Friday, March 28, 2008

so I applied for a CPL on wednesday morning. With the high probability of a democrat being president this election, it's a little worrisome that a lot of our rights will probably be "re-interpreted" for possibly the next 8 years. Theres TONS of data to show that the higher concentration of people that carry guns, the less violence. The places where there are gun bans, have tons of un-opposed gun violence. Because gun laws only stop law abiding citizens from owning guns. Do you think a theif stops and thinks, "oh no, it's illegal to have a gun, I better not get one?" heck no. When they see a "gun free zone" sticker, do they say, oh no, let me put my gun down and go in with a knife? Heck no. They say, hey, awesome- no one to stop me. I saw those stickers all my childhood on all the doors of my high school and other schools. How safe are they, really? heh. In Israel, after a school shooting in the 70s, the then prime minister mandated that a few teachers or faculty members concealed carry weapons to stop such incidents. since then, they have foiled almost a dozen school shootings, saving countless lives.

Or maybe the story about the YWAM facility. A gunman goes in with over 300 rounds of ammo in his backpack and starts taking people out. Someone that happened to be on the scene with a concealed carry permit took him out, before he even got through 50 of his rounds. How many lives did that save?

So I might not ever concealed carry, but I want that right. I want the right to put two into a guy if he tries to kill people. I want to put two into a guy if he tries to take my wife. God knows my wife is attractive enough, she's already been approached by sleezebags countless times.

Most of this thought process changed for me after Rosie got pregnant, to be honest. Before Judah came along, I didn't really care if I died- I'm goin to heaven anyway, right? But now, with a kid's future on the line, with my wife's well being... I wouldn't hesitate to end someone else instead of one of mine.

What's funny is, a LOT of my friends are going through the exact same thought process. About six or seven people I know are doing the same thing- getting their CPL, going practicing, and whatnot. Everyone is scared about losing the right to protect yourself. Everyone is getting very interested in having that option open should the need ever arise. Get this- Democrats in new orleans went around door to door and took everyones weapons. Took away their SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHT. What the heck?! Now you just created hundreds of defenseless households, while thousands of people are going around with rifles stealing, killing, pillaging, and raping. Great, yeah, you really helped things out. :/ You think, this day and age, where our society is becoming even more violent than in the past 30 years, we're going to let go of the right to bear arms? The very right to oppose our government if the need ever arises? The right to protect our families?

Heck no. Over my dead body.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

so I've got a boy on the way...

I think it's going to be one of the funnest things in my life.

I have images of playing legos with him, teaching him how to build things, eventually teaching him how to build models, how to build an RC car, how to shoot... man, I just see such a fun time. :)

You know, a son gets his affirmation from his father. A son's entire world revolves around the two most important relationships he has- mommy and daddy. I believe a big part of why the world is the way it is today, is because there are fathers out there that don't understand the relationship between a father and a son. The encouragement that needs to happen, the teaching of values, the bond created. A son gets his moral compass from his father, his financial understanding, his respect for women, his understanding of what Godliness really is.

I have memories of my Dad taking me aside and talking about finances with me. When I wanted something really bad, he would talk to me about saving up my money to purchase it. He also taught me how loans worked, by helping me purchase things I really desired, but carrying a loan with me, teaching me about monthly payments, how my $20 a month payment was due on the 1st of every month, and how normally people charge interest, and what that means. It taught me a ton about being responsible with money, what it's like to have debt, to be responsible to pay it off or pay consequences, etc.

You hear stories about guys that just do crazy things- with women, with guns, with money, and it's basically because they just didn't know how to do it right. Their learnings in those areas were self taught and perverse, instead of being taught by a father with those values intact. The love of the father leads us and guides us, and this is a small experience of that. I can't wait to raise my kid in the most godly way possible, to see him learn and grow, make mistakes and pick himself back up, because it's what you do when you fall.

I feel like I know what it's like to have a dad, and also to not have a dad. There was a time where there was a pretty big hole there... and the difference was huge. I understand where I would be if that hole had continued on to this day. I would not be married, I would not be going to church. I would be depressed, I would be emotionally closed down. I probably wouldn't be employed by a great company, I would probably be living in an appartment somewhere with a girlfriend. Funny, how that sounds like the vast majority of people my age. The only difference? A dad.

A mom, is a whole different conversation. :) Maybe you'll haveto read Rosie's blog to see if she's got anything to say about the mom dynamic- she's had interesting experiences there. I just know that, being a dad is making me focus on my experiences with dad's. Mostly mine. Mom, don't feel left out. :)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

So, I've been unbelievably busy at work lately. It's been alright though, and it hasn't bothered me too much. My management chain is aware of the crappy planning going on with my current project, and they know what's going on, so I know they will support me. I've done this kind of thing before, the only difference is a good management chain. Before, my management chain and the project teams went up to the same guy a couple levels above- so he'd just come down to me and tell me to do it. Now that we are in seperate groups, we have the ability to ask them to work on their crap a little more. We're getting our stuff in order to be able to push back a lot next release if it goes terrible, like this one, so we'll see.

Enough about really boring work stuff.

I've got a baby boy growing in my wife's belly. It's awesome. I can't wait to be a father. Life sure will change quite a bit once the baby is here... I'm excited to be the best father I can be. I'm sure gonna have fun with a boy... man, we'll go build stuff, play paintball, drive cars, oh the fun! :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Rosie and I just got away for a quick 3 day weekend. Out to some little village called "Moclips" north of Ocean Shores a fair bit. "Moclips" consists of one road- named Second Street. It's maybe, a quarter mile long, has a few motels and houses, and that's about it. There's a little 7-elleven style mom and pop store a half mile away, and thats about it. Pretty much, in the middle of nowhere, but it's on the beach. Imagine the Ocean Shores beach, except completely devoid of people. It's nice if you're trying to get away from people, but a little boring if you're trying to go do stuff. For us, it was just about right. We drove into Ocean Shores a couple times, just to drive around and eat.

The reason we needed to get away, is because we haven't had an honest to goodness vacation in a while. Work has been pretty angst inducing for the both of us- moreso lately, with me taking on a new project run by a bunch of fools, reminiscent of my early career here at Microsoft. Funny, because this team is actually the old group I used to work with when I was first hired on. Their ways of doing software are still the same. It's strange, that when I work with this division on software products here at Microsoft, they always include lots of overtime, harrying political battles, timelines that are unrealistic and boatloads of errors because of it all. Most of which I hit, due to my role in software development- most all issues are hit when the software in question is being built.

When we were driving back into town, as soon as we hit Federal Way, my phone was already ringing. It was my boss, asking me to look after the india vendors and make sure that all the work that was done over the weekend was still on track. Of course... weekend work. That's part of the reason we got away. It would have been the fifth weekend in a row marred by the ugly prospect of working through most of my free time, had I not been out of cell range.

The weekend was incredibly relaxing, just doing nothing, driving around on the beach, eating sandwiches with lots of spicy mustard and Dr. Peppers galore. But this monday morning, before I even walk through the doors, the weight has already returned. Everything just seems to be an emergency with this team, and it always falls on my shoulders- because it's my job to get stuff done. Most other people at Microsoft have job titles like "Program Manager" or "Product Manager" or "Development Manager" and so on, meaning they don't really get anything done- they just kick and scream when something is broken. They are very good at underhandedly getting things done, but most of it just includes making others pull favors to get crap fixed over the weekend and wasting other people's time, because of their lack of skills in managing issues in an effective way.

This is all marred by the fact that my mom's health is in question. It's kind of given a green tinge to everything, almost like you're living in an alternate world, a la matrix. I'm not necessarily worried of the illness or survival rates- what really gets to me, is that it's my mom. The woman who held me close for all of the years where my heart was lost to even myself. My mom, who was the only individual that tried to connect to me emotionally throughout my child hood. She would even pretend she didn't see me sleeping on her bedroom floor, just so Dad wouldn't tell me to go back to my own room- just so I could be in her presence.

I've changed a lot over the years, but this entire issue is just bringing back to me my heart of my youth. For some reason, I don't really cry very much any more. But when I think of my mom, my throat constricts and my breathing becomes labored, as I know she is the one who gave me life inside. Who taught me what it meant to get hurt, and keep loving anyway- because Jesus did.

If ever I become a great author, I think I will dedicate my first book to my mom, who taught me how to harness my heart, instead of letting it run free and destroy itself.

I hope I get a promotion out of this crappy project at work. If only the team would quit blaming me for their poor planning...