Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Books n' Stuff

I spoke to my daughter Autumn the other day,and like her sister, she too felt that I was slacking off on the blog posts. The fact that I posted a record eight times last month seemed to have no impact on her at all. Perhaps I should give up trying to do any kind of work that pays and spend my entire time trying to entertain my family members. Lord knows what will happen when I die. I should probably buy a cell phone and a computer to take to the grave with me.
 I had all manner of witty thoughts passing through my brain earlier in the day, but when I sat down to do the post, the pictures wouldn't upload. The Blogger site decided to do a different format or some such thing and it threw a wrench in things. Now I'm left with whatever I can wring out of my tired brain at ten P.M.- sorry about that.
 This is a picture of the table next to my overstuffed chair that Rigby occasionally lets me sit in. As you can see it's piled high with an assortment of books and magazines as well as my glasses, a coffee cup and a water glass. I was hoping that a big pile of books would make me look scholarly, but mainly it just makes me look like a slob- oh well. I keep a copy there of The One Year Bible that I try to read most days before my day gets too far along. I find that it seems to help. I need the discipline of reading it on a regular basis. Theres a copy of a Max Lucado book- Outlive Your Life, that I got for Christmas. He's a best selling Christian author and one of my favorite people to read. I first ran across his work when I was working for L. Kane Store at a gift show in Seattle. As I look at the book shelf in my office I see another dozen titles by him. If you ever need an inspirational message, if you're feeling down or depressed or can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, I'd encourage you to break open one of his books. He's really been given a gift.
 I also have four copies of The Far Side cartoons by Gary Larson. He's also gifted, although in a very different but necessary way. I was so bummed out when he quit doing his column.  Of all the comics that he drew,one of my favorites was one showing God in a kitchen. He has the earth in a pot cooking and on the shelf he has a box of krill, a box of birds, a bag of insects and in his hand he has a shaker of jerks that he is sprinkling on the earth. The caption reads- just to make it interesting. Well it certainly is that isn't it?
  I recently read a trilogy of books by a Swedish author named Steig Larsson. I'm not sure quite how to describe the genre, dark suspense I guess would kind of cover it. Each of the books was over five hundred pages and  I found myself so engrossed in them that I could easily shut out the noise of the TV. Several nights I read until my eyes were like two pee holes in the snow and burned something fierce. One night I read until after two AM and probably would have kept going if I had been physically able to. I love it when a book does that for you. Incidentally, shortly after he turned in the last manuscript, he died.
  Sometime last month I mentioned another author I enjoy- Robert Fulghum. I couldn't get him out of my mind so for the third time I went to the library and checked out UH-OH, Some Observations From Both Sides of the Refrigerator Door. It has a card in the pocket.The librarian used to stamp the date on the card and you had to sign your name beside the date. That was in the days before computers did it all electronically. I saw that I had originally checked it out November 18, 1991. Then again on January 25 of '93. Last night as I settled in to bed to read a bit before nodding off, I read again his account of being in Pocatello, Idaho at an Albertson's supermarket. He was in a reflective mood, having just left the library and realizing that there would never be enough time to read all the books there. He found himself in front of the canned tuna and started thinking about all the work that was involved in getting the tuna to the shelf, from the fishermen to the workers on the canning line, to the artists who drew the lables to the teamsters who drove the cases to the store. Then he thought about the lives of the people who bought the tuna and how diverse they would be.It gave me a whole new way of looking at things. As I put the book down and shut off the light I too was in a reflective mood. I was in a warm, comfortable bed, well fed and reasonably content. I knew that as I was about to be overcome with peaceful slumber, there were others, who for a variety of reasons,wouldn't enjoy the same blessings I had that night. I don't know how that works. I believe that there is a law of sewing and reaping and sometimes we bring  trouble on ourselves because of our actions, but that doesn't explain a multitude of other circumstances where people suffer. It's more than I can wrap my mind around, so when things are going well I'll thank God and try to enjoy the moment knowing full well that it won't last. I think I've rambled on enough for one night, so I'll see you at the next post. 


  1. Well, it was certainly entertaining! That Far Side thing still makes me laugh! Not bad for being sleepy dad! :) Love you! And thanks for the entertainment!

  2. Glad you liked it Autumn. I was able to move the picture from the bottom to the middle, but it's still not where I want it. I better leave well enough alone I guess. It's tough being ignorant, but someone has to make other people feel good about themselves. I'll try to stay on top of the blog posts better- to heck with work!

  3. Now that's what I"m talking about! ;) Why don't you come up with your own Farside comic? I think it would do could name it like Nearside, Tom's Side, Muffle Pants...something with flair! :)

  4. Good idea Autumn, I think you would do a great far side dad, I agree w/Autumn Nearside would be a great title, bet it would sell like hot cakes :) P.S. Have you looked inot the survey idea we were talking about for your blog?

  5. The Nearside...very catchy...I like it;-) If you ever need someone to do your illustrations, we're all artsy in some way or another and might have some great ideas for ya;) Just could have your own calendar that people sit around and read through the full 365 pages every Christmas day;-)

  6. Thanks for the offer Amber. Who knows, some day it may happen. People love to laugh at other people's problems so I might be able to have a best seller just doing a cartoon on my life and some of my mis-adventures. Something to think about in the future.