Monday, December 26, 2005

New Site!

Some day in the nearing future we will have a new web site. The site will be found at Mark your favorites now. We currently have the new web address linked to the soon-to-be old web site. If you want to see pictures of my handsome son, stunning dog and beautiful wife click on the link above. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Holiday film critique

The March of the Penguins
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe


Must Love Dogs

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Beer-cheese bread and a dirty old man

We are now in Wisconsin. We traveled all day on Sunday and now we are here. We arrived to 8 inches of snow and frigid temperatures (almost like ND). This morning I had coffee at a place called Cafe Diem (that is a cheesy name for a coffee establishment but it is better than others I have heard - that is a different blog post entirely). I drank coffee and read 2 Timothy as well as a few chapters of a book on marriage. I will take just a second to let you know that my wife is amazing and I am glad we are married.

Whilst I made vegetarian chili, Kirsten and her mother looked through a few photo albums from days of yore. Below is one photo I thought to be blog-worthy.

The little tike on the left is Kirsten. The one on the right is Gretchen (Kirsten's sister). The guy in the middle is some dirty old man who has had a few too many Colt 45's. If you had any question of whether or not Ezra was really our son - look at Kirsten in the above picture. Ezra is definitely Kirsten's child. I know Kirsten to be a faithful wife, thus Ezra is also my son.

Tonight we will sup on vegetarian chili and beer-cheese bread. You are invited.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Some things are not meant for a pie!

This evening I loaded up the wife and son and headed out to the local pizza parlor (notice I said "the" parlor - because there is only one in town). Sammy's Pizza advertises "kids eat free on Tuesdays." Eat free is exactly what our boy did tonight. He ate crackers, croutons, hand-fulls of ranch dressing, and fork after fork of greasy pizza. As we waited for Dorris to return with our pizza we heard a few strange pizza topping combinations.

There are times when I write things to be humorous - this is not one of those times. The following is completely true. Directly behind my wife two middle-aged women ordered a medium pepperoni and bleu cheese pizza. I am not a big fan of meat but the pepperoni sounded delicious compared to the bleu cheese. Dirty sock foot cheese should not be on a pizza. To my left sat a family of eight. It must have been a family Christmas gathering because they had me take their picture. If a Christmas picture at a pizza joint doesn't say 'class' I don't know what does. They ordered several large pizzas, but among the orderings was a large canadian bacon and sauerkraut pie.
Maybe it is because we lived in the Pizzaland, Illinois for three years, but these topping choices sounded absolutely wretched. I kept waiting for Joe what's-his-name from Fear Factor to show up with a stop watch to time the families as they scarfed down the far from edible pizza. Maybe he didn't get the memo because he never showed up.

As my wife and I discussed the toppings of choice we were trying to figure out why anyone in their half-right mind would put something like that even close to their food-consuming oriface. The answer was waiting for us on our drive home. We drove past the Lutheran church and noticed a large sign out front that read Lutefisk and Meatball Dinner - Thursday 6 PM.

*For those weak of stomach please do not read any further.*

Lutefisk is made from air-dried whitefish (normally cod), prepared with lye, in a sequence of particular treatments. The first treatment is to soak the stockfish in cold water for five to six days (changed daily). The saturated stockfish is then soaked in an unchanged solution of cold water and lye for an additional two days. The fish will swell during this soaking, regaining a size even bigger than the original (undried) fish, but the protein content paradoxically decreases by more than 50 percent, causing its famous jelly-like consistency. When this treatment is finished, the fish is full of lye, has a pH value of 11-12 and is poisonous. To make the fish edible, a final treatment of yet another four to six days (and nights) of soaking in cold water (also changed daily) is needed. Eventually, the lutefisk is ready to be used for cooking.
WHAT!?! Are you serious? Any food that includes the words lye, unchanged solution, swell, famous jelly-like consistency and poisonous are not meant to be put in your mouth. The above description sounds like the treatments I had to go through when I had second degree burns down my legs and feet. There was no way in the world I would have stuck my legs in my mouth, yet people here eat this stuff at church over some fellowship and gossip. I think the frigid temperatures have frozen the brain cells of many-a-Scandinavian.

Maybe it is common law here that one must ingest at least one nasty substance a month. The families at Sammy's this evening knew the Lutefisk & Meatball dinner was this week so they went with the old standby - bleu cheese and sauerkraut. Oofta!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

50 Words a day!

Recently someone axed me about our son. I took this as an invitation to do something that all fathers want to do...brag on their chillun's.

Ezra Jude Black is almost 19 months young. He has one fur brother and one fur-less brother on the way. Lord willing, the new Black boy will be birthed in February. Ezra is excited and often points to Kirsten's belly and says "beebee." He is working on the pronunciation of his brother's name. He doesn't quite have the consonants down yet but he is trying. I have heard that around 18 months children are able to learn 50 new words a day. I don't think this means they are able to say 50 new words a day. I think it means that they begin to understand about 50 words a day. For instance, when I ask Ezra if he wants to look for a squirrel he instantly runs to our front window in search of the bushy-tailed varmint. He is not able to say 'squirrel' but he knows the words. Kirsten has had to cut back on the amount of cursing she throws around on a daily basis. Other than the sailing part, she curses just like a drunken sailor.

Words Ezra tries to pronounce:

1. ball - 'bow'
2. mittens - 'meece'
3. mommy - 'mommy'
4. daddy - 'dadda'
5. papa - 'baba'
6. grammy - 'meemee'
7. grandpa - 'baba'
8. grandma - 'baba'
9. Amy - 'mayme'
10. Rob - 'raa'
11. Max - 'maa'
12. Clive - 'dowg'
13. book - 'buu'
14. taco - 'dado'
15. cup - 'pu'
16. juice - 'cheez'
17. more - 'mo'
18. please - 'peesh'
19. sticker - 'deeda'
20. stinky - 'deedee'
21. bible - 'ba-bo'
22. bubbles - 'bu-bo'
23. snow - 'naow'
24. blanket - 'beebeez'
25. spoon - 'poo'
26. eat - 'ee-ee'
27. night - 'ni-ni'
28. beanbag - 'be-be'
29. mall - 'mawo'
30. hat - 'aah'
31. slippers - 'bzzz'
32. oatmeal - 'o-me'
33. snack - 'naa'
34. Elmo - 'melmo'
35. bath - 'baa'
36. milk - 'mil'
37. again - 'gen'
38. umm - 'ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm'
39. hot - 'ah ah'
40. pants - 'pass'
41. socks - 'sa'
42. boots - 'boos'
43. amen - 'ahmeen'
44. color - 'dahdo'

Ezra loves to look at books and play with balls. This has endeared him to Clive. They run around chasing balls all over the house. The ball graveyard is underneath our couch. This is where the fun stops. Yesterday we bought 20 raquet balls at Target for $5. We took them home and dumped them in the middle of the front room floor. Clive had a nervous breakdown. He wasn't sure which ball to chase first. Ezra picked up most of them and put them in a trick-or-treat jack-o-lantern basket. He walks around with the basket collecting balls. This morning when Ezra awoke he pointed to the basket from his crib and said - "bow."

Kirsten is a wonderful mother to our boy. She is very patient. She reads the same books over and over. She retrieves many balls from the couch graveyard. I am so thankful that God has allowed us to have her at home with Ezra and brother-on-the-way. We value the time that they have together.Ezra's favorite past-times are watching squirrels, chasing Clive with a cooking pan and wooden spoon, coloring, reading his bible, looking at dogs at the pet store and walks on the beach (I threw that last one in there for fun).

We are not sure why he has thin blond hair. The above picture shows how crazy his blond hair can be especially after sleeping on his head through the night.I guess when I think about it - he is our joy. He is the thing that gets us up in the morning - both physically and emotionally. He is a great little boy. Someday maybe you will meet him in person. I am sure he would love to add your name to his vocabulary.

If you would like to see more pictures of the boy
click here!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The First Face Transplant

An article was released by the Associated Press today about the first face transplant.

The 38-year-old woman, who wants to remain anonymous, had a nose, lips and chin grafted onto her face from a brain-dead donor whose family gave consent. The operation, performed Sunday, included a surgeon already famous for transplant breakthroughs, Jean-Michel Dubernard. “The patient’s general condition is excellent, and the transplant looks normal,” said a statement issued Wednesday from the hospital in the northern city of Amiens where the operation took place.The surgery drew both praise and sobering warnings over its potential risks and ethical and psychological ramifications. If successful — something that may not be known for months or even years — the procedure offers hope to people horribly disfigured by burns, accidents or other tragedies.

If I was going to get a face transplant I would look like this

-----------------------------(before)----------------------------- (after)

Monday, November 28, 2005

Family Fun

This year we spent turkey time with my family. It was good to see the Black side of the family again. We met in Wisconsin (it's a long story). When my family arrived in the Taurus Truckster my dad mentioned something about having a cold. He was sniffly and sneezy. He awoke two mornings in a row with headaches. They eventually turned into migraines. This is something he generously passed through the genes into my noodle. I am not all that thankful but I was able to empathize with his pain. It may have been something in the gravy or it may have been the pain killer he was taking but for some reason he spent most of our time together wearing a pot on his head. Maybe this is some new form of alternative medicine.

The day after the turkey celebration the ground was covered in three inches of white, fluffy snow. I quickly threw on my longhandles and neck scarf (as opposed to any other type of scarf) and took the boy out for some downhill sledding (as opposed to any other type of sledding). I am not sure that he really enjoyed the snow but he did enjoy the speed at which we were taking the hill. Before we reached the bottom of the hill he would shout "mowa" (translated: "more"), so up the slick snow we went for another run down the hill. We will be spending our winter in North Dakota (August-June) training for the new Olympic sport of father/son downhill sledding (as opposed to any other type of sledding).

After several attempts at a new downhill landspeed record we went inside to warm by the hot fire and the even hotter wife and mommy. It doesn't take long to thaw out with one look at those eyes.
We had a good time together as a family. We have much to be thankful for indeed. Next year Pancake Sinatra will be here to help us celebrate and hopefully he won't have to see his grandpa wearing that silly pot on his head.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Saltines: The Traditional Pre-Thanksgiving Meal for Seagulls

I am now reunited with my family in La Crosse, Wisconsin (translation - The River, Wisconsin). After several hours on a train across North Dakota and Minnesota - my only entertainment was watching an old man that may have been Jerry Garcia back from the dead play war games on his laptop computer - I am back with my lovely wife, energetic son and over-eating dog.

Monday evening we went to see Walk the Line. Great film. They only left out one small thing about John R. Cash - Jesus. Phoenix and Witherspoon are marvelous. Cash was definitely a rock-n-roll star!

Tuesday evening I finished reading
A Walk in the Woods. I then read to my wife from I'm a Stranger Here Myself. I laughed aloud. She fell asleep.

This morning we loaded up in the MarshWiggle Wagon and went to the Mighty Mississippi. My boy fed seagulls a traditional pre-Thanksgiving meal - saltine crackers. They seemed to be thankful for the crackers. We thought one seagull was missing a leg. It was tricking us. When it landed it ran on two legs to get a piece of saltine yummy goodness. The tricky two-legged seagull must not have a canker sore in its mouth like I do.

I am thankful for all of the above activities. God is good to give me even these things. I am
unthankful for the canker sore.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


1 Thessalonians 5:18 - Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I am thankful for __________________.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A way of escape

I am in Minneapolis for a conference. Last evening I went for a walk through the city with a friend. It was 18 degrees and the windchill made it something like a bagillion below. It was the kind of weather that made your skin hurt and snot run down your face unawares. We walked through the city streets for about an hour. We then remembered that Minneapolis has this hamster style maze through the buildings to provide a way of escape from the elements. The Skyway. It is an amazing system of indoor sidewalks. The return trip to our hotel was much nicer. I thought of hamsters as I walked. Then I thought of being a rat in a tunnel. Then I thought of Billy Corgan. Maybe he is right, I am still just a rat in a cage. I am in Minneapolis.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

How to make a North Dakota redneck...

1 Flannel Shirt
1 Pair of Overalls
1 Shag Carpet
1 N.D. Redneck

He sure is cute though, eh?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

You know you're in the middle of nowhere when... drive down your street (in a residential area in the middle of town) and you see this hanging by the sidewalk. Welcome to the middle of nowhere!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

My love

My wife is a darn good woman. She whipped up a pumpkin cheesecake for my birthday. She is one beautiful gal. I am so glad she is my wife. Look at that picture! Isn't she a looker!? I sure do love her! She is happy that we are the same age - 30 years young.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Closing in on a name...

We have almost decided on a name for our next little one.

Pancake Sinatra

We are still debating as a family.

What do you think?

Monday, October 31, 2005

Martin's Words for Today?

As I read through the 95 Theses of Martin Luther today I noticed several that may be applied to our current context. Our battle is not against the Pope and his efforts to build a basilica but Luther's words may be applied to our current situation.

For instance, number 54 on the list states:

A wrong is done to the Word of God when in the same sermon an equal or a longer time is devoted to indulgences than to God's Word.

I understand that Luther was writing against a corrupt church but I wonder what he would have written about the church today that does not preach the Word of God. What type of statements would be nailed to our church doors? Sure, we aren't selling indulgences (hopefully) but is the Word of God faithfully taught from our pulpits? On Sunday morning is the time devoted to music, fellowship and drama rather than on the preaching of the Word of God? Even if the sermon is lengthy, are our pastors teaching the Word or are they telling emotional stories to make us feel good? The allotment of time spent on the Word of God during a Sunday morning worship service speaks volumes to the devotion of the church.

To what are we devoted? What would Luther say to us?

A wrong is done to the Word of God when in the same sermon an equal or longer time is devoted to _______________ than to God's Word.

What say ye?

31 October 1517

Friday, October 28, 2005

Skating is Good for Health

One of the great things about small town life is the fact that most small towns hold on to things that larger towns have long since abandoned. The town in which we live still has a roller rink.

A few weeks ago I mentioned to the young adult small group from our church that I would like to go roller skating. Every Thursday night the group gathers together and we walk through the bible. Recently we have been studying the book of 1 John. At least one person in the group has heard something I have said because this week the group surprised me and took me roller skating to show their appreciation. Sure, I wish they would remember things from our studies but that's a different topic.

Have any of you been to a roller rink recently - I mean the old style rinks with wooden floors and carpet-covered contrete walls that assist the skater in important things like stopping? Let me tell you...they have not changed since the last time you entered a rink in 1984. There was a disco ball in the middle of the rink. We played games like limbo and four corners - the game in which the object is to race to a corner of the rink when the music stops. They didn't do the couple skate, which was fine with me because my beautiful wife was not with me. They didn't play any Lionel Ritchie or John Astley.

I encourage you to take advantage of the roller rink nearest you. After all, skating is good for health.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

One Reason to Celebrate Halloween

Is Halloween all that bad? This is a picture from Halloween 2004. If we did not celebrate Halloween we would have no acceptable day to dress up like our favorite super heroes. Knowing that Spidey-Dog and Super-Boy are here to protect us from witches and goblins should give us peace of mind.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Tis' the Season...

This is my favorite pumpkin picture.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Norsk Høstfest - Scandinavian?

"Norsk Høstfest, North America’s largest Scandinavian Festival, is celebrating its 28th year, starting the evening of October 11th-15th in Minot, North Dakota. Tens of thousands of people attend the event annually to celebrate and partake in the Scandinavian culture and entertainment.
Over 200 internationally recognized artisans, craftsmen and chefs participate. The experience is an eclectic array of contemporary and traditional. The cuisine as well as the clothes, art and jewelry are authentic, fine quality and exquisitely Nordic."

As I browsed through the Festival web site I came across a few of the headlining musical acts. I don't know much about heritage or the origin of names but I sure don't remember some of these people as Scandinavian.

Wednesday & Thursday - Randy Travis
I guess Mr. Travis could be Scandinavian but the dark hair is a bit out of place.

Friday - Merle Haggard
Good ol' Merle may be Scandinavian. His hair is certainly lighter than the above musician. Merle could be a deviation of Mjerle.

Wednesday & Thursday - Charlie Pride
Now wait just a minute! How did he get in the mix? There are several reasons why I don't think Mr. Charles Pride is Scandinavian. Do I really have to go into the reasons? I suppose he could dye his hair black. He may have changed his name from Bjøro Haaland to be more country music friendly. Would you purchase a country music album from a man named Bjøro Haaland? Probably not.

I did some CSI style research into the Pride Family tree and found a photo of Mr. Pride's great-great-grandmother, Ingrid Pride.

For more information about the Norsk Høstfest entertainment
click here! There are some interesting entertainers. Literally thousands of people from all over the world travel to Minot, North Dakota for this rip-roarin' week of Scandinavian Shin-diggin.' If you are planning the trip, make sure to stop by Rugby,NorthDakota, the geographical center of North America. You are so jealous!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Name the Black Baby

Now that we know the flavor of the Black baby-to-be, we are accepting name ideas. If you have a name idea please post it to the comments. We will reveal the winner at the day of birth.

Names we have already considered:

1. Jett
2. Coal
3. Ivan Brandon (initials only)

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Luckily our coffee pot had just finished brewing when the electricity died yesterday morning at 8:07 AM. My wife, son and dog spent most of yesterday in my office. Rob, our very giving friend, allowed us to crash at his place last night. He is from Georgia. Our discussion centered around the fact that this much snow in October is just WRONG!
Our power was restored at 2:03 this afternoon and we are thankful. There is only so much one can do on a gas camping stove inside a small house.

Things we made with our camping stove included hot chocolate, warm milk for our boy, grilled cheese sandwiches and vegetable soup. Every now and again I would sneak in a hand-warming from the blue flame. Ahh, warm hands and asphyxiation.

We are thankful for electricity. In the words of He-Man "I have the power." (echo, echo, echo)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Inches of Snow and Boy Parts

Yesterday Kirsten and I found out that Ezra will be a brother and not a sister. The ultrasound pictures of the boy parts were quite telling. We will have another boy in February(Lord willing).

This morning I awoke to snow flying through the air. There are about 5 inches on the ground now and we are expecting several more. It is October 5th for crying out loud. This is not right!

Isn't it funny how the title of this post makes it sound like both the snow and the boy parts are inches in length? 'Inches' refers to the snow and not the boy parts.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Gold Teeth and Oscar the Grouch

The original owner of our new home left us with eleven metal, Oscar the Grouch style trash cans. They are all in a row along our back fence. At first glance one would think this was the trash can holding area for the entire street. No, they all belong to us. We joked about it for a while and then wondered what we would do with so many trash cans. The question arose – will the city trash workers take a perfectly good trash can as a trash item? What will the city trash workers take from our home as trash? That is the question and the challenge.

Note: For those of you more environmentally savvy readers – STOP READING NOW!

Over the past several weeks my wife and I have been cleaning out the old styles from the house we recently purchased. We have removed chain-link fence from the front yard (yes, the front yard), corrugated plastic from the deck, fence posts embedded in 50 lbs. of concrete, a 10 x 12 aluminum shed, and next we have our eyes set on the red and orange shag carpet in the basement. It seems as if the last several weekends have been full of hauling, dragging and throwing bits and pieces of the 1950’s to our back alley. What will the city trash workers take from our home as trash? The answer – EVERYTHING! I suppose the state of North Dakota has thousands of acres to fill and it is partially my responsibility as a state resident to assist in their efforts. As a test this morning I put out a large tree trunk full of roots and dirt. It took two men to lift it but they did get it into the back of the trash truck. It is now a personal challenge to put something out that they will not take as trash. I don’t know that it can be accomplished but I am going to find out. We found a urine-stained mattress in one of the rooms that was graciously left by the previous owner. It may soon find itself thrown to the alley. I am still taking suggestions on what to do with the half-full can of unidentified fuel and the cinder-block storm shelter. That may be the ultimate challenge for our city workers.

It is interesting what some think of as treasure others may think of as trash. There have been times when we feel guilty for throwing away so much of what we consider junk. Last night our neighbor wheeled out a decorative wooden windmill from his yard to his trash in the alley. He didn’t consider the windmill to be a treasure, rather it was trash. I am certain there is someone on our street that would like to have that windmill in their yard between the larger-than-life ceramic goose and the smaller-than-life concrete deer. To some that windmill is a great treasure to be added to other decorative lawn treasure.

Yesterday the police reports from my childhood hometown were listed in their local newspaper. Listed were those offenses from the following day. Among which are the area thefts.

* A CD player, speakers and jumper cables were reported stolen from a vehicle at 2830 Whitener St. A door and window on the vehicle were damaged.
* A gym bag, running shoes, prescription glasses, and money were reported stolen from a vehicle at 2217 Melrose Ave.
* PlayStation games, clothing and a cell phone were reported stolen at Lorimer and Good Hope streets.
* Gold teeth were reported stolen at 520 Morgan Oak St.

As I looked through the list of items stolen from home and auto I wondered what I would have considered worthy of reporting – Prescription glasses? Clothing? Gym bag? Gold teeth? What some consider to be treasure others consider trash.

Jesus says “do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth…where thieves break in and steal but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt. 6:19-21). We all have differing views on treasures and we certainly have differing views on trash. Jesus has one view – treasures here on earth amount to nothing. Paul says that all things are “rubbish” in light of the “surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:8). Oscar would not have a place to live if only I would throw away the rubbish in my life that keeps me from knowing Christ. What do our lives truly indicate that we treasure? Hmm, good thoughts for a rainy Tuesday

Monday, May 16, 2005


Recently my wife and I purchased a home…or I guess I should say we are in debt to the bank for a home that we will have purchased over the next 30 years. Nonetheless we are now living in a house in North Dakota. We enjoy our little brick house with a nice yard for our fur-child to roam about and accomplish his end doodie.

We have been in North Dakota for just over a week and have already noticed a few cultural differences about this almost Canadian state.

1. This afternoon I went by the Starbucks to pick up my afternoon prescription and noticed something quite North Dakotan. This particular Starbucks has a drive-thru to order your beverage of choice. The pick-up window where the drink is handed to the customer has a heater above the glass door. It is similar to the heater in the entrance of a grocery store. As the door opens a sensor is triggered to start the massive rush of hot air down on the customer. The interesting thing about the drive-thru window at Starbucks is that the heater is on the outside of the drive-thru blowing hot air into the open window of the car. Is it really that cold in North Dakota? It is!

2. All grocery stores, gas stations and hardware stores are still selling 50 lb. bags of salt for ice and snow removal. As a reminder, it is the middle of May.

3. Saturday as my father and I were installing a new fence in the back yard our neighbor awoke from hibernation and crawled out the back door of his house. He gave the neighborly nod and said, “Say, you about moved in der den?” (translation: “Have you almost completed the unpacking of your boxes?”)

4. There is no sign of foliage on any of the trees yet.

5. Sunday afternoon Kirsten and I went to Menards (saving big money, of course) to pick up a few odds and ends for the completion of our fence. At the check out counter there was a posted sign stating the current exchange rate for those coming in from Canada. What?

6. It snowed Thursday, Friday and Saturday and the featured item at Menards is still the gas-powered snow-blower.

These are just a few of the differences here in North Dakota. One can quickly understand why the entire population of this northern state is just over 600,000. Do people really like living here? I guess they do because as I pulled into the Starbucks this afternoon the license plate of the vehicle at the heated drive-thru window read ND S GR8. North Dakotans adore their land and we are making an effort to join them. We are trying to learn the ways of the people and as I learn more I will keep you informed. If anyone has any tips on making igloos or frying seal blubber please let us know. Check back often for additional information about the tundra der den, eh?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Gummy Worms and 2nd Thoughts

We have all had those moments in life when we do something silly and think about it after the action has been completed. I have many personal examples I can share with you at some point. Here is an example from a man in North Carolina (which is nowhere near North Dakota).

The Setting: Local ice cream parlor. Beautiful, warm southern day. Birds chirping. Daffodils in full bloom.

Characters: Clarence Stowers (ice cream eater)

Plot: Man loves him some candy in his ice cream
Stowers, who did not immediately return calls
Monday from The Associated Press, told the television
station: "I thought it was candy because they put candy in your ice cream ... to make it a treat. So I said, 'OK, well, I'll just put it in my mouth and get the ice cream off of it and see what it is.'" Stowers said he spit the object out, but still couldn't identify it. So he went to his kitchen, rinsed it off with water -- and "just started screaming."
Stowers said he planned to contact a lawyer about the finger in his ice cream.
Maybe next time Clarence will select something other than gummy worms as his candy of choice. Mmmmm, finger in ice cream.

Read the full story at

Monday, May 02, 2005

An Idea for Keeping Busy

Today I started a new job as a pastor at a church in North Dakota. The interesting thing as a new pastor coming into an existing church is that the very work I will be doing is quite unknown to me at the prestent time. I will be working with people and at this point I am not sure if I remember my own name let alone the names of the parishoners. I walked into the quiet building this morning and sat at my desk. There was a new computer with “My Documents” waiting to be filled. There were shelves longing to be burdened with the weight of books. In a drawer sat many unopened packages of post-it notes waiting to be stuck and restuck. I gazed out the window and watched the brown prairie grass blow in the wind and thought – where do I begin? You may be wondering what I did all day or what any pastor does all day for that matter. Well, at about 1:30 this afternoon I checked my e-mail for the 58th time and noticed I had an e-mail from a good friend of mine entitled “An Idea for Keeping Busy.” In the message he suggested I start a blog. I gave it some thought and tried to figure out what I would write if I did start a blog. I could write about North Dakota. I could write about the church. I could write about my son or my wife or my dog. I thought about it for a while and then decided that I didn’t really want to start a blog. It’s a good idea but I just don’t know what I would write.

Franklin for President