What human nature does is quite plain. It shows itself in immoral, filthy, and indecent actions; in worship of idols and witchcraft. People become enemies and they fight; they become jealous, angry, and ambitious. They separate into parties and groups; they are envious, get drunk, have orgies, and do other things like these. I warn you now as I have before: those who do these things will not possess the Kingdom of God.
But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have put to death their human nature with all its passions and desires. The Spirit has given us life; he must also control our lives.
Here are the photos I took at the Winter Jam concert on Friday night. Below are brief descriptions and military times from my phone of when they were taken. I apologize for the quality of the photos, I used the camera in my phone having (intentionally) left my digital in Harrisonburg.
From what I am told, the crowds started arriving at 3pm, doors opened at 6pm and the show started at 7.
16:51 – Eating Pizza at Lil’ Cucci’s Pizzeria in Daleville, VA. Good pizza, but a bad decision.
18:17 – A sign at the Roanoke Civic Center. This wasn’t for our event, looked like a trade show or something inside.
18:19 – We see the crowds outside. At this point the venue was declared full, and the doors were blocked with no more allowed in.
18:48 – Show starts in ~ 12 minutes, and the line has shrunk. From what I heard, they opened the area behind the stage and allowed another 300 people in, but that wasn’t enough to get us through the doors.
18:56 – They haven’t played inside yet, but the Sidewalk prophets came and gave an acoustic performance for those of us stuck outside. Great guys, great music. They all signed the copy of their CD I bought, and the singer recognized me after the show when I went to get his, having missed it earlier.
18:57 – I took a few photos before my phone battery started saying it was low.
20:31 – This is the first photo I took after getting inside, so we got in at about 8:30pm, an hour and a half late.
20:32 – David Crowder Band is finishing up their set.
20:33 – A slightly better shot, David Crowder Band
20:39 – Crowd blinders came up, this is my view for the first few minutes from behind the stage.
20:48 – This was our seated view behind the stage before moving, this guy was talking about orphans and the sponsoring thereof, I believe.
21:16 – KJ-52 performing while the final details are put on the Kutless set.
21:29 – Kutless!
21:57 – Newsboys entrance. Closest is the guitarist, farther away is the keyboardist, both on platforms above the crowd on the floor.
21:58 – My last photo of the night before I ran out of room on my phone, the Newsboys stage.
It was a Friday, just like any other Friday, except that it involved music. Lots of music, loud music, good music (in my opinion!).
It was a Friday full of disappointment, as well as great enjoyment and miscellaneous good times.
It really started earlier in the week – the band I work with (Chasing Grace) had elected to make a group trip to Roanoke to see the Winter Jam featuring RED, KJ-52, Kutless, David Crowder Band and the Newsboys, among others. The rest of the group were leaving at 1:30, would have got them to Roanoke around 3:30 or 4. However, I accepted an offer to leave at 2 – a decision I now realize was not the wisest – although the question remains how different it would have been.
So we left at 2, and had to pause in Harrisonburg briefly before we got going. We were making good time when it is decided we need to stop and get food – this seems fine, we’ll stop, get food, and eat in the car on the way. No, this is not a good plan, there’s plenty of time, we can sit down and eat and then carry on. Another unwise decision.
Eventually we reach Roanoke and see the Civic Center, where the event was held. Hordes of people surround the building, and my nervous level rises even further. “Don’t worry” I was told, “It seats 10,000” and “I doubt there’ll be 6 or 7 thousand.” He was right, there weren’t 7,000, not even 10,000. However many people the building could seat, there were more people trying to get in, and we were at the back of the queue. For around 2 hours we stood in line after being told that no more could be let in – they promised that as people left they could let just as many people in.
As “consolation” the Sidewalk Prophets came out and did an acoustic set on the sidewalk for us, before having to pack up and run inside to play for the crowds in there. Then after playing inside Jason Castro (of American Idol fame) came out and played for us. He was really cool, being his first tour he was excited to play but felt really nervous being so close to his audience and being able to see and connect so easily. He played a couple of songs and then like the Sidewalk Prophets did, sold CDs and signed along with photos for anyone outside who wanted them.
While waiting in line I met a nice couple from Harrisonburg. They had seen the show in Charleston WV and were just great to be with. We talked a little after spending 45 minutes or an hour standing at the very front of our line – able to touch the door, but not able to open it and walk in.
At around 8:45 – 9 we got in (for free!). I followed them and we ended up behind the stage. The couple (who are remaining nameless!) I came with got in a few minutes later, and they found the rest of our band (in much better seats, and with room for me and the couple I found to join them).
I got in just in time to see the end of the David Crowder Band set – I Saw The Light was amazing. I was a little sad I didn’t get to see the rest of it, but that was fine – I was more disappointed that I didn’t get to see RED play (one of the three I came to see). Out came KJ-52 to do I think two songs before leaving the stage. Then Kutless came out (two of the three) and started with It Is Well before several other songs. Chris August played a song, and Tony Nolan kept going on about things that are now about normal for a Christian event. Finally out came the Newsboys who put on a rocking show.
Michael Tait can not be faulted on a lack of energy, that is one thing that is certain. He was almost constantly moving, either it was around the stage or up and down the catwalk making contact with his fans. He held the hand of a little girl briefly while singing a verse and then kissed it before moving on. Having never really seen the Newsboys before I can’t speak for how much they have changed over time but he definitely did a great job as a frontman, albeit not being Peter Furler.
It seems that the Newsboys a) have too much money and b) have a fascination for moving things. All four of them had platforms that moved in one way or another. Michael Tait had a straight up-and-down platform about 2/3s of the way out the catwalk, the guitarist and the keyboardist both had moving platforms on arms that would allow them to be raised up and moved around over the audience, and the drummer had a tilting/turning platform (readily found on Youtube) used during the finale.
I got three CDs for $5 each (the Newsboys CD was $10, but they did a 2-for-1 deal and I went halves with a friend). Newsboys, Kutless and Sidewalk Prophets – all signed by the band members.
So it was not an altogether bad experience. I met a couple of great people, heard of a couple of great restaurants in Harrisonburg that I’d never heard of, heard 2 of the 3 bands that I’d come to see, and got 3 new CDs that I wanted, all of which were signed by the artists that recorded them. And had a great Pizza in Troutville.
I’ve been using IRC since the late 90’s. Starting with ChristianCHAT.com (when they were still using IRC, and still based on WebNet), I moved to CCNet, then to ChristianWorld, then back again, and then it became a big blur as I discovered a large number of Christian IRC Chat servers. But that was over 10 years ago – the world of Christian IRC has changed several times since then, and the number of Christian Chat servers is in decline.
Especially with Christian-Chat.net closing their IRC server in the last month or so, the users have spread or just stopped chatting. This is my attempt to review as many of the Christian IRC servers I can find, as fairly as I can, although it is also entirely based on my experience as a more-experienced-than-average user. I also try to list the website, the IRC address, and the average number of users at peak. Peak time is usually considered to be weekends or evenings, ranging from about 7pm til 12am ET, and chatters may or may not be active outside of these times – this is just typically when things tend to become active. Lastly, if I’ve missed any – please let me know so I can check them out and add them to the list. I’d appreciate it, and I’m sure they wouldn’t mind the free advertising.
Let’s start with the one I am most biased towards, and then move on with the rest.
UCCN – the United Christian Chat Network. (irc.unitedchristianchat.net, irc.godsirc.com, irc.christian-irc.com, irc.i-al.net)
UCCN is the largest network in terms of servers and services. Using 3 client servers (4 if you count the IPv6 server), UCCN is almost entirely redundant, allowing for any one server to fail and still serve the users. The staff are nice, and the policy is for as much self-government by channels/rooms as possible. Average of around 25-30 real users at peak.
JesusFreak-IRC – the Jesus Freak IRC Network. (irc.jesusfreak-irc.com)
JFIRC is the server that seemed to pick up most of the CCNet users, and is run by former CCNet staff of various capacities. Undying (Jeremy) is the official owner, with Ducky hosting the network on his home server. At the time of writing, the server is unavailable due to hardware failure. JFIRC are a lot more like the old CCNet, using a closed channel registration model, and a much tighter level of control from the server staff. Averaged around 20-30 real users at peak.
RGC-Chat – the RGC Ministries server. (irc.rgc-chat.net)
I haven’t spent a lot of time at RGC’s server, although they seem like a nice enough group of people. Channel registration is also closed, requiring a request to be made for opening a new room. Average seems to be around 20 real users at peak.
aBlazeNet – the aBlaze Network. (irc.ablazenet.org, irc.ablazenet.net, irc.ablazenet.com)
I used to work as an IRC Administrator for aBlazeNet, back around 2003 or so. Not a whole lot has changed – still an open registration model, meaning anyone can register a new channel, and the staff are rather easygoing and don’t interfere with channels unless they need to. Average seems to be around 20-25 real users at peak.
SalvationsCorner – Salvations Corner (irc.salvationscorner.net)
Once a hopping place, Salvations Corner is now one of the quietest and most desolate IRC servers I have seen in recent history. With 2 users, not much goes on. I’m sure they’d appreciate some new people! Average maybe 5 real users at peak.
CalvarysLove – Calvary’s Love (irc.calvaryslove.ca)
A while back, Colin (SeekHim) was an active member of the staff at UCCN. One day, some disagreements happened that apparently were unresolvable except by him leaving, and he elected to start his own IRC server. I took a brief look today, and he seems to be averaging the same number as he did those years back. Average maybe 5 real users at peak.
JROI – Jesus Rocks on IRC (irc.jesusrocksonirc.net)
To be honest, this one I can’t give an unbiased review towards, because I have been a ban-on-sight user for as long as I can remember. This means I can’t be on the server for more than about 5 minutes before I am shunned (meaning I can’t do anything – noone will see what I say, I can’t join channels, etc), I am force-parted (meaning a staff member forces me to part any channels I’m in, so that it appears I voluntarily left), and then banned from the server. As far as the users see, I join, I say hi, I part, and don’t come back.
The funny part is, I’m not entirely sure why. I endeavored to find out once, and was told (via a third party) about some event where I tried to steal the server. I vaguely recall the event in question, although my recollection appears to be completely different to GadFires (the owner of JROI). I would be happy to discuss this with him, except he refused to respond to any of the attempts I made to talk to him about it.This would also surprise me, except that his reputation precedes him as being a kick/kill/ban first, ignore questions later kind of admin.
As I recall, from the few times I was able to evade bans long enough to actually chat, the users are all rather nice. The staff aren’t always technically literate, but they are very friendly and somewhat happy to chat. They are a younger group, most of them are teenagers, so this should be taken into consideration also. According to SearchIRC’s listing of JROI, they have around 50-60 users. Taking into account services, this has a reasonable average of around 40-50 real users at peak.
Do I think the attack on the twin towers and the pentagon in 2001 was right? No.
Do I think those who think in the way those who attacked the United States on September 11th should be punished for any action they take in line with those thoughts? Yes.
Do I think that every muslim is a terrorist? No.
I grew up in a Christian home. I made child-like commitments when I was young, but it wasn’t until I was in my mid-late teens that I actually began to understand and feel what I’d said I believed for so many years before. I believe in Jesus, and I do everything I am able to strengthen my relationship with him. I identify myself as a Christian.
I also like T-shirts with messages, some are humorous, some are from events, some have more serious messages. I don’t always think about the t-shirt I’m about to put on in the morning, and today was one of those days. I took a quick trip to 7-11 and the girls at the cash register asked me what was on the back of my shirt. I turned around for them so they could read it, and then commented “Well, that’s right!”
See, today I am wearing a shirt that has a little cross on the front, and the message says “This T-shirt is illegal in 40 countries.” On the back it has Romans 1:10, and reads: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” My heart and my mind believe that this is the truth, that there is one way to heaven, to the father, and that is through a right relationship with Jesus Christ.
But not everyone believes that. Some believe that they must follow hinduism. Or buddhism. Some believe that they must follow the laws of the old testament, and disregard Jesus as the Messiah. And heaven forbid, some believe that Mohammed was right, and that Allah is the one true god.
Herein lies a problem. These are all religions with similarities and differences. And so we come back to the arguing point, and that is the constitutional right for every individual to be able to freely practice their religious beliefs for so long as it does not violate any other laws. The baptist church I attended for nearly 2 years would pray every Sunday morning, thanking God for the opportunity to freely practice Christianity, unlike in so many other countries in the world where Christians face ridicule (real ridicule, not just being pointed at and laughed) or even death for what they believe.
All over this country, Christians are free to practice Christianity. Hindu’s are free to practice Hinduism. Buddhists to practice Buddhism. Pagans to practice Paganism. Jews to practice Judaism. Why should Islam be restricted differently? Because a few extremist muslims took several thousand lives on one day? The problem in any society usually isn’t the vast majority – it’s the extremists. The extremists who bomb abortion clinics. The extremists who discuss or attempt assassinating the president. The extremists who seek to destroy a group of people based on their race, or hair or eye color. The ultra liberals who will kill in order to allow change, and the ultra conservatives who will kill in order to prevent it.
By refusing to permit law-abiding citizens their otherwise constitutional right to practice religion simply because of what that religion is, and because it is what other extremists claimed theirs to be, we open ourselves a whole can of worms. Do the Christians stand by the actions of the Crusaders, who killed thousands upon thousands in the name of Christianity? Do the Christians stand by the beliefs of the Westboro Baptist Church, who picket the funerals of fallen soldiers (because they believe the war is an act of God against the USA) as well as synagogues (because Jews don’t accept Jesus as the Messiah), catholic churches (because every single priest is a child rapist), the list goes on. Judging Islam based on the actions of the 9/11 hijackers, based on the actions of the London bombers, based on any other extremists acts, is not only hypocritical (for those of us who disagree with the actions of groups like WBC) but stupid, and sets us up to be exactly like the countries where I could be imprisoned or even die for wearing my t-shirt today.
And so, to the group of muslims who wish build a mosque close to the ground zero site: So long as the site would be otherwise permitted to have a Christian church built on it, and so long as you are as peaceful as the average Christian, I support you.
“What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.” — Robert F. Kennedy
To those of you who have been praying for Kelly and I with my job search, thank you! I have an update and an addition to this request, but it requires a little background so bear with me!
I live near Harrisonburg in Virginia, about 100 miles from DC via Interstates. In November I interviewed for a job near Dulles in the DC Metro Area and was offered it but I turned it down because a) at the time I had a part time job, b) it was working 5pm-1am and c) it was paying $36k/yr maximum. C wasn’t so bad, but B was the big killer, as I’m married and my wife works 9:30-6 and we would never see each other except on weekends.
On Friday I got signed up with a staffing agency and did a days work (one day assignment) yesterday, but future assignments aren’t incredibly hopeful based on the number of people they need to assign work to and the amount of work their clients have.
Today I talked with a lady who goes to my church who tipped me off about 2 positions with an insurance company and was also going to make calls to the Sheriffs office and the Courts (she’s worked for them before and knows people) to see if they have a need for an IT worker.
I also got an email from the company in Northern Virginia to say they had another opening from 7am-3pm, this time offering a $36k base salary with up to $6k in bonuses.
This seems, on the surface, like a no-brainer, except that for it to work several things need to fall into place, and this is what I’m asking for prayer for.
If this is what I am meant to do and where I am supposed to be, I am going to need to either get a car loan and find a car (not likely to happen because I have $0 for deposit and fairly bad credit), or find someone willing to lend me a car for a month until the first pay check comes in and my wife and I can sort our financial life out. I’m also going to need to find a room in Northern Virginia within 15 minutes or so of Dulles for when I am on call around one week a month, and again we have $0.
It is a rather bleak outlook at this point, but I believe that if this is the door that God is opening then the means to pass through it will also be shown to us shortly, and that if this is not the way then the door will be closed and I’ll continue down the hallway of life looking for the next door that is wide open (or slightly ajar..)
Wow. 8 hours is a long time to spend alone in a car.
I misreported on facebook via twitter that I had driven for 6 hours and gone 260 miles during my work day yesterday, while I visited 18 convenience stores on a list that had me testing (as part of the training program, rather than getting people in serious trouble) whether I would be carded when trying to buy tobacco products.
Unfortunately my tired brain was incapable of basic time-math and thought that 11am-7pm was 6 hours. No, it’s 8. I am aware of this now. My first stop was at 11:10am and the last one was at 5:10pm, but then required a nearly 2 hour drive from West Virginia over US-33 back to Harrisonburg and up to Broadway. This involved a near miss with a deer (a couple had run in front of me, and one stopped short of running into the side of the car while I was doing ~ 55mph), and several near misses with 25mph turns over 33, which when they said “25mph” actually meant “You should probably do 25mph, not the 40mph that you could do one the 25mph turns further down the mountain..” It was on these that I really felt the vibration of the brakes that really needs to be looked at soon, as well as the transmission error light that has been coming up for a couple of weeks. I really hope that is just a faulty sensor that needs replacing and not a serious transmission issue, but who knows. I’m about 75% sure that the vibration issue is a warped brake disc on the front left wheel, but it is too cold to try looking at it and even then there is no guarantee that I could spot it. With our luck recently, if the car breaks it is probably an indication that we are about to get a job or something to keep us barely-floating still, rather than providing a useful means to dig ourselves out of this hole we are in.
In better news, and still on the job front, I’ve been talking to a lady from church who knows a lot of people (IE: companies/organizations) who are or may be in need of IT people. She gave me one set of contact info and was going to call around today and tonight and give me another call to let me know if she came up with anything. It really seems to be a case of not so much what you know (although it certainly helps!) but who you know.
So I have been given the task of giving purpose to a couple of domain names. The rules? They must be Christian-focussed in some way. This isn’t going to be a long post, in fact it is just very short and a couple of things I probably don’t want to hear argued for.
Can you think of a Christian-themed website that EITHER:
You would like to exist, that doesn’t already.
You are aware exists, but could be done much better.
Let me give some examples of things I don’t think will fly:
– Christian Singles site (Tried it, it’s already a washed out market, didn’t work)
– Christian Videos site (Think GodTube, many others like it, already a washed out market)
– Christian Social Networking site (Could work, but I imagine there are others already. Will consider viable arguments on this one)
So hit me with ideas. There probably won’t be a prize, but there’ll be some form of credit given on the finished product when it’s done.
If you read regularly or know me well then you’re probably aware I don’t ask for things much, especially when I understand so many others are struggling right now, in other ways as well, but financially especially.
I’m waiting for confirmation (final paperwork was sent in yesterday, expecting a decision next week probably), but I’m expecting to be working at Highland Retreat over the summer, a non-profit camp focused at children and young people. I’ll be making somewhere in the vicinity of $20 a day, for around 22 hours work (a day) – because apparently when I’m sleeping it counts as work (in the same room as campers, and they’re still my responsibility).
They’ve suggested, and this is what this post is about, that I spread the word and try to gain further financial support beyond what they are able to provide themselves. Below is a copy of their suggested letter, and I’ll attach links to images of the original sample letter and the form provided on the back thereof.
Highland Retreat is a non-profit Mennonite camp located near Bergton, Virginia. Summer staff members often give up the possibility of better-paying jobs in order to minister in service to the youth who attend summer camp at Highland. Full-time summer staff work at Highland for 9 weeks and receive from $70 – $130 per week, plus meals and lodging, for their service. These committed young people give their summer to help share their faith in the natural setting of camp.
In order to help make this ministry a financial possibility for those staff willing to serve, Highland has initiated the Staff Assistance Program. You are invited to help meet the financial needs of those serving at Highland through your support, thus allowing them to commit their gifts and energies in summer ministry. There are three ways you can contribute to this program.
1. Make a contribution to Highland Retreat and designate it for the Staff Assistance fund without naming a specific beneficiary. Such contributions will be used at the desecration of the camp leadership in assisting individuals who need help. Such a contribution is fully tax deductible.
2. Make a contribution to Highland Retreat and designate that it to be directed to a specific summer staff individual. Such contributions are not tax deductible.
(When funds given according to options 1 & 2 above are dispersed, payroll taxes apply both to the individual and to Highland Retreat. . Consequently the individual actually receives slightly less than you give.)
3. You can also make a gift directly to the summer staff individual. In this case the gift is not tax deductible but no taxes are withheld and the individual receives the full amount. Such a contribution should be sent to Highland Retreat Staff Assistance Fund but the check should be written to the designated staff person.
We will hold the check until the term of service is complete then pass it on to the individual.
Option three is the most efficient if you want to designate a specific beneficiary because it is a gift and is not reported on a person’s W-2. However if your contribution will allow the individual to receive matching funds from a Mennonite college or University you must use Option 2 because the contribution can only be matched by the college if it comes from Highland Retreat. The beneficiary of your gift should inform you if they qualify for matching funds.
Contributions can be made any time up until the individual completes his/her term of service. You will receive a receipt for your contribution when it is made. Upon completion of the individual’s term the support will be forward, either to the individual or to the institution as requested by the individual. If the person does not complete their term of service as agreed upon, your contribution will be returned to you, or we will consult you about an alternative.
Please prayerfully consider what you can do to help these young men and women share Christ with our youth.
For reference, I am not eligible for a college matching grant (as far as I am aware).
Here is the letter and form as promised! They’re PDF files so you may need Acrobat Reader to view them.
Your assistance is appreciated, thank you.
Turns out Rent was right. There are 525,600 minutes in a year. I always thought it was too small a number, but I just did the calculation (I was going to use the right one) but 60 x 24 x 365 = 525,600.
Anyway, I’m going off topic before I’ve even started. Today is April 18th 2009. Today marks an important day in history, for me, for my family, for Kelly and her family, and a handful of others. On this day one year ago I stepped onto Qantas flight QF2714 and flew from Wellington to Auckland, waving goodbye to my family and friends at Wellington Airport. In Auckland I walked from the domestic to the international terminal, and boarded flight QF25 bound for LAX. I haven’t seen New Zealand with my own eyes since.
I remember that all three flights that day were late. The first one was late because of mechanical problems earlier in the day that had caused delays and they were trying to get back on schedule. The second was a fault that had apparently been fixed but they were still waiting on a problem with paperwork for it. The third we had to wait at the gate at LAX for mechanics to get to us after their list of other faults to fix.
I remember walking through customs at LAX having filled out my little I-94 card, and being unsure what to write for “Country of Residence.” The customs lady walking the line checking things before we reached the officers processing us was angry at me that I didn’t know, but I truly didn’t. At that moment I didn’t live anywhere. On April 17th I resided in New Zealand. As of April 19th I would be residing in the United States. April 18th? I was homeless, as it were.
Despite all the mechanical problems and delays, I arrived in one piece at Dulles, although I was about 45 minutes late as I recall, landing at 12:30am on the 19th, walking into the arms of Kelly (followed by everyone else that was there).
People keep asking me if I miss home, and to a degree I do. It’s not so much home though, as aspects of home. I miss walking to the end of the street and getting Fish and Chips for a snack because I was bored and hungry. I miss driving to McDonalds and getting a large coke and a large chocolate thick shake for the same reason. I miss catching the bus and train to work and back every day. I miss Sunday night drives to the beach or around the bays, or somewhere else random that we wanted to go, with Sue and Amber. I miss having a cell phone, and understanding how the billing for cell and landline phones worked (I still think it’s really messed up that you have to pay to receive calls/messages etc..).
I miss driving to Paraparaumu via Paekakariki Hill one way and SH1/SH2 back for the fun of it. I miss knowing where everything in the supermarket is, and what most things are even if I haven’t had them before.
I miss the surprise of seeing Dad’s face in the window when my train pulls in to take me to work, I miss the sound of my brothers mock screams when I play a trick on him, and I miss the sound of my mother trying in vain to make me stop when she finds out what I did/was doing.
I miss having the opportunity to drive almost anywhere if I had time or money to pay for gas (and for whatever I wanted to do when I got there), ranging anywhere from watching a movie to eating dinner to going to Parachute. I miss having the contacts to do sound and lighting gigs with semi-professional companies and organizations when they needed the help.
Most of all I think I miss seeing people I know and love that I haven’t seen for a year or more, it’s nice seeing the young kids grow up through photos on Facebook etc, but it really isn’t the same.
So, what have I accomplished in my year of USA-ness? Not a lot, I fear to say. Having arrived in April 08, I was married in May 08, and filed immigration paperwork before the cut off date in July 08. In February 09 I received my Employment Authorization Card, and started applying for jobs. Of all my applications (around 30-50) I’ve had one solid lead (Summer Camp Counselor), and one official rejection (“Position has been filled”). The biggest problems I run into are experience (or lack thereof), lack of College education, and lack of US Citizenship or security clearances. I have no problem relocating 2 hours away (or commuting that far until relocation can occur), since there are practically no IT jobs in this area at the moment.
I have a drivers license (Learners permit, will sit the full test some time soon). I have fixed several computers, some for money. I helped with the church’s VBS program last year, and probably will again if I don’t get the camp job. I traveled to North Carolina for gas money to visit a long time friend and work on his church’s network. I created several new websites, including DailySerene.com, and several personal sites. I also rebuilt the websites for UCCN and C-IRC (C-IRC with the help of Ed), and developed an IRC-based trouble management system in PHP.
We bought a puppy, rented an apartment, gave up an apartment, took out a $2000 loan, moved twice, started a modern worship music section in a traditional church service, bought a guitar, taught Sunday School to High Schoolers, took several thousand photos, and had a few bad times, with lot of good times.
All in all I’m having a great time. I’m glad I moved, and while if I had to live my life again I’d probably do that part differently, I’m not at all unhappy with the way things worked out. In fact, I look forward to what the next 525 thousand-odd minutes have in store.