Laptop withdrawal

I had to take my Toshiba laptop to the computer hospital. It has been "locking up" at the most inopportune times, like during a power point presentation. She, I think of the computer as female, has also been sporting a white vertical line on the screen and recently produced a high pitched screech when I turned her on. I have labeled the laptop as female because 1) I need her and desire her 2) She cooperates with me only to a certain point and 3) I appear smarter than I am when she helps me. I also feel lost without her. I keep going to the backpack to take her out to find that she is not there. I miss her terribly. So I have decided to run off with the most important female in my life, my spouse, for a few days. We will rest, enjoy each others' company, disengage from our hectic schedules and try not to think of deadlines, appointments, and sick computers.

The Madness of March

The madness of March extends far beyond the NCAA tournament that began this past Thursday. Like the tournament, the weather for March is predicted in the midst of uncertainty and upsets. Here in upstate New York this March has been typically irregular, irrational, and irresistible. It began not like the predicted lion but more like an irritable house cat with snow showers and a high of 29 degrees. Then March struck her seductive pose on the 10th when we basked in sunshine and 66 degrees. The following days brought summer like storms with driving rains, booming thunder, flashes of lightening, and widespread power outages, then temperatures dived back down below freezing and we experienced snow squalls that caused white-outs on the interstate. The madness of March disturbs my fragile equilibrium. Shakes my emotional foundation. Fractures my superficial sense of security. March backs me into the corner of my life where faith lives, where I trust in the one who promises “that for everything there is a season”. So, despite all evidence to the contrary, I believe that Spring is just around the corner.
I am not the first to struggle with the insanity of March. In Ancient Rome, March was called Martius, named after the Roman god of war and it was the first month of the year in the ancient calendar. (I guess that way, things could only get better.) I like the name the Ancient Britons gave it, “hyld-monath” which means very loud or strong. But back to Ancient Rome, where the month was filled with celebrations. one of which ended with a nine day fast, followed by a blood-letting by the priests of Cybele (a fertility goddess) and then two days of rest. Modern culture has replaced all that craziness with Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, March Madness, etc.. I recently discovered that this is also
National Optimism Month. OK then, I choose to be optimistic, to have faith that spring will arrive, and that the One who “holds me in the palm of His hand” has a firm grip even in the madness of March.

Apocalypse Now?

I suppose that in the land that gave us Hot Pockets it was just a matter of time before someone would come up with this gastronomic delight. Why not combine fast foods' artery clogging bacon cheeseburger with a Krispy Kreme donut? You will be able to bite into this culinary creation at the GMC Stadium in Sauget, Ill., home of the Gateway Grizzlies, a minor league baseball team. They are calling it Baseball's Best Burger. I guess they might have to change the words to Take Me Out To The Ball Game to "buy me some peanuts and this burger and I may never get back". The press release describes it this way;
"The burger...consists of a thick and juicy burger topped with sharp cheddar cheese and two slices of bacon. The burger is then placed in between each side of a Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnut."
I will be planning a road trip this summer to experience baseball and this ballpark delicacy.

Chicken Joke

This was my laugh for a Monday morning. I found it on Chuck Sigars' blog.
A guy walks into a restaurant, sits down, examines the menu for a few minutes, then asks the waiter, "How do you prepare your chickens?"
"Well, usually, sir," the waiter replies, "we just tell them right off that they're all gonna die."
Honest and direct communication is best!

Celebrating 39 years of Marriage!

This Saturday will mark 39 years since Mary Linda Roberts and I began our marriage journey together. At that time a postage stamp cost just 5 cents and a gallon of regular gas was 33 cents. In 1967 the median household income was less than 8,000 dollars and you could buy a new home for about $25,000. LBJ was president and our cities were exploding with racial tension. The year Mary and I married both PBS and Rolling Stone were born. It was a great year for movies; The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, In The Heat of the Night, and Cool Hand Luke (one of my all time favorites). Frank Sinatra and The Beatles were fighting it out on the airwaves with Frank's Strangers in the Night winning record of the year and the Beatles Michelle being honored for song of the year. Dr. Christiann N. Barnard and his team of South African surgeons performed the first successful human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky. Mr. Waskansky, a dentist, was 54 years old and he died 18 days later. The median life expectancy in 1967 was 70.5 years.
Thirty nine years has brought a lot of change in the world and, as evidenced by the photographs, in us. We have experienced the birth of 4 children and 4 grandchildren and the adoption of another child. We have been through the celebrations of the marriages and the pain of divorces with our sons and daughters. At age 30 I began an 8 year educational journey that culminated in the ordained ministry. We have experienced the deaths of three parents and one sibling. Almost four decades of laughter and tears, joys and sorrows, successes and failures. Over 250,000 meals, 13,235 days and nights, at least 25,000 kisses (minimum 2 per day), and over 2,000 arguments (about one per week).
So, what have I learned in these seasons of love totaling twenty million four hundred ninety seven thousand and four hundred minutes? I think the lessons of a good marriage can be best summed up by the words of Antione Saint-Exupert which appear on a scrap of paper that I recently took out of my wallet and taped on the bookcase in my study.
Love does not consist in gazing at each other
but in looking outward together in the same direction.With great joy and gratitude I celebrate with Mary thirty nine years of shared values.

A Real Superstar!

Sometimes in sports something happens that is truly a celebration of the human spirit. The story of Jason McElwain and his four minutes of super stardom is a shining example. If you haven't seen this video yet, enjoy. Click here. What I like most about it is the reaction of Jason's classmates.