Monday, September 29, 2008

Brown County Bike Run

Wow--just had a GREAT weekend riding bikes & camping with my brother, Jameson, in Brown County IN. (This pic is taken in Brown County State Park.)

Click here for all the pictures.

We loaded our bikes down with all the camping gear they'd hold and made camp at The Last Resort, that was just 2 miles outside of Nashville.

We road into Nashville Sat afternoon & stuffed ourselves with the ridulous biscuits, applebutter & fried chicken of the Nashville House restaurant. Seriously, you can't believe there aren't a bunch of 60-70 year old grandmas in the kitchen making this stuff!

For dinner we drove about 30 miles to Seymour IN. The restaurant wasn't anything special; it was just an excuse to ride some more & say we'd been to John Mellcamp's home town.

We ended the night with a camp fire and a bottle of cabernet that we drank from paper cups that Jameson talked our waitress out of in Seymour.

To his utter dismay, Jameson missed the event of the day Saturday. We were riding through Brown County State park--thru winding roads, up & down. I was behind him as we came upon a sharp right hand switch back turn on a very steep incline.

As I came into the turn I saw a pickup truck coming down the turn. I instinctively (& WRONGLY) let off the gas. On that steep sharp turn, that was enough to cause me & the bike to fall over to my right on the inside of the turn.

I felt the bike going and did my best Chris Farley Beverly Hills Ninja side/backwards summersault off the bike. (Ever see a bear tip over on a tricycle??)

I was up instantly with my cat-like reflexes & the guys from the truck were right there asking if I was alright. They helped me pick up the bike about the time Jameson was returning to the scene of the goofy crime, "What the heck happened?!"

I did notice afterward I had a fairly significant gash on my helmet--that probably would have been more than a detail had I not been wearing it. Helmets are good even though they make for bad hair.

And for the rest of the trip I'd ocassionaly look over & see Jameson's shoulders dancing as he laughed, imagining me tumbling into the grass. Brothers ;-)

I used a duffle bag stuffed with sleeping bag, clothes etc strapped to the passenger seat. It made the most wonderful backrest. I had ZERO back fatigue on the non-stop 2 hour trip down and back.The only two things they would have made the trip significantly more enjoyable would have been a chair & a bed roll. After riding the bike so much, the "plank" of the picnic table wasn't exactly what my backside had in mind. And a little something between my sleeping bag & the ground would have made for a better night's sleep.

Jameson did make some great java Sunday morning. Nothing like a cool autumn morning in the woods, and piping hot joe perking in a pot that looks like it came from the Clampett's kitchen.

Biking & camping in Brown County----definitely something to do again ;-)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Best School Pic Ever

Ok, there's a little bias here---but I LOVE this pic of my beautiful sophomore daughter, Meghan. It's so good it's almost hard to believe it's a "school picture!"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ah, she's so "folksy" ;-)

Please enjoy her answer to the question to give one example of McCain pushing for more government regulation in his 26 years of service. Check it out. (It's really short--& cute.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


We're in the 2nd week of this campaign at our church. At a blush the book is reminiscent of Making Room for Life or similar to Wide Awake and several others that aren't coming to mind. So as I read 1M2L it's easy for me to think, "Heard that before," or "This isn't that original." BUT...

It's hard. It's really hard to slow down enough to read it, think about it and internalize it.

I confess that a few days I've blown through the reading, more or less, just to get it done. And it's very different to read just to get it read vs. reading to get something out of it. A world of difference actually.

And no, the book isn't the most original thing on the planet and I feel the temptation to get caught up in that dynamic. But I sense my own pride in that response--as if originality is the end game in life. (It's certainly not.)

The book read is simple. Really slowing down enough to engage the book and re-examine my seemingly too-busy life is very difficult. But I will keep slugging away & pushing pride aside. Because what the book is about, is indeed profound and eternal.

So that's me. How's the book going for you?

Sunday, September 21, 2008


We enjoyed a great time at Kokomo's own living history experience. It roughly reflects the time period of 1750-1760 of the French and Indian War.

In a city where people compain "there's nothing to do," Koh-koh-mah seems like a unique event that's not that well known. It's similiar to Lafayette's Feast of the Hunter's Moon, but much more intimate, relaxing and enjoyable.

Even though Koh-koh-mah has a mock battle, there was no historical battle at that location. However it does depict warfare of the time that happened in other parts of Indiana. Lots of great period vendors and craftsman to enjoy.

Here are pictures I took.

Friday, September 19, 2008

simple pleasures

Lately I'm feeling that one of our biggest problems is the failure to see how good we have it. In a few unexciting moments this week I've realized how good some simple things are.

THE GOLF UMBRELLA. Heading off to Qdoba with Sandra the sky opened up. Deluge. Both of walking comfortably under a large golf umbrella was one of life's simple pleasures.

LATE AFTERNOON WASHCLOTH. After driving up to Southbend @ 6am and being at a seminar all day, getting back to the hotel and wiping down my face with a washcloth was a great simple pleasure.

More to come...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Reform" / "Change"

(Eerily strange parallel between a scene in O Brother Where Art Thou? and the current poticial scene...)

PAPPY: Languishing! "Dang" campaign is languishing! We need a shot in na arm! Hear me, boys? In na "dang" ARM! Election held tomorra, that "sonofagun" Stokes would win it in a walk!

JUNIOR: Well he's the reform candidate, Daddy.

(Pappy narrows his eyes at him, wondering what he's getting at.)

JUNIOR: Well people like that reform. Maybe we should get us some.

(Pappy whips off his hat and slaps at Junior with it.)

PAPPY: I'll reform you, you soft-headed "sonofagun!" How we gonna run reform when we're the "dang" incumbent "party"! (He glares around the table.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Starbucks Scribblings

There’s this guy named Dave. To me, he’s an older guy. Smiley, healthy, spry, energetic, but older. He’s one of those guys who’d hang out in Starbucks and everyone seemed to walk over and talk with him or he’d engage them before they had a chance to launch the first word.

A few months ago he started wearing a black Starbucks apron; not as a fashion statement, but because he started working there. I overheard him tell someone, “Well heck, I was in here so much I figured I might as well get paid for being here!

Dave is a “whistle while you work” guy, literally & metaphorically. Can you remember back when you’d see people who were mysteriously working and happy at the same time? If he’s wiping down tables it’s just an excuse to greet people and make them feel comfortable with his contagious smile and sincere country charm. The kind of guy who makes you feel like he really is genuinely happy to meet you.

As I saw him work the room this morning I thought, “He makes people’s lives better. He adds something to their day. He makes deposits in our withdrawal society.”

There’s something you need to know about Dave: He’s a very good musician. He’s the Indianapolis Indians level of country musician—one step away from "going to the show." He’s a songwriter, singer and band leader. There are radio stations in smaller markets playing his stuff right now.

I don’t really know Dave other than small talk, but it seems like he has that magnetic ingredient that great musicians and great individuals have; humility.

Humility focuses on how everyone else is doing. Humility doesn’t care about where you work, but how you add to the people wherever you are---in an apron, or on a bandstand.

And humility doesn’t make you cooler or less approachable just because you’re a darned good musician. It simply makes you attractive and everyone else a little happier when you’re around.

So today I raise my Grande Pike to Dave. Thanks for the deposit.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wide Awake -Erwin R. McManus

I'm about 90 pages into this book & find it riveting. He may be one of the most deep and prolific authors of our time. Here's some of my underlining so far:

We who build our lives on Scriptures are at times most in danger when we conclude all we need to know is in one book so we can be ignorant of everything else. Pg 39

People say, “I have to experience it for myself. I have to learn it for myself.” Know what it’s called when you think you have to experience everything before you can actually know better? It’s called stupidity. Pg 50

Eternity isn’t the place where you get all the answers. Eternity is a place where you get all new questions, a place where you will always be learning. God is infinite. How long does it take to get to know everything about an infinite God? Oh, I’d say, about eternity. Pg 55

It may be that your challenge is to not allow your context to justify your underachievement. Pg 67

You either adapt when you face circumstances you cannot control, or you allow them to become the boundaries of your life. Pg 72

Adaptability requires teachability. The ability to change comes from one core characteristic, and that is simply humility. Humility keeps us flexible. It serves as an oil that keeps our hearts open to change and able to adjust. Pg 72

We become dogmatic as a result of fear, not faith…Fear seeks to control; faith seeks to create. Pg 76

Friday, September 5, 2008


This is pronounced "real-tor." Well, that is to say, it is correctly pronounced that way.

We often hear "real-la-tor." That little "la" in the middle does not belong.

"Real" is its own word as in real property or real estate. Therefore one who sells said commodities is a realtor; not a real-la-tor.