Monday, October 31, 2011


I know of no greater wordsmith than Robert Frost. I have read and read our copy of his collected works many times. He was a rare sort of genius. I used to own a recording of Frost himself reciting this poem, "The Witch of Coos," and I would listen to it in the car. It is decidedly creepy, and very appropriate for a spooky day such as this.


Before the farmers and lumberjacks
Came out this way with saw and ax
To harvest the woods and clear their tracts
     The old tree was there.

It is dying now beside the way
When will it fall? I cannot say,
But it'll fall, for sure, some day.
Perhaps it'll fall by weight of snow
Or maybe the wind'll lay it low
More likely an ax'll deal the blow
     For it is dying now.


The sun is dropping down to bed
The gentle lake reflecting red
Swallows darting in and out, in and out
While campfire smells waft about.

Sunday, October 30, 2011



I’m still waiting to hear back from P.F. Changs, Chik-fil-A, and B.J.’s, but while we’re waiting on them I decided to scratch out an epistle in praise of Topper’s Pizza. I recently ate at a Topper’s  for the first time, and although the pizza itself wasn’t incredible, it was still better than average. What was really impressive to me was the facility itself. Their restaurant in Oxnard, CA is beautiful. With harbor views upstairs and down, brick walls throughout, a spacious, airy feel, and oversized, black and white photos from Oxnard’s yesteryear on the walls the ambiance was really awesome. Everything was shiny and brilliantly clean as well. I don’t know if all of their eateries are this beautiful, but the Topper’s Pizza in Oxnard is an exceedingly pleasant setting for wolfing down some pizza. I was fascinated by their touch screen soda fountain as well, which suggested flavor combinations not available elsewhere (The one downside to the touch-screen soda fountain was that it took longer to get your drink, which consequently resulted in long lines.) So although Toppers failed to knock California Pizza Kitchen off its perch atop my list of pizzerias there is much to celebrate about this discovery. I am a big fan of Topper's Pizza, and I have little doubt that I will be giving them more of my money in the years to come.

LETS PLAY ILLUSTRATION- The game where I give you a scenario and you tell me what spiritual analogies can be drawn from it.

Sarah's family owns a home on the harbor in Oxnard, and we like to go there a few times a year for vacation. Several years ago, we were in Oxnard, I believe the occasion was Sarah's birthday, and one of her friends gave her a potted flower for her brithday. It was the sort you find near the checkout at the supermarket. It graced the table as a centerpiece for the duration of our stay, but when we left we were at a loss what to do with it. The mini-van was packed to the gills, and there was barely room for our kids much less a flower pot. I suggested we give it a fighting chance by planting it in the front yard. Sarah agreed so before we left I took a shovel from the garage and transplanted to an empty spot next to the sidewalk. At that time I didn't have much hope that it would survive, but everytime we go back I check on the flower, and I am gratified to see it is still thriving- a spray of color next to the walk.