Monday, May 30, 2011

Sleepless summer nights

Strange how, on some nights, you simply can't fall asleep.

It's happened to me tonight. I have the next two days off, so I can't say I'm stressing about work. Then again, since this will be Monday, maybe my brain is subconsciously preparing for a work week that won't start just yet for me. I don't know.

So I have made some hot tea....decaf, of the hope that it will help me nod off.

Along the way I have prayed, reflected, pondered friendships....let my mind drift wherever it wanted to go in the hope that I would eventually arrive at eine gute schlafe. A good sleep.

Summer nights can do that to me. They're warm, inviting, alluring in how comfortable they can feel after a long, hot day.

Yes, it's Memorial Day weekend, but today sure had "summer" stamped on it with temperatures in the 90s and a blasting south wind I usually feel in July.

Maybe that's why I can't sleep --- because my body is sensing that shift in the seasons. Already.

Spring, we barely had a chance to get acquainted. Come back soon.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

This is why all tornado warnings should be taken seriously

This video captures the formation and growth of the Joplin tornado. As you will be able to see, it goes from a harmless-looking rope to a massive wedge within a minute or two.

The Hoisington tornado in 2001 was like that, too; touchdown to monster in moments.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

An update on Joplin

The death toll is at 122...making it the deadliest tornado since 1950. The tornado was rated an EF5 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, the top category on the scale.

When you see this video, it's easy to understand why. That level of destruction reminds me of what I saw in Greensburg and Andover. So often when folks say someplace is "gone" after a tornado went through, it's heat-of-the-moment hyperbole.

But not this time.

The Weather Channel reporter breaks down on camera during this report, and I don't blame him.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

the Joplin tornado

A massive tornado has devastated Joplin tonight. The death toll is 24, and likely to climb higher. A Red Cross official has estimated 75% of the city has been damaged or destroyed.

Here's a video of the tornado, and you can tell it's a massive tornado:

I guess I'll have to do the laundry after all

Well, 6 p.m. came and went Saturday, and the world didn't end. We were told (breathlessly by some) that the Rapture would occur then, according to calculations made by someone using clues found in the Bible.


Pronouncements of this sort annoy me more than anything else. The Bible itself states we will not know the date nor the hour of Christ's Second Coming. Not even Jesus knows that, we're told. Only God does.

The Bible also states that we will be going about our daily business, getting hired or fired, getting married or buried, right up until the moment arrives. Expect no dramatic "signs" foretelling Christ's return.

Which explains the Catholic Church's advice on "the end of the world:" Treat every day as if it's when Jesus will return. Live your life as if you'll be ready for that moment --- even if it's in 10 minutes.

There's a lot of wisdom in that mentality. If you live in such a way that you'll be welcomed into Heaven by Christ, you do not have to live in fear. Granted, God is the ultimate judge of who gets to Heaven, but He is a merciful, loving Father eager to welcome His children home.

And we, as flawed humans, can merely strive to be our best selves as much as we can.

Given that, I don't get caught up in the histrionics linked to proclamations that the Rapture is imminent or that the world as we know it will end in 2012.

I read that the mastermind who declared Saturday would bring the Rapture has disappeared, stunning his flock of devotees. I'm stunned, I tell ya. Stunned.

This clip's as funny as watching a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs

The wit and wisdom of Foghorn Leghorn:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Farewell to a gentleman...who happened to hit baseballs an awful long way

I never met Harmon Killebrew. I just remembered him as a player who hit prodigious home runs for the Twins and Senators (before I was old enough to remember him)...and who closed out his career with the Royals. Let's just say the powder blue uniforms of the Royals back then did not flatter him. But I was amazed that he still hit 14 home runs in spot duty and with a batting average below .200.

I would have liked to chat with Harmon for a while, just because he seemed like such a quality guy....someone whose impact off the field was far greater than it was on the field --- which is saying something, since he's in the Hall of Fame and is widely considered one of the greatest home run hitters of all time.

He had the nickname "Killer," because he could just hit the living daylights out of a baseball. His homers weren't line drives that just happened to go over the fence. His homers were moon shots...the kind of hits they used tape measures on. If I remember correctly, he holds the record for longest homers hit in several stadiums. Because he didn't play in New York, he never got the credit he was due (by the sportswriters, anyway).

Other players knew how good he was, though. Managers, too. That's why he led the league in walks so many times. Remember how many times pitchers would walk Barry Bonds or Albert Pujols? That's what they did to Killebrew in his day.

Want to get a free drink at a bar some night? Just ask who hit the most home runs in the 1960s. It wasn't Willie Mays. It wasn't Hank Aaron. It wasn't Mickey Mantle.

It was Harmon Killebrew.

The irony of his nickname is that Harmon was such a gentleman if you met him off the field and didn't follow baseball you'd never peg him as one of the most feared hitters of his time. I'm reading story after story about how he would treat the rookies just up from the minors with the same dignity and respect that he would superstars of the game.

Killebrew died today at 74 of cancer. On the Royals broadcast tonight, Frank White talked about how much Killebrew loved milk shakes, and how he and Fran Healy would go out looking for milk shakes after every game.

He's probably in heaven having a milk shake with God now.

Rest in peace, Harmon.....

Monday, May 9, 2011

OK....this made me chuckle

yeah, it's a "dumb blonde" joke....

Why should you wear your seatbelt?

This commercial is a poignant answer: