gentry13

Archive for April, 2008|Monthly archive page

In Uncategorized on April 29, 2008 at 9:15 pm

almost makes me miss home

ht: the sports guy

In Uncategorized on April 29, 2008 at 1:44 pm

mid-morning time waster

if you’re having a rough day at work or just hate your job in general, stop by mcsweeney’s and leaf through their interviews with people who have interesting or unusual jobs feature.

for my part, i found the interviews that discussed the secrets joys of whippets in the pump room, country crock receptacles and the ethical distinctions between band-aids and pasties quite entertaining.

if you’re completely satisfied with your chosen profession and ethically abstain from surfing the net at work there is no reason for you to explore this quirky column. i hope that the rest of you read a few and share your reflections below.

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2008 at 11:42 am

file under: inevitability

welcome to gloucester mrs. jesse james.

In Uncategorized on April 17, 2008 at 5:11 pm

don’t paw at me with your dirty little guild

for many years, the goddard library and the s.h.i.t. campus have stood in my imagination as grave markers that announced the death of my long abandoned academic aspirations and served as an impediment to my developing social conscience and resultant activism.

however, as i grind my last exegesis paper out of my arse and prepare to graduate in absentia on saturday, may 10th, i am obliged to report that, however unexpectedly, i have once again found myself at home within the dusty stacks of the s.h.i.t. library. in the late summer of 2000 i was borne into the library upon the waves of intellectual arrogance and half-formed hopes of joining the theological guild. now, as i leave the library and am washed upon the north shore, i do so as an intellectually humbled, dedicated churchman who is more intimately acquainted with my ignorance than any intellectual subject and whose ambition simply to serve.

i realize and repent of the fact that in years past the library was nothing more than a brick with which i hoped to build my own pathetic little kingdom. as i move forward, i intend to stumble through the bowels of goddard in search of towels with which to serve.

In Uncategorized on April 17, 2008 at 2:09 am

the gathering welcomes: will sampson

hey all, on monday, april 28th at 7 pm will sampson will be stopping by the gathering to discuss how we can pursue justice in the midst of our ordinary lives. this discussion is sure to be engaging, relatively open ended and absolutely free.

this discussion evening is a part of the two dollars a day event that is being co-hosted by boston’s emergent cohort and the crossing community in downtown boston.

if you have questions about this event, please feel free to contact me directly at gentry13ATgmail.com. for more info on the two dollars a day event, check out the cohort website.

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm

A True Fan?
Submitted by: Slowfo

I couldn’t help but laugh as I read this weekend’s story about a Red Sox fan/construction worker who tried to “curse” the new Yankee stadium by burying a David Ortiz jersey in the freshly poured concrete of the new Yankee Stadium. Although as I lifelong Orioles fan I am also a card carrying Yankee hater, I have noticed lately that there seems to be a lot more loud-mouthed Red Sox fans these days than I remember growing up in the eighties. Why? You know why…..bandwagon-jumpers. Love ’em or hate ’em, bandwagon-jumpers are a reality of the sports world. And it begs the question, “Who is a true fan?”

I have to point out that if you’re reading this and you’ve been an avid Red Sox fan for 15+ years, kudos to you. You’ve seen your team suck and have ridden the low points to now enjoy the victor’s spoils. Yankee fan’s bravado however is laughable. I don’t ever want to hear a Yankee describe themselves as a “true Yankees fan.” No such thing. What does that mean anyway? That their fandom has stretched all the way through their century of winning and world championships?? Wow…….impressive. You’ve really got character Yankee fan. Tell ya what, when you’ve suffered through ten-plus years of no post-season, then come talk to me. Better yet, since you guys have won so much and to balance things out better, wait until you’ve not even sniffed a World Series for a century and then we’ll talk. Cubs fans have earned my respect for sticking with a team that has shown such ineptitude for so long (or maybe that feeling I’ve got is pity for their stupidity?).

On the flip side, I hear reports that long-suffering Red Sox fans are arrogantly upset about their own new fans that have cropped up in the last two years causing them to scream, “Where were you back when this team needed you?!” (which is actually not unlike some snooty Christians and their disdain over “Christmas and Easter” church-goers – but that’s another story altogether). You Bostonians who read this blog can attest to whether or not these reports are valid.

All of this I present to you, dear reader. What is the definition of a “true fan?” Does it matter how long a person has followed a team whether it be weeks or decades? Should bandwagon-jumpers be held accountable as the sports-following whores that they really are? And lastly, does anyone know a way that we can sneak into the new Yankee Stadium for our own personal desecration of what will be the new Yankee clubhouse?

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2008 at 6:26 pm

In Praise of Bureaucracy. An Inside Look at the FAA Inspired Crisis at AA

Editor’s Note: I realize this blog doesn’t usually cover airline affairs. However, I have had a number of conversations about the recent maintenance related groundings at AA, the pix & p had to reroute their trip on account of cancellations and this topic is all over the news. So when a friend of the family who works in a management role at AA recently sent me this harangue concerning the crisis, I thought it’d be interesting to post. I realize that the post does not strive for objectivity and overuses capitalizations and ellipses. But I can vouch for the competency of the source and thought you might like to hear an informed perspective on AA’s recent trials.


“As you may or may not know I work for American Airlines on the MD-80’s here in Tulsa. I was directly involved with sending mechanics all around the country trying to make the FAA happy. My own MD-80 in the dock was also up for their inspection and was it a trial and tribulation in hypocrisy. I am now so disillusioned with the FAA. I had always had a somewhat positive attitude for them because of what they have to do. Theirs in undoubtedly a daunting task. But after this last bureaucratic mess I am now convinced their leadership and the inspectors on the airplanes have a fantastic degree in bureaucracy and most likely have never even changed spark plugs in their car let alone know about the silver thing with wings and the round thingies in back that are loud. Yes, there are excellent employees in the FAA and do a great job because they have common sense. Not this leadership group.


You cannot believe the idiocy we had to put up with. THIS WAS NEVER A SAFETY OR FLIGHT issue…..but basically how many tie wraps and washers there were and were they in the correct place. Total stupidity. I would have flown any of them with my granddaughter! As an example, we would get the FAA to sign off on an airplane in Dallas and as soon as it would get to Chicago another FAA inspector would ground the airplane that the job was not correct. This info came from a mechanic from my dock out in the field…..not hearsay. Because they got burned with Southwest they go after AA. They have no one to blame but themselves for not listening to those out in the field. What a crying shame the money lost, jobs in jeopardy, our customers so inconvenienced, the slander they put out or implied (we helped them write the original Airworthiness Directive because they don’t know enough about the airplane)……………yet they don’t care what overseas maintenance facilities do to our airplanes. These wires are connected to a hydraulic unit that is USED ONLY ON THE GROUND to get pressure for the brakes before engine start….not in the air.

Their priorities are skewed because of the butt chewing they are getting from Congress………….good. If they would ever really work with the airlines instead of trying to see what havoc they can cause maybe they could be a partner. But no, they are the FAA and know it all. BS. They are in it to move up the ladder all the while we lose 10’s of millions of dollars, PR problems to last for years, while they sit back in their offices toasting each other on how they got ‘American’. Congratulations Southwest Region FAA. Pat yourself on the back. Job well done for a bureaucrat. Good god, you must be so proud.

AA was only one of two airlines that did not go into bankruptcy (Southwest the other) in the last few years. Three airlines went out of business last week and another into bankruptcy Friday. The airline business takes an enormous amount of money to run, to but parts, and all these upstarts don’t have a clue what it really takes. So we must be doing something, actually a hell of lot of things correct. The amount of money we spend on our maintenance is nothing short of staggering. Did you know the most junior mechanic can keep a jet form flying if he/she is concerned about an issue? I personally have not allowed a jet to be put into service until some additional items were reconfirmed. We take safety as the #1 PRIORITY. We have so many checks and balances……… Check with the others. Ever since I have been at American I really don’t see how we do it. While, you can see by the Wall Street Journal article below the FAA is in for yet another PR debacle when even an outsider can see their never ending faults. I now really wonder, traffic delays, the Hoover law, understaffed control towers, the air traffic control system behind the times……….what really do they do right????? They always want accountability…………….who is watching those that watch us! Yes, the FAA will put a dandy spin on this. I can hardly wait to see it.

These are my own thoughts and I do not represent AA but there are a bunch of us who are just fit to be tied over this. We take our job VERY seriously. Remember, we and our families, like my granddaughter, fly these birds also.”

In Uncategorized on April 11, 2008 at 10:22 pm

musing…

as many of your know, i regularly have the privilege of assisting and accompanying individuals with significant physical and intellectual disabilities as they take their first steps out of high school sped programs and step into the world of competitive employment. i don’t claim to be a perfect advocate for my clients, but i pour a lot of myself into my work, i have helped a number of clients achieve better employment outcomes than they would have likely achieved without me and i revel in my client’s success. so please keep the former paragraph in mind as you read the following gross generalization.

family is the greatest disability.

over the past year i have worked with a number of parents who through their love, support, chiding and encouragement have empowered their children to transform their limited skills into an effective means of serving their employer, community, family and selves well. however, more often than i would like to admit, i have run into families who have used their adult children as a ssi funded atm card, protected them from the risk that accompanies almost every success and seemingly expected everyone but themselves to guide their children into personal maturity and social responsibility.

now that i’ve stepped in it, i’d like to affirm that, fortunately, the majority of my client’s parents, guardian’s and support teams are incredibly supportive. moreover, i didn’t pen this post in order to harangue the failures of families who have been dealt a difficult hand.

rather, a i reflect on the often fractured nature of of the families of my clients, colleagues and myself, i cannot help but wonder what the church is doing to help members develop healthy families that can be characterized by such virtues as service, fidelity, fiscal responsibility, integrity and commitment to city, town and neighbor. i don’t know about you, but in the churches i grew up in, and not a few of those that i have attended and, yes, helped lead since, we have vigilantly sought to “protect” the family from perceived threats such as homosexuality, evolutionary theory, drugs,* democrats, “welfare queens” and darker skinned aliens** and neighbors. however, in the midst of our defensive posture we have also too often failed to proactively and comprehensively address the internal poisons that plague so many families and, ultimately, produce these catastrophic disabilities that are so.damn.difficult to remedy.

a month or so ago a close friend said that she thought the church should offer classes on curtailing the gossip that so easily entangles our tongues and damages so many lives. i really think she is onto something. shouldn’t our faith communities also be offering innovative and integrative education and accompaniment concerning topics such as interpersonal conflict, anger, infidelity, money management,*** sustainable living, substance abuse, employment assistance, child rearing, etc?

as much as i love preaching Scripture and leading people in a roughly expository way through the teachings of the Judeo-Christian faith, i don’t think that occasionally preaching through series such as “extreme money makeover!” is going to cut it. instead, i suspect that we’re going to have to completely rethink our past educational approaches and create more holistic learning environments if we are going to replace the nasty generalization i typed**** above with a more positive statement such as:

family is the greatest incubator, encourager and sustainer of ability.

please take everything i’ve said above with a grain of salt. i’m often quick to generalize and i’m also bit of an asshole. i’ve also spent the past twenty minutes thinking about the horrendous denkinger call that crippled the ’85 cardinals and saddled the baseball universe with an undeserving champion. the latter thoughts have left me somewhat less sanguine than usual.

* not hugs.
** side note: we seriously need to reconsider what Scripture has to say about the orientation of our communities to this group.
*** i realize that many churches already tackle this topic head on, and that’s great. however, i don’t think a community
can provide enough resources in this area.
**** with some measure of fear and trembling.

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2008 at 7:47 pm

“Mind His L’il Fontanel”
submitted by: slowfo

Fontanel….that’s the best analogy I can think of to describe this part of my Jesus faith (and if you don’t recognize the title quote, run, don’t walk to your nearest Blockbuster and rent Raising Arizona). It’s a soft spot….not very well protected. John the Baptist is my fontanel. I don’t get him mostly because JtB is not a Jesus follower. Literally. And logic tells me that he should have been.

Sure, he publicly introduced Jesus as the Messiah who takes away the sin of the world, baptized Jesus (altho‘ he felt it more appropriate that Jesus should really be doing the baptizing), saw the dove descend and heard the voice of the Father acknowledging Jesus as His son (and shouldn’t that have been enough?!?), but JtB didn’t follow. He kept doing his own thing. JtB exclaimed that he must become less and Jesus greater, but we don’t see anywhere that JtB ever encouraged his own followers to follow Jesus (Andrew voluntarily chose to leave John and follow Jesus). I can actually stomach that later JtB questions whether Jesus really is the Messiah from prison – prison life might make anyone a little delusional.

But if my entire career had been pointing toward one history-defining moment when the true Master would takeover and live, breathe, and speak the words of the one and only God of the universe to humanity, I think I’d probably drop everything and follow Him, wouldn’t you? And I’d for sure tell everyone else to follow Him. Geez, the last thing I want to be is Jesus Christ’s competitor on the speaking circuit. Getting Jesus a little peeved with me because my show is pulling viewers from His is not my idea of fun.

My only conclusion I’ve come to is that John was just another voice preaching repentance – but what kind of repentance did he preach after he kicked off Jesus’ ministry? Was it repentance through Jesus? If so, then JtB should have naturally at least suggested (let alone maybe he should have been commanding it) that those who repent should follow Jesus. But I don’t see that in the Bible. I’ve got a pretty good foundation to following Jesus myself….I just have this one, vulnerable soft spot.

P.S. My favorite new environmentally-friendly website is http://www.unscrewamerica.org. Check it out. It’s kinda fun.

In Uncategorized on April 9, 2008 at 1:37 pm

it is appointed

tempest shrieks
anchor’s cut
sails raised
and torn

cast about
breathing mouth
jagged rocks
welcoming shore

%d bloggers like this: