Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Quote for 11/30/04

"Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise Him,
my Savior and my God."
Psalms 43:5

I came across this in my devotionals this morning, and it really lifted my spirits. It would seem that your prayers are helping. Thanks!

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Other Christmas Stuff

O.K. people. I've decide that, since I take such great pleasure in the Christmas Spirit, I will be posting reminders of which particular Rankin/Bass Christmas Specials will be on ABC/Family Channel Each night (actually, I'll be posting them the day before, since some of you don't read my posts until the next day), as well as any other specials that I might consider to be worth watching.

So here goes the schedule for tommorrow December 1st/1th:
Frosty's Winter Wonderland @ 7:00 PM ABC/Family
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer@ 8:00 PM CBS

And just because I love food so much...
Emeril Kicks Up The Holidays @ 8:00 PM Food Network

These are the ones I think are the best going for tommorrow. Enjoy!

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"Christmas Stuff !"

That's what the box on my work station has written on it. Because it's the box that usually holds all of my Christmas decorations for work. Today, however, that box is empty. Why? might you ask. Very simple... today, being my first day back to work after the Thanksgiving holiday, is the day that I put up all of my Christmas decorations. Currently, my little display consists of:
1 - 12" Artificial Christmas Tree
1 - string of 20 miniature colored lights
1 - strand of miniature gold beads
12 - miniature silk ornaments of various colors (red, green, white, yellow, blue and maroon)
1 - set of 5 "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" miniature collectible ornaments (complete with Rudolph, Clarise, Herbie the misfit Elf, Yukon Cornelius, and The Bumbles)
1 - gold star for the treetop
1 - miniature wind-up Christmas train (whose smoke stack actually goes up and down as it moves around the track)
And last, but not least (I believe it to be the most important piece)... 1 - miniature ceramic nativity.
It's a tradition that I began 10 years ago at my last job, and it has been a source of great joy to many of my co-workers throughout the years. One of these days I'll take a picture and post it for all the world to see.
Isn't it amazing how some of the seemingly unimportant things can be such a tremendous blessing to so many?

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Monday, November 29, 2004

Quote for 11/29/04

"I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it."
Frank A. Clark

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Like being a kid again

Even though it really sucks to be sick on a day off, it wasn't too bad. I spent the day not doing any of the things that I wanted to do. Instead, I opted for reliving those carefree days of youth when being sick meant laying around wrapped up in a blanket, and watching The Price Is Right. Strange, how the contestants today are just as bizaare as they were way-back-when.
It was also great to get some much needed sleep. I napped off-n-on all afternoon. It would've been even better if it hadn't been for two wrong numbers just as I was starting to nod off.
Well, it's back to work tommorrow. The end of a 5 day weekend that passed too quickly. Still, Christmas is right around the corner. WOOHOO !!!

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Sunday, November 28, 2004

"It's the most wonderful time of the year."

I realize that after my last post, this one will make me seem either bi-polar, or schizophrenic, but who cares.
I watched It's A Wonderful Life, last night. Tonight, I will be watching A Christmas Carol. And so, the season for the holiday specials is upon us once again, and I couldn't be happier (actually, I could, but that would require a resolution to my situation that is, at the very least, miraculous). I think that some of my greatest joy during the Christmas season is watching the various specials that are on TV. I know that Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer celebrates it's 40th year on Wednesday (CBS 8:00 PM), and that makes it older than ME! Then, of course, ABC/Family Channel has The 25 Days Of Christmas starting on the 1st. Does anybody else out there love all of those Rankin/Bass Stop-Action Animation specials as much as I do? And let us not forget that there will be Miracle On 34th Street, The Nutcracker, and various other movies to enjoy. It will be glorious indeed.
I do remember a few years when none of the networks were showing the old Rankin/Bass Animated specials, and it didn't seem like Christmas without them. That's why I'm so glad that ABC/Family carries them every year now. Especially the marathon that will be on during the first weekend in December. I can see that my otherwise gloomy prospects for the holidays are beginning to look a good bit brighter all of a sudden. God bless you Mr.'s Rankin and Bass, and you, too, ABC/Family Channel.

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Restlessness

I cannot seem to shake this restlessness that has fallen upon me. It is no mystery to me as to why, either. There is a great deal of turmoil in my life right now. I've only made passing comments about it here on my blog, because it's so difficult for me to face. Let alone, share it with people who are little more than acquaintances. Truth be know, I've only told a small handful of others about it, and even that, simply because they've gone through similar situations. Well, that and the fact that a couple of them are my closest friends. So, I will say this for now; for those of you who are so inclined, please keep me in your prayers. I do trust God to bring me through this ordeal, but I really need to see some small miracles right now. I know, that in the end, I will be right where God wants me to be. I'm just having a hard time with not being able to see that end from where I am now.
Thanks.

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Thursday, November 25, 2004

Mmmmmmmmmm... tuuurrrkey

A truly wonderful holiday. If it were not for the spiritual significance of Christmas, I'd have to say that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I think it's because there's less of a build-up to Thanksgiving, and no "crash" after all of the presents are opened... since there aren't any!
I find this especially pleasing because it tells me that we, as a society, are capable of enjoying each others company without the obligatory, if not excessive, commercialized, gift-exchanges. Thanksgiving is the one holiday that doesn't come with some sense of "gimme!" from anyone... except in the form of "Gimme some more mashed potatoes.".
It was good to get together with my wife's family today, and to have my mom along, too. This is our first BIG holiday without my dad, and I think it went well. Everybody was relaxed and in good spirits, and there were no arguements among any of my in-laws... no small feat, if I must say so myself.
Another really good aspect to the day; it wasn't in my house. In spite of the fact that I don't really mind having the holidays here, it was just more enjoyable, and less stressful, for us to not have to concern ourselves with all of the periferals that come with "entertaining". Yet, we managed to score some leftovers before we came home. WOOHOO!!!
One more thing to add to my earlier list of things to be thankful for;
... for triptophan, and the wonderful afternoon naps that it induces.
Hope all of you had a great day.

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Quote for 11/25/04

"Give thanks unto the LORD for He is good: for His mercy endures forever."
King David - Psalm 107:1

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"Let us give thanks to our Benevolent Creator."

- Abraham Lincoln

Today is Thanksgiving Day, and these are some of the things that I am thankful for. The list is not in any specific order of importance, nor is it, by any means, a complete list of things that I'm thankful for. They're merely the things that came to mind as I was sitting here to write this.

... for God (not that my thankfulness validates His being, but because He is worthy)
... for the great, and ominous, creation in which God has placed us
... for the wonderous world around us
... for life itself
... for every breath I take
... for the experience that showed me how valuable the last two are
... for my family (even the members who annoy me)
... for my friends
... for my co-workers and aquaintances
... for my church
... for my faith
... for my salvation
... for my mind
... for my health
... for Freewill
... for freedom
... for this nation
... for those who defend the last two (especially those who are doing so at this very moment)
... for the food that sustains me (especially that turkey!)
... for my home
... for all of my worldly possessions
... for all of my less tangible assets
... for my job
... for music
... for ears to hear it
... for sight
... for all of the beauty and wonder that they behold
And, for many other things that I'm sure I've forgotten.

So... What are you thankful for?
Feel free to make a "post-length" comment, if you wish.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Take a number

More unusual questions that just seemed to spring to life within the warped conglomeration of gray-matter that I call my brain. And they're all about "numbers"...

Why do we say "first","second", and "third", instead of "one-th", "two-th", and "three-th"?
Are the other numbers getting special treatment, or are the first (one-th) three the special ones?
Why do we bother to keep them in that order if we're not even keeping the root names?
Why is the "number 1" answer/choice on a "top 10" list always the last one revealed?
Shouldn't it be the first (one-th)?
If the number "2" is the only "even" number among the prime numbers, then isn't it really the only "ODD" number?
If that's the case then shouldn't all of the "even" numbers be "odd"?
If we call it an "octopus", because it has 8 tentacles, why don't we call a squid a "decapus"?

So... whose head is ready to explode after that?

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Quote for 11/24/04

"Nothing great was ever done without much enduring."
St. Catherine of Siena

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Monday, November 22, 2004

Almost famous

Hey! did ya see this story?

That's where I work!
You can almost see my car behind the white Blazer in the center of the photo.
But, don't worry, I'm O.K.. And the 15 people who were taken to the hospital were all treated and released.
And allow me to clarify something. We didn't have to stand around outside. We were evacuated at about 10:30. We had to stand around outside for about 15-20 minutes before they informed us that we could hang-out in the Corporate HQ building (I work in the Plant on the production floor). Some of us did opt to loiter outside ocassionally, but none of us were left out in the cold. However, we were not allowed back into the Plant until about 3:45.
All in all, it wasn't a bad day for us. They ordered pizza from Fox's, and we all just sorta loafed around in the various confrence rooms and break queues. Some of us actually managed to score some Internet Accessible computers for a little while.
The real beauty of it... it knocked one day off of the week so now it's an even shorter holiday week.WOOHOO!!!

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Saturday, November 20, 2004

Quote for 11/20/04 (Rushtonisms)

Rushtonisms: The following are a series of unusual sayings from either my co-worker, Greg, or his father. Enjoy.

On personal behaviors...
"He/She..."

"... could screw up an iron ball with a rubber mallet."

"... could squeeze a nickle 'til the buffalo shits."

"... must be stuck on 'stupid'."

"... is tighter than the hinges of Hell."

On stupidity...

"If a toad had wings it wouldn't bump it's ass every time it took a hop."

"Easier than shittin' down a well, and not half as dangerous."

On sympathy...

"My heart pumps piss for ya."

Don't ask me! I'm not the one who came up with 'em. I just thought some of you might get a chuckle out of them... like I did.

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"I have a confession to make...

... I'm a junkie. A Bible junkie."
Isaac Air Freight

As much as that is a true statement, that's not what I'm going to be talking about in this post. I'm just curious as to whether or not JT, and Kenn, remember that particular skit. Sorry, if I've disappointed anyone else.

Actually, I am a junkie, when it comes to overtime. So much so, that I even get asked to come in to do stuff that I don't know how to do. So much so, that I have to be told NOT to come in if there's not going to be enough work. In fact, this morning, our Production Specialist, Kurt, had come around to inform us that OT was not going to be mandatory for next week. He then turned and looked directly at me and said; "But you can still come in early if you want to... if you have things to do."
I took all of a second to look down at my watch and told Kurt "You realize that you just wasted 3 seconds of your life telling me that. And you can never get them back.". Just tell me when I'm NOT allowed to come in early and I won't. Anything else is redundant.
So, anyways... today was a mandatory 4 hours. I'm cool with that. It's easy enough work already, and things are even more relaxed on Saturdays. Eventually, Sgt. Dan (as I will heretofore refer to my supervisor) made his rounds to thank us for all of our hard work thus far. He then, jokingly, asked if any of us wanted to come in next Saturday.
Next Saturday?!? As in, the Saturday that falls smack-dab in the middle of a 5 day HOLIDAY weekend?!?

"Not even if you sacrificed a virgin to me!" - M+

Sorry! I may be an OT junkie, but my Holidays are sacred to me. Even the non-religious ones. Showing up to work in the middle of an extended weekend, especially one that has been further extended by a vacation day on the tail end, is blasphemy!

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A 3-Kill moment

Boy! Is it a good thing that JT and I weren't going to the shooting range this week, because I had a real 3-Kill moment this morning.
So, I'm in the parking lot at work, listening to the radio, before I head inside to work. When I watch one of my co-workers pull into a space opposite mine. She was an elderly woman, who I will simply call "Skeletor" (don't ask!), and she, too, was just sitting in her car for a few moments. As we are both sitting in our respective vehicles, another of our co-workers arrives and proceedes to back into the space on the drivers side of "Skeletor"'s car. The newly arrived co-worker, Gail, was just getting into the edge of the space when "Skeletor" decided to get out of her car. "Skeletor" just popped her door open, and stepped right out into Gails path.
I'm not sure if it was the sheer rude, thoughtlessness of that action that appealled to my sense of outrage. Or if it was the complete moronic disregard for the fact that there was a 2+ ton Chevy Blazer bearing down on the exact space that she was hoping to occupy with her skeletal looking frame at the exact same time - Did "Skeletor" really expect to defy the laws of physics on this particular issue, or did she think that those laws do not apply to her ("I never studied law." - Bugs Bunny)? Fortunately (I think), Gail missed "Skeletor", and no accident reports had to be filed... But I was so ready to hand "Skeletor" a bullet.

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I just couldn't resist this...

I just saw this story and couldn't resist the following comment;

If it was good enough for "the King", I'm sure a genuine prince will do fine.

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Friday, November 19, 2004

A remarkable young lady

Allow me to preface this post with a ponderous query: How is it that so many of my co-workers can have such in-depth conversations with one another, yet I never get invited in until somebody wants to know "What does the Bible say about... (fill in the blank)?"?

Anyway...

I met a remarkable young lady at work today. Her name is Natalie, and she works on second shift. So, this is actually the first time our paths have crossed. I was quite pleased to meet her since she was a part of one very in-depth conversation that started a few days ago. And, yes, I was only invited in because of my knowledge of scripture and theology.
Natalie just happens to be a lesbian. She also seems to be struggling with some issues of faith. That's where I come in.
The woman, Helen, with whom the original conversation began, informed me of some of the things that were being discussed and what some other people were telling Natalie. So, Helen took it upon herself to ask me; "Is there somewhere in the Bible where it says that homosexuals will go to Hell?".
At first, I was reluctant to answer. Since I know that there are verses that say things like "... such shall not inherit the kingdom of God.", and other similar passages regarding homosexuallity. My problem though, is the fact that homosexuallity isn't the only thing in those lists. So, I didn't want to just give a flat-out yes or no. There was more to this than what the question was asking me.
After a brief discussion of the background of the conversation, I understood. Helen had shared some valuable information with me, but there were still some missing pieces. So, I looked up several verses in my Bible that I thought would be appropriate to the conversation that I was hoping to have. And I jotted down a few questions that I thought might lead the discussion in the right directions. Then I waited for Natalie to come in.
Helen introduced us, and explained that I might be able to help her with some of the questions she had. Natalie began by telling me that some new (immature) "born-again" Christian that works on second shift with her keeps telling her that she'll go to Hell if she doesn't repent and change her ways... and blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda.
She explained to me that she believes in God and has asked Jesus into her heart and "all that other stuff", but that she doesn't necessarily believe that the Bible is completely true. She doesn't believe that being gay is a sin. She believes that God made her the way she is so she shouldn't have to change. And, the litany goes on. But I listened to what she had to say and answered patiently and honestly when I felt it was the right place to insert my thoughts.
The conversation bounced and jumped from one idea to another as she expressed her "whys and wherefores" on the issues. And, yes, I've heard all of them before... except for the one about "...people did a lot of drugs back in the days when the Bible was being written...", and that was one of the reasons she gave for not believing all of the Bible. So, I weighed everything out and decided to approach the discussion from three simple points.
First; The validity of the scriptures as Truth. Whatever it is that she claims to believe about God, or Jesus, or anything else that she brought up, is all based upon what the Bible teaches us about these matters. I explained that, despite the misguided notion to the contrary, the Bible is NOT a single book written by 1 man, or even a small group of men who were all connected in some way. In truth, the Bible is a group of books written by several men who were separated by time, distance, culture, language, and other factors as well. Still, for all of these factors, the teachings of the Bible do not contradict one another, nor are they being disproved by subsequent religious teachings. Or even scientific discovery, for that matter. She did attempt to say that the Bible does contradict itself by saying the Old Testament teaches "an eye for an eye", but the New testament teaches forgiveness. I explained to her that the Old testament was the establishment of law. The New Testament was the fullfillment of the law by grace. the Old was a shadow of things to come in the New. That once Jesus died there was no longer a need for sacrifices because grace released us from the condemnation of the law. She seemed to be O.K. with that answer.
Second; The problem of Freewill. She lamented the fact that there is so much evil in the world and that if God were "all-powerful" why doesn't he stop it. Simply put, if God were to simply put an end to all of the evil in the world, then Freewill would be a myth. If God simply stopped evil before it happened, or affected anyone, then we really wouldn't be able to make any choices for ourselves and the conversation we were having wouldn't be taking place because she wouldn't be in doubt about anything. Her beliefs would have already been given to her by God. There was also a question about the Trinity during this part of our exchange. My best explanation of this is our humanity. We each exist as a trinity in ourselves. We each have a body, a soul, and a spirit. This is an oversimplification of what I really believe, but I think that it was sufficient.
Third; Sin is Sin. Why are homosexuals singled out as being the only ones who are going to Hell? Because it is quite often so visible. We spoke of many sins during this part of our little chat. She found it very difficult to believe that a "born-again" Christian, like myself, didn't think that being gay is an immediate ticket to the Lake of Fire. We did agree that sin is sin, and that no sin is any worse than any other sin. But Natalie couldn't get away from the idea that only homosexuals are asked to change who they really are...

This is where the truth of the scriptures becomes painfully clear to me about all people.

The truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is this; God does not make any more demands of any one of us than He does of any one else. We are all called to be changed. No matter what our favorite sins, no matter our deepest desires, no matter how we believe ourselves to have been born. We are all human, and we are all sinful by our very nature. God does not ask us to change ourselves. He asks us to surrender our Freewill to His will, and to allow Him to start to change us from the inside out. It's not easy. It's not fun. Nothing worthwhile ever is. It can involve great pain and suffering, but in the end, it is worth every bit. And, this, not only for ourselves, but for all those whose lives we will touch with our own personal experiences.

Natalie seemed torn when I mentioned this last thought, somewhat sceptical about "being one of those people who talks about having been gay... but now I'm straight.". I saw the doubt, and something else, in her eyes. She is definitely searching for something more than what she knows. I realize that she doesn't know exactly what it is either. So, I'm hoping that we have more chances to talk. And I'm praying that God will help me, to help her, to find the truth that she so desperately needs to hear, and believe.

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Thursday, November 18, 2004

A glorious day

Today was truly great. But allow me to break it down into easy to read segments for everyone.

"I didn't do it." - Bart Simpson
This morning it was discovered that someone at work had been downloading "prohibited materials" on one of the Internet Accessible computers.
And just how did we find this out? Because there was a fairly obscene photo of a naked girl on one of the monitor screens when we arrived this morning. There were also some "pop-up" ads for "adult" sites still open. If I know our IT people (and I do!), they'll have the particular somebody's head on a platter tonight. I wish that I could say that I feel sorry for whoever it is that's going to get canned, but to be completely honest... YOU HAVE TO BE A FREAKING IDIOT TO DOWNLOAD PORN AT WORK !!! How can anyone be such a total moron? Whoever it is deserves to be fired. If not for the actual "misuse of company property, and privilege", then for the sheer stupidity.

Coming soon
Thought of several topics that I want to post about soon. Most of them have been inspired by conversations that took place today. One that I hope to have up this weekend will be a "Quote for...". But it will actually be a series of several quotes from Gregs father that just managed to pop out today. Again, I can't justify using them as individual quotes, but I can't help laughing at them when Greg says them. So, I will give them all a single place of honor on my blog.

Torment
J2D, Phyllis and myself spent the better part of the day looking forward to the scheduled festivities of the evening. In doing so, we managed to inflict a great deal of torment upon several of our co-workers who could not attend. Oh... and the reason they could not attend; they weren't part of the project. The thing that bothered them all was not that we had a "kick-off" celebration, but that they did not. When their product was finally released, none of the engineers or marketing people thought to include them in the festivities. Fortunately for us, our marketing group wasn't so snobbish. WOOHOO !!!

On with the debauchery !
Well... not really. The celebration was fairly calm. Drinks were plentiful, food was good, music... sucked at first (Disco), but it got better as the evening progressed (80's pop and rock). here are a few things that were somewhat memorable about the whole thing.
J2D and Phyllis started out with Mudslides. That's right people, drink your dessert before you've had any dinner. Paul, from QA, asked "Could you fit any more calories into those glasses?". My reply; "Sure, stuff a brownie in the bottom." (mmmmmmmmmmmm... brownies in Mudslides.). I was halfway tempted to try, since there were brownies available, and drinks were on the engineering and marketing groups tab.
Our supervisor, Dan (the former Marine drill sgt.), arrived shortly after 4:00. Some of my co-workers were concerned that he might put a damper on things. "He's a Marine for crying out loud. He'll have a few beers and everything will be right with the world." I said. And I was right.
Got to shoot some darts with Paul. I won twice, he won once. When we finished several of the enginners and office people decide to give it a shot. Paul and I mocked them from a distance. We made jokes about needing to use a slide-rule, calculating for the rotation of the Earth, accounting for the curvature of the circumfrence of each space, etc... As we watched them play, we realized that they deserved every bit of our mockery. I was so very tempted to approach them and offer to put my next bonus check up against any one of theirs in a game of Cut-Throat Cricket. But I doubt that I would've had any takers, or else they wouldn't have waited for Paul and I to finish playing before they went ahead and embarrassed themselves. Oh, well.
Paul and J2D shot some pool. J2D scrathed on the 8-ball. How sad, to lose right after you've won.
On a side note; the four young ladies who were responsible for organizing the entire affair could really put their liquor away! They were 'barflies' in the truest sense of the word. I never saw them leave their seats at the bar. I saw that they had food at one point, but I never saw them move from their places. A nifty party trick, I'm sure.
Anyway, I left shortly after 5:30. Made dinner for 'the Boy', took our suits to the dry-cleaners (where Aliesha works) came home and decided to blog a little.
And now I'm done.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Different sides of the same coin

This is a phrase that I like to apply to many conversations, essays and discussions that I have with JT. We are both going through our fair share of trials and tribulations, and we both realize that there is much for us to learn from these hardships. And it's times like these that I'm glad that we're friends.
Much of the time we approach issues from similar perspectives, but we often have just enough of a different view to be somewhat more insightful to each other. It's something that has help our friendship to last for the 22+ years that we've known each other.
In his most recent post, JT affirms the fact that he has been maturing in his faith. A very good thing, but it doesn't come without consequences. Something that we've both known for years is the fact that when you become serious about pursuing your faith, you will run into opposition. What we never fully realized before was that the opposition, quite often, comes from ourselves.
I'm finding it difficult to give up some of the things that I know are hindering my growth. Still, I'm trying to have a willing heart to do so. I admit that there is a great deal of pain involved in some of the choices that I've had to make. Yet, I'm convinced that the Holy Spirit is leading me to a place where I need to be. I also admit that I have a great deal of uncertainty about much of it. However, I trust my Lord to give me the courage that I need to follow through.
I'm not saying that I'm happy about it all. I'm not! But, I accept it. I have to trust God, that in bringing me this far along, He will enable me to continue to the end. I don't have to like it, but I know that the reward that awaits me is far greater than any of the difficulties that I'll ever face. And I know that I won't face them alone.

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Quote for 11/17/04

"Anything you're good at contributes to happiness."
Bertrand Russell

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"Hey Greg! Why dontcha pull yer head outta yer ass and wiggle yer ears!"

In case you're wondering...
Greg is one of my co-workers. Every once in awhile, he'll toss out one of these 'gems' from his father. They usually strike me as being pretty funny. Not quite good enough to be a "Quote for...", but it certainly is worthy of an honorable mention. This one came up today as I waited for Greg to hand me a board that needed tested.

On a side note:
Greg sent the photo of the downed RAF plane to this site. You can read the caption to find out some of the particulars.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Another round bartender!

Just found out today that the engineering group, that was in charge of our pilot run project, has received approval for release... It's an official product now. All of a sudden I'm having a flashback to the Schoolhouse Rock installment called "I'm Just A Bill."... "He signed you Bill. Now, you're a law.".
O.K., enough of that. Besides, I doubt many of you even remember Schoolhouse Rock.
ANYWAY... In order to celebrate all of the hard work, and effort, that went into the successful completion of the project. We're all going out to Zanders for drinks and munchies on Thursday from 3-7. And it's all on the engineering groups tab. WOOHOO!!! Ya gotta love it when the company rewards ya by gettin' ya boozed up. And, ya can't beat that with a stick!
Sooooooo... don't expect a very coherent post (if any at all) on Thursday.

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Monday, November 15, 2004

Hmmmmmmm?!?

I had something to say earlier today, but it seems to have escaped me at the moment. A feeling that I'm sure Faith is familiar with. Perhaps I'll remember it later.
In the mean time... I took JT's advice and hit the "next blog" button a few times. It was interesting to say the least. Not to mention, I like to check my "site meter" just to see who's been visiting. That, too, has led me to some interesting places. I may discuss some of these things in future posts. But, for now, I need to get some stuff done around the house. Later.

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Sunday, November 14, 2004

Quote for 11/14/04

"Don't put off 'til tommorrow what you can avoid altogether."
Slackers Creed

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Saturday, November 13, 2004

Quote for 11/13/04

"Don't put off 'til tommorrow what you can put off 'til next week."
Procrastinators Creed.

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So much to say

Much has happened since last I posted...

Jo totalled her car on Wednesday. She is O.K., but the front end of her car is now scattered across Tri-Boro Blvd at Brown and Shaw Avenues. Well, it was until they swept it up. It was a bus. She's not really sure what happened. She was starting through the intersection when she saw that the bus was coming through as well. She was wearing her seatbelt, and it probably saved her life. All she has is a bruise across her chest.
Fortunately for us, my mother wasn't sure that she wanted to keep my dad's car. Now she's glad that she did. So, we have it until something more is determined about the accident. I'm leaning toward the bus trying to beat out the yellow light. Of course, I could be mistaken.

Work is insane. We're on mandatory overtime for the next week and a half. One hour each day, and 4 hours each Saturday. It's more of a pre-emptive approach to balancing out the down time over the Thanksgiving holiday. I don't mind though. I'm usually already deep into my work when everybody else is just arriving. The paychecks are nice, too.

Had a great day out today with JT. Went out to the State Game Lands in Wexford to get in a little target shooting. It's been a long time since we went shooting, and it was great to finally get some time on the range again. I discovered that I like the Ruger-Blackhawk .357 more than I do the Smith & Wesson double-action. Definitely have to get the sighting on the Markarov 9mm adjusted. I'm surprised I was even hitting the target for as far off as it was.
JT had a mishap. One of his reload shells blew up in the magazine. Busted up his Taurus 9mm, blew out the clip, and left some powder burns on his hand. It was not pretty, but JT is O.K..
Afterwards, we headed to Vincents for pizza (insert sound of Homer Simpson drooling here). Stuff is a heart attack waiting to happen. For those of you who're not from around here... If you're ever in the 'burgh, look us up, and we'll gladly join you for what will be the experience of a lifetime. I only say that because this particular experience is going to take 10 years off your life.

I guess that's enough for now. I'm gonna go get some much needed and deserved rest. Later.

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Thursday, November 11, 2004

Thank you very much

Today is Veterans Day. So... if you happen to be a Veteran, Thank You for your service. If you know a Veteran, be sure to tell him/her Thank You. You and I owe more than we can imagine to these men and women. Let's make sure that they know that we know it.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Quote for 11/10/04

"Sic vis pacum para bellum"
Latin Proverb - also from The Punisher

This in honor of today being the birthday of the USMC
Hoorah!

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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

God bless 'em

My supervisor, a former Marine drill seargent, arranged for us at Respironics, to 'adopt' a group of Marines that are stationed in Iraq. In September, myself and many other employees contributed goods and goodies to be sent to our Marines. Today, there was a 'Thank You' letter being passed around the production floor from Captain McFadden of the 1st Expeditionary Forces of the USMC. It was truly touching for most of us. Yet, for others it was shaming.
There were actually people, that I work with, that refused to give anything because they "... don't support this war.". GET OVER YOURSELF! And get over your pathetic partisan politics! whether you support the war or not isn't the issue here. We have men and women, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, all serving over there, and THEY deserve our support, whether you agree with the the mission that they've been sent on, or not. Just shut-up, and remember that you owe your freedoms to people like them.
So, now we're taking another collection of goods and goodies to be sent to them for Christmas. We're hoping to beat our last offering of 2 full pallets stacked 6' high. I already made a contribution of body-wipes, writing paper, envelopes, pens, Jolly Ranchers, and bubble gum. But I'm going to give more before our November 19th deadline. We really want them to know how much we appreciate their willingness to serve.
God bless 'em all.
Semper Fi!

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Sunday, November 07, 2004

Quote for 11/7/04

"Go Stillers!!!"
About 90% of residents of the 'burgh.

The rest of us don't have the accent.

BONUS QUOTE for Faith...
"Ouch"
ET, and maybe Donovan McNabb.
You had every reason to be afraid.

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Something else that's amazing

How 'bout them Steelers!!! First the Pats, now the Eagles! That's 2, count 'em... 2, undefeated teams to fall to the rookie QB! I believe that's some kinda record.
Actually, I don't wish to give too much credit to Roethlisberger, alone. The entire team did an excellent job. Still, ya hafta admit, 3 TD's in the first quarter... AWESOME!!!
And, as Kenn said, (before he unplugged badinfluence.com) This team has finally given the people in this town something to talk about. Maybe, it's a bit premature to be talking "Super Bowl". But when you consider the way the Steelers have been playing, and against whom, things look pretty good. Even better; having a rookie QB at the helm.
AMAZING!

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It never ceases to amaze me

The grace of God is so absolutely incredible at times that I find myself in awe of His handiwork for some of the simplest miracles. In spite of the fact that my life has become very agitated and complex over the last few months, I still managed to find a couple of those miracles yesterday.
I went outside yesterday morning to put something in my car, when I heard the screach of a hawk very nearby. I looked up to see that there were two hawks grooming themselves in a tree behind my neighbors house. I couldn't take my eyes off of them for the shear beauty of the sight.
Then, during the night, after I returned from some shopping. I just happened to look up toward Orion, and saw a shooting star. It's phenomenal how slow these things move across the sky, yet, if you blink, you'll miss it.
It isn't that I beleive such things to be either signs, or omens. But to happen upon such wonders, both in the same day, just reaffirms my conviction that:

"... I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

And that tells me that things are going to be O.K.

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Saturday, November 06, 2004

... more questions

Some questions that popped into my head while I was at work this morning:

Why is it, that a person who has neither weapons, nor fighting skills, is considered to be "defenseless"? Shouldn't it be called "offenseless"?

Why is it, that of all the things we might cling to from our youth, toys and cartoons are the most sought after?

Why does anyone drink caffine-free, diet soft-drinks? If you really want something that has neither caffine, nor sugar, wouldn't water do? Isn't no taste, better than that grotesque aftertaste?

Why do most men relate so easily with The Three Stooges, while most women hate them? What does this say about men, and women? Does this disprove the feminists assertion that men and women are basically the same? And why is it, that Curly always seems to be everybody's favorite? Is it his ability to take a hit? Or is it his spectacular dance moves?

Ya know... most people talk about the weird things they come up with in their dreams. This is the kind of stuff I come up with while I'm awake. Does that scare anybody else?

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Friday, November 05, 2004

"It's good to be da king."

King Louis/Mel Brooks from History of the World pt.1

Found this at Da Goddess' site. I found out that I'm King Arthur!

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Quote for 11/5/04

"We're all here because we're not all there."
A bumper sticker I saw.

I have to find one of these!

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More than mere words

There’s been much said lately on the issue of “gay marriage”. Especially, since there were ballot initiatives in 11 states during this election cycle. So, allow me to say this; I do not oppose “gay marriage” simply on moral grounds. I oppose it on linguistic reasoning.
There never has been, nor can there ever be, such a thing as “gay marriage”. Why? Because, the definition of marriage, actually the very concept of marriage, pre-dates law and civilization. Long before there was any society, or civilization, there were certain ideas that already existed. Concepts such as marriage, commerce, ownership, theft and even murder, all had a definition before there were any laws to identify them. Many of these notions have been held to be traditions, or moral teachings, which have become institutionalized by the creation of laws and societies. But the laws did not invent these ideas. Instead, the laws merely served to recognize the significance of these traditions within society.
The legal definitions of theft, and murder, did not make these actions “evil”. The very concept of these actions defined them as being “evil”. The legal definitions only allowed these acts to be punishable by authorities. Likewise, marriage, commerce and ownership are not “good” because of their legal standing. Legal standing merely afforded them certain protections, or sometimes a level of encouragement, by legal recognition of a pre-existing concept. So, at issue here, is not a matter of moral discussion. It’s about our language.
I once heard someone say of marriage, “It’s just a word.”. As if that means that we can change it’s definition at our whims. But that’s not true. Words have meanings so that we can effectively communicate with one another. Changing the definitions of words causes a breakdown in our ability to communicate. It enables one side, or the other, to distort the ideas being discussed. Unless both sides agree on the definitions of the words, and ideas in question, there is no point to having the discussion.
By the same token, distorting the concepts that are expressed by our words, enables people to advance ideologies that would typically be unheard of, and quite often, indefensible. My prime example of this happened in Florida last week.
There is a man who is currently being prosecuted for attempting to use his car to run-down Katherine Harris (the former Florida, Secretary of State who was made semi-famous in the 2000 elections). His defense attorney has already declared that this man was being overly zealous in “… exercising his right to Freedom of Expression.”. Attempted murder (or at least vehicular homicide) is now being redefined as “Freedom of Expression”?!? Does anybody else see the problem with such deluded logic? Such a disregard for the established definitions of existing concepts could do irreparable harm to our society.
However, my biggest problem with it all is this; once certain words are indiscriminately redefined by small groups of individuals, the possibility of reasoned discussion, or debate, no longer exists. If you and I do not already agree on the definitions of the words and ideas being used, then you and I are no longer speaking the same language. Neither of us are able to persuade the other to make compromises, meet halfway, or even understand each others positions. Because it’s like apples and oranges. And this is a real problem.
As long as we can have reasonable and logical discussions, we can hope to find compromises. But, as soon as one side takes it upon itself to frame the debate in it’s own terms, logic fails. Without logic the discussion ceases, and one side, or the other, feels compelled to force the issue through legal channels. And that is exactly what happened with these ballot initiatives.
The traditionalists (sometimes called conservatives) wished to retain the traditional definition of marriage, the concept of which has preceded our laws. Yet, the activists within the homosexual community (and even some from without) wanted to alter, if not redefine, that concept. Rather than engaging in a reasonable debate, from the traditionalist position, and attempting to gain some form of compromise, they pressed the issue. The activists were not willing to accept such things as civil unions, contractual agreements, living wills, and what not. Instead, the activists agenda forced the very definition of the word marriage into the legal arena. The initiatives went on the ballots. And the voters in 11 states agreed with the traditional concept of marriage. So much so, that Ohio could possibly deny recognition, and any subsequent benefits afforded by common-law unions as well.
It is sad that this issue had to be dealt with in this way. But as long as there are people who wish to affect cultural changes by twisting and distorting our established language. Then these battles will have to be fought in this manner. As long as there are people willing to weaken our ability to communicate reasonably. Then communication will be avoided by going to the voters. And there are many more similarly framed issues that are waiting for resolution. But those are topics for another day.

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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Quote for 11/4/04

"Little boys who eavesdrop deserve to hear the truth, and the truth is usually devestating."
Stuart (or is it Stewart) from MADtv.

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Quotes from 10/2004

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

My recent trip

This is how my weekend/trip went…

Thursday:
As far as work was concerned; Thursday was the best day I had in awhile. I managed to find a nice quiet corner, with good reception for my radio, an unoccupied outlet for my CD player, and very little traffic from co-workers. Normally, I’m a people person, but lately, my mood has been somewhat dark. So, I’ve been keeping to myself, and I’ve needed that privacy.
Picked up ‘The Boy’ at school in an attempt to expedite our departure time. Then, of course, we ended up behind all of the buses anyway. Such is life. Mom was already waiting at my house when we arrived, but we loaded quickly and got rolling by 4:00.
It was an excellent ride. The fall colors looked so incredible on the rolling hillsides. There was even a really great sunset, too. Mom shared more stories about growing up on a farm, and gave the reasons why she said she would never marry a farmer.
Made really good time, too… even with making a wrong turn in Greenville. In the dark, Ohio looks pretty much the same to me, so I missed the last turn that 49 makes in Greenville, and ended up in Union City, Indian. No big deal though. It only added about 15 minutes to our total travel time. We arrived at my Aunt Kathleen’s house at 10:15. Unloaded, settled in, and I was asleep by 11:00.

Friday:
Slept in! Woke up at 8:00, and had breakfast at 8:30 (unlike our last trip out). Afterwards, Bobby and I took a little walk into town to check out the Fort Museum, but it was closed. Only open from May to September. ‘The Boy’ was a bit bummed out by this, since he was hoping to bring back some info, and possibly an artifact, for his history class. They had just finished their section on the French-Indian War, and were starting on The Revolutionary War, and soon would be moving on to The Westward Expansion - And that’s what Fort Recovery is about.
We returned to Aunt Kathleen’s and putzed around as we waited for mom and Kathleen to figure out what they wanted to do for the day. Fortunately, Bobby had brought a few video tapes with us, so, we weren’t without entertainment.
Eventually, they decided to go grocery shopping. Me and ‘The Boy’ couldn’t take it though, not after watching the two of them bicker over orange juice. Instead, we opted to take a little walk around town.
In the evening, Bobby and I dropped mom and Kathleen off at one of my uncle’s. It was his 83rd birthday! Then we went over to my cousin Dan’s.
Dan took us to check out the turkey pen. 14,000 cute, little, turkey chicks running all over the place. It was really neat to see, and nothing at all what I was expecting it to be. It’s a fairly high-tech operation, actually. But, then again, there have been some amazing advances in farming over the last couple of decades. There’s much more science involved these days. It’s pretty impressive stuff, but I won’t bore yinz with it.
Visited for a little while longer, then went to get mom and Kathleen. Again, I was asleep by 11:00.

Saturday:
Up at 7:30 this morning. Today’s plan; Me and Bobby are joining my cousin Dan, his wife Deb, and their kids, Brent and Kara, on a little shopping trip to Muncie, Indiana. Dan needed to get some building supplies for the work he’s doing on his garage. Deb and the kids, needed to do some clothes shopping. They took ‘The Boy’ while Dan and I did “the guy-thing” at Menards. This store had everything. I picked up so many ideas about things I could do around the house, just by walking around. Maybe someday I’ll be able to afford to do some of them.
Headed back to Dan’s and had pizza for lunch. Unloaded the materials and then went back to Kathleen’s. Got myself a nice 2 hour nap afterwards. Man, was that nice.
That evening, Dan and Deb had a wedding to go to, so they dropped Brent and Kara off with us. So, I took the kids bowling in Coldwater. It was fun.
When we had finished, we went back to my aunt’s and loafed around. Played PS2, watched Monsters Inc. and relaxed in general until Dan and Deb returned.
This time, I didn’t get to sleep ‘til after Midnight. But that was O.K., I was well rested from my nap earlier.

Sunday:
Today was my 17th anniversary, and my Uncle Jim and Aunt Mary’s 50th. No small accomplishment.
I called Jo to tell her “Happy Anniversary”, but she was already at work. Got ready for the big celebration.
The church service was your typical Catholic mass, followed by my uncle and aunt renewing their vows. It was very nice. Afterward we headed to the reception.
It was really great to see all of my moms family again, especially so soon after our last visit. They always make a big fuss over mom when she comes, because they don’t get to see her anywhere near as much as they’d like. Likewise, they’re always pretty happy to see me because they know that I’d bring her out more often if I could. We’ve even discussed me bringing her out on one weekend and leaving her for a week or two, and then coming back to get her, or even have one of them bring her back home later. But mom never seems to want to do that, as if she’d be missing anything here.
I have to admit that one of the highlights for me was meeting one of my cousins (by marriage) for the first time, even though he’s been a part of the family for 21 years. His name is Rick, and he’s married to my cousin Marjie (one of Jim and Mary’s kids). He’s a Sergeant Major in the army (thus always moving around), and an all around great guy. We spent about two hours talking and getting to know each other. He’s a great man of faith and conviction, and we probably could’ve talked a lot longer, but eventually the party started to wrap up and we had to help clean the hall.
Later in the evening, I took mom over to my cousin Dan’s so she could see the turkey pen. When I see how mom acts around animals, I find it hard to believe that she actually grew up on a farm. She was afraid that she might step on one, she was afraid to touch one… go figure. We stayed a little longer then decided that we should probably head back to Kathleen’s so we could get ourselves packed for the ride home.

Monday:
We were on the road by 9:30. It’s always so bittersweet to leave. I can tell that mom would love to stay, but she knows that she can’t. I keep telling her that someday she might want to sell her house and move back to be with her brothers and sisters while they’re all still living and in decent health. She resists, but I sometimes wonder if she doesn’t think about it.
Life is different in Ft. Recovery. It’s quiet, simple, relaxed. Everybody knows everybody else. Neighbors help one another, expecting nothing in return, but the favor is always returned. That’s just the way everyone is. And I wonder if that isn’t the way we’re all meant to be.
But… I’ve gone off on a tangent.
We made it home about 4:30. It was good to be home, as it always is.

And I think that’s enough for now. Have a good one.

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"... and that's all I have to say about that."

Forrst Gump/Tom Hanks from Forrst Gump

The election is finally over. I will say that I'm glad that Bush won, but I'm just as glad that it ended with a clear and decisive victory. Thank you Senator Kerry for having the dignity to not drag this into the courts. God bless you.

NOW...

The only gloating that I will do is this:
Hey! Hollywood! IN YOUR FACE!
All of you so-called "entertainers" did your best (worst), and you still lost. You spewed your venomous, amoral, socialist hatred of Bush, and his supports, through a biased, and complicit media. Yet, all your millions of dollars, all of your notoriety, and all of your pathetic rage, was not sufficient to overcome the grassroots efforts, and the nickle-n-dime contributions of people like me who reject your ideologies as miserable failures. In case you people hadn't noticed.. the Soviet Union collapsed, and the socialist nations of the European Union are barely surviving themselves. Learn from history, or be destined to repeat it.

That is all. thank you very much.

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First things first

Hey, Faith ...

"On the nosey!" - Igor/Marty Feldman from Young Frankenstien

Let me know where to send the prize.

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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

It's good to be back

Just stopped by to let everyone know that I'm back. The trip went well. I'll be making a post about it later this week.
If you haven't voted yet...
What the hell are you doing, sitting there reading my blog?!?
GET OUT THERE AND VOTE!
Be a part of the process, or you have no right to complain about the government that you get stuck with.

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