Friday, September 28, 2012

Did you know that it is bad luck to fall out of a thirteenth story window on a Friday?

Let's see what hornet nest I can get stirred up this morning. Not really. I've had some hornets after me a time or two, or maybe some wasps, or they could have been yellow jackets or bees, and as best I recall, I'm not interested in going down that road again. We open the curtains today and discover it is Friday, September 28, 2012, and I'm glad you took the time to stop by. We've had some cooler weather, more like a tease sampler, but, we've also had some hot stuff thrown in for good measure. We've been pulling in some 95 plus days this past week and while you might be one of those the 'hotter the better' type people, for me, I can certainly do without it. At the same time I am thankful for those ride to work mornings with the windows down. That has been nice. Since I leave the house as early as 3:30 a.m., I sometimes get trailed by one of Barney Fife's buddies. They appear to be quite bored and I may look like a target. You know. White beard and all. And, they don't know if I am coming from somewhere or going somewhere. My answer would be Yes and Yes, and that's my story and I'm sticking to it. They trail my bumper for a while, really close, then, almost without warning they jump into the next lane, floor it, and make like they are doing a tryout for one of the upcoming Cop shows. It's a little unnerving for them to ride my bumper but they most likely need something to help keep them awake. Glad I can be of service. I think.

No. I do not pass by a donut shop on my way. That's not even nice. I do know I've seen some pretty good sized deputies that left me wondering if, when, and how they made it through the physical fitness test. Big people can be intimidating. The other afternoon I stopped by the store. I got into the fast line but the lady was having trouble with a fellow's bank card and after seeing the slow line going faster than the fast line, I had to make a decision. I switched to the slow line. Guess what? The people in front of me had a lot of groceries but they also had trouble with a card they were using. Oh my. I found myself in a state of perpetual waiting. Back to my big people story. The cashier next door was checking out a man and lady. The lady was very tall and very large. She had her elbows on that little check writing stand and was leaned over glaring at the cashier as each item was scanned. I don't know about you but I might have thrown a couple of something into the bag without hearing the beep just to try and get her to back off. Back on my side, after the cashier consultation committee concluded their meeting, the power broker with the keys moved into action, unlocked and did some quick keying like maybe I might try to see what they were, and then they accepted a different card. Now it became my turn. Finally. I sure was glad there was no price check on my basket or maybe I would have had to take a nap. I told you my life can be rough at times.

I just thought maybe I would share that little snapshot with you so you can see what I am up against as I waddle my way through life. It's been an interesting week. My wife was not feeling well at all earlier in the week. She's better now but things don't go that well when mama is out  of commission. She actually had to come home early from visiting her sister in Louisiana. I knew I should have made that bed up but I was saving it for Monday because I wanted it to be all fresh when she came in. She felt too bad to say anything and I didn't point it out because I didn't want to add to her misery. I can be quite the thoughtful person. You act surprised. But, enough of my little reality show, we now move on to our Saturday and our anticipation of Lord's Day Sunday. Have a wonderful weekend and Lord willing I will be here again with another ration of observations or as it may be, the view from here. May God bless. Amen.      ....More later.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Where were you when the lights went out? Duh! In the dark, of course!

 ***Please say a prayer for my dear sweet mother. She has some really bad congestion and has been very prone to pneumonia over the years. She expects to see her doctor early this morning. Thanks.***

Okay. Let's see. Where were we when we were last visiting? I'm not sure. It is Thursday, however, and I do bid you welcome here on this September 27, 2012. During my little network outage on Tuesday morning I had to revert to old school. Without the internet my computer is basically crippled. At least that's how it works for me. Nearly every resource I access is online. From Bible tools to audio sermons, news, sports, weather, most music, and everything else imaginable, I am pretty much shut down when the internet is inaccessible. However, I do know how to open my Bible and read it again, for the first time. My word processor works without the internet so I can do myself some typing. I had some sample music in the default media player so I switched that on. So, there I sat, reading my Bible, listening to Beethoven, and typing in my thoughts and ideas into my word processor. For me it was like the old days when the power went out and we lit the kerosene lamp. We kids thought that was great fun. For about ten minutes. But, then we realized there would not be any Pinky Lee, Howdy Doody, or Roy Rogers. "Come on guys, get that power turned back on, and, oh yeah, hurry up please, every second you can!"

You know that old saying. You don't miss your one and only channel until the water runs dry. Or something like that. We did only have one channel back in the day. I find that I often like commercials a whole lot better than the company or product they are hyping. I love the ones from AT&T where the young guy is lamenting how much better kids have it today than he did just a few years ago. He did have 200 channels but they get to watch the shows on wireless even outside if they want to. At the end he and his grandfather are seen sitting in rocking chairs agreeing about how easy kids have it today. Like I say, I don't have any support for the product but I do enjoy that commercial. It works because we all have that tendency to wax poetic about how easy this generation has it versus yesterday's environment. I remember my boys playing the Atari game Pong on the screen and how remarkable we thought that was. Now kids have essentially virtual reality at their fingertips but even that seems to get old in a hurry. I can imagine the conversation between grandpa and grandson after the wheel was invented. Or something like that.

It is really sad to know that people are losing their lives because of a low budget movie that is very critical of the Prophet Mohammed, founder of the Muslim religion. Very sad. Our government officials have condemned this film and over and over again they have made it clear that we in this country do not denigrate anyone's religion. Is that really true? I see Christianity mocked everywhere you turn. On TV, in the movies, and especially by our government as they demand and push policies contrary to the teachings of the historic Christian faith. When someone who claims to be a Christian goes off the deep end, like the fellow did who recently attacked an abortion provider, well, they are called every detestable name in the book. Yet, when these people, in the name of the Muslim religion, maim and kill, they are apologized to, over and over again. Am I the only one who sees this huge disconnect from reality being played out before our very eyes?  Folks, I do hear more and more people using the term end times as they discuss all that's happening both near and far away. That gives us all something to think about as we seek God's help. Amen.            ......More later.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I never said it was your fault, I only said I was blaming you.

Hello there and welcome. This must be the place. It's good to have this time to visit here on this Wednesday, September 26, 2012. Can you imagine someone from a remote corner of the world that comes to our country and sees their first sporting event on TV? Listening to the commentators would be a wonderful way to learn the language. Right? ~ It's a game of inches. ~ They're feeling each other out. ~ The home team has drawn first blood. ~ It's going down to the wire. ~ It's a real pressure cooker.~ It's a nail biter. ~ It's a nip and tuck game. ~ It's a see-saw game. ~ We've got a real barn-burner. ~ This is an old fashioned shootout. ~ These two teams are fighting tooth and nail. ~ You can feel the momentum swinging.~ That took the crowd out of the game. ~ They're within striking distance now. ~ They've scratched and clawed their way back into the game.~ It's a shame somebody has to lose this game. ~ He's having a whale of a game. ~ The only thing worse might be if they showed up at a NASCAR race and heard Darrell Waltrip singing, "You picked a fine time to leave me, loose wheel."

I found what I was looking for at the house the other day. One problem. I found it on my desk at work. Who ever came up with that just visualize it in your mind trick needed to also remind folks to visualize the correct address. I didn't have any problem seeing it in my mind's eye but knowing where it was, now that's where I got into trouble. You wouldn't have told that if you were me? Let me just make one thing clear. On a top ten countdown listing embarrassing stuff about me, that one wouldn't have even merited an honorable mention. I don't keep up with the texting codes commonly used but I do know a few of them. Like LOL means laughing out loud. One fellow proposed some for us older folks. ATD - At the doctor. ~ BFF - Best friend's funeral. ~ FWIW - Forgot where I was. ~ GHA - Got hearburn again. The list goes on and on and as you can tell, so do I. I suppose I can throw my lot in with Robert Louis Stevenson who is quoted as having said: "I've a grand memory for forgetting."

If that doesn't brighten your day, well, here's a little nugget that makes you aware that you are not alone. It is estimated that, on average, 159,635 people across the globe will die the same day that you die. The battery for the recent rover sent to Mars is designed to last for 14 years. Obviously they didn't use the same technology for the wireless mouse I use with this computer. Have you noticed all the so called body art showing up on folks? This is like a craze or something. I'm not on any kind of campaign against it. We have it in our family. But, I saw a kid the other day who was drawing pictures of the tattoo she wants when she gets old enough. Here's some staggering numbers. $2.3 billion annual revenue. 15,000 Tattoo parlors in America. 21 Percent of Americans have a tattoo. 23 Percent of women and 19 percent of men have a tattoo. 36 Percent of 18-to-25-year-olds have a tattoo. $80 to $100 Average per hour cost of a tattoo. $200 Cost of a laser tattoo removal session. 10-15 Sessions needed to remove a tattoo. 50 Percent of those with a tattoo seek removal. Let me see. It takes 10 to 15 sessions to remove, and, oh by the way, they cannot guarantee it will work, at $200 per session. I bet they don't share this piece of information with the clients at the parlor. People can make their own decisions but seeing that girl drawing those pictures, well, it just hit me the wrong way. Have a great day and may God bless each one! Amen.   ...More later.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Good morning and "Eh, what's up Doc?"

”Be vewy, vewy quiet, I’m hunting wabbits” for Elmer, and from the rabbit, “Eh, what’s up Doc?” I thought maybe that would be a good way to say hello on this Tuesday, September 25, 2012. Those familiar quotes from the cartoon world actually came before the characters were fully developed and polished into those that became very famous. Not everyone recognizes them anymore because they are not so much a part of life as they once were. In fact, it can be somewhat exasperating trying to use these types of expressions in conversation only to be met with a blank stare. I'm sure that happened to those who preceded us but it does tend to date one's life and the material used. The other day when our nation commemorated the 9-11 anniversary, it was pointed out that the vast majority of 11th graders were in kindergarten when that heinous act occurred. That's why it is taught as history. And, that's why I find myself explaining my jokes, quotes, and metaphors. Yes, things do change. Who would have ever thought we would live to see how a white boy would become one of the most famous rappers and a black man would become our president? Do we live in a great country, or what?

I actually saw that quote about the rapper and the president. I didn't come up with that on my own. I assume it refers to Eminem and of course, President Obama. I do know who Eminem is but I can't say that I know any of his music, if that's what it is called. But, I thought it was an interesting way to portray the diversity of change within our culture, so that's why I used it. I heard a radio host talking about his wife's view of America. She came to our country from India to study for an advanced degree. She ended up becoming an American citizen. Her most telling observation about America that stands out to her is how we are able to put the past behind us and stay focused on the future. She said that was not the culture she came from. I know when we were in Scotland we saw how those folks are very preoccupied with and still arguing over battles that were fought hundreds of years ago. And, to be clear, there are some people here in our land that want to always revisit and rehash the past, however, I believe her observation to be on target because I don't know of any nation, made up of folks literally from every corner of the globe, that could have survived the challenges we have faced while contributing such greatness to the world. Be thankful folks, this is a blessed land, and may God renew our vision again is my prayer. Amen.

You have to hand it to them. Apple has done it again. They have produced another mega money maker with the release of their new iPhone 5. They booked more than 2 million orders before it even became available. Last Friday people flocked to stores and joined lines that had been formed just after midnight on Thursday so they could have a shot at this new intelligent phone. To say that Apple customers are devoted way underestimates their cult like following. It's almost like a form of technology religion. The cell phone I use came out in September of 2007. It makes and receives calls. Not much more. I think it might receive text but I don't have that feature yet. I don't have a problem with folks who do want the latest, greatest gizmo out there. That's not me. Maybe that's why I wouldn't recognize any of that white guy's rap music. Maybe that explains a lot. Maybe not. Don't send me a text about it because I won't see it. Until next time, may God bless each one. Amen.   .....More later.

Monday, September 24, 2012

"Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you've got it made." George Burns

It's Monday, and I am at it again, on this September 24, 2012. Those of us who are professional actors have to know our stuff. That's right. Surprise, surprise. I am one. I perform an acting role. I get paid for doing it. The character I play has a huge and well established fan base and is beloved by untold millions. I have promotional headshots made by a professional photographer. (They say that all professional actors must have their own promotional headshots.) I require special makeup. In fact, I recently had to do research on the best product available to add whitening to my eyebrows. I also ordered up another round of bright red rouge for my cheeks. You know. Jolly and all of that. I suppose I could also be called a professional makeup artist because I do apply my own makeup that helps me to get into character. I have made several special design adjustments to my costume. Does that also make  me a professional costume designer? I have occasionally driven myself to one of my acting venues. Does that make me a professional chauffeur? Then there's advertising, booking, and billing. I'm getting tired just thinking about it. How would you know these things if I didn't tell you? I'll let you know if and when I get scheduled for an autograph session. Meanwhile, I will be practicing my alter ego's signature and try to decide which one to use: Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus, or Father Christmas.

I don't blame you for being skeptical because it even sounded far fetched to me. I actually wrote it to be in the form of a site gag. But after reading it a couple of times I'm not sure it accomplishes the desired intention. Meanwhile, let's move on. How in the world are you doing, neighbor? I do hope all is well. I understand there are developments of note going on around us. The reruns of Hee Haw have turned out to be fairly successful in certain parts of the South where they are advertised as documentaries. I also heard about some fellows being turned away from Sea World. They showed up with their fishing gear. One poor fellow was sad when they told him the good looking girl he had his eye on was out of his league. He wondered what night she bowled on. Some people do have it rough. Then there's the fellow back home who was pulled over by the State Trooper. The cop asked him if he had an I. D. He answered, "Bout wat?"

I know those are pretty lame, but, cut me a little slack, it is, after all, Monday, and I think we all know how slow those gray cells can be early on a Monday morning. It even takes the Community a little while to seek them out and shake them awake. Until then, they can be slower than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter. I was going to use that one about molasses on an ice cold morning but you've heard that one before. I may have to double up on the caffeine to help clear up my fogginess. Some people have summed up this malady by saying one is operating in Duh-Mode. I'll try to do better as we continue this week's journey where we are seeking to find out exactly what is behind door number three. They say that a goodbye is never really painful unless you are never going to say hello again. Lord willing, we will meet again, and until then I leave you with the poetic lyrics of that famous little song written by the late Dale Evans, "Happy trails to you, until we meet again. Some trails are happy ones,  Others are blue. It's the way you ride the trail that counts, Here's a happy one for you."  May God bless. Amen.    ....More later.

Friday, September 21, 2012

"Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well." Jim Rohn, famous entrepreneur, and mentor to Tony Robbins

~ Full disclosure requires that I inform you that as I sit here, at 4:31 a.m., it is a pleasant 58 degrees with the door wide open, hoping I do not get a visit from any wandering wildlife. And before it was all said and done we did hit 56 degrees yesterday morning. My name is Yours Truly and I approved this message. ~

By now you know I work without a net and I also don't use one of those laugh tracks to indicate when it's time for you to chuckle. I must be really out of tune with what society thinks is funny. I have really tried hard to understand what is funny when that laughing outburst is slammed into a TV show, and, more times than not, I don't get it, and I almost always don't think it is funny. What's wrong with me? That's a good question but we neither have enough analyst couches nor the time to work on that one. Maybe I am like the proverbial marching band student where the parents can't help but wonder why all the other kids are out of step. But, I am glad to inform you that it is Friday, September 21, 2012, and I bid you a hearty hello and welcome to our little get together here at the blogger ranch. The good news is how that most of this week is now in our rear view mirror and we can look ahead to our Saturday and Lord Day's Sunday. I know some of the fellows around here sure are hoping that the Texans will see the first half Peyton Manning who threw three interceptions rather than the Peyton Manning who nearly made a miraculous recovery near the end of last Monday night's game. You know. It's their version of that Disney song. I can hear Jiminy Cricket now,  "When You Wish Upon a Star."

Don't get me wrong. I very much hope the Texans do well, but, I am no longer that plugged in. I was at one time. I hear them calling names and talking stuff like they know these people personally. I can talk the talk as well but only because I read a lot. A lot of everything. A lot about a lot of stuff. Sometimes, way too much stuff. I heard a fellow the other day talking about how much more you can get done if you totally eliminate any and all things that do not contribute to productive outcomes. Hello? For me that would end up being a huge amount of my day's activities. I recently talked with a friend who is very excited about his granddaughter making the traveling volley ball team. I also have a granddaughter who will soon be playing, but it just so happened I had read that very day something about an outstanding volley ball player and because of that, I was able to exchange some of the digs and kills that reflect upon outstanding play. He was impressed. See what I mean? You just never know when information consumed might become useful. But wait a minute. I think he might think I am a real volley ball expert. I had better do some more reading.

Sometimes when I think about my daily dish of shared musings I can hear Nat King Cole singing his 1962 mega hit, Ramblin Rose. "Ramblin' rose, ramblin' rose Why you ramble, no one knows Wild and wind-blown, that's how you've grown Who can cling to a ramblin' rose?" Wind blowing. Mind blowing. All over the page, most, if not all of the time. I plead guilty on all counts. Yet, I continue to share because from time to time I hear about someone reading my stuff and being encouraged, or their sensing of God's presence as they deal with a difficult circumstance, or they just have a good laugh or two in a world where they are hard to come by. Maybe it turns out that this little daily ditty is a little corner of my calling in life. I do know that when you share God's truth, He will use it, period. He will use it. That's why I always try to include something from Him because that's not just value added, it is power added because His power can and will make a difference, for time and eternity. Okay. Enough ramblin for this week. I'll try to stir some new stuff up for next week and until then, may God bless us all as we seek  to live out the life He has given to us, in a way that brings honor and glory to His name. Amen.       .....More later.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lincoln supposedly said if he was two faced, he certainly wouldn't have worn the one seen in his portraits.

Hello out there in the world of virtual connectivity and curiosity. Curious. I'll be the first to add that to my list of descriptors about myself. It's Thursday and I am so glad to catch up with you again where, not surprisingly, you find me hoping on this September 20, 2012 that these slightly cooler temperatures speak to even cooler air on its way. I think we are all aware of how easy it is to be hypocritical. It's an insidious affliction but one that every person battles. Believe me, I did my share of telling my boys when they were growing up how they should do as I say, not necessarily as they saw me doing. And, it is alive and well today. I know this proclivity is inherited. It comes with the common denominator we all share, being human and being sinners. It's interesting that we see it so clearly in others but often can't detect even a hint of how it plays out in our own life. I can tell you this. We, who are believers, need to see this as a major detriment in our testimony to others, and we need to struggle against it. God would have us to work on it and we can only do that if we recognize it as an ever present issue. If you don't, you actually can end up being hypocritical about not being hypocritical. You know. The double whammy and all of that.

I wonder what made me think of that. I must have passed a mirror. Know what I mean? I think you do. What's that you say? Yeah, me too. My list is already crowded with all the stuff I need to work on. Speaking of lists, I read a posting on Facebook where a person had been able to mark off another item on their Bucket List. That's from the book and movie about a list of things a person wants to experience or accomplish before they die. If I have one, it is only in my mind. On the other hand, I do look forward to that day when the list of stuff that I continue to have to work on will be a thing of the past. The Apostle Paul said he had a real conflict. Going home or staying here. Being with Jesus or continuing the struggle here. He said it was a slam dunk when it came to the desire of his heart. (Don't write me. I know he didn't use the words slam dunk but saying it that way was only a very, very loose representation of the sentiment expressed, as interpreted and paraphrased by yours truly.) Of course it would be better to be with Jesus. However, he concluded that God had things for him to yet accomplish while he was here in this life. You can read about it in the first chapter of the letter Paul wrote to the Philippians. Therefore, we are to keep on keeping on, including the struggle, with God's help, to do better in those areas where we need improvement. I must have fallen into a house of mirrors.

The good news is how that God is always there to help us, and, we have that cloud of witnesses that surround us, those who went before us, and those who are coming along side of us today and encouraging and cheering us on. I overreacted to the first day prediction of cooler weather. On Wednesday morning I wore a long sleeve shirt in anticipation of 50's and the real wave slowed down and I showed up, all dressed up, like I was ready for opening day of deer season, but it was 69 degrees. All I needed was an orange vest. I know I went to school in Louisiana and our state was never known for great education, however, those hyping 50's when high 60's show up, well, they do have some splaining to do. Don't hold your breath. On the other hand, weather forecasting hype or not, it did more or less, mostly less, finally get here and I am happy to say I am enjoying it (59 degrees as I finish today's edition.) Sitting here sipping on some Community and listening to some mournful bagpipe tunes tends to make this life a little more understandable. Really? Well, maybe not, but it will do for now. Have a great day and may God bless each one. Amen.      .....More later.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Southern drawl can be described as a gliding diphthongization of stressed vowel. For example, we pronounce “yae-yis” for “yes”. “ti-ahm” for “time”. “ah” for “i”. "Ah'm dyoo home at fahv o'clock” means “I am due home at five o’clock”. (copied)

Welcome. It is Wednesday, September 19, 2012. If you wanted to greet all 7 billion people on the planet, you would have to learn how to say hello in 2,796 different languages, and counting. Now that would be a rather tall order. I think perhaps I will stick with the one I've mastered in terms of mangling. I've recently been recording some of my Bible lessons to send to my wife's brother Milton. Oh my. It's hard to listen to yourself. Surely I don't drag out my words like that. Do I? I think it must be worse than I remember it from years ago when I had reason to record some of my speaking opportunities. I may need to check with my grandson Alex because one of my throat boxes seems to be stuck on slow speed. The fellow helping with the recordings asked if I was pleased. I told him they were excellent except for the speaker but I didn't think he could do much about that. The only good news is the fact that my source material comes directly from thus says the Word of the Lord. Slow, medium, or fast, I am convinced that giving out the truths found in God's Holy Word cannot be improved upon. Amen.

In case you have been waiting, the 2013 edition of Guinness World Records is now available. You will be happy to know that the smallest in the world roadworthy car is 41" high, 26" wide, and 52" long. That is correct and just so you know, it's a wind up. The world's shortest man hails from the Philippines and stands 23-1/2" tall. This record was achieved on his recent 18th birthday where a medical clinic measured and recorded his height four different times in a 24 hour period. I know what you are thinking. You know where he could find a car. Right? Also of note, the highest flame blown by a fire breather was 26 ft 5 in, and was achieved by Antonio Restivo (USA) at a warehouse in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on January 11, 2011. And finally, the shortest bull is Archie, a 16-month-old Dexter Bull, fully registered in the Northern Ireland livestock inventory, in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, who measured just 30 in from the hoof to the withers (shoulder blades) on November 22, 2011. His parents are Dexters but all the other calves have tended to be much larger. I've seen no shortage of bull around here at the blogger ranch but I'm not sure I can claim any world records.

I would imagine that young man over in the Philippines hears about as many short jokes as he can stand. To be honest, I was blessed to grow up in an environment where my somewhat vertically challenged profile was never made into an issue. However, I've certainly bumped into it since then as I have made my way to where I am today. He's not really that short, he's just fun-sized. I suppose you never have to worry about hitting a ceiling fan. Right? Yep. I've heard a few. I remember when that Randy Newman hit came out entitled 'Short People.' That was in 1977 and even though I can't remember people specifically directing it towards me, they did look at me when it was playing. It actually had a funny set of lyrics. Here's a sample, "They got little hands And little eyes And they walk around Tellin' great big lies They got little noses And tiny little teeth They wear platform shoes On their nasty little feet." That's just one verse and here's the chorus: "Short People got no reason Short People got no reason Short People got no reason To live." Here's one for you: A recent study indicated that those of smaller statue may just outlive their over sized contemporaries. I'll think about that next time I'm sitting on the street curb dangling my short little legs. Ha Ha indeed! All in fun folks, all in fun. May God bless you regardless of your size. Amen.        ....More later.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happy Birthday to our Alexander Benjamin!

Poppy, Alex, and MiMi. Grandparent's Day, September 2012
It is Tuesday, September 18, 2012, and I am remembering the 7th year that God has granted to our grandson, Alex. He got the full measure of the character gene. I'm talking about just how much of a character he is. It runs in the family. In this regard, he and his first cousin Brady are remarkable boys born just four months apart. Alex has a vivid imagination that tends to overlay his understanding of how particular things work. The other day he wanted me to come up stairs but not until he called me. I told him that would be fine. He said that I should listen real close because he had been having some trouble with his scream box. He said that we have two different boxes. One for talking and one for screaming, both located in our throat but his scream had been a little weak lately. They didn't teach us that when I was in school, but then again, I did go to a very small one. Alex has a way of brightening up your day and the Lord knows most of us can use all the brightening we can get. We thank God for our Alex and pray God's grace upon his life. Happy 7th Birthday! Love, MiMi and Poppy.

Don't get all nervous because I'm not getting ready to write about politics but I did read some interesting funny lines that caught my attention. ~ Not all fairy tales begin with "Once upon a time." They could very well have this as their opening, "If I am elected I will....." ~ Here's another one. "If a man speaks in the woods and his wife doesn't hear him, is he still wrong?" ~ They have also discovered that rats have the potential of dying during medical experiments. ~ Why is it that "I know it's none of my business" is always followed by a 'but'? Why does the fellow announce that he is no speech maker but then he goes ahead and proves it anyway. ~ Here's one for those trying to save the planet: What do you do when you discover an endangered animal is existing by eating an endangered plant species? ~ Since light travels faster than sound, maybe that's why some folks appear to be brighter until you hear them speak. ~

We should have known Alex was going to be active. He came along right smack in the middle of a hurricane. No less than a Category 5. Hurricane Rita. Today, we are blessed with him and his brother and two sisters, along with his 7 other first cousins, and our little great grand, his second cousin. He came into this world facing a raging storm. He was helpless. And, that's how we feel when the storms of life come calling. Helpless. Fortunately for Alex, God surrounded him with people who provided for him throughout that stormy time. And, may we always remember that God can be counted on to provide for us when the winds and waves of life toss us around. You've not ever needed that kind of help? I don't want to be negative but those times will come my friend, yes, they will come. When they do, know that as a child of God He will be there for you. May God bless each one. Amen.          .....More later.

Monday, September 17, 2012

"Well, hello there, my it's been a long long time." Willie Nelson

I hear the train a'comin, it's rollin' round the bend. Not really. With apologies to the late Johnny Cash, it's just Monday morning roaring its fine self back to our front burner. Monday does know how to make its presence felt. It is September 17, 2012, and I am back with you for another visit across the fence here at the old blogger ranch. Or, we could move on over to the porch and sip on a cup of Louisiana Community. Not too much of that kind of visiting goes on anymore, and, in many ways that's just sad. I'm glad we have email and Facebook, Twitter, and cell phones and interactive video, and all the other technologies we use to communicate. All of these together can never replace that face to face time, where we just sit back and have a good laugh or two, solve the world's problems, and enjoy each other's company. I'm thankful that I experienced a fair amount of those types of visits, but, to be honest, it was way back when, and today those good times are pretty much only faded memories. Progress. We need it. But, my oh my, we do pay a price for being with it in the here and now. We sure do pardner. We sure do.

My wife and others enjoy my blogs EXCEPT when I mention anything about the political stuff flying all around us. In fact, she and another one of the very dear ladies in our fellowship were talking about that very issue. And, their conclusion was agreed. Anytime they even think they see it coming, they are going to get away from it faster than the speed of light. Too serious. Too negative. Too burdensome. True. True. True. All of those things and more. I don't mind them doing that one bit. I write what I write and every person can choose to read any, some, all, or not a word of it. That's the beauty of choice. In their case, they love the anecdotes, the walks down memory lane, and me poking fun at myself. I like those too. But, here at the blogger ranch yours truly does have an active and ongoing interest in many different subjects including the political world with all of its shenanigans being perpetrated on all sides. But, I do attempt to balance it all because the way things are going at the present time, it can knock us down, and hopefully it will, to our knees. And, I do thank everyone who takes the time to stop by and visit each day by reading whatever parts they might enjoy.

Many of us are coming to realize that growing older is not for sissies. We do have excellent medical care and that helps. I heard about the 80 year old man who was pouring out his heart to his doctor. "I am becoming so forgetful doctor. I sometimes forget where I am going. I might even forget how to get back home. Often I forget my wallet. What do you have to say about it doctor." The doctor quickly replied, "Could I get you to pay in advance?" Another older gentleman told his doctor that he just hadn't been able to help around the house like he had in the past. He wanted to know exactly why that might be the case. The doctor told him he could only think of one word to describe his problem. Lazy. The older man thought about it and then asked the doctor for a medical term he could use when telling his wife. No. I'm not making fun. But, we all might as well laugh as we continue to journey on. Have a great rest of the day and may God bless. Amen.    .....More later.

Friday, September 14, 2012

"Problems are only opportunities in work clothes." Henry J. Kaiser, American Industrialist and founder of more than 100 companies.

Okay it is Friday, September 14, 2012. I am a Friday's child, therefore, according to the rhyme I am loving and giving. I think I had better recheck my birth certificate because it says the Saturday child works hard for a living. I'm just joking anyway because it really doesn't matter what day of the week we were born on, we all have a life and a destiny to fulfill. Some spend most of their life waiting on their ship to come in. Dr. Tony Evans, the great African American Preacher says that God would have us to quit waiting on the shore but rather we need to swim out and grab hold of that proverbial ship. We know that God is Sovereign but we also know that He has given us opportunities to pursue. The way in which we pursue helps define and shape our time here. Most of the explanations for understanding the balance involved in any discussion about God's Sovereignty end up mostly in soundbites. Like the one that says: Just live each day like it is your last. One person commented that if you do that every single day, you will one day be exactly 100% right. Someone reminded me the other day about how that I ended up being in the right place at the right time to be a conduit for something important in the Lord's work. That situation came about totally unconnected to my intended effort. Or did it? Coincidence? I would say, not on your life! Always see those unexpected opportunities as God ordained and give Him the glory, and, the way I see it, you will always be closer to reality than you might imagine.

Hello? Sounds like I'm waxing philosophical for a Friday. It wasn't necessarily intentional because to tell you the truth, I often feel pretty waxed out, maxed out, or whatever. And speaking of unexpected contacts, during the last couple of weeks I've made a few that could end up turning into something. Back when we started the Santa adventure I had in mind to use it as a way of serving. We've done several charity events but not to the extent we had hoped. This year we are working on a potential to do some hospital visits for children. These recent contacts that came from out of nowhere may offer additional opportunities to serve underprivileged children. I had taken the contact information off of my Santa card and now give one out that has my photo along with a depiction of Santa kneeling at the birth crib of our Savior. The only caption on the card: Celebrating the Real Reason for the Season. I had used the other one for some time. It had my email and phone. This one doesn't. I only share the card if they make a comment or ask about my appearance, and guess what? They asked, I gave them a card, and these potential new opportunities to serve surfaced. Now how to you like that?

If they want my contact information which several have, I write it on the back of the card. Hey, I'm not complaining about the paid commitments we already have on our schedule, but I am so looking forward to seeing how this little impersonation caper can be turned into an increased ministry opportunity. That pretty much does it for this week.We had the cooler air and I've done my part to help the economy by using up my fair share of Community brewed up black and strong. I also had some pretty intense days at work but that's what work is, right? I'm thankful that I can still get up and go even if I did my own funny video trying to get a mosquito. You know. The West Nile deal kind of had me on alert and I was not going to let that little critter get away. That was the plan. I'm not sure what ever became of that dude but next time I will be better prepared. Speaking of being prepared, I can't think of a better way than to spend some time with God's people when they meet together on Lord's Day Sunday. I will do my best to do that very thing. Until next time may God bless us all. Amen.      ....More later.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I was clueless before being clueless was cool.

We knew the cooler weather wouldn't last but we certainly appreciated it as a tremendous blessing. It is Thursday, September 13, 2012, and I greet you as we continue our journey. I will tell you that sometimes I have to report myself as guilty. Guilty of being a slow learner. The other morning I was reminded that walking around in the dark can present some issues. I needed to check on a document in the main office. It was in the wee hours of the morning and I was the only one here. I typically take my flashlight. I didn't. I was thinking that maybe my night vision would kick in. It didn't. I had some stairs to negotiate. I had a cup of Community in one hand. Everything went very well until the last step. My leg went up expecting another stair but it came down on the porch. Kaboom! I think the old adage became a reality: A fool and his Community is soon parted. I need to re-remember to not do that again, again. But, I pass it on to you so that you can learn from my mistake. I suppose since that was not the first time, I actually wasn't too disappointed, other than losing a half cup of that wake up medicine along with a few splashes here and there on my apparel. Old people. You just have to love them.

I still have occasion to be out and about on the major freeway system in the main part of the metro confusion that goes on each day. It's called the rush hour. Called. Best I can tell there's a lot of trying but very little rushing going on. I was on something called a parkway the other morning. That was a good name because that's what most of us were doing, parking. Parking on the way. Parkway. You got it. But watching the cars dart in and out reminded me of when I was a kid and would go to the Parish fair each fall. (Louisiana=Parishes, not counties.) They had bumper cars and we would reel around here and there looking for someone to collide with. It's somewhat the same on these major thoroughfares with all the different colors and the weaving in and out to get really nowhere at the same speed. It can be amusing, especially if you are the observer and not the one doing the darting. I also like it when I finally get up to speed and am clipping along at 70 miles per hour. Suddenly a car zooms by me like I am standing still. That's not so unusual, but when it's an older grandma or grandpa it just gives me a little injection of encouragement. I suppose I find myself thinking that's what I want to be when I grow up, or something like that.

Thinking about that little episode on the stairs in the dark reminded me of a few other self inflicted mishaps, but given the fact that they all involve yours truly I think I'll keep them to myself, at least for now. Speaking of sharing too much information, there are some folks who use Facebook and they seem to be running their own reality show as they document their every movement throughout the day. I know. It's a free country and all of that but do we really need to know or see a photo of every little mundane detail that makes up their day? To each his own I suppose. Now I did dearly love all the back to school photos on the first day of school. How neat is that? Sharing those photos reflects the enjoyment that this social media tool can bring. Speaking of that reality show concept, I had better get back to the one that is already in progress, you know, the life and times of yours truly. Go out there and have yourself a most wonderful Thursday and don't forget to remember to thank God for His provisions! Amen.       .....More later.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Going bonkers over a basketful of beautiful cool air!

We meet once again. It is Wednesday, September 12, 2012, and I just want you to know that it hit a wonderful 59 degrees with low humidity here at my workplace on Monday morning. I had the door wide open and it felt like I had been transported to a magical world where, as they say on the Prairie Home Companion radio program, ".....all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average." I had driven my way across the fruited plains with the windows down and I could even sense a slight chill as that cool wind hit my bare arms. This past Sunday early in the morning I drug me a chair and sat out under one of the canopies at the meeting place of our local fellowship, sipping on some Community and sucking in some of that foreign air that had been away from us for so long. I hear you. It will not last. You are so right. But as they used to say back home, enjoy it while you can because all good things come to an end, and this is the end, my friend. Or something like that. I don't really care if it's a down payment or a preview but I am so looking forward to when it chooses to visit us again.

You think I might have some type of compulsive disorder as it relates to things like cooler air? I will only say this about that. Add it to the list brother, add it to the list. I'm not alone. Many of the folks in and around these parts were pretty ecstatic about that modest cool front rolling in. I was discussing it with a young mother at our local fellowship and her little preschooler son piped up: "I think it would be a great day for bike riding mom." See what I mean? Plus, the Texans won and that is very important to a whole lot of folks and it did impact how they approached their Monday return to work. I was absolutely knocked down when I found out that my driver in NASCAR had made the championship round, called the Chase, on Saturday night in Richmond. It was actually Sunday morning when the race finally ended. It had two different rain delays and when I left the race he was running 25th and it looked like his season, as far as championship competition, was over. It came on the radio when I was driving to Church early Sunday morning. Jeff Gordon made the wildcard and will be in the Chase. What a way to start the day. Cooler air and an unbelievable comeback story of the year by my driver. Life can be good at times.

There continues to be a whole lot of fact checking going on these days. It has become somewhat ridiculous. Now we have the spectacle of a new genre of fact checkers who are checking the other fact checkers. But, there's a big problem. Those doing the fact checking cannot agree on the factual basis of the facts they are checking. You know, like the old country song, "I was looking back to see if you were looking back to see if I was looking back to see if you were looking back at me." It also reminds me of that time from the Old Testament when the nation of Israel was far away from God. It is said that everyone was doing what was right in their own eyes, but what they were doing was wrong in God's eyes. (Judges Chapter 21) It makes many folks wonder where they can turn to find the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. This is about the most important question anyone could ever ask, and I am glad to be able to point them to the only Source that I know of that can be counted on to always be true, that being God's Holy Word. And, that's a fact that is work checking out. Amen.        .....More later.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children. “ - President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001

It's Tuesday, September 11, 2012. It was on a Tuesday, exactly eleven years ago that our nation was changed forever. It was on that day that 2,977 people were murdered by an unprecedented act of terrorism against our country. Some add the 19 terrorists to the victim count. I do not. They were the perpetrators. This date is seared in the memory of those of us who will never forget when we first heard. Like Pearl Harbor was to our parents and grandparents. Like the shooting of President Kennedy was to me. Today we are reminded of our reeling forth and back as we tried to piece together reports and how we all struggled to make sense of what had happened. In so many ways, that fateful day pretty much wiped out what little bit of the national sense we had of feeling secure. For the families of those lost, it will always be a day of perpetual mournful remembrance. For those of us who lived through it, saw our nation come together, and yes, saw us regain our patriotic fervor, it was the saddest but also one of the proudest in terms of our response, as one people, may I say, united, as one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Amen.

May God bless the memory of those who died on that date or later due to their injuries. May God bless those who responded and ran into harm's way to save as many as they could, with many of these also paying the ultimate price. And, may God bless this land, that by His provision is the greatest nation the world has ever seen, The United States of America. Let freedom ring! Amen.        ....More later.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Frustration: a feeling of dissatisfaction, often accompanied by anxiety or depression, resulting from unfulfilled needs or unresolved problems.

Hello and welcome to Monday, September 10, 2012. Last week when we lost our internet service along with dial tone on one of our lines, it became one of those legendary recovery efforts. It couldn't be helped once the phone line had been cut but trying to get something done about it, it's enough to make a grown man want to make someone cry. Guess what? You no longer have to talk with someone in India. They don't do that anymore. That gives me one thing less to complain about. However, the trouble reporting facility is now nothing but an automated system that immediately informed me that full service was only available between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. But, I was calling at 4:45 a.m. What was their recommendation? Wait until 6. I found some old escalation numbers I've used in the past. Most of them no longer work but one did. It worked me through a process and then transferred me to a real person who could not hear me no matter how loud I shouted. They apologized and disconnected the line even as I continued to scream. I think I kept on talking loud even after they cut me off but I can't be sure. I will have to get back to you on that one. When I talked to the technician who came to our location, found and fixed our problem, he said I didn't know the half of it. He then began to explain what he had to do just to get permission to fix the problem he found on our premises and yes, he doesn't get to talk to a real person either. I guess I was lucky. I actually had a real person on the phone. She sounded real nice and I might have even had gotten some help had she been able to hear me. Once again I was reminded that about the only customer call that is satisfactory is one you never have to make. Sorry. But that's my recollection and I was there when it happened.

I am grateful there are exceptions to this sad state of affairs. The other day our kitchen faucet developed a problem. We had replaced it after Hurricane Ike in the remodel project. The problem was in the nozzle. It is a Moen. I went here and there looking for the part and a fellow at Sears gave me the name of a plumbing supply company that would be the best place to check. I drove over to it and the counter man immediately recognized the part. He said he could order it for $80.00, OR, he could give me the 1-800 number and most likely they would replace it free of charge. He was very nice, wrote down all the information and even told me how to work through the Moen automated system to get a rep on the line. I did exactly what he said. They were unbelievably courteous. They didn't have the brushed nickle but offered to send a chrome nozzle for temporary use until the other one became available. We didn't do that. I told her to just send the other one. My wife said she would believe it when she saw it. The next Friday she saw it and it works like a brand new nozzle. Why? Because that's exactly what it is! Thanks to the gentleman at the plumbing supply who could have ordered and made money on the part, my belief is renewed that somewhere over the rainbow there does still exist people who care. Thank you very much.

Okay. After that first paragraph, I think I may have exceeded any reasonable amount of words when writing about something that in retrospect doesn't really amount to much. During the actual attempts to get the repairs done it did test my heart rate and blood pressure but that's still no excuse to write a dissertation. As you can tell by reading about it, I was not in the least bothered by the insane way in which it all unfolded. Sorry. No more on that subject. Now you just try to have more of those stories like the one in the second stanza and I'll keep you posted on my progress. May God bless. Amen.       .....More later.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thanking God for such wonderful parents!

Today is Friday. It began just after midnight and will hang around for a full 24 hour span. I appreciate you showing up at the blog disposal area. Plenty of them have met their doom in the blog incinerator. But, some survive, and I’m glad to send this one out, on this, the 7th day of September, 2012. My mom and stepfather have an anniversary coming up this Sunday. Thirty five years. Them being together is a God thing and we children have been, and continue to be blessed by our mom and dad. When we think of mom we think of heart, caring, concern, and old fashioned devotion. She is a model mom. Dad reflects character, integrity, and a sense of responsibility, to God, family, and his fellow citizens. They have been a great team and great role models for us all. We thank God for them and send out our wishes for a most wonderful anniversary. May God bless you both is our prayer. Love, Marilyn and Al.

14 years of serving with Bro. Kim and his family.
We cranked back up the inner city ministry called Crosstrainers last Tuesday evening. I believe this is my 14th year. I had thought about thinking about not participating this year. You know. Those tired and weary bones that speak ugly things to me. However, I couldn’t get a sense of peace about not going. I had invited them to organize their activities with something different to replace my little part. But, they didn’t want to, therefore, we are off and running again. I reached back and got a theme and song I had used some 7 years ago. Only the leaders remember it. The theme says: Be a good soldier of Jesus Christ. It’s based on the Apostle Paul’s Holy Spirit inspired admonition to his young helper Timothy as found in 2nd Timothy 2:5 “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” The little song is a marching tune and the kids, like always, caught on fast. I did get to counsel and pray with some boys at the end of our lesson. When I look at that photo of Bro. Kim and his wife and children, I can't help but remember how privileged I have been to not only serve with them, but also to watch those children literally grow up before my very eyes and become leaders in the Lord's work. Amen. It was a good night to cap off a long day and when I did make it home, it made it very easy for me to fall asleep.

The other day I was in the mega hardware store when I encountered a little red haired guy. I was wearing a red shirt and bright green cap. He glanced at me, whirled around, did a double take, and then started pointing. His mom was calling him to come on. When he turned to do that he bumped into one of the display racks and it knocked his head a little. I went over to him and leaned down and rubbed his head and wished him well. His mom and sister seemed a little embarrassed but I was glad he was okay and also pleased that he thought he knew who I might be. Last Sunday a young family attended our services. They have been out for much of the summer. One of their little ones grabbed hold of me like I was his long lost friend. So much so, it put a tear in my eye. Old and sentimental? Yes and yes, but I must tell you: Stuff like that floats my boat. It doesn’t take much. Now, let’s all go out there and have a great Saturday and Lord’s Day Sunday. That might just float all of our boats. Amen.           …..More later.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dealing with the delimmas of life.

Welcome to short week Thursday where we are celebrating it here on this September 6, 2012, by doing what we typically do on a Thursday, short or long week, we keep our normal routine. My wife was gone again last week. I'm glad she was able last Friday to go over to celebrate her sister's birthday in Louisiana. When she is away it makes me somewhat responsible for what goes on at the location of our home. To water or not to water, that becomes a serious question. Since her retirement she has greatly expanded the floral content of our yard presentation. Don't even think about not watering those. As for the rest of the yard, I paid great attention to the weather forecast. Saturday: widely scattered. What exactly does that mean? What to do? I did what most good left at home caretakers do. As the day progressed, I continued to give it serious thought. I met my son for the Obama movie. By the time I got home it was very cloudy. When I turned on the TV the satellite was out. I thought this could get interesting. BAM!, WHAM!, SLAM!, thunder, lightning, and suddenly it started pouring from the skies. Hello? I thought, how about continuing that widely scattered for some saturation here? And, it did, for an hour and a half. Blessings as in the song: There shall be showers...... It was good to have waited. Procrastination does, occasionally, pay off. The ground was soaked and I could mark that one off my list. No. I am not trying out for any local drama team. I'm just sharing. That's all. The satellite came back up in time to watch NASCAR. Well watered plains and the Atlanta Motor Speedway. That's what I'm talking about!

You somehow are having trouble conjuring up any sympathy for me? I can tell. I'll have you know that I did quite a bit of squirming in my recliner during all of this deep thought. And, best I remember, my fingers may have even become a little cramped from clicking that remote. Being the decider in chief on matters of such consequence can be draining. Maybe the whole thing got off to a bad start. The evening before, on Friday, I came in very tired from work. I decided to reward my hard work with a steak and shrimp dinner. I did the cooking. It was exceptionally good but a little on the heavy side and that may have interfered with my brain function. How does that one sound? Better. What? Not even a little bit? The good news is I survived the weekend. I did not starve. The yard was well watered and I am able to look back and chuckle a little, even though, it was pretty rough, tiring, draining, and all that other stuff I mentioned. To add to the burden I carry, my driver finished second in the race Sunday evening. I was standing up for the final two laps. He needed to win. He didn't. I had trouble going to sleep. Too wound up I suppose. From that race and all that deciding stuff I had to do. It's a tough world folks. A real tough world.

I do hope everyone is aware that all of that was written as a joke.  An unsuspecting soul landing on today's blog may still be scratching their head. I know. That would not necessarily be limited to today's edition. But I've never promised to make it easy for those reading my stuff. And, I have warned many times in the past that I would not want to wish my thinking on anyone else. The good news is that, no matter how scatterbrained or loosey-goosey, I am loved by Creator God and He sent His Son to die for me and for the sins of everyone else who populates His world. That's something we can all share in and it only takes our response in trusting in Jesus. At the start of the day, middle of the day, and yes, at the end of the day, that's a truth that can change a person's eternal destiny, forever and ever, Amen. Maybe sharing that life changing truth will make up for the prior discombobulated mess. Maybe. See you tomorrow, Lord willing, and the phone line remains uncut.               ......More later.