1. My wife found the best birthday present I think I’ve ever gotten. An early sixties Sears Silvertone Stero Phonograph Console. It’s beautiful and sounds incredible. And it was cheaper than the cheap record player I found on Amazon.

2. I’ve been reading a lot of Billy Collins at work. Best job ever.

3. I wish I liked the ballpark more than I do. But it’s so messed up. Some kindness is found there but there’s a seriousness about it I can’t get me head around.

4. Wendell Berry is best read slow.

5. When I was a youth pastor I told some of my students, “I don’t give a damn about bad language. Your faith is shown when you are kind to your siblings and the unpopular lonely kid.” Having that kid now, makes me glad I took the risk of saying that. Because middle school girls are mean.

6. I just listened to Clapton for the first time in years. His Robert Johnson album is vinyl worthy.

7. I love the leaves on the ground, even though I know I’ll labor to pick them up. The grandeur is worth the energy required.

8. The only Presidential candidate worth listening to on gun control is the one willing to go without the protection of them. If the powerful think they should have them but the ordinary citizen shouldn’t, we have crossed over into an elitism that says protection by guns is for only the important and powerful. I don’t like guns. I don’t own one. Don’t plan on it. But this kind of thinking is very illiberal and will only increase the kind of violence we all hate.

9. Last night I looked over at my wife in her St Louis Cardinals shirt and was filled with gratitude for her smarts.

10. One of the cool things about my job is that I get to talk to people who do what I did for 4 years. I was looking for kindness in a dark place that whole time. Now I get to…have to be kind to the ones I talk with all day long, knowing how hard the work is.

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