Monday, January 07, 2013

Preventing Myself from getting Rusty

It's been a year and I still remember how to do this.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Already???

So I'm getting an early jump on this year 2012, lest I have to pull a last minute "hail Mary" type of post at year's end. Such was the case in 2011. But this year I plan to stay on top of things, blog included. Not that I'll post anymore, but at least the sidebar will have record of this current year.

And who knows, maybe I will post again in this last year of the Mayan calendar. The comments I've received over the years seem to steadily increase, even though most are from those practicing their English and marketing skills.

So to all readers and insomniacs, may your 2012 be everything you hope it will be.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

2011

Would it be a shame if there were no posts on this blog in the current calendar year?

A bit zen-like?

No?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hearts and Such

Each year there's a day to celebrate true love
So I sit and write about the one I dream of
Her mere touch makes me woozy
My heart races when I think Suzi
That's how I know she’s been sent from above.

There once was a gal from Omaha
Who speaks Spanish but not much Fran├žois
So I hope she understands
As she reads words from my hands
That her presence brings me great joie.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

 

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Happy Anniversary

It's that time of year.


Tim could only scrape up enough money for a poem, so here goes nothing:

There was a “young” beaut named Suzi
She had two boys, then the girl made three
Her husband loved her a lot
But what has he bought?
The anniversary gift he gave her was free.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

TWENTY FIVE YEARS

WOW!

Why is it that turning 25 years old does not seem to be that big of a deal? Twenty-one is big. Eighteen is big. Thirty is big. And the old 4 - 0 is huge. Not so for twenty-five.

But when talking marriage, 25 is big--not as big as 50, but big nevertheless. So here we are, my beloved and I, twenty-five years into this thing.

So far the occasion is huge. Are we taking a cruise? Are we having a party? Are we going to an expensive restaurant?

Nope. We are home. Together. Playing. Not working, per se.

Miracle of miracles, I have cleared off my schedule. My wife is taking a vacation day, and we will enjoy each other’s company. She will walk the dog. I will read the news. She will check her email. I will eat a bowl of cereal. But together we will play Scrabble (or more properly Scrabulous, because of copyright issues).

And then we will head off to a play. Nothing Broadway for us today. No Tony award winning productions on the docket. We will head off to the center of middle-class suburbia, to a place called the Plymouth Playhouse, to see a kitschy performance called “Church Basement Ladies 2: A Second Helping.” The original play has struck such a chord with this state’s Midwestern sensibilities that the theatre troupe responsible is offering up seconds for all those hungering for more. So off we go, later today. And it will be great. It will be cheesy, but cheesy is good, even if we’re not from Wisconsin. We will laugh. More specifically, we will be laughing at ourselves. And that will be good.

For it takes a lot of laughter to make it through 25 years. We’ve had to laugh at ourselves often and not take things too seriously to weather the storms of everyday life.

I’m eternally grateful to have someone by my side who will laugh with me (and at me when the occasion calls for that). When I think about laughter, my mind often jumps to the Hebrew Scriptures where the promised, long-odds fruit of an old, old man and his barren wife is a baby named laughter.

Life is odd. It often helps to laugh.

Thanks for our first 25 years of laughing together, honey. (Oh, did I tell you the one. . . )

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tax Freedom Day (at least for us accountants)

(Lack of sleep plays tricks with the mind.
So here’s a little ditty I just happened to find.
Change is in the air, can you feel the wind?
I filed my extension, you should see my grin.)


April is the cruelest month
At least in the United States
We dread the ides
When we’re taxed to our eyes
It puts us all in dire straights.

April is the cruelest month
At least here in Minnesota
The days are chilly
The nights are colder
It feels like North Dakota.

April is the cruelest month
At least in my little town
The lakes we’re not using
For boats or snowshoeing
And the grass is an ugly brown.

April is the cruelest month
At least in my humble home
I’m too busy to blog
Daylight savings’ got me in a fog
My mind is on a constant roam.

April is the cruelest month
At least in my comfy chair
I sit here and fret
Think about bills being met
But still I shouldn’t despair.

For April is the cruelest month
At least up on that tree
The spotless one
Was tortured and hung
And somehow makes us free.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Is it already Sunday

I just remembered that I didn't blog yesterday, thus breaking my continuous string of blogging days, and this led me to contemplate the fact that I shouldn't use "just" to modify my speech as I often do (and did early on in this sentence), because it weakens what I'm trying to say, and then tempts me to justify or explain why I do it, all of which leads me to write run-on sentences, which I think I was taught not to do somewhere along the way in my attempts at learning.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Zzzzzzzzz

Sat down to blog. . . Fell asleep.

Woke up, remembered that my brother with the birthday went to Vegas for vacation in a Tahoe. The Chevy Tahoe is an 8 cylinder, but when it’s cruising down the freeway, four of the cylinders shut down to save on gas. This reminded us of an old high school friend, who in about 1975 took four spark plugs out of his V-8 Oldsmobile and claimed he saved lots of gas that way. It clunked and sputtered and sounded like a tractor, but it ran. Maybe he was ahead of his time.

Or maybe that was a dream.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Happy Birthday Greg and Adam

Hey this is pretty easy blogging, the whole happy birthday gig. My brother and his oldest each rack up one more year. And tax season marches on. No energy for inspiration.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom

My mother is blowing out one more candle on her cake this year, 73 to be exact.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Another Reason they shouldn't allow me to have a blog

There was an old blogger named Tim
Who anxiously went out for a swim
It’s April he thought
I’ve been cooped up a lot
(To the lake he did go
Through the ice and the snow)
And now he’s in bed with the symp-

Toms of a runny nose, the chills, a hacking cough, blurry vision, and a headache

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Beauty Returns


If it were a day later, this might be some cruel April Fool's Joke, but hey it's March, and the world again looks magical. The huge flakes grasping onto tree branches as they flutter down from the whitish-gray skies make even the camera shy want to be shutterbugs. I wanted to be outside experiencing and capturing all those delightful moments, but instead I stay cooped up inside playing responsible.

But for my blog I had to click at least once (or twice) to lend credence to my story. (If one squints one can find a Prov. 31 woman in the background.;)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Last Sunday for Paul

We had a moving tribute to Pastor Paul and his family on this their last Sunday at church.


And now hours later, instead of bedtime stories I'm telling my daughter blond jokes and this was her favorite:

A blonde takes her car in to the shop because it's been running rough. After a little while the mechanic comes in to the waiting area. She asks him if the problem was fixable. "Sure," he replies. "Just crap in the carburetor." Oh, my goodness," says the blonde. "How often do I need to do that?"

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Copa what?

My wife and I are winding down on a Saturday night by doing none other than playing Scrabulous. As is her favorite activity, she was complaining about a word that I used. I used the word "cabana." I know it sounds Spanish and maybe is for all I know, but I've seen it around on buildings by the beach and figured it would be a great choice for that spot on the board. After complaining for a little bit more she decided to look it up and sure enough, it means hut or shack often by water.

This got up reminiscing about our beloved Bolivian daughter Carla, who was a bundle of energy and continually surprised us with her candor and frankness. One evening we were engaged in a discussion about our home and we asked her what the Spanish word for ceiling was. ". . . I don't know," she said. She pondered and prodded. But it just wouldn't come. This native speaker of the Spanish language was simply lost to find this simple word which she had, no doubt, learned as a child. But it was something to rejoice about. We laughed and giggled as she simply couldn't come through with an answer.

I guess it just goes to show that life is more fun if you don't know everything.

Still more

Yet more


Enjoying the snow, she had her bare feet in the white stuff for this pic.

More Pics


Her cell phone surgically attached to her right ear.

New Pics


Late Friday night we received Christina's senior pictures from the photographer. They are awesome. I'm trying to upload some to my blog, but I'm having trouble. So for now, imaginations will have to do. Wait. . . now it is working. Yippee. Now I have been informed that this is the one picture the daughter hates.

Such is life.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Big Bod Little Bug

It’s amazing how a little germ or virus bug, probably unseeable with the human eye, can put someone down who is over 6 feet tall and has over 200 pounds of gravitational pull. It reminds me of the parable of the mustard seed. Something small can have a huge impact.

I had my first official meal this evening. It started with soup and then progressed to a shrimp and spinach salad. So far so good. I can still hear the faint churn churn, but I think I’ve made it. (I suppose I shouldn’t have stolen those French fries from my wife’s plate.)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Forced Fast


Today is day three of my forced fast. Monday night I started feeling sick and this was sick with capital letters. Actually it should be capital letters with exclamation points. SICK!!!!!!! I think I blogged about being sick earlier this year, and even about being sick of being sick. But that was mere coughing and hacking and constant nose run and the like. I felt lousy, but I could still go to work and function pretty well although miserable.

But this week’s SICK was one that put me on my back (and on my butt). My energy was near zero, but most important (tada) I could not eat. Nothing would stay down or in and that’s no fun. Even today as I ventured into the realm of a cracker, a banana, and a piece of toast (hours apart from each other), it only served to increase the queasiness.

I’ve relearned how much I love food this week, even though on one level it doesn’t yet appeal to me. I had to put the pros and cons on a scale as I drove by each restaurant while traveling from job to job. Even the architecture of a McDonald’s building didn’t look that bad. That red and yellow lured me at some primal level. The double cheeseburgers, which I normally disdain because of their greasiness, were calling my thrifty sensibilities with “only $1.”

But I’ve survived another day. And instead of eating a bag of popcorn or a bowl of ice cream right now, I am sitting here blogging.

For now for me it’s to everything churn, churn, churn. There is a season, churn, churn, churn. I hope it’s over very soon, churn, churn, churn.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Monday Night at the Improv

Last Monday was the final week of my Intro to Improv class at a local high school in north Minneapolis. The six of us (Dan, Peter, Amy, Emily, Roneete, and me) and our teacher Michael had ten weeks to play games together. These games stretched us by forcing us to listen and concentrate. These games and exercises were used to help our minds from straying, to keep us in the moment. It was hard. Listening and concentrating at that level, with that intensity, is tiring. We did that for almost two hours straight each Monday night.

I think it was very beneficial in many ways. Sure, it helped us as we did short improv acts, but I hope it will transfer to other areas of my life. Maybe my parenting will improve, or my reading comprehension, or my organizing, or maybe even my blogging?

What? I’m sure everyone is asking, how can there possibly be any room for improvement in any of those areas?

So maybe I wasted my time at Improv. Oh well, I got to meet some fine folks.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sicker than a Pit Bull

I was up much of the night with what I’d rather not describe. This conveniently continued throughout all of today. Blah, blah, blah.

I am so glad that I don’t get sick often. It’s only about once a decade that I feel this lousy, too weak to do much of anything. Only now at 9:30 do I have the strength to blog about it.

Zzzzzzzzzzzz . . . .

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Day After

I’m truly enjoying the fact that I have no pressure to blog today.

Use your imagination and pretend that under the day March 24th there is nothing. No blog. No pictures. No comments. Nothingness. Sheer blackness. A void from Easter till who knows when.

The obligation has been fulfilled, the test has been passed. The habit has been formed???

Only time will tell.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Came Early


Easter came early.

The Sabbath was for resting. But Easter is now here. And for us fortunate enough to live in the Twin Cities, we can “get out an’ shovel.”

Ah the wonders of snow.

It brightens. It cleans. It makes new. It freshens up and makes fresh. It covers over the ugliness of dirty streets and dirty cars.

What better metaphor for Easter than that?

We gathered early this morning, 7 am sharp. We were supposed to watch the sun rise over a Minneapolis lake. But we saw no sun. We saw only grey clouds and we could feel their chill. So we had to huddle close together, being warmth to one another. And we were one in seeing our collective breathes rise to the ceiling of the bandshell.

We gathered to proclaim the hope of the resurrection. The leader encouraged us to respond to his call of “Christ is risen” with the phrase “and He is freezin’.” But tradition took hold of us and the gathered called back in a single loud voice “He is risen indeed.”

The message of the morning began with an explanation of the timing of Easter. It was Christians from the fourth century that we can blame for setting up a system that would make it a possibility to celebrate Easter in a Minneapolis snowfall. But my thoughts, being the better Minnesotan, are that we have them to thank for the picturesque scene that we experienced this morning.

Behold all things will be made new. The sun is shining, whether we see it or not.

Happy (early) Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Gates of Hell


Today’s post should probably lie dormant. And maybe it will.

But let me quickly explain the piece of art beside this text. The multi-colored print is a Holy Saturday piece. Not a common theme now or in the past. Museums are full of artwork containing crucifixion and resurrection, but finding a work representing that in-between time is difficult.

Is it because of the difficulty of showing that limbo period? Or does that time not grab our imaginations? In this print we can see the sun’s rays breaking into the blackness of the cave. And we can see the body resting on the blackened gates of hell, holding back the blood redness.

We’ve had Friday. We’re in the midst of Saturday. But Sunday is right around the corner.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Good Friday

It was and still is Good Friday, a good Good Friday in much the way the original one was good. We “celebrated” the first day of Spring by having the weather anything but springlike. No sun, no birds chirping, no flowers blooming, no trees budding, no signs of new life to speak of. As far as typical spring weather we fell far short.

However, there was a beauty in the lack of spring-ness. We had a beautiful snowfall that brightened and cleaned up all of our surroundings. At home we had about 4 inches, but where I worked this morning, about 20 miles south, the amount was at least double. It was the perfect amount to cover the tree branches completely, but not overwhelm them. It was picture perfect scenery everywhere I drove, causing me to kick myself for leaving my camera at home. Glistening white against the grey skies made everything a magical monochrome. It was so peaceful and cozy, even outside. The winds were almost non-existent, so one could linger outdoors without pain.

This evening though I got a call from a friend whose sister just found out that her boyfriend was found dead at home. She drove her sister to the home, but they were not allowed to enter by the police. I don’t know any more about the situation, but my heart was heavy as I spoke with her on the phone, even as the glimmer from the street lights made each tree in the front yard twinkle through the window.

A few other odd and sad things happened today too. It was that sort of day. Unexpected, unusual, tragic, and sorrowful somehow got mixed in with beauty, peace, comfort, and hope. Death and life are such strange partners at times.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Blogging in Limbo

I’m really too tired to be blogging. Anything I say or do could have disastrous consequences.

I’m really too tired to be playing Scrabulous too. Any play I make could have disastrous consequences.

But here I am writing, primarily because I’m waiting my turn. My wife can’t decide which tiles to lay down, so I am left here in limbo.

But I guess that way I can relate to anyone who might by chance actually be reading this blog. You too, and you know who you are, are in limbo. You are in limbo as you wait for something to be said which might reward you for running your eyes over these here words. This limbo could last for a long time, for I sure don’t know when something of significance will appear here before your eyes and mine. But we’re in this together. Both of us waiting here in eager anticipation for a point to be made or a purpose to be revealed.

Will it come? I guess that depends on when my competitive wife lays down her tiles. If she continues to search for that optimum score, I might have time to find out where I am going with this blog. If she becomes impatient and settles for a 20 point word, then our time together will quickly come to an end. For when she does finally play, I will leave this hallowed place in cyberspace and migrate back to the Scrabble board where I can practice dominion over my wife (the one and only place really).

Oh, there she did it. She has played and I must end. Good night to all and have a Good Friday tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Five Weeks


I’m feeling almost Catholic as we’re in the middle of Holy Week, Lent 2007 is almost a memory, and I’ve practiced enough discipline to carry this blogging thing on for five weeks now. It hasn’t been quite as grueling as a tax season for a full-time accountant, but the temptation to say (or write) nothing is always very strong. (One of those silent retreats has always sounded appealing to me, but even moreso now.) But for now I plod on, continuing to write one word at a time.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Missing My Calling


This past year the world has been graced by my good looks a number of times. I don’t know if it’s the Dick Cheney factor (sort of a leftover crumbs deal) or something bigger. But I continue to see my smile popping up in print in the strangest places. First it was the front page of the Minneapolis StarTribune, front and center, where my baby blues could be seen following the pastor’s swinging arms as he chopped up the air.

Then months later, I’m sitting in a restaurant minding my own business and KSTP-TV shows up and decides to put my mug on their news broadcast as a refined fair-trade coffee drinker.

Now today I look at the latest Cornerstone brochure advertising this year’s upcoming fest and who do I see but yours truly. Top and center are my bald head and gentle eyes tuned in to the lanky speaker sporting his smock and dreads. The speaker, Shane Claiborne, is far left in the photo (appropriate?) while I’m seated right there in the center.

So what’s the deal? Should I start to exploit these circumstances? Do I go find an agent and work my way into modeling? What is a humble Nordic-looking type to do?

For now I’m open to bookings. I will appear at any gatherings you may have. I suppose my fees should start somewhere in the $2,000 per shoot area. But for now I better get back to signing some release forms to further expand my pictorial presence in this world that is desperately seeking more beauty.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I Really WAS NOT Drinking Green Beer when I wrote this (although I should look for some excuse)


There is a wise blogger so fair,
Who thought it would be fun to dare,
Her readers to write
A limerick despite
That it might only be much hot air.

For what could one say
On this enchanted O’day
If he’s not got a stitch
Of Irish with which
To brogue or cant or convey

That his wardrobe is lacking
Any Green for attracting
His dearest sweet Gaelic
With looks so angelic
A swan would only be acting.

She’ll just have to be content
With a fat bald one who’s descent
Is from much farther north
Where those Vikings came forth
To plunder, pillage and torment.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Driving to Palm Sunday Service with a New Bible

It was the last Sunday for Pastor Paul to be preaching at the Well this morning. Easter Sunday will be all music and the last Sunday of the month will be music and testimonies. So we heard his last sermon to the church that he founded--it was on intimacy with God. As he and his wife step into the unknown, that message will be his hope for the church as they carry on--stay close to God. In summary, it is more important to be working with God (by his side as friends) than working for God (as his servant).

I got to follow along in my new New Living Translation bible, a gift from my godfather. He gave it to me on Saturday no strings attached, an offer I couldn’t refuse. The complete Living Bible came out when I was in high school and it was my bible of choice during those Armstrong years. I loved the clear conversational style and it was much easier to memorize from for me. In years since I’ve spent as much time in the New International Version, the Jerusalem Bible, and the Message, but I’m still moved by the faithfulness of the Living Bible. As an added bonus, this particular study bible has great maps, concordance, footnotes, and introductions.

Now if only I could do something about this work hanging over my head. Well, at least this blog is done.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dumb Minneapolis Lutherans



Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, that’s right. It is St. Patrick’s Day today. And the Catholics in St. Paul are whooping it up good right now. They know how to follow the church calendar. But it’s a different story over on this side of the River.

When Easter (and therefore Lent) falls early in the year it creates a conflict with that high holy Green day. According to the powers that be, St. Patty’s Day cannot be a part of holy week. So what I thought was set in stone, March 17th, actually takes a back seat to Holy Week. And thus, today, the Ides of March, is also for wearing of, and drinking of, the Green, with nary a thought of the environment.

So get with it Minneapolitans. And next time this happens, I think in about 75 years, try to get it right, and take the lead from your inferior, smaller, non-identical twin.