Friday, May 30, 2008


The other day I celebrated another birthday. I found myself at DENNY'S for lunch. On a whim I turned the menu over to check out the "senior" selections, for folks 55 and up. I've always wondered if the senior portions were skimpy or nasty or something. So okay, I'm an adventurous guy; I decided to go for it. I had a turkey sandwich and a bowl of soup. If anything, the portions seemed generous. This is great, I thought. That evening I told Karen about my discovery.

She said, "You're fifty-FOUR."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I hiked Mt. Baden Powell, on the Pacific Crest Trail, today. I drove from Wrightwood to the trail-head off of Hwy 2, which is closed just beyond the parking lot. From there it is four pretty tough miles up a series of switchbacks to the summit. I didn't make it as far as the summit, this time. the trail is still blocked by snow above 9,000 feet.

I began encountering drifts in the shade about half-way up. Above 8,000 ft I had to cross some pretty treacherous icy drifts. After the 8,800 ft marker the trail was as much snow and ice as dirt. I slipped and fell several times. Clumsy me. Just beyond the 9,060 ft marker the trail disappeared completely under a mounded drift. No previous hiker had left footprints attempting to cross the drift. A confused cow-heard of prints went directly UP the face at that point. I tried it, got about thirty feet with no sign of a trail ANYWHERE. Slipped and SLID -wheee!- several times, ending up with a soggy, muddy bottom.

At that point the rational, fifty-four-year-old side of my brain reminded me that I was thus far ALONE at 9,000+ feet. I started back down.

Good trip down. I met six hikers coming up after me. Four of them--two men, two women--were serious, seasoned, officially geared-up PCT hikers. They were daunted but undeterred by my gloomy trail report. The other two hikers were girls in their twenties. Now, picture this. I and the others are kitted up with backpacks, hand-held GPSs, water, hiking poles, sweaters, hats and coats. These two are traipsing up in shorts and t-tops, carrying bottles of water and bags of chips in their hands.

Ahh, to be twenty again.

Friday, May 16, 2008


My congregation is really feeling the economic squeeze. Along with marketing powerhouse “Starbucks,” Quartz Hill Community Church has turned in disappointing first quarter earnings. I’m getting tired of seeing my treasurer walk around with an icepack on his head.

And we’re by no means alone in this. At the last meeting of the high desert association of churches we cooperate with, most of them reported lower-than-average giving. One of our most prestigious congregations is considering laying staff people off.

All this got me thinking; the sports world has benefited from their pact with the corporate devil, why not churches? Here in SOCAL we already have Qualcomm Stadium, Staples Center and Petco Park. So let’s up the ante. I envision a whole slew of renamed churches, proudly broadcasting corporate sponsorship: Coors Distributing Community Church, BMW Baptist, Our Lady of Perpetual Tampax, Assemblies of Pepsico. Why, the possibilities are endless.

And don’t forget the jackpot: Trump Cathedral!


As you may have seen, al-Qaeda has released another statement “live from Osama bin-Laden.” Whether you believe it’s actually live or a stale Memorex one thing is certain; the global jihadist movement, aka KAOS, has changed its priorities. From the look of the spiffy graphics and digitally re-mastered bin-Laden photos and sound bites, I’d say al-Qaeda is pouring less cash into global terror and more into a slick public relations campaign. Don’t tell me these guys aren’t politically savvy.


For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Duh.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008


The following notice appeared on my Google Blog Dashboard page:

"Blog in your native Indic script
Convert English characters to Indic script as you type!
Learn more about transliteration on Blogger."

That's amazing! I had no idea Indic was my native script.


Apparently there has been some discussion in barbarian circles concerning a procedural matter. In the interests of lucidity the following clarification has been issued: FIRST pillage, THEN burn.
Thank you.