Monday, December 24, 2007

Open sewer @ Taco Bell Drive-Thru

"Foiled by stench again!"

Saved, by Bath&Body Works Sweet Pea hand lotion. Apply liberally.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Mom: It's coming out of the buds.

Liz and Tina, simultaneously & vice versaing each other:
Bud sap!/Sap bud!

Tina: Aw, it's crying... like a weeping willow.

Mom: It's crying tears of joy.

30 secs later

It's crying 'cause we're decorating its carcass.

10 mins later

Liz: Did you put that on your blog?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Actual quote of the day.

Sometimes in real life, you get to hear something that snags your ear, yanks you out of the conversation (despite resolutions to become A Better Listener), and demands a slot in the Stand Alone Awesome Phrase folder of the mind.

Especially when lifted from context. Such as,

"Don't cut me with that weird thing!"

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Monday, December 03, 2007

a kiwi stole my mlk quote!

Steve, The World Traveling Kiwi Camp Counselor On-Again-Off-Again Roommate Pool Builder Extraordinaire, once shared with me this bit of wisdom:

"You work to live,
you don't live to work!"

Now, here is a snippet from Martin Luther King Jr's, Pilgrimage to Nonviolence:

"capitalism is always in danger of inspiring men to be more concerned about making a living than making a life. We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles, rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to humanity"

Maybe he didn't steal it...

Maybe, while knee-deep in pool yuck or enjoying a cross-dressing "Princess" Bunk Inspector @ Summer Camp, I was in the midst of a Lesser King.

A junior Jr.

Friday, November 30, 2007

This is pretty much all I need

The Lonely Goat Herd
Gwen Stefani
A Determined Squirrel

I am easily amused. According to my father.

Fear & Grace

I keep expecting the worst from people,
& they keep failing to deliver.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Nerdshoveler's Fwd

This is the best forward I've gotten in a while.

Thanks Ben!

Monday, November 12, 2007

November Sunscreen

For Commencement, we had Nadia Comaneci. I remember that she told us that after the Olympics, she was could eat whatever she wanted.


In the spring of 1999, "Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen" addressed us - The Multitude - as we drove to the pool, worked on our cars, made our photocopies, waited on the weather report and baked our apple pies.

I didn't know the exact story, but I'd heard that some it was Some Guy (Kurt Vonnegut- I looked it up) giving a commencement speech.

I didn't know know who he was, so I pictured Martin Sheen.

It was comforting.

When you're worrying about What You're Going To Do With Your Life, well-after 4 yrs of expensive and arduous higher education.... When you dwell upon the countless hours in The Lab, The Library, The Dorm, The Band Storage Closet arranging pungent polyester marching band uniforms for Work Study, not to mention The Heartrending Separation that a family endures at such times... for....? When you factor in not only my sacrifices, but those of my loving and dedicated parents, friends, family and church folk, who gave me encouragement, ambition, time and $$.... for...?

.... you experience Anxiety. And Guilt.

And then, you hear someone similar to Martin Sheen proclaim with avuncular authority:

"Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they
wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year
olds I know still don’t."

Know what that is? A shot of hope.


And over the years, like Nadia to the snack tray, I have returned again and again to fill up on his words.

Her words, turns out.

Thanks Mary, Martin & Baz.

...and Mom, and Dad, and Liz, and the folks at Mt Hope & The Farm, and various United Methodist churches across Pa and Ohio, and my teachers, and my pals, and my gospel choir director, and favorite authors..... Thanks!

Hoping that the return on your investment is satisfactory, eventually.

Today's Vocab Word: avuncular

Today's Quote: "A thought, even a possibility, can shatter and transform us" ~ Nietzsche

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Not Uncommon in Western Pa

Last Night

"Wait, where is my gun?" I asked.

This morning, at church
"... so when he shot the block of ice, it ricocheted back and hit 'em in the shoulder," said the kid.

"Wow," I replied. "That would be, like, the first musket ball injury I've heard of in the past two centuries."

"Oh, hey, I've got BB scars... here... here...anddddd here. We didn't have paintball when I was a kid," the Youth Director chimed in. (female)

This evening, in our driveway

Family friend's license plate: 6MM REM

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Solace Finale

Looks like someone forgot to get this kid a playstation... he had to find something else to put his time & energy into. Poor guy. (pump up the volume)

my soul is restored.

ironic restoration


As I cope with what might have been...

I curl up in the arms of YouTube.

Who's rattling who?

He handled the rattling this morning.

Missed a nice one.

20 yds.

Well played, Mr Big Horns.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

et tu Chippy?

Preemptive Strike

"When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

When is a deer not a deer?

When he's a lovebird.

Lately, instead of a mighty huntress, I'm feeling like a chaperone at a high school dance.

Last evening, a knobby kneed 4-pt, antlers gleaming, brought his "date" to my neck of the woods.

Actually, she brought him.

I gotta say, from an outsider's perspective, she's not the most attractive doe in the herd. But, I'm not a young buck with newly minted antlers.

He. Was. Lovestruck.

She'd come tearing through the brush... he'd be bouncing along behind her. She'd bed down... He'd plop down in the thicket next to her. She'd try to sneak out... he'd scramble to his feet, going, "Wait up!"

There was just no shaking this guy. And, he was a bit of a dork. Most first year bucks are.

Then, this morning. Who do I see at 1st light? Our fav 4pt is bedded 25 yds from my stand. He's looking a little rough. Eyes at half-mast. Someone had a long night.

After an hour or so, his girlfriend who was bedded even closer to me, who I did not see (how many am I not seeing?), got up and tried to slip away. No kiss. No note. No nothin.

No way! He was up and hot on her trail.

This guy's got it bad.


the other, very single boys are working on their wooing and their machismo...

I'm surrounded by idiots... Dang it!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

It being Sunday and all, I went to church.

I wrestle with the perception that The Church or "Christians" are too judgmental.

And, sometimes we are.

I wonder if that is a helpful attitude? I doubt it, since the Bible tells us not to judge.

And we know that.

But, sometimes we Christians feel that we should ... "hold people accountable." And, I guess that's true. In certain circumstances.

But, overall, I think we may have overdone it. ...or, not done it well.

Rich Nathan has said that when Jesus talked about this sort of thing, he compared it to pointing out a "speck in our neighbor's eye."

Have you ever had something in your eye? Rich makes the point that dealing with the eye is an extremely delicate procedure- requiring the utmost care and tenderness.

And, I would add, that if done correctly, there is tremendous relief to be had post-op.

But it takes care. I would only trust this procedure to someone who loves me.

The more I think about it, the more I find myself believing that church should be a place where people can go to find acceptance, healing, love... the works. The good stuff. (Good News, you might say)

Or, as Martin Luther put it, “We are all mere beggars telling other beggars where to find bread."

Sometimes, when I am driving myself crazy grappling with the tension between Grace and The Law, the last line of this vid pops into my head.

And I find I can rest.

Supplementary Reading: "Who is My Enemy?"



PM Report from the Treestand

Location: Wilderness Rd. Reclaimed Strip Mine.

Locals call it "The Moonscape"

Deer Sigtings:
  • "Funny Horns" @ 3:40pm. 20yd
  • 1 doe and a 4pt at dusk. 40yds
    • new buck. white antlers. base tines: ?
    • he was hot on her trail
  • Another hunter, w/in 150yds
    • let him handle the rattling & grunting... like having my own Personal Hunting Assistant (PHA). An US celebrity moment in the woods. (US Magazine fans... you know what I'm talkin' bout.... eljabo? Liz? JenG? BenD? Yeah, I'm namin names!!)

People, have I been waiting for this!

As the sun began to set, and my fellow hunter stranger was packing it in... a lone chickadee flitted up to a nearby branch.

He called out "see-saw."

Seeing as there were no other chickadees nearby to answer him, I did my best "see-saw" back.

Immediately, the little fella flitted right up to my face, dove, and landed on my arrow shaft.

For a moment.

Then gone.

My arrow lightly bouncing on it's rest.

As the sun sank to its.

now, who's going to handle my umbrella?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Battlestar Betty

Crocker, that is.

Why bake pies the old fashioned way,

when you could be baking while pretending to be on Battlestar Galactica!

Supplementary Reading: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Pie Baking Soundtrack

Friday, November 02, 2007

make sense?

"Christianity simply does not make sense until you have faced the sort of facts I have been describing. Christianity tells people to repent and promises them forgiveness. It therefore has nothing (as far as I know) to say to people who do not know they have done anything to repent of and who do not feel that they need forgiveness." C.S. Lewis

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Rainy Morning Hunt

When the woods are heavy with rain,
and mist envelops the world below the treestand,
sodden leaves hush hoof-falls,
while shapes wax and wane in the distance,
the mind naturally drifts to
the personal life of ellen degeneres.

The hightlight of my rain-soaked morning in the woods consisted of a txt xchange with JenG.

Me: R ellen and portia kaput?

rain dripping dripping dripping dripping dripping dripping dripping dripping dripping dripping dripping dripping dripping dripping

finally, time to get down
safety belt off
gear stowed in backpack
lowering bow... lower...lower... touchdown
take out last 4 steps and hide them in the deadfall, jam in a few leaves for cover
start back the trail
eyes open... scanning... scanning...
step over the log
scan for fresh scrapes
note: rain kills the sound of my walking. I'd never hear a deer on a day like this...
phone vibrating, maybe dad had some action...

Txt msg

JenG: I vote no! I love them!

Oh Jen, I don't think we get to vote on this.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Rut in Full Swing

WPXI News Bulletin: "Pa. Residents More Likely For Deer-Related Accidents Than Other States"

And, "Pennsylvania drivers beware: The state holds the top spot -- again -- for the highest number of deer-vehicle crashes." We're Number One!.... We're Number One!....

This, after a lovely weekend trip to Ohio, in which Aunt Emma and I surveyed the fall sights.

Her, as we round a bend on Hwy 77: "Oh, look at that hillside. The sun on those sycamore trees is magnificent!"

Me, craning to get a better look as we whiz by yet another dead deer: "Was that a buck? Could you see an antler in that?*"

*note, at this point, Emma is in road-kill reaction mode, simultaneously snapping her eyes and the car vents shut.

A perfect illustration of one of the differences between the hunters and non-hunters

To Them, such carnage indicates renewed danger to life, limb and property and possibly a sudden triggering of the gag reflex.

To Us, 10 roadkill bucks in a weekend means one thing:

The Rut is On!


Hunting in earnest.

Enough of this warm weather yuck.

Hello Crisp Leaves who signal the approach and location of woodland animals.

Welcome Cooler Temperatures as you rekindle the fauna's fall mating season, sparking fire in their loins... and keep our meat cold while it hangs from our deck.

Hail Rut!
Your ephemeral charm,
works temporarily to disarm
the habitually wily and wary big Buck
rendering him loopy
, dumbfounded, lovestruck.

You shamelessly transform the confusing noise
of my grunt call and rattling antler decoys,
into ungulate poetry, the likes of Lord Byron's,
calling ever so sweetly, the Song of their Sirens.

Meanwhile, the Report from the Treestand...

I missed an 8pt this morning.
Buck fever strikes again.

Several deer pranced in the far corner of the field near dusk- the mating dance continues.

Finally, not one, not two, but three gray foxes trotted through my treeline. And, even from 20ft up, I couldn't help but notice that Foxes 2 and 3 had hearts in their eyes as they caught sight of Fox 1's teasing tail twitch.

What a rare treat -
too be reminded that their cautious, deft, and light movements suggest cat, not dog; to notice the black stripe down the back of their tails, the bright rusty orange and white markings, brilliant against their gray coat, and the surreal bubbly sound of their laughing bark.

Just look at that picture...

I think I'm
a little in love too.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Need a Lift?

Coffee & Cornflakes in the am

Kick starting the day

Kami & I saw her @ IUP.
She played 2 pianos simultaneously.
I was Thunderstruck.

Oh that I could play like that... What I would GIVE to play like that...

(For starters, how 'bout giving it lots of hours of practice? There. That'd help.)

That's right, it takes WORK people!

As Cosmo so eloquently expressed yesterday, in my 1st ever Bilingual Txt Msg~

"...toma bastante esfuerzo, pero con el tiempo es 'rewarding'. recompensa es grande si el esfuerzo es grande. Y si se tiene las herramientas necesarias, como un diccionario- o google je je."

Kick it!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Tiny Triumph

Tiny T has been getting straight Unsatisfactories on his Report Card.

He has been "Unwilling to Participate" in:
  • trotting
  • cantering
  • walking
  • frankly, any and all activities involving a rider
Montana Stacey, Tiny T's owner/trainer/slave, has changed tactics. Embracing her Inner Peppermint Patty, she's showing him some tough love... with "miraculous" results.

Go Stace!

Smells like...

Guess what came in the mail ...besides Netflix.

There was also a "Fall Blend" ~ appealing, in a Martha Stewarty way.

Soon, it will be time for the one that gave Jen & Stace the giggles.

Note: in select instances, giggles are appropriate.

And finally, there's this year's favorite among the deer. Bless their hearts, the rascals... still can't read very well.

ps: now, has anybody seen my hammock?

"There's Always More to the Story"

I lifted this, title and all, from rblog

Monday, October 08, 2007

All 4 The Best!

"Yes! It's all for the Best!"

I just love youtube. This song (click on the picture) has been a constant companion in my life. Our more memorable moments:

  • the cousins, in the basement at Mt. Hope, singing AND dancing AND operating the Record Player by ourselves!
  • including it on a mixed tape for a friend @ college- a preemtive strike of optimism/hope.
  • tha-rilled, as an adult (circa Alias Frenzy) to realize that our beloved SpyDaddy was, in fact, Jesus.
  • singing it in the car w/ Liz- each taking one part until the end when it's a free-for-all w/ the extraneous comments

and now....

something new.

Post 9-11. Closing shot. Twin Towers. All for the best?

a thought I return to constantly... where is the Good in this? this? this? this? this?...

Where is the opportunity in disaster? What is this situation (pick one) asking of me? of us? who IS "us?" In the end, how will the hard events -and our reaction- reveal who we were? Did we fold to our worst fears? Or, did we listen for a Higher Calling, and respond?

Postemptive Hope Strike
- 3rd vid, "Looking for the Helpers"

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Turkey Feathers Abound

I found 3 turkey feathers on my way out of the woods Friday morning.