Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The great car debacle (part 1)...

Ok, so I was in an accident last month that saw my car completely written off. I was in a south-bound lane waiting in the intersection to make a left hand turn. The light turned yellow and the two other cars that were traveling towards me in the north bound lane appeared to be slowing down to stop, so I looked left and proceeded to make my turn. The next thing I know there's a red car in front of me, followed by the airbag exploding and then by my horn going off.

I was helped out of the car by some kind strangers and then waited for the police, fire, ambulance and tow trucks to arrive. I was pretty shaken up and everyone was concerned that I had hit my head. In reality I was just shaken up.

To make a long story a little bit shorter, I received a letter from my insurance company stating that I was 100% at fault (apparently the person making a left turn is always at fault). They couldn't find the witness to verify my story. So, that means I lose my $500 deductible and my insurance goes up.

Fast forward to August 15th. I had just arrived home from my knee surgery and we received a phone call from our claims adjuster. Apparently she wasn't feeling right about the way things turned out, so she decided to phone the police and double check some info. The officer then provided my adjuster with a new phone number for the witness (who had been in the process of moving), so she called to get the facts. The witness stated that the other car ran a red light!

My wife and I were stunned. Just like that I was innocent! And just like that I got $500 back and was able to tear up the letter saying that I was at fault. Suffice to say that we will no longer have to fork over an extra $2000 during my next 7 years of driving. Everything stays the same.

Ah yes...but this is only part 1 of the great car debacle. Please stay tuned for part 2.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Short of words, so here it is...

1. Woke up with very little pain...this is very good!
2. Had my first physio appointment today. $10 later I have a little more mobility and a little more pain.
3. We finally got a call saying our car is in...I'll post more on this debacle later.
4. Found out that Soul Asylum & the Gin Blossoms both released new cds I have to spend more money...shhh, don't tell my wife.
5. The house is getting drywall put up this week!
6. After a recent bath, my daughter dumped a whole bottle of liquid hand soap on her head and then tried to brush it out...apparently she was trying to be like mom and Auntie Jo and "do her hair".
7. Kids are about to turn 4 & 5 within the next week.
8. The football season is well underway and Manchester United are top of the table...this will be the year!

Ok, that's all for now. Time to watch Poseidon.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Coherent again...

Well, the surgery went well according to Dr M. It was an ACL revision that saw them remove part of my right hamstring and use it as the ACL in the left knee. They also had to clean things up a bit and trim the meniscus.

With my Dr telling me that this procedure was more invasive than a "reconstruction", I'm amazed that I can apply weight to both legs, and I'm actually encouraged to move them as much as possible. My last ACL reconstruction had me on crutches for almost a month, then using a cane for a week. At this rate I should be without crutches within a week or two. The only reason I have them now is in case one of the legs (particularly my thighs) decide to give out.

Pain is more tolerable now. I can sleep most of the night. The swelling is down. The "sexy stockings" are off...these stockings look like white nylons that go from toe to thigh on each leg that help reduce swelling and prevent clotting...they're nasty. Most of the major bandages are also now off.

All that being said, I'm more than happy with the progress and I'm actually beginning to believe that I may get to kick a football again someday in the near future.

Anyway, I thought about putting a pic or two up, but I'm not sure anyone wants to see a swollen knee! But if you'd like me to...I would be happy to appease my 3 readers!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Happy 8th...

It's our 8th anniversary tomorrow. We spent our 7th anniversary in Mexico with 30 youth. This year we chose to celebrate it with me undergoing knee surgery. Talk about memories, eh? Maybe one day we'll celebrate our anniversary as just the 2 of us.

Update on the car: we found one we like, but we're currently waiting for it to show up at the dealership so we can give it a view and a drive. Think that'll happen before 7:30am tomorrow? neither.

Update on the knee: apparently they are calling it an "ACL revision" because I previously had an ACL reconstruction and now he's not sure what may be left (or not left) in my knee. But I'm thinking that I'll have a new ACL by this time tomorrow. They also made me (ok, they "highly recommended") spend $200 on an item that looks like nothing more than a water cooler with tubes running into a knee brace. But apparently it's supposed to work wonders for keeping the swelling down. I'll let you know if it was worth it.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

All things leadership...

I had the opportunity this week to attend Willow Creek's Leadership Summit with most of our pastoral staff and it surpassed my expectations. I've had a tendency to look for events where I can enhance my youth ministry skills, but I've never really done anything specifically related to leadership development in a larger sense. For some reason I have a hard time sometimes seeing myself as a leader outside of the youth ministry.

This conference was an eye-opening experience for me. It reminded me that I'm not on the youth ministry island within our church. I'm also part of the bigger picture. I have a voice that I need to use. I have passion...some of which still needs to be focused. I have skills that need to be developed. I have a role within the entire church, not just with the youth or the youth leaders.

Thanks to an interview with Bono, I've also had my eyes and heart opened to the AIDS crisis within the world, and all I need to say is "What rock have I (and the rest of North American churches) been living under?!?!" I'm not sure where this will lead, but I know we've got to do something.

And while I could go on for pages about what challenged me and inspired me, I was also awakened to how close I came to burning out once upon a time. That could be an entire post on it's own, so I'll spare the details. I was just reminded this week of the fact that I need to work harder on filling my tank, so I don't run dry.

If you haven't had a chance to take this conference in, try to make room for it next year. It'll be good for you!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Words on a page...

I'm feeling proud of myself. I just knocked another book of my list. I was able to finish reading Donald Miller's "Blue Like Jazz" and I should say that I was impressed. He's got a very simple writing style that I found refreshing and captivating. He just simply talks about his life. It kind of reminded me of episodes of "The Wonder Years".

The entire book seemed so genuine to me, as Miller focused in on the many different aspects of life. He is open about his struggles, honest about his discoveries and candid about his beliefs.

I wish I could write more about what read, but I always have trouble summing up what I've read. I guess I figure that there's no way I could possibly do justice to it. In fact, I'd probably just deter people from reading it. With that said, go buy the book and read it!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Toy of the day...

I'm always on the lookout for a new addition to my office shelves. Please keep in mind that I am aware that most shelves contain books and other literature, but as I have previously mentioned I have an annoying habit of buying more books than I can possibly read in a year.

With that being said, I have managed to accumulate some nifty-neato toys...I mean, collectibles...for my office.

I'm thinking this should be the next addition. Yes, a Dwight Schrute bobblehead!

The 15th is looming...

I've still got about a week left before surgery. I may have mentioned this before, but I'm not looking forward to it. You see, it's painful...and I'm a wimp. That's a bad combination. I already know that I'll be lying on the OR table shaking like a leaf as they lay out all their instruments on my chest. Then I'll awake and begin yet another terrible 6-8 month recovery.

And sometime before then I need to get all my August/September events planned up, attend a leadership conference, buy a new car, pick out cabinets for the house, and recruit a couple more youth leaders.

Not only am I behind on my reading...although I am currently just one chapter away from finishing my latest project...but I'm also behind on my movie watching. I still haven't seen Pirates or Superman. I'm thoroughly disappointed in myself.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The hunt continues...

Since the car was a write off that means we're looking for a new vehicle. I hate this part. I thought it was supposed to be fun and adventure. Instead it seems to be frustrating, annoying and just an all around pain in the butt.

I must have test drove 2 dozen vehicles (new and used) in the past week and a half, and do you think we're any closer? Nope. The only thing we know is that a scooter will likely be in the mix after I heal from the knee surgery. Other than that...I guess we'll wait and see.

Oh, and here's a pic of the house from a few weeks ago.

This picture was taken from the master bedroom in the basement and you can see our living room window (on the right), our patio door and our kitchen window on the far side of the room.