Monday, April 30, 2012

On Struggling

If you've read some of the previous posts on here this year, you may have come across my discussions of "future me". I got the original inspiration for that from a lot of places, but one of them is a post on procrastination from a blog called "You Are Not So Smart" (YANSS, for short).

A cartoon site called "Formal Sweatpants" did a cartoon derived from that procrastination post from YANSS recently. I think it is brilliant (and here it is....)

It also categorizes the struggle I've had for the last few weeks. Current and Future Me have been duking it out just about every day for several weeks. The two of them struggle with each other and go back and forth over who is right and who should do what.

The end result is that they both lose.

Even though it may seem that Current Me wins the argument, he still loses in that he IS Future Me. Check and mate, sir.

I'm chalking it up to a dog pile of stress that seems to come with this time of year. It's not just one thing - we are a very busy family in general but the end of the school year just seems to stack things right on top of one another.

It's not overwhelming or catastrophic. It's just more. And one of the things that gets stretched the farthest is my resolve/willpower to stick with the eating program and exercise. Excuses are easier to come by and "later" becomes a dumping ground for a lot of those personal decisions.

I don't have an answer or keen insights on this. It just is a thing right now.

So, not only did I miss posting this on Friday but I've all but avoided the scale too. I know the number has got to be up this week but I didn't check it at all. That sucks....

Do you have any of these periods you go through? Leave a comment and let me know what it is or how you typically handle it....

Friday, April 20, 2012

On A Good Story

I love a good story. I think most people do. I was reminded of how much a good story matters recently from a place that many people might find odd.

This one involves a high school boy, a friend with an Apple ][e, and a penchant for imagination.

Let's start in 2012 - I love checking out Kickstarter to see what kinds of things people are coming up with. I've even backed a few projects on there (some successful and some not). But one that really grabbed my attention was a project to develop a video game. Not just any video game, mind you. This game was touted as being the long awaited sequel to one of the grand daddy computer role playing games of all time: Wasteland.

For those of you who either weren't around in the 80's (some of you) or didn't play computer games back then (all the rest of you), Wasteland was one of the first games that took on the post-apocalyptic sci-fi genre and did something good with it. The game was pretty awesome. Especially to a teen boy who read every sci-fi book he could get his hands on....

Now, you might be asking "What could have made a game from 1987 so good?" I get that. I mean, we're talking 8-bit stuff here. The graphics and sound would barely pass as graphics and sound by today's standards. You controlled everything with the keyboard - no mouse or touch anything. It even required a *gasp* physical booklet (that came with the game) to play. The game, at certain points, would direct you to read a certain numbered paragraph from the couple of hundred paragraphs in the booklet. Old school, baby....

So, what's the deal? In a word - Story. Sure there were a few (for 25 years ago) tech advances. But the thing that really grabbed people (and it got quite a few) was the story. The player was quickly and easily immersed in the world of the game, mainly via text descriptions and paragraphs. The graphics and sound (such as they were) brought just enough to let your imagination grab ahold and run with it.

The sequel to Wasteland never surfaced and the game began to fade. It got a little boost (mainly in people's memories) when the game Fallout hit the scene a decade later. That game was a huge hit. Probably bigger than Wasteland mainly because of the growing number of home computers and gamers with paychecks (those teens in the 80's were young adults with jobs in the 90's). The tech was leaps and bounds above Wasteland but the story was basically drawn from the older game. Fallout rocked too.

But, Wasteland proved to me, and many others, that a good story is something that people really long for. Sure there are somethings that work fine with out a good story (e.g., Angry birds), but when you get a good story you can grab people and stay with them.

So, I backed the Wasteland 2 project on Kickstarter. And then I went and got an Apple ][ emulator and a disk image of the old Wasteland game. I had forgotten how good it actually was until I started playing again. I got hooked on the story once again....

On Waist Land
(see what I did there....)

I'm still not running but I hope to pick it back up next week as my foot is about 100% better than it was.

In the mean time, I 've tried to buckle down on the diet side of things. That has led me to the scale once again where I found:


Another pound. At that rate (1lb/week) I'll be pretty close to hitting the 200lb mark by the end of the year. Of course, I'd like it to happen a little quicker but I know it's slow and steady that wins this race.

Monday, April 16, 2012

On Being Busy

What a crazy week and weekend. No real info to post or deep insights other than to say that, Dads - ALWAYS take your little girls (no matter their age) to the Father-Daughter dance when the opportunity comes up. You will not regret it...

Friday morning I hopped up on the scale. I wasn't sure what to expect since my running was still offline with the foot injury and I had basically gone 2 days without eating after being sick over Easter. So, I looked at the display and it said:


That's about 1.5lbs from the previous week. I blame being sick and I definitely DO NOT recommend it as a weight loss strategy. Ugh!

Friday, April 6, 2012

On Good Friday

It seems like an oxymoron to say that the day we remember the murder of someone is Good Friday. It is only because we either a) don't understand the importance and can gloss over it or b) full understand the importance and rejoice in the outcome.

In either case, the events of the day that Jesus was crucified are often overlooked. The suffering that He endured, the sacrifice that He made, and the actions and reactions of the people around Him are amazing.

The thing that always draws my attention in reading about it or in discussing it are some of Jesus' last words on the cross:
When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit. (John 19:30, NLT)
"It is finished." What is it that was finished? Why does it matter? Did something else begin?

I look at those words and am reminded each time that the work to defeat sin and death has been done. What Jesus finished was the atonement necessary to cover the sins, past and present and future, of all of us.

That's an amazing thing when you think less about the cosmic importance of it and contemplate the personal meaning of it. It is finished. The work is done. There's nothing left of that job. I don't have to try to do the work myself. Jesus did it for me. He did it for everyone.

Not that any of us could ever do that work anyway, but we also don't have to worry and stress about it. And the fear of the outcome is gone as well. And I can get on with living the life that God intended me to have. One in which I can have communion and close relationship with Him. One where I am not separated by the pall of sin, of being unclean before a holy and pure God.

That's not to say that there isn't sin in the world, in my life. It will be here until God draws things to a close. The key here is that it doesn't have to drag me under and separate me from God. I don't have to follow it down the path of death.

That is really Good News.....

On The Quest

My running program took a forced hiatus this week, and maybe next week too. I injured my foot on Sunday trying to pretend that I'm about 20 years younger than I am. So I've had to take some time off.... again.

Anyway, the foot still works well enough to step on the scale so I did that this morning:


A gain of half a pound. Ugh. Here's hoping I can get back to running sooner rather than later....

Photo credit to glasgow's finest on flickr.

Friday, March 30, 2012

On Faith

Last night was really cool. I got invited to the Confirmation dinner at our church where I sat down to a meal with several friends. The meal was a good time but the key event of the night was the presentation of the statements of faith by the 8th grade students that had completed the confirmation class.

Ok, what is a confirmation class? It's a class that spans several months in which young people are confirming their baptisms. A very large number of families in our church baptize children when they are infants or toddlers. Most people that age aren't really in a position to make an affirmation of what baptism represents. So, starting at 8th grade, the young folks are able to take the confirmation class in order to "confirm" their baptism and their acceptance of their faith.

The class incorporates pairing the youth with a more mature mentor and several classroom sessions on church history, doctrine, biblical teaching, and open discussion about following Jesus. At the end of the period, the Youth (called confirmands) put together their statement of faith and present it to a collection of church elders, clergy, and advisors. That's what happened after the dinner.

It was an amazing time. I have known many of the confirmands since they were toddlers and watched them grow up. It was great to see and hear their statements. I was blown away by how these young men and women talked about the concept of faith and how it has and does impact their realities. Too see that a group of people often characterized as ADD or immature could approach something with this much insight and caring was very inspiring to me.

Along with being very happy for these young people, I was challenged to take a deeper look at how I express my faith. How do I talk about it? How do my actions reflect what I do/don't believe? How do I server God in my home, my work, and elsewhere in my life? Do people see God in my life or is He a well kept secret?

Not sure what the answers are to all of these questions. As I dig into them more over the next days and weeks, I'll post more about them.

Have you ever developed a "faith statement?" What struggles have you had trying to describe your faith to someone?

On the scale

I'm 2 weeks into doing a 5K training program and have run about 11 miles in the past week and a half. That seems to have helped move things along as the scale reported this today:


Another pound towards the goal of 200lbs. That also brings the pledge amount to $40: $20 for Love146 and $20 for To Write Love On Her Arms. These are two great organizations and if you feel called to help support one or both of them, please let me know what you would like to pledge - a flat amount, a number of dollars per pound I lose, etc. Thanks in advance....

Photo credit to The U.S. National Archives on