Sunday, March 16, 2008

All done

I realized pretty quickly that I'm not terribly interesting -- at least not the parts of me that I'm willing to publish. So, I haven't updated the blog in a while. If you're family or friend, visit for the latest photos, etc.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Not as bad off as I am

Seattle - I bought an amandine at Le Panier in Pike Place Market and wandered over to Victor Steinbrueck Park to watch the ships in Elliott Bay. There was a relatively young homeless guy speaking loudly through a window to some diners who I'm sure couldn't hear him. "I've got 100 things to think about!" he was explaining as I came within earshot. He turned to me and started telling me about his love life (which apparently involves "every girl in Seattle") as I smiled my please-leave-me-alone smile and kept walking. "Hey!" he spat out. "Why are you so prematurely bald?"

Now, that shouldn't bother me, should it? I mean, the guy was stoned out of his mind, talking to a window. Everything he possessed was in a backpack leaning against a parkbench that will likely be his bed tonight. And yet, he looked at me and thought, "At least I've got my hair."

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

important tip

How to survive a freestyle rap battle


* If someone beats you in a battle and it gets to you, and you practice more until you think you're really ready, you should challenge them again, and if you win, you will earn a lot of respect back. It's a great feeling. And chicks will dig your system and flair.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Shoebox Greetings used to (early 90s) have a section of their website called "Funny but no" with rejected greeting cards. My favorite was:
Front - Congratulations on your new tattoo.
Inside - May you get the attention you so desperately crave.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Places to see in Paris

Place de la ConcordePlace de la Concorde -- This is where Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI were beheaded. Now it's a large square filled with fountains and an Egyptian obelisk. From here you can see the Eiffel Tower, Hôtel des Invalides, the Champs-Élysées, The Arc de Triomphe, and La Madeleine. More on those later. We visited this place several times to see the sites in various shades of night and day.

Le Marais & Châtelet-Les Halles -- This is one of my favorite parts of Paris. Eat falafels in the Jewish Quarter, watch street performers by Centre Georges Pompidou. Lots of pastries in this area (along with most other areas): pains au chocolat, réligieuses, baguettes, and crêpes.

Hotel des InvalidesHôtel des Invalides -- home of Napoleon's tomb and a military museum.

Rodin Museum -- Balzac, The Thinker and a bunch of other naked statues.

Musée d'Orsay -- Everything from Impressionism on: van Gogh, Monet, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Manet, Renoir, Rodin, Whistler, etc. My favorite is Cain by a lesser-known artist. Eugène Burnand's Les disciples Pierre et Jean courant au sépulcre le matin de la Résurrection

The Louvre -- Everything from Impressionism back: da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Michelangelo's Slave, Venus de Milo, Egyptian artifacts, etc.

Arc de Triomphe -- climbed 400 stairs to the top for a great view of the city.

Eiffel TowerEiffel Tower -- took a Bâteau Mouche (boat on the Seine River) tour from here, spent some time in the park, bought overpriced bottled water, took lots of pictures, didn't go to the top.

Champs-Élysées -- the big road that connects Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe. We walked down this a couple of times to do some people-watching and to visit the Virgin Megastore. Sacre Coeur

Victor Hugo's home -- pretty boring tour, but cool to have been there.

Basilique du Sacre Coeur -- large white church on the top of a hill.

Montmartre -- near Sacre Coeur are a bunch of Bohemian sites: Picasso's studio, van Gogh's apartment, hangouts of famous poets and authors, Place du Tertre where all the aspiring artists (con and otherwise) congregate. Down the hill is the Pigalle area, home to the Moulin Rouge and tons of good music shops.

Versailles -- Palace of the Sun King, Louis XIV, crowned and married at the age of four. We went on the tour of the gardens on a Sunday afternoon, the only time they run the immense (and expensive to operate) system of fountains, accompanied by Baroque music. We also toured the Palace. The Versailles Treaty was signed in the Hall of Mirrors, ending the First World War.

Sainte-Chapelle -- Wendy's second favorite. Incredible stained glass windows that tell the history of the world from Genesis to the Second Coming with the life of Christ in the center. Moses is depicted with horns because of a mistranslation of the Bible in medieval times.

Notre Dame de Paris Cathédrale de Notre Dame -- took 200 years to build. Tried to go to the top, but the line was too long. After the gargoyles up top, my favorite feature is the depiction over the center door of the Final Judgment with Christ in the center, devils taking people off to His left, and angels taking others off to His right.

Catacombs -- bunches of bones unearthed from Parisian cemeteries and arranged by monks in underground tunnels. Ours was the quickest tour on record, with Wendy pulling me through the tunnel maze as quickly as she could run.

Pere Lachaise Cemetery -- This was right by our hotel. Its claim to fame is (much to the dismay of the French) the grave of Jim Morrison (of The Doors), which can easily be found by following the graffiti. Among the others buried here are Frederic Chopin and Oscar Wilde.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Crossing flights

DL Flight 115 Barcelona-AtlantaDuring our flight back from Barcelona, the pilot came on the intercom to say there was another Delta flight visible off the right side of the plane. Delta Flight 149 Rome-AtlantaI grabbed my camera and headed to a window but couldn't get a clear shot. Another man with a window seat got a great shot of the Boeing 767 heading from Rome to Atlanta and then contacted the pilot of that flight for the return shot he took of our plane. I don't usually get all geeked out about plane stuff, but this was pretty cool. At about 35,000 feet in elevation, the planes were separated by about 1,000 feet vertically and 1 mile horizontally.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Lying about musical prowess to impress girls

Pretending it's natural to play the guitar while your feet hang over the Grand Canyon (Jumpup Point)When I was only a lad, I had a summer job at Jacob Lake Inn near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I walked into the break room one day to hear the final notes of Peter, Paul and Mary's A' Soalin' played awkwardly on the guitar by a fellow employee. The girl that was watching admiringly asked him about the song he said something like, "Oh, it's just something me and a friend wrote a while back." That I did not call him out at that time is one of my great regrets.

A couple of years earlier, while I was a missionary in France, a fellow missionary played a great tune on the guitar and told me he wrote it for his girlfriend. It wasn't until years later that I discovered the song was actually Language of the Heart by David Wilcox. I actually saw the guy again at an Indigo Girls concert (opening act: David Wilcox) the night before I got married. I thought about mentioning it to him, but I'm not as petty in real life as I am in my mind.

I have to admit I once told a girl that I recorded the opening sequence of Queen's Invisible Man on my home stereo, so I don't have much room to talk here. (It probably would have worked out between us if I hadn't picked such a lame song.) What is it that makes guys think they can get away with this?

I blame it on Lyle Lovett. Because, hey, if it worked for him. . .