RanchOver the past decades, I have made many trips to and from the ranch I grew up on. This time, I was afforded a marginally different trip to and from the same location.

Mid-morning on the Friday nuzzling up to this past weekend that difference began crawling out from under a rock. My sister-in-law, Shelley, called telling me that Kelly would be picking me up early that afternoon and hauling  my carcass out to their place.

The young lady showed just as Shelley had said in a dark blue and fairly new Mercedes. As I folded up to fit in, I was afforded the first opportunity to catch sight of Brandon’s fiancee. His mother, Shelley’s voice had betrayed a touch of enthusiasm about her fortunes. I had know about the girl and their decision, but only then did I have the opportunity to meet her.

From that point on, I found myself pleased, across the weekend, with this evolving mixture of people. Carting me along was a young lady who’d earned her B.A. and yet was taking additional pre-med classes. She also proved to be a lady who wanted to read from my latest copy of Scientific American Mind. Things like this put her right in the mix of people I love being around. On top of that she’s another of those cute little girls I love to cluster up around my daughter. Yah, the dad in me connects with and encourages young ladies to group up with Jordan in her part of my mind.

05237a-1Unfortunately, I forgot to take any pictures of those few marvelous escapades with a young lady who’d not really spent time on a farm. So, let’s just pick up on her first run with an ATV. Kelly had ridden the four wheeler over the hill and we were waiting for her return. I suppose it was at least a good five minutes before we saw her walking back over the little hill. Of course, Brandon took off on the run toward her. It was another good 10 minutes before we saw the two of them riding back over the hill on the ATV.

Of course we had imagined every kind of mishap but none of those proved true. She had tried everything except to shift the device into neutral to restart it. So then, her only problem was in getting the device to carry her back. The best part of this little fumble was the attitude the young lady showed us. She was able to laugh like the rest of us about it.

At least, this weekend exposed several qualities in this young lady capable of making me hope the two of them wed. Even my daughter has had little trouble in getting me to see the current man of her life this way. All I can imagine this child was truly capable of wasn’t tapping into my own bias. If she really does become an MD than the two of us can carry on many heavy conversations over the years to come.

Delightful minutes were spent scrolling down through Kenan Malik’s  FAITH IN RUINS. I wish you a few minutes, as well, to read and traipse down through the rest of his photos.


Over the past, nearly two weeks, I’ve been gentle with my body. For instance, I’ve not ridden my recumbent trike the typical 10 miles  I had usually been putting on it.68611 Today, though, I decided to take the dive. So after church and a quick lunch, I carefully moved the over 7 foot long trike out of my apartment out onto the curb. After donning those few essential pieces of garb I took to the road.

A wonderful and only warm afternoon beckoned me to peddle down the South Platte trail to Nixon’s Coffee House. While there I had, of necessity, a decaf espresso and a conversation with the barista. He and I have over the past couple years exchanged lots of laughs and a few seriously bad puns.Nixon's Coffee House
On the way back I took my time. Still being on the tail end of a cold I figured it was better to not push myself, so I kept my beast in a lower gear and took my sweet time going back up a short climb of 146 ft. over that 5 or so miles. Once I arrived back home it didn’t take me long to decide that I needed to head over to the park and library, just to spend some more time out.

I’m back home, now, and pulling things together for a shower and to listen to a few more chapters from Cormac McCathy’s 2nd book, “The Crossing“, from his “Border Trilogy”.



Just too well said!

Originally posted on Dover Beach:


“So if someone asks, “Do you believe in evolution,” they are framing it wrong. That’s like asking, “Do you believe in blue?”
Evolution is nothing more than a fairly simple way of understanding what is unquestionably happening. You don’t believe in it — you either understand it or you don’t. But pretending evolution is a matter of faith can be a clever way to hijack the conversation, and pit it in a false duality against religion. And that’s how we end up with people decrying evolution, even as they eat their strawberries and pet their dogs, because they’ve been led to believe faith can only be held in one or the other.
‘But there’s no reason for people of faith to reject the mountains of data and the evidence of their own senses. Reconciling is easy: Believe, if you want to, that God set up the rules of evolution among…

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I read most of Berdyaev’s works nearly 20 years ago and am still in love.

Originally posted on Dover Beach:

Nikolai Berdyaev

“The meaning of conservatism is not that it impedes movement forward and upward, but that it impedes movement backwards and downwards—to chaotic darkness and the return to a primitive state.”
– Nikolai Berdyaev

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This morning, I woke up after nearly 10 hours of sleep and that’s unusual for this character. I typically sleep between 4 to 7 hours a night and have since, I guess, before I can remember anything.buttons2_01 Mom has told me about her often being worn out by her oldest boy who wouldn’t stay asleep. So a good night’s sleep is exceptional. Well, more often than not, it often means that I’m sick.

This morning, I finally hacked up a classic lugy sneezing / coldon my typical run to one of several favored coffee shops.  I’m not feeling heartened by this, either. Even with the ten or so hours of sleep I can tell, I’m going to feel run down all day.

I’ve gone ahead and emailed Fr. John about my probably not showing up at church. We’ve a few excessively elderly people in this small church and so this young old boy can’t stomach the idea of giving anyone in their 90’s a cold.

Over sleeping, this morning, made my arrival at the coffee shop late. Yes, the baristas noticed and chided me. SueSylvester-Glee


Dover Beach, you continually find great quotes for us to enjoy!n

Originally posted on Dover Beach:

Albert Einstein

“It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.”

- Albert Einstein

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This morning, I’m being the typical Sunday morning, “Bad Boy”, that I am.coffee@nixons Right now, I’m sitting outside one of my favorite coffee shops having this morning’s espresso. A little latter, I will head back home, a trip of five or so miles on my recumbent trike. Yes, I’m sitting outside, because I’m still too warm to go inside. My hanky is on the table since I had to dry sweat in those critical spots so my glasses won’t slide on down my nose. Should I sweat much on the way home, which I’m certain I will, I’ll take a quick shower before trekking off to St. Herman’s, for church.

That “Bad Boy” thing is my chronically choosing to have some coffee before I technically should. Now, before you begin cheering my breaking some religious rule, bear in mind that I support such rules. My support is not because I accept that keeping the rule(s) makes me right or breaking any makes me wrong. Rules, as I have learned them across all my years, are not there to make me right by keeping them but rather what enables me, step-by-step, to become what I am striving to be. Why then do I break this simple and as I understand it elegant rule?

During the hour and a half or so of liturgy I persistently keep the Jesus Prayer rolling over my trivial thought life. I insistence on living this quiet fashion of drawing closer to the “No Thing”, who is beckoning all of us. I strive everyday after a 10-12 mile run on my tricycle to sit for an hour with my chotkiChotki in hand, my eyes closed and typically with my cat in my lap repeating this simple prayer, “Jesus have mercy upon me a sinner.”

This isn’t justification for my sipping coffee every morning. Rather, my sipping is simply a constant wakeup call. My not staying home supports my waking up. By striving to ride a few miles every morning completes the effort to keep myself from vegging out during the hour. None of this is justification, it is only the fashion I have pleasurably learned to keep moving in a direction I aspire to live.


The words of Isaac the Syrian fit well to the struggle I have known on both a personal and professional level. My deepest pains all have to do with the degree to which I refuse to look into myself. Needless to say, I see the same true of every last one of the rest of us.

Originally posted on Dover Beach:

Isaac the Syrian

“Love sinners, but hate their deeds, and do not disdain sinners for their failings, so that you yourself do not fall into the temptation in which they abide… Do not be angry at anyone and do not hate anyone, neither for their faith, nor for their shameful deeds… Do not foster hatred for the sinner, for we are all guilty… Hate his sins, and pray for him, so that you may be made like unto Christ, who had no dislike for sinners, but prayed for them.”
– Saint Isaac the Syrian, Homily 57,90

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“A simple blood test may be a reliable way to screen people for suicide risk. The test looks for changes in a gene that helps the brain manage stress and control impulsive behavior.”


A gene known as SKA2 may have a role in bringing about the risk of taking one’s life. Keep the word “may” highlighted in your thought life. By not generating sufficient proteins the gene may either be decreasing your ability to deal with stress or increasing the chance of your hastily doing something wrong.

Should this test prove true we would then become better adept at identifying people with a greater risk. It would be a great benefit but not definitive. It is the fantasy of such a test being conclusive that worries me. So then, don’t hope for an end to suicides, but rather hope that we can become better adept at intervening well in advance.

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