Friday, February 29, 2008


Rhonda and I arrived in Hawai'i yesterday afternoon, rented a car, and spent the night at Hickam AFB, near Honolulu. We're here to perform the wedding of my high school friend Gary Harrison who basically paid our way to get here. I'll be sure to post pictures as soon as I get home.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


My nephew celebrated his birthday at my home, followed by a session at the roller skating rink. It was nice to see him again, especially with his sister. If only they visited a little more often.


My niece visited my home for the first time in years. I was delighted to see her again and asked why she doesn't stop by more often. "I don't know," she said, "Ask my mom."

Dakota & Whitney

Dakota and Whitney posed well during their skating adventures, but McKenna spent all her time spending money at the concession stand. I hardly saw her until the very end.


I hadn't planned to skate either, but my other sister persuaded me to take a turn. I stumbled around the first couple laps, but in the end, I enjoyed myself immensely. I even did a couples skate with my daughter. Beautiful.


I hadn't planned to join the kids for roller skating, but Michelle talked me into it. "Just come hang out with me for a while," she said. That was persuasive enough for me. We took turns skating and taking pictures. By the way, the one photograph looks like she's dancing, but she was really trying to keep from falling down. Fun.

Kim & Trent

My sister and her husband hosted my nephew's birthday party at the roller skating rink. Sister looked like a kid again, but her husband looked like the devil. Hmmm... my brother-in-law the devil. Cute.


A brilliant moon was almost full in the clear night sky, casting a silver-white glow over all the earth. This photograph brings together four distinct colors: the deep blue of the sky, the red from the tail light of my car, the black trees, and the white snow. This photograph was taken some time around midnight on a time lapse exposure.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Inspired by the lunar eclipse, I continue to observe the heavenly beings as they move across the sky. When the sun began to set this evening, a magnificent display of color flashed above the earth. I had to stop several times, just to soak it all in and to get a few pictures.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

An eclipse of the moon reached totality during my night class at the community college. My students temporarily dropped their studies to go outside and appreciate the wonder of this rather rare event. Having planned ahead, I brought my tripod and photographed the eclipse as well as my camera would allow. After experimenting with various settings, I finally stopped taking pictures and just stood to watch. The craters of the moon were hauntingly beautiful under a blood red glow. The eclipse inspired me to offer thanks to the moon for her constant watchfulness over the world.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


My family recently gathered in Wellpinit to renew the world. When we emerged at the end, everything was bright again. I could literally feel warmth returning to the earth, and hear the sound of water melting from the trees.

When I was brushing my teeth, my nephew had to brush his teeth also. At one point, I wore a white bandanna on my head, and so he had to wear one too. Apparently, I have a little follower.

Valentine's Day

Love has a funny way of building us up, throwing us down, and then building us up again.

The night before Valentine's Day, I presented my wife with a bouquet of multi-colored roses. She was absolutely delighted, and rushed to put them in a vase. She confided that she had secretly hoped to receive roses that day.

In her excitement, she attempted to cut the stems with a fillet knife when the blade slipped and nearly sliced through her knuckle.

When I heard my kids hollering for me, I ran back to the kitchen to see my wife sitting on the floor and clenching her bleeding hand. She looked positively green, as though she might vomit at any moment. One look at the wound convinced me to take her to the hospital immediately.

We drove to the emergency room at Holy Family and managed to see a doctor right away. Rhonda hates knives and hates needles, but she got a little of both.

Strangely, we spent more time together in the ER than we would have spent at home. After the shock faded, we spent the rest of the evening laughing about her little mishap. Sometimes misfortune actually strengthens the bond of love between two people, especially when they find the humor in whatever situation life offers.

Even so, next year I'll give her chocolates. They're safer.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Prodigal


Kenny and Anthony this morning...

Ever since I was a young man, I loved the biblical story of the Prodigal Son. In my mind, the story offered the hope of redemption to all who go astray at one time or another.

For most of my life I misunderstood a key portion of the narrative. I always believed the story got its name because the wayward son made a prodigious or miraculous recovery from his reckless path. However, a few years back, I realized the true definition had nothing to do with miracles at all. A prodigal is not the same as a prodigy. In fact, a prodigal is someone who squanders resources and opportunities through riotous living. In that regard, the prodigal son of the Bible was so named because he wasted his father's inheritance. To be called a prodigal is not a compliment.

And yet, the prodigal son of the Bible did return to his father's household. He really did find forgiveness, and he really did encounter a miracle of transformation.

My mind is carried back to the biblical story because my son Anthony was released from jail at 5:30 this morning. Sadly, he looked much older and harder than I remember. As he resumes his life on the outside, I wonder which part of the story he will embody. Will he continue the same reckless path of wasted opportunities, or like the prodigal son of the Bible, will he come to his senses and seek reconciliation to all that is? He still has such a good heart. All possibilities reside within him, and only his choice will reveal the outcome.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Campaign Manager

Earlier this morning, I posted a photograph erroneously identified as Patti Solis Doyle, who resigned as Hillary Clinton's campaign manager. I used an MSNBC article to identify a Clinton aid I photographed in Spokane on Friday, but MSNBC announced the mistake a few moments ago:

"Because of a wire service error, a file photo that appeared briefly on this story incorrectly identified an aide to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton as Patti Solis Doyle, who is resigning as Clinton’s campaign manager."

The real Patti Solis Doyle can be seen at MSNBC, and to my knowledge, I did not see her during Clinton's Spokane visit. Accordingly, I removed the photograph from this blog. However, if you're curious, the woman I mistook as Patti Solis Doyle is visible to Hillary's right in the photographs below.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Caucus

Entering the caucus...

My precinct during the caucus...

For the first time in my life, I participated in a political caucus.

The process surprised me somewhat. Multiple precincts held their caucuses at the same location; in fact, they all happened in the same room. I expected to hear thoughtful debate between the various campaigns, but the room was so loud, we could hardly hear anything at all. We felt lucky to simply understand the instructions. I was also surprised to see so many of my neighbors and friends. I guess I never stopped to think how many others in this area share my values as a voter.

After everyone indicated a preference for candidate, I volunteered to tally the votes. I'm not sure if it's appropriate to give the results in my personal blog, but I can say our vote was a close reflection of the state-wide results announced a few hours ago on MSNBC. Whitworth University students voted en masse for Obama and greatly swayed the vote.

I will say I also voted for Obama.

As we began the process of choosing our delegates to the county convention, I really wanted to be chosen. There were only 66 members of our precinct present, and so I'm sure I could have gone if I pressed the issue, but the convention dates conflicted with other important dates in my schedule. As a result I deferred my vote to others.

The causes energized me. For the first time in my life, I felt like my vote really matters for something, even if I don't get to vote in the national convention. I had a real influence over people who will vote in my place.

In the end, my only disappointment was the fact both Hillary AND Obama chose to run at the same time. Under other circumstances, I would have been delighted to support either one, but now I have to choose. I know they've said they will never run together, but I honestly hope they do. This will be an historic occasion in this country no matter which one wins the nomination.


Hillary Clinton as she receives my card to sign.

Hillary's autograph.

Normally, I don't press for autographs, but I had gotten so close, I decided to ask. At first, Hillary didn't seem to notice me, but Toni Lodge was standing behind me and said, "Tell her, 'Thank you for supporting urban Indian health.'" Once again I acted without hesitation. I yelled exactly as Toni said, "Thank you for supporting urban Indian health!" That got her attention. In that precise moment, Hillary looked up and we shared a brief moment of eye contact. "Will you sign my card?" I asked. She took the card, signed it, then handed it back. "Thank you!" I called, but she had already turned her attention to the next person in the crowd.


At the end of Hillary's speech, I once again pressed forward to the barricade to get a closer view of the candidate. She slowly made her way around signing autographs, while the Secret Service scanned the crowd with dour expressions. As she approached, I was close enough to touch her, but of course, I wouldn't dare. I've not been much of a celebrity watcher in my life, but I was excited nonetheless to see someone famous up close.


After much electrified anticipation, the crowd burst into wild applause when Hillary Clinton made her entrance into the room. She was not my first pick for president, but I found myself carried by the wave of enthusiasm. Remarkably, she stood only 30 or 40 feet away on a raised platform.

After so many negative portrayals in the media, seeing Hillary in person changed my impression of her. She was elegant, poised, and commanding. There's no doubt in my mind that if she wins, she will be a strong and capable leader.

Of course, she addressed all the key themes of her campaign. She talked about creating universal health care, lowering the price of gasoline in the Inland Northwest, increasing Veteran's Administration benefits for our vets, decreasing the cost of education, and ending the insanity of the Iraq War. Whether or not I vote for Hillary in the caucus, I felt energized to know so many people in Spokane share my values as a voter. If she does get the nomination, I would be happy to support her.

No More Room

Hillary staffer sending the crowds away.

A friend waiting to get in.

I waited in line for more than an hour, and fully expected to get in, even as I realized many would not get the chance to see the former First Lady. When I had come less than 20 feet from the door, a Clinton staffer appeared with a bull horn to send people away. The fire marshal would only allow 700 people into the building, no matter how much the crowds protested. As a consolation, they offered to take people by shuttle to the Girls Scout building a few blocks away, where they would watch Hillary speak via closed-circuit television.

Many reluctantly agreed to remove to the overflow venue, while others simply wandered away, back to their homes and jobs. For my part, I decided to wait at the door. I pressed my way forward and waited for the crowds to clear. After another 30 or 40 minutes, four people exited the building and offered their spots to anyone nearby. A fireman then agreed and started counting heads. Without hesitating, I jumped forward and got in the door by the count of two.

If for no other reason, I was thrilled to get in and witness this historic event in person.


A reporter speaks with Hillary supporters.

Long lines wrapped several times around the West Central Community Center.

Lines began forming early around the West Central Community Center to see Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in her campaign stop to Spokane. The announcement of her visit came less than 24 hours before, but the event filled quickly. By the time the doors opened, thousands had arrived to catch a glimpse of the candidate.

A feeling of excitement filled the air among her supporters. One person I know spoke in whispered tones, "You know, I think she can really win." Others expressed their support with more vocal enthusiasm.

For my part, I tend to support Obama, but he did not make a personal stop in Spokane. I chose to participate in the Hillary event because I wanted to see the candidate, and not his or her surrogate. In the end, I will support the Democratic candidate, whoever that may be.


I took the picture some time last week when I went to see my friend Terry at Sacred Heart Medical Center. As it turns out, he was released a few minutes before, but I got this great picture. The snow was starting again in earnest. As the old people used to say, the snow covers everything in the past, so I can only take it as a good sign for Terry's recovery.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Long House

My extended family spent most of the day together at the Spokane Tribal Long House smoking meat in preparation for the upcoming winter dance. What a wonderful experience! We got a lot of work done and laughed the entire time.


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