Monthly Archives: November 2007

Gimmee a Coffee Break

coffee cup

For reals. I must be the laziest man on the planet. I was driving home last night thinking, “Do I need anything from the store?” I forget I needed coffee. By the time I remembered I was already home watching the pregame to the Dallas/Green Bay shootout. (Dallas won 34-24) Out of coffee is just under acceptable, so I talked myself into getting some after the game. Of course I never did. So, this morning to get some caffeine, I’m drinking tea. TEA! Trust me, it’s not the same. Still, it’s better than nothing. Guess who is going to the store later. (points at self)

Driving Back from Texas, Thanksgiving Weekend, 2007

November 25, 2007 Snow!

Usually when I’m driving 600+ miles, I don’t stop for anything except gas and maybe a pit stop. This day was different! 4+ inches of snow in Plains was awfully perty. Click on a pic for an 800 x 600 version.

Closed for the Holiday
Closed for the Holiday

Approaching and leaving Plains, the road was pretty much covered with snow. It was nice of everyone else to make the path in the snow!

Roswell, NM Seat of Justice
Roswell, NM Seat of Justice

Chaves County has an exceptional courthouse. It looks even better in the snow. According to the National Weather Service 7-10″ fell Saturday Night/Sunday AM.

“Early to bed…

Ben

…and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Benjamin Franklin said that back in the day. The “stitch in time saves nine” guy knew what he was talking about! However, he left out some important details. Going to bed early and getting up early won’t produce wisdom or wealth in your life if it just ends there. There is a more important ingredient that you need. God’s Word and God’s Presence and Obedience. OK, that’s three things. Get up early. Great. But then what? Some of the most productive times in my life have been getting up early and getting in God’s presence and getting in God’s Word. It doesn’t stop there either. To really prosper (even as your soul prospers) you must be a doer of the Word! I was up very early this morning. 2:15, I think. I am coming off of a long weekend out of town visiting Mom for Thanksgiving and then straight into a couple of Midnight shifts. So, I was in bed early last night and up very early this morning. I’m taking this extra time this morning to get back to a very important discipline. To consistently daily spend time with God through prayer and reading His Word!

During my visit with Mom, I was reminded about God’s goodness. Mom was telling me what a mush God is! Meaning His lovingkindness towards His kids. His long suffering. His LOVE!!! This revelation of who God is only comes from knowing Him. The more you know Him, the more you know Him! How do you get to know God??? Through His Son Jesus and spending time with Him. In prayer, reading His Word, and listening to good teaching and preaching (proclaiming of) His Word. Mom has an awesome habit of praying a lot. It’s inspirational and an awesome example.

So. Starting again this morning, I am returning to my first love. Up early and into His presence. Not that I have totally ignored this discipline, but it has been more stops and starts then consistent lately. Discipline is tough for me, yet consistency is what is required. Not out of some religious obligation, but because the Holy Spirit is drawing me! God has not given up on me! God Loves me and knows what is best for me. He wants me in His presence and in His Word (beyond what I get in church and at work) because He knows that He has all the answers for my life. Only He can provide the direction I need to fulfill His will in my life!!! If I am going to be blessed to be a blessing, I need to be plugged into the vine. To receive from God I need to be in His presence consistently. Then I need to follow that up with obedience. I am excited about the promises of God which are yes and amen in Christ Jesus.

Lord, help me to cling to you and love you as I should. I thank you that you never give up on me! I thank you that your Holy Spirit is guiding me into all truth! Don’t let me give up on me, or the dreams you have placed in my heart. I don’t have the answers, but I thank you that I can have a close relationship with the true and living God who knows all things. You are guiding me if I’ll simply follow. Lord, help me to follow. Thank you for your commitment to me even when I am less than committed to you at times. Forgive me. Restore me. Help me to be the man you’ve called me to be!

Whether I’m up early, or sleeping in. I can prosper by listening and obeying my Lord, my God, my Savior! He has awesome plans for my life. I can only realize them by walking with Him.

White Thanksgiving! Sorta

Snow TV

It WAS a white Thanksgiving in Lubbock. When I arrived at Mom’s Thanksgiving Evening, they had about an inch on the ground, maybe a bit less. During the drive, I ran into 2 to 3″ around Plains to Brownfield, but as I traveled north there was less snow. Friday was cold, but no snow. Friday night/Saturday AM about an inch or less fell again on Lubbock. Enough for me to go out and take a few pictures. The forecast for Saturday afternoon was for 2-4″ in Lubbock, but it never happened and the forecast was revised. However, a very nice snowfall occurred south and west of Lubbock. On my drive back to Tucson Sunday morning I ran into 4+” in Plains and 6+” in Roswell! I actually stopped (I NEVER stop when I’m on a long drive!) and took a few pictures :-) Sure, I would have enjoyed more snow, but I am thankful that I was able to travel safely and still enjoy snow on the ground. It is a rare thing to have snow in West Texas for Thanksgiving. I’m glad I got a taste! The best part of the trip was spending time with Mom. Great food and great fun!!!

Dreaming of a White Thanksgiving

Turkey

I’m leaving Tucson on Thanksgiving morning to drive 640 miles to Lubbock to visit Mom. The fun new twist is the forecast. Chance of snow Thanksgiving afternoon/evening! Did I mention I LOVE SNOW! Judging from the forecast it shouldn’t be too bad, so driving shouldn’t be a problem. Of course, it’s still a couple days away and forecasts can change. It would be perfect if it starts to snow in the afternoon, but no real road problems until I arrive at Mom’s that evening with enough for a snowman by Friday!

I LOVE SNOW!

I really do. Always have for as long as I can remember. Maybe it’s because I’ve never lived where I had to spend all Winter shoveling it. Could be. I think my favorite thing about snow is it’s just so pretty! Next in line would be it’s slippery. I love sliding around on the snow!!! Next would probably be building snowmen and having snowball fights. I even like the way the air smells when it snows!

I have way too many snow stories to tell. Some of them are on my web site, www.mikeshaw.tv. I think my love for snow is why I was looking forward to living in Alaska when I was a teenager. I was accepted to the University of Alaska at Fairbanks! Anchorage wasn’t cold enough for me :-) I was going to study Meteorology and Communications. Unfortunately, I wasn’t mature enough to make it happen. I still ended up being a weatherman, but I took the longer, poorer, more southern route. Who knows what would have been? As much as I used to drink back then, being that far away from home in a state where the drinking age was 19 and the outside temperature in Winter is usually below zero, it could have gone badly.  Perhaps God was protecting me!

I still like to visit web cams in Alaska to look at the snow. AlaskaCam is probably the most famous overlooking downtown Anchorage. I just found another with a really nice view! Here’s a capture from earlier this afternoon. Perty, huh?

Anchorage

So, I’ve lived in frigid places like Western Oregon where a chilly rain is much more common than a snowstorm. Roswell, NM where it does get cold and snowy some years! Most though, not so much. Lubbock like Roswell can have some snowy years, but it usually doesn’t last long. In Odessa, Texas I think it snowed once in the two years I lived there and even then it was like an inch. Here in Tucson we had snow last year! Three inches downtown, but here in Oro Valley just a dusting of slush :-)

I think for now I am resigned to visiting the snow. Mt. Lemmon is about an hour drive away. They even have a little ski area at the top! Earlier this year in March when Micheal was visiting we drove up there and they still had snow! It was cold too :-) I’m hoping to go skiing up there sometime, although I’m not optimistic about this year. La Nina is forming in the Pacific. That usually means warm and dry for the Southwest. Oh well, maybe next year :-)

Tech with OK Win!

Tech Scores

More than OK! Texas Tech beat 4th ranked Oklahoma last night in front of the whole country on ABC Prime Time! Great win for Tech, but I feel a sorry for Oklahoma. Same kinda deal with Oregon. The Oklahoma quarterback got a concussion in the 1st quarter and didn’t return. Oklahoma’s offense struggled until late in the 4th quarter. What was different than the Oregon game, Tech was in the game when the injury occurred, where as Arizona was not. Still, you have to believe the way Oklahoma came back in the end that maybe they would have won with their starting QB. He is the most accurate thrower in College Football this year! Still, injuries are part of the game (unfortunately) and Texas Tech becomes the 11th unranked team to beat a team in the top 5 this year! Pretty amazing.

What up Holmes?

Holmes

Comet Holmes! That’s what’s up! I finally decided to take a look. Especially after I read it had grown bigger than the Sun! Amazing! I guess a week or two ago, it was visible with the naked eye, even from the city. However, I couldn’t make it out just by looking. But with my cheap binoculars, there it was! It looks like a ghost almost. Just a cotton ball, but much much less dense. Almost a mist of a snowball. Weird, but cool! There’s still plenty of time to check it out! Here’s a great article at Astronomy.com that will help you know where to look. Not only that, but I found an AWESOME and FREE program for your computer that will help you navigate the night time sky. It’s called Stellarium. It’s an Open Source Planetarium program for PCs! I downloaded it this afternoon and it’s unbelievably cool. You can search the entire evening sky from where you live or check out how the sky looks from anywhere on the planet. You can view constellations, even superimpose constellation art to see them even clearer.  Find planets, nebulae, etc. etc. etc. I’m amazed at how versatile it is and even how fast the program runs!

OK, so, Holmes isn’t the only show in the sky tonight. It’s also the peak of the Leonid Meteor Shower.  Called that because they seem to emanate from Leo.  Leo is just rising now (almost midnight here now). I know that because of my new Planetarium program :-) Anyway, I just went out to see what I could see. The Leonid’s are expected to be moderate this year. About 15 “shooting stars” per hour at their peak tonight. I made a short drive up the road to the Linda Vista Trail Trailhead. It’s where I do most of my hiking. You aren’t supposed to park there after 9:00, but since I was staying next to the car in my lawn chair I thought it would probably be fine.

It was a bit darker there than here at the apartment. I could see Holmes a little sharper. So cool! I waited quite awhile and only saw two “shooting stars.” While I was hanging out, I heard some coyotes yapping in the distance. Probably closer than a mile and it sounded like they were moving closer, but then they quieted down, so who knows. Orion was hanging over Pusch Peak which was illuminated by a First Quarter Moon that hadn’t yet set. Very pretty indeed! Mars was right in front of me as I faced east. It was just pretty out there! I spent some time talking to God about how beautiful His creation is, and some other things that are on my mind :-) I finally got tired of sitting around. So, I took out my binoculars again and looked at Homes, Mars, some of the stars in Orion, the Pleades, and others, and then came back here to go to bed :-)

Good Night!

What a Rip

Dixon ACL

Thursday night college football in Tucson, Arizona. Number 2 Oregon and the under .500 Arizona Wildcats on national TV. Four other number 2 teams had fallen to unranked teams already this year, and yes, it happened again. In the first quarter, after already scoring a touchdown and looking very impressive, Dennis Dixon tried to make a hard cut and crumpled on the turf. Game over, season over, national championship hopes. over. MRI shows torn ACL. Dixon is done for the year, and probably the Ducks too. It was good run! My heart and prayers go out to Dennis. It takes awhile to get over that kind of disappointment.

I have a nice zipper on my right knee thanx to a torn ACL. My story is a bit less dramatic! Sure, I was a football star in Jr, High :-) and a track star in high school too. Unfortunately, I didn’t stay in shape much past my early 20’s. So, when I was approaching 40 and playing basketball with my friends at work, it probably was predictable what would happen! When I was a teen, I had ups! At 5’4″ I could leap to near the rim. I was quick too. (just ask me, I’ll tell you) I used to lay back until they passed to my guy, and then steal it. This would continue until the other team figured out that I was pretty much gonna steal it every time they passed it to my guy, so they would stop :-)

Fast forward to my Saturday game with my friends, most 10 or more years younger than I was. I could still steal the ball, although not every time. As for ups, well. no. Too chubby! It’s amazing how hard it is to get an extra 30 pounds off the ground. It led to my downfall. I had the ball, and was driving to the basket at the free throw line. I jumped too high and finger rolled the ball in the bucket. Yes, I scored, but when I landed, my knee rocked. I knew immediately, my day was done. “See you guys later!” I was outta there. It was a Saturday, but I had to go into work. About an hour after my injury, I was hobbling around the newsroom and my knee was seriously swollen.

Did I see a doctor? Of course not! That’s why God gives men wives, to tell them to go to the doctor. I had no wife and little sense. I toughed it out and eventually, my knee felt better. Since I wasn’t that physically active, I was able to do just fine for a couple of years. However, it still would bug me. I noticed my knee was “loose.” My phone would ring and I’d feel my leg flopping around as I jogged down the hall to answer it, for example.

FINALLY, two years later I got the MRI. Torn meniscus and possible torn ACL. Doc went in with the scope to fix the meniscus and check the ACL. If it was indeed torn, they’d open up my knee and finish the job. Yeah. I have a zipper on my knee. It’s much better now! I can run, but since I’m still chubby, I don’t do much jumping :-) My knee will pop now and then, so it’s not 100%, maybe 90. I’ll take it.

The scar looks pretty cool too!

I Lost My Nerve

Tooth

Root canal this morning. Not nearly as bad as an experience as Oregon losing to Arizona last night. That should be another post, but suffice it to say, I was bummed. Oregon would have had little problem had Dixon not been hurt. It was sad to see the young man’s dreams of the Heisman Trophy and the National Championship fade on the same play. My heart and prayers go out to him.

OK, root canal. My appointment was for 7:30 a.m. Pretty cool. Less traffic and the dentist is way on the south side. See, my other dentist closer to my house apartment referred me to a specialist to do my needed root canal through a crown. Problem with that is on my dental plan, specialists are just a 20% discount. Probably $800 for a root canal! I’m sorry, but I’d have to say pull the tooth. However, if I could find a “regular” dentist to do it, it would be just $220, and I had almost that much left to use in my flex account anyway. So. I’m on my way this morning to see the dentist in the plan! If you don’ live in Tucson, then you don’t know about the construction on I-10. It’s supposed to go THREE YEARS! The have all the off ramps blocked and traffic down to two lanes through much of town. It’s gonna be great when it’s done! However now it’s slow going at times, especially during rush and/or if there’s an accident. So, I hit the road at 7:00 a.m. hoping the traffic is light enough to not be a problem. I am praying off and on the whole way, and it was smooth! I hit almost every green light! Traffic on I-10 was steady, but not slowed. I made the trip from Oracle and McGee to Mission south of Ajo in 32 minutes! Pretty amazing :-)

So, I’m in the dentist chair fairly fast. The dental assistant was very cool and the dentist did a great job! We all talked about the game last night and the 70’s music playing from the satellite. I was really amazed at the zero pain. I mean ZERO pain! I was out of there in less than two hours. Root canal through the crown. Filled back up. Done. I even feel like I made a couple of new friends!

If only last nights game was so painless.