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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Busy Busy Busy

  • Since buying back the publishing rights to Optimus I've been editing it. Easier to write than edit.
  •  We've reroofed the house and put on a nice new white door with oval window and storm door. It really brightens up the house both inside and out.
  • Tried to have a little getaway with the wife Friday, but got called in to work in the morning. It was still nice to spend two nights away from everything going on in the house.
  • Played first golf tournament yesterday a two man scramble, didn't do too well, but it was fun. Golfing tomorrow with a golfing buddy from a couple of years ago trying to get him in the Gaggle.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What Church and Faith Should be About

I grew up in church. From my earliest memories church was always there. My parents helped start at least one if not more from our living room. My brother has a doctorate in theology and I went to a Baptist University and a year of seminary. My wife has worked at the state convention for 30 years. There's hardly a church in this city we haven't attended or been members. Faith has always been a part of our lives.
In 1978 a retired state supreme court judge from Texas and the associate pastor of the largest church in Texas mounted a political attack on the Southern Baptist Convention. It's called the "fundamentalist take over" and it disenfranchised my family spiritually to this day.
A couple of years ago we started meeting in a home church. A lady my wife works with, her husband pastors the church. I gave the pastor my book Optimus and he liked it so much he has been giving me legal assistance work supposedly to help him with his openings and closings, but so far every case where I could do that has settled before the trial.
He brought me in to work on a case after only one day of retirement from teaching. I don't technically work for him since I have my own business and bill him for my services, technically he's my client, just my only client. We have become very close working in the same office and worshiping. He's working on his doctorate of ministry and has me look over every paper before turning it in.
I keep telling him that his papers have many "whereas's", but no "therefore." He counters that in theology you don't have the right to an opinion until after you've earned your doctorate. He seems to be right as he gets nothing but praises for him papers.
Michael Manning's post today brought these thoughts up and made me realize just how much the fundamentalist take over robbed me of social contact with other of my faith. They drove a wedge of conformity on certain beliefs which had nothing to do with being Baptist, just fundamentalist.
My pastor and I disagree on a number of issues, but we recognize each other's faith and respect each other.
Last September at a conference we encountered a young couple who moved here on faith. They graduated from seminary and plan on setting up what are called cell churches. A connection of home churches. The SBC entity that is supposed to support them has lost their paper work 6 times. They didn't have jobs, but were in an apartment. She was about to deliver their first child. They were in desperate need of a support church for financial and tax reasons. Our church agreed to provide this support. Since then they had a little boy, have both found jobs and just this last week bought a house where they will begin their ministry. It has felt good to assist this young couple begin their ministry.
Michael's post about social networking to help those in need rang a bell and I pray our church can reach out and help out other couples in need as well.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Free At Last

I now have the publishing rights to Optimus: Praetorian Guard. PA over the last 4+ years has done a roller coaster ride on pricing that it was difficult to generate sales. They got me to buy over a hundred copies, most of them given to family and friends. I sold some at book signings and a few to blogger friends who gratefully wrote reviews.
I plan a complete re-edit and e-publish at Smashwords and Amazon for a reasonable price. The sequel "Stephanus" is in the works.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


Michael Manning has a post about Airstream travel trailers that sparked a warm memory. My maternal grandfather was sad that his only children were daughters so Mom named me after him with my middle name. My son and grandson now share the same middle name.
My maternal grandmother was diagnosed with cancer in either 1958 or 59. She was given 6 months. Grandma and Grandpa owned a building in Pueblo, CO living upstairs and the bottom floor was the Record Music Company. One of my dear friends in my Writers2Writers groups that meets once a month is from Pueblo and remembers buying records there. "The shop" as Mom always referrs to it was the first store to sell color television sets.
When Grandma was diagnosed with cancer Grandpa sold the shop to my aunt and Mom. What happened to the shop after that is another story and why we moved to Albuquerque.
Grandpa bought a brand new pink Cadallac, the only car Grandma was comfortable riding in, and a Boll's Air travel trailer. It was beige and white and square, but about the same size as the Airstream. He felt that if they only had a little time left they'd spend it traveling around the country since they'd spent most of their lives working in the shop.
Grandma received radiation treatment for her type of cancer and lived thirty more years. They got to do alot of traveling in that trailer. Grandma liked riding in the Caddy, but resented the two or three times extra cost to get work done on it.
When they'd come home from their travels they'd set up in a trailer park and we'd go over to visit. They'd set up a screen and show us the slides they took in Florida, Texas, California and other states they traveled through.
A few years later Grandpa sold the trailer and car. They settled into a house in Pueblo and bought a GMC pickup with a KamperKing. It was a beast. We'd already moved to Albuquerque. Mom and Dad were both working so they offered to take my younger sister, who was a toddler and me for the summer. When we were in Pueblo I'd work at the shop selling records and my aunt feeling some guilt for shoving us out of the business let me keep as many 45's and LP's as I wanted. After converting the LP's and looking at the huge stack of 45's now I wish she hadn't been so generous. The shop also sold band instruments so my brother got his coronet and I got my clarinette.
It was in the GMC truck and camper that we went fishing. Colorado has great fishing lakes and three times over that summer we went out. I remember stopping between Coatapaxi and Salida to spend the night. It was still a little light out so we got our fishing poles to see if we could catch something in the Arkansas river. I had the reel that has the button you take your thumb off to let the line fly. I threw the whole thing into the river on the first cast. Grandpa had to get out his waders, grab a flashlight and in the rushing water retrieve my rod and reel. We didn't catch any fish that night. Dad would have exploded, but Grandpas, and now that I am one too I understand, have more patience.
In all I spent three summers with them working in the store and going out fishing. They are great memories. The last summer when I was thirteen they were living above the shop again and my bedroom window overlooked Colorado Avenue. They turned in early and that left me with a lot of time on my hands to read. I read the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy that summer, special thanks to Mrs. Mojica who read The Hobbit in my English class that school year gettin my head full of elves and goblins and dwarves and dragons.
The last time we went fishing was at John Martin Dam outside of La Junta on the plains not far from Kansas. Up in the mountains it gets cold at night; on the plains it stays hot. There you fish with minnows. Grandpa was fishing off a pier and I found a nice spot where I could sit on the metal minnow cage where they farmed the minnows they sold to the fishermen. I caught four fish fairly good sized rather quickly then nothing for about an hour. I'd put the fish I caught on a stringer and left them in the water by the cage. When I picked them up all that was left were their heads. A turtle got a free meal.
From then on Grandma and Grandpa would come down to visit, but our summers of fishing were over. I haven't been fishing since. I don't think it would be the same.

New Year, New Start

Guess that's the nice thing about a new year is that alot of the bad stuff that happened in the old year can be put in the dust bin and you start over.
Came down with a stomach flu New Year's Eve. If I'm going to feel that bad at least it should be for drinking!
Finally feeling human. Back at the office today, getting my mini-van fixed up and later this week getting the front part of the roof on the house reshingled.