Wednesday, December 31, 2008




I am officially enrolled in my MDIV program at trinity Theological Seminary. My first three classes, which I will begin as soon as I receive the materials are Theology I, Theology II, and Conflict Management. I told Sarah this morning that I was also thinking of joining a frat. Do you think I should?


The "State Street Shoes" have developed a rip.
What could this mean for their status as Captain of the footwear?

I think it may be time for a new pair of kicks. Sorry "Staties." You knew it wouldn't last.



Sunday, December 28, 2008


The Widjiwats came for Kick at ten pm. He was leaning against the counter in his kitchen, drinking a beer and waiting for a hot dog to heat up in the microwave. Kick glanced at the digital display on the front of the microwave, which read 0:24. Then movement caught his eye, and glancing down, he saw Ilvie step out from behind the toaster. He was dressed sharply in a trim black outfit with a broad belt and a pair of brown boots. Running diagonally across his torso was a single yellow stripe which stood out in sharp contrast against his black jacket. A bowl-shaped fur hat with a broad sweeping plume gracefully arching from it was set at a rakish angle above his all-knowing eyes. Following Ilvie out from behind the toaster came five more Widjiwats, each dressed identically in brown leather with black boots and belts. Across their chests ran two broad red stripes. Each carried a knife at his side as well as a long spear tipped with something shiny which glinted in the light. They all wore the same style hat that Ilvie wore, and altogether they gave Kick the impression of soldiers.


“Hurry up and eat your hot dog Kick, we’ve got a lot to do tonight,” said Ilvie.

Kick opened the microwave and removed the hot dog. He ate it in three bites without bun or condiments. After fortifying himself with the rest of his beer, Kick nodded toward the five other Widjiwats and asked, “Who are they?”

“These are Rolfish, Kodd, Beanid, Foxen and Foxen.” Said Ilvie. “Same name, sorry if that’s confusing. They are your minders. Jarudet has decided that they will be coming to live with you here at the shop, and assist you with the execution of your assignments.”


“Jarudet is our King. I have brought him up to speed on everything, and it was his decision to send them. He also wanted me to tell you that it is our intention to compensate you for your work. Even though we have the ability to force your cooperation, Jarudet feels that you will be a more enthusiastic partner if there is something in it for you.”

“Thanks for helping me out with the search warrant the other day.” Said Kick.

“Well, you’re no good to us in prison, are you? We have decided that you will not be able to take or sell any illegal drugs as long as you are engaged in helping us. A document is being drafted even now, which will spell out all of our expectations for you, but more on that another time. A very pressing matter has arisen which requires our immediate attention.”

Kick was peeved and wanted to argue about not being able to smoke dope, but something in Ilvie’s demeanor told him that this was not the time. “What is it?” asked Kick.

“We need you to shoot an owl and steal something from Jill Lassiter,” answered Ilvie.

“The bird lady?” asked Kick in disbelief. “I can’t. I mean I have a restraining order. That means I can’t have guns. I could get arrested.”

“Those concerns are secondary, Kick. Mrs. Lassiter has made a very important discovery in an owl pellet, and we don’t have sufficient leverage to blackmail her as we did you.”

“She’s a lesbian.” Said Kick. “Maybe you could blackmail her with that.”

“Actually she’s not a lesbian, Kick. That’s just a nasty rumor that Mark Massey started because she wouldn’t let him hunt on her property,” said Ilvie.

“Huh. Really?'

Ilvie nodded.

"Why don’t you kill her?” asked Kick. “…Like you threatened to kill me.”

“We will if this doesn’t work. So, unless you want more blood on your hands I suggest you do exactly what you’re told,” said the little man whom Ilvie had identified as Rolfish. He spoke in an accent so thick and rough that his words were barely recognizable as English.

Ilvie shot Rolfish a look and he fell silent. Then turning to Kick Ilvie continued, “She doesn’t know exactly what she has found yet, but they are human remains. Widjiwat remains to be exact. The bones are currently in a small wooden box on her kitchen counter. You will park your truck on the Springs Road, and walk through the woods to her house. Mrs. Lassiter is sleeping so all you have to do is kick in her front door retrieve the box, and as you exit the house take her rifle out of the closet immediately to the left of the front door. Foxen will tell you what to do then.”


"Yes, Foxen," said Ilvie.

“What if she sees me?” said Kick. “...and why do I need to take her gun? I mean, you did say I was no good to you in prison, right? I didn’t sign on for this, man!”

“You will do as you are told or we will turn you in for Karen.” said Ilvie. “You'll need the gun so the bird lady can't shoot you while you're running away from her house, and you will need it to shoot the owl as well. Now lean down here so Foxen and Foxen can climb into your breast pocket. You’ve got some work to do.”



These winter boots are currently the oldest of my footwear. Until a couple of weeks ago I had forgotten about them, as they had been stored away along with the rest of our winter vestments. It was actually kind of nostalgic to pull them out. To the best of my knowledge I had never worn them in the Golden State. They still had the plastic garbage bag that I had added between the boot and the lining during an 802 spring when all the thawing world was like a big muddy sponge. The plastic lining made my feet sweat a little, but that was preferable to the constant stinging cold of newly thawed sogginess soaking through and drenching the lining.
The tread is nearly worn away, and although the boots are warm and snug, they don't provide much traction on the ice.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


That's about par for the course though. Failure is Washington's natural habitat. Overall I think Zorn is a good coach, and if he was given a big Randy-Moss-type receiver and an offensive line who can protect the quarter back I think we could go places next year. O' the annual refrain- "next year." I hate it. Like vomit in my mouth! I bet the season finale isn't even playing on TV in D.C.


I don't like it when radio stations play a montage of song snippets to advertise the type of music they play and then follow that up with a crappy song. I have noticed that whatever song they end up playing is invariably crappier than half the songs they included in their montage. They should stop doing that. The montage gets you all excited and then they don't deliver. The montage is a tough act to follow though, and it really isn't fair to most songs. Can I get an amen?!?!

MAY 17-23, 2009

This May we are expecting our annual week long intervarsity camp, and, like every year, we are likely to be woefully understaffed as all of our teenage staff will be in classes midweek. I already have verbal commitments from brothers John and Job to come help that week, and I was wondering who else might want to come up. It's gonna be a rockin' good time! Lets make it a service party!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008


This year our friends the Whites, Towlers and Taylors came over for a calorie-rich night of fun, laughter, sticky fingers, and creativity. I accidentally cut Mike Towler out of the picture on the left. Sorry Mike! As always it was a lot of fun. We love these guys!

I just walked through the dining room turning off lights and the whole room smelled of gingerbread, sugar and candy. It is a very aromatic centerpiece.

That is a lot of sugar my friends.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


This morning the world dawned fresh and clear. The sun shined uninterrupted by clouds onto a shimmering white world. Every bush was brought low by mounded heaps of snow, and every branch and twig was etched in white. It was an extraordinarily beautiful morning by anyone's standards. I went for a walk through the grounds snapping a few snowy pictures for the camp's promotional materials and then I walked back home along the eastern stretch of the nature trail. As I neared a place we call coyote rock I found some very fresh bobcat tracks. I believe they were fresh because there was a lot of snow falling from the trees, but there was no snow in the tracks. They were very clear. I got down on one knee and examined them closely. You could even see the faint impression of fur around the edges of the tracks. No doubt, my labored breathing and crashing progress scared it away. I'm somewhat less than stealthy.
Here you can see where the bobcat slinked into a little cave to get out of the snow for a while. Can't you just picture it shaking the snow from its paws before settling down in there. I walked around to the back of the cave and sure enough the tracks ducked out a small opening in the rear. I have examined this little cave before and the ceiling of it is black from smoke. I am convinced that at one time the rock stood up leaning against the bigger boulder behind it. This made a cave where I think the indians used to camp. At some point the rock fell down to its present position, but the underside of the ceiling is still blackened from the old campfires. This picture doesn't illustrate the point very well, but I'm not trudging back up there to get better pictures of it. Maybe I'll do a future post on the old Indian cave. My own investigation has convinced me that this is the cave's story, but I could be wrong. I wonder who I could take up there to corroborate my suspicions. I wonder if the Idyllwild History museum could give me a name.

Aren't Bobcat tracks cute. I wish I had set a penny or something next to it to show scale. They were definitely bigger than a house cats, but slightly smaller then most dog tracks. You can tell a cat track, I have learned, by the shape of the track (canine tracks are longer then they are wide with the fifth pad less pronounced), the lack of claw imprints (cats retract their claws when walking along), and the shape of the base pad (canine's are pointed in front while as the pad of a cat has a slight indentation at the top). Mountain lion tracks are similar in appearance but larger- typically about the size of a CD. The tracks of a Mountain Lion's front paws are noticeably larger than the rear paws while as canine tracks are uniformly the same size front and back. I couldn't discern any difference in size between the Bobcat's front and rear paws so I wonder if that is a trait unique to Mountain Lion tracks. Maybe so.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008



I used to keep them in my cruiser in case I had to direct traffic or something. The department issued gloves would have allowed me to pull a trigger or apply handcuffs, but they did nothing to prevent frost bite. The other officers said the mittens looked unprofessional, but in my opinion comfort trumps pride in most cases (definitely not all). So they remained in my console right next to the accident forms. I love them, and although I don't get as much use out of them here in So. Cal. I still dig them out in inclement weather. They are the gift that keeps on giving.
Thanks Joel. They're amazing!


It's still snowing! This morning as Sarah and I were still enjoying the tail end of a long winter's nap her phone rang with an automated message from the school saying that school would be canceled today. I remember when I was just a wee tyke those mornings when I would wake to newfallen snow, and immediately tune the radio to WJJR for the most recent school closings, and O' those magical mornings when the DJ would say, "and Rutland Regional School District is closed today." Those mornings were the best. I say, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!" The only sad thing in all of this is that I'm afraid we will have to cancel our small groups caroling party tonight. We were going to go around to the other small groups that meet at the same time and drop off some goodies and do some caroling, but I doubt they will be meeting so we probably won't be either. That would have been a fun surprise. It would have been nice to go caroling in the snow. Ah well!

In the early morning light,
Peering out through the window,
I noticed the lower field
Was made strangely uniform
By a broad expanse of white,
A foot or more of snow,
The ragged field concealed
By last night's winter storm.