Aug 212014
  • Problem: Second-generation Honda Odyssey EX air conditioner front fan won’t work; rear fan blows warm air. Likely solution: replace transistor assembly, Honda part #79330-S84-A41, under the dash in the passenger footwell. Three screws out with a stubby Phillips; unplug wiring harness; replug wiring harness into new part; three screws in. Done. (Tip: Remove the screw that is closest to the center of the vehicle last and replace it first.) Tight quarters for a fat guy, but I managed it. Retelling the story here to increase its search engine footprint. Don’t pay the dealership to fix this, folks.
  • August finally arrived. Borderline oppressive (that is to say, seasonal) heat and humidity are forecast for at least another week.
  • Two people, within 20 minutes of each other, laid the ice bucket challenge at my feet yesterday morning. The first was my pastor. By the time I saw his email, he’d already sent a second one informing me that I’d be doing it with him and two other church members immediately following second service this Sunday. At least it’s going to be hot! I was going to buzz my head this weekend. Think I’ll wait until after this.
  • WOW! has come through with the SEC Network with almost two weeks to spare. Good for them. It probably saved their entire business model in the state of Alabama. (Huntsville-area WOW! customers: you have it on channel 985.)
  • Two IndyCar races to go in the 2014 season. The championship is Will Power‘s to lose. He’s hardly my favorite driver, but part of me is pulling for him. He’s finished second in the championship three times, and he has done some outstanding driving this year.
  • Burger King has mostly canned its slightly-better-for-you Satisfries, making them the latest example of a decent idea that was very poorly executed.
  • Ace Frehley’s latest Space Invader is getting most of my aural attention right now. review coming tomorrow.
 Posted by at 7:23 am
Aug 202014

You may remember me talking a bit about Bill Istad last Christmas. Bill is a formerly homeless man who my church is supporting on recovering his life.

Bill was baptized tonight. He wanted to be immersed, and we don’t have a baptistry at Good Shepherd. Thanks so much to our friends at The Rock Family Worship Center for loaning us theirs.


I’ll echo the sentiments in that Christmas post and say what a blessing Bill is in our lives. He is hope and redemption, walking around. I think he embodies God’s grace more than any other person I’ve ever known.

We’re all so proud of you, Bill. God bless you!

 Posted by at 7:59 pm
Aug 192014

We need a productive and fruitful conversation on the increasing militarization of police forces.

We need a productive and fruitful conversation on police forces and race.

We can accomplish none of the above without first stopping a city of more than 20,000 people from tearing itself to pieces.

President Obama, this is sustained civil unrest on American soil. Amnesty International is there, for goodness sake. You don’t send your thug attorney general to “investigate.” You use all of the power of your position to stop the violence. That is not issuing a statement. That is not coming in for a few “high level meetings” before jetting back to Martha’s Vineyard.

How about a heartfelt address to the nation, urging your commitment to progress but also insisting that Americans stop fighting Americans?

It’s as if you either don’t realize how serious this is, or you’re measuring your responses against political consequences. But this is no time for such calculation. We could wake up to read that 50 people died overnight in an all-out riot. We could wake up to ten city blocks burning out of control.

Everyone must stop. There is no other next step.

Mr. President, lead.

 Posted by at 3:55 pm
Aug 172014

We’re in a message series on leadership at my church right now. This morning, David preached on what it means to be an example, and how we shouldn’t look at things in terms of tit-for-tat as often as we do. “No quid pro quo” was the phrase that appeared on one of his slides.

It reminded me very much of a situation at work maybe six years ago. Now I have a very strict policy about not blogging about my job, and I’m not going to get too far into the ins and outs of this situation at all. Essentially it was a opportunity I recognized and cultivated to help someone near the end of her rope. She was about to give up. I sat with her and we talked at some length about why she shouldn’t. She ultimately recovered the situation, following my advice, and turned it into long-term happiness.

She never acknowledged to me later that I’d helped her. I let that bother me for a long time. Then God clocked me in the melon with it one afternoon. He said, basically, “All right, enough. Did you help her so she’d tell you what a great guy you were? Or did you help her because it was what you should do as a member of My kingdom?”

I ultimately reconciled with myself that the blessing—all of the blessing—was being able to help.

Full stop.

It seems so elementary when I type it now. For a while, though, the resentment was real. She’d have almost certainly made a major professional mistake had I not intervened that morning. How dare she not appreciate that?


How dare I not bask in the glory of embracing the opportunity to make a genuine difference?

I didn’t understand that it wasn’t a transaction. It was over when I helped.

Its completion is not contingent on me spiking the ball.

 Posted by at 9:25 pm
Aug 152014

jeansBought any jeans lately? Even my old-man Levi’s, discounted, are topping $40 now. It makes good sense to get as much use from them as you can. Here are’s three killer tips for doubling the life of your jeans:

  • Wear them at least twice. Some nut not long ago was babbling about never washing jeans, and using the freezer to kill germs, or something. Nonsense. But, if you didn’t spill anything on them, and you didn’t sweat like a meat loaf in them, hang them up and wear them again tomorrow. Sometimes you can even go three times.
  • Zip and button/snap them when you wash them. Get in this habit. Make them look like they’re on your person before you toss them in the hamper. If you don’t, the zipper teeth chew the fabric to pieces in the washer. Plus, they’re easier to hang (and eventually fold, if that’s what you do).
  • Don’t dry them automatically. In my experience, the dryer ages jeans worse than any other single factor. Hang them up, either with pins on a clothesline or with a department store clip hanger (perhaps on a door frame). No, they won’t drip, if you washer’s spin cycle is worth a darn. They’ll be ready to go in 12 to 18 hours, depending on the relative humidity. They may feel stiff, but that will vanish completely in the first minute or two of wearing them.
 Posted by at 10:05 am is using WP-Gravatar