I have very high aspirations for both of my kids. Casie is my princess. Christian is my best pal. I want everything that is good for them in life. I want them to succeed, but I don't want them to get bogged down with needless worries or strict expectations. I want them to dance. I want them to be like Amy.

In her few but fast paced years of life so far my friend Amy has seen and done more than just about anyone I know. I mentioned her travel blog a few paragraphs down. If you've been over to take a look at some of her journeys you know she's seen a big, big part of our world. And I don't just mean landscapes, cities and wildlife. She's really seen the world.

I met Amy back in 2002 I think. I'd just been working for our congressman a few days when she walked into the office for the first time. She was young, pretty and tan for sure, and a bit trepeditious I thought. I learned later that that's not natural for her. But she was literally stepping straight out of college and headlong into the tough man's world of big time politics. Personally, I think she was playing timid to see how a bunch of territorial older guys would respond to having a young, pretty, barely-not-a-teeny-bopper girl around. She's sly.

It's not Amy's style to just slip into a room, she walks in like she's been announced. I love that about her. Now, if she wants to, she can come into a crowded space, mill around for an hour or two and slide out without the avoided even knowing they've been dissed. I've seen her do it, and she's good.

The thing that I'd want my own kids to emulate most is Amy's sense of adventure. She's barely over five feet tall. Her frame is tiny. She has a gorgeous little voice, and I've never seen her hit anyone. (Although her you-don't-want-to-go-there stare can scare you a little.) She doesn't command fear when you see her, but her willingness to stare it down is mean. What most others see as too big a task she sees as the next challenge. She's fierce!

She's raised and managed millions of dollars for a variety of causes, and kept scattered crews of dozens all on the same page to get big things done. Her tiny shoulders have rubbed against the most powerful and elite, and she's stood toe-to-toe with the best of her colleagues. She has accomplished what some bigger and broader folks can't seem to. She sorta reminds me of Angelina Jolie's beautiful, scrappy character in "Mr. & Mrs. Smith." She's so cool!

And today at 28 years of age I know her adventures are just beginning. We'll celebrate later, but I wanted to say happy birthday and send tons of love to someone I'm very keen on. She's my friend.

Happy birthday Amy!!



Here's a little rant. All of it IMHO.

One of the weirdest shows on TV these days is America's Got Talent. And I don't necessarily mean the singers, dancers, jugglers, yodelers, puppeteers, whistlers, magicians and fire-eaters who are trying to win the prize. By the way, what is the prize?

Sometimes what happens on the stage is just odd. Other times it is inspiring. Then at other times it's hard to know what it is. Since this is the first time I've really paid close attention to the show I may have missed the concept. But I can't imagine I'm the only person who just tuned in.

I understand the want-to-be-discovered-talent who show up and perform. The people on the stage are auditioning for a chance to go to Vegas and win something. I think the Gong Show did something similar years ago with a lot less prize and even less talent. But on that show the idea was to make the contestants look foolish. On AGT, the "judges" and the audience play that part.

Look at this cast. First off, kudos to David Hasselhoff's agent. Now THERE'S the talent. Imagine the used cars he could sell. Who thinks the Hoff is the best man for the job? Did anyone read his application?

The show's original female judge, was Brandy. She could sing and dance and act and model and write and produce. She was loaded with talent. If anyone was qualified to spot real artistic ability, she was. Now we have Sharon Osbourne.

I think Sharon is a neat lady. She certainly doesn't look like the kind of woman who'd be interested in sleeping with Ozzy. But she's a successful woman who should know talent. I think she's a very inconsistent judge though. Case in point; last night she gave the thumbs down to a group of college guys who had a really good drum act. They were tight and energetic and obviously talented. She said their act was "limited" and wouldn't work in Vegas. Rewind: This past Sunday night a man steps to the middle of the stage and does hand shadows of former presidents. Sharon thinks Vegas will "love it!" Moments later another really impish looking guy does some terribly awkward song and dance routine, and she thinks it's "adorable." Proof that Sharon Osbourne either just hates college kids, or she's a poor judge of talent.

Piers Morgan? He got a judges chair here in the US because he has one in Great Britain. He's famous over there for writing and talking about famous people. He and my mailman are equally qualified to pick America's next big star.

And Jerry Springer!!!! Did the producers of this show do any kind of background check? Do they know what their host's other TV job is? No wonder the audience acts so juvenile.

The other night a guy with tremendous talent walks out and sings a powerful and emotional song. Because he has teeth, combs his hair and sings serious songs with a nice vibrato the mob in the seats, who aren't' sure which Jerry Springer show they're on, starts screaming for the judges to throw him off the stage. They're not even listening. But the singer man just stood there and gave one of the most intelligent and moving performances of the season. He was just too good for this audience, and this show. In the end the crowd started cheering for him. He faced them down and won. He had a couple of things they didn't. Integrity and class.

Why spend so much time on something so insignificant? 'Cause I watched the show last night and it bugged me. The judges were inconsistent. The audience was childish. The host was just out there, and whoever was directing the shots should consider letting us see what's happening on the stage. Either that or change the name of the show to "Audience Got Talent." Truth in advertising might not allow it though.


ky, tn, ga, fl, ga, tn, ky, tn, al, ms, la, ms, al, tn, ky

If you fly over a state are you technically in it? Do states own air space like countries do? If they do I've been in and out of a small handful lately. It was regular life back when I was traveling and singing full time, but I'm not the move-about I used to be.

I know folks who are just in for a visit when they get "home." They're always in an airport or on a cruise ship or a train or a bus. I love seeing new places and visiting familiar favs myself. I enjoy experiencing other cultures. And since I'm a beach lover living in a beachless state, it takes going somewhere else to indulge. I do enjoy a trip away from time to time, but I like my couch and my kitchen and my shower and my bed better than any I've visited. The people I love the most are handy when I'm home too.

One of my BFFs is THE travel diva. Amy was in N'awlins with me for a couple of days last week. That's a baby trip for her. She travels around the world, literally - all the way around it. She doesn't even bother to take her passport out of her purse. Name a continent, she's probably walked on it. Need travel advice, she can fill you in - from personal experience. Don't believe me? Click on her blog, "
Tales from a Travel Diva" and you'll see.

Before New Orleans, Florida was a nice get away for me. BTW, this trip was courtesy of Amy the Diva and ZAC. It wouldn't have happened otherwise, and I am very, very grateful to these two very special people. On the way down we were joking about vacationing on the gulf during hurricane season. When we got to the island we heard about a "disturbance" just off shore. When it hit, the rain was torrential for a couple of days. So now I can proudly say that I endured a disturbance. Not as impressive as surviving a hurricane, not even a tropical storm really. Heck, it didn't even rank a name. I don't think it would make a very impressive t-shirt either. "I ENDURED AN UNNAMED DISTURBANCE." When I was a kid my mom could've said that a lot.

The rain finally stopped, and when it did it got gorgeous really fast. The beach was beautiful. The water was warm. The breeze was cool. The sun was hot! And I got lazy. Besides a day-trip to Fort Lauderdale, my favorite Florida city, we spent the week without a plan or the initiative to do much more than just chill out by the water. I came home rested, which is the point of a vacation I think. But I often miss the point.

One day at home to unpack, do some laundry, repack and head to southern Louisiana.

This was a work trip. But I'll tell you, the folks in the Big Easy are ready for the moment business is finished. I found the French Quarter, Bourbon Street in particular, to be a beautiful, interesting, repulsive and intriguing place. Personally, I'd keep the kids down by the river at the aquarium or the children's museum. I'm sure it's my conservative upbringing, but watching families with young'ns in tow walking down a street lined with the stars of the strip clubs standing in the doorway and huge pictures of them posing in "uniform" doing their business... It just seemed inappropriate to me. Call me a stick-in-the-mud, but some of those little boy tourists were skinning their chins on the pavement. They weren't seeing Minnie Mouse.

The first couple of nights I was there I stayed about a block off Bourbon Street at a beautiful and classy old place called the Hotel Monteleone. It's supposed to be haunted. The scariest thing I saw though was the guy who couldn't find his floor button when he got on the elevator. He said his room was on the 24th. I think the hotel only had like sixteen maybe. He had an intoxicated aroma, and I'm really not sure he was even at the right hotel. Come to think of it, that really was more funny than scary.

There is a lot of a lot of history in NOLA. The cemeteries were creepy but they were supposed to be. The architecture of the old churches and homes and storefronts is inspiring. I've never seen so many interesting shops that sold absolutely EVERYTHING you could imagine. I mean everything. The local food was rich and delicious. The people were right friendly, and it wasn't nearly as hot and humid as I'd expected in mid July. This Mississippi River has stories of its own. One thing you really must do if you're ever in New Orleans is visit the National World War II Museum. It's the only one there is, and it will require several hours and all of your emotions.

The city is rebuilding from Katrina's wrath. Mayor Nagin spoke to us about the spunk and gumption of the southern Louisiana people. From what I saw, I think they'll do well, but there's still a lot of need and reasons for us to help. Some homes have not been touched since the day of the storm.

This trip also had some adventure. On day one I saw a man get hit by a car. He wasn't seriously injured, but it shook us up. The next day a big barge carrying tens of thousands of gallons of fuel crashed and sank in the Mississippi River right in front of our hotel. It smelled like a truck stop there for a couple of days. Later in the week, Renee and I were coming out of Molly's on Toulouse and had to help a guy who'd been beat up. He was bleeding a lot, so we wanted to help.

A friend of mine who is a flight attendant told me once that it is a rare thing to be on a plane with more than a few people and not have a doctor or nurse on board. He was right, and it's a good thing. We needed one and had one. On my flight home a young lady on the plane developed a medical condition that required serious attention. The passenger/nurse tended to her during the flight and the paramedics met them at the airport as soon as we landed. People all around me for a week were being hurt. I was beginning feel like Angela Lansbury.

Both of my trips were a lot of fun. I feel fortunate to have seen so much. Now, I'm really, really glad to be home. If living in a routine means I get to stay here for a while I'm ready to get started.


where ya been?

What's it been, a week or so now? I was hoping to be able to share a bit while I was in New Orleans this week. I didn't want to pay the extra dollars the hotel was charging for Internet though. As a matter of fact, I'm really sorta proud of myself. I may have set a new record for the least amount of money ever spent on a week away from home in a big city. The work conference fed us breakfast and lunch most days, so those two meals were no issue. There were a couple of times though when dinner was also breakfast, but I'd been meaning to start a diet anyway. No soft drinks or junk food on this trip. The busy-ness kept me from even noticing the DT.

The New Orleans airport is buzzing this morning. Most everybody looks like me; pillow wrinkles, puffy eyes, and hair just good enough to fly with. Seeing all of the Big Easy's entertainment options, I'll bet some of these folks haven't been to bed since yesterday.

OK, calling my flight. More about the last few days and some other stuff soon. Promise.



I tell everyone that I asked Renee to marry me and she turned me down. I don't blame her. I'm close to two decades older than she is and I think she's worried people would talk. I told her they talk anyway, but she's still too young to know that.

Even though she wouldn't marry me, I still love my Renee. After she turned me down she said yes to John. I think it's because he's younger and stronger and better looking and other stuff. He's a super good guy though, so if I couldn't have her I'm glad he got her. They both did well.

Renee is one of my BFFs. We trust each other. We talk to each other. We believe each other. Even before we really knew each other well we knew we liked each other. When I was working 16 and 18 hour days for a political campaign and didn't have the time or health to drive the two hours it took to get home and back, she let me move into her apartment. She was assigned to work somewhere else and didn't need it right away, so she just gave me the key. She rescued me, literally.

Political campaign work is often likened to trench warfare. You get close to your trench buddies. These are the people you trust with your life. If any one person lets down their guard, all of you can lose. Renee and I have shared some trenches. I've trusted her to watch my back and she's never, ever let me down. That's just one of the reasons she means so much to me.

She's celebrating another year of life today and I'm not close enough to hug her neck. I hate that. I hope she can have a perfect party without me.


it matters

I remember years ago standing on the deck of a cruise ship watching the trail of that giant boat disappear off into the horizon. A little boy walked up, stood next to me for about thirty seconds then said, "That sure is a lot of gallons of water." I thought it was cute and very simple, but he was right. He took his swimmies and walked away.

The rain has finally let up here in south Florida. The TV said it was the biggest rain they'd had here in years. I believe it. A quick trip to the grocery store yesterday turned into a real adventure, and I know I drove through water I'd scold my kids for attempting. The bridges on and off the island were closed so I couldn't go far. Cars were stranded everywhere, and the folks who live here were looking scared. I don't know why I felt so invincible. I survived though and made it back to the room with not so much as a melted Popsicle.

I was able to stroll on the beach for a couple of hours before the sun went down last night. It was gorgeous and peaceful and serene to watch that big, bright yellow ball settle on top of the water before it finally vanished. You could still see its reflection in the clouds for quite a while after though. All the rain made it easy for the birds to pick out whatever they wanted to eat. There was just no room in the sand for the bugs AND the water. The Gulf was as magic as ever. I took lots of pictures.

That's when the little boy's wise words came back to me. If you could measure it, I wonder how many gallons of water there are out there. I can't imagine how many we can actually see, much less how much is beyond the horizon or underneath the top part. Then I started thinking about the sand. That's a lot of gallons of sand too. The beach I'm on is also filled with millions of billions of shells. Of course that's just a guess. There are more than anyone can count though I'm sure. Then that reminded me of a story I used to hear my favorite pastor, Rex Hudson, tell.

A boy walked out on the beach one morning to find thousands of starfish stranded in the sand. He felt compelled to do something, so he picked one up and threw it back into the sea, then another, and another. He was doing all he could to save as many of the helpless creatures as he possibly could. A man strolled by and asked the boy what he was doing. "I'm trying to save the starfish," he said. "There are too many," the man replied. "There's no way you can save them all. What does it matter?" The little boy picked up a starfish, tossed it into the water and said, "It matters to that one."



I'd like to think I'm a giver. Some people are generous givers. Benny is. It's fairly common to get a note or a phone call from him giving us the opportunity to help him help others. That's generous I think.

I met Benny for the first time about six years ago. I noticed he was quiet and moved deliberately and listened before he spoke. I remember thinking, gosh I'd like to be like that. I've had a chance to get to know him even better over the years. In that time I've also learned that he is loyal, likes to bake, is a great tennis player and loves to laugh. That's also when I learned that he likes to help others, especially those in need. I still want to be like him.

Today is Benny's birthday. No one knows how old he is. I'm gonna guess 27. Happy birthday my Benny buddy!!!


I don't know if everyone has a favorite cousin. I do. Growing up Janice and I were more like brother and sister. I always got excited when I knew we were going to load up and drive over to Winchester for a visit. I knew we'd be riding bikes for hours and making up songs and dancing and just hanging out. We were tight, Janice and me.

Like it usually does, adulthood and its responsibilities took the two of us in different directions. I hate that we don't get to sing and play like we did in our kid years. We had so much fun then. It's sort of a shame that we've allowed those times to be so yesterday. When we talk now we always say we're gonna have to get together and do something.

Janice has been an inspiration to me. She's looked too many difficult circumstances in the eye and refused to blink. I know a few who are more timid who would've accepted the hard stuff as part of life and given up. Not her. She has decided to take advantage of the day and begin all over again - and be excited about it. I want to be like her.

I call her Jan Ann. She and I were born the same year. Today is her birthday. She really deserves the best in all of her, uh hum, 32 years.

rainy day opportunities

Florida is one of my favorite places to get away to - the sun, the sand, the ocean, the people... That's where I am today. This trip was courtesy of some really good folks who make me feel wealthy. I'd decided that a summer trip was not going to happen this year. Things are tight financially and recent circumstances have made it even moreso. What I don't have in dollars I have in abundance when it comes to great people in my life. They've made these few days away possible.

The flight was flawless. Airport parking was a breeze, security was painless (I sorta enjoyed the little puffer machine). Our flight was right on time, the rental car was waiting, and the drive to where I'm staying was easy. If the trip back is as problem free I'll tell you about this great new inexpensive carrier I've found. I like bragging on the ones that do it right.

Everything is not perfect, at least by vacation standards. It has been raining pretty much since we've been here. I expect soggy weather when I visit Alaska. Heck, I'd be disappointed if I didn't get rained on there. But I'm at the beach, and there's sort of this obligation to come home with a pretty tan with lines and stuff. The locals say it's supposed to clear up by the end of the week so all will be good.

About the rain, I enjoy it. It may prevent me from doing what I came to the Sunshine State to do, but it allows other things. This journal entry is one of them. BTW, I've never written from my phone before, so mistakes can be expected. I'll need to run down to Starbucks to see if I did it right. I also have a couple of songs on the stove and a rainy morning is a good time to concentrate on them. It'll be exciting to see what comes out of the rain. I'll keep you posted...


oh me! oh my! oh mine!

I really don't know who or how many folks take the time to stop in and read what's banging around in my head. I've heard from several though the last several days asking me where I've been and why I haven't' been talking lately. It's not that there hasn't been plenty to say. I'm always pondering a variety of things. I just hate to rattle on sometimes.

For the next couple of weeks I'll be away from the office and Kentucky. I'm not sure what Internet access will be like, so I may be silent for a while. I'll try to take notes though and holler about the fun stuff that will likely come up.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I'm not much of a late sleeper. Most mornings allow me to catch about the first five minutes of the morning news. Then it's out the door. I'm not working today, so this morning I was able to spend a little more time catching up on Washington, Hollywood and gas. I made sure to catch the Today Show. I wanted to give Kathie Lee Gifford a chance to change my mind about her.

I don't know what happened. I used to really like Kathie Lee. About a week ago when I was off for the holiday I sat down to see how she and Hoda were holding up. They're starring in the last hour of the now nearly day-long morning news program. OK, all of my tepid web-speak skills will work here. LOL, ROFL, FYA, HHOJ/K, IDK, LMAO and probably a few others fit nicely. I'll say, I like Hoda. She makes the hour for me. She seems like a real person and I think we'd get along if we were put in a room together. Me and Mrs. Gifford might have some issues though.

I remember back when she used to sit next to Regis. I sorta liked her then because Reege had a way of rolling his eyes every time she'd start on all the stuff she has and all the people she knows and all the invitations she gets (and turns down). "It's hard being famous Reege!!" Now poor Hoda has to endure all that "I'm blessed with fab" all by herself. She has to be counting the ticks to the next commercial break. I sorta sense it between the two of them. Sometimes it feels like the show's guests should be wearing referee stripes.

I can handle arrogance. I know a few people who have a lot of love for themselves. I have trouble though with folks who seem to enjoy making others feel inferior along the way. KLG says she's "blessed." I can't argue with her.


OK, reading back it looks like I'm angry. Lord knows I'm not. Maybe I was just in the wrong mood when I turned on the TV. I don't begrudge anyone who has worked hard and achieved a lot. I just thought I'd let you know that me and Kathie Lee probably wouldn't be good friends for very long. We'd both have our issues with each other. Now that I've spent all this time pointing at her I'm gonna run look in the mirror.


oh well...

Thanks for letting me get that scream out of my system last night. The little volcano within had been building up steam pretty much all day. No lava, no damage. Just noise. It felt good to get it out.

I spent a good part of yesterday and last night looking at my budget and sorting the un from the necessary. I know a lot of people who are doing it. I have friends with boats who can't afford to put them in the water. Heck, they can't afford to get to the water. Vacations have turned into backyard staycations and eating out is a luxury again. Today the cable company and I parted on good terms. We may get together again one day. Who knows.

As tight as things are, I'm still very, very fortunate. The fluff stuff may be trimmed, but I can't think of a thing that I need. So instead of being miffed about the stuff I'm letting go of, I've decided today to see it as a cleansing of sorts - a way to declutter and get back to simpler things. I prolly needed it anyway.

No promises I won't scream again tomorrow...



That's all...


The radio was tuned to the local talk station when I started the truck this morning. The first thing I heard was news of the record high gas prices in Lexington. Then I noticed where my little fuel guage needle thingy was resting. I had a moment of silence. At $4.16 this will hurt.

I think it's a trick. Whoever is ending up with all of the money we're spending at the pumps these days is taking us for way too gentle fools.

I remember a few years ago when we all got mad because fuel prices jumped up over two dollars in a matter of days. Everybody was screaming that something had to be done. How long could we afford $3 gasoline? The oil companies or the speculators or the government or the oil sheiks or whoever was at the end of the cash trail all sat for a while, counted and listened. Then the better, more caring human within them arose and brought things down to a reasonable $2.50 or $2.75 a gallon. Never mind that this was still better than a dollar more than we had been paying before the gouge. At least it wasn't $3. So we felt grateful for their kindness and shut up.

Now the same tricksters who hoodwinked us before feel like they can get away with it again. Or maybe this is a copycat crime. They'll let us scream about $4 and $4.50 gallons for a while, then before you know it things'll settle in at a reasonable $3.50 or $3.75 and we'll feel like we're getting a deal.

It's a trick I tell you.



John Adams was a smart man. He eventually became President of the United States, so I'm sure he was no intellectual slouch back in 1776 when he told his wife that July 2nd, "will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival." Missed it by that much... (They'd probably use it against him if he were running for office today.)

July 2, 1776 was the day the Continental Congress voted on a resolution of independence from the British Empire. A day to be remembered for sure. It was a couple of days later though that the actual declaration was approved. Interestingly enough, the famous document we see today isn't the original. Get this, right after the vote was taken on the fourth, someone ran it over to ye olde print shoppe to get copies made and they lost it!! Sure enough, in all the excitement, someone set the original aside and accidentally threw it away! I'd hate to be known as the guy who lost the Declaration of Independence.

So, in a few days, around July 19th, a scripted copy, the one that now sits at the National Archives in Washington, DC, was brought in and everyone, including John Hancock, finally got around to signing it on August 2nd.

As sacred and special as that document is to us now, in the early days right after its publication it was pretty much a neglected piece of paper. It was a good ol' Kentucky boy who first decided to give it the rightful place of honor and admiration it enjoys today. Thank you Mr. Lincoln.

John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston, Roger Sherman and Thomas Jefferson were the committee tasked with working on the original draft. Tom took the initiative to do most of the actual writing, and a few of his earliest attempts are still around today. The working title, and the one approved by the Congress was, "A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled." Doesn't roll of the tongue so nicely.

By the way, there were only thirteen colonies back in those days, and the vote wasn't immediately unanimous. New York was the hold out until finally joining in on July 9th. They should have to hold off on the fireworks for a week.

The very first words of the preamble set the tone for what is to come, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

All of mankind! That's a lot to live up to.


big sky box

My truck doesn't have a CD player. I'm not completely without a little technology though. When the weather is nice I plug the headphones into the iPod and enjoy the windows-down ride like an astronaut on a Ferris wheel.

On the way into the office this morning I was listening to the Isaacs' Big Sky record. Gosh! It's good. You know, sometimes you just hear something brand new for the tenth time. I've listened to this thing over and over, and every time it's chill on chill for me. Every piece hits something on my insides.

My favorite changes with my moods, but today it was "Love Is A Cross You Bear" that drew me in and really touched me. What a story! What an example of love that often hurts but eventually gives back. The lyrics are powerful and the instruments, arrangement and singing were just as inspiring. I don't know if Ben ever sounded better.

I've read some criticisms about the Isaacs and this project in particular. I love this family. They are all dear friends. Years ago when our family was first starting to travel and sing so were they. Their house was our Ohio home (they lived there then). And ours was their home in Kentucky. We spent lots and lots of weekends traveling and growing up together. They're like family, although these days from a distance.

About the criticisms, one of the things I've heard is that this record is not blatant enough. Some say it needs to be more "gospel" oriented. Personally, I think the broad message on this particular piece is part of its beauty and strength. When you listen, it's tough not to feel something in your heart for sure, but just as much in your mind. If the complaint is that a few folks can't see God in this record it might be because He's outside the box and they're not.


OK, this is so way cool! If you've read on down into my journal you've heard me mention Father Jim Sichko. He's a great friend who pastors St. Mark Catholic Church just south of Lexington in Richmond. That's my hometown ya know.

Father Jim travels a lot. Besides pastoring, he's also an evangelist. I've seen some of his traveling sermons online. He's funny and inspiring and challenging. If you get a chance to catch him, you'll enjoy his approach to life and faith.

Evidently FJ, as I call him, was in Southern California not long ago. Yesterday he had his name called out to, "Come on down!!" He was the next contestant on The Price Is Right! He didn't make it to the stage, but that's just like him, always letting others step ahead of him. They were kind enough to present him with some nice parting gifts though.

Way to go FJ!!!



I was on my way into the office this morning sitting at a traffic light when a really nice car pulled up behind me. A handsome, well dressed, professional looking, twenty-something guy was behind the wheel. The rear view mirror kept me from having to turn around, and I was wearing sunglasses too, so he had no idea I saw him digging around in his nose like it had gold in it. He was rabid about it too. It was gross and all of the sudden he didn't look so well put together. He must've thought his own dark sunglasses were as good as tinted windows. The whole New Circle/Leestown Road intersection noticed though. I just had to tell someone.

nine ninety nine ninety nine

It may have worked when I was a kid, but it's been a long, long time since I really thought I was paying anything more than a penny less than eight dollars for a $7.99 whatchamasomething.

There's a local electronics store in my area that loves to out sale as well as out sell their competition. And they should. That's business. But they do it thinking we are gullible consumers who don't notice their sneakiness. They run these ads on TV that first show an item with one of their competitor's price tags that reads "$579." Then the announcer says, "Their price five hundred eighty dollars." Then he goes on, "Pieratt's price, five seventy nine." They honest to goodness think we don't know their game. I'm insulted myself.

Just thought I'd share.


what to do...

I remember years ago reading a poem about a person who, "while on their life's journey," happened upon a crossroad. Right then and there they were faced with a life altering decision. As I remember it, the author made it fairly simple. The traveler could either go the right way or the wrong way. There ya go. Easy enough. If the poet got it right, life really ain't that complicated. The decision seems to be more about temptation than anything else.

First off, I don't believe the poem. I don't question the writer's intellect or intentions, but either they've never left their castle or they're living in the Land of Denial. Any kind of life experience tells you it's sometimes Hell out there. And we don't always get to choose to avoid it.

I've had this discussion with several good friends and a couple of family members. As much as I appreciate the simplicity of good versus bad and light versus dark and righteousness versus evil, those are really not our only choices. When I was young and in school I remember getting in trouble on a test because I answered, "good, gooder, goodest - bad, badder, baddest."

Sometimes the intersection looks more like a spaghetti junction than the simple, country fork in the road like you see in the paintings. It gets confusing. It gets frustrating. And it gets worrisome. Then when you consider that you only get to see a small sample of what's ahead and you have no idea what's beyond the crest or the curve, you get even more intimidated.

Most of the poet's questions were just about life. But I'm going to make it religious too. Pull up to that intersection and look at all of the road signs. They point in every direction! They're Pentecostal and Methodist and Catholic and Nazarene and Baptist and Episcopalian and Falwell and Jackson and Robertson and Wright and Dobson and Phelps and Sharpton and Swaggart and Jewish and Hindu and Islamic and King James Only and Eternal Security and Tongues Talking and Holiness and Predestination and Free Will and Traditional and Contemporary and Trinitarian and Oneness and Denominational and Independent and, and, and... Which way to go?

I stopped asking. When I did ask, the people who weren't salesmen but felt obligated to answer just told me to pray. They said God would show me. So I prayed. But whatever direction I ended up going, someone told me it was the wrong way. Then someone said I should go back to the road I started on. It was a good road, and I respect and cherish it, but maybe not the best road.

I've said it lots of times before. God made colorful rainbows. Then consider blue skies and water, green grass and trees, flowers and birds and butterflies and fish in colors we didn't know existed unitl hi-def television; aromas both pleasant and putrid; flavors for every pallet - sweet and bitter and spicy and minty and more; sounds that entertain, inspire, console and drive you crazy; textures that can soothe or irritate, make the journey rough or smooth. The choices are so many.

Want to make the decision even more of a chore? Imagine it's you at the wheel, but you're not the only person in the car. The choice you make now means something to others as well. Now what to do?

To be continued...