Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Harley L. Mustoe, 1995-2006

Within the last week or so my dog Harley had gotten sick, and today we had him put to sleep. Harley was a very healthy, happy dog; 50lb black lab-chow mix. One day about a week and a half ago he was pretty lethargic, and the vet found cancer on his splein and blood collecting in a bag around his heart. He was not in pain, but they didn't give him long to live. So there's all the sad details, now on to better stuff, a small obituary if you will.

We got Harley from the Humaine Society in mid-1995 when he was six months old. This was on a Saturday, and on Sunday we discovered he was actually pretty sick and needed a couple operations right away. So this $60 mut turned out to be quite an expensive one; my Dad still claims he saved his life and was thus, the favorite.

Harley's favorite activities included playing with "the rope", which he could go find when commanded, barking at various animals outside, doing this wierd nibbling thing to the sheets when he'd be on the bed, and of course licking himself at the most innappropriate times. Harley would always pick up his food from his bowl and carry it a couple feet before he ate it. He knew how to sit and shake, which he would try to do in exchange for food from the dinner table. Harley had various lengths of hair, he shed even more than me. He looked ridiculous after we'd get him back from the groomers, but he didn't care. Early on in his life he was really good at running out the front door if you even left it cracked for just a second. One time like, 9 years ago he got out and ran all the way to downtown with me chasing after him, crying, with leash in hand. Once he finally stopped, just short of a main road in Cape Girardeau he was so pooped I had to carry him home. At the time I was pissed/relieved he didn't get hit by a car, but now it's a pretty fond memory.

Another one of my favorite Harley stories is when he caught and killed a possum, or so I thought until I tried to get rid of the thing while he was still going nuts in the backyard. There was this one time where Harley was sleeping at the foot of my bed....I adjusted my leg and then felt Harley on top of it....once I realized what was happening I promptly punched him and kicked him out of bed. Other than that, Harley was the best dog you could ask for. Towards the end of his 11 years he wasn't the most obiedient, but it didn't matter because he never really mis-behaved. Harley will always be the dog that all other dogs I come across are compared too.

It's funny how much we love our pets. My whole family loved Harley, and i'm pretty sure he loved us too, he wasn't just in it for the doggy treats. He even had a stocking hung next to all of ours. Even though he was "just a dog" I still am shocked by mortality. I'm very sad, but also very happy to have had such a great dog for 11 years, half of my life. I'm very blessed to have my beloved dog die be pretty high up on my list of "worst things to ever have happened to me". So good bye Harley.

We'll miss ya buddy.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Cali Pics

Here's a link to check out the pictures from the road trip:

In the process of moving things into the new apartment, it's nice. I've run into this problem a lot though:

Someone else: "Hey, where's your trash can?"
Me: "Uhh......"

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Da Vinci Update

My congregation is joining the fray in Da Vinci Code education, offering classes on Wednesdays in June. Exciting!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Leonardo the Ninja Turtle, or Da Vinci?

Greetings all.

I am currently at my church office right now, it feels good. Like I said, more on my recent travels w/ pics soon. I have to upload them all which will be kind of a pain.

I found this article on Yahoo today (which I check compulsively). It talks about Evangelical Christianity's response to the upcoming movie The Da Vinci Code. My friend Steve and I were talking about this last night as well. (That conversation took place as we were enterting the theatre to see Mission Impossible III, which was freaking awesome by the way. Ridiculous, but that was to be expected)

Personally, I have not read the book. I need to, if nothing else just to remain "in touch". However as my other friend BB has pointed out, it's not very encouraging to young men to read books if we can just see a movie instead! That being said, I feel like this whole movie debate thing brings up some good points. I have similar feelings about this movie as I did "The Passion of the Christ": no matter how you feel about the movie, it's great to generate conversation.

So THAT being said, i'm a little ticked off. Here's my start of the conversation.

1. Dan Brown is an author who writes books TO MAKE MONEY. So all this stuff about how his book is not factual should be inherent in the fact that it's ENTERTAINMENT. The Catholic Church calling for a boycott because it's borrow a phrase from my youth....NO DUH!!!! We read books or see movies that distort history all the time, pretty much any Mel Gibson historical epic you've seen. Now, it's a bigger deal because the non-truths or distortions contained in the Da Vinci Code deal with Christ, but folks need to realize this is entertainment.

2. Folks need to not be like mindless slaves to whatever information they're presented with. For all the skeptics (sp?) of Christianity looking for an excuse to rip us some more, this movie could provide some great material. But, go back and read number one. People, especially Americans, LOVE CONSPIRACIES. How many movies have some type of cover up by the government or a double cross at the heart of the plot? This is no different. Roswell New Mexico's entire local economy is built on the idea that Aliens may or may not have landed there. People devote their entire lives to Jimmy Hoffa's dissapearance, or JFK's assasination. We love the suspicion of getting to the bottom of what we've been duped about all our lives. If you're looking for a reason to be down on Christianity, it might be easy to see the movie and think that the whole church is a big conspiracy, and that Christ was not really who we've claimed all these years. Dan Brown picked a sensative and deep reaching topic to use as a means to prey on our love of conspiring. Shrewd. Even the previews attract us with the line: "...The biggest cover up in human history." But if people just go see this movie, and take it as fact, that's lame. I don't have much sympathy for a person who would see a movie or read ONE book and take it as a faith shattering or non-faith confirming experience. The same reason I doubted the Passion as a "conversion tool" is the same reason I doubt this movie will be the naysayers paradise. IT IS A MOVIE. A MOVIE. I will go watch it definately, but it's A MOVIE.

3. I hope this pop-culture and Christian culture intersection can lead to some good conversation. Maybe people will be intruiged by the historical person of Jesus, and discover the living Christ today. Maybe kids will show up at youth group with a thirt for knowledge, cause they don't want to have Hollywood tell them what is true any more. I dunno. I liked the article in Yahoo, and we'll see how it goes. I like the fact that church's are giving seminars and encountering this opportunity with education, instead of blind opposition and boycotting. Maybe we are learning something!

....I'll let ya know what I think of the movie!


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Quick Update

Hello everyone. Right now it's 2am. I'm in Chicago. Yesterday I was in Arizona, the day before that, Cali. Well, snap lemme just lay it out real quick.

Saturday 5-6: Graduate CMU.
Sunday 5-7: Leave Fayette.
Monday 5-8: Las Vegas, Los Angeles
Tuesday 5-9: Taping of Price is Right, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica
Wednesday 5-10: Grand Canyon, AZ
Thursday 5-11: Worlds Biggest McDonalds, Back in Fayette
Friday 5-12: Chicago, Girlfriends Sister's Graduation from Lake Forest College.
Saturday 5-13: Chicago, Back to St. Louis
Sunday 5-14: Start new life.

So, that's about 4,500 miles in the past week. Lot's of great material for blogging. Things are really great. I didn't get on the Price Is Right, but my friend Abby did! She won $6,000 and a very nice desk. I'll try and post some of the cool pics I got too. Adulthood, here I come baby.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Little Things.

I'm going post crazy today, two in one day! I actually had planned to blog on this, but then I struck and killed a turtle...

Anyways, I'm going to list stuff that I think is awesome. Go ahead and leave a comment and add one if you'd like. This is a "easy fun silly" blog, check out to see some discussion about Homosexuality and the Methoidist Church, or the church in general...i've yet to contribute but it's very thought provoking, no matter where you stand on the issue.

Ok, on to the list:

1. The concept of using meat to garnish other meat. Wow, this is a big one for me. What a great idea! The best example is, the chili dog (which some would not consider meat, but I do). You've got your hot dog containing various beef/pork products AND THEN you top it with beef chili, MORE MEAT! Chicken 'Cord-on-Blue' is another great example. Please pardon my redneck spelling, just trying true to the roots and too lazy to look it up.

2. Paying with exact change. I love being at a register and having EXACTLY $9.64. Then the whole getting change step is gone, and you're on your way. A close second is when you have just the change, and not the bills, that way you get a clean two dollars back if you give them 10.32 and it's only 8. I somehow feel like i'm saving money in this process.

3. Getting the last of something. You're at the store, shopping for whatever, shirt or beverage, I dunno, and you get the last one! Not that I like other people being denied their product, but I like that I almost was, but was not. This could also count in cases of last piece of pizza, last soda in the fridge pack, last cheese stick, etc.

4. Gift Cards + Sales= Bliss! Several generious and gracious people gave me gift cards for my birthday/graduation. I got one to Chesterfield Mall and got TWO really nice shirts and 3 plain white undershirts for $40!!!! It was great!

5. Free refils.

6. Good parking places.

7. Snow days, sadly I haven't had one in years. But those were like the pinnacle of my existence.

8. Turning to exactly the right page the first time.

9. Automatic ice thingies built into your fridge door. We didn't have these growing up, but some of my friends did. I was always jealous. Such cool, refreshing ice and water, right there any time you want.

10. Cruise control.

R.I.P. Little Guy

I dunno what the deal is but the turtles were out in full force today. On the way home from Columbia this afternoon, I saw THREE turtles. Not one, or two, which would already be many more than i've seen in two years, but THREE. Unfortunately only two of them survived...

Driving along 240 I spotted something small and brown in the road, I figured it was a cup or something, no big deal. (round these parts trash or roadkill is far from uncommon) But as I approached the object in question, I saw that it was in fact a turtle, this really was evident as his neck protruded, trying to avoid the bu (my car).

I felt horrible, still do. I love turtes, I had one when I was young. I have lots of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle memorabilia (sp?). I've never had turtle soup, nor do I advocate eating any turtle products or any process in which a turtle suffers.

Based on my observation, I'm pretty sure it was a standard Box turtle, common in Missouri, as shown above.

So, now i've got to figure out some way to honor the turles memory. I was pretty disturbed: hearing the sound of the little guy being crushed by my tire, and the horror of seeing a little fist sized animal thrown up in the air and splatter onto the highway, as a result of my actions. By the time I saw him, I tried to move but it was too late.

Sorry little buddy.