Showing posts from August, 2008

What I dig about my digs

I can't say that I like coming to the office in the morning. Actually, most days I am not sure why I am here at all given the fact that I can do 98.3% of what I do every day at home. If I was a ragin' greenie weenie I would look at saving the atmosphere the carbon monoxide that I generate on my morning commute and work from home. I care about the environment, but I don't ccccaaaarrrreeee about the environment if you get my drift. All that to say that there is at least one thing that I do like about the office. There is a stall in the bathroom we have up here that I really like. I only like it I don't lllllliiiiiiikkkkkkeeee it mind you. It for individuals who are physically handicapped and, since there is no one on this floor that fits this description, I have no qualms about taking it when it's open. The toilet is nice and high and when I am sitting on it I cannot touch the opposite wall with my arm fully extended. Nice and big and I don't have to eat my knees

So much more meaningful

I remember reading an article a while back about a woman's exit from atheism and the fact that "beauty", as she put it, "interrupted her atheism." It interrupts mine as well and I find that what I find beautiful, the people and things that bring joy to my life and a smile to my face, are so much more meaningful because of my faith in the God of the Bible. I can't shake the fact that this beauty is a love song of sorts from God to me. He gives me glimpses and foretastes of the new heavens and new earth every time I close my eyes and let the 3rd movement of the New World Symphony wash over me, or when my wife lays her comfort down for her children and friends. What would ring in my heart if I were to experience these things apart from Him? Having always been at least spiritual in my life (if not outright godly) I guess entering into the mind of those that are not oriented in this way is not attractive to me. Yet, I find myself shaken from my sleep at times whe

I could see me doing this

I subscribe to a classifieds email service and receive notices for all manner of interesting things. I have found that if I am interested in an item I like to see a picture of it. Well, there is a heavy user of the wantads that had a ring to sell. Here was the text of the ad: FS: Opal Ring Sz 9 Yellow Gold Asking $80 Will go Down to $70 if picked up before noon And here was the accompanying picture: I am not a genius, but I have a feeling that it is not going to get picked up before noon today. The funny thing is, I can see myself doing something like this too. Maybe we are long lost siblings...who knows?


Hey restless Can you sleep tonight? Something's going wrong got to make it right. Wake up now before you sleep the night away. - Restless, David and the Giants If this hasn't characterized my life recently I don't know what has. Last night I was so restless - I was feeling like I was speeding towards a brick wall at 100 miles an hour with no ability to steer or brake. It has only been recently (maybe in the last hour or so) that my soul seems to be more settled. I get these feelings every once and a while and they move me nearly to tears. Almost like a feeling of desperation where my feet aren't touching the ground. It is almost like I can't catch my breath, like I am drowning on dry land. I hate the feeling and am in prayer more during those times than any other. Am I sleeping the night away? Is that why these feelings flood my soul? Is God prompting me to lift to Him the stresses that build and build and threaten to wreck me on the rocky coasts? Are those times w

I can get used to this

So there we were, the four of us, in the pet store (locally-owned, of course) to get the fish for my son's aquarium. He and his brother were laughing their fool heads off at the ferrets that were playing with each other while I scouted out the fish that would do well in our aquarium. They eventually made their way back and after showing the youngest son his choices (white cloud minnows, glowlight tetras, or cherry barbs) his choice was the tetras. We got five of them and I also got some java moss and got the moss tied to a rock (I think I need to re-tie it) and got the fish into the tank. They seem to be happy and are eating what we're feeding so that is good. I wish I had seen the panda corydoras catfish before I got the tetras as they are tougher to find and we would have scored them first. Oh well - they still may be there in the next two weeks or so when I am confident that the tetras are all right and the water parameters check out. Just a classic family moment that was th

Soccer camp

I was awful at soccer - I was much better at basketball and stuck to that. My boys started soccer camp last weekend and did a great job. The oldest was in it last year and I saw some really nice improvement in him from last year. He is really good on defense and, when he plays the man like he should, he can stop the best of them. The youngest is in his first year and is getting his soccer legs so to speak. My wife and I split time between the two fields the boys are on (they have the same schedule) so we get to take in the games that both of them are playing. I am one of the more vocal parents on the sideline it seems and I hope that I am an encouragement to my sons. I am proud of both of them and their efforts on the field. They are both a great blessing to us and I am looking forward to the next time I can give them a thumbs up in response to their efforts on the field.

Fishless cycling

As a moderately accomplished fish keeper I was aware of the necessity of cycling an aquarium before placing fish in it, but only heard of a couple of different ways to do it: either with fish (not a great way) or fishless. The fishless way I knew about had me putting fish food in the tank until it rotted. This would produce ammonia that would end up kicking off the populating of the tank with the beneficial bacteria that that need to be developed in the artificial tank environment. These bacteria would produce nitrites that would then be consumed by other bacteria that would then produce nitrates. The nitrates would then either be eliminated by water changes or consumed by live plants. I had a decent time cycling the ten-gallon tank that my son received for his birthday as it took from July 13 until August 14 to accomplish. Instead of adding fish food to rot I added pure ammonia from a bottle to start the cycle. The only hiccup I had in the process was adding a tablespoon of ammonia t

This morning

This morning was a bit of an adventure. I was jogging (for the third time this!) and I was about a quarter mile into it when a bug flew into my eye. It seemed like it had some meat to it (i.e. it was bigger than a gnat) and when I went to dislodge it from the place it had no business being in I got stung just below my eye. Man, that little booger got me good. After the initial shock wore off I decided to walk home, but it did not feel as bad as I thought so the walk turned into a jog home. Then it started to feel even better so I turned around and ran my entire route in reverse. When I got home it was smarting a little bit so I took some antihistamine, decongestant, and ibuprofen just to dull the pain a bit and to make sure there was no added pressure building up in my sinuses to increase the discomfort. As I am typing this there is still some pain, but it is a dull, bearable one with occasional spikes of "What the..." thrown in. Not a lot of swelling thoug

I need to be more consistent

It has to happen. Since I broke the treadmill last year humming along at an all-too-fast pace I have not been entirely consistent about jogging. Of course it is difficult to do in 20° weather, but I have seen some really nice mornings this spring and summer and have not taken advantage of them. At the same time I have been a bit lazy and have not gone my full 3 miles preferring to dump out at 2.4 or 2.5 miles. Well, I am slowly working my way back to 3 miles and have a commitment to jog at least 3 morning a week. I would like to do 4 (I don't think I have ever jogged on a Saturday) so that may happen as well. At any rate 3 mornings a week would be a great improvement over where I have been. Thank God for second chances. I am happy that I am doing a consistent 9-minute mile now and want to see if I can stretch that into a 3-mile time of 27 or 27.5 minutes. Oh if you are on facebook be sure to visit my gallery of plaid . You won't be happy that you me.

Beautiful death

I noticed a stick on the driveway this morning that had a gorgeous pink hue on it. I wasn't too sure where it came from because it looked otherworldly at the angle I was viewing it at. As I walked closer to it I noticed that the sun, rising in the East, was at just the right angle to illuminate it in a way that was quite unexpected. The first words that came to my mind was "Such beautiful death." Supposedly away from its life source this stick was lit in a way that was completely different - unlike anything I had experienced up to that point. So too will be my lifeless shell when I find the end of my life. My death will be even more beautiful than the light that shone on that stick that was just under the rear bumper of my car. No longer will I struggle nor will this world struggle with me. Everything that I have ever longed for awaits just beyond my beautiful death.

Dance with me

Divided we fall together we stand If you should fall reach out for my hand The mountains so tall in the promised land We're almost there So stay, stay with me Promenade - Promenade , Undercover This walk is so wearying at times and there is so much that makes me want to faint. There are so many things that God calls me to and to be that sometimes I wonder what in the world I have gotten myself into. But to this He has called me and how can I not be enamored with Him? And there in the midst of it all there is that gentle sometimes haunting voice that reminds me of where I had been. It reminds me how drunk I would be right now if I had been left on my own. It shows me how revolting I would have been to the hand I have to hold now; the woman by my side. Come, my love, we're almost there. Can you smell the celebration on that high and holy hill? Come now and, please, dance with me.

Not last night

Not last night but the night before last I had a solid ½-¾ of an hour to work in the front garden while the boys were watching a video on how to play soccer. It is amazing how little time I need to spend in the garden to really feel relaxed and to feel like I have accomplished something. I do not think there is another activity that I could perform (work wise) that would lay claim to these feelings like gardening - so much so that it is scary as I can't explain it. Be that as it may I cut off the flowers of the hosta that had gone to seed (planting one out back to see what would happen) and fertilized the clethra and potted double impatiens out front. I was doing the "oh-no-you-don't" dance to fend off the mosquitoes that though my blood looked just about right to drink and it seemed to work out pretty well. Before you ask you don't want to see the "oh-no-you-don't" dance. Believe me.

His name was John

And it still might be. As an ex-Marine John had a very unique outlook on life in general. This unique outlook also spilled over into fashion. He was a rotund man and had not aged all that well. Given his girth it was fairly obvious that he did not need a belt for his trousers to stay up. We often wondered why he wore one and little did we know that this was the day that his secret would be laid bare At the end of the sexual harassment awareness training, in a moment of true (albeit regrettable) candor John revealed "I will always wear a belt whether I need to or not. You see, if the right situation ever presented itself, I could use it as a weapon."

Relationships and conflict

If there isn't any conflict in my life I love very little indeed. It seems to me that the world, my flesh, and the Devil leave well enough alone when all of my relationships are merely surface ones and have little consequence in my life. But, as soon as I want to go deeper; as soon as I want to love with more than just words, there will be conflict. It is inevitable. And if my relationship is world- and flesh-proof (as if that is possible) the Accuser himself will sow seeds to break it up. He will not have me nurturing a friendship or relationship that God will use to make me holy. That is not his game and he will seek and promote its demise. Just like the discipline that God brings our way to bring us back to Him proves that we are one of His so too does the presence of conflict in my life prove that I am in a love relationship with someone. Rather than discourage me this should embolden me for I am not unaware of his devices. Praise be to God I am not!

Back from a mini vacation

Our family met friends down in Lancaster, PA where we stayed in a nice hotel and went to Hershey Park and Dutch wonderland over a four-day span of time. It was great to get away and visit a couple of parks that I had never been to before. Given the age of our little guys (going into second grade and kindergarten) Dutch Wonderland was more oriented to us but Hershey Park had its own attraction as well. I got to ride the Comet roller coaster twice with my oldest son at Hershey (he loves speed) and I also rode the newest coaster there called Fahrenheit. I will have to admit that it is the most unique coaster I have ever been on (a 90° ascent with a 97° drop) and was worth the wait that we had to endure to get on it. We also had a great time at Dutch Wonderland which had a more "country fair" feel to it. I got to ride the Kingdom Coaster a couple of times with my oldest son and also the bumper cars with my youngest son. There were quite a few more rides that we could all go on as