Monthly Archives: May 2012

Blowgun Alley

This is the blowgun target range my youngest son set up this evening. He had been bugging me for two days to shoot blowguns, so he went out and set this up near our garden.  He pulled the wood from our wood pile and stuck them between the cinder blocks, then added the bottles.  Awesome.

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Sweet 16

Somehow we made it to 16 years and four kids today. We have had many highs and many lows, and many things have changed, but we are still together. The last two years have probably been the hardest as we have struggled to find suitable employment, but it has probably brought us closer as a result. I am hoping we are close to a resolution, but we either way we will try to move forward as best we can. The best compliment I can give DeLana is that I would do it again.

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Final week of training- Tuesday ride

I just rode 22.8 miles! Check it out on Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/9663610

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I just rode 44.5 miles!

I just rode 44.5 miles! Check it out on Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/9542156

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Be Still, My Soul

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.

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Don’t try this at home (or anywhere else)

I got a call from my wife this morning asking me to take her to the clinic because she cut off the tip of her finger.  I drove by the house, which was just a few blocks away, but she wasn’t there.  I tried to call her to make sure she was at the school but got her voice mail.  I found her at the school with a frozen sponge on her hand, and she seemed quite calm.  We were able to get right in at the Insta-Care where the grossness began.  At least I had a small pack of yellow Nerds from the front desk.  The doctor caused her to yell when he tried to pull the stuck gauze off her finger.  I knew it was going to be bad at that point.  He wasn’t sure if he could cauterize it or if it required a skin graft.  She screamed even worse when the doctor shot her in the finger several times to numb it.  Either she has amazing self control or I haven’t taught her how to swear properly.  I would have been cussing up a storm.  She lost most of her fingernail on her ring finger, but it stopped bleeding on its own.  Her thumb had to be cauterized, but it hadn’t been numbed, so it shot pain through her arm.  She said that hurt about as much as the shots in the finger.  He then cauterized her finger, and he had to put a few stitches in to stop the bleeding.  He did a great job of numbing her finger because the stitches went straight through her finger.  They wrapped it up and gave her a prescription for painkillers, and we headed back to the school to get her fingertip and sunglasses.  We got her home and I picked up the painkillers, which made her puke a few minutes later.  She wanted to take a shower, and taking her shirt off caught the bandage and pulled it off.  That’s when we took the gross picture.  We had to take the purple wrapping off so we could open up the bandage and get it back on.  She looks like she is giving a puppet show.

Let this be a lesson to you- don’t ever put your hand in a food processor, meat grinder or snow blower.  When in doubt use a stick, fork or someone else’s hand.

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Things I used to believe revisited

Eight days ago I posted a blog about things I used to believe.  I was obviously frustrated and felt like my current trial was never going to end, and possibly get even worse.  I hate the glass of water analogy.  Is it half empty or half full?  I felt like I didn’t even have a glass, so who cares?  Now I want to explain how I felt about each of these thoughts when I started to read them, and how I feel now.

ASAP- Activity Solves All Problems.  I saw this in someone’s office.  This probably holds the weakest meaning of this group of thoughts, but I was hopeful.  I guess when we don’t know what to do we can look for ways to serve those around us.  That always helps to take the focus off our trials, even for a short time.
This too shall pass.  Everything will eventually pass, even if it is due to death.  It’s hard to feel like your trials will never end when you are in the middle of it, but they will end.  We can overcome all things, but it sure isn’t easy.  We just have to keep moving forward.
It’s never as bad as you think.  I think as humans we tend to magnify our emotions, thereby overriding our logic and common sense.  Phobias fall in to this category.  People are scared of things that are irrational.  I hate snakes, which is why I hold them.  People are afraid of heights because they think they will fall off the ladder and kill themselves.  This is not true.  I think it is important to do things that scare us, which is why I love to jump my mountain bike.
I choose my attitude.  This one is difficult for me.  See the glass explanation above.  I tend to be pessimistic naturally, so I really have to fight to overcome this one.  I work at it because I find that being positive makes me happier as a general rule.  It’s easy to be negative, but it decreases your quality of life, so it’s worth the effort for me to keep working at it.
The best is yet to come.  It is, even if I have to wait for the next life.
All in.  I think it is important to be fully committed to the things we do.  Fully committed to our spouses, children, our jobs, our health.  Giving 100%, win or lose, is the only way to be.  And don’t talk about mathematical impossibilities, like giving 110%.  That just lets everyone know you suck at math but you think you are smart.
Stand firm.  Hold your ground, after choosing sure footing.  Don’t sacrifice sure footing for a kill shot.  You will end up wet and cold.
ONE MORE ROUND.  Rocky Balboa was one of my favorite movie characters.  I saw Rocky III when I was 11, and I loved it.  It’s a classic story of rising too fast and falling even faster.  Though most people can’t really take a beating like Rocky, he had an indomitable will.  He kept moving forward.  He always had another round left in him.  I feel like that is how I have to approach difficulties.  I may have to take a rest between rounds, but I have to keep moving back to the center of the ring and be willing to take another hit.

This is how I really feel, even though it didn’t sound like it eight days ago.  Nothing has changed in the last week, other than finding potential answers, but I felt positive before that started to happen.  I’m not out of the woods yet, but as I look around I see 12 antelope and cool rain clouds.  God’s evidence.

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My bike rules

My bike rules. I took two of my kids and my dog for a leisure ride this evening. I got this bike a few years ago after I had surgery and the doctor told me I couldn’t mountain bike for a year. Unacceptable. I bought it for the cool frame and sweet ape hanger handle bars. It’s hard to see in this picture, but I added blue dice valve stem covers. It is fun to ride because it reminds me of riding a bike as a kid. My bike rules.

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Western Bluebird?

This is a Western Bluebird, and I believe I saw one of these in my backyard yesterday.  The bird I saw was a little bit fatter, but it had the same coloring.  I have never seen a bird like this before.  I tried to take a picture with my PHD camera, but I couldn’t zoom in close enough.  The bird was on the grass by my retaining wall near a patch of dandelions, which also made it difficult to get a picture.  I was surprised by how bright it was.

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Things I used to believe

Last year I came up with a list of positive phrases that I would read daily as part of my goal. At the time I believed these phrases, but as time has worn on I find that they don’t hold the same value as when I first started. Their power has eroded. Here are the phrases:

ASAP- Activity Solves All Problems.
This too shall pass.
It’s never as bad as you think.
I choose my attitude.
The best is yet to come.
All in.
Stand firm.
ONE MORE ROUND.

Let’s dissect these one by one.

ASAP- Activity Solves All Problems. Grinding gears and dropping a transmission is an activity.
This too shall pass. I don’t think my trials will pass any time soon. Maybe when I’m dead. Then it won’t matter anyway.
It’s never as bad as you think. It’s worse.
I choose my attitude. Attitude won’t change my current situation. I can be positive, but that won’t change what is happening.
The best is yet to come. It’s not. It’s not coming.
All in. You can win big or lose big when you go all in. Losing big is more likely. I know.
Stand firm. The classic struggle of an unstoppable force vs. an immovable object. The unstoppable force has won.
One more round. The deeper you go in the fight the more brain damage you take. That’s why boxing matches don’t go 15 rounds anymore. I watched the fight when Ray Mancini beat Duk Koo Kim in 1982. Duk Koo Kim died from brain injuries five days later. Boxing associations changed from 15 to 12 rounds after that fight. How many more rounds do you fight before you decide to stop getting hit in the head?

I want to believe these statements, but I realized that I have been glossing over them because they don’t hold the same meaning.  I guess positive affirmations don’t work if you don’t believe in them.  And the same goes with religion.

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