"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." Saint Francis De Sales

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My Slow Takes (vol. 42)

1. We started on the second floor guest bathroom last weekend. The idea was to paint it. However, as with most of my projects, I discovered that the light fixtures over the sink needed replacement. The project is extended and now includes new fixtures.
2. My manager has given notice that he is leaving at the end of March. Steve was the key reason I came back to work for my present organization. His move will be good for his career and I know he will do well. Now I have to adjust to a new manager. Life is always changing.
3 Rick Warren writes daily devotional based on readings from the “New Living Bible.” Wednesday’s reading is worth sharing. 
“Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” When you spend time with the Lord, you turn your thoughts to him. Then, you get along better with others, because he keeps perfect peace in your heart, and you’re not as irritable.”
4. Did you ever wonder how to relate to a billion dollars? It is beyond the ability of my questionable mind. So I went to “About.com” and found out some interesting facts. Please use these as you see fit.
“If we wanted to pay down a billion dollars of the US debt, paying one dollar a second, it would take 31 years, 259 days, 1 hour, 46 minutes, and 40 seconds. To pay off a trillion dollars of debt, at a dollar a second, would take about 32,000 years.
About a billion minutes ago, the Roman Empire was in full swing. (One billion minutes is about 1,900 years.)
About a billion hours ago, we were living in the Stone Age. (One billion hours is about 114,000 years.)
About a billion months ago, dinosaurs walked the earth. (One billion months is about 82 million years.)”
A billion inches is 15,783 miles, more than halfway around the earth (circumference).
5. Today is Saturday and it’s raining outside. The morning is one of those “I’m not going to rush into anything” mornings. Enjoyed breakfast with Dee and planned out our day. Thank you Lord for this day.

Friday, March 16, 2012

My Slow Takes (vol. 41)

In his part three article, “Solitude Finding Your Own Space and Time,” Steve Givens provides ten tips on solitude. The three that I found the most helpful.
“Don’t worry about “accomplishing” something during your times of solitude.”
“Don’t worry about “experiencing” God during times of solitude. You might accomplish something or experience God, but don’t make your time of prayer all about getting the answers to questions or having a mystical experience because you may become dismayed when things don’t happen. Just be with God.”
“Remember that the goal of solitude is presence - being authentically present to ourselves and to God. Nothing else matters or is required.”
Steve also provides “places” where he finds or creates solitude. It’s pleasing to know that I have been doing things right. No television, laptops or radio.
In the morning I have the kitchen table and Dee uses her favorite chair in the living room.
We both take advantage of the screened porch in the warmer weather.
I have taken early morning walks on the beach. With the gentle sea breeze and calming music of the waves meeting the shore I feel close to God.
On Friday mornings I have breakfast at Panera. I sit in a small booth away from door. It becomes my place of solitude.
Thank you Steve for your insight to solitude.
Dee and I were in Lancaster, PA last week. It is our annual trip to my historical miniature convention. Last year’s visit we purchased a glider and a shelf from Kings Impressions. Sam helped me fit the glider into our Pathfinder and it made it home safely. However, one of the button snaps on the lower back of the top cushion was broken. So, we brought it back this year for repair. Sam said they don’t do repair but suggested we swap it for another cushion. Unfortunately the color and fabric was not in stock and apparently discontinued. So Sam called the other Kings location and sent us there to see if we could find a cushion that we liked. Caleb greeted us with a similar cushion but the color and fabric were still different. Dee did find a color and fabric she liked and they swapped the cushion, no charge. Both men listened to our concerns and handled the situation as though we were friends and not just shopping tourists. We bought the matching ottoman. It was a pleasant experience and we recommend shopping there if you visit the Lancaster, PA area.
Dee and I attended 9:30AM Mass at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church while we were in Lancaster. The church was built in 1875 and is one of the oldest churches in Lancaster. 
After Mass Dee introduced us to the Pastor Daniel Mitzel. She told him how much we enjoyed the homily. He was pleased and excited that we took the time to introduce ourselves to him. His smile and voice were warm and enthusiastic as he welcomed us. He made us feel special that we would select St. Anthony for our Sunday worship.
The NASDAQ closed on Tuesday, March 13, 2012, at 3040. The last time that it closed above 3000 was on December 11, 2000.
The funniest story about "old time, new time" is on Jennifer Fulwiler's blog. 
Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day. We are joining some friends at a local pub to celebrate. Catholic Online has a brief history on St. Patrick. Something new I learned was that he chose the shamrock to explain the Trinity. It has become a symbol of Ireland and good luck.
There is no mention of Guinness, but that came later in Ireland’s history. I will manage to handle a couple of pints of Draught Saturday night. There is a “Certificate of Participation” from the brewery which I downloaded for the eventful day. 
“40lbs of dye is added to the Chicago River to turn it green for St. Patrick’s Day.”
“The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world was held in New York City in 1762.”
I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely; for my anger is turned away from them. I will be like the dew for Israel: he will blossom like the lily; he will strike root like the Lebanon cedar, and his shoots will go forth. (Hosea 14:5-7)
I am still learning words that I use to just “read over” before. Apostasy is when we give up our faith. God tells us He will always be there to help us when we falter. We are never alone and are always welcomed back.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cold Wars 2012 Historical Convention

Cold Wars 2012 was another great historical miniature weekend. The weather was cold but no rain or snow. I took part in two games, Riding With The Cid, hosted by Phil Viverito and the Battle of Chrysler's Farm, hosted by Ron Oldham. Both scenarios were well done and allowed for smooth and exciting games.
I don’t enjoy a game that gets “bogged down” waiting for things to happen. Phil and Ron make sure that everyone is involved and that there is plenty of action. The rules to both games were easy to follow and allowed us to enjoy the historical aspects of the battle. 
When we are not gaming, there is a vendor area for buying figures, dice, paint, terrain, books and anything else related to historical miniatures. If you want to trade or sell there is a flea market. 
Our wives, Dee and Lynne, are not gamers. However, Lancaster, PA has plenty of outlets and everything Amish. They managed to keep themselves busy while we gamed.
The photos are from my iPod, which I’m still learning to use.

Riding With The Cid

Chrysler Farm

Inside The Castle

The Castle Street

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Slow Takes (vol. 40)

1. I didn’t know what phylacteries were so had to check out a definition.
For those of you like me, here it is. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/phylacteries It made the reading easier to understand.
2. Jennifer Fulwiler’s new book, with contributing writer’s, has beenreleased. On Monday she was notified the book sold out on Amazon. My copy is on “back order.” Read about it here, “Style, Sex and Substance.”
I realize that this is not one of those “guy” books, but I do know Jennifer is a writer. One who has enlighten my life and taught me things about my own writing. 
3. Sunday at 12AM Daylight Saving Time began. It will be “old time” versus “new time” for about a week. 
4. Steve Givens writes: “My other favorite story about seeking God in the
silence of prayer is attributed to St. John Vianney, a 19th century French parish priest from the hamlet of Ars, not far from Lyon. He tells the story of a man who comes to church every day and sits alone in silence. Vianney finally asks him, “What is it you do here every day?” The man answers: “I look at God, God looks at me, and we enjoy one another’s company.””
His part two article, “Solitude: Quieting the world and ourselves” makes me think about how I need to strive for time with God. I have the tendency to let my mind wander when I pray. Thinking about the next person on my list, who should I add to my list, what time do I have to be wherever, did I charge my cell phone? None of these things have me concentrating or listening to God. I need more solitude and Steve is going to give me some tips in part three.
5. The Apple iPad 3 is being released this month. It is a cool tech tool and I keep trying to justify the purchase. My thought is that the price of the iPad 2 will drop and make it more affordable. I don’t need one, my MacBook Pro does an excellent job. However, every time my son Todd is at the house he has his iPad 2. I keep thinking how neat it would be to have one.
The popularity of the Apple iPad and other tablets is growing. I never realized how much and was surprised about the tablet market when I read Roger Yu’s article in Thursdays USA Today. It states that about 55% of tablet users said they are going to buy or are considering buying an additional tablet. The price is so much lower than a laptop and it can handle the things most people want to do. Surfing the Internet, blogging, emailing using Facebook, Twitter or watching movies. It sits comfortably on your lap. I am in the wrong business.
6. I am late with this week’s posting. went to Lancaster, PA for my historical gaming. I’ll write more about that in another posting.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Slow Takes (vol. 39)

1. Remember these names; Harry Dent, Gerald Celente and Robert Prechter. They are predicting an economic catastrophe in 2013 or 2014. Read about them in USA Today.
I am not pleased about these sort of predictions, and I'm not sure I can do anything about them. However, the article, written by Adam Shell, is worth reading. He looks at both points of view, not just the  negative side.
2. I have joined a group of volunteers at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital. Once a month we will recite the Rosary through the hospital closed circuit television system. Patients will have the option of tuning in to the station assigned for this program.
Our start date is Monday March 5th and will go through a test period to see how the program is accepted by the patients. Your prayers will be appreciated.
3. Dee, Jeanine, Dave and I went to the last University of Richmond basketball game at home this week. It was an exciting game against the Dayton Flyers. At half time the score was Richmond 36 and Dayton 30. The second half was more exciting with the score staying within range of either team winning. Richmond won 82 to 71. The team now heads to the Atlantic 10 Tournament, 1st round, on March 6th. Go Spiders! 
4.  Yesterday Col. Van Thurman Barfoot joined our Lord at age 92. He was a World War Two hero who earned the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor. 
Mr. Barfoot made the Richmond, VA news when he was told he could not have a flag pole in his front yard. The Sussex Square Homeowners Association had rules and his flag pole was considered “socially unsuitable for aesthetic reasons.” The Col. is a veteran of three wars and was not going to back down in this fight. He defied the rules, raised his American flag and was ready to face court action. He received much support locally and nationally which helped the the association to rethink their decision and allow him to fly the flag. Read the article here.
Col. Barfoot is “one of five Native American Indians to ever receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.” He will be welcomed in God’s arms.
5. Matthew Archbold writes a great blog and this morning, thanks to  “Prints of Grace,” I read his article “There’s a Cat in My House.” It was humorous and brought memories of Dee and I raising our sons. I made sure they received the link to his article.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Where I Write

This is where I write and also do my historical miniature painting. It is an office area for Dee and I. The office is the "extra room" over the garage. Nothing fancy but it allows plenty of room and a nice view of the front of the house.

Looking Out The Front Window
My Area - Rather Clean At The Moment

My Mascot Alf