Wednesday, August 31, 2011


via Lisa


When we're good at sarcasm, it creates the illusion that we are cool and suave and in control of a situation, that we have power, that we are the "insider" in the situation and the "outsider" is to be scorned. It strokes our ego because people laugh and think you're clever.

But truthfully, a person who relies on sarcasm is really a scared two-bit hoodlum backed in a dark corner, stabbing outward with a switchblade at everyone who comes near, without first even bothering to check if the person wants to harm or hug them.

KIRKEPISCATOID on sarcasm. Great stuff!

via Of course I could be wrong

Friday, August 26, 2011


“God has editing rights over our prayers. He will . . . edit them, correct them, bring them in line with His will and then hand them back to us to be resubmitted.”

- Stephen Crotts

via The Ironic Catholic

Thursday, August 25, 2011

aboriginal culture and things that cross my path

when is something a "sign" to be noticed and when is it simply superstitious coincidence? i try to be sensitive to those things that happen around me as i look for some meaning. i truly believe that God can speak to you in the things that happen around you and i have also been exposed to a little bit of Aboriginal spirituality over the years on this earth. in the past i've experienced some wildlife in my travels where such wildlife does not belong and sometimes it has given me pause.

one day years ago we came home and there was an owl perched on a wire near our door and i wondered a little bit if such a thing had any significance to our journey. it turns out that an owl has a dark significance in aboriginal spirituality because of the significance of night and darkness that is equated with an owl. i didn't explore that meaning very much and i don't think i've mentioned it anywhere until now.

last year i was seeing rabbits near my workplace and in fact they would run alongside me as i came into work on my bike or they would even cut right in front of me as they tried to get where they were going. in Aboriginal culture a rabbit is a symbol of change that is coming because of how skittish the rabbit is in its travels.

a couple weeks ago we were driving down our street when a squirrel fell out of a tree and landed right in front of us. he wasnt even dazed and he quickly ran off to scurry back up his tree. here is what i've found that squirrel says to us:

Squirrel’s message teaches us to plan ahead and prepare for the future. Squirrel tells us to save for a rainy day. Don’t use up all of your resources. We must put something away to help us get through the bad times. Prepare also for seasonal changes. In periods of plenty save a little something for future use. However, if you have been hoarding things, get ready to release and let go. Take inventory! Donate your time, energy and resources to a worthy cause. Phone a charitable organization and share your abundance with others. Open a savings account. Test your discipline and control. If you are spending too much money, find out where it is going? It may also be a good opportunity to temporary withdraw from the world, count your blessings and wait for better times.

via Lily Therese

that's good advice best i can tell.

earlier this week another rabbit cut me off on my bike as i came into work. now it could just be that there are loads of rabbits that get in the way as we shuffle along but it could also be that i need to be more alert, and change is on the horizon. here's what i could find about jackrabbit as a sign:

You always plan for an escape exit, should the need arise. You are quick-witted, peaceful, talented and a survivor. The role of the victim is not appropriate in your business or personal relationships. Jackrabbit’s message is, always be alert. When walking in a strange neighborhood pay attention to your surroundings . Keep away from your enemies; you know who they are. Change your fears into faith. Learn to "freeze" when you want to avoid detection. Develop clairaudience to hear psychic messages. You are fertile with new ideas and now is the time to act on them.

via Lily Therese

do i know if any of this has significance? no i don't but i also don't want to be afraid of the question and i'm willing to be sensitive to those things that are around me.

it has been giving me a little pause however.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

here i am reffing football

look for #12 in stripes, sometimes i'm the ref with the white hat and sometimes i'm some other position with the black hat.

i'm in the frame for all of that clip. i don't do anything but i'm still in there the whole time. i actually make a mistake by running away at the end of the clip, they're supposed to kick the convert next and my position is supposed to be 40 yards away from i actually ended up.

here i'm the Head Linesman so you see my head flash by as i try to cover these guys downfield. you shouldn't see me til very late in that clip and all i do is mark the spot where the play stops but i do it so very professionally.

here i'm back in the white hat again (that means i'm the ref) and i pretty much wave time in on the play and they score.

here i'm the umpire, which means i'm the fatman in the middle of the field (umpire is where all the old slow guys officiate). the run goes up the middle and i simply rotate and follow the play.

finally i'm the back umpire which means that i'm the deep guy. the rule for that position is just don't get beat deep because there's nobody else behind you to cover your butt if you make a mistake.

Friday, August 19, 2011

up all night

up all night studying for a blood test. it was nothing like i thought it was going to be and not once did they ask me for my type. i think that maybe i failed and i might need a makeup.

it required me to fast for 12 hours so i wasn't allowed to eat breakfast either. not cool to be biking to work with no nourishment in my body.

i never was much good at tests.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


as usual, i didn't want to go to member's meeting but Wendy wanted to go and so since i'm pretty much a puppy dog i decided i could join her. the stroll to church was really very nice. we chatted and she made a backhanded compliment about how i looked like Bono in my shades, ugly dude that he is. she later admitted that she doesn't think Bono is ugly at all and it pleased me that she could love me enough to tease me.

in the past as we've sat in the circle i've thought, this is my tribe, these are my people ... but i couldn't find it in me to think those things this time. we had a discussion about camp ministry and how this season had progressed at the 3 camps we're affiliated with. i thought about the moments of coming off the high of camp and how i would seek to try and maintain that feeling beyond its time. i thought about the superstitious things that i would do to make it seem like i was maintaining that level of community high even though i knew i was having no impact on the feelings of the loss of those times. it was disenheartening back in those days and it seemed foolish to try and maintain that as i look back at it now.

then she began to share. R is a wife and mother whose husband was diagnosed with a genetic disorder last year that will one day cause his death. presently there is life but one day the absence of life even while life endures will be a horrible burden. R has mourned this diagnosis and it has led her into depression. her children have mourned it also. her husband has lived with this possibility all his life but she has only come to terms with it in the last year. she saw his mother fall into this deep pit, in fact that was all that she had experienced of his mother. she has looked at this oncoming train and mourned that it was on its way. i listened to her and i realized that i had said some of these same words and cried some of these same tears. i had seen this hopelessness in my own life and i had walked these very paths, sometimes i have crawled.

where do we find hope in this bleakness? we prayed together. people cried with her and comforted her and i sat and wondered where we could find hope ... but i was at a loss.

on the very odd occasion i have little visions as i pray. i sometimes think that i must've moved on to old man status because i no longer dream dreams, i see visions. i suppose i can take solace in the fact that it doesn't happen often so maybe i could still be kept from the old man cubbyhole, at least in my own mind.

as we prayed i could see no hope but eventually i decided that i needed to search for it. it was then that the vision popped into my head. i was standing outside and i looked up at a very very high city wall. i nearly couldn't see to the very top the wall was so high. i then started to yell.

that was my vision. i stood outside in the heat of the day and i yelled at a wall.

i began to think about it afterward and i thought of Jericho. the people of God stood in a circle and yelled at a wall. why would they yell? what good were they thinking they could do?

these were a people who had seen the angel of death pass by their doors, the parting of the Sea, manna from heaven, a pillar and a cloud, water from a rock and the preserving hand of God but now they stood outside of a city and yelled.

i've got to think they yelled out of expectation of what was to come.

i await the rumble and broken bits of clay, mud and stone that is to come. otherwise, why would i be yelling?

i've done a lot of yelling in the last year. i'm hoping that yelling with expectation will bring results. hope does not disappoint.


When I die, I will see the lining of the world.
The other side, beyond bird, mountain, sunset.
The true meaning, ready to be decoded.
What never added up will add Up,
What was incomprehensible will be comprehended.
- And if there is no lining to the world?
If a thrush on a branch is not a sign,
But just a thrush on the branch? If night and day
Make no sense following each other?
And on this earth there is nothing except this earth?
- Even if that is so, there will remain
A word wakened by lips that perish,
A tireless messenger who runs and runs
Through interstellar fields, through the revolving galaxies,
And calls out, protests, screams.

Czeslaw Milosz

via Peer Pressure is Forever

Thursday, August 11, 2011

how do i fix a bike?

i recently got a flat on my bike. we used to fix our own flats when i was a kid so it's not like i'm entirely lost when it comes to fixing up my bike. there are a couple complications though. when i was a kid i wasn't living with someone with extensive chemical and environmental sensitivities. i could just go about patching up the tube, put it all back together and inflate but now i have to consider how the smell of the patch glue is going to affect my dear one. what if i get it on my clothes? what if the smell alone could be noticed after the tube is all fixed?

i tried my bike guy for a little advice. Colin has some "attachments" to our church-community but in truth his family is important to me because he's my bike guy. he's also got a young family and he's very busy with life et al so i certainly don't want to go to the well too often during the course of bike season. i tap him on the shoulder in the spring for a tune-up and then i hope that i don't have to bother him after that so as not to ruin my chances for a tune-up next season. i've actually had to call Colin a couple times this year to get some advice and that's what i first tried to do in this situation. Colin was so busy that he couldn't even call me back and there's no way i'm trying again since i know i'll need him again sometime soon.

i was thinking i could do it myself. Wendy called me after work yesterday to tell me that she'd be biking home from her doctor's appt and i should go ahead and prepare some potatoes for dinner. i told her that i could do that but i also wanted to fix my tire. Wendy immediately suggested that i just take it to the local bike shop to get the work done so that there would be no environmental issues that may cause a migraine or worse, the dissolving of our marriage (that's a joke folks, don't worry too much there).

i called the shop and determined that it'd cost me around $20 to get the work done. that's more than i wanted to pay but at least it's a local, small business that i'd be supporting.

so, how do i fix a bike? i let the pros take care of it. i'll be a happier boy tomorrow when i finally get back to biking back and forth to work.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

life as i know it

everything is ok, i just haven't been able to blog much at all. since the last time i wrote something here i've reffed most of a football tourney for teams from across the country, a baseball qualifier tournament for the Provincial Championships, and then i umped the actual Provincial Championships. i'm really tired. well, mostly i'm sun-baked from all that time out in the sun but at least this time i bothered to wear sunscreen. at least i'm not lobster-boy although the sun sure does sap your energy when you put in 14 hr days outside. beside being a little sapped out, i feel pretty good.

i talk a lot about baseball off the top of this post but i do move on to other things so stick with me through the stuff that may only mean something to me.

i was chatting with one of the parents for a local team that i've been umping all season and she told this story about her husband who was a world class athlete back in the day. he's apparently also very humble. she was saying that when they were dating they had agreed not to take the troubles of competition home with them so they could just enjoy life together. this woman was cleaning up some boxes recently and she found a box with all sorts of medals in it from World Championships and even one Olympic Silver Medal. the husband had NEVER told her that he had won all of these medals. i just couldn't wrap my brain around the idea that someone wouldn't just "happen" to mention to his girlfriend and later his wife, "oh by the way, i'm an Olympic Silver Medalist". there's no way that i could be so humble as to keep from mentioning that fact in every casual conversation at any party i go to or even every fight that i get into with my wife. "no dear, you can't possibly be right here because i'm an Olympic Silver Medalist and that trumps any opinion you have in this moment!" well ok, maybe that wouldn't be so cool after all. after something like that i'd find myself sleeping on the couch with only my medal to keep me warm.

i love to talk about baseball theory. most of the time i like it best when i'm chatting with a catcher who only wants to learn more about how to do it better. i had several opportunities to talk with catchers after a game this past weekend and i went into teacher mode. one kid i pretty much said that he doesn't want me calling the high strike since then guys will swing at it and if they swing at it they'll start tomahawking it all over the field. the mantra is keep the ball down, down, down. that is, if you want to get guys out and what catcher doesn't want to get guys out?

i took a foul ball in the mask on Friday night that cracked the plastic housing around the metal. i may have to buy a new mask now. not cool. i also took a foul ball on the right forearm just below the elbow on Sunday (in my last game of the season) and i quite literally couldn't feel my arm for way longer than i admitted in front of 100 people watching. lots of people were asking "you ok blue?" (because you either call an ump by either "ump", "Mr. Umpire" or "blue" due to the colour of his jersey) and i answered "yeah, i'm fine thanks" even though its now two days later and my arm still hurts. i figure its just some bruising of the muscle but still i'll milk this and continue to whine about it just in case it gets me some sympathy.

these tourneys are the absolute best because you can just sit and tell baseball stories in your off time. you laugh a lot on these sorts of weekends.

it turns out that Wendy and I are being audited by Revenue Canada. we have so many medical bills that haven't been covered by insurance so we've been applying for every tax break we could qualify for. we're hoping that all goes well but it's still a lot of work for Wendy to put everything together since ... i'd be sure to miss a few thousand details if i tried to take care of this ... plus Wendy did the taxes so she already knows everything she applied for.

i have a flat tire on my bike so that means i'm on the bus to work. i have to take some time to fix that up since i very much would rather be on the bike. there's a lot of joy in my day when i'm biking back and forth to work.

Wendy and i were going on LONG bike rides together before my flat. they were actually quite nice even though they were really long but it was great just to spend time together doing something we both enjoy.

i've been helping with some training for a couple newbies at work. it really is a good space for me to be a mentor/teacher. i have significant gifts in that space that i can use and help to mold people into the sorts of workers they want to be. it's a major reason why i think i'd be a good selection for a supervisor around here. we'll see if that ever comes about though.

football season starts for me in 2 weeks.

one of the parents for a local team that i've been umping all season saw me without all my gear on and asked if i had lost a lot of weight recently. i have lost a lot of weight over the last few months but also when you only see an ump wearing all his plate gear you'll naturally think he's lost a ton of weight when you don't see him without all the gear. a plate umpire wears about 15 lbs of padding when he's working the plate. it makes me look all bulked up but i was also more on the pudgy side after the winter.

several people have mentioned my weight loss recently. all the dietary changes for Wendy has meant that i'm eating a lot less processed stuff and more salads too. my philosophy around weight loss is just about eating good food and getting some exercise. given all the health struggles in our household i can't afford to get all neurotic about weight loss though. still, i look good and people are noticing. yes, it really is all about me.

the dog next door was our pup's best friend and a couple days ago she wanted to come over to our yard for a visit. she was actually pretty cuddly when she came over which is fairly new for her to warm up to me like that. it made me miss Maddie a good bunch but it was also very nice to have a friendly pup around the yard for a little while.

i've been taking care of a group presentation for a co-worker while he's been on holidays. today is the last presentation i'll need to do for that coverage. it'll look good on the resume though since i've been spreading my wings more and more around here over the last couple of years. in terms of my own self-awareness i'm discovering more and more that since i'm so laid-back in my natural state that there really is some life for me when i'm ambitious and accomplishing more. if you know anything about enneagrams it's when a 9 space (like me) moves to a 3 space which is a healthy transition for me. an unhealthy transition is when i move to 6 space and i get locked away in my fears and doubts. i highly recommend a little bit of enneagram study into some self-awareness and spiritual exercises. seriously, go look into it for yourself, i'm sure you'll get some value there.

i had one day last week where i thought, "somebody needs to say something nice to me today" ... and it happened. be affirming.

the position at work that i've been wanting to apply for still has not been posted even though the chair has been empty for a month now. i've got to think that i'd be near the front of the line for that job when it gets posted but i'll still need to interview for the position. oh well, i'll jump through the hoops because it's what i want.

i sit on a housing board affiliated with my church-community. things are finally beginning to proceed with permits and funding. it'll mean significant renovations as we turn a 100 year old Anglican church into a much smaller church and low-income housing throughout the building. it's pretty exciting actually and i'm glad to be a part of it.

my buddy Bob's birthday is coming up this month. must remember to hang out with him and go do something.

Wendy has found a clinic where she can go address the significant chemical and environmental sensitivities that she deals with daily. the clinic is in Nova Scotia though so we'll be visiting there to get a whack of testing done this November. i've been to Nova Scotia but i was 5 so i don't remember anything about it. i hear its beautiful so i'm excited about that.

got a little bit of time to play the guitar so far this week. lotsa life for me there too, especially when i try to tackle new tunes. i started playing Bruce Cockburn's "Closer to the Light" recently and although it's still a bit rough trying to get a good sound on Csusp it doesn't sound TOO awful.

i write for 2 fantasy sports websites and i recently finished a baseball article over at . it's a niche that i like and enjoy. i think it's related to the whole "be a mentor/teacher" mentality that i want to be in.

well, i think i've run short on my own ramblings for now. thanks for bearing with me this far.