Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Way behind

I am way behind the two of you and unlikely to be as successful.

94% for Me, too!

I have visited these states (94%). I hope to cover the others in 2006.

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

27 miles today [and an update on the deraileur hanger]

I went out for a ride today and went south on the river trail so I would have the wind at my back on the way home this time. Nice plan. Didn't work. When I turned around after eating my sandwhich at Liberty Park, I faced a wall of wind in my face. A couple of gusts tried to push me off the trail. By the time I got back to Whittier the wind was less intense. It was a nice day to be out in the sunshine.

UPDATE-- I went ahead and ordered my deraileur hanger from the thing. It came, I am riding, all is well. Ernest at G's is still trying to figure out why he hasn't got the one he ordered for me. I guess when that one comes, I will have a back up.

Friends at the conference

James Chambers went with me to the CCDA conference this year. I am really glad that he went with me and I am really glad he is my friend.

We are posing in front of the conference banner standing on the platform--it was completely dark in there as the room was closed when not in use for a plenary session. So the sign in back is kind of dark and we are glad we did not get hurt climbing around in the dark.

Table of Plenty at St. Matthias

The Whittier Daily News did a story about the Thanksgiving dinner served at St. Matthias. You can read it by following the link.

A photographer was there are said that the photos may not show up on the website even if they were inthe paper. He said his assignment was for a page three piece--anyone see that in the Whittier Daily News?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Our Thanksgiving Day

On Thursday, Doris and Rob flew north very early in the morning to join family. The Wilsons went to Garth’s folks house. My parents in Ohio went to dinner with a friend at a local restaurant. I fixed an apple pancake, on a personal quest for one like the one served at a greasy spoon I frequented in Illinois. It made for a simple, special breakfast that morning, while we watched part of the Macy’s parade on TV.

Glen and I had several invitations to join other families, but we chose to go to St. Matthias Episcopal Church in Uptown Whittier to help serve dinner to the neighborhood. We worked from 11:30 to 2:20 and saw such a variety of guests, including our church friend, Mark. Many were dressed so nicely and so happy to get a meal and friendly company. Many seemed needy in simple and complex ways. A wide range of people -- homeless, poor, lonely, addicted, broken, and/or mentally ill -- and all were warmly welcomed in the Lord’s name. Some had just gotten off work, probably minimum wage jobs, and wanted to provide a nice meal for their families. We filled “to go” boxes with more dinners, and some guests really stocked up on those. It was all interesting, touching, and meaningful to us. It felt important to participate, sharing with others, when we are so blessed.

Driving home, we passed Whittier Village Theaters at about 2:25 and spontaneously stopped in to attend the 2:30 showing of “Walk the Line,” a story of Johnny Cash. I knew Glen wanted to see this, and I enjoyed it as well. Then we rushed to Black Angus for our traditional turkey dinner. The restaurant was crowded and it was fun to be with lots of families celebrating around us, and to have our dinner prepared and brought to us, because we were tired. We came home and relaxed with the dogs. It was a different Thanksgiving, yet still very meaningful, interesting, and fun. Fun to be together and grateful to the Lord for everything. We did think fondly of you all...loved ones in other settings that day.

Pre-Thanksgiving Fun

We went to Disneyland on Tuesday evening, and met Jeff & Erica Amann there. We enjoyed dinner and conversation at Naples, in Downtown Disney. Then we went to Disneyland, caught the Christmas parade, rode the Jungle Cruise (recently updated), got dessert, and watched the fireworks. This was our third time of viewing the spectacular 50th anniversary fireworks…. 20 minutes in length, using the whole park with laser lights, and Tinkerbell quite dramatically flying around. And then it snowed. Silently, fluffy puffs, falling like a gentle blizzard around us. I love that! I really miss snowfall at this time of year, so this helps.

On Wednesday, Glen had a meeting with World Vision in Los Angeles to discuss future business. We took the train to Union Station, and then the Red Line to the area near World Vision offices. We found a Thai Café for lunch. It was rated “A” and was busy, so I thought it would be a good place to eat. I had Yellow Curry Chicken and Glen had Pad Thai noodles.

Glen then walked me back to the train station, and I headed back to Union Station to wait for him to finish his meeting. There wasn’t an obvious place near World Vision to hang out, so off I went. Union Station was full of activity, being the day before Thanksgiving, so I had a great time people watching. I collected information and impressions to build characters and settings and mood for future books I may write. That is fun for me. I also read some, unwound and sat quietly, worked on this and that, and enjoyed a few hours to myself.

Glen arrived around 5:15 and I met him at Track 9A to catch the 5:20 train to get back to our truck and head home. He had a verbal contract with World Vision for the next year! We celebrated in our hearts and conversation and thanked God for caring for us step-by-step. This was a big day, a new work agreement, and affirmation of God’s blessing in Glen’s business, time in the city, unusual food, and a train ride. We had fun.

We attended the Thanksgiving Service that night at church. Glen read a psalm of Thanksgiving. Many people shared what they are grateful for, which is so encouraging to hear. We worshiped our God and joined together with other believers in a time of thanksgiving, which was important to us. We went out for dinner with friends after church. Juan Gonzalez, our young friend, waited on us, just a week or so into his job there, which Glen helped him get.

Thanksgiving in Placerville

We had a nice day here in Placerville. It is raining this morning, but Thanksgiving was bright and comfortable. We had a full house of twenty year old guys. With Debbie, Doris, Cindy, Brianna, and Shawntea here, Beth wasn't as out numbered as in previous years. Lots of good food and company. Yea to Beth for preparing such a delicious dinner. And as a special bonus there are lots of left overs for sons to take home. Family members not present were missed but were here in spirit. All in all a great day.

Brianna is helping with peeling the apples for the apple pies. Beth, Doris and Andrew share a light hearted moment in the kitchen. Grandmother and her grandsons. Steve added an extention to the table to fit everyone. How blessed to have these moments together.

I am proud of all the guys. Each is striving in his own way to make it in this world. I am glad I get to see them and have some time to talk to them. I deeply appreciate times like these.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

In Indianapolis for CCDA--a few photos and memories

Here are some images from a few days in Indianapolis at the conference of Christian Community Development Association.

Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners was the plenary speaker on Friday evening. I talked to him briefly after his sermon to a packed house of 1,800 or 1,900 folks. When I told him that I had been Jeff Barneson's friend since third grade, he said that deserved a hug, so he hugged me. Jim said that Jeff is one of the most encouraging people in his life. It was nice to see Bob and Donna at church today.

I met Jeremy Del Rio, who I had previously only known from reading his blog. Here we are shown with Rudy Carrasco who blogs at Urban Onramps right after they had done a workshop on the next generation of leadership. More on that later.

Shane Claiborne, The Simple Way, Philadelphia and Noel Castellanos, CCDA Institute Director, posed for a picture with me on Saturday--I told them that I was really cheap and in search of souvenirs

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Wardrobe, Lion, and Witch

With all the buzz about the pending release of the movie "Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," I recalled that I've actually seen the family wardrobe used as the portal in this story by C.S. Lewis. It was on display at Wheaton College, where I attended from September 1973 until I graduated in 1977. It is still there today, along with other valued and interesting items and works of a collection of fine writers. I feel privileged to have been made aware of the value of Lewis's and Tolkein's and MacDonald's works as a student. The pleasures of a liberal arts college education! Reading the web page renewed my interest in these scholars.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

While we are on the topic

I met this guy today at CCDA. He has been on Vicente Fox's cabinet. He introduced Mr, Fox to then Governor of Texas George W. Bush.

His name is Juan Herndez and he spoke to the conference here about the justice issues surrounding immigration. Very interesting facts. Like this one from Exodus 23:9 “Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt."

I actually saw him on Bill O'Rielly. He said he left there pretty bruised up.

Some people you know in real life

Others you know from their blogs. Jeremy Del Rio, pictured on the left, blogs from Lower Manhatten, New York City. His blog is called A Way with Words: In Pursuit of Authenticity. I met him for the first time in person here in Indianapolis at the CCDA National Conference. He is pretty cool. Rudy, on the right side of the picture, is trying to push me over by leaning against me, blogs at Urban Onramps. I have known Rudy for a number of years. So I know he was real.


a lady has created a pair of shoes intended to help immigrants who cross the border from mexico to the u.s. see for yourself here:
your thoughts?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Squid and the Whale revisited

Beth and I saw the Squid and the Whale this weekend. It struck a note with me on a personal level. When my parents separated I lived with my dad for a year. This meant moving away from my friends, mom and siblings. My dad wanted have one of his children live with him and as the oldest I was the chosen one. Not much thought about my needs. I thought about my own son's and how much custody "rights" dominated their post-divorce experience. Being early or late, all of a sudden finding out that you couldn't count on a parent wanting to spend time with you unless it was "their time". Odd stuff. I mentioned to Beth that when a child's perception changes from that's my "Dad or Mom" to that's a person who is my dad or mom, that child is exposed to the flaws without an experiential base to place them in context. This can lead to a critical view that can strip even good qualities away. Like your either "good" or "bad". A confusing view to acquire as a child. I am glad it focused more on the children involved than the parents. Most post-divorce movies seem to focus more on a parent finding a partner than on the effect it has on the kids.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Good Friend Visits SoCal

My long time friend, Lorna, from Wheaton, IL visited a new "friend" of hers this weekend in Riverside. Glen and I went to Riverside for brunch today at the Mission Inn. I had never been there before. Really enjoyed the brunch -- amazing, and the wonderful architecture of this National Landmark Hotel...the courtyards and fountains and gardens and archways and leaded windows and tile. Anyway, it took about 50 minutes to get there, but it was worth it. You see I also got to meet a man my 51-year-old never married friend has fallen in love with -- and it is mutual between the two of them. I am delighted for her and was happy to meet him. She may move one day to Southern California, and I would love that! They met on-line through an e-mail matchmaking forum. Crazy, but worked nicely in their favor! They are well suited for each other.

The Taylors visit

Sunday. We had a nice visit from the Taylors. The So. Cal. group and one of the NorCal folks. Suse was here from Denmark visiting her sister. We had a nice afternoon and evening with them.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sam has a "hot spot"

Sam had something on his neck yesterday that looked kind of uncomfortable, so we took him to see Dr. Camacho today. They shaved off some fur to get a good look at it, called it a "hot spot" and gave us something to put on it.

The hot spot happens when there is some sort of irritation and he scratches and pesters it until it looks really bad. Hopefully, this will go away quickly and we won't need one of those collar things. Sam is resting well and hardly acts like he thinks anything is wrong.

Friday, November 11, 2005

75th Birthday Celebration

Weekend Plans

Today is a holiday for us school teachers. After the election for new schol board members this Tuesday past, a new board member whom I supported stopped by to pick up her sign that has been in my yard. Too late, I already threw it away. I'll owe her one in 4 years.....New things to come, hopefully, in the PUSD.

Tomorrow afternoon Don and Nille Taylor will be here with Nille's sister Suse from Denmark and daughter-in-law Erica from Sacramento. It will be good to see them again!

Sunday afternoon we are going to the Crest Theatre to see "The Squid and the Whale". It is finally here in our area. Have a great story about Rob and the Crest Theatre...just ask him. (Sorry, Rob. Love, Mom)

Last night I got a call from Lance Hayman. He is here for a short time before heading back to Iraq. Hard to imagine the little guy over there. Pray for our troops.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Derailleur Hanger

For a lack of this part, I am not able to ride this week. Ernest from G's has ordered two of these for me so that I will have a spare. Sad, having some time, but no bicycle.

On the good side, this part, is designed to break so that your frame or your derailleur don't break. That's what Mr. Earnest told me, so I believe him. I am supposed to call him Wednesday to see if it came in.

In times like this it is also good to know Matt Biskup. He's the undisputed King of Derailleur Hangers and has Next time we'll all know.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

the squid and the whale

i just watched the movie "the squid and the whale," a drama/comedy about a family falling into dissolution. it has strong language, and a few moments of "adult situations" that'd likely make much of this group squirm, (at least it sure did to me) but it was incredible how much i could relate to the two boys in the movie who were left bewildered and without guidence by their parents' seperation and subsequent divorce. while the younger, more outwardly distraught of the two kids went on to develop severe social problems at school, the older did as well, but was able to cloak his anguish when he was around other people. the various ways that the characters of the movie reacted to this life changing event seemed all very accurate, and even in some cases very familiar. one example of which would be the first time the audience sees the father's new house. it is sparsely furnished, a little run down, and in lieu of a familiar warmth that accompanies a home, there are all sorts of mawkish symbols, like a poster on a wall, and especially of the "lefty desk," (you'd have to see the movie to get the humor in this) trying to force a new home-like habitat for the confused kids. that was a common experience for me. those who can enjoy a movie even with very harsh language and über awkward moments are highly encouraged to watch this flick.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

TdCA update

"LOS ANGELES, November 2, 2005 – California will provide the stunning backdrop for the inaugural Amgen Tour of California in February 2006, a professional cycling race modeled after the Tour de France, the details of which were announced by race presenter AEG today. From February 19-26, 2006, 16 professional cycling teams from around the world will compete across 700 miles of scenic California roadway from San Francisco to Redondo Beach, Calif. in the UCI- and USA Cycling-sanctioned race. Amgen, Inc, the world’s leading biotechnology company (based in Thousand Oaks, Calif.), is the race’s title sponsor. ESPN2 is the official broadcast partner."

It will go through San Francisco, Sausalito, Santa Rosa, Martinez, San Jose, the Monterey Peninsula, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Thousand Oaks to finish at Redondo Beach.

new book

Reading an interesting book "Why men can't remember and women can never forget." Written by a woman physician who specializes in gender specific medicine. She has a clearly written understanding of gender specific medical issues. Don't necessarily agree with her use of the science in some portions of the book, but agree that understanding the biological differences between men and women that lead to misunderstanding and mistreatment is an important issue.