Monday, October 29, 2007

We do not determine our purpose,

we detect it.

-Vikto Frankl

* * * *

I’ve always liked Memphis and the song Walking in Memphis. Many years ago I worked for advertising agency and we shot a commercial on Beale Street. I remember it was a rainy night. We shot the commercial between 3:00 and 5:00 AM. Other than a bum or two, there wasn't anyone on the street but us.

It was a great trip. While we were in town we also got to tour Graceland and St Jude Children’s Memorial Hospital. We stayed at the Peabody and ate ribs at the Rendezvous.

In one song, Walking in Memphis brings back all the memories. I’ve even got a CD that I often play in the car that has noting but this song on it by different artists – Marc Cohn, Cher, Soul Kitchen, Brian Mattson, Lonestar, The Union, Sixboro, Linda Kosut, John Tesh, Paul Anka, Eddie Harrison, Cirrus, Steve Acho, even The Bison Chips.

There’s something about the tune that gets me tapping my foot and singing along. And then there is my favorite line, “Tell me, are you a Christian, child?" And I say, "Man, I am tonight.”

We do not determine our purpose, we detect it.



Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I got some new underwear yesterday.

Well, it was new to me.

(Honestly folks, this is a joke. I just realized that it's been a long time since I posted something about men and their underwear.)


Monday, October 22, 2007

Where's Your Strength Come From?

It's important
that you feel strong,
not necessarily be strong.
- Christopher McCandless, Into The Wild

I went to see Into The Wild tonight. Wow. What a movie! Beautiful scenery. Good people. Incredible experiences. Tragic ending.

If you want something in life,
reach out and grab it.

I, too, often feel stuck, wishing I could have go out and have a great adventure. For the most part I've lived by the rules. I've done what was expected.

Unfortunately this movie reveals the harsh reality that great adventures don't always end well.


I Remember That


Here's Matt, and his crazy cousin.
I guess there's a lot to dance about today.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Leader of the Free World


Every time I start to think that Hillary might just be the best option of the current presidential candidates, I'm reminded of this photo. Yes, I know it was from the 70's, when everybody seemed to have long hair and inexcusable fashion sense, but I'm just not sure that I can take her seriously with those sandals.

(Somewhere, I think there's a photo of me in a pink plaid suit and blue suede shoes with platform soles. What were we thinking?)



Thursday, October 18, 2007

Two Tests

The test of courage
comes when we are in the minority.

The test of tolerance
comes when we are in the majority.

-Ralph W. Sockman

Courage, acrylic on unstretched canvas, 1976
C. Morey de Morand


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What shall be our legacy?

What will our children say?

Let them say of me:
I was one who believed
In sharing the blessings I received.

Let me know in my heart
when my days are through
I gave my best to you.

- Gene Scheer
American Anthem

I've now watched the first five episodes of The War (thanks to my DVR). I'm amazed at the story. Not because of how significant it was in shaping the current world, nor because of the enormous amount of carnage and destruction. But because I know so little about it.

My own father was in the US military between 1941 and 1946. I think he served in the South Pacific as a pilot. And that's all I know. He never talked about. If he had any photos, or souvenirs, I never saw them. Unfortunately, he's now deceased.

I asked my mother this week what she knew about my father's military service. They met in 1943 and got married in 1946. She said that she doesn't know any more than I do. She said that he never talked about it.

- - - - -

PS. I'm in love with the song American Anthem. And with Nora Jones. If you're not familiar with it, take two minutes and ten seconds to watch the above video clip. Now.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

You Inspire Me, AND Make Me Laugh.


Happy Birthday and Congratulations!
Have a truly great and wonderful day!

* * *

There are no unimportant jobs,
no unimportant people,
no unimportant acts of kindness.

- A Father's Book of Wisdom


Sunday, October 14, 2007

I get so intolerant of intolerance,

so unempathetic for those with no empathy,
so closed-minded towards close-mindedness,
and so righteously indignant
about all the righteous indignation.

- Shellen Lubin

Me too.

Saturday morning I was riding my bike* past the local Planned Parenthood office. There was group out front carrying signs protesting abortion. A car pulled into the parking lot with two young women in it. One of the protesters started blaring through an electronic megaphone. "Don't go in there." "Don't sign anything." "Don't kill your baby."

I couldn't help but feel some compassion for the occupants in the car. First I had no idea what the nature of their visit was. Beyond that, I believe it wasn't right for the protesters to get involved in such a private decision.

Personally, I don't believe that abortion is the problem; irresponsible sex is. I wanted to go over and ask the protesters if they were virgins when they got married (assuming that they were actually married).

Of course, I didn't.

- - - -
*Update on my bike situation: The guy that runs the bicycle ministry heard that my bike had been stolen (of course he had, I'm on the board). On Wednesday he presented me with a "new" reconditioned bike. I'm very grateful.

Friday, October 12, 2007

You can't have Thanksgiving without turkey.


That's like Fourth of July
without apple pie,
or Friday with no two pizzas.

- Joey on Friends


(Shown above: Two of my favorites for pizza.)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

All you can eat?

(Click on photo.)

I'd say, "Watch where you're driving."

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Lesson learned.

I clearly remember the feeling I had when I parked my bike outside the center last Wednesday morning. Looking around at all the other bikes, mine was the newest. And likely, the most expensive. It was shiny and bright. The tires had full tread. I felt like my bike was better than all the rest. In turn, it was like I was better – more deserving – than any of the other bike owners.

How foolish! It was a false sense of pride. Unwarranted, and inexcusable.


Friday, October 05, 2007


Friendship is born at that moment
when one person says to another:
"What! You, too?
Thought I was the only one."

- C.S. Lewis

I’ve got to get the image out of my head of some frickin’ homeless dude riding around on my bike. Or some dealer accepting my bike as payment for crack. I'm hoping this sunset does the trick.

Maybe I'll see mystery man in church again this Sunday.



Wednesday, October 03, 2007



Last week I got a new bike. Not a real expensive bike, but a very nice one none-the-less. And I bought a new lock.

As some of you may know, I work – as a volunteer – at a soup kitchen. In addition to providing meals for the hungry and homeless, on Wednesdays we run a bicycle ministry, where we give away reconditioned bikes to those needing transportation as well as repair broken bikes.

Today I decided to ride my bike to work. I parked my bike along with the thirty or forty others outside in the bike racks.

As I was inside the center, someone cut my cable and stole my bike. I’m pissed.

And I feel violated. Knowing that someone that I probably know personally, someone that I help feed, and someone that could have gotten a bike for free stole my new bike.



Tuesday, October 02, 2007



I love t-shirts with advertising, catchy sayings, and graphic designs. But where would you wear this? Really.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Smile at five everyday.

Smile at each other.
It doesn't matter who it is.
That will help you to grow up in greater love.
-Mother Theresa

A few months ago, I was leaving church when a man I’d never seen before smiled at me. It was the most welcoming, affable smile I think I’ve ever seen. There was a genuine sparkle in his eyes. We didn’t get a chance to meet. But hopefully, I returned his gesture.

Since then, I’ve wondered who he is. I've hoped that I would see him again.

Yesterday I was a little late getting to church, so I decided to sneak into the balcony and sit on the back row. Three rows in front of me was mystery man. I didn’t even notice him until during one of the hymns he glanced around at the back at the church. When he saw me the corners of his mouth raised in a smile. I immediately sensed he was saying, “how are you?” … “I hope you’re having a great day” … “I’m glad to see you.”

I swear, it made my day.