Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Over

I can't believe it...

My divorce is final !!!

This really took me by surprise.
I just looked at my mail and found the divorce decree. Considering that when I talked to my EX three weeks ago she had just signed and mailed her forms out. I wasn't expecting to have the final decree until sometime in May.

Well, I suppose it's time to start planning my celebratory dinner. Too bad I'm broke this week. But that's OK, this just means that I'll have plenty of time to plan something significant. And that should give all of you, my faithful friends and readers, time enough to plan on attending the event.

OK, stay tuned for the when and where.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Drugs and alcohol

Felt the first symptoms of a cold coming on earlier and decided that I should do what I usually do when I feel a sickness attempting to overtake me...

I turn to drugs and alcohol

Tylenol PM, a shot of Jack Daniels and at least 8 hours of sleep !!!
Enough to kick the crap out of any cold or flu viruses that try to attack my body. Whether my remedy is actually as effective as I give this combo credit for, and I do give it a lot of credit, I can't say for sure. But at least one doesn't mind the discomfort of the illness after everything starts to kick in.
G'night all. See ya in th....

zzzzz

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Signs 2/26/07

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That's better

OK, I finally got it figured out and now I have my new profile pic posted. I'm pretty happy with it for the time being. I'll be even happier when I have the tattoos done.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ink-n-Fire (pt.11)

OK, this time I mean it, this will be my last update on my brand until I get the tattoos to go with it.

I was hoping to use this shot as my new profile pic, but damned Blogger won't recognize it's own friggin URL. So, I'm gonna have to use one of my old pics - once I see which ones I have to work with.

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On so many different levels

All I can say is... WOW !!!
I've known about the Indigo Girls for decades, but never took the time to find, or listen, to any of their music until this morning.
My dear friend/sister, and co-worker, Merry, just happend to feel a driving need to share some music with me today. Perhaps you recall that I posted (and did a follow up post as well) about the on-going conversation that she and I have been having about what God is doing in our lives. And about the impact that we're seeing in the lives of those around us. Well, let's just say that this was another extension of that same conversation. Which, incidentally, has been continuing to grow and expand and has now enveloped several other people who aren't all currently connected to us by their physical presence, yet. I still stand in awe of my Creator.
Anyways...
The songs that Merry allowed me to listen to really touched me on so many different levels. They really stirred a great deal of emotions and thoughts inside of me. And I'm sure that you're all familar with the fact that when I get so charged about something like this, I post about it.
Of the 4 or 5 songs I heard, this one touched me the most;

Strange Fire

i come to you with strange fire
i make an offering of love
the incense of my soul is burned
by the fire in my blood
i come with a softer answer
to the questions that lie in your path
i want to harbor you from the anger
find a refuge from the wrath
this is a message
a message of love
love that moves from the inside out
love that never grows tired
i come to you with strange fire
fire
mercenaries of the shrine
now who are you to speak for god
with haughty eyes and lying tongues
and hands that shed innocent blood
now who delivered you the power
to interpret calvary
you gamble away our freedom
to gain your own authority
find another state of mind
you know it's time we all learned
to grab hold
strange fire burns
with the motion of love
fire
fire
when you learn to love yourself
you will dissolve all the stones that are cast
now you will learn to burn the icing sky
to melt the waxen mask
i said to have the gift of true release
this is a peace that will take you higher
oh i come to you with my offering
i bring you strange fire
this is a message
a message of love
love that moves from the inside out
love that never grows tired
i come to you with strange fire
fire
fire
i come to you with strange fire

words and music by a.r./indigo girls
copyright 1987 godhap music (bmi)


Something that really impresses me about this whole thing is the recurring theme of "fire". I seem to find it everywhere. Something big is happening in my world, and I get the feeling that a spark has been lit that will start a raging inferno. I can't wait to see what God is about to do.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

LOL ...

I should've posted this yesterday, but it just didn't seem to fit with the solemn attitude of Bob's Baptism. So I saved it for today.
Sometimes I just don't know what to do about that Boy. He cracks me up sometimes, and last night before church was just classic for him. We (Bob, his friend Matt, my Mom and myself) were sitting at Wendy's having dinner when the conversation came around to haircuts and hair and what-not. It was pointed out that Bob and I both have very thick hair to which Bob replied;
"I have a head full of sexy and no one to share it with."
And the look on his face was just hilarious, so I snapped a shot of it...

Maybe he should consider acting...
Don'tcha just love the way his eyes are starting to tear-up?

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Quote for 2/21/07

"I'm not a lesbian, but my boyfriend is."
Merry

See the explanation below. You have to !!!

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I'd rather this didn't get out

So where did the above "Quote..." come from? Where should I start?...
OK, I'll admit it, I'm a romantic. I love everything to do with romance. Candle-light, soft music, flowers, etc... and it came up in a conversation today with my favorite co-worker, and my dear friend, Merry.
Actually, the way it came up was that she was talking about a male friend of hers who once made a comment that he wanted to be a lesbian. To which I began to comment about how people would probably think I'm gay if I didn't have a girlfriend - because of all of the things mentioned above. So we quickly surmised that since I "seem gay", but I love women (or, one particular woman) that I must be a lesbian.
Merry's response; "We ought to get Trish a T-shirt that says..."
Hence the "Quote..." above.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Welcome to the Kingdom

As most of you are already aware, I'm not very big on the rituals that are so often associated with church. But this one was different.
My son, Bob (a.k.a.; the Boy), decided that he wanted to be baptized. This is a very important decision that he has made since it represents his conscious choice to be a follower of Jesus. I couldn't be prouder of him.
Making his profession of faith.

A brief prayer, and an explanation of the importance of his act.

Baptism.

The annointing with oil.

"So let your light shine among men."

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Signs 2/19/07

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Ink-n-Fire (pt.10)

Oooooops. I'm a day late on this update.

Beautiful...

The scabbing is now done and it's only a matter of time before the scar tissue starts to form.
I suppose it would be OK to hold off on any future updates unless something significant begins to show. Which means that I may not post about the "Ink-n-Fire" again until the "Ink" is done. But we'll see what happens.

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Quote for 2/18/07

"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is."
Francis Bacon

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Couldn't make it

I took today off because of last night's concert. Below are some pics. Here's fair warning; a lot of them are blurry because the light level meant I had to use the slower "Night" setting to get anything decent. But I'm sure you'll be able to appreciate the pics I'm posting.
Believe it or not, one of the bands couldn't make it because of the weather...
Go figure.

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Decyfer Down

I really wanted to see Decyfer Down. This is another one of those bands that needs to be a headliner, but they don't have enough material - or enough time in the biz. Otherwise, they were one, excellent, hardcore band.


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Fireflight

I must confess, I wasn't sure I was going to like Fireflight in concert. I have their CD, and it's good, but I've always thought the female vocals are too "pop"-ish for the sound they seem to be going for. But, live, this band is pretty good.


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Disciple Rocks !!!

Just a few shots that I liked. Or should I say, that turned out clear enough. There was waaaaay too much movement going on on stage, so Disciple is a lot more blurry than any of the other bands.


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Afterwards

Got a few shots of the bands, or should I say some of the individual members.
Fireflight
Dawn; lead vocals

Wendy, bass.
I gotta tell ya, I am really impressed by this petite little chick and her playing. I never would've believed that she could carry her bass (it was huuuuuge!), let alone play it and move all over the stage the way she did. This girl rocks !!!

All of the guys were loading equipment, so, no pics of them.

Decyfer Down
Caleb; lead vocals and bass.

Left to right.
Brandon; rythme guitar. M+. Chris; lead guitar


And, finally, everybody who showed up from our church/youth group. I'm not about to name everyone, except for the hottie standing in front of me - that's my lady, Trish. I'm not sure I know everyone else...

All in all, we had a lot of fun and really enjoyed hanging out with everyone last night.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dinner

Mmmmmmmmmmm....
Nachos !!!

I had to come up with something quick tonight since we have a concert to go to soon. This was my best option. Some browned ground meat, seasoning and salsa mixed together and spread out over tortilla chips with some cheese to top it all off. Bake at 400 for 7 minutes, and TA-DA !!!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Call me a hypocrite

Today is Valentines Day.
Now, I realize that some of you have been reading my blog long enough to remember last year's post about this particular holiday. Or even the follow up post that sorta toned-down my distaste for this Hallmark-holiday. And I'm sure that you'll all think it rather hypocritical of me that I have a slightly different attitude towards the holiday this year. But how can you blame me when I'm in such a great and growing relationship this year.
I admit that it's much easier to appreciate the holiday when you have someone to share your affections with. At least, the romantic aspect of the holiday is easier to reconcile with. But I still hold true to the notion that we shouldn't be reserving our affections for one day out of the year. My lady knows how I feel about her. I tell her everyday, and I show her every time I get to be with her - which is not as often as either of us would like, but that's what it's like to be a single parent trying to have a relationship with another single parent.
In any event, the gift I gave her came from my heart. I made her a little gift basket with items that I picked for it myself. And she picked out a few items just for me. And that's how it ought to be. None of the crap that all of the jewelers, card-writers, candy-makers, or other corporate sponsors of this Hallmark-holiday tell us we should be buying.
So, once again, I urge you to show those whom you love the love you have for them. Not just today, but everyday.

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Snow day... WOOHOO !!!

Actually, ICE... Everywhere !!!
So I called-off for today. Then I went back to bed.
And this was the view from my front door when I woke back up.


I couldn't resist taking a few additional shots of this winter wonderland.




Of course, I then proceeded to break my back scraping and shoveling the ice and snow from my driveway, only to watch the snow cover it back up again.
Eventually I'll run out to Wal-Mart (one of my happy places) to get some salt.

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Last night

Well, it didn't go quite as planned.
Bob and Ray were supposed to get baptized, but we had to postpone because of the weather. In case you hadn't noticed in my previous post, the weather around here has been somewhat... nasty. Snow, then sleet, then rain, then freezing rain, and now snow again.
But we did make it to church for a decent little prayer service. P.Dave made it short, which is pretty miraculous in itself, so nobody would get stuck - "nobody", meaning ME, since I'm the only one who had to drive. Everybody else that showed up lives within walking distance, and thus; walked.
The funny thing about it all was that there was no power at the church before we even got there. We were setting up to have a candlelight service. But God managed to get some electricity to us just as we were about to begin. Which was good since it was getting chilly.

And, in another "couldn't resist getting the shot" moment...

This is the unofficial motto for the youth group here at our church.

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New Feature; Signs

I'm going to call it "Signs" when I start doing them as individual post. You can look for one each week since that's how often the sign changes.
Every Friday the YMCA that I pass on my way to and from work puts up a verse of scripture, or sometimes just something faith-based. The verse usually only stays up for the weekend, but occasionally they're up longer. Typically I see them on my way home on Fridays, but every so often, the sign goes up later in the afternoon and I don't get to see it until either Monday morning, or a Saturday when I'm working OT.
Well, that catalyst for this new feature was an urging to get a pic of the sign that was up last week. For some odd reason it just seemed to speak to me, even though I've heard or read the verse thousands of times. So here it is...



Perhaps it will mean something to you too. Or maybe one of the other signs that I post pics of will touch you in a way that you need to be touched. That's what I'm hoping for with it all. Just to be an encouragment to anyone else who sees the signs...

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

To the point

Lately, P.Dave's sermons have been focusing on the hard sayings of Jesus. Not hard in the sense that they're difficult to understand, or even to apply to our lives, but hard in the way that they challenge us to think outside of what we usually accept as traditional Christianity.
So often, the Church get's wrapped up in externals. We get bogged down in our own traditions. But Jesus didn't come here to convince us that we're fine the way we are. He did not come to bless our traditions. He came to break down the barriers that were created by the man-made institutions of religion that prevent the people who need God's grace the most from receiving it. he came to tell us that all of us, even those of us who might be considered "good" by most people's standards, still need a savior.
It's kinda funny that several of the teens from our youth group showed up this morning. Looking at them sorta emphasizes that point, doesn't it?



Most of these kids realize that they would not generally be welcomed into most churches. But they've found a home with us, to the point where Ray (furthest right, on the pew), who was an atheist when he started to attend the youth group, is going to be baptized with my son, Bob (in the recliner), on Tuesday night.
These young people have come a long way in their individual journeys of faith. Which is not to say that they don't still have a long way to go, but they are at least moving in the right direction now. Some of them have still not made up their minds, but they understand that this is not a choice to be made lightly. So it's OK if they want to take some time to think it over.

On the lighter side of todays service. I couldn't help but notice the place where our young people chose to sit today. Perhaps you remember this sign?



Isn't it ironic that the kids, who would seem most out-of-place in one of the pews of most churches, have found themselves sitting in the pew which is the most out-of-place object in our church?

Also, I couldn't resist getting a shot of Leah's collar. I know it's a little blurry but I'm sure you can make it out...



I just loved the whole contrast of the jingle bell on the spiked collar.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Ink-n-Fire (pt.9)



Getting better everyday.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Quote for 2/9/07

"Alright, knock it off. You're harshin' my buzz."
M+

See explanation below.

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A WAAAAAAAY outside consultant

Perhaps you noticed the above "Quote..."? Allow me to explain.

Respironics hired an outside consultant to train it's production workers, of which I am one, in the art of unleashing their individual creativity. It's a means of improving both efficency and morale. But I'm not going to get into all of that. My main focus is going to be upon the session that I attended with several of my co-workers.
I have to say that for the comedic value of the consultant, Respironics certainly got their money's worth. As an instructor, the consultant was laughable. But as someone who was supposed to assist in the improvement of our workplace enviroment, Respironics ought to be suing this guy for the harrassment of several employees - me being one of them...
So we're sitting in one of the meeting rooms and this consutlant is trying to engage all of us in the class. OK, fine so far. But all of a sudden he starts to go off with his political views on the war in Iraq and wants to know if anyone could tell him why we're even over there...
Truth be told, I could've done that, but I didn't - because;
1) This was not the time, nor the place, for this discussion.
and
2) He wouldn't have listened to what I had to say anyways.
He then proceeded to tell us that he was opposed to this war, like he was opposed to the war in Vietnam. He also proudly proclaimed that he was a part of the very first protest of that war in '65.
So you can probably see that he's losing me fast at this point. But as I continue to tell this story, keep in mind, he was a war protester in the 60's. OK?
Anyways, he gets back on track with what he's supposed to be training/teaching us to do. And as a means of engaging us in the class he begins to pick out individuals to ask questions. That's when he pulls out The Lords Prayer...
OK. Another instance of something that isn't quite appropriate for our setting. And I'm a Chrisian - for cryin' out loud. But I, at least, have the sense to know that a training seminar is not the right place to bring up religion.
Then he comes around to the idea of change. And begins to ask people what they watch on TV, whether or not they always watch the same shows or if they switch things up every week. That's when he looked at me and asked, very plainly;

"So, what do you watch when you're not getting high?"

Excuse me!?!?
Of course, most of my co-workers laughed, but they also had this sense of "what did he just say?" going on. There were a few people in the class that immediately came to my defense. Most of them know that I'm a Christian, so most of them are aware that I'm not particularlly fond of such "chemistry". And they said so just as plainly. Meanwhile, one of the production supervisors is sitting in the class with a look of total disbelief at this. And I'm looking around at everyone asking the following question;
"Let me get this straight, we have a 60's, hippy, war protester telling me, the guy with a cross branded onto his shoulder, that I get high? What's wrong with this picture?"
Evetually, he replied that "Anyone with a haircut like that must get high."
I started to wonder if this guy had a death wish or something, because he was remarkably close to meeting "Our Father, who art in Heaven".
It's one thing to joke with someone and even to let it go a little bit further than it probably should've. But this guy was pushing it. Especially since he didn't know one thing about me. And it's none of his business that I'm letting my hair grow until my divorce is final.
Not that I had anything to do with it, but that consultant is no longer in the employ of Respironics...
But to put a fairly pleasant spin on all of this, word got out about this exchange. I now have a new reputation at work as THE pot-head. So, now, almost all of my co-workers have been coming up to me to tease me about it. Thus, my response in the above "Quote..."

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Quote for 2/8/07

"Who would give a law to lovers? Love is unto itself a higher law."
Boethius

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Quotes from 1/2007

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A shining example

It's kinda funny that lately P.Dave has been talking to the youth group on Tuesday nights, rather than letting Julian, our youth leader, do it. But P.Dave has been really working on these teens lately. In fact, several of them spent a Saturday afternoon sitting at his house asking him all kinds of questions that they had about faith, spirituality, religion and Christianity. All in all, P.Dave's efforts have been bearing fruit, but not without some outside influence. And that influence has been my son, Bob.
I have to admit that I'm quite proud of this fact. And P.Dave has made it very clear to me that he is fully appreciative of the positive role Bob has played in getting these kids to start thinking outside of themselves. They've begun to start thinking about all of the topics that P.Dave has been discussing with them, and they've been asking even more questions.
In addition to this, Bob and I have been discussing baptism over the last few weeks. And now, even though he was baptized as an infant, Bob has decided that he wants it to be his own decision. He wants to be baptized as a public affirmation of his faith in Christ. And that has had an added impact on some of the teens in our youth group. Now, there are others who are interested in it also. Ray has decided that he wants to be baptized with Bob. And there are a couple of others who are still thinking about it.
Bob and Ray are going to be baptized next Tuesday night. They're hoping that their example will inspire some of the other teens to make their decisions as a result of their act of faith. P.Dave and I agree that it will, at the very least, be a shining example to the others, even if they aren't ready themselves to make such a bold move in their own lives. But we believe that seeds will be planted.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Ink-n-Fire (pt.8)

This is what it looks like at the moment.

I wanted to post the pic yesterday, but Blogger wasn't taking my post.
You may be able to notice that some of the brand is no longer scabbing over. This is a good sign to me that I'm not too far away from being able to get the "Ink" around it. It's going to look so awesome when it's finally done.
I think I'll be able to take a deposit to Z next payday. I already know which Crown of Thorns I want to put around the brand. I just hope that the 39 Lashes fit underneath it all.

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Friday, February 02, 2007

There's something wrong with that Boy

So this was the image I saw as I came home from work today.

A snowman, no big deal. Pretty cool actually. I wasn't paying a great deal of attention to it as I pulled into the driveway.
However, upon closer examination I discover my son's truly demented nature...

There is something "Calvin & Hobbes"-ish about this snowman, don't you think?

I'm especially fascinated by the gaping mouth, the startled, shocked or somewhat horrified look on the snowman's face. Just like so many of the snowmen that Calvin makes.

I'm betting that I will be spending thousands of dollars on therapy for that Boy in the not too distant future. That, or he'll be making millions as some sort of marketing/advertising genius. I can only hope for the latter...

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Re-affirming

The other day I posted about an ongoing conversation that took place throughout the entire day between myself and one of my favorite co-workers, Merry. Strangely enough, we had another one again today, and it was truly amazing.
This one was even more affirming of what God is doing in our lives. Again, I'm not at liberty - for Merry's sake - to be more specific than that. But let me just say that we were both encouraged by what we each had to say to each other. There were moments of great joy and excitement between us that brought us to tears on more than one occasion. And we were reminded of just how incredible it is to see how God is working in not only our own lives, but in the lives of those around us.
I stand in awe of my Creator for the great love He has shown, and will continue to show, me and those whom I care about deeply.

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