Showing posts from November, 2007

Lisa Whelchel and Steve Taylor

I have been impressed with Lisa Whelchel and her post-Facts-of-Life life, but I am even more impressed with her now that I have run across the fact that she collaborated with Steve Taylor on a project: Lyrics of a song Steve Taylor wrote for her called Good Girl. mp3 of her belting it out Not only did she have the good sense of getting Steve Taylor to write her a song, but she even gave a go at singing it. She is smarter and braver than I could be all at the same time. Rock on Blair! Powered by ScribeFire .

No matter what anyone says

It is not impossible to floss your teeth while driving a car with a manual transmission. Don't ask me how I know this. Powered by ScribeFire .

What am I a part of?

We had a food collection in the Champions club that wrapped up on November 14th. I  now have a bunch of food down in my basement ready to go somewhere. While buying batteries last night for my sons' new Buzz Lightyear race track I noticed that there was a collection barrel for food at the local grocery store sponsored by Foodlink which is the food bank here in Western New York. Having interned at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York I was well aware of food bank operations and thought contributing to this drive would be a good thing. This morning I mentioned to my wife that I found a place for the food and she mentioned that she had spoken with a friend of ours who knew of a family that needed food and clothing. She told us about the need that this family had in an email on November 19th. I am tempted to chalk this up to a happy circumstance, but it seems to be much more than that. Through this I am reminded that I am to be obedient and faithfully apply the revealed wil

A simple question really

You gotta look sharp You gotta look sharp And you gotta have no illusions Just keep going your way looking over your shoulder - Look Sharp, Joe Jackson In at least one previous post I have talked about my teenage and off and on continuing affinity for all things Joe Jackson. Well, I was getting the youngest dressed for his annual Christmas picture with his brother and I said that he looked sharp. He asked what it meant to look sharp and I told him it meant handsome and then I started to sing the refrain to the song Look Sharp by Joe Jackson. After I was done with that he had a quizzical expression on his face and, in response to the song, asked "Why, Daddy?" Why indeed. I remember watching a special on the Moody Blues on PBS a while ago where they lamented that people looked to them for answers because they were asking questions. Questions that were profound, relevant, and that struck a chord with the people that listened to their music. Such was their lament that they actu

A little tweak here and there

I really can't stand standing still. I have a lot of nervous energy and it shows quite a bit as I fidget when I talk to people or when my computer monitor looks like a fireworks show as I zip back and forth between different applications. I don't need coffee, but I do like it. I think that the main way this lack of attention benefits me is that I get bored easily. I need to constantly tweak things so that my attention is held which leads to (I hope) some innovations that make a real difference in various places. I have had some blunders and near disasters, but those are rare in comparison to the "micro-improvements" I think I have been able to make. (You see my temperament bleeding through here. No self-respecting sanguine would ever admit defeat.) I teach a wide range of kids on a weekly basis as a member of my church. There are a lot of innovative things going on and there have been more than micro-improvements that have been made in both the curriculum that is bein

Ubuntu 7.10 Modem Success

Well, it has been a long time in coming, but I have successfully configured and used my modem under Ubuntu 7.10. Here is what I did: The Linmodems support page was very helpful in providing a utility called scanModem to scan my system to help me determine what modem I had installed in my Dell Latitude D610. I ran the scanModem utility and opened the ModemData.txt file where, on line 106, I found that there was an install package for the modem that corresponded to the kernel version I am running (2.6.22). I then followed the directions to extract the contents of the file and install the .deb package. The trick for me was to run the 'sudo wvdialconf /etc/wvdial.conf' command as this command scanned all of the ports to find which one my modem was installed on. It found that it was installed on /dev/ttySHSF0 and wrote the configuration to the wvdial.conf file. I then used the 'sudo wvdial' command to dial out and connect to my ISP ( Bluefrog ) using configuration informat

Inside focus

There's hungering and despair There's hungering it's unfair There's hungering everywhere There's hungering in solitaire There's hungering in pairs There's hungering everywhere But it's not here - Lost Dogs, The New Physics It takes a lot of energy for me to focus on me. Not that I need help indulging my pride or selfishness - I have got that down. What I need is to stay focused on the evil that is inside of me rather than the evil that is out there. Taking it one step out it is easy for me to get caught up in the dysfunction in other families and ignore the dysfunction in my own. It is hard for me to hear criticism but I cannot even begin to explain what a gift that is to me. It allows me the ability to look at me through someone else's eyes, which independent of the criticism is an impossible feat. It is almost like I have been handed an opportunity to confront the dross that is in my life and deal with it. Burn it in the fire of holiness and eradic

That feeling that you're home

I remember when we moved into our current house in August 2003 and wondering when I would get that feeling that I was home after having been away for a while. There is nothing quite like walking through the front or side door after having been away for a while and getting the sense of the familiar that floods my heart. Knowing that I walked into something that I am intimately aware of and can say that I am "home" didn't come the minute I moved in. It developed over time. When did I get it? That, I'm afraid, I do not recall. Like the date of my salvation (all of the signs point to sometime in October 1998) I am not fully aware of when it happened - when the feeling of strangeness was replaced by familiarity, but I know that it has happened already. I think I missed an opportunity to map out how long it took. I am not sure if I will have another opportunity like that again. The funny thing is I recall that my bringing the lack of the feeling I was "home" to mi

The goal this week

I set a mini goal this week to run 10 miles. Not in one day but cumulatively over the week. Well, this morning, I did it. I started out on my run and noticed that I had some pain in my, um, vlorch. Those who know me know what that is. I almost turned around but noticed that the light was on at the next door neighbors house and I didn't want them to see me tank the run so I pressed on. I know I'm superficial but it seems getting the job done at times. So on I went determined to make this a "fun run" (2.4 miles instead of 3.2). I am glad I did because the vlorch loosened up some and I was able to get the run in just fine. So, I ran 4 times this week - three 2.4 mile runs and one 3.2 mile one for a total of 10.4 miles. I could have done the 3.2 one today, but I got out a little late and I was screwing around with whether I should continue the run or not. Oh well. The next goal will be four 3.2 mile runs in a week, but I am already running more miles now than I ever have

It went really well

OK, for the one person that is keeping track of my life on this blog...the night went great. We had two world leaders, two lumberjacks, and many mad scientists running around and the Champs seemed to be into the astronomy demonstrations (especially Celestia) and the like. We even had some kids remember to bring in their food for the Thanksgiving Food Drive which was impressive. All in all very worth doing as I have always found that a combination of science and way-cool technology to be a good combination to communicate knowledge and to peak interest. Hopefully, above all, this begins to cement in the clubbers that fact that the leaders love them and want what's best for them. I sincerely hope that those relationships continue to be formed and firmed as they are, by far, the most effective means of ministry. Powered by ScribeFire .

I have some high hopes

Tonight we are doing something in the Champions Club (3rd - 6th grade boys and girls) that we have never done before. We are having "Mad Scientist, Lumberjack, World Leader Night". Yes, I made it up. I had it on the calendar last year but chickened out of it not knowing how I was going to pull it off. Well, tonight, I am still not sure how I am going to pull it off, but we are ready to go. I think. I will be demonstrating the use of my NexStar 114GT telescope, a couple of astronomy computer programs ( Stellarium and Celestia ) and also a "lucky" clubber will get to assist me in making a goofy hovercraft out of a paper plate and a balloon. Of course the Champs were encouraged to dress up in either mad scientist, lumberjack, or world leader attire so prizes will be given to the best looking one of those as well. I will be dressing up as the Mad Scientist "Dr. Payne" and, hopefully, scare my sons in the process. If this works it will be miraculous. Powered by

Ministry that challenges me

It is so easy to "play" church and it is so easy to "play" ministry. There are a number of things that I can be involved in that would be fun to do and require no real effort other than showing up on time and doing my best when I am there. I would simply go, do my thing, then leave it all behind. I would then engage it again when the time came and the cycle would repeat itself. Some days that seems so attractive to me, but that would be a waste of time. I doubt God would be interested in the time I spent, for example, re-shelving books in the library or even generating checks for the bills we incur. It seems to me that He would be more pleased with my efforts if I truly struggled to find a balance between small group and large group interactions; or if I deal with difficult personalities and perceived roadblocks towards more effective ministry. I have to deal with some of these things presently and I am not at all thrilled about it. What I am happy (or at least joyf


Not that long ago I wrote an entry about how inexact the standards are as I seek to please God in this new life He has given me. I still feel frustrated at times that I don't have a checklist of sorts to refer to as I look to live a holy life, but I am beginning to get in touch with the emotional aspect of it all a little more. I was sucking up leaves last Friday in our front garden when I realized that the standard of, financially, "being rich toward God" (or generosity) is both freeing and challenging at the same time. There is a great amount of glorious freedom when the children of God serve Him as he holds all of us to the same standard. How that standard is measured out is the same, but it's material manifestation is different. I am not to be ashamed that my being rich toward God may be a paltry sum in comparison to another's. Rather, the freedom is there to rejoice that God is having His way in both of us when we give. At the same time it is a challenge in t