Happy New Years!

Happy New Year!

Happy new year, all! I hope you had good and safe fun during last night’s festivities!

Engine #6I was on the road at 12:10am last night. For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you probably saw a tweet about this. I was leaving the Liberty right after midnight and was on Elizabeth Ave crossing Broad Street towards the courthouse. I saw, out of the left corner of my eye, two engines pull out of the Broad St firehouse, lights ablazin’ and sirens blaring. They came toward my direction with great acceleration as I pulled over and let them pass. I remembered then that, while walking to my car, I heard the distant crackling of a large amount of fireworks, mostly illegal I supposed. I would assume that someone rang in the new year by setting their home afire within 10 minutes of the ball dropping. Nice! I couldn’t help but chuckle a little while still feeling a little sad for the situation.

From the stageAnyway, I went to my church’s New Year’s gathering last night before the fire incident. I wasn’t aware I was supposed to be running sound for the night, so I planned on showing up “fashionably late.” Alas, I received a call about 15 minutes before the start asking if I was coming becuase they needed a tech there. So I geared up with haste and made my way to the Liberty Center. I walked in the door as they were starting to play the first song. There was a guy there who I’ve been training that got the stuff turned on and running, but quickly passed it to me when I arrived. It was a night of prayer and worship. Pretty good. A lot of people showed up… a lot more than I expected to. I think we had about 300 or so. I added a few photos from the night here, on Flickr.

I don’t have much scheduled for today. I’m trying to find something to do. I don’t think any stores will be open, and I’m having a hard time find people with which to do something. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just go shower and then head out and see what becomes of things.

Anyway, I hope you all have a great New Year’s holiday! Peace be with you.

Happy anniversary

Hard to believe it, but it has officially been two years since I started blogging. I posted my first entry on my MySpace blog on December 30, 2005. I remember that I first resisted getting a MySpace for the longest time and then wasn’t sure about the whole blogging scene but eventually gave in and decided to try it out. I think by day 2 I was hooked on the concept and kept on going.

The old MySpace blog held many memories as I scrolled through it today… concepts of space and time, Draw a Pig, becoming debt free, E-town Mission 2006 thoughts, the death of K-Rock (though it is now resurrected), domestic violence, my first Mac, and so much more. So many memories. It’s fun to look back.

Anyway, happy 2nd anniversary, oh blog of mine. Have a piece of cake in celebration as we look forward to another two years.

In honor of this special occasion, I offer the same thoughts I originally wrote in my very first blog entry:

Of stupidity and expanding universes

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the the universe.”
-Albert Einstein

I find this quote amusing, not because of Einstein’s poke at the lack of brain cells prevelant in today’s society, but because it was Einstein who developed the Theory of the Expanding Universe.


Happy New Years, and may peace be with you.

Unwrapping Christmas, and general updates

Merry Christmas

Hey everybody. It’s been awhile. A long while. It seems I’ve dropped off the face of the earth the past few weeks, and I apologize for it.

My father going into the hospital really set me back. So many things were put on hold or postponed or cancelled. I tried, at the start to post something small every day, but going back and forth to the hospital in New York, spending all day in tiny hospital rooms and lobbies, fighting traffic in the Holland and Lincoln tunnels, and still trying to do Christmas things in the (late) evenings… it took it’s toll.

Merry Christmas to meWell, the good news is that my father was, in fact, released from the hospital the day before Christmas Eve. We weren’t sure if it was going to even be possible for him to be home for the holidays, but thank God it all worked out. Christmas was good this year, as you’ve already heard if you listen to my Utterz. I was sick on Christmas Eve and Day, but am feeling much better now. I got a Mr Potato Head. No, seriously. I mean, I did get some gift cards and cash, but I can honestly say I got a Potato Head for Christmas. 🙂 Actually I didn’t want anything. Especially as of late I’ve become dissatisfied with how commercialism has taken over what Christmas is really about.

ConsumerismEven while I was out shopping for gifts for my family and friends I was watching the frenzy people were in running here and there, shopping carts bursting to overflowing, clearing the shelves of every toy and department store. And while it is an amazing and beautiful thing to remember the gift God gave us on Christmas 2000 years ago by giving to those we love, it seemed a bit off to me. Maybe not off. Excessive is a better word perhaps. I heard a teaching in the weeks leading up to Christmas via podcast from a church that my friend goes to in Indy. The teaching and movement they were proposing resonated with things already stirring in me and helped refocus my priorities for this holiday season. I live in the most blessed nation on the planet. We have way more than we could ever need. Yet still there are millions within our own borders and billions outside them who can’t even afford life’s basic necessities. And so I decided to join the conspiracy and give away a significant portion of my “Christmas budget” to bring relief, aide, and justice to those who lack it. It forced me to rethink my shopping and spending. Let me tell you, I realized even moreso how easy it is to fall into the traps of overspending and excessiveness . It was a struggle to keep the dollar amounts down. But forcing myself to do it on top of my father being in the hospital really spoke volumes to me. I mean, what’s really more important? Getting a new iPhone of Xbox 360, or the fact that everyone in my family was able to gather in relatively good health and celebrate the season together? In comparison who really cares about money and stuff?

Honestly, there’s so much more I have to say about stuff that’s happened over the past few weeks, but it’s after 2am and I’m still extremely tired. I don’t even know if what I’ve typed tonight makes any sense. I’m too tired to go back and read through it and edit. It is what it is at this point. I think I may have to take my leave for now. Tomorrow is going to be a long day as well, but maybe I can blog more on Saturday.

In the mean time you can see what I’ve been up to by visiting my Flickr account. I’ve uploaded close to 300 images of my journies and experiences for your enjoyment. Recently added, you’ll find sets of:

1. The School 23 Christmas Party
2. Carlos’ Christmas Dinner for the 4th Ward
3. The Sanctuary’s Christmas Worship Service
4. Our journey to Tuscarora Inn and some Cracker Barrel!
5. My Small Group’s Christmas Dinner
6. Angelica’s School Christmas Concert
7. Castro’s 21st Birthday Dinner
8. The Bridge: Midtown‘s Christmas Party
9. My father’s hospital journies & random shots around NYC.
10. Visiting the Rockafeller Center Christmas Tree
11. Christmas 2007
12. Playing Transformers Risk
13. and finally, a set for photos not in a set – so you can find the most recent random images quickly amidst the mass uploading of other galleries.

5th Ave, Manhattan My turn?

Of course you can always follow me on Twitter or now on Utterz to see exactly what I’m up to right at that moment.

Father update

He’s being transported to Cornell University Hospital in NY for a catheterization to see what’s going on inside his heart. The doctor says it’s a high risk procedure in his case because of everything that’s happened so far and because he is a big guy. They say he might have a heart attack while on the table. We’re all taking off of work tomorrow and going to NY.

Of hospitals, holiday dinners, and evil

I’m sitting in a room in Overlook Hospital in Summit, NJ. How did I end up here?

I received a call shortly after lunch break at work today that my mom took my father to the hospital. He was having shortness of breath or something and so went to his doctor who then sent him to Union Hospital. Union Hospital was shut down except for the ER earlier this year, and so it was just a stop for some testing to see if he would need to go to a bigger medical center. My mother told me just to wait around for more information.

Well, more information came about an hour before quitting time. They were going to admit him to Overlook Hospital for observation. They just had to wait for a room to open up as Overlook is quite a busy location. Well I left work and went over there. Nothing much was happening. They were waiting for some tests to return. They suspected congestive heart failure. Something about him retaining water and it suffocating his blood flow. I’m not sure what it all means. I’m a tech geek, not a doctor.

Anyway, as there was no information coming any time soon I left because I was supposed to be somewhere shortly thereafter. My small group at church was having a holiday dinner at a local establishment. And so I went.

Just as we were finishing I received another call that the transport was going to happen within an hour and that my presence was requested. So I went back to Union Hospital. The EMT’s arrived shortly after I did, loaded him up, and we were on our way.

On the way to Summit, as we were following two ambulances that breezed through a yellow light that soon became red as I passed, I was pulled over by a Summit police officer. “License, registration, and insurance” he said. I handed the documentation over and my mother told him that we were following the ambulances to the hospital as my father was being moved there. He, realizing the situation, allowed us unticketed passage to the hospital and we arrived at our destination.

Much has happened today. They do know that my father does have congestive heart failure. They are going to hold him here for a few days to drain the excess water and hopefully it will not result in full-on cardiac arrest. We shall see. I think we’re only going to be here a little bit longer as we are already way past visiting hours. I’m debating whether or not to call out of work in the morning. I know my other brother is going to call out of his job and stop by. We shall see. Beyond the reason that I should come see my father in the afternoon since he is in the hospital, I also see, and maybe this is wrong thinking it as a message to my job, which I will keep nameless, that they are not the most important thing in life. They have a way of putting more and more and more work on the employee and requiring more and more time so that the job consumes life itself. I saw this horror lived out today as my father, who also works for the same organization, laid in the ER. He was asking for his laptop so that he can get some work done and prepared for tomorrow. I fully realized the evils of that overwork and the dehumanization of an individual as they become nothing more than a company’s resource… an identification number rather than a person. Where programming overtakes reason. I honestly see the importance of Sabbath and rest and stillness. I realize I cannot much longer exist in this type of environment. I’m probably going to get in trouble (again) for talking about such things. I don’t care anymore.

See you tomorrow.

Phone Usage

I just checked my phone bill from this past month…

Anytime Usage 197 Minutes
Mobile2Mobile (M2M) Usage 179 Minutes
Nights and Weekends (N&W) Usage 216 Minutes

Vision Data 18300 Kilobytes
Vision Data 22016 Kilobytes

Text Messages 6624 Messages

I really overuse those texts and data packages.

I’m pretty tired.

I’ve been sitting here trying to think of something to type. Honestly, not much has been going on. No, that’s a lie. I’ve been extremely busy this past week. I don’t know if I was home at night once. I’ve met old friends, had meetings, run out of gas, had play rehearsals. Later in the week I have to go to a community Christmas celebration in Elizabeth, another play my niece is in, a political party, The Bridge… I am hanging out with a youth on the weekend, I have to travel to PA to inspect and plot out things for our Retreat in March. So much to do. It’s all a blur to me. Thank God for my Treo, for if I did not have that calendar at my side every day I would be lost and not know where I need to be next.

I am reading a new book, Irresistable Revolution by Shane Claiborne. I’m a little over 1/2 way done with it. Should be finished tomorrow. It’s an incredible book. I definitely recommend it. I also just finished The Jewish War by Flavius Josephus. Another amazing (true) story. I’ll have to write about both books in a future post. Honestly, tonight, I am too exhausted to write anything of substance. I’m just waiting for a friend to get out of a meeting and come back online to talk. And then I will sleep.

And so, in response to having nothing particularly important to say tonight, I leave you with probably one of the greatest YouTube clips ever… two grizzly bears fighting.