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Favorite Things: June 2018 edition

Practicing The Way / Bridgetown Podcasts
Bridgetown is a really interesting church in Portland, OR.  They have a focus on following the practices of Jesus.  Taking the things we see in Jesus's life and turning them into practical things we can put into practice ourselves.  Practicing The Way has a bunch of material on practical things to try in order to change your lifestyle be me more like Christ's.  It's an old concept but one I feel is lacking in modern Christianity, that followers of Christ should end up looking/living like Him.  The sermons that go along with the site are available in podcast form and are very interesting and engaging.  Worth a listen.
BeartownI just finished the novel Beartown a few days ago.  I have to recommend this book.  It reminded me of a slightly less dark Swedish version of "13 Reasons Why".  The plot centers around a youth hockey team in a struggling rural town.  The hockey team is really the Beartown's last hope of survival.  Th…
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A Special 2018 Kind of Father's Day Message

I've been seeing a fair bit in the news coverage lately about federal policy changes which have resulted in children being separated from their parents at the border of the United States. In the short amount of time that these policy changes have been in place the US has separated at least 2,000 children from their parents. This is leading to the erection of tent cities to house children because the re-purposed Walmarts we have been housing immigrant children in are near full capacity. This according to the President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as anyone with common sense, is horrible for the mental and emotional health of children.

As a father and a US citizen I'm outraged by the trauma these children are experiencing at the hands of the federal government.  And things have taken an even more irritating turn.  Our Attorney General, who is quoted as saying the KKK  "were OK until I learned they smoked pot," cited the Apostle Paul in defense of th…

Favorite Things: May 2018 Edition

New series of monthly (my intentions at least) things I'm really enjoying...
Ride ReportRide Report is an app which uses your phone's location data to automatically keep track of your bike rides.  For each ride it asks you a simple survey "How was your ride."  After collecting enough survey data from rides Ride Report can generate a map showing the worst and best rides for a city.  Some cities are even using this data to make better transportation decisions.  
I'm not sure if this app will work at a smaller scale for a city like The Dalles, but the idea is very cool.  The more people the use it the more helpful it will be.  At this point I've only ever said my rides were great and being the only user in town this is very unscientific. I highly recommend using this app for fun and better city planning or at least better informed fellow cyclists.

LibbyLibby is an app which allows you to borrow ebooks through your local library.  For some reason it is much easier f…

How to not dread running.

It’s warming up and the sun has been shining (kind of). You could almost say it was running season.  I have to admit however, at the when it first started warming up this year I was dreading starting to run.  Memories of last year's misery haunted me and I was seriously contemplating giving the whole thing up.  Ultimately I did give running one another shot.
So how are things going this year?Pretty darn well actually. Better than ever even! This year I’ve earned PRs for every distance Strava keeps track of, I haven’t suffered any injuries and I’m genuinely enjoying myself. This is much better than last year. Last year I had a short and fairly miserable season, plagued with injuries.

Last year I had a few goals tied up with running. I wanted to run longer and faster than I ever had. I had really detailed goals for each week of the summer, how far I should be running and at what pace. I tried to make sure I never broke the “10% rule” adding too much distance each week, but this still 

Life is Shot: Photo Journal #1

Some days you come home and there are just chicks in you laundry room...  But how can you say "no" to that face?

Easter art by Lucy Easter outfit by mom

Jesse decided (on his own) it was time to stay the night at grandma's house.  He was pretty disappointed to find out it wasn't.
Brace for impact during every elevator ride.
Lucy has lost both of her top front teeth.  He bark is worse than her bite.
Mystery of the month: Who is this green haired super saiyan?

Short silly video: Lucy can ride her bike with no training wheels.  Kid's still love rolly pollies.  And Jesse is apparently a Chris Tomlin fan.

Great Novels: It

I had never read Stephen King before, so reading It last year I didn’t really know what to expect.  In fact I have to admit that in school I never understood the kids I saw carrying around tomes from the library with "Stephen King" written on the cover.  I didn't much like horror movies and couldn't imaging reading the book version for fun.  However, based on the fact King literally wrote the book On Writing, I had high hopes for a great novel.  It did not disappoint. The characters feel super real, very alive and relatable. By the end of the book, characters I found really annoying I grew to love and I felt sympathy for the psychopathic school yard bully.

(WARNING: Spoilers below this point)
What I liked As I mentioned, King’s character development in It is amazing. Even the seemingly tangential characters have personal details and deep backstories. Probably the best example of this I can think of is Stan Uris’s wife Patricia. Most of one chapter is spent describing…

How I stopped not commuting by bike.

Once upon a time I owned a 1994 Toyota Camry.  I drove it something like 6 miles everyday for a few years (a meager commute).  At that time my job also involved a good amount of sitting and staring at a screen.  Making the realization that I was spending about ⅓ of my day sleeping, and the other ⅔ I was spending sitting was a big eye opener.  Pair this with the fact that I was weighing in at 240 lbs and it was becoming pretty obvious that I needed to make some changes in my life.

One of the first things I did was get a bike.   At that point I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was about 12 years old.  Luckily, as the old proverb suggests, once you learn you never forget.  I soon started riding that bike to and from work just bout every single day.  It took some time but eventually I was able to make the uphill trip home without feeling completely exhausted.  I rode that bike just about every day until winter hit.  However, even though the ride was only a little more than three miles one way,…