Saturday, May 13, 2006


What do I know of mothers? I had one.  I wouldn't be here if I didn't.  I guess we all did.  Even Jesus.  There was pain in our arrival.  The pain was forgotten with the joy that came.  But I was capable of providing pain even later on.
Then the verb, "to Mother".  I was mothered by birth and then mothered by choice.  My mom died when I was 13 (as did my dad).  Truck accident.  Duluth Minnesota.
So I was mothered by choice.  Mothered without the joy of childbirth but I managed to provide pain later.  I am grateful the pain didn't sever the relationship. This note can't express what that really means. 
I have a pastor friend who was raised by a relative.  There is a tentativeness of the inability to describe your feelings that goes with honoring the mother chosen by fate and duty to provide a home and a life to one without one. 
I'm thankful for his and I'm thankful for mine.  So, first to Ruth.  Mom.  Mother.  She is my Aunt.  She is my mom.  I don't know how to make that work.  It's always been complicated. I want to say Blessed Mothers Day.  You are one.  A blessing.  You chose.  That's beyond the call of duty.
There's another Mother.  My wife.  Mother of my two boys.  I am in awe of her.  Sometimes I'm mothered.  She's my best cheerleader.  She believes in me when I hardly do sometimes.  She loves me when I don't feel loveable.  That's being a mother.
So, to siblings Sue, Carol, Barb, Mary, Marla.  Mothers all.  This is your day.  We of the son persuasion cannot understand the meaning of being a mother.  I guess it's supposed to be that way. 
So the best I can do is say Thank You, Thanks for bringing life into the earth.  Thanks for being the mother God created you to be. 
I have tattooed you on my heart.  MOM with an arrow thru it.  It's invisible to the naked eye but when you see me you see the tattoo of the love you shared.  Every man, every son, every daughter has that tattoo. 
It's permanent. 

A New Dark Age Conspiracy of the Left

Nuclear Powerplants were stopped after 3 mile Island in Pennsylvania. This accident caused a near miss and created fear among many about nuclear power. Despite saner voices the left wing environmentalists prevailed and we no longer have nuclear being built.

Now 30 years later we are facing a global warming problem. I don't believe it's man made, at worst man aggravated nothing more.

The largest increase in temperature has been in the last 20 or so years. The halting of further nuclear power plants and the building of fossil fuel power plants in stead (most of the hydroelectric was built out years ago) has happened in the last 20 years.

Coal plants and natural gas power plants produce huge amounts of nasty gasses that make life potentially awful according to some.

If global warming is worse since we stopped using nuclear power as a percentage of our energy generation is there a cause and effect?

99% of our power generation nationwide comes from Coal, Natural Gas, Nuclear and Hydroelectric.

Despite all the falderal only 1% comes from "Alternative" sources. So put up lots more of those wind generators, solar panels and who knows what. You might get it down to 98%.

As of today, thank God, power companies have plans to build another 30 nuclear plants. Of course the usual suspects are out protesting. They don't want global warming allegedly produced by coal and natural gas power plants and there isn't any more land to flood and dam. Nuclear is a non-greenhouse gas producing power generator. No one has ever died in a nuclear accident in the USA. Ever. I know there are storage of waste issues. The left has stopped that too. NIMBY folks stopped it. Well, it's time to call a spade a spade.

This debate and stasis parallels the idea that the same people that are pro abortion-pro choice are also save the whales, baby seals, condors and old growth forest types. They are against fur coats and using animals to test things that might kill people. So in the tee shirts in their closet are anti everything tees. They're not for anything. They have no solutions. They just hate everything. They hate our way of life.

Don't ever ever let these people come to power. They will destroy the world we live in. You will live in the dark, freezing and immobilized because there will be no fuel for your car. (They are also against drilling holes in the ground because of the Alaskan caribou on the tundra).

Maybe that's the real conspiracy; A new dark age of the left.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Eterrnal Student - There but for the Grace of God Go I

I loved College. The 60's. Fun. Even some education. If I could have afforded the vilification, damage to my liver and money for tuition I would have stayed. But I didn't. I went on, got married and made a life. I was a piker next to Johnny Lechner. I didn't make the grade as an eternal student.

This guy did. He has been in college 12 years now. Wants to make it 13. His picture is there. He's a nice looking fellow of 29. I think he needs a wife. He's quite a guy. Even has a blog of his slackdom. He writes in February how he dropped his cell phone in the toilet after a night of partying and then had to dry it out in the food dryer.

"I'm suppose to be, like, Johnny College, and I haven't studied abroad," he said.

The epiphany sent Lechner into such a tailspin that Monday he called the registrar's office and backed out of graduation. He now says he will return to UW-Whitewater for an unprecedented 13th year as an undergraduate, spending about one third of it abroad.

Lechner has completed 265 college credits, about 130 more than needed to graduate. He pays double tuition - the so-called "slacker tax" - for lingering far beyond the requirements of any degree program. Had he graduated Saturday, he would have earned a liberal studies degree in education, communications, theater, health and women's studies.

It all sounds fun except when at my age you come to realize he just invested half his life in wine women song and Budweiser. That's an investment I'm wondering about. Wondering. Still wondering. 40 years ago my refrain would have been:

"Hey Johnny, Where's the Party?"

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Radio Geek

I'm a radio geek.  I have been all my life.  Grew up with it.  Didn't have TV till I was 11.  By then AM radio was my life.  Heck later in life I started and ran a radio network.  I created the first application for the license for frequency 107.9 in Fargo.  So radio is a big deal to me.
My wife and kids used to tease me.  If I made a purchase it was usually for a new radio, Bible or gun.  I mean, can you ever get enough of any of these.  You can't shoot the same Gun all day long, now can you?  I probably own a dozen of each right now.  And I'm thinking of buying a new one.
We have pretty good radio in the Chicagoland Metro area.  I listen all night.  Partially because I suffer from insomnia if I don't.  Eric Zorn, a columnist from Chicago recently blogged on this and now has written a column about people who can only sleep with talk radio on. I am one of those.  I try to listen and then fall asleep.  Usually it's Coast to Coast with George Nory.  Banal enough stuff but just interesting enough to fall asleep to.  Good radio.  Read Eric's whole thing.  I have tried to use music but I end up listening to it.  If I am going to sleep it has to be talk.  Not loud upsetting talk.  Just talk. 
You will have to be an online subscriber to the Tribune (it's free) to read this, but trust me, it's worth it and they won't send you a bunch of crap.  Plus how are you going to keep up with the Cubbies without this.  So, sign up.
The other  radio article was about an eclectic radio station in Arizona.  How this guy just plays music he likes.  How his mix has attracted listeners far and wide.  How people love the format. 
I love that kind of format.  Personal and eclectic. We all do.  Look at Howard Stern.  Look at Rush Limbaugh.  Not matter which one, they talk about what interests them and we listen if we are in tune with them.  If not we switch.  They have soul.  That's radio.
So, here's the question, if stations like the Arizona station get such rabidly loyal listeners, if Limbaugh and Stern get such rabidly loyal listeners, and might I say in the eclectic, Jack Sunday and Sandy get rabidly loyal listeners, why in heaven's name (or the other place) would the suits at conglomerates make a concerted effort to rip the soul out of radio by programming the mindless playlists they do.  We have every format on the planet in the 40 radio stations I can get.  Half are programmed from Mars.  I know these people are from Mars because they have no idea what humans like.  Bonneville, Integrity, Clear Channel.  They're all here.  Dummies.
I wish someone would walk into the suits at these conglomerates and say, do you want to know why no one listens??  We play crap.
Let ONE person with a specific musical taste play what THEY like no matter what.  That's radio. 
I remember in the early 70's some late nite Jock on KQWB FM played In a Gadda da Vida all night long straight thru (the long version).  I don't remember his name, he was controversial and brash and loud but Dang, he played good music.  You had to listen because he played songs before anyone else even knew it was coming.  Cutting edge.
I know there is all kinds of eclectic music available by internet.  I know I can go to the antichrist store (Wal-Mart) and buy a cheap FM retransmitter to pick it up on any radio in the house.  I may do that.
But, wouldn't it be really wonderful if free broadcast radio actually regained a soul and allowed music programming to reflect the views of the host alone, not some playlist created in San Francisco for Oklahoma City.  We do this with Talk Radio and it works.  Get a clue you big radio owners.  You are asleep.  Internet and Satellite will eat your lunch if you don't.
But I will fall asleep tonite late night  with WGN, WLS, WTAN, WKTC.   Life is still ok.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I'm Supposed to Join a 12 Step Program

I have liberal friends (honest). I sent a couple a review of Ann Coulter’s (of fine legs fame) new book: Godless – The Church of Liberalism.

I got back a response from one of them which made me laugh. It’s clever. He wants me to join a 12 step program to recover from being a rightwing nut conservative. It follows:

Twelve Steps
1. Admit I am powerless over my wing nut thoughts—that my life has become unmanageable.
2. I believe that liberal thought and actual open-minded intellectual discourse will restore my sanity.
3. Make a decision to turn my life over to the care of any liberal who will lead me in the path of righteousness and enlightenment.
4. Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself and move beyond my wing nut mentality..
5. Admit to all, to myself and at least a dozen Republicans the exact nature of my sins, wrongs and foolish thoughts.
6. Identify and destroy all my unending defects of character and commune with John McCain and Jimmy Carter allowing their superior intellect and ethics to penetrate my wall of arrogance..
7. Humbly asked the creator to remove my infinite shortcomings and fix my condescending personality. .
8. Make a list of all liberals I have belittled, admit the error of my ways and be willing to make amends to them all.
9. Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continue to take personal inventory and when I do wrong recognize it and admit it.
11. Seek through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with all liberals, make a good faith effort to listen and understand them, praying for the real knowledge I never took the time to learn and the power to finally understand tolerance, ethical conduct and the spirit of actually caring about others..
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, I will try to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in my every day contact with Reality Based Bob and his very intelligent friends and hopefully continue it on to other people who now realize that Bush is incompetent and a real whack job..

I’m not sure I’ll join, but you go ahead without me.

Disappointment in St. Charles

The other day my wife was grocery shopping at our favorite store. Aldi.

I have written about Aldi before. But one of the ways they keep prices in line is they don't take credit cards. They take Debit and Cash. That's it.

Oh and they take the card things that are the new food stamps.

Even though we shop at Fresh Market and other high priced places we really like Aldi best.

So, she is standing in line to pay. Two people ahead of her had a stack of groceries and not knowing the policy,tried to pay with a credit card. NO GO. She had very little cash and no debit card. So, she apologized and told the cashier that she would have to put all the product back.

Just then the woman behind her said, don't worry about it, "I'll pay for your groceries" and she did. And she said, "Welcome to the community". What disappointed my wife was this, She wanted to do this and didn't move fast enough.

That's the kind of community we live in. That's the kind of people we live among. I have seen this kind of thing more than once. That's why I have such high hopes for this area and the Church Jesus wants to birth here. Most of these people have good hearts. They are generous not because they are prosperous, they are prosperous because they are generous. In the secular economy Biblical principles operate just as well as in the Christian world.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.

I have lived all over the world and never seen anyplace like this. Peggy and I have been placed here to do what he wants for such a time as this.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Ann-o-my-Heart Strikes Again

In case you were wondering what to buy someone for an early Christmas present, consider buying Ann Coulters new book. I found the review below most enlightening.

If you consider yourself a liberal, WARNING WARNING WARNING do not read any further. If you are a conservative read and enjoy. Ann doesn't make many friends but she sure nails it.

America's most beloved and most despised commentator goes for the jugular like never before in her new book, "Godless: The Church of Liberalism."

This is not Ann Coulter's fence-mending mission with her enemies.

In her new book Coulter shows how liberal hostility to traditional religion stems from the fact that liberalism is itself a religion – a godless one. And, she reveals, thanks to the liberals who dominate the courts, the government bureaucracies, the schools and the media, liberalism is now the established religion in America.

Though liberalism rejects the idea of God and reviles people of faith, it bears all the attributes of a religion itself. In "Godless," she throws open the doors of the Church of Liberalism, showing us:
  • · its sacraments (abortion)
  • · its holy writ (Roe v. Wade)
  • · its martyrs (from Soviet spy Alger Hiss to cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal)
  • · its clergy (public school teachers)
  • · its churches (government schools, where prayer is prohibited but condoms are free)
  • · its doctrine of infallibility (as manifest in the "absolute moral authority" of spokesmen from Cindy Sheehan to Max Cleland)
  • · and its cosmology (in which mankind is an inconsequential accident)
Then, of course, there's the liberal creation myth: Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

For liberals, evolution is the touchstone that separates the enlightened from the benighted. But Coulter neatly reverses the pretense that liberals are rationalists guided by the ideals of free inquiry and the scientific method. She exposes the essential truth about Darwinian evolution that liberals refuse to confront: It is bogus science.
Writing with a keen appreciation for genuine science, Coulter reveals that the so-called "gaps" in the theory of evolution are all there is – Darwinism is nothing but a gap. After 150 years of dedicated searching into the fossil record, evolution's proponents have failed utterly to substantiate its claims. And a long line of supposed evidence, from the infamous Piltdown Man to the "evolving" peppered moths of England, has been exposed as hoaxes. Still, liberals treat those who question evolution as religious heretics and prohibit students from hearing about real science when it contradicts Darwinism. And these are the people who say they want to keep faith out of the classroom?

Liberals' absolute devotion to Darwinism, Coulter shows, has nothing to do with evolution's scientific validity and everything to do with its refusal to admit the possibility of God as a guiding force. They will brook no challenges to the official religion.

Why Students from North and South Dakota do better

Statistically academic achievement is much higher among Dakota students than among school age children resident in Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis or New York City.

There has been huge money spent to rectify this ill. The cost to educate the students is half in the Dakotas from what it is in major metropolitan areas.

There must be a logical explanation. I am the master of conspiracy theories. Therefore I believe I have figured it out.

Comtrails – Chemtrails.

You know what they are. They are the streaks that populate the sky during the day leaving a footprint of where airliners have flown. They have been blamed for pollution, changing the weather patterns and littering the formerly clear blue skies. They have been given credit for holding off global warming.

But the real conspiracy is that these chemtrails are filled with mind altering drugs. I heard this precise allegation on an overnight talk show, Coast to Coast. So it must be true. Our kids breath the air salted with these chemical cocktails and it suppresses the ability of the mind to learn. There is more air traffic in the major cities mentioned above therefore more of the evil mind numbing chemicals in the air. The Dakotas have far less air traffic ergo far fewer comtrails. The mind numbing is going on and kids are still dumbed down but to a far lesser degree.

You know it’s not as good as when we were kids. It must be the chemtrails. Otherwise we would have to point the finger at a failing public school system, teachers and administrators who only care about themselves and their pocketbook over the children’s education. That’ll never do.

So, it has to be the Chemtrails - Comtrails. Right?

A Eulogy for Robert Redlin

A couple weeks ago an Uncle of mine died. Not unusual anymore. I'm gettin older, they're changing worlds. I sent flowers. I also sent a eulogy I wrote. I faxed it to the pastor. One of the Great Grandchildren read it.

I got a call yesterday from my cousin (His daughter). She expressed appreciation. Her comment was, that was really touching, you should be a writer. Without thinking I said, I am a writer. Which brought me to think, what is a writer? I have come to the conclusion: A writer is one who writes. There are good and bad writers. But if you consistently write you hone your art and become a writer. When I started this blog a couple years ago I was counseled by a veteran blogger to write every day. She gave me several other tips. I am thankful.

I am also thankful that somehow God gave me the gift of written gab. I appreciate the ability to create and transmit thoughts and ideas. I'm thankful that others appreciate it. I am always happy to be able to give a gift of thoughtful writing when I can. I'm thankful to those of you who read this blog and comment from time to time and who tolerate my writing, sometimes even appreciating. I'll take a chance. Thanks to regular readers, Karma, Jack, Doug, Steve, Sue, Adam, Keith, Scott, Dixie, Ruth, Jim, Todd, Barry, Rick, Dan, Curt, Ken, and probably a dozen or more I missed. I will try hard to not write without thinking of you, what you have to endure and not being too insulting. That is difficult sometimes. I'm so irascible.

One note on the Eulogy below, Uncle Robby lived in Carpenters Home in Lakeland Fl. Carl Straders church. Now being used by Church Without Walls Randy and Paula White. Rodney Howard Browne lives near there. He operated out of this church for many years. Carl is a friend of mine tacitly. I got to know him in Fargo at a men's retreat. We spent a good deal of time during which he shared his vision for Carpenters Home with me.

Isn't it funny how what goes around comes around. Uncle Robby lived and died in Carpenters Home.

You never know what an investment of money in a vision will pay in fruit later on.

April 25, 2006

Reflections on the life of my Uncle Robert (Bob) Redlin

He was my father'’s brother. That counts for a lot. But he was also my friend in many ways. If an uncle can also be a friend he was.

He was faithful to write when he could. He sent me clippings often of events taking place at a church we both were aware of. An Assembly of God Church Carpenters Church Lakeland Florida.

I tried to respond in kind. He always made the effort to stay in touch. I appreciate that about him.

I recall as a kid, family reunions at his farm north of Watertown with the big silo in the yard. Baseball games. Bob and his brothers loved baseball. Those of us not "of age"” would be allowed to bat. He umped. I was terrible. I would get several more than I deserved strikes because of alleged "“ticks"” that only he heard. I suspected he was giving me a break.

Sometimes I visited one of my favorite cousins, Bob Jr in Watertown. We managed to get into trouble enough but Uncle Bob (Robby we called him) would scold and then forgive.

Gathering for his 90th birthday last fall in Wisconsin was the last time I saw him. It was a warm and wonderful day. I will treasure that always. Memories are great. The reality of it all was better.

So to a man who loved his family, his politics, and his Jesus, I say goodbye.
Maybe better said, see you soon. There are so many more goodbyes than hellos these days. That'’s why I treasure the hellos so much.

My condolences to my cousins Bob and Roberta and my congratulations to Uncle Robby for a life well lived. Jesus, would you give him an extra strike? I heard a tick, didn'’t you?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Does Grieving Have a Gender?

I was reminded of the loss (Death) of our last two pets, Skipper the Dog and Ebner the cat. Family and friends who remember the 18 years of Skipper always include something akin to this phrase, “that was the ugliest dog I ever saw”. He was no beauty pageant winner. But he was Skip and he was my dog.

Eb I rescued from a burlap sack that was going to be tossed in the water by a neighbor who had too many cats and Eb just didn’t fit. I traded him for a bushel of corn. Eb was always thankful. He loved something called the running game. Sometimes when he was feeling frisky he would run as fast as he could and then jump on a towel and slide across the floor. He also taught us to speak cat. I wrote on that once. But he loved however cats love. We had him 20 years.

When they died (10 years apart) I grieved.

I still do.

Which brings me to my point. I think grieving contains a gender differential. Maybe because women are aware of the creation of life they are allowed to carry they see life as sunrise and sunset different from men. Men don’t experience sunrise so sunsets seems so wrenching.

I have friends who read this blog (yes it’s about you) who lost a young adult son a few years ago. Watching them grieve and deal with this (can anyone really deal with it) causes me to believe that men grieve more deeply and permanently than women do. Not better. Just deeper. Maybe actually worse. We (I include myself here) don’t ever really get over it.

Men put on a big bravado show. Men are bold and brash. Men’s hearts break deeply and heal slowly. Women don’t do this. They seem to have a good sob, put things away and move on.

Like King David in the Bible after burying the love child of him and Bathsheba took a shower changed clothes and went back to work. I will tell you that’s not normal. Maybe because Nathan the prophet had told him this would happen he had prepared himself.

This all comes to me because of a moving account of a fellow blogger’s account of having a long time pet cat put to sleep. What struck me was the depth of comment from one of the men who called himself old timer. I know what he’s saying. If you are a man, so do you.

Men don’t do well with personal loss. Women lose husbands and life goes on sometimes for 30 years. Men lose wives and like Johnny Cash are gone in a few months.

I don’t know what that means. I don’t know why it is. It just is.