Left work at about 5:30 to run over to Windfall, a swanky joint in the west 30's, for a College Republican's soiree featuring a brief talk by Karl Rove. Brec and Cisco were representing ISI there, Grace and I were along to help. I finally left the office when Brec informed me that there was free food and drinks and lots of girls. There were not lots of girls. But that turned out to be a moot point.

As Rove was wrapping up, Brec grabs my arm from across the table, and said perhaps the 3 sweetest words my ears have ever heard: "That's Dave Barry." She nodded in the direction behind me. My brain went on suspended-operating mode. It was like life paused. In the space of a second, as I turned my head, I probably had 5 or 6 distinct thoughts - "she must mean on the TV screen above the bar..." or "she must have mistaken someone else for Dave..." or "she's loony...".

And there was Dave Barry, standing shoulder to shoulder with me, listening to Rove and scratching notes on his note pad. I saw one of the notes, it said "red meat." He had just walked up and stood right next to me, his greatest fan. He didn't even know it. I looked back at Brec, for guidance. I was speechless. I was fumbling in my pocket for a pen, and cursing myself for not having printed out the email exchange that Dave and I had and bringing it to be signed. Brec told me to ask him to have drinks with us.

I had to stand there and wait for probably another 30 seconds of Rove wrapping up (none of which I actually listened to), but it seemed like 5 minutes. I was afraid Dave would walk away, or be too busy, or see somebody important to talk to, I don't know. Rove finally ceased his incessant ranting and I immediately introduced myself to Dave. I told him I was the same David C Knowles that had written him regarding the use of wheelchairs to cut in line at amusement parks. He knew who I was! I asked him to have drinks with us. He said he'd love to! I asked him what he wanted to drink. He said Sam Adams! I got Dave Barry a Sam Adams.

We ended up talking for over an hour, just chatting and having drinks. We had a very cheerful waitress who kept bringing hors d'oeuvres until nobody wanted anymore, but she kept coming with them. Dave reacted to this quite comically. He told us a lot about Athens and the DNC, and his other travels - a lot of the stuff we talked about was stuff that he had already written in recent articles, but it was really cool to hear it from the actual man himself. I think he may even have tried out some material on us for one of the pieces he's doing this week. He gave us the bit on Dreier having carnal relations with a llama which was published in this morning's piece - it was quite funny.

After a while, Dave had to go. He graciously took a few more pictures with us and signed a couple autographs. He is the coolest celebrity I've ever met, hands down. Perhaps its because he's not your average celebrity, per say. He really seems like a normal dude. But his humor is on another level - that was plain to see. There were jokes thrown into the conversation that some in our group didn't even catch. I probably missed one or two myself.

I was in another universe when he left. Brec gave us flyers for ISI (where she works) and sent us into the sword-fight to promote the firm. Met some guys from Berkeley - the CA delegation, a reporter for an Italian newspaper, and the Washington Bureau Chief for Investor's Business Daily - he was a really cool dude.

We ended up having a celebratory drink before we left to cap our glorious experience there, and I gave some guy from the Georgia delegation some good lines to lay on Barbara, the most beautiful bartender ever. She more than made up for the complete lack of talent on the other side of the bar. I had been talking with her earlier about her acting aspirations and previous experience, so the guy got some good material to go in with. If I was a foot taller I may have asked that girl to marry me.

Back to my office to grab Brec and Cisco's luggage, which they had left with me for the day, then a stop in Greenley Park to be in the audience for the live Chris Matthews broadcast. Off to City Bistro in Hoboken for a fabulous dinner served by Grace's roommate, Carey.

What a night. Picture proof to come.


RNC Update

So far, it looks like everyone is still alive. The streets are kinda eerie because all the sidewalks are cordoned off. This morning, they were only letting people walk down 34th street that had a work ID, that was kinda weird. Also, there are more cops than there are civilians. Tonight I'm going to some lecture thing for college republican leaders or something at some bar on west 39th. Brec got us in for that. Read: young, impressionable conservative girls.

Brec's co-worker Cisco will be staying with me this week thru Thursday. We'll be going to the young repub RNC thing around lunchtime on Wednesday, in the garden, which should be cool. And on Thursday we're going to watch the acceptance speech at some joint downtown. I don't really care if I don't end up volunteering that much, but its kinda weird that they made me go to all those meetings for nothing.

I can see the top of the garden from the windows in my elevator lobby, and they have set up 4 of those little pavilion awnings on the roof at the corners (so to speak) so the hawk-eyed cops up there can have some shade.

That is all.

Halfway to 100

Whitetail for a solid round with Cregan, Pastor T, and Iain. I shot par on two holes, played ok. I'm still new to the game so I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. Then on to Don Pablo's for beers and food and debate on how Christianity should factor in to politics. I later went and dug up this which was originally this (I wasn't aware it had been updated).

Saturday was working on the upcoming lessons for high school youth group this fall. We open the first 4 lessons on the nature of the Trinity with special regard to the Holy Spirit. I hope I'm at least a moderately adequate communicator. At 2, J-lo showed up and we went over strategy for the year, then we went to C&M's for a BBQ in their simply glorious backyard with some of the other leaders (as many as could show up). Later that night Phil and I soundly defeated J-lo and Kathy in a game of Trivial Pursuit.

Today was ushering with the kids, then out to Dallas BBQ (just realized that makes it a double BBQ weekend for me) with the upcoming freshman. Hung out with the leaders on the UES for coffee and a basically chill afternoon. Back to the boke for evening service and some No. 1, which sits pleasantly on my desk, waiting to be devoured, which I shall presently accomplish, Lord willing.

Have a few episodes left in BOB, then a review. Want to see Hero this week.

The Olympics closing ceremony is on shortly. The games went off without a hitch. God is good.

Its the first ever RNC in NYC this week. Should be fairly crazy. Never got a call back from the media center on my volunteer position. Kinda ticked about that, but oh well. I'm sure I'll be busy enough.


Thomas Merton

We receive enlightenment only in proportion as we give ourselves more and more completely to God by humble submission and love. We do not first see, and then act: we act, then see...and that is why the man who waits to see clearly before he will believe, never starts on the journey.


Christian Charity

(Another Linked Title)

Great article on poverty and the Christian's duty to his brethren in need, care of Evangelical Outpost.


What's wrong with Fahrenheit 9/11?

(Another Linked Title)

I'm about halfway through my current read (MMIABFSWM) and the liberties that this guy takes with the truth are simply astounding. He really must be in another reality.

What's more, look at our so-called "coalition of the willing," as named by Moore: the Republic of Palau, Costa Rica, Iceland, Romania, Netherlands, and Afghanistan. It does seem less formidable when you leave out the United Kingdom, Italy, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Thailand, Norway, Australia, Poland, Japan, the Czech Republic, Hungary and South Korea.

What will Kerry do differently when he wages a more "effective" war on terror? Well he'll do it by adding France to that list, he will. That way we'll have an ally that can school us in the finer points of surrender.



Farthest from your mind is the thought of falling back, in fact, it isn't there at all. And so you dig your hole carefully and deep, and wait.
'Currahee' Scrapbook of the 506 PIR



That's the "ahh" I've been needing in response to the "SIGH" from last week. My weekend: restful. I accomplished exactly what I hoped to: nothing. Saturday was video games and Olympics, then a solid hour and a half in the gym, talk to the folks and pick up some Number One Fine Chinese Cuisine on the way home, where I proceeded to play more video games and watch more Olympics, also finished episode 3 of BOB. I'm going to wait until I've finished the series, but so far its one of the 2 best TV series I've seen, ever (up there with Tony S.). Sunday was my 3rd and last sleep-in Sunday for the year. You just need a break from the trek into the city sometimes. Worshipped St. Mattress and just barely cleared double digit hours, again, thank you very much. Olympics, folding laundry, video games. Evening service, then Ted and Jo's for drinks and dinner with about 15 or so of the folks from church. Sat outside which is always nice. Got my food to-go b/c I had a couple cold Sierra Nevadas so I knew I'd be full for a while.

So, its Sunday night, I'm not tired, and I've got a warm bacon-cheddar burger staring me in the face. I feel rested and ready for the week. God is good.

I'm looking forward to the trip home in late September. I'm due for a vacation, and I plan to call this one my Sierra Nevada trip. For two reasons - I hope to visit the factory with my Dad for beers and dinner, and I also hope to take a multi day road trip thru the Sierra Nevadas (perhaps with Dad, maybe even a bro). Start with Nevada City (to see the grandparents), then on to Tahoe (my first love), shoot down thru the Nevada desert (hopefully at night so I can catch the aurora borealis) to the back entrance to Yosemite. Spend a day or so there then back up the hills and valleys to Sacto. Lots of pictures. Lots. Its pretty ambitious so I'm hoping I can pull it off.

Right now I'm just going to focus on this burger and episode 4.


Be like Mike

This kid doesn't even need to get wet to get another gold. Much respect.


A day off

Its Saturday and I am *not* in the office. Yeah. Why? 2 reasons: first, I worked my tail off this week and I got a lot done. Secondly, I don't care if people want to focus on what's outstanding, I got a lot done.

I woke up after 10 today. That was an accomplishment. I didn't get in bed until 4 this morning, but hey, sleep is sleep, I'll take it. First time I hit the double-digit hours that I can remember in a good long time.

Worked way past the 2pm early-summer-Fridays yesterday then headed for the gym, where I haven't been nearly as much as I should have been, lately. Mindi called on my way home from there, wanted to know if I could babysit Titus while she took Cregan to see I, Robot. That basically involved showing up at 9:30, eating all of their leftover pizza, and watching movies/Olympics until they got back at close to 1 in the morning (it was a 10:30 show). Then I came back here and watched more Olympics until I could finally sleep. I love the fact that they're on all night.

That's all for now. Just felt the need to get a weekend post out there, instead of always referring to them from the future or past. Should be putting some updated links and whatnot up, soon. Apologies for the lack of interesting blog-fodder as of late. We will get back on track. In the meantime, we placate you with...pictures!

Click on the pic to see the whole album. I think I'm finally getting the hang of this whole picture/posting/linking deal, but as previously mentioned, imagestation and I are on the outs. I want a less cumbersome photo-hoster, so be on the lookout for that in the near future. These are pics from the hike (ok, it was more like a long walk) we took as an afternoon break to our planning retreat last weekend. Also some from the car, and some fireworks pix from my deck on Sunday evening. I especially like the one of the ESB juxtaposed against the burst on the far end of the frame. I was using the deck's handrail as a makeshift tripod, and I've concluded that getting good quality pictures of fireworks at night requires the shot to be taken while no human hands are actually in contact with the camera.



Big, big sigh.

Just walked out of my pre-season presentation to my SVP on my business. I put in late nights for 3 straight weeks for that stupid hour. And I knew what was going to happen. I was going to walk in, get totally blindsided, and be summarily eviscerated. And I did. Got blindsided by a top-line number of all things, one that wasn't the truth, but certainly wasn't my fault so I wasn't going to admit to it. The evisceration wasn't too extensive, thank God. Pancreas and spleen, maybe part of the liver.

The really fun part was that she came up with all kinds of new work for me to do in preparation for the next meeting. Like I have time for that on top of all the crap I have to do with no assistant in the first damn place. Hmm. I've cut out the gym altogether, and really any personal life at all, so I guess the next to go is my precious little sleep, then eating, but not necessarily in that order. And I'm saying this and its still frickin summer. I swore I wouldn't spend another holiday season in retail. I need to get on the ball.

What I need is $50,000. Not a billion, not a million, not even a 100K. I want $50,000. All my debt, poof, gone. Me, poof, gone. Hello Colorado. Hello truck and dog and 100+ days on the hill. I wouldn't sell my soul to the devil but there's not much else I wouldn't do for my freedom right now.

Cease rant.

Can I remember the weekend? (strain)

Friday I went home to change and then headed straight back to Penn Station, theoretically to meet Brec and friend for a drink on their way to RNC training. Paths didn't cross, so I headed over to Redeemer's offices to meet up with the youth leaders and the "consultant" we had in town to join us for our annual planning retreat. Hop in cars and drive thru rain to northern CT. Nice, riverside resort. Friday night - planning and team-building stuff. Saturday, also planning and team building stuff. Pause in late afternoon for a hike up a waterfall, then return to PATBS. Which we did late into the night and Sunday morning as well. Lots of grounding on the Word and prayer, which was cool. Kevin, the youth pastor of a large church down south, who's materials we've been utilizing, had a lot of awesome insight and encouragement for us. Sunday afternoon, hop in cars and head on home. Caught the 2nd half of evening service and went home to catch up on my Olympics. Man they go late. Hard to pull away from.

Monday was work and then my own RNC training session, Tuesday was work and then fleshing out all of our material from the weekend with Cregan, Kathy, and Paul at the Redeemer offices, and today is leave at a decent hour and go to the frickin gym already, just because I hate it here.

This weekend I can't think of anything that I'm up to, but I'm sure I've committed to 20 things and will have to cancel them all to come to work on Saturday. I think Brec may be in town again, with a friend. George is away in the Azores or somewhere like that for 2 weeks for a buddy's wedding. Speak of the devil, his company sent me the ol' we'll-keep-you-on-file letter. 2nd one of those I've ever gotten in my life. There are now 2 corporations on my list of companies I will destroy through vicious political maneuvering when I become president.

Basically I've lost any time to surf so I'm not up on news or issues or other online stuff of interest, so not much to link to. Although I have one link that's particularly useful for girls during those long days in the city. Guys, I've found, can use basically anything, at least most of the time. Examples would include trees, trash cans, pedestrians, buildings, sidewalks, subway tracks (beware the wrong rail), taxis, etc.. Haven't decided if I like this site yet, basically its media gossip with a touch of snarky humor, I like the second part of the description, at least. I do think I like this one, though I haven't spent much time there yet. Started on their guide to men's fashion and it was pretty good stuff. Some questionable stuff, looks like a liberal lean, but I've found some good material here and there. Also, good notes on how to do the metro card thing, found here. I'll try to make the next bunch links a little less NYC specific.


Chimney (weekend wrap-up to come)



Gloria (in excelsis Deo)

BAH. So busy at work I don't know if I just found a rope or lost my horse. But its only work. ITS ONLY WORK. Left just before they turned the lights off (again) tonight, and headed back to the safety of the 'boke and its many libations establishments. As I'm hopping off the bus, the sky breaks and heavy rain ensues. Young lady in front of me has no umbrella. I have my Cadillac of umbrellas and offer to share. Turns out her roommate is a somebody in the HR department at my company. Connection, boom (thunder, also lightning).

Played my first 18 holes in Canada, and posted a 4-under-par. Golden Tee, that is. George and I had a good time at an empty bar near his place. I needed that (instead of the gym) to end my night. Gym tomorrow and Friday, never fear.

So, I'm walking home in the abetting rain, and I hear sneaker-squeak coming out the open doorway to the gym at the local HS. The summer league is having one of their finals games. Watch the end of a nail-biter with some incredible last-second action. Cool night, right?

Rejoice, walk home, check mail... . . . ?

(slam mailbox door shut)

Can it be?

Is it?

No, certainly not.

But...perhaps. It is August, isn't it?

Yes, perhaps it is.

Shall we take a peek???

Only a peek...

(peer anxiously into mailbox)

(light shines, angels sing, much rejoicing)

Summer is ending.

UPDATE: Yes, the cover is a real photo. Ladders and buckets of water, that's how.


Conviction on a train

My devotions today hit home in more ways than one. Whew.

I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD .
It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young.

Let him sit alone in silence,
for the LORD has laid it on him.

Let him bury his face in the dust-
there may yet be hope.
Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,
and let him be filled with disgrace.

For men are not cast off
by the Lord forever.
Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to the children of men.

(from Lamentations 3, emphasis mine)

This passage has always been a favorite but particularly first really landed square for me in college, around my junior year. One of my best college friends wrote me a thoughtful and encouraging note, mentioning this passage. It was a couple pages long, written on small yellow note pad paper. I think I still have it somewhere, I'll have to see if I can dig it up. She's getting married soon, and I'm very thankful to have her as a friend and see the grace that God has given her.

Its funny how some verses can seem to have completely different applications for your life at one time or another, or even based on your current life foci. Yet the message remains the same.

Really not much weekend wrap-up to be done, which is why I never got around to it. Sigh: work late Fri, clean up the pad all day Sat, never made it to office, met Texican and took her family to Times Square. 5 little boys in Toys-R-Us = joy. They have a huge Jurassic Park T-rex in there so of course I couldn't help but go into full-velociraptor mode for most of the time we were there. There were also velociraptor sightings on Liberty Island, when we went to go see Ms. Liberty's statue on Sunday. Evening service, then I returned the family's car to their hotel (kept it in the boken to save them the hassle over the weekend), and had a ferry ride and a walk home, with my Sunday Times, which I'm trying to wean myself off of, but can't. And boom, it was Monday again, and I'm way behind on projects.

Which I need to run off to, right now. Deadlines loom. Sheesh. Its a lot worse than I'm even letting myself realize right now. Wow.

For this reason, and others, blogging may be light for a while. Or not, we'll see. Its off to Connecticut on Friday afternoon for our annual youth-leader planning meeting, and we won't be back in town again until Sunday evening. And then...boom, its Monday again...


Where's George?

(Another Linked Title, FYI...we're just going to start prefixing our linked posts with "ALT" until we finally find a decent new blog skin)

Was driving a friend's car to meet them in the city last night, as they had left it at my place for the weekend. Gave the guy at the Lincoln Tunnel a $20 and a $1, hoping to get back a $10 and a $5 (the toll is $6). He hands me back a $5 and ten $1's. Have to smile at that. One of the bills in the stack had the website above written on it. Here's the link for the bill I found, but you'll likely have to register with the site to view it.

Cool idea, anyway. Register some $1s and see if any pop up on the grid.



(from a letter wrote but never sent, after seeing a lightning storm from above via plane at night)

The inexplicable nature of the view casts a permanent frustration on the irresistible desire to share what cannot be conveyed, but must, rather, be experienced to understand.

I don't think that I'm a lonely person so much as a person who often feels the desire to share experiences with another. That's all.

Sigh. Off to the office with my arse. Enough procrastination.


Another 7 days of my life have passed. They're going much faster than they used to.

Let's try to remember the week. Monday...hmmm...nope, nothing. I think I worked all day. Safe guess. Gym at night. Tuesday and Wednesday were twins - work then Yankee game, where I fiercely represented my fanship with my beloved hat - Tuesday was a very good game, Wednesday was a good game right until the very bad end. Here's a fun shot from Tuesday.

Thursday work then gym. And now we're at today. What a long Friday. Fridays in the summer are supposed to be short. Yeah...pff. Still not finished with The damn Project I have to a damned presentation on. If you can't tell, I'm not excited about it. Spent the morning fooling with it. Then, at 11am, our director and our HR rep for the roughly 25 on our team conducted an annual ritual that I find quite bizarre - reviewing our Gallup Poll results with us. That's a whole blog post in and of itself that I don't know I'd be entirely comfortable listing while I still work for the company.

By the time the meeting was over, it was nearly the 2pm deadline for Fridays. No where close to being ready with my project. But cute trainees and assistants want me to go with them to see Open Water (post below). I bend then swiftly break under temptation. This is the summer of the movie theater for me, anyway, so let's keep with tradition. Nice stadium seating in the beautiful AMC theater just off of Times Square on 42nd. That place will go under in a hurry, no doubt. Movie was short, like 90 or so mins.

Off to Morris' salon to zip the dome. We are white on top again. Back to the office to re-convene filing and general avoidance of completing The Project. Its because I haven't been given the requisite training to perform on this level, and figuring everything out on my own is taking a long freakin time. After a short while I'm done with anything significant and reviewing the movie. Off to the gym with you, fatty!

Gym closed. Its that late already? Chinese food and home, then. Argh. Must run in morning, before returning to damn office. Must go on long run.

Tomorrow is breakfast with Morris to catch up, then run, then office, then Texan is in town again, so que sera sera for the evening. Sunday church, perhaps, in the morning (we like our evening church and take a couple Sundays, but only a couple, in the summer, to avoid the city and just be at peace in the morning).

There was a man in a wheelchair at the bottom of the stairs in the 42nd St. subway station today. (This subway station screams Times Square as loudly as all the sights and sounds above it - it is a marvel of its own). He was dirty, like someone that has a small place of his own, but its run down and he shares it with many people. A man who didn't have much, let's just say. He had a boombox next to him, and the necessary receptacle for profferings, and played a trumpet. He was good, I listened as I walked down the stairs, before I came around the corner to where I could see him. Even as he paused between bursts to talk up a young Japanese girl who had just donated and was talking to him about his daughter, he sounded good. His daughter was asleep, on the ground, next to him. Maybe 10 years old. On cardboard, covered in blankets. I don't think they lived in the streets, but perhaps they did. I hope not. She was cute, as most kids are when they're sleeping. Dirty, like the man, but cuteness shines through. I paused to give him the change in my pocket. I always support the public musicians - I feel its very important, even if they're not that good (which, I've found, is very, very rare). I wish I had stopped and talked to him, caught his story. If I ever see him again, I will. The scene would have made a really wonderful picture.

I like living here right now.

Open Water

Decent flick.

The girl bore a stark resemblance to Charlize Theron, which I liked, of course. The guy was pretty unique. They both did a pretty good job of bringing you into the story, making you feel like you were there, experiencing the terror. The suave movie-making bits helped the acting, as well.

Synopsis: Young, successful, slightly arrogant hipster couple squeezes a tropical vacation into their busy lives and after a day or two they go out for a scuba-dive. Extremely arrogant man on boat causes a miscount on behalf of the returning divers. By the time hipsters resurface, boat gone. Other boats still in vicinity, but debateably too far to swim (I would have told her to ditch the pack and start haulin for the nearest boat, heck they had huge fins on). You spend day/night at sea with them. Lots of shark tension. I won't tell you how it ends.

I didn't like the scene that basically epitomized the term "gratuitous nudity." Also didn't like the lack of character development - I think the story could have gotten a little deeper (pun intended) before they hit the water. But for the budget this film was built on, its a pretty solid piece.

Like The Village, the way it plays out will lend it to be one of those movies that some people really do not like.

I did, though.


Netflix update

The whole thing is just a big social experiment (click on the title - yes, its another title link, and no, i haven't figured out how to make it look different from un-linked titles - hopefully we'll solve that problem when we find our new template).


What if he's right?

Click on the title for a great article on Bush (from Esquire, via Hugh).

Still, I have to admit to feeling a little uncertain of my disdain for this president when forced to contemplate the principle that might animate his determination to stay the course in a war that very well may be the end of him politically. I have to admit that when I listen to him speak, with his unbending certainty, I sometimes hear an echo of the same nagging question I ask myself after I hear a preacher declaim the agonies of hellfire or an insurance agent enumerate the cold odds of the actuarial tables. Namely: What if he's right?

As easy as it is to say that we can't abide the president because of the gulf between what he espouses and what he actually does , what haunts me is the possibility that we can't abide him because of us—because of the gulf between his will and our willingness. What haunts me is the possibility that we have become so accustomed to ambiguity and inaction in the face of evil that we find his call for decisive action an insult to our sense of nuance and proportion.

Read the whole thing.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

(from The Cost of Discipleship)

"...in the modern world it seems so difficult to walk with absolute certainty in the narrow way of ecclesiastical decision and yet remain in the wide open spaces of the universal love of Christ, of the patience, mercy, and 'philanthropy' of God for the weak and ungodly. Yet somehow or another we must combine the two, or else we shall follow the paths of men. May God grant us joy as we strive earnestly to follow the way of discipleship."


Watery weekend

Good stuff. Friday we took off at the standard 2pm from work and waited in line for a bus that didn't come. Finally got to the marina in Hoboken in time for a truly evil, sinister, dark, fear-mongering cloud to roll over. It threw a few drops at us, as if to threaten, then rolled on over and across the island, with nothing backing it up. Cue a marvelous afternoon under the sails for Brec, Tony, George, and I. Tacked downwind towards the bay, took a putt through the JC marina, then out towards Ellis island, a flirt with Brooklyn and Governors' Island (yah, girly man), and back against wind to our launching point. It was *nice* to get out.

A good beginning. Fabulous dining at Grace's place (also, quite *nice*), then off to the theater, sans George, to see The Village (see 2 posts below).

Got to bed around 3 or so, then up again at 6:15 to pick up Brec from Grace's place and deposit her at Newark Penn Station, where apparently the street cops have an admirable sense of duty, especially against young white people early on Saturday mornings. Got some stuff done in the morning, then Jason and I headed to Sussex County for an afternoon at a friend's parent's place (cheers, Eric). Beautiful pad, right on the lake, beautiful weather, much speedboating, tubing, wakeboarding,

and consumption of fine grilled goods. Tres relaxing. Back to the 'boken for a live band / dancing put on by Redeemer down in Sinatra Park on the water. Beautiful evening, don't know if there's a more incredible background to dance to, outdoors, to live music, anywhere. Ever.

Today was laundry and relaxing the brain. A youth leader's scheduling meeting before evening service on the East Side, to prepare for our upcoming annual planning retreat, just before we kick off the fall with the kids. Taking the summer off is key. We went to the evening service, then C, M, & T gave me a ride back home. Guitar on the deck and a phone call to mom. A little cleanup and then we're starting our Band of Brothers viewing. I went on a "series" kick with my Netflix queue. BOB, then Playmakers (the ESPN series), then Sportsnight, and then an old NBC bit that was kind of a sleeper - Freaks and Geeks. I'm really looking forward to BOB.

Going to update my review of The Village. Now that I've thought it through, I'm rather pleased. Also going to do a write up on the importance of our Constitutional rights as laid out under the 2nd amendment. Got into a rather heated argument with the roomie over whether certain types of arms should be prohibited to the public, and I know my position is correct, I just want to be able to state it more clearly.

I continue to see, in my life, very little that would warrant any complaining at all. Perhaps this explains my sometimes blase approach to finding a career I truly love. We are still working on this however.

Also, a shout-out to my boys for their mad-skills against Texas, in Texas. Back on top, baby. I smell pennant. ANNNNNND, roomie hooked up PK and I with tix to Tuesday's game when the boys run in to the Bronx to give the bombers a thrashin.

UPDATE: ANNNNNND Cregan just called and hooked up George, PK, and I with tix to Wednesday's game, so its two nights of hot-dog euphoria and home-run derby in a row for moi. Life is good.

See updates to listenings and viewings. Still need to figure out how we're going to manage that.

Happy August.