March 31, 2006


"out" marches March, "in" rains April -

After a weekend away, this has been an exhausting week. But it is now Friday, the last day of March 2006.

In today's Bible devotional that I receive each day in series via email, (see here) , I was reminded that "Life is short, ... " and we should think: "Don't spend time; invest it."

I am thankful for the faith God's given me. With the way time 'marches on' and with all the challenges & surprises life has to offer day-by-day, it would be tempting to just fall into a discouraged attitude. But this is life today and this life today is short. The hope I've received from God is for the next life, a life of His glory, a life long lasting - eternal! This hope allows me to 'march' each day for His calling, for His glory. A "know-so hope", not a "hope-so hope", that when I trust Him, He will see me through the day and I can enjoy the blessings today of 'resting' in Him.

Time marches on and I am investing in the future by trusting God to lead me each and every day.

March 27, 2006


"Thank You!"

I am home again after a great weekend and good travels to & from GW12!

A very heartfelt "Thank You!" is offered to my good friends.
I truly enjoyed my 'get away' and chance to reminisce our 'ol times.

And I especially liked winning a few games! Thanks!

GW12: The planning is complete!
GW13: The planning begins .....

March 25, 2006


AMAZING! 3 FOR 3 !!!!!

"Cosmic Encounter" final results:

1.T StoneHands (5)
1.T K.R. (5)
3. D.H. (4)
4.T D.K. (3)
4.T L.G. (3)
6. R.H. (1)

(Will good fortune remain in my favor? Sure! Why not?!!!)


2 for 2 on Day 3!!!!!

"Acquire" final results:

1. StoneHands ($33,300.00)
2. D.K. ($31,800.00)
3. D.H. ($30,000.00)
4. L.G. ($28,600.00)
5. R.H. ($26,500.00)
6. K.R. ($24,800.00)

(I am on a roll!!!!!)



"Air Baron" final results:

1. StoneHands (321)
2. D.H. (223)
3. R.H. (151)
4. L.G. (109)
5. D.K. (42)
6. K.R. (0)

(Victory is ssswwweeeett!!!)


GW12 Update:

Well it is Saturday morning, day 3 of our annual "Gaming Weekend".
A quick update -

I have had the great pleasure of meeting 'ol friends, sharing memories in (fairly) accurate detail (though there has been some disagreement about either Andrew and/or Stonewall Jackson and "The Perfect Storm" - don't see the connection? neither did I but it is very humorous once fully explained; maybe I'll attempt to do so at a later blog but not here - but trust me, to be at GW12 and hear the explanation is worth every belly roll [sorry LG & RK: no offense intended with the "belly roll" description]) , eating numerous snack foods (both in variety and in quantity, including the "infamous" preztel rods; though my lips have been toughened-up by pre-GW "PR Training", I am experiencing some discomfort and light bleeding by the habitual activity of passing the heavily salted delight over my lips on a frequent basis while gaming over the last 36 or so hours) and learning new board games as 'the rookie'.

I have succeeded in not being in last place 3 times!!!!! (Well, 2 technically - LG was at work yesterday and he finished last by default and I came in 5th out of the 6 total GWers.) And I've even acheived 4th - twice!!!

Today is a fresh start and me thinks it is time I made my run: do I sense a 3rd or even a 2nd in my near future?! (I would boost of my confidence for my many 1st places yet to be this weekend but I shall remain quiet on the matter for now.)

Stay tuned!

March 22, 2006


GW12's first Official Protest logged -

I've been railroaded! Seems that being given the tag "rookie" has left me little recourse but to accept my fate at this weekend's event to be drug through the likes of the infamous Mississippi mud, trod upon as an entrance mat at Grand Central station and looked down at as if from the heights of the Sears Tower!

According to the "Official Rule Book", the (self appointed) Commissioner (LG) has stated that the "rookie" status qualifies me above all other GWers to provide the "Official Opening Ceremony Drink" even though there was another GWer who's turn it is to do so (DK) and yet another who volunteered (KR) a clear 20 minutes prior to me being "volunteered"!

Therein lies my protest: how can one GWer "volunteer" another GWer, "rookie" status or not!? (I have yet to even see this so called 'rule book'!) Something stinks in Denmark and it ain't the fish! We'll settle this tomorrow as GW12 will commence at approximately 5:00 PM EST in "Sunny Caledonia". Surely a vote by the other GWers (RH & DH) is required, right? Be there!

Still planning ..... under protest!

March 21, 2006



Has a warm sound to it, doesn't it?

March 20, 2006


My early years of training for "Gaming Weekend"s

While I often was able to outwit my competition with superior intellect, it didn't hurt that I was very athletic as well.

A healthy body is a healthy mind!
Beware fellow gamers!!!

Still planning .....


A good weekend; now a short work week, then ...

... "Gaming Weekend 12"!

The annual event, a reunion of old high school chums to talk about 'ol times, play some (many!) board games, catch-up on current events and generally just be a kid again, will begin Thursday, March 23, 2006, in the afternoon and conclude Sunday, March 26, 2006 by around noon.

Good friends, good times.
I can't wait to beat their socks off!

Still planning ...

March 17, 2006


'tis Friday ...

... and time to review the To Do list for what I didn't get done, what was kinda done, & what just doesn't seem to be a priority any more. (I wonder why no one has asked about the tool fixture for the PVC project that was to be completed last May ... ?). Then I'll "shuffle the deck", set 'em on my desk and review it again Monday morning.

Now don't think I didn't get anything done this week. Oh, no! I accomplished A LOT!!! It's just that none of it was really on my To Do list. What did I do, you ask? Don't ask. I was SOOOOO busy, I can't even remember what all I did! 'Nuff said, OK? 'Tis Friday & the weekend starts at noon, (remember ... ?).

Have a good evening & I'll catch you in the AM.

By the way, only 6 days 'til the opening ceremonies of GW12!
Still planning ...

March 16, 2006


this has been a good day

Just a quick note to express gratitude for another good day.
Having a sense of accomplishment.

Thank You, Lord.
Good night.

March 15, 2006


email addresses, websites & "friends"

Have you ever sent an email to someone and not received a response? Have you ever sent several emails to someone and not received a response? Did you think the recipient was intentionally ignoring you for some reason, maybe something you did (or didn't do!?)? Did you wonder if you had the right email address? Did you try to verify the address by checking emails from common "friends" to see what email address they used to make contact? Did you ask the common "friends" what the correct address is and be given a new one to use because 'this one is more current'? Did you use the new address? Did you use the new address for a couple of weeks and still not get any response from the recipient? Did you then really start to wonder if the person was upset at you, or thinking you're messages weren't worthy of a response? Did you again ask one of the common "friends" to check the address and let you know what really is the correct, most current email address for the recipient? Did you wonder if the "friends" really cared about whether you could contact them or the recipient? Did your "friend" give you maybe yet another email address to try? And perhaps also tell you a way to double-check the address(es) by going to the recipient's website and 'see for yourself'?

Well I did all of the above!
And I still am not sure of the addresses, the website or the "friends"!!!

This is what the website states:
Please visit this site later. It is currently under construction.
copyright @2006

And these are the "friends" I'm planning to spend a weekend together to talk about old times and "enjoy" some comradeship in the competition of some (many!) boardgames?! (Note: I think the seeds for this annual reunion where planted with some marathon Monopoly games right after high school during our first few years of college, in which, of course, I excelled at dominating the competition!). We may also play some hoops ("21" & H-O-R-S-E) and maybe go bowling or even try Wallyball (don't ask)! I thinks it's been over 5 years since I've seen these "friends" and for whatever reason (or excuse, depending on who you ask) I haven't been able to make it to the previous 11 "Gaming Weekend(s)", as the event is named, or "GW" for short.

But now GW12 awaits only 8 days away!
After weeks of preparation, much jibber jabber via email & internet (to most of the planned attendees!) and saving the pennies for gas money to drive to the host's house (I plan to take up a collection after I get there to be able to buy gas for the trip home; after I win over & over again, I figured they'll gladly donate just to see me go!),
I still haven't heard back from all of the invited "friends"!!!

And I'm not sure if some "friends" want me to hear from everyone else!

Well if I don't hear from everyone, I will be heard by everyone when the gaming begins!

To the Victor go the spoils!!!!!

Still planning .....

March 14, 2006



As necessary as some means of transportation is to daily life, it sure can be easy to take it for granted until something goes wrong. For me, the trusty 'ol Ford Aerostar ('94 edition) seems to be giving me indications that it is getting tired. Now having only 195,000+ miles on the odometer certainly shouldn't be cause for alarm; unless the "recommended maintenance" has been, uh, overlooked to some degree.

Does the transmission have any "recommneded maintenance"? Does anyone really follow these 'recommendations' for a tranny? Since these are only 'recommendations', what if they are not "followed to a T"? (What if they aren't followed at all?!) Does the transmission oil & filter/screen really need to be changed/cleaned "periodically", just like the engine oil (i.e. every time the tappets start knocking - about once a year?)?! (By the way, when the valve lifters get noisy in the motor, would that explain why only 2 quarts of dirty engine oil drains out during my annual oil change?)

Well, sometimes, no matter whether you try to avoid breakdowns or not, things just happen, right? (There. Saying that made me feel better.) For me, the old beast has been good. But lately, it wants to shift from overdrive back to 4th or 4th back to 3rd when I'm cruis'in along at 60 or 70 mph. Not a big deal for the tranny, I guess, but the engine (remember those tappets?) tends to whine a little. That whining is contrary to the "babying" I give my old beast (you know, to try to make it last). Come to think of it, that rythmic back-and-forth shifting probably isn't the best for the tranny either, huh?

So I decided I better have it looked at ($$$) to determine the cause ($$$) to suggest possible solutions ($$$) and hear the pros & cons to my options ($$$). Then I'll need to authorize the most economical "fix" (remember the year '94 vintage and the mileage 195,000+ odometer reading - not to mention my empty pocketbook!? most economical "fix"?) for parts ($$$$$$) and labor ($$$$$$$$$$$$). All this IF it is something that can be figured out AND repaired. (Otherwise, I guess I'll either "put it out to pasture" or just shoot the beast!) ('Course then I'll need to find something else to get me to-and-from. Anyone have a moped they'd consider selling cheap?!)

"I am confident I will be able to get it back on the road again soon."
(Keep repeating this over & over ... )
I am not so confident which regular bills will have to wait in order to have enough cash to pay the repair bill!

Stay tuned. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Right now, I'm gonna find out if there are any "recommended maintenance" items for the '96 Chrysler Town & Country. (Only 189,500+ miles on this one!)
I wonder where the owner's manual is? Hmmm ...............

March 13, 2006


yes, it's snowing ...

I take a day off from blogging to enjoy a "Spring" day and then the next day (today - a Monday at that!) it snows.

Ah, nuts!

Regardless, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!" MSH!

(- Sweet 16 and never been kissed! -)
(Ya, right! I'm not that naive.)

March 11, 2006


A beautiful Saturday!

( ... and I'm doing laundry ... )

Hug a loved one today!

March 10, 2006



There is something about a Friday (end of the work week!) with the sun shining (the prospects of a warm day to melt more [all?!] of the snow!), with signs of Spring (bye-bye Winter!) beginning to become more evident (the weather forecast calls for a high of 50-degrees F, with a 50% chance of thunderstorms for Saturday!) and the anticipation of spending a good weekend with my wife and kids (how about dinner and a movie - at home together - Saturday night?!) to know I am blessed by God!

And the mood at work today is great as we've just completed our annual "All Employees' Meeting" which contained 95% great news and 5% 'challenges with optimistic potentials' for the coming year!

Thank you!, Lord.

March 09, 2006


Good Lesson!: "Gain thru Pain"

Your faith in God is strengthened when you trust Him to take care of you during a time of trial or uncertainty and He proves Himself able to meet your need!
He is able, He is faithful, He loves you, He wants what is best - trust Him! (especially during the hard times). God will bless you, He will take care of you!

(Then, after going through a hard time, after "you've made it", realize that God did it; if you trusted Him to help you and He did, give Him the credit, the glory - thank God!)

This is how you "gain" (grow in faith, in trusting in God)
thru "pain" (life's hard times of uncertainty).

Hebrews 11:1,6
1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”

James 1:2-3
2 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;”
3 “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”

March 08, 2006


... , tick, tick, tick, ...

As time moves on, it appears a showdown with Iran is developing.
(And let us not forget North Korea.)

Stay up-to-date with current events because this issue is happening rapidly.
Know the facts, search out accurate information, check the source, be informed.
Then be prepared to support the cause that seeks the betterment of all mankind.
Take a stand. Don't be idle. Make your voice and actions meaningful.

The future of the next generations (or lack thereof) is being shaped by you and me now.
... , tick, tick, tick, ...

March 07, 2006


Speak out!

Just a note -

With all that happens in the world each day, don't rely on the main stream media (MSM) to 'report the news' with, "Just the facts, ma'am.", (quote credited to Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday, LAPD, in the movie / show Dragnet). Get involved, do the research, sort out fact from opinion; then,
Speak Out!

Too many good, morale, upstanding people with a good head on their shoulders & a sound brain between their ears tend to let the media spread the news of world events, government decisions & policies and trends that effect our lives both now & for years to come without understanding the source of the information. The problem, however, is too many people assume that what they are told or read is "fact"; unfortunately, the MSM is typically biased with the personal opinions of the writer. And often it becomes difficult for the complacent to know "fact" from "opinion".

So, get involved, do the research, sort out the truth; then Speak Out!

While opinion is important, what is most important is that TRUTH be known.

And the bases of all truth:
John 17:17 "Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth."
the Word of God, the Holy Bible.

March 06, 2006


Well, it snowed last night .....

With the warmer than average winter (thus far) and the less than average snowfall (thus far), it is easy to be anxiuos for spring time. Surely, it can't be far away, can it?
But, alas, just as the driveway was becoming almost completely melted and clear of ice and snow, it snowed last night. Drats!

There's just something about the "awakening" of the outdoors when spring arrives; the grass greens, the flowers bloom, the birds sing, ...
... the skies darken, the winds swirl, the lightning flashes, the thunder rolls, the anticipation increase of the possibility of seeing a tornado!!!

Yep, that's me; always looking for the dramatic weather event to put a liitle excitement in the 'ol daily routine. I can't wait for that first big thunderstorm of the year!!!

March 05, 2006


News: "Life is special."

Today I was made aware of some sad statistics concerning;
Life begins at conception.
Death of the body is not the end of a person's existence. One's soul is eternal. Eternity is to be spent in either heaven or hell.
Abortion of an unborn baby is murder.
Assisted suicide is murder.
Euthanasia is murder.

Only God gives life. Man is made in God's image. Life is special.

There are trends in the world today that should cause people to ask, "What are we doing to ourselves!!!???". If certain trends continue to erode the way which man should value life, the only persons left on earth will be the young and middle aged individuals who are in perfect health. That percentage of peolple is very small, for what will determine "perfect health"? Does it exist? Not really. At least one could reason to another that a third's health is not 'perfect' and the life could be considered for:
We lost over 3,000 people on 9/11 and the media covered every minute of it and is still reporting on it today.
That same day, we lost approximately 4,000 unborn babies to abortions and the media failed to recognize it.
In fact, we have lost approximately 4,000 unborn babies every day since 9/11 and the media fails to recognize it.
That is about 3 babies killed every minute, 1 every 20 seconds.
(Note the "we" refers to the USA. Many more unborn babies are being killed each minute worldwide.)

Today I was made aware of some sad statistics concerning;
Only God gives life. Life is special.

Is life special to you?
Please make a difference as part of mankind. If you value a life as God does, speak out, put words into action, let others know that man is trending towards more & more, easier & easier killings of ourselves. Value life, or you may someday not be able to justify your own.

Abortion of an unborn baby is murder.
Assisted suicide is murder.
Euthanasia is murder.

Life is special.

March 04, 2006


Go Red Wings!!!

Is this another Cup year for the Wings? Remember the last two? Both the same years as the Winter Olympics, (1998 Nagano, Japan & 2002 Salt Lake City, Utah). Now in 2006, with the Olympics just completed in Torino, Italy, will history repeat itself?

They lead the league in points and have been in the top 3 or 4 all season. With 5 gold medalists from Sweden on the team (Lidstrom, Holmstrom, Zetterberg, Samuelsson, & Kronwall) and a ton of other talent throughout the roster (including the great leader Stevie Y!), the stage is set for another run at Stanley!

Go Red Wings!!!


Isn't technology great!?!?!

Well, yes & no.
As long as it is used 'in moderation' and you control it & not let it control you.

The use of computers and the like has just exploded in the last 25 years. I remember in college in my Comp Sci classes how it was nessecary to map out a program (fortunately these first "programs" were ones assigned by the Prof - who knows how long it would have taken to "think up" our own!] [that was, of course, until we figured out how to do the stuff; then we became dangerous with it, 'thinking up our own'!] on graph paper, then feed the info into a card punch machine, have the cards punched, run the punched cards through a reader, test the program to verify if it did what I programmed the computer to do (usually something really "simple" & stupid like make a 14-inch by 6-foot 'banner', printed off on a noisey, monster line printer that would continually jam or need the ink ribbon replaced, which read: "Happy Birthday!", in big 12-inch letters made from the corresponding letter as the 'pixels', I guess, [you know, the "H" was an image made from a bunch of little H's, the "a" from a bunch of little a's, etc.] and a trailing "image" of Mickey Mouse [how appopriate!] or similar animated cartoon character's face & head made from a bunch of little 'profanty' text [i.e. !, @, #, $, %, ^, &, *, ..... ]. Of course it never worked right the first try. This required the "debugging procedure" (you know, as part of "the learning process" - what a pain!). After spending 2 hours in the comp lab just to get to this point, it was entirely possible to spend the next 6 hours to 2 weeks just 'debugging'! Every graphed line had to be checked, every one of the 500 or so punch cards had to be examined & verified - matched to the correct line, punched in the right holes, read correctly & in the right order ... (Oh! And never, never, never drop your punch cards! It can take hours to sort them back into the right order - provided you took the time to number them in the first place. If not, start over!). When it was time to give up (this "simple" assignment was due for mid-term - remember? 6-weeks ago?), the class whiz (now days called "geek") was called and, just for the joy of solving a computer challenge, would fix the problem in about 10 minutes so you could move on to the next assignment, (a more complex "program" - write a procedure to solve some common math problem [like balance a check book] that was due for finals & counted as 1/3 of the grade). More then likely, a half-dozen or so of the non-whizzes (i.e. "ungeeked") would pool their efforts 'til someone stumbled on the solution and sell duplicate punch cards (minus the "author" line, to be supplied by the buyer) in order to pass the course. Truly something was learned in the course: Econ 101 in action - supply & demand; and Business 100 - the free enterprise system! All-in-all, we did manage to learn some computer skills, too. (Even if it became archaic in less than a year due to the speed which the technology was improving!)

Ahhhhh, technology. So much of that mundane stuff is now able to be taken care of for you that I'm thankful the best skill now is being able to "keyboard" (called 'typing' when I was in High School - "Thanks" Mr. H, my Typing I & II teacher, you 'ol wind bag!). That and having offspring that are computer whizzes! ("Thanks!" JNH, my eldest.) While my typ ... er, keyboarding is rusty, it is improving with practice. (Now if only I were a better spiller, I mean speler, I mean speller.)

And "Thanks!" (I think ... ) to Coach & Roug for my initial online chat session last night. Good time and good friends! Let's do it again ('in moderation', of course).

March 03, 2006


Friday - the weekend starts at noon!

Seems while the mad rush is to make it to quitting time, usually around 4 or 5 PM for most, in order to begin their weekend plans, I am one who likes to "cruuuuise" into the start of my weekend by ramping down the 'To Do' list items from the time I get into work Friday up until around noon. Then I can start by checking around to see what plans others may have, make some "visual inspections of department layout moves to assess the status per the intended project timeline" that were done over the last few days, straighten-up my desk, clean-out the recycle paper bin in my office, and empty my waste basket. Provided there aren't any meetings scheduled in the afternoon (by some pain in the neck that just likes to make people stick around late on a Friday afternoon for some meeting!), I figure I can be all set to head out by around 3 just in case the boss says, "Go ahead and knock-off early today. You've earned it; it's been a long week.", (which he sometimes does - he really is a great boss!). (Honest!)

And since it is 11:55 about now, I'm gonna do lunch (i.e. cat nap) and start my weekend ..... !!!

March 02, 2006


Count your blessings!

In the middle of all the trials & problems & challenges & responsibilities & concerns & issues & troubles & decisions & surprises & events & emergencies & schedules & duties & plans & obligations & catastrophes & ... & ... & ...

it is important to just stop, count your blessings, & be thankful.

Somewhere someone has things worse than you.

Just to have breath & life is enough to be glad each day!
And with your trials, etc., do as instructed in God's Word:

I Peter 5:7
"Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you."

Trusting God will give you peace as you deal with the daily burdens of life!

March 01, 2006


"Did ya ever notice ... "

... how quickly friends digress when reminded of an event they had in common from the days of their youth? Just the simple phrase, "Remember when we ... ?!?!?", and the belly rolls begin, the chuckles abound, the affable finger-pointing starts until the tears roll and the sides hurt from laughter!

Friends from ones youth.
Thanks for the memories.
Here's to many more ('cause we ain't old yet!).

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