Thursday, March 31, 2005

Mix CD: this and that

This was my second giveaway mix CD. It was not a worship compilation; I just wanted to assemble some good songs from different genres.


1. John Hartford - Steam Powered Aereo Plane
from: Aereo-Plain

2. Ben Folds Five - Jackson Cannery
from: Naked Baby Photos

3. Jessy Moss - Telling You Now
from: Street Knuckles

4. Film School - Not About A Girl
from: Brilliant Career

5. Dan Tyminski - I Dreaamed Of An Old Love Affair
from: Carry Me Across the Mountain

6. Otis Redding - Mr. Pitiful
from: The Ultimate Otis Redding

7. Joe Cocker* - You Are So Beautiful
from: I Can Stand A Little Rain

8. Moby - I'm Not Worried At All
from: 18

9. Beck - Beautiful Way
from: Midnite Vultures

10. The Be Good Tanyas - Only In The Past
from: Blue Horse

11. Aron Noll - Special (live)
from: (live performance in Ukraine)

12. Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown
from: Sundown

13. greyhoundbus - What A Little Moonlight Can Do
from: (no album)

14. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Long As I Can See The Light
from: Cosmo's Factory

15. Billy Joel - For The Longest Time
from: An Innocent Man

16. Beach Boys - Barbara Ann
from: Beach Boys Party

17. Ben Harper - Gold To Me
from: Fight For Your Mind

18. Dire Straits - How Long
from: On Every Street

19. Catie Curtis - Magnolia Street
from: A Crash Course In Roses

*"You Are So Beautiful": mistakenly credited as Ray Charles

2 Talked Back:

At April 12, 2005 at 3:26:00 PM CDT, Blogger My Safe Place said...

Stan, when you make a CD with different songs on it, does that mean you own all the CD's you are pulling the songs from? I would love a CD made with songs that are special to me - maybe I'll find out what CD's they are from and see if you have them? That would be so cool if you could do that! ~Missy


At April 27, 2005 at 2:06:00 PM CDT, Blogger stan said...

I just noticed this comment - sorry it took so long to answer!

I have the majority of the songs on CDs. Many, especially of the worship tracks, were available for free download on the artists' own sites.

I keep meaning to put together another mix CD or two for this year. I'll have to get working on those soon


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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Answered prayer!

God is faithful!

Today was a trying day, as far as faith goes, because there were several things going on with people who are close to me that required prayer. Out of respect for two parties' privacy, I won't actually give any details about their situations that needed prayer, but I will say that those prayers were definitely answered. One person's situation will need continued prayer, especially in the next couple of days, but I am confident that God's will will triumph.

God has a purpose for me. Of this I am sure. I can sit here and wonder why He hasn't opened a door to my next place of employment, but then I can marvel at His timing, because of what He's been able to accomplish now that my time has been unrestricted these last few days. I've been able to help my sister move into her new place, when she's unavailable to move herself due to a demanding work schedule; I've been able to drive up to my dad's in Vancouver to pick him up when his car wouldn't start, and provide him with a temporary vehicle until his is fixed. (Thank the Lord for providing me with a second car, and the money to pay for insurance!)

Of course, I know that this season of unemployment can only last for so long, until my own financial situation becomes desperate. This is why I am now turning to you, reader, for help. Will you pray for me? I know full well that it is only the Lord who provides me with the resources necessary to sustain my life, but He does so through my abilities and skills, in order that I can earn the money for myself. I have newly recommitted to giving Him ten percent of my income, whatever it may be, and I've already had to "sell Him short" because of the lack of said income. 10% x $0 = $0!

I long to continue in His word, but first I need the self-discipline to open it on a regular basis. I keep hearing Him speak to my heart these three simple words: "Come to Me." If He says it enough times, it'll eventually stick, but sometimes I still ignore it when I hear it. However, I should not be motivated to come to Him by my shame; He has fully covered me with His grace, and is always ready to restore me to Him when I am ready to return. Malachi 3:7 says, "'Return to me, and I will return to you,' says the LORD." Sounds like an old Dean Martin tune, or a David Duchovny movie, but it's the trusted word of God Almighty that He will truly reconstruct any broken relationship (or begin any nonexistent relationship!) with Him.

Pray for me, and I will pray for you. (I'll pray for you, regardless!)

He is faithful, indeed!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Then, Suddenly, I Disappear

I didn't realize that it's been six days since my last post. It surprises me, because when I started this blog I couldn't stop posting things. But there have been changes since last Tuesday.

Thursday morning at 6:00 am, while I was getting ready for work, I got a call from the temp agency's on-site coordinator saying that I didn't need to come in today. Or any more days. In other words, my assignment was over. She did tell me about another position that was opening at an online university, so I pursued it. I had an interview (a group interview actually, where 20-25 of us stood up when called and basically answered the same two questions), but I never heard back from them, so that's that. Honestly, it was the money and the potential of permanence that I was after, not the job itself. I don't think that I would have been very happy doing basically phone sales - even if I believed in the product.

This weekend was pretty good. I spent a good portion of Friday helping my sister move into a new house, and I got to see my mom and grandma, as well as my dad. And, of course, my sister and niece.

Friday night I went to a Good Friday service at Eastgate Bible Chapel, then headed over to my church (Montavilla Baptist Church) to meet up with friends. We had a late dinner at Gustav's in Clackamas, then I went over to a friend's to watch a movie. I was kind of sleepy when I left, but I made it home with no problems. Often when I drive at night, and I know that I'm getting tired, I'll pull off the road and either rest or walk around the car a few times. Then when I get home, I'll pull the seat back and snooze for a while before heading in to bed. There's something just so peaceful about sleeping in the car after a drive. Anyway, by request, I didn't do that on Friday night.

Saturday was a lazy, lazy day. I watched a good movie called Two Brothers, then later, John and I met a friend for a late lunch at Pho Hung. Lemon grass chicken, mmm. Then we all went back home to watch The Incredibles. The friend who met us was still recovering from strep throat and a cold (and still is, although she sounds much better), so she was ready to call it an early night.

Sunday morning I got up earlier than expected, and decided to go to the earlier Easter service at Montavilla. It was wonderful. I talked about lunch plans with one or two other people, but they needed to remain at the church through the second service (one was singing, the other was helping with the continental breakfast), so I had about 90 minutes to kill. Spur of the moment, I drove over to Eastgate, whose 11:00 service had only just started, and I slipped in the back. It, too, was a wonderful service.

After the Eastgate service, a friend (who didn't know I'd be there) invited me to an Easter dinner with the extended family. Of course, I didn't go to Eastgate hoping to get invited, but I certainly accepted the invitation. So I met a bunch of new people, had a great dinner, and played Apples to Apples for the first time. Fun game!

After taking my friend home, I went back home for a little while, then met some people at Kennedy School to see Finding Neverland for the second time. Thank goodness I had seen it before, because I ended up falling asleep about a half hour into it, and woke up when the credits rolled. Which of course was good for a laugh, because apparently I was breathing loudly with my mouth open. Eh.

So today I'm at home. The agencies know I'm available for work, and I'm following other job leads as well. It's nice to be able to sleep in, but I really don't like being in this state of limbo.

3 Talked Back:

At March 29, 2005 at 2:24:00 AM CST, Blogger My Safe Place said...

I'm sure I'll get sick of Blogging my mind out one of these days, but so far I just find it ADDICTIVE!!! Tee-hee! Hey, I'm serious - is really great when you're looking for a job. I like browsing the job openings. Heck, I just like Craigslist. In fact, I love it. I'm going to marry it.


At March 29, 2005 at 2:30:00 AM CST, Blogger My Safe Place said...

Sorry for the multiple comments, but did you have such an active social life before the arrival of a special friend in your life? I swear, you do more fun things in one weekend socially than I manage in two weeks! I think that's one of the things a boyfriend might come in handy for - just to do cool stuff with.


At March 29, 2005 at 9:15:00 AM CST, Blogger stan said...

It was about the same, I think. Now it's just a matter of whom I choose to spend time with, and in what setting.

Actually, sometimes I wish I could "cave up" again sometimes, for the sole purpose of saving a little money! :)


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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Everyone...Go! Read This Blog!

Seriously. Ken Mullis has some awesome words to say today about following Jesus.

This is the static link to today's post. The headline has the link to the blog.

Wow. I'm definitely going to have to read his archives now.

1 Talked Back:

At March 22, 2005 at 7:48:00 PM CST, Blogger h-i-p said...

Who knew that there was someone else out there who knew Jesus before he was a member of the Republican Party?


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Mix CD: remain in my love

John 15:9
"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love."

My first giveaway mix CD was a collection of slower tempo worship songs, with a couple of instrumental tracks thrown in. I arranged it in May 2004.


1. Justin McRoberts - Learning To Need You
from: Untitled EP

2. Calvary Chapel Saving Grace - Faithful And True
from: (Unknown album)

3. Robert Evans - But As For Me (Psalm 5:7, 8, 12)
from: Scripture Songs #4

4. earthpassage - Walk Of The Cedars (instrumental)
from: Glacier Journey: a musical passage through Glacier National Park

5. Ken & Christy Mullis - You Are My Sacrifice
from: I Will Run to You

6. Jason Wallis - I Need You More
from: YOU

7. Salvador - Cry Holy
from: Salvador

8. Rich Mullins - You Did Not Have A Home (demo)
from: The Jesus Record

9. Chris Rice - Nothin'
from: Exodus (various artists)

10. Aaron Spiro - Thank You For The Cross
from: Discover 02: 12 New Modern Worship Songs for a New Generation

11. Tim Miner - Forgive Me
from: A True Story

12. William Duane Clark - You Are Able, Lord
from: deeper...higher...

13. Andy Piercy & David Clifton - We Want To Remain In Your Love
from: Praise God

14. Jim Mills - How Great Thou Art (instrumental)
from: Bound to Ride

15. Jason Wallis - Everlasting Love
from: YOU

16. Shane & Shane - I Miss You
from: Upstairs

17. Salvador - With God
from: Salvador

18. Robert Evans - Let The Words (Psalm 19:14)
from: Scripture Songs #3

19. Chad Thomas - The Vow
from: Discover 02: 12 New Modern Worship Songs for a New Generation

1 Talked Back:

At March 26, 2005 at 9:01:00 PM CST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one of the most fabulous mixes yet. I love it every time I listen.


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Monday, March 21, 2005

Stacks, Puddles, Millions and Balderdash

So let's see, what was my weekend like?

As I mentioned earlier, my Friday night plans were to head to the coast. A friend of mine came to where I work and picked me up, and from there we headed straight to the beach. After dropping our stuff off in the beach cabin, we took a walk down to the water, and hiked over to a nearby honkin'-huge rock (otherwise known as a stack) to climb it. From a distance it looked tricky, but once we got up close, we could see how easy it was to climb. We made it off of the rock just in time, before it got too dark to see, and before the tide started closing in around us. Once we were back on the sand, some other people were pointing to the waves where they had seen some seals. I strained, but was unable to see any. My friend saw one, though.

We made it back to the cabin just before it started raining, although we did have to step out briefly to collect some wood for the fireplace. We needed lots of kindling, and I took far too great delight in swinging the ax to split the wood. Far too great. Later on, we had a delicious lasagna dinner, then played some games with my friend's parents before calling it a night. And it was a cold night, at least in my room. It's funny - I had the choice of whichever room I wanted, and I chose the one with no air coming out of the heat register. But I survived.

After coming back to town in the pouring rain, I tried to transfer my stuff to my car as dryly as possible. I had two games and a borrowed book wrapped inside my unused (therefore dry) towel. But, like an idiot, the phrase "taking two trips" didn't occur to me; having everything in my arms at once and needing to unlock my car door, I dropped the towel-wrapped merchandise all over the puddly parking lot and partially underneath the car. RrrrRRRrrgh. Fortunately, the book (Blue Like Jazz, in case you want to know) has a plastic-coated cover, so there was minimal water damage. But the game boxes got pretty wet.

I ran a couple of errands after that, visiting the too-crowded Clackamas Town Center, and the Kinko's across the freeway. I then went home for couple of hours, before hooking up with a group for dinner at El Indio. I didn't have time to order anything, as I was so completely late, but someone had some leftovers I was able too mooch. We then carpooled downtown to see the new film Millions (some of us for the second time - a free screening last Wednesday was the first), which I recommend to just about everybody. And I say "just about" because I'm assuming that there are some people in this vast world who think that movies are a waste of time no matter how good they are. But I digress. What was I talking about? Puppies? Gobots? I forget.

Sunday lunch was at Red Robin, where it seemed like half of the patronage had familiar faces. The people I was with recognized more friends than I did. It does seem like every time I go, though, there are at least two different friends I happen to bump into. I guess it's just the place to be.

When I came home, I remembered that those games (the ones I had dropped) were still in the car, so I went to the back door to take them out. What I didn't realize was that one of them, Water Works, had slid into the space between the seat and the door, so when I opened the door, guess what? It fell to the wet ground again. This time, the top came off of the box, and the wind started scattering cards and wrenches everywhere. Thankfully, I recovered everything that had blown away, including the rule sheet, but I was kinda T.O.'d about it. And the game wasn't ruined, either, but I'll be putting a big rubber band around that box before I take it anywhere again.

Sunday night was a low-key chat and game night with eight other people. We played Balderdash, which I think I'm somewhat good at, but in the early rounds I was just stinking it up. My definitions were too obviously fake, because I was trying too hard. Finally, I was able to attract some guesses, and I even guessed the actual definition on one word. Go me.

I guess that's it. It's Monday now, so my awesome weekend is definitely over. At least there is another one in a few days!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Censorship is Good

Well, if you've read this blog at any point before today, then reread it now, you have probably noticed that some of the posts have been edited. It turns out that the line of public disclosure vs. privacy when it comes to writing about my personal experiences was in a different place than it was for some of the parties whom I had mentioned by name. I have been asked to re-evaluate my placement of that line; and, having done so, I have made some omissions from the original posts in which those parties were mentioned.

For those to whom I am referring, I would like to offer my sincere apologies for bringing to light (even if briefly) circumstances and experiences which should have been kept between us. I have edited those posts not just because you have asked me to, but because I have shifted my own sense of responsibility when it comes to disclosure, out of respect for all of us. Thank you for understanding why I expressed certain things, and for bringing your concerns to me.

1 Talked Back:

At March 20, 2005 at 8:35:00 PM CST, Blogger My Safe Place said...

Tee-hee! You rock. I'm a "shout it from the rooftops" kind of person myself when it comes to certain things - sometimes much to my regret. Don't you love sensible people?


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Friday, March 18, 2005

CDs for the Beach Drive

Yeah. Going to the beach after work tonight. I'll be back home tomorrow, so I can get ready to go bowling for the first time in probably 10 years. (Actually, there isn't one thing I can do to get ready for bowling. What would I do? It's BOWLING.)

Really, the only reason for this post is to list the CDs I'm bringing with me. I'm going to try to find album art for each one of them, and line 'em up below. It'd be nice if I could table them up so they're arranged better, but I either don't know how, or am too lazy to figure it out. So here we go:

Any Given Day, Vol. 1

Jeff Deyo - Light

Discover 02 (compilation)

The Insyderz - Skalleluia!

Sarah Masen - Carry Us Through

Moby - Play


Still Small Voice (Integrity)

1 Talked Back:

At March 19, 2005 at 6:51:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

I also listened to a mix CD I made entitled "this and that". I actually hadn't heard it in awhile, since I gave away all of the copies I had made for friends as Christmas gifts. It was fun to hear it again. I'll list the contents of all of my mix CDs soon.


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I'm All Fizzed Out

A week ago Monday, I decided that I was going to try to go seven days without drinking any soda whatsoever. I haven't challenged myself to do this since 1997 or thereabouts (and I was successful), so I figured it was time to try it again.

I will say that it's a little bit easier this time around, as I have slowly changed my soda drinking habits over the last few years. It used to be that the standard size of soda I'd buy was a 44-ounce fountain, because darn it, it's more value for my money. I cut back to 32 oz., and sometimes just bought 22-oz. or a 20-ounce bottle. Plus, over the last three or four years, I've increased my bottled water consumption considerably. The other thing I did about 18 months ago was to switch from exclusively sugared soda to diet Coke and the like. I enthusiastically embraced diet Coke with Lime--it's pretty tasty. A few weeks ago I accidentally ordered a regular Coke, and I practically could not drink it. (Now I see there's regular Coke with Lime, which just sounds disgustingly sweet!)

The only carbonated drink I've had was a bottle of sparkling Pellegrino from the gelato place last weekend. I don't really count it, because it was still just water. I've had a couple of drinks of tea, and today I opened up a bottle of Dole Light fruit juice (yay, it has Sucralose, not sugar!); other than that, it's been strictly water. Fortunately for my wallet, Portland tap water is pretty palatable, but I still run it through the Brita. At work, I have unlimited access to the filtered water from the soda fountain - I love that little "hidden" switch next to the iced tea tap.

As for the benefits of dropping the pop, I haven't noticed too many changes within my own body, except for the fact that I'm a lot less farty than I was before. I'm sure that my pancreas appreciates the reduction in sugar, especially since my heredity says I have a good chance of developing diabetes at some point. There's the caffeine factor, too...I'm already past the withdrawals. And generally speaking, soda is just full of chemical garbage, so it can't hurt. And oh yeah, there's this to think about.

I don't know how long the soda embargo will last, because I still catch myself reaching for it sometimes, but I'll get used to it, I'm sure.

Now let's hope that I don't become a coffee addict!

2 Talked Back:

At March 18, 2005 at 11:28:00 PM CST, Blogger nitsuj said...

I can't remember if I've ever tried to give up drinking pop. I drink at least a can or small Subway cupful a day and haven't really noticed any negative side effects. Then again, I don't know if I would notice them without seeing how I feel without drinking soda. Oh well, it gets me momentarily hyper and that's always fun. On second thought, the post-sugar high crash is never good times. As for coffee, I've never liked the stuff, so I doubt I'll be getting addicted to that as well any time soon. Good luck with the soda-to-water transition. See you at J&S.

- The ever-elusive PTM! -


At March 19, 2005 at 2:47:00 PM CST, Blogger penny lane said...

well, that actually was my resolution this year!( as well as no french fries "now that one is hard!" and just for the hay of it all, I decided not to drink fruit tea until after june 25th(and I love, love fruit tea!... Yeah, I guess I just do these things for fun, and also to expand my taste buds! anyways good luck "It's not that hard if you keep it up for a week after that it's all down hill"


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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Top Ten Least Popular Cookbook Entries

10. Roast Beef Smoothies
9. Dill Pickle Merengue Pie
8. Beets Benedict
7. Stove-Top Pudding
6. Coffee Crisco Casserole
5. Deep-Fried Lettuce Tots
4. Salted Chicken Snickerdoodles
3. Baked Ala...bama
2. Lard-sicles
1. Macaroni and Skittles

1 Talked Back:

At June 28, 2005 at 10:07:00 AM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your cookbook! When are you going to include the recipes?

By the way, have you found a recipe for dill pickle smoothies?


Okay, now it's your turn | Home, I mean Note to Self

I need to remember to introduce some of my "friends" from over the years: Jess Northrup, Randy Belton, Helen Bishop, Lyle Castrole, Joey Morris, and, more recently, Paul W. Dziewialtowski. Oh, and S. William Kost.

Ranking things

I'd love to be able to rank things like a lot of other bloggers do - favorite books, movies, etc. - but I just find it far too difficult. I think the problem for me is that I'd remember one or two items while forgetting ten, and then when I'd publish the list, I'd feel like an idiot for leaving things out. Because how can you have a definitive list of something when the list keeps changing?

So what I think I'll do is to figure out ahead of time what category to rank, then spend some real time thinking about what the best of that category is. Or just ignore it altogether.

Until then, I'll just make stuff up, like the Top 10 Least Likely Fried Foods (#7: Jell-O) or something along those lines.

For no reason whatsoever, here's a picture of a gibbon:

Okay, then.

3 Talked Back:

At March 17, 2005 at 4:52:00 PM CST, Blogger Foolish Knight said...

Hey, neat blog! You obviously have a lot HTML know how. I wish I could put my own picture on the site header, but I content myself with my (limited) sidebar knowledge for now.

I like ranking things too, my problem is taking it farther; answering questions like, why did such-and-such a movie get put above such-and-such? Things like that.

I see that you've put a link to my blog in your sidebar. I'm very honored. So how did you find my blog? Do we have a mutual friend? Probably.

I look forward to seeing what happens here.

Oh, and by the way that is a very cool picture of a gibbon.


At March 17, 2005 at 5:07:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

Actually, we both go to the same church. Katie was the one who told me about your blog.

I know very few people (so far) who have blogs. I think they're fun and even sort of addictive. (Blogs keep kids off drugs.) I'm trying to get others to start them, but haven't had any takers...yet.

Thanks for reading, and probably posting the first comment!


At March 26, 2005 at 12:22:00 AM CST, Blogger Foolish Knight said...

Hey, you're welcome. And thanks for the new motto, "blogs keep kids off drugs" is really catchy. I'm going to have to stick it on my blog somewhere.[wink]


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Monday, March 14, 2005

Finally updated stuff

In case anyone is interested, I have finally updated everything I have so far on all of the comic sites except Drunk Duck. There was one more Movie Grab which I didn't preview here, Flight of the Phoenix (1965/2004). And I know that there hasn't been any Steve's B'Stuff in awhile, but I think that there might be some stuff Steve made which can be scanned and posted soon.

Now I really have to go, before I'm late for the Monday night Bible study. I have ten minutes to get there.

Desserts with Strangers, the Taunting Hill, and ONIONS

Here again are the details of my weekend (yes, it's been edited):

Friday afternoon I left early from work, so that I could get home in order to clean up for a dessert to which I had been invited. The dessert was for the Wheaton Alumni Association, and as I am not a college graduate, much less a Wheaton grad, I knew that it would be a little awkward for me to be there. But I was nevertheless proud to go.

Knowing that I had some time to kill (I was about an hour early), I took a more circuitous route through Lake Oswego, a town along the Willamette River that I hadn't really explored very much. I found a street that went along the edge of Oswego Lake, with its ionospherically-priced lakefront homes, and I made this observation: Why is it that in so many affluent neighborhoods in the Portland metro area, the streets are in such horrible condition? Do the residents actually prefer it that way, so that they feel justified in buying that four-wheel-drive, luxury SUV even though they only drive it in the city? For as long as I can remember, NW 23rd Avenue, with its upscale shops and boutiques (was that redundant?), has had some of the worst pothole conditions in the city. I just don't get it.

The next day, I got up around 8:30 am, which in my mind still does not qualify as sleeping in, until I realize that I'm usually up by around 5:15 or so during the week. I put on some running shoes, determined to start a new habit of running (well, walking to start with), and at the last minute, invited Adam (who had also just gotten up) to come with me.

Now, I have been living in this house since mid-January of 2004, and I barely know my own neighborhood outside of the two or three main roads I drive upon each day. Our house is seated at the foot of a pretty sizable hill, one which I determined would bee a good training hill once the new running regimen kicked in. Adam and I walked to the end of our street, went up past the three-way stop, and found that the very next street had a good incline. We didn't know how far it went back before dead-ending - or even if it was a dead end - so I just kind of made a mental note of the time. We started up the road, went around a couple of corners, and there it was: a long, straight uphill slope that I could almost hear taunting us. "Go a different way, I'm far too steep for your feeble human legs to climb," the street said. Naturally, we walked forward, ignoring the impotent warning.

The first thing I thought of as we began our ascent was that this would be an awesome sledding hill if it wasn't for the lack of a stopping area at the bottom. My mind conjured images of children whizzing down the slope, gaining speed until the rails of the sled were hot enough to melt the snow, then majestically flying off into the forest, smashing through the Johnson's kitchen window and landing in their open dishwasher. Not a good scene. I also observed that several mailboxes along the "downhill" side of the street had been ensconced in these massive steel-rebar cages, in an apparent attempt to disrupt the batting averages of local teenagers. It was interesting to see one; hilarious to see five.

Evidentally, the road continued for some distance after the hill, probably connecting with other neighborhoods, and Adam and I weren't interested in exploring that far (yet). We walked somewhat rapidly into one neighborhood loop, because I suspect that we were both anxious to get back to that hill for the steep descent. What? It's a cool hill. My idea is that each day I'll go out to run (um, walking first...did I mention that?), I want to keep going up that hill, running until the hill wins, marking my progress along the way. Then one day, I'll be able to run to the top without dying, at which time I will be the perfect human specimen and should be studied by a major university...probably Wheaton. (Then I can die.)

So we got home, and I relaxed in the hammock for a little while before cleaning up to go pick up another friend of mine. We went over to the West Hills of Portland, on the way to Washington Park, and I took her down a little street that reminds me of an old, winding European city street. When we entered Washington Park, we were stuck behind a cluster of bicyclists making their way up the hill, and I wasn't sure whether to pass them or not. I am never sure what kind of mind resides under one of those helmets, whether it's friendly or mean. Some bike riders will glare and yell at you if you come within 20 feet of them, even if it's a 40-mph uphill and they're straining at 4. "How could you be so rude? I'm using my own legs here!" But the road was windy and slow anyway, so it wasn't a big deal, and when we passed them we weren't scorned. Yay.

Our destination was the Japanese Garden. I have been there several times throughout the year, because the place is simply beautiful and peaceful. Last March I purchased a one-year membership for $50, which allowed myself and one guest admission to the garden, unlimited times. I hadn't been there since October, so I figured it would be best if I got some more use out of it before it expired. I wasn't too worried, though, because at $6.50 (now $6.75) per admission, the card had more than paid for itself in 2004.

The plan was to visit the Garden, then drive to the relatively nearby QFC store to see my sister at work. Unfortunately, we got there too late, and she had already left for the day. So we took a stroll down to Pizza Schmizza, where I got a little something to eat (my friend, unlike me, had wisely eaten lunch before we left that day), then next door to Cold Stone for some ice cream. Whoo, that stuff's rich. We made our way back to her house, so we could change clothes for my second gathering-full-of-strangers in as many nights.

This time it was a wedding reception for a friend of my friend, to which I was not specifically invited at first, but as a guest of the first friend, was able to attend. I had only met the groom a few times, and his wife only once on New Year's Eve. So yeah. Kind of out of place, there. The good thing was that I was with a handful of people I knew, so I could hang out at their table and chat. I had a good time.

Later that night, I went to the Kennedy School theater to see The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. The coolest part of the Kennedy School is that their theater is in the old gymnasium, and the front half of the seating has many different cushy couches to choose from. This proved perfect for my relaxation. Very cozy indeed.

Sunday was fun. After church, a few of us went over to Ventura Park, which is across the street from my old church. A bunch of friends showed up, and we ate some homemade cashew chicken salad in pocket bread, which was just nummy.. We played some Speed Scrabble and Sequence, and threw a frisbee around a bit.

Then the five of us went downtown to Mio Gelato for, guess what, gelato, and walked down to Powell's Books for a little bit. I was reading out of this funny book called The Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, and we got some good giggles out of it. After Powell's, we went back to our friend's place, because she had made some later plans. Adam went home, and the rest of us didn't really know what to do. So we lined up and sang showtunes right there on the street. JUST kidding. Actually, we thought about renting a movie, but we couldn't agree on one, so we went to Old Chicago for dinner. I had fish and chips, which were pretty textbook, and tried to nibble on the coleslaw, but it was upsetting me. WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND PUTS ONIONS IN COLESLAW?!! Rrrgh. I didn't let it get me down, though, because I was still having fun with my friends. But seriously. Onions in coleslaw... it make-a no sense.

That was my weekend. Felt like a long week!

4 Talked Back:

At March 17, 2005 at 4:55:00 PM CST, Blogger Foolish Knight said...

I like onions in my coleslaw.


At March 17, 2005 at 5:04:00 PM CST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

STAN! So many intimate details on the internet...Scares me a bit. But I do love reading it regardless. It was a very fun and VERY long weekend. The book in Powells was a highlight of the weekend.
Thanks for being my bud. Katie


At March 17, 2005 at 5:24:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

It shouldn't scare you, Katie. I always know where the line between public disclosure and disrespectful breach of privacy occurs. (Note that I only described our conversation in general terms.) I'm not using last names, either! :)

By all means, if you want me to remove anything referring to you, just let me know, and it's gone.


At March 17, 2005 at 7:22:00 PM CST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Onions in coleslaw is even worse than macaroni and skittles.


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Thursday, March 10, 2005

I guess I can't just phone it in

Yeah. I was just looking at some of the settings for this blog, and I came across a "mail-to-blogger" type feature. So I figured, what the heck. I put in a secret code name (which you have to do if you don't want everyone posting on your blog), and then tried to send an e-mail from my phone to the address.

At first I didn't realize that Blogger doesn't support image attachments, so I just wasted some money sending them three times to no effect. Worse, a regular image-less text message hasn't been posted, either.

I might try to e-mail a post from the home computer tonight (or whenever), but it won't be the same, since I might as well just post from the normal new-post page on Blogger.

So that's that. I guess I won't be able to blog from my phone when I'm off on an exciting adventure. And I have plenty of exciting adventures, believe you me.

I've fallen so far behind...

Last night I finally finished another comic.

I always save several versions of each comic: The original version, which is separated into several layers (ink, color, frames, etc.) and is drawn at 5790x1950 pixels. I save it in its raw state in case I need to change anything later. The next version is the same as the first, only all of the layers are flattened into one. I then reduce the image to 625 pixels wide for the main site, and save it as a 256-color GIF. I undo the reduction, redo it to 600 pixels wide for the Comics Sherpa mirror site, and again save it as a 256-color GIF.

I was in the middle of this saving/reducing process at about 9:30 last night when I was just slammed over the head by Mr. Sandman. I just couldn't keep my eyes open, and though I hope I didn't save anything incorrectly, I'm just not sure. Obviously, I wasn't awake to actually upload anything.

So I'm beginning to wonder if I will ever be able to catch up on this thing. I will not give it up. But I have several storylines written for the next few months' worth of strips (actually, the last few months, since I'm still bogged down in October 2004), and I really want to get those drawn and out there before I change directions with the strip.

I think what I would need to do is just shut myself out from the rest of the world for about a month, not talking to anyone, not working, not...seeing...any friends...NO! THAT'S A BAD PLAN! Life will continue as it is now, no isolation, definitely seeing my friends! And though the comic will suffer, I will surely not.

Because life is actually really good right now.

Really good.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Everything's moved over

So if it looks like I just was nonstop blogging on my first day back, it's because I was migrating my posts from my other blog one by one. Cool that I have the option to retro-date those posts.

In case anyone cares, the old blog was here. But I moved over to blogger because tblog is unreliable when it comes to actually fixing issues.

And now there's a post on the tblog site redirecting everyone (read: both of you) over here.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Keeping my eyes on the prize

I often struggle with my priorities. What should be my top priority, my relationship with Christ, gets surpassed by the many distractions of the world. Even relationships with people can get in the way, if my motives for maintaining those relationships is misdirected. However, if I keep my eyes on the prize, and seek after Christ first, all of these things (relationships, etc.) will be added to my life the way He wants them to be added.

Philippians 3:7-21
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Last Weekend: More Details Than You Want to Read.

Well, Friday started with dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory, then some of us went down to Kell's to see the Clumsy Lovers play their first of two back-to-back shows. It was exciting to see them again, especially so soon after their last show here (in February), because ever since they started touring full-time, their Portland stops have been spread further apart on the calendar. Used to be they'd be here roughly once every month or two, which was pretty sweet. But they've been signed to Nettwerk Records, and they have a steadily growing national fan base that they serve now. Thus, shows co close together (with another set on the 19th!) are rare.

After the show, we took a nice walk along Waterfront Park, and the view, though dark, was still fantastic. But it was cold!

On Saturday, I met my dad for lunch, and made sure to call my sister Julie to wish her a happy birthday. (Actually, we joked that I should have said Crappy Birthday, since the last two years' birthdays have been somewhat miserable for her.) Julie told me what our original last name was, which was unexpected. I thought it might be Polish Kostka, Kostrzewa or Kostrzewski, but it's Kostmeyer, which is very German sounding. I still haven't spent any time looking into it, but I will.

I stopped by my friend's, to pick up the phone I'd left in her car on Friday, then drove over to another friend's to give her a couple of phone chargers I didn't need anymore. I thought nobody was home, but it turns out that she was in bed sick with possible food poisoning. Of course, with her trying to rush to get everything ready for her wedding next month, I suspect that the stress was adding to her infirmity. :(

Saturday night the same group as the night before went to dinner at Thien Hong, which was good (Salt and pepper squid! Jackfruit smoothie!). Then we drove down to the Lucky Labrador to throw some darts and chat for awhile. That was cool, because one of us hadn't thrown darts before and it was fun for us all to show her how. Good times!

Wow, I'm really writing a novel here. Well, who cares--whatever helps me to remember this great weekend in the future is fine by me!

On Sunday morning I visited Eastgate Bible Chapel, which was a church that I used to attend regularly up until 13 years ago. It was cool to see some of the old familiar faces, friends whom I used to hang out and play volleyball with. Funny how the one time I visit after years and years just happens to be followed by lunch and a congregational meeting (like a church business meeting). I couldn't decide whether or not I felt out of place, because after all, that was my church home for a couple of years. Naturally, I left early.

I went home and immediately lay down in the hammock in the front yard (70+ degrees in March = naptime!), and a little while later, a friend called me wanting to hang out. I met her at her house and we drove over to Laurelhurst Park to play Sequence and sip iced coffee drinks. Despite the fact that half of the Portland population was at Laurelhurst to play, it was still a fun, relaxing time.

Afte the park, we met John at the theater to watch Ong Bak: Thai Warrior. Now that was a crazyawesome film. I haven't seen any martrial arts movie come close to this one in terms of raw authenticity. Sure, it's got a thin plot and so-so acting, but the people are just clobbering each other with real fists, elbows and knees. It was very obvious that people got hurt making this one.

Another friend met us for dinner at Gustav's in NE Portland, which was pretty darned delicious, and then I followed her home to hang out for a little while (defying common sense, since we both needed to get up pretty early this morning.). Very relaxing, and a perfect way to wrap up a perfect weekend. Of course, I'm paying for it now...ZZZZZZZZZZ.... :)

Saturday, March 05, 2005

What's my name, anyway? Pt. 2


I don't know anything more than that. My first impression is that it doesn't make sense, since Kostmeyer sounds far more German than Polish. It might even be Jewish. Hmm. I'd definitely be interested in knowing how my uncle arrived at this discovery.

When I get more time, I'll start looking into it.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Places I've Been [open post]

August 12, 2009 - Added 10 new counties.

U.S. Map
Click map to enlarge

COUNTRIES - 2: United States, Canada

STATES - 24: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

PROVINCES - 2: Alberta, British Columbia

NATIONAL PARKS - 8: Bryce Canyon, Glacier/Waterton, Grand Teton, Mt. Rainier, Olympic, Tallgrass Prairie Nat'l Preserve, Yellowstone, Zion

STATE CAPITALS - 14: Little Rock, AR; Phoenix, AZ; Denver, CO; Boise, ID; Springfield, IL; Topeka, KS; Springfield, IL; Helena, MT; Lincoln, NE; Oklahoma City, OK; Salem, OR; Salt Lake City, UT; Olympia, WA; Cheyenne, WY

COUNTIES (and equivalents):

Alberta (Census Divions) - 1: Cardston
British Columbia (Regional Districts) - 1: Capital Regional District

Arizona - 1: Maricopa
Arkansas - 33: Benton, Boone, Calhoun, Carroll, Clark, Cleveland, Columbia, Conway, Crawford, Crittenden, Dallas, Faulkner, Franklin, Grant, Hot Spring, Johnson, Lafayette, Little River, Lonoke, Miller, Mississippi, Monroe, Nevada, Ouachita, Polk, Pope, Prairie, Pulaski, Saline, Sebastian, Sevier, St. Francis, Washington
California - 6: Alameda, Del Norte, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Santa Clara
Colorado - 14: Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Elbert, Huerfano, Kit Carson, Larimer, Las Animas, Lincoln, Pueblo, Weld
Idaho - 18: Ada, Bear Lake, Canyon, Cassia, Clearwater, Elmore, Gooding, Idaho, Jerome, Kootenai, Latah, Lewis, Minidoka, Nez Perce, Oneida, Payette, Shoshone, Twin Falls
Illinois - 19: Alexander, Clinton, Cook, Dupage, Grundy, Jackson, Livingston, Logan, Macoupin, Madison, McLean, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Randolph, Sangamon, St. Clair, Washington, Will
Iowa - 1: Fremont
Kansas - 41: Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Bourbon, Brown, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Coffey, Cowley, Crawford, Dickinson, Douglas, Ellis, Ellsworth, Franklin, Geary, Gove, Greenwood, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Lincoln, Logan, Lyon, Miami, Montgomery, Neosho, Osage, Riley, Russell, Saline, Sedgewick, Shawnee, Sherman, Thomas, Trego, Wabaunsee, Woodson, Wyandotte
Kentucky - 1: Ballard
Louisiana (parishes) - 3: Bossier, Caddo, Webster
Minnesota - 1: Hennepin
Mississippi - 1: DeSoto
Missouri - 42: Andrew, Atchison, Barry, Bates, Buchanan, Burton, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Cass, Christian, Clay, Crawford, Dade, Franklin, Greene, Holt, Howell, Jackson, Jasper, Laclede, Lawrence, McDonald, Mississippi, New Madrid, Newton, Pemiscot, Phelps, Platte, Polk, Pulaski, Scott, Shannon, St. Louis (City), St. Louis, Stoddard, Stone, Taney, Texas, Vernon, Webster, Wright
Montana - 13: Cascade, Flathead, Gallatin, Glacier, Jefferson, Lake, Lewis And Clark, Madison, Mineral, Missoula, Powell, Sanders, Silver Bow
Nebraska - 6: Cass, Johnson, Lancaster, Nemaha, Otoe, Richardson
Nevada - 2: Clark, Elko
New Mexico - 2: Colfax, Union
Oklahoma - 37: Atoka, Beckham, Bryan, Caddo, Carter, Canadian, Cleveland, Craig, Creek, Custer, Delaware, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Garvin, Grant, Kay, Le Flore, Lincoln, Logan, Love, Major, Mayes, McClain, McIntosh, Murray, Noble, Nowata, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pittsburg, Rogers, Tulsa, Washington, Washita
Oregon - 28: Baker, Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Gilliam, Hood River, Jefferson, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Malheur, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, Washington, Yamhill
Tennessee - 3: Dyer, Obion, Shelby
Texas - 34: Angelina, Carson, Cass, Collin, Cooke, Dallam, Dallas, Denton, Donley, Franklin, Galveston, Gray, Grayson, Harris, Hartley, Hemphill, Hopkins, Hunt, Liberty, Lipscomb, Montgomery, Morris, Nacogdoches, Oldham, Panola, Polk, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Rockwall, San Jacinto, Shelby, Tarrant, Titus, Walker, Wheeler
Utah - 16: Beaver, Box Elder, Cache, Davis, Garfield, Iron, Juab, Kane, Millard, Morgan, Rich, Salt Lake, Summit, Utah, Washington, Weber
Washington - 30: Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Douglas, Franklin, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Okanogan, Pacific, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Whitman
Wyoming - 8: Albany, Carbon, Laramie, Lincoln, Park, Sweetwater, Teton, Uinta

Updated August 2009

2 Talked Back:

At October 9, 2006 at 8:56:00 PM CDT, Anonymous Jami Leigh said...

So when are you going to hop in the car and bring our Nicole to see us? We've got free rooms and breakfast and I've noticed Texas isn't on your list yet. . .


At October 16, 2006 at 2:01:00 PM CDT, Blogger stan said...

Soon, Jami, soon. There's a shower in Dalhart on Nov. 4, so there you go. I think we have our room and meals planned out for this trip already, but I know we'd love to take you up on free rooms and breakfast someday!!! :)


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What's my name, anyway?

For most of my life, I have known that my name is incomplete. I've always been Stanley William Kost, but when I was little my parents used to tell me about how our ancestors probably had their name shortened when they came to America. There were different reasons for name changes back then: often, a family's patriarch would "Americanize" their surname in order to fit into their new lives with less difficulty. Also, a frequent practice in the always-crowded immigration offices was just to shorten a name that couldn't be pronounced quickly.

We've always suspected that the latter is what happened to the surname that became Kost.

Some time last week, one of my uncles stopped by the store where my sister works, and mentioned to her that he had been doing some research on the origins of our family. He had traced the name to Poland, and was able to find out what the original spelling was.

So now my sister knows what it is, and I haven't heard back from her yet since I called her on Monday or Tuesday. I'm sure I'll see her tomorrow, since it's her birthday, but this anticipation is making me anxious. Not that I'm going to rush down to Vital Records first thing Monday morning and change my name, but it would at least satisfy this curiosity that I've had for many, many years.

1 Talked Back:

At July 21, 2005 at 10:31:00 AM CDT, Blogger Jim said...

did you ever find out?


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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Gas at $1.18/gallon

I had a strange dream last night.

I was driving around east Portland looking for a gas station when I came across some railroad tracks I had never seen before. There was a small sign hidden out of the way which said "Route 111", and I believed that although it was a train track, this was a secret highway. So I turned and drove down this (rail)road.

A few seconds later, I saw a small gas station on the right hand side. It might have been a Shell or a Chevron station--I don't remember the details-- but I distinctly recall the advertised price of Unleaded on the sign: $1.18 per gallon. This was not a station that had been closed down when a buck eighteen was the normal price. The lights were on, and a pump jockey was just standing there waiting for a customer.

I pulled in and angled my car toward the single pump, and suddenly my roommate Adam, who was not there a second before, pulled his car in and around me. Somehow, he was able to fill up and leave before I even got to the pump. I guess time has a way of warping in a dream. After Adam left, the attendant (who looked as though he lived at the station) asked me if I wanted a fillup. I said yes, hesitating to ask why the price was so low.

He didn't grab the nozzle of the pump right next to me. Instead, he walked to the edge of the lot and took hold of a nozzle that was attached to a simple vertical pipe sticking out of the asphalt. With my fill door open, he started spraying gasoline from 30 feet away, only sometimes getting fuel into the actual tank. He plastered the entire side of the car with gas, as though he was washing it, and, because I was standing on the opposite side, I got a decent amount of it splashed onto me. I wasn't really surprised, which was the odd thing; I was slightly concerned about my soaked clothes smelling like gas, but one sniff told me that gas is odorless in dreams.

The attendant finished his job, then told me that the bill was $27.30. Now this was a shock, because at $1.18 per gallon, that means I was paying for all of that sloppy spillage. I paid the guy, and drove away unhappy.

Seconds later (this was dream time, remember), at home, my dad pulled his car into my driveway. It had undergone the same hosedown that mine had, and I could see the fumes twisting off of its surfaces. Dad stepped out of the car, soaked, with a moist, half-eaten, convenience-store burrito drooping out of his hand.

With matted hair and gritted teeth, he calmly seethed, "I think we'd better call the Better Business Bureau on that guy."

Then I woke up.

Studded tires

Look, I know that you can legally have studded tires on your car through the end of March here in Oregon, but come on. It hasn't been snowy or icy in two months around here.

So please just put your regular tires back on already. I'm tired of hearing you crackle along beside me in the next lane--it's annoying, and it tears up the roads that already take forever to repave.

Top Ten Fantasy Mashups

It's comedy, people.

10. Meat Loaf vs Korn
9. Donna Summer vs Edgar Winter
8. David Gray vs Living Colour
7. Soul Coughing vs Weezer
6. Cat Stevens vs Snoop Dogg
5. The Police vs 10,000 Maniacs
4. Jet vs Train vs The Cars
3. Ice Cube vs Hot Hot Heat
2. 50 Cent vs Nickel Creek
1. Muddy Waters vs Everclear

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Incredibles

Why haven't I seen this yet? It sounds like an awesome film.

I hope that it's still playing at the $3 theaters this weekend.

A passage about forgiveness

I was just looking at some different blogs today when I ran across this awesome quote about forgiveness:

To forgive is not to say that the original wrong was "okay." It is not to express approval, either direct or tacit; if it did, it would not be forgiveness but a change of opinion. Forgiveness is aware of the wrong, it was wrong, it is wrong - but forgiveness is drawn from the strength to say that you will not let the wrong done affect your heart, your soul, your spririt. That there are some things - hope and dignity, for two - which "they," whoever they are, can't take from you. --LarryE

(My decision to post this here is not speaking to any current or recent circumstances in my life, nor is it any sort of subtle suggestion to anyone I know who may be reading this; but I like what it says, so I want to pass it along.)

1 Talked Back:

At June 28, 2005 at 11:19:00 AM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this! Forgiveness is miraculous! It takes those awful, painful memories and puts them in a perspective that has taken all the pain away from the experience. I highly recommend it whenever circumstances call for it!


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Found Poetry, Part 2

web door latching

to unlatch

grasp lever
with right index finger
and pull forward

to anchor
insert bar
at a slight angle downward
into pocket over lip

to latch
push bar
until latch mechanism
swings upward
to lock bar in place

(found on a mail cart in 1999.)

Every cowboy sings a sad, sad song...

...and then it gets stuck in your head!

That's right, everyone: Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" has entered the building, and refuses to leave.

Like a knife that cuts you, the wound heals, but the scar, that scar will remain...

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Feeling desperation!

Wow, this morning I just felt desperate to hear some sermons from the Lord. I'm not particular about who's doing the preaching, as long as they're preaching the Bible.

I don't have a radio with me today, so my source has to be the Internet. Here at work, there are all kinds of Internet filters; one of them is a high-bandwidth filter which blocks out a lot of streaming audio. What's more, the machine I'm on doesn't have Real Audio, and I can't download it. Not only that, it denies access to all MP3 links. So what I need is something low-bandwidth that pops up in its own application window.

I did find one source, fortunately: there are a few sermons I can listen to from Crossway Church in Bartlett, Tennessee. Without the Internet, how would I have ever had the ability to find fresh voices like this? What a blessing!

So now I have some good audio to last me for the next couple of days. I think I'm going to find and burn some more sermons onto a CD, ones that the firewall would filter out from here. And I'll keep looking!

Dumb things I'm thinking about

Dumb things bouncing around the brain right now...
  • Target has a wedding registry. So does Wal-Mart. Wouldn't it be hilarious if some engaged couple out there could register at a 99-cent store?
  • Why are there four empty cardboard soap boxes on the shelf in my shower? (Update: They're gone now.)
  • Why is it that ham and eggs taste good together, and ham on a chef salad is good, but the egg on that same salad is gross?
  • Much like my character Joel, I am an office supply semi-junkie. I bought a two-pack of black gel pens today, and I am thrilled. Whoopee.
  • Purple ketchup: Why?
  • I will watch the Academy Awards every year solely to see the annual Parade of Dead People. And every year, it's awesome. Yo-Yo Ma really sold it this year. (Naturally, the rest of the Oscars is a steaming pile of poo. That's right: poo.)
  • Knight Rider is on DVD! It's about time! (Although I probably won't ever watch it now.)

Found Poetry, Part 1

Found Poetry is a collection of words that was not written for the purpose of being poetic, but someone discovers hidden poetry inside of them. I see this sometimes in the world around me, whether it's in a list of instructions, a description of some thing, or just someone's casual questions or remarks. I have decided to look for some poetry in unlikely places, and I'll post them as I see them.

(Although anyone reading this might think it's total crap, which is okay with me.)
The first place I looked was none other than the non-poetic IRS website. At the bottom of one of the FAQ pages is a sad question about a parent claiming dependency of a child:

My child
Was stillborn.
He died
Right before
He was delivered.
Can I claim
My child?

It's not just for Christians

One thing I should point out here is that I am not intending for this blog to just be about my Christianity. There's going to be a lot of crazy mumbo-jumbo in here too, but I won't water down my Christian references just to avoid criticism. Like I said, as far as feedback goes, I don't care what I receive as far as quantity: If I never get another comment, I will still post here no matter what.

It's ultimately up to me whether I participate in any heavy discussions. I usually lose my arguments anyway, because I am never prepared for them, and people who start arguments usually want to start one because they figure they can win it.

So there you go.

Part of why I have given up watching '24'

Isaiah 55:1-2
"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
"Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare."