Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ain't Life Funny

So, a funny thing happened this weekend.

I quit my job.

Well, I gave my notice, I won't actually quit until the 15th.

I am returning to my first love of working: YouthWorks.

This summer, I will be moving to Lincoln County, West Virginia and to be the Site Director for a ministry site.

I will be leaving behind my dog, my steady income, my security, and perhaps my rational mind.

I will not be leaving behind my truck payment, tax payment, credit card payment, and eventual need for long-term employment.

But I am excited. This came about very quickly, and very unexpectedly. I was not planning on working for YouthWorks this summer, but suddenly find myself doing so.

I was not planning on putting my well being directly into the Lord's hands with no way to turn but to Him, but suddenly, I find myself doing so.

It is going to be awesome. It is going to be terrifying. It is going to be brilliant. It is going to be a foolish move. It is going to be serving the Lord above my own sense of what is "right".

And there I let it stay.

So pray for me folks. I may have just made a huge mistake, but it is a mistake of the heart. The kind of mistake this romantic fool likes to make.

Oh, and my current job asked me to write up a pro/con for hiring a full time replacement versus a part time replacement. This is what I wrote:

In the fast paced and often dangerous world of property management maintenance, it is sometimes, nay often necessary to call upon a full time maintenance man. In the wild urbanized jungle of rented houses, apartments, and lofts, a man can get lost. Some have gone into these homes, and come out changed, frightened, useless. Others, they’ve never come back at all. Though property maintenance looks tame from the outside, only the strongest, bravest, and most dedicated can survive the grueling day to day horrors that must be approached, assessed, and diffused. No mere part timer has the stamina for such work. No mere on-call worker could sift through the retched filth that humanity leaves in its wake and scrubs out a diamond from the refuge. Nay my friend, only one who has heard the calling, who has looked into the abyss, who has seen what the darkness holds and has screamed in defiance back to it, can stand such a daunting task. To find such a hero, one may have to search out Arthur’s sword or Beowulf’s shield. A Herculean mission may be the only way to find the character who can complete the deadly and heart-wrenching tasks which will be laid at the maintenance worker’s feet. A part timer would merely quake, so says I.

So hire the hero you wish to see. Remember that Galahad stayed pure, and Lancelot fell. Choose wisely, and see all prosper. Choose poorly, and see all dreams of man fall to the belly of the beast of Hell.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Pirate Crew (With Pictures!)

Well, I put out the call, and some of you responded. There were a few I thought would jump at the opportunity that refrained, but the crew I have is dedicated, fierce, and ready for action.

The Crew

Captain Halfbeard

They say that The Dread Captain Halfbeard lost his facial hair in a deal with the devil gone terribly wrong. He is a fierce and frightening man, who lost his eye in a duel with the Kraken, and nearly lost the other one from not listening to his mother's advice about running with scissors. No one knows how he lost his left hand, but he has never allowed a disposal to be installed in the galley. His constant companion is a monkey named Cooper, known for his pickpocket and blackjack skills.

First Mate Red Beard

When the Great Pirate Red Beard first left home at age 7, his dream was to be the greatest sand volleyball player ever to come out of the Midwest. Alas, during a high stakes game two years later, Red Beard (as he was already know, for his beard began to grow at birth) was double crossed by a team of rich British sailors. They took the trophy, but Red Beard later took their hearts. In his pursuit, he found that he loved the sea, and stealing. He stands strong beside Captain Halfbeard, knowing is ever his captain should fall, it will take a great beard to carry the fight on.

Lookout: TK "Crazy Eye" Henry

She was born to a family of Russian acrobats, and has always loved to be high above. From the Crow's Nest, she is always the first to spot enemies on the horizon. Some say that her crazy red eye allows her to see into the future. Others say she just needs to learn how to maintain her contacts. She is not just an observer of danger, my friends. Her scars, and they are many, have all been earned in hard fought battle with the most dangerous dregs of the earth. Except the one on her face. She got that one the night she tripped on Cooper's banana peel and fell Scurvy's sword. She has never liked the monkey since....

Physician: Scurvy

A citrus allergy led to Dr. Wade "Scurvy" Greening's unfortunate condition. Not his disease, his leg. In a battle with some of the most heartless creatures ever to roam the waters, Scurvy was attacked by orange wielding enemies who knew of his weakness. He was forced to jump ship, and the sharks soon took liberties with his limb. Un-deterred, Scurvy quickly sewed his own leg up, rejoined the fight, and slaughtered his enemies to a man. The only survivor was a parrot named Dammit. Though the mono-lexemetic bird can be a bit awkward, he never fails to make Scurvy laugh.

Pilot: Sea Ranger

They say that Sea Ranger (SR for short) was not born, but rather sprung from the sea hungry for battle. There is no place on the ocean that he does not feel at home, and he can never be lost. Except that one time. But we don't EVER talk about it. His appetite for fighting is topped only by his appetite for fine cuisine. When on land- and that is rare- he can be found in only the finest dining establishments on the wharf. In battle, he uses only the weapons God gave him, his fists, Butch and Sundance. It is said that he can catch a bullet and throw it back at his attacker and never be harmed. His teeth are pure gold, gold taken while plundering enemy pirates. Each tooth tells a story, except the back molar. That is purely for grinding.

Battle Leader: Jenna "Parkie" Wilson

She began as a humble park ranger in Missouri, but a terrible storm and some bad directions left her stranded on a desert island. Picked up by Captian Halfbeard and his crew, she soon proved to be the most fearsome fighter and brilliant strategist the ship had ever seen. Around her neck she wears a string of gummy tongues, which her enemies mistake for real tongues. When she eats them, people really freak out. Her sword is always bloody, and her heart is always pure.

Cabin Boy: Stats Creagar

Even Halfbeard's brother is not exempt from the ships hierarchy. As the last to join the crew, and the youngest, Sam "Stats" Creagar has many responsibilities aboard ship. He is the cook, the swabby, the master of arms, and the latrine cleaner. He has proven himself in battle, losing an eye to a cruel, yet surprisingly apologetic pirate off the coast of Maine. While Stats is on the rise as a pirate star, his career has been slowed somewhat by his need to be put in port every weekend from late August until February, as he has not yet convinced Captain Halfbeard to subscribe to the NFL Channel.

The toughest pirate ever to walk on four legs...except SR when he has been in the grog....Grania does her namesake proud. She may seem sweet and jovial, but try to take her bones, and she will chase you right off the plank! She also has full use of both eyes, but loves the we let her keep it on.

And finally...

Keith the Pirate

Truthfully not the best in a fight, but he is useful in a bluff.

So that is the crew. And never has a finer one been formed. Now all we need is a ship and some financial backing. Who wants to help with this next, crucial, phase?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ruining the Pirate Name

Robert Louis Stevenson would be appalled my friends.

For those who have not been following the news, Somalian Pirates are out of control. They have been taking ships for years, but now have sworn to attack every American ship they can find. They are attacking ships of other nations too.

I am not going to debate whether Hillary Clinton can successfully come up with a plan to stop these rogues. Nor will I bring in other countries' solutions.

What I want to say here is that the good name of piracy has been attacked, and I for one am horrified.

The fact is, piracy has always been a terrible occurrence. Pirates of the 17th century were, as now, murderers, thieves, plunderers, and degenerates. They were truly feared, and those who encountered them rarely survived unharmed.


With the passage of time, and the help of fiction, we have managed to transform the terrors of the sea into lovable rogues who really want to be good, but their nature fights them at every turn. Jack Sparrow, The Dread Pirate Roberts, One Eyed Willie, even Captain Hook have carved out a place of affection in our hearts.

Now we dress up like them for Halloween. We have books, websites, even an entire day dedicated to how they talked.

I have an inflatable pirate named Keith who lives in my house.

Pirates are FUN!!!

Then these Somalian pirates start up. They are not fun. They are not Robin Hood-esque. They do not leave you smiling as you tut-tut them. They have returned piracy to something evil and wrong.

And I for one will not stand for it. Keith will not stand for it. And neither should you.

Hillary Clinton has her plan. I have mine. First, I need some money. Then I need to learn how to sail. Scratch that. I need to find someone who knows how to sail. Then I need 15 or so brave souls. We are going to become PIRATE HUNTING PIRATES.

We will dress the way pirates should, we will talk the way pirates talk, and we will be the lovable rogues that pirates should be.

And when pirates attack, they will suddenly find themselves in the shadow of the Black Dawn, our very own pirate fighting ship.

Every pirate will fear our name.

And the chicks will dig us.

Speaking of you lasses, do not be afraid to sign up to fight with me, Grainne Ni Mhaille (Grace O'Malley) proved that women can be awesome pirates too!

So who's with me? Who wants to fight the pirates? And bring back the lovable, laughable antics that make books like this so lovable.

Oh, and can anyone bankroll it for me?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Well Update

So six months ago I was diagnosed with Diabetes. I thought now would be a good time for an update.

At six months here are my stats:

Lost 100 lbs.
A1C: 5.6
Cholesteral: Tris are low and "good" chol. is up
Blood Pressure: Fantastic (nurse's actual statement)

The weight loss advantages are obvious. The A1C is exciting because an average diabetic's is 7.7. And average regular person's average is 4.4-5.8. I obviously fall into that range.

So I am doing pretty well. I am off insulin, and now take metphormin only. I do not even take my blood sugars anymore. I am needle free.

God has been good and so have all of my friends. The encouragement has been amazing. Whether you have gone to the gym with me, put up with my picky restaurant eating, and perhaps some frustration at times.

I still need to lose about 70 lbs, and by all reports this will be the toughest in the weight loss arena, because the easy weight has been worked off. But I am sticking to it.

So damn you diabetes....I win....damn you.