It's a great feeling

Hey guys, by way of update, the best feeling in the world is taking all your resumes off monster, hotjobs, and beyond.com. It just feels great. Yep, I'm employed. If you're ever in West Virginia and in need of a bank account, give me a call. More to come.


Diversionary Tactics

Hello friends. I wanted to let you, the three people who still check this, in on a new venture. You can find my reflections on writing at the Maple Mountain Story Club. Even better, you'll find my friend (and brother-by-marriage) Samuel's thoughts there too. We've just gotten started, but I think you'll find it to be fun to read. Hopefully we'll have some good dialogue on writing, art, and faith. And hey, it's free!

What are you waiting for, come visit the Maple Mountain Story Club!


Valentines Day

I have not always been a big fan of this day. I've had an on-off relationship with it. At times I've not liked the principle of it, as though we need a day to force us to appreciate our significant others. It seemed fake to me. Of course, then there were the times when I hated it for being a day focused on exclusive relationships: as a bitter, single man, I didn't like that the whole world... or North America, anyway, stopped to emphasize our lack for a whole day.

Now I'm married. I love my wife, and try to make sure that I show her that every day. So, Valentines Day approached, and I thought a little bit about it. And you know, I decided to do something for her, in the spirit of the day. There's nothing wrong with a tradition of making especially sure, this one day of the year, that your loved one knows they are your loved one.

So, single folks, you're fine. You don't need a relationship, and that's cool.

Dating folks, do something for your SO. I mean, why not? Sure it's not spontaneous, it's expected, whatever... there's nothing wrong with the tradition of celebrating people's birthdays, similarly, there's nothing wrong with celebrating your relationship on this day.

Married folks... men especially, why not go out of your way to show your wife that you love her? I mean... we men, we don't always do so well at the emotional side of things. So, take this day and make it clear to your wife how important she is to you.

And Valentines Day Abstainers, I get it. I can see where you're coming from. But, try not to post/shout any tirades about it unless you're really going to stick to your guns. Cause, otherwise, you may have to post/shout a retraction... maybe not next year, or the year after that, but eventually.


running water

So, I just washed dishes in my kitchen sink. And I was pretty excited about it... I mean, I was almost celebratory. If I had champanade, I would've drank some! It's been a week... yes, a full week, since we had water running and draining in our kitchen. And, it's one of those luxuries you never think about.

See, our kitchen is in our basement, and our house is built on a hill, so underneath the kitchen is just a big gap. You can actually crawl up in there (it is bricked in and it has a door on it, but... you know). And, it's not exactly insulated in there. At all. So, when it got down to -18 celcius last week, boom, everything froze. Well, actually, the drain froze first. Then, when I couldn't leave the water dripping from the tap, the water froze too. Yesterday it warmed up, and all of the sudden I heard my hot water heater kick in fiercely. I hoped that it meant that my pipes were open again, but it turned out that it just meant that my hot water pipe had split. Big time... Anyway, the landlord -- and he's a good one -- sent the plumber, who promptly had things back up and running.

It is funny, though, the things that we take for granted. I watched a video where Mr. Cuthill recorded Matt and Ruth show how they heat water. It involved a fire and a big metal container. Folks, we are blessed.



So, I read this story, and I have to say... have we not learned from history? First, lets think about recent history: how many times have we heard that North Korea would consider getting rid of their nuclear capabilities? It's a bargaining chip! Goodness! And every time we give them our part, they end up finding another reason not to disarm. What's going to change? They've got a good thing going!

But then, if we go back a little bit, we've got the way the international community treated Hitler. Now, I'm not saying Kim Jong Il is Hitler. I'm comparing the international community response: when appeasement was all we went for, we got absolutely nothing, and we gave up everything... you know, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and France. Now, again, I'm not comparing the leader of North Korea to Hitler. But, haven't we learned yet that with certain types of people, negotiation doesn't get us anywhere?

On the other hand, I guess we have to try to negotiate. I guess I'm just not optimistic that someone who has reneged on agreements before will start keeping them now. What's the alternative? I don't know... it's a different world. We can just not deal with them at all. Germany couldn't be shut down that way very effectively, but business is so international today that it could work. Who knows.


Snow in WV

So, it's winter in West Virginia. Normally, it looks about like this outside. You know, light dusting of snow, about eight degrees above zero so that it melts by ten am, and everything is hunky-dory.

Now, the past 24 hours have been slightly different. By slightly different, I mean... Holy Canada Flashback, Batman.

This is what I found when I left my house this morning. Five inches of snow, with a lovely layer of ice on the top. Cleaning it off the car actually gave me a little bit of tennis elbow. Breaking through the ice was a pain, but I refuse to drive around with five inches of snow sitting on top of the car. Not going to do it. Wouldn't be prudent at this juncture.

Anyway, my wife got to work, and now I'm home, looking for work. And hoping my pipes will thaw.


An Update

Hey... yes, it's true... I am Andrew. And I am still alive. It's been an interesting couple of months... actually, more than couple, but you know what I mean.

Let me start with: It's stinking cold. Like, -30 celcius when we woke up. It's up to -22 now, but the high today is only -6. Do you think my pipes downstairs will unfreeze? No? Me neither.

Married life is good. I guess it seems like we're having an incredibly easy first year of marriage. My wife is great, and I fall more in love with her every day. Can't complain about that, right?

And finally, to update, my immigration status has changed... I'm still pending permanent residence, but I am now able to work. I'm pretty excited about that, and we're pursuing some interesting opportunities, so we'll keep you posted on how it goes.

All for now.