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Ramblings of a Free Radical
a peek into Ace's life
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21st-Feb-2010 11:17 pm - blah
I'm here. had lost my password.

wheee. aint life grand 
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23rd-Nov-2008 11:00 pm - Since no one reads this anymore...
Had a wreck today... stupid me. I got distracted by nothing and ran Julie's car through a brick pedestal mailbox... you know, the kind that people build right on the curb to look pretty. Well, this neighborhood has one less of those right now. Pulverized.

The Pathfinder isn't driveable, though I was able to get it home, driving very very slowly.

I feel stupid and I can't afford the cost to repair the mailbox and get the truck fixed, but I HAVE to. Julie needs the truck, and I'm obligated to fix the mailbox. I wonder what that will cost.

I've already notified insurance.

I really want to be all "woe is me" about this... things just KEEP ON HAPPENING that put me further and further under. Trying to ask Father what's going on and is there anything I can do to make it all right.

I'm numb - Angry, sad, depressed, want to worry... but I have to maintain. Be strong. Be a man.  I can't go back and change it, so anger does me no good. Feeling sorry for myself won't get the bills paid. I can't be angry at my Father because I'm the idiot who got distracted.

Julie was pissed and rightfully so. She tried to hide it, but was honest with me when I asked. "I'm sorry" is so lame. Why she loves me, I will never understand, but I am so very grateful that she does. She doesn't try to change me, but I am such a better man now than I was when we met.

It's bedtime. I'm tired. Much to do tomorrow.

If anyone does happen to stumble onto this post, please pray for me.
25th-Aug-2007 05:14 pm - Remembering who I am...
My oldest son sent me a link to a YouTube video that was videotaped in 1997 at a concert in Lufkin, TX. He, a few friends of ours, and I had driven to Lufkin to see Rich Mullins, a contemporary Christian musician and philosopher. I don't know if he ever called or considered himself to be a philosopher, but he was.

I say "was" because two months (to the day) after we saw RichMullins at the Lufkin concert, he died in a tragic car wreck.

I'm not going to talk a lot about Rich, and I am sure he would want it this way. I mention him because looking at the concert footage made me remember the concert and Rich and where I was there as well as where I am now.

I have gotten busy lately and almost forgotten how to relax again. Or how to spend "alone time" with Father. I haven't forgotten who I am or why (I think) I am here, but I have forgotten how to sit with friends and family and pull out the guitar as a part of a relaxing evening of chat and food and loving. I miss sitting and standing and just loving God.

It's time to sit with my love and my family and my friends and love them while we love Him.

It's just time. It's what I really love to to best.

Julie, I love you more than I can describe. Let's love Him together again.
10th-Sep-2006 11:48 pm - OK, I'm not freaking out anymore...

I really don't know how to start this. It's a continuation of the last blog, so I'll start assuming you have read my prior entries.

I'm not freaking out any more. I chose life. No, that's not a misspelling or misuse of the past-tense verb “chose”. I mean it. I chose life. Last night.

And no, I wasn't contemplating ending my life.

In order to move forward, I have to slip into “flashback” mode. Several months ago, I made some statements to God and to some friends. The first one was, “I have lived a full life. If I were to die tomorrow, I'd have no regrets – nothing I would want a 'do over' for. I'm ready to go and not afraid of it.” The second statement was, “God, I'm so tired.” The third was a response that came up in a conversation with some of my high-school classmates, all in their 50's.

“If I found out that I had cancer, I wouldn't fight it.” Then I repeated the first two statements.

On Wednesday I went to the doctor for a scheduled colonoscopy. During the consultation that followed the procedure, my doctor said that she was 99% sure that there was no cancer. Nevertheless, she wrote me an order for yet another battery of blood tests. All of them cancer markers except for a repeat of the amylase and lipase enzyme levels. On top of that, she said that her personal review of my CT scan with a colleague of hers confirmed that the head of my pancreas was “prominent”; therefore, we would need to set up an endoscopic ultrasound to investigate it. That will happen on Tuesday.

We went to Quest on the same afternoon of the day I had the colonoscopy. They are the lab that draws blood for the tests and reports the findings. This time we included Julie's fax on the orders so we wouldn't have to wait for the doctor to know what the results were.

On Thursday I was pretty distracted when I first got to work. I was anxious about the new tests and about all the work I have missed since starting four weeks before. What's good was that I had lots to do at work, so the day passed quickly and I didn't have time to worry.

Thursday night, Julie and I went out to our local hangout so I could sing some Karaoke and stayed for a couple of hours before heading home. Here's where things got really interesting.

On the drive home, all the memories of the statements that I had made several months ago came back to mind. I was reminded of how ready I was to “go home” and then this thought “hit” me: “It's your call. You can choose to go home or you can choose to stay. You decide.” When we pulled into the garage, I told Julie what I had sensed. She started sobbing and wouldn't let me hold her, then she got out of the car, went into the house, fell on the floor, and cried bitterly. You see, she is one of the people that I had made the statements to several months ago – when we were just friends and I was sharing my heart with her as friends often do. She was so afraid that if I were given the choice, I would elect to go home to see my Savior instead of enduring any more.

Several months ago I would have chose to go home, but not now. I am happier than I can remember ever being. I have more hope and energy than I have had in years. My friends have seen the change in me and have expressed delight at how much Julie has changed my countenance these past months.

I told her that I choose to stay. If it's really up to me – if God is giving me the option to go or stay, then I will stay. There's too much to do. He put a call on my life when I was a child that I cannot shake, and it has yet to be fulfilled. I chose to stay last night.

And I'm here. The labs came back today and confirmed. No cancer. I will be here for many years to come.

29th-Aug-2006 11:12 am - Okay, I'm freaking
I probably don't look it yet, but I'm starting to freak out.

I watched my grandson for my daughter about three weeks ago. He couldn't go to the daycare because he was sick, so I agreed to watch him. Well, I got sick, too, but I got hit in more areas... It started out with a big knot in my abdomen - I couldn't pass anything, then I couldn't breathe normally without going into a coughing fit. My kidneys hurt like heck as well.

After a day at home, I went to the doctor and he prescribed codeine for the cough and some massive antibiotic for the intestines and possibly a lung infection. I got to feeling better pretty quick, but I went from passing nothing to passing everything quickly. Blech. Two days after I got off the antibiotics, I was still having small cramps, so the Dr. had me get a CT done of my abdomen. I got the results a week later... "the head of the pancreas is bulbous"... abnormal. They recommended that I get an MRI to get a better picture. That was yesterday (Monday). Today, I Googled "pancreas head bulbous".

So I'm losing it. I'm trying not to, but here I am in my chair at work silently crying out to my Father. I know that Im' ready if it's time. I just want to know if it is. There's so much to do.

What I am grateful for... I found love. I'm living in it. Swimming in it. I know what it looks like, and I see it everyday. I also know what true unity is. To share your heart and soul with someone. To be ONE. Complete. Whole. No matter what, I am truly a happy man. No matter what.
3rd-May-2006 12:24 am - Change...
It's all around. The seasons change. We change (hopefully for the better). The weather changes. Our kids change (grow up, hopefully).

I am generally an impatient man. I want change and I want it NOW. Even that changed, and now I want to be able to plan change. Make it happen slowly and painlessly. Don't push it, because I have pushed so many times and burned myself. So now I'm ready to be patient and wait until "it's time".

Well, it's time. Change is coming, and it's bigger than me. I'm not making this happen or even pushing. I planned on waiting patiently, but it started. It makes me think that perhaps it's later than we think. Time is being compressed to get things ready. No time to waste. Poop or get off the pot. Move it or milk it. Lead, follow, or get the heck out of the way.

It's time.

Ask Father where you are supposed to be. I am.
Why is it that when I should be doing one thing I am more interested in doing another? When I should be doing my main job, I want to work on my side job. When I have things to do for my side job, I would rather work on something else that is holding my interest.

I have the attention span of a mosquito, I think. I fly around, lighting on many different things, drinking a little of them all, but staying and feasting on none. I think deeply about many things, too (See prior entry), but I think deeply about many things.

I'm into just about everything, though not too far in them all. Some things, though, I'm in pretty deep. Electricity scheduling. The power grid fascinates me. It's simply amazing all the things that go into maintaining reliability. People take it for granted. Software development. I've run some development shops and teams, and the whole process is fascinating as well. So many different approaches, each with its intrinsic advantages and disadvantages. I'm a personal fan of an iterative, phased development approach for new systems. I like XP style development as well (eXtreme Programming, not Windows XP).

Right now I should be working. Instead I'm blogging. When I should blog, I decide it's time to sleep or watch TV or read. When I should be sleeping, I'm fighting sleep. When I should get up in the morning, I want to stay in bed and sleep.

Yes, I'm an enigma. A paradox. A really nice, gentlemanly paradox, mind you, but one nonetheless.

So tomorrow I will go to work knowing that I am behind. I hate that. I really do try to work, but it's really boring stuff most of the time.
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