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.