Continuing the intricate dance on the border-line of burnout.

Here's what's passed briefly by my browser this week (not that I've had time to surf, at all).

Great reason to eat out in NY, Sunday, April 30th.

The full two week tour looks a little much, but I do intend to ski Chile this Summer.

My little sister's trying to get a job at a restaraunt with one of the longest beer lists I've ever seen.

The swirling vortex of doom.

On getting things done (I really need to read up on this at some point):

Lifehacker interviews the GTD man himself.

Personal development for smart people.

Ask MeFi on GTD (where I got the above links NEway).

Note to self: Check out Searchscapes on my home computer.

Home, sweet, home. Tomorrow.


Its 9:10pm. I'm still in the office. I'm taking my 9:00 brain break, about 10 minutes overdue. Then its back to work.

Which is all I do anymore. Things are crazy here, I'm in by 8am, sometimes earlier, and I don't get out until late evening - usually close to, or after, the double digits. Ugh.

Missed the chance to blog about an important anniversary yesterday, thanks, ironically, to too much work. You can probably guess what it is if you look at my posts from the end of March, last year, although I was keen enough to remain aloof on where exactly it was I had a new job, at that point.

My career counselor IM'd me yesterday to say happy anniversary - which was weird, since I never hear from him, but cool, all the same. Glad he's thinking of me - promotion process kicks off early summer and I'm up for manager, although my hopes aren't. Up, that is.

Its been a great first year here. A few months unstaffed, applying to open roles, trying to network, begging people to meet me for coffee, asking anyone and everyone for work, and for the most part sitting at home, sometimes in the office, doing a whole lot of nothing.

Then, a few random months of fluctuating between regular hours and bonkers hours on Business Development projects with my career counselor - and having all his lech-y-ness rubbing off on me.

Mix in a couple weeks of miscellaneous training and other unstaffed-time, and next I was back in the building I swore I'd never work in again, but this time I wasn't working for them, so much as consulting them. That was a few months, then it was off to Miami.

Where I will spend the rest of my life in endentured servitude.

At least the weather's nice.

Honestly, read the first post from end of March last year - that pretty much sums it up. Any time I might have had for writing in the last month has been effectively murdered, and I don't see that pattern changing anytime soon. Its all I can do at this point to throw up a blog post here or there.

So...bear with me. I really do want to blog regularly, put some more articles out there, think about journalism schools this year. But I really want to make manager too. If I don't make manager...expect to see a spike in writing. Let's just leave it at that.


Working bonkers hours, yet I still find time for web- browsing. Priorities. I've really only hopped on to surf like twice, and they've been power-sessions (read: scanning del.icio.us' popular list. Haven't even seen good old MeFi once yet this week. Its kind of becoming my Saturday morning indulgence - like cartoons for a kid or something. Annnnyway...

Seven career killers.

Name that business model.

I got the Greasemonkey Scripts running for Gmail and have started using keyboard shortcuts for my email and...just...wow. Thanks to Lifehacker.

Someday, I want to get a rocking job. And I want to get it the way this guy did.

I started playing with this aim bot thing today but got bored after about 3 minutes. But its still kind of a cool idea.

That's all. Doing the carnival this week really took it out of me, blog-wise.


I have the pleasure and honor of, yet again, being able to host the weekly Christian Carnival (more info, here). Unfortunately, with work as it is, I won't be able to do the beautiful categorization that so many often contrive to add flavor to the CC, but I've done my best to throw in a comment here or there. Without further adieu...

From Stingray: a blog for salty Christians, Christians and homosexuality: If you're a Christian, let God use you to minister to and love homosexuals, not to write them off as beyond God's help. Yes, the sin is gross but is it any more gross than Paul having Christians murdered or John Newton -— the writer of the song "Amazing Grace" - having participated in the slave trade? There is no sin that is too big for God to forgive and no sinner that is beyond hope.
(Editor's note: because I really appreciated Michael's post, as a single Christian guy living in NYC - around a lot of homosexual men, he gets thprivilegege of two posts in the CC this week. I think this first one was supposed to be posted last week, as it was the first I received this week, and I later received a different one from him, below...)

What do country music, a Pastor's sabbatical, and Revelation chapter 15 have in common? I Hope You Dance, on Vegetable Soup. (FireFox users - you may need IE to see this site, as I did).

Leo of Diary of a City Parishioner talks on Vital and Important Matters - a thought on one thing needful.

Martin's entry for the week is "Is evolution "unguided?"." I discuss a claim that Intelligent Design advocates added the word, "unguided," to a description of the process of evolution to the Kansas Science Standards, against the objections of other scientists. Oh yeah, Martin's blog is Sun and Shield.

Catez at Allthings2all shares with us Share the Love: Demographics and Some Thoughts. After reading 197 blogs nominated in the Share the Love Blog Awards, Catez found some very interesting groupings of religious and spiritual beliefs, and one major theme that the blogs had in common. She also continues some of the discussion that has been relevant to Christian womens blogging recently.

From Dadmanly, Light & Darkness (Part Three). In the previous parts of this three part study, I explored the context within which Light and Bushel imagery is presented in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. In this third and final part, I look at the Gospel of Luke.

Mark Olson at Pseudo-Polymath presents Help! with Sunday Schooling - I'm seeking assistance from the God blogs or "Calling all God Bloggers", Mayday!
(Editor's Note: As the guy who leads the Sr. High group in their weekly lesson-time at my church, I can highly recommend the material we use - thanks to DASH Student Leadership - out of Andy Stanley's church in Atlanta. They (Andy and Stuart Hall) wrote a book that was transformational to our youth ministry - The Seven Checkpoints. Also, a number of years ago I read A Purpose Driven Youth Ministry (you can probably guess where this came from) - and found it quite helpful. Hope this helps you - feel free to contact me if you'd like more info.)

Kenny Pearce presents and essay entitled "Tradition as the 'Platonic Form' of Christian Faith and Practice in Orthodoxy", representing a Protestant philosophy student's attempt to understand the concept of (capital T) Tradition in the Eastern Orthodox Church. As the title suggests, Kenny believes that the best way to understand this idea is by use of Plato's theory of forms.

Are our emotions a test of our faith? Dory, of Wittenberg Gate argues that faith still abides, even during our darkest hours in Cold Emotions and Burning Faith.

From Funky Dung at Ales Rarus - Investigating NFP: Pius XII -
This is the third post in my series on natural family planning (NFP). It focuses on addresses given by Pope Pius XII.
(Editor's note: I have some good friends from my college days who recently got married. Apparently they hail from an NFP perspective. They were pregnant a couple weeks later. I was 27 when I started learning about NFP - wow.)

Chris at Welcome to the Fallout presents Pitchers and Predestination. Underlying assumptions matter when it comes to doctrinal debates.

Dave from Disciple's Journal gives us Weekly blog roundup, circa 1545: A tongue-in-cheek look at what Reformation-era bloggers might have been saying in their distinctive styles. It's deja vu all over again . . .

Jeremy Pierce at Parableman presents Adam Knew His Wife. This post reflects on some difficulties in translating the phrase traditionally rendered "Adam knew his wife".

In her first CC submission, Carol at She Lives takes a look at dumb laws still on the books. She Follows Dumb Laws because of God'’s perfect sovereignty. He established the authorities that govern us, so by obeying their dumb laws we obey Him as well.
(Editor's note - Welcome, Carol! We think you'll like it here.)

Big Cajun Man, at Canadian Financial Rants, presents Sunday: Lent and Saint Patrick's Day. Saint Patrick's day revelry in the middle of Lent? Hmmm....how does a Christian reconcile these two on the same day?

Laura at Pursuing Holiness presents Bravery? A news article reported that "Jessica Simpson'’s staunchly Christian mother Tina has praised the singer for filing for divorce from Nick Lachey, insisting ending a marriage takes a lot of bravery." Bravery is what it takes to stay in a marriage, not to end one, and one study shows that staying is the smart thing to do for most people.
(Editor's note: thanks for pointing this out, Laura)

Michael McCullough at Stingray: a blog for salty Christians presents Church persecution and growth in China. Some estimate that there are 90 million Christians in China. Are there 90 million believers in the United States? Maybe, and maybe not.

Jan at The View From Her reminds us to reach out and touch someone.
(Editor's note: Awesome post, Jan. Again, as a single guy in NYC, where everyone's way too cool to need anyone else...I know the need of touch. Going for months on end with literally nothing can be, well, tough. Anyway, if we ever cross paths, I'll give you an awesome side-hug.)

Moment of Silence in Schools: Personally, which might surprise you, I am not for verbal prayer in school! But what I DON'T have a problem with, is the Moment of Silence. I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. It is not infringing at all! The child can do as they wish with that moment. Even if it is spent on nothing more than thinking about they can't wait to get home and ride their bike! By Lisa at CrossBLogging.com.

Kim C at Life in a Shoe: the methods and madness of one mother of 7 presents Thoughts on Beatitudes & memorization.
(Editor's note: Homeschooling Mother Award! Wow. My mom homeschooled 6, meanwhile Kim's working on her 8th AND keeping a blog AND submitting to CC. God must have given this woman some moxie.)
(Editor's note 2: I memorized the SOTM last year, as one of my annual goals. The key for me was daily repetitipreferablyably at the same point in the day - all it took was the roughly 10 minutes I spent on the subway, 5 days a week.)

What kind of twisted mind can loose associate Jack Bauer interrogating a terrorist with John Piper's theology? Find out for yourself by reading the post Everyone Is For Sale at Light along the Journey - by John.

Ed at Attention Span gives us "What's Wrong With Church - Club Mentality": Continuing his series, "What Wrong With the Church?" rev-ed at Attention Span takes on one of the often unrecognized problems at local churches -- "Club Mentality."

A Penitent Blogger shares The cost of unforgiveness - A reflection on our desperate need to be forgiving.
(Editor's note: Nice job! We live in a world full of people that think they know what love is yet practice and know so little forgiveness!)

Over at dokeo kago grapho soi kratistos theophilos, On the Third Anniversity - Richard looks back and post words written three and half years ago.

That's it...so far. Please note that, due to my hectic work schedule, I am posting the Carnival roughly 3 hours ahead of the final submission deadline. This is because I simply will not have any time to myself between now and at least tomorrow evening, due to some extreme work circumstances (well...let's hope they're extreme, for now...). While I take this break to throw up the CC, I can literally hear the work piling up. Oy.

I will be posting any further entries I receive for this week's carnival, below, at some point tomorrow evening, if possible. I'd like to particularly thank all the wonderful bloggers who sent me theirs ahead of time and made this CC possible here at my humble, bumbling blog.

Late Entry

Weekend Fisher at Heart, Mind, Soul, and Strength presents St. Paul to the factions in the church - I was just struck by how well Paul's comments to the factions in Corinth still speak to the factions today. It's almost the same factions. Spooky. (Don't we ever learn?)


Missed a Friday post after a long day - work, then a quick look at some potential corporate apartments with a realtor in South Beach (heretofore known here as SoBe, fyi), and then straight to the airport. Flight was on-time for a change, which meant I made it back in time to sit in rush-hour traffic headed into the city.

Which made me late for the first playoff game for the Mustard Seed School Rebels. It was a good game, we came back in the 3rd to within 2 points, but even the return of the long-absent assistant coach Knowles, they just didn't have the energy to beat a bigger, faster, yet decidedly more poorly coached team. So, they're out, in the first round. But that didn't take away from the fact that they had a record-breaking season. After opening up in an 0-3 slump, they put together a 7 game win streak, even beating the only undefeated team in the league, towards the end, to enter the playoffs as the #2 seed. Next year should be an exciting one for them.

Today is watching copious amounts of March Madness, laundry, cleaning the room, packing, and perhaps grabbing a beer this eve with the Daves. Tomorrow is church, youth group, then an evening flight back to Florida.

More links, just to get the tabs cleared off my browser, finally:

This article in the Times from a couple years back is one I always recommend to friends headed to Napa, as some of my friends are this week.

Top 100 overlooked films of the 90's - how Ghostdog, Way of the Samurai, beat out The Zero Effect (at spot 19 - one of my all time favorite films), is beyond me.

A FF extension to use Gmail as an online file storage system.

Visual news - kinda neat.

Fascinating article on fighting DDoS.

Searchscapes Manhattan.


CBS is showing the first round of March Madness online for free.

Ten reasons
young people are afraid to become entrepreneurs.

Haven't gotten this working yet, but the idea sounds cool.

Hard to describe...but cool.

Big numbers.

Light is bad. At least at night.

Holy goodness.

Another free WiFi spot locator.

Only in NYC.

Freeline is like skateboarding sans board. Have it shipped by mid-July to make it in time for my birthday.

Think the Avian Flu isn't coming to get us? The big finanicals (Smith Barney, CitiGroup) are already planning on it.

And if the flu doesn't get you, you're probably going down on an airplane while some cheerleader chats up her boyfriend on the cell phone.

These long days in the office have been giving me the desktop blues.

Next Google goodness alert: Google Calendar (login site, but not the actual product, is already up).

How big is Myspace?

The most expensive thing in the world by weight / volume is Treskilling Yellow.

Vivisimo is a clustering search program. I haven't played with it much, but I am still sure of one thing: Google still rules.

I actually have a good deal more, but that's it for now. Obviously I found some time to surf at some point this week. But it wasn't today, when I worked 15 hours straight. Ugh.

Tomorrow: whining about my short weekend, and an update on the Mustard Seed School basketball season (short story - we're going to the big dance, baby!).


Too much communication.

At this point, I'm running the following, on a regular basis:

4 Gmail Accounts (2 personal, 1 blog, 1 storage/misc.)

1 Yahoo Account (actually, the account ends in @rocketmail - a service that used to exist in the mid-90's for free web-mail, way back before Yahoo came and bought up everyone - I still log into yahoo mail as my username (powderkeg) plus a ".rm" tag to see the email)

1 Accenture Account (via Outlook, as much as I hate to say it, my best non-Google email interface)

1 Client Account (Royal Caribbean - Lotus Notes...please kill me now)

Instant Messenger:

2 AIM Accounts (1 personal, 1 work - both evidence to the only reason that AOL company is still in business)

1 MSN account (same as my powderkeg at rocketmail dot com email address)
1 Gmail account

1 Gmail Account (yes, only one, although I have 4...ok at least 6...Gmail accounts)

The lot of them are managed through Gaim when I have a dedicated internet connection, and through blasted Trillian, when I'm at a client site. Some day I'll figure out whatever evil code they wrote to make it work at most clients, and kill it, and re-write it for the better.

Anyway, that's the load of details / communications I have to deal with on solely an email/IM basis at this point, not to mention other new ubiquitous internet connection...things...as they may exist at this point...

So here we are...(no links on PURPOSE in this post)


Almost 6 years now, that I've been single.

Now...that may be no big deal if you're a thirty- something single person in some metropolis, who's got a streak going longer than mine. But...if you're from a traditional, nuclear family - grew up in conservative America, went to your typical small college - and you're approaching 30 with no prospects for mating...well, you're on the fringe.

Which is where I find myself. Compounded by the fact that I'm in Miami during Spring Break (for work, in case you haven't been reading around here lately).

Getting older, still not meeting anyone.

It started by something less than choice - a bad breakup at the end of college. A year later I was learning that there were more important things in life than my own personal satisfaction. Two years later I was too focused on work and youth ministry in my spare time to really care. Three years out, the move to NYC and the new job consumed my time. Four years, settled in a new youth ministry, this time urban, still working in corporate America, but really staring to truly hate it. Five years - finally found that new job, still loving church and youth group. Six years...

Six years.

You learn a lot about yourself in six years. You learn a lot about other things, too.

I learned that the trite saying "you can't be happy with someone until your happy with yourself" has some truth to it. Personally, I don't think you can be content with God's plan until you're content with giving up your personal desires. Somewhere along the way I really, truly, honestly was able to realize that I finally was satisfied with His plan, whether or not it would involve someone else in my life or not.

But I still find myself here on these lonely nights, where, although everything seems perfect - a full day of work, a nice dinner by the bay, a laid back drive in an upgraded rental car, the quiet of the room by the beach - it all seems hollow, at the same time. Because, as nice as things are - it makes you want to share the experience with someone.

But there isn't anyone there.

Not a soul.

At Young Life camp this weekend we were serving as work crew with our senior high students, as we usually do. We had the task of serving the junior high campers their meals - which involves setting up, serving, bussing, and cleaning after each meal. Its a lot of work, but you have music blaring and you're with friends and although it is food service, its kind of fun. You enjoy the down time, outside in the woods and the hills, a lot more, for the fact that you're not serving food at the moment. But you enjoy the serving part too.

There was a cute girl leader from the group from Rhode Island who was helping their team serve as well (it takes a couple groups to complete the task, not just ours). We traded some banter and enjoyed cleaning in the same area of the dining hall, and what have you...but come down-time, and we were both consumed with attending to the kids in our respective groups. Sunday after the breakfast bussing and final clean up, you head to your cabins, grab your bags, and get ready to leave. We had a final group time with our high school kids in the gymnasium, which has large windows on the side.

For once, I wasn't leading the discussion ("what was your favorite fun moment and what was your biggest spiritual moment of the weekend") - instead I was sitting off to the side, staring out the window, when I saw her walk by in the distance towards her ride back to Rhode Island.

That was the last I saw her. A couple minutes later I was giving my favorite moments. Ten minutes later I was staring out the window of our bus, trying to mean my simple prayer of "Thy will be done" as earnestly as I had meant it ten minutes prior, sitting on that bench on the side of the gym - when I hadn't chased her down to say something.

I'll probably never see her again, like any of the other people you meet at your random YL Camp weekends...and as much as she struck me, the important part was trusting God to the point that, even if I failed to do something I should have done - asked for her email, or...something...

The point is, no failure on my part could ever stop His will from happening, in the end. This is a struggle I still have, especially when it comes to the deepest desires of the heart. It is a struggle to really feel in the heart what you know in the head.

The same way I once couldn't feel in the heart that I could be happy with only His plan, not reliant on companionship.

I guess we keep learning old lessons in new ways.


Monday back in Miami. The long day, again. But...its almost over.

Friday was a delayed flight back to NYC, then straight to a ride up to Lake Champion, where the kids already were. Work crew all weekend, back in time for the evening service in Hoboken, a little laundry, a little packing, and then the 9pm appointment I have been waiting a very long time for.

Uncle Junior shot Tony. That's not exactly the moment I was waiting for, but boy, did they open with a bang. Hah. Punny.

I really hate how this project is killing my blog. There's really not much I can do about it unless I find some time during the day to put something together. And, seeing as I can't really find time to eat during the day...well....

A few hours and I'm back on the beach for a run / swim. We'll see about tomorrow...I had a very interesting experience this weekend that made me...well...

It... challenged me.

Worship was good this weekend.


You know that point in your life where you realize that the house you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? All of a sudden, even though you have some place that you put your shit, that idea of home is gone?

...You'll see one day when you move out - it just sorta happens one day - its gone. You'll never get it back. Its like you feel homesick for a place that doesn't even exist. Or maybe its like this rite of passage, you know? You won't ever have that feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself - you know - for, for your kids, for the family you start - its like a cycle or something. I don't know...but I miss the idea of it. Maybe that's all family really is - a group of people that miss the same imaginary place...
Garden State

The problem with working these disgustingly long hours is that it totally drains me. I mean, I have no idea how I'm going to keep writing regularly - I've got nothing at the end of the day, even if I have the actual time to sit and hack something out before passing out. And of course, its Thursday, and I've had no time to surf (the net) and...so, I've got like 2 piddly things for you.

Happy downloading.

This looks fun and cool - put your places on Google Maps.

This is where I first got kissed. How's THAT for a link.

Tomorrow I cram all morning, then fly all afternoon, and when I get off the plane I drive all evening to Young Life camp with the youth group. Get home Sunday evening, laundry, pack, sleep, and back to my tropical torment. If I see you again before next Tuesday, well...I'll see you then.


Things my Taco Bell Fire Sauce Packet said to me (in the heat of our pre-processed food passion) last night:

"Its OK…you can say it. I love you too."

"I'm in good hands now."


"Where are you taking me?"

"Do you add sauce left to right, or right to left?"

"Its okay... you can say it. I love you too." (They say you can't say it enough...)

"Does a Grilled Stuft Burrito qualify you for the car pool lane?"

"Of all the sauce packets, why me, why now?"

"If you throw this, would it be a flying saucer?"


Mondays are long when you work out of town. You wake up at 4:30ish, catch a car to a plane to another car. Then you're in the office for a full day, and you work late to make up for the morning hours you missed. Next thing you know your checking into a hotel and unpacking and running out for a quick bite to eat, if you're lucky, or calling room service, if you're not.

But its not so bad when your hotel is on the beach.

Granted I won't get to enjoy much more of it than my morning run, but hey - at least my morning run will be happening, for a change.

Hope to get daily posts up this week, but again, we're beholding to the almighty work schedule. Which made us miss BOTH the Kings vs. Nets game back home and John Stott speaking to our monthly church leaders meeting. So...that sucks.


Miami is warm. Almost too warm, for March. Its forbodingly warm, that's what it is - you can tell that its going to be just plain nasty when June rolls around - I mean like your glasses are going to fog up just walking from the car to the office. Yuck. I can handle the heat - it’s the humidity that does me in.

Haven't had a real day off in well over a week at this point - last Saturday was waking up and heading straight to the church offices to start setting up for 30 Hour Famine activities. From there we went to the World Vision warehouse in the Bronx - getting 25 kids and 5 leaders on and off the right subway cars can be an interesting experience. I took off in the evening when we got back to the offices so I could go home and pack for the week, and that evening there was poker at Joel's - Peter, Dave (Keller), Dave (Negrin - Keller's buddy), myself, and Joel. Matt played early, lost, and left. Negrin went huge, cleaned out Peter and Joel a couple times over, Keller once too. In the end, he left up big, I more than doubled up - normally a great night but not when someone else quadruples.

Sunday morning Cregan, Mindi, Titus, and Naomi - not sure I introduced her on the blog yet, she's their newest addition and about 2 months old now (will try to get a picture) - anyhow they gave me a ride to Penn Station where I left my luggage in their car and hopped a train out to Islip, Long Island. See, they only have one extra seat in the car now, and they needed to drive both Amber and myself out to the airport, so I just caught the train. They met me a couple hours later out in Islip and we all hopped on the flight to Chicago. Traveling with friends with kids can be a little taxing, you really get to appreciate boarding the plane ahead of everyone else, but you realize why it is that people with kids get to do that.

Sunday afternoon Amber and I bummed around downtown Chicago, where it was plenty cold, but not nearly as bad as Chicago's known to get. Saw my Nighthawks, snuck a picture of it as the museum was closing, even. Yes, its my Nighthawks, I'm just letting them keep it til I have a place big enough to justify hanging it up. Then I got a real Chicago dog at a great place - Portillo's, and from there we hopped the train out to the suburbs, where were picked up by Mindi's dad, as we were staying at her parent's house during the conference.

Conference didn't begin til about noon on Monday, so we lazed around then headed over for that. The speakers really were quite phenomenal - Gordon MacDonald and Jack Groppel, and the worship sessions were led by David Crowder - ok, but a little loud for my old man tastes. That night was a Third Day worship concert (worshipping God, not Third Day, for clarity's sake). Good set-list, but they STILL didn't do Love Song. How much money do I have to pay these guys to hear that song live, seriously? This is getting ridiculous.

Tuesday was more conferencing - Bo Boshers and Kristin Bennet, with some breakout sessions - the first one I picked was about teaching students as a storyteller - and it was great, the second one was about creating a new kind of youth ministry for an emerging generation - Cregan and I were both in it and it was pretty much the opposite of great, but you can't win them all.

Instead of a sedan they sent a limo for me, so I had a nice ride to the airport, where I waited for a delayed flight.

Got into Miami around midnight and Avis did me the courtesy of giving me directions to the wrong hotel, and their map was useless. Finally found the right place around 2, and I still hadn't eaten at that point. Ugh.

So warm here. Worked 8 to 9 the first day then crashed. Thursday we got out around 8 for a happy hour with sushi that basically turned into dinner. And today I left at 1 to catch a 3pm flight. And now its 4pm. And we're still not on the plane. Freakin Jerz.

If it weren't for the fact that I have to have a medical exam tomorrow morning and teach youth group on Sunday, I might just have stayed in my suite - for some reason they bumped me up to a condo - living room, full kitchen, massive bath, walk in closets…no idea what I did right to get that.


Sudoku holds no interest for me. I'm not a numbers guy so much as a words and letters guy - at least that's the way my brain works, I think - whether or not I'm actually good at the latter is, well - up to you.

Anyway, apologies for the complete lack of bloggery last week. I'll try to do a better job going forward. But...for now, I need to pack and get to bed. I've got a early flight in the morning.