Friday, September 29, 2006

I Am So Very Sorry

I can't believe that nobody called me on that. I even warned Randy that I might skew the results so that I came out to be Green Lantern. My deepest apologies to all...I cheated.

I just really like the Lantern y'know? Hey, he's the Emerald Warrior! He has that really cool ring! The late, great Gil Kane drew that classic picture of him! I was weak. I gave in to temptation. I'm sorry.

To try to make up for it, I went back and took the quiz for real. I think the description proves that I was genuine this time. To wit:

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

The Flash
Green Lantern
Iron Man
Wonder Woman
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

The most disturbing thing is that I'm just barely a superhero at all! I mean, 60%???

To rival Cecil's GL trivia question, I thought I'd leave one of my own today. What was the name of Spider-Man's girlfriend before Mary Jane? Bonus points if you can name the one before her too!

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Your results:
You are Green Lantern

Green Lantern
The Flash
Iron Man
Wonder Woman
Hot-headed. You have strong
will power and a good imagination.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

No Day In Court

No offense to my few lawyer-type friends out there, but your job is weird.

Lisa and I spent yesterday in mediation for our lawsuit against the family whose car was parked in our kitchen last November. So we got an up close look at the intricacies of law. Which is to say, we mostly sat around all day while other people talked in various rooms.

At 9:00, our guy told us we probably wouldn't get as much as he had hoped. Since he had hoped for waaaay more than we did, that wasn't a problem.

Around 10:00, four people showed up and were ushered into our conference room. One was the mediator. One was the attorney for their insurance company. One was the on-site adjustor for our insurance company. And one was some guy whose role we never did quite figure out. Nice guy though. As was the mediator. As was our adjustor guy. And that other attorney was there too.

Soon began the process of people walking back and forth from room to room. Occasionally somebody would call somebody else on the phone. Once in a while somebody else would pop their head in our room and thank us for our patience. The mediator spent about 15 minutes explaining the facts of life to us and was very genuine and very honest and very sympathetic.

Around 1:30, both the mediator and our attorney said they thought they had the best offer and, while it was less than we thought, it was enough to pay for our upgrades to the house and to push some of our red closer to the black. So we all shook hands.

Our biggest disappointment was not money. We would have been fine with nothing because we are learning in all things to be content. We prayed before and after the whole session and truly felt that God's hand was involved from start to finish. No, the thing I regret the most is that nobody from the family involved was there. We never wanted them to be hurt financially, but it would have been nice if someone would have had to miss a day of work. The truth is, an apology would have been worth twice as much as any settlement.

But it's not to be. And we're okay with that. We avoided our day in court. We got to see a little of what practicing law is really like. And for one, brief, shining phone call, I got to see my goofy, gap-toothed, video-game-playing ex-next-door neighbor speak genuine lawyerese. That alone was worth the price of admission.

Monday, September 25, 2006


"Shop smart. Shop S-Mart!"

C'mon, admit it. In a weak moment you rented "Army of Darkness" and found yourself laughing uncontrollably. You loved Ash and his boomstick, choppin' up skeletons and sayin', "Groovy." What's not to love about a guy whose best pickup line is, "Gimme some sugar, baby."

No? Never gave in to this particular guilty pleasure?

Well then you must have watched "Brisco County, Jr." back in the early '90's, right? I mean, a western with tinges of sci-fi with more crazy situations and zingy one-liners than you can shake a stick at? Right before "X-Files," thus creating an awesome one-two punch of glorified, geeky fun! Remember Lord Bowler? Remember Dixie Cousins? Remember the orb, fer cryin' in a bucket???

Wow. No? Okay, how about "Spider-Man"? Ever catch that one? Or the sequel called, oh, what was it, yes, now I remember: "Spider-Man 2"? Remember the ring announcer? The guy who said, "The Human Spider? That's a horrible name!" right before officially declaring the permanent monicker, "The Amazing Spider-Man!" Or how about the snooty usher who wouldn't let poor Peter Parker in to see Mary Jane's play?

Well, they were all the same guy. The one. The only. The king of the B's. Bruce Campbell!

Yeah, that's right. I didn't see Bruce Springsteen Friday night. I didn't see Bruce Willis. I didn't even see Bruce Wayne. He's fictional, Randy. I saw my hero, Bruce Campbell and y'know what? Turns out he's a pretty nice guy.

Bruce chatted with us for a half hour or so, taking questions. And then he signed copies of his latest book for every single person there, and there were hundreds. Odd folks, just like me. Bruce had a chair next to him and he invited the signees to sit with him while he signed. There he proceeded to chat everyone up. I got the feeling that Bruce didn't like talking about himself nearly as much as he enjoyed meeting people. Typical actor/author, huh? When my turn came I was going to tell him how much I enjoyed Brisco, but he wanted to talk about me.

Bruce (seeing the post-it on the books with my name): So you're Steve? Nice to meet you. What do you do, Steve?

Me: Uh. Oh, I teach high school.

Bruce: Wow, yeah? What do you teach?

Me: Math. Algebra and Calculus.

Bruce: Hey, that's cool. So you see any of your students out here tonight?

Me: Not yet, but there's always that danger.

Bruce: I'll bet. Seems like this is a hangout for high school kids.

Me: Yeah, it is. I must be a fan to put myself in this kind of danger on a Friday night, huh?

Bruce: Well, hey, I appreciate it. (Holds out hand to shake) Thanks for coming.

Me (shaking hand with a dopey grin): Yeah, sure. Thank YOU!

I am SUCH a fanboy. What can I say? I shook Brisco's hand! I got Ash's autograph! Good times, baby. Good times.

Or as Ash would say, "Groovy."

Friday, September 22, 2006


The Angels need to win all ten of their remaining games to make the postseason. Hey, it could happen.

Tonight I get to see Bruce.

I'm preaching Sunday. Have a good thought. I'm almost feeling well enough to work on it. I think next week I'll be back to semi-normal.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

8 Days

I'm not sure if I've gone 8 days without a post since I ventured into blogland. I'm still keeping up on other blogs but I've had neither the time nor the energy to put anything on this space. Today I'm faking the energy and buying the time.

Yes, I'm still sick. One side of my head is completely clogged and the other side comes and goes. Three trips to the doc have convinced me of one thing: I need a new doc.

So, here's a quick attempt at catching up.

My niece, Melissa, was married in Santa Fe Saturday night. It was a small outdoor wedding in a sculpture garden. She looked amazing. Tony didn't look so bad himself. I was honored to do a short reading for them and, after the ceremony, Lisa and I whooped it up just as much as any parents of a 5-year-old who has been up all day are able to whoop it up. Which is to say, not much.

On Sunday we went to Albuquerque to visit my friend, James. I've known James since 8th grade and he really merits three or four posts all his own. Maybe I'll do that. Suffice it to say, for now, that he is a Captain in the Air National Guard...I hadn't seen him in about 10 years...he is the smartest dude I know...and he always makes me laugh. And it was great to see him. We only got to visit for 5 or 6 hours since he was called for drill on Sunday and had to fly out for training Monday morning. But it was a good 5 or 6 hours.

Since he had to leave, we spent time at the zoo on Monday before flying home. The Rio Grande Zoo is fairly amazing. In one afternoon we saw polar bears, koalas, babies both hippo and giraffe, and more wild animals than you could shake a stick at. When they informed us that shaking sticks at the animals was a bad idea, we stopped. The habitats the animals live in are creative and expansive. We all agreed that our favorite moment came when we were searching for the small crocodile in his huge terrarium. I found him first when I realized that the rock I was looking at was looking back at me. I took a large step back, and then pointed him out to Lisa and James, both of whom took steps back also. James is still talking about it.

The rest of the week is a blur. Teaching with a stuffy head is no warm cup of tea. Sermon thoughts are aswirl in my head, but I haven't committed anything to word document yet. And I'm all excited because I'm going to meet a gen-u-ine celebrity tomorrow night.

Who? Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

You Got Some 'Splaining To Do!

The CAT Scan revealed a humongous sinus infection. I think the doctor's actual words were, "How are you walking around?" The antibiotics MAY be starting to work but, brother, it hurts. I spent the weekend on the couch. Moaning.

In the educational equivalent of a perfect storm, all five of my classes took chapter tests on Friday. Thus, I have a mound of papers that I haven't had a chance to even look at yet, at least not through relatively pain-free eyes.

My niece is getting married Saturday (yea!). So we are flying to Santa Fe right after work on Friday. On Sunday I will get to see one of my best friends who I haven't seen for over 10 years. He lives in Albuquerque and my son calls him "Albuquerque James." We will get back late Monday night. I will have to miss Back To School Night. What a shame.

Still, that means that I have to have letters, syllabi, and classroom expectations for all the parents. I will also have to have sub plans ready to go for Monday and my own lessons for Tuesday. I have to get around to those tests sometime. And I preach next Sunday.

Oh, and I need to take my car to the shop.

Sometimes, blogging just has to wait.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Depressing Epiphany

I had one of those moments last night.

I was in the restroom at the church building when DCB's boy, Max, walked in. I asked him how it was going, if he was enjoying Pioneer Club, how was school, etc., etc. He answered each question politely but gave me a look that said, "Y'know, buddy, I know you're my dad's friend and all, but I really just wanna pee."

And with that one look, I was transported back about 35 years when, in the same bathroom, my dad's friends would try the same stuff. And it hit me: I'm one of them now. I'm one of the old guys at church. I'm!

I'm a kid at heart, most guys around my age are. I still watch cartoons (sometimes with James, sometimes because I just think the Justice League is cool). I still play video games when I can. My classroom walls are decorated with posters of superheroes and spaceships. And I think the coolest thing about our recent home renovations is that I can slide a long way on the hardwood floor.

But to those kids last night, I was one of the parents, one of the old people. Incredibly cool, and astonishingly handsome, yes. But old.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Commission Verbs

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." [NIV]

There are a lot more verbs in The Great Commission than I have ever noticed. We tend to concentrate on the first one, the big one: GO! Jesus tells us to go to them, not to wait for them to come to us. Doesn't that throw a huge wrench in our consumer church machinery?

But most translators will tell you that the actual verb used there means "while you are going." In other words, this job that Jesus has for us is to be a part of our everyday lives. We are to take the good news to all those we come in contact with as we are going. We do it with our invitations, with our words of prayer and encouragement, and hopefully with the example of our lives.

And our duty doesn't stop there. According to Jesus' words, we are to go, to make disciples, to baptize, and to teach. That's a whole lot more than we usually admit. I so often fall short of the first assignment that I rarely even think of the other three.

To make disciples of others, I have to become part of their lives. I have to live a life that they can exemplify. I have to be ready to encourage and willing to correct. I have to know the extent of what is involved in being a disciple of Jesus Christ and share that knowledge with those I bring along.

To baptize others, I have to show them why that is something they would want. I am not one who believes that heaven is reserved only for those who got wet. I think that there are plenty of people who did nothing MORE than get wet and plenty more who never followed that example who God will call sons and daughters. But I've also never understood the reluctance to be baptized. Is it pride? Defiance? Disobedience? Ignorance? Why would Jesus call us to be baptized if it wasn't what he wanted for us? And why would he do so himself if it wasn't very important? My call through his commission is to share my high priority on baptism with others and show them the benefits of giving yourself completely through this act.

To teach others to obey Jesus' commands, I have to know those commands myself. To teach I must study. I must prepare. And I must be willing to share what the Spirit has given me. "Easy for you to say," I hear you murmur, "you're a teacher." True. And I have a great love for teaching. But I can't find anywhere in the Great Commission where Jesus categorizes who is to do what. Some of those present were still even doubters. Yet he addressed them all alike. He didn't say, "Go, you evangelizers! Make disciples, you ministry leaders! Baptize, you preachers! Teach, you teachers!"

He simply said, "Go." And that is what we must in the knowledge that he is with us always, everywhere and everywhen.

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