Blue Spider's Coffee House

Truth, Love, Beauty and all things Virtuous



Why You Ramble, Nobody Knows

Rocky escaped again. Proving once again that nature doesn’t care who we are or what we deserve. Megan had called us at our hotel in Knoxville and I could overhear her describing to my wife how Rocky had escaped into our new neighbor’s backyard. It had been a while since Rocky’s last did this, which coincidentally also took place when we were out-of-town.  

I am still slightly befuddled over how he figured out where I had taken down the chicken wire to stain the fence. A few years back in an effort to stymie Rocky’s outbreaks, I had put up little sections of chicken wire over spots in our fence, which sits on hill, that had gaps between the fence and the dirt. Only recently did I take down a few sections to stain the fence. Sure enough, Rocky found those unprotected spots. 

You would think for a dog that was on the cusp of turning 11 years old (at least 70 years old in doggy years) that he’d no longer be interested in going through all that work to escape. But, age does not seem to be a deterrent. Escaping is his jam and always will be. The only saving grace to his running away is that he is not very good at it. Rocky loves people and thinks everyone loves him back equally. So, when he escapes he often ends up in other people’s houses, mostly our neighbors. The other thing is if you are fortunate enough to catch him on the run and you happen to have a half a kielbasa, recently cooked bacon, or duck treats in your hand, your chances of catching him are almost 100%. 

For sure, Rocky does not have a moral compass. It’s hard to know what is right or wrong when you are primarily driven by your instincts and desires. But, I’ve made peace with Rocky’s inclination to escape. I think we both realize it’s hard to find the perfect friend, but having a good friend will do.

Spiritual Whirlwinds: When All Things Are In Commotion

Chucklehead sees the Sunset at Tahoe

Lake Tahoe at sunset

Chucklehead strikes again. In the hustle and bustle of last week, I overbooked our Saturday and created one big bottleneck of happenstance. In the excitement of finally learning to tie down the kayaks on to the roof of our car last week, I invited some friends to go kayaking with us on Saturday forgetting Bailey and Carly we’re coming to visit for my birthday on Saturday. Also, earlier in the week, we had promised to take care of my wife’s grandkids. All of these commitments were made sincerely and were not idly made this time, which is my typical MO being the respectable cur that I am. It turns out fortune would smile down on me…again.

When our friends texted that they were excited to go kayaking, I had to put on my big boy pants (a phrase I have trouble using now because I have a co-worker who lately has taken to overusing that phrase, which I gotta say if you feel like you have little boy pants on it’s not other people’s duty to put on your pair of big boy pants for you. There, I said what everyone else has been thinking at work). It was time to face the hard truth and shamelessly have my wife text back about what a fool I am. We did, however, earnestly make a date for kayaking later on this month.

It turns out Bailey and Carly woke up late and left Grass Valley even later than had been planned So that meant changing plans. Changing them to what? I did not know. I would be winging it once more. Even though I have refused to acknowledge it in the past, I too have faults, and it was becoming apparent yesterday that planning is not my strong suit, which is funny because I have a Mother who lives for planning and is famous for the magic powers of her planning hands, but that and my subsequent psychological damage from excessive planning is for another day, another blog entry. (Just kidding, Mom).

The girls arrived at about 3pm. We hugged, laughed, cried (mostly on the inside) and decided to go up to Lake Tahoe. With that settled, I was onto the serious task of putting the kayaks on the roof again. I have to say I was incredibly efficient getting those kayaks on the Toyota’s roof. I think I am ready for my own prime time how-to video. With the kayaks all secured, we rushed everyone into the car and were off like a bat out of hell to Lake Tahoe and Sand Harbor, praying all the while that the kayaks would not fly off during any part of our drive. Thank goodness, nothing did go wrong. We arrived at Sand Harbor but right away, in my excitement to take charge, I took the turn that leads out of the park. So once again we had to enter the park, but wisely this time I choose not to take the road out of the park but correctly choose the road to the loading/unloading area.

As we were trying to find a spot on the beach that was both close to the water and the beach according to my wife’s orders, I heard a “Hello Hansens”. And you’ll never guess who it was, our friends who we had to cancel on earlier. Well, I say now, wasn’t that a good stroke of luck. Friends and family at the same beach. A twofer!

Tammy and the girls and I all took turns kayaking around the Sand Harbor area. And then as that lucky ol’ sun was about to set we went out with our friends and enjoyed the incredible view of Tahoe, the mountains, the curious cloud formations and the sunset. As if it was all orchestrated just for me, chucklehead extraordinaire, I could hear nature’s silent anthem to the free, feeling a little redemption for my past errors.

If that wasn’t good enough, unbeknownst to me, I had unintentionally fulfilled a wish of my wife’s of being out on the Lake when the sun is setting. Talk about luck, all in the same day I was a good friend, Dad, and husband. Rarely to do the stars align like that. My cup runneth over. I guess everything is blessed in some way, or at least I hope that is true because I am 100% certain I have more stuff to mess up.

Gettin’ Me Some Character and Mr. Immanuel Kant


Since I lack quite a bit in character, I thought quotes these would be a good start on gettin’ some character and gettin’ me in the right direction after all these years of misdirection.

While intellect may be a gift of God or ancestral pedigree, our character is man-made and the fruit of personal exertion…Our character is produced from the crucible of human experience. The forging process removes impurities and tempers and shapes us so that we might realize the measure of our creation.”

-J. Richard Clarke

No doubt it is a good and desirable thing to have intelligence, sagacity, judgment, and other intellectual gifts, by whatever name they may be called; it is also good and desirable in many respects to possess by nature such qualities as courage, resolution, and perseverance, but all these gifts of nature may be in the highest degree pernicious and hurtful if the will which directs them, or what is called character is not itself good.

-Immanuel Kant

Self-Discipline and the Capacity to Be Alive

“Self-discipline can keep us sensitive to others, whereas hedonism and pleasure-seeking rob us of our capacity to feel and to empathize. If we care about our capacity to feel for people, for beauty, for life, for nature, then we impose a self-discipline upon ourselves to keep that capacity alive…. Without individual reform there can be no societal reform.”–Neal A. Maxwell, A Time To Choose, pp.26-27.

“The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”–Samuel Johnson

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