Monday, August 31, 2009
So yesterday, Sarah and I got a babysitter so we could both attend a fantasy football draft party. That's right, I said "we." Sarah is the only girl in our league, and although she doesn't know much about football, she handled herself very well. I liked it when all of the guys were telling her to draft so-and-so and she stuck to her guns and took somebody else. She did her homework prior to the party and thus all of the papers in her lap in the picture above. I was a little steamed when she stole Chris Cooley out from under me, but I had to admit it was cute too. She's my favorite.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
From an initial report that the fire had consumed 20 acres, it quickly grew to 150 then 450 then 1200 and as of last night 2200 acres. At this time the fire, which is located 5 miles south-southwest of Idyllwild is only 10% contained, but mercifully the wind has shifted and is now pushing the fire away from Idyllwild. Outside it smells like burning mountain. I kind of like the smell.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Eric Holder and all of this disgraceful business with the CIA are nothing but a hair of the Dog cure for the national hangover. He sees regret on her face, she's shaky and nauseous, he pours her another drink, "Remember last night?"
I say kick him out, sober up, and get yourself tested, America.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Here are three things I thought were cool about Ted Kennedy-
1. His voice- I just really liked hearing him talk. It wasn't just his accent either. He didn't speak in measured language. Everything seemed to be said with vim, vigor and energy. I liked that. His accent was undeniably cool as well though, and even though I rarely, if ever, agreed with what he was saying I always liked the way he said it.
2. His consistency- The man had ballast. He knew what he believed, and those well-established principles allowed him to respond to thorny issues with the ease of a reflex, and he championed his views openly, loudly and without apology. I respect that. Such a man gave his opponents a fair target and his supporters a standard to rally behind. he was one of the few politicians of our day who wore the label "liberal" with pride. He was not an indian fighter, sniping from cover and out of sight, but a redcoat marching in the open with sunshine clearly illuminating him in all of his glorious error.
3. His family- I think most conservatives secretly wish the Kennedys had played for their team. Even I entertain a certain fascination with them. No other family in America is surrounded by such mystique, and conservatives, like me, can resent that but they cannot deny it. With Teddy's passing the last King of Hyanis Port has died and that marks the end of an era that I am observing with surprising sadness.
Monday, August 24, 2009
In 1963 a crude, hand-drawn map of Le Mur was found amidst the personal correspondence of the late Colonel Bardonne of Marseille. The map was apparently drawn by one Jean P. Theberge, a soldier assigned to the barracks at Le Mur from 1895-1898. The map, which was drawn on the back of an advertisement for a piano concert at the Hotel du Ciel, was dated 1897, and depicted a sprawling, prosperous town established between the railway and the rim of the valley. The map varied from those produced by the French Army and the Colonial Government in only one respect- Theberge depicts a rectangular enclosure in the upper left portion of the map. The enclosure and its attendant buildings are neatly labeled “Le Temple d’Eden” (Translated- the Temple of Eden). On other maps, produced during the same period, the area is left blank. Why the government failed to include the site on its official maps is something of a mystery, but the leading theory is that they feared that knowledge of the cult’s prominence in the burgeoning settlement might have discouraged much-needed investment from Catholic France.
The founder of the Edenist movement was a charismatic, American-born, physician named William “Billy” Pill. Dr. Pill, who was 45 years old when he arrived at Le Mur in 1875, had served as a surgeon in the Union Army during the American Civil War before returning to his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri in 1866 where he established a drug store at the corner of Pine and 6th street. It was through his new career as a druggist that he first became aware of the amazing properties of the celtanine-laden water from Jogues Valley, which he bottled as a cure for “melancholy .” In late 1874 Dr. Pill quite suddenly sold all that he owned and, without explanation, bought passage to the Taresh-Dafare where he found the drug-addled community of Le Mur highly receptive to his unique theology.
The Edenists believed that Jogues Valley was, in fact, the lost Garden of Eden, and the Water Tree was none other than the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Water Tree’s fruit, containing a high concentration of the psychotropic drug celtanine, was a holy sacrament in the Temple of Eden. Billy Pill believed that prior to tasting of the fruit, mankind was as simple as any other creature, and did not possess the creativity, intellect, and spiritual nature that marks humanity today. According to Edenist dogma, it was the fruit that first gave man his humanity, and God, who became threatened by mankind’s “awakening,” cut them off from the garden before they could achieve the fullness of enlightenment and their divine potential. Man was therefore left in a “mongrel state”- not purely creature as they had been and not purely spirit as they had the potential to be. By returning to the garden, rejecting the tainted institutions and mores of society, and by eating of the fruit of the tree it was their expressed intention to achieve eternal life by achieving equality with God through the opening of their minds. Pill taught that when a person died he simply ceased to exist unless he had been “awakened.” For those who had experienced an awakening, death was viewed as a shedding of the corporeal and a freeing of the individual’s spirit as it attained divinity.
Fairway Market- Idyllwild, CA
"Lets just say he left with a smile. Know what I mean?"
Post Office- Idyllwild, CA
"I'll bring up the firewood, but I'm gonna leave the stove in the car. We can always get it later if we need it."
San Jacinto State Park- Idyllwild, CA
Friday, August 21, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
DO ANY OF YOU OUT THERE HAVE ANY OF THESE BOOKS IN YOUR PERSONAL LIBRARIES? I WOULD LIKE TO BORROW THEM- WILL REIMBURSE FOR POSTAGE.
2. Lott, David, ed. Conflict Management in Congregations. Herndon, VA: Alban Institute, 2001. ISBN: 1566992435.
3. Sande, Ken. The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict. 3d ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2004. ISBN: 0801064856.
4. Shawchuck, Norman. How to Manage Conflict in the Church: Understanding and Managing Conflict, Vol. 1. ISBN: 093818010X. This short and practical manual contains a conflict styles survey for you to ascertain your own conflict response preferences.
Monday, August 17, 2009
LET'S PLAY ILLUSTRATION- The game where I give you a scenario and you tell me what spiritual analogies can be drawn from it.
In an ill-conceived attempt to raise awareness for the homeless, Robert Overcracker rode a jet ski over Niagara Falls on October 1st 1995. The parachute he was wearing failed to open and he plunged to his death amidst the rocks in the merciless torrent. His body was never recovered and this photo, snapped by an Egyptian tourist, was the last anyone ever saw of Robert Overcracker.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
This was what I thought about as my cruiser nosed its way down Lincoln Avenue toward an address on the south side of town. The Brattleboro PD had called up to our department to inform us that a man, whose Mother lived in St Albans, had been found floating dead in the Connecticut River, and they wanted me to drive over to her house and break the news in person.
My cruiser stopped in front of an unassuming two story, white with green trim and a screened in front porch. I reached up over the visor and retrieved the envelope containing a neatly folded piece of letter-head on which I had typed the name of the officer in charge of the investigation and his contact information. Then donning my stetson I stepped from the cruiser and gamely walked up onto the porch.
That is such a strange moment- it's like the calm before a storm that you're in charge of unleashing. It's miserable. I did a gut check and knocked on the door. There were some words that needed to be spoken and, once uttered, I would be free to drive away from this woman's nightmare. I heard feet shuffling down the hall, and I steeled myself for what had to be done. The door opened to reveal an older woman, with thin graying hair and a cigarette smoking in her left hand.
I said what needed to be said in the kindest words I could muster. I asked her if I could call anyone to come be with her. I got her a glass of water from the kitchen. Strangely, even harder than breaking the news of her son's death was making my exit. How can you walk away from a woman who is crying, devastated, and alone? I wished she would take me up on my offer to call someone, anyone, to come be with her, but she claimed to have nobody. She eventually gave me my out by thanking me for coming and showing me the door.
"I'm truly sorry for your loss, Mam."
Those words rang hollow. How empty and unconvincing.
I got back in my cruiser and drove away knowing full well that if the Lord should tarry such nightmares will eventually become reality for us all.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
"Get in there uncomfortable dress shoes! Show me what you got, kid!"
Thursday, August 13, 2009
"Where do you wanna go?"
"I dunno. Where do you wanna go?"
"I don't care, you decide."
"I don't care either."
We finally settled on Acapulco. I had never been there, but Sarah said it was good.