Wednesday, April 22, 2009


(sen - so' - shәn) n. A revival of an intense previous mental state through reminiscent corporeal stimulation. Distinct from deja vu.

today i sweat in my car. i ate a hot apple butter sandwich, which the sun baked a second time. i rolled my windows up and turned on the a/c.

i had forgotten that feet are people, too. through winter my peds let down their guard. they get fat and soft in my warm socks, shoes, slippers. now my naked feet are shy. they're like green bananas next to bright oranges. The grit of the driveway irritates my soft skin. my feet fidget, facing jeers from rocks and asphault in the street. they squeal when they slide into my sandals and squeak with every flop. They are not ready for summer. But they will be. It is only spring.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


For those of you who haven't seen me in the last few months, I've taken up a new hobby: Beardedizationalism, or growing a beard, for short. I have enjoyed it thus far and many people have been supportive of my efforts. Overall I feel it's been a good growing experience (get it?). But it's come about time to chop it off. Check it out:
(me snarling)

As you can see, it is a beard. And sometimes I get to feeling like I like it. I feel good about myself, like I could go live in the mountains or the fields or something. But then I am humbled, as we so often are when we think this way.

My humbling came at the hands of two good friend who I met up with this last week. The first was fresh from a French Monastery and like the French, had plenty of nerve to out beard me. This beard, on a scale of one to ten, was a Grizzly Ansel Adams.
See the Similarities?

As if this were not enough, blindsiding me out of the blue (and out of the running for best beard) came an old friend also recently returned from Europe. Edging out Grizzly Adams' look a like came a beard only the Russians have matched.


Impressive, no? My hat is off to these manly men who have invested such time and loving effort into nurturing truly respectable beards.

Note to my other reader, not mentioned in this post: you have always had a great beard. But since this was no surprise to me, I did not mention your beard as one of the humbling factors. Please forgive this oversight and accept my sincere admiration of your beard as well.

Note to any other potential readers, bearded or not: feel free to contribute your reaction to the mug shots above.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Forklift Safety Training

I just found this very informative blog. I don't know how many of you are concerned with fork lift safety, but I just have this to say to you: You'd better be!

Forklift Safety Training

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I'm a little too old to have watched Pokemon on cartoons, but I'm not to old to have played Super Smash Brothers on Nintendo 64. There's a Pokemon or two in that game and I think they are hilarious. They waddle around and everytime they take a step they mutter their own names. Peekah. Peekah. Peekah. And then they let it rip: "Pee KAaaaaaaaa CHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!" And as they perform their massive move 'o' death and destruction lightning descends from heaven to consume their foes.

One second squeaking as they step. The next, screaming demons.


The other night I was telling a good friend how much I admired and envied his ability to tell good stories. I told him if I could have any super power I would choose to be able to tell amazing stories. I got laughed at and one friend said he'd choose to shoot laser beams from his eyes. But I still think telling stories is better because I could tell him a story that scares him into submission or inspires him to fight on my side. I could tell any kind of story I wanted. (And luke, your cop-out answer of "the ability to have any super power at any time I want" doesn't top mine because I would still be better at telling stories. The jack of all trades is master of none!)

This is silly, but I think stories are powerful. Stories can give meaning to mistakes. Stories are the context we live in. Everything that we read, see, smell, hear, or taste--everything we perceive--is inextricable from our interpretation of the world around us. Stories actually shape how we think about the events in our lives.

I'm reading a book about transformational development. There's a quote in it from Lesslie Newbigin, a Catholic bishop from India: "We live in the biblical story as part of the community whose story it is, find in the story the clues to knowing God as his character becomes manifest in the story, and from within that indwelling try to understand and cope with the events of our time and the world about us and so carry the story forward."

That quote reminded me about a conversation I had with some friends recently about our faith. The we talked about innocent people suffering and asked "Is God involved in human suffering? And if so, why does he allow it to happen?" Those are hard questions to answer on my own authority. But I think that this quote offers some helpful insight.

The bible tells a story. It's a story about a world with a great beginning, a big mistake, a curse and crumbling foundation, and a promise of redemption and hope. What Newbigin points out is that God is in the story, yes, and he has a huge personal investment in redeeming the story, but he also gives us a huge a role to play in coping with all the crap that happens in this world.

Finding out how I fit into that story is what's hard. I know it takes a lot of searching and a lot of mistakes. It feels like the time spent trying to figure it out is unfruitful. But if you do "tell yourself into the story" then how much richer will your experience be?

And maybe,

Sunday, November 23, 2008

make pizza from scratch

Ladies and Gentlemen, you are probably reading this because either consciously or unconsciously you have decided you have nothing better to do (or you just don't want to do whatever it is you should be doing!). Allow me to make a suggestion. If any of you ever need something to do, give me a call. After hours of tinkering in my secret laboratory (read: lub o' ruh tory) I have created a Random Idea Generator.

The actual technology and mechanics of this generator are not important, but they harness renewable energy sources such as positively charged children playing on negatively charged playground equipment.

From time to time I may include an item from this Idea Generator and all who read this are encouraged to try it and comment with their results.

Today's item is "make pizza from scratch". I think I'll try making a new kind of pizza as well. Since we have so much leftover from a pre-thanksgiving thanksgiving feast with our ESL class I think I'll make Turkey and Stuffing Pizza with a Spicy Green Chili Salsa (thanks to Maria) instead of tomato sauce.


In point of fact, Salsa Verde makes an excellent (and healthier) alternative to gravy or cranberry relish for all that white turkey meat. The subtle smokiness of tomatillos marries well with brined white meat.


All this talk about food will have to wait, however, as I've just had the first piece and a half of the birthday cake my grandma made me. If any of you out there think your grandma makes a mean cake, let me just say your grandma ain't like my grandma. This cake is intense. It's so fudgy and moist that you can't eat it too fast or you won't be able to breathe. Yeah. Intense.

Also, I have a birthday coming up and have not yet finalized what my birthday wishes will be. If you need something wished for, please let me know. If it's a worthy cause, I might donate a wish or two.


ps. My sister makes mashed potatoes. I call them her "If I die now, at least I'll die happy" potatoes (though she doesn't know this). They get this name, obviously, because they're so good. But also because if you underestimate them and treat them as a side dish, they just might be your last. This tasty mash has the nutrition facts of a whole meal!


pps. I'm drinking coffee because it calms me down and makes me feel smart. I'm drinking decaf because I don't want to be wired.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Choose your own adventure...

OK, so want to write a choose your own adventure book, but I don't have the time or skills to do so. So here's what i'm gonna do. I'm gonna start the story. And I might even continue it some, but if any of you aspiring writers out there want to help a brother out, feel free to add to the adventure. Simply add a comment to the end of a section with a link to the follow up section on your blog.

For those interested, here are the ground rules:

1. Choose your own adventure stories are written in second person. For the sake of continuity I ask that you write with lots of sensory words and direct actions.

2. No writer writes two consecutive sections of the story (unless a week has passed with no other contributions). This is to be a collaboration.

3. Each "episode" ends with a clear decision for the reader to make. The decision should be simple with only 2 choices and should leave room for the next author to take the story in a new direction or add a new element to the story. These decisions should refrain from leading the following section too much. For example, a good concluding decision might ask "Do you decide to eat dinner at home, or go out to get something?" A leading question might ask instead " Do you stay and eat macaroni, or do you go to McDonalds".

4. This story is PG.

5. There are no other rules

"unquenchable wonton hunger"

when my wife was reading out loud the other day she came to this phrase and we both had to laugh. i picture a funny little man with rounded cheeks suffering from insatiable cravings for crunchy won tons. "more...more!"

that's what i thought of anyway.