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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Don't Worry Bout a Thing!

Three Little Birds


I awakened to the sound of a soft falling rain lulling me to continue to sleep and remain in the confines of a warm cuddly bed; but I got up anyway. A lot of things go through your mind first thing in the morning while you go through your Bob Marley, Legendroutine. I laughed to myself about past situations that seemed bad or unsatifying and how they miraculously worked out for the better. It was funny how easy we forget not to worry. It was funny how every new something seems unlike anything else before. Funny ha ha; funny odd. I rode into the office a different way — one with wide open fields and lush green carpets all the way to the sun. I saw the cows gossiping in the morning haze. I saw the casual buzzard staring at his next victims...afterall he had plenty of time to wait. I love early mornings. To be out just before the night surrenders its secrets to the morning, you have a great opportunity to observe and reflect in a deeper way. The light is almost dark enough for you to see what isnt there normally. I slid in my Bob Marley CD as the rain quickened and activated my cruise control (besides I was very early). Marley sang away at "Three Little Birds" which I had always assumed the name was "Don't Worry;" but you know what happens when you assume. Cool lyrics that made me laugh again. Funny ha ha, funny odd.


Rise up this mornin,
Smiled with the risin sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin, (this is my message to you-ou-ou:)
Singin: dont worry bout a thing,
cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin: dont worry (dont worry) bout a thing,
cause every little thing gonna be all right!
more...


Ahhhh......time and truth mix to form a most unlikely alixer. Meanwhile, this day is beginning to drag like a wooden cart with one broken wheel, a rusted axel and a 101 yr old donkey wearing blindfolds pulling in circles.


Relaxed Lizard

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Fractured From Flawed





We are composed of many different parts with even more tiny pieces inside. What a magnificent sculptor our creator must be. The vision to see the surface, the knowledge to create beneath and the forsight to manufacture the offspring. [Hmmm....can omnipotence have forsight? Hmmm... in theory....Time would be circular, not linear. You would know the past, present and future all at the same time.....hmmm....I think I'm getting dizzy.] Jonathan Swift once said, "Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others." I guess I want more vision, to see beyond where I am and even where I am going to the very end/beginning. We always say that had we known, we would have....blah blah blah. I tend to believe that probably isn't true. We fancy the dance too much. Maybe not, maybe we fancy the unknown of the untaken road. Who knows? People are great! The good thing about people — we are "godlike;" the bad thing about people — we are "godlike." We are curious beings that like to ask questions; especially ones we cannot answer. Should we clone? Are we the only intelligent life in the universe? How can we create more powerful weapons? Should we have clean fuels or just keep making money? Why can't we be God?

fractured faith


The problem with questions and life in general is that it produces at some point a "fractured fatih." Between what doesn't make sense and time after time of asking 'why,' we invent our own answers. But nature/life has a trick! Whether that is in what we hear, see or believe about the world or ourselves; circumstances arise that enable us to heal. That's one of the reasons I suspect we suffer losses. Loss enables us to refocus, to take a break, to back up and look more intensly at a far bigger picture. Things tend to prepare us for the next big thing...kinda like an energy pill for the next fight. We see the inter-connectedness of issolated things. Even in the simplest of things lies its complexity. Even in the worst of things is our best, hidden, nestled down deep just beyond our sight or reach. What is the sound of the ocean's whisper?


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Because IMUSt; just once more into the breech!



Don IMUS


I cannot say that I have completely agreed with the actions taken against Mr. Imus. He may have just been made an example; but what do I know. I heard russell SimmonsRussell Simmons (the godfather of hip-hop, has used street smarts and a platinum Rolodex to create a $300 million conglomerate) talk about banning the 'big 3' (negative words: B' N' and H') from rap music; but I think I heard talk of that several times before. What's even more ironic, if not moronic, is this alleged "cult of music execs" that won't sell or promote any commercial rap without the use of derogatory language towards women and blacks. Oh come on already. I am going to have to agree with this one. How can anyone not see the similarity between the words of IMUS and the lyrics of hip-hop? How can hip-hop hide under the banner of "creative expression and freedom of speech" when it is probably more derogatory than Imus? Noone is holding a gun to anybody's head saying you have to say or portray black society in a derogatory manner except we who are willing to perpetuate it. Isn't that the same as a drug dealer who hates addicts or claims that he's not making them buy? Even worse; it's really "we" who chose to sell it because, like sex, it sells. Let's call a spade a spade. Isn't this really about dollars and cents when it comes to rap and movies? I have heard some really good rap instrumentals right up until the lyrics came. So what is it about when there are no dollars or sense to be exchanged? My father once said to me when I was very young, "I don't care what so-and-so does! So long as you live under this roof, this is how this house runs." Many years have passed but my level of respect has only increased since then. He went on to say "who you hang out with is who you become" and rich or poor, black or white, the media is full of examples that demonstrate the truth in most of his old words. I suppose we will "bob our heads" til there empty and a generation we idly raised with no respect for itself, its women, other people's property comes to power. Oh how we'll be surprised when we're casually disgarded.

I don't mean that old things should all be put away and forgotten. Obviously, some bad things happened in the past; even in the name of religions. Yes, most of the worst are immortal because they serve as a reflection of what we have been or could be again if we aren't careful. I don't believe all the history books should become "politically correct" because the truth will be lost, the ugliness will be minimized and the evil will seduce us all over again under a new name. It is through the spectacles of history that we can hear and see these events, words, and terrors; but that is probably where we should leave it...on the lips of history. I think the truth of the matter is that Don Imus has only regurgitated what we have already said and joked about ourselves. Should we smear the duplicates and not the originals? With that said, people have to be aware that "yes" it is true that some of these derogatory things have been generationalize and even socialized so deeply below our psyches that we hardly if at all notice them until some crazy, angry situation happens and it erupts from below the surface. A co-worker mentioned something that I had never heard of which lends credence to the generational psychology that may still be at play...the Willie Lynch Letter. I thought this was the most appropriate with all the Imus hoopla flying around for ALL OF US to re-read, remember and NEVER FORGET, the speech given by Willie Lynch a slave owner who over 300 years ago devised a plan to help keep Black people divided...
Gentlemen:

I greet you here on the bank of the James River in the year of our lord, one thousand seven hundred and twelve. First , I shall thank you, the gentlemen of the of the colony of Virginia, for bringing me here. I am here to help you solve some of your problems with slaves. Your invitation reached me in my modest plantation in the West Indies where I have experimented with some of the newest and still the oldest method for control of slaves. Ancient Rome would envy us if my program is implemented. As our boat sailed south on the James River, named for our illustrious KING JAMES, whose BIBLE we CHERISH, I saw enough to know that our problem is not unique. While Rome used cords or wood as crosses for standing human bodies along the old highways in great numbers, you are here using the tree and the rope on occasion.

I caught the whiff of a dead slave hanging from a tree a couple of miles back. You are losing valuable stock by hangings, you are having uprisings, slaves are running away, your crops are sometimes left in the fields too long for maximum profit, you suffer occasional fires, your animals are killed, Gentleman,...You know what your problems are; I do not need to elaborate. I am not here to enumerate your problems, I am here to introduce you to a method of solving them.

In my bag, I have a fool proof method for controlling your slaves. I guarantee everyone of you that if installed it will control the slaves for at least three hundred years. My method is simple, any member of your family or any OVERSEER can use it.

I have outlined a number of differences among the slaves, and I take these differences and make them bigger. I use FEAR, DISTRUST, and ENVY for control purposes. These methods have worked on my modest plantation in the West Indies, and it will work throughout the SOUTH. Take this simple little list of differences and think about them. On the top of my list is "AGE" but it is only there because it starts with an "A"; The second is"COLOR" or shade; there is INTELLIGENCE, SIZE, SEX, SIZE OF PLANTATION, ATTITUDE of owner, whether the slaves live in the valley, on a hill, east or west, north, south, have fine or coarse hair, or is tall or short. Now that you have a list of differences, I shall give you an outline of action- but before that, I shall assure you that DISTRUST IS STRONGER THAN TRUST, AND ENVY IS STRONGER THAN ADULATION, RESPECT OR ADMIRATION.

The black slave, after receiving this indoctrination, shall carry on and will become self-refueling and self-generating for hundreds of years, maybe thousands.

Don't forget you must pitch the old black VS. the young black males, and the young black male against the old black male. You must use the dark skinned slaves VS. the light skin slaves. You must use the female VS the male, and the male VS, the female. You must always have your servants and OVERSEERS distrust all blacks, but it is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us.

Gentlemen, these kits are your keys to control, use them. Never miss an opportunity. My plan is guaranteed, and the good thing about this plan is that if used intensely for one year the slave will remain perpetually distrustful. (see the letter)

-WILLIAM LYNCH-1772


Perhaps it is these things that are the origins of our self destructive natures. In the end, WE must chose to be our own authors. The letter above is one of the major problems of the African-American race today. With this knowledge, we as a race can overcome ourselves. To fight the problem, you gotta know the problem then be willing to do something different and differently than you are acustomed. Everybody knows what's bad; but that never stopped them from lighting up or eating too much or eating wrong or burning fossil fuels. As humans, we have a choice. Let's not pretend that failing to make that choice is the same as not having it. We can chose what words to refer to each other is songs, speeches, conversation, anger, love and disagreement. If anything, Imus is but a reflection of social hearts and the deep river raging beneath "political correctness." Who will think more of us than we ourselves demonstrate? What's even more absurd; we smile at "political correctness;" but the backlash says you can think one thing so long as you don't say it out loud or write it down around any of "those" people but "we" all know what you really meant....wink...wink...wink. Is that better? I think I would just rather people come out with it; then I know what I'm working with.

Monday, April 23, 2007

We're Back!!!

Heroes


Good things come to those who wait....and tonite, the waiting is over! {post 1} [post 2]

Friday, April 20, 2007

Well, It Ain't Over Til....Friday Fixins' Too!

fat lady singing


It's been an unusual week....what can I say, its been unforgettable. It is the kind of week that makes "NEVER" clauses rip from my lips in all capital letters. Tiny knows what that means and it's one of those inside jokes. Well, this week has added to my "Never Nameplates!" I guess thats all I am gonna say on that one for now. This day started with some fantastic doughnuts and will end with one incredible sweetie. This day is full of blogs; but I have no fingers that will translate. They are in conference still trying to decide what they can say to protect the guilty. Alas, at least, it's FRIDAY and the sun is shining and the temperature is warm. I think I will spend this weekend trying to forget about this week.

Friday Fixins!
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

RECIPE: HOT/COLD STUFFED PEPPER & TOMATO BITES

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

INGREDIENTS:
stuffed pepper1 11-ounce jar pickled jalapeno peppers, drained
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 container cherry tomatoes
1/2 small onion, grated
4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/4 c. green olives, chopped
1/4 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 dash celery salt
1 dash cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS: Cut peppers in half and remove seeds. Beat cream cheese and add remaining ingredients. Stuff each pepper half with mixture. Cut a slice off stem end of each tomato; scoop out seeds with a small spoon or melon ball tool and fill with remaining cheese mixture. Garnish each with olive slices, pimento strips or bacon. Serve cold.....more recipes | just one more

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thursday Tickles




















So Today I need a few funnies, call it a lite day.
Disclaimer signs
animal literacy in action
dog telling cat off
   

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

"bright horizons...."



How do you get there from here?


Look down the rail





................straight through the middle.



Allan GaryWe tend to spend inordinant amounts of energy making up excuses, looking for tips and tricks, cutting corners etc....but when its all said and done; we should've just put one foot in front of the other and walked straight through. Getting to the mountain top requires walking thru the mud in the valley. Walking up the hill will get rid of the mud. I suspect grief is much the same way. I am deeply touched by all the comments and voicemails I have received since our loss. Today the sun is bright and air is crisp. The loss is even more apparent as you go through the "altered constant." I am listening to "LIFE Aint Always BEAUTIFUL" by Allan Gary in my headphones as I enjoy a break from page layout and design.
[chorus]
No,life aint always beautiful
Tears will fall sometimes
Life aint always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride

Life aint always beautiful
Some days I miss your smile
I get tired of walkin' all these lonely miles

And I wish for just one minute
I could see your pretty face
Guess I can dream, but life dont work that way


But the struggles makes me stronger
And the changes make me wise
And happiness has it's own way of takin' its sweet time


Something good is in everything else. That's the mystery of life. Enjoy yours while you have it and always be thankful.

You are all tremendously appreciated by my household. Most things are best given away....give away kindness, give away smiles, give away hope and you will find you cannot contain what comes back.

Maximus Doom


....In GOD We Trust....

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Certain Costs of Loss



Annie and Pickle



There are many things in life that just happen or we accident upon; some might even claim to be just lucky. One thing is for sure, if you live at all, you will lose something. I have dammed up the oceans of tears slamming against my heart with the forces of angry waves making rocks sand. My beloved doggy is no more. It has been the longest of nights and the most uneasy of mornings. The absence of life leaves a void in a person. The memory of life serves as a reminder of the now absence once filled. For all the things I have easily or hesitantly fixed; this one is beyond me. I could not stop my wife's tears erupting from her soul. I could not return to life a most precious pet now gone. I could not even cure myself of the loss I now felt.
Annie Claus

Annie had been diagnosed with a tumor the size of a grapefruit several months ago at her last immunization shots visit. They gave her 4 weeks at best. Since it had now been practically 6 months; you kind of forget about what was said. You begin to think that maybe they were wrong or it was just nothing. You begin to have hope. In fact, Annie was doing much better so it seemed. Only in the last week had it appeared that something might be wrong. She was practically human. I taught her new words even at 13 yrs old. She would run and jump at the park. She played and chased after toys and fireflies. All the normal really young dog stuff. She was really my favorite child in the family; always there when I came home and always walking me to the door before I left. Even if I layed in the floor to watch TV, she would plop down there too. What a wienny dog!

I am flooded with little funny memories of her now. The trips we took — cause there are very few places we went without her. My mother loved her too, as well as Dad. My sister babysat her several times and recognized her uniqeness. I remember her eating her first bite of snow; how she trembled at the sound of the snow scraping the bottom of our yellow bug on the way to Iowa; how she met no strangers and thought everything was her long lost friend large or small. She liked it when we took her to nursing homes so she could meet new old people and leave them with a smile She was a princess. Much like her father, she would enter a room, pause, pose and smile before continuing; insisting on her presence being known. She loved going to the doggy parlor as parades of people admired her exit and pretty bows behind each ear. What a wienny dog!

It's odd...if you have seen death up close and personal; you know the evidence of its presence — the shallow breathing, the lack of need for eating or drinking, the slight twitch, that growing distant glare in the eyes and the difference in touch response. Yeah, I have seen it before. I will recognize it when it comes back for me. She was the greatest pet, friend, comrade, guardian angel, kind spirit I have yet to know. As she lay dying in our tear-stained arms; there is an instant when "is" "isn't." That's a pretty unmistakeable realization. We returned to our car to share our tears and our loss alone together; just like the day we became one; no longer two individuals. Some of the greatest mysteries don't have human answers. Why.

In the end...we all say Rest In Peace. I long to see my little Annie running over the new grassy rise with her million dollar smile and dangly ears toward our waiting arms. Farewell my little princess..... Now comes the really hard part; going back home tonite without you. I think I could have skipped this day.


!!!
M

Monday, April 16, 2007

Wedding Weekend




Riverwood Mansion

Riverwood Mansion, Nashville, TN

Well it was a very rainy, cloudy, soaking weekend. I even had the pleasure of watching it rain AND snow at an intersection in Brentwood. It was a little strange; but you know that a little strange and I go a long way. Aside from that, I attended a beautiful wedding of some close friends. It's great to have close friends to share in the joys of life. Those same friends are a great source of encouragement and strength in times of need. Weddings have become a soft spot for me since my own. I never thought much of them before; nor believed that there were very many good ones. Luckily we all live and learn. It is a beautiful thing to see two become one under the eyes and hearts of friends and family. It's great to see two families become united as each hopes for the best for their new couple. It' so nice to sit and watch a ceremony and listen to the words and of course, watch the people present. Some faces have a longing hope while others are remembering their own emotions on just such a day. I watched closely at the groom's face for the first glimpse of his bride in her gown. I remember that as a breath-taking moment of "oh boy, this is really happening! She is absolutely stunning and terrified with excitement!" Of course, I was reasonably calm and observing everything I could possibly take in; the air, the breeze, the smell of blossoms, the faces of friends and family and spectators, some of their thoughts, hopes, fears and dreams.

The mother of the bride was absolutely stunning. The proud parents' faces stretched with smiles and anticipation. Time seemed to leap by as the ceremony flashed along. The beautiful mansion played host to all those before it and even those probably present unseen. We do so wish them well. It is through the commitment made by a man and woman that they grow together becoming more aware of themselves and each other. It's kinda like the peace corps...."it's the toughest job you will ever love!"

On a lighter note; of course my normal route to the office was blocked...major traffic jam. So I backtracked after doing a doughnut and took some new road. Having no idea where I was going other than my destination, I zig-zagged across the beautiful green countryside just on gas and instincts. I actually made it with one minute to spare and a great adventure under my belt.


On a heavier note: I think my little doggie is sick or near her moment. That will be a horribly difficult time. My wife has had her since she was a puppy. I can see the tears behind her eyes when she looks in her direction. It is true that all things come to an end. Our heavy hearts must look forward to the future in the midst of today's realities. We cannot get there if we do not leave here. That is just the way it is. None of that changes the sadness that will come from the loss.

lizard writer

Friday, April 13, 2007

Here comes the weekend....



The Beginning always ends...
Isnt it odd that we begin things over and over and think that they wont change. The beginning always ends and the new is only new once; then briefly after that. After the beginning and the new have gone; is there anything of quality remaining?

Say, I have a new song that goes like the old B-I-N-G-O song.

chorus:
Capital I-M-U-S
Capital I-M-U-S
Capital I-M-U-S
Imus was his name oh!


Catchy isn't it. I bet you want to hear the rest too. ...well you can't

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Fast Morning Funnies



The K Chronicles
This guy is not only very good; but extremely funny. Check out his stuff by clicking on the cartoon above.


Bendy sent me this email and its pretty cute in the funniest of ways: 25 funniest analogies - Collected by high school English teachers. Supposedly taken from actual high school essays and collected by English teachers across the country for their own amusement. Some of these kids may have bright futures as humour writers. What do you think?
25 funniest analogies - Collected by high school English teachers.
1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a ThighMaster.
2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.
5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.
8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.
9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.
10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.
12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. travelling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
15. They lived in a typical suburban neighbourhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.
16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.
18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long it had rusted shut.
19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.
25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.


Child insight is always priceless!


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

SMILE! It's Only Raining Outside...









For all the sun of yesterday; the dreary rain of today exacts its punishment. Really, I don't mind the rain; but I LOVE a thunderstorm; today it's just rain. I made a remark to a friend that sparked this blog, "It's Only Raining Outside..." I am not sure where it's going to go; but I guess we will find out together. It was a 2am night for me; so the morning stormed into my conscienceness violently. Thank God my honey called; I was at the Sleep Hotel and no doorman was going to ring my bell for at least 4 more hours that I couldn't have. So, you make that mad scramble to get on top of things and get out the door; but you know that the rain changes everything....potientially late to definitely late.


Nonetheless, it's another great day! I think I like that line because "its only raining outside" reminds me of some things that I have known for so long that you take them for granted....u know what I mean...sugar is sweet, ice is cold, coffee is HOT kind of stuff. I am reminded of the great Apostle Paul who declared he had found the secret of happiness in Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)
(11) I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (12) I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (13) I can do everything through him who gives me strength.


There's always gonna be a rotten apple in the pie. It's hard work not to let that bite ruin the meal. Remembering and refreshing in empowering phrases and realities transforms my circumstances. My friends are all sick of my "Glow-in-the-Dark" Smiley Face shirts; maybe rightly so since I have at least 14; one for every day of the week. If you don't see it, its under something else or I am saving it for gym time. You can never under estimate the power of a smile, even in the dark. A guy at the gym stopped me once and asked where my smiley face was. Even jocks are lured by its peaceful disposition. His response was completely unexpected. He went on to say, "you don't realize that maybe somebody just walking around in here feels better just because they see that crazy shirt." He convinced me...even if its just me catching my own reflection, "it's only raining outside..." Everyday people are subconsciously effected by what they see, hear, feel or smell. It's such a duh statement that its easy to take for granted. Life is short; at least make somebody else's better. I would say its free; but it isn't. (1) People think you cannot afford another shirt (2) Sometimes you get pulled or pushed out of your comfort zone (3) You may even have to NOT think about yourself or your needs (4) and lastly, as I say many times a week, what's feelings got to do with gravity; you just do it because it needs to be done.

Good friends always serve up something funny or insightful. Keep them close. If they aren't, get some new ones. Who you hang out with is who you become. If you don't believe me, stand beside somebody who starts itching.....soon you will be reaching too. Anyway, it's Wednesday, the day in the middle. I am glad to be the oldest child, the middle is too far from either shore. [ha ha ah....I dont know where that came from, so I can't send it back.] Don't let life's rain leave you soaked unless you're in the swimming pool. There's ALWAYS something good you just haven't seen yet and even more just around the corner. [I know, if you were standing close enuf, you would hit me.] I need more gummy bears!




Happy Man

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Unbelieveably Immeasurable!

spiderman 3




It is a beautiful day in Nashville, TN. The trees stand tall as they sway to the music of a gentle spring breeze. The sunrise was absolutely stunning; pouring into a jetblue sky littered with bleached clouds. It's just great to appreciate. My sweetie left town today. It seems we have always been together or always doing things together; so I notice when she's not around. I had a really big grin on the way to work. As I dodged vehicles and finished a conversation with one of my oldest friends, Tom who happened to be on the same road at the same time, something caught my eye as I hung up. At further glance, I notice she had left me a little note along with gummy bears (my ultimate pleasure snack), a Spiderman III coloring book, a Spiderman puzzle and word games, a four pack of Sobe No Fear Energy drinks and a Josh Turner CD! Man! What did I ever do to deserve such a good sweetie. Well, I popped in the CD, ripped open the gummies and proceeded to smile to the office. How nice it is to be loved by you!


Love is a funny thing...it's kinda like God, church and scripture; I could tell you all day long; but showing you only takes a minute. I always prefer the picture to the thousand words....far less headaches. The Prince of Pensive had a great blog yesterday. He hoped I wasnt offended. I was certainly not; too long people have sold a bill of goods about God and Christianity that have choked the truth and power from the realities of life. Everybody's got some questions! You were created with a powerful mind with just enough instructions to be dangerous. Ironicly, it was a major "God-weekend" afterall it was Easter. One of the greatest and MOST misunderstood stories of all time — I believe because we as people cannot fathom someone or something loving us even before and certainly not after all the mistakes and lack of deserving we have exhibited. I remember being really angry about Santa Clause not being real and the possibility that someone could love everyone enough to give them a present on Christmas; not to mention the logistics of getting the right gift to the right house all being a farse. For many years, I deduced the same must be true of God; some sweet little story to keep the world in check and line the pockets of greedy men by desperate people. There can be no good in people. I don't want to be let down again in the name of love. I was really shocked when I encountered STRONG men who had many things going for them; but still bowed to God — I knew they could have been anywhere doing ANY thing; they had money, looks and clout, why would they need or even want God?

Easter is not only about the man who died for all of us; even before we were born or even cared he existed and some never will; but the one who got up! The Bible never said there were not other gods; it said "have NO Other" gods before ...." I found that reassuring in that it wasn't some catchy sales phrase; but took into account the reality of the world in spite of it's fallen humanity and the rulers of the air. I still don't understand how someone/something could love something that much; maybe I never will; but I know this ain't no "lucky mud." There's a lot of promises in the Book; demon-casting, blessings, healings, death-raisings — it even says that "I" and "you" can do these things and even greater; last I checked, nobody else has got that kind of deal in town. I don't know why it doesn't happen every time; but if it happens just once, it can happen again. Give me some of that! I am in!

Ah, love is a strange thing indeed. It IS the only thing that I can think of that would explain some things being done. You know and I know, that some pretty unbelieveable things happen in the name of love and that's just from us; how much more would it effect something greater? No, none of us, certainly not I, deserve all the uncountable, immeasureable graces or windfalls of blessings; but I am ALL the more grateful...one of the "grateful, formerly dead." It's a gift TOO BIG for a bow, too big for a box, too big for an imagination, too big for a grave; but not too big for God — and that's pretty awesome!

All relationships take time, that time means spending some time together. Don't you hate when people only call when they need something? Hmmm....that alone defies my mind how He could even blink in our direction or on our behalf. The creation is not greater than the creator....and yet we forever struggle to cage, box, ignore and erase His presence, influence and coverings as a child who "raised themselves." Only arrogance could claim self raising. Only love can restore; hate only burries...an eye for an eye eventually leaves the whole body desolate and shattered, unfortified from the roaches of our own realities who eat us alive one tiny bite at a time without our notice or regard. If we could see ourselves; would we look? What's in the reflection?

That 'Jesus love' is still the best deal in town. Let me get a big plate full of that! Oops....sorry, I dropped some...oh, the carpet is stain proof, cool; thanks Jesus!



pensive lizard writer

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Great Blogs Should Be Spread Around



Oh so welll spoken, oh so well heard, oh so well seen....
...a word from Pickle...

Friday, April 06, 2007

It's FRIDAY FIXINS'

Great Green Beans





AH yes!!! It's Friday. Here's a great new recipe that I got from Tiny that I call "Tiny's Southern Fried French Green Beans!" I have know Tiny forever; hence I take her opinion as gospel...and she wasnt wrong on this one.

"Tiny's Southern Fried French Green Beans!"
Ingredients:
one small onion
1 tsp of cooking oil
1 tsp of sugar
4 strips of your favorite bacon (I use Wright's Bacon)
2 cans of french style green beans, drained
1 tsp of red wine vinegar

Begin by adding cubed bacon to a hot skillet. As the bacon fries, quarter the small onion and cut one quarter into bits and add to skillet (onion lovers can add more. As the items are frying loudly in the pan, begin to add the green beans in half can increments to maintain the frying temperature, stirring them into the hot bacon grease (smells southern already). After all the green beans have been added, cover and simmer for 5 mins on low heat. Add vinegar, stir, add sugar sprinkled over the top and simmer for another 3 minutes. Stir. Green beans should be a bit duller green with a most delicious aroma. Serve as is or on a bed of crispy battered onions. You can even cook in some fresh mushrooms and/or green peppers and frame a nice steak for the perfect meal.


MMMMMM......mmmmmm; pass the gravy.

!!!
M

Thursday, April 05, 2007

America: Land of the "Sheepwalking"



sheep hooker




My ever-pensive coworker sent me an article or blog about "sheepwalking." He thought I would easily enjoy such an article. Turns out that it is a blog I am familiar with but hadnt gotten back to for some time. It is great to see that the excellence of this blog has only gotten better with the polish of time. Anyway, the topic was "sheepwalking," not to be confused with any other sheep related hobbies; I will drop in his definition and link. It's great reading.




I define "sheepwalking" as the outcome of hiring people who have been raised to be obedient and giving them a braindead job and enough fear to keep them in line. The TSA 'screener' who forces a mom to drink from a bottle of breast milk because any other action is not in the manual. A 'customer service' rep who will happily reread a company policy six or seven times but never stop to actually consider what the policy means. A marketing executive who buys millions of dollars of TV time even though she knows it's not working--she does it because her boss told her to.

It's ironic but not surprising that in our age of increased reliance on new ideas, rapid change and innovation, sheepwalking is actually on the rise. That's because we can no longer rely on machines to do the brain-dead stuff.

We've mechanized what we could mechanize. What's left is to cost-reduce the manual labor that must be done by a human. So we write manuals and race to the bottom in our search for the cheapest possible labor. And it's not surprising that when we go to hire that labor, we search for people who have already been trained to be sheepish. ... more Seth...



You've probably encountered someone who is "sheepwalking." In fact; apparantly I have been an apple cart upsetter. I ask too many questions. I want to know why and why not. Some people are annoyed by questions and even worse by disagreement. I prefer to experience and acquire knowledge on my own terms or at least with full disclosure of the information for a more educated guess. I suppose I have worked in a diverse set of workplaces...but all were teeming with "sheepwalkers" and "sleepwalkers." I am even sure that I have been guilty on occassion of both. It's extremely difficult not to have a bad day that really gets you down every once and a while. Typically, a bad day brings friends. That's the kind of coward a bad day is; never alone, rarely just man to man. I try to shorten the recovery time by taking captive the thoughts and energies that come from bad moments that tend to stretch into a day. If you can get used to asking what was funny about this or what can I learn from this or just accepting that tomorrow will be better — it really helps or at least has helped me. If you're breathing; you're probably going to experience a bad day or week at least once a year. Great article, Seth....but they always are!




desk lizard


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

...De Blog, De Blog, De Blog!




Tatoo, the dwarf

Wow, seems like I have been gone for months....but its only been a couple of days. But here I am; so what of it. Hmmm....well earlier today a robin was sited for streaking at the Polar Bear Races in Arizona. When asked why he didn't win, he replied, I guess I sprung too quick. [ok...now thats wacky cracky; I dont know where that came from, so I cant send it back.]

Noteables of the week: I have a great new recipe for green beans; but I have to wait til Friday Fixins to give you that. I got some new gadgets: a rocket pen from Seattle, Washington, a mini USB lava lamp from the land of the geeks and a cool wireless stapler Thanks to you!---and you know who you are for sending excellent geek gifts for my Geek Day. I had a blast babysitting my 5yr old nephew over the weekend and best of all, my honey is back in the jug...maybe I should have just said house! I got a million flowers planted on this past beautiful and much warmer Sunday. It's always exciting to see life in all its brilliant slendor. I also have a ruthlessly pruned Japanese Maple that I am still holding out for to make a triumphant return to the land of the living.

Well it's a short week; and that typically means that you pay for it somehow. This go-around is no different. I have projects coming out of every hole and no time to plug the dike. Some of my equipment is obedient to Murphy's Law without any regards for my needs and at the worst possible times. Oh well...life goes on. I suppose I underestimated the power of a garage; I am way under-dressed for today's temperature — which won't matter if my vehicle remains faithful. This day is sliding on by...I am waving it by merrily as I dream of the islands and evening out my tan (after a few really hard workouts).

Monday, April 02, 2007

1 Out of Every 3 Sheep

wolf in disguise





My rapt coworker and I had a discussion that was accompanied by a profound revelation. Due to a series of unfortunate incidences; a most unfavorable event transpired upon two "good" people. These in question did "good acts" and were often "well intentioned," but in doing so, little or no discernment appeared to be used. We concluded that "good without discrenment" may be just as bad as "evil without conscience."

I am sure everyone has been in a situation where they believe that this one good act is the right thing to do to help someone who has obviously had a hard time. Unfortunately, later, you discover that you were just the "free-ride-of-the-day", i.e., "a sucker for the cause." Don't you hate that feeling of being used or helping someone who doesn't want to help themselves? Sure...everyone gets lost from time to time or has some down time; but it is a fleeting moment. Sure, sometimes there are grand circumstances that render people helpless and/or hopeless. Is it the situation or the degree of the person? I don't know; I haven't walked in those shoes...but there have been examples of those who have overcome some more than impossible situations. Why? Was it their birthright? their destiny? their character? did they pray right? or was it somebody praying for them that prayed right? Anyway, there goes the rambler...you get my drift.....back to the blog.

It appears that sometimes just being good is NOT the good thing to do. It can promote continued helplessness and less than desired behavior. In fact, Sunday, I was talking with a lady who works downtown at the Frist Center. She had been kind to the homeless by giving food and allowing access to the bathroom facilities. After a stern response from Security, she was motivated to be less charitable — in essence, she was putting her stamp of security and integrity on someone she really didn't know or had no knowledge of their motives or past behaviors. Furthermore; she could have been injured or worse from such a "kind" act that might have rendered her as an incovenient but voluntary victim. If the wolves wear sheep's clothing; shouldn't we actually check the sheep? Do we really have to understand every rule before we realize it is there for our saftey? Is it there for our "safety?" I am forever saying to my female friends, "don't be afraid all the time; BUT, always be aware of your surroundings." There are few excuses for not knowing how close or whom is within a considerable distance from you, especially at night when the brightness of our darkness shines. I hate seeing people with headphones; it's only a matter of time before they step off the curb into a frightening and painful reality. Where your mind is; there is also your attention. Metal, bullets and robbers don't care that you didn't know they were there. I walk by breakrooms, cars and desks with purses wide open wondering...."don't people know, it pays to advertise; it costs to be the victim."

Good intentions without good discernment can really darken a bright day. I am NOT saying don't be kind; just don't be foolish.



maximus lizard