Sunday, January 18, 2009

Old News

Hi strangers and old friends, I've set up shop across town, quite literally. Here's how:

  1. I quit blogging at this site for a number of reasons
  2. I got separated in 2007, divorced in 2008
  3. I moved from Michigan to North Carolina
  4. I started a remodeling business
  5. I set up a blog at Wordpress, just to noodle with and keep writing a bit
  6. The new Spiffytown was set up
  7. I got married in 2009
I haven't been avoiding most of you, it's just been a busy and change-laden time. If you'd like to catch up, send an email or comment at the new digs. I go by db grin now. This oughtta be the last post at this here site.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Not Dead

It seems I keep getting lots and lots of traffic here at Spiffytown. I don't think it's from the reggalers I used to hobnob with; most visits seem to result from image searches. But, in case you've been wondering, I'm not dead. I don't miss the snow, literal and metaphorical, of my old life. I've been building a business, trying to pay bills, and coming to terms with myself in different ways. Haven't been writing much, and I miss it. That's all I came to say really, leave a comment or drop a line to stay in touch.

Friday, November 2, 2007

150 Is All I Can Do

Hi friends,

This is my 150th post. And it's the last from this place. *

A lot has happened since my launch into the bloggosphere.

I've made a ton of friends, almost all of whom I consider true friends.

I've had a 17 year anniversary. Then moved out.

I've discovered what it's like to undergo a divorce. It's not over yet.

I've experienced real loss and deep sadness.

I've experienced real joy.

At moments like these, it's easy (for me) to get moopy and sad, but I shan't. I've had a blast with Spiffytown, and will keep in touch. Just not here.

Thanks to Tiff, Jeff Kay, Wordnerd, JC, AC, Tracy Lynn, Renn, Stew, Sparky, Hyperion, and Wordsmiths.

Thanks also to those on my blogroll.

Stay connected, it's worth it. Send me your email address, or leave comment in the comments and we'll keep in touch.

I'm planting a tree in honor of Daniel 'Blitz' Krieg (AKA Dr. Syn, Buerger King, or Lenny Harris - I loved that guy). I invite you to do the same. Put a plaque on it in his honor, or at least let his family know where it is.

*I will post the picture when the deed is done. The Blitz Krieg National Forest will grow.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

On Hold

I had occasion to call my mortgage company last week to try to sort out some difficulties. I got the standard, "Your call is important, which is why we monitor calls. That and we're going to use everything you say against you. Please enjoy the music" greeting.

Then the 'music' started - and it creeped me right out. It sounded like Edward Scissorhands was pissed off at the piano, banging away with all his might in E flat minor. It was the music from a silent horror film or some such, and the 'musician' knew the audience had a wicked hangover and was doing his best to make it worse.

Highly appropriate to the occasion.


Speaking of music, the local classic rock station has Jazz Brunch on Sunday mornings, 4 hours of 'cool jazz' - very little would be considered classical jazz with the highly polished, overproduced musicians-trying-to-impress-each-other style. I rather like it once in a while. My daughter calls it elevator music. Once last year we were riding over some hills in the car, and she announced, "Going up!" to emphasise her point.


Last night I was talking with a friend about Star Trek. Shut up, you know you watched it too, dork.

Anyway, we got to thinking, "What if the Enterprise was crewed by rednecks?"

The sound effects alone would lend a whole different feel to the show. The computer's voice would have a thick southern drawl, and call Captain Kirk 'Sugar.' If the self-destruct sequence was initiated, you'd hear, "Aw shit, now you gone n' done it!"

The doors wouldn't have the cool whoosh-squeak sound; it'd be more like tobacco spit.

Sulu would shout 'Yeeee HAW!' and make vrooming noises when piloting the ship through the Gravel Pit Nebula. Chekov wouldn't quit honking the Dukes of Hazzard horn.

Scotty would be seen squirting starter fluid into the warp core.

While it was up on blocks in Kirk's front yard.

I'd watch that show.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Chirp Chirp

It's been a busy couple weeks. The weeds have grown around here, the crickets, frogs, and frog-eating snakes have taken over the place. I'm scarcer than ever on the interwebs, as life and work have their way with me. I'll be back as I can, and there's a Wordsmith story due tomorrow. I'll cook it up tonight and post by deadline.

Here's a touching story I thought you should see (thanks to my friend Dave):
In 1986, Mikele Mebembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from NorthwesternUniversity. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the ai r. The elephant seemed distressed, so Mikele approached it very carefully.
He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gen tly as he could, Mikele worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Mikele stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled.
Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Mikele never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.
Twenty years later, Mikele was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Mikele and his son Tapu were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Mikele, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.
Remembering the encounter in 1986, Mikele couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant. Mikele summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Mikele's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.
Probably wasn't the same elephant.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Saturday, September 1, 2007

So Much To Say

There have been so many thoughts, observations, and happenings that have sleeted through my mind over the last month that make me smack my head and say, "That would make a great story!" But they've gone unwritten. Some snippets will stick in m' haid and leak out later, when I have the leisure required to maintain a writing hobby. A couple things to log though:

Um, the motorcycle crashing wasn't severe. It was enough to cause some damage that's still not healed up: A blunt-force contusion on my elbow and a busted turn signal. And a scratch on my helmet. Other than that, all is well. Here's what happened, and feel free to mock me like most of my coworkers did.
My day job's parking lot was sealcoated a cuppa weekends ago. Nice, shiny blacktop. It rained for days and days after that. I was leaving for lunch on my vroomscooter (heh - just made that up) and turned to go out the gate and down the drive. Suddenly, at around 8 MPH, I found my wheels making way more of a turn than I was (or was it way less?). At any rate, the bike slid out from under me sideways, skidded 30 feet to a stop, dribbling gas and turn signal lens parts along the drive. I was unceremoniously dumped on my right side with all the force gravity and other various laws of physics could muster. I was wearing my leather jacket (thankfully) and hate to think how much bone meal I'd have left on the parking lot otherwise.
I've ended my career at the Kwikee Mart, due to high powered schedule issues at the day job. And I know on which side my bread is buttered, so any extra hours will be spent making the world a better place for construction workers rather than for Squishee drinkers.
Yes, I'm aware construction workers can enjoy the occasional Squishee, stop splitting hairs at me.
There's a post on the interwebs that got me thinking (and reacting) more than usual. So there's only one thing for it: To offer the other side of the pancake.
First, go see Kingfisher's post. I'll wait. Now, I like and respect Kingfisher a great deal, but I couldn't agree a whole lot less. I offer this in the interest of open-minded discussion of ideas, rather than pretending to be an all-knowing end-all authority on existential matters. More discussion is a good idea.
I fear that much of the rambling which follows will be useless if one rejects the very idea of God's existence. But it comes from a perspective I've wrestled and reasoned out for most of my life, and I can say I wholeheartedly believe it.
Without faith it's impossible to please God. Faith takes humble acceptance of things not seen or fully understood. A recurring biblical theme - the greatest wisdom of man is confounded by the simple truth of God. It takes a childlike (not childish, immature) faith to understand, accept, not miss it. I would assert that it takes far more faith to believe that all things that we see happened by convergence of just the right elements and energy, and creative accidents continued to advance life to the stage we now see. That doesn't happen anywhere else in the observable universe - chaos and decay are in charge without intervention. If God's an invention, then it's pure foolish grasping. As CS Lewis said, you either have to believe Jesus is who he says he is (the divine son of God), or he's a madman, on par with one who says, 'I am a poached egg.' One can't simply say he was a great teacher and reject the bit about his claims. Cafeteria style truth isn't an honest practice. If God's a revelation, then it's due reverence, awe, and thoughtful consideration. Nowhere does the bible say to reject reason or science or observation. The senses are designed to inform us, not betray us. The black-and-white assertion that one must either accept Carl Sagan or the Bible leaves little room for discussion. I believe in Carl Sagan, and have learned from and had my curiosity piqued by him. I also happen to disagree with him on philosophy. To 'know' is to farking END CURIOSITY, which is why scientists become scientists. To explore. To question. Every answer produces more questions. I would think this exhilarating, not infuriating, to intellectuals and scientists. If WE are created in God's own image, then that alone evidence of importance. If God alone is worthy of our worship, then he must believe us important. If God deems us worthy of redemption, that's the ultimate trump card. It takes humility, not hubris, to accept truths greater and more durable than we are in favor of demanding to know - with acceptable proof to our satisfaction. Is the only answer to unsatisfied questions that God MUST be a cruel taskmaster?
Just because things aren't the way I prefer doesn't make them malignant, cruel, or spiteful. I could trip on a steel ball and curse it, just as an olympian celebrates his record-setting shot put. I could glory in the beauty of a mountain at sunrise as an unseen climber falls to his doom on its harsh and icy face. A tree that provides me shade blocks my neighbor's view. Or, a favorite among the inspirational email forward crowd: the traffic jam that makes me late could be what saves me from going over a collapsed bridge. I believe there is room for the harsh and unyielding laws of physics/ nature AND God to coexist.
Yes, interpretation is subjective, belonging solely to the individual. Knowing we have "The Correct" interpretation is a luxury we aren't afforded. That takes faith.