Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Posted by Hello
statues of self... the left false, the right real. Made by my brother from another mother, Duane.

the false represents the self we present to the world... sanitized, regular... heck one could mass produce them. the false self is a soul-less obelisk, lacking personality, lacking uniqueness.

The real self is like a tree that has survived Hiroshima and still stands… wrecked, bleeding, pierced, but hauntingly beautiful. The bloody concertina wire has violated the tree twice, and is poised to strike again… nails fired from a distance are imbedded in the trunk… and the tree hemorrhages.

warrior paradigm

I am a warrior.
There are some that choose urban warfare; others fight terrorists; while others fight in the bowels of buildings run by governments... all with the same cause. They fight the just wars that physically renounce despotism and oppression... and my freedom to pen this depends on them. I thank them, and honor their commitment and blood, and the sacrifice that their families make... including the pain of living past the ultimate sacrifice of a son or daughter... witness Priam's kissing the hands of Achilles... Priam's grief, the dim reflection of the grief of the One True God.
And here begins my story ... for I wrestle not with beings of flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness. Battle measured more in heart than blood, where to lose is to be damned to live without a real heart. And I have trained well… I was bred for this fight, warrior’s son of a warrior’s son, and was trained from the second day of my life. I have seen much, and have been wounded… wounds of warfare leaving no mark, but carrying the stench of death.
I am commissioned, and will execute… though one may not notice immediately. I work counter insurgence, with a wireless communication to Central… wear body armor but no cammo. As a forward observer in Enemy territory, I found that hardware only illuminated me as a target… I pack lightly… intellectual ammo with grenades that decimate darkness with light… made of the same heart material that the enemy seeks to destroy. I walk lightly because supply dumps are everywhere, some created by men who fought in the two previous millennia… no need to hoard.
Bleed with me my brothers, and if I fall, say only, “he fought well” and shed no tears. Guide my sons and daughters to their destiny, for they will fight more valiantly than I.

Friday, January 07, 2005

pee pee dance

this is a story I tell in jail...

My youngest boy, Elijah, eats up life, and won't consider being interrupted by even the insistent call of biological function. We'll be at the park and he is doing the unmistakable dance... a slight shuffle while holding the nozzle for dear life... and I say, "Hey Eli, do you need to use the bathroom?"... and Eli shakes his head and runs off to the next point of interest. I call out, "Hey Eli, let's just take a break for a bit, the porta pottie is just over there, and you're looking like you really need to go." ... more shuffling, more dire squeezing, but Eli can't be convinced to give it up. I either have to go over and physically pick him up, and over protests drag him of to relief, or he WILL pee himself. I know this because I have tested his will just to see what would happen.

Elijah comes by this naturally... I know that God does the same thing with me... "Hey Vern, why don't you let me handle that, take a load off?" and I say, "No Lord, I've got it... don't you worry about me, I won't bother you with this!" And I dance and shuffle and hold on to whatever is the pressing issue. And unless God in His mercy just goes ahead and grabs it from me, I wait until I pee myself. Then we have to cut our day short while I go home and change my shorts.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

vern and wife shelley at a friend's...

vern and shelley Posted by Hello

my wife and I at a friend's house in Colorado, Gary Taylor http://wildgraygoose.blogspot.com ... as you can see, I waded way deeper out in the gene pool when I maried Shelley... and every pretty girl needs a Neanderthal, and voila, there I was.

I play ice hockey (for about 40 years), and recently caught an edge, hit the boards and experienced some ultra high speed dentistry... I have less teeth now. Between my facial hair, my lack of front teeth, and living on the northern edge of the Appalachian Mountains... well, put it this way, the local Walmart plays the theme from Deliverance when I walk in.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

about knowing

About Knowing Posted by Hello

It's about to be a new semester... time for me to mould (or warp) the minds of a new set of students.I always start by setting expectations using this graph.

know – what we know… for me this might be network engineering or biomedical engineering.

know you don’t know – for me, this might be astrophysics… I know virtually nothing about astrophysics… but I do know the word, and I do know it is something I don’t know. Using Google, in a couple of hours I could get a fairly good picture of the scope of the subject… using the college library and some of my collegues, I could probably know something about it in a couple of days… and with any effort and focus, I could know more about it than most Americans in a year.

don’t know you don’t know – absolute ignorance… like looking into the clear nighttime sky and seeing specs of light… not knowing what to call them (stars), or that the study of astronomy has been a science for millennia.

know but don’t want to know – denial… the truth is my jeans are tight because I’ve been over eating… but I choose to know that the dryer has been hotter than usual, and the clothes are naturally shrinking.

The classes I teach made the know segment very slightly larger, but with any success I’ll make the know you don’t know segment much larger. Both areas of growth impinge on the don’t know you don’t know segment.