July 5, 2007

Save WGTS

I have lived in the suburbs of Washington, DC my entire life. There are a few things (surprisingly) of value in these parts, and one of them is a Christian radio station located at 91.9 on the radio dial, WGTS.

I used to listen to them back when they were a classical radio station during the week, and played lame Christian music on Saturdays.

Some years ago, they had a change in format to contemporary Christian music, and while initially I remember it was a rough switch, both musically and in church politics, they have definitely found their stride and have easily become one of the best stations in the DC metro area.

Unfortunately, the radio station is governed by a college, and those that run the college which is in poor financial health, are planning on selling the station. Mind you, the station is self-sustaining. I remember back in the day, twice a year, they held seemingly never ending telethons to raise money. These fund raisers lasted for several weeks a pop. Now, however, they raise all their money in a matter of days for the course of the entire year. So, currently the college is ridding all their assets to infuse their coffers with cash.

If they were going to sell the station to a Christian station so they can keep the same format and the same hosts, it would definitely be less of a blow. But as of right now, NPR is the highest bidder at $30 million, so it appears that they could walk away with the station.

There are two other Christian stations in the DC area that provide quality talk shows with some music thrown in, but neither offer the product that WGTS provides.

While I do listen to WGTS (though I honestly prefer Baltimore's WRBS) and complain about the antics of DJ Angela Stevens, and the playlist of WGTS that seems to include the same exact song at the same times on certain days, its me just being petty. Probably most people will actually consider my complaints assets to the station. To each his own, I guess.

I cannot imagine the nation's capital without a station that plays Christian music.

Check out WGTS' website. People who live all around the world actually do listen to the station because they do an online stream. Locals who leave the area and want to stay connected listen. Troops stationed in Iraq listen. Non-Christians who work in hospitals listen.

Now that you know that DC is on the verge of losing its Christian music station, I ask you to do something about it. You don't have to live in the area (clearly). Visit this website to find out more information about what is going on, and what you can do to help.

Christians from all across the country (and around the world, for that matter) can really step in and give us a hand. The significance of this loss (selling the only Christian music station to the highest bidder in the nation's capital) is astounding.

June 29, 2007

Packing it up

I am a horrible blogger. I have one of those "sometimes it gets updated, sometimes it doesn't" blogs which are marginally better (barely) than those blogs that don't get updated, or were killed after about 2 posts but still linger online.

Anyway, after (once again) teetering on the edge of blog deletion, I have concluded that I will do the following: post a column type post once a week. I will shoot for Thursdays, but we'll see. The article topic will probably be fairly random, but all things considered, it will probably be best I go this route.

I do want a place to do some verbal expression, but I tend to stress over the fact that since I don't blog daily (like anyone with a blog really ought to), I just kind of put no effort into anything at all.

Blah blah blah.

Ok, so, see you back here next Thursday. That's the guarantee. I might post randomly at other times. Probably not. But Thursday. We'll see...

June 22, 2007

Back from Africa

Spent the past couple weeks in Ethiopia. Renewed blogging intensity forthcoming. Be prepared.

May 17, 2007

To Melinda Dolittle

Dear Melinda,

I was a huge fan of yours this season. From week one, I picked you as my favorite, and told people that you were amazing. I enjoyed all of your performances this season and even have some old episodes of American Idol saved on my DVR for random rewatching. Due to the reality of the show, I figured that despite your superior vocal ability, you would not be in the finals (the best singer never wins). Even so, I was disappointed to see you voted off last night.

I do have a plan for you, Melinda. Because I am well versed in all things music industry related (by which I simply mean I own many CDs, and 1 iTunes download) I feel that my advice would be extremely valuable to you. Here it is:

Release a gospel CD.

That's it. You already are a gospel fan, and we both like the same artists. I can't remember your list that you mentioned on an episode a while back, but I am certain it included Fred Hammond, my all time favorite. If you expressed interest, I'm sure you could get all the heavyweights in the gospel music industry to work with you on your debut album.

Do not release a "mainstream" album.

What I do suggest is that you work with your label on creating an upbeat, crossover song to launch your gospel career. Deliberately make it a song that can be played on any station - the equivalent of a "Shackles" by Mary Mary.

A failed secular release with a subsequent gospel turn can be disastrous (see, Studdard, Reuben). Keep it simple. You strike me as somebody who wouldn't quite fit in with the modern (i.e. gross) R&B scene anyway - your style is way too classic. The audience and the styles in gospel would be a perfect match for you and your voice.

Here's to an excellent debut album! I'll be waiting for it!

A fan,
Ryan

May 11, 2007

I'm back

I realize it has been nearly a month since my last post! Things had been going so well. However now I am (apparently) back to blogging.

Where was I?

Well, I was away for a week and a day. Went to the Grand Canyon, Vegas, and drove up the California coast in a convertible mustang.

I spent April 17 cursing at TurboTax for messing with me. I began a 1 man mission to bring the company down, but they went the extra mile (or seventeen) to remedy their disastrous tax day.

I finished up with my spring semester of seminary. I will be taking the summer off so I can go to Ethiopia and move out of my apartment.

Anyway, the reason for today's post is that the slowest hour of the day is 3:00. I have made the discovery earlier this week, and today, once again I am realizing it is true.

April 13, 2007

Jason Whitlock

I was watching the Today Show this morning and they spent about the first 20 minutes of the show on the Don Imus hysteria. Many different groups were used to provide differing viewpoints, from the guy who "mediated" the meeting between the Rutger's women's team and Imus, to a panel of maybe 20 average people who spent time in a room all yelling their opinions at the same time.

As they moved from group to group, there was one guy, who when they first showed him on camera, I sighed to myself because I figured I knew what his opinion would be (seeing as how everybody else they picked for the show provided the opinions they predictably would). But boy was I wrong. I had never heard of Jason Whitlock before today, but I was impressed at what he had to say.

Whitlock is a black guy and he called Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson domestic terrorists. Whoa.

Here's a snippet from an article by him I found today ("Imus isn’t the real bad guy")...

Thank you, Don Imus. You’ve given us (black people) an excuse to avoid our real problem.

You’ve given Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson another opportunity to pretend that the old fight, which is now the safe and lucrative fight, is still the most important fight in our push for true economic and social equality.

You’ve given Vivian Stringer and Rutgers the chance to hold a nationally televised recruiting celebration expertly disguised as a news conference to respond to your poor attempt at humor.

Thank you, Don Imus. You extended Black History Month to April, and we can once again wallow in victimhood, protest like it’s 1965 and delude ourselves into believing that fixing your hatred is more necessary than eradicating our self-hatred.

The bigots win again.


And one more ("Time for Jackson, Sharpton to Step Down")

Here's the opening of this one...

I’m calling for Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, the president and vice president of Black America, to step down.

Their leadership is stale. Their ideas are outdated. And they don’t give a damn about us.


Go and read those articles in their entirety - they are great.

My take on the whole situation is that it's the biggest media hyped joke EVER... well, since the last one anyway. The Rutger's team was robbed of the fact they made it to the national championship game? PLEASE. Like Whitlock said this morning, people are foolishly giving Don Imus this incredible amount of power that he actually doesn't have.

I really hope that there are more newsworthy items next week that we had this week. Really hope.



In case you can't see it too well, the "Breaking News" alert is that the Rutgers team has accepted Imus' apology. This is huge! HUGE I tell you!

April 4, 2007

It's all relative

When I was walking to Burger King to get my regular order (BK veggie combo with hot onions and onion rings, with raspberry iced tea to drink), I realized how chilly 50 degrees seemed to be. A couple weeks ago, I would have been thrilled at the thought of a 50 degree day and its warmth. However, today, I actually got a chill or two. I miss the warmth of days in the upper 70s already!

April 3, 2007

My most popular post

I can review stats for my blog, and I have learned my post from almost two years ago "Barbara Harrison Made a Funny" has been getting some business lately. A lot of business.

I was curious as to why that was the case, and after doing some investigation, I learned that recently Harrison uttered a bad word on the air without realizing she was on and the producers not catching it.

My post had nothing to do with that incident (obviously) but it was interesting to see the pickup. I guess people searched Google for her name and my site may have somehow came up.

Maybe this post will add to the hype. The more the merrier.

April 2, 2007

Greatest Contestant Ever

Get your own shirt today from www.bustedtees.com

As horribly as he sings (though I did see a YouTube clip of him recently where he isn't too bad), he clearly is the show this season. Can the vast majority of America even name any of the other contestants?

I've been a Melinda fan from when the top 12 females and top 12 guys were picked and have been following her ever since. But even then, this season has totally been a disappointment. If it wasn't for Sanjaya, there really wouldn't be anything to talk about - especially with Antonella being gone.

So I'd say this season has been saved by Sanjaya. I'm not hoping he wins or anything, but if it wasn't for him, it sure would be lamer. I actually look forward to what his next big thing is going to be.

April 1, 2007

Tea leaves

I love Thai iced tea. Back when we had horrible winter weather, on those occasionally warm days, I would take the couple block walk to this Thai restaurant in DC. Now, my trips are becoming more frequent as blistering cold winds are no longer an obstacle.

However, this addiction can become expensive, so I am trying to find where I can find some Thai tea leaves to make some Thai iced tea at home.

So yes, if you know where I can get some leaves to support my addiction, please email me.

March 31, 2007

Finally did it


Took the plunge today. For years now, I've been planning on getting an MP3 player for use in my car. I have a plan on buying an adapter so I can directly hook it up to my car (since I don't have a pre-existing audio input jack), but was waiting to implement it only after my CD changer performed its last spin. My CD player isn't officially broken, but its quirkier than ever in selecting which of my albums it wants to play.

I made one attempt in the MP3 world, purchasing a Creative Nomad player. However, due to my severe lack of patience, I quit the complicated process of converting all my CDs onto the player. I ultimately gave the Nomad away.

Then today, on a total spur of the moment purchase, I ended up picking up the black, 30gig iPod. I figure now with my Mac, the transfer process will be simpler and my patience bank will have enough in it to carry me through.

We'll see.

March 30, 2007

Final occupancy

Isn't it ironic? Don't you think?

Yesterday after my post about finally being settled in at the new apartment, I received notice that my apartment community will be demolished. Someone has purchased the land upon which the current buildings sit and feel the need to destroy them.

I have no idea what is going up in their place, but most likely some high priced apartments in the newly bustling, redeveloped downtown Silver Spring area. My stint in a hip part of town appears to be coming to an end - in 120 days.

I will be the final occupant in the life of my apartment.

This is quite funny simply because several months ago, our company moved to temporary office space while our building gets renovated. A part of the renovation included the demolition of the annex building - the exact location where I worked.

So at work, in the 60 years or so of the annex's life, I became the last person to work in my pseudo-office before it was destroyed. Now, I will be the last person to live in my current apartment in a building that I'd estimate to be about 40 to 50 years old, before it too becomes transformed into a pile of bricks.

I'm still trying to figure out what exactly this means.

March 29, 2007

Thank you, Sarah

A couple of months ago, I moved to a new place. Been settled in for a while now but one thing that reminds me that I am still relatively new to the place is the fact that the previous occupant of the apartment still has her mail sent there. I've lived many places in my life, and receiving the occasional piece of somebody else's mail to my address isn't uncommon. However, with Sarah's mail, its entirely different.

Normally, when you move somewhere new, you complete a change of address form and the post office delivers your mail to your new address. It's not a fool proof process as sometimes mail slips through the post office's filter, but its fairly accurate nonetheless.

But clearly, Sarah never filled out such a card.

On a daily basis, mail comes in for her. I got her W-2, mail from the MVA for her car registration, correspondence from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, personal letters hand addressed from people I imagine are her friends. I've received bills for bottled water, which I guess she had special delivered to the place.

I've also learned many things about Sarah.

She is an alumni of the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University. She works in the medical field in project management. She shops at Sam's Club and does care for her health.

Returning mail has been quite the process. I typically let it collect, and then go though it, returning to sender stuff that would be important to her. Hopefully these organizations will know that she hasn't been getting what they have been sending.

Anyway, the point of this story is this.

In the process of junking the junk mail, I have come across these apparently free magazines about project management. This week I have been reading them, and have come to recognize that professionally, this is actually the career path I should take. Based on life experience, project management is actually where I thrive and have a natural knack for.

Yes, I am in school working on getting my masters of divinity, and that is absolutely my life plan. However, aside from being a pastor, based on my seminary training thus far, and the pitfalls of ministry, I've learned that as an individual, I need to have a "backup career." I don't know where my first paying job in ministry will be. And who knows how stable a career path it will offer me.

However, with a focus on project management, and acquiring advanced certification, I will make myself marketable both in the "real world" of work, but it will serve as an awesome compliment to ministry. I'm pretty excited about the thought of it.

This is an option I didn't realize existed. I didn't know that the job of a "project manager" actually was an industry in and of itself. I wouldn't have realized this if the prior occupant of my apartment had filled out the card from the post office to have her mail forwarded to her.

For this I say: Thank you, Sarah.

March 28, 2007

My 43 Things

I happened to stumble upon the website 43things.com last week. I had never really checked out the site before, but after taking a few minutes to explore, I have decided it might be the greatest site ever.*

For those of you who don't know (although I might be in the vast minority of not knowing here as the site apparently peaked in popularity in 2005), it is a site where people list their list of individual life goals - some huge, some small - and by doing so, are able to find others who are in pursuit of the same thing.

I love lists. I love dreaming. I love goals. This one site takes care of all three.

So here's my list for your amusement.

*I'm looking for a category. Currently Google (and its whole network) rocks my world, and Wikipedia is my favorite information source.

March 27, 2007

Remember him?

Today the Washington Post has an article on Byron Mouton, a member of the 2002 national championship winning Maryland team.

During the summer of 2002, I was working at the University of Maryland as a community assistant at the summer housing service desk. Byron was staying on campus then, I guess as he was running out of NBA prospects. He always rode around campus on a shiny silver scooter - you know those kind that you stand on, and accelerate by kicking your foot on the pavement? Oh, the memories.

Anyway, the article talks about his nomadic life which began that summer and doesn't include the NBA. Poor guy. He was great.

March 13, 2007

The National Enquirer?

Today, during my daily news briefing, I came across this article in the Washington Times: It's pages over pundits for political news.

It basically says that for people who follow politics closely, their news medium of choice is the standard newspaper. (Come to think of it, how convenient for a newspaper to publish this story).

Anyway, I agreed with most of what the article had to say - the future of the newspaper may need to recognize the fact that many of the readers are politics junkies like myself.

However, near the end, the article describes what the most trusted news sources in America are:

The number of Americans with positive views of the overall press dropped last year, falling from 59 percent in February to 48 percent by July. Among 20 major news organizations, few escaped a decline in credibility ratings: Only Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the "NewsHour" on PBS, People magazine, the National Enquirer and smaller local papers maintained the steady trust of readers and viewers.


Umm... the National Enquirer as a trusted source? If you ask me, if I were at Fox News or the Wall Street Journal, I'd be kind of embarrassed to know who else shares the same category of news trustworthy that I do.

February 26, 2007

February 22, 2007

A funny thing happend on the way home last night....

The past week has been quite traumatic in my computer life. A week ago today, I was sitting at my desk, checked some email, and got up to get a glass of ice water as I was about to begin watching my DVD lectures for the evening.

I didn't realize it, but the power cord was wrapped around my shoe, and with one simple move, my Apple 17" G4 PowerBook crashed to the hardwood floor, breaking 75% of the viewable screen.

After spending quite some time writhing in agony, and getting some assistance from my main main, a replacement screen was eventually ordered, and all would hopefully soon be well.

So last night, we began the computer repair process taking apart my constant life companion only to discover that the screen that we purchased, while made specifically for my make and model, didn't meet the "product number" requirement, so no replacement was made (that complete adventure will be blogged about in the future... I'll end it at that for today's purposes).

So last night, about 1:30 AM, I am driving home through the boonies of Montgomery County at a rapid, open road rate. Some time into the journey, I realize that I have a car on my tail, and upon closer inspection, I realized that it was in fact a state trooper behind me. At this point, I'm doing 60 in a 30, and feeling that it was already too late to avoid the inevitable stop, I didn't brake, but eased off on the gas slowly slowing down.

The moment I hit 40 miles per hour, the flashers come on and I pull off to the side of the road.

Dreading what was forthcoming, visions of my last ticket (a $523 doozy two years ago) came to me. The officer hopped out of his car relatively quickly and come to my side. He asked me for my license and registration, to which I complied.

He had his flashlight pointed at me, and using the illumination from it, I fingered through 4 different registration cards (I replaced my original boring plates with cool Maryland tags, and had one renewal since I got the car...and I just saved the useless, invalid ones just to complicate situations like this). As it took me a minute to find the right one, the officer asks me, "Does your car have interior lighting?" Me first analyzing his question as if "interior lighting" was some sort of criminal activity I was partaking in. After I affirmatively answered his question, he replied, "So use it."

Well said.

So I turn on my interior lights, and while locating the correct card, he looks at my gas gauge and remarks, "I know why you were going fast! You were running out of gas!"

I wisely agreed with his assessment of the situation. He then asked me where I planned on filling up my tank. I had no idea where the next station was, being out in the boonies and all, and he told me where I could find one. He then took my license and registration and told me he would follow me to the gas station and would let me know there "what he decided to do with me."

While filling my tank, the officer and I had a pleasant conversation. He asked me where I was headed, questioned the out of date address I had on my license, and asked my why I hadn't filled up at the outset of my journey.

After successfully replying to all his queries, we had a conversation about my computer breakage incident, the fact that a unsuccessful repair attempt had been made, and his personal doubts about the chances of returnability of items on EBay.

We even talked about religion.

He also reminded me about the 2 points I had on my drivers license which are set to expire in June.

At the end of our chat, he reminded me to be safe when I was driving, so as to not kill myself or another driver. He told me he didn't want to give me more points, and to make sure I filled up my gas tank appropriately. He told me he tries to keep his tank at a quarter tank at minimum, and that he usually tries to keep it above a half a tank in case he is called on a chase.

He let me go without a warning, without a ticket.

I am one lucky guy.

February 20, 2007

This Morning on the Metro....

After a busy long weekend, I waited on the platform of the Silver Spring metro station for the next available train to take me to work. As a train approached, I was pleased to discover it was starting its journey from our station, so we boarded an empty train. Seat selection was a joy.

However, with our arrival to the Takoma station, the real excitement was about to begin.

As people boarded our formerly empty train, a gentleman was seated two rows ahead and to the right of me, and apparently was waiting for his friend to sit with him. A lady had approached this seat, and seeing that his friend was still approaching the seat, and there were others available, asked the woman if she could find a seat elsewhere.

She took a seat behind him in the very next row, and when the man's friend sat down, she began the morning's hysteria.

She loudly exclaimed how rude the man was, and that he had no right to push her away. (For the record, the lady sat down next to a Metro contractor who said he hadn't witnessed the alleged push because he was reading a newspaper. I didn't see a push, nor did anyone else claim to have witnessed it. This does not mean it didn't happen.) The man denied pushing her.

The conversation escalated, with the man and the woman going back and forth: she declaring his rudeness, and he denying her claims.

A Metro driver happened to walk by, as we were in the front car of the train, and came to intervene. He attempted to mediate, but eventually decided backup was necessary and called it in.

He leaves, which prompts the involvement of other passengers. A woman two rows ahead of me, and to the left of the men in question loudly states that the man who was holding the seat needed to be kicked off the train.

Another woman, a hippie type, then began her mediation attempt. She talked about how we humans are all "interconnected" and that each of us have an "energy" and when people argue like those two were doing, all of our "energy levels" were being depleted. She told them they needed to think about these things before they chose to fight.

He then apologizes for what he had done. The lady, not being satisfied since he wasn't looking at her when he said sorry, asked for another one. He complied.

By this time, we had arrived at other station, and an additional Metro employee boarded our train in an attempt to resolve the escalating conflict. He tried to get both sides of the story, and concluded with informing them that he was going to put in a call to the transit police.

The employee leaves, and the man and the woman do another back and forth. The man, who seemed to get extremely irritated with the situation at this point, informed her when she once again asked why he allowed the other man seated next to him the seat and not her, that he and the man "were together" and had been in a relationship for the past five years, and due to their schedules, riding the Metro was sometimes the only time they had to spend with one another.

The lady then spoke of the "relationship" she had with the Metro contractor seated next to her (who she had clearly never met previously), and when the man gave her a puzzled look to her response, she slowly understood what he had meant by being "together."

Unfortunately, this was not the end of the saga. Metro employees still needed to finish their involvement.

The Metro driver who initially witnessed the event came back to see what the status was. Both parties indicated that they had resolved their differences, but the driver wasn't convinced. He called for another employee to the situation. The other employee came and talked to both, and once again, he was informed that the two had solved their problem. After an impromptu meeting between the now four Metro employees now riding the train, the woman was offered a personal escort for the duration of her Metro ride. She declined it.

The couple departed at the Gallery Place station, 7 stations after the incident began. After the man and the woman exchanged a final apology, he and his boyfriend disembarked the train.

At the next station, the woman was greeted by a transit police officer who asked all the individuals in the front of the packed rush-hour train to leave so he could approach the woman. He asked her if she wanted to press charges against the man, which she declined. He confirmed this with her twice more, and after being satisfied, he left.

As we arrived at the next station and as I stepped off the train so I could head on into work, the lady I was seated next to, who I had shared the experience (sighing in unison on several occasions and offering our commentary to one another) were never so relieved to finally arrive at work.

What an exciting morning in the capital of our great land.

Maryland finally coming into postseason form

Click here.

I realize I have neglected my blog recently. I am sorry.

Not to worry, regularity will return. I have been chewing my fiber gum.

February 15, 2007

Snot Drips....

So I'm sitting on the Metro this morning on a crowded train. It seems that everybody is sick around me - the person who I am seated next two keeps breathing in the mucus in their nose because they lacked a Kleenex and their nose was about to leak, apparently. Standing above me was also a similarly sick individual.

I am quite the germophobe. If people cough or sneeze around me, I tend to hold my breath for an acceptable amount of time before the germs floating around in the air pass. It's a very scientific method I employ. Yes, and it works I tell you. It works.

So anyway, as I am sitting there, surrounded by coughs, sneezes, and runny noses, I feel something on my lip. A liquid of some sort from the man standing above me dripped onto me.

Yes, I got snot dripped.

After it happened, I was in shock, and didn't know what to do. I then, using my sweater sleeve, dabbed it up, and sat in misery for a train ride that seemed it would never end.

You know how sometimes you have the urge to lick your lips? I was having this urge, but the thought was so repulsive. I sat for the rest of the journey with dry lips.

The moment I finally walked into work, using my faithful bottle of hand sanitizer, I disinfected my lip. I had a cold, I guess a psychological one, for the next 5 hours of the day. But luckily, my trusty immune system dealt with the germs that sought to wreak havoc on my body.

SO gross.

February 9, 2007

Word of the Day: documentational

doc·u·men·ta·tion·al (dŏk'yə-mən-'shən-əl), adjective.

1. Of or relating to documents.

Example: You have met the documentational requirements.

February 7, 2007

Oooooh Maryland...

That is all that I can say. Looks like this will be the third consecutive year without a tournament appearance.

February 6, 2007

In Defense of Joe Biden

In case the rock you live under completely blocked you from the news in the past week, there was some hoopla over some comments made by Joe Biden, Senator from Delaware about the other democrats who are running for President in 2008. The main hysteria was caused because of what he said about Barack Obama - that he was "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man."

Biden did not say that as a racist, nor did Obama take the words as such. They were simply blown out of proportion by the media. He, unfortunately, despite being a politician, doesn't talk in politician-speak which to me is very appealing.

I realized that I was clearly in the minority as I listened to the talking heads across the political spectrum. But then, once again, I felt affirmed by reading the comments by Pat Buchanan - my favorite commentator. He wrote a piece on the issue published today. Go ahead and check it out here.

I am not endorsing Biden as my favorite in the 2008 sweepstakes by any means. I still have yet to find a candidate from either party that I really like at this point. But sometimes the frenzy over petty things gets to be over the top, and this was just one of those times. (For example, during Biden's mandatory apology tour, Al Sharpton tells him "I take a bath every day.") What a joke.

January 22, 2007

Snow Musings

Today, Washington DC survived its first "winter storm." Less than one inch of snow fell. But we survived nonetheless. There was more snow in outlying areas. I believe it was up to three inches in some parts.

Anyway, back when I was in elementary and high school, whenever there was snow on the ground, the first thing you did in the morning was to watch the morning news to see if schools were closed. You usually knew pretty quickly - they cycled the names of the public school systems, and city governments, and you could either celebrate with a closing, be a bit lazier with a delay, or live with utter disgust in your heart with an on-time opening.

Now, however, it seems that every organization sends their status to the news stations, and the cycle of names takes about twenty minutes. In the time it takes for one to wait through a cycle, one can easily look online and easily find the necessary information.

I propose that news stations no longer announce the status of schools and businesses that affect less than 1,000 people. We are in the internet age. The name cycling started before people had any other method of receiving information. Our society must adapt.

January 11, 2007

Excellent Album Alert

Here's an album I know you should check out. I don't even have my copy yet (its on its way), but you can actually preview almost the entire album - that's right, you aren't limited it to 30 second clips that barely give you enough of a song for you to make sure its the one you are looking for or to hide the fact that the rest of the song sucks.

I'm a huge Shaun Groves fan, and today on his blog, which I read faithfully during my daily morning whirlwind internet news and blog reading session, he asked to help get the word out about his new independent CD. So I, being the lemming that I am, complied.

I actually have every CD he has released, and I have thoroughly enjoyed each one. This one is no different.

January 10, 2007

Quote of the Day

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who pouts out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of good deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy case; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never bee with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt, 1910, Paris Sorbonne

January 8, 2007

Word of the Day: Romo

ro·mo (ROW-mow), verb.
1. to bring about a positive, dramatic turnaround to an organization, only to see the changes progressively diminish and brought to a sudden, self-caused halt.
2. to slip through ones fingers, as if they were coated with butter.
3. to be the sole cause of one's defeat.

Example: Under Tom's leadership, deficits were replaced by surpluses and the stock valued rose, however, he romoed the company when, in the process of reducing paperwork to increase efficiency, he had all the company's financial records shredded. All of them.

January 5, 2007

HOT and cold

I love my new bathroom. The shower has a large, frosted window in it so if you get in at the right time, you can take a morning shower in the rays of the rising sun. I love sunshine.

There is a problem, however. The building is on the older side of things. Not historical preservation by any means, but several decades old. Because of this, or simply poor pipes, it is virtually impossible to take a shower of constant temperature if you try during normal awake hours. It seems somebody in the building is always brushing their teeth, washing dishes, flushing a toilet, or doing laundry. It's perpetual "Flush!" land.

This morning, for example, I probably spent more time along side a stream of scalding hot water than I did under it. Well, I am slightly exaggerating. But it was pretty close, maybe a third of my shower time.

You can try anything. You think you've finally found the perfect water temperature after a marathon of knob turning only to find yourself yelping in pain as your skin feels like its about to peel. Or you get a blast of ice cold water even though the cold water knob is not open. The temperature will not stay constant for more than about 40 seconds.

Its either hot. Or its cold. It's never in between.

After thinking about it this morning, as the shower billowed with clouds of steam and I positioned my feet in such a way I could avoid getting burned by the falling water, I finally discovered what happened. The shower head borrowed my Bible and read Revelation 3:15 and 16.

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
So my shower has taken this to heart, and will only be hot or cold.

When you read those verses in their context, God rebukes people who say that they have everything that the world offers and don't need anything else. He offers those lukewarm people an upgrade on everything they think they have, free of charge for something better. Much better.

It is so easy to get caught up in the rat race that we forget about the life that God calls us to. A life that is completely opposite of what the world recommends. Or what makes sense.

God calls us to give ourselves completely to Him. Not halfway. Not straddled on a fence. Not lukewarm.

Its funny what a shower can teach you about life.

January 4, 2007

I Quit

Yesterday was my last day.

It was the final day that I drove home from work.

Today, and every day in the foreseeable future, I will be taking the subway to work. I used to ride the Metro every day, when I first got my job in downtown Washington, DC. However, after working at the job for about a year, my name had moved up on the parking spot waiting list all the way to the top. And for a per-paycheck deduction of first $30 every two weeks, and more recently $46.15, I got my very own place to park my car.

When I lived in College Park, my drive time was about an hour. Total mileage was roughly 11 to 12. I moved to Silver Spring, and my commute time shrunk to about 45 to 50 minutes for a 9 mile drive. And currently, from my new place in downtown Silver Spring, its about a 30 to 35 minute drive for about a 7 mile drive. For those of you who live in the DC area, I imagine the travel times are understandable. However, for those who don't live near such congestion, I bet it could be cause for some indigestion.

I will no longer have drive my beloved car at speeds slower than the growth rate of my facial hair. Nor will I be the victim of signal-less turners. Or entitlement drivers. I will not burn gasoline at rates barely into the double digits on a gallon. However, I will no longer get to eat breakfast in my car or enjoy some quality radio morning shows.

The best part of this new arrangement is that my job-related transportation expenses are now zero. My workplace provides an excellent benefit of $100 free in Metro fare and my estimated monthly cost would be around $95 since I no longer need to park at the station. So now I don't need to pay just to get to work.

Also, now I will be able to do some reading again. Although it will be school related, I now get nearly an hour of time (25 minutes each way) I can devote to it that I couldn't before. This should hopefully help me stay on top of things.

As I now will be taking a different line than I did when I did my first Metro-rider stint, I will get to learn about the best platform positions, and which side of the train the doors will open on at each station. It really is quite an art which I had mastered. Fortunately (or unfortunately), I don't need to change trains at any point in my journey now, so the process will not be nearly as involved as it used to be.

Here's to the Metro riders...I'm back.

January 3, 2007

Mission to Ethiopia

Among the projects I have coming up this year is to help plan a mission trip for my church to Ethiopia. While our most recent trip (Ireland) was geared toward the youth, this one is more open to all members, and many individuals across the age spectrum have expressed interest.

What is the goal of the trip, you ask? My church, Reaching Hearts International, has an orphans ministry. Hundreds of children across the world are sponsored by members and friends by contributing $30 per month. You can read more about the ministry here. We have come to work with many orphanages directly. As such, we will actually be working on construction of a new one in June. The organization we will be working with has developed a system where two parents are given a house and ten children are cared for. They live as a large family. Additionally, the villages that contain many of these orphanages are designed to be self-sustaining - all the individuals needs are cared for by the people themselves. The kids are taught skills so that when they are ready to begin their adult lives, they can move on, well prepared to live life on their own.

Most of these kids are orphans because their parents have died because of AIDS.

If you are interested in participating in this trip, either by going on it yourself, or sponsoring someone who is (MSRP is $2,500), please contact me.

I will keep you posted as the trip develops, and will provide a post-trip analysis. Although it is extremely unlikely that blogging will occur during the trip, if there is somehow internet access somewhere, I will attempt to provide an update or two. We'll see. The trip is still young.