My Friend Next Door

When we first moved into our current house, we tried to meet our neighbors. Paul, the neighbor to our left, has turned out to be a good friend. He was once a highly intelligent physicist but a few years ago he got in an accident that made him severely handicapped, both mentally and physically. And now he lives a simple life at home. His wife runs their salon here in town.

Paul has become a friend. He shoots the pigeons on my roof with his BB gun. I take out and return his garbage cans each week because it is a physically difficult chore for him to do. We talk baseball, stock market and pigeon hunting.

A couple days ago, Paul knocked on my door. I could tell something was wrong. He told me that the night prior, his wife died just after 5:30. It was completely unexpected and you could tell his heart was broken. I joined him in his sadness.

I had two thoughts when he told me the news.

First, the Gospel is an incredible blessing to have in one’s life. Can you imagine how perfectly it could heal the situation? It promises Paul a return to a healthy body and a strong mind. It also offers the knowledge that he’ll see his wife again.

Yesterday, I asked Paul about his beliefs. In an effort to “lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees“, I told him what I know to be true. I invited him to learn more and I think he’ll accept that offer.

My second thought is how incredibly unpredictable life can be. I did not know Paul’s wife as well, but we were friendly. With Paul’s physical challenges, surely they assumed he would pass first and they had been planning that way.

Even with the Gospel and the promise to see loved ones again, losing a family member is incredibly difficult. It’s certainly more difficult when there is little or no notice on their departure.

Paul has reminded me to be clear with my heart and feelings with my loved ones and make time for the things most important.


Three Suggestions For Award Shows

Tonight I was waiting for Candace and Cole to come home from California so I decided to watch the Academy Of Country Music Awards. I’m usually not much into these award shows. (Mostly because country music seems to be more corny than country for the last five years.) Though tonight I watched as Garth Brooks did a medley of his greatest hits. There’s no way I was missing that. I have so many good memories of my childhood involving his concerts.

Anyhow, can I make three suggestions to those who present and accept the rewards?

First, those microphones that are used for the presentations are put low so they are not blocking your face from the camera. They are made to pick up sound from a few feet away. You don’t need to bend all the way over to talk into the microphone when accepeting the awards.

Second, for the most part you are singers, actors and entertainers. I think some of that talent should be applied to preparation of an acceptance speech. They tend to be quite choppy and scattered.

Lastly, let’s start a tradition to break the seal of the envelope while the nominations are being announced. That way we can avoid the time of awkwardness as the flaps are fumbled.


My May Stockpile

Well, I missed last month so I thought I better get right on it this month. Here are random things to post but that don’t deserve their own post.

1) A while back I posted about Martin Luther and how much I have enjoyed his writings and his history. I was happy to see a new article posted by FAIR titled, “Will The REal Martin Luther Please Stand Up.” It talks about some of the principles that Luther believed, and how the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is actually more in line with his beliefs than the current day Lutheran church or it’s offshoots. Interesting.

2) I’m on a mission to find a top notch pair of fingernail clippers. The best I’ve been able to find so far are the Seki Edge clippers. I want something that cuts thru nails like a hot knife thru butter. And preferably something that doesn’t have that unmistakable “click” that all clippers make. Let me know if you have any suggestions. As long as it’s under $100, then I’m interested.

3) My company,, released a new service a few days ago. So far, the reception and interest has been pretty good.

One of the best things about my company is that the clients are all over the world. Right now, we are in about 30 different countries. It’s great to have good friends in different cultures around the world. It’s especially interesting to see what clients in different countries expect from a service company.

4) I’ve had a couple family members ask for music that I’ve records so I’ve uploaded some songs to my server. They are mostly songs that I wrote, and all songs that I recorded. Some I like more than I did when I recorded, but others I don’t enjoy so much. Some are corny because I wrote them for a class, others are quite accurate of how I was feeling at the time. Regardless, if anyone is interested, they can be downloaded here.

5) Here is a picture of Cole that just makes me smile: