Saturday, September 29, 2007

Infamous In A Small Town

Famous or Infamous? Everybody is at least one of them in a small town.

Next Saturday is my 20 year High School Reunion. I am suppose to be painting my basement walls right now but I couldn't resist the urge to go digging up old pictures of the so called "good ol' days." Go ahead, have a laugh at these senior pics:

I will not be posting any of the other pictures I have sprawled out in front of me right now.

Frankly I have mixed feelings about the event. I suppose who wouldn't. But truth be told my high school years were my "building a testimony" years. Same with college. When the Good Book talks about the old man, sure I was young back then but that is the part of my life I always think of when I consider my old man.

I realize most people have memories they'd love to forget about their high school years. I understand. But these are my memories. I have more that I'd like to wipe out of existence than the ones that bring me a smile. Thank God for sports and those friends otherwise who knows.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone but I cringe thinking about story telling time.

Trivia Question

The inspiration for my senior pic doo comes from a famous 80s rock star. Who is that singer?

Hint one: He sang pure stadium anthems (who didn't) and charted a song about driving really fast - or his inability to drive below the speed limit.

Hint two: He was a lone star for a while but then took over as the b front man of one of the most famous and wealthiest rock bands of all time.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Free Burly

My dear wife displays many simple traits that I have come to cherish, respect, and sometimes count on. She has an eye for the usefulness of anything that is free. No matter what the object is, if it is free, it is intrinsically valuable. Of course, if something is valuable in this sense, then she's got to have it...because it is free. See how that works? I've reduced it to a formula, she thinks "Free = Valuable = Mine." Remember, it doesn't matter what the object is. So you can imagine our lives together living in a world where people banish useless items to the curb with the commonplace sign marked "FREE". My wife springs to life when she sees anything on a curb. I accept this about my wife. I must also be coming to a point of fully embracing this trait. I am finding that I too feel a little heart thump when I come across giveaways - something I am now that I never was before.

For instance, a month or so back I was offered a Burly trailer. Someone was going to throw it away! I thought "Burly = Burly = Cool = Lots of Money = I'd-never-buy-one-but-I'll-take-this- one." Of course I'll take! Gimmie! I proudly loaded the unit into my car and could not wait to show my family what I snagged. The unveiling would be perfect. Since the weather that day was also perfect, I knew my whole family would be playing outside and they'd enthusiastically greet me like they always do. I called ahead and told my wife I had a surprise for everyone. I was going to bank some massive "Best Dad" and "Greatest Husband" points. More than I ever have! Ever!

As I drove home I mapped out more of the details of the unveiling. I knew they'd all understand instantly what a fantastic find this was because we already owned a wobbly Burly knock-off. I'd make sure to do the unveiling with the knock-off near by. I just knew they'd see how this was the real deal and they would no longer need to fear for their lives while we went cruising.

As expected, as I pulled in the driveway I was greeted with smiles and pure joy. "Daddy, what you have?" "You got us somethin, what?"

I lugged the unit out of the car. Carried it over and set it next to the old unit. Oh, I forgot to mention the thing came in its own case. Proof alone of its significant upgrade value. As I unzipped the case and pulled the unit out the kid's faces light up. They knew. They saw. They understood. We had a new ridding trailer and this one was much better. They screamed with delight.

I got right to work. Something seemed out of order. Never mind. Ignore that thought and keep working. Pop this thing up and go for a ride. Right now! Just one thing left to do. Hook it up to my bike. Get ready to jump on kids! This is going to be a great ride. A Burly! I can't believe someone would have thrown this away!

Josh, my oldest, observed and commented, "Uh, Dad? This one must be for the snow." His mind is always thinking and so I needed clarification, "What?" "Dad? This has got to be one of those sled units cause there aren't any wheels." Again, "What?" "Look. No wheels." Yep, no wheels. None in the case either. The excitement disappeared, the kids returned to their play and I sat there thinking "Who in the world would give a way a Burly with no wheels!!"

Now I have less space in my cluttered garage and I am always moving the sled out of my way. The snow will fly soon enough.

Anti-depressants and Spiritual Conviction

I found an insightful story from a woman who spent years on anti-depressants, with the encouragement of her local church family, then she realized she did not grieve her own sin and something was seriously wrong. She had no conviction and she started to see a link between her apathetic state of mind (heart) and the effects of the anti-depressants. Read the whole story here: Anti-depressants and Spiritual Conviction.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Today's Skate and Cool Tracking Tool


A glorious morning to skate. Cool. Crisp. No clouds. No wind. A sunrise that compels the human soul to repent and believe.

Also...check this out. Below is a map of my skate. I discovered a while back and I would like to use it more consistently to track all my distance training.

Friday, September 21, 2007

2008 Skate Dates and a Bold Prediction

This last Thursday I was out skating my usual 12 mile route and I said "This skating thing is getting really old...this really stinks!"

HOLD ON! WHAT? I said that? Yes.

Obviously I am burnt out. Quoting my sista..."Think?" I've been skating every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday since the end of April. I've skated 2 marathons and now the season is over. The burnout is settling in because I have nothing immediate to train for now.

Time to start thinking about next year. Here is a list of the 2008 marathon events on my radar screen:
  1. Baxter Inline Marathon - June 14th
  2. Big Granite (Ashland) - June ??
  3. Hermanton Half Marathon - July 19th
  4. Chicago Inline - July 26th
  5. Hayward Inline 39 mile challenge - August 9th
  6. St. Paul Inline Marathon - August 18th
  7. Northshore Inline Marathon - Sept 13th
I am shooting for the four in bold. Notice that I am going to do #5 - the 39 mile challenge. I'd also love to squeeze in #3 (it's only a half marathon) and it would be really great if my wife and I made a road trip to the windy city for #4, but we'll see.

So here is my bold prediction: At least one of you, reading this right now, will be skating at least one of these events with me. Somebody is going to contact me about getting into inline skating and I am going to teach you how to skate and we are going to train together. I will help you buy skates too. I will help you every step of the way. Whether you do a half or full, at my pace or yours, you will be an inliner in 2008.

It's up to you to decide...who's going to be?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Burton Return to Blogging? Overwhelmingly YES. But He Won't So Get Used To It.

The Should Jeff Burton Return to Blogging? Poll has closed. I expected 10 voters and that is exactly what I got. Here are the results:
  • Yes - 9
  • No - 0
  • Indifferent - 1
Too Bad. I don't think these results will provide the persuasive pull needed to resurrect Burtonia Blogs. But then again I knew that going in to it.

Friday, September 14, 2007

My Life Mission Statement (Addendum A)

Although I won't publish the primary resolutions of my life mission statement, I've decided to share with you a recently added minor addendum.
  • I resolve to convert as many people as I can to be faithful fanatics of The Office this season.
Here is my first tactical move. Watch this clip promoting the upcoming season and comment as to why either The Office is a great show or a moronic waste of time.

Joni Eareckson Tada Writes About Down Syndrome Blessings

In a recent article in WORLD Magazine, Down Syndrome Dangers, Joni Eareckson Tada states that nowadays "all mothers-to-be are routinely tested" to see if their baby has down syndrome.

I was shocked to also read "Over 90 percent of pregnant women who are given a Down syndrome diagnosis choose to have an abortion."

No number greater than zero is acceptable but, 90 percent!!!

Eareckson Tada also declares: "The effort to eliminate Down syndrome translates into the worst kind of social engineering: the annihilation of an entire group of people who are precious."

You must read this here.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Burtonia Has Been Nuked

It is a sad day folks. Sad. Sad. Sad.

Burtonia, the blogging home of Jeff Burton, has been nuked and no longer exists in the blogoshpere. Jeff hasn't blogged for over a year but up until now he has left his archives in tact. I took this as a sign he'd one day write another post. Not going to happen. Today his blog URL results in "404 Not Found". I take this as a sign he killed his blog for good.

I've cornered Jeff on occasion (when I actually see him) to find out why he stopped blogging. The best way I can summarize his reply is that there is "something else he's got going on." Perhaps a more advanced world? A new Burtonia? I hope!

Farewell King of Burtonia.

Hey...bunny is my chance to see how Blogger's Poll widget works. Wait! Last time I posted a poll on this blog I was roasted and toasted severely. So what. This poll is for a more worthy cause.

Please notice the Bring Back Burtonia Poll on the right sidebar. Please vote!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Kids, Quirkiness and Paranoid Parents

Check out this very refreshing article providing a much needed twist in perspective regarding "quirky" kids.

Kids Who Don't Fit In

Monday, September 10, 2007

I Hate Mannaquins


It was a tough weekend. I came to terms with my hatred of mannequins. In the way of psychological diagnosis I suffer from Pediophobia (fear of dolls). I was at first a little taken back. Because the way I see it, there really is no fear, just hatred. Also, my problem is not with all dolls.

My daughter has a life-size Barbie doll (about 4 feet tall) and I can NOT stand the thing. If I get close enough to it I fight hard to resist temptations to kick the frozen-smiley-face-child-play-thing across the room. Either that or punch the blonde head to the moon. The thing freaks me out! I hate it!

As a good friend proposed in his attempt to counsel..."But why, Pat? Why? Why are you afraid of dolls?" First off, like I said, it is not fear, and B, who gives a rip. Get rid of the doll!

UPDATE: I just realized something very important. All afternoon, while stewing and perseverating in my irrational fear (anger) toward dolls (not all dolls), I kept asking myself "Where did we get that stupid life-size Barbie doll anyways, man I hate that thing." I realized that my mother gave the doll to my daughter as a recent birthday gift. Ooops! Sorry Mom. No offense. No foul. I'll never act on my fear, promise. Still love ya.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Win Free Books

Challies just kicked off a free book drawing at his blog.

I've entered. You should too. There are some fantastic prizes:
  • First prize: All six available volumes of the Reformed Expository Commentary series.
  • Second prize: Any three volumes of the Reformed Expository Commentary series (to be selected by the winner).
  • Third Prize: Any one volume of the Reformed Expository Commentary series (to be selected by the winner).
Enter your name in the drawing by clicking on the banner link below. Please note that I do get credit in the form of extra entries for each person who enters the drawing from this link. If nothing else, if you enter from the link, you'd be helping me increase my chances of winning because I would love anyone of these books.

sept Giveaway

Read more about the contest here: The Great September Giveaway.

Blog About What?

What do I blog about now that inline skating season is officially over (for me)?

I can't find the time to think. I am not saying "I am so busy I can't find time to blog" in the sense that being busy means I think I am really important. I am saying I am doing a terrible job at managing all the things going on in my life. That really didn't sound any less egocentric did it? Seriously, focus on what I am saying about my failure to be a good steward of my time and you'll get the nuance.

My mind is bursting with blogging ideas but I am fed up with my history of abridged postings on topics I am deeply passionate about. Right now I find reconciling effective blogging with other life responsibilities very difficult. Sooner or later things will turn around though I believe.

For now, you'll have to settle for stuff like this:

Season three of The Office is out on DVD and season four one hour premiere is Sept 27th. This season I hope to see more of my new fav Andy (the freak). His singing is fantastic! Check out this collection: