Thursday, December 27, 2007

My last post was in october.

woot for consistancy!

So, big news. My wife is pregnant.

And I am extremely excited! I'm hoping for a girl- and we're somewhat expecting one, because we have had some pretty cool dreams, with a little girl in them. We got a little pink stocking for her, too. :) Rosemary is between 9 and 10 weeks, and I've been following the development on a baby website every week since we learned that she was pregnant.

So far, Rosie hasn't had any crazy life altering side affects like most women- no crazy morning sickness with massive dizziness, puking and calling in sick. She just gets tired a little more and has some unique food tastes, but nothing crazy.

I love feeling her stomach, even though it's barely bigger than normal, and praying over our child. It's a nightly thing...

She's going to be such a great mother. She's had lots of experience babysitting newborns and children in general, and she's got a great sense of discipline, mixed with a healthy dose of being self critical of parenting techniques. I'm glad for that- there are a lot of things her parents did that upset her quite a bit, and things that I wouldn't really appreciate in our house, so I'm glad she knows she wants to avoid those things. All kids feel that way to a degree, and it's fairly normal, but it's an important part of trying to be a better parent, is trying to take what your parents did and improve upon it. Not that we'll get it perfect or anything, but I'd rather trust our parent's techniques and ideals for discipline and reward than picking up any parenting books in a barnes and noble these days.

A lot of what I feel is good parenting advice is just having a biblical understanding of our relationship with God. He gave us freedom to make our own mistakes and suffer the consequences, but still took us in, hugged us, and showed us the true way and the rewards associated with them. Discipline is a necessary part of that, but after a certain age, it's important to let them fall down and feel the pain, instead of protecting them from that pain. After a while, that just kind of gives them a false sense of consequences for actions and shock for when they are introduced into those kinds of things. You don't want a 18 yr old learning about the consequences of most types of common sin for the first time. They had better be well aware of the pitfalls of this world before they step foot outside, with the simple lessons learned in your own home first. Let them stay up super late once in a while, so they regret it when they can't stay awake in school and get a bad grade on a test. Let them eat so much junk food they feel sick for a day. Those are VERY important lessons, and they teach you about the cause and effect of life. That's how I was taught, and, well, I feel it worked, and I really want to give my children similar freedoms, and at the same time the moral compass to avoid those things.

Of course I'm getting ahead of myself. Next on the list is getting a crib and rearranging furniture, then changing diapers. :) But I'm excited to be a father, and I don't approach these kinds of things trivially. I will be the best father that I can be.

Monday, October 22, 2007

We got our acceptance letter from Freshfire Ministries last week, for the India missions trip!



We're very excited about that. We are starting in on a 19 CD training course for supernatural healings, signs, and wonders, and it's amazing. Todd Bentley has some *amazing* teachings around supernatural healing, and it's really getting me jazzed. He talks, very very in depth, about healings in the bible, how it was done, the finer points, the faith, the action, everything. In the CDs, in middle of sermons, he will just stop and heal people. It's CRAYZAYY. We managed to save all the cash for it, down to the week. The very large check went off this morning...

So, last Saturday was a David Crowder concert. It ROCKED. He pulled out a Guitar Hero controller half way thru, which had been heavily modified. It had 4 different chords on it, and an "error" sound sampled into one of them, and a few extra buttons- one for the mario "coin" sound that is so popular. :) He played an entire song with it, it was great. It was sampled very well, so it sounded like an actual electric guitar. Then of course he pulled out the keytar and rocked it out with the 80s drum machine on that, haha. Their new album is great. One song specifically I like, is "Can you feel it" which has a great percussive feel to it and some handy set work- was very cool live.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

So...

I got kicked out of my window office on friday. :( Apparently some 14 year Microsoft veteran was hired into my division, and I'm the lowest level in a window office around, so I got 24 hour notice to be out of my office.

I was given the most senior cube position in the cube area my team owns, which is cool, but I still hate cubes. Interesting smells, conversations, distractions... ugh. It is interesting to be the most "senior" person of this cube area- looking around me, I am by far the youngest. Kind of a weird feeling.

So my car is in the shop getting fixed. The insurance company, as to be expected, is dicking around with the body shop. I took it to Queen City Auto Rebuild, which is the best shop I've *ever* experienced. I knew that they wouldn't put crappy parts on my car or do a cut the corners kind of job, so I took it to them. The insurance company does not want to pay for paint tinting (to match the colors of the newly painted parts to the old parts) doorjamb painting, and a new headlight. They would rather get a used headlight, and forget about the tinting. They also wanted to put on an used bumper and cheaper paint, etc, but the body shop talked them out of that.
So, the difference is $327 that I might be liable for, if the insurance company wont cough it up. And then, the body shop told me, it's gonna look pretty ugly since they haveto blend the paint into the hood- you will probably see a change in color across the hood, and have some ugly dent marks in the front where the rock chips are- painted divots. It would be an additional $750 to have them strip and repaint the entire hood and other fender to fix all that and make it look normal. I told the body shop to put that work on the request for payment to the insurance company, too. I'm pretty sure they will deny it, but I'll probably be getting a Microsoft lawyer to draft up a letter of intent to the insurance company to try and bully them into paying for all of it. I want the paint to match, I don't want a half repainted hood, and I don't want an used headlight. Progressive's claim is they restore the car to pre-accident status, and mismatched paint isn't part of that claim. Even if they meet me half way, it would be a huge cost savings for me...
I don't intend to actually sue, just get a cheap company (which I pay enormous ammounts of money to every month) to actually make the situation 100%. It just so happens that this is also my insurance company, so I'm sure I'll throw in a threat to switch companies, as well. Too bad most insurance companies are cheap suckers that hire folks just to hold on to every extra dollar they can. I'll have no problems informing them that the longer they bicker, the more it will cost them in rental car fees. We'll see how it goes, but I can't really afford the $327 + $750, and I'll probably just live with the weird paint match if they don't end up paying for it. Well, let me qualify that- I can afford it, but it's not a smart choice to afford it at this time in me and my wife's financial life.

Until next time,

Ricky

Friday, September 14, 2007

So... my bumper is all smashed up.
Was in a haircut place, you know, getting a hair cut, when someone runs in yelling "anyone have a yellow car?" and I get up, proceed outside to find a lady getting into her van. When she notices me, she starts pulling out a business card and says she was just about to put a business card on my windshield. Now I don't know if that was the truth or not, but it doesn't much matter, because I got to the scene before any of that could have played out. The front bumper is a total loss, she wore thru it in a certain section, and handily removed most of the paint off the left side of it, as well as pushing some of my left fender in. :(

So I think I'm going to take it to Queen City this time, instead that trashy central collision place I took it when it was vandalized. Queen city did a great job on the car when I was rear ended a few years ago. Central collision just didn't do a very good job. They forgot to re tint my window, my new window had a big scratch in it, which they did not fix, the window doesn't roll up and down very well, and I hear broken glass still in the door. They had an attitude of "prove we did it" when I picked up the car, so I just left it alone... wasn't worth the fight.

In other news...

Rosemary and I are going to India for a missions trip. It's confirmed, the dates are set, and we've got almost all the money for it now. We started saving in june, and here we are in middle of september having saved almost all of it. That's pretty cool. Or initial estimates told us we could have it saved for by christmas time. All I gotta say about that is, God is good. He provides. Hopefully with the savings for that tucked away in the next month, we can pay down my car in the next six months, and save oursleves 260 a month in car payments. Now THAT would be cool. Zero debt. Mmm... sounds yummy.

Man, work has been... hectic. Better than completely bored out of my mind. I've been handling a very large project, while another build engineer is out on paternity leave (one month) and the project is a complete mess. And a couple of other small projects my boss's boss wants me to handle, that I took on for better chance of getting a promotion to the next level during next year's review... we'll see how all that goes.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Mandy moving to Knoxville?

Whoa.

Thats a shocker. No, not like the crude hand single- shocker as in, I am shocked.

Our family has always prided ourselves with staying a very close, tight-knit family. That's something we've always tried to maintain. I understand her reasons for moving- wanting to afford stay at home life, etc. Seems to me that is achievable up here in the northwest, as well, but I guess she doesn't feel that way. I kind of always imagined her being up here, so I can see my nieces/nephews and see her at different family events, so on. I mean, she was my only sibling. We were kind of all eachother had for many years. During our parent's hard times, during the times Dad was a workaholic, and mom was distressed. This entire ordeal is drawing up a lot more emotion than I would expect. We haven't gotten along real well at all in the last few years, and so you'd think it wouldn't be that big of a deal, but I guess thats just not true.

Knoxville? Why so far away? Are there other reasons that are left unspoken? I would imagine she would want the love and support of family when raising kids, as thats something she, and everyone in our family, has heavily touted. Oh well... if she really feels like God is calling her to that, then Godspeed. God's ways are higher than my own.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Jeeze,

how hard is it to start a paintball team? Luke and I went to an indoor 3 man field saturday night, and we practiced together. There was a 3 man team there, and they were a little better than us. One of them noticeably moreso than the others.

Well, Luke and I are thinking about starting a team to try and play some beginner tournies next year. We'll see how that goes- luke doesnt have a job, so it would be hard for him to pay (it's not a cheap sport) and we're both not that good as far as tourney players go. Part of why we went the other night. We practiced some running and shooting drills, shooting with our off hand, snap shooting... I couldn't really practice fast laning (shooting fast in a certain spot, making a player run through your stream) because my hopper doesn't load fast enough (new one gets here tomorrow, heh :) ) but I did get to practice where to shoot. Thing is, most of the beginner tournies are 3 man. Luke and I are TWO. We need a third player. Someone that is interested in playing some tournaments, having some decent gear, practicing with us a bit, etc. It would be *really* fun to have a team and play at some local beginner tournies, where it's almost everyone's first time playing a real tournament. If we get good enough, maybe even win something. First place usually is a pretty darn good reward, be it cash, guns, gear, etc. That'd be pretty sweet. If we keep practicing throughout the winter, we could probably be decent for the beginner tournaments.

I was asked to play with a team last weekend for a beginner series event, but I declined, figuring I needed more experience, and went to practice with Luke instead. Funny thing is, the team I declined, won 3rd place, and I didn't even think they were that good... they were shooting some pretty cheap guns, and not a lot of play time. Oh well, live and learn.

There are lots of teams around the area that probably wouldn't mind picking up an extra one or two people... I wonder if it would be easier just to join someone else's team, and not haveto worry about all the semantics of being a team captain. Getting people to go to practice, making sure people can afford a tourney, working on drills, being responsible in general. :/

I'm thinkin, if it was my team, I'd name it after my old PB company I had. Savage Paintball. Maybe I'd name it Team Savage, or just Savage. hehe.

Until next time...

Friday, August 17, 2007

So...

An old friend of mine got saved. Someone I had given up pretty much all hope in. I used to pray for him for a few years, and try and mentor him and help him be successful in every way I could. He was in my MCP class, and he was one of the smartest people. For years we had this love/hate relationship where he would cuss me out and hate on me, and then we'd have a lan party together the next day. I always tried to forgive him for everything he did, just so I could continue to try and help him out/be his friend. It all gets very complicated and stupid, as in high school drama/cliche ish, with the group of friends we were "in" or whatever, mostly with all of them not wanting me around, but at the same time, wanting me around. :/

It all kind of ended when I graduated, and I got my job at MS. I kind of had a new life then. Volunteering at Church dozens of hours a week, etc, (all talked about in my blog at that time) so I just kind of moved on from such a horrible relationship/dynamic. I hated getting cussed out and treated piss-poor all the time, and after years of trying, I came to the conclusion that there was no way I could ever change any of them. And I lost my best friend in the process of it all, too.

Fast forward to today, and out of the blue I get a message from this guy. I was still friendly toward him, I don't really know why, we didn't leave on the best of terms and/or really like eachother at all, but I always felt I needed to be respectful and treat him well regardless. Well, good thing I did, and good thing I felt that way. He messaged me to tell me he was going to church. I didn't want to push the entire church thing on him, for fear of scaring him away (new believers often stumble when overbearing people push rule after rule on people) so I left it at that and we talked about other stuff, just kind of catching up. Well, we hung out, had dinner, and I was pretty amazed at how much he'd matured. He'd gotten a decent job, gotten out of some of his nastier habbits, and moved on. I didn't think he could get out of this rut, but it looks like God had more faith in him than I did. I guess I'm human too. :)

So, we got him a bible, with his name on it. Rosemary was awesome and went after work to the christian supply store two days in a row and got a nice NLT bible for him. After a few days of getting re-acqainted and everything, I slowly started talking about more Christianity related things. I am trying to message the idea that it's all about love and peace, hope, kindness, etc. because so many people these days think Christianity is just a set of rules you haveto follow or you go to hell. So far off from the truth. :( And last night in the bible, Rosie and I read that new believers are the easiest to stumble from false teaching. And of course they don't know any better. I cried last night as I was praying over this guy. We told him to read Romans first, and handed him the bible. Then him and I hung out some more and had a great conversation and opened up to eachother a bit. As I was praying and thanking God for seeing fruit of seed I had sown so many years ago, (And lots of other people's seed too) and praying for his protection in Christ and his new budding relationship, I got a call from him, asking "which book of the bible did you want me to read first again?" After I answered and said goodbye, I laughed at such an amazing thing. I wouldn't really expect most people to want to dive into the bible like that, nor the idea that he forgot the book and needed to call me, in middle of my prayer for him.

God is pretty amazing, and I'm so humbled and in awe over his ultimate plan for us all. He really is in control. The last few weeks, we've been praying for God to use us in every way possible, and I love it when he answers prayer like this. There is no gift greater than that of life, the one Jesus gave us on the cross, and to see a friend realize that and take it, is probably one of the most precious things in the world.

Ricky

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Hello...


I don't really know what to blog about at all, so I'll talk about how I wanted to be a pilot when I was little. (please don't tell me that sentence is contradictory- I already know, and I just don't want to re-write it).

The blue angels are in town this weekend, and it kind of comes up in my mind every year when they are in town. :)

When I was little, I LOVED the idea of being a hot shot pilot and having the skill to navigate the complexities of a dogfight. The only thing that kind of worried me a bit was my fear of heights, and how dizzy I get so easily (which I now know is clinical vertigo). But man, I would dream of piloting an F-14 through the skies in tight twists and turns, barrel rolls, and I even imagined myself doing lots more complex things like reverse-throttle hops and inverted high velocity dives...

Well, time went on and that idea kind of came and passed, because of my fear of heights, sadly. Well, years later, the idea was perputuated somewhat, by this new computer simulator that came out called Longbow. It was a helicopter simulator, and Mom bought it for me. Our computer at the time was not designed to run it- the minimum requirements were a computer twice as fast as ours. It took me three months of reconfiguring the computer and learning about how Extended Memory and IR ports work to get it to work, but I did- and I played that game for hours and hours. I got really good at it, too. It was made by a company called Janes, who specialized in lifelike simulators- the manual for this game was about the size of the bible, and you had to know most of it to know how to play. I mastered this game. I could manipulate height, speed, rotor angle, tail rotor angle, rudder, etc, all at the same time. It was the ultimate in multi-tasking. I remember watching other people play in the stores, and guys that had said they played the game lots at home could only come to a hover and shoot tanks one at a time. I remember flying 8 ft off the ground at 140mph targeting and launching missiles at 8 tanks all at once, all while never even being shot down. After a year or so, I stopped playing that game and it kind of left my mind.

About two years later, a good friend of mine from Church who worked at Microsoft (Robert Deupree) told me of a new game they were making, called Fighter Ace. It was set in world war 2, and was only multiplayer. It was a plane simulator, and it was (at the time) massively multiplayer, with up to 40 players in the game at one time. Well, Robert pulled some strings and got me into the Beta program on that game, about a year before it came out. I got on, and started playing with the guys that wrote the game. After I got the details down of how to deploy landing gear, fix flap angle, and things like that, I took to the skies. It was a BLAST, because I felt naturally good at it. Almost all of the developers had private pilot licenses, and were pretty good, and I'd get humbled every now and again by one guy in particular, but other than that, I felt untouchable. I would only die when I had accrued enough damage from the last half dozen dogfights to put me at a severe disadvantage. All of the developers started to recognize me and switch to my team whenever I would get on, and to mix it up I'd pick a different plane to fly almost every time. I tried P-51 mustangs, P-38 lightnings, ME-109s (german planes), Zeros (these were fast and fun, but they were made out of wood and cloth, so they are very fragile) and all sorts of different planes. I could fly circles around those guys- I often tried to mimick the movies and come in above unsuspecting enemies and invert myself for the famous top gun greeting. Sometimes they'd freak out and pull up and we'd both go down in flaming wreckage, but it was a lot of fun to play around with guys.
The next game was X-wing VS. TIE Fighter. It's a space fighter simulator, so physics is a lot different, but a lot of the tactics are very similar. I played that sim for a few years as well, and they had groups of people that would fly missions online together- or online "squadrons". This game was less of a simulator and more about dogfighting, and I wasn't as good at it as the others, but I could hold my own pretty well.

I know computer games aren't a direct translation to real life skill, but I feel there is something there. The first two I mentioned above, were touted across the flying community as amazing simulation games, very closely depicting real world phsyics and complexity.

I just wonder, what would have happened if I didn't have vertigo. If I had joined the air force and became a fighter pilot. It sounds like a dream to me, to twist and turn in the skies, taking part deadly dance of guns and missiles. I know that, with my personality, I would become pretty good. I focus in on something until either I completely dominate in it, or get bored. I just wonder, what would it be like, to do that?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Soo....


I bought a new paintball gun.



again. :)


I started playing again... trying to increase my horde of weaponry so I can take a lot of people with me all at once.


I've got a couple of guns from when I used to sell them, but they have these old rechargable batteries that don't keep a charge, and the company went out of business, so it's rediculously hard to find these parts. But I've taken Rosemary three times now, and she's getting pretty good. We got Dad to go this saturday, too. He shot out almost a whole case in less than 5 total games of play! The last two games he played, I filled his hopper and three full pods of paint for him (about 680 paintballs), and he walked off the field completely empty! I don't think I shot that much *all day*. :) He sure had fun, though. :)


So here is a pic of my new gun:

It's called a Proto Matrix Rail... it's a cheap version of the really expensive $1,000 dollar guns, and I wheedled and cajoled a really good deal for a brand new one. :)
I'm pretty excited to use it. Some of the parts on it are cheap plasticy type stuff, but hopefully that won't be too much of an issue. Now my only problem is, the gun can shoot wayyyy faster than my hopper can load, hehe. that'll be a real big limitation. But this is a really stealthy quiet type gun, so it should be fun to sneak up on people. :) Plus, it matches my paintball outfit! hahaha.
It looks like Rosemary and I will be going to india sometime in the beginning of next year. We're starting to save now, and we're extremely excited to serve on a missions trip. Some of the most amazing stories have come out of these mission trips to india- the blind see, the lame walk! Stories out of the bible, coming true. Talk about faith building. I really wish I lived in a society that fostered that kind of faith. Us here in america have need of nothing. We are the fatted calf, and it shows- when people get sick, there are doctors. When people go lame, we get them electric wheelchairs. America says that we just don't need God. Too bad they don't realize, that they do. It's brought a host of other problems- divorce rates above 50%, hundreds of millions of abortions, men and women that cannot be fulfilled from the opposite sex anymore. How sad is our "great country."
We won't last another 100 years, I'm afraid. But, when it all does come crumbling down, I will be ready, with God in my heart, to love people and prepare the way for the great calling of Christ. Thats why I serve in my church, thats why I work at being a young adult leader- to prepare the way for Jesus to move.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

This post will be purely about subiefest 2.
burnout contest:


The guy in the silver wagon won. That STi was a close second. :)

Here are some of my pics:












































































































All day long it was pouring down rain. The time attack cars (no pics shown, they were all blurry) had a hard time finding traction on the track, until the very last run of the day, when they posted some amazing lap times. The drift cars were also having some trouble, because drifting in the dry is a lot more predictable and stable. None the less, they did an amazing job drifting in the rain, and the dry. The two team orange drifters were the stunt drivers for the Fast and the Furious 3 drift movie, and they took 1st and 2nd place in the D1 drift competitions over in Japan. Those guys had some serious skill.
We could see the autocross across the way, but it was a little too far to get good shots. An Ariel Atom, lotus elise, custom go kart, S2000, and lots of other cool cars participated over there. There were some amazing cars, and it was a lot of fun. I hope the planners do a bit better job next time- there was no posted schedule, so you just kind of mulled around waiting for the next thing to start, not really knowing when it was going to, while being drenched.
Also, I didn't get any pictures, but about a dozen subies (and a honda) decided to made a mud rallycross out of the grass parking lot, drifting thru the foot deep mud. The honda got stuck (of course) and most of the guys got 1k tickets, because portland international raceway is a public park. What morons.
All in all, it was a blast!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Hey! This is what my finger looks like.

this is after 4 days of healing, too. I tried to gently clean it up a bit yesterday, and it looks a lot better than it used to- got most of the puss, dried blood, and dried wrapping off.








Sorry if I grossed you out- but its for this reason:
It's a testimony.
You see how the laceration crosses my entire finger? Well, my entire finger was pretty much cut through, with a little bit of skin holding it all together on the right edge (from a topdown view- left edge in this pic). The garage door had flattened my entire finger down to about a tenth of an inch or so. The initial prognosis from the EMT in the ambulance was that the finger was a loss and I would need plastic surgery for reconstructive repair.
Rosemary prayed for me, and called up the family to pray for me too. By the time I got to the hospital and unwrapped my hand, somehow blood had been getting into the tip of the finger, re-inflated it, and slightly reshaped it. When the doctor did some initial nerve damage tests, I passed all of the tests 100%. Now, for the nerves not to be cut, and for feeling at the end of my finger, is a COMPLETE MIRACLE, because there is no real way any nerves could really survive, having been cut clean through. The doctor just had to straighten the finger, and sow it back together. He referred me to a plastic surgeon anyway, and the plastic surgeon just looked at my finger and told me to schedule a routine followup, because he didn't really haveto do anything.
In the ambulance, when they told me my finger was a write off, my mind was racing with how losing my index finger on my primary hand would affect the rest of my life. I couldn't type properly, I couldn't hold a glass of water, feel my wife's cheek... you know, we take our index fingers for granted. Your life would really change if you couldn't use your primary index finger. you use it for *everything*.
There is a little part of my finger, right behind the cut, on the part that was cut completely through, where I can't feel. But small nerves do regrow a little bit, and I'm beleiving I'll be able to feel on that edge of my finger, in God's name. :)
So, keep praying for me, if you were, and know that God is good, and he takes care of us.
On the comical side, the day before this happened, I was praying in church, "Lord, break me. I want to be weeping for you."
I didn't mean physically! I'll be more specific next time. :)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

smashed my finger in my garage door, in between two slats. The full weight of the door came crashing down unabated, thousands of pounds of force.

they sewed it back together.


it hurts like nothing I've ever felt before. I can feel the stitches in my nail bed.

its my left index finger.

I'm a leftie.

:(

Friday, March 30, 2007

So.... let me just explain my last two weeks of life.

Saturday march 17. First day of the Regional Tamiya Championship Series race... woke up early, kinda had a sore throat. Didn't really bother me, thought it was because our cat, Tickle, slept on my face (once in a while I have a sore throat in the mornings probably from the cats).

Rod, Dad, Dave and I all went to the track and got our RC cars prepped and ready for the day. Three qualifiers, and lots of good racing going on. Well, I had got my car all ready, painted up a new cool silver porsche Carrera GT body, had a new battery ready for the weekend and everything. Had spent the last couple weeks of RC time getting ready for this big event. Well, I get out there, and the car handles like complete crap... every right hand turn spins the car out hideously. After the first qualifier, I go thru the entire car and set it all up perfectly- it should have been a champ performer. It still kept doing it. I asked Rod to look at it, Dave looked at it (of course he took it upon himself to help me out) and James looked at it. No one could figure it out- my droop was perfect, my ride height was good, my camber was great- no issues at all. We all set it back up, and I ran again, to the same issue. I started learning how to drift around the corners fairly well. That made Dave think that we fixed the issue. He kept telling me it was fixed, because I wasn't spinning out anymore. (but the car could barely go around a corner without me using drift skills) but of course, to the driver, it was fairly obvious the car was loose as a nascar on ice. I was pulling 15 and high 14 second lap times. I felt really bad about my performance, and it sucked. Right after the 2nd qualifier, my voice started getting really rough... I handed my car off to the Tamiya pros, and none of them could figure it out either- all of them said it was set up very well. We re-did all of the settings again, changed up my wheels, etc, everything we could think of. Well, of course, I did better, learning even more how to drift my car. It was actually kind of fun- I think I qualified first in my group, drifting around the outside of some of them. By then, my voice was completely gone. I was coughing and feeling horrible, really bad headache. I took some advil. I kept thinking it was from the tire additive that everyone was using- the stench was very thick. I qualified 40th out of 55 people. I went home, and it immediately got worse. I just layed in bed trying to get better, consuming soup (you don't really eat soup) and resting.
The next morning, I felt quite a bit better, and went off to finish up the TCS race. I had Troy, a TCS past champion that went to China and won, look at my car. He's helped me out before, and I hooked him up with a copy of Windows Vista for his trouble. He found the issue, and BAM my car was amazing. I ran circles around everyone in my last qualifier, the last chance qualifier, on sunday. I easily ran good 13 second laps, and jumped up to a qualifying spot of 34th. I was feeling really good about the race, and Rod and I got placed in the same group- he was 2nd or 3rd in the group, and I was 7th or so (out of 10). Dave was even in our group, but he didn't show. He decided fishing was more important (crazy guy). Well, it came down to race, and Rod and I step up there. I took some advil to calm my head, and right when we started the race, (almost didn't make it- there was a rock stuck in my gear, good thing they had to restart because Rod crashed everyone, haha) I immediately jumped out to 2nd place, right behind Rod. After a lap or so, someone put me into the wall, and I fell down to 7th. I raced my way back up to 3rd, and was slowly catching 2nd place and Rod up in first, then my car started spinning out again. Gar!!! I fell back to 4th, and was able to maintain that for the rest of the race. All in all, it was pretty great, and loads of fun. And, Rosie, for the 30 minutes she was there, won a little 1/16th scale offroad truck. Pretty cool. Got home, planned to have a nice evening with Rosie... and then, I started feeling horrible again. My voice was completely gone, I could only wisper, and poor Rosie had to sit there and watch me hack and cough and die all night, when we had planned to get some dinner together.

So, I don't remember the next 5 days after that, besides being really sick and not being able to move from the bed too much. I felt infection creep from my throat to my jaw, then to my ears, then to my eyes. Finally, we were approaching the day we had to leave for Florida for Mandy and Daniel's wedding. I went to the doctor and he gave me some great perscription medicine that really helped- and he informed me that I was reacting rather horribly to the cats. For some reason, the flu was making me allergic to my cats. And, Tickle, the oldest, harriest of the bunch, had been sleeping next to me for the past 5 days while I was sick in bed. Great. That was thursday. That night, Rosie and I went and heard T.D. Jakes preach... it was amazing. He talked about peoples identity, and knowing who you are. It was a GREAT sermon. If you don't know who you are, then you don't know your boundaries. Then you seek after things that would normally disgust you. He used the prodigal son story in a very different way- as well as the verse that says your children are like arrows in your quiver. It was actually very healing- not because of the sermon, but because I was away from the cats, so my swelling went down and I felt better. I was really tired from the medicine, but it was really good to get fresh air. We moved the mattress down to the living room, where there wasn't a pile of tickle hair and dander, and that helped a bit. I didn't really sleep, but I got some rest. Too much cat hair in general in our house- it sucks having 3 cats and becoming violently allergic to them. I tried sleeping in my car, too. didn't work, because my body had reacted so much, that I couldn't stop coughing. But at least I knew why I was coughing, and I was actually looking forward to going to Florida for a few days, jsut to get away from violent reactions.

So, we went on the airplane to florida. Worst flight of my LIFE. Not because I was coughing. But because, I was sick, and therefore my ears did not pressurize correctly. I got off the plane, and I couldn't hear anything, and my ears hurt like someone attached an industrial strength vacuum to them and tried to suck my brain out of my ear. The only releif came when we hit the second flight- for the three hours on the second flight when we were about 20,000 ft, my ears were re-pressurized. Oh, and, the two flights were from midnight to noon. No sleep at all, the entire time. It was really great.
So we get to florida, and my ears are still attached to the invisible industrial vacuum. And they stayed that way until the day before we left Florida. Rosie's ears did it too, because she had gotten mildly sick as well. It was horrible, both of us were miserable, and not in the greatest mood. I'm really glad we didn't set eachother off too much. :)

So, we were in florida, I was on my second day of no sleep at all. Rosie hadn't slept either, so we were both dead tired. We took a 4 hour nap, and I woke up. I didn't want to sleep all day, in florida... so we decided to go to a cool looking interactive fun house type place. Rosie was too tired, so she stayed home. Well, while my parents tried in vain for a couple hours to find the place, Rod and Linney, in the car behind us, decided they needed to stop to calm crying children and get food. Dad still really wanted to go to the interactive exhibit place, so I grabbed the map and promptly led us to the front door within 20 minutes. :) hehe, it was quite the 2 hour adventure trying to find the place- we passed through disney world, downtown orlando, passed universal a couple times, generally just drove around orlando for 20 hours. I must say, the street signs really suck there- they threw us off a couple times. So we get to the interactive exhibit place at about 9pm or so... it was a cool place, with some really fun things to do. One of the more memorable things was a little earthquake simulator booth. It was like a dining booth, with a table- you step in and sit down, and its supposed to simulate a 5.5 earthquake. All it did was squeak back and forth in a nice rythm- one reminiscent of a crappy hotel bed in a seedy part of L.A.

So we grab some grub and go home after an hour of that interactive place. It really was pretty cool.
The next couple of days in florida were fairly non-descript and boring. My sister got married, and it was a little strange for me. I guess thats because its the second time. It was a little emotional. I love Daniel, and I love Mandy, both very dearly. It felt a little awkward to me, but I am truly happy for them. This is what they want, and what they have pursued for quite a while now. For the bachelor party, Daniel, his brother Brian, and I went to a cigar lounge (he had his sights set on smoking a cigar before the big day). We talked, but it never gave me the opportunity to talk to him really one on one. Which is fine, but thats how I really connect with people. He was really excited, and very happy. Thats what really mattered. It made me very glad to see that. I still felt a little awkward on the wedding day, and I think it kind of shows- I probably said one thing too many referring to sex, and I think I was just trying to hide my nervousness. I really love those guys, and they are very important to me. I just wanted to show them that, and I never got the chance... so busy with wedding stuff. Maybe I'll get the chance to when they get back from their honeymoon.

So the day after they got married, Rosie, Mom, Dad and I went to the universal parks. We got the "express pass" which let us pretty much skip most all of the lines for all the rides. And also because it was a tuesday, we managed to do every ride we wanted to, at BOTH universal parks. It was great. We had a blast, and I'm really glad Rosie got to experience it. I've been to a million theme parks, but this was only her second. And her first, was disney land. When she was 16. So I'm really glad she enjoyed it. :) we really enjoyed it. The next day, she went and picked up a big fatty turtle in our back yard. We took some cool pics- will haveto post those.

So we get back, still some sick. The flights back were much better- our ears didn't fail to equalize, the plane was bigger and more comfortable, and we had good seats. Unfortunately, when we got back, the allergies came on strong again and made me miserable.. but it wasn't nearly as bad as before we left.

So thats the last two weeks! What a massive blog entry- I think its the biggest so far.

The icing on the cake- this is Rosie's third week on the job. Today is her birthday, and I'm SO proud of her. She is being successful, and she is a LIGHT unto that workplace. Like any workplace, there are morons and hard to deal with people- but we need to be uplifting, successful, moral, and above all, Godly. And she is. Thats my girl.

So wish Rosie a happy birthday. She deserves it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

So I saw this *awesome* position open up, in the Entertainment and Devices devision in Microsoft. Those are the guys that do Xbox 360, Zune, all that stuff. Its a build position. pretty much what I do now, just with cooler stuff. I sent my resume off this afternoon after getting it all prepped for them, and the guy that is hiring for this position notifies me that someone just accepted an offer for the position this morning.

Gah! :(

I'm really tired of IT. All the worst managers go here (because they can't cut it in the product groups) and the IT group really gets trashed on a lot and ignored, because we don't do anything cool. Just write sales applications for our sales people. Support internal websites and tools. Boring.

I want to work on something new and exciting, and technically challenging. I'm tired of bad management, working on applications that I could really care less about, being in a group that gets ignored, and gets less money for promotions, raises, awards, and regular pay.

I mentioned to my boss and bosses boss, (since I need their approval to move) that I was looking at this position. Well, since the position is no longer open, I'd rather stay in this group, until I see another one like it open up. I probably wont get any promos anytime soon, because I just got one, and I work on programs that are poorly done, and that looks bad after a while. I got a promo a few months ago, and lots of people agree thats the best time to do a transfer, because it looks really good.

I'll just wait until I see an opportunity open up like that again, I think. It would be really, really cool to do builds for that group. I'm sick of going to meetings and discussing how we can manage, deploy, write, and build software for sales people. I just don't care. I don't like to work late, because I really don't care if this application gets delayed a day. Its just some sales app, not some huge project that competes in the consumer market.

Today is Rosie's first day at work, and I'm EXTREMELY happy for her. I'm really proud, and I'm excited to see her step into her potential. I know God favors her, and I know He will be with her in her workplace. Thats exciting, becase I know God will bless her, and she will do very, very well. Its just her nature.

Ricky

Friday, March 02, 2007

Those were posted by Mom. :)

Lookin good.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Apologies if my blog was down for a few days... it looks like a hacker decided to try and use my server.

I don't have it very secure, well, because theres nothing on it I really care about. I can re-publish my blog somewhere else, and the server is an old junker. So I guess we'll see if he tries to come back.

I'm *really* looking forward to picking up a Bass Guitar this saturday. I got an amazing tax refund for buying my house this year, and in addition to paying off lots of debt (from a wedding, hmm) and buying a much needed couch, I want to pick up a cheap bass to learn to play on. I sold my drumset about six months ago, and I've been itching to play something. Sure, I've played percussion/djembe during all of that time, but man, its not quite enough. Maybe because I'm not on the music ministry team anymore, I don't know. I'll be going to an out of the way Guitar Center, where Daniel's old boss works, with Daniel, so hopefully we can get a good discount and I can get a better than cheapie bass for the same price. We'll see, I'm not looking to spend bank on an instrument I'm just learning.

In other news,

I'm tossing around the idea of competing in the Tamiya international RC race a few weeks from now. It sounds *really* fun to race with a hundred other guys. Even though I suck compared to most of them, the excitement of a race is much, much more fun than just driving around the track practicing. The excitement and competition, especially in a tiered system, is just so much more fulfilling. Hopefully my cheap hand-me-down batteries hold up :) The race is at the track here in Tukwila, so its not a big event, and its a free event sponsored by Tamiya, because they say you haveto have all Tamiya parts to race in it (thats where they get their profit). Plus there will be some good door prizes and awards for most accomplished rookie and stuff like that. Might be cool if I won a new car or a good charger. Hopefully most of the better guys will race in faster classes than me so I don't get stomped too hard.

Married life rocks, and Rosemary is the bestest wife in the world. Its the greatest thing ever to wake up next to her every morning, and close my eyes next to her every night. God really knew what he was doing when he created Eve for lonely ol' Adam. Too bad the world doesn't get it. They are missing out on some amazing things.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

So, I'm married now, and its basically awesome. No, it doesn't "feel" different, I didn't think it would, really, but its nice to not haveto drive home every night after being with Rosie. A lot of the differences really are not around the core of how our relationship works, but more around the fringe things in life: how to budget, save for things, plan for things, so on. It feels a lot harder to me, because now, I don't haveto just save for the stuff I want, I haveto save for the stuff we both want.

Realistically: I don't really care that much about a new couch. A cheapie whatever would be fine and thats that. But Rosie does, so, as a couple, that means we both do. I don't have a problem with that whatsoever, because I want her to feel like I value her needs and wants- and I do- but its just a little less important personally to me. But thats not what I wanted to blog about. What I wanted to blog about, was, being married means you haveto constantly fight the want to be selfish. To go spend your extra cash on stuff you want. To do it whatever you want. You can't really do any of that, at all. You haveto kind of supress all of your urges to do anything like that, write it down on a list, and get to it when its actually feasible for the both of you and the couple's needs. I hate waiting... :)

Its definitely a sacrifice for being married. I must say, it is well worth it though- being married is the best thing ever. Waking up next to someone you love with all of your heart every morning is probably the most special thing in the world.

I must say, it is hard to repress those things, but God provides, and its not like we're dying or going without food. We just grow up in a society where, if you want something, go buy it. Think about how to pay for it later. And things I've invested in previously are paying off here and there and providing some extra cash, so hopefully we can feel a little less restrained sometime soon in the future.

I've always kind of had an ideal idea of my life when I'm older: Married to a wonderful woman, have my own house, have an amazing job, nice car, all of those things, be in ministry, full time in love with God, and I've got all those things now. Its great. But, its not nearly as easy as it sounds. I guess, it sounds so ideal, that you kind of space on the total workload it takes to have all of these things. Well, I just had a talk with my new boss's boss, (yes, I always have new ones) and he talked to me about future schooling. I've been kind of working around this for the last few years, well, because, I was busy in ministry and getting married and buying a house, etc. Well my excuses are relatively gone. And I felt like God was telling me not to go, because I had more immediate things he needed me to do. But I'm praying, and not feeling that any more. That scares me a bit. I dont really want to go back to school- think about two nights a week of your life sucked away for the next ten years in order to get a piece of paper that says your smart. Urgh. That load sounds painful. And some of the only reasons to do it are for more money at my job and career development. It just sounds a little too like "career man" to me for comfort. On the other hand, I'd be 31, have a bachelors, probably make 100g a year, retire an easy multi-millionaire, be a well educated christian (why are these so rare) and be a great role model in our church. Not to mention all of the opportunities at college to meet new people, and carry out personal ministry there. I mean, when you step on campus, your in-love with God status doesn't go away, and you aren't any less devoted to ministry- instead of it being at church, the setting is a bit different.

Its just a scary proposition. Either way, its going to haveto wait at least 6 months, until Rosie and I can settle into a good comfortable situation and learn how to be married. I'm looking into grabbing an MCSE cert in the meantime to satiate the career development push my boss has so brashly pushed down the chain.

IT DOESN'T GET EASIER WHEN YOU GROW UP. IT GETS HARDER.

I always thought it'd get easier once I settle down and have a wife. :( sure I thought the wife part would require a lot of work. but not career development and, well, still trying to suck the meaning out of life as the years pass by. It aint easy!

And, for all of you crazy people that tell me to blog more.

I'll blog more if you comment more. suckers.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

"1 days to go!"


hahaha. I love it when people that code counters don't know how to use proper english.

the auto day counter on our wedding website spit that out:

http://ricky.myftp.biz/wedding

:)
So, uh, I'm getting married in less than 48 hours. More like, 45 hours and 15 minutes. (at the time I'm writing this.)

So thats cool.

I think its rather funny that the longest comment on our wedding webpage is from Granny D. :) not surprising at all, but funny. I'm glad that little comment entry section has a character limit, otherwise we'd have a few pages to read. :) I hope she doesn't pull us aside for a half an hour chat at our reception, because I don't look forward to trying to end one sided conversations. Its always hard to do tactfully.

So I have my ring, and I've been wearing it yesterday and today. :) I had fun showing it off to the other guys, and it makes me feel good to have a ring on my wedding finger. Thats definitely worth the risk of getting a small scratch in it (who looks too closely at the guys ring, anyhow?)

I've been struggling a little bit lately keeping my chin up and my lips smiling. Its been hard, I haven't had any alone time in quite a while, which is trying on an introvert such as myself. We've been going going going, and work is really squeezing every last bit out of me until I leave. We just had a big change in my group at work, as well, and my new bosses boss was nice enough to communicate to everyone on my projects that its absolutely unacceptable to try and get me to work while on my honeymoon. That was nice of him- its good to have someone up there that has, or pretends to have, a personal interest in my well being, which seems to be a first here at microsoft. Don't even get me started on wedding preparations, I don't really feel like talking about those right now. People have been nice enough to help though.
We've been moving stuff around in the townhouse, getting Rosie's stuff all situated. I gave her the big closet by the bathroom mirror, because, well, all women need mirrors by their closets. Something my mom taught me when I was younger. She'll probably be doing a bit more rearranging as well, and we have some plans to re-utilize the space we have, hopefully making the place a bit more comfortable and homey.

But boy, am I excited to get married and take a vacation. We really need this! God has been so amazing through all of this, giving us everything we need and opportunities at every turn to grow and learn with eachother. My prayer times have gotten much more sweet as of late, with quite the passion in them about my future bride, and passion God has for us and our future. It is truly amazing what he does for us and how he loves us. I pray that wherever we go and whatever we do, his hand be upon us and his blessing with us.

I guess now its time to start building the amazing marriage I've always dreamed of.
You can all be assured that I will pour every last ounce of my being into this task.

Ricky

Friday, January 19, 2007

So,

I have quite a bit I could blog about. Should I start with the most important, or the least important? hmm.

So I'm getting married in a little less than 8 days. Thats pretty sweet. It hasn't really hit me yet, thats for sure. I feel like I've been waiting so long that its more of a "Finally!" instead of a "yay we're getting married" type of feeling. I know, I know, I haven't waited as long as other people. But hey, we could have gotten married over the summer. hehe. I think the honeymoon will be a much needed vacation for the both of us. We've had a lot on our plates recently. A lot goes into a wedding. A lot more than you can really grasp unless you go through it- not just the crazy amount of things to plan, but the family dynamics that change as you get up to your date, and after. Things change quite a bit- you have your *own* family now, instead of being part of a different family. Priorities shift around, and I hate to say it, but allegiances change. First and foremost, you need to be attentive to your spouse. Everyone else falls behind that one person. (Sorry fathers, mothers.) We've come through some pretty interesting problems, and some amazingly wonderful times as well. I must say, we've done as much preparation as we can, for being married. You can read all the books in the world about how to be a good spouse, but it can't compare to experience. I just pray I can be the best husband possible for Rosemary. She sure deserves it.


Okay! Less serious topic. :)
So I went to the track last saturday and did my first race! It was a novice race, with 5 people in it. I aced both qualifiers, and smoked everyone to take the first qualifying spot. Then, in the main race, I got more nervous... and did lots worse. My best lap in the quals was a 16.5 or so, and my best lap in the main was a 17.4 or something. ha. So I got second place, but looking at the track times, I was fairly consistantly better than him (and I was reeling him in pretty good the whole race) but a couple of key mistakes let him keep the lead.
I was planning on going to the track again on tuesday, but it just so happened that Mike and a few others planned a surprise bachelor party for me that night. That was quite a bit of fun, and we played in a poker tournament. Daniel did pretty well, and I'm sure he'll tell you all about it :) but since I didn't get to go to the track, Rosie mentioned the next day that she'd like to see me race, and we should go to the track. I don't think I'd ever give up that opportunity, hehe (I love you Rosie) so we went, and it was a triple qualifier. There was no race, just 3 quals. They were for a big triple race next wednesday. I raced a *LOT* better than on saturday, and I got a few 15 1/2 second laps, and my mistakes werent nearly as bad. There were a ton of guys there that were smoking good, because they were qualifying for the big race, so I didn't qualify very well, but I still feel like I did great, for my second time on the track competatively. I'm having some problems with my gear, unfortunately. My power supply didn't work, so I returned that, and my batteries don't like to charge up all the way sometimes. I guess they are old. But man, I'm really starting to have a blast with this RC racing thing. Its a lot more fun to race competatively than to just drive around- the intensity and the announcer going just really makes it a much, much more entertaining time than just driving around.

Who knows, maybe next post to my blog I'll be married. :)

Monday, January 01, 2007

I've been reading some 1st corinthians lately, as well as some of the message this sunday was based on some of it.
Its definitely one of the most popular books of the bible to qoute. Paul says some pretty interesting and profound things in this book about how we should live life, and live it abundantly. A lot of people mis-interpret these scriptures, as well- most of the time, when you qoute a verse, you miss a lot of the surrounding verses, which you need to read, to understand what paul is trying to say.

Try taking a wonderful poem, and reading one line, and finding something profound in it. "The jay birds were perched upon the great maple tree," And you're like, okay, thats cool.
There are a couple of specific instances I'm talking about, in 1st corinthians. There is a scripture Paul wrote about previously, telling people not to hang out with people that are immoral. People that practice sexual sin, or are liars, greedy, or worship idols. Well, thats a verse many people love to use to beat down on other people or justify their lifestyle. I love what Paul writes here, to actually *Combat* that feeling of spiritual pride:
1st corinthians, 5:9-13
"When I wrote you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn't talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would haveto leave this world to avoid people like that. (Great sarcasm Paul. :) )I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don't even eat with such people."

Well, even non-christians detest a person that is lying to themselves about their actions, proclaiming their belief in God, while practicing all sorts of crazy things.

Now, another note- in a couple verses previous, he talks about kicking someone out of the church. A lot of people like to use that scripture to make elite groups of people that "don't sin" or "practice a holy lifestyle." What people miss, is that paul is asking them to remove him from the church, because he says he is a christian, yet he's sleeping with his wife's MOM. GROSS. Paul said, meet as a group of elders, and remove him, so that his sin might be burned up, and he might be SAVED. Get it, SAVED. Not so that he is cast out like a lowlife.

I also love his bluntness about sexual sin. "Don't you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never!(!!!!!!) And don't you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the scriptures say, two are united into one."
That was corinthians 6:15-16. I love his bluntness. It's so true. You're joining your SOUL to every single person you sleep with. Imagine carrying around bits of every person you've ever slept with for the rest of your life, being part of them, and them part of you. Man, that just makes me want to stay even more pure for my wife, because I don't want to be a good ol melting pot of crazy people. I've even heard stories of people being cursed because of something a past lover has done... and it actually affecting them. (or, more practically, talk about STDs. I think a lot of the reasons why God told us to be pure, or a lot of his commandments, were just to keep us safe.)

I'll stop rambling, but I could go on... but I'm just going to read and fall more in love with God.