Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Here are 5 ways that I avoid a wireless data plan.
1) Use a mobile phone with a cross platform operating system.
Over the years I've had plenty of phones that relied on some sort of proprietary operating system built by the manufacturer or the carrier. Unfortunately that means that all content also comes from or is licensed by the manufacturer or the carrier. The biggest problem for the end user is that it squeezes out a lot of innovative apps and cool games that are out there. Right now I'm using a Windows Mobile phone. While not a completely open platform, it is more flexible than a straight-up Verizon phone. Google's Android has some promise to be the most flexible OS for a phone, but will need to gain some market momentum before I'm really interested.
2) Microsoft ActiveSync.
3) SMS Alerts
- Yahoo Sports Alerts with scores from my favorite teams (Boston - thank you very much).
- News alerts from Boston's WBZ.
- Stock Market Updates at the end of the business day.
- Email alerts from my work's email server (available via Rules and Alerts... in Outlook).
- Updates from Facebook and Twitter.
- Traffic alerts (for whatever area you select).
Saturday, December 13, 2008
|From December 2008|
|From December 2008|
|From December 2008|
|From December 2008|
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
So without further delay... I am voting for Barack Obama.
As a registered Republican, it will be my first time voting for a Democrat. My vote is made up of several decision and opinions that I'd like to cover with you. I'd love to hear your feedback.
1) Embarrassment - I am completely embarrassed by the last 4 years of the Bush administration. Having voted for "W" last time mostly due to the "devil you know" theory, I've grown tired of the lack of respect he has brought to the office. I realize that some of this lack of respect is a "snow-ball" effect largely due to the fact that popular culture has been enjoying the natural punchlines in his lack of presence and misspoken words during speeches. Ultimately, not only has President Bush been somewhat of an embarrassment, so have many of his choices for key members of the executive branch organizations. The evidence is easy to find with so many resignations and 'insider' books from former members of the staff.
1a) So what does that have to do with not voting for McCain? I don't have a lot of experience in Washington DC, but what I've learned about the organizations that make up the executive branch, is that they are heavily influenced by members of the party of the President. The members of the executive branch may experience some changes with a McCain presidency, however, my vote for Obama is in part a desire to hit the reset button on as much of that organization as possible.
2) Presidential - Barack Obama is clearly more intelligent, inspiring and poised than John McCain. Evidence? Just watch the debates and the speeches, especially the 'town hall' debate in which McCain was terribly uncomfortable.
2a) So what does 'being Presidential' have to do with the actual issues. In truth, I still identify with the ideals of the Republican party far more that I do with Democrats. For example, I'm harshly opposed to abortion, I don't believe that an increase in taxes on potential employers (those making over 250k) will help the economy, and I'm nervous that removing troops from Iraq too soon could cause some long term instability in a place where we've already invested so much. Despite all of that, I've also learned that I don't have to agree with every position a leader takes in order to respect that leader. So in the wake of the current President, I'm highly concerned with electing strong, intelligent and inspiring leadership to the office, and Barack Obama has demonstrated that character over the past 20 months of campaigning.
2b) With respect to the elders in my life, John McCain is too old. At 72 years old it is hard to believe that he is going to be as connected with the pulse of the this country and the innovations we need in the future. McCain is just a little too late to the party. I'm disappointed with the Republican party for not nominating Mitt Romney, a younger, more intelligent and inspiring leader that would have brought a strong agenda for reducing governmental spending.
I think that spending millions of dollars for a half-hour network broadcast is a lot of money to spend on a commercial, but I really do appreciate an entire half-hour of positive politicking. There was not one negative attack on McCain. The first ad to be run by John McCain after the special was negative and focused on Barack Obama not being ready to be president.
I'm ready for something positive.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Come Together from Marty Holman on Vimeo.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
|From Puerto Rico -October 2008|
I had assumed that he was no longer playing competitively, however while hanging out at his parents house, his father Oscar let us know that Maurico had been doing well in the World Amateur Championships. Here is the update below.
“We are off to a good start. All three played well,” USA captain Walter Driver said of his team. “Conditions were benign here at Royal Adelaide.
"Until we play both courses, it’s hard to tell exactly where you stack up against the field.”
Fowler, the American collegiate player of the year in 2008, made five birdies in his first nine holes and finished with seven against two bogeys. Lovemark, who won the American collegiate title in 2007, carded an eagle, four birdies and one bogey. Billy Horschel’s 1-under 72 did not count for the USA.
Mauricio Muniz of Puerto Rico shot the lowest round of the day, an 8-under 64, at The Grange’s West Course to pace his team into third place at 137. His score was one stroke shy of the championship record of 63 by Jason Dawes of Australia in 1994 and just the fourth 64 on record.
“I think I got the speed of the greens just right,” Muniz said. “I was reading the putts. The key was the speed of the greens. They are a lot faster than in Puerto Rico. Once I got comfortable with the speed, the putts started falling in.”
Trailing Puerto Rico were France and Wales tied for fourth, New Zealand and South Africa tied for sixth, Sweden in eighth and England, Korea, defending champion Netherlands and Spain tied for ninth.
In the World Amateur, the team’s two best individual scores count.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
|From September 2008|
This is the profile view.
|From September 2008|
Erin thought that this was a cute shot of his foot.
|From September 2008|
This is proof of his manhood (don't' embarrass the boy by staring).
Friday, September 26, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Hey all. We are getting ready for TBR's second CD coming out late this fall, so we just put together a fan list. Sign up... Sign up your friends... and maybe even your long lost cousins... they won't mind.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
So I used to tell my wife, "If I had to leave IKON for another copier related company... it would probably be Ricoh." What I didn't totally anticipate was Ricoh coming to me.
Yesterday, Ricoh acquired IKON for $1.6 billion... or $17.25 a share. So, while IKON remains as a self managed company, Ricoh will buy all of the shares and take IKON off of the NYSE. Before working at IKON I spent some time in the Financial Industry at a company that specialized in M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions). I've seen some of the aspects of pressure that the "Street" can bring when your a public company that is not showing growth year over year. So I've been prowling the news wires looking for some indications of the background story to this sale.
Here is what I found: http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/28/lichtenstein-gets-his-wish-with-ikon-deal/
IKON shares have been mostly held by institutional investors (not unusual), but one particular investor has owned a significant stake in NYSE:IKN for quite some time... a hedge fund named Steel Partners. They've always had a lot of influence on the company, (Read Here for more background) but it looks like they may have had the final say on this deal with Ricoh. They needed to make a reasonable profit on their investment in IKON and this was probably the best deal they were going to get anytime soon.
Hey... business is rarely "Nice"... and this is the case here. So even though we are going to hear a lot of discussion about this move being in the best interest of the customers and employees, we all know that the reality is that this move is in the best interest of the share holders. And that's ok, such is the life of a public company.
At least I was already emotionally prepared to work for Ricoh.
Friday, August 22, 2008
We'll find out if baby #2 is a boy or a girl on September 30th. The cool thing is that Mitchell and his new younger sibling will be just under 2 years apart, which is the same as my brother Chris and I. And while I'm sure we were a handful for my mother, our closeness in age provided for a lot of fun times. Anyway, I'm sure Erin will post some more information on her blog, http://erindestratis.blogspot.com/
Friday, August 8, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
In The Know: Are Politicians Failing Our Lobbyists?
Monday, June 30, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Senator Obama just took another giant step toward winning the presidency. Actually, someone who considers himself a sworn enemy of Senator Obama took the step for him. Dr. Dobson of the Focus On the Family radio program (and evangelical media empire) has aired a program in which he attacks Senator Obama, the Senator's theology and his credentials.
read more digg story
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
So, it could be that I'm no longer 8 years old... or that the teams were expected to win... but I do feel more of a sense of relief than a sense of total jubilation.
By the way... was anyone else surprised by the dramatic interview with Kevin Garnett with Michelle Tafoya after the game. KG was euphoric... and incomprehensible. All of us watching were wishing that they would just let the guy run around the court hugging people instead being forced to answer ridiculous questions like, "How does it feel to be a champion?" Despite that... I was a little embarrassed for KG's Oscar winning responses and "shout-outs". Of the "Big 3" it was a sliding scale of drama... with KG at the top, Paul Peirce in the middle and Ray Allen on the low end by taking it all in stride.
Anyway... enough random thoughts for now... Congrats to all the Celtic faithful!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
What an unbelievable honor it is to be a part of this wedding today. When Christopher and Nichole approached me about being a part of their wedding… I was excited… and a little nervous. No one has ever asked me to speak at their wedding before.
I spent 4 of the best years of my life as director of student ministry at Holden Chapel, where Chris and Nichole were both involved. As a youth pastor I figured it was inevitable that some of the kids would eventually realize that they liked someone else in the youth group. However, I got lucky and for the first two years, there were virtually no serious relationships in the youth group… just whispers and crushes. Eventually a lot of the guys had girlfriends… but Chris was not one of them. (by the way… Chris, I’d like to take this moment to thank you for your dedication to the Lord). It wasn’t until Chris and Nichole went to the college together that she noticed his quiet charm. …and the rest is history.
I am deeply honored to be a part of this special day!
We are going to spend a few moments talking about:
Love vs. Falling in Love
Today, Christopher and Nichole have committed (with all of you as witnesses) to “LOVE” each other, not to simply “Fall In Love” with each other.
Falling in love with someone is fun… you think she’s cute; she thinks that you’re funny. Your eyes lock on to each other just a little longer than usual. You’re in the grocery store and you half expect that you’re going to see her walking up to the same checkout line. Your friends keep trying to call you, but you blow them off, because she may be able to go out tonight. You go home at night and you can’t stop thinking about the next time that you get to be with her.
There’s energy, excitement, anticipation, and flutters in your stomach. “Being in Love” consumes you. It feels great!
It’s like sugary-sweet icing on a cake!
Have you ever had a corner piece of cake that is just loaded with icing? It can actually be hard to clean off your plate if you are left with just frosting and no actual cake. Most of us will naturally hit a “wall” if we eat too much sugar all at once. As a youth pastor I spent a lot of time with high school students. And as a result, I’ve witnessed a few of these guys willing to push the limits of sugar consumption that the human body can take. The point is that we can only take so much frosting before we start to feel sick. So watch out for those corner pieces of cake… the look really good, but can leaving feeling a little sick in the end.
What about the cake itself? The real substance of a cake is the… cake… not the frosting. Frosting without the cake is a big sloppy mess… kind of like most of us when we first “Fall in Love”.
So cake is like real LOVE. Love is selfless and kind. Love is commitment the other person. A marriage covenant is built on a love commitment.
Story of Commitment – Ruth and Naomi
If you read along in the Bible you will find that the Old Testament describes the early days of the nation of Israel, which was marked as a violent time in human history. Before long, you will get to the book of Judges, where you will read about war, death, looting, and pillaging. And then, just when you can’t take it any more, you turn to the book of Ruth.
The first chapter of Ruth does begin with despair for Naomi, an Israelite woman who loses her husband and eventually her two sons to early deaths. They had been in the foreign land of Moab trying to avoid a famine taking place back in Israel. While in Moab, her two sons had married local women: Orpah and Ruth.
When Naomi heard that the famine was over, she wanted to head back to her home town of Bethlehem. But she told her daughters-in-law to stay in Moab.
16 But Ruth replied, "Don't ask me to leave you and turn back. I will go wherever you go and live wherever you live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. 17 I will die where you die and will be buried there. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!" 18 So when Naomi saw that Ruth had made up her mind to go with her, she stopped urging her.
Ruth was committed to Naomi. Ruth truly loved her mother-in-law even when it meant that things could possibly be uncomfortable for her. As it turned out, her show of true love was honored by another show of true love. An honorable man name Boaz eventually married Ruth; they had a son named Obed. Obed had a son named Jesse. Jesse had a son named David… You may have heard of him.
Shortly, we are going to celebrate this commitment that Christopher and Nichole have made to each other. One of the ways they are going to demonstrate their love is by serving each other a piece of cake. It will probably have some frosting on it, but most of it is actually cake.
Next time you eat cake, watch out for those corner pieces. They look like a lot of fun, but can be tough to finish. Falling in love can be fun too, but solid relationships require you to make it through adversity, not simply the fun times.
Real love is a commitment. A commitment that has untold potential…
Christopher and Nichole – Congratulations….
And may your love commitment to each other bear all the potential you can handle.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
One thing that has made the transition easier has been my own transition to an HDTV. Despite my own proclivity to be on the bleeding edge of technology, I have not owned an HDTV until last Sunday night. And last night I had the chance to hook up an antenna. I've noticed that a lot of people out there don't realize that HD signals are available for free over the air. It's true; if you want the broadcast stations in HD, all you need is a TV with a Digital Tuner and an antenna capable of catching signals. And since its digital, the days of fuzzy signal through your "bunny ears" are over. The signal is either strong enough or not. If you want to check for signal strength at your address just head on over to Antenna Web and input your address.
I like HDTV so much that I'm willing to watch things that I normally would try to avoid. I watched parts of American Idol last night... as well as The Price is Right special and some documentary on PBS. Watching AI in this way made it much more interesting to me, although I could have used less close-ups of Paula crying... but that fact that you can see the lights reflecting of a tear drop is still cool!
Anyway, I'm mostly looking forward to watching sports in HD. Let me know if you want to come by and catch a game!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
He is survived by his son, Raymond DeStratis and his wife Darlene of Worcester; three grandsons, Jason DeStratis, Christopher DeStratis, and Sean DeStratis; a great grandson, Mitchell DeStratis; a brother, Anthony DeStratis of Worcester; a sister, Ida Tryzinski of Worcester; many nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by a brother, Joseph DeStratis as well as two sisters, Pauline DeSantis and Louise Rossetti.
Cosmo was born in Worcester, son of the late Antonio and Maryann (Cancelmo) DeStratis, and has lived here all his life. He graduated from Commerce High School. He served his nation proudly in the United States Army, during World War II. He was an engineer serving in the African and European Theatres.
Mr. DeStratis worked as the Data Processing Manager at Millbrook Distributors, for many years, before he retired. He had previously been the Parts Manager for the former George H. Jewett Automotive in Worcester. He was a member of West Boylston VFW Post 6907.
A funeral service will be held Wednesday, May 14, at 10 a.m. in MERCADANTE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 370 Plantation Street, Worcester. Interment will follow in Worcester County Memorial Park, Paxton. Calling hours will be held Tuesday, May 13, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. in the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dodge Park Rest Home, 101 Randolph Road, Worcester, MA 01606.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Growing up, my brother Chris and I spent a lot of time at my grandparent’s house. It was a win, win, win situation. My parents got a break, my grandparents got to show off two goofy little boys, and we got to stay up past our normal bed times. And as a result, there weren't many protests when it came to spending time at 12 Hycrest Dr. I have vivid memories of waking up on a Saturday morning and watching my grandparents go through their normal routine of cleaning up the house. My Grandparents equally shared in the responsibilities of mopping, changing the sheets, wiping down glass and counters, loading and unloading the laundry, and running the vacuum. I would start out the morning willing to help (as much as a 5 year old kid could), but as the morning rolled on, I'd begin to lose interest in the activities of cleaning. My grandparents, however, wouldn't waiver until they were done with all their responsibilities. And when they were done cleaning, Grandpa would stroll over to the refrigerator, reach into the bottom drawer and grab a couple of red apples. As he shined up his apple, he'd begin to whistle a tune. He'd walk over to the living room and draw open the curtain in front of the bay window. I'd follow him into the living room with my apple, make an attempt to whistle, wait for the curtain to open and stare out the window. Grandpa would say, "Now that we've finished our work, we can relax". He'd sit down on the far chair and I'd sit down on the other and we ate the apples.
At the age of 16 I had been living full time with my grandparents for a couple of years. It was quite a sacrifice for them to make; just think of the cost of food for two teenage boys and you know that many of the plans they had for retirement would have to be altered. My grandfather would pick me up from school almost every afternoon. After getting home I'd put my books down, change up and go look for a snack in the refrigerator. My grandfather was already in the living room on his chair going through the day’s mail; I'd stroll in and sit on the other chair. It was in the spring of 1995 that I said to him, "I think I found a car that I'd like to buy". He looked up from the latest piece of junk mail that he received and said, "Jason, that is a big responsibility... you have to get a loan, pay for insurance, gas and maintenance". I told him that I thought I was ready, so he took me down to the bank to apply for a loan. After having me go through the whole process of filling out forms and meeting with the loan officer, he pulled me aside and said, "I've got an idea... I'll give you an interest free loan for the car and you can pay me back $100 a month." That deal was a lot better than the bank’s offer, so I took it. A few weeks later, I was driving a 1989 Honda CRX. It took me about 3 years, but I paid him back the total that I borrowed.
It was in February of 2000 that my Grandmother passed away after a battle with Pancreatic Cancer. It was a very difficult time for my grandfather. Shortly thereafter, I finished my full time college career and moved back into 12 Hycrest Dr. I had just turned 22 years old and he was quick to point out that I was hardly ever around the house. However, I do remember several times where I would rush into the house with places to go and people to see. I yelled out “Hey-O” as I always did while bolting in to the house. He was in the living room, sitting quietly on his chair, gazing out the window. Most of the time he would call back, “Hey-O”; but he didn’t this time. His eyes were damp and his voice cracked as he said, “I miss her so much”. I didn’t know what to say; I was not used to seeing my Grandfather cry. I joined him by sitting on the other chair and said, “I miss Grandma too”.
It was in these moments in the spring of 2000 that he shared many of his favorite memories of his wife. He told me about meeting her while hanging out at East Park. “She was spunky and cute, and I just knew that she was the one for me” he confessed. He told me stories of the family support they received living together in a 3 decker on Rodney St. He spoke of difficult times and reminded me that relationships aren’t perfect, “but if you work at it, you’ll have way more good times than bad.” He started to laugh when he recalled that, “Grandma was so nervous about buying this house on Hycrest Dr. $23,000 was a lot of money to spend on a house in 1964.”
As I sat there, listening to him talk about how he and my grandmother fell in love and made a life together, it helped to serve as confirmation for me as I was falling in love with my girlfriend and soon to be wife, Erin.
And so, there we were, just over a week ago, on Saturday, May 3rd… now with my wife Erin and our son Mitchell… at 12 Hycrest Dr. It was at this very place that my grandfather took advantage of every “teachable moment” he had.
It was here that he taught me:
· To finish the job before you relax, because you can’t really relax until the job is done.
· An apple a day keeps the doctor away… or at least can’t hurt.
· That owning a car was a big responsibility and you have to take care of it.
· Family needs to come first; help them when they need it.
· That love isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it.
And even on that day as we sat there for the last time on the two chairs he was teaching me one more valuable lesson.
· Life is too short to just sit around.
It was after about a half hour that he said, “Hey, let’s get going, I don’t want to miss bingo with old ladies and I think it starts at 10”
And we got up from the chairs at Hycrest Dr. for the last time. I love you Grandpa!
Monday, April 7, 2008
You may remember a blog I wrote in January where I mentioned that we placed an offer on a house. We had our hearts and money invested into this place. The story did not end well as the seller (banks) cancelled the sale. They did not properly foreclose the house which then caused errors in the Title record. Our lawyer and the title examiner insisted (for our benefit) on changes to their documents to correct the error. This was out of the banks protocol and they would not make the change. The result: we did not get the house and we are now entangled in a bit of a dispute with them.
Erin and I realized that we would have to wait for a long time to try and resolve this dispute, so we decided that it would be better to look for a place to rent for the next year or two. We found a great deal in Worcester, right off of Grafton St. We'll share pictures soon, but if you want to see it in person, we'd love to arrange that too.
Write to me at my new Gmail address (email@example.com) if you're interested in helping with the move for a part of... or the entire day. The schedule looks like this:
8:00am - My brother-in law and I will pick up the truck
9:00am - Arrive at Extra Space Storage on Ararat St. in Worcester
10:30am - Arrive at our new place
11:00am - Begin placing and re-assembling of beds, etc.
12:00noon - Finish off loading the majority of our stuff (hopefully)
12:30pm - Lunch... we'll order some sandwiches or pizza
1:30pm - A run to Spencer to pick up items there
3:00pm - Unload remaining items
5:00pm - Return truck
See ya then!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Bob Lobel may not be perfect (I'm pretty sure he's perpetually drunk), but he is my local sportscaster... who understands the agony of defeat and doesn't hide it when he's on the air. And how in the world can I go on without Joyce Kulhawik's movie and theater reviews... is there anyone in Boston more cultured that Joyce... I doubt it!
So WBZ... you have some explaining to do... I've been a loyal channel 4 guy my entire life and now you want me to turn on the 6 o'clock news and not think about the fact that I'm lost.... lost without these icons of Boston local news. I guess all I can say is "shame on you" and you better hope that I don't end up at WCVB where at least the broadcast is in HD.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Besides, with Google coming up with amazing technologies like this one... how can I resist!
Today is so much fun.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Link to the podcast page here.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Marty Holman has asked me to fill in this Sunday at Fellowship Church in Holden. The service is at 10:30am. I'll be speaking on the second part of the "Live Differently" series. If your looking for a place to go to church or just want to come out to support me (since I haven't given a message in about a year now). Even if I'm not too funny... just laugh anyway... it really helps my self-confidence. Seriously, it should be a good service and maybe a little inspiring as well.
Hope to see you there,
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
Claudio has been living in Boston during the week and I make many trips there for work. Boston is a great city and most of the time, I'm glad for the opportunity to work there. Many of our clients and potential clients work in the towers in the Back Bay area and in the Financial District, all with spectacular views of the city. And as you can see in my last few entries, I've even had the chance to enjoy some great sporting events while in the city.
Now that Claudio works at the Boston Sports Club, we've car pooled back to central Mass whenever schedules allow. This was one of those weekends and the decision was made to take advantage of my new "clearance" to walk. I miss taking Remy for walks. It always give me a chance to clear my head.... or in this case, have a conversation with Claudio on our favorite topics of physics, philosophy and life.
Remy also has a chance to work on his "Scouting" skills. He loves to run ahead, pointing out possible routes and paths to take. Sometimes he gets way ahead and I yell out, "HEY REMY". He looks up, realizes he's too far in front, and comes back to me. That’s my favorite part... not just because he comes back, but because he sprints back at top speed. And on Saturday, he sprinted back silhouetted by a "roll" of hay and rays of sunshine falling onto a field in Paxton.
The moment pointed out a truth that I've learned from Claudio that ties together aspects of physics, philosophy and life: Take time to walk through the "back woods of Paxton".
Friday, February 1, 2008
I'm on an incredible run the past week with a luxery box for the Bruins and Celtics tickets that were only about 15 rows behind Mavs owner Mark Cuban.
It was a back and forth battle with the Celtics and Mavs trading baskets and momentum through out the game. In the end, Rajon Rando made some incredible plays to compliment great performances from Allen and Pierce to complete a 96 to 90 victory over a tough Western Conference opponent.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Now there is a new application from Google Maps that I love, called Street View. I've used it a couple of times... and I actually saw a street level view of an office I needed to find for a meeting the next day. It was helpful... and a little scary at the same time. Watch this video demonstration.
Friday, January 25, 2008
After the game we went down and said "Hi" to Billy. He took time to shake hands with all of us, despite the fact that there were about 35 to 50 people there just to meet him. He also spent time with his mother and brother and a few buddies there to see him.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
- We have a renter for our house in Irmo, SC and things seem to be going well.
- We moved all of our furniture to a storage location here in Worcester.
- We placed an offer on a house here in Worcester.
- We received a counter offer... to which we countered... which was excepted by the seller!
- We are now scheduling several visits with our agent, lawyers, inspectors and others.
That's really all we know at this point. I'd love to speculate and share more hopes and dreams about this property, but it feels too early at this point. Even though Erin and I feel good about the prospects of being in this house soon, there are still so many things that have to go just right in order for us to move-in.
I noticed a tendency that I developed in my high school and college years; I would get so excited about the prospects of something new or a big decision coming up in my life that I would start discussing it with people... lots of people... before it was a sure thing.
Now... I'm a big believer in having a small circle of people with whom you can discuss big decisions. You should have a diverse group of peers and mentors with different perspectives. You should try to present the facts surrounding your decision in an unbiased manner (...harder than it sounds) as to not influence their judgement in making recommendations. Once you've had a chance to meet with this circle of advisers, a complicated decision begins to look more obvious (hopefully).
My problem in those later adolescent years was the tendency to blab to others... and try to influence as many people as possible to the outcome I wanted in the upcoming life decision.
Two results from this tendency began to show up... as I either:
- Made a bad decision (e.i. the new Nissan Xterra I leased in 2001... I impressed the ladies but paid almost 2x the vehicle value during the years I possessed it)
- Spoke too soon and it never happened (e.i. all the cool jobs I thought would be easy to land the day I got out of college... I even told strangers about my potential employers)
And now, feeling a bit nervous, but confident at the prospects of buying this house, I hope that I've done my homework on the numbers correctly and pray that I haven't just influenced my circle of advisers to just agree with me, rather than give me unbiased and sound advice.
How do you make big decisions?
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Click Here for more from The Black Raspberries
Thursday, January 10, 2008
To my enemies… I’ll try to be more approachable… lets talk and work through some of these issues.
To my friend and new ministry partner Marty… Keep challenging the status quo with your blog and your messages!
To my friend and the most creative thinker I know Claudio… Keep pushing your book until you get it the way you want… people will buy it! … (and will read your blog)
To the love of my life, my wife Erin… you are ‘scary good’ at being Mitchell’s mother and it makes me more proud than you’ll ever know. I also can’t wait to see the next thing you have to say in your blog.
To my Grandfather Cosmo who turns 87 today… Thank you for challenging me to pick up my room, to communicate with the people who care about me, to be responsible for myself, to be pro-active rather than re-active, and to never… under any circumstances… put my own wants above the needs of my family. And even though you don’t have a blog… or could give a flying rip about what the hell a blog is… Happy Birthday Grandpa.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
There have been exceptions to this trend. Bands like Switchfoot, who’s themes, while similar in every album, have a way of pointing out how to make the most of life without resorting to cliché “Christian-eeze”. They’ve been rewarded with mainstream appeal and a connection with the audience that I believe Jesus would be interested in. There are bands like Mute Math and The Fray who have refused to be boxed into the Christian Music cage by avoiding contracts with record labels that are historically Christian. If you haven’t sat down with The Fray’s album and read the lyrics while listening… make it a priority. It was my favorite album of ’06 and still plays regularly in the car. Click Here to read the story of Isaac Slade, lead singer of the Fray.
The point is this: Christian music is no longer relevant. It’s hard to admit because I’ve spent so much of my life promoting it… but its true. The most successful bands in Christian music would get out of the category if they could, but many of them are just not good enough as musicians and song writers. Its certainly not for a lack of connections; you can ask just about every CCM artist and they can name drop plenty of mainstream artist and producers who have shown them interest.
There are plenty of artists who are focused on “Worship Music” and would claim to have no interest in a mainstream music career. I’m surprised that despite Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life selling (or being given away at his conferences) more than any other book in history, that more people haven’t altered their language patters with the term “Worship Music”. Worship is supposed to be an attitude of gratefulness to our Creator in everything that we do… and shouldn’t be limited to music. But the term “Worship Music” has boxed in the expression of worship… and we continue to do so despite the warnings. Rick make some of his best points in the section where he points out that calling music “Christian music” is actually kind of odd. Is the music itself saved from sin by the grace of Christ? Is the album going to heaven?
So I’ve hung up my cleats, thrown in the towel, and made peace with the fact that Christian Music Radio and I are no longer together. Like any break up, its not easy, and sometimes I want to call up CMR and beg for forgiveness… but in the end I think this is best for my own maturing process. I hope for the best for the people involved, but unfortunately I believe that the money tables of that industry are being turned over.
What do you think?
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Now Erin and I are making an offer on a house that we are interested in purchasing here in Worcester. Here is a quick look:
We'll let you know what happens with the offer as soon as we can.
I'll also share a quick clip from my cell phone... Mitchell is really working out his legs in the jumper at Kelly and Chris' house: