Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This just in....

Big XII football kind of sucks.

The PGA thinks that John Daly is damaging their reputation. Cue it:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Bob Dylan - Love Minus Zero/No Limit

I love all of the activity going on in the room while they're filming.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


From here:

It'd be cynical to call web comments the web's Porta-Potty; especially since most toilets get professionally cleaned.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Happy Halloween

Letters to Mena, Vol. 3

Dear Mena,

This morning I went to coffee with my friend and our pastor Melissa and tried to figure out some church stuff. I think she's wanting to get it resolved or partially resolved before you're born. I'm not sure it will happen, church stuff moves mighty slow.

I came home around noon and your mom and I worked feverishly, well kind of feverishly, in putting your room together. It was really just last minute details that we were working on, things like putting your stroller and bassinet together. For whatever reason, your mom and I worked together like we haven't in years. Her reading the instructions and me asking, "What? Put what thing in what thingamajig?." We got it worked out, and the house is pretty much ready for you. There was an electricity in the air today for whatever reason, and we were both determined to make all of the final adjustments to our home in order to prepare for your descent into our lives.

Something interesting came up tonight. As you may be less than two months old when the time comes, I asked your mother if we were going to dress you up in a Halloween costume this October. She said that she had planned on it. Halloween is a holiday where people give you candy. You won't have teeth. Let this letter be a record that shows you'll probably be in costume this October 31st and that we fully intend to use that to our advantage to score your candy.

I think you're understanding everything alright. We won't have any candy of our own and will be stealing yours this year. You're right, life isn't fair.

Thanks in advance anyway,


Friday, June 27, 2008

Oh jeez, kid. You're really in for it.

Letters to Mena, vol. 1

Dear Mena,

With two months left to go until you leave the uterus, you're pretty much under your mom's influence right now. Oh sure, you may hear me speak in the mornings and evenings or you may hear Emmy Lou bark, but for the most part it's you and your mother. I'd like to apologize right now for her taste in modern, popular country music. I intend to broaden your musical palette when I have more say in the matter, but this is really out of my control for a while. If you ever develop a strange affinity for Kenny Chesney you will know the reason why.

As your dad, I feel I should let you know how totally unprepared I am for this. As I say that I realize that you're pretty much unprepared for everything that will happen to you in this life as well. Sorry about that. One of the ground rules to life seems to be that you get the test first and the lesson second. It may sound unfair, but it's really not so bad most of the time. I'm going to try to look like I know what I'm doing most of the time, but know that I'm probably making it up as I go.

One of these days I hope that you're in my position with all kinds of different wonders about a life that you've had a hand in creating. I don't have a mountain of expectations for you. I have no clue what to expect at all. I know that you're only going to head one way through life, and that's your way. I'm cool with that; I'm looking forward to it.

We're getting our house ready for your big "arrival," although you've been here the entire time. Your mom and I have been seeing a doula and she's been full of advice about how to make carrying you around a little bit more comfortable. We have a couple more months and a couple more baby showers and you'll be here.

2008 has been an odd year. It's been full of wonderful excitement as we prepare for you and also some sadness as I've mourned the loss of a couple of friends. I was especially close to Jeanne, and she was very much looking forward to meeting you. It was not to be. In your life you will meet a few people who live without fear of regret, and live to savor what this world has to offer. They yearn to be involved in their communities, care for strays, read books, and enjoy good food and drinks with friends. Draw yourself close to these people, Mena, and enjoy them for all they are. They are the people that leave the biggest impression.

Stay well inside your mother's tummy and know that as you grow, our love for you also grows.

Until next time,


Friday, May 23, 2008

Elvis Costello

Last night at band practice, we were talking about what a great singer Elvis Costello has become and still is. Check this out:

Monday, March 24, 2008

Free music for y'all

Pat is a wonderful musician and songwriter from Lincoln, Nebraska who has just released a solo album on Mr. Furious Records.

Download it here. You'll be glad you did. Download a whole mess of stuff over on that site while you're at it.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Very interesting...

This, this, and this.

"Even though her campaign staff is having more fun than it has for a long time, there’s hardly anyone there who, given half a chance, wouldn’t slit Mark Penn’s throat — and such internal dissension won’t help her in the home stretch."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Last night...

With my wife's pregnancy she's been having a little bit of back pain at night and bought what's called a snoogle to help her stay on her side. Here's what they look like:

Last night I came to bed at around 11:00. As I was getting ready for bed, my wife was engaged in a full-on struggle trying to free herself from the snoogle. She had the pillow against her back like the top picture and had to work a bit to free herself so she could use the bathroom. She came back to bed and said that when she woke up, she couldn't figure out why she was stuck in the middle of a letter c.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Was Jefferson a heretic or a believer? Yes.

The founder of, Steven Waldman, has published a new book called Founding Faith. It promises to be fairly interesting, especially to those who consider ours a nation founded on the teachings of the Bible. Beliefnet offers an excerpt from the book concerning Thomas Jefferson, and it led me to wonder if there would be any possible way that Jefferson would be elected to any public office today.

Sadly, his candidacy wouldn't have a snowball's chance. Those who are upset over lapel pins and which church our candidates belong to would be choking on their communion wafers if they were to read anything written by this founding father. His beliefs (like most of ours) are complex. He edited the Bible (with a razor) to remove the miracles of Jesus, he called the Trinity "mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus," and said that, "Calvinism has introduced into the Christian religion more new absurdities than its leader [Jesus] had purged it of old ones." He went on to say regarding what he called "the insanities of Calvin" that the, "strait jacket alone was their proper remedy."

Wow. Imagine the Evangelicals receiving that mailer in their postbox. And then imagine James Dobson's response.

Yet Waldman also provides a look at a person whose reason led him to faith in Christ and God. It's fair to say that he was anti-religion and pro-God. Some of the quotes Waldman has provided suggest Jefferson was someone who may have believed in Intelligent Design. He saw what he viewed as a complex interconnectedness in the universe and viewed that as a work of Divine Providence. However, it's important to remember that throughout his life, more than any religious view he may have held, Jefferson stressed the importance of reason and study (i.e. I'm sure he'd be dead-set against those who'd like to introduce Intelligent Design in a public high school biology class and would have fought back). Take that, Ben Stein.

I find it difficult not to cheer for Thomas Jefferson as a champion of liberty, religious freedom, and rational thinking. I also find his participation in the horror of slavery contradictory to those values and depressing. That's important. It would be good to take the entire lives of our founding individuals and historical religious and philosophical figures into account as we study and judge them and their ideas. We need to hold them, their views, and the circumstances of their life and times up for study and scrutiny in order to gain a true sense of who they were as they've helped shape who we are. By the way he studied the Bible, Christianity's history, and the teachings of Jesus, I think Thomas Jefferson understood and practiced this.

It may be one of the things about him that I admire most.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Rocking out and recovering

I had just a mild hangover this morning, nothing too big. One of the best feelings in the world is that hour or so when you're moving past the hangover. You're drinking coffee, eating breakfast, and moving on with your day. I didn't even drink all that much. Ah, life.

Last night I got together with Medium Walter for my second time. It's a band composed of several people from Lincoln's music scene working on blues tunes that one of us has written. Most are written by Honeyboy Turner, formerly of Honey Stump. We've all shared the stage at some point, either for one-off shows and songs or in regular gigging bands. It's raw, loud, and unpolished, which is exactly how we hoped it would turn out.

I'm working through the much-read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. I've never thought of myself as a really high effective model. I've wondered which motivational speaker I'll need to hire to coach me through things like changing diapers and getting my kid to change their underwear. When he or she is 18. That's the point where I figure that a child's underwear is his or her own responsibility, and there's not a whole lot I can do besides beg and plead and talk about how embarrassed I am for them and will they please cut it out.

There's nothing like expecting a baby to make you dive headfirst into self evaluation, wondering what kind of person you really are and have you been leaving little bits of your emotional maturity at each apartment when you moved back in your 20s. It's no wonder that I rarely got my full deposit back. That and "carpet cleaning."


I digress. So I start to think that I only have around 6 months to start shaping myself up. It's probably similar to what some people feel in anticipation of their high school reunion. Except that I really have to go and I'm looking forward to it. I start to think about the relationship that I'm to build and the impression that I'm going to leave. I start to wonder what the kid is going to think of me at different points in his or her life.

Looking back at my feelings toward my own inexplicably absent father throughout my life isn't pretty. Everyone makes mistakes in their interpersonal relationships, yet some people keep making the same moves again and again. They snowball, those unfulfilled promises and no-shows do. Again and again I've wondered about establishing a relationship after the occasional phone call I've received from him. There's a fear of that rejection and of what I really don't know about him that undermines my willingness to take steps to reconcile. The thing that I really don't know about him, after my 33 years, is how he sees me. That's what I fear. Hopefully my child will never know that anxiety.

I'm off to help my buddy install an entry door in his house. Wish us luck that we don't wind up in the hospital.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Woo Hoo!!!

Fearing an end to waterboarding, endless executive secrecy, no-bid contracts handed out to administration cronies, and a fiscal policy that favors multi-national corporations, Ralph Nader has decided to once again run for the highest office in the land. Among his campaign promises, the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Hopefully he gets started on that right after he takes his oath of office. In my opinion, it's vital that Mr. Nader ensures that George W. Bush is no longer president within his first 100 days in office.

Voting for Ralph Nader is one sure way to give George W. Bush a third term in the guise of John McCain. Perhaps we can all vote for Ralph Nader and see how effectively he actually can run things.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A whole lotta good things goin' on

Today the wife and I went to our first official appointment with her physician since she's been pregnant. She's a great woman who listens and gets folks to talkin'. She also is a wonderful teacher who is more than happy to answer any question one might have should they be fixin' to make a baby. We're fixin' to have ours in September around Labor Day. Everything is going just fine so far, and we got to hear the baby's heartbeat through the doctor's little transistor radio. Pretty dang cool. I had a transistor radio when I was a kid and I was lucky that it picked up "We Built This City" by Starship on KFRX. The 1980s in Lincoln, Nebraska summed up in two words: Fucking Awesome.

I kind of wonder about having a kid on Labor Day, should that happen. I mean, I'm lazy enough as it is so the poor kid's going to have genetics working against him/her. THEN there will be the added factor of being born on a holiday that celebrates chilling out, eating hamburgers, and having a few beers. I'm afraid we'll have to hire a motivational speaker to get this kid to change his underwear. As a high school graduation present.

Not everyone knows, but we've been presented with a fairly sweet real estate opportunity. This would involve selling our current house, which I thought we had no chance in hell of doing. I was wrong and we got an offer today. A reasonable one. The nursing home down the street from me would eventually like to replace the block that I live on with assisted living townhouses (I think). While it would involve losing three 1920s era bungalows, it would provide a nice neighborhood with more stability as all but three of the homes on my block are rentals. Anyway, color me effin' stoked. I'm knocking on wood and crossing my fingers that this continues to go through.

My current home has been good to us, albeit something of a fixer-upper. I've learned a lot about myself in the last couple of years and chief among those things is the fact that I am the farthest thing from a handy man. My strengths include: hugging, cooking, playing guitar (thanks to everyone that came out to the Zoo Bar last night!), and drinking crappy alcohol. This in no way qualifies me to weld pipe for a new toilet and actually kind of scared the shit out of me. Thank God for father in laws.

Here's to not having the shit scared out of me while installing a new toilet. Cheers!