Sunday, November 25, 2007

Have a Little Fun, Make Believe it's An Affair of the Heart

So, I spent a boring day in Ajo. A boring day in Ajo is like three boring days in most other places or two boring days in Tucson.

However, just at the end of the shift, the tones that warn us that we will have to drive fast came over the radio. An unknown problem. This particular one involved a man with a gun in a house that was reportedly waving it around or some such thing.

One hundred and fifteen miles per hour and a few minutes later, we found the guy sobbing in his pickup truck. Of course it was a pickup truck....and of course it was primer gray in color. Anyways, he recently discovered his wife was "with" some other guy. And no, he did not actually say "with". And yes, I can end this sentence with the word "with".

So, he left her on Wednesday. Today he had to come get his gun and she happened home at the same time and he put it (the gun, not the day or the home) in his mouth and said he would shoot himself.

The upshot of the whole thing was that I got to drive him to Tucson to the nut house and then spend the night here and you got to hear from me again before next week. Lucky.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Turning Around

Several have asked me about my plans for future ministry.

If you don't know, I was the Pastor of a small church in Safford Arizona for a few years. After that, we moved to Sacramento, where I planted the SouthPort Community Church in West Sacramento. After a enjoyable and successful 5 years there, we transitioned the Church to another Pastor and I decided to come plant a Church in Tucson. The project in Tucson did not work out at all, which is another story in and of itself. So, I took a position with the Sheriff's Department.

After the troubles with the Church here in Tucson (once again, a story for another post), I decided not to pursue another ministry position for a time. I felt that I had pushed to get the position with the Church Plant in Tucson and I didn't want the next situation to be something I pushed to have come about. Rather, I would wait until an opportunity presented itself. The thought was that I would rather it be God's plan and timing than my plan and my timing.

So, I have been at the crossroad for a couple of years now. I am on "staff" at our Church now as the Pastor of Community Life, but it is a limited role. My friend who is a pastor in Bosie Idaho has recently presented an opportunity for me in his neck of the woods, so I will talk with people in that area about a possibility. We will see what happens with all that.

We have actually went to Boise last year to visit and it is a very nice place, so I would not feel too bad about going there. But, if we did go there, some things would have to fall into place. We would have to unload our house, get a living salary and ensure that the new project and area would be a good fit for us. So, for now, I will keep doing the best I can at the job I have and enjoying my family and friends here.

So, I am off to Ajo and probably will not post for another week.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Loose Ends and Old Men

Ok, we did the Thanksgiving thing. It turned out good. Now, all the same people who were at Aunt Mary's...40-50, will be at the 100th B-day party for Diane's Grandpa. The color gaurd from Border Patrol is supposed to show up too. Should be quite a shindig.

After the feastings, T.J. and I went to see "No Country for Old Men". Started out interesting, with a hunter happening upon the scene of a drug deal gone bad out in the wilderness. Ok, it was full of gratuitous violence and a wacked out killer, but we were getting into it until the end.

The end was just horrible. I won't give it away and I know there is a trend away from tying up all the loose ends and making a neat package at the end of a movie, but this was awful. Aw heck, I will give it away. Everyone dies and the very end has Tommy Lee Jones' character reciting a dream he had. Then it just goes to black and the credits roll. I know I make it sound dumb, but it really was dumb.

So, go check it out when you have two hours and 9 bucks to spare. You'll be angry and sorry you did.

Hope you had a great holiday!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Martin Van Buren, our eighth president, wrote an autobiography in which he laboriously laid out the details of his life. Unfortunately, the commander-in-chief wrote all those pages without once mentioning his wife.

So, in the spirit of not wanting to duplicate his faux pas, I have to mention Diane's service while I am in Ajo.

I am back for three days and will head back out that way on Friday evening. While I have been gone, she has been preparing the house for company. Her sister's family......husband, 6 kids, plus someone's that is 9 altogether.....are going to join us for the holiday. We are also celebrating Great Grandpa Russell's 100th B-day. He is also the oldest retired border patrol agent ever.
Anyways, she has been working tirelessly to get stuff ready for that as well as keeping tabs on the kids.

Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

In the wilderness

I will be in Ajo for the next two weeks. I volunteered to head out in that direction so I could do some different stuff and ...well, mainly for the extra pay and overtime.

Oh, and good news for me. I will be assigned to the new Border Crimes Unit when I return. I don't know what that will mean for my schedule and stuff yet, but I am really looking forward to being a part of this unit.

Here is a link that has a short segment on our Border Crimes Unit...or BCU (affectionately referred to as the Big Caucasian Unit).

Oh, I only put this picture on here because someone complained about the other one being too small......

Thursday, November 15, 2007

the bubble bursts

I recently read Pop!: Why Bubbles Are Great For The Economy by Daniel Gross. In it, he talks about various bubbles in the the bubble, the current sub-prime lending bubble, etc. Here is an interesting one:

The Tulip Craze During the 17th century, the Dutch went nuts for the tulip bulbs that had been first imported from Constantinople in 1559. By 1634, a single tulip bulb was being sold for the equivalent of $35,000 in today’s dollars. Four tulip bulbs would get you a handsome little house on one of the canals of Amsterdam. In a dizzying six-week period, tulip prices dropped to the equivalent of $1.00 and the Dutch economy took years to recover.

The book discusses how we buy into things, contrary to common sense and the pop is usually a correction that leads to a more healthy way of doing things. The unfortunate part is, the deeper you are invested in the bubble, the longer and more difficult the recovery.

Here is a bubble that my generation has "bought into":

We tend to think that in order to be successful, happy, healthy and on par with the world, we have to begin at the same level materially as previous generations and other peers are at. For instance, if our house, car, home theater is not as nice or better than our parents was and our what our friends have we are somehow missing out on life. Or if we aren't doing as many "productive" activities as everyone else and our kids aren't involved in everything that comes along, we are somehow missing out on life.

I think this sort of attitude helped lead to the sub-prime lending bubble and creates a difficult financial/emotional/spiritual bubble in our own lives. Eventually the thing will
pop when we realize that some things are just not as important as others, we can't keep paying for things with money we don't have and we can't invest all our time in activities and still have time for meaningful relationships.

Hopefully, the bubble in your life will
pop sooner rather than later, so your recovery will be quicker and smoother and you can do things at a healthier, more enjoyable and more meaningful pace.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Working Woes

I was starting to really enjoy my job. I worked wednesday through sunday from 6pm to 2am. I know, it is kinda of wierd hours, but I really enjoyed it. And, it is during these hours that most everything happens. Not only that, but they always assigned me as an at large unit. Basically, to be at large means I could go anywhere in the district where I felt I was needed. This is a good sized responsibility for someone who has only been on the job for two years.

Unfortunately, one of the guys from the midnight shift transferred to be a detective. Since the midnight shift was short on manpower, my squad of 2 is considered extra bodies and I am the low man on my squad of 2 (the other guy has been on for 7 years), I was sent to the midnight shift. 10pm to 6am with friday and saturday nights off.

I should be grateful that I got the weekends off and that I was chosen because I am a solid street guy. I should be grateful. But, the weekends are when most things happen on the late shift and I really like to stay busy. Not to mention that I enjoy sleeping at night. I neither stay busy nor get to sleep at night working the late shift.

So, I volunteered to go to a small town in our county called Ajo for two weeks. It is about 2 hours from here and is considered a hole in the ....ummm...state. Several guys that are permanently assigned out there have quit, because it it a nasty place to live and they need some guys to fill the holes. They are offering some extra pay, some extra overtime hours and something different to do. I am all over that and will leave Sunday morning for the land of garlic (Ajo is espanol for garlic).

So, hopefully, I won't have to work the midnight shift too much longer and maybe I will get to chase some undocumented aliens and drug loads and the like in Ajo. And, thankfully, I do still have an income.

Emily is Turning 12

Friday is Emily's 12th birthday. She and I are gonna go hit a movie and hang out. I am really looking forward to spending this time with her and I think she is really looking forward to it too.

Here is part of a tribute I am putting together for her birthday. She is an amazing young lady and I am gonna remind her of her accomplishments this past year and let her know how much we appreciate her. Anyways, here is the part that lists what she has done this past year:

Traveled to Idaho and Colorado to visit family and friends (well, that one was just over a year ago).
Traveled to Texas to reconnect with some good friends and to Oklahoma to see T.J. graduate from Army Basic
Worked on several books, including a retelling of the story of Esther for kids.....complete with questions for reflection and study
Continued to care for and show those little guinea pig things
Diligently working in the garden. It didn't turn out quite as we had hoped, but it still yielded some nice pumpkins and watermelon
Completed the Red Cross Babysitters course
Hiked with me to Seven Falls, the Falls at Douglas Springs trail, Blacketts ridge trail. This year, we have to try to make it up to the top of FingerRock.
Taught herself to play some sweet tunes on the piano
Sang for an official audience for the first time
Earned a regular income by cleaning Grandma's house
Helped with the teaching of her brother and sister
Read dozens of boks. Probably more like scores of books
Finished this years math lessons...that was grueling, but she did it
Generally brought us joy and love.

So this is only a partial list, but I am sharing to show you how proud we are of our little lady. Hope you remember how precious of a gift your family is to you.