Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Major Storm headed for Florida!

Thanks, Joe!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my Fathers birthday! After nearly losing him in this past year, this is truly a great day.

The measure of a man can be summed up by many things but when I add them all up, I just call them Dad.

Happy Birthday, Pop. I love you!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Let's talk Sports

Specifically, Baseball and even more specifically, The Hall of Shame, uh, I mean Fame. (I will call it the Hall of Shame until Ron Santo is rightfully placed there)

In recent weeks there was a vote for induction into the Hall of Fame. Mark McGwire was a 1st time candidate for the Hall and SHOULD have been elected to it. Unfortunately, due to his taking the 5th ammendmant at the Congressional hearings on Steroids, he barely garnered enough votes to remain on the ballot in subsequent years, EVEN THOUGH Steroids was not a banned substance in Baseball during his playing days. Therefore, even if he did take Steroids, (and my suspicion is that he did) he was not cheating because it was allowed.

Now don't misunderstand me. I've not lost any sleep over the slight to Mr. McGwire. I've not decided to start a campaign to right the wrong or anything like that but I am bothered by the hypocrisy in Baseball and I will tell you why.

1. Hall of Fame voting: The voters for the Hall of Fame are Sports writers. There are some good ones but there are a whole bunch that couldn't hold down a job at a fast food restaurant if they hadn't lucked into the Sports writing job. Almost none of them are former players so why do they get to decide whose accomplishments are Hall of Fame worthy? It's a broken system. Fix it!

2. Congressional Hearings on Steroid abuse in Baseball: HELLO! Am I the only one that wonders why Congress would give a rip? Are there not enough worthwhile problems in this Country alone THAT CONGRESS SHOULD BE ADDRESSING. Your tax dollars hard at work once again.

3. Baseballs blatant hypocrisy: Mark McGwires rookie year, he hit 50 home runs. He as a skinny kid that obviously was not on Steroids although he was a big boy. I don't believe he hit over 50 again until the 1998 season, in which he hit 70, although I do believe that he was taking Steroids well before 98. My point. Steroids were not the reason why he hit 70 and Sammy Sosa hit 66. If it were then why didn't McGwire do it consistently while he was younger? The reason he hit 70 was because the Baseball was juiced. (wound purposely tight) The reason the ball was juiced was because baseball knew it needed a Home Run resurgence in order to save the game. So if McGwire and Sosa were cheating, so was Baseball, itself. Why did Baseball need saving? Because of the owners lockout in which they cheated this Country out of a full season of Baseball. Not only should McGwire be voted into the Hall, he should be personally thanked by every owner in the game.

Sports and I are in a love-hate relationship. I love the games. I love the concept of teamwork, the striving for a goal, the giftings of the Athletes. But I can't stand the over paid salaries for playing a game, the audacity of the prices that owners now charge because of a mess of their own making and the selfishness that now seems to be celebrated among elite Athletes.

Oh well, I guess I'm not as smart as those old sports writers but for some reason, I'm pretty thankful for that.

Friday, January 19, 2007


I thought that I would thumb my nose at my toes and write about some good stuff today.

Things have been going rather well for us of late. Extremely busy as usual but rather well. I am completing my first year as a Supervisor for my company and SHOULD BE getting a raise soon.

Around Christmas time our Hyundai Sonata, that we have had for six years, developed a rod knock so I had to put the proverbial bullet in it. In January we purchased a 2006 Mitsubishi Outlander and so far we are loving it. 170,000 K on a Hyundai ain't too bad.

I am excited about Church. With the exception of last weekend, (snow) we have had good attendance for January. Things are going very well and there is an excitement in the people as well. A young couple returned to Church recently. They have both been addicted to Heroin and it has nearly destroyed their lives. They have two beautiful children and everything to live for but addiction is a tough and unfeeling thing. About a year and a half ago I stood over the Fathers hospital bed as he lay dying from an overdose. I can't describe what I felt in that room that day other than to say it was obvious that death was there and in an ugly way. I've dealt with death during my tenure here. I've held the hand of a good friend as he took his last breath. It was obvious that death was there but that was nothing in comparison to what I felt that day in that hospital room. Miraculously, he recovered but the addiction still had its grip. We lost them for about a year and then they resurfaced. It's apparent that they have had their battles but I see a determination in them that I've not seen before. What the experience has taught me is the importance of focusing on the right thing.

Occasionally, it is very easy to get discouraged, especially when dealing with the addicted. You know that the power of God can help change their life and you do your best to be an instrument to be poured out of, only to see the power of the addiction win out. One thing that God has taught me in these six years is this, Failure is a choice. Just as much for me as it is the addicted. Please understand that I am not saying that failing is a choice. Sometimes we do fail because of our choices but an honest look at Scripture will teach us that sometimes failing is in the will of God. The Bible is full of men that failed but they were not failures. The difference is in what I choose to learn in my failings that will help me succeed. True Failure can only occur when I choose to give up and quit trying. So in the midst of failing, focus on what can be learned. Keep success in front of you and strive for it with God leading the way. There are times when goals need to be readjusted but overall, I'm not beaten if I don't quit.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Stir crazy

Most folks will tell you that I've always been a little (or maybe a lot) crazy but with this toe thing going on combined with the winter weather, I am a whole bunch of stir crazy.

I went back to my Doc on Monday and the infection had spread to the Big Toe. It was all blistered up and painful. They insisted that I see an Infectious Disease specialist and they got me in that afternoon. He confirmed that it was Cellulitus but that he suspected that it was the MRSA staph infection as well. MRSA is the anti-biotic resistant one that is in the news these days. He doubled my dosage of anti-biotic that I was taking and added another. So far it has really calmed down. I'm off my Crutches and able to walk when needed but the WALLS ARE STARTING TO SPEAK TO ME! I'm off work until the 26th so I've had to take FMLA. I'm fairly sure I will be well by then but from what I've read about MRSA, I am taking no chances.

It was amazing how seemingly fast this thing hit. Last Wednesday morning I talked with my Mom and didn't mention anything about it because it was just a minor itch in the Toe. By the end of my shift Wednesday, I could barely walk and when I got home and pulled off my shoe, I couldn't wear one anymore. (BTW-my Dad is doing really well, he is an amazing man that serves an awesome God)

Yesterday I got a card in the mail from the crew that works for me. It's nice to know that you are thought well of as a Boss. They are a great group of "Kids." I can say that since I was married before some of them were born!

I'm going to try to write more in the coming week. Might as well take advantage of this time.

Hope you all are well!

Friday, January 12, 2007

New Year's revolutions

After the events of 2006 I had purposed in my heart that 2007 was going to be a year of health for my entire family. Debbie and I entered into a weight loss/lifestyle change to shed the pounds that we no longer want, for good.

The good news! So far I've lost almost 6 pounds and Deb had lost nearly 7! Yaaaaaay!

The bad news, I've just returned from my second trip to the emergency room in two days! That's OK, if it's just me in the family then I'll be more than happy to carry that load.

A week ago, Friday, I noticed a slight itch/aggrivation in my right little toe. I didn't think much of it and thought it was just a slight case of Athletes foot so I began treating it accordingly. During work on Wednesday, I began to have difficulty walking on the foot and when I arrived home and took off my shoe, it seemed to blow up like a balloon and itched like crazy. I woke Debbie up and had her look at it and next thing you know, I am in the emergency room being treated for what they thought was a spider bite.

I was to follow up with my Doc today but he was out of the office and this morning the infection had spread to various parts of my foot so---I spent this early afternoon back in the ER.

This time the Doc decided to be a little more aggressive. They gave me an anti-biotic and pain killer, through an IV and then he decided to open the area up for drainage. If you have never had a shot in the webbing of your toes, consider yourself blessed. It hurt bad enough to make a Preacher want to cuss. (BUT I DIDN'T) Then he decided to carve open the bottom of my foot and place a drain in it. I'm not feeling much right now but I'm betting tonight will be fun.

They think it was some sort of bacterial infection now. I'm just hoping it gets well.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Please Pray

I've just recieved word that a young toddler in my Church named Kurtis has been diagnosed with "Apraxia." It is a Nuerological disorder that affects speech development and several other motor skills. During the Summer of 2006 Kurtis miraculously survived a bout of Guillan-Barre Syndrome. God brought him through that and I believe that God will do it again.

I love all of the children of our Church but Kurtis is my biggest buddy. I ask all of you to pray for him.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Year, New Hope

With the arrival of the New Year I am forcing myself to work up a new hope for the restoral of common sense.

I say "forcing myself" because the last week of 2006 really made me wonder if common sense is gone for good. For example:

My youngest brother came to visit and we all decided to go out to eat. I had heard about a nice restaurant in Elgin so we decided to drive up and give it a shot. Not long after our arrival and seating, the Waiter came up to take our drink order. Debbie had begun skimming through the Menu and she had noticed a "Soup and Salad bar" but there wasn't one visibly present so Debbie asked the waiter, "Do you have Soup and Salad bar?" "Yes" replies the Waiter. Looking around the Restaurant, Debbie asks the obvious question, "Where is it?" The young man, who shall remain nameless, proudly stepped closer and said, "It's right here" pointing it out IN THE MENU. And he wasn't done just yet.

At the conclusion of the meal he brought the check. I got out my Debit Card and he took it and ran it and then brought it back for me to sign. I added the tip, (yes, just the monetary one) and my brother and I sat there while Debbie went to the facilities. While sitting there, the young man returned to pick up the signed slip and as he picked it up he said, (I kid you not) "Do you need change back?" I'm sure it's force of habit on his part but there were probably only three other tables with patrons so he definitely wasn't over worked. Over taxed? I'll let you decide.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the promise of a New Year. I've been rather busy of late and have had some Computer problems but that is being ironed out and cyber life is returning to normal. I wish you all the best and the blessings of our Father in 2007. Just remember this, never ask for change back from your debit or charge card!