Cars & Pain

So I’ve been trying to learn a manual transmission lately. I’ve practiced some with the Go Stone (OK, once), but I really thought I’d be able to pick it up a little more quickly than this. I can get started OK on a flat, but as soon as you put a few degrees of upslope into the picture, I’m stuck. I guess that was naive of me. I think if I could just spend a day in an unoccupied area in the car by myself I’d be able to drive just fine afterwards. Unfortunately, it’s hard to make time for that, as well as coordinate with someone who would be willing to loan me their car for the day. But the Go Stone has been very generous in letting me lurch around in his car late at night.

I went and looked at a private used car Sunday, but because it was a stick I couldn’t really test-drive it. That’s OK, because I probably wouldn’t have bought it anyway. (It needed some maintenance soon.)

In other news, my left shoulder has been giving me all kinds of painful trouble lately. The weird thing is that the problem isn’t actually my shoulder. The pain appears the most whenever I burp, or hiccup or laugh. After some digging, I found out that the tissues that grow into your left shoulder when you’re still an embryo are the same ones that grow into your diaghragm, heart, and possibly stomach. In other words, a pain in those areas will “report” to your left shoulder. I was able to sleep last night by putting a pillow under my lower back, which seemed to support my diaphragm or something. Sure enough, my shoulder didn’t hurt in that position, but hurt like “the dickens” in any other (more normal) position.

I went to the doctor today, and she said that it appears to be a heartburn/acid reflux kind of problem. She gave me some Zantac to take and told me to lay off spicy foods. So far the pain hasn’t subsided a whole lot, but it may take a few days for the Zantac to kick in. If it really is a food problem, I think the most likely culprit would be the green curry I ate in the Dan Dan Noodles at Pei Wei Friday night. If I remember correctly, I have a family history of problems with curry, although the red variety has never bothered me.

I hope this doesn’t mean I have to give up Mexican food. I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD!



Scary Stuff

I highly recommend that you Google “peak oil” some time.

This site has the first explanation I’ve come across of why we invaded Iraq that really makes sense to me.

So when oil and therefore food and electricity and pretty much every other cost skyrockets, how do you plan on living? Will you be able to get food when it takes you an hour to walk to the nearest grocery store? (Assuming that store has food, of course, which is questionable when you consider that it’s farmed with oil-based fertilizers, pesticides, and tractors and produced and packaged with energy from oil and distributed over hundreds of miles on trucks). Will you be able to get to work? What about church? Will schools like Lipscomb continue to educate?

While this is all scary for any modern American, especially those in technology industries, what if it’s a blessing at the same time? What if it forces people to work with their neighbors and restores communities out of suburbs? What if the time we spend in simpler lives (when our TVs and stereos are off) allows us to grow closer to God?

There are only a few things I think I would really ultimately miss:

  1. Medical technology
  2. Being able to easily visit family across the country
  3. General high education standards
  4. Easy access to information

The Cell Phone Blues

This one struck me on the way to work this morning. Don’t worry, the cell phones aren’t crampin’ our rent (yet!)

I called my baby,
Yesterday around five,
Yes, I called my baby,
Yesterday about fi-i-ive,
But my baby didn’t answer,
She don’t even know I’m alive.

Well the phone rang twice,
The phone rang thrice,
Before I knew it, I heard a sweet voice
Saying, To record your message,
Please wait for the to-o-one! [doot]
Well my pretty little baby,
She never answers her cell-phone.

Well, I love my baby,
She’s worth every cent,
But these cell phones
Are puttin’ a cramp on my rent!
Can someone help me talk to Sprint?
I got a fancy new cell-phone,
Don’t know where my money went.


Fall is coming to Nashville, TN. There’s a nice crisp coolness in the air in the mornings, and as Stella and I ate breakfast on our “veranda”, leaves started falling in the breeze. Pretty soon the trees will start changing colors and we’ll burn “pumpkin spice” candles in the afternoon. This is one of the reasons I love living in Tennessee.

It seems difficult to me not to be in awe of God when his stunning works are all around us. With so much violence and suffering in some places, you wonder if people would behave differently if they could see such beautiful creations. Then again, what do I really know of suffering and violence?

Goofy Neighbors

Just to clarify, we’re the ones who are goofy.

Saturday we had a bunch of friends over and decided to make Shepherd’s Pie. I thought the recipe seemed a little small, so I doubled it. In any case, we had more shepherd’s pie than we knew what to do with. In fact, after we all ate and a few took leftovers with them, we still had a full untouched casserole dish.

We knew we would be getting some new neighbors soon, because the complex had started fixing up and cleaning the apartment below us over the last few weeks. It turns out that they moved in the next day after we enjoyed our shepherd’s pie. As the nice gentleman came upstairs to introduce himself and his wife, I asked them to wait at the door for a second and brought out a nice casserole of wholesome English cooking.

It was the classic “Welcome to the neighborhood!” moment.

In other news, the car is back and is actually in better shape than before it got hit!

Can You Count the Stars?

This will be a nice lullaby when little ones eventually come along:

Can you count the stars of evening
That are shining in the sky?
Can you count the clouds that daily
Over all the world go by?
God the Lord, who doth not slumber
Keepeth all their boundless number,
But He careth more for thee,
But He careth more for thee.

Can you count the birds that warble
In the sunshine all the day?
Can you count the little fishes
That in sparkling waters play?
God the Lord, their number knoweth,
For each one His care He showeth.
Shall He not remember thee?
Shall He not remember thee?

Can you count the many children
In their little beds at night?
Who without a thought of sorrow
Rise again at morning light.
God the Lord, who dwells in heaven
Loving care to each has given.
He has not forgotten thee,
He has not forgotten thee.

Johann Hey