Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Quote for 10/27/04

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline."
King Solomon - Proverbs 1:7

One last quote before my trip.

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A MEME of mymy own

Feel free to slap me for that little play on words there. I deserve it.

Favorite movies of the 80's...

5) Cannonball Run
4) Fast Times at Ridgemont High
3) Red Dawn
2) The Terminator
1) Highlander

Now look what you've started JT

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Getting caught up with everyone

It really sucks when you can't even make time to post a "Quote for... ". So, I'll just breifly re-hash, in reverse chronological order, what I've been wanting to post for the last few days. Enjoy!

Wednesday:
Bounced around at work today, applying my personal expertise to each area. I'm so special! But does that mean "special", as in "Lunch Special"; cheap, easy and something that we have too much of, or does it mean "special" as in "Special Olympics"? (heheh). Spent the evening getting things ready for my trip to Ft. Recovery, OH. tomorrow. I'll be leaving right after work... that is if mom can get her ass into gear before 3:00. We're all looking forward to this trip, Bobby, especially so. He's been psyched-up for this for most of the month. I only wish that I had gotten the camera I was hoping for. No such good fortune for me though. Maybe next trip.

Tuesday:
39
Three guesses as to the significance of this number today. I'll even throw in a $5 prize to the first person to make an accurate guess in my comments. Of course, I won't be able to check on this before next Monday. Good luck.

Monday:
Today was the Monday to end all Mondays.I really wish that there had been somebody around to yell, “LOOKOUT!”, when I woke up Monday. Because it hit me like a freight train, and then it just kept on rolling over me.
I could handle the fact that Sheba woke me up at 3:23 AM, but then she refused to go outside. Why? I dunno! She just stood there staring at me as if to say “Yeah! Right!”. Fortunately, I’m bigger, meaner, and I have sharper teeth than she does… so, she went outside.
Anyways, I putzed around for awhile getting ready for work. I did thoroughly enjoy the stillness of the early morning. I only wished I had known what else was in store for me.
So, off to work I went. Nothing unusual at first, but then everything started to happen slowly. Like the erosive nature of water over granite. One drop at a time the day started to come apart.
First it was the power switch on my printer. So, I couldn’t test PC boards… nowhere to send the printer data… Next it was one of my oscilloscopes. It needed to be sent back for calibration, and the one that our technicians brought out for me wouldn’t show me a decent ECG wave. I demanded a different one, and got it. But it was a bit more complex to set-up and that was biting into my production time. When I finished the set-up, somebody from IT came down to make a clone of one of my hard drives. They’re expecting it to crash soon, and they want to have everything on a back up. More downtime. Til the IT guy finished, one of my patient simulators died.
By this time I was wondering to myself; am I Klaatu, and I’m just giving myself my own personal “Day The Earth Stood Still”, or am I Schlepprock, bringing grave misfortune to all those around me? I'm still not sure which it was.
Either way, I really didn’t accomplish much during the day. However, I was greatly relieved when it was all finally over.

Sunday:
Does anybody else out there know what “501.c.3” means? It is the section of the IRS tax codes that pertain to “tax exempt” organizations, such as churches, and private charities. Within this section of the tax code there is a rule, that applies to these various organizations, that prohibits them from engaging in partisan political activities. Such activities include, but are not limited to, official endorsement of particular candidates, official endorsement of a political party, or allowing candidates to campaign from their facilities or sponsored events. For such an organization to engage in these activities is to risk losing their “tax exempt” status.
So could somebody please explain to me why it is, that over the last 4 weeks (at least), either John Kerry, John Edwards, or some member of their family or campaign staff, have been showing up at churches on Sundays to speak from the pulpit? Strange, how none of these churches are in danger of losing their 501.c.3. Yet, if some conservative, evangelical church were to ask a member of the Bush campaign to appear, theirs would be revoked in a heartbeat. Is this merely an oversight on the IRS’ behalf? Or is it a matter of certain churches, or certain political parties, that get a pass on this rule?
Personally, I’ve never believed in the so-called “Separation of Church and State”. From everything that I’ve read on the subject, it was meant to keep the government from telling churches how to conduct themselves. In other words; there is nothing wrong with John’s Kerry or Edwards attending a church that welcomes their political agenda. Though I personally have a problem with a church that is willing to accept an agenda that is clearly in opposition to what the Bible teaches. The problem is with the IRS telling conservative pastors and churches that they cannot have a representative of the Bush campaign attend one of their Sunday services.
I don’t care if churches welcome political candidates to express their honest views, but that liberty should not be limited to minority churches or democrats. Especially when one considers the amount of lip service to fairness and equality that these groups always seem to be espousing. As far as I'm concerned, this issue ought to rank pretty high on the “to-do” lists for both. So why isn’t it a more visible topic of discussion?

Saturday:
Just a blur! It should have been longer and more memorable, but it wasn't.

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Now that it's safe

All things considered...
After the Monday I had, I wasn't about to post anything, and risk crashing my system. So... I'm back dating the quote that I wanted to put up for the day.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Quote for 10/25/04

"No day is so bad it can't be fixed with a nap."
Carrie Snow

Amen!

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Saturday, October 23, 2004

Whooooa !

Yeah... I really like these changes. But maybe the sizing is too small. I'll keep playing around with it though.

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Friday, October 22, 2004

Stuff-n-Junk #4

Another installment...

Family, Friends and Acquaintances:
M+: "Wotta revoltin' developement dis is!" - Ben Grimm/The Thing. BIG problem at work! J2D and Phyllis have to take apart all of the units that were built (on our line) just to check serial numbers on 1 board. ROUGH days at home lately. You may recall a post from about a month ago, in which I mention a big fight between Jo and myself. Well, some of the wounds have been re-opened of late, and I'm still not very happy about the way things are being "resolved"... if you can call it that. I won't go into much more about it. I will only say; Jo has this saying "Some times people say things that they shouldn't, and they're the kind of things that you can never take back.". She's the one who said them to me the last time, and she's said some of them again. I guess it would be redundant to say I'm not too happy.
Jo: On a more positive note, has been helping out one of her friends by staying over and babysitting for her until she can replace the babysitter who quit on her about a week ago. I don't mind. I think we need the time apart.
Aliesha: Started playing Powder Puff Football this week. She's trying out for QB, but I told her she'd be better as a Linebacker. Thought for sure she'd want to be on the side of the line that gets to do all of the hitting, crunching and tackling. Go figure!
Bobby: Trying to save money for an air-gun. Only $20 at Wal-Mart. But everytime he gets close to having enough, he finds something else that he wants more (or at least that's how he puts it), and then blows the money on that instead, only to lament his poor choice later.
JT: had a post that really brought back some great memories from our youth. Especially, regarding the kinds of music we used to listen to...
Kenn: If I'm not mistaken, Jon is the youth pastor at an A/G in Arnold. I keep telling myself that I should get in touch with him... then I never do. Soon, I hope, maybe.

Entertainment:
The Choir: One of my all-time favorite bands from the 80's and 90's. These guys are still putting out great music. Another CD is currently in the works, but I believe that I mentioned that in my last "S-n-J".
77's: This was another one of those great 80's bands. I have to find some of their older stuff on CD.
12 Stones: I just picked up their new release, The Potters Field. I like it! Paul McCoy doesn't 'growl' much on this one. Takes some of the edge off, but it's still pretty hard.
Chevelle: New release already out. I should probably go find this. I really liked their first CD, this one was supposed to be even harder. WOOHOO !!!
Gamera: Couldn't resist the urge to pick up a 4-pack of Gamera DVD's for $8.99 at Media Play. 'The Boy' and I sat around the other night and watched them all. These things were cheesier than any other Japanese Monster Movies I've ever seen, but I still loved 'em. It was like having our very own, private,
Mystery Science Theater 3000
. We are SOOOOO not right!
Patton: Was very tempted to pick this DVD up. Another one of my all-time favorites. Speech at the beginning... AWESOME!


Politics:
How is it that a senator, who scores a 100% with both the Gun Control advocates and PETA, can get away with bagging a goose on a hunting trip to Ohio, without suffering the indignation of either group? I call it hypocrisy. What I find to be even more shameful, on the part of these special interest groups, is the way that they whined about a similar hunting trip (one for pheasants) by V.P. Cheney in PA about a year ago. So, let me get this straight; It's O.K. to complain about the activities of a man who does not support your ideologies, and then acts accordingly, but you won't say a word about a man who professes to be in complete agreement with you, yet doesn't act like it. Face it people; those of us who adhere to the 2nd Amendment, and enjoy eating tasty animals, were not fooled by this obvious attempt to deceive us into thinking that Kerry is 'one of us'. As Zell Miller put it; "20 weeks of campaign rhetoric does not make up for 20 years of votes.". The special interest groups are aware of this as well... that's why their silence is so deafening.

Theology:
JT will often tell people in our church; "I don't expect non-christians to act like christians.". I agree. I do not expect people, who do not think like me, or believe what I believe, to act as if they do. That would be foolish. Yet, there is a move, on both sides of the political spectrum, to silence those who oppose their personal moral preferences. This is just plain wrong. I think people have the freewill to make choices for themselves. Let them! But, by the same token, don't tell me that I'm not allowed to vocalize my dissent, or disatisfaction with your choices. Especially, when they have an effect on my life, my faith, or the lives, and faith of my family.

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Thursday, October 21, 2004

"Ch...ch...ch...changes!"

- David Bowie.

Took some time to play around with my template last night. I kinda like the colors, but I was thinking of doing something else, too. I'm just not sure of what, or how, yet. In any event, I can always play more later on.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Contemplating...

O.K., I admit it! I keep seeing the "Google Ad-Sense" thing when I logon to my blog, and I can't help but wonder if it would be worth my while. Not because I expect to get rich from it or anything, although a few extra bucks never hurts, but would it increase my exposure?
I know that I have 5 regular visitors, 3 of whom I pretty much know, and quite a few off-n-on visitors through my regulars. But would an advertising presence attract other readers, or would it merely distract everyone who already reads my stuff?
Would those of you who visit regularly consider me a "sell-out", or would I simply be reinforcing my capitalist convictions? Maybe I could use any revenue generated by it for my own merchandise - like Kenn has.
Now that I've put some of this to print, the gears are just grinding away inside my head. Smell that smoke!
I must ponder this for a little while. Advice and comments are welcomed.

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Quote for 10/19/04

"Whether you think you can or you think you can't - you are right."
Henry Ford

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Monday, October 18, 2004

A moments aesthetic delight

In spite of the gloom of this rainy October day, I did manage to enjoy some of the fall colors that are so abundant here.
I'm sure that JT and Kenn are familiar with the winding stretch of Lougeay Road that falls between Old Wm. Penn, and Rodi, as it rolls through Wilkins Township toward Turtle Creek. Well, that's the way I took Bobby to his Bible study, and I was amazed at how bright that little stretch of road was. The colors were brilliant, even for the dreary sky above.
Just one more small miracle that God takes great pleasure in sharing with us.

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I... uuummm... uuuhhh... what?

I don't like it when that's the answer that I get, from people at work, who are in positions of greater authority than I am. It makes me uncomfortable at times.
All I wanted to know was; "Do I have new documents for my test procedures?"
Please! Let me do my job! It isn't that I mind doing other stuff, it's just that I have work stacking up on me, and I want to keep it from getting too far out of hand. Is that too much to ask?

O.K., enough complaining for today. Hope all is well for the rest of you.

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Sunday, October 17, 2004

Quote for 10/17/04

"Middle age is the awkward period when father time starts catching up with mother nature."
Harold Coffin

Happy Birthday JT. This is the threshold year to middle age for you. Welcome to my world.

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Welcome to the U.S.S.A.

For some odd reason, I wasn't surprised to read this story...

For anyone who cares to know why there's a shortage of the flu vaccine;
Back in 1993, as the Clinton administration was attempting to socialize (criminalize) the practice of medicine (as in the above story), through a national healthcare plan. They managed to make a big issue out of the flu vaccine. The democrats in congress (1993 was pre-republican majority), with guidance from first lady Clinton, proposed legislation that would secure between 1/3 and 1/2 of all of the flu vaccine, for various government aid, and assistance program. And to do so at a price that was set by the government.
These are the results of this action:
In 1993, there were 7 pharmacuetical companies that produced the flu vaccine. Over the course of the 11 years that this program has been in place, 5 of the vaccine producers have halted production, because the price being paid for the vaccine (by the government requirements), did not cover the cost of producing the vaccine. As the various companies began to withdraw from this particular venture, the vaccine became less available. The supply shortage first became apparent around 2000, as local health agencies began distribution of the vaccines to health providers, rather than the private providers securing the vaccine on their own. Currently, there are only 2 producers of the vaccine. One of which has discovered a batch that has been contaminated. Leaving us with only one provider of the vaccine. And that single provider can't produce enough vaccine in one year to cover every person who might need, let alone want, the vaccine.

The promise of socialism is: Through government regulation of industry, everything will be made affordable to everybody. Well... the flu vaccine sure is affordable, but where can you get any?
Now, imagine this particular type of regulation being applied to the entire healthcare system. That scares the hell out of me. As if this country's own experience with the VA hospitals (government run healthcare) hasn't been bad enough, now we have this fiasco. And, still, there are people in this country who think a government administered health plan is the way to go. "Here's your bullet..."

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Saturday, October 16, 2004

Quote for 10/16/04

"The American Dream is not something you can achieve in your sleep."
M+

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That really sucked!

Started work early, as usual, today. Only to end up working myself out of work before 2nd break (10:00 am, that is). Ya know... it'd be really nice if they could get us the parts we need to keep doing our job. It'd be even nicer if they'd get me some work instructions, for the procedures that have changed, so I can get things rolling again. But I guess I shouldn't complain too much, I still got paid for the OT.
Then J2D informs me that she's opted against the "Island Theme" that I suggested for her basement. Seems she doesn't think she has enough artistic talent to pull it off. It's a basement for crying out loud! Besides, if you mess it up a little, you just go back over it with some more paint.
Instead, she asked for opinions on other color schemes and ideas. That's when I came up with my next "Theme". A starry sky. I recommended that she go to some fabric, or craft store to find a Midnight Blue, or Black, mesh material that she could drape across the rafters and even string up some plain white Christmas lights to make it look like a starry night. She liked this idea, too. She seems to be willing to go with this one because it doesn't seem to require too much talent. I hope she sticks with this one, 'cuz I'm not giving her anymore of my ideas.
Bobby had his friend, Eugene, come over after school today. He moved here from Korea this summer and Bobby has been able to help him make the transition with a little more ease. I feel kinda sorry for him though. His parents are still living in Korea, and he's staying with his cousin. So, I guess it's a good thing that Bobby has befriended him. I'm quite proud of 'The Boy' for doing it, too. Bobby was really hoping that Eugene could've spent the night, but he wasn't able to. Still, it worked out O.K., because one of his other friends invited him to come over for the night. So, after we dropped Eugene off at his cousins apartment I took Bobby down to his other friends house. All in all, a good night for 'The Boy', and that kinda balances things out for me as well.
Well... it's getting late, and I should probably go get some much needed, and deserved, sleep.

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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Just a few random thoughts

I didn't realize that it has been a full week since I last posted a "Quote...". Sorry, Faith if you've been going through withdrawal.

Speaking of Faith... Somewhere in her Randomness post, she mentions a desire to have kids, but not to marry. I question the wisdom of this, not for moral or religious reasons, but, because she is now bound to get an onslaught of offers to help with the first half. (heheh)

Does anybody else out there realize just how SLEEPY you can get by trying to count 4,386 different screws, 2,645 various nuts and washers, and a multitude of other assembly components? Not to mention how Dopey, and Grumpy as well.

Why aren't there any real superheroes in the world? You'd think that somebody out there would come up with some nifty gadgets that would make it possible.

Strange how quickly your mind goes blank when it was just full a few minutes ago...
Later!

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Quote for 10/14/04

"No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist."
Oscar Wilde

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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Belief in God ... part 2

In dealing with the topic of Belief in God I find myself meditating on just who God is. To be completely honest about this, I can’t really tell you just who God is. Not because I don’t know, but because my relationship with Him is unique to me. I could tell you some of the things that I know to be true about Him, but that would still seem to be lacking. But that is the wonder of God being infinite. He is able to meet each of us on a level that each of us can appreciate, and respond to. And, while He possesses certain, unchanging qualities, which He will never act out of accordance with, He is still capable of being different (to some extent) for each and every one of us.
So, instead of trying to tell people who God is, I think it’s better to discuss who He is NOT. But why have I chosen this particular angle? Because, there are a small handful of very common misconceptions of who God is that should probably be put to rest right away.

He is NOT:

The Shoe Box God: A place for everything, and everything in it’s place. O.K., this philosophy may help you to cope with the pressures of work, the drama of your various friends, and acquaintances, or even with the myriad trials of family life. But God doesn’t fit into any compartment that you might want to put Him into. So many people today approach their lives from the perspective that their belief in God is just one of many parts of their lives, but God doesn’t see it that way. He is our creator; the one who holds the universe in the palm of His hand. To think that we can set Him aside whenever we please is ridiculous. He wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives not just the ones that we don’t mind Him interfering with. It is the height of hypocrisy that people will attempt to confine God to Sundays and holidays, while they make every effort to live for their own selfish concerns every other day. Such a God is both lame and pathetic. To create a universe, place everything in it that we could ever hope to enjoy, and then allow us to acknowledge His existence for an hour or two each week. We really need to get over ourselves. We really need to understand that a couple of hours a week doesn’t qualify us for an eternity in Heaven. We really need to let God out of whatever box we’ve placed Him into so that He can begin to work wonders in our lives. He will not settle for less, and we shouldn’t expect Him to.

The Forgive and Forget God: Ever been a part of this conversation?
1) “You didn’t just see that!”
2) “See what?”
We like it when we can ignore our mistakes, and we like it even better when we find someone else who’s willing to ignore them as well. For many people this is their concept of God and His forgiveness. People don’t really want to be forgiven for their sins, they want to have their sins ignored. Because forgiveness requires confession, and confessing means that we have to face our sins. But if you can get God to ignore your sins, then you can go on living your life as you please, secure in the knowledge that God is forgiving (ignoring!) your sins as you go. But God does not ignore our sins, He is fully aware of them, and He wants for us to be aware of them as well. If God were to allow us to ignore our sins, then what would we learn from life? Only that our actions don’t matter, our sins have no consequences and that there is really no reason to ever do what is right because whatever we do that is wrong will be ignored. The reality, however, is nothing like this. As much as we might like to ignore our sins, and avoid their consequences, we know better. Eventually, it all catches up to us. We see it every day in the news. People acting on their selfish, sinful impulses and the damage they do, not only to themselves, but to those around them, and quite often, to our society as well. But when we face our sins, and admit our human weaknesses, we can ask for genuine forgiveness. This doesn’t mean that we can escape from the consequences of our actions, but it does make dealing with them easier. And, in being forgiven, we can face life in the peace of mind that comes from having a fresh start. And that’s a good thing.

The Mushy-Gushy Love God: “God is love” (1 John 4:16). Yes, this is a scriptural thought, but only when it’s said the way that it is meant. God is definitely the source of true love. Yet, far too often, the individuals who say “God is love” actually mean to say “Love is god”. They worship the notion that God is all gushy over His children. Like some doting mother (for some odd reason the beginning to the Van Halen video, “Hot for Teacher”, comes to mind). They expect God to fuss and fidget and never let anything bad happen to us (shades of Pink Floyds, “Mother“?), and then are disappointed when things do go wrong. This type of overbearing love is just as much a perversion of real love as the garbage we see in soap operas, or pornography. Instead, God allows things to happen to us, because there are lessons to be learned from adversity as well as from prosperity. He expects us to face both in this life, after all, you’d never recognize your blessings if you’d never seen despair. In the same way, those who believe that “love is god” will often reject the reality of Hell. “How can a loving God send anyone to Hell?”, they will ask. Truthfully, God doesn’t send anyone to Hell, we choose it for ourselves. These people forget that Hell was not made for us but for the Devil and the angels who followed in his rebellion. As a result, those of us who reject the love of God are condemning ourselves to suffer the same fate as the angels who rejected their rightful place in Heaven. But make no mistake, there is no reason why anyone should have to go to Hell, because God is a loving God. He is a loving God who gave us His laws as a definition of His character, and a sign of His love for us. He is a loving God who sent prophets to us to proclaim His truth and righteousness to those of us who are willing to hear. And, He is a loving God who sent His only begotten son to teach us how to love unconditionally, like God, and to die on our behalf, so that we can escape the fate of those rebellious angels. No, a loving God doesn’t send anyone to Hell, He does all that he can to prove His love for us. If we reject it, by our own freewill, then we are the only ones to blame for our destiny.

I’m sure that there are other concepts of God that I haven’t covered here, but this wasn’t meant to be a complete thesis on divinity. I just wanted to get a few ideas out there for my regular readers.

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Monday, October 11, 2004

Godspeed Superman

Learned today that Christopher Reeves passed away yesterday. This is especially sad for me, since the life-support device that he used, earlier in his paralysis, was the unit that I used to test at work. So, I feel some distant connection to him.
To shade this melancholy with a little humor; it used to be a saying among those of us who worked on the PLV line... "PLV! Stronger than Kryptonite!". Alas, not strong enough.
I pray comfort for his family at this time.

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Sunday, October 10, 2004

Purpose

Today began 40 Days of Purpose at church (see JT's A purpose Driven Blog). P.Dave had a really good sermon to kick it all off, too.
I must say; I (and my entire congregation) am truly blessed to have such a great pastor. He may not be a fiery, or charasmatic, preacher, but he certainly does have a passion for his calling, and for the Word of God, and a great vision for what a small, elderly congregation in the middle of a declining community is capable of achieving for the sake of Christ.
Back to the topic of Purpose...
I have been saying for years that in order to achieve our greatest potential, we need to understand our purpose. God has designed us each with a purpose in mind. Yet, so often, people spend their entire life seeking out that purpose in selfishness. We pursue our natural desires, and our material wants, giving no heed to the fact that none of these things will ever truly satisfy us. We want, and we crave, believing that whatever it is that is just beyond our grasp is the one thing that will bring us elusive happiness. When we've finally reached it, we find that it, too, is lacking any genuine substance. Our pleasures are only momentary, fleeting, passing and fading even as we are in the midst of them. Still, we chase after the wind hoping that the next one will be different... and it never is.
We must find our purpose. Today, P.Dave used the example of using the wrong tool for a job. I've always used the example of a butterknife. You can use a butterknife like a screwdriver in many situations, but eventually you're going to mess up the butterknife, and whatever task you're working on. A butterknife isn't designed for the same tasks that a screwdriver is, it has a different purpose. We are the same. We can live our lives, using them for our own immediate needs, wants or desires, but eventually the task is going to prove too difficult for what we're meant for. But where do we go to find out what our purpose is?
There is an owners manual for the human life, it's the Bible. We can find our purpose within it's pages. It is more than just a rule book filled with lists of do's and don't's. It's more than just a collection of old stories that have some moral, or lesson, to teach. And, it's more than just the history of one people and their religion. It is a love letter from the Source of all Love, it is His plan, and blueprint, for us, and His desire to see us become what He designed us to be. We are meant to be more than what our desires lead us into. We are made in the image of the Almighty God, our Creator. Surely, He would know, and be willing to show us, what our purpose is. So, shouldn't we seek it in the pages that He gave to us?

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Saturday, October 09, 2004

Stuff-n-Junk #3

Family, friends and acquaintances:
M+: Today was a really good day for me. I didn’t have a whole lot to do at work, but I still managed to keep busy all day long. Had some good conversations with a few people, nothing too intense. Came home to find out that I have a new cell phone… which will make tying up the home phone with dial-up less of an issue. Actually went out to dinner with Jo tonight. We went to Pugliano’s (mmmmmmmmmm… Italian food) for the first time. A really nice place and the food was quite good for the price. Came home and decided that we should probably make a batch of wedding soup, since we haven’t made any for awhile. Got it started and then headed out with Moe.
Jo: Got herself a cell phone today. We got a check from our home-owners insurance to replace Jo’s lost wedding bands, so she went out and replaced them… and did a good bit of other shopping as well. She’s a very happy camper right now.
Aliesha: Has the Homecoming dance tomorrow night. My mother-in-law came over tonight to set her hair. She looks hilarious with those curlers in her hair.
Bobby: “There’s no hope for that boy!” - J2D. He came home from school yesterday and announced; “Dad! You’re gonna be mad at me!” and why might that be? “I brought home another cat.” he said. I turned around to see him cradling this lump of fur with a striped tail hanging over his forearm. It was a strangely familiar looking pattern of stripes… raccoon tail to be precise. He had been on a field trip to Fort Ligonier and he bought himself a ‘coonskin hat… Boy is lucky to be alive! He also bought me three pewter dice (or is it die). He had forgotten that all of my pewter figurines were lost in the fire. So, now I have an incentive to start over. "And, just think, J2D... he still has at least five more years with me." - M+
Justterry: Moe and I stopped at the Terrace tonight to get some wings… and that means visiting with JT. He informed me that he’ll be quitting as East Pittsburgh’s greatest fry cook (eat your heart out Spongebob!). He’ll probably fill everyone in on why, so I won’t steal his thunder. He also told me about some mess in our church politick. Like that’s anything new.
J2D: Asked for some ideas about what she should do with her basement. I drew up a beach theme for her, based on her description and spec’s. She was greatly pleased. My recommendations; Paint the wall where the steps are, and the frame of the steps, a stone gray (also do some texturing). Paint the steps themselves blue with some white streaks to make them look like a waterfall. Paint the remaining walls pale/light blue (sky blue). Paint an island of sandy yellow with a green center (which I’ll be suggesting getting that grass-like indoor/outdoor carpeting for). Paint the support beams/poles a light brown, or get wallpaper to turn them into palm trunks. Paint the rest of the floor a sea blue. I also said she should build a raft around the bar so that it looks like it’s floating. I think it’ll be awesome! She does too.

Entertainment:
LOTR soundtrack: It is just so incredible! Modern classical music is so inspiring. I can’t wait til the extended version of Return of the King comes out on DVD. There will be a marathon at the church! All three extended versions back-to-back. WOOHOO!!!
The Choir: are recording a new CD. This ought to be good. They’ve been one of my favorite bands since I first heard them back in ‘84.
Highlander: Bobby actually wanted to watch this one the other day. One of my all-time favorite flicks! “There can be only one!”
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Special edition DVD just came out. I have to get this one!
Bass: I’ve had my bass out a bit, and I’ve been enjoying just playing around with it. IT JUST FEELS GOOD TO PLAY! Eventually, I’m going to post a list of my favorite bass-lines (to play, that is.)

Politics:
If you haven’t made up your mind by now… don’t waste your time. Bill Engvall has his comedy bit about “Here’s your sign! Stupid!”… I have a different bit of my own; “Here’s your bullet! Put this into your own brain because you’ve obviously stopped using it. Stupid!”. I have met too many people recently that I’d like to say that to. God, please forgive me. I have grown too weary of people who have no idea what our Constitution says about our government, trying to tell me that our government was always something that it has only recently become. Every election year I begin to ponder if it wouldn’t be a good idea to make voters take the same citizenship test that immigrants have to take. Just to make sure that everyone has had some exposure to our founding documents.

Odds and Ends:
Why is it so hard to wake up on the mornings that we have to get up, but we have no problem waking up at some ungodly hour when we don’t have anywhere to be?

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Thursday, October 07, 2004

Quote for 10/7/04

"... A thought has escaped me. I wanted to write it down. I write instead that it has escaped me."
Blaise Pascal (Pensees #370)

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Just a couple of questions

1) Just out of curiosity, I asked some of my co-workers at lunch the following questions. Does anyone in the hive notice if one of the bee's doesn't come back to the hive? Do any of the other bee's wonder what happened to the one who was supposed to be out gathering pollen, but hasn't come back? Do they organize a search party?

2) I got a post card in the mail from the United States Postal Service about P.O. Boxes. There's a fairly attractive young lady on the front and the following question... "Got your box yet?". Am I the only one who's getting the double entendre' here? Did anybody at the USPS think about this possibility before they came up with this ad campaign? Or am I just a sick puppy?

3) For you Star Wars buffs... Does anybody else remember the original theatrical release of The Empire Strikes Back, a scene in which Darth Vader uses his little "pinch" to choke Lando? I know it's in the book, I remeber seeing it in the movie when I saw it at the theater, but I've never seen it in any of the video tape. Why would they remove this scene? Was it just one time too many? What's the deal with this?

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Gotta get me some Kryptonite!

First things first... to Kenn... Ooooops! on my comment to your blog regarding Smallville. I missed a season-ending cliffhanger somewhere and lost track of myself.

But on the topic of Smallville... Yes, I am a fan, and I gotta get me some Kryptonite. That glowing green rock does everything.
A brief, and incomplete, inventory of things that happen when you're exposed to Kryptonite (unless of course you happen to be Kryptonian, in which case you just get really sick and possibly die):

You go bald, and have your immune system boosted way up.
You become an electrically charged vengeful zombie-ish thing.
You can agitate your molecular structure enough to pass through solid objects.
You become insect-like, or have the ability to control certain insects.
You can survive getting struck by lightning, and steal a Kyptonians powers from him/her at the same time.
You can use it like an asthma inhaler and become super strong and very fast.
You can absorb all of the heat from another persons body.
You can shape-shift.
You can fall into a lake and be electrocuted and become young again.
You can hook it up to your car and use it like nitrous-oxide.
You can use it to clear up your acne.

I'm sure that there are others, but I just can't think of them right now.
And... YES! I'm aware that all of these wonderful effects are followed by severe negative side effects, and quite often death, but I figure I can handle that. Been there, done that!

I'm just having too much fun now.

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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Feeling sharp

Lately, many of my friends, and acquaintances, as well as myself, have been facing some troublesome situations in our lives. None of them are terribly drastic, or disruptive, but still, enough to cause us to lose some of our focus on other things that require our attention. Yet, through it all, we find ourselves surrounded by each other to give each other support, and comfort, whenever possible. It's always good to be able to find that kind of help at times like these.
Maybe you've noticed the last two "Quotes" that I've posted, and how they deal with this topic. Difficulties help to build character, and supportive friends make those difficulties easier to deal with. I am thankful to God for the mens Bible study that Justterry and I have been a part of with some of the other guys from church. We've all been blessed tremendously by it. Not to mention the various other conversations that I've been having with others. It all helps to keep things in perspective. The troubles that we face are temporary, but the things that God has in store for us are eternal. That's why I'm feeling pretty sharp right now, even through the rough spots.

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Quote for 10/6/04

"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."
Solomon (Proverbs 27:17)

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Monday, October 04, 2004

Quote for 10/4/04

"You don't sharpen a knife on a pound of butter."
Pastor Adrian Rogers

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Belief in God

I would like to start by saying that this particular post has been inspired by an ongoing e-mail conversation that I’ve been having with Faith, but that’s only half of the story. In all honesty, I’ve been having almost identical discussions with two other co-workers and similar conversations with two more. Thus, I have the impression that this topic is, in the very least, worth addressing. So, here goes…

Recently, I read somewhere, that about 90% of Americans believe in God. The thing about this particular fact that leaves me wondering, is that it doesn’t say WHAT people believe about God. Strangely enough, many people don’t really know what it is that they believe about God. For many people a belief in God is the equivalent to their belief in oxygen. They know that “IT” exists, they learned about “IT” when they were kids, and if you talk about “IT” more than once in a while (unless, of course, “IT” happens to be a part of your occupation) you’re seen as being weird. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6). The belief that God exists is the starting place of something deeper, something that is far more rewarding. It is the earnest seeking that seems to be missing for these people.
For many of these people, God is some distant, and unfeeling entity that lacks any genuine concern for us. But, I addressed this concept of God in an earlier post entitled Pondering the Greatness of God. So, I won’t waste any time on this thought here. Instead, I want to bring up some observations about faith in God.
First, I want you to take a moment to think about what comes to mind when you hear (read) the word “God”… Now, ask yourself where this concept of God comes from. Did you learn it from your parents? Your church, priest or pastor? Maybe from a friend? Or did you come up with it on your own? No matter where you gathered your information, you have an idea as to who, or what, God is. Now comes the sticky part… How do you know that your notion of who, or what, God is, is accurate? Does it even matter? Where can you go to find out?
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder.” (James 2:19). It’s obvious from this verse that there is a type of belief that doesn’t work. It’s the type of belief that rejects the truth about the person of God. So, what we believe has at least as much importance as the fact that we believe. And, again, where do we go to find out?
From my own perspective, and through my own experience, the scriptures are the only reliable source of information on this topic. You can listen to what your parents say. You can pay attention to what your church, priest or pastor preaches in their sermons. You can allow your friends to influence your decision. But none of the things that they might tell you are worth anything, unless it’s supported by what the Bible teaches us. If you know what the Bible teaches about the person, and character, of God, you won’t be easily swayed from your faith. Likewise, knowing what the Bible teaches us about God will also instruct us on how we ought to conduct our lives. But that is another essay. I look forward to posting it soon.

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Sunday, October 03, 2004

Quote for 10/3/04

"Freedom is the oxygen of the soul"
Moshe Dayan

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Quotes from 9/2004

Just stopped by for a quickie

Just stopped by for a brief visit to let everyone know that I'm still alive...
I think I finally have things straightened out with my dial-up. if this is true, I may be able to forego the switch back to DSL, since I seem to have access to all of my 'stuff' now, I'm a bit more content with it. It's still a bit slower, but it certainly is more affordable.
More later.

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A little too much information ?!?

Saw this at Faith's site and couldn't resist...

01. Bought everyone in the pub a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula.
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09. Hugged a tree (while I was climbing in it!)
10. Done a striptease (it was more of a joke than an enticement)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris (have no desire to do so)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long, and watch the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Touched an iceberg
20. Slept under the stars (as often as possible)
21. Changed a baby's diaper (too many times)
22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
23. Watched a meteor shower
24. Gotten drunk on champagne
25. Given more than you can afford to charity (as often as possible)
26. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
27. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
28. Had a food fight (Jo started it!!)

29. Bet on a winning horse
30. Taken a sick day when you're not ill (I thought that’s what they’re for)
31. Asked out a stranger
32. Had a snowball fight

33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier
34. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can (was hoarse for three days after)
35. Held a lamb
36. Enacted a favorite fantasy

37. Taken a midnight skinny dip (but did witness a friend do so at “The Point”)
38. Taken an ice cold bath (just the thought gives me the shivers)
39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
40. Seen a total eclipse (twice!)
41. Ridden a roller coaster
42. Hit a home run (twice! With a triple that became a home run on an error)

43. Fit three weeks miraculously into three days
44. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
45. Adopted an accent for an entire day (several times)
46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (I have some Native American blood)
47. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment

48. Had two hard drives for your computer
49. Visited all 50 states
50. Loved your job for all accounts (currently)
51. Taken care of someone who was shit faced (on a few different occasions)

52. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
53. Had amazing friends (some of them are probably reading this)
54. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
55. Watched wild whales
56. Stolen a sign
57. Backpacked in Europe
58. Taken a road-trip
59. Rock climbing

60. Lied to foreign government's official in that country to avoid notice
61. Midnight walk on the beach
62. Sky diving
63. Visited Ireland
64. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
65. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
66. Visited Japan
67. Bench-pressed your own weight (when I weighed 180 and played football)
68. Milked a cow (and got kicked by said cow)
69. Alphabetized your records (as long as tapes and CDs count)
70. Pretended to be a superhero (I still do!)

71. Sung karaoke
72. Lounged around in bed all day
73. Posed nude in front of strangers
74. Scuba diving
75. Got it on to "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye
76. Kissed in the rain
77. Played in the mud
78. Played in the rain
79. Gone to a drive-in theater (Greater Pgh! My family misses it!)
80. Done something you should regret, but don't regret it

81. Visited the Great Wall of China
82. Discovered that someone who's not supposed to have known about your blog has discovered your blog
83. Dropped Windows in favor of something better
84. Started a business
85. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
86. Toured ancient sites
87. Taken a martial arts class (almost made my black belt)
88. Swordfought for the honor of a woman (but I do have the weapons to do so)
89. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
90. Gotten married

91. Been in a movie (but I have been in a comercial)
92. Crashed a party
93. Loved someone you shouldn't have
94. Kissed someone so passionately it made them dizzy (or so I was told)

95. Gotten divorced
96. Had sex at the office
97. Gone without food for 5 days
98. Made cookies from scratch
99. Won first prize in a costume contest (I am one badass Klingon)

100. Ridden a gondola in Venice
101. Gotten a tattoo
102. Found that the texture of some materials can turn you on
103. Rafted the Snake River
104. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
105. Got flowers for no reason (there was a reason)
106. Masturbated in a public place
107. Got so drunk you don't remember anything (only the top of the table)
108. Been addicted to some form of illegal drug
109. Performed on stage
110. Been to Las Vegas
111. Recorded music
112. Eaten shark
113. Had a one-night stand

114. Gone to Thailand
115. Seen Siouxsie live (wish I had)
116. Bought a house (twice!)
117. Been in a combat zone
118. Buried one/both of your parents (Dad)
119. Shaved or waxed your pubic hair off
120. Been on a cruise ship
121. Spoken more than one language fluently (almost)
122. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
123. Bounced a check

124. Performed in Rocky Horror
125. Read - and understood - your credit report
126. Raised children (it’s an ongoing process)
127. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy (having kids is great!)

128. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
129. Created and named your own constellation of stars
130. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
131. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
132. Called or written your Congress person
133. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
134. ...more than once? - More than thrice?
135. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
136. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
137. Had an abortion or your female partner did
138. Had plastic surgery
139. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived. (see “I got bettah”)
140. Wrote articles for a large publication
141. Lost over 100 pounds
142. Held someone while they were having a flashback
143. Piloted an airplane
144. Petted a stingray
145. Broken someone's heart
146. Helped an animal give birth
147. Been fired or laid off from a job
148. Won money on a T.V. game show
149. Broken a bone (several times)
150. Killed a human being (but I am prepared to if necessary)
151. Gone on an African photo safari
152. Ridden a motorcycle
153. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100mph
154. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
155. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol (many times)
156. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
157. Ridden a horse
158. Had major surgery
159. Had sex on a moving train
160. Had a snake as a pet
161. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
162. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
163. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
164. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
165. Visited all 7 continents
166. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
167. Eaten kangaroo meat
168. Fallen in love at an ancient Mayan burial ground
169. Been a sperm or egg donor
170. Eaten sushi (as often as possible)
171. Had your picture in the newspaper
172. Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in your lifetime
173. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
174. Gotten someone fired for their actions
175. Gone back to school (but I didn’t finish that either)
176. Parasailed
177. Changed your name
178. Petted a cockroach
179. Eaten fried green tomatoes
180. Read The Iliad
181. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
182. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them
183. ...and gotten 86'ed from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you
184. Taught yourself an art from scratch
185. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (if fish counts)
186. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
187. Skipped all your school reunions

188. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
189. Been elected to public office
190. Written your own computer language
191. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
192. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
193. Built your own PC from parts
194. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
195. Had a booth at a street fair
196: Dyed your hair
197: Been a DJ
198: Found out someone was going to dump you via LiveJournal
199: Written your own role playing game
200: Been arrested

this was a great exercise... 90 of 200.

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