I just read this news article about a girl who is 6'4" and only 13 years old. Sad story of being teased (that word is probably not harsh enough to describe the ordeal) because she is so tall and thin. I can somewhat understand juvenile teasing in regards to some things, but teasing someone for something they have absolutely no control over, like a hereditary disease, is just crap. It's really sad how people feel a need to tear down eachother. Twisted human condition.
The article has a picture of the girl standing next to her dad, who is much shorter. Hopefully she can get past this without too much baggage and become even stronger.
After months of planning and years of anticipation... it is here.
This is the photography showcase of my friend Justin and I. The site is still going through a few changes, but it's in working order.
Please take a look, leave a comment, do whatever. Photo's will be added on a daily basis. The site should be completely finished in a week or so.
(RSS is up and running, so add aesthetic-mindset to your sage feeds!)
You might have heard of the drug tunnel that was found that leading from Tijuana to Otay Mesa (only a few miles from my office). The authorities found at least 4200 pounds of marijuana when they found the tunnel. Peoples' first thoughts may be of astonishment, fear, or relief that it was busted. I have spoken with a few people who said they are very happy about the bust, as am I. But beyond my relief that the drug trade took a big hit lies is a bit of sorrow within me. What a lot of people don't realize is how many people who were working in that operation will be murdered because of the loss of "product". Sure we can say that they were connected to the drug trade and it was their choice, so who cares if they pay the price with their lives. But, they are still people, who God loves, many of whom I am sure did not desire their line of work. I still feel for the families of those who will now be hunted down and killed because the cartels took such a big hit. Someone has to be responsible and punished, and for those people I feel great sorrow.
Another perspective I have encountered was the business end. I was talking with a friend of a friend of mine who smokes dope. We discussed the tunnel a bit. The first thing I mentioned were the deaths that would now take place and the first thing that he mentioned was that the price and value of dope went up about 20% after the bust. I totally didn't even consider that the drug trade had a working business model, so to speak. It just fascinated me for a bit to see something from someone else's viewpoint.
At work, we are running out of space everywhere. We have probably 10 too many people for how much office space we have. So, until we are able to do some real changes, there are a lot of minor changes going on. One of the changes is that both of our main printer/copier machines have been moved into my office. My supervisor and I talked quite a bit about this and how it would affect my work. I didn't think it would bother me at all, and he thought it might present a problem (I'm not exactly the most social person at all times). Anyhow, he was right. Today is the first day that both of the printers are in my office, and I almost went postal once already.
It's the little things.
I figured the printers would be in my office. People would come in to pick up their print jobs or do their copying, then they'd leave. WRONG. Instead they come in, talk to me while I am trying to work. Ask me to fix the printer's paper jam. Take print jobs that don't belong to them AND PUT THEM ON MY DESK? Ask me to fix their print settings on their computer because their stuff didn't print as they expected. Ask me to fix yet another printer jam. Then if all goes well, they feel a need to say something as they are leaving as well. They even moved some of my personal items around in the room (took stuff off of my desk, and put it elsewhere). Oh and this is all over the course of about 3 hours.
This is way to much interaction for me, especially leaving crap on my desk! So now I have to talk to my boss again to see if there is a way to convince the staff to leave me the hell alone when they come into my office/the printer room. The best part is that my co-workers are all very emotional people for the most part, and if I ask them not to talk to me they will be offended and hurt.
fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun!
Yesterday I framed my first print. The one you see here is a simple 8'x10' print in a wooden frame. The photo is one of my favourites and was taken at my friend Scott's backyard while I was waiting for him to get off the phone ;)
Anyhow, I am really excited about finally framing a print, and hope to start doing so more and more as gifts and eventually maybe making a bit of $$ with it. The first print went to Scott since he has told me numerous times that he liked the photo, and he is the one that reared the beautiful plant.
I should have my photoblog, which I am co-producing with my friend Justin, up in a couple days. It's a project I have been planning in my head for about six months and it is about to come into fruition, so that will be yet another milestone.
So, here's to milestones!
I was talking with a couple of my good friends last night and they invited me to go to a concert with them. I had bible study last night and told them that I would love to go, but that I'd prefer to go to my bible study. This brought on the discussion of my bible study. "So, what is it?" my friend asked. After rambling for a bit about how the bible study functions and such, the conversation led to the question, "What is prayer?".
One of my friends brought up the scripture, "pray without ceasing" in regards to a comment I made. Neither of my friends are Christians, and it was fun to be able to talk about my faith without feeling that I was being judged, or judging them. It was just curiosity giving way to discussion, hopefully feeding respect (on both ends). Anyhow, the "pray without ceasing" reference made me state that without understanding what "prayer" was, the statement "pray without ceasing" is useless. I shared with them that a lot of Christians often use the idea of prayer as a cop-out to avoid real questions, or responsiblity, and that "prayer" needs to be defined before we choose what we will do with the word. This made me think of what I believe prayer to be, and I couldn't answer it outside of a generic answer at that time, so I didn't. I am the type that will think long and hard about things that I deem very important, rather than say the first thing that comes to my head. I am worried that I will cloud truth with my own agenda (which I do at times). So after thinking about it long and hard, I have come up with something fragile, something possibly wrong, but honest, nonetheless.
Prayer is a mindset
Not saying you shouldn't pray to God intentionally in form of conversation, but when I am closest to God, he is at the forefront of my mind in everything. He is the filter which I choose to see and experience everything in my life. I am not there as often as I should be, but often enough to know what it feels like even in times when I have not allowed God to be there.
Prayer, in it's most basic form, constant communion with God, is a state of mind
This is the only thing right now that I would feel comfortable saying to describe prayer to a friend of mine who does not believe in the God I believe in. And I love how my friends, Christian and non-Christian, enrich my life in such amazing ways, even through 15 minute conversations.
This weekend is the Southern California Ice Bowl. Ice Bowl events in disc golf are charity events that happen in January/February each year to raise money for various charitable organizations. Each region in the states has their own Ice Bowl, and there are even Ice Bowls that happen in Europe and Japan.
For the most part, Ice Bowls are just fun tournaments where your entry fee goes to charity, so there are no payouts, just a good time, and maybe a t-shirt.
In Southern California, we have one of the few Ice Bowls that is also a sanctioned event, so our results are tied to our player ratings and profile. So even though we don't get any payouts for our performance, we still get compensated by having the results counting as a true tournament, with player points and ratings.
This year the Ice Bowl is being held at Whittier Narrows Disc Golf Course. It is the only sanctioned event played at this course all year long, so I decided to sign up and make the drive along with a couple other San Diegans up to compete, and donate to charity.
Here is the list of people competing in my division:
Advanced Name PDGA# Current Rating City State Country Ron Brawley 15958 944 Temple City CA USA Justin Bruner Lino Camacho 25165 Yes 919 San Diego CA USA Steve Civitak \Bama\ 15556 937 Temple City CA USA Ryan Eber 28454 Yes Huntington Beach CA USA Roddy Flocken 17498 896 Whittier CA USA Jon Follingstad 13903 Yes 909 North Hollywood CA USA Ryan Gwillim 24321 960 San Diego CA USA Lawrence Halili 19261 Yes 932 Santa Maria CA USA Steven Hines 23876 Yes 936 San Luis Obispo CA USA Chris Lindgren 19951 931 Irvine CA USA Paul McBeth 27523 Yes 917 Huntington Beach CA USA Jason McEwen 19828 Yes 916 Yorba Linda CA USA Adam Nash 28304 Yes 962 San Diego CA USA Tan Nguyen Jeffrey Roberts 22854 858 Fountain Valley CA USA Noah Rodriguez 21215 916 Whittier CA USA Christopher Sandoval 28490 Yes Whittier CA USA
All this is taking place on saturday. This is the first tournament of the year, and I'd love to start out with a win! Wish me luck (or skill preferably).
Found on walkway at Orangevale disc golf course. Photo courtesy of Justin, a friendly local of Orangevale, taken with camera phone.
As I write this I am sitting in the Reno airport at Gate B5 waiting for my flight home to get here from Boise, where it is, of course, delayed. I don't believe I have had a flight in the last two years that hasn't been delayed. It's all this stupid security, they are busy checking my shoes for lexan knives and harassing me about wearing my jacket through the metal detector, my cotton hooded sweatshirt that is. Anyhow, that's enough complaining about the horrific state of our airfare industry, I could make a completely different essay about that, but I'll spare you all for now.
Reno/Tahoe. I will start by saying that I did not expect this place to be so beautiful. At least in terms of the natural surroundings. Reno is on the edge of the Sierras, and right now it is surrounded by beautiful snowy mountains. My reason for coming here is to help my girlfriend, Chris, move to her new home for the next 3 or 4 years. She has moved here to continue her education and obtain her Ph.D from UNR in Environmental Engineering.
We left San Diego wednesday night and drove all the way to Fresno, and stopped there for the night. The next morning we drove up to Sacramento and decided to play a disc golf course there. The course is named Rocklin Disc Golf Course, or something to that effect. It was a very enjoyable course with a fairly modern course design. The holes were challenging, but not difficult, and there were some decently long holes on the course. We only had time for one round because we wanted to get over Donner Pass and into Reno before the manager of Chris's new apartment complex left for the evening (we didn't have a key to the place yet). So, yeah, the course was great, if I find out about any major tournaments happening there, I might come up for one.
After that we drove to Reno, there is another course in a mountain town called Truckee that we were thinking of coming back to play, but when we got to Truckee, there was about 6 feet of snow, we didn't play the course.
Eventually we arrived at the apartment, a bit of snow on the ground, tempurature around 28 degrees or so. We unloaded the rental van, and took it back to the rental company.
Friday morning we planned to go snow shoeing, so after waking up, and falling back to sleep, then waking up again, we finally made our way to REI to rent my snowshoes. Then we made the 40 minute drive to Lake Tahoe and did some snowshoeing. I had no idea how fun and exhaustive this was. At first we broke trail into about 6 feet of snow, and hiked around a bit. I took a couple pictures which I will share when I get them developed. Then we headed to one of the little mountain towns along the lake for some lunch.
I can't remember what all else we did that day, but I think we watched a movie at some point, along with driving around Reno trying to find out where things were. The city is layed out in a bit of a confusing manner with the main street and the main freeway criss crossing 3 or 4 times, it's like a DNA spiral, so when you are on either the freeway or the street, you aren't quite sure where the other is, right or left? We drove the wrong way probably 10 or more times throughout the 4 days we've been here, and the worst part is that we were using a map.
Reno does not have even one disc golf course. So on saturday we decided to go back to Sacramento (2 hour drive) and play more golf. This time we chose Shady Oaks Park, which is located in Orangevale just east of Sacramento. This was one of the most fun courses I have played in a long time. The course was very wooded, but there were plenty of long shots, and the fairways were spectacular. Also there was an indoor pro shop, which for disc golf is a HUGE thing. They had a great selection of discs and equipment, of which I purchased a few things that I've needed for a while. We were able to play a little over two rounds before nightfall. I would definitely put that course in my top 5 for California!
Today, which is sunday, we finally started organizing and setting up Chris's apartment, we went to a couple supermarkets and other stores buying the necessities; soap, detergent, trash bags, etc. <----I know I didn't use that semicolon correctly, and I don't care :p After shopping we went back and started assembling furniture etc. Then went and had lunch.
After lunch, we spent about an hour wardriving trying to find internet access so I could check-in for my flight, and do a few other things. We never found access that would work for more than a couple minutes. So we finally broke down and went to Starbucks, which I HATE. They have WiFi there so, running out of time, we folded and went in. Evidently, Starbucks has a deal with T-Mobile to steal everyone's money. In order to use the Interweb at Starbucks, you have to sign-up for a T-Mobile WiFi account, which costs $6 everytime you log on. Now I am boycotting T-Mobile along with Starbucks. Boo for greed.
Which brings me to my next point. I paid $8 to get a WiFi connection in the airport right now in order to entertain YOU. I'm expecting anyone who actually read this entire post to donate 50 cents to my interweb fund. Email me and I'll hook you up with my paypal information.