Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday was a glorious day around here. The sun was out and the temperature was absolutely perfect. I was excited to get outside.

Around 11:45 I met the
most beautiful woman in the world, my wife, downtown at Jax New Orleans Bistro for lunch. Jax is an interesting place in that they have two locations. One for regular days and one for special nights and so on. I don't understand it, but I guess it doesn't matter. Whatever their business strategy, their food strategy is killer. Lip smacking good, with a New Orleans, Jazz band / Cajun like flair.

Anyway my honey and I arrived at the same time and were seated. Obviously we just beat the lunch rush, because we were the only customers there. But by the time our food arrived the place was filling up. Jax gives a birthday discount during the month of your special day with a percentage off equal to your age. So I was grinning at the deal I was about to receive. I guess that is ONE advantage of advancing time. Warning : If you comment that before long, they will be paying me to eat there, I will hunt you down and thrash you with a leftover 'scetti noodle.

I ordered a Cajun style bacon burger with blue cheese crumbles. With a pasta salad instead of fries. Oh my my ... I am at a loss for words. Kristie had the Jax house special burger. The thing were so big that around half of each came home in a to-go box. It was a great meal. Plus as I said, it was made extra special, dining with my lovely wife.

Before lunch I had only two stops. Pop in at the Post Office to pick-up my mail and send a package of forms off. And most importantly, stopping at Best Buy to get my copy of the three disc collectors edition of the latest James Bond dvd, "Quantum of Solice"

It's Pretty easy to figure out how I spent my evening.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Can anyone guess what comes out on video tomorrow?

The store opens at 10.

A copy should be in my hot little hands by 10:02.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I have grown rather slack with the blog lately. I could make various excuses like I've been more involved in the day to day remodeling of my parents home, and managing the affairs of my father are taking a lot of time. It's tax time of year, for him and for me. Dealing on behalf of dad with the military retirement system, social security, the medicare system and the VA
( Veterans Administration) and the other various agencies is exhausting. They all have confusing, and confounding rules with plenty of hoops to jump through. Then there is an almost over whelming project for work. Yeah my well oiled personal system has seen too many recent changes. I could continue to list maybe 1000 great excuses. But the real truth is I have become sorta lazy about writing. Also I am afflicted with that silly social media disease Twitter. I have plenty of things to say. My notebook has 20 pages of blog ideas ready to go and there are maybe 75% finished blogs saved to my blog draft file. One massive catch-up posting a week doesn't cut it for me so I will try to do better.
Lately have been traveling back and forth "across the river" to Georgia as my father-in-law puts it. A lot! That involves driving along the shore line of Lake Hartwell and crossing the bridge next to the dam. I have noticed a big change in water levels over the last three weeks. Just a couple months ago our lake resembled a pitiful little pond. My friend Jane posted some photos on her blog that showed the situation near her home very well. From the plane flying over the lake makes the big picture clear, and truly showed how bad the situation had gotten. Not only were people with lake side homes suffering, but most related industries have really seen hard times. Many many ramps have been closed and most docks sit high and dry.

The recent rains ( and snow ) along with a major change in the Corp of Engineers lake management policy has quickly made a big, noticeable difference in the lake level. And Lake Hartwell is a big lake, with over 960 miles of shoreline. Just two months ago the lake level sign near the dam was more than 10 feet out of the water. Yesterday afternoon not only was the sign back in water but it lacked only a foot or so until the part with the level markings get wet again. That still leaves our beautiful lake about 11 feet below full pool. We've a long way to go, but it's a start

Monday, March 16, 2009

Wow another busy weekend for us again starting on Thursday morning, early !

I was up around 4 O'clock too excited to sleep any more. My church hosted Unleash conference and I was up and ready to go. As a volunteer I reported at 6:15 and had a day filled with uplifting and moving experiences. NewSpring had more than 3000 guests attending from all over the globe and as I found out later 900 more joined in via the web cast. I think the 525 or so volunteers would all agree we had more fun than anyone else. And as I have stated every year. We had our batteries recharged too.

As soon as the conference wrapped up I headed off to Georgia. It was a sad time as well as a time for rejoicing. Kristie's great Aunt who was in good health and very active at 80 suddenly passed away, or as we all prefer to say was promoted. So while we were sad and will miss Geneva, we are happy at the same time.

Our Friday was spent with the family and attending the funeral. Kristie and her brother played and sang, doing a fantastic job. Geneva left a legacy behind and the pastor challenged us all to step-up and fill the same roll in our families. Yes there was an alter call at the services. Geneva was famous for her love, caring and her cooking. She even ran her own catering business for several years. I've noticed several great cooks have gone on lately. Could it be be that God is preparing the marriage supper for his church?

Friday night one of my friends celebrated a milestone birthday. I'll not say which milestone, but if he were a dog he'd be nearly 3 centuries old. We had a surprise party for him at A.U. in the Sullivan building. I remember just a short time ago when NewSpring held our services there. We've seen a lot of lives changed in the short time since then. We had a great time and more cake than I have ever seen. Happy Birthday Patrick

I spent a while with dad on Saturday. Moving him to the Brown center was a great decision. Dad was awake and alert and we enjoyed some good conversations. He has his good and bad days, but has been on the upswing for longer this time. A prayer answered.

Saturday night was spent with Kristie's family. Her brother Richard was down for the funeral Friday and chose to stay for the weekend. We don't get to see him a lot so we enjoyed our time together. Richard is a hardcore Tar-Heel fan, so basketball was on in the background the entire visit. I forgive him for his poorly masked glee at Clemson's loss.

Sunday was a volunteer day for me still training as an engineer. I wonder will I ever catch to the technology God lets us use to reach the world? Sunday night was one of our best homegroup nights ever. And trust me, Kristie had nothing to do with it. The lesson was just perfect, and connected to all of us and the events of our past week. Everyone seemed to be so involved in the discussion. And it goes without saying the food was yummy. Thanks for hosting John and Sue.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It was another great weekend. Thursday was my sister’s birthday. We burned the phone line half the evening. I wish she was next door some times

I spent the rest of the night at my in-laws house. June is a true world class cook and nothing is better for a birthday celebration than one of her special meals. Unless maybe it is her deep pan coconut cake.

On Friday my bride and I spent a wonderful night together without any agenda. Kristie once again reminded me what an amazing cook she is whipping up a meal fit for a king and doing it from scratch in just 30 minutes. After we ate we spent the evening watching my birthday dvd. A video of Curious George cartoons. Yes I love the “World’s Most Curious Monkey”. It was a great evening, cartoons and quiet time, talking and celebrating my upcoming birthday a day early.

Saturday morning my bride woke me with the admonishment to be patient, breakfast would be worth the wait. So I grabbed a cookie and a cup of coffee, sit myself down in the living room. In less than the time it takes for a one Curious George cartoon she was calling me to the table. She had whipped up a big baked scrambled egg omelet casserole deal.

Later that afternoon she surprised me with a delicious fruit pizza. And that evening we met friends for some greasy burgers at a local hole in the wall type café.

After that we headed across town to Concord Baptist Church to hear the CCM group Big Daddy Weave. The concert was a part of a several day crusade which featured nationally know author, speaker Josh McDowell. Big Daddy did a great show and truly set the stage. Josh then delivered one of the most unique messages I have ever heard. Quiet a few teenagers went forward at the end.

What a great way to celebrate my birthday.

We had a great time.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

I have never blogged a recipe before, but several people asked so here is my wife's lip smacking, finger licking Fruit Pizza

Fruit Pizza

Press out on a greased pizza pan: 1 roll of Sugar Cookies
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes
let crust cool.

Mix well & spread on the cool crust :
1 - 8oz pack cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Slice different kinds of fruit ( to taste ) and place on crust. ( we use grapes, peaches, strawberries, kiwi, Mandarin oranges, cherries, bananas*.) Both fresh and canned work well.

Mix : 1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 tb sp cornstarch ( or flour )
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Cook until mixture thickens
Let cool & spoon over fruit

Refrigerate until serving.

* bananas tend to darken quickly, so we usually add these just before serving.
I just got word that my friend and business partner was admitted to the hospital last night. He had a blood clot in his leg and it has broken loose and traveled to his lungs. He is stable for now.

I am working all day here at the church but will go by first thing in the morning to visit and get an update. He is a young, strong, healthy man but has had some health issues relating to an injury recently. And it been a tough year of recovery. Please remember him in your prayers.
God has an answering service. At least in Amsterdam anyway.

A local artist Johan van der Dong has set up a local telephone number in the Netherlands,
where he urges people to leave messages for God on his answering machine.

Van der Dong says he is encouraging people to pause. "Like praying, leaving a voicemail message is a way to organize your thoughts," he said.

The phone number will become active on March 7th Callers dialing 316-4424-4901

This is an interesting idea from the worlds point of view I guess. But I am proud to remind you it is not that hard. God can hear you where ever you are. Talking with him is free and easy. You just do it. You don't need a phone, a radio, or anyone to connect you. Best of all there is no waiting and you'll never get a busy signal. Just talk to God, he will hear you. And he will understand.

Phi 1:19 Rom_8:26;

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Hello Americans... Stand by for news

I was saddened to read that Paul Harvey had passed away. He was 90 years old. Just couple days ago I heard his voice doing a commercial and thought to myself he did not sound good.

I started listening to Paul Harvey every day way back in the middle seventies. I worked in a music store those days while finishing up school. I made it a point to stop each weekday at 12:35 gather my co-workers and tune him in. If we had customers in the store that required our attention we'd pop in a cassette tape. To me Paul was the lone voice of reason on the airwaves. Funny how so many things change yet stay the same. I don't get to hear Paul Harvey ( or more recently one of his guest hosts ) every day, but I still tune to his midday show more than half the time. And Paul was still one of the few voices of common sense and values on the air.

Paul Harvey had been on the radio with his own show for over 50 years attracting millions of listeners. He was still extremely popular. Just a few years ago the network re-signed him to a ten year $100 million contract.

I am going to miss hearing Paul Harvey. There is good news in that it appears his son Paul Harvey Jr. will be continuing the family tradition. He too is a seasoned veteran, substituting for his dad for years filling in several times a week. Paul Junior has also been writing the stories so loved by the audience for more than 30 years now. I think he'll be a worthy heir to the mic.

So every time I am able, you can rest assured I'll be tuning in around midday to hear " the rest of the story ".

Thank you Paul Harvey for so many great memories.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Did Monday see especially tense to you?

While we were blissfully playing in the snow we came within a cosmic gnats breath of being squished by a giant rock. Mashed flat, totally unaware. SPLAT !!

Monday morning an asteroid about the size of 10-story building came speeding past the earth. According to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory the Asteroid named only "2009 DD45" came within 48,000 miles of hitting earth. That may sound like a huge distance until you remember that's less than one-fifth of the distance to the moon.

You think that sounds like an unlikely science fiction story. Well it's happened before. In June 1908 an asteroid roughly the same size ( about 150 feet in diameter ) exploded over Tunguska, Siberia. That blast was estimated to have been about 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb over Hiroshima. It destroyed over 800 square miles of forest and kicked a massive dust cloud into the air.

But don't worry it missed. However scientist predict it will pass even closer next time it flies by. They also insist their was no real danger. Hmmmm !

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Chicken Truck, Chicken Truck, behind it I'm stuck Chicken Truck, Chicken Truck, ain't it just my luck Chicken Truck on Highway 29 Well I got behind a chicken truck from Georgia And the feathers were a fallin' like snow out of the sky Chicken Truck on Highway 29
- John Anderson

That's was the way I felt this morning. Trapped on the highway by a slow moving snow storm of feathers. That's a regular thing in North East Georgia the unofficial chicken capital of the world. Anyway I finally got around him passing quickly only to again be slowed a moment later by a logging truck. Never get hurry around here, because that's a sure fire way to bring out the chicken trucks, logging trucks, farm equipment and other slow moving things to block your progress.

Dad Update : It's been a long while since I updated on my fathers condition. Mainly because in the big picture not much has changed. We got dad moved closer to home and a major benefit is that he gets a lot of visitors. One of the nurses told me he is in the top 5 in visits. That is a great thing. Dad is feeling pretty good and is alert much of the day. It was night and day different a couple weeks ago but the doctor attributed that to dad having a rather nasty chest cold which caused him to sleep most of the time. Today he was laughing and acting like he felt good. That warms my heart. Thank you all for your continuing prayers.

Snow is about gone now. But we still have some on the back side of my house. They say if it stays on the ground three days you'll get more. Today is the third day. ( or forth depending on how you count ) I doubt it'll last much longer. The forecast is for 78 degrees this afternoon. It was 14 degrees and windy just 36 hours ago, 64 degrees in 36 hours. No wonder my sinus' are buggin' me.

Happy Birthday SIS
Just remember I was here first

Monday, March 02, 2009

I woke early Sunday morning. Working as an production engineer at NewSpring means arriving before sunrise at around 6:30 am. When I got out of the sack it was raining, HARD . We even had a clap or two of thunder. So the forecast of snow seemed to be a bit off the mark once again.

All through set-up, run through and the first service we could hear the rains hitting the building hard. And the production rooms are deep within the building so I knew it was truly coming down in buckets. The rain seemed to slack-off during the 11:00 am (second) service but since our audio and video production control rooms are far from windows I had no real idea what was going on outside. Imagine my surprise when I headed out for my lunch break and found it much colder than pre-dawn and it was sleeting.

After getting home and having a nice HOT lunch I switched on the TV to catch the weather. Snow was falling just south of here and heading our way. Three times this year I've seen flurries but nothing that sticks. Today however would be a different story. At my house it started around 4 pm with those, as Forest Gump would say, "Big Fat Snowflakes" They fell through out the late afternoon and most of the evening, the final tally was somewhere around three inches in my yard.

Naturally in South Carolina this is a paralyzing event. Everyone ran to the store to snatch supplies of milk and bread, and of course all the good ole' boyz jumped in their 4 x 4 pickups after loading cement blocks and chains in the back and headed out to patrol the roads and demonstrate the latest technique for laying the perfect donuts in the snow.

Our lights flickered off a time or two but Kristie and I were lucky. We had heat all night. Around 15000 in our area didn't, and some are expected to remain out until later this week.

Excuse me I need to go now. I have an old cardboard box in my garage, the hills are covered and times-a-wasting.

See ya