Friday, December 28, 2007

Thankful Random-ness & Multitudinous Blessings

As the year closes, I've been considering a number of various items. So many that I couldn't possibly blog everything in a coherent or cohesive manner. Consequently, I feel it's my duty to inform you: This post will be disjointed, but, in spite of that, will still (hopefully) convey a glimmering of my thoughts.

- great wife (patient, loving, compassionate, even-tempered)
- Little Bear is alive, healthy, and normal -- in spite of the DRs' predictions
- so are the twins
- Varmint #4 is on his (or her) way
- have a great pastor, a very good church, & (soon) a hard-working assoc pastor
- able to work (& have more job offers than I can accept)
- our mini van has needed minimal repairs... since 2003!!
- my new (to me) trumpet

Things I enjoy:
- the twins' nap-time (Mommy likes it more)
- Sunday church services (even if I preach)
- Organic candy (candy that's good for me -- imagine that!!)
- receiving a backrub (without asking for it -- "just because")
- King's Kids on Wednesday nights
- helping others
- listening to Little Bear pretend to preach, lead singing, prepare messages, & volunteer to do special music for church: "so Daddy doesn't have to do so much"
- Publix Premium Eggnog ice cream... need I say more?
- finding "new" passages in my Bible that somehow I've missed over the years
- grimy little hands that want to give me hugs (& dirty little faces that still want to kiss my "scratchy-face")
- watching the Varmints 3 grow, develop new skills, & learn new things
- reading a book (OK... several books)
- listening to good, conservative music (our "christian" radio stations aren't)
- finding money (& saving it, & receiving it, & getting gift cards, etc...)
- building things for the Varmints 3 -- and watching them enjoy them
- feeding cows (a few of them let me pet them)
- being given a box of new (to me) books to read
- keeping informed of what's happening in the lives of friends & family thru their blogs and Facebook pages
- petting the neighbor's Rottweiler (she's 100+ lbs, & thinks she's a lapdog)

Things I like:
- being the best Boggler in a small church =D
- cool & nifty new gadgets, and I really want a bug (of course, then I'd feel like I must teach myself to program them, so it's probably best I don't)
- getting a start on cataloging all our books at LibraryThing (if you don't want to click the link, scroll down this page and you'll see a list of random book covers on the left -- altho for some reason a few don't show the covers)
- the versatility of e-Sword (free Bible study program)
- being able to renew my library books online
- having an alternative to Wikipedia -- even if it isn't complete yet

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My "Pew" Version of Reality

Was catching up on the news last night (generally read my news by skimming the Yahoo feeds) and found the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Lots of neat articles, survey results, and quizzes to take there. (Like I really needed more things on which to waste my time.)

The one that first caught my attention was the Internet Typology Test to tell you "where you fit in the new typology of information and communication technology."

In every quiz, I find there are always questions I could answer several ways, depending on the mood I'm in, so I took the test 3 times and answered each time based on each of my "normal" moods. It seems that I fall into 3 of the 10 categories. Normally, I'm a "Lackluster Veteran," with forays into "Connector," and "Omnivore" on a fairly regular basis.

Not surprising, since I've yet to take any tests that put me squarely into any single category. Usually, I seem to exhibit some major traits of several categories, and never exhibit other major traits of those same categories.
I've often wondered, does that mean I'm well-balanced? or just weird?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I've been sourced!!!

Suppose it was bound to happen... someday, but I have officially been "sourced."

Here in south Florida, our county (Broward) has ~10% of it's surface area covered in water: canals, creeks, ponds, lakes, and other inland waterways. Our firemen pull cars with bodies in them out of the water every year -- mostly people that panicked -- and didn't survive their panic. Also every year, our local media outlets (radio, TV, and newspapers) dutifully run stories of how to survive water crashes.

A friend from college (that now works as a writer at the world-famous, AIG) was concerned about water crashes, so the other day I quickly compiled everything I could remember of the myriad segments and interviews I've seen, heard, & read then shot it off in a 10 point email. Evidently, it wasn't too dreadful, because it's now posted -- verbatim. Which is pretty neat -- even if it's "only" sourced on a blog and I was only going from memory -- it's a start. Had I considered the possibility of it being posted, it would have contained "official" sources -- and I would've paid attention to how well it was written. Incidentally, my favorite "saga" on her blog (so far) -- that of "Superphone" -- has been alternately amusing, entertaining, & downright hilarious.

Anyway, it's made me think about starting to write those books I've been putting off... although, I realize that's a long drawn out process that could take 6 months to a year to get ironed out. Or perhaps starting on that music CD that people at church have been requesting... that should only take 4 to 6 months to get all the copyright and production problems squared away. Maybe I could just start on that idea for a political blog I've been throwing around. I know it would only take a few minutes to start... although, the ongoing research and postings that should be done to keep it current and viable would last until the next election in November... almost a year.


Definitely have too many irons I want to put in the limited little fire that is my life -- and not quite enough time and effort to properly handle them all simultaneously. Think I'd rather just go wrap Christmas presents for the "Varmints 3" and worry about my goals, aspirations, and ambitions later.

The older I get...
the better I understand my Dad.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My Prayer

As a rule, I'm not the most poetic of souls. I like some poetry, I read some poetry, and I even write some poetry (generally for my wife), but don't usually go out of my way for it. That said, I found a really great poem that I thought was worth repeating here:
    My Prayer
    Let me not die before I've done for Thee
    My earthly work, whatever it may be;
    Call me not hence with mission unfulfilled;
    Let me not leave my space of ground untilled!
    Impress this truth upon me--that not one
    Can do my portion that I leave undone;
    For each one in Thy vineyard hath a spot
    To labor on for life, and weary not.
    Then give me strength all faithfully to toil;
    Converting barren earth to fruitful soil.
    I long to be an instrument of thine,
    To gather worshipers unto thy shrine;
    To be the means, one human soul to save
    From the dark terrors of a hopeless grave.
    Yet most I want a spirit of content
    To work where'er thou'lt wish my labor spent,
    Whether at home or in a stranger clime,
    In days of joy, or sorrow's sterner time.
    I want a spirit passive, to lie still,
    And by Thy power, to do Thy holy will.
    And when the prayer unto my lips doth rise,
    "Before a new home doth my soul surprise,
    Let me accomplish some great work for Thee."
    Subdue it, Lord! let my petition be,
    "O! make me useful in this world of Thine,
    In ways according to thy will, not mine."
    Let me not leave my space of ground untilled:
    Call me not hence with mission unfulfilled;
    Let me not die before I've done for Thee
    My earthly work, whatever it may be.
    from the PRIMITIVE CHURCH (OR BAPTIST) MAGAZINE. June 1, 1864, p. 136

I couldn't find any info on who wrote it, only that it was published in the periodical mentioned above.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Books Less Than a Penny -- Books By The Pound

I've discovered a valuable resource for book-a-holics (others like me) -- actually several resources.

The first is I've (slowly) started cataloging all of my books -- in my spare time. As they're entered I've been attempting to tag each one -- so I can sort my library by book title, location, or subject and find everything quickly. Our family has several thousand books, so finding books quickly is important to me.

The second valuable resource is Freecycle. If you have extra stuff lying around your house, find the closest group (or 2) to you, describe the item to be picked up, what major intersection you're near, and when you'll be available. Someone will be able to use your "good junk" and you won't have to throw it away. The best part is, other people are getting rid of stuff you may want. In the last week I've gotten 4 dozen books... FREE! One of the ladies in my Freecycle is a homeschooling mom that runs a bookstore!! Since "religious" and "history" titles don't sell well, she sends me an email to tell me when to come over! Now I just need to read all these great books she's given me.

The third great thing is another website: The JR Miller Archive. Yes, the same James Russell Miller that was a well known Presbyterian (no, I haven't changed churches) in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He wrote a number of books, and they're online free of charge -- almost like a "mini-Project-Gutenberg" -- only -- just one author. Now if I only had enough free time to be able to sit down and read them all.

The last wonderful thing (for now anyway) is another website: It's a DIY self-publishing company. Maybe it's not exactly "wonderful," but it's at least taken away any excuses I had for not writing those books -- the ones I've had in mind for a few years now.