Thursday, January 31, 2013


My favorite show on TV right now is the Korean Drama Cheer Up, Mr. Kim! I was flipping through the channels one happy night when I landed on the Korean channel (KBS 44) and decided, since there was nothing else on, to see what Korean TV was like. I was instantly hooked. This show is amazing! It's on at 8:24 Monday through Friday.

First of all, Korean culture is fascinating. Second of all, the storylines are brilliantly crafted. Third, the acting is terrific, really top shelf. Fourth, it is very wholesome, and by that I don't mean just the absence of filth, but also the celebration of good stuff. Fifth, I thinking I'm learning Korean!!!

Of course, this is not the first time the Koreans have improved my life. You long time readers will remember my first experience with Korean coffee. Also my friend, Katie Dachtler (see link in side bar), is a Korean. Koreans only hold positive associations for me.

I'll admit that having to read subtitles can be a little distracting at times, but usually after a few minutes I forget they're even there. Hopefully by the end of this series I will have picked up enough Korean that I won't need to read them as much.

If you don't get KBS, you can watch the episodes online by going HERE. Check it out! I highly recommend it!

Anyung Hee Gasayo.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


''To me that just isn't being respectful. I really don't know what else I can say to try and make him understand that.''

Thin, middle-aged, white female wearing snow boots, black ankle-length skirt, and blue fleece sweater with her hair pulled back in a bun. She was talking on her cell phone to an unknown second party as she stood next to an idling minivan whose operator was patiently waiting for her to hang up so they could resume a conversation which had apparently been interrupted by the phone call.

Parking lot outside of Mountain Top Liquor- Idyllwild, CA.


The following are 10 predictions I am making for this weekend's superbowl matchup between the San Francisco, 49ers and the Baltimore, Ravens.

1. Kaepernick leaves the game in the first half with an injury.
2. Alex Smith plays the entire second half.
3. Going into half time the Ravens will be ahead 14-3.
4. Going into the fourth quarter the score will be 14-10 thanks to an Alex Smith throwing touchdown.
5. One of the commercials aired will result in a boycott.
6. During the course of the game somebody will take advantage of the national audience to make a controversial political statement. The nation will squirm.
7. Harbaugh wives share the same box. Lots of camera shots of their reactions during the game.
8. Frank Gore punches in a fourth quarter touchdown. 49ers win 17-14!
9. After the game the commentators go crazy talking about what a classy and stand up guy Alex Smith is.
10. The brothers Harbaugh share a disappointingly uneventful handshake at the end of the game.
Up the hill and on through the fog they came, and as they came, they morphed and changed, aging before my very eyes and shedding the trappings and clothing of those days when we shared an association with one another.

Their numbers increased as they came until we were all reunited as when Jacob and Esau met on the plain.

The throng filled the chapel, quad, and campus center. Children clung to legs, and spouses, alien to our shared experiences, hung aloof or exchanged pleasantries. All the aspirations and ambition of those former days had resulted in this- for some it was less and for others more.

And as I looked about I saw a man standing alone in the misty periphery as one waiting to be told he could leave. I felt an urge to give him his release, but it was not mine to give.


My new favorite pizza place is MELLOW MUSHROOM PIZZA, and I can say that even though I have never eaten their pizza, visited their fine establishment or even heard of them before today.

Check it out HERE.

Monday, January 28, 2013

JACK POETRY- ''Lightning Scratch''

I wasn't from this fight
But I'll drop you from the heavens
You wanna play?
You can't fight me


''Check out Carlos. He's always flirting.''
Young Hispanic male speaking to two other Hispanic males of like age about a fourth Hispanic male named Carlos who was clowning around with a bevy of young Hispanic females a short distance away.

''Carlos! You're so funny!''
Young Hispanic female sporting ug boots, jeans, long-sleeved, pink, T-shirt, and a brown vest, shrieking in response to Carlos' antics.

''Hey Carlos, come on let's go.''
First male calling out to the flirt, Carlos, who continued to wax hilarious and who was loudly regaling his audience of giggly girls in Spanish.

''I'll be there in a minute.''
Said Carlos (in English) to his friends before focusing his attention back on the girls.

I walked away for a few minutes and when I returned Carlos was alone with one of the girls, everyone else was gone. The girl, slightly overweight and wearing grey sweatpants and a USC sweatshirt, was seated in a chair crying and Carlos was standing over her speaking earnestly in Spanish. What was said I do not know.


Sometimes when I'm loading the dishwasher I run out of dirty dishes, and I'm left with a spot that is just the perfect size for a dish that is clean and put away in the cupboard. So sometimes I finish off a dishwasher load by filling it with a perfectly clean dish or two. I just can't abide running a dishwasher that is not completely filled up.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


It seems to me that America has rounded a corner on the issue of marijuana's legality and has set a course towards legalizing and normalizing its use. With each passing year the social and legal barriers to openly smoking marijuana are further eroded. This past year Washington and Colorado one-upped those states which had legalized medical marijuana by making it legal for recreational use. Such a move was telling, but even more telling was the somewhat muted response of Americans to the decision.

I don't think that the American church is very well prepared for the coming debate over the permissibility of marijuana within its ranks. Up to this point the argument has been that it is sinful because it is against the law and we, as Christians, are commanded to live in submission to the civil authorities, but if it is legalized I wonder what arguments the church will make. Some parallels can be drawn to alcohol which not that long ago in our national memory was also illegal and stigmatized, but is it the same?

Some of the questions that I have encountered are whether or not it is possible to smoke marijuana and not become intoxicated? Are the biblical exhortations against drunkenness applicable here? Can marijuana be smoked responsibly?

It's properties are naturally derived (i.e. God given). Is that tantamount to a divine endorsement of its use?

What questions would you add?

My own argument against marijuana is based on 1 Corinthians 6:12, ''All things are lawful for me,' but not all things are helpful. 'All things things are lawful for me,' but I will not be enslaved by anything.'' I think, biblically speaking, that permissibility is a pretty low argument to make. There is a higher law and that is what is beneficial and helpful. I personally don't think marijuana is either.

What do you think about marijuana in the church?

Saturday, January 26, 2013


The man's form, naked and obese, resembled a great mass of animated dough as he moved haltingly through the woods behind the trailer park on Nason Street. He was ghostly white against the dark greens of late summer. His tapered ankles and feet seemed surprisingly dainty beneath his great bulk which rippled and shook with each footfall. A wild mop of brown hair, greying at the temples, was plastered sweatily to his brow, and his labored breathing came ragged and short as he moved uphill through the woods. It had rained recently and he took care as he went to avoid shaking any overhanging branches which might shower him with raindrops. His tender feet were likewise placed with care. Everything about his progress was slow and deliberate. He stopped briefly near a fallen tree to get his wind. In his left hand he carried a bird's nest. His right hand was pressed against the small of his back as pregnant women do. I called out to him, and for a brief moment he stared at me wide-eyed like a creature of the forest before crashing back downhill the way he had come. I pursued him and soon found him fallen and wriggling on the ground like an enormous grub. He had evidently fallen on top of the bird's nest, which he studied intently as he regained his feet.  Its delicate construction had been damaged beyond all repair beneath his stumbling mass. A single leaf clung to the sweaty skin on his heaving chest.

"This is your fault," he said to me as he held up the nest as proof for my inspection.

Friday, January 25, 2013


1. If you were walking through the woods with a rifle and you saw sasquatch would you shoot it for science?

2. If every meal you ate for the rest of your life had to come from one chain restaurant, which restaurant would you choose?

3. If you had to move your eyes from their current location and put them somewhere else on your body, but you couldn't put them anywhere above the neck, where would you put them?

4. If you could only be conscious for one month out of the year which month would you choose?

5. If all fifty states became members of the opposite sex which perfectly embodied the spirit and beauty of that region, which state do you feel you would be most attracted to/ compatible with?

6. If you had to live out the rest of your days within the city limits of a single city and you could never set foot outside of that city again, which city would you choose?

7. If you had to smell strongly of a certain kind of food for the rest of your life, which food would you choose to smell like? (What if you were choosing for your spouse?)

8. If you could only use one denomination of U.S. currency to make purchases with, whether big or small, which denomination of currency would you choose?

9. If your life was made into a full-length feature film, who would you cast to play yourself in the starring role? Who would you cast for your spouse? What would the film be rated?

10. If you could only eat during one half hour block during the course of the day when would you schedule that block?

11. In addition to foot travel if you could only choose one other form of transportation to use for the rest of your life, and you can't choose anything that can legally travel on a highway, which form of transportation would you choose to supplement walking?

12. If you had to change races which race would you change to? (Nothing would change but your appearance)

13. If you had to go by an opposite gender name for the rest of your life, which would you choose? (And you can't pick a name that goes both ways.)

14. If you could take a physical sensation that feels bad and make it so that it feels good, which sensation would you choose?

15. If you had to time travel to find your spouse, would you go 300 years into the past or into the future?

16. If you could choose to know either how you die or when which would you choose?

17. If you could go back and witness any event from the Old Testament which would you choose?

18. If your head was shaped like a triangle would you want the point down like a chin with a flat top or pointing up like a church steeple?

19. If you had to replace one of you hands with a common kitchen utensil, which would you choose?

20. If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life (you can have as many of these outfits as you want but they must be identical) what would that outfit look like?

21. If you had an entry song that came on whenever you entered a room, what would you choose as your entry song?

22. If you could make it so that one book had never been written which book would you erase?

23. If all the creatures in all the seas, from the largest whale to the smallest microscopic organism, jumped out of the water at exactly the same time (assume it's possible), would the ocean level drop noticeably from the vantage point of a spectator on the shore? Do they displace that much water?

24. If you were on the run what would be your alias?

25. If you had to choose another place on the human body for longish hair to grow, where would you choose?

26. If you were engaged to be married and some accident occurred that made it physically impossible to ever consummate the marriage, would you still go through with the wedding? Does it make a difference if you are the one who is damaged or your betrothed?

27. If you had to change your name to that of a pet you have owned, either living or deceased, which name would you choose?

28. If you could only wear either heavy snow boots or a pair of flip-flops for the rest of your life which would you choose?

29. If you could only use one kind of utensil for the rest of your life, spoon, kitchen or knife, and swear off the other two, which would you choose?

30. How long do you think you could survive eating only candy and drinking only soda?

31. If you could receive a free lifetime supply of any product which would you choose?

32. If you could serve as a paid spokesperson for any product, which would you be most proud to represent?

33. Swim like a fish or fly like a bird?

34. If you had to choose between becoming as small as your index finger or so tall that your current proportions would seem finger-size, which would you choose?

35. How long do you think it would take to eat and pass everything that you are wearing right now?

36. If you had to be physically reborn and start over from the womb of a female celebrity who is alive today, which female celebrity would you choose for your Mother?

37. If Washington D.C. had to be abandoned, what other U.S. city would you choose for our national capital?

38. If people changed color to correspond with their emotions how would this change society as we know it?

39. If you found out that five years from now you had become a household name would you assume it was because you were famous or infamous? For what?

40. If everything you ate tasted like one flavor, what flavor would you want to assign to all foods?

41. Gentlemen- If yuo had to choose between wearing only a speedo or a full football uniform, complete with pads, cleats and helmet, for the rest of your life which would you choose?

42. Gentlemen- If you had to choose between going without either shirt or shoes for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

43. Ladies- If you had to choose between never washing your hair again or going completely bald which would you choose?

44. Of all the mice that have ever lived, on balance have more died from being eaten or from natural causes such as disease, drowning, etc...?

45. If you could travel by means of teleportation anywhere and anytime would you take it if it meant you had to completely abandon all other forms of locomotion, including walking?

46. What would you choose as America's national condiment?

47. If you had to choose a member of your family to find you a spouse, and ship said spouse to you sight unseen, which member of your family would you entrust with the job?

48. If you were paid a dollar for every M&M that you ate in succession, no handfulls and no stopping, just one M&M after another until you threw up or were forced to stop how much money do you think you could make?

49. If you had to choose two colors to represent you for the rest of your life, and you could only dress in those colors, paint your house those colors, etc..., which two colors would you choose?

50. Where is the most memorable/exciting place you have ever slept?

51. If you were forced into slavery would you be a hardworking slave or would you take every opportunity to stick it to the man?

52. If you could only say three words for the rest of your life, which words would you choose?

53. If you traveled back in time to when the first european settlers stepped forth onto the North American continent would you help the settlers or warn the indians?

54. If you had to live out the rest of your days inside a video game world, which video game world would you choose?

Thursday, January 24, 2013


When I was a kid growing up at 816 Somerset Place in Hyattsville, MD all the kids in my neighborhood collected M.U.S.C.L.E. Men. There were hundreds of them, each a unique little plastic sculpture. I loved them. In truth, I love them still. The rich and spoiled kids had buckets of 'em, but even the poorest kids had modest collections. In that brand of economy unique to neighborhood kids and prisons they became a kind of currency. I recall that certain kinds of M.U.S.C.L.E. Men were considered especially rare and thus also valuable. Many a happy summer afternoon were spent sitting on the sidewalk in front of the house trying to improve my standing within the M.U.S.C.L.E. Man community through some shrewd trades. When I wasn't trading M.U.S.C.L.E Men I enjoyed arranging them on the window sill next to my bed or playing with them in the bathtub.

My parents were neither rich nor overly indulgent and thus my own collection was relatively modest. However, I diligently saved my dollar that I earned every week from helping with the family's paper route. This I stored in an envelope which I hid in various locations throughout my room. I changed the hiding place often, sometimes even several times a day, not because it was in any danger of being burgled but because, like all children, I loved the idea of a secret, hidden treasure.

The day eventually came when I reached my savings goal which was to buy a large box of M.U.S.C.L.E. Men which I had seen on display at a K-Mart down the road. I do not recall how much this cost, but I do recall that it took what felt like several lifetimes to amass the necessary funds. This was my long-imagined day of comeuppance. I drained the treasury, which on that particular day had been secreted away inside my pillow case, and entrusted the entire fortune to my older brother, John, who was going to K-Mart with my Mom. The M.U.S.C.L.E. Men were packaged in a flat box with a thin see-through plastic window on its front which allowed you to see just a few of the men it contained. I gave John instructions to look through the window of each box in search of certain rare and sought-after M.U.S.C.L.E. Men. The biggest prize was to find a M.U.S.C.L.E Man that nobody on the block had seen yet.

After what seemed like hours the family's station wagon finally rumbled back into the driveway and before it even came to a stop I was running alongside trying to discern from John's face how he had fared at K-Mart. He was inscrutable. When John handed me the box of M.U.S.CL.E. Men I dropped to my knees in the grass next to the car and tore it open on the spot. I marveled at my newfound riches. There were no new species of MUSCLE Man for me to name and describe to our emerging science, but there were several sought after specimens including one who was half crocodile and half man. He was one that had only recently been discovered on the block and was a hot commodity.

That night my window sill was crowded with little pink monsters and chief among them was the crocodile man. I loved him.

My school, Ridgecrest Elementary, had a strict policy against bringing toys to school. In fact, if found they were always confiscated and it was my teacher's policy not to release them unless your Mom or Dad came to get them after school. Most kids chose to forfeit their toys rather than suffer a lecture from their parents, and it was rumored that one of the drawers in her desk was a veritable Aladin's cave of abandoned toys. 

Despite the risk, I just could not bear the thought of being separated from the crocodile man for an entire school day. So before shouldering my backpack I slipped him into my pants pocket, reasoning that I would only take him out on the way to and from school and possibly also if I went to the bathroom. 

At some point during that morning my teacher gave the entire class some busy work and then stepped out into the hall to talk something over with the principal. I finished my work early and then, in a moment of weakness, decided to have a brief little moment with crocodile man. I fished him out of my pocket and was admiring him when the door unexpectedly swung open on the quietest hinges that I have never heard. My teacher's eyes swept across her charges with a trained eye and before I could return him to the safety of my pants pocket they locked onto crocodile man. My heart sank.

She couldn't have known that crocodile man was worth all those hours delivering papers, or of the special place it held in my heart, and my window sill back home. In truth, I doubt she would have cared   much even if she had known.

Without saying a word she crossed the room until she stood in front of my desk and then she held out her hand demanding that I hand over my newly acquired M.U.S.C.L.E Man, my precious. My classmates were enjoying the show. All eyes were on me, and I was blushing.

'''s an eraser,'' I lied.

''Show me,'' she said, beckoning toward a piece of paper.

I took crocodile man in hand and with a lump in my throat began rubbing his head against the busy work I had just completed. To my teacher's surprise, and also my own, the M.U.S.C.L.E. Man erased beautifully.

''Oh,'' my teacher said, apparently believing my lie. Then she turned and went back to her desk without confiscating my toy. Crocodile man went back in my pocket.

The kid who sat next to me said, ''That's sick! I didn't know they made M.U.S.C.L.E. Man erasers! Where'd you get that?''

''K-Mart,'' I said.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"THE NFL : A Bad Lip Reading" — A Bad Lip Reading of the NFL


There came a day when the sun set red casting the campus in sepia tones like an old timey photograph. I stepped out into the gloaming with thoughts as vaporous as mist rising off the Genesee, and as I walked in the strange light of the waning day my tired mind was allowed to wander aimlessly like a work horse turned out to pasture. For the first time in many days neither my steps or thoughts were directed toward the achievement of a goal, and such satisfaction as I felt at the novelty of it was a luxury as can never be purchased, but only earned.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


''Hold up! Are you serious?''
White female, probably in her early forties, previously unknown to me, who was straightening up from buckling a toddler into a car seat. She was speaking into a cell phone which was wedged between her left shoulder and her ear. Her tone was incredulous and delighted. Apparently she had just received some unexpected good news.

''I just can't believe it!''
Stated as she walked around to the driver's side door of her white Toyota, Camry. As she drove off I observed that she continued talking in an animated and enthusiastic way to an unknown second party with a big grin on her face.

North Circle Drive- Idyllwild, CA

Monday, January 21, 2013


Why is it that when we are asked to describe what it is exactly that attracts us to a close friend or significant other that we struggle to form a satisfying response?

It's not just that we have trouble finding the words, but the answer itself is elusive. The words would come perhaps if we could aim them at a target.

There also exists an awkward tension surrounding the very question. On the one hand a failure to articulate what it is that draws you to someone can make you wonder if the whole thing is less substantial and real than you had imagined. However, most any attempt to dissect the mysterious nuances of attraction with words will result in a product that falls well short  of the fullness of your experience. On the one hand, humans can't enjoy a thing to the fullest without praising its qualities in words, but on the other hand giving a full account of what attracts us to another would leave the relationship vulnerable because it has been framed in conditional language. Who wants to be loved if, because, or as long as?

But ask someone why they hate and the answer will come ready and quick.


If I was a political cartoonist I would portray President Obama addressing the crowd at his second inauguration, saying, ''Friends, countrymen lend me your fears,'' as horrific pictures of our society's ills filled the imaginations of those assembled.


I watched a crow descend from a palm and alight atop the decaying remains of a dead seagull. It adopted a posture of ownership over its prize with its talons lost amidst the gull's plumage and it's wings spread wide. It's body, roughly the same size as the gull's, was dull black, and so uniform in color that as it commenced feeding it looked as though the seagull's shadow had turned against it in mutiny.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Two days ago I was splitting wood when the axe handle I was using shattered in my hands. The only casualty was the index fnger of my right hand. It looked like I had stuck it though the bars of a have-a-heart trap to taunt a caged raccoon, and didn't get it out in time. I went inside and allowed Sarah to minister to my wounds. She produced tweezers and some hydrogen peroxide (Mom, why did we use iodine when I was little? I mean, honestly, that stuff smarts!), and once everything was cleaned up it was obvious that there was a sizable splinter buried near the knuckle. We both took turns trying to pry it out, but neither of us could get enough purchase on its tip to get the job done. All we did was succeed in removing the visible portions of the splinter which left what remained buried deep enough that any proper effort to find and remove it would have technically qualified as surgery. I decided to just ignore the splinter, reasoning that eventually the flesh would heal around it and my body would make its peace with the hickory it harbored.

The next day my finger was swollen and uncomfortable and I was experiencing difficulty bending it, but still I muddled through the day convinced that the throbbing pain in my finger was better than the pain that would certainly come from trying to get it out. However, after dinner the discomfort became bad enough that I decided to give it another go. Tweezers in hand I sat down, and remembering how Tom Hank's character had popped his bad tooth out in Castaway with the blade of an ice skate and a rock, I set to my task with grim resolve to see the thing through.

It hurt.

The greatest difficulty lay in simply finding the splinter which, as I already told you, was pretty well buried. Then, once it had been located, I had to widen the wound so I could get the tweezers around its blood-pinkened tip which was ensconced in my angry flesh. By the time that was accomplished, beads of sweat were standing out on my forehead. If I had been a character in a western I would have hastily poured out some whiskey into a clinkey little glass cup and downed it in one shakey, desperate gulp before proceeding with the extraction. I took a drink of diet pepsi and thus fortified I took up the tweezers and went back to work.

Several tugs failed to budge the splinter, which thus necessitated sliding the tweezer prongs down along its sides to get a better grip. It hurt. Then squeezing the tweezers tightly and gritting my teeth I pulled smoothly, and the jagged length of hickory, as long as a penny is wide and as thick as a match stick in places, slid out, and blood welled up in the hole it left behind.

I glanced over at Miles (3), who had been standing at my elbow the whole time. He was carefully examining his own knuckles with a look of grave concern on his face.

"Do you have a splinter, Miles?"

He ran into the next room, crying over his shoulder, "I don't have spinter!"

"Miles, let me check."

He started crying.

Friday, January 18, 2013

GUN RIGHTS-''Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." Benjamin Franklin

I am not a gun owner.

I do not hunt.

I am a father of four small children.

I have been shot at.


I say confidently that I would rather live in a society that scares me sometimes than one with less liberty. Freedom is frightening but not half so much as the loss of it.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


As I write, (January 17, 2013) I have no way of knowing what kind of America you are reading this in, but I am sure that it is different from the one I know today, and it is certainly different from the one I grew up in. The reason why I can be sure of that is because the American experience has always been a moving target. America's citizens are like passengers on a train for whom the spiritual and socio-political landscape is forever changing. We are steadily rumbling toward the horizon of our national destiny. It has always been so with America. Remember the story of Rip Van Winkle that I read to you at bedtime when you were little? He fell asleep on the train, metaphorically speaking, and look at how much changed during his nap in the Catskills. The scenery is always changing for us Americans. I remember being surprised when my Grandma McCuen told me about seeing Civil War veterans in fourth of July parades when she was a little girl, and now we have an African American President in the White House. That's a good sort of change, but the direction of our country doesn't give me much room for optimism. I can't help but wonder what the view is like from your seat as you are reading this, and, even more, I wonder what you think of it.

I'm worried about you.

The train seems to be picking up speed.

Stay Strong in the Lord,



I am on record as saying that hamburgers are the best food in the world. Therefore the quest to find the best hamburger in the world is one and the same as trying to find the best food in the world. The official food of the BFZ is Carl's Jr.'s Jalapeno Burger, but I am open minded and always willing to give challengers a fair hearing. I was recently intrigued by commercials I had seen for Burger King's "Angry Whopper." That is easily the best name for a burger that I have ever encountered, but would its taste live up to its name?
Simply put, no. 
The Angry Whopper is wade with spicy crispy onions, jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, and spicy Angry Sauce. It was definitely delicious, and also certainly an improvement over the plain old whopper, but the name "Angry Whopper" oversold it a bit I think. It is not a serious challenger to the Jalapeno Burger. The taste just didn't have enough attitude to warrant such a handle. Maybe, the Miffed Whopper, Annoyed Whopper, or Passive-Aggressive Whopper would be more appropriate. I suppose that they could have WAY oversold it with names like "Enraged Whopper," "She-Bear Robbed of its Cubs Whopper," or "Jihadi Whopper," but still it just didn't seem "angry" to me. Maybe it's named the Angry Whopper because it's made from mad cows. One thing I did appreciate about the Angry Whopper was the addition of bacon. I have never known bacon to make a burger worse.

Still, it was a good burger nonetheless. I must concede it had strength. It was better than average.

Wa-Hetch Na-Hay!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


You know that feeling when someone is scratching your back and their nails find that perfect spot? When they settle on an itch you didn’t even know you had and begin to scratch round and round and round like a cyclone of satisfaction?

“Oooh, Yeah! Right there!”

If you know what that feels like, then you also know the feeling when their nails move on before you’re ready for them to.

“No, no, no! Go back!”

The other night I was driving home in the car when Midnight City by M83 came on the radio. That song was scratching an itch I didn’t even know I had. It succeeded in creating a mood within me that I can’t seem to reach myself. It’s otherwise inaccessible. My fingers just…won’t…reach! It’s an empty song, I know that, like a Gregorian chant to a vapid lifestyle- “The city is my church,”- but the mood it creates was scratching an itch somewhere in the middle of the back of my consciousness where I can’t seem to reach. It’s a difficult thing to articulate fully, maybe because we can only explain that which we understand. I can’t lay my intellect on the spot any more than my fingers.

But then there’s that awful saxophone at the end of the song. It’s like the nails moving on before I am ready for them to. “No, no, no! Go back!”


I buried my heart at wounded knee.

DANIEL 4:19-33

If a man is given up to madness, and like a beast made unsafe and full of raging nonsense- if he becomes unmanageable, unwashed and governed by animal urges- it can not be fairly said that he has been reduced to an unnatural state, but rather that previously he had been elevated by common grace above that which is natural to fallen man. The mad man is altogether in his right and natural mind. It is those who we deem “sane” who exhibit something extraordinary.

Friday, January 4, 2013


According to sitemeter, the Bummer-Free Zone was visited today at 10:37am by someone from the city of Muttrah in the nation of Oman. They had googled the phrase "camel car," which brought them to this post. I wonder what they thought of my idea, but even more I wonder what they were looking for.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


"Girlfriend, I got it. Don't even worry about it!"
Middle-aged woman with two young boys (perhaps ages 9 and 7) to a second woman of like age who was accompanied by a young girl (perhaps 7 years of age). The two women and their respective progeny appeared to be traveling in company. They had brought a cart load of stuff to the check out at Fairway Market and when the second woman offered to chip in for the goods the first woman offered the above response.

"You sure?"

"Yeah, yeah, no worries. I got it no problem"


"No worries, girlfriend. Were you gonna get some wheat thins?"

"Oh yeah, I forgot."
After the second woman and her daughter shuffled off in search of wheat thins the first woman turned to her boys and said the following;

"I got you boys some diet 7-Up. You can make little cocktails with your OJ."
One of the boys began to speak excitedly in an infantile voice in anticipation of a diet 7-Up and OJ mocktail, which prompted his mother to say the following;

"No baby talk. You're too old for that."

Fairway Market- Idyllwild, CA
Full of worry
Scurry and hurry
Is the life of the mouse

For cats and hawks
The owl and fox
And many more hunt the mouse

In fact there are few
On whose menu
You do not find the mouse


Skeptics and believers are holding their collective breath waiting for the results of a peer-reviewed, five-year study conducted by Texas veterinarian Melba S. Ketchum who claims to have isolated enough DNA samples from alleged Bigfoot hair, blood, saliva and urine to prove the existence of the legendary beast. Check out the article and attendant videos by clicking HERE.


Here and there is evidence that a road once connected my place to yours. In places, parallel ruts filled with leaves and pine needles are still plainly visible running alongside a water-filled ditch. In other places, however, trees and bushes have found root in the midst of what was once the road, and downed trees and branches further obscure the forgotten route. A culvert, which was originally designed to contain the flow of a seasonal brook which intersected the road, is now plugged with all sorts of debris. At some point the stream flooded against the plugged culvert, and now its banks are littered downstream with crushed white gravel that used to cover the surface of the road.

At one time, someone believed the road important enough to defend it against the encroaching forest and invest money toward its maintenance. It used to be a ribbon of white through the green woods. I wonder why the road was surrendered. Why did people stop coming and going along that way?  Most likely, it was a victim of disuse over the quiet years as leaves settled and trees fell uncontested across the traveled way between my place and yours.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013




Imagine a world where people changed colors depending on what emotion they were feeling. Lust, anger, embarassment, envy, love, hate, shame, sadness, etc... would all have a distinct color. In what ways would this change society as we know it?

It would be a colorful time for boys going through puberty. Speaking legally, it would no longer be inadmissable for a person to speak about someone else's feelings and state of mind in court. Politicians couldn't get away with their fakery and false compassion. Christians couldn't get away with their fakery and false compassion. People would certainly wear more clothing and makeup to disguise their emotions. Maybe the practice of covering our emotions would be viewed by the rest of society as shady and untrustworthy, or maybe just understandable. We kind of do the same thing with sunglasses today. Would it possible to control our emotions to the degree that we could actually change our skin color. I've never been able to stop blushing when I wanted to so probably not. It would take all of the drama out of TV, Movies, and the theater- unless actors actually felt the emotion they were portraying or the footage was doctored to appear as if they did. Colors would be so much more symbolic. Everything from national flags to the colors used in advertisements would change. It's interesting to think of certain scenes from the Bible as if the characters skin color was changing with their emotions. Peter's color would have gone from confident and trusting to doubtful as he slipped into the water. Thomas would have changed from a sad and doubting hue to the brightest joy as he felt the nail pierced hands of his savior. It would have been interesting to see the array  of Christ's coloring on the cross as he became sin, or would He have been the deepest shade of love?  And pan to all of the colors in the crowd of onlookers. Things would change profoundly if we could visibly see each others emotions. Color blindness would be considered a horrible affliction like being deaf. What would it mean to be born an albino? 

What if emotions weren't primarily inhabitants of our inner worlds, but equally public? It would completely change society if our emotions were known as soon as we felt them. I wonder if it would be for the better.