John's Online Journal Banner
WebCam Thumbnail refreshed every 5 minutes
John's art website banner

Monday, August 27, 2007


Role Models

You may have missed it, but the greatest moment in the Little League World Series took place after the walk off homerun that won the game. The Japanese players were in the middle of the infield devastated at the sudden loss and unable to hide their pain. Some of them were crying; most hung their heads. A few feet away, the celebrating team from Warner Robins, Georgia took notice of their opponent’s pain.

A celebration morphed into a display of compassion for the vanquished. Our American boys offered hugs and kind words. Such a sight to behold; I thought about how I wished our Major Leaguers would take a lesson from those boys. Baseball is a business sure, but it was a game first and the little leaguers demonstrated just how beautiful it could be.

An act of kindness so pure and true to the meaning of sport was displayed for all to see, but the headlines focused on the winning homer. The greatest moment was missed by many. Had my son hit the winning homerun; it would not have swelled my chest with pride like the hugs offered to console the pain of losing.

So hats off to those boys - may their kind gesture only foreshadow even better things to come in their lives.

Until the next time
John Strain


Monday, August 20, 2007


Love the iMac

One of the most enjoyable things in life is opening a brand new piece of electronics. My iMac came in on Friday, but I waited until Saturday AM to take it out of the box. I had plenty of time to soak in the experience. It gives me the same feeling I had Christmas morning as a kid.

Moving up to the latest stuff is always a thrill. My old Mac tower was a 2001 model. It served me well, but I have moved on.

I can't wait to translate all of that computing power into neat stuff on the old blog.

But for now, Bear needs to go pee on a few bushes around the neighborhood.

Until the next time
John Strain


Thursday, August 16, 2007


Deja vu

I doubt I am the only one to feel pangs of PTSD with this latest tropical storm out in the Atlantic. Dean is a couple of weeks out, but I know what it can become. Fortunately now the forecasters are having it travel far south of my humble abode.

When I saw it was headed this way, my brain started thinking of the prep work I needed to do. Katrina is almost a two year memory now, but she left a vivid impression.

This weekend I am going to fill my gas cans, get some chainsaw supplies, and make sure the liquor closet is stocked up. I think if more people had stocked up on booze, they wouldn’t have been killing and looting so much. Just my opinion.

The peak of hurricane season is September 14. From now until about the 28th of September is when most of the tropical activity takes place. Just imagine a rodeo cowboy sitting on the bucking bronco in the chute, those of us on the Gulf Coast are tying our hand to the saddle horn. Last year we made it the 8 seconds and the clown successfully distracted the wild beast from launching us from the arena.

What will this season bring? I guess I will find out, but as the days fall from the calendar my sense of trepidation rises. I know what I’ll do; I’ll go to the iTunes store and download another classic rock album from my childhood. That’s what I call fighting fire with fire. One bad memory matched with a good one. In the end, they cancel each other out.


Have you noticed the morning star in the east just before dawn? Old Venus was shining brightly this morning in my neighborhood. It seems like a short time ago Venus was the evening star. She rose in the west just after dusk. For those keeping score at home, that was in March.

Enjoy your Thursday.

Until the next time
John Strain


Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Another day in paradise

As the trash truck screams on into the muggy sub 7:00 am air, I am sitting here cooling down from my workout at the gym. A Styrofoam cup holds nectar of the gods better known as coffee. I grab a cup of the free swill on my way out the door. I just read my email and Apple has notified me that my new iMac is in route from China. I hope they don't use any lead paint on it, because I have a tendency to chew on computer casings.

Bear is munching down his daily meal and soon he will be sitting behind me staring with his eyes that long to move me outdoors to throw his beloved football. I can't resist the call of those eyes. No matter what else happens today, I will know beyond any doubt that I have made another living thing happy. If people would jump around with appreciation like dogs, folks might do more good just to see the gyrations.

I have new job prospects. I won't jinx them by going into it now, but I will talk about it after I sign on the dotted line - if there is to be one.

But for now, it is time to refill the little white cup and go back into the oven that was once the outdoors and put Bear through his paces.

Check out the new iTunes widget in my sidebar. It shows you how I have been spending my money. I buy the classic rock and Barbara buys the contemporary Christian music. Go figure.

Have a great day,

Until the next time
John Strain


Tuesday, August 07, 2007


A chip on the shoulder

Why are people so angry? Road rage, violence, politicians getting into fist fights, school violence, and a world wide web full of vitriol speech. Many feel the need to share their anger or disdain for a topic by using abusive words.

Case in point. A few years ago I made a little video about the Civil Rights Movement. I posted it on YouTube September of last year. Since then it has been viewed 13,000 times and has received 17 comments. It amazes me how this little video which only shows vintage photos from the 50’s and some footage of Martin Luther King set to music evokes such extreme comments. I only deleted one comment that was completely vile, but some of the others must certainly be testaments of an individuals "baggage." There is a lot of anger out there. The video is here if you want to see it.

I usually try to turn folks away from anger with humor. For instance, at work if I come across someone ranting and raving about something, I might say like, "Donna, it's only 9:30, you better pace yourself or you'll never make it to 5:00." Usually they laugh, because they realize they are going on and on. Anger can be a habit and a bad one at that. Angry people are not fun to be around.

Personally, I don't like to be angry. I get angry, but I don't stay angry. I don't like to give someone or something power over me. Those who believe they can't get over their anger until someone fixes something or apologizes are giving away power. Anger eats at you and makes you an unpleasant SOB to be around. So it is best to get over it.

Maybe all of the anger expressed on the net is just people's way of blowing off steam, but I think it is more of a person showing their true self. What I don't like is when people spew their venom anonymously. To me anonymity is another word for coward. If you have an opinion stand behind it or keep it to yourself. So there.

I better stop, I am getting pissed. Ha.

Anyway, we would all do well to stop and take a deep breath and ask ourselves this question: "Is this thing worth all of this anger and emotional energy?" The answer will most likely be “no.” Maybe you need more Three Stooges or Bugs Bunny in your daily routine. It works for me. Anger is sometimes a symptom of taking yourself and/or life too seriously. I hate when that happens.

Say, did you hear the one about the minister sitting in a diner and the waitress accidentally poured a hot pot of coffee down his back? Well he stood up and grabbed the back of his chair. His knuckles turned white as he gripped it and said through clenched teeth, "Would some ungodly soul please say a few appropriate words." Now that's emotional control.

Here's to a few appropriate words, they have reduced my anger many times.

Until the next time
John Strain


Sunday, August 05, 2007


Call me skinny

By Bear

Hi Everyone it's me Bear.

Do you remember the last time I wrote that I was on a diet? Welp, it worked. I'm skinny now. I have lots of energy to chase my football. I can jump better too.I lost 15 pounds. That's a lot for a dog.

Just look for yourself at my before and after pictures.

Before the diet

After the diet

After shedding 15 lbs.

I look more like my old self now. This pup sheds more than hair, I just jettisoned 15 pounds. My collar got real loose and daddy had to tighten it up for me.

Daddy hasn't written anything in a long time. He told me to tell everyone that he was going to start writing more regularly. He got real busy doing things around the yard and the house.

When daddy is in the yard working I help too. I watch him and wait for him to stop and then I bring him my ball so he can throw it and keep his arm loosened up.

That catches you up on my news. I hope everything is going well for you too.

Bye for now,