Category Archives: Blogging

Miscellanea

Each morning, riding my bicycle to work takes about 15 minutes. Heading one way, I listen to Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. It’s about 5 minutes, but I really like GK. I could add Lake Wobegon to fill the rest of the ride, I suppose… Anyway, I’m tendering suggestions for a podcast for the return trip. Something in the 15 minute window would be ideal.

I’d like to begin homebrewing sometime. By chance, anyone looking to get rid of a setup?

Anina and I are the proud owners of a 2009 Subaru Outback. Super happy. Pics here.

We have snow in Mt. Charleston, 30 miles away. Nice temperate weather here in the desert valley, and waist-deep snow a super-short drive away… Pics from this weekend.

Should I let Facebook be my Flickr? There’s the 60-pic limit per album, but it seems to be unlimited and free. Picasa and Flickr have great interfaces but I’m just not in a spot to pay for photo storage, given all the free alternatives out there. Thoughts?

August Post #2

Just by posting today I’m surpassing my monthly totals for each June and July… Way. To. Go.

And so much for that “Time to Get Going Again” idea, huh? That’s ok, blogs aren’t about guilt trips. Besides, I don’t want to be a word-trader (see previous post). …well, maybe I concede there’s some sort of middle ground.

I’ve spent the past few weeks in the employment of a company called AppleOne. It’s a temp agency. I don’t think companies like this are below me, but I never imagined working for one. It’s been interesting. My first assignment was holding cue cards for a video that the local teachers’ union was making for all the new hires. Easy. Observed a little bit about union politics and whatnot in the discussions between shoots.

Random info: Listening to the Crowes, B.B. King, O.A.R, and SRV right now.

The next assignment was the Las Vegas location of Barney’s New York. My fellow males, think Macy’s and then go up the retail food chain about 15 levels. Fancy stuff. It’s inside the shoppes in the Palazzo/Venetian here on the Strip. I worked in the shipping/receiving area. Very reminiscent of a job I had at Macy’s in Monterey during high school. Open tons of boxes of incoming merchandise. Sort it. Hang/fold garments. Prep some for the floor, some for storage. And actually, I spent most of my time organizing the storage space there. SO in need of it! I think that the most pleasant surprise was a reminder that the salespeople were mere mortals like us in shipping/receiving. I guess I was assuming them to be as snotty as the stereotype of their clientele, those who have enough money to shop at Barney’s. How’s that for judging?

Tomorrow I’ll be starting with The Apollo Group, specifically the University of Phoenix. The branch here in Las Vegas, that is. Apparently the world’s largest private university. I could see that. My job will be that of an enrollment counselor. Following up and meeting with prospective students who have contacted the university to express interest. No cold calls, thank heavens! Those that know me wouldn’t say I’m right at home in a classic sales position. I’ll be on contract with the university (henceforth UPX) for the first three months, still employed by AppleOne. Then after that time, if both UPX and I think it’s a good fit, I’ll move over to being a permanent employee with them. Now I know that some people have plenty of dirt on UPX… I’ve read it. Pressure for overly aggressive tactics with prospective students. A special “boiler room” for underperforming enrollment reps. Numbers-based pay incentives. From what I can tell, a mix of these types of things happened at various UPX branches, and they got called out on it, and it’s not going on anymore. So I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt. I am absolutely in favor of adults getting serious about education, no matter where they’re at in life. Also, I could really stand to improve my “sales” toolchest. The simple skill of asking people to do something. My struggle here is part of what killed me with my work in Durango. Couldn’t just directly ask people to volunteer with the youth ministry stuff. Couldn’t sell involvement. And if I’m serious about getting back in to pastoral work, I’ll be better prepared for it by being a better salesman.

I just started the coals on the grill. And I must begin tending to myriad culinary preparations. BBQ chicken sandwiches tonight.

A Monk in the Blogosphere

What does this mean for bloggers, especially those of us who type so much about faith?

XXIX

A certain brother came, once, to Abbot Theodore of Pherme, and spent three days begging him to let him hear a word. The Abbot however did not answer him, and he went off sad. So a disciple said to Abbot Theodore: Father, why did you not speak to him? Now he has gone off sad! The elder replied: Believe me, I spoke no word to him because he is a trader in words, and seeks to glory in the words of another.

From The Wisdom of the Desert, Thomas Merton ed.

Spirit of Blogging

I haven’t written much in a while, and the reasons for this lack of activity are actually some pretty important stories. But I haven’t felt like writing them down. I’ve been pushed a lot recently, which has been great, but tough. And not always entirely appropriate for public consumption (yet).

So, combine this with my noticing of many people returning to what blogging started out as… which correct me if I’m wrong, was more about being a conduit, predominantly about linking to other people and interesting information.  I especially appreciate it when people amicably link to people they may not agree with, not to blast them but to include their voice in the conversation…. and anyway, I’ve decided make my first post in a long time one where I point to some other good stuff for you to read:

Other people you should read in lieu of my consistent blogging:

Enjoy!

Snow

Tonight went to a Christmas party at a house in a neighborhood in the hills west of Durango. Normally the drive takes about 15 minutes. Coming back down into town took maybe 30, 4WD and low gear all the way. It was so cool to see that much snow on the road! I’ve been complaining about how warm it’s been recently, and how little precipitation we’ve been getting. Last weekend we got a pretty good storm and Purgatory opened with a good amount of frontside trails available. Today the backside opened during a storm. So maybe all my complaining got us somewhere… or not. It’s just nice to finally have snow around. Hopefully the temperatures will stay down so we can keep it.

After we got home I took Rusty out to pee, since we had been gone about two-and-a-half hours. Now normally this involves a flashlight for any time later than 7:00. This was 8:30, and even though Durango doesn’t have a lot of glaring lights, what little there is was reflecting all over the snow and it was like a bright dusk outside. A wierd phenomenon to try to put into words. Just much brighter outside than one would expect it to be when the sun has gone all the way down.

I know I haven’t posted in a while, and this is a good excuse for me to write some, to get back into it. There’s been interesting stuff going on at work, but I’m carefully examining how much work stuff I talk about now that staff blogs are on their way to becoming a disputed topic. And that may have been saying too much, hahaha.

Well, hopefully February will bring plenty of blog fodder. Pending official acceptance, I’ll be taking an online class through University of Dubuque Theological Seminary (UDTS). “Theology of Mission and Evangelism.” Seeking to rethink these two major components of ecclesiology in the context of our ever-changing culture.

Nameless Wisdom

Tony Myles is perhaps one of the guys whose blog I’ve been reading consistently since I jumped into the blogosphere. I think I came across his name in a youth ministry context, but now I really appreciate his wide range of pastoral insight.

He’s got a great post how anonymity might factor into the lives of Christians. If we don’t insist on getting credit for all the good works that Saint James spurs us to, we “taste true freedom, for when we practice positive secrecy we become less enslaved by a culture that hands out trophies for everything.”

I’m making no comment on how –or whether or not– I applied his advice, but you oughtta consider it for yourself and maybe come up with something new…

The Wait Is Over

Wow, I’m so relieved. Our church just called a new pastor yesterday, which means I have a new boss. The Rev. Dr. William Mangrum. This guy and I get along so well together, too. It’s crazy.

Side note: In thinking about how to describe him, I almost just spouted off a bunch of labels. Emergent Village, Rob Bell fan, etc. Bad, Russell, bad!

Bill and I both love reading. He’s got a head-start on me though. One of the biggest logistical problems for bringing him here is what to do with his 15,000 books. I’m really excited to have a superior that is so well-read, and that can introduce me to new authors and titles that will challenge me in all aspects of life… personal theology, ministry practices, etc. Continue reading