Ash Wednesday - and other ramblings

I am not Catholic... i didn't grow up Catholic... so when DS1 asked me what the whole deal with 'Fat Tuesday' was i was at a loss for words. I had to really think about things to try and explain it to him. I talked about Mardi Gras, i talked about Martin Luther, and my perception of the influence of the Catholic Church. etc. While i do not 'blame' the Catholic church for things that go on during such things like 'Fat Tuesday' - the Protestant Church(es) really have not done all that much better in influencing such activities, i am aware of how certain 'tolerances' over the ages have led to such things. Each person has an individual mind. We all make our own choices, and yet it is His providence that allows such things. I have a favorite saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink". The same can be said about each individual that is brought to the source of Living Water... you can show them, you can teach them, but you have no control over how said individual responds to such exposure. I am not able to predict how anyone responds to the Word of God, nor am i am able to understand how it would be possible to be exposed to Christ and not be changed. Once i am on the other side perhaps i will learn, but for now i am at a loss for how to explain such things as 'Fat Tuesday' beyond describing the obvious. Yesterday my beloved received her first alergy shot. Unfortunately we also learned that there will be a $21 co-pay for each visit, plus a 40+ mile round trip to get it (using another $4+ worth of gas. This has caused her more consternation because it will add $100 to our budget which is getting stretched tighter and tighter each month, and without having a pay raise on over two years, and my 'loss' of income from the Guard "Linner" is becoming more and more common at our house. By God's grace we are not going into debt. He has provided us with enough income to meet all of our bills, but we have not been able to save anything for some time. I told my beloved that i did not care if we started to drain our emergency funds (my mother's life insurance money from when she passed away) because i am tired of her being in pain all the time. She has constant headaches (not migranes) which is causing other issues to flare up as well. I know we are going to have to spend other money to help ease her symptoms (and some in the rest of the family as well) - but ultimately, God has provided us with money and we are able to respond to such things - at least for now. Bethesda Softworks has begun to release downloadable (DLC) content for Fallout 3. "Operation: Anchorage" was the first one, "The Pitt" is scheduled for April right now, to be followed up by "Broken Steel". I haven't even finished the main game yet, but i am interested in adding to the game that i do have. Unfortunately Bethesda Softworks has apparently sold themselves to the 'devil' in that the only way to obtain these files is through Game for Windows LIVE (GFWL). So, even after you purchase the DLC and download it, you must be connected on-line to play the new files. Unfortunately i made the consious choice to load this game on my laptop which will never be connected to the WWW. There are user guidelines on how to transfer the files from a GFWL directory to the Fallout 3 directories, but Bethesda Softworks will not support that (meaning if something goes toes up you are on your own). I understand such marketing strategies, but that does not mean i like it when i am on the receiving end of getting hosed. Well, i have rambled on long enough for now...


Rambling Monday

The past week or so has flashed by so quick that i can scarcely remember what day of the week it is. I know it's Monday and all, but it feels more like a late Thursday or even a Friday. My family and i took a mini-vacation this past weekend. We ran up to Lancaster, PA for Friday night and Saturday, then we headed up to Derry Township (more commonly known as Hershey). It was nice to get away, but as everyone knows, such trips are not very restful. DS1 was also particularly ornery this weekend as he seemed to want to see how far he can toe up to the line of his boundaries. We love Hershey Park, Derry Township, Chocolate World, the Lodge, etc. For me it has more to do with the admiration of Milton S. Hershey than anything else. Here is an original philanthropist. Shortly after his wife (Catherine, aka "Kitty") passed away in 1915 Mr. Hershey signed away his entire stake in the company he worked so hard to build not two decades after he started it - over $60 million dollars to the Hershey Trust Foundation to make sure that his legacy would be to entrust the future of his and his wife's School for boys (girls were later admitted and are now 50% of the students). I do not think i could do this man justice in trying to describe all that he did for others, but i would highly encourage anyone who happens to read these few words to pick up a copy of his biography. While away i had a couple of ideas for the next set of short stories i would like to write. One is a continuation of the series i've started and posted over on my short stories 'blog', so i hope to have some more updates for there (my first in late April of last year), and the other is a sort of prelude to the book i'd like to write. In actuality they will be the same story, but told from different points of view. When we got home yesterday afternoon i rushed to unpack the car and whipped out my laptop to jot down the notes. But life has different ideas, LOL. I had to run to the store for much needed groceries, there was homework to get done, i had to buy new printer cartridges, etc. I also got side tracked with various notes for the main charecter of the story - who is one of the points of view for one of the short stories - so i never did actually get around to starting either of them. *sigh* But i am excited to have some ideas for more material. Is it normal for a writer, who will probably never be publlished, to get so excited about story ideas or storylines - or even just ideas for various characters? I think it is, but since i work in sort of a vacuum i was curious. I had a song all lined up for today, for my "Music Monday" series, but it turns out i've already used it, so i will have to pass for this week. Sorry,i didn't havea backup in the wings. :-)


Working with what you have

One of "life lessons" i learned while i was in the Army National Guard was that you do not always get everything you need to do what you want/told to/need to. You have to make do with what you have. Not too long ago i took a self-test to see if i might have ADD (attention deficit disorder). I suspected something because of my on-going trouble focusing on tasks, etc. The result was "it is highly probably. You should consult with your physician." - which i did. I am now taking an ADD medication, which i am not sure is working just yet, but i'm told that you will see a dramatic improvement when you reach the dosage level required (which is apparently based on the individual). Well, earlier this week i decided to try and track down a self-test for Aspergers as my beloved feels i display similar traits as our DS#2. 8/ I took one that had 50 questions. Up front it told me that the overall average of those who took the test was 16.4, with a result of 32 being "in the spectrum" for Aspergers... i scored a 39. My beloved feels that over my 40+ years i have learned a lot of "coping" techniques. This one is harder to swallow, but as i honestly review memories, etc., i see what she is talking about. DS2 has been getting some excellent help from the state, and depending on if there is any support for adults (i.e. additional training aid requirements, etc.) i might pursue an official diagnosis. For a long time i've struggle to varying degrees with self confidence. For the Christian community such areas (both self confidence and things like ADD and Aspergers) are sort of shunned. To a degree i will agree with the assesment that there is a level of personal accountability. Pride is an insideous foe. It creeps in where you least expect it. it will even use "reverse psychology" on you. Over time i've dealt with it (thanks to C.J. and the other Pastors at Covenant life church for your rpeaching over the years). I've been able to pretty much keep my mind focused on who i am in Christ, and not really allowing myself to go to far with it. But the results of both of those tests have been a test for me. I have never really liked the term "God don't make junk", but i understand the purpose behind it. Such statements appeal to a person's ego, their pride. It does not really go far enough to describe the charecter of God, or explain adequetly the sinfulness of man, or how sin has tainted the world in which we now live. When i was a child i also suffered severe migraines and was diagnosed with post trama epilepsy (that cause some heartburn when i was trying to enlist in the Guard i tell you). So i've known i've had "head issues" all my life... ;-) But when i was younger Autism in general , and Aspergers more specifically, was relatively unknown. Even ADD was an 'emerging' field of study. For a time it felt like ADD was diagnosed too much... and maybe it was/is. I can't help but feel like i've somehow let my beloved down. Like she deserves something more... or better somehow. I see how she struggles to worth with what is going on with Steven, and with all that going on... i am somehow not 100% there for her.
As he [Jesus] passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him". (John 9:1-3, ESV)
Whatever my condition i need to keep in mind that God has allowed it to be so. If it is just my sinful man then i need to learn how to crucify it in Christ. To learn how to put it to death, and over come it. If this is indeed a "disability", then it is something that can bring glory to God. It is something that i need to learn how to best function within it, and learn new ways to overcome various obsticles that come into my path. When i went to Air Assault school in 1991 i was not in the "high speed" section of my unit - the Scouts. They were the "bad asses". The guys that ate dirt all weekend, went to Ranger school, and were born to repel out of helicopters. I went with two guys from our Admin section, one from the motor pool (they had to fill all the slots), myself, and three from the scout platoon. We were split up and i ended up in a "stick" all by myself. "Zero day" saw two of the Scouts dropped from the course! I breezed through Phase I and hit Phase II all full of myself. Then i failed the first test. You only get two tries, and i had to keep up with the rest of the course load while retraining on the prior phase. Fortunately Phase III was the repelling phase. I passed the re-test and was able to try a 100+' repel out of a Huey helicopter. My first attempt to push out the door i failed to take into account the extra weight of the rope and i found myself dangling by one arm pinned underneath the rope. I struggle and get back up, all the while the load master is yelling at me to get going because they cannot have an unbalanced load on the chopper. On my second try i cleared the skid and saw how far down my partner was... i made it down in two bounds (only braked twice)... now that was a rush. In the end i was so pumped i pushed myself to my (then) limits to pass the 12 mile road march in the allotted three hours. I was not about to give up then. Out of the seven men my unit sent, only three of us passed... myself, and the two admin guys! LOL I guess what i am saying is... perfection is an illusion... control, or at least complete control, is an illusion. God allowed me to be as i am... He reached down through eternity knowing exactly how i am... and He is with me as i learn to walk through this life... all the while learning how to overcome the obstacles He foresaw in my path. I am not perfect, and i have some deficiencies, but i am learning how to "adjust fire", how to adapt and overcome. I may have ADD and Aspergers, but that does not mean i give up trying to learn how to overcome in the areas i struggle with.


Music Monday - 20090216

It seems of late that i am wandering around, spiritually speaking. Like i do not really have a direction or a purpose. Over the weekend, while finishing my taxes for 2008 and painting my DS1's room, i figured out how to hook up a set of old P/C speakers to my MP3 player. (Ok, it was not that hard, but i remembered out i had all the things i needed to do such a thing - now i just need to find a spare monitor cable to hook up my laptop to our new flat screen TV... i just have to see what Fallout 3 looks like on such a monster of a screen!) In the past i had "dumped all of the CD's i've ever owned onto my laptop (it is never knowingly connected to the internet, and thus my MP3 player), one of which is a copy of the two Russ Taff CD's... Medals, and The Way Home. The song i am choosing for this week was one of the tracks that came up during the "random shuffle". It kind of summed up what i have been feeling spiritually of late. It's hard to put into words, but when it feels like you might need to "move on" but haven't really heard that is what God wants you to do. When it feels like that if you bring up any concerns you are considered a trouble maker, or a tool of the enemy to cause division. If you bring such things up to leadership you are told, "if that's the way you feel..."... kind of the impression, don't let the door hit you on your way out... and yet you know that unless the Lord leads... you should not move. "Be still and know that I am God" (Proverbs 46:10) comes to mind, but it's not the exact context i thought it was... but still a good verse to meditate on within the context... anyway, the song i felt like sharing this week is:
I need You by Russ Taff There's a candle in the dark Through tears I watch the flame There's a voice deep inside my heart And it's calling out Your name And I need You I need You There's a danger in the dark But I live by Your light I know I'm somewhere near the edge Cause I feel the cold tonight And I need You I need You Winter wind blows could outside Storm warnings in the night I'm sitting in my lonely room Just staring at the only light And I need you There's a candle in the dark And a shadow on my wall I watch the flame and not the edge I watch the light and not the fall I need You I need You to guide my step I need You to get me by I need the light that's in Your love I need that fire in Your eye
I tried to find a video, but was unsuccessful...


Happy Friday the 13th, and Valentine's Day!

Happy Friday the 13th
Personally i am not superstitious. When i was a kid i would drive my mother nuts! I would go out of my way to walk under ladders, i would pick up pennies no matter which side was up, i would walk on the other side of posts/poles/etc. from her. I would befriend any black animal i came across, especially black cats (hmm... a thought just came to mind... maybe that's why i am a Carolina Panthers fan). My mom would just plain freak out. I'm not sure if it had to do with the fact i was born in the month of October, but that stuff just doesn't bother me. I have silly habits that i like to do, but i know they ultimately do not affect the things of the universe. Some call religion in general, to include Christianity, a superstition. To be honest, i don't have a well thought out rebuttal to such a statement. I guess that makes me 'superstitious' after all... at least according to such a definition. And if all it takes is to be identified as a Christian for such a 'label', then i shall wear it proudly. A genre of movies often closely associated with superstitions (using the broad definition of black cats, etc) are Horror movies. When i was younger i watched NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, and the NIGHTMARE and FRIDAY, movies. I don't think i ever understood what attracted me to them. But i do know that i will never watch the movie BIRDS ever, ever again! Since then i've grown out of it. It evens bothers me as it draws close to my birthday. Most of the movie advertising is for horror movies to coincide with the upcoming 'holiday' (Halloween), and now i am seeing it more and more around Valentine's Day. :/ *sigh* Horror movies are also closely related to my favorite genre - Sci-Fi. I enjoy the Sci-Fi channel, but there are seassons where i just avoid that channel all together. Speaking of which... Tonight season 2 continues for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I like this series a lot. The story line is stretched because of the writers really trying to pursue too many story arcs (IMO), but i like how the charecters are drawn together. I'm having a hard time with Riley character, but i've liked how she's turned John's head a little. You feel for the guy. He's lived a pretty messed up adventure of a life, and she has helped him feel just a little bit normal. Tonight's episode is supposed to be pretty good, some plot twists. You will get to see more of the terminator side of Catherine Weaver (played by Shirley Manson, who belted out a great rendition of the old-time gospel song, Sampson and Delilah - written by Rev. Gary Davis). I have been following the Terminator blog and there have been some nice tidbits of information coming out by Fox, and i am particularly liking how the fan base is rallying around the show. Critics haven't been sold/convinced, but i am enjoying it very much so far. This show, and of course Terminator Salvation (4), coming out in May - which i guess can be construed as part Sci-Fi and part Horror. For my money though, my favorite charecter of the show is James Ellison. I like this guy because he is a man of faith. A man who has seen some incredible things, things that are pretty hard to swallow. And he has an on-going dialog within himself to reconcile the things he knows from scripture, and the things he sees in his "new found" world of reality. It gives me the creeps seeing him so close to the clandestine terminator (Catherine Weaver), but only because he is so close to danger and he has no idea, but what an interesting plot line of him teaching "John Henry" (aka Cromartie)! The A.I. that Catherine has brought under her protection was at one time exhibiting the characteristics of a child. It shall be interesting to see how the verse "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6, ESV) will play out, and more importantly, how it will affect James. I think one of the things that really draws me into the show is how the writers incorporate Christian concepts and themes within the show. Several of the 'theme songs' have been gospel-like (Sampson and Delilah, and When the Man Comes Around, come quickly to mind), and there have been several story-line 'connections' if you will. That does not make the show Christian, and i am not real sure if any of the writing team are Christian, but it does bring Christian concepts up... and that can cause one to think. And when one thinks about the things of God - this is a good thing. Often my prayer is that when such things come up, that God would move in the hearts to whom He has brought such things to the fore. Ok, well... i've rambled on long enough. Although i do not have any plans for my beloved and me for Valentine's Day - i hope you all have a blessed romantic time with your own beloveds. May God draw each of you closer to Him, and as a result, closer to each other.


Yet more ramblings

My beloved has been suffering with severe headaches for over a year now. Sometimes daily, sometimes they will go away for weeks at a time. We've been to two Ear, Nose, and Throat specialists, our general practitioner, and today was an allergist. She is allergic to everything! We are going to go over various options such as pulling the carpeting out of our house, HEPA filtration systems, and central vacuums. But, in the end we will probably rely on just allergy shots. :( Ouch. Last night i wanted to get my thoughts down for a handful of the characters for the story i wanted to write, but got side tracked cross loading some music between my various storage devices, my laptop, and my MP3 player. I was also being pulled in several directions as my beloved was dealing with a pretty bad headache (see above). One thing i was able to do was create a new folder on my desk top where i could "dump" all of my 'source' files. Things like .pdf files on all of the background i have, information on the various 'factions' i plan on using, and my current character notes. I've started an outline in the software i bought for all of this. It's called "Liquid Story Binder XE", and i HIGHLY recommend it. You can download a free trial version, and the overall price seems very reasonable to me ($49.95). It has excellent support and on-line community exchange of ideas (via a Yahoo! news group), and it is fairly intuitive (and also has some good tutorials). Man, you'd think i get a commission or something. Hmm... maybe i should contact them... :-) Which reminds me... i am considering setting up an e-commerce site. More on that another time. I am not sure why i am about to blog about this, but here goes... For as long as i can remember i have had a fascination with Elves. Not the little fanciful creatures, more akin to the Tolkien style. About human height, long living, aloof, etc. I doubt most, if any, of my regular readers will know what i am talking about, but there it is. When ever i played a game growing up i always chose to play an elf (if it was possible). The first job that i ever had (the kind that actually took taxes out) was at a hobby store specializing in such games. I remember a box set of plastic miniatures of Wood Elves. For no other reason than i liked how they looked, i bought them. Since then i've grown to enjoy reading about them from time to time, but i especially like their portrayal in the LORD OF THE RINGS (LOTR) movies. And they are fairly popular in various 'circles'. Some make them out to be quite sensious (for lack of a better word coming to mind), some make them out to be quite mystical (or magical if you will). I, of course, have my own images of them, but my favorite scene is when Arwyn and Aragorn are finally united at the end of the LOTR. Anyway... That's all i have time to ramble about today. Draw close to God... seek Him first. Study Him and His word above all things, so that when counterfeit things try and wedge in to your life, you can recognize it before it takes root.


Some thoughts on the movie "GOOD SOIL"

A while back the movie "Good Soil" was brought to my attention. I picked it up from a friend's e-store, well because it has to do with my two favorite subjects... the samurai, and Christianity... and in this case it's about both! :-) For me the run time was too short, a mere 25 minutes, but in that time the writer and director (Craig Shimahara) has done a fabulous job of illustrating how tight a line it was to walk as a young faith, in a land where loyalty was paramount to all else. Especially loyalty to one's Shogun. The main character, Jinbei Masuda (played by Shin Koyamada, who apparently is a direct descendant of the Kakure Kirishitan), must walk out his faith as friends betray him, as fellow followers are led to their death, and faces his own death unless he denounces Christ and his faith. Mr. Shimahara tryies to illustrate the parable of seed being sown among the "four soils" (pathways, rocky, overgrown, good/rich) as expressed in the gospels. Where i would like to have seen the movie expanded some would be the expansion of these examples... but overall he keeps it focused where it ultimately needs to be. My little review here is inadequet to fully express how good of a movie i really feel this is. The on-line magazine - Kung Fu Magazine - has done a much better job. I would encourage any who would like to read a more in depth pieces to check it out. It is titled, "GOOD SOIL: LAST SAMURAI to First Christian Samurai" by DR. Craig Reid. To put it bluntly, i intend on showing each of my children this movie as they get older and are preparring to go out into the world. In my opinion, this is a good movie that most - if not all - Christians should see. Not as movie, or as important as The Passion of the Christ, but it is moving in it's encouragement for how a Christian should walk out his/her faith in Christ.


Music Monday, and other random thoughts

Before i get to far into this blog entry... i can't believe i've not had this song on "Music Monday" before. This has been a good song for me... and this weekend has been long for many reasons. I am glad to be back to work.
Who Am i By Casting Crowns Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth Would care to know my name Would care to feel my hurt Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star Would choose to light the way For my ever wandering heart Not because of who I am But because of what You've done Not because of what I've done But because of who You are I am a flower quickly fading Here today and gone tomorrow A wave tossed in the ocean Vapor in the wind Still You hear me when I'm calling Lord, You catch me when I'm falling And You've told me who I am I am Yours, I am Yours Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin Would look on me with love and watch me rise again Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea Would call out through the rain And calm the storm in me Not because of who I am But because of what You've done Not because of what I've done But because of who You are I am a flower quickly fading Here today and gone tomorrow A wave tossed in the ocean Vapor in the wind Still You hear me when I'm calling Lord, You catch me when I'm falling And You've told me who I am I am Yours Not because of who I am But because of what You've done Not because of what I've done But because of who You are I am a flower quickly fading Here today and gone tomorrow A wave tossed in the ocean Vapor in the wind Still You hear me when I'm calling Lord, You catch me when I'm falling And You've told me who I am I am Yours I am Yours Whom shall I fear Whom shall I fear 'Cause I am Yours I am Yours
Is there anything we can do to contribute? What good did He see in me that he would do such a thing as come to Earth and die such a death on a cross? Why?!?!? And yet His word tells me He did this... because He wanted to. And that is all i really need to know... and yet... i continue to struggle with sin. Why is it so hard to put to death my old man? Why does my flesh revolt so? I am struggling of late to get my self back on track, but i cannot seem to do it.
"Lord Jesus i come before you, not because what i have done, but because of who You are. I fall before you... Lord i ask... please redeem my self discipline. Lord i am not seeking to rise up and glory in my flesh, but to turn it into taking a step at a time to 'work out my salvation... my sanctification'. I need to keep my eyes turned towards You... to walk towards You... please help me Lord. Help me to have eyes only for You... i ask this in Your name lord Jesus... for Your glory... amen"


Totally random thoughts

The past week has been pretty crazy and i've not blogged very often. I've had things i thought would be interesting to post about, but i just never got around to getting them down. Recently Facebook has 'exploded' with Notes being passed around... 25 random thoughts, 40 questions, etc. I like doing those lists from time to time (eventually i run out of things to say), but what i like more are reading them about my friends there. Unfortunately, along that vein i am doing such a thing here - but without tagging anyone. I merged a couple of them i did on Facebook, but also added a couple until i ran out of time/ideas. I am taking a long weekend, and tomorrow will be my beloved's and my Valentine's day, so i hope you all have a great, and blessed weekend. Oh, and these are in no particular order... 1. I would love if my wife would join Facebook - i need to share that insanity with her ;-) 2. I have trouble studying by just reading (either on-line, or hard copy)... i really need to interface with instructors to grab it... but when i do i tend to retain it 3. I have been recently diagnosed with adult ADD, but i am still reluctant to admit it - and my beloved believes that i also have Aspergers, i've just been able to adapt very well 4. I recently let my only Cisco certification laps (see #2 above)... 5. I want to work my way up to earn both a CCNP and/or CCDP 6. I have a deep appreciation for both architecture, watches, and clocks - and i can't explain why, or very much about any of them 7. I loved every year i served in the Army National Guard (22 years worth) and wish i was young enough to go back and get even more out of it 8. I have a handful of good friends, but do not know them as well as i would like 9. I prefer the post-apocalyptic genre in movies, books, and games 10. I once had a desire to go into ministry 11. I used to play a medieval battle re-enactment game back in high school known as Dagorhir, and i loved it 12. I enjoy 'silly/predictable' movies (i.e. Mr Baseball, The Princess Diaries, Overboard, etc.) 13. My preferred music type is instrumental celtic folk 14. I wish i had taken the time to learn an instrument, and a foreign language, when i was younger 15. I am deeply in love with my wife 16. The first thing i notice about people is their handshake. I hate to admit it but it's a conscious effort to look people in the eyes, so i notice the tone of their voice and grip first. 17. I met my wife by being set up on a blind date with one of her roommates in college. We spent an entire football game talking about the Sovereignty of God, i didn't catch one play of the game, and don't regret it for a second. 18. I think the greatest sounds on Earth are Thunderstorms and babies laughing. 19. I will not kiss anyone on the mouth except for my wife, and i feel uncomfortable hugging anyone except my family. 20. My favorite smell in all of the world is the smell of my beloved's hair after she's been out side for any length of time. 21. Someone recently asked me if i missed another. Since then i've come to realize that i rarely miss people. I miss the fellowship with people, i miss the communication, i miss the comradery ... but it is rarely i miss an individual. But there have been a handful of times when i have indeed missed my mother (she passed away in December 2000), and my beloved when i was away doing stuff for the National Guard 22. I am a fan of the Carolina Panthers having never lived in that region of the country. 23. I try and use sarcasm, but to be honest... i do not know how to use it very well, nor do i really get it very often. Some of the most "intense moments of fellowship" with my beloved have happened because of sarcasm. 24. I hate to write things. At least with a pen and paper. If i want to take a note i'd much rather have a keyboard and time to type it up and print it out. 25. There are times when i wish i could win/inherit/find a million dollars. Not because i want to run off and buy a mansion, or something like that. I want to set up "self sustaining giving accounts". Accounts that would grow roughly at the rate of inflation, and yet still have enough to give every year to various charities and friends in need. Oh, i'd use some of it. I am not as selfless as this concept would insinuate... ;-) If God ever allowed such a thing i hope to be found true to it. 26. I was able to donate over $100 to Habitat for Humanity last year by raising money with my little candy store. 27. I collect small ceramic/porcelain (and sometimes plastic) country churches. You know, David Winter, Dept. 56, that kind of thing. Just the churches, not all the rest. And those can be sort of hard to find, and usually too expensive. :-) 28. I have an interest in the samurai of feudal Japan, especially those who converted to Christianity, and were subsequently severely persecuted under the Shogunate in the 1600's. There were a lot of atrocities performed - by both sides. 29. My beloved and i sit on opposite sides of the table when we go out to eat on dates. It's not because we don't want to sit next to each other, but because we want to look at each other. 30. My all time favorite player on the Carolina Panthers is their kicker, John Kasay. I like players like Steve Smith, Jon Beason, and Jake Delhomme, but Kasay is the last original Panther, and a devoted Christian. 31. Of all the awards i received during my National Guard career, i am most proud of receiving the Honorable Order of St Barbara. This award is not given lightly, and is not granted to everyone. I have received recognition from post commanders, quite a few state service ribbons, i have even earned the Humanitarian Service Medal (a very close second), but this one is the most special in my heart. Just ahead of the Guideon my unit gave me at my retirement (a close third... what can i say, it was a tight race). 32. I reserve the right to edit this post throughout the rest of today and this weekend. :-) And just because a friend from Facebook posted it, and it is pretty interesting... history of the internet


Wandering ramblings

Have you ever had someone who just wandered into your house and traipsed on through until the exited via the front door? Starting with the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" where Bueller is racing to get home and run's through someone's home, on through many other movies. Well, i have been dealing with something similar at my day job - and that is disconcerting to say the least. It is not from, nor is it destined, for any device within the network i work on. It is uni-directional and was getting stopped at the first security device it encounters, but it is a real pain to track down. I've been working on this kind of thing for about a week now... For now this has been taking up most of my spare "cpu cycles"... i hope to post more soon...


Music Monday defered

I am up to my eyeballs in an issue that i've been working on since last Wednesday so i will not be posting a song for today. :-( Just a few bullet comments... * What a Super Bowl last night! An awesome game right up to the end. Goal line stands, interceptions returned for touchdowns, clutch catches for touchdowns...! Wow. Congratulations to the Super Bowl champions - the Pittsburgh Steelers! #6 is still just as sweet. * I do feel bad for Kurt Warner. He is a man of God who is an example for many on how to be in the spotlight. May God ease the disappointment for him. Thank you for a great game Kurt. * I have heard that it is possible that Jerry "Big Cat" Richardson - may have received a heart transplant over night last night. If so, that is good news for the Panthers... assuming all has gone well. * Things seem to be heating up at my church. I will not go into details, but at least things seem to be moving in the right direction. Please pray for humility, restoration, and reconciliation. * My family and i are in desperate need of a break. We have things on the calender every weekend until March... and most school nights too. This cannot be healthy. Friday night was open, so i "X-ed" it out. I will be taking my beloved on a date... it may be my only chance this month. * I am SO grateful to have a job AND a boss who gives comp time to salaried employees! \o/