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Thursday, December 6th, 2007 - 10:34 PM

"daFlud IV: the Rainbow Promise"

Rainbow

Nowadays, rainbows have what I consider a very unfortunate association with a particular agenda and lifestyle choice (and dare I say, a misuse of the valuable concept of diversity). The rainbow - so colorful, beautiful and simplistic - is tainted by this stigma. I won't be direct in describing what usage I'm referring to, as most people in 2007 probably know what I'm talking about. Please don't get me wrong - I fully believe those who celebrate this cause and practice this lifestyle also have God's same and immeasurable love directed toward them. Nevertheless, today I declare the rainbow's real and original significance. If I could, I'd reclaim it's innocence and free it from unnecessary modern symbolic references. Some of you already know this from Sunday School or by other means, so bear with me. After safely bringing Noah and his family and all the animals on the Ark through the perilous worldwide flood, God said this:

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: "I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you - the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you - every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth."

And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

So God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth."

Genesis 9:8-16 (NIV)

Each time I see a rainbow (not all that often) I am reminded and humbled by God's promise. Sometimes I wonder if He needs a reminder not to wipe us off the face of the planet again... I know, it's a bit of a dark thought - and don't think I'm trying to speak for Him. I know He loves us, but His justice must also be satisfied. One day we will all be judged, and all things as we know them will come to an end. We should be thankful that one of the most repeated descriptions of God in the Bible is: "The LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness" (Exodus 34:6, Numbers 14:18, Nehemiah 9:17, Psalm 86:5,15; 103:8; 145:8, Joel 2:13, Jonah 4:2, Nahum 1:3), and the sending of His Son Jesus Christ to die on our behalf, to save us from our retched sins, puts the beauty of the rainbow to shame.

Once again, after the recent downpour of rain, I am comforted by this wonderful promise. Surely God God does not forget His promises, and nor should we. Let's not forget that, no matter what we choose to make this beautiful sign represent or how corrupt we become in our thinking, God Himself says, "I have set my rainbow in the clouds".

P.S. Did you ever notice how repetitious this passage is in Genesis 9? It pretty much says the same thing in different words in excess of 5 times! You'd think He might be trying to tell us something :)

I often think about rainbows in this way, but what brought this on specifically was the aftermath of this week's flooding in Oregon. And today, appropriately, there was a very bright rainbow in the sky. I never have my camera around when I see bright rainbows, and they don't appear extremely often, so I ran outside at work to get a few shots. For some odd reason rainbows are difficult to capture in all their vivid display, but these are easily the best I've personally been able to achieve in my very few attempts. Today's was a very vibrant, full-arc, double rainbow, though my pictures don't do it justice.

rainbow

rainbow

rainbow

rainbow

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Thursday, December 6th, 2007 - 2:50 AM

"daFlud III: Back in Business"

With the help of a pump, our parking lot was finally cleared this afternoon. The last remnants of Lake C2F and a walk in the park:

Flood aftermath

Flood aftermath

Flood aftermath

Flood aftermath

Flood aftermath

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Thursday, December 6th, 2007 - 2:44 AM

"daFlud II"

Here is the aftermath surrounding the flood and creation of Lake C2F. A day later, and the waters had not yet receded. See Esoshow for the rest of the story.

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Wednesday, December 5th, 2007 - 1:08 AM

"And Now For Something Completely Different"

Just a few days ago I discovered something that just might renew my interest in the fine, manual arts. For a number of years, I have been entirely out of practice with drawing and painting. My focus has been on computer generated artwork. I've always longed to spend more time drawing, mastering techniques. I feel like I am a hopelessly locked box of unrealized potential. Nothing I create ever feels like my all went into it, like it's the "best" I can do. I always have the feeling I can do a million times better. I hope I am not the man who digs a hole and hides his talent in the ground. That is part of what I hope Esotropiart will be, a revelation of any (if any) good that might be reflected in the gifts God has given me. My goal is to include everything I've ever done. In the end, the site should work much like a life story, with many of my thoughts, all my works, and some captured experiences.

This recent discovery may well be the renaissance I needed to become artistically motivated again. I never felt my artwork in of itself was something I could pursue as a career. This doubt has been the primary factor in my lapse of significant artistic venture in the last 10 years or so (with a few exceptions). Maybe that's not important. Perhaps I'm meant to be yet another starving artist. Hopefully a few important messages will be conveyed through my work that perhaps the world is crying out for. It would take a miracle of divine intervention of serious proportion, but that is my dream and hope.

I will not reveal just yet what the source of my new aesthetic inspiration and excitement is. Instead, I will share the first fruits of my labor. After discovering this new artistic potential, I drew out a simple 3" x 5" card - my preferred size, as those close to me would know. I need to experiment with a few things before I share and expound on what I feel is so exciting. I'll keep you posted (all 2.73 of you regular readers - on a good day!).

Willard the Walrus IV: Pilfered Soaps Inferior

Willard the Walrus IV

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2007 - 3:11 AM

"Mid-Life Crisis and Video Games to the Rescue!"

Most men have their midlife crisis in, well the middle of their life, around 40 or 50. I guess mine has arrived early. I've had some of the symptoms lately. I feel somewhat defeated and a little bored with life in general. I've been thinking how things could have been different had I pursued different things in life, but mostly I long for deeper spirituality and connection with the invisible God and Creator of the universe.

Some time ago I made a half-conscious effort to spend more time working on things that I felt reaped some sort of reward. That reward could be monetary, spiritual/eternal, or even sentimental. I felt I was dawdling and not getting much done in life. Since time is limited, I tried to back away from activities that were purely for entertainment but produced no result in the end. For example, playing video games essentially has no purpose other than entertainment, and all you get for doing it is perhaps a little sense of accomplishment. I turned to hobbies that produced a measurable and qualitative result. So web design became one of my primary past-times. At least with that, there is an end product. Not only that, but this sort of hobby lends itself to a profession.

Video games have always been a piece of my life, since I grew up in the golden age, witnessing just about every generation of games from Commodore 64 and some Atari through NES/Turbo Grafix 16/Master System, Genesis/SNES, Gameboy/Game Gear/Lynx/GBA, Saturn/Sega CD/Neo Geo/Jaguar/32X, Nintendo 64/Playstation, Dreamcast/GameCube/XBox/PS2, 360/wii, etc. Much of my exposure to such systems has been thanks to my heroic video game friends, the Jim Guys.

Lately I have taken a primarily audience role, watching my friends play. In my spare time, I've left little room for what I'd convinced myself was mostly a waste of time. In reality, I was trying to come to grips with eternity, realizing that time is limited, and should be spent on things "of value". Of course, that is subjective, but generally I felt I should do constructive things.

More recently, in the last several months, I am realizing I'm somewhat losing a part of myself. Not that video games are key or important, but I feel like part of my boredom/crisis stems from the fact that I haven't allowed myself enough zoning out time, just doing those things that perhaps have little value. These very things have immense relational, amusement and restoring value, however. Work, work and more work does little but add stress and take away moments from our limited wisp of life.

Nintendo Gamecube

So, for better or worse, I'm back to spending some time doing things of "little or no eternal value". Perhaps I'll swing back in the other direction later, but this season is for the games. I'm tired of being an adult and boring myself and others out of my/their minds (not that video games are the ultimate solution). Last week I bought a used Nintendo Gamecube and some games. I wanted to get a Wii because it's not only really cool, unique and new, but it can also play most Gamecube games. Alas, the Wii is rather hard to find and far more expensive, so I settled for what I could sensibly afford. I didn't even really consider the 360 or PS3. Even though they pack far more punch, I'm not extremely fascinated or captivated by super realistic, immersing gaming. I find it somewhat repulsive and even a little mentally dangerous to play games that too closely simulate reality, especially much of the "bad" side of it. I briefly considered the original XBox and PS2, but they are both notorious for hardware flukes and failure, so I went for Nintendo, the by and large most reliable and consistent company in the hardware department.

I mostly prefer childish, cartoony fantasy games, like Zelda, Mario, Mickey Mouse, Sonic, etc. I enjoy the Action and Adventure genres... games that are mostly platforming, but also with elements of strategy, puzzle-solving, and perhaps most importantly great story, characters and plot. Historically, Nintendo has focused on making this sort of game, targeted more to family-friendly fun, rather than serious adult gaming.

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2007 - 2:33 AM

"daFlud"

It has been raining non-stop for well over a day now. This continuous torrential downpour has brought some of the worst floodwaters of my time. I recall one other catastrophic episode, known as the Willamette Valley Flood of 1996. I don't think this one is quite as disastrous, but it is approaching such proportions in certain areas of the state. The cause of the greatly increased water was a severe storm system that also warranted warnings of hurricane force winds.

I felt some pretty decent huffs and puffs while walking in the highly angled rain with my new "wind resistant" umbrella. Nearly blown off my feet I was. The primary effects of the storm I experienced were mild inconvenience. Our company's parking lot was flooded worse than I've ever seen. It happens every year, but this time no one could park there, and many of our neighboring businesses had similar plights. Many of my coworkers parked a quarter mile from work. I couldn't find a parking spot anywhere near work, so I opted to drive back home, park there, and walk. Highway 217 was flooded near Allen Blvd and was closed for the larger part of the afternoon and evening. The rising waters made our neighborhood swamp into a healthy river. It may be the highest I've seen it, but fortunately it was not high enough to threaten our comfort.

Sadly, the storm severely damaged Oregon's famed "Largest Sitka Spruce in the United States" near the coast on Highway 26. The powerful winds snapped the 700 year old tree, probably putting it down for the count. Sad, yes, but the people are more important, eh? If this storm or flood affected you in any way, feel free to leave a comment, sharing your experience whether it's a similar account of inconvenience, or more significant hazard or annoyance.

Here are some pictures I took of our company lake.

C2F Flood 2007

C2F Flood 2007

C2F Flood 2007

C2F Flood 2007

C2F Flood 2007

C2F Flood 2007

C2F Flood 2007

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