Two for Tuesday and other misc. ramblings

My little 'world' has taken another jolt. I am not going to go into details, but it has put my into a whirlwind. I feel sick to my stomach, sadness, empty, confused. Probably a lot more that i am not understanding. Anyway, on the work this song played on the radio and i almost had to pull over to allow it to "wash over me". So, instead of one Music Monday entry you all get two this week! 8)
Empty Me by Chris Sligh Empty Me i've had just enough of the spotlight when it burns bright to see how it gets in the blood. and i've tasted my share of the sweet life and the wild ride and found a little is not quite enough. i know how i can stray and how fast my heart could change. empty me of the selfishness inside every vain ambition and the poison of my pride and any foolish thing my heart holds to lord empty me of me so i can be filled with you. i've seen just enough of the quick buys of the best lies to know how prodigals can be drawn away. i know how i can stray and how fast my heart could change. empty me of the selfishness inside every vain ambition and the poison of my pride and any foolish thing my heart holds to lord empty me of me so i can be filled with you. cause everything is a lesser thing compared to you, compared to you. cause everything is a lesser thing compared to you so why surrender all? empty me of the selfishness inside every vain ambition and the poison of my pride empty me of the selfishness inside every vain ambition and the poison of my pride and any foolish thing my heart holds to lord empty me of me so i can be lord empty me of me so i can be filled with you. oh, filled with you. empty me.
This song had had an affect on me before, but this morning it just really filled me... not of Chris Sligh or His music, but an overwhelming sense of the Holy Spirit... which i really needed today. (Well, i need it every day... i guess i am just more aware of it today) This may be related... maybe not... maybe my ADD just kicking in, but... yesterday, before my "world" kind of lost kilter, i was praying about sending an e-mail to two old "acquaintances" regarding my church situation. Right now i am even more confused as to what to write, if to write at all. I am pretty sure i need to, but i need more time to pray over what to say in the e-mail. Yesterday i downloaded four sermons. A series on the Atonement, and it "looks" to be some good stuff. I had hoped to get into my MP3 player last night and do some serious organizing, but life has its own time line. I am going to organize my music and sermon downloads so that i can almost download from a file folder so i can download just what i am in the mood, or need, to hear. Sometimes i want to hear some of Jethro Tull, sometimes i really need to focus and listen to sermons, but i get frustrated when i have to search through my entire folder, or when i am really enjoying the music list i have going and it is "interrupted" by a message on sanctification. Not that there is ever a bad time to hear about such things, but if i am in the middle of cutting the grass it is hard to concentrate on what the speaker is talking about. Sunday afternoon i was spending the day cleaning up my "area" and sort of watching Doc Hollywood. That is a movie that is my kind of genre, so to speak. Sort of silly and is a good "popcorn" kind of entertainment. The whole time while i was rummaging through my mess and watching the movie i was trying to think what it was that i liked about such movies. I think it's the simplicity of it all. Especially Doc Hollywood. Small town, reminds me of that summer back in 1980. A simple life... everyone knows each other and cares for one another. Sort of a Utopia. One last thing... my family was supposed to be joining my Dad and Step Mom for a vacation in Maine latter next month. Unfortunately we will not be able to do it. It's a long, multi-faceted, tale, but we are not going. I've been to New England a few times, but i've never been to Maine... and that far north in July sounds like a really nice place.


Music Monday - 20090629

My beloved and i have only been searching for a new church for about a month now so in some ways it's too early to get very frustrated, and yet... Maybe we are just too sensitive. We are not ones to jump from church to church, but we are having trouble with being comfortable with sermons that center around man. It's hard for me to put into words a decent example. But, for us, an example would be when the sermon has a concept and then has several verses interjected to "support" the theme. We experienced this again yesterday, and one of the verses was used out of the context of the surrounding scripture. This has unfortunately not been an isolated experience. When this song came on at the end it was like a breath of fresh air to me.
Amazing grace, My Chains are Gone How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me I once was lost, but now I'm found Was blind, but now I see 'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear And grace my fears relieved How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed (Chorus) My chains are gone I've been set free My God, my Savior has ransomed me And like a flood His mercy rains Unending love, Amazing grace The Lord has promised good to me His word my hope secures He will my shield and portion be As long as life endures (Chorus) The earth shall soon dissolve like snow The sun forbear to shine But God, Who called me here below Will be forever mine Will be forever mine You are forever mine (Chorus 2x) Amazing Love, Amazing Grace Amazing Love, Amazing Grace
One reason i think i am becoming too sensitive to the whole deal is the lines where it refers to God being "forever mine". When it comes to that does God really belong to us, or do we belong to Him? I realizing that this is splitting hairs and all, but after that sermon those lines stuck out like a ore thumb to me. I don't want God to be 'mine' in the sense my soul rests on how hard i hold on to Him... i want my soul to belong to Him. I am finite, He is infinite. I am weak, He is strong. But this song is not about us. It is about His Amazing Grace, and not our amazing works. Anyway... we are in search of a church where the gospel is proclaimed, and not how to become a better person. But how God is making me into the image of His Son.


Too little, too late

I found out this morning that my "Aunt" passed away this morning. I am finding myself saddened somewhat, and disappointed that i was not able to get my act together fast enough to make the (almost) four hour drive to visit with her. She, and her family, really did have that kind of impact upon me. There are plans for a memorial service later this summer and i WILL be there for that (assuming God does not have other plans). Speaking of later this summer... I have read that Julius Peppers has signed his one year, franchise-tag contract for $16.7m and some incentives. As a Carolina Panthers fan this makes me very, very happy. This young man has an incredible character, not to mention some seriously good athletic ability. I have no clue as to what the behind the scenes issues that helped create the turmoil over the last year or so, and in my opinion this is a testimony of his character, but i continue to hope (and pray) for a long term resolution that sees Mr. Peppers stay in Charlotte ~ hopefully until his retirement from football and maybe even all the way to Canton, OH. I have received my e-mail for my very own download code for Blood Bowl (for the PC). While the laptop i use for game play and writing is isolated from the WWW by design, i have recently purchased an external hard drive so that i can use my home PC to download files, etc. and then add them right where i need to, then when that is done i can transfer the drive to the laptop to play on. That being said... i am looking forward to trying to get a chance to finally play this game! Well, that is all i have for today...


And the hits keep on coming

Last night i found out my "Aunt" was being released from the hospital and going into Hospice. *sigh* This woman, her husband, and her kids took me and my brother in for a summer when we didn't have a place to go. The school year before this summer we had attended three different schools and lived in four different places and were about to be asked to leave the last one. That summer my "Aunt" and "Uncle" took us in. I still remember that summer with fondness. It was a great summer. "Uncle" was the Baptist Minister in the small town where they lived in the parsonage. The town had a blinking light for the four-way stop, and there was a bank on the corner. We walked everywhere and my brother and i shared in all the chores ~ which was an eye opener for us both. When it was coming to an end i begged to be allowed to stay with them but it was not to be. I am hoping to go and see her this weekend before it is too late, but i don't want to impose on my cousins in their time of grief... Lately i have been getting invites for a High School reunion. At first i was intrigued, but later i became annoyed. Not by the person who is working incredibly hard to get all of it organized, but at the school population from back then in general. When i went to that school i sat with only four other kids, three of which i am still friends with (not bad considering that was over two decades ago). For the most part we were shunned, mostly ignored, and sometimes picked on. We handled ourselves well enough (my "applesauce 'grenade'" is still fondly remembered), but we were not really a part of the whole if you get my meaning. If memory serves my nickname back then was "brainiack" as people stuck out legs to try and trip me as i read between classes. After seeing how my beloved's reunions have gone... i don't see it being worth my time. Yesterday, over at Eternal Revolution (yet another Christian Samurai themed blog) i caught wind of the samurai umbrella! LOL! That's right, the samurai umbrella! Sometimes i find out about some really cool Christian Samurai things, but this is one of those things that is just fun. I don't think i will be picking one up, but just knowing that such a thing exists made me chuckle. Such is the 'danger' of living in a free market economy i guess. Where if someone is willing to buy such a product at a price you can make some money on, people make it. For a while now i have been talking with a friend of mine about helping me sort of spruce up the "dojo" here. I finally sat down with him last night. Since i am asking him to do this from the kindness of his heart (well, he has not mentioned anything about paying him anyway), i am not expecting too much of a change, but it should look good, simple but good, when all is said and done. I am also unsure of any kind of time line. Just that i am finally working on it. If anyone has some suggestions i would welcome them, but i would ask for an example so i know what you are talking about. *grin* Lately i have been wanting to be in the middle of a really strong thunderstorm. I don't know why, but i just really have the desire to be in the middle of it, soaking wet, feeling the rumble of the thunder in my chest and the wind all around me. And i am not talking about one of those passing storms that roar in and is gone in ten minutes. One that lasts a good thirty minutes or more. Back when i had just become a Christian one of my new roommates had a sound track CD that had rain and gentle storm sounds on it. I slept like a baby when i went to bed with it on. Ok, in closing... lately it has been feeling like God has been telling me to get off the bench and do... something. I am not sure what, but... i need to continue to pray... delve into His word... and seek where He would have me go or do. That began Sunday with the sermon at the church we were visiting. The visiting pastor to the church was talking about the difference between a Christian who sits and studies all the time but doesn't do anything and one who may not know as much but is actually out in the fields getting his/her hands dirty. Then, yesterday, a sermon from Kenneth Maresco come up on my MP3 player - The Pursuit and Practice of Fellowship . Although i had listened to this sermon before it seemed to hit home on several points and i am now praying over a few specific points... we shall what God will do.


Borrowed from a fellow blogger

Today has been really crazy, but i was following a link from another blog i follow (Thanks Gunny) and feel that this is a most excellent quote...

A Man's Good Opinion of Himself

"In all unbelief there are these two things--a good opinion of one's self and a bad opinion of God. Man's good opinion of himself makes him think it quite possible to win God's favor by his own religious performances; and his bad opinion of God makes him unwilling and afraid to put his case wholly into His hands. The object of the Holy Spirit's work (in convincing of sin) is to alter the sinner's opinion of himself, and so to reduce his estimate of his own character that he shall think of himself as God does, and so cease to suppose it possible that he can be justified by an excellency of his own. The Spirit then alters his evil opinion of God, so as to make him see that the God with whom he has to do is really the God of all grace. But the inquirer denies that he has a good opinion of himself and owns himself a sinner. Now a man may SAY this, but really to KNOW it is something more than SAYING. Besides, he may be willing to take the name of sinner to himself, in common with his fellow-men, and yet not at all own himself such a sinner as God says he is--such a sinner as needs the cross, and blood, and righteousness of the Son of God. It takes a great deal to destroy a man's good opinion of himself; how difficult it is to make a man think of himself as God does! What but the almightiness of the Divine Spirit can accomplish this? Unbelief, then, is the belief of a lie and the rejection of the truth. Accept, then, the character of God as given in the gospel; the Holy Spirit will not give you peace irrespective of your views of God's character. It is in connection with THE TRUTH concerning the true God, "the God of all grace," that the Spirit gives peace. That which He shows us of ourselves is only evil; that which He shows us of God is only good!" --Horatius Bonar (1808 - 1889)
May God richly bless all who come upon this little blog...


Music Monday - 20090622

Yesterday was Father's Day (at least here in the United States). For me it was a special one, but i sort of covered why on Friday. Yesterday was also the first day of my family's search for a new church. We are prayerfully visiting at least two churches not too far from our home. The speaker at the church yesterday was a visitor so we will have to revisit it so we can hear the Senior Pastor speak to get a better feel for the regular sermons there, but the message was a timely one ~ at least for me. One thing i am grateful for is that no matter who is preaching God's Word, He can use it to change lives no matter the skill of the man presenting it. Isaiah 55:10-11 says, "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." (ESV) As we celebrate Father's Day i would like to dedicate today's song to my Father God...
Dear Lord and Father of Mankind Lyrics ~ John G. Whittier, 1807-1892 Music ~ Frederick C. Maker, 1844-1927 Stanza 1: Dear Lord and Father of mankind, Forgive our fev'rish ways; Reclothe us in our rightful mind, In purer lives Thy service find, In deeper rev'rence, praise. Stanza 2: In simple trust like theirs who heard, Beside the Syrian sea, The gracious calling of the Lord, Let us, like them, without a word, Rise up and follow Thee. Stanza 3: O sabbath rest by Galilee, O calm of hills above, Where Jesus knelt to share with thee The silence of eternity, Interpreted by love! Stanza 4: Drop thy still dews of quietness, Till all our strivings cease; Take from our souls the strain and stress, And let our ordered lives confess The beauty of Thy peace. Stanza 5: Breathe through the heats of our desire Thy coolness and Thy balm; Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire; Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire, O still, small voice of calm.

We still have some road to travel to find a church home, and i am not entirely sure how long or hard this will be. But you cannot reach the end of a journey unless you follow the path to its conclusion.


Lonely Friday

Coming back to work after vacation is tough. When i leave on vacation i shift gears. I think if i paid attention i could feel my body and mind relaxing, but then when i come back i have ramp back up again. It's not an easy thing. Today is harder (even though it is Friday) because two of my co-workers (there are five of us in my group) took today off and i am hitting a wall. The workload is not all that bad, it's just my mind and body wants to take a power nap! *chuckle* But there is just enough things to do to keep me busy, and we have a pair of interviews for an internal promotion this afternoon. I have the privilege of creating the technical questions. My favorite one that i've come up with is, "What is Layer 8 of the OSI model and what is its function"? My beloved and i have had a rough week, emotionally, this past week. So on Wednesday night i told her that we would though fish sticks in the oven for the kids and head out for a movie. We caught the 1915 showing of Star Trek. I really like this "reboot" of this franchise. I have a few friends who are refusing to watch it because they feel jilted because the movie changes things. Isn't that like having a "sacred cow"? Besides, this enables the writers liberty to come up with a whole new set of fresh ideas to explore. I mean, it's Science Fiction people. You have to take it with a grain of salt and check your sense of disbelief at the door as it is. I've said it beofe, but i am going to say it again... i am really looking forward to the release of the computer version of Blood Bowl. I may even play it more than Fallout 3 simply because it will be a turn based game that can be interrupted more easily. I am still having fun exploring the Capital Wastelands, but i usually have to have at least two hours to dedicate when i sit down to play it. I have pre-ordered the digital copy of Blood Bowl and will be able to download it in about a week. My plan is to download it straight to a thumb drive so it will be easier to transfer and play on my laptop which i keep isolated from the WWW. My beloved has the gift of hospitality. She loves to have people over, to fix food for them, to fix meals for friends and/or families who are having a rough time and taking it to them. She just seems to know instinctively when to reach out to... well, be hospitable. She has really helped me grow in this area. Yesterday when i got home she was telling me that she would be going to our old church to help out with a reception for the family of a woman who was murdered earlier this week. She was acting like i might be disappointed because it would be taking away a Saturday afternoon from me, but i reassured her that i was not upset or disappointed at all. You see, we've known this woman for almost two decades. Her son went to school with our DD3 this past year (such a sweet little boy ~ he often gave little gifts to our daughter). I still remember back in the early 80's when a cousin of mine was murdered. I such at personal mourning. I have very little in the way of knowing what to say or do to comfort those who are grieving. Even when my own mother passed away i remember not feeling all that sad. Don't get me wrong, from time to time i find myself missing my mother and feeling a little "down", but i struggle with the all out grief ~ and in many ways that makes me feel disconnected from the human race some. Still, i pray for those who grieve and do what i can. Earlier this week my beloved asked me what i wanted to do for Father's Day and i honestly hadn't thought about it. You see, this will only be the second Father's Day i will be home since becoming a father in 1996. Every other one i have been on duty with the Army National Guard. It feels really good to not have to worry about the drill weekends anymore, to be able to spend more time with the family, but i would not have traded on one day of my service. I truly enjoyed serving and feel privileged to have been able to serve. So... i still don't know what i want to do... but i am going to enjoy being home. May God richly bless you all, and to any Father who stumbles upon this little blog: HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!


Post vacation ramblings

One problem with coming back from vacation is there are too many thoughts running around to blog about. So i will just do my normal rambling blog. Hang on, this one may be longer than usual. 8)
One thing of interest (to me) is the show Jon & Kate Plus 8. I was a late comer to this show but i enjoyed the real life depiction (well, as portrayed and edited by TLC) of the day to day life of a family trying to make it through life. For me it was starting to get old when they moved into their new $1m house. It was becoming less and less like an "everyman" type of show (which is why i think i like Deadliest Catch more. I am saddened (for lack of a better word) by what is happening between the parents Jon and Kate. For the record i am siding with Jon, but he is not without sin in this whole situation. One thing that bothers me is that during the interviews you see Jon sitting to one side of the chair, leaving room for someone else to sit down (or maybe it's just the way he likes to sit in sofas, etc.), but when kate is being interviewed she sits center, or to one side with her feet propped up taking up the whole seat. A petty thing on my part, but for some reason it bugs me. I am praying for a miracle there... For a long time i've enjoyed American Chopper on TLC. The tie in is the resent crossover between Jon & Kate Plus 8 and American Chopper. I love how the guys at OCC can just take a picture in their mind and then fabricate it and make it 3-dimensional. But i've also liked motorcycles since i was a teenager. For a long lists of reasons i've never bought one. I've ridden them, and loved the experience. I may get one if i ever experience a mid-life crisis, but i think i am destined to never own one of my own. I have been itching for some NFL Football lately. I am still nervous about the Panthers chances this year, but it is only 62 days until the Panthers first pre-season game against the NY Giants. 47 days until "summer-camp" opens. 9-7 is all i ask from the Panthers this year. Anything more than that will be gravy. Recently it seems my beloved and i have been exposed to a lot of deaths lately. People that we know losing a husband, or a co-worker passing away suddenly. Last night we found out that our dental hygienist that we have known for over fifteen years was murdered Monday. There is one thing that every human being on earth will do... and that is die, but it still kind of shakes your world a little when it happens in close proximity to you.
Recently i was tagged in a note of a friend on facebook on a list of first. Here were my replies:
1. Who was your FIRST prom date? ~~~ Prom? I was not cool enough to even consider going to Prom, which was a requirement back in my day. 2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love? ~~~ I married my FIRST love... if you're talking about infatuation... then no. 3. What was your 1st alcoholic drink? ~~~ Beer. I was made to sip it before bed time when i was very young to supposedly keeping from crying in my sleep. Must be why i can't stand the stuff now. 4. What was your FIRST job? ~~~ Paper boy. I loved walking around with my dog (a corgi), Lord Spaz. 5. What was your FIRST car? ~~~ Was some beat up, non-functional, Datson. The first car i ever got on the road was a '72 Plymouth Satellite. 6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today? ~~~ The day is still young. 7. Who is the FIRST person you saw this morning? ~~~ Rob, co-worker. 8. Who was your FIRST Kindergarten teacher? ~~~ Um... i barely remember my college professors names. 9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane? ~~~ I believe it was to Chicago to visit my Grand Father. 10. Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk? ~~~ Billy, and no. I haven't seen him since i was 13. 11. Where was your FIRST sleep over? ~~~ See 8 above. 12. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today? ~~~ Does praying to God count? 13. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time? ~~~ My own. I was asked to be the best man at my brother's first wedding but i turned him down. LONG story. 14. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning? ~~~ I'd rather not say. 8) 15. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to? ~~~ Jethro Tull, Baltimore 16. FIRST tattoo? ~~~ Has yet to happen. 17. First piercing? ~~~ Are we counting stitches? If not, none to date. 18. First foreign country you've been to? ~~~ Germany, i flew over to visit my brother at Christmas time. 19. FIRST movie you remember seeing? ~~~ The Big Bus with my dad. 20. When was your first detention? ~~~ See 8 above, but i do know it was a frequent occurance 21. What was the first state you lived in? ~~~ I believe it was New Jersey, but i was born in Washington DC and lived there a spell. 22. Who was your FIRST roommate? ~~~ Besides my brother as a kid, David. Not Dave, his name is David, and God used him to teach me a lot of things. In many ways i miss him. Our personalities may not have been 100% compatible, but we were real brothers in Christ. 23. If you had one wish. What would it be? ~~~ Ooh, tough one... right now it would be that i could have enough money to pay off my mortgage and then be able to set up self sustaining funds in order to be able to give often and generously to a decent list of charities and friends. 24. What is something you would learn if you had the chance? ~~~ I would LOVE to learn how to play the Irish Whistle. 25. Who do you think will be the next person to post this? ~~~ Not a clue, but i am interested in reading some of them.
And last, but not least for today...
When i retired from the National Guard last summer there were two other "old timers" who also retired within a month of me. We had decided to try and keep in touch and started meeting for breakfast every other month or so. Well, since then it has grown from the three of us to over thirty invites being sent out. But, more importantly, other "old timers" from within my old battalion have organized an association to help keep the history of the the artillery in MD alive. They have formed the "Maryland Regimental Artillery Association, Inc." to accomplish this. While i am not a member yet, i am hoping to perhaps join in the near future. Although it is a sad occasion, i am looking forward to the deactivation ceremony in August. Of my twenty two years of service in the Army National Guard, the last nine years that i served in the Artillery were the ones i enjoyed the most.


Music Monday - 20090615

Wow... has it really been ten days already? How is it that vacation time seems to fly so fast, and work so slow? LOL ~ if memory serves it has something to do with Genesis 3:17-19 though. Being on vacation i forgot to work on picking just one song for my Music Monday selection when i came back, but as i was typing this a song came to mind from this past Christmas. I remember listening to it at least four or five times in a row. Words cannot really adequately express so...
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Mark Hall, Dale, Bernie Herms Strings arranged by Bernie Herms Orchestrated by Stephen Lamb I heard the bells on Christmas day Their old familiar carols play And mild and sweet their songs repeat Of peace on earth good will to men And the bells are ringing Like a choir they're singing In my heart I hear them Peace on earth, good will to men And in despair I bowed my head There is no peace on earth I said For hate is strong and mocks the song Of peace on earth, good will to men But the bells are ringing Like a choir singing Does anybody hear them? Peace on earth, good will to men Then rang the bells more loud and deep God is not dead, nor doth He sleep The wrong shall fail, the right prevail With peace on earth, good will to men Then ringing singing on its way The world revolved from night to day A voice, a chime, a chant sublime Of peace on earth, good will to men And the bells they're ringing Like a choir they're singing And with our hearts we'll hear them Peace on earth, good will to men Do you hear the bells they're ringing? The life the angels singing Open up your heart and hear them Peace on earth, good will to men Peace on earth, Peace on earth Peace on earth, Good will to men © 2008 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Publishing Designee (Public Domain?), Mark Hall Publishing Designee, Bernie Herms Publishing Designee, Dale??? Publishing Designee, Stephen Lamb Publishing Designee
This song really does just move me. I LOVE Christmas time. I am filled with awe each Christmas season as i ponder the miracle of God coming to Earth in the form of a human baby. I feel that Christmas is the most amazing season of the year... and Casting Crowns has captured the spirit of the season that i feel so deeply each year.


Look at below!

I am so looking forward to this evening...why? Because it is the first time since my beloved and i have had kids that we can take a vacation in the month of June. Until last year my annual training was almost always scheduled in June so we would not be able to take off until July or August. I am so looking forward to taking off and leaving my work behind for the next week. I am hoping to get some writing done, and some Fallout 3 played. 8) I've been having the desire to get some of the whirlwind of ideas and characters down and organized within the outline i have been working on. I've started a prologue, a sort of near beginning chapter and some character defining lines - so that i can picture the characters in my mind while i'm writing. In the meantime i am not sure how much, if any, blogging i will get done. If i play Fallout 3, then i will take some notes for my gaming blog for when i get back. I am still waiting to hear how i did on my writing contest entry that was supposed to be over mid May. There have been some technical issues delaying the results, but even then another moderator said that the results were to be posted yesterday... which i've not heard anything on that yet. Hopefully soon. Before i dash out the door... i saw the miniature pictured to the right and i immediately thought of a way to write in a new character for my book. *lol* That's all i have for this week. See y'all when i get back, 5 pounds heavier and a little more tan. May God richly bless each of you until we "meet" again.


Saying "so long"

Today is the last day for my boss/supervisor, where i currently work. He has almost 20 years with our current company and has decided to not take the offer of the incoming company for our contract. I understand why, but i am not happy about his leaving. These things are facts of life. I have been very grateful for him as he 'saved' me from a bad job situation. When i came off of active duty in 2003 my employer informed me that i would be moved to the swing shift. When i told my then boss that was not really a good thing for me i was told i had 30 days to find another position/job or i would be moved. I told them that i had just spent a year away from my kids and that this would ensure i would only get to see them on the weekends. They response, "we have kids too". *sigh* Well, i was really bummed when my current boss "happened" upon my cube. He was looking for the one of the PC guys to set up his "new" laptop (he was being brought off of being laid off for the contract we are currently on). We got to talking and he encouraged me to apply for one of the seven positions he had coming open. Although in the end i took a 20% hit in my wallet (10% for the loss of the shift differential i would have had, and a 10% base pay cut) i have never regretted it. I now work a little over 8 miles from home, and more importantly i am home in the evenings with my family. I don't handle change very well, and i am not handling this well. He will be missed. I have mentioned before that four times a year i become a tennis widower for two weeks. Well yesterday my beloved was trying to watch some tennis. At four different times during the day she turned on the tennis coverage (both on ESPN and the Tennis channel), and each time they were either showing live, or a replay of, Serena Williams' match where she was eliminated by Svetlana Kuznetsova. I know she is the last American in the SLAM event, and i know she is #2 in the world, but there were some other matches that really good that we wanted to watch too! I mean come on! Every time matches were shown, literally all day yesterday, the only match we were able to watch was the Serena match. Today was the third day of getting back to the gym after taking the last 6 months off. Basically i was too lazy to get back. Well, i am paying the price for it now. My knees were killing me after from before when i would run as part of the regimen, so i asked them to take the running off and replace it with the elliptical. Now, i don't know who invented that particular torture device but it is a killer. I only use it for 10 minutes at a time, maintaining 110 rpm for the time. When i am done my legs feel like jello, but overall i like it. I miss running though. I am one of the few people that actually enjoy it. My dad got me hooked on it when i was really young. We lived in Brooklyn at the time and he was having to get himself healthy so he took the whole family on early morning runs in Prospect Park. Although i gave him a hard time about getting up early and running i think it planted a seed for me later in life. He eventually left me, my brother and step-mother at home and kept it up for a long time. When i was in high School i decided to go out for Cross Country... the first day the coach took us on a 12 mile job, then to the track for 8 sets of wind sprints (another 2 miles where you sprint the straight aways and jog the corners on a quarter mile track typically around the football field), then we did 8 sets of "hills" (a fairly steep hill beside the school about 100 yards long. I nearly died... but i was back out there the next day and stayed with it - right up until the team went to the state championships where i dropped out of the team (a theme of my life). When i am in shape (and about 20 to 30 pounds lighter) i love to just get up and go out running. If you ever seen the movie with Mel Gibson, "What Women Want", the scene where they pitch the ad campaign for women's Nike... the thoughts on what it's like to be out running is pretty much it... well, except from a masculine point of view of course. 8) Recently i found out that the author of a blog i frequent (Semper Reformunda) plays a tabletop game called Battletech. Man that took me back. I love that game. I found out he plays with some others at his church some Sunday nights. I would love to meet up with him and play a game or two some time. My all time favorite Mech was the Warhammer (pictured left). In game terms it's not really all that great. Prone to over heating, and poor short range options, but it has good armor and has a great look. Unfortunately the original producers of the game took some license with some images from the Japanese Manga - Robotech and lost a lawsuit and use of the images. Several computer and console games have been spawned from this game series, but i never got into the those games because i've never really been that good at hand-eye coordination games. Anyway... enough rambling for today...