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it always makes me think when people say “happy memorial day”.

on one hand i’m happy and thankful that men and women have risked (and sometimes lost) their lives in keeping us free and safe.

on the other hand i am sad for the loss of friends and family.

i’ve posted before about my friend who was killed in Iraq some years ago. my emotions on his death are mixed. there are a lot of people who knew him a lot better than i did who miss him dearly. that being said, i FIRMLY believe that the sacrifice of our military men and women is what keeps this country great.

let’s pledge today to support our men and women in uniform, to remember their sacrifice and loss, and to never take what we have for granted.

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so i am going to try this on for size again. here are some quick updates.

-finished my masters in december. whew.

-exercising again. its tough but i cant not do it. i have plans.

-work is insane. can’t believe the intensity right now. and i just got a couple more projects dumped in my lap – big ones. fun.

-kids are great. growing up. incredibly sweet.

-dad had his other knee replaced and he’s almost back to 100%. he has no pain and it’s borderline miraculous. he’s a changed man!

-we’ve mourned the death of two friends in the last few months.

i’m back.

life has been interesting lately.

2 weeks from yesterday (11/19), kristy and i leave for Kenya. we’re working on a clean water project. check it out @ http://www.marahwater.com

we’ve put out the initial “commo blast” and have had some pretty good results. i had hoped that everyone i sent a note to would be fully on board and sending money and prayers and engineering resources, but it didn’t happen. instead, i got a lot of questions, some prayer, and a few key folks with high interest. i really think God is teaching us a lesson – start small. be faithful with a little and more will come. handle this properly from the start and it will expand beyond your wildest dreams.

life is incredibly busy. i finish my masters degree this coming month and graduate on 12/19. work is busy. kids are keeping us busy, especially with the random health issues rachel has been experiencing. add to this my crazy workload and you have a recipe for fun.

still trying to lose weight. slowly getting into the swing of things. need to get to 240-245 so i have some options. more on that later.

i think that’s it for now. check the Marah Water site and blog for info on what we’re doing. if we can get net access while we’re gone then we’ll be updating 🙂

 

life has been a bit crazy lately, hence my lack of posts. i’ll give a short rundown of some big stuff.

– last week i started the final course of my masters degree. i can’t believe i’m so close. december 14 i’ll be hooded. wow.

– now that i’m close to being done with my MS, i am seriously considering a Ph.D candidacy at Regent University. they have a really great program in Organizational Leadership that can be custom tailored. the program required 60 credit hours including dissertation. i think that’s about 2-1/2 years of study, but i’m waiting to hear back from the recruiter. even better, Regent is a Christian school that injects Biblical principles into it’s programs. very cool, and it will legitimize my leadership of the organization i plan to start (see next item)

– Kristy and I (and maybe our media/pr guy) are going to Kenya in november. this is the start of something big. more details soon, but please pray for a few things – fundraising, guidance, safe travel, and that we’ll find something to do with our kids 🙂 teaser: h2o

– the kids are growing up. they have started preschool. not much else to say.. it’s bittersweet. they are already learning so much. it’s wild.

– i am officially Coach Adam! last night was Ricky’s soccer practice (the U4 Cosmos). teaching kids under 4 how to play soccer is quite an experience, but it’s loads of fun. i actually got them to listen to me and to avoid using their hands. we’ll see how it goes 🙂

– i recently lost a good friend, Adam Anderson. everyone thought we were brothers. he had a rough time these last few years. i know he’s in a better place now. it’s definitely been hard.

that’s about it for now. i’ll address some of these specific issues soon as i plan to post much more often..

most anyone who would take the time to read this will know that i’m politically conservative. sometimes mainstream conservative ideas don’t jive with what i believe as a Christian, and sometimes they do. i lean towards the conservative side because i believe God called us to work hard and do the best we can for our family. i know things get in the way, and i would never forsake someone in that position.

ideas inspire me when they are born of necessity or when they reflect a person’s desire to do what’s right.

Tom’s shoes inspires me. this guy, Tom, makes some simple shoes and sells them. they are a cult classic and all the cool folks (like Derek) wear them with pride. Tom has quite a racket and could make a ton of money. i think Tom probably does make a ton of money, but it’s what he chooses to do with that money that inspires me – he gives back. if you buy a pair of Tom’s shoes then he gives a pair to a needy kid somewhere in the world. simple, honest, genuine, functional. i love it.

i’m trying to find more companies like Tom’s to whom I can give my business. i’d rather spend my money somewhere that’s focused on the greater good.

another inspiring idea is microfinance/microbanking/microlending.

plenty of us give money to charities. plenty of people a whole lot more rabidly conservative than me give money to charities. don’t get me wrong – i believe in charity – but sometimes i wonder if it’s really pulling someone out of the mire that is poverty.

microfinance is just what it sounds like – micro-amounts of money lent to someone in a developing nation who wants to start or build a business. sometimes these folks want to borrow as little as $100. sometimes it’s more.

the logistics seem to be staggering but apparently it’s not too bad. one microfinance institution, http://www.kiva.org, has lent $34 million in microloans around the world and they have experienced a mere 1.7% default rate. that’s $578,000 of dollars list out of $34m. your money is in a more dangerous spot when it’s on wall street.

now these microfinance organizations don’t pay interest, but you’re only loaning a small amount – sometimes $25 or $50.

this is the kind of change the world needs to see. this inspires people to work hard, start/build a business, and take control of their situation.

will it work every time? no.

will it work most of the time? i think so.

will it change lives for the long term rather than the short term? yes

should we do this and forsake peoples’ immediate needs? NO!!

i’m going to research this further, learn more about it and maybe get involved. this spans all political ideologies. giving someone a resource they have never had access to in order to assist them in their success is what we all need to be doing in one form or another.

i have an old Gibson SG. i love it – it’s the finest guitar i have ever owned. it sounds incredible, looks great, and is starting to get some real character. it’s about 16 years old now. i’m the first owner and it will be staying with me as long as i’m here on earth.

recently it started having some electrical issues. i was worried that the entire thing needed rewiring and that some of the components needed replacement. i was about to pull the trigger on all the parts/pieces when i thought “hey, maybe it just needs a good cleaning! it is old enough to drive, you know”

so after digging around i found out that you can clean the pots on your guitar fairly easily. i hit up radio shack and bought a can of their “Tuner Cleaner/Lubricant” and went to work. about 30 minutes later it’s like the guitar is brand spanking new. i even found that there are special tools available for this from places like http://www.stewmac.com and other luthiery supply houses. a whole new world has been opened to me! this exercise saved me some money, allowed me to keep my original parts/pieces, and saved me the hassle of desoldering and rewiring my guitar.

anyway, the moral of the story is this: don’t fix what ain’t broke. i do this a lot. when something seems like it’s wearing out i want a shiny new one. when something gets old i want to replace it. when my life is broken, when i’m in a tough spell at work, i want to pack up the tent and move on. patience isn’t one of my virtues, but i’m getting better. i’m trying hard to learn to be content with what i have and to keep it going with a little more effort than whipping out the plastic or moving on.

if you’re interested in the guitar cleaning part, look here:

pot cleaning cap

pot/switch cleaning solution

the day before thanksgiving kristy and i traded both our vehicles in on a minivan. it was a very very smart move. we’re saving a ton of money, got a really nice vehicle for the kids to ride around in, and generally less hassle in our lives.

i traded in my 03 dodge ram diesel truck. i had always wanted a diesel truck and this one served me well. i thought i’d keep it forever. it took us to chicago and back about a week after we bought it. it’s taken me to florida and back a couple of times. i even drove it from atlanta to mexico round trip once. it was a beast!

now we’re rocking the 08 chrysler town and country. now is a great time to buy a car, evidenced by the fact that we got almost $13k off of the sticker price. these guys are hungry for business. they tell you they are doing fine, but you can see it all over their faces. they want a sale.

part of this deal is that i get to put some money into my 76 Jeep CJ-5 now so i can have a personal vehicle to bomb around in. i’m very excited about this, and look for some great posts in the near future regarding the work i’m going to put into my little jeep. it’s going to be fun!

this is one of the funniest things i have ever seen in my entire life.

i have laughed myself sick watching this over and over again.

this is too insane not to be real!

so all my friends are posting 100 things about themselves and i feel compelled to jump on the bandwagon. here we go. these are things you may or may not know.. some interesting, some not so much.

1. i went to private school for 14 years. my first experience with public education was at georgia tech

2. i flunked out of georgia tech after my dismal first year, but i went back after a (mandatory) break and earned my degree

3. i met Kristy my third day at georgia tech but we didn’t date for 4 years

4. i have spent about 3 years growing my hair out long. it’s shoulder length now. this is the first time in my life it’s really been long (see #1)

5. i love engines.

6. my dad has a 1965 pontiac GTO and it’s my favorite car of all time. lots of memories there.

7. i played the piano for about 3 weeks when i was a kid, but i didn’t like the instructor, so i quit

8. then i started playing the violin. mom told me she’d get me a guitar if i played the violin “for a while”

9. 6 years later i got my first guitar

10. i’ve played the bass for 15 years and it’s where my heart is

11. i own 4 acoustic guitars, 1 12str acoustic guitar, 2 electric guitars, 2 electric basses, and i’m working on getting my first electric bass returned to me – it was lost in the mix about 10 years ago and i have some leads on it. i’m pretty much addicted.

12. when i was a kid all my friends listened to NKOTB and stuff like that. i listened to my dad’s old vinyl. rolling stones, zeppelin, the dead, otis redding

13. i’ve had facial hair consistently for about 13 years now. if i shave i think i look like a kid. and it makes me look fatter

14. i’ve always wanted a motorcycle

15. kristy and i have owned 9 cars since we’ve been married

16. i’ve owned 5 jeeps in my life, only one didn’t run 🙂

17. i work in the construction biz just like my dad does and his dad did

18. i have a big problem hiring someone to work on my house or my cars. i like to do it myself

19. i had Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and it was fixed in 1996 with a heart catheterization

20. i always have crazy, big ideas that i never follow through on

21. i enjoy drinking beer

22. i love sleeping

23. i hate corn

24. i have 3 tattoos

25. i want more tattoos. we’ll see what the wife has to say 🙂

26. i love firearms

27. i’m finishing up my masters degree in construction management this coming summer

28. i would like to teach someday

29. i’m on a lifelong quest to find the perfect french onion soup

30. i think my mom’s chicken salad is a gift from God

31. i am an only child

32. my biggest regret is that i have never served in the military

33. i dream of getting a helicopter pilot’s license

34. i’ve been skiing once in my life and i was miserable

35. i’ve climbed ixtaccihuatl

36. ive driven 152mph on I-20 headed east towards augusta. yes it was stupid. yes it was ridiculously fun!

37. i like whiskey but don’t drink much of it

38. i wish i could draw but i just can’t do it

39. i broke my arm riding one of those 80’s BMX style scooters when i was a kid

40. i played soccer for years and years when i was a kid. goal and forward

41. my vision is TERRIBLE. thank God for contact lenses

42. i dream of being a runner. that’s a story in itself!

43. until earlier this year i had never run 1 mile non stop

44. now i can run 4-5 miles

45. i was supposed to run the half marathon on thanksgiving day but i’m not ready. i’m running the ING half marathon in march

46. one of my joys in life is going to the top fuel drag races. smoking tires, nitromethane and noise so loud you feel it in your chest. i can’t get enough.

47. i love steely dan. when kristy and i were dating and first married we heard a steely dan song every time we were in the car

48. kristy and i almost moved to Chile to work as missionaries when we were first married but it fell through. God had different plans.

49. i used to hate Christian music, now i listen to a lot of it

50. i love woodworking, and if i can ever get my shop set up, i am going to make doll houses for Rachel and other kids

51. i want to have a huge garden in my back yard. i love flowers and i want to eat food from my own plants

52. i am very interested in sustainability and environmental responsibility

53. i am one of the fastest learners you will ever meet

54. i love folk art, especially my friends ceb and eric legge

55. i would love to figure out a way to live in Paris, France

56. i’m thinking of studying for a PhD in architecture with a focus in construction management, city planning or energy performance

57. i used to have my septum pierced – a nose ring like a bull

58. i enjoy fire, explosions and fireworks

59. i would like to start my own business someday

60. i’m quietly working on a big missions project that could change lots of lives around the world in addition to my own

61. i’ve never voted for a democrat and i probably won’t

62. i miss bradley nowell

63. i have dreams about my friend justin fisher running barefoot through fields of green, soft grass in heaven

64. i never went to Church until i was 17

65. i never looked back

66. i love my wife so much it hurts

67. my desk is constantly messy, mainly because i’m not at it much

68. i just got an iphone last week and i love it so far

69. i read the engineering news record because i’m a dork

70. vince flynn is one of my favorite authors. i want to be mitch rapp.

71. i’ve been honing my sheetrock/mud skills for years now and i still suck at it

72. i dont read the bible as much as i should and i feel guilty about it

73. i love diversity. at school i’m a definite minority as an american and it’s fantastic

74. i can’t tell a joke to save my life

75. i can yell really really loud

76. i have all sorts of little southern sayings that i bust out to make my wife laugh

77. i taught ricky the ROCK N ROLL hand sign, and he says it every time i show it to him

78. i’m jealous that my wife gets to spend more time with the kids than i do

79. i hate taylor guitars. everyone else loves them. i hate paul reed smith guitars too. sorry kyle!

80. i’m afraid if i lose weight, which i desparately want to do, that it will change my personality

81. i like my nose. it looks nice.

82. i have little patience for incompetence. i used to get angry about it, now i keep it to myself

83. i am really hard on wallets. not like it’s stuffed with cash or anything..

84. i love shoes. i have a bunch of them and always want more.

85. i love korean food. i never had it until i married my wife who is half korean. now i don’t eat enough of it!

86. my mom is an incredible artist and i got none of her talent. damnit.

87. i constantly think about chaning careers but i feel like i’m stuck. i do like my job, though

88. i just can’t get into jack johnson.

89. i’ve read lots of classic books. one of my favorites is the great gatsby. that book brings vivid imagery to my mind like no other novel has

90. i’ve never lived outside of atlanta for more than a few months, and that’s only happened twice

91. i’d rather eat fried okra or sauteed asparagus than chocolate

92. i can make friends with almost anyone. almost.

93. i like my mac more than i like my PCs because it rests my brain

94. i have always procrastinated in my school work

95. i love tools and have way too many

96. i have two cats, vinnie and pumpkin. i grew up allergic to cats but it’s not an issue any longer..

97. i caught a microphone that trent reznor threw into the crowd at a nine inch nails concert when i was in high school. it cut the heck out of my hand. i still have it somewhere..

98. i hate any calculator that isn’t RPN. really, i hate any calculator that isn’t my HP 48GX

99. i enjoy chewing that cheap chiclet style gum you get from vending machines

100. when i was in college i ate lunch or dinner with my mom once a week almost every week

i just wrote and erased this long post about my technology pedigree.

this week i bought an iphone. i guess i’m a true techno-nerd now.

i love it. it works great. not much more to say than that.

anyone got suggestions for good/interesting apps?