Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Parting Gift

"How soon can I get divorced?"

I start to give an answer, but then think better of it.  I sense that there's a little bit more to this story.

Most of the time, when I'm asked this question, it's because the next wife-to-be is waiting in the wings, driving the process full throttle.  Other times, the couple can hardly stand to hear each other's names, and they're trying to officially end it before someone goes to jail.

So, instead, I ask, "What's your deadline?"
This is an older man, distinguished-looking, and dressed in a sharp, yet conservative suit. His question is asked with a nervous waver to his voice.  He gives me a look of embarassment, but does not crack a smile.  He's all business.

"Many years ago, I got married up north.  We gave it a go, but at one point decided it was not going to work out.  We talked it over and decided to separate.  After some time, I saved up the money and gave it to her to pay for a lawyer.  That was 15 years ago.  A couple of days ago, I found out that she never filed for divorce.  I made several calls and verified.  Nothing has ever been filed.  I'm still married to her."

I think for a moment, pretty sure that I'm missing something.  I explain the process for divorce in our state and line out the steps.  I can tell none of this is quite registering with him. 

He is impatient and terse, but not rude.  "I need this done as soon as possible.   I don't care what it costs."

I go back to my unanswered question, "By when, exactly, do you need this done?  The more information you give me, the more I can help."

He sighs, and says, "About eight years ago, I remarried.  We have children.  We've made a new life.  I have a good job and hold several high-level leadership positions in several organizations.  If any of this gets out, my family will be affected and I could lose my job, my positions, and let's not even mention the embarassment."

"Does your current wife know?"

"Yes."

I put together a plan for him.  "We can take care of this, but you need to understand that there are two things at play here. First, you have committed the crime of bigamy.  I'm not too worried about them coming after you, but I need to make sure you are aware.  Secondly, once this divorce is final, you will need to officially remarry.  Your second marriage currently has no legal effect."

He looks down at his hands and shakes his head.  "What a mess...I guess it was her parting gift to me."

Monday, December 27, 2010

13 Years

To my lovely wife:

It's only been 13 years, and it really feels like we just got started.  I'm often told by those who know us that I married way above my class.  I sure did.  You are an awesome gift and I love you!

Happy Anniversary!

Ummm, but can we go out to dinner another night?






















Of course,




























We can eat outside, if you'd like...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Not Again!

Apparently, the North is leaking white stuff again.  Now it's all over my truck and all over the road.  Can't we get the government to do something about it?

Quote for the Week

A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.

John Steinbeck

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Though He Slay Me

I had to think fast.  I couldn't though.  I was speechless.

And heartbroken.  And, truth be told, scared.

This was supposed to be the moment we told the world.  At least those in our world.  There would be pictures, high fives, and congratulations.

This visit was supposed to be routine.

It was anything but.

My wife cried on the phone.

"There was nothing there."

"They tried four times but found nothing."

Miscarriage.

My heart sinks in pain.  Though I am at my desk at work, my vision gets blurry, my throat dry, my mind starts racing.  A hundred thoughts running through my head, each searching for a place to land.  Trying to be the man, reaching for solutions to a problem that I will never solve.

I had heard the term before, but it's one that had never held a personal interest.  Now, it was ours.  Just like that, all the joy and planning and hope are gone.

For the doctor, though, it's purely mechanical.  No emotion, just checkmarks on a list.  Sign here, check here, appointment next week.  D & C a week after that.  The tears barely get noticed.  There are, of course, other patients to see, and besides, there's nothing more to do here. 

Three weeks later, tears still show up every now and then.  There have been two visits to the ER, each one slashing away at what little hope was left.

There are questions.  Guilt.  What if?  There's many reasons to get bitter.  Did the stress of work contribute?  Why did they not help?  Why was the doctor so cold?  Why....?

And yet, it does not matter.  None of that can reverse what has happened.

But, even now, the anger fades into resolve, and then resolve gains new life as hope.

We still have much to be thankful for.

Some say religion is a crutch.  That's okay, I guess.  Sometimes, the best you can do is try to walk, though with a limp.  These times, I can use a crutch.

Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.  Job 13:15

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Music

My wife is a bit upset with me, but I'm not sure why.


Over the past several days, I've been teaching my daughters the lyrics to "On Top of Spaghetti."

Apparently, the girls have learned well. It turns out they've been practicing every day after school. Loudly. Repeatedly.

Still not sure what the problem is.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quote for the Week

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.


Albert Einstein

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sovereignty and Priority

So, I'm trolling the news sites for blog fodder when I visit msnbc.com.  A scrolling breaking news banner gets my attention.  Apparently, Bernie Madoff's bankruptcy trustees have found some money.  Good for them.

I keep scanning the headlines, and note, about halfway down the page, it says this:

Mexican Government Drone Crashes in El Paso

??!!

Surely that does not mean what I think it means.  So, I click and read.

Let me get this right.  We are a sovereign nation, no?  On Tuesday, an unmanned surveillance drone owned and operated by another country, flew into our airspace, and then crashed.  Nobody seems to have blinked.  At least yet.

Our government, rather than addressing this as what it is--an international incident--returns the drone to the offending country.  What?!  I wonder if we apologized to Mexico for not having strong laws against gravity to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

On top of that, most of the country is only now hearing about it, two and a half days later.

Doesn't this bother anyone?  Am I overreacting?

I'm happy for Madoff's victims, but I would figure a violation of sovereign air space would be a bigger deal.

Maybe it's just me.

Never mind.  Carry on.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Police as Protection

This video is for those who believe we ought to wait for the police.  I simply post it to illustrate a point I have made here before.  Please take a minute or two to watch the video.  Put yourself in the position of the Board members.  At what point do you think you would have dialed the police.  Pretend to do it now.  Remember this video is real-time.  Speaking of time, if the phone is all they had, they would have been dead before the first, "Hello."

The police aren't typically called until the incident is over.  In fact, that's what happened here.  Police do not show up until the dead are dead.  They take notes, take pictures, and make plans.  The difference in this story is that there was someone else armed there.  That person put a stop to the attack.  The only dead, by his own hand, was the initial attacker.  But he didn't think to stop until someone else stopped him.




Of course, people may ask, "Why would you ever have to carry to a school board meeting?"  Aren't those supposed to be safe?  Let's ask these school board members.  I'm glad there was a security officer there, but I'm not taking my chances that the guard is a good shot, knows the weapon, and is alert enough to shoot.  If that security guard had not been there, or had not been alert and able, this would have been a completely different news story.

I will take responsibility for my own safety.

UPDATE:  Weerd has the full video, and an excellent post as well.  I have embedded the video he linked to.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Observations from Training

At my previous job, I oversaw the volunteer security department at the church.  One of the things I did was require the security officers to take the state licensing course in order to keep our insurance company happy.

I'm no longer there, but I decided to renew my certification, mostly because it was ridiculously inexpensive, but also because it's something different and is a fun break.

So, I did it and I passed.  Now, for no real reason, here are some of my observations from the course:

1.  Slide bite is real, and hurts.  But, the victim was a trooper and made it through the class.  She had to take the test twice, but passed on the second try.

2.  Shooting a certification class with a headache is no fun at all.

3.  I did not get a perfect score, but still had one of the highest scores each time.  I still passed, with 291 and 295 out of 300 each time.  I had to test twice because I was qualifying with two calibers.

4.  For those whose life identity is only that of security guard, please try to relax and switch to decaf.  Seriously.

5.  There is a local security firm that is outfitting its officers with HiPoints and nylon holsters.  I guess that's ok.  There are better choices out there, though.  This same firm gives their security officers an extra magazine.  A Glock magazine.  Different caliber.  I had to see for myself.  I'm not sure what the clients are paying this security firm, but, really!?

6.  As soon as everyone in the class found out I was an attorney, they lined up to get free advice.  Remember this?  I don't do free advice.  I still outscored most of them, much to their shock.  I guess people don't like to lose to a nerd.

7.  Anytime I go to the range is a fun time, headache or not.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Quote for the Week

Many a man's reputation would not know his character if they met on the street.

Elbert Hubbard

Friday, December 10, 2010

Teaching a Girl to Fight Back

I've never met Mary Peret.  Don't know much about her.  In fact, other than one article that caught my eye, I know nothing about her.

She writes a blog, under the name BarnMaven.  The post that caught my attention, through the Google News aggregator, was titled "Why I'm Not Sad My Daughter Punched a Little Boy in the Privates."  You see what I mean?  That is an eyecatching title.  TodayMoms reposted the article under the title "My Daughter Punched a Boy in the Privates--I'm So Proud."

Go read it, I'll wait.

For those who can't or won't read it, here's the short version.  A 10-year old boy (the writer reveals the boy's age in the comments) shoves his hips into the author's daughter's face, (also 10-years old), wiggles the hips, and yells, "Talk to Mr. Weiner."  She does, with her fist.

My wife and I work hard to make sure that my daughters understand that their bodies and dignity belong to them, and are to be respected by ALL.  We are constantly teaching my daughters about the right to defend themselves from both physical and verbal threats and attacks.  We teach them the difference between being the initial aggressor, and being the one attacked.  We teach them about appropriate levels of response, and what is an excessive response.

I will be using this article to have a conversation with my daughters this weekend.

I don't know who Mary Peret is, but she is right to be proud of her daughter.  If my daughters had reacted this way, I, too would be proud.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why Today?

December 7, 1941.

The Attack on Pearl Harbor

Take the time to know what it was, and why we pause to remember it today.

And note that every generation has had or will have its Pearl Harbor.

For every generation, it is a moment in which society will have to make a choice.

Do we ask for more security, closing ourselves up in an ever tightening cocoon?  Do we accept stricter bounds, regulating ourselves into a small, safe box?  Do we get to where we finally own some semblance of security, yet no longer have the freedom to live and enjoy it?

Or do we answer force with force, beating evil into submission, fully understanding that those enemies who hate peace will only respect the strong.

Si vis pacem, para bellum.

Remember today.  Remember why.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Quote for the Week

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

Hellen Keller

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What a Week

Blogging has been a bit light this week. It's been a bit of an emotional roller coaster for reasons I can't quite share yet.  Thankfully, we're all well and healthy and God is still good.

Oh yeah, and the furnace in the house appears to have given up the ghost.  Thank God it's not like winter or anything like that.

So, for those keeping score at home, that's the water heater, the washing machine, and now the furnace, all in a couple of months.  The dryer did its own thing earlier this year, and the AC hiccuped over the summer, so I'm hoping everyone's got their issues out of their respective systems.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Request for Prayer

Fellow blogger Curt (Sailor Curt) is asking for prayer for his sister, who was seriously injured in a crash on Tuesday.

Details here.

If you have a minute, please take the time to say a prayer for her and the family.

Thanks.