking and another apparent half man/half giant cat trying to extricate a giant hairball....behind closed doors, but certainly not in private.

All I can remember from that point is running by 3893 wash basins designed to remain untouched by human hands which all simultaneously began spewing water.

I was well on my way down the first flight or two of stairs while still hearing the whir of hundreds of automated towel dispensers as they each churned out a precisely measure piece of paper towel scientifically determined to be exactly enough to be of no use if you actually wanted to dry anything....but I wasn't moving fast enough to out run the haunting echo...

"Joe??? Joe?"


"Joe!! This deal will make you flush I tell ya!!"

When I finally made it back to where Amy was still seated - on the rich Corinthian leather lounge chairs provided at no cost, unless you want to look out the window - she gave me a curious look. I couldn't bring myself to tell her of the horror.

Instead I simply said, "This is no place to do business."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Talkin' Stuff

Are You there?

"I Am."

Sorry, I suppose that was a silly question...I mean I know You're always there it's just that it seems like such a long time has passed since we've talked....ya know?

"I'm glad we're talking now."

So am I, but...um...I guess I just needed to know You were listening.

"I'm always listening."

I know...I must sound so stupid to You, but sometimes..

"You do not sound 'stupid'...please, go on."

Okay, stupid is the wrong word...it's just that there's so much 'stuff' I'm trying to cram into my life and when so much time passes between our talks...well, part of me has to wonder why You would even bother listening to me...

"Was that a question?"

I...uh, oh of course, no that really wasn't a question...gee, now I feel really stup...uh...ungrateful.

"It saddens Me that you would make yourself feel that way."

Well, uh...oh dam..er darn this is not coming out right.

"I hear more than your words."

I'm sorry....maybe it's just that with so many really good people out there.. I guess there are times I...well, so often lately I seem to lose my focus and direction...and I guess I find it hard to believe You'd still be there for me...I guess I think that You'd consider me a waste of time.

"I consider you precious. We could talk a lot about 'time' but let's agree that I have a different perspective on that issue.

You certainly are 'guessing' a lot, but I think you also should concede that I'm going to win any guessing games."

Ha! That's for f...er...dam...uh....That's true! I'm so sorry, I must sound...

"You 'sound' like you want to talk."

I do! That's the whole thing! I want to talk more often and I feel so ashamed that we haven't and even more confused about why we haven't ...

"I understand that particular confusion.

Your "feelings" however are of your own making. We are talking now and that gladdens Me."

Me too! I suppose it's all the other stuff in my life that's preoccupied me...ya know money, work, family, worrying about this, or that, the kids, the future, friends, family...car repairs...smelly dogs...and

"I agree you have a lot of 'stuff.'"

Okay, sure...sorry.

"I've already forgiven you."

I'm sor...I mean, I know...and I'm so thankful believe me.

"I will always believe in you."

Oh man....You are so wonderful, I can't believe I've let so much time pass without us talking. I guess...er suppose...what I'm trying to say is that maybe I need to get rid of all this other stuff so I can have more time with You.


Perhaps? Are You saying there's another way? Like maybe You could give me a dose of Your time, so I'd have more time and then we'd have more time?

"It's hard to confuse Me, but I admire and am admittedly amused by that attempt."

Ha! I love Your sense of humor ya know?

"I love yours too."

I suppose thinking I could even comprehend Your time is silly. It's really pretty silly to think I could actually go "all Thoreau" on the world and rid my life of all the 'stuff' too.


I mean, that's where You're leading me isn't it?

"I'm simply listening. You seem capable of finding your path."

See! That's one of the other things I really love about our talks...I feel like they clear my thinking.

"The feelings you create that bring you joy, bring Me joy."

So...I mean I don't wanna take up too much of Your time...I

"Let's not revisit the time thing."

Okay, alright...but You know, well, of course You know what I mean. Well, what I'm getting to...or ...uh...well it's that maybe...sor...er...I mean not maybe. I mean the answer is definitely not ridding my life of everything... of all the 'stuff' that seems to be between us.


"I'm still listening...always. Remember?"

Ha! Of course, sor...er but You gotta admit that I'm flyin' a little blind here. I mean I can't see Your reaction to what I'm sayin' and all... I mean if someone were watching me right now they'd think I was talking to myself.

Crazy guy.


You're leavin' me hangin' here for fun...aren't You?

Got it...silly train of thought that's already been covered.

But that's the thing...it's all this silly stuff that I let in the way.

"I see the stuff. All the stuff."

I know, I'm sor...I mean thank You so much for tolerating my babbling. I know what I need to do now...I think. I mean I'm sure I know.

"That pleases me greatly."

Wow! What a concept... me pleasing You!

I forgot what I was going to sa...no I didn't. ....The answer is all the silly stuff stuff!

"The silly stuff stuff.

Do you think that might need a bit more fine tuning?"

Well, truthfully I was going to say 'stupid' stuff stuff but...well...um...anyway, I've got your point. Poor choice of words. What I'm trying to say is that the stuff isn't the problem... the stuff is the solution!

I don't need to get rid of it...I need to share it!

All of it.

"Sharing the silly stuff stuff is the solution."

Hey, now You're just mockin' me ...you know what I'm getting at.

Okay...okay...fleshing it out...got it.

You are always here right?

"I am with you always."

Exactly! But until I let You be with me AND all my silly stuff, I'm not always entirely with You!

I should be letting You in on my fears and frustrations, asking You for guidance about the bills, the car repairs, work, health...family. The big stuff, the little stuff...all the silly and not so silly stuff.

I know I'm babbling again, but the more I share with You the more we are together and talking...and...ya know...having a real relationship. So..um...uh...well, I suppose that's it.

I need to share my stuff...with You.

Whether that makes sense to anybody but me is, as always, debatable.

Not to be pushy, but I really think some acknowledgment on Your part is due here....

"I apologize. I was smiling.
Your thought process really is quite amusing.


I am glad you've come to this conclusion. We will make a good team. Let's conquer the silly stuff! I'm going to enjoy this...we're going to enjoy this!"

Great! And thank you!

Um...and not just thanks for agreeing to helping me deal with all my stuff, but thanks for listening too.

"The listening thing is a two way street."

Ha! True..so true. Anyway, we'll talk more soon. Thanks again!


One last thing.


Happy Father's day!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Church On Unfinished Road

Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed in them. - Henry David Thoreau

"Why here?"

That was the first of many questions tumbling through his mind after he chose to follow that apparently hand scrawled sign he had driven past all week, each time accelerating his curiosity.

At first blush, it certainly lived up to the name...except maybe the "Church" part.

There was no "church"...there was no building...no pulpit...no 'Official Greeters'...no children's check-in and certainly no signs.

There were no musicians that he could see. Heck, there was probably no Pastor.

When he found himself looking around for an 'order of worship' he almost broke out laughing.

He was habitually early to everything, but even so there was already no parking, not only had plenty of people already gathered, but there was no organized parking and no attempt at it. There was no seating, or rather seats. People were sitting on rocks and dirt clumps or simply sprawled out in the middle of this tiny incomplete rocky lane cutting into what would eventually be a subdivision like thousands of others throughout the city.

No one had a blanket, or folding chair....not even a tarp. It was rocks and dirt and all that usually includes, like bugs and stuff of nature that you never seem to notice but which always makes you itchy later.

He noticed something else was lacking: shoes...no one had on shoes.

Shoes were scattered at the entrance to the jagged pitiful pretense of a road, or sitting atop people's cars that were parked all akimbo either in nearby fields or on adjacent - civilized by cement - thoroughfares.

It wasn't like he was dressed for high church, but he wasn't relishing the idea of negotiating the bramble in his flip flops, the idea of tossing them and the meager protection they provided from thorns, sticks, sharp rocks, and all that other itchy nature stuff didn't heighten his enthusiasm. It did make him question his sanity though.

It was barely 7:00 a.m. and it was already warm enough to work up a sweat while simply ambling through the scrub brush from his car and trying to find a place to sit...or squat.

He was a little surprised to see all the children. They were all sitting with their families...apparently happily. None of them running about.

"Then again," he thought at about the same time he was wondering when he last had a Tetanus shot, "take away their shoes on this ground and that pretty much solves the 'pay attention in church lil' Johnny' issue."

He stumbled forward, and was fairly certain now the congregation had more than its fair share of gnats, and probably mosquitoes.

"Keep moving and get comfortable kid. We don't have all day and this service always starts on time."

The authoritative voice came from behind him.

He turned to see an older gent who would be considered distinguished were it not for the overalls and lack of shoes.

"Get comfortable?"

Was he joking?

Authors note: This idea has been keeping me awake at night, so I figured I would start writing it down. I'm making no "to be continued" promises. If you're uncomfortable with that...maybe that's how it should be.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Where Giants Grow

Author's note:
Please see previous these posts: 1 & 2 in that order. Hopefully this may make some sense.
However I'm not making any promises.

Additional author's note: Obviously I did not write this as soon as I had hoped - life intervened - as happens far too often. I should have learned by now never to promise a "sequel" - However I did "start" writing this the day after Tim's funeral. It took me until now to realize how much I needed to finish what I started...it's part of the process I'm going through mentioned in other recent ramblings.

I watched Tim Awbrey more than I spoke with him. Sure, we had conversations over church pot luck meals, or while he supervised some project on church property, which usually meant putting his two strapping sons to work. His boys were top members of the Boy Scouts, and much of Tim and Fran's lives centered on the many activities associated with making certain their sons got the very most out of scouting...not necessarily badges or awards...but the values a program like the Boy Scouts reinforces.

He was also very active in his sons' athletic competitions. They were big kids...now they are big men.

Their roots, like Tim's and his sister Teketha's, are firmly entrenched in a tiny place in east-central Texas.

The Freyburg United Methodist Church was dedicated in 1879, but the original land for the building was sold to church trustees a couple of years prior to that, by one of the many German immigrant farmers who came to the area following the Civil War. They came looking for a place to plant roots....to grow their families and their crops. This is where their family values were also nurtured and nourished...and the foundation of a new legacy to their lineage was born.

The six acres of land upon which the church sits today was purchased for $48 dollars with only one stipulation: that it "be kept, maintained and disposed of as a place of ministry and membership."

And so it has been for 130 years.

In those days there was a "circuit" preacher who would pass through on a semi-regular basis. There weren't enough preachers or parishioners in Freyburg, or any one town nearby, to support a full-time pastor. Men called into the Lord's service split their time between any number of houses of worship...worshippers made due with God alone when there was no Pastor present. It was a system that worked well.

It still does.

These days, the Freyburg United Methodist Church, has...a circuit preacher...delivering sermons twice, sometimes three times, per month.

There is little else in Freyburg that I could discern from our brief visit, and still not many towns nearby - albeit I-10 does make travel much easier and distance is measured in different ways now.

Next to the church is a small cemetery, this is where Tim was laid to rest. It is impeccibly maintained by the devoted members of the church, as it has been since the need for such a place of peace and passing first arrived, probably not long after the first settlers.

Despite the proximity to a coast to coast highway, you have to know that you are going to Freyburg to get there. There is one exit off the freeway, and it leads to a farm to market road...and that road leads to the church, and to a field neatly filled with gravestones and memories.

I was struck by how, in so many ways, our busy world has not intruded into the tranquility and tradition of Freyburg. Beyond some basic restoration work, like painting, the church is much the same as it was when first erected (they got rid of the outhouse a few years ago). You can envision people worshiping there today much as they did 100 years ago.

As we stood by her brother Tim's grave, Teketha pointed to the land on the other side of the church and said that area was once her family's dairy farm.

And it all made sense to me. Here I was standing in Freyburg, Texas...a town you could miss even if you had a map, but I was surrounded by men, women and children some of whom had driven through the night from Oklahoma to attend the funeral near San Antonio and then another hundred miles or so for this brief graveside service.

This was family in the strongest sense of the word.

A big family, perhaps technically not all "related," but family nonetheless. These were people united in the values which had been gently planted, caressed and had taken root more than a century earlier here in tiny Freyburg, Texas.

Like the crops planted by those original settlers, those values and traditions had been nurtured, and nourished. Only the the source of nourishment differed...the blood of Christ.

The work ethic, those traditions and values are still standing strong in the family to this day and I suspect they will continue to flourish for generations to come...all because of the intentional devotion and vision of men and women in tiny Freyburg, Texas more than a century ago.

You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.- Psalm 80:8

Welcome Back...Sanity

I have been overwhelmed lately...that's putting it mildly. Amy's health, my health, my job, our spiritual lives, life in general...I don't seem to be in a place I want to be.

I've been in this place before, albeit many years ago and I learned there is only one way to dig myself out, and that's through some radical change.

Some changes I can't speak of here because I need to finalize them. Some changes I've already made. More are coming.

Some 20 years ago I looked in the mirror and thought to myself, "This is not the man I want to be." At that point, I embarked on a process to change. It worked. I put my faith in God and abandoned most everything I knew in my life.

Each morning (if you can call 1 a.m. morning) these days I find myself looking in the mirror and saying much the same thing.

So I'm getting out.

Out of the life patterns that I feel are disingenuous, time consuming, and most of all not fulfilling my purpose in God's eyes.

Some of these changes are easy. I deleted my Facebook account, where I was spending far too much time doing too little. Staying in contact with people who for the most part play no role in my life today.

The others who are important in my life, I will reach out to individually.

The "creative" me is being resurrected. I think that's a key. My job, quite frankly, has become much like factory work. There's no creativity involved, no inspiration, but there's a paycheck. In these days the latter is important although certainly not something I worship.

Amy and I have been in discussions for some time about what is best for me, and her, and us. We haven't come to a conclusion (although Amy might have) but I know this much, I need to find outlets for my God-inspired talents.

I'm going to spend the next week or two in fasting and prayer.

Hopefully God will show me how best to utilize my abilities and find a place, be it physical, mental or spiritual, where I can serve Him and not simply kill time.

The upside, I suspect I'll be writing more...admittedly to some of you that may not be an upside.

I'm culling the crap...focusing on the future...and praying for guidance.

I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Guide To Avoiding HDTV Hype

I promise I will get back to the story of Freyburg later this weekend. However I wanted to pass along this consumer tip which I've been meaning to mention for a while, so indulge me if you will.

Honestly this likely won't apply to you, but it might apply to your Mom or Grandma and can save you or them some serious money.

Presumably you're aware that all TV stations already have or will change to broadcasting only in High Definition on June 12th. There is a lot of advertising from cable and satellite companies urging folks to "sign up now" because otherwise you won't be able to watch any shows.
That's true...unless you or your Mom or Grannie...only watches LOCAL TV.

If that's the case, get a coupon for 40 bucks off an HD converter from the government at this website. Then, don't subscribe to ANY service ever again! In fact if you're subscribing to basic cable now just for local TV...cancel it now! Most stations are already broadcasting in HD and the converters will pick up old fashioned TV signals in the interim anyway.

HD signals are "over the air" and they're free. If you invest in a converter box (I bought one today at Best Buy using my $40 coupon and the total cost was 16 bucks)you can get ALL the local channels plus more for FREE on that same old crappy TV you've had for years.

I tested this on an old TV I bought 25 years ago. I hooked up the converter box and used the rabbit ears on the TV.

The process took about 5 minutes.

Now? Now it receives not only all the local channels, but some "side band" channels which aren't available via our satellite service or the local cable company...and the picture is fabulous...as good as cable if not better.

Again, this is only for folks who don't want 200 TV channels, it's for people who only watch the local channels. At most, you might have to invest in a powered rabbit ear antenna depending on where you position your TV and you might have to occasionally adjust the rabbit ears . If you have a rooftop or outdoor antenna, that you've been too lazy to take down...good for you! You're already golden!

I was stunned at how good the picture is, and how many channels that ancient little TV now receives.

If you or someone you know watches just the local channels, you can actually save money and get a better picture by NOT subscribing to cable or satellite. It's not HD...but it is a digital signal nonetheless and I'll bet you'll be surprised. You can still hook up a DVD player or VCR...but you can cut the cable and the associated costs. Maybe you can save that money to buy an HDTV...then you can hook the rabbit ears up to it and get all the local HDTV channels for free in HD...if that's what you want.

I don't know....maybe everyone already knows this and that's why I don't hear folks mentioning this option...but in these economic times, I thought I'd take a moment to pass it along.

Of course, if you want HDTV and the latest greatest picture and the earthworm channel plus the greatest reruns of bad movies pay channels...God bless you...the economy needs you to spend money. However if you think HDTV is something you have to have, and have to pay for even if you don't think you need it or want it...well, don't buy into the hype.

People who only want a TV for the local news and weather or major network TV shows can save significant cash right now. You'll never get a cable bill again...or have to skip past the Australian Rules Log Throwing channel.

If money is tight or if you're one of the folks who doesn't really want your MTV or more TV of any form...my advice is this: Take the "avoid the HDTV hype exit"...bypass the Australian rules cricket channel. Coast to High Def along the low tech road.

This ends today's public service announcement...we now return you to regular programming.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tim Duncan- All Star Record

News Radio 1200 Tim Duncan
This is a post to prove a point...

This is a direct steal from News Radio 1200 WOAI.

A story posted by Jim Forsyth.

This is only the first paragraph.

Duncan's All-NBA Honors Set Record

12th All Star nomination
By Jim Forsyth
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tim Duncan made NBA history today, becoming the first player in the history of the league to be named to an All-NBA team in all of his first 12 seasons in the league, 1200 News Radio WOAI news reports.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Big Tim's Time...and Tradition's Truth

I initially wasn't going to write any more about the passing of the old friend mentioned casually in the previous post. Yet after attending his funeral and graveside service where Amy gave voice and melody to such a clear message from God, I feel compelled to write more...although I'm not sure exactly where it's going.

That means one thing to you: Be afraid, be very afraid.

I do know two things, the first of which is that I won't finish this tale tonight, it's been a long day. Secondly, this story starts with our friends Teketha and Gordon Wise.

Gordon and Teketha were for some time active members of the small church we attended and during those years we shared a lot.

Teketha loves hymns...Amy loves singing. Gordon, like many folks in small churches, was roped into overseeing various "volunteer" jobs only to find there weren't many, if any, other "volunteers" around - something I learned at that church as well.

We both had to come to grips and then learn to embrace a certain sense of disillusionment in that fact...something which actually probably helped us build a stronger relationship with God, while putting "church" in proper perspective.

Teketha and Gordon's daughter Kim had some prolonged and very frightening health concerns which at one point coincided with one of Amy's extended medical mysteries that required hospitalization. Kim and Amy were in fact in the same hospital for what seemed like an eternity. Soon all of us, including Kim's husband Brad and their young daughter, Lauren, were spending a lot of time together in a place none of us wanted to be (with the possible exception of Gordon whom I'm fairly sure you could toss into an arena full of lawyers, televangelists, life insurance and used car salesmen and he wouldn't complain,as long as Lauren was included in the mix).
As I recall, Lauren quite possibly had the 411 on "grandpa Gordon training" before Lauren herself was potty trained.

In any case, during that season in our lives we shared our fears, our prayers, and quite often our tears.

Such circumstances I wish upon no one, but - as is often the case with God - the net result was something we didn't anticipate or even realize until some time later...we had come to know one another on a different level than with our other friendships.

As usual, God had a plan. As always, at that time I was completely clueless about it.

It didn't stop there by any means, Teketha is a very strong willed woman and there were other times when Amy was having major health problems that Teketha took it upon herself to be concerned about me. I mean this in the nicest sense possible, but I would describe her approach as something akin to a "reverse Mama Corleone." Any answer I gave her that wasn't, "Yes, I'll come to dinner" or "Yes, I really do need some help" was an answer she would refuse.

Teketha and Gordon's care and feeding of me - their ability to see right through my best bogus blatherings of independence - was something I desperately needed and I firmly believe they were God's conduit for "getting it done." I'm honestly not sure that I would have made it through those times, had Teketha not been so...um...firm in her concern.

That is the background.

Hey, I warned you!

"Rambling ahead!" remember?

I'll write the more pertinent aspects of these thoughts on Sunday and this is how that chapter will begin...

Teketha's brother, Tim Awbrey was a big, big man. He could be wildly slightly intimidating.

But once you saw him flash that huge grin, you soon realized he had an even bigger heart. At that point, the "fear factor" quickly faded. He was a man who was surrounded by people who loved him...for good reason. He gave his all to everything he did, including loving others.

On Wednesday night, that giant heart within a giant of a man gave out...and today we said our goodbyes.

Tomorrow, I'll be honored to share more of what I knew about Tim Awbrey and what I learned today about his family and the foundations upon which God steadies such mighty men.

You see, solid souls often spring forth from the smallest seeds...and with a little reflection, I believe, we can find deep lessons about ourselves within such knowledge.

Tim Awbrey
1950 - 2009

Friday, May 08, 2009

A Handy Reprise

Author's note: This may sound familiar to some...with good reason.
Previously posted in 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 caravaned 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 crisscrossed two inch by 27 foot ratchet 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?"

I wrote this piece almost six years ago. I'm repeating it now because yesterday an old friend stopped by tell me that the big burly guy I mentioned in this piece as having "hauled freight over the Rockies" had died. He was a big bear of a man...with a big heart. Tomorrow Amy will sing as we serenade him to Heaven, where I'll bet he's already doing God's heavy lifting.

Monday, May 04, 2009

In All The Hoopla

In all the media hoopla over the White House dog...and now swine flu...I some how missed this important addition to American culture...Jello sculptures.

The White House in Jello...marking the president's first 100 days.

No punchline needed.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Undoing the Stock Market Mess - Price $28

The best deal on Craigslist in San Antonio..

Seeking Reason to Time Travel (San Antonio)

Reply to: comm-bj4zp-1123674588@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
Date: 2009-04-15, 12:20PM CDT
I am a scientist and an Oprah-hater. Her proclivity to bestow audience members with gifts is revolting. I detest her fake generosity. Therefore, I have created a time machine to "one-up" her by not only wrecking numerous previous shows, but creating many history changes of my own.

Because I am truly a selfless and generous person, I am opening up my travels to do my own good deeds for those who desire. If you have something in your past you would like to be modified, please email me and I will do my best. First name, location, approximate time, and brief details of the incident are required. Charge is $28, I will appear next to you shortly after you send your email and you can pay me then.

Questions welcome. Please understand this is not a joke.
: Location: San Antonio
: it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

And you don't have to pay until Houdini appears...

I'll let ya know when he appears....assuming you don't disappear after he does.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Clever Kid

My son/stepson is the video/media genius at the Vineyard Church in Columbus, Ohio.

He does some awfully clever stuff.

You don't see church announcements presented this way too often.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Friday, April 10, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Overdue Underwear & Other Stuff

Okay, so I'm a little overdue for an update..."a little" being a very expandable phrase depending if you're a long term thinker or a short term kinda person.

Yes, I know I never wrote the second part of the Puerto Vallarta adventure...which is probably why I haven't written anything lately. I learned long ago never to promise "more to come"...sometimes I get in the "moment" and the moment fails to transcend my intentions. Sorry.

Suffice it to say Uncle Bobby was alive and well and we could flush the toilet paper.
If you want to see a bunch of photos from the "Flying Blind Faith Tour" they're posted at this link. I especially like the photo of the artists preparing for Valentine's day...but that's just me...sometimes such sentiments make me all misty...

The thought that I'd been really bad about keeping the blog updated crossed my mind yesterday when something called "Blogshares" informed me that this blog had been "delisted" from the "Blogshares exchange" and I was out about a zillion blogshare bucks, which I'm assuming are worth nothing. I'm sure years ago when I actually wanted to promote this blog rather than hide it, I signed up for blogshares. I don't remember. In any case I wrote them back saying that they had the old web address for the blog, if that made any difference in regards to their decision. I received a prompt reply, "No."

I suspect if I actually had a link to "blogshares" on here it would change their mind....but I'm already out a zillion worthless blogshare bucks or euros (I suspect they're French) so why bother? If people really have that much time to waste on the internet they need to find a life...or facebook.

I suppose I should update a few other things.

1. Amy's health - She's doing okay, some days better than others. We're both trying to be a little more health minded. We had a few scares in recent months, the drama of which I opted not to post here. One hospital stay caused primarily by an incompetent "rent a nurse" weekend staff at North East Methodist Hospital in San Antonio. I was going to fire off letters to the "Joint Commission" and the Texas Board of Medical Examiners. I did raise hell in the hospital to the point where I noticed a very friendly security guard always seemed to bump into me whenever I entered the hospital and hung around like a good buddy until I left. It's not like my middle name is "Wayne"....but I toyed with him a little because I'm easily amused that way.

However I have better things to do than save people from nurses and doctors who are incompetent, so I never got around to firing off the angry letters that would prevent more medical malpractice from taking place at NorthEast Methodist Hospital in San Antonio. I'm busy. I'm on facebook.

That's not really by choice, I developed that little "News Widget" that's over on the left hand side of the blog, and I joined facebook with the sole intent of getting that "application" approved by the facebook genies. I never have gotten it to work on facebook, but while trying I've been "friended" by 60 or 80 people, most of whom I'm related to or I have no idea who they are whatsoever but I feel guilty turning down someone's request to "be my friend." It's like kicking Mr. Rogers in the shin...although since he always took off his shoes I'm presuming that would be sort of expected when you were around him, so a kick in the shins would probably hurt me more than him...certainly it would now considering he's below room temperature and all.

I guess in this update I should admit that Amy and I didn't really abandon our "Upper Room Ministry."

Some months/years/decades ago - whenever I last wrote on that topic - I believe I was rather firm in saying, "Never again...not gonna happen...I've lost my faith in mankind...people are scum...I have guns." Something like that at least.

Well you can only waddle along with your posterior puckered for so long before God whaps you on the back of the head like Jethro Gibbs in "NCIS" (a TV show I've become way too fond of by the way).

After all my speechifyin' and pronouncements, God pretty much dropped a couple of people in our laps and said, "Go ahead be an (insert anatomical slang here) but these people need you!"

Well, I've always been a believer that when God kicks you in the...posterior you should probably get up off your...um...posterior.

God was actually gentle with us, considering the psychopaths we had tried to help previously.

We housed a fine young man who was in a military program here with the Coast Guard. The astute among the two or three people who read this might realize there's not a big Coast Guard contingent in San Antonio since San Antonio lacks....well, it lacks a coast. Anyway, he was in a training program where the only people with him were competing for the same Coast Guard position as he was and it didn't make for a lot of fellowship. His wife and kids were in Florida and by a pure "God Thing" he came to live with us for a month or two - I can never remember, Amy always has to tell me how long people lived in our house....that's especially embarrassing with our own kids but that's another story.

Anyway, Amy met this young man's Mom last summer in Ohio and heard her mention San Antonio...that started a yak fest...and of course Amy said that if her son in San Antonio ever needed anything she should call.

Do I really need to write this out? Suffice it to say that months later, she (the mom) called me, we ended up rescuing this guy from the dungeon-like barracks at Fort Sam. He came and stayed with us...doing amazing things, like cleaning. Finished his course work, got his family moved into base housing at a local Air Force Base and presumably they've been living happily ever after... that's if you try real hard to forget they owned a home in Florida which they bought before the real estate market turned to swampland.

I figured that situation worked out nicely. A happy ending...man and family reunited...we were able to provide him with a family environment rather than an institutional one, and he cleaned stuff.

Not long after came Amy...not my Amy...Amy "Dos" as I called her. A very pleasant young woman from Indiana who was looking for a place to stay for a few months until she could tie the knot with her Air Force fiance, Captain Andy, who is stationed about 19 yards from our house. Amy "Dos" is a nutritionist. She taught me that just because it says "Wheat Bread" that doesn't mean it's good for you or that it has wheat or is even bread...and she cleaned stuff.

We had regular dinners together with Amy Dos and Captain Andy, Amy (my Amy) got all aflutter as women do when weddings start drawing near. Today Captain and Mrs. Andy are on an abbreviated honeymoon...they were married last night around sunset.

This is the way the "Upper Room Ministry" is supposed to work. We help someone or some family during a time when they need a little breathing room...and then they embark on a new season of their lives. In between they clean stuff.

In truth, that's been the case with everyone who has lived with us...they've all gone on to "new seasons"...a couple of them the new season of "America's Most Wanted."

In any case, we're back to empty nest mode until God whaps us on the head again - or Amy goes surfing on "Craigslist."

In the interim, I know this much...I can feel free to sit here at my laptop in my makeshift office and type in my underwear.

Yeah, I know...that's a visual you could have lived without, but I really figured you'd stop reading this by now.

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect - Psalm 18:32

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Political Hot Air or IPhone App?

This apparently happened some months ago, but the video is now all the rage on blogs and elsewhere.

It's from the City Council meeting in Medina, Ohio.

You'll note in a recent post that there are any number of rather silly applications for the IPhone...one being:"IFart."

Whether it's a case of gas or someone with an IPhone will be left up to the finger pullers pointers.

Maybe City Hall has a dog they can blame it on.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

And They Said It Wouldn't Last...

The traditional gift for a 15th wedding anniversary is crystal. I'm not sure what we'd do with crystal, except notice the dust on it.

I do have a crystal clear vision of the past 15 years. They've all been blessings.

Sure we have struggled at times, fallen, disappointed one and other, and at times doubted our sanity...but we struggled together, we helped each other up, we forgave each other and we finally realized we are both nuts. What more could I ask for?

I adore you my darling, Amy.

I can promise I'll disappoint and fail and struggle in the years ahead...but I'll also love you with all my heart.

Thank you for 15 wonderful years.

"Your people are my people, your God is my god; where you die, I'll die and that's where I'll be buried, so help me God - not even death itself is going to come between us!" - Ruth 1:16-17 (MSG)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Me, Mark Cuban, and Cameras

I had a little fun yesterday at Dallas Maverick's owner Mark Cuban's expense - heck, he can afford it. Our once affiliated TV station picked up the story and I ended up doing an interview...of which perhaps 4 seconds was used. However it was worth it for two reasons:

1. Maybe I can get Cuban to buy the website I bought from under him, IFellInTheRiverwalk.com.

2. The video of the story (it's very short) certainly proves that I have a face for radio and the adage that the camera adds 10 pounds is most assuredly true.

I just didn't realize they had four or five cameras running...

P.S...Speaking of running...I haven't figured out how to bejigger the javascript on this thing...so it keeps repeating. Hit the stop button. I could spend the day playing with the code or I could do something productive and just tell you to stop it when it becomes annoying. Believe me, you'll know when.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

From The Houston Chronicle

I don't know...I found it funny.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pardon the interruption

I'll get around to writing more about Puerto Vallarta...um..."soon."
Something else is more important right now....and will always be.

My bride of nearly 15 years.

Happy Birthday Mrs. Main.

I love you today...and always.

Friday, February 06, 2009

The Flying Blind Faith Tour -Part One

This was one of those sort of unplanned, "the opportunity was there," type of vacations. Amy's parents invited us to join them on a trip to"old" Puerto Vallarta where we could stay for "free" at an apartment which Amy's Uncle Bobby has been renting for a few weeks over the past several years.

Ignoring all the news stories I had recently written about Americans being warned by the State Department not to travel to Mexico...we went for it - especially after Amy managed to book us on an amazingly low cost "promo" flight. It just worked out that exactly when this idea came up an airline called VivaAerobus was initiating service from Austin to Puerto Vallarta. I think we spent more money at the very limited snack bar at the airport terminal than we did for our tickets.

Usually on family adventures I've grown accustomed to having an itinerary, but for this trip it was different...we not only lacked an itinerary, there was a certain vagueness about exactly where we were staying, the airline was certainly an unknown entity, and we weren't in constant communication with our "host"...in fact we really hadn't been in communication with him at all since we agreed to visit. So we winged it....thus the moniker "Flying Blind Faith Tour."

It was wonderful but like all adventures...it had some twists and turns.

Unlike other popular resort areas in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta - at least in the area where we stayed - was very low key. We weren't constantly barraged by guys hawking time shares, probably because the city has actually leased a big chunk of the airport to time share salesmen. You can't get to a taxi without running the gauntlet of these very determined individuals who will say just about anything to get you to stop. I tried to rustle our little band of "touristas" past them and was mercifully only delayed briefly by one huckster who claimed he was a "Government Agent" and insisted I must stop to discuss our travel plans. I've actually been in jail in Mexico (another story for another day) but once I eyed the porpoise on the guy's badge we fearlessly sidestepped him without dredging up any "Midnight Express-type" memories.

We weren't like other folks going to resorts, we were going to an apartment and all we had was a street address. Our cab driver, whom we quickly discerned was a novice at driving a standard transmission, gave us a thrilling ride across the cobblestone streets of the city and managed to sputter to a stop "near" the address we had in hand. He couldn't take us to the exact address....because of his driving skills, and "the hill."

That photo doesn't do it justice. It was a steep climb, especially with luggage.

Dripping with sweat Slightly invigorated, we managed to make it to the door of the apartment units, only to find several notes taped to the gates from Uncle Bobby who evidently expected us to arrive several days earlier. The notes had a slightly distressed tone to them, "Waited for you for a while...went to the beach."

Bobby did leave us instructions in one of the notes on how to get a gatekeeper to let us in and we eventually convinced her we were not marauding burglars carrying luggage. She let us into his apartment.

It was gorgeous.

As we scoped out the view and made sure there were working bathrooms, we came upon another note from Uncle Bobby. This one was rather long and had a distinct lack of that laid back "Jimmy Buffett" tone. I won't go into details, but it essentially said that Bobby had to leave immediately, go back to the states and we were on our own. Enjoy and "Hasta la vista."

I had never met Uncle Bobby so I wasn't certain whether this was expected behavior or if we should worry that he took those State Department travel warnings more seriously than we did. I didn't have time to ponder that idea because within minutes we discovered his passport and other necessary travel items were still in the apartment. He couldn't have left the country...at least not under his own name.

Suddenly I felt like I was a character in a bad Kinky Friedman novel.

Where was Bobby? And was it okay to flush the toilet paper?

To be continued....when I get around to it.

Alas I still have a lingering of that "manana" mentality.