Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Joke of the Day

A man is walking with St. Peter through Heaven during his new member orientation. They pass a room. The man looks inside and sees a priest delivering mass to a group of worshippers. St. Peter tells the man the worshippers are Roman Catholic.

They continue walking and soon pass another door where a group of people are passing out food. "Methodists," St. Peter replies to the man's quizzical look.

Soon, they walk past another door. Loud music echoes down the hallway. The man looks inside and sees dozens of people dancing, singing, laughing, and raising their hands. "I'm guessing they're Pentecostals?" he says. "Correct."

They turn a corner. The man hears raised voices arguing. As he gets closer to the door, the din grows louder. He can hear harsh words flying back and forth. He opens the door and ducks as a Bible flies out. The sound is deafening. Everywhere he turns he sees people arguing, pointing fingers at each other, and fighting.

"Who are these people?" the man asks.

"Calvinists." replies St. Peter. "They haven't stopped arguing long enough to realize anybody else is here."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Every night the kids ask me to pray for them so they don't have scary dreams. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. For kids, a scary dream is pretty darn scary. It wakes them up and makes it hard to go back to sleep. For me, a scary dream is like a free horror movie. All dreams are pretty entertaining once you've finally woken up and realized you aren't trying to run away from an angry mob.

One recurring theme in my dreams is it's the last day of finals. I have a final in a class I just remembered I stopped attending weeks before. I search frantically for the classroom but can't find it. I have that dream about once a month.

Another theme is finding rattlesnakes. Lots of rattlesnakes. I'm walking across a field and there are hundreds of rattlesnakes. I go downstairs and the floor is covered with rattlesnakes. There are rattlesnakes slithering out of my car. I wonder what this dream is all about.

Once when I was dating Tabitha, I dreamt I was racing my 1972 Datsun 510 down a mountain road. I was going pretty fast until I missed a turn, crashed through the guard rail, and flew into the air. I remember a sudden feeling of weightlessness and then I woke up.

When I was in the Navy on my way to the Persian Gulf I dreamt about a father who was angry with his daughter and killed her. That was pretty crazy.

Just today while napping, I dreamed I was travelling to another city with the kids. We were floating down a river on a small raft. We were making pretty good time too. We stopped for the evening in a small rustic town. My parents were supposed to meet us. I leave the kids by the raft and try to find a phone. I crawl through a small hole into a store. The young girl behind the counter lets me use the phone where I am dismayed to learn my parents haven't even left yet. I have to crawl through the hole again to get back outside.

Sleep would be pretty boring if we didn't have dreams to keep us entertained. I wouldn't mind if I stopped dreaming about rattlesnakes though.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Big Sky Country

About 5 years ago my family decided to load up the covered wagon and forge a trail to the wilds of Montana. Being unwilling to take risks, I stayed in Southern California. Sure it kind of sucks to have them so far away but it does give me an excuse to pack up the car and go on a road trip a couple times a year.

But every time my wife gets to Montana, she starts looking at real estate. She finds an awesome house on several acres that would be "perfect" for our little family. The house she found this time is a newer 4 bedroom on five acres with a large shop with an apartment. For $225,000. And it would be really close to my parents.

Last week I drove with the family to Montana. I stayed a few days and then flew home so I could go back to work. As I write, they are on their way home. Last night when I talked to Aidan on the phone he told me he wants to move to Montana.

The boy needs room to roam. I get that. Abigail loves being able to see her cousins. I get that. Tabitha loves the slow pace of life. I get that.

I also have a job I can't leave so easily. I like it.

I've thought about moving the family to Big Sky Country while I continue working down here. I could fly home on my weekends and see the family. Flights aren't too expensive and I would rack up air miles pretty quickly. My in-laws have said I could stay with them. So it's all settled then, right?

The fly in the ointment is that it sucks to be away from my wife and kids. Sure, they can be annoying but I'd rather they were annoying in my presence. I don't think I could commute from Montana to California for the next ten years. It would get old after a while.

Enough excuses. Here's a few things I did on this trip:

  • I helped my dad move logs in the yard by pulling them behind the Jeep.
  • I walked through a cow pasture with Aidan and my nephew, Logan.
  • I threw a rock into the canal and watched it sink to the bottom.
  • I rode my bicycle up my parent's road.
  • I drove in the Jeep with my dad and Aidan over gravel roads to the middle of nowhere. I used four wheel drive.
  • I skipped rocks on Flathead Lake with my nieces and nephews.
  • I had a root beer from A&W.
  • I spent time with my sisters. And my parents.
  • I contemplated buying a pair of cowboy boots.
  • I drank cool fresh water straight out of the well.


I just opened my blog for the first time in a little while and saw I've finally exceeded 20,000 hits.


Sorry I haven't had a lot of content lately to make that last thousand hits worthwhile. I'll try to make it up to you.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Roughing It

A couple weeks ago we went camping with our little church group.

We packed up the car and drove 20 miles to the wilderness of the county regional park. I didn't sleep very well the first night because of the police helicopters hovering all night. Nothing like the persistent hum of a rotor blade to make you feel like you've gotten away from it all.

I'm not much of a camper. Tents, sleeping bags, and air mattresses are a poor substitute for my house. There's a reason why shelter is low on the hierarchy of needs.

And I don't really like dirt.

It was much worse when I was a kid. I didn't even like to get dirty. There may have been a few "freakouts" because I had dirt on my hands. As I got older I didn't mind getting dirty if I could clean up afterward.

The problem with camping is that you don't have access to a shower. Therefore you generally end up going to bed dirty.

Not cool.

I like camping where there are showers. Fortunately, our campsite had a shower.

There was one problem: I didn't have a towel.

I paid my dollar for 4 shower tokens. I had six minutes to shower off two days worth of dirt. As I stood under the fine mist, I prayed the soap would rinse off before the water stopped. When the water stopped, I stood in the shower for a few minutes trying to drip dry.

It didn't work very well. Then I remembered there were hand dryers in the bathroom. I put on my shorts and turned on the hand dryer, trying to direct the flow of warm air to my wettest parts.

Do you know what's creepier than a guy drying himself with the hand dryer after a shower?


Friday, May 7, 2010

Bad Idea

The state of Arizona has gotten a lot of press recently because it passed legislation requiring law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of people thought to be in the country illegally. Protesters believe this law is targeted at Mexicans and will result in many legal residents with dark skin and accents to be needlessly harassed by the police.

They could be right.

However, If law enforcement focuses its attention on people of Latin American decent they will miss the true threat to the American way of life:


"But Canadians are just like us" you might say.

Au contraire.

Canadians might look white and middle class and speak English (albeit heavily accented and with a questioning tone), they are definitely not like us.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Canadians sneak into this country to take advantage of the proud tax-paying citizens of this great country.

  • They overburden our health care system with their costly "elective" surgeries.
  • They flood our streets and old-folk's homes with cheap prescription meds.
  • They subvert our proud American system of measurement with their kilos, meters, and kilometers (the metric system is the beachhead of the communist invasion).
  • They swill Labatts and Moosehead with reckless abandon (at least Mexicans drink Budweiser).
  • They steal American jobs at ski resorts and river rafting tours.
  • They take university positions away from hard-working American students.
  • They take acting jobs from hard working American wait-staff (Jim Carey, William Shatner, Pamela Anderson, Dave Coulier, et al).
  • They poison our political system with their socialist views and gun control.

I could go on and on.

When is the last time someone said they wanted to stop at a Canadian restaurant at 2AM after a night of hard drinking?

I'll tell you when: Never! If Canadians even have a national cuisine it's probably whale blubber and goose grease.

This spring I drove with the family to the great American state of Montana. Along the way, we saw hundreds of vehicles with Canadian license plates driving north. I can only assumes they were driving back to Canada after pillaging our great country.

This menace must be stopped. We need to build a wall along our northern border and station Army troops to prevent this invasion. Our government needs to work with the Canadian government to prevent this influx.

I suspect the Canadians will not be very cooperative. Immigration to the United States is a safety valve that allows the Canadian government to ignore their problems of high taxation and a collapsing socialized health care system. As long as Canadians can travel south for good jobs and liposuction, there is no need to reform their system.

Besides, every good cop knows you don't mess with the people who cook your food.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Keep the Rubber Side Down, Part II

I slid feet first across the pavement, the asphalt slowly grinding away the skin on my knees. Sparks shot past from the motorcycle sliding somewhere in front of me.

Two thoughts raced through my mind:

1. This is going to hurt.

2. Am I going to stop?

The answer was "Yes".

When I dressed for work that morning I didn't plan on crashing in the parking lot. I had a new summer job working for the campus electrician. I wore work pants, boots, and a t-shirt. My nod to motorcycle apparel was my Arai Signet Jimmy Adamo replica helmet and Kevlar reinforced Olympia gloves.

In retrospect, a full set of leathers might have been nice.

I'd had the motorcycle for about a year. I was a cautious rider. I'd read all the riding tips in the magazines and put them into practice. I always stayed alert and paid attention to the homicidal zombies half-asleep in their tin boxes.

But that morning, I was running a little late to work. The parking lot was empty. I turned in the driveway and rolled on the throttle. The revs shot up.

The wind roared over my helmet as the painted stripes became a blur. At the last moment, I shut the throttle and squeezed the front brake lever. The calipers clamped down on the whizzing rotor and the front end dropped as the forks compressed. At the same moment, the front tire hit a bump in the pavement. The suspension, fully compressed and unable to soak up the bump, bounced the front tire off the ground.

I flipped over the handlebars and landed on the ground. I slid for 200 hundred feet across the empty parking lot. As my body slowed I jumped to my feet. I ran to my bike and heaved it upright. The right side of the bike looked as if it had been attacked by a meth addict wielding an angle grinder.

My pants were torn. I had gravel embedded in my knees. My right arm from my shoulder blade to my wrist was an abraded mess. My left thumb was throbbing.

It was going to hurt. A lot.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I'm all for kicking a little terrorist ass.

However, our country seems to be spending a lot of money fighting wars overseas. Billions of dollars are being spent to maintain our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. At the same time, education spending in this country is being cut.

Teachers are being laid off.

Class sizes are increasing.

Students are spending less time in the classroom due to furlough days.

Art and music programs are being cut.

We are going to pay the cost of our country's focus on military spending for a long time.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Words Written on Sarah Palin's Hand

Photo stolen from




"Tea Party"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Reform Starts at the Top

For some reason the idea of our government providing the citizens with health-care became connected with communism. The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not have a system of nationalized health-care in place.

Our current Congress is trying to "reform" health-care.

This is a bad idea.

People who are in favor of nationalized health-care believe everyone should have access to relatively inexpensive (or free) health-care. People shouldn't have to worry about going bankrupt because of health issues.

Those against universal health-care think the government will probably screw up the system just like they do everything else. They're worried we'll lose our spirit of medical innovation and become bogged down in delays waiting for routine procedures. They're worried taxes will rise to pay for medical treatment. They're concerned they will have to pay for abortions, boob jobs, and lung-cancer treatment for smokers.

Maybe paying for boob jobs isn't so bad.

I'm here to dispel a few fears.

1. Health-care is already the most bureaucratic system in the country. Would government control really make it worse?

2. Health-care is already very expensive. Have you looked to see what your employer pays in premiums? Assuming you have employer provided health insurance.

3. The bureaucrats are already making decisions about providing care. Not everybody gets what they think they need.

4. There are vast inequities in the quality of care around the country. If you happen to live in a suburban area, you probably have access to good quality care and services. If you live in a rural area or inner-city, you're probably out of luck.

The problem with reforming health-care is that we're trusting Congress to do it.

Bad move.

I'm starting to think our system of government is much more effective at creating waste, obstructing, and pandering to special interests. Congress is elected by the people to represent their voice in Washington. Unfortunately the voice with the most money shouts the loudest. Democrats and Republicans are no different.

So Congress starts crafting a piece of legislation that is a mess. Every Congressman and Senator has to put their own little twist to the legislation. The result costs a lot of money and will never achieve its intended purpose.

If they really wanted to enact health-care reform they would enact legislation appointing a non-partisan blue ribbon committee containing various people in the health-care industry - Doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, economists, consumer advocates, academics, even a lawyer or two.

This committee would study various health-care systems from around the world. It would craft a plan containing the best aspects and present this plan to Congress. Congress would then have the opportunity to accept the plan or reject it. No changes.

If we could keep the 535 members of our legislative branch from getting their grimy fingers on our health-care, we might achieve something.

It's never going to happen.

Unfortunately, the nationalized health-care ship in this country probably sailed sometime in the Fifties. The system is too large and too entrenched to change.

Brains and Blood

Vampires and zombies are very popular in pop-culture these days. If you allow me to over-generalize, I'll break it down for you.

Vampires and zombies are both "undead". They are also contagious. The bite of a vampire turns a hapless human into a vampire and the same is true for the bite of a zombie.

The similarities end there.

Vampires are good-looking, romantic, brooding, highly intelligent, and possessed with superhuman strength. Chicks dig this kind of stuff.

Zombies are decayed, mindless, eating machines.

Teenage girls love vampires. Twilight and True Blood are immensely popular with the young ladies in our society. They love the idea of a handsome strong vampire sweeping them off their feet and blessing them with eternal youth.

I don't get it.

Teenage boys love zombies. There is no romance with zombies. It's just mindless killing (or unkilling). Boys love the idea of letting loose with a shotgun, shovel, or flamethrower. There are no flamethrowers in vampire movies.

I get zombies.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sure, It's the Coldest Winter in Years...

One of the great things about living in Southern California is that you can go to the snow.

Did you catch that?

Go to the snow.

Yes, it's true. I can get in my car in the winter time and drive an hour to the mountains and enjoy the snow. I never have to worry about the snow coming to me.

No shovelling sidewalks, no frozen pipes, no crushing heating bills, no salt crusted roads. It's kind of awesome.

Today, we got in the Jeep and drove to Big Bear to play in the snow. It's the last day of Christmas vacation for Tabitha and the kids so we thought it might be fun.

We went to an area called Magic Mountain where for an exchange of a few dollars, they allow you to sign your life away and ride an inner tube down a groomed snow covered hill. We packed all of our warm clothes but didn't need them because it was about fifty degrees.


It's not as steep as it looks.

What's Aidan doing with that snowball?


Run away.

An accidental self-portrait. Look how blue the sky is.

It looks like he's holding a tiny inner tube on his shoulder.

Abigail loved it.

Getting ready for a run.

What's going through that evil little mind.

The magic carpet ride.