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"It seems to me what you lose in mystery, you gain in awe."
Sir Francis Crick

Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives."
--William James

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday, stuck in neutral

Sitting here wondering when I am going to head out the door and go for a walk with Keller. Already worked out and dressed, just can't get going. Keller is right here working on the rawhide obliviously happy just to be inside for a few minutes.

A couple of updates: Dylan's baseball team is now 6-0 and he had 2 hits in the last game, despite being tired and whiny. He is getting the hang of the routine although his behavior was across the red line a few times at school according to reports. I think he got good sleep last night.

Miles is suffering from allergies and a sore throat this week. He puts on a good show too so it's made a little worse by his "I'm an old man" routine. But, a nice dose of medicine last night got him in the bed early and he looked and felt 100% better this morning.

Our Dave Ramsey class is almost done; but, our dedication to the principles and the goals we have set are just getting traction and I see momentum starting to slowly gain. We owe it to ourselves and the boys to continue and to prosper. God has so much in store for us and I can't wait to demonstrate we have what it takes to be responsible for what he wants to give us. The ability to take short term mission trips without fund raising is high on my list!!! Plus, Tricia and I have found a new level of communication regarding finances and family goals that we did not have prior to this class. If nothing else, that is priceless!

Tricia and I were cracking up each other last night laughing about family matters. I know most of you have crazy and dysfunctional family members just like us. Nonetheless, I care to wager that I have a branch that would rival some of the best reality TV shows. I even made up names for the show we were proposing last night. I can't disclose on this blog of course, to protect the not-so-innocent :-). It's part of life to have some reflection about our own trials and trivial concerns when watching others around us; but, it's so much deeper when it's your family or extended family. To put it all in focus, I think I am fairly sane and have decent coping mechanisms in place and I have family members who do not have the same to reassure me of my self belief! I guess I can think them for all of that!

Well, coffee is kicking finally and Keller is ready for the trail, I am ready for the trials :-)

See ya!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend, Where Did It Go?

We had a karate mid-term graduation and a baseball game on Saturday, some yard work and then off to Paris Mountain State Park for the 1st of the 2009 Music in the Woods series. Nick from the neighborhood went along for the fun and then off to Dillard's for ice cream aftewards, it doesn't get much better than that! Sunday at Freedom and then some more yard work and Dad beat Miles in a game of 21, while breaking the backboard, luckily it's still under warranty!!!!

Throw in some walks on the trail with the family and Keller and the weekend becomes a blur!

Check the pictures below!

I'm tired and it's only Monday! See ya!

Friday, April 24, 2009

South Dakota Wrap-Up

Sitting at the airport in Sioux Falls waiting to fly to Cincy.

-Sioux Falls is gonna need a bigger airport, there is a lot of business and development going on here. Low Unemployment, decent education and good healthcare. Lots of cheap land too.

- I think solar and wind energy is gonna be a HUGE player here too (stress those O's to sound like a local)

- saw the BIGGEST coon ever on the side of the road on the way to the airport, size of a medium sized dog

-had an awesome hazelnut latte at the new Coffea in Sioux Falls, handmade hazelnut syrup put a zing in my step, it was that good!!

-incredible steak and superb chunk (it was not a slice) at Foley's steak house last night. Very highly recommended if you ever find yourself here

-enjoyed the Dave Ramsey Town Hall last night, I have been listening to his pod casts a lot and the message was consistent. He wants us to look away from the fear and use wisdom and long term planning. This is NOT the worst recession ever or even since the Great Depression. Very motivating talk. I went to a Lutheran church near the hotel and watched with about 30 others.

I am ready to get back home! Miss the family and my own bed and shower, got lots of yard work to do and it looks like great weather this weekend for just that.

See ya!
on Blackberry

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Falls Park

The weather here in South Dakota has been great.  Went down to The Falls Park here in Sioux Falls yesterday after work.  See pictures below.  

-I got 1st class upgrade all the way here on Tuesday.  Nice leg room!

-There is a funny accent here, reminds me of the folks out in Oregon/Washington, because many of them moved from the Dakotas to the Pacific Northwest to work the shipyards for WWII.

-I am going for a walk on the river trail today before work, means I need to go back to bed.  I never sleep well in hotels.  But, I can honestly say I have yet to turn on the TV here in the room.  Way to celebrate Earth Day all week.

-Going to the Dave Ramsey Town Hall tonight at a church right down the street from the hotel.  How cool is that?  The hospital where I am working is also showing it.  That's cool too; but, more of a drive across town.

-Sioux Falls is  pretty town and seems to have a lot going on for the location.  But, I know I couldn't stand the extreme cold/heat.  

Tricia's Mom had knee replacement on Monday. Hang in there Kathy!  It will get better, just get through the fun of PT (Physical Torture)!

Also, please rememeber my Aunt Gladys who was visiting with my Mom and Pete.  She suffered a stroke a few years ago and recovered fair with right sided weakness and aphasia.  She is now suffering through a nasty bout of C. Diff.  She is having a rough go right now.

A note of praise!  I think I am almost at the goal for my Africa fund raising!  Now, it's time for a plane ticket!  Thank you all for your support and prayers!

I am going back to bed!  See ya!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

South Dakota Bound

Heading out the door today for Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Not in my territory; but, I had to pick up the training for another consultant who has to go to Alaska for a training. Lucky me, right? It should be pretty good, the weather looks nice and it's more Hampton Inn reward nights and Delta Sky Miles, not to mention, eating out on someone's ticket! Gonna miss 1 of Dylan's games tonight; but, will be back in time for his game on Saturday or Miles' midterm graduation. I fly home on Friday afternoon. I'm hoping to have some time to hit the state park near Sioux Falls and get down to the Falls downtown. I am also going to a Dave Ramsey Town Hall event that is being Live broadcast nationwide on Thursday night, tune in here for more details: Town Hall for Hope

Reading a great book right now called Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon. Recommended if you like books about the real America. Reminds me of a modern Travels With Charley, one of my alltime favorite books by Steinbeck.

Been listening a good deal to Jack Johnson's Sleep Through The Static. This is a classic summer evening album. Or Sunday morning...

Well, gotta run! See ya!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Weekend Update

Wow! What a busy week. I was covering for 2 other consultants most of the week and the time fly by. Didn't even notice that I had not posted since Tuesday.

-The weather improved in the later part of the weekend with sunshine and blue skies. The grass is GROWING.

-We now have a beaver dam near the trail head and Lake Robinson. I thought it was all the rain; but, the neighbor told me about beaver damage on some tree stumps. Looks like a job for CPW.

-On the way to Spartanburg on Friday to pick up doughnuts at Krispy Kreme to sell on Saturday for our Africa trip, I saw a weird sight indeed. A car with scripture hand-painted (kinda like high school homecoming wording)all over the car, including I Peter 2:9. Yes, we have folks that come down from them thar hills to "go to town" often. I have seen such a sight before. But, what was rather peculiar this time around was the young couple going at each other in the front seat. It looked like 2 people in the driver's seat. Not sure if they just ignore the writing on the side of the car when they get in, they obviously were not the "artists". Maybe it was written for them?

-We sold 50 boxes of Krispy Kreme for our trip yesterday at one of the local little league parks. It went pretty fast once the teams and associated grandparents starting showing up. Many folks donated without taking doughnuts, probably a smart move. We raised $140, combined with the $125 from Pizza Inn, not too bad this week. We are getting closer to our deadline for the plane ticket purchases. Please keep praying for all of us: Jason, Julie, Nancy and me. I will be glad to have the tickets done so we can start focusing on the mission.

-Tricia and I saw John Scofield and The Piety Street Band at the Handlebar on Friday night. We had Alex from church come over and watch the boys. They played mostly gospel blues and it was a great set. My recording turned out super. Working on that now. Scofield is the tops when it comes to soulful blues jazz fusion guitar. With the band including George Porter, Jr and John Cleary, it was a perfect match and it showed. Nice to hear those gospel tunes turned out in that New Orleans manner with just a touch of New York City. See them if you get the chance!!!

Off to church for more gospel! See ya!

Here's some pictures from the Scofield show (my focus was off on some of these):

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Own Music Video

Couple of things cracking me up today:

  • Jason Collins is one of the Freedom Fellowship team going to Botswana. He was at Pizza Inn last night and Miles and Dylan were talking to him about Transformer movies, etc. Tricia told the boys he was the Jason from Friday the 13th. Dylan didn't buy it; but, Miles said "Really?" Dylan wanted to know where the chainsaw was.
  • The weather forecast in the Fall calling for a drier-than-normal winter/spring. I think they got that wrong.
I was walking in the damp rain drizzle on the trail today with Keller and we came across one of those florist aluminum balloons. It said "I Love You" and had a few roses on the front. It was almost out of helium but still had it's shape. Keller was very interested in this something new on his trail walk. On the way back from the loop, I picked up the balloon to take it home. Well, first, I was going to tie it to a tree limb. Then, I decided to take it home. I must have look pretty peculiar walking in the rain with a half-inflated "I Love You" balloon and a soaking wet dog. Maybe my own music video or a bluesy book cover.

My walk soundtrack went right along with the scene. I have really gotten stuck on John Lee Hooker and Carlos Santana "The Healer", a latter day Hooker that is an amazingly simple; but, powerful new age blues with some smokin' Carlos leads. That along with Jupiter Coyote's "A Little Like Me" and Plant's" I'm In The Mood" really made me open my eyes to the awakening of spring that is so rapidly unfolding around us. Thank you God for rebirth and rejuvenation!

Hoping Dylan gets to play baseball today, that drier-than-normal- NOT forecast still calls for rain.

See ya!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Weekend Recap

What a food fest we had at my Mom's place for the last few days. I think I gained at least a few notches on the belt buckle. I could fast for a few weeks and be okay. But, of course, I was at Pizza Inn buffet tonight helping the Africa mission trip team (including me) raise money for our trip. Thanks to all who made it out to help! We are the hands and feet of Jesus for those children because of your help and support and Prayers!

Listening to the 1st night of The Dead's tour from Greensboro. So far, kinda lame. I would have fallen asleep by now...Really not much spark there but I would have taken a free ticket. I think it's Bobby Weir that gets me distracted the fastest. Warren and Phil will have to carry the load as the show goes on...
Listen here: The Dead 4-12-09

Miles had his mandatory accident while at Mom's farm. While riding in the bucket on the front of the tractor (not a good way to start a story), he got his leg caught between the road and the front of the bucket. Nice scrap and scratch and bruise. He skipped karate today for the Pizza Inn event but he and I have both suffered a little indigestion and frequent bathroom visits today. So, he's had a rough Monday. He seemed to be in good spirits otherwise. Dylan was proud that he got on green even with less sleep than normal. We drove back from Sumter last night and made it home in time for me to plant some blueberry bushes and Carolina Spice. It's rained all day, so hopefully, that will help the plants overcome the shock. I still need to get the fig tree in the ground and get some mulch to go around the blueberries. One of these days, I may mow the grass if the rain will hold off. I did get the weed eater fixed with some mail order parts. No complaints, we needed all the rain.

Keller and Shadow were very happy to see us last night. I was happy to see my shower and my bed. We were not happy about getting up early this morning, ask Tricia.

Well, I'm done for the night. See ya!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Fishing with the boys

Today is Saturday.  Slowly getting a start on the day, watching some of Series of Unfortunate Events with Miles and Dylan (Miles bought the DVD yesterday) and waiting for biscuits and country breakfast at Mom's.  I plan to work on some fig trees and blueberry bushes to take home for the yard and just hang out.  Tricia is going to meet some friends for coffee in Sumter later today.  This afternoon, I am taking the boys fishing at the Garnay pond.  The weather looks to be good and perfect for fishing.  
My Mom's sister, Gladys, is spending the next 2 weeks with Mom and Pete.  Gladys had a massive stroke a few years back and suffers from right-sided paralysis and has difficulty speaking.  Despite the physicial challenges, she continues to be a joy to spend time with and is always gracious for time spent in her company.  
I worked yesterday from my sister's place, which is located on the back side of the farm and was once where Tricia and I lived with the boys.  They have done some extensive renovations and the house looks great; but, it still feels like the same place and brings memories of those 3 years with young children whenever I walk around the place.  It's a blessing to be able to work remotely and around my family during the holiday.  
We had some loud thunderstorms with rain last night around 1am.  I woke for a little bit and listened to the rain and watched the lightning.  More memories of summertime there...
Tomorrow, I am going to Sunrise service and Men's breakfast at Home Branch Church.  Tricia declined the invitation before I even offered it.  Luckily, she had an out since it's a Men's function ;-)  
Well, enjoy this Saturday and be sure you take a moment to thank God for rebirth and triumph over death through the resurrection of our Jesus.  

See ya!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

From the Zoo to the Zoo

We are heading out to Sumter for Easter weekend. Looking forward to going fishing with Miles and Dylan at the pond on the Gingko tree farm my Dad ran for 20+ years. Easy fishing and the boys love it! Looking forward to eating some country cooking from the low lands of South Carolina. We are going to Easter service at Home Branch Baptist church, a little country church near Manning, SC. I have 2 sets of Great Grandparents buried in the cemetery there.

Then we have the big Easter egg hunt after the extended family (usually 50 or so of my Mom's family) dinner.

Hope you have a great weekend with family and have time to reflect on what this Sunday means for you, rebirth and salvation.

We had a blast at the Greenville zoo on Tuesday. Here's some photos below. We then froze at Dylan's baseball game. He had a good game with a few put-outs, a few hits and the team came from behind to win the game in super fashion. Now, hopefully, the next game will be just a few degrees warmer...

See ya!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring Break?

Not sure if it's gonna be spring or not. The forecast is calling for lower temps, wind, some rain and even snow in the mountains. I was going to be off all week and we were going to be in DC; but, I changed it to today and tomorrow to hang out with the family. We are thinking about going out on the Lake tomorrow with our friends Ruth and Allan. We are also talking about hiking on Wednesday at the Berry Mill park and about taking Keller to the dog park in Greenville, Cleveland Park.

Random Ramblings:
I got home around 5:30 on Friday, just in time to take Miles to Karate

I woke up at 0615 on Saturday and headed to WNCW to answer phones. Always one of my favorite things to do. I get to hang out in the studio, talk about music, get free WNCW stuff (got Miles a WNCW tshirt, a pair of tickets to see Jason Isbell in Greenville and BBQ for lunch)->who wouldn't want to do that?

We went to Dylan's first real baseball game on Saturday. He had 2 hits and scored 1 time. They won by a large margin. He was a little tired but had a lot of fun. Calvin from next door went to the game and then spent the night and then went to church with us and then went to the movies with us. I had 3 sons for most of the weekend.

The movie was Monsters vs Aliens in 3D. Very cool and fun for the boys. I enjoyed the story and the visual fun too. Looking forward to the new UP! and Ice Age 3D movies that are due this summer. I can't think of a movie that I have seen lately that wasn't a cartoon... oh, wait! we did see the Chimpunk movie a while back :-)

Finished the Clapton book on the way home. I haven't read a book that fast in a while. Very well written, brutally honest and full of uber interesting music history. My kind of book! Just think, he's a British guitar icon married to a gal from Ohio with young daughters at home. Not what he saw his life becoming back in the 60's I reckon...

Well, I am off to run errands and enjoy my time off. Enjoy your week and the schizophrenic weather of spring in the South! Go ACC, Go Tar Heels!

See ya!

Friday, April 3, 2009


Packing up and heading out to the airport shortly. It's been a good trip; but, I'm ready to get home. It's gonna be busy once I get home too. I am going to try and take Miles to karate this afternoon if the planes arrive on time. Then out the door early in the morning to go answer phones for WNCW up in Spindale, the best radio in the land, bar none. Then, back down home for Dylan's baseball jamboree. The weather is looking nice for Saturday, so hopefully, he gets to play. A lot of rain has made practice hard for the team. But, we needed all of that rain and then some.

Had some good meals while here: Wings at Buffalo Wild Wings yesterday and some nice pies over at The Spot in Sidney. Couple of pictures from the trip here:

Watched a great documentary on about the music biz, that I highly recommend:
Hulu is very cool and I have enjoyed some good stuff on there lately. Thanks Cliff for making that recommendation.

Enjoying the Clapton bio, he's in alcohol rehab right now. Not the most enjoyable section; but, part of the story all the same.

Well, heading out to deal with the rain and get to the airport on time. See ya!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sidney, Ohio

Working in Sidney, Ohio at Wilson Memorial training.  I will be here until Friday morning.  Had the unbelievable experience of going through security in Charlotte in less than 5 minutes yesterday,  seriously, I couldn't believe it myself.  It was the shortest line ever, even when the line I was in had to move to the other line due to the xray scanner having to reboot.  Seriously, I have never been through security in Charlotte that fast.  Miracles abound!

The rental car is a Hyundai Santa Fe.  It's the new model and feels HUGE compared to the Santa Fe we had before the minivan.  Nice ride and very roomy.  Easy drive from Dayton to Sidney.  Kind of a drag to have to fly from Cinncinnati to Dayton, should have driven from there.  Very short flight but had Wolfgang Puck's pizza in the Cincy airport.  Very nice.  

I did read almost half of the Eric Clapton autobiography yesterday.  Very interesting read and I'm amazed the guy still has a liver or a memory.  He is blessed and has lead a charmed life.  I really enjoy the social and musical history he lays out.  His inside look at The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix were worth the read alone.  Maybe I will pick up David Crosby's autobiography next ;-).

Watching commercials for the Reds here, not the Braves.  It's Ohio!

Talked to my sister, Cecily, in Florida last night.  She gave birth to a baby boy, John, last week and is doing great.  I hadn't talked to her since my Dad's funeral and felt good to touch base with her and let her know that Tricia and I are celebrating with her in the birth of her child.  Hope to send her some music that goes well with newborns and some gifts.  I am an uncle again!!!  Very cool.  

Well, I'm going veg a little and then head out to eat. See ya!