Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Parking on hills

Turns out it wasn't really the starter that was making all the trouble. It was the thing attached to it. What DO they call that thing, what's the technical term? Oh yeah, Motor! There is an ear broken on the motor block, where transmission and motor come together. So they're together, but they're not really together in a good way...sounds like a lot of marriages.

So in the interim, I have to park making sure I'm on a hill. The flywheel is chewed up, there's a dead spot in it. Like my hero RE Lee, I'm lately mindful of topography.

The broken ear on the motor block can't be repaired, because motor block on a 1988 Mustang is cast iron, as well it should be. And it costs $3500. I paid enough attention in Metallurgy class to know you can't weld cast iron. So it was never the starter really. The starter was the canary in the coal mine, trying to tell me the motor had an ear problem, just like Van Gogh.

Oddly enough, I once got my right ear cut off by a chain link fence, but I got better, and I digress.

So now we are engaged in a Great Civil War, testing whether this Mustang or any Mustang so constituted can long endure. I'm sure not rich. I have to decide now if the Mustang is going to get restored fully, or consigned to junkyard. Well, ya know? Middle aged white guys often go in one of three directions:
1.) Go buy a motorcycle.
2.) Go buy a Corvette.
3.) Drive around in a restored classic car.

I've got nothing against motorcycles or Corvettes. I really despise getting old though, but compared to the alternatives? I like English sports cars, always have. And this Mustang, I didn't choose that car, I inherited it. But I'm going to restore it. After all, it got me to Holly Springs and back, with just ONE muffler falling off in the process. Worth restoring just for that day.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Singing in Church

Sitting in the front pew by necessity not by choice, (SOME little Church!) my beady green eyes were darting back & forth. I had been invited to perform because my co-worker is their Minister and he was planning a service a little less structured this week. I accepted because I reasoned that since I didn't much care to participate, probably I should do so.

He had assured me, "Just play Amazing Grace, that's always good." It had been a good service. A man stood and talked of his trying to beat drug addiction without God, and finding it impossible to do so. Then he sang a song.

When the man who talked about drug addiction sat down, this young couple came up front to sing. They were cute as two kittens, neither of them past twenty-five, and obviously so much in love. They gave the Preacher a CD and asked him to play track five. Meanwhile, there I was in the front pew, getting ready to sing Amazing Grace.

Turns out, track five kind of WAS Amazing Grace! They sang it well, but I didn't have time to think about that. I was busy weighing options, and had about four minutes to plan. I could either:

1.) And that was great. Have you folks ever heard the Reggae version of Amazing Grace?
2.) Stairway to Heaven is a song that has always touched me, and here it is.
3.) Play something else, pull something out of thin air.

Four minutes to think, and I thought about the man who spoke of drug addiction. There was a time in my life where that could've been my story. Had there been ample enablers around me, I might have gone that way too. What's so magical about me, after all?

Every Christian has a conversion story, and they aren't all objectively dramatic, but all are dramatic to the owner of that experience. I stood to sing a song I'd written fifteen years earlier, and hadn't played much since.

As I wandered wild and aimless through my life,
As I stumbled like a boxer on the ropes.
As I stood out on the edge looking down,
It was only then that I began to hope.

I doubt that I'll be invited back anytime soon, and that is fine with me. I'd have rather sung Amazing Grace cause it is easy. But perhaps there is something about the Lord, that He/It doesn't want us to be comfortable around Him/It. Track five forced me to dig deep and understand I could've easily been this guy talking about drug addiction. Nothing magical about me that I've noticed yet.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Some things in life we take joy in, and to explain the process becomes problematic. First, because this delight is immediate and doesn't come from the same part of the brain that forms words. Second, because often, describing the reason for our smile sheds no light. A smile is good enough.

Point is, at times attempts to explain that which we find joy in is simply a futile exercise. Just shut up and throw it out there. Nobody wants to read another editorial David! It doesn't enhance the experience, OK?

I found this matchbook cover outside a convenience store. Transcript of instructions follows:

Firmly grasp individual match, keeping fingers away from igniting tip. After liberating said match from its confinement, assure that your matchbook cover is closed. Briskly strike the tip across the provided strikeplate on the backside of your matchbook to facilitate ignition of said match. Repeat when necessary. Flame good.