Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I've recently reconnected with a schoolmate from Junior High & High School named Sean. He sent me a recent picture and I had an interesting experience when first seeing it. Has this type of thing ever happened to you?

If someone had shown me the picture and asked me if I recognized the man there, I would have said no. If Sean had walked up to me in the street and said "Hi Keith, do you remember me?" I would have thought about it for a minute, and then probably would have said "Ummm, no. Should I?" But here's the weird thing: knowing it was him, and therefore having the image of the 8th-grade-Sean in my head just before looking at the picture, I could TOTALLY see that it was him.

Weird how our minds work huh? Or maybe it's just mine that works that way!??!?

It made me think of a couple stories from the bible.

In John 20:11-16 a woman named Mary is distraught over Jesus' death. She was moved greatly by his impact on her life, so she is weeping at the tomb. She hears his voice, but thinks he is just a gardener. When Jesus calls her name, she immediately recognizes him.

In Luke 24:13-31, a couple of Jesus' disciples (who'd spent the last three years with him!) spend a significant amount of time with him after his resurrection, but don't know it is him. It is only later that day, in the context of eating together, that they finally recognize who he is.

So here is the most significant person in the universe, and the people who loved him most did not recognize him at all...until they had a familiar context: eating; hearing their own name. His resurrected body must have looked like him, and yet not looked like him somehow.

1 John 3:2 implies our own resurrected bodies will likewise be somewhat different than our current bodies -- but in seeing him we'll become like him. My grandparents have been dead for a long time, but mom died a just few years ago. When I see them again will we recognize each other? What 'age' will we look?

Some mysterious and cool ponderables, yeah?

~ Keith

Friday, November 24, 2006

Once upon a time...

Have you ever had to pinch yourself to make sure you're really awake -- to make sure you're not dreaming; not in a fairy tale somewhere?

I had one of those moments today.

When I was growing up I was bummed because sometimes people had a hard time remembering my name. It still happens once in awhile today. I get called Ken, or Kent, or Kevin (or Steve or Scott!). These days it doesn't really bum me out, but when I was a kid? Major bummer.

Then when I was about 13 years old I read a book which changed my life...and because of that, today I had to pinch myself. The book was called The Mouse and the Motorcycle and tells the story of a boy named Keith who befriends a small mouse named Ralph. He gives the mouse a small, red, toy motorcycle and teaches him to ride it by making a vroom! sound with his tiny mouse mouth. I thought it was so cool that there was a boy named Keith in that story, and a bright red motorcycle! From the time I closed that book I wanted a motorcycle of my own, but had to content myself with closing my eyes and imagining myself zipping around my bedroom floor on a tiny toy motorcycle.

Today my fantasy came to life!

I bought a 1986 Yamaha YX600

~ Keith
(those rips were on my jeans before I rode the bike, I swear!)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Gearing Up!

I've been shopping for gear and have been very satisfied with the folks over at i-Bike. Not only are they friendly and knowledgeable, they are just around the corner from my house!

Gary spent 2 1/2 hours with me last Saturday looking at gear and talking about bikes and riding. As a new rider, I really appreciated his helpful suggestions and insightful wisdom. I tried on a few items, and settled on this for my riding gear:

Touch my monkey!now ist the time on Schprockets where we dance, ja!Below are some better pictures of the gear I'm sporting...

Brand: Cortech
Model: GX Sportclick here for specsclick here for specsBrand: Tourmaster
Model: Caliberclick here for specsBrand: Cortech:
Model: Accelerator (warm weather)click here for specsBrand: AGV
Model: Saturn (cold weather)click here for specsclick here for specsBrand: KBC
Model: FFR (Modular a/k/a "flip-face")click here for specsWhat's that you ask? A motorcycle? Oh yeah, that. None yet, but I am test-riding one (a 1986 Yamaha YX600 Radian) on Friday.

More details as events warrant.

~ Keith

The Parable of the Bullhorn Man

From Conrad's blog -- too good not to share:

The Parable of the Bullhorn Man.

~ Keith

Monday, November 20, 2006

Glorious Ruins

This came via eMail today:

We are not what we were meant to be, and we know it. If, when passing a stranger on the street, we happen to meet eyes, we quickly avert our glance. Cramped into the awkward community of an elevator, we search for something, anything to look at instead of each other. We sense that our real self is ruined, and we fear to be seen.

But think for a moment about the millions of tourists who visit ancient sites like the Parthenon, the Colosseum, and the Pyramids. Though ravaged by time, the elements, and vandals through the ages, mere shadows of their former glory, these ruins still awe and inspire. Though fallen, their glory cannot be fully extinguished. There is something at once sad and grand about them.

look at how tiny the tourists are on the road!!!And such we are. Abused, neglected, vandalized, fallen—we are still fearful and wonderful. We are, as one theologian put it, "glorious ruins." But unlike those grand monuments, we who are Christ’s have been redeemed and are being renewed as Paul said, "day by day," restored in the love of God.

Could it be that we, all of us, the homecoming queens and quarterbacks and the passed over and picked on, really possess hidden greatness? Is there something in us worth fighting over? The fact that we don’t see our own glory is part of the tragedy of the Fall; a sort of spiritual amnesia has taken all of us. Our souls were made to live in the Larger Story, but as G.K. Chesterton discovered, we have forgotten our part:
We have all read in scientific books, and indeed, in all romances, the story of the man who has forgotten his name. This man walks about the streets and can see and appreciate everything; only he cannot remember who he is. Well, every man is that man in the story. Every man has forgotten who he is . . . We are all under the same mental calamity; we have all forgotten our names. We have all forgotten what we really are. (Orthodoxy)
(The Sacred Romance , 93–95)

From The Ransomed Heart, by John Eldredge, reading 324
Ransomed Heart Ministries

I took great comfort in this.

~ Keith

Friday, November 17, 2006

You Have My Word

For almost a year now I have been in the habit of reading Oswald Chambers' daily devotional My Utmost for His Highest.

The copy I have is from the late 1930's I think, so it is not a modern English updated version.

I like that. It stretches my vocabulary and, by extension, my mind and heart.

He often uses words or phrases which, in his day, meant something more than they do today. Globalization and colloquialism have diluted our language. For example the idea of a "mean person" has come to be only associated with someone who is offensive, cruel, or malicious. But it can also infer humble or lowly; base.

Today's reading finishes with:
We read some things in the Bible three hundred and sixty-five times and they mean nothing to us, then all of a sudden we see what God means, because in some particular we have obeyed God, and instantly His nature is opened up. "All the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen." The "yea" must be born of obedience; when by the obedience of our lives we say "Amen" to a promise, then that promise is ours.
That rings true for me, but just before that he said something else; something more succinct that really caught my attention:
The promises of God are of no value to us until
by obedience we understand the nature of God.
I'm not sure I completely understand just why that struck me, but it did.

I think it has to do with the idea of The Father's promises being absolutely trustworthy; yet Him choosing in vulnerability to hinge their fulfillment on being partnered with oh-so-fallible us, in our mysterious Holy Spirit-mediated loving relationship with fully-God/fully-human Jesus.

~ Keith

Friday, November 10, 2006

Going Shopping

Now that I've taken the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course, and the written exam (I just received my M1 license in the mail last week. They made me take a new picture, which was kind of a bummer, since the last picture I took I was bald and wearing Drew Carey glasses!!), Cathy & I have decided now is an OK time to get a first bike.

Winter is coming, but in the Bay Area there will still be plenty of dry days to get the road under my wheels, and some miles under my belt. Plus, the sooner I start using the skills I just learned, the better chance they'll stay with me!

To do that, though, I need a motorcycle!

There are always a ton of bikes available on CL, but my desire is to think this through and decide beforehand on a model or two I think would be best. Then I can spend time looking for that bike, and go from there.

I'm open to any wisdom you can pass my way re: a good beginner's bike to buy. I definitely want to buy used, and would like the bike and gear (helmet, jacket, gloves, for a start) to come in under $1500. Less would be great, but I know you get what you pay for.

The bike I used at MSF was a Honda Nighthawk 250. That was fun to learn on, but for a real starter bike to ride for a year or two, I'm leaning toward a 500-650cc bike. I prefer cruisers and touring bikes. I'm not brand conscious at this point -- my ultimate would be a nice BMW touring bike -- but I need to spend some time getting experience before I jump to a machine like that!

Take a look at the links below and then tell me what you think of the advice given and the "beginner bikes" recommended! Feel free to throw your advice my way re: buying my first bike!


See you out on the road!

The Exquisite Agony: Buying your first Motorcycle

Beginner Bikes

A lawyer's opinion

Things to consider before buying your first motorcycle

How to buy a used BMW motorcycle

How to buy a motorcycle

~ Keith

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Birthdays, Bears & Birds

For my birthday, Cathy arranged for us to stay at some friends' wonderful home-away-from-home in Northstar at Tahoe. As we were driving there, while still about 1/2 mile away from the house, we saw these cubs!

Baby Bears!
After we'd unpacked, we headed back out for some groceries. The cubs were still there, closer to the road now, and Mama was with them!

Baby Bears with Mama Bear!
Saturday afternoon at the lake. Peaceful. Tranquil. (and I swear, those noises were coming from the birds not us!)

Weird Flatulent Birds!
~ Keith

Friday, November 03, 2006


If you have the time to watch this 11 minute video, you'll be as amazed as I am at how cool this will be!

For more info head on over to Scrybe's site

~ Keith

(nods to Brett & Conrad -- I saw this first on their blogs)

(and from Scrybe's site, where they list various accolades people are doling out after they've played with it, comes this gem of a quote:
Scrybe...The bedspread whose UI where it moves softly is charming...With come to make, first is hollow and the bedspread which it does;
Beta it will dance at October month.

Translated from Korean at www.allblog.net :)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Autumnal Beginnings

On 1st November 1965

in a U.S. Naval Hospital
in Long Beach, California

31 year-old Kittie Joan Seckel
(still mourning the death of her own father that September)
gave birth to an 8 lb 11 oz boy.

35 year-old Lt. Joseph Clarence Seckel
(having taken leave form the Navy to be with his family)
was also home for the birth of his
fifth child; his only son.

The boy's maternal Grandfather was named
Rupert Oscar Keith
(but he was known as R.O.)

His paternal Grandfather was named
Christian Wilhelm Seckel
(but he was known as Will)

They named him:
Keith William Seckel
(but he was known as Can Opener Boy)