Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank You, God...

Thank You, God, for my wife, Shawna. I'm more thankful for her today than I've ever been. She has taught me the meaning of true love. Trust me; we've been married nearly ten years, which is approximately 9 3/4 years longer than I would have stayed married to me.

Thank You, God, for Alexis & Gentry. They are the most precious gifts imaginable. Their unconditional love humbles me. As their father, I've finally begun to understand the depths of Your love for me.

Thank You, God, for my family--parents, sister, brother's in law, nieces and nephews, grandparents, aunts and uncles. I've come to realize that You placed them in my life to help shape me into a better man. Some have taught me by being a stellar example; others have shaped me by forcing me to learn patience (remember the hole in the bathroom wall, Nan?) ;-), but anything I am, anything I become, will be shaded by their continued influences.

Thank You, God, for an incredible network of friends, people who care about me--not about the things I can do, or the good that I can bring to their life, but about me. That's the deepest sort of friendship, a friendship that I've not known much of. But You suddenly dropped a handful of true friends into my life; thank You for that.

And thank You, God, for You. I continue to be amazed that You haven't simply said, "Enough" about me, and sent down a bolt of lightning to rid the world of me.

Other stuff, too, God. Houses and cars; jobs and clothes; abilities and talents; money and reputation; thank you for all of them. They all mean so much. But when I sit down to begin to list out the things I'm thankful for, those things all pale in comparison to the really important things You've blessed me with.

The stuff can be replaced; I know--I've had and lost quite a bit of stuff. But I could never replace the family and friends that You've blessed me with, and I could never replace You. So thank You again.

Happy Thanksgiving, family and friends! You too, mean people who periodically send me nasty emails!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Moron Squared

They really are morons, the guys (or gals) who keep breaking into my car.

They did it again last Thursday night. It's laughable, really. The last time they got my briefcase (which had a bunch of relatively worthless paper [mostly stuff I'd written], and a few books; nothing fencible), and half the face of my stereo.

Which, incidentally, has forced me to sing to myself during my interminable commute (apparently that half stereo face that the morons ended up with was a pretty vital part; the thing hasn't worked since). I'm kinda getting tired of hearing myself.

I've even started writing creepy songs (pointless songs, really; about slug bugs and big rigs and rubber tires strewn about the interstate). Other drivers have started to steer clear.

But the morons broke into my car again, and guess what they took? The rest of the stereo (which incidentally is destined never to function again; it's pretty much a given). That's it. Nothing else. It's almost like it's a source of twisted professional pride. They were so angry that they could only get 1/2 the stereo last time that they had to come back and prove that they could get the rest.

Which makes for two pieces of stereo that, even together, will never work again.

Bravo to them.

At least they didn't break my window again.

They did, on the other hand, twist off these two little metal pronia's (as my father would call them; the implied definition is: pronia -noun: a little thing for which there is no other acknowledged name, or the name of which has been momentarily forgotten. Example: "Hey PJ; hurry up and bring me that little pronia wouldja?"). I have no idea what they are, and until this morning, I didn't know that they served any practical purpose. They're on the leading edge of the front door windows (both driver and passenger door windows). They just kinda sit there, riding the border between that thin rubber piece and the glass of the window.

But, goodness, are they ever missed.

Apparently, they are used to maintain the driver's sanity. Because without them it sounds as though all the lost souls from a thousand generations are shrieking at the top of their collective inhuman lungs, directly in my ear.

Or maybe like Hurricane Rita has landed in my passenger seat. It's enough to drive you crazy.


I'm nearly crazy now (having just entertained the crying souls and the Category 4 tropical storm for the last hour). I feel like one of those rats that you see in those PETA movies; the ones that the researchers have hopped up on crank (or some other psychotropic drug), and then stuck in an industrial strength fish tank. The rats sit there, glassy-eyed, for a while, then commence to flopping about, smacking their bodies against the glass, eyes wide, teeth bared.

Driving in my car at 80 mph down the interstate makes me feel like that. I can't think straight. I jitter, and twitch. I mutter and slobber. I tear at my hair.

Stinkin' morons.

Plus I can't hear myself sing.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Nazi School of "Enforced Tolerance"

Blacklisting in the new tolerance.

That's right. I got an email the other day (sometime after my Prop 8 post) telling me that I should be ashamed of myself, that I should be "tolerant".

Apparently what they meant was, "be tolerant OR ELSE." 'Cuz I found this news video online tonight. Then I went to this site and found this lengthy blacklist of folks who donated to the Prop 8 campaign. It's kinda enforced tolerance, if you ask me.

It's a quite effective model, really. You might recognize it; Hitler popularized it a few years back (although HIS blacklist involved Jews, not supporters of Prop 8).

Get my point?

You scared yet? Welcome to the new holocaust.

This is NOT happening in our country.


How 'bout you? You gonna take it sitting down?

Remember Hitler? Remember what finally stopped him? It wasn't the "let's give 'em what they want and maybe they'll go away" tactic that Chamberlain tried. Nope. Go study the history. Neville Chamberlain, sat before Hitler and "compromised" (rather, gave in to his demands). Hitler shook his hand, took over Czechoslavakia, and while Chamberlain was proudly proclaiming "peace in our time", Hitler moved on. Moved on to kill over 6 million Jews, 2-3 million Poles, and various other ethnic and religous minorities.

Tell you what, though: it was effective there for quite a while, wasn't it? Wasn't a person in Germany willing to acknowledge association with a Jew.

Fight back, folks. Go over to the blacklist site, and if ANY of those businesses are in your area, if you know ANY of those folks, go frequent their businesses. Visit day after day. And tell everyone you know to do the same. Email this post to everyone in your address book and don't stop until Hitler backs down.

Enough is enough.

Link to the video:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Can't Quit This Job

I hopped online this evening to spend some time studying for the GMAT (haven't told you about that, have I? More later...), and came across a startling news story. Nebraska recently passed a "safe haven" law designed to limit "dumpster babies".

Many states have the laws and they save babies' lives, I guess, so they're probably a good thing. Basically, they grant automatic immunity to any parent who drops off an unwanted baby at a hospital, police station or fire station (as opposed to the dumpster). We've all heard the stories: "Infant Found Dead In Dumpster: Teenaged Mother Didn't Want To Quit Cheerleading." And while it's despicable that an individual would shirk their parental responsibility and "get rid" of their baby, it's better than tossing them into the garbage can and allowing them to die.

But the Nebraska legislature (in typical lawmaker style) messed up royally. Apparently their deliberations bogged down when they were discussing the wording of the bill: they couldn't decide what the age limit should be (for the record, virtually every state in the Union has a Safe Haven law; all of them limit the immunity to parents who drop off an infant). Nebraska's legislature wanted to be a little more precise, apparently, but they couldn't figure out exactly HOW precise.

So by the time it was all said and done, they settled on "child." Which sounds safe, at least one would think.

It's not.

In the four months that the law has been in effect, 31 children have been dropped off. Of those 31, 18 were teenagers (five 17-year-olds, two 16-year-olds, six 15-year-olds, two 14-year-olds, three 13-year-olds and eight 11 and 12-year-olds).

And one 18-year-old (she was rejected; the mom had to take her home).

A statewide search is on for two teens, a brother and sister, age 14 and 17. They ran away from their mother while she was forcibly trying to remove them fromt her car at the hospital. Can't blame them.

It's unconscionable, if you ask me. Is it possible to simply "get rid of" a child? As horrible as this sounds, I can see a teen mother coming up pregnant with an unwanted child, and rather than aborting it, dropping it off (although, I don't know why they wouldn't simply choose adoption). But what's wrong with a person who has a child, takes a stab at raising them, and then when they realize they've messed up, or decide they're tired of the job, simply quitting?

Talk about some messed-up kids. Teenagers, folks; these are teenagers who are essentially being discarded.

You can't just quit this job! At least a normal person can't. As a parent, I can't even stomach the thought. And one would think that any rational human being would feel the same about their child (yeah, some of the kids were adopted, but I don't see how that matters).

I personally think it's indicative of our society. It reminds me of the story of Lot (from The Bible). If you've never read it, you should. The guy tried to use his two daughters as bargaining chips (and was willing to give them to a group of hormonally charged men to do with as they wished).

It's a pretty terrible place when your children mean so little to you that they take the status of refuse.

God help us.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

This Should Galvanize You

Logged on to the Internet when we got home this evening, and two of the top 7 news stories related to protests associated with the passage of Proposition 8 (the constitutional amendment specifying that marriage is classified as a union between one man and one woman).

One of the stories linked to a blog called, so I hopped over and, I have to tell you, it woke me up. These folks aren't going to back down.

Go spend a few minutes there. It'll creep you out. These folks aren't going to stop until they've permeated every element of our lives with their lifestyle. I'm more convinced than ever that it's not about "equal rights"; it's about crushing anyone who doesn't accept their lifestyle choices as legitimate.

They're boycotting Utah. That's right; boycotting Utah. Because Mormons contributed some $19 million to the 'Yes on 8' campaign. They're crying out for the Mormons tax exempt status to be pulled (I wonder; I'm a churchgoer. Should my church's tax exempt status be pulled because I contributed and spoke out in favor of 8?). Talk about persecution. This is it.

And the blogger is calling for his readers to search out the largest donors to the 'Yes on 8' campaign, the companies they work for, the businesses they own, and for his readers to boycott those businesses.

And it's not some small time blogger either: he has around 170,000 hits per day.

Go read the hate there. And tell me if it doesn't convince you that they won't stop until your children are indoctrinated with homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle; that they won't stop until any moral opposition--vocal or subvert--is crushed. Completely.

They aren't resting folks. We can't either.

I don't know how to do this; I've never incited an uprising. But I'm telling you, somebody has to. It may as well be here.

I'm not sure where to go from here, but I'll not stop. And I'm asking you to do the same. Hop on the email and link out to everyone you know. And stay tuned: over the coming days I'll post more, along with a place to begin to donate money for the fight that is coming. They're organizing. They've found their cause, and they're coming together to fight. We must do the same.

And pray. More than anything, pray.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Bubs!

Gentry's six today. It's hard to believe, isn't it? It's the same thing that every dad blogger writes about on his son's birthday, but it doesn't seem possible that it was six years ago that I was changing his first diaper (yes, I did change diapers); that I was getting up at 2:30 AM to heat a bottle; that I did that bouncy-on-the-shoulder-while-patting-his-back-and-humming thing to calm his upset stomach and stop him from crying.

It doesn't seem possible that that same little guy is the guy who likes to fish (he cast's better than me); who loves school (he's an incredibly diligent and focused student); and who grasps, at six years old, the impact of even complex political issues.

I was taking him to school on election day, and observant kid that he is, he called out as we turned a corner, "Dad! Those two guhls awe holding "Yes on 8" signs!".

"Yep, they are, Bubs," I replied.

"I know what that means, Dad," he said after a moment.

"What's it mean Bubs?" I asked, curious.

"It's whewe we say that a mawwiage is only with one man and one woman."

I almost cried. "Yep, Bubs. That's exactly what it means."

"And I know what 'No on 8' means too," he went on.

I felt the lump starting to form in my chest. I could barely squeeze out the words: "What's that mean, Bubs?"

"It means that mawwiage could be a man and a man ow a lady and a lady. But God doesn't like that, so weow voting fow 'Yes on 8', wight Dad?"

I almost cried. I can barely stand to be away from them for more than a few hours any more. It seems like they're both developing so fast that I'll likely miss something monumental while gone to work. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't have at least one moment where I sit, heart full, just amazed at some new territory that they've discovered.

I love being a parent.

Thanks for allowing me to wax sappy and nostalgic; I'll try not to do it too often!

In the meantime, join me in wishing the most incredible son in the world a very happy sixth birthday!

Love you Gentry!

For Nate...

...who only frequents my blog when there are pictures to look at (and only reads the funny section of the newspaper, I think). Love you man! ;-)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Protect Marriage

I wanted to take a moment to encourage my California readers to vote Yes on Proposition 8 as they head to the polls on Tuesday. I try not to yap about political issues too often (for the most part, politics exhausts and kills valuable brain cells), but Proposition 8 is far too important to ignore.

For those who're not familiar with the proposition, it's entire text is:

"Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California."

That's it; nothing more. For the record, the overwhelming majority of Californians (61%) have already said in a vote on Proposition 22 in 2000 that marriage between a man and a woman should be the only marriage recognized by the state. Unfortunately, four CA Supreme Court judges took it upon themselves to overturn the votes of millions of Californians.

So, I urge you again, get out on Tuesday, and vote Yes on 8. Send emails to all of your friends and acquaintances urging them to do the same.

What's at risk here, you ask? How does this affect me? Consider this: if the State officially recognizes gay marriages, they have already demonstrated a strong proclivity to include education relating to same sex marriage in public school curriculum. Will it affect your children, do you think, to be taught that there's no difference between the "man and wife" relationship, and a "husband and husband" or "wife and wife" relationship? Further, isolated legal skirmishes across the state have already shown that numerous special interest groups are waiting to take on churches who decline to marry homosexuals. The danger is great that our ministers and churches will be legally obligated to provide marriage services to same-sex couples at risk of losing our tax-exempt status or, worse, arrest and prosecution for discrimination.

I'm not one to use fear tactics, but I think that in this case it's inarguable that there are very determined special interest groups out there who are intent on removing any individual or group who expresses any moral opposition, vocal or otherwise, to their personal lifestyles. That scares me. It should scare you too.

And lest you fall into the "equal rights" trap, consider this: California already has some of the most generous same-sex couple benefit laws on the books. That is, same-sex couples--married or otherwise--already have access to most of the health, legal and social benefits that are awarded to married couples. They're not discriminated against in any fashion. This proposition won't limit or eliminate any of that.

So go; do your part. And tell everyone you know to do the same.

Visit to learn more.