Saturday, February 26, 2011

Some things seem like a good idea at the time.

We used to have this dog named Bailey when we lived in Safford. It probably wasn't a good idea to have this dog in the house we lived in, even though it had a nice sized yard. Bailey had, among other things, learned the art of jumping over walls.

After he discovered that he could easily jump the 4 footer, we decided that something must be done. We found a brick in the alley. It wasn't just any brick. It was a huge brick, that was very heavy and we tied it to him.

I know, you are probably worried now that we hung our dog when he tried to jump over the wall into the alley, suspended above the ground by a giant brick. Not to worry, we gave the rope enough slack so he wouldn't be hung, he would make it to the ground on the other side and the weight of the brick would hold him in the alley next to our yard.

It seemed like such a good idea at the time.

However, we failed to take into account that this dog was as strong as a medium sized race horse. When he jumped over the wall the next time it suited him, in pursuit of a rabbit, cat, large child or whatever it was, the brick sailed along behind him like a kite.

I suppose we are fortunate that it just missed the head of the four or five year old neighbor girl Moriah. But somehow it didn't feel safe chasing down a dog with a giant war-hammer swinging wildly behind him.

Soon after that, we turned the dog over to some guy with horses that lived out in the country. Ask me about how that came about some other time. The events included a shovel, the dog-catcher that lived right behind us and a baby.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Here's one for you.

It seems that small organizations are rife with people that have some need to be in charge of every aspect of the life of the the organization. Sometimes even Churches face this same dilemma.

This book shares the story of a family that was tormented, terrorized and finally assaulted as the result of a man who waned things to always go his way. Not only does it share this horrific story, it talks about how the author and her brother were able to find forgiveness for the man responsible for their having to see their father and mother gunned down in front of them in their own house when they were very small.

Find out more on the book's website.

It is worth the read.

Here is the Book trailer:

And here is a video of the story:

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I have some friends who are into the Steampunk thing. In case you are unaware, Steampunk is, essentially, Victorian science fiction. Fans of it will dress in Victorian garb and spice it up with lasers, tech looking accessories along with a scattering of goggles, gloves and scarves.

In an effort to understand this bit of culture a bit more, I am taking in the book "The Affinity Bridge" by George Mann.

The book is classic Steampunk. A murder mystery involving weird apparitions, the crash of a crowded transcontinental dirigible, a zombie plague all set in a Victorian London complete with steam powered cabs and automatons programmed to carry our many every day tasks.

If simply reading about this sort of thing isn't enough for you, you can also head to my town, Tucson to be a part of the Wild West Con, a Steampunk Festival. Here you can put on your own Victorian costume and celebrate the era that never was with some complete strangers that you would probably avoid if you saw them elsewhere. And, with the wild west twist of being held at Old Tucson, it kind of has the feel of Doc in Back to the Future III. Kind of sounds like fun, maybe I will go.

I continue to be amazed at how many subcultures we can find to identify ourselves with today.

Monday, February 14, 2011

How long does it take?

I recently read a story where the author talked about meeting a vibrant 89 year old lady that was a huge fan of the author's musician husband. As they talked, the older lady told her how, when her mother died, she stayed in bed for two or three years before getting up and getting on with her life.

This made me wonder how long it is supposed to take for us to grieve. We live in a fast paced society that barely gives us a couple of weeks when a loved one dies, let alone two or three years. When my father died, my boss told me to take all the time I needed and graciously helped me arrange time off (thanks Jim, I continue to be grateful for that), but I don't think he wanted me out of action for two or three years.

Maybe we miss out on some of the grief we need to experience in order to resume our life if we rush our grief too much. Maybe.....

Monday, February 7, 2011

Not quite enough

Before heading over to a friends house to watch the game, Ethan and I went for a walk to a couple of local stores. Our first stop was Barnes and Noble, where we picked up a book and a couple of drinks in the cafe. Then we headed over to Target to grab a lego he has been wanting with his birthday money.

As we were leaving Target, I realized that the amount I was charged at B & N couldn't possibly be correct. I looked over my receipt and, sure enough, it was three dollars short. Instead of charging me for the book, they had charged me for an extra drink, which was three dollars less than the book.

I had the same thoughts that anyone would have had: it is no big deal, they will never notice, I saved three bucks. Then I looked at the book, entitled Amazing Tales For Making Men Out Of Boys, and realized that, a man shouldn't try to get over on others and this would be a great teachable moment. The price of the book was three dollars more and just because they made a mistake didn't mean that I shouldn't pay them for the book.

So, we marched back over to the store, fixed the mistake and went on our way.

When the girl behind the counter thanked us and said how impressive it was that we would come back to point out the error, I mentioned that my price for putting one over on people was much higher than three dollars. Not that I wouldn't do it, I just wouldn't sell my morals for such a small amount.

I had a friend come and visit once while I was in the military. During a trip to the fast food restaurant, he let us know that, if you ask for a cup of water, you can fill it with a clear colored soda, like Sprite or 7-Up, and you would never be caught and exposed as a thief. His price was about 99 cents.

I haven't decided what my price is, but I think I would hold out for somewhere around 7 million dollars. Not for any particular reason. Just a good round number that I might be tempted to say, forget it, I am not doing what I think is right because I am getting 7 million dollars. Maybe I should make it 11 million, what with the economy like it is.

How about you? What is your price for selling out your morals? 99 cents? $3.00? $7 million?

Saturday, February 5, 2011


“‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

Ezekial 16

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tolerance is a one way street

Apparently tolerance is a one way street. If you agree with certain people, you and they are considered tolerant in your views. If you disagree with them, you are intolerant, hateful and out to bring about the destruction of the natural order of the universe.

Consider the case of Chick-Fil-A:

- Banned temporarily from Indiana University South Bend because of their support of pro family groups.

- Described by as partnering with a "Rabid Anti-Gay Group".

- Accused of explicitly saying "We do not like gay couples".

- Said to be supportive of words that are "hateful and destructive" by Perez Hilton.

The reason for all the publicity? Someone found out that they support groups that are in favor of a traditional definition of marriage, like Churches, Focus on the Family and The Pennsylvania Family Institute (which made the mistake of publicly announcing their views that Gay Marriage should not be legalized) and that their non-profit organization that provides marriage retreats and the like does not allow same sex couples.

It is common to describe views which do not agree with your own as "hateful and destructive" and everything possible must be done to express those views. Especially regarding the issue of gay marriage.

If you dare to express your opinion and it doesn't happen to be in support of gay marriage, then you are intolerant, hateful, destructive, anti-love and evil. On the other hand, if you are in support of it, you are so tolerant of other views that you want everyone with any other opinion to just shut up and get out out of any sort venue that lets your views be know.

I realize that this doesn't describe everyone in regards to this issue, but it does seem to be becoming more prevelant.

If you can't make it to Chick-Fil-A today, you can at least enjoy this video: