Friday, December 21, 2007

The True Christmas Spirit

My wife and I had something happen to us a couple of days ago that truly has renewed my faith in other people.

The story goes like this. It was really cold and our daughter didn't want to wait outside for the school bus, so we told her we would take her to school. We get in the car and drop the younger 2 kids off at the elementary school.

After dropping them off, the wife notices that the car is acting a little weird. I get out to find that the left rear tire had gone flat and was starting to come apart.

I am not mechanically inclined, so putting the spare on was not really an option. We baby the car in to the Wal Mart down the street and do some Christmas shopping while we get a new tire put on.

We get done with the shopping and go back to the auto section to pick up the car.

That is when the amazing thing happened. There was a lady in front of us paying for something she had done to her car. The Wal Mart clerk pulls out our paperwork and I look it over. While I'm doing that, this lady who was in front of us asks if we were the people who had the tire blow out on us.

I say "yes", then this person I had never seen before in my life pulls out her credit card and asks if she could pay for the tire for us for Christmas. All I could manage was a kind of half stunned "yes, thank you". We didn't get her name, and we will probably never see this lady again.

As the song goes, there are truly angels among us, most often when you very least expect it.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Living Christmas Tree

We are going tomorrow night to the Knoxville Living Christmas Tree at Thompson-Boling Arena. The picture is from the 2006 production.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thompson-Boling Arena and Neyland Stadium

TBA and Neyland Stadium
Originally uploaded by Michael Wender

One of the nicer shots of Neyland Stadium and Thompson-Boling I have ever seen.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007


There is a candlelight vigil on campus tonight for the victims at Virginia Tech.

I wasn't planning to go, but I think I will, if only to give myself some limited sense of closure.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech

I don't know anybody who works for or goes to school at Virginia Tech, but it got me to thinking. Here I am on a college campus about the size of VA Tech. If something this drastic could happen in a little nothing happening place like Blacksburg, it could truly happen anywhere.

We even had a bomb threat here yesterday and they cleared out a couple of buildings for an hour or so. It turned out to be a hoax, but as crazy as the world is now, you never know.


It turns out that I do know someone at Virginia Tech. I have a cousin who lives there now and has an office across the street from the campus. She and her husband are both fine.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A good lesson

I found this on another blog a few days ago. It gives a good message about the basic difference between conservative Republicans and most Democrats (and these days, even "moderate" Republicans like John McCain and Rudy Guiliani).

A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat and was for distribution of all wealth.

She felt deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican, which she expressed openly. One day she was challenging her father on his beliefs and his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the addition of more government welfare programs.

Based on the lectures that she had participated in and the occasional chat with a professor she felt that for years her father had obviously harbored an evil, even selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his. The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father.

He stopped her and asked her point blank, how she was doing in school. She answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain. That she studied all the time and never had time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend and didn't really have many college friends because of spending all her time studying.

Her father listened and then asked, "How is your good friend Mary doing?" She replied, & Mary is barely getting by; She continued, "She barely has a 2.0 GPA, "adding, and all she takes are easy classes and she never studies; "But Mary is so very popular on campus, college for her is a blast, she goes to all the parties all the time and very often doesn't even show up for classes because she is too hung over."

Her father then asked his daughter, "Why don't you go to the Dean's Office and ask him to deduct a 1.0 off your 4.0 GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0." He continued, “That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA."

The daughter visibly shocked by her father's suggestion angrily fired back, "That wouldn't be fair! I worked really hard for mine, I did without and Mary has done little or nothing, she played while I worked real hard!"

The father slowly smiled, winked and said, “Welcome to the Republican Party."

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Turning 40

I'm not sure how I feel (or how I should feel) about turning 40. I know I have gained a fair bit of weight, but I don't know how much because I don't have a scale. All I know is that my pants and shirts are getting tighter, so it is time to step away from the table and get exercising again.

Fortunately, this place (commonly known as T-RECS), is right down the street.