Olympic hopeful…..

It’s funny that the Olympics are ending this week and my wife and I just started watching them. We got caught up in hockey and loved watching the US team beat up on the Canadian favorites. And I still can’t get over ski jumping. I mean, how does one first start out? It’s not like you can soar like that for 10 or 20 feet or so just to get the hang of it.

While watching today, I think I found my Olympic sport — the 4 man bobsled. I could be the guy in the back. I have all the qualifications. I am fast, can push hard, am big enough for the back weight and, most importantly, I fit in the bobsled. It would be cool. I would look all svelte in that form fitting unitard, would push really hard and fast when the light went green, and then could settle in the back for a good ride down the hill. Maybe catch a nap or bring along a sandwich. My weight would do all the work from there.

If I don’t qualify for the U.S. team I’ll hit up my Norwegian homeland. Their folks are always too healthy and need more fat in their bobsled athletes. Or maybe Kenya. That’d shake things up. We could kick those Jamacians’ butts.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

A nice story email from a friend…..

A friend of mine forwarded me this email this morning. It has a good point and it’s something we should remember as we travel our journey through life.

YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW….

Good morning said a woman as she walked up to the man sitting on ground.

The man slowly looked up.

This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new. She looked like she had never missed a meal in her life.

His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before.  “Leave me alone,” he growled….

To his amazement, the woman continued standing.

She was smiling — her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows. “Are you hungry?” she asked.

“No,” he answered sarcastically. “I’ve just come from dining with the president. Now go away.”

The woman’s smile became even broader.

Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm.

“What are you doing, lady?” the man asked angrily. “I said to leave me alone.

Just then a policeman came up. “Is there any problem, ma’am?” he asked.

“No problem here, officer,” the woman answered. “I’m just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?”

The officer scratched his head.  “That’s old Jack. He’s been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?”

“See that cafeteria over there?” she asked. “I’m going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile.”

“Are you crazy, lady?” the homeless man resisted. “I don’t want to go in there!”  Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up.  “Let me go, officer. I didn’t do anything.”

“This is a good deal for you, Jack,” the officer answered. “Don’t blow it.”

Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner.  It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived.

The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table.  “What’s going on here, officer?” he asked.  “What is all this, is this man in trouble?”

“This lady brought this man in here to be fed,” the policeman answered.

“Not in here!” the manager replied angrily. “Having a person like that here is bad for business.”

Old Jack smiled a toothless grin.  “See, lady. I told you so. Now if you’ll let me go. I didn’t want to come here in the first place.”

The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled. “Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?”

“Of course I am,” the manager answered impatiently. “They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms.”

“And do you make a goodly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?”

“What business is that of yours?”

I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company.”

“Oh.”

The woman smiled again. “I thought that might make a difference.”  She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. “Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?”

“No thanks, ma’am,” the officer replied. “I’m on duty.”

“Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?”

“Yes, ma’am.. That would be very nice.”

The cafeteria manager turned on his heel, “I’ll get your coffee for you right away, officer.”

The officer watched him walk away. “You certainly put him in his place,” he said.

“That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this.”

She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently. “Jack, do you remember me?”

Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes.  “I think so — I mean you do look familiar.”

“I’m a little older perhaps,” she said. “Maybe I’ve even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry.”

“Ma’am?” the officer said questioningly.  He couldn’t believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.

“I was just out of college,” the woman began. “I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn’t find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days.  It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat.”

Jack lit up with a smile.  “Now I remember,” he said.  “I was behind the serving counter.  You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy.”

“I know,” the woman continued. “Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it.  I was afraid that you would get into trouble… Then, when I looked over and saw you put the price of my food in the cash register, I knew then that everything would be all right.”

“So you started your own business?” Old Jack said.

“I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up.  Eventually I started my own business that, with the help of God, prospered.” She opened her purse and pulled out a business card.. “When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr.. Lyons…He’s the personnel director of my company. I’ll go talk to him now and I’m certain he’ll find something for you to do around the office.”  She smiled.  “I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothe s and get a place to live until you get on your feet. If you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you.”

There were tears in the old man’s eyes. “How can I ever thank you?” he said.

“Don’t thank me,” the woman answered. “To God goes the glory. Thank Jesus…. He led me to you.”

Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways…

“Thank you for all your help, officer,” she said.

“On the contrary, Ms.. Eddy,” he answered. “Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget. And thank you for the coffee.”

If you have missed knowing me, you have missed nothing.

If you have missed some of my emails, you might have missed a laugh.

But, if you have missed knowing my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, you have missed everything in the world.

Have a Wonderful Day. May God Bless You Always and don’t forget that when you “cast your bread upon the waters,” you never know how it will be returned to you.

God is so big He can cover the whole world with his Love and so small He can curl up inside your heart.

When God leads you to the edge of the cliff, trust Him fully and let go.

Only 1 of 2 things will happen, either He’ll catch you when you fall, or He’ll teach you how to fly!

God closes doors no man can open & God opens doors no man can close..

Have a blessed day and remember to be a blessing.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Kids say the darnedest things…..

This is from my wife’s Facebook status early today. It was something my son said.

“Why do I have such girly girly sisters, they never know what to wear. I just put the same thing on every day AND their shoes take up all the spots on both shoe racks in the laundry room, who needs that many shoes?” He told me he was going to marry the girl who works at the Zoo who likes animals and doesn’t care what she smells like!”

I laughed my butt off when I read that.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Happy b-day R!!!!!

My oldest daughter turned 17 years old today. I am so blessed at the beautiful, talented, thoughtful, God serving, young lady she is blooming into.

Happy birthday, R! I love you and am so proud of you!

…..Dad

Bring it!…..

I posted a short blurb on Friday how I thought it was interesting that folks were driving around with their windows down in 49F degrees. Well, today I bet people were putting down their convertible tops. It hit 63F degrees and it was absolutely gorgeous. We left church and were determined to make the most of it and spend some much needed time outside.

As soon as we returned home, K put on a dress and flip flops and I actually put on shorts with a hoodie. D played outside and rode his bike with a neighbor boy and I put on the NASCAR Fontana race in the garage to begin some early garage spring cleaning. You see, the garage has been neglected since Thanksgiving with stuff piling up and all. It was too cold out there to work or do anything. And today was that day to begin getting it all back in order.

I did take a break to have an early dinner of my favorite chicken fajitas (thanks, wifey!) and also to play TrakBall with K. A neighbor stopped by on his 4 wheeler to say hi and it reminded me of upcoming Spring and Summer where we spend most of our time outside playing, swimming, gardening, mowing, picnicing, cornholing, playing baseball, chatting with the neighbors and just overall enjoying life out in the country. Boy, I can’t wait.

I know we aren’t out of winter yet, but these 40-50-60F degree days begin to get sprinkled in here and there and it just keeps you going until we bust forth into Spring. And I am not kidding myself. It is supposed to get colder again later this week. But I don’t care because I know the promise of Spring is right around the corner.

Interestingly, watching the race on TV, the weather here in Kentucky on February 21, 2010 is better than the weather in Fontana, California. That doesn’t happen very often, especially in February.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Competitive speed bowling…..

Today was quite the packed day. I started off with my normal Saturday routine at church with the Men’s Breakfast and Bible Study. From there I was going to pick up R who slept there overnight with the youth group who played broom ball last night, but it seems they stayed up ultra late and she wasn’t even up at 9am when the Bible study was over. So I went and had coffee with a friend and washed all the salt and grime from my car and returned to church around 10:30am. She was barely ready but we plopped all her stuff in the car and she chauffeured me home so I could read.

Upon returning home, D and I put the finishing touches on his Pinewood Derby car in preparation for tonight’s Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. It was a pretty cool looking car and he had an overwhelming hand in the shape, color, detailing and construction. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any test runs in and when he raced it, it was a bit slow. He wants to be a little more competitive and is ready to do the work so the car will run faster. I told him there were no guarantees but that we could work on it. It was a lot different than his attitude during our first Pinewood Derby (posted here).

We had to leave the Pinewood Derby early so we could be back at the house in time to pick up R for her “birthday dinner”. She thought D and I were picking her up to join K and my wife for a nice family b-day dinner. Instead, my wife cooked up a plot to get her to the bowling alley where a surprise party and the church youth group and her friends were waiting. We had a lot of fun and she was a little surprised. She said she had a hunch but all in all it turned out well.

While there, a buddy and I decided to do a little twist on how bowling is scored. Rather than see who could knock down the most pins, we decided who could throw the fastest ball. The bowling alley had speedometers on each lane and we turned it into competitive speed bowling. I went first and thought I was pretty cool at 20.52 miles per hour. From there we leap frogged each other until we were in the 22s. We each thought that was the limit until he blasted past 23mph with a 23.65. At that point it was on. I got a 23.87 which he immediately bested at an even 24mph. At this point we were getting to the end of the game. Knowing I only had 1 or 2 more throws — in the game and in my body — left, I wound up and ran up, hurling the ball down the glazed wooden aisle. I consequently got a strike and all the pins exploded! The speed indicator read 24.95mph! He finished his frames without threatening my top end. At this point my arm was sore and my back was giving me some warning signs. But because he started up a new game, I had to ensure my record held.

During the next few throws we realized the speed indicator wasn’t being displayed on the main page where it normally was. We thought we broke it. A bowling official then ended up speaking with my buddy’s wife letting her know that after a certain speed, the speed indicators are disabled to prevent people from throwing the ball as hard as they can down the lane. Well, too late and we finished up trying to see what that limit was. The theory is that we hit 25mph but it was not reflected in the speed. I’ve maxed out those police radar displays on the side of the road as a young punk, but never at the bowling alley.

Who knew?

Check out my cool looking, sexy, glow-in-the-dark bowling shoes.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net