Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Joshua Tree, 25 years later

Chalk it up to serendipity or Glorious Godincidence, I just visited Joshua Tree National Park for the first time in about 11 years...and it just so happened to coincide with the 25th anniversary of U2's greatest work. In honor of that brilliant piece of musical history, this photo of the eponymous tree and surrounding landscape. Had a good time on the trip, too, by the way. Below, some of the more memorable climbs of the weekend:

Bird of Fire
Illusion Dweller
North Overhang
Sail Away
Wild Wind
Colorado Crack

"I can lose myself; You I can't live without. I'm hangin' on. You're all that's left to hold on to..."

It's Like Life, But Different

I just reviewed all my blog posts from the last 5 years. Wow! Time...Nope. Not gonna say it. Not gonna give the Cliche Monster a tip. Anyway. Wow! These days, blogs are a type of scrapbook album of our lives--what we believe, who we interact with, what's changed, heartbreaks, celebrations, pennants (penance), etc. Pretty interesting. If you've not reviewed your blog, or quaint paper journal if you're into that sort of thing, you should. Pull up a couch, a nice glass of wine and the favorite electronic device of your particular bent, and go for it. Sure took me back.

Monday, April 02, 2012

The pic, for those interested in this. Email if you're interested. All the lights work except for a few on the engine figure. Probably easily repaired, if you have the inclination. I didn't.

Friday, December 16, 2011

work sucks

Since many of you have asked, here is the outcome of my meeting yesterday with the Jeffco's executive director of finances.
1) I was one of ~12 people in the second largest CO school district to which this salary mistake happened. Whatever that means. The irony of how the mistake was found should also not go unmentioned.
2) Usually, once the mistake is uncovered, the deduction (they call it "correction") begins that next month. In my case, the mistake was found sometime in September and it was rolling around in negotiations and legal red tape, largely because of my principal and Amy Weber's advocacy (thanks, Rod!) since then. My case was even taken so far as Jeffco's superintendent.
3) I will be losing between $250.00-$300.00 per month after taxes, beginning in my January pay period. That's bad.
4) salaries in the District are frozen until...sometime around the next ice age. So that's bad, too. However...
4) I will not be required to pay back the salary discrepency from 2007 to now, so that's good.
5) Legal action on my part would not yield positive results on any level, so that nuclear option is off the table, which my principal will be pleased to find out :)
6) Though my salary has been drastically reduced, at least I still have two secure jobs in a world where millions of highly qualified people find themselves unemployed, so that's good. (It's clear that I'm trying to find that elusive "silver lining" people talk so much of these days, and that's good).

Thanks for all your support through this. I'm looking for more holiday hours at my second job, Alisa is making some "creative" budget decisions, and most of our Christmas presents will be organically-produced this year. (Read: hand-made). No way around this being a real kick in the head, but it's forcing my family to think about what really matters and what is only superfluous...so that's good, too.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Pirating, part I

Pirate. The simple mention of the word conjures up visions of the open seas and swaggering figures bent on a variety of reprehensible and inhuman deeds. Uh, that's mostly right, if you're thinking of my specific brand of pirating, aside from that part about "the open seas and swaggering figures bent on a variety of reprehensible and inhuman deeds". Anyway, I've decided that I'm going to base my pirating operations out of Boulder Reservoir. That way, I don't have to re-locate during the summer, and I can still attend the midnight drumming circles I've come to love so much. Now, you may say to me, "Hey, Clint--(that's Greenbeard, the Dreaded Three-Eyed Pirate to you, buddy!)--don't you know that the majority of reported modern pirate activity is off the coasts of S. Africa and Somalia? Boulder Reservoir, in its long and illustrious history, has never NEVER had any reports of pirating?" Have you ever thought that this may be the reason for choosing my particular locale??! Get off my back. I'm working here. My motivation, because we all have one, is solely to feed and clothe my family. I want to be a quality provider, and pirating seems to be a better path to that than Amway or Spectrolink long distance pyramid schemes which, by the way, do NOT work and only tie up one's time and energy.

That's what I've got so far...Anyone have a good parrot for sale? An eye patch? Mustache wax?

Monday, October 20, 2008

If it'd been a snake...

You know that ole saying that goes "If it'd been a snake, it'd've bit ya!" This home-spun cliche is usually employed to point out the very obvious (by then) location of some requested object, and usually efficiently succeeds in making the searcher feel quite embarrassed or frustrated. However, in a one-in-a-million occasion, the object in question IS an actual snake. This was the case during Alisa's and my recent hike to Devil's Thumb up Shadow Canyon. She obliviously stepped right over it, it got flabergasted, then I caused more flabergastion as I walked up, and it nearly got me. (It was only due to my mongoose-like reflexes that I avoided the snake's strike).

Here is a picture of the snake. I'm sure it was more scared of us then...whatever!

As you can see from this picture above (taken later in the hike), we both escaped injury of the hemotoxic, reptilian variety.

Let's Keep This All In Perspective

Here are this year's winners of the Wal Mart T-Shirt contest from www.walmartwatch.com. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Now That It's Over...

Now that summer's officially over (I started school again today), here's a quick re-cap of what Clint did over his summer break. What's he doing now: pouting, but all good things must come to an end. (tear)
Number 1: Spent a long weekend away with Alisa in Estes Park for our anniversary! Yea!!

Number 2: Went to Devils Tower in Wyoming on a climbing trip with Erik and John. Yea!!

Number 3: Spent a fun few days in Summit County with the fam and the pine beetles. Yea!!

Worked couple of youth summer camps at my other job (www.totalclimbing.com) $$!!
...various and sundry other stuff.

Monday, July 28, 2008


I've noticed in many emails I receive, that the author demonstrates a specific
sequential weakness when typing a certain word. Some examples are “dya” for
and “adn” for “and”. Sadly, I do this, too. My personal vice is typing “teh”
instead of “the”. 'Drives me insane! Some day, I'm gonna commit the time and
energy, and just type "the" over and over a thousand times so to build the
muscle memory I need to avoid ever typing the annoying "teh" ever again! On
the other hand, one of my
students who is really into computers and stuff was
sympathetic, and even guaranteed me that "teh" has been recently christened
legit, and now has its own definition: a
minor adjective with no specific meaning;
a filler. So it masks the problem, sort of like aspirin for a headache, or cortisone
for professional fooze ball
players. But whatever teh solution, it helps. I know
some other people who have Tourette's Typing [my term],
like typing "fro" in-
stead of "for"...which is funnier. Think of
the ironic possibilities that could create!

the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the
the the the the teh the the the the the the the the the the
the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the
the the teh the the the the the the the the the the the the
the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the
the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the
the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the
the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the
the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the
the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the
the the the the the the the the the the the the the teh the
the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the
the the the the the the the the the teh the the the the the
the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the
the the the the teh the the the the the the the the the the
the the the the the the the teh the the the the the the the
the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the
the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the
the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the
the the teh the the the the the the the the the the the the
the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the
the the the the teh the the the the the the the the the the
the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the
the teh the the the the the the the the the the the the the
the the the the the the the the the the teh the the the the
the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the
the teh the the the the the the teh the the the the the the
the the the the teh the teh the the the the the the the the
the teh the the teh teh (Ahhh It's too hard!)the.

I definitely need to get this fro Tuesday.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Our House In The Middle of the Street...the details

Here are the exciting details of our new house...purchased just in time for the Great International Recession and resulting World War. A little scary. Fear-mongering aside, we have a super-cool little dwelling, and here are some pics of it, with comments from the artist:

Your tour guide, Brianna

We have a tree swing. Cool.

The lovely and picturesque east side of our house. Our room is the upper south window; the girls' is the upper north. The living room is below our room, and the kitchen is below the girls' room. (The tour guide is looking for her cue card).

The technology nook,
the Remarkable Bookcase, aka "Lazarus" (yes, there's absolutely a story to that),
the hall to the back door and storage shed,
the girls' room

For some reason, I really dig our mailbox, and we have incredible flowers and stuff all around our yard.

front flower garden

and that's about it. In regards to the absences of Bree's partner in crime (Addison), she's inside, either learning to crawl, or eating something she shouldn't.

Feel free to drop by the place and see it for real. We'd love to have you!

Friday, April 11, 2008

National Poetry Month's featured reader!

The Best I Could Find

I'd love to have you come over to The Laughing Goat as I play the esteemed part of National Poetry Month's featured reader at their acclaimed "So, You're A Poet" poetry reading series!
It'll be a great time.

Monday, April 21st
8:45 pm
Laughing Goat Coffee Shop
1709 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO

For more info, click over to the "So, You're A Poet" profile on MySpace:

I'll have my poetry book for sale there, too. You could buy one to help finance my family's new home purchase!

Here's a sample of my work:

Tick, tic, tock.

(just kidding) There are actual poems buried strategically in my blog. At least one is potentially better than that one:

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Our House In The Middle of the Street...

Well, take a look. Here it is--the new family fort/base camp/favorite restaurant/trail head/decompression tank...all those things and more. The new House of Locks. Check it out:

211 E Chester, Lafayette, CO, 80026

Pretty exciting, huh? After renting for, well, forever, the Locks Clan has decided unanimously to become home owners. It's partly an equity issue (we want some), but mostly our hand was forced into the decision. (Many of you will remember the earlier tragic post recounting the fateful phone conversation I had with our landlord, Chuck?). All in all, it's for the best, I suppose, and I won't use time here talking about how broken-hearted we are to have to leave our current neighborhood and its amazing community. (See earlier blog entries for that).

The house is actually quite cool. It's a bit larger than our current rental, is mostly solar powered, has lots of storage, and nice little yard with a place for a small garden for Alisa. It was built in 2002, so it's not that old. We probably won't have to replace the timing belt or clutch for a while. It even has an "it'll do" kind of coffee shop a couple of blocks away for Saturday morning 'family pajama breakfasts' or for those times of obligatory peace and quiet for grading papers or writing letters.

One potential drawback is that there are a large number (hard to count accurately, as they move around a lot) of chickens across the street. This could be a good or bad thing, depending on how we spin it. But that's true about much of life, poultry-based or not. It's all in how you look at it, right-side up, or backwards and sideways. That said, we're excited about our new hacienda, and hope you will visit soon. And in case you're wondering: we move on the 27th and, yes, we need help and, yes, we'll reward you with various grillables and beer for your altruistic efforts.

Friday, February 01, 2008

re-gifting to oneself before giving the gift to one's friend

You know how, sometimes, you go to a store for a gift and decide you really want that thing, too? It's like that big blue rubber ball you get for your niece from those aisle-end cages at McGuckins Hardware? The one you simply have to spin with and bounce around the store and maybe throw at other shoppers while ducking behind the animal cracker display and laughing at your stealth? "This makes me feel like a kid again. I must have it. Ahh! I shall buy two of them--one to give away and one to keep for myself!" Like that. That's what this blog is about, except it's not a big ball, it's a book, and it didn't throw it at anyone.

I'm in the middle of a book now that is the most engaging I've read in a long time. It's called Traveling Music by Neil Peart, the drummer and the lyricist for the band Rush. Rush is one of my favorite groups of all time. Since they only put out an album every 3 or 4 years, each member has a number of other things to fill their time off. These range from mere diversion to passionate, serious work. Some of Neil Peart's passions are music (no surprise there), writing, geography, and traveling. He brings all these together, along with a fascinating running biographical sketch, in the pages of Traveling Music, which is, in part, a memoir of driving his BMW Z-8 from Santa Barbara to Big Bend National Park, Texas and back in 2003. I do not intend a book review here, but I do encourage you to check it out. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

I share a love of music, traveling, and reading with my friend Mark Pierson. In an episodic attack of “What
a great idea!” syndrome (many of which are not), I wanted to get my friend something special for Christmas that would support those shared interests. It wasn’t long before Traveling Music rose to the top of the holiday shopping heap, just above Motion and Light, another intriguing and beautiful book consisting of Peart’s prose alongside his wife's black and white photography of the drummer 'doing his thing'.

Anyway, upon receiving the book in the mail (379 pages? Wow! This kid’s been busy! I was expecting 125 pages at the most), I decided I should leaf through it before wrapping it up. One page of the prologue. That’s how long it took for me to know I had to order another copy for myself. Mark, if you’re reading this, I’m on page 201 of your book and am enjoying it immensely. Admittedly, it’s a bit like kissing someone else’s girlfriend (scandalous, I know). Have no fear, though. It’s all yours once my copy makes it out from The Book Nook in Green River, Wisconsin…and Merry Christmas to all.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

There it went...

My birthday was a month ago (plus 4 days). I certainly hope you took advantage of the chance to give to those less fortunate. If it slipped by you, I accept retroactive acts of giving.

Friday, December 21, 2007

"Give Some To The Drummer!"

Most people who know me know I'm a drummer. Never mind the fact that I've not sat behind a kit for any length of time in ten years. I’ve found that passage of time is largely inconsequential to things like that. Time, however, is the focus of this rumination.

Drumming gets into your soul. I know it was true for me, and I suspect I’m not the only one. Once I was introduced to and embraced the romance of percussion, everything became, in one way or another, about rhythm, cycles and the Beautiful Repetition. I’m not given to mathematics at all, but this was one objective left-brained structure that I ‘got’. Solid 4/4 time, 4 beats to a measure, 16 bars to a verse, downbeat on the 2 and 4, or the elegant 7/8 time, with its jazz nuances and endless variety of punctuations. Here was a structure could be trusted. It was the palette for thousands of hours of aimless driving and countless nights in the attic of Weem’s Music Store in my hometown, when various incarnations of ‘the band’ would thrash away during high school for the entire evening, until sunrise.

The current and pervasive theory about the universe in general is that It all turns on so-small-as-to-be-invisible quantum rubber bands of energy and their relational vibrations. Superstring Theory, it's called. I tend to believe it's true, lacking any contradictory evidence. And it’s easy for me to believe this, based on precedent. Patterns, relationships, all the cycles of expectation and fulfillment seem to drive, satisfy, and order nature. A biological example of this is demonstrated in the fact that even our hearts beat in time, some say to the rhythm of the heart of Universe. I prefer to think they beat in concert with the angels, in the empty time between God’s own heart beat, but that’s just me, and I tend to be a bit too romantic at times.

So forget all the jokes about drummers and drumming: “How many people are in your band? Three musicians and a drummer,” Very funny. Personally, I believe interplay with the basis of the universe is a pretty cool way to spend an evening. Shakespeare once said that “All the world’s a stage”. I like to think it’s one big drum set, too. And I will avail myself at every opportunity. Tu-dum-dum!

“Give some to the drummer.”-James Brown

Right on.

Friday, November 16, 2007

potential music gifting for your friends and family

Howdy. I thought I'd throw some ideas out for those gift-givers who would like to bestow music upon beloved people in their lives who like music but have a lot of it. Here are some lesser-known artists worthy of a spin or two:

The Choir-How the Mighty Have Fallen, Flap Your Wings
Muse-Black Holes and Revelations, Absolution
Stars-In Our Bedroom After the War
Vigilantes of Love-VOL, Audible Sigh
Stuart Davis-16 Nudes,
Bright Apocalypse
Peter Mayer-Earthtown Square, Million Year Mind
Glen Phillips-Winter Pays for Summer
Andrew Osenga-Photographs, The Morning
The Weakerthans-Reconstruction Site
Meese-Our Album Year
Rush-Snakes and Arrows

Monday, October 29, 2007

timely, valuable and practical post about zombies

This was retrieved from one of my favorite daily doses from www.steepandcheap.com. This information is valuable, trustworthy, and carries my full endorsement. Hold it...what's that shuffling behind the bushes?!

"I am not well prepared for a Zombie epidemic. I don't have a shotgun, machete, or even a baseball bat. I could scrounge up some kitchen knives, but I may as well just hand myself over to the brain-eating monsters. A kitchen knife or even a small machete is useless--you need weapons that keep them at more than arm's length. Ideally you would be armed with long-, mid-, and close-range weapons when an epidemic breaks loose. For long range you want something with serious stopping power: think pump-action shotgun loaded with deer slugs. If your grandpa has an antique 4-gauge shotgun, you might consider keeping that around. Mid-range weapons are tough, so you need to use your imagination. Look for fire extinguishers you could spray into an advancing crowd of zombies, or on the other end of the spectrum, a liquor store you could pilfer to build Molotov cocktails before you set the building on fire. A baseball or cricket bat would work well up close, and a Plexiglas shield would be useful for pushing zombies back while yelling, "Get behind me!" to your friends..."

Saturday, October 13, 2007

We'll be wintering on Carnegie Drive!

Update on our housing situation: Chuck has given us a big break! He promised that he won't sell the house until spring. That is a welcome bit of grace, as who wants to move with a 3 week old into a house they don't really want in the first place. We're excited we will get to winter on Carnegie Drive with all our friends. Snowball wars outside at 2:00, everyone!

making a difference

Many people I know (and respect) ascribe to the following philosophy regarding procreation of offspring: there's no way I'm going to be cruel enough to birth a child and condemn them to live in a horrible world like ours. Fair enough. Seems even altruistic, in a way. But I see things differently. I welcome the prospect of my 2 daughters moving in and among this frail and broken world and affecting change for the better. This perspective may beg of some the comment "Oh, my! You are creating martyrs and unwilling crusaders, not children!" I disagree wholeheartedly. Though (I believe) we are set here to make a difference, we also consequently get to enjoy the glorious fruits of the difference we make. In my eyes, the human race is a lot like an old house: we all, either passively or actively, either assist the process of decay, or we actively and courageously determine to re-build what is broken...from the ground up, if necessary. Personally, I hope my daughters commit boldly to the latter path; heroes are hard to find these days. But, to address the joyous balance, I hope most of their days are such that the only energy they expend is on repeated laughter, with the warm spring sun hitting their faces while hiking the Royal Arch trail or skiing the black runs of Copper Mountain, with their mom and dad somewhere behind, trying their best to keep up...in this best of all possible worlds.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

the explicit and implicit messages found in language

Exhibit A-the dreadful telephone call of 10-1-07 from our landlord

Ring, ring---

Clint: Hello?

Chuck: Hi, Clint. This is Chuck, your landlord.

Clint: Oh, hi! I haven’t heard from you in a while. How was your trip out east?

Chuck: Well, Clint, I’m going to be selling the house I’m renting you. I just wanted to let you know (that you and your family are soon going to be out on the street or paying some exorbitant amount for a cramped, older, falling-part place in a bad neighborhood with a new baby and a two year-old).

Clint: (Whooah! Did he say..?) You…what?

(silence on both ends of the line)

Chuck: I wanted to thank you for being such a wonderful tenant. If everyone was like you, I’d probably still keep the houses I’m renting.

Clint: Oh well, that’s nice of you to say (but how does that help me today, buddy?! You wanna see NOT nice?! I can show you NOT nice, too.) I really appreciate you, as well. You’ve always been prompt to return our calls and you fix anything that’s broken within a few days. (How about fixing THIS and just giving us your freakin' house, Chuck? Huh!? How ‘bout THAT?)

Chuck: Don't worry--I’ll give you 30 days notice once I talk to my realtor.

Clint: 30 days? (How generous is THAT?!) Chuck, that’s not much time (to pack up our entire existence and drive away from the million things we love about this house, this neighborhood and this area). We’re going to need at least 3 months to be able to find a place and move out. What can you do for us? (Help a brutha out, here!!!)

Chuck: I’ll talk to the realtor, Clint. I’ll do what I can. I just wanted to let you know. (Now leave me alone. I’ve done my good deed today. “Into every life…”).

Clint: OK. Well, thanks for being straightforward with us about it. I’m sure it’s in your best interest (diametrically opposed to OURS, of course!) I wonder--would you be open to a rent-to-own scenario? I think we could both win here.

Chuck: No, no. I don’t think so, I just need to get these houses of mine out from underneath me. That’s all. Have a good day. (Of my numerous headaches, you are my favorite).


Into every life, a little rain…At least I’ve got a job. No house, apparently, but a job.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Winnie the Pooh Saves the World!

I have a firm belief that everyone needs to introduce or re-introduce themselves to Winnie the Pooh from time to time. It is possible that the Future of our world depends on that one benign Act. To my knowledge, Winnie, Christopher Robin, and Piglet have, to date, solved all their problems sans any type of malice, WMD, or WmDs, for that matter. I'm sending a copy to President Bush and various Middle Eastern terrorist groups. Expect a turning of the tide in just a few short weeks. You can thank me later.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Self-Isolation and Being Recently Re-employed!

I'm not the greatest communicator when it comes to my circle of friends. Though I truly love them all, I have a runaway penchant for introversion. I have a leaning toward episodic self-isolation. I'm not saying this is a good thing, I'm just confessing, because they(?) say confession is good for the soul and I need all the help I can get. It's a strange and uncomfortable place to live, being an introvertive extrovert, but we all have our little idiosyncrasies. Enough confession. My soul feels decidedly lifted, and I have other important news for all my devoted friends who have been calling asking about my family's presumed penury.

'Tis not true!! I have recently come into the good graces of one Drake Middle School in Arvada, CO. I'm teaching seventh grade honors Lit and Comp. It was one of those "I know a person who says they know a girl who thinks this guy is looking for a teaching job" kind of things. Long story short: God, in His infinite grace and enlightened timing, hooked me up and things are going much better, from a bank account point of view. The unfortunate debt Alisa and I racked up during my short but precarious descent into unemployment is slowly being repaid, and we will soon be in the black. Three cheers for 0% interest balance transfers!!

Back to my original point--don't expect to hear from me again for a long time. I'm feeling like I need some time alone. So, Happy Labor Day, and Merry Christmas and Kwanza, oh devoted, long-suffering circle of friends, if I don't talk to you before then. You deserve better...(I'm only half-way kidding). Thanks for the consistency and love, and the prayers for work.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Thruster Reversers

The thrust reversers. According to the pilot coming over the loud speaker, that was the culprit keeping our plane on the ground in Salt Lake City. Now, I'm no pilot, but my emotional state just overpowered my sense of safety and I thought, 'We are planning to reach DIA by flying FOREward so I fail to see the importance of thrust REVERSERS working properly'. This was, until I realized that those particular items are employed not during flight, but in landing and were a key component in stopping the airplane before it would skid along the runway and slam into the terminal building, maiming any number of innocent travelers and exploding in a blaze of...whatever. I now have a new appreciation for two things: the phrase 'airline terminal' and, you guessed it--thrust reversers. The pilot on the intercom said something about experimental isolation and disengagement of these thrust reversers and that the plane's engines would be tagged with red tape by the ground crew, and that substitutional methods of landing would be employed upon our arrival at Denver. Based on my recent considerations, this was a barely acceptable proposition but, since my job was simply to fasten my seat belt and place my tray table in its upright position, there wasn't much I could do save nod my head in concurrence and feign placidity of spirit.

There's no big plot twist to this entry. We made it to DIA without incident. Our airplane landed and stopped completely intact and as expected. The red tape must have worked.

Buying Dinner with Friends

While visiting my friends in Dallas last weekend, there was one setting in which I realized I was truly among an adult group, (though I never thought I'd say that about this particular group). During dinners out, at some point, one person would wave their hand, rise from their seat, or make some other important gesture and announce that "It's on me" or "I'll take care of dinner". This is a statement of (at least the benefactor's) apparent arrival at adulthood. For this is what adults do, the having of serious phone conversations, the owning of homes, the buying of their friends' dinners. This act is interesting on a number of levels.

In one way, it is a statement of financial arrival. "I have the means through which to purchase not only my meal, but yours, and I will do so." A declaration of blessing and security spread out before us on the table.

It is also at once a fulfillment of the American need for immediate gratification: "The unsavory portion of this meal is no longer my responsibility. I can relax and enjoy my coffee" and a meditation in denying it, a certain fasting against such a mindset, as it also infers the benevolent expectation of happy reciprocity at some point in the future.

Finally, buying dinner proclaims a strong sense of permanence regarding the people involved. I think that's my favorite part of it. In many cultures today, sharing a meal is a declaration of deep trust and friendship. Not so true in the United States of our Americas, but I'd like to be an agent of change regarding that. As soon as I get some money.

Thanks to all you who bought my dinner last weekend. Your time is coming. All things to those who wait...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Wisdom from the Weekend

I just returned from a nice little weekend hanging with some
of my best friends in the world. Every now and then, we all
converge upon a certain secret location and reflect on life
and cause a measured level of havoc during the process. I
write this sitting in the airport leaning against some weird
"cell phone-plug-in-for-this-[fill in the blank]-must-have-
service" kiosk.

The plane is late. The group still waiting for their plane
and occupying my gate, the LaGuardia crowd, is getting restless.
There is a measure of trouncing and hoof stamping among the
pilgrims. Conglomerate, laptop-toting cows in a pen. Time to
check out of the scene and reflect...

There is never an occasion of intersection with my friends that
I do not gain a substantial litany of new ruminations, accumulat-
ed wisdom, and other considerations. There is a veritable faucet
of "outside the box" conversation that occurs.

So, after a time of meditation, low-level levitation and reflection,
I respectfully submit, for your consideration, the following tid-
bits of wisdom, misconstruences and misspeelings and potential
reality as seen through my friends, long may they roam and procreate...
or at least go through the motions of such.

I have deemed the following list the "20 Epiphanies":

1-Forks do not fling themselves.
2-Slobber is an unfortunate by-product of dogs and some women.
3-That 'Scream' mask is the scariest piece of vinyl I've ever seen.
What is it about that thing?!
4-We all own too much stuff.
5-We all spend whatever we've got.
6-The Mayan calendar stops in the year 2012. In a related story,
there is supposed to be a second killer asteroid heading for us right
now. We thrive largely due to a constant informational barrage of
potential disasters and misfortune on a global scale. Why is that?
7-Swimming pools have a maximum density.
The equation is as follows: (F+x) + (By)/PV. This equation is absolute.
8-Sometimes in life the wires seem invisible. Sometimes they are
painfully obvious. Either way, they're there.
9-Silly string is.
10.Silly putty isn't.
11-There should be a direct correlation between what we say and how
much time we have to say it.
12-If the luggage bag doesn't fit in the overhead compartment, push
13-"Feathering" the clutch is not the answer for obtaining more power.
14-Planet Earth is the coolest series ever on TV, aside from the
collected works of Matt Groening, which is, without peer,the most
anthropologically important documentation of our American culture...
for better or worse.
15-When they're not there, they're there.
16-Or they're at the other place.
17-The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily consistent with
that of the ownership and management of the Parent Company.
18-No one knows who comprises the Parent Company, though there are
19-It is imperative that we respond to our world by being the Hands
and Feet of God. We must wash ourselves often and thoroughly. Behind
the ears, too.
20-Some houses are built with straw, and some with bricks, but you
can also build houses with wooden palettes. And they're pretty good
ones, all told. I guess you can build them with tumble weeds, too.

There. The 20 Epiphanies. Though they were born of the weekend and
its specific activities, I encourage you to experiment with their
breadth, and consider applying them to your larger life in such areas
as relationships, Faith, care of domestic animals and children, business
and financial decisions, sex, and car maintanence.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Being Fired and Comfort Food

Comfort food is really important to me, especially these days, since I'm in that aforementioned and unenviable state of (un)employment. See earlier blog entry. It's a big part of my coping structure. That, and speaking Mandalese to inanimate objects.

Three related comments:
Turley's is a little local restaurant in town. It's the best comfort food in the world.

I'm out of Raisin Bran again.

It takes a LOT of time to look for a job...

Oopses and Ferrets

That reminds me---I recently became an unwilling participant in the inevitable dark side of the employment cycle. Yes, I got fired. Never been fired before. A total shock. It's kinda weird...like those 'naked' dreams where you're at an intersection and realize you're...well...naked. It's also a little like having a ferret as a pet, except there's LESS responsibility, not more. Ferrets require a lot of time and energy. They can't be in direct sunlight for long, and they, like, really hate the cold. I kept my ferret, Sigmund, in a cage by the window for a while, then I learned they hate the cold and it was February when I realized that, which was a little too late and, at that point, our relationship was forever changed until one day, for no apparent reason, I let it out of its cage and it didn't go anywhere--it just sat there on the window sill wondering what to do with the heightened sense of freedom. There's the parallel, I guess. But its food was in its cage, as was its water and that little chew toy. Ferrets like chew toys, just like dogs and alligators do…most of them.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Outstanding quotes from White Noise

Some memorable quotes from the wonderful novel White Noise by Don DeLillo:

What we are reluctant to touch often seems the very fabric of our salvation. (31)

There were no addresses. Her friends had phone numbers only, a race of people with seven-bit analog consciousness. (41)

Television is just another name for junk mail. (50)

"You know what's in my medicine chest. What secrets are left?" (62)

People have no tolerance for you particular hardship
unless you know how to entertain them with it. (65)

He wore his camouflage jacket and cap, an outfit with complex meaning for him, at fourteen, struggling to grow and to escape notice simultaneously... (109)

Society is set up in a way that it's the poor and uneducated that suffer the main impact of natural and man-made disasters. (114)

I feel sad for people and the queer part we play in our own disasters. (126)

"I'd like to lose interest in myself. Is there any chance of that happening?" (152)

A California think tank says the next world war may be fought over salt. (226)

There was a pause like a missing tick in eternity. (232)

Murray said it was possible to be homesick for a place even when you're there. (257)

It's all corporate tie-in. The marketing, the fear, the disease...you can't have one without the other. (264)

This must be how people escape the pull of the earth-the gravitational leaf-flutter that brings us hourly closer to dying. Simply stop obeying. Steal, instead of buy. Shoot,instead of talk. (302)

"The nonbelievers need the believers. They are desperate to have someone believe." (318)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Finding and Losing and Pineapples

I think that, no matter your particular perspective on faith, this is a cool story, and worthy of consideration and such. Peace and pineapples, Clint

Otto Koning was a missionary in New Guinea. He worked among a native tribe that had known only their village ways. One of those village ways was stealing from others.

When Otto arrived and moved into a hut, the natives often came by to visit. He would notice that after the natives left the missionary's home, various household items had disappeared, and he would often see these items again when he went into the natives' village.

It goes that Otto had a small garden outside his hut. The only fruit he could grow on the island was pineapples. Otto loved pineapples, and he took much pride in the pineapples he was able to grow. However, whenever they finally began to ripen, the natives would always steal them. He could never keep a ripe pineapple for himself. This was a frustration, and he became angry with the natives. All during the seven-year period in which this took place, Otto continued to serve and preach to these natives, but he never had one native come to the faith.

Understandably, the more the natives stole, the angrier Otto became. He took a furlough to the United States and attended a conference on personal rights. At this conference, he discovered that he was frustrated over this situation because he had taken personal ownership of his pineapple garden. So, after much soul searching, he released his selfishness about his garden and ceremoniously gave it to God.

When Otto gave his garden to God, he no longer got angry and was free from worry. What was more interesting is that when the natives took fruit for themselves, they started bringing him fruit, as well.

The light came on one day when a native said to him, "
You no longer get angry when we take what we need from the garden. You must have become a Christian, Otto. We always wondered if we would ever meet a Christian."

by Os Hillman, Nov. 24, 2006

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. - Matthew 10:39

Funny, huh? Anybody want a pineapple?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

These speak for themselves. Thanks to a couple of kind friends (Jason and Kristen, you rock!), the Locks family was able to take our first real family vacation. We got to say "Hola" and "Con permisso" a lot, and Bri drank a little sea water and skinned her face on the Mexican cobblestones.This is because she's not yet acquired an appropriate understanding of acceptable vs. unacceptable risk. All in all, we had a great time. We saw iguanas, some jellyfish, and a fringed lizard. (How cool is THAT?!)