i've decided that the internet is basically good, and not evil.
thanks in part to facebook's notification technology, i received a bazillion birthday wishes.
....some really thoughtful notes
...phonecalls and messages (chachacha-emma!)
..chinese food and a nice lunch with ma and pa
.cards gifts and hugs from the kids

i couldn't possibly list all the ways that the people in my life have been kind to me (both on my birthday and throughout my 31st year.

so thank you everyone.
i feel really lucky to have all of you in my life
you made a really great day (weekend) even greater.

in an effort to "give back" I'll share one of my bd messages from the corbin prodigy
enjoy (audio recording)


happy birthday to me

i don't really believe in birthdays.
it's just another day.
(sorry mom, I'm not trying to minimize your efforts 32 years ago)
but I *do* believe in getting special treatment.

and i've gotten plenty.
so thanks everybody. i feel very well loved.

a few of my favorite presents.
B&N gift cards,
a very very nice blog post
an hour long massage (masterminded and administered by my lover)
she borrowed a table, set up a room, played relaxing music
and (apparently) went to massage school somewhere along the line.
it was amazing

the kids will be back tonight.
and I just keep thinking how dramatically different my life is from one year ago.
and how incredibly fortunate I am.

it is a very very happy birthday

(as my birthday wish -- i'm praying, hoping, and projecting the peace and joy that I'm experiencing toward all the people i love who are experience life on more difficult terms -- i hope to be more present for you this year)



* Will and Willow demonstrate the benefits of home video viewing for vocabulary development
* Ginger is a Ninja
* Isaac sheepishly declares his undying devotion to Adeline's four wheeler (his "favorite toy") -- then mercilessly throttles over his cameraman/father

Visit To the Bean's House from Daniel Rudd on Vimeo.

** grownups enjoyed Katie's heirloom chicken and dumpling recipe -- a good time had by all


The Birthplace of White Puppy (it works now)

A couple days ago I got to spend an evening canoeing with my girls. On our way up the channel we discovered a magical water forest cove--which turned out to be the birthplace of White Puppy.

Discovering the Birthplace of WhitePuppy from Daniel Rudd on Vimeo.

There was great rejoicing.

conversation with will

seagull conspiracies from Daniel Rudd on Vimeo.


my skatepunk son

we headed north to our old house on Cedar Avenue tonight. The goal was to pick up our canoe. The bonus was a good time wiht our old neighbors/friends/generous-hosts (deb, lilly, mim, zach, and max).

Willow had fun defluffing cat-tails swiped from the mile long dock. Ginger bonded with zach (she's very good with dogs), Isaac explored and Will found his new calling. It was very hard for him to part with the helmet.

check him out:

skatepunk will from Daniel Rudd on Vimeo.


Election 01: Pro-Life for Obama

If you know me well, you know that my world changed dramatically when I became a father. I was completely blindsided by how strongly I could *feel*. I've never recovered and I can't imagine life without them.

We all understand that we live in a broken world, and that women often find themselves in a place where raising a child would be very difficult. Perhaps impossible. It was the bravery of Isaac and Will's birthmother that resulted in the greatest gift I've ever received. I've always been pro-life (now more than ever).


With that said, I have not found the "Pro-Life" political movement to be adequate in its advocacy on behalf of LIFE.

I do not consider it to be effective in influencing people to think and act in ways that truly and expansively value all human life.

I do not feel that it adequately addresses some of the complex dimensions or scenarios that comprise the abortion issue.

I consider its legislative efforts to be ineffective in addressing the root of the issue, and in some ways counter productive.

Additionally, I believe that people of faith must always be careful when they become passionate about any cause. For me this becomes even more true when a cause focuses my attention on evil that is *outside* of myself.

This kind of cause, even when it is rightfully motivated, can easily become a diversion from honest introspective inquiry. I believe that in many ways the issue of abortion--particularly as it is framed by the pro-life movement and political conservatives--has become one of those diversions.

I don't believe anyone has ever truly wanted to abort a child.

When I think about the abortion issue, the most important questions for me center on the systemic forces that create those desperate situations. I want to consider the ways that my personal and political decisions contribute to those forces. I'm primarily speaking of poverty, lack of opportunities for minorities and inequalities in education.

For me, this is a more productive way of addressing evil in general, and a way that seems to align more closely with the teachings of Jesus. I want to always start by looking inward.

An externally focused legislative approach to the problem of abortion is (in my mind) an unrealistic solution in today's political climate. In addition to being unrealistic, I believe that the Pro-Life legislative agenda offers a largely ineffective solution because it only addresses the surface layer of a deep and complex issue.

I'm not saying that the issue is of little importance. I find abortion to be horrific and deeply saddening. I am saying that the for people who are called to advocate on behalf of LIFE, there are *many* other important considerations in this year's election.

While many billions of dollars have been spent rallying Christian Americans around [the 'pro-life'] cause, there is very little effort to understand the impact of the American lifestyle on the poor of the world.

There has been very little inquiry toward unfair trade policies, the enormous loss of civilian life as "collateral damage" in our military operations, or the daily opulence we enjoy as millions of children in the developing world starve.

We've not closely examined our own domestic systems of discrimination and inequality that repeatedly cultivate the kind of desperation that brings someone to an abortion clinic.

I find the stance taken by Barack Obama on many of these issues to be far more consistent with my Christian (pro-life) values.

I find the rhetoric and policies of George Bush and John McCain to be very centered in preserving and protecting the "American Way of Life", instead of preserving and protecting LIFE wherever we find it. I find them to be more focused on creating opportunity for the wealthy, than for the poor. (I'll save my thoughts on sustainable free-market economics for a different post).

I have a lot more I'd like to say about that, but for now I'll focus on the practical ramifications of this election for abortions in the United States (because that does matter to me very much).

I feel strongly that the policies of the Democratic party do far more to address issues of poverty, inequality, and the education of at-risk youth. I believe that this type of focus has proven to have an immediate, direct, tangible, and statistically demonstrable impact on the number of abortions performed in America.

It's not just that I find Barack Obama's plan to be more holistic or philosophically sound in the way it values (all) LIFE. I find that it is more effective--even when it comes to the specific issue of abortion. Caring for the poor, creating opportunity for the disadvantaged, and making adoption more accessible, simply does more to prevent abortions than having a president who is endorsed by the Pro-Life Movement ever could.

In the last few decades, the greatest declines in abortions occurred during the Clinton administration when impoverished mothers had more options, resources for adoption were greater, and the under-privileged had greater access to education and job training. The last eight years have seen a diminished reduction of abortions as many of those programs have been cut.

Sadly, those tax dollars were reallocated to a war that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians (both born and unborn).

I'm pro-life and I'm voting for Barack Obama.

I'm open to your thoughts. Let me know if anything requires clarification.


don't call us! we're busy

just because katie and i work from home doesn't mean you can call us during the day, or expect us to be available for stuff.

we're very busy doing things and such.
important business matters and dealings.


Election Blogging (Preface)

It's an important election.
And for the first time, I feel strongly in favor (hopeful) about a candidate.
So I'm going to write about my opinions on the candidates and the issues.

Please don't mis-interpret the intensity of my feelings for disrespect or ambivalence toward those who hold opposing viewpoints.

There are a lot of people, that I both love and respect, who see things very differently from the way that I do. That does not diminish the love or respect that I have for them.

I believe that the voting decisions of evangelical Christians will play a very significant role in this election. As someone who spent more than 10 years as a pastor in evangelical Christian churches, I'm hoping to offer some thought-provoking perspectives.

I'm voting for Barack Obama.

Tomorrow, I'll post about my pro-life stance.


affectionate bedtime quotes from isaac

last night:
[while tenderly patting my shorn head]
you a good man dad...
you're a good tool fixer
you're a good dad...
[some internal chuckling]
you're a good caboose bed
[explosion of laughter]

[isaac's in bed and i'm scratching his back]
i got you a present dad.
i put it on your bed.
it's a necklace and a phone.
i bought it for you at the store.

are you a surprised as I was that I did not find the items on bed?


tonight (after will is tucked in):

(yes Isaac)
I don't want you to leave.
(sorry buddy, I have to. I'm going to take a shower and go to bed)
You not need a shower! Your armpits not smell bad. You smell nice!


killer frog

we spent part of our honeymoon at my grandpa's cabin.
Katie (a true situational actor) was attacked by the giant wooden frog that greets all cabin guests as they pull in the driveway. Luckily my camera phone was there to document.

Untitled from Daniel Rudd on Vimeo.