"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Friday, March 31, 2006

Busy weekend ahead

My kids and I are in store for a real busy weekend.

This afternoon after work, I met ex at Marshalls in Nashua so V and M could stay with me for the weekend, as usual.

Tonight, after dinner, M picked for his movie selection, "Ice Age." This to get us psyched up to go see "Ice Age 2: the Meltdown" tomorrow afternoon.

After V and M went to bed, I decided to do a load of laundry. No problem, right? Of course there was a problem, or I wouldn't be telling you the story! I did the wash with no problem. After I put the laundry in the dryer, I put my $1.25 in quarters in the dryer, selected my cycle and pushed the start button. Nothing. Pushed it again. Nothing. If the dryer were a pinball machine, I would have tilted it. Still nothing. Great. Now I have a laundry basket full of wet clothes and no dryer. Fortunately, the back door to the building next to mine was unlocked. So I took my basked of wet clothes next door and used one of the dryers over there. Crowded? Are you kidding? On a Friday night? Of course they were. Everyone does laundry on Friday nights instead of, say, going out for a few drinks or catching a movie with your girlfriend.....

Saturday morning, we are going back to CBD for their first warehouse sale of the year. I absolutely love going to this place (as I have posted twice previously about)and my kids do too.

Sunday and Monday my church is hosting a conference called Answers in Genesis. The guest speaker is Ken Ham. Ham, a native of Australia, is one of the most in-demand Christian speakers in North America. Just to give you an idea of how popular this guy is, my church scheduled him to come speak at this conference five years ago! The last time he was in New England was eight years ago. There are church groups all over New England expected to come. This conference is going to be amazing.

Here's the schedule for the adults (fortunately for V, M and myself, meetings geared for kids will be held during the adult sessions.)

Sunday, April 02, 2006
08:45-10:00 The relevance of Genesis in Today`s World.
10:15-11:30 The Bible Explains Dinosaurs

18:00-19:00 Genesis: Key to Reclaiming the Culture
19:30-20:30 Defending the Christian Faith in Today`s Scientific Age.

Monday, April 03, 2006
09:30-11:00 Student Meeting (Grades K-6)
13:00-14:30 Student Meeting (Grades 7-12)
19:00-20:00 Why Won`t They Listen?
20:20-21:20 One Blood: The Biblical Answer to Racism.


I signed up to help out at the book table. Guess what? Volunteers need to show up an hour before the first service to learn how to process credit card payments & such.

Sunday is going to be a long day. Fun but long. I'll try to take some notes during the sessions and post some summaries for you, possibly starting on Monday.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

In case you missed it

The NFL released its 2006 Preseason schedule yesterday.

But really, the only team that matters is my New England Patriots who will play:

8/11/06 at Atlanta Falcons (20:00 EST CBS)
8/19/06 ARIZONA CARDINALS (20:00 EST NFL Network)
8/24-28/06 WASHINGTON REDSKINS
8/31-9/2/06 at New York Giants

The dates and times for the first two games are set becasue they will be nationally televised. The dates and times for the last two games will be determined later.

The full NFL regular season schedule of fun and excitement for 2006 will be released sometime in (mid) April. Of course as soon as I have word it's been released I will pass it along to you.

Those of you who are not interested in this topic need not comment unless you have something positive to add {HELLO scribe & american guy}. However, I DO appreciate your coming here to read & be informed on the life and times of (insert my real name here) green.

---

I went to an internet marketing presentation tonight after work in which stuff I already knew was rehashed. Of course they were also promoting their full day seminar on same topic two weeks from Saturday. Primarily I went for the freebies (including a faux leather personal organizer & free dinner). Hey it's sad, I know, but the alternative is the same every night, esp. when you're single.

Since I'm always on the lookout: The woman who sat in front of me had long, straight blonde hair and was dressed in a stunning red business suit with heels & matching handbag. (She was also wearing a wedding band on her left ring finger.) She kept speaking to her female friend in what I think was Russian.

The weather was so nice this afternoon here in southern NH, that I was driving up the highway with the window rolled down in my beastmobile for the first time this year.

---

A few new words for you:

NULLIFIDIAN- Of no honestie; of no religion.
-John Bullokar's An English Expositor, 1616.

One of no faith or religion; a sceptic in matters of religion.
-Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1908.

FIRMAMENT- A term anciently used to signify the eighth heaven, or shphere, in which the fixed stars were placed. It was called the eighth heaven because of the seven sphreres of the planets which it surrounds. The firmament was supposed to have two motions, one from east to west, round about the poles of the ecliptic, and the other motion from west to east.

-T. Ellwood Zell's Popular Encyclopaedia of Knowledge and Language, 1871.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Does anyone know how to...?

I'm looking for some HTML expertise, which I do not have.

I want to reduce or possibly eliminate the borders on either side of my blog and expand the space allowable for my posts, while keeping the sidebar the same size.

I like my template and don't want to change it - but I also don't want to mess up my blog or accidentally delete months of work.

That's what prompted my switching to this current template...

Anyone?


Bueller?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Minor damage

No, I didn't get into a car accident today.

I'm referring to the fact that I went to Barnes and Noble after work tonight and came away only spending $7. That's headline news for me. As previous posts here can testify, I usually spend more than I should whenever I go to any bookstore. Of course, it helped greatly that I had nearly $40 in store credit to spend, thanks to two books I returned tonight. Also helpful was that I went in there with a plan, met the objectives and didn't stray from them...

So what did I get with my store credit? I know you are curious.... =>)

I wanted to get a specific magazine, but of course they didn't have it.

I always peruse the discount racks for hidden gems, but didn't see anything eye-popping.

I briefly looked in the science fiction section and also looked at the books on Christianity and religion. A few interesting things I saw there but since I'm going to the Warehouse on Saturday, I didn't choose anything from there.

I spent a long time looking over a Jewish Study Bible (Old Testament) with notes and almost seriously came away with it. What little I read was very interesting. Perhaps someday I'll bite on the $45.00 price tag...


I eventually ended up buying two books:

DVD & Video Guide 2006 I seem to buy the updated version of this book every two years. Well, at least that's been the pattern since 1994 anyway. I think it's one of the better guides out there.
















and


I wasn't sure what titles I'd find for this subject, but Basics of Biblical Greek, 2nd Ed. seems to be one of the better texts. Why? Because I'll need it if I get into DTS.

Plus, the couple who served as my host family for Discover Dallas highly recommended to get a head start on it before class would start, even if I only learn the alphabet and charachter pronunciations.

On the chance that I don't get accepted to DTS, learning Greek should help me get more out of the New Testament when I read for myself and that's a good thing. There are nuances in the original Greek that English translations of the Bible don't do justice to - you can't get the full flavor of the ideas & expresions the original authors wanted to express. This I know just from my own personal study.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Plan - how I got here (part II)

For part I of this story, click here.

Fast forward to late 1999, girlfriend and I have been married now for over 5 1/2 years. Our second child is no more than football sized and life seems to be proceeding according to plan, give or take a few dead ends, wrong turns and u-turns.

There's a Wal-Mart Supercenter near where we used to live where we did most of our shopping. On many occasions I'd be going there to pick up diapers, formula or whatever it was that we needed at that time. I'd always pass the aisle where they sold the books and magazines, and I'd often find myself taking extra time to glance through a magazine or a book that I'd pick up here and there to see if it was worth buying. On many occasions I'd see these paperback books with almost entirely black covers. Book one, book two, book three - all the way thru book six. I kept telling myself that one of these days I was going to buy the first two books and read them, just to see if they were worth all of the hype that they were receiving.

Eventually I did buy the first two books in the series and practically inhaled them, I read them so fast. Then I bought the other four installments and quickly devoured those also.

Of course I'm talking about the Left Behind series, written by Tim LaHaye & Jerry Jenkins, which is a fictional story that parallels the Biblical book of Revelation.

One thought kept popping into my head as I read through these books, which was: "IF the rapture happened today, right now, would I be taken up or would I be left behind?

Now I had grown up in a Christian home with a strong belief in God, and considered myself to be a good Christian. I was a five year member of the Christian group IVCF in college. All of my close college friends were Christians. I had spent every summer as a youth either going to or working at a summer camp run by my church. I even was a member of a missions team that went to Hungary in 1991. But was I really a Christian? IF push came to shove, where would I stand? I wasn't so sure.

Sadly, upon much inner reflection, my answer to the above question would have been a resounding NO! I would be one of the ones to be left behind, wondering what happened to everyone else.

Having always had a fascination with eschatology, I knew that I didn't want to be on earth during the time that the Bible calls The Day of the Lord. I want nothing to do with the wrath that is to come.

So right there, in the middle of a chapter I stopped and prayed. I admitted that I was a sinner and that I could not get into heaven on my own merit. I asked Jesus to come into my life and that I believed that His death on the cross was for ME. That He suffered and died so that I could one day go to heaven to be with Him. I also prayed that He would show me the plan for my life, that whatever He wanted me to do that I would do it.

After I wiped the tears from my eyes, I got up and walked around the house. I went into my daughter's room and watched her sleep. She looked like an angel. I went into my son's room and looked at him the same way. How precious he was! What a gift from God these two precious children were! And I was thankful for them and all of the blessings in my life. I just wanted to give something back.

After that I went back downstairs to either finish the book or get to a good stopping point.

Once I prayed that prayer, I could slowly sense a change in my attitude towards a career in ministry. Maybe being a pastor wasn't such an outrageous idea after all...

Things didn't develop right away with that idea. However I did find a renewed sense of need to go to church regularly. By this point I had stopped going to the Salvation Army altogether. Since my wife and I couldn't agree on a church to go to together as a family and since she couldn't go regularly anyway because of her job and the shift she worked, she just told me to pick a church and go. Which I did. {It's a wonderful church , and my kids and I still go there to this day.} I also found renewed interest in Bible study and such. I began to build a library of books written by Christian authors. Commentaries, Bible studies, and everything I could find, and I voraciously read whatever I could get my hands on.

During this time I read several books written by authors who had graduated from DTS. Throughout all of these different books, one thing was in common. The way that they handled the Word of God was just incredible. From the passion of their subject matter the recognition and awards that their work received. I thought, "Wow, wouldn't it be cool to go to a place that loves Scripture and is fundamentally sound in their interpretation of it."

Fast forward again to December 2004. I've just moved into a new apartment after living at my parents house for a year and a half after my separation and divorce. One Sunday before Christmas I announce my plans to go back to school because I want to get a masters degree.

"In what?" my family asks, seemingly all at once.

"Theology. A masters in Theology. See there's this great school in Dallas that I'd love to go to....

All last year the thought of going to Seminary kept getting stronger in my head. I wanted to run from it and hide. For awhile I did but kept coming back to it.

I even included it as one of my resolutions (see #4) for 2006.

Finally, in February, I decided to make the leap and apply. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? So I filled out the on-line application and decided that I wanted to visit the school. Hey what's this, they're having a weekend for prospective students? Wish I could go. That'd be so neat.

Then I remembered I needed to file my Tax Return! I'd use some of that money to fly down and back. Let me check it out for myself.

Yeah, that's the plan.

PS: Do I recommend the Left Behind series to you? Absolutely. Without a doubt. There are 12 books in the now completed series. It is an exellent story with a happy ending.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Lazy Sunday

So I was going to post something original and thought provoking today,
but then V and M wanted to go outside and play, which meant I had to be away from my computer. Before I knew it it was too late, the brain too tired to write anything original.

Fortunately for me (and you) while I was reading Mystical Me's archive posts I found this cool link and some great inspirational quotes that I thought I'd steal & share again with everyone.

Every time you don't follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, a loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness. (Shakti Gawain, American spiritual writer)

Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it, the tree is the real thing. (Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the USA, 1809-1865)

There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life - happiness, freedom and peace - are always attained by giving them to someone else. (Peyton Conway March, American general, 1864-1955)

Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others. (H. Jackson Browne, American writer)

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. (Eric Hoffer, American writer, 1902-1983)

The only kind of dignity which is genuine is not diminished by the indifference of others. (Dag Hammerskjold, secretary-general of the UN, 1961 Nobel Peace Prize, 1905-1961)

The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment. (Robert Maynard Hutchins, American educational philosopher, 1899-1977)

He who angers you conquers you. (Elizabeth Kenny, Australian researcher, 1880-1952)

The answer is in your heart. You can always hear it, if you listen for it. (Elizabeth George Speare, American children's writer, 1908-1994)

The path to our destiny is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn't matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark. (Barbara Hall, American author, born 1961)

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. (Andy Warhol, American artist, 1928-1987)

Welcome anything that comes to you, but do not long for anything else. (Andre Paul Guillaume Gide, French writer, 1947 Nobel Prize for Literature, 1869-1951)

Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our minds to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others. (Barbara Bush, American first lady, born 1925)

The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it. (Michelangelo, Italian poet, painter, sculptor and architect, 1475-1564)

Somehow, not only for Christmas
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others
Is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart's possessing
Returns to you glad.
(John Greenleaf Whittier, American poet, 1807-1892)

The finest gift you can give anyone is encouragement. If everyone received the encouragement they need to grow, the genius in most everyone would blossom and the world would produce abundance beyond the wildest dreams. (Sidney Madwed, American poet)

The more you praise and celebrate life, the more there is in life to celebrate. (Oprah Winfrey, American TV-host, born 1954)

What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health and has a clear conscience? (Adam Smith, Scottish philosopher, 1723-1790)

What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope to the meaning of life. (Heinrich Emil Brunner, Swiss theologian, 1889-1966)

Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect. (Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet and philosopher, 1803-1882)

The past is a guidepost, not a hitching post. (L. Thomas Holdcroft, American theologian)

I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning. (John Boyton Priestley, English author, 1894-1984)

Man has never made any material as resilient as the human spirit. (Bernard Williams, English philosopher, 1894-1984)

Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you where. (Cherie Carter-Scott, American author)

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. (Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the USA, 1809-1865)

Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody. (Henri Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet, 1807-1882)

Gratitude unlocks the beauty of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. (Melody Beattie, American author)

Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. (Booker T. Washington, American human rights activist, 1856-1915)

You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions. (Naguib Mahfouz, Egyptian author, 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature, born 1911)

The most significant change in a person's life is a change of attitude.
Right attitudes produce right actions. (William Johnson, superintendent of American Indian Affairs, 1715-1774)

If the only prayer you ever say in your life is 'thank you', it will be enough. (Meister Eckhart, German theologian and mystic, 1260-1328)

It is one of the most beautiful compensations in this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. (Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet and philosopher, 1803-1882)

If you're not giving the world the best you have, what world are you saving it for? (Kent Keith, American author, born 1949)

It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it. (William Somerset Maugham, British novelist and playwright, 1874-1965)

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. (Dale Carnegie, American author, 1888-1955)

The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live. (Alfred Adler, Austrian psychiatrist, 1870-1937)

Happy is the person who knows what to remember of the past, what to enjoy in the present, and what to plan for the future. (Arnold H. Glasgow, American psychologist)

If you hold on tight to what you think is your thing, you might find you're missing all the rest. (Dave Matthews, American singer-songwriter)

Lack and limitation can only exist when we make room for them in our mind. (Bob Proctor, American motivational speaker and author)

Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each one of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of a generation. (Robert Francis Kennedy, American senator and attorney general, 1925-1968)

Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip. (Will Rogers, American actor, 1879-1935)

A man's manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet and playwright, 1749-1832)

A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence. (Jim Watkins, American actor, born 1944)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

SNMR 1.2: "Hitch"

Tonight's SNMR feature is "Hitch" (2005, PG-13, 118 minutes) starring Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin James, Amber Valletta and Julie Ann Emery. The film was directed by Andy Tennant.

I had seen the DVD in the store for several weeks and wanted to buy it, but they only had the full-screen version, until recently. So when I saw the widescreen version I snapped it up and I am glad that I did. (SNMR recommends the widescreen format DVD's whenever possible for that "movie theater" at home experience.)

Will Smith is one of today's brightest, funniest, most versatile actors. Looking through, I find several of his movies amongst my DVD collection. I haven't seen anything else that Eva Mendes has been in to date and I'm going to have to remedy that. Kevin James is equally as funny as Smith is and they play off of each other very well. Before this film I had no clue who Amber Valletta was. She does a decent job in her role which reminds me of a real life Paris Hilton. Julie Ann Emery is underrated and cute as the best friend.

From the DVD's dust jacket:

"Meet Hitch (Will Smith, I,Robot), New York City's greatest matchmaker. Love is his job and he'll get you the girl of your dreams in just three easy dates, guaranteed! And that's exactly what happens when Albert Brenneman (TV's Kevin James, "The King of Queens") wins the heart of gorgeous society heiress Allegra Cole (supermodel Amber Valletta). So when tabloid columnist Sara Melas (Eva Mendes, Stuck On You, Once Upon a Time in Mexico) decides to uncover the secret behind the tubby schlub's success, she's shocked to discover that Alex Hitchens, the charming young man she's been seeing, is the legendary date doctor himself. Exposed in a front page scoop, it's now up to Alex to try to save Albert and Allegra's relationship as well as his own. Which only goes to show that just when you think you've found true love, there's always a HITCH."


The script is excellent, very tight and well written. The pace of the movie is quick and flows very well. The cast meshes together nicely. If you like romantic comedies like I do, you will love this movie. It has quickly become one of my favorites. I highly recommend it and I'm going to give this movie five out of five stars!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Slow mail day

I had to meet the ex at the Mall of New Hampshire after work today to pick up V and M for the weekend.

I made two stops on my way to the mall. One of the stops was the post office, so I could check my mailbox.

The ladies who work at the post office where my mailbox is know me by name, since I'm there quite often picking up and mailing packages. The only thing in my box was a yellow card, indicating that I had something larger than would fit into my box. As soon as the not busy clerk saw me, she went to get it. When she handed it to me, I asked her if that was all I had. She said yes & that it was an unusually slow mail day. Normally I get lots of bills, junk mail, catalogs & magazines.

I am expecting two DVD's I bought on eBay ten days ago to arrive and that's what I thought my package was.



Wrong....




It was a small envelope from Dallas Theological Seminary.


As soon as I saw the address label I felt my breath catch in my throat. Could this be it? Could this be the acceptance letter I've been waiting for or the reject letter I dread to receive?

Once I got back into my car I ripped it open only to find......


a letter that said something like....




"We enjoyed having you visit us at the DTS campus for "Discover Dallas" and would you be so kind as to fill out this questionnaire to tell us what you liked or disliked about your experience, plus a SASE. We've also included a CD of Chuck Swindoll's chapel message and Dr. Hendricks "Why Seminary" message, both from Friday, March 3rd."


But nothing telling me the one vital piece of information that I desperately want and need to know.

So while I'm glad to have the CD they sent, (I wish they had included Prof. Toussaint's chapel message from Thursday on the CD as well...) I was a bit disappointed.

I dislike slow mail days.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

What holiday is your birthday?

I found this link on Katie's blog.


What holiday falls on your birthday? Click here to find out.


My birthday is June 25, so I get....

LOG CABIN DAY.


Woo-hoo!! Aren't you jealous?


I didn't think so...

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Happy 38th Wedding Anniversary, Mom & Dad. I love you.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

word verifiication thingee

One of the recent comments I left on this blog gave me the word verification thingee "smenita."

Why is this relevant? And why should you care?

For the answer to the first question, continue reading. For the answer to the second one, let me keep guessing if you care or not.... ;>)

Because I've had that exact word verification thingee before, believe it or not. And the only reason I remember (trust me the memory isn't as good as it used to be) is because the last time I had it, blogger wouldn't accept it, no matter how many times I typed it or how many different variations of similar looking letters I used. Blogger didn't accept it this time either, though last time was much worse.

Last time I had to reboot my computer and re-log in to blogger to get away from it. This time all I had to do was close out of blogger and click on my internet icon again to get a different word verification thingee.

Anyway, problem solved.

And I didn't think I was going to have anything to post about tonight.

---

Yes, thoughts are brewing for new posts with more substance to them, but nothing concrete yet.

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Do you remember some of your oldest childhood friends? You know, the ones sadly that you've lost contact with?

I'll never forget how this friend always used to say that his birthday was on "Mar twenty-two." So wherever you are, Paul, happy 36th birthday to you.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Okay, I cheated on the math part

Your IQ Is 110

Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Exceptional

Your General Knowledge is Above Average

I despise free agency...

...especially when my team is losing some of my favorite players.

I can understand not re-signing Willie McGinest because of his age, even though he can still play and play well. But it was sad seeing him sign with the Cleveland Browns.

I can understand David Givens, a former 7th round draft pick, wanting the big contract and a chance to be THE GUY, but seeing him sign with the Tennessee Titans was depressing.

But making absolutely no effort to sign Adam Vinatieri (the best clutch kicker in NFL history and a future Hall of Famer) is just inexcuseable. And now I discover he's going to play for the Indianapolis Colts? C'mon, kickers can play forever. Three million per for five years probably would have kept him in New England. Though I could see the writing on the wall when the Patriots decided not to assign him the franchise player tag again.

Football players (non-kickers), media and fans often deride kickers as not "real" football players. But with a game on the line - the difference between winning and losing - there's not a kicker I have more confidence in than #4. Plus, how many kickers can say that they've run down and tackled Herschel Walker?

These losses are depressing considering the only player signed in return is a mid-level guy (WR Reche Caldwell) who may be good but maybe not...

Like Johnny Damon signing with the Yankees, Adam Vinatieri will just be another player on that team. Forsaking cult-like status in one of the most sports crazed regions like Boston & New England for more dollars just doesn't make sense to me.

Yes, I know pro athletes make insane amounts of money. But that goes with the territory. Would you turn down that kind of paycheck if offered to you?

I didn't think so. Neither would I.

Since none of these players signed with a real hated rival, I can still root for them with good conscience (EXCEPT WHEN YOUR NEW TEAM PLAYS AGAINST THE PATRIOTS), knowing how much pleasure I received watching them help win three championships in the last five years.

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I had a much better day today than yesterday.

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Still waiting to hear on the status of my application to DTS. Will continue to keep you posted.

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What do you do if someone you have a crush on has a crush on someone else? Just wondering...

Monday, March 20, 2006

Happy Vernal Equinox & RANT

Yes, today is the official first day of Spring, 2006!!!!

Even though it was clear, chilly & cold here in NH today, warmer days are ahead. And the Red Sox begin their season two weeks from today, in Texas. The start of baseball season is always a good thing (because summer is just a mere three months away).

---

The following rant is brought to you today by the letters

M, Q and the number 7.

After a long weekend (I took Friday off) this week didn't begin too well. Let me explain:

My ex is a nurse who works Saturday and Sunday nights from 7 pm to 7 am. 24 hours in two days but gets paid for 30 hours because of her shifts being on the weekend. Normally she comes to my apartment on Monday mornings after work to pick up my kids to bring them to school, since she is on her way home anyway. This means that I go into work half an hour late (usually it works out that way) because I obviously can't leave until she comes. She normally calls me to let me know that she is here, so I can open the door for her as the front door to my building is locked.

At 7:22 my phone rings. It is the ex as expected BUT she is calling from her house, not her cell phone. Uh oh.

I answer the phone and she says in a very weak voice: "Hello xxx. I got sent home from work last night because I'm sick. You need to bring the kids to school."

Obviously.

"Okay, that's fine."

"But you have to come here first because I have their school backpacks and lunches."

"Okay."

"Do you know how to get to M's school?"

"Ummm, no. I've never been there."

"Take a right out of the school parking lot. At the end of the street take another right and it's about 6 or 7 miles on the left."

"Fine, hope you feel better," reminding myself that I'm horrible with directions - even simple ones - unless they're written down, and I'm never going to remember this.

V and M go to the same school and I know where it is, except M is in afternoon Kindergarten and he goes to a daycare group in the mornings called 'Country Kids'
because he gets bored in the mornings when his sister is already at school. So I have to drop him off there and they'll bring him to the regular school at the appropriate time.

Immediately I call work to tell them I'm going to be a bit later than usual and am not sure what time I'll be there. I also briefly give reason why. The woman I talk to says she'll pass on the message for me.

So off we go, my kids and I. I did actually get them to school on time, dropping off V first. M was actually quite helpful in lending me a hand with the directions to his daycare group.

Do I have a problem driving my kids to school? No. None at all. It's part of the responsibility of being a dad.

Do I fault her for getting sick and being sent home from work? Certainly not.

(Here's where the RANT begins, in case you were wondering & thought you might have missed it.)

What I have a problem with is that ex chose to buy a house an hour away from me, in the middle of no-Weare because it was the only house that she saw in her price range that had "character" or "charm" or whatever nonsensical word she used. Of course she wouldn't listen to me when I suggested she buy a house around here, not only for my convenience but becasue she still works in Nashua. I'd wager there were several "charming and charachter filled" houses on the market in the Nashua area (where we lived while married and where she knew I'd move back to eventually) that would have been fine houses for her. But NOOOOOOOO. Especially when it means that instead of being 1/2 hour late for work I'm going to be 2+ hours late, which I was. 2 1/4 to be specific.

So on the way there and back I'm thinking of other things that could go wrong today, being that I'm only a morning person because I need to be at the moment and because Mondays suck anyway.

When I get to work, before I'm even able to take off my jacket, Andy, the owner's son, comes out of a meeting he was in and pulls me into the back room (which is a balmy 51.3 degrees F) to tell me I need to hack-saw through this piece of hardened steel that he needs to have (be) adapted to the extruder machine. Great. Just great.

So to sum up: I had a 2 hour commute to my work today which is less than four miles from my apartment and I had to hack (slowly) through this ridiculous piece of metal... I got through half of it before someone found an electric saw in the trunk of their car....

Fortunately the day got better after this...

BTW, I'm not apologizing for this rant. Whose blog is it anyway??? So there.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

A True Friend

Recently stolen from javier's blog, because I thought it was good. Real Good. Apparently he stole it from someone else, too.

A true friend does this...

(A)ccepts you as you are
(B)elieves in "you"
(C)alls you just to say "HI"
(D)oesn't give up on you
(E)nvisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts)
(F)orgives your mistakes
(G)ives unconditionally
(H)elps you
(I)nvites you over
(J)ust "be" with you
(K)eeps you close at heart
(L)oves you for who you are
(M)akes a difference in your life
(N)ever Judges
(O)ffers support
(P)icks you up
(Q)uiets your fears
(R)aises your spirits
(S)ays nice things about you
(T)ells you the truth when you need to hear it
(U)nderstands you
(V)alues you
(W)alks beside you
(X)-plains things you don't understand
(Y)ells when you won't listen and
(Z)aps you back to reality

Saturday, March 18, 2006

SNMR 1.1: "Must Love Dogs"


Tonight begins what will now be a regular feature of this blog. Introducing my Saturday Night Movie Review (TM), hereafter referred to as SNMR.

We'll begin this feature with "Must Love Dogs," (2005, PG-13, 98 minutes) starring John Cusack, Diane Lane, Dermot Mulroney, Elizabeth Perkins, Stockard Channing and Christopher Plummer. The film was directed by Gary David Goldberg.

My friend tink has recently posted about this movie. She thought it was good but didn't review it. As it turns out I bought this movie on DVD when it first came out but hadn't gotten around to actually watching it. So I decided to make this my choice for tonight.

I'm generally a fan of John Cusack's movies and I absolutely think Diane Lane is a very beautiful, talented and underrated actress. I've thought this ever since I saw her in "The Outsiders" (see SNMR 1.6 for a review) waaay back in the 8th grade.

From the DVD's dustjacket:

"Pretty pre-school teacher Sarah Nolan (Diane Lane) is divorced, demoralized and dateless - until her sister posts her profile at perfectmatch.com. Now she has lots of dates. With weirdos, weepers, lechers, jocks - and Jake (John Cusack), a soulful boat builder whose idea of true love comes out of Dr. Zhivago. Jake is attractive, smart and maybe a bit too intense. So Sarah passes him by. And maybe passes up her one real chance for love.

With a witty script and irresistable stars (including Christopher Plummer as Sarah's widowed dad, weaving his own worldwide web of romance and Stockard Channing as his new lady friend), this romantic comedyis as delightful a surprise as a perfect blind date. Dont miss out: love could be just a mouse click away!"
I thought this movie was overall very good. It seemed to hit home for me in some ways and I got a few chuckles out of it where it was supposed to be funny. There were some parts that seemed held together with glue, that could have easily been expanded on or completely left out without affecting the overall story. The script was decent, the supporting cast was good but the movie was definitely held together by the performances of the two leads.

I'll give this movie three and a half stars out of five. I don't think it will prove over time to be a classic like When Harry Met Sally has become, but it is definitely worthwhile to rent, if not own, especially if you are a fan of romantic comedies.

Labels:

Friday, March 17, 2006

Mark your calendar for April 19th!!

For those of you interested, I just found an article dated February 28th, which deals with ABC's upcoming spring television schedule. The story says that ALIAS will return to the regular line-up on Wednesday, April 19th with a two hour episode. Since its return is later than originally anticipated, it likely means that there will be less than the normal twenty-two episodes in this, the show's fifth and final season. =>(

If you'll recall that ALIAS went on hiatus in mid-December, 2005 to accomodate Jennifer Garner's maternity leave. ABC originally intended to bring the show back in March, as ABC's web site has been promoting.

I can't wait! She's still one of the hottest actresses in Hollywood right now, in this blogger's humble opinion.

BTW, did you see Jennifer Garner at the Academy Awards two weeks ago? She almost tripped on her dress coming out to present an award. That would have been funny, in a mean, sick sort of way.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

It's coming tomorrow!

Do any of you remember this?



I posted about it last month when I ordered it. The company that I bought it from didn't have the exact wood color in stock so they asked me if I wanted to take what they had in a darker wood or wait. Since most of my living room furniture is lightly stained, I opted to wait.

Well I got a shipment confirmation email on the 11th that my item is on its way - with a scheduled delivery date for tomorrow! The UPS tracking numbers provided to me show that my dvd rack is scheduled to be on the truck for delivery sometime on Friday.

Two boxes. Eighty-four pounds. Some assembly required, I'd imagine.

I can't even begin to tell you how badly this rack is needed to free up other valuable bookcase real estate in my apatment. In anticipation of its delivery I moved temporarily one of my couches and emptied and removed the useless piece of furniture it's replacing. Well it's not a useless piece of furniture, just a bit impractical for the space it required and the use I got out of it.

The sad part is that it used to belong to my 96 year old grandfather. It used to house a television & record player in a cabinet on top. When the tv finally died he had someone put a shelf in there so he could use it for knick-knacks or whatever. This was one of those "RCA stereo televisions/entertainment centers" that Ethan Allen (majorly expensive furniture store) used to sell in the 70's.



It's amazing how many dust bunnies I vacuumed up in moving this stuff. Also found a few of my son's toys and a lost magazine underneath and behind it. I put it out in the hallway with a sign that says FREE FURNITURE, hoping someone will find a use for it. If not then I'll have to donate it to the Salvation Army or something.

Though I hope someone in my building will take it so I don't have to deal with it anymore.

UPDATE: March 17, 13:55 - And someone did just that!!! Just a few minutes ago, I went out into the hall where I put the bloody thing and it's GONE!! !

YESS!!! Not my problem anymore!!!! La la la la la la!!!!

UPDATE: March 17, 15:46 - The new rack has arrived! Woo-hoo!!!

Now I gotta put the bloody thing together.... =>(

UPDATE: March 18, 18:20 - All done!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Ides of March

Was I the only one who experienced problems with blogger tonight?

Page loading real slow, errors when trying to read comments, etc?

I hate it when that happens. It's nice to know I'm not the only one having problems.... ;>)

Must be the Ides of March or something.

Beware the Ides of March!

by Anthony Peña

The ominous warning, "Beware the Ides of March," originated with the Roman ruler, Julius Caesar, who was assassinated on the Ides of March - March 15, 44 B.C.E. If you've heard the ominous warning, then it's most likely due to William Shakespeare and his play, Julius Caesar.
The warning itself was made famous in Shakespeare's play on Julius Caesar, when an unidentified soothsayer tells Caesar, who is on his way to the Senate (and his death), "Beware the ides of March." Caesar replies, "He is a dreamer; let us leave him. Pass."

According to historical writer C.J.S. Thompson, Ph.D. in The Mystery and Romance of Astrology, 1929, the unidentified soothsayer from Shakespeare's play was a Roman astrologer by the name of Spurinna. According to Thompson - and confirmed in Plutarch's account of the story written in 75 A.D. and Suetonius in 110 A.D. - it was sometime prior to the fateful day of March 15 that Spurinna had first given Caesar the famous warning to "beware of the Ides of March."

The astrologer, Spurinna, had previously warned Caesar that on "the Ides of March," he would be in great danger. If, however, Julius Caesar took care on that one day - then all would be well.
According to Plutarch's account, Caesar had previously made the wise decision to stay within the safety of his bedroom chambers on the 15th of March. However, Caesar's "friend" Decimus (Albinus) Brutus (not Marcus Brutus) managed to convince him that the astrologer's warnings were nothing more than superstitious foolishness.

So Julius Caesar decided to attend the Senate on the 15th of March. On his way to the Senate, Caesar "accidentally" met up with the astrologer. Upon seeing Spurinna, Caesar confidently informed the astrologer: "The Ides of March are come."

Spurinna replied, "Yes, they are come, but they are not past."

Later that day - on March 15, 44 B.C.E - Caesar's enemies assassinated him in the Pompey theater, at the foot of Pompey's statue, where the Roman Senate was meeting that day in the temple of Venus.

What Are the Ides?

In the ancient Roman calendar, each of the 12 months of the year had an "ides." In March, May, July and October, the "ides" fell on the 15th day. In every other month, the "ides" fell on the 13th. The word "ides" was derived from the Latin "to divide." The "ides" were originally meant to mark the full moon - but since the solar calendar months and lunar months were of different lengths, the "ides" quickly lost their original intent and purpose.

So an alternative (albeit somewhat dubious) theory, as to why Caesar might have "seemingly" ignored the ominous warning of Spurinna, is that perhaps Julius Caesar got the dates of the warning mixed up. He may have been thinking that the Ides of March fell on the 13th.
Using this theory, forgetful Caesar would have been very careful and stayed home on the 13th of March, but on the 15th of March his guard was down.

Suggested Reading
Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

{*sigh*}

Surrounded by water and yet not a drop to drink.

{*sigh*}

I'm trying to be patient but it really is hard.

Miller Analogies Test RESULTS

I checked my mailbox today and found in it my MAT test results. Three results are given: Scaled Score, Percentile for Intended Major and Percentile for Total Group.

DTS told me that they are looking for a 400+ score on this test, out of a maximum 600. My score meets the DTS requirement. However, included with my score is a coupon for a retest. According to the Miller Analogies web page, the retest coupon is not indicative that I need to retest, only that I can do it if I like.

So I now wonder if I should take the test again just because I can or should I not worry about it, knowing that I've fulfilled the DTS requirement. If I do worse the second time will that reflect badly on me or conversely if I do better will it look suspicious? I can be very self-critical at times and sometimes that's good. Other times it's bad. I think I worry about some things too much.

Now I consider myself to be a reasonably intelligent person but I'd be lying to you if I didn't tell you that some of those test questions just plain floored me. Some of the words I had no clue of the meanings, let alone how to relate them to the other words in the question/analogy.

I think I'll call Sister Mary Jane "just like the candy bar" tomorrow and see when she's giving the test again. Maybe I can take it next week and get DTS another set of scores before they decide my fate.

Yeah, that's the plan.

How will you do?

So, how well do you know your United States geography? [think high school.... ;>) ]

Take this little test and find out. The link should be fixed now. Please try again.

All you have to do is drag & drop the states onto the map in the places that they go. Your score will be given you at the end. Have fun!

Please post your score in the comments section so we can see how smart you are.

This time my results are:

My score: 92% (46/50 correct)
Avg. Error: 9 miles
Time: 279 seconds

Frankly I've done better.

http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/states_experiment_drag-drop_Intermed_State15s_500.html

Monday, March 13, 2006

Decisions, decisions

I emailed someone from the admissions office last Tuesday, since I noticed from their web site that the school had received my MAT score. I asked him what time-frame I was looking at before a decision is rendered on my application. He said three weeks, probably four, since this week is spring break and everyone will be gone. So I'm probably not going to find anything out either way until that first week, week and a half of April most likely. Though I will let you know what happens as soon as possible after I know.

I saw nothing to dispel or change my preconceived notions about what the school would be like. So I have reconfirmed to myself that IF the school accepts me, I'm there. Make no mistake about it, the road there will be tough and full of obstacles but none that can't be overcome.

All in all my trip was great. I met some really cool people, from prospective students to faculty. The campus was nice, though I'm told not in the best neighborhood. From what I saw of Dallas, it appears to be a good place to live, though I suppose some parts are better than others. I do know this: just from looking at some advertisements - both real estate and apartments are much cheaper than here in the northeast. That would be very nice, especially for the budget conscious. Or at least I'll try to be....

On my way home - March 4


At the gate waiting to board at DFW. The family in the center of this picture actually sat directly in front of me on the plane. The baby in pink was not happy during the flight but fine during takeoff and landing. You'd think it would be the other way around. Gotta love kids, right?


Waiting at MKE, being bored & trying to use up my film while waiting.


The plane is 15 minutes late arriving at MKE due to the "domino effect."


My plane arriving at the gate at MKE.


Loading more meals & snacks for the flight from MKE to BOS.


Planes behind mine on the queue for takeoff at MKE.


You go on a trip and you gotta have souvenirs, right? These are the t-shirts that I got for my kids and I. (If I get accepted, this will make Christmas shopping a breeze!!)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Discover Dallas - March 3


A map of campus was printed on the back of our information packet. Came in very handy, it did.


Dr. Chuck Swindoll was the featured speaker at the chapel service on Friday morning.


Dr. Howard Hendricks spoke after lunch about "Why Seminary?" He gave some examples of things to look for when considering seminary.


After a few extra activities on Friday afternoon, I got a ride to my hotel for the night.


On the way to my hotel near DFW Airport, we passed a rather dumpy looking Texas Staduim, where the Dallas Cowboys play football.

My hotel near DFW. This hotel is one of about 100 hotels on this road. I've never seen more hotels in less space in my life. There were more hotels across the highway too!


How exciting it is to see where I slept on Friday night!! wooo-hoooo!


Looking up at my hotel room window.


Zooming out, still looking up at my hotel room window.


One thing I didn't realize when I booked my room is that I might need to eat supper. There were no restaurants on my side of the highway.

So I crossed the highway bridge and went to a Denny's about probably a half mile away from my hotel, which is one of the lights in the top left corner of the picture. The view looking down at the highway traffic at this time of night was very cool.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Discover Dallas - March 2


Well, I know I'm in the right place. That's a plus.


The school administration goes to great lengths to plan this event. They were as excited about it as we were or at least I was....


Director of Admissions Greg Hatteberg addressing the group & going over the days events. He was sort of the "emcee" for the program.


The main room was full every time. This is where we ate and had some of the programs.


There were visitors representing 29 of the 50 states and I was the only one from New Hampshire and even New England who was in attendance.


Campbell Academic Center. Some classes are held here and this is where we had all of our meals.


looking out onto the DTS quad. I'll bet it's nicer when the grass is green and the weather is hotter.


A sculpture depicting Jesus performing the task of a slave or servant, washing Peter's feet at the Last Supper. See John 13:1-17.

The two Marys were the first to discover the Empty tomb. They then told Jesus disciples. This is significant because of the status women held in first century Palestine. Women were generally not recognized as legitimate, legal witnesses. See Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-13; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-18

Friday, March 10, 2006

On my way to Dallas - March 1

Since this was the first time I'd flown in just under 10 years, I tried to chronicle the experience. I really had a hard time containing my excitement and anticipation of being in the air again. Besides, who knows when I'll be flying again?


The airline I flew on for my trip. This was the first thing I saw as I entered the gate area. After going through security screening, of course.


These are Boeing 717's, similar to the ones I flew on during my trip.


Waiting for my plane to arrive at the gate.


Taxiing away from the gate.


Picking up speed on the runway, preparing for takeoff...


Logan International Airport from the air. Bye bye Boston, see you on Saturday.


Gaining altitude... I'm on my way for real!


Somewhere over New England, maybe even New York. Who knows?


Up in the air junior birdsman... where am I?


FINALLY, a place to lay my sleepy head after a long day of traveling. ZZZ's here I come.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

You know that you're tired when...

..You work a 14 hour day, like I did today and doze off sitting upright at your desk, while typing. ZZZZZZZZZzzz ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzz

Then you have to get up at 6:21 to go to work again.... yuck.

But the OT in my next check will be sa-weet!!

Or I could take tomorrow off.

Nah, I need the extra $$. (Don't we all.)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Cloudscapes

Okay, to whet your appetite for the really good pics...
I thought I'd bore you to death with these...







Let me tell you right off that these pictures...



...don't really convey how awesome the view was outside my window.


I couldn't tell you what we were flying over
but does it really matter?

---

In an unrelated note, today is ex's birthday. Happy 34th, K.