Monday, December 31, 2007

Dillos New Year Resolutions

For as long as I remember, I have taken time on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day to meditate on the past year. Generally, I have journalled the highlights in red in my diary. Following this, I make a new list of my goals and desires for the following year. Unfortunately, I can not find either the journal or the entry from last year. It may be that, in the newness and brokenness that marked New Year’s 2007, I just failed to take the time to write things down.

One resolution I have made and consistently kept, is Do not run naked down the street wearing antlers on my head. This is a reasonable resolution at any time and any place. However, living in the high desert, it becomes an especially good resolution if you wish to keep from ending up strapped to the hood of somebody’s car.

If you will allow me, I will take time this New Years Eve to journal some of my goals and desires for 2008 online. I will refrain from publicly listing the highlights of my year.

From Phillipians:
To greater understand what it means to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God.”

To go back to the practice of memorizing scripture. Perhaps memorize Chapters 1 and 2 of Ephesians (or the whole book?)

To begin reading through a book of the Bible with Hailey-perhaps John or Daniel. Furthermore, to begin to teach her key precepts regarding the character of God.

To monitor my life in regards to stress vs. rest. Take the necessary time for rest, relaxation and meditation. Try to avoid HALT situations (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired).


Solvang Century: March

Finish STP!!!

Summer vacation to Yellowstone???

Other miscellaneous goals: Get out of debt, close the door on the marriage.
Be more disciplined regarding housekeeping issues.
Buy a television-for the hardware, not for the television shows.
Buy a new bicycle.
Buy a trainer.

I think that’s it for now. I’ll add to the list as things occur to me.

Altars, Friends and Furniture

There are long stretches of life where we walk alone, with merely our own thoughts for company. Ultimately, we encounter forks in the road where we make the decision on which way to go; the village pub, or the lonelier road into the highlands. Sometimes, providence will cause the roads of others to intersect with our own. If we are fortunate, it is at these intersections that both travelers will choose to walk together for a while. Along the old roads when such encounters proved unique, life changing and affirming, many an old testament saint established an altar.

I have had the opportunity through much of life, through God’s grace and through decisions I’ve made to experience rich friendships along this road. The last two plus years have at times felt roller-coaster tough. The up-hills are steep; the down-hills are scary and leave me short of breath. Through it all, I remain convinced that I could not have done it without a rich community of friendships.

Many of these encounters are altars where I can look back and see the love of these friends and the faithfulness of a Loving Father. There’s the dresser that a friend brought over; “I found it along side of the road and I thought you might need one.” The new set of pots and pans, the dream Third Day tickets, the yearly trek to Portland which inspired this blog, the call from Portland telling me I was missing the Buy a book and get a kiss weekend at Powell’s. The calls and emails to persevere, hold out my heart, and be faithful. The Moorpark barbeques and Simi dinners. The camera. Though many of these are things, they represent the rich care of friends that have made what could have been a dark and lonely road into a rich, hopeful and blessed journey.

May God greatly bless, enrich and prosper all of those fellow travelers who continue to share their friendship and hearts with me along this road we travel.

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Movie Not to See-Home of the Brave

Gag. I just rented Home of the Brave from Superstar Video, down the street from me. Here's the thing, and the reason for this post. I love movies. In my high school and college years, I made it a point to go see every film that won an Academy award. I've only walked out on one film at the theater; Ghost-due to its spiritual message. But I just now clicked the little square on my computer to STOP viewing this movie. It is terrible. It's kind of an anti-war (anti-acting, anti-good writing) flick. Which would be fine if it was Deer Hunter or Apocolypse Now (The horror, the horror). But this movie just sucked. I could have written a better screenplay. Heck, I could have acted better than the entire cast.

So, if you are in the video store and trying to decide which movie to rent; do not bother picking up this video. You'd be better off renting Plan 9 from Outer Space, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes or almost anything else. Just run from this one.

Monday, December 17, 2007


You have to understand how very much I hate work parties. They make me exceedingly uncomfortable and I feel like I’m stepping way out of my comfort zone. So when this girl at work told me she was getting a whole new outfit for the Christmas party…..I hadn’t even given any thought to what to wear. But because I wanted to be as comfortable in the uncomfortable situation as possible, I started thinking about my outfit.

Dress clothes I have plenty of. Nice pants, different style sweaters (most of which pass the Hailey-“You look like a dork”-test), a couple nice shirts. But my shoes; gads, I have no comfortable dress shoes. So I went down to the local stores to look at black dress shoes. The ones that I really liked (that passed the DORK test) were 75 bucks. Great. So, now, I have to buy a 75 dollar pair of shoes for this party that I’m not even thrilled about attending.

Here it is the day of the party. I haven’t gone out to get my shoes yet. I haven’t had much time to make it to the store. Additionally, the thought of spending $75.00 right now when I don’t have it makes me queasy.

I’ll just wear my boots. I slide one foot into a boot. Other foot into a boot. Immediately, I feel centered. Grounded, as if I’d lost my balance and now it’s back again. Why, I think, was I going to buy shoes that I don’t like to impress people I don’t know with money I don’t have?

Amazing thing-correct perspective regained. Putting on the boots secured me again in being comfortable in my own skin. These particular boots I’ve had for about 25 years. They’re old friends. They’re comfortable, familiar, well-worn yet in great shape. It’s the whole boot mystique. Putting em on and I feel ready for action. Ready to burst through those two swinging doors into the saloon. Ready to fight, yet comfortable leaning against a fencepost. And walk…..maybe with a slight swagger.

In hind sight, there are those times when I resort to my false self and lie to myself, or convince myself that I must act in a certain way, dress a certain way; be a certain way to impress others. It’s all about being comfortable in your own skin (or that of a skinned animal). “Let people feel the weight of who you are and let them deal with it.”

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Enjoying the Outdoors-Snow in the High Desert

It is always best to fully enjoy the outdoors in all of its raw beauty! That's what they invented RV's and windows for, don't you know!

One of the things that I really do like about living in the high desert is that we get our share of seasons, sweet sunsets, and
intense weather (That's 3 things; isn't it?). We've actually had two rainstorms in the last week; and today's storm brought us some (a wee bit) snow! So Hailey and I cruised up to the national park to get a bird's eye view.

Hailey took this picture of a snowy Joshua Tree!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

On Being Jewish

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
"A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."

“ The hatred for Judaism is at bottom a hatred for Christianity, and it is not surprising that in the German National Socialist revolution this close connection of the two monotheistic religions finds such clear expression in the hostile treatment of both.” Sigmund Freud

“They come over every night looking for a good deal. You know how cheap those Jews are." So said my employee. I let her go on for about a minute before saying, “We like to think of it as being economical, not cheap.” Pause to watch realization sink in; right before serious back-pedaling.

Oddly enough, this incident came (I kid you not) the day after Hailey had a homework assignment on a woman who hid some Jews in her house in Amsterdam during the Holocaust. Startlingly, 80% of the Jews living in the Netherlands were exterminated.

Maybe because my father is Jewish, or because I long for justice; maybe it’s the result of having a mother who fled Latvia to avoid consequences of an occupation---but these incidents really frost me. I remember experiencing a seething anger at some white supremacist teenage types, as identified by their tattoos and lack-of-hair style, who came into the store when I worked in Thousand Oaks.

Don’t really know where I’m going with this except to say that its important for us to always speak up in the face of injustice and prejudice. Speaking up may prevent further occurrences happening again. Failure to speak up is to give hearty approval; to lay another stone on the path to greater evil.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Redefining My Life

I feel successful or I've felt a favorable result when:
I finish something well.
I change something for the better.
I do the honourable thing.
I help.
I execute something with excellence.
I bring comfort.
I bring encouragement.
I improve at something.

Or more specifically:
I help someone get what they need.
I empty all the trash in my house.
I play a musical piece with passion and excellence.
I am part of a link in the chain of comfort to someone.
I communicate well, to the point of comfort.
I am self-sufficient.

For years I've felt successful when
these things happen:
these things are present:

You’ve gotta love a woman with a resume that reads, “….writing books,speaking, putting on her Coming Up For Air Anti-Conference, producing artists, offering life and artist intensives, making dining room tables…” The above quote is from her book, “Coming Up for Air-Simple Acts to Redefine Your Life.” In the book, Margaret Becker feels life crowding in on her and decides to take four weeks off. She actually goes to a beach house and just spends the time reflecting.

Hearing her music and reading her stuff, I gather that Maggie B. is somebody that wants her life to count. Somebody with unique talent and wiring that has wrestled with her place in the world. Flowing from her personal journey and honed in those four weeks of solace and soul searching she creates a personal vision statement which she is actually fleshing out on a day to day basis. I think that is important. The Old Testament wisdom literature tells us to “number our days that we might present to (God) a heart of wisdom.”

It’s up to me to know how best to utilize my gifts and talents in ways that better mankind and glorify God. So what am I good at? I feel successful when I can point to a finished project that I did. Something tangible like a blog post. I feel successful when I cogently present a point. I’m a good small group leader. I feel successful when a point I made or a book I gave someone impacts their life.

I can go on and on; what stirs my heart and rocks my world? I am significantly aware of the needs in the world…..and desire to somehow make a difference there. That’s why I sponsor a World Vision kid. That’s why I’m connected to a number of missionaries throughout the world serving in different capacities. You get the idea.

I need to create my own vision statement. Who do I want to invest in? What do I want to invest in? It seems like a good exercise for anybody. Of course, the hope is that I’ll flesh it out.

What do you think? Anyone out there interested in pursuing this with me? Seems like a good resolution for 2008…..but I’m starting now.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Quote of the Month-Blue Like Jazz

"We would eat chocolates and smoke cigarettes and read the Bible, which is the only way to do it, if you ask me. Don, the Bible is so good with chocolate. I always thought the Bible was more of a salad thing, you know, but it isn't. It's a chocolate thing."

Friday, October 26, 2007

Dillo’s World Gets Rocked: In Which Dillo Faces a Severe Personal Battle and God Gets An Earful

"Everytime you take a sip in this smoky atmosphere,
You press that bottle to your lip and I wish I was your beer,
and in the small there of your back ,
your jeans are playing peek-a- boo,
Id like to see the other half of your butterfly tattoo..."

"Surrender don't come natural to me, I'd rather fight You for something I don't really want then to take what You give that I need and I've beat my head against so many walls

Silver, full, doe eyes. Butt length brown hair. A love for black coffee, red wine, pink steak and black humour. 127 lbs. Single-sort of. Like I’m single-sort of.

I had no idea that such a simple encounter could evoke such incredible depth of longing and significant pain. Pain and anxiety, really. I don’t know how to explain this except by drawing other pictures. The kind of anxiety and hole-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach feeling that I’ve faced before in the face of; or fear of, significant loss.

So God allows (places?) this gorgeous woman at my work place. So, not only is she working with me; but the current work situation allows for a couple afternoons with nothing to do but talk. And the more we talk this little voice in my head is saying….Just kill me now. Got to have this woman!

But there are some major issues. She is not a Christian. She has children (5). She’s not quite divorced. She’s much younger. And, at the logical level, I can see that she is not dealing with all of her pain and personal issues in healthy and holistic ways. When you’ve spent two years dealing with your own issues; and considerable time in groups settings with people; helping them deal with their issues….you’ve seen plenty of what not to do.

But emotion is not a logical animal. So I’ve spent a good portion of the week wrestling with my own heart. Screaming at God. Talking to God. Talking to myself. Taking deep breaths. Thinking about calling friends….but knowing that this battle was to fierce, to personal, to internal, to difficult to explain.

It’s not over yet. I’ve still got some wrestling to do. I work with her one more day before moving onto my new store. Overall, I’m not sure why God allowed this encounter. I can think of some possibilities. Doesn’t really matter, I guess. The one thing it does point out to me is that when I pray re my singleness…..Let’s just say that there is one level where I’ll be content to remain single if that is the Master plan. But, obviously, now I know, there are some desires for relationship that run much deeper than I’d realized. Much, much deeper.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sydney Makes An Appearance

Sydney, Roscoe and Veronica have been with me since high school. He's a superhero. His mansion is fronted by a convenience store which is where he goes to get urgent messages from the town's mayor. The 80's type video game emits screeches, whistles and clanging noises in rapid succession which indicate that the Mayor is on the video screen. The series was originally titled, "Sydney of Australia." Far as I remember, Sydney has been single. At least that's the way he appears from the outside. He may have had some ongoing relationships that I'm not currently aware of. Mostly, he lives in my head. I'm not certain exactly where Veronica and Roscoe live.
He reached for the shot glass. Remembered the last time he risked it for a woman. Granted, it was Veronica, which made for unique circumstances. Still, it had nearly cost all of them their lives………

Veronica walked into The Spotted Cow, her leopard skin dress calling attention to all of her assets. There the man sat, as promised. The seat across the table obviously only for her.
“What are you wearing tonight?”
“It’s called Evening Jasmine,” she said.
“Ah, the flowers that bloom in the daytime have their own unique features, but that which blooms at night is sweet beyond comparison.”
That was the last thing she remembered from that night.

The Doctor placed a poker chip on the table. “Sydney, I’ll raise you one. I have Veronica….and the price for her return is significantly steep.”

And that’s how the last adventure had begun. Now he sat at his bar, wondering if he was too old for this super-hero business. Refilled the glass. Perhaps it was time to settle down. Last night really had him spinning. Her silver eyes, the long auburn hair. It had been a great evening. They’d shared some good food and some great laughs. Finished the night on her doorstep.
To be continued…..maybe……

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Building Things

It looked perfect in the store. Now I’ve got it home and fully realized that there a million pieces of this thing that I have to put together. First step; get out the instructions. I know I’m unique in this, but I don’t think I’m capable enough to do it sans pictures and information. Layout stuff on floor. Follow step one, step two…..Take a break to stretch the knees and back. Pop an Ibuprofen. More steps. Small frustrations. Done. Granted, the door needs to be adjusted---but still, it’s a thing of beauty, don’tcha think? (But what do I do with all of these extra parts?)

Towards the middle of the project, and especially once I finished putting it together…..This little voice in me sang; no, yelled, “I am a man.” You’ve felt it, right? After finishing a building project, or riding the bike, coaching the kids, killing the bug in the bathroom….I am a man! Its hard-wired into us.
I’ve been thinking some on this topic through leadership issues at work, challenges at home, and teaching I’m doing at church. Most authors that deal with the issue of manhood seem to agree on this one key principle: A man embraces challenge. Alan Medinger says that ‘we grow into the fullness of our manhood by doing the things that men do.’ John Eldredge writes, “ We need to know who we are and if we have what it takes.” Putting together furniture is part of that. But a small part. Dealing face on with relational issues in my life; when I really want to cut-and-run, that’s part of it. Being honest about my weaknesses—and my strengths---that’s part of it. And I’m finding that as I do these things---deal openly and honestly with my wife in the divorce process, admit my struggles with pornography and relationships, admit my intensity, quirkiness and unique personality style---a voice inside of me proudly says, “I am a man.”

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Different

I came across this fun tidbit while procrast-, I mean, blogging this afternoon.

Who Is John Galt?

Today, October 10, 2007, is the 50th anniversary of the publication of the novel Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I've read the book twice. The book was recommended to me during my college days by my girlfriend's mom. For the next week or two I spent all my waking hours reading the book and few waking hours with her daughter. I read it again a few years ago; and again put life on hold as I ravenously read through all 1,084 pages. Of all the books that I've read in my life, Atlas Shrugged is one of the most gripping, well-written, thought provoking, memorable books to grace my library. John Piper has a well-balanced review and perspective on the book here.

Monday, October 08, 2007

An Anchor for the Soul

In the arms of Your mercy I find rest ‘Cause You know just how far the east is from the west,
From one scarred hand to the other….
Casting Crowns

As I tried to synthesize the key events of this week for this post, what I realized was that many of them were events that either, significantly stretched me; or were so outside of my control that there was nowhere to go but God. In each case, I found the strength to persevere through prayer, and the occasional singing of worship music.

At work there are the new management opportunities. Dealing with the manager at the training store. I work in a kosher environment; and this manager has told me and her staff that we are not to eat while on the premises. The other day she was behind the counter eating some shrimp. “You may as well have dragged a pig back here,” I advised her. She takes long lunches, long breaks, and leaves early. Than she complains about how her staff doesn’t want to work. It’s frustrating for me; more frustrating for her usual employees. So I pray for strength, wisdom, and patience in abundance.

Friends of mine are missionaries in Asia. Their latest two newsletters report that seven of their co-workers have been expelled from the country. Additionally, many of the local believers are under house arrest and others are being threatened by police who say that what the foreigners are experiencing is nothing compared with what they have in store for them. Where else does one go except to Him who:
Changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings,
He gives wisdom to wise men,
And knowledge to men of understanding.”

This weekend was Hailey’s 11th birthday. A good time, a great celebration. But all of Hailey’s mom’s family were there. And then her pastor stopped by. A thousand things I wanted to say; but didn’t. Prayer, the lyrics from Casting Crown songs, and more prayer kept my soul at peace.

Finally, there are my own personal demons. Besides the normal everyday battles, events have transpired this week that brought together strong feelings having to do with the divorce, loneliness, and the desire for female companionship. And sometimes, even though I am blessed with a rich circle of friendships, the depth of feeling and complexity of issues necessitate crying out to God.

“No one can possibly move forward in the strength of the Lord until he has stood still in the midst of his own helplessness.”

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Five Important Things I've Taught My Daughter-and Other Jazz

1) Doesn’t take a Weather Man to know which way the wind blows: The black rain clouds with streaks means it’s raining “over there.”

2) How to ride a bike. Bicycling magazine had a great training article on this and I taught Hailey to ride a bike, confidently, in only 15 minutes. Then, I taught her friend successfully. Now its something that Hailey loves to do. Her bike lives up here with me. We ride together whenever we get the chance. Hopefully it will be something that will continue to be as much a passion for her as it is for me.

3) Music appreciation. Whenever Hailey’s over, I have music playing. And most other times too. My first purchase after moving into this place was a stereo. I think my 2nd was a stereo cabinet. I’m fairly eclectic in my musical tastes; so she’s been exposed to everything and everyone from Johnny Cash, to Carmina Burana, Elvis Costello to, Elvis. And lots of Third Day, of course.

While my sister and I were kids, my mom always had a record going; opera, Harry Belafonte, all kinds of Broadway musicals, and a significant range of classical. How else would I come to love Carmina Burana? Now that my sis and I are adults, we are both very eclectic---and music plays a huge part in both of our lives. My hope is that by exposing Hailey to it now, she’ll grow in appreciation of it.

4) John Lee Hooker and jazz. “Listen; hear how that riff sounds a lot like CCR? Who do you think influenced them? (just guessing here)” I’m fightin a battle on this front. Hailey’s mom always says, “I don’t like jazz.” Don’t like jazz? May as well say you don’t like breathing air. So I am constantly pointing out to Hailey that there are a thousand jazz styles. And that its influence is gigantic.

Driving in the car one time, I exposed her to John Lee Hooker. Some of his lyrics, coupled with the music, are fairly base. But I kind of figure that if Hailey knows that I’m hot for Katie Fehlinger (“Katie Flinger”) ---and not because of her weather expertise----than she can probably handle her dad singing along with John Lee.

5) The best country songs are drinking songs. There’s no contesting it. Songs like, “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” “Its 5 O’clock Somewhere,” and “Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo” are the best sing along songs.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

She Does Dishes, Holds My Hand, And Brings Me My Coffee

"I want an Oompa Loompa, and I want it now!" Any kind of maid, or servant, or something to help out with the chores would be great. And what if she made you coffee too? I mean, heck, I figure I spend roughly 18 hours a year making coffee at home. And I spend too much time doing the dishes. I hate doing the dishes. I hate washing them. I hate putting them away.

But what if there were something, someone, who could do your dishes, brew your coffee, bring it to you in your home office.......Add to that some hand holding when you need it; plus artificial intelligence.....Deep discussions over a cup-a-joe....Though it borders on the Twilight Zonish, I'm running out to the store to buy me one of these......

h/t Hot Air

A Thousand Dazzling Sunsets

I like to play. Currently though, life seems full of stressors; work, more work, attorney visits, realtor calls, paying bills, washing dishes....And in between that, I'm picking Hailey up from school, dropping Hailey off at school, doing homework with Hailey, hanging out with Hailey.

The other day found me with a strong urge to escape, to go play. Go on a bike ride, go experiment with my new digital camera, go hiking---go hiking with my new digital camera.

I have some friends who are in different seasons of life than I am; and this affords them the opportunity to get away more and play more. And I found myself feeling tied work; and to Hailey.

Then I got to thinking of how much fun I have hanging out with Hailey. The kid makes me laugh; brings a deep joy to my life. And I realized that I'd trade a thousand pictures of dazzling sunsets for all the time I hang out with my daughter.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Remembrance....Rich Mullins

"After hearing yourself night after night, it's hard to imagine that anything you'd have to say would be worth listening to."

"I don't think I really understood poverty at all until I met these kids---the poverty of those who go to bed hungry and the poverty of those who sleep with indifference. Wealth can't be defined in terms of what we have, but only in terms of how free we are to give and take."
I came across this memorial post to Rich Mullins today. Mainly, I say, "Amen." While there are a number of Christian individuals and groups that I listen to and like; there are only a few artists that I think have known the heart of God, re Exodus 33, " Then Moses said, " I pray You, show me Your glory!"

The two that have most influenced me and moved me through their music are Keith Green and Rich Mullins. Oddly enough, they both died early in life; Keith in a plane crash, and Rich in a car crash.

"No wonder we love these moments and want them to linger. But for now they can't, so we must let them go. They are the flicker of some holy flame, a twinkling of an eye wherein the dead come alive again. Remember then, thank the Lord for them, but move on into the next moment and be present in it. It is God's present to you."-Rich Mullins, from his essay, Momentary Pleasures.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tangled Up in Blue-with apologies to Bob

Sunday, Hailey and I spent another day at the ‘Alluvials.’ At this local spa we have the opportunity to soak in (from the spa’s brochure) “Crystal clear water…rich in minerals….drawn from the earth at a steaming 140F then streamed into eight hot mineral pools ranging in temperature from 70F to 140F.”

The ‘Alluvials' have a significant history in our family. We’ve been visiting them since we first came out to the desert. They were the scene of one of our biggest fights (the beginning of the Ben Franklin House battles), there we learned of our favorite BBQ place, and throughout we’ve always encountered all types of interesting folks. Sunday’s adventure did not disappoint.

Unfortunately, the main thing that we learned on Sunday was that there are a lot of good reasons for folks to wear clothes. A lot of folks should just stay covered up. Period. Or wear one-pieces; or T-Shirts, or something large that doesn’t reveal secrets that should remain hidden.

Then there’s the crowd that doesn’t cover up because they want to show off their body art. Yes, I’m talkin tattoos. This time around we saw a co-ed with what Hailey and I originally thought was a design on her stomach done by Etch-A-Sketch. Hailey did a walk-by while the girl was dozing and discovered that it was a butterfly surrounded by a bunch of flowers. Then there was a young man with his name printed in flowing script; Antonio, above a full-back-sized picture of the Virgin Mary; and below that, his Mexican Surname. In case someone somehow missed that, on his front side, above his nipples, again in flowing script, read, “Tony.”

The last time we visited, we were treated to a spectacular show of tats also. Some local guys were having a party, and the pool was full of muscular young men sporting tattoos that read, “The City Named After A Desert Tree” or that bore the initials of same. Some of the guys had seriously gorgeous art on them; for example, full-colored portraits of family: wife, daughter and sons- on each forearm.

No restaurant tips from locals this time, no birthday parties from the locals, no fights, no major excitement. Just a good time swimming, relaxing and hanging out-which takes on quite a different meaning at the ‘Alluvials’.

Some are mathematicians
Some are carpenter's wives.
Don't know how it all got started,I don't know what they're doin' with their lives.
But me, I'm still on the road
Headin' for another joint,
We always did feel the same,
We just saw it from a different point of view,
Tangled up in blue.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Quote of the Month/ Thoughts on Journalling

I came across this one in an old journal:

"I have oft said that if a man makes decisions based upon truth, if he prays-then goes; it, whatever he has put his hand to the plough to do, is not a mistake."

Additionally, in 1990 in my journals I had a daily habit of listing 3 things that I was thankful for. Don't know why I stopped doing that. Interesting to see now the things that I listed then.

Things Not To Do While Blogging

Eat a hot, freshly toasted bagel dripping with peanut butter.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Jason Bourne Meets Knott's Berry Farm

Jason Bourne can fight and overcome a lot of things, but there is one thing that could put him over-the-edge….a day at the amusement park. If you’ve seen the movie, or are familiar with the genre, you know he gets beat up, wrecked up, shot up, kicked up and all without a crack up. Last week while watching the movie I kept thinking, “Man, is he ever going to hurt in the morning.” But as I sit here typing; my bruised and battered body full of Advil, I can testify that I’ve overcome greater things than Jason Bourne.

I’ve survived the “Crash-Test Dummy” ride. They put you in a little car, and it carries you up the tracks to a significant height, then you spiral down finally crashing through a number of walls: Styrofoam, foil, PVC, and finally the ride ends when you hit a wall of bricks at speeds greater than 60 miles per hour. Okay, I’m lying. In the real ride its a little boat that carries you up to a significant height. You plunge straight down-nose down, and the only thing keeping you in the boat (relatively speaking) is the harness that they strapped you into at the beginning of the ride. You finally stop because you’ve hit the water at ground level.

A couple of notes on the flying boat ride. I should have noticed in line that I was the only adult around. The rest of the folks were barely past the age of puberty, thus allowing for significant time for life to heal their bruised and scarred bodies. Later, I understood the situation better. Leaving the ride I heard a dad saying to his daughter, “Just get in line Shelly. Mom and I have to go call our agent and see if you’re still covered under our health insurance.”

We’d survived the Flying Boat Ride, but only barely. Hailey’s head hurt, and my neck was a wee bit sore. Now on to the roller coasters. Because, if you know me, you know there’s nothing I like more than super high places and throwing up! We went on the Sidewinder. They have this new gimmick where they video parts of the ride. Because it’s good to have that remembrance of your dad turning white and passing out. “Quick! Somebody put a piece of walnut-fudge under his nose. He’ll come around soon enough.”

It was after doing Sidewinder, the Flying Boat Ride and Side Winder (Yes, I know I said that twice) that my back began to hurt a little bit. The kind of hurt that I think Jason Bourne may have experienced after his 20th car wreck. But he’s younger than me.

Despite being adventurous, we decided not to do the ride where you hang upside down while a machine sprays water at you while you spin at 5,000 revolutions-per-minute. We also skipped the ride where you hang upside down while on a rollercoaster while it loops at 5,000 revolutions-per-minute (but hey, at least you don’t get wet!). Onto the mild roller coaster (“My daughter does this ride. She’s only six and gets scared easily.”) which we did three times. More surges of back pain. And I call it quits on the roller coasters. Time to head home.

The next time I say, “Let’s do it. We’ll regret it if we don’t. (After all, I’m ‘wild at heart.’)” could somebody just hold me down or kick me. Because I’ve seen Jason Bourne survive that, but I haven’t seen him survive a Flying Boat Ride.

Knotts-The Last Hurrah

Friday: the last week day before going back-to-school. Hailey and I visited Knott's Berry Farm. It was a blast. We laughed our way through the whole day. We were having so much fun that after being there an hour-and-a-half, we realized that we'd only gone on 1 ride. But we were having a great time!

We did all the usual stuff; rides, BBQ, Roasted Corn (sadly, without the benefit of Lawry's Seasoned Salt), and more rides.

Hailey won YET ANOTHER stuffed animal (a bright emerald green teddy bear thing) at a shooting booth (maybe we should have named named her Annie Oakley instead of Hailey). The "bear" will take its place with the rest of the menagerie; Baby Beluga, Boom-Boom, Sunshine (the Panda), and a host of others.

Great end to a great summer. For more on our adventures, see the following POST.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mississippi By Flashlight-Things That Are Important

As my friend Robert relates the story, it started with a question: "Do you want to ride from San Francisco this summer?" I suppose all great adventures start the same way; ‘What say we climb Everest this summer!’, or, ‘Why don’t we try to Race Across America in two or three days!’ So we mapped out a route and did it. San Francisco to the San Fernando Valley. No “Look” Pedals, no light-weight camping equipment, no experience, and not a whole lot of sense. But we did it. What makes it important almost 20 years later?

I’m still riding bikes. And I’m currently planning to ride across the United States (or part of it) to celebrate my turning 50 in 2010. And whenever I doubt the possibility of the ride across America, I always fall back on this: Not a problem. I rode from San Francisco to the San Fernando Valley in ‘88’. With tennis shoes!

Second, Robert and I are still the closest of friends. And I’m fairly convinced that a significant aspect of the continued friendship is that we did the ride together. We survived yelling at each other during major bonks. We survived big hills; we survived bad truck drivers (I hope Julianne isn’t reading this), we survived hail storms and rain and ….more days with bad blood sugar levels.

The year was 1989. I was driving to inner-city Chicago for a short-term mission’s trip. Glenn and I decided to make a road trip of it, driving across Texas and then roughly following Blues history as we traveled up the Mississippi.

From my journal:
Mississippi by flashlight. City: Durant.
“Let’s see-Tues. Glenn and I got in a tiff after I asked him not to cuss. A fairly heated argument ensued in which he said that he wasn’t going to go out of his way to avoid it as it was part of his usual repertoire…..I said-for he said I was always judging him…..Anyway, it went as far as me screaming, ‘Well, maybe we shouldn’t be friends anymore or some such thing……”

Needless to say, 20 years later and I count him as the closest of buds. Looking back; those friends that I did road trips with, or rode on trips with, remain closest today. Even through some heated fights and immature behaviors. But through many rich experiences as well.

Also from my journal:
“Wed. we did New Orleans the French ¼. Quite nice. We spent the morning walking together then separated til dinner. The evening was wonderful. After dinner we went to Preservation Hall and, despite one obnoxious character, enjoyed some classic Jazz….”

New Fat Burning Diet

The new fat-burning diet: coffee and green M&M’s. That IS my diet; but it’s not fat-burning (as you might have guessed)---it’s fat producing. So I’m doing it. Yup. I’m going to buy a scale, one of the ones that measures % of body fat AND tells you your weight. And I’m going to try to not consume boxes of cookies and bags of M&M’s while I’m at home. I only have to lose a little. It’s the attempt at discipline that’s scary. (Kudos to those friends of mine who successfully fight this battle and continue to win).

I’m going to consistently ride (as I’ve been doing since March). I’m going to start doing intervals. Really. By December 31, 2007 my average riding speed will be AT LEAST 15 MPH! And to gain ground on the bike, there is one more thing that I must do.

Back and stomach strengthening. The back pain scares me. It reminds me that I’m only a short step away from significant pain, short-term paralysis, and possible surgery. So I need to do these exercises.

I’m worn out just thinking about it. I need a cookie.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

There Will Be Great Earthquakes...

There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. Luke 21:11

My customer thanked me for the strawberry croissant, and then reminded me to buy water. Three days worth of water, at least, is what he advised. Because if an earthquake hits the Coachella Valley, they are predicting that it will be around 7.8.

Side note to this: I was getting ready to go out and buy water, and then I thought: Wait! Water comes out of my tap, doesn't it? Why can't I just fill plastic bottles with my tap water? If there's an earthquake, and I'm dying of thirst, am I going to be thinking-"But it's not from an artesian well!"

After the Northridge quake, I'd taken an earthquake preparedness class, and had taken all the appropriate cautions. TV velcro'd down, book cases bolted to the wall(s), water and food for three days. But I've slacked off. So, this was a good warning. Especially coming on the heels of a small earthquake last week in the Chatsworth area.

I got home to see news of the devastation caused by a quake in Peru. And warnings of hurricane Dean's move into Jamaica.

Reminders all to pray for those in the path of destruction, and do whatever else we can. Contributions to aid groups, or whatever our hearts lead us to.

Additionally, prepare for calamity. Just in case.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Governor Richardson and Melissa Etheridge-Missing the Mark (But Melissa's Closer)

“Do you think homosexuality is a choice or is it biological?” That’s the question Melissa Etheridge asked Governor Bill Richardson the other night as Democrat Presidential candidates met to debate the issue of homosexuality.

I came across the issue on Hot Air,(see video here) and while listening to the Phil Hendrie show while driving home in the wee hours this morning. I’ve read and listened to numerous discussions on the issue, and I’ve not heard anybody address the issue with any truth or compassion. On the truth side of things, Melissa Etheridge is closer, but still ends up missing the mark significantly.

When asking the question of Governor Richardson, Melissa said, “Your Creator made you that way…and there’s a document that was written 200 years ago that says you are entitled to certain rights.”

Melissa’s right. Our Creator did make us a certain way. Furthermore, there’s a document written 2000 years ago that speaks not only to our rights, but to our sin and brokenness as well.

The Creator made the world a certain way. We were made to be satisfied completely in God. But Sin entered the world, and we decided to go our own way, apart from the way we were created.

As part of the brokenness, much of our wiring is haywire since birth. More than likely there are pre-dispositions towards same-sex attraction, or alcoholism, or over-eating. That coupled with all of our experiences in childhood cause us to think and feel that this is how we were created, or meant to be.

Say I have big hurts (though I may not be cognizant of them) that I need fixed. So I run to sexual experiences; pornography or one-night stands (or a million other bad behaviors). All of my experiences, plus my brokenness, and hurt, is so bad that I feel a strong bent that way. Try as I might to do anything else, something akin to powerful locomotive power is pulling into whatever my particular bent is.

So when Melissa Etheridge says, ‘Do you think a homosexual is born that way or do you think that around 7th grade we go, oooh, I want to be gay?’, she’s obviously referring to the pull of that train; that for all she can tell all of her ‘being’ is being pulled into homosexuality. But that is not her true self being pulled, it’s the bent of her broken self.

Her true self was created to be satisfied in God. And it is as we fight for, and joyfully delight in, our true selves that we fully see the emptiness and darkness that we gave way to in living in our false self. But seeing our brokenness and bent for what it is requires that we go to our Creator for healing, and not try to fix ourselves by ourselves… that’s part of how we continue to be broken in the first place.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Bodie Pictures-First Set

Bodie, Ca. Where, "being framed" has a different meaning now than it did in the late 1800's.
The Methodist Church. "H" took this picture of Bodie from the hill where the stamping mill is located. Gold ore, gold mustard.

Catholic/Protestant Discussion

I listened to all 2 hours of the interview....It's mostly 'inside baseball'; a thought provoking discussion about Frank Beckwith's reversion to Catholocism. The link will send you over to Hugh's website where I originally found it.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Bears and Bunnies

Short disclaimer first......It's a fictional poem.......hypothetical....

We were kids playing Mod Squad, bears and bunnies,
In neighborhood driveways, up the stairs, and on the roof;
To prove our bond of honor we swapped ucky spit and blood.

The hound I had in high school could draw blood with fang and claw,
Attacking other dogs, on lawns and down the street;
To prove his loyalty, he’d lie down and bear his neck.

The man who came to teach us could summon angels with a word,
Teaching about God, on the hills of Galilee,
To prove His unique position, he washed ucky feet and bled.

Now you tell me you want back in, want to play at marriage once again,
With neighbor families up the street and at the church;
But you have no code of honor, are not willing to bear your neck,
And you never really gave up of yourself.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Freaky Phone Call

Sometimes, things happen in life where I look up to God in heaven and say, "WHAT?!"

Now this wouldn't be so freaky, except for the previous post. The wife just called me, primarily to tell me that she had some weird dream in which I had to answer a whole bunch of questions, and when I got one wrong ("African or European Swallow?")-they electrocuted me. Apparently my death was pretty gruesome. But that's beside the point.
One of the things she mentioned was that she really has respected about me in the whole process is that I've kept the wedding ring on and haven't (totally) given up on the relationship.
Livin and walkin by faith.....ya gotta love the process (and the God that is involved in it!)

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Ring

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the land of Mordor where the shadows lie.

Why do I still have my wedding ring on? A couple of folks have asked me this question. Makes sense-it's a logical question. No easy, cold, logical answer though. At times, I feel it is an incredible burden; heavy and pulling me down. I would be best off throwing it deep into the Crack of Doom at Mordor’s edge. Or at least stashing it in the treasure box that sits on my armoire.

Other times I think I should keep it on until the ink is dry on the final divorce document. It’s the visible sign of the covenant. It’s symbolic of a man who walks with God, “He swears to his own hurt and does not change."

At the very least, I can tell you this. It keeps me honest. I’m still legally married. Spiritually, I’m not so sure. I’ll save that for another post. In the meantime, it’ll probably stay on until the ink is dry. Or until Gollum steals it away.
Drawing Copyright 1979 Running Press. Drawing by Michael Greene.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Stressed? Do The Math.

Stress. Occasionally there’s talk of ‘good stress,’ but mostly, when people talk about stress they talk about some thing that has the potential to kill you. Stress and my reaction to it can doubly kill me. For example, as I’m typing this I’m eating a 21.30 Oz. bag of m&m’s®-and telling myself NOT to finish it off in this one sitting…..According to David Fontana, “A useful that stress is a demand made upon the adaptive capacities of the mind and body. If these capacities can handle the demand and enjoy the stimulation involved, then stress is welcome and helpful. If they can't and find the demand debilitating, then stress is unwelcome and unhelpful.”

Anecdotal evidence suggests that roughly 100% of the readership of this blog are dealing with significant stress factors in their lives. So I’m putting this out there as a public service. So go ahead and TAKE THE TEST. Note that it’s only a general guideline. And it seems like some of the categories are (to quote Professor Sam Moss) inextricably intermeshed. For example, I’m separated from my wife: Do I also count points for sex difficulties, change in arguments (they’re not happening now) and social activities change?

My score was a whopping 289 points! (plus or minus up to 321) What I included:
Divorce, change in family health, change in financial state, responsibility at work, living conditions change, recreation change, social activities change, car loan, home alone, and law violations (the whole incident with Paris Hilton has really had me on edge this last week).

Take the test. Add up your score. And then decide if you are a potential walking time-bomb. If so---make sure you are finding adequate ways to decompress.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Trusting In Higher Grounds

I'm talking, Arabica; pure coffee; best grown and most flavorful grown in high altitudes. Hoping in coffee for what? Here's what: "The men who drank the most coffee were the least likely to get Parkinson's disease."

Just got a call from my dad's wife. They just diagnosed him with Parkinsons. "Waiter, pour me another cup, please."

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Blogging and Checking for Blood

One of my favorite bloggers, Dean Barnett, has this to say about blogging, “Here’s the deal with blogging: It works best for people who have active minds that spin off in a million different directions.” Kind of funny, that. So often I feel that my being all over the map in my thinking and work is a bad thing. But Dean’s right: When stuff happens to me, I think: This might make an interesting post.

Saturday, while out riding the bike, some teenagers shot at me from a passing car. First thing I did was reach down to check for blood. I mentally ran through the list; blood-no; paint-whew, no----piss--thank goodness, no…..only water. From which I ascertained I was only hit with a water balloon. Immediately after the occurrence though, I started writing about it in my head. Mapping out the headline, the storyline, the ending. And I do this all the time.

Side note here: I have this friend who reads this blog on a consistent basis, and his mind also spins off in a million directions. Plus, he can play musical instruments, which I can barely do. And he’s much funnier in print. Dude---start blogging!

I’m sure there are a million other things that work best to make a blogger---reads a lot, willing to put their self out there for public viewing, some form of addiction (caffeine included). But I’m glad that borderline ADD is a key component.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Los Angeles and My Marriage-Up In Flames

Today marks 15 years since the Los Angeles (aka the Rodney King) Riots. My wife was then working in Inglewood; where scenes like this were common*. We had just gotten married in February of that year. One time, pre-riot, I had visited her at work and we'd gone out for burgers. Half jokingly she told me to 'duck and cover' if I heard loud shots or whistles while we were eating.
Today, 15 years later, much of Inglewood has been rebuilt, stronger and better. My marriage, on the other hand....up in flames.

While the riots showed us the worst of mankind, they also provided a backdrop in which the best of mankind was illuminated.

(HT Hot Air/ Photo taken by Jose Ivey and used by permision: *Urban

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Mitt Romney's Mormonism- IT IS A PROBLEM!

The danger of hiring such a man had not previously run across my mind. It was the interview that sealed it for me. Up to that point, I was focusing on him as ‘the one’, the choice, the hope. But as I was listening to the interview, I heard another sound….the sound of waves shattering moorings.*
The interview? Hugh Hewitt interviews former religion editor and NY Times Op Ed contributor Kenneth Woodward. SO WHAT? Yeah, I never heard of him either. But he wrote this article about Mormons; and included a bunch of vague generalities….Hugh accused him of religious bigotry. Blah, blah, blah; but the point is this: If Mitt Romney is the key choice for republican presidential candidacy; then Mormons get a lot of (mostly) positive exposure. Even hearing Hugh speak, it sounded as though he was equating Mormonism with other equal Christian denominations. It did not sound as though he had any concerns about it being a cult.
Anyway, I started writing this early in April. Since then, I see that Pastore’s got an article up saying the same thing…..Definite food for thought in the midst of such an important election.
*Okay, it's way over-dramatic. But that's the fun of the writing process.....face it; you'd get way way bored if I wrote differently!

Sunday, April 15, 2007


What do you represent?

Stopping To Smell The Roses

I've been fighting the last three weeks to reestablish periods of stillness and contemplation into my life. In that light, here's an amazing (true) story about folks that missed out on great beauty...while running to their other commitments.

Friday, April 06, 2007

I'm Up Late on Good Friday So......

I'm in a kind of funky, mellow mood today. On the way home Dobson was playing a sermon by Dr. Tony Evans. Good stuff. It put me in the mood to hear some more good preaching. So I went home and listened to some "classics" on the internet. Sooo, if you're in the mood, (I realize that not everyone's wired into listening to sermons as I am) I'm linking to two really good sermons that have touched my life. The first, is the late Dr. E.V. Hill preaching at his wife's funeral. If you're having trouble trusting God, this sermon may help.
The other is kind of a Good Friday message; but it's a bit heavy. If you're feeling content in lukewarm Christianity and your middle class lifestyle, this message won't help....but it'll get you thinking.
There you have it. Food for thought on a late Good Friday night. Now I probably should go to bed. I've got a men's ministry breakfast on the plate for 7:00 a.m.
Good night!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Passover: Shoulda Shipped Out the Yeast AND the Beast

On Monday I drove up to my Dad’s house for Passover. Hailey is on vacation visiting the cousins not far from dad’s. So they dropped her off there as well. Strange mish-mash of folks there for the holiday as always. Dad and grandma Ethel, Ethel’s daughter and husband, Ethel’s son-in-law (longer story there), Jeannie, Felicia (a friend of the family..., “Her mother and I knew each otha since the first Exodus”), the kids, and myself.
The guys put on their Yamukahs. We sit down to read the Haggadah.
We get to the plagues, then stop. Time for dinner. What? Where’s that Moses fella? I thought he figured in here somewhere? Like in that movie with the guy from Soylent Green. You know the one. BUT NOOO, the Jews never get out of Egypt. Later on I remind Hailey that the Jews really do get out of Egypt (which oddly enough is the reason for the holiday celebration). I also assure Hailey that, “Yes, we can eat normal bread for the next week at my house.”

So, dad and Ethel have this dog, I think it’s called a ‘Mahjong Freejew’. Anyhow, it has a number of issues. One is that when the mail is dropped through the front door mail slot, the dog grabs the mail, flicks its little head and flings the mail across the room. So, all night long the adults and the kids were dropping catalogs and envelopes into the slot to see the dog go ballistic.

The dogs’ second issue is that, sometimes, on occasion, he attacks the legs of men. Attack with teeth, not attack like your thinking.

So, my brother-in-law Duane, and his wife Denise come over to pick up Hailey. They come on in to chat a while and be social. Grab some desert. Then, outta nowhere, the dog attacks. Draws blood. Duane has numerous marks on his legs. None too bad. But still.

And that’s how I spent my Passover this year.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Quote of the Month-"A Good Story"

"A good story is one that isn't demanding, that proceeds from A to B, and above all doesn't remind us of the bad times, the cardboard patches we used to wear in our shoes, the failed farms, the way people you love just up and die. It tells us instead that hard work and perseverance can overcome all obstacles; it tells lie after lie, and the happy ending is the happiest lie of all."
Kathleen Norris, from Dakota, A Spiritual Geography

Friday, March 23, 2007

Reading Between the Lines

Did he say Mitt? Re the upcoming presidential election: I heard Gregory Koukl today say that we need to choose someone who holds to the same principles as we do. We do not need to vote for ONLY someone who holds the same 5-point, sola scriptura, pre-trib position that we do. To quote, he said we are voting for a president, not selecting a pastor. Good point. Too many Christians get hung up on the latter. I believe it was Martin Luther who said it's better to elect "a wise Turk" rather than a stupid Christian.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hurt-Early Beginnings

It was a strange sound. The wooden legs scraping on the wooden floor, the furious rocking back and forth of the mattress, and the strained wheezing sound. In the darkness it would be a puzzle to piece together. Given some light one could make out the boy lying on his side, violently rocking back and forth, gasping for breath.

On many mornings, I’d wake up with my stomach and ribs aching from the workout, the inside of my stomach hurting from all the air I’d gulped down the night before. Somehow I’d manage to actually go through a ‘normal’ morning routine, eat breakfast, and head out the door to elementary school. I don’t know how I got through the days without collapsing in the classroom from extensive exhaustion. Perhaps I caught up on my sleep during nap-time, or during extended games of “Heads-Up, 7-Up”.

I wondered before, and wonder more now that I’m a parent, where in the hell were MY parents? Granted, my dad left to work out of state for long periods of time. But wasn’t he there some time? I truly don’t remember; probably blocked it out. Or it fell out during the extensive knocking of the bed. And mom. That’s a mystery too. She couldn’t have had alcohol related blackouts all of those nights, right?

It’s been knocking around in my head for about a year now. I’d managed to keep it pretty much suppressed for most of my life. At this juncture of the journey I’ve had opportunity to reflect (some of it chosen, some of it bestowed). So I ask questions. Some have answers. Some don’t. And some of the answers will be evident in time. And maybe some of the questions need to be asked of others, though I’m not excited about doing the asking.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Eeyore Theology Vs. Christian Hedonism

“Perhaps God just wants me miserable.” That’s my wife’s current view of the world. Eeyore theology. My view of the world: Christian Hedonism.

As I’ve been pressed toward God, I’ve found my joy running ever deeper. The rich, from-down-deep-in-your-soul laughter is truly much richer. And happens much more often. And so too does the ‘waiting for hot chocolate’ kind of joy.

On a backpack trip many years ago, camp was at the end of twelve miles of trail. That’s twelve miles of trail through snow and ice. On that particular day my level of hiking comfort ended at mile eight. Miles nine through twelve were a blur, except for the thought that at the end of the trail lay a warm tent, change of clothes, and hot chocolate. Only the thought of hot chocolate kept my legs and body moving forward.

The experience of Christians on the whole is recorded in Psalm 16:
You will make known to me the path of life,
In Your presence is fullness of joy,
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Resolutions-Live Fiercely

I really like this resolution from Jonathan Edwards. His life is impossible to emulate, his resolutions way above where I am at now. But hey, I've got to aim at something. I aim to low and I get bored; I aim to high and I get discouraged. But this one I can realistically shoot for.

22. Resolved, To endeavour to obtain for myself as much happiness in the other world as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigour, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Quote of the Month (or week, or year, or until I find another one I like)

"The real lesson of the Year of Doing Everything Right is this:
If you want to do things right, you must think about them constantly. They have to be part of your conciousness. You make mistakes when you're tired or distracted, or doing one thing while thinking about something else....."
Stephen Madden, from Bicycling Magazine

I Said, "God Said": Is That A Problem?

"I have a relatively good track record," he said. "Sometimes I miss." So said Pat Robertson about his previous prophecies.

To much in the public spotlight and it's easy to like the sound of your own voice, or worse, to listen to other voices and think they're yours. That leaves the rest of us having to explain that you don't speak ex-cathedra like the pope. And about that "relatively good track record"; nah, I won't even go there.

Thanks to Allahpundit and the gang for this one.