Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I am somewhat stunned silent at the moment. I'm also 'live' blogging (I'm writing it now, rather than yesterday or sometime last week and just now publishing).

I just read a long, long letter from someone I consider a close friend. The thing is - we've never met or even talked. So it's kind of weird. But sometimes I think certain people are just sort of cosmically drawn together. Heck, maybe it's a "God thing." Anyway, my friend poured out his heart... and I just don't even know what to say. I can relate to what he's going through on so many levels. I thought maybe if I just started typing... I don't know... maybe something would come out.

But it's not...

I will say this, though... At the close of his long email he ended with the following words... and they brought me to tears. Some of the nicest words anyone has ever said to me, and at such a time as this...

He said,
Honestly, and I mean this more than you will ever realize, you are one of the few reasons I ever gave Christianity another chance. You made a real difference in my life, through your words, and mostly through your words when you felt weakest. Hence this...confession. Spew. Rant. Whatever.
I know you're in a different place now, but know that - even remotely, even with one person - your words made a difference. Multiple times. A lot of times. Really.

I need to think on that. Especially the underlined part. I am completely humbled. Unable to find any words at the moment.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014


I gave myself a haircut again Saturday. I pretty much used a #2, but also tried to trim up the sides with a #1. It doesn't look too awesome, so I will likely use the #1 all over, or just go ahead and start shaving it again. I don't know. Anyway, it had kind of been awhile since my last haircut. The top was getting to that point where it wanted to go every which way. I just never know what to do with it at that point. I also trimmed my eyebrows with a #1. So... there ya go.

Monday, April 21, 2014


This was a very different Easter for us this year. We did not attend a Maundy Thursday service. Instead, we bought the car that night. MT used to be one of my favorite services of the year. We also did nothing for Good Friday. Jane was off work from noon to 3, and I think she went shopping with Carrie and the kids. I worked the whole day. Friday night we went to Curly's with Mike, Kenny, and Dr. John.

Easter Sunday we slept in, then went to the Feipel's house for breakfast around 9:30. After that we went to church at 11 (the normal time). There was a pretty good crowd. It was weird to just sit in the audience and none of us had any responsibilities. When we got home Isaac and Ricci were at our house... in their NEW CAR!!! Ricci got a Subaru Crosstrek. It's pretty nice. Anyway, we went to lunch at Azars. They have the best pancakes in town as far as I'm concerned.

The Feipel's came over in the afternoon and we hid Easter Eggs for Anna and Bennett. They were a blast to watch finding the eggs. Jane got a couple nice videos and pictures which she posted to Facebook. We hung out outside the rest of the evening, and had an Easter supper together with everyone. It was a good day - even though I ate way too much food and candy.

So, all in all, a very different Easter this year. It was still nice.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

2011 ford escape

With the culmination of Holy Week finally comes another post. We got a new car!! Well, it's not new... but a 2011 Ford Escape xlt. We bought it Thursday night. This will now be "Jane's car" to replace the '08 Ford Focus, which we are selling to Isaac and Ricci before they move to Atlanta.

We bought the Escape at Don Ayres Honda on Lima Rd in Fort Wayne. Our salesman was Ed Feipel and I highly recommend him if you're looking for a vehicle. He is son-in-law Drew's uncle, but also just an all around nice guy. Tell him you know me (or Drew Carrie). I also like how this dealership just puts the price right on every car, so there is no bickering or finagling on how much a car costs.

Anyway, we really like this Escape. It only has 17,000 miles on it - all from one owner. I also like that it is very similar to the Focus on the inside, so we don't have to relearn what everything is. Interestingly enough, it is actually 8" SHORTER than the Focus from bumper to bumper. The wheel base is 5" wider, and it's plenty taller too - what with 17" tires on it. I was just surprised that it is shorter in length than the Focus.

So, if you see a pretty blonde driving around in a metallic blue Escape... that would be m'Lady. If it's a nearly bald guy - that's me.

Happy Easter.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Wolf of wall street

We rented The Wolf of Wall Street at Redbox last night. It was an okay movie, with some pretty funny parts, but overall it was pretty terrible content. If you want to see a show with drugs, naked women, and indulgent greed... this is a movie for you. DiCaprio gives an okay performance, I guess. He plays that typical "bad guy you feel sorta sorry for" character. But it was hard to feel too sorry for him. I hope I never meet someone like that in real life. Perhaps the funniest moment of the movie is when he thought he drove his Lamborghini home without it getting so much as a scratch... then the next morning he sees reality. :) That's about the truth.

Anyway, just some random thoughts at the end of a long, long week. We watched a movie at home on our TV where the sound cuts in and out. Yep.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jane's toothache

My poor wife was in some pretty serious pain yesterday. It was rather ironic that she actually had a dentist appointment to get a cavity filled, when at the same time a tooth on the other side of her mouth started hurting (it just started hurting a day or two before). When she went in to get the filling the dentist found that she had a bad infection around the other tooth, so he prescribed some penicillen and vicoden. He told her to double up on the penicillen last night, but she actually doubled up on the vicoden too because it hurt so bad. I felt bad for her. There's nothing like a toothache. It kind of makes the whole side of your face and head hurt. Hopefully the meds will start kicking in today so it won't hurt so bad. Then we'll have to decide whether to just get that tooth pulled or have a root canal done. Prayers would be appreciated for M'lady today.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Goodbye applebees

It appears we are done with Applebees. At least one in particular.

Probably 10+ years ago - while we were pastoring a church - we set out very intentionally to find a place where we could make some friends outside the church and where we could also be somewhat "normal" people. So we started going to this one Applebees on the same night, at roughly the same time, every week. Sure enough, it actually worked. It wasn't long before we noticed some of the same people coming there and working there. Pretty soon we developed friendships to varying degrees, and it soon came to be our 'place to go.' We would all meet up there, and we started doing things outside of our "applebees time." We went bowling together; visited other places together; etc. Eventually that turned into inviting people to our homes and having parties together and all sorts of fun stuff. I was always, and still am, amazed at how it actually kind of worked out. Many of those people are now among our very best friends. In fact, if it weren't for that group of friends, I'm not sure what Jane and I would have done this last year.

Anyway, apparently a rift developed between one of the servers there and a member of our group. It has kind of escalated to the point where... it's just not worth the hassle anymore. I kind of think you're supposed to support your friends in situations like this. So we've decided to cut ties and the group is in search of another central meeting spot. I'm sure we will all survive.

I have to say, though, that I'm surprised we all went there as much as we did. Sure, many of the employees there are very nice people - we will miss several of them who have become friends. But I don't know if it's the company as a whole, or just this one location, but they must have a strange management training program. While there are a couple of rare exceptions, for the most part, their managers are some of the most socially awkward and in many cases just downright rude people. Plus the menu at Applebees had really went down hill over the years.

So... that's about all I'm going to say about it. It was fun while it lasted. There are plenty of other places where food and drink are way cheaper, and the people are just as nice.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Brain cloud

I'm suffering from a brain cloud today. Not a real one - if that's a real thing - but just functioning real slow. I thought I just needed some coffee, but it hasn't helped. I just hung up on someone accidentally while trying to forward a call.

Anyway, I started the day at DuPont, but then had to go to Stellhorn to cover Drew 's afternoon off. I don't mind working at Stellhorn, but I didn't really think this was supposed to be my job. Oh well. I guess it is what it is. I have to work Friday afternoon and Saturday at the Downtown facility.

Not much else going on. Fortunately it's a slow day.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Takaoka, o's and comedy

We went to Takaoka for Japanese food with the group last night. It was Mike, Kenny, Dr. John, Amish John, and Dave & Joni. This was kind of a late celebration of Amish John's birthday. I think everyone there had a gift card from Mike, so everyone's supper ended up on him. :) I had the usual combo chicken/filet. It was also the usual gooood. I forced myself to not eat it all so I can have it, plus Jane's leftovers, for lunch today. I'm hoping the garage was cool enough last night because I left the leftovers on the garage step all night. I'm sure it's alright. Right?

Anyway, after supper, and looking over Dave & Joni's new vehicle, we (almost) all headed to O'Sullivans. It's kind of a tradition we've developed after our Takaoka trips. O's is an interesting place, and I actually like it a lot. Usually there are barely any people in there on a Sunday night, but tonight it was pretty busy. There is one room where the bar and tables are, and then on the other side is a room with a stage and a bunch of tables and booths. There's never been anything going on in the other room when we've been there. But tonight there was. It was a comedy night, where apparently different people took turns taking the stage and sharing jokes.

We didn't actually ever go in and listen to anyone, but there was a funny thing that happened to me. At least I thought it was funny. When we came down Main street I kind of thought I saw what looked like a young boy sitting on the bench in front of O's smoking a cigarette. I figured I must have just been seeing things and didn't think much about it. But when we went in, I really had to go to the bathroom, and to get to the men's room you have to walk into the room with the stage and go right in front of the stage to get there (the men's room is behind the stage). I still didn't know anything was going on in there, and when I went into the other room... there was this guy on stage telling jokes who had to be less than 4 feet tall. He wasn't a midget, I don't think, but he was really short and small. And I just kind of froze - not knowing what to do. I was struck by how short he was, and also by a room full of people, so I kind of just went back to our table and "held it." Finally I couldn't hold it any longer and I got the nerve to walk through the crowd to the restroom. Fortunately by that time a more normal-sized person was on stage. I don't know, it seemed funny to me at the time.

In the end it was a really nice day all the way around. On the way to church in the morning I said to Jane that I "just wasn't feeling it" that day. But it was a really good service. The message was a very basic "Waiting on God" sort of thing, and the music was kind of spectacular. I couldn't even sing for a lot of it. Then we had a nice lunch with the Feipel's, good conversations all around, it was a nice day, and a great night to wrap things up with.

So... yeah... that's pretty much what happened yesterday.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

The grand budapest hotel

We were hungry for popcorn yesterday so we decided to take in a movie. Jane wanted to see The Grand Budapest Hotel. I hadn't even heard of it, and didn't realize it was a Wes Anderson movie until after it started. I'm glad we went, because I LOVE Wes's movies, and this one was a good and funny as all the others.

As far as a movie, I'm not sure what recommendation I would give. It's another one of those with no car chases, violence, or pretty girls... but if you like sly comedy and a good story... it's worth the popcorn. It had a ton of stars in it. Off the top of my head: Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Ed Norton, Adrien Brodie, Harvey Keitel, Willem Dafoe, and... some others.

I am sort of a Wes Anderson newbie, but I have liked all his movies that I've seen: The Royal Tenebaums, Life Aquatic, Rushmore, The Darjeeling Limited, etc., etc.. I think most people either really like his movies, or they don't. They are definitely on the 'different' side. I like them. It was a nice time.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

What i get to enjoy today

Lately I've been trying to start each day by asking myself, "What do I get to enjoy today?" (rather than, "What do I have to do today?"). Today it's the fact that my son is preparing to take life to a different level and get his MDiv this fall at the grad school of his choice, my daughter-in-law gets to enrich the lives of a classroom full of young minds, my daughter is the most amazing mother I have ever known, I have the privilege of working with my son-in-law who is the top manager in the company, I am married to the most intelligent and beautiful woman on the face of the earth,  I have parents who continue to teach me what it means to be a human being making the world a better place, and I have a job that I look forward to going to. I will also get to enjoy lunch with my wife at our usual Saturday restaurant. So... What do you get to enjoy today?

Friday, April 04, 2014

The treasure chair

Okay, so I dug another "treasure" out of the garbage at the storage facility where I work. Carrie says I need an intervention. But this chair wasn't actually 'in' the garbage. Someone had kindly left it right beside the dumpster. And it's in really good shape. It doesn't look like anyone has even sat in it. Granted, it is not a high quality piece of furniture and it's not the prettiest pattern, but these smallish cushioned chairs that both rock and swivel are so hard to come by. I thought it might match the old small chair we have - but not so much. So, we'll see. The cat really seems to like it for some reason. She sits in it all the time and stands real tall like, "I like this chair. Good job, Dan." Although in this picture she is getting some heat from her spot in front of the register.