Friday, November 28, 2008

This Picture Makes Snow Likable

I don't like snow. You know me, you know that. But if I were inserted into this picture, I might find it bearable for 10 minutes, maybe 15. Two of my favorite people in the world, my dad and my delicious pink niece.

My Cat Is Thankful Apparently

My cat Tia sent me a Thanksgiving note. And by the looks of her in the picture, she really likes living with Grandma and Grandpa.

Happy Thanksgiving, Mom!

Grandma's lap is sooooo comfortable after a meal like that.

Love You

PS My brother keeps picking on me. Grandpa doesn't even try to make him stop. Tell him to leave me alone. OK AND the dog, Bailey, is coming for the weekend. I can't stand her. Help! Come here and rescue me.

Your wonderful cat Tia

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A New Currency

Seems there could be a new form of currency for bill paying out there. Drawings! And you don't have to be some great artist to make it work. Read how this guy tried it here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I’ve always known that you don’t want to mess with fire. It has this strange and wild (at times uncontrollable) quality about it. That’s even more real to me after this fall in Los Angeles. Obviously, until now, I’ve only watched from across the country at these “wildfires” burning in Southern California. But this weekend especially it became a little more real and a little more sad; these sets of fires are really out of control and destructive. When you know the areas and live close to them, when you know people who live or work there, when you go outside and smell what smells like a giant campfire and see smoke just blanketing the air, it hits home.

A bunch of friends and I went to see the new James Bond movie Friday night. The movie got out around 11:15 p.m. As my three friends from Pasadena and I were going out to the car, we looked out from the parking garage and could see this orange glow on the other side of the Valley. It was a good 20-mile distance across the Valley from where we were in Sherman Oaks but we could tell – that was a wildfire, and we’re all pretty new residents in SoCal. I checked the L.A. Times website on my phone and sure enough, a wildfire in Sylmar, the exact direction we were looking, had started around 10:30.

By morning that fire we saw, which had only been covering maybe less than 100 acres, had grown to over 2,000. The number of homes and people evacuated by morning was tremendous. Not much later, we hear news about fire in the other direction from Pasadena, in Orange County. This one, too, absolutely ravaging the area.

Here’s a map of the area:

View Larger Map

I have learned a lot about the science of wildfires this fall. The Santa Ana winds blow fiercely over the mountains toward the ocean. And no joke, a windy day in Pasadena with the Santa Anas is pretty ridiculous. And the air is dry, dry, dry – I have the worst static-y hair right now (also ridiculous). Embers fly in the wind and can make a fire skip about and grow in no time at all. That’s how fires can “jump” 10 lanes of a freeway, something that would seem to be an OK barrier.

Watching pictures of the fires up in Santa Barbara on TV Thursday night was crazy. They had 75 mile per hour winds; there’s no fighting that. That fire just goes where the wind blows. Ridiculous is the one word I get stuck on.

And then I get sad for the people who are losing homes, cars and stuff. It’s one thing to say, “It’s only stuff.” But that’s when it’s not your stuff. There is sadness and loss hanging in the air, like the smoke. Everybody feels really bad because there were so many situations where firefighters just had to evacuate because the fires were so large and unfightable.

Here’s a picture coming west on the 210 to the 118 on my way to church this afternoon. This smoke is from the Sylmar fire.

And this picture is of the San Fernando Valley (“the Valley") on my way to the Dream Center this morning for church. The smoke is just sitting in the valley air.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Story Posted

The story I wrote on Hillsong United from my trip to the Hillsong United Conference back in August is now online here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Have you ever seen a starfish move like this?

Mom McKellar (a.k.a. Mom #2) sent this picture she captured while walking the beach one morning recently in Charleston, SC. It's a starfish crawling across the beach. How amazing is this?


Here are a couple pics from Mexico in no particular order:
Lois and I, the Pasadena girls

A giant statue of Jesus on the hills overlooking Highway 1 going down the coast of Mexico

Gasoline pancakes (the first batch, which five of us were lucky and early enough to get, were good; later batches, which the rest of our group received, tasted like they were cooked in gasoline)

The Attention a Status Update Draws

Forget a book. I'm just going to comment on life and things via Facebook status updates. You can draw a lot of attention from them. Today's was based on a dream I had that made no sense but made me wake up laughing hysterically.

Jackie woke herself up laughing hysterically at something someone said in a dream.
4:56am - 8 Comments

Jeanie Mauney Smith at 4:59am November 10
That's the way I'd like to wake up on a Monday!

Shelby Sundling at 5:23am November 10 via Facebook Mobile
you always crack me up!

Jackie Chapman at 5:52am November 10 via Facebook Mobile
And I'm still chuckling at it. :D It IS a good start to a Monday!

Beth Hall Allison at 6:14am November 10
Ha! That made ME laugh. Wait, was it me that said something funny in your dream? 'Cause, you know, I am THAT funny that I transcend into dreams.

Erika Chambers at 7:08am November 10
do you remember what it was? did it make sense in the real world? my dreams almost NEVER do.

David Campbell at 8:01am November 10
Did it qualify as a "that's what she said" statement?

Jackie Chapman at 8:34am November 10
Doesn't everything qualify as a "that's what she said" statement, David? Though in this case I'm not sure...

Jackie Chapman at 8:40am November 10
I do remember what was said, though I don't remember the context or the whole dream at that. It wasn't Beth talking. It was an Indian cab driver who said (I've started laughing again), "Anytime you attach something to the hood [pointing to the hood of his cab], you can't return it [meaning the car]." That's all I remember. And I woke up laughing so hard, just like I am now. I have no idea what I was attaching to the hood of a car or why I was in the street talking to an Indian cab driver or what he had attached and tried to return in the past. All I know is that I laughed hysterically for about 60 seconds.