Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Here are some recent pictures of Connor playing baseball- or should I say Connor in his element. He really loves the sport. See more at www.durringtonfamily.blogspot.com

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The "i's" Have It

Well, I loved a lot of the entries we received last time, but I have to confess that I was very misleading. In the text of my post I led everyone to believe that the topic was wind with a short "i." However, the mystery song related to wind with a long "i." I know. It was a dirty trick. The winner was "Long and Winding Road" by the Beattles.

Today I just don't have it in me to be as tricky because I have not felt very well since last Thursday. So, in honor of my illness, today's topic will be just that:


So, good luck with all that.

For those of you who do not know, I used to be a banker. I started as a teller in a bank (I still say that's the most fun you can have working in a bank) and within two years was a commercial loan officer and built a pretty good portfolio. However, long hours, the sale of our bank and a very oversexed environment made the decision to leave easy even if the implementation was hard.

I haven't missed it too badly.

The heavy regulatory pressures of banking are a source of constant stress when you're in it and the positive aspects (like the customer relationships) are hard-pressed to outweigh that. Still, in the last few weeks there has been a little chum in the water that almost seems designed to entice me back to banking; just little things that bring up the possibility. The most flagrant was yesterday. I was talking to my loan officer who is also an old colleague. I just keep a line of credit with him in case I see a property we have to have. We were discussing loan committees and I mentioned how his local president was a bit of a jerk. Okay, I may have been a little less gracious in that description yesterday. At any rate, my officer said," Really? Well when your package came before the local committee he could not have said more nice things about you."


Long pause.

Still pausing.

Finally I said, "Well, perhaps we're both right." Actually, that's a "way homer." I realized on the way home that's what I should have said. Instead, I said something dismissive. My officer laughed and went on to say that I could even work with the guy if I wanted to. They had a few branch president positions open. Suddenly we had gone from chum in the water to a lure dangling precariously nearby. Funny thing about lures, though. Often when you take one you wind up hooked and in a good scenario posing upside-down for pictures; in a bad scenario smothered in tartar sauce. Long story short (if it's not too late), I did not like me as a banker. The long hours, the competitive drive, the immoral environment- none of that fit with my role as the go-kart riding, baseball throwing, Barbie repairing, car-pool driving goofball Daddy. I am thrilled not to carry a business card any more; even if it were to say VP or EVP or even CFO. So, until all of this job stuff gets really desperate, I am going to stick with what I've got and keep on hoping.

The next day, I started getting messages from a church looking for a worship minister. Members of their search committee had experienced a worship service I led and a well-known church consultant had also given them my name. To be honest, it was a total surprise given my general lack of talent and personality. I thought about the possibilities as I listened to the message and decided that it would be inappropriate for me to lead them on in the process since I do not have sufficient training or abilities to take on such a role in a large church. I dismissed the idea. However, one day when I happened to be home I answered the phone and it was a lady from the search committee. She was very gracious and complimentary, but I still thought that it would not be right to let the conversation continue and I told her so. She said she would let me think about it more and she would call me back. Strange but true.

Anyway, enough of that. I am sorry I have not blogged regularly lately. Work and baseball are consuming way too much time. The only "time out" we have taken was to go to the ranch last weekend with a group of friends who were also missing the Highland Family Retreat because of baseball. We went on hay rides, fished, sat around a campfire making S'mores, played games and generally relaxed. I wish I had been feeling better because we all needed the break but it was still fun.

I apologize for all of the mundane. For more specifics on the kids and stuff like that, check out durringtonfamily.blogspot.com.


Thursday, April 14, 2005

Blown Away

No winner last time. The mystery song was "Fly Me to the Moon" by ol' Blue Eyes himself. Sorry about that. It's a shame, too. The prize was awesome. The winner would have gotten a tank of gas.

In light of the gas prices we are all enjoying (especially me in my 4x4 pickup), I am considering installing a sail on top of our vehicles. It would be perfect here is West Texas. In keeping with this idea, let's come up with some songs discussing:


Hmmm. I seem to remember a novelty song my sister sang about breaking-

Oh, never mind.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Come To Me My Melancholy Baby

Sorry again for not being a regular blogger. I have had good intentions the last few days, but when I can't get on Blogger, I tend to lose the mood.

I was very impressed that Karen got the mystery song from Kenny Rogers- She Believes in Me. I thought that one would slip under everyone's radar and I would change the world with my little song; I was wrong.

For our new topic, we are looking with songs that discuss:

Air Travel

Good luck. There are a few great songs that immediately come to mind. It is going to be hard to stay out of the fray, let alone narrow it down to one mystery song.

I guess a little turbulence was the genesis for that one. But rather than a loss of cabin pressure, it seems to be increasing. Either way, I think I could use a hit on one of those masks if it drops down.

Maybe it is (1)the onset of Tax Day, my least favorite holiday of the year. Maybe it is (2)just being too busy and the subsequent problem of (3)being too tired. Perhaps it is (4)the ever-increasing likelihood that I will need to find a new job soon. Or, it could possibly be (5)a nagging voice of dread and self-doubt that seems to be louder at certain times than others. Honestly, I'm not sure exactly what it is, but I admitted something out loud today that I privately knew already: "I am in a funk." I hate to use such a clinical term, but with the popularity of people like Dr. Phil, I think the public is educated enough to know what I mean and it has nothing to do with the totally funkadelic George Clinton (may he rest in his piece).

Examining the possibilites listed above one by one, I address the problem of tax day with the fact that even though the returns are due on April 15, the average American doesn't stop paying the government its portion of their annual salary until around the end of May. Now that's depressing! Oh well, it's inevitable.

What about being too busy? Frankly, part of that goes back to the tax topic, but there are other elements at work here that will just have to run their course before there is a reprieve. Until then, some things may suffer (regular blogging, mowing the yard, personal hygene, etc.) but I am determined to keep up with family time. Just tonight I took the kids out for a scandalous go-kart ride around their school. I just can't get enough of those magic moments.

The job issue is one I still cannot resolve in my head. Even though things have been changing dramatically at work, my boss insists my job is safe. What I have come to understand, however, is that even she may not understand what the very near future holds. That kind of stuff seizes me in the grip of panic so fast it is amazing- and I am feeling it already. I really don't think I am a "keeping store houses of grain" kind of guy, but nor am I a "consider the lillies" kind of guy. I know that I should trust in God, but on the other hand, God has given me an amazing gift in the form of my family and I should honor His trust my keeping them secure. Is that flawed logic? Perhaps, but consider #5.

Whatever it is, I am sure it will make like a kidney stone and pass painfully. Until then, bear with me or avoid me (the latter probably being safer than the former). I will be praying about it. I will be trying to focus on the abundant blessings I have received and turning them back to praise. I guess that's what we're all called to do even though we all have to fly that course through the fog from time to time. I guess that's turbulence.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

An Hour Saved is an Hour Burned

Well, I am in an absolute funk. Losing that hour last night has nailed me. I was pretty good when I first got up. I mean after having several middle-of-the-night phone calls lately, I have been able to function after a shortened slumber. But today, after leading worship on a day wherein I showed up without a pitch pipe and without a bass and without a preacher and without half my brain (the second half by the way- the first half has been AWOL for a long time) I arrived home after lunch and crashed hard. I slept for an hour and a half with Addie on my back also sleeping but that rare nap has only whetted my appetite for more. This is the obvious genesis of today's song topic:


The last topic went pretty well. Kim got the mystery song- "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton. "Crying" by Roy Orbison came in second.

I would also like to hear of any good April Fool's pranks anyone managed to pull off. I had a few that went okay, but I am always looking for new ideas.

Have a great day!

Friday, April 01, 2005

An-ti-ci-pa... Oh, to heck with it

Is anyone else a little frustrated with Blogger? I wrote a new post a few days ago. I got the whole "You blog published successfully" nonsense, but it never showed up. Not only that, it did not save as a draft, either. My feelings on the matter have been eloquently portrayed others in similar situations:

"For the love!!" -Brandon Scott Thomas

"Doh!" -Homer Simpson

"Aarrrrgh!" - A pirate namedLester

"Robble robble. Wh-? ROBBLE!" -Hamburglar

"My griefin' catfishes!" -My Grandma Edie (True, by the way)

"Botts!" -Addie (That was a cuss word she invented before she knew how to talk)

"Oh, man!" -Swiper, from Dora the Explorer

"Inconceivable!" -Vizzini from the Princess Bride

Anyway, I was frustrated. It is indeed a huge loss to the world, too, for in this one post I explained many of the world's yet unsolved mysteries and gave a terrific recipe for cookies. Now I can't remember any of it. In my sadness, I have come up with a new topic for songs. How many can we come up with that involve:


Good luck everyone. I hope this blog makes it to you, but if not:

"Shazaam." -Gomer Pyle