Weekend Horse Show
July 30, 2006, 9:17 am
Filed under: uncategorized

Yesterday Michelle rode her horse, Redford, in their first dressage show together. It was the first show Michelle has done in something like 14 years.

She was all nervous, but did very well, and placed second in her group. That rocks. Of course, when people told her how good she was, she kept talking about the horse doing well, as if she had nothing to do with it. It was cool to hang out and see it all.

There’s still so much about the whole world of equestrian sports that I’m trying to figure out – a whole language. The relationship between horse and rider is pretty amazing to watch. Communication at some pretty subtle levels.

Anyway, just thought I’d share what’s up with my favorite person.

Whew, I’m done . . . mostly
July 25, 2006, 7:43 pm
Filed under: uncategorized

I’m just sitting here procrastinating the inevitable. I have to go clean up from the last few days of work here at the house. Three out the last four weekends were spent laying tile in various parts of the house. I already posted pictures of the entry. This past weekend I finally finished the downstairs hallway that leads to our garage. That section was painful to prep for tile, and required some long hours to lay it out – let’s just say I got my money’s worth on the tile saw I bought on Craig’s List. But after coming home from work and mixing up some grout yesterday, as of about 9:30pm last night, it’s done. All I need to do is put some sealant on it, which should be quick and easy this weekend. But now I’ve got a mess of tools and scrap tile waiting for me to come put it away . . . and I’m feeling a bit lazy about it all. That’s like 1% of the total job, but I’m sitting here blogging instead of finishing strong. Ugh.

You Say You Want a Revolution
July 19, 2006, 3:13 pm
Filed under: uncategorized

Jim is next door painting Jeremy & Daniele’s house. He’s all man. He told me that Off The Map has launched their site for this year’s event: You Say You Want A Revolution. Oh man, this looks sooooooo good. I already can’t wait. If you look at the list of workshop speakers, there aren’t a ton of rock star celebrities there, but I’ve had contact or near contact with enough of them to know that this is a stellar group of folks. I’m super stoked because since we live very close to this year’s venue, Michelle and I will get to play hosts to some of these fine people. I have a sneaky suspicion that I might have to learn how to smoke a cigar that weekend. Anyway, mark your calendar NOW – November 3-4. Even if you don’t live near Seattle, start getting creative about how to get your butt out here.

What "Normal" Superpower Would You Choose?
July 18, 2006, 6:02 am
Filed under: uncategorized

With the annual return of the superhero movies to the big screens, the other day I stumbled onto a thought. Do super powers really have to be super? Yeah, yeah, I know – Bruce Wayne doesn’t have super powers as Batman . . . but he does have a heckuva lot of money to buy super powerful toys.

But what about life for the rest of us who live outside the pages of comic books? I imagine a good lot of us would wish for something like, say, the ability to eat endless supplies of (insert your favorite food here) and never suffer the health or weight effects of it. Or how about the ability to remember anything you’ve read well enough to have intelligent conversation about it, even five or ten years after the fact?

I’m not here to suggest anything – I’m here to listen. So, what would your “normal-person” super power be? No invisibility, no flying, no climbing walls without certified climbing harnesses, ropes, and helmets allowed.

Progress, Not Perfection
July 18, 2006, 5:21 am
Filed under: uncategorized


Back when I was doing a grad school counseling internship at a Salvation Army drug and alcohol rehab, there was a saying going around (popularized by AA)- “Progress, Not Perfection.” This reminded the person in recovery that attitudes, emotions, cravings, relationships, and situations don’t get resolved over night. Often the person who is waking up out of a drug/alcohol induced haze after being in it for years is frustrated that they aren’t getting their whole life back together all at once. Oh well – to use another AA phrase, that’s just “life on life’s terms.”

Given that I’m coming up on my one year anniversary at my current job, I’ve been in reflection mode – evaluating how well I’ve done, how poorly I’ve done, and what’s left to be done. Oh, that last section is a long one. I’m one of those people who is his/her own worst critic, so this process tends to produce a bit of angst and mild depression in me. And yet, at the end of the day, I have to realize that of the challenges I was faced with, I did a decent job. Much room for improvement, mind you, but I made some progress. So why do I keep feeling so stinking inadequate for not getting everything done? That’s just what it’s like to be me.

It reminded me of a little experience Michelle and I shared a few years ago at an “emerging church” event. One of the leaders of the event spoke of an experience they had on the way to the event that morning. They stopped at a convenience store to pick up a couple things for the day, and ran into a homeless man they knew from having worked with him in the past. They took a few minutes to talk and give encouragement, and even bought the guy a cup of coffee before leaving. But on the way to the event, this person felt guilty about it, because the coffee had been served in a styrofoam cup, and that’s bad for the environment. Michelle and I chuckled about it later because this person missed the point – they did a good thing out of a good heart – would it really have been better to withhold hospitality and generosity in the name of Jesus because it wasn’t environmentally sustainable?

So take your pick of some issue that gets you all fired up. Some ideal you hold about the way things are and the way they ought to be. Then ask yourself what progress would look like. Ask yourself if some progress would be better than none.

Most of the time progress is unsatisfying when compared with perfection. Alas, that’s almost always how life works.

Monk eBusiness
July 12, 2006, 8:38 am
Filed under: uncategorized

I read a quick profile of Laser Monks on Wired this morning. Monasteries have to be self-sustaining. Here’s a group that’s supplying office supplies at good prices, and doing very well for their mission. Makes me wonder what kind of creative capacity we have all around us that we could use to generate finances for serving people. It would be really easy to get off track and focus on the wrong stuff, but it could also do a lot of good. Sadly, I just ordered some of the supplies I could have gotten through Laser Monks, but through a different company. Maybe next time, eh?

Pearl Jam and the environment
July 11, 2006, 11:27 am
Filed under: uncategorized

Let me say this first – Pearl Jam’s new record is stellar. Really good rock that is as fresh as their early stuff, and gives plenty of evidence as to why they’re the only viable grunge supergroup left standing.


They’ve recently announced about $100,000 in donations to various environmental organizations. Here’s the rationale: they ride in polluting buses and airplanes a lot, they play concerts that require lots of electricity, and contribute their share to the global warming problem. In order to offset this, they’re raising awareness and money to help bring about change. The band website has a link to Conservation International, which has a CO2 emissions calculator you can use to see what your carbon output is. It also suggests an annual donation amount for you to contribute in order to offset your own emissions. Brings it home in a practical way.