Friday, April 30, 2010

battle damage

I've been posting some sixthscale G.I. Joe related stuff at Boomerville.  I'll share some of  it here.  Early last year my FBI neighbor brought over something he had found discarded.  He asked me if I'd be interested in it and I walked him inside and showed him the one I already had on the shelf.  The jeep is a sixthscale Soldier's of the World (SOTW) Willis Jeep.  The jeep was minus a driver's seat but had all four wheels.  It was also missing a Gerry can and the spare tire.  It's still missing the spare tire.

I let it sit around downstairs, giving Kelsey something to play with.  The jeep had a weird and funky camouflage, no insignia.  Formative International came out with their jeep about ten years ago.  It was the first sixthscale jeep to come out since Hasbro produced their G.I. Joe Five Star Jeep back in the 60's.

Not too long after the SOTW jeep, other toy companies (including Hasbro) have come out with better/more authentic looking jeeps...all of them pricey.  SOTW was an okay jeep, cheap, and filled the childhood hole of giving away my Five Star those many decades ago.  Kit bashers took the SOTW and made them authentic.  Some of the neatest are the SAS jeeps.  It's well worth Googling.

Last week I got the hankering to tinker with my little jeep.  The first thing I did was make a driver's seat using a thin rod (campaign sign stake) and duct tape.  After I made the seat, it dawned on me that I had enough of it to make the frame for a cloth top.  I cut up an old pair of pants to make the top.  I still had a strip of the rod left to make a wire cutter for the front of the jeep.

I then took some modeling paint and made it look driven around a little.  I found an online source for decals.  Here's the disappointing thing.  The instructions said to spray the decals with a matte fixative for a longer life.  Fixative FAIL!  This morning, just before heading off to work, I sprayed it with the fixative.  The fixative caused the paint and the decal to bubble!  


I shook my head, closed the garage door,  and headed off to work.  What a disappointment after all that meticulous work...I mean meticulous play.  I don't know what it's going to look like when I get home.  The bubbling might pass for the kind of damage due to the heat of battle.   Perhaps some joe tried to light his cigarette too close to the jeep (with a flamethrower).  I may have to pull out the modeling paint and go for broke - see if I can make the fixative damage look cool and intentional.  We'll see.

I wish that I had taken a 'before' snapshot of the jeep.  I really didn't have any idea at first if I was going to really make anything of it.  The finished piece, if I do say so myself, looks pretty darn good.

P.S.  I went home after picking up the girls from school and took another look at the jeep.  The bubbled image had settled a little and to my relieve, hardened.  I tried to work the texture to my advantage and muddy up the vehicle with modeling paint.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

God lives under the bed

I just received this in the email from my friend I've never met, Cowboy Hutch.  I rarely share emails of this nature, and I never forward them.  This is worth sharing.

I envy Kevin. My brother Kevin thinks God lives under his bed. At least that's what I heard him say one night. 

He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped to listen, 'Are you there, God?' he said. 'Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed...' 

I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room. Kevin's unique perspectives are often a source of amusement. But that night something else lingered long after the humor. I realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in. 

He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he's 6-foot-2), there are few ways in which he is an adult. 

He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas and that airplanes stay up in the sky because angels carry them. 

I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different. Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life? 

Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, return to eat his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed.  
The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child.  He does not seem dissatisfied.  He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple work.

He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next day's laundry chores.

And Saturdays-oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That's the day my Dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land, and speculate loudly on the destination of each passenger inside. 'That one's goin' to Chi-car-go! ' Kevin shouts as he claps his hands. 

His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights. And so goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips.  He doesn't know what it means to be discontent.  His life is simple.

He will never know the entanglements of wealth of power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be. 

His hands are diligent. Kevin is never so happy as when he is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it. 

He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax. He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others His heart is pure. 

He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue. 

Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is always transparent, always sincere. And he trusts God.
Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child. Kevin seems to know God - to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an 'educated' person to grasp. God seems like his closest companion.

In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith.

It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions.  It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap . I am. My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances - they all become disabilities when I do not trust them to God's care.
Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn? After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of God.
And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I'll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his bed. 

Kevin won't be surprised at all!

Friday, April 16, 2010


Every now and then, I'll get to drop by about the time Ron Greer and Michael Garmen are opening shop.  They start their pawn work day with prayer together.   The chances I usually drop by are in the afternoon just prior to picking up the girls from school.  That is, when I'm not needed at the clinic.  I probably drop by about once a week.  I love this place, kind of cramped in there, but always something going on.

To me, it's about as close to Mayberry that a person can get.  Somebody's always got a song, or a joke, or a story, all while doing business.  There's always something interesting going on.  I'll go, look around, maybe have a conversation, talk about God or guitars.  I never get to stay as long as I like, but I'll always be back.

I don't know why, but I'm drawn to the place.  Yep, I like going to a place with lots of guitars hanging on the wall.  I also like all kinds of retro stuff like jukeboxes, old guitar amps, LP's. etc.  This isn't the reason I am drawn to this place.  I really love the guys that run it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Accurate Girl!

This is mommy as Accurate Girl.  Accurate Girl wears the same colors as Super Man.  Accurate Girl is very strong, can fly, and can stretch.  Gina likes being Kelsey's super hero mom.  I've always wanted to see Gina in a Wonder Woman outfit.  She's had her lasso around me for going on 20 years now.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

big hands

This is Gina's favorite.  Kelsey drew mommy with big hands.  Mommy's is always reaching down to help and love on Kelsey.  I'm sure from Kelsey's perspective that her mother's hands are larger than they really are.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

medium: crayon

Back in February, Kelsey (7) created a series of drawings of mommy for mommy.  This is a picture of our wedding day.  There is a picture on our bedroom wall of  the two of us on our wedding day.  Perhaps Kelsey was using it as a reference. I don't recall the blue and red dress or the blond hair.  Gina said that it is supposed to be her wedding veil.  Kelsey is already very good at using her artistic license.  Even so, I think she got me down to a tee.  Gina said that Kelsey drew this picture while singing/humming the Wedding March.  As you can see, on my wedding day, I had a very good hair day.

Monday, April 5, 2010

three kinds of touch

Like our words, there is more to our touch than we believe.

I thought of three kinds of touch that I administered Friday through out the day. As a husband, I know what a touch means to my wife. A mere hug seems to brighten her day.  It is a fuel for her.  She requires lots of hugs.

Kelsey, my youngest daughter, came to me for a hug that day.  I was sitting on the couch and she walked in the room, walked straight for me, and buried herself in a big daddy hug.  She looked up and smiled, then walked out of the room.  She came specifically for a hug from me.  I guess something inside her needed that touch.

I had a client come to the office for a chair massage.  Toward the end of the session, an issue arose, and I spent the extra time needed to address the specific areas of need.  Massage therapy is manual work, but it more than often just as beneficial to the therapist as it is the client.  The client's needs were met, and I felt rewarded because I was able to touch and relieve my client's pain.

All the touch that I experienced Friday was given, but I received the blessing as well. I love how God made us.

Friday, April 2, 2010

last trip to grace

Yesterday I led worship at the Grace recovery meeting at the Gadsden Vineyard.  It's the last time I'll being doing Grace because next Thursday is the last Grace.  I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed these nights.  God quickly showed me early on that I was not just leading worship, but being an example of worship.  As time went by I felt God giving me the freedom to loosen up and have fun with it.   So not only was I to be an example of worship, but an example of JOY as well.

Last night I didn't go with a band - I just went with my guitar and harmonicas.  It all seemed to go well.  The group seemed to be receptive and listened.  It was good to hear some laughter during worship, seeing how these guys are required by the judge to be there.  I know that it's a captive audience, literally, but it's always been in my heart that those in recovery enjoy Grace nights.  I know I do.  I will really miss Grace.  From the start, it was a unique opportunity of worship.

Thank you Richard and Seth for letting me take part.  Thank you Lord!  May God continue to show His immediate presence for those in recovery.  I hope they not only find deliverance, but redeemed so that they might too lead others to the love, glory, and grace of God.