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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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The Buzz


Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
- C-Train

This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead

There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
 
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Wednesday, May 30, 2007
"I don't like Guns!"
My toy gun looked something like this one...I was baptized as an infant. All my siblings were baptized as infants, well, all except for my youngest brother, he wasn't baptized, but probably because my parents simply didn't get around to it. Part of the whole infant baptism ritual in our catholic circle involved the pseudo-solemn enlistment of a "god-parent". The idea as was understood by my family, was that if my parents died it was that persons responsibility to bring me up and presumably, to do so with some sort of religious instruction.

To give you an appreciation for how solemn this responsibility was, my uncle Marinus for the first few years of my childhood, used to buy me presents on my birthday, because he was my "godfather." Except, he wasn't actually my godfather, he was my older sisters godfather, my God parents were my uncle Lucien and Aunt Joyce. Of course, none of these people knew the Lord - but that is presently beside the point - the point was that my uncle used to buy me presents on my birthday under the presumption that he was my godparent when in fact he was actually my sisters godparent.

Perhaps there was some stigma attached to being the godparent of the oldest girl, as opposed to the oldest boy, or perhaps my uncle was embarrassed to learn that he had been mistake for the first six years of my life - whatever the case, I recall with sorrow that eventually my parents explained that I was not his godson, but rather that my sister was his goddaughter. He was not pleased with that, and the gifts stopped there, my sister never got any. That must have been a raw deal for her, but at the time I think I took it pretty hard too.

Anyway, one of the gifts my uncle brought was this toy rifle. Now, I was about five or so, and a toy rifle was perhaps the coolest thing in the world. Up until that time, I had to use sticks and whatnot and pretend that they were firearms, but this toy rifle was far more rifle-like than any of my sticks.

You see, like most boys who don't have toy rifles, I had to fabricate my own out of driftwood and whatnot. If a piece of wood was a good rifle-like length, and had a good branch coming out about where the trigger would be - and perhaps had another where the stock should be - that was considered a very fine gun in our play time. Not that we ran about the house with such things - but as we spent a lot of time outdoors in the summer in the country - such sticks were manifold, and having many cousins to play with, we quickly learned to find the best rifle sticks around. Whatever stick you found, you had to peel the bark off of it, for that nice, smooth, rifle-like finish on both the barrel and the stock. These were things that every child understood.

So when I received the toy rifle, it was so awesome, I could have lost control of my bladder. But then my mom went and spoiled everything. After my uncle had left, and I was in the living room playing with my new toy - killing everything imaginable, my parents got into a row about the toy gun. That was when I found out that uncle Marinus wasn't even my God parent, and that is when I found out that my mom was certain that if I played with the gun I would grow up to kill people for real. She didn't want me playing with guns, she hated the idea of having it in the house.

Now it was about this time that I was experimenting in the living room. You see, the gun was pretty solid, and I got to wondering if I could use it as a bridge between the two arms of our arm chair. So I set it up and began a sophisticated tight-rope walk across it, only to have it crack in half under my weight. It was broken beyond repair, even I knew that.

My heart was grieved, but being an industrious child, I turned this to my advantage, for I came and showed the gun to my parents, and declared words that I knew full well my mom would be delighted in hearing - even if doing so was entirely a put on show. So I went up to my mother and I told her that I broke the gun on purpose because I saw how it offended her, and that I neither wanted to offend her or to like a thing that she hated. I too, (or so I pretended) hated guns. Never had a mother been so proud of a child's deceitful lie, nor so gullible. She swallowed the hook, line, sinker, and even the rod and the dock.

Never doubt that a child is a master deceiver, or that your child will not say and do things that are entirely false just because they know that doing so will make you think more highly of them - they eat that stuff up for breakfast.

I was thinking about that toy gun this morning for some reason.

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posted by Daniel @ 9:34 AM   11 comment(s)
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Λόγος Ἐσχατου
The Four HorsemenBy now most of you know that logos is the Greek word for word, message, or statement, and that eschatos is the Greek word for "last" - and you have probably figured out that the word "eschatology" probably comes from these two Greek words and that is why it has come to refer to the Christian study of the end times.

I once sat down and tried to get all my eschatological ducks in a row, but not in the standard way (I suppose) that most who have an eschatological opinion do - that is, I didn't open up a book to find out how someone else thinks it is all going to fall out in some detailed "this means that" sort of way. I say, I tried, to understand it in the same way I tried to understand the rest of scripture. I read it, and asked God to teach me in it. This method has helped me greatly in most other aspects of theology, but it has failed to give me a detailed, conclusive, eschatological framework.

It isn't that I failed to comprehend many things with regards to eschatology, but rather that I failed to come up with some air-tight "This is how it works, I am sure of it" sort of end times plan, and certainly nothing that would warrant a garish illustration complete with little cherubs, a cross, some clouds, a throne, and a small multitude of multi coloured divisions and arrows, detailing to the tenth of a second when exactly everything that was going to happen would happen, and to whom. Nor does my understanding remain so vague that I toss my hands in the air, and limit my opinion to the nigh-vacuous (by virtue of its self evidency) obligatory "Christ will return, and everything will work itself out in the end" sort of "no-brainer" conclusion.

I confess, my first concern for the church is not that it has a well mapped out eschatological framework to generate tertiary theological speculations from, but rather that God's Spirit would be manifest in believers through the overcoming of rebellion (sin) in their lives - so that the church might be a light set on a hill in this world, and not one that is under a basket of sin.

So I always feel somewhat at a loss when a conversation turns to eschatology. I know what things I find highly unlikely, or questionable, but that is hardly welcome in most conversations of this nature. And frankly, I have no passion to debate things that are more often than not, conclusions derived from a host of speculations or assumptions built upon other speculations or assumptions.

That sort of framework is what we call building a precept upon a precept - a line upon a line - and scripture used that very kind of language to describe why men were failing to understand God's word correctly - because God's word to them was line upon line, precept upon precept - they were using God's word like a child uses Lego - taking a pile of red blocks and using them to build the word "Green" - then arguing from the "green" instead of the red. I cringe whenever I hear someone using the "line upon line, precept upon precept" as though it were an admirable thing to do.

So when it comes to eschatology, I try to keep it simple and biblical. Whatever I understand, I understand, and whatever confuses me, I give to the Lord. I don't make it a matter of exclusion or inclusion, and while I find it interesting to hear what some people think - I try to stay out of the conversations when I can. I don't suggest that we ignore it, for it is in the bible for a reason, and we would be fools indeed to ignore anything that God has given to the church. Yet as fascinating as I might find it, I feel there are more important things for me to focus on as a believer - at least for the moment.

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posted by Daniel @ 1:03 PM   3 comment(s)
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Attacking The Root...
Below are three verses that speak (almost) directly to a problem that many Christians face during their infancy as Christians. I am talking about loving God, or rather, a failure to love God.

Now to be sure, I am not talking about a sentiment when I talk about loving God, and (just so the pendulum doesn't wag the other way) I am neither talking about love as some action we do. When I say love, I mean the kind of love that is similar to what flows between a man and woman who are truly infatuated with one another - an adoration that would willingly set aside one's own agenda for something as trivial as merely being in the presence of the other.

The verses illustrate a point - that being that the person who tries to hold onto the world and love God at the same time, is never going to love God while holding onto the world, or the things in it:


But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. - James 1:6-8 [ESV]

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. - John 3:19 [ESV]

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. - 1 JOhn 2:15 [ESV]

No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money." - Luke 16:13 [ESV]


What I want to draw your attention to, is the way in which we deal with our own lack of love. Primarily the immature believer is ignorant of it, but many immature believers remain so, because either they presume that their lack of love is [1] normal, or [2] cannot be helped, or alternately, they believe that what they presently possess is in fact "love" since they either have a sentiment ("...didn't I weep when they whipped that actor in Mel Gibson's movie??") or they imagine (as some teach) that biblical love is all "action" and can be done with a grim, cold determination, utterly void of any attachment to who we are as Christians; love (for such as these) is a duty you do because you have to.

These verses, I hope, shake us out of the notion that we can make ourselves love God by "doing" loving things or that since we have a desire to be pleasing to God this very desire must be all there is to the love that we are supposed to have. But no honest soul is going to be satisfied with these.

How do I love God? First of all, scripture says that God's love was poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us (see Romans 5:5). That is a hard picture, because it starts out with God's love and not our own, and we may confuse what is being said here - imagining that it is saying that God pours into us a love for Himself by the Holy Spirit (and in a way that is true), but that is not what the text is saying. The text says that the love with which God loves us was poured out in our hearts, by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. The Holy Spirit was given to us (those who are in Christ), and by Him God's love literally came into us. I tie that verse to 1 John 4:19 where we are reminded that we love God because He first loved us.

The problem is, how do we get from God's love being poured out in us by the Holy Spirit - that is, how do we get from God first loving us, to us loving God in return? Scripture paints that picture, so why is it that we are not loving God??!?

Sin.

Yeah, it always boils down to sin - but let's not keep it vague at this point. The quoted verses that I began this post with come into play here. You have the capacity to love God right now Christian - to love him with all you have. You have received the Holy Spirit, and by Him God's love has been poured out into your heart. You have been loved by God, and you can love God in return. The reason you don't is that you cannot love two things at the same time.

Okay, you know this already - not many of us are as interested in the "what" as we are in the "how" - and that is fair; yet we have to go in these baby steps sometimes so that we don't lose anyone.

In the moment that you received the ability to truly repent, in that moment you turned away from everything about yourself, and turned to God to receive Christ. However you describe it, in that moment you let go of the world and everything in it, and in that moment you turned 100% to Christ. Those of you who have a genuine faith will nod at this point as I am talking about spiritual things. Those of you who were saved in your childhood may not remember this so well, and some of you who have nothing more than an intellectual persuasion may well balk at it, being deceived as you are, and unwilling to let go of that deception, since it gives you the only comfort you know (however false).

The how question is answered by the gospel - as all how questions in Christianity are. It is surrendering all to God. But I am getting ahead of myself. I merely wanted to tie that in for later.

You see, the moment you were saved two things happened - your old man was condemned - it died with Christ, and you received a new man. Scripture refers to the new man as the new creation that is hid in Christ. This was an act of redemption - Christ redeemed your life, putting to death the old, and providing a new. But that was all spiritual - your flesh, the body that you presently live in - that was not redeemed, and it remains to this day - and it remains corrupted.

Now when I say corrupt, I mean all of: irredeemable, perverse, crooked, fallen, twisted, wicked, worldly etc. I say worldly because our flesh is never going to be part of God's kingdom, it is, and remains in the world system - God's enemy, and our enemy. It is one of the "things in the world." God is going to burn up our flesh one day along with the rest of the world, and for that we should rejoice!

Every true believer hates the fact that they sin. It makes them feel (and rightly so) like hypocrites. The trouble is that we are still in this flesh, and being in this flesh we have the opportunity moment by moment to give into its desires and in doing so - to sin. Understand this: giving into the flesh is an act of love, it is an act of worship. When we truly want what the flesh wants, we are "in the flesh" and this happens because we love the flesh.

That isn't to say that we don't love God, it is to say that we are double minded, and that is the problem. If there were no love for the flesh, the love of God would have no rival - kapiche? Okay, we have identified the problem again, so let's move on to the final "how" question.

I hinted at it there in the last paragraph - God endures no rival - I used to think of it as God being jealous in the way that a man might be jealous - you know, I want to be first in your affections because -I- am so entirely insecure that unless I am first in your affections, and markedly so, I will feel like I could lose you at any moment, and that is a bad feeling rooted in my own desire to be loved at all costs. But God isn't insecure like that. I am convinced that His jealousy is for our benefit and not His own. He wants us to love him above every other love because that is the greatest way to serve us - and we do serve a servant God (did Christ not wash Judas' feet?).

When we find ourselves in the precarious position of loving (worshipping) self more than we love God, the solution is not to try and love God harder - for we do not love God according to our own effort, we love Him because He first loved us (and not because we grit our teeth and made it so), rather the way to deal with our lack of love is to root out the love of the world.

Now, we could go off half-cocked at this point and begin to suppress all the other loves that we have. But let me tell you, if in my dating days, someone had locked my wife in a closet, it would not have stifled my love for her one bit. I would probably sit at the closet door and wait for her - eventually she will come out... No, suppressionism is not the name of the game - we put the deeds of the body to death by the Spirit or not at all.

It starts on one's knees - have you even asked God to take away every false love? If you have, have you knocked on that door until it was opened? Did you wrestle in prayer as Jacob did with the angel - saying I shall not let you go until you bless me? Or did you give up after twenty minutes with a shrug because you didn't believe God would ever do it in the first place?

No one stops loving the world who hasn't been to the throne for grace, and no one who is serious gives up until they have victory. A soldier who lays down on the field as soon as he hears gunshots is not pressing onto victory - no, he charges into the teeth of the fray and starts fighting. Christian, maybe today you see yourself as that one on the ground, afraid of the fray, you see an unwillingness in yourself to go the "whole nine yards" - don't call it weakness, call it worship, for you are as much an idolater as can be. You love your flesh, and you worship it, and so long as you fawn over it like that, you continue on as an idolater. "For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God." - Ephesians 5:5 [ESV]

Listen: the stakes are high. Those who are Christ's are certainly saved - eternally secure - but if you find yourself an idolater who is not willing to repent of it, don't hang your hat on the doctrine of eternal security, don't pretend the fight is over just because you are a believer - make your calling and election sure - enter the fray brother, enter the fray sister - stop playing at Christianity - the time to clean house is at hand - grab hold of God in prayer, and don't let go till you come through the other side. Don't settle for an intellectual assurance - fight until there is nothing left in you but God's love - then you will be assured brother, sister - then you will be assured.

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posted by Daniel @ 6:49 AM   10 comment(s)
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Monday Weigh-In IV
Yeah, I know it's Wednesday, but as previously stated, I am somewhat indisposed of late lately. Never the less, two days late, and really I only checked yesterday - the fourth week numbers are in, and they are (drum roll please), One Hundred and Eighty-two and a half pounds. To be fair, the scale actually said 181.5 three times, and 182.5 twice, but I am going with the higher numbers this week, because I went with the lower numbers a while back.

Anyway, I was reading in Numbers today how the Lord arrayed His army - by families. Think that through. The "First World" system eats families for breakfast, and I think that is by design - it is far too effective a destroying agent to be a matter of chance. Television allows a family to sit in the same room and be perfectly isolated from one another. The school system, for all its benefits, still separates children from their families for most of their waking childhood days - and in that time a peer driven (rather than family driven) focus is instilled - while individualism is exalted. Think about your family and ask yourself whether you are as a family are standing together in every fray, or whether you are some here and some there.

That's all for now.

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posted by Daniel @ 7:17 AM   2 comment(s)
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Mega-busy.
I will be away from the blog for a few days, perhaps even a week. The funeral was yesterday, and I have been off work for a few days, and frankly there are plenty of fires to put out all over the place.

Thanks again for your prayers.

Dan
<><

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posted by Daniel @ 9:41 AM   4 comment(s)
Monday, May 14, 2007
Monday Weigh In III
One hundred and eighty four and a half pounds.

After my grandfather passed away on Wednesday, I took Thursday and Friday off, and though my thoughts were on pretty much everything else but what the scale might say on Monday, yet I didn't give into that "what does it matter" mentality that is so characteristic of the flesh. I didn't get much riding in, and I more or less coasted through the last four days, but the number is lower than the last, and that is encouraging.

I mentioned it in the meta of the last Post, but my Opa's funeral is tomorrow afternoon. He has already been cremated, but during the time that we have a service at one of the local funeral homes, some people from the funeral home will be sprinkling his ashes somewhere else. It was timed this way to avoid having to pay the ridiculous rates for renting an urn ($800!)

I thank everyone who prayed for me and my family. Don't think that such prayers are without answer, for God was gracious to me and my family during this time in some unusual ways.

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posted by Daniel @ 6:14 AM   2 comment(s)
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
My Opa Died This Morning.
My Opa passed away this morning, he was 87 or so.

Earlier this week he went in for surgery, and yesterday was the first day he was off of morphine, and consequently coherent. This morning he was in good spirits, kidding with the nurses about finally being able to eat something - and looking forward to a bowl of porridge. Then he turned to his side and died. They say it was probably a blood clot, but it is too early to tell.

Last night my father phoned me to give me the news that Opa was out from under the morphine, and wanting to talk to us grand kids. My dad was going to give me his phone number, but I declined. My wife was out on a "girls night out" with some Christian friends - off to eat chocolate and listen to some testimonies and whatnot at one of our local churches. She had been looking forward to it for some time. She almost didn't go because just last night she had also gone out with the same friend to see "Tree 63" - apparently some Christian band. It may sound like my wife gets out a lot, but these were simply isolated opportunities that came back to back for her, and I was glad to watch our little ones so as to enable her participation in these events. Yet our youngest is still nursing, and that means that after an hour or so he must be coddled and cooed constantly or he will cry for his mother. I mention this I suppose to excuse my own selfishness in not calling my grandfather when I had the chance. I had my hands full when I dad called, and trying to chat with my Opa on the phone - a man I haven't called in years - promised to be both awkward and time consuming. Besides, he had come out of the operation with flying colours. It was the best of the best case scenarios, and his recovery promised to be speedy - in fact they were already scheduling him for another operation to remove some possibly cancerous growths that they found while operating.

Just this morning as I was looking for a martlett to cap off some bare wire on the air conditioning addendum to our furnace - wire that used to have a martlett covering it up (our youngest daughter probably took it off because it could be taken off), when I came across the little pamphlet from my Oma's funeral last year. As I looked at my Oma's smiling face on her funeral service memorial card, I thought to myself - its hard to believe that I only have one grandparent alive now, my Opa. Somewhere in my heart I was terrified by the prospect of seeing him. I don't think He knew the Lord at all, and I knew if I saw him I would want to share the gospel with him - but for some reason I was afraid to. Wretch that I am.

Anyway, that made the news I received a few minutes ago that much more horrible. Opa is gone - my exact words to my father last night when he tried to give me the number to call Opa? "No. I am not going to call him."

If you find some time today to pray for me and my family, that would be a kindness most welcome. I can deal with the loss of my Opa, but how weary I am on account of my own selfishness. Wretched is a word to solemn and polite to describe it.

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posted by Daniel @ 10:01 AM   17 comment(s)
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
How I Give Out Blog Links...
I have perhaps the simplest, most pragmatic system you could imagine. I give out links to those blogs that I read. If I start to read a new blog, and it gets annoying trying to find the link to their blog - the next time I find it I copy it and add it to my blog roll.

Am I the only one who does it this way?

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posted by Daniel @ 12:57 PM   4 comment(s)
Monday, May 07, 2007
Seven Things.
There is some monumental "100 things about me" tag going around, which Bugblaster was tagged with, and mercifully summarized into 7 general categories before tagging me with it. Without further ado, allow me to play in kind:

1. Sibling info: I have an older sister, two younger sisters and a younger brother. My sisters were all named after songs that my parents like, my brother and I were both named after television characters (I was named Daniel because "Daniel Boone" was on the tube when my parents were trying to name me.) I once contributed muchly to the breaking of my younger sister's arm (I convinced her it was okay to jump out our window. When I was five, my mom let me help cook lunch. We were always told to stay away from the stove when someone was cooking because they might get burnt. We were making lipton chicken noodle soup, and my younger sister (then three) refused to move away from the chair that I was standing on, even though I told her that my place at the stove was a current privilige that she was too young to enjoy, so when my warnings to move away from the stove (ostensibly because she would likely get burnt if she didn't) were ignored, I took it upon myself to take a spoonful of boiling soup and drip it on her. The ensuing screaming from my sister brought my mom back into the room, and my explanation of the event didn't win any sympathy. I think that was the first time my mother wondered what kind of monster she had given birth to. Not to worry, I didn't stay cold and calloused. I just started off that way.

2. Athletic Things... I was always coordinated, fearless, and strong as a young fellow. I could climb the tallest tree and sit on the most "bendy" thin branches at the top without much trouble, but I couldn't run to save my life. I played football, soccer, baseball, basketball, and even lacrosse, but I wasn't terribly good at any of those. I did win third place in a provincial wrestling tournament, and took second place in the city for my weight group, but I never really was encouraged in this direction. I learned to skate just enough to play hockey.

3. Farming things... My mother's parents had 160 acres of farmland, but they were both in their seventies when I was born. By the time I was old enough to help out around the farm, their livestock consisted of a couple of cows, the occasional pig, and the hen house. One of their sons (my uncle) lived a few hundred yards away, and he had horses, geese, etc. too, so I was exposed to a few farm animals growing up. Mostly the farm work involved getting the cows, and bailing hay. We spent pretty much every weekend on the farm, and I began to stay out at the farm for the whole summer when I was thirteen or fourteen. My grandpa died when I was fifteen, so that ended that.

4. Numbers and whatnot Math, Physics, and chemistry were my favorite subjects at school. I liked that there was no grey area, it was either right or wrong, and demonstrably so. I seem to be able to remember numbers quite easily, and have something of a phonographic memory - that is, I hear a thing, and can listen to it again later when I have the time to think about it. That annoys my wife a lot too, since she will sometimes interrupt me in the middle of a thing, say something, and although I hear her I don't process the information yet, I just put it aside until I can give it my full attention - then I "hear" it as it were. I don't know what kind of freak that makes me, but I was reminded of it because we did this thing once where you listened to a string of numbers and had to repeat them back. Apparently most people can do that with 7 numbers, but after that it thins out pretty quickly. I was -very- good at it.

5. Mormon thing... Um,... Okay, strange heading. Once some mormons came to our door, and I mistook them for Jehovah's Witnesses - which was quite funny. Anyone who has done any apolgetic work with cults will find that amusing. At one point I figured it out, but it was too late. The other time that was funny was when I was waiting for a bus. This very pretty young lady kept trying to catch my eye, and whenever she did she smiled at me. At first I thought she had mistaken me for someone else, then I thought for sure she was flirting with me, and when she came over I was all ready to inform her that I was genuinely flattered by her attention, but quite happily married, only then did she reveal her mormon agenda. I guess I could be taken aback by the thought that the local mormon church was sending out pretty girls to "flirt" men into mormonism - but seeing evangelical Christianity chase after "seeker sensitive" methodologies, I would have to admit that even evangelicalism is not immune to trying to woo people into church.

6. Desk things. I changed desks today at work - trading up to a larger desk in a larger area. All around me are pictures of my kids, and front and center is a picture of my wife and I on our wedding day. At home we have a cheesy little half desk thing that the computer is on - it barely fits. I have faded sign taped to the wall with a list of stuff that isn't supposed to be piled on the computer. Every item on that list has been ignored. I keep it up to remind me that all things are futile. Last year my parents gave me the desk I used all through my years growing up. It has sentimental value to me, but pretty much is a lame, lame desk.

7. Education things. I went to university to get a computer science degree (Math). I dropped out in the second year because I didn't have enough money to keep going, and I couldn't get a student loan because I was too young to get one in my own name, and my father refused to give the government any of his own financial information (needed for the student loan). Eventually I went back to school, but this time I went to a trades college and took electrical electronic and computer engineering technology. I finished about half of the course (with honors), but began to see that the only job I might get out of such an education would be as an electronic repair guy, or possibly I could become an apprentice electrician. I pretty much could do those things already, so I got a job installing home alarms. Eventually I decided I could program computers, and since the money was good, I went back to school and picked up a two year diploma for computer programming. I have toyed with the idea of finishing off my degree, but family life gets in the way. I love school and education in general. I would be in seminary right now if it were financially feasible.

That is my compilation of useless information about me. I am not going to tag anyone on this because I don't really have that much time.

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posted by Daniel @ 1:16 PM   5 comment(s)
I Am Not Discouraged.
The weigh in this morning didn't give me the number I was shooting for, I was hoping for at least 185, but found the scale unwilling to surrender said number. Instead it spat with a smirk, a tentative 186. I say "tentative" because I have one of those electronic scales that takes 20 seconds to determine your weight, and if you step on it immediately after getting off it, you could gain or lose two pounds on the reading. I usually try and take the highest of three separate readings for this reason - to be fairly certain that the number, if exaggerated, is at least exaggerated in the other direction (so as not to give me a false sense of accomplishment).

I suppose I didn't do that last week, and to be fair, its been a while since I played the scale stomping game. So it was with some disappointment this morning that I found myself at 186, 186.5, and 187. The numbers remind me that I can't expect much of a shift on Monday if I have all you can eat pasta on Friday, and make a rich, homemade pudding (using the "caloric nightmare" 35% cream in it (that's 15 50 calories per tablespoon!), and expect to see great numbers on the scale on Monday. Nevertheless, even though I would normally take the higher reading (170), I opted to take the lowest reading today because it's my party and I will take the lowest reading this week if I want to. ;-)

Well, lesson learned, and my resolve has been strengthened. Cycling is great, but it is only going to account for about 1/3 the loss. I just have to say no to my lunch time buddies (they are like secular drinking buddies, except they go out and eat rich foods at lunch instead of drinking) consistently, and guard myself like fort Knox on the weekend.

Either way, my poor showing this week gives our friend Neil some breathing room.

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posted by Daniel @ 6:12 AM   3 comment(s)
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Midnight Tourniquet
Your morning cup of joe...The clock wasn't ticking any louder than it had ever ticked. In the hustle and bustle of daytime activity the clock noise was so entirely drowned out it may as well have been silent. Yet in the midnight hour, its tiny whirring gears scraped strident against that nocturnal silence. Each second marked by the cracking, metallic snap of the larger gear, broken only by the occasional droning hum of distant tires rolling across a distant road.

It is no pleasant thing to be the hated recipient of some sinister plan, and more so if that same burning hatred randomly finds its way to you, but somewhere betwixt my twilight slumber, and this moment in time, a foul plan had been put into action.

Truly, I can only speculate about when the plan was formed or why. Perhaps this was some act of vengeance for some slight that I am unaware of? Perhaps a vendetta against some association? Truly, I don't care for speculation much, and less so when such speculation is certain to be utterly fruitless excepting that such forays into morbid motive serve to disturb my rest. I would assume that the attack was unprovoked and random, except it is not the first time.

Allow me to explain - it began in my childhood.

As a young boy in a large single income family, I didn't receive a set of pajama's until I was six or seven or something like that. They were the standard non-flannel sort of stretchy pajamas - red with blue cuffs, and pretty plain. Plain I say, except that they hated me and tried to kill me that night.

To be sure, it wasn't the pajama bottoms that ever hated me. I suppose I have always had a good relationship with pajama bottoms, not exactly a friendship or linking of hearts, but there has never been any ill will between us. But the pajama tops and I... well, let's just say it is like that that Bob Marley tune ("I shot the Sheriff") where he says,
Sheriff John Brown
always hated me
for what I don't know
Every time I plant a seed,
He said kill it before it grow...
I don't really understand why it is that pajama tops hate me, but every time I wear one to bed, somewhere round the midnight hour, they creep up, and twist up around my neck, until I wake with a choking start. So it was that day as a young boy, and so it has been every time I tried to "plant a pajama seed," The pajama top tries to kill me before the morning light.

I have never understood why it is that pajama bottoms are so friendly, while the tops are anger filled wretches, waiting deceitfully to strangle you to death when you are most helpless. How do these two come coupled together - it is almost like the good cop bad cop routine - the pants are your friend, they don't want you to get hurt, they just want whats best for you, but the top, the pajama top is the bad cop - a ticking time bomb, if it had a face it would be purple, and its teeth clenched against some inner rage.

Perhaps it is not unlike the hunting technique of the lion - the one making a show in front of you, keeping your attention - lulling you into a false sense of security - look at how distant it is, surely I will have plenty of time to flee, for I shall see it coming. Only unbeknownst to the oblivious victim, crawling through the tall yellow grass, silent as a whisper under the bright African sun - the mate approaches, and then, when it is too late, it springs from the side, and you only have time to open your eyes wide in shock and dismay...

I am somewhat suspicious therefore, even of the pajama pants - they seem nice, but it could all be part of the master plan of attack - a seeming ally, but a possible turncoat.

So beware my friends. Beware of the brooding pajama top, and his conspiratorial and seemingly harmless partner - the pajama bottom.

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posted by Daniel @ 9:53 AM   8 comment(s)
 
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