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Alcatraz and Sidewalk Chalk

Alcatraz and Sidewalk Chalk

The other day my son Keating came home from school and asked,

“Dad, who is your favorite prisoner held at Alcatraz?”

You know…I don’t know.  I have not once in my life given any meaningful thought about the prisoners once held there, let alone which one is my favorite.  I know vaguely that a few escaped and may have drowned…maybe…or may have lived the rest of their lives in secrecy and hiding…but I couldn’t tell you their names.

I knew that likely some infamous people in history ended up serving time there…but who they are, and who my favorite is out of all of them?  Zero idea.

Navigating Coffee and Prayer

Navigating Coffee and Prayer

For years I described myself as a coffee lover.  I would put it in my bio, I would talk about it when I met people, I would ask people about great local coffee shops, and I would buy lots of different coffee accessories for my at home coffee setup.  

And by coffee accessories, I mean syrups and stir sticks, a milk frother and collectible coffee cups.

As time went on, I kept on consuming copious amounts of coffee, but when I would start to visit with others who also said they loved coffee…I realized they knew way more than I did.

They could identify flavors and notes.

They would go to great lengths to buy fancy beans from exotic locations.

They would pick up subtleties in the unique coffee that I just couldn’t identify.

I thought I loved coffee…but I just really liked coffee and caffeine.  I was a young dad, working full time, and in seminary.  Coffee was more about survival than enjoyment.  

Talking With

Talking With

There is a sushi restaurant I really like that was recommended by a friend of mine.  When we went my friend started ordering things that weren’t on the menu and asking about other things that weren’t listed.  Now, I am super outgoing and can make conversation with a chair, but I also hate to inconvenience someone by asking unnecessary things.  I never want to be…”that guy”…I just let him ask all the questions and sat back.

When the rolls he ordered showed up, the food my friend ordered was unbelievable.  

A Conversation Followup

A Conversation Followup

In our family, we are a bunch of outgoing gregarious extroverts.  We will talk to just about anyone anywhere.  Recently we were in Washington, D.C. waiting to go on a tour of The White House and my son, Foster, noticing the very serious Secret Service member who was built like an Irish Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and looked about as warm and cuddly as a an avalanche, was struggling with the identification scanner and corresponding computer.  Foster noticed that this guy who was built and outfitted for the field and yet here he was hunched over a tablet corralling lines of people and trying to get them checked in for their tour.  

He was not loving it.

With this security guard deep in IT frustration, Foster says, “excuse me Mr. Secret Service, sir.”

In which Sarah and I immediately tapped the brakes and told Foster to wait…“Mr. Secret Service is very busy”…and I didn’t want to lose my place in line…