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Monthly Archives: July 2007

I know the title seems a bit odd: ‘image and fawn.’  First, I hit a fawn today.  Much damage to my vehicle; and the beautiful fawn died.  I have been driving this street for 5 years now so the likelihood of my car having a unscheduled rendezvous with a deer/fawn was bound to happen as this stretch is heavily populated with deer (esp. this time of year).  This means calling my insurance company, paying a deductible, and finding a way to get around while the vehicle is being repaired.  O Joy!

Now the ‘image’ in the title.  We are selling my daughter’s car.  So, I drove it to an old parking lot for greater visibility.  This parking lot happens to be near a grocery store.  Since I needed the exercise (I always need exercise), I decided to drive and park the car and do some light grocery shopping and walk back home.  The distance to the store and our home is about 0.5 miles.  Two light bags and my mp3 player – a piece of cake!  I told my brilliant 18 year old daughter my plan and she said, “When people see you they will think you don’t have a car.”  My daughter was really saying, having a car is about status or image.  Her conclusion: for her dad to walk home with two bags would mean that I have no status or image.  For many adolescents, it’s all about image.

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I have some very close relationships that I regret; specifically, I regret that these relationships are relationally-challenged.  These are relationships were scars run deep; relationships that are awkward; these are relationships where communication is often difficult.  But here’s the rub (especially for Christians like myself):  I need to make the first move to make these relationships better.  Most times this is hard work.  It is hard work because often times those we have strained relationships with are geographically distance, emotionally distance, and relationally distance.  Nonetheless, I am haunted by the truth that I must at least reach out even if the person does not recipocate. 

The article, “N-Word ‘slipped out’, ex-board chief says”, appeared today in the St. Louis Post Dispatch newspaper (Tuesday, July 17).  Let me mention a couple a things about Ralph Papitto’s slip of the tongue.  First, I like a creative illustration I heard in March of this year.  The speaker who was lecturing on domestic abuse said something like this:  “We are all like cups that are filled with ‘something’; when our cups are bumped.  What’s inside will inevitably spill out.”  Similarly, while Papitto had a slip of the tongue and said the N-word; this was something inside him all along.  We all have deep seated ugly stuff in our ‘cups’ or hearts and under the right cirumstances, what’s in, will come out (and oftentimes in contexts that are not ideal).  Second, in a weird sort of way, I appreciate Papitto’s indiscretion.  I need to explain this one lest I be accused of condoning Papitto’s comment or betraying other African Americans.  I appreciate it because we know where he stands.  What I abhor most are people pretending to be something they are not.  Again, we know what was lurking in Papitto’s heart.

Ok, I needed some chapstick.  So, I decided to stop at one of the convenience stores/gasoline pump set ups.   You stopped before at this type of set up.  The store has cold products, candy, and that mainstay, the machine with the rotating hot dogs (yum yum).  Back to the chapstick.  I asked the clerk “Excuse me, where is the chapstick?”  She pointed at the right aisle.  Sticker shock: $2.29 for one stick of cherry chapstick! I grabbed it but couldn’t bring myself to buy a roll of chapstick at this price.  So, I exited the store, had lunch with a student, and waited on the chapstick because I had to do some shopping at Wal-Mart.  I knew the chapstick would be cheaper at Wal-Mart; I was right it was only $0.89.  Notice where the decimal point is, that’s a mere 89 cents (less than a dollar).  So, here’s the equation to figure the mark up at the convenience store: 0.89+0.89X = $2.29.  Assuming my equation is correct and solving for X we find that the convenience store marked up the chapstick by 157 percent (%)!   Now that is highway robbery.  I will think twice about buying something again from a convenience store.  (I need to say this to clear my conscience, the chapstick at the convenience store did come in a cute package; the chapstick from Wal-Mart was a stand alone, no packaging.  However, would packaging warrant a 157% increase in price?  I don’t think so.)

I seldom enter the fray of the political rhetoric scene and make public comments on my blog but today I can’t help myself.  Libby’s sentence was commuted by President Bush because Bush thought Libby’s prison term was too excessive.  Excuse me Mr. President, but Libby was convicted of perjury and the obstruction of justice!  The USA Today (July 3, 2007) says that “Bush’s action was at odds with his own practices as president and Justice Department guidelines.”  That great philosopher and velvety voiced singer, Marvin Gaye’s qustion is appropo here: “What’s going on?”  Maybe President Nixon can help us.  Remember Nixon?  He was the only US president impeached; Clinton came close.  Nixon said to David Frost during an interview (6 years after the Watergate scandal), “When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” (See The New York Times, The Break-In That History Forgotby Egil Krough, June 30, 2007).  Now let’s connect the dots.  Does this mean that the president has such authority to not follow written Justice Department guidelines?  Houston, I think we have a problem!  Frequent occurences of this sort just feed my cynicism and distrust of the ‘judicial system’ especially when ‘others’ in our society are given excessive sentences as a matter of normalcy and a very few cry foul.