Sunday, July 31, 2005

oh wow

I had a visit to the reading blog this afternoon from someone who came from He's not kidding. I know lots of folks think Bush is evil, this guy thinks we should be searching his head for 666. (remember the omen movies?)
A quick quote from a questionairre he was asked to fill out.

1. Before I start: Do you really believe that George W. Bush is the Antichrist?
(Since your theory is so well and thoroughly researched one gets the impression that, apart from the curiosity of your claim, you really mean what you say. I am not making any judgments, I just want to know how serious you are.)

I simply present the case supporting the proposition that Bush is the Antichrist. Based upon my research, there certainly is a reasonable probability that he is the final Antichrist. I am not a prophet so I cannot say that I know he is the Antichrist. I hope that he isn’t. I simply present the evidence and let everyone make up their own mind.

Stick that in your Left Behind collection.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

of old friends and good nights

Tonight my ever-patient wife and kids took the night off from packing for China and went with me to a reunion of friends from a group I was a part of my senior year of high school. Seventeen years ago for those of you keeping score. Over the years I had seen most of these folks at one place or another, but we hadn't been together like this since school ended. It was a lot of fun and a lot of surreal. Seeing old flames and old sparks that never ignited with 2 or 3 kids will cause your head to spin a little.
Reunions are funny things. Mostly they are all about comparison. Who got fatter, balder, richer. Who had "work" done. Who made it. Who won't. Who is here looking for spouse #2 (or 3).
This wasn't like that at all. These were people who lived in a wierd kind of community for 9 months of our lives. Some days we spent 6-8 hours together. With that many hormones in such a close environment, conflict was inevitable, but most of it got dealt with and moving on felt easy most of the time. So many years later all of that is forgotten anyway. Tonight was about meeting spouses and families and spending some hours together remembering what has been and sharing what is. Even a little thinking about what might be.
In my mind I remember these people at 17-18 years old and seeing them jump ahead 17 years was a little wierd. It made me jump that far ahead too. We fell into the easy rhythms that we developed years ago and so much of it felt the same. Jokes, one-liners, stories, the shared histories of eternal indestructable teenageness. At the same time, there was a little bit of an edge to it now. We've grown up. Seen some things. It doesn't all work out. Jobs go. Marriages go. Health goes. Possibilities go. People go. It almost seemed like there was a whisper over everything reminding us that the intense perfection of 18 was a while ago.

It was a great night. It reminded me that these are the people I miss from the "good old days" and drove home again how much I suck at keeping in touch with people I want to. I'm sitting here now in a flood of memories, most of them wonderful. Even the not so great ones feel OK now. Years ago I was glad to call these people friends. Over the years of absence I have continued to think of them as such. It felt good tonight to know the truth of that.

waxing nostalgic.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

ah, you can't beat fun at the old ball park

That's what Harry used to say, and he's right.

In our quest for normalcy for our kids in the midst of the insanity of heading to the "far east" (so far east, we go west) we decided to head out the "The Brick" and catch our local boys playing the Iowa Cubs (pure coincidence I assure you). We called a friend who hooked us up with tickets (one row behind home plate - thanks Nancy) and off the five of us went.
We had a great time. Caleb is big time into baseball right now and an eternal optimist when it comes to the Cubs, so every opportunity (and lots of non-opportunities) to score was a huge deal to him and fun to watch. Nathan on the other hand could care less about watching baseball, but spent the night tracking the whereabouts and hijinks (really?) of Rowdy the Redhawk capped by his own encounter with Rowdy in the stands late in the game (thanks again Nancy). Hannah? Not so much into baseball, but a big fan of peanuts so everybody had their thing.
Minor League baseball is great because the event is far more about goofiness between innings than the actual baseball. Dot races, kids racing the mascot around the bases, guessing movie quotes from the big screen, interns in cowboy hats on the dugout singing "Oklahoma" - AAA has it all. As we're walking to our seats before the game, this employee walks up to Caleb and asks him if he wants to go out on the field and catch a popfly and win a prize. Ever the cautious youngster, Caleb respectfully (but emphatically) declines. The guy then turns to me and says, "how 'bout you, dad?" (I'm assuming here he was referring to the fact that I had three kids in tow and not my age relative to his own). Ever the nine-year-old, I readily accepted. So I find myself on the field a few minutes later with a 9 and 11 year old "competing" to win fabulous prizes. 11 year old makes the catch. 9 year old makes the catch. I find out later that at this point Caleb is greatly concerned in the stands that Dad is going to besmirch the family name by dropping the big one and losing to elementary school students. I must admit, the thought crossed my mind. The ball is up, he's under it, and the 34 year old with his son's glove makes the catch. Inning over. Crowd goes wild. Kids heckle the old guy.

With the good always comes the questionable (especially in public in Oklahoma for some reason). There was the very drunk woman with the amazing volume who heckled every Cub player with "whatcha gonna do" (much harder to discern in the later innings, I don't think there is a last call at The Brick). There was the couple behind us who at one point whipped out pictures of their bulldog dressed in various costumes to show Nathan. (my personal favorite was the football player, but I digress) There was watching the further demise of Corey Patterson who at one point in the night was hitting .191 (in AAA!!). But none of that matters. Baseball is baseball and there is no such thing as a bad night at the ballpark. Unless of course you happen to be Corey Patterson.
It wasn't quite the idyllic night Caleb and I had last year. But it was good stuff. And I won an Adrian Gonzalez Redhawks Photoball, so I got that going for me.

As we walked to the car, Caleb was already figuring out when he and I could go again after we get home from China. It does a dad's heart good.

a bit peeved

Just a couple of things quickly to vent.
1. If you have a blog that is more than 12 months old and all that is on it is a post called "test" or "this is my very first blog post", go ahead and sacrifice the 2 minutes it will take to login in to blogger (or whoever) and click the "delete this blog" button.

2. If you call and choose not to leave a voice mail. a) Do not call repeatedly at 30 second intervals until someone answers. Someone won't. (twice this morning this has gone on). b) If I don't know the number do not expect me to call back breathlessly saying "I got a call from this number and you are so vitally important to me that even though you didn't have the courtesy to leave a message I was dying to know who you were and why you called." and for sure don't get an attitude with me when I don't. (also this morning)

3. Either have email or don't. If you give out an email for people to contact you, please plan to check it more than once a month and actually respond to questions asked. If you have no intention of doing so, great, just stop telling me you will. Note: this has nothing to do with the email sent out to Jacob's Wellians yesterday.

It's been a bit of a morning. Can you tell?
Looking for my happy place.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

so tired

So much for writing some this week before we take off. I want to talk about minor league baseball and our trip the see the redhawks and about church as corporation and my early desires to find myself in one. But now, all I want is sleep. Visions of They're kind cute though.

To those who check for ramblings faithfully - thanks. Something will be here tomorrow.

For now - sleep.

Friday, July 22, 2005

i just discovered

Blogger's spell check thinks "blog" is a misspelled word.

my 3 year old pace car

It seems like since we came back from Lost Valley, life is moving at thousands of miles an hour around us. Today things seemed to move especially fast. I was on the highway doing 70 in a 60 in the slow lane and getting passed and having people try to put their cars in the hatch of mine. I got pushed out of the way in line today to get an allergy shot (no small feat if you've seen me. Apparently this woman needed to get in front of me so she could hurry up and wait for twenty minutes after her shot like everyone else. But I digress.
For the last few months I have been thinking and moving toward finding ways to slow life down. I've read some great books and spent time going through lots of web sites and in good conversations. I'm going to add a "slow" links set to the blog in the next couple of days to share some of what I'm finding.
But here's the thing.
In all of the reading and thinking and talking, walking with Nathan last week taught me more about how to be slow and the beauty of it than anything else I've messed with. Walking uphill in the mountains with a tired three year old is not a fast exercise. There is no way to hurry it up and why would you want to? We saw every flower, bug, dead mouse, dog, horse, bat, and cowboy there was to see. We talked about what we had been doing and what we were going to do. We drank juice boxes. We dropped things and picked them back up. We picked up things and then decided to drop them. We stopped to say funny things and then stopped in the same place the next day to remember the funny things we said the day before. We never got winded or tired (at 8000 feet above sea level). We held hands, always holding hands.
I was thinking about that speed while I was getting shoved and run over today. I want to go slow. I want to move at three years old. Experience all of it and enjoy it along the way. A lot of people don't get that, but for me and Nathan it's the only way worth going.
Won't you join us?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

couple of additions

I wanted to point out a couple of new links to the right under "stuff I do".
1. Finally a link to our journey to Rebekah blog.
2. I have started a blog to keep quotes and comment on stuff I'm reading. Not much there yet, but I will be catching up on some older reads and updating books as I finish them.

Enjoy if you so choose.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Back and saddle sore from CO. I should be posting pretty regularly from now until we take off for China. Just not right now. Well, kind of. Anyway.
Good to be home. (not that it was bad to be gone)

Saturday, July 09, 2005

catching up

It's been a quiet couple of weeks with getting ready for vacation and starting to finalize plans for our jaunt to China for Rebekah. I'm catching up on my blog reading this morning and I thought I'd share some highlights (and lowlights)in leiu of actually saying anything original myself. Away we go.

An Ode to the Worship Tambourine from Mark Oestreicher
More Changes at Sesame Street via Jordon Cooper
Some thoughts on the "emerging church" and the recent "Emergent" organizational development.
Are We Ready to be a Movement? from John O'Keefe
12 (or so) Tension Points in the EC from Andrew Jones
How about an article on why SBC members should not support the ONE campaign? via Jesus Politics (short answer: Because the SBC has a group that tries to feed the poor too and they 1) Don't want members taking money from them to give to someone else and 2)Apparently know how to give your money better than you do to make sure it gets to the "right" people. Don't get me started.)
Great comparison of Revenge of the Sith and Batman Begins from Metaphilm
One more. Thoughts from Real Live Preacher on this picture

Enough for now. Feel free to enjoy or ignore all of it. There may be another post or two today, but we're off to CO tomorrow for a week. So have a good one.