One year ago, today, I wrote this. Funny how fast 2 years go.

Scary, even.

I don't really have stats, or even estimated stats, like I did last year. Blogger says I've written 488 posts, but, as I speculated last year, I'm almost certain that number is drastically low. I'd guess I'm more in the range of 600 in 2 full years of fairly regular blogging. Who knows how many words that means at this point. A lot.

I've started using Google Analytics, which is good, has more features than I know what to do with, but to give you any stats would be pretty meaningless as I only started using it about 4 months ago. Which was the same time I started on the Royal Caribbean project in Miami. Which was the same time I started working round the clock and completely missed any regular blogging. So traffic tanked.

I guess my blogging has been a fairly good testament to my life in general lately. Crazy, irregular, all over the place. The Royal Caribbean project management wanted me to go to Salt Lake City to do some side work on the project this week, but I turned them down on the advice of my Career Counselor and HR Rep in the hopes of finding a more long term role. The idea is that if I get promoted at the end of summer to manager, I should already be in a role that I can be promoted in, on that project, rather than having to sell myself as a fresh manager to a new project, which could be a problem. If.

So - my summer will probably be less enjoyable than last, because I'll be on another new project working my tail off to make good first impressions, just like I was for the last 4 months. And then, if I get promoted (if), my workload/responsibilities go up up up and blogging goes...can you guess? The idea, if I get promoted, is to give it a year of dedicated effort, to at least get it on my resume, and then see where I'm at and consider further schooling. And, if no promo, the idea is to start looking at more schooling immediately. And so, quietly on a Thursday night in late June, the gauntlet has been thrown down.

The problem is I still haven't decided on which of my three schooling options to go with, however at this point I'm leaning towards the least temporally practical option.

I think I need a girlfriend to make me go to business school.

Happy birthday blog.


Ugh. I'm back to being unstaffed and I still can't find it in me to throw up a blog post. What gives?

I think I've been partying a little too hard to make up for all that time of working too hard. Friday was catching up on paperwork and then that evening out in the city for Dave's girlfriend Jen's birthday party. Good times at the Sugar Bar. Saturday was our first meeting with the leader/youth team that is going to New Orleans for our missions trip in August. It lasted the better part of the afternoon then I headed home to start cleaning up for the evening. That night we had people over. Not a party - just opened our doors.

Next thing you know its in the wee hours and I'm swing dancing and getting my hip hop on and before you know it I'm getting digits...crazy.

Sunday was church and then Dave and I tried to get out to the last round of the US Open at Winged Foot. Because of our late start, we got stuck in crazy traffic, and decided not to even bother just trying to see the last hour and sit in terrible traffic coming back, so we turned around and got back to Dave's place in 20 minutes (it had taken us 2 hours going there).

On the way to the evening service Dave's dad showed me his sermon notes. I've always wondered what they looked like. He has his own strange version of short-hand that makes them all but illegible. I found that rather interesting.

After church Dave and I saw Cars - everything Pixar touches turns to pure gold, in my humble opinion. Monday and Tuesday were working from home - trying to find the right next project/position to get on, and Tuesday eve I headed over to Dave's to help him move some furniture as his mom is having their place repainted. Then we took off for more poker at 45 Wall. I dropped $50 to play 3 hands, basically. Total joke. I lose every freakin time I play there. So I didn't get home until early in the morning today.

So there you are. Tomorrow, there will be a blog post. Tomorrow is an important day.

(Addendum: Oh, and Monday I had a rather wonderful lunch at Le Granne - 9th and 21st, so new you won't find it on menupages or citysearch - followed by cupcakes at Billy's and a stroll through Chelsea Market and the Piers to boot. Cupcakes not so much my thing, but the company was.)


I have become a slave of sorts to my Firefox tab option. Right now I have about 40 open and that's roughly average. There's a few I always keep open - del.icio.us' popular list, Lifehacker.com, Metafilter.com, and my Gmail. Pretty much need those. But the rest are all things that I'm either a) meaning to bookmark to del.icio.us, or blog, or both. So here's to closing down some tabs...

Nathan is one of the guys in the youth group I work with at church - this is his robotics blog. This is a totally rad ad that Nathan sent me the link to.

The Vanguard.org is an online community of Americans who believe in conservative values, the free market and limited government as the best means to bring hope and ever-increasing opportunity to everyone, especially the poorest among us. I'm not the ultimate conservative by any means, but I definitely like the last part of their purpose. Found via Amy Bedsole, who I met via blogging. And, ironically, Wayne Johnson, from my parent's church back in Sacto, is a member of the board.

Tonight's main feature - good stuff to read:

Overheard in the Office is based off of the original Overheard in New York. Both are pretty good reads, albeit the potential language/content warning.

Found magazine is another interesting one. I may have linked to this long ago, but I just found it again recently - pun intended.

Timothy McSweeny woke to a sandy tongue and a reddened elbow.

Talk about incredible design...

10 steps to guarantee failure

Another sign of the Ipod apocalypse. Personally, Idont follow the trend.

I've avoided the Sudoku fever but in case you haven't - here's your solution.

Wikimapia makes a wiki out of Google Maps. Check out the info for Central Park - courtesy of yours truly, baby.

I missed out on the Big Apple BBQ this weekend but I'll be planning on it next year.

I want a Firefox extension to...

Fo.rtuito.us looks like some kind of social networking similar in format to del.icio.us - that's about all I can figure out about it at this point.

I won't read this article because its blasphemy.

Here's this week's Christian Carnival.

Well - that cut my tabs almost in half. Still have a lot of reading cut out for me tomorrow.


"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it..."
- Mal. 3:10

The above is the only place in the Bible where God actually tells us to test Him - the only place where it is not considered a sin to do so.

Its the end of the year for youth group, which means we're on our 7th checkpoint - Others First. A couple weeks back the passage for the lesson was from Deuteronomy 15, another passage promising abundant blessing upon God's people if only they would trust in the Lord's promise that the land He was giving them had more than enough for everyone, and share accordingly with the needy among them:
Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be open-handed toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.

I'm constantly being challenged to give more. There's a billion opportunities, from the homeless ministries in the city, to missions trips to New Orleans (one of which I'll be going on this summer with the youth group), to the people in Darfur...there's just need, as far as the eye can see.

I don't give nearly as much as I'd like right now, and I keep telling myself its because of my debt and that the prudent thing to do is to eliminate it first and then give from a state of liquidity - in the end I'll be giving more that I would pay in interest otherwise. The real challenge will be to see if I truly can find it in me to give radically when I do break free of my debt.

But I do give some, and that's the key - at least for now. Even if it's only a little - it is the first step in the right direction. I always think of my childhood friend, Aaron. His mom was raising he and his brothers with no father around to help pay the bills, and they struggled more than most to make ends meet. But that lady paid her tithe, on her precious little income. I never knew it at the time, of course, but years later my mom mentioned it by way of pointing out that 10% of a precious little is a whole lot more than 10% of a much larger sum. Its a matter of perspective, not volume, at the end of the day.

As with the rich young ruler, giving is an issue of the heart, not the wallet.


Wow...time for a nice long catch-up post. I've been juggling so much lately I feel like I'm not sure if I just lost my horse or found a rope.

Rewind...last post was June 2nd. Early in the morning after my big night out in Miami - actually the first night I had taken there to do something other than work in like 2 or 3 months. Friday was a few hours of work before hopping on a flight back to NYC. Just in time for a big rainy weekend. Redeemer had a prayer conference and it was really great - led by the pastor of the PCA church plant in Vancouver, BC - same church we went to last year at the start of our ski trip in Whistler. He was passionate and practical - good combination.

Saturday afternoon I had a couple hours to relax then headed to Arlene's Grocery in the East Village to see Like Summer, the band led by Steve Gretz, husband to my college friend Allyson, who I don't think I'd scene since before their wedding. The band's set got pushed back and I had a lesson to write for youth group still, so I left early and got to work on that. Sunday was church, youth group, and then I took off to finish packing and catch an evening flight to Chicago.

Spent the week in St. Charles, Ill. - about an hour outside of downtown Chi-town, training at the company's big training facility there - came to find out its a shared facility, but everyone's there for pretty much the same deal - some kind of training related to their consulting work. Its surreal - like going back to college. People going out every night, seeing the same faces in the caf, running for a class you're late for...people not showing up for class on Friday morning. Played an evening of soccer with a bunch of the guys in my program from Europe - they were good, real good, but I represented the states well. Worked out a couple times, and spent a few hours working on my short game as well, which was awesome.

Lest you get me wrong - it was a lot of work, too, so by the time Friday rolled around I was dragging. They have us share limos for rides back to the airport / city, so I hopped in one that was to drop me at Dawn's place, and promptly went straight to sleep. Woke up an hour or so later and we were still in traffic. Dropped my stuff off at Dawn's and headed for the Blues Festival at the park downtown. Great music, plus, the museum was free, so I got to spend an hour or two drawing Hopper's Nighthawks. I can't think of a better way to end a tough week than relaxing in front of that painting.

Met up with Dawn and we headed out to Nick's Uptown to hear some more blues, and for Dawn to cavort with her underground Swing scene counterparts. These kids were good. So good it inspired me to get back into dancing - and there's a class I'm signing up for through church this summer. Thanks for your previous comment, btw, Dawn.

Crashed for a couple hours then caught a morning flight out of rainy Chicago back to windy New York. Saturday I was useless for the most part, Sunday was the same - church, youth group. But no laundry / packing that afternoon, b/c this week I am WORKING FROM HOME. Woot.

So, that's what I'm doing today. Got a bit more, then a 6pm call, then tomorrow. Then I'm taking Weds-Fri off, save for one conference call I need to be on. I'm going to use the time to research some schools. Still not sure where I want to go, but its time to stop putting things off. Pretty soon I'll be dead without having made up my mind, and that would be not very good.

So, that said, I'm going to try and do a regular week of posting, for old time's sake. Check back tomorrow!

(there might even be new pictures posted...oooooh...)


I feel so odd when I go out.

Maybe its where I'm going out - New York City and Miami for the most part.

Its just not my scene. Tonight I saw literally hundreds of beautiful women, and thousands of dollars of alcohol being consumed. People dressed, looking, acting, dancing, and in every other respect basically being about as cool as humanity can define the term.

I sat there, dressed well, looking and acting the part, trying to be as cool as possible...for what?

Its clear what most of the guys are there for. But I'm not looking to take a girl home at the end of the night. That quality sadly does nothing to separate me from the rest of the crowd. Its clear what most of the girls are there for too, and I'm not one who's there to go out of my way to provide them with the attention they're looking for. Which does serve to separate me to some degree, but not really a positive one...more of an aloof one.

What I wonder is why don't Christians go out? Am I limited to meeting them at church? Isn't that a place I should go to worship, not meet women? Why aren't there places where I can go out, have a good time, dance, have a drink, laugh with my friends...but not have an alternate agenda AND not be concerned that the other 99% of the people there have one either?

Why is it so freaking hard to find someone who sees the world the way you do? Am I really that far outside the norms?


Wow. Well, I didn't miss my blog's birthday. Not gonna do that. But June marks 2 years. We'll have to think up something special, especially since we've been so rare at blogging lately. A big surprise. Stick around, as Ahnold would say. 10 points if you can name the movie.

Happy June, btw. Its already summer, wow.

So I haven't been able to blog but I have a number of posts I've been able to either a) write while off-line, and save for blogging later, or b) write while on-line but not have time for publishing. What follows is one of the b's. An IM convo I had at work today with a co-worker of mine. I realize that its not 100% my writing, but it is an exciting opening to a conversation about faith.

Context: I had just figured out how to solve a systemic analysis issue at work, and my co-worker thanked me...

Co-worker: Thanks again. How'd you figure it out?

David: the ways of the oracle are mysterious to the minds of mere mortals (yes, I call myself the oracle, from time to time, at work)

Co-worker: Are oracles immortal?

David: yes

well. my soul is. everyone's soul is.

Co-worker: wow immortality + req pro expertise. impressive. (req pro is the database system we use at our current client)

David: i know, sounds like a d&d character

Co-worker: ?

David: dungeons and dragons

"my oracle has immortality and a +5 req pro expertise"

Co-worker: ... never played

cards right?

David: yeah

i never played either

parents forbid it

Co-worker: why?

David: conservative christian upbringing

all that goth stuff was the devil

Co-worker: is d&d considered goth?

i guess so huh.

David: yeah.

Co-worker: would you play now?

There is chocolate here btw.

David: i'm allergic to chocolate

Co-worker: really??

David: i don't have time for card games save poker now

Co-worker: I kind of wish I were.

David: yes really

not bad, but it messes w/ my sinuses

David: so what do you think happens when you die?

Co-worker: I haven't decided yet.

I think there is heaven. But I also think there is a big void after death too. So I don't know.

David: its kind of an important thing to decide on - hah

so do you believe there is hell?

Co-worker: it's not really my choice.

I will have to wait and see!

David: what do you mean its not really your choice?

Co-worker: yes, if there is a heaven, there is a hell.

You said it's important to decide on

David: good - i'm glad you get that there must be a hell if there is a heaven - i can't stand it when people think there's just heaven

Co-worker: well there has to be. no way around it.

David: exactly

but i still don't get why you don't think what you believe is your choice

Co-worker: you mean I can choose to believe one thing or another?

David: doesn't everyone?

Co-worker: But it would be a cognitive choice. Like, "I choose to believe there is heaven and hell"

instead of "I believe in it"

David: doesn't saying you believe in it necessarily assume that you made the choice to believe at some point?

Co-worker: yes but at this point, i would be forcing the choice.

David: how so?

Co-worker: because i can't decide right now.

David: why not?

why wait? what if a tidal wave wipes us all out this afternoon?

Co-worker: then you would go to heaven.

or, one would hope. but i do not know what would happen to me.

David: what do you think would happen to you?

best guesstimate

(btw, lest you think i'm crazy about the tsunami - we only narrowly avoided it this month: http://savelivesinmay.com/)

Co-worker: brb - conf call

what do I think would happen?

i think I've lived a good life and done good. but following the scripture, I'd probably go to hell.

But i don't believe that entirely either.

I could be treading on very contentious ground, but I'll share with you -

It is hard for me to accept that because I don't live my life exactly as dictated, I would burn for eternity, even though I have not harmed others, have treated otheres as I would have them treat me, and have lived virtuously.

I guess the problem is, virtuous is subjective, and without an objective definition, anyone could say they are a good person and thus should not go to hell.

Therefore, it is hard for me to decide if there is a heaven/hell or nothing at all, because while I believe in a lot, it is hard to accept that it's a binary decision and as a result I would get a 0.

David: that is an extremely well thought-out point of view

but, sadly...it leaves you hanging.

i think a lot of people reach that conclusion, or something like it, and assume it is a dead end. and they never get around to addressing the paradox before they die.

Co-worker: I think my internal conflict stems from the fact that I want to believe.

But you are exactly right, that I have reached a dead end that it's a paradox that I won't be able to address.

David: well that's a quitters point of view

"paradox that I won't be able to address"

Co-worker: You mean, I should keep digging until I find a resolution?

David: yes

Co-worker: That is not a bad point.

What if I dig my whole life and do not find one?

David: the important thing is that you dig. if you give up on digging, you'll never find the answer

and then you'll be like all those other people, kind of blindly throwing your life into eternity hoping you land on your feet

Co-worker: Yes I think it's important to keep digging..

David: so how are you digging?

Co-worker: slowly learning more about it I suppose.

David: ok...well, watch out for tsunamis in the mean time

Co-worker: I will but if it's my time...

David: Co-worker B and i were talking about this famous extreme skiier we knew who fell off a cliff trying to save a friend back in april

he was talking about what a horrible way to go it was - not even having time to make peace with yourself or God

but that made me think about how it could happen to any of us - car accident, heart attack, whatever

Co-worker: yes it could

David: anyway that's why i think its important to sort things out rather than just taking it as it comes

eternity is a whole freakin lot longer than this brief stay on earth

Co-worker: I agree. its hard to force a choice that is not natural.

we'll talk more about it later

gotta run

thanks for the convo.

David: have a nice night

Co-worker: it's not a topic i get to atlk about often