more book updates

I've been plowing through books like crazy. So, here's an update on what I've been reading.

Many a River by Elmer Kelton. It's about two boys orphaned in West Texas when their parents are killed by Comanches.

Scottsboro: A Novel by Ellen Feldman. The Scottsboro Boys, as they were called, were nine black teens accused of gang-raping two white women on the Southern Railroad freight run to Memphis on March 25, 1931. Feldman tells their tale through Alice Whittier, a fictional, left-leaning white journalist for a socialist newspaper in New York.

Screwball by David Ferrell. I really enjoyed this one. It's about baseball and a serial killer. 'Nuff said.

winter safety covers for your pool

If you are looking for a safety cover, you are looking for the best way to protect your pool. Safety covers not only protect your pool, but they provide an extra line of defense for your children and pets. They provide a convenient way to keep your pool clean through the winter months, making it easier (and quicker) to enjoy your pool the next year.

We recently spent some time revamping our selection of winter safety covers at Blue Haven Pools. You can view our standard, in-stock covers or try our custom design option.


i'm telecommuting today

In light of the fact that I'm telecommuting today, I thought I would share this great Dilbert cartoon on the evolution of telecommuting. View it here.


more trolley observations

Our parking situation changed at work and instead of parking downtown I’ve been riding the trolley to work. Now that I’ve been a trolley rider for the past three weeks, I thought I would share a few of my observations with you.

When riding the trolley, you need to add a few minutes to any schedule to allow for red lights and other delays.

San Diego is much more diverse than most people realize.

It’s not unusual for people to mumble to themselves. And I’m not only talking about other passengers.

People check their phones just to have something to do.

Having a current library card is a life-saver.

Mom was right when she told you to wash your hands.

All joking aside, there are real benefits to letting someone else drive you to work. I’ve read more books in the last three weeks than I had in the previous three months. Even more impressive (at least to me), they have all been works of fiction. With 30 minutes to an hour each way, that’s a good bit of book reading each day.

I do feel less stressed when arriving at work. No more worrying about knuckleheads who weave in and out of traffic. No more traffic jams on Interstate 8. Of course, the trade-off is not knowing what urban adventure will await you each time you board the train.

Riding the trolley to work takes me through parts of San Diego that I haven’t been through in years, if ever. I’ve shared seats with all sorts of people, some of whom have been at varying levels of drunkenness. It’s been a reminder that not everybody is just like me ... lives like me ... or dresses like me.

It’s also reminded me, however, that people who are look (and maybe smell) different are still just people. They get up and go to work just like other people do. Their thoughts drift to their children, the shopping list, the day’s activities. If the trolley is delayed, their schedules get adjusted, just like mine.

Maybe all Christ-followers should have a two-week trolley assignment. Two weeks of experiencing a different slice of life. Two weeks of new perspectives. Better yet, make it a month and buy a pass.

spam gets creative

An email just landed in my spam box with this subject line: "McCain Chooses Paris Hilton as VP."


elvis and the king of kings

You may not have known this, but last week was “Elvis Week.” If you didn’t know, don’t worry -- no presents are exchanged.

It’s a little known fact that people often send me emails detailing their most recent “Elvis sighting.” Here are just a few places Elvis has been recently sighted ...

  • Eating at Dunkin’ Donuts in Paducah, Kentucky.
  • Selling RV’s in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
  • Face painting at the Tremont Turkey Festival in Tremont, Illinois.
  • Working as an undercover Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas.

OK, maybe people don’t actually send me Elvis sighting emails but there really is a Tremont Turkey Festival in Tremont, Illinois.

People have become more fascinated with Elvis since he died than when he was alive. I remember watching an “Is Elvis Alive?” TV special in the early 1990’s, hosted by Bill Bixby.
The entire show was devoted to showing both sides of the argument.

Conspiracy theorists would have loved it. For example, it was alledged that Elvis’ middle name was misspelled on the original grave marker. Obviously he wasn’t dead!

The best part of the show was the end: they displayed two 1-900 numbers for people to call in and vote. One to vote “No, he’s dead” and the other to vote “Yes, he’s alive.” I could understand that someone who was convinced Elvis was still alive would spend money to say so. But I couldn’t understand people who thought he was dead -- why waste the money?

It’s unfortunate that we often see Elvis portrayed today as a caricature of his last years. The lamb chop sideburns, sparkling outfits. Elvis impersonators jump out of airplanes and perform weddings, often doing both at the same time.

Before he got caught up in fame, drugs, and his sparkling outfits, Elvis recorded some of the best versions of Gospel music you’ll ever find. That was before he became the King, when he was just plain-old Elvis.

Today is the day we celebrate a different king, the King of Kings. No lamb chops or sequin suits. They share a few conspiracy theories about how they died and if they are alive. And one King is alive ... which one do you think it is?


a love-hate relationship with the trolley

My love-hate relationship with the Trolley system continues. Tonight the girls have a softball game so I decided to drive into Old Town, park, and ride the Trolley into downtown from there. That would allow me a short ride back to Old Town after work where I could pick up the car and drive south to the game. Of course, that is based on the presupposition that there would be AVAILABLE parking at Old Town! After ten minutes of circling the lot, I gave up and figured most of those cars were from people going to work and few would be leaving. That meant I had to drive to the next closest trolley stop that has public parking -- back in Fashion Valley. Back on the freeway, up another highway. Then ... wait ... wait ... for about 20 minutes until the next trolley arrived. It took me back to Old Town (where this whole adventure had started) where I had to get off and wait for a transfer trolley to downtown. Unbelievable! Part of why I'm writing this is so I can remember where I parked when I leave work tonight ... and I'm not kidding!


what i've been reading

Since I surprised several of you with my recent post about my reading books, I thought I'd share with you what I've been reading. Click at your own risk -- you might actually end up reading one of them.

After Long Silence (This is a non-fiction account of how one family dealt with their Holocaust experiences).

Memorial Day (fiction)

Act of Treason (fiction)

Step On a Crack (fiction)


i'm a trolley rider

We shuffled up our transportation plan at Blue Haven Pools and Spas Supplies Direct and I'm now an official trolley rider. The trolley in San Diego was built originally as a tourist attraction and not so much for commuters. Having lived in the Bay Area for five years, the trolley system is far behind BART -- Bay Area Rapid Transit. But ... it does save me money on gas and allows me time to read.

Since becoming a trolley rider, I've read two books by Vince Flynn. Yes, they are fiction. Maybe this trolley business is changing me ...

wedding in saint louis

My niece, Sarah, got married last weekend in St. Louis. The girls traveled by train and I flew in on Thursday. As the circle of life goes, Sarah was the flower girl in our wedding some 18 years ago this December. She was a young girl, three or four years old, and decided to empty the flower petals into a makeshift basket she had made by pulling up her dress. But that was then. This is now ...