Thursday, January 29, 2009

Irvine Train Station

I know it's just a train station 
in a city that I thought was ugly.
But sometimes 
you just have to make the most of an opportunity.

What ever happened to 50¢?

Original Pinkberry with Mangos
Dinner and a View

There were two girls who sat in front of me on the train. I was pretty tired and passing in and out of sleep, but I overheard bits and pieces of their conversation. They were from Australia, and I could tell that they were visiting Los Angeles for the first time. I was sad that I didn't talk with them until the end of the trip. They were traveling for three weeks in North America before living in Dublin, Ireland for 18 months. They were taking the MTA from Union Station up to Santa Monica that night to stay at a hostel. With two very large pink suitcases that they could barely get out the door of the train,they asked me if the bus to Santa Monica was safe. 
I've taken that route several times: it's dangerous, but only if you get off the bus. 
It's an adventure and that's what they came here for. 
They wanted advice on places to go, things to do, how to be safe... I wished I had more than two minutes to answer their questions. I wished to be a stranger who is kind.
But I had a different bus to catch.

The rest of the trip was less enjoyable.
I think I've lost my faith in the public transportation system. There were only six of us on the bus from LA to Fresno. Six people in a huge bus that can't get more than 4 MPG. I had paid for a bus ticket that almost costs the same as renting a car and filling it with gas. The A/C was stuck on the whole time. It wasn't so bad in LA but once we climbed up to the snow level on the Grapevine and down into the chilly central valley, I was freezing. We stopped in Bakersfield and had to wait on the bus for over an hour while the mechanic checked it out. They finally moved all six of us to another bus with another driver. I didn't get to Fresno until 12:30am.

I want so badly to believe in the public transportation system. It is almost dead in California.
It's not like believing in God. God is always there, always working, being God, always the same whether you believe or not.
It's more like believing in Tinker Bell.

Is anybody else clapping?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Pomegranite Blueberry Soy Latte, Shot of Vanilla, Good Foam

Irvine, CA

I'm sittin in the railway station
Got a ticket for my destination
On a tour of one night stands
My suitcase and guitar in hand
And every stop is neatly planned
For a poet and a one man band

Homeward bound
I wish I was
Homeward bound

Home, where my thoughts escaping
Home, where my music's playing
Home, where my love lies waiting
Silently for me

Everyday's an endless stream
Of cigarettes and magazines
And each town looks the same to me
The movies and the factories
And every strangers face I see
Reminds me that I long to be

Homeward bound
I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home, where my thoughts escaping
Home, where my music's playing
Home, where my love lies waiting
Silently for me

Tonight I'll sing my songs again
I'll play the game and pretend
But all my words come back to me
In shades of mediocrity
Like emptyness in harmony
I need someone to comfort me

Homeward bound
I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home, where my thoughts escaping
Home, where my music's playing
Home, where my love lies waiting
Silently for me
Silently for me
Silently for me
~Simon & Garfunkel, Homeward Bound

Okay, so I'm not really feeling that at all right now. (Well, maybe a little bit. But, just the general feeling of longing for home that keeps my eyes fixed on Jesus and my purpose secure in the midst of a constantly changing world. Okay, there's a little bit more of a specific longing, but I'm not without joy.) I just think it's a great song that keeps running through my head, 'cause I'm sitting at a railway station, and I do have a ticket for my destination...
Humeward bound? Terrible I know, I'll stop now.

I'm in Irvine. Waiting for a train.
I missed the earlier train that would be taking me back up to Fresno with my final destination for today (at least as far as I can plan) to be Hume Lake.
I came down with the team that is putting on the Vision dinners, but just for the first two in San Diego and Escondido. They went very well, but they are the only vision dinners that I've ever seen. It was fun seeing people watch the video that I made, and it was fun reconnecting with so many friends and family that have such a rich history of involvement with Hume. I wish I could continue on the tour through SoCal to see even more friends and family.

But, I'm heading back up for a meeting tomorrow morning and a cold dive back into the next projects on my list at work.
Train to Union Station in LA, Bus over the Grapevine to Fresno. I won't arrive till 11:50pm in Fresno, and Sarah, so, as am I, used to late night schedules of work, is perfectly on schedule to drive down and pick me up. Wonderful. But, it's still going to be a long stretch of traveling ahead of me.

I learned yesterday, from my sister, that if you have a Starbucks gift card and register it, you can get two hours of free internet per day at any starbucks. So, I bought myself a gift card, then walked outside and registered the card (yes, you can do that on their network before actualy having an account to login with.)
So, I'm not actually at the railway station any more. I'm down the street at the starbucks. I still have two and a half hours before my train boards, so I'm thinking about walking over to the Irvine Spectrum (1.5 miles?).

For some reason I decided to bring home my black fedora that I've been keeping at my parents house. All I have for luggage are a backpack and a satchel, which leaves my head as the only place to keep the hat for transportation. So, I look like Indiana Jones, or... something. I'm getting looks everywhere I go. I'm not sure what to think of myself.

Nobody wears hats like this anymore.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Well. It's done.
We just have a bunch of DVDs to burn, 400 I think.

Coming to a city near you...

Friday, January 23, 2009

I went riding in October with some buddies from Hume and just found these photos on my old camera that I always keep with me in my backpack.

We found what's known around Hume as "The Donkey Engine". It actually is not a donkey engine, but rather a Willamette geared steam engine. There's some speculation about it. We did find a set of steel plates that came from the donkey engine that may have been sitting near it at one time. It was hauled out to be renovated as a museum piece some years ago, according to Chuck. This one was a fairly permanent structure, unlike the donkey engines that would drag themselves all around the forest to help out with hauling logs. It was located near camps six and seven off the Camp 7 road.

I also found this on Wikipedia:

Willamette Iron Works was a general foundry and machine business established in 1865 in Portland, Oregon, originally specializing in the manufacture of steamboat boilers and engines.[1] In 1904, the company changed its name to Willamette Iron and Steel Works, under which name it operated continually[2] until its close in 1990.

The works was very busy during both World Wars I and II, building small naval auxiliaries, minesweepers, patrol craft, submarine chasers, and non-self-propelled lighters. Between the wars, the shipyard concentrated on building small commercial vessels.[3]

During the 1920s, the company manufactured a geared steam locomotive known as the "Willamette", a Shay-type locomotive for use in logging operations in Washington and Oregon. These locomotives were of a unique design and are of great interest to old train buffs.

In the early 1970s, the company manufactured the first three turbine units for the third powerhouse to be built at Grand Coulee Dam.[4]

The company also made fire hydrants for the city of Portland in the late 19th century.[5]

In 1945, after World War II ended, Willamette Iron and Steel continued as mostly a ship repair facility. Over the years, business dropped as larger shipyards grew, and Willamette finally closed in 1990.

Breakfast for Lunch

Egg Houses and a French Press of Stumptown Sumatra in a mug that says "Hawaii" on it.

Perfect for a late morning when there's a a foot of snow on the ground and it's pouring rain outside.

I used an old camera that seems to have lost its ability to focus. 
You should have seen it with your own eyes. 
It would have tasted and smelled less blury.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Yup, sounds about right.

"In general, salmonella symptoms begin with nausea and vomiting and progress to abdominal pains and diarrhea. Additional signs and symptoms include fever, chills and muscle pains, and can last anywhere from several days to two weeks. "

Thank you, Clif Bar!
I had a wonderful time last week.
I wish I had known sooner.

Vacuuming a House can be so Therapeutic

I finally got some time off after a very long 24 hours.
And, how is it that I feel the curious urge to spend the rest of my afternoon with a vacuum making everything clean, making all the carpet strands stand up again?
I should be tired, right?
I am tired, but vacuuming can be so therapeutic.
It's one of my favourite stress relievers. I'm sure all my OCD friends understand.

A fresh load of firewood in the living room and a clean house.
What more could I ask for?

Yeah, you're right, people to share it with.

...feel free to drop by anytime.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in your power to do it.
Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,"
When you have it with you.
~Proverbs 3:27-28

Monday, January 12, 2009

silly children

     On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside of the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies' straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return.
     The eighteenth-century Hasidic Jews had more sense, and more belief. One Hasidic slaughterer, whose work required invoking the Lord, bade a tearful farewell to his wife and children every morning before he set out for the slaughterhouse. He felt, every morning, that he would never see any of them again. For every day, as he himself stood with his knife in his hand, the words of his prayer carried him into danger. After he called on God, God might notice and destroy him before he had time to utter the rest, "Have mercy."
     Another Hasid, a rabbi, refused to promise a friend to visit him the next day: "How can you ask me to make such a promise? This evening I must pray and recite 'Hear, O Israel.' When I say these words, my soul goes out to the utmost rim of life. . . . Perhaps I shall not die this time either, but how can I now promise to do something at a time after the prayer?"

~Annie Dillard, Teaching A Stone To Talk: expiditions and encounters
Where there is no vision, the people perish.
~Proverbs 29:18

Sunday, January 11, 2009

a quote from Summer Interviews

Hume Lake is a place to come together as friends and as warriors…

~Ben Harper, Ponderosa Camper from Oceanside, CA

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sweeping Our Time Away

People Forgot To Look Up

When Maytree was young, men, women, and children found their way in starlight alone. When clouds covered the night sky, as now, the whole Cape knew it: Dark night! they said, in a greeting then as common, and almost as frequent, as -Fine day! The answer was, Sure is, or Real dark night. Night was their familiar parlor, a scented time all its own. Now that electric lights wrecked the night sky, he mourned as if the great universe had died within his own lifetime. People forgot to look up. Maytree knew his remembering starry nights dated him as the war did. Except that the war, unlike humans' sight of stars, had lasted fewer than ten years.

~Annie Dillard, The Maytrees


Nothing restores the sense of being alive less ambiguously than the birth of the unexpected,
the finding of a person who one did not know one loved so much.

~Ralph Harper, On Presence

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

no shower

The water doesn't work.
I think something must have froze. But, I looked around and it doesn't seem to be anything here at our cabin. Also, it didn't get lower than 20 degrees last night. It's been way colder on other nights.
Maybe somebody elsewhere along the main water line had trouble and they had to turn it off to fix it. I'm hoping for that.

[turns out that they shut the water off in this end of camp to fix something]
[as of 11:16pm they have not finished fixing it. Maybe I'll "borrow" somebody elses shower on the other side of camp in the morning. I found a bucket of water in the closet that I used for the toilet. I've been driving it back and forth as needed. It's my water supply. How exciting.]
[11:15am. It came back on, but looks like the bloody nile. Maintenance notified us that the main had been repaired and extra chlorine has been added. We've been directed to "flush our home lines today." I'm not sure if that means all day, or just until they are "flushed". Been running it for about 15 minutes and it still is red. Yes, it is an adventure that I sceretly enjoy.]

Monday, January 5, 2009

One time

One time, 
when I was in Germany,

I saw a hedge hog.

It ran accross the sidewalk
into a hedge.

Friday, January 2, 2009


I stood in the balcony in Ponderosa chapel , exhausted from two long, beautiful days. I was ready for the month to come of back to work, lots of changes, and overwhelming tasks. I was ready, but not looking forward to it, not excited to be here. Dreading it, actually. 

I stood waiting to see the videos play for the first winter camp of the season.
The band started off the whole season, in my heart, with songs of worship to God, as over five hundred excited High School students came crowding through the doors toward the front of the chapel.

Oh, yeah. 

This is why I work here.
Fighting back tears, overwhelmed with Goodness, I'm equiping the next generation.

Welcome to winter.

Tonight, I needed the reminder

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My Richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride

See from His head His hands His feet
Sorrow and love mingled down
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown

Oh the wonderful cross 
Oh the wonderful cross 
Bides me come and die and find
that I may truly live

Oh the wonderful cross 
Oh the wonderful cross 
All who gather here by grace
draw here and bless your name

Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were and an off'ring far too small
Love so amazing so divine
Demands my soul my life my all

Oh the wonderful cross 
Oh the wonderful cross 
Bids me come and die and find
that I may truly live

Oh the wonderful cross 
All who gather here by grace
draw here and bless your name

Life so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul. my life, my all
and the beauty and the shame
in the glory of His name
Oh the wonderful cross

Oh the wonderful cross
Oh the wonderful cross 
Bids me come and die and find
that I may truly live

Oh the wonderful cross
Oh the wonderful cross 
All who gather here by grace
draw here and bless your name