Archive for September, 2008


September 29, 2008

I learned today that my ten year old son is currently campaigning for the office of President for Ms. Herriot-Grant’s 5th Grade Class. This causes me to wonder that if he were to be elected to this lower level post, would it give him experience to be a viable Presidential candidate in 25 years?

Although I am not sure what the exact responsibilities of Ms. Herriot-Grant’s 5th Grade Class President are (but I am sure it is like being a Governor of a State or a senator… but on a much smaller scale) Here are some of his Federal Presidential “qualifications” as observed by me, his Dad:

Understanding of Legislative and Judicial powers: He is aware that his sister and brother advocate for rules and policy in the family; sometimes this is done via running into the house screaming and crying. But he also knows that Mom and Dad make and define the rules (okay so this gives us -the parents- overall Executive, Legislative and Judicial powers as needed.) But as a child he has also seen/experienced the veto power in action.

Interstate and Foreign policy: Walla Walla is approx 3 miles from the Oregon border, about 100 miles from Idaho, and about 350 miles from the Canadian border.
He has skateboarded in Irrigon, Oregon.
He has camped in Idaho.
And I am pretty sure that he knows that Canada is North of us.

Financial: Okay, this is not his strong suit… he tends to want to spend his money on WWF dvd’s.

Military: But due to his extensive WWF watching, he may be able to offer some new ideas in military conflict. I would not be surprised to see him propose the “winner takes all ladder match” for deciding who wins a conflict. It would save many lives and cost much less than our current system. And it would probably pay for itself via Pay-per-view coverage.

Diplomacy: He has an older sister and a younger brother and he is still alive. Need I say more.

Campaign costs: Currently two home-made signs are nailed to the tree in our front yard. All the materials are from things he found around the house. Of course his demographic study needs improvement as I am pretty sure that a large number of students from Ms. Herriot-Grant’s 5th Grade class do not pass our house. On the other hand a truck did slow down to read his sign today; as the truck drove away a tool box dropped out of the back of the truck and onto the street in front of our house.

Now I am not saying that my son should be the President of our country –actually I would be scared if he was because his first Executive decision might be to put me in a home. But if in 25 years he decides to toss his hat into the Presidential ring, be aware that he has had some experiences from his childhood which could be worth noting.

In the meantime, I have noticed that many people are trying to decide if any of our current Presidential (and Vice Presidential) candidates have the experience to lead our country. Perhaps we are not looking early enough at their experience history; maybe we need to look beyond their “official” government experience to see what they learned as a kid. Maybe instead of having the candidates themselves debate, we should have their grade school teachers or babysitters debate on their behalf… it could be interesting.


Saint Silouan the Athonite

September 24, 2008

“We must always remember that the Lord sees us wrestling with the Enemy, and so we must never be afraid. Even should all hell fall upon us, we must be brave.” -St. Silouan the Athonite (commemorated Sept 11/Sept 24 on the Civil Calendar)

September 20, 2008

“But Conrad drank too much, and when he drank, he tended to fight, and when he fought, he got thrown in the town jail. You could blame his drinking on a bad father. You could blame it on a restless soul. Or a genetic predisposition toward alcoholism. You could blame it on a wild frontier spirit. You could blame it on what many drunks who have stopped drinking call ‘a low-level search for God.'”

Backpacker magazine, October 2007 (pg 71)

Guardian Angel

September 18, 2008

Silouan shares a prayer to your Guardian Angel, along with an article written by Fr. Stephen Freeman: here.

i must admit, i found the 4 year old prayer that was shared in the article amusing:

Dear St. Michael, guard my room.
Don’t let anything eat me or kill me.
Kill it with your sword. Kill it with your sword. Amen.

nombre el color

September 17, 2008

‘Hopsack,’ ‘Hot Chocolate Milk’ or ‘Baby Poop?’ What colour paint would you like to have painted on the outside of your house for all of your neighbors to see?

Having a hard time choosing? That’s okay, because they are all the same colour.

How can that be?

“Hopsack” is the official name of one of the colours of paint that we are using to paint our house. Our son Andrew (age 4,) upon seeing the colour refered to it as “hot chocolate milk;” my Wife shared that when the paint is on her shirt it looks like “baby poop.” Three different names for the same colour of paint.

Another colour we are using on our house is a sandy light brown colour; but a quick reading of the paint swatch will tell you that it is actually ‘desert nomadic.’ ‘Desert nomadic,’ I like the sound of it… it appeals to the inner lethargic adventurer inside of me; I can almost imagine the Bedouinesque adventures I am having as I lay on my couch. And i don’t even have to leave Walla Walla.

Thinking about the names of the different colours of paint that we are using on our house reminded me of one of the jobs i think it could be kind of fun to have… To be the person who gets to name paint colours…

It could be fun to be the guy who gets to look at a particular hue and give it a name… a name for whatever reason that appeals to me. Looking at this green or that green, greens with only a smidgen of difference between them, and be the guy that gets to get all creative and give them each a name.

According to Daniel Harris in his article, ‘Paint and Paint Names,’ “the Inter-Society Color Council recognizes only 267 colors…. Pittsburgh Paint currently offers 1,800 colors and Benjamin Moore no less than 2,000….” Wow, that paint-namer person (i wonder what their official job title is) is one busy individual.

Who are these people who name paint colours for a living?
What are the job requirements for this job?
Or does a paint company representative just take paint swatches to a nearby preschool and tap into the kids creativity; after all those preschoolers can be real outside-of-the-box types of thinkers.

i don’t have the answers to these questions.
Until i do find the answer i can continue to look at paint swatches and wonder…. Or i can just forget the whole idea and play PAINT GAME.

parenting: the oldest extreme sport

September 14, 2008

During a past visit to a Monastery, a Monastic and I had a conversation; in the course that conversation (and within the specific context of the topic we were discussing at the time) he shared that if he were not a Monastic that he would probably be doing something extreme. He listed various extreme things; I found it amusing to learn that “have 6 kids” was included in that list of possible extreme things to do….

Parenting is not for the timid.

Congratulations Matthew and Anna!


September 11, 2008

In the most recent issue of The Orthodox Word (#257) an article about Priest-Monk, Spiritual Father, and Missionary of Romania: Fr. Nicodemus (Manditsa) is featured. This article was written by Archimandrite Ionanichie (Balan.)

What follows is a short excerpt from this article:

Again Fr. Nicodemus said: “There are four kinds of communion:
1) through the doing of every good deed, according to the word of the Lord: He that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me (John 14:21);
2) through attentive obedience to the word of God, namely, through the reading of holy books, and through the services and spiritual hymns, according to the word which says: Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4);
3) through holy prayer performed with humility and an attentive mind;
4) through communion with the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; this is the most exalted communion, without which no one can be saved.”


September 10, 2008

Twenty years ago today (9/10) my Wife and i were married.

There are many memories from our wedding, but one came to mind yesterday… During the ceremony the Pastor mentioned the Bible verse which says “a man will leave his Father and Mother, and be joined to his wife….” It was at this point that my Dad spoke up from the pew where he was sitting and said outloud, “Amen.”

what do you think of when you hear the word “peas?”

September 8, 2008

On a recent post, Mimi mentioned “peas.” This comment of her’s was really a statement in passing to get us to the focus of her post… but it stopped me–

Ever notice how a person’s comment changes things forever? One time a person told me how they could not eat peas because they had diverticulitis… now it seems that I cannot eat peas, or even read about peas without that bit of information making it’s way through my head.

Welcome to my nightmare.

yeah right

September 7, 2008

Here is the deal…. It was the Fall of 1981, i was taking classes at Long Beach Community College. i was not a fan of Hessian music (i.e. Heavy Metal) but there was one album that made it through the radar– ‘Hit and Run’ by Girlschool.

My friend Jim A. introduced me to this album; and while i am not a betting man i think there might still be a copy of the album in my collection in the basement. Friends might be surprised to learn that i like this album. My favorite song on the record was “Yeah Right” i especially liked the lone guitar riff right that followed the Mom’s discourse to the girls.

And yes, i will acknowledge that bands like Girlschool walked through the door that all girl rock groups like The Runaways opened.

This one is for you Jim… where ever you are (turn it up!)