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Friday, December 28, 2007

Welcome from Bullville, NY

Claire and I are in New York State visiting family between Christmas and New Year's.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Picked up my one-year chip at CR

Last night I received my one-year chip from Celebrate Recovery at Perimeter Church. I have one year of sobriety from my addiction.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Leadership is necessarily an exercise of authority, but need not be an exercise of power.

My quote, lifted heavily from Eugene H. Peterson's preface to 2nd Corinthians in The Message. Also, see my quotes page.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Status Update

Currently listening to: Paramore's "All We Know is Falling" album.
Currently reading: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Current bible book reading: Deuteronomy in The Message translation.
Current favorite TV show: House - but it's falling in my esteem this season.
Current home project: many, but two main: switch from septic to sewer (hiring that one out) & constructing a home-made vise to use for other projects.
Current internet projects: mind-mapping (Mindmeister, for example) & converting website over to NVU editing.
Current work clients: Manitowoc Crane Group, Sonoco Flexible Packaging

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Bridge Building Project

We've spanned the creek in our backyard with a bridge. The main deck was salvaged from a nearby home - it was an outdoor wheelchair ramp no longer needed. The ramp didn't quite span our creek - 16' wide from bank-to-bank. So I build a rough support of 4x4s - also salvaged from the woods. And then constructed a small 4' deck to span the gap. All the wood is salvaged pressure-treated wood. Home Depot sells cutout lumber for .50 to $2, depending on the length & quality.

The pre-cast concrete footings were purchased at HD for about $6 each.

Halloween Pumpkins

We carved our pumpkins on the Sunday afternoon before Halloween. Here's a photo of the finished products.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Just Gimme the Fish!

Sometimes you don't want to be taught to fish, you just want the fish. Sometimes you really don't want to know how to do something yourself, you just want it done. So you ask someone who tries to give you a primer in the subject. No! I don't want to know. Just fix it. Just give me the fish so I can move on to what's really important to me.

In moments like these, even welfare-hating conservatives become handout-seeking liberals. It should teach us to be a little more gracious with each other.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Golf vs. Bowling

I don't have many rules for life. One is: keep your score in bowling above your score in golf.

Grilling Patio

Over the past weekend I layed out a small brick patio for us to use when grilling or smoking food outside.

All [new] materials purchased at the Home Depot. Total cost: about $140.

Notice the spiral brick design. I layed that out on Excel first, to get an accurate measurement and brick count.

Monday, September 24, 2007


verbinate: to create a new verb (usually on the fly).

For example, 'googling' has become a verb meaning 'to employ google's search capability in order to quickly lookup information on a word'.

similar: verbination.

In the same vein:

verbanize: is to employ verbination in the course of your writing or speaking.
adjectivate: to create a new adjective, in the manner of verbination.
adjectivize: to employ adjectivation.

Example: Today while writing a functional specification, I realized a certain warning message could be easily circumvented by the user. By virtue of it being circumventable, it was not a particularly effective aid in controlling the input of data.

And I guess adverbate and adverbize would be applicable in their own way.

So, today I created a new word: circumventable. Feel free to use it! And please pass on verbinate and adjectivate too. I cannot take original credit for them, but googling them doesn't show up too many uses. I think I should add them to wikipedia. Is there something like 'wikiing'? What about those obsessed with getting credit in wiki-world? Are there OCD people going around constantly editing wiki articles for obscure information? Probably. That's something that could become seriously addictive for me. I'd better not start now.

Oh, I cannot help it. I'm going to put in verbinate, verbination & verbanize and adjectivate, adjectivation & adjectivise in wiki now.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Summer's Over

Remnants of a recent hurricane have brought much needed rain, and much needed relief from the summer's heat and humidity. This morning I drove to church without the air conditioning on! I'm even feeling brief sensations of 'chilly' in the nights and early mornings. I think we're done seeing 100+ degree temperatures for the year.

It's the time for our Gwinnett County fair and in two weeks the Duluth Fall Festival, two events I look forward to all year. We all went to the fair yesterday afternoon. The weather was beautiful, people were there - but it wasn't crowded. We ate fair food - sausage & peppers, corn dogs, funnel cakes, and, new to us this year, deep fried oreo cookies. Delicious.

I got to spend some quality time with the cattle - especially an exhibit of 5 or 6 yoke of oxen. I had a lot of fun talking to them and scratching their necks. Two were very talkative. And my kids got to get up close & personal with the animals I grew up around.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Check one off my life list ;)

Last night I received a 'chip' for completing my 12-step recover program through Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-based 12-step recovery process for anyone struggling with 'hurts, habits or hangups'. I attend this program at Perimeter Church in Duluth, GA.

It marks the way along a long process for me. Not a point of completion, but a milepost to mark progress along the way. Someday I'll write my testimony and make it publicly available; I'm just not ready yet.

So this is a very good thing. Not something I have always been looking forward to, but a good thing - hence the joke about my life list: Climb Mt. Everest. Check! Sing the National Anthem at a ballgame. Check! Complete a 12-Step Program. Check!

Sometimes you need to laugh to keep from...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

God Speaks!

How does God speak to us?

Many sermons have been preached on this, and there are lots of biblical citings on it. Here's my personal testimony:

God speaks to me through timing and arranging coincidences - what I call godincidences. For example, bringing up the same topic from multiple sources - like in my previous post on forgiveness: a CR lesson, a chapter read, a bible reading from my devotional time, a radio sermon - all coming together on forgiveness. Followed by an 'ah ha' moment that comes from the Spirit within me. That's the holy confirmation that this is from God.

Another way is through answered prayer. Sometimes in the course of prayer I'll offer up a problem to God. I'll invite him into the solution, rather than stubbornly fighting on under my own strength. I'll simply ask for help in forming a solution. And then zap the solution comes to me, all in a rush, in a timing much faster than I could have arranged on my own. And it all makes sense immediately - by revelation rather than by step-by-step analysis.

That's how I know something is given by the spirit: the speed of understanding. All aspects come in parallel, perceived by me at one time and in a whole.

Contrast that with temptations that come from the devil: they are step-by-step analyses of a situation. Somewhere in there is a lie or perversion of truth or deliberate obfuscation of truth. I don't pick up on the lie and believe the final analysis.


Last week, our Celebrate Recover topic was Forgiveness. Last night I picked up a book I hadn't read from in nearly nine months. The chapter topic was... Forgiveness.

Last week at CR, someone quoted how bitterness is like a poison you take and hope the other person dies. Last night the quote at the top of the next unread chapter was... resentment is like a poison you take and hope the other person dies.

I get the hint!

In my walk with Jesus, he's taken me to the point where I need to make my amends. This has two main aspects: forgiving those who've hurt me, and asking forgiveness of those I've hurt.

Often discussions of forgiveness swing back and forth through the two aspects, greatly confusing me. So at this point, I'm going to focus on forgiving others for hurts. There are then three groups to forgive: 1) others who've hurt me; 2) God, whom I mistakenly blame for hurting me; 3) myself, whom I need to forgive of past mistakes.

The point is to purge my body of that poison, bitterness and resentment. It's getting in the way of me healing and growing.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


My sense of security in an intimate relationship is directly related to my confession of failures, sins, faults and inadequacies. By confessing them [to that person], I remove the anxiety provoked in me by the prospect of their discovery. Once this anxiety is removed, I am free to participate [fully] in the relationship without need to manipulate it. I no longer need to manipulate [people] for the purpose of preventing discovery of my faults. Thus I’m free to focus on the needs of the other person; free to engage my curiosity and join the other person where they are [as opposed to dragging them to where I am].

I am free to disagree without criticizing.
I am free to agree without co-opting.
I am free to postpone without fear of retribution.

Monday, August 6, 2007


Grass grows green. New leaves emerge;
And with them the life-new air of spring.
Yet in it I can detect a whiff of Winter’s decay.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Heading North

I'll be in Shady Grove (Greencastle), PA for a few days working, then a quick visit to New York to see my family there.

Over the weekend, I was working in our back yard, and having fun in the stream with Sam. We've had a lot of rain, so the stream is running strongly. The bed changes every day, bringing in new things to explore. And, of course, there is always broken glass to extract and throw away.

Occasionally I would feel a prick in my right foot's big toe. It would always be in the same spot, seeming like a small stone stuck there. After the fourth or fifth annoyance of this feeling, I examined my shoe (a grey croc). Nothing inside. Underneath I saw a small speck on the sole. I rubbed at it, but it wouldn't come off. I pulled at it - I had a thorn stuck through the shoe and poking out just a little into my toe.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

President Emeritus

If Hillary gets elected, Bill can be President Emeritus. We've never had one of those. I think it sounds better than "roving Ambassador for America".

And, speaking of politics, why don't the Democrats just get on with it and announce that Obama will be Hillary's Veep. Or, maybe the other way around. And then appoint Al Gore as Administrator of the EPA.

On a completely different note, Linda and the kids are in Florida this week on vacation: Amelia Island. Linda found a fishing charter service specializing in serving the disabled community:

Since the kids' bathroom is not being used for a couple of days, I took the opportunity to reset some floor tiles and grout in all the cracks and holes.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Screwtape says "Think"!

I'm reading C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters. Well, listening to the CDs in my car. If you don't know it, the gimmick is these are letters written by a senior demon, Screwtape, to his junior nephew, Wormwood, giving advice about how to corrupt the soul of one man in 1940's England.

At one point, Screwtape acknowledges the risks they face now that their man has become a Christian. So Screwtape advises his nephew to keep the man thinking about God, but don't let him turn it into action. As long as he's just thinking about it, then there's no real harm done.

So that's my take-away: often I get caught up in the thinking (or in the iterative search for perfection of the thinking), and not in the doing. As James says, faith without works is dead. Don't wait until I'm worthy or 'good enough', just step out in faith and be useable by God. My job is to act, and leave the results to Him.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bumper Sticker I'd Like to Have...

(especially in Atlanta):

Warning: this vehicle slows for yellow lights, stops for red.


De Soto Falls hike

On Friday, I took a vacation day and brought Sam and Genevieve up to DeSoto Falls, GA. We hiked to the lower falls, then back toward the upper falls. We didn't go all the way up, but the kids did a great job of hiking - over a mile each. We splashed in the water and found flowers, trees and critters.

Although we didn't go there on this hike, I love going above the upper falls to the upper-upper falls, where water cascades over a rounded rock face. I like to sit up there and have lunch. There's also a small, 15 foot or so, fall of water that makes a natural shower. That's a nice refreshment on a hot day. Last summer I was on the ridge above the falls and stumbled into a field of wild blueberries.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Hartsville, SC

Claire, Alex & I left Duluth this morning after a breakfast of Einstein Bagels and coffee. Well, coffee for me, anyway. Claire tried some and made quite a face :)

They are in Powertime Camp now at Summerton, SC. We had hugs and a few pictures, then I let them be brave kids in front of their friends and bunkmates.

I drove on to Hartsville to start a few days of on-site consulting for my client here. I'm listening to Holly Black's "Valiant" on CD. I'm almost done now - on disk 6 of 6. I'm pretty much caught up in the story now. Next on tap is an CD lecture series on C.S. Lewis' writings.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

state of the back yard

Sunday night we had a big rainstorm come through Duluth. I was home with Sam and Gen. We watched the wind whip trees back and forth while the rain came down in sheets. Yesterday, Linda and Sam walked the yard to survey what damage was done. Our neighbors lost a large tree limb. We suffered nothing as such. Last night I got to walk about as well. Again, Sam accompanied.

I saw where the water had rushed now the hillside, leaving small contour lines of debris as it slowed in its descent of the back yard. In the 'way back', in the stream, the water levels had returned to pre-drought levels. This restored the 'gurgle' to our gurgle waterfall. The stream bed had been scoured here, and filled with deposits of mud, sand and gravel there. Some of our civil construction projects had been washed out or damaged - some paving stones simply floated away.

Sam uncovered a small snake - turned out to be a juvenile red bellied water snake. It was very aggressive. He handled the situation well - was appropriately cautious. I made the snake go away (euphemism).

We walked up and down the stream bed in our crocs, Sam throwing pebbles and me collecting all the new shards of broken glass brought by the water.

This rain was much needed by the trees and plants. We've had a nice mix of frequent soaking rains, as well as this latest deluge. The heavy rains should help with reservoir levels. Now we wait for a break in the rain dry enough to allow us to mow the lawn.

The stream bed in March, 2007:

Sunday, July 1, 2007


What has captured your attention lately?
What's the best gift you've received lately?

Just some thoughts. No coherence.

Today I went to North Point church for the 9:00am service.
Here's Andy Stanley's main point, but I leave off the application:

Attention influences Direction, and Direction determines Destination.

Notice (going backwards) that it's not our intention that determines our Destination. It's our actual Direction. And then, the Direction we take is influenced by our Attention. Our attention can be accidental (something grabbed my attention / someone captured my attention) or it can be intentional: I'm paying attention now, I'm giving my attention to this topic.

Makes me think of Wayne Dyer's concept of Intentional Living.

posting de premiere

Hello - first blog posting. I'll need to figure out where this fits in my webography.