The Cool Rule lets us reopen the drawer

Not everyone understands, but I am lucky to have friends and family — and a boss who is both friend and family — who let me be me.


I dig bandanas.

The “Cool Rule” says that the things you believed to be cool when you were between the ages of 17 and 21 is what you consider cool the rest of your life. (Hat tip to wife Jennifer for creating the rule.)

So … bandanas.

I wore bandanas when I was in the Cool Rule years. Lots of them. Sometimes more than 20 at a time.

Continue reading “The Cool Rule lets us reopen the drawer”

Grace and the messy yard

We make mistakes. We screw up. We tear things down …


My front yard has gone wild.

The grass is overgrown and patchy and the ground is covered in places by what remains of two trees I cut down four weeks ago.

It doesn’t look like this for lack of work. On the contrary, we have invested a significant amount of time and effort in our front yard in the last month.

So why does it look like this?

Because sometimes things get messy in life. It is as simple as that.

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First World Moment

It wasn’t so much humbling as humiliating.


Have you ever had a First World moment?

I found myself getting frustrated tonight because I had to clean out the washing machine’s filter and everything didn’t go exactly to plan. I had to re-do and re-tighten and then there was a setting off that I didn’t know about. And there was some smelly water involved, to boot.

It was a pain in the butt for nearly 20 minutes. (Maybe a little less.)

And sitting watching the laundry roll around the drum I realized how entitled and whiny I was being. There are people in my community who went to bed hungry tonight, and I was acting frustrated that I had to spend 20 minutes taking care of one of my luxuries.

It wasn’t so much a humbling thought as a humiliating one.

Look, I know I can’t save the world and I don’t feel guilty that I have a washing machine … or all the other things in my house that would be considered luxuries to some (including the house). God has blessed my family and I am thankful for that.

But I need to do a better job of not being such a putz about it.

A good attitude can overcome a bad sense of direction

We all sort of looked at each other with a quizzical “whaaaaa” expression on our faces and then had our attention pulled back to the present by the appearance of Santa.


I stood in an intersection taking photos of a Christmas parade, something I have done dozens of times for various news outlets.

But this event marked the first time I ever saw some of the floats go the wrong direction.

It was near the beginning of Malakoff’s annual parade, which had a change to its usual route. I guess the new instructions didn’t reach everyone and the band, the sheriff and a couple of floats missed a turn.

I don’t think anyone watching realized the mistake until the rest of the parade went off in a different direction. We all sort of looked at each other with a quizzical “whaaaaa” expression on our faces and then had our attention pulled back to the present by the appearance of Santa.

Continue reading “A good attitude can overcome a bad sense of direction”