Saturday, January 26, 2013


This may seem a little strange
But it is on my mind
That sometimes it's the little things
That give sight to the blind

A haircut is necessity
But when too long without
I feel as though I'm not myself
In fact I'm quite the lout

It seems so simple to sit down
And have them trim my hair
But I hate to have it done at all
So I avoid the barber chair

Until it can't wait anymore
And force myself I do
And as the hair piles on the floor
I find myself anew

Monday, January 21, 2013

Facebook Birthdays

One of the most amazing things about Facebook is that it reminds everyone on your "Friends" list that it is your birthday.  It is really nice to see the "Happy Birthday" wishes come in throughout the day.  Sometimes I'm surprised at the expanded comments.  Sometimes I am surprised by who takes the time and trouble to post.  It is nice though.

I must admit that I don't always post Happy Birthday on my friends' birthdays.  If not, it usually is for one of two reasons.  1)  I didn't get on Facebook for a few days due to travel or something and by the time I noticed it was their birthday, I felt bad about posting late.  Or, 2)  I don't really know them all that well.  Hmmmm.....that brings up the question as to why they are a "Friend" on Facebook if I don't know them all that well.  Perhaps the Facebook definition is not as clear as it should be.  I think there should be a category for "Acquaintance" in addition to "Friend."  Somehow, that sounds clearer to me.

Maybe I'm being too nit-picky.....

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Seeing Without Seeing

Airports and rental cars
Hotels and planes
Torrential downpours
Traveling pains

Eggs for breakfast
Poured from a box
Coffee that tastes
As if brewed from rocks

City to city
And coast to coast
Of the places I've been
There are many to boast

But often they pass
As if lacking a name
Because after awhile
They all look the same

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

One of Those Days

I have come to strongly believe that the greater the resistance, the greater the likelihood that I am headed in the right direction.  If there was nothing opposing me, it would indicate that I am going with the flow and the best that I could expect is average.  I prefer above average at least and exceptional even better.

I am fighting the tide.  Swimming upstream.  Going against the flow.  Whatever you want to call it.  It just seems that the obstacles to progress in the direction I am headed grower higher and more frequent with every passing day.  I hate it and I love it.  I hate the protracted fight but I love the knowledge that I must be doing something right.

In the Star Trek movies there is the Borg whose memorable line is "resistance is futile" yet, the crew of the Enterprise -- Captain Picard in particular -- fight them and win.  Resistance is NOT futile.  Resistance is life itself.  We are born to live -- and yet our entire life is one of fighting approaching death.  Why do we fight death and dying?  I believe it is because we are "wired" for life.  We are made by God to seek eternal life.  We find it only in Him.

So, my conclusion is that "the good fight" is the one that resists "going with the flow."  It fights average/normal.  It is a constant battle against the forces arrayed against.  We die when we quit fighting.  I'm in this thing to win.  How about you?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Struggling With Progress

Sometimes I need deadlines.  It seems that procrastination is part of my basic makeup.  If it doesn't have to be done right now the reasons for not doing it seem to prevail.  But, when the deadline looms, delivery is made -- often just under the wire.

This past week has seemed like one with looming deadlines.  My January 2nd "to do" list was almost two full pages long on my yellow notepad.  It was intimidating.  It is down to under a page now.  I think fear was the driver to get some things done.  The list had become so long that I feared it couldn't all possibly be accomplished before my next round of intense travel.  I feel better about it today.

Why is it that we (some of us at least) have to be pushed in order to make progress?  Shouldn't it be our natural tendency to want to be constantly growing, improving?  Instead, we seem to find excuses to not do what we should and to instead do the things we know we shouldn't.  We sit in front of the television instead of raking the leaves.  Or, we play a game on the computer instead of reading a book.  We "settle for" the mediocre when we could be moving toward the great.

I think Paul described it well in Romans Chapter 7.

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[d] a slave to the law of sin.
 It seems that even Paul knew what he needed to do but found himself doing otherwise.  I guess I'm in good company.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Johnny "Heisman" Manziel

A small-town Texas kid put on quite a show last night as the Texas Aggies beat the Sooners in the Cotton Bowl.  The more I watch him play football, the more I am amazed.  He makes extraordinary runs and passes look easy. 

The A&M Board of Regents took a big gamble moving to the SEC.  They fired a head coach and hired one that didn't quite fit the mold of previous coaches.  That new coach has sparked a revival of A&M football with the help of a Quarterback of tremendous athletic ability.

There will be "reams of electrons" written about Manziel today, just as there has been since prior to his selection as the Heisman Trophy winner.  I won't spend a lot of time doing the same here.  But, I do want to say that he seems to have a pretty good head on his shoulders.  Let's just pray that he doesn't let the hype get to him. 

It takes the entire team to win a football game.  I suspect the inspiration of playing with someone of Manziel's calibre has caused a lot of his teammates to "step up" and play beyond their expectations.  Maybe that's the key.  Raised expectations.  If you expect great things, great things will happen.  With the guidance of Coach Sumlin, the extraordinary athletic ability of Manziel and the willingness of A&M's Regents to back a gamble, Aggie Football has reached the next level. 

Keep it humble guys.....

Thursday, January 3, 2013

More on Twitter

I'm kind of liking this Twitter thing.  I frequently have a "brilliant" thought in response to things that I see and read on the Internet.  They usually just evaporate like those "brilliant" ideas that I have at 3:00 a.m. that are irretreivably lost to the dreamworld.  With Twitter I can just respond instantly.  I can see how it might be annoying to someone following me.  It is the opportunity for a "gut" reaction that isn't always as considered as it should be.

I'm even figuring out how to add attribution and hashtags so that I can attract followers.  I have been doing this a little over 24 hours now and have 21 followers.  I don't know if that is good or mediocre or just downright pitiful, but, they're MY 21 followers and I'm proud to have them.  I wonder if I should set a goal?  OK, might as well.  I will shoot for 50 followers by this time next week.  Who knows?

K-State and Oregon are playing on the television as I sit here with my laptop.  I'm hardly paying any attention to it.  Oregon is leading but I think K-State will make up the deficit.  There's plenty of game left to play.

I don't even feel like Tweeting about the game.  I'm more concerned with what's going on in Washington.  I'm thinking it may be time to pull out of the stock market and convert to something else.  Any suggestions?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Twitterverse

I have been fighting the urge to open a Twitter account for a long time.  I have struggled with seeing the value in it.  My vision for how to use it was limited to the mundane routine of my job or my "life" outside my job.  I found a reason yesterday.

With my New Year's commitment to spread the word about the fiscal and other irresponsibility of Washington and the hope that I might open a few eyes to what is going on there, I found reason to enter the world of Twitter.  I am still somewhat confused by the appropriate use of the @ sign and hash tags (#) but I am making progress.  I have Tweeted several times today -- mostly re tweets or clicking the Twitter button on an article that I wanted to share -- but I am definitely struggling with proper syntax and structure.

If any of you out there have some basic tips or pointers I would certainly appreciate them in the comments.  You can find me @PanhandlePoet.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Starting a New Year

New Year's Day is all about a time for a fresh start.  It should be positive and uplifting as we look forward.  It should be a time of reflection on things of the past that we would like to put behind us so that we can move forward. 

I've never been much for resolutions.  I didn't keep them anyway, so why put myself through the "failure" of not keeping them?!  Instead, I think we all should constantly evaluate ourselves and as we see areas that need improving we should immediately take steps to improve.....not just once each year, but every day.

I guess I have made a resolution for this year.  I have resolved to start sharing as much information as possible about what is going on in Washington and the other "halls of power" that have so much impact on our lives.  I fear for the direction our country is headed morally and fiscally.  I fear that my children and grandchildren will face a world that is vastly worse than what we live in today.  I am morally obligated to fight against those things which I believe are destroying our country and the future for my grandchildren.

I have posted a number of things on Facebook today related to the so-called "Fiscal Cliff" and I have resurrected my political commentary blog:

Panhandle's Perspective

I'm recruiting.  Help me get out the message.  There is another election in a couple of years that can make a huge impact.  It's time now to start.