Sunday, September 24, 2006

Where oh where has this week gone. Here it is Sunday again, phew, how time flies when one is having more fun that one should be having. I've got to say, there have been some highlites to the week. I have finished and am now proofreading my PE exam application. I hope to get all my references lined up this week, all my transcrpt requests out to RPI and A&M, and to have accounting get my application fee check settled. Additionally, I hope to convince my boss to allow me to purchase new exam study aides as some of the books we have a few editions older and filled with the notations of various previous employees. I like my own notes in my own chicken scratch and shorthand, well because I understand what I mean. Pray this all goes well this week, once it's all in then the real fun begins...studying for the exam in April.

Sunday night I traveled to Spring to go see a friend of mine and her band play at this place off of I-45. Not a large crowd and they started late, well on time for them, just late according to the time their drummer had passed on to me, only by an hour. After that show, I was talking with my friend and she mentioned that on the road the guys in the band are sometimes asked to sign boobs and she is never asked to sign body parts. Don't mention such things in front of me, because I'll call you on them as I called her. Hence I woke up Monday on 4 hours of sleep with her autograph on my upper, right pectoral region. Saw the same friend down the road in Brenham on Thursday night at the Washington County Fair where she was opening for Jack Ingram. I ended up working "merch" for her show because she hadn't lined anyone up. After her set and before Jack came on she came out and mingled with the crowd and signed CD's and hat's and posed for pictures. I manned the table solo for the first few songs of Jack's set and then packed up as instructed. Then took up the invitation to go hang with my friend and her band backstage. So I did that and we watched Jack's show from the wings sitting on coolers of complimentary beer (ok it was light, piss beer, but it was free, so I lowered my standards and you know...free beer tastes good, even if it's shit beer). Then saw my friend and her band off to Mexico where they were driving to for a show Friday or possibly Saturday. Good times though. Pray she get's a break soon, she's right on the cusp and if she get's a break....look out world!

I spent Monday interviewing possible interns with some of my coworkers. It's an added responsibility to take on, but one that works well for me. I continue to realize what a unique position I am in being the youngest engineer in the office. I am reminded of it by my coworkers regularly. I can relate to the students but can also see where their strengths and weaknesses may be based on course work. Things have changed a bit since some of them were in school. We reached our decisions and hopefully the new interns will be on board in early October.

Friday morning I had to arrange a least minute meeting with an outside agency that impacts some two projects I have in the pipeline. Meeting went well and having kept one ace in the hole for almost a year really paid off for me. I can't talk specifics here, contractual stuff, but we're saving some money that we can try to use elsewhere to really make this little item something special.

And today, I went to Kyle Field and saw the Ags beat the hell outta La.-Tech 45-15. The 6 pm kickoff was delayed for 2 hours because of lightning. I waited it out under the third deck of the zone watching the storm roll through from the north and northwest. I am glad I grabbed my heavy duty, construction rain coat. It allowed the bat guano that was washed down on me to not end up on my head and neck.

I also got to play hockey twice this week. Good times! No goals, but a few assists, which I take more joy in than scoring anyway.

So, yeah. It's been a really good week. Filled with fun and good times both at work and outside work. A complete week I must say, not to mention some stuff I've gotten involved in at Church.
It's been busy, it's been fun, it's been quite frankly a great week, one of the best I've had in a long time. Just so filled with joy and contentment, it's hard to explain, but then I don't know the mind of God, so to Him goes all the thanks. Time to shower and go to bed....with the dawn will start a new week with new events and new challeges and I want to meet them well rested and ready to take them on. Good night all! And I'm not spell checking this...sorry. I'm an engineer, not and english major.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

It is all over the news, so there is no reason to restate the reactions to Pope Benedict XVI's amongst vocal Muslims around the world in response to one quote. I find it very, very sad that passions have been inflamed via a selective reading of the address made in Germany. Specificly the quote in question is this:

According to the experts, this is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur'an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the "Book" and the "infidels", he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness, a brusqueness which leaves us astounded, on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached". The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. "God", he says, "is not pleased by blood - and not acting reasonably (σὺν λόγω) is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death...".
The violent reaction goes right to the heart of what Pope Benedict XVI is trying to get at, that violence is the antithesis of faith in God from whom comes faith and the ability to reason and preach His word in a manner those who do not know may understand it. If you would like to read the entire address click here.
Now I read and here a lot of people in their anger at this reaction lash out as the Islamic protestors, wanting reprisals. As Christians, we do have ability to defend ourselves from harm, but to return this evil with evil is not defensible, and so far I do not see or read of reprisals, just words of it. As Christians we must remember that we have taken up our cross with Christ and will suffer in this lifetime. And our response must be that of Christ while He suffered.
"Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."
Despite the anger, despite the outrage we may feel, we still must forgive those who would wish
to harm us.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My apologies dear readers for a lack of updates, I currently have many demands on my time and have not been able to break away for some thoughts to share with you, but oh the thoughts that I would like to share with you....perhaps as things settle down I will have time to give them their due here. In the meantime, fret not, I can pull these little gems up from time to time:



Inevitably for a Christian at all reflective about her or his own life there comes the realization that through some pain, some suffering, some agony of my life I know what it means to share the cross of Christ. It might be through something the Lord did not go through like cancer or the loss of family members in an accident. Or it might be through something very much like His suffering: being misunderstood, persecuted, falsely accused, harassed by someone or some group. Psalms which complain of enemies out to destroy the psalmist become painfully comprehensible, no longer references to some remote and unimaginable situation. The first kind of suffering, from disease or catastrophe, leaves us pretty innocent. The other type, more like Christ's, might, on closer analysis, be more like the crucified thief's crucifixion. As he says to the other one crucified with Jesus, "We actually deserve some punishment; this man has done nothing" (Luke 23:41). If we have earned the enmity and opposition of others there might easily be some flaw in us that precipitated it, that, at least partially, accounts for it. The fact that our cross might be somewhat self-induced only adds to the anguish and pain. Villains and good guys are not cleanly distinguished. Identifying with the cross might mean, among many other things, simply accepting more of the ambiguity and messiness of human life. The villain and the hero both live within us.
-- Don Talafous OSB