Friday, December 31

Out With the New - In With the Old

Time to ring the New Year in with all the traditional hoopla, including enjoying fireworks in the rain, watching the ball drop in Times Square and eating too much. Thankfully, I'm not doing any of these things this year. Our usual house party was skipped for the first time in recent history and Barb and I are just sitting back and enjoying a great movie (Luther) and a lousy one (13 Going on 30). Not hard to figure out who picked what.

One item of interest: The closing of Salinas' three public libraries, including the one named after John Steinbeck. An 8 million dollar shortfall (voters opted for police and fire protection), forced the local powers to send everyone to Prunedale for their weekly fix. Hey folks, there's a great library in Paso Robles! What gripes me isn't locking the doors. It's the locals blaming Governor Arnold for keeping monies that used to come to them, when they should be frying the former Gov. for getting us into this budget mess in the first place. And where does the Constitution provide for public libraries, payed for by taxpayers? The free ride is coming to an end, Americans. Time to fork over a few cents to borrow a book or read a magazine. And ask for donations so our poor can still visit. Problem solved.

It's 11:03 p.m. I should be sleeping, not listening to You've Got Mail in the background on TNT for the 100th time. All these girly movies end in the same way. Boy and girl almost don't get together, but then they always do. We know that all along. It's the getting there that wrenches the gut and brings the tears. "Why don't I just put these in water?" At least 80% of your will read that and know who said it and when and why in the movie. "John 3:16?" Maybe 20%. Lord, help us!

Folks, I strongly recommend that you rent "Luther" for a serious night in front of the television. It's one of the few historical films that's historical. Add great acting, strong storyline and emotionally moving themes. You won't feel like you've wasted $3.75. Not a good popcorn movie, though.

Saturday, December 25

Merry BusyNess

This season's number one complaint isn't replacing "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays." It's the consternation of fighting traffic, long lines, shopping for hoardes of people, attending at least a dozen potlucks, dinners, brunches, gift openings, parties, and having to watch The Christmas Story on TBS for the millionth time. And you should know better than anyone (if you live near a WalMart) that it's a good thing people are a bit friendlier this time of year or the murder rate would double.

Thankfully, there is the day after Christmas when the warm, fuzzy memories replace the actual chaos, and normal ebbs back to the shore of life. I know it will be hard to get up and go to church for those with food hangovers, but you might miss a wonderful blessing if you stay away. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 14:1. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. John 1:10,11.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born [again], not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12.

Saturday, December 11

Back to the Dump

Here we go again, but this time unplanned. After helping us get the tree at Lowe's and eating dinner here yesterday, Liz and Gary went and cleaned up his place. She called early this morning wanting me to go to the dump with her with the bagged stuff, so off we went to my almost favorite place in the area.

The fog and mist followed us all the way. One dreary date with destiny as we meandered through the back country roads, past vineyards, dairies and rusting pickups. Pretty quiet except for the wind whistling through the aging Silverado's weatherstripping. It was a good time to talk. Small and big stuff. Christmas scheduling plans, Gary's health, who was going to back into the slot at the recycling center.

Not many out today. Didn't take long to toss a dozen big bags, and nothing to clean up. The workers got their eyes full of Liz as she worked to unload. I snapped one sneak peek at them before leaving (remember, it's against their policy to do it, but my juvenile delinquent streak got the better of me).

I really don't think I'll need model releases for this picture anyway. Ha!

Barb and I took a dozen packages to the Post Office for mailing later. Only $48, so I wasn't too shocked. The shock came as we heard Christmas carols and music wafting through the place. Good thing it's not a government office or the ACLU would have been called in for sure! Kind of nice to see an 'almost' government institution giving their blessing for the true reason for the season. This whole anti-Christian thing at Christmas is making a lot of people hopping mad. Businesses are motivated by fear, not their discrimination policy.

Wednesday, December 8

Still Here and There

The season has taken a toll on my writing/blogging time, for which I make neither apologies nor amends. I do feel a little guilty, though, and offer this snippet to mitigate the feelings.

Pictured are my two concurrent bosses. Steve Kurtella and Dan Plunkett are both Presidents of Operations, Northern California Region, for K/P Corporation. Actually, Steve is in training. Dan is leaving shortly. Steve headed the S.F. facility for 18 years, making it the most profitable of our 11 divisions. Sorry to see Dan go after his short tenure, but he has better plans --- to take some time off and think about what he wants to do! No job to go to. May go to South America and live with a missionary family for a few months. May consider a number of business options. Real faith.

I've been asked to shoot a wedding in January. Man, it's been a LONG time since I've been the main shooter at Morris Chapel on the UOP campus. But it will be a low key affair, so there's no stress. Ha! Widow and widower and a small reception.

Wind and rain have been the order for the past few days. There's something about this winter that has whipped me into submission with its icy stare.

December bites my heavy heels;
It snaps with teeth a-grinnin'.
It chases fast and hard behind
Me while I'm runnin'.

The door at last is latched and locked;
The monster's kept at bay.
A load of wood and cozy fire
Have chased the beast away.

Haven't put up the outdoor lights yet. Will pick up a tree this Friday with Liz and Barb playing chief art critics. Angel comes back from her dads later and can help decorate it. I'll retreat into the computer room.

May this season's wonder and blessing be yours to enjoy as you give thanks to God for his infinite blessing --- His Son, Jesus the Messiah, Savior, Lord and Creator.