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.