Sunday, August 31, 2008

The pictures from Tom's most recent adventures have been posted onto his blog. Paul and Cyndi were kind enough to let him tag along as they traveled and recreated during the past month and a half. He went to Las Vegas, took in a Dodger's game (A-rod's first), and traveled to Mexico, Seattle, Alaska and the great white north of Canada. Thanks for the memories Paul and Cyndi.


Last year I was disheartened when the current boxholder of my old CPO BOX at Houghton College began returning my unsolicited correspondence, "Refused." I was rejected. For four years I was the boxholder of that CPO BOX, and it was my daily ritual to skip down the stairs into the basement of the campus center before lunch and stand before the pregnant mail box. Maybe there was a letter from my girlfriend or my folks. Maybe...

On some days I dragged myself back up to the stairs and into the cafeteria, brought low by the tragedy of an empty box, but on other days I scurried upstairs and found an empty couch where I could plop myself down and open a letter from Sarah like a bat ripping into a moth. Furiously, hungrily I tore into it and consumed it. Throughout the day I would regurgitate the sacred letter from my pocket and consume it again and again. There is no hunger for which there is no food.

That CPO BOX was an iconic part of my college experience, and thus when I graduated I resolved to mail things back to the current boxholder whomever he or she may be. I didn't want to be creepy though so I put my return address and a letter explaining myself in the first letter, but he/she would have none of it. I can't conceive of a person who would "refuse" a piece of mail. Who would willfully render the once pregnant mailbox barren? I will not let this stand. You will find no return address on this year's correspondence, and I am recruiting all of you to mail stuff to my former CPO BOX.

Please e-mail me at if you are willing to join project pregnant. I have instructions for you.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008


When Rosie and Justin got married I forgot to pack a pair of dress shoes for the ceremony. So on the day of I obtained directions from Sarah's Grandmother and drove across town to a shoe store and bought these, which were on sale for $18.00. Until recently they were my second-string dress shoes, but with the demise of my last pair of sneakers (I currently don't have a pair)they have been seeing increased use as an all-purpose shoe, and with the notable exceptions of the Dexters and my flip-flops, these get more use than the rest of my shoes.
It is nice to wear a shoe with some gription.

They kind of remind me of those shoes that were issued to the soldiers in the movie "Glory."

"W-w-when'r w-w-we gonna get the b-b-blue suit."


It was surprisingly emotional for this Daddy. I love that boy!


I have recently discovered a good way to bring Lucy around when she is in one of her moods. My friends- Mr. Thumb, Tom, Mindy, Angry Rick, and Pinky have proven their ability to pacify the Goose with their banter and bickering. I think she likes Pinky best. Angry Rick doesn't care for Mr. Thumb at all.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"There is no hunger for which there is no food, but foods vary in quality and benefit. A steady diet of some will make you sick and others will leave you craving and unsatisfied no matter how much you eat."

Samuel Thomas Rugglin


The Irvings are up in Idyllwild for a visit, and that means lots of spirites political debate. I decided to let my gun do the talking in a game of electoral college.
Chad, Tricia, Lisa, Sarah and I played out on the camp's center grass. I won with California, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, and Indiana. I was saddened that didn't win VT. I guess I'm a Califorian now. Lisa and Chad shot the most states, but with powerhouses CA, NY & FL in my corner they couldn't catch up. Sarah won the swing state of Ohio and Tricia won Arizona.

Baby John wanted a try.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


On a warm day this past January I walked into a Palm Desert sporting goods store and announced to the first sales associate that I found that I was there with the intention of purchasing a pair of sandals. I was escorted to the back of the store where they sold their footwear and with a sweeping wave of his arm he directed my attention to where the sandals were on display against the far wall. Arranged by size and type they were sorted in gray plastic tubs hanging from the wall. Neatly labeled on each tub was the size and type of sandal, and beneath that, in impossibly small print, the attributes of the sandal were touted in bullet point format. I tried them all on, including a pair that cost an unbelievable $169.99 dollars. For a pair of flip-flops?!?! They all seemed overpriced, including this pair, which I purchased for the princely sum of $23.99. For a pair of flip-flops?!?! I remember that the bullet points stated that these sandals were of state of the art design and comfortable.
I love wearing flip-flops. I first discovered the joys of sandals one summer when I was working at Houghton and found a pair of Birkenstocks that fit me in the Lost and Found. At first I felt funny wearing them like I was betraying some long-held principle, but they were undeniably comfortable. Since that time I have never been without a pair. Unless I am at work I can typically be found wearing my sandals. I sometimes take the dexters or another pair on vacations and such, but usually return and discover as I am unloading the van that they never moved from where I packed them.
It is an interesting study to me how sandals wear. Mine always follow the same pattern. The soles fade smooth over the heel and the balls of my feet. Strangely the right big toe always digs a hole through the padding on my right sandal, the padding under the balls of my left foot always wear a deeper trough then on my right sandal. I wonder what it is about my stride or anatomy that causes such predictable wear.
Where my right toe leaves its mark.
The trough left by the balls of my left foot.
A few days ago I was watching the news when Lucy came up to me. She was crying and tears were rolling down her chubby little cheeks.

“What’s wrong Lucy?”

Lucy can be difficult to understand under normal circumstances, but when she gets worked up it is nearly impossible to make out what she is trying to say. So I had to calm her down and ask a couple more times before I finally got it out of her.

“Bowden called me a poopy-butt!!!”

Using my sternest voice I thundered in Bowden’s direction,

“Bowden, come here.”

Bowden appeared around the corner wearing nothing but his underwear and a scowl. He was brandishing a pirate sword.

“Bowden, did you call Lucy a poopy-butt?”

But before Bowden could enter a plea, Lucy released her pent up rage and screamed across the room,

“You call me nice butt!!!”

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I think I need to do something about that belly.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I have been reading a book to Bowden and Lucy entitled "Foam- the Life and Adventures of a Razorback Hog." This morning Bowden asked to see a picture of a razorback so we pulled down all of our nature guides and such in a vain effort to find a picture of one. Then I remembered a book that once belonged to my Grandpa McCuen, and which I keep with other books which are off limits to little kids in a little cabinet next to my desk, The book, entitled "Animals of the World," was originally published in 1917 and contains numerous descriptions of animals which are now extinct, including the Tasmanian Tiger. Sure enough we found the razorback among it's yellowing pages. Tucked inside the front cover were two maps, which I assume were drawn by my Grandfather. I had forgotten they were there, and I thought a limited number of my visitors here might like to look at them for nostalgia's sake. The scan was kind of faint, but if you enlarge the picture it is quite a bit crisper. I am genuinely impressed (and maybe a little convicted) that Grandpa knew the names of the folks who lived in the houses for miles around.


Before opening day (A.K.A. Happy Day), I would like to make a few predictions regarding the upcoming NFL season.

First of all here are the 6 teams from the AFC who will make it to the postseason:


...and the six from the NFC:


The superbowl will be:

Redskins vs. Browns

Be advised, I told you so.


On a cold late-winter morning during my junior year of high school my Mother and I drove up to the Dexter shoe store on Rt. 4 between Rutland and Killington and bought this handsome pair of shoes. That was roughly 13 years ago. I remember not liking them at first and they were relegated to 3rd string. For years they rarely saw any action, and most often saw use only when a dressier pair of shoes was called for.
When I went away to college they went with me, and, being a little more broken in, saw increased action, but they were still mostly my go to dress shoes. It was this very pair of shoes that I was wearing when president Daniel Chamberlain handed me my diploma, and also when I interviewed for the St Albans City Police Department.
After many years of patiently waiting unused in the back of the closet "the dexters" have been recently promoted to my first choice in shoes and Captain of the footwear. For many years they have faithfully beared my girth and accompanied me on many diverse outings. There are holes in the soles, and the rubber is thin enough that I feel every pebble, but they are wonderfully contoured to my unique feet.
I am afraid that they are not long for this world, and many folks would have tossed them into the trash years ago, but I intend to wear them until they disintegrate or a well-informed medical opinion argues against their further use.

Sunday, August 17, 2008



I came home, put Jack down, and forgot all about him while I was doing this and that. Then I suddenly became aware that I hadn't heard anything from him in a while. A short search revealed him slumbering thusly.
Poor little guy. He just gave up.
This picture looks like a chalk outline of a murder victim.


This past Thursday we made Bananas Foster for the incredible edible which always precedes our weekly Pilgrim's Progress study. The incredible edible is an unusual or unusually delicious food item. Everyone agreed that this was the best one yet and certainly the most edible. (Some dispute the edible nature of our earlier experiments.)
I was first introduced to Bananas Foster by our friends the Whites. On their suggestion I decided to make it for the staff. It was incredibly edibly delicious, and our house was filled with that heavenly smell of bananas foster for the next day.
Here's how to make it:

You'll need:

1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brandy
4 medium bananas

In pan over medium-high heat, melt butter, add brown sugar & cinnamon, stir, add sliced bananas and cook until carmelized. Pour in brandy and ignite- STAND BACK!!! Once all the alcohol has burned off, pour it over ice cream and enjoy. I hear it is also good served on crepes. I'm sad I didn't get a picture of the fireball that results from touching fire to a 1/4 cup of brandy. It was IMPRESSIVE!

Being a complete teetotaler, it felt strange having a big bottle of Brandy on my kitchen counter. I remember when I first began working as a police officer I became curious what beer tasted like. Every day I was going into work and doing little else but dealing with drunks, and I thought that drinking a beer might give me some small perspective into their situation. So one day as I was buying groceries I bought some budweisers as well. They sat in my fridge for a week or so, and I just couldn't bring myself to drink them. Except for when I was very little and my Grandpa gave me a sip of his "super apple juice," I had never imbibed alcohol. My virgin lips and my upbringing kept me from the intended experiment, and one day as I sat watching TV after work I thought, "What if I died in a car accident and my folks came up to clean out my apartment? They would always wonder about that 6-pack in my fridge. So I poured them down the sink, and tossed the empties into the recycling bin.

Those drunks should experiment with my lifestyle.

Monday, August 11, 2008

'Twas there that we parted
In yon shady glen
On the steep, steep side of Ben Lomond
Where in a purple hue
The highland hills we view
And the moon coming out in the gloaming.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Almost there...


Charles Spurgeon one wrote, "Be much with those who are much with God...make those your companions on earth who will be your companions in heaven." As pilgrim's and sojourners in a foreign land we find ourselves on a road trip of eternal significance, and I am thankful to our Lord for traveling companions such as you. I think that years from now I will look back on the summef of 2008 as a stretch of road made easier by good conversation, laughter, and burdens shared- a time spent with friends who shared my passion for Christ and who look forward, as I do, to our destination in the New Jerusalem. It is my earnest hope that in the years to come God would permit many happy reunions with each of you where we can swap stories of our experiences in the way, but if circumstances don't allow for that then I will see you at home.

Stay strong in the Lord, I love you guys!


Josh Tate

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Friday, August 01, 2008


The Redskins will open the NFL preseason against the Indianapolis Colts in the 46th annual Hall of Fame Game on Sunday, Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio.

The contest will kick off at 8 p.m. ET at Canton's Fawcett Stadium and will be televised nationally on NBC's Sunday Night Football.

Al Michaels will call the play-by-play and John Madden will provide color commentary. Adam Schefter will serve as side reporter.