Monthly Archives: January 2008

Phil Pennock 20 Years Later

I wasn’t able to post this on the day, because I was in Seminary.

It was 20 years ago, Jan. 8th, 1988 when our friend Phil Pennock died. Phil and I grew up together, going to the same elementary school, and played in band  together. He was on the trombone line (the other “good” line, other than percussion in our band).

It was a day I’ll never forget. We’d just ended a particular straining practice in band. I put away all the drum gear, and headed out into the hall for my next class when a friend came running down the hall saying that Phil had collapsed. Then, seemingly just as fast, another person yelled that he was gone. Phil had severe asthma and never really let it stop him before, yet it caught up with him that day.

I remember being dismissed early from school and walking down the street to Jim’s house. The sky was an eerie green color. The day of Phil’s funeral came in a few days, and we were all stunned. The whole band was there, the swim team, the whole class, many of the teachers.

I can’t believe that it’s been twenty years since this all happened.

Anyway, I still remember you bud.


As the bell tolls

9pm EST Jan. 28th 2008


Washington D.C.

Barack Obama sits quitely next to new pal and endorser Ted Kennedy, most likely thinking “One year, and I’ll have to be up there trying to make up for the past 8 years.”

Before the State of the Union, Nancy Pelosi was asked what she felt about the Presidents speech coming up…she said, “I’m glad it is his last one.”

As the President came in, he faced a whole country where 69% of the population believe we’re heading in the wrong direction and a congress shares a combined 18% approval rating. Daunting indeed.

No frills, very little retrospection, no apologies.

He covered the economy, and the war. That’s about it. Interestingly, the last time a President and Vice President were at their last State of the Union where neither were seeking re-election was in the early 1920’s.

357 more days until Bush is out of office.  


Guess who owns American Airlines?


Universe, you win.

Happy Birthday Momma

Today is my mom’s birthday. Out of respect for the elderly, I won’t say exactly how old she is, let’s just say she can remember model T’s on the road (ha ha ha just kidding).

Happy Birthday Mom.

(ps it’s kind of a sad day too as her co-worker friend Sue passed away Sunday night from cancer)

Travelling Hell

So here’s the story:We flew out of Grand Rapids on Wed afternoon, one hour late. We flew on a small (very small) jet and landed in Dallas at 6:40pm. Because of my MD, I require a wheelchair to navigate through the airports and onto/from planes. Well, shortly after the door opened, the stewardess yelled to me that my chair was there. So, I made my way out, and took a step toward the chair. The man who was there to help me with the chair was in his early 30’s and pretty stocky, yet he said to me, “too heavy” and proceeded to take my wheelchair away from me and walked up to the terminal. While he was leaving me behind, he said, “you walk.”All of this caused the passengers and American Airlines employees around me to laugh at me. I clutched the metal handrail, and made my way up the skywalk. Then, sat down and after an embarassing few minutes, Mel just took over and pushed me to our gate (fairly easily by the way). She then went up to the ticket counter to voice her anger at the way I was treated. The man apologized but said there was nothing he could do, but he called over the man in charge of the escorts. He said that this happens all the time, and will continue to happen….it’s just that most handicapped people won’t say anything because they are too humiliated.After arriving in San Antonio, and in our hotel, Mel and I began trying to contact American Airlines to voice our concern over this behavior. They’ve done nothing. They won’t return calls, or emails. One person told us that they might get back to us in a month, but wouldn’t do anything to ensure that this doesn’t happen again on our way home in the morning.So, that’s my terrible story. Still pretty hard to write down, but this has to stop. No one should have to experience this.UPDATEJan. 28th 2008 – We left San Antonio (gate) at 8am. Sat in the airplane for three hours because there was fog in Dallas. Then, we arrived in Dallas around noon, and our connecting flight to Grand Rapids had left. So, they rebooked us to a connecting flight to Chicago which they cancelled and re-booked us on another flight to leave at 6:45pm that flies into Flint, MI at 10:30pm. So, we ended up on that flight (which I was squeezed into a middle row) for 2 and a half hours only to land and what do I see outside of the airplane? That’s right, NO WHEELCHAIR AT ALL!!! In fact, no one there to help find one, nothing.So, I walked through Bishop airport, rent a car, drive to Grand Rapids airport, drop off rental car, pick up our car from long term parking (which was free because of my handicapped placard – thank God) and got home at 2:30am this morning.You want more “good news?” They’ve lost my bag, which had all my medicine on it (they came by last night at 8pm and dropped it off)I’ve been in immense pain since the original airport incedent and just went to the doctor who took x-rays and found that my pelvis is jacked, my hips are actually pointing at an angle, and my tail-bone is either bruised or broken (couldn’t tell, but the other x-rays should show)…which means I’m on my back for at least a week.Thank you American Airlines.ANOTHER UPDATE!Ok, I’ve filed the official complaint with the US Justice Department, and uploaded the story to Fox News.  

Scenes from a church conference

It’s a cold, rainy day in San Antonio. We woke up a little late, and I in pain from the rain. So, we got ready, got some Starbucks and waited for lunch. We just went out to lunch back at “The Original Mexican Restaraunt” (which I believe could ACTUALLY be the original), where we ate yesterday. The Classis people took us out for lunch so it was fun. I had a good taco, enchillada combo with some good beans and rice. Now, we are sitting in a seminar which I’m not paying attention to.

We had a pretty terrible experience with our airline, that I will be posting about shortly.

Talk to you soon,



Tomorrow, Mel and I head to Texas for a few days. We’ll be staying across the street from the Alamo. We are going to an RCA conference called “One Thing.” A bunch of my friends are going, and we get to hang with Alan Hirsch this weekend! I’ll be posting pics from the event on this blog and at the other blogs I maintain.

Pray for traveling mercies.

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