Saturday, February 22, 2014


The days are noticeably longer now. Last week it seemed like it was always dark. This week I lost track of time because it is so bright late in the day. It makes me happy.

Here's a good song to start your weekend:

My dad's picking up his Christmas present on Monday:

Someone at work mistook me for 27 years old.
Someone at work thought I was married with kids.
I wonder if that's the "vibe" I put out.

I've got  invisible braces:

I'm going to New York in a couple months:

I manage a regional airline's scheduled flight service. Here's an email I received recently:

Thanks. I have wanted to send a note to your office to express how impressed I was with my flight to ________. From the minute I came through the door and checked in for the flight the service was friendly and amazing, I have been talking you up in our office and will definitely be using your serve more often now....

You guys should be doing training sessions for the big airlines...


Investment Advisor
__________ Securities

I get emails like this from our customers on a regular basis.

This is the most recent song I've learned on guitar:

That's it for now.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ear Candy

Whatever It Takes

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

I went through a bout of depression. I was not the type of person who ever thought I would suffer through something like that. I generally thought people who were depressed were just weak minded. And then it caught me. What was the cure? I can't really say there was a cure. There were things I had to do to make myself better though.

I had to get out of bed (no matter how much I wanted to stay under the covers all day).
I had to eat regular meals (even if I didn't feel hungry most times).
I had to brush my teeth, shower, shave, and get dressed (no matter how much I wanted to stay in my pajamas all day and not face the world).
I had to have a goal for the day (even if it was something simple like doing laundry).
I had to go to bed at a regular time and sleep.

I had to force myself into the mold of a routine that resembled a normal life until I took on the shape of the mold again. That's the abbreviated story of a short span of my life. However, it's a good lesson for anyone wanting to make a change to their lives. You have to do whatever it takes to make the change or you will continue in old patterns.


I've heard it said that if you want something done, give it to a busy person.

That's definitely true of myself. When I get into the "groove" I can take on 10 new projects and still function relatively normally. I am super productive. I remember back when I was finishing my degree in Bible College, I decided to run for city counselor, while I was running 2 different youth groups 150km apart. I just did it. No biggie. But if I have few things on the go, and plenty of free time I tend to become much less productive in terms of input to output. I get lazy.

Right now I am trying to find the best mix. Work keeps me very busy. I spend about 50 to 60 hours a week doing my salaried job. In addition to that I have all my other responsibilities, both income related and things I've committed myself to, like writing up a friend's business plan, helping someone move, playing guitar for worship at C&C, youth group, etc... Three and a half years ago, I wouldn't have had anything besides work fill my schedule. Church wasn't really on the radar. I was very free, but very unproductive and very unfulfilled.

However, I work so that I can live my life outside of work. My extra curriculars need to be a part of who I am or else they just become work too. And soon, all I am doing is work, not life. I know some people who live to work, and I don't want to end up like that. It may have taken me 34 years to figure out, but money is not everything. It seems the biggest decisions I've made in my life the last few years have been to live a better life at the expense of a better income. And, surprisingly, I'm ok with that. I work to live, not the other way around. I have a friend who is a dentist. I have another friend who is a pilot. Both have the opportunity to make a lot of money. One friend works all the time, and focuses on the 2 weeks a year when he gets to blow all his money on a 5 star vacation somewhere warm and exotic. The other friend, doesn't work nearly as much, makes much less than his potential, but has time for friends, family, reading, sleep, music, God, smelling the roses... After much consideration, I realize I want to be like that second friend. I am just trying to figure out how to bridge that gap. I would readily take a reduced salary from work if it meant I could work less. However, that doesn't seem to be an option. That has caused me to re-evaluate a lot of things lately.

My goal is to un-busy my life. I'm not sure how it will all take shape but that is the direction I am heading. There are some things I want to be more involved in, and they require me to be less busy in other areas. There are other things I want to be less involved in, to make room for other things. It will be interesting to see what my life looks like when the dust settles.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Everything I Know About Women: Part 2

Two years ago I wrote the following post as a joke (mostly):

Everything I Know About Women

Seeing as it is 2 years later, and I think I've learned a lot more, I will share a few tidbits of my knowledge with you in honour of Valentine's Day.

Disclaimer: I realize that Not All Women Are Like That. But they are the minuscule minority. The following is generally true.

1 Most women don't know what they want in a guy. They think they do, and they will give you a list of what they are looking for. However, unless you have managed to find one of the only few completely open and transparent women in the world, they will not tell you the whole truth. Partially because they don't want to admit it and partially because they don't actually know. The reason for this is because they have been socialized to not admit what they really want, and purport to want what they are marginally inclined towards.

2 When women say they want a guy who is funny, or a guy who is smart, or a guy who likes kids what they are really saying is they want a hot guy who is funny, or smart, or likes kids.

Quick quiz: Who would women say they are attracted to more?

The first guy has a trail of ex girl-friends but he's trying to change. He doesn't have a steady job, doesn't have an education beyond high school, and doesn't care much for kids. The second guy is honest and sincere. He has a PhD in math, is a Big Brother, hopes to be married and have kids one day. Everyone he works with finds him friendly and funny. (And for the Christian ladies out there, he's also dedicated Christian and sits on his church's board.)

If you answered B, you lied. Although women want to believe that they would choose B, they wouldn't, not if they had a chance with A. Women will try to rationalize this decision by saying that attraction isn't everything in a relationship and that after they get to know Guy B they would choose him. They would be lying. They will go for a string of A's before getting to a B and usually by then its out of desperation, not choice.

3 Women want a man who is taller, stronger, wealthier and more dominant than they are. There can be some compromise on one of two of these qualities if the others over compensate.

4 Women want to be a princess rescued by a prince. They want to feel safe and secure because a man is protecting them. Only half will admit it, but there is a reason why Disney is so successful and old fairy tales are still around. There is a push to change that narrative in today's society but those who pretend they don't want the prince are deceiving themselves.

5 Women want to be a part of something greater than themselves. Usually they want to be brought along on an "adventure" a man is having.

6 Women are meaner than men. They don't resort to physical violence to the extent men do, but prefer psychological warfare and will torment whoever they feel deserves it for a very long time.

7 Women are emotionally driven, unlike men who are factually driven. That's not to say that women can't be factual and men don't have emotions. Everyone has to deal with facts to survive in the real world, but women will default to emotions as a guide or deciding principle much more often then men.

8 Women are extremely jealous of other women and are usually insecure about their looks. Rarely will they admit it. 

9 Women are nurturers. Those who aren't know they are an aberration but usually try to shame others for pointing this out. 

10 Women like flowers because....
        They are pretty. They smell good. If it is a gift from another woman it means that a friend is thinking about them. If it is a gift from a man, it means he's exhibiting his ability to provide resources and he's thinking about her. Of course, if he's guy B, they are creepy and she will give them away or let them die quickly.

If you disagree with the above, you are trying to rationalize away what you know to be true. That should be number 11. Women will try to rationalize the irrational because they don't like what the truth my be. They will usually resort to an outlier or anecdotal exception to discredit what they refuse to accept. I may elaborate on the points I made above. Perhaps, next Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Sabotage is an intentional act to undermine a goal or purpose.

I wonder how many times we sabotage ourselves, intentionally or unintentionally. Years ago I came across Dr. Phil's weight loss book. I only remember one thing from my casual skimming and that was not to sabotage your eating. If you want to lose weight, don't have a gallon of ice cream sitting in your freezer. (As I write this I am quite aware of the 5 gallon commercial tub of Cookies and Cream ice cream crammed in my freezer.) If you want a new job, wear a tie to the interview. Don't show up in ripped jeans. To do so is to sabotage your chances of success.

I think many times I set out to achieve a goal and then do something that decreases my chances of success or don't do something that could increase my chances for success. Results don't magically happen by themselves. Effort must be taken to reach your goals. And sometimes effort requires being cognizant of actions, ideas, or other things that may be sabotaging your progress.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Woman Who Wanted A Baby

A long time ago I knew a woman who wanted a baby. She had been married for quite some time but even after many years of trying for a baby she did not get pregnant. That didn't stop her from preparing for a baby though.

When I say preparing, I don't mean watching those weird baby birthing shows on tv or getting a book of baby names either. She built and decorated a nursery. She bought a crib and stroller and baby toys. It wouldn't have surprised me if she bought diapers too. She had everything she needed for a baby, just in case one magically appeared on her doorstep overnight. That never happened though. And now, short of a miracle, she will never have a baby. It's a sad story. And sadder still is the fact that her house is now a monument and reminder of something that will never happen. Every day she wakes up to see the pieces of a shattered dream, and every night she returns to the rubble of that same dream.

Sometimes I wonder if I am heading down that same direction. Not that I'm trying to get pregnant. I am setting my life up for what I want in the future, but I wonder if it will ever happen. If not, then all my preparations will be for nothing. They will just be a reminder of a goal not achieved. Then I wonder if it's best to not even prepare.

Monday, February 10, 2014


I know some people that can't prioritize. They have no sense of least and most important. Everything is urgent to them. Buying a loaf of bread, paying an overdue bill or attending a wedding are all on equal footing. Their life is hurried and chaotic. My life is becoming that way. I need to step back and set my priorities again.

I have let too many "priorities" into my life and only a couple of them are really important. I think I need to start eliminating some of the excess. I am definitely glad the home renos are in the past. But I have C&C and youth group and small group and my training routine and church and my rental properties and my actual job. They are all starting to crowd each other out and they are crowding out other things that I would like to be a part of my life.

Without hesitation, church and youth group are not negotiable. This weekend reaffirmed that for me. If my life is not in service to other people, it is not fulfilling the potential God has given me, and I would not feel like I am fulfilling my purpose. But everything else is up for consideration.

I can't say I've been "Happy" in a long time. I don't think "Happy"ness should be the compass for life. Emotions are fleeting, but they are a barometer that shouldn't be ignored completely. If someone were to ask me if I were happy the last year or so, I don't think I could answer. I haven't been depressed or anything either. I've been busy. That's it. Just busy. I don't like it when even free time and time with friends becomes another commitment I need to fit into my schedule. I haven't had a chance to slow down and smell the flowers, or even consider if smelling the flowers would make me happy. I've gone from one responsibility to another and I haven't had a lot of time for God, myself or others. I've been a robot, either by accident or intention, I haven't decided yet.

Honestly, this retreat has stirred some things up inside of me. The messages (even my own) and the experiences have broken me down on the inside a little bit. I am still working on making my faith my own, and I am still working on ways to serve others. I really care about these kids and I haven't been able to be as committed as I would have liked, even with my better work schedule. It hurts me to get a brief glimpse inside their lives and then let it go because I have too many other things to do. In some ways, knowing that I have an impact in other people's lives, especially children, with my presence and my absence has triggered this urge to reprioritize.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Youth Retreat

This weekend we took the youth group away. It  was an awesome retreat.

I've found in the past that these weekends are where our relationships tend to solidify. This weekend was the same.

First, some background information. My church is big. I don't know everyone. I don't even know of or about everyone. Our youth group is big too. Although I know "of" all the kids, I don't know all the kids. Our youth group isn't as close as other's I've been a part of in the past. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's different. Within our youth group we have small groups that provide a closer bond between each sponsor and the kids that are a part of their individual group. However, within the the youth group as a whole, there's kids who don't even know the names of kids in the other small groups.

The final night of the retreat something happened. Some of us watched a movie, some of us played board games, some others went to bed. Eventually it was just myself and 5 youth left in the main building. We were a collection of unique people who wouldn't normally end up together if left to our own devices or the format of the youth group. We were from different small groups and backgrounds. Some of us were churched, some of us not, and some in between. Some didn't know the other's names. It all started with one girl saying that from this point on we had to be our selves. No pretending. She said that at school she puts on a front but in youth group she was more her self. Now she wanted to be completely real, but only if the rest of us were real too.We started a board game and a conversation. The theme of this weekend was Making Your Faith Your Own. All weekend long the sponsors were sharing their testimonies. This night the remaining youth started sharing their stories with me. We ended up staying up all night long. It was heart breaking to hear some of the things that they are working through. It left me wanting to pray for those kids so much. There's some things I just can't fix. I have to let God take control. And that can be difficult for me to do sometimes.

I'm praying for our kids. I'm praying for the kids I spent the night talking to in particular. They're dealing with things that kids their age shouldn't have to deal with. I'm praying that the relationships that were formed this weekend remain strong throughout the year.

It's difficult for me to explain, but I came out of this weekend changed because of the experience I had that night. I hope it's a God thing. I pray that many good things will come out of this weekend.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Eat Your Vegetables

When I moved out of my parent's home to go to school there were 2 things that I always had on hand. Ice cream and vegetables. I knew that the vegetables were good for me and I should eat them. I also knew that mom wasn't around to stop me from eating as much ice cream as I wanted.

Somewhere along the line I stopped buying ice cream, but I kept eating my vegetables. In all honesty, I prefer ice cream to vegetables. But I know the vegetables are better for me.

In life, you need to eat your vegetables.
A little ice cream is ok every once in a while, but it can't be the main course or bad things happen.