Thursday, August 31, 2006

Revisiting the issue

A few days ago I posted something about my son and his mother's boyfriend giving him a condom, and how I felt about it. Likewise, in the comments I replied to a question that Faith posed to me as to whether or not I would buy Bob a condom if he asked me.
Well, low and behold, here's an article that substantiates my position with actual study results. But allow me to add a few more thoughts to what I've already said.
The attitude that so many have - that teenagers are going to have sex anyways - is no excuse for simply passing out condoms. And it certainly doesn't fit well with some of the other behaviors that we don't wish to encourage among teenagers.
We don't want teens to smoke, so we tell them "Don't smoke!", and we don't follow it up with "But if you do, use this..." as we hand them a low tar cigarette. Likewise, we don't want our teens to take drugs, so we tell them "Don't use drugs!", and we don't follow that up with "But if you do, use a clean needle so you don't get AIDS.", as we hand them a needle.
There is something inconsistent about the message that we're sending our young people when we give them condoms after telling them that we don't want them to have sex. It's as if the people who are sending that message really don't want kids to abstain. Which is why I'm not surprised that the largest provider of abortion services is also one of the most vocal opponents to abstinence based sex education.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Quote for 8/29/06

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Another one of these...

Yes, and yet again, I've woken up way too early on a Sunday morning. So, yet again, I've decided to entertain myself with Blogthings that I will now share with you in the hopes that you will also examine them and share your results with me.

Your Life Path Number is 3

Your purpose in life is to express your unique self.

You are a creative and artistic person with an interesting view on life.
Witty and outgoing, you enjoy sharing your crazy ideas with anyone who will listen.
A total social butterfly, you're the life of any party.

In love, you inspire and enchant your partner. You are often an object of fantasy and desire.

While you are very talented, you sometimes lack the ambition to put your talents in play.
And while your wit carries you a long way, you occasionally use it to mask your true feelings.
Your natural abilities can bring you all the success in the world ... if you let them

Actually, I believe I have a greater purpose in this life than to express my "unique self". But being a "unique self" helps.

You Communicate With Your Ears

You love conversations, both as a listener and a talker.
What people say is important to you, and you're often most affected by words, not actions.
You love to hear complements from others. And when you're upset, you often talk to yourself.
Music is very important to you. It's difficult to find you without your iPod.

Yeah, that pretty much covers me. Especially that last part about music - except that I don't own an iPod. But if I did, the last line would definitely be true.

You Are 32% Gross

You're a tad gross, but generally you're a clean, hygienic person.
No one can be perfectly clean all the time, and it's better to be human than a neat freak.

I suppose it's safe to admit to this.

You Are 64% Gentleman

You are definitely a gentleman. You're very considerate and you have excellent manners.
Occasionally, you slip and do something foolish... but usually no one notices!

I do try. But I also know that I "slip and do something foolish" more often than I'd care to admit. Must come from being "a tad gross"

Your Seduction Style: Ideal Lover

You seduce people by tapping into their dreams and desires.

And because of this sensitivity, you can be the ideal lover for anyone you seek.

You are a shapeshifter - bringing romance, adventure, spirituality to relationships.

It all depends on who your with, and what their vision of a perfect relationship is.

Hmmmmm... I've always believed that my role in a relationship depends on what my partner expects of me, how I can make her happy. Perhaps this is true.

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Quote for 8/26/06

"I think that age as a number is not nearly as important as health. You can be in poor health and be pretty miserable at 40 or 50. If you're in good health, you can enjoy things into your 80s."
Bob Barker

And, I guess Bob would know this, if anyone does. Well, maybe Dick Clark, too. Between the two of them they've been on TV for close to a millenia, haven't they?


"I have to admit, it's getting better."

"It's getting better all the time."
The Beatles (I don't know which of them wrote the song, I just know it's theirs)

I did my "Work Ride" (just read the first half) again this morning, and it wasn't nearly as bad as last week. I managed to get my "to work" time down to 40-ish minutes. And I only stopped once to catch my breath and rest my legs.
I also gave myself more time to ride around the parking lot once I got there. I enjoyed that because there are so many slopes to the lot. I had fun pedaling up one side and coasting down the other.
The ride back to my car was even easier than last weeks. I didn't touch my brakes on the downhill from the work lot so I managed to get up to 24 mph before I got out onto the highway. I cruised along at about 16 mph for almost a mile before I even started to pedal. And that, only for a few seconds to see how it felt, and because of what I'm about to share.
Of course, there was one thing that was terribly wrong with this weeks ride. Somebody hit a skunk about a mile from my work, and I had to pedal past it twice. The first time I thought I would die because I could smell it way before I got up to it. And since it's on that long, uphill stretch of highway I was already down to about 6 mph. As I got closer to it I had to really push myself to speed up so I wouldn't have to deal with it for too long. I forced myself upto 7.5 mph and thought I was going to have a heart attack after that. And the worst part is, when you're working that hard to get past something like a skunk, you can't hold your breath without making matters worse.
Once I got past the smell I had to stop. And that was the one stop I made. Not bad, all things considered. I might've actually made it the whole way without stopping if I didn't have to push myself like that.
But coming back wasn't so bad. As soon as I could smell the skunk I started holding my breath - because I could - as I was coasting at 16 mph. As I got closer to it I started to crank my legs like crazy in the hopes of flying past it quickly. And it worked. Once I got on the other side of it I started to let my breath out slowly and resumed my normal breathing. It still didn't smell too good, but it was better than having to linger in that odor a second time.
I hope none of you were eating. If I grossed you out, I apologize.
But back to the ride...
I managed to get back to my car in about 13 minutes this time. I'm betting it was the getting-past-the-skunk thing. Otherwise I would've just cruised along the whole time. And while I realize that coasting doesn't do much to help me with my stated intent (cardio exercize) of riding my bike, it does give me an opportunity to fully enjoy the ride.
I must also say that I'm pretty happy about the fact that in just a week I managed to shave almost 5 minutes off of my "to work" time. And I haven't been riding every night the way I would like to. So I think I'm working up my pace at a decent rate, as is. I imagine things would go even better if I were even more focused on riding, but I'm happy with how things are going for now. After all, I'm not planning on entering any kind of race. I'm just doing this for fun and exercize.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Quote for 8/24/06

"All brave men love; for he only is brave who has affections to fight for, whether in the daily battle of life, or in physical contests."
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What's a single parent to do?

It's pretty hard being a single parent these days. And I'm not just talking about making ends meet financially, or balancing time for work and play. I mean it in the sense that it's becoming increasingly difficult to instill one's own values into your own kids.
Most of you have been reading my blog long enough to know about some of the conversations that I've had with my son, Bob. It's great for me to know that he feels comfortable enough to talk to me about everything from sex and pornography, to religion and politics. And while I wish that my daughter was as comfortable with me as that (truthfully, I wish I was more comfortable about it with her), I know from various other conversations that we've had together that I've had a solid influence on her.
Still, I have to say that I really hate the way our culture has such a counter-productive influence on our kids. It really sucks that popular culture is fighting against us in our efforts to raise kids that will grow up to become decent, hardworking contributors to our society.
I recently read about a study that showed a correlation between sexually explicit music and the attitudes of teenagers who listen to it towards sex. As if this should be a surprise to us. But I'm especially intrigued by a point that is made in the referenced piece about those who would defend such music (or any other form of entertainment, for that matter), yet they condemn corporations for targeting young people with advertising for junk food. As if junk food, because of it's obvious negative physical effects, is any more detrimental than promiscuity is upon a young persons emotional well being.
But it gets even worse for me. Recently, Bob informed me that the Eventually-To-Be-Ex's boyfriend gave him a condom, simply because he has a girlfriend. So now I've got people who are connected to me (however distant that might be) undermining my efforts. But I will admit that I enjoyed having the opportunity to have another conversation with Bob.
When he told me that "Cowboy" (that's what everyone calls the Ex's boyfriend) gave him the condom he asked if I was mad. I told him that I was more irritated than mad because it isn't "Cowboy's" place to make such a decision about my son's life. To which Bob asked me if I'd prefer he didn't have the condom. So I told him that I'd prefer he not need it.
I explained to Bob that "Cowboy" has no business assuming that he is going to have sex. In part because he doesn't really know my son, but also because it sends a mixed signal that goes against what we've (I have to include the Ex in this too) been trying to teach both of our kids.
I expect better of my kids, because that's how we've tried to raise them. The last thing we need is some relative stranger handing them birth-control thinking he's doing us a favor. He's not. As far as I'm concerned it's like saying we don't trust them to make the wise decision to wait. It's like telling them that we approve of their disobedience to our previous instructions. It's like telling them that we don't expect better behaviour from them. And I have no intentions of sending my kids that message.
I'd like to know that I can trust my kids to make better decisions. And so far it seems like I can. I've done my best to keep as many positive influences in my kid's lives. Mostly church, and monitoring the people/friends they spend their time with, but I can't be there all the time. So I have to hope that I've had enough of an influence on them as is needed to keep them steady through the trials that they will have to face in this life as the grow into their adulthood.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Where does the time go?

Believe it or not, my little girl turns 18 today. All of a sudden I feel old.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Not happening

I suppose it's time I let everyone know that my most recent "relationship" really isn't happening. It's one of those situations in which things just aren't coming together for us.
We've tried to get together a few times since our first meeting, but none of our attempts have managed to work out for us. We did see each other once since then. And while it was nice to have the time to spend together, things just weren't clicking for us the way they seemed to previously. Besides, that particular meeting was riddled with misfortunes. From my being an hour and a half late, to her getting called into work. Nothing went right.
So we've mutually agreed that we're better off as friends. And that's cool for both of us. We still chat online here and there. And there's nothing awkward or uncomfortable about it. We're both OK with how things have gone and we've become pretty good friends through it. You can't complain about that.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

What a day

Oh, it's so good to be alive. And not simply because of yesterday's post, or the story that it referenced. But because today was just a really good day to be alive.
First, let me start by telling everyone that some of my mom's family came to visit this weekend. My cousin Dan, Aunt Kathleen and Aunt Ginny are staying at mom's til Monday. So that means we get to do some interesting things to keep them entertained while they're here. But I'll get back to that.
Today, however, started out great because I went for a little bike ride this morning. I've been contemplating riding my bike to work everyday. But there are way too many hills to try to do the whole ride. So I came up with an alternative plan that I wanted to try out today.
About halfway between my house and work is a Port Authority Park-N-Ride parking lot. Not only is it conveniently somewhere close to the halfway point of my daily commute, it is also past the last big hill on that commute. The ride to work is relatively "flat" from that point on. Kinda...
Which is the reason why I wanted to try this out today. Because the ride seems level enough when you're in your car driving along at 45 mph. But when you have to pedal it you discover that there are more slopes and grades to it than you might suspect.
I started out doing 13mph without really trying. But eventually pedaling became a bit more difficult. Then I found out that somewhere just past the halfway point of the ride the road is nearly all uphill. It's a very subtle slope, but it's noticable in the amount of energy I had to expend to keep a decent speed.
At first, I thought, maybe my tire was low or going flat. Because it was getting really hard to pedal. My speed had dropped from about 9 mph to 6 mph. So I stopped and checked my tires and they were fine. But just to make sure I pulled over into the parking lot of a little plaza that sits about a mile from my work and I rode through the lot from one end to the other where I turned around and started heading back in the direction I was coming from. Sure enough, I was flying along the road without even pedaling. So I used the momentum that I had built up to carry me back through the parking lot and onto the road where I began to trudge my way along toward work.
I managed to get to the intersection where I turn off the main highway and onto the road where my work is. It's a hill, of course, and I knew I'd never be able to pedal the whole way up. But I did get about 1/3 of the way, and that was good enough for me. So I walked my bike the rest of the way up to the parking lot and climbed back on so I could at least ride it until I got to the bike rack. That way I would know exactly how far, and how much time it would take me to do this on a daily basis. It's a little under 5 miles when I subtract for the little experiment to see if the road was really all uphill. And it took me nearly 45 minutes to get there. That may be a bit more time than I'd like to take for my morning commute. But there's a bright side to this.
Riding back to the Park-N-Ride was nearly all downhill. I barely had to pedal at all after I left my work lot. And I didn't have to pedal steadily until I passed the halfway point of the ride. While my computer was telling me that my average speed was increasing from 8.3 (on the ride to work) to 9.6 (on the ride back), I noticed that I was staying pretty close to 11 mph for most of the ride back to my car. I made it in about 15 minutes.
So I'm thinking this might be do-able if I can get myself in better condition to handle the uphill pedaling of the ride in. Because the ride back will be so nice.
And now for the rest of the day...
One of the things my mother wanted to do today was to take her family to the Strip District. In part because she's never been there, but also because she figured it'd be something different for them to experience. So we all climbed into mom's car and I drove us down to the Strip.
We ended up parking about 5 blocks away from where it all begins. Which was OK since none of us mind walking. It was amusing to see the strange fascination on my mother and aunt's faces as they took in all of the sights, sounds and smells of the various cafe's, vendors and shops that are there. Not to mention the people.
We didn't actually stop in very many of the shops. We were more or less there just to look around at all of it. But I had a few places that I had to stop, and one that my Aunt Ginny had to see.
For me, it was one of the oriental food stores. A korean lady that I work with introduced me and several co-workers to Roasted Hot Green Peas. I'm not sure if the coating on these things is wasabi or just very strong horseradish sauce. But whatever it is, it'll clear your sinuses! They are awesome!
For my aunt Ginny we had to head to Feinbergs for Steeler memorablia. I can't quite explain all of the ins-n-outs of the relationship, but my Aunt Ginny is related to Jeff Hartings - who is the center for the Steelers. As a result, one of her grandsons is a huge Steeler fan. So any chance she gets to grab some piece of Steeler "stuff", she does. And Feinbergs is the place to find it. Of course, the strange thing about it, she didn't find anything she wanted at Feinbergs. She ended up buying a few items from one of the street vendors. Go figure!
We did step inside a few of the more popular shops, Penn Mac and Wholeys, but we didn't buy anything. Just looked around and enjoyed the atmosphere. Then we headed back to the car.
Headed back to mom's for lunch and some catching up with one another. And then I headed home so I could do this. And now that I'm here I think I'll start weighing out my plans for the evening. Bob is at his mother's. Aliesha is out putting in job applications, then she'll be going over to her friend's house. So I have the uncommon opportunity to get out of the house for awhile. I think I might just do that. There is a Steeler's pre-season game tonight...

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Friday, August 18, 2006

A reminder

Today is an unusual anniversary for me. 10 years ago today, at this very moment, I was dead. I guess it would be redundant of me to say that I'm not dead anymore.
Just read the story if you haven't already.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Quote for 8/17/06

"I think that a strong Israel is the only Israel that will bring the Arabs to the peace table."
Benjamin Netanyahu

I thought it only appropriate after yesterday's quote, and my own thoughts.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Quote for 8/16/06

"We must prepare ourselves for a lengthy battle because this century is the century of Islam, the century of liberation, the century of victory and sovereignty, by Allah's will all those oppressive regimes will diminish and with our determination and sacrifices we will be the coming power."
Sheikh A. Yassin (founder of Hamas)

Yes, I'm sharing my thoughts on this in my next post.


Not a good idea

Well, you read the quote for yourself. Perhaps something we ought to be thinking about is just how serious the islamofacists are about world domination. And something that I find to be even more disturbing is that there are people in this country who're more worried that Christians wish to impose a theocracy upon America, but the radical muslims are only trying to make a political point about our foreign policy.
Now we have this cease-fire between Israel and Lebanon, even though the conflict wasn't between Israel and Lebanon. It's between Israel and Hezbollah - and their supporters in Iran and Syria. So how do you arrange a cease-fire, or treaty of any kind, between a sovereign nation and a terrorist organization?
The only thing that this cease-fire will accomplish is that it will give Hezbollah time to re-group and re-supply. And this is not a good thing, especially now that we know that Hezbollah is much better equiped than Israel ever suspected.
This is no time for Israel to give credence to "world opinion". The world has decided to ignore this looming threat. Israel cannot afford to. They are on the frontline of this war and they have to win it decisively. Regardles of what the rest of the world thinks.
As for the U.N. forces that are supposed to be a part of this cease-fire. Do we really expect anything worthwhile from this inept and corrupt organization? Please!?! The U.N. lacks the moral authority to be a part of this. Especially when we consider that two of the worst human rights violators, Sudan and China, both sit on the U.N. Human Rights Council. Riiiiight!

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Gee... Thanks... I think?

I'll take it as a compliment, because I know it was meant to be one. Especially since the part that might have been less than complimentary was meant in fun.
This morning a co-worker, who is also a dear friend of mine, shared a bit of a conversation with me that she had with another co-worker - who happens to be her roomate.
They were discussing some of the people that they work with, especially those of us who work on the PLV line. What my friend, Merry, said was something to this effect:
"Of all the guys who work in our area, Mike is the only one who is emotionally stable and he never seems to get stressed out."
She then began to explain how the other guys who work in our area are always stressed out about something. Snapping at people who bother them. Throwing, or slamming stuff when they're aggravated. And they tend to make everyone else a bit nervous and edgy when they're having a rough day. But I never seem to get that way. Which is really quite remarkable considering some of the emotional upheaval that I've gone through in the last few years.
Anyways, she finished explaining this and then said:
"Of course, you could just be pushing it all down until you finally snap. Then you'll be like one those people that everyone says "he was always so quiet"."
Uuuhhhh... yeah.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Join us

With yesterday's Steeler pre-season game, and the fast approach of the real season, it is time once again for Faith's Pick 'em Group on Yahoo. I have officially signed up already. And everyone else is invited to join us as we make our picks through the regular football season.
Don't worry, there's no money involved. It's an absolutely free service, and none of us are wagering on our picks. It's all just for fun and bragging rights.
Last year, which was my first year in the group, I took 3rd place, beating Faith and Holly, both of whom insisted that they would crush me since they believed themselves to be so good at picking their teams. Maybe this year...
Or maybe not.
We'll just have to wait and see.
Anyways, here are the directions to join if you're interested.

In order to join the group, just go to Pro Football Pick'em, click the "Sign Up" button (or "Create or Join Group" if you are a returning user). From there, follow the path to join an existing private group and when prompted, enter the following information...

Group ID#: 13393
Password: blog

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Getting started

Did a 20 mile ride this morning starting at The Waterfront. Everybody met at the Starbucks and we headed out from there.

The first real landmark of the day, the Whemco smoke stacks, are right at the end of The Waterfront, and right at the beginning of our trail.

Couldn't resist this shot. Not quite the sunrise shot I would've liked to get, but it's a nice pic anyways. Even with the glare. If we had started out a little earlier I might have been able to get the sun just before it broke over the hillside. That would've been really cool to see.

Looking down the river to where we were heading. This and the previous shot were both taken at the very beginning of the real Trail.

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dahntahn, n@, from the trail

Took this shot just as we got into the South Side.

The next two shots were from the trail. I just like the veiws.

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The gang's all here

Group photo at The Point.
JT's son Rob is in the rear on the ledge of the fountain. From left to right; M+, JT, Lori, P.Dave, Thomas

Everybody mulling around before we started into town.

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Shots from The Point

The fountain right as you enter Point State Park. A very nice shot.

Heinz Field, home of the world champion Steelers, in the background of the fountain.

The Fort Pitt Bridge behind the fountain.

Dahntahn as the background for the fountain.

And what series of photos from The Point would be complete without a pic of the famous Incline?

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A few miscellaneous shots in town

The Carnegie Science Center, complete with a submarine in the river.

I've loved this "tunnel", for lack of anything better to call it, ever since JT first posted photos of it on his blog. But that was months ago and I'm not about to go searching his archives for a link.

From the other end.

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In The Strip

Says it all doesn't it?

Wholey's, one of the more famous establishments of The Strip. Seafood is their specialty.

Just a shot from the end where we stopped to turn around.

Used to be a church, now it's a club. Interesting. I could write a complete post about the thoughts that this stirred in me. But I'll resist for now.

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The ride home

Station Square from the Dahntahn side of the Smithfield Street Bridge. I took this shot right after I nearly ran into a cab. The cab slowed down as it was going thru the intersection and I miscalculated where I was supposed to be as I was going thru the same intersection. I almost left a me-shaped-dent in the rear quarter panel of the cab.

Can't believe I missed this pic on the way into town.

Ah, yes, the state of the art County Condominiums. Better known as the County Jail. The inmates have air conditioning, cable TV, state of the art exercise equipment, three square meals a day, and no rent or mortgage payments. Suddenly, "Hardened Criminal" is beginning to sound like a pretty good option on Career Day at school. Almost makes me want to take up a life of crime.

A stroke of sheer genius on Rob's part.

Back onto the trail from the South Side. Last shot of the day.

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Quote for 8/11/06

"To be doing good deeds is man's most glorious task."


Thursday, August 10, 2006

She means well

As a rule, I don't think it's proper or polite to criticize a gift that one has received. But I just can't resist tonight.
Please keep in mind that I hope everyone will take this in the true spirit of good humor and jest that I mean it to be.
As most of you are aware, my Bible has recently "given up the ghost", and I have been unable to find/afford one of the particular versions that I would like to buy as a replacement.
Fortunately for me my sister-in-law, Lori, found a Bible at a Dollar General, or Family Dollar, store. So she picked it up for me for the $3 or $4 that it cost her.
Of course, I am grateful. If not for the Bible itself, at least for her thoughtfullness in regard to my need. But this is where it starts to get funny...
It's not going to be a very good version for me.
First, for those of you who aren't already aware, there are a multitude of different versions of the Bible. Now, I'm not speaking about different translations or anything. What I'm speaking of is the fact that the various different publishers all produce different versions of the Bible based upon a particular "audience", or reader. The different versions include specialized sections for study that appeal to the particular "audience". There are versions for young children, teens, mothers, fathers, men, women, recovering addicts and so on, and so on...
The version which my sister-in-law found just doesn't seem to fit me very well. Perhaps the stunning lavender cover should've been the first clue. Then of course there's the picture of all the lovely flowers on the cover. And lest I forget to mention the rolling script of the writing on the cover. It's a really pretty Bible. Honestly!
Then I opened it up and all the headings and trim are in the most remarkable shade of pink.
Not quite right for the radical soldier of Christ that I would like to be. Or even for the serious student of the scriptures that I'd like to think I am.
Don't get me wrong here. I am very grateful for this gift. And I'll read it because it is still the word of God. But I can't help but get a chuckle out of this.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Quote for 8/9/06

"Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship."


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

What if...?

I have always loved "What if...?" story lines in TV and literature. They make your imagination work overtime. Not that my imagination needs much encouragement to work overtime, but it's nice to have a topic to focus on every once in awhile.
So tonight's "What if...?" came from our Tuesday Night Family Service at church.
When we consider the fact that Jesus' disciples were expecting Him to lead a revolution against the Roman Empire, I have to wonder about what might have happened if he had done just that.
Think about it. In Matthew 26:53 Jesus tells His disciples that He could have 12 legions of angels standing by with a single word. 120,000 angels. Do you think that would've been sufficient to subdue the Roman Empire? How about the entire world? How might things be different if Christ had chosen that option?
Imagine it. Jesus, surrounded by angels, His disciples marching beside Him, telling Pilate that things were going to change. Telling the High Priests that He was taking over now. Marching on Rome herself to depose the emperor. And who could oppose such an army?
But what good would it do to place the world in submission in such a way? To have a world that serves God out of fear, not love? Would there be any faith at all in such a world?
It intrigues me to know that the story of Christ has survived for so long against great opposition, against hatred and violence, against hypocrisy and false prophets. It intrigues me to know that Jesus' death and resurrection still has the power to change lives, in so many profound ways, that an army of angels could never hope to achieve such a great victory in this world.

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Monday, August 07, 2006

9 down and counting

I've lost 9 pounds since my last Dr.'s appointment 3 months ago. Not a spectacular amount of weight loss, but I'll take it. Especially since I haven't really been trying. All I've been doing is attempting to get healthier with my food choices and activity levels. It would seem that there have been additional benefits to my efforts.
My blood pressure is almost down to normal too. Still a little high, but very close to where it should be. Of course, I've been taking Diovan for that. So it should be dropping. But I'm not about to complain about that either.
All in all, a good report from my Dr. today.


Sunday, August 06, 2006

Let the festivities begin

Yesterday was Aliesha's graduation party.

I'm not going to name everybody in the photos, but I will tell you all that Bob is sitting next to his girlfriend, Brittany.

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Other stuff from the day

Aliesha was having too much fun with the cake cutting.

Mmmmmmmmmmm... cake!

Everybody loved this collage. There are so many memories in these photos.

Oh, the grand deception! To give us these wonderful trinkets, making us believe we were getting chocolate...

... only to give us bubble gum. JT was also greatly disappointed by this trickery.

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Quote for 8/5/06

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid."
Dwight D. Eisenhower


Quotes from 7/2006

Friday, August 04, 2006

"Nut'in' Honey"

I have known for many years that one of the primary differences between men and women is that most men "think", while most women "feel". But women always seem to treat the two as equal, even though they are not. For example:
I got to watch some Star Trek; The Next Generation while I was off work this week. Actually, it's on Spike TV everyday from 3:00 - 6:00, so I get to see it quite often...
No that's not the part of this post that makes me more of a geek than yesterday's post...
I got to watch some Trek this week and one of the episodes I saw was the one in which one of the Enterprise's crew members attempts to have a romantic relationship with Data (the android). Her reasoning was that she found Data's unique mannerisms to be endearing, humorous and even attractive. He was also very thoughtful toward her after she had just ended a bad relationship.
Needless to say, the relationship does not work out. In fact, there is one scene in which she kisses Data, and after the kiss she looks affectionately into his eyes and asks him "What were you thinking just then?". To which Data rambles off a series of purposed projects, experiments, technical calculations, a new dietary supplement for his cat "Spot", as well as a few other things. And the only thing in his mind about her was how much pressure he could safely apply to her lips without injuring her. Her deflated response was "Well, at least I was in there somewhere.".
The problem was not that she wanted to know what Data was thinking. She wanted to know what he was feeling. But you can't ask Data such a question because he has no emotions. He's an android. So he wasn't feeling anything. And what he was thinking was honestly what he was thinking. So she couldn't complain that he wasn't communicating with her, or even that he wouldn't share his thoughts with her. He did both, but neither of which were really what she wanted from him.
Seeing this particular episode always reminds me of a real example from my own life.
Back when things were still good betwen Jo and I, we would take long rides together. For whatever reasons, vacation, shopping, just to get out for awhile, whatever. And during those long rides Jo would often look over at me and ask me what I was thinking - as I was staring out at the road. Typically my response was "Nut'in' Honey.", or some such drivel that would keep her from prying into the inner-workings of my mind. But on one such occassion she pressed me by saying "You can't possibly be thinking about "nothing". The look on your face says you've got something on your mind. Now what is it?"
So I told her "Oh, I was just trying to keep myself on my toes by reciting the alphabet to myself in as many different languages as I could think of."
Then she asked "How many did you think of?"
And I said "Four."
"Which four?" Was her response.
"Well, English, of course. Then German, and Greek..." I paused, not for effect but because I knew she'd ask.
"You are soooo weird. Why did I ever marry you?"
"I dunno?"
But again, the problem was that she didn't really want to know what I was thinking. She wanted to know what I was feeling. But she didn't ask what I was feeling. So I didn't tell her that.
And this is so often the case with relationships. Women want to know what guys are feeling, but they always ask what we're thinking. Men, in turn, are afraid to say what they're thinking because it is usually not what women want to hear. So it would do us all well to keep this simple difference in mind when we try to communticate with one another.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

It's all Greek to me

It's finally happened. My Bible, which I mentioned previously in a comment here was falling apart, has finally fallen apart completely. The "clumps" which I mentioned have fallen into smaller "clumps", and now it's hard to keep everything together without a rubber band. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get a new Bible yet. However, I do have a back-up, sorta.
Since I had just started reading the Book of Acts as my daily devotional, that means I can use my Greek New Testament until I move onto my next choice. Unless, of course, I decide to stay in the New Testament, in which case I'll be fine for awhile longer.
Mind you, it's an Inter-linear Greek New Testament which means it has the english translation with the greek text. So I don't have to use my Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words for the words I can't remember, but I still have to conjugate the sentence structure from greek to english. Which I'm actually finding to be enjoyable exercise for my mind.
Tomorrow I'll have a post that will make all of you think I'm an even bigger geek than you already think I am after this post.

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

No change

Still sick. Took another day off from work. Can't seem to get any real sleep between the alternating chills and fever. Of course the muscle aches aren't making it easy to get comfortable in any position that might be conducive to sleep. So I'm not getting the rest that I need to fight it off. And I've run out of whiskey to use for it's medicinal purposes.
I guess it just sucks to be me this week!
I really hope to be better tomorrow. I can't stand to lose another day of overtime. Besides, me and Bob have watched nearly every DVD we own over the last two and half days. All but the extended versions of LOTR. I just haven't been able to convince him to let me start it.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Keep a safe distance

You may not want to get too close to me because I've been sick for the last day and a half. I felt it coming on Sunday night/Monday morning. It was one of the most restless nights I've ever experienced. Then it only intensified while I was at work yesterday as I began to alternate between chills and a fever. It was terrible. Of course, every muscle in body is aching, and I'm still not getting any restfull sleep yet. So I'm hoping that taking today off will give me an opportunity to get caught up on some of that.


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