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.