Archive for the ‘Daily life’ Category

I saw this picture on today and it reminded me what a great country we life in.  Let’s not let the crazy left wing and crazy right wing nut jobs take away our AMERICA.



I am going to go put my flag out in front of my house for no other reason than American pride!

I had not worn my Hushpuppies for over a year so I thought I would slip them on and go for a stroll.  I pulled them out of the box slipped my feet into them.  For some reason when I tied them up they seemed a little more loose than normal.  I took a few steps and the outer soles both stayed where I stood before taking my first step.  After a couple of more steps the inner soles decided they didn’t want to walk any more so after a few steps the only part of the shoe that stayed on my feet were the upper part of the shoes.  Do you think Hushpuppies should give me a full refund or a new pair of shows that stay in one piece?

Hushpuppies pieces

HushpuppiesOnFeet-kind of

June 7 is National Doughnut Day. Whether you’re partial to the cream-filled, glazed, jelly or chocolate varieties, the doughnut is something near and dear to so many of us.

I did my part to celebrate Nathan Doughnut Day.  Today is my son, Jordan’s last day of school so I got 3 dozen doughnuts at Earl’s Donuts in Northridge, CA.  If you are in the area they are on Devonshire Blvd, near Mason Ave.  Support your local donut shop.

The Salvation Army established this sweet holiday in 1938 to raise funds during the Great Depression and honor the “lassies,” as they called the female volunteers, who supported the soldiers on the front lines during World War I, serving them delicious meals, and of course, doughnuts. Approximately 250 “lassies” provided assistance to American soldiers in France in 1917.

Fast forward to 2013 and many national chains and smaller shops are offering free doughnuts to celebrate.


Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme will be giving away a free doughnut of any variety to every customer at participating locations, while supplies last. No purchase necessary.

Dunkin’ Donuts

At Dunkin’ Donuts , customers will receive a free doughnut with any beverage purchase. The chain’s much-buzzed about Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich also makes it debut on the permanent menu at Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants today. The 360-calorie sandwich features bacon and a pepper fried egg on a glazed yeast ring donut. (If you try one, let us know what you think in the comments!)

Tim Hortons

The chain is offering a free doughnut with any purchase on Friday.

LaMar’s Donuts

LaMar’s is giving away one free doughnut per person with no purchase necessary. Plus, a portion of this week’s sales are being donated to The Salvation Army to the Oklahoma tornado relief effort. (Eat well and do good!)


For the third year in a row, Entenmann’s will donate $1 to the Salvation Army for every new “Like” on the company’s Facebook page through June 15, up to $30,000. You can also enter for a chance to win free Entenmann’s doughnuts for a year.

Be sure to check your local and regional doughnut shops for more special promotions and fried freebies.  And don’t forget to be social. Pick up a box of doughnuts for co-workers and friends and post about it

Can’t get enough doughnuts? Check out the cronut, the half-croissant and half-doughnut hybrid, which is taking New York and the pastry world by storm.


There will always be evil in the world and there will always be the Hammer of God (Malleus Dei).  Malleus Dei was one of my son’s favorite Latin phrases.  My son, SSG Darrell Griffin, Jr.  drew this picture when he was very young.  I still have it in my office.  On the side of his combat helmet, while serving in Iraq he wrote post tenbras lux, Latin for after darkness, light.  He was always optimistic that the Hammer of God would prevail over evil. He was killed in Iraq March 21, 2007, but he lives on in the hearts of a lot of people.


I will be posting weekly postings of “Last Journey – A Father and Son in Wartime” weekly for the next several weeks.  It chronicles the life of an incredible son and an incredible soldier – My son Darrell (Skip) Griffin, Jr.

Systematic Creative Thinking for Christians.  Fist I will answer the question I always get asked, “Why Creative Thinking for Christians?” The next question I normally get is “What makes you think Christians can be any more creative than non-Christians?” The answer to the first question is simply that I am a Christian and I have always been fascinated with the the way the mind works. My basic philosophy as a Christian is that I am not sinless, I just try to sin less. There has only be one perfect Christian on earth and that was Christ.  To answer the second question I feel Christians are better equipped to think creatively than non-Christians based on the simple element of FAITH.   Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as follows –“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” As Christians we must have faith in our God that we cannot see and we cannot touch.  We know he is real, we know he is there, we know he answers prayers via our faith.  Faith is the kernel of creativity.  Thomas Edison conducted his experiments and eventually developed the electric light because he had faith that his work would lead to something that had never been seen before – the electric light.

A lot of people do not think they can be creative.  Anyone that can think and can have faith can be creative.  The best way to harness  and develop your creativity is to systematize the creative process.  Random, uncontrolled, creativity can lead to breakthrough ideas but systematized creative thinking has much better odds of success. I have developed a systematized approach (copyrighted) to creative thinking with the acronym W.R.I.T.E.  This process is comprehensively covered in my book “Creative Thinking for Christians,” available at In summary this system works as follows:

W – WRITE down your objective, the problem you want to solve.

R – Gather the preliminary RESOURCES that you think you will need to develop your solution

I – Come up with IDEAS.  At this stage the wilder the ideas the better.  How do you come up with a good idea? Come up with lots of ideas. One tool to do this is brainstorming.

T – Now TAILOR your usable, executable ideas to your needs.

E – Now ENERGIZE your tailored ideas.  This is where you develop plans for your ideas to enhance their chances of success.

Go to to order “Creative Thinking for Christians.”

Send me your thoughts on the subject of Creative Thinking for Christians.



Archives Bookshop was one of my late Son, Darrell Griffin, Jr’s favorite bookstores.  The Archives Bookshop has been selling academic and theological books for over 25 years. Most of their staff have graduate degrees in theology or a related degree so they are familiar with many theological topics. They stock over 100,000 books for theological, philosophical and ministerial studies. They also have a broad range of academic and popular books outside the field of religion.  Darrell Jr. and I would spend hours at Archives.  We would get there early in the morning and stay until my stomach started growling from missing lunch.  His mom, Kim, knew that when I went with Darrell Jr. to Archives we would be gone for a long time and our wallets would be a lot lighter when we got home. They carry, “Last Journey,” the book written by Darrell Griffin, Sr., and Darrell Griffin, Jr.

Please remember the sacrifices our soldiers have made to protect our freedom.  Freedom is not free.

Archive Bookshop

They are located at their new location of 509 E. Walnut St., Pasadena, CA 91101.  Their phone number is (626) 797-4556


Whenever I go to NYC I ALWAYS stop at The Strand.  They say they have 18 miles of books.  They do have one of the larger selections of books at any bookstore I have been to in the United States.  They have 2.5 used and new books. This is a a cool destination for a trip.  You can spend an entire day in this bookstore and there are tons of places to each within walking distance and lots of other stuff to do.  The instant my wife starts planning a trip to NYC city I start planning how all of the others things we have to do can fit around my day at The Strand.

Their main store is located at the corner of 12th Street and Broadway. They have a kiosk at Central Park located at 60th Street and 5th Avenue directly across from the Pierre Hotel.

In addition to an incredible collection of books at great prices they also have a full slate of author/speakers at their store.

James Franco at the Strand

Here is their story in their own words.

Where it all began: Bound by a Family

The Strand was born in 1927 over on Fourth Avenue on what was then called ”Book Row”. Book Row covered six city blocks and housed forty-eight bookstores. Ben Bass, the father, was all of twenty-five years old when he began his modest used bookstore.  An entrepreneur at heart, a reader by nature, this erudite man began with $300 dollars of his own and $300 dollars that he borrowed from a friend. Ben sought to create a place where books would be loved, and book lovers could congregate. He named his bookstore after the London street where avant-garde writers like Thackeray, Dickens and Mill once gathered and interesting book publishers thrived. The Strand quickly became a Greenwich Village institution where writers went to converse, sell their books and find a hidden treasure to buy. Today, the Strand is the sole survivor of Book Row’s colorful past.

Ben’s son, Fred, by the age of thirteen was learning the family business.  He too a lover of books took quickly to the book trade. After Fred completed a tour of duty in the Armed Forces, he came home to New York where he worked side-by-side with his father.  By 1957, Fred moved the store just around the corner, to our current space at 12th Street and Broadway. Fred came to spend most of his time at the buying desk, cultivating relationships with regulars and scoping out the next great find…

The next in the Bass family to take to the business was Fred’s daughter, Nancy. After college and a short stint in Louisiana, she came back to her roots and joined the Strand team at the age of 25. Today, she co-manages the store with her father.  The jury’s still out on whether one, two or all three of Nancy’s kids will be next in line to join the Strand team.

Where we stand today: Guided by the Customer

Today, the Strand carries over 2.5 million used, new and rare books, covering topics as far-ranging as occult to philosophy to finance. The store also offers an ever-changing array of literary gifts and goods from Moleskines to coffee mugs, and everything in-between.  Really, we mean everything in-between from a Shakespeare insult mug to the wildly popular Strand onesie.

 Our employees are not only knowledgeable about books; they’re also passionate about them.  Not only can they help you find a book, they can also recommend something you might love if you give them a quick description of your literary tastes. With our famous dollar carts outside you can always find a gem, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a hidden treasure inside the store — like a beautiful Rabelais for $15.  Strand continues to house old treasures for reasonable prices while providing one of the largest, most diverse selections of books in the country. 

 Our in-store events feature some of today’s most interesting and provocative personalities from James Franco to Patti Smith to dialogues between such greats as Junot Diaz and Hilton Als to Robert Caro and Frank Rich. If you are looking for a relaxed, intimate evening where you’ll both be engaged and entertained, we have the programming for you.

Where we’re going: Driven by You

In all seriousness, at the Strand, you, our booklovers, are our number one priority. As we change and grow with the times, we will never lose sight of our roots – we are a community bookstore first and foremost. We are forever invested in you and want to make your shopping experience with us a memorable, enjoyable and easy one.  The Strand is a place where books are loved and book lovers of all kind are always welcome—

I added a link to a prisoner website called Concrete Echoes.  It is a great little website that is full of poetry and art from prisoners serving time in Colorado.  One of those prisoners is Nathan Ybanez.  He is featured in my next book, “Trouble Bound.”

A drawing from the prisoner content website

A drawing from the prisoner content website

Bart’s Books in Ojai, CA. If you was to see California at its best throw your backpack in the back seat and head for Southern, California.  Ojai is a little resort town near Santa Barbara, CA.  You don’t go there if you want an exciting night life or if you want to go clubbing.  BUT, is it an awesome place to go and unwind.  Bart’s Books is just off of the only main street.  It is a HUGE outdoor bookstore.  They claim to be the largest outdoor book store in the world, maybe so.  If you happen to arrive after the store is closed they have a lot of book outside the main gate.  If you find a book you like you just toss the money over the wall. Pretty cool.

Barts Books, really cool outdoor bookstore in Ojai, CA.

Barts Books, really cool outdoor bookstore in Ojai, CA.

I bumped into Robert Davi yesterday at the Starbucks by my house in Northridge, CA While standing in line to get my tall, iced, decaf, with room, Americana.  He was one of the speakers at the Memorial at the National Cemetery in Westwood, CA.  My son, SSG Darrell Griffin, Jr is buried there. A super-nice guy.

Here is Robert’s bio from

From his portrayal of James Bond villain Franz Sanchez to FBI profiler Bailey Malone in “Profiler” (1996), Robert Davi is one of the film industry’s most recognized tough guys, whether on the big screen or on television. His tough exterior masks a powerful inner sensitivity, which he calls upon for his most notorious roles. A stickler for research, Davi contacted Quantico and arranged to meet Bill Hagenmeyer, the real-life FBI profiler. Davi received critical acclaim within the industry for his provocative and smoldering portrayal of Bailey Malone. The show, currently in syndication, struck a chord with audiences, paving the way for such shows as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (2000), “Without a Trace” (2002), “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (2001) and many others.

Robert Davi