Traveling Beard

T

Page(/posts/2019-01-19.md)

Ashlee and I have been married nearly 5 years. Having been single for the previous 33 years I related to the world, to grief, to joy, to music, to travel, to career from a very isolated framework. I have always thought myself generous, caring, and aware of the needs of others. However, I began to realize how selfish I had been. The initial months and even first year of marriage were a shock to my system(physically and mentally). Before that point I’d been able to reserve time, energy, emotion and consideration. Confronting this and realizing I could no longer continue down this path stunned me, you could have literally seen it in my eyes. Not that I could have done any differently and not that it was terminal, but I can remember how overwhelming this new openness felt for the first few family gatherings. A raindrop that had been joined to a river, only knowing how to be a single droplet of water. Struggling to leap back into the air and upward into the clouds to retreat to the safety of the rushing wind.

Eventually this feeling wore off and I got acquainted to these new rhythms and patterns. I’m still in the midst of discovering new ways to relate to everything I’d previously known. Recently a new feeling or understanding of the world has been coming to the forefront of my mind. That I’m beginning to see from this new perspective as my primary lens and not a secondary sense. That my relationship to the world is no longer as a lone individual, but motivated and out of the framework of my marriage relationship. The Bible reflects on this very thing as it says two become one flesh. I’ve heard the trinity described as God in community and that marriage is the nearest glimpse we will have into this intimacy. The joining together of our flesh is not an overwriting of my spirit or losing my distinction from Ashlee. Our bond produces new life and enables me to be a husband, a dad, a part of a church, and a man. It’s not less definition, it’s more definition. Though to be clear I don’t see this as filling in a gap or alleviating a deficiency in my life; I’m not greater than my single brothers and sisters. It’s just that it’s from this perspective of our bond that I’ve realized I’ve begun to see and relate to the world around me.

Page(/posts/2018-04-15.md)

So apparently the only thing I’m able to write about are the words and lyrics of Sufjan Stevens. Listening to The Only Thing today. Sufjan wrote this album in response to events unfolding in his own family. However specific he intended this to be today what struck me was the ‘Perseus aligned with the skull` that made me pull up the lyrics and give them a more thorough read. My interpretation was viewed through the lens of spiritual relationship with Christ, so I thought at first he was relating this to Golgotha. Which he wasn’t, but I think the idea I’m seeing now is that through death a new unseen beauty is born

The only thing that keeps me from driving this car Half-light, jack knife into the canyon at night Signs and wonders, Perseus aligned with the skull Slain Medusa, Pegasus alight from us all

Do I care if I survive this, bury the dead where they’re found In a veil of great surprises I wonder did you love me at all?

The only thing that keeps me from cutting my arm Cross hatch, warm bath, Holiday Inn after dark Signs and wonders, water stain writing the wall Daniel’s message, blood of the moon on us all

Do I care if I despise this, nothing else matters, I know In a veil of great disguises, how do I live with your ghost?

Should I tear my eyes out now? Everything I see returns to you somehow Should I tear my heart out now? Everything I feel returns to you somehow I want to save you from your sorrow

The only reason why I continue at all Faith in reason, I wasted my life playing dumb Signs and wonders, sea lion caves in the dark Blind faith, God’s grace, nothing else left to impart

Do I care if I survive this, bury the dead where they’re found In a veil of great surprises, hold to my head till I drown Should I tear my eyes out now, before I see too much? Should I tear my arms out now, I wanna feel your touch

Should I tear my eyes out now? Everything I see returns to you somehow Should I tear my heart out now? Everything I feel returns to you somehow

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I’ve listened to a lot of Sufjan over the years so it’s no surprise that at certain points his music triggers memories of past experiences. Today his song ‘Futile Devices’ took me back to a long drive that was a particularly unique moment of serenity and peace. Lightening flashes danced in the distance, wind rushing by with the windows down, music cranked up and a friend along for the ride. Almost two hours of sitting, watching, and listening. Soaking in the air around us and the peace of a far away storm I don’t think we talked at all. What a haunting quiet to be accompanied by Sufjans soft words and melodies. A certain stillness in the midst of motion and noise. His album ministered to me more often than any other in the phase particular phase of life and any time I put it on now I’m transported in time. Tough, but filled with a depth that’s hard to explain. Although a lot of those times were filled with heaviness and upheaval, that’s not what is brought back when I reflect. What comes forward are these simple moments; in the car, my routine of falling asleep to the album on repeat, music accompanying my experiences and solace it provided. I wonder at all if this is similar to the peace brought to Saul when David would play his harp?

Page(/posts/2017-07-03.md)

I don’t think you can consider buying up cheap old weird cars as a hobby. However I’ve spent an extreme amount of time pursuing this endeavor. So with some examination I’ve been coming to terms with the possibility that I don’t actually enjoy restoring old cars. I enjoy driving them and I enjoy occasionally working on them because old cars always need work. I’ve been trying to ask myself a few questions about my car…obsession. In a journal I once wrote, ‘Where will the adventure begin?’ and I think that might be the clue about what it is that I have truly enjoyed about these cars. Looking back through the years this is my attempt to chronicle the history and experiences with each one. Maybe by identifying a common thread that connects them all I can work to extract that from such an expensive hobby and weave into something else.

My first car was a 1981 Mustang with a straight six that we called Big Bird because it was bright yellow. No A/C, the gas gauge only worked down to the 1/2 way mark, and a muffler that constantly came unjoined from the pipe underneath (I carried a glove just to reconnect it when that happened). We looked and looked for mustangs; passed up a 79 Cobra, an 8x LX with sunroof, tried to talk a lady in town out of her convertible and found this one parked out under a tree on the West side of Springfield. I bought it and a family of mice under the back seat for 500 dollars and it cleaned up pretty well. Over the next few years this car was a second home. Any weekend you’d either see me cruising in it or preparing for a big Toliet Paper escapade. Jason Gilkey and I cruised from dusk till dawn in it, the carburetor burped and caught fire once, I drove it all around Mt. Vernon one night going only in reverse. It got around well enough in the snow that we’d pop the hatch and hold onto the back and sorta ski behind it. Basically though it was a piece of crap.

My second car and the first automobile to haunt my dreams was a 1985 5.0 Mustang GT. We bought it from a guy in town who had bought it brand new and smoked every day of his life in it. The dash was so soaked with tar that no amount of cleaning would remove it and anytime it got damp it would get sticky. I tried to nickname her “The Enterprise”, but it never really stuck. This car should have technically killed a young man. I exceeded 100+ mph on McCanse street in an escalating car challenge between Curtis, Josh and I. This was the first car I have ever been airborne in. The speedometer only went to 85, but there’s a good chance I hit 135mph, it’s top speed, in this bad boy trying to get to my grandmother’s funeral in Kansas. It handled notoriously poorly in rain, snow and ice. I goosed it once sliding around a corner only to send it careening into the solid metal bumper of a pickup truck. I was driving on I-44 once when a Viper started to come up on me in the passing lane. I thought hey this could be fun so I down shifted to hammer on the gas. When the other driver saw what I was attempting I’m sure he chuckled to himself a bit as he mashed the gas pedal down and left me far behind in his dust. I used to routinely shut off my lights while driving home on interstate to see how long I could go in the dark before needing to turn them back on. On the way home from college during the pouring rain, the back end of the car lifted up and shimmied left, shimmied right and the flipped around 180 degrees. Going 65mph backwards into the median I eventually came to a stop completely unharmed. I kinda looked around thinking ‘what the heck happened’ or a slightly delayed ‘that was awesome’ and then pulled back out onto the road. This car suffered quite a bit from my youthful rage; smashing the old radio trying to get it out, smashing through the dash while trying to hit my speakers to get them working. The thing that haunted my dreams though was the sound. I’d never heard a more beautiful exhaust note and I even mic’d it and recorded it years ago. After multiple failed water pumps I had to move on. I had neither the cash or the know how to continue to maintain it at that time in my life. I sold it and heard it was resold to someone in Stotts City and I used to even cruise through country roads keeping an eye out for it years later. Just recently I was passed information on it’s current whereabouts…so it sits there in the back of my mind waiting.

From there I abandoned the domestic market and picked up my first import a 99 Honda Civic SI in gorgeous electron blue. There used to be a guy in Siloam Springs that specialized in theft recovery cars. The SI models were notorious for being stolen for their engines. Tragically I had it for only a month or two before running it up a telephone pole after a light dusting of snow. I blame my first real experience with a front wheel drive car. The Civic was my first expensive car and after this disaster I thought maybe I should go back to the route of a less expensive more practical Toyota Camry. What a sore mistake. Looking back I think this may have been the time frame that my Fiat obsession came to the forefront. While driving the Camry I bought the shell of an old Fiat Spider for 50$ somewhere south of Roaring River. It had no engine, no interior, no dents, absolutely no rust and a clean title. Sadly this was very early on in my mechanical experience and it sat in two different garages before being sold off. During this time I also discovered the Fiat 128 through an enthusiast forum. When I found one for sale on ebay out in Philadelphia I bid and won. My dad and I cannonballed our way to Philly in his “new to him” pickup with a u-haul dolly in tow. When we got on scene we found a sad, sad, little rust bucket of a car and though it ran I opted not to go through with the purchase. We dropped the dolly off and drove straight back home. What a long two days.

After having the Camry for maybe a couple years I sought out another Civic SI this time a 2000 in Flamenco Black Pearl and without a huge spoiler on the back. To date this has been the car I’ve owned the longest and has been the most reliable. I got it with under 25K miles on it and sold it a few years ago with close to 300K miles. It was a fast little car and I extracted every bit of enjoyment I could from it. Having it such a long time I had surprisingly few incidents in the car. I hit a deer only 5 miles from where we now live going 40mph and the only damage you could immediately notice was the flat spot I ground on a brand new set of tires(no ABS). In 2009 I started becoming interested in rally racing and played a lot of Rally Sport Challenge 2 on the Xbox. Some would say too much, in fact I would say too much because I would get all amped up and go driving rather aggressively. So again out in the country not far from my future home I pushed it hard up a right hand bank over a hill. Somewhere during the turn at 55+mph the back tires lost grip and the trees that were once on my right hand side suddenly appeared on my left hand side. Miraculously the car did a 180, but never left the road. I remained completely unharmed and hopefully wiser for the experience. I went through some rough time working on the suspension and while it was up on jacks with the door open it got tweaked and wouldn’t shut. So I had to take it into the dealer…doorless to have it reattached by someone who knew how to do it.

Somewhere during the Civic years is when the Fiat bug bit again. Through Chris Keen @ Rusty but Trusty I found a really great 72 Fiat 128 out in Denver that a guy had for sale. He had dreams of setting it up to do hill climbs and it had a real bad ass set of Hella fog lights installed. I quickly called him up, told him I wanted it, got some cash from savings and got a one-way flight out. Up to this point I had no real skills to help ensure that a 37 year old car could make an 800 mile journey in one straight shot. So I’m kinda surprised it made it all the way home and honestly did so completely trouble free. The Toyota Prius malfunction has nothing on this thing; the “cruise control” option in 72 was a mechanism to lock in the throttle cable at a certain position. It was basically great though. I drove that car around Springfield, in the snow, and almost to Atlanta for a New Years Eve concert. Fortunately for me I hesitated, because the next day one of the valve-spring shim buckets split and rendered her un-drivable. I pulled the engine with dreams of taking it somewhere and having it rebuilt. The problem is that when you show up to a machine shop with a milk crate full of engine parts and no idea what to ask for they tend not to do anything with your stuff. I had stored the body shell in a friends barn while I moved and after about 6 months of waiting on any engine progress I picked up the parts. Somewhere during this time I bought a friends VW Jetta that was having transmission problems in an attempt to “help them out of it”. It was having problems going forward unless you were on absolutely flat land or going downhill, but once you could creep up to 45 or 55 the overdrive would kick in and you could drive it. I somehow limped it towards Mt. Vernon, but someone came to a complete stop at the exit in front of me and I couldn’t get it going forward again…so I drove it from the I-44 exit through the country at about 10 at night only going in reverse. I had to stop from time to time to let it cool down. When I finally got it to my folks house I couldn’t loose the final bolt to free up the transmission from the engine. I was stuck. It sat for a few weeks at mom and dad’s house while I regretted buying it instead of just gifting some money to my friends. And then a Yugo came up for sale on E-bay in Topeka that the winning bidder didn’t follow through on. I contacted the seller(a salvage yard) and we worked out a trade; the Yugo for the Jetta. I loaded it up and headed towards the Kansas capital. This was one of the best trades ever. The Yugo was a reddish orange and the previous owner had put a big General Lee style 01 on the side and about a hundred stickers on the windows. They fork trucked the car onto my trailer and I headed back home. The Yugo shares the same guts as my Fiat so my hopes were very high that I could trade out the engines and get Sweet Pea back on the road. Once I got home I was able to hot wire it and she started right up. Greg and I went for a drive and there must have been a broken motor mount because it pulled wicked hard to either the right or left whenever you braked or accelerated. My dad suggested this was twice the car my Fiat was and that I should just get it road worthy and abandon the Fiat. However I just couldn’t leave Sweet Pea as a rusting heap and I decided to try my first engine swap. Dad’s confidence was not high and I only had a weekend to do it inside the climate controlled comfort of his Co-op’s shop. I managed to get everything switched over and about 90% re-plumbed before we had to trailer it back home to continue there. Much to dad’s amazement…and probably my own I managed to get her running and driving over the next few days. Sweet Pea LIVES!!! Now what to do with the shell of a Yugo… January 29, 2012 I made the brave decision to drive her down to a MuteMath show in Tulsa. I painted up the windows and had an amazing drive during a very tumultuous time of life. Little did I know this would be her last major trip. Later that year when backing down mom and dad’s driveway the sway bar ripped away from it’s mounts and the wheels jammed up into the wheel well. For the first time exposing the true extent of the rust that had been covered up with primer by the previous owner.

In February of 2011 a sweet little 1967 Fiat 850 coupe was featured on BringaTrailer. It came from an estate sale in Texas and the new owners must have been smoking crack because they were asking $3500 for it. In March Chris K featured it on his site for 3k and then I watched the price drop slowly over the next few months. Once it hit 1300 in early May I decided I better pull the trigger or someone else would…if only I had known. I borrowed dad’s truck and trailer without being quite straight forward that I was headed out of state with it for another car. Somewhere along the way the truck started missing and pulling really rough uphill. An initial check just off the turnpike resulted in accidentally popping the cable out of the connector on a plug wire, but I was able to reinsert it and figured maybe I just got some bad gas so back onto the road. I slept for a few hours somewhere near the Oklahoma/Texas state line and arrived in Houston around mid-day. Yuck Houston gets wicked hot even in May. I loaded up the car and was able to talk them into letting me have it for 1100 because I had to spend so much on gas to get down there. They handed over the original title and some estate sale affidavits and papers. Looking through them as I got into the truck I found out they only paid 300 dollars for it at auction. I might as well have sucker tattooed on my forehead when I’m buying an old car. I stopped at the local auto-parts store and tried changing out plug wires. I had them almost all changed when I found out one of the plugs had backed out and had just come loose. I tightened it up and the truck was back to running smooth as silk again. I was now a slimy grease ball after crawling around in the engine bay and loading up the car, but we have an office in Dallas where I could get access to a shower. Having the chance to clean up before doing the last leg of the trip was amazing. I got home without incident and rented a storage bay on the west side of town. For the next 3 years she sat in storage and then out on my property without receiving much attention. The engine wouldn’t turn over so I tried liberally spraying it down with PB Blaster to see if I could coax it free. The body and especially the floors are in amazingly good condition. The rockers and front hood are garbage, but it came with an extra engine. At some point she was towed into town and I decided to finally swap out the engines. Currently she’s in my basement and I’ve deemed her my long term project.

In my continuing Fiat mania, as if I couldn’t get enough, I found another 128 for sale in Utah. A yellow 1974 2 door in Salt Lake city that looked in decent shape, but had a seized engine and had been sitting since the early 80s. At the time I was still considering rally racing my 128 and I thought having a spare parts car would be handy. This time I checked with dad and let him know I would be heading far west and we made sure the truck was ready to handle the trip. I slept under the stars in the bed of the pickup outside of Kansas City and then again in Wyoming. All along the way I stopped and read about the mormon travels west from Missouri. I listened to the Hitch Hikers guide to the galaxy audiobook on the way out and I can’t remember laughing so much as when Agrodag(?) the giant spider monster confronts Arthur Dent. This is also the trip where while driving through Nebraska I realized I hadn’t read any scripture yet. I sat my iPad in front of the speedo and began reading in Romans 12 or 13. Shortly thereafter I was pulled over by the NHP because I was reportedly swerving all over the road (untrue). An off duty cop had called me in, but I remember being very wary and was even driving well under the speed limit to conserve gas. The Lord knew I needed a nudge to curtail this bad habit of reading and driving. I had just been reading in Romans about ‘obeying the government authority setup over you’ at exactly the moment when I was going to be pulled over and ticketed for doing something really stupid. It was a good lesson and this time it stuck. Anyways I got to see prairie dogs, great wonderful expanses and hours and hours of road ahead and behind me. I met the seller in town just blocks away from where I would unbeknownst to me be revisiting in just a few months. He was shocked to see another big bearded guy in Mormon town. We figured out a way to attach a flat tow hitch to the car and grabbed a couple of 3% beers before I headed out. I had this sort of uncomfortable feeling like I needed to get out of the city so rather than stay at a hostel like I’d originally planned I headed out of town and slept just across the Wyoming state line. She towed really well the next day and I made it as far as Wakini Kansas and pulled off near a beautiful grove of trees and a wheat field for the night. I woke up to birds chattering in the trees, well more like screaming, but I got to see some deer scamper off into the wheat fields. I stripped down and took a tailgate shower with my remaining water and got back on the road. I arrived home with my new treasure and dropped it off at mom and dad’s to start tinkering with it. Later that year when SweetPea died I did an afternoon engine swap, but it never quite ran right. I’d reached the end of my current frustration level and parked it out at the property. I eventually gave it away to a friend and she stayed away for another year or so before coming back. I got her running good again and replaced some brake lines before selling to a real nice guy who’d transplanted into the area from California. We keep in contact and I know she’s in a good home now and will receive plenty of attention.

In the late fall of 2012 I was hankering for something different than the Civic and a co-worker clued me into the old Subaru wagons of the 80s. Wow. Talk about the perfect mix of quirky and 80s utilitarian awesomeness. Flip up center headlight under the emblem, plaid seats, part-time 4×4 hi/lo. A beautiful sky blue with a hint of pearl to the paint. You can’t dream up this sort of perfection. So I sent supplies out to our office in Seattle; tool bag, gas gan, winter weather supplies, etc. That December flights with Frontier to Seattle were dirt cheap so I booked the travel, stayed the first night in a hostel and took a train out to Bellingham the next morning. Theresa the current owner picked me up from there and we made the drive out towards Mt. Baker to take a look. It was as glorious as I had hoped…minus a cracked windshield, a couple spots of rust here and one kinda big problem – no lights. Getting those working was my first concern before heading back to the big city, so stopping off at a Napa I crossed my fingers that it was simply a fuse. Fortunately it was, but the next disconcerting thing to find was that the oil pressure was shockingly low. So much so that I spent the rest of the evening at the office trying to find a local O’Reilly’s store with an oil pump in their warehouse. I parked the car across the street from our office in downtown Seattle and sailed off to dreamland in the office in view of the car. The next morning I found my pleasant dreams had drifted into coastal crags when I discovered the rear passenger window broken. The would be thief was foiled by a broken door latch and when the glass broke he dropped his pry knife and fled. Good for me because he didn’t touch the cash I had stored in the glove compartment or take my tool stash. I kept the knife with the car for the longest time. Unfortunately now I needed to replace not only the windshield, but the side window too. In the meantime I found an oil pump and changed it out in the cold before heading east. She chugged over the mountains with quite a bit of snow coming down though none really sticking to the road. I spent the first night in what has become one of my favorite towns, Coeur d’Alene Idaho. The hotel had one of those 25 cent magic fingers bed vibration units. Curiosity demanded I try it though after a few minutes you just feel nauseous. I explored town a bit the next morning before getting back onto the road. My first truly remote stretch of road was from Bozeman through West Yellowstone. I stopped at the Yellowstone Park sign to take a picture and while snapping the shot she sputtered and died. No big deal I’ll start it back up and get on the road…is what should have happened. I cranked a dozen times with not much change and started to worry because this was the first really extreme cold I’d encountered and thus far I had been the only car on the road. I was exceedingly grateful that a couple from Nebraska stopped and the gentleman helped troubleshoot. Without him manually operating the carb while I tried to start it up I would have been at a loss for what to do and probably stuck with a dead battery. The cold was apparently extreme enough that the venturis were stuck in full choke. I stretched my 4×4 legs for the next hour or two as the road became increasingly covered and headed towards Grand Targhee. These cars may as well be part goat for how well they handle in the snow. Glad to have stopped in Butte to replace a couple of balding tires I found that RubySu was born to scamper about through the winter wonderlands. Passing through Driggs I spotted a couple of potential Subaru donor cars, but the owners weren’t interested in parting with a door or a window or anything. (Full circle, I happened to see one of these very cars up for sale in early 2017.) Climbing the mountain to the ski area I became more and more impressed with how well she handled the snow. Just outside the ski area I towed someone out of a snow drift and at this point I’m convinced this is the little engine that could. Somewhere in western Wyoming the oil pressure indicator that’d I’d been having problems keeping above 20lbs dropped below. Up to that point I’d been taking it pretty slow to baby her along, but I talked with my dad and under his advice I put the hammer down to make it as close as I could before it gave up. Fortunately it was a faulty sensor, but talk about added stress. On the east side of Denver I was pulled over by the Hi-Po; apparently a bushy bearded guy in an 80s wagon from Washington state going through Colorado fits the profile of a drug runner. He was friendly enough after confirming I wasn’t one. Once I made it to Kansas I began to feel home-free and kept pushing on. On the last leg of the trip knowing I had an extra can of gas I decided to see how much past empty I could take it. Almost to the 400 mile mark and a block away from my parents house she ran dry. The next day heading home I only made it two blocks from their house when the throttle cable broke. To this day I’m amazed at how much of a lurch I would have been in had that happened anywhere else. The summer of 2013 RubySu and I drove up Pikes Peak to watch Sebastian Loeb break the hill climb record. She smoked pretty heavily up/down the mountains and I seriously thought I might have to stop in Colorado Springs to get a new car. In light of that I started contemplating a replacement engine. I found the heart of a BRAT in Wichita that was being sold by a dude originally from my hometown. He’d been planning to upgrade his VW bus, but stalled out on his project. I took the guts of an EA81 to a race shop in Billings and thus begun the YEAR long process of an engine rebuild. In the meantime I found a couple of parts wagons in Arkansas that I towed back up to Missouri. Later under the influence of post surgery medication I promised Ashlee we could have as many kids as I had cars which at this point the count was at 8. Not the proudest moment in my life to have two 128s, an 850, a yugo, 2 suby wagon parts cars, rubysu, and the Audi, but only have 2 of them on the road. Finally the new engine was ready and with some help from mom and dad I got RubySu road ready. Planning to honeymoon in Wyoming in the snowy season I prepped everything that I could for a long haul trip across the country. The 75/80mph speed limit in Nebraska proved too much though and she breathed her last on I-80 near a Sapp Bros 15 minutes west of Kearney Nebraska. The freshly rebuilt engine slipped a bearing and the oil pressure plummeted. I had already been thinking about selling it when we got home, but this was the nail in the coffin. My mom came up to give us a ride home and bring the title for Sheldon the soon to be new owner. I’m not sure why this car was different; maybe it was the plaid or the light hidden under the emblem or some intangible quality, but after selling I just wasn’t able to move on. I’ve let go of other cars with comparative ease; Big Bird, Sweet Pea, my Civic, even the 85 Mustang which I dreamed about often. However I spent the next three years on again, off again looking for a replacement. Even going so far as to fly out to Reno to get one back up and running, but then deciding against it. I’ve contacted Sheldon 2 or 3 times in varying states of acceptance to check in on RubySu. However at this point it is safe to say the odds of seeing her again are pretty low.

While RubySu was off the road getting a new engine I found a cheap set of wheels to have as a backup daily driver. An 86 Audi 4000 that had been previously owned by a local VW enthusiast, but the current owner’s daughter didn’t want anything to do with it. It was in surprisingly good shape and a very sporty drive when compared to an early 80s wagon. It has vacuum actuated automatic locking doors, a full compliment of additional gauges under the radio, a trunk light that could be unwound and presumably extended out to help when changing a tire, and a suspect though working sunroof that would slowly creep open or close when activated. The interior really was perfect and her stout little motor allowed me to make the trip to Arkansas to talk with Ashlee’s dad for his blessing for marriage and then later to meet up with her to propose. I spent the coldest winter I can remember driving her and vividly recall a dial based thermometer I had on the floorboard spun around backwards to -15 degrees. I had to put a piece of cardboard in front of the radiator to keep the interior warm in the frigid cold. We encountered a family racing team from Dixon that used an 85 4000 quattro as their platform for rally racing in the 100Acre woods. Theirs was equipped with 4×4, a 5cyl engine(yes 5) and a turbo; woohoo! She eventually began to have problems with one of two oil idiot lights and I was never able to figure out anything other than their system is really weird. Pressure monitored by a gauge then separate low and high pressure idiot lights and buzzers. It ends up being this spiffy dynamic oil pressure warning system, but being completely in the dark about it you can imagine the mischief and the rabbit trails that can lead down. Eventually the Audi outwore its welcome and I sold it on ebay for 200 bucks less than I paid for it. WIN.

8 months into being newly married I came across a Fiat 131 in San Diego for sale on ebay. I contacted the seller and found out he was an old Mirafiori member. The car sounded great; garage kept for the last 10 years and only minor work required to get it back on the road. Did I mention she was lime green?? Excuse me I mean Verde Chiaro. Lured in by the low price tag I won the auction and worked out my first cross country car shipment. When “greenbean” rolled into the driveway at our little rental property the transport driver was all too eager to talk about these cars from his home country Poland. I’d asked the previous owner to send the title in the mail, but we were gone Thanksgiving weekend when it “arrived” or rather didn’t arrive. Investigation into the tracking number with the post office yielded nothing and as far as we know to this day it simply blew off the porch with a gust of wind. While I worked on getting a replacement title issued the parts began to pour into our house. I replaced hoses, brake lines, tires, gas tank, seat belts, seats, fuel lines and amazingly it started up and ran. Well not very well, but enough to get it inspected. Later I found out it had suffered a head gasket failure. I put everything back together, but hesitated to fire it up or fill it with coolant. I’m in the midst of trying to decide if I want to drive it for a few months and then sell it or keep it longer term. The adventure that’s happened with this one thus far has mainly been the adventure of discovering the delays that can happen with rebuilding an engine in the midst of having a child and building a house. The promise of the dual carb symphony is what’s keeping me going at the moment. I can’t wait to throw her into a sharp turn and put the pedal down. As a recent update, the complications continue to present themselves and this car has been delayed further and further. The new race quality multi-layer head gasket had issues and my patience and available time continues to run thinner. It’s officially on the market for sale.

The less than practical nature of always needing to work on a car led me to a 2003 Outback. I found it on CL near Columbia and bought it from a Greek used car dealer. We talked about racing and toasted a couple of drinks of Ouzo, a greek liqueur, over the sale. Much to my dismay almost immediately the check engine light came on after money changed hands. I thought I’d heard a miss earlier and this left me crest fallen. Going back to his garage he attributed it to the fact that he’d just washed out the engine bay. I’d actually had this exact problem with my Civic so I trusted a little too much and accepted his lie. Months later I found out it was low compression in cylinder 3…lame. Surprisingly however it’s driven really almost without issue for close to 2 years now. I’ve finally got another car close enough to being a backup driver to take it off the road and fix it…just before I plan to sell it.

Being in perpetual frustration with every car I currently own and still having a hole in my heart for RubySu led to my most recent adventure. I found a 1982 Subaru GL Wagon 4×4 for sale in the San Bernadino mountains that finally checked all the boxes and was worth the blowback I’d get from Ashlee to go get. Low mileage, A/C, plaid interior, very minimal rust, four spoke steering wheel, the cyclops light and the right price. Actually there’s one more crucial item that belongs in that list; a pleasant, reliable and trustworthy seller. In the matter of 48 hours after finding this car I broke the news to Ashlee, booked a flight and found myself in LA. The previous owner Daniel met me at the airport and let me stay in their spare apartment overnight. He and his girlfriend treated me to breakfast and all the local history that I had an ear to hear about. They were in the process of emptying out the home that they’d lived together in for 5 or 10 years to move back to Oregon. Daniel was a collector; surfboards, knick-knacks for the yard, walking sticks, etc. He had literally 1000 walking sticks that he was in the process of preparing to either give away or sell. I had hoped to wake up early and be on the road by 9 or 10, but the morning didn’t line up quite as neatly as I had hoped and before long it was past noon. The car was in good shape and fell just short of being great due to some “fixes” that had been applied. Surely everyone can remember to flip a switch to manually turn on the radiator fan every time they drive the car ever… Or this beer tap would make a good shifter…or cat5 cable would make a great harness to hang a fuel pump with…All in all though these were all acceptable and should be pretty easy to rectify. So I got onto the road and headed to TeePee motel #7 and the start of my trip home paralleling some really fun spots on route 66. She had a tendency of burping up coolant and then running hot so I had to stop quite a few times on the way home to let her cool down or fill it up. My second RT66 destination was Cool Springs AZ which involved a really remote through the back country and the opportunity to share the road wild donkeys and rattlesnakes. I pressed on past that for a few more hours and slept in the car. I covered a little less than 300 miles the first day and barely made it into my second state. With 1200 miles still to go I really needed to pick up the pace to make it back by mother’s day. The second day I stopped at the largest and best preserved meteorite crater impact site in the world. The Barringer crater and wow talk about your big hole in the ground. I picked up the pace a little and got some cool shots of the car both on and off the trail. It was an hour or so past the crater that I decided to go roadkill on the car and remove the hood to see if I could keep it running a little cooler. On the edge of New Mexico I stopped to snap some pictures and tried out the 4×4 on a decent little dirt mound. I made a few attempts to jump up to the top of it, but gave up the efforts after recognizing how quickly I’d be screwed if I got high centered and stuck. I made it to Albuquerque for a bite to eat at the Route 66 Dinner. I successfully resisted the urge to go play on the sand dunes where I would have almost certainly gotten in over my head. Pressing ahead I stopped at the Big Blue hole in Santa Rosa, NM and was thoroughly underwhelmed by it. Much later that night I was actually more amazed at the random Indian restaurant/grocery/gas station combo that was in the middle of nowhere. I was able to push past Amarillo and slept in the car on a side road in the midst of a slew of windmills. Within striking distance of home I set off the next morning to finish the last leg through Texas and Oklahoma. When I finally made it home I took her for a dip in the creek behind the house to “baptize” her into the Barb family. Again bad luck seems to loom over me and rather than it being an air bubble in the radiator it ended up being a head gasket on it’s way to failing. This is surprisingly rare on these old EA81s especially with such low mileage, but so it goes. So Butterscotch as we’re calling her sits downstairs in the john deere room awaiting my time and attention. Fortunately I think the worst of the failure happened here in town in the last 50 miles and I don’t think there’ll be any lasting damage. Now I face my nemesis and bane…fixing the head gasket. It wouldn’t be so daunting if I had ever been able to get a car back up and working after either doing this work myself or having it done by someone else. It really should be easy, but I seem to encounter either the limit of my tools, space and knowhow or find I need to strip everything off so I can deck the block to entirely rebuild the engine. This accounts for my hesitancy to begin the job. I’ll have to get her fixed, but it may need to wait until I can recoup some costs from the other two cars currently up for sale. I expect this to be a life long car and adventure companion so I want to do it right.

Big Bird, SweetPea, and RubySu sit at the top as my all time favorite top three. But it’s so hard to limit this TOP category when each has come with its own brand of fun and experiences. I’ve gone up Pikes Peak, volunteered at rally races, traveled cross country for concerts, had endless amounts of fun drifting in the snow and learned a ton about life with these old cars. I’ve faced trials and difficulties too numerous and in these cars I’ve been deep in prayer and confrontation with the Lord, dealt with my heartache by the need to just drive, and in complete abandoned bliss blasted the stereo up loud to just be. So what is it about these cars? Maybe it’s that everything I’ve encountered in my adulthood has included them in someway; trouble, heartache, joy, adventure, the unusual, the sublime. I think the part to recognize is that these cars in no way constitute my life, they’ve simply been included. Life will continue to be exciting and amazing, but these cars don’t deserve the importance or the emphasis that I’ve allowed them to have. Sure they can be fun and they can be a part, but they can no longer be a primary focus. I’ve allowed them so much space and time that I’m not even sure I know how to effectively change this, but I’d like to try.

For those keeping track the number is 18, with 12 of them being in the last 10 years.

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Well, here we are again. A few years later and another trip to check out a Subaru in California. This time I’m headed to SoCal and I’ve lined up a few stops for the trip home on I-40 and RT66. I’ve got 1600+ miles to cover and 23+ hours of driving ahead of me before my feet are back on the Barbarossa.

My plans are to check out

I’ll be headed east in an 82 Subaru Wagon in less than 24 hours. Pictures to follow.

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Trust…trust…are you getting it yet? TRUST!

Seems like such a simple concept to continually fail to realize into practice. Mark 9:14-29 mentions a man who came to Jesus with a son that needed healing and the father says to Jesus, “But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” Christ responds and the man responds again, “I do believe, help my unbelief.” In my life that statement is full of meaning and could look something like this. Christ, I know your Word says you will meet me when I seek you, my experience even says when I have sought you that you’ve drawn near to me and that over and over again you love to bless me in ways I would have never been able to hope for, and everyone around me says everything will all work out, but here I am still struggling in unbelief. …I do believe, help my unbelief!

Christ’s responses to this man causes me to reflect and I can just imagine the tone he used to answer and the sort of quizzical, but saddened expression of shock on his face. “If You can?” Then followed by a barely audible sigh with a short pause before he softly says, “All things are possible to him who believes.” Almost as if he’s waiting for it to sink in and for us to really get it and that if we did our lives would be transformed.

Later after Jesus healed the man’s son his disciples questioned him privately, “Why could we not drive it [the unclean spirit] out?” I think Jesus’ response doesn’t just apply to their immediate inference to the unclean spirit in the boy, but also to the unbelieving spirit in the boy’s father. “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.” We can worry and we can fret and dwell upon every potentially negative possible outcome, but our spirit of unbelief won’t come out by anything but prayer.

I believe Lord, help my unbelief.

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Today is the day traditionally celebrated as Epiphany in remembrance of Christ’s manifestation to the world. Most often associated to the visit of the Magi; Casper, Melchior, and Balthasar, but for others it may be associated with Christ’s baptism in the Jordan. Some call it Three Kings day, but I think the Dutch and German’s have the market cornered on cool names for the day; Driekoningen or Dreikönigstag. In some countries groups of young people called Sternsinger (star singers – how cool is that) travel from door to door singing songs and blessing homes. This years blessing written over your door would be 20+C+M+B+16; the numbers are the year and the initials may represent either the Magi’s initials or the Latin words “Christus mansionem benedicat” (may Christ bless this house). So if you’re enjoying a Kings cake to commemorate this day or asking Christ’s blessing over your home may Christ’s presence be manifest to you today and through the rest of the year.

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This is a manly post about manly things and manly feelings. When you’re a man you do manly things like grow a beard, fix broken stuff and on occasion light things on fire. Tonights manly situations include a manly chainsaw and manly work outside followed by a manly test.

My friend helped me cut trees tonight to clear out the area where I’ll be building a house. A few hours of intense log cutting, dragging and experimenting with precisely felling trees and we threw in the towel with the failing light. Our hard work had earned us delicious refreshing water from my cooler filled with ice. We parted ways and I stuck around for a bit to enjoy the storm rolling in over the horizon. After a bit I started the drive home, but still feeling thirsty I began to eat ice from my cooler. While enjoying the crunching of the ice between my teeth I began to randomly throw out ice cubes onto the roadway. When they would impact against the ground I could hear them break. I imagined them shattering into hundreds of pieces on the road and sliding to a halt. As my drive continued I came to an area with a paved median about the height of a curb. There were lamp posts periodically dotted along the center and a manly test began to formulate in my brain. As my car whizzed by these lamp posts I devised a test of great courage, one of bravery and most of all a feat of great skill…could I hit one of these lamp posts with an ice cube. I spot checked the distance from the center of the median to my car; about 15 feet. I calculated the speed of my car, 45-50 mph and tried to work out the trajectory at which I should release my frozen projectile. All of this came together in my mind within the matter of a second and I worked out the complexities of the whole equation in the time of a lightening strike. I reeled back and let loose of the cube waiting to see if my calculations were correct. A split second after I let loose I heard a loud bang! With my inattention to the road ahead my car had drifted into the median where the force and speed of its forward motion hurtled it up over the curb with a loud crash or bang. Realizing that I had tied up precious mental faculties that should have been used for driving I laid hands back onto the wheel and jerked it back down into my lane. Still in shock about what had happened and trying to recover I wheeled my head back forward to the road. When out of the corner of my eye I saw the ice cube end its journey and I heard the sound of a faint ding as it hit the lamp post.

A manly test and a proof of foolishness if ever there was one.

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I leave early in the morning for Reno! The last time I flew across the country to pickup a car and drive it home I wasn’t the slightest bit nervous, but I probably should have been. It’s strange that this time when I’m more prepared that I’m definitely more jittery and anxious about the trip. Even just packing my bags today I can sense it. It’s been a while since I ventured out on something without any clue what will happen. Away we go, the only thing to do is to look ahead.

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Yes exactly I’m doing it again. 2500+ miles in a worn out old Subaru.

[picture of quincy roo]

This time I’ll be flying out to Reno to pick up an 82 GL wagon near Quincy California. I’ll never be able to quite replace RubySu, but for as cheap as I bought this car it’s a good start. She may not look like much, but it’s a California car so I don’t expect much/any rust beyond the rear panel. These old EA81’s are bullet proof….as long as the engine has not been rebuilt by a local unnamed race shop. With 180K on the clock ‘QuincyRoo’ has just begun her life. Dual range 4×4, cyclops headlight and plaid interior! I’ve even got a Weber carb still sitting in the garage for it along with plenty of interior bits and pieces.

The exciting part of the trip begins in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. I’ll be zig-zagging south and stopping along the way near San Francisco to pickup a windshield and hopefully seats and door cards for my Fiat 131 sedan. I’ve got salvage yards scoped out along the route that have old Subys in them just in case anything comes up or I want to scope them out for parts. I’ve ordered as many things as I can possibly think of that will help this old girl make it back to Missouri and thanks to RockAuto for a shade under $125. After a few days drive I’ll end up in San Diego for Cisco’s big education conference before I have to head back towards Missouri.

A while ago dad turned me on to the Roadkill show by Hot Rod magazine because it reminded him of some of my car adventures. So I’m going to take a camera and try to get enough video to put together a short fan tribute to the show. I’m calling it ‘Roadkillshow – The Import Trash Edition’. Mostly I’ll just be pleased if I can limp it home without it giving out. I’m more prepared mechanically these days than I’ve ever been, but this will still be a big accomplishment. I’ll keep everyone updated and who knows maybe I’ll see you on the road.

[side pic of quincy roo]

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It’s not too many people that get to have their second honeymoon before they’ve been married for a year. Of course it’s not many people that break down in their 33 year old Subaru wagon in the middle of Nebraska, sell it on the spot and have their mother give them a ride home from their first honeymoon either. This trip was rather less eventful then the last attempt. We rented a Mazda from Thrifty that we’ve dubbed “Tiny Van” (must be said in the Fat Albert voice) and decided to revisit beautiful Kearney, Nebraska on the way. We stayed at the Ramada again, ate at Napolis again, and took pictures near the Sapp Bros where we broke down. Ashlee got to cross off two new states from her travel list and we finished the first audio book of Little House on the Prairie…don’t knock it guys it was actually pretty enjoyable to hear about frontier life. Now begins the most relaxing week of our entire life.

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Tonight Ashlee and I had one of the most hilarious experiences I can remember. We went downtown for the movies in the park summer series where they had a free drive-in showing of Back to the Future. After the movie was over everyone was starting to pack up and head out. Since we weren’t in any rush we hadn’t packed up our blanket yet, but quite a few people had already left. Out of the blue a little boy, probably only 5 years old, walked up to us like he was going to say something. When he didn’t say anything I asked if he was looking for his parents. He didn’t reply, but proceeded to lay down on our pillow and blanket. I tried to ask him what his name was, what his mom’s name was, what color car they have, but his only replies were a sheepish, “I don’t know.” About two or three minutes had gone by at this point and I was trying to figure out how to find out some details from him so we could help. Ashlee looked around and noticed a guy that was hurriedly running back and forth franticly looking around where everyone had been sitting. She dashed off across the field to see if he was looking for this little boy. The sense of relief was apparent on his face and he carried off the little tyke to their car. We laughed all the way home that we almost adopted a little boy tonight.

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The day finally came to let an old friend pass on. I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet. I haven’t had a car more memorable and fun in my whole life. I first drove her home at 55mph from Denver in a 15 hour straight shot. Your name (a bit of a misnomer) was lovingly given by friends. Together we spent blustery winter nights plowing through new snow. She put the best 4x4s to shame. We traveled to the Rally races to give her a taste of what was in store for her and I. We had a scare when her heart gave out, but I breathed new life into her with a transplant. Time, age and circumstances caught up with us though and we eventually realized we wouldn’t see those dreams materialize. Our time together was short, but meaningful. Farewell Sweet Pea.

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“When I first met Belloc he remarked to the friend who introduced us that he was in low spirits. His low spirits were and are much more uproarious and enlivening than anybody else’s high spirits. He talked into the night; and left behind in it a glowing track of good things. When I have said that I mean things that are good, and certainly not merely bons mots, I have said all that can be said in the most serious aspect about the man who has made the greatest fight for good things of all the men of my time.”

I read this short passage by GKC the other day and it made me think; am I this sort of man? A man who at my low is still full of life and high spirits. This transition into married life is a lot to get used to. Especially for a person who up to this point has led a very separate life. One in which solitude could be enjoyed at any time. Long hours driving with just my thoughts. Riding my bike late at night through the darkened, silent streets. Adventures that may put me amongst other people, but still allow for the feeling of separateness or isolation. Time alone can definitely be tough, but being thrust into a life without any time alone can be downright brutal. Without that wilderness or alone time I start to feel light headed, overwhelmed and then eventually discouraged. It was at this point of discouragement when I read this passage. I determined at that moment that I don’t have to go down to the depths because I am not a dead man. I have been filled to the brim with life and life abundantly. I have drank from the rock that gives life. This is not a message of personal power or strength of will, just a reminder that I have been recalled to life.

Page(/posts/2013-12-01.md)

Well I’ve been pretty terrible at updating lately. So I’ve thrown together some of the major events from the last 6 months. There’s a whole new world of adventure waiting for me.

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Right after Cisco Live I packed the car and headed out for Colorado. I loaded up the tent, sleeping bag, backpack, and general provisions for driving a 30+ year old car a long distance. Honestly I’m pretty impressed that RubySu and I made it all the way out to Pike’s Peak and back. When driving an old and somewhat sketchy car your expectations and plans have to be pretty flexible. You’re encouraged to pull off to the side to take in the scenery…while the car cools down for a bit. You learn to get out of life’s fast lane and take it all in…because in this car there is no fast lane. It’s a bit of a trip back in time; in my case to the time before the invention of A/C. I think our parents and grandparents had a lot more reason to hate driving across Kansas than any of us do today. 100+ degree temperatures in a metal box scooting across the prairie can make even nun want to kick the habit. As Calvin’s dad would say, “It helps build character”. In these circumstances you learn how to react to emergencies and inconveniences with a much cooler head. Now I know what to do when my car is billowing smoke out the exhaust when coming down a few thousand feet of elevation…nothing. That makes the car guy in me cringe, but in this situation I just had to hope it stopped when I hit Kansas. It did and she ran like a top all the rest of the way home. (I just found out today that someone from JHA actually saw me somewhere near Colorado Springs tending to my car.)

I drove to Pike’s Peak for the chance of a lifetime. I went to see one thing; Sebastian Loeb become King of the Mountain. I truly think you’d have a hard time finding someone better suited to take on the Peak. Seb is the ultimate rally driver, he knows how to push his cars to the absolute limit of control and no further. He’s been perfecting his skills for years in the WRC and he out performs everyone in both speed and consistency. He especially excels on tarmac courses and is backed by a company extremely motivated to take back the mountain. One of the attributes I like about drivers in the WRC is that there is an air of humility about them. I think it’s because each of them know that at any moment the slightest mistake or mechanical failure could cost them the race. Rally races are as much about endurance as they are about speed. Knowing when to push and when to pull back. This is why Seb is uniquely prepared for this race. It’s a different type of race than we traditionally see in the states and so we don’t have home grown competitors able to compete at the same level. If we devoted more time and interest to this sort of racing it’s not unreasonable to think that we could produce a few top notch drivers to compete. However, even then I think it’s unlikely that we’ll see a driver better suited for this challenge than Monsieur Loeb.

And he did it. Loeb conquered the mountain in an amazing 8 minutes and 13 seconds. It’s hard to find a frame of reference for how amazing this feat truly is when looking at past races. Making comparisons between years isn’t particularly fruitful because the race course has evolved slowly from all gravel to all tarmac. Each year as more tarmac is added times naturally improve. Comparisons should only be made between years when the course has been the same. 2012 and 2013 are the first two years entirely on paved roads. However, you also have to consider weather conditions. Last year I heard there was rain near the top which resulted in slower times. So the full minute and a half difference between this year and the last isn’t quite the full story. For a better perspective Pike’s Peak 2012 record setting driver Rhys Millen had an impressive run this year at 9:02, but was still a full 49 seconds behind Loeb.

It’s hard to say how long Loeb’s time will stand and allow him to retain the king’s crown. I’d like to think a very long time, but I’m pretty biased because of my love for rally racing. Who knows, maybe it’ll stand until I race Sweet Pea up the mountain to claim the crown. [Pictures] I’ve also got a few pictures from my adventures at Gatorland. We went there one evening during Cisco Live. [pictures]

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I’ve grown facial hair for a long time. I’ve had big civil war style muttonchops, giant goatees, mustaches of various successes, hipster hawks and soul patches. No matter what though the beard always reappears. For some time I’d wondered how long I could grow a beard without any trimming in a single year. Then in November of 2011 a situation came up and the only way I knew how to respond to it was to shave my head and beard. Sort of an Old Testament putting on of sackcloth and ashes response. After that passed over I found myself with the unique opportunity to give myself a beard for my birthday…a BEARDTHDAY if you will. So on December 9th 2011 I made sure I was clean shaven when I went to bed so that I’d have my first birthday present when I woke up. It was time to see just what I could grow unhindered. Over the course of the year I made sure to stop each Friday wherever I was to snap a shot. It was pretty cool to look back at each Friday and see just where I’d visited over the course of a year. Chicago, Colorado, Kentucky, Utah, Kansas, Washington, the Oregon Trail, helping friends move, out on my property, at work in our data centers, driving in my car, out at the movies, visiting my parents or just at home in my apartment. It was an especially rewarding experience because during month four I entered and won my very first beard contest here in Springfield. Later I found out that the best and most unexpected purchase of the year ended up being a pair of five dollar sunglasses. They instantly transformed me into a seriously cooler looking dude as soon as I’d put them on. I could have picked up an instrument and stepped out on stage with ZZ-Top and no one would have been the wiser. My beard’s starting to grow in a few white sprigs too which I really dig. I’m not sure I’ll be able to look back and pick out a more transformative year…and not just for my face. What a year; it was not good, but it was good to have been.

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This is my first attempt to provide a Rally Guide for spectators of the 100 Acre Woods Rally. I hope this information can be used to help plan your trip, set your expectations and familiarize you with the area.

This event happens around the third weekend in February and is part of the national Rally America circuit. People come from as far away as Michigan, New York and Texas just to be a spectator for this event. Big names like Ken Block and Travis Pastrana regularly show up for this woodland adventure. Newer Subarus, Mitsubishi, and Fords make up the front of the pack, but it also attracts some older vintage cars; Volvo 242s, late 60s VW Bugs, Saab 96, and Datsun 510s. Potosi hosts the super special in the park which is a short track preview of what can be seen out in the woods. The Parc Expose in Salem on Saturday morning will be the perfect chance to see all the cars up close and possibly get some autographs signed. Weather for this event is varied. We’ve seen snow covered roads, years with so much rain that some stages are washed out or canceled, and in 2012 extremely dusty conditions. About the only thing that remains constant is the cold…and it can get cold. Stages are run during the day and up until about 8 or 9 at night. One of the highlights for me has always been the Polish fans that come down to support the Art Logistics drivers. They’re always very animated and help liven up the stages by waving Polish flags and singing. Essential to enjoying these events is coming ready to have fun and all of our Polish fans are well aware of this.

Spectator Points There are multiple spectator points Friday and Saturday. Generally though you won’t be able to see every point and it’s a good idea to pick out two for Friday and possibly three for Saturday. It takes between 30-45 minutes to travel between some of these stages and depending on when the start times are it can be tough to make it between consecutive stages. Many of the spectator points are run twice over the course of the weekend and it looks like they’ve tried to stagger the stage times a bit to allow spectators to travel between different locations. Just don’t get caught trying to squeeze it all in and miss the stages altogether. After you’ve arrived it is essential that your cars are only parked along one side of the road. This will help make room for emergency vehicles. You’ll want to drive in and turn your car around so you can make a quick exit after it’s over. These are smaller country roads and are almost entirely dirt and gravel. If it rains the ditches can be quite soft; don’t get stuck. Be prepared to walk quite a ways up to the spectating area. How early you arrive will determine how close you can park.

At the spectator point the road marshals will have caution tape setup to specify where you can and can’t go. They’ll indicate whether you can cross the road and at what times. If the crowd gets out of hand or unruly it is within the marshal’s power to cancel the stage. Double Zero and Zero cars will precede the racers down the track to alert everyone that the stage is about to start. Before these cars arrive make sure you’re in the spot that you want to be. You will not be allowed to cross the road after these cars go by. Show up early for the stages and you’ll get a great spot. If the area is filling up respectfully ask if it would be possible to extend the caution tape further to allow for more front row viewing. Getting nasty gets you no where.

Items to bring

  1. Noisemakers!!! When those cars come screaming around the corner its great to cheer them on by making some noise. Air horns, cow bells, shofars, and anything else you’ve got that makes noise will work.
  2. A small cooler is perfect because you’ll be out in the woods for a couple hours at a time. Stash away food and drink. We’ve seen one or two stages where local school booster clubs will be selling hot dogs and drinks, but it’s never a guarantee.
  3. Lawn chairs and stools come in handy while you’re sitting in the woods. I’ve even seen short step ladders used to help give photographers a better view of the race.
  4. Cameras are great to help you capture these amazing cars emerging from the woods and flying by you at break neck speed. Make sure your camera settings are dialed in for outdoor lighting and fast moving objects. Cameras that can take multiple shots in quick succession come in very handy. If you have a zoom lens then break it out. However, be aware that lots of dust and rock can be kicked up by these cars.
  5. Warm clothes are very important; especially after dark when the temperatures begin to drop rapidly. You’ll thank yourself for dressing in wool socks and windproof garments.
  6. TP…just in case. A few points will have porta-johns, but I’d be prepared all the same.

Spectator Points A, C, D, E, & F

[spectator point pictures]

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One year ago I had this to say, “I’m looking forward to this Christmas as well as the new year. I’m content and hopeful and encouraged and ready to see what will happen this next year.” If I had known then what I know now I’d have probably hidden out under a rock to let the year pass by and come out again like Rip Van Winkle. I can’t remember a worst year in the entire Book of Eli. My failures have spanned all disciplines; girls, house, cars, work, girls. It has just kept on coming. The discouragement has been overwhelming at times and at the end of the day I’m not sure if I’m stronger in my faith or just weaker as a person.

Francis Schaeffer wrote,

The Christian life is not an unbroken, inclined plane. Sometimes it is up, and sometimes -we must all acknowledge if we are not deluding ourselves – it is down. While it is not possible to be more or less justified, it is possible to be more or less sanctified. Justification deals with the guilt of sin; sanctification deals with the power of sin in the Christian life, and there are degrees in this.

This is somewhat of an encouragement to know that my justification has not been undone even though the discouragement has definitely resulted in a decrease in sanctification of myself and life. There have been times this year of great satisfaction and contentment; earlier this summer, I can’t remember if it was before the disappointing appraisal or after, I picked up bike riding again and I can remember sitting on my stoop after a particularly long ride taking in the summer air with a cool gatorade. I’m fairly certain I even audibly voiced my contentment with life even if it meant staying indefinitely at chateau de Woodgate(my crappy cheap apartment). These simple moments are what are stolen so easily; whether by distraction or deception Satan has drawn my eyes and heart away and the contentment disappears.

Schaeffer goes on to say, ‘When I lack proper contentment, either I have forgotten that God is God or have ceased to be submissive to him.’ Ouch I didn’t need that conviction too. Where has my contentment fled and what’s in the way of my submission? Trust? Have I trust enough to be led in a ways that I would not choose? Is what I fear about the future robbing me of the present? The very real possibility of never finding a wife, never building a house, never racing a rally car, no thing for which I had hoped. I stare at these prospects somewhat paralyzed. I’m the first to rejoice at the blessing of others and I would say the last to covet what another has, but the root of this sounds an awful lot like coveting.

Schaeffer…again,

_Does this mean that any desire is coveting and therefore sinful? The Bible makes plain that this is not so – all desire is not sin. So then the question arises, when does proper desire become coveting? I think we can put the answer down simply: desire becomes sin when it fails to include love of God or men. Further I think there are two practical tests as to when we are coveting against God or men; first I am to love God enough to be contented; second, I am to love men(mankind) enough not to envy.

So I’ve got that second part, but I think somewhere along the way I skipped over the first. I am missing part of the equation and probably the most important part, emphasized here by guess who. ‘”The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.” The order is in three steps: rejected, slain, raised. “And he said unto them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” The order – rejected, slain, raised is modeled for us in Christs substitutionary death and is the order of true spirituality.’ Again, ouch. When the heck was it that I thought this cross and denying of self would include indulging oneself in whatsoever satisfaction one can garner out of this life and his surroundings?

As Christ’s rejection and death are the first steps in the order of redemption, so our rejection and death to things and self are the first steps in the order of true and growing spirituality. As there could be no next step in the order of Christ’s redemption until the step of death was taken, so in the Christian there can be no further step until these first two steps are faced – no in theory only, but at least in some practical practices. Rejected, slain.

Page(/posts/2012-12-18.md)

Drove something like 2500 miles, had my car broken into in Seattle, snowboarded in Grand Targahee, visited like 20 autoparts stores, almost broke down in the middle of nowhere, got mystery barista’s phone number, had a box for a car window, was profiled by the Colorado State Patrol(but let go), crossed two more states off my list, and the car broke down like two blocks from my parents house. All in all a decent trip.

I’ve nicknamed her RubySu…the subaru.

Page(/posts/2012-11-27.md)

Yes exactly.

I’m driving a 31 year old Subaru Wagon literally half the way across the country, over mountain passes during snow season. Well at least I will be once Saturday gets here. My route is still to some degree entirely dependent on weather conditions, but I suppose that’s part of the adventure. I’m excited to visit Montana for the first time and Coeur d’Alene certainly has a cool name. I may just discover and be accepted into a tribal culture of sasquatch near Yellowstone never to return to civilization. I am to some degree prepared and have shipped out survival supplies ahead of me to keep in the car for the trip back. I’m planning on doing a bit of snowboarding maybe at Mt. Baker and definitely stopping for a latte in Kansas City on the way back. Since the Fiat is down and out until I can procur a garage and my Honda has left the stable here is what all the fuss is about.

[pictures]

The beard is very nearly 1 year old and I’m pretty excited to stitch my weekly photos together and see what it looks like in a slide show of beard growth. It’s been pretty cool to see a few of the guys at work growing out their own very impressive beards.

[pictures]

Page(/posts/2012-11-05.md)

Alexander Hamilton said, “A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one.”

Page(/posts/2012-10-30.md)

Damn civic.

I fix you up; replace your struts, wheel rotors, suspension bushings, upper control arm and ball joints, lower ball joints, and get you brand new tires. I then get your door fixed which only went awry because of being up on the jack for all this other stuff. Then I get you back from the body shop and you repay me with running like crap. So I replace your distributor and rotor bug, try to get you to relearn your idle after reseting the ECM/PCM and still no love. Are you just trying drain me dry on your way out the door. WTF? Is this some sort of act of bitterness towards me for wanting to sell you? We had plenty of good times and you’ve been a faithful friend and companion, but you’re on notice. Your value is not much higher than the satisfaction I would get from bashing out every one of your windows and lighting you on fire. Think well your next move as it may be your last.

Page(/posts/2012-10-22.md)

What a week. I’ll refrain from giving the specifics of the biggest event and just say that God came through when no other solution was possible. Monday after a weekend of work some things came up that I guess I didn’t think much of at the time, but ended up being quite a big deal. I knew better and yet put myself in a difficult situation by the actions I chose to take during our weekend work. I guess I thought crossing certain boundaries were ok as long as it didn’t happen very often. Probably also a bit of it was that I was trying to take care of something that came up unexpectedly in a way that hid the shortfall in preparation. Even though we’d been pushing the whole week prior to this to prepare it still wasn’t enough. Either way it has been painfully(in a good way) pointed out that I need to rely more on the people around me even when I feel capable of taking care of a situation. So I got myself in a poo load of hot water and almost had quite a bit of free time on my hands. Most difficult situations I encounter don’t cause me to lay awake at night and literally lose sleep, but I definitely didn’t sleep a wink Monday night. Dad came up that night to advise, encourage and pray with me. Tuesday came and I really didn’t know what to expect. I came to face the music, to pay the piper, to go down with the ship, but was shown mercy coupled with grace. Now I move on corrected and wiser from the experience. Proverbs 20:30 says, “Stripes that wound scour away evil, and strokes reach the innermost parts.” Some may look in from the outside and say well here’s a man not at all evil and this was unjust retribution for overly strict rules and regulations. I think though in this case the most difficult sins to be driven out can be those that we don’t quickly recognize for what they are. God had already been dealing with me on submission to governing authority just ask me about iPads and Nebraska’s fine state police sometime. However He wanted to drive the point home a little further and remind me that there are others also in authority over me whom I need to recognize as being placed there and show submission to as well. Secondly though I’m used to being able to do quite a bit on my own at work that I must recognize the importance of others in working towards a common goal. Having strong abilities and understanding is not a bad thing, but having pride enough in those skills to cause me not to engage others when I should is not wise.

So you’d think all this would make for a full enough week in of itself…

Well to top this off I’d been working on my Honda in my folk’s garage getting it ready to sell. It’d been up on the jack for about two weeks while I encountered problem after problem with getting the lower control arm bushings pressed out and replaced. The problem, as far as I’ve been able to interpret it, is that because the front jack point is slightly off center it causes the front of the car to twist slightly when you jack it up. One side jacks up higher than the other which is not a big deal normally as this is something cars are engineered to handle. Unfortunately somewhere during this process I opened the passenger door to get something out and because of the slight tweak to body while up on the jack it didn’t latch back immediately and so sat barely opened and tweaked the whole week and a half until I got the suspension pieces all put back together. I dropped the car back down and closed the door, but went to open it later and it wouldn’t open. It was binding up against the body by the hinge. As my boss Dave put it, two steps forward and one step back. So here I was swearing, and I mean SWEARING, at my car, my beard waving and aflame with anger and rage. All this after having just seen God intervene in my life in one of the biggest answers to prayer I’ve experienced only a couple days before. Dad brought a tough, but necessary correction. He pointed out that whatever I touched was going to fall to crap while I was in this raging, unclear frame of mind, that I needed to walk away and that I needed to rectify my attitude. So in the end I loaded my passenger door into my car and drove it up to the Honda body shop to get fixed. It sucks that I’ll have to drop another chunk of change into it just in order to sell it, but that’s just how it goes.

Fortunately with this correction I was set to be able to approach my Fiat the day after and undertake my fourth or fifth attempt at changing out the struts. I’ve had to strip down and then put the whole assembly back together so many times I could do it in my sleep. First I thought I’d use the struts from the Yugo, but after getting the Fiat all stripped down and the strut assembly out of the Yugo I couldn’t get the top nut loose in order to use it on the Fiat…so I put it all back together. Second, I bought new X1/9 struts because the struts for the 128 are a bit more expensive and hard to find, but are basically the same as the easier to source X1/9 parts…basically the same is not the same. So after getting the Fiat stripped down again and ready to go with the new parts I had to put it all back together because the thread on the strut is bigger on the X1/9 strut and the pieces I have from the 128 don’t fit. So I put the old ones back on. Then after getting new pieces to fit the thread for the top part of the assembly and grinding away to modify the to work I peeled it all apart again to finally replace them…not so fast sucker. There was a second bell shaped washer underneath that also needed to be ordered to fit the larger X1/9 strut thread. So one more time I put it all back together and ordered hopefully the last part. Finally after receiving the new pieces in and still needing to modify them just so the nut will thread at least a little ways down I finally have the struts replaced. However since I also used the shorter X1/9 spring my alignment was now super wacky. The car is now a full two and a half inches shorter and has some pretty wicked negative camber and some pretty extreme toe-in. I thought I’d be able to drive it home, but I had to put off one more day in order to try a DIY at home alignment just so the wheels won’t squeal while driving in a straight line. So I read up some tips on slotting the top strut mount holes to gain back a few degrees of camber and had to figure out how best to do the toe alignment. Handy tip #1 a couple of linoleum tiles with grease in between them make for great slip plates in order to work with the alignment. 66 cents a piece and totally worth the money. So I read up what to do and after a bit of trial and error it’s at least decent enough to be able to drive. I’ll probably take it somewhere this week to get it done by a pro. While I was doing the work though I went ahead and jacked up the rear to try and fix the bad toe-in on the driver side tire, which actually went smoothly. I also ordered new lower control arms with new ball joints which go on this next week after which the front of Sweet Pea should be tight and smooth.

So I think partly because of all the crap that I seem to be encountering lately I’ve been struggling with a defeatist attitude. I’ve almost come to expect that things will be difficult and whatever could go wrong will likely go wrong. This is not really a response that I want to foster so I’ve got to work at it. The Dude from The Big Lebowski is probably not someone I’d tell a teenager to model their life after, but in one regard he certainly has a quality to be admired. The dude abides. A china-man peeing on his rug(not the rug man), having his head dunked in the toliet, a weasel being thrown in the tub with him, Walter’s crazy scheming, or any of the bizarre circumstances he encounters the fact is that the dude abides. He abides in his dudely outlook and response to the trials and tribulations of life. He is the modern day expression of the maxim this too shall pass. That’s something worth thinking over. No matter the difficultly, no matter the ease, no matter the good, no matter the bad; this too shall pass. The situations we’re encountering will eventually pass by; either by their remittance or through our ability to learn how take them in stride.

Consider it pure joy dude, when you face gnarly trials of many kinds, because the testing of your faith produces wicked awesome perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4(The Dude translation)

As an additional Fiat update Sweet Pea’s original engine is at the machine shop and it should be getting worked on in the next few weeks. I’ll soon have at my disposal one more working Fiat after I get the engine pieced together and dropped into The Swede(my yellow 74 128, still working out a nickname for it). This is extremely exciting.

Page(/posts/2012-09-30.md)

Not very talkative tonight, but here’s a couple cool galleries. The first is my friend’s house burning down, but don’t worry it was on purpose.

[pictures of house burning] [video of house burning trogdor]

And this one is from Seattle.

[pictures from seattle]

Page(/posts/2012-07-14-02.md)

So apparently I’ve discovered time travel and went back to Shenandoah Valley in the 1800s. I’ll bet the beard helped me blend right in with the locals. Though I guess I didn’t think it was worth coming back to the future once I’d gone to the past. I’m even married so there’s that to look forward to. I hope she has all her teeth.

Page(/posts/2012-07-14-01.md)

A quick shout out to Benchmark Appraisal in Springfield, MO for making this possible. You suck.

Page(/posts/2012-07-12-01.md)

[picture of Fiat with mutemath or die]

Page(/posts/2012-06-30.md)

I came across my favorite new menacing quote the other day in Dickens’ A Tale of two cities. Frankly I’m amazed that I’ve never heard it reused in any Westerns.

“For I’m the devil at quick mistakes, and when I make one it takes the form of lead”

Page(/posts/2012-06-27.md)

Lately I’ve been hitting the streets during the late hours to get in a few miles on my bike. You might think this is a bit crazy, but so far I’ve found that the later that I go that the safer I feel. Traffic at 11:00pm on the secondary streets is much lower than during the day and after 1:00am is almost non-existent even on the main roads. That late at night the weather is perfect for riding too because the heat of the day is over and it has had a chance to cool off allowing for a rather pleasant ride. My average in town ride has been 25 miles and each time I’ve followed a slightly different path. Depending on my motivation there are routes I can go that are pretty much flat and easy or I’ve got the choice to push myself and take on some wicked gnarly hills should I want to.(west from Galloway station up towards Home Depot particularly sucks). I’ve been tracking my rides with a really cool cyclemeter app on my iPhone to show speed, distance, route and a number of other stats. Cool to know how many calories you’ve burnt or the amount of ascent/descent in a ride or just see your average speed.

I started piecing together a bike back around April so I could go riding with my buddy Greg. I way overpaid for the frame after finding it on CL offered by a hoarder up in Strafford. At the time I was just trying to find a bike of the same model as the Trek that I had just sold a couple years ago after I had failed to continue riding after a short lived bit of motivation to get back into biking. I decided I may as well just sell it, which was a terrible choice considering it was in immaculate condition and had pretty decent components as well. What can I say I was an idiot and some dude got a great bargain.

Well anyways after I got home with this new frame I inspected it a little closer and realized just how much I had overpaid the previously mentioned hoarder. The crank sprockets were bent and had dug into the aluminum frame gnarling it all up, the components were junk and just the overall condition of it was complete crap. I felt like just quietly admitting defeat and throwing it into the dumpster, but instead I decided to sink a bit more cash into it and try to salvage the situation. I stripped everything off; the bars, cranks, brakes, levers, shifters and anything else that would come loose. Then I started researching exactly the components my old bike would have had and began scouring online bike shops and ebay for each piece. The Shimano Exage brake levers that release the wheels by pressing a little button which gives slack to the brake line weren’t the easiest to locate, but I ended up finding them on ebay from a bike shop in France for only 20 bucks. The triple front crank from the Shimano RX100 series was kind of a pain to find too and when I did find one it came as part of a set so I ended up with a couple duplicate items. In the end though I was able to find all the parts I needed, but before I put them on I had to address the frame which still looked like garbage. So I began to sand…and sand…and sand. Eventually I turned to my dad’s electric drill and a wire brush to speed up the process a little. (as a side note wire brushes tend to shed/shoot their little wires everywhere during the process. For three months following I’ve been finding them with my bare feet still embedded into the carpet in my apartment) With the old paint stripped off I took her down to mom & dad’s to clean, prime and paint. Considering this is only the second thing I’ve ever painted in my life I’m actually quite pleased with the outcome. I went with a green pretty similar to Sweet Pea and after the guys at Sunshine bike got everything put back on for me and the bars wrapped with yellow tape it looks pretty freaking sick if I do say so myself…which I do.

So anyways I’ve been using nocturnally themed names for each of the different night time rides I’ve done so far. Midnight Club Night Burn SPF 1000 Goodnight Moon

Riding 20 or 30 miles is fun, but it’s also been immensely fun riding down to the store instead of driving or riding in to work a few times. It’s good to be a bit more active especially with all this extra beard weight.

Page(/posts/2012-06-09.md)

Friday Dad and I were moving tractors around to free up some room in their carport for my newest family member Lemondrop. Amazingly enough Dad has the magical touch and we almost almost had the John Deere started just from cranking over the flywheel. Close, but no cigar though and we ended up having to pull it out with the Allis and pop the clutch while being towed to get it going. Mom was shocked, Cassie was fearfully curious and dad was pumped. I took plenty of pictures and video to document it all since this is probably the last time we’ll have her started up and running.

Page(/posts/2012-06-08.md)

7 states + 2534 miles + 94 hours + 60 mph + 172.19 Gallons at 616.44 dollars + 4 nights sleeping outside + 5 bags of pistacchios + 1 tow bar + 2 beards =1974 Fiat 128

From June 2-6 I drove out to Salt Lake City and back to pickup another Fiat 128. I already had some vacation time saved up that I needed to use or lose and this car popped up a couple months ago so this was as good an opportunity as any to travel a bit, visit a couple states I haven’t been to before and pickup another Fiat. The car itself wasn’t in as good of condition as I’d hoped, but I suppose I should just expect every Fiat to be worse than I’ve imagined it or the owner has described it. I took the tires off Sweet Pea(my 72 128) and I had planned on unhooking the axles from it once I got there in order to tow it, but quite honestly once I got there I thought it wasn’t worth the hassle and I’d just tow her as is. Not necessarily the best or recommended method for a four wheel tow, but I had to be realistic about it and it would have taken me more hours that I didn’t want to spend to get it done. So screw it, it’s not like it’s a Dino, this is just a little Italian bread box. Maybe next time I’ll just take a trailer…or maybe next time I won’t drive to SLC at all.

Wyoming was by far my favorite state on the way out and in particular the city of Laramie. I had gone on a slow incline up interstate 80 when just after a national park the road began it’s descent over 5 or 6 miles down into the valley where Laramie is situated. Seeing the city suddenly emerge from the peaks and spread out like a blanket on the valley floor brought to mind how I’d pictured Laketown in the Hobbit to have looked, minus the lake of course, eerily similar though the way the city sits in isolation from the rest of the world. When entering the city it seemed very similar to Colorado Springs where we spent a week last summer. A very relaxed town, cooler weather still at the beginning of summer and all sorts of interesting things to discover in the area. I can definitely see myself going back to visit Laramie. I spent the night about an hour past Laramie near Elk Mountain for the most relaxing night of the trip; pulled back near a national forest area, a full moon, and no sound of civilization.

I arrived in SLC on Monday afternoon. Brandon, the seller, and I worked for a few hours to get the car ready to tow. He was immensely helpful getting the tow bar fastened to the bumpers and helping just in general getting her ready for the long haul. We shared a couple of beers, well 3% Utah beers if that’s really a beer, talked about cars, life and generally had a very pleasant afternoon. I had thought about staying at Camelot hostel that night, but decided to forgo it and just get back on the road. BTW traffic around SLC is thick.

I then turned my gaze towards home. Monday night I spent the night by a river near Lyman, WY and Tuesday night I crashed just west of Wakeeny, KS. The night near Wakeeny in particular was especially nice and quiet. As I woke up there were deer in the fields on both sides of me and the golden color of the wheat was slowly being brought to light by the rising sun. On the way back I even came across Westfall which reminded me of World of Warcraft so I had to stop and take a look. It was so close in appearance to the Westfall from the game that I’m almost certain this little town is the namesake for the location in the game.

Finally after hours and hours on the road and drawing nearer to home I spied a motorcycle in the rear view mirror which ended up being my parents coming back from their trip to Arkansas. After having traveled 2500 miles we both arrived at their place within 10 minutes of one another.

An interesting trip, though maybe just a bit too long for my liking. I’m supposed to go back there later this summer with some guys from Emmaus, but I’m not sure I feel like going back at all.

Page(/posts/2012-04-21.md)

I beard…a lot, but tonight I received the shock and joy of a beardtime(lifetime) when I won first place in the Queen City Beard and Mustache championship in the ‘full beard’ category. I really can’t believe it still because there were so many other incredible beards up in that category. There was a guy with a kilt and a massive Braveheart beard, a guy with a beard down to his belt line, a Dos XX guy too and dozens more with just straight up incredible beards. When I saw how many other entries there were in my field with much more impressive beards I wrote off the remote possibility that I’d even place and just hoped to have some fun. My Mom & Dad & my sister Cassie even came out to support and root me on. So I’d like to say thank you to all the other guys who entered, it was an honor to be among such great beards. Thank you to the judges for your kind ratings. Thanks to my family and friends for your support of my bearding. And thank you Lord for blessing me with this great beard.

Page(/posts/2012-03-01.md)

Dad and I spent Friday and Saturday watching the Rally in the woods up near Salem Missouri. Fortunately this year there weren’t torrential rains ahead of the rally and we were able to see stages on both days…and we also didn’t break down in the Fiat this year either so that was an added bonus. My respect for Ken Block continues to increase because of his willingness to participate in this rally whenever he gets the opportunity. He may not be the best WRC rally driver, but he’s out there putting forth the effort and it makes me proud to know he’s doing it with panache and style.

[pictures]

We’ve also been doing a ton of work out at the property lately which has been fun on all sorts of levels. And the other day I even got to drive a big truck while helping Sesha move. How neat is that.

[pictures]

Page(/posts/2012-02-24.md)

In the comments someone wrote this, which I thought displayed Pete’s sentiments exactly. Translation: “Take a place like NYC. Lots of people, right? Living life and working their jobs. But the city isn’t alive. People being there makes it alive, and people are pretty much alike everywhere. Not like architecture, which is very different everywhere. Like tomatoes–no two are identical, but they’re all tomatoes. Life is dancing, and music, and fun, but also doing mundane things–and everyone has a balance of fun things and tedious things. Everyone experiences it.”

Page(/posts/2012-02-14.md)

On this day of love or day of sadness depending on your current status I wanted to revisit one of the best bands for either condition on this day. I can remember the first Copeland show I went to; it was up in Kansas City at some little crappy venue where they played with Lovedrug and Veda. This would have been during the era of their first album Beneath the Medicine Tree. I don’t remember much about the show quite honestly except for how much I was now in love with Kristen, the lead singer from Veda, when she came out and rocked the house down. The rawness of her performance meant you could tell that she wasn’t one to hold back even one ounce of energy. Back to Copeland though. They’ve been a constant companion for close to 8 years as I’ve navigated the dangerous waters of love and relationships. Allowing me to grieve, to be hopeful, to be content, just to be.

Here’s my breakdown of the Copeland albums though.

Beneath the Medicine Tree – Good for pining away or nursing a wound or shouting in defiance. There’s not a better album to accompany you through your mid 20s. In Motion – This was a great one if you happened to be with someone. You have my attention though slow on the album was a crowd favorite in concert. When Aaron Marsh would choose to push his vocals to their edge and really, I mean truly belt this one out there then their music achieved epic status. The high that his raw falsetto imparted would last for days. Eat, Sleep, Repeat – I’ve not really figured out where this fits in the emotional spectrum. It’s probably the album I listen to the least out of all of them. The last song features piano instead of their normal guitar driven sound and really shows the versatility of this band. It starts at a quiet and gentle ballad, adds some strings, a deep bass tone, builds up bigger and then softly closes out with just vocals at the end. You are My Sunshine – Peaceful and content afternoons in the evening are coupled well with this album. Wasn’t sure I like this album at all when it first came out, but the DVD that came out really sells this and I this probably has uprooted Medicine Tree as my favorite Copeland album Dressed Up and in Line – Is a mix of early songs and a couple re-releases. Not their greatest, but there are some real gems on this album and if you’re willing to wait out the hidden track there’s just about the greatest rendition of Black Hole Sun ever released. John Bucklew belting out in terrifying wavering tone and off-pitch confidence never fails to put a smile on my face. One of the few times you get to see a bit of the humor from the band break through into their music. Know Nothing Stays the Same – If you’re feeling vintage Sony Connect Sessions – An acoustic set for the vulnerable; very mild, but very pleasing.

Finally in the most unlikely of places you’ll find one of the most beautiful mixtures of metalcore and indie emo. Underoath released the album Their Only Chasing Safety and the very last track Some Will Seek Forgiveness, Others Escape will give you goosebumps. It can be a love song from Jesus or a confession to him of the hurt and pain. I’ve never encountered another song that could so masterfully mix these two genres.

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Page(/posts/2012-02-12-02.md)

“The great misfortune is that a notion obtains with those in power that the world, or the people, require more governing than is necessary. To govern well is a great science, but no country is ever improved by too much governing…most men think when they are elevated to position that it requires an effort to discharge their duties and they leave common sense out of the question.” Sam Houston

“Govern wisely, and as little as possible.” Sam Houston

or from JRR Tolkien;

“My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) — or to ‘unconstitutional’ Monarchy. I would arrest anybody who uses the word State (in any sense other than the inanimate realm of England and its inhabitants, a thing that has neither power, rights nor mind); and after a chance of recantation, execute them if they remain obstinate!… Government is an abstract noun meaning the art and process of governing and it should be an offence to write it with a capital G or so as to refer to people.— The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.”

Page(/posts/2012-02-12-01.md)

In particular the old western spoof, Rustler’s Rhapsody, from the mid 80s. The two sidekicks Jim and Jud, played by Bran Von Hoffman and Christopher Malcom, deliver some of my favorite straight faced, matter of fact, droll punchlines. These types of minor characters don’t often get much attention, but they really add a lot of depth to the film. Here’s a few of their lines

Colonel Ticonderoga: You missed! How could you miss? Jud: Even with these sights we have a target a hundred yards away, maybe more, we’ve never fired these weapons before, there’s a definite wind factor, AND we have a problem with the sun! Colonel Ticonderoga: Just shoot, okay?

Colonel Ticonderoga: You say this stranger shot Blackie in the Back? Jud: Yes sir, and he got everybody in the bar to say that we done it. Can you believe that?

Jim: Howdy stranger Rex: Howdy Jim: We’re looking for some one named…Betty

Page(/posts/2012-01-30.md)

You can keep your picture perfect life. Keep your lies and see if I care. I’m not the one you’re fooling. Clean the outside of the cup and ignore the death you’re drinking. Oblivious to the blood on our hands. Go ahead and wipe that smudge from your face.

You tread your freedom underfoot and so bind yourself. Indulgence is your pleasure. Why should you restrain yourself. Dive in to the pool of destruction. You loathe the whitewashed, but your filth and pride are no better. Jaded? get over yourself. Despising naivety we have adopted our bastard ways.

A world dies outside, but we both ignore it and cling to our selfishness. Forgive us this heart of stone.

We bicker over who is more wrong. Fools. We all go down to the depths.

Page(/posts/2012-01-18.md)

So what would you do with a 5 hour layover in Chicago? Play Angry Birds, maybe watch a movie, go grab a bite to eat, or check your Facebook and update twitter? Well today my status updates/check-ins would have been something like this.

Checking in at E1 B14? – Bingo there’s a Starbucks B5 was before B9 K4 Kato, watch out for Inspector Clouseau G14; my first co-conspirator, that dude was rad H1=Coolest peeps in Chicago F9…disappeared, there’s not a Starbucks here.

What you say?

That I visited and took a picture at every single Starbucks in the O’Hare airport. BTW 5 of 15 is the official statistic which indicates that amazingly 1 out of 3 Starbucks employees are willing to be good sports and get their picture taken with a random bearded stranger in the Airport. Thanks to the few that were a part of my lunacy; you guys made my day! It would have been 16 total, but F9 is a dirty liar(there’s no Starbucks there). So here’s the photographic chronicles of my adventure w/ Starbucks in the O’Hare Airport. How many can you get your photo taken by during your next visit to the airport?

….maybe this’ll be the next planking ;)

[pictures]

–edit– Crapola, I found only too late there was an international wing with Terminal M. I have no idea how I missed it. I literally walked the entire length of the airport more than once.

[picture of terminal]

Page(/posts/2012-01-11.md)

So I’m pretty new to dubstep in general. I’m not sure I even would have given it much of a chance had I not already been listening a bunch to Daft Punk’s Tron soundtrack which is in a similar vein though I don’t think is technically dubstep. For those of you so new you don’t know what that is, hey no diggs I was there too, its a rhythmic, bass laden, electronicly derived music genre very popular with house music hipsters, DJs, and geeks. Anyways tonight I came across a remix that I especially loved because it evokes nostalgic memories of playing Zelda: Ocarina of Time on Nintendo for hours and talking about Zelda for hours, and thinking about Zelda for hours. I’m sure it’s a pretty unique niche of people that like both dubstep and zelda, but for those of us that do here’s the link for your ear holes to enjoy.

Another thing I’d like to praise is You can’t find a cooler music distribution website out there. Very artist centric and it allows for people to pay a minimum amount for music, but also makes it easy to pay more if you’d like to show your support for the artist. They basically have every digital music format available for download; both lossless(FLAC, AIFF & ALAC) and lossy(mp3,ogg,aac, maybe even wma). No one does that. So take a gander over there too sometime.

Page(/posts/2011-12-24.md)

Sufjan put out a video a few years ago with his Christmas albums and I just randomly rediscovered it on my Mom’s Mac today. Which was quite the coincidence because some friends of mine were just talking about his Christmas albums last night. It also truly feels like Christmas is here now after watching Chevy Chase and Christmas Vacation. I love the movie, but I’m not sure I’ve ever had such a good time watching it as I did the other night. Seeing Robyn just completely beside herself with laughter was worth the price of admission. There’s only a few Christmas movies left to see till maximum holiday cheer is achieved ;)

  1. Muppet Family Christmas (running gags…the best)
  2. Ernest Saves Christmas (them’s pythons in there)
  3. A Muppet Christmas Carol (gonzo you’re my hero)

[sufjan christmas video]

I’m looking forward to this Christmas as well as the new year. I’m content and hopeful and encouraged and ready to see what will happen this next year.

Page(/posts/2011-12-09.md)

This summer I bought 10 acres on FR 45 between FR 120 and 116 just west of Bois D’Arc. For anyone curious the French translation of the name Bois d’Arc is “wood of the bow”. Bois D’Arc also known as the Osage Orange is one of the best woods for making a long bow.

Now that I have some land I’m one step closer to being able to start on a number of things I’ve really wanted to for a while. Building a house, keeping bees, restoring my Fiats, having ducks, getting a dog and maybe a cat, keeping goats, shooting guns in the woods, chopping stuff, burning stuff. I’m very interested in learning any sort of woodsman, frontier kind of skills that helps you live off the land without modern technology or at least with less of it. I want my life to slow down and not speed up. We’ve created all these methods of increasing our work output, but we’ve completely missed the physical and psychological benefit that the work provided. Ask any kid and he’ll tell you about the first tree he chopped down with his own two hands and an axe or a machete. I probably spent 3 hours when I was in elementary school over at Jeff Rice’s house chopping down a tree in the woods, but it was awesome! My nephew Cael just had a similar experience cutting down his first tree at my property. There’s something gritty and good about outdoor labor without the sound of machines. Maybe I’m sick and twisted, but I really enjoy using my scythe to cut grass out in the field and I have no intention of getting a mower. Working by the sweat of your brow not for any person or a paycheck, but for yourself is an awesome feeling.

[pictures]

Page(/posts/2011-12-07.md)

Fiat has a pretty seductive commercial for the new Abarth 500 coming to the states in 2013. For the extra Italian flair you could refer to it as the Abarth Cinquecento(pronounce Chean Qwe Chentoe) Here’s a rough translation:

What are you looking at? Uh!? What are you looking at?! (slap) Are you undressing me with your eyes? Poor guy…you can’t help it? Is your heart beating? Is your head spinning? Do you feel lost thinking that I could be yours forever?

[video]

–edit– so I don’t know if you noticed, but the superbowl ad differs ever so slightly from their originally released commercial. The song cut off is placed just slightly earlier in the song on the original(which I have posted here) than in the Super Bowl version of the ad. I think the original is a more dramatic cutoff and the changeover from the dream world to the real world is more pronounced by the notes that the original cuts back to reality on.

Page(/posts/2011-12-05.md)

and also curvy roads can be great medication. Not lasting, as nothing in this world is meant to be, but fitting for the right moment to let out pent up energy and simultaneously fill you back up with energy. Also encouraging when you meet a like minded spirit to whom even in defeat you can wave to and acknowledge you both hold on to something much deeper than win or loss in a drag race, but that you’re both there to drive. So Mr Asian guy in the BMW hats off to you for enjoying the drive first and the competition second, the world needs more people like you. Yes your beamer is much faster than my Civic, keep on trucking.

Page(/posts/2011-11-30.md)

For when he who doubts can only say, ‘I do not understand,’ it is true that he who knows can only reply or repeat, ‘You do not understand.’ And under that rebuke there is always a sudden hope in the heart; and the sense of something that would be worth understanding.

Page(/posts/2011-11-28.md)

No shave November this year took a slightly different course for me. To some degree I wear this hairy visage as a testament that I stand out from the crowd so I suppose it is only fitting that while the world turns one way that I should turn another. The beard is gone. Impressive as it was this time and even though I’m normally nearly a spokesperson for beardedness it is a fitting change at this moment for more reasons then I care to delve into. However much like Frosty returns each Christmas, my beard will surely return in its full glory even if only for a time.

Sweet Pea the menacing behemoth, the car of all cars and I spent Saturday out on the farm burning brush in the rain. She was a bit nervous when I popped that first road flare, but in no time and just a few more flares, she could see that her old man had things under control. The crackle of the fire along with the hiss of the rain soon rose from the pyre. My neighbors must have wondered to see such a sight as a man standing in the rain tending his fire. Brisk the wind blew, but hot the fire burned and so went my day. Sweet Pea’s looking forward to the day when she can spend these kind of days indoors and out of the elements that is for certain, but no complaining no sputtering just faithfully whirring and puttering in the background.

[pictures]

I went to see Matisyahu the other night at the Gilloiz and was sweetly rewarded by an absolutely great show of which I captured a little bit for you here. It’s shaky at first, but I promise it settles out quickly.

[video of matisyahu show]

I also came across some photos that my mom had and much to my surprise and chagrin I was apparently a hipster back in the 8th grade. Who knew I was so ahead of the trend.

I have some other great pictures, but that is enough of the nostalgia for now.

Page(/posts/2011-11-18.md)

[xkcd wisdom of the ancients] You don’t know how many times this scenario has happened to me. Oh XKCD you see to the root of me.

Page(/posts/2011-11-17.md)

Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. Have mercy on me, O Lord for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

Page(/posts/2011-11-16.md)

Matisyahu came and performed tonight in Springfield at the Gillioz Theatre. It was a low key night as he was only accompanied on guitar by Adam Weinberg who is really quite a phenomenal guitarist. I’ve listened to Matisyahu a bit over the last few years, but getting to see him in person allows a chance to see beyond just the music and get an idea in small degree of who he is. Piece this all together and you see a really interesting dude. His skill to beatbox is absolutely amazing especially when seen in person. He creates such cool beats without the need for any synth or bass and he just lays it down. The performance was great, but I was a bit disappointed in the crowd. I don’t know what it is about the Gillioz and Springfieldians. It’s like all courtesy and inhibition evaporate and you’re left with heckling, rude, moronic people shouting and interjecting without any respect or care given to the artist on stage. This same attitude happened when Lyle Lovett played the same venue a month or two ago. I don’t know when it became ok to try and be a part of the show along with the performer, but come on people cut it out. Continuing to yell out for some song you prefer to be played along with 50-75 other people basically doing the same thing honestly doesn’t paint our community in a very good light. How about keeping the suggestions to yourself, enjoy the show and simply cheer and clap and let the artist pick their own direction for the performance. Now Springfield looks like it’s filled with a bunch of turkeys and I can’t imagine either artist would even remotely consider returning. The thing that amazes me is that I don’t see this behavior to this degree ever at any of the rock shows that I attend. You get one or two people that’ll shout out Slayer or Stairway, but it pretty much stops there. I will say seeing Matisyahu totally dismiss some pretentious goof that tried to ask him about his opinion on occupy Wall Street was pretty dang enjoyable and there was one cool fan that got to come up on stage and get a hug which was a smooth move. Springfield if I could slap some sense into you I would. For now the beards of Springfield are one greater while Matisyahu is in town.

Page(/posts/2011-10-17.md)

Some times living life single is filled with contentment and can be far preferable to being attached. Then at other times it can feel overwhelmingly daunting and the weight almost unbearable. How close these moments seem to follow one another is strange indeed. One minute I’m able to appreciate how truly free and unencumbered my life is unattached and I rejoice greatly for the joy of being adaptable and able to change direction in a moments notice. The silence and simplicity of solitude appeals greatly to me, however, while I do enjoy this time alone it can gradually turn into isolation and then the deep yearning for closeness rises from within. There is this great desire to be with a kindred spirit or for someone to help hold fast when almost to failing to stand.

In a months time to have considered two opposite directions so closely together would seem incongruent. First the commitment and devotion of a monk like solitary existence in order to gain better focus appeals greatly to me. Second, but 180 degrees opposite of it that I should also have been considering the pursuit of a young woman must seem strange. To have coupled so closely these two lines of thought and reasoning I’m sure is perplexing to others, but they both came up very naturally at the same time and in parallel for me. That I should consider them in tandem, but then that I should decide which direction to aim and to pursue it whole heartedly whatever the choice should be. That I should decide to pursue singleness when the option of this wonderful woman was still on the table seemed to me the greatest form of offering or sacrifice that I could make to the Lord. However when I reached my decision and chose to pursue her only to be waived off, excused away and rejected was overwhelming. Only after the hopeful option of a possible romance exploded in my face could I see that the choice of monastic pursuits even after rejection should prove to be the more difficult form of sacrifice. A route that even now I hesitate to walk although I would have gladly chosen it as the first option before ever pursuing the other. The choice is discouragingly more difficult to make now even though it is the only path before me. I stand here looking from side to side, looking back upon paths that cannot be unwalked, looking ahead, but my vision is obscured so I pause here and wait for another way to be made known or to be nudged forward. Is my breaking complete? Have I been brought down to death in order to be raised to new life? Does my hope and trust increase in the Lord or will my spirit remain downtrodden within me? Oh Lord you know your servant and what his heart requires. Do not call him forth to trial and testing without strength enough to face it or dashed upon the rocks will he be found and his spirit shattered to pieces.

Though he slay me…[I do not know why] yet will I…[with whatever strength remain] trust…[hope and be found] in Him.

Page(/posts/2011-10-15.md)

Earlier this week I drove down to Little Rock to catch MM again on their Odd Soul tour at the Revolution Music Room. At the show I met a couple of people who of all things are friends with Joe Copeland. As we talked a bit more we found out that each of us had been at the same show back in 2006 at Remingtons in Springfield which was the first time I’d ever even heard of them let alone seen them. MM has been playing smaller venues this tour so it was cool getting to be so close. It’s cool that they have fans that have been with them since before they were MM I mean I’m one of them, but I really wish fans would stop bringing it up at shows like it is some sort of badge of honor to yell out the old band name. The guys take it pretty good, but you can tell their inner reaction is like “Really…really?” And who can blame them for wanting to get some distance from an old project that they moved on from years ago and hope that people would recognize them for what they’re working on now. I can imagine it’s tough enough to make any band endeavor successful, but it’s got to be extra challenging if your fans keep you stuck in the past. I wonder what is the best way to interact with a band member when you run into them in real life outside of a show without bothering them that still lets them know that you appreciate their music? Do you just say hey when walking past? Is a high five or shaking their hand appropriate? Do you even call them by their name or is a hey dude or hey man more appropriate and less like a creepy stalker or teenie bopper? Thoughts anyone?

My pictures aren’t the greatest, but here they are none the less for your enjoyment.

[pictures]

Along with a compilation video from the night.

[video]

[video]

Page(/posts/2011-09-30.md)

All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king. Fellowship of the Ring – JRR Tolkien

I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, Psalm 78:2

Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Matthew 13:13

I wish I knew how better to express myself by parable. By parable alone can some of the most important messages be delivered. It is like a message that is delivered for pardon from a crime for a person, but the receiver can’t make heads or tails of it until at exactly the crucial moment the content becomes clear and the application swift. Parables can be so plain and even simple in nature that the full meaning only becomes evident in such a time as the recipient is ready to understand them. To confound the wise and be understood by the humble. More plainly spelled out and the receiver would altogether reject the content, but veiled for a time the message begins to take root. This is not to deceive or trick, but to deliver the message ahead of time so that when looking back the meaning becomes plain and because the message was ahead of the fulfillment then the trust for the messenger or content of the message becomes even stronger. The right person, in the right attitude begins to be understood and more fully appreciate what has been said.

If we consider from the viewpoint of the author of a parable then even more we can see the value in their method. If the author speaks directly and plainly about a matter, but the recipients because of their own situations begin to misunderstand and become irritated or aggravated with the message what course should be taken? A message that given the chance would have brought comfort and peace, but now brings distance and injury. Do you as the author speaking a good message that bears plainly your heart in a matter stop sharing simply because of the confusion of your audience? I suppose the human tendency would be to say yes you do stop and if the recipient is resistant then the injury caused by their misunderstanding is their own fault. However, when so cared for is the recipient and so important is the message, then it cannot be left unspoken even though it cannot be rightly heard. The only course then left to communicate is through these dark sayings, or uttering hidden things and then trusting that in the right time they will be understood and appreciated.

Page(/posts/2011-09-25.md)

In July 2008 I took a spin around the Eiffel Tower. It took me about 15 minutes to walk down from the middle platform. I’ve sped this video up a bit, but you get the idea.

[video]

This year for the Fourth of July we had some spare black powder that didn’t get used so we decided to have some fun with it.

[video]

And finally some videos from the 2010 100 Acre Woods Rally up near Salem Missouri.

[video]

Page(/posts/2011-09-22.md)

at least for New Years Eve and not just my guess in a game of Clue. It’s been a while since I’ve been to Chicago and last year was the first in about 5 or 6 years that I didn’t do a rock show trip on the eve of a new year. After having gone to see Band of Horses the previous 3 years in Atlanta I was ready for a switch up and had planned on seeing the Avett Bros, but somewhere along the way I decided against that. So now it is back to the old schedule and to the city that started all of my traveling wanderlust. Can’t wait.

–edit– as it turns out I had a raging case of the Latin Crawl from visiting Mexico on missions over the holidays. I didn’t end up going to Chicago after all.

Page(/posts/2011-09-19.md)

Good music is indeed timeless. I’ll forget about a band for a time and then rediscover them only just at the right time to have a companion to see me through some particularly difficult time. It means a lot to have something to take your mind off the present situation and hearing a song written thousands of miles away or years in the past that some how shares in or addresses some current situation just drives home how common our struggles are. Chesterton has a point about these artists that can articulate the struggles that the common man goes through, but just can’t put into words. That we greatly appreciate their input into our world which allows us for a short moment to catch a glimpse of the beauty and struggle around us that goes unexpressed only because it is either too difficult or too wonderful for the common man to know where to begin.

Matthew 6:34 – So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Page(/posts/2011-08-28.md)

Here’s an article I recently wrote for another blog I contribute to on Tuesdays.

Ivan Denisovich Shukov is a character in a novel by Russian author Alexsander Solzhenitsyn. Denisovich was a laborer in a work camp in post World War 2 Russia that was taken in part from some of the real life experiences that Solzhenitsyn had himself while living in the Russian gulags and work camps. We get to see one single day in the life of this prisoner during the course of the book. Nothing extreme, nothing extraordinary happens on this day, but it certainly gives a person a good idea about what it must have been like if only on the very good days, to put it mildly he doesn’t live an easy life even on these “good days”. Towards the end of the book one of the other prisoners, Alyosha, observes Denisovich at the end of a long day offer a sort of generic prayer, ”Glory be to Thee, O Lord. Another day over. Thank you I’m not spending tonight in the cells. Here it is still bearable.”Alyosha heard Shukov’s whispered prayer, and, turning to him: “There you are, Ivan Denisovich, your soul is begging to pray. Why don’t you give it its freedom?” … “Well, Alyosha,” he said with a sigh, “it’s this way. Prayers are like those appeals of ours. Either they don’t get through or they’re returned with ‘rejected’ scrawled across ’em.” Alyosha goes on to encourage him, “But, Ivan Denisovich, it’s because you pray too rarely and badly at that. Without really trying. That’s why your prayers stay unanswered. One must never stop praying. If you have real faith you tell a mountain to move and it will move…” Ivan retorts that even with his faith and praying that the political turmoil and war still found Alyosha in the same work camp as himself trying to imply that his own prayers weren’t effective at all. What good has it gained him if it could not save him from the same fate? Alyosha replies that that is not what they prayed for, but instead simply for our daily bread. “Our ration, you mean?” asked Shukov“Ivan Denisovich, you shouldn’t pray to get parcels, or for extra stew, not for that. Things that man puts a high price on are vile in the eyes of Our Lord. We must pray about things of the spirit–that the Lord Jesus should remove the scum of anger from our hearts…” Ivan goes on to talk about the hypocrisies and corruption of his old home town priest and how horrible of a person this priest was. “Why are you talking to me about priests?…It’s because their faith is unstable that they’re not in prison.” Ivan continues that he’s not really against God, but why should anyone be filled with the idea of paradise or hell. Why do you take us for fools? That even still however much Alyosha were to pray that it doesn’t shorten his term in the work camp, that he is still very much here in the same condition as himself. “Oh, you mustn’t pray for that either,” said Alyosha, horrified. “Why do you want freedom? In freedom your last grain of faith will be choked with weeds. You should rejoice that you’re in prison. Here you have time to think about your soul. As the apostle Paul wrote: ‘Why all these tears? Why are you trying to weaken my resolution? For my part I am ready not merely to be bound, but even to die for the name of the Lord Jesus.'” Shukov gazed at the celiing in silence. Now he didn’t know either whether he wanted freedom or not. At first he’d longed for it. Every night he’d counted the days of his stretch–how many had passed, how many were coming. And then he’d grown bored with counting. And then it became clear that men like him wouldn’t ever be allowed to return home, that they’d be exiled. And whether his life would be any better there than here–who could tell? Freedom meant one thing to him–home. Alyosha was speaking the truth. His voice and his eyes left no doubt that he was happy in prison. “You see, Alyosha,” Shukov explained to him, “somehow it works out all right for you: Jesus Christ wanted you to sit in prison and so you are–sitting there for His sake. But for whose sake am I here? Because we weren’t ready for war in forty-one? For that? But was that my fault? They’re interrupted for a time, but then Ivan continues shortly there after. – Alyosha returned. Impractical, that’s his trouble. Makes himself nice to everyone, but doesn’t know how to do favors that get paid back. Denisovich allows the distraction to jolt him out of introspection and writes off what Alyosha had to say because he thinks his impracticality discredits the message. He lets back in the realities of his everyday habits and struggles. Granted these are genuinely what he must face each day, but the message of something greater beyond these toils he cannot bring himself to hope for. He fails to recognize that Alyosha’s hope in Christ is the most practical thing of all. “Exactly at the instant when hope ceases to be reasonable it begins to be useful”-GKC Has our freedom cost us our souls? No one has it truly easy, but for instance relative to those in the gulags and work camps certainly our lives are quite easy. Has our easy living cost us something we didn’t even realize we were paying such a high price for? Our constant distractions, busy lives, material possession; have they lessened our focus and our attention on the truly important teachings of Christ? Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Page(/posts/2011-08-25.md)

In a letter from May 15, 1966, C.S. Lewis wrote “No one ever influenced Tolkien–you might as well try to influence a bandersnatch.”

I heard this recently while listening to a lecture discussing the friendship between Tolkien and Lewis and it just made me snicker so much that I had to find out what a bandersnatch was.

ban·der·snatch

  1. an imaginary wild animal of fierce disposition.
  2. a person of uncouth or unconventional habits, attitudes, etc., especially one considered a menace, nuisance, or the like.

It is possibly my new favorite word.

Page(/posts/2011-08-24.md)

Of all the women I’ve known so far the writings and impact of two continue to amaze me. One an acquaintance and the other a close friend.

I met Heather way back in 2005 when I was keeping a Xanga blog. Through the Xanga Springfield crowd I stumbled across her musings and was just completely floored. I thought to myself I’ve got to figure out a way to meet this girl. The only thing I could think of at the time was an offering of concert tickets and in order to be nonchalant about it I couldn’t just buy an extra ticket for her and give it to her. Instead I bought a gaggle of tickets for some friends of mine, literally a van load, and “had an extra” that away. Meeting her ever so briefly to hand over the ticket she was everything I had imagined from following her blog almost religiously(really checking it so frequent that I was only slightly short of stalking her prior to contacting her). I really have no excuse other than being completely overwhelmed and not having the boldness at the time to just come out with it and ask her on a date. It all comes back to her writing though. Thoughts written with no intended recipient, but instead a transparent look into her daily life. Introspective, spiritual, optimistic, and mature beyond any woman my age that I’d encountered so far save my other friend. Her entries were more of an open journal than a public blog. I’m not sure how she ever had the courage to write such things, but I’m certainly glad she did. I struggled and toiled to find ways to hang out socially with her; talking music with her, going to concerts, “casually” commenting to her blog entries. What a wiener right? I just wasn’t man enough yet to ever actually step out of my fantasy world of possibilities and see if these affections I’d convinced myself of might actually be able to happen by simply taking the first step of asking her on a date. Harboring imaginary affections from afar I went even so far as getting Radiohead tickets in Chicago and thrusting those upon her in hopes of stealing away her time and somehow inserting myself into her life. She was kind and patient with me though giving me the chance to learn my lesson and waited for me to begin to truly interact with her like a strong, mature christian man should, but I never did. Sadly with too much personal growth still required on my end we were never more than acquaintances. I know that I probably always knew that would be the case, but man did I ever have hope that something might possibly develop out of thin air. Had I been then the man that I am now I hope that I would have been a bit less creepy and definitely a lot clearer in my intentions and direct with my interests. Taking the chance, but ah that’s another time and no reason to look back now on things that were never meant to be other then to appreciate them for the lessons they taught. Simply encountering her and seeing that there are indeed these few incredible examples of interesting, fun, beautiful(wow I mean beautiful), spiritually mature christian women had a huge impact on my life…and the music I listen to. I’ve not dated very many women, since high school a total of two, but round about the time I had first encountered Heather I dated a girl whom had I not met Heather I probably would have married and been woefully unhappy with. She was cute, we got along ok and she liked me a lot, but somewhere during the month we dated I came to realize something important. I found that now that I knew that these incredible women of Heather’s caliber and makeup did truly exist in this world that I couldn’t bring myself to settle for what I had. I don’t mean to say that woman I had dated had any less value or was some horrible specimen of a woman, but just that she wasn’t what I’d always been searching and hoping for. I couldn’t without reservation have committed myself to the relationship with her. No one wants someone that looks upon them with reservation. So I decided I would have to be content to wait it out for such a person to come along again even if it means waiting and waiting and waiting. Thank you for the music recommendations Heather and I’m sorry for creeping you out all those years ago. I heard that you were now married and so I truly do wish you the best with your marriage. Your thoughts and musings had great and lasting impact.

The other woman that has had a similar if not greater impact was my close friend Katie. Over the years she has counseled me and directed me with great wisdom and understanding on everything from faith and friendships to girls and life. I’m a better man and christian for having known her and been the recipient of her friendship. She was the same kind of weird that I identified myself as and the connection we had over the years transcended anything else I can relate to. Artistic, fun, womanly in that she just knew how to embody womanhood, goofy and always there when I needed her to be(which is different then always being there when I wanted her to be). Many a time my emotions were mixed up and left unexpressed concerning her for fear of upsetting and losing the deep, deep friendship we had. For literally eight years I floundered back and forth between loathing and loving her. Loathing the casual distance she seemed to keep, but loving the companionship we had when we were together. Very few friendships come along where complete communication and understanding can be had without the presence or need of words. She taught me the ability to appreciate the simplest, but most overlooked pieces of life; a bizarre film, a collection of laughs on a mini cassette, truly expressive art of the quality that only a few posses(and I don’t even mean the “artistic elite”, but just the always creating always learning type of artistic personality that doesn’t confine oneself to just one medium or one style). The experiences she put together were the highlight and definition of my twenties from start to finish. She was always writing, always cajoling always trying to help me to understand the female perspective. She was as she put it “someone who has been described as a not-so-typical girl”. That was really the best part about her; atypical. That’s the trait that bleeds out into all of those other areas to create such an interesting and balanced perspective. From time to time I’ve gone back and reread our email communique and always appreciate the boldness, candor, modesty and gentleness in her that she maintained throughout our friendship. The first time I think I really realized how cool our friendship was was on our way home from a road trip to Chicago in 04(I know what’s it with me and girls and Chicago). We had just spent the entire weekend meeting up with our friends both of whom introduced their own stresses and frustrations to the visit and so unexpectedly we had more fun together then with the friends we went to meet. The drive home could only be described as sublime, I’m not sure we said more than a few dozen words the whole way home. Just watched the world around us, enjoyed the music and drove. Sadly though friendships change, after finally bringing forward the feelings and emotions I had towards her I did indeed find our dynamic would have to change. I felt I needed to distance myself and part ways because I had not guarded my heart and so over the years I had quite a few hurts to be healed from and to get past. I look upon those times past with great endearment and affection, but know that not until glory comes will her and I enjoy the same level of connection and appreciation of one anothers friendship that we once had. And then more so only because of our shared inheritance as siblings in Christ.

It is for these great examples that I am fortunate to have come across in my formative years. Had they not come prior to settling down with a wife I’m not sure I would have had as an adventurous and enjoyable single life as I do currently. I definitely wouldn’t have known what a true friendship with a woman could be or been given the example of what a strong but atypical Christian woman looks like. Unbeknownst to them, but far reaching has been their impact and unable I am to repay them for their great gift.

A third has been recently surprising me with these similar traits even despite the fact of my attention being distracted elsewhere and my general inattentive nature to things directly in front of my face. The friendship is still as of yet too under developed to know what lasting impact she will have.

Hopefully more strange people will cross your path and change it for the better. Atypical peeps are the best.

[pictures] As a completely unrelated note: I’m not sure I will ever find beer as refreshing as Mountain Dew Voltage or Captain Eli’s Root Beer. There’s really just no comparison between the enjoyment, one clearly outweighs the other.

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I just found this in my documents on my Mac tonight. I apparently wrote it back in May 2006 even before my niece was actually born. The piece is satisfying in it’s simplicity.

Hallelujah Hallelujah for my friends Hallelujah for my best friend’s wife getting a teaching job Hallelujah for a dad who stands for truth and righteousness even through adversity Hallelujah for my sister having a little girl Hallelujah for mercy Hallelujah for forgiveness Hallelujah for two great nephews Hallelujah for music to uplift my soul Hallelujah for a quiet house Hallelujah for my mom’s prayers Hallelujah for the cross Hallelujah for the cross Hallelujah for the cross Hallelujah for HE is Risen and alive Hallelujah for Christ’s love for me Hallelujah

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They’re doing a new Muppet movie! It looks like they’ve done well with casting because they’ve got Jason Segel and Amy Adams, which I think will fit just right with their cornball comedic abilities. The storyline is to be based around the premise of reviving the old Muppet Theater for another performance. I hope they can tap in to the old school Muppet humor and presentation to bring back a little bit of the feeling that I think was lost when Jim Henson passed away. Something akin to the old running gags and zany humor that used to be so well presented in the characters. They were funny, but not kidsy funny and not inappropriately adult funny either. Something else was there that didn’t bow down to trends or marketing. When they didn’t have to fit the latest style or the latest greatest hip fad, but were instead just genuine portrayals of our most beloved characters. Give us true and genuine any day and the comedy will take care of itself. – No one can be really hilarious, but the serious man.- GKC This doesn’t imply boring puppeteers or people that aren’t fun, but instead highlights the contrast between moments and allows for truly funny dialogue to shine through and stand on its own.

[video: muppet trailer]

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Keep this on the down low, but tonight I came across the biggest loophole ever. I’m not sure if this is something that society can tolerate or the law will even allow. It may just be the biggest scandal of all time. When given the option to include a monogram on a shirt or really anything…you can put whatever you want. No one will dare stop you. On a shirt you have 16 characters to do with as you please. It could say any number of things.

Red Bearded Dude Red Beard Pirate Barbarossa Stolen Shirt Capt. Kirk chucks(the shoe) H* VonVonaburger Jack Pantalones PROBABLYaHIPSTER

The options are endless. If I were into twitter this would be like the ultimate twitter, the super bowl of self expression in a compact format. Express yourself in 16 characters and then wear it emblazoned on your chest for all the world to see. Soon you may just run into a Mr. “30 Dead Racoons”, a senor “musicISawesome”, or a couple of gentlemen sharing the same shirt who go by the names “Mordecai & Rigby”. You just never know.

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It’s actually a band though not just any band, but likely to be the most up and coming group of the year with their beautiful melodies and simplistic presentation. There’s no pretentious hipster attitude about it. I read a comment from youtube that mentioned they were Seattle’s response to Mumford and Sons(M&S), a raw folky rock group from across the pond. Though I’ve yet to see M&S perform live I have seen The Head and The Heart(TH&TH) now and I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that Mr Mumford himself wouldn’t see this new young group as competition, but rather as complementary to his own outfit’s unique style. Last Monday I received a call from my friend Chris who had seen TH&TH open for Iron and Wine in the Twin Cities and knowing that he and I share a lot of the same musical tastes urged me to do whatever it took to get to KC the following night to see TH&TH perform. After a false start towards KC and a trade out of Sweet Pea for the Honda I was on my way to see this band I’d never even heard of before play a late late show at a bar in Westport. Not really sure what to expect my anxiety was calmed upon hearing the beautiful voice of Abigail Washburn, the opening act, pour out of the bar and flow across the parking lot to greet my arrival. (Interesting side note I just found out she is exactly one month older than I am, how weird) Her voice was full bodied, sultry and powerful yet controlled and not overdriving, as if she was alone out in a field calling out and wooing the night itself. Then if the vocals alone weren’t enough she was accompanied by a full band including up right bass that was tugging and pulling at the crowd to sing along and priming them for the following act. (She performed one of her songs completely in Mandarin Chinese, how impressive is that?) TH&TH took the stage and began to turn the next hour into a rocking and swaying intimate musical encounter. Weaving a living tapestry of lyric and song above the crowd which lent itself to grabbing hold of and tucking it up under your chin to be soothed to sleep or casting it off onto the bed and dancing around upon it. I can’t wait to see what the next year holds in store for this fantastic band from Seattle. Check them out and see for yourself; their self titled and self released debut album is now available re-mastered and released on vinyl through sub pop records. Enjoy.

[video kexp lost in my mind]

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I recently went out to Colorado Springs with the family while Cassie was at camp Barnabas and though the drive was a bit long it was worth it. We spotted an old 70s Mazda RX-3 station wagon on the way out in a small junkyard and a huge salvage yard on the way back that I want to go back and spend some time in looking around. My friend Adam suggested spending as much time as possible in Garden of the gods while out there and I’ve got to say he was right on. The monolithic rock formations and the deep colors of the boulders cast against a back drop of the Rocky Mountains is quite a sight to behold. Also as a side note don’t touch the cacti, you may think they only have those big pricklys to avoid which should be easy enough, but what you don’t see is the smaller hardly noticeable pricklys. Hardly noticeable that is until you touch it and end up with dozens of them oh so delicately embedded lightly in your fingers. We did a few other things while out; the Pikes Peak Cog railway, seven falls, Manitou springs, the Stargate, and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo…yes I said Stargate…well not “the” real stargate, but it’s close enough because it’s within a stones throw of Cheyenne Mountain and with the fountain part of the monument running it looks sorta like the event horizon on a regular Stargate. But I digress.

The sights and sounds of Colorado were fun to see, but the real meat of the trip was that I got to hang out with my super cool niece and nephews. Janelle got to play Train Conductor by setting up all of the chairs in the house in a line and then deal with all of us as unruly passengers asking questions and being onry. Payton clearly demonstrated he was King of the mountain during our hike up to Seven Falls and also quite a law breaker I might add(pictures include). I’m also pretty sure Cael managed to spit off of every balcony, ledge, railing and drop off that we came across during the entire trip. Colorado will avoid drought this year if only just because of his contribution back to the landscape. I really enjoy getting to be around them though I’m probably more like an antagonistic teasing uncle than I am a real adult figure for them, but it certainly is fun. We get along so well probably in part because I operate very much on the same plane as most kids and teenagers when it comes to having fun; I have a sophomoric humor, wild imagination, and an appreciation for corny cartoons like Sponge Bob and Regular Show. In truth the fun wasn’t just limited to us and our zany antics rather the whole family had a great time hanging out together, eating together and walking up a bajillion stairs together.

I highly recommend CO Springs as long as you’re willing to have fun!

I’m also in possession of a couple of rascally gnomes, to be placed out at my newly acquired 10 acres north of town, to greet visitors.

[pictures]

And just for Payton I’d like to say, “A bunch of baby ducks — send em to the moon, soda fountain that doesn’t work — send it too the moon.”

Also here’s my goofy parents.

[video]

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Dec 11, 1992 Hey Ruth Gusto’s Lawrence, KS

Mar 12, 1993

Hey Ruth Gusto’s Lawrence, KS

May 15, 1993 Hey Ruth New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Jul 23, 1994 Whalebelly Exit The Edge St. Louis, MO

Dec 3, 1994

Hey Ruth, Whalebelly Exit, Don Chaffer & friends New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Feb 18, 1995 Don & Friends

New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Feb 20, 1995 Don & Oren Thornton New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Apr 1, 1995 Don Chaffer & friends (basically the original WD line-up w/ Lori added) Heart 2 Heart Lawrence, KS

Aug 6, 1995

Waterdeep The Park Parkville, MO

Aug 12, 1995 Waterdeep w/ Paul Clark, Crash Dog, & a bunch of other bands

Tie The Gap Festival Lawrence, KS

Aug 19, 1995 Don & Lori Mildred’s Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Aug 23, 1995 Waterdeep Mid America Nazarene University Olathe, KS

Aug 26, 1995

Waterdeep w/ Jeniffer Knapp opening for Phil Keaggy & Glass Harp Metro Vineyard Fellowship Grandview, MO

Sep 11, 1995 Waterdeep

William Jewel College Liberty, MO

Sep 15, 1995 Waterdeep The Hurricane Kansas City, MO

Sep 16, 1995 Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Sep 17, 1995 Don & Friends

Loose Park Kansas City, MO

Oct 19, 1995 Waterdeep The Powerhouse Carthage, MO

Oct 20, 1995 Waterdeep opening for Hocus Pick Downstage Cafe Shawnee Mission, KS

Nov 10, 1995 Waterdeep

Arise Coffeehouse

Wichita, KS

Dec 1, 1995 Waterdeep w/ Paul Clark Downstage Cafe Shawnee Mission, KS

Dec 9, 1995 Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Dec 28, 1995 Don & Lori

Wayne & Betty Chaffer’s house (Don’s parents) Ft. Wayne, IN

Jan 17, 1996 Don & Lori The Outpost Wichita, KS Evening

Feb 16, 1996 Waterdeep w/ the Radio Cowboys First Evangelical Free Church Wichita, KS

Mar 9, 1996

Waterdeep Java House Joplin, MO 9 pm, $3

Mar 30, 1996 Lori (Coscia) Chaffer New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

May 16, 1996 Don & Lori Doxa Coffeehouse Wichita, KS

May 17, 1996

Waterdeep Doxa Coffeehouse Wichita, KS

Jul 16, 1996 Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Jul 19, 1996 Don & Lori The Gallery Kansas City, MO

Jul 26, 1996

Don & Lori Mildred’s Coffee Shop Kansas City, MO

Jul 28, 1996 Don & Lori

Faith Lutheran Church Marion, IA

Aug 3, 1996 Waterdeep The Keyhole Ft. Scott, KS

Aug 12, 1996 Don & Lori (opening for Caedmon’s Call)

Planeview, TX

Oct 21, 1996 Don & Lori

all over Denmark Denmark, Europe,

Nov 22, 1996 Waterdeep Edmond Fellowship Edmond, OK

Nov 23, 1996 Waterdeep (w/ Kenny Carter on bass) Edmond Fellowship Edmond, OK

Dec 15, 1996 Don & Lori

Arise Coffeehouse Wichita, KS

Dec 31, 1996 Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Jan 31, 1997 Waterdeep Heart To Heart Lawrence, KS

Feb 8, 1997 Don, Lori, & Brandon

New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Feb 14, 1997 Waterdeep Java House Joplin, MO

Feb 15, 1997 Waterdeep Olive Branch St. Joseph, MO

Feb 22, 1997 Waterdeep

Powerhouse Carthage, MO

Feb 26, 1997 Waterdeep w/ Christena Graves Central Missouri State University- Higher Ground Coffeehouse Warrensburg, MO 8 pm, $4

Mar 5, 1997 Don The Outpost (First Evangelical Free) Wichita, KS

Mar 6, 1997

Don & Lori Friends University Wichita, KS

Mar 7, 1997 Don & Lori

Wichita State University Wichita, KS

Mar 8, 1997 Waterdeep West Heights United Methodist Church Wichita, KS

Mar 22, 1997 Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Mar 28, 1997 Waterdeep

Zoe House Shawnee Mission, KS

Apr 4, 1997 Waterdeep The Barn Manhattan, KS

Apr 5, 1997 Waterdeep Arise (Vineyard) Wichita, KS

Apr 11, 1997 Waterdeep

Christ Church of Oronogo Oronogo, MO

Apr 12, 1997 Waterdeep University Baptist Church Fayetteville, AR

Apr 18, 1997 Don & Lori Chaffer Smash House Hutchinson, KS

Apr 19, 1997

Waterdeep William Jewel College Liberty, MO

Apr 21, 1997 Waterdeep University of Oklahoma Norman, OK

May 2, 1997 Waterdeep Texas A&M University College Station, TX

May 10, 1997

Waterdeep w/ Huckleberry Metro Christian Fellowship Grandview, MO

May 15, 1997 Waterdeep Southwest Baptist University Bolivar, MO

May 16, 1997 Christena and Brandon Bohemian Bean Co. Wichita, KS

May 16, 1997

Waterdeep Bohemian Bean Co. Wichita, KS

May 17, 1997 Waterdeep Spirit Stock Festival Tulsa, OK

May 18, 1997 Waterdeep Edmond Christian Fellowship Edmond, OK

Jun 7, 1997

Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Jun 8, 1997 Waterdeep West Highlands Kansas City, MO

Jun 12, 1997 Waterdeep Camp Cyokamo Alba, MO

Jun 26, 1997

Waterdeep Icthus Coffeehouse Topeka, KS

Jun 27, 1997 Waterdeep Zoe House Shawnee Mission, KS

Jun 29, 1997 Waterdeep First Methodist Church Bartlesville, OK

Jul 7, 1997

Waterdeep The Hangout Charleston, IL

Jul 9, 1997 Waterdeep First Congregational Church Ravenna, OH

Jul 11, 1997 Waterdeep Providence Baptist Church Raleigh, NC

Jul 12, 1997

Waterdeep North Gate shopping plaza Ashboro, NC

Jul 15, 1997 Waterdeep 704 B Cafe Memphis, TN

Jul 16, 1997 Waterdeep Shades Mountain Baptist Church Birmingham, AL

Jul 17, 1997

Waterdeep Gideon’s Garden Coffeehouse Pontotoc, MS

Jul 18, 1997 Waterdeep New Covenant Church Poplar Bluff, MO

Jul 27, 1997 Don & Lori Stage Door Coffeehouse Breckenridge, CO

Jul 28, 1997

Don & Lori Vineyard Christian Fellowship Boulder, CO

Jul 29, 1997 Don & Lori

Kings Camp Andale, KS

Jul 30, 1997 Don & Lori Smash House Hutchinson, KS

Aug 1, 1997 Waterdeep New Life Ranch Colcord, OK

Aug 2, 1997

Waterdeep Godfest, St. Thomas Aquinas High School Overland Park, KS

Aug 5, 1997 Waterdeep Dayspring Camp Tallequah, OK

Aug 8, 1997 Waterdeep The Coffee Shock Minneapolis, MN

Aug 9, 1997

Waterdeep (w/ Steve Snyder on bass) Tie The Gap Festival Lawrence, KS

Aug 15, 1997 Waterdeep 704 B Cafe Memphis, TN

Aug 22, 1997 Waterdeep w/ Christena Graves Mustard Seed Fellowship Lawrence, KS 7 pm, $3

Aug 24, 1997

Waterdeep Vineyard Christian Fellowship Boulder, CO 7 pm, $5

Aug 29, 1997 Waterdeep Zoe House Shawnee Mission, KS

Aug 30, 1997 Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Sep 5, 1997

Waterdeep Bethel College Newton, KS 9 pm, $5

Sep 6, 1997 Waterdeep Kansas State University Manhattan, KS

Sep 12, 1997 Waterdeep Asbury United Methodist Church Tulsa, OK

Sep 14, 1997

Waterdeep Paramount Theater Abilene, TX

Sep 15, 1997 Waterdeep J&B’s Coffeehouse Lubbock, TX

Sep 17, 1997 Waterdeep Doc’s Steakhouse Fritch, TX

Sep 19, 1997

Waterdeep The Light Spot Kaufman, TX

Sep 20, 1997 Waterdeep Central Baptist Church Bryan, TX

Sep 21, 1997 Waterdeep The Woodlands Methodist Church The Woodlands, TX

Sep 22, 1997

Waterdeep Houston’s First Baptist (Metro Bible Study) Houston, TX

Sep 23, 1997 Waterdeep Barry’s Coffee Co. Waco, TX

Sep 25, 1997 Waterdeep John Brown University Siloam Springs, AR

Sep 27, 1997

Waterdeep Ouachita Baptist University Arkadelphia, AR

Oct 4, 1997 Waterdeep Mid American Nazarene University Kansas City, MO

Oct 12, 1997 Waterdeep First Christian Church Columbus, KS

Oct 17, 1997

Waterdeep Fayetteville Youth Center Fayetteville, AR

Oct 24, 1997 Waterdeep Barclay College Haviland, KS

Oct 25, 1997 Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Oct 31, 1997

Waterdeep Vineyard Christian Fellowship Manhattan, KS

Nov 1, 1997 Waterdeep Oklahoma Baptist University Shawnee, OK

Nov 2, 1997 Waterdeep Edmond Fellowship Edmond, OK

Nov 6, 1997

Waterdeep William Jewel College Liberty, MO

Nov 8, 1997 Waterdeep KCYFC Downstage Cafe Shawnee Mission, KS

Nov 15, 1997 Waterdeep w/ Derek Webb Vineyard Christian Fellowship Nashville, TN

Nov 20, 1997

Waterdeep Randolph Macon College Lynchburg, VA

Nov 21, 1997 Waterdeep University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA

Nov 22, 1997 Waterdeep Solid Rock Cafe Waynesboro, VA

Nov 23, 1997

Waterdeep University of Richmond Richmond, VA

Nov 25, 1997 Waterdeep Celebration Cafe Little Rock, AR

Dec 4, 1997 Waterdeep First Evangelical Free Church Ames, IA

Dec 5, 1997

Waterdeep Truman State University Kirksville, MO

Dec 6, 1997 Waterdeep The Olive Branch St. Joseph, MO

Dec 12, 1997 Waterdeep Java Pit Overland Park, KS

Dec 13, 1997

Waterdeep Coffeeshock Minneapolis, MN

Dec 14, 1997 Waterdeep Church of the Open Door Minneapolis, MN

Dec 19, 1997 Waterdeep (w/ Harry Anderson filling in on bass for Anthony Case) Vineyard Christian Fellowship Wichita, KS

Dec 20, 1997

Waterdeep Kirk of The Hills Presbyterian Church Tulsa, OK

Dec 30, 1997 Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse Westport, MO

Dec 31, 1997 Waterdeep Powerhouse Carthage, MO

Jan 3, 1998

Waterdeep Chi Alpha Salt Conference, Arlington Marriot Arlington, TX

Jan 4, 1998 Waterdeep Campus Crusade Regional Winter Conference Dallas, TX

Jan 10, 1998 Waterdeep KCYFC Downstage Cafe Shawnee Mission, KS

Jan 22, 1998

Waterdeep University of Missouri Baptist Student Center Columbia, MO

Jan 23, 1998 Waterdeep Arkansas Tech University Russelville, AR

Jan 24, 1998 Waterdeep Icthus Coffeehouse Topeka, KS

Jan 28, 1998

Waterdeep Sterling College Sterling, KS

Jan 29, 1998 Waterdeep Bread Of Life Church Tulsa, OK

Jan 30, 1998 Waterdeep Smash House Hutchinson, KS

Jan 31, 1998

Waterdeep New Covenant United Methodist Church Edmond, OK

Feb 1, 1998 Waterdeep Grace Community Church Newton, KS

Feb 4, 1998 Waterdeep Murray State University Chi Alpha Murray, KY

Feb 4, 1998

Waterdeep Murray State University Murray, KY

Feb 6, 1998 Waterdeep Jammin' Java Franklin, TN

Feb 8, 1998 Waterdeep Seymour Heights Christian Church Seymour, TN

Feb 9, 1998

Waterdeep The 40 Watt Athens, GA

Feb 10, 1998 Waterdeep Middle Tennessee State University Alpha Omega Murfreesboro, TN

Feb 12, 1998 Waterdeep The Ivory Tusk Tuscaloosa, AL

Feb 13, 1998

Waterdeep 704B Cafe Memphis, TN

Feb 14, 1998 Waterdeep Eastview Christian Church Bloomington, IL

Feb 20, 1998 Waterdeep William Jewel College Methodist Youth Retreat Liberty, MO

Feb 21, 1998

Don, Lori, & Brandon New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Mar 4, 1998 Waterdeep w/ Christena Graves

First Baptist Church Claremore, OK

Mar 5, 1998 Waterdeep Oral Roberts University Tulsa, OK

Mar 6, 1998 Waterdeep Oklahoma City University Oklahoma City, OK

Mar 7, 1998 Waterdeep

University Baptist Church Fayetteville, AR

Mar 14, 1998 Waterdeep Lathrop High School Lathrop, MO

Mar 20, 1998 Waterdeep Shawnee Bible Church Youth Retreat Linwood, KS

Mar 21, 1998 Waterdeep (show 2)

New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Mar 21, 1998 Waterdeep (show 1) New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Mar 27, 1998 Waterdeep Solid Ground Coffee Wichita, KS

Mar 29, 1998 Waterdeep

University of Wyoming Laramie, WY

Mar 30, 1998 Waterdeep Sheridan Junior High Sheridan, WY

Mar 31, 1998 Waterdeep Northwest College Powell, WY

Apr 1, 1998 Waterdeep

Lander Valley High School Lander, WY

Apr 3, 1998 Waterdeep The Crossing Cafe Denver, CO

Apr 4, 1998 Waterdeep Calvary Chapel Albuquerque, NM

Apr 15, 1998 Waterdeep

Resurrection Week at SMSU Springfield, MO

Apr 16, 1998 Waterdeep Java House Joplin, MO

Apr 17, 1998 Waterdeep Ozark Christian College Joplin, MO

Apr 18, 1998 Waterdeep

Station Cafe at KSU Manhattan, KS

Apr 23, 1998 Waterdeep UMKC Kansas City, MO

Apr 24, 1998 Waterdeep Maryville University St. Louis, MO

Apr 28, 1998 Waterdeep

First Church of the Nazarene Oklahoma City, OK

Apr 29, 1998 Waterdeep Texas Tech Wesley Foundation Lubbock, TX

Apr 30, 1998 Waterdeep University Baptist Church Waco, TX

May 1, 1998 Waterdeep

A&M United Methodist College Station, TX

May 2, 1998 Waterdeep Celebration Cafe Little Rock, AR

May 7, 1998 Waterdeep Bread Of Life Tulsa, OK

May 8, 1998

Waterdeep Sanford-Fritch High School Fritch, TX

May 9, 1998 Waterdeep Sterling College Sterling, KS

May 14, 1998 Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

May 15, 1998

Waterdeep Solid Ground Coffeehouse Wichita, KS

May 17, 1998 Waterdeep Frontier Ranch Buena Vista, CO

May 18, 1998 Waterdeep Frontier Ranch Buena Vista, CO

May 19, 1998

Waterdeep The Crossing Wheatridge, CO

May 21, 1998 Waterdeep Kirk of the Hills Tulsa, OK

Jun 13, 1998 Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Jun 27, 1998

Waterdeep Creation Music Festival Mt. Union, PA

Jun 28, 1998 Waterdeep Community Reformed Church Holland, MI

Jul 3, 1998 Waterdeep: impromptu show by the showerhouse during the day Cornerstone Festival Bushnell, IL

Jul 3, 1998

Waterdeep- short impromptu set on the New Band Showcase in the evening Cornerstone Music Festival Bushnell, IL evening

Jul 4, 1998 Waterdeep Hyatt Regency Kansas City, MO

Jul 11, 1998 Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Jul 12, 1998

Waterdeep Atlantic High School Atlantic, IA

Jul 17, 1998 Waterdeep Penny Park (Downtown) Hamilton, MO

Jul 18, 1998 Waterdeep Olive Branch Coffeehouse St. Joseph, MO

Jul 19, 1998

Waterdeep Covenant Cedars Camp Omaha, NE

Jul 23, 1998 Waterdeep New Life Ranch Colcord, OK

Jul 24, 1998 Waterdeep 704B Cafe Memphis, TN

Aug 8, 1998

Waterdeep Berry Hill High School Tulsa, OK

Aug 9, 1998 Waterdeep Foundry United Methodist Church Houston, TX

Aug 10, 1998 Waterdeep YWAM Sub Station Lindale, TX

Aug 20, 1998

Waterdeep The Door Dallas, TX

Aug 22, 1998 Waterdeep One Way Music Festival Amarillo, TX

Aug 23, 1998 Waterdeep The Common Cup Dallas, TX

Aug 25, 1998

Waterdeep University of Central Arkansas Conway, AR

Aug 27, 1998 Waterdeep Southern Nazarene University Bethany, OK

Aug 28, 1998 Waterdeep Solid Ground Coffeehouse Wichita, KS

Aug 29, 1998

Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Aug 30, 1998 Waterdeep Olathe Bible Church Olathe, KS

Sep 1, 1998 Waterdeep Tabor College Hillsboro, KS

Sep 11, 1998

Waterdeep Hamburg High School Hamburg, AR

Sep 14, 1998 Waterdeep Lexington First Baptist Lexington, OK

Sep 16, 1998 Waterdeep Lafayette Park Great Bend, KS

Sep 17, 1998

Waterdeep Southwest Baptist University Bolivar, MO

Sep 20, 1998 Waterdeep University of Kentucky Lexington, KY

Sep 21, 1998 Waterdeep Farragut Christian Church Knoxville, TN

Sep 22, 1998

Waterdeep Jammin' Java Franklin, TN

Sep 23, 1998 Waterdeep Murray State University Murray, KY

Sep 25, 1998 Waterdeep Open Door Coffeehouse Cameron, MO

Sep 26, 1998

Waterdeep Downstage Cafe Kansas City, MO

Sep 27, 1998 Waterdeep Heartland Vineyard Cedar Falls, IA

Oct 15, 1998 Waterdeep First Baptist Church Jenks, OK

Oct 16, 1998

Waterdeep University of Missouri Columbia, MO

Oct 17, 1998 Waterdeep Cascade Performing Arts Center Monrovia, IN

Oct 19, 1998 Waterdeep The Living Room Mount Vernon, IL

Oct 21, 1998

Waterdeep University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, WI

Oct 22, 1998 Waterdeep Augsburg College Minneapolis, MN

Oct 23, 1998 Waterdeep Boheme Ames, IA

Oct 24, 1998

Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Oct 25, 1998 Waterdeep University Baptist Church Fayetteville, AR

Oct 29, 1998 Waterdeep Oklahoma City University Oklahoma City, OK

Oct 30, 1998

Waterdeep Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK

Oct 31, 1998 Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Nov 7, 1998 Waterdeep The Crossing Wheat Ridge, CO

Nov 7, 1998

Waterdeep Christians Against Persecution Concert Denver, CO

Nov 11, 1998 Waterdeep Christ’s Place Lincoln, NE

Nov 13, 1998 Waterdeep Club 413 Hutchinson, KS

Nov 14, 1998

Waterdeep Bread of Life Church Tulsa, OK

Dec 3, 1998 Waterdeep Alive In Christ Columbia, MO

Dec 4, 1998 Waterdeep University of Kansas Lawrence, KS

Dec 8, 1998

Waterdeep William Jewel College Liberty, MO

Dec 10, 1998 Waterdeep Liberty Christian Fellowship Liberty, MO

Dec 11, 1998 Waterdeep Studio 34 Tulsa, OK

Dec 12, 1998

Waterdeep Kansas State University Manhattan, KS

Dec 31, 1998 Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Jan 2, 1999 Waterdeep Passion ‘99 Conference Ft. Worth Convention Center Ft Worth, TX

Jan 29, 1999

Waterdeep Solid Ground Coffeehouse Wichita, KS late show

Jan 29, 1999 Waterdeep Solid Ground Coffeehouse Wichita, KS early show

Feb 26, 1999 Don Chaffer Solid Ground Coffeehouse Wichita, KS

Feb 27, 1999

Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO

Mar 27, 1999 Waterdeep Downstage Cafe Kansas City, MO 9132621700 7:30 pm, $12

Mar 29, 1999 Waterdeep w/ Chris Taylor Liberty Center Theater Sedalia, MO 6608275407 7:30 pm, $5

Mar 29, 1999

Waterdeep UMKC outside Kansas City, MO afternoon

Mar 31, 1999 Waterdeep w/ Chris Taylor Metro Christian Academy Tulsa, OK 9187467960 7 pm, $5

Apr 1, 1999 Waterdeep w/ Nickel & Dime, Chris Taylor John Brown University Siloam Springs, AR 5015247458 7 pm, $7, $5 w/ ID

Apr 8, 1999 Waterdeep w/ Chris Taylor University of Oklahoma (Rome 12 building) Norman, OK 4054475620 7 pm, $5

Apr 9, 1999

Waterdeep w/ Chris Taylor Highland Baptist Church Waco, TX 2547540335 8 pm, $5

Apr 11, 1999 Waterdeep w/ Chris Taylor

Paramount Terrace Christian Church Amarillo, TX 8063536615 7:30 pm, $3

Apr 13, 1999 Waterdeep w/ Mark Williams Colorado Christian College Lakewood, CO 3039633364 7 pm, $6, $2 w/ ID

Apr 16, 1999 Waterdeep w/ Ramsie Shick, Chris Taylor The Door Dallas, TX 2147423667 8 pm, $10

Apr 17, 1999

Waterdeep Twin Oaks Ranch Lindale, TX 9038825591 around 7 pm, free

Apr 21, 1999 Waterdeep w/ 5 o’ Clock People

The Exit/Inn Nashville, TN 6158344226 5pm, $5

Apr 23, 1999 Waterdeep w/ Chris Taylor Oklahoma Baptist University Shawnee, OK 9 pm

Apr 24, 1999 Waterdeep w/ Chris Taylor Parkview Baptist Church Tulsa, OK 7 pm, $5

Apr 28, 1999

Waterdeep w/ Chris Taylor LeTourneau University Longview, TX 9032334401 8 pm, $3, $2 w/ ID

Apr 29, 1999 Waterdeep

The California House (outside in the back yard) Fayetteville, AR 5014439874 9 pm, $5

Apr 30, 1999 Waterdeep opening for Caedmons Call Agape Music Festival Greenville, IL midnightish (whenever mainstage ends)

May 21, 1999 Waterdeep Brewtones Coffee Galaxy Tyler, TX

May 25, 1999

Waterdeep Villa Heights Church Joplin, MO

May 27, 1999 Waterdeep New City Cafe Knoxville, TN

May 28, 1999 Waterdeep The Chi Memphis, TN 9013773372 7:30 pm, $8

May 29, 1999

Waterdeep Jammin' Java Franklin, TN

Jun 3, 1999 Waterdeep Jerry Ivey Park Salina, KS

Jun 4, 1999 Waterdeep Club 413 Hutchinson, KS 3166625801 8 pm, $5

Jun 5, 1999

Waterdeep Royal Stadium (parking lot E) Kansas City, MO 6 pm, $9

Jun 17, 1999 Waterdeep w/ Ode to Abbey High Hat Athens, GA 706-549-5508 10 pm, $4

Jun 17, 1999 Don & Lori Blue Sky’s Coffee Athens, GA

Jun 18, 1999

Waterdeep (worship set) The Worship Stage Stone Mountain, GA 11 pm

Jun 19, 1999 Waterdeep Side Stage Stone Mt, GA 4:30 pm

Jun 24, 1999 Waterdeep (private) Metro Christian Fellowship Grandview, MO 9 pm

Jun 26, 1999

Waterdeep The Grounds Coffeehouse Claremore, OK 918-283-4000 8pm, $7

Jul 3, 1999 Waterdeep

Compassion International/ Gallery Stage Bushnell, IL midnight

Aug 6, 1999 Waterdeep: worship set Everyone’s Festival Kansas City, MO 316-264-4510 for general info or 316-265-0394 for ticket info $10 for Fri., $15 for Sat, $20 for the weekend

Aug 6, 1999 Waterdeep: Evening set Everyone’s Festival Kansas City, MO

Aug 7, 1999

Waterdeep & friends Everyone’s Festival Kansas City, MO 316-264-4510 for general info or 316-265-0394 for ticket info 10:30 am- midnight, $10 for Fri., $15 for Sat, $20 for the weekend

Aug 7, 1999 Waterdeep: Evening set

Everyone’s Festival Kansas City, MO

Aug 14, 1999 Waterdeep Cessna Stadium Wichita State University Wichita, KS 316-686-3091 or 800-583-1901

Aug 15, 1999 Waterdeep Centreat Chesterfield, MO 314-645-0340 7 pm, free

Aug 20, 1999

Waterdeep New Hope Coffeehouse New Hope, PA 8 pm, free

Aug 21, 1999 Waterdeep Purple Door Arts & Music Festival Lancaster, PA

Aug 24, 1999 Waterdeep Gentry Hall Auditorium Carson Newman University Jefferson City, TN 423-471-3589 7 pm, free

Aug 26, 1999

Waterdeep Vineyard Christian Fellowship- Nashville Nashville, TN 615-360-8463 $5

Aug 27, 1999 Waterdeep

Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro, TN 3 pm, free

Aug 28, 1999 Waterdeep Heartland Campground Columbus, OH 937-642-7912

Sep 4, 1999 Waterdeep Covenant College Lookout Mountain, GA 7 pm, free

Sep 7, 1999

Waterdeep Shorter College Rome, GA 706-233-7312 7 pm, free

Sep 8, 1999 Waterdeep

Vineyard Gadsden, AL 256-543-1005 7 pm, $10

Sep 10, 1999 Waterdeep Universal Studios Orlando, FL

Sep 11, 1999 Waterdeep Jacksonville Fairgrounds Jacksonville, FL 904-246-6771 $12 to $14

Sep 13, 1999

Waterdeep 1st Christian Church of Carrollton Carrollton, GA 770-832-3974

Sep 27, 1999 Waterdeep w/ the Normals Uptown Theater Kansas City, MO 816-753-8544 7 pm, $10

Sep 28, 1999 Waterdeep w/ The Normals Vineyard Christian Fellowship Wichita, KS 316-264-4510 7 pm, $8

Sep 29, 1999

Waterdeep w/ The Normals The Deleware Playhouse Tulsa, OK 918-744-1511 7 pm, $10

Sep 30, 1999 Waterdeep w/ The Normals

Bridgeway Church Edmond, OK 405-692-2036 7 pm, $7 adv., $10 at the door

Oct 1, 1999 Waterdeep w/ The Normals The Door Dallas, TX 214-742-3667

Oct 3, 1999 Waterdeep South Main Baptist Church Houston, TX 713-622-1810 6 pm, free

Oct 7, 1999

Waterdeep w/ The Normals University Baptist Church Waco, TX 254-752-1401 7:30 pm, $8

Oct 8, 1999 Waterdeep w/ The Normals

Paramount Baptist Church Amarillo, TX 806-355-3396 8 pm, $5

Oct 9, 1999 Waterdeep w/ The Normals Indiana Avenue Baptist Church Lubbock, TX 806-797-9704 7 pm, $5

Oct 11, 1999 Waterdeep w/ The Normals Mims Auditorium Howard Payne University Brownwood, TX 915-649-7202 8 pm, free

Oct 13, 1999

Waterdeep w/ The Normals Capitol Christian Church Santa Fe, NM 505-982-2080 7 pm, free

Oct 14, 1999 Waterdeep w/ The Normals

New Life Church

Colorado Springs, CO 719-265-3157 7:30 pm, free

Oct 15, 1999 Waterdeep w/ The Normals Crossroads Church of Denver Wheat Ridge, CO 303-421-3800 $7

Oct 17, 1999 Waterdeep w/ The Normals Hardin Simmons University Abilene, TX 915-698-9563 8 pm, free

Oct 21, 1999

Waterdeep Pointe Loma Nazarene College San Diego, CA 619-849-2606 9 pm, free

Oct 22, 1999 Waterdeep

Youth Specialties National Youth Workers Convention San Diego, CA

Oct 24, 1999 Waterdeep Vineyard Christian Fellowship El Cajon, CA 619-448-7777 6 pm, free

Oct 28, 1999 Waterdeep w/ The Normals Celebration Christian Fellowship Little Rock, AR 501-224-2310 7:30 pm, $7

Oct 29, 1999

Waterdeep w/ The Normals The Chi Memphis, TN 901-377-3372 8 pm, $8

Oct 30, 1999 Waterdeep w/ The Normals

Belmont Heights Baptist Church Nashville, TN (615) 460-6419 8:30 p, $7 in advance, $9 at the door, and $6 for groups of 15 or more (in advance)

Nov 1, 1999 Waterdeep w/ The Normals Belhaven College- Giraldt Auditorium Jackson, MS 601-352-9666 7 pm, $7

Nov 4, 1999 Waterdeep w/ The Normals Agape Ministry Muncie, IN 765-358-4007 7:30 pm

Nov 5, 1999

Waterdeep w/ The Normals Urban Middle School Sheboygan, WI 8 pm, $5

Nov 6, 1999 Waterdeep w/ The Normals New Union Minneapolis, MN 612-781-8488 8 pm, $8

Nov 9, 1999 Waterdeep w/ The Normals North Central College Naperville, IL (630)637-7469 or (630)637-5300 7 pm, $5

Nov 10, 1999

Waterdeep w/ The Normals The Coals Field Center, Simpson College Indianola, IA 515-961-1684 7:30 pm, TBA

Nov 11, 1999 Waterdeep w/ The Normals

First Evangelical Free Church Rockford, IL 815-877-7046 7 pm, free

Nov 13, 1999 Waterdeep w/ The Normals Trinity Christian College- Mitchel Memorial Gym Palos Heights, IL 708-597-3000 7:30 pm, $5

Nov 17, 1999 Waterdeep Mardel’s Bookstore 119th and Metcalf in Rosanna sqaure Overland Park, KS 5 pm, free

Nov 18, 1999

Waterdeep w/ The Normals Virginia Tech University- Haymarket Theater Blacksburg, VA 7 pm, free

Nov 19, 1999 Waterdeep w/ The Normals Jammin' Java Vienna, VA 703-205-1566 9:30 pm, $8

Nov 19, 1999 Waterdeep w/ The Normals Jammin' Java Vienna, VA 7 pm, $8

Dec 28, 1999

Waterdeep Omni Park West Hotel (Wesley Foundation Conference) Dallas, TX 8 pm

Dec 29, 1999 Waterdeep (1st show) New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO 816-931-8650 7:30 pm, $10

Dec 29, 1999 Waterdeep (2nd show) New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO 10 pm, $10

Dec 30, 1999

Waterdeep State House Convention Center Little Rock, AR 7pm

Dec 31, 1999 Waterdeep South East Expo Center McAlester, OK 918-423-0990 10 pm, free

Jan 19, 2000 Waterdeep College of the Ozarks 100 Opportunity Point Lookout, MO 417-334-6411 7 pm, free

Jan 21, 2000 Waterdeep Hear and Now, Cornerstone Church 120 Cornerstone Drive Gray (near Johnson City), TN 423-282-1676 9 pm, $8

Jan 22, 2000

Waterdeep w/ Derek Webb Pelham Civic Complex Birmingham, AL 205-620-6448 7:00, $8 in advance

Jan 24, 2000 Waterdeep

First Weslyan Church (coffeehouse) 1501 McFarlan Blvd. Tuscaloosa, AL 205-752-4251 7:30 pm, $5

Jan 26, 2000 Waterdeep Trinity College

2065 Half Day Rd. Deerfield, IL 847-317-8109 8 pm, free

Jan 27, 2000 Waterdeep Benedictine University Lile, IL

Jan 28, 2000

Waterdeep Trinity Christian College

Palos Heights, IL

Jan 29, 2000 Waterdeep Jesus Alive Coffeehouse 219 North Pine Lane Bensonville, IL 630-766-5559 7:30 pm, $7 adv., $9 at the door

Jan 30, 2000 Waterdeep Moody College Chicago, IL 9 pm, free

Jan 31, 2000

Waterdeep Open Swim, Kansas Union, University of Kansas Lawrence, KS 9 pm, free

Feb 1, 2000 Waterdeep Newman Center, University of Missouri Columbia, MO 573-874-5424 7:30 pm, $8

Feb 5, 2000 Waterdeep Woodlands Methodist Church 3901 S. Panther Creek Drive The Woodlands, TX 6 pm, free

Feb 10, 2000

Waterdeep The Door 3202 Elm St. Dallas, TX 214-742-3667 7:30 pm, $10

Feb 11, 2000 Waterdeep

The Door 3202 Elm St. Dallas, TX 214-742-3667 9 pm, $10

Feb 12, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Chris Taylor Calvary Worship Center

Austin, TX 6:30 pm, $5

Feb 14, 2000 Waterdeep First Baptist Church, Metro Bible Study 7401 Katy Freeway Houston, TX 713-681-8000 7:30 pm, free

Feb 17, 2000 Waterdeep John Brown University, Cathedral of the Ozarks 2000 W. University Siloam Springs, AR 501-524-7461 7:30 pm, $5

Feb 19, 2000

Waterdeep Boulder Theater 2032 14th St. Boulder, CO 303-786-7030 8 pm, $9 + service charge

Feb 21, 2000 Waterdeep

House of Soul, (at Vanguard church) 4777 N. Church Colorado Springs, CO 719-260-7500 7 pm, $5

Feb 23, 2000 Waterdeep University of Nebraska, Union Ballroom Lincoln, NE 402-475-1585 7:30 pm, $5

Feb 25, 2000 Waterdeep Colonial Church 6200 Colonial Way Edina, MN 612-925-2711 7:30 pm, $5

Feb 26, 2000 Waterdeep The Door Cafe 6421 45th Ave. N. Crystal, MN 612-537-8905 ext. 1407 8 pm, $9 at the door

Feb 27, 2000

Waterdeep (worship for Sunday singles service) Grace Church 5300 France Ave. S. Edina, MN 612-926-1884 6:30 pm, free

Mar 24, 2000 Waterdeep

New Earth Coffeehouse 3953 Walnut Kansas City, MO (816) 753-8544 8 pm, $10

Mar 25, 2000 Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse 3953 Walnut Kansas City, MO (816) 753-8544 8 pm, $10

Mar 26, 2000 Waterdeep William Jewel College Liberty, MO

Mar 30, 2000

Waterdeep Jammin' Java 231 Maple Ave Washington, DC 410-295-0775 7 pm, $10

Mar 31, 2000 Waterdeep

Grove City College, Crawford Auditorium Grove City, PA 724-458-2699 8 pm, $5

Apr 1, 2000 Waterdeep opening for Smalltown Poets Brubaker Auditorium, Messiah College 1 College Ave. Grantham, PA 717-691-6041 7:30 pm, $5 for students, $7 adv, $9 at the door for general public

Apr 5, 2000 waterdeep Studio 412 204 S Main Bentonville, AR 501-254-8434 7 pm, $5

Apr 7, 2000 Waterdeep Mabee Center,Oral Roberts University Tulsa, OK 918-495-6337 7:30 pm, free

Apr 8, 2000

Waterdeep (evening set) Texas A&M University College Station, TX 409-680-8778 free

Apr 8, 2000 Waterdeep (afternoon gig)

Texas A&M University College Station, TX

Apr 10, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Chris Taylor Abilene Christian University, Cullen Auditorium ACU Box 27903 Abilene, TX 915-674-2583 8 pm, $3 adv., $5 at the door

Apr 12, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Chris Taylor Deleware Playhouse 1511 S. Deleware Ave. Tulsa, OK 918-744-1511 7:30 pm, $10

Apr 13, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Chris Taylor Southwest Baptist University Bolivar, MO 7:30 pm, $5

Apr 14, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Chris Taylor

The Venue 2026 East Santa Fe Olathe, KS 913-768-7377 8 pm, $10

Apr 16, 2000 Waterdeep (worship set) Vineyard Christian Fellowship Nashville 822 Airpark Center Drive Nashville, TN 615-360-8463 10 am, free

Apr 20, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Chris Taylor Calvary Chapel 1140 Harrison Ave. Gulf Breeze, FL 850-932-8197 7 pm, $7

Apr 21, 2000 Waterdeep (all worship event celebrating Good Friday) Calvary Chapel 1140 Harrison Drive Gulf Breeze, FL 850-932-8197 7 pm, free

Apr 22, 2000

Waterdeep w/ Chris Taylor Christian International Church Santa Rosa Beach, FL 7:30 pm

Apr 25, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Chris Taylor 12th & Porter 114 12th Ave N. Nashville, TN 615-254-7236 9 pm, $8

Apr 27, 2000 Waterdeep Icthus Festival Wilmore, KY

Apr 28, 2000

Waterdeep w/ Nightshade Mary Union University, Savage Hall Jackson, TN 901-661-5285 7 pm, $5 for Union students, $10 for general admission

Apr 29, 2000 Waterdeep

Brewton Parker College Mt Vernon, GA $5 for students, $8 for general admission

May 5, 2000 Waterdeep Agape Festival Greenville, IL 618-664-1806 TBA

May 6, 2000 Waterdeep (PRIVATE EVENT) The Chart House 11287 Clamath Trail Lakeville, MN 612-435-7156 8 pm, $8

May 12, 2000 Don and Lori Chaffer (acoustic) New Earth Coffeehouse, upstairs Kansas City, MO 816-753-8544 7:30, $10

May 14, 2000

Don & Lori (acoustic) Bridgeway Church 228 W. Hefner Rd. Oklahoma City, OK 405-749-8044 7 pm, $6

Jul 1, 2000

Waterdeep Creation Festival Lancaster, PA

Jul 6, 2000 Waterdeep Cornerstone Music Festival Bushnell, IL

Jul 8, 2000 Waterdeep and 100 Portraits, performing ETWC songs together Cornerstone Music Festival Bushnell, IL

Jul 15, 2000

Waterdeep Sonshine Festival Wilmar, MN 320-235-0119

Jul 20, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Seeds New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO $10

Jul 21, 2000 Waterdeep Everyone’s Festival Kansas City, MO $27 adv., $30 at the door (weekend pass)

Jul 22, 2000

Waterdeep & friends “jam” set Everyone’s Festival Kansas City, MO 6 pm, $27 adv., $30 at the door (weekend pass)

Jul 22, 2000 Waterdeep (evening set)

Everyone’s Festival

Kansas City, MO 9 pm

Jul 26, 2000 Waterdeep (evening set) Spirit West Coast Festival Monterey, CA

Jul 27, 2000 Waterdeep (afternoon acoustic gig) Spirit West Coast Festival Monterey, CA

Jul 29, 2000

Waterdeep Creation Festival (West Coast) George, WA

Jul 30, 2000 Waterdeep The Grange 19720 NE 50th Redmond (Seattle area), WA 425-869-4400 ext 12 or 206-524-5731 8:30 pm, $5

Jul 31, 2000 Waterdeep Canyon Ridge Christian Church 6200 West Lone Mt. RD Las Vegas, NV 702-658-2722 7:30 pm, $5

Aug 27, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Nickel & Dime Tucker Auditoruim MTSU Murfreesboro, TN 615-890-6977 7:30 pm, free for students, $10 for non-students

Sep 22, 2000

Waterdeep Magic Moments Theater, Six Flags Magic Mountain 26101 Magic Mountain Parkway Valencia, CA 661-255-4508 7:00 pm

Sep 23, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Bebo Norman

Campus Mall, Pointe Loma Nazarene College San Diego, CA 619-849-2606 7:00 pm, $5

Sep 24, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Bebo Norman & Kelly Minter The Master’s College 21726 Placerita Canyon Santa Clarita, CA 8:00 pm, free

Sep 27, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Bebo Norman & Kelly Minter Dauphinee Chapel, Pacific Union College 1 Angwin Ave. Angwin, CA 707-965-7121 7:00 pm, $5, $8

Sep 29, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Bebo Norman & Kelly Minter Vineyard of San Luis Obispo 4029 S. Hiquera San Luis Obispo, CA 805-784-9613 8:00 pm, $10

Sep 30, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Bebo Norman & Kelly Minter People’s Church 7172 North Cedar Fresno, CA 559-270-6419 7:30 pm, $6, $8, $10

Oct 1, 2000 Waterdeep (worship set) Bethel Church

933 College View Dr. Redding, CA 530-246-6000 7:00 pm, free

Oct 2, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Bebo Norman & Kelly Minter The Port Theater 1954 Union Ave North Bend, OR 541-269-2022 7:00 pm, $5, $7

Oct 4, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Bebo Norman & Kelly Minter Melrose Auditorium, Linfield College Campus Linfield College McMinnville, OR 8:00 pm, $10

Oct 5, 2000

Waterdeep w/ Bebo Norman & Carolyn Arends Sunset Presbyterian Church Portland, OR 7:00 pm, TBA

Oct 6, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Bebo Norman & Kelly Minter

Eastside Foursquare Church 14520 100th Ave. NE Bothell, WA 425-488-2500 8 pm, $8, $10

Oct 7, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Bebo Norman & Kelly Minter

Graves Gym, Whitworth College Spokane, WA 509-777-4551 7:30 pm, $6

Oct 13, 2000 Waterdeep Geiger Center, Oklahoma Baptist University Shawnee, OK 405-878-2404 9:00 pm, free

Oct 15, 2000 Waterdeep Glen Erie Colorado Springs, CO 719-260-7500 2:30 PM, $5

Oct 17, 2000

Waterdeep w/ Destination Known Waco Hall, Baylor University Waco, TX 8:00 PM, $8

Oct 20, 2000 Waterdeep w/ The Chris Taylor Orchestra Studio 412 204 S Main Bentonville, AR 501-254-8434 10:00 pm

Oct 21, 2000 Waterdeep w/ The Chris Taylor Orchestra New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO 816-753-8544 7:30 pm, $10

Oct 22, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Matt Banta Zion Church 9th & D Lincoln, NE 402-475-0237 7:00 PM, $7

Oct 27, 2000 Waterdeep w/ The Beep The Chi 9817 Huff-n-Puff Rd. Lakeland (Memphis), TN 901-377-3372 $7

Oct 28, 2000

Waterdeep Calvary Chapel Athens 120 Commerce Blvd. Bogart, GA 706-543-0901 8:00 pm, $5

Oct 31, 2000 Waterdeep

Powerhouse 430 W. Elk Carthage, MO 417-358-8880 7:00 pm, free

Nov 1, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Wilshire The Orpheum Theater Hannibal, MO 573-221-3675 7:00 pm, Gen. Admission: $10 door, $9 adv., $8 for groups of 10 or more Free for full time students

Nov 3, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Five O' Clock People Fine Arts Center, Calvin College Grand Rapids, MI 616-957-6282 7:30 pm, $10

Nov 4, 2000 Waterdeep Jesus Alive Coffeehouse 219 North Pine Lane Bensonville, IL 630-766-5559 7:30 pm, $10

Nov 8, 2000

Waterdeep Cefalu, Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond, LA 504-429-8449 7:00 pm, $8

Nov 8, 2000 Waterdeep

Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond, LA 504-429-8449 1:00 pm, free

Nov 10, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Bill Mallonee & The Vigilantes of Love The Backroom Cafe 228 W. Hefner Rd. Oklahoma City, OK 7:00 pm, $12

Nov 11, 2000 Waterdeep w/ 10,000 Flying & By The Tree Evangel Temple 3800 Barnett Rd. Wichita Falls, TX 940-691-5501 7:00 pm, $5, $7

Nov 12, 2000 Waterdeep Journey Missional Community at Gaston Oaks Baptist Church 8515 Greenville Ave Dallas, TX 214-348-0958 8:00 pm, free

Nov 12, 2000 Waterdeep Journey Missional Community at Gaston Oaks Baptist Church 8515 Greenville Ave Dallas, TX 214-348-0958 5:30 pm, free

Nov 16, 2000

Waterdeep Montreat Chapel/ Fellowship Hall, Montreat College Montreat, NC 7:30 pm, free for students, $5 for non-students

Nov 17, 2000 Waterdeep The New City Cafe Knoxville, TN 865-544-0100 7:30 pm, 8 adv, $10 at door

Nov 18, 2000 Waterdeep Hear and Now Gray, TN 423-282-1676 8:00 pm, $6

Dec 28, 2000 Waterdeep Civic Auditorium 17th & Davenport Omaha, NE 7:15 pm, free

Dec 29, 2000

Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO 816-753-8544 7:30 pm (doors usually open around 7), $10

Dec 30, 2000 Waterdeep w/ Rustin Smith Band

New Earth Coffeehouse Kansas City, MO 816-753-8544 7:30 pm (doors usually open around 7), $10

Dec 31, 2000 Waterdeep Windermere Conference Center Roach, MO 573-346-5200 ext. 675 11:30 PM

Jan 5, 2001 Waterdeep Jammin' Java 231 Maple Ave. Vienna, VA 703-255-1566 9:30 pm, $15

Jan 5, 2001 Waterdeep Jammin' Java 231 Maple Ave. Vienna, VA 703-255-1566 7 pm, $15

Jan 6, 2001

Waterdeep New Attitude 2001, PA Convention Center Ballroom Philadelphia, PA

Jan 8, 2001 Waterdeep Mass Music Building 222 Castle Heights Clarksville, TN

Jan 9, 2001 Waterdeep Poplar Bluff Jr. High 550 N. Westwood Poplar Bluff, MO 7 pm, free

Jan 10, 2001

Waterdeep Ozark Christian College 11 N. Main Joplin, MO 8 pm, $5

Jan 25, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer

Asbury United Methodist Church 61st and Sheridan Tulsa, OK 918-258-6923 7 pm, $7 advance $10 door

Jan 26, 2001 Waterdeep Pike Auditorium <br>

SW Baptist University Bolivar, MO 417-833-4111 2 pm, $4

Jan 27, 2001 Waterdeep Gano Chapel, William Jewell College 500 College Hill Liberty, MO 816-781-7700 x1177 9 pm, $15 for festival, $12 for advance groups of 10+, $5 for WJC students

Mar 31, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer opening for Fernando Ortega Southside Baptist Church Greenville, SC 864-234-7033 7 pm

Apr 1, 2001

Don and Lori Chaffer opening for Fernando Ortega Trinity Presbyterian Church 1728 S. Hull St. Montgomery, AL 334-262-3892 7 pm

Apr 7, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer

Taylor University, Student Union Upland, IN 765-998-5103 7:30 pm, $5 adv, $7 at the door

Apr 8, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer University Church at Purdue 320 North St. W. Lafeyette, IN 765-743-3861 11 am, free

Apr 10, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer 7 Table Coffeehouse 1804 West 18th St. Sedalia, MO 660-829-4550 8 pm, $10

Apr 12, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer Breedlove Auditorium, Westark College 813 North 49th St. Ft. Smith, AR 501-632-4523 7 pm

Apr 13, 2001

Don and Lori Chaffer Mars Hill Espresso Shop 417 E. Douglas Wichita, KS 316-688-4400 8 pm, $10

Apr 14, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer

New Earth Coffeehouse 3953 Walnut Kansas City, MO 816-753-8544 7:30 pm

Apr 17, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer Student Center, Westminister College Fulton, MO 573-592-5456 7 pm, free

Apr 18, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer Central Missouri State Warrensburg, MO 660-422-7924

Apr 19, 2001

Don and Lori Chaffer Fine Arts Center, Bartlesville Wesleyan College 2201 Silver Lake Rd Bartlesville, OK 918-335-6850 7 pm, $5 students, $7 public

Apr 20, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer

Backroom Cafe 228 West Hefner Road Oklahoma City, OK 8 pm, $8

Apr 21, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer The Door 3202 Elm St. Dallas, TX 214-742-3667 9 pm, $10

Apr 22, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer Journey Missional Community at Gaston Oaks Baptist Church 8515 Greenville Ave Dallas, TX 214-348-3555 6 pm, free

Apr 23, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer Squint/Gotee Night, 328 Performance Hall Nashville, TN 615-297-2021 9:30 pm, $5

Apr 24, 2001

Don and Lori Chaffer Third Coast Showcase, 12 & Porter Nashville, TN 615-297-2021 8:30 pm, $8

Apr 25, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer

First United Methodist 317 North Main Altus, OK 580-482-0795 7 pm, 5

Apr 26, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer, Stillwater Rhythm is opening Powerhouse 430 West Elk Carthage, MO 417-358-8880 7 pm, $7

Apr 27, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer opening for Fernando Ortega Trinity International University, Meyer Sports Complex Deerfield, IL 847-345-8800 7:30 pm

Apr 28, 2001

RESCHEDULED: check back soon for more details New City Cafe 102 S. Central St. Knoxville, TN 865-544-0100 7 pm early show 9:15 pm late show, $8 adv $10 at the door

Apr 28, 2001

Don and Lori Chaffer opening for Fernando Ortega Gaylord Evangelical Free Church 829 W. Main St. Gaylord, MI 517-732-9732 7 pm

Apr 29, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer opening for Fernando Ortega

Ross Bible Church Port Huron, MI 800-989-9637 6 pm

May 1, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer opening for Fernando Ortega Reardon Auditorium 1105 E Fifth St. Anderson, IN 317-839-1092 7:30pm

May 3, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer opening for Fernando Ortega Smith Opera House Rochester (Geneya), NY 607-776-4151 7 pm

May 4, 2001

Don and Lori Chaffer opening for Fernando Ortega Broom County Memorial Arena Binghamton, NY 607-776-4151 7:30 pm

May 5, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer opening for Fernando Ortega

Reglenna Civic Center Jamestown, NY 607-776-4151 7 pm

May 10, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer opening for Fernando Ortega America’s Keswick 601 Route 530 Whiting, NJ 800-453-7942 7:30 pm

May 11, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer opening for Fernando Ortega The Riviera Theater N. Towanda, NY 607-776-4151 7:30 pm, tba

May 12, 2001

Don and Lori Chaffer opening for Fernando Ortega First Assembly of God Ft. Wayne, IN 219-484-1029 7 pm

Jun 14, 2001 Waterdeep

One Festival Memphis, TN

Jun 15, 2001 Waterdeep One Festival Memphis, TN

Jun 16, 2001 Waterdeep One Festival Memphis, TN

Jul 4, 2001

Waterdeep on Main Stage Cornerstone Festival Bushnell, IL

Jul 5, 2001 Waterdeep cornerstone beach worship bushnell, il midnight

Jul 13, 2001 Waterdeep–CANCELLED Sonshine Festival Willmar, MN

Aug 24, 2001

Waterdeep First Wesleyan Church 1501 McFarland Drive Tuscaloosa, AL 8 pm, free

Aug 26, 2001 Waterdeep

12th & Porter 12th Ave & Porter corner Nashville, TN 8:30 pm, $6

Aug 26, 2001 Waterdeep

12th & Porter corner of 12th & Porter Nashville, TN 8:30 pm, $6

Sep 1, 2001 Waterdeep

Rock the Light Festival <br/> Starlight Theatre Kansas City, MO 615-771-1818 6:55 pm

Sep 3, 2001 Waterdeep

Vanguard Church 3950 N. Academy Blvd Colorado Springs, CO 7:00, $5

Sep 6, 2001 Waterdeep with Ten Shekel Shirt opening Snow Fine Arts Center Monticello, AR 870-367-5031 7 pm, free

Sep 7, 2001 Waterdeep with Ten Shekel Shirt opening The Door 2521 Rodeo Plaza Ft. Worth, TX 214-742-3667 8 pm, $10

Sep 8, 2001 Waterdeep with Ten Shekel Shirt opening The Door 3202 Elm St. Dallas, TX 214-742-3667 8 pm, $10

Sep 9, 2001

Waterdeep with Ten Shekel Shirt opening Southern Hills Baptist Church 5690 S. Lewis Tulsa, OK 918-743-8897 7:30 pm, $9 & $11

Sep 10, 2001

Waterdeep with Ten Shekel Shirt opening Library Lawn <br> Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK 918-693-6169 7 pm, free

Sep 12, 2001

Waterdeep with Ten Shekel Shirt opening Nu Brew Springfield, MO 417-866-8186 7 pm, 12

Sep 13, 2001 CANCELLED–Waterdeep with Ten Shekel Shirt opening

Lincoln Christian College Chapel Lincoln, IL 217-732-7788 7:30 pm

Sep 14, 2001 Waterdeep with Ten Shekel Shirt opening Heart and Soul Cafe Mt. Prospect, IL 847-506-1024 7:30 pm, $8

Sep 15, 2001 Waterdeep with Ten Shekel Shirt opening University Church <br> Purdue University 320 N. State West Layfayette, IN 765-743-3861 7:30 pm, $7.50

Sep 19, 2001 Waterdeep with Ten Shekel Shirt opening New City Cafe (outside) Knoxville, TN 865-544-0100 7 pm & 9:30 pm, $10 & $12

Sep 20, 2001 Waterdeep with Ten Shekel Shirt opening Gaither Chapel <br> Montreat College 1267 Gaither Circle Montreat, NC 282-669-8012 x3634 7:30 pm, $8 & $10

Sep 21, 2001 Waterdeep with Ten Shekel Shirt opening Shorty <br> Columbia International Columbia, SC 803-735-8343 x2050 8 pm, $5 students $8 public

Sep 22, 2001 Waterdeep with Ten Shekel Shirt opening Calvary Chapel 120 Commerce Blvd Bogart, GA 706-543-0901 8 pm, $10

Sep 23, 2001 Waterdeep with Ten Shekel Shirt opening City Church Lee Highway Chattanooga, TN 404-257-2232 7:30 pm, $5

Sep 26, 2001

Waterdeep 12th & Porter corner of 12th & Porter Nashville, TN 8:30 pm, $6

Sep 27, 2001

Waterdeep The Chi 9817 Huff N Puff Lakeland, TN 901-377-2991 7:30 pm, $8

Sep 29, 2001 Waterdeep

University of Oklahoma <br> outdoor stage Norman, OK 405-366-6822 7 pm, free

Sep 30, 2001 Waterdeep

Kansas Union Ballroom <br> Kansas University Lawrence, KS 785-865-0545 7 pm, $7

Nov 5, 2001 Don Chaffer

Taft 2115 Taft Houston, TX 713-545-8985 7 pm, $5

Dec 12, 2001 Don Chaffer Heights Baptist Church <br>

Student Ministry Bldg. 201 W Renner Rd Richardson, TX 972-231-6047 7:15 pm, free

Dec 28, 2001 Don and Lori Chaffer The New Earth Coffeehouse 3953 Walnut Kansas City, MO (816)753-8544 7:30, $10

Dec 29, 2001 Waterdeep with Peppershaker The New Earth Coffeehouse 3953 Walnut Kansas City, MO (816)753-8544 7:30, $10

Jan 3, 2002 Waterdeep Cornerstone Festival tba

Jan 11, 2002 Waterdeep

Christ Church 5500 W 91st St. Overland Park, KS 913-648-2271 x217 7 pm, $10 advance $12 door

Jan 25, 2002 Waterdeep trio (w/o Lori and Christena) Nu Brew 300 E Sunshine Springfield, MO 417-866-8186 8 pm, $10

Jan 26, 2002 Waterdeep trio (w/o Lori and Christena) Pike Auditorium <br> SW Baptist University Bolivar, MO 417-833-4111 2 pm, $4

Feb 21, 2002 Waterdeep and Peppershaker The Door 3202 Elm St. Dallas, TX 214-742-3667 8 pm, $10

Feb 22, 2002 Waterdeep Soul Cafe 1200 9th St. Wichita Falls, TX 940-723-2764 7 pm, $10

Feb 23, 2002

Waterdeep and Peppershaker The Backroom 228 W Hefner Oklahoma City, OK 405-749-8044 7 pm, $8 advance $12 door

Mar 15, 2002 Don Chaffer & Brandon Graves

Jammin' Java 231 Maple Ave. Vienna, VA 703-255-1566 7 & 9:30 pm, $10 advance $12 door

Mar 16, 2002 Don Chaffer & Brandon Graves

Courtsquare Theater 61 Graham St. Harrisonburg, VA 540-433-9189 for tickets 4 & 8 pm, $7 advance $10 door

Mar 22, 2002 Waterdeep

The Dickson Theater Fayetteville, AR 501-443-4600 7 pm, $8 advance $10 door

Mar 24, 2002 Waterdeep Greater Southwest Guitar Show Dallas, TX 972-333-5830 afternoon tba, $15

Apr 10, 2002 fyi: Waterdeep without Lori Chaffer

Apr 11, 2002 Waterdeep

Henderson Hills Baptist 2300 S Boulevard Edmond, OK 405-348-0116 attn. Erica 8 pm, $10

Apr 12, 2002 Waterdeep Common Ground Coffeehouse 324 West Main St. Norman, OK 405-321-1753 7 pm, $10

Apr 13, 2002 Waterdeep Asbury United Methodist 60th & Sheridan Tulsa, OK 918-855-9879 8 pm, $10 advance $12 door

Apr 14, 2002 Waterdeep First United Methodist Church Family Life Center 800 S. Ninth St. Midlothian, TX 972-723-3993 doors open 6 pm, $8 advance $10 door

Apr 14, 2002 Waterdeep Vineyard Christian Fellowship 3536 NW 8th Ave Gainesville, FL 7pm, $7 advance, $10 door

Apr 18, 2002

CANCELLED–Waterdeep Solomon’s Porch 3902 N.E. Riverside Rd. St. Joseph, MO 816-233-1557 7 pm, free

Apr 19, 2002 Waterdeep

New Earth Coffeehouse 3953 Walnut Kansas City, MO 816-931-8650 7:30 pm, $10

Apr 20, 2002 Don and Lori Chaffer New Earth Coffeehouse 3953 Walnut Kansas City, MO 816-931-8650 7:30 pm, $10

Apr 25, 2002 CANCELLED–Peppershaker Dickson Theater Fayetteville, AR

Apr 26, 2002

Peppershaker The Door Dallas, TX 8 pm, tba

Apr 27, 2002 Peppershaker Island Party (bands start around 5 pm)<br> University of Oklahoma Norman, OK 6-ish pm, free

May 31, 2002 Waterdeep Christ’s Church 5500 W 91st St. Overland Park, KS 913-648-2271 x217 7 pm, $5-$8

Jun 28, 2002 Waterdeep with Peppershaker and Trump Dawgs opening Metro Christian 12416 Grandview Rd. Grandview, Mo 816-765-2822 7 pm, $10.40

Jul 13, 2002

Waterdeep Spirit Fest–Acacia Park Colorado Springs, CO 719-593-0253 7 pm, free

Jul 19, 2002 Waterdeep

Festival of the New Earth–10 year Anniversary 3953 Walnut Kansas City, MO approx. 9 pm, $10 ($20 for both Fri & Sat)

Jul 20, 2002 Waterdeep Festival of the New Earth–10 year Anniversary 3953 Walnut Kansas City, MO approx. 9 pm, $15 ($20 for both Fri & Sat)

Aug 1, 2002 Peppershaker/Don Chaffer & Waterdeep A Buck A Band 105th and Louisville <br> Brush Creek Ranch Barn Tulsa, OK Peppershaker at 8pm; Don Chaffer at 9 pm, a buck a band!

Oct 10, 2002 Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening The Flamingo Cantina 515 East Sixth Street Austin, TX 512-494-9336 7:30 pm, $8

Oct 11, 2002 Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening The Door 3202 Elm Street Dallas, TX 214-742-3667 8 pm, $10

Oct 12, 2002

Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening The Backroom 228 West Hefner Road Oklahoma City, OK 405-749-8044 8 pm, $10

Oct 13, 2002 Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening

The Loft Coffeehouse 1730 S. Boston Avenue Tulsa, OK 7 pm, $10

Oct 14, 2002 Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening The Loft Coffeehouse 1730 S. Boston Avenue Tulsa, OK 7 pm, $10

Oct 16, 2002 Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening The Lyceum University of North Texas Denton, TX 940-300-3474 7 pm, $8

Oct 17, 2002 Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening The Gathering 4400 S. RL Thorton Freeway Dallas, TX 214-376-8208 7 pm, $5 donation

Oct 19, 2002

Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening The Woodlands United Methodist Church 2200 Lake Woodlands Dr The Woodlands, TX 281- 297-5941 7:30 pm, $7 at door only

Oct 20, 2002 Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening

Jane Monday Amphitheatre

1212 Ave M (behind City Hall) Huntsville, TX 936-295-3819 7 pm, free

Oct 23, 2002 Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening Canal Street Tavern 308 East First Dayton, OH 937-461-9343 9 pm, $10

Oct 24, 2002 Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening Joe’s Java House 18 South Mulberry Wilmington, OH 937-382-8359 8 pm, $7

Oct 25, 2002 Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening Heart and Soul Cafe 253 E Rand Rd. Mt. Prospect/Chicago, IL 847-506-1024 7:30pm, $10

Oct 26, 2002

Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening Rock Solid 75 West 3rd Street Winona, MN 507-452-2125 8 pm, $10

Oct 27, 2002 Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones

Bluer Heart Alive Theater 5801 John Martin Dr Brooklyn Center, MN 612-741-2583 7 pm, $8

Oct 29, 2002 Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening Nu Brew–this is NOT cancelled! sorry! 300 East Sunshine Springfield, MO 417-866-8186 7 pm, $10

Oct 29, 2002 Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening cancelled Edmond, OK

Oct 30, 2002

Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening Sticky Fingers 107 S Commerce Little Rock, AR 501-372-1151 8:30 pm, $5

Nov 1, 2002 Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening

New Earth Coffeehouse 3953 Walnut Kansas City, MO 816-931-8650 7:30 pm, $10

Nov 2, 2002 Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening Quest First Evangelical Free 1375 Carmen Rd Manchester, MO 314-227-0125 6 pm, free

Nov 3, 2002 Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening Dickson Theater 227 W. Dickson St. Fayetteville, AR 501-443-4600 8 pm, $8

Nov 4, 2002 Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening Germantown–Metro Bible Study Sanctuary 9450 Poplar Ave Germantown, TN 901-756-9450 7 pm, free

Nov 5, 2002

Waterdeep w/ Matthew Perryman Jones opening King College Chapel Campus Bristol, TN 423-652-4743 8 pm, $8

Nov 7, 2002 Waterdeep

The Bottleneck (18 & over) 737 New Hampshire Lawrence, KS 785-749-3655 10 pm, $7 advance $8 door

Dec 27, 2002 Don and Lori Chaffer

New Earth Coffeehouse 3953 Walnut Kansas City, MO 816-931-8650 7:30 pm, $10

Dec 28, 2002 Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse 3953 Walnut Kansas City, MO 816-931-8650 7:30 pm, $10

Dec 29, 2002 Waterdeep One Thing Young Adult Conference Kansas City, KS $35

Jan 20, 2003

Peppershaker (Brandon, UJ and Steve) The Shamrock 1724 W Douglas Wichita, KS 316-267-6655 9:30pm, $3

Feb 5, 2003 Waterdeep

Ozark Christian College 1111 North Main Joplin, MO 417-624-2518 7:30 pm, $6 advance, $10 door

Feb 6, 2003 Waterdeep opening for Sixpence None the Richer Central Christian Church 2900 N Rock Rd Wichita, KS 7:30 pm, $16 balcony $20 floor

Feb 7, 2003 Waterdeep Coffee Crossing 144 S Mason St. Ft. Collins, CO 970-498-0335 8 pm, $7

Feb 8, 2003 Waterdeep The Flatirons Theater University Hill 1089 13th Street Boulder, CO 303.442.1944 8 pm, $10 advance, $12 door

Feb 9, 2003

Waterdeep 32 Blue 32 S Tejon St. Colorado Springs, CO 719-955-5664 9:30 pm, $10

Mar 18, 2003 Waterdeep

Sticky Fingerz 107 S Conmerce St. Little Rock, AR 501-372-1151 9 pm, $6

Mar 19, 2003 Waterdeep Ouachita Baptist University Jones Performing Arts Center Arkadelphia, AR 870-245-5539 7:30 pm, $5 advance, $10 door

Mar 23, 2003 Waterdeep Tabernacle Baptist Church–CLOSED SHOW 150 Tabernacle Dr Carrollton, GA 770-832-7063 10:30 am

Mar 24, 2003 Waterdeep Indiana Wesleyan University 4201 South Wasington Marion, IN 765.677.8783 7 pm, $5 advance, $10 door

Mar 25, 2003

Waterdeep Christian Center Church 530 E Ireland Rd South Bend, IN 7 pm, $5 advance, $10 door

Mar 26, 2003 Waterdeep

Christian Missionary Alliance Church 5601 W Jackson St. Muncie, IN 765-282-6119 7 pm, $7

Mar 28, 2003 Waterdeep Alumni Hall Quinnipiac University

275 Mount Carmel ave. Hamden, CT 203-582-8673 9 pm, free

Mar 29, 2003 Waterdeep Parker Hill Community Church 607 N Abington Rd. Clarks Summit, PA 8:30 pm, $8

Mar 30, 2003 Waterdeep Calvery Chapel 126 Sharp Hill Rd Uncasville, CT 860-848-7400 9am/11am

Mar 31, 2003

Waterdeep Drifters 17 Factory St Nashua, NH 603-595-5200 8 pm, $10

Apr 3, 2003 Waterdeep

Shenandoah Academy–CLOSED SHOW 234 West Lee Hwy New Market, VA 540-740-3161 x209 7 pm, CLOSED

Apr 4, 2003 Waterdeep Parsons Church of God–CANCELLED 509 Central Ave. Parsons, WV 304-478-2910 6 pm, $7 advance, $10 door, $5 group of 10+

Apr 5, 2003 Waterdeep Life Center 411 South 40th St. Harrisburg, PA 6pm doors, 7pm show, $10

Apr 6, 2003

Waterdeep Harvest Assembly 525 Kempsville Rd Chesapeake, VA 757-547-7717 7:30 pm, $10

Apr 7, 2003 Waterdeep

VENUE CHANGE–Grace Church Old Forest Rd. Lynchburg, VA 434.832.1032 8 pm, $8

Apr 8, 2003 Waterdeep–CANCELLED The Salvage Yard 225 Main St. Seneca, SC 864-985-0708 7:30 pm, $10

Apr 8, 2003 Waterdeep Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church–CANCELLED 3307 Rea Road Charlotte, NC 704-364-1234 7 pm, $10

Apr 9, 2003 Waterdeep Fathom

412 Market St. Chattanooga, TN 8 pm, $10

Apr 10, 2003

Waterdeep New City Cafe

116 South Central Knoxville, TN 865-544-0100 8 pm, $12

Apr 11, 2003 Waterdeep

Calvery Chapel 120 Commerce Blvd. Athens, GA 706-543-0901 8:30 pm, $8 advance, $12 door

Apr 12, 2003 Waterdeep Murray Hill Theater 932 Edgewood Ave. South Jacksonville, FL 904-388-3179 8 pm, $8 advance, $10 door

Apr 13, 2003 Waterdeep Zion Christian Church 891 Coply St. SE Palm Bay, FL 321-723-1216 6pm, $8

Apr 15, 2003 Waterdeep Agape Life Fellowship 1224 Pedrick Rd. Tallahassee, FL 850-219-8088 7 pm, $10 adv, $12 door

Apr 16, 2003

Waterdeep Gulfshore Baptist Assembly–CANCELLED

100 First St Pass Christian, MS 228-452-7261 7 pm

Apr 17, 2003 Waterdeep

Park Place Baptist Church 5701 Hwy. 80 East Pearl, MS 601-939-6282 7 pm, $7 advance, $10 door, $5 group

Apr 19, 2003 Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse 3953 Walnut St. Kansas City, MO 816-931-8650 7 pm, $10

May 10, 2003 Peppershaker–original lineup (Brandon, Christena, Ty, Lee, UJ) The Shamrock 1724 W Douglas Wichita, KS 316-267-3100 10 pm, $3

May 18, 2003 Peppershaker Paradise Cafe Downtown Mass St. Lawrence, KS 10am-2pm, free

Jun 27, 2003

Peppershaker Paradise Cafe Downtown Mass St. Lawrence, KS 10pm, $3

Jun 28, 2003 Peppershaker

opening for Grampa’s Goodtime Fandango JR’s Lightbulb Club Fayetteville, AR 10:30, doors at 9pm

Jul 4, 2003 Waterdeep Cornerstone Festival<br>

Grassroots Acoustic Tent Bushnell, IL 4:30 pm

Aug 1, 2003 Songwriter Circle (Lori Chaffer, Sandra McCracken, Katy Bowser) Third and Lindsley 818 3rd Ave. S Nashville, TN 615-259-9891 7 pm, $10

Aug 2, 2003 Songwriter Circle (Lori Chaffer, Sandra McCracken, Katy Bowser) New City Cafe 116 S Central Knoxville, TN 865-544-0100 7:30pm, $10

Aug 8, 2003 Waterdeep Cornerstone Festival NC <br> Coffeehouse Elon, NC

Aug 14, 2003

Songwriter Circle (Lori Chaffer, Sandra McCracken, Katy Bowser) Epicenter Coffeehouse Boulder Theater 1089 13th St. Boulder, CO 303-522-5544 7:30 pm, $12

Aug 15, 2003 Songwriter Circle (Lori Chaffer, Sandra McCracken, Katy Bowser)

Vanguard Church 4777 North Church Colorado Springs, CO 719-260-7500 7:30 pm, $10

Aug 16, 2003 Songwriter Circle (Lori Chaffer, Sandra McCracken, Katy Bowser) Every Day Joe’s 1136 E Stuart, Ste 310 Ft. Collins, CO 970-498-0335 9 pm, $10

Aug 24, 2003 Peppershaker Jam Night La Tasca

943 Mass. Downtown Lawrence, KS 10 PM, $3

Aug 28, 2003

Peppershaker opening for Red Guitar Jazzhaus

926 1/2 Mass. Downtown Lawrence, KS 10 PM, $3

Aug 29, 2003 Peppershaker

The Shamrock Wichita, KS 10 PM, $3

Oct 10, 2003 Waterdeep Flat Irons Theater 1089 13th St. Boulder, CO 303-442-0702 8 pm, $10

Oct 11, 2003 Waterdeep Everyday Joe’s 114 S Mason St. Ft. Collins, Co 970-498-0335 8 pm, $10

Oct 12, 2003 Waterdeep–mini worship set Pierced Chapel <br> Woodman Valley Chapel Colorado Springs, CO 719-599-8652 x172 6:30 pm

Oct 13, 2003 Waterdeep Pierced Chapel <br> Woodman Valley Chapel Colorado Springs, CO 719-599-8652 x172 7:30 pm, $7

Oct 15, 2003 Waterdeep The Door Dallas, TX

Oct 16, 2003 Waterdeep

Journey Church–Lifestream <br> VENUE CHANGED TO BACKROOM, OKC!!!!! Norman, OK 405-217-8700 7 pm, free

Oct 16, 2003 Waterdeep

The Backroom 228 W Heffner Oklahoma City, OK 405- 749-8044 8 pm, $10

Oct 17, 2003 Waterdeep California House 946 California Blvd. Fayetteville, AR 479-381-0523 9 pm, $10

Oct 18, 2003 Waterdeep New Earth Coffeehouse 3953 Walnut Kansas City, M 816-931-8650 7:30 pm, $12 door, adv: www.itickets.com

Oct 20, 2003 Waterdeep with Ester drang, Karl Blau, and Dave Matthies Taylor University Recital Hall 236 W Reade Ave Upland, IN 765-998-5649 9:15 Waterdeep

Oct 21, 2003

Waterdeep The Potter’s Cup 123 1/2 S. Walnut Bloomington, IN 812-339-7208 8:30 pm, $10

Oct 23, 2003 Waterdeep

Greenville College–CANCELLED Greenville, IL

Oct 23, 2003 Waterdeep Muncie Alliance Church 5601 W Jackson Muncie, IN 765-282-6119 8:30, $6.00

Oct 24, 2003 Waterdeep Heart and Soul Cafe 253 E Rand Rd. Mt Prospect, IL 7 pm, $10

Oct 25, 2003

Waterdeep Calvin College <br> Fine Arts Center Grand Rapids, MI 616-957-6065 tba, $3 students $10 public

Mar 11, 2004

Don Chaffer–an evening of music and conversation Toto’s Coffeehouse 6915 Johnson Dr Kansas City/Merriam, KS 7:30 pm, free

Apr 30, 2004 Waterdeep–farewell to touring show

New Earth Coffeehouse 3953 Walnut Kansas City, MO 7:30 pm, $12

May 1, 2004 Waterdeep–farewell to touring show New Earth Coffeehouse 3953 Walnut Kansas City, MO 7:30 pm, $12

Jul 17, 2004 Don and Lori Chaffer New Earth Coffeehouse–12 Year Anniversary 3953 Walnut Kansas City, MO 7:30pm, $12 door www.itickets.com

Nov 3, 2004 Don & Lori Chaffer Gaslight Tavern 401 N 2nd St Lawrence, KS 8pm, $5

Feb 25, 2005 Don Chaffer w/ Nick Nave (of Red Guitar) NOTE DATE CHANGE! Signs Of Life Bookstore 722 Massachusetts Lawrence, KS (785) 830-8030 8:00, $3 suggested

Mar 10, 2005

Don Chaffer Solo Acoustic Mountain Music Shoppe Parlor 12710 Shawnee Mission Parkway Shawnee, KS 913-962-9711 7:00 p.m., $12

Apr 2, 2005 Don’s Studio Grand Opening

Culture House 14808 W 117th St Olathe, KS 913-648-0333 8pm, free admission

May 1, 2005 Don Chaffer playing a song or 2 in Ecclesia’s evening service Ecclesia Church 802 Shepherd Drive Houston, TX 713.622.1846 5:30, free admission

May 1, 2005 Don Chaffer Solo Acoustic Show THIS Sunday night! Ecclesia Arts Center/Venue 2115 2115 Taft Street Houston, TX 713.622.1846 8pm, $5 cover

Jun 11, 2005 Don Chaffer & The Gentlemen Adventurers playing at Gerram Mathews' cd release party Westport CoffeeHouse Theater 4010 Pennsylvania KC, MO 816.756.3222 8pm, $5

Apr 7, 2006 Waterdeep & Robbie Seay Band in Toronto Tyndale College www.tyndale.ca Toronto, ON 7:00pm, free admission, Don & Lori will play approx. 4 songs at this show

Apr 8, 2006 Waterdeep & Robbie Seay Band in Barrington, IL Willow Creek Community Church www.generationaxis.com South Barrington, IL 5:30pm, free admission, Don & Lori will play approx. 4 songs at this show

Apr 9, 2006 Waterdeep & Robbie Seay Band in Barrington, IL Willow Creek Community Church- High School Student Impact www.generationaxis.com South Barrington, IL 11:00am, free admission, Don & Lori will play approx. 4 songs at this show

Apr 9, 2006 Waterdeep & Robbie Seay Band in Chesterfield, MO Windsor Crossing Community Church www.windsorcrossing.org Chesterfield, MO 7:00pm, free admission, Don & Lori will play approx. 4 songs at this show

Apr 11, 2006 Waterdeep & Robbie Seay Band in Franklin, TN The People’s Church www.ikoncommunity.com Franklin, TN 7:00pm, free admission, Don & Lori will play approx. 4 songs at this show

Apr 12, 2006 Waterdeep & Robbie Seay Band in Snellville, GA Highpoint Community Church www.the-point.org Snellville, GA 7:00pm, free admission, Don & Lori will play approx. 4 songs at this show

Apr 13, 2006 Waterdeep & Robbie Seay Band in Lexington, KY University of Kentucky www.ukcsf.org Lexington, KY 7:00pm, free admission, Don & Lori will play approx. 4 songs at this show

Apr 14, 2006 Waterdeep & Robbie Seay Band in Pine Bluff, AR First Presbyterian Church www.1stchurchpb.org Pine Bluff, AR 7:00pm, free admission, Don & Lori will play approx. 4 songs at this show

Jul 4, 2006 Life Church 4th of July Celebration Life Church 16111 Lone Elm Rd Olathe, KS 913 829 7511 event begins at 5pm, concert begins at 6pm, Jared Scholz to open, free admission, outdoor venue so all are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets

Aug 17, 2006

Waterdeep trio (w/o Lori) Church of the Resurrection 13720 Roe Ave. Leawood, KS 913-745-2245 ask for janelle 7:00 p.m., free

Sep 19, 2006 Don Chaffer

The Radio Cafe 1313 Woodland St Nashville, TN 615 227 0018 8:00 p.m., ?

Oct 7, 2006 Don Chaffer The Altar- YouthFront Camp South 22626 E. 2400 Road Lacygne, KS (800) 880-5932 or (913) 262-3900 8:00pm, $15 day pass

Jan 23, 2007 Waterdeep minus Lori Closed Event

Apr 14, 2007 Don Chaffer Solo Acoustic Show

Bridgeway Art Gathering “Art as Conversation” 228 West Hefner Road Oklahoma City, OK 7pm, free, donations accepted

Jul 29, 2007 Waterdeep (Don & Lori)

The Gathering 8301 Lamar Overland Park, KS 913.341.5820 7pm

Aug 4, 2007 Waterdeep (Don & Lori)

The Backroom (behind Bridgeway Church) 228 W Hefner Rd Oklahoma City, OK 8:00pm, $7 at the door

Sep 15, 2007 Waterdeep (Don & Lori) at Justice Jam 2007

Church Of The Resurrection: Student Center 137th & Roe Leawood, KS 8:00pm, suggested donation of $5, all proceeds go to Justice For Children International

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Well to be a traveling beard you have to do as the name implies, travel. As of late though my mode of transportation has been less than reliable from week to week. While battling problems with the Honda I’ve had to rely heavily upon the Fiat to fill in the gaps. However it has had it’s own problems too. We drove it up to watch the Rally races at the end of February in Salem, Rolla, Steelville area and she drove like a dream the whole way up. We even got pulled over for speeding by the highpo. Speeding in a car with 50 horsepower, it can be done. The second day though while we were winding our way into the back woods it started to cut out and bog down. This is not a good development on a one lane dirt road that curves unexpectedly, crosses rivers and the altitude climbs and drops dramatically while being followed by scores of other cars on their way to the spectator points. Fortunately it held out enough to make it into and out of the first stage of the day, but on our way to the next stage and after having more problems we decided to cut our loses and head home. We didn’t feel like taking the risk of getting stuck in the way of spectators and rally cars alike in the back woods of central Missouri. Good call. About 5-10 minutes outside of Rolla the Fiat rolled to a halt. Nothing we could do could coax her back to life. Dad and I walked a few miles up to a gas station and called home. Between calling and being picked a few hours later up we ran into Henry. Let me tell you Henry is a good guy to run into if your car is on the fritz. He helped tow the car back up to the gas station and even helped us do enough preliminary troubleshooting to get the car running again, albeit roughly. And then even after he left Henry was still on the job checking car manuals and the local parts stores to try and help us out. You couldn’t ask for a better person to cross paths with. The next day we came back up and towed her home. I then spent the next 5 hours working with the distributor, coil and timing to try and resurrect life into this fallen beauty…nothing. Well I can’t say nothing, there was a whole lot of frustration and confusion(and probably swearing) about what was the true root of the issue. A week later with a clear head and a fresh outlook I got everything set back to its proper state and even drove around town without a problem. Then about the time the automatic choke warmed all the way up though(that’s the closest I can figure) the car started behaving poorly again. I limped her back home and later on in the week went to remove the carburetor to order a rebuild kit and while taking it off the intake manifold I noticed a few loose jet screws on the top of the carb. After tightening these back down whoa black betty bam-a-lam and everything is back in working order. Strangly though the exhaust expansion chamber in the meantime has developed quite the embarrassing rattle, bad enough to try running without a muffler for a little while. While sounding super cool it is just a bit too loud for even me to handle so back on it went. At least she’s running though…for now. Then finally today my honda woes are at an end. After replacing basically all the front end suspension components, motor mounts and then having Honda re-replace the axle shafts that a local shop had done already then voila no more violent shaking car.

I don’t know what I’ll do now that I have two fully functional cars again. Hopefully stop dropping cash into a bottomless bucket long enough to get the land that I’ve been looking at purchased and a home build started. I say home, but the term I favor is Harage. That’s a house collapsed and merged together with a garage. Work areas that flow together with and are an unseparated part of the rest the house. In my mind this is a way to merge relaxation space with project space allowing use of the whole house with minimal disruption to flow, maximum use of resources across spaces, a warm shop area to work in, the ability for people that don’t care to get their hands dirty with a project to still come over and hang out in comfort, and enjoy the media benefits in the home while working on a project. It also facilitates a constant reminder and opportunity to work on your current project because it is basically sitting in your front room. 20 acres, a harage and a slew of Fiats to work on. Is there a better dream? Well there probably is, but for now this is the goal ahead of me.

[pictures]

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Driving home tonight I started to consider single life and why I’m fine with it. At any point in time I can do whatever the hell I want.(Excuse the french, it’s only to emphasize the point) I can drive to KC or Asheville for a show, I can hop in my car and drive 130mph, I can work on whatever project I feel like, I am free to hang out with any one any where at any time. Tell me in what relationship is the same freedom available? If I want to go out for dinner I don’t have to schedule it out 4 weeks in advance in order to match up with someone else’s schedule. I am free to appreciate music and sing along in the car, talk to myself while driving or spend hours driving in prayer. No one around to interject a word or crowd me when I feel like being alone. No one to be quiet for in the morning because I might wake them up. No one’s birthday to remember or family in-laws to deal with. One would think that as the pool of options dries up…dang and I mean literally dries up into a bunch of old ladies, withered and uninteresting or a million times my size, that I would become more desperate and less picky. I’ve found just the opposite is true. The list of specifics that I’m waiting for is much different in kind and nature, but the acceptance of the idea that any woman is as good as another has never received my adherence. To some degree I am still waiting for that smoking hot sweetness to enter from stage right, but I’m not here pining away for her. She can make an entrance or I can continue to live on without her without much detriment to my outlook. Sure it’d be great to have the type of friend that only a woman can be, but I’ve had a few good women friends and even had a pretty cool connection with a few of them. In the end though friendships end and move on, old friends exit and new friends enter. These love interests though holding my attention for a time and in certain cases causing all manner of distress have obviously been of fleeting concern and consequence to my life. Little long term impact other than creating a wary and cautious man. Married people often think they have cornered the market on happiness and fulfillment. I’m glad they’re happy, but how naive to think everyone’s world must revolve around the same things that yours does in order to attain happiness. They haven’t the right to “feel sorry for all their poor lonely single friends”.

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If the WRC came to the US where would an epic location be for it to be hosted? Grand Canyon? Tennessee/Kentucky hills? Death Valley? I feel like championing this cause, but if a bad location produces a poor turn out then that’s it. It’d be years before they even thought about trying it again. Could we even pull it off in the states? We already have so many spectator restrictions and low turn out(in comparison) for our Rally America that I can’t imagine we could produce a turn out for the international drivers that they’ve grown used to elsewhere. Kudos to Ken Block for sticking to a second season in the WRC too. He had a tough year, but is giving it another go. Why didn’t Travis Pastrana make the switch over? He’s shown the most potential and put in a number of years at the top of the pack, but instead of crossing over to the big leagues this year he choose to defect to NASCAR. I mean seriously Pastrana, NASCAR? That’s not quite the edgy type of motor sport that we’re used to seeing you compete in. Sure you would have been competing with the likes of Loeb, Latvala and Solberg, but the determination and drive that you use to push anything on two or four wheels to the limits may have proved a match. You were crucial to our hope for rally to have a resurgence in the states, but now you’ve thrown in the towel with a sport arguably more boring to watch than the PGA tour. Where’s your lust for thrill and excitement now?

But I digress, and probably into complete randomness.

Driving the Fiat has been quite an adventure. It snowed last week after I’d just outfitted new tires onto the old steel rims and so I’ve been driving it around through all of the snow and ice. It gets around amazingly well for such a little guy and minus a couple minor situations that I was able to rock myself out of it didn’t get stuck at all in the snow. If you were one of the lucky spectators you may have seen me sporting a rad blue motorcycle helmet and ski goggles drifting around town at speeds in excess of most 4×4 trucks and the occasional sporty Subaru.

Also last night I had a dream that I was in a large choral ensemble singing Vesuvius from Sufjan Steven’s latests album The Age of Adz(pronounced odds). It’s pretty ridiculous how great his new album is. If you think you knew what he was capable of before or if you’d drawn a box around Sufjan and marked it indie folksy hipster then get out your magic marker and cross out folksy and insert 80s tronic. Ok so not much of a stretch, but it’s quite a deviation from his previous work. I’ve been a fan since ’04 and was pretty used to his old material so you’d think the new album with its electro-synth experimentation would be lost on me. It fits quite well though and seeing his music mature and expand into new areas has been quite fulfilling even for the spectator. I went to see him at the Uptown Theater in KC a few months ago unsure of what would await me there. Three words, ‘Beards and Boots’. When the king of all hipsters calls a convention his followers turn out in droves to show their support. In tribute to his older material on the album Seven Swans he started out the show with a climactic banjo driven rock version of the title with the same name. It was incredible. You’d never be able to guess the the depth and room available to push and drive the song to such new heights. The concert then proceeded into another hour and a half of digital and analog give and take. From song to song he’d demonstrate his prowess to fill the expansive hall with such large tones and melody that you’d think the whole world had to be dancing along with you. Then the advancing tide would draw back to the sea and the intimacy of his music would convince you that he was playing just for you. With a build up from incredible MUTEMATH, Murder by Death and Phoenix shows earlier in the year this was a fitting Zenith for my 2010 musical thrill ride. It’ll be interesting to see what 2011 holds.

Via con Dios, I’m off to my spanish class at OTC.

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Well last weekend Dad and I started in on the Yugo to Fiat engine swap. We powered through until Sunday when we had to get the Fiat rolling so we could get it home and out of the way. Monday I got the water, electrical and gas all hooked up and flowing, but the carburetor is now the hurdle left to clear. Plus a few minor linkages for the accelerator that need fixed before she’ll be drivable. I think tomorrow night I’ve got a pretty good chance of getting all the vacuum lines hooked back up to the right places and she’ll fire right up. Boy that’d be nice. Here’s a couple pictures from the weekend.

[pictures]

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I seem to keep slipping more and more into the grandpa fashions of today’s hipsters. It is an odd mix though because it seemed to happen rather naturally. My grandfathers old cardigan sweaters which have been in my closet for 10+ years without ever seeing the light of day were the first piece adopted. They have the ability of taking even the most stifling office work attire and softening it with a certain Mr Rogers appeal. The double upper chucks that I took on my journey’s so long ago still alternate back and forth with a set of Tom’s I have and also an old man pair of just regular, but also very comfy brown shoes. Attach a beard to all of this and you begin playing with fire. Either the self established non-conformist Eli style that is not tied to any one classification or the full on trendy hipster(that works a day job for “the man” and I might add for the most part really enjoys it.) who succumbs to the fashions of a much younger crowd than what should be attempted by this almost senior citizen. I guess the question should be is all this being done as an expression of who I am and what I enjoy or is it the wedging in of a look into my life so that I can be identified as part of a particular sub culture. There is always the lure to stand out from the norm or fit in with a unique set of people. Particularly because the professional office culture that I’m surrounded by each day feels so much the opposite of who I feel that I am on the inside.(skip down later for another note on this) The beard culture is very much this way. Without the outward sign of the beard the camaraderie of sorts between bearded fellows cannot instantly be recognized and shared between strangers. It provides an almost instant connection to a deeper level of understanding between two people. These outwards signs though do nothing but provide a mask and unless there is inner contentment and self-confidence then the expression cannot be genuine. (self-confidence not to be confused with the power of “believing” in yourself as today’s society might say, having us believe in the power of positivity or thinking of ourselves as supermen, but self-confidence that comes from recognizing the great value that is placed on our being by the God of the universe. Who seeing such a great treasure being lost set into action to redeem it.) …so what does my newly fashioned hipster haircut(with sorta mohawk) that I gave myself last night say?…probably mostly that I should find an actual barber.

note:(in reference when I told you to skip down for another note on this) I do suppose though that this could be a part of the living paradox that is my life. Thoughtful and (somewhat)rational behavior within a non-conformist, weird frame. It’s only fitting that my favorite author GKC steeps his writing in seemingly opposite, but at the same time related and complementary thoughts and beliefs. I grew up Pentecostal slowly migrating to progressive Southern Baptists to eventually an interdenominational church, but now most closely associate some of my core beliefs about faith and the world with a man who started his venture to faith as an agnostic before he wound up a devoted catholic. I work in a professional often very rigid financial industry, but would more closely identify with the lives of a gypsy or a nomad. I’ve learned to love button up boring work shirts and khakis right alongside of the various band tees and ridiculously corny shirts that inhabit my closet. I feel myself as an average person with the ability to understand life from multiple points of view, but don’t see very many other average people with the same ability out there.

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You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion. – G.K. Chesterton

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A car this legendary doesn’t require anything to bolster its legacy and fasten its place in history, but so the automotive history books aren’t entirely filled with sorrow and lamentation when they speak about the Yugo, here are a few jokes.

Why is the Yugo’s rear window heated? To keep your hands warm in the winter while you push it.

How do you double the value of a Yugo? Put a gallon of milk in the back seat.

What takes up the last six pages of the Yugo users’ manual? The train and bus timetables.

What do you call a Yugo with a flat tire? Totaled.

What do you call a Yugo with brakes? Customized.

What is the sport package for a Yugo? A pair of Nike shoes.

What do you call a Yugo with twin exhausts? A wheelbarrow

Why don’t Yugos sustain much damage in a front-end collision? The tow truck takes most of the impact.

How do you get a Yugo to accelerate to 60Mph? Push it off a cliff.

What do you call the shock absorbers inside a Yugo? Passengers.

The Oakland Police captured two men in their Yugo last night. The men are being held as suspects in the city’s first push-by shooting.

A man walks into an auto parts store and says, “I’ll take a gas cap for a Yugo.” “Sounds like a fair trade”, says the counter worker.

Definition of an optimist: A Yugo owner with a radar detector.

Why don’t Yugo owners carry a map? They never get far enough to get lost.

What do you do if your Yugo goes through a swarm of killer bees? Stop pushing and take refuge in the car.

What is the difference between a golf ball and a Yugo? You can drive a golf ball 200 yards.

How do you turbocharge a Yugo? Roll down the window, turn your head towards the rear and sneeze.

———- A guy driving a Yugo pulled up to a stoplight next to a Rolls Royce. He rolled down his window and shouted to the driver of the Rolls. “Hey, buddy, that’s a nice car. You got a phone in your Rolls? I’ve got a phone in my Yugo!”

The driver of the Rolls looked over and said snobbishly, “Yes, I have a phone.”

The driver of the Yugo said, “That’s great man! Hey, you got a TV in there? You know, I got a TV in the back seat of my Yugo!”

The driver of the Rolls, quite irritated by now, replied, “Of course, I have a television. A Rolls Royce is the finest luxury car in the world!”

The driver of the Yugo said, “Yes, a very cool car! Hey, you got a bed in there? I got a bed in the back of my Yugo!”

The driver of the Rolls, upset that he did not have a bed, sped away and went straight to the dealer, where he promptly ordered a bed to be installed in the back of his Rolls Royce. The next morning, he returned to pick up his car, and the bed looked superb. It came complete with silk sheets and a brass-trimmed headboard. It was clearly a bed fit for a Rolls-Royce. So the driver of the Rolls began searching for the Yugo. He drove around all day and finally found the Yugo late that night. It was parked, with all the windows fogged up from the inside. He got out and knocked on the window of the Yugo. When there wasn’t any answer, he continued knocking and knocking until finally, the owner of the Yugo lowered the window, and stuck his soaking wet head out. “I now have a bed in the back of my Rolls-Royce,” the driver of the Rolls stated arrogantly.

The driver of the Yugo looked at him narrowly and said, “You got me out of the shower to tell me THIS?!?!

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Quick update. I just recently acquired an old Yugo in a straight across the board trade for the 99 VW Jetta that I had sitting that could only drive in reverse(long story). A salvage yard in Topeka had posted it up for sale and when it didn’t meet the reserve on Ebay(it was only bid up to $300 and some change) I offered a trade. In my mind I was just ecstatic to be getting rid of this piece of crap VW and it’s frozen bolts around the transmission that have just been laughing at me. So I loaded up dad’s truck and the trailer and during one of the windiest days we’ve had in a while I drove it up to swap it out. Not before accidentally ripping off the bumper entirely on the VW while trying to get it rolled up onto the trailer. On the west bound roads I had to back off the gas to keep the trailer from whipping all over the road, no fun task when driving through 435 in Kansas City, but made it there finally.

They used the fork truck to pick up and lift the Yugo over to the trailer since they couldn’t find the key and the steering column was locked up. I got her tied down and headed back home. The yugo was much easier to to tow on the way home, compared to the VW it was like pulling a bag of feathers. I spent most of the day yesterday extracting the door handle to get take the lock over to a locksmith friend of the family, but after all that work the ignition and door keys of course weren’t the same. Dad convinced me to leave all the crazy hot rod stickers plastered on the windows, but I did go ahead and pull out the junk window tinting that they’d put in. I replaced a couple tires so that we could eventually drive it off the trailer. Then after our key discovery worked for a while trying to remove the ignition lock cylinder with no success. After working for an hour or so trying not to destroy the mechanism and cleanly extract it I gave up, it is just a Yugo, and went the screwdriver driven into the lock assembly route to get the wheel lock to disengage. Then for the first time ever I got to work on hot wiring a car. A short while later she roared to life and I was able to pull it down from the trailer into the garage.

On the way back to my apartment tonight I began mulling over the idea of just pulling this engine and fitting it temporarily until the master rebuild of the Fiat’s engine is done to my satisfaction. So if everything works out Dustin you can have your storage area back and I’ll have my 128 back on the road. Although the Yugo was just begging to be put to use in all manner of rally applications, for now she’s just going to be an organ donor. If she sticks around long enough though I can see some ridiculous fender flares, ground effects and spoilers a la Killer B rally car style being installed and maybe a 1500cc engine being dropped back in along with a roll cage.

Here she is in all her glory.

[pictures]

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So I’ve been meaning to give an update on the Fiat saga for a while. Late last December I went outside to start her up and she made a pretty heinous grinding noise when I turned over the key. I was thinking starter grind possibly as it still ran and didn’t sound rough so while curious about what on earth could possibly have made the noise I didn’t have time to check into it any further. Then on Christmas she wouldn’t start at all. Fuel was getting there and spark was good, but it just turned and turned but wouldn’t fire. I didn’t really have too much time to look into it so I had to move on. Luckily this happened before I had the chance to drive it down to Atlanta for New Years Eve and get myself stuck.

Ever since I’d first picked up the car I’d intended on ramping up into rebuild/restore mode, but didn’t have the motivation or time to do it until now. So fast forward to March when my lease was getting ready to run out and I knew I’d loose the facilities of my precious garage. I decided to go ahead an pull the motor so I’d be able to work on it back in the corner of my parent’s garage. The day before I was scheduled to fly out to Denver for work, coincidentally this cars original home, I decided to pull the engine and begin to get down to the bottom of things. I’m still fairly green when it comes to working on cars and thought ripping her down to the core was as good as any place to start my education. So after a very long day and missing a few very, very important steps in the removal process I was able to get the engine removed. There was a bit of jumping on top of the engine to get it to break free and I can definitely say I’ll read instructions more thoroughly from here on out, but it is out none the less.

Once my lease was up my friend Dusty was kind enough to volunteer a spot in a barn at his folks property for the chassis to sit while I work on the motor. We loaded her up and rolled her back into an old barn they had used to raise rabbits when he was a kid and trailered his old VW Beetle back over to his place so he could start a bit of tinkering with it. If you ever get a minute he’s got some pretty hilarious stories about raising rabbits.

Back over at my dad’s garage we built a makeshift engine stand out of some old casters and chunks of wood that would suffice for the first part of the engine deconstruction. After removing the cam towers and getting to look at the cylinder head I noticed one very heinous problem with a shim bucket that sits on top of the valve springs. The bucket had somehow ruptured and the metal split open banging into the cylinder head when the engine turned over and then eventually jammed in place in the cam housing…not a good thing, but I’m still not entirely convinced that was the root of the problem. As nasty of a break as that was I would have thought the car would have at least started or attempted to fire and just run really rough.

I’d originally planned to do this deconstruction over the two week period of vacation in July, but soon found that wasn’t going to happen. I tend to go into very minute detail when I’m working on something I really care about and I want this to be a thing of beauty when she’s done. I was watching some hot rod tips on block preparation and one mentioned smoothing off the block before repainting so you get a really nice glossy finish. So I think I’ve put in roughly 20-25 hours worth of grinding with my Dremel during the crazy heat of late July and August to as much as I can create a smooth surface. I took home the distributor and worked on it up on my kitchen table; cleaning, disassembling and inspecting and then piecing it all back together. Keep in mind all along the way is a whole new discovery process for me. I mean I get how the basics work, but seeing how they’re implemented and pieced together is a whole other level of detail that I am pretty excited to understand.

I finished the block preparation and was ready for the first spray. We took it up to the chem bath at a local shop for one final wash before the spray to get all the junk and shavings out of all the little nooks and crannies. Let her dry and then plugged up and covered all the holes and did the first spray. And with the exception of some residual chem wash seeping from the radiator plug hole the paint went on beautifully. Even with the knowledge that I’ll have to sand a bit and do another spray I’m pretty satisfied considering I’ve never done anything like this before.

So my next steps are to send off the cylinder head to get ported, repaint the oil pan, powder coat the pulleys(obviously no functional improvement, but I think it’ll look really sharp), replace the core plugs, and then slowly put everything back together cleaning and reconditioning as I go. Sorry I didn’t get a chance to get any pictures of the finished paint on the block, but I’ll have some soon. For now here’s some before and after pictures of various camera quality from the process so far.

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Things are rarely as straight forward as we’d like them to be. I believe in absolutes, black and whites when it comes to matters of right and wrong, fundamental beliefs of faith and personal world views. But try as I may and as much as I want a single statement or a rigid response that I can use to apply to these disparate situations I encounter each day I’m left with none that cover every situation, that I can use applied in the same manner over and over again. There is no formula. Even with the same person at times they require one response and other times another. Love is the target and end goal, but even it is not as simple as we’ve made it sound and defined it in our culture. As a co-worker put it, “love is not always doing what the other person wants.” For that matter love is not always doing what we want. And yet here we are searching, looking for a formula, for a way to navigate the sirens calls and the jagged rocks, but not finding any. Because there’s not a simple answer. It’s simple enough to understand, but difficult in application. Though we may not like it, it is the best way. To go through a desert in order to reach the promised land. If you go the quick way into the promised land will you appreciate it? Will you be capable of upkeeping it? Are you a wiser person for doing so?

Applying truth through paradox, being in a place where you are able to hear the Holy Spirit, practicing love in its full capacity and not just the warm and cuddly version we have, listening and seeking out Godly counsel. It takes not just one, but all of these along with constant re-examination of oneself. Always striving, always applying instruction, never ceasing in zealousness, perseverance no matter how much simpler it is to take the easy way out. In short accept responsibility, lead courageously, resist passivity and expect the greater reward.

– Give instruction to a wise man and he will be yet wiser; teach a righteous man and he will increase in learning. – not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought, but to rate his ability with sober judgment. – Faithful are the wounds of a friend. – Hear counsel, receive instruction, and accept correction, that you may be wise in the time to come.

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I’ve been toodling around this site a bit tonight and came across a few pretty cool things I thought worth sharing. Most of this stuff I found at Design Verb

[pictures]

The full 365 day series of storm troopers can be seen @ this site

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Got back late, late, late last night from Columbia. Cutler and I went up to see The Avett Brothers play at the Missouri Theater. Since I’ve really only listened to their most recent album it was cool to hear a much wider selection of their music in the show. They may be a bit too country/bluegrassy for some, but when they played they had that theater jumping. I mentioned to Cutler that there was a noticeably strong scent of hippie musk in the air, highlighted even more so by the people a few rows down lighting up.(While that’s not unusual at some of the other shows or festivals I’ve been to, this was a very nice seated theater so that was way out of place) Throw in a great opening performance by Low Anthem and some crazy girls dancing in the aisles and you’ve got yourself a hippie folk stew going on. The sold out show lasted about an hour and 30 or an hour and 45. The one song they didn’t play that I’d really hoped to hear was Perfect Space, but they made up for it with the Roger Miller cover Where have all the average people gone. I will say that the fact that it takes longer to drive to Columbia than it does to KC really stinks.

[video where have all the average people gone avett brothers]

They were recently featured on Austin City Limits too, but dang ACL removed the video. Sorry.

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Here’s a quick taste of what my dad and I went to see this weekend around the Salem Missouri area. This was the second race on the national Rally America circuit. The 100 Acre Woods Rally 2010. We met people in from northern Iowa, Fayetteville Arkansas, Oklahoma City, Minnesota and a few people from Springfield. I don’t think I’ve ever seen more rally wannabe Subarus parked in one place. I had to work hard not to have all wheel drive envy in my measly two-wheel drive civic. The Polish guys during stage 5 whooping, hollering and blowing their air horns almost made this feel like a WRC event…almost. Besides the big dogs Travis Pastrana, Dave Mirra and Kent Block; the highlight turned out to be an unlikely VW Beetle and an older Volvo. I’ll try and peice together some of our video and post it soon so you can get a better idea of the race and skill involved. But for now enjoy the photos.

[pictures]

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Mourn no more your un-woolen face. http://www.imadeyouabeard.com/

Page(/posts/2009-10-27.md)

Ventured down to Tulsa for another MuteMath show last Saturday with Kent and Robyn at Cain’s. I’d been to Cain’s before, but for some reason in my mind I had torn it down to a crappy old dancehall that wasn’t a very good venue. I guess I had some wires crossed because it was incredible. The crowd there was really into the show and really made the experience much more enjoyable then last week in KC. We were up pretty close and I managed to catch a stick and and after the show even talked for a bit with Vivian, the drummers mother that we used to go to church with years ago. So that’s a total of 6 times I’ve seen MuteMath now since sometime in 05.

  1. Springfield Winter 05 @Remingtons w/ The Outlaw Sea. Vedera was a no show.
  2. KC Spring 07 @The Granada w/ The Cinematics, SSLYBY, Club of The Sons
  3. Tulsa Fall 07 @Cain’s w/ Eisley – met a really cool girl from ORU because of my curly Yukon Cornelious mustache
  4. KC Fall 07 @The Granada w/ Eisley – My dad came to this one with me and it was a blast. I think it was right before thanksgiving.
  5. KC Fall 09 @The Beaumont w/ Tall as Lions
  6. Tulsa FAll 09 @Cains w/ Tall as Lions
  7. Winter of 07 I met Darren King at a Bad sweater Christmas Party – Decemberloso – That my friend Sesha throws. He’s really a cool dude, very grounded, but also fun. Too bad didn’t run into he and Greg when I used to go to church at Cornerstone years ago.

[pictures]

If you’re interested and can find any information on the web check out the custom synthesizer they’ve dubbed The Atari or the Rhodes that Paul surfs atop.

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This just cracks me up. We watched a few Flight of the Conchords videos after house church the other night.

[Think about it video link]

Page(/posts/2009-10-17-01.md)

Holy frijoles what a good concert. Darren ended up crowdsurfing on top of his bass drum and playing off the rafters. Maybe slightly less energy than the last tour, but still all around a great show. Now to see them again in a couple of weeks in Tulsa with Kent and Robyn.

[mutemath KC pics]

Here’s a couple videos from the show. Sorry for the crappy audio, it was way overload for my camera. Click the pic to play.

[qt:http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/MuteMathMontage.m4v http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/Mute3.png 960 540]

[qt:http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/Mute2.m4v http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/Mute2.png 640 360]

Page(/posts/2009-08-17.md)

that I’ve been playing Rallisport Challenge 2 way too much on Xbox lately and it is beginning to effect my driving habits. I’m alive one more day in no small part thanks to the Lord’s great graciousness. He doesn’t always save us from our stupidity, but I’m sure thankful for those extremely noticeable times that he does. I came around a corner after coming up over a crest going about 50 or 55 that goes into a pretty decent little right turn. As I started into the right turn it became pretty immediately apparent that my rate of entry was too fast and I was going to have to slow down to take the corner. So I put a a little bit of the brakes on at which point the rear tires lost grip and decided they wanted to switch places with the front tires and so came around to the left to do so. And now I was sliding to the left and backwards towards the trees which were formerly on my right. When I came to rest I was sitting in the same lane looking in the opposite direction with trees on my left instead of on my right where they were a few short seconds before. The neighbors in the area were probably wondering who on earth just died in a horrid car accident, but thankfully no one…this time.

Conclusion: He has some work for me to do and didn’t want to let me loose yet. And that I should probably be a bit more careful and hold off on the rally driving maneuvers until I’ve had a bit more track time and some tires with a bit more grip.

[picture of rallisport Eli in a larger map]

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A bit of the Scottish Highland games from last year just outside of Fort Williams near Ben Nevis the tallest…hill in the UK.

[qt:http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/Caber-iPhone.m4v http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/Caber-poster.jpg 540 360]

[qt:http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/ThePipes-iPhone.m4v http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/ThePipes-poster.jpg 540 360]

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I found this video deeply embedded in my macbook so I dug it out, dusted it off and thought I’d share. Here they are Don and Lori Chaffer.

[qt:http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/Waterdeep1-iPhone.m4v http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/Waterdeep1-poster.jpg 540 360]

btw that video is finally iPhone compatible.

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And finally a clip from our Fourth of July. Kids don’t try this at home we’re trained idiots with no value for our own safety.

[qt:http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/4th-iPhone.m4v http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/fourthofjuly.jpg 540 360]

Click on the Picture to start the video.

We had a big cake called Ninjas of the Night that stopped after only a couple shots so we threw some black powder on it to tie it in with another one of our Comet Over America volleys. Well let’s just say we didn’t think through the fact that if we did that they’d all go off at once. Not one of my smarter moments and yes that is me that you can see running away.

[qt:http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/Ninjasofthenight.mov http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/ninja-poster.jpg 540 360]

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A word about the new edition to my family. I flew out to Denver last Thursday to pick up my beautiful new baby Fiat. Well not exactly baby, she’s almost 37 years young. Actually I think her birthday from the manufacturer is coming up here shortly. A 1972 Fiat 128 with a whooping 50Hp in an 1100cc motor with only 78,000 miles and those cool tires are 1971 MOMO magnesium 13″ rims…I think they’re probably worth more than the car. She was quite a trooper and made the slow drive across Kansas to Springfield in just a shade over 15 hours and it only took something like 7 Red Bulls to make it. Might I just add that’s a long stinking drive to drive straight through. Here’s a few pics when she first came home and a few after I got elbow deep into the dash to clean out wasps nests and misc crapola. I’ve already finished wiringup those cool Hella lights, replaced a rear strut, oil, plugs, fixed the window washer, removed pounds and pounds of wasp nests, and sadly removed the AM/FM radio with it’s 3watt sound speaker…yes the one speaker it had :) Here’s some shots of her and what she’ll eventually become and even a few youtube videos of a couple just like her in the field. Man doesn’t that throaty voice just make you fall in love.

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I’m pretty sure that I saw at least that many on my way up to Iowa two weekends ago to see Chris and Kim. Iowa is slowly winning some ground with me. The area that they’re in is much nicer then where they’d lived before. We had a great time hanging out and talking. They’re both enjoying the area and I think it’s going to be a great place for them both. They’re right in the middle of bunch of lakes and there’s lots of stuff to keep busy with. We took a bike ride, went to the pumpkin patch, had swedish pancakes, hung out around the fire and even took a trip to the magical land of Minnesota. I managed to shave off 15 to 30 minutes on the drive back home too…I should probably stop speeding. I don’t know what my deal is lately with that. Here’s some pics. Enjoy.

[iowa pictures]

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So my dad passed on this wicked cool poem about beards that I thought I’d share with everyone. If you haven’t seen me lately my own beard is making quite a return though I think I’ll reign it in and keep it at the length of a 6 month beard.

Behold This Swarthy Face by Walt Whitman

Behold this swarthy face, these gray eyes, This beard, the white wool unclipt upon my neck, My brown hands and the silent manner of me without charm; Yet comes one a Manhattanese and ever at parting kisses me lightly on the lips with robust love, And I on the crossing of the street or on the ship’s deck give a kiss in return, We observe that salute of American comrades land and sea, We are those two natural and nonchalant persons.

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So I got tickets a few months ago to a Band of Horses concert out at the Orange Peel in Ashville, NC. It’s about a twelve hour drive and I figured the open road would do me some good so I weaved in and out of the backroads and it ended up being more of a 14-16 hour drive over two days. I stopped over the first night in Elizabethtown, mainly because of the movie, to see what it was like. I got pulled over within 2 minutes of being in town because my license plate wasn’t illuminated, but the E-Town local fuzz was nice enough to let me go after they made sure I wasn’t up to no good. Tuesday I stopped through Bardstown which was actually much cooler of a place than Elizabethtown. From there I headed across Kentucky towards Lexington and then eventually due south on Highway 25. A bit off the beaten path, but totally worth it. Got into Asheville at about 5:00 and just barely dodged the rain that poured down. Asheville is a very cool town and has about 75k people, a wicked awesome downtown area with a bunch of stuff to do down there and to top it off it was a cool 62 degrees when I got out of the show that night. I stayed in Bristol Tuesday night and then headed for Richmond on Wednesday to pick up my good friend Amy from the missions school she had just finished up in preparation to hit the shores of Indonesia. The drive up through Virginia was really pretty this time of the year and everything was covered in fog and if it wasn’t foggy it was deep green. We hit the road after Amy’s commissioning service and then spent the night in Louisville with some friends of hers. I’ve been intrigued by Louisville for no apparent reason for quite some time and from what we saw it did not disappoint. One day I’ll be back there. We hit hwy64 on the way home and drove through Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and finally Missouri once again. All told a round trip of 2,300 miles. Yikes, that’s a lot of driving in four days.

[pictures]

Some shots from the show and maybe I’ll get some video up soon.

[video]

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It’s hard to believe that just a year ago I was on my first days walk out of Dublin just starting my travel. Not sure what importance or role that plays, but it’ll be cool this summer to think about “well about this time last year I was at such and such place”. Back at home now with my journal and pictures it’ll be nice to remember the fun times….and forget about those not so fun ones. So while I remember I’ll share some different trip photos to parallel my travel last year. Here’s some more Ireland photos.

[pictures sea, traffic calming accident black spot, MG, Mini]

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[pictures]

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Well it’s been a while and I’m a bit behind, but here’s a short update in pictures of how I spent my 2008 New Years Eve. Best New Years eve ever…even better than the one with my white polyester suit and sombraro. I’ll have additional updates shortly.

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How will the escape begin?

A few years ago I wrote this onto the first page in my Bible. At the time I felt entangled in discouraging, defeating sin out of which I could not climb or struggle free. I also felt cut off, sitting on the cusp overlooking the next stage of my life, but powerless to join it or start it’s beginning. There was also my every day life that try my best I was only succeeding to show up for. So I took solace in work, the only thing that I felt I was doing well at and at all satisfied in. So I worked…a lot and not much else. Yet though seemingly hopeless I still believed every life to be/contain a great adventure, a story unique unto itself that each person can live out. A great adventure that my life felt totally without. Great tales and stories unfathomable, filled with mystery, and the next great surprise around the corner.

I wanted to know how it was that I would escape from my life to the great adventure that I knew from my very depths was waiting to begin. Every great fairy tale begins somewhere and every colossal story starts with something . So I wanted to know, to see that begning happen in my own life. When would I stop simply existing and become a character in my own saga.

And so it finally happened. Last september I was allowed/lifted up to breakthrough. I say allowed/lifted up because it was beyond my own strength. In my despair and helplessness my spirit cried out. First one week of freedom, then two, then four and the whole time peace that passes all understanding and uncontainable joy began building up and starting to overflow. The greatest story teller of all turned the first page and spoke the beginning word of my story…freedom. Freedom like I’d never known and had all but lost hope for long ago. Through this freedom He began pouring back in life, directing me to step out and take hold of the adventure I’d hoped for even at my own doorstep. Allowing me the opportunity to see what everyday life was like filled with wonder and excitement.

The escape began to true life in Christ, a renewal, a refreshing of his presence. Victory even through adversity, strength through trial. Finding it possible to be brutally honest and frank with God and also to seek what his plans for me might be. Wrestling with Him with questions about certain events and why they’ve unfolded as they have instead of according to my original designs or intentions. On our journey there are times when we just have to ask God, “hey what the crap?” To really lay it all out before him and see where he directs you and how he speaks to you. And through the most difficult situations he can lead to deeper contentment and surrender even though it may not seem possible. Honestly it just felt good to be open with him even if I was angry about something. Yelling at God may not be the most humble way to approach the throne, but at least there’s some sort of communication happening and you’re being open about things.

So there I was living again even after being run through the fire. Finding adventure in mundane surroundings, seeing a new side to things and at this point given the opportunity for a choice, a sort of choose your own adventure fork in the road. The opportunity to test out my nomadic wanderlust and see where it takes me. To take the adventure abroad and to travel just as everyone at some point dreams. To challenge myself in new unfamiliar settings. To see what a life of travel has to offer and if it’s something I’d like to do permanently. So there’s the why and how I was led to this point of traveling beardedness.

During my time abroad I’ve seen and experienced a lot of amazing things, I’ve met quite a few very cool people, and I’ve had plenty of time for introspection. While everyone said that my travels would change me forever and effect the way I think about everything, I think that the effect has been less dramatic. Having gone through quite a bit of change and life lessons in the last 5-8 years already I feel less radically changed by the trip and more solidified in who I was already. The better analogy would be to a Potter’s fire or kiln in which he puts his newly formed earthen vessel to set and temper its form, strengthening and preparing it for use.

Though my travels have been shorter then I had originally thought I’m ready to return. Being contented with my opportunities I begin the journey back home. Back to my friends and family in which I find my greatest enjoyment and the source of unending adventures.

To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter/purpose under heaven.

The travel wraps up, but the adventure continues. The begining of the next chapter is already here.

T-minus homecoming.

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“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.” “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.” He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” – John 1:46-51

OK so after spending roughly 10 days within view of Nazareth I totally understand Nathanael’s reaction about Christ. If you’ve seen Nazareth and the surrounding area it kinda reminds you of like the worst possible places from Oklahoma mixed with middle of nowhere Texas mixed with a touch of horribleness. The land is exhausted and the whole place is just one big dirt clod. I’ve seen some pictures and it sounds like maybe Winter and Spring in Israel could possibly be a bit more appealing, but my first thoughts are why the crap would anyone want to live around here anymore. Whatever life or fertility this land had it seems to have given up a long long time ago. I’d say the last significant contributions from the region happened something like 2000 years ago.

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So I went para-sailing while I was in Gimmelwald with Matt a guy I met from Texas and it was awesome. Afterwards we met up with some friends and went out to lunch where I had my first taste of horse steak. It was actually very good though I’m sure I should be put off by it.

[paragliding pics]

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Ok, so maybe it’s too early to say that I like it here, but I mean come on the facts are overwhelming.

  1. Guys with big beards

  2. Guys with cool hats

  3. Guys with big beards and cool hats.

…oh yeah Christ, savior of mankind and Lord of Lords, born nearby. So you know there’s that.

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So I’ve been in Switzerland now for about 6 days and I’ve got another 5 left. I’ve spent the majority of my time, what will be nine days, at a great little village in the Alps called Gimmelwald at the Mountain Hostel. There’s a saying that they have here, “If heaven isn’t what it’s cracked up to be…send me back to Gimmelwald.” That might be a slight over statement, but it is definitely a very cool place. Being here for so long it’s given me plenty of time to settle in and do a bit of cooking for my fellow hostelers. The town itself is about 130 people and it’s 4500 feet up the alps just below the Schilthorn where they filmed a James Bond Movie with Telly Sevalis. We hiked out to what’s left of a small glacier and I hiked all the way up to the hostel from Lauterbrunnen. I may go up to the Schilthorn via the gondola service and then hike down in the next few days. The hostel here is incredible. The greatest people seem to seek out Gimmelwald so I’ve had plenty of very friendly company while I’ve been here. There are people here from Canada, South Africa, Mexico, and a lot of people from all over the US. I learned how to play probably the most difficult card game I’ve ever seen called Casino, by the South African rules. I head back to Zurich on the 12th and then fly out from there on the 13th to Tel Aviv to spend 2-5 months volunteering on a kibbutz. In case you’re curious a kibbutz is a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture. So they’re basically a self sustaining community that utilizes volunteers either Israeli born or otherwise to staff the kibbutz and work various jobs that they have there. It’s pretty cool because today I met a couple of Jewish guys from Mexico who are going to be headed to do the same thing after a few of months traveling Europe.

[austria pictures]

[switzerland pictures]

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Aleksander Solzhenitsyn – December 11, 1918 – August 3, 2008

Text of Address by

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

at Harvard Class Day Afternoon Exercises,

Thursday, June 8, 1978

I am sincerely happy to be here with you on this occasion and to become personally acquainted with this old and most prestigious University. My congratulations and very best wishes to all of today’s graduates.

Harvard’s motto is “Veritas.” Many of you have already found out and others will find out in the course of their lives that truth eludes us if we do not concentrate with total attention on its pursuit. And even while it eludes us, the illusion still lingers of knowing it and leads to many misunderstandings. Also, truth is seldom pleasant; it is almost invariably bitter. There is some bitterness in my speech today, too. But I want to stress that it comes not from an adversary but from a friend.

Three years ago in the United States I said certain things which at that time appeared unacceptable. Today, however, many people agree with what I then said…

A World Split Apart

by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

The split in today’s world is perceptible even to a hasty glance. Any of our contemporaries readily identifies two world powers, each of them already capable of entirely destroying the other. However, understanding of the split often is limited to this political conception, to the illusion that danger may be abolished through successful diplomatic negotiations or by achieving a balance of armed forces. The truth is that the split is a much profounder and a more alienating one, that the rifts are more than one can see at first glance. This deep manifold split bears the danger of manifold disaster for all of us, in accordance with the ancient truth that a Kingdom — in this case, our Earth — divided against itself cannot stand.

Contemporary Worlds

There is the concept of the Third World: thus, we already have three worlds. Undoubtedly, however, the number is even greater; we are just too far away to see. Any ancient deeply rooted autonomous culture, especially if it is spread on a wide part of the earth’s surface, constitutes an autonomous world, full of riddles and surprises to Western thinking. As a minimum, we must include in this category China, India, the Muslim world and Africa, if indeed we accept the approximation of viewing the latter two as compact units. For one thousand years Russia has belonged to such a category, although Western thinking systematically committed the mistake of denying its autonomous character and therefore never understood it, just as today the West does not understand Russia in communist captivity. It may be that in the past years Japan has increasingly become a distant part of the West, I am no judge here; but as to Israel, for instance, it seems to me that it stands apart from the Western world in that its state system is fundamentally linked to religion.

How short a time ago, relatively, the small new European world was easily seizing colonies everywhere, not only without anticipating any real resistance, but also usually despising any possible values in the conquered peoples’ approach to life. On the face of it, it was an overwhelming success, there were no geographic frontiers to it. Western society expanded in a triumph of human independence and power. And all of a sudden in the twentieth century came the discovery of its fragility and friability. We now see that the conquests proved to be short lived and precarious, and this in turn points to defects in the Western view of the world which led to these conquests. Relations with the former colonial world now have turned into their opposite and the Western world often goes to extremes of obsequiousness, but it is difficult yet to estimate the total size of the bill which former colonial countries will present to the West, and it is difficult to predict whether the surrender not only of its last colonies, but of everything it owns will be sufficient for the West to foot the bill.

Convergence

But the blindness of superiority continues in spite of all and upholds the belief that vast regions everywhere on our planet should develop and mature to the level of present day Western systems which in theory are the best and in practice the most attractive. There is this belief that all those other worlds are only being temporarily prevented by wicked governments or by heavy crises or by their own barbarity or incomprehension from taking the way of Western pluralistic democracy and from adopting the Western way of life. Countries are judged on the merit of their progress in this direction. However, it is a conception which developed out of Western incomprehension of the essence of other worlds, out of the mistake of measuring them all with a Western yardstick. The real picture of our planet’s development is quite different.

Anguish about our divided world gave birth to the theory of convergence between leading Western countries and the Soviet Union. It is a soothing theory which overlooks the fact that these worlds are not at all developing into similarity; neither one can be transformed into the other without the use of violence. Besides, convergence inevitably means acceptance of the other side’s defects, too, and this is hardly desirable.

If I were today addressing an audience in my country, examining the overall pattern of the world’s rifts I would have concentrated on the East’s calamities. But since my forced exile in the West has now lasted four years and since my audience is a Western one, I think it may be of greater interest to concentrate on certain aspects of the West in our days, such as I see them.

A Decline in Courage [. . .]

may be the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days. The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party and of course in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society. Of course there are many courageous individuals but they have no determining influence on public life. Political and intellectual bureaucrats show depression, passivity and perplexity in their actions and in their statements and even more so in theoretical reflections to explain how realistic, reasonable as well as intellectually and even morally warranted it is to base state policies on weakness and cowardice. And decline in courage is ironically emphasized by occasional explosions of anger and inflexibility on the part of the same bureaucrats when dealing with weak governments and weak countries, not supported by anyone, or with currents which cannot offer any resistance. But they get tongue-tied and paralyzed when they deal with powerful governments and threatening forces, with aggressors and international terrorists.

Should one point out that from ancient times decline in courage has been considered the beginning of the end?

Well-Being

When the modern Western States were created, the following principle was proclaimed: governments are meant to serve man, and man lives to be free to pursue happiness. (See, for example, the American Declaration). Now at last during past decades technical and social progress has permitted the realization of such aspirations: the welfare state. Every citizen has been granted the desired freedom and material goods in such quantity and of such quality as to guarantee in theory the achievement of happiness, in the morally inferior sense which has come into being during those same decades. In the process, however, one psychological detail has been overlooked: the constant desire to have still more things and a still better life and the struggle to obtain them imprints many Western faces with worry and even depression, though it is customary to conceal such feelings. Active and tense competition permeates all human thoughts without opening a way to free spiritual development. The individual’s independence from many types of state pressure has been guaranteed; the majority of people have been granted well-being to an extent their fathers and grandfathers could not even dream about; it has become possible to raise young people according to these ideals, leading them to physical splendor, happiness, possession of material goods, money and leisure, to an almost unlimited freedom of enjoyment. So who should now renounce all this, why and for what should one risk one’s precious life in defense of common values, and particularly in such nebulous cases when the security of one’s nation must be defended in a distant country?

Even biology knows that habitual extreme safety and well-being are not advantageous for a living organism. Today, well-being in the life of Western society has begun to reveal its pernicious mask.

Legalistic Life

Western society has given itself the organization best suited to its purposes, based, I would say, on the letter of the law. The limits of human rights and righteousness are determined by a system of laws; such limits are very broad. People in the West have acquired considerable skill in using, interpreting and manipulating law, even though laws tend to be too complicated for an average person to understand without the help of an expert. Any conflict is solved according to the letter of the law and this is considered to be the supreme solution. If one is right from a legal point of view, nothing more is required, nobody may mention that one could still not be entirely right, and urge self-restraint, a willingness to renounce such legal rights, sacrifice and selfless risk: it would sound simply absurd. One almost never sees voluntary self-restraint. Everybody operates at the extreme limit of those legal frames. An oil company is legally blameless when it purchases an invention of a new type of energy in order to prevent its use. A food product manufacturer is legally blameless when he poisons his produce to make it last longer: after all, people are free not to buy it.

I have spent all my life under a communist regime and I will tell you that a society without any objective legal scale is a terrible one indeed. But a society with no other scale but the legal one is not quite worthy of man either. A society which is based on the letter of the law and never reaches any higher is taking very scarce advantage of the high level of human possibilities. The letter of the law is too cold and formal to have a beneficial influence on society. Whenever the tissue of life is woven of legalistic relations, there is an atmosphere of moral mediocrity, paralyzing man’s noblest impulses.

And it will be simply impossible to stand through the trials of this threatening century with only the support of a legalistic structure.

The Direction of Freedom

In today’s Western society, the inequality has been revealed of freedom for good deeds and freedom for evil deeds. A statesman who wants to achieve something important and highly constructive for his country has to move cautiously and even timidly; there are thousands of hasty and irresponsible critics around him, parliament and the press keep rebuffing him. As he moves ahead, he has to prove that every single step of his is well-founded and absolutely flawless. Actually an outstanding and particularly gifted person who has unusual and unexpected initiatives in mind hardly gets a chance to assert himself; from the very beginning, dozens of traps will be set out for him. Thus mediocrity triumphs with the excuse of restrictions imposed by democracy.

It is feasible and easy everywhere to undermine administrative power and, in fact, it has been drastically weakened in all Western countries. The defense of individual rights has reached such extremes as to make society as a whole defenseless against certain individuals. It is time, in the West, to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.

Destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society appears to have little defense against the abyss of human decadence, such as, for example, misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, motion pictures full of pornography, crime and horror. It is considered to be part of freedom and theoretically counter-balanced by the young people’s right not to look or not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil.

And what shall we say about the dark realm of criminality as such? Legal frames (especially in the United States) are broad enough to encourage not only individual freedom but also certain individual crimes. The culprit can go unpunished or obtain undeserved leniency with the support of thousands of public defenders. When a government starts an earnest fight against terrorism, public opinion immediately accuses it of violating the terrorists’ civil rights. There are many such cases.

Such a tilt of freedom in the direction of evil has come about gradually but it was evidently born primarily out of a humanistic and benevolent concept according to which there is no evil inherent to human nature; the world belongs to mankind and all the defects of life are caused by wrong social systems which must be corrected. Strangely enough, though the best social conditions have been achieved in the West, there still is criminality and there even is considerably more of it than in the pauper and lawless Soviet society. (There is a huge number of prisoners in our camps which are termed criminals, but most of them never committed any crime; they merely tried to defend themselves against a lawless state resorting to means outside of a legal framework).

The Direction of the Press

The press too, of course, enjoys the widest freedom. (I shall be using the word press to include all media). But what sort of use does it make of this freedom?

Here again, the main concern is not to infringe the letter of the law. There is no moral responsibility for deformation or disproportion. What sort of responsibility does a journalist have to his readers, or to history? If they have misled public opinion or the government by inaccurate information or wrong conclusions, do we know of any cases of public recognition and rectification of such mistakes by the same journalist or the same newspaper? No, it does not happen, because it would damage sales. A nation may be the victim of such a mistake, but the journalist always gets away with it. One may safely assume that he will start writing the opposite with renewed self-assurance.

Because instant and credible information has to be given, it becomes necessary to resort to guesswork, rumors and suppositions to fill in the voids, and none of them will ever be rectified, they will stay on in the readers’ memory. How many hasty, immature, superficial and misleading judgments are expressed every day, confusing readers, without any verification. The press can both simulate public opinion and miseducate it. Thus we may see terrorists heroized, or secret matters, pertaining to one’s nation’s defense, publicly revealed, or we may witness shameless intrusion on the privacy of well-known people under the slogan: “everyone is entitled to know everything.” But this is a false slogan, characteristic of a false era: people also have the right not to know, and it is a much more valuable one. The right not to have their divine souls stuffed with gossip, nonsense, vain talk. A person who works and leads a meaningful life does not need this excessive burdening flow of information.

Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic disease of the 20th century and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press. In-depth analysis of a problem is anathema to the press. It stops at sensational formulas.

Such as it is, however, the press has become the greatest power within the Western countries, more powerful than the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. One would then like to ask: by what law has it been elected and to whom is it responsible? In the communist East a journalist is frankly appointed as a state official. But who has granted Western journalists their power, for how long a time and with what prerogatives?

There is yet another surprise for someone coming from the East where the press is rigorously unified: one gradually discovers a common trend of preferences within the Western press as a whole. It is a fashion; there are generally accepted patterns of judgment and there may be common corporate interests, the sum effect being not competition but unification. Enormous freedom exists for the press, but not for the readership because newspapers mostly give enough stress and emphasis to those opinions which do not too openly contradict their own and the general trend.

A Fashion in Thinking

Without any censorship, in the West fashionable trends of thought and ideas are carefully separated from those which are not fashionable; nothing is forbidden, but what is not fashionable will hardly ever find its way into periodicals or books or be heard in colleges. Legally your researchers are free, but they are conditioned by the fashion of the day. There is no open violence such as in the East; however, a selection dictated by fashion and the need to match mass standards frequently prevent independent-minded people from giving their contribution to public life. There is a dangerous tendency to form a herd, shutting off successful development. I have received letters in America from highly intelligent persons, maybe a teacher in a faraway small college who could do much for the renewal and salvation of his country, but his country cannot hear him because the media are not interested in him. This gives birth to strong mass prejudices, blindness, which is most dangerous in our dynamic era. There is, for instance, a self-deluding interpretation of the contemporary world situation. It works as a sort of petrified armor around people’s minds. Human voices from 17 countries of Eastern Europe and Eastern Asia cannot pierce it. It will only be broken by the pitiless crowbar of events.

I have mentioned a few trends of Western life which surprise and shock a new arrival to this world. The purpose and scope of this speech will not allow me to continue such a review, to look into the influence of these Western characteristics on important aspects on [the] nation’s life, such as elementary education, advanced education in [?…]

Socialism

It is almost universally recognized that the West shows all the world a way to successful economic development, even though in the past years it has been strongly disturbed by chaotic inflation. However, many people living in the West are dissatisfied with their own society. They despise it or accuse it of not being up to the level of maturity attained by mankind. A number of such critics turn to socialism, which is a false and dangerous current.

I hope that no one present will suspect me of offering my personal criticism of the Western system to present socialism as an alternative. Having experienced applied socialism in a country where the alternative has been realized, I certainly will not speak for it. The well-known Soviet mathematician Shafarevich, a member of the Soviet Academy of Science, has written a brilliant book under the title Socialism; it is a profound analysis showing that socialism of any type and shade leads to a total destruction of the human spirit and to a leveling of mankind into death. Shafarevich’s book was published in France almost two years ago and so far no one has been found to refute it. It will shortly be published in English in the United States.

Not a Model

But should someone ask me whether I would indicate the West such as it is today as a model to my country, frankly I would have to answer negatively. No, I could not recommend your society in its present state as an ideal for the transformation of ours. Through intense suffering our country has now achieved a spiritual development of such intensity that the Western system in its present state of spiritual exhaustion does not look attractive. Even those characteristics of your life which I have just mentioned are extremely saddening.

A fact which cannot be disputed is the weakening of human beings in the West while in the East they are becoming firmer and stronger. Six decades for our people and three decades for the people of Eastern Europe; during that time we have been through a spiritual training far in advance of Western experience. Life’s complexity and mortal weight have produced stronger, deeper and more interesting characters than those produced by standardized Western well-being. Therefore if our society were to be transformed into yours, it would mean an improvement in certain aspects, but also a change for the worse on some particularly significant scores. It is true, no doubt, that a society cannot remain in an abyss of lawlessness, as is the case in our country. But it is also demeaning for it to elect such mechanical legalistic smoothness as you have. After the suffering of decades of violence and oppression, the human soul longs for things higher, warmer and purer than those offered by today’s mass living habits, introduced by the revolting invasion of publicity, by TV stupor and by intolerable music.

All this is visible to observers from all the worlds of our planet. The Western way of life is less and less likely to become the leading model.

There are meaningful warnings that history gives a threatened or perishing society. Such are, for instance, the decadence of art, or a lack of great statesmen. There are open and evident warnings, too. The center of your democracy and of your culture is left without electric power for a few hours only, and all of a sudden crowds of American citizens start looting and creating havoc. The smooth surface film must be very thin, then, the social system quite unstable and unhealthy.

But the fight for our planet, physical and spiritual, a fight of cosmic proportions, is not a vague matter of the future; it has already started. The forces of Evil have begun their decisive offensive, you can feel their pressure, and yet your screens and publications are full of prescribed smiles and raised glasses. What is the joy about?

Shortsightedness

Very well known representatives of your society, such as George Kennan, say: we cannot apply moral criteria to politics. Thus we mix good and evil, right and wrong and make space for the absolute triumph of absolute Evil in the world. On the contrary, only moral criteria can help the West against communism’s well planned world strategy. There are no other criteria. Practical or occasional considerations of any kind will inevitably be swept away by strategy. After a certain level of the problem has been reached, legalistic thinking induces paralysis; it prevents one from seeing the size and meaning of events.

In spite of the abundance of information, or maybe because of it, the West has difficulties in understanding reality such as it is. There have been naive predictions by some American experts who believed that Angola would become the Soviet Union’s Vietnam or that Cuban expeditions in Africa would best be stopped by special U.S. courtesy to Cuba. Kennan’s advice to his own country — to begin unilateral disarmament — belongs to the same category. If you only knew how the youngest of the Moscow Old Square [1] officials laugh at your political wizards! As to Fidel Castro, he frankly scorns the United States, sending his troops to distant adventures from his country right next to yours.

However, the most cruel mistake occurred with the failure to understand the Vietnam war. Some people sincerely wanted all wars to stop just as soon as possible; others believed that there should be room for national, or communist, self-determination in Vietnam, or in Cambodia, as we see today with particular clarity. But members of the U.S. anti-war movement wound up being involved in the betrayal of Far Eastern nations, in a genocide and in the suffering today imposed on 30 million people there. Do those convinced pacifists hear the moans coming from there? Do they understand their responsibility today? Or do they prefer not to hear? The American Intelligentsia lost its [nerve] and as a consequence thereof danger has come much closer to the United States. But there is no awareness of this. Your shortsighted politicians who signed the hasty Vietnam capitulation seemingly gave America a carefree breathing pause; however, a hundredfold Vietnam now looms over you. That small Vietnam had been a warning and an occasion to mobilize the nation’s courage. But if a full-fledged America suffered a real defeat from a small communist half-country, how can the West hope to stand firm in the future?

I have had occasion already to say that in the 20th century democracy has not won any major war without help and protection from a powerful continental ally whose philosophy and ideology it did not question. In World War II against Hitler, instead of winning that war with its own forces, which would certainly have been sufficient, Western democracy grew and cultivated another enemy who would prove worse and more powerful yet, as Hitler never had so many resources and so many people, nor did he offer any attractive ideas, or have such a large number of supporters in the West — a potential fifth column — as the Soviet Union. At present, some Western voices already have spoken of obtaining protection from a third power against aggression in the next world conflict, if there is one; in this case the shield would be China. But I would not wish such an outcome to any country in the world. First of all, it is again a doomed alliance with Evil; also, it would grant the United States a respite, but when at a later date China with its billion people would turn around armed with American weapons, America itself would fall prey to a genocide similar to the one perpetrated in Cambodia in our days.

Loss of Willpower

And yet — no weapons, no matter how powerful, can help the West until it overcomes its loss of willpower. In a state of psychological weakness, weapons become a burden for the capitulating side. To defend oneself, one must also be ready to die; there is little such readiness in a society raised in the cult of material well-being. Nothing is left, then, but concessions, attempts to gain time and betrayal. Thus at the shameful Belgrade conference free Western diplomats in their weakness surrendered the line where enslaved members of Helsinki Watchgroups are sacrificing their lives.

Western thinking has become conservative: the world situation should stay as it is at any cost, there should be no changes. This debilitating dream of a status quo is the symptom of a society which has come to the end of its development. But one must be blind in order not to see that oceans no longer belong to the West, while land under its domination keeps shrinking. The two so-called world wars (they were by far not on a world scale, not yet) have meant internal self-destruction of the small, progressive West which has thus prepared its own end. The next war (which does not have to be an atomic one and I do not believe it will) may well bury Western civilization forever.

Facing such a danger, with such historical values in your past, at such a high level of realization of freedom and apparently of devotion to freedom, how is it possible to lose to such an extent the will to defend oneself?

Humanism and Its Consequences

How has this unfavorable relation of forces come about? How did the West decline from its triumphal march to its present sickness? Have there been fatal turns and losses of direction in its development? It does not seem so. The West kept advancing socially in accordance with its proclaimed intentions, with the help of brilliant technological progress. And all of a sudden it found itself in its present state of weakness.

This means that the mistake must be at the root, at the very basis of human thinking in the past centuries. I refer to the prevailing Western view of the world which was first born during the Renaissance and found its political expression from the period of the Enlightenment. It became the basis for government and social science and could be defined as rationalistic humanism or humanistic autonomy: the proclaimed and enforced autonomy of man from any higher force above him. It could also be called anthropocentricity, with man seen as the center of everything that exists.

The turn introduced by the Renaissance evidently was inevitable historically. The Middle Ages had come to a natural end by exhaustion, becoming an intolerable despotic repression of man’s physical nature in favor of the spiritual one. Then, however, we turned our backs upon the Spirit and embraced all that is material with excessive and unwarranted zeal. This new way of thinking, which had imposed on us its guidance, did not admit the existence of intrinsic evil in man nor did it see any higher task than the attainment of happiness on earth. It based modern Western civilization on the dangerous trend to worship man and his material needs. Everything beyond physical well-being and accumulation of material goods, all other human requirements and characteristics of a subtler and higher nature, were left outside the area of attention of state and social systems, as if human life did not have any superior sense. That provided access for evil, of which in our days there is a free and constant flow. Merely freedom does not in the least solve all the problems of human life and it even adds a number of new ones.

However, in early democracies, as in American democracy at the time of its birth, all individual human rights were granted because man is God’s creature. That is, freedom was given to the individual conditionally, in the assumption of his constant religious responsibility. Such was the heritage of the preceding thousand years. Two hundred or even fifty years ago, it would have seemed quite impossible, in America, that an individual could be granted boundless freedom simply for the satisfaction of his instincts or whims. Subsequently, however, all such limitations were discarded everywhere in the West; a total liberation occurred from the moral heritage of Christian centuries with their great reserves of mercy and sacrifice. State systems were becoming increasingly and totally materialistic. The West ended up by truly enforcing human rights, sometimes even excessively, but man’s sense of responsibility to God and society grew dimmer and dimmer. In the past decades, the legalistically selfish aspect of Western approach and thinking has reached its final dimension and the world wound up in a harsh spiritual crisis and a political impasse. All the glorified technological achievements of Progress, including the conquest of outer space, do not redeem the Twentieth century’s moral poverty which no one could imagine even as late as in the Nineteenth Century.

An Unexpected Kinship

As humanism in its development became more and more materialistic, it made itself increasingly accessible to speculation and manipulation at first by socialism and then by communism. So that Karl Marx was able to say in 1844 that “communism is naturalized humanism.”

This statement turned out not to be entirely senseless. One does see the same stones in the foundations of a despiritualized humanism and of any type of socialism: endless materialism; freedom from religion and religious responsibility, which under communist regimes reach the stage of anti-religious dictatorship; concentration on social structures with a seemingly scientific approach. (This is typical of the Enlightenment in the Eighteenth Century and of Marxism). Not by coincidence all of communism’s meaningless pledges and oaths are about Man, with a capital M, and his earthly happiness. At first glance it seems an ugly parallel: common traits in the thinking and way of life of today’s West and today’s East? But such is the logic of materialistic development.

The interrelationship is such, too, that the current of materialism which is most to the left always ends up by being stronger, more attractive and victorious, because it is more consistent. Humanism without its Christian heritage cannot resist such competition. We watch this process in the past centuries and especially in the past decades, on a world scale as the situation becomes increasingly dramatic. Liberalism was inevitably displaced by radicalism, radicalism had to surrender to socialism and socialism could never resist communism. The communist regime in the East could stand and grow due to the enthusiastic support from an enormous number of Western intellectuals who felt a kinship and refused to see communism’s crimes. When they no longer could do so, they tried to justify them. In our Eastern countries, communism has suffered a complete ideological defeat; it is zero and less than zero. But Western intellectuals still look at it with interest and with empathy, and this is precisely what makes it so immensely difficult for the West to withstand the East.

Before the Turn

I am not examining here the case of a world war disaster and the changes which it would produce in society. As long as we wake up every morning under a peaceful sun, we have to lead an everyday life. There is a disaster, however, which has already been under way for quite some time. I am referring to the calamity of a despiritualized and irreligious humanistic consciousness.

To such consciousness, man is the touchstone in judging and evaluating everything on earth. Imperfect man, who is never free of pride, self-interest, envy, vanity, and dozens of other defects. We are now experiencing the consequences of mistakes which had not been noticed at the beginning of the journey. On the way from the Renaissance to our days we have enriched our experience, but we have lost the concept of a Supreme Complete Entity which used to restrain our passions and our irresponsibility. We have placed too much hope in political and social reforms, only to find out that we were being deprived of our most precious possession: our spiritual life. In the East, it is destroyed by the dealings and machinations of the ruling party. In the West, commercial interests tend to suffocate it. This is the real crisis. The split in the world is less terrible than the similarity of the disease plaguing its main sections.

If humanism were right in declaring that man is born to be happy, he would not be born to die. Since his body is doomed to die, his task on earth evidently must be of a more spiritual nature. It cannot unrestrained enjoyment of everyday life. It cannot be the search for the best ways to obtain material goods and then cheerfully get the most out of them. It has to be the fulfillment of a permanent, earnest duty so that one’s life journey may become an experience of moral growth, so that one may leave life a better human being than one started it. It is imperative to review the table of widespread human values. Its present incorrectness is astounding. It is not possible that assessment of the President’s performance be reduced to the question of how much money one makes or of unlimited availability of gasoline. Only voluntary, inspired self-restraint can raise man above the world stream of materialism.

It would be retrogression to attach oneself today to the ossified formulas of the Enlightenment. Social dogmatism leaves us completely helpless in front of the trials of our times.

Even if we are spared destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction. We cannot avoid revising the fundamental definitions of human life and human society. Is it true that man is above everything? Is there no Superior Spirit above him? Is it right that man’s life and society’s activities have to be determined by material expansion in the first place? Is it permissible to promote such expansion to the detriment of our spiritual integrity?

If the world has not come to its end, it has approached a major turn in history, equal in importance to the turn from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. It will exact from us a spiritual upsurge, we shall have to rise to a new height of vision, to a new level of life where our physical nature will not be cursed as in the Middle Ages, but, even more importantly, our spiritual being will not be trampled upon as in the Modern era.

This ascension will be similar to climbing onto the next anthropologic stage. No one on earth has any other way left but — upward.

Notes

[1] The Old Square in Moscow (Staraya Ploshchad’) is the place where the [headquarters] of the Central Committee of the CPSU are located; it is the real name of what in the West is conventionally referred to as “the Kremlin.”

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I had a great time in Nuremberg the past few days. I met some really cool guys to hang out with and see the city and I was able to visit Oma too. The city has 500,000 people, but still has a bit of a small town feeling. Will and I went out and saw the old Nazi rally grounds with the colliseum and the zeppelin field and then Chris and I went to check out the Palace of Justice Court Room 600 where the Nuremburg trials were held. I went over to Oma’s yesterday and we ate and sang and talked. So Nuremberg has been a great place to meet and visit with some really fun people. Best of luck in Italy and then back in Canada to Chris and to Will with the rest of your studies in Germany. I think with the great pitch that Chris gave everyone at the hostel for Canada that I’m going to have to go up north and visit. Here’s a few pictures and also a greeting from Oma to the Spohns in Ozark.

[pictures(germany)]

[qt:http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/Oma.mov http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/oma-poster.JPG 480 240]

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So after spending an entire day on the train I was able to work on quite a few pictures to upload to the website. It may put you on picture overload, but here they are none the less. Separated by country. I’m in Nuremburg right now, because I decided to skip Frankfurt after seeing that the only two hostels I had listed which were very close to the train station were both in the red light district and while walking to the second I was offered to come inside and see something great…no thanks Frankfurt I’ll take my chances somewhere else. I guess I’ll have to have a true Frankfurt frankfurter some other time. So back onto the train for another couple hours to Nurembourg, which so far seem very nice. If I can get Oma’s contact information I’ll try and stop by to see her while I’m here too.

[france pictures]

[belgium pictures]

[luxembourg pictures]

And I’ll leave you today with a funny Mitch Hedberg one liner.

“My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.”

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Well it’s not quite that bad, but 0102 isn’t much better. And what is this number you ask? The code to the front door of my hostel tonight. Happy Belgian independence day by the way, living free since 1830. Tonight I’m “In Brugges” which is Dutch for flipping cool city! By far my favorite so far. Don’t know Dutch you say, or French or german? No problem because for the most part everyone is glad to speak English too. Pictures later, for know I’m biking to the sea for sunset ;P

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Wow so my lifelong dream to see the Tour de France is now complete. I was at the first turn no more than 50 yards from the starting line to watch the beginning of the first stage of the Pyrenees in Toulouse France. The crowd was bustling with enthusiasm, fans from all over the world drape their flags over the barriers to the route and show their enthusiasm for their fellow countrymen competing, camera men everywhere and people pressed in to find a spot to catch a glimpse of the riders as they go by. They have a parade of the sponsors about an hour or more before the beginning of the race with all sorts of schwag or vendor trash being handed out to everyone.

Right now I’m back in Paris couchsurfing for three days with Nils a German that is subletting a place in the suburbs and has been a great host.

[qt:http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/LeTourdeFrance.mov http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/Tourlogo.JPG 480 240]

[qt:http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/FootofthePyrenees.mov http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/pyrenees-poster.jpg 480 240]

[le tour pictures]

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On Beards —

The reaction for the most part is the same. Strange looks, whispers, rude youths hollering out as I walk by. These are par for the course of a true beardman. That said there are those experiences that make up in spades for them. In Edinburgh a young spanish couple had a boy no more than 3 or 4 years old who they couldn’t get to stop pointing, jumping, and yelling, “Barba, barba, barba, grande barba!” In ireland on the walk to Wicklow an older gent cycling past shouted a reassuring, “Magnificent beard!” In Scotland walking to YWAM the first night a young lady leaned out of an apartment window above the street to shout an enthusiastic, “Great beard!” In Paris walking through the tunnels for the Metro a deaf guy even motioned “huge beard” to his girlfriend and then pointed in my direction for her to turn and see. (That’s the first time I’ve seen beard signed, but it’s fairly obvious when you see it.) I actually appreciate it that a dad leaned down to his daughter to point out the giant beard on that guy(at least that’s what I imagine he said as she looked up after) Though I think so far my favorite was while riding the Metro in Paris a young boy about 2 or 2 and a half looking over his dad’s shoulder actually reached out to touch the beard as his dad was taking a seat. He continued to be mesmerized by it during the entire ride and when he got off I gave him a little wave and he waved back. I guess back in regular life I’m so used to being around familiar people that I forget what an oddity it is to have a ginormous beard. I will say one thing by and large that among the bearded there is great commraderie and recognition. You feel an instant kinship or link with fellow beardmen (I suppose you would beard women too, but I’ve been fortunate so far to avoid that particular meeting). I’ve even had the beardless say that my ginormous beard made me more approachable and accessible to talk with upon initial contact, which I would have thought it would have an opposite affect. So there you have it, my observations on beards while traveling and otherwise.

I also have a few pictures from Paris too and one last one from Scotland.

[eiffel and chucks pics]

[free the badger]

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Well the metro was about all of Paris that I got to see yesterday as I zipped back and forth trying to find a hostel that wasn’t all booked up. After 4-5 hours of riding the rails and looking hither and yon I finally gave up and just got a hotel room. Not as pricey as Belfast, but still not what I would have preferred. I had to stay in Paris last night because the train I had hoped to catch to Toulouse was all booked up as well because of the French Holiday on the 14th. Apparently everyone in France heads south and so it’s a very busy time. Everyone has been very nice so far and very accommodating to English so the language barrier has been less of a worry. I still have my phrase book though and try as much as I can. Today I think I will see the Eiffel Tower and a bit of the area since my train to Toulouse doesn’t leave until 10:30 tonight.

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I got my rail pass in today from DHL [surprising I know since it came DHL ie. the suckiest delivery service ever.] and my flight is booked for Friday from Glasgow to Paris. Once I get there I’ll be trying as best I can to get to see a bit of the 2008 Tour de France during the Pyrenees stages near Toulouse in the south of France. Then back to Paris for a few days to see the Louvre and all kinds of stuff, maybe even Jim Morrison’s grave. Finally a place that doesn’t natively speak English; now the real challenge begins.

After rewatching some of the Mute Math vlogs today I have a new favorite quote which I’ve shared below.

You can’t even fit a twizzler up there it’s so tight…and if you had one I’d eat it anyways. – Jordan (mute math roadie/merch guy)

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The tension was so thick you could have cut it with a knife. Our group of rag tag rock and rollers had just found out some terrible news. Unfortunately because it was a dream I don’t quite remember what that news was, but we were mad and it was terrible and there in front of us were the people responsible. They were another rock band that was popular, but couldn’t rock their way out of a wet paper sack. We rushed towards them as if we were going to jump them, but we knew what we had to do. Just when we were nose to nose with them I darted for my electric, the other members picked up their instruments, just in time for the lead singer to begin to wail on the microphone. The Rock and roll flew forth and in a short time we’d had our revenge. Oddly enough as I began to play I was thinking hmm this is weird because I can’t play guitar so even though the rock was coming out I was thinking how the heck do I do this. And one may ask who was this legendary band that you were playing with? None other than the group Murder by Death.

Funny dream eh?

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So this last week I was able to do quite a bit of fun stuff. I got to visit the William Wallace monument in Stirling which is quite impressive, visited Loch Ness and most importantly I got to visit Doune Castle. Doune is basically the most complete and well preserved example of a castle in the UK. But more importantly it was home to quite a few famous events. Including the ferocious taunting of the french knights and the grail shaped beacon of castle anthrax and finally the wedding scene of the king in the swamp. Quite literally a pilgrimage for any fan or follower of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I was also able to see a fine example of the traditional Scottish Highland Games in Fort Williams. And though I don’t have any pictures of the train ride back to Glasgow let me just say it was incredible going through just a bit of the highland area.

[doune castle and scotland games pictures]

[qt:http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/Taunts.mov http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/python-poster.png 480 240]

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The one scripture that keeps coming to mind while I’ve been traveling has been in Job 38 where the Lord answers Job.

1.The the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, 2.Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3.Gird up now your loins like a man, and I will demand of you, and you declare to Me. 4.Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Declare to Me, if you have and know understanding. 5.Who determined the measures of the earth, if you know? Or who stretched the measuring line upon it.? 6.Upon what were the foundations of if fastened, or who laid its cornerstone, 7.When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8.Or who shut up the sea with doors when it broke forth and issued out of the womb? – 9. When I made the clouds the garment of it, and thick darknetss a swaddling band for it, 10.And marked for it My appointed boundary and set bars and doors, 11.And said, Thus far shall you come and no farther; and here shall your proud waves be stayed? 12.Have you commanded the morning since your days began and caused the dawn to know its place, 13.So that light may get hold of the corners of the earth and shake the wickedness of night out of t? 14.It is changed like clay into which a seal is pressed and things stand out like a many-colored garment. 15.From the wicked their light is withheld and their uplifted arm is broken. 16.Have you explored the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in the recesses of the deep? 17.Have the gates of death been revealed to you? Or have you seen the doors of deep darkness? 18.Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth? Tell me if you know it all? 19.Where is the way where light dwells? And as for darkness, where is its abode, 20.That you may conduct it to its home, and may know the paths to its house? 21.You must know, since you were born then! Or because you are so extremely old! 22.Have you entered into the treasuries of snow, or have you seen the treasuries of the hail, 23.Which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war? 24.By what way is the light distributed, or the east wind spread ofver the earth? 25.Who has prepared a channel for the torrents of rain, or a path for the thunderbolt, 26.To cause it to rain on the uninhabited land and on the desert where no man lives, 27.To satisfy the waste and desolate ground and to cause the tender grass to spring forth? 28.Has the rain a father? Or who has begotten the drops of dew? 29. Out of whose womb came the ice? And the hoary frost of heaven, who has give it birth? 30.The waters are congealed like stone and the face of the deep is frozen. 31.Can you bind the chains of the stars Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion? 32.Can you lead forth the signs of the zodiac in their season? Or can you guide the stars of the Bear with her young? 33. Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rulle upon the earth? 34.Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, so that an abbundance of waters may cover you? 35.Can you send lightnings, that they may go and say to you, Here we are? 36.Who has put wisdom in the inward parts? Or who has given understanding to the mind? 37.Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can pour out the waters of the heavens 38.When heat has caused the dust to run into a mass and the clods to cleave fast together? 39.Can you Job hunt the prey for the lion? Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions 40.When they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in their hiding place? 41.Who provides for the raven its prey when the young ones cry to God and wander about for lack of food?

It seems to ring out in my ears, affirming his greatness and might. His immense power and wisdom. When looking at the highest mountains or facing the sea with its mighty waves, it is his hand that has wrought these things and set them in place. He has set the boundaries of the earth and it is by his word that he sustains all of creation. Great in power and might, strong in mercy and loving kindness. In comparison to him my knowledge and understanding are completely inadequate. So how then can I question his ways and designs? What about the situations that he allows or brings into my life, even the difficult ones in which I’m besieged by troubles of all kinds? What shall I say to him then? In the early part of the book Job states it well;

Job 2:10 – Shall we accept only good at the hand of God and shall we not accept also misfortune and what is of bad nature? –

What do I know or understand of these things and how can I in of myself divine their purpose. For his eyes are cast across the ages and the days of man are but few. But even in trouble I may have peace still because of his great care and love for us.

Matthew 10:29-31 – Are not two little sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without our Father’s leave and notice. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not then; you are of more value than many sparrows.-

If he knows the number of hairs on my head, in my case beard also, should I doubt the plans which he has laid.

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans that I have made for you, plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, to give you hope –

Job 13:15 – Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.

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If you dare click on the mighty Trogdor!

[qt:http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/Trogdor.mov http://travelingbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/Trogdor-poster.jpg 500 240]

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Let me just say for as much as the US has a long ways to go keeping our parks and cities free of trash, I guarantee you that we are lightyears ahead of the UK and Ireland.[I won’t make judgement yet against mainland Europe since I haven’t been there yet] It’s really shocking how in every green area, in every park, on every beach, along every street I find trash strewn about. Not just a little trash either, but a lot of it. It really breaks your heart to see these great castles and old cities splendorous in their beauty defiled by careless and hardened people. Ireland by far was the worst yet, but it seems none are free of it. Maybe my eyes were closed to the fact, but I don’t think even New York City was as dirty as the places over here. So I beseech any of you to continue doing your part and in the least please pick up after yourself when out and about.

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I spent a few days last week in and around London. I tried to get into Wimbledon, but I was number 9253 in the queue so I didn’t quite make it in. I also ventured up to Beaconsfield(pronounced Bekensfield) to the former home of GK Chesterton who is probably my favorite author. I’ve spent quite a bit of time here at the YWAM base camp in Scotland too hanging out with the whole crew here. Today I’ll be heading to Edinburgh to check out some of the William Wallace monument areas and also see some of the Locations that Monty Python and the Holy Grail were filmed. Interesting terminology for you London’s subway is called “The Tube”

[scotland/england pictures]

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Here’s the last bit of my time in Ireland. I was in Cork for a couple days and then Doolin by the cliffs of Mohr for a day. Sorry no pictures of Belfast though I did see some of the protestant loyalist marchers gearing up by playing drum and flute for the celebration of the defeat of the Irish by William of Orange and symbolizes quite a bit of conflict and sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. By the way Terry if you ever get a chance to come to Ireland I think you’d really like the path from Doolin along the coast up to the Cliffs of Mohr. It follows right around the edge of the cliffs and has some awesome views to the cliffs which remind me of the Cliffs of Insanity on the Princess Bride.

[mohair pictures]

And a couple from my first two days in Scotland. Which by the way is easy to enter illegally by the way of Ireland…which I have accidentally done. Better watch out for the bobbies.

[scotland train and sign pictures]

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Had a pretty cool tour through Cork today on an open top bus and got to visit Blarney castle. It’s a very nice area. The castle was a bit too busy to go up to the top, but I did visit the Dungeon cave. Mom I got your mail today from the post office thanks. And now I’ll leave you guys with pictures since I don’t have much else to say.

[ireland pictures]

[new york pictures]

[home pics]

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so somewhere in my infinite wisdom I thought “Hey walk around ireland that’s a good idea”…well it’s not. You sweat a ton cause your so stinking out of shape and then if you do find somewhere to pitch a tent there you are in a very small space…with no lack of your own BO. Then you walk all day to somewhere just to find out that both your guidebook and your map of Ireland are wrong and there’s not been a hostel there for a couple of years, so you grab a bite to eat and begin to head for the edge of town to sneak a camp spot when it starts raining. So now your wet and you stink. Heading back out of town the way you came you happen across a nice lawyer on his way to pickup his car and hearing your plight offers you a ride to the nearest hostel about twenty miles away. When my spirit was at it’s lowest God offered a lift…literally in a car:). This fellow was my best tour guide yet and proceeded to give me a thorough history of the area, even pointing out when we passed U2s manager’s place, you know the fifth member of the band:-). (he told me that, I wouldn’t have known). Then two days at glendalough which while being very pretty with the mountains and the lakes, thoroughly sucked. Then wouldn’t you know the 9:45bus back to civilization turned out to be a 4:30 bus, great right? Well not too wasted of a day I spent it in the enthralling book of Leviticus and let me say wow I’m glad I wasn’t jewish 2500 some years ago. Even though I did have that hillarious dream last winter about helping the macabees liberate/fight for the Jews.

Ireland is redeeming itself a bit tonight because I did find a much cooler hostel in Dublin than the first one I stayed at when I’d first arrived and I got some delicious Indian food in me after mostly eating the junk you get in gas stations while I was walking. Tomorrow think I’ll head to Cork and then belfast/the giants causeway. Then to Scotland! By the by does anyone have Gary and Bev’s or tim and amy’s contact info/address?

Sorry can’t upload any pictures yet all the inet PCs are locked down.

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Two words -flipping hot! Holy cow mamacita I’ve never sweat so much in my life. Mom, made it to the terminal. Everyone else more updates to follow