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sight smell and sound

Bloged in poems, random, traveling by rod Thursday May 3, 2007

full flower moon

I rode hard under the May Day moon,
I banked steep
I leaned low
I rode and rode and rode.
The nocturnal damp was imbued with the
scent of moonlight and honeysuckle.
The orange full flower moon
lit the fields and glanced off the tree leaves.
The forest canopy, a rural skyline.
Straight, open pipes ripping the pristine silence of the night
with 1100 cubic centimeters of music.
Quickly past, peace is left
in my aural wake in the moonlight

night ride

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the itsy bitsy spider

Bloged in random by rod Tuesday March 27, 2007

So when I got into my truck to come to work, there was a tiny crab spider directly in my sight line on the windshield. He’d heard that there could be no better place on the planet to catch insects than on the windshield of a moving vehicle, so he placed himself, assumed the stance, and waited until time to go to work. When I got in, there he was, front crab legs splayed far apart in readiness for prey to fall within reach.
When I got out on the interstate, he wasn’t fazed a bit, he just sat there like nothing was wrong. 45, 50, 60, 65, no problem.
Evidently there were logistics he hadn’t considered. If a bug hits the windshield, at this speed, it would be precarious traveling to get across the glass to retrieve it. Furthermore, when a bug hits a 65mph windshield, it hits at a 65 mile per hour minimum.
The first potential logistical challenge proved not to be a problem. The first bug to happen along pegged precisely across the plate, dead center in the strike zone, between his waiting, splayed, crab legs. But the second challenge, the speed at which the bug crossed the plate was indeed a surprise to the cute little predator. As it turns out, it didn’t matter a bit that the spider’s reflexes were too slow to grab the bug. In fact, it all happened so quickly that the poor arachnid stood there completely covered in his lunch, unable to move due to the paralyzing wind pinning him in a sea of bug goo against the windshield.
Had he the fortitude to stick it out, he’d have had a pre-processed dinner. But instead, when I slowed enough for him to wiggle out of the goo, with mere scrapes and bruises, he hobbled to the side of the window to seek shelter in the crack of the door.
It’s only my speculation that he has since returned to the old fashioned way of sitting on a flower petal and awaiting some unsuspecting, slow-moving honeybee to buzz along.

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110 things

Bloged in life, random by rod Wednesday March 21, 2007

Quite honestly, though I’m usually curious enough to read them, I’ve never really understood the whole “meme” phenom in blogland. Perhaps because they’re usually curricular and pre-packaged, fill-in-the-blanks type things. Do I really want to know what were the last 3 desserts you ate? Do I really want to know whom you’d choose between Orlando Bloom, Brad Pitt, and Cesar Chavez? Or blue, yellow, or pumpkin? How about your favorite number? 9, 3, or 19?
So I’ve never been tempted to participate in any such goofiness, even if I were to get “tagged” (which I haven’t). I’m much too serious a blogger to waste time on such nonsense.
That is, until one of my favorite blogs set off a firestorm of such goofiness. And not only was it cool, it was terribly interesting. And amusing.
Ok, so maybe I could learn a bit about myself by doing a sort of “rod synopsis”, but I certainly can’t be as amusing as my inspiration. Nor as interesting.
But I can ponder things about myself that pop into my head. Learn from some mistakes perhaps. Count some blessings. Remember to avoid some things next time, and to do some things again.
I don’t know. Maybe you should stop here, do an outclick, and go on about your day. But I think I’ll stick around and ponder my past and present, and ponder if it tells me anything about me.
Childish and uncool? I make no apologies.
A lot of this stuff has been spilled in more depth on actual blog posts from the archives. I’ll spare you the links to those.

here goes:

1. I started playing guitar because Johnny Cash played guitar. I begged for a guitar for a long time, then after I got one, begged for lessons.

2. I bought my first “good” acoustic guitar when I was 11 with money I’d earned cutting grass around the neighborhood.

3. My Dad built a new house in front of our old tiny house in which my brother, sister, and I all slept in the same bedroom. The house took him almost 3 years to complete, and was almost completely paid for when he finished. I was 12 when it was finished.
This is one of the major events of my life, and I think it shaped me as much as any other thing that I witnessed or experienced.

4. I moved into the new house before it was finished, and while the rest of the family still lived in the old house.

5. I have issues with artificial things that attempt to pass themselves off as the real thing. Often, these things have perfectly wonderful uses as something original, but they may never find them because they masquerade as something else.
(i.e.: synthesizers and silicone)

6. I was 28 when my first child was born. I’ve been 28 for the past 15 years. I will always be 28.

7. Although I’m 28, I’ve been married for 20 years. (to the same woman, thank you very much)

8. My wife’s been married to the same man for over 20 years.

9. I’ve attended ballgames at Three River Stadium, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Riverfront Stadium, Olympic Stadium, Montreal.

10. I sung the National Anthem at Three River Stadium

11. I am a very shy, introverted person. I can’t make small talk, but if even a stranger hits my button, I can (and have) ramble for hours about a passionate issue.

12. Ironically, my annoying off-the-rail rambles have actually gotten me invited to dinner by guests at gigs I’ve played.

13. I absolutely hate it when people use the article a before the word myriad.

14. I was interrogated at 2:00am in a police station concerning a robbery in which the thief was already known.

15. There was a warrant for my arrest recently when Wal-mart cashed a check that had been stolen from my wife’s purse after the account had been closed and were torqued because they couldn’t collect their $14.

16. A colleague challenged me publicly with a paper that another colleague had published, but which the challenger had not read.

17. I am absolutely elated, moved, and overjoyed by Dove’s “campaign for real beauty,” and “Pro-aging” campaign. But I am very jealous of handsome guys, and I will in no way age gracefully.

18. I believe that John Rutter’s “Requiem” is the perfect piece of music.

19. If I were not a Christian, I’d probably worship fire. I may already have a problem with that.

20. If I were a fire worshipper, I’d have an idolatry problem with the moon.

21. I bought my first computer in 1988. It was a Mac. Mac is all I’ve ever owned.

22. I have a bunch of guitars.

23. I just bought a purple guitar. It is supposed to arrive today by UPS.

24. “Erace”, by the gotee bros. is one of my absolute favorite albums.

25. Neil Peart had a huge influence on the development of my observation and thought processes.
He’s probably also responsible for my steering wheel drumming habits.

26. Whenever “Tom Sawyer” gets to that part where Neil does the half-note triplet bass drum and tom roll, I always have to go back and hear it again. Usually several times.

27. I had an email address before most of my current students were born.

28. In 1998, I used online materials for all my classes, but had to stop because most of my students didn’t have computers or internet access.

29. My blood type is A+, but my grades usually weren’t.

30. I’m 6’3” tall.

31. In the Spring of ’05, I lost 47 pounds. I bought new clothes at the bottom of that loss at 180 lbs. Now I weigh 211 lbs, but I’m still wearing the same size pants.

32. It’s true

33. I bet if today’s laws and government were like 1520s Europe, reformation Christians would still be killing one another.

34. I shook hands with President Carter in 1980 during a whistle stop just before the election. Friends and I skipped school and drove to the airport. I had on my letter jacket so we told them we were with the school newspaper. They put us at the front of the press line.

35. I have a ruptured S1 disk in my back.

36. My left arm is terribly crooked from a break of both the Ulna and Radius when I was in Junior High.

37. I’ve also broken my collarbone, my right pinky, my big toe, and a rib. All sports injuries.

38. I’ve always heard testimonies of how God got peoples’ attention by allowing terrible circumstances in their lives. But God has always jerked me back through undeniable, blatant warm blessings. He’s always saved the terrible circumstances for when I was firmly and confidently rooted in him.

39. Once, when I was gigging with a famous singer/songwriter, I received an email of charts for the gig, including a chart (in my handwriting) that I’d written 10 years earlier for one of my students during a lesson.

40. In High School, 3 teammates and I set a state record in the 4X400 during the state meet.

41. I lifeguarded for 6 summers and taught swimming lessons.

42. I taught high school my first two years out of college.

43. I coached two years of track, and a year of Girls varsity Basketball.

44. I experience timbre as two-dimensional shapes with sustained tones like an extrusion. Think of extruding playdough and you’ll have a rough idea of what I hear.

45. Once, I wired up a 220v junction box in the attic, and when I went to turn the circuit on, I realized it was on already.

46. Once, I removed my alternator, but didn’t disconnect the battery. With a wrench, I grounded my wedding ring to the engine block just as I hit the live alternator wire with the other side of the ring. Sparks flew from my fingertips as I gold-plated the wrench and alternator wire connector. I have a permanent wedding ring brand now.

47. My diet consists primarily of cereal, milk, diet Mountain Dew® and cookies.

48. I had braces on my legs to correct the outward direction my feet pointed when I was elementary school.

49. I had braces on my teeth when I was in 8th grade.

50. I can fix broken things. A lot of the time. One of the reasons I’ve always driven old decrepit vehicles is that I can keep them going far past when most people would have set fire to them.

51. When I was a kid, at the first sign of malfunction, I would take the malfunctioning object apart. I don’t remember what my success rate was back then, but I did learn about what things looked like inside.

52. I am the ultimate Popeye fan.

53. I married the Homecoming Queen.

54. I also married Antigone and Guinevere.

55. I’m colorblind.

56. The colors on the driving test viewer are not the same colors as on the signal lights (which I have no problem distinguishing)

57. Until they started using LCD lights. Now the red and green can only be determined by its position on the tree.

58. This is sometimes a problem when driving in the Southwest.

59. My senior year in high school, I was voted “most musical” and “biggest flirt.”

60. I bought my first car for $200.

61. After I drove it for 7 years, my Dad sold it for $100 dollars.

62. The buyer took the engine and junked the car, which my Dad chopped for parts and set on fire with the cutting torch.

63. My children have musical tastes ranging as widely as mine do. I’m extremely proud of that.

64. When I look out at the congregation on Sunday morning and see my son worshipping, my feet lift off the ground like John Mayer’s in the “bigger than my body” video. Just about 9 inches or so.

65. I think some folks have noticed it.

66. I have no tolerance for artificial people.

67. It took me years to realize that there is a difference between artificial people and people who don’t know who they are.

68. I have no tolerance for stupid songs. I believe that stupid songs are written by people to whom songs don’t matter. If their songs don’t matter to them as songs, then I don’t feel guilty being intolerant of them.

69. I think about the Kingdom of God ALL the time.

70. I don’t believe the importance of the story justifies shoddy story telling. Rather, the story is disrespected by shoddy story telling.

71. Everything I learn has at least two or three contextual applications because I operate under the belief that everything is a metaphor for everything else.

72. I really only understand one thing, but through it process everything else.

73. When the “seen” ceases to explain the “unseen”, I believe we should re-evaluate what we know about the “seen” based on what we don’t know about the “unseen.”

74. I am NOT ADD. I just like to chase rabbits, and mental hyperlinks.

75. I grew up in a world of experience and testimony. I never heard an apologetic until I went to college. A biblical description of my childhood context would be, “…I can see and feel the effects of the wind. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

76. I am a symbol person. Symbols are inordinately meaningful and important to me. They express me, remind me, encourage me, open doors for me, facilitate, and speak volumes of words. I wear them, carry them, decorate with them…

77. I prefer poetry over bullet points and outlines.

78. I believe that without an emotional connection, no amount of facts and information that I disseminate will make a bit of difference to anyone.

79. I prefer to be shaped rather than taught.

80. I once got stranded in Budapest with a pocket full of USD, but not a Forint to my name. I walked for 5 hours in the general direction I thought would take me to the Hotel. I arrived, exchanged coin with the concierge and went to Pizza Hut, by train.

81. I’ve done 3 short-term mission trips to Chisinau, Moldova.

82. Once, when I was leaning against a tree with my feet propped against a stump, a Great Horned Owl, landed on the stump where my feet were. He stood there, 4 feet tall at arms length for at least a minute before spreading his wings and flying away. I felt like I’d been invited into the spirit world for a moment.

83. I ran over my first iPod with my truck. Allison had replaced it by the next afternoon. What a woman.

84. Our first purchase as a couple was a stereo system several months before we were married.

85. Our first CD was “nightfly” by Donald Fagen. Man I love that CD.

86. I’ve never missed a Rush concert tour since Moving Pictures in 1981. I’ve been to their concerts in Pittsburgh, Charleston WV, Greenville and Columbia SC, Charlotte, Atlanta, and Irvine.

87. I saw Charles Dutoit conduct the Pittsburgh Symphony in Pittsburgh and the Montreal Symphony in Montreal in the same year.

88. I went to two proms in the same weekend.

89. When I was first married, my baby sister came to visit us in PA. I took her down to Baltimore to see John Mellencamp. We bought scalper tickets and sat front row center. That’s the only time I ever bought scalped tickets.

90. I’ve had three too-close encounters with bears. Once, we surprised each other in such close proximity, I could feel his breath on my face.

91. My Dad bought me a shotgun for my 7th birthday.

92. I once witnessed a friend eject all the cartridges from his rifle without firing a shot, and then wonder at how he’d missed the deer.

93. I once shot an arrow into a stump between a deer’s legs. He had to step over my arrow to continue walking in the same direction he was going. That’s the only time I ever shot at a deer in my life.

94. A deer took a shot at me and did $2800 damage to the side of the truck I’d bought only 4 hours early. He never even stopped to say sorry.
95. besides my own kids, Winston and Xavier are among my faves. They make me happy the way mine do, and I remember the way my dad used to act annoyed by some kids and light up around others.

96. I am totally in love with my students. I have been for a few years now. This hasn’t always been the case.

97. Last night I was lying in the silent living room on the floor staring at the ceiling and Will asked me what I was thinking about. I answered, “nothing” because I felt strange admitting I was listening to music.

98. When I was in Junior High, I played Johnny B. Goode at a talent show in a Church basement and scandalized my Mom. I think that’s the only thing that I ever did that upset mom that beyond feeling bad for upsetting her, I felt no shame or regret.

99. In the past couple years, I’ve played and sung U2, John Mellencamp, John Mayer, and James Taylor in church on Sunday morning.

100. We don’t have TV at our house. We have a set for DVDs and Vid games, but it doesn’t pick up any stations.

101. I have every episode of “The Office” on my iPod.

102. There are some socially unacceptable/swear/vulgar words that don’t bother me at all. In fact, there are some that I’d much rather hear than the acceptable replacements that everyone uses. But there are some words that were off limits when I was young that everyone uses now as if they never meant anything. I understand that to them, they don’t mean anything, but I’d appreciate some consideration that for me, they still mean what they meant 25 years ago. I don’t just wince, I shudder at a few common, everyday expressions that I’ve actually heard in the pulpit.

103. I love being around people, but it takes a tremendous amount of alone time to fuel for it.

104. I believe that the Church properly operates as the gathering of smaller intimate communities, rather than the community and intimacy being fostered by breaking the church into smaller bits.

105. I’ve witnessed the messy miracle of childbirth three times and cut the umbilical cords to receive the three greatest gifts of my life.

106. My children are three of the most fascinating people I’ve ever known.

107. When Jack says, “I love you,” I feel like God has caused time to stand still and postponed the inevitable.

108. When Will says, “I love you,” I feel like he’s responding to my thoughts.

109. When Molly says, “I love you,” I feel like the most important person in the world.

110. When Allison says, “I love you,” I feel like all is right with the world.

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ride ready

Bloged in random by rod Tuesday March 13, 2007

It’s a little embarrassing to admit some things that dictate other things in your life. On a particularly nice day last week, one of my students asked me if I’d ridden my bike to work that day. Ouch. Do you know how much I’d have liked to ride my bike to work? Why not then? Well, when I got ready to leave, I knew my battery was dead, and of course I didn’t have time to charge it. Of course I should have charged it on any given day for the past month, but truly, every time I had the urge to ride, I was too lazy to open the compartment, unhook the battery, hook up the charger… Are you kidding? all that stuff would take like a total of 6 minutes. And then I’d have to wait a couple hours for the battery to charge before I could start the bike. Of course, next time it’d be ready to ride. But alas… too lazy.
So I talked with my student about how strange it is that I would sacrifice the opportunity to do something that I absolutely love to do simply for the quick, easy, effortless preparation to do it. I was assured that this was not terribly abnormal. But I didn’t let the weekend get by without charging my battery and starting my bike. When I took it out of the garage to start it, I realized how nasty dirty it was and so was a bit too embarrassed to ride it until I had time to clean it up.
So yesterday, Molly and I drove to the bike shop to look for some cleaning goo to whiten my white walls (on the tires, no, I didn’t get a haircut). Alas, the metric bike shops are all closed on Monday. So we had to decide quickly whether to risk an appearance at the one remaining bike store in town. We assessed our defenses, confidence and fortitude, and drove to the Harley store. Molly was a bit worried, but I was more concerned with possibly feeling like a traitor. As it turned out, everyone at the store was quite cordial, despite the fact that they were being visited by Honda riders.

I wasn’t sure if Harley cleaner is actually meant to be used, or if it is only decoration, but I didn’t dare ask. I thought I’d go ahead and try it. To my surprise, it worked quite well, so I guess only the motorcycles are meant to be decorations. Of course, it was a third-party product.
So Molly and I cleaned the bike, and confidently took a spin. Now the minuscule prep for major pleasure and enjoyment is accomplished. My bike is clean and shiny and antsy. It calls my name in a deep stereo voice that everyone in the neighborhood can hear.

Photo for Cong


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concerning gender distraction

Bloged in culture, life, random by rod Wednesday January 24, 2007

Last night I stole 22 minutes and 48 seconds to sit down and watch an episode of The Office wired from my iPod to my TV. I chose the episode, “Boys and Girls” from season two. A very funny episode, I must say. While Michael never knows how to be a guy around girls (women), he knows even less about being a guy around guys. The show was an accurate dramatization of what happens when boys and girls are separated.
Driving home from work tonight, I heard a spot for tomorrow’s edition of South Carolina Public Radio’s production, “speaking of schools”. They’ll be talking about single gender education. Now I realize that my experience, though it be extensive, does not make me an expert in speaking to the value or stupidity of a methodological trend, but I have made some observations from having been involved in single gender education. Education is a very “new idea, trend-trying, there’s-always-a-newer-way-to-do-it” venture. (I was once involved in an educators think-tank for advocates of hyper-hyphenation-compound-adjective-creation.) But for the life of me, I can’t figure out how anyone couldn’t see the ridiculousness of single gender education for middle and high school students.
I have racked my brain to figure out where this notion was started. No doubt somewhere in the beginning of the process, someone, realizing that when hormones begin to kick in, humans are distracted by the opposite sex from anything not involving the opposite sex. Education (excepting 8th grade health class) tends not to be about the opposite sex, and thus does not receive proper attention from pubescent would-be scholars. But this realization shouldn’t be enough to lead one to the idea of single-gender ed. Through my extensive experience, I’ve observed that this distraction is precisely what ensures that said scholars behave with some modicum of civility, and thus maintain some minute possibility of inadvertent, indirect learning. (It should also be noted that the removal of the opposite sex from the physical environment in no way removes them from the cerebral environment and therefore does not diminish the distraction in the least. Students of this age have been known frequently to enter an apparent catatonic state to approximate the REM stage and therefore intensify the enjoyment of the distraction. Students will go to great effort to be distracted by the opposite sex, and this effort is, in itself, a distraction.)
Though the behavior of a co-ed middle school classroom may lead an educator to believe that the removal of one or the other gender would improve the behavior of the remaining, a few days of the observation of such an environment proves this notion desperately errant.
Several years ago, I taught separated classes of 7th grade boys and girls as my class met on alternating days with their health class. I have to say that there is one thing worse than students distracted by the opposite sex – students not distracted by the opposite sex.
My co-ed classes contained boys who behaved at least two years older than those of the same age in the segregated classrooms. I also found that the girls in the co-ed classrooms neither belched inordinately loud, nor did they pass gas in any attempt to outdo the girl on the other side of the room. When boys are in the room, in order to make the boys feel immature and inferior, girls tend to talk more about the subject of the class, and less about their changing bodies. With girls in the room, boys tend to talk more quietly in feigned lower pitched voices.
During this experience, I began to realize that without boys, girls become boys, and without girls, boys become animals.
With boys in the room, girls are less apt to hamper their chances with them by disclosing their obsessive crush on the “old guy” teaching the class. How lame would that be? With girls in the room, boys are less apt to disclose their obvious inexperience by discussing something that the girls obviously know is bogus.
I also coached a Girls’ High Varsity basketball team when I was but 23 years old. From this experience, I can assure you that with boys present, girls are less apt to attempt to embarrass their coach by “pantsing” one another in the middle of the gym floor, feigning a fight in order to remove the practice jersey of another, or “accidently” realizing her shirt is on inside-out and deciding to change it before taking the ball out-of-bounds.
Most assuredly, I, as a teacher, am most in favor of co-ed secondary education. I certainly hope that in any in-service of school teachers to discuss this issue, just as they require the girls to watch “my changing body”, they are required to watch The Office, episode fifteen of season two. Let Michael teach them a lesson or two.

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monday, myspace style

Bloged in random by rod Monday January 22, 2007

I \X/at(|-|e[) t|-|e o|=|=i(e e|*iso[)e a|}o|_|t e|\/|ail s|_||2\/eilla|\|(e, so I t|-|i|\||< I’[) |}ette|2 |}e |\/|o|2e [)is(|2eet!!!!!
juSt kidDing LOL!!!

Monday, sheesh! LOL
FinAlly took my trUck to tHe boDy shop thIs morNiNg. Then I haD to riDe with a stRanGer to the rEntaL thiNgy pLace. I’m liKe, I doN’t knOw. She oPenEd the door for me though, LOL. Tried to get mE to pay an extra thirty5 dollars a day for inSurAnce. I’m like, riGht! WhatEver. Just for hoLding the doOr? FOFL.

It totally rained like almost all day!!!! Bummer. I can’t believe how lazy I was. I didn’t go to the gym. YUCK!!!!! I am like SOOooOOO fat!!! I need t0 be up in tHe GyM w0rKing on mY fitnEss. Can I get a wiTneSs? LOL

I know tHat just be!ng a good pers0n is what matTers though. But somEtimes I thi[/]k, is that re/\lly enough. Just sayin’

I’m T to the I-R-E-D, so I’ma goNna lay it oUt, ya know?


Bloged in random by rod Tuesday January 16, 2007

I spoke in Chapel today. Yep, spoke. Didn’t sing, didn’t play.
No, the temperature is still stable in all after-life locations.
So I was told that I got added to the “Chapel Quote of the Day” archives.
Rod’ included quote?

“Maybe I’ve been listening to too much Strongbad.”

I guess there’s a first time for everything and a last time for everything.
Sometimes they’re one and the same.

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Bloged in life, random by rod Sunday January 14, 2007

If you’ve been reading for some time, you’ll know that last week’s new truck post was not my first truck post. In fact, I probably ought to link in there posts concerning motorcycles too. It was quite difficult refraining from turning the whole newsbreaking into yet another exposition of my spiritual and emotional struggles into which events and objects like this so strongly play. By the time I’ve finished writing this, perhaps I’ll have linked you to previous such posts, perhaps not.
Now Allison and I are very different in our financial leanings. I’m a tightwad and she’s a spender. I’m generic, she’s name brand. Or maybe I should say that fiscally speaking, she’s liberal and I’m conservative. She’s generally not irresponsible and I’m generally not a miser. She likes to have things and I like to have the potential for things. Over the years, we have both moved drastically toward the center, but at the moment, we are far from meeting in the middle.
This all plays into our purchases because she decides on the best, highest quality among the choices and I go for the cheapest, no questions asked. I’m typing on what would have been an iBook if not for Allison talking me up to a PowerBook. Because of Allison I’ve got a LOT more computer, for very little more money. So for most of my life, I’ve gone around with slightly less than I can get by on, and she’s gone around with slightly more than she needs. I borrow from her a lot. Like rides, and keys, and stuff like that. It all evens out. Ordinarily, her ride works, mine doesn’t.
So when we went out car shopping, my objective was to shop enough to be absolutely sure I’d found the working vehicle with the lowest price in town (or state). It didn’t matter what it was, or what it looked like. Lowest price.
Her objective was to make forward progress rather than a lateral move.
I can’t pretend that I didn’t struggle while shopping. I can’t pretend I didn’t struggle with the decision. I can’t pretend I haven’t struggled all week with the whole thing. I’d have to admit that I seriously thought the deer episode might have been God popping on the back of the head as to say, “NO NO NO NO NO!”
So tonight, I’ve tried to put it all to rest, and approach like Allison does. In order to convince myself that a new (pre-owned) vehicle was even called for, I’ve assembled a comparison chart to convince myself that I’m better off in the current scenario.

Here are the side-by-side comparisons:


So as you can see, it looks like Allison has won this time. The chart makes it clear that all the perquisites of this newer vehicle were not as extravagant as I might have thought. In fact, there was only one item that the older vehicle has that the newer one doesn’t. That is quite extraordinary, as most upgrades leave off at least a few features to which one had previously become accustomed.
I’m quite happy with the results of this simple comparison. It is quite a useful procedure.
You have no idea how much I hope it never occurs to Allison to put me in one of those charts.

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le cercle de la vie?

Bloged in life, random by rod Wednesday January 10, 2007

Yesterday morning on my way to work, I’m pretty sure I saw an acorn laying just inside the white line on the side of the road on my way to work.

Last night, on my way home, I saw a opossum at the edge of the road dining on flattened squirrel. It must have been quite tasty, because he insisted that I go around him.

Which I did.


This morning, at the same spot along my reverse journey, I passed 4 Turkey Buzzards at the edge of the road dining on flattened squirrel and opossum casserole.

They moved aside to let me pass.

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new truck!

Bloged in life, random by rod Friday January 5, 2007

Yeah, I’m at that point again where I’ve got so many thoughts in my head that each distracts me from the others. There is so much I want to write about, or have written rough thoughts about, to try and sort things out in my mind, but alas, I just keep flitting from one thought to another. Distractions distractions.
And then, there are distractions that aren’t related to my thinking at all, distractions that completely pull me away from the thoughts I want to think. Sometimes these distractions disallow any thought at all. Sometimes they just replace them with more urgent immediacy.
For instance, there is the matter of my truck. You have read enormous bits of rambling concerning the ongoing saga of nursing my Explorer through what probably should have been its last weeks of usefulness. But somehow I’ve managed to turn its last weeks into months and years, delaying its ultimate demise seemingly indefinitely, but lessening its dependability exponentially with each reincarnation of its decaying form. This care and feeding and repairing and replacing has become so much a way of life that it has been only a minimal distraction in the larger ongoing saga of life. In the instances where the distraction was greater, they were at least short lived. To me, that is.
The increasing frequency of Allison’s comments concerning my need for new and dependable transport eventually opened my eyes to a further understanding of the depth of meaning in words used in the art of relational communication by the homogametic half of the relationship. For example, months of hearing, “Rod, you really deserve a truck that is nice and dependable,” and “You are really worth it babe,” and “I’d sure enjoy seeing you in a newer, sexy truck,” were simply taken at face value. My inevitable response was, “Naw baby, that truck is fine for me, I don’t need anything more,” or “It’ll be fine, I’ll get it running again.”
What I eventually began to realize was that the aforementioned phrases spoken through smiling lips should have been translated as, “&*$%@@, if you don’t get a new vehicle immediately, you’re gonna be as pre-owned as your truck is. A girl can only take so much.”
So, as one would expect, this last bout of dead in the driveway syndrome was met with the same phrases through the same smiling lips. This time, however, I was wise to their meaning. We hopped in the operational vehicle and visited some “Pre-owned” car dealerships. After merely two days of shopping, we decided upon a smart little 2003 Explorer Sport Trac (note the hip misspelling of the word “trac(k), a definite plus in the needability of said vehicle). It is not only the nicest vehicle we’ve ever owned, it is the nicest vehicle we’ve ever looked at.
Between Molly’s ‘cello lesson, and church on Wednesday, we zipped into the dealership, did the deed and closed the deal. After church, we went to the gym in the shiny new automobile. On the way home, I glanced at the tripometer and noticed I had driven my new ride a total of 6 miles. Another quarter mile up the rode and I heard a gasp from the passenger seat, saw a flash of fur, felt an impact of nose, and heard the thump of either a deer hitting my door, or my heart skipping a beat. Probably both. As Allison continued gasping for breath, I turned the truck around, looked for the deer, who didn’t seem to even slow down upon contacting my new ride, and drove to the Exxon to survey the damage.
Yes, you heard correctly. Six miles into ownership, I had my first deer to door encounter. Mind you I’ve been driving these 26 years with no deer dings. Don’t forget the truck that I replaced, because it is very representative of the vehicles I’ve always driven, none of which would have minded one bit if I’d have hit a deer a day for a decade.
What are the chances of that? Astounding. I can’t express how profoundly astounded I am. Why then? Why not the night before? Why not 2 hours before? Why not any other night in my life?

Great googly moogly.

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