boon-dog-gle: (noun) work of little or no value done merely to keep or look busy.
free: (adjective) provided without, or not subject to, a charge or payment.


begging your pardon...

I really wish I had more time to write some longer pieces of observation and reflection for the blog, sharing my wit and wisdom with you my loyal reader(s). But I'm just too busy right now to devote the kind of time I need to produce something of substance. So, in the absense of eloquence (wouldn't that be a great name for a blog, among other things?), allow me to offer you some opportunities for diversion.


Surprise random link of the week...

Here's this week's link (back to school edition): Have fun!


saturday night...

*UPDATE* -- The show was very mellow, but very good. Matthews Chapel is going to be a great venue for music after a little work. The pews need to be removed, and the floors need to be redone. And we need to have more than 2% non-Memorial church people to attend. But the guys sounded great, and their songs were very real (if you know what I mean).

I should've done this before, but here are links to Caleb's and Jude's myspace pages.


If anyone in St. Louis is looking for something to do this weekend, here's a suggestion.

(Click to enlarge.)


"An unexpected gift is nice to get."

Hey, I didn't say it was a good proverb. Thanks for the gift, my friends (you know who you are).


Surprise random link of the week...

Here's this week's link: Have fun!



Watching a Simpson's rerun today, I heard one of the best quotes. To set the context: Bart has sold his soul to Millhouse and is encountering all kinds of problems as a result, such as animals hating him and automatic doors not recognizing his presence. While at the Kwik-E-Mart, Bart sees some of the neighborhood ruffian-bullies steaming up the glass on the cooler with their breath and then writing insulting phrases. He wants to join in, but lacking a soul, he isn't able to steam up the glass. Noting his failure, one of the bullies, Jimbo, comments,

"Nice breathing, No-breath."


free at last, free at last, (well, almost)...

Even though I'm running on about 45 minutes of sleep today, I'm feeling pretty good. Last night after my shift at work I gave my boss my official two weeks notice that I'm quitting. Actualy, I'll be leaving in three weeks, but just knowing there's an end in sight fills me with joyous anticipation. Since I'm a people-pleaser at heart, I hate that kind of confrontation of telling someone something I know she doesn't want to hear. But, it wasn't so bad. I told my boss I was leaving and I could tell she was disappointed, but she understood why I was leaving. As I was talking to her, she told my old boss from when I worked in a different department that I was leaving and at first she--my old boss--feigned anger, but she too gave me well-wishes. I could tell that they were a little bit envious of me leaving. I think my boss was most glad that I gave some notice, rather than telling her the day before, or just not showing up one day. That's the way things work around there; it's really common with hourly workers and not unheard of with supervisors like me. It's kind of weird that everyone hates it there, even the people like my bosses who have the ability to change how it works. But they don't, so the cycle just continues.

It's Suzanne's new job that allows me to quit mine, since she now gets full benefits, which was the main reason I kept my job. But providentially, things are really starting to fall in place for us. Right now I work during the day about 10 hours per week for Covenant Seminary editing class lecture transcripts for their Covenant Worldwide program. Last week I got word that I'll be able to increase my hours to between 20-30, whatever I'm able to handle as school starts up for me in a few weeks. That will allow me to work from home and set my own hours, which is great because once we have a foster child placed with us we won't have to put him or her in daycare. That will save us all kinds of money and hassle, not to mention the benefit of all the extra time to nurture and bond with the child.

Besides not being there, here are the top 5 things I'm going to be glad about once I quit my job:

  1. sleeping at night / going to be with my wife: besides being more biologically natural to sleep at night, and emotionally satisfying to be with Suzanne more, a friend of mine who recently quit working at the same job put it well, "There are benefits to being able to go to bed with your wife"
  2. not shaving: as supervisors we are required to be clean shaven every day; if you looked closely at my vacation photos you'd notice that my face got progressively scruffier as the week went on and I'm looking forward to being able to give my razor another long rest
  3. being able to do things with my wife and friends in the evenings like a normal person
  4. not having bruises all over my body: no, there's not a "work bully" who beats me up for my soda money every day, but there're always boxes falling on me, or places for my fingers to get pinched in, or objects for my knees, legs, and arms to bump into
  5. being able to watch Conan O'Brien on a regular basis


Surprise random link(s) of the week...

I can picture it now: later today, all over the country, people will be sitting in their office, bored and looking to avoid work, while others will be aimlessly surfing the web while sipping on a grande mocha, and eventually a thought will occur to these people: "It's Wednesday; it's Nick's random link day." And now, you are here. Setting further reflection of my gift of prophecy aside, I hope you have some time to waste. This week, I'm going to clear a bunch of links out of my browser's "favorites" that have been in there a while, waiting their turn. So, on to the links, have fun!

First, we have dueling theologies: here and here.

Next, a few lists that may spark debate: here, here, and here.

Finally, there is this site that I meant to link to while on my road trip.


not so big sale...

Apparently there is a sales-tax holiday in Missouri and other states this weekend. I've seen adds all over the place informing me of this "sale" as though I won't be able to resist this enticement to spending. Now, if I do happen to buy something this weekend, I'm not going to insist on paying the sales tax. And, I'm sure that it's helpful for those who are doing back-to-school shopping, especially those on tight budgets. But all that said, is a sales-tax holiday really that big of a deal? I think the sales tax in Missouri is about 5.5%. Would anyone really be impressed if their favorite department store advertised a sale with savings up to 5.5%? Maybe if you're buying something big like a car, it adds up enough to be a deal. But if I want to go to Borders and buy a book that's $25, it just means I'll pay $25 instead of $26.38 (and it might be more like $25.75 if the 3% local sales tax is still charged, which I'm not sure about). Like I said, I'm not going to turn down $1.38, but I'd probably spend that much in gas driving to my nearest Borders.


Surprise random link of the week...

Here's this week's link: Have fun!

G.K. Chesterton...

"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people."