Sunday, December 31, 2006
All that to say I have a motivating factor.
And specific performance goals.
And a specific target weight.
And a detailed plan.
So here is the resolution I am sharing and invite you to help hold me accountable for;
I WILL loose 27 pounds from 1/1/2007 to 7/1/2007.
That's it. The motivation is there. The understanding exists that a "renewing of the mind" is required. The tasks that must be completed each week are clear. And the follow-up accountability is this; I will post a brief message on this blog each Sunday until the goal is reached. Today 202 pounds. Next Sunday.........? We'll see.
Comments are welcome and need not be praise and platitudes. I can take the jokes and wisecracks and use them as motivation. Take your best shot.
What is YOUR resolution.
Friday, December 29, 2006
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I love Wetumpka.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
So, Mark, march on son. Become a better man, husband, and father than your dad. You can do it. I believe you will do it. I still pray for you and Lindsay and your unborn children and grandchildren because, while I can fill the room and rid the house of the echo only your continuing to become the man God wants you to be will quiet the echo in a dad's heart.
I love you and I am proud of you.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
I know that is a lot of questions and I don't really expect lots of answers. But it is what is on my mind today. And it is my blog.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Is it just me? Do you also see things every day that just seem funny? This is one I saw a few days ago when I happened to have a camera with me. It is a nice enclosed trailer for hauling a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Sure, you could haul some other brand, but that would look odd with Harley-Davidson painted on the sides. What strikes me as funny, though, is the popular cliche painted on the front; Live to Ride, Ride to Live. The expression itself is not so funny until you paint it on a TRAILER TO HAUL YOUR MOTORCYCLE! Shouldn't it say Live to Haul, Haul to Live? Who are we trying to kid? Live to ride? The most important thing in life is riding my hawg--if I am not riding it, there is no life. So I bought this nice trailer to haul my bike to a bike rally that is far away (I wouldn't want to ride far) and then unload to ride around town (if the weather is good). That is funny, I don't care who you are.
It has been a couple of weeks since my last post for two reasons. First, the tornado that ripped through Montgomery a week and a half ago damaged the main mail processing facility which added to our workload at a time when it is already near capacity so the long days limit interest in non-essential activities. Second, the same tornado caused me to loose internet access at home and Knology has been slow to restore it. Here are some belated pictures of the tornado damage. The mail truck was rolled by the storm as was at least two larger trucks. A tractor-trailer loaded with mail was overturned and blown against the chainlink fence behind the post office. The demolished building is the FunZone daycare which is just behind the USPS. In the second picture note the mail container that was lifted, carried across the parking lot about 75 yards and dropped on top of the fence post. These containers weigh about 100 pounds and are just under 6 feet tall. It is a little weird to see the trash dumpster turned on its side with the smiley face that looks like a computer smile (: Because of the tornado, mail was not processed via automation and had to be worked manually into delivery sequence. Our workload has been adjusted to rely on automation and the temporary change added as much as two hours per day per employee. If the terrorist ever destroy our electricity grids, we are in trouble. I am thankful to be safe and thankful for all the good folks at the plant who were at work 24 hours later and for the automation that eliminates soooo much manual labor.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Here are some pictures from our recent backpacking trip. Credit for all these photos goes to my brother, Keith, because frankly his photos turned out better than mine. Yes, it is painful to always be bested by your younger brother, but it is what it is. This trip was different from past years for several reasons. First, the scheduling was difficult. All the men who have backpacked with me are not only good Christian men whose company I enjoy, but also very productive and have demanding schedules. I will be glad to share details in person about each of these men, but for here just know that lots went into arriving at a November date for backpacking and only three of us could make it. This trip also differed because we were not carrying a week's worth of food in our packs. Therefore, a MUCH lighter pack which enabled cramming more miles into one day. On the other hand, it was MUCH colder (lows in mid-20's with lots of wind) so we carried more warm clothes. Also, the days are MUCH shorter. So our plan was to arrive Wednesday night, set up camp before the rain moved through, and spend Thursday doing some hiking near our "base camp" then leave a vehicle at the ending spot of our LONG hike so we could use all day Friday hiking. We planned to attempt to cover 20 miles of the Appalachian Trail on Friday. Pause for a moment to think about that. This is rocky footing over 4000 foot mountains from the moment the Sun rises til after it goes down carrying enough food, water, clothing, and first aid items to survive 20 MILES of hiking. Let me say at this point, do NOT attempt this if you do not have some experience hiking and do not know your limitations. Having hiked for 6 or 7 years and with some knowledge of the terrain we still were not sure we could do what we set out to do. There is always concern about injury and illness. Keith was injured before we began. He tore a tendon in the middle finger of his right hand playing flag football with the teenagers from church. This required surgery that left a zig-zag cut down his finger and the tendon stretched and attatched to something like a button on the end of his finger. His stitches were removed Tuesday. He was wearing a brace that is like a half-cast. This meant he could not hold a hiking stick that helps with balance and stability. I had a tender ankle from a severe sprain weeks ago that was fine for walking but still weak when turned as surely would happen while hiking on the rocky trail. Joel Plake was the third man in the party and was not injured but has only been backpacking about a year and didn't know what we were getting him into. I would love to share many stories from the adventure and our time together, but you have been patient to read this far. Explanation of the pictures; (assuming the position doesn't change when I post) 1) That is me on the 20 mile hike. I am wearing an orange vest because part of the hike crossed a Wildlife Management Area and in Georgia it is already gun deer season. 2) This is a picture of Joel demonstrating his balance on a log that is about 8 feet over a stream at the base of a waterfall. This was Saturday morning after the 20 mile day so we were more adventurous. Yes, I am standing at the end of the log making the "reeling in" motion because I may have contributed to Joel's willingness to walk the log. 3) That is Keith and me next to a plaque on Springer Mountain. This spot is considered the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. It seems strange because you are in the middle of nowhere and it is almost 9 more miles to Amicolola State Park with vehicle access. Under the rock with the plaque is an aluminum container encased in cement. This container holds the log book for people to sign as they begin/end their hiking experience. 4) This is Joel and me, also at Springer Mountain, enjoying the beautiful view of fall foliage. We did this section on Thursday afternoon when dropping off my truck that we would hike to on Friday. 5) This is a view of Trahlyta Lake at Vogel State Park where we camped. As you see, it is beautiful and even more so from the vantage Joel and I had on Saturday when we hiked Bear Hair Gap trail to the top of the mountain you see in the background of this picture. From there you can look down on this vista and no postcard would do it justice. There are more pics and more memories but I just wanted to share these. Also, these thoughts that comes after hiking over distances that each time I was not sure was "do-able"; 1) I am more and more convinced that we can do so much more than we realize. 2) Fear is powerful (both appropriate and inappropriate fear). 3) To really get to know a person takes time--lots of uninterrupted time. If you add a difficult task and isolation, the relationship can go to another level more quickly. 4) Good friends are much more valuable that good stuff. 5) A good wife(spouse) whose judgment you trust and who trusts your judgment is more valuable than good friends. 6) Spending time in true wilderness thinking about survival and physical exertion then returning to "civilization" highlights how goofy we have become. 7) It takes a long time to get the smell of campfire smoke out of your gear.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
There is a man in Wetumpka whose house I pass every day. He bought a new Harley-Davidson Sportster several months ago. He never rides it. I will spare you my analysis of the psychology involved and focus on the evident result. The disc brake rotors are already rusting. The disc brake rotors on my Honda are shiny. Why? His suffer from disuse, mine have lots of friction applied almost daily. We can see that in mechanical things. We also see the result of not using our bodies as the muscles become soft and fat creeps in. Less obvious is the gradual rusting of our brains.
All of us "tune out" some things. We have to in order to focus and achieve. It seems to me that an ever-growing portion of our society is choosing to "tune out" anything that relates to politics, societal shifts, and the impact of religious beliefs on a large scale. I concede that it is often complex--intentionally so. Many would have you believe that you need them to do the thinking for you and deliver to you a package of what you should believe. This has become the process for our two party system. I wish it were as simple as choosing the "right" party and just voting a straight ticket. It is not. We can not, however, blame the attractive candidate nor the shifty-eyed movers and shakers of national parties. They have adopted as their purpose to feed back to us what we want to hear. The fault is ours. We have failed to engage. Ask people over the next few days how much debt the USA currently has. Ask what it is projected to be in 10 years. I bet you a fat-adding hamburger none of your co-workers or family members have any idea. Is it important? Will it have to be paid? By whom? When? Do you ask these questions when considering a new car or house, even an appliance? I hope you do.
Please just think about whether you want your children to pay 60% of what they earn as income tax because you were too mentally lazy to ask some questions and demand some answers. Now.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Now imagine building a cage large enough to encompass an entire country. Did you know that is what is proposed for our country? True, right now the focus is just on the USA/Mexico border. Canada will come later. This raises several questions for me. The first relates to the previous discussion--who is caged? If we actually build an $500 million fence, wouldn't that be like repairing the levies in New Orleans while the water was still 9 feet deep in the city? Since there are an estimated 20 million illegal Mexican immigrants in the USA now and such a fence would take......maybe 12 years to build, there may well be, what, 60-70 million by the time it is finished. There will be almost as many on this side of the fence as on the other side. That is not my only concern. The biggest concern is where does the $500 million come from. Actually, that would likely turn billions. President Bush says a secure wall would cost $8 billion. The 14 mile fence south of San Diego has slowed the flow of Mexicans into that area. But the original estimate of $1 million per mile has actually cost $3.8 million per mile for the first 11 miles. Since the remaining 3 miles is over difficult terrain, it is expected to cost $10 million per mile to complete. Will that keep out terrorists? Of course not. Will it keep out illegal immigrants? Of course not. They will simply drive across at check-points. The problem is not crossing the borders. The problem is once they are here we treat them as legal citizens, as if they had always been here. Many are receiving government subsidies. I do not claim to have all, or even many, of the answers concerning immigration and naturalization. But I am sure that a fence we do not have the money to pay for will not fix the problem we are afraid to address.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Recently, I had the opportunity to go exploring. I really enjoy exploring--at least my version of it. It is what my grandmother would call plundering. Those in the legal profession would probably call it trespassing. As I went about this day looking at real estate lots for sale and nearby woods and swamps not for sale, I happened across this old Ford at the edge of a swamp. It is, in fact, about 1/3 submerged in water and was barely visible from where I was passing by. I have learned from years of hunting and viewing deer to watch for horizontal lines in the woods that seem unnatural. When I spotted the roofline of this vehicle, it looked at first like a '56 Chevy. After fighting the briars and considering where the cotton-mouth moccasin I had seen earlier was now, I got close enough to see that it was actually a '56 Ford. It had obviously been sitting in this spot at least 2 decades. A tree had grown through a hole in the back panel and where the rear window would have been. The tree is probably 10 or 12 years old. What really struck me about the remains of the car was the Fordomatic emblem still intact on the rear. The symbolism of the ultra-modern moniker Fordomatic that heralded Ford's innovation in automatic transmissions clinging to this shell of a car, long forgotten, made a striking impression on me. I decided to take some pictures and had my camera in the truck because I was taking it to the camera shop for repairs (the duct tape I applied while backpacking was slipping). Naturally, the camera would not cooperate. So I did the only logical thing. I drove to the camera shop for parts (they weren't much help). But with expensive new batteries and more duct tape I returned to my "find" and took pictures. Lots of pictures. The two above show the tree growing as if every '56 Ford should have a Popcorn tree growing through the back window and the distinctive fin and tail light that show it is indeed a '56. The small picture was harvested from the internet and is of a restored '56. If you look closely in the shadow of the Continental kit spare tire, you can see the Fordomatic emblem on it as well. Seems like a fitting representation of how we get so excited about the newest and best "stuff" and just have to have it. Even now, when I see the restored '56 Ford, there is some craving to posses it. If only we could always see 2 or 3 decades down the road.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
The important fact here, in my opinion, is not that priest sometimes behave badly with young boys (or girls). That is bad and needs to be dealt with. But in this story we are observing a grown man who not only felt he had weathered some inappropriate behavior 40 years ago to lead a normal life. He apparently felt that he was leading an EXEMPLARY life. He asked voters to choose him and pay him to represent them in our nations' capitol, which he did for years. He did not feel that alcoholism was a problem all that time. He did not feel that homosexual tendencies were a problem all that time. Once exposed, however, for behavior that could not be justified, he claimed every victim status he could come up with. It makes me sick that he now wants me to feel sorry for him. And while I usually vote for republicans and hate to see democrats regain control of congress, if other republicans covered for Foley or others in order to keep republicans in control then they should be voted out. I know, I know, both parties have corrupt individuals but I say remove anybody who has shown themselves to be of poor moral character and vote in someone who has the opportunity to be considered ethical until proving otherwise.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Here is my position. Fox is free to hire and fire anybody they wish. So if they feel they were not represented properly by Lyons they should not have to answer to anybody about firing him. However, I have serious concerns about whoever at Fox is making these decisions. If you listen to announcers in any sport you will find various levels of honest criticism of players, coaches, fans, and entire sports organizations. This is what they are paid to do. Generally, they are wise enough not to harshly criticize players on either side because they need fans of both teams (and others) to generate revenue. Some are more brave than others about making fun of players and fans. Lyons is one of those. Consider this question; is it better for an announcer to make fun of players who can not hear the comment and respond or to make fun of each other in order to entertain viewers/listeners? Howard Cosell made millions doing just this. Let's break it down further; Piniella makes fun of players and chides some in Spanish--no harm done. Lyons makes a joke about Piniella's analogy and speaking in Spanish--fired on the spot.
You better learn Spanish, folks. Your replacement already has.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
How is this like North Korea? Has anyone seen a nuclear weapon? Can anyone verify a nuclear weapon? Kim (which is the name of all military leaders in N. Korea) said today "If the United States doesn't change it's attitude, we will test another nuclear weapon!" So...go ahead. That sounds to me like saying "Don't test me, I will stick my other hand in my pocket and pretend to have TWO guns!" If they really have nuclear weapons at all, how many can they have? If they blast them all underground in N. Korea--fine.
U.N. secretary-general Coffee....I mean Kofi Anan wants the USA to have one-on-one talks with N. Korea. Why? Because they have both hands in their jacket pocket? Who cares what the U.N. secretary general thinks? What kind of title is that anyway? Is he a secretary or a general? "Hey, Coffee....I mean Kofi bring me some coffee. Then run over and attack North Korea."
Please. North Korea reminds me of that video on "America's Funniest". You know the one where the toddler is pitching a fit. Then mom goes to another room and he follows only to flop down and pitch a fit in front of her. When she returns to the first room he follows quietly, then does the tantrum thing again, over and over.
It is funny with a two year old.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The only observation I want to share is the thought that occurred to me several times during this hike. While there are always dangers from others and always things to be discovered, the exploration and discovery is really about what is inside each of us. What am I afraid of? What am I willing to risk? What is important to me? What are my comfort zones? Am I limited by fear of what others will think? While I walked and sorted through some of these thoughts, I tried to imagine how much they would be amplified if I were sailing with a crew that counted on my leadership towards the line where the ocean meets the sky for the first time. Thank you, Christopher.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Friday, October 06, 2006
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
The Sun this morning,
bathed in red glory
affirmed once again
the Genesis story.
Throughout each day
the mockingbirds sing.
Never grumpy nor blue,
but cheerful tunes bring.
Let him with ears, hear
and him with eyes, see.
The Creator of all
is speaking to me.
All around are rumors
of another world, unseen.
I can't pursue both worlds
and again must choose between.
There are other prizes besides the grand prize.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Monday, September 18, 2006
Then this evening I read online where Willie"s bus was stopped for a routine commercial vehicle inspection in Lafayette, La. and the smell of marijuana was so strong that troopers searched the bus and confiscated 1 1/2 pounds of marijuana and .2 pounds of narcotic mushrooms.
Willie Nelson is 73. I doubt that he has ever been to a small group Bible study to discuss the book of Daniel. I wonder what he would think of Daniel refusing the king's delicacies in order to remain true to dietary restrictions given by God? I am guessing he wouldn't understand.
Friday, September 15, 2006
"The thoughtless, the ignorant, and the indolent, seeing only the apparent effects of things and not the things themselves, talk of luck, of fortune, and chance. Seeing a man grow rich, they say, "How lucky he is!" Observing another become intellectual, they exclaim, "How highly favored he is!" And noting the saintly character and wide influence of another, they remark, "How chance aids him at every turn!" They do not see the trials and failures and struggles which these men have voluntarily encountered in order to gain their experience; have no knowledge of the sacrifices they have made, of the undaunted efforts they have put forth, of the faith they have exercised, that they might overcome the apparently insurmountable, and realize the Vision of their heart. They do not know the darkness and the heartaches; they only see the light and joy, and call it "luck"; do not see the long and arduous journey, but only behold the pleasant goal, and call it "good fortune"; do not understand the process but only perceive the result, and call it "chance."
In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result. Chance is not. "Gifts," powers, material, intellectual, and spiritual possessions are the fruits of effort; they are thoughts completed, objects accomplished, visions realized.
The Vision that you glorify in your mind, the Ideal that you enthrone in your heart--this you will build your life by, this you will become."
I have ordered several copies of this book to give as gifts and to loan if you are interested.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
This is an attempt to go a little way down one of those side trails. It will be good for me even if nobody else reads or benefits from it. The thought originated while reading "Rumours" by Phillip Yancey. It is difficult for me to separate what I read of Yancey's words from what I thought as a result. My intention is not to ascribe my thought to him nor to pretend that what he has written are my own original thoughts. The reality is, for me, this line of thought was largely prompted by Yancey's book and now much of what he has shared blends with my own thoughts.
This particular side trail deals with idolatry or substituting anything for God in an attempt to fill the place only God can fill in our life. Yancey credits Annie Dillard with telling of an experiment by entomologists. "They enticed male butterflies with a painted cardboard replica that was larger and more enticing than the females of their species. Excited, the male butterfly mounts the piece of cardboard; again and again he mounts it. Nearby, the real, living female butterfly opens and closes her wings in vain." Now, some applications leap out at you. In our species the painted and airbrushed often distract from the real and genuine. Many can't even see this absurd event occurring every day in the visible world. Even more difficult to see than abandoning the blemished, but real, person to chase after the shiney and exciting person is our tendency to fail to see the Source of beauty, joy, and excitement. No doubt, God intends for us to enjoy an abundant life. But we chase the "thing" like a puppy chasing a remote controlled car, not realizing that the car is being controlled by someone else.
Here is the thought for today; is it possible that every addiction is an idol and every idol is an addition? Think about it, alcohol, drugs, sex, work, gambling, food, or whatever entices you has become the focus. We are created to worship and if we do not allow God a place in our minds, something must replace Him in that void. We chase it more and more like the butterflies chase the illusion when the real is available.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Monday, September 04, 2006
I am sorry Steve died so young and can't really say I am surprised. But his life really looked like fun and many days I envied the lifestyle he had crafted. He makes me wonder what is possible.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Joshua 5: 13-14a says "And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with his sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, "Are you for us or for our adversaries?" So He said, "No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come."
In my mind this passage is one of the most powerful and revealing in all of scripture. Here is why; 1) This brief conversation reveals volumes about what is going on around us. The world we see is the superficial, shallow version of the unseen world. Sunday school teachers this weekend around the world will teach little children what has been taught for generations, that Joshua and the Israelites captured Jericho by marching around it and blowing on their trumpets. Some teachers will be wise enough to explain that it was not Joshua but God that caused the walls to fall. I dare say, though, that few will explain that there was an actual invisible army with an actual leader who had His sword drawn for days that brought down the walls. There is lots to think about concerning the unseen world around us. 2) Joshua displayed lots of courage. Some time earlier God had commissioned him to lead his people and instructed him to "meditate day and night concerning the law". Joshua had accepted and begun to demonstrate leadership. There was nothing in the law, however, about coming across such a man as this claiming to be the Commander of the Army of the Lord. I am guessing Joshua thought he wore that title. How would you react to seeing a man outside the city you were about to attack with his sword drawn? Joshua's reaction was to walk up to him and ask "Are you for us or our enemies?" His direct question and response to the answer tell me Joshua was a man who believed in facing the truth--good or bad. 3) Perhaps the most powerful message from this brief passage is this; when asked if He was on the side of the ordained preacher who was constantly in the word or his enemy, the Commander replied "Neither, I am the commander of the army of the Lord." Think about that. The Commander of the invisible army who is fighting around us as He did around Joshua said He was not on Joshua's side just because of who he was. He was not automatically on his side all the time. He was on the side of truth and accomplishing what God wanted accomplished. Can that help explain why some ministries and ministers that seem so right often fail? Can that help explain why the Forrest Gump types sometimes accomplish amazing things?
In my mind, the challenge is easy to recognize and difficult to accomplish. We must constantly remind ourselves and those we love that it is not about us versus them. God has sent an army to fight for right. Not everybody who calls on God's name or claims to speak in His name is on the side of truth and right. I have to constantly seek for truth, not the correct affiliation. I will post later about why I think this means we owe it to each other to speak the truth rather than what is flattering or politically correct. That is not the same as delighting in hurtful conversation nor always being contentious. But if we never lovingly correct nor allow ourselves to be corrected, how in the world can we hope to be constantly aligned with the "army of the Lord"?
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Now that I have traded the white shirt and tie for a blue collar it is easier for me to lampoon my workplace. Here is a sampling from the past week; 1) as I was walking from my bike to the office one morning last week a rental truck entered the employee parking area. Now, we regularly get safety briefings about mail and vehicle security. Ashley's terrorist neighbors would love to get their hands on a mail truck--they could drive right up to any government building and...well, you know. Our employee parking area is well fenced and clearly marked so it is rare that anybody "accidentally" rides through. Being the responsible employee, I hesitated to see what this person was up to. Turns out it was a young lady who is a substitute rural carrier. She and her husband are moving from Montgomery to Wetumpka. They had gotten up early, loaded the truck and she drove it to work, carried a route, then drove to the new house and unloaded. I am not making this up. Now, I am not making fun of her. I am really impressed. How many of your co-workers would ask for a week off to move and complain another week about how much work it was and how hot it is? This young lady (who has a toddler) and her husband moved in a little more than a day--with a full work day sandwiched in the middle. So, that vehicle is about as rare as you would ever see arriving at work at 7:00 a.m., right? Nope.
2) Monday (day before yesterday) as I made the same trek to the workroom, a firetruck turned into the parking lot and drove into the employee parking area blowing the air-horn at full tilt. Naturally, I looked at the roof of the building for smoke. All clear. Then I realized the driver of the firetruck was Chris, one of the city carriers. I am not making this up. See, Chris has served for some time as the fire-chief of the Buyck (pronounced bike) Volunteer Fire Department. During that time he was very instrumental in raising money for a new fire engine. Once they got the truck and were having final equipment installed, he wanted to come by (on his off-day) and show it off. It is a real beauty. Another first for me--sitting in a brand-spanking new firetruck.
3) Not all the interesting events at the Wetumpka Post Office involve unusual transportation. Yesterday afternoon someone walked into our break room to get a soft drink and saw a snake crawl under the table. There were no men in the building at the time, but this is a hardy group of women. Well, one of them got a little excited but leapt into action. She grabbed the fire extinguisher and blasted the snake with white foam. I don't know if you have ever experimented with a fire extinguisher (you really should before an emergency), but it makes a BIG mess. I didn't witness all the details but eventually a male rural carrier showed up and scooped the snake into a container and took him to the cow pasture next to our office and released him. Some of the ladies scrubbed the break room for about an hour. Today, there was much debate about what SHOULD have been done with the snake. It is a wonderful life.
Monday, August 28, 2006
That is a challenging process. Especially if I am trying to hold my own in a conversation. To process those thoughts I really have to shut up. The ensuing
silence bothers many folk and is seen by counselor/psychology types as "introverted" behavior. In reality it is an introverted thought process about how to communicate in an extroverted way. It is time to head to work so I will continue this thought process in another post. Allow me to leave with this question; "When was the last time someone changed your mind on and important issue?" If it has been years, we need to talk.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Here is my observation; we are all prejudiced in some ways. We tend to like, admire, and want to be around people who are like us because we expect they are most apt to like, admire, and want to be around us. It is sad to see that human quality in many settings. It is funny to see it riding the roads on two wheels. People are funny animals when you stop to think about it. Even the caged ones.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Now, LaWanna disagrees but I think that is how I want to go. I REALLY love chocolate and while the thought of literally drowning in it is not so pleasant, it beats being run over by a by-pass driver or being mauled by a hormonal poodle by a long shot. It is not likely since I don't work in nor visit a chocolate factory, but just in case it happens that way, I hereby request to be buried in that delicious, chocolate-covered state. I also request that milk and coffee be served at the visitation. You guys have some fun and don't be moping around. Maybe somebody will say "You know, with dark hair Roxy really looks younger." LaWanna (looking a little guilty) will say "Yeah, I always encouraged him to wear blue because it brought out the blue in his eyes but he really preferred brown." One final request; will you sing that song from "O brother". You know, "Let's all go down, down to the river to pray". I loved that song. And chocolate.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
This world is no place for a permanent home.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Today it is funny to me to see how many girls and young women wear short shirts of various descriptions and low-rider jeans but without the benefit of a "Cher" figure. This has led to the term "muffin top" referring to the way that roll of fat spills over the top of the jeans like a muffin spilling over the top of its holder. I wish I had originated the term but actually read it a couple of years ago in an article discussing the trend. I expect to take some heat about this post and openly acknowledge a higher than ideal percentage of body fat but at least I try to keep a shirt pulled over my mid-section when mingling at places like CHURCH. "To each his own" some say. Just don't be mad if I nod your way and say "muffin top alert".
Monday, August 14, 2006
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Saturday, August 05, 2006
The first (and for many folks, the only) reason is physical improvement. I will save the "Run Long, Live Long" lecture but will mention the thought presented by Dr. George Sheehan (runner, M.D., philosopher, author). He said in one of his books the reason he runs is to "become the animal he was meant to be".
The less obvious reason for running is understood only by those who cross a certain threshold which brings a clarity of thought not easily achieved in our loud, hectic world. The solitude of distance running combined with the mindless physical exertion free the mind to explore thoughts at a depth we usually don't allow time for. That is why I was elated to realize I had drifted into this state and was no longer having to focus on the process of running. Then the butterfly analogy inched into my mind. Before a butterfly is a butterfly he/she is a caterpillar that must work diligently to climb to a safe place and spin a cacoon before the amazing transformation occurs. All that work is done as a caterpillar. I wonder if he knows what is coming. I doubt it. Probably, he is just doing what he feels he should do. Then one day he wakes up with beautiful wings. That helps me inch along day after day, doing what seems the right thing to do. Unlike the caterpillar, I have some idea of what is coming.
Also as I plodded along today, I saw another deer. I see them often on my remote runs down Ft. Toulouse Road. Several have run across right in front of me like that goofy commercial. But today a doe was Walmart-walking across the road. You know, nonchalantly strolling with no destination in mind and no timetable and no awareness of anybody else needing to pass. When I first saw her, I was about 60 yards away. She didn't seem to notice me for a long time as I came closer and closer. When I was about 25 yards away and she was nearly off the other side of the pavement she spotted me and stood motionless (like the deer in the headlights-without headlights). Then she looked behind her into the woods where she had emerged. That is when I knew there was another deer behind her. As I came within 20 yards she bounded into the woods. I slowed (if you can believe that is possible) to look and eventually saw the light-colored hair of two front legs then was able to see the second deer about 15 yards in the woods waiting to see what I would do. It is pretty neat to be able to pass between the two of them and they didn't seem to mind too much--almost like they were expecting me.
That started the meandering chain of thoughts that encompassed snail darters, spotted owls, and all the other "endangered species" that have halted commerce of various types. I am a hunter because that endeaver allows me to observe and study various wildlife in their habitat. I love watching deer the way I did today and do not see a "target" when seeing them in the wild. At the same time, I believe God has communicated with us that animals were put here for man, not the other way around. Don't get me wrong, I strongly resist the guys who wear their camo year-round to social gatherings and want to "bag" as many of all game animals as possible in a competitive, score-keeping manner. And I think we can worship profit so much that we heartlessly harm the environment when it is not necessary. But I would say our society has gone too far the other direction when we pay murderous muslems $75 a barrel for oil to avoid forcing a caribou to have to look at a pipeline running across a frozen tundra. It reminds me of Ted Nugent's interview with a British (liberal)journalist. When asked if he thought a deer's last thought before being shot was "Can I trust you" or "Did you kill my brother?", Ted responded "deer are animals--they don't think like that. All they think about is 'where can I next eat?' or "where can I next have sex?' or 'can I run fast enough to get away?' They are much like the French."
I had a good run today.