Monday, May 30, 2005

Stunned Numb with Disbelief, and added Post Script

David is a great kid.
His little brother has been one of my son’s closest friends since 5th grade.
At Christmas break, David came home from college, and one of the things he did was spend mega-amounts of time with the boys as they re-produced and re-shot a film from the previous year’s film festival at their school.

David is a broadcast journalism student.
David is a great kid who loves God.
You don’t have to be around him for very long, before you realize this.
David is a talented actor – if he combined his journalism skills with his stage presence he would make a great weatherman. The camera loves him.

David gets along great with parents, and he gets along great with kids.
And he is genuine.

It was interesting, observing him as he worked with the boys re-shooting their crime drama. He took direction from the teen Director, but he very subtly guided as well…fostering a group participation attitude, and inspired the boys with his enthusiasm.

David spent Memorial Day weekend at Lake Shasta – a well known party place.
House boats are usually rented by huge groups. It is not uncommon to see multiple house boats tied together, and friends jump from boat to boat and spend the weekend swimming and generally having a great time.

Lake Shasta also has a dark reputation.
It is known for claiming the lives of the youthful who party or who, while basking in the joys of the summer’s first warming sun, forget they are mortal, loosing any good judgement they have.

David simply hopped a boat, and he missed.
He hit his head on the side.

David is gone.
In the blink of an eye.

In the span of a moment’s time, a happy guy with star potential, lost contact with the earthly tent he dwelled in, and is now at home with the Heavenly Father he loves.

Such a bright light is gone from us for a time.
How much brighter shines heaven today.

So David,
You are such a knucklehead!
And dang! You are missed boy!

May God be with your family and friends, who know beyond doubt where you are tonight, but who are flailing in the huge gap that your departure has left.

March 15 1984 - May 29 2005


I was driving in to work this morning, and a song struck me in the head.
It was one from church and I got to thinking, after it swirled around namelessly and wordlessly in my head for about 10 minutes, that there were words in this song that had significance to what David's family and what the rest of us are processing.
The song talks about rendering thankfulness to God no matter what circumstances you find yourself in.

"...blessed be Your Name,
On the road filled with suffering,
Though there's pain in the offering,
Blessed be Your Name!"

It is not an act of happiness all the time to give thanks to God, but we are commanded to do it (especially when we don't feel like it) and it often yields a very strange result:

One is often encouraged by verbalizing thankfulness to God when one is in the darkest of places.
It is like lighting a candle and warmth slowly comes afterward.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Standing Before the Furnace

The following post is in relation to one made previously entitled "Won't You Come In?"

After choosing to make the Journey to The Furnace, I expected all-hell-to-be-breaking-loose with regard to my mental and emotional state the closer I got...
...even though I knew the One who asked me to go, would also be waiting for me there at the end...
The friend who I thought I saw providing a way out for me, is not here. I am glad of it, and I see now that even if she was here, there is no need to escape from the path.

It's funny, because the blast I was expecting as I got closer to the mouth of the furnace is not now as hot as I once imagined.
The glaring blaze I witnessed from much farther back, while still bright, appears now as a diffused glow.
The burning, melting flames that seared me at that greater distance are no longer present as I stand here before the threshold.
The area in front of the furnace is a cool and green-growing space.
It is almost garden-like.

You know me.
You know I am a "visual/verbal" processor.
I "see" things.
In my head.
I know, I sound crazy.
But the scenario of the Furnace, while spiritualized, is almost tangible to me.
The cool green before the threshold is just as real.
I am reminded of stories of the Celtic Otherworld and the Thin Places of the world.
Side by Side.
I am reminded of Paul The Apostle saying,
"Now we see as through a glass darkly, but when we stand before the Throne we will see Him as He is. Right now we see in part, but then we will see fully."

In my mind's eye I see where I am, and where I am not.
Something within me questions:
Am I already in the furnace? Or am I still on the outside?
I may no longer be able to tell the difference.
But it does not concern me, nor does fear pierce me as it once did when I started this Journey.

It is a "thin place."
And this particular "thin place" is where ever I walk.
I take my "Thin Place" with me.

Monday, May 23, 2005

A Post about absoltively NOTHING AT ALL.


ahh, it's at times like these that I do so love math:

-6 more days in the office. Count them-6. I love doing the math.
-2 more days till we have the surgery for which we have waited 7 years to have done.

Sometimes, numbers are your friends.

I completed another freelance project today, and will get to continue for doing so, from home in the future. Wee-ha! I love working at home.

After June 3rd, I will arrange to pick up a new freelance client. I will train as a barrista down at the "Bad Ass Coffee Shop."

I kid you NOT, that is what it's called.
It is a CHAIN of specialty Kona Coffee/gift stores, and they are based in Hawaii.

Anyway, they are going to train me and then I can sub for them when their people get sick or need a vacation,
...the beauty is...with the newly acquired barrista skills, I can also sub myself out to all of the other coffee places in town! With a population of 14,000, there are 6 coffee houses/kiosks. The distance from one end of town to the other is less than a half mile. With nary a stop light to be found. (I think people here are such coffee addicts, that the caffeine induced sense of "hurry-up" would only be heightened if a stop light were added into the mix.)
Anyway I train for free, for one client, and get to market myself to 5 others.

Yay for 'mom-n-pop' businesses in the tourist town.

It is fun because some one will come into a store and interact with me one day, and then the next week I will be at a totally different store, or office, and they get confuzzled.
I enjoy that.

So 6 more days and I will be unencumbered by the 8-5 job.

2 more days and I will play Nurse Ratchett to my beloved daughter. Then I will take my first born son to camp 200 miles away, and only get to go and fetch him back on weekends.

Needless to say, I will be driving to Portland alot this summer.

Stu is looking up a gig he found on the internet.
It will mean he has to commute to Portland, LA and all over the globe possibly.
(oops. Did I say that out loud?) ;o)

(Maybe I don't care.)
Maybe I do.
I dunno sometimes.
Its a good thing that God is Bigger.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Playing Uru

Am I the only psycho that deals with this?

I did not play the Uru game(s) until they were released as Complete Chronic les.
After having gallivanted (sp?) all over the place, I know that I should play the ages out in the order they are given: 1st The Journeys, 2nd To D'ni, 3rd The Shell Path's.

But I find myself drawn to the Shell Paths ahead of the others.

Am I uniquely weird?

I find that these ages some how are more "user friendly" - at least to me they are. And perhaps that all comes down to individual preference.

(I know. I am SO ramblng.)

...but my computer is working again, and after a months absence I find that I can play Uru:Complete Chronicles again.

Did everyone dutifully play Complete Chronicles in the logical order, or di d you play the ages randomly as they appealed to you?

This is SUCH a weird email...I know...and yet, I am listening to the sound t rack and thinking, "wow this is all so stinkin' cool" and as usual, I am STUCK in some AGE!!

I just wondered if you all played through in the correct order or if you scampered all about?
(as I am doing)


Thursday, May 19, 2005

In Todays News of the Bogus:

Myst Fans, apparently from the Age of Florida, are requesting a re-vote to elect a new city for Mysterium 2005.

This reporter was unaware that an Age of Florida was ever written.
And I would question the skill of such a writer, seeing that he,
(in what I can only assume was an inadvertant error)
managed to include a sense of indignation in the psyche's of the inhabitants, that mirrors that of the Hanging Chad episode.

I am sure the writer of such an Age would have had both hands lopped off and would have been sent directly to a Prison Age for life.

Time to apply the Chastening Agent

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Black Watch Kiln and Art Imitates Book?

In other news, we only need one more person to contribute to the Kiln and we will have enough to buy it, supply it and maintain it.
It will be great if Barb can keep it at her place with the glass blowing stuff.
We should have a "Christening." Like the launching of a ship or something.
Maybe smash a MacTarnahans or Black Watch against the rim and have Trevor do an impression of the Queen: "I christen thee, the USS Black Watch Kiln."
Or not.
We all get up to some goofy stuff when we get together.

So I changed the panels seperating my studio from the living room, and in the process managed to improve on some of the Atenue languages for Mega Project.
I can already hear Barb going, "Great. More backstory."
Sorry Babz. I gotta make a nest before I start laying eggs.
(uh...never mind).

Was reading Steve O's blog today and was reminded that creativity floods or droughts are common. Rather than be all anal and force it, I just need to go with the flow and use the burst of creativity when it shows up.

I wonder if that would make me appear some what manic?

Do I care about such an appearance?


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

You Go Girl!

Good heavens Lehsa!
You have always been good,
when the poop hits the fan especially!
Gotta love it!
Especially last year in Toronto, I dunno if I told you...but that day after most people left, when you and I just hung out together - we walked all over the place and had dinner with Eri? That day will live FOREVER in my mind.
What a sweet and peaceful time.
If I never said it before, then I am saying it now:
to my way of thinking,
you are a unique blend of creativity and flame,
of sensitivity and cut-the-crap-common-horse-sense
that feeds my spirit.
Dang yer good!

A view through the Golden Spy Glass

"All things are seen and unseen."
Disappearing ink has been provided courtesy of the Golden Spy Glass.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Its a new week and SOUNDS update

...and I have a training today on the new e-copier, and I need to finish up
this project for NWHDS, and I think I will update the SOUNDS link over in the side bar.

Today is a hug day.


But tomorrow is a new day, and I only have 14 days left of actual office time.

I can't wait to start assembling some of the images for RIMH.
But that will have to wait until summer.

Started culling through the numerous originals, in order to get some stuff ready for sale.
Where I have no clue.
I am just doing what I'm told. (Isn't THAT a change?!)

It irritates me that some of them are really small, so I guess, in order to keep the main project on track I need to do it in right order:

At some point though I am going to have to reproduce the originals and make them the appropriate size, that being at lease 23x35 or greater. Preferably twice that size.
But thats just me.
I need them to be big.
Big enough to remind me of food.
Big enough to be edible.
Big enough to grok.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

And now onward to other bizarre things that annoy me:

Such as the following brand of Christianity:

I cannot believe I actually know people who DO this:
I found out through the grape vine (my kids) that a local family refuses to purchase
a Western U.S. brand of Cola because on the label there are many stars, and SOME of them are upside down.

But wait...there's more...

They will not purchase A POPULAR HOT COCOA MIX BRAND, because on the package, the marshmallows depicted in the mug have melted into the Yin/Yan shape.

Wha Happen?

What happened to sense here?

I was pondering this, and thinking, ok so now, these same people proclaim that Christ died to take away the penalty for what we earn via our own poor/angry/self-centered choices. They proclaim that this forgiveness cannot be earned, but rather, is a free gift to anyone who chooses to accept this forgiveness, and a gift from God Himself. Not because one has done enough "good deeds. "
(In reality, God Himself says, all of our GOOD deeds are equal to sh _t as far as He is concerned, so don't even bother trying to earn brownie points.)

Ok, now so look at this particular family, knowing that they profess that the above is true.
(Which it is.)

What are they doing to make themselves "Holy?"
Do? As in Deeds? As in Earn?
They shun packaging because of what it looks like on the outside?
Have they not reduced portions of their faith to "salvation based on works?"

"oooo if I drink that Soda with the upside down stars on the label, I will surely be bound for hell!"

Welcome to legalism at its most ridiculous!

Yes, it is also true that faith without works is dead. God even says it in the Bible, but it is the joy and love of God that comes first via the faith and forgiveness. The translation from inner heart condition to daily behaviours first comes from the restored relationship and the understanding of that intimate relationship that He desires, which finds it's natural out working in our deeds.
To try to earn Gods favour with out accepting the relationship is to put the cart before the horse.
To take portions of the the Bible and to disregard other parts is foolishness.

God Himself also defines acceptable from unacceptable behaviours in the Bible, and when HE does, we are commanded (not asked) to suck it up and just do it, (or refrain from doing it) and there is no room for argument.
Some things truly are black and white from His perspective, and His perspective is way more valid than mine, or yours, or this family's. After all, if I am going to say that I believe in God, then it is to say that He is smarter than me. (or You or this family)
And who is going acknowledge a smarter being and then choose not to heed what they say?
Who would choose to be stupid when there is a chance to follow along and learn something for a change?

Every body screws up.
It doesn't matter if you know God or not.
Nobody is perfect (anymore).
It's part of being trapped in this flesh tent for the time being.
Imperfection and lack of full knowledge just go with the territory here.
Someday, in HIS OWN good time, He will release us from this tent, and we will then see things as they really are.

I can't believe I know people like this family.
I thought it was impossible:
To be so legalistic about things that are not put forth in the bible, but to also take extreme liberties with other portions of the bible that they don't want to obey.
God is lock-stock-and-barrel.
You can't pick a little bit and leave the rest.
You have to take it all, or none at all.
If they really new the bible they profess to live by, then they would know this.

Jesus Himself gave only two choices.
He proclaimed that He Himself was God incarnate.
He didn't claim to be a prophet or wise teacher.
Therefore He only gave us a black and white choice:
Either you believe what He says, or you don't.
There is no middle ground.
I could go on FOR DAYS about this, but I will stop now.

As I rethink this, in all fairness I have to give way and say that some people have sensitivites of concience where other's don't.
Perhaps this Cola/Cocoa label is one (freaky) example of such sensitivities.
After all, God Himself tells us we are accountable to be "True To The Light We Are Given."

As for me, and for today,
I am buying the cheap Western Family Brand of Cola,
and I have no qualms what so ever about drinking Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix.

And so say all of us!

Yet another award...

...for which I have no prizes.
But hey, you can console yourselves with the knowledge that there is
no such thing as "Bad Publicity."

So without further ado I would like to name todays winners of the randomly anual
Brain Guy and Brain Girl Awards.

Brain Girl Award:
Minella for her steadfast encouragement and wiley technical know-how and ability to communicate such things successfully to cyber-dullards (me).

Brain Guy Award:
Zadok for his Courageous Hand-Holding-of-Wimps-in-Need (me), and his willingness to share nuggets of tech wisdom.

Why would anyone call India first, when they can log into CC and pick the brains of many "experts."

Monday, May 9, 2005

Oh moan and whine, You guys gotta help me!

Windows XP Service Pack 2
(Need I go ANY further?!)
(rampant expletives ensue!!!!!!)

Any way,
New e-copier:
The drivers won't install properly with Service Pack 2.
This I know from past experience, service pack 2 doesn't like alot of office programs.
Our entire building avoids DLing that update for this reason.
So...because I also use my own personal laptop (you saw this coming didn't you?) for many projects at the office, I also keep Service Pack 2 out of my laptop.

Well, while installing the drivers for the new e-copier, I noticed that there was a prob.

Lo and behold, some how Service Pack 2 managed to sneak its fat butt into my computer without my noticing. I have no idea how long it has been in there. Typically, when it gets in I go straight away and remove it pronto. Which I did Saturday morning.
Serious crash.
My display is at 4-bit and who the heck knows what else is not working!
It tells me that it had to revert to VGA?
My desktop is small enough for me to cover up with one hand!
I can get my pop3 email and what not, but was too sick at heart to explore further, to see what all else had been ruined.

*In my minds eye, I saw myself, dutifully cleaning out the offending Service Pack 2, while over my shoulder a villainous spectre lurked. His visage was as that of Bill Gates. At the end of his long arm there stretched appendages like those of Edward Scissorhands. Learing with a silent, twisted and enraged glee, he watched like a nun waiting with her ruler to strike. Upon completion of the task he leaned forward with terrifying intent and plunged his razor sharp digits into the keyboard, and brought forth the tender entrails from my beloved HP laptop. He tied them around his neck in a bow and leaned over toward me, suddenly showoing his true form and gazed at me with one enormous eye. He cackled his hideous laughter and was gone,
taking who-knows-what vital organs from my beloved electronic friend, who now pleads with me to restore it to it's original state of health and vitality.*

Alas, I do not know how.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

New Artist and Golden Spy Glass Award

Cactus Art:
Check out the newest link which will go into the sidebar permanently.
Local artist, Kristine Kellogg and her family have begun to make their unique succulent garden sculpture bowls available to the public.
Each bowl has a story.
Each bowl is comprised of elements and artifacts which have been harvested from the Kelloggs own yard, or from various locations they have travelled to.
Being the environmentally friendly sort, they only choose to utilize wind-fall items...basically...they don't go hacking off bits of plants and rocks and sea creatures, from their natural environments, but opt to choose things that mother nature has discarded through it's own natural growth and shedding processes.

The Golden Spy Glass Award:

The first ever recipient of the Golden Spy Glass Award is Peter Street,
aka H.R.H Peter, until another recipient is crowned in his stead,
(sorry Your Majesty but fame is fickle)
or until he dies (May he live forever) .
The Golden Spy Glass is awarded to those who manage to see those things that are unseen or overlooked by others.
His Royal Highness has managed to comment on a blog post which no longer exists.
Congratulations for today.

Monday, May 2, 2005

Sunday Sermon...

... it was interesting.
It was about money, but not the typical kind.
It was about using your resources, (finances, energies, personal strengths and giftings, etc) to their greatest advantage and being shrewd with them.
At the end, there was a time of silence as people had a chance to pray and prepare for Communion.
I was sitting there, and its funny, but I wouldn't guess that God would be able to deliver such a packed exclamation point during so brief a time as that which is between the end of the sermon and the beginning of Communion.

Ok, so...I am talking plainly (in my head) to God and this is how it went:

ME: Ok God, I am sluggardly in being what I believe you have designed me to be, as far as my purpose is concerned.
ME: Ok God, here is what I do, I paint and play music. How do you want me to make this lucrative or... whatever?
ME: What do you want me to do?

GOD: Matte, Frame, Hang, Price.
ME: Wow, really? Ok God, You know how I am after I walk out of this building, I mean... how am I supposed to remember all that?
ME: huh?
GOD: Look deeper
GOD: M-michelle
GOD: F-fears
GOD: H-her
GOD: P-purpose
ME: oh.
GOD: It's easy. Just do it.
GOD: PS: I love you.

So, all in the space of less than 5 minutes?
God took care of the conviction and directed it with a post scripted love note.

That's what I'm talking about.