Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Do Unto Others

I found this on the Raw Story site and the article can be found at Kansas.com, Professor beaten; attackers cite KU creationism class.

Obviously I don't know who did this, nor do I know the motive. However, the fact that this person was beaten allegedly by individuals who disagreed with his stance on Intelligent Design is horrifying. By all accounts the professor had not spoken about intelligent design followers in a positive light, but that should not warrant a physical attack on him.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Way to go Skyhawks!

From the Durango Herald: Undefeated Fort Lewis wins national Division II soccer title. "In a tight, vigorous game, Fort Lewis defeated Franklin Pierce 3-1 to claim the national championship."

Woot! Woot! I know I graduated four years ago, but this is pretty awesome as it puts my Alma Mater on the map. All of us who graduated from Fort Lewis know how great it is, but now the rest of the country is getting a little taste.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

World AIDS Day

Support World AIDS Day

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Retail Crapshoot

From the The Chicago Tribune - "Mistakes Found in Pricing at Wal-Mart": "Wal-Mart Stores Inc. charged the wrong price to shoppers in California and the Midwest at a rate that exceeds those set by federal guidelines, according to two union-commissioned university studies released Monday."

So I wonder if Wal-Mart's scanners are made by the same folks who make the very reliable voting machines - Diebold?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The being of the Individual

“Every person must render account to God. No third person dares venture to intrude upon this accounting. God in heaven does not talk to us as to an assembly; he speaks to each individually. Each one has the task of becoming an individual.” – Soren Kierkegaard

Everyday we are encountered with others who tell us what to believe, who advise that their interpretation is the correct one, and that they, above all others, know what is happening. We do not just encounter this in religion, but we encounter it in life. We interact with people that are so sure that they alone have been given the truth, when in reality; the truth will be spoken to each individual by God, if only they will listen.

“True individuality is measured by this: how long or how far one can endure being alone without the understanding of others. The person who can endure being alone is poles apart from the social mixer. He is miles apart from the man-pleaser, the one who manages successfully with everyone – he who possesses no sharp edges. God never uses such people. The true individual, anyone who is going to be directly involved with God, will not and cannot avoid the human bite. He will be thoroughly misunderstood. God is no friend of cozy human gathering.” – Kierkegaard

I used to think it would be great if everyone liked me, I thought that would mean that I was successful and productive in work and life. However, for me that did not work. I could not sacrifice that which I believed or held dear for the sake of being “in”. It happens to me at work all too often. I do not have the need to be “in” in this culture of cliques. I know the reason I am here. That reason may or may not be different from why others are here. However, I do not need to have the same reason as the “in”. This does not mean that I am confrontational or antagonistic, quite the contrary, this means that I am able to stay the course without having to worry if I am “toeing the line”. I want to be able to stand up and do what needs to be done, without worrying about how the “in” will view me. I want to be able to maintain my individuality.

Monday, October 31, 2005


Yay! It is Halloween again.

Some good time Halloween Links:

Halloween from http://www.about.com.

El Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) from http://www.azcentral.com.

Halloween Radio from Live365.

Have a great holiday!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Bad news for the American working class

As seen on Raw Story and found at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Gasoline costs will wipe out raises, study says: "Workers can expect an average pay raise of about 3.7 percent his year, but because of sky-high gasoline prices, they'll pour all but a smidgen of that extra cash down the gas tank commuting to work according to an analysis by Salary.com.".

Donate to Hurricane Relief (Oxfam America)
Donate to Earthquake Relief (Oxfam International)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Banned Book Week

Celebrate freedom by reading!

Because being told what you cannot read is lame.

"You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them" - Ray Bradbury

"Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it." - Mark Twain

Check out American Library Association's Banned Book Week site

Monday, September 26, 2005

Still Kickin'

I am still around. It has been a very hectic couple of weeks. There has been a large influx of hurricane victims coming up to my neck of the woods, and I've been pretty involved in some other activities related to the hurricane(s).

I will write more this week. There has been a lot on my mind, and a lot going on...as we all should know. The situation in our world is scary. However, I hope some of these scary times will serve as a wake up call. There is always hope.

Donate to the Red Cross.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

To donate to the efforts of the American Red Cross please visit: Donate Now!.

Here in Arkansas we are definitely feeling some of the effects of Hurricane Katrina. We did not get the weather up here, but we are accomodating many refugees, sending volunteers and providing a temporary home for misplaced college students. This is one of those times that I feel that while the media is portraying the event as a tragedy, it is not really being reported for as bad as it is. Personal reports that I've heard make the situation seem pretty grim. I hope and pray for the best. Of course it is cliche, but time will tell what damage was done. It does appear that New Orleans will be out of commission for months. That leaves hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

I will say that this is the real deal. This is a natural tragedy that I don't think modern America has every expected to see. If you are able, please give money or time to the cause. There are hundreds of thousands of humans that need your help...these are all of our neighbors.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Neighbors pt.1

I have always been infatuated with the concept of community. The way I define a community (as simply as I can) is a group of individuals who live together (or in the same vicinity) who share similar values and a similar vision of where they live. A community can be inclusive, a community can be diverse, a community can be made up of individuals who disagree on somethings, but there has to be a common bond. I have dreamed of sitting outside and being able to chat with the people as they walk by because we knew eachother. I think community is something that is missing from so many places, and it is probably the reason that so many of us feel out of place where we are. I honestly do not know if I have really ever seen a true "community". I think the closest thing to it that I have been familiar with is a college residence hall. I know true communities are out there, even here in the United States, the Amish and The Bruderhof come to mind when I think of a true community.

In short of having a true community, I think that there are ways that we can strive to make ourselves (and others) not feel left out. We can make our own community, and we can do that without sharing the same religion, same ethnicity or even same age. However, I struggle with figuring out how to diminish those barriers so that we (all people) can see eachother as similar before we see eachother as different.

Thoughts? Anyone out there? :-)

More to come...

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Finally, someone gets it!

From DailyKos:

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

Oh...wait...he was talking about President Clinton sending US troops to Bosnia...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Propagapalloza 2005!

From The Age as seen on Raw Story, Pentagon announces September 11 concert: "The Pentagon would hold a massive march and country music concert to mark the fourth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an announcement tucked into an Iraq war briefing today.

"This year the Department of Defence will initiate an America Supports Your Freedom Walk," Rumsfeld said, adding that the march would remind people of "the sacrifices of this generation and of each previous generation".

The march will start at the Pentagon, where nearly 200 people died on September 11, 2001, and end at the National Mall with a show by country star Clint Black."

Here is the official website - Freedom Walk

- First, this announcement was "tucked into" a briefing about the war in Iraq...what in the world? Because we have so many links between Iraq and 9/11/01 right?
- Second, since when did the Dept. of Defense get into the concert promotion business? Clear Channel is going to be furious! (note the sarcasm).
- Third, who are we remebering? The victims of 9/11 or the soldiers in Iraq? I am so confused.
- Fourth, if there is going to be country music there better be a tractor pull or monster trucks! (just needed to add that, I have nothing against country music or tractor pulls or monster trucks).
- Finally, so we as taxpayers of the US are going to pay for a concert?? An event were its not even clear what it is really about. Wouldn't that money be better spent on something real? Something not so propaganda like? Heck, doesn't social security need to be fixed or something? Or better yet, lets use that money to buy armor for our troups in the Middle East...I am sure they would rather have armor that could saves their lives, more than America wants to see Clint Black (once again, nothing against Clint Black). Honestly, the website for the event talks about honoring "our veterans past and present". I'd rather honor our present veterans by bringing them home, or at least giving them things that would help them survive.

Can you tell I think this is a LAME idea?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The World's Largest Retailer is at it again

I saw this on Buzzflash today:

Here's why you can't buy the News Journal at Wal-Mart from the Pensacola News Journal.

The WLR is so fickle. They won't sell a newspaper because a columnist was harsh towards them. That is ridiculous...but I guess that is what you get from a store who won't sell unedited music cds, but has no problem selling violent video games (Grand Theft Auto) or movies with foul langauge and sexuality (8mm, Wild Things).

Obviously the issue is money, they can get away not selling a newspaper because they don't make much money off of it. If they did not sell violent video games, that would definitely hurt their business. I am just glad to see that there values show through, money really is more important than free speech, and money is more important than traditional values. It amazes me that since I have lived in Wally World for the past 2 years, I've never heard of a conservative religious group boycotting them and the "filth" that they sell (that is supposed to be sarcastic).

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

We're Back!

So vacation is over, and work has been pretty busy since then. We are in the process of hiring our new boss, so that has been pretty interesting.

Vacation was wonderful! We had such a great time.

The whole trip is highlights, but some of the really cool things:

- Miller Brewing Company: Jenn and I have completed the tri-fecta tour of major breweries here in the US. The best was the AB (read Budweiser) brewery in St. Louis, than a close second is Miller in Milwaukee and a distant third, as much as I hate to say this being from Colorado and all, Coors in Golden, CO. Coors offers more samples, but they lack on the atmosphere and description of history.
- The family reunion...particularly the softball game...longish story here...
- Visiting LeahJ in Chicago. We had a wonderful time, and Jenn swears we are moving there next.
- Visiting University of Notre Dame except for the two guys who tried to run me over with their golf cart.
- Hanging out with Jenn's dad and little sister in Ohio.

Hopefully I'll get some pictures up here at some point or another.

Anyway...we also saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I love Tim Burton movies and this was no exception. Do not expect to see a remake of the movie from the 70's with Gene Wilder. This is a different movie. Yes, there are similarities, but Burton includes more of the book (like the songs that Roald Dahl wrote in the book), and includes his own flare for the wacky.

I also did purchase the new Harry Potter book. Because of work and the fact that I am still catching up on sleep I am not as far along with it as I would like to be....so far so good!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Road Awaits

This shall most likely be the last post for about two weeks. We are heading on a tour of the midwest (okay, not of the WHOLE midwest, but Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Missouri). We are visiting family and friends, including Leahj (her blog is listed on the sidebar).

From Parker Palmer's Let Your Life Speak "Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell your life what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let you life tell you what truths you emobody, what values you represent"

"All who follow the leading of God’s Spirit are God’s own
sons. The Spirit you have received is not a spirit of slavery
leading you back into a life of fear, but a Spirit that makes us
- Romans 8:14–15

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Searching for what was lost

I am drained. I don't know if it is because I need a vacation, or because I need to make a change with myself. I don't know if it is because I (we) need to get our arses out of Arkansas or if it is because, as Jenn likes to remind me, I over analyze the situation.

Forgive the moments of frank thoughts from a weary mind, but I don't know if I should do what I am doing because I don't think what I am doing helps anyone at all. Or maybe we should just get out of Arkansas...

As my grandfather said "don't let the bastards get you down".

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


From The ONE Campaign
"ONE is a new effort by Americans to rally Americans – ONE by ONE – to fight the emergency of global AIDS and extreme poverty. The ONE Campaign is engaging Americans through a diverse coalition of faith-based and anti-poverty organizers to show the steps people can take, ONE by ONE, to fight global AIDS and poverty."

"ONE percent of the U.S. budget is $25 billion, and redirecting that much money would have to be done over time. Directed to honest governments, private charities and faith-based organizations, this support would provide the tools and resources they need to really make a difference. American support would be part of a compact with poor countries who fight corruption and use their own resources to help their people out of poverty. American leadership would be an example for rich countries in Europe and Asia to do their share to help the poorest people in the world."

From Cost Of War the current amount of money spent by the U.S. on the war in Iraq: 178 Billion F'in Dollars

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

How Absurd!?!

From Think Progress, The Bush Administration Was For Amnesty International Before It Was Against It.

It makes sense, really. Amnesty International is a great organization, but, you know, sometimes they just make a mistake with their reports. Especially when the people reporting the abuses hate America.

I am sure that the POWs in Vietnam, or from any other war loved their captors. I bet that the survivors of the Nazi concentration camps and the Soviet gulags also loved their captors, even though they reported the abuses that they endured while at these places. These people certainly did not hate their captors, because then their reports of abuses would be biased. And that just wouldn't be right, not to mention, unAmerican.

/end sarcasm

I am in no way comparing the Guantanamo Bay "prison camp" with the Soviet gulags or Nazi concentration camps. However, I am also not saying that G Bay is a wonderful place to stay, if you are a "guest" (remember, those at G Bay are not prisoners of war or political prisoners). If you listen to the actual statement by GW Bush about the AI report, you will think you are watching a bad Western movie and the Sheriff is telling the townsfolk that the bank robbers are lying when they say that they overheard plans by some of the townsfolk to have the them lynched. The Sheriff believes that the report is absurd because the bank robbers hate the town, and so they are lying about the lynching plot.

We Americans are such Lemmings.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Quarter of a Century

It is official, I am a quater of a century old today. Supposedly I can now rent cars without having to pay that ridiculous fee for being under 25. Oddly enough I don't think my driving skills have improved from yesterday to today.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Whoot! Whoot!
So the reason I've not been posting for a while is becuase everything got real crazy before graduation. I have just graduated from graduate school and just need one more independent study class before I officially get my M.Ed. That will be sweet!

This summer I am looking forward to receiving my degree in the mail, going to Wisconsin, Chicago and Ohio and keeping it real. I am not looking forward to working. :-) Okay, yeah I am, a little.
If I Could, I Surely Would

I was tagged by Jen...and I am a slacker at waiting so long to do this.

The idea behind this one is that, when tagged, you choose 5 occupations (or more) from the list below and complete the sentence with it describing what you would do as a member of that profession. If you have more occupations to add, you add them at the bottom following the If I could be a format. My own additions are at the end in italics.

After you’re done, you get to go and tag 3 other people. Add a trackback to the one that tagged you as well as a trackback to Ogre’s original post.

If I could be a scientist
If I could be a farmer
If I could be a musician
If I could be a doctor
If I could be a painter
If I could be a gardener
If I could be a missionary
If I could be a chef
If I could be an architect
If I could be a linguist
If I could be a psychologist
If I could be a librarian
If I could be an athlete
If I could be a lawyer
If I could be an innkeeper
If I could be a professor
If I could be a writer
If I could be a llama-rider
If I could be a bonnie pirate
If I could be a service member
If I could be a photographer
If I could be a philanthropist
If I could be a rap artist
If I could be a child actor
If I could be a secret agent
If I could be a comedian/comedienne
If I could be a priest
If I could be a radio announcer
If I could be a phlebotomist
If I could be a pet store owner
If I could be a computer programmer
If I could be a police officer
If I could be a politician
If I could be a mom
If I could be an underwater basket weaver
If I could be a reality tv host
If I could be a forensic pathologist
If I could be a key grip on the next Star Wars film
If I could be a fairy god parent
If I could be a cast member on “Smallville”
If I could be an Airbus pilot
If I could be U2’s equipment manager
If I could be a rock star
If I could be a skunk catcher
If I could be a reality TV star
If I could be a ballerina
If I could be an astronaut
If I could be a cook at a Japanese Steak House
If I could be a bar owner
If I could be a used car dealer
If I could be a Canadian
If I could be a kung fu artist

My answers…

If I could be a reality TV star, I would like to be the first pleasing plump male on MTV's the Real World.
If I could be an Airbus Pilot, I would get rid of my slight fear of flying really quick because I would feel that I had some control over what is going on. (The feeling is better than actually having control ;-p).
If I could be a politician, I would actually be honest and stand up for the regular people of this country. I would also encourage others in politics to be more like Christ, as opposed to just saying they are Christian.
If I could be a musician, I would beg the Barenaked Ladies to let me be in their band, and I would play fun songs that are about Jesus.
If I could be a bonnie pirate, I would demand to know why I cannot be a just a normal swashbuckling pirate.

I don't know who to tag because I don't know who would do this...I'll say Matt, Thames...anyone else??

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A Tale of Two Standards – Iraq style

One of these things is not like the other…or is it?

Two stories…three deaths…all in Iraq…

1) From Yahoo! News: U.S. Likely to Clear GIs in Iraq Shooting
2) From ABC News: Self Defense or Murder in Iraq? Wall Street Trader-Turned-Marine Faces Prosecution on Murder Charges

I understand that there are differences in these two cases, but it seems odd to me that one killing was an “accident” and one was not.

However, I think it is important to note a few things: There is a “war” going on. In this “war” people are being killed every day. The U.S. Government has trained its soldiers to kill “our enemies”. The U.S. Government and media have made the Iraqi insurgents out to be the worst people in the world, and our enemies. A U.S. Government trained soldier kills two accused insurgents. U.S. Government trained soldiers kill Italian (I thought Italy was more or less on the U.S. side of this war) intelligence officer. The soldiers who killed the Italian were doing their job. The soldier who killed the alleged insurgents committed pre-meditated murder.

It does not make any sense to me. But of course, murdering someone who murdered someone because murder is wrong does not make a whole lot of sense to me either.

For a very interesting and compelling Christ centered take on #2 check out from Nathan Ael

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Road Trippin'

I don't know what it is about cities. I love them. I don't know if it is because I've not lived in a "city" for almost 7 years, or if my body craves smog...or if it is just because I am still not too thrilled with living in Arkansas. Jenn and I visited St. Louis this past week to see Maroon 5 in concert. The concert was really great, and we really liked St. Louis.

Back to my homework...The semsester is almost over...and I am almost finished with my Master's degree. WOOT!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Six Years Later

Jesus said "Love your neighbor as yourself". As Paul puts it in Romans 13:10 "Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law".

I cannot really say much today. While I was getting ready for work all I could think about was how 14 people younger than myself, and one who was older, are not getting up and getting ready for work or school today. I was thinking about how they could not look outside and see the beautiful sunrise. I was thinking about how fragile life is, and how in one moment it can change forever.

Of all of the days during my first year of college, this day, six years ago, I remember like it was yesterday. I still remember the feeling in my stomach. I still remember watching the horror on the faces of people around me. I remember my roommate not being able to get a hold of his girlfriend, a student at Columbine. I remember not being able to get in touch with either of my parents, both employees at other local area schools. I remember the tears streaming from my neighbor's eyes as she saw her high school, and her old classmates, whom she left only a year before, shattered.

We cannot forget what happened at Columbine, or what happened in Jonesboro, or Paducah or Red Lake.

These names will remain in our hearts forever:
Cassie Bernall, Steven Curnow, Corey DePooter, Kelly Fleming, Matthew Ketcher, Daniel Mauser, Daniel Rohrbough, Dave Sanders, Rachel Scott, Isiah Shoals, John Tomlin, Lauren Townsend, Kyle Velasquez.

Friday, April 15, 2005


The semester is coming to a close too quickly. This will (should) be my last semester as a graduate student, but with working full-time I have been struggling to stay afloat with both class and work. I do not regret my decision to work full-time while being a full-time graduate student, but it has certainly been tougher than I imagined.

I will persist, and I will finish school. It won't be smooth sailing after that, but at least I will not have to worry about school.

That would be nice.

Monday, April 04, 2005

One Shining Moment

If you are a college basketball fan, you know that tonight is what it is all about. No, I am not talking about the game itself, which should prove to be one of the best in years, I am talking about the musical montage that caps the experience. That little piece of wonderfully exciting and heartfelt music is One Shining Moment. This is the best vignette in all of sports, and it is what this game, or any other should be all about.


Wednesday, March 30, 2005


From Judge Stanley F. Birch Jr. (who was appointed by the first President Bush) as quoted in the Yahoo! News Story:

"In resolving the Schiavo controversy, it is my judgment that, despite sincere and altruistic motivation, the legislative and executive branches of our government have acted in a manner demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers' blueprint for the governance of a free people — our Constitution."

Monday, March 28, 2005

5 Days

See L.A. Times article Bush Offers Praise, Aid for Red Lake

Bush waited 5 days to respond to the horrible shootings at Red Lake, MN. While he flew back to D.C. during his vacation to sign a piece of legislation to help "save the life" of Mrs. Schiavo.

Really, does it take 5 days to figure out what happend in Red Lake? Do they get news down in Crawford, TX? I know the Schiavo case has been domininating the media, but as President he should know what is going on in his country. Was he still trying to figure out the words in "My Pet Goat"??


Sometimes the President makes me ill.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Not Again

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of the Red Lake Nation in Red Lake, MN.

From Yahoo! News: High School Shooting

Red Lake Nation Website

Monday, March 21, 2005

Thin Ice

You cannot tune into any media outlet in America and be free from multiple news stories regarding Terri Schiavo. Personally, I cannot imagine what the friends and family of Mrs. Schiavo are going through, especially in regards to the mental and physical state of Mrs. Schiavo. I pray that I never have to. However, I have experienced death in my family, I have experienced seeing a family member being kept alive by medicine, and I have experienced seeing a family member who had very little mental capabilities suffer for years before finally passing away. I think we all have had some experience with death and dying.

Of all that is going around in both mainstream media as well as with bloggers of various political persuasions, I think the best article on this issue is from Johann Christoph Arnold. Arnold, a senior pastor of the Bruderhof writes in the article “Whose Will Should Prevail?” that:

“The case of Terri Schiavo is once again making headlines and re-igniting a national debate over when and how medical treatment should be withdrawn. Many people see this case as a critical test of the political system and of culture itself. But the media attention it has received has also created an atmosphere of paranoia, and this has harmed Terri more than it has helped, and has clouded the real issues that are at stake. These issues are our society’s terrible fear of death and suffering and our over-reliance on medical technology in a desperate attempt to avoid both. In fact, God alone is in control of human life, and our idolization of science and medical technology needs to be subjugated to his much greater wisdom and love.” read the entire article here

Arnold is the first person I have heard making these statements, despite that fact that many “Christian Leaders” are being very vocal on this issue. I cannot claim to know the will of God on this issue, and I doubt anyone else can make that claim. However, I think this issue is best left to God, not the Federal Courts, not to the United States Congress, not to the President and not to the Governor of Florida. These people do not speak for God.

This is not an issue of Pro-life vs. pro-death as some conservatives would have you believe. Those fighting to re-instate the feeding tube are not truly “pro-life” or they would take up this fight for every person in a situation facing death (including those on death row, or those dying in Iraq). Those arguing that the feeding tube not be re-instated are not promoting a “culture of death”. Rather, they fear the implications that this has for America. They do not want Mrs. Schiavo to suffer, but they also do not want to let the US Congress interfere in something that is clearly not their business. I cannot recall the US Congress every passing similar legislation to this.

There are so many issues in this one case, but in the end the article from Arnold puts it as it should be, that God is in control. It is not for the Courts to decide, its not for Congress to decide, its not for the President to decide who lives and who dies.

For more on the political implications of this check out AmericaBLOG and be sure to read Drina’s take on this.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Spring Break

Next week is the Spring Break whole of the entire NW Arkansas area (And by Spring Break, I mean, a week when no students are on campus, not a week off ;-P), which in and of itself is pretty crazy. However, for me this time means a week where I can hopefully catch up on all the non-student related issues that I am working on. I pray that I can, in fact, actually do some catching up. Fortunately for me, most of the folks in my office will either be on vacation or at various conferences next week. That means I can do more, and not have to drop what I am doing in order to get something done for someone else. It also means that I will not be required to have as much interaction with my co-workers, because they will not be in the office. That last two weeks my morale has been pretty low because of some things that have been circulating around the office. I pray that next week will provide me with some “breathing room”.

Anyway...that explains the lack of posts as of late. Lots is going on in the world, and in my own world, but for now, I'll keep it at that.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Ode to Exhaustion

The weeks have begun to turn into days and what happened yesterday feels like it happened weeks ago. I am tired. Class and work, and life have caught up with me. I’ve hit the wall.

Spring Break is a few weeks away. While I still may have to work, I hope the pace will be a little bit slower so I can get some rest and relaxation. Without it, I fear the month of April. I have been told that April is the busiest month of the year for my office. Oh Joy! I had previously planned on going to a conference over Spring Break. However, those plans fell through.

I have a Red Bull in the fridge. I am debating whether or not to drink it, because the coffee in front of me is not working. Thank goodness it is Friday.

On another note, I fear that a couple friendships I’ve had while in Arkansas have begun to fade away. For one reason or another it seems that some priorities in their lives and some in mine have shifted. This latest lesson is reason #1987341 that my time here in Arkansas has become more of an education than I bargained for.

I am thankful that my time here has brought me closer to forgetting any regrets I’ve had. I am very thankful for this.

Oh yeah…it’s March!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

It was a little over a year ago that I met a man named George (name changed). I met him in a bus depot in New Mexico on my way to visit Jenn in Colorado for Valentine’s Day. It was about 7am or so and I had just gotten off a bus that had taken me through a blizzard outside of Amarillo, TX. Needless to say being on a Greyhound Bus in a blizzard at 2am is not my idea of a good time, but it was worth it. Anyway…I sat down after walking around the bus depot for a while and a young looking Hispanic man sat down about 10 feet away from me. He looked like your average guy just waiting for a bus. After about 10 minutes or so of just sitting there (I was reading a book) he asked me if I knew which terminal the bus to Roswell was departing. I was unsure, but after looking around I noticed a board with the terminal numbers and departure times. I read him the one for Roswell. The bus for Roswell was not departing until late in the afternoon, so I joked with the man that he had a long time to wait. He said he did not mind because early that day he was released from prison, and he was going home to Roswell to see his fiancĂ© and kids. He seemed very excited to be going home, but he also was very reserved and humble. After a few minutes of silence, he struck up a conversation with me that lasted for a better part of an hour. I do not remember everything we talked about, but I do remember thinking to myself how a person like this, a hardworking person who obviously loved his family and the Lord could get sent to prison. He never told me why he went to prison, but he hinted enough that it was drug related. A few months before he was arrested he was laid off. I know Roswell was and is not experiencing an economic boom, so I could only imagine how tough it would be to have a family and get laid off in a small town. After talking for a while longer, I noticed that my bus was getting ready to leave. I left George with a pack of gum and some beef jerky (he commented on how long it had been since he had a piece of gum). As I said goodbye, I walked away a changed person. Rarely do I have the opportunity to meet “real people”. I spend my days with privileged. Sometimes I wonder if I can do this for the rest of my life.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine’s Day

I am not big on Valentine’s Day, never have been. Fortunately, Jenn is not either, so it makes it easier for us. We have our special days of the year, and Valentine’s Day is not one of them. It is not a bad day, but it is way too commercialized. However, if you are so inclined to celebrate this day with big fanfare and what not, more power to you :-).

There are actually very few Valentine Days that I remember. However, the most memorable was when I was in 4th Grade. We had a huge food fight during our party, and in order to “calm us down” our teacher turned out the lights. Now, I understand this is a tactic that some teachers use to make kids quiet, but on that day it only encouraged us. I remember our teacher leaving the room to get the principal and the parents who volunteered for the day watched as we put a bucket of confetti over the door so that when our teacher re-entered the classroom she would get her beehive hairdo full of confetti. I remember that parents were not watching us with joy, or curiosity, rather they watched us with fear in their eyes. I am still unsure of how a group of 4th graders were able to instill fear into the hearts of adults, and that will forever be a question in my mind. To this day when I see the little sweetheart candies I remember loading up a plastic spoon with ice cream topped with the candies and aiming at the nearest person. I do not remember how the food fight ended, but I am sure it was more anti-climatic than I would recall. This is still the best memory I have from 4th grade and one of the best from my entire elementary school experience.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Freedom Lost

Even the very conservative former 2004 VP Candidate from the US Consitution Party sees the loss of liberty in the United States. Maybe those true Conservatives and Classic Liberals can join together with the Progressives and modern Liberals to fight against the threat of tyranny.

Check out Chuck Baldwin's Column "Freedoms Lost Under G.W. Bush" from The Baltimore Chronicle

Today it is snowing. This is the most snow I've seen since moving here to Arkansas. While it is only about 2-2.5 inches it is a wild wild world outside. It seems that no one is here on campus, the streets were fairly empty, all the local schools were closed (but not the university). Very crazy, very funny. I miss snow.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching

These three verses struck me today. As usual it seems that my mind wanders to those things over which I would not even have a laughable amount of input.

From the Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu:

Those who know do not talk.
Those who talk do not know.

Stop talking,
meditate in silence,
blunt your sharpness,
release your worries,
harmonize your inner light,
and become one with the dust.
Doing this is the called the dark and mysterious identity.

Those who have achieved the mysterious identity
can not be approached, and they can not be alienated.
They can not be benefited nor harmed.
They can not be made noble nor to suffer disgrace.
This makes them the most noble of all under the heavens.

Govern your country with integrity,
Weapons of war can be used with great cunning,
but loyalty is only won by not-doing.
How do I know the way things are?
By these:

The more prohibitions you make,
the poorer people will be.
The more weapons you posses,
the greater the chaos in your country.
The more knowledge that is acquired,
the stranger the world will become.
The more laws that you make,
the greater the number of criminals.

Therefore the Master says:
I do nothing,
and people become good by themselves.
I seek peace,
and people take care of their own problems.
I do not meddle in their personal lives,
and the people become prosperous.
I let go of all my desires,
and the people return to the Uncarved Block.

If a government is unobtrusive,
the people become whole.
If a government is repressive,
the people become treacherous.

Good fortune has its roots in disaster,
and disaster lurks with good fortune.
Who knows why these things happen,
or when this cycle will end?
Good things seem to change into bad,
and bad things often turn out for good.
These things have always been hard to comprehend.

Thus the Master makes things change
without interfering.
She is probing yet causes no harm.
Straightforward, yet does not impose her will.
Radiant, and easy on the eye.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Comps are OVER!

So at 5pm tonight I finished my Comprehensive exam for my Master's program! Yay! Very happy. I will find out in two weeks how I did, but I am not too worried, and I just glad for them to be over.

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Significance of the Historical Jesus

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer in the year old issue of Radical Grace writes in the article "Reclaiming the Missing Jesus", "Jesus is missing and we need his guidance. He is missing because Christian theologies, creeds, and actions are disconnected from his life as a revelation of God. The Christ of faith is the object of worship and the subject of our creeds and New Testament Gospels. This Christ, however, is often at odds with the historical Jesus and the God revealed through his life. Jesus, who was experienced by some as good news and revelation of God and by others as a subversive threat worthy of scorn and death, has all but disappeared from Christianity. It should not surprise us that Jesus was killed by his enemies. More surprising is how Jesus has been distorted by his admirers, from New Testament times to our own."

I find this article incredibly interesting especially when compared to a "popular" Christian Television show where there is much talk about how individuals cannot not believe a God that the individual creates to fit their personal beliefs. It is obvious that there is much disagreement as to what Jesus Christ actually believed, lived and practiced (or at least there exists a few different ideas on the matter). I cannot really comprehend why it is wrong to understand the historical Jesus. I would think that it would only strengthen one's faith. I know it did mine when I took a class on historical christianity. I would compare studying the historical Jesus to studying the founders of our country. We can better understand the Constitution by better understanding who wrote it, and by better understanding the context in which it was written. Same goes for Jesus and the Bible. I know Jesus is eternal (unlike the Constitution and our nation's founders) but that does not mean that we should just forget where He came from and when he walked the Earth as man.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I Guess this means...

New RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman said while addressing the Republican National Committee that "We can deepen the GOP by identifying and turning out Americans who vote for President but miss off year elections and agree with our work for a culture of life, promotion or marriage, and belief in our 2nd Amendment heritage."

So the reasoning that Mr. Mehlman gives for voting Republican is that the Republicans support a culture of life (well only when it comes to Abortion, they prefer the culture of death when it comes to war, criminals and the poor), that they support the promotion of marriage (because marriage is more valuable than fidelity, values, education, etc) and that they believe in the heritage of the 2nd Amendment (so if you support Amendment's 1 and/or 3-10 you should not be Republican, heck the other nine Amendments are irrelevant).

Mr. Mehlman further establishes the priorities of the Republican Party on the national level. One of those priorities is not people. Heck, where are the reasons to vote Republican that include balancing the budget, providing more better paying American jobs, restricting the role of government in our daily lives, etc? The Republican Party has turned into the party of homophobes and gun nuts...who would rather have assualt rifles than the freedom of speech...or at least Mr. Mehlman would like to see it that way.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


I am lacking inspiration like crazy right now. Work is so hectic, but I seem not to be getting as much done as I need or should get done. That is not necessarily because I lack inspiration, but that does not hurt the cause any. I continually ask myself if I am too tough on myself, too tough on my co-workers, or too tough on my supervisors. From my point of view I’ve never really worked (in a professional setting) for people who could “inspire” their employees. Yes, I have known many people who could inspire their employees, but I was not an employee at that time, or I was not necessarily fit to inspire at that time (long story). And maybe because I knew some very great people at and from my alma mater who are inspiring that I know people in this field can be inspiring. But then maybe I am blowing this whole thing out of proportion. I know I cannot lay blame, I know that I must accept my responsibilities and stick with the consequences of my actions. However, I seem to get “turned off” on people with whom I work with/for who do not have the drive, or who are driving for a completely different set of values than I hold. I think that is what makes me truly understand that I can only be where I am for a limited amount of time. I cannot make a career, and I cannot follow my passions in a place that does not have similar values nor can I work for an incredible amount of time with people who do not hold similar values. Sometimes I think I am a nut and only I hold these values in my field, but I know there are other people out there, I’ve met a few of them, I know some of them, unfortunately I cannot get there…yet.

I pray I can get back on track…quickly.

Monday, January 10, 2005


Thoughts on this thing we call liberty...

Woodrow Wilson from his address to the New York Press Club, 09/09/1912: "The history of liberty is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it."

James Madison "Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad."


Monday, January 03, 2005

Always Late

I am rarely on time. Well except when it comes to work. I am usually one of the first to meetings (as if they start on time anyway) and I am usually early to class. When it comes to my personal life it is almost a miracle when I am on time. I don't know where I got this bad habit from. I know my dad has a thing about being late, but he could not be the only one from whom I learned this trait. Other than it being a bad habit, I don't horribly mind it, although it has been known to cause trouble with friends, family and Jenn. Sometimes it is cool to be late. Being "late" to the party is usually a good thing as it is incredibly awkward to be the first if it is not your party or if it is not a party at which you are helping keep the order.

Ok...to the point. Yes, it is already 2005 and I am three days late. I have good reason. Jenn and I (with the addition of our dog) spent New Year's in Kansas City. We are fans of Kansas City. It is a nice city with tons to do and see. For New Year's Eve we ventured to the party at the Uptown Theater that was sponsored by 97.3 The Planet radio station. We did research and decided this was a good party to go to. It was and we had a blast. We partied as much like rockstars as we can for not being actual rockstars (well minus the drugs and groupies).

Kansas City is a definite treat. And if you are thinking they are paying me to say this, no, unlike the town of Branson, MO which sent me a t-shirt for my reviews, Kansas City does no such thing. Thats a bummer.

As for the coughing mentioned in the last post, thanks for all the well wishes. I went to the doctor today. I have a nasty little virus that caused Bronchitis. I have some medicine that should help :-).

I will have more on the New Year at another time, and of course, always later than it should be.