Monday, September 26, 2005

What Was Your 23rd Post?


  1. Go into your archive.
  2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
  3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
  4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

Here's mine:

Also swam with the family today.

This was an uninspired post from a blogging dry-spell. This was in a period where my blog was still mostly a running log; prior to my involvement at church. I suppose the most interesting part of this post is the fact that it celebrates the first day of training for my first marathon.

I've come a long way from there. I'll go a long way further.

Taken from Sisters' Weblog, and all the others who participated along the way.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Two or More Are Gathered

Convergence and other coincidences have, in the past, been what made the PBGs tick. Well, that is how they ticked for me.

But now I am beginning to wonder. Like Larry I wonder if there is more going on than meets they eye (or ear relevent ear, in his case :)

Larry wonders why, on a lonely road, cars travelling in opposite directions seem to pass each other right where he happens to be. Sounds to me like a mini church get-together. Much too short for much worship to be accomplished, however.

I wonder, like Larry, if there is more to these kinds of coincidences. In the past I have had deep thoughts on my runs with the PBGs. Where did these thought come from. It always seemed to me that they originated from within me, but that is was unlikely I came up with them all on my own. Perhaps I am not giving my subconscience enough credit. Perhaps the aspect of God I am channeling is tayloring his message (ok Mo, HER message) in a way that my simplistic faith can handle. Like a elementary primer for a grade-school faith.

I do know for certain that I am in a different place today than I would have been without the experiences I have had. Every day I feel more confident and become more involved with the world around me. I don't feel a need to take credit for these changes. I just enjoy my new-found skills. I don't know if I should give credit (and thanks) to God or congratulate myself for climbing out of my funk myself.

My faith gives me God. My God gives me courage. My courage gives me strength. My strength leads me to action. I am a hand of God! OOPBGB

Friday, September 16, 2005

Mechanical Pencil

This cartoon came to me when I was considering investing in the stock market. I was going to use my new-found "Financial Intelligence" to ramp up my Assets column.

This strip says to me that regardless of how expensive the tools you have at hand are, it is ultimately your mind and your determination (and perhaps a large dollop of luck) that determine your results. It suggests that it isn't the pencil or the flashy car that get us where we want to go, it's our choices and the way we conduct our lives.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005



I found this picture on the APOD site. It kinda spooked me. I visit the APOD site almost every day because I find lots of nifty pictures of galaxies and nebulas for my desktop. It usually has great commentaries about the pictures as well. But I digress.

It spooked me because it is almost exactly like a picture I was trying to create with the POVRay raytracer. I was smitten by raytracing when my kids were younger. I would walk around examining objects as potential candidates for my next project. I made a train and a Ferris wheel... Oops, digressing again.

I got frustrated with how hard it was to get something looking beautiful and polished. I often got bogged down in math problems like, how do you make a rope hang between two points without it looking like it is frozen stiff. I came to the conclusion that I wanted to pick a project and create an entire picture from start to finish

I picked an observatory. I made good start on it and came up with a pretty decent structure. Then I wanted a night sky. I played around with various lighting techniques, textures, etc. But I was never satisfied with the sky. I just couldn't get it to look right. Well, the PBGs work in mysterious ways. They seem to take their time about it, but...

The above picture is exactly the sky I wanted. The observatories (only one in my imagined picture) are even on a hill.


And, I just recently got back into doing 3D graphics using the Unreal Tournament engine. I have decided (again) that I want to accomplish something and am currently bogged down on how the textures work, lighting and, you guessed it, math. There is SO much to learn and no more time now than I had before. If anything, my life is MORE full now. I really have to decide what is important.

I love doing the graphics, but is soaks up SO MUCH time.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Now UCCan

Did you know that the United Church of Canada is celebrating it's 80th year? 'S'truth. Check it out here: United Church of Canada Anniversary

And to celebrate, I have decided to join Richard Bott's UCCan Blogroll.

Well, actually, he discovered The PBGs Path and invited me to join him. I was touched and pleased to be asked, and, having now checked out the other links in the UCCan, I CCan say that we all seem to be like-minded individuals.

If you don't believe me, check out Richard Bott's statement of faith.

There is one thing that concerns me however...

All the others are either ministers or in theology school. Do you think somebody out there is hinting? Could it be the trickster PBG?

If you are involved in some way with the United Church of Canada and have a web log, please add yourself to our ranks.

(I'm all ready sounding possessive, aren't I Richard?)

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Grass is greener.

They say that the grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence. I believe that.

In my blog-reading travels (I must admit I haven't been spending much time looking others up recently) I have discovered the joy of reading the first post. I love the first post of a new blog.

When I discover a new blog-link, I usually try to get a feel of how the blog has been going by checking the frequency of posting and how long it's been since the last post. Then I skip straight to the first post. It is always so revealing.

People put all their good intentions in their first posts. They might not know what a blog is about, they may have not found their style or muse, but their determination to stick with their new blog is usually dripping from their keystrokes.

They also usually spend 5 times the effort on the first post as they do on, say, the fourth. You know that if the first post sucks, you can bet that their writing probably won't improve much with age.

Well, I wandered over to the Sisters' site (the only blog I seem to visit on a regular basis, read a wonderfully inspirational post by Katie, spotted a de-cluttering idea from, well Katie, I guess and read the first comment.

Blog comments are another place I like to spend my reading time. You find more quality blog-links in comment reading than in a hundred Google searches.

Which leads me to Simon.

Simon lives in California. Grass Valley California. And he works for Grass Roots Software. In his first post, he speaks eloquently of his life, faith family, and future plans.

To tell the truth, it doesn't sound like the grass is any greener there than it is right here. I already like Simon and I don't really know him.

Well, not much more that what I read in his first post anyway

Keep up the good work Simon. I promise I will read more. Oh and link you to the PBGs.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Like a Fern or Bamboo?

Ric shared with me an inspirational link that I wanted to share with you. If you are thinking of quitting work, sprituality, perhaps life itself, this may help you. It is a very gentle message about the grace of God done in such a way as to be accessable to even the most cynical viewer.

I include it on the PBGs Path because its core message speaks to the PBGs big Plan. We may not know the part we play on God's stage, but there are no unimportant parts. In the big scheme of things, everything matters.


EDIT: I have never been close to suicide, so I don't really know if this message is helpful for that. If a google search brought you here, take a look. Perhaps it will give you the strength to carry on.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Google Maps

Here is a nifty link for a new tool provided by the folks at Google.

Hey ma', I can (nearly) see my house!

Make sure you try both the map and satellite versions and play around with the navigation controls. Some other neat places in the world are:

  • Cairo -- spot the pyramids?
  • Paris -- how about the famous steel structure?
  • Hong Kong -- look at all the 'tiny' container ships freighting trinkets to the rest of the world!
  • Hoover Dam -- It may look tiny, but you can see it from space!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Wandering Soul

Well, I was on Official PBG Business tonight. Mo and I were returning home in the car when a little boy by a bus stop caught my eye. He was only about three years old and was wandering around with only a diaper, a T-shirt and sandals on. It wasn't his appearance that really caught my eye; it was how he looked right at me and gave me a tiny wave.

In that split second, I knew there was something wrong.

I turned the car around and went back and, sure enough, he was blocks away from home and was searching for his mother.

He was old enough to talk but I had difficulty getting any solid answers from him. As luck would have it, Mo was able to flag down a passing police car to assist us. As if one lost boy wasn't enough, there were two, unrelated and younger boys, at the same time and location, also looking for their mother. Three lost boys.

We managed to find both mothers, and the police officers gave them (we hope) a stern talking to. I can't imagine letting my kids wander away like that.

Seems like another example of how we can listen with our hearts to Gods small voice and be ready for action. Susan over at Sisters puts it well. Love is about action as much as it is about "I love you"

I am the hands of the PBGs and OOPBGB!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Top Flight Life?

So, the new me decided to try golf as a replacement for running. It's a fine way to spend a sunny evening. A bit of exercise, some nice scenery, pleasant conversation. Except for being hard on my feet, what's not to like?

I discovered that I am not the greatest golfer in the world. But hey, I just started. I only have up as an option. My golf partners were very understanding and supportive. What a great group.

All well and good, you might be thinking, but what is PBGish about golfing? Well, I got to thinking about the number of golf balls that wind up in the North Saskatchewan River. The must be hundreds of balls per day. The river must go through lots of golf courses on its travels to the sea. Probably millions of golfballs a year wind up in the oceans from this river alone!

that's a lot of balls

There must be whole shoals of balls out there. What life forms do you think are living on these balls? Perhaps as we speak, there is some new life-form evolving on the dimples of the golfballs collecting in the ocean depths.

And if these new creatures become dependent on their golfball oasis', what will happen if there is a recession and the number of golfers plummets?

Just think about that for a second. Kinda makes you want to take up golfing. But perhaps not get too good at it, or you won't hit any "top flight" balls into the river.


EDIT: I was listening to CBC radio's Quirks and Quarks. This article, although it doesn't mention golfers and ocean golf ball shoals, is exactly what I was talking about!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Short and the Long

Well, it is official now. I am an Ex-runner. I have been having foot pain in both my feet for the last 2 months. I tried to ignore it and even pressed my luck by running a half ultra marathon (50 km).

Now my feet hurt from standing too long.

So I went to a podiatrist on the recomendation of a good friend of mine and had my feet checked out. His assessment: Plantar Fasciitis. He wants me to try orthotics for my shoes. Yuck.

I've heard a lot about running with orthotics and most if it isn't encouraging.

So I am going to stop running for a short while. I may start again but for now, I am an ex-runner.

Why do I run anyway?.

When I was younger, it was to escape screaming babies and give me freedom in a restrictive environment. I planned my runs so they would not interfere with Mo's schedule. She could sleep while ran.

It also got me out in the fresh air and allowed me to think.

It was a time of meditation. Eventually I discovered God in the pages of my journal and the miles of my journey.

The longer my runs became, the more able I was to listen to that vast, small voice.

Recently I ran an excersize that was just over one km. Although the distance was short, I still heard that small voice. Yup, still with me. So a short run can be meditative too!

I guess in the Long Run, a Short Run may be just as therapeutic.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Go with the Flow

I am flowing water.

I fall from the sky in a fine mist, noticed on the face and hands. I collect into puddles and nurture seedlings. In time I collect into streams that meander through thick brush.

Unknown to me, ancient trees drink of me and say a silent thanks.

More flow and I develop into a river. Confined by the banks of propriety, I am none the less a strong force; to be reckoned with.

Small children play at my banks and are delighted and cherished.

I cross the plains in no particular hurry, knowing that my steady progress is assured.

I reach the precipice. Fear grips me. I draw together and try to shrink from the edge! Then I become the waterfall for a brief moment. Dizzy, spinning, released, joyous. Free, in my glory, fully alive.

Crash, into the pond I go in a blaze of foamy excitement. Collecting myself into pools I rest, then press on with relentless (breathless) unhurried placidness. Perhaps rapids next?

Composed as an exercise at The Wall by Tim Rosborough

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

What’s in a name

I miss-typed my own blog’s URL and got this one. Interesting pictures, but no recent posts. This little number gave me a giggle. I thought, hey, those could be state lotto numbers!

Now I just need to be in a State...

And beleive in lottos...

And buy a ticket...

And get lucky!

Nah too much work.

Monday, May 30, 2005

You Are HERE

I haven't fully looked at this site yet, but I thought it was an interesting collection of information. I like to know where I am at. This site litererally tells me my place in the universe.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Stay Tuned Bloggers

The PBGs haven't been as active in my life until recently but, as you can imagine, they don't always operate near the surface. I had a strong experience this past weekend that I am preparing to post for your reading pleasure.

Time is short right now but I have some notes in my draft pages and I will post as soon as I can.

Stay tuned!

Prelude to Grace

I had had a very stress filled weekend. I probably got about 20 hrs of sleep over the previous four days.

Now it was Monday morning and I was on my way to work. My mind was fuzzy on the outside and fizzy on the inside. I had a lot to mull over. It is not surprising then, that I had already missed one turn-off and needed to do a quick double lane change, nearly missing a second one.

And my thoughts turned to the PBGs. They haven't been in the foreground of my mind lately, but in times of emotional stress they like to visit. I rarely pick up a pop can while running anymore. Many of the symbols the PBGs and I used a year ago have now been forgotten.

But I guess they have been busy replacing my pseudo-mumbo-jumbo with more conventional lingo. While driving, I spotted the symbol of the fish. My wife told me all about this ancient symbol of the Christian faith. And just in case I didn't get it, the owner of this particular Honda Prelude included the letters J E S U S in the middle of the fish to make it clear.

Here, I thought, is a clear sign. Of what, I am not sure, but a clear sign. I almost put it out of my head right away. "Nah, God never communicates that clearly to me." I remember thinking of the scene in Jim Carrie's movie "Bruce Almighty" when he says to God, "Give me a sign". God sends him a whole truck load of street signs. Bruce ignores this and several other obvious signs and winds up crashing into a tree.

So I payed a little more attention do my driving. Good thing too because as I was nearing work the car directly in front of me slammed into a van in the turning lane ahead of him.

Big bang, broken windshield, airbags deployed, car totaled. I pulled over and, like in a dream, got out of my car to help. A second witness was already on the scene. He knew first aid and immediately took charge. He showed me how to immobilize the car driver's head while he checked him over.

So I guess the PBGs have given me a new symbol. I think this symbol means, "Wake up! Life is too short to walk (or drive) around in a fog!" In other words, the fish symbol is very much a Prelude to Grace.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Lent -- No Playing Around

Well, it's Shrove Tuesday today so I have been casting about trying to decide what to give up for Lent this year...

But before I get in to that, perhaps I should give a quick status report from last year's Lent project.

I managed to stick to my goal and clean up every day for 40 days. Most days I did pretty well. Some days I had trouble getting over 30 items. The following day(s) I would try to compensate by picking up extra things so the average was still above 100 items.

Some of the areas I tidied are still looking respectable. Others are in need of cleaning up again. The house still seems pretty cluttered, but I am still working on it.

One of the big reasons that I don't clean up as much as I would like is that I spend way too much time on the computer. It's takes far less energy to sit in front of the keyboard than to wash the kitchen floor. It's far more fun to cause pixelated mayhem than to scrub a toilet. It's much more challenging to play a game of Stack 4x4 against an opponent from half way around the planet than to sort through old mail and dust the entertainment center.

So this year I plan to give up computer games. No more Kingdom of Loathing. No more Civilization III for me. Every time I even think about playing a computer game, I will stop and clean up instead.

Mind you, I will still allow myself to spend time on the computer. After all, who could give up Blogging?

Editor's note: Apparently I am not alone in my lenten journey. My old web-sparring mate Ron Shank had also vowed to give up e-games. Hey Ron, I thought of it (and posted about it) before you did. ;-)

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Mississippi Squirrel Revival

This one goes out to all the Death Racing Squirrels.

Mississippi Squirrel Revival

So even squirrels can be agents of the PBGs.

I hope that this year I will be able to run with RTS, perhaps for the third leg of the Death Race. On the other hand, I am not sure I have enough time to train up for it.

The Red Deer Marathon is rapidly approaching. I have heard that the Vancouver marathon group at the Running Room are already running 19 km. That race is only 3 weeks ahead of mine. I had better get my buns in gear and get seriously training if I want to do any marathons this year.

If that weren't enough, there are schedule conflicts too. My family was planning to go to the Naramata Church Camp near Penticton this summer. The weeks we want are at the same time as the Death Race.

I don't quite know what to do. I hope I don't need a squirrel in my pants to help me get into gear!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

How Cliche

On my run the other day I was giving advise to a friend via a well used cliche.

"Those who cut their run short today will be able to run another day"

Ok, so I mangled the cliche a bit to fit it to the situation. I do that a lot.

Later, during our final mile I was thinking about my advise and cliches in general. Cliches are not really carriers of information. They only have value if you have experience their essence. Having heard them is not the same as knowing them.

So if, for instance, I tell you to give your body a rest so that you don't injure yourself, you only really understand my advise if you have ignored that advise and done yourself harm in the process. Sure, you can imagine what it is like to push yourself too hard and get injured. You may have heard others talk about their war wounds. But to really understand, you have to experience the pain. The withdrawl. The slow recovery. The struggle to rebuild yourself to your former fitness level.

So a cliche is a warning to the uninitiated and a reminder to experienced. The former doesn't really get it until they become the latter.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Search Google Image PBGS

This page is one of the results I got when I searched for PBGS on the Google Image search page. It is a Korean Dietary Supplement product called ShapeRite (TM) (by NO means an endorsement, BTW!). The web site is mostly in Korean, but the bottle label is in English.

So, if you want to get in shape, use PBGs