Woke up yesterday with that tale-tell scratch in the back of the throat, just below the sinuses - someone's getting sick. Its stayed a head cold, for the most part, so far - clogged sinus and sore throat. Poor timing, too, I was sick last year during the 30 Hour Famine with the youth group, although last time I think it was the full-blown flu, which hopefully this won't metastasize into. Because its going to be a busy weekend, and a busy week to follow.

Tomorrow is helping set up the Famine events, leading a devotional on serving (the whole weekend is centered around the idea), then I need to leave in time to pack for the following week. Saturday night is poker but I won't be out late. Sunday morning is a flight to Chicago with Cregan and the fam, and Amber - another leader, and J-lo will already be out there. Monday and Tuesday will be the Student Ministries / Next Gen Leadership Conference at Willow Creek Church. Wednesday morning I leave for Miami, where I'll be beginning a new project with Royal Caribbean, helping them install and integrate a new reservations system. Until June.

Well, I won't stay there til June. Next week I'll be coming back on Friday, and hopefully the ensuing weeks will only require travel Mon-Thursday. Regardless, the hours will be pretty tough starting out, if not for the entirety of the first phase of the project. Expect blogging to be effected, quite possibly.

I've never been to Florida, so its nice to be getting paid to go for the first time.


Here's what I've seen around the net lately...

This dude lost his camera.

Sad, but not completely surprising.

The west coast response to SNL's Narnia rap.

RFID implants...kinda cool, actually.

If you're anything like me, you'll be tempted to waste hours playing the new Dick Cheney shoot-em-up game.

Dude, Washington is like...totally...what was I saying?

Google goodness follows:

- Finding people on Google Earth.

- You can find the current medal count by just googling "olympic medals" - Germany is like totally owning right now.

- Google goodness for reals.

- Perhaps the coolest thing since Google Print is Google Pages (people are calling it Geocities 2).


This is kind of funny. But don't take it too seriously. Seriously.

Videosift is collecting those cool viral videos that are fun to watch, like 8 minutes of urban gymnastics, for instance.

This thing was made entirely in MS Paint. Didn't make me cry, but its pretty cool all the same.

More good stuff from by Faith online.


This past Sunday night I went over to Dave's after the evening service in the city to have dinner and watch a TV show that he and his cousin regularly watch - I can't remember the name - its on Sunday nights...a soap opera set in a hospital, basically. Anyway, on the way from the garage to his building, we walked past this guy, who was out having a smoke with a couple ladies.

That's all. Its late and I'm tired.


I hurt my back while lifting weights at the gym last week. Not bad, just a pulled muscle, enough to put some unpleasant pain into my normal day spent hunched over a laptop. I was doing a shoulder press near the end of my workout and something just went wrong. First response: I'm 27, for crying out loud. I'm young and healthy and spry, I work out regularly, stretch, eat reasonably well - how could this happen to me?

Second response (after some more reasoned thought put on it): Sweet Kelly Clarkson I'm 27 years old. I'm going on 30. I will, some day in the next three years, be three decades OLD. I'm saying this with the same gravitas as that morbid kid in the movie What About Bob who is obsessed with the fact that "I am going to die...its going to happen." I'm finally at that age where you actually injure yourself doing stupid every day stuff, and you don't get better right away, you actually have to rest to get over things. I got old. er.

There's the little physical ailments that come and go, the flu, and whatnot. But then there are the other things that effect a person day-in and day-out. I don't have perfect vision - I have to wear glasses. I've got a trick knee on one side from too many bang-ups. Both of my thumbs have been dislocated multiple times and I no longer have the normal ligaments in them that most people do. And of course I have my hearing condition, explained in detail here, last year. Speaking of my condition always makes me thankful for the fact that I don't have a really serious one, like some people do. I remember when I first started seeking advanced treatment for it, they sent me in for MRI's, "to ensure that brain tumors were not the cause of the nerve disturbance." See if that won't make you think twice. So now I have pictures of the inside of my (for the most part healthy) head.

But the ear thing is nonetheless a condition, one that I'd be much happier to go without. Paul had a condition - and while we can only speculate as to its nature, we know that he would have rather gone without his, as well:

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

While I think that Paul's reasons for the physical ailments that we know in our lives are good and right, I think perhaps there might be just a bit more in there than just what he touches on. You see, the things that are wrong with my body serve to remind me that, some day, not too far off, I am going to die. And in the next life, I'll have a body, but it will be perfect. One without bad joints or hearing problems.

New heaven and a new earth. Some day God's power will no longer be made perfect in my weaknesses, but his grace will be complete and I will be strong in perfection, rather than weakness. And I'm blessed with a daily reminder that this isn't all there is - that even though I'm getting older and more run-down by the day, I'm getting nearer to perfection.


I love New York City. I love it here. Its a great place. Is rent high? Yeah. But where else in North America can you live comfortably / normally without a car, an insurance payment, gas, parking, tolls, etc. to worry about?

I remember once when I was in my teens, watching a Seinfeld episode, and in the course of a conversation on the show, it became evident to me that one of the characters did not own a car. "Who doesn't own a car...how do you live without a car?" I remember thinking. Of course, I had never been to NYC. In fact, my first visit to NYC was to interview for the job that brought me here. It was about a 12 hour stay. My second visit to the city was on my first day of work at the new job. That visit lasted until now, going on 4 years.

Leaving here will be hard. That is for sure. Although, leaving here will need to happen at some point. That is for...pretty sure. I've always said it is for sure - I need a house with a yard and a garage and rooms to paint and power tools and a den and a dog (or 2) and a wine rack and maybe if I'm blessed with it a wife and kids. Maybe with a view of the Rockies, who knows where. But I think I'd really like to have that some day. Although, as time goes by, I soften more and more to the idea of staying here longer and longer than I ever used to think I might.

I remember in my first year here, I told a friend that "I almost constantly feel like I could live here for the rest of my life, and I can't live here a second longer, all at the same time." Its kind of still true, in a way.

Ironically, after nearly 4 years here, I still have not lived on the island. I used to think I never would, but I'm softening to that idea now, too. I spend most of my waking hours in the city, for work, play, rest, or worship. Its not a bad commute in, but it is something that could be easily cut out with a move across the river. I don't look forward to moving, but I'm beginning to think that next time I do, it may be to Manhattan, if only for a little while. I think it may be the catalyst I'll eventually need to move on to other parts of the states.

In the meantime, I'm really enjoying life here. I love Hoboken, but particularly I love NYC. From things to eat, to things to see, from shows to go to, to improv to participate in, from the subways to the cabs, from the skyscrapers of Wall Street to the quiet of the Cloisters, from the offices to the bars. There's seemingly no end to the things there are to discover here.

Over the next few weeks I'll be using Monday nights to celebrate some of those things that I love about this place. Call it Dave's guide to NYC - the things I've been meaning to get around to posting for so very long. The great thing about them is that most of them will defy a point in time such as when I write about them. One of the best parts of NYC is that its alive - the city that never sleeps is always changing.


Missed Friday, but hey...you get anything on Saturday and that's something right there. That's something.

Friday evening and today from 9am-3pm was a pastoral care training seminar at the church offices. Cregan has been wanting the Sr. High leaders to go to this for a while - we have some kids in the ministry going through some pretty difficult stuff, and its been a bit trying for us as we're not always sure what position we're supposed to be taking in certain situations.

Anyway I was sitting in Cregan's office afterwards and saw a magazine on his desk, which had this article in it. Its dead-on. I will say my church is fairly good about addressing issues sexual in nature on a slightly-more-than-average basis, but that's not saying a lot, considering the average is probably between one and zero on a scale to 100. Key quote:
"There’s a lot of emphasis in youth groups on saving sex for marriage,” said Ellen Sweeris, a 24-year-old nurse in San Francisco, Calif., “which I think is great. I largely attribute my unswerving belief that sex is for marriage to the fantastic teaching I received in the church as a teen. However, the teaching and exhortation on this subject sort of dropped off around college. It’s actually a lot harder at this point in my life to be celibate, but I’m not getting the same level of encouragement at church to keep waiting. I have fantastic friends who fulfill this role for me, but it would be nice to have it acknowledged in a more formal setting, other than just a more-or-less silent expectation that we’re not having sex.”


Its another quality over quantity Thursday links. At least...I hope. I haven't really found anything yet - still working at this no-net-access -is-next-door-to-hades client. Until the end of the day tomorrow.

Then its back on the bench next week if I don't work something out before that - which I very well might - had a few phone calls / interviews today for a couple of possible new roles, both of which would require significant travel. Anyway, you're not here for that, you're here for these...

Its been out for a while, but the traffic has finally slowed enough that you can now actually see the trailer for X3. Sweeeeeeeet.

Hoops and Yoyo
are like my favorite thing on the internet since Strongbadia.

Kid can play.

Have I linked to Woot yet? If not, I should. It rules.

Copying music you have purchased online to your ipod is illegal, according to the RIAA.

When Avian Flu gets here it will be good to know how to bury our dead.

Well, that's some relative quality. Possibility of Friday bonus links tomorrow, but forecasts are shady right now - I have to close out my last day at the client, then have pastoral care training from 6-9...


No time for love, Dr. Jones.

Haven't had time to read anything but work stuff this week, and so there's nothing much to write about reading this past week. I can't really get into work stuff, for proprietary reasons, but I can say that if all goes well with some interviews tomorrow, I'll be joining the Home Depot project in Atlanta and that will go for who knows how long. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I am sure its a thing. For right now. It may turn out to be no(-)thing.

In the meantime, they have us in a really ridiculous office at the current client. Some kind of over-flow office for VPs who are usually traveling or something. Stocked with drinks and complete with a private bathroom. No complaints.

Thing with the bathroom is that apparently certain people are accustomed to the idea of sneaking into that office when its empty, to use the private loo. So, a few times a day, I'll be sitting there, perhaps alone, perhaps with my manager (we sometimes share the desk when its crowded, which is fine, because the desk is huge and we're at opposite sides)...and someone moseying down the hallway very nearly walks right into the office. Then they stop shortly in surprise, then try to keep walking past the office to the entrance to the actual bathrooms for the general employee populace, just past our office, trying vainly to pretend they weren't on the sneak for a private bathroom escape.

Some of the regulars have started getting wise to the fact that we're regularly there, and so they have a new technique - they pass the office on a slow stroll, but their head is turned slightly so as to guarantee them a full glance into the office to see if anyone is there. Which, I can only assume, affords them the full opportunity to turn on a heel and sneak into the sacred toilet room in the case that the office is unoccupied. These reconnaissance walk-bys occur more frequently towards the end of the day, when hopes are that we've left for the day (we stay later than most people there, on average).

Tonight, though, I got a special visitor.

So I'm sitting here with the door closed, because I had just gotten off an internal call with my career counselor, and all of a sudden this lady just barges right in. I should have pretended I was on the phone so that she would leave, but instead I stare look at her like "What the crap are you doing in here?" - I know this is no one's office in particular, and you would think that someone sees a closed office door on with the light shining out under the crack at the bottom, and would at least have the sense to knock.

Well, when you don't have the sense to knock on a closed door, you do funny things. Like, for instance, the next thing she did. She proceeds to just walk into the freakin bathroom in the office like I wasn't even sitting there 5 feet from the door. At this point I really can't help myself - I'm staring at her so hard, she actually stops to introduce herself, like me listening to her pee in the quiet of the evening will be tempered by the fact that we've shook hands seconds prior.

Turns out she's a pretty high-up VP at the company (I knew from her name) - someone who ironically would never have paid me the time of day when I actually worked at the client (I was employed there before coming to Accenture). Instead, we had a brief conversation about what I was doing there. I gave her my "elevator speech," which is an internal term we use for briefly recapping our value-adding purpose for being there at the client. I nailed it, and she even complemented me on it, and then she closed the door to the bathroom, and, I can only assume, proceeded to do whatever deeds she went there to do in the first place.

I don't know, I faked a call on my cell phone and ran out of there faster than Bode Miller could get DQ'd in the Olympics.

That's all. Now its home and back to work.


Love...always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres...
- 1 Corinthians 13

I've always had a problem with the part of the "love chapter" that talks about how love "always trusts." It just seems a little on the naive side to me, at least on the first pass.

If there's one thing I know about people, its that, sooner or later, everyone - everyone - is going to let you down. The very recognition that there are no perfect people walking around necessitates the fact that in one way or another, the people in your life will betray your trust. The really difficult part of this reality is that those who are closest to you are likely to be the ones who will most betray your trust, because (naturally), they are the ones you place the most trust in.

One of the Psalmists knew this:

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. - Psalm 118

As did the prophet:

Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he? - Isaiah 2

Even the Man himself said it:

This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD." - Jeremiah 17

But does all this mean that love for those on earth should be coy - expecting the betrayal to come and never really offering up a trusting back for the coming stab? Well of course not. But...still the dilemma.

We learn how to truly love others, with a trusting love, only when we look to the one who offered the ultimate act of love, on the cross. You see, Christ loved us with a perfect trust - not a trust in us - He knew (as we do) that the only thing humanity can be trusted to do is to betray. But he loved us, trusting in our betrayal, and trusting that His Father's plan was enough to cover all the shortcomings we could ever offer.

That's what allows us to love another person with a true, trusting love. We know that they will disappoint. But we trust that because Christ knew the ultimate betrayal on the cross - we have been given the ultimate love. And in that sense...nothing can ever let us down.


Its marathon week at work. There at 8am, didn't catch the bus home until nearly midnight.

This qualifies as a blog post. I wrote.


This is from the Edge's world question center "question of the year," which I've talked about before, here. The question this year is "What is your dangerous idea?" This is one of the many responses that I really enjoyed and I've been debating the topic a bit recently. And I'm posting it here, because, like most Fridays, I'm toast, and in no state to write. This is laziness, and it hast to stop. Soon, but not tonight.

No More Teacher's Dirty Looks

After a natural disaster, the newscasters eventually excitedly announce that school is finally open so no matter what else is terrible where they live, the kids are going to school. I always feel sorry for the poor kids.

My dangerous idea is one that most people immediately reject without giving it serious thought: school is bad for kids - it makes them unhappy and as tests show -— they don't learn much.

When you listen to children talk about school you easily discover what they are thinking about in school: who likes them, who is being mean to them, how to improve their social ranking, how to get the teacher to treat them well and give them good grades.

Schools are structured today in much the same way as they have been for hundreds of years. And for hundreds of years philosophers and others have pointed out that school is really a bad idea:

We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a belly full of words and do not know a thing. -— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught. - Oscar Wilde

Schools should simply cease to exist as we know them. The Government needs to get out of the education business and stop thinking it knows what children should know and then testing them constantly to see if they regurgitate whatever they have just been spoon fed.

The Government is and always has been the problem in education:

If the government would make up its mind to require for every child a good education, it might save itself the trouble of providing one. It might leave to parents to obtain the education where and how they pleased, and content itself with helping to pay the school fees of the poorer classes of children, and defraying the entire school expenses of those who have no one else to pay for them. -— JS Mill

First, God created idiots. That was just for practice. Then He created school boards. -— Mark Twain

Schools need to be replaced by safe places where children can go to learn how to do things that they are interested in learning how to do. Their interests should guide their learning. The government's role should be to create places that are attractive to children and would cause them to want to go there.

Whence it comes to pass, that for not having chosen the right course, we often take very great pains, and consume a good part of our time in training up children to things, for which, by their natural constitution, they are totally unfit. - Montaigne

We had a President many years ago who understood what education is really for. Nowadays we have ones that make speeches about the Pythagorean Theorem when we are quite sure they don't know anything about any theorem.

There are two types of education. . . One should teach us how to make a living, And the other how to live. -— John Adams

Over a million students have opted out of the existing school system and are now being home schooled. The problem is that the states regulate home schooling and home schooling still looks an awful lot like school.

We need to stop producing a nation of stressed out students who learn how to please the teacher instead of pleasing themselves. We need to produce adults who love learning, not adults who avoid all learning because it reminds them of the horrors of school. We need to stop thinking that all children need to learn the same stuff. We need to create adults who can think for themselves and are not convinced about how to understand complex situations in simplistic terms that can be rendered in a sound bite.

Just call school off. Turn them all into apartment houses.


Psychologist & Computer Scientist; Chief Learning Officer, Trump University; Author, Making Minds Less Well Educated than Our Own


Fast and furious linkery, I'm only taking a brief break from work to throw a post up. I literally found 90% of these in the 10 minutes of surfing I've found time for this week. Can you say "withdrawal?"

Ignore MS's "Get the Facts" campaign, get the real facts.

You think the government's plan to spider the entire web (including this blog) searching for potential terrorism material is a bad idea? Well, yeah. But I'd argue that this is a worse one. Google's fighting it.

Meanwhile, Yahoo is sending more Chinese people to Chinese prisons.

Maverick's is a big-wave surfing contest back home in Cali that they call literally a day before the actual contest, weather dependent. Here's the photos from this year's contest, just held.

Remember that Hampster Dance page? Well, not long later, someone did it with Jesus. Christians didn't burn down embassies or riot in the streets or threaten people's lives. By the way, here's the Mohammed Dance.

I in no way endorse doing this to find shows that you've missed. So...I've got my Saturday cut out for me.

This, unfortunately, is the best thing I've been able to find online about that fund to take Bill O'Reilly to Darfur. Again, the e-mail is sponsorbill@gmail.com.

Fascinating article from the New Yorker on the science of social services.

This one is important. Darfur is a genocide in progress that we CAN stop.

That's all. Happy Friday.


Response Wednesday is out the window again thanks to almost zero down-time whatsoever so far this week. MCM on Monday night, then last night and this evening I hit the Veritas Forum at Columbia with Dave and Carolynn. The forum has been dealing with the topic of "Responding to Suffering," and its been quite thought provoking.

Tuesday was "Publishing the Cries of the Oppressed: On the Front Lines of Human Rights Journalism," and frankly - as an aspiring writer - I found it extremely inspirational. This is a form of non-fiction that I really see true meaning in, and would love to be able to do some day. The first speaker was Nicholas Kristoff - a guy who does a lot of Op-Ed for the NY Times - who was mainly advocating on behalf of the persecuted people of Sudan (namely, Darfur) - his recounts of the horror there were strickening: estimates of over 300,000 killed and over 2 million displaced. Then came Benedict Rogers, a journalist from the UK who has taken the cause of Burma (an illegal military regime, rather than a real nation) and specifically the persecuted Karen people there - a regime where 20% of the military is comprised of conscripted children. He too had fascinating and sad stories to tell. By the way, Kristoff is raising funds to send Bill O'Rielly to Darfur, which I think is an simply marvelous idea, especially if they choose to leave him there. You can send donations via PayPal to sponsorbill@gmail.com. No joke.

Tonight was "Who Will Solve the Problem of Poverty: Bono, Bill Gates, You?" with three incredible speakers. Larry Reed of Opportunity International talked about microeconomics and OI's work to secure small low-yield loans for people in impoverished societies, to help them begin supporting themselves. His speaking points were A) You are part of the solution, B) You are not the main part (the poor are), and C) When you serve the poor you connect with the heart of God. Reed was a moving speaker.

Dr. Jeffery Sachs was next, the author of The End of Poverty and one of the best-known economists in the world today - an advisor to the UN and Bono himself. Also moving, he focused on the incredible need seen in Africa today for the very basest necessities of life and the atrocity that it is that we are not sourcing such simple things. He went on to discuss the revolutions that need to take place in a society to make change a real thing: A) a Green Revolution (food, environment, etc.), B) a Health Revolution (medicine, water supply, etc.), and D) a Connectivity Revolution (basic infrastructure such as roads, electricity, communications, etc.).

More stirring than any of the men from either night, however, was the final speaker, Dr. Vinoth Ramachandra - a former nuclear scientist that left a prominent career to become a pastor in Sri Lanka. I need to find his talk on tape, because no description I could type here would do it justice. Long story short, he pointed out in acute fashion how our lavish lifestyles are subsidized by the world's poor, noting how, similarly, crucifixion was the other side of the Pax Romana. His final line, and the way he summed his thoughts and answered all the necessary questions to what he was saying, was as riveting a close to a speech as I've ever heard.

One last thought, from my notes, from the discussion period with Sachs: "We are the first generation where vast poverty is not just a part of the human condition, but a choice."

Maybe that's a bit of a response Wednesday after all.


Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." - Matthew 28

This passage is what is commonly referred to in the Bible as The Great Commission, which Christ gave not only to the disciples immediately gathered, but necessarily to those who would be discipled by the disciples. For that is what we are: disciples, many generations removed, from the original disciples. Jesus didn't tell them to go out and convert people, or lead them to salvation, but to disciple them, so that the great story would continue to unfold to countless more souls as time passes on.

While there's nothing wrong with the Great Commission (hey, I think its great...zing), there is something wrong with how often we mis-read the lead-in to Jesus' direction to his faithful followers. What I'm talking about here is the doubt of some of the disciples.

Rather than responding to just those disciples who worshipped in earnest belief, Christ came to them all - including the doubters. One text I read recently cited this as "one of the great scandals of the gospel...He trusts us with His message."

And so it is that we too believe in Jesus in our own day and age. We worship, but so often we waver in doubt just as often. Sometimes more. And yet, just like the disciples of old, so our doubt too is addressed by the assurance that Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth. Its with this authority that we are commissioned to go out and make disciples. And when doubt comes...He still is with us always.

Those who believe they believe in God but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself. -– Madeleine L'Engle


I sit down to write and Blogger is scheduled for an outage at the exact minute that I'm hopping on. Typical of my life, lately, but definitely not of my weekend.

Which can basically be summed up by the fact that the Steelers won the Super Bowl. First 6th seed wild-card team to ever do it, first to beat the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd ranked teams (not in that order). First 75 yard run for a touch. 2nd youngest quarterback to win the big game. Totally underrated defensive performance on the Steeler's part. Pretty crappy game overall. Great outcome, though. Had Dave and Dave and BJ and BJ's son over to watch the game, ate a ton.

Saturday evening was dodgeball at the Y, in celebration of Darin's soon-to-be-born first kid. Darin is the coach of the b-ball team I assistant coach - who hopefully got their second win this evening (I haven't heard yet - had MCM tonight in the city so I couldn't make it to the game). It was a good time, I dislocated the top joint on my pinky finger (twice), so its been hurting a bit since, but its not the first time.


I have a TON of email I need to plow through this week. My personal Gmail is hovering around 500, and that's after I killed 250 or so last week. I have a problem deleting email. I need like a support group for it. I don't even have any idea what my work email is at. Gotta be nearing 4-digits.

What else. Oh! Yeah...I hardly ever have dreams but I had a series of bad ones early this morning. One in particular was pretty stark...

Through some strange series of events not fleshed out in the dream itself, I had ended up a fighter pilot in the Bay area of California. Basically my dream job. But this was no good dream. This dream starts in mid-dog-fight over the city of San Francisco, where some nefarious nation's naval forces were seeking to clear the air for their impending nuclear strike (via bomber plane, don't ask me why) on the city. I had fought long and hard, but eventually there was only so much damage one F-16 could take. With fuel and munitions running low, and a mostly shredded tail-fin, I dropped down to the deck and pointed my bird towards the water, leaving the hot-zone over the hills of the city.

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the sun-glint off the grey steel of the enemy ships pressing towards the Golden Gate, but my target was the Bay Bridge...seconds later I burned over the Embarcadero and ducked under the bridge, just past the first girder. I figured by flying low to the water, and using the bridge for cover between the girders, I might just duck out of view from the fighters above, and get my plane back to Travis in one piece. It was the right move, our forces were running thin over the city and none of my squadron were left anyway for me to support. I would be up in a new bird in just hours, back in the fray, I thought, and that's when I felt the hot sear of metal passing through my arm.

The first round passed across the cockpit from the upper left corner, angling down and slicing through the top of my right bicep, maybe only half an inch deep, but a fair 2 inches wide - cauterizing a huge gap in my arm even as it passed through and exited the fuselage on the other side of the cockpit. The thought hit my mind a second after the next round - but it had lodged in my seat, inches behind my lower back. Instinct took over and I jolted the plane in the direction of the fire to dodge the next girder and go above the bridge, and I only saw the shadow of the Mig that had found me from the side. He was behind me now, and knew where I was headed, and I had no choice but to stay near the bridge and use it for cover.

He had missile lock before I was back over dry land, but I was close. I wanted to put it down over water so I veered hard-right along the docks on the water and grabbed for the ejection, praying it would still fire as I pulled.

Next thing I'm floating in the water. I'm alive. Its cold, but its still a sunny summer afternoon in California, and I didn't have far to swim. I was kicking on my left side because my right arm was useless, like dead weight. I thought "shark" briefly but realized that I still wasn't bleeding much. (I have no idea if a wound can actually be cauterizied by an aircraft fighter round).

I pull myself up a rusty ladder on an old shipping dock and find people standing around staring at the flashes in the sky, miles across the bay. I don't look back to see what's going on, I know what's coming all too soon, and I start to run in the opposite direction, screaming at people to get as far away from the city as they can, but nobody's listening.

Warehouse district begins to turn into a sparsely populated commercial / residential, and I'm still running in my olive-colored flight suit, holding my arm to my side, starting to dry out a little. I finally come to stop and turn around.

White light. No blue sky. No brown shadow of city on the hills. Just white light, everywhere. I'm blind for at least 5 minutes before I begin blinking objects into view again. I realize I'm still running. Still screaming at people, but now they're actually running with me.

The dream passed on from here into a blurry survival mode of trying to find a truck, using my side-arm to hold up a mom-and-pop hardware / sporting goods store to get a 12 gauge that would serve to help me keep my truck on what would be the longest drive ever from Oakland to Travis. And at one point I end up a little further down the road looking for food in a Home Depot. They had one of those built-in McDonald's, like they do at Wal-Mart, and I was tired, and hungry.

The last thing I remember was screaming at some family that refused to leave their home, all the while pointing at the radioactive plume pushing its way across the bay towards us. And they wouldn't budge.

And then I woke up.

I'm glad I don't dream very often.


(Holy bovine. Not only did I completely miss a Friday post - my apologies - but I totally forgot to actually publish the Thursday links, written on Thursday evening, no joke. Anyway, here they are now, as a bonus Sunday post, to kind of sort of make up for 2 consecutive days of missed posting. My bad, yo. Big weekend recap coming, tomorrow. Steelers make history. Woot.)

Tonight I came home, chilled for a bit, then specifically turned off the television so I could focus on some quality net-surfing time. Good googly moogly it feels good to be connected again. This lack of a connection at Macy's is KILLING me slowly.

That said, here's what I came up with in the past week, most of it in the past hour. Thanks, MeFi.

Lots of interesting reading tonight. Start with satellite tracking. Then the only successful assassination attempt of a member of Hitler's inner circle. This past week saw the anniversary of the Challenger disaster - one of the first "I remember where I was when it happened" moments of my generation.

Lighten the mood up with some reading over at Chewy's blog (notice the URL - classic).

What else...what else...

Student Loan Justice
needs a better web page and a bigger voice.

Wish I had a HAM radio so I could hear SuitSat (launches tomorrow).

Interesting music style but really incredible guitar skills.

Hear about those congressmen's aides mis-editing Wikipedia to make their boss look better? Good luck, guys.

Also this past week, the end of an era. What God hath wrought. It strikes me how quietly this day has passed into the night, especially on the internet - the great grandchild of the first means of long distance instant communication.

Speaking of the internet, some interesting information on how we're using it, and how much.

Have you seen those fake Subway Service Change posters around NYC?

Responsibility and being an adult caused me to miss out on my opportunity to play the SOTU drinking game. AGAIN.

Proof that people watch too much TV.

Lastly some media for you. First of all, be sitting down and not holding any drinks while watching this PSA.

Secondly, its time to start getting pumped.


Cheater's post!

I have nothing for Response Wed- nesdays. And its late. And I just got home.

Work, then a work-related dinner, then HFG with Dave, then he drops me off, then he calls me back with 2 very good reasons to head into the city for a couple drinks, so next thing I know its 1:00 on a Wednesday night and I'm just getting home.

And now its AIM convos and booking airfare and buying books and all the other net stuff I couldn't get done during the day thanks to no access from the client site. Still feels weird (but good) calling Macy's 'the client site.'

Have had some interesting situations in which to try to explain my faith to people recently. Not all good, not all bad. But all interesting. Suffice to say, its been forcing me to think about a lot of the base-level stuff that you very often let lie dormant. I'm realizing lately how much of a part of my life it really has become in the last 5 years, it defines me more than most things do.

I feel like I'm really lacking when it comes to my ability to define my beliefs in clear form, and this is one thing that is really pushing Seminary to the top in the current running of MBA vs. Journalism school vs. Seminary (the current seed for top 3 options for where Dave's life is going next - if I haven't mentioned it already).

Also, I've had relative amounts of writing inspiration hitting me at random times lately - mostly in the form of good metaphors, illustrations, and narratives - but I haven't been carrying a notebook with me, and hence - much has been lost. Looking to change that starting tomorrow.

There you go. I've sufficiently turned this into slightly more than a cheater's post. Perhaps.

(Happy February, by the way. 2006 is already 1/12 gone. Have you been making the most of your time?)


Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"

Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

When questioned, Jesus didn't have to stammer in naming the most important thing that a child of God can do in this world - love God with all that you have. His very next statement was to point out how this can be done - loving your neighbor as yourself. And the focus we usually place in this verse is on loving our neighbors. But in order to love our neighbor properly, we have to know how to love ourselves properly. (Its interesting to note that in the passage, Jesus makes little distinction between the love of God, love of others, and of self. A true life of love is one where all three are in progress at the same time.)

We know how to practice self-love in improper ways - this much is clear, its built into our nature. But what is the right self-love that Jesus must have been referring to? Its a love that imitates the love that He had for us - a love of acceptance. Paul Tillich said that "faith is the courage to accept our acceptance."

"Well that's easy enough. I'm glad God accepts me."

Really? Has the complete acceptance of you, an imperfect and needy person, really changed your heart? Because that's no easy thing. Sooner or later everyone experiences some form of self-loathing: hating the way we look, or the things we've done that we wish we hadn't, plagued by our inabilities or short-comings. Those little unloveable parts of our lives that we haven't become totally convinced that God really accepts.

This is the kind of self-acceptance, the proper love of self, that we need to have - one that realizes our true identity in God's love - so that we can become in our own eyes what we already are in His - accepted. Valued not for what we can do or accomplish or bring to the table, but valued out of love.

There's a point in the movie Toy Story that Woody confronts Buzz Lightyear with the fact that he's not a real space ranger. It takes Buzz a while to pick up on it - but when he does - its rather earth-shattering for him. Woody, though, understood why Buzz still had value: "You must not be thinking clearly. Look, over in that house, there's a kid who thinks you're the greatest, and it's not because you're a space ranger, its because your his." Buzz began to realize that his identity, his purpose, came not from what he could do, or who he could be, but from who loved him.

When we can accept God's love like that, we'll be accepting ourselves in a way that allows us to truly love other people.