Showing posts from February, 2016

We're Booked

There is a used bookstore near us called the Book Cafe. The place has been there forever and I'd never been in it. I love to read, so the other day I thought it was about time I checked it out. I had in mind a couple of old books that I'd really like to have paperback copies of, so that was the perfect excuse to go in.

When I got there the owner asked me if she could help. I told her I was looking for a couple of classics, namely works by Richard Brautigan and Jack Kerouac. I expected some sort of reaction, but kind of got a blank stare. She looked at me like I'd said I'd wanted a pastrami on rye or a fiberglass surfboard instead of a couple of classic authors.(I guess I don't know the name of every author on earth either, so I shouldn't be so judgy.) After specifying that they were fiction, she directed me downstairs and mentioned that all the books were 1/2 off the price marked on the inside cover.

I went downstairs and browsed the stacks of books looking for…

Church Of A Different Sort

Everybody has that favorite band. Some have many favorites. Some change their favorite from year to year, fad to fad, genre to genre. It's something that everyone is entitled to. We don't all have to like other peoples' favorite band, and maybe once you're over fifty years old, you shouldn't even have a favorite band. (Let alone be writing about one. But I am. So there.)

I know a guy who 25 years ago worshiped Neil Diamond. I had a hard time understanding this. While there's nothing wrong with Neil Diamond's music, it's just that at his age (26ish) I thought it was weird to be a fan of somebody more likely to be worshiped by my Mom or my in-laws (they did). Everybody has their thing though, so I get that.

Back in the day, I knew a guy who used to travel from state to state following Bruce Springsteen on tour. The guy was a fanatic. While I never went to that extreme, I had a few favorite groups that I waited for their new albums every year. Then I'd…

Whatever It Takes

As I mentioned in the last post we are in the dog days of winter. It's not March yet, but it's sure not January either. Thank goodness for that. Maybe it's just me, but these long winter nights are causing me to shift things around a bit. I'm a man of routine, but sometimes I get sick of the sameness and shake things up with some change. I think I got all of the winter hate out of me last post, so here are a few things I've found that have helped me through this winter season.

I've gone back to writing in longhand and it's bringing forth good things. Thinking back to many of my first days of writing Dirty Shirt, I wrote most of my stories in a notebook and then transcribed them to the computer later. That fell away to where I was doing it all on my laptop. Well, in a fit of staring at a blank screen with nary a thought in my head for too long one night, I thought I needed a change. I picked up my pen and started scrawling words and before I knew it the inspi…

February Glory

Some blog posts come easier than others.

But in case you didn't notice, it is dark February and, well, sometimes life comes easier than in the middle of winter, too. And make no mistake, I haven't yet posted my "I hate winter" post that typically comes this time of winter.

Well, I aim to fix that, so here goes.

I hate the salt stains that form on my sneakers from walking to work. I would like salt stains on my bathing suit from the ocean while in Tahiti. Yes.I strongly dislike that there are roughly fifty minutes of daylight after I get off of work. Granted that is increasing by a minute or two a day, but I would prefer four and a half hours of sunlight, please. Is that so much to ask?I do not like that most of the time my white van looks like it just survived the fallout from a volcanic blast. Yes, my van is white. It says so in the owners manual.I loathe that I must make a decision each day on whether to wear my heavy winter coat or my slightly less heavy winter coa…

Keeping It Together

Since today is Valentine's Day, I thought I'd write a little about the 'L' word, LOVE, and what it means to me on this Hallmark Holiday.

My wife and I have been married for twenty five years. At the risk of jinxing something, I have to admit it has been a relatively smooth ride. We rarely argue, and when we do, we usually make up within 24 hours. I know there are many who say that not arguing can be unhealthy too. But Donna and I have always been non-argumentative/non-confrontational people. While we can agree that we both tend to stuff things, I think a better way to say that is we are forgiving people. We pick our battles, but more than anything, we both realize that the little stuff is really little. We don't let it add up to big stuff.

This past week I was at a work conference in Elkhart Lake and Donna tagged along. She took advantage of being away from home and work and looked at it as a chance to read, watch a movie or two and get some work stuff done without…

The View From Deckside

Yesterday, my wife and I spent the better half of six hours at our son's last swim meet of the season. It was a nine school affair and was the conference championship. Because all of these events require a fair number of parent volunteers, we chose to do the lane timing for one of the lanes during the meet. We'd done it once before so knew the ropes and wanted to help out. While this detracts a bit from our focusing exclusively on Ben during his races, it does put us in the thick of things. Like being on the field during the Super Bowl. Well, sorta like that. Kinda.

Anyway our time there made me cognizant of a number of things about this season, this sport and this event.

First and foremost I was incredibly impressed with the sportsmanship shown across the lanes by all of the swimmers. These guys get to the end of the race of their life, and the first thing most of them do is shake hands with their competitor in the other lane. So let me get this straight, you're racing to…

Through It Together

A little about friends.

We all have them, some more than others. Some of the more social people I know have hundreds of friends, they attract them and collect them. Others have fewer and are quite content with their smaller circle. Most people, I would guess, are somewhere in the middle. Not shy introverts and not super social. Lots of friends with a few close ones.

I guess I'd put myself in that category or perhaps trending toward the smaller numbers of close friends. What I'm finding though is I have a diverse group of friends, many of which I cannot successfully mix and match. You know the two people you don't want to pair together. C'mon, you do.

I've got my church friends. Many of these cross over into other groups, but I've grown to really appreciate this group. A few weeks ago we had to miss a week or two of church, and I mentioned to Donna how I missed the folks in that group. We are a small church with a big heart for each other and the world around us…