Projecting 2011: One month in

2 February 2011

Back on January 4, I wrote about the projects I believed God was guiding me to work on for 2011.  What struck me about them at the time was how mundane they were — no grand public gestures or insurmountable obstacles, just stuff-around-the-house kinds of things.  I was a little put out, until I realized that a) part of the purpose was to focus me by getting me to concentrate on fewer activities than usual, and b) the underlying subtext was that I was right where God wanted me for now.

So that’s all right, then.  But how am I doin’ with what God has me doin’?  Four and a half weeks into the new year, that seems like a good question to ask.  So why don’t I take a look, and see how well I’ve been keeping up …

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The anniversary that wasn’t

24 January 2011

Yesterday was my wife Nina’s and my twelfth wedding anniversary.  Nowadays, it seems like spending twelve years married to the same person without committing a homicide is fairly rare, and considering some of the problems we’ve had to work through over that time (internal and external), we do rather feel we’ve beaten the odds.  So it’s kind of a big deal, certainly worthy of a celebration.

And what did we do yesterday to commemorate such a momentous occasion?  Well … pretty much nothing.

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Perspective and silver lining, thanks to the Joads

1 July 2009

Sometime, when you think you’re in a bit of a spot, you need a little bit of perspective.  You know the old saying about “I once cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet”?  That’s the kind of perspective I’m talking about here — the “it could be a whole lot worse” kind.  The “you have no idea how good you’ve got it” kind.  The kind that says, “hey, our home state’s not so bad — look at California, they can’t even pass a freaking budget!”  I don’t mean being cheered at the misfortune of others; I mean being thankful that for whatever reason, God has chosen to protect you from that misfortune.

In my case, being thankful that my last name isn’t Joad.

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I may already be a winner!

20 May 2009

No, I didn’t enter one of those spam e-mail contests that make you sign up to get inundated by advertising so that you can get a free iPod.  (Actually, I don’t even own an iPod.  But that’s another story.)  I did enter an online competition, but there were no prizes other than having your wit publicly credited.  And I won!

Last month, I happened upon an interesting little article at (motto: “Movies, TV, Music, Video, Humor and Pop Culture … taken way too seriously”).  In honor of the upcoming summer blockbuster movie season, and all the hackneyed stories and phrases on display during same, they did a contest called “CLICHEMAGEDDON.”  The premise was simple: they took ten standard action-movie phrases, inserted blanks at key points and invited people to fill in the blanks with the funniest/silliest/wittiest/nerdiest things they could think of and post the results as responses.  Here are the ten offerings:

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Happiness in a hundred wooden tiles

19 May 2009

I’ve mentioned before how the last few weeks have been busier than usual, what with having temporary work and all.  During that time, of course, I had to cut a lot of lower-priority activities out of my schedule, so for the last several days I’ve been playing catch-up on things like lawn care, house cleaning and … well, and this blog.  Not to mention getting used once again to being at home and taking care of my son through the day.  It’s been a blizzard of activity, but I think I’m finally getting back into the swing of things.

And that means beginning to pick up some of the “fun stuff” once again – things I do just for grins and giggles.  (I can’t just agonize over the state of the American church 24/7, tempting though it may be – I’d exhaust myself in no time.)  I’m doing a lot of reading – currently I’m in the middle of Daniel Levitin’s This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession.  I’m keeping up the maintenance on the Stockton ‘88s, my team in the Legends of Baseball all-time fantasy league – currently they’re 26-16 and in second place in their division, but there are still holes in the lineup and pitching rotation to fix.  And just today, I was able to get back to something that I heartily enjoy but haven’t been able to indulge in for over three weeks due to time constraints.

Said indulgence?  Scrabble.

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14 May 2009

Just a quick one here: The RTD job wrapped up this morning, so my schedule is more or less free once again.  Expect a new post tomorrow, and probably one a day for the next several days (maybe for a couple of weeks) as I’ve got a ridiculous backlog of topics I want to yak about.  Upcoming subjects, in no particular order, may include:

  • Why public transportation may not catch on like many hope it would.
  • A final (for now, anyway) wrap-up of my Congregational Journey.
  • The developing collapse of the newspaper industry, why it’s happening and how it may relate to other institutions.
  • The continuing saga/follies of the American church.
  • Troubles involving two of my favorite companies, Chrysler and SpiralFrog.
  • My growing fascination with Scrabble.
  • “The #1 surfer in North Dakota” (that’s a metaphor — I’ll let you speculate on what it’s a metaphor for …)
  • The Linden (CA) Cherry Festival, and maybe ag festivals in general.
  • Fanfic, and why I have more fun reading about movies than watching them.
  • Getting used to my new bifocals (they finally arrived yesterday).
  • Child discipline.
  • Temp agencies.
  • Lawn care.
  • Male and female attractiveness.
  • Kentucky Grilled Chicken.
  • Anything else that gets sucked into my indiscriminate vacuum cleaner of a mind.

If any of the topics above sound interesting, then keep reading and enjoying!  And if none of them sound interesting, then comment below on what you’d like me to address and then keep reading and enjoying!  See you tomorrow … and the day after that … and the day after that … and the day after that …

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