Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Winter time

So it's Winter here in Kyle...
And the air conditioner came on in the house. It's about 75 today. I love it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Raw Worship

"David, son of Jesse" you can almost hear Michal exclaim "what in ****'s name were you thinking?!? You're the king of Israel for crying out loud. You know those historians are writing down everything you do and the royal artists had plenty of time to get you inscribed on a scroll in all your glory. And what about your sons, you know the ones that are starting to look at you with shifty eyes while sharpening their spears. They're going to use this to their advantage. If my father were alive, he would pin you to the wall no matter what song you were playing."

David's response: "I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes." (2 Sam. 6:21-22).

You see, David had finally gotten the Ark of the Covenant back to God's holy city after previous attempts had failed. As he entered the city he disrobed while leaping and dancing before the Lord. Probably not too far out of line with most wives' reaction, Michal didn't like the idea of her husband, the king, disrobing and dancing in the streets in the presence of other women especially the lowly servant girls. In the church today, most people would seriously frown (at the very least) over someone worshiping God while wearing so little clothing. And the dancing would be taboo as well. But my point today is not about dress codes or choreography in our church worship services.

The idea I want to focus on is in David's response. He didn't just humble himself before the Lord. He humiliated himself. His celebration could be described as primal, emotional, and utterly unkingly. He bypassed respect for God, flew past awe of the Lord, and went straight into the realm of the considering himself slime on the nose of the algae that feeds the pond scum in comparison to the Almighty Creator of the Universe. His actions reflected the status of his heart. Before the Lord, he felt as nothing; opening himself fully to the Spirit that lived within him. His leg and arm flailings serving as primal moans that only the Spirit could interpret, faithfully relaying David's message to God.

Have you experienced such worship? How often do we humble ourselves before God to the point of humiliation? How often do we let our emotions pour out before the only one who can truly understand them anyway? Do we pour out ourselves before God? Do we pour out ourselves before God in the presence of our fellow man? David didn't celebrate in secret. He praised God in the streets in front of his whole kingdom. If the light within you is only visible when you're in the closet with the door shut and the lights out, then you're working too hard to hide it under that bushel.

How can we show our deepest emotions (joy, sorrow, gratitude, fear) in our worship before God? Is it by raising our hands, clapping, or jumping up and down? Do we have to cry or smile or laugh? Does it require any physical manifestation at all? I'm really not sure. But I know that I'm not humiliating myself before God because I'm too worried about humiliating myself before my brothers and sisters. If I raise my hands will people look at me funny? Am I moving around too much when I'm singing? If I close my eyes, will people think I've gone to sleep (I wouldn't be surprised if I sometimes sing in my sleepJ).

Who am I compared to King David, a man after God's own heart? If he can dance in the streets in his underwear, I can certainly allow my emotions to come out in my worship in some form. If I let anything or anyone come between me and my God in my worship, then I am not humiliating myself enough. Whether its clothes or distractions or fear or the shifty eyes of my children, I should lay myself bare before the Lord saying "Here I am Lord; I'm nothing before you; take me as I am and mold me into the likeness of your Son." Oh yeah, and Jesus prayed so hard that sweat fell like blood from his head. I think I could find it within myself to let out a little "barbaric yawp" once in a while.

I will not find this in myself except through complete surrender to His Spirit living within me. And I won't find it if my only search is on Sunday morning. If my entire life is not surrendered to His will, then there will be too much of me and not enough of Him.

Come, Lord Jesus! Let me hunger and thirst for you. Open my heart to the humility that David demonstrated that I may empty myself and be filled with your Spirit. Fill me that I may be wholly yours.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Solving Life’s Puzzles

Life Lessons in Solving a Rubik's Cube

[This is meant to be a visual demonstration. Imagine me standing in front of a class or at someone's door and speaking text similar to this while solving the Rubik's cube. My plan is to go door to door and use this as a "gimmick" or hook to get people interested in a Bible study. Constructive comments are certainly welcome.]

Life offers us many puzzles to solve. In fact, our life in its entirety may be seen as a puzzle. We have to know how all the pieces fit together or what moves to make to get to the solution. Remember the Rubik's cube from the early '80s. It was very popular for a while and one of the most popular puzzles of all time. If you look past the initial insanity of trying to solve the Rubik's cube you find that there is an easy shortcut to solve it. Turning one of the faces diagonally and applying the proper lateral force will allow you to disassemble the cube and reassemble it in the proper order. This is what's known as cheating. Another cheating method is to simply remove the stickers from all the faces and reapply them in the proper order. This would fall under the life motto of "The ends justify the means" which a civilized and moral culture should disavow. While this method gave me a slight sense of accomplishment as a child, I still hadn't solved the puzzle. Recently, my brother-in-law visited and showed me that it doesn't take a nuclear engineer to solve the Rubik's cube, just some time in an airport and a decent set of instructions (I'm sure the fact that he is a nuclear engineer helped too). His playing with the cube revitalized my interest and the next week I set out to master the puzzle myself.

Now some people are enough genius to come up with a solution on their own, but I was not one of them, neither are most people. So for me, when I decided that I wanted to solve the cube, I had to seek external wisdom. So I went seeking for some expert guidance on solving this puzzle. In life, we can muddle our way through and try to figure things out on our own. But what we end up with is just as mixed up as the cube when I would sit and fiddle with it for a few minutes making random moves or trying to keep the colors together.

It's fairly easy to solve portions of the cube with just a little fiddling. You can make a cross or an 'H' on one side or even solve one side by making it all the same color. The difficulty comes in when you need to know how to move the pieces in such a way as to solve the rest of the faces while maintaining the current order. Often the goal is to switch two pieces or move one piece to a certain location without disturbing the existing solution. Of course to do this, for a while you have to break up the order you have made. Then you have to put it back together. Moving one piece into the correct place can be as many as 10 moves of the cube faces once you near the end. However at the beginning, it is anywhere from 2-6 moves. As the amount of order in the cube increases, it becomes more difficult to maintain that order. In life, we start with basic teachings. We teach our children right from wrong. We teach them to be nice, to share, to be polite, to obey the rules, etc. As we progress in life, things get more complicated, and it takes a more complicated set of moves to maintain the order in our lives.

Often when I'm solving the cube, still being the novice that I am, I'll make a wrong move or forget where I am in the series of moves. Sometimes I realize this and remember exactly what I've done and can undo the problem and start again. Most of the time, I end up with a cube that looks not much better than when I started. It's times like these when I have to go back to the center. The method for solving the cube that I use involves starting by solving the white face first. The white face always stays on the bottom and serves as the reference point or foundation for the solution. It's very important to have a foundation in our lives. It is this foundation, this center, to which we must return when our lives become hopelessly scrambled. If I were to try to figure out how to fix the cube without this center, I would never get anywhere. By building on a foundation and building up the cube one layer at a time, I can always be assured of reaching the end. Not because of how smart or dexterous I am, but because I'm following the plan laid out by the expert. One thing about starting over is that it is never as bad as it seems. At first glance, I think I'll have to start from scratch, but when I get the foundation back in place, the rest of the pieces are often right where I left them.

What better expert for our lives than the one who made all things. Almighty God has given us his instruction book for life. He made the universe and all that is in it. He knows how it works. He knows all the twists and turns I will have to make to successfully reach my final destination in life. If I follow His plan, and build my life on his foundation, then I can work my way up the cube. When I fall or take a wrong turn, I am not lost for I have that foundation to return to and start over again.

Please don't think I'm trying to say that life is a series of legalistic moves or that Christianity is a set of rules that you must follow to get to the final destination of heaven. But there is a plan, a series of instructions provided by the Creator. In essence He is saying, "Here's how I want you to live. If you follow my plan, you'll make it to the end." He even provided the perfect example for how to live by coming to this earth Himself, in the form of man, and living a perfect life. He did this to provide a pattern for us to follow, but also to provide encouragement for us. We have a God who knows what it's like for us because he was one of us.

So many of life's problems would not be problems if we would just follow God's plan from the beginning. Even better, when we mess up, His word provides solutions for how to get back on track.

In solving the Rubik's cube, I recently fulfilled a dream from my childhood. It's one that I thought was long gone (kudos to my bro-in-law for inspiring me to do this). My adult dream is to see my children grow up and be faithful servants of the Lord and strong leaders in His kingdom. God's word provides plenty of instruction for making this happen and most of doesn't have to do with how my kids act, but with how I act.

Caveat #2: Those familiar with the Rubik's cube will know that there are different methodologies for solving the cube each with their pros and cons. This is where the analogy must end for there is only one way to the Father and that is through his Son, Jesus Christ. Many other religions and ideologies claim to have the answer to life's problems and to some extent they are beneficial in this life. But only Christ provides the necessary forgiveness and grace that is our salvation.

In closing, life is hard and complicated. We need instructions. We have those instructions. See for yourself. Pick up a Bible and study God's plan for all of us. But beware. It's dangerous, for it will change your life if you let it.


Friday, June 29, 2007

Fire and Rain

The line of a song comes to mind, "I've seen fire and I've seen rain." The fire comes in the form of tiny little insects known as fire ants. As we dance them around the yard (poisoning one mound only to have another pop up) the kids have been bitten a few times.

The rain comes in the form of torrential downpours for the past 2 weeks. Austin and surrounding areas have received lots and lots of rain especially this past week. One city called Marble Falls received about 18 inches of rain in the course of a day. It's kept the temperatures down and mostly bearable to us northwesterners. The kids have enjoyed playing in the gutters during the storms.

Sean and Joshua have made many friends and spent a lot of time outside playing. Sean is learning to ride his bike without training wheels. His first attempts went well, but he's still very cautious.

I've been spending the last week commuting to north Austin for work. It's about 1 hour each way with spurts of traffic problems along the way. Next week brings the same thing. After that it should be back to working at home for a while.

We're still getting to know the area. We've visited 2 churches and found one that we like quite a bit. We're going there again this week, but we'll probably visit down in San Marcos in a couple weeks. We are very eager to get settled in and start back to work.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Last of the Two-mores

Today is the last of our "Two-mores". After today, we're down to the "One-mores". One more Tuesday; one more Wednesday; one more Sunday worship. We're down to the last week and it gets harder and harder to think about leaving. We're making progress on the packing, but the thought of leaving all our friends and loved ones here is very hard.

The kids are taking it very well, but I'm sure this will psychologically affect them for years to come. We've started a new discipline technique with Sean. I told him he could blame grandpa (my dad) for telling me stories about how it was used on him as a kid. Whenever he gets sassy or has a bad attitude, he has to stand facing the wall with his arms out holding books while we count to 60. We may shift to exercise weights later, so as not to create a negative impression of books, but for now they are already packed. We'll see if this changes his attitude that has continued to worsen in spite of many timeouts and spankings. Other similar techniques we may try include push-ups and sit-ups. In addition to disciplining him, this will also help his physical development.

Saturday, May 05, 2007


[This was written last week on a flight back to Seattle from DC]

48 minutes out of Seattle. I just finished watching the Hillary Swank movie “Freedom Writers” on the 4 inch screen in the airline seat. I ended up in “Economy Plus” seating which has about 5 inches more leg room and it is greatly appreciated. Unfortunately I’m in the middle seat and I’m not sitting between 2 sweet little old ladies.

The movie was one of those about disadvantaged kids is a school where racial tensions are high, the teachers are just trying to make it though the day and the students are trying to make it to 18 without being shot. Ms. G. is a brand new teacher assigned to freshman and sophomore English classes. While the general theme reminded me of many other movies over the years (“Dangerous Minds”, “Stand and Deliver”, “Coach Carter”, and the dancing one with Antonio Banderas), it was still a very touching and entertaining movie. The theme was change. The students had to decide that they wanted to change their lives in the face of great odds and little encouragement from anyone other than Ms. G.

Change is hard. Sometimes change is forced on us such as with those in the Holocaust that the movie centers on. Many that survive the change come out stronger and as heroes to others as in the case of the lady (Ms. Gies?) who hid Anne Franke’s family. They are just ordinary people who inspire others to be more than what they are. The kids in the movie had a choice. They could be who they were and just accept their place in life, or they could make a change and be more and do more and possibly do more than just survive, they could thrive. These kind of changes are never easy and even unwelcome, but when we make the choice for change we open ourselves up to the possibilities of life. Another movie in this vein is “The Pursuit of Happyness” with Will Smith. I watched it recently and saw bits on the plane. If you haven’t seen it, you really must. Chris Gardner decides to be more than he is even though life keeps beating him down. The change from a life of woe to a life worth living is difficult, but it may not be the hardest choice to make.

Perhaps even more difficult is the choice to move from a life of comfort and mediocrity to a life this is spectacular. In my WASP, middle class lifestyle, I make choices every day, but these choices are often made for what is habitual and comfortable and familiar. I wear the same clothes, listen to the same music, do the same leisure activities, work at the same job, pray the same prayers, act in the same manner towards everyone around me. Everything is fine. Life is good. I’m well fed (too well). Well clothed. Well housed. Well loved and needed. I have no dreams or aspirations that I need to fulfill or at least none that I’m willing to devote the effort to pursuing. My life is all around a good one with ups and downs. I pay homage to God as the provider, but really it is me who brings home the bacon. At least that’s how I tend to see it. I don’t pray for provision of my daily bread because I’ve never had to go without (except for the 5+ hours on this plane because I didn’t have time to get something in the airport before boarding).

And yet I think of Ephesians 3:20-21 (which I will actually type in since I’m disconnected from the internet and http://www.biblegateway.com) “Now to Him who is able to do more, than all we ask or even imagine according to His power that is at work within us. To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Is a normal, comfortable life what God has in store for me. Or is there so much more that I could be tapping into. So much more power. So much more strength. So much more heart. So much more soul. So much more relationship, with both God and man. The problem is there is nothing external to push me towards change. Life is not saying “Change or die!” In fact, I’m sure Satan wants nothing more than for me to live a comfortable life, only partially dependent on God. Satan doesn’t necessarily need all of me whereas God does. All Satan needs is for me to be lukewarm. God on the other hand is a consuming fire that will overtake my whole being. If I will just let him. Is this kind of change harder? I wouldn’t dare compare my conundrum with the trials of the Holocaust or the inner city kids who face gunshots and drugs or the starving children in the third world. And yet, each of us is put in our lives by the hand of the Creator and it is a life we must choose to live.

To be continued...

Budget + Envelope + Cash = $50

We went to Walmart today and ended up spending $50 LESS than we had budgeted ($200) for the week. How many times has that ever happened. It happened because we had a budget, a set amount of cash, and a plan. Armed with the word "No" we were able to stick to that plan. We didn't buy just rice and beans or even mac-n-cheese, but we stayed away from a lot of premade stuff and we had the menu planned for the next week and knew what we needed for that. We were so excited we let the kids each pick out a candy in the checkout aisle.

This budgeting thing is really great. I wonder why no one ever told us about it before. :)

If we can do something similar next week, we'll have an extra $100 to put towards our emergency fund and debt. If we do it regularly thats a big step towards the financial goals we've just now started working towards.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Blogging at 37,000 feet

As I write this, the Map channel on the in-flight entertainment system says we're at 36,886 feet traveling at a speed of 466 mph. I broke down and paid the $5 for the 24 channels of DirectTV for the next 2.5 hours. The question is "Is there anything more on TV at 37,000 feet than on the ground?" I watched some of "MythBusters" and am currently watching Bill O'Reily on FoxNews. Apparently Rush Limbaugh and Arnold Schwarzenegger had a big tiff while I was gone. (Luckily MS Word knows how to spell The Governator's name, because I got it really wrong.)

I've been in Atlanta for 2 days on business travel talking about the mapping functionality for our product that I'll be working on. I should arrive home around 1am PDT. The big question is whether to go to sleep right away or stay up a bit and watch "24" that I missed on Monday while flying.

On The Learning Channel, there's a story about a 750 lb man. That's a pleasant sight that makes me really appreciate the small woman sitting in the middle seat next to me (I'm by the window where I have a great view of the white crane/heron that's on the wing tip of the Fontier plane. I lucked out on the eastbound trip and the middle seat was not occupied for both legs.

So there's TV on the plane, but still no Internet access. Eventually I'll be able to play World of Warcraft while flying but for now TV will have to do. This also means I won't be able to post this till sometime tomorrow.

The TV in the hotel lobby had the caption today "Gore on Capitol Hill". Fortunately it was just about the former VP's testimony on Global Warming and not a mass slaughter involving Freddy Krueger or Jason Vorhees (sp?, lack of internet and IMDB is disconcerting).

The drink cart is about to arrive so I better put this away so I have somewhere to put my Cherry Coke and chips.

Will I purchase the DirectTV for the next leg of the flight? Will I watch "24" upon arriving home? Will we ever get to stop hearing about Anna Nicole Smith? These questions and more will be answered in my next blog which I know you'll be eagerly awaiting.

Dennis Miller will be on O'Reily later. He's funny. And they left the whole can of Cherry Coke. I'm in heaven (or at least closer to it).

They were out of chips; I had animal crackers instead they were pretty good but stuck to my teeth. Flying west, the sunset sky is nice and red. The clouds are always beautiful from a distance. I'll try to enjoy them while I can because from what I've heard, the world will be uninhabitable soon and it's all my fault.

From the second leg: There's the show on FoxNews late at night called "Red Eye". It's like one of those panel shows with a moderator (on LSD). They try to pretend like they're talking about real news, but then they also try to be funny which sometimes they were. Though there is much that seems funny at 37,000 feet late at night.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Travel woes

So the final result from my previous post was that I arrived in DC without my bag. It was small enough that I could have carried it on with me and I thought about doing so. Now I know better.
Eventually I got the bag delivered to the hotel on Wednesday morning. I had just gone out to Target to buy new shirts, underwear, socks, and toiletries.

There was lots of snow in the area on Tuesday and it was really cold. The snow kept us at limited staff in the office at PFI so I didn't get to talk to everyone I would have like to, but overall it was a good trip. Working with Kara again was the best part. We had Valentine's Day lunch together. While driving to lunch, some of the melting snow on the roof of the rental minivan I had slid off while going around a corner. At the next light, the rest of the snow fell down on the windshield when I stopped. The windshield was covered with at least 4 inches of snow which I had to brush off while waiting at the light. Luckily, the cross street lights are on really long cycles so I made it with time to spare. The really funny thing was that no one really looked at me like anything was strange.

For the return trip, I decided to stay up all night for my 6am flight . About 2am, I was starting to think this was not such a good idea. I arrived at the Thrifty rental car office about 4:20. There was no one there, inside or out. I called their help desk and they tried calling. I heard the phone ringing but no one answered. I was about to just leave the keys there and try to hitch a ride with another company when another customer arrived. We saw a van with lights on out by the gate so we went there to see if someone was in it. There was a sleeping woman who turned out the be the desk agent.

After knocking on the window a couple times to wake her up, we got her to go back to the desk to process our returns. She was very incoherent and we wondered if it was just the sleepiness or if she was otherwise recovering from the previous night's activities. After checking us out, she called the bus which took another 10 minutes to arrive.

I made the flight with a few minutes to spare but only because I wasn't about to check my bags after what happened on the trip out.

So all is well and I made it home fine, but I don't think I'll be renting from Thrifty again anytime soon.

Kathryne's family is in town now. We had a bite on the house, but it turns out to be too expensive for them after they were preapproved for a loan. But at least things are starting to pick up. We have another open house on Saturday.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Airport Blogging

Well, I’m officially an internet junkie. My flight to Chicago was delayed 1 ½ hours so what do you do while waiting at the Seattle airport for 2+ hours. Why you pay $8 to access the internet, check email, and maybe play a little World of Warcraft of course. Bad weather in Chicago caused the delay. My final destination is Washington Dulles and they’re supposed to have bad weather as well tonight. So if I do get there tonight it will be really late.

The trip is the first for my new job with Potomac Fusion. It’s mostly and orientation/meet-n-greet. I’m splitting time working from home and working at the office at ATS. That’s going pretty well so far.

They just announced that we should be able to make the connection in Chicago. Joshua was really upset with me because he didn’t get to say good bye to me this morning. Everyone’s starting to get back to health again after ¾ of us have been sick for the last week. One school near Seattle shut down for a few days after 300/1000 students called in sick with the flu last week.

[Updated 11:56AM PST] I transferred over to a direct flight to Dulles, but my bag may not make it. I should get there before I was originally scheduled to, though.

[Updated 11:39PM EST] I made it but my bag didn't.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Superbowl and Sunday

Tomorrow is the big day. The Superbowl. I remember when the Bears won in '85 and G.I. Joe made a Refrigerator Perry action figure that was special order only.

I remember living in San Angelo, TX and watching the Superbowl with my church youth group, cheering for the Cowboys and seeing Leon Lett get stripped of the football inside the 10 yard line after recovering a fumble. It didn't matter because the Cowboys were way ahead anyway, but it was funny to watch.

I remember squeezing a devotional in that evening at halftime between all the snacks and partying.

I remember some really great commercials, like the boy getting sucked in a Pepsi bottle from sucking too hard on a straw.

Especially when living in Texas I got very into football. I watched a lot of games and played it with the youth group almost every Sunday afternoon. In college, I lost most interest in sports and have very slowly started to regain some interest. While the commercials are usually the best part or the Superbowl, these days I don't even want to record it to watch the commercials.

There's a news story going around about how the NFL is cracking down on churches that show the Superbowl in their buildings on screens larger than 42". It's fine to have a big group in your home on whatever size screen you want, but outside of the home there are restrictions.

Now to my point, churches I've gone to have had a variety of reactions to the Superbowl ranging from canceling services, to having special parties, to meeting in homes or other common places to watch the game and fellowship. Whatever the official stance, there are always going to be people who stay home from morning or evening services to watch the big game. They do that during the regular season too.

But what would God have us do? What does he think about us rescheduling our worship and lives around a football game. Not just any game. A game where advertisers pay millions of dollars per minute to sell us stuff. The commercialization of sports is even worse than that of Christmas. And how many of the ads are for things that God would approve of. Many are fine, but the best ads are always the beer commercials. "Stay home from church. Drink more beer." Great message to send to the youngsters that you're trying to raise in the Lord.

Now I'm not perfect in my church attendance nor do I think God demands it and he is merciful as in all things. However if our goal is to please him and live our lives in service to him, are we reaching this goal by rescheduling our worship times.

Possibly a larger issue in my mind is one of conforming to the world. When football and God collide, God has to move out of the way. I'm not saying that we need to totally abstain from sports or television, but when the world sees us engaging in the same fanaticism as them that's not the message of Christ. In the world but not of it. We can participate in worldly activities, but within the boundaries of the law of Christ. When we compromise, we're sending the wrong message to the world and our children.

Too many sports and club activities for young people are taking place on Sundays and Wednesday nights, the traditional times for our meetings. And too many Christian parents are allowing and encouraging their children to participate without regard to the priorities that God would have us set. In a couple weeks on a Sunday morning, our elementary Bible school classes are taking a field trip to support one of their classmates at a sporting event. While I'm all for supporting our children's activities, I just can't support it by allowing my child to attend a sports event instead of Bible class. Sports has great things to teach youngsters, but the church has greater teachings. And I certainly don't want my own child to get the impression that it's okay to choose worldly activities over Godly ones.

So what will I do tomorrow? It's our normal fellowship group nights where we meet in homes anyway and I think we'll be watching the game on one of 3 different TVs. Maybe we'll have our own half time show where we sing or something, but I can't help feeling that we should do something greater to set ourselves apart. So that we can say to our friends and coworker, "No I didn't watch the game. Our church got together to worship God and it was a great time." Maybe I should try to get something like that together.

[Edited to remove too personal remarks]

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

By popular demand

Well, at least one person was interested.

Here's a picture of my office when at home:

When at ATS, I have a real cubicle; though I'm thinking about getting a yoga ball for there as well.

Politics and religion

I've often thought about whether I should try to be profound in my blog posts by talking about politics or religion. Most of my posts are about my life and family and more of a digital diary than any attempt to discuss hard hitting topics. It works well as a communication mechanism as well.

I've been reading my brother-in-law Eddie's blog. He's a history teacher and posts about politics and culture. I've started commenting and debating on his blog, but I don't think I want to get in to that here. Now religion is another story. Maybe I'll start trying to post deeply spiritual questions and start debates and win people over with my eloquent arguments.

More likely I'd just make a fool of myself, but since I've never been afraid of doing that maybe I'll give it a try.

What's new?

Yesterday was my first day on the new job. It involved mostly getting things set up and trying to figure out what in the world is going on (as most new jobs do). Today was more of the same starting off with a mound of paperwork that has to be filled out. But so far so good.

I'm back at ATS now, not as an employee but as a tenant. It's kind of weird to be back in the old office again. It's like going home to live with your parents after a while away. You're not really sure how you fit in and things will never quite be the same, but it is all oddly familiar. One thing is for sure, it's a lot quieter than the average 10 minute span at my house. The boys have 3 settings:
  • Off
  • Loud
  • Noisy
and the first setting is only available with great force of will (on our part).

I'll post a pic of my home office constisting of 2 tray tables and a yoga ball. The yoga ball is actually quite comfortable (more than most office chairs) and the tray tables work well unless the boys bump into them or we need to get into the file cabinet that they sit in front of. We are so ready to move and get more space.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Cool time waster of the day

Here's a fun little game that's probably cool more from a tech aspect than actually being fun for hours on end: Goggles, flight simulator using Google Maps. It uses Flash and Google maps. I flew over Disneyland.

File this under things to do when you're on the last week of a job.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Deal or No Deal

A show I've taken to watching recently is "Deal or No Deal". It's especially good when you can fast forward through all the clapping and extra closeups.

Well I've felt like I've been playing my own similar game for a while and the time has come to say "Deal".

I've officially accepted the job with PFI and start work on Jan. 29. My last day at 21CSI will be next Thursday and I will take Friday off.

We're very excited and very relieved. It's alway hard to know what God's will is in matters like this, but I can definitely feel his hand guiding us along the way and pointing us in the right direction.

So close

I'm in the process of drafting my final employment notice and on the verge of accepting the offer I have. It's a very good offer but I've been waiting on another possiblity that I just interviewed last week that has a lot of potential. I haven't heard anything from them and am running out of time on the offer.

Anyways, as I considered accepting the offer and started to draft some emails to 21CSI and PFI, a wave of relief started to wash over me. It's a really calming feeling to have all the uncertainty start to slip away.

There's still the house to sell, but the great thing about this job is that we wouldn't have to move until we sold the house. We want that to be ASAP, but we won't be in a situation where I have to move on ahead of the family to start the job. I can work from here until we move.

I feel really good about this decision an unless things change dramaticly in the next 2 hours, it will be a done deal.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Rules for "24" characters

Well the season premiere of my favorite show "24" kicked of with a bang the last 2 nights. You had Jack Bauer going vampire on the terrorists and the typical "Jack doesn't know what he's doing, listen to me instead" from those in power in the government.

Here are my set of rules that all "24" characters should follow in order to safeguard the USA from terrorists:
  1. Jack Bauer is always right
  2. Never argue with Jack Bauer (see rule 1)
  3. If you want to save the country, follow Jack Bauer's instructions immediately (see 1 and 2)
  4. Never ever, under any circumstances, arrest Jack Bauer. Never. EVER!
  5. If you think Jack Bauer is dead and want to cry, don't. He's alive and is still always right (see 1).
And now one for the terrorists:
  • No matter how injured/captured/dead you think Jack Bauer is, never ever tell him your plans or what's really going on. If you do, he will get mad/inspired and kill your men and escape. (see good guy rule 5. This actually goes for any bad guy in any story when they capture the good guy, but it is especially true for Jack Bauer.)
And one in the spirit of all the Chuck Norris/Jack Bauer stuff flying around teh interwebz about how powerful they are:
  • Jack Bauer has the ability to look directly at a nuclear explosion without going blind. Jack Bauer's eyes burn the nuclear explosion.
Next week is soooo far away and there's only 1 hour of 24. /cry

Monday, January 08, 2007

As we know it

Well it's a big week. On the job front, tomorrow (Tuesday) I'm getting an offer from a company in Austin, and Wednesday I have a phone interview with a company that makes games for mobile devices.

Sunday I get to lead worship again at church (always love doing that) and we have another Open House that afternoon. Top that off with the start of the new 24 season and you have the makings of a great day. It will be even better if lots of people come to see the house. Oh, and that's also Joshua's 4th birthday. He's been waiting for that for a long time.

Funny thing, I rarely watch football but I caught the 4th quarter of the Seahawks crazy win over the Cowboys. That was the most exciting quarter of football I've watched in a long time, maybe ever. I used to be a huge Cowboy fan and may be again shortly after our move to Texas, but for now I'm with the Seahawks. In addition I watched some of the Eagle/Giants game on Sunday (after just watching the same teams in the movie "Invincible"). I also watched a lot of the Florida/Ohio State game tonight. I think Kathryne's getting scared that I'm going to start watching sports all the time.

The boys won the wrestling match tonight. They ganged up on me. Sean finished a version of "Gulliver's Travels" that he got for Christmas. He's really tearing through those books now. We're sending off an application for a Christian school in Austin for next year. There's already a waiting list so we're hoping he can get in.

Enough rambling for tonight.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Another year, another Dilbert Desk Calendar

Happy new year everyone. This year for Christmas I got not one (1) but two (2) comic strip desk calendars. The Dilbert on is for the office. I also got a Far Side calendar which came as a shock to me because I distinctly remember a few years ago when a cow-irker had the "last" calender they were going to make. But Gary Larson decided to give his readers a treat and revive the calendar this year donating all his proceeds to a conservation group. It's kind of funny because the first comic is the one with the dinosaurs smoking cigarettes and the caption "The real reason dinosaurs became extinct" (paraphrased).

In other comic news, Bill Amend the creator of the Foxtrot comic strip has gone to a Sunday only strip. Foxtrot is always one of my favorites as he often runs week long homages to cool movies like those in the Star Wars and Spider-Man series. He also has the Jason character playing my favorite game World of Warcraft from time to time. I'll miss the daily dose especially since the Sunday ones aren't usually as funny and don't have story arcs.

Resolutions for this year:
Same as every year
"I, Matthew Lee, being of sound mind and able body do hereby resolve not to make any new year's resolutions."

As you can see I'm not good at keeping the few resolutions I make having paradoxically broken the only one (1) that I made. Maybe next year I'll do better.