Category Archives: Personal

Time enough for love

(I originally posted this over three years ago over at Mormon Mentality. A friend asked me recently about thoughts on grace; I sent him a link to this post. I decided to move it over here, unedited.)

I’m still not sure what triggered this thought (and associated mental images), but I’m pretty sure it happened while listening to random (audio) chapters from the Book of Mormon on my iPhone (that’s the bulk of my scripture study these days — that and random audio chapters from the New Testament).

Let me start with a story I’ve told before (so if you’ve heard it before, apologies). A bit less than 30 years ago, I was visiting Utah from out of state and attended church with an acquaintance of mine. Said acquaintance had a PhD from the Ivy League, of which he was quite proud, and was at that time teaching at BYU; we attended his ward in Orem. Though I was not at that time a high priest, I attended high priest group meeting with him. When it was over, and we were walking back to his home from the chapel (this is Orem, after all), he said something to the effect of: “You know, I look around the high priest group, and I see men such as myself and [named a few others], all with PhDs and academic positions; and I also see 3rd- and 4th-generation farmers who never got beyond high school; and I marvel that the same church and gospel can encompass both.” To which I replied, “Maybe from where God sits, there isn’t any real difference.” He was not amused.

In the years since then, I have continued to dwell on that concept: that in most areas that we discern differences, the Lord sees few, if any. That’s why I smile when I hear the common dismissal of Abrahamic religion as “the local god of some wandering nomads.” We tend to be snobs of space, time, culture, education and wealth — what could we have in common with pre-literate Semitic tribes in 1000 BC? Again, from where God sits, I think the differences between our civilization and theirs are trivial and unimportant, much like two small kids arguing who has the nicer t-shirt. We tout our sophistication, as if sophistication ever led someone towards Christ-like service and love rather than away from it.

What struck me the other day is that we may well be just as myopic when it comes to duration (and circumstances) of mortal life. We see tragedy and inequality in lives “cut short” — while from where God sits, they’re all cut short, they are all cut infinitesimally short, and the major difference between dying at 5 and dying at 50 is that we have a touch more rope to hang ourselves with in the latter case. From an eternal perspective, we’re like 100 billion popcorn kernels popping within the space of a minute or so; the fact that some kernels took a bit longer than others to pop is a fine distinction and one irrelevant to the overall event.

Anne, bless her heart, worries about swearing, while God’s mind and love encompasses her, a tribal chief in Indonesia thousands of years ago, a baby girl put out to starve to death in 12th century AD India, and someone of uncertain gender walking around here on Earth 50 years from now and sees them all equal in His sight. One of the things that rang true in my heart as I learned and converted to the gospel some 43 years ago, and that has continued to ring true for those 43 years, is how encompassing God’s grace and love is.

None of this denies agency, sin, accountability, or evil. But for those of us who stick around in this life long enough to become accountable — and that’s probably less than half of everyone ever born on this planet — He gives us every break and opportunity to make things right and come back to Him.

His grace is not only greater than we imagine, it is greater than we can imagine. And however long or short our lives, God always has enough time to love us home. ..bruce..

One of my favorite quotes ever

As a teenaged convert in the late 1960s, I found that the book “Eternal Man” by Truman Madsen had a tremendous impact on me, as did Madsen himself (he came to San Diego a few times with BYU Education Week, and also came down for one of our stake youth conferences). I gave away my copy of “Eternal Man” a few years ago to a new member, but found a paperback version at Deseret Book this past week and picked up two copies.

I opened it up today and ran across this quote in the book just before the preface. This observation impacted me greatly when I read it some 45 years ago — because it spoke to my own conversion, testimony, and baptism at age 14 — and still moves me greatly:

 

Sometimes during solitude I hear truth spoken with clarity and freshness; uncolored and untranslated, it speaks from within myself in a language original but inarticulate, heard only with the soul, and I realize I brought it with me, was never taught it, nor can I effectively teach it to another. — Pres. Hugh B. Brown

Utah Mormons (a revised repost)

 

A few years back, Peggy Fletcher Stack — religion editor at the Salt Lake Tribune — asked me for some of my thoughts about the various stereotypes of Utah Mormons (vs. Mormons outside of Utah). I wrote them up and sent them to her; she never used them, so some months later I turned them into a post at Mormon Mentality.

Now Sandra and I find ourselves seriously looking at moving back to Utah, something we had never really considered (for various reasons) since leaving 25 years ago. But the house we’ve rented for the past eight years here in Colorado is getting put on the market, and Sandra and I — both now 60 years old — feel it’s time to get a bit closer to kids, grandkids, and other family members. Being in Utah puts us close to several children and grandchildren, as well as most of Sandra’s surviving family members; it also puts us a day closer to kids, grandkids, and family member (on my side) in Nevada and California. So, I thought this was a good time to repost my original thoughts, with a few minor edits.

[start of revised repost]

First, my own background. I joined the Church in 1967 at age 14 in San Diego, only member of my family to join. After graduating from high school, I attended and graduated from  BYU (1971-78, less two years for a mission [Central America]). Upon graduation in 1978, I lived in San Diego (CA) and Houston (TX). I moved back to Utah in 1985, and left again in early 1988. Otherwise, I have lived in California (both San Diego and the Bay Area), Texas (Houston and Dallas), the Washington DC area (Virginia, Maryland, and in the District itself), and Colorado (outside of Denver). Not counting the BYU wards and Central American branches I attended, I have been a member of 16 wards/branches. I’ve been active since joining and have held a variety of callings, including two stints as a counselor in a bishopric. On the other hand, I’ve had a beard most of my adult life (including during both bishopric stints); make of that what you will.

Still, though we haven’t lived in Utah for 25 years, we go back there constantly, particularly since moving to Colorado eight years ago — we’re now just an 8-hour drive away. Sandra has been going there at least 4 times a year, mostly to see her mom (until her mom passed away last fall); I go along about half the time. And, as noted, we have kids and grandkids living there, so we interact with them regularly on the phone and via the ‘net.

As I see it, there are at least three key factors that make the experience of being LDS in Utah different than that of being LDS outside of Utah.

The first is inheritance. I daresay that a plurality — and likely a majority — of Mormons in Utah are Nth-generation Mormons, N >= 2. They were either born into the Church or, less commonly, descend from individuals who left the Church but have on their own joined the Church themselves. They tend to have large family networks. My wife is related to measurable portions of Utah and Idaho; her mom (Sorenson) and dad (Anderson) each came from a family of 12 kids, from rural Utah (Koosharem) and Idaho (Samaria), respectively. Utah Mormons also tend to have large and highly-connected social networks (the old fashioned kind), some of which date back decades or even more than a century.

With that inheritance and inter-connectivity comes a lot of folk and family practices and doctrine. Some of it is a survival (often in distorted or incomplete form) of what were once mainstream (or at least popular) LDS beliefs and practices in the 19th and 20th centuries. Along the same lines, there’s a lot of social behavior that within Utah is associated with being Mormon but really does not stem from the Church and the Gospel; it’s not as pervasive as it was 40 years ago, but it’s still there.

Outside of Utah and especially outside of the United States, the majority of (adult) Mormons are 1st or 2nd generation. They bring into the Church their culture, prior beliefs, family ties, and social networks that existed prior to their conversion. They tend to see LDS doctrine without a lot of the accumulated and outdated cruft (aside from threadjacked discussions or the occasional exclamation in Gospel Doctrine and RS/PH).

The second is concentration. Various words come to mind — “hothouse”, “echo chamber” — but my favorite observation is from a close friend, Bob Trammel, who — adapting a line from “Hello, Dolly” — once said, “Mormons are like manure. Sprinkle them around, and they make things blossom. Heap them up in one place, and they stink.” A Mormon here in Colorado with offbeat ideas will find they don’t spread much — the LDS density isn’t just high enough. Someone in Utah with those same offbeat ideas can easily find kindred spirits within blocks of his (or her) home; heck if he writes them up, he can probably get quite a few high priests groups within the valley to pass them along. I will acknowledge that e-mail and the internet allow some of this to go on outside of Utah’s bounds, but the dense social network is still the best medium for these things (e.g., “Today’s youth were generals in the war in heaven.“) to get passed along . Likewise, there’s a reason why most LDS splinter groups and breakaway churches start in Utah — again, the density elsewhere often just isn’t high enough to sustain such a group.

The concentration inside of Utah also make the “outliers” on either end of the Mormon spectrum (however you care to define that) much more visible. Outside of Utah, it is much easier to be quietly and invisibly unorthodox (in any direction), because you’re surrounded by people who aren’t Mormon and your ward is spread out over many square miles. Inside of Utah, your ward fits into a space of several square blocks, and pretty much all your neighbors (Mormon or not) are aware of just where you fit in (as they suppose).

The density of Mormons within Utah also tends to make wards — which are defined geographically and tend to each cover a very small area within most urban and suburban areas in Utah — very homogeneous in terms of ethnic, financial, and professional background. That, in turn, can lead to a mindset that says, consciously or not, “how the Church is in my ward is how it is or should be everywhere else.”

The third is integration of church and society, which is a consequence of point #2. I’m not talking about political issues of church and state per se (though those are certainly brought up a lot). I’m talking about the tendency to judge someone in her/his secular role based on what we believe about their commitment to and activity in the Church, as well as the tendency to ask for favors (vote for me, invest with me, sign up for my MLM organization, take a quick look at my teeth/car/dog for free, give me a discount on X) based on shared Church membership and/or prominent (local) Church responsibilities. This certainly goes on outside of Utah (cf. the Mormon affinity fraud cases in California and here in Colorado, and the White Horse idiot up in Idaho), but it is so pervasive in Utah as to make it hard to avoid.

Many, many years ago I made it a personal rule not to use someone from my ward (or even my stake) in providing professional services to me (law, medicine, automotive, etc.) — not because I think Mormons are dishonest or sloppy (I don’t), but because if I’m unhappy with them or stop using them, I don’t want that to have awkward consequences within my ward. (Case in point: my dentist here in Colorado happens to be in the bishopric of one of the other wards — which is actually in another stake — that shares our building; I see him almost every Sunday and apologize for not being back in for my regular checkup yet.)

At the same time, status tends to accrue based on callings and associations with Church general leadership. Utah remains the only place where I have heard men (though, fortunately, only a few) talk in all seriousness about their “Church career”, as they try to figure out how to go from bishop to stake president to mission president/area seventy to general authority.  Likewise, for some LDS, it is the peak of status to have a son or daughters (or grandson or granddaughter) marry into the family of a general authority.

Finally, the pervasiveness of the Church in Utah actually creates a problem for the youth growing up there. About a year after Sandra and I married — with nine (9!) kids between the two of us — we decided to leave Utah and move out of state, even though our respective former spouses (and most of Sandra’s family) lived there. Why? Because the natural inclination of youth is to rebel, and in Utah, the main institution to rebel against is the Church, and we began to see signs of that already. Instead, we moved them out to northern California (Santa Cruz), where they were a tiny minority and where even the stake president wore his hair a bit over his ears. :-)

Let me finish by saying that — aside from the ‘inheritance’ issue I mentioned above — I don’t really buy into the stereotype of the “Utah Mormon”, at least not as applying to the majority of Mormons in Utah. (I am, however, willing to grant that Southern Utah may be an exception, particularly listening to annegb.) I think that the distribution of LDS behaviors and beliefs — however you want to map that — is roughly the same inside and outside of Utah. The difference in Utah, as per the concentration issue, is that there are a lot more people in Utah that outside it who do fit the classic “Utah Mormon” stereotype, and they are often some of the most visible and vocal.

[end of revised repost]

So, if we do end up moving back to Utah, it will be interesting to see if my observations still hold; one way or another, I’ll do a follow-up post at some point in the future.  ..bruce..

A simple tip for husbands young and old

Ask yourself each morning:  what can I do today that will make my wife happy?

For the most part, I’m thinking about items around the house that need to be handled (the proverbial “Honey, do…” list), though it can be other things as well. (When was the last time you bought your wife flowers? I buy my wife flowers every 10-14 days, usually at Costco, where it’s only $15 for a gorgeous mixed bouquet. Been doing that for many, many years. She loves it every time.) It doesn’t have to be anything major or showy, or even anything that she will notice that same day, just something that will bring a smile to her face (or even just a sign of relief).

Then do it.  ..bruce..

So long, Steve, and Godspeed.

The second personal computer I ever owned[1] was an Apple II, with no floppy drive. I bought it, along with a small color TV, from my close friend Robert Trammel while we were both living in Houston sometime around 1980.We had already spent hours together programming on it, then carefully (though not always successfully) saving our programs out to cassette tape. After three months, I sold the computer and TV back to Robert — not because I didn’t like it, but because I was spending far too much time on it.

A few years later — in 1982 — my close friend Wayne Holder hired me into his nascent software company, Oasis Systems, in part to help with his existing and planned word processing utilities (The Word Plus, Punctuation + Style), but mostly to develop computer games. And we did, developing Sundog: Frozen Legacy on the Apple II, a game for which I still get e-mails (and which Wayne is even now working on resurrecting for modern platforms). In January 1984, a few months before Sundog shipped, we were invited by Guy Kawasaki to come up to Apple to see a preview of the Mac and to talk about what software we could port to the Mac. Through my connections with computer stores in San Diego, I was able to get a personal loan of a Mac for a few days at home prior to the official announcement in Cupertino later that month, which Wayne and I attended as well. That was my first time seeing Steve Jobs in person, and it remains a memorable highlight of my professional life.

When the Mac shipped a few days later, I went down to the one computer store in San Diego that I knew would be getting machines from Apple. I took $3000 in cash with me and managed to convince the store owner — a friend — to let me have one of the three Macs he had to sell. Through a connection with Phil Lemmons — editor-in-chief at BYTE — I ended up writing the official BYTE review of the 128K Macintosh (August 1984 issue). By the end of 1984, I was writing full-time for BYTE, including on-going coverage of the Macintosh, particularly once my BYTE column started in mid-1985. After a few years of writing for BYTE, I switched to writing for Macworld magazine. Steve was now long-gone from Apple, and Apple was having some of its own problems going forward.

But in late 1987, I was contacted by Addison-Wesley. They were interested in having me write a book about Steve Jobs’ new project at NeXT. Folks at NeXT had apparently suggested me to Addison-Wesley, probably due to my writing at BYTE and Macworld. I leapt at the opportunity, particularly since in coincided with our family moving from Utah to just outside Santa Cruz (where I would be doing technical writing for Borland on a consulting basis). Once there, I found myself invited to visit NeXT HQ on Deer Creek Road, sit in on meetings, and attend the 0.3 NeXTstep Dev Camp. And, yes, that meant getting actual face time with Steve Jobs as well — not a lot, but this was a man whose creations had been impacting my personal and professional life for over a decade at this point.

The writing of the book dragged out as I waited to get my hands on an actual NeXT cube, which finally happened (if I recall correctly) at the end of 1988 or early 1989. I wrote the first several drafts of the book on that NeXT cube itself. The book came out in the fall of 1989; it remains the single most successful book I’ve ever written, due to the intense interest in NeXT itself, more than any particular writing skills or technical insight on my part.

The following year, I found myself working with a world-class typographer (Mike Parker) and graphic designer (Vic Spindler) to create a design-oriented desktop publishing system. I was doing all the software prototyping on my NeXT cube, and we made the decision to make the NeXT our first target platform. For five years — 1990 to 1995 — I served as chief architect and CTO at Pages Software Inc, where we developed Pages by Pages and then WebPages, while spending nearly two years just trying to raise venture funding. We closed on funding at the start of 1992 and shipped our first version of Pages in early 1994. We quickly sold all that we were going to in the all-too-small NeXTstep market. My frustrations at seeing larger firm try to leverage off of NeXT’s incredible innovations led to an op-ed piece in the November 1994 issue of BYTE, “Whither NextStep?” The day that issue came out was the last time that Steve Jobs and I spoke — he called me from the back of a car somewhere to ask me what the hell I was doing writing that. I said, telling the truth. Pages would close its door the next year, unable to secure additional funding to move its technology to Windows.

When Steve engineered his brilliant reverse takeover of Apple — getting Apple to buy NeXT for $400 million, then slowly moving himself into the CEO seat — I was not optimistic. I still had unconditional praise for the NextStep technology, but I was dubious about Steve’s ability to sell technology to markets and to compete with Microsoft.

Boy, was I wrong. I was not only wrong about his abilities at Apple, I was wrong in my BYTE article about NextStep being on a downward slope. NextStep, of course, was the foundation of Mac OS X, and Steve transformed Apple into the most-admired, most-imitated, and most-valuable company in the world. And I was tickled that, when Apple brought out its own word processor, it was named “Pages”. Steve had always liked that name when we were developing (and shipping) our own product years before; glad he was able to use it.

To quote John Perry Barlow over on FB, “The world is suddenly a less interesting place.” ..bruce w..

[1] The first was an HP-67 card-reading programmable calculator.

[Cross-posted from And Still I Persist]

Feeling mortal

As usual, Gerard Van der Leun at American Digest not only comes up with ‘net gold, but gives wonderful commentary on it as well.

This video is for me more haunting than any of the post-apocalyptic films Hollywood has pushed out. The video itself, a homemade production, was shot back in 1977. There’s a good chance that at least one of the people in the video is dead by now; it will likely only be a few more decades until they all are, along with me — I’m roughly the same age as the players in this film. I’m not bothered by my own mortality, but this video makes me reflect upon that of my entire generation.

And a good Monday morning to you, too. :-) ..bruce w..

Tales of the Dorms

Back in January, BYU Magazine (or whatever its called) solicited tales of dorm life. I submitted the stories below, and they apparently chose one of them (based on my daughter-in-law’s comments on Facebook). Here are my original stories. These are all from 1971-72, my freshman year at BYU. I was living on the 3rd floor in Penrose (“T”) Hall in Deseret Towers.

Glow-ball Warfare and Other Dorm Games

When you put 40+ young men, mostly freshman, all on the same dorm floor — in this case, the 3rd floor of Penrose (T) Hall in Deseret Towers (1971-72) — interesting activities develop. One of our periodic games was called “Glow-ball Warfare”, and we played it in the commons room (with all the furniture in place). The main playing instrument was a plastic, glow-in-the-dark ball. All the players would gather into the commons room, with a few towels to block out light coming from beneath the doors. One person would start out with the ball, holding it up to one of the ceiling lights. After a minute or so, he’d nod, and all the lights would be turned out. He would now do his best to hit someone else with the now-glowing ball, the only thing visible in the room. Everyone else would do their best to get away from him in the darkness, usually running into each other and the furniture (the worst I ever got hurt in the game was crawling head-first into the heavy metal pole holding up one of the tables). Once the ball was thrown, there was a scramble to grab the ball; whoever got it now did his best to hit someone else. When the ball got too dim, we’d call a halt, turn on the lights to recharge it, and then continue. There were no teams; it was strictly a free-for-all.

In high school, I had played football for four years. There was another guy on my dorm floor, Layne Jensen (’74, ’76, ’78), who had been in wrestling in high school for four years. Every now and then, Layne and I would have contests where we would take turns hitting each other in the stomach as hard as we could to see if the other guy could take it. For the life of me, I can’t remember how this got started or why we thought it was a good idea, but I know we always walked away feeling that both of us had done well.

Greg Zippi (’77, ’83), another floor-mate, came up with a less violent and painful game: Hallway Frisbee. The two players would start a modest distance apart in one of the long dorm hallways. One player would toss a frisbee to the other player. If the frisbee didn’t touch the wall, ceilings or (of course) floor, then both players would take a stride back, and the second player would throw to the first player. If the frisbee did touch the floor/walls/ceiling, then we stayed the same distance apart. The goal was to throw the frisbee the full length of the hallway without it touching anything. Given how long and narrow the Deseret Towers hallways were, that was a rare accomplishment, but always much celebrated and bragged about when accomplished.

I will pass over in silence the Hallway Whiffleball games, which were a bit, ah, rougher on the ceiling light fixtures than Hallway Frisbee.

Finally, at the end of our freshman year, at the end of finals, we challenged another floor in our hall to a few outdoor competitions, one of which was a tug-of-war across one of the the irrigation canals that ran near Heritage Halls. Because the heights of the two banks of the canal weren’t quite the same, we decided to switch sides after the first event and repeat the tug-of-war. Many of us, not wanting to walk the 30 yards or so to one side to walk across the canal, simply ran and jumped over it. Since the canal had 2-3″ of water in it, and since the canal had sloping banks, I kept a careful eye on the ground as I ran up to the canal and leapt. I then looked up just in time to see that someone from the opposing team had done exactly the same thing at exactly the same time in exactly the same (but opposite) place along the canal. One of my floormates (it may well have been Greg) later told me — once he could stop laughing — that it was like watching a live-action cartoon. This other young man and I hit one another full on right over the middle of the canal, exactly canceled out each other’s momentum, hung for a split-second in mid-air, and then dropped into the canal’s cold, cold water together. For my own part, I put out my right hand to break my fall and slammed it onto one of the large, water-smoothed rocks at the bottom of the canal. I was unable to shake hands for a month.

It was a great year.

Bruce F. Webster (BS, ’78)
Parker, Colo.

Poor fasting: a different approach to eating

One of the reasons my blogging here (and elsewhere) has been so light for some time is that I spent almost all of May and June out in California, living out of a hotel, working on a case where I spent most of the day (and often a good part of the evening) in a closed room in a secure facility, reviewing source code and files. I came back at the start of this month dismayed at the weight I had gained, especially since I was far (oh, so far!) from svelte when I went out there.

Part of my long-standing problem in keeping my weight down is that I really like to cook and I really like to eat. Since I’ve been self-employed for the past eight years, work at home, and frequently have nothing pressing to do, this means that the most pleasurable times in a given day are often the times I fix and eat food.  Also, I tend to be up from about 6 or 7 am in the morning until 11 pm or midnight. As a result, I have some bad eating habits:

  • snacking at all hours, since I’m usually home all day;
  • substantial late-night snacks (fried egg sandwich, toasted cheese sandwich, peanut-butter-and-butter on [several pieces of] toast);
  • eating too fast (comes from growing up in a family of six kids, most of whom were older than me);
  • a propensity of fixing larger meals for myself than I really should, telling myself that it will lead me to eat less at the subsequent meal (which it rarely does, because the meals themselves tend to be spread out from early morning to late at night).

Finally, there are some real emotional components to my eating. It’s a source of comfort, particularly if I’ve feeling stressed — and anyone who has been self-employed can tell you that stress is a way of life.

Anyway, I came back to Colorado at the start of July, determined to start exercising again and to get rid of not only the weight I had gained, but the weight I was carrying around before I ever went out to California. I started doing an early-morning routine of stretching and walking, but knew that would not be enough.

And then Fast Sunday (July 5th) came along. (See, there is an LDS connection in here.)

Our ward is currently on a late schedule (2-5 pm), so fasting largely means skipping breakfast and lunch on Sunday. And while fasting is never easy for me, it is something I can do. So it was during this past Fast Sunday that I came up with an approach to break up my eating habits. I’ve been trying it for a week, and it’s been very interesting and actually quite easy to follow.

Here it is in a nutshell: I only eat between 11 am and 6 pm, with the exception of allowing myself one piece of fresh fruit in the morning, if I want it. I place no restrictions on drinking and in fact have a 72-oz drinking bottle that I fill with water (with some fruit juice for flavoring) and try to get through each day. But I stop eating around 6 pm and (with the piece-of-fruit exception) I don’t start eating again until 11 am the next morning.

In short, it’s like a really bad attempt at fasting.  I’ve trained myself for 40+ years to tell myself, “OK, no more food or drink until such-and-such a time tomorrow.”  And since I can do an honest LDS fast, fasting poorly is a cinch, in part since I can drink all I want and even cheat in the morning with a piece of fruit, but largely because I have lots of experience and success at fasting poorly.

I’ve only been trying this for a week now, but I find the results to be very interesting. My consumption of bread, butter, cheese and eggs — my early-morning and late-night foods of choice — has dropped dramatically. For that matter, my overall consumption of food has dropped. Since I can’t eat after 6 pm (or whenever I finish my dinner, which has to be started before 6 pm), my evening snacking has gone away. The morning-piece-of-fruit exception makes the wait until 11 am very tolerable.  And the fact that the rest of my eating is compressed into a 7-hour period — instead of being spread out over 16 to 18 hours — means that the large lunch I usually fix at 11 am really does have an impact on how much I eat up through 6 pm.

So far, I haven’t made a great effort to put any limits or directions on what I do eat during those 7 hours, either quality or quantity. My new pattern seems to be: a large lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, a regular dinner. Note that I haven’t been gorging myself, and I do try to eat healthily regardless.  But it’s clear to me that I’m eating less on a daily basis than I was before. More importantly, I seem to be breaking up some of my self-defeating eating habits, particularly cutting out all snacking during 17 hours of the day. And I’m doing it by leveraging training I’ve put myself through for 40 years.

In case you’re wondering, yes, I have lost weight since getting back and particularly since changing my eating pattern. However, I’ve also been faithful about the stretch-then-walk routine in the mornings (I walked 18 miles this week), and the weight lost so far represents weight I gained out in California. The real trick will be my weight back down to where it was two years ago, four years ago, and finally back down to my goal weight (where I was about 11 years ago). That will require upping my personal exercise as well as continuing to improve my eating patterns and habits. Hey, eat less and exercise more — what an insight!

Thoughts?  ..bruce..

No, not dead, not gone, just busy

I’ve got a work project that’s kept me in California for most of the past 6 weeks and is taking me back tomorrow night. It’s been intense enough, the hours long enough, that I’ve had little energy left to post here or on my other blogs. But I’ve got some things to post about, and I’ll try to do at least one each week.

In the meantime, here’s my first honest-to-goodness struggle with COVETING in some time.  Fear not; the fever dream has faded; if we get a second car, it will likely be one of the aging $2000 pickup trucks parked by roadsides in our neck of the woods. But it was a nice few weeks.  ..bruce..