Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...



My littlest nephew, Koen Kekaulakuha'oamekanawai Kazumasa Ing, and his mommy are doing quite well. Like I said, his name would start with a "K"...little did I know that three of them would.

By the way, Miss Stephanie, I bet you a batch of brownies that you can't say his Hawaiian name in under three seconds ;)

posted by Bolo | 5:33 PM
7 speakage


I decided to finally check my voicemails, all 24 of 'em. That's kind of a lot of voicemails. A lot. But anyway, the last one was from my mommy. She'd called at 2 this morning; that's my excuse for not answering. Why was she calling? She wanted to tell me that Mary had given birth, and that I have a new nephew in this world. I have no idea what his name is, but I'm sure it starts with a "K"...any other letter just won't do.

I'm Uncle Johnny yet again!!!

posted by Bolo | 8:30 AM
0 speakage

What Eye See

posted by Bolo | 12:18 AM
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Just Like Home

I may not have hamachi sashimi, kulolo, or katsu-curry, but you know what? We'll be hitting temperature highs in the mid-70's today. Suhweeeeeet!

But man...hamachi would be ono on a day like this...

posted by Bolo | 11:51 AM
2 speakage

It's Gary's Fault

Man, I'd give my left...uhhh...well, I'd give a lot for a plate lunch from Masu's right now. I still remember riding by Masu's in the morning on the way to Kawananakoa Intermediate School, then walking by it in the afternoon on the way home. Of course, when I was living on Judd in the 509, I'd pass Masu's on my way to Hospital (technically monikered the Tripler Army Medical Center, or TAMC for you alphabet soup consumers, affectionately called the Pink Palace by the locals) in the mornings. Sometimes, I'd even spot one of the bus riders toting their morning bento from Masu's, and I'd be instantaneously jealous. Oh, and let's not even forget Liliha Bakery right across the street! Except on Monday mornings, of course. Oooooohhhh...this is so not good...need food...local food...


posted by Bolo | 1:10 AM
5 speakage

Niecely Niceties

I have a theory, one that has yet to be proven wrong. This has sprung from the observation that every time I speak with my niece on the phone, she seems to be scolding me. Therefore, I have theorized that my niece, due to her obviously Letoto-esque disposition and inclination to scold her Uncle Johnny (in spite of her relatively few months on earth), is in every way, shape, and form, fully qualified to be my sister's daughter.

That, and she's cute as a button. Not that I've ever really considered buttons to be very cute in and of themselves, come to think of it...

posted by Bolo | 12:48 AM
2 speakage


Of Critters and the Cross

Some days, I can't help but wonder if all this is worth it. I wonder if heaven is worth it, if Jesus is worth it, if killing sin is worth it. For that matter, I wonder why in my saved self I have to keep killing sin if it's already dead. Seems to me that the last time I buried a little critter that was once alive, I didn't wake up the next day to find a zombie birdie chirping me face to face.

Other days, I really feel like Jesus needs to come back. Soon. Now. But when I think about it, I realize that I want Him back for selfish reasons, not for Kingdom purposes. I don't want to see Him because I love to see God's glory made the one and only delight of those around me, but because I'm tired of seeing the way I belittle His glory by not desiring His glory to consume those around me.

Most days, though, I just want to sit and sort of give up. I figure that if I just sort of keep on keeping on, eventually everything will get better, I won't sin anymore, and I'll suddenly find myself loving Jesus more than ever before.

All of my days, however, are a mystery to me. Why? Simply put, they're a product of something even more befuddling than undead birdies: God's grace. Every single day, days that are filled with grace that overcomes sin, is a day that deliciously displays God's power at work, not mine. My problem is that I forget that. I make my days about me, acting as though I have to hold up the weight of heaven on my shoulders, failing miserably in trying to live a life filled with my own righteousness. I forget that the cross is for sinners, for those who are graciously made aware of their sins, for those who are mercifully being shown their desperate need for still greater measures of grace.

posted by Bolo | 8:57 PM
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Colors Falling

It's amazing that God can coax reds and yellows and oranges out of things that were, not very long ago, quite green. It brings to mind how He coaxes life and goodness out of things that were, not very long ago, quite dead and hopeless.

posted by Bolo | 10:31 AM
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Road Warrior

For the month of October, my travels have taken me to Indiana (and nearly Michigan), Illinois (and nearly Iowa), Ohio, and of course, back to Kentucky. Give me several hours more, and I'll be adding Tennessee to that list. Not bad for a guy that had never been out of his own state for 23 years.

posted by Bolo | 9:40 PM
2 speakage

Textus Receptus

Todd Thomas, infamous Ohio State fanatic, text messaged me just a few moments ago with the following:

"I would rather support the blatant paganism of Ohio State than the cult Catholicism of Notre Dame!"

My response to the Spanish-baby-making Indian? It went something like this:

"Te absolvo."

posted by Bolo | 6:23 PM
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The 20Dth Commandment

So. I didn't know that Lynn has a Canon 20D. But last night, I found out that she does.

Yes, I was coveting.

No, I don't feel the least bit terrible about it.

Yes, I still am coveting.

Don't even get me started on the lenses.

Maybe I'll post some of those pics I took with her camera here...

posted by Bolo | 1:51 PM
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Fall Soup and Stuff

It's a Friday night, late October. Some of the ladies decided that they needed to have a little fun; this was the result.

posted by Bolo | 2:07 AM
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Nothing Fowl About These Turkeys

I had promised Scott that I would post just this picture, and not the other one that shows even more of his wacky hair, since he's ok with this one but hates the other one...


posted by Bolo | 7:02 PM
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Hair Club For Fathers

You know, I think Pastor Cavie's right...

posted by Bolo | 5:05 PM
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Mahalo Nui Loa :)

Yesterday I followed that white tanker of an Oldsmobile, driven by Scott with Emily riding shotgun, all the way to that house those turkeys live in on Burkey Court. This morning, I drove my little Camry the three and a half hours back through a whole lot of rain. (Miss Stephanie, I think my car felt like an oversized humuhumunukunukuapua'a!) Regardless, I had a great time, and now, a couple of hours removed from giving a Ridiculous-assisted campus tour to 21 North Carolinians, I find myself thinking, "Hey, some shrimp would be nice..."

Thanks again, Cavies!

posted by Bolo | 4:34 PM
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Unbeknownst to pretty much all of you, this blog you're reading is quickly approaching 2,000 posts. The post I'm writing now will be the 1,976th such entry. Over the past three and a half years, I've shared my thoughts and feelings both raw and refined on topics and circumstances with a wide range and scope. Life, death, anger, sorrow, joy, sport, theology, and humor have all had their proper (and occasionally, amusingly improper) place here.

I've watched Kason grow up from a mere two years old to nearly six, Kayla from nine to a teenager, and Kyle from seven to eleven. he eleven already? I think he is. Anyway. Andrew's gotten kicked out of Canada, visited me in the 'Ville twice, got engaged in a great shirt, got married, moved to a wonderfully convenient time zone, and yes, even mourned the loss of precious life in light of God's glorious sovereignty. Goose found his knobby-knob, yet he still hasn't proven that he knows what dress socks really are. Two more nephews and another niece now occupy my fondest, most tender thoughts and hopes, and Mary's going to pop out another nephew...well...any moment now. Dad is closer to eighty than he is to seventy, and mom's no spring chicken, either. People named O'Neal, O'Neal, Smythe, Duncan, Lake, Hilliard, Davis, Butterworth, Winn, and others too numerous to count were introduced, and by grace, are still some of the most prominent and colorful threads being woven into the tapestry of my life. Boss is now in Japan, even though he sits on top of my monitor. I've had a multitude of opportunities to hear Gary tell me (and sometimes Andrew), "I hate you," with all the affectionate amusement he could possibly muster.

The point of all of this? I've not done this alone, nor have I kept it to myself. Many of you who've been reading for a while now will understand where I'm coming from. It's no secret that I've had quite a few introspective moments concerning the purpose and direction of this blog; yet, I would hope that despite my desire to publish primarily for my own satisfaction, you, too, would find some sort of satisfaction in seeing what I'm seeing in life.

2,000, here we come...

posted by Bolo | 12:37 AM
2 speakage



Ecclesiastes 5:1 - 9
Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil. Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few. For the dream comes through much effort and the voice of a fool through many words. When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God. If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the sight; for one official watches over another official, and there are higher officials over them. After all, a king who cultivates the field is an advantage to the land.

My words before God are often long-winded and empty; I pray that this day, my words would be few, yet full.

posted by Bolo | 8:25 AM
0 speakage


Call me ignorant, but I simply don't understand why I must endure temperatures in the 30's in order to appreciate such beauty firsthand. Something's just not right about this. Seriously. I feel the brown getting sucked out of me, moment by agonizing moment.


posted by Bolo | 1:17 AM
2 speakage



It was a profound yet simple conversation, the latest in a litany of profundities that has marked my friendship with the illustrious Mr. Mikami. I'd started by asking him why I was here; it had been a day full of interrupted reflection, one that hadn't allowed me to really get away and think the way I'd wanted to. It was late, my train of thought was out of steam, and I needed someone to get my mind back on track.

Fortunately, he didn't disappoint.

I explained that I'd been thinking about the past year: the direction my life was taking, the events that marked it, the overarching themes that summarized what God was doing within me. I told Kev that I didn't understand most of it, that I still struggle mightily with not only why I'm here, but even more importantly, what I'm doing to reflect that, to live that out. I expected an uncannily accurate and rich explanation; what I got went something like this: "Doc, you're there to marry some hot chick, learn tons of cool and deep doctrine that I wouldn't even think about these days unless I talked to you, and do all the stuff that I can't do since I'm no longer in seminary. In other words, you're pretty much there for my benefit."

I did say our conversation was profound, didn't I? Hang on, I'm getting there, I'm getting there...

What I told Kev is that I'd been thinking about how the kings of ancient Israel were judged on one scale, that of obedience. The lens of judgment asked, "Did they do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God?" At the end of their lives, when all was said and done, the LORD cared not one whit about how much gold or territory He granted them, nor was He impressed by the way they orchestrated foreign policy or wove together diplomatic resolutions. The scale of their lives held in balance all their thoughts and actions weighed against obedience, an obedience that required their lives to be set apart to Him, just as with all of Israel. Yet, unlike the rest of Israel, the kings had a great deal of influence that was directly proportionate to a greater degree of responsibility, and therefore, a greater degree of accountability to the LORD.

We went on to tallk at length. At one point, Kev pulled a question straight out of Kipapa Gulch. He asked me if I'd ever been asked to fulfill a role of leadership and ended up turning away from it. I told him that while I had not done so recently, that very tendency is one that's marked much of my life. I dislike responsibility, loathe being recognized as having something to offer. Oh sure, a part of me enjoys being asked, but usually, when I think about it long enough, I realize that it's pride that likes being asked.


The humble side of me, the side of me that's like Jesus, the side that loves God's glory, has a difficult time asserting itself. For that, I must rely upon the Holy Spirit, and that's hard.

I told Kev that I have a hard time trusting people. I've struggled with that a lot this semester. How so? Well, I've come to wonder why people want to get to know me, why they want to sit down and talk. That wondering led me to this realization: I wonder why people want to get to know me (and therefore struggle with trusting people) for the simple reason that I struggle so mightily with who I am in Christ, with being content with the righteousness that has been imputed to me without trying to add any sort of glory to that infinite glory which Christ has already granted my wretched soul. Still with me? No? Said differently, my flesh wants to be known for all the wrong reasons while my spirit wants Christ to be known, and therefore, I end up not trusting others because I think they see the things my flesh wants them to see, and not what my spirit wants them to see, namely, Christ.

Kev and I agreed that leadership is hard. It's a lonely place. I can remember back to times when Scott was president of the Student Council; those were fun days. These days? Not so much. It's different when you're in a position of leadership, where much is expected of you, and you feel like you have nothing to give, and end up hoarding it all to yourself. It's a foolish thing, to do that. If there's one thing I learned this summer (and we already went over that, didn't we?), it's that power is perfected in weakness. And you know what? I feel weak. Incredibly so. The question that keeps knocking on my mind is, "John, is your weakness leading you to strength in Christ, or is it leading you to merely go on to keep up appearances?" If power is perfected in weakness, is there not a vast amount of power available to me in Christ? If God holds accountable those to whom He grants responsibility, is it not my joyful duty to be obedient?


posted by Bolo | 6:37 PM
0 speakage


A bunch of us went on a little adventure last Saturday night. Supposedly, we were supposed to be scared. Based on our expressions, what do you think?

posted by Bolo | 12:11 AM
0 speakage
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