Friday, December 29, 2006

Standing in the light

Patrick's Place contains a good thread today. Why can people be obsessed with finding someone else's faults. Maybe I have become more reflective in my years. I am glad that I am just an average guy, not in the public eye. Looking back in my life I see so many mistakes that they tend to scare me some. If anyone were to start documenting my failures and mistakes, they might be hard pressed to find a stopping point.

Since I am not a public figure, one may simply state, so what? Your mistakes don't matter, you are not making the decisions for a country or a state or a city. They matter to someone. I have a family which I am responsible for, so my decisions matter.

I posted yesterday that I would try and find the good in my life. I think I should extend that to others as well. There have been people in the past that have failed me, politicians, co-workers, family. I do not want to remember someone for what they did wrong, to me or to others. I would rather remember them in a positive light.

As we proceed with our lives, be reflective. History can be a harsh teacher but it can also give us a glimmer of hope, if we only recognize what was done well, what successes we've accomplished. We are the sum total of our successes and failures, I hope that I have a positive balance. I am certainly going to live like I do.

My 3 good things from yesterday:
  1. I learned and put into use a new technology.
  2. My wife and I worked on our next set of family goals.
  3. My eldest son chose to take care of his little brother and did it well.
What 3 good things happened to you yesterday or today.

God Bless.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

In with the Good

Everyday, on my way to work on the bus, I have about 5 or 6 things I plan on blogging that day. If you look at my history, you can see they never make it to the web. Most of the things I want to blog are complaints, rants. I just think, this crud makes me upset so why would I want to upset someone else with it. It's human nature I think. It's like an SNL skit I saw one time. A family sits down to dinner, the Dad tastes the food and exclaims "Oh this tastes horrible!, here you try it." and passes it around the table until everyone agrees "It's horrible". Why do I feel that I should complain about everything to everyone, unless your Dennis Miller, there's no future in it.

So before I start doing it again, I will try and focus on something good. I was talking with my Pastor the other day and he mentioned some process he read about (I think it was a Psychologist) where every day you point out three good things that happened. After a while you start to see relationships between the good things, and hopefully have trouble narrowing it down to three. I guess it's supposed to keep you dwelling on the positive.

I am not big on New Year's resolutions, in fact I can't remember them much less keep them. I think I'll try, in this upcoming year, to dwell more on the positive and to stop spreading the "bad vibes" to anyone who would unknowingly unleash the hounds with a simple "How's your day going?". I want to write more. I've always wanted to write more, I just haven't. If I can't manage a complete turn around. maybe a 5 degree shift will start me in the right direction.

An early Happy New Year to you, my reader, and may the new year bring with it a desire to dwell on what is good in your life.

And ...
  1. Caeden, my two-year-old son, runs into my arms from accross the room, screaming 'Daddy' and wearing a big smile.
  2. My daughter Kassidy told me that she was not alone downstairs while she played, but that God was with her.
  3. I got to go to sleep to the sound of a good rain hitting the windows.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Baby it's cold outside ..

Yes, I am a Dean Martin fan, but this is really true. Under normal circumstances, it doesn't really snow much around Seattle. It does up in the passes, but not in Seattle and it's surrounding suburbs.

Now for the strange and bizarre. It started snowing Sunday morning. Off and on it still is, but the strange part is the 3 days on below freezing temperatures. Seattle is surrounded by ice. Cool.

Most of my office is working from home today, in fact so many that we are overloading our VPN services. My boss, the brave man he is (no he doesn't read this) decided to make a brave attempt to go into the office. It just so happens he drives the van pool. I really don't have anything to say near as entertaining as he, so I thought I would share his email into the office this morning. (Names of the nearly-innocent have been changed).


A blistery, snow blown winter day. I remember thinking a little snow is fun but a sheet of ice is hell. Winter jacket, hat, gloves and boots. All set. I headed out with full knowledge the traffic was light today. I checked and cross checked several Internet traffic cams. Others fear of snow is an advantage. It keeps the roads a little less hazardous for risk takers. Ready, Steady, Go.

Started the engine earlier to get the ride warm and defrosted. Got to plan ahead for these things. I headed off on the regular vanpool route. Darn, need gas. Guess I'll have to plan better next time. Something smells funny and a strange noise. Ah, the emergency brake is frozen closed. It will probably unstick itself by the time I get to the gas station. The route is going to be a little late today.

I was right, the ebrake broke lose but there is something wrong with the fuel gauge now. It isn't registering that I just put forty bucks of gas in. Oh well, I know it is there. Back on the road, windows defrosted but still frozen shut. It is cold out there anyway.

Now for some fun, the gulch by the next rider's house on 192 street. Car in front just lost it. Several in the ditch. Tow trucks are going to make a killing this month. That one is up-side-down. How did they even manage that? I guess anyone can get a license. Time to make my attempt down the little hill and up the big one. I wonder if I should get a run at it. Looks too iced over and the vehicle graveyard says otherwise. I'll go real slow, controlled. Hum, I'm not in control anymore. Better stop. I said stop. Whew. Steering is useless. I can not move without going to the apex of the hill (and a big pile of cars). Guess I'll pull the chains out of the back and see if I can drive over them for steering traction. Nada. These things are worthless on ice. I'm going to slide into that ditched Camry if I try to move again. Time to stay put and give this some thought.

(five minutes later) ...

Sweet, a sander. I didn't know Renton had a sander. All of us who are stuck are going to need to move enough so he can get by the graveyard. I can't move. Guess it has to be the guy in the Civic stuck trying to go up the little hill. No English? Perfect. Maybe one of these other people know Spanish. No? Time to play charades.

(five minutes later) ...

Lucky we had enough chains to make a track so we could push the Civic nearly into the ditch. I think he is going to need a tow truck. Here comes the sand. Awesome.

Huh. There is something you don't see everyday. Sand truck driver hopped out and his rig is rolling away without him. He is pretty good at running on the ice. I think I would break my neck if I tried that. I can't believe he caught it. Ok, here he comes and now he is sideways. All 14 wheels of his sander are sliding sideways down an iced over hill at the Metro Van that is nearly up against the Camry in the ditch. Not good. At least he is still spreading sand as he slides down the hill.

Good recovery. Sander missed the van by an inch. Scoop some sand from the street and pack the van's front tires. Lay down the chains. I'm on the road again. I'm feeling pretty lucky but I think I'll stop while I am ahead. 25 more miles of this isn't going to happen.

Thanks boss, you made my day!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Rainy days and Thursdays

I made it to work on time today, for the first time in over a week, two weeks maybe. I unload my laptop on my desk and take my jacket off when the head IT guy comes over and asks: "What's that big yellow-orange circle in the sky?" As I turned I noticed it as well, big, impressive and warm. I was in awe, it had been a long time since I had seen that big ball in the sky, and in a field of blue as well.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, at the halfway point of November we have already broke records. The headline reads that this is 'The wettest November on record ... already", and I think I read elsewhere that this has been the second or third wettest month ever. Again, we are only half way through. But today looks better.

Here's a question for my reader out there: When skies are gray and rain falls everywhere, it can be really depressing (Seattle has one of the highest suicide rates in the country this time of year), but when the sky turns clear and blue and the sun shines everywhere, it's a happy time. Why then is someone who is depressed said to be 'blue'? Out here the blue sky marks the end of the rainy season, those days from June to December, and the beginning of all manners of enjoyment.

What tomorrow brings, who knows, I certainly don't. I will open the blinds and enjoy this strange warmth that comes from the sky above, I will embrace change. For now.

Hope you day goes well.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The rise and fall of kings

I am reading a book series at the moment and really enjoying it. I have had problems in the past with non-fiction, finding it mostly dry. Car chases don't happen that often in real life and thus don't make it into non-fiction that often either. However, I was feeling that I was missing something and so I looked for a way to get into the genre. I found it in 'Historical Fiction'.

The series I am reading is written by Conn Iggulden, and is called the 'Emperor' series and is a piece of historical fiction concerning the life of Gaius Julius Caesar. Starting with his life in his early teens, the series gets personal and shows some of the make-up of the to-be-emperor. Better than that its describes and elaborates on times of the Roman Empire and the politics involved there. It gives a glimpse of how life was at that time, and what the ideal of Republic truly meant. I am currently on book two, Death of Kings, and find this a great read. The author even discusses, at the back of the book, which pieces are historical fact and likewise, which parts are embellishment. I recommend this series to anyone who likes history, with a flair.

The only thing I have yet to figure out is whether Julius Caesar was a good guy or a bad guy. As so often true with history, maybe there is no dividing line here. After all the Romans were the masters of re-writing history in there favor.


Friday, November 03, 2006

This Ain't Your Daddy's Prohibition

Just when you thought it might be safe for our children at school, the Candyman strikes.

Maybe just appropriate for the Halloween season, maybe just plain apropos. The Seattle Times ran a article yesterday on a specific school's policy towards sweets and other unhealthy snacks. Ingraham High School, of Seattle Public Schools, passed a rule banning sweets and unhealthy snacks, The schools have candy and snack machines, they're just full of bran flakes and bottled water. Blech! One student took this as an opportunity to test his entrepreneurial skills, he became the black market source for candy in school. The funny part is that not only is the newspaper protecting his identity, so are the school's teachers. Apparently, they buy on the black market as well and do not want to give up their source.

On the downside, he almost got busted for dealing drugs when trying to sell a '100 Grand' bar, the teacher thought she heard '100 grams'.

On another note: ine benefit of having 4 children, is four candy bags to raid from?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Changing course of History

Before continuing here, you may want to go over to Patrick's Place and read The Confederacy and Racism.

I myself am a transplanted southerner or what some may call a 'Damn Yankee', that is one that refused to go back home. I moved to Atlanta when my father was stationed to NAS Atlanta in late 1979. I spent my high school year's there and became a bog fan of the Old South. Georgia itself is rich with history. Even the town I call home, 'Powder Springs' was part of the battleground for the battle of Kennesaw Mountain. At the time I moved there, I had not lived anywhere for more than four years at a time, and spending the height of my school years there caused me to call the place home. I began to take pride in my surroundings.

In high school I took a semester long class in Civil War History. This amazed my mother, who having been raised and schooled in New Jersey didn't think there was enough material for a month long class let alone a semester. I enjoyed the class, but having taken the class has caused some very interesting comments in friends with whom I shared this fact.

One question, The state of Georgia recently changed it's flag owning to the idea that the design which had incorporated the confederate battle flag, somehow linked Georgia to it's slave state past. I believe it did link the state to it's confederate past, which is part of it's history. I have heard people say that reminders of the past only bring up bad feelings, that why the flag was changed. Will hiding the past ever remove it? History is not something to be hidden away with a 'Gee, I hope that never happens again!'. I myself take pride in where the great state of Georgia has come since then and would like to think no one looked at that flag and said 'It's just a matter of time before they try slavery again'. I think we are past that.

I live in the state of Washington now, in the Seattle area. For those who don't know, Seattle is in King County. King County was originally named after William Rufus DeVane King in 1852. The government of King County has changed it's mind in 1986 and re-decided that it was named after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , a noble act I agree, but when does it stop. The motion which states that it resets the historical precedence, claims that the change in due to the fact that William Rufus DeVane King was a slave owner and having made his money from the oppression of other human beings is not worthy of the honor of the county's namesake. His being a slave owner does not change why and how the county was named. How much history has been lost because, those now in the majority have rewritten it to become more palatable. George Washington was said to have owned over 300 hundred slaves at the time of his death and made all of his money from plantation farming of tobacco and wheat. When will the name of this state be up for renewal to something we all feel better about?

"Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it". I do not think we are about to repeat the mistake of slavery. But let's not confuse slavery and racism. Though one led to the other, the opposite is not true, Racism, unfortunately, abounds in every nation of this world in one way or another. It's said that in a country such as ours that the statement holds for us as well. No matter how much progress we make in the direction of correction, someone is holding on to hate and self-superiority. Although not as prevalent here in Washington as it may be in the southern states, it's still here. Not more than a couple of years ago we had a cross-burning in a minister's yard. It shocked a whole bunch of people, because the Northwest is such an enlightened area. Well enlightenment may not be enough.

I am proud to be a Georgian and an American. I treasure my history both good and bad. I hope to be a better person than some of my ancestors. God created all people equal, only Man changed that, and he did it for his own selfish purposes.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Matter of Conscience

For those who have yet to read, please read a statement of conscience from Whil Wheaton. As we do live in a representative democracy (no snickering please), I enjoy reading the opinion of others. While I do not agree about everything he says, he most certainly has the right to say it. I can remember feeling that way about other issues that I to felt I was not well represented on. I live in a state that opposes many of the viewpoints I hold dear and feel I should speak up when I can.

As far as courage is concerned, I think many people have the wrong idea. You should stand up for what you believe and the members of our government should vote their beliefs. So stands the question, when we elect a government official, do we totally take away his opinion and beliefs in favor of ours. Or do we elect someone in whom we hope would share the sames beliefs as ours. And if the later, do we call someone who would vote opposite our personal opinion, a coward.

If we could elect a non-thinking being to congress (again, no snickering), one that immediately turned around and polled the constituency before voting? Would we feel better? If my memory servers right, and depending on which state you live in, I am fairly sure that a lot of people would feel they were misrepresented by the results of the last presidential election, even if it had turned the other way. You cannot avoid that in a two-party system.

And I am pretty sure you cannot get people to change their beliefs or ideas by calling them cowards. If you can, then they are the ones deserving the boot, not those that stand for what they believe in.

Wil states that the bill currently in debate would be passed by Republicans and scared Democrats. I am assuming he means that the Republicans aren't scared. In either case he implies that they will follow Bush regardless. That's a terrible assumption, not only would our Democracy be in trouble, but also the very foundations of the Constitution. Two branches of government, or even one of them, taking direct orders from one of the branches seems to be a recipe for disaster. And to think it took only 230 years for our government to collapse, after all that's what we are talking about.

I don't think that Congress is simply playing follow the leader. I get emails from my representative in Congress (I didn't vote him, he does not share my ideals, but he IS my congressman and for that he gets my support AND my opinions) and he's not always the staunchest supporter of the Bush administration.

I think that the members of Congress have their own opinions and ideas, and that they act on them. I beleive if I disagree with my representative, I should let them know, but not by calling them cowards or spineless.

Your representatives are just that, representative of the constituancy. I can disagree with my neighbor, and we disagree, which one of us is the represeted one. Work with them, don't berate them.

As far as my opinion on the whole thing, like they said in 1776, 'Don't tread on me'. My addendum, 'Woe to them who do!'

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Dread Pirate Bubba

Jess and I were discussing Talk Like a Pirate Day. An interesting day were one interestingly enough, talks like a pirate . I'll let the website fill in the blanks. Anyway, in the discussion we somehow happened to mix Rednecks and Pirates. You may be just now realizing just how well those two go together . To help who have yet to come to that realization, here are the top 10 ways to tell if you are a redneck pirate.

  • 10. If your truck is jacked up four feet from the ground to allow adequate clearance for the rudder.

  • 9. If your gun rack contains a shotgun that shoots shells and monkey's fists

  • 8. You use your peg-leg to hold up the car before you slip in the concrete blocks.

  • 7. You great your friends with the phrase "Ahoy Y'all".

  • 6. Your sister's pirate name is Redbeard.

  • 5. Your truck bed has a hole for the mast.

  • 4. Your pirate flag is the skull and crossbones on a field of stars and bars

  • 3. Whenever you refer to Pirate Jack, you face reverently towards Lynchburg, VA.

  • 2. Your hound dog is perched continually on your shoulder.

  • 1. The sails on your boat are flannel.

Disclaimer: I am niether Jeff Foworthy or Dave Letterman.

I also managed to watch "Wife Swap" last night. I don't like the show as it normally is, but I have to say the idea of swapping a pirate wench with an OCD mom epitomized the stupidness of the show. The show, in celebration of "Talk Like A Pirate Day" appeared to be the most honest episode of the 3 episodes I have seen. What can I say, I am against wife-swapping no matter what the circumstance.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Please remember John Bruce Eagleson

Today on this fifth anniversary of the tragedy in New York City, we remember John Bruce Eagleson. Bruce, a resident of Middletown, Connecticut was a vice president at The Westfield Group, a company running retail shops at the World Trade Center and was only seven years from retirement. He was attending a meeting on the 17th floor of the second tower when the first aircraft hit and had received a phone call from his oldest son, Kyle, urging him to leave the building right away. In midst of the tragedy, he spent his last moments helping his friends and colleagues evacuate. Of the 11 Westfield employees working there that day, 10 survived thanks to Bruce. Bruce was last seen going back into the tower to get two-way radios to stay in touch with others, just before the building collapsed.

He is survived by his wife, Gail, and his three sons: Kyle, Timothy and Brett. He has left quite an impact on those that around him. Relatives from abroad and co-workers on that day. Different memorial sites have comments from those around the nation, from Marietta, GA to Issaquah, WA. Bruce is remembered as someone who always had a kind word and a smile, and that he liked to laugh. The words I read the most are those like: selfless, concerned and thoughtful

He was avidly concerned with education and a memorial scholarship award was created to help high school students who excel in the arts. He had spent all of his life helping and nurturing others from giving swimming lessons to disabled youth, to coaching sports, to the assistance he had given those in business-related endeavors.

John Bruce Eagleson was a lot of things, what he IS though is missed. Missed by any and everyone whose life he had touched. I would have liked to have known him, and I feel slighted at the fact that I never will.

To read more tributes to the innocent victims of September 11th. Go to the 2,996 Project.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Old made new again

I have been getting into the old hymns again. I love music, it sets my mood. I especially love the get up and go type. I listen to a lot of Third Day and MercyMe and the newer Praise and Worship stuff by Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman and David Crowder. I gravitate toward the stuff with a good beat and fast lyrics. I have commented more than once to my Church Music director that we need to do more of that stuff, to which she replies that we can certainly try.

We have a small worship band: piano, drums, and a bass (If I'm not playing drums that day) so it can be difficult adapting some of these songs to our group. (Have you ever read any of Third Day's sheet music?).

Lately though i have been looking towards some of the older hymns in a slightly different way. It started when I attended the Christian Musician Summit here in Washington. I got to attend a class held by Scott Wesley Brown and Billy Smiley (of the band WhiteHeart). They got together with 13 other worship leaders (see bottom of this page) to evaluate some of the older hymns and see what it took to bring those songs into modern or blended worship services. Sometimes they had words and no music, so they wrote new music, sometimes they just added a chorus built from one of the later verses and sometimes it just took composing other instruments to go with the piano music that was already there. What I remember hearing was that they were thinking of hooking into this music distribution system built by a fruity computer manufacturer. They would distribute the songs with some of the pieces missing: no lyrics or guitar so you could play along on your gut air to the rest of the accompaniment. A cool idea, and some of the hymns were just beautiful. More info at

Then I got a copy of Bart Millard's new CD. You might remember Bart singing (and writing) the song I Can Only Imagine. Anyway, Bart's rendition of Power In the Blood is just cool, a slight swing beat to an old favorite.

As much as I like the newer music, there is something about the old lyrics. It's not sacrilege to add a modern beat to songs like Amazing Grace, but it's a way to bring those words into my life today. Maybe more people will just bop down the street humming or singing Pass Me Not, O' Gentle Saviour and the tune will catch on.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sometimes its hard enough

Today's touchy subject – marriage. I hope my foot doesn't quite reach my mouth.

Let me start off by saying that although I have just celebrated 15 years with my wife Tiffany, I am not an expert in MY marriage, let alone qualified to comment on any one else's marriage.

Two friends of mine got married this past weekend and I want to start off wishing them the best of luck. They are a little bit behind the starting line at the get go. They have only been dating for a couple of months, they are mixed race, and they are starting off pregnant. They say they are getting married because they love each other, I say that's a good place to start.

Many friends and relatives have offered their advice, or criticism, to the then betrothed couple. Most of it wasn't encouraging, but they took it in stride and on August 12, 2006 became Mr. & Mrs. I wish them the best.

My point is this: Give them a break!

After 15 years of marriage I have found that my marriage is unique, and so is everyone else's. The only good advice to give is to love each other and make sure that you keep God in the relationship. However, I have seen marriages that do both of those still not make it. Marriage is hard. I am not about to go into what I thought might have broken a marriage up, besides my ignorance, it's also none of my business. Marriage is hard. Did I already say that?

My friends will have a hard time, will it be because of the kid? The mixed race thing? Money? Love? I just don't know, but something I do know is that I will pray for them and I will love them. I hope they find their niche 'cause they look good together and I believe they are good for each other.

To all my married fiends, I'm praying for you. To all my now un-married friends (there are too many in the last year), I pray for you also. Would anyone like to pray with me?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

In Memory Of These ...

I was reading Jess's journal CIW: The Other Invisible, to which she mentioned a project she read on another blog, Patrick's Place. Normally I am not a joiner, I'm just too busy, most of us are. This project kind of touched me, it is called The 2,996 Project and it brings recognition to the innocent lives lost on September 11, 2001.

I am big on trying to give the recognition due to those who put themselves in danger for others. I will loudly thank any soldier who has placed himself in the line of fire, any fireman or policeman who makes a hedge between me and a possible threat. But I never want to forget those who got forced into the position of danger, not knowing that morning was the last they would see.

On September 11, I have the supreme honor of recognizing John Bruce Eagleson who left us that fateful day.

Please take the opportunity to look at The 2,996 Project, if nothing else, follow the blog trails on September 11 and learn about some pretty fantastic people.

God Bless,

Monday, August 07, 2006

A play at last

It has been forever since I went to a play. My wife and I, when we lived in Atlanta, used to has a subscription to one of the theaters there. Life and Kids and Work put and end to that, I am not even sure when or how it happened, it just stopped.

On Friday, the director of my department at work (shameless plug: had some tickets to see a Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at The Paramount here in Seattle. Pretty good seats at that, center, Row R. We both enjoyed the play/musical immensely. I am used to seeing plays that became movies, but not the other way around, so I didn't know what to expect. It was very good, both the acting and the music.

I was somewhat amazed at the language though. I am no goody goody, but I made a personal decision to clean up my language. I no longer speak as I did when I was young, mainly I don't want my kids hearing that stuff from me. I think we have all noticed the words slipping in at the movies and on TV, that only 5 to 10 years ago would have been censored or rated as a warning.

I have myself made the argument that the world out there has sites and sounds that I/we cannot control and you can mentally censor them out as unimportant to the context, or maybe they are important to the context and it's just a situation I wouldn't place myself in, so why worry about it. I guess lately I have become a hypocrite to my former self. I will leave my preachy type ramblings to my other journal, but I now take some offense at things that would just roll off my back earlier in life.

Is it age? Is it wisdom? Am I just being petty? I now find myself turning away from conversations of which I don't approve. I have surrounded myself with music that lifts me up, instead of some of the more depressing stuff about dogs and trains and tractors. I also spend more time around people that feel the same way I do. Is that a cause or and effect?

Anyway, as I said the play was really good, minus an unnecessary profanity here and there, I would recommend it to just about anyone.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Where the deer and the buffalo roam

Well, I am back home again. For my new readers (hope, hope), I just got back from a vacation, my first in about 3 or more years. I am a work-a-holic.

My family and I spent time in Georgia, meeting old friends and making new ones. From Georgia we ventured up to North Carolina and the Nantahala river. The river has basically class 2 rapids, perfect for an old man like me. Than did not stop however from falling out, but I still had fun. We left Georgia for Fulton, Mississippi were I have some extended family who live on a lake. I love water, so this was a lot of fun, they had a Sea-Doo. It took me three days to recover from the soreness. Did I mention I was old, like 40-ish.

All of this was a blast, but I had more fun on the drive home from Mississippi. As Jess mentioned, it's good to be able and spend time traveling with the kids. Mine span a couple of years 13, 11, 4, and 2. That's a bit. [Did I mention that my wife drove out to Georgia with them, by herself. Super-Mom.] On the way home we stopped at Yellowstone National Park.

Those not having been there, you're missing out. Within 15 minutes we had some bison within a couple feet of the van. My wife (Tiffany) had her camera, maybe I will post some pics later on. My 2 year old had so much fun, he's at the point where he is talking more, but still screams everything so we found out about anything and everything he saw: bison, ducks, trains, and motorcycles. It appears that the Hell's Angels had decided that this was also a good weekend for the site-seeing. They were having their annual gathering in Cody, WY, just outside the park.

As we were driving up to the park through the Wind River Canyon, my wife said something. 'Only God could make dirt look this good'. She wasn't kidding, it was ALL beautiful.

We decided to get out more, we are already planning the next trip down to the Redwoods in California.

As a work-a-holic I seem to also be a stress-a-holic. I actually find it difficult to just lay back and relax. I feel like my hands should be doing something. I want to offer a bit of advice that I just learned. Sit back and marvel at the wonders that God created around us. I know that sounds kind of lame or maybe just too simple to be useful. Nothing I can create or do will ever amount to much compared to what's already been done. I can relax and take in the sites of the bison or elk roaming the plains of Wyoming, the trout swimming down the Chattahoochee River, or the simple shadows of the clouds through a mountain pass. Who couldn't relax with those views.

As for me, I will spend more time traveling with the kids, finding more things to see that I didn't or don't have to stress over. Pass the iced tea please ...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Where did my home go?

You can't go home again. How many times have you heard this? I'm not even sure who first said it, but they had some good insight. I am on vacation to my old stomping in Georgia, and today I decided to just drive around and look at my old town of Powder Springs.

Many things are still there: my old house, my old school, and even the Dairy Queen, for the longest time the only reliable place to eat in town. Many things weren't. The woods behind my house have been flattened in preparation for the new subdivision. Other things just popped up, more houses in many places, where nothing used to be. The only store near my old house was a gas station, I can 't even remember it's name. Now there's a Kroger, a couple of banks and even a medical center: all within walking distance.

Half of the streets I remember have been re-routed. Powder Springs road used to go straight into the heart of 'Old' downtown Powder Springs. It now bypasses it almost completely, including the hill I used to learn how to start a stick shift on a hill.

I guess I ramble for one point: If you want to go home again, do it right away or you won't recognize it when you get there. Progress waits for no man or woman.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Old Friends ... New Friends

In high school, I had a circle of friends. Without those friends I don't think I would have made it through school. They kept me grounded. We gamed a little, went to church a little, hung out a lot. Now, some 16+ years later. We aren't friends anymore.

It's not that we hate each other now, we've all grown up now. And grown away. Some of us moved away, all of us moved on.

I just met with some of those friends. Now there is some water under the bridge, under a flaming bridge actually. None of us ever thought we would meet each other again, much less speak to each other. And yet, at an outdoor table at the friendly neighborhood Starbucks, we spoke for two hours. We caught up on what has happened in our lives since. The spouses and x-spouses, the jobs we have, what we like and dislike about them. The general stuff.

We talked about some of our mutual friends and what they have been up to. This is what I have learned tonight. Things change. Wow, I bet that's a shocker. Did ya see that one coming.

I am not the same person I was 16 years ago, but neither are my friends. I don't think any of us are in the place we thought we would be at this time. Yet, we do all seem happy, content in our current place, able to continue with our lives. Life goes on and so have we.

So our friends change, new acquaintances, new co-workers. If you are able to hold a friendship for 20 years or so, you are blessed, as I believe my two friends are blessed.

The results of my evening, I hope to have made to new friends. The old friends are there, but the old friendship is not, those days have passed. I hope to keep my two new friends, they will be long distance friends for now, but friends none the less.

Wish me luck!