Tuesday, October 24, 2006

YouTube and Jars of Clay

I decided to set up a YouTube account last week. I've got a bunch of videos uploaded to my website but they're WMA files and people with Macs can't open them. YouTube converts them to a format viewable to all. Click to go to my videos.

We went to see Jars of Clay last Saturday night at Maranatha Hall at Northwestern College in St Paul. It was a very good concert and our seats were in the 2nd row, right next to a huge stack of speakers. Fortunately for us, we brought along earplugs. I'd listened to their new CD several times before the show so I'd be familiar with the songs but one in particular which hadn't really caught my attention was Light Gives Heat. Tammy had been asking me what I thought of the song but I couldn't remember it. I thought that Oh My God was the best song on the CD but now I think I'm giving the nod to Light Gives Heat. It's a very moving song. They closed out the show with it. Here's a link to the video I took. Please excuse the over-saturation on the audio due to the speaker right next to us.

Light Gives Heat

Catch the rain empty hands
Save the children from their lands
Wash the darkness from their skin
Heroes from the west
We don't know you, we know best
But this is not a test

You treat me like I'm blind
Setting fires around houses on the hill
But light gives heat
You segregate my mind
Burning crosses from your fears, oh
The light gives heat

It's not the way to light their way
Boys in holes in empty fields
Oh, how good it feels
Lower-class, and understate
Empty promise, empty plate

You treat me like I'm blind
Setting fires around houses on the hill
Light gives heat
You segregate my mind
Burning crosses from your fears, your fears
But light gives heat, gives heat

You treat me like I'm blind
Setting fires around houses on the hill
Light gives heat
You segregate my mind
Burning crosses from your fears
But light gives heat

Will you teach us how to love?
To see the things you see
Walk the road you walked
Feel the pain that you feel
At your feet, I kneel,
I want to see you shine
See your light not mine'
Cause light gives heat
Your light gives heat ...

The song talks about how we in our own way try and help the struggling people in east Africa who desperately need our help. What they don't need though is for us to look down on them and treat them as though they're something less than ourselves. They're stuck in a life none of us can likely imagine and they're trying to make the best of it...but they do need help. So would we if we were in their place.

I had a fun ride on my bike today. The last 8 miles I really hammered. There's something about being out there with my heart pounding through my chest and my quads burning from lactic acid which is very addicting. The weather has been cooling down but I keep telling myself that in January I'll feel like I'm in bicycle heaven with temps in the 40s and dry roads...keeping it in perspective.

Monday, October 16, 2006

No More Mids and Rachel's Latest Dance Recital

It seems like forever that I've worked a schedule where my last shift of the week was an all-night shift. That's about to change. We're bidding our schedules for next year and I've opted for different days off and no more mid-shift. I think my body is liking this already. They've been changing work rules in the FAA and we're no longer allowed to read materials at the sector on the midnight shift. That's a very ridiculous thing to do as a person needs to have something to occupy their mind when traffic is slow and a lack of sleep begins to overwhelm you. Anyway, for the past several months my body has been telling me that it's time to give the all-night shift up. Several guys who have already done so told me that I'll be much happier to not be working it.

Our mouse total stands at 8 kills and no more signs of the critters for several days. Tammy is sleeping better and so am I as we didn't need to bring in an exterminator.

I had to take my laptop back into BestBuy after getting it back last week as the TV tuner wasn't working. I was hoping to record some programs at home to watch on my breaks at work. The folks at BB tried to get it working but they had no luck either. It's still under warranty for another couple weeks.

Rachel had a dance recital last Saturday with her kick-line team from school. She did great.

My riding is winding down now that I'm back at work full time. It would be great to get to 8000 miles before the end of the year but I'm not sure I'll make it. I'm sitting at just over 7200 miles with a solid 4 weeks of riding left but a lack of daylight hours in my schedule. It's okay if I don't make it as I've had a good run this year.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Egads...We've Got Mice!

Yeah, just like the title of this entry says—we've got mice. We caught 3 more last night and a couple during the past few days. This happens every fall. Tammy freaks a bit and threatens to call an exterminator while I try and calm her fears. We think they get in from some small opening in the garage but we're really not sure.

So, this was my first week back at work since I was off for one month while on medication for headaches. I looked at my month off as sort of a practice retirement and I found that I will have no problem at all filling up my days with things to do. I'll be eligible to retire in another 5 months but I'd really like to get our house paid off and get Rachel through college before I pull the plug. The time-frame for all of that to happen is 7 years from now. Some of the guys I hired on with are already gone or will be leaving soon. Another approach some guys are taking is to retire and then find another job; something different to do. I figure I'd have to find something which would pay me about 25% of what I'm making now to have the same cash flow I have today. I'm not sure I want to risk leaving here and working someplace else where I'd be less happy. Where I'm at now isn't bad; we've got a bunch of new work rules in place since the FAA's imposed work rules have gone in effect but it's still a good place to work.

I went over 7000 miles on my bike for 2006 on my ride today. The gorgeous weather continues in the Twin Cities with a few more days in the forecast. They're hinting of snow this time next week. I think I'll spend tomorrow pulling plants from the garden and taking them to the compost site.

I'm still waiting for my laptop to return from BestBuy's service department. I reformatted the hard drive a couple weeks ago and used some compressed air on the keyboard trying to force out whatever junk had fallen in between the keys. When I fired it back up the keyboard was acting up. It's still under warranty for another month so it was good timing to get it worked on. I also wanted them to adjust the lazer settings on the cd/dvd reader/writer. I called BestBuy yesterday and they said it was in transit back to the store and should be in today.