Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Advent. Over-simplified, it means, "coming". Some people use this time leading up to December 25th to consider and contemplate a time in History when the world didn't know the name, Jesus. Before the "Nativity Scene". But right now, I'm not thinking about a young pregnant girl on a donkey with no place to stay--I'm thinking about a young pregnant girl in the ICU with possible liver failure.

I wish I had a really cool reason to compare these two girls, but I don't. When Jesus came into this world, it was broken. The thing that makes my heart ache is that this world is still very broken. These two girls make me think of both the brokenness and the redemption that was and is and is to come.

Maybe that's just me.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

To My Consevative Christian Friends

Yesterday, I saw someone holding a sign that read, "Keep marriage sacred! Vote Yes on Prop 8". At first, I couldn't identify why this sign bugged me so much. But then today I saw on the Travel Channel, a show called, "10 Most Extreme Halloween Destinations". It was destination number 9 that triggered my anger on the whole "yes on 8" thing. Apparently in Vegas, you can get married by a guy dressed like the grim reaper. So on this show, we had the honor of witnessing a couple taking part in this "one man, one woman" ceremony - only the woman had fangs and blood painted on the side of her mouth and the man was wearing this ridiculous demon, pagan goat mask. We had the privilege of hearing them both say, "I do." Her, through her fangs and him, through his muffled foam rubber mask. That's when it really hit me: why are conservative Christians saying, "Marriage is sacred, and only for a man and a woman" when we have the aforementioned absurdities taking place. If conservatives want to preserve marriage, why not focus attention on the idiots that are literally mocking the word “marriage”? If everything I saw on the Travel Channel is true, don't you think the sanctity of the word marriage was lost a long time ago?

Here's another angle. Conservative Christians don't own the word, "marriage". Before you get too mad at me, just think about it for a second. It's a word - you have your definition and other people have theirs. If you're still angry, then think about these words. Prayer. Meditation. Fasting. These words have a very particular meaning in Christian circles but can take on substantially different definitions in non-Christian circles. Most people who use these words accept the fact that their shared meaning of the word is just that-their shared meaning. We can all acknowledge that other circles use these same words but don’t share the specifics of the meaning. Most conservative Christians would agree that “prayer” is communicating with the One God that created the universe. If someone from another religion uses the word, “prayer”, no one would say, “Hey! Don’t use that word! It’s ours!” It’s just accepted that lots of people use the word differently. Also, with the word “meditation” in common use in Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, New Age, Sikhism, Taoism, and the Baha i Faith we find a wide scope of meaning. When Christians use this word, it describes a state of intense focus things spiritual. But for many other religions, it’s a state of almost removing one’s mind from the body to an elevated consciousness. Again, with this word, we accept that it has multiple definitions from circle to circle. “Fasting” is a word used in religious and secular circles alike. In fact, it’s a word that has become so watered-down that it’s almost synonymous with dieting. When the word, fasting is used in the Bible, it’s an action for the specific reason of drawing nearer to God – either with a request or repentance. Is anyone angry that the word fasting has lost this definition?

This post is much longer than I originally intended and for that I am sorry. I’m also sorry that today is Election Day so most Californians reading this have already voted (or not voted). My intent in writing this is not to sway voters but to express some of my thoughts on the issue. Hopefully as a conservative Christian, you consider the Christian part of that title more important than the conservative part (if you don’t, than I’m not talking to you). What made Jesus happy? What made Jesus angry? What did Jesus say was most important?

I would love to hear what you think about all this.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Craigslist, Sick Speakers , and the Folsom Ghetto

I’ve been really busy so I didn’t have a chance to write this earlier, but I had to get this down because the whole experience was so amusing. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I bought some speakers off I guy on Craigslist. The speakers are nothing short of awesome. Each box stands 3 or 4 feet tall and the subs are each 15 inchers. I needed these speakers so badly because my father-in-law, Paul had an extra stereo receiver that I’m guessing is older than I am and he gave it to me. I hooked it up at my work bench and knew I needed something really fantastic to facilitate all the power this beast would put out. Hence, the 15 inchers.

So this guy in Folsom had these speakers and wanted to sell them for 50 bucks. Kathy really likes Folsom so we both got in the car on a Saturday morning and hit the road. For those of you reading this in So. Cal. or any of the random places in the world that isn’t the Sacramento area, Folsom is a nice area. It received a bunch of awards for most popular suburb or something like that. The reason I feel it necessary to bring this up is neither of us were expecting to find Folsom had a “ghetto”. But there we were, pulling into a massive, less-than-adequate apartment complex, parking lot. I called the guy (Michael) and told him I’m there.

He said, “Turn to your left. I’m waving my hand at the other end of the parking lot.” This guy is a piece of work. Dirty blonde hair, kind of moppy, but it’s stuck out in every direction. I’d think he did it on purpose, except for the sleep in his eyes. The phone in one hand, a cigarette in the other. A grungy t-shirt, sweats , and those plastic sandals with the single fat strap that covers the top of the foot but leaves your toes exposed. He said, “Come on in and check ‘em out.” His apartment kind of resembled Quentin Tarantino's house in Pulp Fiction.

"Wasn't he a drug dealer in that movie?!" I thought to myself. I couldn't get us out of there fast enough-not really because I was afraid for our safty, but more because I was afraid we might catch something if we touched anything.

As Kathy and I are gingerly placing the speakers in the backseat of our car, he’s telling us, “I don’t have room in my trunk either. The other day I got pulled over in the middle of the night. The cops are pretty suspicious of any 1986, Cadillac DeVille in Folsom. Anyway, the cop asked to see my trunk but I didn’t want to show him because it was full of dirty laundry!” Then he laughs a little too hard.

Kathy and I shot each other a look. I couldn’t help but think that maybe there was something else in Michael’s trunk that he didn’t want the cops to find. But instead of mentioning it, I laugh politely with him and hand him over the 50 bucks.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Trying a Mini Triathlon

In five weeks, I will swim/cycle/run my first sprint triathlon. This particular race is a half-mile swim, fifteen-mile bike ride and a three-mile run.

Kathy once told me about a cool little program on that allows you to type in information about yourself and the race you’re planning to run and it spits out a customized training program for you. I hoped to find something like that for triathlons but at first, couldn’t find anything that suited my needs. Finally, I found this training schedule. It’s pretty basic but it works well for me.

I modified it slightly to fit my timeline but it’s essentially the same thing.

Kathy and I are five weeks in with five weeks to go and it’s been pretty awesome.

The race is on October 12th and I do plan on “documenting” it like I did with the half marathon which I’m pretty excited about-I’m designing/MacGuyvering a camera mount for my bike! I haven’t figured out how to film the swimming part. I will probably end up filming before and after that leg of the race but it would be so rad if I could film during the swim. I’ll work on that.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

From London

So this has to stay brief because this is costing me a pond an hour to type this. I am currently typing while siting next to a window that overlooks a busy London street. We've been here a few days now and it has been truly amazing. There is so much more I have to say but it will have to wait until I get home.

I will also add some photos when we get home--some of them are hilarious!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

In my "twenties"

At least for tonight anyway...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

My First (official) Half Marathon

I run through the woods
The distant cars sing to me
I am so tired

It's been a long time coming, but last Sunday I ran my first official half marathon. This blog entry is here to tell (and show) you all about it. Here's what I did; I took a ghetto digital camera with me and filmed various moments throughout my run. Consider it a series of "video vignettes" depicting my 13.1-mile epic saga. I call it an epic saga because my jogging pace was that of an old man's and the video sequence documents pieces of my three hour experience. I came up with the idea to film my run the night before we drove up to Humboldt County (where the run took place). I quickly MacGuyvered a camera mount ala Survivorman and off we went to the race!

These first three videos took place in the car about an hour before the start of the race. It was about 45 or 50 degrees outside so we where trying to stay warm.

Me talking about my gear...

Some pre-race Q and A, conducted by my beautiful wife.

The start of the race!

This one is very short. It mainly shows the crowd running in front of me.

Here is the first video shot on the infamous "camera mount". I don't say anything in it because I was running next to some lady and I was a little tentative about talking to my camera in front of her.

I'm already rambling at the beginning of mile 2.

At this point in the run I was feeling a little bit overwhelmed. It passed, eventually.

This video starts with me trying my first "Double Latte flavored Shot". I don't want to give away my reaction. Also, you can't hear it too well, but I wanted to capture the insanity of half a dozen people yelling, "WATER!" at me. As I passed the "aid stations" I had run by one already and thought it was hilarious that the people were so insistent--also that they all felt the need to each yell it when I had turned the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth ones down.

Oh, one more thing -- a six-year old little girl copiously blew her whistle as I passed her at the aid station. I could hear her high-pitched squeal for half a mile before I reached this station and half a mile after.

This (in my opinion) is where the story starts getting good. Every great story has a protagonist and some kind of antagonist. In the story of My first Half Marathon the antagonist is The Woman in the Blue Sports Bra. I don't know it yet but this woman eventually becomes my bitter rival.

We should file this video under "Thought it was a funny idea at the time, but turns out, I just made an ass of myself". I should have known that not everyone likes to hear people singing randomly--especially when they're running at imed race.

So, at this aid station they offered both water and Gatorade. I think that there might have been a little animosity between the waters and the Gatorades because the Gatorades sounded angry.

It is mile 8 and I am rambling. I don't really have much to say about it except that it makes me laugh when I mention The Woman in the Blue Sports Bra again. I'm obviously still hanging on to the fact that I passed her at mile 5 even though I hadn't seen her since then.

I'm screwing around--what can I say.

This one is interesting to me because at this point I tried to remember the words to Eye of the Tiger but couldn't. My mind was drawing a blank. My depleted energy level prevented me from multi-tasking.

After a couple of minutes practicing off camera, I remembered how the song goes... sort of.

Here, I am commenting on the way I feel at mile 11.

At an attempt to keep my mind on something other than how long I'd been running without stopping, I decided to write a haiku. It only took me a minute or two to compose it but it took me like ten minutes to will myself to say it correctly with the camera on.

This is the last video--me, crossing the finish line!
I was pretty much hobbling through miles 11 and 12. Then I noticed my foe (The Woman in the Blue Sports Bra from mile 5) just caught up with me from out of nowhere! She tried to pass me in mile 13 so I really started bookin'.You can see her struggling to pass the guy with the PVC camera mount dangling from his body. If you watch my face closely, you can also see the moment that I saw my wife waiting for me at the finish line.