Rambling Dozen

1. How do you feel about the  marshmallow Easter Peeps? ~ Um... YUCK!  I remember getting all excited about them as a kid because everyone was just going nuts about them.  I tried it, and it was like a kid eating Lima Beans.  My tongue couldn't push the stuff back out fast enough.  Picture a dog with Peanut Butter on it's tongue.

2. Chickens are notoriously nervous  creatures. When you are nervous, what is the best way to calm down? ~ My coping techniques vary.  My all time favorite is to remove myself from the situation, but that is not always possible.  I try and "shut down" the senses as much as possible.  With my mother it was the hearing.  This is the one i usually have to try and tone out.  Sort of blasting an internal "white noise".  The other one that works, and this really works the best, is to focus on something i like being near/around.  Usually, that is my Beloved.

3.  People say, "April showers bring May flowers." Do you enjoy Spring  rains? ~ Rain is my absolute favorite weather pattern.  I don't care if it's alight mist, or a torrential downpour in a thunderstorm.  My favorite place is to be out in it, preferably with a rain suit and hat on.  I love sitting on screened in porches out in the rain.  If i could get a gazebo, preferably screened in to keep out the insects as much as possible, and just sit there during a rain storm.  Simply the second best place earth to me.  So i believe, to answer your question, yes, i enjoy Sprint rains.

4. When I was randomly  flipping through TV channels this week, I saw a show in which tattoo parlor employees received tattoos of a co-worker's face on their bodies.  I can't imagine having a portrait of a colleague tattooed on me. But if  someone forced you to receive a portrait tattoo (face only) of anyone, who would it be? Why? ~Well, i am not one to get a tattoo, but i have seen some really incredible artwork on other people who do have them.  Also, in general, i do not think it is a good practice for Christians to get them (Leviticus 19:28 and various carved images references), but this is not any worse than any sin i deal with personally; however, that is not the question, if i am being forced to receive a tattoo and i get to choose of who, it would be probably be of Stonewall Jackson.  I was going to say of Christ, but that would be too anticipated and i am going to assume that i would have to know of the person and have a valid picture of said person.  If it must be of someone i know... it would be my Beloved.

5. Would you rather have a tattoo (any kind) or  a nose ring? ~Wow!  Where are these questions coming from!  Um... a tattoo.  I am not against others who like body piercings, but it is just not my personal cup of tea.

6. Do you have any special plans for Easter? ~ Other than spending time with the family, not really.  Personally i will be meditating on the life, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ though.  One of the best sermon series i have ever heard on the subject was by CJ Mahaney titled "Christ and Him Crucified".

7.  Cadbury Eggs or Reese Eggs? ~Um... my Beloved loves the Reece Eggs.  Not a huge fan of either myself.  Dark Chocolate Carmels is something altogether better.

8. What was the last thing/person you  took a picture of? ~ Um... my Imperial Guard modeling project. (Note: this is not a picture of my models, it is one i found on the web to use as a reference) We are not avid picture takers, but i have several friends (TULIP, BEAR, and KEG) who are.  I am trying to set up weekends where i can go out with some of them to just learn from them.  I've never been a hunter, but i have 'fantasied' of being a "Photographic Hunter".  That would be cool.

9. What book are you reading now, or what was the  last one? ~ Here is a reprint of this very subject from my blog yesterday - which, i was not aware that this question would be asked today. 8) Right now i am about 1/3 of the way through Stonewall Jackson: The Man. The Soldier, The Legend; somewhere in the first section of Stonewall Jackson's Book of Maxim's; a little over half way  through The Last Patriot; I've just begun Proclaiming a Cross-centered Theology; been re-reading and about a third of the  way through A Book of Five Rings; and barely even scratched Humility: True Greatness.

10. What do you think is the most difficult task when it  comes to Spring cleaning? ~Window cleaning.  There are several that are pretty hard to reach, and they always have some disgusting things around the little crooks and crannies.  My Beloved has the most arduous task of switching out everyone's wardrobe.  This is almost always a multi-day process because she checks to see what fits, what doesn't, etc.

11. How many pairs of flip-flops do you  own? ~ I actually own two, but they are not for general use like ladies might have.  One is for showers at gyms, pools, etc.  The other is for when we go to the beach or pool.

12. Which color makes you happiest? ~ Um... never really thought about that before.  For me i think it has a lot to do with context.  For example, i really like Cobalt Blue, but i am not very fond of it when my Beloved wears it.  She looks great in Autumn colors (IMO), and things like that make me happy.



Miscellaneous Ramblings to pass the time

The past two days have been pretty much a blur.  I had a song picked out for yesterday's Music Monday post, but i never had a moment to actually get it entered in.  If i'm smart i will save it and get a head start for next week.  So, instead i will just move along...

Not long ago (i may have mentioned) i finally took my beloved's advice and went and had a sleep study done.  For the most part the results were predictable and i have been prescribed a CPAP machine.  It's been... interesting trying to make sure i get all of the insurance company's requirements taken care of, but i felt a LOT better the morning after the second test.  There was "anomaly" that concerned both the technicians monitoring me over night, and the doctor who reviewed the readings later.  Well, the good news is that those "anomalies" did not occur with the CPAP during the second test.  Yea!  This "anomaly" is a resurgence of a childhood issue, and has me sort of concerned.  By God's grace though, it appears to be nothing more than a blip on the radar.

I know there used to be a few rabid book readers who would frequent this blog, but i am not sure if they still do or not.  Be that as it may... i have noticed that my pile of partially finished books keeps growing.  Right now i am about 1/3 of the way through Stonewall Jackson: The Man. The Soldier, The Legend; a little over half way through The Last Patriot; I've just begun Proclaiming a Cross-centered Theology; been re-reading and about a third of the way through A Book of Five Rings; and barely even scratched Humility: True Greatness.  I love reading, but i really just need to knuckle down and finish at least one of them!   The good part of all this reading though, it has inspired sort of a writing spurt.

I don't remember how i found it, but i have found a new blog (called *Cute n Cool Blog Stuff*) site to help me learn how to customize my blog here.  She even, apparently, is willing to be hired to do some as well.  I don't have a lot of tools (like Photo or Paint Shop Pro), but i am looking forward (i hope) to trying to get some things done to spruce up the Ol' Dojo.

Yesterday i shared a link on Facebook titled, "Christian Faith: Calvinism is Back".  I thought it was a very interesting read, and it encouraged me personally.  In my opinion America needs a does of realizing exactly how depraved, how offensive, and just what it cost Christ to come to atone for sin on our behalf.

I had to cut today's entry "short" because i kept coming up with random things to blog about, and i was running out of time faster than i could keep up with my own train of thought!  *sigh* Such are the trials and tribulation of having ADD... even though i have found it quite beneficial in my day to day career. Well, i have "saved" them for another day... i am finally queuing up thoughts again!


The Random Dozen

1.  What is your favorite sign of Spring? ~ The warming breeze and not having to wear long sleeve shirts all the time.  Driving with the windows down.  Having the windows open all around the house.

2.  Did you remember to spring forward on March 14?  If not, how did it impact your day? ~Yes i did.  Although, it didn't really help as i moved like molasses in January all day long.

3.  If soil, time, talent and climate were no problem, what vegetable would you plant in a garden this year? ~I want to say cucumbers, but technically they are a fruit (or so i've been told) because they have seeds in them.  I LOVE cucumbers...and watermelon... and fresh tomatoes...

4.  If soil, time, talent and climate were no problem, what fruit would you plant? ~ hehehehe see above.

5.  What is your least favorite insect? ~ Ticks, hands down.  Spend as much time as i have (and many have spent more) in the woods and you earn pretty quick to loathe these things.  I've had chiggers, and i've been bitten by many a spider and fire ant, but ticks take the cake in my opionion.  The most dangerous ones are way small, you have to perform self body checks, AND you should have a buddy check areas you can't see because you do not always feel the little buggers (joke intended).

6.  March 22 was World Water Day. To celebrate, here are some water questions. Do you drink bottled water? If so, what brand? ~ My family and i prefer Aquafina, but honestly... i've not been able to taste much difference.  I really like the Britta filters though.  That i taste a difference in the tap water.

7.  Have you ever been somewhere that it was not safe to drink the local water? If so, how did you handle that? ~ Yes, a few times.  Each time the organization i was there with provided all of the "potable" water we needed.  Even if that meant i had to carry several days worth of rations worth on my person.  It's times like that you realzie that all you really need to back is one change of undies (which you alternate days with), lots of talc powder, and baby wipes.  By the way, water is HEAVY!

8.  How many glasses of water do you drink per day? ~ Water, water, or water contained in Dr Pepper, Coke, Mt Dew, and/or Ice Tea?  That's a very good question.  I would much rather have a second glass of water/tea with my meals than an extra helping of pretty much anything.

9.  March 24 is the birthday of Harry Houdini.  Have you ever watched a professional magic show? Share. ~ Yes.  We once hired a Magician to come to DS1's birthday party. 8)

10.  Have you ever been a participant in a professional magic show (up on stage!)? ~ No, never.  technically, they are illusionists. ;-)  But, i've never been on stage with them either.

11. March 24 is also the birthday of Steve McQueen and Clyde Barrow. Do you like Westerns or gangster movies?  If so, what is your favorite? ~ "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly" and the "Seven Samurai" are some of the best movies ever made!  Although, i do confess that i enjoy "The Godfather" series.  But neither of these genres come close to my preference for Science Fiction.

12. (Really random)  What U.S. state that you've never visited would you like to visit someday? ~ You obviously don't know me all that well.  Random?  Puh-leeze. 8)  Asking me what day of the week would i be most likely found eating Dragon Fruit is random, this is just out of left field. 8)  But, to answer your question... i would really like to visit Hawaii.  I have never been there, but i have yet to see a picture of those islands - even in the show "Dog the Bounty Hunter" - that would make me say, "Get me out of here!"


Music Monday - 20100322

I miss what is typically known as "worship" time at church.  When i was a "young" Christian i remember being swept away during our times of singing.  Time, life changes, and my own sin issues have all dulled the edge.  I am not proud of this, as a matter of fact i lament that this has happened to me.  I still enjoy singing to my lord and Savior, but for now at least, it feels like i am lacking somewhat, and it has been this way for a while now.  But the time of worship is not limited to when the congregation belts out a few songs (be they contemporary or old-time hymns).  The time of instruction from the Pulpit and the receipt of said schooling is also a part of the worship of Christ.

Yesterday during the preaching/teaching portion of the service it was like the waters were flowing again.  This has not been limited to just yesterday at our new church, which makes me very glad. 8)  The series we are going through of late is titled "Crazy love".  While i am not a big fan of "gimicky" sermon series', the content has been refreshingly God centered, and not man centered.  Although God has not using every part of every sermon in my life, He has been speaking to me about several things and i spend some time jotting down notes - which really helps me retain what He is showing me so much more.  Anyway, i approached our new Pastor (whom i have known almost as long as i have known my Beloved) to share somethings that i believe God has been leading me to do.  He advised that he would share that with the Elders and we could go from there.  Although i am actually nervous about taking such a step, i am grateful that even if what i think God is leading me towards never manifests itself as i think it should, it is a step forward.  Just as a ship on the ocean cannot be steered unless it is moving, so it is with me.

While none of the songs sung during service "struck me" to use today, an "oldie", but a "goodie" came to mind...

Take Me In
Petra Praise: The Rock Cries Out - 1989
Words and music by Dave Browning

Take me past the outer courts
Into the Holy place
Past the brazen altar
Lord I want to see Your face
Pass me by the crowds of people
The priests who sing Your praise
I hunger and thirst for Your righteousness
And it's only found one place

Take me in to the Holy of Holies
Take me in by the blood of the Lamb
Take me in to the Holy of Holies
Take the coal, cleanse my lips, here I am
Take the coal, cleanse my lips, here I am

If one is on a path to where ever God is leading them... there is no better place than to be in His presence.


Friday Ramblings and youthful influences

When i am unsure what to write about i've made a list of things to pull up.  Today may be shorter than i had originally intended because it's just been a whirlwind of spinning plates and juggling spoons.  Anyway, let's get started...

I don't remember exactly when i saw the movie The Razor's Edge (1984), but i know it was sometime after 19-October 1984 because that is when it was released.  It must have been in the theater because i don't remember watching it more than once.  I remember being captivated by Larry's struggles.  Billy Murray did an outstanding job.  I was sucked in watching this privileged young man left everything behind to go and serve in World War I, and how that war changed him.  Opened his eyes in many ways.  The movie is not an action packed Bourne super thriller, but i didn't need or want that at the time.  Larry comes home to see just how shallow (he and) his peers were.  From there Larry pursues the meaning of his life and enlightenment. It really spoke to me.

When i watched this movie for the first time i was not yet a Christian, but there are certain truths that resonated.  Happiness is not going to be found in either the pursuit of, or possession of, wealth.  That an honest day of work can be very gratifying.  I don't remember how the movie ended, and i am reluctant to run out and buy it on DVD, but i am pretty sure i would like to at least Netflix it.

While waxing nostalgic i looked it up to re-familiarize myself with the movie.  I can "feel" the Budhist and New Age overtones and am amazed once again at what God has done and worked through to reach me.  This is not the only movie that the main character is seeking to seek spiritual knowledge that God has used in my life, and yet i have not been drawn to the undertone of such spiritual knowledge.  For whatever reason God has given me my heart's desires in such endeavors in my relationship with Him.  And for that i will eternally grateful.  Although, i still struggle with my own efforts (thank God for grace).

I need to wrap this up for today, but i have been made aware of the re-release of the book "The Holiness of God" by R.C. Sproul. For me this book is something i have wanted to read for some time... but i keep piling books up on my nightstand... the bookshelf is bare, but the nightstand is going to injure someone someday.


Luck of the Random Dozen

1. On a scale of 1-10, how superstitious are you, honestly? ~ Maybe a 2.  I've done things like drive around the block so my odometer doesn't stop on '666', and things like that.  but i can count on one hand how many instances like that, that i remember.

2.  Julius Caesar is quoted as saying, "I came, I saw, I conquered." Which  circumstance or experience of yours does this saying best describe? ~LOL, nothing comes to mind actually.  A lifetime of making it through with some kind of effort and no sense of complete victory.  To me this saying is reflective of the sense of overwhelming victory.  One of complete domination of the task or experience... and i cannot really say that about anything that comes to mind.

3.  If I peeked in on your day like a mischievous little leprechaun, at  what time would I most likely find you blogging? ~ Hmm... that truly varies from day to day, but if i've not posted or completed my train of thought for a blog by lunchtime, it will probably not get posted that day.

4. Re springing  forward for Daylight Saving Time, is there anything you've ever been  really early or really late for? ~ I used to get to church about four hours early... but then i was on the set up crew... so that probably doesn't count.  My 11th grade English class... i was REALLY bad at English, and i REALLY didn't like my teacher, so i made a conscious effort to be late for his class every morning (it was my 1st period class).  One day, i sat with a friend of mine who was in the same class, in the cafeteria until the late bell rang, then we went to the Library where we sat until five minutes before the class was to end.  We walked in and there was a substitute!  We weren't marked late! LOL

5. What are you most looking  forward to concerning Spring? ~ Warmer weather, taking my beloved on some walks, the Easter season, Mother's Day... rainy days... being able to open up the windows to allow the fresh air to blow through the house...

6. Shamrocks are the national  flower of Ireland and are picked on St. Patrick's Day and worn on the  lapel or shoulder. Do you wear green on St. Patty's Day ~ Yes i do, but this year i realized that i did not own a green shirt.  I know, weird.  So while i was out running errands last night i picked me up one. 8)  And just so my blog doesn't get "pinched today, i have sprinkled green in many of my little buttons. 8)

7. One  of Caesar's assassins, Casca, said, "But, for my own part, it was Greek  to me," which of course means he didn't understand something. Probably  his own lines in the play. Anyway, what is something that is "Greek to  you," something incomprehensible or indecipherable? ~ Women.  I mean it.  How can you all spend so much time talking all around a subject and then not get to the point?  Why is it that if your hair is giving you trouble you (might) cry about it?  How can you have a closet full of clothes and/or shoes and not have anything to wear?  Why is it that women (not necessarily all women) do not understand the need for men to wrestle and bond over competition?  All of these are generalizations, and not all women do these things mentioned here... but women, even my Beloved Wife, are "Greek" to me.  But i do know this about my Beloved, she truly completes me... even if i don't understand her. 8)

8. Is March  behaving more like a lion or a lamb where you live ~ It really began with a roar, but it has settled down into it's mid-day nap.

9. "An extra  yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the  autumn is all that we ask in return for dazzling gifts. We borrow an  hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months  later." -Winston Churchill.  If you had one extra hour per day every  day, what would you do with it? ~ Wow... this has been a dream of mine forever... that or an extra day of the week... or even extra day a month.  Right now my priorities would be in spending that time with just my Beloved.  We do not get enough one on one time in my opinion.  The extra hour may not be directly used for that one on one time though.  It will most likely have to be used to get more of the other things done around the house and with the kids that there just isn't time for.

10. Legend says that every  Leprechaun has a pot of gold hidden deep in the Irish countryside. Aside  from real gold or money, what material item would be in your dream pot  of gold? ~ I can honestly say nothing came immediately to mind... but after some thought, i wouldn't mind having some kind of magic device (since we are talking about hypothetical magical situations) that would help me get all of those little jobs done around the house.  Need the tile replaced in the shower?  Poof.  Need to paint the living room?  Poof.  You get the idea.

11. "The best things are nearest: breath in your  nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand,  the path of God just before you." Robert Louis Stevenson. Look around  you right now and tell us about something essential or beautiful very  near you that you take for granted every day. ~ Time with my children and Beloved.  Often i am tired or just want to spend time doing something that i am interested in.  Someday, sooner than i may fully realize, they may not be interested in spending time with me (the children, hopefully not my Beloved).

12. Just for a bit  o' fun, click here  (www.blogthings.com/irishnamegenerator/) and then report your Irish  name.  I love it! ~ "Liam O'Brien" ~~~ I've always liked the name Ian and have often thought of changing it... but then no one would call me that... do it would be a waste.


All over the map ramblings

My inner "Geek" is enjoying the anticipation of the next Tron Movie. When i was on active duty the 20th Anniversary of the original movie came out on DVD and i made it a point to pick up a copy when the price came down a notch.  Disney has been working on, and will be releasing, the next movie Tron Legacy.  It will come out in theaters on 20101217.  This may be a movie i actually go out of my way to watch on IMAX somewhere. LOL  When my beloved and i took the family to Disney World a few years ago i spent a good amount of time looking for the Tron trading pin, only to realize that a limited release pin is only available on line.  Well, i am hoping to repeat said trip later this year, and i will be on the lookout for the new pins for this movie.  I did eventually find one, and it is proudly displayed on my badge lanyard for work.  I wanted to share the trailer here, but you will have to visit the official site (http://disney.go.com/tron/) if you want to see more, or become a fan on Facebook (click on 'become a fan' to the left).  I can; however, post a picture of the painted up Monorails from Disney.  This is a picture from their Disney Parks blog.

My writing of late has been somewhat sidetracked.  I've been able to get some progress made, but i've gotten a little discouraged as i have realized that, although many have told me they like my stories, i am unable to expound out the detail found in so many published books (such as Kal Jerico : Lasgun Wedding). I am not sure if that is a bad thing or not.  Since i am not worried about being published it may not be, but if i ever hope to be so...)  Anyway, it's sort of caused "writer's block' as i find myself wanting to expound on the ideas i have for the next couple of installments (which are already written, but not put out for reading on the web), but just not sure how to do so.  I hope this blockage clears up soon... i am running out of "queued" material.

For at least the past ten years my beloved has been asking me to go get a sleep study done.  Several times she has woken me up from what i thought was a deep sleep to let me know that i was snoring, or that i had stopped breathing.  To be completely honest i was skeptical of the breathing part.  The snoring part i always thought that was just a part of sleeping.  Finally, about a month ago i broached the subject with my doctor because i was feeling pretty run down but no fever, etc.  He referred me to a sleep study clinic and my first study was about two weeks ago.  A few days later i get a call from the doctor's office to ask that i come in for my follow up the next day.  I thought that they just were not aware of the follow up appointment i already scheduled for four days later.  No, they were aware of it, but would like for me to come in the next day anyway.  Turns out, not only do i have sleep apnea, but apparently i also experience 'nocturnal seizures'. 8| A second sleep study, with a CPAP machine showed improvement with the apnea, but it also confirmed the seizures.  I am scheduled for a follow up with a Neurologist in the coming days.  I could blog about this for sometime, but needless to say this has me concerned.  But i have also been reminded of all that God has brought me through to where i am today.  It is all in His hands.

Last night, on my Google Reader, i saw a blog entry from Joshua Harris titled "Bad Idea: Minding Sin More Than the Savior".  Now his blog entry is a quote from Thomas Brooks' book "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices", but the quote he used really got me thinking.
"The first device that Satan has to keep souls in a sad, doubting, and questioning condition, and so making their life a hell, is by causing them to be still poring and musing upon sin, to mind their sins more than their Savior; yes, so to mind their sins as to forget, yes, to neglect their Savior, that, as the Psalmist speaks, 'The Lord is not in all their thoughts' (Psalm 10:4). Their eyes are so fixed upon their disease, that they cannot see the remedy, though it be near; and they do so muse upon their debts, that they have neither mind nor heart to think of their Surety. A Christian should wear Christ in his bosom as a flower of delight, for he is a whole paradise of delight. He who minds not Christ more than his sin, can never be thankful and fruitful as he should."
This hit home for me.  I am all for owning up that my own sin is what caused Christ to have to die upon the cross, but i have not always taken it through to the next step and beyond.  The salvation that His death on my behalf has procured.  His grace, His mercy, his gift.  This is what i hope to meditate upon further through the rest of the week.  Thank you Pastor Harris for sharing that.