Thursday, August 16, 2007

Unbelievable Story (Really)

I thought we were toast.

I mentioned a couple of days ago that my family and I were deeply immersed in a presentation of Oklahoma! for the local theater my wife founded.

We were almost immersed in deep doo-doo too, when a speaker got knocked over and semi-fell on some people in the front row.

I got a call today from a lady who said she was sitting there when it fell. You tell me how much it sounded like we were about to be sued like there was no tomorrow:

*Two days after the show she calls and says that her 11-year-old sister was hit by the speaker stand and had her arm bruised.

*She wants to know who is ultimately responsible and was especially interested in finding out if the city was liable.

*She mentions a lawsuit for the bumps and bruises, but says they aren't the suing type of people.

*She says that all of that might be overlooked "because accidents happen", but the speaker smacked her hand and knocked her diamond out of her engagement ring. It had great sentimental value.

*By her email address I can see that she works for a local personal injury attorney.

*She seemed to have three different names.

After spending two hours finding out as much as I could about this woman and getting my ducks in a row, my wife and I decided to go down to the theater to look for the diamond. Mind you, we didn't think there really was a diamond in the first place, but we had nothing else we could do.

Now you all have no idea the turbulence our little theater has been through, but suffice it to say, times have been rough. This show is a huge triumph for us at a time were it is sorely needed.

When I first told my wife that I got the call, she immediately began to pray and called others to pray that the little theater that could could weather this storm.

One of the cast members was at our house and we asked her to pray as we set off to look for a diamond. My wife specifically prayed on the drive over that we would walk right in and find the diamond and that it would prove to be an encouraging testimony to the that cast member who is a new Christian.

Here is how it went when we got to the theater:

We get let in by the owner of the restaurant in the front of the building who was just leaving for the afternoon. I disarm the alarm and we walk through the kitchen to enter the theater.

My wife sees that the carpet runners we have covering wires near the front row still have lots of straw on them and it appears that we didn't do a thourough job sweeping because of those runners.

She puts her purse down on the chair next to the speaker that fell, looks down at seat next to that, points to the seat and says, "Dear, what is that?"

I step closer and look down to see a DIAMOND right there on the seat! It was a tiny diamond that I can't imagine could have been seen if it were on the floor.

We were screaming and yelling like you couldn't believe! What a miracle!

I called the lady and she was just stunned. As of this writing we are going to make arrangements to get her ring repaired and returned to her!

God is good!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Inspired by Jon and Charlene

I was over at Chimeric Daydreams again and Jon has once again managed to distract me from my appointed daily tasks. This time he pointed me in the direction of Charlene's photo blog and that distraction caused me to revisit some photos I had taken the other day to see if I could do something artistic with them.

I am sure that Jon and Charlene could really make something of this little shack that is actually an active business in my town. I had my eye on photographing it for months because it has so much character. I wish it wasn't in an ally so that I could get it better in the morning light.

What do you guys think: do you like it better in black and white or in color? In both of them I increased the contrast, and in the color one I increased the red saturation.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Letting the Bedbugs Bite

Question: What do bedbug infestations in Southern California and millions of malaria deaths in third-world countries have in common?

Answer: Both are the fault of the environmental movement.

Today's L.A. Times has an article on the tremendous rise in the number of homes needing treatment for bedbugs. Nestled among the icky details is mention that the blood-sucking parasite was once thought to be wiped out--then we banned DDT based on environmental hysteria.

If you read the article, you'll also find out that we don't really have any decent chemicals anymore for combating such pests; DDT worked, but it was banned in 1972 in large part due to Rachal Carson's 1962 book, Silent Spring.

Millions have died from malaria since the DDT ban also. Don't take my word for it, look it up. I have to go check for bedbugs before turning in.

I have been Oklahoma!-ed

I am having a hard time getting back into the swing of posting because my life the past two weeks has been dominated by my participation in Oklahoma! for the community theater my wife founded.

As much work as I/we have been doing, it is amazing how much it seems worth it when you have sold-out shows and a wonderful cast and crew.

I wish all of my online friends could see what a fabulous show this little podunk community theater with no money has turned out. What a rush!

A question though: who is going to come see classic old musicals like Oklahoma! when the current crop of seniors passes on? Other than friends and family of the cast and crew, the vast majority of our patrons are elderly.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A First for me

I almost missed this because I don't think he followed rule number four, but Jon tagged me and now I must come up with 8 things about me. Before I proceed, here are the rules as they have been passed down.

The Rules of this tag:

Link to your tagger and post these rules.
List eight (8) random facts about yourself.
Tag eight people at the end of your post and list them (linking to them).
Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving them a comment on their blogs.

1. My mind gets hung up on certain things and I have a hard time letting them go; for instance, why is it 8 things instead of, say, 5 or 10?

2. I often limp in the morning because my feet hurt because I pick the skin off my heals and chew it. Sometimes I get too much skin.

3. I am incredibly lazy, but when I am "on the clock" at work, I am a machine and harbor a secret fear that someone would say that I am not a hard worker.

4. I worry a lot about what people think, and I think the world would be better off if more people did.

5. I am a perfectionist and extremely anal about things, but once things get out of control due to other's inattention, I let things go until I finally can't take it anymore.

6. I hate meetings and usually don't say anything in them because that would just prolong things.

7. I always over-estimate how long a task will take. I balance out the more optimistic estimates.

8. In general, people really annoy me, but people who meet me find me friendly and fun-loving.

I tag:
Geeks News Week
Internet Safety Advisor
Coyote Blog

Monday, August 06, 2007

Friday, August 03, 2007

America, What a Country

How would you feel if you got a note from your house sitter telling you not to worry about the stuff in your liquor cabinet and your house sitter is Lindsay Lohan?

Even her delinquent friends would snicker and say, "Yeah, right!"

Or imagine in fairy-tale land, writing for the Poultry Gazette, Mr. Phineas J. Phox, has a column decrying the paranoid attitude of the citizens of the hen house toward four-legged, furry-tailed intruders with sharp teeth.

Can anybody say "credibility problem"?

So how is it that Newsweek Magazine can have a Muslim editor chide America about its overreaction to the Islamic threat on U.S. soil?

Oh, we're all down with the fact that Lindsay Lohan is a lush, and we're very clear on the idea that foxes love to gobble up chickens like Kobayashi at an eating competition, but mention that Muslims want to kill us all and take over the country, and we go brain dead.

That and we let life-long Muslims like Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria tell us how to run our country as if we've never heard of 9/11.

From the moment I began reading "Beyond Bush" in the June 11th issue, I was suspicious that a guy named Zakaria thought all of the Republican presidential hopefuls were talking too tough on Islam. I made a mental note to look up Fareed when I got home.

I know, I'm a racist, just like the chickens in the coop are specists, and the homeowner with the killer stash is a worry wort.

But I was also right.

Although he once told The Village Voice that he "was not a religious guy", he was raised in a practicing Islamic home according to Wikipedia, the only source I could find that broached the subject of his religious affiliation.

Oh, foul human that I am! So judgmental, so cruel, so insensitive! Assessing a man solely on his religious background? Egads, call in the thought police!

But wait. What else do I have on which to judge him? If I had something else--a personal relationship--I might think differently. My point is that it is folly to even consider a man with such sympathies a credible source for how we choose to handle a fight for our lives.

That Newsweek Magazine bosses didn't say, "Well, hold on, don't you think Americans will wonder about a Muslim giving advice on Muslims" speaks to Newsweek's pomposity.

That Any American would accept the assessment of someone whose motives bear questioning, shows how scary naive we are.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

An Evening with Rush

I don't know very many people who's favorite talk show host and favorite rock band share the same name.

I went to my first Rush concert in 26 years last night and boy was it interesting. The Canadian rock trio--most of whom will qualify for senior discounts at Denny's by next year--did not disappoint with a three-hour show in Mountain View, CA.

But almost as interesting to me was watching the interesting contrasts in the fans who came to see the band in it's 33rd year. Oh, how I wish I had my camera!

This is the first concert I've been to where fans needed a cane because they were old, not because they were milking the workers comp system in California.

There were leather-clad motorcycle gangers, but no gang bangers.

Man, I wish I had a camera.

There was an abundance of ear plugs (for hearing protection), but no plugged ears (for stretching out holes in lobes).

There were (what looked like) no-account hippies sitting next to accountants.

Since we were in Silicon Valley, dudes who looked like they still lived in their parents' basement rubbed elbows with millionaires who built computers in their parents' basement.

Man, I wish I had a camera

Drug use was evident, but there might have been more people on heart medication than there was smoking pot.

There were mid-back length, gray-haired comb overs playing air guitar next to neatly trimmed get-the-gray-out Grecian Formula business men.

I saw wrinkled 70's era concert tour t-shirts next to button-downs, khakis, and penny loafers.

Man, I wish I had a camera.

Other observations:

What kind of mental midget gets a kick out of seeing their text messages on the big screen above the stage? I didn't see very many Jr. highers, but listen to these nuggets that people felt compelled to text for all to see:

"They totally rock," "Yo," "Awesome," "It's, like, wow." "You rock!"

My wife said that we have reached the summit of cheap thrills.