Sunday, February 27, 2005
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
I'm exhausted. I've had several very late nights in a row and I think it all caught up with me today. I'm just worn out. Matt Fries looked at me today and said "you look like you're about to fall asleep." I guess that's truly a sign that I really am beat, because I usually can survive on very little sleep and no one ever knows the difference.
The sad thing is that I haven't really had any time to go shoot pictures with my new camera. I hope to remedy that this weekend. Ever had that experience where you had something cool and new but no time to enjoy it?
So tonight, no deep thoughts. No great stories. No cool pictures.
I'm going to bed.
I've become one of them...
That's right. I'm now one of them. The anti-Microsoft (Xbox excluded).
I've sword off Internet Explorer. I got angry with how long it took me to update Windows XP AFTER I installed it (Service Pack 2, etc, etc, etc, etc).
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not thinking of going out and buying a new white plastic or titanium computer like someone I know. At this moment I can't afford one and it would be too much work to convert myself, my files and my programs BACK to Steve Jobs and Co. (that's right, I was an Apple guy until about 2001). And I'm not thinking of installing Linux like someone else I know. I don't care if they call it red hat, blue hat, old hat, new hat. I'm not going to run some system software built by a bunch of communists (I just had to throw that in there to stir the waters a bit).
But I am thinking of some sort of backup solution for the next time this happens to me...
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
The iPod has entered the building
Here is Kent's brand new, shiny 20G iPod that he received yesterday from freeipods.com! It really works - it's not a scam! (And yes, even Kent thinks he looks weird in this picture)
Can I just say that this was one of the most time-consuming processes I've been a part of for a long time? Backing up didn't take too long. Cleaning up my hard drive and re-installing windows didn't even take that long. But re-installing all of my software did.
Why? Well, first of all, it's because every software publisher has anywhere from 3-30 updates for their program. That means you have to install the program, then go through a lengthy process of downloading and installing updates. Since the particular computer I was working on is used to edit video, create graphics, edit images, manage all of my music (36 gigabytes), hotsync with 2 Palm Pilots, etc, it took a very long time! On top of that, when re-installing that many programs, there are always snags and conflicts. it took quite a while to work those out as well.
But now it is done. That means I can get back to my already too-busy life.
Thursday, February 17, 2005
A colossal waste of time
I have spent a better portion of the past 24 hours combatting some nasty spyware/adware that somehow got installed on my desktop computer. And to top it all off, a trojan horse somehow got installed as well. After numerous attempts to eradicate it through AdAware and AVG Virus software, I think I've gotten it.
I HATE SPYWARE. I want God to punish those who propogate it. But only if it His will, of course ;)
In the process, I've made the jump over to Mozilla Firefox for my browser. Supposedly it is much less vulnerable than IE. So far so good.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Tonight was our bi-weekly poker night at my house. I actually never had this hand (the best I had was QQ - on the very first hand of the game). Just thought I'd take a quick shot to show.
It was a beautiful day today outside - sunny, 70's. And I spent practically the entire day inside. We had meetings ALL DAY at the office, then I headed for home for dinner with the family. After dinner I played with the girls, then we put them to bed a little early because they are both not feeling well and were ready to sleep. After that, clean up the house for the boys to come over and play Texas Hold 'Em.
There were 9 of us playing tonight, so that meant we were a little squeezed around the table for a while until a few people got knocked out. I played fairly well at the beginning of the game, but then I never got any good cards and eventually went out 4th. It doesn't really matter, I have fun win or lose just because we all get to hang out. After the game, Dasun & Zach hung around and we chatted for over an hour. It was good just to hang out and talk. Now to bed.
Monday, February 14, 2005
What I did on Valentine's Day - an essay by Brett Harkey
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Iron and Wine
However, the longer I have listened to this guy's stuff, the more I really like it. There is a understated simplicity to his music that really gets under your skin. It's not fancy, but if you're in just the right mood (think very mellow) then it's great. Think Nick Drake, Elliot Smith, etc.
What's funny is this guy is an art professor at some community college in Miami, FL and just writes and records music on the side. But through a series of fortunate accidents like having a song chosen for the Garden State Soundtrack, his music has really taken off in an underground, indie sort of way.
My favorite song right now? Check out "Naked As We Came" off of the album "Our Endless Numbered Days". (You can download the MP3 from his site at this link.)
Let me know what you think.
Saturday, February 12, 2005
Free iPod status
2 people have joined and are in the process of completing their offers.
2 more to go!
Rain and Lo Mein
There was a slow, lazy rain all day long, so when we got home we all took naps. Nothing like a rainy-day nap. I only planned on sleeping for about an hour at the most, but somehow I turned my little alarm on my phone off and slept for two hours. Oh well.
Elise made some tasty Lo Mein with chicken for dinner. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but the kids just weren't in the mood to eat. They (Maitlyn especially) love oriental noodles, so we thought it would be a big hit. You just never know with kids - they might love it on March the 11th.
3 more days until my camera arrives...
Friday, February 11, 2005
Camera shopping and peanuts in the shell
I sold my SLR film camera (Canon Elan 7E) on Ebay last night. So, this afternoon I packed it up and shipped it out to L.A. where the winning bidder lives. Weird, you'd think with all of the people who live in L.A., you'd send or receive mail to/from there more often. Anyway, it was a little sad because that camera has been present for lots of great memories with our family. I took the last two shots of our kids to finish off the roll of film before I packed it up.
Then I proceeded online to purchase my new camera, a Canon EOS 20d. This one's a digital SLR. This day has been a long time coming because I've been scrimping and saving forever. Pretty much all I wanted for Christmas was $$ to go towards the camera fund. Then Elise graciously gave me some of her Christmas and Birthday $$ as well - thanks El. So with the sale of a couple of lenses and my film camera I had enough to make the plunge. The funny thing is that the best price from an authorized Canon dealer was from Amazon. There were cheaper prices out there on the internet, but all from shady camera stores that sell gray market cameras or try to bait and switch you into buying lots of overpriced accessories. It took a bit of research to finally determine that if the price sounds too good to be true, then it is. Nothing's free in this world.
Tonight Whitney babysat our kids and Elise and I went out to eat at Logan's Roadhouse. Logan's has been open for a while in Fayetteville, but for some reason we just never have made it there until tonight. I guess it's because we keep going back to our favorites - Tim's Pizza, Taste of Thai, Hugo's, etc. Anyway, it was pretty good. I got a decent 9oz sirloin with salad, baked potato, bread and all you can eat peanuts (in the shell) for $9.99. The only major knock against the place is that the music they play is virtually all country. Now, any of you who know me are laughing right now, because you know I hate country music. For some reason it didn't seem to bother me too much tonight...
Maybe I'm letting my country music guard down... (pauses for a long time contemplating the implications of this...)
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Siloam Springs... Where Jesus Is Lord
Have you seen that sign as you enter the Siloam Springs city limits? Boy, that's good to know that Jesus is Lord over Siloam Springs! Does that mean that He isn't lord over some other places?!?
I drove over to Siloam today to speak in Mickey Rapier's JBU class - History and Philosophy of Worship. He has asked me to come over several times in the past year to speak to various classes he teaches on worship. It was a small class of 8 people. I told my story (which I guess would be my history of worship) and shared about why and how I do what I do (that would be the philosophy of worship). It was a good time.
I had one lingering thought as I left. Was I that young when I was in college? I guess I'm just getting old because some of those students looked like kids to me. Of course, some of you reading this are saying "yes, Brett, you're old." Some others of you are saying "you don't even know what old is."
All I know is that sometimes my knees creak when I'm getting up off of the floor after a wrestle session with my 2 girls.
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
No tortillas, pass the turkey
So, I'm not going on Mission to Mexico this year. It was a long, hard decision, but after Elise and I spent some significant time working through our calendar (master's degree required), we realized that it just wasn't going to work. Too much work makes Brett an angry boy. It's quite the downer because I won't get to hang with my boys, Dasun, Scott and Stuart. We would have had a killer time. Now they will go and have a killer time without me.
However, I am leading a mission trip to Turkey at the end of May. That should be a new, exciting adventure. I'm hoping to swim in the Mediteranean and take some splendid photos.
Speaking of photos, I am selling my film camera (Canon Elan 7E) on Ebay as we speak. If you want to buy it, you'd better hurry. I've finally got enough money saved up to go Digital SLR and I'm getting the Canon EOS-20d. 8.3 Megapixels of glorious photogadgetry. Very nice, indeed. Now finally I can do something about those pictures I over/underexposed and I can see what the heck my pictures look like without having to wait several days to get prints back. Hopefully I'll have some gems to share soon.
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Help us get a free iPod for Elise (and get one of your own)
So there's this website called www.FreeiPods.com that gives away free iPods. I know what you're thinking... it's a scam. BUT IT ISN'T.
How do they do it, you ask? Well it works like this: you sign up and select from 1 of 20 offers to activate your account. About half of the offers are credit cards, but the rest are things like Columbia House, Ink Cartridges for your printer, etc. (I did the Ink Cartridges for my printer). Then you refer 5 of your friends to do the same thing. Once all 5 people complete their offer, then you get a free new 20GB iPod!!! I was referred by Kent Hodskins, who is working at getting his iPod (I think he only needs 1 more person). He was referred by Keith Warford, who just received his new iPod a couple of weeks ago. Then each of my 5 friends can refer 5 of their friends to do the same thing. What happens is all of those companies like Columbia House pay www.FreeiPods.com to advertise their company. That's how they can afford to give away the free iPod.
So, I'm doing it to get a free iPod for Elise to use in her car so she can have all of the kids' music and her own as well.
If you'd like to help me (and do it for yourself), then click on this link (you have to use this link for me to get the credit):
After you choose one offer and fulfill it, it takes up to 15 days for me to get credit for it. After I get 5 people, then here comes the free iPod... and you can get one for yourself as well!
I'm working late tonight... trying to get some work out of the way so that I can play with the girls in the snow tomorrow morning. It's snowing right now and just starting to stick to the ground. They say we could get 3-5 inches, which means this may be our best opportunity to go sledding all winter. I love the snow - it brings out the kid in me.
I played poker with the guys tonight and won. That makes 2 wins for me. I'm awake enough to work because of the adrenaline rush that comes with winning a Texas Hold 'Em game.
The Men's Retreat was really good this weekend. Maybe I'll post more about it later. For now, I need to get back to work.