Posted in Essays

Driving Drunk with Both Hands on the Wheel

I wonder what the woman was thinking as she sat on her motorcycle at a stoplight in suburban Chicago a few weekends ago. She might have been thinking of her kids, where she was headed or maybe nothing at all. No one knows but I bet it wasn’t about the car coming up behind her, at speed, as it plowed in and took her life.

The woman who hit her was putting nail polish on.

Posted in Essays

Void the Warranty

I’m not a big fan of branding. I have a tendency to try to remove, cover or otherwise erase the brand names and logos that appear on the things I have, wear, or buy. I’m not a big fan of items that do just one thing either. What if that one thing is something you only do once in a while. That appliance or tool or whatever is just taking up space the rest of the time. Seems a waste to me. So, there are very few items in our kitchen that do just one thing (despite all those infomercials telling me I need this or that that does just this one thing, allegedly, the best and only way it can be done.) I remove the little plastic plate or sticker that has the car dealer’s name on it. I remove the license plate frame the dealer automatically puts on…

Posted in Essays

A Question of Faith

Steve is a boy of six. He is a nice boy by all accounts and isn’t one to get into trouble. I don’t know him. I just know someone who does. But who he is isn’t important. What happened is. It was after school on a typical Spring afternoon. Steve was finishing up his day and getting ready to go. Looking at the clock he realized it was later than he’d thought. He was going to miss his bus, so he darted out of the school toward the bus loop. Just as he arrived, he saw his bus pulling out of the parking lot. Worry stole over him because he knew his mother would be mad if he was late coming home. She might even be mad he’d missed the bus even if it was an honest mistake. His only alternative was to get home on foot and get there…

Posted in Essays

A Victim of the Murderous Mob

“Dear Father, I don’t know that the sun will ever rise and set for me again, but I trust in God and his mercy. At eight o’clock, I sit in court. The mob have me under guard. There is no cowardice in me, Father. I am worthy of you in this respect. I am, in this one respect, like Him who died for all: I die, if die I must, for law, order, and principle; and too, I stand alone.” My family and I, one Saturday when we were looking for something different to do, decided to head to the cemetery on Wolfensberger Road. It seemed a peculiar thing to me, the whole burial ritual being a bit of a mystery, but my boys had heard about people doing rubbings of epitaphs on markers and having just acquired sketch pads, they wanted to give it a try. So it was…

Posted in Essays

Busy Signals

I heard a busy signal the other day for the first time in, well, I’m not exactly sure, but it’s been a while. Until I heard it, I hadn’t realized that it was a dying thing. Something that now seems superfluous. It occurred the other day when calling a business. I don’t think this is a common thing. I think it is on its way out and is gasping for its last breath. I miss the busy signal. It is virtually disappearing. You can make a call now and have someone answer. Someone, something, voicemail, ACDs, VRUs, recordings, whatever. No more, or at least rarely, do you get the burnk, burnk, burnk letting you know it’s the end of the line. You’re not going anywhere until the line is free. Without the busy signal, no more do you feel the finality of being denied access. Voice mail, call waiting, call…

Posted in Essays

Dandelion Break

Way back in the 80s there was a cartoon call Bloom County. And one of the ideas they came up with was the Dandelion Break. It essentially consisted of Milo Bloom, Opus and any number of other characters heading out to the meadow to sit amongst the dandelions. We all need a break, here are 13 or so minutes of Dandelion Break. A recorded Colorado thunderstorm fresh off the Rocky Mountains in June of 2007. With Music: right click to “save as…” Just nature: right click to “save as…” Load it on your mp3 player, sit back and just imagine being somewhere else.