Sunday, March 26

Perennial Hoops

Our street has but a few school-age kids. You never see them throwing baseballs or having a game in the cul-de-sac. You never see them hitting tennis balls across an imaginary net. You rarely see them throwing a football. But you'll see them shooting hoops almost every day of the year --- especially during the season playoffs.

Choi, the early teen across the street is finally shooting about six freethrows in a row. I remember when his ball could barely reach the basket. Juma, from down a few doors went to an Alabama college on a basketball scholarship. His little sister plays a little out front now.

There are four free-standing backstops in the street or on driveways here. The association prohibits them, but no one takes them down or moves them. Some rules are better broken.

Tuesday, March 21

Here Comes the Sun

George Harrison's quintessential offering has a universal sentiment, especially for those of us in the Valley who sometimes go weeks without seeing that giant, shadow-casting orb floating above our dampened pates.

But the Sun King soon cometh in blazing glory, his brightness melting the most frozen head and heart. And, like winter, soon to be cursed for extremes.

Tomorrow heralds the start of yet another round of 'cost cutting' at work, this time in Process Improvement clothes. We've done this periodically with less than stellar results for the company as a whole, although our little division claimed big successes in the areas we tackled. We lowered a 23% order entry error rate to 3% back in the early 90's. I never heard what the ROI was for the other facilities, but the whole program died in oblivion after a few years.

Since then, there have been numerous cost cutting efforts. The latest craze is something called Lean Six Sigma. I read the book about it while running the collator today! Short book. No new basics. We've done it all before. Choose something to improve, collect and measure data, see where the problem areas are, brainstorm solutions, implement and see if you're saving money one year down the road. We have to do something to turn the boat around, even if we drown doing it.

At least it stopped raining for a few days.

Thursday, March 16

Pretty in Pink

"Everybody who has the least sensibility or imagination derives a certain pleasure from pictures." --from Mr. Robert Montgomery's Poems -- Lord Macaulay

Waiting, and waiting still for this rain to stop and spring's dry and luscious call to echo in California's backyard.

Saturday, March 11

Looking for Life

I always have to chuckle when reading about another space probe that's probing the probability of pre-proboscis progenitors swimming in geyser pools on distant moons and planets. Sorry, but it will NOT mitigate the necessity of creation and Creator.

The new species of being you see above was discovered in a pool of water just today in my backyard. It was not by chance and eons of time that this creature evolved. It was by careful design and took about 15 minutes in Photoshop.

". . . the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." Hebrews 11:3

Wednesday, March 8

The Short and Straightened Road

The Lennon/McCartney legacy includes The Long and Winding Road, a doleful tale of love lost, loneliness and longing. Pretty dreary stuff, really. But a good melody and harmonies. A good match for today's gray sky mood.

My drive home today was on the dreary side,too, as another storm front moves in. I grabbed my camera out of my coat pocket while waiting for a red light, zoomed it and shot through my truck window while everyone started to go on the green light.

My short and straight road home is an uneventful 5 minute event in the fast lane (I have to turn left too soon). Rarely doleful since I'm always entertained by how people drive, what they drive and the weather. Plus, there's the prayer that my old jalopy won't fall apart before I get into the driveway. Plenty of variety for me. Today's dramatic sky warranted a second look.

Tuesday, March 7

A Flaw in the Ointment

According to a Fox News poll, most Americans are against South Dakota's new legislation that bans virtually all abortions. Gov. Mike Rounds signed the bill and is ready to fight all the way to the Supreme Court. It will be a long battle.

Back to the poll: Why were only the living asked for their opinions and not the millions of dead babies who would most certainly cast their vote for LIFE!? Or why not ask the God who gives life in the first place?

Sunday, March 5

Stupid Driver Stories - Why Some Teens Shouldn't Drive

The talkshow host's question: What is the stupidest thing you ever did in a car when you were a teen? The following four stories came over the airwaves in short order, because we ALL have them, don't we?

1. It's a 20 mph zone, but that's way to slow for this guy. He wants to prove he can do 120 in it, so in the middle of the night when no one's looking, that's exactly what he does. Why? I guess so he can tell his grandkids someday or have some airtime on the radio.

2. This woman called in who said they used to get bored just racing forward, so they started doing it while the car was in reverse gear. Yeah, that sounds like a lot of fun to me!

3. Another guy called in to report that at 16, before he had a license, he rounded up 3 friends to joyride with him in a Grand Am. They were soon airborne, but lived to tell about it.

4. And lastly, a former farm country fella called in to say he used to get bored, too. Those country roads were mighty boring in his day, so he would use his faithful screwdriver and crank up the idle speed so he could stand on top of the car and steer with his foot. This is no lie, folks. I heard it with my own ears. Said he loved to feel the rush of wind on his face. Hey, buy a motorcycle!

Are you thinking of that time you just had to push the envelope and only by God's mercy are you still here to tell about it? Join the club. God was and is telling you something.

Friday, March 3

Old Testament Darkrooms

You want to record the whole growing up thing. It will only be a fuzzy memory in 20 years, if you live that long. So you take the video and click the shutter and try to remember some of the cute and wacky things they say.

If only the camera had been invented about 1500 B.C. Just think of it: A Matthew Brady portrait of Moses at the parting of the Red Sea! Wow!

Thursday, March 2

Rough, Tough, Chucky Puff

It's not enough for the local gangs to tag any available flat surface to advertise their menacing machismo. Now they are using props to accentuate the negative. Skillfully drawn letters outlining a beautiful pale blue fill --- it just needed the added touch of a Chucky Doll to drive home the point. "Cross us and you die a horrible . . . Hollywood type death."

What are you thinking? You who grew up in a small town, graffiti-free and gangless. You who cared less about skin color and didn't hear any slurs. You few who only saw graffiti on the blackboard during class.

Where have all the fathers gone? Long time passing.