The Naked Green

2005.4.20 Wednesday

Life Trickles By

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 9.11 pm

It’s when life gets busy and full of things to talk about that the blogging slows to a trickle. It’s sad that the best amateur writing is about the most boring things because there’s so much time to embellish. You have to have some pretty good material to make it interesting without embellishment and even that takes talent and time. I digress.

It’s official! Green Light Works, my business, now has a website and I’ve been littering the town with business cards. This is the time to try making money out of a hobby I love: web design. You laugh? Well, it’s also a time to help my Dad out with his flooring business. Add in a math class to meet the criteria for an electrician apprenticeship and you start to get the idea: I’m busy and my mind is working faster than it likes to. Emotions are…well…emotional.

I’m not at all saying that my life is somehow unbearable or “too busy". Others work hard for that title and I have no intention of taking it away. There is a lot going on in my life for me personally, though. More than the volume, it’s the alien feeling I get doing such crazy things. I mean, living the “American Dream"…who would have thought?

2005.4.1 Friday

The Joke is on Me

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 11.38 pm

It must have been a big practical joke or something that shut down the internet for at least my client and I. I spent most of the morning designing another logo. I guess I’m trying to make up for lack of skill with a multitude of ideas and attempts to find that “image” that defines my business. How many layers is a logo supposed to have, anyway?

I did get some work done, sticking my head [Wow! <opening>Just the other day I was wanting to search my bookmarks and was having a heck of a time figuring out how. I downloaded an extension to do it which was lost when I had to revert to an older version of my profile due to another extension that was causing weird bugs when I updated it. The problem was when I tried to install an old version, it didn’t work and then wouldn’t uninstall. So, I reverted to the old profile and copied my bookmarks over and wouldn’t you know it…I ended up with the old bookmarks some how. The latest is gone! I take my bookmarks seriously and that was frustrating! It put a kink in my work at any rate.</opening> I just hit some key that brought up a sidebar for searching bookmarks. I wonder what buttons I hit and why I didn’t find out how to due that in my search the other day.] into WordPress for another remarkably smooth transition of a design I just did into a theme. I love WordPress! The joking and fun seemed to pass me by unnoticed until recently…is what I was trying to say.

Yep, I guess the joke’s on me…or you for reading this far. Happy April Fool’s Day! I’m not even going to bother looking up the history, it was probably some sort of joke gone bad anyway. A curse to endless yearly mayhem or something.

2005.3.26 Saturday

Bienvenidos!

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 11.17 am

Where in the great city of Juarez right now on a whim. Jamie had a three day weekend and we decided to head for the warmer country since she hasn’t been here before. Now we’re off for more adventures before my 30 minutos runs out.

Update 2005.03.28: What an adventure! We arrived in El Paso Friday night and found a Red Lobster to eat at. Having fulfilled Jamie’s craving for seafood, we went to hotel Wal-Mart for a night in the car. I personally would rather have set up my tent in the parking lot, but I did get some sleep and we didn’t have to worry about sleeping in too late the next morning.

Saturday morning the weather was cold and windy, but we prayed for a change and headed off in excitement to be going to Mexico. We parked in downtown El Paso and got all the way to the border when we realized we needed some extra cash. We wandered around looking for an ATM and soon found out that I didn’t know my pin number. I tried other cards…other pin numbers…called my bank…all to no avail. So we headed into Mexico with $20.

It wasn’t long befor I saw the beacon calling to me: “Internet". That’s what I need, I thought! I logged on to my PayPal account (trying to be as secure as possible) and changed the pin on my PayPal debit card. A quick update for all my religious readers here and we were off to find an ATM. It took some time to figure a number between “insufficient funds” and 50 pesos on two ATMs and then we were off to the market to be assailed by vendors all inviting us into their stalls. Another crisis averted by the wonderful world of internet!

It was a fun and exhausting adventure visiting Mexico, seeing family friends and listening to some books on CD. Stay tuned for our next three day adventure when we hope to sail to Hawaii (or something)!

2005.3.24 Thursday

Goals or Ghouls

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 6.16 pm

Goals or Ghouls? This whole post may be a hodge podge of points on a flat landscape due to this very question. Where do I stand? Am I just reacting or is there some sort of goal? I have an idea where I want to end up in the end and what I’m going to do next, but the path seems non-existent. It may be a fear of commitment or some other neurotic aversion, but I think the question deals with more than the spelling.

Starting a “web design” business has set me to questioning myself and what I’m doing. I love doing web design and believe I’m good enough to start charging money to do it. I know it’s very difficult to make a living at it, though, which leaves me in this sort of temporary state. How can I define the path and where am I headed? I design websites and install hardwood floors for Pete’s sake!

That’s where the whole “electrician thing” comes in. It makes sense: A trade that I can make a decent wage while I learn how to do it and then provide for my family…happily ever after. It’s not that I’m against the idea, either…it’s a good one. I go into it hoping that some day I can bring it around to computers, the internet, design…the things I love to do (for now). No problem. So what’s the big deal?

I’m just thinking at the expense of anyone who reads this blog, that’s all. I was in a particularly down mood about the whole thing this morning and just now, I read an article: My Web Professional Career. I feel like he does: Not confident, fearing failure, and lacking direction. It got me thinking and I decided to write…about goals. Where are they? Well, what the heck, here’s a few:

  • I want my business and any work I do to have kingdom impact (God’s kingdom). That’s too vague though, isn’t it?
  • I plan to be able to be the sole provider for my family within…let’s say two years (from next year).
  • I will try to not delete these goals

I can’t even write them seriously! I suppose I can keep the last one, but why is it that I have such an aversion to being tied down? I think you could say I have effectively stepped out on the line quitting my job and starting a business. There’s really no risk, though. It’s more risky to commit to something…for the long haul.

That’s it for now. No closer to a solution, but I have a soup on the stove that needs stirring.

2005.3.23 Wednesday

Update from Code-Head

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 9.21 am

Only in Colorado does a geek ride his mountain bike up and down hills to get to the library only to pick up books on PHP & MySQL, take a drink from his Nalgene, ride back and actually enjoy it.

Soon, I hope to be designing database driven websites that are so simple to maintain, even the client can do it. Why I want to work myself out of a job, I don’t know. My new found knowledge will probably be used on my business website first. There is some serious learning to do before then, though, which explains why I picked up MySQL/PHP Database Applications. I hope to spend enough time with my head in the book to make some headway progress before I get busy again with two prospective jobs in April as well as some flooring.

Side note: Thanks to Simon Wheeler, creator of phpdev, who made it a breeze to get PHP MySQL and Apache running on my Win machine in minutes! I’m excited to get going and the last thing I need is to spend hours trying to configure programs.

2005.3.19 Saturday

Christ’s Company

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 10.58 am

I’ve been struggling with balance, lately. I’ve been working a lot on web design lately, which is also my hobby. It’s wonderful to do something I love and express the God-given desire and skill to create. I feel like it’s detracting from my relationships, though…my relationship with God and my wife, Jamie. It’s not that I work all the time, but I always seem to be thinking about web design…trying to escape into the world of XHTML, CSS, PHP, etc.

Often in my prayers, I have been telling God that my budding business (really a seedling now) is His. Today, I echoed that saying, “Father, you are the owner of this business.” I started to say, “if this business gets in the way of my relationship with you or Jamie…” then I remembered that I just made Him the owner. How would God’s business detract from His primary concern of relationship? It’s good to know that Jesus is the CEO and I’m going to have to trust Him to do what’s right for the business.

I’ve got a lot of great ideas for design and I want to recognize the source of creativity, Jesus Christ. I have also said it before, but I’ll say it again: Jamie is my inspiration! If you ever want to make some good art, find yourself a wise and creative queen and do whatever it takes to marry her.

2005.2.21 Monday

Homemaking Practice

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 10.19 am

I’m home from work today for President’s Day, but instead of vacationing, I decided to do some other work. It’s in preparation of my last day at my job this Friday when I’ll be free from the “nine to five” and will have to cajole myself into the self-discipline of the foreboding “freelance” work.

I’m working today on our church website as well as cooking, cleaning, and preparing for guests tonight. Of course I have to do some obligatory “work time” blogging as well.

2005.2.13 Sunday

Two Weeks

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 10.41 pm

I sent an email to my boss on Friday with that magical phrase: “Two weeks notice". I believe it’s time to move on and I’m looking forward to what God has in store for me.

There will be plenty to do as I have my first paying client for web design and others on the horizon. I will be working with my Dad who just started a flooring business and of course, snow plowing when it comes. I’m also looking forward to taking some of the load off of Jamie with house work (can you believe it?).

This move will give me much more flexibility to explore different venues of work and education. I will remain open to missions work in the near future and be able to work toward that. I’m excited about the change! Hey, change is good (if it’s smart change). :)

2005.2.3 Thursday

Writing Weirdness: Spam

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 12.25 pm

Why do I consistently capitalize all letters in the word spam? I think maybe I wrote it that way for emphasis a few times. My brain went into gear and said “spam must be capitalized!” When I questioned it, I just figured it was an acronym (don’t ask me for what). There’s the brain doing weird things. It doesn’t make sense, so I won’t do it anymore.

That does bring up another question, though: Why doesn’t weird follow the rules (i.e. “I before E except after C and when sounds like A as in neighbor and weigh” [punny])? That’s bad enough as it is, but weird just has to be…weird.

2005.2.1 Tuesday

Favorite Childhood Color

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 4.41 pm

A little known fact that I think even my wife is in the dark on: My favorite color as a child was yellow.

2005.1.31 Monday

Scary Sleep

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 9.04 am

I was driving home from my Mom’s birthday party yesterday afternoon when all of a sudden, my head went BOOM! My eyes opened to watch my body quickly direct the car back onto the road and off the large median. I had some sort of revelatory blankness up there that, coupled with the painful shock, gave me an adrenaline pumping fear and alertness. Alert to the fact that the other cars around were avoiding me. Alert to the fact that I came to a grinding halt at the yellow light just ahead. Miraculously, I instilled no damage on the car, nor did I damage any of the nice trees on the high median which, I assure you, was not made for driving on. I’m glad that Jamie is safe in Michigan right now and I thank Jesus for protecting me (as I’m sure he did)!

It wasn’t really my fault. It was the car that actually went up there. I wasn’t directing it at all as my brain apparently either shut down or went somewhere else. I guess twelve hours of snow plowing with no sleep will do that to you. Somehow I safely made it through the last 25 minutes of the drive, surviving by fear and a constant muttering to myself about whatever I saw and especially, where I was.

Returning home, I promptly got undressed and into bed for a seven hour nap. The cat decided that was enough before eating was essential, so I got up. After eating some breakfast (or something) and feeding the cat, I read for a bit and snuggled in for my real seven hours of sleep. It was the cat that woke me up again, which was a good thing for once because I had my alarm set for Saturday’s wake up time. Not that it mattered much as the company I work at is on a two hour delay.

Thinking about the experience again this morning, I realized that many of us are like that too. We’re cruising down the road with no driver. God wants to come in and take the wheel to make sure we’re not flying around doing damage to ourselves and others. He wants to drive in style, not a piece of junk, so He plans a work of renewal and restoration that will make us the envy of that new Mercedes. Who is your owner and driver? Are you going the right way, but keep running into things, knowing that when the turn at the bottom of the hill comes, you’ll be headed for destruction? I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but Jesus wants to be the driver in your life. He wants you to end up parked in His beautiful mansion. He even goes way beyond this allegory, desiring a relationship with you! Don’t wait for a BOOM to wake you up!

2005.1.28 Friday

Missing Jamie

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 1.45 pm

I’ve really been missing Jamie lately. It’s only been three days since I saw her, but it’s the longest time we’ve been apart since we were married. The last time was for one night when I went camping with the guys. I’m glad she’s having a good time with family, but I’ll be happy when she’s snuggled in bed with me. = )

Thankfully, I ran across The Happy Husband and read some of his joyful and humorous posts. I was reminded again, with cheery nostalgia, how great Jamie is and how much I love her! Thanks to Eric Siegmund for the link!

2005.1.26 Wednesday

Queen Green

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 10.31 am

My beautiful wife, Jamie is up and blogging at QueenGreen.com! She just made her first blog post ever and I’m so proud!

I’m excited to see her blogging because she is a good writer, has a lot of wisdom and great thoughts on all kinds of things. Now you don’t have to read her inspirational ideas second hand! That’s right, she’s my inspiration and the queen of my heart. Watch her words closely, but remember, she’s mine!

Love to the wife!

2005.1.11 Tuesday

Vision in the Laundry Room

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 4.06 pm

Almost exactly 24 years after I was born, I sat down in the laundry room and saw a headline in The Denver Post. Over a large picture of two young guys wearing hospital masks outside were the bold words, “Thailand: a mission redefined*". I don’t ever read the paper nor had I ever seen one in the laundry room, but I had to wait for the towels to get done and the article looked interesting. Flipping the newspaper over to see the bottom, I noticed the sub headline, “As Springs-based Christians race to help, what they find horrifies and transforms them.*” The caption for the picture was also visible: “…They are volunteers with Colorado Springs’ Youth With a Mission, which plans to send 120 teams to the country to aid in rebuilding.*” By the way, the guy in the article is 24 years old!

Wow! That was enough to catch me. I grabbed the laundry and the paper and headed back to the apartment. I showed Jamie the article and she got excited about the possibilities. I thought she might have just thought, “hmm…", but she began talking about the possibilities. Could this be the direction we’ve been looking for? Perhaps the semi-closed doors we’ve been experiencing were God’s way of making us wait. Just earlier that night I was pondering the difficulties I was having becoming an electrician. I was thinking about taking a risk and leaving my job which seems like a dead end. Not wanting to make a rash decision or get all superstitious about events, I went to bed, deciding to call YWAM today about it.

All the work I’ve had today, kept me busy until I took my lunch break. I called YWAM and an enthusiastic girl took down my information and was exciting that we were interested. She explained some of what they’re looking for: individuals and groups for short-term trips to help rebuild as well as long term missionaries willing to commit to the effort. The more I talked, the more excited I became at the possibilities. I knew it was more than possible if it’s God’s idea and I started thinking about getting my church involved. In fact, just last Sunday, our pastor announced that this year will be the “Year of Outreach". The girl mentioned that they have community nights on Tuesdays and that we could stop by some time.

I called Phil, a good friend, our cell group leader and the worship leader in our church. I told him what had been happening and suggested we attend the community night for our cell group some time (also on Tuesdays). He was fine with the idea and mentioned that he was just telling the pastor two weeks ago that he felt a burden to go help out in Thailand! We think the church will definitely be on board if we plan something.

While I spoke with Phil, I got a message on my phone. It was from Jonathan, one of the leaders of the Tsunami Relief effort at the Colorado Springs YWAM base. He had gotten my information and was getting back to me. I called back and we shortly discussed where Jamie and I are at and what is happening with YWAM. He will know more information at the end of the week and will keep me posted.

I will be spending some serious time in prayer about this to try to determine God’s will. The excitement I’m feeling is the highest it’s been in quite a while and I look forward to what God has in store. I know it will be hard work and tough on us, but I always seem to be most fulfilled when I’m ministering to others. Just yesterday, I asked God that He would make my heart like His, giving me His love for those affected by the tsunami. He knows I’m a hands on person and this may be His answer (so soon)!

*All quotes: Meyer, Jeremy. “Thailand: a mission redefined” The Denver Post. Sunday, January 9, 2005. Page A1

Rollercoaster Birthday

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 3.19 pm

Yesterday was a roller-coaster ride that thankfully ended well. The work day began with work from last week and continued on heavier than usual. It would have been nice to have a light day on my birthday, but it wasn’t to be.

I went to the local Community College to finish up my math test. Instead of doing that, I found the testing area full of people and several waiting. I turned around and came back to work, frustrated that I had wasted half an hour just driving. I called the College and they refused to take an appointment, but did say they were open until 7.30pm for two days before registration.

I got a lot of work at 3.00pm which was annoying and carried over to today, but by the end of the work day, I was feeling a bit more optimistic.

After work, I picked Jamie up and went to the college. One computer was open, woohoo! Unfortunately, my test was gone! They told me the system only holds them for two weeks, which would have been nice to know before I spent the time on the test. They were closed for a week as it was for the holidays and I couldn’t even get in every day on my lunch break. The worst thing was there attitude. They could’nt care less about me as they said I could take it again. Frustrated and angry, I left. How will I even know that something else won’t go wrong if I take it again. They obviously don’t care enough to do anything about it.

Going home thinking about doing laundry did not help matters. I did do laundry, though and Jamie went to the store for groceries. I got to spend some time on the computer and received a very encouraging email from two girls that were in our DTS wishing me happy birthday. I also found out that we should get back all the money we put in for taxes this year!

Jamie came home, started on supper and while I went back to the laundry room, she set up a nice birthday meal for me! There was cheesecake with 24 candles on it, a Winnie the Pooh balloon and Henry Weinhardt root beer. She sang happy birthday to me and we had a wonderful dinner with ice cream as an added bonus. That put me in a good mood.

I went back and finished up the laundry and then we called it an early night. So much for working out last night, but we both needed some sleep.

Today, I feel much better even though I have had non-stop work until now. In fact, I just got another order. Some exciting things are brewing, though.

Edit 2005.01.14: I changed “could care less” to “couldn’t care less", because as Jamie pointed out this morning, the former doesn’t make sense.

2005.1.6 Thursday

A Happy Birthday!

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 2.52 pm

My A printer just turned 300,000 impressions old! Pretty impressive, huh? Right now it’s at 300,146. This milestone is a great precursor to my own birthday.

Speaking of which, my Mother-in-law just told me I could pick my birthday present from the internet! That’s style! My own parents already gave me my present too: some money for the REI garage sale! Jamie still has some things hidden up her sleeve (or somewhere) that should hit the spot for birthday enjoyment!

2005.1.5 Wednesday

My Computer History

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 11.22 am

Yesterday’s post may bring up the question of why I would even be interested in an OS designed for Windows® users. The answer is that I am a Windows user. “But why?” those anti MS zealots cry. Here is (part of) the history:

Our family’s first computer was a Commodore 64 and I learned enough to run a few games which was all we had on it anyway. I don’t even remember how to run it, but a friend actually has a working unit at his home. The IBM® compatibles came to the scene and we mostly avoided computers for a while preferring the good ol’ books and outdoors for entertainment. We even did our homework with pencils.

I think it was junior high that I got more interested in computing. I was a DOS man, as most were, and could get around quite well. I played around with batch programming and became fairly proficient in Q-Basic building games and “screen-savers". I put together a computer for myself out of a warehouse full of old ones at my Dad’s work and paid $50.00 for it. It was a 286 with 256k of RAM and a 20 MB hard drive. It even had a low density 3.5 inch floppy drive (if you have no clue what that is, don’t worry, you’ll probably never see one.) along with the 5.25 inch drive. In high school, between bouts of excessive drug use, I became interested in programming with C, though it was short lived. It was around then that I borrowed a dial-up connection from a friend and got lost in the world of online chat for a while.

[This paragraph belongs somewhere in the middle of the former as far as time is concerned] I was an adamant opponent to the Macintosh® computer. A graphical UI? Bleh, who needs it? At this point, my only contact with a Mac was at school (enough said). When Windows came along, I disliked it even more as the cheap imitation of the Mac it was. At least I could still run Windows only when needed as a DOS shell, but that quickly changed.

So what happened? Why didn’t I revolt? I don’t know, I was young and ignorant I guess. The OS I knew was changing…fading away and I went with the flow. I never had money for my own computer and didn’t know enough about any other OS. I didn’t hear of Linux for many more years. DOS was not powerful enough any more and the GUI was an easy way to accomplish tasks and to play those increasingly complex games.

The first “real” computer I bought (after the 286, which I still have even after trading it for a backpack) was an iBook® running OSX. I took the step to a better OS, but realized that I didn’t have the time to learn it. I was working on learning basic web design and with the loads of information to retain just in that field, I didn’t want something that I wasn’t comfortable with. [hanging head] Let’s face it, I’m a DOS man…all washed up. I sold it (made some money too) and eventually bought the laptop I have now.

I bide my time now…watching, waiting and dabbling. Soon, very soon I may be able to leave the OS considered to be so evil for a Linux flavor. I guess I’m getting old, but I don’t want to just rush into headaches. I’m working on my OS Mobile Home slowly and will have more options then. I want to stay open to “better change” while still making sure to manage my time well.

Not much in the way of history, due to my mixed up memory, but there you have it. Something.

2005.1.3 Monday

Consumered Out

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 11.51 am

The past several days have been thick with heavy dreams, remnants of illness, lack of sleep, shopping and work. I used my “floating holiday” on Thursday to be unrelaxed and unproductive (a bad combination). Friday was full of working on our car, hanging out with my brother on his birthday and a party with some church friends. The kind of party full of fun games that give you the feeling of estrogen overdose, so I had to play some chess.

The four hours of sleep I had on New Year’s morning seemed great until I had to pull myself out of bed to head off to the REI garage sale. (more…)

2004.12.29 Wednesday

Deathly Afraid

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 12.02 pm

I have been fighting a bug of some sort and yesterday afternoon I was feeling horrible. I went home and crashed, but was in pain all over and having dreams about web design, Christmas lights and our apartment. I finally got up, took some pills and sat with Jamie.

For some reason, when I went back to bed all drugged up, I couldn’t sleep. I just laid there reflecting on my past. It’s hard to imagine that it was really me in all those memories. I was thinking of all the people that I know that died (not too many, thankfully). Death always hits me in a strange way. It seems surreal and I can’t seem to get a grasp on it. It’s sad, but I can’t quite mourn right, it seems.

I’m scared of dying. I’m most scared of the idea of spending eternity without God. I’m scared of the idea of having no eternity, though I don’t believe it. I’m even scared of the idea of spending eternity with Jesus Christ, my God. I’m scared of the unknown and it’s really a lack of trust. I can’t imagine something different (even if similar) to this world that I know. I don’t like the suffering that I experience and that which goes on around me, but it’s what I know. I remember a time when I wasn’t afraid of dying, but I was probably too numbed by other things or hadn’t really thought about it.

Jesus, I feel like I shouldn’t be afraid of being with you. I believe in you and that you are a good God. Please help me in my unbelief! May it not be that I disappear with nothing to show. May I be the part of your body I was designed to be that your will may be done.

2004.12.21 Tuesday

Busy Mr. Grinch

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 10.15 am

Mr. Grinch (aka Mr. Green) has been playing Santa this year and he’s not sure he wants the job. It was fine to get excited about Christmas a bit and a bigger heart is a nice thing once you get used to the added noise, but carrying all those presents…and what they didn’t show you in the cartoon was all the shopping he did.

He had to drive all the way down to the town on the other side of the hill. There he dealt with the frustrated, biting, kicking, screaming inhabitants and had to jump in the fray with teeth bared. Of course, with all the presents Mr. Grinch bought, he ended up making the whole town angry with him. If all that wasn’t enough, he had to deal with the local WeOwnEverything-Mart where they had that special present Mr. Grinch had been eyeing for Cindy Lou Who. After checking all over town and getting some angry glares, he decided that the one at WeOwnEverything-Mart was for him, but they didn’t have it in stock. Nay, they didn’t even carry it any more, but left the sale sign up as a beacon for unsuspecting souls to be twisted into the agony and frustration. Yes, that same sort of feeling that made Mr. Grinch’s face as twisted as it is.

Fortunately, Mr. Grinch is a resilient and resourceful one. He was initially surprised at the amount of violence necessary to love a town of people, but once he caught on, he played the game well. He was probably even good at it due to his checkered past. He did not give up on his special little Cindy Lou Who, but pressed on with vigor, trying to maintain that cool demeanor that can ice over evil sales people and keep the poor overworked sleigh dog at an even pace. He drove all over that town and found what he sought at the Circus Center.

Mr. Grinch realized how much he loved Cindy Lou Who (aka Mrs. Green) as he drove all the way to Whoville and snuck in the front door to her house. He carefully laid her presents under the tree and knew that the work was well worth the love he showed with that specially wrapped gift.

2004.12.13 Monday

Cot and Gold

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 2.52 pm

This weekend was an interesting one as Christmas is approaching. Jamie and I spent most of Saturday at the mall shopping for clothes. :| Yeah, you can just say I was tired and had a nice headache working on my sanity by the time we headed out for dinner. Eating at a small Mexican restaurant was a nice change to the busy schedule, but didn’t quite alleviate my headache. Reaching home just meant more work waiting: wrapping presents. I’m still looking forward to Christmas a bit, but I’ll be happy when the preparations are over.

Thankfully Sunday, after church, we had a nice three hour nap and then I lazily helped Jamie with her crafts. I did get a little work on the church website in before we bedded down again to watch a movie: Benny and Joon.

The weekend went by fast and was hot and cold…or cot and gold (full of spending and napping).

2004.12.10 Friday

Comedy and Food

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 11.19 am

I’ll tell you, comedy and food is a winning combination that cure mild and even severe sourness of attitude. Last night, we went to Jamie’s company (my former company where I met my current wife) Christmas Banquet. I was not feeling well and was in a brooding mood, but surprisingly enough, some zealous small-talkers broke me out of it some. The food, when we got to it helped a lot as usual (food and its social implications deserves an article of its own) and prepared me for the festivity.

I wasn’t quite prepared to laugh as much as I did, though. I was looking forward to “the comedian", but usually stand-up comedians have a “stale taste” or a “twisted smile” sort of effect on me. This guy, Bob Stromberg, had quite a different effect. He was stand-up alright, but was remarkably refreshing in his presentation. I never knew group whistling could be so fun and hilarious (you try to laugh and whistle). His whole demeanor reminded me of a personal favorite, George Gobel and his stories were hilarious as well. It was more about the way he did things which I guess is usual in comedy. To try to explain now how hard I laughed over his shadow-puppet show would probably be pointless as you sit there and ask yourself, “Shadow-puppets, how corny is that?” It was too short of a show but excellent and he brought Jesus into the picture in a clear way without even needing to transition from comedy. That reverential, and serious comedy is certainly impressive in my book (which I don’t have yet, but I did buy two of his). He is a funny guy, I mean…just look at him.

Needless to say, we had a great evening.

2004.12.9 Thursday

Bought a PayDay

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 1.34 pm

I bought a PayDay instead of a Twix bar today. It was a good choice. I can feel the newness of today…or maybe I’m just going off the deep end from my last post.

Rant on Ranting

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 1.28 pm

This blog has taken on a rather serious note lately. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but what happened to ranting just to express myself? I think I’ve been reading too many news blogs or something. Everything has to be well written and documented. What I have been writing lately is certainly my style, but I don’t want to perfect myself out of writing. What kind of personal log would this be if I didn’t allow myself to rant from time to time. Rants about subjects no one may find interesting or even (heaven forbid), with no point or underlying theme whatever.

This is where I could restate this blog’s purpose or write a mission statement if this post was actually a serious one. I want to maintain the freedom I began with to talk about what I want with no fear of the ambiguous crowd because then, they didn’t exist. Now, I’m still almost completely lost in the swell of bloggers and the wider web world. I have gained a bigger perspective of the blogosphere as it were by reading other people’s blogs regularly. I don’t regret this “bigger picture” just as I certainly don’t regret traveling, but it has caused me, in perhaps a small way to go into my shell.

You see, I’m the kid in school that was never popular. I was mildly nerdy (still am) in a day where it was bad. Yet, I didn’t get picked on that much. I hung out with those who got picked on, but I somehow stayed out of the radar. Now that I think about it, that may be a lie I made up for myself. (more…)

2004.12.4 Saturday

Pineapple Salsa Table

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 9.28 pm

I went to Phil’s house earlier to build Jamie a customized folding table for our small living/kitchen/dining room. We used birch plywood, rounded the edges and put on a clear finish. The “borrowed” folding legs off an old table at church, which were silver, ended up working quite well with the industrial sort of look we have going on.

Jamie cooked up a great dinner of buffalo burgers, pineapple salsa for the chips and a chocolate raspberry cake! We invited Phil, his wife Melissa and son Josiah over to try out the food and table. We enjoyed great conversation while Josiah ran around terrorizing our cat, Caviar. We can finally entertain people at our house without having to resort to pizza on the couch (not that that’s always a bad thing).

Now I’m sitting at the table keeping Jamie company as I work some more on the church website (not ready to be linked to yet). She is working on her crafts excited to have a table to work on. Ah, the simple joys of life!

2004.12.1 Wednesday

1 December, 2004!

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 10.10 am

I don’t know why, but I was excited this morning as I put down today’s date on an order and realized it’s the beginning of December. I knew yesterday was the end of November and it still hit me with a sort of excitement when I wrote it down. This, of course, is the month of Christmas, New Year’s Eve and birthdays (both my brother and sister-in-law were born on the 31st)! It’s a festive time of year that I guess I’m kind of happy to see roll around this time. My “Grinch heart” must be starting to grow bigger. I’m sure it’s due to my wife who carries on her family traditions with heart and military execution if needed.

The past month seems to have flown by and I feel as if life is passing me by. All those things I want to, or should, or need to do are not being done and I’m losing track of it all. It’s actually more that I still don’t have any kind of clear direction from God and the choices are staggering and hit me like a deer in the headlights (who thought he was already dead before the truck even hit him…poor deer). I’m sure it’s also due to the amount of work I’ve been doing (including snow plowing) and the time it takes to just live the “American life” (church, house cleaning, cooking, eating, car repairs, driving, shopping, more shopping and even some time for friends). How going to school will ever work out, I’m not sure.

It’s not so much that I don’t want to be busy or active, that can be a great thing. I just want to be doing what I’m supposed to be doing, to accomplish something and shake this feeling of floating along. Will anyone have anything to say about me when I die? Most importantly, what will God have to say about my life? I’m striving to improve my relationship to Him and often feel I’m losing ground.

I guess that’s why I’m excited about it being December. A month to focus on the important things in life: Jesus Christ, family and shopping (just kidding). It’s a new month to make a difference and incidentally my church has a great idea about that. Instead of doing the typical Christmas program, we’re going to focus on reaching out to the community: families, the homeless, etc. It should be a great month and I’m hopeful and excited!

2004.11.27 Saturday

Thanks for the Holiday

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 5.57 pm

We had a great time on Thursday with family playing The Settlers of Catan (a great board game) and of course eating lots of food. I had a good talk with my cousin Andrew before taking off. We discussed some of my plans and he agreed that it is important to find someone to “disciple me” and some to disciple. I feel more and more that discipleship is my calling and though that is a broad spectrum, it’s nice to have some direction and some idea to measure against.

Yesterday I worked, finishing up “the harvest” from earlier, while Jamie worked hard at spending the money. She did lots of shopping and left before I got out of bed to get the good deals!

I met with Justin (our Associate Pastor) today to begin a re-design of the church’s website after it sat with nothing on it for a while. Nothing has been uploaded, so I won’t give a link yet. Jamie and I just got back from getting new tires and an alignment and now I should get some sleep because of the snow coming down.

2004.11.21 Sunday

Not the Sabbath

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 12.59 pm

Today may be Sunday the “new Sabbath", but it was not my day of rest. Thankfully yesterday was somewhat relaxing.

I received the call to plow at 3.00am this morning after about 2 1/2 hours of sleep. I got off just in time (11.30am) to pick up Jamie from church and am now home. I just took a shower and got dressed up to have our pictures taken at Wal-Mart at 2.30pm. We’ll go from there to my parents so I can work on retrieving data from a corrupted hard drive (again) and Jamie will do her crafts. I have to wait there while Jamie goes to “her thing". She just said it’s to make crafts and have dinner. I’ll probably sleep…maybe my Mom will let me crash in my old bed.

5.52pm:
Too tired to work on computer. Here is a picture of me after plowing this morning. Must to sleep….

2004.11.17 Wednesday

Dreams of Insider Trading

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 8.59 am

I had a dream(s) that seemed to be about money….

I gave Joe (my boss) my passport and four or five thousand dollars to get me a new one. He said he would have it to me the next day with the money inside which I wasn’t comfortable with, but agreed to do that instead of coming back at 3.00am. [Why did I give him so much money in the first place?] He was doing it legally, if you’re wondering, but in a completely different manner than usual.

I was in some back room with a large machine when some “higher up” in the company came in and pushed the down arrow below one of the small green displays. He was buying puts on some company. He started talking about buying Gateway stock [GTW ] and I went over to a computer to sign up for an online stock trading company and buy some. I was asking the guy and some other guy about insider trading which they didn’t know much about (I don’t either). I asked, “Where do you draw the line?” to which the 2nd guy just shrugged. Later there was a bunch of hullabaloo about this inside trading. Some lady got got fired and was trying to get a job in the finance department at the ministry my dad works. We were walking down the road and I started walking down a long driveway to my massive house inviting the execs to come on in if they wanted. a few followed and with some dreamy gender confusion over the man/woman who was fired, I suspect it was the first guy.

Later I got my passport back with $2000.00 in it, lots of notes and a small tape with all the phone conversations my boss had. There was a detailed breakout of all the taxes and fees taken out of my original wad and a note saying I would receive the rest in three months. Sounds like my pension (not so big of course).

[I also saw many large 20 cent coins toward the end of my dream]

This dream brings up interesting questions like if God tells you to buy stock, is that insider trading? If I had bought Gateway stock in my dream not knowing that the man knew inside information, would I be liable? I mean, I didn’t even know where I was let alone what I was doing. I guess it was good I was too distracted to sign up for an online trading account. And how in the world did I end up with such a big house and not even think it to be odd until now?

My prediction: Gateway (GTW) is at $5.85 a share right now. I predict, based on my dream, that it will go up and some other stock will fall. So, hurry up, you may still have time to buy! Don’t worry, I think that some guy in some company in some dream of someone like me (knowing as much as I do about all this) is a hazy enough trail for you to avoid being charged with the ominous “insider trading".

Disclaimer: I know almost nothing about stocks or Gateway as a company. I don’t recommend that you follow my advice as I probably won’t myself. I am not responsible for any stock trading you may or may not do or any damages as a result of such trading whether they be monetary, emotional, physical or any other type of damages.

2004.11.12 Friday

Portentous Goose

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 12.33 pm

As I was going out to start the car this morning I heard a goose that was being quite vocal. Looking up, I noticed that it was a lone goose flying North. There is probably a good, normal, scientific reason for this, but it got me thinking: What if it’s a portent?

The problem is, I don’t know what sort of portent or sign it would be. Am I being warned against being rebellious? Me, just “swimming upstream", not in any purposeful manner, but just a desire to be different to the point of stupidity. This rebellious goose will probably not fair well on its northward journey by itself.

On the other hand, maybe it’s a sign to go against the flow, making dynamic decisions that are against the grain. Trusting that God will be the protector and provider and not fearing the cold loneliness. Standing against tradition saying, “Wait! I’m not going to fly South any longer just because we have always done it!”

Possibly, it’s a sign that we should move North. That we need not just stay here because it’s warm and cozy. It just might be that God is telling us it is time to move, even though we will go alone. Perhaps…and perhaps not.

Whatever it might be, the bird made an impression on me. I guess I’ll have to ponder it some more. It might not be anything, but I can use it as an opportunity to turn to Christ and seek His direction. I thank God for that goose.

2004.11.10 Wednesday

Oozing and stirring

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 12.12 pm

I don’t have any orders to work on yet, so I’ve been doing a lot of reading on The Ooze. It is partially due to this and a “waking up” that’s happening aided by my distaste for apathy that I’m feeling the way I am. I have an obvious lack of direction after going to DTS which has led me to reiterate my goal: relationship with Jesus Christ.

There is a lot welling up inside of me, I can feel it. I don’t know what it is exactly. There are lots of ideas going through my head, but also muddled “what do I call thems". There is this feeling (or feelings)…like something is about to happen, or needs to happen. Oh, that’s not quite right! how I wish I could understand or express my emotions sometimes.

God is certainly doing something in my life and I praise Him for it. He is drawing me to Himself even as I seek Him out and my desire to be with Him grows. It’s amazing to me how God’s Spirit is at work within us. Father, make me more like your Son, Jesus!

This post is one of those that doesn’t seem like it will make it. The fact that no one is reading this blog still doesn’t help me post something that seems so silly. The post lacks substance and I realize that, but I guess it does give the reader a glimpse of the emotional confusion that I regularly experience.

2004.11.8 Monday

Sleepy Weekend

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 8.21 am

What a weekend! We spent most of Saturday morning sleeping and laying and the rest of the day getting ready to make this massive building for the cat to play on. Sunday, after church, we spent some time taking back all the materials for this building because it was going to cost about as much to build it than buy it online (although ours would have been much bigger). We then went home and took a long nap. I don’t know why I’ve been so tired lately, but it was nice to just relax and not do anything.

I finally finished The Idiot by: Fyodor Dostoyevsky after putting it down a while back. I basically hadn’t read much since we came back from England in early July. I don’t know why it’s hard for me to finish Dostoyevsky’s books, but I’m glad I did and even though I didn’t particularly “like” the ending much, it was certainly a good one. :) Now I’m going to have to go back and skim through the book to refresh myself to the prince’s adventures and separate them from all the Karamazov brothers in my hazy mind.

I got to sleep late last night because of the nap and the book and had vivid dreams again. They had to do something with protecting painted eggs with my life, a big wad of cash, carrying around my dad’s gun (9mm), selling our cat and meeting an old friend who is not doing so well. I don’t remember enough to go into it and don’t even want to try to analyze it.

2004.11.5 Friday

Over the Ledge

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 10.22 am

Inspired by Nathan’s blog, I decided to share an unusually vivid dream I had this morning.

I have been waking up during the night in the past several days due to our cat, Caviar. We think that she is probably in heat and hope that getting her “fixed” later this month will help. The reason I mention it is because it may have something to do with the vividness of the dream and my remembering it.

The dream(s) that I remember started with me going shooting with my grandpa (never did that before) and the next thing I remember is the main plot line:

Jamie and I were at some friends’ house who had several children. My Mom was there and perhaps some others. Dinner was finished and we were sitting around downstairs talking in a living room area. My Mom began to talk about something spiritual (as if teaching a Sunday School class) and was reading excerpts from a book I believe. She suggested we all go outside for some object lesson with the kids. They started out the sliding glass door that was in the room and led out to the back yard.

Jamie and I had been needing to leave to get to work on time or something. [I couldn’t quite calculate the time as I do to figure the deadline for leaving, but knew we should do it soon]. This was a good opportunity, so we began saying our goodbyes and getting ready (don’t know what that entailed). Jamie was waiting in the car, but I was because intrigued with my Mom’s lesson.

Mom had all the kids up top near this ledge and I could hear her down below directing the adults to gather some leaves into a pile. I thought, “Oh, this is that faith thing where you fall into someone’s arms and they’re just adding leaves to make it safer". [All this time I’m watching from a ways back because I was on my way to the car.] My Mom was then at the top giving one of the younger girls directions as she stood on the ledge with her back to the fall. As she fell, I ran over to the ledge to see what was happening. (more…)

2004.10.31 Sunday

Our New Cat!

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 11.09 pm

We just went to the Humane Society to get Jamie’s birthday present. There actually weren’t a whole lot of options, but we looked at several cats for a while. We saw one who had been there for a while a decided to meet her. After waiting for quite some time, we were able to visit her. She took to us right away and we knew we wanted her. They gave us another number for more waiting and we finally brought our new addition home. :) Now I’m not one of those “My pet is my child” people, but it’s nice to have an animal around.

Her name was Lizzy, but Jamie came up with the great idea to rename her Caviar (Cavi for short) because she is costing us a fortune in apartment fees, food, toys, litter, etc. She is about one year old and already had a litter that were all adopted. Caviar explored our small apartment thoroughly and made herself right at home. It’s nice to have a cat that’s so personable and we were like new parents when she finally used the litter box.

Jamie is quite happy as she has been waiting for quite some time to be able to have a cat again. All week she was saying, “A cat soon!” :) She is home with Caviar now as I finish up house-sitting. I have to be away from them both :( but may get to plow some snow tonight which I’m looking forward to with childish glee. That is a topic for another post, though.

Edit: You can see pictures of Caviar and more by going to our Photo Gallery.

2004.10.25 Monday

What is important to me?

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 10.36 pm

Obviously the computer is important to me. All my posts up to this point have been about it in some way or another. I spend a lot of my time working and playing on the computer and the only way I can bring myself to journal anything is on this blog…on the computer. I have spent the last several days trying to rebuild my operating system (yes, I know). It has been frustrated to re-install things and deal with several problems and re-configure things that should be able to work from backups. I have thought about my priorities partially because of these issues, at least my priorities with this blog.

Jesus Christ is the most important person in my life…my God! He is a wonderful person who loves me more than anyone else and has given so much. He released me from bondage to drugs and alcohol and forgave my sins even after I chose to walk away from Him…the eternal creator! I thank God that I was chosen to be His child and I hope to grow closer with Him with each passing day. You too can have this wonderful loving relationship with your creator!

Jamie is the next most important person to me because she’s my best friend who is always there for me and loves me even knowing my dark secrets. She is my wife and lover, closer to me and more intimate with me than any other. We share all with each other: Love, faith, emotions, work, money, car, food, etc. I love her so much and look forward to spending the rest of our lives together! You can read more about our relationship at our website.

It’s hard for me to share my deep emotions, convictions and thoughts. It takes a lot of work and is hard to do on an impersonal machine. It’s also difficult to write because it always seems like the words are not coming out right. I want to try to get this stuff out, though…for my growth and benefit.

I like the computer and a lot of my interests have to do with it so I’m sure you’ll see many more posts about it. I will also be trying to share with you many other ideas and feelings about those things that are even closer to my heart.

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