Friday, November 30, 2007

Track On Mental Playback For the Last Few Days

In really listening to contemporary Christian music the last year or so, I have come to realize that they are love songs, and typically far more moving than 95% of what you hear coming from the secular market these days. This band is outstanding, BTW. I want to hear their new album which came out a few weeks ago. The new single hit it right on the head the very first time I heard it.

I know...

...that the content this week has been lacking in originality. I'm sorry. I have had a lot at work, and I have been a little distracted otherwise. Until I find an item worthy of a good fisking or the muse moves me to write something I can post, I think the pickings will be slim.

I pilfered this from Sig's site...

Good thing he's retired and can't arrest me anymore!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I saw this and oh the memories....


In my years as a fratboy, I was only ever hungover twice. This was one of them.

And the answer is...

I really don't know whether to feel flattered or insulted. Y'all must think I'm a man-whore, or I am just a prude.

1. I once worked for a foreign government in their capital. True. Sorry to hand you your fifth loss, Sohos. 1993, I interned in the Canadian House Of Commons in the Office of Ken James, MP from Sarnia-Lampton. I actually held a security clearance while there. Go figure.

2. I marched in the Electric Light Parade at DisneyWorld. True. I was in eighth grade, and it was an experience I won't soon forget...for many reasons.

3. An appointment to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs was mine for the asking. True. I had already talked to my senator, but then I had a one on one with a third year cadet from West Point. Then I realized that maybe it really wouldn't work for me.

4. I walked away from a rollover accident. True. That was a really really shitty week, and that was just the capper. Enough Said.

5. I was once shot at in my parent's living room. True. It was the day after Christmas. I was 14. I was sitting on the couch in front of my parents' picture window. Suddenly, there was a crashing sound, and glass was flying everywhere. I looked around thinking my Mom hung something up for the holidays that fell down and broke. When I stood up and turned, I saw an Arrow sticking out of the back of the couch, inches below where my head was. I'm still particular about sitting with my back to the window today.

6. I had a pin surgically implanted in my wrist to set a broken bone. True. I don't recommend running into pavement at 25 mph. It hurts. A lot.

7. I have touched a piece of the Titanic. True. Sorry. I went the exhibit at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. They had a big piece of the hull on display. I don't remember a prohibition against touching it. I do know that I did touch it. I was disappointed because they didn't have more of the paper artifacts recovered from the wreck.

8. A stripper took me home from a frat party once when I was in college. False. C'mon, guys. Please. The strippers who came to our frat parties...I wouldn't touch them with a Theta Chi's get the point.

Thanks for playing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I guess its my turn...

First of all, I'm 0 for 4 at this game, so we'll see if I can play "Fool the Guesser" any better than I am the guesser. Oh, and Alex can't play.

Which one of the following is not true?

1. I once worked for a foreign government in their capital.

2. I marched in the Electric Light Parade at DisneyWorld.

3. An appointment to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs was mine for the asking.

4. I walked away from a rollover accident.

5. I was once shot at in my parent's living room.

6. I had a pin surgically implanted in my wrist to set a broken bone.

7. I have touched a piece of the Titanic.

8. A stripper took me home from a frat party once when I was in college.

Have Fun.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Birthday Is This Weekend...

...and I still have no plans. I haven't felt very festive the last few days. I think it will pass, but plenty to think about.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Almost Got It Right

Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with
You scored as William Wallace

The great Scottish warrior William Wallace led his people against their English oppressors in a campaign that won independence for Scotland and immortalized him in the hearts of his countrymen. With his warrior's heart, tactician's mind, and poet's soul, Wallace was a brilliant leader. He just wanted to live a simple life on his farm, but he gave it up to help his country in its time of need.

William Wallace




The Amazing Spider-Man


Neo, the "One"


Indiana Jones


James Bond, Agent 007


Batman, the Dark Knight


Captain Jack Sparrow


Lara Croft


The Terminator


El Zorro


I stole this from the fyreman, who stole it from Ambulance Driver who stole it from...well, you get the idea. I always identified more with Maximus.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dinner was good...

...because I had made up my mind to have a good time and try to keep the boys from getting out of control. It didn't take long. Heir No. One has Aspergers. That means a disruption in routine can be catastropic in terms of his feelings and how he reacts to things. He usually gets amped up a few days before a holiday, starts breaking out in hives, requiring doses of Benedryl.

This was no different. It started yesterday. When we got there today (he stayed a Papa and Nana's overnight), he was already upset about something. Once I got Heir No. Two settled, I went to my in-laws bedroom, where my wife had taken Heir No. One. He was sitting in the chair next to the bed, crying. My wife informed me that he was in a time out for throwing a fit about not getting a turkey leg. He was very upset, and shouted about wanting a turkey leg. I softly asked her to let me talk to to him, and then asked her to go out and enjoy her meal with everyone else.

I crossed the room, and got on my knees so I could look him in the eyes. I started to talk to him and explain that he didn't ask Papa before hand, so all the meat was taken off the turkey leg. He got upset again, screaming about how he didn't want any more Thanksgivings. I kept calm, and told him that he was at a 4 and he needed to be at a 1 before we could talk, and I turned around, leaning back against the chair and stretching my legs out in front of me. I waited until I heard the sniffling slow down, and then I asked him to come sit with me.

He got down into my lap, and I very quietly started to talk to him about it again. He started shouting again, and at that time, Nana walked in, and he started shouting at her. She left, and then my wife walked in with his coat and shoes, and suggested I take him for a drive, because he was disturbing dinner. I asked for a few more minutes. She hesitated. She whispered to me that it hurt her to see him like this. I whispered back that I understood, but I thought we could work it out. She stood for another minute, watching, her empathy leaking out of every pore, then left to rejoin the family at dinner. I pulled his coat up over him and gently rocked him, letting him calm back down before I said anything more. Once again, the tears slowed, and the pauses between the sniffles got louder. I asked him "Its hard with all these people here, and all this stuff going on, isn't it?"

He first nodded affirmatively, then said "Yeah Dad, its hard. Really really hard." I could hear the catching in his throat and his voice cracking. I didn't have to see his face to know the tears were welling up again. I've been there too many times lately myself. I asked him if I could tell him about Thanksgiving at my Grandpa and Grandma's house when I was his age. Once more, and affirmative nod and a sniffle.

"I know its hard for you E. It was hard for me, too. Do you remember meeting my Grandpa the last time we all went back to Michigan. I took that picture of you and him wearing the silly glasses?"


"Well he and my Grandma had a really big house south of where your grandpa and grandma used to live there, and just like it is here for you with Papa and Nana, I was there so much with them that it felt like my house, but then when holidays came, things got all moved around, and they were always so busy with things, and the house smelled different because grandma made all the food, and then my aunts and uncles would all show up and there would be a lot of people in the house, and it didn't feel right and I didn't always know how to act. But there was always lots of good food, and my Grandpa would make a fire in the fireplace in th family room, and sometimes it would snow, and I could go sledding on the hill in back of their house, and so even though it was hard, I still had fun, and now I have some really good memories."



"I think I'm hungry, but I know I can't eat in here."

"You're right. You can't eat in here, but if you calm down a little more, we can go out there and eat. I know Nana made a really good turkey, and there are rolls, and pickles, and sparkling Apple Cider..."

"I think I'm calm now, Dad. Can I sit next to you while we eat?"

"Sure. Do you want to pray first?"


(I love how it just always seems to calm him down.)

We prayed, and then I looked him in the eye, and said "I'll get your dinner plate ready, but I need you to do something for me."

"What, Dad?"

"You need to go apologize to Nana. This is her house, and you do not get to disrespect her in her house...or anywhere else, for that matter. Don't make a big production out of it. Be discrete. Go whisper in her ear."

We were walking out as my wife returned. "Everything ok?" She asked, the question as much in her eyes as on her lips.

"Yes. He is going to apologize to Nana, and I'll get his plate ready."



"Can we eat in the kitchen with J?"


My wife prepared his plate as I watched him go out and apolgize to my mother-in-law. She hugged him, and said "That's OK.", and I ate my Thanksgiving dinner in the kitchen, sitting with my boys.

He still got a little excited, but he had a great day.
I think my wife and I agreed that even though there was stress, it was probably the best Thanksgiving we have had.

Grandpa, I really wish you and I could talk right now.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I Was Researching An Issue At Work...

...and came across this gem. I laughed out loud. My Secretary thinks I'm crazy.

"Fact that personal relations of partners are such that neither one has any confidence in other does not relieve one partner of his fiduciary obligations in dealing with other. Karle v. Seder (1950) 35 Wash.2d 542, 214 P.2d 684."

I'm guessing that the oral argument must have been fun.

A Polar Shift

As I read the verses referred to me by the fyreman (thank you, sir!), I came to realize, if only for a moment, how I have shifted in the last year and a half from being an "Old Testament" reader to a "New Testament" reader.

As My eyes have been opened to more and more, I found more and more that is true and applicable in the New Testament. So much that speaks to things going on in my life and around me right now:

Ephesians 6:12

Hebrews 12:26-29

Colossians 2:8

Galatians Chapter 5

1 Corinthians 10:13, ok ALL of 1 and 2 Corinthians.

and Ephesians 6:12 comes a little bit more into focus when reading C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters.

I am tired, and still I am thankful because I understand that I am in the hands of a creator who loves me and wants what is best for me.

Which brings me to the best Thanksgiving message of all:

"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Phillipians 4:4-7 NKJV

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Some Good News, Anyway...

I called the Doc's again today. They finally had the test results. The Nurse said "Benign." No explaination yet of why it hurts, but I guess slow and steady is the way we're playing it. I go to get my other eye fixed on December 13, so by Christmas, I should be seeing just fine, thank you very much.

Agenda for now?

More knee mail and honest attempts to bridge a very wide gap.

Oh, and the response to the last post?

Thank you. Y'all are part of the best chosen family a person could have.

Monday, November 19, 2007

New Beginnings

So here's the thing.

A long chapter in my life has closed.

Now I get to start all over agsin. It is a little scary. It is a lot exciting. And I really am unsure how to proceed. I get to go down a road that I haven't travelled in a really long time.

It will start with a phone call. I am not sure where it will end.

If you feel the need to pray for anyone, include me in that list, will ya?

Am I The Only One Wondering...

...if the Barista still has her site down so she doesn't have to keep her 10,000 hit promises?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The kind of conflict I don't mind so much.

When we went to Wally World yesterday to buy jeans for Heir No. One and some groceries, the Salvation Army was out front ringing the bell. When we left, Heir No. One was very upset that I didn't give any money to the bell ringer. As we proceeded out in to the parking lot, he kept needling me, telling me I was mean, and that people needed our help. I told him I didn't have any cash, which was true...I haven't had any since 1992, but that is another story. He still refused to believe me, and I found myself angrily reaching into my pockets and pulling out receipts, a coin which isn't legal tender, a pen, and my leatherman, but no cash. Not deterred, he then started asking me about my wallet, and didn't stop until I showed him that it too was bereft of cash. He finally relented, though I could see his anxiety level was still high. After we were two blocks away, I had calmed down enough to realize that his concern was genuine. I really couldn't be more proud of him, and I told him so, and why. I hope we can have these conversations for a long while to come.


I had to share this.

If you don't like it when I start to get controversial, then leave now, because this is about life, love, faith, Thanksgiving, and most of all, God.

If you have been reading this page for a while, then you undoubtedly have come to recognize that I am a Christian, occasional uncharitable thoughts aside, and that I am deeply offended by the repeated attempts of the libatards of this nation to re-write history to deny the obvious Judeo-Christian influence on our nation's law and character. We see this in the attempts to recast our Holidays in ways that either ignore or are hostile to Christianity. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where it has been difficult for these asshats to accomplish that goal. To have Thanksgiving, you have to be thankful to someone, and that someone is the elephant in the room that the left tries so hard to ignore. A review of the history of the holiday shows just how bankrupt the left's attempts at revision are. Let's start with Washington's Thanksgiving proclamation.

General Thanksgiving
By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America
WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establifh a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;-- for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;-- for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;-- and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;-- to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington

Source: The Massachusetts Centinel, Wednesday, October 14, 1789

Hardly sound like the words of a 'deist', do they? Another revision of history dispelled. But it didn't stop there. Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation really sticks a finger in the eye of those who want us to reject and be ashamed of out history. If you think about it, it really shouldn't surprise you. He gets a complete thumbs up in my book for doing what was necessary to hold this nation together in THE darkest chapter in our history. He himself, a lifelong christian, did not profess himself to truly be a Christian until after the battle of Gettysburg. I don't know how any Commander In Chief could comprehend the true nature of the destruction, and death (60,000 Americans) and not be changed or feel the awful weight of the responsibility that he was charged with. I sometimes think that if he hadn't have been assassinated, he still would have died to somehow be denied a continued life in the Union he was dedicated to restoring, much the same way Moses lead the people of Israel through the desert for 40 years, only to be denied entry into the promised land.

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Thinking about this put a different spin on some thoughts that I had already coalesced in the last few days.

This has been both the best and worst year of my life. I started to seriously walk down the road of recovery, and finally came to the point where I could hear God giving me the final piece I needed to take control of my life. Then I was brought face to face with the damage I have done in the my life, and the sorrowful consequences that resulted from that damage. While trying to understand the extent of the damage, I have been given news that raises the question of my own mortality, and while considering the implications of so many things left undone, that I may not have time to fix, more salt was poured into that wound.

If anyone has a reason to be angry, it would be me. And while anger is one of the many emotions I am feeling, it isn't primary. Actually, as much physical and emotional pain I am suffering, I have to say "Praise God!", even through the tears. Because of him, I know what I am feeling. He brought me down this path. If this happened three years ago, I would have just closed in on myself, and been very, very angry. Now, I can realize that there is anger, that there is disappointment, that there is resentment, that there is betrayal, that there is sadness. More importantly, I can consider why I have these feelings, and that is the reason why I am thankful today, this week, this month, RIGHT NOW.

I am thankful for my wife, and the years we shared, even when I shared very little with anyone, including her.

I am thankful for two young men who constantly provide me with joy, and reasons to be proud, even as they frustrate me for the same reasons.

I am thankful for the fact that we have a home, whatever is going on under its roof.

I am thankful we all eat, and have clothes.

I am thankful that God cares enough to restore us to what he intended.

I am thankful to live in a country where I can say that.

I am thankful for whatever is next, because I can feel it, and share it with those who love me.

I am thank for for the family that I was born with, and my chosen family on the sidebar, and at the Rott.

Sunday Morning Quiet Time

I don'tsleep so well right now, and I think fatigue is taking over. I work up at 6 when Heir No. One came in suffering from another nightmare, but I wasn't awake for long. My eyes didn't open again until 8:15. That's sleeping late these days. Heir No. Two didn't get up until I had finished with a shower, opened his door, turned on the light, and made a cup of tea. It is grey and wet outside, and that doesn't bother me at all. None of that motonous sunshine for me.

I have been thinking a lot about the intersection between faith, forgivness, and trust. I think I finally understand a few things. More disturbing for me is the aftermath of the shaking that God has done in my life lately. I can't fault him for doing it. It brought some new revelations, one that I was good for me to understand about my own perspective on things, I understand why I feel the way that I do about a few things, and the other....well, maybe it was something that I should know.

Man, this tea is good. I gotta go get myself and Cap'n Insano's Cabin Boys ready for our weekly trip to visit God at his house. Y'all have a good one.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Desert Island Singles, Part 3

1. "Sumthin' for Nothin'" Motley Crue. My brother Alex and I were talking about it today on the transatlantic line. I was wrong, bro. It isn't about an assassin. I looked up the lyrics. Damn I was naive back then. Doesn't change the fact that I liked the song.

2. "Every Day I Write the Book" Elvis Costello. Great song, crappy video.

3. "Blood and Fire" Indigo Girls. The restorative power of music will ALWAYS amaze me. This was the most emotional week of my life. I came home last night, and thought that I just had nothing left. No shock, no surprise, no wonder, no hope. And I plugged this CD in when I drove around for a few hours later on. I know I liked it for the singing before. I simply could not have understood the emotional components years ago. I was still exhausted, but the tank has stuff in it again. It is good.

4. "Parisienne Hotel" Johnny Diesel and the Injectors. American Ex-pat in Australia who had one ROCKIN' Bluesy album in the late 80's. Never heard another thing from him. Our loss.

5. "Shame on You" Gun. Scottish band. Good vibe. Painful topics, but great drive. If you can put your pain to music, you can make a buck.

6. "Walk Through Fire" David Baerwald. Still true today. The more I listen to his progression, the more I think he and I went down the same road.

7. "Father, Blessed Father" Newsboys. The dualing rhythyms fascinate me, and yeah, the message ain't bad either.

8. "We Got the Beat" The Go-Gos. Another Drive fast with the windows down and the radio up kinda song.

9. "Forever Autumn" Jeff Lynne. If you have never heard this Rock Opera version of the War of the Worlds, with the stella playing and vocals and Richard Burton (yea, us Welsh dudes!) narrating, then you have missed a singular treat.

10. "Thank You." Dido. I love this track, and I always think of the same person when I hear it now. You know who you are.

Batchin' It

Me and my guys today and probably tomorrow. I gotta run some errands this afternoon, haircut (for me), jeans (for Heir No. One), and some grocieries (the boys need their Pop Tarts, and Balogna, and I would like an adult beverage.) I might get one of the next Pirates of the Carribean movies while we're out to watch with the heirs tonight. There's a model train show in town that we might go to tomorrow afternoon. I have get some traquilizers so I can get them back out when its time to go. Anyone got a line on some Ketomine?

Rainy Day Memories

It was a typical early summer day in Independence, Mo. A few puffy white clouds punctuated an azure sky, and the air was warm and moist, but not yet so laden with humidity to be heavy.

I was standing in the driveway of the duplex where Great Grandpa and Grandma lived with my Aunt Ruby and Uncle Dave. My parents were off visiting some friends and left me with these distant relatives that I didn't know. I bounced a basketball, but frankly, I was bored out of my seven-year old mind. The day before, I was stung repeatedly by wasps on my lower lip which then swelled to the point that I looked like a Mick Jagger wannabe.

My Great-Grandfather sat on a lawnchair just inside the garage, watching me. Finally, he said "Come here, boy."
I didn't really know Great-Grandpa until a few years later, when he came to Michigan to live with My grandpa for the summer. I don't ever recall him speaking my name.

I put the ball down and walked over to where he was sitting. He looked me up and down for a minute, and seemed to approve of what he saw. He said "Did I hear you say that you are in Cub Scouts?" I nodded my head affirmatively.
"Do you have a knife yet?" I looked him in the eye, and said "No. We're not allowed to have them." "!@#$@!$%$@@$%!!! Why the !#%^&%$#@ not? God, what they do to you kids these days. Nevermind." I didn't know until years later,, but Granpa Cliff was a blacksmith for most of his life, which contributed to the heavily calloused hands and the salty language.
Then he reached down and fished in his pocket. He smilled as he pulled out a jacknife and held it in from of my face. "You see this knife, boy?" Again, an affirmative nod from me.
"This is yours now. Every boy should have a knife of his own. Did you ever whittle?"
"No." I said.
"Go get a bunch of those sticks over there, bring 'em over here, and have a seat. You're about to pass a Missouri afternoon with your greatgrandsire."

I did as I was told. When I retuned, he was sitting back down, with another knife in his hand, and he proceeded to show me how to whittle. Later that afternoon, I got a little enthusiastic, and took a piece out of my finger, which commenced to bleeding like a stuck pig. I started to cry. He looked at me and said "It can't hurt that bad. Why the $$@!!#@$%^ are yo crying?"
Through my tears, I managed to choke out "Beee-ccause you'll take it awwwaaaaayyy!!!"
He looked at me sternly for a minute, then laughed. "Why would I do that, Boy?" Cutting yourself is part of learning. And nobody else is going to take it away from you, either. If they try, you just give 'em this look, (and he gave me THE LOOK...the one I almost never use, that resolutely says "OVER.MY.DEAD.BODY" without saying a word) and say "Great-Grandpa give this knife to me. It is mine. You can't have it."

I still have it to this day. A cheapie Barlow two blade pocket knife. It went through Boy Scouts with me. It is by no means the finest knife I own, but it is the one I will always own.

Thanks, Great-Grandpa.

Friday, November 16, 2007

In an age of email, faxes, cell phones, and crackberries...

...why does it take so @$#!^*(&^$@@ long to get back the results of a !#@#%^&^$#! medical test??? Really. It shouldn't be so damn difficult.

I had an interesting class in Seattle today...

...on Advising High Tech Companies. It was refreshing to have an Ethics portion that actually was instructive, and the segment on financing and section 409A transactions probably could have been day-long sessions on their own. I even picked up a few new ideas from the employment law portion...go figure.

Because I'm not distracted enough...

... and because he didn't scream like a little girl when he got news of my forthcoming bill for representation (Hey, I have an LL.M. to pay for), welcome USA Admiral to the Sacred and the Profane on the sidebar. Bar's Open!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It laughs at Advil...laughs I say!!!

I'm not kidding. Another reason for the drink, I think.

Damn it if I'm not getting hammered right now...

Last week it was Hebrews 12:26-29, and I thought I knew what it meant...little did I know.

This week, Galatians 6:7-8 front and center.

And after an examination yesterday that left me reeling, I drive in to work this morning, look down, and see the text on the stereo stuck. The word?


The pain is getting to be ridiculous, and I'm still thinking in this direction. I was right. The males in my family are hardheaded.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Which Isn't To Say I Hate My Current Ride...

It looks good, the boys are comfortable in back, it handles REALLY well, it goes when I put my foot down, and the stereo ROCKS.


...I'm a little distracted at the moment. Please make due with some more gratuitous car prOn.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

More Car prOn...

Yeah its a Hemi.

Telling It All Without Saying A Word

"Uhhh, brain trust? The flag is behind you."

I'd question their patriotism, but it would be like kicking a puppy. Remember this come November.

Monday, November 12, 2007

My Next Ride...

...all I have to do is win the lotto or write a bestseller, and pay off every bill including ones I don't have yet. Sure. This is doable.

Listening Carefully

It is amazing the things that you hear and the messages you receive when you really start listening carefully. I keep getting some of the best little nuggets of wisdom falling into my lap. Of course, they all say "It gets darkest right before it turns pitch black, and since you can still read this, I guess you need to hang on."

Its ok though. My trust is in the right place. No need to ponder Job at this point.

Discretion Being the Better Part of Valor

I have been thinking about the letter to the Washington State Bar Association. I work in a small office. While we do not practice political correctness, we do not go out of our way to put fingers in people's eyes, either. (Except for that whole Christmas card to CAIR thing, but they were asking fo it...) Because of this, and the fact that I need the job, I'm going to pocket it for now. Although, I may publish it sometime in the future. I haven't decided yet.

You Have Got To Be Kidding Me...

...So I came across this list of movies that make men cry.

Yeah, right. Whatever. Sorry, not a single one of these has ever moved me to tears, no matter how brief. That isn't to say that I haven't been. I can admit that out loud. As long as we're in a listing mood...In no particular order...

1. Lawrence of Arabia. The first thing that pops into my head is the saying "Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first drive mad."

2. Paths to Glory. I could have been Kirk Douglas screaming at his commanding officer. The best Kubrick movie ever.

3. A Bridge Too Far. Which could have also been titled "Why you don't let the British make your battle plans." Way too high a cost paid simply due to piss poor planning. Gene Hackman had the best line in the whole movie.

4. Forrest Gump. First, Gary Sinese in the best frickin performance put on film in my lifetime. Second, the scene when Forrest is talking to his wife at her grave at the end makes my throat close up every single time.

5. Gladiator. Maximus' death was too high a price to pay for a people that wouldn't rise up and squash Commitus like the pathetic bug he was.

6. On Her Majesty's Secret Service. The best Bond story hindered by the worst Bond performance. Dude, they killed Diana Rigg!

7. On the Wings Of Eagles. The fictionalized account of the life of Frank 'Spig" Wead. The part at the end when he is retired due to his poor heart condition, and even his old rival from the Army shows up to see him over the side one last time...

Desert Island Singles, Part Deux

Again, in no particular order:

1. Joe Cocker, You Can Leave Your Hat On. C'mon, you haven't at least fantasized about either stripping for your partner to it, or being the recipient of a strip tease while listening to it? Liar.

2. John Hiatt, Through Your Hands. Tune gets me in the heart every time I hear it. There is a reason he and Bonnie Raitt have a mutual admiration society going.

3. Ministry, Jesus Built My Hotrod. Forever seared into my memory by the early arrival at a closed frat party by the the love of my life. It mattered because I had an unfiltered Camel hanging out of the corner of my mouth as I looked through the stack of CDs to line up the next couple of tracks. The story she recounted about waiting outside with the stripper and being asked "Which Kappa are you dating?" made it clear that she was already...displeased. The cigarette made the evening even more chilly, until we left early.

4. Nine Inch Nails, Head Like A Hole. At one time, Trent Reznor was an evil genius. That was before the evil took over completely.

5. Josh Turner, Long Black Train. I think it is always unfair to compare new stars to old ones, but I swear, every time I hear it, I think "This generation's Johnny Cash".

6. Squeeze, Tempted. The finest breakup song ever. Good playing, amazing vocals. British Blue-eyed soul at its best.

7. The Clash, Pressure Drop. Only a british punk band with conceptions of grandeur decide to cross into regae, bring it back, wrap it around their own sound and make it work.

8. Blue Rodeo, What You Want. From 'Nowhere to Here', or what I referred to as 'The Divorce Album' after my first listen. It is a great song and you can feel the guy's pain in a very Clintonesque way.

9. Chris Rice, Smellin' Coffee. Who says contemporary Christian = boring? This tune is inspirational and funky.

10. Just about any song from MercyMe. I swear these guys have reached into my brain as inspiration for every song they have written. Either that is somehow a good thing, or I am a really pathetic soul.

11. Adam Ant, Strip. Musical Collaborations are so much fun. Phil Collins played the drums on this track, and I think it really made all the difference.

12. Queensryche, Eyes of a Stranger. Geoff Tate has a hell of a set of pipes on him. The entire album is one of my favorite rock operas, and I had the priviledge of seeing them perform it live once. It took two days before I could hear normally again.

13. Van Halen, Why Can't This Be Love? Where to start with the memories on this? I really don't want to get into a Dave/Sammy/What's His Name debate on this. It makes me think of a lot of fun memories, and I'll leave it at that.

14. The Rolling Stones, Sympathy For the Devil. History lesson ala Mick Jager, who probably witnessed it all. What more to say?

15. Aerosmith, Back in the Saddle. For a year, this song came on the radio the exact time I was getting in the car to leave school. A message?

16. Brian Setzer Orchestra, Pennsylvania 6-5000. Another one of those tunes where if you aren't tapping your foot, you don't have a pulse.

17. Barenaked Ladies, One Week. Getting all the words is a challenge when stone cold sober. After you have had a few? Forgedaboutit.

18. The Cult, Love Removal Machine. Just a great rock and roll song.

19. REM, Superman. Everyone knows the best tracks are the ones that are not listed on the back of the jewel case, right?

20. The Alarm, Love Don't Come Easy. I loved this entire album, but this was the standout song. Bluesy, with a gravely voice tellin it like it is.

21. The Band, The Weight. Its been covered, but never improved upon. A classic in its own right, due to a lineup of legends.

22. The Doors, People Are Strange. I once stripped to this. It was for charity and one of my frat brothers thought it would be funny to switch songs on me. I wanted Bruce Hornsby and the Range's Stranded On Easy Street, which also belongs on this list. No I am not going to tell you how much money I made, other than to say I did well.

Part Three, coming soon.

From the Inbox

From Mr. Ibrahim Milha.

In the Name of Allah I Beg You Read with care
Hope you are trust worthy? My name is Mr. Ibrahim Milha , A Bahrain national I
have been diagnosed with Esophageal cancer .It has defiled all forms of
medical treatment, and right now I have only about a few months to
live, according to medical experts. I have not particularly lived my
life so well, as I never really cared for anyone(not even myself)but
Though I am very rich, I was never generous, I was always
hostile to people and only focused on my business as that was the only
thing I cared for.
But now I regret all this as I now know that there is
more to life than just wanting to have or make all the money in the

Uhhh, Ibrahim? If you want my help with something, invoking the name of Allah ain't the way to get it done, and besides, I hate you spammers. Go choke on a porkchop and leave me alone.


...for the light posting. I was down yesterday with the worst headache I have ever had, I'm struggling with a whole lot of stuff, and I've spent all morning messing with a spreadsheet of dubious value.

The bright spot of my weekend was all of us going as a family and taking care of various things for the boys on Saturday. It was nice.

I have been pleasantly surprised with emails from friends. Thank you for them all, really. It means a lot to know that I'm not just typing to work through my various issues and frustrations, although I probably would anyway. Thank you again, just the same.

Truth In Advertising

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I finished my letter... the Washington State Bar Association last night.

I'm still trying to decide whether to "Harry Truman" it or not. We actually have a rule in or rules of professional conduct that subjects us to discipline for saying things that can be considered offensive while in the course of performing out duties. I'm sure the letter would do just that. After all, I have the temerity to address their continuing "examinations" of certain topics that are thinly veiled approvals of positions that I and no sane person would ever approve of since they only remove certainty and logic from the law in a futile attempt to recognize the specialness of anyone who believes they are special, culminating in their latest offense in which a Muslim attorney lectures in three pages on how attorneys need to understand how Shariah differs from Washington's laws on how estates are to be distributed in the even there is no will when a believer passes on. I'm fairly confident that practitioners of other religions wouldn't be able to hold forth the same way in the pages of the publication, nor would I be in favor of them doing so. The law works because it treats everyone equally when it is administered with fairness and impartiality. When we start catering on the basis of sexual orientation, religion, or ethnicity, it will break down because of the inherent inequality. I see what my colleagues are doing, I can only surmise that it is deliberate, and they have decided to move beyond their role as officers of the courts to advocacy of political positions. Shame on them, and woe on to us all.

Weekend Musings

I'm working on Desert Island Singles, part deux. This is harder than I thought.

Heir No. Two Got a new coat and underwear yesterday. Not that he cares, of course. I think he was far happier with the slurpie I got him while Mom was trying on a coat she saw.

I have been thinking about forgivness the whole weekend long. Asking for and granting. It seems like I have had to ask forgiveness from a lot of people lately. Maybe because I have. The point being I finally had to ask it of one last person.

It was hard, but not as hard as the message I received when reflecting on it. I finally fully come into a never say die philosophy, and it appears I'm late to the party. I love how God finds a way to say "I'm glad you finally figured it out, son. Now can you live it?"

That's the lovely nature of faith. You know where you are, you know where you want to be, and that path is no longer clear, but seems to be completely blocked. At that point it is no longer a mental exercise, but stepping out and trusting that that you are still going to get there.

Its gonna be a long walk, and I know I'm not dressed for the weather, but I know that I have to keep walking.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Imagine that!

Normally I couldn't care less, but the headline on Yahoo this morning indicated that America's favorite Trailer-Trash Princess got herself in a snit over Maxim Magazine's determination that she is unsexy. Demanding an apology? Right after American gets one from you, sweetheart.

I can't say I have ever read Maxim, though I will confess that there was a time that I read Details...truely because they had some really good interviews for a while, but that was 15 years ago. Still, maybe this is a signal that rich, self-centered to the point of losing custody to that paragon of parental virutes, the original Mr. Mom, K-Fed, just isn't that sexy. In fact, given her prior demonstration of taste, I bet many men wouldn't even fantasize about a tumble or two.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Desert Island Singles, Part One

Ok, As promised, in no particular order:

1. Black Cow, Steely Dan
Incomprehensible lyrics and undeniable bump with their signature funky twist. With out a doubt, my favorite Steely Dan Track.

2. Learn To Love You, Harry Connick, Jr.
This is THE Harry tune as far as I'm concerned. Killer horns, with just the right swank and the singing of a song as only he can.

3. Glory, Glory!, Underworld
From the one album most Underworld fans completely disavow, it was the only one I find listenable. I also liked "I Need A Doctor", "Bright White Flame", and "Rubber Ball".

4. Newborn, Guadalcanal Diary
Like REM, they hailed from Athens GA, but they were always more playful and irreverant. I always like to describe them as "REM, but liquored up." This song always makes me think of the book "Queen of the Damned".

5. The Likes of You, Guadalcanal Diary
From their last real album, Flip Flop. Really solid guitar riffs and a healthy contempt for a certain type of person who can always find the party when everything around them is going to Hell.

6. Mysterious Ways, U2
Really, not too long ago, it never would have gotten past the censors.

7. If I Fall, Evanescence ...[Update...the name is actually "Cloud Nine"...d'oh!]
Every time I hear this song, I just think "Wow."

8. Cowboy Junkies, A Common Disaster
Longing and lost, with resentment and anger, all in one very neat and tidy package, with Margo Timmins' vocals as a bright and shiny bow for the gift.

9. Dwight Yokum, Long White Cadillac
If you don't tap your foot when this song is playing, then you don't have a pulse.

10. Room at the Top, Adam Ant
Part of a very funky record done in the 90's, the song had a balance of swagger and focus that always makes me turn it up when it comes on.

11. Walk Like A Man, Grand Funk Railroad
Flint boys done good on a song that sums up what any 18 to 20 year old man might be feeling on any given day.

12. Up to Our Hips, Charlatans UK
slow grind with very vaguely suggestive lyrics. Sounds best in my car with the volume turned up high enough that the image in the rearview mirror bounces.

13. Sock to Me, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels
Surprisingly, the song did make it past the censors, for a brief time, but like most of his classic songs, you just have to sing along.

14. Hippychick, Soho
If any one has this on CD, let me know. I wore the cassette out years ago. "...Got no flowers for your gun, no hippychick. Won't make love to change you're mind, no hippychick..."

15. Late Night Grande Hotel, Nanci Griffith
Hate her politics, but this song has summed up exactly how I have felt at different times in my life.

16. More Than This, Roxy Music
Another song about longings, but it has a way of worming into your brain.

17. Damn, I wish I Was Your Lover, Sophie B. Hawkins
Yes, I also have heard that she is a lesbian, but shit, this was another song that grabbed me the very first time I heard it, and it never let go. It didn't hurt any that she was easy on the eyes, too.

18. I'm Lost and Then I'm Found, The Godfathers
I never understood why these guys never caught on. If you've never heard 'em, go check 'em out on You Tube.

19. Mandolin Rain, Bruce Hornsby (and the Range)
I've seen him in concert three times. Each time, the guy's skill leaves my jaw on the ground. A very different version of this song each time.

20. 7, Prince or symbol boy or whatever the hell he calls himself this week...
No, I don't really know what the song is about, but I dig the funky crawl its got.

21. Can't Do A Thing To Stop Me, Chris Issak
How many people can do a retro-sounding lounge lizard type track with a vibraphone and make it work? Really?

That's enough for now, boys and girls. And now....the blowtorches please!!!


I got an eye patch, so I can read without going insane. Yes, its black, and yes, it appeals to my baser instincts. YAAARRR!

BTW, the novel I'm reading, America Falling, keeps getting better and better. I must have read another six or seven chapters last night. Go to Amazon and buy it. It's that good.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Another Actress I Love To Watch

The Thin Man, The Best Years Of Our Lives, Cheaper By The Dozen.

Always the unflapable characterization of class and persereverance.

Y'all Get Your List of Desert Island Singles Together... we can compare notes this weekend. Seriously. I'll be fun. I'll bring the Pretzels, you bring the beer and your lists.

A Bitchy Inner Monologue...

...rules the roost this evening.

An insulting and inappropriate article on "Shariah and Estate Planning" in the issue of the Bar News that came today...more on that later. Suffice to say that it has finally pushed me over the edge. There will be a letter going out on this.

Off to my in-laws for their birthday party for Heir No. One, who turns the ripe old age of Eight tomorrow. It was a nice meal, and he seemed happy enough with the Voltron toy (Thanks Aunt Stefie) and the two Lego Bionicles from Papa and Nana. Only had to deal with the question I was dreading once.

Then off to the bookstore to look for a recommended tome. I'm always annoyed when I go to Border's and they don't have what I'm looking for. Having to hold my hand over my eye so I could read the titles was a bit frustrating too. I don't mind people looking at me like I'm a freak if I'm actually trying to be freakish, but otherwise...

And then home again to a quiet and empty house. I wish I could say that it doesn't hurt anymore, but that would be a lie of Clintonian proportion. I saw a sign on a local church the other day that says "God either helps us with our burden, or strengthens our back muscles." I'm trying to figure out if either has happened yet. I caught myself yesterday looking at job listings in other states. I saw that The Walt Disney Company is looking for some attorneys. I thought that this is something that she might find amusing, being the Disney maniac that she is, so I called her to tell her while I was driving into work this morning. Her response was basically "You'd have to live in California and take the bar there." I said that if it was the right job, I might consider it. More silence. I asked if that was a problem. She said no, that I just caught her off guard.

Then on to check my email. Yahoo's spam guard is non-existent. For every real message, I get about 20 lottery, Mr. DR. Abu Jamal trying to get me to help them smuggle money out of Nigeria. I heard a sermon the other day about the greatest challenge of the 21st Century for churches is to help people build relationships, because that is the connection that is so important in a world where we are kept on the run with electronic devices calling for our attention every minute of the day. I have had a lot of time to think about the relationship I haven't nurtured, and how that now that I get it, I am met with a closed door. This would be easier if I didn't know how lonely I have been for the last year and half, and not being able to share any of that with the one person who I ought to be share it with is a very hard thing.

I'm glad everyone will be here tomorrow for E's Birthday. It will be nice to be a family again, even if it is only for a few hours. Its too quiet around here when everyone is gone.

Enough of my bitching. I just robbed you of three minutes you'll never get back. Sorry.

Dhimitude...Coming to An Attorney Near You

I'm really getting sick of the P.C. B.S. being foisted upon me every month by my own professional organization.

So much for the melting pot and coming here because we have more to offer.

More Housekeepingery

In the "I guess they aren't coming back" department:
With sadness I remove Lady Heather's page link, Kelly's page link, and Nixcell's page link. Any of you ever decide to come back, let me know, and they shall be restored.

In the "Welcome to the Neighborhood" category, please welcome the Fyreman.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Check In

OK. I'm not dead. I took an unscheduled nap for about 4 hours this afternoon. I guess that's why they say don't drive at all the day of surgery. But it's ok tomorrow. Gee, that's nice, since I have to go back to work.

I hurts like a sonufagun to put the $#!!##%**^%$ drops in my eyes, but when I had the patch pulled back to put them in after eating, my vision out of that eye is VASTLY improved.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by today. I'll try to catch up on the comments sometime tomorrow.

UPDATE: I went for the follow up this morning. No sign of infection, eye pressure is great, and I'm seeing better than 20/20 with that eye. The drawback is I can now see that that Doc was right. I do have one in the other eye also, but the clarity in my right eye is fantastic. I may have to wear an eye patch for a while when I try to read, because two different focal lengths and an eye that now cannot change focus drives me nuts when reading, but maybe I'll get a cool black one and say "HAAARRRR!" a lot.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

More Black and White Photos

I took these shooting Ilford XP-2 film, which I had processed with a Kodak developer since they seem to be the only ones to set the channels correctly for color-process black and white film.

The first is two of the three most important people in my life.

The second is my second-favorite streach of beach on the planet.

I hope you enjoy these images as much as I do.

Tomorrow, The Knife

I go to get the cataract removed from my right eye tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. I was pretty nervous about it last week. Its always a thrill to hear the Doc say "Well, you're a lot younger than most of our patients, so you are more likely to have some...interesting complications later in life."

The pause was palpable until I finally bit. "Like what?"

"Well, at some time in the future, its conceivable that if you suffer some sort of hard blow to the head, the lens could become misalligned, and then surgery would be necessary to put it back into place, or the materials might start to breakdown after long term exposure to your body..."


Yet, for some reason, I feel pretty calm about this. I like the prospect of being able to see clearly, and only needing glasses to read (since he so politely demonstrated that despite my perception that my vision is fine in my left eye, I have one there, too, only it just isn't as advanced. Therefore, I'll probably fix that one too.) And I was pleased to find out that they aren't related to any other medical condition. I'm just part of a small group of people who develop them for no reason at all while still relatively young.

I don't know what I'll feel like when I get home. I may not post or check my email at all. I might feel fine. Either way, expect me when you see me. And if no one hears from me for a few days, don't sweat it. It just means that I died.

Life feels like a homework assignment

Seriously. I'm reading four different books right now, and all in separate ways.

1. The Bible- This one I jump around in. I was doing Old Testament for a while, but for the last three months, its all been New Testament. I've read the entire book all the way through twice. Each time, it took about a year, but since moving to a new translation, I keep having these "Huh." moments, where I get something different than what I got before. And I enjoy rolling into some thing that is quotable that I didn't pick up on before. And something that I had forgotten is reading it daily really does change my case, for the better.

2. The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers- OK, stop snickering. It is written by a close friend of his, and is very readable. Its a bathroom book because its divided up into small subchapters, but I find myself pondering different ideas from it in quiet moments, which, as I get further into the book, I think he would appreciate as making his point for him.

3. America Falling- The only novel next to my bed at the moment. I only recently got it, but so far, it is a very well-written thriller. I hope it isn't as prescient as my senses tell me.

4. A relationship book. No, I'm not going to tell you it is. I am going to tell you that I will probably make it a point to read 3 to 5 of these books a year for the rest of my life, because they make me think about consciously changing the things I do. As it happens, I usually get the side benefit of figuring things out about myself. Knowing why you do a thing is generally the first step toward changing it. As I have said before, I would rather be remembered for the person I was than being defined by my profession. I have "lawyered" the important people in my life for far too long. If I don't continually work on improving my character, it will never happen.

Gee, does this mean we'll have anti-car lobbyists too?

This one caught my attention. Honestly, they roped me in. I waas expecting one of those "Two women fighting and bouncing each other's heads off the sidewalk" kind of things, but geez, if you have to use a car to kill a pregnant woman, doesn't just make you like a Paleoswinian bomber without the bang? Truely, I was disappointed.

And the letdown came in the very first paragraph. A street brawl involving three dozen women? I guess the moral to the story, if there is one, is that people will use any instrumentality to solve their problems, whether it is a gun, a car, an airliner.


Monday, November 05, 2007

Because I Can.

This moment of zen brought to you by God and her parents.

I just like black and white for portraits. I have learned from experience that it just helps to capture the je ne sais quois in a person. And of course, this one constitutes a triple threat...

Sorry, ladies. Were you saying something? Hey, you want beefcake, go visit the Barista. This is for me and any of the guys who enjoy it...maybe not slutty enough for Dick, and I don't know the preferences of the count, SoCal, or Alex, but hey, its my page, and I'm enjoying it just fine, thanks.

Desert Island Discs

I was thinking today about the soundtrack of my life. It has been rough edged, contemplative, stuffed with a-ronk, a little funky, precise, intensely beautiful, swanky, and evocative. The criteria are simple. To count, you have to like EVERY song on the disc, and you have to say WHY. Come on. Play along at home, y'all. Don't get hung up on the various songs, the Singles version of this post will be another time, and believe me, my list for that will be very different from this one. So, without further fanfare...

1. U2-The Joshua Tree/Rattle and Hum Ok, so technically they are two different albums, but in spirit, Rattle and Hum was the continuation of an exploration of a distinctly American sound to explore some seriously spiritual themes. The Joshua Tree always takes me back to 1987, and my trip (as a spectator) to both the road and track bicycle races of the Pan-Am Games in Indiana.

2. Chris Issak- Heart Shaped World I had a handful of cassettes on heavy rotation in my car in both High School and College. This was one of them. The guy can sing, the guy can play, the lucky bastard got to wrestle with half-naked swimsuit models while fiming videos. What wasn't to like?

3. The BoDeans-Home This album boasted some serious influences from other sources which put a very different spin on their folksy sound. The collaborations with the likes of U2 and Robbie Robertson put even more emotion into the songwriting, a little more polish in the production, and Kenny Arnoff's drumming put the entire package on wheels and set it on the road.

4. Robbie Robertson-Robbie Robertson A prime example of creating a mood. Interesting cross pollination, with U2 sitting in on "Sweet Fire Of Love", and the BoDeans chiming in on "Testimony". A mix of powerful lyrics, evocative music from a true rock and roll legend.

5. Miles Davis- Kind of Blue What can I say? Simply one of the greatest jazz albums of all time. It fits any mood and any occasion.

6. The Charlatans UK- Between 10th and 11th Simply one of my favoritist albums ever. The combination of trippy reverb, genius keyboard, and distant lyrics in an eminently singable format put this album right in to heavy rotation.

7. The Clash- London Calling When new movements in rock music emerge, some acts blend, and some transcend to find a much greater shelf life. This album took them out of the three chords and a snarl that personified punk, and showed why they are hall of famers.

8. Patsy Cline- 12 Greatest Hits Sorry. She IS the voice of country music for me. An absolutely stunning talent who died way too soon.

9. The Cowboy Junkies- Whites Off Earth Now The Trinity Sessions proved that you don't need no steenkin' money to make a classic album, but WOEN showed that the band could PLAY. Their renditions of "State Trooper" and "Decoration Day" came from my speakers on many a dark Michigan Road.

10. Blue Rodeo-Diamond Mine Their second album boasted the mad skills, solid songwriting, and very cool jam sessions that have become their signature style. The best Canadian import you never heard of.

11. Harry Connick Jr.-She Solid, contemporary songs with good lyrics, and a funky little bump that served as his announcement to the world that he really can sit in anywhere. It doesn't have my favorite Harry tune, but you can't have everything.

12. Elvis Costello-My Aim Is True. Sharp lyrics, good playing, and a few classic tunes make this Elvis album that I will always have in my collection. "miracle man" and "Waiting for the end of the world" are never too far from the front of my brain.

Suggestions? Put Downs? Changes?

Yeah, I know.

You must have noticed the changes and thought you came to the wrong place. You didn't, it was just time for some changes, as long as I was on the subject. Actually, I find the colors to be about right, so I might stick with this look for a while.

Ok, I got my laugh.

Brendan posted the video "Achmed the Dead Terrorist" over at the Rott. Yeah, I choked on my lunch, but at least I had the prospect of dying laughing.

I'd like to post something funny right now...

...but I can't. I'd actually love to hear something funny right now, since it would be a welcome respite, if only for a moment. Even my favorite laywer jokes aren't even causing me to crack a smile.

I don't understand the duality I'm meeting. I don't understand the attitudes and perceptions that have split the manse. I do not believe that I can ever build up the scar tissue to pretend its OK. I cannot believe that this is how it is supposed to be.

So this guy walks into a bar, and sees a horse in the corner with a bucket of money in front of him...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Things You Don't Tell Your Kids

Heir No. One has been running around for the last few days talking about his imaginary sister, Kelsey. He doesn't know, and I'm not going to tell him just how much this hurts me.

After we had him, I wanted to be a father again, only I wanted a girl. When Mrs. BiW got pregnant with heir no. two, I was hoping it was a girl. It was not to be, and the first ultrasound made this fact abundantly clear. I'm not disappointed, BTW. He is so much like his mother that he is just a sheer joy to be around. Grins, laughs, dancing, happiness. He is joy personified 93% of the time. I hope he never loses that, even as he has to do more with the world, and becomes more frustrated by his speech. I see the things I love about his mother in him in nearly everything he does. Little guy is cratered on my side of the bed even as I type this.

For a multitude of reasons, all of them good, or at least understandable, there has never really been a question of having another, and so one of those quiet desires that never relly goes away, but lingers like a dull ache at times of reflection will always be unfulfilled. I can't really tell him how much it hurts me to hear him talk about it, and I'm not going to. He's come too far in the last year for me to do something that might make him stop expressing things. He's more important than something that was apparently never meant to be, and so I'll stick with the little twist in the stomach, and little or no tell on my face when E mentions her to me.

I have less than a month until my birthday...

...and I'm taking suggestions on a fitting way to recognize 36 that doesn't involve drunken stupors, or something equally silly. I don't mind the "older" part, and if I keep slimming down, the increasing grey hair will only give me that "distinguished" aura that my grandfather had for so many years. Sure, laugh, but I over heard women on more than one occaision admiring and wondering aloud just how attached he was. As I slim down, I see him more and more every day in the mirror, except that my hair is blond, and his was black. But I digress. Aside from starting the book in earnest, any suggestions?

Part of My Continuing Recovery

During most of my adult life, I really had not seriously looked at another woman. My wife has always found this odd, but when you live in your own mental box where you don't ever really let anyone in, it isn't so odd.

Part of what started my mental turnaround was a book that suggested among other things, you need to rediscover beauty because it is something that God put in the world for you to appreciate. That includes appreciating the beauty of his last and most wonderous creation. Of course the emphasis is on appreciation, not immersion or "experience". Fair enough, and now I can finally confess that I have have endured some pretty awful movies for a dose of her.

Don't ask me why, but she very much reminds me of a woman who decided to spend an evening with me way back in the mists of time when I rushed Kappa Delta Xi. I never knew her last name, and never saw her again after she left the party, but I do remember more than a few fellow pledges (and members) who were mystified at the fact that she spurned their advances, and chose to approach me, and monopolize my time for the rest of the evening. The experience actually inspired me to write a short story at the time, but that is a story for another time. Suffice to say, its always been one of those mysteries that has somehow felt better remaining a mystery.

Its not like I'd ever want to date her, but I just can't help but to appreciate what I see when I see her.

So broadcast their games here on the Left Coast, Already!

The recap of how my Sens are doing this year. I would sure like to a watch a game or three this year.

Oh, yeah. GO SENS, EH!

There's bad conduct, and then there's bad conduct...

I saw this story this evening.

I'm always happy to know that even though I screw up, I don't do as bad as this guy.

Judicial misconduct is always entertaining...unless you are on the receiving end of it. This guy was particularly insensitive from the sound of it. I just loved this part:

"A court baliff testified before the commission that after the hearing, he asked Schull "Did you see what that lady had on?" According to the baliff, Schull replied "Yeah, a black lacy looked good, didn't it?"

Maybe he should have said it to her face. One never knows the kind of trouble that can be deflected by a well-timed compliment. Besides, a gentleman should always tell a lady when she looks good.

So much for an olive branch...

An olive branch was extended to me this evening. However, because I still smart from the last time I tried to engage in this once-special activity, and the offer didn't come with the other important components, I rudely declined, rather than recognizing the effort that went into extending it in the first place, and the genuinely kind thought underlying it. I'm sorry, and I'm sorry that I let a past hurt color my current perception. I'm supposed to be past these things myself, but that one HURT. A LOT. AND ITS STILL VERY FRESH.

I recognized five minutes later what I did, but it was too late. Maybe it wasn't the best olive branch to offer, but that didn't excuse my reaction. Its a good thing that God gives new grace every day, because I seem to burn through the earthly supply fast enough.

Have you ever had just a complete breakdown in the ability to talk to the most important person in your life? Yeah. Me too.

Apparently there is more going on here than I thought...

I left the house last night for a little while. I decided finally that I wanted to go to the gym, and I went to a local store to buy a pair of sweatpants. The two pairs I have are looking pretty sad. I found pair of Russels I liked and tried them on, only to discover that they were too big. I had to go a size smaller, and those were even loose for sweats.

I got to the gym, ready to start on one of the bikes. I had a copy of Ann Coulter's How to Talk to A Liberal (If You Must), and my MP3 player was blasting in my ears, but I watched ESPN the entire time instead. I kept trying to see the UM/MSU score. I was enjoying myself and cranking along about as hard as I used to when I was a cyclist, back in my younger and stupider days. When I finished, I was surpised to see that I had cranked out ten miles...on a recumbant!

On to the treadmill, where I finally saw the score and some highlights, which were all celebrated in the proper manner...fists in the air, trashtalk loud enough for me to hear over the Mp3 Player, etc. At least one of my fellow gym patrons seemed amused by my obvious joy. I can't say the same for the rest. Before I knew it, I had walked a mile and a half, on a 4 to 1 incline.

Then my circuit of strength training. And out the door.

I understand endorphine highs. When I ran track, I usde to run 12 miles a day. I used to cycle 100 miles or more in a day on the weekend, but to say I was "up" when I left, is like saying the sky is blue. It tells you something, but not much. The best part? The minute my head hit the pillow, I was out cold until the now-habitual nightmare visit from E in the early morning.

The sunrise this morning was very nice, until the clouds rolled in. Since I don't hurt that much, I may go again this afternoon.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

So I was at the gym tonight...

...and was watching Sportscenter while on the treadmill, when on came highlights of THE game today, U of M at MSU. I'm guessing while I was watching, I harshed a few people's mellows. You know the fists in the air, the "SSSSSuuuckstobeyou!!!" at the highlight of the Michigan Player taking down the poser from MSU. Must suck double to lose at home, huh?

Saturday AM Smiles

These guys make it worth it.

I almost forgot...

One of the two most important college football games of the year is to be played today in East Lansing. Its the 100th matchup between My Maize and Blue and the detestible Spartans, and it has all the interesting makings of an interesting game. Maybe I'll try to watch it.

It must have just killed the press maggots to publish this...

The headline on the MSN home page this morning:

Daily Iraqi sectarian death toll hits rare low

What are the odds that the person who wrote that is looking for a new job next week?

Fog, Rainclouds, and Rays of Sunshine

More "Hour of the Wolf" stuff.

I fell asleep watching TV last night, which was probably good. It has been a busy week with lots of long hours here in Chez BiW West (although east doesn't really exist anymore). Sickness, holidays, cub scouts homework, and emotional stuff galore, oh my.

About the same time I started to put the boys down last night, I felt the worst headache I've had in about a decade coming on. I got the boys to bed, turned off all the lights, except for the TV, and lay down on the bed. I woke up at 4 am, and shut the TV off. Ten minutes later, E came out of his room. I asked him what was wrong. Another nightmare. What I wouldn't give to restore his sense of security and soothe the pain he is enduring and feels too proud and confused to honestly discuss with me. I sometimes wonder if he is headed down the same road I walked on for too damn long. He got into bed with me, and told me the whole nightmare. I got the symbolism only too well. I hope he still has his incredible capacity for forgiveness and unconditional love when he is old enough to understand my role in causing the chaos he lives in right now. He finally drifted off to sleep, mercifully, and like a barfly trying to avoid coyote arm, I slowly drew my arm back from under his head, and crept into the bathroom to sit and read for a while. The words, as always, were right, but in these loneliest and quietest hours, they fail to to substitute for even the most basic assurance and her slow and steady breaths coming from her side of the bed. Time for that first line of defense, prayer, to be followed by a hot cup of tea, and the catharsis of a clicking keyboard.

I thought that perhaps some progress was obtained this week. Maybe it was, but I spent Thursday Night and Friday morning feeling that it definitely wasn't the case, and generally VERY disrespected. Maybe I deserve that. Maybe I deserve to have the final remnants completely razed, and the foundation scoured out of the soil. a fitting removal of a blot on creation. I have been feeling thankful for the ability to feel the pain of it all. It simply wouldn't have been possible two years ago. Honestly, I'd like to say I'm enjoying every aspect of this adventure that my life has become, but that wouldn't be true. My mood was finally elevated by the reappearance of a friend, but not even that could alleviate my fatigue.

I simply do what I can, and soldier through the rest. I'm excited at the prospect of getting my eye fixed on Wednesday, and being able to see clearly through it for the first time in two years, and not have to deal constantly with the annoyance of glare blindness. Then I need to follow up ASAP with the other one. My trip to Freddy's the other night made it clear to me that even though I see much more clearly with it, the glare from the overhead lights made it almost as difficult to see out of it. The rest will be continuing to change me, to trust God, and that if there can be no restoration, renewal, and growth, that eventually, the collateral damage will fade. I have caused the brightest light I have ever known to grow very dim, and in my weakest moments, that is a very heavy burden to bear.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Of course, therapy is... a whole lot like therapy also. Here's the thing. I have always prided myself in my ability to put myself in the other person's shoes. I really couldn't be a problem solver in my profession if I didn't have that ability. However, sitting in therapy with a neutral third party, you can see two important things happen. First, you hear things said in a way that casts everything in a different light, and second, you get to see where your empathy has broken down, or you just have a huge blind spot. Either way, it isn't always pretty, but it can be pretty enlightening, and that is the point, isn't it?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Why can't I stop playing this CD?

I could do with out all the freakish Goth images, but this entire album is the best listen I have heard in a long time. It feels almost like...therapy.

Did you ever have one of those days...

...when you'd give up the last of your pocket change and lint to talk to someone? About anything? Yeah. Me too.

Another Addition to the List...

...I carry in my head of musical matchups that will never happen. As I was driving in this morning listening to the Evanesence album, I realized that if Amy Lee paired with Enya for a few songs, their two voices would wildly compliment each other. I guess I'll just put it on the same shelf as the Chris Issak/Vince Gill collaboration that I sometimes hear in my dreams.