Sunday, December 24, 2006


As a retail dawg, Christmas becomes nothing more than customer service, get the book in the customers' hands, get their wallets open, get their money and get them out the door, and then repeat the process about a thousand times over the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Add overdone Christmas songs and you get the picture. It is a very tiring time of year. Its tiring for those who don't work retail, too, but for those of us in retail it can be especially trying when it comes to something as simple as buying Christmas presents for loved ones. Just the thought of going into a mall or a store is enough to make me just stay in my room and huddle in a corner.

But at the same time, there is something that I have that keeps me going. The fact that this is a celebration of Christ's birth. I watched a program about the history of Christmas a few weeks ago. And they said that many scholars believe that Christ was actually born sometime in the spring. Tonight while listening to Christmas story being read from the book of Luke I noticed that Luke wrote that "in the sixth month" was the census that took Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem. So, I pulled out my faithful ten fingers and did some math. Sixth month equals June. Nine months from June is April. Okay, I can dig that. Now, if I remember correctly, the calendar of Jesus' time was different than the one we use now. So the months might be screwed up, but that's okay, I don't think it makes that much of a deal.

I had to work until 630 this evening. So, I had to race to get to church on time, I probably broke a few speed laws, but I got there and it felt good to sit and participate in the service. All the songs were there, the scriptures, too. It felt good, like a glove. I sat along the edge of the church because I got there a bit late. My pastor made a point that I hadn't realy thought of before when he said that Jesus was wrapped in clothe twice: once at his birth and once at his death. That was circular to me and to my English major mind it was great symbolism and foreshadowing and all that good stuff.

Its lonely driving around on Christmas Eve night. Everything is closed. There is no place to eat and even most stores have their signs turned off. A few years ago, I was driving home from work and it was very cold. I mean really cold. I was hungry and I was on my way to church. I knew I needed something to eat, but I couldn't find anything until I came upon a Subway sandwich shop that was still open. It was next to a Chinese food restaraunt, that was open, but I didn't feel like I could that much of a holiday cliche at the time.

Merry Christmas everyone and may you all have a blessed and safe holiday.

Peace to all of you.

Friday, December 22, 2006

A New Hymnal-- a Semantic Rant, Sort of

The other day we got the new hymnal that has just been published by the Missouri Synod. I haven't really had an opportunity to look at it, but I did flip through the other day. I would really like to find a church that uses the new hymnal to see how it works "in action," if you will.

With the new hymnal, though, there is a bit of semantic problem and the only people that would understand this are fellow LCMS'ers. What do we call the new hymnal in shorthand? For the last twentysome years, yes I said the last twentysome years, the "newhymnal" was the "blue hymnal, the "oldhymnal" was the "red hymnal." This new New Hymnal is a funky burgandy color. So what do we call it? The New-new Hymnal, or the bestandbrightest Hymnal? What of the original "newhymnal?" Is it now the "Old-new hymnal?" We can stick with the "blue hymnal," though its not always blue. The "oldhymnal" the "redhymnal" or as I like to call it "the 5-15 hymnal" (again, that is a reference any self-respecting LCMS'er will get, is it to be called the "oldhymnal," "the original old hymnal" (which in fact that would be wrong because there were other hymnals before that one. I suppose we could call it "1941," the new hymnal could be the "1982" and the "newnew hymnal" could be the "aught-six."

Of course we could still just refer to the red hymnal as the "TLH" (aka The Lutheran Hymnal) the blue hymnal as LW (Lutheran Worship) and the burgandy, aught-six hymnal as the LSB (Lutheran Service Book)...

Sheesh... maybe we need a committee to find out the necessity for a committee to decided if we need a committee to figure out what to call it... we could just send the question to the CTCR and let them decide.

Yeah, that it.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Beginning of my Biography-- If I Were to Write One

"If you think you will find drunken escapades, drug fuel sex and out of body experiences you are sadly mistaken. Please, stop reading this book now. There is nothing of the sort. I will state here, right now, that I have been drunk more than a few times. I have had more than a few hangovers, but that is it. If you are planning on reading about me hitting bottom because of drink or drugs, please stop reading. It's not going to happen. It never did. Yes, I did hit the bottom of the barrel, but it wasn't because of addiction. My bottom-of-the-barrel was of the spiritual kind.

I have had a rather boring and vanilla life. My life has been and could probably be labeled 'boring.'"

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Emma, the newest member of the family

Emma smiles happy to be here.

The newest entry into the great traveling circus that is my life has done a great job of setting up shop. As most cats are want to do, she has made me her human and she is no longer my cat.

She likes to sleep, but she wakes up slow. When she does wake up, she tends to sit in the middle of the floor with her eyes closed and sways back and forth for a few minutes before she finally gets herself booted up all the way. She likes to sleep under the couch. She better enjoy that while she can, I'm sure she'll get to big for that eventually.

Most importantly, she seems to have been accepted by my other cat, four year old Woody. They've been running around and playing this evening. That's a good thing because Woody can certainly use the excercise. He's turned into a bit of tub.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

PornGuy in my Bookstore

There is a guy who comes to our store regularly. I suppose I could call him a customer, but it would only be in the lightest terms possible. I call him PornGuy. PornGuy is an older guy, probably in his seventies or so. He looks older than 65, but younger than 85, so I guesstimate him to be 70 or so. He is shorter than me, probably about 5'8" maybe 150 lbs soaking wet.

He used to come in and open our "sophisticates" (that's a fancy bookselling term for "adult magazines") and flip through them. There were two problems with this. First was if the sophisticate magazine is opened, that is out of outs plastic bag, we can't sell it, that's not that big a deal. We just throw magazines that don't sell into a box, slap a label on the box and ship 'em out and get credit for the unsold ones. So, in that regard, no big whoop. (We probably lose fifty percent, or more of our sophisticates through that means).

The second problem was much more severe. He started bugging our female employees and showing them the pictures in the magazines. We had to ask him to leave and finally my store manager kicked him out of the store and telling him not to return. That was a Sunday afternoon. I was there for that. It was actually kind of funny. My store manager is probably 6'1" close to 300 lbs. He's a big guy. This little PornGuy threatened to punch him in the nose... I think I'da paid to see that; well, the guy left and wasn't seen or heard from for a couple months.

PornGuy is back, but he doesn't look at our sophisticates any more. Now, he looks at the sexuality books (i.e. Joy of Sex, Kama Sutra, Penthouse Letters, etc) and the Gay and Lesbian books. That's all he looks at, he's usually there for a few hours reading. He slinks in and then kind of slinks out.

He's knows I watch him. I make it a point to walk by every-now-and-again and I let the management know when he has "graced us with his presence."

For a while, I wanted to punch the guy. He made me so angry that he was in my store, bugging our employees, and just being sleazy; my feelings have changed a bit. Now, instead of wanting to beat the living crap out of the guy, I feel almost pity. I feel kind of sad for the guy. He must be lonely. I don't know anything about the guy.

I've been thinking about him the last couple days when I've been driving home from work. I've found myself praying for him at night when I go to bed. He is a guy that is in the clutches of something. It is my fervant prayer that the Lord work in him and show him His Grace.

I'm not sure what I can say to him, particularly when I'm on the clock. I don't think my mental and emotional revulsion will allow me to say anything (that's my own Old Adam, I'm sure). So, I will continue to pray for him and watch him to make sure he doesn't bother anyone.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Its Cold...

The snow storm that we Indianapolis were waiting for with baited breath seems to have passed us by. I'm not complaing. I don't mind snow, so much, but I'm just not in the mood for it right now. Later on this month, maybe, but not right now. It was bitter cold today. I mean bitter cold. And the wind was blowing something fierce. I haven't experienced wind and wind gusts like I dealt with today. I literally had to lean into the wind to keep from being blown over by it. I'm not sure why the wind so vicious, I have a feeling it has something to do with the way the buildings on campus are situated. Maybe they form a wind tunnel of sorts, either way it was cold. When I got to the stairs I was pushed by the wind. That made for some interesting stepping. Then I got inside and it was and, as the phrase goes, "close." So my low-grade asthma kicked in and I was gasping for breath while my heart banged away in my chest. It was a little "touch and go" for about 15 minutes or so.

The wind its insane how hard the wind was blowing this morning. It whistled and buffeted the house all night.

THe little weather doo-hickey in the lower right hand corner tells me that it is 25 degrees outside and 11 degrees in the wind chill. I don't care what you say, that's cold. It's days like this that make me think, ever so quickly, fondly of Texas, but then I rethink that... *chuckles*

Emma, the princess cat, seems to be fitting well into the household. As I looked out the window this morning I reminded her how lucky she was that I had brought her in, she just blinked at me and sashaed over to her little food bowl and munched on her breakfast of kittenchow.

Ah, well,so be it.