Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Something To Do

A man needs someone to love.
If he can't have that then he needs something to hope for.
If he can't have either of those, then he just needs something to do...

paraphrase from a scene in "Flight of the Phoenix"

Sunday, July 29, 2007

We're Not In Kansas Anymore II

I've been learning guitar for the last 8-10 months, regularly for the last 4 or 5. I've been playing guitar during lunch time at work and since then I have met lots of people. One being Chris - he has been playing guitar for over 20 years and his is really good. He brings his guitar about once a week and plays with me - he usually stops by and teaches me a new song or helps me out.

Chris is a "flat picker" - if you don't know what that means it is a term used in bluegrass to describe the kind of guitar playing usually used in it. He plays in a band called "The Grasshoppers" and they played at Meadowlark Landing in Wilkesboro tonight. I told him weeks ago that I wanted to go see him play there and about two weeks ago, when we were talking about it he said - "bring your guitar"... Naturally, my next question was "why?" He went on to tell me that he would call me up and have me play something. I thought he was joking at first...he wasn't.

My youngest son and I went to see them tonight, and I brought my guitar AND I found myself playing a "Nine Pound Hammer" for about 40 people on stage during a break. It didn't go so well, but it's one more under my belt (that makes two). After the performance I got to play R.G.'s Burchette - (a "Grand Soloist") what a guitar! They just about had to pry it from my hands...

All night I couldn't help thinking how I ended up where I was - in the Carolina foothills, at a genuine bluegrass performance - watching people just get up and start dancing. It was great stuff, fun to watch and me and my son had a great time.

But, I certainly wasn't in Kansas anymore...

Monday, July 23, 2007


Sunday our preacher talked about etiquette at Chruch (and in our lives). Being who I am it made me think about how often I "rudeness" or inexperience gets get in the way of "tech-nirvana". Since I have been working in I.T. for over 20 years, I think I'm more than qualified to give some advice on "Tech-etiquette".

Here goes:

  • When you TYPE YOUR EMAILS OR POSTS IN ALL CAPS you are yelling!! It conveys anger... Unless you mean to yell or you are just using it for emphasis, keep the cap-lock off.
  • If you have an email address and you give it out you need to check it EVERY DAY. Do you check your "snail-mail" box everyday? Check your email at least once a day or just tell your friends you don't have it.
  • Here's a biggie. One way to irritate your friends on the net is to send them emails touting the latest email hoax (yes, almost all of them are). No, I don't want to send 10 of my friends the email about starving kids in Topeka, nor do I want the latest urban legend story (you know the one that YOU have never heard and are conviced is brand new - but it's probably not). Just remember, less is better. I do get some interesting things from some of my friends, but the best ones are the friends who only send one every few months because it really is cool.
  • Never give your friend's email address to someone else unless they say it's OK. NEVER, ever, ever. Just say no... By the way, when you email that funny urban legend to everyone you know at one time, you just gave my email address to everyone you know.
  • Your I.T. friends prefer that if you don't know how to do something you just say so, don't pretend that you do. Also, don't just nod when we talk about stuff over your head, just say either - "Never mind, I don't understand that..." or "Now what does SQL mean?"
  • We really don't like being called geeks (although we can call each other that). We don't even call ourselves "wizards" so do even go there (leave that for the D&D guys). As for the word "guru", we don't mind that so much - however you should know that it really only means something coming from another I.T. person. Also, being a "nerd" and knowing how to use a computer are two completely UNRELATED things. I know lots of nerds, but not all of them are techies and I know lots of techies and many of them are not nerds.
  • Just because someone you know is an I.T. person does not necessarily mean that he or she can fix your daughter's laptop. You wouldn't ask a dentist advice about your upcoming surgery...
  • Unless you are a 12-year old kid, grammar, spelling and punctuation is important in emails and posts. Chatting during IM is different and so is text messaging, but if you are going to take the time to email, go ahead and write correctly - emails tend to hand around longer than other stuff... Which leads me to...
  • Re-read your emails before you send them, once it's gone, it's gone and whoever gets it can save it FOREVER. So, that email you wrote while you were agry is there to read and re-read. Also...
  • If you are answering a question to the person that asked it in an email sent to many people DO NOT PUSH THE "Reply to All" BUTTON. We don't all want to know that you can't make the company picnic because you are getting your bunyons removed that day.
  • If you have a cell phone and give out the number, carry it with you and leave it on. All of us who use them just ignore the signs about turning them off and just silence them (read the manual) when needed. Having a cell phone and never answering it is REALLY annoying.

I think that's enough for now.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Manna From Heaven

God is good and he is good all the time.

Wikipedia calls Manna "...food miraculously produced for the Israelites in the desert in the book of Exodus."

Bryanepedia calls it "God's showering of blessing from places you never expected when you least expected it."

God is mysterious and his greatness is beyond our grasp. Face it, you're never going to completely figure Him out. That isn't to say that He is not completely approachable, loving and caring - however it's best to bow to his ultimate wisdom and let Him bless you in His own time and in His own way and stop trying to figure out why He does what He does and when He does it.

It's amazing to me how God can just blow me away when I least expect it. Everytime it happens I am overwhelmed by His love and wisdom. Last night he sent another blessing - just a simple phone call that was supposed to just be about normal business stuff turned into 2 hours of soul launching...yes my soul was launched, not lifted straight up. I was very tired, but I just didn't want it to end. My body was exhausted, but my soul was sky high...and still is.

God almost literally dropped manna from heaven in the form of a friend on the phone last night. He knows I'm in the wilderness and he provided - just like he always does.

God, you are good and you are good all the time...

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Things I've Learned on Tour Part 2

Ok, tour is over now... Here's the rest of the list. This time I'm not falling asleep while writing them.

  • Everyone has spells of "self-preservation" - don't take it personally.
  • It is possible to present too much information,
  • Control is not always worth the price you pay for it...and often not available at any price.
  • You shouldn't judge a Church by it's cover.
  • Roller coasters are awesome...simply awesome. Did I say they were awesome?
  • Some things just won't make sense...maybe you just don't have all the information of maybe it just doesn't make sense - either way don't spend valuable time trying to figure it out.
  • I love meeting new people.
  • If you treat people like friends - that's what they become.
  • The term "Contemporary Service" is as descriptive as "As Soon As Possible (ASAP)".
"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18