Wednesday, February 18, 2009

25 Random Things; another goofy Facebook Thing

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. This is the third time I've tried this because the first time, Facebook ate what I had written and as a result, the second time I did it I was a surly curmudgeon.

2. I'm nervous because I want to make this a wicked cool as the first one was, but I don't really remember much of what I wrote.

3. I spent the first 18 years of my life in the hot Phoenix sun, consequently, I'm looking forward to the Cardinals playing in the Super Bowl win or lose. I LOVE the Diamondbacks, although there's never going to be another team like 2001 with Johnson, Schilling, Grace, Gonzales, etc. etc.

4. For years I've been campaigning to get people to celebrate Arizona Statehood Day instead of Valentines on Feb. 14 and I love mountains, cacti, coyotes, cowboy movies, country music and Mexican food.

5. I've wanted to be a cartoonist since about 5th grade. I'm still an amateur, but I draw as often as I can and I post them at I started in my high school newspaper and then the college newspaper. My editorial cartoons were published for a couple of years in the Charter Oak-Ute Newspaper, Schleswig Leader and Mapleton PRESS. People can even join my cartoon group here on Facebook at

6. I struggled since about 8th grade with weather or not to become a pastor, but then a few years ago I read a book by Martin Luther called 'The Babylonian Captivity of the Church' ( where he explains that pastors are just people and I realized that actually it would be a pretty crappy job and actually, God has a lot more things for me to do, including being a dad, husband, teacher, and coach (and amateur cartoonist for that matter)

7. I'd wanted to be a newspaper columnist since Sophomore year of high school when I joined the school newspaper staff as cartoonist and had to write movie reviews and editorials. Later I became Art Director and finally Editor-in-Chief. Then I had a political column in my college newspaper. I did write a weekly column in the Charter Oak-Ute Newspaper, Schleswig Leader and Mapleton PRESS for around six years. My motto was "Sex, politics and religion- not necessarily in that order," and I tried to alternate between humor, faith, and politics, but got a little wound up by what I saw as the hypocrisy and idiocy of Bush, McCain, and Palin in this last election. You can read it all at

8. I got a BSEd at Concordia University in Seward Nebraska, where I majored in 7-12 History and Art. That's were I met my soul mate, Bethany. Ever hear the one about the Art major and the farmer's daughter? She's a Neddermeyer from Charter Oak with a grandma in Ricketts. Find out about that tiny town here-

9. My freshman year of college I was on the football cheerleading squad.

10. Concordia placed us at Los Angeles Lutheran MS/HS in Sylmar and the first couple of years it felt like God was punishing me for something, but by the third year or so I feel like I'd become an "Angeleno" which someone once said is like a New Yorker, only on dacaf. Love it, miss it, but not enough to move back. Worried about friends in the fire a few months ago.

11. We lost our apartment in the 1994 Northridge 6.8 earthquake. I had post traumatic stress disorder for years afterward. Still don't like to feel like the ground is shaking underneath me. (trains, plane rides, bridges all give me trouble)

12. I taught History, Art, Newspaper and Yearbook at LALHS and became an elder and taught adult Bible Study at our Church. My wife taught MS History and Religion and became Spiritual Life Director (sort of a cross between chaplain and guidance counseling)

13. My wife was overloaded from coaching both MS and Varsity Cheerleading, our principle discovered in my files that I'd cheered in college and decided to have me coach MS Cheer. Eventually I got "promoted" to Varsity when my wife became Spiritual Life Director.

14. When we had our first daughter, Grace, we decided we wanted her to grow up able to play on grass rather than concrete and closer to grandparents and cousins, so we moved back to Iowa. Bethany is a elementary guidance counselor and English teacher in Mapleton- 16 miles North of Charter Oak and I teach Art, Yearbook, Web Design and coach BOTH MS and Varsity Cheerleading at Boyer Valley- 16 miles South of Charter Oak, that's why we live across the street from the high school in Charter Oak

15. I'm the only male cheer coach at the MS/HS levels that I know of, although there are tons of guys who coach college and all-star squads or work for camp/clinic associations- but they're all way better athletes, and better cheerleaders than me. Some days I feel like Tommy Lee Jones in that movie 'Man of the House,' but mostly I enjoy it because over the years I've had the privilege to hopefully be a father figure or mentor for tons of amazing, brilliant, and talented young women (and a few dudes too, but they were all mascots). You can see my squad at-

16. My first MS Cheer squad back in 1993 called me "Pappa Bear."

17. If you haven't figured out, I'm kind of a blog-a-holic

18. I have three beautiful little girls, ages 3, 7, and 9. The 7 year old wants to be a cheerleader, of course she also wants to be a pop star like Hannah Montana. The 3 year old wants to be a baseball player (not softball, baseball) and the 9 year old wants to be a farmer (but in Hawaii, not Iowa)

19. Sometimes I miss teaching at a Christian school. For a few years my wife and I were the Youth Counselors for our church. We even went to national gatherings in New Orleans and Orlando. Life with 3 little girls got kinda busy for that, so now instead, my wife leads music for PK-8 Sunday School and I teach high school Bible Study (when kids actually show up.) I think my politics are usually too progressive to have ever been a Missouri Synod Lutheran pastor, but I found a vent for my spiritual, theological, and ecumenical rants on my "Pirate's Blog" at- (did I mention that I'm addicted to blogging?)

20. I originally caucused for Bill Richardson (got to meet him & shake his hand once) but I'm very glad that Obama was elected President. I think his inaugural really paralleled FDR's first inaugural in a lot of ways and I hope that he can handle the massive responsibility and expectations we've piled on him.

21. I like jazz, blues, urban Gospel and vintage R&B, but also U2, Billy Joel and George Straight, but my all time favorite kind of music is anything by Jimmy Buffett

22. I dabble in photography and graphic design (comes from working for the newspaper in the summer and the yearbook, school newsletter, and school website all year) you can sample some of my work, especially if you need some freelance work done at-

23. Sometimes I'll paint a little and I'm always experimenting with my digital camera. You can see some of my "artsy" stuff at (did I mention I'm addicted to blogging?)

24. Last summer my triglycerides were way too high and my doctor said I was "pre-diabetic." I switched to decaf (I used to down 6-8 cups a day), cut out carbs and tried to eat less and to walk every day. Somehow I lost somewhere between 25-30 pounds, but I've kind of leveled off and wish I could keep losing, but darn it, I like food. I check my blood glucose levels every other day and so far they're where they're supposed to be and my blood pressure's a lot lower too.

25. I can't believe I got this dumb thing done. Hope Facebook doesn't make it disappear again. I want to totally apologize to everyone who thinks this is too long or boring, and your welcome to anyone who feels like it helped you get to know me better (assuming you wanted to, sorry again if you didn't)

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