They have pulled so much out of those pits, and unlike other fossils, these are the actual tissue. One pit had an observation deck from which you could watch some people pulling stuff out of the tar and cataloging it. I did end up paying $4.50 (the student price) for entry into the museum, but it was worth it. There were all kinds of skeletons from saber tooth cats, giant sloths, mastodons, wolves, and other extinct animals. I was taking photos, but since I forgot the memory card in the computer, I could only take 28, and they are stuck on the camera until I get home where I have the cable. Hopefully the camera makes it. I dropped it today, and it isn't working entirely right.
Despite Prizrak's warning, I bought a homeless guy dinner last night at Denny's. He was glad to have someone to talk to, and air his problems with. He says he wants to change, and not do the things he knows are wrong. I was thinking the whole time that I would really like to pray for him, and just before I was going to ask him, he asked me if I could pray for him. I did. Then he asked me if I could get him some food, so we went to Denny's. Denny's Restaurants in the city are different than other Denny's. They don't have their own building. While we were eating, he said that he felt really comfortable talking to me. He said that he enjoyed talking to strangers because then he didn't have to worry about looking weak, or them using what he told them against him. That's the sad state of relationships for many people besides him I'm sure.
He told me about how his mom used to make hot breakfasts and how she taught him to do the same. When he was just a young boy he surprised his mom by cooking one. He worked in a photo lab just down the street, and after that he served a couple years in the Army. However, he got in trouble with law. He disappointed his wife by getting arrested and spent some time in prison. Now he sells DVDs on the street. He says he has everything from cartoons to porn, and he has "pimped out girls" to make ends meet.
I was having a long day. I got up at 3:00 A.M. and after only a short nap, I was still up. I think he had a longer day. He was falling asleep sitting in the restaurant. When he finally fell into a bit of a heavier sleep at the booth, I paid for dinner and left. It seemed like the right time.
I've been reading Chesterton's Othodoxy. It seems to me that he is keenly aware of the precarious nature of life. Using the story of Robinson Crusoe he writes:
Crusoe is a man on a small rock with a few comforts just snatched from the sea: the best thing in the book is an inventory. Every kitchen tool becomes ideal because Crusoe might have dropped it in the sea. It is a good exercise, in empty or ugly hours of the day, to look at anything, the coal-scuttle or the bookcase, and think how happy one could be to have brought it out of the sinking ship on to the solitary island. But it is a better exercise still to remember how all things have had this hair-breadth escape: everything has been saved from a wreck. Every man has had one horrible adventure: as a hidden untimely birth he had not been, as infants or that never see the light. Men spoke much in my boyhood of restricted or ruined men of genius: and it was common to say that many a man was a Great Might-Have-Been. To me it is a more solid and startling fact that any man in the street is a Great Might-Not-Have-Been.
At the tar pits, they had a plexiglas case with a rod you could pull on which came through a hole in the top of the case. The rod connected to a leg-sized piston sitting in a bucket of tar. Pulling on the rod you could feel how difficult it was to try and escape the pit. People get stuck in pits like this all the time. Not the ones in the park, but the traps of sin which become impossible to escape on our own volition. However, we don't need to wait thousands of years for an archeologist to dig up our remains. Jesus can pull us out before we perish.