Saturday, July 31, 2004

Quote for 7/31/04

"What does not kill us..." ... only makes me angry!


My Beloved

My Beloved...
How I have sought after you
yearning to capture your heart
longing to feel your touch
gentle caress of your fingertips
Desiring your embrace
so soft and warm against me
To taste you once again
Your breath...
hot and sweet on my lips
To whisper my love to you
our passions enjoined
A single flame
relentless and eternal
as God pours love upon us
we surrender one to the other
Be forever...
...My Beloved



Mental Note !!!

The 4 posts which preceeded this one should've gone up yesterday... "I was... delayed." (Gandalf the Grey/Ian McKellan - from The Fellowship of the Ring.)


Quote for 7/30/04

"What does not kill us, only makes us stronger."
Friedrich Nietzche

I believe Faith has a passing familiarity with this one.

Watch for the next installment!


"I'm melting... melllting!"

The wicked witch of the west/Cora Hamilton - from "The Wizard of Oz"

Jo had gastric bypass surgery back in October. As a result, she has lost an incredible amount of weight... 8 - 10 clothing sizes.
The really amazing thing about it is that it all seems to be just sorta melting away.
One of her sisters actually said " It's like you're a snowman who's just melting away.", what an awesome image.
Even better though is the fact that we haven't seen this sister since Easter. So Jo has lost a significant amount of both weigth and size, and none of her sisters family recognized her... especially since we pulled up in my dads car.
It's a great thing to experience.


My fathers secret life

O.K., so Jo's tranny is starting to slip. Fortunately for us, my mom hasn't sold dads car. So we're borrowing it until we can get the tranny, and the inspection, taken care of.
Last night we had a little family gathering at Jo's sisters house... her sisters birthday. As we're on our way there, Aliesha pulls the cassette out of the tape player. It was ABBAs greatest hits... something that neither Jo, nor my kids, would've expected to be in my dads car. But I was fully aware of the fact that he happened to like a few of their songs because they have a sorta 'spanish' feel to them. After this we looked into the consol to see what else he had. Cher, Celine Dion, Dolly Parton, Nana Mouscourri (spelling?), and Johnny Cash.
Now, my kids began to joke about my dad possibly having a secret life. Well, to be completely honest... he kinda did... but NOT that kinda secret life. He just really loved music. I probably should've included that in my list of 100 things ...and things left unsaid where I mention roses, and thunder and lightning.
My dad was a sucker for a really good acoustic guitar riff. He used to play, and he was good at Flamenco, the theme song from the old Disney series, Zorro, was one of his favorites. He also used a decent blues scale to keep himself in practice. It makes me a bit sad to think that over the last few years I've collected many CDs with plenty of good string work that he probably would've enjoyed listening to, but alas, we shall not pass that way again. Maybe he had the soundtrack to "The Man of LaMancha" in his computer desk... if he did, it's mine now. I'll go look for it later.

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"Work, work, work, work, work, work, work!"

(Govenor LaPetomain/Mel Brooks - from "Blazing Saddles")

Bonus quote for this post... "So much time, so little to do... wait... strike that, reverse it!" Willy Wonka/Gene Wilder - from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"

Why is it that anytime you resign yourself to a particular task, someone has to come along and screw things up? I really wouldn't mind so much, except that it only seems to happen right after I get a good flow going. And, of course, once I've relocated my 'stuff', something goes wrong where I am, and I end up having to stop dead in my tracks until I can get some technical help... oh, well, at least I get paid by the hour.
In any event, I did manage to get more work done on my pilot run project. Software glitch! One of our software engineers had to come down and tweek some of the settings. A new kid named Bryan... reminds me very much of Mr. Bad Influence himself, Kenn from our younger days. Even his voice was kinda similar. It stirred in me memories of him, justterry and myself in our Glory Days.
Followed this up with a magnificent conversation with a young lady, Merry, who attended the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on Thursday night --- Howard Shore, the music of Lord Of the Rings. It isn't enough that I love classical music, but to combine that with such an incredible masterpiece of cinematic work would've had to be beyond description... and she said it pretty much was.
Once again, I have revealed to someone a side of me that they would never have expected. Merry knew that I was passionate about music, with a particular fondness for metal, punk/alternative, and even some goth/industrial, but she said she never suspected that I was a classical freak (there's a joke in there somewhere, but I'll leave that to you). I informed her that I get that a lot. I just don't present myself as anything more than who, or what, I am and I think most people just see me as your typical working class joe. Which, for all intents and purposes, I am.

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Thursday, July 29, 2004

On the mild controversy I've started

Well, I managed to get a little attention from the outside world, and that's a good thing... I think. So I've opened up a can of worms labeled "The Abortion Issue", O.K., let's talk about this. And PLEASE, don't think I'm trying to force my opinions on you, I'm only asking questions that you may, or may not have considered before.
First comment to my earlier rant was from Ryan Waddell. Yes, Ryan it was a BIT over the top, but who hasn't made that mistake while discussing issues which they're passionate about. Still, the problem remains, that at an average rate of 1.5 million/year over 30 years we have managed to eliminate 45 million people from our society, and we will never know, or be able to appreciate, the contribution that they may have made to it otherwise. But I'll discuss this more later.
The next, unexpected, result of my post was to stir up a little reflection within Faith's mind, which resulted in her post. So I will now attempt to begin a reasonable discussion of the matter, in the hopes of finding some common ground on which we can stand, or at least agree to disagree.
First, and foremost, as a matter of faith, I believe what the Bible teaches in regard to God's pre-birth knowledge of each of us. But I understand that not everyone reading this shares my belief, so I will not pursue this discussion from a purely religious perspective, except where it happens to be relevant. I only wished to make it clear as to WHY I think abortion is murder.
In regards to the legality of abortion... O.K., it's legal, but so was slavery at one time, and that, also, under the conviction that 'slaves' were not people. If at some point in the future we were to discover something about fetuses that identifies them as legitimate people would we then have to outlaw abortion all together? Wouldn't it be intellectually dishonest, and morally reprehensible, to refuse to do so at that point?
Likewise, while abortion is legal, it is considered a medical procedure. If this is true, it is the least regulated medical procedure on earth. If we must have legalized abortions, shouldn't we at least impose the same sort of regulatory control on the providers of this service as we force upon common family practicioners? Wouldn't this be in the best interest of the women seeking these services?
Now, on the issue of choice and a womans body. I am a firm believer in freewill, and thus, I agree that we all have a right to choose what we do with the body that God has given us. However, there are no laws, in all of human history, that do not attempt to control some aspect of what it is that we do with our bodies. You may drink as much alcohol as your body can stand, but you are not allowed to get behind the wheel of your car and drive home. You may chain-smoke one cigarette after another for every waking moment of your life, except where laws prohibit it. So why are a womans reproductive organs off limits?
But allow me to expand on the above examples. In either case, we have age limitations on the behaviors mentioned, so why don't we have any laws that prohibit sex for anyone under a certain age? Isn't it the least bit curious that of all the physical pleasures that we can engage in, only sexual pleasure is untouched by prohibition? Which is not to say that I think there should be age limits on sex (except those put in place by parents), but one must wonder about why sex is such a sacred cow to our society. And this is a topic for another day.
But speaking of our society... We ask the question; what gives our society the right to demand that a woman carry a baby to full term? The same things that allow a society to impose anything upon it's individual members: because that's what a society is. There has been a fundamental shift in our perception of what a society is for, we ask questions as if society is about protecting our desired behaviors, when the truth of the matter is that our behaviors are meant to protect, and perpetuate, our society. If we all really acted as if society were about "ME" then the 3 kill rule would not only be in full effect, but the 3 would be any number that you wanted it to be. If we really only did whatever we wanted to do, nothing productive would ever get done, because too many of us would be occupying our time with our favorite pleasures.
Which brings me back to the idea of 45 million people missing from our society. Even if we assume that none of them would enter the workforce until the age of 18, there are roughly 18 million people (12 years worth) that are not paying taxes, contributing to worthwhile causes, paying into my Social Security, etc... And how do we know that we haven't aborted the person who might have grown up to cure cancer, or AIDS, or any other disease?
And now for the most difficult part of all... Faith is absolutely right in pointing a finger at those of us who oppose abortion, but who do nothing to help those who need our help. The church (not any particular denomination, but the entire church) has failed miserably in this respect. While there are a great many crisis pregnancy centers, they are too few and far between to meet the needs of every young woman who needs their help. There are ministries which will give as much assitance as possible to help these young mothers to get an education and a job, and even help with daycare, but they can only do so much. More of us need to "step up to bat" here. And we need to do it without the judgmental attitude that so often accompanies it. And this is a conviction that I hold in regard to welfare as well, If the church were doing more to help, the government wouldn't have to be involved, but that is a totally different essay. But I still have to ask this question; If these private organizations were ever fully funded to the point where they could meet the needs of every young woman who found herself unexpectedly pregnant, would we still need abortion?
So where does this leave me? I have to admit that I am somewhat torn on the issue. While I believe it to be morally wrong, I also understand the need for some measure of compassion for those making the difficult choice. As a Christian, I consider it to be murder, which is a sin, but so is lying, and I have yet to meet anyone who has never done that, so it is really just another sin. But as I said at the beginning of this post, I don't want to approach this from the purely religious perspective. Instead, I'll approach my conclusion from a somewhat political point of view.
I would like to see abortion curtailed in some way, but not made completely illegal, except in the cases of partial birth abortions. I am in partial agreement with Faith on the idea that first trimester abortions are fine, because the fetus cannot survive outside of the mothers womb. But as medical technology advances, viability becomes a greater possibility fairly early in the babys' developement, at which point I think abortions should be limited to the hard cases, such as rape, or when the life, or physical health, of the mother is in jeopardy. Abortion should not be simply another form of birth control. It should be regulated in the same way that any other medical provider is regulated. These are my opinions on the issue.
And, yes, I do believe that I will have to answer to God for any of my shortcomings on this topic. But you need not concern yourself with that.
If you made it this far... God bless you.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2004


...we are
a mirror shattered ..
reflecting the image of God
distorted and malformed
in the jagged shards of glass
are the rags we wear
filthy and disheveled
we are meant for princely robes
by the continuous chase
constantly grasping at wind
pursuing what we cannot hold
for one more moment
one more day to struggle thru
to find elusive joy
to be...
... Whole



Some people are just plain SICK!

Did anyone out there catch this story?
This is just plain WRONG! I've got a better idea. Lets find T-shirts that say "I MURDERED my baby!". Oh, wait, that wouldn't go over so well would it? And the other shirt does? When are the people in this country going to wake up to the fact that we are killing the next generation! God have mercy on us all, PLEASE!

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Controlled media in the 'burgh

O.K., I realize that the flap over Teresa Heinz-Kerry telling Collin McNickle to "shove it!" is old news but there's been an interesting local developement around this story. It seems that one of our network affiliates, WPXI, was told that they weren't permitted to show the clip of the exchange. The original response by the affiliate was that there were "copyright issues" involved and that they could not use the clip. The other local affiliate station, whose cameras captured the moment, denies ever refusing to allow use of the footage. The WPXI people then confirmed that they were directed by the network to not show the clip, even to the point of preempting the nightly news' coverage and the late night talk show mention. HMMM.
And the Democrats still have the nerve to whine about "...some vast, right-wing conspiracy.". Perhaps Tim Robbins can explain the concepts of censorship and propaganda to the DNC. Or maybe they're quite clear on the subject already.

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The Royal Family

I haven't been paying as much attention to the Democratic National Re-Invention as I normally might, but I have been catching bits-n-pieces of it here and there. So maybe there's somebody out there that can fill in some of what I'm missing. Otherwise, I'd have to say that I get the distinct impression that John Kerry and Teresa Heinz-Kerry are running for King and Queen of the United States. Anybody else picking up on that vibe?

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Quote for 7/27/04

" 'Nothing' is what rocks dream about"

Heard that on the radio today and couldn't resist posting it.


It's soooo good to be alive

It has been a great 24 hours for me. Let's start with Jo and Aliesha going out to the Pitcairn Fair last night, which gave me and The Boy a chance to hang out for awhile. A little Playstation 2, and then we watched The Goonies... awesome flick!
Found myself lying on the floor with Sheba, just relaxing and wishing I could be a dog. Wouldn't it be great to just lay around until someone you love calls you. Eat whenever you felt, sleep anytime you're tired, bark at strangers or anyone you don't trust. I think I could handle that... as long as my owners loved me, I guess.
But I've distracted myself from my original point. My love of life has been reaffirmed once again. Checked out some of my favorite blogs before I headed off to bed. Justterry seems to be doing O.K. with a bit of work to liven him up. I may, or may not, get to hang out with him tonight... funding issues. Then I caught Faiths post about her sisters sonogram, and I am reminded again of 2 very important things; How precious life is, and why I am pro-life. I headed to bed pretty content with life.
I woke up fairly well rested and not feeling any unusual aches or pains. Headed to work and found plenty to do. But the high point was a really great conversation with one of my co-workers that spanned everything from dirt bikes to politics to WWII stuff and, of course, theology. Finished the day ahead of the game, as it were.
Pork Chops for dinner tonight, not like last Tuesday, tonight I made them barbeque, with fries and sauteed zuccini, mushrooms, and onions. I could've done without the onions.
And now the kids and I are getting ready to go out for awhile... Pitcairn Fair lasts til Saturday. WOOHOO!!

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Monday, July 26, 2004

Quote for 7/26/04

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive."
C.S. Lewis (from God In The Dock)


A convergence of Jackasses

So, one of the cities most notably famous as a birthplace of liberty has been converged upon by the American Socialist Party, a.k.a. the Decomcratic National Convention. I can't wait to see how our 'objective' media spins this thing. After all of the venomous spewings of hatred and contempt that I've heard from these people over the last 3 years, I want to see how they can possibly portray themselves as the party of the Moderate/Centrist American.

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Sunday, July 25, 2004

Nothing to say

I really was hoping to have a really great post for today (yesterday being the company picnic to Kennywood and all), but an otherwise enjoyable day came to a screeching halt in the early evening. There will be no details forthcoming, as the event is just painful enough for me to refuse to recount it. It is a rare thing, indeed, for me to do so, but last night I crawled into bed thanking God that nothing worse happened, and happy to have it all behind me.


Friday, July 23, 2004

Quote for 7/23/04

"Imagination is more important than knowledge"
Albert Einstein


A much deserved rest... kinda

It felt so good to sleep 'til 6:43 this morning. It felt even better to hear Jo already awake as well. After a few minutes of talk, we decided that breakfast would be a good idea, so Jo made pancakes and scrambled eggs. Since she had gone out last night, she was still somewhat tired, so we agreed that a nap would be a good idea... God, how I love a day off.
After waking up I did a little bit of running around, just some banking. Only to arrive home to Jo and Aliesha cleaning out the garage and gameroom. My garbage men are gonna love us. We were going to put a kitchen in our basement, but it has become 'cost prohibitive' so we've opted for a gameroom instead. It was the utility room, but we managed to fix it up a bit ourselves. So, it's not too much of a hassle to just make the switch.
My only real problem with the entire ordeal was the dust, and animal hair, that was getting kicked up by all of the shifting and moving of the shelves, cabinetry, and cupboards. My asthma started to act up, and while I don't usually panic over it, Jo is always afraid I'm going to have another 'episode'. I don't blame her for being so concerned, but I haven't had a serious attack in years, so it seems a bit unnecessary to me. I doubt that she has to worry about me dying again anytime soon... at least not from my asthma, anyway.
Tonight I make a Tuna Cassarole, a very simple concoction of mac-n-cheese, tuna, and mushroom soup. This is like one of those infamous 'college student survival recipes'... it might cost about $1.50 to make, if you know how to shop.
Kennywood tomorrow!!! Looking forward to a good day. The kids can run free, and Jo and I can take our time walking casually and riding occasionally. The most important rides for me are the Potato Patch ride, the Dippin' Dots ride and the Funnel Cake ride. Oh, and there's the Pitt Fall, too (the only real ride on my list). I'm considering getting a disposable camera for the day. I'd love to get at least one good shot from the top of the Pitt Fall. I can think of several other shots that I'd like to get, too, but with a disposable they may end up looking like crap. Maybe I'll have something worth posting soon.

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Thursday, July 22, 2004

"I'm rich! I'm rich! I'll be wealthy miser."

(Daffy Duck)

If silence truly were golden, then that quote might be halfway true for me after today. I spent the majority of my day at work NOT talking to my co-workers (Jane, and Phyllis, anyway). "How is that possible?", you might ask. Well, allow me to tell you...
It began innocently enough with me informing Jane that I have tomorrow off (YAY!). Then after she had mentioned having a sandwich for lunch, I told her that I had Raviolli and Chicken in Alfredo Sauce (two nights leftovers mixed together very well) So she decided to be mad and not talk to me. I, in turn, decided I would not speak to her either, and eventually the whole ordeal became a game of note passing and gestures that were thinly veiled attempts at making each other speak.
Round 1: Mine!
They attempted to get me to say the word 'Doomed' (as in those Fed-Ex commercials from a few months ago) so instead I merely wrote 'Doomed!' in big letters on a sheet of paper and held it up for all to see. Jane commented "We didn't think you could resist that.". My reply; "LOSER! You talked to me.". Dead pan look crosses Janes face at this point.
Round 2: Mine!
By default. The rules seemed to change somewhere in the middle of the game and they did not work in my favor. Somehow, during the game, I was forbidden to speak to anyone... strange that I don't recall agreeing to that rule. So I spoke to Della, once Jane had left her work station, because Della wasn't playing the game. But Jane and Phyllis insist that I wasn't allowed to speak to anyone. So I consider it a win by default, since the rules seemed too much like "Fizzbin", and today wasn't Tuesday (and if you recognize that little reference, I feel just as sorry for you, as you do for me).
Gotta go turn over the chicken that I'm baking. No recipe for this one. If you can't manage Seasoned Baked Chicken on your own, you don't need my recipe... you need a bullet.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Quote for 7/21/2004

The first one of its' kind...

"It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations."
Winston Churchill.



"Memories of a Man"

(IN3D... one of those bands that I love that most people have never heard of)

Managed to get a lot of work done on the pilot-run project that I've been involved with. It's always good to see some positive changes.
There's a lot going through my head right now because of a few things that happened at work today. Things that have stirred up some memories I have of my dad.
The first was an overheard conversation. A couple of ladies were discussing sky-diving, and I couldn't help but to chuckle at this. When the one girl, who had expressed a desire to try sky-diving, heard me she turned and asked, "What?".
"My father was a Paratrooper in the army." I started. "Anytime I hear somebody talk about sky-diving, I remember something he once told me about it."
She was curious about this, so she asked, "What did he say about it?"
"My father said,", I replied, "when you're a paratrooper there are only two ways you go out of a plane; you jump, or you get pushed... I never jumped."
As she chuckled at this thought, I continued, "I just don't see the logic of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane." I then added, "I have to admit that I agree with him.". It's a good memory.
The second thing that happened was a conversation I was having with one of the engineers. It isn't that this particular engineer reminds me of my father at all. To be completely honest, he reminds me more of Buddy Hackett, with glasses and medium brown hair. The thing that caught my attention was the fact that as he was explaining something about our pilot-run units, I had stopped listening to what he was saying and I had started to just watch his hands. He was sitting across from me and he had his hands out in front of him and he just kept waving them in short, little, up and down motions that were exactly like the motions my dad would make when he was talking to me. These particular hand gestures were so common for 'the old man' (my dads' words, not mine) that we actually have a few pictures of him with his hands in that position while talking to other relatives. One of which has made it into a collage of my grandfathers family (my moms dad). The realization made me smile.
When the conversation ended I pulled out my CD player and put in the CD that I listened to as I left the hospital on the day my dad died. "Art of the State" by AD, I went to one song in particular... "Up from the Wasteland", it just happens to be one of justterrys favorite songs as well. I am always moved by the last line;

"All our enemies beneath His feet
No height, nor depth
nor life, nor death
can take us away from His love"

a paraphrase of one of mine, and terrys', favorite scripture verses, Romans 8:38 - 39. It's on my fathers memorial card, too.
It's nice to be able to reflect on such things every once in a while. And it's given me an opportunity to collect a few thoughts that I'll post later, when I've sorted through them.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2004

New idea

O.K., I've decided to add a new feature to the blog. As of tommorrow (I hope) I'll be adding a section called the "Quote of the Unspecified Time Frame". Please note that it is not going to be a "Quote of the Day", or even "Quote of the Week", because I can't be sure to have something on a daily, or weekly, basis, but I will make every attempt to keep new stuff up and coming as much as possible... it just depends on how often I find a good quote.
Also note... some of the quotes will be encouraging, some humorous, some will be thought provoking, and some will probably be enough to really piss ya off.
You've been warned.


3 kill rule

Ahhhh, what a wonderful day. Finally got a few problems solved at work, so things should start to move a bit more smoothly now... for a little while, anyway. For some odd reason, the topics of conversation around work were a bit more upbeat and humorous than they have been in a while. Once again I prove to them all that I am the lord of trivia... as opposed to being a trivia god, whom I know to be one of the office personel.
I just finished visiting some of my favorite blogs and Faiths post has me thinking about "the 3 kill rule". For those of you who've never heard of "the 3 kill rule", I'll explain;
Many years ago I met a man who believed that there should be a thing called "the 3 kill rule". In order to maintain a polite and courteous society "the 3 kill rule" would grant everybody over the age of 18 permission to kill 3 people without facing prosecution... but there are stipulations to "the 3 kill rule".
1) Only strangers. No enemies,no co-workers, no in-laws, no ex-boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse, or ex- of a boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse
2) Cannot be premeditated. It must be spur of the moment. You can't go home and stew over whatever it is that has made you mad enough to kill the person in question. An example of this would be to come home to find your significant other in bed with someone else... you could kill the 'someone else' (as long as it isn't a friend of yours), but not your significant other.
The thinking behind "the 3 kill rule" is that everybody would be much nicer to anyone they met because we would always be wondering "Has this guy got his 3 yet?".
Wouldn't you be nicer to strangers? Wouldn't you drive with a bit more concern for the other drivers on the road? Wouldn't you treat your waiters/waitresses with more respect?
I know... It's a very sick idea, but every once in awhile it pops into my head when I hear a story like Faiths' about morons with drivers licenses all over our highways. Bad drivers are just one of my pet peeves.

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Monday, July 19, 2004

A ripple in time

In spite of the fact that today went fairly well at work, the day just seemed to drag. I will never be able to understand why it is that when you're at work, and you don't have anything to do, the clock never seems to move. However, when you're at home on the weekends, or a day off, that same amount of nothing still gets done in record time.
I'm in charge of dinner again tonight... Jo works 'til 5:30 PM. I think that I'll start posting the recipes that I use, it can't hurt. Besides, there just might be someone out there looking for something creative to do for their own dinner.
Tonights fare; Shredded Chicken Alfredo over Pasta
Boil your chicken for about one hour
Make your Alfredo Sauce, and your pasta, while the chicken is boiling (about half way thru).
Alfredo Sauce....
1/4 cup butter or margerine melted in sauce pan
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp fresh finely chopped garlic
1/4 tsp parsley
1/8 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp parmesean cheese
allow to boil for about 1 minute
2 cups of milk or cream
bring to boil
mix seperately;
2 cups of milk or cream with
1 Tbsp flour and
2 Tbsp parmesean cheese
slowly add to boiling mixture
bring back to boil then reduce heat, allow to simmer for 2 or 3 minutes
break up boiled chicken and add to alfredo sauce, simmer a few more minutes
strain pasta
pour Alfredo and chicken over pasta
Eat ravenously!
Oh, well... I guess I'd better get back to my chicken. Bon Appetite'


Sunday, July 18, 2004

... and things left unsaid

These are some facts that have been left out of my list 100 Things… or explanations of things that were said:

1) You’ve probably noticed what my name is
2) I was born in October of ‘65, in Columbus, Ohio
3) My father chose my name
4) Yes, I am a Bible believing Christian. Is there any other kind?
5) I believe in the Bible's inspiration by God. See 2 Timothy 3:16
6) "Bible Roulette" is the practice of asking God to help you by closing your eyes, opening your Bible, and randomly pointing to a verse that you hope will tell you everything you need to know
7) Examples of Absolute Truth: 2+2=4, The speed of light, nobody likes to be lied to (that one covers Absolute Moral Truth)
8) We were together for over 17 years
9) It's much better for the kids that we didn't make ouselves enemies
10) My daughter is my first born, the boy is second
11) My kids may not be the brightest, but they have a good deal of common sense
12) There is no reward like seeing your kids grow up right
13) Sick and twisted, just as it should be...
14) JT and I have known each other for more than 25 years. We can finish each others sentences. I consider him to be my brother
15) We are both over 6’2" tall and over 275 lbs... and capable of putting away massive quantities of food.
16) I start work at 6:45 AM every weekday, that means I wake up by 5:00 AM.
17) I always have something to say, sometimes funny, sometimes just off the wall
18) That’s one of our common replies to a joke made at your own expense... "You’re so funny... but looks aren’t everything"
19) I used to test a life support device called the PLV. It’s the same unit that Christopher Reeves used until he became more capable of breathing on his own
20) Edged weapons are fascinating to me
21) Aliesha is 20 and no longer lives at home
22) Her boyfriends WILL treat her with the utmost respect... or else!
23) Robert is 17, and after 3 years with me decided he wanted to live with his mother - he's regretting that choice
24) He WILL treat his girlfriends with the utmost respect... or else!
25) "Love? Bio-chemically, it’s the same as eating large quantities of chocolate." (The Devils Advocate) I don’t really agree with that, but I know some women who do
26) I’ve had Better-Than-Sex Cake... and it isn’t! Obviously, named by a woman
27) Sometimes you just get a craving that won’t go away... in either case
28) Some risks just don’t make any sense to me, I like to believe that logic dictates my response to those situations
29) I regret being unable to return their affection, but cats were partially responsible for # 31 of 100 Things
30) It’s against my religion to be afraid of death. Besides, we all have to come to grips with our own mortality, I did that several years ago
31) I was gone for over 10 minutes.
32) The doctors didn’t believe that I would live through the night... God thought otherwise
33) I started working at Respironics on August 12, 1996
34) It's much less dramatic than it sounds. So let's just say God REALLY watches out for me
35) Romans 5:1 - 5 and then, Romans 2:11, and 2 Peter 3:9
36) I regret losing my virginity very early, and trying marijuana, as well as some other really stupid stuff
37) Live your life as if each day is your last
38) Always keep duplicate documents somewhere other than your house, keep fresh batteries in the smoke detectors, trust God to bring you through the rough spots
39) It was about 8:30 PM, I was already in bed. When the kids woke me up Heatmiser was doing his number on ABC/Family Channel, The Year Without A Santa Clause
40) Triskadecaphobia: fear of the number 13
41) I still like sitting by a decent fire... as long as it isn’t my house
42) "Burn" is a song from a band named Splintered. I used to be their bass player
43) When I was a newborn, the only space in my parents apartment for my bassinet was right in front of the stereo speaker
44) I love the deeper tones of the B string
45) I wish I could read music... I’d be able to write songs, not just lyrics
46) Most of them are Christian bands from the ‘80s... but some of them are more recent
47) Because good music is good music
48) I never much cared for the themes behind their songs
49) But they were all incredibly talented musicians and lyricists
50) Everybody's life should have a soundtrack
51) Roses are a magnificent display of God's creativity
52) Thunder and lightning are awesome displays of God’s power
53) We used to admire either of the two together, whenever we had the opportunity
54) He passed away around 4:00 PM on June 12th, 2004
55) I held his hand as he breathed his last
56) My Pastor usually knows the right thing to say
57) But he can’t tell a joke to save his life
58) I love using my mind
59) I try to use my powers for good and not evil
60) Though I have been accused of being one
61) I just like having a lot of information about a lot of different subjects
62) I joke around, or laugh, when I’m nervous or upset about something
63) Sex helps with a great many problems that one might face
64) I have a great appreciation for using uncommon words
65) Sometimes fortune cookies can be misleading
66) I also know I'm not the only person who does this
67) Don't we all have such "unexplained" habits?
68) Anybody can have a "Blonde moment"
69) I don't care about who's name is on the label
70) I only wear clothes to cover my body, not as a symbol of prestige or status
71) I am bothered by people who butcher the English language
72) I try to paint pictures with my words whenever the chance arises
73) I’ve never felt comfortable about chat rooms... too many bad stories, and urban legends I guess
74) I prefer to take time to consider my responses to the people who correspond with me
75) I believe it shows a genuine interest in what they have to say
76) Rhyming has always seemed like something you do to get your kids interested in what you’re reading to them
77) Political Correctness is a method of avoiding debate by redefining terms and framing opposing views and convictions as either irrational "phobias" or hatred, but never by presenting legitimate factual information to counter dissent
78) Don’t tell me you believe something if you don’t act like it
79) I’ve had both good and bad experiences with people of different races, creeds, and colors
80) Most people tend to be pretty decent, but sometimes they prove themselves to be otherwise
81) James 2:14 - 26
82) Actually, I have seen more miracles than most people, so I really don’t consider my faith to be blind either
83) Getting OTHER people to Heaven is the goal of being a Christian
84) I see too much evidence of a God to not believe in Him, and just as much to support the claims of Christ
85) C.S. Lewis used logic and reason to defend his positions of faith
86) I have given away 5 copies of this book
87) I think people should have to pass a test on both before they’re allowed to vote
88) Philosophy is exercise for the mind
89) "... Man knows that he is wretched. He therefore is wretched, because he is so; but he is really great because he knows it." Pensees #416. I recommend reading the entire collection
90) It doesn’t pay to be negative
91) In the end, I’m not the One to whom you will have to apologize...
92) There's nothing like looking out the window of a jet and seeing the scenery below you
93) I'm afraid of the kinds of heights that will only hurt me if I fall. I don't mind the kinds of heights that will kill me - I just don't want to get hurt...
94) "Government is not the solution, it is the problem." - Ronald Reagan... God rest his soul
95) I have an insatiable thirst for information, though not necessarily knowledge
96) Most of what I have in my head consists of quotes from movies, cartoons, TV and literature
97) I’m not even going to begin to name them here... look for another posting later
98) German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, Hawaiian (yeah that‘s kinda cheating), and of course Klingon. By "greet" I mean I can either say hello/good-bye or thank you/you're welcome
99) Yeah, I’m a "Trekkie" (kinda). But learning a bit of Klingon really helped me to appreciate English even more
100) Yeah, I’m a geek, but I’m a nice guy. And if that doesn’t work for you... I’m a 6’2", 275 lb. geek that has edged weapons, knowledge of human anatomy, and no fear of death... still wanna call me a geek?

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mmmmmmmm... barbeque ribs

Oh, I was so right about the ribs. They actually got to the point where I couldn't turn them over because they were falling apart. One of the best aspects of the meal was the fact that it was some kinda generic grilling sauce. The baked potatoes went well with the ribs... and none of them exploded in the oven this time (it's a bad habit I have of leaving them in too long). Rounded out the meal with whole green beans, but I would've preferred corn on the cob, I just didn't have any.
Managed to get in a good game of Scrabble this evening before Jo went over to her friend Amys' house for a 'girls night in'. Their friendship is under a little strain lately. It seems that Amy has some issues with the fact that all of the people that she's introduced Jo to actually like Jo, go figure. I always thought that the idea of introducing friends to one another was to increase your circle of friends, not set limits on them. So Jo is going to try to work things out tonight, determine whether or not the friendship is worth salvaging.
Jo has become increasingly more weary of the adolescent behavior that some of her friends seem to be exhibiting. She once ended a friendship of nearly 20 years over similar, but more severe, actions. I won't go into the details, but the situation finally got to a point where the friendship was too one-sided. Her former friend had been taking her for granted for probably 2 or 3 years, so Jo just said "that's it". And that was it, we haven't seen or heard from her since. And we're both O.K. with that.
I'm so glad that I have only a small group of very close friends. It makes things so much simpler. I realize that it's not easy to give up a friend, but when a relationship becomes somewhat 'cancerous' the only thing you can do is to cut out the tumor and let the healing process begin. Fortumately for me, I've never really had to do anything so drastic.

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"ngyum,ngyum, ngyum... can't talk, eating."

(Homer Simpson)
Yes, I made it to the chinese buffet yesterday. It was so awesome. Aside from the standard fare, there was Stuffing-breaded Shrimp, General Tso's Chicken, Sushi, Mussels, and Crayfish... didn't get as many of them as I'd have liked because Jo and Aliesha have a problem with food that stares back at you. The boy and I were in our glory.
I would've posted something sooner, but we had a good bit of other stuff going on around here. My brother-in-law, Michael(Jo's brother... as opposed to my other brother-in-law, Mike, who's married to Jo's sister, Lori), is moving this weekend. He's getting a really great deal on his rent because he's doing a lot of the remodeling for the landlord on his own. Jo has been doing most of the helping because he lives like something of a slob, and the dust and shedded dog fur aggrivate my allergies and asthma. He doesn't have all of his water connections done yet, so we're doing his laundry here. In fact, at this moment, Aliesha is outside with Michael bathing his two dogs... Sheba is NOT happy about having these particular 'guests'.
Ribs for dinner tonight. I've got them boiling now, I'll have them in the oven in about an hour. They'll stay in the oven for about 3 or 4 hours. Those babies will be so tender that they'll practically melt in your mouth "ghhhhhhhhhhhh"(also Homer Simpson).

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Saturday, July 17, 2004

That kinda day

Posted that poem because it's just that kinda day around here. which isn't a bad thing. Keeps things quiet.
I stand a pretty good chance of making it to the chinese buffet today... WOOHOO !!!



See these skies
sullen and swollen
clothed in gun metal gray robes
The clouds
dark and heavy as lead
crawling above us
creeping overhead
now weeping
The heavens are falling on us
dancing about our bodies
I feel the sting
like countless pins and needles
cool sweet water
washing away the dust
of one more day
cleansing me of my cares
for just one more day



Friday, July 16, 2004

Lost in thought

I was checking out one of my favorite blogs, badinfluence earlier. Kenn makes a really great point in his rant about people never taking time to stop and smell the roses, or be alone with themselves, or ponder over stuff. It is sad to think that so many people live their lives by going from one distraction to the next with no regard for what this life is really about. It sickens me to see people so worried about which celebrity is seeing which other celebrity. Who cares! don't we have more important issues to deal with these days? Don't we have more interesting things to do with ourselves than live vicariously through other peoples fame? What's happening to our society?
It's a shame that so few people in this world exercise their God given right to think for themselves, instead we sit back and let the talking heads in the media tell us what to think and how to feel and what we're supposed to say about which topics. So, as a personal effort to fight this attrocity, I'm going to start reading more than I already do. I'm going to set aside time for thought and reflection as well as more prayer time. I want to be able to make a difference in my world. And I guess that means I have to start with me.


The pilot crashed and burned

I love my job, but sometimes it really sucks to be there. We're currently building a pilot run of some new diagnostic equipment and nothing seems to be going right. We're running out of components, the vendor quality is pretty shabby, the testing software has needed tweeked time after time, and we just can't seem to get things to work out. I'll be glad when it's done, but something really has start going right... and very soon!


Thursday, July 15, 2004

"And now for something completely different."

That quote brought to you by Monty Pythons Flying Circus.
I'm kinda curious about a few things...
1) Do you (whoever you may be) have more friends of the same sex or the opposite sex?
2) What observations have you (whoever you may be) made in regard to having friends of the opposite sex?
3) What about friends of the same sex?
I've been paying attention to the relationships of myself, my family and my friends for awhile, along these general lines, but I don't want to post anything about what I've noticed until I've had some additional input. So, I'm really hoping that justterry isn't the only person reading this  

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Have I missed something?

I'm still puzzled by something I caught on FOXNews Channel during lunch today. John Kerry was speaking to the NAACP convention this morning, and I just happened to look up at the TV as he was declaring 'healthcare' to be a 'right'. Say what !?!? I'm sorry, I don't recall seeing that in my copy of The Constitution, or The Declaration of Independence.
As much as I believe it would be great if we all did have the right to 'healthcare', I can't see how it's possible. I have a real problem with people inventing 'rights' for us simply because this is "... the wealthiest nation on earth."
First and foremost, our founding documents state quite clearly that our rights, our REAL RIGHTS, come from our Creator, not our government. To create, invent, or otherwise contrive new 'rights' for the citizenry is to levy rights from the government. We do not need such 'rights' since they are meaningless. A government that bestows 'rights' can rescind them as well. No thanks, I'll keep the ones that God has given me, just insure my right to secure the other necessities on my own merit, talent and efforts. Allow me to succeed, or fail, by my own hand... and by the providence of the Almighty.
Secondly, I have never met anyone who has been refused medical care by a hospital, or clinic. These institutions are obligated to render services to those who require them. Those who can't afford the services are typically referred to some governtment agency, in some cases there are charitable organizations who will help to cover the costs. In any event, medical care is always available, if not affordable... and the government is responsible, in part, for that as well.
Finally, I know the kind of healthcare people would like to have, and the healthcare that our government would provide wouldn't be it. There is no government program that has ever achieved it's stated goal. If such programs actually did anything more than manage the problems, then welfare, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and STD's would be a part of our history, and not continuing issues.
Until the rest of America wakes up to the foolishness of such pathetic notions we will be faced with more and more crusades for 'rights' from more and more groups of people who are afraid of true freedom. We will continue to be bombarded by calls for government interventions into things that shoud be solved by free individuals.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

What was I thinking?

I had the opportunity to take a nap this evening... this whole getting up at 4:30ish AM is getting old for me... I slept 'til 8:00. Now, I'll never get back to sleep tonight. So once I finish this post I'll work on some other stuff to generate more content here. Don't want any of my regulars (all 2 of you) getting bored.
Last night with justterry was a good night. The pork chops turned out better than they usually do. Typically, I leave them in a bit too long and all of the breading ends up sticking to the baking sheet, not this time.
Stopped in to visit my goddaughter before we hit the Terrace. Her name is Kayla and she's an adorable little 8 year old who I sponsored for her baptism at my church in May. She wasn't quite clear on the concept. She thought my being her godfather meant I was her substitute father... she called me everyday for almost two weeks after her baptism. Her family has some serious issues that I won't discuss, but I'm doing my best to have some sort of positive impact in their world. I fear that any help that I may offer them may be taken for granted. I trust that God and my pastor knew what they were doing when they got me involved with this family.
Hit the bar with justterry, had a rum and coke as I watched the Nat'l League get spanked... AGAIN!!! I don't even like baseball, but I couldn't help watching the game on the big screen. That first inning was just crap!
I have to admit that I'm not really a 'bar' kinda guy, never much cared for the atmosphere. My father once made a comment to me that "Bars are the new churches of our society. Everything that people used to go to church for, they can find in a bar... with less guilt.". And this he told me thru a moderately drunken slur, after coming home from the bar. So, every once in awhile I ask myself why I go to a bar when I want to hang out with justterry, why not go somewhere else? Then Skip starts to tell us some of his EMT stories, and I remember why. Sometimes it's just plain, simple fun to be out of the house and listening to someone else talk about their life. Does there need to be a better reason?
Jo's gone out tonight. She's been going to new and more interesting places with one of my daughters friends mother (heretofore named Carrie). I'm glad about it too, some of her other friends are getting weird. One of whom, who's known Jo longer than any of the others, actually implied that she might be 'messin around' with one of the guys that she talks to regularly. All he did was walk her out to her car as they were both leaving... ONCE! Yeah, that's a really torrid affair they're having. These 'hens' need to grow up, drop the high school BS and deal with their own lives. Oh well, some peoples kids...

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Tested normal

O.K., so I took the test

Wackiness: 140/100
Rationality: 150/100
Constructiveness: 150/100
Leadership: 72/100

You are a WRCL--Wacky Rational Constructive Leader. This makes you a golden god. People gravitate to you, and you make them feel good. You are smart, charismatic, and interesting. You may be too sensitive to others reactions, especially criticism. Your self-opinion and mood depends greatly on those around you.

You think fast and have a smart mouth, is a hoot to your friends and razorwire to your enemies. You hold a grudge like a brass ring. You crackle.

Although you have a leader's personality, you often choose not to lead, as leaders stray too far from their audience. You probably weren't very popular in high school--the joke's on them!

You may be a rock star.

So this is me. I was kinda hoping to be a menace to society too. Oh well, I guess we can’t have everything. I guess that if I must be something, a ‘golden god’ is pretty good. I just hope it doesn’t go to my head.

100 Things

1) My trademark signature is M+ (or Michael +)… it looks better handwritten
2) I prefer "+" to "X" as a symbol for a cross
3) I was named after the Archangel
4) I believe what the Apostles Creed says, even though I don’t have it memorized
5) I read my Bible for it's literary value, as well as it's theology
6) "Bible Roulette" is a sad way of obtaining advice, or counsel
7) I believe in absolute truth
8) I am divorced
9) I have a decent relationship with my EX
10) I have two kids... one of each
11) My kids are a source of great pride, and joy, to me
12) My kids are a source of great pain, and suffering, to me
13) My kids have my sense of humor... God have mercy
14) JT is my best friend
15) Chinese buffets tremble at our approach
16) 6:00 am is sleeping in for me... I love my job anyways
17) I make my co-workers laugh
18) They think I’m funny... but looks aren’t everything
19) JT says "It’s Michael's job to keep Superman alive."... well, it used to be!
20) I have a knife collection
21) I have a daughter named Aliesha
23) I have a son named Robert
24) He knows that the knife collection applies to his behavior too
25) I love chocolate
26) I disagree with whoever named Better-Than-Sex Cake
27) I have turned down sex for food... and vice versa
28) I do not take unnecessary risks
29) I am DEATHLY allergic to cats... but they all seem to love me
30) I have no fear of death
31) I was dead once... "I got bettah!"
32) That was Sunday, August 18, 1996
33) It happened one week after I started working for Respironics
34) I’ve cheated death on more than one occasion
35) I know why bad things happen to good people... and vice versa
36) I am old enough, and wise enough, to regret some of my youthful indiscretions
37) One thing I learned is that we should always try to live without regrets
38) I learned much from watching my house burn down
39) That was Friday, December 13th, 2002
40) I do not have Triskiadecaphobia
41) "No, fire is good. Fire is our friend." (Young Frankenstein)... I still believe that
42) One of my favorite songs is titled "Burn"
43) I love music... everything but rap
44) I play an Ibanez 5 string bass... and I wish I were better at it
45) I can’t read music... I play by ear, and by notation
46) I love bands that most people have never heard of
47) I love bands that most people have heard of
48) The Beatles are not one of my favorite bands
49) That does not diminish their greatness in my mind
50) I use specific songs to memorialize events in my life
51) I love roses
52) I love thunder and lightning
53) 51 and 52 were instilled in me by my father
54) I was alone with him when he died
55) It was a great, and terrible, honor for me
56) My Pastor said "The first, and last breath, are the most precious in any life."
57) My Pastor is also my friend
58) Sometimes I get lost in my own thoughts
59) It can get pretty scary in there... or it can be pretty lonely
60) I am not a know-it-all
61) I am a know-a-little-bit-of-something-about-it-all
62) Humor helps me to deal with stress
63) Unless I’m already over the edge... Only sex helps at that point
64) I am a lover of words, someday I’ll write a book
65) A fortune cookie told me that
66) I keep all the fortunes from my fortune cookies
67) I have no idea why
68) I have come to discover that "Blonde is a state of mind"
69) I have no sense of style... that’s why I’m no help with clothes shopping
70) Jeans and T-shirts/sweatshirts are good enough for me
71) I do love language
72) Words and language should be used like paint and canvas, film and camera
73) I don’t do chat rooms
74) Communication and conversation should take time and thoughtfulness
75) The things that real relationships are built on always do
76) My poetry doesn’t rhyme... rhyme is a uniquely English phenomenon
77) Political correctness is my mortal enemy, and the antithesis to communication, understanding and tolerance
78) I judge people by the content of their character... and by how that translates into action
79) I admit that I still have some prejudices based upon experiences
80) I like to believe the best of people… unless they prove otherwise
81) Faith should lead to action
82) My faith may be blind... but it is not deaf, mute or lame
83) Getting to Heaven is not the goal of being a Christian
84) Many of my convictions are based upon logic and reason
85) C.S. Lewis has been a major influence on my ideology
86) Every Christian should read Mere Christianity
87) Every American should read The Declaration Of Independence, and The Constitution
88) I am passionate about philosophy
89) I agree with Pascal about the human capacity for greatness, and wretchedness
90) I am the eternal optimist
91) I am not easily offended
92) I love to fly
93) But I am afraid of heights... sometimes
94) I agree with Ronald Reagan on the topic of government
95) My mind is a vast warehouse of useless information... mostly useless
96) I absorb trivia like a sponge
97) There are some movies, and cartoons, that I could watch everyday
98) I can "greet" you in seven languages
99) One of them is Klingon
100) I realize that makes me a geek, but I’m hoping that everything that preceded this statement balances this one out

Now, go read what was left unsaid from this list.

Please note, since circumstances are apt to change in a persons life, this post will need occasional updating. I've tried to keep the focus on things which I believe will never change, but there are some items listed here that are not so permanent.


Monday, July 12, 2004

A long month

It's been a month now, since my father passed away, and today was just a bit more difficult to get through. I have to admit that there hasn't been a day in this last month that I haven't thought about those last moments that I spent alone with him. It was nothing that I ever expected to do, but I believe it was Gods way of reminding me of the special bond that he and I shared.
It could have been very different. I had arrived at the hospital at about noon, my mother had been there since about 10:00am. She hadn't been eating or sleeping well during the month that my father had been in the hospital. She had also become aware of just how little she had in the house in the way of groceries, since my father was the one who did all of the running. It actually bothered her that he would get up early everyday and go shopping. And I do mean EVERYDAY. She used to complain about it, but on this particular day she really did miss it.
So, I tried to convince her to go home and get some rest, or maybe even do a little bit of shopping to take her mind off of things. She putzed around the way that she usually does and rather than leaving at 1:00 in the afternoon she lingered until about 3:00.
I sat quietly beside my dads' bed reading my mothers Bible, and glancing up at the TV every once in a while. I had been watching "The Great Escape" on the History Channel... it was one of my father favorite movies... he was a sucker for a good WWII flick.
At about 4:00 the nurse came in and said that his heart rate had dropped suddenly, It wouldn't be long. I called my mother,and then my wife, and then I sat down and waited.
I held his hand as he took his last breath and then slowly let it out. I didn't cry right away, instead I listened to the voice inside my heart that directed me to open up the Bible to Psalm 100. My eyes fell on the 4th verse. And that told me all that I needed to know. That's when I started to weep. I was blessed to be there alone with him. I imagine that things might not have gone so smoothly with the rest of my family there, my father wouldn't have wanted the fuss. So I have a great sense of peace about the whole experience. It was just finally time for me to get it all out.

This Breath

Life is what it is…
We are born
and we die…
and in between these two
we fill our lives
with joy and pain
laughter and tears
and all the unexpectedness
of all the things
that disrupt our plans
We hold no promises
for anything more
or anything less
So savor for now
this breath you take
for tomorrow eternity may begin
and life may truly be
only this…
and nothing more
Except what we’ve filled it with

Sunday, July 11, 2004

What a miserable day

I'm usually a pretty upbeat person, and I'm not prone to bouts of negativity, but today just plain sucks! My cold, or allergies, or whatever it is that's been plaguing me for over a week now, just won't let up. I think I might enjoy a bullet going thru my skull over the way my head has been feeling all day. And then there's the congestion which makes breathing a chore, and I've always been quite partial to breathing (there's a story in this line that will wait for another day... when I'm feeling better.). Even the shot of whiskey that I gargled didn't work for me. The thing that really makes thing so rotten though is the fact that it would've been a pretty good weekend otherwise. I'll probably be feeling better just in time for work in the morning... Oh, well... such is my life.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Out of the Ashes

Well, I’ve finally decide to explain why I chose “Out of the Ashes” as the title for my blog. I guess that the best way is to say that no matter what kind of hardships or trials I may face, I always seem to rise up out of the ashes of my own destruction. I don’t want to say much more than that right now since it will steal some of the thunder from other postings that I plan on making later, as I feel moved to. But, I will say this… I, and my family, have faced a great many personal tragedies over the years, and things could’ve turned out a great deal worse for us in any one of them. Yet, I am convinced that the outcomes have been directed by God. I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that His grace has brought me through it all for His purposes. I also believe that I am always where He wants me to be, to say and do the things that He wants me to say and do, to aid those people whom He has sent to me and wants me to share with. Perhaps that sounds a bit arrogant of me, but from my perspective it is merely an observation of the way my life tends to be. Besides, you could ask just about anybody who knows me and they’d probably agree with me… ask Just Terry.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Misunderstood justice

"Justice is a blind whore.". That is a quote that my father used to share with me. I don't know where it came from originally, for all I know it was one of his own, but I know that it is a part of me. I have a co-worker, and a dear friend as well, who is going through a difficult divorce... and her situation only reaffirms that quote.
She came in this morning carrying a letter from the courthouse telling her that she has to pay her husband alimony. I can understand that, to an extent. I realize that she is making more money than he is, but I also know that he forced her out of the house by using a temporary PFA, and then changed the locks over the weekend. To add insult to injury, he also took both cars and hid them from her. Now, he has their son, and one of his friends living in the house with him, but not paying any rent... Oh, and he hasn't been paying the mortgage either, in the hopes that the house will be foreclosed on and his neice can buy it for less than what it's worth. This S.O.B. is doing his best to screw my friend out of everything.
Enter: The legal system.
Whoever made the decision must not have been paying attention to the part where this sorry excuse for a man, FORCED her out of the house. As I said previously, I can understand her having to pay something, and the court officer did reduce the original amount, but my friend is being made to pay an amount retroactive to the date that the PFA expired. How does this make any sense? How is this considered to be 'justice'? Didn't this loser make it clear that he didn't want her there? Shouldn't that be grounds enough to dismiss the arrears? This really burns me!!!
But more than any of this is the fact this joke of a soon to be ex-husband was such a coward in the way that he did all of this. He couldn't just confront her and ask her to go, he had to use underhanded and dishonest means to force her out (the PFA had no legal basis and was thrown out by a judge, it was just a ploy to get her out of the house for enough time to enact his scheme). I could cut this sissy's nuts off and hand them back to him in a pink handbag for his shameful behavior. I'd even pay to have his name sewn on in sequins... the handbag, not his nuts. But I'll control myself. I just need to vent a little.


We are the Dreamers
in a waking dream
hiding in plain view
the unloved lovers
The readers of poems
the singers of songs
the tellers of tales
Except by our own
kindred spirits are we all
We seek no glory
nor fortune or fame
We only wish to be
who we are
To express
to share
a small piece of us
already shared in common
That creative spark
the image of God
which makes us all human
and keeps us alive

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Other stuff from today

Today is my mothers 70th birthday. She's doing well for a 70 year old recent widow. I stopped by after work to say "Happy Birthday", run a few errands, and to give her the flag case that I picked up on Saturday, she was quite pleased to have it. We're both looking forward to a trip to Fort Recovery, Ohio in August for a family reunion. Partially because her 4 brothers and 3 sisters would really like to have some sort of celebration for her 70th, and partially because she is concerned that our trips will soon be for funerals and not birthdays or reunions. So it is all somewhat bittersweet to visit these days. With my fathers recent passing everyone has become more painfully aware of their own mortality, especially, amid the aches, pains, and ailments of aging. Yet, my grandfather lived to be 90... so it's quite possible that we'll be able to enjoy some more pleasant visits before that inevitable sorrow descends upon us.
Enough gloom!!!
I'm so glad that this week is nearly over. I've been fighting off a cold, or some severe allergies, since Sunday. I think that I'll finally allow it to work it's way through my system this weekend... not like I have anything better planned.

Pondering the greatness of God

I enjoy a certain amount of liberty to discuss my faith and convictions with my co-workers. In part, because those who are closest to me are a captive audience when such issues arise. But, more often than not, it is because many of my co-workers have come to respect my views on matters of faith and spirituality.
As a result, I’ve found myself engaged in several on-going, ‘religious’, conversations with several different people. One such conversation revolves around the concept of a God who is personally interested in our individual lives. Is God personal enough to care about us, or does He have more important responsibilities to His vast universe? Typically the question is posed in such a way as to make ‘personality’ something that would demean God (“I think god has more important things to deal with than your… fill in the blank with your own dilemma … don't you?”). It implies that a personal God is somehow less than an impersonal Supreme Being. As if a lack of personality is something that we really want from a god. I just can’t seem to understand that line of thinking.
Isn’t He the greater God who is concerned for the smallness of our everyday lives, while still managing the affairs of His incredible universe? Rather than the impersonal Supreme Being who would relinquish us to suffer alone within the fearful silence of that same universe? Should any God with such immeasurable creativity, as to create all of the bigness and minutia of this universe, be without a personal interest in all of His creation? Including us?
For if God is, indeed, just an impersonal force, without regard for our well being, then why bother to believe in Him at all… He will never care enough to do anything about your faith. If God is nothing more than a distant spiritual entity with better things to do than affect our lives, then belief is pointless. We are without hope.
But if God is the Ultimate Personality, the One True Source Of Everything, then isn’t it possible for Him to interact with each of us on a one-to-one basis, and still direct the movements of the cosmos? Likewise, if God has chosen to be personally involved in our day to day triumphs, and trials, then ought we not live as if we appreciate that concern for ourselves, especially from such a magnificent Creator?

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

An exceptional evening

Went out last night. J-terry was a bit late getting to the bar because of VBS. I must admit that 'becca, our faithful beertenderess, was looking exceptionally nice last night. Instead of her typical jeans and t-shirt, 'becca opted for a light, blue, summer dress... a pleasant surprise. It was nothing slutty, but she has all of the necessary curves to make it look pretty sexy.
Skip, who just happens to be an EMT in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods around, was making sure to get his fill before midnight. He's going in for back surgery today and was told "No oral intake after 12:00.", he wasn't too happy about that. I'm hoping that everything has gone O.K., I guess I'll find out later.
Wish I had something more significant to say at this time... but sometimes the day is just a simple day.

Monday, July 05, 2004


Just got a reminder from my best friend that our church started Vacation Bible School this week. This wouldn't be a big deal for me except that I told my Goddaughter that I was supposed to be one of the teachers... I hate to disappoint her, but I originally told our organizers that I couldn't help out this year because of so many things that have been up in the air for my family lately. I know that she'll understand. If not, I can always make a little surprise visit before I go out with Just Terry tomorrow.

Waxing patriotic

I couldn't help but notice all of the flags and patriotic symbolism of yesterday, as is the case every July 4th. And, as I do every year, I begin to ponder what the words 'freedom', 'liberty', 'rights', and 'independence' mean to the majority of our citizenry. How many of us understand that having the freedom to succeed also means the freedom to fail, or that our right to pursue our own happiness does not guarantee that we'll capture it. How many of us demand rights from our government without regard for the responsibilities that come attached to them, or worse, we allow our government to encroach on our God-given rights for 'the common good' of 'the people'. Does any of this matter to anyone anymore?
There are too many people, on both sides of the political spectrum, that are willing to see the liberties of their 'opponents' trampled on in order to advance their own agenda. If my ideology requires the force of law to support it then there must be something wrong with it. If my convictions don't stand up to honest scrutiny then perhaps they need to be re-evaluated.
I'm not interested in pushing my particular views on anybody, I'd just like to know that we can have honest dissention and debate... without one side or the other resorting to name-calling and insults. After all, we do still have the right to disagree with one another. Shouldn't we be willing to live like we believe that?

Sunday, July 04, 2004

reflections on trust

As a general rule, my wife and I each have a "night out" during the week, or at least as we can afford it. It's a chance for each of us to blow off a little steam. As a result of this we each have a different group of friends and acquaintances from the places we frequent. We are both notorious flirts, yet we are completely open and honest with one another about our flirtatious activities. In other words; we trust each other. The people that I hang out with (Just Terry, Skip, Wayne, 'becca, etc...) all understand that anything that is said or done is all in good humor and jest. Jo's friends... no clue!
Jo will tell me of some of the conversations that she has with some of the married people she hangs with, particularly the guys, and these people can't understand that she tells me pretty much everything that goes on while she's out. Likewise, I tell her just about everything as well. Her friends insist that if their respective significant others knew what went on (the flirting, etc...) they'd be headed for divorce (or breaking up, for her unmarried friends) in a heartbeat.
Lately, Jo and I have been going out together so that I can meet some of the people that she knows. I am amazed at how many of them, the guys that is, will avoid coming over to talk to Jo when I'm there. Even after she has waved 'hi' and called them over. They are afraid that it will start trouble(of course my being 6'2" and 260lbs may have a little to do with the fear also). They do not believe her when she says that I'm O.K. with her having guy friends. They also would never allow their wives/girlfriends to have guy friends, let alone flirt and joke around with them. And I have to ask myself the question... If not trust, what are these people building their relationships on?
Jo and I have been married for nearly 17 years now, and we didn't get this far by clinging to sinking suspicions or keeping secrets. We love each other, and that means trusting each other to do the right thing. How will any of the relationships that these people have last if they're not willing to trust one another? Even worse; why do their respective spouses, etc... feel so threatened by them having friends of the opposite sex?
I genuinely feel sorry for these people. How much are they missing from their relationships as a result of their own mistrust and insecurities? I find this to be quite sad. Pity that none of them will learn from the example that Jo and I share with them.

A pretty good day

I wish that I'd had time to post this yesterday, but things were going too well. Started the day by doing lunch with my son at Arbys. We usually have some decent conversations when we get time alone like that. Topic for yesterdays lunch; why does the price of gas fluctuate so much? He knows better than to believe the "blood for oil" BS, but he didn't understand refining and distribution or how it's tied to supply and demand. I'm just glad I had more to say than "Uuuuh... I don't know."
Followed up lunch by dropping the boy off at home (with a sandwich for his sister) before running out to get a flag case for my mothers birthday. She's had the flag from my dads casket sitting on one of her end tables since the day of his burial (June 15). She's been realizing just how much she misses him everytime she goes to find something in the freezer and it's not there. My dad went grocery shopping EVERYDAY. Mom used to complain about it, now she knows just how much running she avoided by just letting my father go out and do it.
Wrapped up the afternoon by going to see "Spiderman 2". Awesome flick! Better than the first. Good storyline, incredible action and effects, and setting up plenty of opportunity for more than one sequel.
Ended the day (night) by going out with the wife. Jo and I don't get out together as often as we'd like. Now that the kids are old enough to fend for themselves we don't have to jump through all of the hoops that come with finding a babysitter. We just have to make sure that they haven't made any conflicting plans.
All in all, it was a pretty good day.

Friday, July 02, 2004

It was my honor

I just returned from a picnic that was organized by a couple of families in my neighborhood. It was in honor of 4 soldiers, their sons and daughters, returning from Iraq. My family is still fairly new to the community, so I really didn't have anyone to talk to except my daughter, her best friend and her mother. They introduced me to the families, and to several of their neighbors, and I couldn't help but feel truly honored that these people were so welcoming to a stranger(and they don't come much stranger then me). It was a great celebration of life and of everything that we hold dear in this country.

Let's get started

"Day one; Still shaken from the move."(Steven Wright). I've been wanting to do this for awhile now and have finally decided to just go ahead and get started. If you're curious about what you can expect from me... that first line is pretty much a summary of how I express myself. I have a thorough command of useless information that includes lines from film, TV, cartoons and literature, and I'm not afraid to use them. So... I hope you enjoy your visits as much as I enjoy posting.
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