Sunday, September 30, 2007

Unexpected connections

Last week I did something I've never done before. I met somebody in person that I only previously communicated with through the internet.

A guy named Justin contacted me through my website a few weeks ago and told me that he was working as a part of the CUBIT Foundation, which is a non-profit humanitarian organization that works all over the world. He mentioned that he had passed through Egypt and several times and wanted to know more about Garbage City, a place where Egyptians make their living by sorting through garbage. He found my website through a web search and likely found this page.

In Garbage City they literally have garbage piled up in the streets, and often in the first floor of their apartment buildings. I personally saw people sitting on the piles sorting through the refuse. Unfortunately I didn't really have any solid connections to the organization, I was just a visitor myself, so I couldn't really help him.

It turns out that in addition to going to Egypt a good bit, Justin is also from the Atlanta area and was going to be nearby over the next few days. I figured it would be okay if we met up in a public place to chat about our experiences and that way I could learn more about the CUBIT Foundation.

Justin is a really bright young man. While he has worked all over Central and South America, he has made connections with people in Egypt in ways I could only dream of and is really living an amazing life when he is there. He told me that next year he would be spending an extended amount of time living in Giza, which I think is great! What an experience!

Justin, if you read this: keep doing what you are doing. You are definitely going places, seeing things, meeting people and living experiences that few ever do. I can't help but admit that I am a little envious.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Painting the Narthex: Part 2

Today after church a group of about eight or nine of us started the second phase of the narthex painting project. Previously we had done several base coats of the various colors along the wall, but today we got to add those funky, ribbon-like lines that run the length of the hall.

On Friday I did some test painting on the first section, which represents Advent, and then chalked out the rest of the design so others could help by filling in the lines. It is amazing what a few hours difference makes. In no time this project was finally taking the form that we had originally envisioned. The curving lines add so much activity to what was once a bland, boring hallway.

I think my favorite part of painting today was painting with red paint to represent Pentecost. The red is just incredibly bright and stands out like a beacon, even in the midst of the other vibrant colors. Unfortunately the red paint was thinner than the others so it's going to take several coats for it to look right. My friend Scott commented that the Pentecost column looks like a candy cane, but that will soon change as we will also add orange and yellow to complete the flame appearance.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Mended window

Got my car window replaced. In the mean time the Honda place gave me a rental car. It was a Ponticac Grand Prix. I had never even driven a Pontiac before. It was pretty nice. That is all.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Kick Cancer's Butt!

So, Friday night my friend Sara and I went to this benefit that I have been preparing a PowerPoint presentation for. Scratch that. Make it presentationS... plural... with an S on the end. It was a good bit of work. Fortunately work that I (or my company technically) am getting paid for. Of course, that check has to arrive in the mail for me to actually get paid.

The night started off with some unexpected excitement. This story basically starts back in college when my car was broken into while I was parked at a Wal*Mart late at night. The passenger window was replaced by my insurance company, but a few years later the window started to act weird. When rolled down, it would sort of pitch forward and it took quite a bit of work to roll it back up and shimmy it into place. For the last few years it has done this.

I'm usually quick on the draw about telling people not to roll it down. This particular evening I wasn't so quick. I picked up my friend Sara, who had graciously agreed to go with "big hair". More on that later. Anyway, I picked her up and before I even thought about telling her not to roll the window down... she did. And the window pitched forward.

"No big deal," I thought. I'll just shimmy it back into place when we get where we are going. When we arrived, I swung around the car and casually went through the ritual I have done so many times before. I grasped the top edge of the window with my right hand, while I rolled the window up with my left hand. I applied the slightest amount of pressure to the window crank, then "pop", shattered glass sprayed everywhere. The window just disintegrated in front of me. My right hand still held a few chunks and was just stunned for a few seconds. Sara shrieked when the window popped and seemed just as stunned. This was a fantastic show for the two event workers that were on their break and just happened to watch everything.

I laughed it off and thought, "Well, what else can I do but go have a good time?" I did just that.

Kick Cancer's Butt!, the organization that I have been working for, was holding a Texas Hold'em event to raise money for the Georgia Cancer Foundation. The dress code was cowboy sheek (sp?), which, I was told, meant cowboy hat, tux jacket, tux shirt, bow tie, blue jeans, a big belt buckle and boots. With the exception of the belt buckle, that's just what I did.

Of course the ladies were supposed to dress up like cowgirls. Sara humored me and dressed up in a cowgirl hat (tiger striped), rhinestone covered blouse, a tiger striped skirt, and, of course, the big Texas-style hair. She had a lot of fun with it.

Yea, fun.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Nerd Land

Every year over the Labor Day weekend, nerds from all over the world descend upon Atlanta for the annual Dragon*Con sci-fi and fantasy convention. I try to go every year because it is such a feast for the eyes. So many people use their talents to make amazing costumes that they wear all over the sprawling three-hotel convention.

This is the first time I've gone in three years. The gap exists not because I didn't want to go, but because I was either out of the country, or recuperating from being out of the country. This year I settled for just going to the parade instead of actually paying to get in. You know.... starting a business... limited budget. Priorities have to be kept.

Anyway, I have posted what are some of my best Dragon*Con photos yet. Take a look at them here.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Dark Crystal sequel

I just learned through an internet forum that a Dark Crystal sequel is going to be made. It will be called "The Power of the Dark Crystal". If you would like to read more about it (though there isn't much to read yet) go here and here. Too bad it doesn't come out until 2009.