Sunday Snapshots

I cleaned this week; picture opportunities seldom presented themselves.

That said, here’s a glimpse of my non-cleaning activities:



signed last will bryn greenwoodI rediscovered my signed copy of Last Will by Bryn Greenwood.



amazing maurice educated rodents coverAnother package arrived, this one bearing The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett.




german coffee
This German coffee powered most activities this week.



last piece of pie july 2015
This was the last piece of pie [with more of that German coffee].




haircut july 2015
I got a haircut for the first time in three months.
This is the “after” picture; I think I accidentally deleted the “before” picture.



steering wheel

In addition to cleaning, our church’s Vacation Bible School took up most evenings.
This was my view for a good hour – or more – each night.



vbs script 2015
I took part in the skit each night; here’s a glimpse of one of the scripts.



lion head or holy grail
This decoration supposed to portray a lion.
I can’t help but see the Holy Grail surrounded by rays of light.



Coffee and the Holy Grail
Obviously, the Grail contains coffee.



What did you do this week?



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Renovation: Grail Edition

Fame came too quickly. I had only been semi-seriously blogging for two months when I got the email:

Hiya Jay,

Dust off the welcome mat and get ready to welcome some new readers — we’ve picked your post ( ) to feature on Freshly Pressed on!

We found your post very funny – it had a nice, well paced buildup of detail which can be appreciated by Monty Python fans and non-fans alike. We thought it was a great read and think the rest of the community will agree — we’re really looking forward to the discussion that comes out of it, and are glad we can give it (and you) some more exposure.

–          Ben Huberman

Indeed, I received a lot of exposure, but I didn’t know what to do with it. I had followers and readers, even a few I actually connected with, but I had nothing to say. My featured post was a listicle like those found on Cracked or Buzzfeed (two of my guilty pleasures), but it wasn’t really me.

You see, I hadn’t found my voice. In fact, I’m still finding it. Looking back, my post might be funny, but it’s not mine. Not really. It’s time that changed.

So I edited and included more pictures. I used my voice. I claimed it as my own.

Go and tell your master that we have been charged by God with a sacred quest. If he will give us food and shelter for the night, he can join us in our quest for the Holy Grail.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
To Camelot!


Please note that this post is several pages in length. Scroll past the media buttons and keep reading!

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16 Life Lessons from Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
To Camelot!

Friday’s inclement weather put a damper on my running plans. Normally I enjoy running in the rain, but when thunder and lightning are involved – or when the Weather Channel warns of high winds with the possibility of hail and tornadoes – I stay inside. My all-time favorite rainy day movie is Monty Python and the Holy Grail. On today’s run, I pondered the life lessons contained in that classic work of comedic gold.

16. Approach unfamiliar animals with caution.

I worked in an animal shelter for six years; I know the benefits of warning people about strange dogs and cats. Trust me, rabies shots hurt less as a preventative than as a cure. However, many of us fail to impart the dangers of biting moose and rabbits with vicious streaks a mile wide. But mommy, they look so cuddly…

15. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

We all know what they say about assume, so let’s not judge people (and things) quickly. We may miss out on some surprising experiences. After all, llamas prove excellent producers/directors, a hamster and a man smelling of elderberries produced King Arthur, and Tim – a man severely hindered by his name – achieved greatness as an enchanter.  So go out and try something new, like iced coffee mixed with Dr. Pepper.

14. Choose your occupation wisely.

As an educator, I often challenge my students to meet their full potential. Parents want their children to succeed. The American government emphasizes good grades and “My Citizens are Honor Students” bumper stickers. Whatever the case, society measures success by our jobs.  If you value safety and boredom (but not job security), then write subtitles. After all, English majors have to do something. On the other hand, historians live in constant peril. Not something you’d normally associate with dusty books and lecture halls, but that’s life for you.

13. Make do with what you have.

During the Great Depression there was a saying: “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” We see the same attitude today; if you don’t believe me, just check out Pinterest. Without Monty Python and the Holy Grail, we might never know coconuts are an acceptable substitute for horses, that some people use the plague as an excuse to get rid of unwanted relatives, and that the French use body odor as a defensive weapon. And all this time we thought they were just unhygienic . . .

12. Government doesn’t always make sense.

Historically, leaders gain power through one of three ways: they’re born to the right family, they take power by force, or they’re elected. Once they have power, leaders spend most of their time trying to keep it. Leaders can either distract their subjects by declaring wars on other countries or by causing their subject to fight amongst themselves over trivial things like speed limits and healthcare. Wherever you happen to fall on the political spectrum, I think we can agree that “strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.”

But it might be better than the Electoral College...
But it might be better than the Electoral College…

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