October 24, 2011

Lincoln, NE

After those acid trip sunsets, that’s the thing about Lincoln that rocked my world. That you can’t really mess up too badly. You can marry too young, get a terrible tattoo or earn $12,000 a year, and the sky will not necessarily fall. The housing is too cheap and the folks are too kind for it to be otherwise. Moreover, when you live underneath a sky that big, it’s hard to take yourself too seriously. Its storms have a way of sweeping into town and jolting your life into perspective. That jolt was Lincoln’s gift to me. It comes in handy every day.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/Lincoln-Nebraska-Home-on-the-Prairie.html#ixzz1biya2pJ7
This article was in the Smithsonianmag.org and if you have a few minutes, I recommend reading it.  It made me proud; it made me sad.  I think you’ll like it.

October 7, 2011


The act of hitchhiking has nearly disappeared in America.  You can drive from Los Angeles to New York without seeing a single person "thumbing a ride" on the side of the road.  I ask the question, why is that?

Let's be honest, we all wish that we lived in a world where anybody was trustworthy enough to give you a ride somewhere.  It was not long ago that America was a country where hitchhikers were commonly seen.  What is the cultural shift that makes the "art" of hitchhiking nearly extinct?

Before I ask any questions, I'd like to share my personal experiences.  

In 2006 I started a social experiment.  I wanted to see if hitchhiking was a lost art, or if it was still alive in the world.  To start, I decided to hitchhike to class every morning.  I lived 1.5 miles from campus and it saved me money if I didn't pay for parking.  Biking was an option, but my bike was impounded by the city after parking illegally in front of a fraternity, so every morning I would start the walk to school, and usually within 5 minutes, I would be picked up by someone heading the same way (I always had my thumb in the air).  On various occasions, nobody would pick me up, and I would find myself on campus after walking the whole distance (only 20 minutes).

I decided to take this experiment outside of Nebraska, so in 2009 I hitch-hiked in Mexico, in 2010 I picked up a ride in Washington DC, and in 2011 in Michigan.  The story across North America is consistent: in 5-20 minutes someone will always pick you up.

The question is this: is it safe?

There must be horror stories.  I invite anyone to share a personal experience of either themselves or someone they know that was personally injured or wronged in this practice, but I would venture to guess that most of the prejudice against hitchhiking stems from fear and speculation.  In my experience (and reason would tend to agree), the people driving by you are a subset of the population.  They are just going from A to B, and they are just as likely to be looking for a fight as you are.  This always gives me a sense of security.  The "bad-guys" who would be looking for a chance to harm me are probably not driving down the road thinking, "Gee, I wish a hitchhiker would present himself so that I could steal all his money."

That being said, the question can be turned around.  Is it safe to pick up hitch-hikers? 

Again, my experiences tell me that it is safe, but in this arena, i would understand a slight hesitancy.  The person thumbing the ride is doing the act pre-meditated.  This means that if they had the motive for evil, they would be able to set the stage appropriately and disguise it in innocence.  For that reason, I understand a person who passes by me (as I'm hitch-hiking) without stopping.  

I could elaborate on this subject for hours as I find it both fascinating and highly revealing of today's culture and society.  However, I am very interested to hear what others think.  If you have a different experience, or if you want to challenge any of my comments, I fully encourage it.  Leave a comment if you want to join in on the discussion.

Until next time, happy trails.

October 6, 2011


Think Different Campaign (Apple - 1997)
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal.They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward. Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels? We make tools for these kinds of people.While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. 
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
Think Different. Apple.

October 4, 2011

Financial freedom

Here is a thought for the night.  Freedom can be thought of as "unfettered by constraints".  This is a useful definition when you think of what Matthew says: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."  So if your treasures are tied up in assets (house, car, hobby, etc...) you will find your heart is tied up in those things too.

Now consider the command that Christ claimed was the FIRST and FOREMOST: "Love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and mind."

Can you claim that you love the Lord with ALL of your HEART?

Where are your treasures?

When you have extra money, do you store up eternal wealth, or earthly wealth?

When you have free time, do you spend it pursuing God, or on Facebook/TV/books/etc?

To bring this full circle, if your wealth is tied up in assets, or if your heart is attached to temporary treasures, then you will never be free.  Your heart will be inextricably tied to this world.