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02 October 2006 

By Special Request

So at the behest of Ms. Mary Horning, I'm going to try to write something. Try is probably the key operative here, since at the moment I'm not feeling especially profound, thoughtful, or even contemplative. My lifestyle at the moment is a fairly happy, if somewhat routine, existance. Cedar Campus is a very quiet place in the wintertime. And yes, it is very nearly winter here. I've been wearing my winter coat about a week now and I've scraped ice off my windshield twice already. I've moved into the McClure Center apartment, which is quite a long haul from the point cabins. Having my own indoor bathroom is a blessing that I had very nearly forgotten about. Still, the quiet solitude here is less oppressive than I thought it might be. I find myself enjoying long stretches of time alone, with a chance to read or think, study and pray. I've got a small porch now, and despite the cold, I've been smoking my pipe out there at every chance with my friend Matt who is one of the cooks here.

The job part of living here is going well also. I work 4-5 days a week in the office as the tech dude. Sometimes on busy weeks I also spend a day or two in the kitchen helping prepare food for the campers, though right now there are few of those also. There is a lot of work involved in closing the camp down. Moving boats, cleaning buildings, making small repairs/improvements, moving services, inventory. I think I've done a little bit of all of that in the last two weeks, mainly taking down and inventorying the camp store then moving it from the rec hall to the lodge. That process took three of us nearly a week, and this week I'm going to spend most of my free time entering the data from the inventory into our database so we can start ordering on Nov 1. The tech part of my job mainly involves fixing problems, though we are continuing to reorganize and streamline the network infrastructure. I'm still working at typing up documentation from the upgrade we did over a month ago, and over the last weekend I used some free time to implement an upgrade of my own.

It's an interesting job field for me. I have no formal training in networking technology or solutions, but I am finding myself very engaged by it, and I seem to be pretty good at it. The camp has a lot of cool equiptment that is not being utilized, and its fun to see what sort of solutions I can come up with. For instance, the far side of the camp, Mariner's Cove, doesn't have a wireless internet solution aside from one room in the 1st floor of the lodge. One goal for the camp is to have the lodge and the smaller rec building on this side covered by the network. To accomplish that we had been looking into installing some DSL converter boxes to run across the bay, a very troublesome and expensive task. Seeing as how I just moved to one of the buildings not yet covered, I decided to take it up to see what I could do. By using some existing APs the camp had lying around and a very nice external antennae that they were contemplating selling, I was able to establish that with the right configuration the antennae and AP could be used to cover the area they wanted, however, hooking it back into the network from the point where it would yield that coverage was something not obvious. I figured out that by modifying the existing AP on this side, I could extend its range and use the external antennae and AP as a repeater for the original AP, covering the entire area with one useable wireless signal. Now, maybe if you know anything about networking you are thinking, well, duh. But, no one here seemed to know that stuff was available, or that it could be used as a solution of the problem. And for me, to figure it out on my own was probably the best way to learn it that I could have come upon. I had forgotten how much I missed problem solving in that way.

Anyway, that was a long story about work, and my lifestyle here, so maybe that will help me get back in the writer's mindset. In one sense there just isn't enough happening around here to stimulate interesting stories or ideas that I would want to share with you. My own personal study and growth recently has all been pretty dry and academic in the areas of Old Testament Theology, though I have come up with some interesting arguements to finally convince Erik that Intervarsity is not a church ;-). Other than that I've spent a lot of time musing over the innane number of seemingly unneeded box that we have for sale here. Books on all sorts of things that people really just don't need. I wonder if its worth pointing out that too many Christians seem to turn to self help books and authors to solve problems that a good understanding of the bible would quash in a second. Hmmm. That said, there are some very interesting titles that I think I'd enjoy reading just to see what they are about. Two of my favorites? The Unneccesary Pastor and I Gave Dating A Chance (the antithesis to the silly yet popular I Kissed Dating Goodbye written by the otherwise doctrinely sound Josh Harris).

The audio from the past weekend's Desiring God Conference should be online very soon, I can't wait to hear it, or to hear how it went from my buddy Blake who was in attendance. That's it for me now, I am finally starting to miss television, as I've recently been rehooked watching 24 season four, and knowing that the Lost season priemer is this week also, but such is the price of my unplugged life. Aside from the fact that I'll just download them on BitTorrent of course :-). Okay, goodnight everybody!

hooray! thank you josh, i'm quite pleased. a wonderful summary of your current lifestyle and techie skills. what flavor are you smoking these days?

Here's a thought for you Josh:
How do you feel about Starbucks coffee sold at churches?

that's a loaded question eh... let me give it some thought and biblical study. up front i think it depends highly on who's selling it. is the church purchasing it from starbucks and reselling it, or is there basically a starbucks inside the church? those are huge differences. i think that jesus set a good example in cleansing the temple, but the chruch has also changed, and i believe that the church structure today is no mroe sacred than any other place, the question is of focus. good question, my answer will be up soon. :-)

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