Tuesday, May 06, 2014

More Gloom and Doom

With all due respect to my TV met friends, President Obama getting TV mets like Al Roker to push his political agenda does not equal good science, nor does it convince me.  I will think for myself, thank you.  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

"Marathon" - Rush

You can do a lot in a lifetime if you don't burn out too fast. You can make the most of the distance. First you need endurance. -- First you've got to last...

Monday, February 24, 2014

Affirmation and Encouragement

Recently I was hurt.  Without going into detail, I was misjudged.  Since it came from someone I care about I've struggled.  

But The Lord has ways of sending people your way to affirm you.  I got such an affirmation in a random, unsolicited text from a friend the other day:

"Thank you! It may have taken me a year but I finally feel that connection with God. His presence has been strong in my life recently. So thank you for explaining it to me & giving me the knowledge I needed to get there."

God always comes through. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

18 Hours of Work and Fun

Last night I enjoyed hanging out with Jason Simpson, the Chief Meteorologist at WHNT 19.  I had a very long stressful day at work.  Sounded like Jason had a busy day himself.  We always have a good time talking about weather and about life in general.  

After Jason finished the weather around 6:45, I drove over to the Space and Rocket Center.  There we had a very interesting presentation at the local chapter of the NWA/AMS meeting.  

After getting home around a quarter till nine, I spent the next few hours working on my camera equipment in anticipation of the upcoming severe weather season.  

I haven't had much sleep this week but last night it was for a good reason!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A New Goal

                  Last Night's Route

I have always enjoyed running and/or walking for exercise, since I was young.  I have often wondered why people spend hundreds of dollars for gym memberships, personal trainers, and expensive equipment.  I am not being critical of that, but it has been my experience that running, jogging, and even walking long distances can yield the same health benefits, at no cost.  I suppose there are benefits to having access to better equipment, motivational coaches, and indoor climate, but we can’t all afford that.  And even if we could, one would have to ask if it’s worth it.  These support systems can be helpful, but in the end, the desire to take care of yourself has to come from within. 


In recent years I have used free smart phone applications to help me.  Several days (especially on weekends) I have walked 10-15 miles and in 2012 I think I averaged between three and four miles of walking per day.  In 2011, I completed seven out of nine weeks of a “Couch to 5K” program.  Then I was the coordinator of 30-plus volunteers at a national weather conference.  I was putting in 14-hour days for over a week.  I literally had no time to find a way to complete the program.  Not only that, I was staying in a hotel in the downtown portion of a large city with high crime rates.  So I stopped the program and went back to walking. 


Since then, I have walked quite a bit at times, but not with the consistency I have had in the past.  There are so many barriers to outdoor running and walking.  It takes a lot of time.  Rainy days make it difficult.  As I age, cold weather makes it very difficult.  Sometimes extreme heat makes it difficult.  Then there are the issues of being unavailable due to work hours and a pretty long commute.  I have hobbies, neighbors, and friends I like to spend time with.  I like to be available to chase storms or take lightning pictures. Tonight I will be at a meeting of a weather organization I am involved in.  Even though my sons are older, I still value any time I can get with them.  I have had times where I dated.  That is not a time issue currently, but it has been at times.  I always have projects to work on at home.  The list goes on and on.  At some point though, we have to make time in our lives for things. 


I “feel” the drive to do this now.  But as I was walking and jogging last night, one word kept coming to mind: “consistency”.  How many people get fired up for a few days or weeks, only to slip back into inactivity?  A former pastor of mine once described me as one of the most consistent people he knew.  I don’t know about that, but it is something I feel a renewed desire to implement more fully in my life.  Warmer weather is arriving, and I am getting the “fever” again.  One thing that helps is setting written goals.  Last night I decided on a new goal.  Today I am putting it in writing.  I want to run a 5K race.  I have never been in an “official” race, before.  I started thinking, that’s really only 3.1 miles.  My initial goal is to actually run and jog the whole way.  But even if I end up walking, I will have completed something new.  In that spirit, I looked up quotes on consistency.  I will try to think about these as I pursue my goal.


“For the novice runner, I’d say to give yourself at least two months of consistently running at a conversational pace before deciding whether you want to stick with it.  Consistency is the most important aspect of training at this point.” – Frank Shorter


“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives.  It’s what we do consistently.” – Anthony Robbins


“Success is neither magical nor mysterious.  Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.” – Jim Rohn


“The secret of success is consistency of purpose.” – Benjamin Disraeli


“Getting an audience is hard.  Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time.” – Bruce Springsteen


“You have to perform at a consistently higher level than others.  That’s the mark of a true professional.” – Joe Paterno


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Classic Kramer

"The Opposite" is one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes.   George Costanza acts the opposite of his instincts and finds great success.  But my favorite clip is when Cosmo Kramer goes on Regis and Kathie Lee.  

Kramer coffee table book on "Regis & Kathie Lee" 


Live Long and Prosper

I ran across an interesting interview in which Leonard Nimoy describes in detail how he came up with his character Spock's famous Vulcan hand gesture in the original Star Trek show.

Monday, February 17, 2014

1970 Something...

was just thinking about 1970-something.  There was no Facebook. No personal computers.  I played outside with my friends until my parents forced us to come in and eat.  In the winter I never knew in the morning if I might wake up to snow.   We knew most all the neighbors.  At school we all talked about the same shows on TV.  We grew gardens.  Kids who did bad things were kind of ostracized.  Getting to talk on the phone with family members long-distance was a treat.  My parents didn't have to be too embarrassed about music on the radio.  We always sat down to a real meal prepared by my mom (other than weekends when dad grilled out). We talked at the dinner table as a family.  I had fast food about once or twice a year.   There was never sex on TV in my house.  Everybody we knew, we knew in person.  Somehow we survived without wearing seatbelts.  I could ride all over town on my bicycle before I was even 12.  $.15 snowcones and cup ball games were regular fare down at the park. People rarely divorced, but usually were fairly happy.  Sometimes people found out that their best friend-spouse shared the best days of their life toward the end.  We learned math by reading the back of baseball cards and computing our batting averages.  We were lucky to see our favorite football team once or twice a year on TV.  I learned about the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates from listening to distant radio stations.  We didn't download music; it was an "event" to go to the record store and bring an album home.  We survived fights and bullying at school.  Life was not perfect. But I think it was better.   

After writing this, i happened across an article through my Facebook feed.  It talked about the dangers of texting in a relationship to the exclusion of human interaction.  Without realizing it was happening, pI had a relationship recently that fell victim to the very same thing. Other reasons and factors were given, but assumptions were made based on texting, not to mention the familiarity it brings that were hurtful.  This is a very good read for anyone he does a lot of texting.  

I might add another point to her article.   If two people don't invest in each other enough to block off some time to actually see each other and talk on a regular basis that might be a red flag.  Texting can be done at almost any time. Is it really saying that I don't have time to talk to you without other distractions?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Random Thoughts at Lunch

am one of the least knowledgeable people in the world about fashion trends.  There was a lady in court this morning who looked like she dipped the bottom four inches of her hair in blood.  One of my coworkers said that was an Ombré.  Learn something new every day.


I met a tourist from the UK today.  I asked whether they got much snow in their part of the UK.  Occasionally they get a bad storm that closes everything.  They spend two weeks alternating between visiting the pub and sledding.  Visiting the UK and seeing the Beatles landmarks is on my bucket list.


One of the attorneys joked with me that she was falsely accused of not returning paper work.  I said, “It’s not fun to be falsely accused, is it?”  I was only half-joking.  I remind myself that if it happened to Jesus, who is perfect, why wouldn’t we expect it could happen to us.


Useless knowledge of the day:  The judge described some song lyrics for which he couldn’t name the song.  I knew instantly it was “Wolverton Mountain”. 


I am ready for spring and summer weather.  But, if it is going to stay cold, we might as well get a good snow.  My son David and I got the sleds and shovels out yesterday.  Unfortunately, with every model run, it looks like the best moisture may stay south of here overnight.  But we may have another chance in two days. 


I like Brunswick stew on cold days like this.  I had a pint of stew from Whitt’s BBQ today for lunch. 


Watching the Beatles tribute on CBS last night was quite a treat.  Most of the artists did a great job covering Beatles songs.  The best part was seeing Paul and Ringo performing together.  I couldn’t help but think about how nerve-wracking it must have been to perform those songs in front of Paul, Ringo, and the widows and children of George and John.  It also amazed me at how much George’s son Dhani looks and sounds like his dad. 


Missing someone really stinks.  I have to practice thanking God for what I have rather than focusing on what I don’t have.


Joy Comes in the Morning?

Why is it that when you're sad about something, it seems like the worst time of the day is often first thing in the morning?

I think for me, I cope and process things best when I take time to think and pray.  A lot of people slip into deep depression. I have learned to avoid that.  Music, prayer, and friends are my biggest weapons.  

Last night was the big 50th anniversary special for the Beatles.  One of my favorite all-time songs is "Let it Be" by Paul McCartney. I really needed to hear that.  

Lord, I'm depending on you today. You've always been faithful.  Even when I have not been faithful.  You're an ever present help in our times of need. You are my best friend.  You are close to the brokenhearted.   

Sunday, February 09, 2014


I got in 5.5 miles today.  Definitely stepping up on the walking.  Enjoyed my son David's company.  I usually go it alone. 

David is Here!

In the old days of this blog my main topic was my sons.  In the last few years they have not been around as much.  David came up last night.  We had a great time hanging out at my friend Ben's place.  I think the three of us covered almost every subject possible while enjoying Ben's fancy new 60" HD smart TV.  Then David and I watched home videos from the 1980's of my life in college, his mom's family, and my parent's family.  We stayed up most of the night.  We discussed everything under the sun.  Today I sent him on a pre-snow Dollar General run.  No bread and milk but plenty of Gatorade, canned stew, and mandarin oranges.  Now to go take his antique clock to Mr. Smart, the best fixer of clocks in the world....

Loving, Losing, and Missing

We live in a fallen world.  None of us are perfect.  We know this.  Yet our hearts cry out for love.  The ultimate love is found in Jesus.  As true as that is, we long for love with skin on.  The acceptance and touch of another human.  Try as we might to deny it, we have to admit it's true.

Unlike accepting a relationship with God, this kind of love is a risky proposition.  We desire to bring two imperfect souls together and find bliss.  That equation doesn't add up.  It may for a while, but eventually someone will be hurt. 

The question is do we shelter ourselves from hurt and stay alone or pursue our desire to love and be loved with courage?  I have caused hurt and I have received hurt. 

I am hurt right now.  I love someone.  I lost someone.  I miss someone. 

With God's help, I will never give up on hoping that the dream of holding that special person comes true. 

Two and One-Half Months

This has been a very tough week for me. Last year, after lots of frustration in dating, I decided to put it aside for a while. It seemed like the few people I met that I might be interested in were not interested in me. The people who were interested in me did not meet the characteristics I am looking for. Besides that frustration, I had reached a point where I just thought I needed to focus on a few areas of my life that needed some attention anyway. So I ended my dating site membership and I stopped “looking”. After several months of being in this “non-dating” mode I felt like I was ready again, but I was not particularly motivated to try.

Then something happened. A lady I met early in the year had remained my friend. We seemed to really hit it off quite well on the two dates we had early in the year. At the time, however, we had both already met other people and had been on a few more dates with them. I became uncomfortable with the idea of dating more than one at a time and I felt like I needed to be open about it. I texted her and, lo and behold, she told me she had the same issue. I really appreciated her honesty. After a day or so, she let me know that she couldn’t see me anymore. She thought she should give the other guy a chance. It was disappointing, but it made sense. As it turned out I stopped dating the person I had been seeing. She dated her guy most of the year. I don’t precisely remember how it started, but I think around early November I sent this lady a friendly message on Facebook, just to see how she was doing. Gradually I learned that she had broken up with the guy recently. We started messaging and then texting frequently. I think we reached the point that we were both interested in meeting again.

But there were a few things that stood in the way. First, she was scheduled for major surgery December 11. Prior to that the holidays and our schedules kept us busy. I also thought the more we could get to know each other first, the better. However, we kept each other wonderful company by texting throughout November and December. I sent her flowers when she got home from her stay in the hospital. I really enjoyed “talking” with her and getting to know her. I also felt happy I could keep her company while she was cooped up. The more we talked and got to know each other, the more we liked each other. We became more and more eager to meet.

Finally, the big day came. On Friday January 3, 2014, I drove to her home to pick her up on our “first” date. I got out of my car and walked to her door. She invited me to step inside. Her precious doggies were excited and hyped up at the sight of a new person. She got them situated and stepped outside. SHE WAS BEAUTIFUL. I opened the car door and we rode to the civic center. I wondered if we would be nervous. I may have had a few butterflies, but I felt extremely comfortable with her. This was her first hockey game. Besides talking about the game, the thing I remember most was talking about our families. I even told her about an unflattering thing that occurred in my life the previous year. I felt compelled to be open about it, and if she rejected me for it, at least I could know that it was based on the truth. It was a very, very nice time. I took her home. We hugged and kissed in the car. Driving home I hoped that she enjoyed herself as much as me. I wondered if she would still be excited to talk more and see each other again. We texted more that evening and it was very evident that we really liked each other.

Our relationship really developed beautifully throughout the month of January. We talked about so many things that are critical to a relationship. Our ideas were practically identical. We talked about the concept of both partners giving 100 percent. We talked about giving each other the space needed and encouragement needed to pursue our dreams, gifts, and talents. She respected my love for weather as much as I did her love of performing music. We both have some very close friends. We both are totally open and honest. There have been no games. There was never a concern that we were communicating too much or too little. It was all very natural. Our feelings developed simultaneously. We came to like each other very much. We shared so many wonderful conversations. She said that I always seemed to say the right thing that she needed to hear at the right time. We laughed together and supported each other. She encouraged, supported, and lifted my spirits when I went through a few days of being very sick.

We only disappointed each other once each. Both times involved each of us falling asleep earlier than usual and causing the other concern. We resolved not to let that happen again. Even though we disappointed each other, I think it just made us both feel all the more loved and cared about. I secretly found myself thinking, “I love this girl,” and then correcting myself and saying I needed to take it slow. We both seemed on a mission to get to know each other more. We had a “common goal” and that was to actually see each other more, in person. We did go to a banjo concerto at the symphony orchestra. It felt so good to hold her hand and have my arm around her. I loved when she would look into my eyes with her beautiful smile. I was so happy to be with such a sweet and beautiful woman. We saw a movie together. Again, I felt like I was in outer space with fireworks when she would touch my hand or place her hand on my leg. Our conversations were always great. After the movie she introduced me to fancy beer at a local brewery I had never been to before. Whenever I took her home we hugged and kissed before she went inside. More and more, I wanted to hold her longer. But we were both willing to be patient. I really liked that a lot! We had a day trip to a state park in Tennessee. What a wonderful day that was. I really enjoyed admiring the scenery with her. We took pictures together. I don’t think you could have found a happier or cuter couple in the world that day. Whenever no one was around, we would like to get a quick kiss or hug. We are both very affectionate, but we are also rather private about it. I like that.

Last weekend we had some communication mix ups but we were so eager to see each other. It had been 12 long days as she had been out of town. We spent several hours Saturday afternoon hiking on the mountain. We found a nice secluded place to sit down and talk awhile. It was, as always, very comfortable and peaceful, like it was meant to be. Before we left, we kissed. That was the most passion I had ever felt in the times we had been together. I already knew we were attracted, but this time really amazed me. As we often told each other, we were a lucky girl and guy.

Then we had a late night midnight movie planned. Without going into detail publicly, I made a mistake. It did not involve anything that “directly” hurt her, such as flirting or anything like that. I take responsibility for my mistake. Even though I am responsible, she didn’t exactly discourage it. The next day she emailed me. She was ending the relationship. She said it wasn’t just last night’s mistake. She thought it was a pattern and a problem in my life. She pointed to an example of something that was not true. She made some false assumptions. She said that even though I was everything she ever wanted in a man, she thought I needed help and she could not continue the relationship. I immediately called. We cried. I apologized. I also tried to show her that her assumptions were not true. I was so hurt. So sad. The best she could offer was for me to give her a few days to think about it.

After three days, I sent her a long response to her email. I poured out my heart. I tried to illustrate for her that this is not a problem in my life. That the mistake I made Saturday was an anomaly. I told her many things about my life that she probably doesn’t even know. I also told her that it would be a shame to lose what we both saw as a very unusually great potential relationship over assumptions and misinformation. I asked her to trust, to not be afraid, and to watch over time if she had doubts. I don’t know what will happen. I have prayed harder this week than I have in a very long time. I have felt the peace that comes from God and the results of people praying for me. It has been a very hard week for me. I have cried a lot. I know through Facebook that it has been a hard week for her. I know how sad she was Sunday. She got her only speeding ticket in decades this week. And then she became very physically sick. I miss talking to her. I always believed in communication was the key before making major decisions. That is why I at least sent my response after three days went by. I felt like she needed to know the truth before she made a decision. I am at peace knowing I have told her the truth.

All I can do is pray that she trusts what I have told her, that she overcomes any fears she may have, and that she gives this wonderful relationship the chance it deserves. If she does not, I will know two things. One is, I take responsibility for my mistake and I will learn from it. Second, if she can’t trust in who I really am and uses what she has seen to end the relationship, then she may not have been as ready for a relationship as she thought. People make mistakes and do stupid things. I need a woman of grace. She does not have to be perfect but she can’t expect me to be perfect either. One time this special lady told me I have “a perfect heart”. I meant to correct her. She was more accurate when she said I have a good heart and a big heart. I may not be perfect, but I don’t have the problem she claimed. I pray that she sees that and that this relationship can remain. I have prayed that more times than I can count. But, more than that, I pray for God’s will in our lives. I pray that all her dreams come true. I pray that she can be the happiest woman in the world. I pray that she receives every blessing she ever wanted out of life. And, until I am told not to, I will love her. Even if loving means leaving her alone, I will love her. I always will.