January 27, 2014

  • More than enough time…?

    Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours in your day as Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.

    Classic pocket-watch photo

January 21, 2014

  • The “Final Frontier”?

    “Space… the final frontier… these are the voyages of the Starship E…” WAIT, wait, hold up, did you say FINAL frontier? Hold on, buddy, we still have a few pieces of Earth left! Didn’t know that? Yep! There are still just THREE places on Earth that are, as yet, completely unclaimed. Curious?
    Of course, the moon also remains unclaimed as well. The space treaty talked about not allowing any “country” to claim the moon- but it didn’t say anything about people, did it? So a man named Dennis Hope wrote the United Nations saying “I claim the moon as mine”- he never heard back, so since then, he has been selling aces of Earth-front moon property for just one low LOOOOW price of $19.95!!


December 23, 2013

  • The Pride of Universal Guilt

    The World on Her Shoulders

    The World on Her Shoulders

    A person with the “Pride of Universal Guilt” carries “a form of vanity and egomania.  She holds herself responsible for things that could not possibly be her fault.  As if she controlled everything, as if other people’s suffering came about as punishment for her sins…. She blames herself.” (1)The idea of being out of control, of having no control or part in a situation or the world around, is terrifying.  People long for control, from childhood we seek to understand our world and then to find some means or illusion of control within it to provide security and achieve what we want.  As a parent of a little boy who was born with a speech delay and did not speak understandable sentences until after he was six, I experienced saw directly how a parent would rather find some or many reasons they caused their own child to be disabled, rather than accept that they had absolutely no control.  ”We should have had a c-section”, or “we should not have let him get immunizations”, or any number of things.

    I find the term “pride of universal guilt” interesting, as it recognises the root of this is pride: that “I” am great enough that surely anything that happens is caused by my doing, is my fault.  If I wanted someone to die, and they die:  then “it is my fault”.  Children often struggle with this concept of feeling everything that happens around them is in response to their thoughts, actions and desires- according to my father, child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Dr. Clyde Flanagan.  It is something we often carry with us into adulthood, not really aware of it until something happens that shows us how little control we have.
    It is at this point that we must accept our own powerlessness.  For the person who believes in God, we can have faith that 1)  God IS in control, and 2)  God shows love for us and grace towards us (made manifest in the birth and death of a certain carpenter from Nazareth).  When we accept forgiveness which comes at no cost to us and every cost to Him, and follow Him, this does not mean our life will be free of painful things that seem hard to understand.  In some cases it may take gazing back at the wandering journey of our lives from future vantage point, to see just how blessed we were.
    Do we, in pride, create a world in which everything revolves around us and we are responsible for every wrong and negative?  Or do we accept the reality of a world in which situations are out of our control, and the only true and non-illusory security we can receive is in God?
    (1)  Orson Scott Card, Speaker of the Dead
    (2)  Art created specifically for this post by Charlotte11
    Anotation:  I find it continually fascinating how, as I read a book by a clearly brilliant author that clearly did not intend a specifically Christian meaning to his work, the Spirit continues to teach me as though that meaning were there.  There are often seeds of truth buried in perspectives other than our own: do we, in fear, evade them or plug our ears like a child?  Or do we listen, and trust the Spirit inside us to aide us in “separating the wheat from the chaff”?

December 16, 2013

  • A Contractor’s Debt

    A Contractor’s Debt

    By Coroloro (P.R.F.)

    Written: 08/25/2006 at 5:22 PM


    A contractor, to avoid being in debt to a bank, had built up a debt to a wealthy older man. This man was a business man and had a great sum of money, however when the contractor found himself unable to get a sufficient job to continue paying off his debt the older debtor told him that he could pay off his debt by building houses for him- he would receive room and board and enough money to live moderately on, but the rest would go towards paying off his debt. The contractor began with enthusiasm and gratitude- instead of holding him to pay it off or face penalties like he could have done, the older man had given him not only the way to pay it off but also a job. After several months of skilled and successful work on houses, the older man came to the contractor.


    “You have done a wonderful job. Even with top pay, however, you would be paying this off until the day you die. If you agree, I shall make you a deal- I will clear you of all debt, and in return request a signed contract that you will work a minimum of ten years with me just as you are presently doing. After that, you may choose what to do next- free of debt to any.” The contractor was overjoyed, and heartily agreed.


    Years later, the older man had the contractor working on a particularly beautiful and large house.  It was similar to the ones he had built already, but much fancier. The contractor was summoned to the man’s finely furnished office one day and told he would be delivering several messages to retired people who had caught the older man’s eye and he felt deserved a comfortable life in return for hard and heartfelt volunteer service they had given. The message to deliver was that he was building each of them their own house, sparing no expense, and they would have a lovely grand home to invite their family into to live our their days. The contractor knew just how true it was that these homes were sparing no expense- he had personally overseen their construction and was overseeing one even now.


    He delivered the messages one by one. One was too a man living in a very shabby, run down house with lots of pets around him. Some were to older couples with large families, others to widows, on and on- some looked well enough, others looked hardly matching with the house being given them. He would often get warm smiles of gratitude, some gave a nod as though it was expected, others cried with joy. As he did this, he began to grow bitter in his heart. He was working on and on, getting hardly any pay at all and had worked hard and long for this man- meanwhile, these people were going to be doing nothing at all and yet his own efforts were to build the very houses they would continue doing all of that nothing in! And the fact some seemed to even just expect it made him more upset. One day he went to the old man and asked him how much longer until his ten years were up, and if that was still expected of him- “Five years, and yes, it is signed- we will continue until the end.”


    That evening he went to the house he was working on. It was near completion- an elegant house made of brick and oak with large windows and skylights on top. He imagined that yet another old coot with no money was going to be living in this one- six bedrooms to store all his leftover junk and pet fleas in! In anger, he got into a bulldozer nearby, turned it on, and with single-minded determination rammed into the house. Repeatedly, again and again, wham, wham, wham. The bricks cracked, then shattered under the weight of the assault. Crackle, snap went the strong oak walls. Half-installed chandeliers with pure crystals dangling from them shrieked as they shattered upon the marble floors. By the time the contractor finally left the site, his anger was dwindling and the house was a ruined mess. What he had built with his own hands and the funding of the older man over several years was ruined in a single evening of anger. He was unsure what the consequences would be, but he was still angry.


    The next day, when he did not show up for work, a man showed up at his door to escort him personally to the site. The contractor was worried when he saw the old man there looking at the ruined house, standing alone outside it by himself. As the contractor walked up, the older man turned around- and the contractor was shocked to see tears streaming down his face. The contractor stood there, stunned, not knowing what to say- he had no idea it would hurt the older man so. “I… I’d had it with making all these homes… for all these people who had no clue what they were worth. I… I just had it…”


    The old man fell to his knees, shaking his head. “I had begun to think of you like a son. You worked so hard and well, and when I cleared off your debt I had planned to hire you with top wages after the ten years was finished.” The contractor closed his eyes, beginning to feel the weight of grief as the reality of his mistake sunk in- he wasn’t aware that the man had cared for him this much.


    The next words, however, were a blow to be unmatched as yet. The old man gestured at the house, his eyes pained, “That house… I was going to give to… you.”



    I stumbled into the above, looking through my old files.  I wrote this as a stay-home Dad before my son was even one year old, and I did not even remember writing it until I read it- and as I read it, I began to feel this weight of what part of me knew I was about to read.  Even as I finished and I remembered that I had written it- still, it did not ‘feel’ like it had come from me.  As one who believes the Spirit has been left within all believers to continue to work Jesus began, and has experienced the Spirit move in a variety of ways in my life- I can definitely say, looking back at this, this did not come from ‘me’- I take credit for typing the words and thinking the thoughts, but they were not my own and truly were the result of God speaking to me.  I hope it means something to you, in your life or where you are at in your walk, even as it means something to me.  If you have thoughts or insights, please freely share them in the comments.

May 4, 2011

  • It used to be, and now

    It used to be that I was quite the xanga blogger and had quite the following- now, I’m not sure if anyone will even be reading this, haha!  Just a general update, if there are any old friends/bloggers that still read or get this.  I turned thirty one last month- my son is five years old now!  He is speech impaired (basically, really really long delay) with apraxia: he can understand fine, but he cannot get his muscles to respond as naturally as others can.  So learning to talk is slow- he’s still at one year old level, but his intelligence is far, far beyond that.  He has begun expressing it through his playing of “ooh ooh, aah aah”, or Donkey Kong Returns on the Nintendo Wii (a sequel of Donkey Kong Country, a big series on the Super Nintendo my sis and I loved).  I hope to get ahold of a means to video tape him, as I want to send a clip of him to Ellen- I really think that, with a good video, he’d end up going on the show.  She likes ‘talented kids’, and he is amazing- you watch this adorable, blonde haired blue eyed boy who can’t talk much, but instead grins and sways his way through some of the most complex levels in the game.  He’s getting better than me in some places, and is as good as me in most!!  (that’s saying a lot- I’m no master gamer, but I’ve been gaming since I was a kid, and he just started seriously doing it a month or two ago with this game).  Seeing him get better and better visibly has been a delight, and it is a comfort, as it shows a venue to express his creativity and intelligence is there.  Previously, it was sometimes hard to gauge where he was really at.


    And before you knock video games- would you believe he’s gotten visibly better at simple problem solving since he started playing?  Figuring out puzzles and such (and MAN he is better at it than I am, secret entrances… enemies that are on fire, that if you blow on them, they blow ‘out’ and you can kill them, etc…) has really increased his own reasoning skills.


    I’m working at Publix supermarkets still, went from Cashier to Aprons clerk (cooking) to cashier again, by choice each time, and here I stand.


    If anyone still reads this an is interested, I can share some photos, even videos, of Conor :D   I have a webcam and so it’s easy to get vids of the lil guy!  I hope my old friends on here are well.



August 9, 2009

  • There and Back Again

     I have not posted in a quite some time. I am delighted, however, to return after some absence. My hope: to come here much more often, and to again use Xanga as a place to share and commune with like minds, with fellow writers, fellow seekers, and those who share interests, thoughts, or just like friendship. I will seek to simply put what I have to share out there, not expecting or demanding comments and responses to prove that it is worth my time posting it. I used to find that if I did not get enough feedback, enough support to show that writing was worth my time, I would loose the motivation. Now, however, I do not think I will let that dictate my choice to just write.

    I have a rich life, a lot going on in it: many things to share, thoughts to write down, events that have happened, stories to tell, and stories to create and tell. I am and always will be, first and foremost, a writer.

    What has inspired me to blog again is the recent movie that just came out: Julie and Julia, based on a blog a woman named Julie made, as she attempted to cook her way through Julia Child’s early cookbook on French cuisine- doing all two hundred and sixty something recipes in a year. She, too, was a writer- and, much like myself, had trouble finishing things, leaving them half written, and never really being able to pursue publication.

    It made me realise something that she did: I do not have to be published to achieve what I want. What I want, most of all, is to share my stories- to have others read them, and enjoy them. I do not need to be published to do that: I can simply share them, here, and if others read and find them fulfilling, enjoyable, worth reading… then it will naturally spread.

    Ironically, I also am a cook. I have no formal training, but I taught myself. My guide, my “cooking bible” as it were, also happens to be from the very French cooking school that Julia Child was trained at: Le Cordon Bleu. I now cook for a living, though not in a prestigous role, it is a satifying one. My job, now, is to work at a high-end grocery store originating in Florida, but also here in SC, called “Publix”. I am a meals clerk in their Apron program: I cook recipes designed for customers to take home and cook themselves, a “simple meal”, that is both rich in flavour, variety, creativity, and even gourmet at times- but easy to make, clean up, and relatively simple/quick. I always have something new to cook, and I get to put my talents to the test now and then: and the pressure to cook is not the same as it would be at a restaurant.

    Still, I must say, cooking my way through a cookbook like Julia Child’s… well, if I could afford to do it at all, that would be something I myself would truly enjoy!

    My other passion, of course, besides cooking: fantasy and some science fiction fantasy writing. “Speculative fiction”, as some would call it. I have been re-reading my favourite author and series just recently, in fact: The Wheel of Time series, by Robert Jordan (recently deceased, I must sadly say). If you enjoy good reading, whatever genre, then I encourage you to try the first book of his magnum opas … “The Eye of the World”, book 1 of the Wheel of Time. It is worth your time: I promise.

    Until next my friends,


April 13, 2009

  • A new normal


    We just walked in the door to our home half an hour ago, after a slightly long, monotonous two hundred mile plus drive from North Carolina to our home here in South Carolina. My Wife began bringing things in while I replugged my computer and electronic equipment (ie- cable, internet, router, Vonage phone system, etc) and got everything running. I just finished the final touch when she said “Have you ever felt almost physically pained doing something?” I responded somewhat defensively, as normally saying anything like that would imply that she was burdened by cleaning out the car by herself- while meanwhile, I was doing the very thing she asked me to do when we entered the door (which was “Can you get the internet working?”). She started to tear up, and I realised my error about the same time she closed off- but I managed to restart the conversation. It was then she mentioned the pain of bringing in a box of books… of her Dads, and other things we brought back with us.

    I went out and found the box of fantasy books I had taken that were his. That was the one hobby, the one interest, he and I shared – and the one thing that allowed me to understand him more and feel something of a bond with him. Many of the books that first started my journey into fantasy and science fiction, were books he had on his shelves. When we were there, Kat’s stepmother Janell pointed out his shelf of books (I think he had already sent some on in the past with Kat, after he had gotten sick, so these were “his favourites” and his best). It was a little painful for me, too, accepting back from her my own books. That is, my favourite series of them all- my favourite author- is Robert Jordan, and his Wheel of Time series. Ironically enough, just last Fall, Robert Jordan himself died. Yet another great man, lost to a long-term illness. He, oddly enough, also had a collection of staffs and favourite hats, as well as some weaponry… just like Butch. But I disgress.

    Katrina felt he would like the Wheel of Time, when I let her borrow my books. So, rather than returning them, she gave my whole Wheel of Time paperback series to her Dad. Instead of giving me my old books back, she bought brand new paperbacks for me. Well, I did not complain too much about that, in the end. Of course, once married and living together, she read and re-read my WoT books so much that they are now falling apart and ragged anyway. So… to receive back my own books, I began to realise that I would much rather not get them back. I would rather he were here, to keep them. I also looked over the shelf, realising if I did not take things there now, she could end up giving them away to someone who would not appreciate them, or to a book store, or just selling them. So I found several authors I knew were of high quality but had never read, and being on this shelf were clearly among his favourite few. It was a little like he was recommending them, and so I took him up upon it.

    In a similar vein, Katrina and I received back two walking staffs we had given him. One was her gift: a walking stick from Ireland, when she spent a semester in Northern Ireland. The other was our gift: from our honeymoon in Walt Disney World, and our visit to the Wild Kingdom or such. While in a shop in the ‘African village’- a direct and exact replica of a real one that exists in Africa even now- we bought an ebony wood staff, elegantly carved from some of the hardest wood in the world with a uniquely round handle supported on the back of an elephant, which was on top of two carved goats. It is done in such a way that were the wood anything less: like, say, pine or even oak, the handle would likely break off. But it is firm and solid, and enough to hold a man’s full weight, with ebony wood.

    We received these back. And then… Kat brought back two hats, one in particular that I remember her father wearing often on travelling. An almost indiana-jones looking hat with bird feathers all around the inside circle. I walked inside with the hat, and one of his blankets… and I almost regretted it, for when she lookd over and saw the two items… she let out a soft squeel of a sob, and began to cry. Katrina- my Wife, who rarely cries openly. Who even now, says “I’m fine” and throughout much of her trip managed of thin but firm facade of stability… crying like this. It is a real grief I knew was there, but for her to let it out in this way- it shows it is so strong even she cannot suppress it, and that is a powerful and even frightening thing indeed. I hope that she lets it out, and does not hold it back so much. Holding herself to a high standard that somehow it is weak for her to grieve as she is. That she should expect to go back to the “old normal” at all is a fallacy: a “new normal” may develop, but even then it may take a year or more. And the “new normal” exists with the healed, but present, scars of his death and absence.

    I appreciate your prayers for us, my friends, brothers, and sisters in Christ.


April 11, 2009

  • Memorial Service

    We just had the Memorial (funeral) service for Kat’s father, Butch, this afternoon: the day before Easter. I want to thank you for your concern, and prayers: especially those of you who responded, and especially those who asked how they could be involved, help, or just offered friendship. Folks like my dear old friend and longtime roomy Kent- you guys mean a lot to me, and it’s nice to know you are still around. I really need some friends right now, just with all that is going on- and this is just “icing on the cake” so to speak. It is difficult for me to think of Butch as being gone. I know this may sound trite, but it is easy to imagine I will turn a corner in the house and see him there… or see him out in the barn, in his workshop, making mead, crafting something, or building more of his trainset. He was well, hardy, and energetic with youth for so long- his sickness so relatively brief and yet devestating- it is sometimes hard to realise it has really happened. My Wife cared so very deeply for her father. Oddly enough, this circumstance has bonded me with her Mom in a way nothing else could have- being able to keep her involved, updated, and even support her. I know she feels helpless- being divoriced from their Dad, she cannot really be here. And in some ways, she cannot get her own closure, either.

    Appreciating your prayers, and your support- and, most of all, any friendship:

April 7, 2009

  • Death

    My father by marriage just died.  We heard 30 min ago.  I am watching our son and giving Kat time.



March 25, 2009

  • Impending Death?

    My Father by marriage has been facing terminal stomach, bowel, etc for about a year now.  He’s taken a turn for the worst, and his lungs are filling with fluid.  We’re going to Raleigh, NC on sudden notice- just having found this out in the last hour.  I’ve called out from work, and such- the doctors said that if his children wanted to say ‘goodbye’, then they should come immediately.


    Please pray for my Wife, especially, and also for her family, and her Sister- and for me, that I can be strong for her right now.  She trying to distance, and to do so, is trying to make me angry with her, to want to pull away, etc- so I am doing my best to be strong, to love her, and stay close.