Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Dog

If he goes out...
He's gotta come in...

So far he's loving the snow.
Stay warm little Owen, stay warm.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Obama's Good Decision

I am a little surprised by the outrage over President Elect Obama's decision to select Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration this coming January.  There are people on both sides of the political spectrum that are upset about this selection.  I for one find myself pleased by it, and doubly pleased by Warren's decision to accept the invitation.

There are differences in the two men's views on issues but they are both Americans.  It is good to see people with different views get together.  Some say that it is an indorsement of Obama by Warren but I see it as a chance for Warren to show his support of the office of the President.  His support as an American and his prayer support as a believer in Jesus.  

Those on the left should be proud that Mr. Obama is sticking with his word to reach across the aisle and work with those from all walks.  He is walking into a tough position and will need all the support he can get.

Should we all only work with those we have commonality with?  Or as most of us long for should we find commonality with those we disagree with and work together to make things better?  I for one see a great divide happening between the Christian community and the rest of the country.  Mr. Warren's agreement to provide the invocation and most likely future guidance and prayer support is a good thing.  Not all of us get the opportunity to interact with people in high power so we need to offer support for those that do get the opportunity.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Congress just slapped the American public in the face.

Read this.

If it doesn't make you angry you're not paying attention.

I think a couple emails will be going out today.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Today's Snow

I love snow. There is a cleanness and purity about it that is just beautiful.
Berries in my backyard.
Kids in my frontyard.

Snow on my fence.

Boy's face in my snow covered door.

My lady making jam.

Coffee in the belly.

Dog on my lap.

Football on TV.

A great day.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Tree's Up

We put up our tree tonight.  After struggling with the ball of lights for almost a half an hour I finally chucked six strands because I'm not willing to go through and find the lone bulb causing the outage.  So the tree has fewer lights than I'd like but it still looks good.  The kids handled most of the ornaments with a little help from mom.
If you look at the TV in the background you'll see that we turned off the traditional Christmas music and put on a little Jim Gaffigan.  Kathi was remembering his bit about Christmas trees so we thought it would be fun to listen to him while decorating the tree.  It totally worked.  We laughed and giggled along with his jokes as we worked on the tree.  My kids will grow up with some unique memories of Christmas.  I mostly remember Bing Crosby singing while decorating the tree as a kid.
I've posted the video below so you can get a touch of Jim.  He is a funny guy.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Light 'em if you've got 'em

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The other night Kathi was working so I was home with the kids.  After a long day at work this can be a trying time and usually ends up being a good time to work on my patience.  As the night progressed the kids grew more and more irritating and just wouldn't get off each others backs.  Eventually some unkind words were exchanged and tears flowed.  Both kids got sent to their rooms as I took a few to calm down and think of what to do next.

I sat on the couch and took a breather.  I let my mind wander as I thought of how to teach the kids instead of punish them.  Then it hit me, I'd have them make a list.  The list would be five things they like about their sibling.  Ah-ha, brilliant.  I called the kids down.

I sat them down with paper and pencil and explained their assignment.  They both agreed and seemed a bit excited about it.  That took me off guard.  The only question I got was from Alex who asked me if spelling mattered, I told him to do his best.  Here are the lists (spelled as written):

Brianna's List:
  • leaves me alone on weekends
  • playes with me sometimes
  • excanges christmas gifts willingly
  • wird
  • has pillow fights
Alex's List:
  • cool
  • ceoot
  • nicse
  • osume
  • grate
  • excellent
My favorite thing about the lists is Alex's spelling.  He gets cute, nice, and great wrong but excellent right?  That struck me funny.  The other thing I loved was when after sharing their lists with each other they wanted to change and modify them according to what the other said about them.  Goal reached!!! Conversation started.  The rest of the night went swimmingly.

I have osume kids.
The honest truth is that I have a ton to blog about.  Much of which I just can't, much of which I don't think I want to and much I just can't wrap my head around enough to put into coherent thought.  

Subjects on my mind...
  • The economy and who is to blame
  • Christians and why I don't like them
  • The end of the world
  • My latest dreamscapes
  • If I were to make a movie
  • Unanswered prayers
  • The difference between Memphis & Portland
  • Why I do what I don't want to and don't do what I do want to
  • If I wasn't raised in the church would I be saved today?
  • Why I don't live in Hawaii
  • Rights vs. Privileges
  • Coffee is the flavor...
  • What I fear for my children
If I can settle my mind and get some things done I'll tackle the topics above.  I've been contemplating moving my blog so maybe I'll wait and do it there.  Don't hold your breath.

Until then I'll post when I want about what I want and about things that are probably not that serious.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thread Count vs. Weight

I love it when it is cold.  Especially at night.  We keep our window open a crack to let the cold in.

The other night I heard an interview with a celebrity who talked about how his success has earned him a better thread count in his sheets.  I for one couldn't tell you what our thread count is in our sheets.  To me thread count is unimportant.  What is important is weight.  Not thread weight but overall sheet, blanket, and covers weight.

Call it some Freudian "want to be back in the womb" thing if you want but I love it when it is cold and I can pile on the weight.  The more the better.  You know the lead apron they put on you at the dentist when taking x-rays?  Well I love that part.  For all I care they can leave that on the whole time.  Maybe next time I'll ask them to.

So take your silky sheets and high thread count and give me the heavy weight of piled on blankets.

Which means they still made a profit.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

RIP: Michael Crichton


One of my favorite authors has died. Jurassic Park was a great read. I appreciated his research and attenion to detail all the while weaving a good tale.

My prayers in well wishes go out to his family.

Word has it there is still a novel to be released, I can't wait.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Lego's Are Huge

Friday night as I was trick-or-treating with the kids I noticed one thing - Lego's Are Huge.

Alex was a green Lego block for Halloween.

At one house we went to a 20-something guy answered the door.  All the kids were allowed to grab a handful of candy out of his bowl.  Since Alex's costume was a little cumbersome he was the last one to the door.  As he reached in the bowl and dumped his loot into his bag the guy at the door said "dude, grab another handful, your a Lego block and that is awesome".  It was said like a true Lego-maniac.

At another house a guy answered the door in costume and was playing the role of a psyco-crazy guy while handing out candy.  He moved slow and spoke in a deep and gravely voice to the kids.  Again Alex was the last to the door.  He played his role and as he turned to close the door he yelled up to his friends in his regular voice "Dudes, there's a kid who is a green Lego here."  At the window upstairs three sets of eyes appeared looking down for Alex.  I told Alex to turn and wave, he did and got a cheer we couldn't hear through the closed window.

Alex was a trooper in his box.  We hit an apartment complex that had stairs and it slowed him way down.  He had to sidestep all the way up and then hold his box up to his chin for the climb down.

All the other kids in our group had fun and creative costumes and raked in a load of goodies.  We had a good time.  We even trick-or-treated Burger King where the kids got a slushie, the toy of the month, and a handful of mints.  Brianna thought that it was the best part of the night.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dream World

A little bit ago I posted a dream I had that was very vivid and disturbing.  Thanks for the insight from those that posted responses.  Since then I have kept a journal of dreams that I remember in the morning.  When I wake up I take a shower then grab some coffee and sit with God for a bit and read his word.  Since God used dreams in the bible to speak to people I decided that I would add journaling my dreams to my time with Him in the morning.  I spend about 10 - 15 minutes writing our what I can remember from the nights journey into my subconscience depths.  I am amazed at what my head comes up with.  

Last night I shared the previous nights dream with Kathi and it had her laughing hard.  No, I won't be putting that one out for anyone to read.  As funny as it may have been, what was funny is also a bit embarrassing.  Sorry.

As I write them out I am amazed at what wanders through my mind at night and the clarity of what the mind creates.  Lately I have noticed that my mind creates places I have never been to and things that don't exist.  It is facinating how the mind works.  I've heard the statistic that our mind only uses 10% of its capability.  I wonder if my dream world is using the other 90% while I am sleeping.

As time goes on I will contemplate sharing the dreams that leave me with questions.  Until then I will dream on.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Obama Now Must Lose

I make no bones that I lean on the conservative side of politics.  I actually relate more to the Libertarians than I do the Republicans but only the Republicans have a viable candidate this election so I voted for McCain.  Yep.  Done, thanks to Oregon's mail in ballot.

Besides my leaning to the right I have another reason I'd like Obama to lose.  I don't like pre-win gloaters.  I keep hearing about the big bash that Obama's campaign is planning and it just rubs me wrong.  I know McCain's camp has something planned to but nobody is reporting on it.  Nobody is reporting on it because it is probably your standard run of the mill election night do-dad.  Obama's isn't.  It's going to be big.  Big like he's going to win.  What if he doesn't.  How embarrassing for him.  That's what I want to see.

It's like the football player celebrating before he reaches the goal line.  I want to see the Safety tag that guy at the one yard line and see him fumble.  It's like the bicyclist who raises his hands before he reaches the finish line and loses control of his bike.  That's a little sweet justice.  Bring a little humility to the prideful.  Take the egos down a notch.

The other thing is the big deal the media is making about Palin's wardrobe.  What did Obama's suits cost?  How about Biden's hair plugs and botox?  Obama's plane?  The fuel alone must be ridiculous.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Kids Say...

Heard at the table after I reheated leftovers for dinner:

Alex:  Dad, I am a good cook.

Me: Oh, yeah?

Brianna:  No you're not.

Alex:  Yeah, I can cook toast.

Brianna:  Oh, that's real hard.

Alex: Well at least I can plug in the toaster.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Get the Election Over With Already.

Have politics really come to this? Where is the civility. And to be fair to the left I've heard disturbing reports from comments and threats made at McCain/Palin rally's. In the famous words of Rodney King "Can't we all just get along?"

Here is your mission field Paul and Mer. Go to here to support the Ramey's who are taking this mission field on.

By the way, I am reading "Jesus for President" by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw. I recommend it for the content and for its unique design.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

They want $150 Billion more of our money.  Come on, when will it stop.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Dream Interpreter Needed

All my life I have had vivid dreams.  Some are based on reality and some are just plain nuts.  For the longest time I've wanted to start a dream journal but by the time I sit down to write them out they've become fuzzy and not worth recording.  Last night I had some doozy's, one in particular was just plain nuts.  I am used to the dreams were I show up late for a test I am not prepared for or the one where I forget my locker combination or the one where I am riding a motorcycle but have to push it like Fred Flintstone.  Those are normal. This one is not.

Since I was up early, I got in a shower and some Bible reading and decided that the dream was still fresh enough to write down.  Since I have a good record of it and some courage to share I will do just that.  Here it is.  Let me know what you think of this and if you think you know what it means.

We walked with a purpose through a new park in Portland.  This was no ordinary park and this was no ordinary group of people.  I was last in line behind a number of homeless people marching through a concrete tunnel.  My thoughts were that this park would become a haven for the homeless due to the homeless guys sleeping under the cushions on couches that lined the concrete tunnel.  Eventually the tunnel leads outside where we trudged up a small incline to a path along a small field of grass.  Along this path there was a sewer grate that was about shoulder height to me and filled with mud and junk.  As I passed this grate I heard a voice, it was the voice of a child.  The voice said “My daddy hurt me”.  There was no mistake, I heard the voice loud and clear.  No one else in our troop seemed to have heard the voice.  I stopped and looked into the grate and saw nothing but the debris that filled it.  I called out to the voice but it did not respond.  I picked up a stick and reached through the bars and dug at the gunk inside.  A moment later the stick was lifting the arm of a small child, and then a face appeared.  It was a mud covered face of a little girl of undetermined age.  I dialed 911 on my cell phone.  The operator was discussing a recipe with a coworker as she answered my call.  I quickly told her that I found the body of a little girl at the park.  I had to look up the street to find the crossroads at which the park was located.  Burnside and 11-22nd.  The group I was with had changed and so had the little girl.  As I turned back to her after hanging up with the 911 operator I noticed that the group I was with included my wife, and the little girl was now alive and sitting on the side of the grating.  She began to speak with me.  I don’t remember what we talked about, I only remember noticing that she had tattoo’s on her left shoulder.  When I asked about the tattoos she told me that she was getting more and one of them would say “Daddy loved me”.  From there the dream gets a bit sketchy in terms of clarity.  At one point the paramedics arrive and examine the girl.  They asked me if I touched the body and I said only with the stick and I outlined one of the tattoos on her shoulder with my finger tip.  At this point I don’t remember if the girl was still in her alive state, which was clean, or her dead state, which she was covered with the mud.  The paramedics were hovered over her and the dream ends.
So that's it.  A bit of CSI slash X-Files.  Somehow my head produced that out of conscience and unconscience memories.  I am just curious if it has meaning.  I think most dreams do I just can't imagine what the meaning of this one is.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Election Certainty

Tonights debate was boring.  It did nothing to solidify my choice or change it.  Both candidates appeared tired and uninterested and neither candidate said anything new.  Viewing the polls on various sites show that most of America feels the same way.

I will tell you this:  if one of the canditates in this election would have stood up against the "bailout" I would not only guarantee my vote for them I would have volunteered for them.  I know this is easy to say now but it is true.

So now I will say this:  the first candidate to state that the $850 Billion Crap Pie we were served was a mistake I will pledge my vote, a lawn sign, and volunteer my time for.

So, Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain take a new stand on the bailout package and I will pledge my support for you.  Anyone else with me?  Anyone else willing to make this pledge?

Thank you Mr. Defazio and Mr. Blumenauer for voting against it.

Friday, October 03, 2008

We Just Spent a $#!T Load of Money On a Turd

I am not happy about this financial bailout.  Not happy at all.

And look, they vote for the bailout, pass it, and... the stock market goes down -157.some odd points.  You read that right.   Down.  The market went D.O.W.N.  The package that was designed to save us and the market responds with a negative.  Yee-ikees peeps.

My prediction is that four years from now when we are gearing up for another Presidential election we will be hearing from the candidates on their position on the bailout.  Okay, I don't just predict it, I GUARANTEE it.  This bailout is a governmental CYA (Mom, that stands for Cover Your Ass) and it is going to lead to a bunch of I told you so's.  

And it took and extra $150 billion dollars of added whatever to pass it?  Come on.  President Bush, shame on you.  House members, shame on you.  Senators,  shame, shame.  You can't spend money you don't have, that is what got us into this mess in the first place.  Maybe what we need is for Dave Ramsey to run for office.  Dave are you up for it.

Bring on a true fiscal conservative, bring on Steve Forbes, bring on Ron Paul, bring on somebody with a head on their shoulders and not up their @ss.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sometimes We Need A Reminder

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Don't read it once.  Don't skim it.  Read it again.  Slowly.   It is wonderful and speaks to the greatness this country should hold to.

To read our Constitution go here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Retiring Soon

Today at work the obvious discussion was about the crash of the stock market and how it will affect us.  We decided that the biggest affect will probably be in our retirement accounts.

So, in order to prepare for our future retirement we decided to practice.

If you plan to retire someday you can follow along.  Here is what we did:

Sweeping our arms to the left we repeated "Welcome to Walmart, do you need a cart?"  
Then with a friendly wave and a smile we said in our friendliest of tones "Thank you for shopping at Walmart, do you need assistance to your car?"

Smiling wide we said "Would you like fries with that?" and "Would you like to Super Size that?"

For those not as easy on the eyes we had flick their wrists in an upward motion while holding a pretend spatula.  They had to do it 20 times a minute at three second intervals.

Others worked on holding a coffee cup with a penny in it while giving it a jingle and saying "Could you please spare a quarter?"

Now we are prepared for the inevitable retirement that our financial market has prepared for us.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Portland is a Beautiful City

Click on the image above to see a larger version.

Walking Portland

Today was an amazing day in Portland. It is hard to believe that it is almost October. We decided to take the kids and Owen down to the Eastside Promenade downtown Portland for a little walk. We walked down the path to the Steel Bridge and across to Waterfront Park then back. It pooped the kids and Owen out.

Here are some photos taken during the walk.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Wife Loves Me

I'll prove it.

She and the kids are gone for the week in Illinois visiting family and she still makes dinner for me every night.  Well really she made dinner for me for every night. My freezer is full of her yummy goodness.   Tonight when I got home I just pulled out some Cassoulette, put it in the 'wave and I was eating my wife's yummy cooking.

This beats my usual routine of picking up take-out each night.  Although it hurts the local Teriyaki market, this new plan is much more comforting.

Thanks for taking care of me hon.  I still miss you. 

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Church to Avoid

If you are looking for a church to attend make sure if you see a Travolta-Pulp-Fiction looking guy that you run.  Run for your life.  Run as if the devil is chasing you.  Here's why...

Brant, I can't thank you enough for the warning.

To My Lady


I'd sing it to you but my voice doesn't translate well on a blog.

I love you Kathi! You are the best.

Friday, September 12, 2008

These 3 Things

These are the three technologies I am enjoying:
  1. itunes Genius - it's like having Pandora for my music collection
  2. Google Chrome
  3. The Linksys router Joe gave me.  Geek friends Rock \m/[>.<]\m/

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Actors Are Dumb

Matt Damon Shut Up!

I say that with all sincerity.  Mrs. Palin is more qualified to be President than you are to be a political commentator.
I need to know if she really thinks dinosaurs were here 4000 years ago, that's an important...I want to know that. I really do. Because she's going to have the nuclear codes. I want to know if she thinks dinosaurs were here 4000 years ago. Or if she banned books or tried to ban books. We can't have that.
It will be news to you that there are Creationist out there, including yours truly, that believe that the earth is millions of years old.  I just happen to believe that God created it, not an accidental explosion or happenstance.  I agree that the Earth being 4,000 years old is a silly notion.  Just don't put all Creationists in a box.  Because if you do, your precious Mr. Obama needs to be put in that same tiny box.  He's a professed Christian which makes him a Creationist!  You should ask him, it will help you be more informed.
You do the actuary tables and there's a one out of three chance, if not more, that McCain doesn't survive his first term and it will be President Palin. And it really...we were talking about it's like a really bad Disney movie. The hockey mom. "I'm just a hockey mom from Alaska." And she's the president. And it's like she's facing down Vladimir Putin and using the folksy stuff she learned at the hockey rink. It's absurd. It's totally absurd. And I don't understand why more people aren't talking about how absurd it is. It's a really terrifying possibility. The fact that we've gotten this far and we're that close to this being a reality is crazy, crazy...
And you don't know anything about her?  That's one of your reasons for not liking her?  Come on, pay attention Bud.  Can't you read.  There is a ton of information floating out there on her including her politics, her past, her views, her family, her beliefs, her hieght, etc.  You've got over a month to catch up.  If you can't read watch YouTube videos.

Are you doing actuary tables?  Since when?

Let me just change your statement up a bit: You do the actuary tables and there's a one out of two chance that Obama will be President Palin. And it really...we were talking about it's like a really bad Disney movie. The community organizer. "I'm just a community organizer from Chicago." And he's the president. And it's like he's facing down Vladimir Putin and using the ghetto stuff he learned at the hood. It's absurd. It's totally absurd. And I don't understand why more people aren't talking about how absurd it is. It's a really terrifying possibility. The fact that we've gotten this far and we're that close to this being a reality is crazy, crazy...
She at least has Executive experience of which Obama has none.

Are you going to pull a Baldwin and threaten to move out of the country if John McCain is elected?  Are you that worried?

One more thing.  Have you seen this video?  What guy wouldn't like her after seeing this?

Matt, here is my offer to you:  Let's have dinner, my treat.  I think it is time for you to leave your Hollywood shelter for a while and get out and meet some average folks.  Better than treating you to dinner, you can come to our house and my wife will cook us up a yummy meal.  Yep, really, I have a wife that cooks for me.  After dinner we'll sit out back and drink a Pabst Blue Ribbon and smoke a $7 cigar.  That will give us a chance to talk.  I think you'll enjoy it.  Come.  My offer stands open ended.

PS:  I love your movies.  Except the Siamese twin one... that was stinky.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Saturday's Are Good

Saturday's are typically used to rest and relax.  Today was no exception.  No schedule to keep, no deadline to meet, just taking things as they come. We went and saw our friends new baby.  It is always fun to see new babies.  He is adorable.

Tonight we got rid of the girl for the night so we are hanging out with Alex who is currently impressing  us with his dance moves.  The best is
 the move he calls The Cramp; it is where he spins on the floor holding his leg with an anquished look on his face.

Earlier we played a mean game of The Game of Life; SpongeBob Squarepants Edition.
  Alex's choice.  During the game Kathi got a call which put the game on hold but not the hijinx.  Alex got into my motorcycle gear.  He thinks the air intake on the front is a speaker for talking.  

When the game was back on he ended up winning.  This is always a big deal, beating mom and dad.  I may lose a game of Life here and there but there is one game I don't lose playing, just ask Brianna. That game is Othello.  She loves to play me because she thinks she'll win someday.  Maybe she will, but for now it is no mercy.
  I show her my strategies and why I make one move over another to try and help her learn.  So far it hasn't sunk in.  The day it does and she beats me there will be great celebration in our house.

The dance is almost over and bedtime is on the horizon.  Nighty nite peeps.

Monday, September 01, 2008

God is in the Details

Jed Smith

I love the Redwoods! We just got back from our camping trip at Jedediah Smith State Park in Northern California. It is a wonderful park that sits along the banks of the Smith River.

When I was a kid we camped here and I have great memories from those trips. I hope to pass on those memories to my kids. So far I think I am. Every year Kathi and I say we are going to camp more but so far we've averaged about two trips a summer.

Owen had fun too.

Even Owen swam.

These trees are GIANORMOUS!