Friday, January 19, 2007


Late breaking news! A hearty howdy to our down-under friends who recently checked in to this little site from ... (drum roll, please...) JIMBOOMBAA, AUSTRALIA. We'll have to cut them some slack. After all, they are reading this upside down ...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Well yes, as a matter-of-fact, I did ...

I have not told anybody this yet. Not even Debbie (my wife.) And now I am going to tell the world.

Here are my favorite ways of beating boredom while waiting to be crowned King of the Universe ... or getting a job. Either way is fine by me.

1. Check email 437 times per day.
2. Sit.
3. Stand.
4. Repeat as needed.
5. Walk laps around the inside of the house until the dog gives up and stops following me. (My record is 39 laps.)
6. Go to and find the coolest language in which to say, "The crazy monk built an out house over the baptist graveyard." And the winner is.... GERMAN! "der verrückte Mönch errichtete ein Heraushaus über dem Baptist Graveyard." (Who would have thought "graveyard" would be the same in both languages?)
7. Clean out the garage. Oh wait ... I haven't tried that yet. Sorry.
8. Listen to Japanese radio stations on the good old www. Oh yes you can. You just have to try hard enough.
9. Sit on an overstuffed chair and pretend that I am Oprah interviewing myself.
10. Pull my Mustang in the garage, put the top down, turn the stereo up, close my eyes and pretend it is summer. And for some strange reason I'm wearing a goose down jacket and gloves. (No, the car was not running. I'm bored, not suicidal.)

A warm American welcome to our two newest other-side-of-the-world locations to visit "I Wasted Time ... And Now Doth Time Waste Me." WUHAN, CHINA and SINGAPORE!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Night Thoughts Revisited

Last nights blog was intended to be light and carefree. I give myself an "F". Sorry about that. I have too much time on my hands. But I digress.

Here, in no particular order because I am so ADHD that I can't make up my mind, are the Top Ten Things I Find Floating Around My Brain Tonight (aka: "TTTIFFAMBT")

1. Are my Chicago Bears going to break my heart this coming weekend or are they actually going to wait until the Super Bowl?
2. Why is it that when all you do is work all you can think of is time off and when all you have is time off all you can do is look for ways to go back to work?
3. Is it remotely possible to teach a Beagle not to bark every 90 seconds?
4. Ozzie Smith's restaurant has door handles shaped like baseball bats. J. Bucks restaurant has door handles shaped like microphones. If a urologist opens a restaurant what do you suppose the door handles will look like?
5. For Christmas next year I want God to make me Jonas Blaine from "The Unit" for one week.
6. I got my evaluations in the mail this week from Youth Specialties about the conference I taught for them last November at the National Youth Workers Convention and I got all 4's and 5's (out of 1 - 5 with 1 being awful and 5 being brilliant.) Unfortunately I know that all youth workers lie at these things because I always do.
7. Why doesn't it snow at my house anymore? You want to melt the polar ice caps? Move me to the north pole.
8. How cool would it be to have the job of the guy who gets to name new cars? Like the new "Ford Phlegm." The "Chrysler Colon." The "Dodge Diarrhea." The "Honda Hernia." The "Chevy Shoveit." I so want this job!
9. Who would win if Aunt Annie (of pretzel fame) and Mrs. Fields (of cookie fame) got to mud wrestle?
10. Why do I stay up so late typing this stuff?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Night Thoughts

I love the nighttime. Always have. It is quiet. It is restful. The stresses and issues of the day finally lie down and take their own naps and allow me to do what I really want to do. Usually that means writing. Sometimes I am a faithful journaler. Sometimes I am a faithful blogger. The journal gets the things that nobody is meant to read. It is pass worded and sometimes even encrypted. My wife knows my passwords. I am a lousy designer of them and besides, there is little in my life she doesn't already know about. I've never been to Amsterdam, robbed a bank, shot at a human being or even failed to pay a parking ticket. I've only had one of those in my life and it was in Denver where I could easily have skated away into oblivion. Nope. I paid the sucker before I left town. I just don't have a lot to hide.

The encrypted stuff is different. Sometimes I think I've been a pastor too long. Or maybe I just have pastored in a place where weird things happen. I have and they do. I have a "book" that I've written that details a period in my life when all hell (literally) broke loose. The "book" was actually a journal account of some of those events. In 2001 I "hit the wall" and got myself sick. It was stress induced. I ran out of adrenaline. Odd, huh? But I did and it was very painful. It took me 7 months to get out of the acute stages and an entire year before it went away altogether. I've flirted with it again over the last few years because life got squirrelly again. That's why I blew the whistle on myself, threw the yellow penalty flag at my own feet, and resigned. Bold move? Not at all. My bride tells me that had I not done that she is convinced that my funeral would have been sooner rather than later. She's one cheery woman.

No, when I die the encrypted stuff dies with me. It deals with stuff like child abuse, murder/suicide, plain old suicide, babies that didn't make it, busted up families where teens pay the ultimate price, breaking the news to people that someone they love very much has been killed, getting called to the jail because some drunk wants to talk to a pastor, getting bit by a dog while praying with a woman whose husband is dying in the other room, and other sick and sad stuff like that. (Pay attention pastor-wanna-bee's. Ya gotta get that stuff out somewhere so if you don't have anyone to talk to at least talk to your journal. The encrypted one.) I've had a tough week so far. I don't really know why. When you don't work (note: I do clean the house, etc. at this point in time so applaud appropriately.) you have plenty of time to think. Sometimes I think too much. That's my problem I guess. It becomes an emotional drain. As a friend told me recently, "don't should all over yourself." When she said it she spoke quickly and it didn't sound like she said, "should." I think you can figure it out. I blinked a couple of times and asked her to repeat herself. She did ... more slowly. She pronunciated "should." And then she told me that the worst think to do is to sit around after you make a major life decision and throw "shoulds" at yourself. You know. "I should have done this." "I should have said that." She's right. I should stop shoulding all over myself.

Night thoughts are the places that I let my mind go when I feel like it is dark enough that I can hide it. Silly. Yes, it is silly. No one knows what I am thinking about in the daytime either. But the darkness just makes it feel somehow ... safer. That is when I allow my brain to wander. It gets the freedom to go where it wants to go. When I was a young man and I gave my thoughts their own freedom to roam they often went to places where they should not. Now that I am a bit older and hopefully a lot wiser they do not go there as much anymore. There are just so many "real life" things to sort out. I have learned that fantasy is best left as fantasy. I enjoy it on the movie screen or in a good novel. Not that I watch or read many. You see, I have let life get to heavy. That is never a good thing. But for a season it was necessary. I had no real choice. Like our old friends the Blue's Brothers I was on "a mission from God." And I have completed my mission. And now my night thoughts are helping me to debrief myself. And that, my friend, is a really dangerous thing to do. One should never debrief one's self.

It is dark. It is quiet. The love of my life breathes gently in her sleep beside me. I pulled an extra blanked onto her because it is cold outside. Of course it is warm inside our home. But there is a third layer and it is cold there too. That third layer is even deeper inside than the inside of my house. It is the inside of my soul. It is having its own ice storm. Don't worry. I know how it ends. The ice will not last. It will be warming up inside soon. I am working on that a little bit more every day. Pretty soon it will be summer inside again. For now I will just do what I did as a kid growing up in Chicago. When it gets cold I will turn to my father and ask him to please turn up the heat a little bit. He always did because he loved me. It worked then. It will work now. Watch ...

"Father ... Almighty Creator of all that is too big to understand and all that is too small to see ... would You please bring Your Fire once again? I am cold. And You are the only One who can make me warm again. Thank You, Father. In advance."

Just watch. God knows my night thoughts. He hears them before I think them. And history has assured me that He is walking to the thermostat even now.

Late Breaking News!

Welcome, Winnipeg! Canada rocks. (See previous blog...)

Monday, January 15, 2007

All nations, tribes and tongues

Did you know that the "www" is REALLY a "world wide web?" I guess I kind of believed that it was in some mentally disconnected way. I sometimes surf over and read the Jerusalem newspaper. (By the way, I do not mean that I get on a surf board and "water surf" to Jerusalem. But I would if I could.) That's as close to Jerusalem as I expect to ever come. I'm pretty much a "lower 48 states" kind of guy. If some terrorist is going to knock me off he's going to have to cross some serious ocean, navigate extensive corn fields, and then get past my Beagle. At that point he's got a 50/50 chance cause I plan on ruining his trip.

But that is not the point.

My brilliant son-in-law helped me download and program this cool tracking tool that is attached to this blog. DON'T PANIC. It doesn't install anything on your computer, tell me your name, shoe size, sexual preferance or anything about your buying habits. It does tell me how many "hits" I get per day, what ISP those hits come from AND ... this is the coolest of all ... what cities the hits come from. If this son-in-law had not already married my maiden daughter and granted me a granddaughter I would insist that he do so immediately. I would even kick in a wedding reception. Fortunately, we've already done that.

But again, that is not the point.

The point is that within the last couple of days this little blog has been read by several hundred people in the US of A. That's cool and makes me feel good. It's also been read in France, hangzhou, China and the Malaysian city of Petaling Jaya. Did I mention CHINA????? Isn't that like ... around the globe from here? And all I know for sure about Malaysia is that, well, to misquote Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz ... it ain't Kansas. I mean, you can't even look those places up on! BUT ... you can find hangzhou china on Looks like a pretty big place. It's got a river with a bridge across it and is not too far from the ocean! That means it's probably a much nicer place than my little suburb of St. Louis.

I wonder if they have a Taco Bell? That would so close the deal for me. I'd be calling U-Haul up tomorrow first thing.

So whoever you are and wherever you are from allow me to take this opportunity to say WELCOME! I am so happy that you found my little corner of cyber-space. Please know that you are welcome here, you are loved (in that I don't know you but love you because God made you just like He made me and even though we are on different sides of the earth let's be friends kind of way.)

I joke around a lot on my blog. I enjoy writing and playing and having fun. I wish I could figure out how to write for a living so I'd never have to send out another resume. Heck, I'd maybe even give my Mustang away and just live in my den 24/7. But the point is that I am totally serious when I say ... whoever you are ... wherever you are ... thanks for taking the time to come here and read my ramblings. If you know me and live in my home town, welcome. If you don't know me and live in the states, welcome. And if you live some where else on this globe we call earth a very special welcome to you. I will try to be worthy of any return trip you choose to make here.

Oh, my name is Ron and I look exactly like the guy in the picture up on top of this blog because he is me.