Sunday, December 31, 2006

I Hereby Resolve.......

It is that time of year again; to begin the process of deciding what resolutions you will be breaking throughout the year. Lots of folks scoff at the idea of New Year's Resolution. I have been among the scoffers. I am making some serious resolutions that will require lots of work and prayer but will not share all those on-line. I am posting for all the world to see, the worn-out resolution to loose weight. "Wait, Roxy, wasn't that a resolution last year?" you might ask. Yes, it was and yes I did. I may loose some of the same weight this year?! I did well on this goal last year for a while. Much of that success was due not to technique, but rather to motivation. This goal was tied to another goal of competing in the Alabama Senior Olympics and doing well enough to qualify for the national competition in Louisville, Kentucky in July, 2007. I made that goal and would like to tell the story in a way that makes the feat seem impressive but there were witnesses. My family, including son-in-law and almost daughter-in-law, dutifully sat in the blazing sun all afternoon on a Sunday to watch me plod around 1500 meters. It was pretty sad. However, I qualified (since there was so little competition) and was on track (so to speak). I scheduled three more races during the mid-to-late summer as motivation to push myself in training. ALL of those had to be missed because of schedule problems and I became discouraged, eventually giving up on the goal of going to Kentucky. Then my co-workers all worked together to make it possible for me to have vacation time the week of July 4--when the 1500 meter races will be held. That is a significant sacrifice by some and I was touched. Now, I have to more or less start over on conditioning and speed work to get ready.
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

Say What?

I need the help of sophisticated and well-read bloggers. There are many questions to be tackled, such as "What is the meaning of life?" and "How do we end the war in Iraq?" and "Who will be the head coach at Alabama?". My question is closer to home. This morning on the way to work, I was passed by a vehicle with a tag reading "P2MUCH". I am not making this up. Why? I am not asking why he has this problem--it may be too much water or coffee, it may be a prostate problem--whatever. The question is "Why pay $50 to have a vanity plate made with this proclamation?" I say 2MUCHINFO!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


The December 25-January 1 issue of U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT shouts from the cover "50 Ways to Improve Your Life in 2007". I have subscribed to this magazine for several years because it seems to present a balanced view of news around the USA and to a lesser degree, worldwide news. TIME and NEWSWEEK seem like copies of each other and are very liberal in their view of sociology, religion, politics....everything. So I was excited to see 50 suggestions to improve my life in 2007--hey, that's NEXT WEEK! Well, there are a few good ideas among the 50, but many are just ridiculous. I doubt I will do anything about Darfur, share my ride, get rid of my leaf-blower, turn off my dryer, or drive with biodiesel. Number 42 caught my eye; see a glacier before it melts. Oh brother! More global warming nonsense. Thanks, Al Gore. Now, let me be clear--I think seeing a glacier is a GREAT idea. I was blessed to take a boat tour of Glacier Bay near Seward, Alaska a few years ago and it is amazing. The sound of ice breaking off the glacier (birthing) is amazingly loud, like a rifle shot. The sheer size of some glaciers is just staggering. I am sharing some pics at the top of this post to offer a glimpse of the beauty of glaciers. My problem with the article is that the gist is "Thousands of glaciers will go the way of the dinosaurs." Since they quote "one of the world's leading glaciologists", I suppose I have to admit that my qualifications to offer an opinion are severely limited. I didn't even know glaciologist was a career field. I feel pretty stupid right now. Maybe I should not have laughed at their statement that the famous park in Montana might have to be renamed Unglacier National Park. Also, who am I to scoff at the claim that you can see "three quarters of a million years of climate history" in the layers of some glaciers.

Well, I don't get my info from the leading glaciologists because I don't know any. However, I do know the creator of the universe and He told me that he is still holding the world together and that I don't have to worry about it. What a relief! You know, maybe the Earth's surface will warm up a few degrees and we may loose some glaciers. I can't see where that would be all that bad and since I have already seen some, I will continue to drive, use a clothes dryer, and use internal combustion engines. And deodorant. I believe I'll just come up with my own New Year's resolutions. Maybe I'll share some. Enjoy the pictures.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Excuse Me, Your Goof is Showing

Maybe it is just my upbringing or genetics. I am not sure why, but I find LOTS of humor in goof-ups. Most of the time your goof-ups are funnier to me than mine. But regularly I find mine to be very funny also. Today I saw somebody else goof-up and then make the classic "I am so embarrassed-maybe nobody saw me" face. In fact, if she had reacted more calmly, I may not have noticed. The event occurred in Historic Downtown Wetumpka, on East Bridge street. In fact, it was only about 30 yards from the beautifully arched bridge over the Coosa River. For this story, let's call this middle-aged lady LaVerne. I have no idea what her real name is, but that seems to fit her and I would not bet against it for her actual name. When I passed by, LaVerne was already at her car attempting to open the driver's door with her key. I do not know how long she had been working on this task, but just as I passed she seemed to give up and throw her hands in the air. That caught my attention and I looked at her just as she made this face > - ; Well, maybe not exactly that face but is was a face that clearly said "This is soooo embarrassing!". She never said a word but in seconds her mistake was evident. She walked around the "Desert Sand" Caddilac Catera she was trying to open, unlocked the door to her "Desert Sand" Honda Accord and quickly drove off. To be fair, the cars were exactly the same color and were parked next to each other could LaVerne go through the process of choosing a Honda Accord and then mistake it for the Caddy that zigs? If this gets out, Caddilac will have a hard time selling Catera's. Who wants to spend that much money on a car to impress your friends if LaVerne can't even tell it from an Accord? Sitting next to each other! LaVerne is probably a very spiritual person and one "sort of brown" car is just the same as the next to her. I wish I had gotten there in time to hear her conversation with herself. "Why won't this blasted key turn?" "I wish I had never let Bert talk me into buying this....what kind of car is this?" Now she walks aroung to the back. "Catera....Cadillac!.....I don't have a Cadillac! Oh shoot, that's my car right there. I hope nobody saw me. Hey, there's Kenny Rodgers! I hope this is not his Cadillac!"

I love Wetumpka.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


There is an echo in the house. No, it hasn't always been there. Yes, it is there all the time. Do I like it? Well, I have mixed feelings but mostly, no, I don't. Why is there an echo? Because of the empty room. You see, Mark has moved out and is now renting the duplex where Baron and Laura lived before their house was built. So this bedroom across the hall from the master bedroom suddenly seems cavernous and with the hardwood floors and no furnishings the echo is noticeable--shocking even. Everytime LaWanna or I walk down the hall the echo reminds us that another of our children is gone from the nest. And just as when each of them was born, the nest will never be the same. Why don't I like the echo? Well, the first level of feelings is easy to explain; there is a room that needs to be cleaned, painted, and transformed into DAD'S OFFICE. That will be nice after completion but represents work, time, and expense first. And there are lots of irons in the fire already. The deeper level of feelings is more difficult to communicate. Mark has left before, once when he was very young and tired of the constant preaching of his old man. Once he left in the middle of the night in handcuffs. Neither of those times caused mixed feelings--at least not a mixture of good and bad. Everything I felt was bad. He was not ready for the world. I had not done my job as a father and he was not finished becoming a man. It is different now. Vastly different. Mark is mature and has demonstrated a couple years worth of discipline and spiritual growth. He is smart and fun to be around. He is no longer the angry kid thinking the establishment is against him and his parents are just trying to keep him from having fun. He has learned some valuable lessons the hard way--which I do not recommend for most, but can be very effective. How did all this growth occur? I wish the answer were that his mom and I demonstrated outstanding parenting. But the truth is prayer, prayer, and more prayer seems to have convinced God to pull Mark closer to himself. God did not blind Mark with a light on the road to Damascus or Columbus but rather blinded him with the unconditional love of a beautiful young woman named Lindsay who will become Mrs. Mark Wishum on April 7, 2007. That will be a great Easter weekend. So the feelings about Mark and the direction of his life now are good--very good. Still being a dad is a little like running a marathon. During each you are giving all you have and at times you become sure you can't keep going. Then somehow you do. It is not pretty, but you press on with all your might until you cross the finish line. You have mixed feelings immediately and feel completely used up. But after enough time passes, you think back and convince yourself you could have done better.

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've been thinking....(insert witty remark here) does this prayer thing work? I wish my blog reached hundreds or thousands so I could get lots of feedback, but here is my question; If "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" then do the fervent prayers of two righteous folks avail twice as much? Is God twice as likely to answer in the affirmative if twice as many ask? Would 30 people praying for my healing increase my odds to the 30th power? If so, shouldn't I be making more righteous friends? After all, I am reaching the age of lots of health problems. O.K., all those questions are mostly about how God listens and responds. Here is one that is more about our end; what percentage of prayers would you guess concern physical healing? What percentage involve thanksgiving? Do you pray for specific spiritual growth/healing as much as physical healing--for yourself or others? Why is it easier to pray for a person's cancer to be removed than to pray that his pride or lust be removed? Why is it easier to ask for others to pray for my body than for my spirit?

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

Live to Ride, Ride to Live!

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.

I Survived the Tornado!

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

You can do more!

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


By the time you read this, I will be on my way to the North Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail for three days of backpacking. This will be our first time to hike in November. The days should be great--sunny and low 50's but the nights will be mid 20's--a little chilly. We plan easy days except for Friday which will be a 20 mile day! That will be a tough day in the mountains (and it gets dark early now). Should be a great adventure. Pictures later.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


"Iron rust from disuse, water loses its purity from stagnation, even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind". Leonardo da Vinci

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

Do you like the zoo?

How do you feel about walking through the zoo and observing elephants and lions that have been fenced in for your entertainment? It is educational to be able to see a live lion and hear his roar without the fear of becoming an appetizer. Still, it is sad to see these animals artificially fed and gradually see the "wild" fade from their eyes. At some locations you can drive through more or less natural habitat and view wild animals from the relative safety of your car. Be sure to take a video camera because a large percentage of these trips wind up on America's Funniest Home Video. While backpacking the portion of the Appalachian Trail that crosses the Smokey Mountain National Forest, we were required to sleep in three-sided shelters that had a chain-link fence and gate across the front to keep bears out at night. So many hikers were feeding bears through the fencing that it is now being removed to reduce the interaction between hikers and wild bears. That's not very comforting for the people passing through after the bears have been conditioned to come to the shelters for easy food.
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

Time Passages

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

What's in a Name?

Yes, I am posting two politcal-related posts in one day. No, it will not be a habit and this one is a little more fun. In case anybody beyond my family and a few friends stumbles across this blog, let me assure you I am not a politician nor the son of a politician. In fact, as a USPS employee I am prohibited by the Hatch act from participating in partisan politics. That is just fine with me. I am interested in watching though. And it has always been amazing to me how important name recognition is to a person's chances of election. If you are born in Alabama as a Wallace or Folsom or Baxley (or marry one in order to capture the name) you have a leg up on your competition. Obviously, name recognition does not guarantee election but it REALLY helps. My personal friend Walking Wendell Mitchell created name recognition many years ago by utilizing alliteration and doing some walking in his campaigning. It worked so well that his current opponent is playing on that moniker to try to unseat him. The bad news is nobody knows her name because all her TV, radio, and print ads talk about Walking Wendell Mitchell. These races in Alabama are interesting to watch but not nearly as fun as it would be in district 4 in northeast California. The incumbent there is Rep. John Doolittle. I am not making this up. The good people of California actually elected Representative Doolittle. Now that's funny, I don't care who you are. Just leave your computer a minute and walk around saying "Rep. Doolittle, what are your plans if you are re-elected? Do you plan to do a lot?" I've got to tell you, I am all for electing more Doolittle's for Congress. The less they do, the better. Thanks, California that is almost as funny as electing the Terminator as govenor. But wait, that's not all! "Nothing could be funnier than Dr., I mean Rep. Doolittle being elected from the Terminator's state" you say. Well, what if Rep. Doolittle's opponent's name were Charlie Brown? I am not making this up! The race in District 4 is a close battle between Charlie Brown and John Doolittle! How can you take this seriously? One is a clown and the other just.....well, you know.

What's wrong with this picture?

Mark Foley. Would somebody please tell Mark Foley he is not in grade school anymore? As enough evidence came out to overcome any doubt that Mark Foley, while representing the working folks in Florida, has had inappropriate conversations and behavior involving young, male pages whose parents are desparately trying to help them have an advantage breaking into Ft. Knox. No, not the physical gold depository but rather the figurative gold mine of national politics. Once Mark Foley clearly could not deny nor laugh off allegations, he broke and ran. And just like a grade school boy he pointed fingers at others as he ran from his mess. Let's see, Mr. Foley can't help it because 1) he is an alcoholic, 2) he is gay, 3) he was molested by a priest 40 years ago. Then he named the priest. Why now? Allow me to state that I detest that priests so often sexually manipulate children to whom they have an obligation of spiritual nurturing and encouragement. The tidal wave of revelations in the last two decades should scream at those creating the legalistic system for Catholics that forcing people to be celibate in order to be a spiritual leader is a bad idea. God himself created a woman for the first man. God designed a simple plan for families; man and woman leave father and mother and cleave to each other. There, that's it. Any amendments create less than optimum results. Yes, I know Paul encouraged some to remain single. And those called to be itinerant preachers or other callings that conflict with devotion to a family should listen.

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

Lyons' Den

Lyons' den is where pro-baseball-player-turned-announcer will be watching the rest of the baseball playoffs. Why? Partly because he sometimes puts his foot in his mouth. Mostly because of political correctness. During game 3 of the American League Championship Series, Lyons responded to comments made by Hispanic co-announcer Lou Piniella in a way that MIGHT be taken as mocking his Hispanic heritage and was promptly fired by Fox. It would be confusing if I attempted to reconstruct the conversation here but the gist is this; Piniella made comments about a player who was not known for great hitting ability but had done well in the play-offs. He said it was "like finding a wallet on Friday and hoping to find another one the next week". Follow me here--this is the comment made by the Hispanic guy. Later he made several observations in Spanish about different players. The third announcer in the booth praised his bilingual abilities and then Lyons said Piniella was "hablaing Espanol'". He went on to insinuate that Piniella had taken his wallet. Now, granted Lyons did not conjugate his Spanish verbs very well and he took a good natured poke at his co-worker. But should he be immediately fired?

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


I do not want to alarm anybody but Jamin and Ashley have disappeared and there are black helicopters outside my house. Does that seem normal?

Thursday, October 12, 2006


This post is a simple request of the faithful few who read my blog and of any who stumble on it. Please click on the link titled "Lachen" and read the letter concerned the reactions in the Amish community following the tragic decision of a guilty mind to give up the battle that had raged within him and strike young members of this simple, peaceful community. It is a powerful testimony to the power of making time for prayer and growing awareness of the "real world" that surrounds this temporary world we see.

Little T Comes out to Play

For years I have had a little stirring to write a book. I believe I could communicate in a way that people would enjoy and learn. But the harsh reality is that I have no hook. Who do you see on the morning talk shows hawking their latest book? Somebody who has survived a horrific ordeal and has name recognition or a riviting story about which people want to know the intimate details. Or someone who has become famous via politics, business, or being friends with Oprah. Without the Ph.D. that declares "I am an expert in this area" or some dramatic story, it is difficult to break into the top sellers list. Judging from the number of comments left on my blog and what people tell me who, for whatever reason, choose not to leave comments I would probably sell about 17 copies of my book. So, I have never seriously pursued the idea. Then, about a week ago, I read that a new author has his first book out. It is none other than Terrell Owens! For you non-sports fans, T.O. is a loudmouth, crybaby, millionaire football player that thinks all the world is against him because they realize he is far superior. He is a truly detestable person. What kind of book would such a person write? Would you believe a children's book? I am not making this up! Not only is his first children's book our (about playing well together!!!!!) but two more are coming. Of course, he has a ghost writer that actually is writing the books and using his notoriety to sell them. He is not writing them because he probably could not write a sentence, let alone a book. No doubt, he could serve as the bad example in a children's book. Soooo, I am watching all of you. As soon as you make enough people mad and behave badly enough to get lots of national attention we will team up and write a book. We will be able to work as a team because I am doing research already--reading about little "T".

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Is That a Real Gun?

This just in; local redneck gives his opinion about North Korea! What do you make of the news of North Korea supposedly testing a nuclear weapon? It sounds like one of those guys who attempts to rob a convenience store with his hand in his jacket pocket pretending to have a gun. Why does he do that? So the minimum-wage clerk will be unsure if he really has a gun and react as if he really does. That is what the store owner has trained the clerk to do. Hand over the money, get the best description you can, and don't take any chances. The store clerk hears "We care about our employees more than money." The owner is thinking "I would rather loose $243 from the register than pay your disability for the next 27 years." Also, the thief knows that if he doesn't actually show a gun, he can claim later he didn't really have one. You know, later, when he gets caught.

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

Columbus Day

Does everybody know why you didn't get mail yesterday? Yes, it is the day we honor Columbus as an explorer and, right or wrong, credit him with discovering America. If you want to leave comments about who all was already here when he stumbled on the shore, that is fine. Any rants about his intentions or misguided ambitions are welcome. However, I have attempted to put myself in his place and find it difficult to imagine loading up three ships and sailing across a vast expanse of ocean towards where most everybody thought the world just dropped off based on my belief that the world was, in fact, round. Again, say and believe what you want but this was a man of courage and adventure. Therefore, in honor of the explorer I decided to use most of my holiday exploring by going on a walk-about. The intention was a 20 mile hike to test drive some new hiking equipment (boots and shorts). My annual trek to the Appalachian Trail with friends and my brother this year will be in November because we had difficulty finding a time when all could make it. Still not all can make it. As it stands now three or four of us plan to spend a few days in the North Georgia mountains backpacking highlighted by an attempt to cover about 22 miles in one day. This distance in steep mountains on rocky footing is a far cry from covering the same distance on flat ground so it is a real challenge. Added to the uncertainty is the fact that days are getting one to two minutes shorter now and there will be much less daylight by early November. But it will be fun. Yesterday may be an indication of what to expect. I spent most of the morning finding gear, cleaning hydration bottles and then trekking to the store to replace one that had been stored with some moisture in the tube and ....well, lets just say it needed to be replaced. Since I started so late, I was sure I would have to lower my goal distance. Also, the planned route turned out to be too dangerous for walking--no shoulder on our highways. You will think this is funny or maybe just goofy, but I decided to walk down the interstate. Not very scenic and too much traffic but easy walking and there are MILE MARKERS. Eventually, I walked from Waugh to Shorter. After a short break at Shorter--no not the dog track--I walked down Hwy. 80 back to Waugh a distance of about 13 miles. The choice still was not the safest and certainly not the most aesthetic but an adventure just the same. In light of recent news events, I am sure some of the passing cars were concerned about my presence on the interstate and I would not have been surprised to be questioned by law enforcement personnel.

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

Groundhog Day

Yes, I do really like the movie "Groundhog Day". Although the movie seems goofy at first and the premise of living the exact same day over and over is ridiculous, there are some great lessons that are easy to see. No, this post is not really about the movie. It is really about.......groundhogs! Allow me to make a prediction that you probably have not heard anywhere else. We will soon be overpopulated with groundhogs. There it is. A simple straight-forward statement that contradicts the common sense thinking of all six readers of this blog. "How can that be? I have never even SEEN a groundhog" you will say to your computer monitor. Go ahead, call to your spouse/co-worker "Hey, you ever seen a groundhog around here?" Listen for this response "Nope, I think they are just around Punxatawny." Well, a couple of years ago I would have said that in all my hunting and stomping around in the woods (and that is a lot) I had never seen a groundhog. Then one day I pulled into a driveway off Hwy. 231 at the edge of Wetumpka and there sat two large.....What is that? Beavers? Eating acorns that have accumulated at the bottom of this steep drive? Do beavers eat acorns? Let me see if I can get closer. Wow, they are fast! I don't think they went far, I will walk to the edge of this kudzu....Wow, they are fast! And they don't have large flat tails! They have tails similar to a squirrel. HEY, THAT IS A GROUNDHOG! Of course, I was talking to myself again. At that point I became attuned to the rascals and you know what? There are LOTS of them around historic downtown Wetumpka. As I began to watch them, their fondness for steep banks covered in kudzu became apparent. Then when the leaves of the kudzu die in the winter you can see on the steep banks dozens of burrows. And along the banks of the Coosa are LOTS of groundhogs! I am not making this up. Now, there have been several occasions that I stood 6 or 8 feet above a groundhog hanging out near the safety of his tunnel. Today I drove to an area behind the old Adams Drugs on Hill Street in historic downtown Wetumpka to take a break and eat a pear by the river. When I rounded the corner I saw a groundhog scampering across the parking lot. I stopped quickly and he did as well. It was a smaller one--probably an adolescent disobeying strict instructions to stay within the kudzu. He sat up and ate acorns as long as I sat still in the vehicle. In a few minutes I pulled up a little and he scampered to the cover of kudzu. I of course walked quietly to the edge of the kudzu and looked down to see junior scurry into a hole in the embankment. He was followed by a HUGE adult groundhog--either mom or dad. From the dorsal view I had, the gender was a mystery. The mom (I am playing a hunch on gender) stayed near the opening of the tunnel and was about 5 feet directly below me. Since the bank is very steep there, I thought to myself "I could spit right on her head or I could drop this gum on her". Well, that just seems unbelievable doesn't it? Believe it. I did just that. Go ahead PETA members who are monitoring this blog for cruelty to 30 pound rodents, make whatever hateful comments you want. Not only did I drop my gum on her back, but it stuck in her hair and I thought it was FUNNY! Then, every time she went in one hole and came out 5 feet over with the blue/green gumspot showing it became funnier and funnier. I finished my pear while watching this comedy for several minutes and decided to share the pear core with my giant rat friends. I dropped it near big mamma (that is probably what the family calls her) and she backed into the hog-hole part way but still had her head out. She would twist her head around and look right at me. I guess the amazing thing is that almost nobody who lives and works in this area has EVER seen a groundhog. I have seen scores and scores of them now. If they have become that comfortable around people and are that numerous, it is just a matter of time that you WILL be seeing some--maybe in a backyard near you. When you read the headline in the June 11, 2010 Montgomery Advertiser "Game Biologists Claim Area Overpopulated with Groundhogs", just remember--you heard it here first.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Leaving a Trail

Wednesday was to be a great relaxing day of laundry, study, and recreational reading. It certainly began that way when I went to Hardee's with LaWanna for a biscuit before she had to head downtown for an insurance class. When she left I purchased a newspaper and was happily engrossed when I heard a soft whistle. There were Mark and Lindsay to have a biscuit before work. They came over and visited while having their breakfast. When they left I read a while and headed home to get some laundry started. Once home, I checked my e-mail and had one from my mom which is somewhat unusual. She was informing me that her sister had died Tuesday. The visitation was to be Wednesday and the funeral Thursday, both in Dawson, Georgia. I wasn't really that close to this aunt and, sadly, not really close to most of mom's family. Here is the problem; mom was to leave early Thursday morning with a friend from church in Americus to travel with a tour group for 11 days through much of northern US and into Canada. It would be her first such trip since retiring and I was very happy for her to be going. Suddenly, she had to decide between attending her sister's funeral and going on her trip. Adding to the stress is the fact that the friend who was going is not very independent and leans on mom a lot. It would be very hard for her to go if mom didn't. I called mom to encourage her to go on the trip. I offered to go with her to visitation on Wednesday and to the funeral with my brother on Thursday. She seemed to have already decided to go on the trip but I think her sons honoring her by being there helped. Lots could be said about the whirlwind trip. According to the preacher who conducted the graveside service, Aunt Cortez made Sister Teresa seem selfish and self-centered. Exaggerations aside, she was a sweet lady and raised four good-hearted kids. Much of what was said during the funeral and in private conversations relate to the title and topic of this post. What struck me, however, was a seemingly insignificant event after Keith (my brother) and I arrived back in Americus. I stopped at his house long enough to change from my suit and visit a few minutes. During this time he wanted to show me something. It was in an antique looking cardboard box labeled Snap-On. The tool inside was a "Torque Meter". It is similar to a torque wrench but more like a screwdrive than a wrench with a meter built in. It was engraved in neat cursive NOLAN WISHUM. A man had stopped Keith in a parking lot and said he had something to give him. The meter had obviously been assigned to dad when he worked at the Redman/New Moon mobile home plant in Americus in the 1970's. He would have used it during the time he was a Quality Control Manager and checking the work of people on the assembly line. The plant closed in the 70's and the company was moved to another city. Eventually they closed there and had something like a "factory yard sale". This man we didn't know bought the tool along with other things and later discovered the name engraved on it. He attempted to return the tool to dad but learned he was deceased then tracked Keith down to give the tool to him. That says a lot about the character of this gentleman that he would make that effort to return what is little more than a keepsake. It also says something about dad that someone would make the effort. It occurred to me that it likely said something about dad's character that when he left the company he did not carry with him tools that were assigned to him and for which he had not paid. So I sat there a minute and studied the tool that had been engraved by my dad and used daily by him more that 35 years ago and thought how little intrinsic value it held for me but what great value because it told part of a story of a man being transformed from a sharecropper with a short temper and love of fistfights to a funiture store employee then manager then production worker then manager then T.V. repairman and all the time knowing that these were not his true calling. He was first a Christian husband, father, and elder. The jobs did not define who he was. They simply provided income for living expenses while he went about defining who he was. Not many rich and powerful folks noticed. But a good many simple, hard-working folks did. I am thankful.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


First, allow me to state that I am not the world's biggest NBA fan--nor other pro sports for that matter. We may vent on that later. For now let's just take a look at one NBA player that demonstrates the kind of lifestyle and thought processes I never wanted to instill in my children. Gilbert Arenas has made news a number of times. Sometimes for great play, sometimes for being a bonehead. He is in the news now because he is training at altitude. That is not so unusual. Lots of elite athletes (or those who desire to be) travel to Colorado to train and develop more endurance. What is unusual is that Gilbert is training at altitude in Washington D.C.! That is right, I am not making this up. He has hired a company to "thin" the air in his home so he will have the effect of living at a high altitude. For now, he has a tent in one room but will eventually have the entire house converted. Just what this guy needs--less oxygen to his brain. So how will this affect his skills when he plays on-line poker during half-time of his games? How will it affect his house guests? How will it affect his divinity? (Not his spirituality, the candy that is temperamental to weather)

Monday, October 02, 2006


I have been thinking (insert witty remark here). Whenever superman flies, he always assumes the "superhero flying position"--you know stretched out with arms and hands extended as if diving except with his head held higher than you would to dive. That makes sense and all and if I began thinking I might be able to fly, most likely I would automatically assume that position because Superman always does it that way. But is it really necessary? Could he fly feet first? There might be some advantages to a "luge position" as opposed to the "diver position". When you came in for a landing your feet would already be extended ahead of your body and you could avoid that awkward swoop-hoover-land motion. Of course, female superheroes who insist on wearing skirts and high heels would have to resort to the "diver position" because the "luge position would cause her skirt to fly over her head which would distract her steering as much as that illuminated make-up mirror on the sun visor. The skirt over the head would also distract onlookers. I guess if she had on Superwoman underwear instead of thongs it would be as modest as most superhero costumes. What about other positions? Could Superman sit with crossed legs like the "thinker" and rest his chin on his hand and still fly just as fast? Why not? Is wind resistance a factor for superheroes? I really don't know. You know those times he flew around the Earth counter the natural rotation so many times and so fast that he caused the Earth to stop and spin backwards so he could go back in time to save somebody? Couldn't he save some trips (and therefore time) if he flew around in a standing (waiting in the car tag line) position? I am really curious about this. If you have a degree in physics or have read lots of comic books or ever stayed in a Holiday Inn Express please shed some light on this subject.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Yesterday I read in the Wetumpka Herald about a Christian poetry contest. $1000 top prize, deadline 9/30--so I decided to enter. This morning this is what I wrote and submitted. I do not know if the contest is for real or a set-up to sell me a book of poetry but the exercise was fun anyway. I enjoy poetry (some types) and may start writing more.


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

War Eagle! Roll Tide!

Yes that is an odd title for a post by a long-time Georgia Bulldog fan. But I want you to imagine a toddler shouting the battle cry for their parent's favorite football team. For most of us it is not difficult to imagine because we have seen it over and over. Please hear me clearly at this point......I am not condemning fanatical support of a football team nor passing that fanatism on to your children. BUT let's be fair enough to admit that this is exactly what we do. We teach our passions to our children and train them to adopt those as their own passions. It happens every day. Ford vs. Chevy, Auburn vs. Alabama, Republican vs. Democrat, Domestic vs. Import, Union vs. Management, and it extends often to foods, clothing styles, haircuts, and every facet of life. Usually, it doesn't matter much. You can cheer for any team, drive any brand, and vote for any party and still be a good person. Here is the problem; sometimes it does matter. It is easier if we look at the children of the Middle East and what their parents are teaching them. You probably have seen video of cute little girls with an innocent grin saying "I would like to kill George Bush. I would hold a gun to his head and pull the trigger." Obviously, these are not the thoughts nor words of a child any more than a toddler yelling Warrr Eagle. But the thoughts are already planted in the minds of these children that Western countries and those who call themselves Christians and Jews are the enemy of Allah and therefore should be destroyed at any cost. Dear Christian reader, allow me to be succinct; Islamist hate you because you are a Christian, not because you live in the USA. They want to kill you in the name of their religion. If you wish to be tolerant of all belief systems you are saying you intend to allow Islam to become THE religion of the world and anyone rejecting it will be killed brutally. The only reason that is not the condition of the world we live in today is that enough people refuse to allow politically correct tolerance to overide reason. The numerical balance may be shifting, however. The American people are so easily fooled that many today believe on the one hand that President Bush is dysfuntional and on the other hand that he somehow had his people to blow up the World Trade Center buildings and make it look like Middle Eastern terrorists did it. Many think it is absolutely reasonable to prevent any teaching or even mention of God in our schools. Many insist on teaching atheistic evolution to our children. Many believe we should focus first on our children's self-esteem to the point we don't correct mean or lazy behavior. The wise man Soloman said "The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom". We need to believe it, teach it to our kids, and not be afraid to stand up and say it to non-believers. Why are we afraid of hurting the feelings of someone who hates God and is going to be punished by God unless they change their thinking? Why would we allow the followers of a false prophet to display more faith and courage than the followers of the one true God and His Son who died so we can be forgiven? I do not care if the next president is Republican or Democrat. I don't care what team he cheers for nor where he received his (or her) education. I don't care too much what he thinks about taxes and immigration. I care most about whether he prays to the God of Abraham, David, and Roxy.

Forrest Gump Day

The last couple of days have been much cooler and yesterday morning (at 54 degrees) felt great. These are Forrest Gump days for me because after many weeks of near 100 degree days the coolness feels so great that you could just start walking and keep going on and on. You know, like Forrest--"One dayee eyeuh staarutted ruunin an eyeuh jus keyupt own ruunin". When he reached the ocean, he turned around and ran back, for no particular reason. That is why I want to keep walking--for no particular reason.

Monday, September 18, 2006

On the Road Again

Yesterday, Sunday, 9/17 Montgomery happily welcomed entertainment icon Willie Nelson at our lovely new amphitheater. He performed along with Ray Price and a rising local guitar player as well as others. The concert was tempting to me because 1) although I don't approve his outlaw ways, Willie is an original. He has truly blazed his own trail. 2) the tickets were reasonable 3) the amphitheater is a nice venue (up to a certain capacity). It was not difficult to pass, however, when I learned the concert was on Sunday and would require missing our small group Bible study. Call me square or legalistic but the choice was not that difficult. This morning I spoke to a lady who attended and she raved about how great it was (even though Willie's bus rolled in about 4 hours after the concert started). She said he played and sang nearly 1 1/2 hours.
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.

Will Ford marry General Motors?

The news today is that Ford and General Motors are discussing the possibility of some type of merger. You may recall that a few months ago GM was considering the possibility of merging with Renault of France and Nissan. That may actually make some sense. But Ford and GM? Would they make Ford-o-lets? Chords? It would be a General Mess. Both companies are drowning in overpaid blue-collar and white-collar employees. The unions have fought for and won significant concessions in additional benefits, especially health care. There is no way these companies can pay for lifetime benefits for that many employees and produce cars at a price we are willing to pay. In ten years will Ford and General Motors be subsidiaries of Toyota, Honda, and Nissan? Other companies will follow. Those who ignore foreign competition and the effects of an aging baby boom generation are doomed to fail. Twenty-five years ago Ford and Chevy loyalists would have fought you for just suggesting such a merger. Fifty years ago "Made in Japan" meant cheap, useless, tin toys. Now it means the highest quality automobiles and electronics. Probably in less than 25 years China will have passed us in quality and price--and there are lots of folks in China. Can we assume that USA will continue to be the economic leader of the world? What would it look like if several of our major employers were put out of business by foreign competition? What will the stock market and housing prices do when baby boomers are required to withdraw money from 401k accounts (read mutual funds)? Many of us have seen the economy, property values, stock prices, and net worth only go up all our lives, with the exception of short-term drops. How long could we endure steady declines? How would our values and priorities change?

Friday, September 15, 2006

As a Man Thinketh

I just finished reading an outstanding little book by James Allen titled "As a Man Thinketh". James Allen lived in England and died in 1912 at the age of 48. He had been writing for 9 years. One interesting habit of his was to rise before dawn and walk into the hills near his home to meditate and commune with God. This particular book was his second. It is written in a very concise style without any fluff or filler. I found it to be powerful. Here is an excerpt to whet your appetite;

"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

Kenny Rodgers

Much has been said about Kenny Rodgers' new look. Rick and Bubba had a field day. I personally feel sorry for Kenny. Sure, he is still a gazillionaire and owns all of Georgia outside the Atlanta city limits but his life must have changed a lot since he has been "tightened and trimmed". Do you think he misses hearing people comment "You know, you look a lot like Roxy Wishum." Of course he does. As if that were not enough, they actually took his picture off the website . Yes there is such a website and Kenny now doesn't look enough like Kenny Rodgers to be included.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


This post, like most, is an attempt to sort some thought and focus my own thoughts more than to convince or educate others. While some of these will, no doubt, sound "preachy", my intent is to think out loud (so to speak) and attain some amount of clarity. That is especially needed now because I have been shifting between 3 new books that I want to read all at once. At the same time I am involved in three Bible studies involving Revelation, Psalms, and Islam. O.K., maybe Islam is not exactly a Bible study but rather a look at Islam and the Q'uran through the Truth as presented in the Bible. Yeah, that is three Bible studies. My problem is that I am a drifter. No I don't mean wandering from town to town holding up a sign asking for help. It is more like what everybody now calls ADD. When I read books like "Rumours of Another World" I read a little and sit and think a lot. That means two things; 1) it takes me a long time to finish a (good, thoughtful) book and 2) my mind develops "side trail thoughts" that need to be explored further but I feel that I must press on.

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

Alone Time

"Every man owes it to himself (and his friends) to get away entirely alone to an isolated shack every so often, if only to discover what bad company he is."

Robert Benchley

Monday, September 04, 2006


This just in...Steve Irwin, better known at the Crocodile Hunter was killed today off the coast of Australia. This blog is not where most of you will hear this news since the English-speaking population does not yet rush to my blog daily to see what witty, insightful thoughts have been posted. So by the time you read this you will have processed the news of his death and the odd cause of death, stingray stab to the heart. Steve was 44 and left an 8 year old daughter and 3 year old son in addition to his wife. You can read that and much more in any newspaper over the next couple of days. The larger questions for me are not about the survivors but rather about his choices. How do you feel about choosing to engage in dangerous activity with enthusiasm. Most folks enjoyed watching him act like an excited kid when spotting a fat rattlesnake--"Crikey, look at the size of that thing! What a beaut!" In fact, it is fun to be around someone who is genuinely excited much of the time regardless of the source of excitement. Some will debate in coming days whether we should take risks such as he often did when they can be avoided. You know people who take lots of risks and are always hurt or causing hurt. But you likely know some folks who are so afraid of any risk that they live in a cocoon all their life. Some people don't die until their 70's or 80's but it could be debated whether they ever really lived. How do YOU decide to balance an aversion for injury and early death with the desire to experience life. One current song says "feel the rain on your skin, no one can feel it for you". I am inclined to want to live this life for many years, but not to avoid life in order to just "clock in" year after year.
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

Prerogative, Part 2

Continuing the thoughts about changing our mind, I am reminded of the story of Joshua. Not the first one that comes to mind concerning the strange tactics leading to the collapse of the walls of Jericho, but the events that occurred just prior to that.

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

Pushing the Envelope

My good friend, David Savage, was part of an interesting group of men who gathered for lunch on Wednesdays at the Eastdale Mall food court for several years. It was a group that began as an early morning study/prayer group then became a midday prayer group and eventually a "lunch and share a small part of your week with brothers" social time. I miss all the guys who were part of that group but at least I see most of them occasionally at church. David, however, moved to North Carolina with his beautiful, tall wife to work at an actual job. While he was here, he mostly made fun of our jobs. He was particularly fond of saying about me (because I work at the Post Office) "that Roxy, every day he goes to work and pushes the envelope". I liked it even after it was old.
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

Woman's Prerogative

You have heard it most of your life. "It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind". I agree. Unless you apply the definition or "exclusive right" to mean others can't change their mind. It is also a man's prerogative. I have already changed mind today (and it's early). Initially, I spelled prerogative "perogative" but decided to look it up. Eventually, the decision was made to go with the dictionary spelling rather than what "looked right". The most interesting job interview I ever had involved a panel of three folks asking a series of questions that examined the process skills of the applicants rather than content knowledge. For example, two of the questions were "Can you describe a time that you were correct and had to convince someone to accept your perspective?" and "Can you describe a time when you were wrong and someone had to convince you to accept their perspective?" The outcome of the interview was positive in several ways. I did get the promotion. More importantly, a question was planted in my mind that pops up more and more frequently. Whenever there is a disagreement, regardless of the subject, I try to default to this thought process. Am I on the side of truth? Do I need to see this issue from a different perspective? If I am finally convinced that my understanding is correct, is the issue worth persuading the other person? If so, how can that best be done?
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

Biker Etiquette

I feel obliged to inform the caged commuters (that would be anybody enclosed in a metal box and strapped, by law, in an upright position--unless you are riding on 21' rims, then you are allowed to recline while driving) concerning rules of the road for the enlightened ones who are able to move about freely. This post will not attempt to recruit bikers by explaining the sense of freedom and the heightened senses but rather attempt to educate caged riders about what is happening around them. The one point of biker etiquette to be covered today is the "biker greeting". No doubt, you have witnessed this. If you are following a motorcycle at a safe distance (you are in the minority--we can stop very quickly--you can't) you will notice that as another bike approaches from the opposite direction that usually each rider will lower his left hand as if he is pointing just to the left of his foot. First of all, relax. This is not an indication of gang affiliation. Rather it is an indication of international brotherhood. It is a way of saying "Hey, brother, way to go! I, like you, decided to brave riding the roads with the brain dead caged, strapped, telecommuters (it seems everybody in a car is talking on a cell phone). Good to see you survived another day. Hang in there. Watch those insectiles." It is similar to calling Rush Limbaugh and saying "mega-dittos" to save saying what everybody else has said many times. Of course, some may be having a slightly different conversation in their heads but you get the idea. Here is what you probably don't notice. There is discrimination among bikers. I am not making this up. It is not as bad as among church folks, but close. You see, there are many types of motorcycles and therefore great variety in riders. Geico insurance demonstrates much wisdom in acknowledging this disparity in their advertisements. Condensed version; bikers can be wildly different but still have one thing in common--great insurance coverage from Geico. Watch for their ads, you will see it. With respect to the many variations, allow me to broadly categorize bikers into two general groups (not including off-roaders since they, well, are not on the road). The two broad groups are; 1) cruisers and 2) sport bikes. Purists will want to diferentiate further (Japanese vs. American, etc.) and there is a place for that. But for now either you are on a bike built for cruising around town and touring several hundred miles or you are on a bike built for screaming between traffic lights and ripping from lane to lane on the open road while laying head first and feet back as if you are poised for the beginning of the 200 meter breast-stroke. Some folks like both types and can communicate with either crowd without making enemies but most riders see it as "us and them". Because of that, you don't see many sport bike riders giving the standard biker salute and most cruisers don't bother waving to sport bike riders. You think I am kidding? Start watching. Rarely will two cruiser/tourer riders meet that they don't give the cool left-hand-down wave but the same warm greeting is not often extended to sport bike riders.

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.


in-sek'-tiles-noun--any of numerous small invertebrate animals that normally vary between mildly annoying and scream inducing in their mundane insect state. Any of these creatures have the ability to morph into projectiles especially around those who regularly ride in the 70 mph range on a motorcycle. An insectile the size of, say, a bumble bee that hits an unsuspecting rider in the cheek at 70 mph has the equivalent force of being shot in the face with 22 caliber rifle. Eye protection must be worn at all times where insects are known to exist (i.e. Earth) because the potential for losing an eye because of an insectile is much greater than the Daisy BB gun your mother always warned you about.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Death By Chocolate

No this post is not about a fabulous dessert nor the restuarant by the same name. It is, in fact, a deadly serious report. The news this morning includes the report of a man who fell into a vat of chocolate at the factory where he is employed and could not get out because the chocolate had the "consistency of quicksand". I am not making this up! Co-workers apparently could not extricate him from the chocolate quicksand. His only hope was for them to add cocoa butter to the mix to alter the consistency and THEN pull him out. I swear, I am not making this up! I wonder how much time would pass while extra ingredients were added and the consistency changed enough to allow for rescue? I wonder if he was treading chocolate all this time? I wonder if they thought to turn down the heat on that burner? I wonder how long all this took? I wonder if that chocolate will still make it to a candy bar somewhere? I wonder at what point someone called his wife? "Mrs. Johnson, I am afraid there has been an accident down at the chocolate factory".

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

JonBenet Ramsey

This just in; CNN is just now reporting that a suspect has been arrested in Thailand for the murder of JonBenet Ramsey 10 years ago. This is amazing news for many reasons and now I have lots of questions. However, most of what will be said today will be speculation and guesswork by reporters. No doubt many questions will be answered over the next 24 hours. Maybe there is hope that O.J. will find Nicole's killer.

This world is no place for a permanent home.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Muffin Tops

One of the aggravating things I remember from junior high and high school was the habit of some guys to come up behind you and pull your shirt tail out of your pants. Most guys didn't want to seem vain and go to the men's room to unbuckle and tuck properly, but just cramming your shirt back in looked--well, just crammed in. Yes, I was in high school at the end of the hippie era and ALL kinds of clothing styles were abundant including the dirty, worn jeans that are a distant cousin to the bleached jeans worn today. However, lots of teenagers dressed with some sense of fashion and style. Granted, the girl's skirts were generally way too short and the guy's hair was generally way too long. Also most of the teens I knew had one goal in common. Boys and girls (with some exception) mostly tried to keep their mid-section covered. Not only the folks who were larger than optimal size but also smaller folks felt embarrassed to show their belly in street clothes. Before you get upset, I already conceded that skirts were WAY short and yes, we swam together in suits that were sometimes smaller than what is worn today. And sometimes guys would wear cut off sweatshirts to play sports if the six-pack abs were above average.
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

Degree in Aggressive Driving

Would someone check the Alabama State University catalogue for me? I have not actually seen this, but have concluded from daily observations that ASU apparently is offering a B.S. degree in "aggressive driving". There is no doubt that aggressive driving is taking place on the streets and highways of Montgomery and surrounding areas and that it is becoming more prevalent. For a time I could not think of a reason for the noticeable increase. Then it became more and more obvious how many of those SUV's that were tailgating less than one car length behind some idiot that is only driving 20 mph over the speed limit in order to "persuade" them to increase to 30 mph over the limit or get off the road more often than not are sporting an Alabama State University black and gold car tag. I would never stoop so low as to suggest that there might be a racial or social factor contributing to this dangerous and irritating driving style so the only reasonable explanation is that there are courses offered at ASU that are responsible for the various manifestations of road rage. I can only guess that the "lady" in the red BMW who followed five feet behind my motorcycle on the E. Bypass in the right lane until we were on I-85 where she could screech accross 3 lanes and scream out her window so violently that she was spitting on herself, probably was the Valedictorian. By the way, "lady", if you are reading this I couldn't hear your words over my bike and the other traffic that was also traveling at 75-80 mph but I suppose you were thanking me for helping you pace yourself to keep it under 80 until you hit the interstate. You are welcome. Give peace a chance.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Susan Butcher died yesterday. No, she was not a relative or close friend. In fact, I never met her. But I do know a few things about her. She was the second female to win the 1,100 mile Iditarod dog-sled race in 1986 and won it 4 years in a row. She finished in the top four the next three years. She also was part of the first team in 1979 to drive a sled-dog team to the 20,320 foot summit of Mt. McKinley. Now those last few sentences included several numbers. You likely read past them quickly. I invite you to sit still a minute and think about 1,100 miles of truly rugged wilderness from Anchorage to Nome and how far that is. And when we speak of the height of mountains, I suspect that most folks would hardly notice whether the number was 2000 feet or 20,000 feet. Mt. McKinley is the tallest mountain in North America and I have seen in from a small plane on a flight-seeing tour. There is no town nearby, no place to get off the glacier and warm for a while. It is rugged beyond what most of us can imagine. When you pause, the numbers become more significant. Here is the one that struck me with the greatest impact; she was 51. Again, if you have never been there it probably seems remote and a great distance from where you are now. I am 52. From here 51 seems very young.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Butterflies and Snail Darters

I've been thinking........(insert witty retort here)......about butterflies and snail darters. That is a good sign, really--it is. It happens while running. When I started running (the most recent start) the chore seemed almost impossible. I had to focus on footfall, breathing, "is that thunder or my heart pounding", and countless fundamental elements required keep my hulking self in motion. After pushing myself to do that for many, many miles now, it was somewhat discouraging when I could not see improvement in speed nor strength. As I ran today and my mind wandered the thought finally occurred what was happening. My mind was wandering. This is one of the two great benefits of running in my opinion.

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.