Showing posts from March, 2008

I was so out of it last night

I am not sure what it is but I have a hard time being coherent/staying awake on Sunday nights. My wife and I have been watching The Complete Jane Austen series on PBS and last night was an adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. For the longest time I was wondering when Mr. Darcy was going to show up. I realized a couple of things just this morning: Even though both titles (Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility) have the word "and" in them they are not the same book. as a result: No matter how long I waited I wasn't going to be graced by Mr. Darcy's presence. My head hurt for a while trying to guess which one of the girls was Lizzy and which was Jane. For a while I was conviced that Colonel Brandon was actually Mr. Bingley but without Darcy by his side the whole thing made little sense to me. I guess there is some spiritual application in this somewhere, but maybe I just need to lay off the English breakfast tea at night.

Iron Chef/Platinum Baker Night

Absolute insanity. That is the only phrase I can describe what happened last night at the Champions club I am the director of. The Iron Chef/Platinum Baker competition was a complete circus and I was reveling in the energy that the competition brought to the club last night. The pinnacle of the night was the macaroni salad competition where four of the top clubbers had to make their salads live in front of a cheering (at times absolutely frantic) crowd. Chants of "Luke! Luke! Luke!" and "Go! Go! Go!" and "Iron Chef! Iron Chef! Iron Chef!" filled the room as the four battled it out for macaroni salad supremacy. It was a lot of work (we had to call in reinforcements for judging and food preparation) and was one of the more expensive special events we put on (I am not shy about spending money) but we'll do it again, Lord willing. There was great participation from the clubbers as there were a total of 25 dishes that were prepared and had to be judged to d

The format of my new radio station

I will be starting a new internet radio station (WDRK) soon that will play Butterfly Kisses and Thank God I'm a Country Boy (in that order) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I may throw in some Crumbacher, but don't get your hopes up.

The company they kept

My parents kept good company. They made sure we did as well. They hung around people that loved God and, through their minor failings, showed us that not only was a love for God attractive but it could be incorporated into a "normal" life. The people on the periphery for us were those that did not share the faith that we did and engaged in behavior that demonstrated that lack of faith. I wouldn't say that we lived a sheltered life...there were plenty of bas examples to go around and we fell victim to some of them. But the life they constructed for us was a life where we were surrounded by people that could articulate their faith and show that it meant something to them. I want to do that for my boys as well. I want them to compare and contrast the faith-filled life with the one that is lived apart from God. I want them to see genuine and fraudulent believers in a church setting and for their presence to raise questions and, prayerfully, a bit of abhorrence as well. I want

Back to the "where I was"

Hopefully this morning is a change back to where I had been. Last night I felt great and knew that I was going to have plenty of energy to get up and get jogging again. I broke our treadmill a while back and have had to jog outdoors for quite a while. Obviously the winter had me inside in the morning more often than I would have liked but recently we've been dry and cold. The cold I don't mind so much because I sweat so profusely when I run, but when it is wet and cold, well, there's ice and know? I also don't like to jog in the road as much as on the sidewalk for safety reasons. So this morning was great. Cold and dry I started out and along the familiar route that I normally take and I was so happy to have the energy and drive to get it done. I know this is a gift so, after the run, I thanked God that I was able to complete it. I only had to divert into the road a couple of times due to snow and ice on the sidewalk. Hopefully this is the beginning of me ru

Kicks in the pants

I admit to the condition I find myself in more often that I would like: I need kicks in the pants. I love my bed, the couch, Masterpiece Theater...all of the stuff that I do not necessarily need to be doing, but I like doing it. A lot. This year in the Champions there is a friend of ours that has given me kicks in the pants when I needed them and she does not even know that she is doing this. This week we are having an Iron Chef competition and it is going to be a logistical nightmare. We have had to call in reinforcements in the form of a small group that we know would attack the opportunity with great gusto and, with their help, I think we are going to pull it off. OK, now we just need to do it. The funny thing is I had this on the calendar last year and chickened out. This year, I had no choice. You see this person asked me to give her a calendar of the special events that I had planned for this year and, like clockwork, she has taken the opportunity to promote them before I could p

Hyperthreading on a Dell GX280

I have a noisy Dell GX280 at work and I was looking for solutions to the issue when I ran across the toggling of the hyperthreading option in the BIOS as a possible solution. It turns out that hyperthreading is turned off by default and it wsa reported that either turning it on or off results in the quieting of the PC. There were conflicting reports on this so I decided to try it. It didn't work. What it did do, however, was allow me to multi-task to a greater degree when I have a single process that is consuming a great deal of processor cycles. I found that a processor-intensive application will not slow down my ability to check email with Outlook or surf the web with Firefox to any great degree. As processor- and memory-intensive as these applications are I found them to be much more sluggish under the conditions I have described when hyperthreading was turned off. In fact, this quick synopsis of hyperthreading technology from Dell corroborates my experience.

I love spam filters

I love spam filters, but for all the wrong reasons. I am into them because they force the spammers to produce some truly interesting reads in order for their messages to get through. I received this one last night (it went to my Junk Email folder): Then they issued a National Space Policy that talked about freedom of action and denying adversaries access to space. With the decline of manufacturing and few formal jobs, many residents make a meager living off one another’s misery. Second, government needs to rethink the way it funds student places. Galati directed Ragtime, he had worked closely with Ms. R0LEX_from 148.- EURO Institutions might remain alike, but the push for diversity could instead focus on the student body. Success may not have spoiled Mr. We will launch our patrons’ scheme in several states later this year. As souped-up treehouses have proliferated — there are now at least several hundred of them in the United States, according to Mr. [url removed by me] *

Nineteen forever

Wouldn't it be a drag to be like you Settling down and having kids And telling them what to do I'm gonna stay nineteen forever - Nineteen Forever, Joe Jackson I completely appreciate the sentiments of this song and, as much as I like Joe Jackson, I need to raise the spector of the false dichotomy within the confines of these lyrics. OK, enough of the fancy jargon. I don't think that the "settling down and having kids" part of my life has much to do with my apparent lack of ability to exude a passion for life that is more akin to a 19 year old rather than the 37-almost-38-year-old that I am. I would like to think that I suck the marrow out of life more than the average person and that I do that more so now than in years past. I wrote about redeeming the time a bit a while ago in this blog and that has something to do with the passion that I want to have for life. With the wild direction/re-direction struggles behind me that characterized much too much of my teen ye

Not measuring up

I found myself on the receiving end of quite a few compliments this weekend having to do with my teaching/preaching ability and motivations toward ministry in particular. When I was a teen I hated compliments because they brought expectations. For example, if my parents complimented me on my initiative to do the dishes without being asked then there was an expectation that came with it that I would show similar inclination toward initiative in the future. I was far too lazy to embrace that. Now, with my laziness somewhat cured, I hate being complimented because I am afraid that I will not live up to the compliment. What if I have a bad week teaching? What if I stumble, fall, and make a fool not only of me but of the person that publicly complimented me? I know that if people really knew who I was on the inside that all of these compliments would be rescinded and I would be encouraged to repent and, even perhaps, to embrace the Gospel. That is one of the reasons why God is such a refuge

Nothing motivates like success

I have written about this before but success, and its sibling motivation, are operating in my life yet again at a personal and professional level. I have been successful in accomplishing some goals and completing some projects that I did not think I was capable of and those successes have buoyed me and have motivated me to do more of the same albeit in a different shade. Have I failed along the way? Yes - the successes have not been ultimate, but they have been good and when I look back on them I realize that there are ways that I could improve on my performance when I do it again. And there is the point. I want my boys to have success as well. Success that motivates them and, when their hard-fought victory is won, I want them to stand back and say "That was worth it." I want their successes to motivate them and I want to be a part of their training in this regard. I need to capture this feeling and help it to motivate me to want to creatively help them to succeed. Not ultim

MS Office 2007 trial version uninstall issues

Well, I uninstalled the Microsoft Office 2007 trial from my computer (I only had Access and Excel installed) and, what do you know, I couldn't start by currently installed version of Microsoft Outlook 2003. When I tried to start it I got a configuration window and a prompt for the location of a .cab file on the installation CD. Because I did not have the installation CD I just hit cancel and I received a message that the mapi32.dll file was either missing or corrupted. I thought that I would just place another mapi32.dll file in the place where it should go from another version of Outlook I had on my laptop but that did not fix the problem. I went out to the web to find a solution and tried a number of different things. Eventually I found these instructions that proved to be just what I needed to solve the problem: 1. Go to the registry editor (use regedit) and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, Microsoft, Office, 11.0, {90110409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0150048383C9}, CDCache. 2. Change the va

The hard part of parenting

It is very difficult training our children to have self-control. Especially when I don't have as much of it as I would like to have. The youngest is displaying some behavior that we need to put a stop to and he does not seem to be responding to the punishment that his brother did in the past. It looks like we are going to have to get more creative in the way we communicate to him the gravity of the offense by depriving him of something valuable. Obviously pain is a gift from God to help preserve us from hurt and we need to make the "pain" (not physical pain) that comes as a result of the offense great enough that it makes him stop and say, "Well, that wasn't worth it." But this is the stuff I hate, and my wife does too. But, us hating it doesn't mean that we ignore it. The tears that are a result of the punishment will not diminish him. They will build him up and help him realize that there are real-world consequences to all of his actions. Both the good

I was not immune to it

We held our annual school auction on Saturday March 8 and it was a wild one. It seemed like the weather was conspiring against us as we received over a foot and a half of snow, sleet, and freezing rain from Friday night into Saturday night. Couple this with the fact that we seemed to be a  bit more disorganized than in previous years (the "day-of" and "record-keeping" crews that I am a part of) and there was a feeling of dread coming over us about the success of the auction. it was expressed on numerous occasions on Friday night that we had a bad feeling about the situation. I can say that I never verbalized my feelings but I shared most of their concerns privately. I am "much too spiritual" to actually say what I am feeling. Then the people came on Saturday and turned our feelings upside down. When the final numbers were in it was apparent that we had close to (am quite possibly "the") best auction ever. It was apparent that people made

His good name

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Proverbs 22:1 Last night while my wife was working in preparation for the big school auction two teachers came up to her and told her that they enjoyed our son. She made sure to bring that up in front of me with both him and his brother present and I congratulated him on his securing of a good reputation. This is a valuable thing and is more cherished than money, things, or fame. I am proud of him and thankful to God that He has seen it fit to produce this in him and that my son is willingly cooperating in this production. He's a good boy, Lord, and still a little rough around the edges. Like I was and still am at times, but You know that full well. Please help his mother and me to not arrest that which you have placed in him. May we produce a picture of You that is attractive to him and help You produce a man who loves You and loves his neighbor. May it never be done in spite of us.

Unique experiences and the "aha"

The past couple of days I have had some truly unique experiences concerning people I would have never met or even known about had I not done things a little out of the ordinary and out of my comfort zone. One of them had to do with the requesting of a donation for our school auction from a local business (which we did not receive) and one had to do with listing a light fixture on craigslist (which we sold). Both experiences had me in conversation with people who were wildly divergent but very interesting. Hopefully they felt the same way about me. There is a song in the movie The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything written by Steve Taylor and sung by the Newsboys. It is called Yo Ho Hero! and contains the line "we've got the funk without the parliament." Immediately I knew that it had something to do with the group Parliament-Funkadelic but I wasn't sure what. Well, today, in a fit of aha! I figured it out: funk minus the parliament is simply "funk". Sounds li

He is a peacemaker

On one of my mind meanders during the morning service with the church I thought, once again, of the communicable and incommunicable attributes of God. My favorite incommunicable attributes are omnipresence and immutability but the communicable attributes hold more attraction for me as these are the ones that I can participate in. The one that struck me yesterday was that of peacemaker. God is a peacemaker. When I was far from Him, so far that I had no desire for Him, He pursued me so that He could be at peace with Him. As glorious as Him sending His Son to absorb the penalty that was mine it didn;t end there. He meticulously ordered events such that I would have to choice but to surrender my life to Him and be at peace with Him through the work that His Son accomplished on my behalf. He loves me and would have it no other way. I am to be like that. I am to seek out those with whom there is even a modicum of strife with meticulously and mthodically seek to be at peace with them. There i