Saturday, December 30, 2006

Tink vs. Darth

One of my favorite photos from this Christmas. Just check out the serious attitude.

And check out the deadly hip move...

As you can see Brianna couldn't resist poking her head into the photo.

To add a little spice to it... and an excuse to play with PhotoShop here is version 2 (no commenting on the quality of the Photoshop work... it was a bit of a rush job since I've been at the computer for a couple hours)

As I did this Brianna complained that I was jacking her out of the shot.

2006 Movie Recap

Of the movies I saw this year...

  • Funniest Movie: Talledega Nights - The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
  • Worst Movie: Tie between Miami Vice and My Super Ex-Girlfriend
  • Most Forgetable Movie: Uh, what was that name... starring that guy...
  • Movie I am most glad I didn't see: Larry the Cable Guy - Health Inspector
  • Biggest Disappointment: Pirates of the Caribbean II: Dead Man's Chest
  • Best Cartoon Movie: Over the Hedge
  • Best Movie: X-Men III
  • Honorable Mention: United 93

Here's to the sweet movies of 2007! Bring 'em on!!!

Reading

This weekend I am reading Act of Treason by Vince Flynn.

I can't believe I've waited this long to pick it up. It was a true test of patience.

As my brother in-law describes Flynn books "his books are like candy.. oh so sweet, but gone too fast".

Soon as I am done I've got Crichton's Next in the wings and Patterson's Cross. I think Mr. McClaren will sit for a bit.

What are you reading?

Da Plane...

Last month I took my kids and my father in-law to the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville. This place is great. There is a lot of history to be seen.

Here are a few of my favorite photos.

Friday, December 29, 2006

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Snock!

Hu... Wha...

Oh, Hi!

Yeah, I'm still here.

Nothing to post yet.

Let me get back to my............. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Get Along!!!

In the immortal words of Rodney King "Can't we all just get along?"

Believe it or not, I don't agree with everyone. As a matter of fact I don't agree with many people on many things. I don't always agree with my friends on issues. I don't always agree with my church on some issues. There might be something that I don't agree with my wife on (don't tell her I said that).

However, just because I may not agree with somebody on something doesn't mean I don't like them. There is an old friend of mine in San Diego whom I disagree with on many many issues. At one time I referred to her as my only socialist friend. Despite the fact that we did not agree on many issues we still were friends.

If I had to agree with somebody on everything to be their friend I would be a very lonely person. Agree to disagree and move on. Nobody is always right and everyone is often wrong.

One other thing, on many issues there isn't always a right and a wrong, it isn't always black and white. Some issues lend for opinions one way or the other, this way or that way. I can have an opinion about something and a friend may have an opinion that swings far off of where mine does. For example, I hate the movie "It's A Wonderful Life". Hate it. Don't ever want to see it again. I know that there are people who love it. Fine. Love it, and let me hate it. I don't think these people are wrong, I just think that their opinion about that crappy movie is different than mine and they have poor taste in movies *wink*. We differ in opinion, that is all. We can still be friends.

If we let our differences divide us how are we to ever change anything? If we don't open up and allow discussion on the things we disagree on how are we to ever learn about our differences?

If you ever disagree with me on something, say so. Let's talk. We'll go for coffee or something and chat about it. We'll have good discussion, learn something about each other, and be friends. I won't hate you or dislike you if we don't agree on something. It'll just be a chance to agree to disagree. Simple as that.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Kids & Candy

Last night our small group visited a childrens center to play with the kids and make Gingerbread Houses. We had a blast. The truth is they were Graham Cracker Houses, but I figured you'd better understand what we were making by calling them... ah nevermind, you get it.

I sat at a table with four kids; Bree, Greg, Devon, and Annie from Albania. She was really from Albania and quite the comedianne. She reminded me of a young, female Mr. Bean. Bree was a twin who's sister lived in Bandon. Greg and Devon were all boy. Next to eating the candy construction was priority. They all did great.

The kids had a blast. Especially after I told them they could eat as they created. Let's just say more made it to the mouth than the house. Annie kept feeding candy to Bree. I felt sorry for the leaders who got to take the kids after we were done. Sugar highs to the max.

I reserved my creative skills to assist the girls with the engineering side of the creation. In other words I helped keep the walls up. By the end of the evening the kids were hyped up and happy and the adults were pleased to see the smiles on the faces of satisfied children.

I want to give a shout out the the workers who do this 24/7. Major Blessing to all of you. Thank you for letting us come in and share for a while.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Zombie Christmas

Somebody took one of last years wonderful Holiday meme's and added some animation to it.

Listen at you own risk... this guy gives it up.


Monday, December 18, 2006

Merry Christmas!

'Tis the season to be jolly

Fa La La La La La La La La

Okay who checked the La count? I know someone did.

This year I am struggling to hold onto any semblance of a Christmas Spirit. I don't know all the reasons. I just not spirity this year. So far this season my favorite thing has been our family Christmas card. Although my wife will say I was a little Scroogy during its creation, I would say I was misunderstood. Next time she can try to take the picture while the kids are playing around.

Here is the 2006 Bonham Christmas Card in all its glory:

I have no doubt that this weekend when we are hanging with family doing what we do I will gain an enormous amount of Spirit. It is my favorite thing about this time of year. Kath and fam we will miss not having you here. Love you guys.

I'll keep you posted on the Spirit meter. No doubt the week will bring more opportunity for Joy.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Being Critical

I don't always know what to say about the movies I see. I am not a good critic, or good at telling you about the movie. So I am leaving it to others.

I am adding a link to Faith and Film Critics Circle on the right. This is a collection of critiques from a Christian perspective. Don't jump to conclusions and think they'll hate anything not rated G. They take a good look at all aspects of the movie as a decent critic would. They happen to add a Christian world view twist to it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Bond, James Bond

There could be no other title for this post. Except maybe, "Shaken Not Stirred".

Last night a friend and I went to see the new Bond movie Casino Royale. Loved it! I have been a fan of the Bond series as long as I can remember. Sean Connery has always been my favorite. I do have to say that this new guy will give Sean a run for the money. He was cool.

The second scene in the movie is one of the coolest on foot chase scenes I have ever seen in a movie. The stunt men in this movie need to win some kind of award for that scene.

What this movie does for the Bond series is what Batman Begins did for the Batman series. It gives hope to the fans for better movies in the future (The Dark Night, 2008). The Batman series although half decent was a little to campy (although considerable less than the original TV series) to be taken seriously. Batman Begins looses 95% of this campiness. Casino Royale does the same.

This new Bond is edgier and tougher than the past Bonds. He is more like the character in the novels. This Bond gets hit, takes falls, makes mistakes, and is all around tough about it. The sensitive, humorous, witty Bond has been replaced with a new improved tough as nails, decisive, risky, manly Bond.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Jungle

First of all I need to thank Kev for the sweet tix. Thanks Kev. The show was sweet.

Last night I got to take a fellow rocker friend to see Guns N' Roses at the Rose Garden. Yes, GNR. Really it was Axl Rose with a whole new band but the songs were the same and they are calling themselves Guns N' Roses so it is what it is. We were sitting in the luxury boxes which was extra cool.

Helmet was the first band to start the show followed by Sebastian Bach (of Skid Row fame). They both rocked. I wasn't too familiar with Helmets songs but I knew most of Bach's. The place went crazy for him. One odd note was that his guitarist looked like a resurrected Dimebag Darrell.

GNR opened with Welcome to the Jungle. Of course. The lights, the video, and the fireworks all added to the fun. The musicians were awesome. One guy blew me away at the end with a guitar solo on a fretless guitar. Fretless I Said! That dude had skilz. The guitar solo's were plentiful. Axl's voice held up as well as could be expected for a guy who's been elsewhere for about 10 years. Welcome back buddy, you did awesome. Even his dancing (if you can call it that) was the same as it was in the glory days of Appetite.

I am too tired to really write a decent post about this. I didn't get home until almost 3am and was up early to go to work. It was hard enough to get up after drinking water and eating chips so I can't imagine what the guys in front of me were like after the constant flow of beer they had. At $6 a pop I can't imagine what their bill was.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Accents

Do you have an accent?

When I was in Australia a few months ago I was told that I have an accent. I speak to people all over the world everyday, believe me I don't have one, they do. Especially here in America, I am without accent.

Check it out:

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland
Boston
North Central
The Inland North
Philadelphia
The South
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Pink

Who got the idea that real men wear pink? Not true. Real men do not wear pink for any reason! Not only do they not wear it, they never admit that they like it. Never!

My son (5) now claims pink as his favorite color. He's been brainwashed by our friends son. He cannot reach puberty thinking this way, he'll be slaughtered.

How is it that I know real men don't like pink? Here is my proof. We don't feel blessed when we wash our whites accidentally with a red article of clothing do we? No we don't! We curse and stomp around and turn that clothes into rags to be used to clean up filth. Filth I tell you. That is how I know that pink is not acceptable.

Have you ever heard a guy look at a Mary Kay car and say "sweet ride". No. Because it isn't a sweet ride, it is repulsive. Plus if he did and another guy was present he'd get his butt kicked.

So I've got some work to do with the boy. I've got to undo the corruption of our friends child's influence. I've got to free him from the weakest color ever made. I've got a lot working for me since the rest of him screams all boy.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Little Help

Today I had lunch with a new friend. I had to buy since I mistakenly thought the Ducks could beat the Beavers in a little football game known as the Civil War.

Lunch was good. We ate, we talked, all the normal stuff that happens at lunch. So I thought...

After lunch I hopped in the old Camry to head back to the office. As I checked my review mirror I took a look at myself. There it was. How long had it been there? Did my friend notice? Why didn't he say something? A little boogie was peeking out to say hi. I guess I don't blame him. We haven't known each other that long. Maybe he was too embarrassed. His choice, he was the one that had to look at it.

Is it different to tell somebody they've got a little boogie in their nose than it is to tell them they've got some lettuce in their teeth? Or is it more like telling somebody that their fly is down? You don't want to tell them because it's admitting you looked there.

I write this to tell you all that you have my direct permission to point out a boogie, a gaping fly, or a piece of lettuce. I won't be offended or hurt or embarrassed; just thankful. Thankful that you will be the last to see it before I remedy the sitch thus freeing others from the responsibility to expose or snicker at the slight faux pax.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Spam

Who is it that responds to spam emails? Who is it that is making it worth somebodies while to send out this irritant? I need to know!

I get these emails in every one of my email boxes no matter how hard I try to keep that email from getting public. Somebody out there is to blame.

I get spam that ranges from stock tips and mortgage rates to Nigerian princesses needing a place to stash money and pervs looking for the next sucker to visit their sick little world. I get it everyday and I'll probably keep on getting it because somebody out there opens these and responds which makes it worth the time for the spammer to keep creating these and sending them out.

Or is this the case? Or is it some belligerent angry postal worker who sees the Internet and its free email as a threat to their position of power in this world. A Newmanesque character who has taken it upon themselves to put into the greatness and ease of email a bug or irritant that will drive people back to the arcane slow world of what is now known as snail-mail. It could be. I may be on to something.

If it was up to me I'd take all the spammers in the world and put them on an island that has its own intranet with no access to the Internet. This way they can only spam each other. It would be a life sentence. There would be bread and water and all the computer access they could possibly want. Yes. Spam Hell. No chance of parole.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Of Riffs and Melodies

There is one thing I've noticed about today's music; there are no guitar solo's. Back in the 70's and 80's when I was growing up and refining my musical tastes the guitar solo was a staple. Remember guys like Eddie VanHalen, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Slash, etc... I do... and I miss them.

Today's music is good, don't get me wrong, it just lacks that cool factor. The memorable moment of the soaring sounds of an amplified extended riff from a master musician that once delighted our ears are now just that, a memory. Catchy, one line riffs, and clever lyrics have replaced the glorious sounds of the memorable solo that was a necessity for the bit lip air guitar moment that accompanied those awesome moments.

In memory of the guitar solo and in hopes that someone will redeem it I am listing my top twenty favorite solo's of all time. They are in no particular order but they are my fave's:
  1. Eruption - Eddie VanHalen (VanHalen)
  2. Hot For Teacher - Eddie VanHalen (VanHalen)
  3. One - Kirk Hammet (Metallica)
  4. Fade To Black - Kirk Hammet (Metallica)
  5. Crazy Train - Randy Rhoades (Ozzy Ozbourne)
  6. La Villa Strangiato - Alex Lifeson (Rush)
  7. Bohemian Rhapsody - Brian May (Queen)
  8. Aqualung - Martin Barre (Jethro Tull)
  9. Pride & Joy - Stevie Ray Vaughn
  10. Voodoo Chile - Jimi Hendrix or Stevie Ray Vaughn
  11. While My Guitar Gently Weeps - Eric Clapton (Beatles)
  12. Crossroads - Eric Clapton (Cream)
  13. Layla - Eric Clapton/Duane Allman (Derek and the Dominoes)
  14. Sweet Child O' Mine - Slash (Guns & Roses)
  15. November Rain - Slash (Guns & Roses)
  16. Cult of Personality - Vernon Reid (Living Colour)
  17. Surfing With The Alien - Joe Satriani
  18. Stairway To Heaven - Jimmy Page (Led Zepplin)
  19. Comfortably Numb - David Gilmour (Pink Floyd)
  20. Streams of Conciousness - John Petrucci (Dream Theater)

A couple of these aren't necessarily big solo's but part of instrumentals that just plain rock. There are so many more to choose from. This list represents ones I could recall off the top of my head. Sorry base players and drummers... it's just not the same. Okay except one exceptional drum solo by Neil Peart on YYZ from Rush's live version on Exit... Stage Left.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Image Search

Just for fun I did a Google image search on my last name. I figured for the most part I would get a bunch of John Bonham and Helena Bonham-Carter photo's, and I did. But one photo stuck out.







The caption on the web reads: View looking towards Lambert Road and St. Saviour's Church from Bonham Road. It is in a borough of London.



I kept going and found this one too:

This is a photo of the birth place of James Butler Bonham, the hero of the Alamo, as the website states it.

I just thought these were cool photos.

Search your family name in the images and see what you get.

Monday, November 13, 2006

You Might Be From The Northwest If...

(this is from an old email I had saved because it is funny... and true)

…Feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash.

…Use the expression: "sun break" and know what it means.

…Know more than 10 ways to order coffee.

…Know more people who own boats than air conditioners.

…Feel overdressed wearing a suit to a nice restaurant.

…Stand on a deserted corner in the rain waiting for the "Walk" signal.

…Consider that if it has no snow or has not recently erupted, it's not a real mountain.

…Complain about Californians, as you sell your house for twice its value to one.

…Know the difference between Chinook, Coho and Sockeye salmon.

…Know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup, Issaquah, Oregon, Clatskanie and Willamette.

…Consider swimming an indoor sport.

…Can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese and Thai food.

…In winter, go to work in the dark and come home in the dark - while only working 8-hour days.

…Obey all traffic laws except "Keep right except to pass."

…Never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho.

…Are not fazed by "Today's Forecast: showers followed by rain" and "Tomorrow's Forecast: rain followed by showers."

…Can't wait for a day with "Showers and sun breaks."

…Have no concept of humidity without precipitation.

…Can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle's Best Coffee, and Veneto's.

…Know that Boring is a town in Oregon and not just a state of mind.

…Can point to at least two volcanoes, even if you can't see through the cloud cover.

…Say "the mountain is out" when it's a pretty day and you can actually see it.

…Feel like you've grown up with Bill Gates and can't quite figure out why people can be so mean to him.

…Put on your shorts when the temperature gets above 50, but still wear your hiking boots and parka.

…Switch to your sandals when it gets above 60, but keep the socks on.

…Have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain.

…Think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists.

…Knew immediately that the view out Frasier's window was fake.

AND…

…You know you're from the NW if you buy new sunglasses every year, because you can't find the old ones after such a long time.

Nose Candy

Never, never, never get the sour sugar coating on a Sour Patch Kid up your nose. It hurts.

I had a sneeze coming on and put my hand up to my face to stop it. As I was pressing my index finger across my upper lip I must have inadvertantly snuffed in some residue powder from the Sour Patch Kids I've been snacking on. It burned. My eyes watered and all that good stuff. Nothing I did, short of sucking water through my nostrils, helped.

A few minutes of torture and it was over.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

It's Just Too Early

Today I was out and about getting some things for the house. I visited Lowe's, H0me Depot, and Walgreens. All three stores have massive Christmas displays up and prominent in the store. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, but this started weeks ago and I am already tired of seeing it. It's got my kids in a tizzy over what they want and all that too.

I don't know about now but Nordstrom's used to put up their Christmas decorations on Thanksgiving night. I know because I used to go and help. I respected that. It was their tradition and wasn't too early. Somebody please tell me it is the same today.

The marketing monster that dominates the American landscape is out of control and devours our very soul. It makes "wanters" out of us. Wanters that satisfy every whim and desire without consideration of our true needs. True needs like community, shelter, nourishment, and God. I've not seen him in the Christmas that is currently on display. I've seen the new god of desire represented in a big red suit.

I think another reason people try to bring Christmas so early is because of what it represents in their life. For many it may be the only happy time they remember. It may be the only time they've experienced a sense of joy. Because of this they want it to last longer, to be more prevelent in their life. It is a time that brings what God has for them everyday. Peace, joy, and contentment.

I truly look forward to Christmas. I love the time with family and friends. I love hearing from people we don't see very often. The food is great as are the decorations. I love the story, you know the story, the reason, the baby in the manger. That is the best part. The Gift. The gift that everyone can receive. Please let us remember that.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Brutal Honesty

How much honesty is good? It there such thing as too much candor? Does being fully transparent and honest do good?

I’ll be candid for a moment… I hold back my true feelings and honest opinions and don’t write what I often want to share in this blog. Why? Because! Because of many of the pains in a post that Tracey of Beyond the Pale has written today. You can go there and read her post and my comment on her post. I would often love to write about my job, church, and other experiences but I don’t due to the fear of the repercussions from those that abuse people’s honesty.

I think that there are people I can be totally honest with and people I can’t. The people I can be transparent with are people I trust implicitly. They are people that will not disparage me for my shortcomings and faults, people that will love me despite the fact that I am not perfect. The people I hold back with are all the others. It is a safety net for my well being.

The questions above are very serious and need some serious consideration.

I am going to give this idea some more thought and post more on it when I feel like I’ve processed it a bit more.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday Night Fun

IF YOUR LIFE WAS A MOVIE, WHAT WOULD THE SOUNDTRACK BE?

This meme stolen from Tracey.

So, here’s how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool

My Soundtrack goes like this...

Opening Credits: Better Off - Pete Stewart

Waking Up: Moon Over Me - Roby Duke

First Day At School: Revive Me - Jeremy Camp

Falling In Love: Prince Of Peace - The OC Supertones

Fight Song: Good For You - Third Eye Blind

Breaking Up: Free Speech For The Dumb - Metallica

Prom: Soon As I Get Paid - Keb' Mo'

Life: All That Is Good - Five Iron Frenzy

Mental Breakdown: Where The Streets Have No Name - U2

Driving: A Part: Foreverandever Etc... - David Crowder Band

Flashback: Without Jah, Nothin' - P.O.D.

Getting Back Together: Wanna Be Loved - dc Talk

Wedding: Put Your Lights On - Santana featuring Everlast

Birth of Child: They Can't Take That Away From Me - Charlie Parker

Final Battle: See The Glory - Steven Curtis Chapman

Death Scene: All Creatures Of Our God & King - David Crowder Band

Funeral Song: All Star - Tammy Tolman

End Credits: Changes - Tesla

What Is Fun?

I am at my desk eating a "Fun Size" Three Musketeer Bar. What is "Fun" about a candy bar that is 2" or less in length. I know either my wife or a friend has brought this up recently and now I am ruminating on it. Fun would be a 12" candy bar... a 12" candy bar that I was eating somewhere besides work... an everlasting 12" candy bar that was the perfect blend of caramel and chocolate. Yeah! That would be fun. Wait... even better... a candy bar food fight. Now that would be the funnest of fun (yes I know funnest isn't a word).

You know what isn't fun? It's a 2" candy bar that causes you to eat ten of them to even feel like you've had a candy bar and your tummy gets all rumbly like you've just eaten at Izzy's (karate slam, chop, kick in the head to Matt... yes! take that).

Thursday, October 26, 2006

World Series @ 9

Tuesday night we had a game night with a group from church. It was a good evening. Good food, good conversation, and good games.

During the evening the World Series was on the TV. Since the sound was down I was telling my daughter (nine) what was going on. When I announced that Albert Pujols was up my daughter fell into a fit of laughter. One of those fits where she could barely speak. I didn't get what was funny. Then she blurts out "you said poo-holes". Ah. Only a nine year old. I've heard the name for years and never heard it like that.

Tonight I turned on the game to see the score... guess who was up? I can't win.

"Dad, oh my gosh, that is poo-holes. POO-HOLES. Buh-wah-hah-hah."

Only by some miracle of God my five year old son missed the whole thing. Thank you Lord.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Breathe

When I wrestle with my kids they, mostly my daughter, have learned that their breathe usually doesn't smell that good. So when I hide from them under a pillow they breathe into my air hole to get me to come out. It is effective. Sick, yet effective.

That is my typical association with breathe. Bad. Mostly not good.

That is until I listened to a sermon a couple weeks ago by Rick McKinley of Imago Dei. He was speaking on the breath of God.

In Genesis 2:7 it says "the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." Wow. God literally breathed life into man. Into us. That is the sweetest breath. I've read this verse a thousand times. It isn't new, I get it. Yet the way Rick tied it together with the next verse is too cool.

In John 20:21-22 it says "Again Jesus said, 'Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.' And with that he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'" This is another verse I've read a bunch, however, I never caught what was said. Jesus breathed on them. Picture him standing amongst them going HAAA right on them. And with that he gave them the Holy Spirit. A new life given to them from his breathe.

Like God imparted life into man, Jesus imparted the Holy Spirit to man. John, who starts his gospel with an account of creation, ends his gospel with another symbolic reference to creation. Jesus, as God, gives us the "Breath of Life" in his Spirit in order for us to live.

The Bible if full of references to breath or breathing as the essence of life. Without breath man dies. Psalm 104:29 states "when you take away their breath, they die and return to dust." Without breath we are dead. Sure enough. Without God's Spirit then we must be spiritually dead.

Yes, I can do without my kids stank breath creeping in on my nostrils, but I can't go another day with out the Breath of God in me. He has given me life, a life that I am to live for Him, to the fullest. Full of breath.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Feeling Defeated!?

A couple weeks ago the wind took half of our tree in the front yard. Our plan has been to replace it this week. It was a good plan. We have been told that this is a great time of year to plant trees. While I was in Australia Kathi went to Al's and bought a Sun Valley Maple. We wanted something with good color in the Fall and nice shade in the Spring and Summer. This tree should do nicely.

The key to any tree is getting it in the ground. The problem I have right now is the stump from the old tree that is in the way of the new tree. I had a plan. A good plan. The plan was to dig around the old tree, uncover the roots, and cut them. With that done the stump should easily come out... right? Wrong. This is one stubborn tree.

After a few hours of digging, scraping, cutting, pushing, praying, pulling, twisting, cussing, shoving, spraying, asking the tree nicely to cooperate, more cutting, more digging... the stump is still there. Darn tree. I just want our new one in so it can start planting its roots. I don't think the tree knows that I am going to win... I must win. Tomorrow we will be contacting a tree service and get some prices on having the stump ground out. That'll show that tree.

Speaking of roots...

As Christians should have roots that are this stubborn. Roots so ground in the Word that when situations, temptations, trials, and tests come along we are so firmly grounded we do not fall.

The first Psalm paints a beautiful picture of this:


Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand
in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates
day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in
season and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the
assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the
wicked will perish.
(emphasis mine)

This is my goal with my morning schedule. As much as I don't like mornings I know that being in the Word first thing is important for the day. It gives me that needed reminder of what is truly important for the day ahead. It also provides food for thought that I can think about and meditate on as I move along throughout the day.

I long to be solidly grounded. I long for a root system that helps to keep me from falling into old patterns and temptations. This I pray.

Funny Stuff

My whole sleep thing is off... way off. So I am up late surfing blogs and stuff. I ran across this on From The Morning. Enjoy.

You may not find it funny, but I do. A friend and I used to watch and make fun of Robert Tilton in college. Hal I hope you've seen this.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Home At Last

I made it. Doing okay, just a little pooped. I need to stay awake until at least 10 now to try and get back on schedule. I am sure jet lag will set in at some point.

So... what was I doing in Australia? Glad you asked. Here is a photo of the two machines I was working on. They are the two big yellow units.

They run ground up construction & demolition debris through these to screen for particle size. Both machines were stroking too high. It was my job to make sure they were running properly before I left. I was successful. Yea me. Basically, on the last day I convinced them to undo most of the modifications they had done to our machine. So for three straight days I climbed in and out, under and over these two machines to get to the root of the issue. What you can't see in this photo is the amount of dust that is in this place. I was covered in it and breathing it all day. Talk about dirt boogers. Tons. The shower at the end of the day was great.

On the flight home my connection to LA from Australia was in Sydney. Talk about beautiful. Flying into Sydney was one of my favorite things about this trip. It is post card beautiful. I want to go back there. Just the view from the small plane window was breathtaking. It helped that it was a beautiful sunny day. The sun was glistening off everything. I was too slow with the camera.

One of my other favorite parts of the trip was the people. Everywhere I went where people would hear me speak they would say "ah an Amireecan". Then the conversation would go on from there. Always polite, always pleasant, and very interested in what I thought of their country. Most were sad to hear that all I was seeing was a waste facility.

The street my hotel was on reminded me of NW 23rd in Portland. There were trendy shops, restaurants, and pubs. I got to eat at two nice places. One was the Royal Oak which feature live music. The other was The Pink Pig. The food at both places was excellent. My favorite was the peppered steak at The Pink Pig. The customer service at every step of the way was excellent. Whether it was at one of these restaurants or the mini-mart down the street. People were just down right friendly. If they were faking it, they were the best actors.

While I was gone, Kathi and I made the paper. Somehow Michelle, a friend of ours, spotted us in the photo. Kathi had read the article and missed us. The Oregonian did a nice story on Imago Dei, one of the churches we visited this summer. Click here to read the story. On the Sunday they took the picture we were there. Can you find us? I've provided a little help.

Almost Home!

I am currently sitting in LAX looking like quite the modern day traveler. I've got my wireless laptop hooked up, my Ipod, and of course a Starbucks. Grande Latte if you were wondering. I love technology. All the comforts of home or office packed in my REI Traverse backpack.

My flight boards in a few. Ciao.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Time Draws Near

Back at the kiosk.

So far I have seen Australia through their rubbish. Seriously. That is about all I've seen. The plant I have been working at is a construction and demolition recycling facility. Basically trash. For three days I have crawled in and out of our machines working with the customer to get things fixed. Today went well. The units are finally running as they should. Not without a little sweat and blood. Literally. I cut my hands about four times so far. And the sweat... plentiful.

I look forward to getting home to the family. I am a little bummed I didn't get to get out and see much but it gives me a reason to come back. Everyone I've met here has been gracious and friendly.

Today I had a long conversation with a few of the guys at the plant about our gun laws. For some reason it intrigued them. They found it interesting that I even own a gun. They are convinced that we still live with an Old West mentality. It was a fun conversation.

Since I have only had one real meal this whole trip I plan to get out tonight for some good grub. Plenty of choices.

I leave tomorrow morning, which is Thursday here, and arrive in Portland on Thursday afternoon. The time thing is wild.

Ta ta for now.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

G-day!

Writing from an internet kiosk from the Land Down Under.

Beer does flow and men chunder.

So far so good. I don't have much time to write much as the timer on this thing ticks fast.

No sightseeing to be had. It's all been work so far. That is going well. Slow but well.

Australia is much like America except they speak with an accent and drive on the wrong side of the road. Accually tonight I was told that I speak with an accent. Strange. I've never thought I had one. Driving on the left is pretty easy. The first day I was nervous as heck but today went smooth. It took a little brain retrain but I am doing well.

I will try to write more later.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Heading Down Under

Yesterday morning as I walked into work all was well. At 7:10 that all changed. A call from one of our distributors in New Hampshire had a customer in Australia with some serious problems. A couple hours later I was booked on a flight for today heading to Adelaide, Australia.

I leave in a couple hours and 19 flight hours on three separata flights I'll be in Adelaide. This will be my first time south of the Equator. This is not quite how I wanted to see Australia for the first time but it'll be an experience none the less. I return this Thursday so there won't be much time for sight seeing.

Hopefully I'll be able to post from there. G'day for now.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My Next Car!

My 1995 Toyota Camry has 160,000 miles on it. Yep. That's up there. This year we had to put a chunk of change into it to keep it running for the next 160,000. I like my car and have no reason to get rid of it. However, if there is some generous and wealthy person out there that wanted to provide me with a fine new ride I'd choose this one:

The Ariel Atom

My dad would say "That is so impractical." and I would say "I know, but it goes 0 - 60 in less than 4 seconds." The website says this "Even in base model form, the Atom's power to weight ratio exceeds that of a Porsche 911."

No windshield, no leather, no heater, no AC, no navigation system, totally street legal, no bumpers, probably no cup holder, and no... ah, who cares. This is a drivers car. Raw as it gets. And yes, I'd drive it year 'round. I'd just get my self a rain suit and helmet and go.

I am in the wrong line of work. I should have been a Rock Star or a NASCAR driver.

Brammo Motor Sports of Ashland Oregon is the licensee to manufacture this car in the States. That makes it a cool new product of Oregon. Add that to our cheese, beer, Dutch Bros., trees, and liberals and you've got a good mix. Check out the car at www.arielatom.com. If you don't find it sweet get to a doctor immediately.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Just Do It!

Last night at church we were challenged by Justin to be doers of the word. He was teaching from James 1:19-27. James tells us to hear the Word and go do what it says. To not be like a man who sees his face in the mirror and soon forgets what he saw. Taking this teaching to heart I was up early. For years I have been determined to get up, make coffee and breakfast, and spend some time with the Word. For all those years I've tried and failed. Now I pray to read and do. Not to read just to read and know for knowings sake. That is not acceptable.

Today I determined that I need this morning ritual more than I need the sleep. You need to first understand that I love sleep. I don't just like it, I love it. I'd marry it if I could. Well, in reality I love sleep less than I hate mornings. I am slow to get up and slow to get moving. I would rather stay up all night before I would choose to get up early. In short, I am not a morning person. In college it was torture to have a class before 9am. Pure torture.

This morning was good. I found it easier than normal to get up and get moving. We'll see how the next few days go. Each week I'll set the alarm just a little earlier until I get down to 5am. Today I was up at 5:30. My time in the word wasn't long enough because of the extra long shower I took to help the wake up process.

Today I had to leave work early due to a "tree-mergency" we had at home. Our 25+ foot Flowering Pear tree in the front yard split and loss half its mass. It was frustrating because I just pruned the tree and made it look real nice. Sorry... this is a rabbit trail... just know that Saturday I'll be taking this tree down and shopping for a new one to take its place. So sad. This tree was barely six feet tall when we moved in. Maybe this was the enemies way to distract me. However he looses because on my way home I had the Ipod on shuffle and the song Overhead by Hyperstatic Union came on. Read the lyrics posted below. This song was the perfect confirmation of Justin's teaching from James and what I am committing to. I hear it and read it as an all too familiar prayer. One I have spent many nights praying.

The things I want are tearing me apart
I knew this from the start
They’re daggers to Your heart
Though I desire to trade my will with Yours
I’m shutting open doors and crawling on all fours
I need Your touch, open my eyes
Cut me down to size, I’m dying to rise

I promised I’d be less and let You be more
In my attempt to do what I have read
To die is gain, I want to serve the One I adore
But it appears there’s too much overhead

I’d rather stay than give my life away
The life that I have made, a price I just can’t pay
So I ignore Your calling from the shore
You offer so much more but the cost I can’t afford
Short-sighted eyes, my spirit’s demise
Listening to lies, dying to rise

I need Your touch, open my eyes
Cut me down to size, I’m dying to rise


AMEN!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Shoe Controversy

One of my bosses hates these shoes. I don't know why but he does. The first day I wore them to work he was beside himself and didn't know what to say. Prior to this I had no idea that he disdained them so. His brother couldn't explain the hate.

Since that day I've worn them on average about twice a week. I can't wear these shoes to work without my boss bringing some kind of attention them. Whether it's a comment, a look, or him pointing at the shoes and asking somebody nearby "would you wear those things?".

Right now my boss is gone for lunch. When he returns he will find the photo below on his computer set as his wallpaper. Fueling the fire I guess.

As you might have guessed we have a very casual dress code. In reality we don't even have a dress code that I have ever seen. Specifically no written dress code. He is threatening to write one for the new building we'll be moving into in March of '07. He says he'll add a line banning Converse All-Stars in any color. Until then... these are the shoes of choice for work.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Halloween... Not!!!

For many Christians Halloween is a quandary. Do we participate or do we not? If I do, am I supporting evil? If I don't, am I lame or out of touch or isolated?

We participate. Our kids trick-or-treat and love it. It is a great time to get out in the community and meet and greet neighbors. This year Alex will be Darth Vader and Brianna is going to be a princess.

This past week we had some good friends over for dinner. Part of the conversation rolled around how their church participates in the festivities. They don't do Halloween, they do what many churches do, they put on a Harvest party. The kids get to dress up in costumes and I'm sure there are games and prizes. However, the clincher is the costumes have to be biblical characters. This helps keep it wholesome.

Well it is probably a darn good thing that we aren't going there. My wife and I started to laugh as we thought of biblical characters we could dress our kids up like. Here are a few:
  • They could team it up as Adam and Eve - the costumes are cheap. Very cheap.
  • Brianna could go as Rahab.
  • Alex could go as Beelzebub.
  • or drunk and naked Noah.
  • or Nebudchadnezzar when he went mad for seven years.
  • or the demon possessed man Jesus healed at Gerasenes.
  • Another team idea is that they go as Balaam's donkey. They could flip a coin or wrestle for who will be the...
  • One of the four creatures covered with eyes from Revelation.
  • A Nephilim.
  • A beheaded Goliath or John the Baptist.
  • A pillar of salt.
  • A serpent.
  • Robbers on the road to Jericho.

You get the idea. I don't mean to make light but... okay I do. Restricting the kids to biblical costumes a first glance sounds innocent but many characters in the bible weren't. I'm sure the people that put together the fest are expecting shepherds and angels and other such familiar characters. I would just love to see the reaction if someone showed up in a costume listed above.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Meme-ories

Here's an oldy but goody. Look corner to corner and try to get the wheels to stop moving.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Almost Time To Vote (a rant)

November is coming and the political signs and ads are in the air.

I don't care like I use to. I probably should but I don't. The politicians are all starting to sound the same to me.

Does my voice matter? Does my vote count? I'm sure in some way it does but it doesn't always feel like it.

The big election for us this year is the Governors race. And a race it is. Both canditates are currently neck and neck. I lean towards the Republican as I always do but not for any specific reason in this case. I tend to vote Republican because I like what the Republican party is supposed to stand for (smaller government, etc.).

In reality there is not a politician I've ever seen or heard that stands for all the things that are important to me. So in essence I am often choosing from the lesser of two evils. I want a candidate that doesn't raise my taxes, one that will maybe even lower my taxes, one that will stop creating new laws and start enforcing existing ones, one that stands up for the family, one that gives more freedom to those that earn it and takes away from those that don't, one that will protect this country from its enemies, one that treats all people the same, and one that lets those willing to help those in need do so. I don't think that is too much to ask. A lot of politicians sound like this when they are running for office but then they get there and the real agenda kicks in.

I don't want to sound dissallusioned. I don't want to sound like I've thrown in the towel. But lately I have began to make a concerted effort to put all my faith in Christ and not man. Maybe part of that process is affecting my political outlook. I'm not sure. Ultimately I want what Jesus wants. I want love and justice to prevail.

A note to all politicians: If you want an example of how to do things right take some lessons from Jesus. Read the Gospels and see what Jesus thinks is important. Take care of the poor, the children, and the widows. Feed the hungry, house the homeless, and treat people with compassion. Love your neighbor as yourself. If you don't know who your neighbor is look to the teachings of Jesus.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Poetic Musings From My Car

Sitting, peeling a Three Muskateer
Thinking of the squirrel on the line
One step from disaster and a few yards from success
His path is before him, he has little choice
He follows and gets his reward
Or he falters and gets death
God has put a path before me
It leads through the narrow gate
Falter I can and falter I have
Yet unlike the squirrel
I have the blood of His Son
Which, because of grace
Keeps the path always before me

Monday, September 25, 2006

Bug'n Me II

Speaking of things that bug me...

Have you ever been listening to a CD and at the end there is about 10 minutes of silence and then another song plays. A "bonus" song. Come on now that is crap. I didn't buy the CD for forced silence. I bought it with hard earned money for music.

All artists, record producers, record labels, etc. hear me now... STOP DOING THAT!!!

On all accounts it just stinks. I don't get it. Can somebody explain it to me? I don't want to hear that it is artistic. IT ISN'T. If it was artistic it would be original. Since this unnecessary silence appears on over a dozen of the CD's I own it isn't original. It's been done so now let's stop this practice. STOP IT NOW!

On some of my CD's it is a single track of silence then the "bonus" song. On others it is like thirty separate tracks of silence and then the "bonus" song. Is this silence supposed to prepare us for the awesomeness of the "bonus" song? If so, it does a lousy job. It only serves as a major source of irritation. Or am I supposed to be meditating on the greatness of the previous song? Educate me on this if you can.

If I want silence I will turn the CD off!!!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

My, My, My

Lately I've taken notice of something that people say often and for some reason it is starting to bug me. It isn't any big deal and really shouldn't bug me but it does.

I was talking with one of the guys from our shop at work and he used the phrase "my lawyer". I instantly thought to myself "does this guy really have a lawyer?". Really who out there has a lawyer. Doesn't having a lawyer entail having a retainer in place and a constant need for one.

The use of the word "my" is what is hitting the irritation nerve. My lawyer, my contact at..., my doctor, my pastor, my, my, my, my God.

This is such a possessive word. The dictionary I have lists it as the 'possessive form of I'.

It just seems so self important to announce something as mine. Oh, I'm sure I have done it or still do. I just don't like the way it sounds.

"Wait until I talk to my lawyer!" I know you can hear the tone of voice in your head that usually accompanies that phrase. There is always an inflection on the word 'my'.

It isn't important but it just bugs. I know you are probably thinking to yourself that Brian is sounding a little too sensitive on this and maybe he's got other issues going on. You may be right. Just don't say "You should see my shrink". I may lose it.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Autumn Is Here

Ah, one of my favorite times of year. The rain is coming, the leaves are changing, and the extra blanket gets put on the bed.

When people stand around and complain about the rain I rejoice. I love it. I welcome it. Bring on the rain. Bring on the cold. Matter of fact I hope it snows this year. Lot's of snow. So much snow that I have to tunnel out my front door. That would be cool.

We get to watch the leaves turn and then fall. One of my favorite things in all creation. At our house we have the oak trees, our blue berry bushes, and the tree in our front yard. Yeah it's a little work cleaning them up but it is all worth it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Eight Wheelin'

Tonight the family headed out for a little fun. We went skating. Roller skating to be precise. Really we did.

It's been at least twenty years since I stood on eight wheels and it showed. Through the clumsiness and shuffling feet I made it. My wife however bit it hard trying to exit the rink. We think she may have sprained her wrist. Ouch. Sorry hon.

My kids had a blast. My daughter took off on her in-line skates and my son... well... he hung to the walls until two minutes before we left when he decided it was time to let go and see what he could do. I was proud of the both of them.

I forgot how much fun skating could be. My body will pay for that fun tomorrow as I already feel the muscles reminding me that I don't use them enough. "Hello Brian your not eighteen anymore." That is what they are saying. If I plan to ski some this year I better start preparing the old bod for it.

If we go more I think I'll try the in-line skates. They look more fun and not as old school as the skates I had on tonight.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Birthday Celebration

For Kathi's birthday we had a nice evening out with our good friends Joe & Missy.

We started with babysitters for the kids. This was an adult only event. One of the few of these we get in a year. We love our kids, don't get me wrong, but sometimes it's nice to leave them behind.

With John Mayer's Continuum in the CD player we headed for dinner at a quaint little place in North Portland called Lovely Hula Hands. This restaurant was excellent. It is in a little house that according to the staff was built in 1910. Our neighbor Krista recommended this restaurant and advised us to arrive around 6:30 in order to be seated right away. She was right. By seven there was a crowd waiting outside. Thanks Krista.

After dinner we headed to one of Kathi's favorite stores; the world famous Powell's Books. If you haven't been to Powell's you are missing out. It is the worlds largest independent new and used bookstore. For those of you who don't like to drive into Portland don't worry there is a location in Beaverton. Although it isn't as big it will only get bigger when it moves. That is right. The new location will only be five minutes from our house. Sweet.

The girls ran off to the education and children's section as Joe and I wandered. We ended up at the coffee shop to get some liquid fuel for our lady shoppers. After we delivered the goods to the ladies we headed up to my favorite section, the red room. This is where the house the religious books. This is also where I met "The Prophet".

The Prophet: "Are you familiar with this section of the store?"
Me: "Sort of."
The Prophet: "Well I am looking for a book on the Psalms."
With Joe's lead we pointed out the shelves with the books and commentaries on the Psalms.
The Prophet (as Joe ducks around the corner): "I am not looking for the book of Psalms, but a book on the Psalms."
Me: "I'm sure you will find one here. They have plenty of books on the Psalms."
The Prophet: "This is our book, our book."
Me: "Uh, sure it is."
The Prophet (as he randomly and quickly pulls a book off the shelf): "Look here's one!" It was a daily devotional on the Psalms by someone I've never heard of.
Me: "I am sure it will be fine." (I wonder if I am trapped)
The Prophet: "Let's see if it has a word for us."
Me: (crap I'm trapped)

The Prophet proceeds to open the book to a random page and begins to read out loud. He is holding the book so that both of us can see the pages. I am doing my best to be polite and appear to be interested. He leans in closer.
Right about now I begin to wonder if God sent this guy to me or is it one of the poor lonely people of the city that isn't all right in the head just looking for some attention. Either way I stayed for a bit.

The Prophet (as he finished up the reading): "Do you know what that says?"
Me: "Uh, not really."
The Prophet: "It says... Emmanuel... EmmANuel... E..MMAN...UEL!"
Me: "..."
The Prophet: "Isn't that awesome?"
Me: "Sure."
Silence...
Me (as I slowly slink away): "Well thanks for sharing that with me. You have a great evening. I hope you find the book you are looking for."

Phew. A narrow escape. Sorry Mr. Prophet I just wasn't catching your vibe.

Joe and I finished up our looking and went and found the girls. It was time to get home to rescue the babysitter.

The evening was filled with good food, good coffee, good fun and good friends. A perfect birthday celebration.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Today's Her Birthday

Happy Birthday!


To My Best Friend
My Wife
& The Mother of My Children
I Love You!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Need Sleep

Some days are tougher than others to wake up. Today is one of those days. It reminds me of a song by Riley Armstrong which goes like this:

LOOKING STRAIGHT AT THE LIGHT / IT NEVER USED TO BE THAT BRIGHT LAST NITE / BUT IT'S A NEW DAY WITH FUZZ IN MY EYES / ALARM IS STILL RINGING WHEN I OPEN THE BLINDS / HOW DO THESE PEOPLE DO IT / THEY ARE LIKE DRIVING AROUND LIKE THERE'S NOTHING TO IT / I IMAGINE IT'S LIKE THE MEDICATION THEY'RE ON / OR PROBABLY JUST THE COFFEE BUT / ONE THING IS CERTAIN IN LIFE / AND THAT IS THAT TODAY I'M GOING TO EAT CEREAL / I MEAN COME ON LET'S GET OUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT / BUT BEFORE YOU KNOW IT I'M OUT THE DOOR LATE / JUST TRYING TO CATCH SOME RAT OR SOME RACE / OR SOMETHING I'M NOT QUITE SURE WHAT IT IS / SO FOR NOW I JUST BEST KEEP RUNNING / AND BY NINE A.M. MY BRAIN AND MY BODY / FINALLY DECIDE TO MEET / AND WE COME TO THE SAME CONCLUSION AS YESTERDAY / YOU KNOW WHAT I, NEVER GET ENOUGH SLEEP * SLEEP, NO I NEVER GET ENOUGH / ALWAYS WAKING UP TIRED / SLEEP, NO I NEVER GET ENOUGH / IF I DON'T SHOW UP, I MIGHT GET FIRED / SLEEP, NO I NEVER GET ENOUGH / ALWAYS WAKING UP TIRED / SLEEP, NO I NEVER GET ENOUGH / IF I DON'T SHOW UP, I MIGHT GET FIRED * THEY CALL IT COMMUTING / BUT I THINK THEY SHOULD CALL IT INTRAVENOUS / CAUSE IT'S WHAT I NEED EVERY TIME I GET STUCK BEHIND A TRUCK, JUST TRYING TO TURN LEFT, JUST TRYING TO TURN LEFT, WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO TURN LEFT / WHY DON'T YOU PARK THAT CRAZY LITTLE CUBE VAN / HOP IN I'LL DORP YOU OFF OR SOMETHING / CAUSE AT THIS RATE WE'LL BOTH BE LATE / BUT I'D RATHER BE LATE THAN BOTH BE SITTING HERE DOING NOTHING / AND BY 9 A.M. MY BRAIN AND MY BODY FINALLY DECIDE TO MEET / AND WE COME TO THE SAME CONCLUSION AS YESTERDAY / THAT I NEVER GET ENOUGH SLEEP * SLEEP, NO I NEVER GET ENOUGH / ALWAYS WAKING UP TIRED / SLEEP, NO I NEVER GET ENOUGH / IF I DON'T SHOW UP, I MIGHT GET FIRED / SLEEP, NO I NEVER GET ENOUGH / ALWAYS WAKING UP TIRED / SLEEP, NO I NEVER GET ENOUGH / IF I DON'T SHOW UP I MIGHT GET FIRED / (BRIDGE) SLEEP GO ON AND SLEEP SOME MORE / SLEEP GO ON AND SLEEP SOME MORE * SLEEP, NO I NEVER GET ENOUGH / ALWAYS WAKING UP TIRED / SLEEP, NO I NEVER GET ENOUGH / IF I DON'T SHOW UP, I MIGHT GET FIRED / SLEEP, NO I NEVER GET ENOUGH / ALWAYS WAKING UP TIRED / SLEEP, NO I NEVER GET ENOUGH / IF I DON'T SHOW UP, I MIGHT GET FIRED


You said it Riley!

Monday, September 11, 2006

How It Should Have Ended

There is a series of videos on Youtube.com that are subtitled "How It Should Have Ended". They are both creative and funny.

Here is one of my sentimental faves:

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Butt Rock!

A couple of months ago my neighbor found out that I like heavy metal music. He called me a closet "Buttrocker". Uh, I'm not sure about that one. First I am in no closet and second I don't rock any butts.

I didn't know the origins of that classification of Rocker so I had to look it up. I checked out Wikipedia for thier definition of Butt Rock:


Buttrock is a sometimes derogatory term for many types of rock and roll & metal genres of music, much as the terms hair metal or mallcore are. The label 'buttrock' is meant disparagingly toward most '70s & '80s heavy metal bands as
well as a lot of early thrash metal including BayArea thrash, Teutonic thrash and even some Crossover thrash, though especially the term is used for bands of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal . The connotations which the term implies contrasts the using of the term Nu-metal pejoratively, in that, 'buttrock' denotes unsophisticated rock or metal music, lacking progressive traits.

Examples of "Buttrock"
Europe
Poison
Cinderella
Warrant
Mötley Crüe
Buckcherry
L.A.
Guns

Winger
Jackyl
Ugly Kid Joe
The term is rumored to have originated when persons, when complaining to "rockers" about the quality of the music they listened to, received the response: "But it rocks!" This was eventually shortened to "buttrock" and has become the term of choice when describing a seemingly meaningless selection of metal music.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buttrock"


Well that's all good and fine.

I think my brother found the best example of butt rock on our vacation last weekend. See if you agree:


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Beta-time Sucks

Why did I sign up for the beta? Why for the life of me.

I'm pissed. I can't leave comments on non-beta blogs. What the... Maybe I missed the fine print or something but I don't remember a warning about this major inconvenience.

Blogger people! Hey! Yes you. Fix this! The only thing more important than being able to post on a blog is to be able to comment on one you've read.

Blogger GET ON IT!!!

Coming soon is something that should only be used when referring to new movies.

So Bloggers who have blogs I regularly read and comment on I am still here. One hand is tied behind my back but I am still here. For now... Typepad anyone?

Evil Brian is being held at bay.

So Jen... my comment for your Beauty and the Beast post: "Le Poisson, Le Poisson, He He He, Hou, Hou, Hou. I know you hear me doing that."

Kath... one for you: "Watch out for the Twofers, they get you everytime. They jump off the shelves and bite you before you know they are there."

Monday, September 04, 2006

Drunk Idiots

Okay. Before I post on this past weekend and how nice and relaxing it was I must rant.

It goes like this. Sunday evening we were all sitting around the campfires in our respective campsites enjoying a little quiet reading time as the kids played. Next to my parents campsite, which was next door to ours, was the path that led to the bathrooms. As we sat quietly some of our neighbors were taking a group hike to the bathrooms to do whatever they did there. This group had passed by earlier in the day. They were all loud and laughing. Obviously drunk. As they were passing my folks site one of the ladies pulled her pants down to moon the guy behind her. My mom saw it. As they snorted, laughed, and made a big production about it my mom protested and asked them to move on. The lady that did the moon job got a little belligerent and ended up yelling back at my mom to "mind her own business bitch". Real class. Calling a sixty plus year old lady a bitch.

At first I didn't get up, figuring they were drunk and stupid, but then I saw my dad get up to confront them. So, I got up to be his wing-man. I went to the restrooms but didn't see my dad. The offending group, of about eight, were milling about just outside the building as my dad appeared from the men's room. I am not sure what they were all doing. It reminded my of grade school girls who couldn't go to the potty by themselves. I asked my dad if he had said anything to them and he said "not yet". As I turned to go I again saw the group of offenders. I had to say something.

I calmly approached the ringleader, who happened to be the mooner, and I said "she was just looking for a little respect you didn't need to start being rude". I was quickly lambasted by an assault of poor language and equally poor advice. Mature things like "this is a free country", "we are just trying to have fun", "if you don't want to see it go stay at the Marriott", and other choice and grown up responses you'd expect from an eight year old. Except these were coming from a grown adult. I was good. I held my tongue and my fists. Choice retorts that could only come from the bottom of a bitter sailors tongue quickly came to mind but never made it to the mouth. I could have said "look who's talking you fat ugly trailer trash cow who couldn't get laid in house full of..." ah, I'll keep those to myself. They are from the evil Brian. She flat out denied that she mooned anyone and later change her story that there was a lady up the trail that did the mooning. She could hardly keep her story straight. Idiot.

In my life I have definitely learned a thing or two about people. One is to never argue with a drunk or an idiot. Here I think I was dealing with both. I don't like people like that. It wouldn't have mattered what I said or did she had an audience and was going to perform. I prayed silently as I walked back to our site that God would strike her down and have her eaten by worms. Okay, not really, but I did wish harm and poor things on her. Soon to be followed by an apology to God and a little forgiveness seeking and a prayer that one day the mooner would look back on this event and think "I was a fool". I doubt it will ever happen but you never know.

The risk you take camping is the other people in close proximity. For the most part we had decent neighbors. Although one guy with a loud stereo was about to be accosted by my brothers banshee yell and my word of advice to keep his radio down before I treat him to a little Demon Hunter. That is why I always preferred backpacking.

One last note. My brother was upset we didn't get him to come along. He had some great retorts to her Marriot comment. My favorite was this. "The Marriott? You can't even spell Marriot! It's spelled y.o.u.c.a.n.t.a.f.f.o.r.d.i.t." Nice Daniel.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Vacation! part II

Nothing like starting off the first night of vacation with a little rock n' roll.

I took my nephew and a couple of his buddies over to the Rock n' Roll Pizza to see Spoken. It was a great show. The opening acts were The New Ending, The Finalist, and House of Heroes. House of Heroes opened with a little tribute to Queen with Fat Bottom Girls. Sweet.

The crowd was small. Or does that mean it wasn't a crowd at all? Not sure. Anyway... there wasn't as many people there as I would have expected. Too bad. Fans missed out on a fun show. The guys from the bands are great. They make themselves very accessible to the fans before, during, and after the show. I got to speak with a number of them about life on the road, their music, and life in general. Wow. These fellas have chosen a rough way to make a living. I pray that God blesses them for it.

Also represented at the show tonight was the organization To Write Love On Her Arms who I posted briefly on previously. I spoke with Jake, the west coast representative, for a little bit. We exchanged email addresses so we can have some further talks. Not sure what will come of it, but I'd be very interested in helping them in anyway possible. Please pray for God to lead in that.

I think tonight was the first time Jon (my nephew) stepped into a mosh pit. I say stepped into when in fact he was stepped on a few times. After seeing him go to the floor five times I stopped counting. Although I did keep a watchful eye on him and his friends as I was the one responsible for them tonight. I didn't want to return broken children to their parents. I for one don't mosh. I don't see the point or enjoyment in bashing into other people. I guess I'm too old to get it.

The rest of my vacation will be considerably less raucous. Camping at the beach does not entail any moshing or head banging.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Vacation!

For the next five days I am getting some much needed time off from work. Today is just a casual hang-out-do-nothing day. Tomorrow we head off to camp at Beverly Beach on the Oregon coast with some of my family.

Work has been a killer lately. I don't talk about it too much on my blog. I don't really know why but I don't. Maybe someday I will. For now I will just say that my job is a source of major stress and questions in my life. Like many people I still want to know what I'll be when I grow up. There has to be more for me than what I am doing n0w. There has to be!

What I don't like about vacations is that all of my work will pile up and certain things won't get done. Then when I get back it is all there waiting for me to work extra hard and extra time to get it done. That really stinks.

So for the next five days this will be my last thought about work. Tonight I will enjoy some good hard rock with my nephew and his buddies. We are going to see Spoken and House of Heroes at the Rock'n Roll Pizza Kitchen in Portand. Should be a great time.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Where Are They Now?

So, I just got done watching "Poseidon", which was crap, and I started to channel surf. Sometimes this is a bad idea, sometimes you strike gold. Tonight I struck more crap. But I found out what Erik Estrada is doing! <--- said with total enthusiasm You remember Erik. You know... Ponch... of Ponch and John. Yes, of C.H.I.P's fame. That Erik Estrada.

Well Erik is now a spokesman for Arkansas real estate. Serious. Don't you want to move to Arkansas? Just check out www.hotspringshomesites.com. You too can own a piece of Bill Clinton's home state.

Poor sad Erik. Maybe you can join Tony Danza in TV retirement... please.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Disservice

Since I posted back on Nov. 1st, 2005 about giving up talk radio I have not listened to it on a regular basis. If I was to total up the time I've listened since then it would probably come to less than an hour. Today confirmed to me why I don't listen anymore.

I was sitting at the Willamette river in my car on my lunch break today and decided to give a listen to Michael Medved's show. He started the show off with a guest from Nation magazine, Katha Pollitt. She is a left-wing liberal (or progressive if you will) writer who has a new book out titled "Virginity or Death!". This book is a collection of her previous writings. I have not read the book so I cannot comment on it.

Michael began a discussion with her and ask her questions on her opinions and views on the typical topics of the day; religion, right vs. left, etc. Then Michael takes his first caller. The guy starts out with his background. He was a liberal democrat, sexually promiscuous, etc. Then fourteen years ago became a Born Again Christian and changed his ways. He then proceeded to lambast her and her views and without warning or provocation condemned her to Hell.

What the heck! He condemns her to Hell on public radio.

His anger and beligerance took over. Rationality was out the window. This guy was out of control.

Katha Pollitt, on behalf of rational Jesus followers everywhere I am sorry. This caller, I pray, does not represent the majority of us who follow Christ. As you clearly understood and stated he is not capable of sending you to Hell.

I for one appreciate that you step out and share your views and challenge those of us that disagree with some of your opinions. I think a challenged Church will become a stronger Church. We often run from discussion with people of your opinion and we shouldn't. Only when conversation happens can understanding take place.

Name calling and condemning do not reflect a Christ-like heart. Nor do they advance the will of God. This caller needs to revisit the book of James and reflect on the power of the tongue.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Things Kids Say

Last night after the Daddy Decorating party I sat on my bed and played a bit more with the kids before bedtime. After brushing their teeth and all the other customary bedtime rituals they came in to my room and jumped up on the bed. Alex was just wearing his Spiderman underpants, which is what he usually wears to bed on hot nights. A conversation started and it went like this:

Alex - "I couldn't be more naked unless I shaved off all the hair on my body." as he giggles.

Me - "We can arrange that. Do you want me to shave your head?"

Brianna - "Yeah! That would be cool."

Alex - "Well..."

Me - "Seriously, we can."

Brianna - All excited about the proposition. "I'll give you five bucks if you do it."

Alex - "Is five dollars a lot of money?" (remember, he's five)

Brianna - "You can buy five candy bars at the Dollar Store."

Alex - "Ohh!"

Me - "Well, should I get out the razor."

Brianna - "Come on, do it Alex."

Alex - "How about a hundred bucks?"

Brianna - "I don't have a hundred. I have five. I can go get it."

Alex - "I don't know. Maybe tomorrow."

It pretty much ended there.

What amused me the most was the issue regarding the value of five dollars. I found it funny that it was quickly associated with the quantity of candy one could purchase. We often forget the value of five bucks. I'm sure most of us associate five bucks with our favorite beverage at Starbucks. What does five dollars get you these days?

The second thing that made me laugh was how quick Brianna offered up booty for the dare. I didn't think a nine year old would have been keen to that concept. A concept that is usually associated with boys of a much older age.

In case you were wondering, I would have shaved it if he said yes.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Things You'll Do For Your Kids

Tonight Kathi was taking off with our friend Missy to go shopping. They were planning to leave around seven and would be back who knows when. (still not back as I write this)

My thinking went like this: Since I had a long day at work and it's about six thirtyish I think I'll hit the couch for a little rest before Kathi leaves and I am home with the grommets.

My kids thinking went like this: Hey, Dad's laying on the couch and looks like he wants to play.

For a short time the game was steal the pillow. You have to understand that the pillow is my protection from the things they'll inevitably throw my way. Things like their stinky breath in my face or lifting my eyelids to see if I am really sleeping, etc. They played steal the pillow for a while until the next random thought came to their devious little brains. That thought was to decorate Dad.

For the next half hour I was stickered, toilet papered, poked, climbed on, wrapped in streamers, taped, and laughed at. That was a great time. For them. For me the pleasure came from watching them amuse themselves with their silliness. That is the one thing they are very good at. If you got paid by your level of silliness my kids could be supporting me instead of vise-versa.

At the end of the half hour I looked absolutely rediculous and my kids had a huge mess to clean up. The miracle of that was - they didn't complain one lick about having to clean up the mess. Instead the silliness continued. I watched from the kitchen as I made a pot of coffee.

There are moments when you watch your kids and smile and wish they'd be that way forever. Tonight was one of those moments.

Guess who just walked in the door.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Question of the day

As I returned home from work today I was met at the door by my kids, as is the nightly custom. They typically ask for "huggies and kisses" and I tell them they have to wait their turn, that Mom is always first. I then proceed into the house to unload my keys and stuff and find my wife for a kiss or two. Then it's the kids turn. They love to jump up and have me catch them mid-air. Each year this gets a little more difficult... either they are getting bigger or I am getting old, or both.

Tonight was different. As Brianna held the door, as she likes to do, Alex asked the question of the day: "Dad, can I punch you as hard as I can to show you how strong I am?" What? No request for huggies and kisses? No pleading to be the first to tattle on the other, or rant of the days happenings? Instead a request to demonstrate a feat of strength... at my expense.

After the customary huggies and kisses I let Alex show me how strong he is. I succumbed to his five year old charm, and maybe a little dose of my own pride. PUNCH! Yep, I'm still tough... didn't hurt a bit. Although the day is coming where that may be a big mistake. He's five now but soon he'll be fifteen and that little tap of a five year old's knuckle on my *ahem* six pack will be a angst ridden teenagers fist of death pummeling my *cough* rock hard abs.

Funny that Brianna has never asked to prove her strength to me. She is however, close to being able to do the splits. Which she proved tonight after the punch.