Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Taco Bell Blues


I loved the old Taco Bell commercials when they had the Taco Bell chihuahua. Well, Gidget passed away Tuesday at fifteen. I never knew though that the dog was female. I loved the sayings, "Yo Quiero Taco Bell" and "Viva Gorditas." I had two of the stuffed dogs. I don't know what happened to them. Anyway those were some of the best commercials.

I even created a character dog on Photoshop called "Chico." My inspiration came from the Taco Bell dog. The Taco Bell commercials with that dog were too funny. It sure beats the commercials that my friend Roger and I can't stand that go "Go meat!" from Hillshire Farms. Oh man, I couldn't take that commercial. Neither could Roger on Big Doofus' blog. However, I'll never forget those classic Taco Bell dog commercials.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Canine Lessons Revisited!


This is a repeat. But, my brother enjoyed it so much. Today he reminded me that I wrote it. Frankly I forgot that I had. He said it was the ending that had him in stitches. Well, here it is again. Enjoy!


Okay, I'll fess up! Tonight I was somewhat bewildered with a person. Like that would be the first time it happened, not! I have the mistaken notion that if I'm always nice, other people will be too. Not gonna happen. However, I still think it's contagious to be nice and maybe a larger percentage of people will be nice in return. But, this man wasn't going to budge. Have you ever heard the saying, "His face is so long he could eat oats out of a half-inch gas pipe?" Ha. I did everything but cartwheels (and please don't ask me to do that) to be friendly. It wasn't going to work that way.

Later I thought about an old proverb we've all heard, I think we have anyway. "Walk softly around others for you don't know what burdens they are carrying." I guess I didn't think about that sooner. Maybe he's going through some tough ordeal. Maybe something rankled him today. Did he lose something precious to him? A myriad of things popped up as I thought about it. Or maybe he's, just, well, miserable. Some people just are. It's sad.

I admit I have my days too. Things don't go according to plan, a snag gets put in the way or something justs goes haywire. So, that's why I put the picture above. If these two canines can get along as pals...where does the human race fit in? The word Homo Sapien comes from the Latin meaning, "wise man" or "knowing man." Then, why does it take the animal kingdom sometimes to show us "humans" simple things? You come home, and there's the family dog waiting to greet you! Unconditional love. But, "we" humans tend to forget, don't we? I know I do at times.

So, I don't know what was under this man's skin tonight. I confess, I need to understand more at times. And...by chance...if the guy was just a misanthropic soul like Jack Nicholson was in "As Good As It Gets", all we can do is pray. Plus, not become the same way.

I love the picture above. I can just hear the one saying to the other, "Hey Brutus, It'll be okay, Fifi just didn't love you, but there's always someone else. Have you thought of dating Biddy?" Brutus replies, "Rambo, Biddy is a terrier, I can't go there. Maybe I'll go down to the shelter and see if Zoe isn't busy. She's a bit wired, but all chihuahuas can't be that way!"

Okay, maybe my story fell flat, but at least enjoy the pic! Be well all.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Means And Opportunity


Today was the memorial of Michael Jackson. Obviously unless someone is hidden in a cave somewhere, everyone knows about his demise. I just wanted to make a couple of observations.

Everyone on the face of the earth is born in God's image. Regardless of rich, poor, skilled, unskilled, celebrity, farmer, attorney: We all are human and made in the image of God. Plus, we all face the same questions in life and desire some of the same needs. Doesn't everyone desire to be loved and accepted? My question is rhetorical at best. The obvious answer is "yes."

I'm reminded of the old children's game that goes:

Gypsy, Gypsy, tell it me
What’s my fortune going to be?
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor,
Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief
Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief.
Tell me, tell me, tell me true.
When I’m grown what will I do?

So regardless of our lot in life, we all want to be loved and accepted. That is unless the person is a total sociopath. (But, even then, I think before they get to that point, they wanted the same thing.) So, celebrities are no different.

My second point seems rather simple but I'll throw it in anyway. Many celebrities suffer from the human condition like the rest of us. But, because of status, means, money and opportunity, they can destroy their lives much more quickly. Think of Elvis Presley as an example. He dabbled in mysticism and drugs. The latter did him in. So, in Michael Jackson's case, he probably suffered emotionally and used his money to try to find the answers to the things that troubled him. I think the same can be said of Howard Hughes, Judy Garland and so many others.

Bottom line, we all need Christ. So a person can do many things. They can come to the cross of Christ and be saved. Or, they can go on a life-long search burning up time, money and energy looking for a way to be at peace. Unfortunately, many don't want to yield to the authority of Christ. So they try it their own way. And, we know, (those of us who know Christ anyway) that man doing it their own way just leads to frustration and being separated from God.

God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. As far as Michael Jackson is concerned, of course God only knows if he was a believer. But, the scriptures say "by their fruits you will know them." It doesn't look good. Maybe it's good that some people don't get fame, fortune and money. For if they did, they could destroy themselves faster. It's better to have little and to know Christ than to have plenty and leave it all behind. We all know the verse, "What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?" (paraphrase.) May the peace of Christ be with you all.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fourth Of July


It really goes without saying about the real reason for the fourth of July. My commentary is simple. I have nothing against people seeing one another, a parade, a firework or two, etc. But, I hope that the new generation of young people growing up remember what this day really stands for. Sure, our country has its share of problems, but I hope we never forget the freedoms that we still enjoy. Some of those freedoms seem to be eroding day by day. May we remember what tomorrow really stands for and be thankful for a God that allows us to still live in a country, albeit with problems, that is still greater than so much of the rest of the world. Happy Fourth Of July everyone!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Madoff And Remorse


I'm never happy when someone falls. However, all must give an account of their actions. Here's a comment from today's news on Bernard Madoff's statement:

Scattered applause and whoops broke out in the crowded Manhattan courtroom after U.S. District Judge Denny Chin issued the maximum sentence to the 71-year-old defendant, who said he lives "in a tormented state now, knowing all the pain and suffering I've created." (From the AP.)

Now, no one should ever gloat over someones failures. I should hasten to add that those who do terrible things must be punished. That goes with reason. But, this is what I hear from so many that get "caught." Madoff says, "I'm in a tormented state now, knowing the pain and suffering I've created." Obviously I don't know the man's heart. Only God does. Let me add a comment though. Would Madoff say this "if" he hadn't been caught? Again, only God knows. It seems so convenient to say "I'm sorry" once you've been caught. "If" the person while committing atrocities knows it's wrong and they feel bad about it, stop! And...so goes the show.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson


There's obviously enough press over Michael Jackson. There's not much anyone can really add to what is being written. I can only make the following observations. Sure, he was eccentric and accused of many things. He also was very gifted as well. My take is this: Regardless of what someone thinks of Michael, he was still a human being in need of a savior! Do we ever really stop to think about actors, singers, entertainers as being "real" people aside from their stage performances? And...do we think to pray for these people?

All the money in the world cannot save a soul. I've often commented to others that those in Hollywood, Nashville or anywhere else for that matter need a savior. Even Shia LaBeouf said there was something missing in his life. Elvis obviously dabbled in mysticism, drugs, and other vices looking for the answer. Sure, we all must answer for our lives before God someday. I just think if some would show compassion to a lost and dying world maybe more would be going to the altar. Just my humble take. Remember, God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.

It's sad that so many who do have the money and fame use it to destroy themselves faster than others. I can't help but think of the old song I love so much, "Only Jesus Can Satisfy Your Soul" written by Lanny Wolfe. Of course scripture too says, "What shall a man profit if he gains the world and loses his soul?" I think the question is obviously answered. It's really sad that a man comes down to the end of his life at fifty with just a chimp named Bubbles as a friend.

END NOTE: Of the subject, but I know my blogging has been sparse. I really write for my own enjoyment. It's like an online journal. However, I can actually just journal offline using Word. If there are a few of you that read my blog or just "lurk" could I ask you to leave a comment if you still enjoy the blog? I would appreciate it. I know my friend Roger has felt that way too. Thanks so much.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Art Of Understanding


There I was sitting with my legs crossed on the floor with the other students. I was wearing my traditional white "gi." The name given to the martial arts outfit I was wearing. I had just attained my blue belt after completing the first of four phases on becoming a black belt. Every night after entering the "dojo" or the training place, our instructor would have an object lesson for us. So, as we would begin our stretching for the night's grueling action he would teach us. This night he taught us the art of understanding others.

I don't remember verbatim what he said but the idea of it did stick with me. His basic premise is that we too often have our own ideas and thoughts in mind that we don't really stop to listen to what the other person has to say. He said we should be quiet long enough, open our mind to the other person, let them speak and really try to understand where that person is coming from. He likened it to a tug of war. Too many times, we are tugging at a rope trying to get that other person to come over the "line" to our way of thinking. Instead, it's easier to at times, to drop the rope, cross the line to their side, and listen to them! Now, he wasn't saying we would always agree one-hundred percent, but we'd be far better off if we tried that approach.

I'd like to say that I've always followed that premise all the time. Unfortunately, because I'm so very human and flawed, I have failed to do that at times. There have been times in my life when I've accomplished that very well. I always wondered though: Why did it work so well sometimes and not well at other times? I think I know my answer. The times when it worked the best was when I was truly listening to God's voice and walking his way. When I stray from that, then is when I find understanding a bit harder to grasp.

As human beings we all want our way! Really, don't we? It's about us! I have one friend who jokes with me and says, "It's all about me, Randy, it's all about me!" and just laughs. He's toying with me. But, without the Holy Spirit guiding our lives we can become one-sided, tunnel vision sets in and we can't see past the hallway. When the Holy Spirit truly takes control, we can clearly let him lead the way and look out for others in our lives! I'm reminded of a sermon my friend Bob had spoken on many years ago. It came out of my favorite inspirational book of the New Testament, Philippians. (My favorite doctrinal book of the NT is Romans. Yes, they both contain doctrine, but Philippians is my emotional favorite.) The verses were: "Don't just look out after your own things, but look out after the things of others!" (Paraphrase.) Philippians 2:4. Now, that doesn't mean being a busy body, but truly looking out for the interests of others as we look out for ourselves.

Just today I received two emails. One from a friend in Illinois that I care deeply for but I needed to understand him more. The second from a friend here at home where she was asking for understanding of something that is going on in her life. I spoke to my brother about both of these communiques. I mentioned to him that I had drifted to some degree and I needed to really "understand" more than what I had been doing the past week. So, I endeavored today to do just that! Plus, in addition, there are times when I have to ask friends and family to bear with me or to try to "understand" what I'm going through. See, in understanding, we don't always have to know exactly what the person is going through, but we can "seek" to comfort, care and show concern during that process.

It seems I'm on my knees a lot in prayer asking that I understand better the needs of those around me. I also have to get "myself" out of the way at times so I can better hear what God "is" trying to tell me. I have to drop the rope, quit playing "tug-of-war" and step over the line and really listen. That even goes with the Lord himself too! Didn't he say, "Come let us reason together?" He did. I'm loosely using that line for God was talking about man's sin and God's forgiveness. So, if anything today, I'm asking God to help me to understand more. There are times when I don't understand him either. Go figure. But, when my struggle is finally over, I finally come to the Lord's side of thinking and say, "God you know best!" And he does.

So, today, a memory from 1993 of a martial arts instructor came back to me and did me a lot of good. I refer to this novel a lot but it's an oldie but a goodie. Axel Jordache in the novel "Rich Man Poor Man" said, "no one really understands anybody in this world." In essence he's right. But, if we truly make it a cognitive thought and act upon it, we can all do a bit better. Well boys and girls that's it for today. May the love or our Lord be with us all!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hughes' H1 Racer


For the longest time I've had an interest in the life of Howard Hughes. Actually, on two fronts. One, his love of aviation and also what caused this man of incredible talent to self-destruct the way he did. In the picture above is the H1 racer. Some called it "an engine with a saddle strapped on it!" Hughes even had the rivets flush with the body to avoid drag and increase speed. At the time he set a new world's record with a speed of 352 miles an hour. He however, stayed up in the plane too long, ran out of fuel, but was able to land his craft, landing gear up, and raised the pitch of the plane to land in a beet field! He survived. Upon arriving to help him, his workers came up to him and all he said was, "She'll go faster!"

I've been to D.C. three times. For some reason I never got to the Air and Space Museum. That's where the original H1 racer is located. Well, maybe I'll take my fourth trip to D.C. to see this bullet of an aircraft. Of course Hughes went on to set a world record, at the time, of traveling around the world in a record time even beating out some older records. He bought TWA and made commercial aviation easier on passengers as they traveled above the weather where the air is thinner and the ride smoother. Plus, he created the "Hercules." A flying boat if you will. It was to be used to fly troops, tanks and more across the ocean during the second world war. The reason is that the German U-boats were destroying ships that were sea-bound carrying troops across the Atlantic.

It's sad too, that a man who was so intelligent descended into a life of madness. There's an old saying that goes something like this: "there's a small gap between genius and madness" or something to that degree. Off the subject, one CCM artist once quipped, "It goes something like this. However, why do people say that? The song goes 'exactly' like this." I always found that funny.

Well, that's it for today. I used to fly more than I do now. However, with all the security now it's kind of taken the fun out of it. Oh, I still love it when I get to do it. I went to Portland Oregon sometime back. It was really great to see Mount Hood and Mount Rainier from the sky! Also, I was able to see the Rockies too. I remember a few years back flying to Raleigh North Carolina that we crossed over the Appalacians. From the air, it seemed I was seeing ripples in the ground! Upon looking again, I realized I was seeing the mountains. What a great sight. Have a great day everyone.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

My Tribute


Today I wanted to say a special "Thank you" to all who have served our country!! In particular I wanted to say a special thanks to a friend from California. His name is Kevin Rodgers. He serves in the Navy as a religion program specialist. Kevin and I became acquainted through Michael English's website. I told Kevin today how grateful I am to his love for our Lord and his service to our country! Semper Fi Kev! He's one of the "real deals" in life!

My heartfelt thanks to all who have served and are currently serving our country. May God protect you and bless you all of your days. May the peace of Christ be with you all!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bright Days Dark Nights


Recently I mentioned a friend who was facing a severe depression. She's not a believer. But it even goes on in the church. I find in today's church world no one wants to talk about depression. Even though many Christians too, deal with this insidious torture of the mind. Elizabeth Ruth Skoglund has written a fantastic book on Charles Spurgeon's life called, "Bright Days, Dark Nights." Did you know there were times that Spurgeon's life was so bad that men had to carry him to the pulpit so he could even preach a sermon?

It seems many believers want only fun and frivolity. And they turn aside from those who are depressed. Well, to be fair, maybe they just don't know what to say. They could at least tell that person they will pray for them. There are so many ill-informed believers that think only prayer will take it all away. Did they ever think for a moment that God does use doctors and meds to help those who go through the ordeal? I'm sure Spurgeon could have used the help if it was available then.

It's so easy to pass judgment when a person hasn't been there. However, I don't need to go through some horrible ordeal to show compassion for others that go through something I have no idea about. Isn't it about time the body of Christ starts showing some real compassion instead of wagging tongues? Where were many believers before they came to Christ? Drug addicts, drunks, gamblers, you name it. I hope we all show more humility and grace in the days to come. There is a world dying for the need of Christ. But, sometimes the church is too busy attacking their own wounded they have no time to see the harvest in front of them. To be fair, I've been guilty of this and I've had to repent many times. May the peace of Christ be with you all.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The End Of The Rope

Normally I keep this blog somewhat hopefully inspirational. In my reading of the Word, even King David and Job despaired of their own lives. Isn't it odd that we admire these men of the Word but get a bit discouraged at those around us who become weary of life? Kind of wrong, I think. Today's post is probably the most serious one I've ever written.

Many years ago I knew a very special lady. For her privacy I'll call her Helen. We were on the phone. It was obvious she was in dire straits. Complications with her family didn't help matters either. I had known her for a very long time. She was basically a loner of sorts, hated crowds and had a very artistic flair. This day, all of her hopes and aspirations were gone. Her broken voice filtered through the lines to my receiver. There was no doubt she had been crying for some time. I had seen her sad, happy, serious and funny in a whimsical way. Today, though, was one side I had never experienced. She was on the verge of taking her life. In a staccato speech mixed with tears she told me she had a knife to her throat. She had come to the end of her rope.

I tried to find the reason for the distress. It seemed to me she had everything to live for. She was healthy, well-educated, attractive, financially secure and much more. I thought, "How could she not love life?" She told me that all hope was gone. She resorted to drinking as a balm to her troubled life. She asked me the most poignant question, "Why shouldn't I just cut my throat now?" Now, sometimes, in a serious situation I try to diffuse things with my humor. This however, wasn't the right time. In my mind I thought, "Well, it could hurt." I wasn't about to use this line. All I can remember is that I told her to do me a favor and at least drop the knife and talk to me. She did.

So, for the next few minutes I tried to pry out of her the hurt, anger, or whatever emotion that was bringing her to this point. She finally admitted that her father thought she was a failure. Or at least that is what he thought of her that day. I tried to reassure her that we all have said things in haste. I tried to remind her of all of the great qualities she had, the caring soul within her and all the wonderful gifts and talents she had. I wanted Helen to know that it wasn't worth one bad comment to destroy her life. However, I do know how hurtful words can be.

Another thing though is that she's not a believer. I don't know how many times I had told her of the love of Jesus. To this day though, she thinks it is a myth. The good news is: she is better. The drinking is gone and she seems somewhat better with her life. My sadness comes in the fact she doesn't know Christ. And what's even more tragic is there are believers that despair of life and want to end it all. I disagree with those who say suicide is a selfish act. I think it takes a brave person to end it! Just my thought. However, I don't recommend it. Some psychologists say that those who commit suicide even in that moment are looking for happiness. I agree with that comment.

In closing, I'm glad I was there that day to help her through that ordeal. Helen is a very selfless person. My greater hope is that someday she will look at the creation around her and know that the Lord exists! Those of us who do believe, know that God said that even the creation proves his existence. I know many of us have seen some pretty dark days in our lives. And...to be frank...I wonder how some people seem to be happy all the time. It reminds me of a line out of the novel "Rich Man Poor Man" where Rudy Jordache meets this woman who was smiling and radiant. He said, "No one can be that happy!" But, Irwin Shaw wrote that novel and it definitely comes from a normal person's thoughts. Someday, those of us who know Christ will have total bliss. For now, as Michael Card so aptly wrote it, "there is joy in the journey!" May the peace of Christ be with you!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lost: Season 5 Finale


What a tremendous two hours for a finale. There's not much I can say that could add to the excitement of this "showdown" from last night's endings. Well, I'll just throw in some of my random thoughts. We finally get a glimpse of Jacob. Obviously, the guy never ages like Richard (Mr. Eyeliner). However, Jacob is still vulnerable to death. For whatever reason Jacob didn't approve of Benjamin. What a stinging reply when Ben asked Jacob, "What about me?" Jacob says, "What about you?" The indictment is clear, Jacob didn't care about Ben but had some affinity for Locke for whatever reason. I don't think we've seen the end of Jacob though.

There was the obvious dispute of Jack and Sawyer. Sawyer beat the crap out of Jack until Juliet said "stop." Juliet still feels that Sawyer's heart is with Kate. So, they all decide the bomb goes down the hole. More on this love thing in a bit.

I can't think of the antagonistic operator of the drilling, you know, the sour guy with the glasses. They need to erase him. However it seems that Chang understands what is happening and at one point, Miles yells out to him, "Dad." Good moment.

There's more to this Ra Sun God than is being let on. Plus after reading Wikepedia there is an antagonist that goes against Ra. Obviously the old statue is holding the ankh, the Egyptian cross that has something to do with eternal life. So, I do know that Richard isn't Ra, but I don't think Jacob is either. Somehow I think they tapped into that power. Now this I do believe. In three countries there are obelisks that represent the sun. One, is in Egypt, one in Rome AND one in D.C. Coincidence. I wonder.

I just can't get that scene of Juliet out of my mind. Sawyer was holding on to her with all of his might. He didn't want her to fall into the pit. She kept screaming out, "I love you, I love you." Call me a romantic, but that was "the" best scene in the whole episode. I've been there. Well, not in a hole hanging on for dear life! Juliet truly loves Sawyer but feels that Kate is in the way. But even before her grip loosens, she keeps saying "I love you" to him. When you are in that kind of moment, real truth comes out. I know its fiction, but stories are representations of real life at times. For I once had someone tell me that she loved me with her whole heart and walked away from me. I was devastated. Who said that it was better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all? I'd sure like to talk that person. There are times when "maybe" its best not to fall in love at all. I'm just rambling. For if you don't love, you can't be hurt. I'm not saying I truly believe this. But, in life aren't we all looking for love and acceptance? That is what makes this show so unique. The whole world is looking for love. But, maybe in the wrong places. Not to sound all country music now, ha. But, I just can't get over that scene with Juliet. The best scene ever. Well, now the hiatus. Season six will end the whole thing as they flashed the banner for the end saying the next season would reveal the destiny. It's going to be a long summer. Be well all.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lost: Follow The Leader


Well "Lost" is headed for a season finale showdown. Tonight's episode was rather good. It seems like everyone is going different directions. I cannot wait to find out who "Jacob" really is. And...for John Locke's motive for wanting him gone! Plus, I felt for Eloise when she found out that she had shot her own son Daniel. Plus, Chang finds out that Miles is his son. And...it seems like Jack and Kate are at an impasse. However my favorite scene was with Sawyer and Juliet. They were talking about having each "other's back." I have a friend named Susan where she said a long time ago that she really felt good when she had friends who'd "have her back!" I never forgot that.

When Kate shows up, I know Juliet is worried that Kate is going to come between them. It seems evident to me, at least right now, that Sawyer is going to remain with Juliet. However, with the show, it can change on a dime, or a time travel, ha.

I'm still bummed that Daniel got off'ed by his own mother. But, we'll see what happens. Eventually, I hope they explain "Jacob" and also the "smoke monster." As far as I'm concerned, "Lost" is still the best thing going. So many of the characters have really been favorites. I know it's a TV show, but it's one great hour of escapism. Viva Lost!

Win XP Extended


This is a post I never published. But, it still makes for good reading! Plus, this was on current news I read. However, you never know when the company will change their minds!

It looks like Win XP will be supported with updates until 2014. I'm glad to hear that. Originally the ax date was going to be a lot sooner. I am running XP on my home computer and I've always been fond of XP. When I purchased my notebook it came pre-installed with Vista. Can't say I like Vista all that well. It's bloated with a lot of stuff I just don't need. However, that's the way it came, so I have to deal with it. The good thing is that XP is on the home machine. I do all my sound editing, VO work and more with apps that work well with my XP Pro. I was concerned that if I had to go to Vista I might have to purchase upgrades to this expensive software that I have. Well, it looks like I dodged the bullet for now.

My view on XP? If it isn't broke, don't fix it. XP to me is a fine OS, but no, Microsoft can't leave their tweaking little hands alone on things. I know eventually that XP will say goodbye. But, I'm glad I can buy a little time until then. There's just so many small irritations with Vista that annoy me. And...maybe the outcry from others like myself thwarted Microsoft from scrapping XP too soon. Sure, it's been around awhile. But, back to my major premise. If it's not broke, don't fix it. In amusement but also with sadness sometime back I read my friend Joel's blog. He had mentioned that his bank had switched the interface and he had to click through a myriad of prompts to get to where he wanted to be. When, before, he could get there in two clicks.

Word to Microsoft, software makers, et.al. If it's not broke, again, don't fix it!

Monday, May 4, 2009

The End Of Pontiac


They say all good things must come to an end. Actually I'm sorry to see this one happen. GM is stopping the Pontiac line of vehicles. Just yesterday I saw a plethora of Pontiacs on the road. One of my brothers is a big Pontiac fan. Plus, who can forget the "Monkees" and the tricked-out Pontiac, "Knight Rider" with the Trans-Am and "Smokey And The Bandit?" My friend Rosemary drives a Pontiac Grand Am GT, my brother had his share of Grand Prix and Grand Ams. Plus, I used to drive a Pontiac Bonneville. I've always liked the styling of the Pontiac. Especially the Bonnevilles. I think GM made a mistake there, but so goes the show. The only thing I didn't like about the Grand Ams is that I felt they rode too low. I always felt that my posterior was dragging the ground! That is the only drawback I ever had with them. But, things change as they always do. And...back in the seventies my friend had a Pontiac GTO with the deuce carburetors! That thing would fly. Oh well.

Bryan and me circa 1993



Just a couple of quick mentions. I was happy to land some new VO work which made me extremely happy. So, that was a good thing. And...how I love Bryan Duncan's music. When I added music for the stations, there was only one artist that I ever put a single into heavy rotation immediately, and that was Bryan Duncan! Actually, the rep wasn't happy that I did that. He said the shelf life would be shorter. Of course the rep was glad that I added the song, but you try to typically get three solid months from a single. He was worried that the song would burn out too quickly. He had a point, but after all, this is Bryan Duncan! Bryan has been a big subject lately. Some of my other friends love Bryan's music too. I love his performance on "Perfect Timing" when he was with the Sweet Comfort Band. As far as his solo work goes, my favorite song of all time is "When I Think Of Home." That song gets to me every time I listen to it. Well, that's all for today. Be well all.

When I Think Of Home

Thursday, April 30, 2009

When It All Goes South


There's an expression that says, "when it all goes south." Most of you know what that means but for the two of you who don't, it means: when it all falls apart. I've been thinking about recent events. I am called by God to pray for those who are in authority. So, we have problems in DC and so much more. The banking industry, the auto giants, credit card companies all in trouble. There's the fight about protecting our country from attacks, the economy and the loss of jobs all over the place. Now, to add to all of that, we have this Swine Flu thing going on!

I was talking with a fellow radio friend about this the other day. Out of nowhere she just asked, "Randy, what makes a person snap?" I didn't have one solid answer for her. I think there are many reasons. Here are just a few of them. One, they could already have a chemical imbalance, another is that the stress of everyday life just gets to them and they lose it, and thirdly, the enemy just finally takes over. Those are just a few of the things that can happen. I went on to mention to her in our conversation that I really don't know how people make it without God in their lives.

So, I want to end today on a positive note. Sure, there are terrible things that are going on. A person would have to be in a remote cave somewhere "not" to know that things are tough. What gets me through is two things. One, I serve a God who is bigger than all of the circumstances around me. Secondly, if I start to get troubled, I think back to all of God's past blessings in my life. He has never let me down! Sure, I have had some pretty rough days in my life. However, I cannot remember a day when I've ever been without food that God didn't supply for me. I have had shelter, food, water, friends, and so much more. Even the scriptures say that with food and clothing, be content! God has done far more than that for me.

Years ago I heard Charles Stanley speak on this very issue. He said that if a person places their security on their health, they can lose it. If they place their security in money, it can be wiped out. He gave several examples. However, he went on to say, if our faith is in the Lord, that is a security that will never go away. Sure, we are in troubled times, but God is still our refuge, a very present help in times of trouble. And, as Gordon Jensen penned it so long ago, "Lift up your heads, your redemption draweth nigh." So, when it all seems to go south, remember someday we'll all be headed in a new direction. And...that is above. Be well all.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lost: Faraday


I was so glad that a new ep of "Lost" was coming on. It really revolved around Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies). I really like his character. Although he seems confused and preoccupied the man is a genius and very troubled. However, after tonight's episode I wasn't too fond of Eloise his mother. I won't give the spoiler but the show just didn't end right tonight. One of the sad scenes is when Daniel saw Charlotte as a youngster knowing that as an adult he lost her! Very sad. Jeremy Davies is a great actor and I give him kudos for his portrayal of an obvious genius who seems eccentric. Boy, after tonight's episode, where do they go from here? It's still funny though that Sawyer still gives people nicknames. He called Daniel, H.G. Wells. That's Sawyer for you. Well, that's my recap for this week's ep of "Lost." And...it looks like next week we are in for more!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Look Back


This is a repeat but I felt I should share it again since I was able to have a great chat with Dan R after all these years!




A Look Back

Today, I was able to spend about an hour with one of my old buddies from my radio days in Rockford Illinois, Matt Kramer. If only the station managers knew of some of the pranks that Matt and I pulled on a lot of people including Joel our news director. We also pulled one on Ginger the secretary. I don't think to this day she would even know what Matt and I did. Oh by the way, it wasn't illegal, Matt and I just laughed so much our sides hurt.

In the picture above are some of the guys I miss from the station. There's Dan Reinhard, me, Matt, and Mike Gearhart. You could say that especially Dan, Matt and myself were pretty tight. I could tell some stories that would knock your socks off but I won't. Well, two anyway. Matt made up a liner for Joel that said, "There will be frost on your pumpkins tonight!" I still laugh at that. Kind of an inside joke but if you think much about it, you'll get it. Then, the other time was when Dan was holding an Aerosmith CD called, "Get A Grip." With a boyish smile he kept saying to me, "Don't ya just love it?, don't ya just love it?!" I still laugh over that. He was so excited and grinning so much. I was laughing because he was so animated. And after all, that CD was contraband! However, we were in a Christian station and I tried to act all "holy" and pretend I didn't like it. However, I really did! Man, I miss those guys.

Matt and I talked for about an hour by phone. At one point I became a bit somber as I missed my buddies from that time period so long ago. Sure, I have friends now and God has been good to me in spite of some things that have happened in my life. However, good memories are always a treat for me. You can see it in the picture. Matt and Dan were two guys that could always get me to laugh. Even though life can take us on many different roads, it's nice to look back once in awhile and remember some fond things of years gone by. It's good to know Matt is doing well. I was shocked at a recent pic of Matt. He cut his hair and I didn't think it was "The" Matt Kramer. Now, if I can find Dan. By the way, in that pic, I look so young. Well, I was.

If you remember some old friends in your life, why not give them a call or write a letter. You might just make their day. Have a good weekend everyone and don't forget to "Get A Grip!"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lost: A Retrospective?


Well, "Lost" is on again tonight. TV Guide says it's "new." But upon reading what the ep is about, it looks like it's just going to be a retrospective of varying scenes from previous episodes. So, technically, it's "not" new, right? Well, being the avid fan I am, I plan on watching anyway. I really hope though, eventually, the folks of "Lost" will get out of Dharma land and we can have all the pieces of the puzzle put together. Still, all in all, Viva "Lost."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Technology


I've seriously neglected this blog for some time. Really, I just haven't had any interest lately in keeping up. Now, how's that for honesty? I don't know sometimes. As we gear up for some hard times before the near return of the Lord, I guess my thoughts have been elsewhere. Been thinking about other things.

My thoughts will be short today. I was thinking about technology. How far we've come. And...there's the good and the bad. Good as it makes things easier in one sense but in another bad. With all the good things, big brother can watch us more. Well, so goes the show.

I was thinking about how anxious I was "waiting" for my CD burner to take two minutes to burn my CD! I remember the old days when I had to play an entire LP as I was recording it to cassette tape in "real time." Depending on the length of the LP it could be a 45 minute or longer process.

Instant oatmeal, coffee, CD burning, and more. I wonder sometimes if it's going way too fast. I think I know my answer. Be well all.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Win XP Extended

This is a post I never published. But, it still makes for good reading!

It looks like Win XP will be supported with updates until 2014. I'm glad to hear that. Originally the ax date was going to be a lot sooner. I am running XP on my home computer and I've always been fond of XP. When I purchased my notebook it came pre-installed with Vista. Can't say I like Vista all that well. It's bloated with a lot of stuff I just don't need. However, that's the way it came, so I have to deal with it. The good thing is that XP is on the home machine. I do all my sound editing, VO work and more with apps that work well with my XP Pro. I was concerned that if I had to go to Vista I might have to purchase upgrades to this expensive software that I have. Well, it looks like I dodged the bullet for now.

My view on XP? If it isn't broke, don't fix it. XP to me is a fine OS, but no, Microsoft can't leave their tweaking little hands alone on things. I know eventually that XP will say goodbye. But, I'm glad I can buy a little time until then. There's just so many small irritations with Vista that annoy me. And...maybe the outcry from others like myself thwarted Microsoft from scrapping XP too soon. Sure, it's been around awhile. But, back to my major premise. If it's not broke, don't fix it. In amusement but also with sadness sometime back I read my friend Joel's blog. He had mentioned that his bank had switched the interface and he had to click through a myriad of prompts to get to where he wanted to be. When, before, he could get there in two clicks.

Word to Microsoft, software makers, et.al. If it's not broke, again, don't fix it!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wolfman


I've had this really bad sinus thing going on for days. You know the signs. Head feels like it's going to explode from being plugged up, running nose, sneezing and a very bad sore throat with a cough. My throat feels like it's being sand-papered. So, the doc has me on antibiotics which upsets the dietary system, not good. Along with that I'm taking Theraflu syrup, cough drops, zinc and garlic and tons of water. Naturally I'm keeping a large amoung of Kleenex near me since my nose decides it wants to be Niagra Falls. And...my normal voice is about shot right now.

With all that being said, I thought I started sounding a bit like Wolfman Jack. Wolfman isn't around anymore. So, my voice is shot right now anyway and I needed an activity. Instead of doing serious work on my computer I goofed off and created an ad-lib "Randy imitates the Wolfman" spot. I know, it's childlike but it did pass the time. So, don't roll your eyes too much. But, for some fun, here goes. And...fellow babies as Johnny Fever would say, pray I get better! Thanks.

Wolfman

Friday, March 20, 2009

On My Knees

Jaci, Me, 1996

Looking over my posts from the past really woke me up to something. Mainly, most of them are serious. I know that even with most Christians these days, people want fun and frivolity. It seems many want everything to be an "upper." Sorry, if that is the only thing in life, we've missed the point. Sure, being a "downer" all the time isn't the route to go either. But, let's remember, when reading the Psalms you see King David crying as much as he is praising God. We are in dark times. No doubt about it. I try not to be too maudlin. I know the older I get, I'm kind of become more "sober" in my thinking. I still love to laugh, but even Paul said to watch out for foolish jesting. With that being said, this week has been a tough one.

I haven't been sick in ages. This week a sinus infection has gotten the best of me. The antibiotics don't agree with me and I wonder if the cure is worse than the infection. So, between battling that and hearing bad news this week, just kind of got me down.

My heart went out to my friend Kevin Johnson this week over losing a friend by the name of Tom Rowe. Then, he finds out that his daughter-in-law may have cancer. However at this point I don't know if it's conclusive or not. My heart just went out to him and those involved. Also, two actors died this week. I absolutely loved Ron Silver and his acting. He was only 62 and succumbed to cancer. Then, Natasha Richardson of "Parent Trap" had this freakish accident on a ski slope. She got up from the fall and seemingly was okay. Later, she died. She was only 45.

Last night, I couldn't get all of this out of my thoughts. As I laid in bed I was telling the Lord that I just didn't understand the random things that happen. And like the Psalmist I cried out, "How long Oh Lord, how long?" I went on to tell the Lord "How can you just sit by and watch all of this stuff go on and DO nothing?!" I had to remind myself that "he" is God and I am not. His ways are not my ways. I still have to trust even when my understanding is finite and limited.

Today, I couldn't get the Natasha Richardson thing out of my thoughts. I wanted to be angry. Later though, I was standing over my desk with my hands resting on the surface and I just bent over and was overcome with emotion. I was lamenting for people that I didn't even know! I hate loss! Well, who really likes it? It seems the older we get we keep losing things and people. My sadness came in many degrees. I was thankful for those that know the Lord even though we'll miss them here. However, I was shaken over those that may have not known him. Did Natahsa know the Lord? Really, people, this is serious stuff. Enough of the games we play. I'm talking to myself more than anyone else.

So, today, even though it was the first day of spring, it became cold again. It was warm yesterday. I tried to rid my sadness by taking the back roads to another town to go to a bookstore. I drove a bit too fast, had the Bose System cranked on Don Henley singing, "Long Way From Eden." I wanted to push the thoughts away. It only helped for awhile and the sunny day added to the few minutes of numbing I felt I needed.

Later, back home I finally came to the conclusion that my best response was right there before me. Pray! And pray some more. Jaci Velasquez's song "On My Knees" came to mind. As I listened to the mp3, it reminded me how I need to be on my knees more than ever. This world is going to hell at a rapid speed. Remember, Nero fiddled while Rome burned! Don't get me wrong. Enjoy God's blessings. Thank him for health, family, fun and faith. But, equally, let's look at a world that is dying without hope in God. We have that hope. And right now, my hope is when I'm on my knees remembering my creator. I remember him as much as I did as a youth. And the scriptures teach us to do that. In closing, I'm sorry (in a way) that this post seems so dark. However, someday, God will wipe all the tears from our eyes! We serve a God that is bigger than all of the troubles around us. May God bless you.

On My Knees

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Natasha Richardson


Today's post will include two entries. First off, I'm very saddened at the passing of Natasha Richardson. (Just this week, Ron Silver, a fav actor of mine also passed away.) Natasha was great in the remaking of the "Parent Trap." Yeah, I'm one of those guys that can like a syrup-coated movie! I know these people are actors, but they are still human beings. It just makes me really sad.

Two: What is up with AIG and all this Tim Geithner stuff? Is this new administration doing anything constructive? I know it's easy to be an armchair critic. But c'mon, giving retaining bonuses for execs that can't manage. And...the gov giving money to the company and then trying to get it back? So goes the show.

That's it for today. I'm in sinus valley and got hit with a bad sinus cold. I'm really trying to fight this thing off. Have a good day everyone!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ron Silver


I'm saddened that one of my favorite actors Ron Silver has passed away from cancer on Sunday. Even though he was a democrat, 9/11 changed all of that. He switched and stood up for George Bush. Even though "The West Wing" was more of a liberal show, Ron Silver appeared on it frequently. He got a lot of ribbing for it. Also, because of his change in politics, it cost him a lot of work in Hollywood. Go figure. I remember him best in an old Jean Claude Van Damme movie, "Timecop." I still fond of that movie to this day. Of all things, Ron Silver played a crooked politician running for the presidency. Although I don't know more about him personally, there was something intriguing to me about his acting. He was sixty-two. I'll sure miss his acting.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kate Or Juliet?

Juliet

I find it amusing in a way that my friend Cindy's daughter doesn't care for either Kate or Juliet on "Lost." This is a side note, but why are women so hard on other women? I've noticed this most of my life.

Kate

Okay, I'm doing what Cindy does and talking about fictional characters now. I know, I know, they are just characters. But people read novels all the time. And...TV and the movies are the "new" stages that actors use to perform with compared to the ones of old where the actors performed before live crowds.

From one guy's perspective here's my take. Of course my view may be entirely different from others. I like them both. Both of them have qualities that endear me to them for differing reasons. I love Kate's adventurous side but I also like Juliet's focus. In my experience in the dating realm I've seen many personalities. I don't know why, but I always seemed to end up with the Kate's in life. The outgoing, spur of the moment kind. Those types were more daring like the cheerleader girlfriends I was with. I wondered why? I do have this "wild" streak in me that only a very few have seen. Maybe it's that they brought out the "life" in me.

Conversely, though, it seems too, that I am drawn to the Juliet's in life. The focused, stay on course and stable ones with a purpose in mind. With men and women there are as many personalities as there are people. I could write a book on experiences. I think back to some with joy, some with sadness and one in particular that stays in the deep recesses of my heart.

Sure, it's a show. Really, even with dating aside, let me hit one more angle. Aren't we all looking for connection in life? People that we can love? Friends, family, co-workers, all of us, wants to be accepted. I think all of us in life are looking for a few of the most common things. Acceptance and love would be the top two. I know "Lost" is a show. But, it does touch on the human condition. I would venture to guess that everyone we rub shoulders with on a daily basis has that inner need of being accepted, loved and appreciated. Today, that is just food for thought. Be well.

Fox And The Ratings

Well, from February's ratings, Fox News ranked number three. YES! For all of the lefties, let that be a lesson that normal everyday folks prefer Fox over CNN. Okay, I'm done ranting. But even with that said, can the news be more foreboding?

I get up, grab my glass of water, down my vitamins and turn on Fox. Now, I like Fox but they have to report the news. And these days, there's not a lot of good news to be found. After about thirty minutes I've had about enough. But, really, are we seeing the beginning of the end?

I'm in alignment with my friend Joel. I'm still pre-tribulational, but I wonder how bad things will get before God calls us out before the great and terrible day of the Lord? This new administration is all over the place and the guy has been in office less than 50 days. The auto makers take billions of dollars and still report losses greater than what they took. People can't get elected to the cabinet because of unpaid taxes? C'mon! And, they are governing us? I could go on, but you get the drift.

Well, it really boils down to this. It's easy for me to sway off target and look at the mess and get discouraged. But, my GOD is still GOD. I really don't know how people make it without him. Even in our uncertain days, our Lord is still residing in us through the power of the Spirit. May I not ever lose that focus. Be well.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Praise Unspoken


I've laid my head upon my pillow
Late at night so many times
With a song unheard by others in my heart
Caught away in all your goodness
How the tears of joy would roll
My unspoken praise ascending
In the stillness, in the dark





That's the second verse of Gordon Jensen's song, "Praise Unspoken." I'm up early. Well for me anyway. As I was checking my emails I had Gordon's CD "Tuesdays and Thursdays" playing in the background. Then, this song came on. I had to stop typing for a few moments as the song overtook my thoughts and feelings. I found myself reflective. Actually I've been this way for over a few days now. Today's post might not have any continuity to it. Just some rambling thoughts on a Tuesday morning.

It's easy for me to get disgruntled in traffic, to get impatient in a grocery store line and let the little insignificant things bother me at times. Certainly I could blame it on the fast paced society in which we live. But, really, it could be that I haven't settled my spirit inside me for the day ahead. That's where the song comes in.

Over this past weekend, my brother Terry, my sister Julie and myself were going through some old photo albums at Dad's house. Dad wanted us to go through some of the old photos and take some of the ones we wanted for our collection. It should have been a happy time. And...some of the pictures brought back some very good memories. However, some made me incredibly sad. Mom passed away seven years ago next month. As I looked at some of the older photographs it reminded me of how much she sacrificed for her family.

On one hand, I felt gratified that she cared for us and also led my brother Terry and me to the Lord. For all the home cooked meals, clean clothes and love that she lavished upon us. On the other hand, I felt guilty! My mind the past few days were of thoughts: "did I thank her enough for what she did?", "did I tell her I loved her enough?" So, when I popped in the CD this morning and that Gordon Jensen classic started playing I was overcome with tears.

Why is it that it's so easy to grumble and complain about things? Why is it that I don't praise God more and complain a lot less? All I know is that for a few moments I just thanked God for his goodness. I thanked him for my mother and my father. A set of parents that had it hard but raised a family anyway. Then, I had to ask the Father above to forgive me for not praising him enough.

I do know in my own spiritual life I need to be in an "attitude of gratitude" a lot more than what I do at times. Okay, so a car cuts me off in traffic, the clerk at the store was in a foul mood, whatever! God has been so good to me. As I looked at those old photographs it just reminded me of how God has brought me through. It's like the old hymn, "God Leads Us Along." Some through the fire, some through the flood, some through the waters, but all by the blood! How true.

So, this morning as I had to repent for my lack of praising God, I ended up praising him! Oh, Lord, how I need to do that more. Gordon and I have known each other since 1979. We've been able to communicate over the past six months and catch up on things. I could never thank him enough for songs that have gotten me through some pretty rough times in my life. So, as I end this post today, I thank the Lord for his goodness. I give him my unspoken and yet at times, my spoken praise. I know when I focus more on the Lord and less on what's around me, a gentle peace comes over me. It seems everything reminds me of a song. I think of the old one, "Wonderful Peace." As I close, listen to the first minute or so of this classic by Gordon. I hope your day is filled with the peace of God!

Praise Unspoken

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sawyer Speaks About Time


Obviously my favorite show is "Lost." Well, for those who don't follow the show I'll have to improvise at this point. The bottom line comes down to a question. Sawyer has a friend who's worried that the woman he is with doesn't forget her old husband who died from three years ago. He asks Sawyer about it. Sawyer gives his answer in this clip:

Sawyer Speaks



Well, maybe in some cases that is true. Later though, Sawyer gets a glimpse of the one he loved: Kate. We'll have to wait and see what transpires next. My take? In some ways time does erode memories to some degree. Other times, they don't. I can tell you this much: There are those that have loved so deeply it will take a lifetime for them to ever forget what that person meant to their life. We all are different that's for sure. Closing thought: The scenes with Sawyer, Jack and Kate are the best ones on "Lost." I love most of the characters but those three really hit home with me in a special way. Sure, its a show, but it can also mirror real life at times. Have a good Thursday!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Seventh Sola


Today's post will be quick and to the point. For as long as I can remember I have posted Joel Griffith's link to his blog, "The Seventh Sola." Of course the five solas are Latin phrases that emerged out of the Protestant Reformation. Since seven is God's perfect number, we have, Joel's "The Seventh Sola." If you stop by my blog you'd do yourself a favor by stopping by Joel's blog. This man has a great handle on the exegesis of the Word of God. You'll get no "spin" from Joel. You'll get the truth. Also, check out www.Contender.org. Kevin Johnson is a well-versed theologian and you will learn a lot from what he has to say. I have the privilege of knowing Kevin as a friend as well. You can count on a true treatment of God's Word. Have a great day everyone.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled


"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me." This verse out of John 14 should be a comfort to us. Especially in these troubled days in which we live. Just today I talked with a friend that is fearful he may lose everything he's worked so hard to get. I also talked with a technician at my doctor's office that is concerned her husband will be laid-off from work.

Also, when we look around us we can definitely see the a lot of things in crisis. Wall Street taking a dive, housing is down, the auto makers wasting billions, and the list goes on. These are times that we need to remind myself that we are God's. He has taken care of us in the past, I need to trust him now as we live in uncertain days.

Of course the historical context of this passage was where Jesus was comforting his disciples. He knew what was ahead. He told them to not be troubled. He had to go away. He also said he would go and make a place for them. Then, he would come back and receive them unto himself. Jesus wrapped it up by saying he is "the way, the truth and the life."

Now from a inspirational perspective, I think it would be good for us to remember that we can rest in him. He will come back and receive us unto himself. We don't know the day or the hour he will come. But, rest assured, we have that hope, we have that promise, he will come again. In the meantime we can put our faith, hope and trust in the one who called us unto himself.

I've written nothing new today. Nothing that hasn't already been written so many times before. At times though, we need to be reminded of simple truths. Well, I know that I do. I think when John the Beloved was on the isle of Patmos and saw all the things that was to come upon the earth, I'm sure it must have been amazing to see into the future. But, as he finished the book of Revelation, he leaves us with the words: "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus." That's where my faith is anchored. There's no better place to be than in the arms of our Lord! Be well.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Online Storage: Friend Or Foe?


I've always believed in backing up my computer files. After all, it just seems to make sense. Obviously if your hard drive "goes south" and it fries, you definitely don't want to lose any documents, pictures and important information. When I've worked on other people's computers, I always ask, "did you back up your files?" Many times the answer comes back, "No."

There are numerous ways to backup your files, that's a given. You can use your DVD-rom drive, flash drives, a second hard drive or an external portable hard drive. So, if your hard drive takes a dive, you have your data ready after your operating system is installed on a new drive.

However, there is a trend now that is a tad alarming to me. Many third party sites are offering online backup storage. It can range from anywhere of 2 gigs on up. You can upload your files to their site for safe keeping. But, I wonder, how safe is it really? That question isn't rhetorical. It's not like having a safe deposit box at the bank where only the signers have authorization to obtain the contents. I may be suspicious, but I'm not sure whether backing up online is good. How do we know that the site you are backing up to isn't snooping into your files? It's already a difficult task to stay ahead of phishing emails and more trying to get at information like your social security number, bank numbers and more.

Wouldn't it just be easier and actually safer to backup your files and put them in a secure spot at home? I know these sites are probably saying that it's completely safe. But who is to know? And...I'm going out on a limb here, but as we see a trend like this continue it could mean a lot more. I believe, and it's only a conviction, that when the anti-christ takes over, what better way to find out about people than on the net? Slowly we are losing security day by day. Everywhere you turn, technology is happening at a rapid pace. On one side, I like technology. The other side though can be alarming as I've already mentioned.

Well, it's something to think about anyway. Since I work on my family and friend's computers I always mention to them to backup important information. Personally, I find the USB external hard drives a good option if they are secured in a safe place and encrypted. Or, have a second hard drive installed on your computer and use an imaging backup system to save your info in case your main hard drive goes down. Recently, one of my drives failed, I'm glad I had a backup. I would have lost a ton of music that I had bought if I hadn't had that backup!

Just for fun here's a clip of the Sweet Comfort Band with "Computer Age" from 1981. We've come a long way from DOS that's for sure.

Computer Age

Friday, February 27, 2009

O'Reilly And The Ratings


I thought I'd end the week with some interesting news. Bill O'Reilly's newsletter email revealed some interesting things about the ratings. With all the hype about the new administration, it's interesting to note what networks did the best. Bill explains it well in this excerpt. I think that if you took a real poll with a good cross-section of the U.S., it would come out a whole lot different than what the left would have us believe. Be well.

(Quote) The TV ratings for February have been tabulated, and in the world of cable news, there is weeping among the left. The two networks that most favor President Obama, CNN and MSNBC, got hammered by the Fox News Channel, which is generally tougher on the president. In fact, Fox News was the third highest prime-time rated cable network in America, behind USA and TNT. CNN was 15th, MSNBC... a dismal 23rd. (End Quote)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Peter Strauss!


Peter Strauss is my most favorite actor of all time. Hands down! Ever since the first mini-series "Rich Man Poor Man" hit the air-waves I've been a fan of his ever since. His list of credits are so long it'll boggle you. He won an Emmy for "Jericho Mile" and has been nominated for so many other awards. Check out some of his credits at www.Imdb.com.

Some of my all time favorites have to be: "In The Lake Of The Woods", "Trial, The Price Of Passion", and "Fugitive Among Us". Now, that he's slowed down his acting he really loves his gardening. He was a spokesman for "Miracle Gro" a few years ago as well. Sure, I have my favorites in actors but Strauss stands in a league of his own! Peter turns sixty-two today. So, I hope his birthday is a good one. I know his acting has touched me deeply in so many ways! Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lost 316


Last night's "Lost" was a great episode. About a week or so ago I had said that the time travel thing was starting to wear thin and "Lost" had lost a bit of its luster. Well, last night's ep changed all that to me. Some things became more clear. Just a few notables. The title of the ep was "316" which on the "Untangled" bit said it was from the Word in John 3:16. I totally missed that one.


There were elements that really stayed with me. It seemed a few of the characters were going back with selflessness. Hurley it seems was holding onto Charlie's old guitar. At least that seems to be the case. Kate didn't want to go but did it for Jack I believe. And Jack put his father's old wingtip shoes on Locke for the trip.

I loved seeing Fionnula Flanagan as Eloise Hawking. She played Clothilde in the 1976 mini-series "Rich Man Poor Man." Side note: Tom (Nick Nolte) was staying with his uncle as a young man. They had a maid named Clothilde. Later in life, Tom named his boat Clothilde in remembrance of her.

Finally they did answer a few questions. But we have a long way to go. Still, all in all, a great episode. That's it for today. Sure, I probably have other things to write about but I'll save that for tomorrow! Be well all.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Fairness Doctrine?

(Quote) The Fairness Doctrine is going to make a comeback under the Obama administration. It just won’t be via Congress and it won’t be called the “Fairness Doctrine.” It’ll come via the FCC, involve restrictions on media ownership and content, and it’ll apply to the internet too. (End quote) Click on the link above for the whole article.

Okay, you know what this really boils down to? It's obvious that conservative talk radio dominates the airwaves. So, our poor liberal folks think they ought to get a fair share. Even if this goes into effect, I really wonder what their ratings will be like? Here's an idea. Grant the left a few hours a day, then hand it over to the right. Then have the ratings done and see what share each of the shows get. I think we would get a clear picture of what is going on.

It's not enough, to them anyway, that they dominate the American airwaves. I think the last line of the article says it best: So it’ll no longer be what the market wants. It’ll be what the left demands.

Final thoughts. They want to do this to the internet as well. Why don't they start with dealing with spammers, spyware creators and the scammers? Clamp down and put some harsh penalties against those who use the net as a means of scamming dollars from ordinary law obeying people. There's an old saying that goes like this: If you roll a bowling ball down a dark alley and you hear someone scream, you know you hit something! How true. I shouldn't laugh but I just thought of the old wicked witch of the west as she was melting, "What a world, what a world."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

W.


Caution: Possible Spoilers Ahead.

This post will NOT go into political differences that some may or may not have with President Bush. This post is intended to look at the "person" of George Bush. For the hate mongers who love to stir up trouble, go elsewhere. This doesn't include my faithful readers i.e. Cindy, Roger and more. Side bar: It's weird in a way, I can talk about Jesus all day and no one gets offended, but I say one thing about politics and you can see the torches coming! Funny world we live in. Okay, back on the message.

I admit I'm not a very big fan of some of Oliver Stone's works. However, it has never stopped me from watching JFK, The 4th of July and other works. The characters seem a bit contrived to me in this film exept for Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Banks (who happens to be one of the cutest and brightest actors I have ever seen).

Who really knows what goes on in the heart of an individual? Even the scriptures say that it is tough to figure out our own hearts. While watching this DVD it did hit a little close to home in certain areas. Bush was obviously a baseball fan, a runner and someone who had "daddy issues." (Even "Lost" had an ep that was called, "Even Cowboys have daddy issues.")

I think the movie showed the prez as someone trying to do right but got jilted many times along the way. It's anyone's guess as to who really messed up in certain areas. Two scenes really got to me. One, Bush is in center field and a fly ball is hit. He keeps looking and never ever sees the ball again! I just felt that it was a man that was still searching for his own soul. The other scene was a nightmare he had. He walks into the Oval Office and it's completely bare except for the presidential desk and chair. In the chair sits his father. His father taunts W. to a fight. As the scuffle begins, George wakes up screaming. Sure, I can make this all psychological. I just saw a man that was still looking for approval, and never got it. There are many who have "daddy issues." No matter how old they get.

Regardless of your views politically, I saw this movie and just felt so bad for the man. Now, in real life something happened on January 20th. Of course, my candidate did not take office. When I watched President Bush climb aboard Marine One, I have to admit I was very sad. There was a lump in my throat. I didn't like seeing him leave. Others I have heard of, cheered. Well, I guess many of us see things differently. Only history will reveal what really transpired during Bush's reign. You know, they are still reviewing what George Washington did! And that was a long time ago. At any rate, I enjoyed the movie from the human aspect. Sure, I know Oliver Stone and company wanted to portray him in a poor light. My speculation. At any rate, it showed me that all are human, and all of us someday will answer to a God who created us all. May the peace of Christ be with you all.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Look Back


I'll end the week on a positive note. Today, I was able to spend about an hour with one of my old buddies from my radio days in Rockford Illinois, Matt Kramer. If only the station managers knew of some of the pranks that Matt and I pulled on a lot of people including Joel our news director. We also pulled one on Ginger the secretary. I don't think to this day she would even know what Matt and I did. Oh by the way, it wasn't illegal, Matt and I just laughed so much our sides hurt.

In the picture above are some of the guys I miss from the station. There's Dan Reinhard, me, Matt, and Mike Gearhart. You could say that especially Dan, Matt and myself were pretty tight. I could tell some stories that would knock your socks off but I won't. Well, two anyway. Matt made up a liner for Joel that said, "There will be frost on your pumpkins tonight!" I still laugh at that. Kind of an inside joke but if you think much about it, you'll get it. Then, the other time was when Dan was holding an Aerosmith CD called, "Get A Grip." With a boyish smile he kept saying to me, "Don't ya just love it?, don't ya just love it?!" I still laugh over that. He was so excited and grinning so much. I was laughing because he was so animated. And after all, that CD was contraband! However, we were in a Christian station and I tried to act all "holy" and pretend I didn't like it. However, I really did! Man, I miss those guys.

Matt and I talked for about an hour by phone. At one point I became a bit somber as I missed my buddies from that time period so long ago. Sure, I have friends now and God has been good to me in spite of some things that have happened in my life. However, good memories are always a treat for me. You can see it in the picture. Matt and Dan were two guys that could always get me to laugh. Even though life can take us on many different roads, it's nice to look back once in awhile and remember some fond things of years gone by. It's good to know Matt is doing well. I was shocked at a recent pic of Matt. He cut his hair and I didn't think it was "The" Matt Kramer. Now, if I can find Dan. Another close friend of mine from that time span is Doug our old engineer. We had thought about doing some kind of reunion with the guys. That is one I'd definitely look forward to. In that pic, I look so young. Well, I was.

If you remember some old friends in your life, why not give them a call or write a letter. You might just make their day. Have a good weekend everyone and don't forget to "Get A Grip!"

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lost Seems To Be "Lost"


I haven't missed one episode of "Lost." Even though I feel it has waned a bit, it is by far the best thing going on TV these days. I cannot believe I have all these channels and nothing decent to watch. I don't like sports, so-called reality shows, game shows and the ilk, but I do love the Discovery, History and Biography channels. That's why I keep a stash of DVD's I love, just in case!

Last night the whole time travel thing started to get a bit old. That is, unless they tie in all the pieces to wrap up the loose ends. I loved it a lot better when the mystery was involved. I don't think they should have "off'ed" Charlie. Rose and Bernard are dead weight and I could really do without Ben Linus. Just don't like the guy at all. Okay, in real life he might be a cool guy, I just don't like his character.

If they explain the number deal and the black smoke monster thing, I'll be happy. Actually my favorite moments of the show are the real "human" emotions that come through. Like when Kate tells Jack, "I've always been there for you." Or when Sawyer sees Kate and you can see the pain in his eyes. Plus, the one that gets me the most is when Des and Penny finally talked by phone. The evidence of love was apparent and that was one of the best scenes ever!

JJ Abrams is a fantastic story teller. The caveat to me is that he tends to lose it towards the end. He did that in "Alias." It kind of drifted into, well, nothing. I'm hoping there's some great pinnacle of truth or reason that finally wraps up the whole story. Did I mention the black smoke thing? Ha.Well, all in all, it is just a show. But, it still intrigues me even though it has lost some of its luster. And since I really dislike all so-called reality shows, "Lost" IS the best thing going. Let's hope that Abrams can pull it all together for a great ending. To be fair, it's easy to be an armchair critic. I do love Abrams' work even though he loses steam at times. I have my own version of how it should end. I see the survivors flying off the island, all together, and as they look back at the island, you can hear an overdub of the "whispers" and all fades to black. Hey JJ you hearing me dude? Ha. Echoes of Hurley there. Be well all!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Jonah Days

I always try to be honest. Well, with the Lord's help I do my best to be honest or not to say anything. Recently, I've had the good fortune of reconnecting with an old friend of mine from years ago. Our "chance" meeting was one that really cheered me up that day. I found out that this dear brother had been through some of the same things I have been through in the past decade. This prologue brings me to the main subject matter.

I used to be a legalist. And to be fair, I still have to be careful not to fall into that trap again. While fighting legalism, a person can become a "legalist" by fighting legalism. Oh the paradox. While working at a CCM radio station back in the nineties I had another announcer named Dan L that worked along side me. As I think back on this man "now", I realize that I had really dropped the ball. He had tried so hard to get me to show him some attention. Well, I was too busy with my daily activities to give him "time of day." He even brought in a card with a painting by Renoir to give to me. I quickly looked at it, and tossed it aside. I brought this up for a very special reason.

This man was reaching out to me. But, I was too busy being caught up in my own life to show him the kindness he deserved. To this day, it still bothers me that I shunned him. It wasn't intentional, it was that I was too concerned about my own life to care about him. He needed a friend, and I failed to be there for him. If I could ever find him again, I would repent for my callous attitude towards him. God knows I've already repented to the Lord for the way I ignored this part-time announcer.

In Philippians 2:4 it says, "Do not be concerned about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others." ISV. Obviously that verse isn't dealing with being a busy-body or a gossip but clearly shows a poignant point. We all do look out for our own things which seems clear enough, but God would want us to care for others along the way. I have found out, the hard way, that if I become too busy to care for others, then I have become too busy!

We all know the old sayings too. "Christians are the only ones who shoot their own wounded" etc. You know something, that is really true. So, point one is clear, we should help others. Two, when you go through something horrible in your life, you find out very quickly who your real friends and who aren't. Michael English is a prime example. The world and especially the so-called "caring" Christian community dumped him like a hot potato when he failed. If you haven't read his book, you should. When a person stumbles, and it is their fault, they will have to live through consequences even though God forgives the sin. My friend Steve said that he hopes that Michael English won't go through the rest of his life apologizing all the time. When I talked with Michael in a pastor's office sometime back, he just hugged me and told me that he was glad I never rejected him.

The person that I had reconnected with had some similar issues in his life as I have in mine. He reassured me that the way he got through it was to "throw himself into the arms of Jesus." We have spent a lot of time recently talking over the way "organized religion" gets in the way of true believing. And...it does. So many treat others in the church as if they have leprosy. I want to make the next point clear though: I believe in church. However, I don't believe in a church that will abuse their gifts or talents and make you bow to a system of works that they think is biblical. My friend I mentioned above recommended one of the best books that has been around for years called, "The Subtle Power Of Spiritual Abuse." If Christians are getting tired of abuse in the church, why do you think non-believers don't want anything to do with it?

I know that I am learning to walk softly around hurting people. I say that I am "learning" for we never truly totally "learn" everything in this life. In hindsight I know that I'd do things a bit differently when it comes to the man I mentioned earlier that gave me the card. Below I attached a music clip from Gordon Jensen's song, "Back In My Jonah Days." I think it really goes along with what I've tried to say. I hope I always remain open to the hurts and needs of others. I have a lot of learning to do, but I think I've learned a little along the way. May the peace of Christ be with you all!

Back In My Jonah Days

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day


Well, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, hence, according to "official" Groundhog rules, more winter! Before I delve into my real subject matter, I have always thought this tradition was a bit backwards. "If" the groundhog sees his shadow that means that the sun must be shining. With that in mind, it would seem to equate the sun shining with warm weather. But, it means we'll have more winter instead.

Okay, I admit I'm not a football fan. Oh, I might follow an occassional Green Bay game but that's about it. I didn't know who was even in the Super Bowl! So, I watched one of my old favorite movies last night, "Groundhog Day" with Bill Murray. Yes, we know that it's a comedy but there are certain scenes that were extremely sad. When Bill Murray finds out that the homeless man had passed away, he made sure the next day that the man was fed! To me the whole emphasis on the story is how one man finally gets it right! To me, that's what the whole epiphany is about.

Some trivia notes. By the way, I am one of those that read "liner notes" from CD's, watch all the credits at the end of a movie, ad infinitum. Most of the movie was actually filmed in Woodstock Illinois. Woodstock is just east of my old stomping grounds of Rockford where I lived for ten years. I really liked Rockford! Now, in Rockford there is a quarry there. From my understanding, the scene where Bill is in the truck with the groundhog and decides to drive it over the edge into the quarry was filmed in Rockford. Every time I would drive past that quarry I would think about that scene.

It was great to watch that old movie again. Yep, I passed up the Super Bowl to watch the movie. However, the Steelers might have a "Groundhog Day" thing happening. Is it the sixth time they have become Super Bowl champs? Go figure. Well, kiddies, that's it for today. Stay warm and have a good week.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

25 Random Things

This has been passed around and I thought I would use it for my post today. It basically deals with "25 random things about me." And it's supposed to be written randomly and not in any chronological order. Well, you heard the phrase, "it's all about me." I guess today, it is! haha. I read some pretty interesting things from other bloggers. So, here goes.

Random Things About Me (this is totally off the cuff!)

1. I am a huge Peter Strauss fan. Ever since I saw him in "Rich Man, Poor Man" in 1976 I have been enthralled with his acting.

2. I have a love for maps. I can sit and look at a world atlas and eat it up. I like looking at how far it takes to get from one place to another and so forth.

3. I chuckled at Cindy's comment on not wanting to be in a hardware store. I have the same feeling about being in a fabrics/crafts store. Oh, the pain, the pain.

4. My favorite novels of all time are "Rich Man Poor Man" and "Beggarman Thief" (the sequel) both written by Irwin Shaw.

5. Cannot stand winters. I am definitely in the wrong state. We just got hammered with a lot of snow. I am like a bear, I can definitely hibernate inside during this time of year.

6. I love to travel. I've been all over the US and fortunate to go to Germany twice! Nurnberg is a geat historic site.

7. I don't like clowns. I don't like circuses either. There's a troubling aspect for me with the clown thing.

8. Even though it is cheap, my favorite cologne is "Aspen." However, if I am around anyone that has too much of a fragrance on, it gives me a headache.

9. My favorite foods are chili, steak, potatoes, vegetables and fruits. I don't like cassaroles of any kind at all. I get sick even thinking about it.

10. I love all kinds of music except for rap. The only exception might be "DC Talk" if they use a lot of melody in a song.

11. Other than the aforementioned novels that were written in the seventies, I don't care for novels. I would rather watch a good movie over a novel. I prefer non-fiction books and love biographies.

12. I was born a blonde. I had long curly locks of hair. Well, it turned dark. I keep my hair short. If it gets longer it tends to become wavy. I like straight hair.

13. I have many things that I wish I could do but don't have the talent for. The biggest one is being a singer or musician. Thankfully, my speaking voice held up and I got paid to play music. Most of my heroes have been musicians.

14. I'm very fond of aviation. I'm always in awe of a plane in flight. When I do travel, half the fun is flying. However, now with all the security some of the fun has been taken out of it.

15. I enjoy movies that deal with politics. "Breach", "In The Life Of Fire", "Dave", "The Sentinel" and others are big favorites of mine.

16. I love the smell of wood burning. When I was in the fifth grade, we were going outside for recess and some home nearby had a wood burning stove going. It was sunny that day and I felt so alive. To this day, that is my favorite smell.

17. One of my all time favorite states is Texas. I really like warm weather and I can take the heat better than the cold. Plus, I visited my friend Roland there a few years back when he lived outside of Dallas. What a great time.

18. I'm left-handed. They say that there are ten to fifteen percent of people who are. It is a disadvantage. Everything seems to be made for right-handers. When I was in school I had to make sure I took my ball glove for recess. Many kids would borrow other friend's gloves. However, there aren't that many lefties and that kind of left me out. My grandfather on my father's side was left-handed as well.

19. I favor Coke over Pepsi. However, I drink Pepsi. For some reason if I drink too much Coke, it causes pain. The Pepsi doesn't. Go figure.

20. The very first 45rpm (or any music) I ever bought was "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" by B.J. Thomas. I think I was ten years old.

21. The very first CD I ever bought was in 1989 and it was "Holm, Sheppard and Johnson."

22. My favorite types of cars are the BMW and Mercedes. Also, I really like the old classic Mustangs. You could say I have a steak taste on a hamburger budget!

23. I don't like board games. The only board game I do like is Chess. I'm not good at it, but I do like the game itself. Plus, I don't play video games. I'm terrible at them. It's awful when ten year olds can beat me at them!

24. My favorite colors are hunter green and navy blue.

25. I really like the History Channel, Discovery and Biography channels.

Well, that's it! Be well all.