Thursday, May 26, 2005

Home Alone

Dear fellow Musers,

This weekend will be the first weekend I've spent alone in my house, ever. We bought this house in July of '02, and since then I don't believe I've spent one night alone in it. I've spent many nights alone on the road, and Lania has certainly been here alone many nights when I've been on the road.

"What's the big deal?" you might be thinking. Well, for me it is huge. It's hard to explain how much I need time alone. I crave it. I'm an asshole when I don't get it. I need it as much as I need time with each person that I live with and love.

If you have been married for a long while, or if you married young, maybe it's different; I don't know. Before Lania and I met, I spent vast amounts of time alone. I honed the art of "aloneness" in Paraguay for 2 and a half years. I lived alone before and after that time. I could spend hours reading, playing guitar, working in my yard, and all the while a continuous stream of "self conversation" would be running through my head. Whole songs would be written, large life questions would be examined and debated, old wounds would be examined and old friends would be thought of.

I never was a bar fly or looked for night life much. One night a week to be out and about was great for me, unless I was in rehearsal for a theater production or something. So I got very comfortable and used to LOTS of time alone.

So, while I will miss Lania this weekend (she left for New Orleans 2 days ago), I will be treasuring the 3 days I have. All alone. Doing whatever. I actually have a gig on Saturday (Bambinos 6-9 p.m. if you're around) and Ultimate practice Sunday afternoon, and that's about enough to put on my plate. The rest of the time is mine and mine alone.

UPDATE: Howdeshell's 5th Anniversary!

Today my wife and I celebrate our 5th Wedding Anniversary. It was a 1 year engagement and we had dated about 1 year prior to that. So, it's been about 7 years since we first met. In that short time we've had lots of blessed accomplishments. We've had one child with a second on the way, we've purchased two houses, and have been fortunate to take many wonderful vacations (although we are due for another one soon!).

I have not slept well in 5 years because I came to find soon after marriage that my wife talked and sometimes even walked in her sleep. I used to just carry on a conversation with her as if she were awake until she fell back into a deeper slumber. At first it freaked me out, but then soon became kind of entertaining. Along came our first child and while Mom's sleep talking disappeared, the little one started sleeping in our bed. It started out because we wanted to prop him up on pillows because he had a cleft lip and palate and acid reflux. With all of that gone, he now starts in his own big boy bed every night but somehow finds his way through the dark into our bedroom. One 7 mth pregnant mama, a 3 1/2 yr old boy, and a pregnancy sympathetic sized daddy is a tight squeeze in a queen sized bed. I'm usually the first little monkey to fall out. And, with the second boy on the way, I'm sure sleepless nights will continue for a while. But, hey, I can sleep when I'm dead, right?

While I have not slept for 5 years, I have also not had to do laundry in that time either. My wife used to say she loved to do laundry and found it therapeutic. With boy 2 on the way, she's got plenty of opportunity for therapy now and ahead. My wife is a tireless worker and maintains a great house. She's the queen of domestic diva's. We are opposite in many ways but also the same. Our opposite qualities actually help us round out our marriage as we both know our limitations and let the other handle things related to our stronger skills. My wife is much more organized and better at scheduling than I, but I have a way of better being able to deal with certain issues we face to get things accomplished. And, our similarities only help us bond that much closer. Aligning and commiting ourselves to each other and to the same goals has created a strong foundation to build on. We both know this in our hearts even when things are tough.

Gone are the days of Nintendo baseball, basketball and MEMC with Seamhead and seeing Rocky and RWP. Gone are the days of Show Choir & Boys Doubles with SweetLou, JeffreyA, & Seamhead. Gone are the days of MD slapping me in the helmet with a hand dummy bag practicing football long snaps. Gone are the days of all night cards with DLS and Powerful Pretty Putting. Gone are the days of track meets with Sweetlou and Coach Reed. Gone are the days of trombone quartets with Boz and DLS. These days are gone but not forgotten.

But THESE are the days to remember. Remember how you met your wives. Remember what they do for you. Remember that they are the mothers of your children. Remember how it was without them. Think how much better your lives are with them.

It may sound like I'm preaching, but I'm not. I'm simply trying to share how much I love my wife and appreciate my marriage. I hope your love and marriage is as strong and will last a lifetime. I know mine will. There is no doubt. I love my wife. I cherish her. We are one.

******************UPDATE****************
My wife kindly informed me that it has been 8 years and that we dated for two years prior to the one year engagement. Well, it just seems shorter when time flies by like that.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Time's 100 All Time Best Movies

Time Magazine has out it's list of 100 All Time Best Movies. Schindler's List and Pulp Fiction are both on it. Napolean Dynamite, Blue Velvet, Mullholland Drive, Chuck and Buck, and Top Gun are not.

I'm not sure I agree with these guys. I mean, how can you put Lord of Rings on the list instead of Lord of the Flies? Lord of the Rings was ok, but the sequels do not carry 3 movies nearly as well as Star Wars carries 6. And Lord of the Flies compared to Lord of the Rings....yes, there's lack of technology in Lord of the Flies but the story is just so much more about humanity than Lord of the Rings....ohh, I'm a hobbit....throw the evil ring back in the fiery mountain. Come on elves, shoot your arrows. Compare that to the 'tribes' that the kids stranded on the island form into. If you have not seen Lord of the Flies, rent it. Or, read the book.

Oops, Never mind. The Song

Well, it's not Friday, but I thought Jeffrey's Oops post was deserving of a little song since it received so many comments of such high esteem, moved so many people, and almost won a Blogger award. This is a little jingle, kind of bouncy and along the lines of a bright sounding kid's song, probably even a good sing-along song. You sing the verse, speak the words in "parenthesis" and then sing Oops, Never mind. at the end of every verse. I don't have a chorus built in-between verses. Anyone who wants, feel free to contribute that...afterall it is a sing-along. The song is artistically kept intentionally short as an homage to the original post.
Ok, here we go.....everyone, all together now....

Oops, Never Mind

Oops with a capital “O” and another “o” like a little brother and a “p” and an “s”, but not a P.S. Oops, Never mind.

You’ve got to know with your “O” what you should use so as not to abuse, or maybe confuse, the intent of information with your punctuation. (spoken) “wait a minute, you didn’t use any punctuation” Oops, Never mind.

Words themselves could be lost or possibly tossed if the I’s aren’t all dotted or the T’s aren’t all crossed…(spoken) “wait a minute, there are no I’s or T’s, just O’s and P’s and an S” Oops, Never mind!

Sometimes it’s not what you say but the way that you say it if you hope to convey it with a sigh!, or a humph!! or maybe a hooray!!! (spoken) “wait a minute, you didn’t say anything” Oops, Never mind.

There’s something important that you wanted to tell, a thought you could share, in the front of your mind, you just had it there (spoken) “wait minute, what were you going to say?” Oops, Never mind.

You have to remember and try not to forget, that other people’s time is the time that you get even when you forget (spoken) “wait a minute, are you even listening to me?” Oops, Never mind.

Oops, Never mind. They’re just three little words. You barely have to say them, but they still can be heard. If you know just how to use them you will never be caught (spoken) “wait a minute I lost my train of thought” Oops, Never mind.

I hope this little song can help you to consider, the importance of your intentions and “what was I trying to tell you about all of this?” Oops, Never mind.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Bring Back Memories?


A couple weeks ago we went to Six Flags. I had to share this photo, not because of the quality of the photo (it's the one that they sell you outside the log ride) but because it brought back so many memories. This was the first time I've been to Six Flags since being a teenager and the first time as a parent. Talk about living your life through your children's eyes!!! It was fun to see them doing the same stuff you did as a kid.

The log ride was their favorite, just like it was mine when I was that age (back then it was just that ride and the Eagle!). Alexis also went on the Ninja but it was a little too much for her. The girls also liked Thunder River. Abby is still at the age where she very much enjoyed the childrens area with the swing, little planes and the carousel.

Where any of you in that group that went with the Baptist church youth group the day after the last day of school every year?Posted by Hello

Best Songs with Car/Truck/Motorcycle Metaphor

Anyone have an opinion on the best (or their favorite) songs using a car/truck/motorcycle metaphor? I just heard one of my favorites on the radio: "1952 Vincent Black Lightening" by Richard Thompson.

Sunday Baseball at the K

We arrived at Andy's church Sunday fifteen minutes late. We thought the service started at 10:45, but it started at 10:30. That set the tone for the rest of the day. Andy has already blogged the game and posted pictures from his digital camera.

It was a beautiful day for baseball at the K, and the seats contained more red-clad fans than blue-clad. But the blue-clad fans had more to celebrate when it was all over. David Eckstein's horrific day in the field gave the Royals a big lead in the first inning. The Cardinals never threatened that lead.

It was free hot dog and beverage day for the kids though. Plus, we earned free Krispy Kreme doughnuts since the Royals were able to get twelve hits (it turns out that if you give them more than three outs per inning they get a lot more hits). The Cards did take two out of three from the Blue Crew this weekend, so all was not lost for Cards fans.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

All Present And Accounted For

PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!! I've chosen my first post to be an invitation to a BBQ July 23. The day will start off with a round of golf organized by Myron. Yes Seamhead I will have the 9-iron with me. After golf (and Seamhead's crushing defeat) we will BBQ at my house and listen to good music the rest of the night. Seamhead will be bringing the guitar, I will have the karoake system set up, and if that wasn't enough PAULIE will be there to sing all of those songs that he "wrote for the ladies". I haven't talked to the "Peffer" yet, but I am hoping all of this fun will be too much for him and Lania to pass up. Mark, Dave, Boz, Roy, Rochelle, and all others I may have forgot to mention please make plans to be here. Of course Peffer bring the guitar also. Food, drink, GREAT music into the wee hours of the night. Misti and I will supply the meat if everyone else can bring a side dish. Please let me know if you can make so Misti and I can estimate how much meat to get. Looking forward to seeing old friends again.

Sweetlou

Friday, May 20, 2005

Oops

Never mind.

The Birds at the K

Andy and I are taking the families to the K to see the Cards battle the Royals on Sunday. The K is a great place to watch a ballgame. It doesn't have the same electric atmosphere you'll find at Busch or at Wrigley, but it is a beautiful, relaxing ballpark.

One of the best things that can happen at the K is when Royals deliver twelve hits. That means your ticket stub is good for a dozen, delicious Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Now, if they get twelve hits Sunday and lose, it will be a magic day. However, the Royals haven't had many games with twelve hits this year.

Willa be will attending her third MLB game and her second Cardinals game. Isa will be attending her first game ever.

Don't tell Andy, but it looks like the Royals will be using a Minor League call-up to pitch against the Cards on Sunday.

I'll be back on Monday with a full report.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Chicken and The Egg

The N.Y. Times published an article today on steroid use in baseball. Seems the testing is proving out that just shy of 50% of the players who have tested positive for steroid use so far are pitchers. And, this is a surprising revelation to many because the sterotypical steroid juiced athlete is the big Mighty Casey type hitters like McGwire, Bonds, Sosa, and Giambi. Speculation is that both pitchers and hitters use steroids to maintain strength and stamina for the duration of the season. Then there are those who suspect the use is for dynamic increase in power for hitting as well as trying to add a few more mph for pitching. So, who's trying to keep up with who? The pitchers with the hitters or the hitters with the pitchers?

Media Intimidation

Newsweek Magazine retracted a story about the mistreatment of the Holy Koran this week. Or, rather, they were intimidated into retracting the story by the Bush Administration. The story is probably true. It's been widely reported in the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC News, the Seattle Times, the Houston Chronicle, and others.

The Pentagon claims it investigated and found nothing. They must not have read any earlier inquiries or interviewed any of the released (i.e. innocent) prisoners.

This is plain and simple media intimidation. The kind that undermines democracy as most Americans envision it. Check out the Rude Man for more citations and a more profane take.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Nice Shorts, Andy!

Hey, everyone pop over to Andy's blog today and tell him how wonderful his shorts look. And don't forget to check out his daughter Cori who is quickly running out of teeth.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

And then there was one...

After months of promising and planning, I have decided to leave the land of the unposted and strand Lou as the last remaining non-poster.

Welcome to the middle of the spring, affectionately known around our house as softball season. Amanda's team, Blue Springs Lightning Black, just played their 24th and 25th game earlier today and still has two left to play tonight. Tomorrow begins the single elimination tournament where the team could play as many as three more games. As of right now, their record is 20-5 (an .800 winning percentage ain't too bad). Before Nationals are played in Oklahoma this July (where it will be 108 degrees in the shade), the Lightning will probably play in the neighborhood of 70-75 games. To play 70-75 games in the old Khoury League would take you about five years. Amanda even got to play four games on her birthday. Now I know that to some of you, that seems like a lot of softball, but to many of us, that would have been ideal when we were growing up. Check out the team's website for more information. I try to keep it as current as possible with schedules, scores, and pictures.

Right behind Amanda is Lindsey. She is in her first year of machine-pitch ball and is having a blast. She has an intense competitive spirit (she'd fit right in with this group) and is going to be tough to keep off of the softball fields for the next couple of decades. Sorry, no website for the Superstars.

(OK, Lou, it's all on you.)

Friday, May 13, 2005

Big Show Cancelled!

Once again the Big Show is cancelled. Paulie is weatherbitten. He will let me know as soon as the show is rescheduled. I guess this isn't the time to take Paulie to the Boat.

Take me out to da ballpark...

Hey folks. I know some of you have been so lucky already, but I really, REALLY want to get to Busch Stadium before the end of the season.

I will be in St. Louis twice this summer for work. The first time, in July, the cards are on the road. The second time, during the first week of August (1-5), it looks like the cards will be hosting the Marlins all week long. Now, I don't know much about baseball, and frankly I don' t give a rip who they are playing. I just want to hear the crack o' the bat at Busch Stadium. Winning would be a bonus, but not necessary for my enjoyment.

I will have a hotel room all that week with two double beds, so I could put up anyone interested after the game (I still have to get up at 7 a.m. for work). How about a Troy Boy/Girls night out at the park??

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Hodge Podge Comments on Some News Stories

I tried to post this yesterday, but experienced system failure again. Starting to feel like the Apollo 13 crew. Anyway, here are a few thoughts and comments on a few news stories. I 'm taking a stand on a couple so I'm sure that will stir the pot a little:

1. "Father" in Illinois kills his own 9 year old daughter and her 8 year old friend.

Howdy's thoughts: This guy is "eligible" for the death penalty on two counts of first degree murder although the proscecutor has not yet announced if he will seek it. I personally believe he will seek it and if he doesn't, he should and fullfill this guy's "eligibility". And I do not believe anyone would be just as guilty as this guy for convicting him with the death penalty. He beat up and then stabbed these girls over 30 times in the neck because he got mad that the mother, on Mother's Day, lifted a grounding on the little girl who supposedly previously stole money from her mom. He cited self-defense (against two little girls) saying his daughter pulled a potato knife on him. Now what on earth would a 9 yr old girl flying kites and riding her bike on a wooded path need a potato knife for and where would she have kept it? This guy is evil and we should waste no efforts trying to reform him for what he's done.

2. Jacko the Wacko

Howdy's thoughts: I find it extremely bizarre that a 44 yr old man (now 46) sleeps in the same bed with little 10 year old boys that are not his own. Does he see them as peers and he's just playing with them? (some on both sides would answer "yes, he's just "playing" with them"). Throw in some alcohol and a few Playboy magazines and there's an awful lot of smoke. But, there's no concrete evidence so far. Wasn't any there with OJ either, just a couple of bodies. Here we just have the word of a few little boys, some hired staff, and some famous actors. So, CriminalTrial--probably won't end up being enough evidence for "beyond a reasonable doubt" (there's plenty of reasonable doubt, but will jurors find "beyond" that?) Civil Trial--I think there's a preponderance of likliehood which will be enough to find guilt in a civil case. He'll probably just have to pay out some cash. Speaking of Wacko, how about the Wacko Wendy's Woman? Should I quit calling her Wacko and worry about how to help her? I'm sure there is plenty of room at the counseling center for her. Where did she get that finger?

3. Cassini Spacecraft unveils another Saturn Moon

Howdy's thoughts: I find it interesting that we continue to reveal new things about our physical and biological universe via science. In a separate post, I'd like to discuss Stem Cell reasearch and testing involving mixing humans and animals. How far should science go in the name of medicine? Should we self-impose scientific limits?

4. $82B Spending Bill passed 100-0 in the Senate.

Howdy's thoughts--This one is sure to continue debate from both parties even with the bi-partisan support. I think it had to be passed given our current situation and commitments. And, it includes retroactively raising soldiers' family survivor benefits from $12K to $100K. But, if I read other articles corretly, it also includes monies to build a fence along the Mexico/California border. The Berlin Wall came down and now we are building a fence? One was built to keep people in and the now the other is proposed to keep people out. We propogate commercial and economic Globalism, but we are establishing physical Isolationalism. I find that very ironic. I'm not sure yet if I think that is wrong. But, I do definitely think that is ironic.

So, per Seemhead's direction, I am just musing. Pretend you are having a brew with me. Barley, Hops, and Oats or Tea, your choice of brew. I'll have what your having, just tell me up front so I'm not surprised with "Jesus Juice" in a soda can (reference to Jackson putting wine in a soda can).

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Sick (but funny) dude

OK. So, I had a bit of time this afternoon and a burning curiosity to know more about this "Skeeter" dude. I mean, who the heck is he anyway? Seems to have just appeared, but I'm sure he has a whole life story (some of which you can learn from his 'blog).

Anyway, I decided to read through his blog to find some answers. Oh, my gosh. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. In fact, it's rare that I actually sit at my computer and laugh out loud; I was almost in tears.

If you want some good fun, read his first ever post (there are only 4 or 5 so far). His descriptions of certain, um...situations, are dead on. For added mirth, read Paul's comment on Mr. Skeeter's first post, but be sure you're near a bathroom because you're gonna piss your pants laughing.

That is some funny crap.

Top Ten Horse Names You Won't See In The Triple Crown

  1. Break A Leg
  2. Mustache Ride
  3. Ol' Gluefoot
  4. Dontbetonme
  5. Slaughterhouse Nag
  6. Hung Like Me
  7. Broken Wind
  8. Shifty Nigger
  9. Jesus Hitler
  10. Get This Dwarf Off My Back

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Big Show Friday!

A reminder that Paulie's big show is Friday. I am planning on going. I'll just plan on being at Flat Branch shortly after 7 pm. The weather is looking good so far.

The shows are again scheduled for 10:30 and 11:30 pm at the Deja Vu comedy club in Columbia, MO.

Come on out! Enjoy the show!

**UPDATE** Jeff has offered his home for pre-show beers and laughs. This sounds like a great option to me. If you want directions leave a comment here or email Jeff or me.

New Discussion on Pheromones and Homosexuals

I'm not one to post on Blog Daddy's site very often, but I read it daily. I followed the discussion about big boy hitting people over the head with his ideas closely. I was interested, but didn't really feel the need to put my two cents in until today. I didn't want to just put a comment on the end of that thread of discussion, because I didn't want it to get lost at the bottom of a couple of posts ago and there is new scientific evidence that could bring even more light to some of the comments made.

The New York Times reports there is new evidence that gay men respond to the same smells of attraction that women do. I'll let you all read the story for yourselves and make your decision. I'm not here but to assist in the spread of knowledge that is out there. You all are intelligent to do whatever you want with the information.

I guess I really didn't put my two cents in. Maybe I'll throw them out some other time. I don't want you all to know how immoral, horrible, reckless and screwed up my life really is compared to the Beav's house.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Considering Adoption

If you are considering or would like to learn more about adoption, I would like to recommend an agency called Children's Hope International http://www.childrenshopeint.org. This is a non-profit international adoption agency providing adoption services with many countries around the world as well as providing support for children who remain in orphanages or who require specialized medical assistance. They have many offices throughout The United States to serve clients. While the agency does not provide domestic adoptions, it does fully support them.

"Why not a domestic adoption?", you may inquire. We are 100% for domestic adoptions and we support the hundreds of good public and private agencies that are already doing that work so well. But not so many are advocating for those children lonely and waiting faraway. For them we are saying, 'Will you consider international adoption'?"--Children's Hope website.

The agency does a lot of good work not only through providing the opportunity for adoption but also via fundraising through its Childern's Hope International Foundation www.chifoundation.org
via unique events like The Orphan Train and Tsunami Disaster Relief to support children in need. There is a Concert for Orphans that has been put on each of the last two years by "Svyatoslav and Svetlana Levin, a husband-and-wife team of concert pianists. The Levins both hold doctoral degrees from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Music in Russia where they studied under such legends as Yakov Milshtein, Lev Vlasenko, and Michael Pletnev. They came to the United States in 1989 and settled in Kansas City, while continuing to play professionally both in the U.S. and abroad. In 1995, Svyatoslav and Svetlana (who go by Slava and Lana) retired from concert performance. He now works in software and web design and she teaches private lessons to local piano students. This concert will be a rare opportunity to see and hear the duo return to the stage. The Levins only perform now for charity - they have played two concerts in St.Louis to raised funds for CHIF." -CHIF website. I've seen these two perform and they are incredible. They were renowned in Russia, but could not fully support a living based on live classical piano performances here in The States sadly due to lack of demand.

If you read the online newsletter link you can hear some of the adoptive parents' stories. I think "What Dreams" was an eye-opening story. I don't know all of the agency's guidelines, but I believe that they provide services to opposite-sex married couples and single mothers. We have personal connections to the agency, so if you know me and are interested in how you may be able to support the agency or would like to know more about its services, feel free to contact me directly. If you are just browsing this blog and would like to know how to support the agency, feel free to contact them directly via their home page or Toll free: 888-899-2349.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day

Just a quick note to wish all the Moms a Happy Mother's Day. Hope your day is filled with peace, joy, happiness and love.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Hit over the Head

Since someone said I've been hitting readers over the head with my beliefs, I wanted to give examples of what it really means to hit someone over the head with beliefs. In Kansas, they want to teach a religious belief as if it were a credible alternative to the foundation of modern biology. In Texas, they want to exclude Gays and Bisexuals from being foster parents. In Waynesville, North Carolina, nine members of the East Waynesville Baptist Church had their membership revoked because they are Democrats.

I just write what I think and encourage everyone else to do the same. I think it does all of us good to see the humanity of the people arguing from the other side. Too often the media highlight the differences and shield the humanity that binds us. This dehumanization makes it easy to discriminate against those who are different. It makes it easier to turn hate on other humans. It makes it easier to turn weapons on other humans.

This site is here for all to participate. All points of view will be considered and argued here. However, no one should be criticized for expressing their opinions here.

Anyone who knows me can become a contributor. Just email me your wish to join and an email address.

**UPDATED** Changed to reflect the correct state for Waynesville.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Mulholland Drive

Blog Daddy was able to rent some movies this week. Shelly and I both watched Napoleon Dynamite. I watched Mulholland Drive while she slept.

I have thought about Mulholland Drive for a couple days. It was a good flick. I'm a big David Lynch fan. I think the whole movie is Diane Selwyn's fantasy or dream. After she wakes up I think we see the reality that brought about her fantasy. I believe she had Camilla killed in reality. In her dream, Camilla survived, Diane re-entered her life with a new identity. I loved the Silencio scene. I'm not sure of the scene's meaning though. I'll keep thinking about it.

Napoleon Dynamite as a good flick too. Tons of laughs in that movie. Thanks for the suggestions.

**UPDATE** In the Silencio scene, Rebekah Del Rio does a Spanish version of Crying that is amazing. It is called Llorando. You can hear a clip of it here.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Catholic and The Cardinals

Ok, this is a humorous story. My Mother-In-Law, is a very dedicated Catholic. She knows and socializes with many priests in the St. Louis area. She is also just as deeply a devoted St. Louis Cardinals fanatic. (Albert Pujols is her favorite player. She yelled to him one time from some outfield seats we had and he turned, smiled and waved at her. She's referred to him as "honey buns" ever since. p.s. she's a 68 yr old grandma of 20+ grandkids). Anyway, we were all on vacation one time a few years ago visiting another city far from home and we attended Sunday services at the nearest Catholic parish. After the services, my Mother-In-Law walks up to the priest and asks "Father, how did the Cardinals do? Did you hear if they won today?" The priest looked at her dazed and confused as to what "The Cardinals" might have won.....we grabbed her by the arm and embarrassingly led her away.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Going Shopping


I went to the zoo with Mrs. Laws kindergarten class today. We had a blast. I was going to post a picture from the trip, but most of the pictures are still on the film in my camera. This gem was on the roll that I had developed today though. The girls are heading out to do a little shopping. They are quite a pair. Posted by Hello

See the Space Station

Last night the Space Station went across the sky. It was easy to spot despite the partly cloudy sky. Tonight (Wed, May 4th) it crosses the sky starting at 8:50 pm (cst) and is visible for 6 minutes. Looking for it gets addicting. Even my neighbors want us to call and let them know so they can come out to find it (last night my neighbor was the first to spot it).

For the dates and times of future sightings check out the "Night Sky" link on the lower right corner of this blog. It also has what, when, and how to spot the planets.

Also, while out looking for the space station last night, the sky was still not totally dark. The first "Star" was out however. Of course this would be the brightest since it was the first to appear. That "Star" was actually the planet Jupiter. You can I.D. it while looking for that Space Station.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Science Rocks!

I originally was going to post this as a reply, but then I thought it was just too cool, and I should start a new post.

I wish I was a smart scientist, and I blame Mark Howdeshell and Lewis Floyd for holding me back with humor, funny drawings, and good times when I should have been studying in HS chemistry. Ce la vis, ya know.
==
On NPR yesterday I heard an incredible, wonderful story that should give a lot of hopeless-feeling folks some hope. A neurologist has found a way to alleviate depression that is so profound that no amount or combinatin of drugs, therapy, shock treatments, etc., had been able to help. I'm talking about folks who haven't, in some cases, been able to even get out of bed for years on end...

The process is (in simple terms) this:

Tiny holes are drilled in the patient's head and wires finer than a human hair are inserted. Then a weak but constant electric current is applied to "area 25" of the brain. (I'm not sure where area 25 is, but I think aliens have been sighted there, but I digress)

In 4 out of 6 trials so far, this has alleviated the patient's depression. The results have been astounding. The patients are AWAKE during this process, if you can believe it, so that they can report changes in their perception immediately. One reported that as soon as the electric current was applied, he felt like all the blinds in the room were suddenly oppened; colors also came back into his world.

Another patient reported a sense of calm and that everything was OK, then when they turned down the current, she (without knowing what they had done) asked them what happened and reported that the good feeling was gone.

The doctor said that 2 people showed no improvement, but the rest are in remission (6 months symptom free). According to her, this means that they are not just better, but that they are well.

BTW, the wire is threaded under the sking to the chest area, where it is attached to a small "pace-maker-like" box that can be adjusted.

Have you heard about this, RWP? Thoughts?

I just love it when we apply science to help people, as oppossed to when we apply it to find more efficient ways to hurt and kill people.

Another Magical Evening

The Cards scored seven runs in the top of the ninth to beat the Reds 10-9 last night. John Mabry hit a two-run shot to put the Cards ahead. It's going to be a fun season.

Maybe they can reach the 100-win mark again.

In a couple of weeks I'll be attending the big interleague matchup at the K. I'm going with Andy who for some reason is a big Royals fan. How're you feeling about that game these days, Andy?

Monday, May 02, 2005

Dignity

The Real Live Preacher wrote yesterday about children in the worship service. My wife and I have always wanted our children to worship with us. Without them the service would seem superficial to us.

Sometimes, of course, the children bring a touch of chaos into the service. Some people are upset by this. The Preacher looks at it a little differently.

So away with the idea that worship is meant to be produced by experts and performed by professionals. Away with the idea that worship takes place up on a stage where it can be carefully orchestrated, controlled, and reproduced week in and week out, like some sort of TV show. I don’t want order in church; I want dignity. And dignity comes not from control, but from understanding who you are and taking your rightful place in the world.


Some control is surrendered, but the payoff is immeasurable.

I find a similar problem with the Bush Administration these days. Keep the immigrants out, they say. Prevent war with war, they say. Our beliefs are what these people need, they say. We can control them, they say.

But it will never work. You don't change the way people see you with bombs and guns. You can't beat them over the head with your own beliefs.

It takes compassion. It takes love. It takes the recognition of dignity in others.

Sometimes there will be chaos. It won't be easy. But if you want to change people's hearts, you must care for them and recognize their dignity.

The van speaks for itself



This van often is parked on a main thoroughfare in my neighborhood that connects to a main thoroughfare across the street from a middle school. The van speaks for itself . . .

Not lacking in artistic flavor

It gets better

In all its glory