Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Squirrels talk

There are these squirrels that live in my house. I do mean IN my house. They (the squirrels) live with the raccoons in the walls, the giant ants, the little ants, the infestation of spiders and the mice that eat our food in the kitchen. I LOVE this house. I might as well leave my front door open and invite bears, stray cat and rabid dogs while we’re making it a party. Oh, did I mention we have mosquitoes too? I just got bit IN my house… Anyway, about the squirrels... I didn’t realize when I moved into my residence that squirrels actually talk. How did I find out that they talked? Back in the fall I was watching a college football game with some other guys and we heard some noises in the ceiling. Realizing it was some animal running around in the ceiling, we did what any self-respecting guy would do, we beat the crap out of the ceiling. Low and behold, we figured out that there were squirrels that had chewed a hole in the side of the house’s insulation and found their way into our ceiling. One day when I was in the backyard I see a squirrel making a beeline for the hole in the side of our house. I run, grab a cup that was sitting on the back porch and chase the squirrel. Yeah, I’m sure it looked stupid but hey I was stopping it from getting in our house temporally… The squirrel changes directions and heads for the roof instead of the hole. Once it was out of my reach, it just sat on the roof and looked at me. Seriously! I hate squirrels. It’s like they purposely stand right out of your reach and ask what you think you’re going to do about it. I take the cup in my hand and throw it at the squirrel. It moves, dodging the cup (I wish he was on my dodge ball team back in school) and then stands on its hind legs and starts cussing me out in squirrel. It was absolutely yelling at me. It wasn’t like a howl, no, it was like a whole bunch of squirrel chatter, I’m telling you that squirrel was painting in profanity like other artists might paint in oils. Seeing that he was mad, I stuck out my chest and flung my arms out. I won the battle, but the war raged on. Another story, another time.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

breaking INTO church

Yes, that’s correct I broke into my church. Most people have come to a place in life where they find church and boring synonyms. If you went to my church you wouldn’t. You might find yourself being at odds with a point of theology (hopefully minor) but you wouldn’t be bored (if you are applying your mind). Ok, let me get to the good stuff. So it was last Monday and I got to the church around 6:20pm to set up for the EMERGE kickoff meeting that was on the next day.

Anyway, I was there and they had the building inside locked up. I could get in the gym no problem but the guy who was suppose to have a key to the rest of the building was on vacation the week prior and the secretaries had messed up and left his key in the staff mailbox which is in the office which was locked up. So the guy who is suppose to have the key along with another big guy and myself decide we’re going to break in the office and grab the key. Let me give a list of attempts and why they didn’t work:

1. First they tried to move the lock off the sliding glass window. This doesn’t work because if it did work they wouldn’t have put a lock on it in the first place! I tried to warn them, but to no avail.

2. Big guy number 1 tries to go through the ceiling in front of the office and drop into the room. This won’t work because he’s over 200lbs. When you’re that big, good luck getting your arms to cooperate. Did I mention that the electric boxes in the ceiling somehow gave him a really good shock when he tried to feel around up there?

3. Big guy number 1 tries to go through the bathroom and drop into the office. Yeah, good luck. We’ve now not only have the same problem as trying this in front of the office but now it smells worse and we’ve moved another 30 feet away, which would make it harder to traverse through the ceiling.

4. Big guy number 1 tries to go in through a side room, but realizes he doesn’t have a key to get in. Yeah, if this worked I would have been impressed too.

5. Big guy number 2 tries picking the lock on the side door with a credit card. I mean it worked in the movies didn’t it? Yeah, it still didn’t work, but a better attempt.

6. I go and get some wire and attempt big guy number 2’s idea with something that wraps around and pulls towards us. Problem: the wire is too flimsy. If we had something stronger I think we would have been in.

7. Big guy number 2 tries to go through the ceiling in front of the office and drop into the room. Once again, he’s also a big guy (well over 200) and doesn’t have the arm strength to pull himself up.

8. Look, I’m not wearing shoes, I came to clean up. So me going through the ceiling seemed like a bad idea. Besides, big guy number 1 found some power cords up there!

9. Back to picking locks we went. A feeble but honest attempt.

So how did we finally get in? Yeah, you guessed it, I gave up on them picking our way to freedom and I went through the ceiling barefoot. I mean when you have a very low body fat ratio and over 6’ you can do this kind of thing. Being an Electrical Engineer actually paid off, I knew which were electrical boxes and what weren’t (and no, being an EE doesn’t help you distinguish what is what, it’s called common sense, a side effect of being an engineer). So I got up into the ceiling, pulled the ceiling tile above the office up and out and then slowly, and I do mean slowly, lowered myself in to the office and onto someone’s desk, barefoot.

I opened the door, we go the key, I put the tile back and we left to prepare the room for EMERGE (that’s the 20s group we host at our church, and it has been going well thanks for asking, yes you should come, that's a great idea). I hope this Monday is a bit easier...

Thursday, June 24, 2004


today i was surprised by what was my fourth celebration of my birthday within the past week. people keep congratulating me on my birthday and loving on me. it is a great feeling. then i talked to my dad on the phone, who is sitting at home with our dog, alone. it's hard to take. i love my dad and here he is all alone in cincinnati. my parents divorced when i was 11. my brother is in his teens and hates everything my dad does. he doesn't have friends. so while people are loving on me right and left, day after day, my dad sits in his basement and stares at the television as countless americans do. alone. the pain i'm sure feels drowning at times. God is his only rock. i continue to pray for him, that God will send other Christians to him that he can have fellowship as we were designed to have, from the beginning. with God and with humans. just read Genesis 2 if you don't believe me. he's not the exception, he's the rule. all across this land. men and women are sitting in their basement alone, watching tv and sufficating in isolation. instead of just giving up, pray. we need to pray. honestly, consistantly and trusting, Christians, brothers and sisters, pray.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Job + the Message

Ok, so Matt had this crazy idea a few days back. He was reading Job in the Message verison. I thought, and keep thinking it is a great idea. Granted, if we are really trying to gleen the full theological implications of Job we should sit down and study it in the NASB, or at least the ESV or if you only have an NIV go for it. Seriously though, it would make for some interersting reading don't you think?

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

It's offical, I'm addicted

I thought I would escape unscathed. I did not. I can't stop reading. It's like junkfood for my soul. Aaron, I blame you.

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving. It makes you sound like a secret agent. Just think about it. (Queue the James Bond music) Add scuba diving to your abilities and you’re on your way to secret agent status. For instance, let’s say you’re a cook. Add scuba diving and you’re a cook who scuba dives? Wait, maybe their not just a cook! Maybe they’re a secret agent! I’ve been thinking a lot about this since one of my roommates decided he would take scuba diving. Now, let’s say you really wanted to sound like a secret agent, take a computer guy for instance. Let’s say you not only took courses like C++ but also added in things like Religion 302 and Philosophy 278 or something, now add scuba diving. Everyone knows something is up. You are no mere nerd! No, you must be a secret agent! Why else would you take such a diverse course load? If you really want to be mistaken for a secret agent, start talking with an English accent and try looking like you are better than everyone else, but don’t forget the golden rule, scuba diving. No mere mortal takes scuba diving. I mean, I think they should offer it in high school or recommend it to incoming freshmen at college. I missed my chance… if only I could go back, I’d take it. then I would be double oh dumples.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Va Beach Pt2

There we were driving west in our car, headed for the beach in Virginia. Ok, so we were really driving east, but Eric you don’t have to always point that stuff out, everyone else seemed to gloss over that detail except you... The four of us were piled into the car, night soon hit and we laid the back seats down in the Jeep so we had a makeshift bed to sleep on. All our food was piled up next to our other supplies. As the night wore on it became increasingly more apparent that being 6’2 was again going to be to my disadvantage as I would have a better chance fitting in a gym locker than in the “sleeping area”. We drove all through the night. As morning light entered the car (somewhere on the 4th or 5th shift of drivers) we could once again see how small the Jeep really was. Nick looked over at me and yelled, “You’re sitting on the bread!” Low and behold, I was indeed sitting on the bread. For being bread, it wasn’t nearly as comfortable as I would expect. Now our “food supply” aka- peanut butter and a loaf of bread was, “compacted”. I had managed to smash the bread to a thickness of about 1”. I assured them that indeed we would be able to make sandwiches; all we had to do was stretch the bread out again! I think it turned out to be my theory was more of a stretch than the bread ever got.

We arrived at Va Beach, it is 6:30 their time and we decide to find our friend who was working on the coast over summer... Right after we play a horribly incoherent game of football (we didn’t sleep much in the Jeep, pretty uncomfortable). Deciding we stink at football, we start asking everyone in the general area if they know our friend. We get a tip and knock on one of three possible doors. No one answers, so we continue to knock and knock and knock. I’m sure the guy behind the door is loving us at this point...

Thursday, June 17, 2004

the Detroit Plunger story

It was spring, spring break that is. Instead of heading south like so many college students do, we headed north, to Detroit inner city. To say it was cold would be an understatement; it was freezing. We (the 40 of us) were all staying in a run-down motel a few miles out of the heart of the city.

One particular night some of the girls in our group approached me and asked if they could talk to me privately. I agreed and we went away from the groups that had formed outside our hotel rooms. One girl whispered in my ear that they had blocked their toilet and needed help unblocking it. An honest request, seeing how they had never done it before, it must have been someone else’s job back home... I walk into their room which is dark (lighting isn’t great in these cheap hotels) and make a bee-line for the bathroom. The bathroom is dark as well, but I’m trying to help them quickly so there’s less embarrassment and I wanted to show them it’s no big deal, a simple task. The plunger is already standing in the toilet.

I grab the top of the plunger, when I say I grab it, I mean the palm of my hand rests on the top of the plunger. I noticed an unfamiliar squishiness in my hand, a wet squishiness that is foreign to me. I think to myself, “hmmm, why would the wooden plunger handle be not only wet, but also squishy?” Nearly instantly the answer comes rocketing to my mind. I release the grip I had put on the handle and slowly turn my hand over as I pull it away. Now stuck to my hand is toilet paper and yes, human poop. I glance over at the handle to see a PILE of paper and poop mixed together sitting squarely on-top of the handle, like a flag at the top of a flagpole.

Silently I walk out of the bathroom and into the dimly (but brighter) room where the girls are sitting on the bed. My palm turned up, showing my new “presents”. The girls instantly roar in laughter and pull the covers over their heads in embarrassment. At this point, I think I’m shaking in utter repulsiveness, mouth open and head moving back and forth in disgust. Words don’t describe, heck, I didn’t even know what I was suppose to think about all this! I walk back into the bathroom and plunge, crap in hand and all. Over and over and over, until I get it fixed. I wiped off my hands with toilet paper, washed them multiple times, cleaned the top of the plunger off and left.

Bottom line: when you volunteer to help plunge a girl’s toilet, remember, they don’t understand the sheer complexity of a plunger so be prepared for any and everything.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

the plumbing works

Well, soon I will be another year older. Yep, 24 years ago Friday I peed all over the doctor. The doctor’s response, “Well, the plumbing works” I mean I guess a lot of animals have peed on me when they were scared, frogs, dogs, I guess cats mostly dig their claws into me…, birds, hamsters, mice (almost a hamster) and myself (hey, I was four!). So Doc, you’re in good company. Here’s to getting old. There was a point when you wanted to get older, I’m not so sure those years are still here… And mom and dad, just think of the valuable lesson I taught you when I did pee my pants, always bring an extra change of clothes for the little ones (young parents take note!).

Monday, June 14, 2004


Anyone ever figure out why we sleep? I mean, it takes a lot of our life-span, but then again would we live as long if we didn't sleep? And why does traveling make us tired?

Blaise Pascal

"all men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end... The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves." ~ Blaise Pascal

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Changes - like the seasons

I figured it was time to post something a bit more serious. Don't worry I'll get back to the VA Beach story soon and all the goofy posts... As many of my readers know, I'm leaving for school in the fall. I'm going to Absury Theological Seminary in Kentucky to study in the Masters of Divinity program. For a long time (years) I've felt God pulling me out of the Engineering field. At first I needed to just surrender it to Him. Being a surrendered Christian (one who has given Lordship of their life to God) is more freeing than a person still trying to control their life could ever know. Becoming a Christian (acknowledging I was sinner in need of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and asking Him to save me from my sins and take control of my life) has brought me lasting joy and peace I know few find. As time went on He placed me in positions that tested my mind, heart and soul. He began to use me to help other people hurting, to encourage people, to build them up in their personal relationship with God. I began to realize my talents went beyond my ability to do Engineering and programming. God would use me to pray for people, to see their lives change, to help encourage my brothers in Christ, to equip other Christians to reach their potential. It is hard to know what the future will hold, God lights the path only so far ahead of where you are. For me, at first I was annoyed that I couldn’t see years and years ahead clearly, now I find myself on a journey, an adventure. Each day challenging, testing and edifying (if I will walk in the power God has given).

In some ways going to seminary is scary, knowing that my lifestyle for at least the next year and probably much longer is going to change. No longer will I be hashing out code, walking down the hall and cracking jokes, trying to wrap my mind around some foreign looking software. I’m going to miss the guys down the hall, my roommate, the jingle when the Cashman walks in, when Adam swings by and does some odd dance, my boss always joking about firing me, the Kentucky jokes, the long hours in a room with no windows singing songs straight out of the 80s. Basically I’m going to miss the people I work with, sure I only see them 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, but I’ve really grown to enjoy their personalities. I enjoy trying my hardest to be a real Christian in the office with everyone. I hope they can see how God changed me; turned me from a kid who was struggling so hard to find happiness. It was always just out of reach; trying to fulfill the American dream, only to find myself feeling hollow somehow. I guess there was a point where I realized the truth that Blaise Pascal so eloquently stated when he discovered it many years before me, "human beings are created with a God-shaped void deep inside them."

See that’s why seminary isn’t scary for me. No, I don’t think it will make me more “spiritual”. You get more in line with God when you get down on your knees and pray more, when you hide His word (Bible) in your heart, when you step out of your comfort zone, when you surrender your life. Seminary is where God has been calling me for quite a while. I’ve seen the signs of it, I’ve asked God to change people’s hearts who I know would have a hard time with it and He has. My dad for instance who I knew wanted nothing more out of life for me than to be an Engineer and find happiness in suburbia. It was my dream too, I mean who doesn’t want to have a nice house, a good wife and a couple little ones running around with a pet dog? I have been given great gifts in math and science. Yet I know that for now God is calling me to work in the church. To bring back things neglected by the changing of time and society. I’m not talking about wearing togas or anything. I’m talking about caring for the cities which church-suburbia has left out. I’m talking about mentoring, wisdom being passed down from old men to younger men, equipping them with the attitude, skills and knowledge they have gained for a lifetime walk with God. I’m talking about helping men remember what is important in life, how a God-centered life encourages your family, draws you into community, requires you to have other guys in your life that really know you, keeps you out of isolation and helps you make hard decisions, all the while loving, providing, leading, protecting and cherishing your wife. Women need to be challenged too, I hope to explore how more in the future.

It is my time to go, to give up my normal life to be equipped with tools to help others be equipped. We can’t all afford the time it takes to spend three/four years solid in a seminary environment. Some of us have families, some of us are taking night classes, some of us have to work 80 hours a week just to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. Some of us need to go learn tools that can help equip others (I’m talking more than a sermon on a Sunday), to help them study the Bible, to help them learn how to sit still and wait on God, to help them be a light in their offices, in their communities, so that every man, woman and child has the opportunity to hear and receive a personal relationship with God. From there, we enjoy God forever and in such He is glorified and rejoices.

If you’ve read this far I’m honestly humbled a bit. Thanks for listening. Please pull me aside and let's talk if you want, I'm game.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004


People talk about getting married a lot when you're my age. Everyone NEEDS to get married. They don't know why exactly, but they NEED to. If you don't have a girlfriend in a few months people start to wonder about you. Give me a break! I spend more time with my computer, typing on the stupid little keys than I spend doing anything else, bar-none. Is this a good thing? I certainly don't know. I think my laptop has to hate me, more than I hate it because I'm constantly pushing and smacking the keys in an almost mindless repetition that makes me look as bad as a rat in a cage pushing the lever for food. How am I going to tie this into getting married you ask? Let me tell you, I'm already married ladies and gentlemen. My wife's name is "IBM T30". And let me tell you boys, I can't keep my hands off her! She sits on my lap at home so long it makes my legs burn, she wears my hands out so much they hurt when I go to bed, I stare at her so hard I think my eyesight is going. She whines when I don't remember to do the things she wants like plugging her in or when I try to leave the house with her (wireless connection goes out). My point is computers have replaced women! I'm not saying I'm all for this, I'm saying I think it is happening. Just think, just like everyone thinks we need to get married, everyone thinks they NEED computers! I'm warning you now, populations of developed countries are way down in our generation! Computers have replaced women! Something must chage.

Monday, June 07, 2004


I was at the store last week and they were having a sale on brats, so I thought, hey a brat is a brat. I bought a pack of Italian Sweet and a pack of Italian Mild. I threw a few on the George Forman, and grabbed some buns. I lathered them up with ketchup and mustard, jut like I like ‘em! One bite and I knew the gig was up. These were no stinking brats, these were some weird meat experiment gone horribly wrong! I knew it then, Kroger had stolen my money and sold me something they probably eat on some tribal island where sheep bladders are delicacies. I guess the real question is do you throw them out or do you keep eating? I kept eating although at two bucks for a package I probably should have thrown them away…. it was not very appetizing. I’m so glad I live in America, land of the American hotdog and hamburger!

Saturday, June 05, 2004

"great" shocks

I went and bought a new bike today (Saturday). I pumped up the tires using this little hand pump (bad call) and proceeded to go on a long bike ride with my little sister. I was highly impressed with the new shocks. We’re riding at a good clip, we see a trail off the bike path and decide to go off-roading. Things seem like they are going fine. My sister just seems like she’s tearing it up. I thought she just got like super athletic comparatively to me, I’m an office jock now.

Then it hits me about mile 3.5 maybe mile 4, my tires seem low. All this time, I’ve been like, “Wow, the shocks on this bike are incredible” I kept peddling pretty hard in a pretty low gear ratio. I’m puffin’. I mean my legs are burning because unlike my sister who’s been coasting at least part of the time on these trails we are taking, I’ve been peddling hard to keep up. I don’t want to let on that I’m in pain or that my tires are flat because I had been bragging about how awesome my bike was at the beginning of the trip. Word of advice, it is best not to brag if you are a Christian. God will make sure that pride is good and zapped out of you quick. I’m sure I deserved it, but man, pride is a horrible thing.

Anyway, so we come to a fork in the road, and secretly I’m hoping that she’ll want to head back to the bike trail so we can make a B-line for the car. I of course wanting to seem like I’m not in complete pain ask her what she wants to do. She of course thinks everything is fine (like I wanted her to) and wants to going and exploring the sweet trails. So we keep going. My legs aren’t getting any less tired.

Now my legs are crying out in pain. I’m thinking, “Great. I should have swallowed my pride and said something. Now you need to just suck it up and be a man.” We keep going on and on, for what seems like years. I’m now wishing that we’ll find some exit to it and I would say that I need to turn around. Luckly about a half a mile later we hit one. She still wants to keep going, so in the moment, I agree to keep going (still acting like nothing is wrong).

Once again I’m kicking myself. How dumb can you be? How many times can you say gloss over the fact that you are can’t keep up the pace? She keeps pulling away and I have to pedal harder and harder. I start to wonder if I am just an out of shape nerd and my tires are fine. I mean maybe the shocks are just that good! Yeah, right. I get a lucky break and there’s a place to turn around up ahead. I’m hoping she’ll want to turn around and I won’t have to say anything. She proceeds to tell a story of how she rollerbladed 14 miles one way on some bike trails the year before. 14 miles one way! That was it. I had to come clean. Kind of.

So I say, “Hey, let’s turn around here and go back”. She doesn’t think anything’s wrong and I’m not looking too bad, we’ve been going for a good distance. As we’re peddling back, I ask her if she thinks my tires look a little flat. She tells me they do look flat and says it must be hard to pedal. That’s all it took, I start making references to how hard it is to pedal from then out back. She consistently gets far ahead of me and then starts backpedaling to keep her balance while I pedal my butt off trying to catch up. Twice I think we’re almost at the car, and have my hopes shot down to find that in fact we’re way far from it. I felt like a kid who has to pee on a roadtrip and parents keep saying, “we’re almost there honey.” We get back to the car and I’m shaking. I was straight up exhausted.

Morals of the story: Don’t be prideful. Don’t buy crappy bike pumps. Don’t take an untested bike on a long trip. My sister is a machine; she's not human.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Va Beach, P1

There we were, four guys sitting around on a friday night in the middle of summer wondering what we were going to do for our friend's bachlor party (one of the four). We didn't have much money and we wanted to do something cool for him because he had been a big jerk to us for so long. So we wanted to really celebrate his departure into death... I mean, marriage.

So we sat around talking about how cool it would be to go to Virginia Beach, where he first met his bride to be. After an hour of going back and forth about how it would be a bad idea, we hopped in a car and left. We had with us, a swimsuit, a change of clothes, a few bucks, a map, a frisbee, a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter (yeah we thought it out so well we brought breakfast, lunch and dinner -aka peanut butter). We piled into my friends 1988 Jeep Cherokee and headed West, it was Friday at 8pm. All of us had just worked and were ready to goof off.


Ties. What are they? What purpose do they serve? And why does everyone think I'm smarter when I put one on? Oh, the questionable nature of our culture! There was a time I'm sure there was a purpose to ties... maybe.

Alright, let me be honest for a minute, I may in fact be a bit biased. You see, I hate ties. Let me share a few reasons why.

i) I am matching impared. So when I put on a tie, I have to stop, look at my pants, look at my shirt, look at my pants again, look at my tie and see if it all matches!

ii) On days when I don't wear a tie, I'm able to get dressed 10 minutes faster. Why? See reason one....

iii) Ties don't clean well. When, and I do mean when I spill something on my tie it means the tie has to get "dry cleaned". Yeah, I tried using the washer once despite the tag saying otherwise, the tag is correct.

iv) Ties cost somewhere in the range of 10 bucks for a decent tie, 20 bucks for a normal tie and some guys are dumb enough to pay 30 or more for a tie! I think I could spend my money better.

v) Ties choke me. I put a tie on, and I'm sufficating. Did you know that ties that are on too tight have been linked as a cause of glaucomas?

vi) I have a nack for losing ties. Yeah, if you had 20 bucks sitting around, do you think you would loose it? I do.

vii) Ties that doctors wear have been linked to spreading disease around to other patients! So ask your doctor to not wear one.

viii) Did I mention that I am matching impared?

Now, I need to be fair to ties. There are some benefits to them.

i) Every girl's crazy about a well dressed man.

ii) Wasn't that enough? Ok, fine. When you're wearing a tie, clients think you're smarter than the guys down the hall who don't.

iii) Lawyers, Doctors, Engineers all wear ties. We got a rep to keep

iv) When I dress bad, it annoys my office-mate. He hates it when I wear my golf tie.

v) Did I mention girls go crazy for well dressed men? They want to know you can provide. A tie is a status symbol that says, "Yes, I can bring home the bacon so you can hang out with the girls while I work." I don't know why girls think working is so great. If I had the choice to not work and do something cool like painting or write music or play football with the guys heck yeah I would! Somehow some guy conned his wife into thinking that work is fun, and that he was "oppressing" her by letting her stay home while he beat his head in at work all day. That man must have really hated his wife.

That's it. Peace.