September 11

absolutes (notes to self)

Don’t compromise on principles.

Be relentless in pursuit of truth and justice.

Stick to your guns.

Never cave to evil masquerading as light.

The wisdom of the crowd is often distorted.

Defend the weak, respect the different.

Never back down in the face of enormous odds or ridicule.

Strength is not found in rhetoric, emotion, haste, or imposition.

Strength is found in the exercise of restraint, composure, and deliberate action.

Don’t fear the consequences of doing the right thing.

You will fall, but you will get up every time, wiser.

Don’t forget to have fun, be happy, and laugh at every opportunity.

We live on a rock hurtling through the universe at Mach 867 – all life is extraordinary.

Let the scope of your actions improve the world, even if only for one other person.

One man can change the course of history for the better, and it can be you.

June 13

my new form of activism

so I had a long, boring drive from the ATL to the RIC ahead of me today, so to spice it up I decided to get a bit, uh, controversial, I guess. so I painted this onto my back window:

stop the welfare
stop the wars
stop big brother
go libertarian
or Atlas Shrugs

my main goal was to spur my fellow roadsmen on their respective journeys to give a little extra thought towards the state of things, and maybe incite some discussion amongst their passengers. after all, I believe debate is one of the greatest factors towards intellectual revolution. I expected a couple nasty looks, but to my surprise I didn’t get any. I think most people that would be put off by one of the sentiments tend to agree with the others, so it’s a bit perplexing. I did get a “two thumbs up” and smiles from one couple, though. only one, but that’s better than zero. I saw a few people taking pictures too, which was funny.

anyways, I think this might by my new form of activism. I might try to use a different phrase every week or something, and report here about the feedback I get. hopefully it won’t attract too many cops to check me out, since my tags have been expired for a year and my license is expired and according to the State I’m a “terrorist” anyways. eh, somehow I was able to avoid the 5-0 all the way home today, and it’s not like I wasn’t speeding. must have been that invisible cloak I bought recently…

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September 22

down but not out

sitting in the Atlanta traffic today, my mind drifted back to age 16 (or was it 15?), when I first learned to drive a stick. most people learn the art of the manual transmission on a car or something rather easy to maneuver. I, on the other hand, learned on a multi-ton dump truck.

I remember heading up the driveway at a snail’s pace, Dad in the passenger’s seat, telling me what to do. I was a little nervous at first but after making a few laps around the side yard, I felt like I had a pretty good grasp on this concept. so, Dad told me to take it out on the road (the joys of living in the middle of nowhere – a fully inexperienced kid without his driver’s license can drive a full-size dump truck around and nobody cares).

so we get on the road, and I’m just taking my time, and we go maybe a quarter mile. time to turn around. shouldn’t be a problem, I think to myself. except Dad wants me to make a 3-point turn. in a dump truck. on a backroad that’s maybe 10 feet wide. I come to a stop, and pull forward across the road, completing the first part of my 3-point turn. I turn the wheel back, put it in reverse, and start to give it some gas, but I’m slow on the gas and the truck starts rolling towards the ditch. scared, I pop the clutch and we lurch backwards, away from the ditch in front – and towards the ditch behind us.

by the time I remembered that I had to put the clutch and the brake, we had rolled about two inches away from my newest foe, the ditch I couldn’t see – but I knew it was there, because due to the steep embankment, I was looking out the windshield upwards towards the sky. I sat there, my feet pinning the pedals to the floorboards, terrified that I was going to wreck my dad’s truck. I looked at him and told him I didn’t want to do this anymore, that I couldn’t finish this 3-point turn without putting the truck in the ditch, that I wanted to quit. he simply replied, with a bit of a smile that I didn’t recognize at the time, that I had no choice. if I didn’t finish what I had set out to do, nobody would, because he couldn’t help me.

I sat there for about a minute, thinking about what I had to do, and in what order. foot from brake to gas quick, and in the same moment, letting the clutch out almost fully, so I wouldn’t roll back more than the couple inches I had. I took a deep breath, and went for it. as my feet tried to remember what to do, the weight of the truck pulled us down.. but I stuck to my guns, the tires caught, and we shot forward, onto the road and away from that which I had come to hate so very much in those stupid couple of minutes.

in hindsight, if I had gone into the ditch, it wouldn’t have been the end of the world. we would have walked home, gotten a rope and another truck, and had it back home an hour or two later. of course, it would be nice if all of our mistakes were that easy to fix. take it as a life story or a metaphor for our current situation as a nation. since that day, I can think of countless times when I was in a rut that I didn’t know how I’d get out of, and looking back on them, the situations vary in consequence, even if they seemed like the most important thing in the world at the time.

clear your head, keep it up, and persist. it’s okay to be down now and then, but never be out, because there is almost always a light at the end of the tunnel – a reason for everything – whether you see it or not.

I’ve seen a lot of people affected by a lot of different things recently. keep your head up.

August 14

marveling at technology

so as most of you know, I now live and work in Atlanta, a hearty 8 hours away from my family. I of course miss being an easy drive away from them, where if I wanted or needed to, I could visit them at any time. it was nice being able to drop in every couple weekends and see my baby bro grow up, or take a little longer trip and see what was up in Courtland when I got the chance. things are a little harder when you’re a few states away. BUT…

tonight I took a break from work (when you work for yourself, you are always working) to catch up with them. I sat in front of a webcam here, my mom and baby bro sat in front of one in Virginia, and we had a face-to-face conversation. he told me about his new flag football team, and mom told me about her new Harley. then he gave me “knucks” and we said goodnight. technology is amazing.

all technology is amazing, but the influence that computer technology specifically has gained in our every day lives in really incredible. for someone like me, my whole life is built around it – it’s my career, it provides me food and shelter. I wake up in the morning and spend the day programming, communicating, and socializing through a computer, then in the afternoon I take my laptop and sit in front of the TV working some more and responding to text messages. (wow this paragraph is the dorkiest thing I have ever written, I promise I’m cooler than it sounds)

I guess the point of this post is a) to drop a line since I’ve been MIA for a while, but more importantly to give thanks to God for everything He has given us to make our lives easier over time. flipping on a webcam sure beats hopping in a wagon and traveling a few months up the Appalachian Trail :)

January 1

in celebration of life and football

as college football is drawing to a close and the new year has just begun, I’d like to share some related thoughts. a wise old man with a lisp once said “football is a microcosm of life”. let me explain.

football, like life, contains every range of emotions. in the heat of summer you spend your days rolling in the dirt, or running, running, running. sometimes it’s hard to believe that your hard work will pay off, but you’ve got to keep rolling. if you don’t win a game that year, you might think it was all for naught – but when you’re old and gray, you look back on that summer and realize that what you won came later.

in football there is pain. it is probably the most abundant emotion in football, but without occasional pain it’s hard to feel alive. the best type of pain is that which you can play through – you’ve got to keep pushing on that ankle and even though it hurts, when you push yourself to the limit you learn you can do so much more than you thought. what sucks is that some of your opponents are going to keep aiming for your ankle since they want you out of the game. but every time they hit it you’ve got to get up and run the next play.

there are always people watching, but you’re not playing for them, you’re playing for you. some will boo you and some will cheer you, but you’re the only one that can make a play. in defeat is sorrow and the lowest of lows, and in victory is elation where the Oranges taste sweeter, but if you can be happy in defeat you’ve shown that character is more important than which way the ball bounces.

perhaps the greatest thing about football is that with each new season you can start afresh. new players, new coaches, new goals. as I’ve thought about it I’ve realized that life is just a game, and what I should really focus on is what I’ll do when the clock hits 0:00, even though that’s hard to do when you’re knee deep in the second quarter. I hope this year that God will bless you all with the gift of finding happiness in everything you do. Happy New Year.

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