Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Happy Birthday Chunk

Last year I celebrated by 37th on May 19th, the same day that Episode III came out. So, my girls (Cindy, Katie and Megan) thought it only appropriate to give me a Star Wars Birthday. It does, however, pay to proof the cake before you bring it home. "Sloth loves Chunk!"

Fishing with Barbie

Another picture from last year that I have come across. Notice the manly Barbie fishing pole!

Megan and Daddy on Assateague Island

Going through some photos of last year and came across this one with Megan and Daddy on their trip to Assateague Island. And yes, we saw some wild ponies.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Thinking of Rick

Just read Rick's Current Vibe post over at Good Coffee this morning. Haven't you just been there? Frank Herbert's Dune had the saying that "Fear is the mind killer." I believe that "business is the joy stealer" and when my daytimer is at its fullest is when my joy is at its dimmest.

When anyone in my family is trodden down and worn out, I like to try and encourage them and make them smile. So, here is my attempt. I found this on Todd's Word this morning:

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

and for the humor (and keeping in spirit of Good Coffee):

The Ins and Outs of It

"In it, not of it," the statement was made
As Christian One faced the world, much afraid.
"In it, not of it," the call was made clear,
But Christian One got something stuck in his ear.
"Not in it, or of it" was the thing that he heard.
And knowing the world was painfully absurd,
He welcomed the safety of pious retreat,
And went to the potluck for something to eat.

Now Christian Two, he knew what to do,
He'd show those fundies a thing or two!
How will the world ever give Christ a try
If we don't get in there and identify?
So "In it, and of it," he said in his car,
As he pulled in and stopped at a popular bar.
"I'll tell them the truth as soon as I'm able
To get myself out from under this table."

Now along comes Christian Three jogging for Jesus,
In witnessing sweats made of four matching pieces.
His earphones are playing a hot Christian tune
About how the Lord is coming back soon.
"Not in it, but of it," he turns down the hill
And stops in for a bite at the Agape Grill.
Like the gold on the chain of his "God Loves You" bracelet,
He can have the world without having to face it.

While way up in heaven they lament these conditions
That come from changing a few prepositions.
"Not in it, or of it," Christian One thought.
But who in the world will know that he's not?
"In it, and of it," thought Christian Two.
But who in the world will know that he knew?
"Not in it, but of it," thought Christian Three.
But who in the world watches Christian TV?
And Jesus turns to Gabriel, shaking His head.
"'In it, not of it,' wasn't that what I said?"

John Fischer

Thanks Amy!!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Update on Tyler

Last week, I posted a bit about the Lindsay family with some links about their 10 year son, Tyler. Friday, The Virginian Pilot published an article about him with a link to some video. Friday, the Tonight Show contacted their family. This is really exciting! I will keep you up to date on the happenings.

Tough Week, Spirtually Speaking

I was on a spirtual roller coaster this week. Work has been a real drain. I learned a new label: Christian Sub-culture. Just trying to find out the scope of that label and how it is applied got me wrapped around the axle Wednesday night. Bible study and orchestra rehearsal that night were zero fun because my mind was grinding on that phrase. Thursday morning I was on my knees in tears because I was convicted that I enjoy the safety of sharing my faith in Church and am not reaching out to the lost world. Thankfully, Friday was "Family Movie and Pizza Night." We (Cindy (wife), Katie (daughter - 8), Megan (daughter - 6 and I) watched Disney's "The Ice Princess." It was a sweet enough movie, and the CiCi's pizza was delicious. Saturday, I made the mistake of checking work email, but, committed to not take any aciton until monday morning.

And then Sunday.

It seems that the best worship I experience is when I get Chuck out of the way and just praise God. The music, that on wednesday night was so distant, elevated me into His presence. Yes, there were more tears, but they were tears of release and of...joy.

You alone are my passion forever
Song of my soul, desire of my heart
You alone are my passion, my treasure
I love You for all that You are
To the ends of the earth I will follow

There's nothing that I will not do
You alone are my reason for living
Jesus, my passion is You
My life, my love, my God

You are my life, my love, my God


In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Multiple Netflix Queue

I see that Rick has posted a bit about his Netflix queue over at Good Coffee. I have been with Netflix since January of 2000: does anyone remember the yellow and black website (Irmo HS colors, yuck)? I miss the “it’s in the mail” feature. After you mail your disc back, you’d go online and select this feature next to the returned disc and your next queued disc was process. I know, personally, that I may have fibbed it a bit so that my delivery times would be quicker (after all, back then, there were no local distribution centers. They all came from California).

The feature that I like most is the multiple queues. I actually resisted queues. All of my movies went into one big stinking pile. The problem was, I would reorder my queue so much, some of my choices were in queue limbo. Not only that, if you put a series disc in your queue, you would get a deluge of that series (which, can get overwhelming).

I currently have four queues (I am still on the original four our at a time plan): New Releases, Series, Family Movie Night and movies Cindy does not want to see. Each one is limited to one out at a time. Before, I had to manage my Family Movie Night movies to make sure that an appropriate movie had been queued to the top. No longer to I get the series flood (and I am thankful, because the Greatest American Hero did not hold up over time). Cindy and I get to watch the movies that we couldn’t really afford to go see in the theater (tickets, $25…concessions, $25…babysitter for two girls for four hours $30…seeing a stinker of a film after paying $80…priceless).

So, if you are a Netflixer and have not taken advantage of the multiple queues, check them out.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

An Idle Degree

I graduated from the University of South Carolina in December of 1990. I remember graduation night because, compared to my high school graduation, it was rather impersonal. I remember walking across that stage as my name was called, pausing to take my diploma (or facsimile thereof), shaking hands with the presenter and walking off the stage. It was done. Four and a half years, two majors later, I was the proud owner of a baccalaureate in Music Education.

But something had stirred deep in my being during my final semester. Call it the effects of Student Teaching, but I awoke one day to the realization that my current course was steering me to a life of complete academia. One day I was a student, the next, a teacher. The sum and total of my life (professionally speaking) would equal school.

It was this epiphany that kept me working as an assistant manager for a local Blockbuster Video. This was the “glory” year: my first time out on my own in the big wide world. Earning a paycheck and paying rent, groceries and utilities. Rooming with one of my best pals and receiving free cable. Ah…life was good.

From Blockbuster, I joined the Air Force. I wanted to load bombs on airplanes (at least I thought). I became a crew chief on F-15s, and, got stationed in Okinawa Japan. Even though it was hard work, it was rewarding. It was guy work. You come home all stinky and smelly, hydraulic fluid still in your hair. And, I got to do cool stuff like help the pilot get strapped in, participate in launching and recovering a jet (you know, the waving your arms part) , refueling a jet an engine is still running. Arr! Arr! Arr! Arr!

After the Air Force, my wife was instrumental in pointing to me to my current career with computers. “Do something you love.” I was worried that I had no formal training in computer repair or programming. For the most part, it was self taught. I joke that I went to the University of Barnes and Noble, because many times I would run down there to look through one of the “dead tree” computer books for a solution (thank goodness for Google).

We home school our two daughters, Katie (8) and Megan (6). They are fortunate to have one of the best private violin teachers for a mom, and so our music appreciation is actually Violin and Piano lessons. Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day, and I was home. Megan and Cindy were finishing violin lesson, and I could hear some frustration over a rhythm. I asked Cindy if I could help and she let me take over. I realized what the problem was. The fist four measures of the music had a repeated rhythm pattern, but the last four were different. She was not transitioning to second pattern. Putting down her violin, I had her clap with me the pattern. I turned on the metronome and eventually made the transition. I had her then clap rhythm and sing the pitches together and then alone. Finally, she picked the violin up and played the correct pattern and we finished the piece.

Until yesterday, I never used my music degree. It may have been simple rhythms, but for me, it was dad’s integration into the home-school day that meant everything.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Spirtual Shower Mold

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word. Psalms 119: 9

Men, do you cleanse your own bathroom? Not just a superficial "swifer and your done" clean, but a "down on your hands and knees with a sponge and some chlorox" clean? Once you get down to that level, you notice a lot of interesting things about your bathroom that you may not have seen before. I have observed, for instance, that my wife sure does loose a lot of hair, and it gets all over the place. Shower mold is easier to address on a daily, rather than quarterly, basis. And worst of all, I am not as straight a "shooter" as I once believed. The bathroom can be a really filthy, dirty place.

David examines the life of a young man and asks "How will he cleanse his way?" The young man's past looks pretty filthy, and his future doesn't look any better. But, "by taking heed thereto according to thy word" there is hope for the young man. "Taking heed" can be a cautionary warning, but it can also mean circumspection. Circumspection is examining something from all sides. In the case of the young man, he's not just looking at his life from a single direction, but from all around, and seeing how it harmonizes with God's word.

Shower mold, dealt with it daily, it is not a problem. But when you stop wiping down the shower after use, the mold will have a perfect environment to grow again. My sins have been forgiven by Jesus on Calvary. I know that his blood covers my iniquities: past, present and future. I know that God considers me his Child. However, truth be told, I also know that I am guilty of "turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness." I might be a really nice guy, but I know that my "way" will become moldy when I do not circumspectly examine it against what I know to be true, the word of God.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Jazz Wonder

Keep your eyes out for Tyler, Ryan and Christina Lindsay. These three, ranging from age 6 through 10, are just incredible musicians. The oldest, Tyler, just went up with his dad to New York to go to the NEA Jazz Masters Awards. He got a chance to go up and just bring the house down and play with legends like Jimmy Heath and Paquito D'Rivera. Ryan plays Trombone that's bigger than he is and Christina has a small tuba covered with Princess Stickers.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Lazy Saturday

Talk about a Lazy Saturday. It's raining in Chesapeake, and I am supposed to be cleaning out a closet. Unfortunately (at least for the task), this closet contains 5 boxes of comic books that I have kept since college. I started collecting the Wally West Flash starting with issue 21 because one of my pals got a letter to the editor published. Can you guess which Loafer?

Weekend Tag

I just saw over at Rickwell's that I have been tagged to confess 5 guilty pleasures and then tag 5 additional folk.
  1. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwhiches at 10:00 pm. Not sure why, but PBJ still tastes as good to me now as when I was five.
  2. The new Battlestar Galactica. Simply the best military science fiction ever developed. An I will put that up against Aliens.
  3. For Better or For Worse - I have been reading this strip since high school.
  4. Starbucks Grande Extra Hot Non-Fat No Whip Mocha - The bane of my weight loss efforts, but oh, so good.
  5. Instore browsing for Manly Gadgets that I will probably never buy, but wish I would.

Being new, Rick has tagged most of the folks that I know, so I will tag my buddy Laura.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Morning Coffee

5:45am - My Cuisinart DGB600 kicks off, grinding the coffee beans that I had carefully measured the night before. The ground coffee is deposited into the basket, and shortly thereafter, water begins to pass between the coffee, the filter and into the thermal decanter below.

5:51am - "Beeps of happiness" chime, alerting any sleepy heads remaining in bed that a hot, fresh beverage awaits them.

6:01am - Showered, shaved, dressed and ready to go, I come down to the fresh aroma of hazelnut that fills my kitchen. I love my coffee. And even though I will drink coffee throughout the day, the first pot in the morning is always the best.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A Practical Use For Blogs

This week I have discovered a practical use for blogs: keeping in touch with old friends. This week, I have felt as if I have spent time with three of my highschool pals by reading their blogs (Pacific Grits, The Word of Todd and Mmmm, That's Good Coffee...).

What a wonderful week it has been.