Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas

from the bottom of my heart.

May not get a chance to post here before then, but I do want to acknowledge the day.

Christ first in all things.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Oddibe Young-Again McDowell

If you know Chris Berman you know he's got these great nicknames for athletes he throws into his sportscasts. One of my favourites has always been... Oddibe young-again Mcdowell. How he thinks of them, I don't know, but he's got lots.

Anyway, I thought of Oddibe Mcdowell and his nickname again this morning (Mcdowell's been retired for fifteen years now. We had the joy of watching our three children open their gifts and the pure joy over something like a pencil case, a colouring book, a.... brought wonder and joy back to my old calloused heart. I mean, knees to the chest leaping... those who know our kids probably know who would be that intense over something like, say, a wallet.

Anyway, here's to youth not being wasted on the young. And here's to us 'olds' who get to enjoy it!

Have a tremendous Christmas season everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Human Conscience through the eyes of a dog.

So, we got a dog. Some of you know this. This is not the point.

This dear pup, Gabi, likes to run free. So do I. No restraints would be ideal. Right? Can I get a witness? She always has come back so far. So have I. So far.

Usually she pulls her whole restraint system right out of the ground and makes a break for it. Often that means she's soon entangled by the nearby trees. Me too.

The other day though, I saw me in her for the first time. I let down my guard for just a second and she broke free. This does not mean take off in a straight line for the horizon, it means begin making ever larger arcs while sniffing every leaf, rock and stick. So in her first ten seconds of freedom she moved about twenty feet, not far. Now, this has happened before and so, I begin my ever-so-subtle trap. Crouch, smile, speak softly, "Here, Gabi." She immediately looks at me over her shoulder, or whatever you call that part of the dog...and now she has a choice and I see my reflection for the first time.

"Do I stay or do I go now?"

She goes.

And doesn't look back.

And there I am. I see what I have to do to avoid the sin I so easily fall into. When I catch the Father's eye, when I know that I'm about to step outside of his will, I must obey then, or I crush my conscience. I can't play, I simply won't look back.

Not only will I not, look back, I can't look back.

And that is guilt. Its needed, because it reminds me I have broken something and it needs immediate attention. Reminds me of the new Switchfoot song...lyrics below.

(Though I do wish there was mention of the word sin, not just sickness. The analogy is good, but its overplayed in Christianity to the point we forget its not illness, its a choice!)

Mess of Me

I am my own affliction
I am my own disease
There ain´t no drug that they could sell
Ah there ain´t no drugs to make me well

There ain´t no drug
It´s not enough
There ain´t no drug
The sickness is myself

- Chorus -
I made a mess of me I wanna get back the rest of me
I´ve made a mess of me I wanna spend the rest of my life alive
I´ve made a mess of me I wanna reverse this tragedy
I´ve made a mess of me I wanna spend the rest of my live alive
The rest of my life alive!

We lock our souls in cages
We hide inside our shells
It´s hard to free to the ones you love
Oh when you can´t forgive yourself
Yeah forgive yourself!

There ain´t no drug
There ain´t no drug
There ain´t no drug
The sickness is myself

- Chorus -
I made a mess of me I wanna get back the rest of me
I´ve made a mess of me I wanna spend the rest of my life alive
I´ve made a mess of me I wanna reverse this tragedy
I´ve made a mess of me I wanna spend the rest of my live alive
The rest of my life alive!


There ain´t no drug
There ain´t no drug
There ain´t no drug
No drugs to make me well
There ain´t no drug
It´s not enough
I´m breaking up
The sickness is myself
The sickness is myself

- Chorus -
I made a mess of me I wanna get back the rest of me
I´ve made a mess of me I wanna spend the rest of my life alive
I´ve made a mess of me I wanna reverse this tragedy
I´ve made a mess of me I wanna spend the rest of my live alive
The rest of my life alive!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We will remember

Today was another important celebration of Remembrance Day.

I couldn't help but come to grips today with the reality of a soldier's life. For the first time I told myself I'd be okay with one of our boys joining the army. I'm not going to tuck them into bed with dreams of army life, but I do see a bigger picture now than I have been able to before.

Every time the veterans parade by, I have to hold back the tears. People clap and say thank you to them as they pass by. There is real appreciation, everyone stops for that two minutes of silence, even small children seem to know.

And I wonder, wonder how I respect the one who I'm called to remember? Do I have to hold back the tears? Do I not understand? Why can we get a (too) small crowd to the cenotaph, but a scattered few to remember Jesus?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

When we grow up, I'll be dead!

1 Corinthians 2:6
However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.
1 Corinthians 14:20
Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.
Philippians 3:15
Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.
Matthew 13:30
Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
Ephesians 2:21
in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
Ephesians 4:15
but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ
Ephesians 4:16
from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Colossians 2:19
and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.
2 Thessalonians 1:3
We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each others
2 Thessalonians 3:13
But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.
1 Peter 2:2
as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,
2 Peter 1:5
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
2 Peter 3:18
but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Trying to Write More

I'm trying to write more, and I read this evening that when you want to write, write. If you don't have anything to say, write. You'll soon have something to say, the muse, as they say, will strike. Why I was reading about writing and not writing, well, its the story of many a life. We don't want to do, so we read about it... or watch Youtube. We pretend to be something, but its more dreaming that we are that, then the reality of who we are. Sad way to live. Life offers more to us than the option to read about living.

I've been thinking a little over the past few months, since I've left my comfortable job, of what I would do differently to end up in a different place today, well, same place but with a different job. But, I can't go back. I don't really want to. I need to have some joy in this time, this day, this moment! I can make plans for tomorrow, but not for yesterday. Why do we "what if" about the past? Because then we get to make up a life we don't have now, generate excuses for why we're not doing something (anything?)now. Its safer to fly if you keep at least one foot on the ground, right? Same for life. Grasp it firmly by the horns, as long as the horns are made of paper and don't have 2000 pounds of risk attached to the other end of them.

Get a life! Stop dreaming, the morning has come.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Life Lessons from For Whom the Bell Tolls

So we watched a classic not on "our list" Saturday evening... For Whom the Bell Tolls. The movie is based on a Hemingway novel which gets its name from a John Donne poem... confused yet?

I couldn't help but follow the similarities between Gary Cooper's character, Robert Jordan, and Jesus. Jordan comes in from a foreign country (America of course!)to help a people not his own because it is something he believes in. A line from the movie hints at the reason, "A man will only fight for something he believes in". In Jesus situation he not only fought, he died, as did Robert Jordan.

Now, Gary Cooper's not Jesus, but as I've stated before, I believe we can find "the best" story hidden in all these other ones. Here's an earthy reminder to us of sacrifice and counting the cost.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why did Nobel go this way?

Some possible reasons why Barack Obama won the Nobel Prize:

a) Voting was done last December or January, it was a popularity thing.
b) Nobel was hoping to hear their name in the news and the easiest way to do that was to attach Obama to themselves.
c) Nobel Inc. hope that this makes Obama do something, feel guilty about doing almost nothing about peace.

Of course, I don’t really know what I’m talking about here, but, come on. Really, the Nobel Peace Prize means something doesn’t it? What could be a greater honour? Why would they feel they need to cheapen their award to give to someone who is more popular than busy? A bigger splash could be made by giving it to someone no one has ever heard of. Suddenly the Peace Prize means almost nothing, unless there is some major unheralded peace agreement that Obama has arranged. And there isn’t. Diplomacy is not something to award a prize for.

"The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons...”

Doesn’t diplomacy imply talk, not action- kind of like a blog, except with people actually listening? Mr. President has had the opportunity for lots of talk, where are the results? I don’t knock him, he’s a made for tv politician. Rhetoric and charm. I just figured that Nobel prizes were outside the bounds of public opinion and trying to win favour.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The View From Here... sorry TVO

Here's the view we had on our recent baseball tour.

Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park:

Our first time to Nationals' Park, Washington DC:

Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore

Back to Washington... back row of the upper deck!

And finally, CitiField in New York City

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A few thoughts that are cluttering my mind

Just going to type some random musings..,

Is our Canadian health care system broken? Do the elderly get pushed out? Do we lose out on treatment options? I don't really think so, but that's because it doesn't seem to affect me and I'm ignorant of what other options are out there. Our system is being bad-mouthed many places on the internet, especially by Americans opposed to their system going public. Is it that bad?

Is it okay to tell people we're upset with things? Online people sure feel free to vent, but why do we tend to hold back face to face, why not say, "Hey, that is upsetting"? Are negative people bad?

Does the television make me less inteligent? What would happen if I didn't know everything I think I want to know about Hermes handbags? About who makes how much or who's off to prison? Don't I now have enough knowledge to take the edge off my naivete? Wouldn't it be safe to take the training wheels off the bike, turn off the tv and start applying what I know?

And how does that apply to Church? Do we get too wrapped up in doing church and not get wrapped up enough in being The Church?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Notes from the Top of the Ladder

-There is no pink ceiling.

-There is no glass ceiling.

-Paint doesn't fall straight down, it heads straight for that little wrinkle in the drop cloth.

-You always put the ladder away, or wash the brush just before you'll discover you need it again.

When do summer holidays start?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Song for the Day after Father's Day

The Rub Of Love
Chagal Guevara

Dad said he wanted a boy

Held me like a bundle of joy

These days, don't even smile

Like I'm cramping his style

Son, it's not true

Of course I love you

But the pressure keeps building again

Dad's gone AWOL

Absent without leave, and

The rub of love

Dad's not talking at all

Everything's making him mad

Used to come running to him

Now I'm learning to crawl

Son, get used to the cold

You'll soon have to face it alone

Please stop holding my hand

You're getting too old

Heard him last night

Say, "The boy's all right

But the father thing still doesn't fit

Gotta get away for awhile

Gotta find out who I am"

The rub of love

What was that vow you made?

What about the girl you wed?

Worked double shifts to keep us fed

Dad says he sorted it out

Got himself a better career

Had himself a new baby boy

Another bundle of joy

Every other week, on visiting day

I get tolerated by his new wife

I swear if you ever really held me

They'd have to pry me off with the jaws of life

The rub of love

What was that vow you made?

Was that too much to bear?

Dad, do you really even care?

That isn't love

Friday, June 19, 2009

Stepping through

Well... its been another typically busy June, as anyone who has checked back here regularly likely can guess.

Too many things to clog up the internet with... but... report cards are now done. Graduation is four days away. Last week of gainful employment is upon me and, well, I feel fine! Just thought some of you may want to know that we made it through another June, semi-unscathed. I think we're getting good at it, must be time to quit!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Waterboarding for beginners...

The following is a quote from several members of America's legal "elite", to the Attorney General of the US.

"Waterboarding is torture. It causes severe physical suffering in the form of reflexive choking, gagging, and the feeling of suffocation. It may cause severe pain in some cases. If uninterrupted, waterboarding will cause death by suffocation. It is also foreseeable that waterboarding, by producing an experience of drowning, will cause severe mental pain and suffering. The technique is a form of mock execution by suffocation with water. The process incapacitates the victim from drawing breath, and causes panic, distress, and terror of imminent death. Many victims of waterboarding suffer prolonged mental harm for years and even decades afterward.

Waterboarding, when used against people captured in the context of war, may also amount to a war crime as defined under the federal war crimes statute 18 U.S.C. § 2441, which criminalizes grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions (in international armed conflicts), and violations of Article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions (in non-international armed conflicts). Waterboarding is also an assault, and thus violates the federal assault statute, 18 U.S.C. § 113, when it occurs in the “special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States,” a jurisdictional area which includes government installations overseas. In cases involving the U.S. armed forces, waterboarding also amounts to assault, and cruelty and maltreatment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Under the laws of the land, U.S. personnel who order or take part in waterboading are committing criminal acts—torture, assault, and war crimes—which are punishable as felony offenses. The Department of Justice should clarify this to all U.S. personnel, and prosecute violations of the law.

We have no doubt that if a captured American were subjected to waterboarding, the U.S. government would condemn this as torture and demand or seek prosecution.

We also urge you to clarify the legality of other abusive interrogation techniques, such as subjection to extreme temperatures, forced standing, binding in stress positions, and severe sleep deprivation. These techniques, like waterboarding, cause physical and mental suffering and are illegal under domestic and international law. At minimum, these techniques amount to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, categorically prohibited under the 2006 Defense Authorization Act; and they violate U.S. obligations under international human rights and humanitarian laws, including the Convention Against Torture and the Geneva Conventions. Depending on how they are used, these and other abusive techniques can amount to torture, potentially prosecutable under the U.S. torture and war crimes statutes. The U.S. State Department has condemned numerous other countries for utilizing these techniques, in many cases stating that the techniques amount to torture.

As the Attorney General, you have the responsibility to speak clearly on matters of the legal standards for detention and interrogation of prisoners, and as the executive branch's chief legal officer, you are obliged to enforce U.S. laws.

Moreover, you owe it to U.S. military and security personnel, including those who authorize and conduct interrogations, to specify accurately that the techniques described above are not legal. This is vitally important because personnel who rely on advice to the contrary place themselves in legal peril.

We sincerely hope that you will uphold the legal standards discussed above, and make efforts to articulate them clearly and publicly.
Richard Abel, UCLA School of Law
Bruce Ackerman, Yale University
Catherine Adcock Admay, Duke University
Madelaine Adelman, Arizona State University
Jose E. Alvarez, Columbia Law School (former attorney-adviser, Department of State)
Paul Amar, University of California-Santa Barbara
Fran Ansley, University of Tennessee College of Law
Michael Avery, Suffolk Law School
Amy Bartholomew, Carleton University
Katherine Beckett, University of Washington
George Bisharat, Hastings College of the Law
Christopher L. Blakesley, William S. Boyd School of Law (UNLV)
Gary Blasi, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
John Charles Boger, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
David Bowker, adjunct, Cardozo Law School (former attorney-adviser, Department of State)Alice C. Briggs, Franklin Pierce Law Center
John Brigham, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Peter Brooks, University of Virginia
Rosa Brooks, University of Virginia
William T. Burke, University of Washington School of Law
William Burke-White, University of Pennsylvania School of Law
Kitty Calavita, University of California-Irvine
Henry (Chip) Carey, Georgia State University
Anupam Chander, University of California-Davis
Oscar G. Chase, New York University Law School
Kathleen Clark, Washington University
Cornell W. Clayton, Washington State University
Marjorie Cohn, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
David Cole, Georgetown University Law Center
John Comaroff, University of Chicago
Michael Comiskey, Pennsylvania State University
Marianne Constable, University of California- Berkeley
Don Crowley, University of Idaho
Scott Cummings, UCLA School of Law
Eve Darian-Smith, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Benjamin Davis, University of Toledo College of Law
Stephen F. Diamond, Santa Clara University School of Law
Hilal Elver, University of California-Santa Barbara
Richard Falk, Princeton University and University of California-Santa Barbara
Thomas G. Field, Jr. Franklin Pierce Law Center
Gregory H. Fox, Wayne State University Law School
Lawrence M. Friedman, Stanford University
Michael Froomkin, University of Miami School of Law
David R. Ginsburg, UCLA School of Law
Angelina Snodgrass Godoy, University of Washington
Leslie F.Goldstein, University of Delaware
Kenneth W. Graham, Jr., UCLA Law School
David Greenberg, New York University
Lisa Hajjar, University of California-Santa Barbara
Joel F. Handler, UCLA School of Law
Hendrik Hartog, Princeton University
Lynne Henderson, University of Nevada-Las Vegas
William O. Hennessey, Franklin Pierce Law Center
Richard A. Hesse, Franklin Pierce Law Center
Elisabeth Hilbink, University of Minnesota
Jennifer L. Hochschild, Harvard University
Scott Horton, Adjunct, Columbia Law School
Derek Jinks, University of Texas School of Law
Jerry Kang, UCLA School of Law
Lisa A. Kelly, University of Washington School of Law
Heinz Klug, University of Wisconsin
Itzchak E. Kornfeld, Drexel University
Ariana R. Levinson, UCLA School of Law
Sanford Levinson, University of Texas Law School
Robert Justin Lipkin, Widener University School of Law
Lynn M. LoPucki, UCLA School of Law
David Luban, Georgetown University Law Center
Deborah Maranville, University of Washington School of Law
Ann Elizabeth Mayer, University of Pennsylvania
Jamie Mayerfeld, University of Washington
Joel Migdal, University of Washington
Martha Minow, Harvard Law School
William W. Monning, Monterrey College of Law
Kathleen M. Moore, University of California-Santa Barbara
Forrest S. Mosten, UCLA School of Law
Ken Mott, Gettysburg College
Stephen R. Munzer, UCLA School of Law
Jyoti Nanda, UCLA School of Law
Smita Narula, New York University School of Law
Julie Novkov, University of Oregon
Frances Olsen, UCLA School of Law
John Orcutt, Franklin Pierce Law Center
Arzoo Osanloo, University of Washington
Jordan J. Paust, University of Houston
William P. Quigley, Loyola University, New Orleans
Christopher J. Peters, Wayne State University Law School
Judith Resnik, Yale Law School
Sandra L. Rierson, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Brad R. Roth, Wayne State University
Gary Rowe, UCLA School of Law
Austin Sarat, Amherst College
Margaret L. Satterthwaite, New York University School of Law
Stuart A. Scheingold, University of Washington
Kim Lane Scheppele, Woodrow Wilson School and Princeton University
Benjamin N. Schiff, Oberlin College
David Schultz, Hamline University
Robert A. Sedler, Wayne State University
Barry Shanks, Franklin Pierce Law Center
Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University
Charles Anthony Smith, University of Miami
Eunice Son, UCLA School of Law
Susan Sterett, University of Denver
Jacqueline Stevens, University of California-Santa Barbara
Katherine Stone, UCLA School of Law
Steven Tauber, University of South Florida
Samuel. C. Thompson, Jr, UCLA School of Law
Beth Van Schaack, Santa Clara University School of Law
Andrew Strauss, Widener University School of Law
Stephen I. Vladeck, University of Miami School of Law
Richard Weisberg, Cardozo Law School
Deborah M. Weissman, University of North Carolina School of Law
Burns H. Weston, University of Iowa and Vermont Law School
Adam Winkler, UCLA School of LawMaryann Zavez, Vermont Law School
Richard O. Zerbe Jr., University of Washington

On May 22, 2009, conservative radio talk show host Erich "Mancow" Muller subjected himself to waterboarding to prove that it is not torture. Mancow was able to endure the technique for six seconds, a few moments after which he declared, "It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that's no joke." Mancow likened it to a time when he nearly drowned as a child and had to be revived. Mancow said, "It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose with your head back...It was instantaneous...and I don't want to say this: absolutely torture."

Anyone tell me why the end justifies the means? Does stopping someone from killing others mean we can stoop to similar levels?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Dinosaurs, Part 2

Well, apparently I'm more of a dinosaur than I thought. I posted somewhere else that supporting torture was "idiotic". Apparently that is not a good idea, and, apparently there are lots of people who believe there are good reasons for supporting torture. I can barely fathom coming to that conclusion, but I won't make the mistake of saying its idiotic to do so again! I just might be way behind the times!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dinosaurs become extinct?

For the first time that I can recall, I felt like a dinosaur yesterday. I bought plastic bags at the grocery store. And I felt so pathetic.

Poor dinosaur guy, doesn't even know that plastic has gone the way of the pterodactyl. No wonder he's lost most of his hair, he uses plastic. That guy doesn't care about children, he uses plastic. Plastic is for evil people, should I call the police on him? People who use plastic should be shipped to an island in the arctic. Burn him!

Those last few lines were what was in my own head. No one actually said anything. It was just that they all looked at me so pathetically. I felt like a moron.

Okay, I made that part up too, but I still felt like times were passing me by. When you can't go prepared to the grocery store, can you do anything else productive?

I admit it, I'm a dinosaur! I'm trying to deal with it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

How to get things done in a democracy

Apparently some are under the misguided idea that to get things done in a democracy you just block traffic, make people mad, get some media attention and suddenly the province or country are supposed to drop everything and deal with your issue. It doesn't matter whether people sympathize or not, there is no such thing as bad publicity.


Start a facebook group.

That's how you get things done in a democracy.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Can We Fix it?

It has been said before, but it bears repeating. I wish I'd said the following, but I'm glad someone did.
The last line makes the rest worth the trip.

God Sends Quails
The 77's
(from the album Sticks and Stones)

You fail
You try half-hearted and fail
One foot drags behind you
One foot tripping in front of you

You fail
You spit out manna,
God sends quails
Dry bones pile up behind you
More wet mirages in front of you

You can't go back
You can't go back

You failed
You sunk like Jonah to the whale
Big mouths follow behind you
Still small voice swallowed by you

You failed
You picked the right time to fail
Got your past behind you
Got your future in front of you

You can't go back
You can go on

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Thick Grey Line


why does my box only have one colour?

See the box? It says "Bright and Vivid Colors".

Why is the only colour in my box grey then?
The world is in colour, but I only get to colour with one...

Fear Only You
from the album "Shades of Grey"
Youth Choir... (aka the choir)

I dream in living color
But I see in shades of gray
At the dawn of understanding
Praying for the full of day
And when the San Onofre sun goes down
On concrete power domes
I may shudder for a moment
But this world is not my home

I'm not afraid of the thunder in the sky
All I fear is the lightning in Your eyes
For I love only You
And I fear only You

When the reverend waves his sword and cries
"Go save the golden dream"
From the terrace of his mansion
He won't hear the children scream
No, I won't fight the war he wages
Flesh and blood won't conquer me
But the demons know my enemy
Is my idolatry

I'm not afraid of the thunder in the sky
All I fear is the lightning in Your eyes
I'm not afraid of the rulers in this land
All I fear is the power in Your hand
For I love only You
And I fear only You
For I love only You
And I fear only You

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

You gotta have Faith

So if its right when things are going well, if I know it is right when all is sunny and bright, or even when I can plan a bright future, doesn't that mean I have to believe it is still right when the end seems less certain?

I've been really challenged by my own fickle faith. I can see how God can get something done, so I allow Him to work by making choices for Him. Then, when things look darker, when I don't know how He's going to do it, I at very least begin to doubt.

I've thought a little lately about the verse that says, "Don't worry about tomorrow, each day has enough trouble of its own." When I live and react and trust, I'm dealing with today's trouble. When I worry, I'm taking on tomorrow's and therefore throwing away today's opportunities and responsibilities, adding things to this day that I just I don't need, things I can do nothing about!

Anyway, the word of the day, of every day, is now, not hope, but FAITH

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm sorry, Hillary!

You know how it goes.

You're so smart.

After all, you're 16 or 22, or 37 (or maybe even older, I'll get back to you in a few years...).

Then, years later, you find yourself saying things you never thought would come out of your mouth, and here I go again.

I'm sorry Hillary Clinton.

I'm not doing research to go back and get Ms. Clinton's quote in context, but quite frankly, when she came out with "It takes a village to raise a child", ten years ago or more, I took great umbrage. After all, it took parents to raise a child. I assumed she meant, "give us your kid, we'll give you back a humanistic clone in a few short years." And maybe she did. But... she was right, it does take a village. It takes a whole lot of people all making mistakes in unison to help any of us to raise our kids into anything you might call civilized. It might be teachers, it might be neighbours, relatives or friends, but it also takes in a more general way, a culture, the neighbourhood, "the village".

We're reading a book right now at school called "I Heard the Owl Call My Name." Margaret Craven, in case you're wondering. Its a wonderful, quiet little book. Not typical adolescent fare, but a great life book. I read it years ago and it remains with me as a favourite. Anyway, one thoughtful section talks about "everything is the village." The mountain, the people, the language, the salmon, everything. Aren't we all products of that village? The more we grow up, a process we are all involved in, the more we see that we are made up mostly of parents/genetics, but partly heritage, partly cultural, partly friends, partly randomly interactions. Likely others, but my main point is not to list ingredients, but to see the bigger picture that we need a village of goodness to make us and now, more urgently, for our children.

Help out, or get out of town!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Man Bites Snake

Please, know that this re-post in no way endorses animal cruelty, it also does not not endorse not allowing yourself to not be not eaten by a giant scavenging snake.

NAIROBI (Reuters) - A Kenyan man bit a python who wrapped him in its coils and hauled him up a tree in a struggle that lasted hours, local media said Wednesday.

Farm manager Ben Nyaumbe was working at the weekend when the serpent, apparently hunting for livestock, struck in the Malindi area of Kenya's Indian Ocean coast.
"I stepped on a spongy thing on the ground and suddenly my leg was entangled with the body of a huge python," he told the Daily Nation newspaper.
When the snake coiled itself round his upper body, Nyaumbe resorted to desperate measures: "I had to bite it."
The python dragged him up a tree, but when it eased its grip, Nyaumbe said he was able to take a mobile phone out of his pocket and phone for help.
When his supervisor came with a policeman, Nyaumbe smothered the snake's head with his shirt, while the rescuers tied it with a rope and pulled.
"We both came down, landing with a thud," said Nyaumbe, who survived with damaged lips and bruising.
The snake escaped from the three sacks it was bundled into.
(Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Jack Kimball)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

No offense... everyone from 1971-2004 in my life, but today marks the fifth anniversary of the best part of my life.

I love you.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

"God's not Dead, and Neither are We"

This post will not interest 90 percent of you. You can stop reading. For the very few of you who are interested in the history of Christian alternative music say 70s-early 90s, this post is for you.

You may have noticed Jerry Wilson's name on the right side of my blog, let your eye wander over to the right and down a bit and you'll see.... yeah, there. Anyway, Jerry's a good guy who writes an interesting, sometimes funny, always thoughtful, right-wingish blog about various issues, usually political, but other things too. At the same time, he's been writing a book for a couple of years called "God's Not Dead and Neither Are We". It chronicles the histories of some of the alternative Christian artists some of us have grown to appreciate, people from, Undercover, the choir, Daniel Amos, Altar Boys, basically my old "record" collection. He's tried to unearth some of the vision, the hurt, the growth, the joys of their stories and some of you may be very interested to read this. You can buy it right here for only $15.99. Anyway, I look forward very much to reading this some day soon. If you do, consider this information. If you don't, why didn't you quit reading when I told you to?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Life Lessons from 12 Angry Men

We finally got back to watching another movie on our list . This time with another Henry Fonda classic from the '50's, 12 Angry Men.

I found this movie to be really, well, I was going to say "smart". But I think it was more that they didn't play their viewers as "dumb". I really find it insulting when imagination and thought are taken out of art so that it is "dumbed-down" for those enjoying it. It is insulting in poetry, music, art, movies and tv... I don't know about dance, I don't understand that!

The only thing black and white in the movie was the celuloid it was first imprinted on. I found that its touching portrayal of human nature, of prejudice and of misconceptions was very modern. It touches on prejudice, justice, social pressure, selfishness, hatred, anger and meaning in life. How can it go wrong. The logic of the arguing and why the jury seems to be arguing out what you'd think would have been all determined in the courtroom doesn't really matter, what you're seeing is twelve interesting people (Fonda's character is the only one who doesn't really develop) all showing remarkable parts of humanity. You'll see yourself and others you have known. And hopefully, you'll think and not get angry.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Florida, or bust.

Grapes of Wrath have nothing on us!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

New Sight

We were challenged to think about the miracles of Jesus involving sight. Specifically the two where Jesus makes clay and puts them on the eyes of the blind man.

I'm wondering about the one where the man only partially sees when Jesus heals him. That part has often bothered me because it kind of flies in the face of my main objection to "faith" healers. So often they blame partial healings or reoccurences on something else, lack of faith in the healed for instance, but here, Jesus doesn't fully heal the man in the first place. I hope I haven't been thinking that Jesus messed up... I wonder if that was my flawed thinking, without really thinking it through.

Anyway, upon looking up the actual story, I see that it is sandwiched between two other interesting parts of Jesus' life. Right before, Jesus is questioning why people don't see that Jesus is more than a meal ticket, noting that they are only after another "feeding of the 5000" experience. Immediately after, is Peter's confession that Jesus is "the Christ". Here is an example how people, given the same opportunities, can respond to Jesus in such different ways. One sees, the other only dimly.

John reminds us that Jesus' miracles are more than that, they are in fact "signs". They show us a little of who He is, of the kingdom, of His work. Is this not part of what Jesus brought? Light to some and a veil of secrecy to others?

While I'm posting on this subject. Can anyone tell me if people born blind are born without eyes(or part of their eyes)? I've heard that, but I thought, rather than look it up, I'd see if anyone else has that piece of information tucked away. For now. I'll look it up soon... I guess I just thought it was interesting that perhaps Jesus is replicating the creation of man by taking more dirt and re-forming eyes for these men.

As always, comments are appreciated :)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Holy The Firm

Holy The Firm was a great book by Annie Dillard. I thought of it today though unrelated to the book or Ms Dillard.
I was thinking of our current state. The economy is quivering, some are losing work, many more are disheartened.
Politicians are selling out. I guess even they are worrying about losing their jobs in this climate.
It got really cold this week again. Really cold.
Its too busy. Everywhere.
Its too fake.
Its too plastic.
Its too much debt.
Its not enough credit.
Its who knows what to do?

Our governments can't save us. What does this new guy, what's his name, Obarack, what does he know? Warren Buffet can't save us. Bill Gates has left the building. Tiger Woods has gone back to golf, he must not be the messiah. Donald Trump doesn't have the cash. Bernard Getz is out shopping for new screwdrivers. The Wonder Pets only take calls from baby animals, not people acting like babies. Lawrence of Arabia (sorry to break it to you) is dead. Alexander the Great is crying in his tonic water. Nero is fiddling, and WE'RE BURNING HERE!

But The Holy, is firm. He isn't shaken by this. He is in control.

I was pondering little Jesus today. Jesus of the 3 or 4 year old variety. Imagine him, learning vowel sounds. Or jots and tittles. Imagine him trying to fasten his sandal correctly. Why doesn't he just do it? Why is he wasting his time "growing in wisdom and stature"? Why doesn't he just show up and settle the matter once and for all? I've already scarred my 2 and 4 year old enough in their short lives, that likely they're twitching in their sleep right now. Isn't Jesus worried about Joseph and Mary setting him off on some Himalayan search for purpose (only to find Rick Warren) through their sheer ineptitude? Isn't he afraid that a passing chariot will knock him over and derail the whole plan? Isn't he worried that people will recognize him as the Messiah and decide not to kill him? Isn't he afraid that as a little baby his mother will offer him an unwashed stone (quiet nod to Mom here) and end up with some fatal disease? How come he lets all these unknowns just happen to him? Why, he practically lets fate lead him around with a blindfold on...
God lets go of what He can. He's big enough that nothing gets out of control. He can drop all kinds of things we'd worry about and not even bat an eye. He has the end result. He is in this moment. The one that has you right now staring at the period. He is firm.

When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

Free Coffee for a Year?

Did you know you can win free coffee for a year? Forget the cars, laptops and cash... you can win free coffee for a year!

Tim Hortons... roll up the rim to win... shameless plug for a daily stop in life's journey.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Build a better mouse trap, PLEASE!

The person who comes up with a way to eliminate report cards can instantly retire and become honourary head of every teachers' union in the world.
I'm not complainin'...
I'm just sayin'.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I didn't feel right posting these pictures on my blog... as they are really my dearest husband's interests... So i did what any dear loving supportive wife would do.. I hacked into my husbands blog to post these picturesfor him:) !
Here we are walking the boardwalk on family day..aren't we cute!

Here are the real pictures! Owls!

We were driving home from karate, and we saw him sitting on the side of the road.
He was beautiful.
And Big!
Maybe my Ron will add what kind of owl it is when he reads this!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

We lost

and then people say, "we always win." Isn't it amazing how a one year winning streak makes us "always winners?" (Basketball I'm talking here, folks)

Thankfully, there were no 100-0 games, but the winning team sure was awesome!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hope, Springs, Eternal, Part 2

Siince "hope" is the word of the year, and since baseball is back for 2009, I thought it is only appropriate to appropriate (consider the witty word play) the two into one post today...

Last year I predicted better things for the Nationals. Sadly, though some of my "predictions" were right on, others, were way way off.
"Healthy Nick Johnson" is one of those lines like... "why did the chicken" now... meant to be a joke, but its going to be painful.
This year we have Adam Dunn, who I expect less from than he's delivered in the past, which is less homeruns, strikeouts, lower on base percentage and disappointment. Perhaps compared to the anticipation of getting Mark Texeira anybody else was going to be a let down.
Catching is still an issue, forget what I said last year...
The outfield only looks good when you compare it to the infield. It is only adequate.
Sadly the pitching last year was slightly adequate and the offense went south. This year, I expect the offense to improve, the pitching to disappear. What does that mean? I expect we'll win the division! Hope springs eternal, remember!?

On a very important note, we're heading to Florida this March, and we'll get to see some of the young talent at a spring training games between the Nats and the Orioles. Should be fun.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Juxtaposition, Part 2

Here is another link...

There are some games in which cheering for the other side feels better than winning.
by Rick Reilly

They played the oddest game in high school football history last month down in Grapevine, Texas.

It was Grapevine Faith vs. Gainesville State School and everything about it was upside down. For instance, when Gainesville came out to take the field, the Faith fans made a 40-yard spirit line for them to run through.

Did you hear that? The other team's fans?

They even made a banner for players to crash through at the end. It said, "Go Tornadoes!" Which is also weird, because Faith is the Lions.


It was rivers running uphill and cats petting dogs. More than 200 Faith fans sat on the Gainesville side and kept cheering the Gainesville players on—by name.

"I never in my life thought I'd hear people cheering for us to hit their kids," recalls Gainesville's QB and middle linebacker, Isaiah. "I wouldn't expect another parent to tell somebody to hit their kids. But they wanted us to!"

And even though Faith walloped them 33-14, the Gainesville kids were so happy that after the game they gave head coach Mark Williams a sideline squirt-bottle shower like he'd just won state. Gotta be the first Gatorade bath in history for an 0-9 coach.

But then you saw the 12 uniformed officers escorting the 14 Gainesville players off the field and two and two started to make four. They lined the players up in groups of five—handcuffs ready in their back pockets—and marched them to the team bus. That's because Gainesville is a maximum-security correctional facility 75 miles north of Dallas. Every game it plays is on the road.

This all started when Faith's head coach, Kris Hogan, wanted to do something kind for the Gainesville team. Faith had never played Gainesville, but he already knew the score. After all, Faith was 7-2 going into the game, Gainesville 0-8 with 2 TDs all year. Faith has 70 kids, 11 coaches, the latest equipment and involved parents. Gainesville has a lot of kids with convictions for drugs, assault and robbery—many of whose families had disowned them—wearing seven-year-old shoulder pads and ancient helmets.

So Hogan had this idea. What if half of our fans—for one night only—cheered for the other team? He sent out an email asking the Faithful to do just that. "Here's the message I want you to send:" Hogan wrote. "You are just as valuable as any other person on planet Earth."

Some people were naturally confused. One Faith player walked into Hogan's office and asked, "Coach, why are we doing this?"

And Hogan said, "Imagine if you didn't have a home life. Imagine if everybody had pretty much given up on you. Now imagine what it would mean for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you."

Next thing you know, the Gainesville Tornadoes were turning around on their bench to see something they never had before. Hundreds of fans. And actual cheerleaders!

"I thought maybe they were confused," said Alex, a Gainesville lineman (only first names are released by the prison). "They started yelling 'DEE-fense!' when their team had the ball. I said, 'What? Why they cheerin' for us?'"

It was a strange experience for boys who most people cross the street to avoid. "We can tell people are a little afraid of us when we come to the games," says Gerald, a lineman who will wind up doing more than three years. "You can see it in their eyes. They're lookin' at us like we're criminals. But these people, they were yellin' for us! By our names!"

Maybe it figures that Gainesville played better than it had all season, scoring the game's last two touchdowns. Of course, this might be because Hogan put his third-string nose guard at safety and his third-string cornerback at defensive end. Still.

After the game, both teams gathered in the middle of the field to pray and that's when Isaiah surprised everybody by asking to lead. "We had no idea what the kid was going to say," remembers Coach Hogan. But Isaiah said this: "Lord, I don't know how this happened, so I don't know how to say thank You, but I never would've known there was so many people in the world that cared about us."

And it was a good thing everybody's heads were bowed because they might've seen Hogan wiping away tears.

As the Tornadoes walked back to their bus under guard, they each were handed a bag for the ride home—a burger, some fries, a soda, some candy, a Bible and an encouraging letter from a Faith player.

The Gainesville coach saw Hogan, grabbed him hard by the shoulders and said, "You'll never know what your people did for these kids tonight. You'll never, ever know."

And as the bus pulled away, all the Gainesville players crammed to one side and pressed their hands to the window, staring at these people they'd never met before, watching their waves and smiles disappearing into the night.

Anyway, with the economy six feet under and Christmas running on about three and a half reindeer, it's nice to know that one of the best presents you can give is still absolutely free.


Juxtaposition, Part 1

Here's a link to the following story, but I'm putting it here too...
Juxtaposition implies at least two, I know, but the second will be tomorrow.
A Texas high school girls basketball team on the winning end of a 100-0 game has a case of blowout remorse.

Now officials from The Covenant School say they are trying to do the right thing by seeking a forfeit and apologizing for the margin of victory.

"It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened," Kyle Queal, the head of the school, said in a statement, adding the forfeit was requested because "a victory without honor is a great loss."

The private Christian school defeated Dallas Academy last week. Covenant was up 59-0 at halftime.

A parent who attended the game told The Associated Press that Covenant continued to make 3-pointers -- even in the fourth quarter. She praised the Covenant players but said spectators and an assistant coach were cheering wildly as their team edged closer to 100 points.

"I think the bad judgment was in the full-court press and the 3-point shots," said Renee Peloza, whose daughter plays for Dallas Academy. "At some point, they should have backed off."

Dallas Academy coach Jeremy Civello told The Dallas Morning News that the game turned into a "layup drill," with the opposing team's guards waiting to steal the ball and drive to the basket. Covenant scored 12 points in the fourth quarter and "finally eased up when they got to 100 with about four minutes left," he said.

Dallas Academy has eight girls on its varsity team and about 20 girls in its high school. It is winless over the last four seasons. The academy boasts of its small class sizes and specializes in teaching students struggling with "learning differences," such as short attention spans or dyslexia.

There is no mercy rule in girls basketball that shortens the game or permits the clock to continue running when scores become lopsided. There is, however, "a golden rule" that should have applied in this contest, said Edd Burleson, the director of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. Both schools are members of this association, which oversees private school athletics in Texas.

"On a personal note, I told the coach of the losing team how much I admire their girls for continuing to compete against all odds," Burleson said. "They showed much more character than the coach that allowed that score to get out of hand. It's up to the coach to control the outcome."

In the statement on the Covenant Web site, Queal said the game "does not reflect a Christ-like and honorable approach to competition. We humbly apologize for our actions and seek the forgiveness of Dallas Academy, TAPPS and our community."

Covenant coach Micah Grimes did not immediately respond to a message left by The Associated Press on Thursday.

Queal said school officials met with Dallas Academy officials to apologize and praised "each member of the Dallas Academy Varsity Girls Basketball team for their strength, composure and fortitude in a game in which they clearly emerged the winner."

Civello said he appreciated the gesture and has accepted the apology "with no ill feelings."

At a shootaround Thursday, several Dallas Academy players said they were frustrated during the game but felt it was a learning opportunity. They also said they are excited about some of the attention they are receiving from the loss, including an invitation from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to see an NBA game from his suite.

"Even if you are losing, you might as well keep playing," said Shelby Hyatt, a freshman on the team. "Keep trying, and it's going to be OK."

Peloza said the coach and other parents praised the Dallas Academy girls afterward for limiting Covenant to 12 points in the fourth quarter. She added that neither her daughter nor her teammates seemed to dwell on the loss.

"Somewhere during that game they got caught up in the moment," Peloza said of the Covenant players, fans and coaches. "Our girls just moved on. That's the happy part of the story."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lost, Season 5

It began last night.
2 episodes
Because you Left
The Lie

It was worth the wait. I hope its also worth the anticipation. There are going to be huge moments this year.

My favourite moment to chew on from last night is that John Locke has to die to save the island and the people on it.

This and reasons like that are why I continue to be enthralled by Lost. The possibilities and reasons are endless but the redemption story is so strong all through the show that it makes my little brain spin. Call me what you will. I see a parable for our times. I see a glimpse into the heart of the true story, the one all other stories have their best fulfillment in.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A brighter day shines for all of us now!

Its only the first day of Mr Obama's presidency, but already things are looking up.

The sun rose a few minutes earlier today!

Thank you Mr. Obama.

Hope, Springs, Eternal.

I'm watching the hype leading up to Barack Obama's inauguration as I type this. The common person on the street can not help but feel hope. Things can't get worse. "This guy can't do worse than the last guy did". "He has a huge job ahead of him, but he can do it." "History in the Making" the CNN screen says. This is a hopeful statement in itself. Do they know that things will be better under Obama? No. Does everyone want it to be better though? Of course. "It's going to be overwhelming." Oprah Winfrey has already called him America's best President... that was before the inauguration even!

The tremendous timing of this, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day can't be overlooked. They reality of the animosity, the alienation, the sadness, the hope, the joy that lives in the hearts of many Americans, of all colours, can not be overlooked. In about 25 minutes, I'm going to play the inauguration for a group of 11-14 year olds, some of whom won't care. Some who will be curious. Some will be overwhelmed by the political speak, some by the celebrity. Some will not understand that this is about hope, about dreams, about history and the future.

There are a few times in your life that you have to remember. Many recall the assassination of JFK. Many more recall the horror of space shuttle tragedies or September 11th. Not too many have the hype ahead of time that this event has. How many million showed up in Washington this day? Why? Can the man live up to the hype? Not likely.

However, the immensity of our times, of the heart of the people around us is reflected in the human response, even worship, at this time. People need a saviour, a leader. Many facebook postings today called Mr. Obama something along the lines of "President of the World". We all need hope. Sometimes the hype shows our desperation.

Hope is the word of the year, as far as I can tell. Maybe the word of our lives?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

May Peace, Joy and Love (of the Father) follow you through this year.

I hope you noticed it with you last year too, but that's another post.