My 13.5 Resolutions for the Year of AWESOME!!

Ahh New Years Day, my 245th favorite day of the year falling between March 15 and November 19.  Simply Magical.  This year to celebrate the arrival of my 245th favorite day of the year, I’ve decided to write a list of of the top 13.5 things I hope to accomplish in the upcoming year which I have dubbed the Year of AWESOME!!

Why 13.5 things? Well the answer is simple. I first took all the numbers in 2014 and added the together to get 7 then I multiplied by 4 to get 28 divided by pie (because it’s delicious) ending up with 8.917 since this a silly number I simply picked 13.5 out of a hat.

These resolutions/accomplishments appear in no particular order of accomplishment.

Number 13.5  Find a rock that looks like Abraham Lincoln.

English: Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth Presid...

I think it would be super neat to find a rock that looks like Lincoln. When I find this rock this year, I will build a special display case and proudly show my Lincoln rock to all those who visit my house.

Number 13.  Wear this hat more.


Simply because it’s an awesome hat and it will look really good with a pair of mirrored sunglasses and a glass of lemonade.

Number 12.  Run a 5k while wearing a cape.

Superman in North Dakota

Not enough people run wearing capes.  Bonus, the flapping of the cape makes you appear faster

Number 11.  Find out the true meaning of this saying.


Number 10:  Plant a garden containing the following vegetables:

English: Heirloom Tomatoes

English: Heirloom Tomatoes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Carrots, heirloom tomatoes (so I can tell all my friends they are heirloom quality), peas, okra (cause I have no idea what it is), kale, and sweet corn.

Number 9:  Spend more time dressed doing this:

Castelli Photo

Because coffee always tastes better while wearing spandex!!!

Number 8:  Memorize the Nicene Creed

Number 7: Spend more time climbing hills on my bike. 

Grant Ferguson, Dooleys Cycles

Hills are awesome and when you get to the top you get go back down and climb it all over again.

Number 6:  Build a bird house.  They need shelter too.

House Wren Bird House

Number 5:  Figure out once and for all if soy sauce is effective at replacing lost sodium while racing.

Would finally allow me to use the stack of soy sauce packets living in my fridge.

Number 4: Dance more.

My current dancing style needs a little work.  Although, my choice in dancing apparel is second to none.

Number 3:  Eat more Raisin Bran

Number 2:  Watch the sunrise while sitting on this seat.


Number 1: Work on becoming the person God desires me to be.


(This one may take a while)





(But don’t worry, I have help)










God Bless and Happy Year of AWESOME!!!


#%$ Four Letter Words

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris

Lately, I’ve been spending a whole lot time thinking about words.  There was the week I spent focused solely on the word juggle. Didn’t really come to any giant breakthrough on the word, but I did realize that my study of the word juggle is about as bad as my ability too juggle.

I also need to mention the two weeks spent working deep in thought on the word “is”.  Surprising thing about the word is is that it is used quite a bit in the English language and is what I consider one of the most understudied words.  I’m still working on my thesis for the word, but I don’t know where the file is.

Recently, the word can’t has come under my microscope and has been at the center of my study. I’ve taken a real personal interest in the word can’t because for so many years the words has kind of defined who I was and for that matter still defines who I am to this day.

This is a "thought bubble". It is an...

My study of can’t started innocently enough one evening while I was out on a walk.  As I strolled through the warm spring evening, listening to the frogs croaking and birds chirping I started thinking about the all the thing I can’t do.

The list of things I can’t do is much longer in than the list of things I can do.  There are plenty of thing I can’t do, like write an award winning book, I can’t dance, I can’t sing, I can’t be the husband my wife deserves, and I can’t be the father my daughter deserves.  I must admit, my study of this word left me feeling rather melancholy and on the verge of seriously reconsidering what I think about while out on walks.  Maybe I should start following baseball or something.

At the turnaround point in my walk, I was downtrodden, focusing only on the things in my life I can’t do when a momentary flash of brilliant light filled my eyes.  I’d like to believe that it was a sign from God telling me that all will work out in my life, but it turned out it was a delivery truck driver playing with his high beams.  That momentary blinding light forced me to look at the word can’t in an entirely different way.

If we look at the word, I mean really look at the word something becomes apparent.

Here take a quick look at the word in all it’s splendid glory….


It’s a very simple word.  Four letters and an apostrophe.  I bet you’re all thinking yeah so what four letters and an apostrophe who cares.  Now take a look at the word again, however this time really stare at it, look deep into to the word’s meaning and letters.  Look at it like two young lovers stare at each other when sharing a milkshake with two straws.


Now do you see what I see?  Of course you do, it’s the word can’t.  When we really look at the word and begin to dissect it the beauty of what this words means in our lives becomes revealed.  Read the first four letters, C-A-N..  Can is a nice enough word positive in attitude.  You can do it. and all that jazz.

It’s when you add that t the whole thing changes into a negative word implying a weakness or inability to do something or does it?  Hmmm you ask yourself where are you going with this.

Look at the t, now really look at it.  Does it remind you of something.  You see a lowercase t looks an awful like like a cross.  I know you could pick a font where it doesn’t but for the sake of this post it does.

Now if we see the words as I see the word the entire meaning changes.  See the word can’t as an opportunity for can, with the help of Christ, don’t view the t as a negative thing preventing you from doing what you want to do, but rather as a call to prayer.  A reminder that you need the help of God to live you life to the fullest.

All those can’t s in your life will slowly become cans through prayer and the help of God.  You see, alone I can’t be the husband my wife deserves, but with the help of God I can.  I can’t be the father my daughter deserves, I can.  I still can’t sing or dance, but with the help of God, well the jury is still out on this one, but you see my point.

Look at your own life for all those instances where you think you can’t and ask for God’s help.  You will soon find yourself accomplishing things that you have told yourself for years that you can’t.

Been one of those springs..

It has been a tough spring here in Minnesota, one of the tougher I can remember.  It’s the kind of spring that’s so tough to get through, boys as young a 8 are now growing beards because standing at the bus stop early in the cold mornings has toughened them up so much they now appear as grizzled mountain men.

Snow flake

I’ve hear rumors that spring will arrive and I can once again go outside without fear of losing an appendage to frost bite, but as of today they are just unconfirmed rumors.

My dog is as confused by the lack of spring weather as I am.  She is usually well into shedding her winter coat by now and evidence of her early molting can be seen on the carpet in the basement.  Thick tufts of hair are left behind from her midnight scratching sessions.  However, after going outside in last night’s snow storm I witnessed my dog head over to one of her shed piles and roll around in the lost hair in an attempt to regain the lost insulation.  It’s been that tough of a spring.

Don’t even get me started on the birds.  The poor little birds who when they began their migration all those weeks/months ago thought they would be ending up in springtime in Minnesota and not the frozen tundra that exists in their absence.  If one listens closely you can hear the female birds yelling at the male birds for making them leave so early.  It is as if they say “See I told you we should have waited until Fran and Herb left, but no we had to leave early to get the best nesting spot.”

I’ve watched more little birds this spring sit on the railing of my deck all puffed out trying to keep warm as snow flies sideways and pelts them in the beak.  Every snow fall this spring my wife has alway said “Those poor birds, we should really get out feeder set up.” to which I would usually reply with a “I ain’t going out there. It cold and snowing. Besides the birds are tougher than they look.”

Well, last weekend my wife arrived home with a small bag of bird seed which she and my daughter threw amongst the freshly fallen snow.  Soon enough our deck was full of small birds hopping too and fro picking up the spilled millet and seeds.  The once undisturbed snow quickly filled with the small birds tracks and discarded seeds.  Inspired by my wife, I even ventured out into the snow and hung up a full feeder for the birds.

A male Northern Flicker (or Yellow-shafted Fli...

I now sit watching two birds eating their fill at my feeder, and as they make a mess out my deck with their discarded seeds and such, Mathew 6:26 comes to mind “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?”

This verse often comes to my mind when I watch birds or hear birds throughout the summer.  It is that subtle reminder to me that God will take care of me and I am not supposed to fill myself with the angst and worry of the future.  Just as God feeds the birds, he will take care of His flock.

But as my feeder rocks back and forth in the chilly spring air a new meaning to this verse slowly permeates my thoughts.  I am reminded that while indeed God will feed the birds of the air, sometimes he asks his followers to help.  He asks all of us who follow Him to feed no only the birds, but also each other.  We need to take this to heart and in our daily lives remember this by offering help to those in needs, praying for those who have no one to pray for them, and offering a word of encouragement to those who are downtrodden.

I remember that spring will eventually come.  The eight year olds down the road will eventually shave their grizzly winter beards and my dog will fill the floors of my house with enough dog hair to stuff a queen sized pillow.  God will continue to care for and feed me, just as he cares for and feeds the birds.


I Crossed the Line.

I crossed the line.

Eventually, I knew it would happen.  The line had sat out there tempting me for years.  Every so often it would beckon to me softly.  Tempting me, daring me to cross it, but each time the line presented itself to me, I was able to resist the temptation.  That is until this past Saturday.

The day had started out like most other Saturday’s in my house.  A trip to the local coffee shop for a cup of freshly brewed coffee and some conversation.  Little did I know that as I sat and sipped on coffee cooled to the perfect drinking temperature and discussed future summer plans with friends that today was going to be the day.

Returning home from the coffee shop normalcy reigned supreme.  Housecleaning, a little internet surfing (I had to see how my favorite riders were prepping for the next days Paris-Roubaix race).  Little did I know I was mere hours from crossing the line, a line that once crossed there is no turning back from.

Josef Fischer

I dropped my daughter off at a birthday party and found myself with a few hours of alone time.  The wipers on the cars swished back and forth wiping the steady cold spring rain from my windshield.  I waited at the stoplight when I heard the line beckon.  It called my name, quietly at first and then growing louder with each rhythmic wipe of the wipers.  The car’s thermometer joined in when it chimed altering me to the near freezing conditions outside my car.  39 degrees and rainy lovely day.

When I returned to my empty house, before I realized what was even going on I was inching ever closer the line. A line I had resisted for years, offering excuse after excuse as to why I wouldn’t cross it.  But today I was inexplicably drawn to this mythical line a line I had successfully avoided for years.

I will admit it felt good to cross the line, it felt real good in fact, maybe a little too good.  Sweat began to drip from my forehead rolling down my wet face into my open eyes.  The stinging and burning making me feel alive.  Water rolled off my tires, spraying my back with a mixture of ice cold water and grit.  The cold spring air stinging my face, freezing my hand, and making me glad to be alive.

Every spring, when I’d see rain drops roll off my window, I always postpone my bike ride.  Preferring the comfort of my couch to the discomfort of the bike, but last Saturday I crossed the line and rode.  I rode a measly 22 miles, but it was pure bliss.  I was alive, I was on my bike, I was outside, I had crossed the line and had finally become a hard core cyclist.  No longer was I just the recreational cyclist who thoroughly enjoyed a Saturday ride.  I was the guy who despite the abysmal conditions threw my leg over the bike and began to pedal.

Riding in the spring rain had scared me for years.  It’s too cold, too wet.  My bike will melt, it’s not really a rain bike afterall.  Well guess what, bikes aren’t made out of sugar so they are okay to ride in the rain and as the miles ticked by I wasn’t as cold as I thought I’d be.  I wasn’t as wet as I thought I be, (turns out I was wetter, but that’s besides the point).  The entire ride wasn’t as scary as I thought it’d be. In fact, it has become one of my most cherished bike riding experiences ever.

Pavé under repair by Les Amis de Paris–Roubaix

We all have lines in our life that we need to cross every now and then.  We all put barriers up, whether it be a barrier to God or a barrier to our spouse.  Whatever the barrier is, our lives our full of lines.  Crossing those lines is scary, it leaves us vulnerable, exposed to the elements.

God call us all to a life of service and sometimes that service includes crossing a line or two.  It involves going out into the elements, exposed and vulnerable.  We need to remember that while God calls out into the elements.  He will never leave us alone.  He will provide shelter from the storm when it blows too hard, a charcoal fire to warm cold hands by, a cup of warm coffee and conversation to replenish your soul.

Look around your life, find the lines that need to be crossed and cross them. Do what God is calling you to do, be unafraid to live your life according to His will.  You may find that crossing a line isn’t as scary as you think it is.  It may just open up a whole new world of possibilities for you.

Under the Couch


I don’t know exactly why I did it, I just did.  I was laying on the floor listeningzto my daughter read me a story about a pig that talked and had magical farm land adventures.  The talking pigs adventures helped me to conjure up images found lost long ago in my youth.


The page turned and I was shown a picture of a pink pig wearing a straw hat. “See Daddy isn’t that funny?” my daughter said.


“Yes dear,” I said. “That is a very funny looking pig.”


I laid my head flat on the carpet and peered under the couch.  It was dark black and part of me still believed that monsters lived under there.  “Hey Dan,” a voice from my childhood echoed in my head. “I dare you to put your arm under the couch.”


Under the Couch“No way,” I said to myself “There are monsters under the couch and even if there aren’t any monster it is full of snakes and rats the size of bread boxes.”


“You live in Minnesota.” the voice shot back. “There are no snakes under the couch that’s the one and only benefit of living in a region that gets as cold as Minnesota.”


“Yeah but, I know there are snakes, rats and monsters under the couch. NO WAY I’m sticking my arm under there.”


“Trust me it’ll be okay,” the voice said.


“I can’t right now, I’m listening to a story.”


My daughter’s voice becoming louder in my ears, drowning out the sound of the voice in my head.  “The end.” She said. “Wasn’t that a great story?  Can I have a popsicle?”


I nodded my head yes and returned my attention to the dark scary space under the couch.  A space so filled with snakes and monster that only a person lacking sense and sensibilities would dare to stick their hand under there, let alone their entire arm.


“Trust me, stick your arm under the couch,” the voice said. “You have nothing to fear.”


“Will it make you shut up?” I asked.




I slowly moved my arm towards the vast darkness that lay before me.  My finger tips soon disappeared into the inky blackness.  I paused as I was convinced I felt the scales of a snake brush up against my finger tips.  Turns out it was only a misplaced hair brush.  I pushed my hand further into the vast darkness. Each inch that was swallowed up caused me to shiver and pause.  “I just know I’m going to lose my arm to a monster and get rabies from the rats and when I pull my rabies infested half arm out it’ll be full of snakes.” I thought to myself.


Inch my breathtaking inch my arm moved towards the back of the couch.  Soon my entire arm was under the couch.


Turns out there were no snakes, no monsters, no rats.  My arm, it turned out was okay and the voice in my head was right, I should have trusted.


As Pope Benedict XVI enters retirement I think there are many Catholics out there who are afraid of what is to come. Is this the end of the world as we know it?  Is this the start of the end times?  Has God abandoned His church?


I’ve heard or read many of these things over the past few weeks and at the end of the day they are nothing more than the snakes, rats, and monsters under my couch.  Barriers we place between ourselves and what God has intended His church.


English: VATICAN. With Pope Benedict XVI. Русс...

As we watch Benedict XVI enter into retirement we need to focus not on the snakes, rats and monster telling us to be afraid, but we need to listen to the Voice in our heads that says “Trust me, It’ll all be okay.”  We need to remember that God is in control and it will all be okay.  We needn’t fear what lies ahead because what lies ahead is God’s plan and that after all is what we need to trust in.






Free Book Thursday

If you are a procrastinator, like me, you just saved yourself some money because today  my book is available for free on amazon.


The book is about two missionaries and their adventures/misadventures they have while working on a potato farm in Northern Minnesota.  The book tackles many of the misconceptions of the Catholic Faith and does so with humor and honesty.

If you are looking for a fresh, yet faithful, approach to the Catholic Faith look no further than this book.  Besides if you get the book today you can’t beat the price.

The Offensive Catholic

I am pleased to announce that after months and months of work, my book, The Offensive Catholic, is finally available on  It is a little surreal to realize that I am a published author. Suddenly, I feel the need to walk around town wearing a tweed jacket with leather patches on the elbows.

The book is a revolutionary approach to apologetics.  The Offensive Catholic is a first person narrative where the narrator struggles to find his Faith while working as a missionary on a potato farm in Minnesota.  In this novel, I tackle many of the misconceptions about the Catholic Faith and through the use of conversation, humor, and the occasional bar fight the message of Christ shines through.  This novel offers a new spin on traditional apologetics.

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

The book is only available as a download for your Kindle. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle app for your Ipad/Iphone here.

Make plans to add The Offensive Catholic to your fall/winter list.  This book may just revolutionize the way you view the Catholic faith.

Amazon Link  The Offensive Catholic