Mar 31, 2006

I made it! Today is the last day of our second quarter; we're half-way through the fiscal year. So far, so good, but my goal is weighted toward the second half of the year. At least I have a good head start it.

The exciting news is that if I make 100% of my annual goal by the end of September, I'll win the company Maui!!

Fun & Games

Mar 30, 2006

I enjoy Orisinal games. I think you and your children will too.

Have fun!

National "She's Funny That Way" Day

Mar 29, 2006

Seriously. It's this Friday, March 31st. Perhaps ya'll will share some ways that the women you know and love are "funny that way."

So, here we go:

I wash my hands. A lot. Because I don't like the feel of my hands being dirty - even if they really aren't. Sometimes, I wash them twice. I'm funny that way.

When I eat chips, I eat the smallest ones first. Because I like to save the best (and biggest) for last. I'm funny that way.

I like to eat green vegetables for breakfast. Broccoli, spinach, green beans, peas, or zucchini, usually with chicken or tuna or eggs. I'm funny that way.

I file my emails as soon as possible after reading them because I don't like more than a few messages IN my inbox. I'm funny that way.

I dislike the texture of peanut butter, hot fudge, and marshmallow cream, but I like the taste of them. They're usually ok if they're hiding in something else like cookies, but never on or in ice cream. I'm funny that way.

In Which God Laughs and Laughs

Mar 28, 2006

The problem of prime numbers, particularly the ability to prove the Reimann Hypothesis, has driven many mathematicians to distraction. (That's a polite way of saying that mathematicians are a little nuts.)

Anyway, I found this article highly interesting. Here is the money quote:

"It would also prove to be significant in confirming the connection between primes and quantum physics. Using the connection, Keating and Snaith not only explained why the answer to life, the universe and the third moment of the Riemann zeta function should be 42, but also provided a formula to predict all the numbers in the sequence."

Mathematics meets Science Fiction! Sometimes I think God loves a good practical joke.

Science Meets Science Fiction

Mar 27, 2006

We keep getting closer and closer to a Star Trek world. Witness the introduction of the neuro-chip.

The Way My Mind Works

When I was 17, my Sunday school teacher told me that the way my mind works scared her. A lot.

But that's beside the point. Lately I've been missing practicing yoga - and not just because of how fit I feel when I practice regularly. Mostly, I miss the meditative aspect. That discipline of spending 60 undistracted minutes in deep focus.

I used to practice under a woman who was also a leader in the local Methodist church, and she always instructed us to focus on something specific - as opposed to the usual practice of emptying ones mind of all thoughts. She gave me the gift of guided spiritual meditation. Each day in her class, I focused on a specific facet of God's character.

And never before in my entire life has my spiritual life been so full as during those months of regular yoga practice. As I was thinking of this last night, my mind wandered (only a little). Why is my spiritual life less full now? I KNOW how to meditate, and I KNOW it's benefits to my relationship with God. Why did it take that regularly scheduled physical/mental/spiritual exercise to enjoy its fruit? Well - because it was regularly scheduled!

But beyond that, there was something in that room. A group of people, individually devoted to the unification of mind, body, and spirit. It's hard to explain, but those of you who understand, get it. I was there in a room of other people each devoted to a single purpose. Not unlike worship.

For one hour, three times a week, I focused all my mental energy on incorporating all three aspects of my person, the same way Father, Son, and Spirit are completely incorporated in the person God. And then, in that attitude of being completely THERE, focusing mind, soul, and strength on Him. It was deep, heady stuff. And I miss it, desperately.

Wish I could find a church with a regular yoga practice, but so few Christians get it.

'Tis the Season

In the spirit of Still Alive Momma, I've updated the look of the blog for spring.

Kinda refreshing.

Recurrent Dreams

Mar 25, 2006

Well, I'm not really having recurrent dreams. It's more like recurrent themes that keep popping into all my dreams lately. And I've had tons of recurring dreams in my life - flying, falling, swimming, the whole gamut - but this is new and very different.

I dream something is stuck in my gums and teeth and in my wind-pipe. I've had wads of chewing gum, weird tape, and that funny gunk they use to create a mold of your teeth. And I always get distracted from whatever is going on in my dream to remove the offending substance from my mouth or throat. As soon as I think I've gotten it all, I choke on some more.

Very strange.

Wonder what it means. I'll probably find out once it no longer matters.

Adventures in the ER

Mar 22, 2006

There is nothing quite so frightening as visiting an emergency room when you're away from home. Alone.

The good news is that they don't think I have appendicitis - but it took three hours, blood work, a CT scan, and other more humiliating examinations to find out. All the while Handsome was two thousand miles away worrying. I feel awful for causing him that much anxiety.

But, this is what love looks like - he was ready to drop everything and catch the next plane out if I had to have surgery. Thank God that wasn't necessary, but I've never wanted for him closer to me more than last night.

Side note: it is amazing how quickly pain killers can affect you when they inject them directly into your IV. It is also amazing that the hospital people will decide they need to get important information from you at the exact moment that those drugs begin to alleviate the burden of consciousness.

Less Than the Blink of an Eye

Mar 17, 2006

This morning, I read an article with great interest and could hardly wait to share it with all of you. Scientists have some new insight into the formation of our universe. Here's the money quote:

"In that trillionth of a second after the big bang, the universe expanded from the size of a marble to a volume larger than all of observable space through a process known as inflation. At the same time, the seeds were planted for the formation of stars, galaxies, planets and every other object in the universe."

First, the universe was nothing and then, in "less than the blink of an eye," it was everything. You see, I believe that God created the universe and all the physics necessary to hold it together. We all get to explore and experiment to find out His secrets. (Not unlike how our relationship with Him grows.) But when the astronomers and mathematicians and physicists look deeper and farther into the universe, they always find more mystery - which is cool.

But I was really thinking about a theologian and scholar I like to listen to who translated a certain verse in Genesis a little differently. "It wasn't 'let there be light,'" he said. "It was really 'Light, BE!' and in that one word 'be' everything was." And I love that image, such power and command. It seems the scientists have found it too. Nice.

I Drank the Kool-Aid

Mar 16, 2006

Sitting here half-watching some TV, and my ears perk up at the sound of a commercial. I check it out. Great music, outstanding visual production. Could be us. But it isn't really our current "style."

Nah, I think to myself and return to whatever it was I was doing. And then it happened. That sleek white beauty.

1,000 songs in your pocket.

Yep. I work for the coolest company ever!

Weird Science

Mar 13, 2006

This morning, I read some science news so interesting that I must share it with all of you.

1) NASA has caught up to Star Trek with their latest invention, a tricorder. Finally, something useful!

2) Physicists created plasma hotter than the interior of the sun. BUT, they don't know how they did it, which is actually kinda scary. In any case, check out the cool, fractal plasma traces.


Mar 9, 2006

Christmas trees - everywhere! Apparently, they just grow here, like oak trees or something. Except, there are firs and pines and balsams, taller than builidings, and glistening with snow and icicles. It's like a wintery fairy land.

I've spent the past two days within 100 miles of Yellowstone and Teton, and last night a nasty snow storm blew through the area, complete with high winds that persist even now. This morning, on my way to my first meeting, I got to hear the interesting sound produced by the ABS on my new company car. Blind panic in the wintery fairy land.

Last night, I discovered a lovely gourmet restaurant in rural Ammon, Idaho. Go figure. I had a perfect salmon & scallop mousse amuse bouche, a fabulous lobster bisque (with tarragon!), and a delicious Belgian endive salad with bleu cheese and candied walnuts. I can't wait to bring Handsome here sometime.

Thank God for audiobooks. They are the ultimate answer for long drives. (Podcasts work well, too.)

Life on the road necessitates a certain amount of fastfood meals. But today, I stopped at Subway for a turkey wrap, as opposed to fries and chicken strips. AND I did not eat in my car. Aren't you proud?


Mar 5, 2006

Leah and I recently counted up all the books I've read so far this year - most of which has been spent on the road in the Northwest. What we learned will remain secret, I think. Suffice it to say that I have no life.

Traveling for a living precludes many of the daily responsibilities of home; my evenings are mostly empty except for frequent conversations with Handsome. Thank God for free mobile-to-mobile wireless and iChat!

Hello and Welcome to Ash Wednesday

Mar 1, 2006

I am embarrassed to say that although I knew today was the first day of Lent, I didn't realize it was Ash Wednesday until I spotted a woman with that beautiful, grey mark. And this got me to thinking about the nature and practice of Lent, specifically in my own life. I'm still trying to figure out how to mark this season - it has to be more than just a flippant gesture of self-denial.

Most of us don't have the freedom to practice a serious fast, to follow the actual deprivation that Christ endured. What would happen if each of us (myself included) were able to set aside 40 days every year to devote ourselves to prayer and to deny ourselves all meals? What would happen to our families, communities, and churches?

Still, I am unconvinced that simply avoiding dessert or adult beverages or meat really brings us closer to God and His will. But perhaps that is my own ignorance. I know I should have thought about this sooner, but I'm going to consider what I can fast. And I'll be looking for something truly sacrificial.

Now for the audience participation portion of our programming: Do you celebrate Lent? If so, in what way? If not, why not?

Seriously, I'd like to know what you all think.