free flying soul

"this world has nothing for me and this world has everything...all that I could want and nothing that I need"

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Location: Macclesfield, North Carolina, United States

Born: 1970; Graduated High School: 1988; Married: 1991; Children: 1996, 2000, 2005; Graduated College: 2008; Figured Out This Faith Thing: In Progress

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Take To The World...Even If It's Just Next Door

Titus 3:14 (NASB)
Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful.

Why is it that so many of our churches fail to meet the needs of those around them? I've been in congregations that were seemingly on fire for overseas mission work. They preached Matthew 28:19-20 incessantly and seemed to ignore the fact that there thousands right in their own community dying outside of Christ.

I've heard people suggest that TRUE mission work can't be done within local congregations because it doesn't involve cross cultural situations. They think that the ONLY way a church here in America can be mission minded is to support foreign missionaries. Don't get me wrong, I fully support the work of those that go overseas and preach the Gospel of Christ to those in other countries. However, I don't think that negates the fact that our own country is white and ready for harvest.

I'm convinced that we should be community minded when it comes to our churches. So many of us ignore the folks around us until it comes time to case the neighborhood in preparation of V.B.S. How many churches go out into the community and get their hands dirty? How many churches only cater to the folks within a certain economic or ethnic group?

There was missionary from Jamaica in church this morning and he challenged us to look at our communities and see what needs to be done. He told us that we do need to support foreign workers but not at the expense of those around us every day. He reminded us that with the knowledge of Christ comes a great responsibility. We can't know the truth and not share it. To do so is to ignore the will of God.

The ways we minister to our own towns can be very simple. It may be that we volunteer time in a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. It may be that we start a food pantry or volunteer the use of our buildings to community groups. We need to look and see where the needs are. We need to be fruitful in the places where God has placed us. We need to shine our lights where ever we find ourselves.

Do You Feel It Too?

Do you ever feel the struggle? When I read Paul's words concerning the battle between flesh and spirit I completely understand. In my head I know the right things to do. I know the things I shouldn't do as well. I can see myself slowly doing the exact opposite of what I should or shouldn't be doing and there's nothing I can do to stop it. I KNOW what I'm supposed to do but I just can't seem to make myself do it. Do you ever feel that battle raging within?

I'm fully aware of the war I fight, yet I don't understand how to win it. I know that victory can only come through the blood of Jesus. But it is so hard to claim that victory sometimes. The struggle seems too great. I guess that I'm too caught up in the flesh sometimes.

Friday, July 29, 2005

A Lazy Friday Afternoon

I really am spoiled. I've been using dial-up for the last week and I've done nothing but whine about it. I remember when 46666 was FAST surfing.

I have about three weeks until classes start back. I'm terribly excited about it. I've taken a ten year break between my freshman and sophomore year. I've also seen my family grow from two to five. I've made a LOT of stupid mistakes but God has been unbelievably graceful and merciful to me. The fact that He's allowed me this second chance just floors me. I'm reminded that He is a God of second chances after all. He's ready to show mercy and grace when we are ready to submit.

On an unrelated note, I've been reading a biography of Martin Luther called Here I Stand. It's been very interesting.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Ten Things They Hate About Me

I've been snooping around trying to find things that are post-worthy. I believe that my other two blogs will eventually run their course and I'd like to have some of that stuff up here. This is from my real life journal and was an exercise I did back when I was a freshman in college many years ago. The answers are from the present day me however.

original title: Ten Things They Hate About You
new title : Ten Things You Don't Want Those Elitist Music Snobs To Know

1- I love REO Speedwagon, in fact, that's all I've been listening to in the car for the past three days. Wheels Are Turning is one of my favorite albums of all time. Yeah it's cheesy, but there's a certain nostalgic feeling that comes over me when listening to it. Can't Fight This Feeling was me and my first girlfriend's song. I can feel you all shudder even as I type this. That album will always be special to me, plus Gary Richrath was a heckuva guitar player.

2- I do not like Kid A by Radiohead. I know, I know, I know....I must really suck. I should be banned from the internet... I've heard them all. Sorry, I just don't like it. Yeah, it's better than most of the stuff being played on radio, but so is cyanide and I'm not digesting that either.

3- I've actually read the Left Behind books. I plead boredom on this one.

4- I love Chicago, the band, not the movie. Chicago 17 is also one of my favorites, much in the same was REO is. The songs were Top Forty pablum when they came out, but I was young, I was in love and quite honestly, I didn't know any better. I like it now because I've always liked it. Call me a sentimental fool.

5- This one's actually on the original. I do not like Jimi Hendrix. Yeah, go ahead and throw stones. I respect what he did, I understand what he did, I just don't like what he did. I don't ever remember reading that I had to like all of those influential artists anyway, as long as I appreciate what they contributed. Jimi is in the category.

6- I like 80s hair metal, especially Def Leppard and Whitesnake. I don't know that I have a reason for this, it's just a fact. I guess I can chalk it up to being in junior high when all that stuff started and being in high school when it hit full stride. I hadn't yet developed an appreciation for "alternative", back when it really was. By the time I graduated though, REM and U2 had replaced that stuff, along with Rush and King's X. BUT, Def Leppard and Whitesnake still sound good to me.

7- I like FFH. I could spend the next seventeen years trying to figure out exactly what it is about them that I like, but I'm not. Maybe it's because my wife plays them and they have unknowingly taken over my good taste. Hey, that might be why I hate Kid A too. Hmmm....

8- I can only play eight "real" chords on the guitar, everything else is power chords. That's why I don't bother going into guitar-oriented threads, my weaknesses would be revealed and all of my power stripped from me.

9- I like the Newsboys. I've always been a fan of stupid pop music and they definitely fit that category. I became a fan when Steve Taylor began producing them and have stuck around. Although, I actually prefer the synthpop stuff they did on Not Ashamed and Going Public better than the stuff they do now. I guess it's the Howard Jones fan in me trying to get out.

10- I don't get the whole Lord Of The Rings thing. I read the book, once, that's all I could take. I've seen the movies, even the animated ones, but I don't think that it is the greatest literary or filmatic event ever. If anything, I blame Tolkein for conceited, pretentious wanna-be literary rockers, like Led Zeppelin and Rush. I like them, but I didn't need to hear Robert Plant moan about Mordor or hear Geddy Lee sing (or whatever that is he does) about Rivendell. I want my rock to be about cars and girls and stuff....

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Musical Gripe Of The Moment

I really should let some things go. It's okay to get upset with things from time to time but there comes a point when you have to put it behind you...I haven't reached that point yet.

Musical Gripe of The Moment:Nelly and Tim McGraw

I'm a fan of neither and I didn't expect to like the song so that's not the topic of my gripe. I will go on the record and say that I freaking hate it, but that's not important. What pisses me off about it is that Tim McGraw has another hit song being played on country radio where he laments the good old days. The song, for those of you who don't know, is called I Miss Back When, and in it Tim whines and moans for all the middle-class American things that he misses from his youth.

The line that jumps out at me and just fills me with burning anger is when Tim seemingly condemns modern country music for going pop and putting non-country things in it. He whines (and his voice can truly be described as whiny) "street slang for dummies, they put it in my country," and I'm left scratching my head because this is the SAME guy on VH-1 with Nelly. This is the same guy who married one of the women responsible for sending country music straight onto the pop charts. How dare he.

I'm personally pissed about what he's done to MY country music. When are his fifteen minutes over? Probably never... because he now has the power of Nelly behind him. It's not that I'm against the cross pollination between genres and styles, but I am opposed to Nelly taking a Tim McGraw hook and building a song around it just so he can get a new group of people to buy his records. There's nothing original or challenging about it. It's just a typical Nelly song with Tim whining in the background. What a waste.

And they're not as bad as Cowboy Troy...but I'll save him for another day.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Guess Who's Back...Back Again.

I have returned after a week-long absence. I was in the process of moving my family to our new home and then I spent a week serving at a Christian camp. I had much fun but I'm glad to be home. I missed my wife and kids terribly and was probably more homesick than any of the kids we had.

School starts back in exactly one month and I'm excited about it. I'm really looking forward to getting back into serious study of the Bible. I look forward to finally completing the goal I set YEARS ago. I truly believe that God has brought me back to this school at just the right time. There have been times over the past ten years when I felt so dejected and lost. I knew that God had called me into ministry and my apparent failure at Bible college made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. I couldn't understand how God could lead me there and just let it all blow up in my face. I was very bitter about the whole experience.

And then a few years ago I felt that tugging at my heart again. I had never completely given up on the call but I just didn't see how God could possibly bring me back around. I guess that I thought my failures were just too great to overcome. I guess they would've been if it had been up to me to fix them. Fortunately we have a God that is all powerful and is faithful to complete the things that we just can't. I am totally floored by the grace and mercy He continues to pour out on me. I have been humbled and awe-struck in the process.

I look forward to sharing all the things that God brings about.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

First Love

I remember the very first time I fell in love. I was in ninth grade and she had been my best friend’s girl. Yeah, I know that sounds awfully cliché, but it is the truth. I was living The Cars’ song in reverse. I had been mildly infatuated with a couple of girls before and even had deluded myself into believing that I loved them as well, but I must be honest and admit that LP was the first girl I truly loved.

Like I said, there were a couple of other girls that occupied my thoughts before L, but they just weren’t the ones for me. AH plagued my little sixth grade mind but I guess that I wasn’t much of a ladies’ man at eleven. I wrote her little notes and drew her little pictures of bears and things, but her heart belonged to DV. I never liked him again.Then there was CS. Her father was the pastoe at my church and I, along with every other guy there, became totally enamored of her. But once again, I wasn’t much for wooing the women and she fell victim to LJ’s charm, and his 1984 Mustang GT. As you probably have guessed, I hated him as well.

It was on the heels of the C Ordeal that I befriended Ms. P. She was going with my best friend SL. We were all in band together and spent a great deal of time with one another. S and L were both on the brass line. He played trombone and she played trumpet. Me? Well I played the clarinet so I was immediately deemed uncool. S and I were in ninth grade and she was in eighth, but we were band nerds and stuck together.

I don’t know why the clarinet has been labeled a girl’s instrument. The only famous clarinetist I can even think of is Benny Goodman and he definitely wasn’t a girl, but for some reason I didn’t pull chicks like those darned brass players. In fact, if S hadn’t been such a putz, I probably never would have gotten real close to L either.

S and L constantly bickered. He was uncultured and vulgar, she wasn’t. This led to many skirmishes and clashes of opinion between the two. I don’t know why but she turned to me with all of their problems. I guess she figured that I knew him pretty well and I could talk a little sense into him. That just didn’t happen. Instead I spent more and more time talking to her. Every single time they had a fight she would call and we would talk for hours. Needless to say, we grew very close.

But that still wasn’t enough to spark romance between the two of us, although I must confess that I was rather drawn to her. I’ve always had the bad habit of falling for girls fairly quickly. L was no exception. I was soon hiding the fact that I was experiencing feelings other than those associated with friendship.
I know this all sounds incredibly silly, but it was a pretty big deal back then. A lot of people would say that a 15 year old couldn’t possibly be involved in a serious relationship. Those people have never been 15 and in love. I can assure you that it was as serious to me as life and death.

Now I wouldn’t put it on the same level as the relationship I share with my wife now, but I do know that I loved L as much as any 14 year old could. And the bad thing was that I couldn’t have her, she was S’s girl.But then something strange and wonderful happened. S decided he wanted to start going with C. I’ve often wondered where that phrase originated. Going together….if any one can tell me where it came from, I’d appreciate it. Anyways, S neglected to tell L about this and I was left in the middle of his sordid little affair. I had to conceal the fact that S was cheating on L, who had now become my best friend. I also had to conceal the fact that I was now in love with her. It was a messy junior high love triangle.

It all came to a head when S and I were in Washington DC during the ninth grade class trip. C was there and the three of us hung out the whole time. It was at that point that I decided I could no longer keep my feelings to myself. While S and C shared a pretzel in front of the Washington Monument, I went to a pay phone and called L. It was an unusually brisk April afternoon and a light rain began to fall as I told L that I loved her. She asked me what I was going to do about S and I did the unthinkable, I ratted him out.

Yeah, I broke the cardinal rule of best buddy-dom, I not only fell for his girl, I told her that he had someone else. I guess I was a villain of soap operish proportions, but I felt much better and when we got back to North Carolina, she dumped him and started going with me. And that was how I fell in love.

I would like to say that things between L and I were happy and rosy, but those that know me know my wife’s name is something else, so that means that things didn’t work out between Ms. P and myself. It was a learning experience though, in fact, I learned what to do in a relationship and what not to do in a relationship. There are so many things I would love to go back and change about that whole situation.

Our relationship became intimate, even though we both knew it shouldn’t. I guess I could cop out and say that we were victims of our raging hormones and that we couldn’t help ourselves, but we could. We were both church-going kids and we knew what we were doing was wrong, we just didn’t care. That is a part of my life that I have always regretted.

I would also have ended the relationship on a better note. I guess I grew resentful of L by the time we finally broke up. I was more concerned with my friends thinking I was cool than with doing the right thing. I sort of ignored her my entire senior year and it hurt her. I did truly regret that and later asked for her forgiveness, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that she didn’t humor me, huh?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mourn the loss of L, in fact, I thank God that we didn’t end up together. I believe that I ended up with exactly who God intended me to be with. But I made so many mistakes with L; I wish I could go back and take them all away. Would I have still dated her? Probably, I won’t lie. But I definitely would not have let the relationship go to some of the places that it went. I would love to have a few of those Friday nights back to do over again, I sure wouldn’t let myself end up down some of those dark roads. At least I hope I wouldn’t.

First love, loss of innocence, for me they go hand in hand. I wish I could look back on that time and feel sappy, sentimental nostalgia over a sweet little crush that lasted a couple of years, but I can’t. All I see is a dark blight in my past that kept me from growing into the man that I should’ve been.

Friday, July 15, 2005

They Broke My Heart

King's X broke my heart....they really did. I should've known something was wrong when I popped in Ear Candy and gave it a listen.

Run from Ear Candy

Yeah she told me, that if I wasn't good
He would get me, make me pay for everything I did
And she said that everybody bad would burn in Hell
I did what she told me and I became someone else
I had to run I had to hide
In the world outside
A better chance, out there
If God is everywhere
I wait for nothing, take my chances let it ride
Maybe there's an answer but it's buried by the lies
Somebody told me that it's just a waste of my time
But I can't get rid of all those bags I left behind
I had to run I had to hide
In the world outside
A better chance, out there
If God is everywhere

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for an artist honestly searching for truth and even baring his soul for all to hear. I have often written things that expressed disillusionment and doubt and I believe that it helped me sort through those feelings. I have even been overtly critical of things I observed in the church and I feel that I was justified in doing so.

But here's where I have a problem with Doug's lyrics. He expresses doubt and he honestly confronts feelings that I can relate to but instead of working through those things he has given up on finding the truth. He has thrown up his hands and run into the arms of the world. I find it sad that a once professing Christian has become so jaded that he can't look past the imperfections in the church and feels that his only answer is to become part of the world.

Looking For Love from Ear Candy

I want to, I got to, I need to move on down the line.
If not to, to make me, I should have stood behind the lines.
What is this, what have I, What am I? Not what you see.
So take me, so use me, I'm stupid I don't want to
Oh, Lookin' for love
A standard, a program, religion burns me at the stake.
I questioned, I listened, I worshipped. How can I relate?
I worked so hard at it ... oh Lord the bruises and the breaks.
I just don't, don't get it. I guess I lost my faith.
Oh, Lookin' for love

Once again, Doug has clearly let the failures of others negatively affect his faith. I don't know if someone personally wounded him of if he just became disgusted with church as a whole but he has decided that only he can make himself happy. It's one of the oldest and most fatal mistakes man has ever made. Works-based salvation doesn't CAN'T work. Whenever we try to save ourselves or let someone other than God save us, we end up in the same situation Doug Pinnick sings about. Pain, confusion, fear and loss of faith.It really breaks my heart.

Believe from Manic Moonlight

If your back is pinned against the wall
And the stress is killing you,
And the cross you carry on your back
Makes it hard for you to move
In yourself believe, it's all right
In yourself believe, you're all right
If you ran away to loose your soul
And you're scared to death you're wrong,
If you're past the point of turning back
And your innocence is gone
In yourself believe, it's all right
In yourself believe, it's all right
If it's something that you can't forget
That somebody did to youIf you've had your fill of being down
Then there's nothing left to prove,
In yourself believe, it's all right
In yourself believe, you're all right

King's X used to write some of the most interesting lyrics that I had ever read. I was impressed that three stellar musicians were writing such incredible songs and managing to express Christian themes without bogging down in the muck that makes up so much of Contemporary Christian Music. They were able to put ideas and thoughts into words that defied the unimaginative and often watered down lyrics passed off as Christian art. King's X were artists using their gifts to comment on life and they did so from an unashamedly Biblical viewpoint.

I guess that their slow "fall from grace" disturbed many of the Christians who held them up as the saviors of Christian music. I, for one, was extremely hurt when I read of Jerry's struggles and Doug's apparent loss of faith, but I just wasn't able to let them go. They continued to write interesting music and to touch upon things in a way that I found honest and refreshing. But after listening to Manic Moonlight again this week it dawned on me just how far they have gone.

The above set of lyrics illustrates my point. On earlier albums, especially their first three, King's X often confessed their faith and trust in God and made it clear that He was the answer. They never mentioned the name Jesus but it was obvious to those listening that the King they referred to was not setting up an earthly throne. It truly breaks my heart to hear Doug sing lines like the ones I have quoted. He has decided that we, as humans, are good enough to get ourselves through trouble and trials. How I miss the days when He sang of waiting for New Jerusalem to come down. I miss the days of Faith, Hope and Love. I miss my King's X.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Hole Inside

I will be gone next week and won't be posting here at all. I am working at a small Christian camp in North Carolina and won't be back until Friday. I also don't know if the internet will be hooked up in our new place or not. We're moving the rest of our stuff Saturday and I'm not sure how long it will take to get the cable and internet up and running. Hopefully it will be up when I get back from camp but there's an outside chance I may gone a little longer. I assure you that I haven't abandoned this. The REAL world calls all of us at times and I'm afraid that even the most die-hard blogger must answer when it does.

This morning I'm going to share something that I wrote on another site sometime ago. I have several little things that I've archived that I will probably be putting up here in the future. I am breaking one of my own rules though. There is a name in this post. I'm not worried too much about it though. After you read it you will understand why.

I have a sister who is deceased. The name my parents gave her is Katherine. To me....that is all she really is....a name.

When I was eight years old I experienced an extremely crappy year. In other places I’ve shared how one of my teachers (Ms. B) and my father had a disagreement and she took it out on me. My Dad says that he really didn't say anything out of the way to her, but knowing him the way I do now, I wonder. He has a history of losing his cool and making an ass of himself. Apparently Ms. B was really nasty with him as well and I can only imagine what he may have said to her....I'll never know though. This little incident happened right at the start of school, right as my Mom was getting ready to have a baby.

How many of you remember the anticipation you felt as you awaited the arrival of a baby brother or sister? If you are an older sibling, then you have some idea as to what I'm talking about. I was eight years old and I was excited about getting a new baby. It's all we talked about. The nursery was up, there were gifts in the room....everyone was ready. And then there was no baby. There was a really long night spent with my grandparents while people from church called and came by. I remember the preacher coming up and standing with me behind our car and telling me that everything was gonna be okay and that my sister was in heaven. I honestly don't remember my parents telling me anything. I'm sure they did....I just don't recall what it was. And then all of a sudden, the nursery and all the presents were gone. What a weird thing to experience.

I remember being sad, especially at the funeral. I found photographs from the graveside years later and still have some in my private collection. (What is it that makes people take photographs of things like that anyway?) I'm glad the photos do exist or else I would have nothing to represent the fact that I have a dead sister. We weren't given the option to see her and that is something I have struggled with as I have gotten older. I don't want to second-guess my folks....but I really feel that they should have let us seen her. Sometimes I'm still a little angry at them over that. I really would like to know what she looked like. As it is, she's been reduced to a name that sounds odd as it rolls of my tongue. I think that may have been the beginning of the end of whatever sort of relationship my folks had. Don't get me wrong, I understand how difficult it must have been and I know they were doing what they thought was right. I guess my selfishness gets the best of me sometimes. I would just like to have a face to go with that name.

They did have a another daughter four years later and we were excited....but it didn't replace the hole that was there. I love my sister incredibly and I wouldn't trade her for anything in the world. Unfortunately, I was twelve when she was born and by the time she was two or three, I was a sadistic little jerk. I took delight in scaring both her and my brother. My brother was only four years behind me and I don't think it may have affected him quite the same way it did her. I was mean little snot, I won't lie. I still feel guilty for being as cruel as I was....probably always will. I keep hoping that one day I'll be over a lot of this stuff, but I don't know. I went through a phase where I never thought about any of it....but I was drinking a lot back then. Over the past few years it has really come back to haunt me. I guess having kids brings that sort of thing out, eh?

So that's it....I guess. Twenty-seven years hasn't filled that space inside. Part of me died in 1978 and I've been struggling to find resolution ever since. It may be that I have to wait till the other side....sometimes that's just the way it goes. I can tell you that holding my own daughter has healed part of it, just as my other sister did when she was born. Time takes some of the edge off of it but it never really goes away. There's always going to be a tiny piece missing. But I know that God promises that all the pain and heartache will vanish one day. I may not fill that hole while I continue to draw breath, but one day I will be whole again.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Raiders Of The Lost Stanzas

Today's Hymn: There Is A Fountain
author: William Cowper

verse/stanza 1

There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel's veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains:
Lose all their guilty stains,
Lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.

This has been one of my favorite lines to sing for as long as I can remember. Even before I understood what the words were saying, I knew that this song was saying something important. I've had the line "lose all their guilty stains" burned into my thoughts since I was an infant. The idea that all of my sins could be taken away has always been there in my mind. I have always been conscious of the fact that there was a Saviour and that I needed to know Him. I guess that was a good thing, eh?

However, I will confess that as I sit here reading through the complete hymn, I've noticed a verse/stanza that I have never paid much attention to before. In the Churches of Christ I have attended during my lifetime, we rarely sang complete hymns. We like to joke on our praise team that we do the first, second and last verses of all songs and stand when singing the last. As I sit and think back over my childhood church experience, that seems less of a joke and more of an actual observation. I'm not trying to be critical though, I'm just pointing out that we have overlooked some very good words and here is one such verse.

verse/stanza 2

E'er since, by faith, I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die:
And shall be till I die,
And shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.

How much closer would I be to Christ now if that verse had also been burned into my thought processes at an eary age? Now, I'm not saying that those words have some sort of magical powers and that they would have given me all the answers, but if that "redeeming love" had indeed been my theme, how many detours would I have avoided over the past 30+ years? Just something to ponder.That being said, I think I'm going to go through my copy of Favorite Hymns Of Praise and see what other little tidbits I might find there. I'll share them with you all as I find them

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I Just Don't Get It

Okay, I'm not the most sophisticated cat to ever walk this planet but I don't believe that I'm totally uncultured. I'm not the smartest guy to grace these blogs but I know that I'm not a big dummyhead either. I'm not a snob by any stretch of the imagination but even I recognize things that are obviously out of place and I often lose sleep when confronted with such items. What has caused me to post such a thing you may ask. Well, let me tell you.

I'm a dog guy. I love dogs. I love big, slobbering, goofy, lick-your-face dogs. I love dogs that still have a hint of their wolfen ancestors in them. That being said, I'm not a huge fan of any breed that can be described using the words: prissy, poofy or proper. Dogs were not meant to be any of those things. Dogs were meant to chase tennis balls and to mangle them beyond recognition and to have me scratch them behind the ears and go, "That's a good boy." Of course, if the dog in question is a female then I would obviously go, "That's a good girl," but I digress. So, using this bit of information one should be able to come to the conclusion that I'm not a huge fan of dog shows. Dog shows, for those who don't know, take all the things that dogs are supposed to be and do, and throw them out the window. I, and this should come as no surprise, hate a freaking dog show.

Now, I don't claim to an expert on dog shows but I have come to the conclusion that THE dog show to watch is held by some folks called The Westminster Kennel Club. This sick group of people actually televise their show on ESPN. For starters, dog breeding and grooming is NOT a sport....sorry. It is right above NASCAR and Texas Hold-Em on the list of non-sports shown on a sporting network. Secondly, is there really a large enough audience for this sick and twisted display that it would require a network with the viewership of ESPN to broadcast it? That, in itself, scares the crap out of me. But that, my friends, is not what keeps me awake at night.

I have, unfortunately, had the chance to view a couple of these perversions of nature. My wife enjoys a good poofy dog parade every now and then and I, being the loving husband that I am, allow her her guilty pleasure. She, in turn, allows me to watch Dawson's Creek reruns, but that is an entirely different topic altogether, back to the poofy dogs. Every time I have had the misfortune to view one of these things, I have realized just how snotty some of the participants are. The dogs don't have dog names (like Spot and Fido and KoKo) and not a single chewed-up tennis ball is visible. Instead, we are subjected to prancing and posing and prodding. The commentators, if you really want to call them that, are snotty and speak in that prim and proper English that is reserved only for professors and folks with craploads of money. The whole thing reeks of elitism and snobbery, which brings me to my problem.

I once saw an ad on ESPN and I nearly peed my pants. It was an ad for the Westminster Kennel Club's upcoming show. I can't remember how many years they've been doing this but it is well over a hundred, so the video and voice-over were celebrating the rich history of the event and displaying all sorts of snotty images featuring poofy dogs. The problem however, was not with the images or the spoken text of the ad. The problem, my dear readers, was with the song chosen to showcase this commercial. One would expect a nice classical piece, perhaps Pachabel's Canon In D or Bach's Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring. At the very least, a peppy jazz tune or even a Celine Dion song would make fine background noise for such an event. Do you want to know what the geniuses in charge of this commercial chose? Do you? Are you prepared to be shocked and outraged? Are you sitting down?

The fine folks at the Westminster Kennel Club, after much thought and deliberation I'm sure, decided that the best song to represent their time-honored tradition of poofy dog prancing was Europe's The Final Countdown. Yes, you read that correctly. The Final Fricking Countdown....quite possibly one of the worst pop-metal songs to ever be written. Yes, there is a really swell synthesizer part that is obviously classically inspired, but the lyrics are about traveling to Venus after the Earth is destroyed. What would possess them to pick a song sung by a sinewy blonde hunk named Joey Tempest? Can you imagine the meeting that inspired this?

Chet: We really neeeeeed to choose a theme song for this year's event.
Blaine: My good chap, you couldn't be more correct.
Chet: I propose some Handel or Mozart.
Buffy:'s go with something a little more contemporary. How about Louie Armstrong?
Blaine: That's a really swell idea you have there Buff, but I'm afraid our ratings are down and we really need to draw that youth market in.
Chet: So, you're saying we want to go....modern?
Blaine: Exactly. We want something cool and hip that the kids can relate to. We want something with an edge....something that will make us THE dog show to beat.

After several minutes of painful silence.....

Chet: By Jove I've got it.....

Poofy dogs and pompous cheese-rock....what's this world coming to?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Hear 'N Aid Posted by Picasa

Heavy Metal Memories: Hear 'N Aid

Yes boys and girls, you read that right, Hear 'N Aid. In 1986 the metal/hard rock community decided that it needed to counteract the commercial sap-fest that was USA For Africa. I believe that We Are The World had very good intentions behind it and I even enjoy hearing it from time to time but I will be honest and say that it really didn't do much for me. I enjoyed mimicking the various performers on the song and got especially silly when it came time to do Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, but the song wasn't the kind of jam you could rock out to. Enter: Ronnie James Dio.

Mr. Dio decided that the hard rock guys should get together and do the same thing. After all, the pop stars weren't the only ones sympathetic to the starving Africans but they were the only ones invited to the session. Hard rock had been left out in the cold. Let's face it, Quincy Jones really couldn't write Blackie Lawless (W.A.S.P.) or Kevin Dubrow (Quiet Riot) into We Are The World and this was a way to give the spandex and leather crowd a chance to show their bleeding hearts.

A literal motley crew assembled and various high-pitched shriekers and six-string shredders traded wankings under the direction of Mr. Dio and Jimmy Baines. The result was Stars. I wish I had the video because the sheer volume of spandex, leather, bandanas, and moussed hair would keep me entertained for days. Alas, all I have is the cassette. It has the one original song and a handful of live tracks from a diverse group of artists. Next year marks the 20th Anniversary and Mr. Dio says that a DVD is in the works. I can only hope so.

Here is the track listing of the cassette.

Side One:
Stars- Hear 'N Aid
Up To The Limit (LIVE) - Accept
On The Road (LIVE) - Motorhead
Distant Early Warning (LIVE) - Rush

Side Two:
Heaven's On Fire (LIVE) - KISS
Can You See Me - Jimi Hendrix
Hungry For Heaven (LIVE) - Dio
Go For The Throat (LIVE) - Y&T
The Zoo (LIVE) - The Scorpions

Yes, a true metal moment that will remain dear to my heart for as long as I live.

The Greatest Game Ever. Posted by Picasa

I don't know how many quarters I have pumped into one of these machines over the years; probably enough to feed at least one or two Third World villages. My love affair with this lady began a long time ago in a place not too far away. In fact, it began right here in the very room that I type this. I will admit that I originally fell in love with her on the Atari 2600 and she didn't look quite as stunning as she does in this picture but the store down the road had one of the REAL ones sitting in the corner by the soft drinks. My brother and I spent many a summer day down at that store popping in quarters and eating the Two For A Dollar hotdogs. It is one of the defining moments of my youth.

Even after I turned sixteen and was on the road, I still found time for her. I had a job and a girlfriend but I gave the lady every moment I could spare. Sometimes I would sit up all night with one of those cruddy Atari joysticks in hand, trying to elevate my score. It was magical. Even after the Atari vanished and the arcades began to fill up with those fighting games, the lady still held a grip on my heart. Every time I would see one of the now-faded machines, I would eagerly dig into my pocket and find a quarter. I STILL do.

It amazes me that with all the technology available and all the complicated games out there, the lady still commands respect. Go into any arcade, any theater, or any convenient mart and you'll likely find her over in the corner with her best friend Galaga. There's just something about her simplicity that still manages to keep people entertained.

I'm married now and have three children. I am in school and looking for a full-time ministry but I will tell you right now...the lady STILL has a hold of my heart. And she always will.

HERE is a place you can play online.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Ramen, Oh Ramen

You know...I love ramen noodles. Many people cringe at the mere sound of the word "ramen" but I get all warm on the inside. I don't know what it is that makes people hate them so. Perhaps it's the fact that represent everything that is cheap in the world of food. A pack of noodles goes for about $.08 at the local grocery store. Maybe they bring back flashbacks of dorm rooms and cramming for exams. There are very few college students who haven't counted out some pennies and happily taken home a couple of packs. I don't know how I would've survived the early years of marriage without those glorious noodles.

And it seems as if I'm not alone. I Googled "ramen noodles" and you wouldn't believe the sorts of things I found. My favorite is THIS page which claims to be the official ramen noodle page. There are all sorts of testimonies and even gourmet recipes requiring ramen. You gotta love it.

My personal favorite recipe for ramen requires a pound of ground beef, soy sauce, garlic, and two packs of the beef flavored noodles. Brown and drain the beef. Add soy sauce, the flavor packs from the noodles, and garlic to taste. Then stir in the cooked noodles. Yummy. My kids love it too.

free flying soul Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 08, 2005

Sixth Grade Victim

This is a post I made quite some time ago in one of my other blogs. I have always liked it and wanted to share it here. I have removed all last names in order to maintain privacy. I know some of you out there have read this in its original form. Bare with me...I'm still working on some new posts and this one is a good way to buy time.

I received an e-mail from a friend of mine a couple of years ago that asked if I ever reminisced about sixth grade. It was from a fellow named Paul that had been one of my best friends during that time. He brought up the fact that sixth grade had been one of the best years of his life and he was wondering if I had similar thoughts. Just the mention of sixth grade opens up a door in my mind that I gladly go through. I, like Paul, remember that year as being a magical time.

Sixth grade…if ever there has been a period in my life that I would consider utopic, it would be then. It’s really strange how certain eras of our past seem to be more rosy than others. For me, sixth grade was a watershed year of sorts. I’ve often told my wife that I remember very little about my childhood and I really don’t, but that year has been permanently etched into my thoughts. It’s not that my early years were traumatic or anything like that, they were pretty much uneventful. But sixth grade…man, the memories come rushing back in.

Every day the lunch bell signaled a mad dash that could only be matched by the running of the bulls down in Spain. Kids literally poured out of the slender brick buildings and ramshackle trailers out back and poured into the mint green cinderblock room that smelled of bleach and aerosol air freshener. In my mind’s eye the scene unfolds as it did nearly every day of that school year. The food has already been taken from the heated containers used to transport it from Nashville Elementary, where they actually had a kitchen, and placed onto Styrofoam serving trays. Kids are lining up to sample the latest culinary travesty.

I have already taken a seat at one of the folding tables and am busy dissecting a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. A bag of Doritos is sitting unopened next to a carton of chocolate milk that has probably never been cooler than room temperature. Andy has just exited the serving line and is making his way over to the table. Paul follows closely, all the while staring at the Jell-O Surprise that is wriggling around on his tray. They reach the table and plop down, one on each side of me. I mumble something unintelligible through a mouthful of peanut butter and eye the quivering green blob on Paul’s tray.

“That crap looks nasty,” Andy blurts out as Paul begins to poke at it with his finger. The gelatinous mass only springs back into its original shape and sits there menacingly. Andy has already inhaled half of the hotdog that had been resting before him. I open up the bag of Doritos and munch away as Paul continues to experiment on the Jell-O monstrosity.

I wash down the chips with a gulp from the now tepid chocolate milk and turn to Paul. “We gonna spend the night at your house Friday, or at mine?”

Paul shrugs his shoulders and munches on a soggy French fry. “We can go to yours if your mom doesn’t care.”

“She won’t. Just make sure to bring your sister’s E.L.O. tapes. I want to record them.”

“She’s gonna kick my ass if she finds out I took them.”

Andy is now forging his way through his very own Jell-O Surprise. He slurps away as Paul continues to pick through the fries.

“Come on, I really want to make a copy of Jungle and Wild West Hero.

“I’ll think about it.”


And that was our ritual. I hardly ever ate the school food, with the one exception being pizza. I don’t know what it was about that cheap school pizza, but I loved it. Even when I had to pull the waxy stuff off the bottom of the crust, I wolfed it down. Even now, there are days that I would kill for some good old cafeteria pizza, even if I had to wash it down with lukewarm milk.

There are so many things I remember about that time. Sitting in that cramped little trailer during Ms. K’s English class definitely left its mark on me forever. It was there that I first developed my love for writing and it was also there that my love for reading was encouraged to an almost unhealthy level. Ms. K had us read Jane Eyre in sixth grade. I don’t know how many of you have ever read that tome, but it was a tad bit above our reading level. We did trudge through it though. Ms. K also had us keep journals, a habit that I have held on to even up to this day. She truly left her mark upon me.

Our homeroom teacher was this quirky little lady named Ms. C. Even then, she didn’t seem very old and if I had to guess I would say that she couldn’t have been more than a year or two out of college. Memory doesn’t serve me well here, but I vaguely recollect her being kind of cute. She was pretty cool though. She allowed us to bring 45 rpm records from home and play them every Friday. Paul and I shared similar tastes in music and that only strengthened our bond. Ms. C also had our class put on a very loose interpretation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Paul, being the most popular kid in class, ended up being Scrooge. I think I may have been a ghost. Andy was Bob Cratchett until he was removed from the big production for making Paul laugh too much. Laughter was a constant, that I remember vividly.

Our next teacher was an interesting fellow named Dan G. He taught science and math to all of us bright-eyed little kids. I can still see him in my mind. His hair was shoulder length and he had a fairly thick beard. He also had a big silver hoop in his left ear. I think he may have been the very first man I ever saw wearing an earring and for some reason, I thought he was the coolest person ever.Mr. G taught us two very important things that year. The first was a mathematical solution to the Rubik’s Cube. We spent half the year twisting and turning those things and that was considered learning, I was in heaven. I even managed to solve the thing in just under a minute and that was without pulling all the stickers off.

The second thing we learned was how to raise peacocks. Why we learned this I’ll never know. We took eggs and put them in an incubator. While they “cooked” we studied what was going on. Then the little things hatched and freaked us all out. We were expecting bright, fluffy birds. We got reptilian little creatures that looked very much like baby velociraptors. I still don’t know what he did with all those peacocks.

One more odd bit about Mr. G was his fascination with the space program. He actually applied to be the first teacher in space a couple of years later. He lost and we all know what happened. But I remember reading an interview with him after the Challenger accident asking him if he was glad he didn’t get picked. This clown actually said that he wish he had been on it. Some people, huh?

Sixth grade…what a time. Sitting in Ms. K’s class, trying to figure out why we were reading such a god awful book, listening to Dan G explain to a bunch of eleven year olds what parallel dimensions were, square dancing in Ms. C’s homeroom class; they are all part of me forever.

Andy, Paul and me sitting in that green lunch room, singing The J. Geil’s Band song, Piss On The Wall to the tune of E.L.O.’s Sweet Is The Night. E.L.O. alone are enough to send me careening back to that very special place. I can never explain just how much that band means to me. I guess they were the group that pushed me into music and it just happened to be during that brief, magical year.Almost any song of theirs conjures up some sort of memory that I cherish, no other group has had that kind of effect on me. I can put on disc 2 of the Afterglow box set and it transports me to another time and another place. When I sit down and listen to Time, which I’m doing right now, it’s like being eleven years old again.

I can see myself now; a chubby little nerd wearing a blue IZOD shirt and corduroy pants. He’s playing Pac-Man on an Atari 2600 and there are legions of Star Wars figures scattered on the floor around him. Jeff Lynne is serenading me from the stereo speakers.

I came a long way to be here today and I left you so long on this avenue.
And here I stand in the strangest land, not knowing what to say or do.
As I gaze I gaze around at these strangers in town I guess the only stranger is me.
And I wonder, oh I wonder, is this the way life’s meant to be.
Although it’s only a day since I was taken away and left standing here looking in wonder.
The ground at my feet, maybe it’s just the old street but everything that I know lies under.
And when I see what they’ve done to this place that was home, shame is all that I feel.
And I wonder, oh I wonder, is this the way life’s meant to be.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Holy Crap (I Stole This Post From Todd Ruth)

I was looking for some interesting Christian blogs to frequent and ran across a guy named Todd Ruth. Something he said in his most recent post got me to thinking. HERE is his post. I told him that I was going to swipe his idea and give him the that it's been taken care of, I'll begin.

He suggested that there was something spiritual about a Dad cleaning up a messy diaper. I guess that some would fail to see past the poop in his post (he actually posted a photo) and really think about how true that concept is.

We, as Christians, have a Father who is constantly cleaning up behind us. We find ourselves in all sorts of...well...poop and He is the only one who can get it off of us. I can really relate to that because I have a newborn daughter. When she has a dirty diaper there is absolutely nothing that she can do about it. She can squirm, she can wiggle, and she can make faces but she can't fix the problem. Her only resort is to scream until either I or her mother come in and make things better.

We are in the exact same situation when it comes to our sin. Every single one of us eventually ends up covered in muck and mire. No matter how hard we try, we find ourselves splattered with poop and we can do nothing about it. We can squirm and wiggle, we can even try to clean it up ourselves, but our efforts leave us covered in poop. The only thing we can do is cry out to our Father and wait for Him to come and clean us up. And the beautiful thing is that He always hears our cries. He always comes in and wipes the poop away.

Thanks Todd for reminding me that my Daddy's always there to clean up the mess.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

In The Quiet Place

I'm gonna paraphrase God for just a minute.

"Sit down, shut up, and recognize who I am."

If I was better at memorizing scripture I would tell you what Psalm that's from...but I'm not. I have seen it rendered, "Be still and know that I am God." I've also seen one of the newer translations put it this way, "Cease striving and know I am your God." No matter how you want to put it, it's a good way to live your life. I'm kind of partial to my paraphrase because that's the language that's easy for me to understand. But...I also like Eugene Peterson's take on it.

Psalm 46:10 (The Message)

10"Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
loving look at me, your High God,
above politics, above everything."

Yeah...I cheated. I stopped and looked it up. I had to, it was driving me crazy not knowing what Psalm it came from. I guess if I were to actually sit still and mediatate on God a little more than I would be able to recall more of His But it can be so hard. Some of us work jobs and raise families. Some of us go to school and raise families. Heck...the raising family thing is enough to keep a person busy 24/7, work and school are just extra things to consume our time with.

I do like to get away from everything from time to time and just chill out. I had the opportunity to that a few days ago. I, along with my Mom and sister, took my two sons to the beach. There's just something about sitting on the sand and watching the waves roll in. I took some video on my camera and watched it when I got home. The sound of the waves came wooshing out of my speakers and it was like I was there all over again. I feel very close to God when I am there. I can see His handiwork all around and I KNOW He is there.

I feel similar things when I go to the mountains. They are my second favorite place to go and be with God. I like to sit high above the valley and just breathe in the air as the world goes on below me. It's so amazing to look out for miles and see God's creation painted before your eyes. Everything is so still and peaceful and perfect. I can only imagine what it must be like to look out over the Grand Canyon and witness that. God willing, I will find out one day.

But those are the easy ways to be still. No Psalm is needed to stir our minds towards God when we are in those places. It's when we get back home and have the stack of bills and backed-up work staring us in the face that we need God to shout out, "Hey you! Sit down! Be quiet! Chill!"

I confess...I need to hear it more and more as I get older. I'm just thankful that He loves me enough to keep shouting after me.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Journey Begins

I made the HUGE mistake of stepping on a scale today. While I do my best to refrain from profanities I will confess that I muttered one as the digital numbers blinked up at me. Let me start by saying that I KNEW I was overweight and in dire need of a lifestyle change. It wasn't like the number just popped up out of nowhere. I have been on scales before and I have seen some rather large numbers, but this was LARGEST freaking number I have ever seen in my life.

I remember the day that my scales first cracked the 200 lb mark. It was many years ago and the number seemed awfully large to me. But as I broke the 6 foot mark the weight seemed to distribute itself in all the proper places. I only added another thirty pounds by the time I graduated from high school but my height soon reached 6'4''. I wasn't ripped by any means, but I definitely wasn't fat. I got married and added on a little more weight but it was no big deal. I had height on my side and the extra pounds seemed to blend in.

Then there was the day, a few years ago, when I hit the NEXT big number on the scale. I nearly had a stroke. It wasn't long before I had joined the Atkins craze. I lost almost 50 lbs and was convinced that I would eventually hit the magical number 225, which was what I weighed at graduation. I fought the fight for awhile and then slid back into old habits.

Well, the last couple of years have breezed by and I knew that I had gained back some of the weight. I promised myself that I would start back on the diet after Christmas, then my birthday, then after the baby was born...the date kept getting pushed back. I really didn't feel compelled to jump right back in the game. Then came today. My wife hopped up on a scale and joyfully exclaimed that she was 15 pounds lighter than she was pre-pregnancy. That basically means that she LOST weight while a human being grew inside of her. I knew I was carrying some extra baggage so I hopped up just for kicks and giggles.

To say that I was startled would be putting it lightly. I think the exact words out of my mouth were, "Holy s**t...I'm huge." My wife laughed it off and assured me that I would be able to drop it all. After all, I had easily shed pounds in the past, surely this wouldn't be that difficult.

I wish I shared her enthusiasm. But I am going back to Mr. Atkins carb-starved diet starting tomorrow. I will chronicle my battle with the flab here. That means brutal honesty. I will give you my starting weight and will post weekly checkups. There are a handful of people who read this and know my real name, but I don't care if they see this. The rest of you, if you actually exist, don't know who I am and won't taunt me for being so freaking huge.

Wish me luck...pray for and encourage.

Today's weight: 329 lbs

Monday, July 04, 2005

Confessions Of A Teenage Headbanger

I have a confession to make...I like hard rock and heavy metal. Don't let the links on this page fool you...I LOVE IT LOUD. I do listen to all of the artists you see over there on the left, in fact, I probably listen to them more than anything else. I have gotten older and mellowed somewhat but that doesn't mean I won't throw the devil horns from time to time.

I don't know when my love affair with loud, screaming guitars began. I guess it could be traced to all those KISS albums in my uncle's bedroom. I remember going to see my grandparents when I was a kid and digging through his stack of albums. There were probably over a hundred but there were three groups grabbed my attention: KISS, Meatloaf, and Boston. I'll be honest, I don't know that I even listened to the records but the album covers captivated me. The names stuck in my mind and years later, when I was older, I sought those groups out. I wasn't disappointed. But the REAL love affair began in 1983 and it was love at first sight.

MTV was a young cable network at the time and it played something called music videos. There were lots of bands from England on MTV in 1983 and they were playing music on synthesizers. Most of them were cute and ended up as posters on the walls of all the girls I knew at school. But there were some OTHER groups getting airplay and they totally blew me away. Bands like Def Leppard, Quiet Riot, and Twisted Sister were right up there on the screen next to Duran Duran and The Culture Club.

I remember seeing the video for Cum On Feel The Noize and I KNEW that things were going to be different. From the opening drum beat to the scream during the fade-out, it rocked my world. Photograph came soon after and my conversion was complete. I wasn't a headbanger exclusively, but I was close. I would sneak in E.L.O. and Chicago when my buddies weren't around but it didn't take long before I was screaming along with Joe Elliot. I STILL scream along with him. It is kind of hard explaining the devil horns to my four year old though.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

I've Got The Patriotism Blues

Please don't get me wrong...I am so thankful that I was born in America. There's no other country that I'd rather live in and I appreciate the freedoms I have. BUT I hate this time of the year. I hate all of the patriotic mumbo jumbo and the endless parade of war movies on television. Last night we were treated to Black Hawk Down AND Saving Private Ryan. I did find it interesting that BHD was being played on FX and had been edited for content. Mr. Spielberg's film was playing on another network and was being presented in unedited form. Why is he given special benefits and other film makers aren't? Is the f-bomb any less offensive or profane because it's in HIS movie? Are blood and guts any less gruesome because they're being splattered around Tom Hanks and not Ewan McGregor? That's really not where I was going with this though, so I'll turn back onto the intended path. I just thought it was an interesting observation.

My intended rant revolves around patriotism in the church. Once a year we drag out the flags and America-themed ties and sing those dusty relics that we once sang in school. My question, and it REALLY nagged at me today, is whether or not The Star Spangled Banner and America The Beautiful have any place in a corporate worship service. I picked those two because they were on the menu at my local church this morning. My Country Tis Of Thee was also played and everyone seemed truly proud to be an American. I played along but I can honestly say that I didn't give it my all. I'm just glad that we didn't recite the pledge or anything like that. Like I said earlier, I think it's okay to be patriotic. I'm not one of those people however. Thankful...yes. Glad...yes. Proud...I'm afraid not.

Someone sang a song for special music that contained this line:

We must rule the world
with Staff and Rod in hand.

I cringed when I heard it. I know the lady meant well and I consider her to be one of my friends, I just can't share the same sentiment. I don't believe it is our duty OR our God ordained right to be the leaders of the world. I've heard many folks talk about how much God has ordained and annointed this country. I'm sorry people...I just don't see it. We are not a Christian nation. I would go so far as to say that our supposed Christian origins are more exaggerated than we like to think. I've done some reading and have come to the conclusion that many of our founding fathers weren't the upright God-fearing men that the songs claim them to be.

I don't write this to start a debate because I'm sure that there are MANY of you out there on BOTH sides of the patriotic fence that know MUCH more than I ever will. I tend to sit right on the middle of that fence. Those over-the-top patriots frighten me and those who claim to hate this country are full of crap. I think there definitely should be some balance. You can support your government without mindlessly following and condoning every single thing it does. If you are on the other side and think America is some evil, corrupt institution with no redeeming values...leave. No one is making you stay here.

I've been accused, by some of my more politically conservative friends, of being non-patriotic because I often criticize the government. I say I AM a patriot because I hold my leaders accountable. I expect MUCH more out of them than they seem to be willing to give. Call me old-fashioned, but I expect my elected officials to do the right thing no matter what the cost. Regardless of what party they belong to, I want my leaders to be above reproach.

Oh well...I said that I wasn't going to wax political in here. I guess this is my once a year rant. I really am thankful to be an American and I enjoy the Fourth of July just as much as the next guy. Think about it this way...what other country encourages to knock back a beer, cook a dead animal on fire, and blow things up...all at the same time? You gotta love America.

Friday, July 01, 2005

That's One UGLY Dog

I have my Yahoo page set to display odd news stories. The top story for today was the Ugliest Dog In The World Contest. I will be honest, there are a lot of dogs that I think are ugly. Almost any small breed dog kept by a little old lady would qualify as an ugly dog. My own grandmother has owned more than one. Any dog that has its fur poofed up would also fall into the category of ugly dog. I'll be brutally honest now...if it's not a big, slobbering dog that goes, "WOOF WOOF," I'll probably think it's ugly.

I wasn't prepared for the beast that won this contest. Those of you who have seen Peter Jackson's gorefest Dead Alive will remember the
Samarian rat monkey in the beginning. That pus-dripping creature is cuter than this dog. Salacious Crumb, who was Jabba the Hutt's little sidekick, is cuter than this dog. The sandworms from Dune are cuter than this dog.

It, quite possibly, is the ugliest thing I have ever seen in my life. I leave you the links so can judge for yourselves.

News Story