Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I had this one moment in Ethiopia with my friends CJ and John that I will never forget.  We drove about two blocks past a market and then walked a few more blocks.  When we passed behind some buildings we went to a slum area unlike any I have seen before.

I have seen extreme poverty, AIDS communities, even groups of refugees and amputees, but I had never seen anything like this.  Within a square block were hundreds of tiny rooms where prostitutes waited for their next client.  Men leave the market on their way home and visit these women.  If it was a good day at the market, the man may spend the night.  If it was a bad day, he might beat the woman and steal her money.  As we walked through the community it was obvious that there were no toilets, no running water, and honestly no hope.

There was one older woman who was beyond weak and beaten by disease.  Still, she waited by her door inviting someone in.  There were bunk beds in many of the rooms.  The children would sleep on the top bunk while the mother worked on the bottom bunk.  This is just life for these children.

This area broke my heart.  I left so angry and desperate for God to change the reality I had just seen. I know there are areas like this in every country, including the US.  For me, walking through this area of Addis made the destruction of prostitution and everything we call casual all the more real.

Our days don't have to lack purpose.  There is plenty of beauty to stand for and celebrate.  There is plenty that doesn't belong as well.  I pray that your day is flooded with purpose.  Enjoy your moments, whether you would declare them good or not.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Serious Questions on the Return Trip

I just got back from Ethiopia, and on the way home I realized some questions that have gone unanswered in all the times I have flown.
1.  Do people really buy things from the SkyMall?
2.  Why is it that when I am next to the 75 year old snorer and I can't recline my seat because it would go into the bathroom I am exhausted, but when I have an entire row to myself I cannot pull myself from watching old episodes of Castle?
3.  Do the Dutch like their food?
4.  Why does there need to be both Coke Zero and Diet Coke on one flight and then neither on the other flight?
5.  Has anyone ever tried to disassemble the smoke detector in the bathroom?
6.  What happens to the headphones when you give them back?
7.  How can a giant plane headed to another continent be early and ready, yet a tiny plane going from Minneapolis to Louisville be an hour late?
8.  Why doesn't the airport sell foot deodorizers?  They would make a killing.
9.  Why do I always sit next to the guy who needs the foot deodorizer?
10.  Why doesn't he keep his shoes on?

Those were just some of my thoughts on my journey back from Ethiopia.  Thankfully, more productive things happened there than on the plane.

Monday, March 7, 2011


My friend/poet "Darkcloud" wrote this about the animals on the road.

Giant animals.
Made of foam and wire net.
At least they use the right lane.

I can hear all twelve readers snapping right now.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Photos From the Road-Seriously?

A few days ago I got to drive down to Bowling Green, KY.  (Not the "University of Bowling Green" Bowling Green.  The other one.)  I was having a nice drive listening to music and making phone calls when my day was forever changed by the vehicle that I passed.  Check it out.

I guess I have never stopped to think of how these giant animals moved.  It makes sense that they are on a truck, but still, I'm amazed.  I don't really understand giant decorative creatures.  I remember the bull, the cow, and the mouse in Eau Claire.  I never ate a restaurant that owned one.  I think that is a good rule.  

All of my thoughts came rushing at me when I saw this truck.  Did someone really pay to have these made?  How many people make these for a living?  Is the giant decorative animal guy married to the "zoom and groom" girl?  Are these animals going to the same place?  If they are, what kind of place is that?

I think I wanted to pretend that these animals were a part of nature and people built around them.  In my mind they were always there, so no one ever chose to put a giant animal in their parking lot.  I lost a little bit of innocence that day.  I'll be okay though.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Photos From the Road-The Economy

This week my mom is down visiting our family.  It has been great spending time with her and having the kids climb all over her and everything.  It has also given me time to take some photos while driving my car, because nothing says "I'm a good son and driver" like taking photos while driving.

For those of you who question if we will really make it in this economy, see the photo below.

That is an actual company.  If you own it, more power to you.  The existence of this company shows the collision of two of our most scarce resources: time and money.  Sometimes one has to win out.  The owner of this awesome van knows that people have less time than money, so they offer to pay a lot of money to groom your pet, apparently at your house.

I think this is awesome.  In no way does it benefit me, but it gave me my next business idea: The Kid Car Wash.  For those families who don't have time for baths, you put your kid in a power wheels and hose them off with gallons of water, dry them with massive hair dryers and ship them to bed.  I think it would work.

About the lack of money, we'll be alright folks.  I know many people are in desperate circumstances and I have sympathy for those individuals.  For those of us who just feel things a little tighter, need to look again at our budgets and maybe vacation less, well, the world is still spinning and the sun is still rising.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

World's Worst Ad

Sometimes we do dumb things.  I understand that completely.  I have been known to do my share and the share of the person next to me.  It has been to my advantage that not many know me, so my stupid moves go somewhat unknown.

Today I went to Yahoo! and saw this ad that was done in Los Angeles I was amazed that:
1. someone made it
2. someone else paid for it
3. someone would publish it
4. no one saw how silly this ad is.

I know I posted this sideways.  I think the whole things is a little tough to look at.  My favorite part is wondering how the average ticket taker is to know if a kid is underprivileged.  Reason number 379 why to not like the Clippers.