Thursday, November 29, 2007


Overzealous Weathermen

(Photo of Paul Douglas)

The following is a quote from the Minneapolis Star Tribune's own Paul Douglas:

"Snow. Noun. Frozen precipitation in the form of white or translucent hexagonal ice crystals that fall in soft, white flakes. That’s a gentle reminder for Twin Cities residents, who have seen precious little of the “white stuff” in recent years."

True, I have only lived here coming up on two years, but I seem to remember getting hit with about 20-30 inches ofsnow in February over the course of only a few days. Weathermen drive me nuts, wherever I have lived (though Chicago's Tom Skilling seemed of a pretty even keel). They get overly dramatic when we do see a storm, and any day that is warmer than normal necessitates some sort of speech on the looming extinction of the polar bears. I like snow. I especially love it this time of year. He wrote this today because we are supposed to get a good snow storm this weekend. Last year, December was pretty brown, and we had to hear the complaining and the apocalyptic cries of global warming. Now, this is not meant to be a post questioning the legitimacy of the global warming theory, something I do not pretend to know anything about. It is meant to be a statement on the fact that when your whole job is weather, you start to sound silly. I certainly cannot forget snow when I had to turn my Ford Taurus into a snowplow simply so I could drive home from work last February.

This phenomenon is not unique to the midwest. The local "storm watches" in Southern California always reminded me more of a Saturday Night Live sketch than a weather report. Weathermen need to remember that weather is unpredictable. Here in Minnesota, where the weather is fascinating and varies a lot, that should be even more the case. But alas, the drama persists, and poor Paul Douglas is left to ring his hands and try to remind fellow Minnesotans what snow is, when I'm sure none of them need to be reminded.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


That's More Like It

Last year it was almost 60 on Thanksgiving. This morning, I gripped my coffee and enjoyed the 30 degree air and thought to myself, this is Thanksgiving weather.

It has been a crazy week at work. I didn't order enough potatoes, but pretty much everything else looks good in the produce section (a little light on the fresh herbs too). Today, I feel at rest, though I may still go in to help (I haven't had Thanksgiving Eve off since 2001). It feels as though I have gotten over a major hump yet again.

Now, the baking begins, and we enjoy the beginning of another advent season, with one more Christmas baby.

Saturday, November 17, 2007



Having a baby around again makes me realize again that, all in all, they aren't too complicated. Sure, his arrival has spelled certain health issues for my wife, and I don't wish to minimize that. But when you have a 4 year old and 2 year old, you can appreciate the simplicity of an infant's life. If he's sad, he wants to be held, to eat, or to be changed. I can do 2 out of those 3, and the third option is as easy as handing the boy over.

I remember when Corrie was this age (and a bit older) people saying to me, "Oh...just wait until their older..."

My canned response was always, "Don't worry, I will..."

When life is this simple, it is something to cherish and celebrate, not something to use an an excuse to whine yet again.

In other news, business is ramping up at TJ's, and we have had our first tiny bits of snowfall in the Twin Cities. For some reason, this year feels more stressful, even though I have things more under control at work than I have in years past.

I always have two totally different feeling at this time of year. The work side of me doesn't care for this next month, as stress increases. But, the more important side remembers the great time of year this is, and I will never allow the stress at work to take that away from me.

Friday, November 09, 2007



Right now, I am coming off a weekend that wasn't terribly relaxing. Steph has been sick again, the kids have been wired, and I'm feeling more stress than normal at work. Yesterday I had a day wherein I let everything get me down too much.

As I awoke at 4AM this morning to start a new week, I realized that it all comes down to trust. I still don't trust God enough to take care of my future (and my present for that matter). God still has so much to teach, and I still have so much to learn.

I am so grateful for the kids and for Steph. Steph has really been put through the ringer since Wes came along, and yet she remains, to me, a picture of grace and kindness through it all. As I continue to have my struggles with my career and future, it does me good to look to her attitude, and to remember that I must leave the unanswerable questions in God's hands. When I try to take them from Him, it only makes things worse.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


My Problem with Clifford

The kids tend to see Clifford every so often on PBS. They don't see it a whole lot, because they, in general, don't watch a ton of TV. I like the Veggie Tales and Thomas, but there is an obstacle for me with Clifford. I tried to find a picture of his dog dish for this entry, but was unsuccessful.

Since I cleaned up after a dog for my first 10 years, the concept of an enormous dog eating that much food only leads me to one conclusion...and we know what that is.

So I'll endure the Clifford at times. But the reason I have to endure is that I cannot look at that huge dog and not think of the bitter reality of the gigantic land mines in the yard.

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