Friday, July 30, 2004

With very little to do in the office today, I decided to give thought to updating the blog.  With a wedding in Dallas this weekend, I don't know when I would next have an opportunity to do so.  I can warm you now loyal reader, this entry is going to be a hodge-podge of thoughts with no central theme to them, except they're in my head currently.

I have been reading the 9/11 Commission Report, I am a dork- I know this, and so far it is quite interesting.  It delves more deeply into the mindset and policies of US Intelligence pre September eleventh and also gives a very good background on Al Queda.  One conclusion I am coming to in reading the report is that the capture of Bin Laden is only a symbolic goal, but not a requirement for defeating and dismantling that terrorist organization.  It would be a morale boost to the American public, but overall would not seriously disrupt the operation of the organization.

This week has seen the Democratic National Convention in Boston going through the formality of selecting the Kerry/Edwards ticket as their parties nomination for the Presidential election.  The party came out with a very conservative platform, trying to reposition itself more in the center in an attempt to shed the liberal label.  I do not think they will be successful, though most of the American public is dumb and stupid to believe anything because they are too lazy to actually think and form their own opinions.  It is expected that the ticket will receive a nice bounce in the polls coming out of the convention, yet I do not foresee it being as big as many predict.   The canidates offered some ideas, but no substance on how to achieve them and fund them.  I assume taxes will go up to foot the bill for most of them.

The focus on education is central to both parties.  Personally, the responsibility to provide education to the masses is not a Constitutionally granted power of the Federal government.  The more I dwell upon it, the more I begin to opine that such responsibility should rest with the states.  This would eliminate the Department of Education at the Federal level and free up more money that the Federal government could send directly to the states.  In order to insure that standards are in place and fairly equal, perhaps a governing board of state representatives should meet regularly, call is a Continental Congress of Educators.   As for higher education, every student who wishes to go to college has the opportunity to do so.  Granted, it may not be an "Ivy", no matter how over rated they are, but the opportunity is there.  However, I do not agree with the ideas floated about in some realms that every student needs to go to college.  College is not ideal for everyone, I would rather see someone wanting to become a mechanic or a plumber serve as an apprentice in that trade.  I do not see plumbing becoming a major at Harvard anytime soon.  This is no doubt an extreme example, but not every student is cut out for college.  Nor are all students who wish to go prepared emotionally to deal with the college environment fresh out of high school.  The undergraduate education is becoming devalued in society when the marketplace is flooded by job seekers holding them.  It has become the equivalent of a high school diploma a few generations ago.  This lends slight truth to the joke of liberal arts majors who learn the most important sentence to know on their first job, post graduation, is: "Would you like fries with that?"  

My Hokie friend, Ben Vastine, updated his blog recently and mentioned the moving on of friends.  Those who are going on to jobs, marriage, grad schools, internships, mission work, etc.  A link to his blog is over on the right.  I do not want to be repetitive, but he hits the nail square on the head.  It's sad to see them go, but we'll see each other again.  It reminds me of a song from one of my favorite movies, "Hope Floats", a duet by Bob Seger and Martina McBride called "Chances Are" some of the lyrics are: "Chances are you'll find me Somewhere on your road tonight Seems I always end up driving by Ever since I've known you It seems you're on my way....I remember clearly how you looked The night we met I recall your laughter and your smile I remember how you made me Feel so at ease I remember all your grace and your style"
Grace and style can be added to beauty and character.

In a closing note, I saw the "Bourne Supremacy" earlier this week.  Go see it, good movie.  However, something about that movie struck me and has stayed with me.  Here is an action movie, marketed towards adults and teens.  A great story, no over the top special effects and trick gadgets, violence that is not graphic, and very little profanity.... if any (I don't recall there being any that stood out).  It was classic Hollywood.  Studio folk can learn that good movies can still be made without shocking the audience or dazzling them with smoke and mirrors.

Well until next time.. Grace & Peace.


Thursday, July 22, 2004

On the twenty-second day of July, in the year one thousand nine hundred and seventy eight I was born in the City of Warwick in the State of Rhode Island.  Twenty-six years have now passed since that great day.  In honor of this historic day (ok, semi-historic) I present 26 things I fondly recall and 26 things I want to do in life.

26 Things from the Past 26 Years
1.  Auburn Tool & Die vs.  Johnston's Post...My only out of the park homerun.
2. Bill Buckner and Game 6 in 1986
3. Roger Clemens and 20k's vs. Seattle when I was in first grade.
4. Going to the zoo with my Pa and little bro and watching the polar bears.
5. Vacations in New Hampshire in the white mountains in the summer time.
6. "Up mine"...long story
7.  I broke my elbow on the monkey bars.
8.  I almost lost an eye walking into a door going upstairs.
9.  Tagging the corner of the school while playing tag and 16 stiches above my eye.
10. Winning the Rhode Island State Wrestling Championship for the first time on Mom's Birthday.
11. That Jr. High yearbook video...I pray it never sees the light of day.
12. That kid with the pink singlet at the New England Wrestling Championships, whipped us all and taught us a lesson about guys wearing pink..they need to be good to wear it.
13. Inman and Zubeyk
14. Pilgrim Patriot Pride
15. My brother striking out 18 in two straight games in Little League (6 inning games)
16. Ray Black in the parking lot, Thanksgiving 1993.
17. Slick Vic's English Class and Mr. D's History class.
18. 1995, magic returns to Pilgrim football...State Title game...just ran out of time.
19. RPI Intramural Softball SuperEgos and Diamondcutters.
20. Working on a multi-billion dollar project right out of RPI.
21. Big Red Freakouts
22. Taking a chance on grad school.
23. Stepping off a plane in College Station to move here, never seeing it before then.
24. Midnight Yells
25. Fox Nights
26. The great friends I've made along the way.

26 Things I want to Do

1.  See the fields at Gettysburg, Shiloh, Vicksburg.
2.  See the inside of the Alamo.
3.  Meet a great woman, get married and raise a family.
4.  Normandy Beaches.
5.  Great Pyramids.
6.  Stand inside the Coliseum in Rome.
7.  Vacation in Hawaii and see Pearl Harbor.
8.  Visit the remaining states I have not been to.
9.  Visit England, Ireland, and Scotland.
10. Learn to tango.
11. Visit the College Football Hall of Fame and find my name there. (I'm in it)
12. Baseball games in Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium (I know the heart of the enemy)
13. See a Daytona 500 and a race at Bristol.
14. Write a book, doesn't have to be published, just want to see if I could do it.
15. Take a ride in a Cup car.
16. They tell me Greece is nice.
17. Learn to play the guitar fairly well (working on that)
18. Find a nice plot of land and get some cows and a horse or two, just for an excuse to saddle up and ride.
19. World Series game at Fenway Park.
20. Go see the Olympics, a summer and a winter games.
21. Read as much as I can on a wide variety of subjects.
22. Don't try to be a great man, just be a man and let history judge.
23. Run the Boston Marathon.
24. Ride a bull.
25. While I'm at it, this isn't for me, but I'd like to see a man walk on the moon and on Mars in my lifetime.
26. Remember at all times that not matter what I want to do or what plans I make, that the Lord has His own plan for me and were He leads, I shall humbly follow.

So there it is, 26 things I remember, and 26 things I'd like to maybe do.
Here's to another year older, another year wiser, and another year of this wonderful life that God has blessed me with.



Monday, July 19, 2004

Welcome back faithful readers.  I feel compelled to use this blog to congratulate the newlywed Mr. and Mrs. Reid Sabin and the newly wed Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Brunone.  The Sabin wedding was Saturday and I was unable to attend due to travel logistics having attended the Brunone wedding on Friday.  Congratulations to both couples.
I do not believe that words can do justice to the celebration that was had in Dallas to celebrate Andrew and Jamison's union.  Yes it was hot and muggy and everyone was a sweaty mess, but it was enjoyable.  I met some new people who some of my other friends know through RUF, apparently many of them had left A&M before I got here and before I was introduced to RUF.  It was also great to welcome back stateside everyone's favorite redhead, Lesley, returned from Australia and spent the weekend hanging and chillin in Dallas and College Station, welcome home kiddo.  We all pray for her as she searches for a job.
Everyone's travels saw them safely to Dallas and back to College Station.  In the coming days those who must travel more will filter out, but they'll be back.  I truly do enjoy the time I get to spend with my friends, so few are the times that we get to all hang out together.  It was really an early birthday present, because I have said before many times, I love my friends.  I have been truly blessed to have such wonderful folks in my life.
Anyway, today was a great first.  A movie marathon thrown out there old school style with the Muppets.  Viewed were "The Muppet Movie", "The Great Muppet Caper", and "The Muppets Take Manhattan".  Walking down memory lane and laughing all the way and nothing was put in anyone pants.  So much fun, thanks to everyone who came over and made it fun.
Well, I've gotten little sleep the past few days, so I am off to sleep.  Ciao!

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

So I just watched the Triple-A All Star Game between the Pacific Coast League and the International League, the game was played at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. I can not put into words how nice it was to watch a game from my old stomping grounds. I miss the cool summer nights sitting in the stands at the "field where dreams begin" with a hot dog or a doughboy and a Del's Lemonade. My hat's off to Ben Mondor and the whole organization for the game and a first class on field presentation. Major League Beaseball could learn something from the smallest city in Triple-A baseball.

And Now:

For What It's Worth

Roger Clemens got shelled in the All Star game, but on two days rest he came and pitched in front of the home crowd, class act.

The homerun derby was fun to watch once upon a time, now it is just boring.

Nomar to the Cubs? Say it ain't so!

The Big Unit to Boston...he brings the heat but not much else.

2001 Pepsi 400, who can forget it...I've got a piece of tire from the 8 car hanging on my wall now. Too sweet!

4 Day weekend this weekend, I'll need the last three to recover from Friday night.

Congrats to the future Mr. and Mrs. Brunone.

And Congrats to the future Mr. and Mrs. Sabin.

I wish I could make both, but I can't.

I always wanted to learn how to play the acoustic guitar, now is as good a time as any. So a few nights a week, I'm just here a pickin and learning chords.

Work is more fun when there is work to do.

Yet, it is the Homer in all of us who loves doing nothing.

After a recent conversation, a Muppet movie bonanza is in the works: The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, and the Muppets Take Manhattan.

That's not a bear, bear's wear hats.

Speaking of Bears, Senator Dikta has a nice ring to it.

1 week till July 22...the 26th Anniversary of my birth. The world still doesn't know what hit it.

That's all I got. See ya Next Time!

Gonzo: I'm going to Bombay to break into show business.

Fozzie Bear: You don't go to Bombay to break into show business. You go to Hollywood.

Gonzo: Oh, sure, if you want to do it the EASY way.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Well, howdy dear readers. This is a first for this here blog, I am writing this at 8:30ish in the evening central time, from the computer in work. We have a deadline that needs meeting and I'm one of the lucky few who will be spending the night scanning documents. However that is quite boring and there is nothing there worth talking about.

As I sit here, I am listening to some Johnny Cash. I love the man's music!

Well wedding bells are fast approaching for many friends of mine over the next two months. I am so excited and happy for all of them. The Lord has brought these couples together and may He bless their lives together. It is such a great and awesome thing, Lord willing someday I shall also take that step.

All the talk in my circle of friends about weddings tends to get my mind thinking about a few things and I would like to just take a little bit to share some of my thoughts.

As Christians, we are called to be equally yoked to our spouse. Being from the northeast, I heard a lot of people who did not care if their spouse shared the same beliefs as they did. Now I will not say that an unequally yoked marriage is not one that could be successful or become equally yoked in the future, however, I can see many problems that may arise. Having a God centered relationship and sharing the same faith in the Lord enables a couple to have a strong foundation to begin the work of building their family. Yes, work. Everyday marriage must be worked on, never taking each other for granted and learning the ability to effectively communicate. Someone once told me that it is best to see the sunrise than to go sleep angry at your spouse. Thinking about it, there is no reason to go to bed angry, sure there will be times of argument and disagreement, but nothing that can't be worked through if each doesn't allow personal pride to get in the way.

Another thing that gets me thinking is the idea that the husband is the spiritual leader of the household. Heck, this is a HUGE responsibility. Now I don't know about other guys, but I have trouble remebering to match my socks in the morning. To me it's both exciting and nerve racking to think about. If a couple is blessed with children, then raising them up properly becomes an even greater task. Because what if even with all the teaching you give them about the Lord, they turn away and reject the faith you try to bring them to? Does that mean you've failed as a parent? It questions like that go through my mind. I don't want to sound negative, I actually look forward to the task and pray that the Lord will grant wisdom I need when that day comes.

The last thought I want to hit on is the concept of loving one's wife as Christ loves the church. This is probably the greatest thing I can think of, to love one's wife to the point where you'd be willing to readily sacrifice your own life for her well being. The supreme sacrifice of our Savior played out in marriage. It's just an amazing thought to love someone so much that your life is forfeit for them.

Nothing to deep tonight, just some thoughts. I hope they make sense, if not hit me up and tell me if you don't get something, I'll clear it up later.

Well back to work, that thousand page document is done...NEXT!

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Happy Fourth of July!

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Freedom is not free, it comes with cost, responsibility, and duty to others. Remember this while celebrating our nations birth. Remember those who have come before and sacrificed so that we may enjoy country that we live in. Thank God for allowing us to live in country where we can worship and glorify Him without fear of persecution and death.