The Shack – Book Review

My wife started reading The Shack not to long ago and wanted me to read it as well so she could talk about what she was reading. My typical reading/listening is mostly filled with podcasts, self help, business and technical books. Novels work there way in my reading list but not often and not ones that are less than a year old from an unknown author. I was skeptical at best and had only heard short explanations of its contents from my father in-law and brother in-law that made the book seem less interesting. Everyone who talked about it had mentioned its controversial view of God and shock of their core belief system so when my wife asked me to read it I was reluctant. But knowing my wife she would not allow me to just put off such as request so I told her I would read it if it was on It was. I have an account which had a couple credits queued up, so I downloaded the book to my iPhone that night. The next day I began listing to The Shack on the way to a clients two and a half hours away. I was hooked. The story was moving and captured my attention so much that I was disappointed at every interruption as I was driving in the car. The ride home was no different and I spent most of the evening at home with one or two earbuds in my ears. The book has some suspense so that evening when a transformer popped and made a bright light outside our bedroom window I was startled (you can read more about that on my wife’s blog). The day after I finished listening and all I can say is “Wow”. If this book doesn’t move you in a way to become a better person I don’t know what will. I won’t spoil the book for those who didn’t read it, but the main characters connection to God was so real it made me want to be familiar with God in that way. I can’t say it challenged my view of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as much as others, but it made me want to be a better person and to connect with God in a deep and new way. If you strive for those things you should get a copy today. You won’t be disappointed.

For more info on The Shack you can go to If you want to find more info on purchasing check out‘s reviews and more.

300k Miles!

So this morning I hit 300k miles in my 1993 Honda Accord SE! I’ve owned my car since 1999 and I got it with 78k miles on it. So I’ve driven it an average of 22,200 miles a year. At my current miles per gallon of 25 at the current gas prices I would have spent over $1580 a year or $15,800 over the last 10 years. I could have bought a new car 🙂 I had my Flip Video MinoHD (that Carla got me for my birthday. Thanks beautiful!) with me so I captured the moment of going from 299,999 to 300,000. A momentous occasion I’m sure.

Like I mentioned in the video I’ve had a great time driving my little Honda. Maybe I’ll get another 100k our of it!

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic
Yes it is dusty 🙂 I haven’t cleaned in awhile.

Why do I use linux? Top 5 Reasons.

Linux TuxI was inspired by a blog post about “Why Do You Use Linux” to post why I use Linux and I wanted to post how I use one of the best operating systems out there as well. First off if you are not familiar of what Linux is you can read up about it at wikipedia, but basically it is an operating system like Windows and Mac OSX that allows you to interface with the hardware and software on your computer system. Each operating system has its pluses and minuses. I’ll give you my take on what those are bust first I’ll give you some background.

I’ve been using Linux since around 1999 for both personal and professional reasons. I’ve always liked to tinker with computers as it is more than just a job for me. It’s fun. What isn’t fun is having to reboot every 10 minutes and having no clue why something like that is happening. It’s like having a car that is sputtering smoke and your not allowed to look under the hood. Fortunately in Linux everything is available under the hood. File locked? check it with lsof, network slow? view all the traffic with wireshark, running out of memory? use free or a large amount of other free and open source software that is at your disposal. So here are the main reasons why I use Linux:

  1. Freedom: no vendor lock-in, open source code
  2. Stability: I have client servers that have been running for over a year. ’nuff said
  3. Security: never have to worry about virus’ again, plus built from the ground up to be a secure OS
  4. Efficiency: Can run on small devices (Kindle anyone?) as well as a full desktop PC or server
  5. Choice: I’m not forced into candy XP, glassy Vista or keechy OSX I have a multitude of choices from KDE, Gnome, XFCE, e17 and more great desktop environments. Not to mention the thousands of other programs I can use.
  6. And those are just 5 of the reasons of why I use Linux. If you want to try this out you can download a “Live CD” that allows you to boot from a CD to run Linux and not touch mess with the system you are on right now, but I must warn you you might be tempted to click on the install now button because it is nice!

    I’ll write another post on How I use Linux, but this should get anyone who has not heard of Linux interested.

    Until next time. Linux on!


P90X: Take 3

So this is my 3rd time through P90X and I’m ashamed to say that this time around has been no better than the past two. Life gets in the way and I end up missing a week and then fizzle out. However I am determined to get back on the horse and hammer out the rest of the 60 days I have left. The hardest part is finding the time between the wife and kids to do an hour workout via DVD every day.

All that said I love P90X! It has to be the best workout program I have ever done. Click on the image to see all the reviews at amazon as that helped me in determining which program to go with.

One of the best parts of P90X is the music and Tony talking you through every step. It makes the workout fly by and you don;t have to focus as much on how bad it hurts. Just power through and X it.

I have a found a few resources to help out with making it easier to keep track of things. Here is a P90X Spreadsheet to keep track of progress which has has all the pre/post test info you can put in as well. My good friend Matt has a blog post about P90X that outlines all of the extras he bought for using the program. I ended up just purchasing basic dumbbells from Wal-mart and a yoga block (needed because I’m not flexible at all!). If you have any questions about what I use or getting started leave a comment and I’ll respond back to you. Good luck with getting in shape and not fizzling out like me 🙂

All the good ideas are taken. Lost item locator.

Had a thought last night as I was searching for my daughters pacifier for more than 15min as she was upstairs crying her little eyes out. “Pink passy” she crys from atop the stairs as I rummage around the kitchen, living room and across every corner, nook and cranny. My thought was, “If there was an RFID tag on that stupid passy I could have already found this thing!” After I finally found said passy behind the pantry door I wondered if such as product existed that allowed you to place a small RFID tag onto any item and then locate it with a transceiver by walking around the house. Seems it was such as good idea that someone already patented it. Not that I should be suprised because all the good ideas are taken! Well not really, but any of the obvious ones I come up with seem to be. So maybe one day I’ll come up with something that no one has patented, copyrighted or otherwise thought up and do something really great.

My Wife Thinks I’m Stealing My Blog Posts!!

My wife likes me

I wrote a blog post yesterday about daylight savings. Check it out if you haven’t read it yet. So my wife reads the posts laughs at a few of the items in the list (especially the spending time with the special someone since she knows I’m referring to her) and then proceeds to ask me (for the second time mind you) if I came up with this list myself! Preposterous I tell you!!! Well I guess I should be flattered since she meant well and it was supposed to be a compliment. So I’ll take it as such, but it was funny that she did it almost twice in a row (She didn’t think I wrote this one either). I love you wife!

When is Daylight Savings? and 10 Things To Do With that Extra Hour

Chris Harrison twittered about a site called When is Daylight Savings? I thought I would pass along the info since we all forget at some time about when the new daylight savings time is. (In case you don’t want to go the site it is this Sun Nov. 2nd, 2008 at 3am in the morning you set your clock back to 2am). Fall back spring forward is an easy way to remember how to set the clock.

Just for fun here a few things to do with your extra hour this year or just because:

  1. Check the batteries in your smoke detectors or replace them
  2. Read about daylight savings Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time or Daylight saving time – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  3. Replace a regular light bulb with a new CFL light bulb
  4. Make special time with that special someone
  5. Maybe backup your computer data with mozy or jungle disk
  6. Suggest something for me to write about (in the sidebar or here)
  7. Catch up on google reader, unread blog list or a good book (reading is good for the brain!)
  8. Put the summer clothes away and pull out that winter jacket. It’s cold out there! (currently 39 degrees here)
  9. Learn about GTD and get the book
  10. Prepare a Christmas wishlist so your family will have something to get you

And finally have a good nights sleep!

Leveraging Online Social Networks to Increase Business

I follow the LinkedIn blog in google reader and watched a video about how a small Investment Banking company managed to make over $300k+ by leveraging their contacts on linked in. Ron Lissak, a managing partner of the company, talked about how he was able to search for the right people and find many opportunities through LinkedIn. I’m trying to learn more on how to leverage online resources for my business so I thought I would pass the information along. The LinkedIn blog has been a great read and has presented many ideas for me to expand on. You can read the original article or watch the video below.

LinkedIn Users – Investment Banking

Other resources for using LinkedIn:

Fill your marriage: Love and Respect

After seven years of marriage I still find myself falling into the same bad habits that put my wife and I in the “crazy cycle”. Occasionally though a book will come along that gives a different perspective on marriage. The book Love and Respect by Dr Eggerichs transformed my outlook and brought my focus back to were it belonged. I can’t say I’ve worked the “Energizing Cycle” or the “C-O-U-P-L-E” principles to a T but I can honestly say they do work. Filled with fun examples of different communication styles and stories of couples who have attended the Love and Respect conferences keeps the book fun and interesting while hitting home on so many topics. I find my self laughing and then saying ouch all at the same time.

If you need a little marriage pick me up, some new techniques to apply in your marriage or just want to fall more in love with your wife then I encourage you to pick up this book. Your marriage needs you to make it work! Don’t let the everyday drag get you down.