Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I tend to be lean. I have been all my life. I never wanted it that way. I wanted to be big enough to play football and not be concerned about the jocks giving me a bad time. My bones are light. I grew up wirey and I could run. I should have gone out for track but I was too shy. Whenever all of us neighborhood boys got together to play football, the opposite team never wanted me to get the ball. No one could touch me. I was fast.

My physique has always been a concern for me. Everyone told me I'd fill out when I got in my twenties. It didn't happen. So then the family said my thirties would make the difference. Not so. Your forties is the magic age. Yes, when all humans start to be concerned about their image in the mirror. The belt size grows, the dress size notches up, the dreaded middle age buldge becomes another drain on your finances to look twenty again. I still weigh about the same as I did in college.

I wore shorts around as a kid until I reached the age of self consciousness. They became the missing part to my wardrobe. However, I decided it was ok in college and exposed my legs only once in a while and not without uneasyness. Shorts have gone missing again and I'd never wear them in public. I don't like people asking me where the rest of the chicken suit is.

I had a cute girlfriend I dated for a while back then. One warm sunny summer day, I suggested we go swimming. It was something we had done before. She agreed. No Problem. We drove out the Columbia River Gorge and ended up at Rooster Rock State Park about an hour and half from Portland. The beaches were sandy, the water was warm and the weather nice. Not too many people. Perfect. We had a great time. I remember we came out of the water and stood facing each other. She simled at me and then took a look at those things I use to stand with. I can still hear the words she said with a somewhat serious look. "You've got skinny legs!" If she had a 45 and shot me it would have felt better. I was stunned. How could she say that about her guy? Ouch!

"Uh, yeah", was all that would come out. We walked a ways down the beach as I stewed over her comment. Unfortunately, I decided then, that I should make a verbal obsevation about her legs as being fat. Which I did. Women are a bit sensitive over negative remarks about their anatomy. I came to a better understanding of the fact on that day. This gal was pretty normal and sensitive and suddenly joined me in being in a bad mood. I wanted to go right then because the afternoon sun didn't seem as bright and cheery as it was when we arrived. She said she did not want to leave in a rather vehement tone and walked off in a huff. I ended up sitting in the car for about ten minutes until it finally hit me. She was in control of when we were to depart. It was all on her terms. I had to wait. For her! Since my level of maturity was about the same as hers, I did the only thing I could do. I left.

After about a half hour down the road, reality set in and it donned on me what I had done. I turned around and went back to look for her. She was no where to be found. Some kind soul had given her a ride not realizing the type of stubborn headed girl she was. I thought she should have waited. We made up on the phone that evening which kind of surprized me. I would have broken it off with someone who left me stranded seventy or so miles from home. She dumped me later that year though. She fell for another guy and rode off into the sunset on the back of his motorcycle. But it's all turned out ok. Even if my legs aren't as fat as they were then, I'm certain her's aren't as skinny.

The Dog

We named him Thomas Jefferson, which seemed like the patriotic thing to do. He was born on the Forth of July. Thomas Jefferson had too many syllables so we called him TJ, and it fit. He was a Sheltie Schnauser mix, his head came up to my knee and as dogs go, he was pretty sharp. He understood what you said to him. He could pick out of his half dozen or so toys the one you asked for and be right every time. We lived in a split-level and the stairs were such that you could throw the preferred toy of the day down the steps from the living room and it would end up in the basement. He would go rumbling down after it and do it over and over as long as you wanted to throw for him. He'd get winded and pant alot. You could tell him to stop and get a drink, he would, and come back for more fetching. Smart dog.

There were however, times when his bulb would become severely dim. We had a large walnut tree in the front yard and TJ liked to relax in it's shade and take in the smells and sights. I was doing something one day in the front with him behind me under the tree when I heard the neighbor's screen door open and close. I immediately noticed their cat, and so did TJ.

I have to say that TJ was not just your basic dog when it came to cats. There were dark things within him regarding felines. He had some baggage. When we brought him home from the pet store, there were already two cats in residence. Adult cats. Adult type cats that don't like to be messed with without permission. Even though you may be a small puppy with innocent motives, you will be rejected by adult cats. Such was the case with TJ. It's been said that rejection will make you either bitter or better. The dog got along with the two ugly step sisters but he was not better. So he grew up and lived in a dysfunctional household for dogs. Strange cats or neighbor cats were however there for him to vent upon. He would bark obscenities at any who came into view, especially those who put a paw on his property. It would take a bit for him to settle down after they went their way. His hair would stand up and he'd growel a while. You could tell there was quite a burnin' urn of funk inside.

When the cat appeard I heard a bark and then a growel behind me and I turned to see him take off. I think he saw this as an opportunity for him to unload all of his supressed resentment and frustration. I could tell that his throttle was at full adrenalin and his weapons were set to kill and rip to shreds. He was flying and it was a beautiful sight.

I think he reached terminal velocity at about twenty feet. That also happend to be the length of slack that was in his twenty-five foot rope, the end of which was tied to the walnut tree. I do mean terminal because when he reached rope limit, his head neck and shoulders came to an instant halt. His rear end went flying past, he flipped in the air about a foot and landed on his back with a thump. It took three days for him to get his bark back. I loved that dog. I miss him.

A Joke for God

If you want to make God laugh,
tell Him your plans.
from: "bella"

Friday, August 8, 2008


GiGi is what all the kids call her. She is my son-in-law's grandmother, in her mid eighites, four foot eleven, full of spunk, with a great wit. We we're all at a little league game but she wasn't watching the players. I caught her looking at my one and a half year old grandson playing in the grass in front of her. She was obviously distracted.


I was listening to some music on the street in downtown Portland when this gentleman came and sat down. I couldn't help but notice him. He was very well dressed and had quite an air about him. He slowly scanned the crowd and as he looked my way, I took his photo. It didn't seem to bother him at all that a camera lens was pointed straight at him. He looked right through me and continued surveying the crowd. He definitely was a dude with an attitude. I think I captured his cool.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I took this photo in 1970 or 71 somewhere around Portland State University. It was not a peaceful time for me. Lots of turmoil within. Many were advocating Peace and Love then and making great efforts to instill them within our hearts. It didn't work too well for me. The peace so longed for in society seemed to fade and love just turned to lust. I went on with my life and looked for satisfaction I guess where everyone else seems to.
There was a fellow named Blaise Pascal who lived in the 1600's; a french philosopher and mathematition. I've never read any of his writings. Perhaps I should. I only remember the name from algebra and because of a particular quote attributed to him. He is supposed to have said that all men are born with a God shaped hole in them. He didn't say it in those words. It was much more lengthy and verbose. Here is my parahprase: Man was once truly happy but all traces of that are gone. He tries to fill himself up with things, status and relationships but to no avail. We have an infinitely insatiable abyss within. Only the infinite one, God, can fill it.
It took me a long time to figure that out. I realized that going after things, status and relationship is not necessarily wrong but it doesn't ever satisfy. There is never enough and I've had pretty much everything I ever wanted. I even tried God as a filler but I was only pretending and really wasn't content. It's been only in the last few years that I've allowed Him full access. I finally let God into the endlessness of my soul with great difficulty. There were places within me I didn't want touched. It took time to trust and allow Him in but now I know what true Peace and Love are. I understand that my fulfillment in life is through intimicy with God and allowing Him to be my Lover. By that I mean Lover in every sense of the word. So, for you who have visited here, may you know Love. May Love know you. May you also find the Prince of Peace, Jesus