Futures, Churches and Casino Cash

We are fresh back from our Thanksgiving trip.

It was  a good time with family and we were able to help celebrate my in-laws 60th wedding anniversary.

My in-laws have a wonderful legacy of family.  The future is well represented.

60th

I should add the trip was even more enjoyable because Amy and I managed to snag a few shekels at a casino as we were saying goodbye to Oklahoma.

Casino win - Michael Main

It’s been a long time since we’ve been to Oklahoma.   I noticed a lot of changes.   Foremost, it’s much quicker getting there these days with speed limits above 55 miles an hour.   We made the trip in a little more than 8 hours.   It was longer on the way back, but there was rain and…well, a casino stop.

While in Oklahoma, I managed to get in some hikes and long walks before the weather turned wet.  There wasn’t as much fall foliage, but there were some nice spots.

path oklahoma

 

geese - Michael Main

One change I noticed on our drive into the state were the churches.   Small towns once  pockmarked with various churches boasting of their affiliations with Baptists, Protestants, Methodists and the like now have houses of worship with nebulous names like Fusion church, Life church, Faith church, Frontline church.  I suppose it’s an attempt to appeal to younger folks.   My brother-in-law, who pastors a church in Ohio, says he’s heard of an inner city  church that’s changing names to “Dat Church.

I’m out of touch with the times.  I find it odd that ignoring the past is a strategy to embrace the future.

 

Posted by Michael Main

Eyes on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving week.   We’ll be doing a little traveling and leaving our house and Abby in the care of our renter.  She may give me the evil eye for that decision.

Abby Main - Michael Main

Roadtripping along I-35 over Thanksgiving is always an adventure, but I’m trying to stay optimistic.

I’m hoping a proper attitude will  open my eyes to a sense of wonderment.

outside - Michael Main

If nothing else,  I’ll be thankful for a minimal number of eye-popping traffic jams.

Posted by Michael Main

Sure foot sore foot

I hit my goal this week.

50 mile goal

Abby and I walked 50 miles.    We had to squeeze in about 9 miles this morning to make it, so we ventured down a portion of an as yet unopened part of the Salado Creek Greenway which took us to Walker Ranch Park.

The park features a unique footbridge.  It will test your faith in engineering. It feels like you’re walking in a bounce house when you cross.

walker ranch footbridge

Abby was less than thrilled with it.

Distrusting dog

By the time we made it back to the car, both of us were hobbling a bit.

Sometimes you have to feel a little pain to achieve your goals.    At least that’s what I’m telling Abby.

 

Posted by Michael Main

Oh Deer, Michael’s Job Journey

Getting a deer to pose for a still life portrait is tough.
Deer - Salado Creek

Okay, I’ve been playing around with a photo editor and some recent shots I took while walking along the Salado Creek Greenway.   Abby and I have logged about 40 miles so far this week with a goal of 50.

We  don’t walk alone, we’re accompanied by a lot of deer.

 

 

Deer Greenway
The deer make the morning walks interesting and amusing.   They’re entertaining to observe, but I’ve also had to harness Abby so she stops trying to chase them.

Salado Creek Greenway Deer - Michael Main

My job search seems a bit restrained as well.   I fear as the holidays approach, hiring managers will put off their decisions.

Enhanced Salado Creek Greenway image - Michael Main

I suppose I’ll keep trying to amuse myself during this process, although I wish I had the option of  putting my expectations through a photo editor too.

 

Posted by Michael Main

Redeeming Storms

Deadspin has published more details about Greg Hardy and photos of the woman he’s been accused of savagely beating.    They are disturbing.

Hardy is a member of the Dallas Cowboys, a team I have been a supporter of for more years than I’d care to admit.  After his arrest for what’s described as a maniacal assault on his girlfriend, Hardy served a lengthy suspension from the NFL.

He was also criminally convicted, but that case was overturned on appeal.  The charges have not been pursued again.    Hardy was paid millions of dollars while suspended. There’s a school of thought some of those NFL shekels helped convince his victim to be less than cooperative with authorities.

I follow the Cowboys, but I’m not a stat-obsessed NFL devotee.  I had never heard of Hardy until the Cowboys were considering signing him.

At that time, I didn’t know the specific details of his case, but I knew he was legally in the clear.

I thought about redemption.

I’ve been through stormy times in my life.   Certainly nothing on the scale of Hardy, but I’ve tested the patience and faith of more than a few folks. I’ve been grateful for forgiveness and grace.

Marblehead lighthouse - Michael Main

Personal reclamation is usually a messy process which often must germinate in our murkiest moments.   I can show you scars.

Although there was a lot of carping about Dallas signing Hardy, I thought he should be given the chance to show he isn’t a woman-beating  madman.

I believe in redemption.

I didn’t want to rush to judgment.

I was wrong.

There’s another requirement for redemption:  you have to want it.

There’s no indication that is the case when it comes to Hardy.  He’s continued to be a steroid-suspected nutter both on and off the field.

The only thing positive Hardy has done since signing with Dallas is sack quarterbacks prompting Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones to anoint him a “team leader.” Jones seems eager to sign him to a long-term contract extension.

I believe in redemption.

That’s not redemption.

That’s enabling.

 

 

 

Posted by Michael Main

A Walk Through the Fog

Tuesday’s morning stroll took Abby and me along one of our usual routes including the Morningstar boardwalk.  It runs for about 3/4 of a mile between San Antonio’s Lady Bird Johnson and McAllister Parks.

Salado Creek boardwalk - Michael Main

The boardwalk is named in honor of Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Morningstar, a San Antonio soldier killed in Iraq in 2006.

Morningstar Boardwalk - Michael Main

I find it a good place to walk and think about losses of the past and the course ahead.

It’s apropos these days with so much uncertainty regarding my career/job/life of sloth.

On Tuesday, the boardwalk was draped in a visibility-hindering mist.  I could only see the immediate path ahead.   We walked on without much thought.  It’s not like I didn’t know where we were going.

The balance of experience and faith comes in handy.

Boardwalk in fog

Especially if you find yourself walking through one of life’s metaphors.

 

 

              Posted by Michael Main

Michael Main Bing bombing

Hi,  I’m Michael Main and I’m an egosurfer.

I suppose I could claim that I was checking the search engine optimization of MichaelMain.com, but – considering this website is only read by me – I don’t find it too embarrassing to divulge a bit of blatant digital narcissism.

I put my name, Michael Main, into search engines to see where I rank.

The results show it’s still a six-page slog on Google before anyone would find this website, but I was agreeably astonished by the new high-ranking on Bing.

MichaelMain.com on Bing - Michael Main

Yes, my friends,  MichaelMain.com is number three!  That’s not bad for a website that didn’t exist a couple of months ago.

I’m sure my previous post pointing out the many other people named Michael Main didn’t manipulate the rankings at all.

I, Michael Main,  would like to thank Bing for its’ algorithmic wisdom.

 

 

The Swirling Salado Creek Greenway Vortex

Miss Abby and I explored some new portions of the Salado Creek Greenway today.

I opted to take a different route than usual because of the recent rains in San Antonio which have flooded out portions of our regular trek.

Salado Creek Boardwalk Flooding

Today we started out near McAllister Park and walked along a fairly new segment of the greenway that purports to connect to Walker Ranch Park which we have never visited.    That statement still holds true.  We didn’t visit it today.  We didn’t get that far.

It turns out the greenway connection is not yet officially completed.

That wasn’t what actually stopped us.

I ignored the signs saying, “No pedestrians, bikes, motor vehicles, UFO’s, etc.” and marched right past.

So did Abby, she’s a rebel.

We strolled down an obviously temporary asphalt path without incident.   A half mile or so along the way I could see what looked like a much more finished section of trail ahead.

We didn’t get there.

Abby was reluctant to cross a slightly flooded spillway.    This is atypical for Abby.  The water wasn’t that deep and she doesn’t normally object to getting her feet wet.

Abby floodwaters - Michael Main

This time, however,  she stopped, dug in and was adamantly not going to proceed.  It was obvious if I wanted her to keep going forward I would have to hope something powered by a jet engine and shooting fireworks came up behind us.

She was freaking out as a result of the sound of rushing water on the spillway and the sight of a large swirling vortex of liquid next to us that appeared to be swallowing humanity and sucking it into the netherworld.

Salado Creek Greenway - Flooding - Michael Main

I took Abby’s counsel and we turned around.