Things to read...

If time is short, I'd suggest reading at LEAST The Prologue and Legend of The Pinto Bean Posts!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The People....

Well I started today out right by getting into a wrestling match with the Bean. Well, not the whole Bean, but the steering wheel cover. The one that was on it was some strange vinyl material, and in the humidity it took on a texture similar to baby snot, so I decided to replace it. I headed to everybody's favorite place for low price and lower quality items, Wal-Mart. After hours of painstaking searching, I finally selected one of the three types of steering wheel covers and made my purchase. This baby was gonna be nice... tan fake suede, and extra thick, too. The women were gonna flock when they saw THIS on the Bean. I could hardly wait to put it on.


Once outside, I gleefully ripped the old one off and got to work. I slipped it on and started woeking it around the wheel. After about five minutes, it was 2/3rds of the way on, but stretched straight across from there. Hmmm.... that's odd. Being male, I naturally knew what would solve the problem; more power. I gave it a bit of a heave, and was greeted with a nice ripping sound.... Go wal-mart! I then headed back in to buy onew of the other two and give it another try. This one was black and ribbed, and rather flimsy. I knew right away no women would be flocking to this one... I got it 2/3rds of the way on, and ran into the same problem. Fortunately I had learned from the last one and knew better how to fix this; more power, applied slower. There are few problems that can't be solved with more power. Well after a few gentle heaves, there was no progress. Time for even more power. I gave it some havy tugs, and still nothing. Obviously this called for a different approach. I repositioned myself and prepared for even MORE power. Now I have to tell ya, I'm a strong guy. Had I been able to follow instructions, I'd hold the Tennessee state record for amputee bench press. I can lift about 320lbs, and still do 20 pull ups, wide gripped. There was no way this steering wheel cover was going to beat me. If it beat me, then the terrorists have won, and I certainly didn't want THAT. Finally after more power, and a few magical words, the cover slipped on and I beamed with pride. I think RTD maybe passed a little gas and went back to sleep. Everyone's a critic....



Well when I finally stopped to write the microbrewery story, I happened to run into an older man and we talked a bit. Being that we are both retired, you would think the talk would be about the best way to grow the grass on our lawns, how to keep the kids off it, or where to buy the best black socks and brown sandals, but alas that was not to be. Instead we talked first about how people today expect everything to be given to them. I tend to agree with this for the most part. I meet so many people (aside from this trip) who seem to feel they are owed stuff. Be it people who feel that tests are unfair because their grades aren't as high as they'd like, or people who sit at home jobless and complain that welfare isn't paying enough. We both talked about how we'd grown up poor, and he went on to tell me about how now he was a wealthy man from the metal business he was in. He then told me about his upcoming business venture, and how he figured he'd make another few million in that, too. Since I didn't ask if I could discuss it here, I won't say what it is, but i'll say this, it was a very original idea, and I'd be VERY surprised if it doesn't go like hotcakes. The truly amazing part though were his plans for the profits, which were to go to food for the poor programs, which I thought to be a very worthy cause. Not for those who refuse to do for themselves, but to those who try, and just can't get enough. he went on to tell me how he got the idea, which he said was given to him by the Lord in a dream. Now I must say, eight years ago I would have laughed, but today it sparked the memory of my own interesting story....



For many years I was an atheist. I no longer am, but in my late teens and early twenties, I most certainly was. Don't get me wrong, I'm by no means a puritan now, and I've had many people tell me they don't think "i'm a good christian." I usually reply by asking to shake their hand, and telling them that I am awed to meet them, because I never expected to meet the Creator in human form. This is followed by their confusion at WHY I'd say that, to which I'll reply that they must be God, for it is only he who is fit to judge me, at least that's what Christianity teaches last I checked. Anyhow, while I'm proud to be a Christian, and will happily talk to anyone who wants to hear, I make a point never to try to "sell" it. that being said, this is merely my story about how I came to be. Take it for what it is, but don't worry that I'm about to turn this into my daily prostelitizing blog.



As I mentioned, I once was an atheist. I knew all the arguments for how there was no God, and I actually felt bad for people who believed in "that guy in the sky." I would look around at all that is jacked up in the world, and see that as proof there was no caring creator. I viewed the whole "Jesus thing" as intricate fiction... nevermind that there is less evidence for the existence of Ghengis Khan, and NO ONE debates his existence... At least with Jesus there was a crucifiction site! Anyhow, back when I was a freshman in college, there were two things I aspired to be, either a doctor or a lawyer. This should be no surprise to anyone who has ever tried to argue with me. I was torn about whixh way to go, as they both seemed so appealing. I knew I'd be good at the law thing, but I enjoyed the medical stuff more. I was in a pickle, so to speak... Well one afternoon I was having lunch with my friend Aubree whom I was in the Guard with, and we were discussing career paths. We debated the merits of law and medicine, and they stacked up evenly. Finally at some point I made the offhand comment of "ya know, if there really was such a thing as 'God' I sure wish he'd give me a sign as to what to do. I don't want to waste four years in college trying to get to medical school, just to not make it." Well we continued on with our banter, and finally finished our meal. When we were done the server brought us our ticket and requisite fortune cookies (chinese food). Well I opened my cookie up to this fortune "You will have a promising career in the medical field." A burning bush and booming voice couldn't have been more tangible. Needless to say I found it hard to ignore the sign I'd just been given. I ended up keeping the fortune in my wallet for a few years, because most people said I was full of it when I told the story. Now it is in a safe box at home, where I won't lose it... I have to admit even that wasn't the point where I was a Christian, but it certainly served as the turning point. It took a bit longer before the transformation was complete, but I look back now and am amazed at my blindness back then. While I still have my dys of doubt, as we all do, I've seen so many things inthe last several years I am amazed that here are peope out there who don't believe in a God. Anyhow, I figured I'd share this story since this man brought it out of me today. I must say a large number of "coincidences" have already happened in just organizing this trip that I often feel there is influence greater than myself, or even RTD! Who knows.......



Anyhow, regardless of your faith, I hope you enjoyed this little excerpt from my life! Tomorrow I plan on making it to Badlands National Park in South Dakota, and from there, only the wind knows! If anyone has suggestions or offers of steak and helicopters, feel free to e-mail! Still hoping to hear from someone at the Apache factory there in Mesa.... I've seen your IP address.... Hehe.... Take care everyone, and enjoy the pictures of the vast Minnesota flatness!

12 comments:

Eric Farmer said...

Daniel - I continue to read your daily..almost...posts and get a good chuckle from most of your descriptions. Thanks for sharing this piece especially. Our Emma (rambunctious Flat Coated Retriever) is looking forward to meeting Rockstar. We look forward to meeting you... and RTD too! Drop us a line when you get closer to Washington State. Eric F.

Gyrfalcon said...

Dear Daniel--Hi! Glad to see you & the dog are 1/2 way across the country & have not yet had to beg for gas. If your dog is like mine, maybe he can fill the tank? Love your story so far & we are practically related-- my sister is one year from finishing her residency (in SF) & she was also a pilot for most of the 1990's (started in the Air Force tho); and her husband's best friend was an Apache pilot.

Good luck with med school after your trip; you are very smart to travel now because once they start working you to death after your 3rd year you won't have time to do much except clean up dog drool. If you make it out to California there's beer & pizza & dogfood as long as he doesn't chase the cats.

pjamas said...

Something to think about in your travels.

Does being a "good Christian" guarantee you are a good person?

If one is an atheist, does that mean you can't be a good person?

Can't you just be a good person without all the bs?

Anonymous said...

Wait, wait, wait. So now you don't know where you're going? Oh, my. This IS an adventure!! Grand Canyon maybe?

And as far as the other part, I just say thank you, God -- every day. There's always something to say thank you for.

Kath

Anonymous said...

Oh, and the addition of the Tracking Map is very nice.
Kath

JD said...

Interesting reading, small suggestion, your picture says Janesville is in OH, it's in WI. Other than that...looks good....keep it up, if you get near Dayton OH, let me know. facilitiesmanager53@yahoo.com.

Sheila said...

I've never been to Minnesota but by the looks of it I'd like to visit. The pictures were beautiful (my favorite is the one of the sunset in the car mirror). And God in a fortune cookie?! Wow...I guess signs can come from all sorts of places but that one would've blown anyone away! Hearing about people's business ideas are always interesting and it sounds as though the older gent had his "stuff" together. It stinks to not know what the idea was though, especially if it will make millions for him....but I also think that's pretty cool of you not to blab about it without his permission. I should take time to talk to people more in depth, I might actually find some that are intersting once in awhile...lol. Happy trails.

Suzi said...

I've been reading your stories for a while...

I wanted to say thank you for the beginning of the story of your conversion. My eldest son, now 16, is an atheist. It breaks my heart.

Stories like yours give me hope.

--And, though it is long overdue, thank you for your service which preserves our freedoms.

SkippyMom said...

"Can't you just be a good person without all the bs?"

I didn't know being Christian or being an atheist = bs? or either constituted [automatically] being a good person as Anon implies....

Funny how that works....

LOVE, LOVE the blog...glad to see you are doing well. This was a very moving post - and REALLY enjoyed the one about your Dad too.

Hugs to you, RTD and the Bean [well just to keep it going]

Can't wait for the next chapter!

Charles said...

i leave tonight for Moab, Utah for a week with Texans, dirtbikes, booze and steaks. (sadly, we are all old men, so no hookers or blow)

if you swing through Arches Park, it is spectacular, and we are all on the floor in some house, you are welcome to some space, i hope to have email when I am there, hit me up if you head that way!

back to SJ, California on the 23rd, and my offer of house, oil change for bean, backyard for Rockster, all stand.

Juan said...

Religion + the internet + a blog with fanfare = bad. It's like telling the all the aviators in the world that they will be out of a job in 10 years because of UAVs.

Haole Wahine said...

Okay, continue making the circle, and then bring yourself and company down to TEXAS. When either I-35, or I-10 brings you close to Austin (don't worry we live north of there) we'll have the steaks out on the farm --- all the helicopters are at Mabry (okay I guess Ft Hood claims a few, and then there's some in San Antonio).

I'll keep up with your forward motion till then.

Thanks for the laugh, today. I can visualize the wheel covering gyrations.