Thank You for Your Prayers

I’ve been under the weather with a sinus infection, so it may be a few days before I get back to my frequently infrequent posting schedule. But I did want to express my tremendous thanks and gratitude for your prayers and support. Last weekend with my daughter went far better than I had anticipated, although she and her husband still have some tough trials and days ahead of them. If you find a moment to pray for them, all of us would be most appreciative.

I realize that some, perhaps many, of my readers are skeptical about prayer and its effects on our lives. I am not here to attempt to prove these things to you, except to say that I have seen countless instances in my own life and those of many others where profound changes have occurred as a result of prayer, explainable in no other way.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the Anchoress (or, as I prefer to call her, Anchor-Babe) had a post today on this very topic, asking for prayers for her husband in his travels. She says:

… when some emailers and cyberpals read that I \'m having a rough time physically, I can tell I \'m being prayed for … and it is so incredibly moving to me, to know that somewhere out there a perfect stranger is speaking a word of good for me. Nothing is more humbling than that.

Because I believe – no, I know – that prayer makes a difference in people \'s lives, I try to remember in my prayers some folks who I suspect have no one praying for them. Mostly that involves praying for public figures – some of their names might surprise you – and certain friends of my sons who have been raised without much exposure to church or faith.

Like her, I too can sense the support and strength which comes when others pray for me and mine–and I experienced its power last weekend, as did my wife and daughter. Thank you from the depths of my heart.

The Anchoress finishes by asking:

If you \'re inclined to prayer and you have room on your prayerlist for a stranger, I would be most humbled and grateful if you \'d remember my husband. Thanks.

Done deal, sister–may God be with you both.

Interior Designs


Seriously, this is cool: this humble blog has been blocked by web filtering software at the Department of the Interior.

How awesome is that!!

Man, the place just ain’t been the same since Jimmy Watt left it, ya know?

Of course, one might hope for censorship from a somewhat bigger player than the Department of the Interior–the bureaucracy whose job in life is to watch trees grow, prevent mining and drilling only in areas where these natural resources exist, and to periodically burn down Los Alamos.

But, hey! You gotta start somewhere.

And from the looks of the other sites blocked–some big hitters, these–maybe my ship has finally arrived…

UPDATE: Here’s the latest scoop on what’s going on with the blocking of sites at the Department of the Interior, over at PoliticsCentral.

Posting Frequency

I’ve been feeling a little guilty lately about not posting very often. Of course, I could lay out the usual (and usually true) excuses that I’ve been busy, work’s a killer, family commitments, etc, etc. But no one wants to hear that, so I won’t…

So it did my heart good to stumble across this post (HT: QandO) which says posting too often is bad. Whoa!–I’m likin‘ this guy! But now I’m feeling guilty that I’m posting about someone who says not posting too often is good, and maybe that’s just another excuse, so that’s bad … or maybe it’s bad because I’m posting just to not feel too guilty about not posting, by posting a link to a post about not posting–and maybe that’s just what this guy is talking about, posting too much about nothing …

I am sooo unworthy… “Who will save this miserable wretch that I am?” to quote a guy who might have been a blogger if blogging was around 2000 years ago in places like Rome and Corinth and Ephesus.

Anyway, it did bring about a few thoughts on blogging. Now don’t get me wrong: I love sites like Instapundit which steer me to What’s Happening Now–very efficient, and I’m glad they do it frequently. Others like American Digest, mix cool, short, funny, offbeat stuff with deep essays and drop-dead good writing. Others, like the Anchoress, combine current event commentary with personal life and deep faith, dished up daily from the depths–gotta love that approach as well.

But for me, daily blogging’s never gonna happen–nor should it. If I’m going to write, I’m going to try and say something of substance–and for me, that takes time. Serous time. All-too-scarce time, sometimes. Yeah, sometimes there’s a quick post on something that’s funny or crazy or maddening–but the bottom line is that writing a blog is really for me. I don’t like wasting much time on the trivial: life has a purpose, and its time is not unlimited, so I hate spinning my wheels. Writing for me is about reflecting on what’s important in life, inspecting it from every angle, chewing it over, looking at it from perspectives I don’t even think of sometimes until I actually start.

If you’re a blogger–and I assume many of my readers (perhaps 3 out the 5 total who read this blog) are bloggers–here’s a question for you: would you blog if you knew no one was reading? For me, I think the answer is yes–it’s something folks have doing forever, really, called journaling, and it’s a valuable personal and spiritual discipline. But there is also something about blogging, knowing that others are reading–hopefully not just to impress with fancy words or turns of a phrase, but because of the accountabilty it brings. I believe people sense in the better bloggers something genuine, something real, drawn from the depths of a life of substance. Most of us have fairly good B.S. alarms, and can tell when someone is just tootin’ their horn or blowing hot air.

Anyway, I feel better now, having posted something… and it’s late, so off to bed. Night night.

Another Birthday

Another birthday this month–not mine, you silly (that was last month, 56 long trips about the sun, and the treads are definitely showing the wear…), but this blog: two years old. For a project started on something of a lark–writing for a non-existent audience, with nearly non-existent time to pursue yet another Bob Obsession–it has proven to be quite a journey in many ways. The odyssey has been one from within and without, both reflective and relational. Putting thoughts to paper, as it were, seems to plumb some inner space, revealing dark recesses and flashes of light in often surprising ways, as the discipline of writing seems to free the spirit in some mysterious way. Writing for this blog, and elsewhere, has released thoughts, insights, and words which are, more often than not, as startling to me as they seem to be pleasing, and at times helpful, to others. And the surprise of new relationships and friendships, many virtual and virtually anonymous, yet friends nevertheless, rich with oneness of spirit and mind, is a real treasure–and frankly as surprising as the words I sometimes find myself writing.

I don’t write with any desire to be famous, or have the most hits, to get links on Instapundit or interviews in the media or a book deal. And I am pleased to inform you that my lowly objectives have been achieved beyond my wildest dreams: no fame, no fortune, no Instalanche, no book deals–and that’s perfectly alright, thank you very much. My goal–my hope, really–is to touch others in some small way, to perhaps give them a glimpse inside a remarkable profession–or even more so, a glimmer of God through the cracks in my own broken vessel. If I have accomplished this, even for a few, the effort will have proven more than worthwhile.

I write about bridges, and cooking turkeys, and the joys, frustrations, and insanity of a noble profession, and things I find humorous, or tragic, or touching, or life-changing, because changing life is what life is about: mine, my family, my patients, my friends, my readers. We of all creatures are aware of our own mortality; we get, to a greater or lesser degree, much choice in life’s summation: in many ways, we get to write our own novels. To come to the end of life with great wealth, or fame, or success, is perhaps understandable–even desireable in some small way–but invariably bequeaths a hollowness of spirit, a pathos of lost opportunity–for such things endure but briefly, if at all, after we ourselves return to the minerals of which we are made. To have touched those those with whom we have walked; to have drawn them in some way toward the light; to have left a legacy of goodness and mercy and grace behind: these are the things which will endure, things at once quite small yet vast and eternal.

I have watched, in this short time, many bloggers–bright, energetic, insightful, often excellent writers–post their swan song and fade to black, burned out on the relentless demands of daily delivery of content and commentary. I have at times wondered when, and by what manner, my own minor nova might flare, posting some sad goodbye to a few polite claps as my words fade like falling embers of a party sparkler. But hopefully–when that time comes–those words will linger with at least a few retinal ghosts, varicolored streaks of light against a dark background, that a few lives will thereby have been touched and changed.

I am grateful above all for those of you who visit here regularly, or rarely; who read, and visit, and think, and comment–or perhaps just wonder who this self-important fool might be. Thank you for listening, for spending those precious minutes of our too-brief lives–and especially for being friends.

Thanks for Your Thoughts

Thank you all for your encouragement and thoughts–it’s nice to know I’ve been missed. When I was out of work for several months due to an illness (about 10 years ago), I was convinced everyone would find my absence unbearable. It was humbling to discover most people didn’t know I was gone. I’m not much, ya’ know, but I’m all I think about … it is, after all, all about me

Anyway, I plan to resume blogging–hopefully fairly soon. But there’s quite a bit on my plate at the moment: my mother-in-law, who has been a healthy, independent 87-year-old, had her second fall in 6 months, was hospitalized for a week (while we were gone), and is now in a nursing home with intractable pain, and her long-term disposition is very much up in the air; my daughter just had back surgery and is staying with us while she recovers; my wife’s got the flu; my buddy Ben, our 6-month old standard poodle, has been sick with diarrhea and vomiting for 4 days, and had to be hospitalized for dehydration; and there’s still some unsettled issues at work, as I change accounting software, revisit priorities and schedules, and get some lingering retirement plan issues resolved at long last. So blogging by necessity may be a bit short and sporadic in the near term.

In the meantime, thank you for your thoughts and prayers, and be sure to visit some of the great sites on my blogroll. Back soon, God bless.

Paradise Found


Well, it’s back to reality…

After a wonderful week on Maui, where my oldest daughter got married in a small family wedding, it’s back to the daily grind of work and life problems large and small. But the rest was a tonic, the ceremony and time with family a true blessing. A week with no newspaper, no TV, no computer or internet (aargh!!), no pagers or night calls, mostly spent with feet up, basking in warm tropical breezes, catching up on my reading (Chesterton’s Orthodoxy and Richard Weavers’ classic Ideas Have Consequences, if you must know–and yes, I do find such reading relaxing), dining on Maui’s extraordinary seafood–such is true heaven, Paradise Found. But like all Paradises on earth, temporary and too fleeting. Sigh.

Anyway, I hope to start posting again soon. Thanks for visiting and reading.

Taking a Break

Norwegian waterfall
Norwegian falls, Europe 1972
I will be taking a break from blogging for a while, at least several weeks. The reasons are both joyful–my oldest daughter is getting married next week–and more reflective, as I plan to spend some time thinking about short and long-term goals in both personal and work domains. Life is good right now, with peace in the midst of a fair amount of turmoil and uncertainty. But change is in the air, and time with friends and family, time for prayer and reading, time for thought and reflection, and a hearty laugh with good friends over coffee or dinner, sound just about right to me now.

For those who may be relatively new as readers, below are some links to prior posts and series which some have found helpful, interesting, or annoying. Comments are turned off on most of the older posts to keep the spammers at bay, but feel free to e-mail me if something catches your fancy.

When I return, there’s still more on the medical coding series, lots more Tall Ships photos, updates on the new Narrows Bridge, perhaps a series on Christianity for Dummies, –and who knows what other blather and bloviation may flow forth.

The Maze–Medical Coding and Reimbursement

Building the New Tacoma Narrows Bridge

  1. History of the Tacoma Narrows Bridges
  2. The Two Towers I: Intro
  3. The Two Towers II: Concrete Thinking
  4. The Two Towers III: Anchor Management Classes
  5. The Two Towers IV: Out & Down
  6. The Two Towers V: The Struts
  7. The Two Towers VI: To the Top
  8. The Two Towers VII: Stairway to Heaven
  9. The Two Towers VIII: Spinning Beginning
  10. The Two Towers IX: Wheels Over Water
  11. The New Bridge at Christmas
  12. The Two Towers X: Compacting the Cable

Topics on Faith and Religion

Medical Ethics

Take care, God bless, thanks for reading–and be back soon.

Tough Weeks

horseThe past two weeks have been rather punishing, with difficulties professional, personal, and family, and an on-call weekend thrown in to boot with its time-sink hangover effects (the week after a call weekend piles leftover work on top of regularly scheduled responsibilities–not to mention the effects of sleep deprivation). This has left me with little time, and even less energy, to write–but like most hard times, can be an opportunity for growth and reflection. So I hope to pen some thoughts here on some struggles and lessons learned in the next few days.

Meanwhile here’s a shot of a miniature horse kept at one our neighbors’ place.

Thanks for reading, stay well, and God bless. Back soon.