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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Dreams ...

I was watching ESPN late one night and saw this special on the Make-A-Wish Foundation and how professional athletes are doing their part to make the dreams come true for children with life-threatening medical conditions. It was a very inspiring story on how the Colorado Rockies signed a one-day contract with this boy so his dream of playing for the Rockies would be fulfilled. The story reached its climax when the boy met his favorite slugger and they started hitting balls together off the T. Oh it was a great story ...

However, I couldn't but notice the look on the boy's face when he met his hero for the first time. For a split second his face completely froze, probably due to the excitement or surprise, but then I saw in his eyes something strange ... disappointment, utter disappointment. I could totally be wrong, but the more imaginative side of me thinks that at the exact moment when the boy's dream came true, a shot of reality hit him and he realized how unfulfilling the dream was. Perhaps he realized deep inside that there's a void inside of him that cannot be filled by any athletic hero or celebrity, that there's a yearning no mortal can fill.

I can't say for sure that's what went on inside the boy's mind, but what I do know is that this is something that happens to us all the time. We conjure up these grand dreams and spend our entire life chasing after them, and then if/when they come true, we realize how inadequately it satisfies us. But the sad thing is not that we arrive at that state of disappointment, it is when we, after arriving at that realization, continue to lie to ourselves and chase after the next superficial dream.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

God & Knives

It's been a long time since I went hardcore camping here in the States. The last time was probably when I was in High School, when I was a proud boy scout. You can stop laughing now, there's really nothing wrong with being a boy scout. It's rather the cool thing to do actually, you get to learn about nature, animals, wilderness survival ... etc. Ok, I told you to stop laughing already. *hmph* Fine, don't ever beg me to start a fire or build you a shelter when we get stuck somewhere out in the woods!

So I was going through my old camping equipment and noticed that my knives were pretty crappy, so I decided to get a new one. The woods is a dangerous place, you never know what kind of vicious creatures are out there trying to stalk you as their prey: like bears, cougars, raccoons, bunnies ... etc. In all seriousness, the knife is more for cutting rope or carving wood. If you really want to kill a bear, I suggest you get a really really big knife.

I was reading the warranty card and the safety information (you should always do this) and found this message from the founder of this company:

Message from Al Buck (In memorium, 1910 - 1991) (As written in 1976)

If you are a new Buck knife owner, "welcome aboard." You are now part of a very large family. Although we're talking about a few million people, we still like to think of each one of our users as a member of the Buck Knives Family and take a personal interest in the product that was bought. With normal use, you should never have to buy another.

Now that you are family, you might like to know a little more about our organization. The fantastic growth of Buck Knives was no accident. From the beginning, management determined to make God the Senior Partner. In a crisis, the problem was turned over to Him, and He hasn't failed to help us with the answer. Each product must reflect the integrity of management, including our Senior Partner. If sometimes we fail on our end, because we are human, we find it imperative to do our utmost to make it right. Of course, to us, besides being Senior Partner, He is our Heavenly Father also; and it's a great blessing to us to have this security in these troubled times. If any of you are troubled or perplexed and looking for answers, may we invite you to look to Him, for God loves you.

For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son; that whoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John: 3:16

Al Buck

Interesting, huh? Who would've thought that you'll get a message like this when you buy a knife.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A New Look ...

Lately I've been compelled to make some changes in my life, and as you can see, those changes are carrying over to this cyber realm. I hope that you enjoy the cleaner, more "fancy" look. That dots template was wearing down on me.

Honestly I am on the verge of burning out. Too many social events, church obligations, family chores, and personal goals to attend to. It is at times like this that I wish I had the ability to manipulate time, that way to ensure that I can do everything I wanted to do and get a full night sleep to recharge for the next day. Unfortunately, not only do I NOT have that super power, but I am also a workaholic. That deadly combination has knocked me out many times before, and now it's back for a quarter-century attack!

I have always joked with my friend since college that I wanted to be a farmer in Africa someday. Maybe if the hermit side of me takes over, I might just try to farm fruitlessly in the Sahara before too long. Just imagine having a simple life, away from the internet, blogs, television, conflicts, drama ... etc. I wish life was like that ... simple and free.

Anyhow, enjoy the new look for the blog.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Look What I Got in the Mail ...


(click for larger image ... so you can actually read it!)

I am such a cynic because:
1) Even though the senator sent me back a letter, I still don't think he really cares
2) I think his interns probably wrote this for him
3) I don't think he knows where Uganda is on a map (do you?)
4) I think the letter has such a defensive tone to it ...
5) I think this guy wants my vote more than he cares about saving the impoverished and suffering people

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Monday, August 14, 2006

ALIVE!

After several days of fretting about my dead RAZR, I came to the realization that it wasn't going to come back alive. So I started my grieving process and went to the verizon store to get it exchanged. To make a long story short, I have a working RAZR now. It's probably a reincarnated unit that had issues before and fixed by technicians, but I'm not complaining.

Hooray for a new phone! Boo to gatorade drowning of my old phone!

P.S. - I might've lost your number through this process, so feel free to email me your latest info.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Cup

This vision came to me when I was sitting in the sanctuary this Sunday ...

In front of me are a pair of hands holding a cup, not just an ordinary cup, but something resembling a chalice. I can faintly see the symbols etched onto the side of it but can't make out what they mean. It's not before I stare at the cup for a few seconds longer before I realized that it was meant for me.

In my head I knew something strange was going on: I look at the wine filled cup and I have no desire to take it. Even though I knew it was for me, there's something inside of me that keeps me from desiring what's being given to me. At this I asked, "Is this really my cup?"
"This is the cup I've prepared for you."
"But it's entirely too big, I don't want to take it."
"This is your cup, take it."

I sat there motionless, not knowing how to react. Thoughts are running through my mind and I started to question my own heart, wondering why something so simple could be so hard to do. I stared at the hands awhile longer, then reached out to receive my portion.


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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Farewell My Dear RAZR ...

Dearly Beloved, we join hands tonight to mourn for the death of my three month old RAZR. Her shocking death was so unexpected that it brings me such uneasiness to my heart. The cause of death is not yet determined, but the evidence points to a violent drowning. She was last seen alive in my friend Simon's gym bag, which suffered from a deluge of gatorade from a leaky bottle. Attempts to revive her were of no avail, as only hissing sounds emitted from her body during all attempts of resuscitation.

Let us take a moment of silence together .... *long silence*

I'm trying hard to hold back the tears, but I am still holding on to the hope that a miracle will happen. My soucres tell me that water damage instantly voids the warranty so there's no chance that Verizon will replace my phone. However, some who have experienced the same tragedy before found their phone revived after 2-3 days of thorough drying. Alas! There is still hope! On the third day my RAZR will rise again ... (I hope)

Even if she doesn't resurrect, I won't be too heart-broken. I've been reading Job for my devotions lately, and if he can go through all that, a drowned RAZR shouldn't shake my world. Maybe the bank account will hurt a lot, but in the grand scheme of things, life is still grand.

*Update #1* - Monday morning and I put the battery back in its place, the keypad lighted up, but the phone still doesn't turn on. There is hope ...

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Never Again ...

Last week I received my hospital bill for the accident I had last month. In total, the hospital wanted to charge me $2,200 for their services, which included making me wait in the ER for 3 hours and one doctor's 10 minutes time to stitch me up. If I had known that it would cost that much, I would've done the stitches myself!

I guess I can justify why the doctor charged me $500 for 6 stitches, but for the hospital to charge me $1700 for waiting in the ER?!?! I just can't over that. This just makes me to conclude that the healthcare system in this country is completely out of whack. Luckily I had health insurance, if I didn't, I would be eating rice and beans for the next year just to make up the cost for one little trip to the hospital.

When I first received my bill, I was informed that I owe the hospital $1,600 because the insurance company rejected my claim. I took a little time to investigate and found out that the insurance company rejected my claim because the hospital made a big mistake when they were filling out the claim form. So for the whole week I had this outstanding balance of $1,600 looming over my head ... wondering if/when it will get sorted out.


That's why today is a good day, my claim finally went through, and because of this, I can finally resume eating meat again. Hmm ... how I miss my meats.

Morals of the story: NEVER go to the ER + make sure you have health insurance!

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