Saturday, May 28, 2011


Congrats to all those who graduated or had kids graduate this year! Awesome on you!

I went to hear the author, Richard Peck, talk a couple of years ago at the Festival of Books. He is a former school teacher and I thought, in recognition of school and all that, that I would put one of his quotes.

Here it is:
"When I began teaching, parents feared a phone call from the school. Today, the schools fear a phone call from the parents."

Ok, that wasn't much of an education friendly post, but at least those of you that graduated now have one more reason to be glad you did. Enjoy!

*Pictured is the High School I graduated from. Although it was some time ago, if you haven't congratulated me for graduating from High School yet, then now would be an appropriate time.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The end is Near.

When I was attending School in Dallas, one of my professors told us about his time in a Church he attended in New Zealand when he was young. At this Church, they were told, in no uncertain terms, that the worlds end was coming by the end of a certain day.

Knowing what the rest of the world did not, they gathered in their building and waited on the Lord to take them home. When midnight came and went, some of them became discouraged, until someone remembered that they originally found out about this from someone in another part of the world, so they only had to wait a few more hours until they were in the right time zone.

He told us this embarrassing story as a cautionary tale. While those of my faith do believe that the world will someday end and that God has made a place for those that want it, we also believe that we really can't know when all this will happen. Believers have been sure that the end was imminent since Jesus first said that he was coming back. We have also discovered that imminent could mean sooner.....or later. We just don't know.

But now, Harold Camping, the man who let the Church know that the end was coming in 1994, with his book 1994, has let us know he was wrong about that.

Not only was he wrong, but he has recently realized that the end is coming Saturday night. I plan on having a few friends over on Saturday night, so maybe we will all be called home together...if they stay late enough. Or if we are in the right time zone. Or if God feels bad enough for Harold Camping that he decides to come back on that day just to save him further embarrassment.

While i don't know for sure, my money is on probably not.

Local Turmoil

Here's an issue that may not matter much to you, unless you live here:

On the north side of Tanque Verde, just west of Sabino Canyon Road, ATT plans to put up a cell phone tower. They did the necessary process, holding the requisite meetings for all city residents within a certain radius and drawing up all the plans, etc.

No-one seemed too concerned, as only one local resident showed up at the October meeting and everyone is in favor of being able to talk on their cell phone. So, the process began to begin prepping the site for the tower.

The problem:
Indian Ridge, a neighborhood where we first lived when we moved into town, begins within a few feet of this proposed site. Since they are just across the line into the county, no-one in the neighborhood was informed of the meetings and didn't know about the pending fencing around the tower until it was nearly time to begin building.

Indian Ridge is, as a neighborhood, on the National Registry of Historic Places due to the unusual construction of the homes. The homes in this neighborhood are primarily adobe brick from the 50's and have interesting and unusual architectural features. Residents in this community are concerned, rightfully so, that plugging a cell phone tower in front of the entrance, instead of the pleasant mesquite trees, will change the face of the neighborhood.

Another concern is that the tower will block the view of residents trying to leave the neighborhood onto the busy city street. Another issue the city did not seem to consider when issuing the permits and making the plans to put this thing right there.

The neighborhood has recently discovered the plans and has been able to get some sort of a meeting going with City and County officials. I am curious to see what will happen. As I said, this issue may not matter to you much if you don't live in this neighborhood. But if you do live there......

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

We almost lost him.

Sooner or later, we all learn that there are things in life that we have to do whether we want to or not. From cleaning up nasty things around the house, to work assignments we don't enjoy, to putting up with people that are somehow forced into our lives and we have to deal with, we all face things that we don't like.

I suppose it is better to learn this early on and learn how to deal with it. For this very reason, we try not to let our kids off the hook whenever they are faced with things they don't like. This policy was nearly fatal to our youngest on Mother's Day.

Our daughters' piano recital was held at some Church building near the university and, since it was Mother's Day and it was his sisters' playing, we required our nine-year old to attend with us.

Granted, the old wooden pews were a bit hard and, to undiscerning ears, the classical songs could get a bit long after a while, but it was generally an enjoyable afternoon. So, I think he was over-reacting at least a little when he curled up in a ball and started to cry. At least he was quiet about it.

After just a couple minutes of this, he wrote his mom a note, letting her know that he was going to die there. I don't if she included in her reply how much she would miss him, but she did let him know that it would be a convenient place to die, what with all the pretty music and the stained glass and whatnot. Surely it wouldn't be to hard to wrangle up a preacher for the affair.

Fortunately, he made it. And hopefully, even if he didn't learn anything, he at least got some practice in putting up with things that are not so enjoyable.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fifty Dollar Frolic

What?: The Warrior Dash. A 3.4 mile run in Florence that included obstacles such as walls, cargo net climbs, mud pits, flaming pits and more.

Why?: Diane (my wife) and her sister both asked, when I announced that I wanted to participate, if this was a charity event. Why else would you do a run like this.

Here are my reasons:

I enjoy running. It is good exercise at a bargain rate. I think I pay about $100 bucks every 5 or 6 months for shoes and last year I lost a good 15 lbs with running and and other working out, so it makes me healthier. It also is a good way to relax, focus your thoughts, challenge yourself, et., etc.

I wanted to focus my training a little bit, so one of those 5K sort of races seemed like a good way to do it. You know, do one, get a decent time after working hard and get motivated to work harder for the next one. But, I could never get excited about signing up for a race where I knew many, if not most, people would outrun me and you just run a long ways and then you are done.

Then I saw some info about The Dash that a couple of friends shared on Facebook. It looked like a fun way to focus the running a bit and to be in a race that was a bit more interesting than just running around. You get to run with screaming loonies dressed in costume and slog around in mud. What could be better?

The Results:

Time-wise, I thought I would do better. I do not run fast at all. My 3 - 4 mile pace is now around 9 - 9.5 minutes a mile. Even so, I figured I would be a shoe in to finish in around 35 minutes. How could I miss that time.

What I didn't count on was the horrible wind for the first 15 minutes or so, the lines you had to wait in to hit some of the obstacle (not terribly long, but long enough to slow you down some), the extra fatigue that you get from running through mud, and my inability to not make snide comments to people on the course.

So, I finished in around 40 minutes. Not so good, putting me at around 2700th place for the day. Still, I was faster than nearly 5,000 people for the day, and a good 300 - 350 in my wave of 500, the majority of whom were clearly much younger and clearly in better condition than I.

But, I had fun, didn't get hurt and got the honor of running with marines, college kids, Gonzo the Great and Miss Piggy, men in wedding dresses and a variety of mock warrior costumes.

Next time I am taking a group with me. Who's in?