Saturday, September 30, 2006

What's on the television tonight?

Now that the fall television schedule is in full swing my television schedule has cemented as well. My shows for this season include...

The Amazing Race on CBS
House, M.D. on FOX
The Office on NBC
Globetrekker on PBS
Lost on ABC

And once a month, Frontline:World on PBS.

That's it. I kicked Smallville off two seasons ago. Alias and Everwood are gone. And Survivor has become boring and predictable. So about five hours a week with the occassional sporting event on television thrown in for good measure. Probably don't have time for much more.

Friday, September 29, 2006


I haven't been able to post on my blog as frequently recently. I've been busy building shelves, cribs, trundle beds, desks, hanging blinds, etc... I can't blog at school because our district now employs a filtering system so airtight even wikipedia is off limits for reasons only a fascist would understand.

One of the great benefits of being a teacher are the many opportunities that abound for fresh starts and new beginnings. Each new six week term, semester, and especially each new school year allows for catching up, introspection, and new resolutions.

One of my goals this six weeks is to simplify. My life is about to kick into a new level of complexity with the anticipated arrival of our son in December. There will be many things in my life I will not be able to control. So I would like to reduce, coelesce, and eliminate much of the clutter in my life that makes control difficult. Yes, I know you cannot control everything...but it would be nice to control what you can control, if that makes sense. For me...I experience paralysis when things become too cluttered or convoluted with unnecessary complexity. So that's my new goal...Simplify.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Weird things on the Road

As we were flying through Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois and finally Indiana and then back...we saw some interesting sights on the road. As we walked into the IHOP in Bryant, Arkansas I saw Billy Bob Thorton...or a guy who was the spitting image of Angelina Jolie's ex-husband. As soon as we walked in I turned to my brother-in-law Sam and said, "there's Billy Bob Thornton!" I went back to the truck to get my camera for proof. But as I was walking back in he was walking out with his group. I quickly made my way to the table and had my sister-in-law pull up the window blind so I could snap some shots surreptiousesly. Fortunately Billy Bob stopped in the parking lot and I got some good shots. Judge for yourself. Billy Bob or an imposter? Billy Bob is from Arkansas I do believe. Someone asked why I didn't say "Billy Bob" really loud in the IHOP to see if it was him. I responded that if I said that if I had said "Billy Bob" half the resturaunt would have answered being that we were in Arkansas.

We also saw the usual low flying crop dusters that you always see between Blytheville and New Madrid. Here are some shots of them coming close to hitting us on the highway..We also the Sanyo blimp heading south along I-57 near Boomland, Missouri. Weird stuff on I-30, I-40, I-55, I-57, and I-64.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Singular Man

Last Friday saw the passing of a great man to his new life in Heaven. Kimberly's paternal grandfather's, Elmer (Papaw) Lagenour, physical body finally succumbed to a long heroic battle with cancer. Ten years ago, Papaw was given only a few months to live. He outlived that diagnosis by ten years. Kimberly and I have been blessed to have had all eight grandparents in our lives until Papaw's passing last week.

Papaw was a singular man...a true renaissance man. He was a beloved father, husband, and grandfather. He was also an expert carpenter, musician...especially on his Gibson Les Paul, engineer, mechanic, farmer, rancher, hunter, fisherman, entreprenuer, pastor, theologian and much much more.He built and operated his own saw mill. He cut down his own trees and used the mill to construct his own house. He knew how to tap trees for syrup, cultivate an orchard, hunt for mushrooms, and lead a musical enesemble. He even ran a roller skating rink. His talents were wide and varied.

When he "retired" from Crane munitions he entered the ministry and pastored several churches. Hundreds came to his viewing and the funeral service. He had obviously touched the lives of many. He gave me a great appreciation for things I had never really considered such as the beauty of American roots music, gardening, nature and many other things. He presided over my wedding to his granddaughter. He showed confidence in me by inviting me to speak at his last pastorate...Doolittle Mills, Indiana. He was a true role model.He will be greatly missed and I hope that I can in some small way continue his legacy by reflecting his gentle Christianity and interest in the many aspects of this gift of life that God has given us.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


"I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion."

"We all realized we were leaving confusion and nonsense behind and performing our one and noble function of the time, move."

- Jack Kerouac, On The Road

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Artistry of Man

My new goal is to try to express myself artistically at least once a day. Such expressions can be expressed in a multitude of ways. Writing (including journaling), musically (for me that means trumpet or guitar), sketching, drawing, painting, poetry, photography or whatever.

Our days can quickly be filled with mundane chores and projects. Granted, these chores and to-do lists may improve the quality and enjoyment of our lives. But we must not allow ourselves to become automons checking off our procedure charts.

We must fight for our humanity. We must tap into our God given creativity. The well of imagination is in danger of drying up if we do not continously make use of it.

We need not be a Rembrandt, Picasso, Hemingway, Yo Yo Ma, or Ansel Adams to artistically represent ourselves. We simply need to be human. The Neolithic cave paitings of France are simple...yet beautiful. The drawings of a child on a fridge are majestic. The whistling of a worker drone is melodious.

Let's not do art for art's sake. Let's do art for our own humanity's sake.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Christian Humanism - Living Life to the Fullest

Life is a gift. Sounds fairly obvious. But for the vast majority of Christian history the idea that life was something to be endured not enjoyed reigned supreme. During the Medieval Era life was a miserable drudgery for the vast majority of Christian believers. Life was hard for the peasants and they were taught to handle their station in life by focusing their eyes on heaven and not on earth.

But life is a gift given to us from God. We are meant to enjoy this gift. Life is an essential part of our spiritual journey. We should embrace this gift. However, we should always keep our minds focused on the true goal and not become so in love with life that we become obsessed with the things of this world.

But we should live life to the fullest and use all the gifts God has bestowed upon us to the greater glory of His Kingdom. Every day is an opportunity to witness for his Kingdom. Every day is an opportunity to enjoy God's creation. Also, living life to the fullest helps us help people around us rather than ignore their plight. God does not want us to live in misery. He has given us hope eternal. We should reflect that hope in our daily lives.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Original Weezer Fans

I have convinced my students that I was one of the original fans of Weezer. There is some truth to that...I did buy their first album back in 1994 on the recommendation of my friend Michael Jordan (the trombonist from Alva, Oklahoma...not the Chicago Bull) three months before their first single (The Sweater Song) became a big hit. By the way, my wife still isn't taking my suggestion to name our baby boy Rivers after Weezer's lead singer Rivers Cuomo.

Anyway, in the liner notes on a couple of their albums they thank someone named David White. In fact, in the liner notes for the Green Album they thank both a Kimberly White and a David White. I don't think they're talking about me otherwise I would have scored better tickets than what I ended up with last October at their concert in Dallas.

So here is a picture of the liner notes thanking me and Kimberly. Hmmm...maybe they are thanking us after all. I mean, c' many David Whites are there in the world? That's not that common of a name. Rivers that would be a cool name...even my Mother-in-law thinks so. Rivers Cuomo just graduated from Harvard. How cool would it be to named after a leader singer from a rockin' band who's also a Harvard grad!