One of those cool God Watching Out For You Stories

A true story that happened to me today…

It started out pretty normal. I was leaving the house and locking the deadbolt. I noticed it was a little difficult to turn. It did lock, but I couldn’t get my key out. I pulled like crazy to get that key out and it would not budge. I went into my car and thought pliers would help, they did not. My next thought was to call a locksmith. I didn’t want to pay the fee for calling 411, so I tried a few people first. The first person I called was our landlord, but as luck would have it, he and his wife were having a baby at that time. (They had a baby girl, so congratulations to Tony and Kim if you happen to be reading this.) Next I tried the Buckley’s, but they weren’t home. The next person I called was Nancy Prosser (one of my “other moms”).

She gave me a number and told me to call her back if I needed another number. I called this place and they said the earliest they could come out would be in the afternoon, between 2 and 3:00. They said they would call back when someone was available. I was about ready to call Nancy back to get another number, (stupid me didn’t have a pen in my car) when low a behold a lady and her son were distributing the Bellsouth Phone Book with Yellow Pages! I didn’t have to call her back to get another number, I could look it up myself. Woohoo! I did call her back and told her my story of how the Yellow Pages just happened to be distributed today in our area. So to shorten this story some, I called a few more places, and each told me it would some time after 3:00 before they could send somebody out (I have failed to mention that it was around 10:30 when all this happened).

Then the bright idea occurs to me, I can drive myself to get some WD-40 and maybe that will loosen it up enough to get my key out. Guess what, it worked. I then called the three places to say that I wouldn’t need their service. That’s a good thing… Each told me it would be about $65/hr+taxes, when all they probably would have done was sprayed WD-40 in the lock and pulled it out.

Tagged by Mer, then by Michele

Zach tagged Mer and then she tagged me.

Ground Rules: The first player of this game starts with the topic “5 weird habits of yourself” and people who get tagged need to write a journal entry about their 5 weird habits as well as state the rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next 5 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says “you are tagged” in their journal and tell them to read yours.

1. I look at rules very carefully.  If you’ve played aboard game with me or a card game, you already knew that.
2. I have always gone to bed really early and wake up pretty early.
3. I can’t bear to eat tuna because it just smells so bad.
4. I put really hot water on my elbows when I shower because it helps with the itching.
5. I’m always streching my neck trying to get it to pop because of a something that happened playing football.

Since the rules don’t say anything about who you can tag, I’ll tag Eric, EricEricAlicia, and Audrey. Wow, I was worried I might not be able to tag anybody.

Updating Blog

You’ll have to bear with me. I’ve upgraded WordPress from 1.5 to 2.0. A few of my old plugins no longer work. I’ve noticed that my old themes don’t work quite as well either. I need to get a new design that works well with 2.0.

I’ve also noticed that the themes do seem to work if you are using Firefox. Internet Explorer probably won’t display this blog properly for a couple of weeks.

A Cool Bargain

Contrary to popular belief, the Friday after Thanksgiving is rarely the busiest shopping day of the year. That day typically tends to be the Friday or Saturday before Christmas. If you’ll look at the previous years, you’ll see that when Christmas has fallen on a Sunday, the 23rd is the busiest day of the year. I thought I was done with my Christmas shopping, but thanks to a call from one of my sisters last night, I had to make the trek out to the mall today.

It was absolute craziness. I figured East Town (Knoxville Center) would be less crowded than West Town (which it probably was). Traffic was really bad. Lines were long and I do really believe that it could be the busiest day thanks to those last minute shoppers. Anyways, so after I had found a gift I decided to walk around. I found this really cool bookstore that I hadn’t heard about. Its probably one of those only there for the season store, but still it was pretty cool. It was a Christian Bookstore, but all the books were $5 or less. The Bibles and Reference books are about the only things that cost more than $5. It wasn’t like it just had old books that most people would only pay $5 for anyways. They had a lot of good books. I hope this store is still there when I get back up.

So I ended up with 3 books by Brian McLaren, 1 by Brennan Manning, 1 by David Crowder, and 1 by Eric Sandras. At least four of those books ALWAYS come up (at least once) in by Gold Box on Amazon.com and they are all 6 in my Recommendations. Even after the discount if purchased through the Gold box, it is still a $10-$15 book. Y’all should check out this store. Its in the lower level just below the food court.

Going up the Chimneys

Hiking up to the Chimney Tops
Today was a great day to take off of work and just get outdoors. Bryan and Matt (also known as Trox) went up to the Chimneys today. Its quite a popular hike for people to do, mainly because its not too strenuous and is only two miles. However, when the trail is mostly ice, its not a fun trail to do. There were a number of times a slip could mean you’re up the creek. This was another one of those times it would have helped to have my crampons. Its not like I didn’t think about that beforehand… I just couldn’t find them.

I got to do a lot more interacting with different people on this trail. Bryan and Matt hiked a man way that connects the Chimneys to the Sugarlands Mountain Trail. I wasn’t too comfortable with my footing, so I just said I would meet them at the junction with Road Prong Trail. It probably was a stupid thing to hike back alone when the conditions where less than desirable. Though most of the time, I really wasn’t alone. Other groups would be hiking down or on their way up. Those on their way up would ask about what the conditions where like up ahead. Since I knew I had some time to kill, I hiked slow on the way down. I had to kill about 50 minutes at the junction. I started out by eating the sandwich I really should have eaten hours ago to get some energy. I got to watch like 5 people take a spill at this one spot near the junction. But all of these, only kill so much time. Then I got to have some quite time. There’s nothing more warming then spending some quite time in below freezing weather.

Here’s the link to the rest of my pictures from this trip.

Why I joined Thinkers Anonymous

It started out innocently enough.

I began to think at parties now and then — to loosen up. Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.

I began to think alone — “to relax,” I told myself — but I knew it wasn’t true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time. That was when things began to sour at home.

One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother’s.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don’t mix, but I couldn’t stop myself. I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, “What is it exactly we are doing here?”

One day the boss called me in. He said, “Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don’t stop thinking on the job, you’ll have to find another job.”

This gave me a lot to think about. I came home early after my conversation with the boss.

“Honey,” I confessed, “I’ve been thinking…”
“I know you’ve been thinking,” she said, “and I want a divorce!”
“But Honey, surely it’s not that serious.”
“It is serious,” she said, lower lip aquiver. “You think as much as college professors, and college professors don’t make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we won’t have any money!”
“That’s a faulty syllogism,” I said impatiently.

She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama. “I’m going to the library,” I snarled as I stomped out the door. I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche.

I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors… They didn’t open! The library was closed!

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night. Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. “Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?” it asked.

You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker’s Anonymous poster. Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker.

I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was “Porky’s.” Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seemed…easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.

I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.

Today, I registered to vote as a Democrat.

You All Know It…

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Tomlinson
Amy Gregg and Aaron Tomlinson Wedding

This marks the first wedding I’ve been to that included Congregational Humming, though I’m pretty sure it wasn’t planned. It started out like this…

I was sitting in the pew waiting for the wedding to start. Mike Taylor comes to get me and tells me they are having trouble with the sound system. So I go up and after about a minute of looking at stuff, I get that working. Well it looks like a major crisis was averted. WRONG! There is only so much a sound person can do. If a sound person is given a CD that has the tracks out of order or if the tracks have been left off, there is little the sound person could do. Well that is exactly just what happened. The CD that they had given to Zandy did not have the Wedding March on it, but that’s not all…

The first three songs were alright. The next track was supposed to be Canon in D, but it wasn’t. This was the first sign that something had gone wrong. The next sign was when it was time for Amy to come in, there was just silence. I think Aaron had whispered to the preacher to have everybody hum it. So that is exactly what we did. Amy had to come down the aisle with all in attendance humming the Wedding March. Overall it was a good wedding though. Let’s just see if it makes it onto Jon’s Top Ten list.