Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Quote for 4/30/08

"The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude."
Friedrich Nietzsche


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A rarity indeed

A small bit of conversation at work today revolved around the tax rebate checks/direct-deposits that are suppose to be coming very soon. It would seem that some of my co-workers have already received theirs. Now I'll have to go to my financial institution to check on mine. But I'll never make it there before they close today. Guess that's on the top of my priorities list for tomorrow after work.

It's uncommon for the government to be giving money back to the taxpayers, but it's truly rare that they're distributing that money earlier than originally indicated. Almost makes me wonder if there isn't some catch to this...


Sunday, April 27, 2008

I've got some good news, and some bad news

First, the bad news;
My car wouldn't start this morning. It wouldn't do anything. No lights. No clicking when I turned the key. Nuthin'!
So I finally got to use the Roadside Service that came with the car. It took awhile for them get here, but I got a jump start and now it's running fine. I have to let it run for 20-25 minutes then I'll shut it off for about a half an hour and see if it starts back up. If it does, life will be good because I can have the battery checked for free at Advance Auto. Besides, the battery is certainly not out of my price range at the moment. But if it doesn't start right up, then it might be my alternator. The alternator is defintely beyond my available funds range today. Unless it's covered by the warranty, which I'm not sure of. But I'll be sure to let everyone know how this turns out.
As it stands, I'm missing church today, which really sucks since I'm the guy who leads worship, and distributes Communion. But I'm sure they'll survive without me.
Now, the good news;
Just thought I'd share a little bit of the color I get to see everyday lately.

Have I ever mentioned that purple is my favorite color?

I have no idea what kind of tree this is, but I love the blossoms.

In a few weeks the leaves will appear. They'll be a nice deep, dark red color.
This year, spring just seesm to be so much more alive for me. I hope it is for all of you, too

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Quote for 4/26/08

"Oh, Spring! I want to go out and feel you and get inspiration."
Emily Carr

Is that how I feel right now? Maybe. Just keep reading below.


Not really, but OK...

Gettin' outside to do some yardwork while I have Not-So-Emo Bob here for the weekend. He's mowing my lawn even as I type this...

I can't complain. I do love being outside when it's this nice (sunny and 75). It'll be even better when the flowers around the yard sart to blossom. Besides, the lawn mowing really isn't so bad, except for the swampy area in my backyard, and I'll be the one to do that since the Boy always seems to get the mower stuck in it. Underground springs are everywhere in my area, and swampy backyards are apparently how they make their presence known.
We must discuss what we're going to plant in our garden patch. Maybe get things turned over and prepare the ground for whatever Bob and I decide we'd like to grow. Then I have to come up with a plan to keep all the critters out of it, or else we'll only be getting the scraps that are left behind for us. And I have no intentions of doing the work necessary to grow food unless I get to enjoy the majority of it.
Unless, of course, I simply use the garden as bait for the more tasty critters...

OK, gotta run. It sounds like Bob may have just run over one of those critters with my lawn mower. I never realized that a lawn mower could make such a hideous sound. I'd better make sure it wasn't his foot.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

One of the true meanings of happiness...

Can be found in this article from the Wall Street Journal.
A great big "Thank you!" to JT for sending it along to me. It just gives me the chance to flaunt my happiness even more.

Anybody care to join me at the shooting range this weekend? It'll probably put a smile on your face.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Quote for 4/21/08

"Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!"
Sitting Bull

Keep reading on for my thoughts.


Life goes on

What an amazing time of year it is!
All the signs are here. Life is returning to our part of the world, now that we've all survived the winter. I can tell because the neighbor's lawn services are out in full force today. The smell of fresh, cut grass is overwhelming.
Also, as I was driving home from work today I couldn't help noticing the brilliant colors of spring everywhere. The trees are beginning to turn green again. There are blossoms of yellow, white, pink, and some lavender, all around. I even have tiny, purple flowers growing in my yard. I don't even mind the dandelions. It's all so incredible to behold.
And I am reminded that life, does indeed, go on. Regardless of anything we might have gone through, we've survived, haven't we? Life continues just as it always has. Year in and year out. Season after season. And we should all take some comfort in that truth.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Quote for 4/19/08

"It is the nature, and the advantage, of strong people that they can bring out the crucial questions and form a clear opinion about them. The weak always have to decide between alternatives that are not their own."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer


Friday, April 18, 2008

The Good Samaritan

OK, maybe The Kinda OK Samaritan...

So, coming home from work today I pulled up behind a car that wasn't moving, and had it's 4-way flashers on. Of course, there was a stop sign at the intersection, but that wasn't why the car was stopped. Not a good thing for the person sitting inside that car. And as I pulled up I wondered if there's anything I could do to help.
Now, I will start by saying I am not very well versed in automotive mechanics. I know where the oil, the transmission, steering, wiper and brake fluids go. But that's about it. And to make things even more pathetic, I don't even have a cell phone. So even if she needed one, I wouldn't have been able to help.
Anyways, I decided to pull over and offer whatever help I could. Though I was expecting that to be pushing her car over to the side so she wouldn't continue to block traffic.
However, as I approached, the lady in the car popped the hood.
What can ya do?
I dutifully looked under the hood for her. As she tried to start the car I could see a whole lotta nuthin' goin' on. But I wouldn't really have known if there were anything significant going on anyways. So I lowered the hood and walked around to her window to talk to her.
Fortunately, she had already called her husband, who was only down the hill at the gas station, and was now on his way up. And I sorta kept her company for a moment or two while she vented a little about the car. I also recommended that we get the car off to the side of the street so she wouldn't continue to block traffic. And since it was on a hill, I figured the best option was to actually shift into neutral and allow it to drift backward - rather than me try to push it up the hill.
As I was helping her to make this decision, some jerk in a BMW pulled right up onto the bumper of the car. He had been sitting at the stop sign, and edging up slowly, as if he thought we were just having a bull session. He was completely oblivious to the fact that she had her flashers on. So I stepped to the back of her car and looked sternly at the guy in the Beamer and said, very loudly - to make sure he didn't have to read my lips - "She's broken down, and needs to back up to the side. You'll have to go around.". He listened.

I can be very persuasive at times. I'm sure the mohawk and a stern look help.

I stood behind her car and, somewhat, directed her. It was more for the people coming up to the stop sign, so they wouldn't try to pull up right behind her as she was backing up to the side. When she had stopped I walked around to her window again and apologized that the only help I could really offer her at this point was my prayers. She was actually grateful for what I had done, and said she wouldn't mind if I said a few extra prayers for her.
But the thing about all of this that I can't help notice; why was I the only person that stopped to help? Dozens of other drivers passed her by as she was stuck there, and I was the only one to stop.
Makes ya wonder about our society...


Thursday, April 17, 2008

And the winner is...

Jeff A.

You were my 20,000th visitor !!!

Just thought I'd mention this particular milestone.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I'm sure that all of you, my faithful readers, are already aware of the fact that JT, my best friend of nearly 30 years, has his very own, very popular, syndicated Indie Christian Music Podcast. If you don't, then you haven't paid any attention to some of my most recent posts. I'm also sure you all know that JT and I, and sometimes with other guests, get together occasionally to do another podcast called Geek-n-Tell. I also remember mentioning previously that JT and I wanted to do another podcast that was going to be called the M & T Show, but it never quite made it's way into reality.

Can you tell where this is going yet?

I've decided to do a podcast of my very own. You can all thank JT for his persuasive guidance on this. Especially since I'll be getting so much info and material from the foundation that he has laid out for his own syndicated show.
I have a format picked out. A-little-of-this-a little-of-that is what I expect it to be. But the center piece will be related to music. Hardcore Christian music especially. But I also expect to do things like book, CD, and movie reviews. I also hope to delve into short sermonettes, for lack of a better term, to give my listeners something to think about between podcasts.
I'm really looking forward to this. All I have to do is save some money to buy the equipment I need. The rest should fall into place after that.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Quote for 4/14/08

"All that is true, by whomsoever it has been said has its origin in the Spirit."
Saint Thomas Aquinas


Sunday, April 13, 2008

It's madness! I tell you!

Oh, yes! JT and I, along with another guest - Eddie Frankenstein - did another episode of Geek-n-Tell last night. And you won't believe the movie we watched.
Are you ready? Here it is...
We actually watched Reefer Madness; the musical. OMG! Was it ever hilarious. And the discussion we had afterwards. Well, let me just say, you'll have to go check out the podcast. I promise you, some of you will be surprised at the conversation that takes place.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

That's encouraging

I'm a part of a problem solving group at work. And one of my responsibilities as a part of the group is to give occasional progress updates at our Monthly All Employee Meetings. Which is very cool because it gives me the opportunity to practice my public speaking skills on a captive audience.
Well, this week was one of those opportunities. I had to give a presentation on the progress of our Designated Smoking Area. Also very cool since I'd been looking forward to sharing the info with everyone. And because a few of the smokers have really pissed me off recently.
I shared the information that I had with everyone about the progress of the new concrete and the picnic tables that are on order. Then I made sure to throw a dig at the smokers who have been pissing me off.
You see, many of the smokers have expressed great consternation with myself, and others in our group, that we will not be adding an awning or a roof extention over the patio area. Mainly because it has always been Respironics unspoken policy that they will not make it any easier for their employees to smoke. An awning would defintely make it easier for people to smoke. That has lead several smokers to be rather confrontational with me. And I don't respond pleasantly to confrontations, especially when I can't really do anything about the unspoken policy. Even more upsetting was when one of the ladies used the "someone's gonna die of pneumonia because of this"...
Excuse me! Someone's gonna die of CANCER!
At the end of my presentation I added this statement;
"For those of you concerned about the fact that we will not be adding an awning for adverse weather, allow me to just say that Respironics will not prohibit anyone from smoking inside their own vehicles."
In the first shift meeting, it went over like a lead parachute. But in the second shift meeting I got a lot of laughs. And afterwards I got a lot of compliments on how well I did. Even many of the smokers, those who don't have a problem with the Designated Smoking Area - as it is, told me they liked what I had to say. And I've been hearing it all week long. I even had someone from HR tell me that I should do these presentations more often. And that's something that i find to be encouraging.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Amazing discoveries

For those of you who remember when I purchased my "media player", I just want to say that I still love this thing.
It's kinda strange that I've had it for a few weeks now, and my fascination with it lingers on. I won't say that I learn something new about it everyday, but I have found myself exercising different features every so often. Currently I've decided to rate all of the songs I have uploaded on it.
Yeah, that's right. I'm rating every song I have on it. I simply went to my options for listening to music and selected "All Tracks", then "Play". The songs play in alphabetical order. Then, as each song plays, I give it a rating from 1 - 5 stars. So far this week, I've gone through 554 of the 897 songs I have available. Not too shabby.
Now, later on, I'll listen to all of the songs based on their rating; highest to lowest. I suppose they'll come up in some sort of alphabetical order that way, too. Which is cool.

As for some other discoveries I've made, they're more about the music than the player, itself. For instance;
*Some CD's are recorded at different sound levels. So I have to adjust the volume every once in awhile. And it can be excruciating at times when I've just listened to something along the lines of contemporary praise & worship only to have the next song be punk or alternative.
*Some CD's have songs that run into one another. You know what I'm talking about. One songs starts where the other is ending. Well those songs suck in alphabetical order because the one song will come to an abrupt stop only to have the other one sorta jump out of nowhere at you a half an hour later.
*It is impossible to make any sense of Pink Floyd's The Wall in alphabetical order. It's kinda like what I mentioned just above, only worse, because it's supposed to be telling a story. Perhaps, since it's a story that pretty much requires it's listeners to be high in the first place, it only becomes more demented if you try to listen to the story in a different order than it's supposed to be in.

I highly recommend one of these to anyone considering a new mp3/media player. I'll even let you in on a little secret; I've already dropped this thing 3 or 4 times with now discernible damage. Pretty cool, huh?

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Quote for 4/7/08

"There is no respect for others without humility in one's self."
Henri Frederic Amiel


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Saddened by this news

I just found out that Charleton Heston has passed away.
This man was a legend, and one of my heroes. I, and I am sure many of you, grew up watching his movies.
Tell me you don't remember watching The Ten Commandments every Easter on ABC for the last 30 years or so. And how many of us think the chariot race from Ben Hur was one of the greatest scenes ever filmed? Remember "Get your damned dirty hands off of me you filthy ape!"?
I probably don't have to tell anyone that I also respected his political views, too. And I do have to point something out that is in error in the linked obituary. In the 9th paragraph the writer mentions Mr. Heston's involvement in the civil rights movement, then adds that his politics became more conservative later. The truth of the matter is that the civil rights movement was created and supported by the Republican party. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a registered Republican. But don't worry, I'm not going to turn this into a political rant. I just wanted to clarify things.

So, it is with a sad heart that I bid farewell to this icon of Americam film. Please keep his family in your prayers.


Friday, April 04, 2008

There is no shame in this

Because it's a shameless plug for my best friend and his ministry...

I cannot recommend strongly enough that you go check out JT's Indie Christian Music Podcast. Not just because it's JT's podcast and he just happens to be the best friend I have on this earth. But because he has managed to pull-off a major music industry and podcasting coup. His podcast is achieving things that most podcasters only dream of. And I can't help but feel excited for him as a result of it all. This is definitely a ministry that he was meant to have.
In less than 10 weeks he's managed to get himself syndicated on a nationl, internet media network called Farpoint Media. He has indie record labels knocking down his door to get him to play the bands that are signed to their labels. He has bands coming out of the woodwork asking him to listen to their stuff.
JT is defying all of the conventional wisdom of every podcasting publication that tells most podcasters to expect to struggle for many months before establishing a solid audience base.
And now he's encouraging me to start my own podcast and offering all of his own resources to help me out. I'm, gonna have to take this into some serious prayerful consideration. This could be a ministry that I could really sink my teeth into.

JT, you freakin' ROCK !!!

I will stress very strongly that if you're not already a regular listener to JT's podcast, give it a listen as soon as possible. You won't be disappointed.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Quote for 4/1/08

"Happy April Fool's Day? I'm a happy fool all year 'round!"

See below


That's what I say

The above Quote brought to you by yours truly. Being that this was my response to anyone who wished me a Happy April Fool's Day today.

Ya had to know it was coming...

Oh, Happy April Fool's Day to everyone.

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Quotes from 3/2008

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