Showing posts from June, 2008

A wall, Job, and shutting up

Yesterday I had the chance to work outside quite a bit so that was satisfying. Around 3:00 in the afternoon we had a front move through and it was a powerful one. My wife and I scurried to get some things into the garage before the deluge and we could feel the cold coming. It was almost wall-like as the hot humidity of the day was pushed aside to make way for the cool that had already graced the Western part of the state. We just stood amazed at the power of the front to change things so drastically. I am always reminded of Job chapter 37 whenever I see an approaching storm. The book has reached its climax and God is about to invade the space that Job and his miserable comforters have occupied for what seems like an eternity. Elihu hears the approaching storm and tells Job to prepare for something that I am sure even he had not envisioned. Just as weddings remind me of the union of the church with the Bridegroom so approaching storms remind me of the God who often tells me to just shut

Geek love

Yes, I have am comfortable with my full descent into Outer Nerdville where I can fully embrace, without compromise, my inner geek. Today, I got all giggly inside when I finally secured a copy of Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003. With all of the prerequisites I needed for a successful install. Can I get a w00t w00t?

What will the angels think...?

What will the angels think when we start to sing? In my imagination now I conjure up visions of them only able to bear it now as it is tainted by the fall. But what of our song when the curse is lifted? Will it be too wondrous for their abiding? Would it be a deluge to their senses? Will they flee as terror strikes their very being as I see it now when God Himself sings in their presence? Already staring in wonder at the presence of Him in our lives what will they make of it when all that we have been saved from is completely revealed to us and the work that He has begun will be completed? What will our singing be then? More than Mary's? More than Moses' or Zechariah's? And where will they flee? Or will they simple fall?

A great week of vacation

Last week we headed down to Asheville, North Carolina for a week of vacation with friends of ours who had recently moved down there. It was a lot of fun and very relaxing overall. We helped them get some things situated in their house (pictures, shelves, etc.) and yard (bushes, plants, etc.) and got to see some really nice places. One of the highlights for me was the The North Carolina Arboretum that is run by the University of North Carolina. We spent a couple of hours there with the kids and then I went on a three hour tour of the arboretum with my friend where we saw quite a bit more. One of the great things about the tour was that we got to ride a Segway through the arboretum as we went so it wasn't strenuous at all. If you ever find yourself there make sure that you plunk down the $45 ($55 on weekends) to do it. Our tour guide was great and I had nothing but praise on the evaluation form we filled out. Another highlight was the Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlin

Some bad news

Getting back from a trip out of state to visit friends my oldest son announced that he had some bad news. Curious as to what it was I inquired and he continued "We have to take down the tent in the basement to build the Thomas track." I assured him that this was not an issue and, I hope, he went off to bed with peace in his heart. I got to thinking this morning about the bad news that I get in my life and the calm reassurance that God tries to speak to me at times. God dismisses my bad news as quickly as I dismissed the that of the tent disassembly for the purposes of building the track. He also speaks very kindly and compassionately to my soul when He does it for He knows that I am so frail and prone to announce the bad news to Him as if it even caught Him unawares. Like the two-dimensional man that runs up against the line drawn from edge to edge across the paper and despairs of his ability to cross over it so do I, at times, despair over this or that. But the man who exist

Some of the names I dig

If I could have picked a name it would not have been Mark Francis Dudley. It probably would have been one of these: Trevor Chin Fabian Etch Dominic Court Blair Bodine Klaus Fritz (a captain of sorts) Julio Raton Cajon (rolling the "R" way too hard translation: July Rat Coffin or July Rat Box) Ives Montand Leonardo de las Casas (again, roll that "R" Leonardo of the Houses) Kyle Kuiper (rhymes with "smile viper") I will not ask any of my so-called friends what they would name me. That is what I would call a hanging curve ball about belt high.

Symphonies and festivals

Yesterday I had intended this post to be a bit different than it is today. I was emptying the dishwasher (brainless activity that allows my mind to wander) and I was thinking about a couple of albums that I have and what they say about the sounds that I hear in nature. One is called Soil Festivities and the other has a track on it called Symphony of the Forest. Initially I had thought that expressing the activity found in the soil and forest as a festival or symphony was a disservice to what was going on. It was a presumption of sorts that the arrangement of noises and activities that classify a symphony or festival is somewhat indicative of what is being observed or expressed in these natural environments. I thought that the pieces should have been named "Sounds of the Forest" or simply "Forest". Not as poetic, but I thought it was more true to what reality was. But then I thought that, as being made in God's image the pinnacle of his creation, the way we expre

I missed it

We had about a week of unusually warm weather here where we were into the 90's for 4 or 5 days in a row. That is something that we do not expect up here on the North Coast of America so I found myself pining for relief from the heat. The 10-day forecast showed that today was the day that we would see more moderate temperatures and they, most assuredly, are here. As I emptied the dishwasher this morning I had a nagging sense that I missed the gift that the heat was. I think I lost it in anticipation of the relief that I have now from it. I was invited to revel in the moments that only that blast could bring and I declined the overtures to sit and allow the hot furnace to wash over me. I declined it in favor of longing for something I didn't have. And now, in its absence, am I alone in my longing for it again? I want to hear, again, the song it sung. Will it ever grace me again? Or will the aria of the air be in a different key? In a different meter? Lord willing, I shan't mi

Something (for me) to ponder

Well, I have an idea that I need to develop a bit more and I think it has its genesis in the living grass suit and shoes that were first rolled out in the movie True Stories. I would like my car to be a rolling garden of sorts. I wonder what plants would be suitable for a car? Could I have flowers in it or would I have to resolve to a more evergreen look? The one hard thing is that the climate of the car can be so austere at times...varying widely...from freezing cold to more than 120 degrees, so how could plants survive in this environment? Would they have to be in a more climate controlled environment or could I just provide some type of irrigation system to keep them looking their best? What about a terrarium of sorts? I can't stand those - too much condensation on the glass obscuring the plants. How would I pump the water? I could blow into the tube to move it around, but there are times that I would need to provide some type of mechanics to pump the water because I am not in m

"Thankful" for the rain

Yesterday I was on a mission. Like a man possessed I set my face like flint to water the lawn. When the boys were watching their 3..2..1 Penguins video I positioned the sprinkler and watered the first third of the yard. When they were in bed for a bit I went back out and watered the second third. Then When the NBA finals were on (ugh - Lakers lost again!) I watered the remaining third. Quite a production, I know, but it had to be done. Well, in the middle of the night I thought I heard rain. I knew I had heard thunder, but we had a couple of rumbles during the day that did not produce one drop of rain. But I knew that it was coming down now and I was not happy. Who wouldn't be happy about the rain? Especially me who is admiring the growth of our impatiens and checked every last hydrangea yesterday for buds like I saw on my sister's the night before (3 have them!)? Well, I caught myself in the error of my ways and then proceeded to give permission for it to rain as long as there

Could this be my contribution?

I sure hope so. I just made up a word in my head: quotique. It is pronounced like boutique just with the "quo" in the beginning. I am not sure what it defines yet. I am not sure if it should be a critique of something that uses a lot of quotes from other sources (too many quotes - it is an undesirable thing) or if it is a place where you can go when you need a quote for something or about something; a collection of sorts that has comments about everything and anything.

Data flow diagrams

Today I told a colleague, and I quote, "Out of all of the architectural views that can be made of a system I think I dig data flow diagrams the most." He promptly referred me to a psychotherapist friend of his. Knowing what I know about me I think that it could only help.

My poor attitude

Yes, even the King of All Pollyanna (a.k.a. me) is subject to a poor attitude at times...and even about ministry. Tonight we have a dinner that is put on by some small groups as a thank you to the Awana/Champions club leaders and I am looking forward to it. On the agenda is a game-show-like Bible quiz that I was asked to assemble and lead. I like being the center of attention (at times) so you'd think that this was right up my alley. Well, it usually is, but I was kind of looking forward to sitting on my big fat buhumpkis and just eating. So I started to get a bit of an attitude about the whole thing. It has largely gone away and I plan on making the most of it through side-splitting sarcasm and humor (OK, maybe not side-splitting, but I'll have a good time) and at least my wife will be there to run the slide show for me. This whole thing just goes to show me that my flesh is alive and well and ready to produce the right seed for complaint - even when it comes to building the K

Garden happenings

I know the 1.5 of you that read this blog have had this question on your minds so here is an update on the garden this year: My wife planted our yearly stock of impatients about three weeks ago and they really seem to be taking off now. I think we have fertilized them twice and it is starting to show. I mulched the beds where the impatients were patiently planted. Our hydrangea are looking very good this year with some really nice leaving, but the variegated ones do not seem to be as robust as the all-green variety. I'll have to keep my eye on those buggers. We had one die that we planted last year and we'll look to get a replacement on that one soon. We planted some new hosta out in the back side garden and transplanted another from the back closer to the house. We also got a very nice variegated one that went out towards the holly in the back. I love this plant and it will be my special project this year. Our hosta in the front are in need of division as they are getting a bi

Experience and intent

I guess in any communication there is the experience of what is being communicated and the intent of the communication. It seems that the purest communication imaginable is when the intent matches the experience. Communication breakdown exists when the experience does not match the intent or when the intent doesn't match the experience. Obviously these two situations can rest in the expression of the idea or the reception of the idea or in a combination of the two. This may be elementary but it just came to me in these words. On a completely different note I composed the sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" into music and have two of (I think) four XML to XML transformations completed to take a document from text to musical notation. I think I am going to have to look at one of the XML representations of a music score and grok it before I can do the final transformation. This continues to be interesting if only to me.