Friday, December 31, 2004


A man said to the universe:
"Sir, I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."

-- Stephen Crane

The last figures I heard were somewhere around 121,000. It could of been more, but that was the last figures I remember hearing. I feel oddly detached to the whole tsunami thing in far east. 121,000 people are gone in an instant. Poof. When I first heard about it and saw some of the footage I immediately thought Hollywood already did that movie last year. I know that sounds horrible.

All I know is this one of the dead was an interpretor that a pastor friend of ours used when he taught at the Lutheran Seminary in Sri Lanka. This man had just finished translating the The Book of Concord into Sri Lankan language. This man and his wife were killed on the train that was washed away by the tsunami. That is just one of thousands. That's enough for me. I don't need to know any more.

The poem I quoted above has gotten me in trouble before. I quoted it one time and someone got all upset with me (this was in another place and another time) and decided I was an "evolutionist" (I'm not. For the record I believe wholeheartedly in the Creation as found in Genesis 1). I think the poem above just illistrates my feeling of me in the world. I am a very small portion a "cog" if you will. When something like a tsunami or earthquake or big rain storm happens I often think of that poem. Nature makes me feel so small, so inconsequential. Tiny.

I don't have much more to say about it. The tsunami is more like a feeling to me, I can't put my hat on it, its almost a theory. I don't know. I just don't know.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Mug 285

Today I did something that I have been thinking about doing for a while. I purchased a mug in Fox and Hound Mug Club. It was twenty-five bucks. The Fox and Hound is my northside watering hole. Its on the way home from work and a place for me to get a glass of suds. They serve beer three ways: bottle, 16 oz, and 23 oz glasses. I usually kick it with a 23 oz. Naturally, though, the 16 oz a bit cheaper then the 23 oz. Hence, my decision to get involved in the Mug Club.

Here's what I got for my twenty-five bucks:

-- One personalized mug (note: what that means is this: a white ceramic beer mug on which I scrawled my name with a Sharpy pen).

-- 23 oz mug of draft beer for the price of a pint (note: This is a good thing).

-- Free mug of beer on your birthday. (note: This is a good thing, too).

-- 1/2 price wings (note: this is a very good thing).

-- Lifetime membership.

My mug number is 285. I even have a little card to put in my wallet. I think that just about sums it all up.

Sunday, December 19, 2004


Tonight at work I started to talk like Vito Coleoene, the Godfather. It wasn't because I wanted to, at least not at first. I woke up this morning with a scratchy throat. It went as the day progressed, but when I got to work and after talking to customers for a few hours I started to get the scratchy feeling again and I could hear my voice starting to waver. So I made it a bit more airated and whispered a bit. That made my throat feel better. So I continued doing it the rest of the evening. The longer I did it the more "Godfather-esque" I started to sound. It was great fun.

I bought some Christmas cards today. Buying Christmas cards is always a big deal for me. This may sound funny, but I have a phobia of mailing cards. I know, get the white jacketed folks, quick, but its a weird thing. Now that I have bought the cards I will fill them out, address them. The trick is to get them stamped. Stamping them means I really have to send them. And in the back of my mind, no matter how silly the front part of my mind says it is, there is a little voice that says "they're" (not sure who THEY are, by the way) "are going to read these. They're watching you, right now..." But I've bought the cards. I'll mail them Monday. I must. It is essential.

For the Saturday before Christmas I thought it was actually quite slow this evening. We still did very well in sales, but I thought it would be busier, I'm not complaining per se, but well... maybe I am.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

World Gone Mad, Again

This is just... I can't think of a word other "sick." I mean, woman killing another woman and then taking her baby, let me rephrase that, doing a grissly C-section and surgically removing an almost to term baby from the dead mother's womb... what is the woman charged with... Kidnapping that resulted in death...? WHAT THE HELL! sounds like premediated murder to me. The Rev. mah-ROHN-eye Large, aka the Texas Mick (I really hope he doesn't mind me calling him that) has a great post on this. Check it out.

Reading the paper this morning was a tough thing. With that horrible story about the murdered mother on page one and a story about the choir director of Robert Schuller's Crystal Cathedral took his own life yesterday a few hours before a big Christmas program in a bathroom of the Crystal Cathedral. I hate suicide. I get so angry when I hear about it. I had a friend five years ago kill himself. It took me a very long to work through my anger and guilt-- I felt like I partially responsible, I won't get into that right now, maybe someother time.

I dunno, I just don't have much to write.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

oops, george.

(gary varvel, indianapolis star)

Okay, George, you've done pretty well so far, but you flubbed this one, I mean really.

Monday, December 13, 2004

"the knock"

i call it the knock. i still have it. i can hear it. i want to answer it, i really do, but i can't. i have reasons. i hope He understands. i really hope He does...

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

To Bloomington We Shall Go

I went to IU Basketball game tonight in Bloomington with a coworker. He has season tickets and he needed someone to go with him... hmmm, let me think about that for a second... pick me, pick me! It was a lot of fun, but the Hoosiers lost to Notre Dame for the first time in 13 home games. Neither team looked especially good, but IU looked horrid. I don't know a whole lot about basketball, but I can tell when a team just ain't clickin.

Here's a reason for the Texas Mick (aka mah-ROEN-eye) to roll up to Indiana someday: Irish Food. My coworker and I went to the Irish Lion for dinner. I had three pints of beer: a Guiness and two Bass Ales. They had these things called "yards" which were great big fluted glases with a big bulb at the bottom and a very long stem. Out waiter (who looked for everything in the world like a leprachaun) told us that a yard holds a little more then a pitcher of beer. I might of gone for it, but in the back of my mind I knew:
1. I was going to have to negotiate very steep, thin, concrete steps
2. once in my row at the basketball game breaking the seal would not be easy
3. Climbing over those in my row would be difficult at best and down right rude.

So I forewent the yard, but it is on my to-do list for sometime in the future.

Please Santa? Pretty Please? I've Been A Good Boy This Year....

Monday, December 06, 2004

Dig this: A Little "Follow the Leader," If You Will

This morning I sat down in front of my computer and dialed up my dial-up modem and commenced to (trudge) through the internet. I checked Jason's BlogTexas Cooking and nothing's going on over there. Then I checked Bek's Antisocial Blog and found out she has selfdiagnosed herself as having Adult ADD, sure why, not. Sounds like a good time. And then I went here, to Random Thoughts of a Confessional Lutheran. He has an interesting blog, I don't read very often, but it is entertaining. I think if I read more I'd dig it even more, he seems to have a good sense of humor. But while I was toolin around in his Blog I discovered a Blogcircles link that said something about Missouri Synod Blogs. So, I clicked on a Blog in that section that sounded interesting. It really wasn't, but that's okay. When I got to THAT blog I found another link Blogcircle link that said Con U at Austin Blog Ring it is hosted by I even found a blog of someone I worked with at camp oh so many summers ago. If I read her blog right she is in St. Louis teaching and, doh, of dohs!, she sounds to be hugged up. That's all right, good for her.

Sadly, though, I have to do some preparation for the upcoming armegeddon-- err, I mean the GRE test that I have to take in two week's time.

The Colt's tore up Jacksonville yesterday. Daaa-yum. If this isn't the Colt's year then I don't know what is. I only got to see the last quarter of the Steeler game and my stomach was in my throat as I watched the Steelers march down the field and get in position for their final field goal... it was good... whew.

Okay, enough stalling. Time to mosey on outta here and start the GRE prep.... *kicks a can* phooey.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

This One is For Mah-ROE-neye

My friend, one word: BACON!

Prep: 10 min
Bake: 50 min + cooling

3 cups biscuit/baking mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
Dash hot pepper sauce
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
12 bacon strips, cooked, and crumbled
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, combine the biscuit mix, milk, eggs, onion and pepper sauce just until moistened. Stir cheese, bacon and walnuts. spread into a greased 9 inche by 5 inche x 3 inche loaf pan.

Bake @ 350 degrees for 48-52 minutes or until toothpick poked in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield 1 loaf

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Personal Ministry Moment

I learned a couple things today. The first is in the state of Indiana it is Legal for one person to drink a pitcher of beer. How do I know this? It was a pitcher of beer the washed down my chicken wings that I had for lunch (yes, I know a very healthy lunch-- I'm gonna have to stop doing that. Its not good for me or my heart). I was shocked when I discovered this. A few weeks ago I went to my usual watering hole and had a couple beers. The bartender said I should just get a pitcher, it was cheaper. I'm still living with Texas liquor laws on my mind (as weird and bizarre as they were). I was under the assumption that you had to have at least two people working on a pitcher (that's the way it was in Texas) not so here in Indiana. So I had a pitcher of beer today and damn, was it good. And believe it or not I don't feel none the worse for wear.

The other thing I learned is this: porn makes me feel queezy. Really it does. It makes me feel sick to my stomach. Today was a day of sin for me. I had the day off and I was bored. I stopped off at the video store and bought a movie and rented a porn dvd, why? I haven't a clue. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Its been YEARS since I last rented porn, probably college... what's that five years? So I rented one today. I got home, put the disk in my computer and in a couple seconds flat I turned it off put it back in the little plastic case it came in and had nothing to do with it. I felt sick and it wasn't an I've-had-too-much-beer-and-wings kind of sick it was something deeper then that. It was almost a revoltion. I felt dirty and filthy inside. Empty. It was just such a base feeling, if you know what I mean. I can't really describe it. I've been out of sorts all night because of it. I feel like done something horribly and dispicably wrong. But I'm working on changing that feeling to one of hope. I am often brought back to "life" if you will by this:
...but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say.
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in ardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -- 2 Cor. 5(b)-11
The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984

There are things I know I need to work on. I know I'm not perfect. I'm not a big fan of those "Jesus Loves You" bumpersticker type things, but there is one that has really meant a lot to me: I'm not perfect, I'm forgiven. How true, how true indeed.

Then there is this:
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart
-- 2 Tim 2:22 That is easier said then done, but that's why we have both those lovely things called Law and Gospel, right?

There's more. This comes from 1 Corinthians chapter 10: "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

Let's hop over to my favorite book in the Bible and see what James has to say about this: "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. (James 1:12-18)

I am not perfect. I fall, alot. But as I've gotten older and become more sure of who I am and who God is I can see His Grace in my life. I am guilty, but because of a faith I have I am forgiven.

this is... i dunno what to say... frightening, maybe?

But mama is kinda cute, dontcha think?

Click here for Snarkyspot's Blog

This is funny on one level, but not so funny on many others. I'll admit I chuckled, but then really looked at the picture and kind of shivered.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

A Nugget

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for... And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. -- Hebrews 11: 1,2,6
The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.

I found this nugget the other day. I've read Hebrews before and it was one of those watershed moments in my faith development. Hebrews is one of those books that I shy away from. Its got almost too much for my little human brain to process. I don't often write down a verse to keep with me, but I did write down this one. Its in my wallet.

Gotta have that faith in my faith. A constant work and struggle.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Indianapolis Thoughts

Gary Varvel Indianapolis Star

Gary Varvel, again.

Its weird being in the middle of the sports world's collective eye. Well, I'm not in the middle of anything, but the spotlight of the world seems to have fallen squarely on my little neck of the world. And its probably going to get a little brighter tomorrow when the Colts beat up on the Detroit Lions in Detroit, purely in a football way, not in a fisticuffs-donnybrook kind of way as the NBA was wont to do last week. I wonder what kind of interesting signs we'll see in the stands. I wonder how many times we'll be subjected to replay of Ron Artest throwing haymakers at fans. Its been fun to watch Peyton Manning play. I decided today that it feels good to be a Colts fan, granted I didn't follow the Colts until I moved here, but I can already feel myself being a Fan and I don't mean a "fairweather" fan, either. Its kind of like my being a Pittsburgh Steelers fan (which I've been since I was a very little loof). I've ridden the waves of success and failure. So, too, with the Colts. So far the success has been great and I'm pretty sure they Colts (I almost said "We") will do very well in the post season.

I don't live in Indianapolis, I live about 12 miles south in what is effectionately called a "donut county." Basically that means that I live in a suburb of Indianapolis. Indy is a pretty nice city. It's nicer then Houston, not quite so busy and people don't seem to aim for you with their cars. Its more urbane then Austin was, but its in Chicago's shadow. Indianapolis has the Colts, the Pacers, and a Triple-A baseball team called Indians(a real original name, huh?) The NCAA has their headquarters here and, of course the world famous Indy 500 runs at the raceway on the westside of town. For a small midwestern city Indianapolis has a lot going for it.

Right now, though, the weather does leave a little to be desired. We seem to have gotten some of the rain that was plaguing Texas recently. Except its cold right now, so the rain is that much more unpleasant. So it must be wintertime, or getting darn close. That's cool with me, I'm ready for it.

This entry seems to have gone off somewhere and I can't bring it back. So be it.

Happy Thanksgiving all. God's Blessings.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Drought of Sorts

I spent six long years in Texas. I lived in Houston, which I really didn't like. It was too hot, too many people and well it was Houston. Actually, I lived in the Houston city limits, but I was 35 miles north of the center of Houston proper. I went to school in Austin-- a nice little school I like to call Con-You. It was a great school and I met a lot of cool people, one of which was Jason Mah-RONE-eye whose blog I found by accident a few weeks ago. Con-you is the place I discovered God. And the place I discovered the nectar of the Gods-- beer, this beer in particular: Shiner Bock

I drank alot of beer while I was at Con-you. Too much probably, but if you lived in the dorm I lived in what I just said was enough to get you ex-communicated: there was never too much beer, just never enough. Sadly, though, I can't get the beer I drank there here in Indy. I'd have to go to Kentucky to get it and I don't feel like driving down there. I discovered this beer and can't get it in Indy either. And that's too bad.

So I make due. About once a week and if I have some extra cash I'll go get some wings and a beer or three. Now my beer of choice is either Killians Red or Amber Boch, whichever is on special. Lately, though I have been jonesin for a Lone Star Tallboy right out of the ice cooler and plate filled with brisquet, sausage, ribs, a big fat roll, and a couple sides of cole slaw and tater salad. That hankerin might make it enough for me to scrounge some kiz-ash and find a way to get down to Texas. Maybe

Saturday, November 20, 2004

This is one of those What the F**k kind of things.

I woke up this morning and opened the paper to see the big headline announcing that the Indiana Pacers and The Detroit Pistons resulted to fisticuffs and had a donnybrook in the last 45 seconds of a game in which the Pacers were winning by a rather respectable margin. I watched footage of the brawl this morning on television. It was, to say the least, scary. Since when has basketball turned into a WWE main event. Basketball players should stay on the basketball court and not go into the stands and beat up on a fan who, in the heat of the moment, threw a full cup of beer at his chest. Not only is that dangerous, but stupid, if for no other reason than there are way more fans in the stands then basketball players. Suddenly, the phrase Me Against the World comes to mind.

Here's what happened: Ron Artest (who has been a bit of a problem this year for the Pacers) put a hard foul on a Piston player who let his displeasure be known. Both benches cleared and broke them up. The Pistons guy continued to go after Artest who was actually stretched out on the scorers table having taken himself out of it, at least for awhile. Suddenly, from the stands a full cup of beer or soda was hurled and landed square in the middle of Artest's chest. Now here is where it got stupid. Artest jumped into the stands and went looking for the nimnod that threw the cup. He started swinging at anybody that moved. Fans started swinging back. Another player from the Pacers went into the stands to ostensibly help Artest or to get him out of the stands, but he ended up throwing puches, too. It didn't stop there. The whole place erupted. Chairs started to fly and more bottles and cups. It looked like a good old fashioned riot. The players had to be pulled off the floor for their own security. Speaking of which... where was the SECURITY to begin with? That's something for the NBA to deal with.

Oh, here's the best part. The next time the Pacers and Pistons meet? Dec 25th at The Consenco Fieldhouse. It should be interesting to see what happens there.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


So, I decided to be smart and try and copy Penny's Diary, I kinda dig the little mood guys she has on her blog. I thought it'd be fun to put them on mine, too, but alas I'm not sure how or where to place the code I got from unkymoods. So I kind of cheated a bit and just posted the pic I chose using the little "pic insertion" (that sounds awfully raunchy doesn't it? I'm sure somewhere its even illegal or the moral equivalent to snail scum, that pic insertion is) help that was so kindly included on my screen (that was a horrible sentence, by the by).

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

This Answers a Question I Had

Gary Varvel, from The Indianapolis Star

The above cartoon was in the Indy Star this morning. I work for a large chain bookstore and the irony about the cartoon is that this afternoon I was walking around the store and I was happy to see that there weren't any Politicalbooks prominently displayed. They have all gone away. We have stacks of Michael Moore's book I don't think we've sold a copy of his book, that's an exageration, but not too far from the truth (something that Mssr Moore has a problem with).

I saw this earlier today. I just had to roll my eyes. It ranks right up with something I heard about on Craig's List it seems that some guy put an ad up looking to fight a Bush supporter. Crikey. Sheesh.

My dad and I were watching the news last night. The newscaster was busy saying how congress was going to try and work together and to heal the nation and then had a soundbite of a polisci prof say that congress was going to have to come together and find common ground. My father said "Yeah, what that means is the Right is going to have to move the Left and the Left will stay where it is." I thought that was awfully cynical, but truthful.

Friday, November 12, 2004

a poem not a poem

(for R.M. because she is more a writer than me)

i don’t think your writing is finished. i've hit a dry spell myself, but i've
been reading a lot more lately so i expect the muse to hit anytime now. it
better get going soon,

because i'm feeling stagnant... you'd better keep writing K. or i'll
kick your ass.
-- part of an email sent to me from a friend named ‘Bek

part i

writing a poem

is useless—

the only images i
have in

my head are of

shiny hospital
linoleum floors

i hear the soft murmured beeping
heart monitors(this does
give some comfort,
though)& i watch

the green
line bounce from
valley to peak

doctors speak
in quick jargon

filled medical
phrases while

i look from knowing
face to knowing face


for an englisH i
can understand
my nerves fire
my stomach clenches

my head has a dull throb (over
the left eye, where it hurts the
most)i’ll pop
before long—

part ii

these images
(backing up like
ironic rush hour

traffic)are not images
one should put in

a poem

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

What Happens Now?

I just heard that Yasar Arafat is dead and has, to misquote Kinky Friedman, been "bugled to Allah." Kinky Friedman. Now what? The Middle East is so unstable anyway. What now? I suppose we shall see. So now we get to see if Palestinians can get together.

Monday, November 08, 2004

More Thoughts on Faith. Mine in Particular

My father has been in the hospital twice in the last six weeks. The first time was in the middle of October. He has heart problems. Sadly, his heart is weak and its bad enough that the doctors are reluctant (translation: will not) to operate on him. The doctors are, and rightly so, afraid they wouldn't be able to get his heart started again.

The second time was last week. He passed out at home on Wednesday. Luckily I was home and behind him when it happened. He started to feel poorly and thought he was having a diabetes low (my dad has a plethera of health problems... thank God for the good health insurance he got from the church). He was headed back to the bathroom to put away his blood checking kit when he passed out. I was walking behind him because he was none too steady on his feet. I was surprised at how quicly I fell upon camp training I had when I was in college and had to learn CPR and how to spot someone when they fell back. I caught him under his armpits and lay him down gently (his feet started to kick violently as soon as I did that-- he came to quickly and almost clunked his head against mine, too). He was disoriented and pale. I called to my mom to contact 911. There is a firehouse and rescue squad literally around the corner. The 'squad was there before my mom hung up. He was strapped to a heavy duty gurney and whisked off to St. Francis Hospital. By the time I got to the hospital he was already tucked into the ER.

My dad has a defibrulator in his chest, he had another problem two years (he passed out in church a few months after we moved to Indy). At the ER doctors realized that his defibrulator was set too low. Basically there are two wires that go into my father's heart. One goes into the top of his heart and the other goes into the bottom. The bottom wire was set too low. So, with a little abracadabra and a "remote control" his defibrulator was fixed.

Does all this mean that my father is going to die next week? No. Hopefully, Lord willing, he will be around for many more years. As you can imagine, though, I have been a bit shaken up the last few weeks. One never likes to think about the eventual death of a parent. I liken the feeling to the first time one realizes that their mother and father actually had sex to conceive them (of course then its only that ONE time...) you know what I mean.

What does this all have to do with the title of this particular post? Its as good a place as any to start, I suppose. In Psalm 94:19 are these words: "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." Isn't that the truth. I didn't start praying for real until about six or seven years ago. I was a camp counselor and I had a cabin that was, to say the least, trying my patience. I was broken down and I had to reach out for something or someone. I didn't have a gun handy so I decided the best thing would be to pray. So I did. I remember waking up early and walking into the bathroom one morning and sat down on the floor and just opened up. I asked for guidance and assurances and patience... and more patience... by the time I was done I laid it all out. I don't remember making any demands or deals I just asked for "help." Or maybe James said it best: "... The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" James 5:16(b). I don't know if I was a particularly a righteous man, but I needed help. It was some of the good old fashioned ask, seek, knock stuff. I was answered, I found, and the door was opened that day.

I have been praying. Talking to God and asking for guidance and assurances. I don't know if that's the best way to go about it, but I have been. My faith has become stronger and the little pilot light is buring brigher. That's a good thing because I tend to be a natural cynic with the attitude of "prove it," or "show me." My father is doing well, he is up and about. I took him the mall today so that he could walk a bit. He's nervous to drive by himself (I think that is a healthy nervousness, too).

I've got more thoughts on faith bouncing around in my head that'll I will be writing about in the near future, but until then I'll leave you with this, one of my top favorite scriptures, Ephesians 3:21:

For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

loofrin is a Lutheran

What follows is a departure from my usual ranting. I have been thinking going in a different direction with this Blog.

I discovered just now that the bible I use is almost twenty years old. I got it when I was twelve back in '86. Its a Concordia Self-Study Bible, no self-respecting LCMS'er is without at least one. The CSS was published in 1985 or '86. Each church in the Missouri Synod got two as samples. Some how or another I inherited one of the samples from the church my father was then serving. It might be almost 20 years old, but its just starting to look broken in. It is heavily written in, underlined and I have notes written in the margins, the binding is stengthened with duct tape. In the back I have written down verses that have really moved me at some time or another. The inside cover is my favorite part and the most personal. I have a small collage of things I have picked up along the way that I have taped into it. Its sitting on my bed right now. This past summer I decided to read the thing from beginning to end. I did real well for a while, but the last few weeks I have bogged down. I got halfway through Psalms and pretty much stopped. I decided today that I needed to get back into the word. Believe it or not I can feel a distinct difference in my outlook on life and the way I feel about myself when I am in the Word. If nothing else, I sleep better after reading a chapter or even a verse before bed.

The way I look at faith is this: its a pilot light. Sometimes that pilot light burns brighter and sometimes the light dims, but its always burning. I think I need to get the light burning brighter. I'm looking for something, I'm not sure what it is-- answers, maybe, but to what questions? I haven't a clue.

I'm sure you've heard this phrase before "CH_ _ CH, what's missing? U R." Well, I take that a step further: "FA_TH, what's missing? The "I" is." There is no faith with the "I." Faith has always been something I have had to work on. Faith is a very personal thing. I haven't been all that good at sharing my faith. By nature I am a fairly quiet, sit in the corner type of guy. Once and a while I get prompted and talk about it. I have discovered over the years that I do have a talent for "breakin it down" in to real simple, easy to understand, bitesized pieces. My faith story isn't real interesting, but its mine and I'll share it asked, its just not a real, dare I say it, "sexy" story. This revelation is actually kind of ironic, my confirmation verse is this: "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, no one can snatch them out of my hand." (John 10: 27-28) I put a lot of credence in Confirmation verses. As silly as it might seem I have often felt that Confirmation verses often encapsulate a person's life without them even really knowing it. Sadly, we don't realize it until that verse is used as the basis for the deceased's funeral sermon.

I have been a Christian and a Lutheran all my life. I am careful to make that distinction. Christian first Lutheran second. I have discovered over time that it is easier to start with the things we agree on and then slowly take apart the things we don't. If I come at someone with the Lutheran first Christian second that can turn them off. Being a Lutheran is an identity. My screen name for almost ten years has been "loofrin" which is the way Lutheran is pronounced in New Orleans.

I seem to have left my "thesis" in the writing of this entry. I'm not really sure I even had a thesis going in-- just some thoughts that were running around in my head. I'll write more later.

Help A Brotha Out

Two questions:

1. How do I get my blog contents and "author" pic to start in the upper corner of my blog? (right now its down on the bottom under all the text and it just kind of annoys the Hell out of me).

2. How do I link other blogs to "you should read these ones,too" list?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Thoughts on the election

Wow, that's an awfully red map, isn't it? In this case red is good, or at least in this blog it is. The election has been settling in all day. I've been mulling over the endresults and I'm awed, shocked, a bit surprised and, believe it or not, a bit, how shall I put it, nervous. That last one probably shocks the two people that read this blog with any regularity. I'll tell you why I'm a bit nervous: with a Republican majority in both houses, and its a pretty sizable majority, it will be harder for check and balance of government. Maybe the Republicans will be able to get things started and they won't have much meddling from the other side of the aisle. Maybe. But at the same time I worry about them running roughshod over the country. I would of worried if the Democrats had taken both houses and the presidencey as well, probably more so.

The left has turned on itself right now. They are blaming each other for the defeat. From what I've heard, though, in a special edition ofNewsweek out today, Kerry himself is soundly blamed for the defeat and Bush is praised not so much for his win, but for his ability to have an organized campaign. That's simplifying the whole thing a bit too much probably (I'll try and get a hold of a copy of the magazine tomorrow, read it, and condense it in this blog. Most news sources I've heard or read today simply state it this way: George Bush stayed on message. It was simple straightforward and effective. Kerry spun his wheels and never got himself in the fast lane. Bush hammered away and Kerry got hammered.

Something else I've thought about today: Jefferson, I think it was, called election day a "bloodless revolution." How true. How many other countries have civil wars and coups that kill hundreds (if not thousands, perhaps millions) to elicit a change in power? We had a massive thing happen this week. That sounds hoaky to say it that way, but its true. It was a huge thing. After a year and half of verbal sparring, angry rhetoric and just plain campaining we went to the polls and voted. There was not bloodshed and no one died. Amazing. Even if you're upset about the end result you must be proud of the system: it worked.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Whew... Its Over, But Just Gettin Started, too

It seems like its been forever since I last posted in here and then I look at the date of my last post and realize that yeah, it has been. I think part of the reason I haven't written much is I just got tired of politics. I'd been satiated and saturated; in short, I was so done with it all, but I still managed to get involved and then became rapid with it again a few days before the election came to close.

I got involved by volunteering for the Mitch Daniels for Govenor campaign. I walked precincts on Monday. And let me tell you that hurt after a while. I walked up and down streets knocking on doors and ringing doorbells getting out the vote. When I was done my feet hurt, my knee throbbed and I was exhausted, but I felt good, real good. I felt confident my candidate was going to win. On the local level I knew the Republicans were going to have a good night and I knew that George W. was going to carry Indiana. That was confirmed by 6:30 Tuesday night. MyManMitch won and won big. He beat incumbent Joe Kernan by almost seven or eight points. It was a good night for Indiana Republicans on many fronts. Sadly, though we weren'e able to get rid of Evan Bayh (pronounced Buy). Which is something I don't quite understand. Here's Gary Varvel's take on it:

Here's the thing about Marvin Scott that I really don't understand: he lost. If you look at the poll data from Indiana, and I'll tell you what it says: the state is solidly "red" except for Marion County, which is where Indianapolis is located and some of the northern counties and a couple of the counties to the west that border Illinois, they tend to be "blue" counties. How could Marvin Scott lose? Answer? The Indiana GOP seemed to ignore his candiacy. Hell, I didn't even know he was running against Evan Bayh until about three weeks ago when he was mentioned in an editorial in the Indianapolis Star. I thought that was a horrible disgrace. Mitch Daniels pretty much swept Indiana, George Bush took something close to 60 percent of the vote from the Hoosier state, but Marvin Scott? I think he broke 30 percent. I think. That's a shame. Marvin Scott didn't have any name recognition. He was poorly funded and, as I said earlier, I think he may have been ignored by the GOP of Indiana. Or maybe the Indiana Republican Party just decided they couldn't beat the goliath named Bayh. Sadly, if there is such a thing as First Familes of Indiana then Bayh is one of them. My dad said recently that Evan Bayh was identified more then a Democrat; he has achieved the status of The Hoosier.

As a result of the work I did I met some politicians. Most were on the state level and county level. But I did meet Steve Buyer, well I shook his hand and had a short chat. I doubt he'd remember me if he met me on the street. He won his race handily, be the way.

On Tuesday, election day, or D-day, I volunteered again. This time I did some running for "wagon books" those basically voter registration rolls. What they do is this: a voter comes and votes and the poll admistrator marks their name off. What I and my partner did was go to a couple of polling spots and pick up the lists, took them back to the Mitch Daniels for Govenor HQ hand them off top the phone bank workers and they started calling the people that had not been checked off to 1. remind them to vote, 2. ask them to vote for Mitch Daniels, 3. Inform them that the polls close at 6 pm and ask if they knew where they voted and if they didn't get that information to them and then, 4. Find out if they needed a ride to the polls and if they did we would get one for them. It was all quite exciting and fun. It was fun to be with fellow Republicans and meeting new people. It was hard work, but good work. I'm going to drop by the Indiana State GOP office someday soon and find out how I stay in contact with them. I'll be attending Johnson County Republican luncheons every now and again, too.

Oh, yeah, I voted on Tuesday, too. It took me an hour and I waited in the rain and got good and wet, but I voted and it felt damn good, too. There is something about voting and taking part that really makes me feel good to be an American.

So now what? On the State level Republicans hold both houses. Same on the national level. This is a double edged sword. We will have two years to do something. Two years to prove ourselves and then, we'll have the dreaded "mid-term elections." Those mid-term elections are, in my humble estamation, sometimes even more important then "regular elections." Those mid-term elections are like progress reports. We have control of both houses on the state and national level, but if things go badly Republicans have no one to blame, but themselves and the electorate will let them know. I'm not being a fatalist here, I'm not saying that the Republicans will screw up, matter of fact I'm hoping and praying that we can do good things and get this country started again, but I am being a realist. We have work to do.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Still here... politics

I can't believe that Election Day is tomorrow. Seems like the political thing has been going on foooorever... I spent the day canvassing neighborhoods for my candidate for govenor (mitch daniels-- go to for details). It rained and was rather "raw" all day. It looks like it will be more of the same. The weather here looks like its going to go "red."

I heard on the news today something really disconcerting... there are, believe it or not, 33 mathmatically possible ways this election will end, get this, a dead-heat tie. 33! that's what the 33 means on the back of a Rolling Rock beer bottle! Gah! Who knew?!

Tomorrow I'm working again for the Mitch Daniesl campaign. I'll be doing some calling and trying to get the vote out. Its just so important. Its just so damned important.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Better Red Then Dead

I'm beginning to wonder if John Kerry really wants to be president. I'm starting think the ubiquitous October surprise will be John Kerry doing a Howard Dean impression. That'd be nice. I might actually pay to see it. I've had it up to here with John Kerry (hand to chin). I'm serious. He's just pissing me off now. Yesterday was a kicker. He was in Florida and he said "Its George Bush's fault that there isn't enough flu vacine!" Huh? If you going to blame any one blame the British. They are the ones that shut down the factory that manufactures the stuff for safety reasons, maybe we should be thanking them for looking out for us. Then John Kerry went on to say "If Halliburton made flu vaccine there would be more then enough." That's when I decided John Kerry was swinging at pitches that were in the dirt. He also insinuated that the flu vaccine was something else that George Bush outsourced. Actually, there isn't any profit in flu vaccines. They can't be kept for very long and the ones that don't get used have to be destroyed, however lets not forget that American companies are afraid to make the stuff... why? Because of people like the marionette John Edwards, trial lawyers. They afraid they'll get sued.

Here's something I saw in the Indianapolis Star on Saturday. It comes from the editorial page. I have a certain interest in this one, too, particularly since I'm a bookseller and I'm on the "front lines," if you will of the literary (and I use that term loosely) slobberknocker in the current affairs section. Anyway, here it is:
Here's a fun experiment: Drive to the nearest mega-bookstore and look for the tables and shelves stocked with new nonfiction. Because this is an election year (and one divisible by four) these displays will be top-heavy with politics.

You'll find books advocating a Republican sweep as well as treatises on why we should toss the bums out. You'll find books attacking the president for everything from gross incompetence to corporate corruption to environmental neglect. What you won't find is a great number of books critical of Sen. John Kerry.

The imbalance is striking -- so much so that I approached the help desk of the local Barnes & Noble and asked if I was missing something. On one side of the scales, you have a mountain of anti-Bush titles from authors great and small.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has brought out "Bushworld," a collection of her increasingly incoherent columns. Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter has written the book "What We've Lost," with the wonderfully chatty subtitle: "How the Bush Administration Has Curtailed Our Freedoms, Mortgaged Our Economy, Ravaged Our Environment, and Damaged Our Standing in the World."

Sen. Robert Byrd's thoughtful side is on display on the cover of his "Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency." The grand old pork barrel king of the Senate poses for the camera, his hand obscuring part of the grimace on his face so as to give readers the impression that these are Grave Concerns.

Former congressman Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has written the book "Crimes Against Nature," which accuses the administration of, well, must I really explain?

These are part of the new eruption of anti-Bush books, which are basically indistinguishable from the previous flow of books on the subject. Last year's "Stop Bush in 2004" has given way to this year's "Stop Bush Now!"

Even to many liberals, this is getting tiresome.

Matthew Yglesias, staff writer for the Washington-based progressive monthly American Prospect read seven anti-Bush books last year for a large review in the magazine. By the time he was done he joked in an e-mail that he wanted to write a book titled "Not So Bad: Why George W. Bush Is a Bad Guy But Hardly the Worst Guy In Human History."

There are few anti-Kerry books to balance against these. WND Books has published David Bossie's "The Many Faces of John Kerry" and Regnery Publishing has brought out the blockbuster "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry," but that's about the end of the list.

According to Regnery executive editor Harry Crocker III, the publisher has printed 850,000 copies to date, and the book is near the top of most bestseller lists. When I asked him why there weren't more anti-Kerry books for sale, he took the remarkably contrarian stance that there isn't a market for them, unless they're very well done. Crocker explained that for an anti-Kerry book to sell, it has to be exceptional, because liberal authors have something going for them that conservative authors don't: the frustration that comes with being out of power.

But it isn't clear that all the anti-Bush books, or the dearth of anti-Kerry books, will help swing the election against the president.

By bringing out so many anti-Bush books, the publishing industry has done three things that its mostly Democratic voters may soon regret.

First, it has boosted the president's stature: If this many people are attacking him, some voters are sure to reason, he must at least be effective.

Second, by airing so many frequent, sometimes over-the-top criticisms of Bush, publishers help color the opposition as a bunch of obsessives and crazies.

Finally, the shortage of anti-Kerry books helps to reinforce the senator's image as the candidate of a certain social class, and a lightweight to boot.

The suspicion is that the smart set refrains from criticizing Kerry because they can't stand the thought of a Bush victory, and also because they aren't sure he could take it.

And what post on politics would be complete with out a Gart Varvel cartoon. Again, from the Indianapolis Star.

I'm so ready for Election Day.

Friday, October 15, 2004

and then in other news (as if you thought i would really leave this alone?)


my dad came home from the hospital. he has new medications that will hopefully keep the plaque in his heart and and the heart muscle itself beating nicely for a bit while longer. it felt so good to see him when i came home from work today. really, it did, i almost cried. he has some restrictions and he has been put on an excercise program-- very low risk (for example he has to walk back and forth from end of the house to the other three times a day for five minutes)-- he will do these excercises, if i have to beat him.

in other news: i sent my application in for grad school last night. we'll see, i'm not so sure i'll get in, but nothing ventured nothing gained.

it rained all day. it was cold.

i got a fifty cent raise last week.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Father's Heart

My father is in the hospital. I took him to the emergency room on Friday morning at 0230. He was complaining of chest pains and indegistion, typical symptoms of a hearattack. He has had two heart attacks already in 1980 and 1989. We talked to a heart surgeon about the possibility of surgery, the verdict? He is not a candidate for open heart surgery. The surgeon said that he wasn't sure my father's heart would start up again after surgery. My father's heart is badly damaged from his early heart attacks. He has scar tissue, but he also has bad heart heredity. His father, grandfathers (paternal and maternal) as well as great grandfather all died from heart attacks or heart related illnesses.

The doctor told us that his heart is doing as well as it can, he is not in eminent danger of death, but his heart isn't going to be as strong in the next few years as it is now (in this case that word is a relative term).

So we will continue to monitor his health. I know he won't live forever, but I hope he'll have a great life for as long as he is allowed. My father is a very strong man. He has an incredible faith in Christ and he knows that he will have home when it is time to leave this one, its just that his room hasn't quite been finished yet.

I ask for you prayers for good health for my father. His name is Ernie.

Monday, October 11, 2004

poem es fini

i thought that


i’d write a poem tonight
while listening to music

my window is open &
the temperature is slowly


but as (per usual) the poem
i saw in my head has flown the
coop and gone south

i tried to chase it down
& make it submit to my


but a poem is like
a feral cat i

have to get used to that
& except it:

the poem
is lost to me

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Maybe They Won't do too Much Damage If We Send Them There

I've grown weary of it all

I heard something on the radio yesterday that bummed the hell out of me. I was listening to Tavis Smiley on NPR. He was interviewing two lawyers and, of course, they were talking about the presidential race (and as Tavis always does it became about the race of and for the presidential campaign), but he asked a question that basically went like this: "Will the election decide it? Will it be over on November 2nd?" Sadly, both lawyers said no. They both felt it was going to be thrown to the Supreme Court to decide that matter. I let out a groan. I have turned the corner on the whole presidential race thing. I am still voting for who I am voting for, but I have just gotten so damn tired of it all. And the thought that the election might be drug out for many more weeks after election day is something I am not really excited about. It is my sincere hope that whoever wins wins in a decisive manner. I do not think the country needs another 50-50 vote.

I watched the Vee-Pee debate the other night. I thought it was a good one. I heard a great quote that was written in the Washington Post: "It was like watching two pitbulls fight." How true. I thought it was more like watching two very angy prize fighters duke it out. Both got some good shots in, I didn't hear anything new and I kept hearing Edwards say that they have a plan for this and that and the other, but he didnt say anything about what those plans might be. I had to give Cheney props for nipping the your-daugher-is-gay-so-you-must-support-gay-marriage personal attack that Edwards mounted in the bud pretty quickly. Edwards seemed a bit upset that Cheney did not run with it or attack back. I think Cheney scored a good point there. I would call the debate a hard-fought draw.

Sadly, I have to work tomorrow so I won't be able to see the second Presidential debate. I may tape it so I can review it later. I think Dub-ya is going to come out swinging this time. He got took the first time, it is my sincere hope that he does not let that happen again.

I had to bite my tongue last night at work. There is this group that meets in the cafe at work. They started out as a "meet-up" group for Howard Dean, but when he self-destructed back in the primaries they kind of lay low for a few weeks until they could figure out who was going to be the "go to guy" for the Democrats. After Kerry became the front runner they started showing up again with their little buttons and placards touting Kerry/Edwards. Well last night they met again and there were two women who were preparing to pay for some things and they were busy having a political conversation about how wonderful John Kerry was and how angry they were and my blood really started to boil. I wanted so much to engage them, but i was afraid of a couple things: 1. I'm on the clock, company time and all. 2. It wouldn't be a discussion so much as a heated argument. 3. I didn't want to offend them telling them I thought they were pretty much wrong across the board (this goes back to number one, as well). So I literally chewed on the inside of my cheek. As they left I said quietly under my breath "See you November 2nd."

I realized the other day that I am so disgusted and my mind is so prejudiced again Johnkerry that I've become almost irrational. I do not hate the man, that's a loaded and evil word, but I just do not like him, at all. I get the same reaction to Johnkerry as I do soggy bread and mushrooms... I gag.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


The other day, while when I was driving to work, I passed an R.V. that was built on a bus chasis. It was beige and had some chrome on it. It was a beautiful creation: long, shiny, and looked like it was a very comfortable thing. It was pulling an H2 Hummer. I did a double take, and then I did some quick guestimation math and decided that I was looking at approximately (at the very least) 300,000 dollars on wheels. I thought to myself Wow, that guy has too much money. Maye he did. Then I chuckled to myself and said if the RV runs out of gas, he can just move the hummer to the front and tow the RV.

A coworker and I went out and had drinks after work yesterday. We drank four beers apiece over approximately two hours and we stuffed ourselves with chips and queso (which was very good, by the way). I hadn't done that in a while, just gone out and had a relaxing drink with a friend. I could of stayed and imbibed more, but the fact that I had to drive weighed on my mind. The other thing was this: even at 2.24 a pint it adds up pretty quick. I don't know if its a result of the drinking, butI just feel relaxed right now. Just comfortable. Chilled. So, right now, I am drinking a cup of coffee (the second of the morning) and listening to Diane Reims on the radio.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Senator Flip-flop

Politics, again

I just finished watching the "debate," if you can call it that. Who won? I'm not sure, but I'd say that George Bush drew first blood. It was about 20 minutes into the thing when I heard John Kerry mutter angrily "I'll scrap the rules if you want." John Kerry got angry, quick and I really don't think he ever quite recovered.

Neither Bush, nor Kerry said anything new. Kerry said he had a "better plan" for everything, yet he was very, very vague on specifics. He did say that he would bring in help and allies for the Irag-thing. I'm not sure who, though. The French or the Germans? Does he think that just because he's elected he'll be able to ge them to get off their collective European asses and help? Yeah, right. I'd rather the French stick to wine and the Germans to beer. I'm quite happy to have the Brits. Of course George kept coming back to the "we must stay the course," and "we are safer now then four years ago." Maybe we are and maybe we should, I don't know.

I listened to part of the debate on the radio on my way home from work. John Kerry sounded like someone on stage waiting to recite, by rote, something he worked very hard to memorize. Bush on the other hand sounded like he was prepared, but a bit nervous. He stammered a bit, but that's the way he talks. Once he got going he was tough.

I got home and watched the rest of it on television. Was it me or did you get the impression that Bush and Kerry really don't like each other. I'm serious.

I'm still voting for Bush on November 2. Matter of fact I've been thinking about registering in Chicago so I can vote early and vote often... lol. I'm kidding. The only problem I'm having this election year is who to vote for govenor. I'm leaning towards Mitch Daniels, the challenger to Joe Kernan. I'm not real happy with Kernan, but I realize he inherited many of the problems when he was sworn in after Gov. O'Banion died. (O'Banion was a schnook). But I'm thinking it might be time to clean statehouse and give Daniels a try. (Oh, Daniels is Republican and Kernan is a Deomocrat). The problem with Indian Democrats and Indiana Republicans is very thin hairs. Drives me nuts.

I must appologize to the whole two people that read this blog with any regularity about being so political here. I'm not generally a political guy. I don't talk politics. But I've found myself needing to vent and its safer here in cyberworld then in the realworld.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Click here, first, then read my post.

What's happening to Indianapolis? Two cops have been killed in the line of duty in the last six weeks. One, Officer Timothy Laird was killed by a high-powered rifle shot to the neck early in the morning about five weeks ago. He was responding to a call of a man armed and dangerous. The man had killed his mother and was armed with a very high powered rifle. The man was killed by police.

Yesterday, at Butler University, a private university on the north side of Indianapolis a campus police officer was shot and killed. His killer was killed shortly afterwards.

Indianapolis has seemed to me to be a little bubble against the outside world. They have their typical metropolitan problems: stretched budget, school problems, trying to keep their football team. But its still a pretty safe place. I feel very safe walking around downtown. I haven't had any problems, and even the "bad areas" aren't that bad. Its just a bit shocking to read about two police officers' deaths. Its not something one expects in a city like Indianapolis.

It makes me sick. Absolutely disgusted.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

More Dan Rather

Is it me or has it been just a gas to watch old Dan Rather squirm the last day or so. He got caught and you know what he HAS millions of witnesses. Yo, Danny! You SO rock! This was in the Indianapolis Star this morning. Gotta love it!

You're Not Going to Like This Post

I've been sitting here the last couple days trying to figure it all out. I mean everything. Everything. Everything. Everything. And I haven't been able to figure out anything, period, but that's not new. Indeed, not. Nope, not new at all.

I heard on the television that Iraqi insurgents beheaded another American today. If they are trying to make fear them their doing a piss-poor job. I'm getting angry and thinking maybe we need MORE military action in Iraq. Here's the thing that really gets me: they say, on the news, that video was released on a "militant webpage." How do these newscasters find out about that? Does some one email them thusly:
Greetings in the name of Allah. We have beheaded another one of your imperialist dogs. For great footage go to

The next question is this who's the sorry sap that has to click on the link and see it? Anyone want to guess how long it will take before one of these 24-hour newscast will either by accident or on purpose or perhaps accidently-on-purpose show one of these decapatations.

Cowards. Hiding behind their heavy black scarves and head coverings while shouting anti-Ameircan slogans and threatening unarmed workers. It is my sincere hope that when the cowards die they are sent to hell and are forced to have sex with 72 old, used up prostitues with festering sores and herpes.

Here maybe this'll lighten up the mood. I snagged it from Allah hisself. Cheers:

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

World gone mad

Today Laura Bush, our esteemed First Lady, came to Indianapolis for dinner. More importantly she came to Indianapolis for a fund raising dinner. Here's the catch, I could of eaten dinner with Mrs Bush. Really I could of, but well for one itty bitty problem. I don't have an extra 25k just laying around. You read that right 25,000 dollars (actually that was per couple) to eat dinner with the first lady. I'm going on record here to say this: I've never paid fifty bucks for a single meal let alone 25,000. Now, before you all start screaming and saying "See, see! Lookit that!" Let me say this: "John Kerry would of done the same thing. Or maybe he would of just asked Teresa Heinz-Kerry for a loancheck. I don't know and I reall don't care. I found it amazing that anyone would be willing to pay that much for dinner, period.

In other news, this:
. It seems that a father's rights organization member decided he wanted to give his organization some publicity. So he dressed up as Batman, scaled a fence (an iron gate), climbed up a wall, and took residence on the Royal Porch of Buckingham Palace. He seems to think that British courts are unfair with visitation and custody rights for fathers. Hmm, I dunno about you, but seeing that bloke up there makes me think that maybe, just maybe the Brits have something there. Here, read it for yourself. A world gone mad I tell you.

Sometimes I think that R.E.M. got it right when they sang "Its the end of the world as we know it..." and then went on to ask the question "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" Really, I find myself just staring at the world and asking myself "what da fuck...?" Or maybe, even Areosmith had it right when they sang "Something wrong with the world today... I don't know what it is." Yeah, indeed.

Another tid-bit I saw on the news today: some guy was involved in a highspeed chase. He slowed down, opened his door, and set a baby carry down in the middle of the road. Closed his door and then roared off again. He was killed minutes later after he lost control of his car. Meanwhile, police scrambled to get the car seat (which contained a baby) out of the middle of the road before someone hit it. Speaking of cars hitting something:

On Saturday I was a half-hour late to work. On Route 69 north (headed towards Ft. Wayne) someone had lost a mattress they were carrying. It fell off the back of their truck or something to that effect. Needless to say, there was a mattress in the middle of the goddamn road. Cars swerved and missed the mattress. Well they did, except for one: a Lincoln. The guy driving that car didn't see and couldn't do evasive action fast enough to miss the mattress. He ran over the thing and as a result was stopped dead in the road. Meanwhile a pickup truck going approximate 60 miles an hour slammed into the back of the Lincoln that was stuck on top of the mattress. You can put two and two together, I'm sure. Needless to say they closed down 69 north. Which then caused the on ramp from 465 north to 69 north to be closed. That caused a backup on 465 (in which your humble narrator was afflicted). Its no fun being late for work and not going any faster then four miles an hour. It is truly frustrating. That's when I thank my lucky stars for NPR or a good cd. It helps pass the time. I got to work, eventually.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

In rememberance

We'll never forget. America.

I wish for normalcy

September 10th is such a strange for me. I found myself calling today "the anniversary of the last day of normalcy." How true. How friggin true. I'm looking at my little clock in the left hand corner of my computer screen. Its officially September 11th, now. In less then eight hours, three years ago, hell will launch forth. That's how I've felt all day. I know what's going to happen three years ago and there's nothing I can do to stop it. I don't have a Delorian or a wispy haired professor that can explain the space time continuum or relativity so I can't go back and change anything. I know what is going to happen in less then 8 hours from now three years ago.

It seems such a long time ago, though, doesn't it? 2001 was only three years ago, but it seems much much longer then that. Here's my theory why: we hear about it every blessed day. A day doesn't go by that the phrase nineeleven or septembereleventh is uttered. Sometimes multiple times in the same sentence. I've stopped watching the news, I've grown tired of it. I can't handle it. I'm a wimp.

So, in eight hours three years ago my mom will be yelling at me, telling me a plane just slammed into the World Trade Center. I'll roll over, thinking its just a small plane. A few mintues later my mom will yell again. I'll be awake now. Sitting in front of the television. I won't move, except to run to my room to get online and write post on my online diary. Later on three years ago I'll go to work peddling books. No one will be there. I won't want to be there, but I'll be there. When I get home I'll watch three or four more hours of it. I'll see the flood lights illuminate the smoking ruins. I'll sleep and wake up the next morning, September 12th and be convinced that it was just a bad dream or really well done Hollywood movie and Arnold or Bruce actually did walk out of the building with a grin and a girl. I'll be brought back to Earth when I see it in the paper.

I hope someday we can get back to the feeling we had, but didn't know we had, on September 10th. That was such a nice feeling, in retrospect. I miss it. I long for it. I wish for it.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

I'll let this one speak for itself

(*note: a friend of mine sent this to me recently. I thought it was worthwhile posting here).

Dear Senator Kerry:

Since it has become clear that you will probably be the Democratic nominee for President, I have spent a great deal of time researching your war record and your record as a professional politician. The reason is simple, you aspire to be the Commander in Chief who would lead my sons and their fellow soldiers in time of war. I simply wanted to know if you possess the necessary qualifications to be trusted in that respect.

You see, I belong to a family of proud U.S. veterans. I was a Captain in the Army Reserve, my father was a decorated Lieutenant in World War II; and I have four sons who have either served, or are currently serving in the military. The oldest is an Army Lieutenant still on active duty in Afghanistan after already being honored for his service in Iraq. The youngest is an E-4 with the military police. His National Guard unit just finished their second tour of active duty, including six months in Guantanamo Bay. My two other sons have served in the national guard and the navy.

In looking at your record I found myself comparing it not only to that of my father and my sons, but to the people they served with. My father served with the 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion in Europe. They landed on Utah Beach and fought for 317 straight days including the Cherbourg Peninsula, Aachen, the Hurtgen Forest, and the Battle of the Bulge. You earned a Silver Star in Vietnam for chasing down and finishing off a wounded and retreating enemy soldier. My father won a Bronze Star for single handedly charging and knocking out a German machine gun nest that had his men pinned down. You received three purple hearts for what appears to be three minor scratches. In fact you only missed a combined total of two days of duty for these wounds. The men of my father's unit, the 87th, had to be admonished by their commanding officer because: "It has been brought to our attention that some men are covering up wounds and refusing medical attention for fear of being evacuated and permanently separated from this organization..." It was also a common problem for seriously wounded soldiers to go AWOL from hospitals in order to rejoin their units. You used your three purple hearts to leave Vietnam early.

My oldest boy came home from Iraq with numerous commendations and then proceeded to volunteer to go to Afghanistan and from there back to Iraq again. My sons and father have never had anything but the highest regard and respect for their fellow soldiers. Yet, you came home to publicly charge your fellow fighting men with being war criminals and to urge their defeat by the enemy. You even wrote a book that had a cover which mocked the heroism of the U.S. Marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima. Our current crop of soldiers has a philosophy that no one gets left behind; and they have practiced that from Somalia to the battlefields of the Middle East. Yet as chairman of a Senate committee looking into allegations that many of your fellow servicemen had been left behind as prisoners in Vietnam, you chose to defend the brutal Vietnamese regime. You even went so far as to refer to the families of the POWs and MIAs as Professional malcontents, conspiracy mongers, con artists, and dime-store Rambos.

As a Senator you voted against the 1991 Gulf War, and have repeatedly voted against funds to supply our troops with the best equipment, and against money to improve our intelligence capability. I find this particularly ironic since as a Presidential candidate you are highly critical of our pre-war intelligence in Iraq. However, you did vote to authorize the President to go to war, but have since proceeded to do everything you can to undermine the efforts of our government and our troops to win. Is this what our fighting men and women can expect of you if you are their Commander in Chief? Will you gladly send them to war, only to then aid the enemy by undermining the morale of our troops and cutting off the weapons they need to win?

Our country is at war Senator, and as has been the case in every war since the American Revolution, a member of my family is serving their country during the war. Now you want me to trust you to lead my sons in this fight.

Sorry Senator, but when I compare your record to those who have fought and died for this nation, and are currently fighting and dying, the answer is not just no, but Hell No!


Michael Connelly February 14, 2004 Dallas, Texas

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Late drinking

Robin Williams, the great comic, once said, and I quote: "If alcohol is a crutch then Jack Daniels is the wheel chair." I tend to go for the cheaper drunk. I'm a Jim Beam man. If I can get it, I'll drink J.D., but I became a J.B. man in college. I mean, when you're in college the difference between a fifth of Jim Beam and Jack Daniels is the price of a cheap sixer. Always go for the cheaper shit, right? (As I've matured I have discovered that cheap beer is not necessarily the best way to go... fyi and disclaimer all at the same time). So, to get back to Robin Williams: maybe Jack Daniels is the wheelchair; let's call Jim Beam the wallker, shall we? That sounds like a good idea.

I wrote a poem tonight on my way home from work. This is a big deal for me. I write poetry. It may not be very good poetry, but I write it. The fact that I wrote a poem is important, at least to me. Why? I have had some serious writers block lately. Its been horrible. I haven't been able to write anything. Tonight, though, I wrote something. Here it is:

humidity stacks up
on my shoulders pushing


shallow breaths &
a subtle whistle—a hanged
man breaths better

air thick like
thighs & wet like
just finished

sheets tangled


I'm not sure it will win any big awards, but the very fact that it was written is a big step for me. I'm going to buy the book Poetry Markert and I'm going to force myself to submit poetry to lit journals. I'm sure I'll get a drawer full of rejection notices, but damnit, I want to be published. "Self- publishing" on the 'net doesn't count either. I want someone to say "K, your poetry is very good. We want to publish the poems you sent to us." I want that.

Friday, September 03, 2004

This last week I have been making it a point to buy the New York Times. I have quite enjoyed the coverage of the RNC in New York. Some of the articles contained in the special section for the convention have been just fun to read and sometimes they were a bit, dare I say, tongune-in-cheek. For a conservative, like myself, sometimes reading the New York Times can be a tough pill to swallow, but, for the most part, I do enjoy reading it.

I read the whole thing. The front on through the last page. I might not read every article, but I have a pretty good grasp of various articles-- I am an unrefomred headlines and first paragraph reader, though, more often not, I do find myself going further into more articles.

Yesterday I bought the Times and was disgusted by the picture on the front page. It was a rather large picture, slightly off center. There were two suicide bombs set off in Israel on Tuesday that destroyed two buses and killed scores of people. The picture on the front page was of a dead woman hanging out of a window, dead. Her blood smeared on the side of the dark blue bus. I found that to be disgusting in all kinds of ways. The least of which was I really didn't need to see the picture. It was just an unpleasant way to start the day. I instantly felt sorry and disgusted for the family of the dead woman. Who needs to see their dead relative splashed on the front page of a major newspaper. No one. The only words that came to mind were: yellow journalism.

I was saddened to see in the obituaries that Indian Larry was killed in an accident over the weekend at a motorcycle rally. I didn't know Indian Larry, but I'd seen him on television a couple times. He was featured on some Discovery Channel "chopper shows" he was usually hanging out with Jessie James. I remember one time watching a show that he was on and he did a trick. He got his bike moving as fast as he could and then STOOD up on the seat, balanced himself and rode it out. I remember thinking at the time that he was going to kill himself doing that and sadly, that's how he died. He was doing his "trademark" stunt and fell off the bike. It assumed he was blinded by the sun and lost balance because of that, but they aren't really sure. It's just sad. Indian Larry was one of thos American Originals that just seems far and few between lately.

I just finished watching the RNC and I must say. The Republicans did a great job. Okay, I'm the first to admit I'm a Republican. I'm voting Republican in Novemember, matter of fact I can't wait to do so. But I tried to watch the convention with impartial eye. It was hard, but I tried. I thought the RNC was much more forward thinking and optimisic. The DNC just seemed to wallow in dispair and disgust. The Republicans did a great job of defining and boxing in John Kerry. The DNC just seemed never to get their steam going. Okay, Senator Miller from Georgia (D) might have gone a bit too far a couple times, but that's the difference between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans aren't afraid to step up and say what they mean. Democrats always seem to be more worried about not offending any one or what a particular poll says. I really don't think the election is going to be as close as some are saying. I do believe that Geore W. Bush will defet John Kerry in Novemember. It won't be a slam-dunk, but I'm pretty sure we won't have to worry about hanging chads or the Supreme Court.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

More books

I just borrowed this book from the library yesterday. I think I'll give it a go. Its not a political book, per se. By that I mean its not, at least it doesn't so right now, a book that is "partisan," if you will. Its a book that seems to trace the conservative movement on side of a coin and on the other how the rest of the world views our country and the way we do things. It should be an interesting read. I hope it is because I am planning to buy it sometime soon.

I'm also planning to buy this book soon, too. I started reading it a few months ago, but was side tracked by other books and other life stuff. You know how that goes. I suppose, to be fair, I'll have to buy and read this book. It will probably teach me something and, believe it or not, I'm not afraid to learn.

. Now, this book... this book sounds fantastic! I've heard it described as "Harry Potter for adults" (who says the Harry Potter books aren't for adults? I've read the series twice and can't wait for the sixth book to come out!) and I've also heard it described as "JK Rowling on steroids." Perhaps its best for you to go and dig it yourself you'll get the feel for it. Its a friggin huge book. It comes in two different covers: black and white. I'm all about the black cover mainly because the white one gets dirty quicker.

I just finished reading this book yesterday. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't all that great either. I tried to read it four years ago when it first came out and didn't have any luck. I didn't get much further then the first 70 pages or so. If there are any comic book fans out there that read this little blog you may dig this. I'm not the biggest comic book fan, I did collect for a short while in college, but I didn't get all that involved.

My biggest problem with the book was this: I felt it was over written. Michael Chabon used too many words or at least awfully poetic ones that sometimes got in the way of the story (sometimes I just skipped over them... he used words I've seen before).

Here's the basic story: Pre World War II. European Jew escapes Prague by way of Japan (Joe Kavalier). He is spirited away in a large box containing a Golem (a Jewish totem/mythical creature/saviour). Kavalier is a trained escape artist. When he gets out of Prague he gets out of the box with the golem and finds his way to New York City. There he is united with his cousin (Sam Clay). Clay is an aspiring comic book artist-- he has the ideas just not the talent for it. Believe it or not Kavalier is a hell of an artist. They hook up and become partners and come up with a comic book character called "The Escapist" who fights the Nazi's and all naught totalitarian governments. Joe tries to get his kid brother out of Europe something bad happens. Clay finds out discovers he's gay. Kavalier has a girlfriend, she's pregnant, but guess what... japenese attack Pearl Harbor. Kavalier runs off to join the navy (he doesn't know that his girlfriend is preggers). Clay steps in and marries Kavalier's girlfriend. Blah... blah... blah... blah. I can't go any further. Read the book if you want to find out more.

I'm just a reading fool I guess. Oh well, it could be worse.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Literary Slobberknocker

Okay, I'm tired of it. I'm totally serious, I'm sick and tired of it all. I want it to stop. Stop killing trees, stop using ink. Just make it stop. I'm tired of the the Literary Slobberknocker (and I use the term "literary" very loosely here) that is taking place in the current affairs section of the bookstore. We can't keep this book in stock:. Its amazing; the book comes, the book is sold out in less then eight hours. It is on fire. Or, if you want feel free to click here for books about (for and against) one George W. Bush. I believe its the Left's turn this week to release their books about how evil George W. Bush is, last week the Right had its turn. Next week the Right will be up to bat again. I have made it a point not to read any of them. I have read one book about George W. Bush this year and this is it: I liked it. I learned alot about the family Bush. I can understand where Dubyah is coming from.

I did read one book this year that I really enjoyed and learned a lot from. This book was just fantastic. I learned so much from it. Its sad to say that Alexaner Hamilton's enemies outlived him by 50 years. He has his mug on the ten dollar bill, but that's about it. We, as Americans, don't really know much about him-- much to our discredit. If you compare Hamilton's views of government and economy versus Thomas Jefferson's you'd see that Hamilton actually had it more correct. Basically, Hamilton set up our government. I'd recommend this book. Its really worth the read.
There are two books, though that I am really looking forward to: and this one, too . I've read everything by him, well except for one of his mysterires that came out earlier this year. I have it, its signed (I saw him in Louisville a few months back) but i haven't read it yet. I'm an unabashed Kinky Friedman fan. Matter of fact, now that I mention it, this: . Yeah, that's right, The Kinkstah is running for govenor of Texas, trust me on this one: I lived in Texas for six long years... The Kinkstah might be really good for Texas.

p.s. dig the bad html stuff, eh?

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Defeat John Kerry in '04!

So, John Kerry has decided to "lodge a complaint" with the government over the fact that there are some guys out there who have paid for ad time that state that John Kerry is full of shit when it comes to his Vietnam "exploits." Oh, yeah, John, that's good. Do that. Just proves to me, again, why you shouldn't be the ruler of the free world. Instead of standing up for yourself and trying to prove them wrong, you ask run to "teacher" and say the big kids are picking on you. Aww, poor John. Here, want a hankie? Suddenly, I'm hearing people saying Vietnam service shouldn't be an issue. Why not? Johny Kerry is the one who based his whole campaign on the fact that he was in Vietnam.....for four months, but don't tell anyone that last part. In four months John Kerry got three purple hearts. THREE! I guess he kept forgetting to duck.

John Kerry tells us we need to fight a "sensitive war on terror." I tell you what John Kerry, why don't you go to each and every family that lost someone on 9/11 and tell them that, I'd like to be there for that. Ah, I love the word "sensitive." That's such a good twenty-five cent liberal word. It gives me such a warm fuzzy. John Kerry, there's nothing sensitive or comapssionate about the times we are in. They drew first blood, to borrow a quote from a popular 80's flick. They drew first blood.

And I'm supposed to feel better about your toothy puppet of a vee-pee candidate? I hear John Edwards talk and keep my hand on my wallet. I feel like I need a bath everytime I hear him speak. He's a trial lawyer, a highly paid, legal con-man.

What do you stand for John Kerry? I can't keep up. You move this way and that, as soon as some light is put on a position, you run to the dark again and make me work. You remind me of a political cockroach.

Sorry, John Kerry, I'm going to run, not walk, to the polls on November 2nd and I'm going to vote AGAINST you. I can't wait. I really can't.

Opposing viewpoints welcome. I will respond as I see fit.

Bush/Cheney '04

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Something new: a title

I am a book snob. I work for Barnes & Noble Booksellers. They have this nifty little perk (one of the few we get) that I take total advantage of: I can borrow hard cover books for up to two weeks. This is a very nice and good perk, however it does have its draw backs. The main one is this: I have to very careful with the book (I am usually careful with them any way, but this added pressure makes it difficult to read said book in, I don't know, a restaraunt for fear of spilling speghetti on the page... that'd be bad). Another one is I can only borrow the book for two weeks; that means I have to read it right away, quickly, and sometimes I just can't get the whole thing. I just start seeing words, but not getting them, if you get my meaning. Here's the big drawback: I have a hard time borrowing books from the library. Library books are dirty. Filthy. They smell like they've been held by hundreds of hands, smoked over, eaten over, thrown into corners, and lost in the backs of cars for days on end. And yet, those library books have a certain mystique. They are the soldiers of the literate set. Thank God for the library book. I'm a snob, though, when it comes to books. Either that, or I'm spoiled. Probably more the latter as opposed to the former.

Books to me are a gift from the gods. Really, I've said it before to many people: I think I could do without the internet and the television, but you take away my books and I'll be dead within a year. Here's the funny thing. I love to read and do so with great regularity. I have pretty good comprehension, but I can't follow written instructions. I have to literally take each line slowly and carefully, almost phonetically. I almost have to parse each word. I'm so thankful for instructions that have diagrams. I can do diagrams. I can usually figure out what needs to be done with diagrams, but if I have to put something together and all I have are written instructions it will take me twice as long, if not longer, to get the thing done. I'm a visual learner. Its even better if someone can SHOW me what to do, let me ask a question or two and then get out of the way and let me to it. I'll get it done, but it will be done the way I can get it done. I was always causing my teachers angst in that regard. Oh, I'd get the answer or to the end of the problem or the project, but it was done (as Ol' Blue Eyes hisself: Frank Sinatra once sang) my way.

Monday, August 16, 2004

I'm not sure I truly understand this. I'm stupid. Maybe I should just stay at the other site I use for blogging. Except there its an "an online diary." Is that a more pc term for it? I don't know. I just don't get this. I post something here and then I can't find it. I'm such a rube.
I had that discussion again the other day. You don't know what that discussion is, though, that's okay, but I should probably let you in on it. I am often accused of being "well read." I hate that term. I really do. I mean really bugs me. You see, I'm not well read. Not even a little bit. Not even close. Nope, not well read, but! I read alot. I can't even begin to tell you how many books I have read in the last year, forget that, the last six months, hell, lets be serious-- the last month! I simply don't know. I can't even begin to tell you what I have read. I'm not a hundred percent sure you'd really care, either. Let's just say I read alot. I can tell you this: right now I am reading the first volume of Shelby Foote's Civil War (I'm about 250 pages from the end). I just finished Fight Club (that took me longer then it should have, but I was reading it intermittently). I just picked up The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (I read the first four or five chapters this afternoon after work). I have waiting (I borrowed it from the library) The Ghosts of 42nd Street. I also, as my "shit book" have Winesburg, Ohio (which is the direct result of reading the book A Circus in Winter and meeting the author). With all this going on, I still have this sneaking suspicion that I'm not doing enough. Not reading enough. Not learning anything. I'm scared I'm missing something. Not doing enough. Not... I don't know... just not. And that, my friends drives me absolutely batshit

Thursday, August 12, 2004

I feel like writing. This is the first time in a long time that the feeling, nay, the need to write has descended upon my shoulders. I feel the need to write, maybe its the weather-- that has been wonderful the last couple days. Its the middle of August and I'm running around in a sweatshirt. Beautiful, beautiful. I feel like drinking, not fall down-drag-out-puke-my-brains-out-in-the-morning drinking, but silent sustained drinking, tipping back a cold one and letting the cool liquid slowly go down my throat and enjoy the sounds of the night around me. A cooler full of ice and packed tight with bottles of suds and conversation that's what I want right now, I need it; I crave it. I feel like drinking and talking about writing under the stars. Laying on a blanket and just talking about it all. Everything. Sadly, though, it would be a one sided monologue. I get tired of hearing myself talk. I don't have much to say. I say it, though. Badly.

I've been listening to Kerouac's On the Road as read by Matt Dillon. How unbeat is that? Driving home from work late at night, the windows up to keep the wind noise down and the cd player on playing an audio book. I wonder what Kerouac would think, probably not much. I feel like such a traitor, I do, I tried to read On the Road a couple times, but it never worked. I got a third, maybe halfway through, and then stopped. I didn't not like the book, I just didn't "feel it," know what I mean. I"ve become such a snob. Such a literary snob. Reading fiction, any kind of fiction is tough. So I listen to it and imagine it a teleplay or a radio dramatic monologue. Some how it seems to work. Maybe travelogues are best read aloud onto a cd.

I feel writing great works. Poetry, essays, stories, something... the need to write is almost painful. Great stones of ideas roll around in my head, but I am unable to find the opening, I can't find the hole to jump down and start the descent. That' s what writing is to me. A slide. A slippery slope. It has to be the weather. Its so nice. So, dare I say it... clean. Its light. This dark night is clean and light. Its condusive to writing. I need to write. This feeling will go away. It always does.

It will flitter away like a spring bird.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

So, it has happened... again. I have forgotten, again, about this little wordisland in the middle of the great wordycyberspaceocean. This little oasis of a place. It took a friend of mine who has a blog here to bring me back. I'm starting to see a pattern, though. I shall promise to do my best to God, country, and the blog, but it won't happen. It'll fade. It always does. That wordfire that burns, intermittently it seems, will go out and the silent, sad embers of the confliguration will cool quietly to themselves and this blog will sit dormant. Silent. Unwritten in. Yet, I give it another try. I've read the three or four other posts that are here and they are worthwhile. I don't even remember writing them. Maybe I didn't. Maybe it just sounds like I did, but it was someone else. It must of been. That has to be it. It's not and I know that, but yet there is a slight, subtle, hope (is the right word) that there was in fact another me that did in fact write them.

If it makes you feel any better, this feels good. Writing here. I don't know if any one will ever read it, I don't care. (Frankly, its nice to write with capital letters-- i have another online diary elsewhere and there I use only lowercase. I'm not sure why, but I do). I think that other diary has turned me into a "character" I have a certain voice that I use there. There are almost certain expectations there, be they imagined or real, that I feel I have to keep up and measure up to. That's a drag (to say the least). I'm not complaining, I'm just stating fact.

So, I shall come back. I think I will. I can see myself back here. More importantly it feels right to be here, opening a new shop. Getting my words correct. Being me and being new all over again.