Showing posts from March, 2008

A Trip to the Dog Park

Toby is pretty good about letting me know when he's ready to get up in the morning. Usually, it involves laying his head or his entire body on my head which makes it difficult to continue sleeping. I'm usually glad for the wake-up as I don't like to sleep my mornings away. With Toby's help this morning I got up to beautiful sunshine and more snow melting in the forecast. I've never been gladder to see winter turn to spring. I scarfed down a bowl of Trix then headed off to the dog park with the pups. (Yes, junk food, I know. I do have a theory about junk food but I'll save that for another time.) This was our first trip to the park this year. I probably should have waited a couple more weeks as it's still too wet and muddy. Toby and Allie didn't seem to mind. I meant to bring a towel with me just in case they got dirty so they wouldn't get the seats in the truck soiled. I forgot the towel so I had to drive with them both in my lap making me a fil

Email Chain Letters for God

I got an email from a friend yesterday asking me to both send the email back to her and to forward it to as many people as possible for maximum effect. What was the email about? The email asked me to pray for her to receive financial blessings. I was also to pray for the same outcome for all those I forwarded the email to. If I followed through with her request I'd have many people praying for financial blessings for me as well. These sort of emails are troubling to me as I think they work to undermine Christianity. There's a minister in the Twin Cities named Mac Hammond. He has a Sunday morning televised program called The Winner's Way . Week after week his message is all about prosperity. He received some bad press last year but he's still out there raking in the money. The main thrust of his sermons is to tithe to the church and that God will bless you with even more. I don't necessarily disagree with that because it is Bible-based teaching but what about askin

Dodging Snow and High Priced Services

Listening to yesterday's forecast I wasn't planning on being able to ride today because it was supposed to be snowing during the evening and most of the day. Usually, you hear people complain that the forecasters can't get it right. In this case, I'm glad they didn't. Tammy and I are waiting for Rachel to call from Seattle. She called a couple nights ago to say she was having a good time. A few kids had become sick and one of them was heading home early. They had them sleep side by side, head to toe so they wouldn't be breathing on each other and spreading germs. I talked to my brother who lives a few hours away in Portland and he said there was a chance for snow in the forecast. Rachel said she packed four sweatshirts but no jacket. At least she'll have layers. Keith called to say he had the drawings done for the desk he's making for our office and wanted to know if we could swing by to have a look. Tammy and I met with him this afternoon to give h

Rachel's Trip, Awareness and Giving In

Rachel is in Seattle with the youth group from Prince of Peace. She has the best time on the mission trips she takes with them. She charged the batteries for her camera and is ready to put her photography skills to the test. She took a couple photography classes last year and is developing a good eye for the right shot. They'll be spending their time at Pike Place Fish Market . She wasn't sure what they'll be doing but they'll no doubt make it fun. Steve Saeedi posted this to the comments section a few posts ago. Watch the video... We viewed a similar video a few years ago as part of an awareness class at work. I remember counting the passes and figuring I would have the right answer. After watching the video, the instructor asked us what we saw. Brian said he thought he saw a gorilla. That's funny I thought—what have you been smoking? The video was played once again for us and sure enough, there was an even more obvious gorilla than the one in the above video

Easter Sunday, Peter and Us

Third Day, I Can't Take the Pain , No, I didn't see this one coming It suddenly snuck up on me I can't say you didn't tell me so I can't say you didn't warn me I can't take the pain of knowing that I left You I can't bear the shame of knowing I was wrong But I'll take the blame for everything that I've done I can't take the pain of leaving you alone Of leaving you alone I was there when they accused you but I guess I was too afraid Not just once and not just twice But three times I denied your name I never thought I'd get even a second chance But you've given that and so much more And then for every time I ever did deny You ask me if I love you, You know I do, Lord So I'm off to follow in your steps it won't be easy, it's safe to say There are only two roads I can walk on down The road less traveled is the one you paved Lord, You took the pain even though I left You And You took the shame and Yo

If I Ever...

...get a mountain bike I want some rollers just like these. It looks like something right out of Bedrock .

She's Ready and Bike Geek Speak

I called my sister, Jackie, yesterday afternoon to see if it would be okay if we stopped by with Toby and Allie for a visit . Jackie and Jerry live 40 miles north in Maple Grove and we don't get out there often enough. Toby and Allie are offspring of their dogs, Tucker and Gracie. Rachel was coming with us but as we were making our plans her best friend, Camille, (also from Maple Grove) asked her if she was interested in going with her and some friends to the Avril Lavigne concert at Target Center. Rachel would still come with us; we'd just part ways in Maple Grove. For Rachel it was more about getting together with Camille than it was seeing Avril in concert. Anyway, it was a good opportunity for Rachel to drive in rush-hour traffic with Tammy, myself and the pups along to serve as distractions. She did very well. In addition to last night's drive we also got out today on some snow covered roads for possibly one last shot at some winter driving practice. After we got ba

Barack, RC Flying and Car Talk

I watched some highlights from Barack Obama's speech today as he tried to distance himself from the words of his minister, Jeremiah Wright. His speech was good but in the end, I'm left thinking that this was nothing more than a politician trying to save his candidacy. I'm still troubled that he would associate himself all these years with a church whose lead minister was prone to saying some of the disturbing things he has. As I mentioned in my last post; if any of our pastors said anything remotely similar to what Wright has we'd be done with the church so fast that there wouldn't be time to give us an explanation. There couldn't be one. Certainly not in a place where people come to hear you speak about Christ's love. I don't want to see Obama defined by this incident but I'm struggling to disassociate the character of the man from how he was apparently comfortable in that environment. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. A couple months ago

1st Sign of Spring, Words and a Riddle

I got up this morning, walked out to get the paper and heard my first sign of spring...a robin singing. I had to wonder what it was feeding on as the ground is still frozen as well as being mostly snow-covered. I've dumped Sitemeter for StatCounter to track the activity on my blog. Sitemeter was always slow to load when I went to view the stats whereas I don't have that problem with StatCounter. Anyway, I started my counter at a conservative zero ( of Monday morning at 10:00) I've never kept a running total of visits so it will be interesting to watch the number grow. I also coded it into the pages behind the scenes on our website so I can see what sort of activity is happening there. I got out on my bike for a couple hours this morning. I nearly didn't ride as I was tired but once I was on the road I found some energy and was happy with my decision to put in some miles. I saw two other riders. Not that many for as beautiful a day as it was. A clean bike

Not Quite There, Riding and 3D Imagery

Rachel had her road test this morning at 8:30. The same time I was due in the dentist chair for a check-up. I was thinking about her as I was having my teeth cleaned and wondering how she was doing. I got out to my truck at 9:15 and gave Tammy a quick call to see how she did. Not so good. I thought that maybe she was joking with me and that she actually passed it but she really did fail. She messed up on a couple of unmarked roads which she should have treated as two lanes on each side but she didn't. Rachel was disappointed but she took it in stride. She and Tammy are going up to Babbitt next Tuesday for a couple days and Rachel will drive there and back; 250 miles each way. That should be good practice for her. I've got her scheduled for another road test on April 1st. I took advantage of some warmer temps and spent a good part of the afternoon on my bike. I did a route I really grew to like last year for the beautiful countryside and rolling hills. It was windy though w

Wednesday Night Potpourri

I got to work this morning and set up my laptop. I noticed a new Windows update so I ran the install then went to sign in. I came back intent on finishing some work I've been doing for the past two weeks on some procedural documents we're revamping. I've been doing the editing with a Microsoft Word program which came installed on my laptop. After running the updates I noticed that I could no longer access my Word documents. What gives? I tried the right-click "open with" prompt looking for MS Word but it wasn't showing up. A preinstalled Microsoft Office version was trying to open itself but I didn't have a key for it. My Word shortcut was also taking me to the Office software. A friend suggested I try OpenOffice as it would do all that my MS Word program would and it's a free download. He was right. I'm not sure why but MS Word is functioning once again. I like the new OpenOffice program and think I'll stay with it for a while. Rachel wil

Riding, Retirement and a Home Revisited

I skipped out of work a couple hours early today to take advantage of some mild weather. I took the pups for a walk then headed west on my bike putting my heart, lungs, and quads through some paces. It felt so nice to be out there. I'd have stayed out longer but I had to be back to take Rachel to dance class for 5:00. It's possible that today will be the last time I'll have to take her to class if she passes her road test this Thursday. I'd like to have taken some time to hose down my bike. It's full of road salt and that can't be a good thing. Every large vehicle that went past me had a cloud of salt dust trailing in its wake and settling on me. I'll spend some time cleaning it tomorrow and have it ready for a ride on Wednesday after work. Speaking of work—I've been kicking around the idea of bidding on a staff job. Believe me, it's not something I want to do. It's about self-preservation. I want to work another five years to get Rachel thr

You Up? What Cold? Pay Cap?

I went to bed late last night but found myself wide awake at 5:40 this morning. I got up and noticed that Rachel was still sleeping and she's usually up by 5:15. I knocked on her door and she said she'd forgotten to reset her alarm after using it last night for a short power nap. I'm glad I got up when I did. It's never fun waking up late and knowing your routine is shot. I asked her if she'd like a coffee from Starbucks to see if that could maybe add a bright spot to her morning. I had just enough time to run and get one. She liked that. One tall vanilla latte breve coming up. She's becoming her mother in so many ways and coffee is just the latest. If we have anything to say about it though, she won't follow her mother's footsteps into nursing. I have a confession to make. My mother does our ironing for us. Neither Tammy nor I like to do it and I'm actually very poor at it but my mother loves to iron. Maybe it's the same way I enjoy working in

Continued Cold, Tammy's Paintings and Choices...or a Lack Of

The continued cold weather has grown tiring with no signs of global warming anywhere and I'd really love to know that it's real. We'll be back down near -10f tonight with a high tomorrow somewhere near +8f. I'm going riding regardless. The problem with winter riding lately is that we've had a few warmer days which have allowed a good bit of melting to occur which I'm happy about but along with that are areas where the melted snow becomes frozen patches of ice and creates a major problem for my skinny tires. Those frozen spots remain persistent with the temps as cold as they've been. I'll get out mid-morning tomorrow when there's less traffic should I need to take the lane to avoid an icy shoulder. I was going through a stack of CDs tonight; some were labeled and some weren't. I came across one with some scans I'd done of a bunch of watercolor paintings Tammy did when she was in college more than a dozen years ago. I'd already uploaded t

The Need for Speed

Rachel has a lead foot. I don't know that there's anything I can say to get her to slow down. I'm afraid there's a speeding ticket or worse in her future. I hope not. There's a hilly, twisty road a few blocks from home with a posted speed of 30 but for the most part, people drive maybe 25. Rachel brought it right up to 30 tonight on that section and I asked her why she was driving so fast. She said, "the speed limit is 30". "Yes, I know but it doesn't mean you have to go that fast." A mile later she was turning out onto a more traveled road with a posted speed of 40. There was a large spot of ice covering half the lane as she pulled out and she got the car sliding about 30 degrees to the right before backing off the gas and straightening it out. She nearly hit the curb. I know it wasn't a necessary question to ask but I asked it anyway, "what do you suppose happened there?" "I was giving it too much gas." Not more than

Coming Forward and a Disturbing Trend

I was getting ready to leave work last night when I got into a conversation with Rob. We were reminiscing about the maneuvering he did for me as my union rep when I came forward with my medical/headache condition a few years ago. Rob was commenting on how it was much better that we took care of that back then than to try and do it now in view of today's environment within the FAA. I agreed. I then told him that the headaches are back and that I was very worried that should I come forward again so soon after having my medical reinstated that I could easily lose it for good. I told him I felt I had no other choice than to say nothing about this latest phase and allow it to run its course. He disagreed. I came home with all sorts of thoughts to work through. I prayed. In the end, I decided that I really did need to come forward and let whatever happens, happen. My biggest concern is with the Regional Flight Surgeon who would hold my career in his hands. From speaking with Craig, my