Keeper of the Damp Cave

Hello…

Hello there man. Standing there half damp, your advertising bling shirt pressed with khakis. You always have that slight smile on your face…don’t you? Huh .. Do you smile because you are in control? Yes you do. You know it. Right hand up, begin the motion. Left hand up, begin the opposite motion. And then you realize. Stop! You recognize me. Eye contact through the glass. Yeah it’s me. The same one. I’m watching you with an eye that only an eagle would as it gazes on its prey. I see your soul I’m looking so deep. Blue eyes, yep but I see more. Right hand down, left hand down. I see your concern…you know me. You begin to go limp. I’m in control now. It’s me. I’m have control. Should you even point to the next four steps. I said..You know me. You know I am right on track. I’m always flawless. You know I need no direction from you. No slight right, never slight left, don’t even put your hands up..never. You glance over your shoulder you want to point at the sign, the rollers are pulling me closer. Close enough now where you can see my hazel eyes getting bigger. Don’t tell me I need to be in neutral. Why? I’m done there. Don’t tell me to keep hands off steering wheel. Why? Because both hands are now behind my head. Don’t tell me to keep foot off break. Why? Because it’s on the dash. You know me. You continue to stare. As I roll by close enough to roll my window down and give you a fist bump, i don’t. I look back up. I’m ready to enter oh noble one. I live for this hot wax with shine moment. You know me. I just have you a 20 second break. You want to thank me but you won’t. We will meet again in 4 to 7 days. I mouth the words…as if in slow motion. T h a n k Y o u…..my time is now. Pull out iPhone for 60 seconds of relaxation before the vacuuming begins.

These Crabtree Chronicles by me will continue. Stay tuned for your next epic status post adventure.

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The Slave called Flash

Hello…

Hello there laying in the bottom of the drawer. Wandering when will it be your turn. You dream of sticking out the side proudly ready to help move needed items from one to another. A transporter you are. I use you. You lay dormant when I don’t need you. Your mere existence forgotten, shunned, not needed…..until ready, always knowing there will come a time when I will need you. When I do you are there. That time is now. You must have the room, you must make the room. Most people don’t really understand the room, your size..what does that mean. I do. I appreciate you. Pop the cap, twist the end, flip around, or are you solid state. As I place you closer, I anticipate. Anticipate the ding. The ding I only hear when you are ready. Then I use you. Right Click Copy, Right Click Paste. Im Done. You have fulfilled your obligation. But now comes the horror. I cannot wait, not one more second, I can not wait, why should I properly eject. I don’t even know what that means….I begin to laugh under my breath, knowing that ding is coming again. I tell you I will refuse…refuse to properly…eject..you. I never treat you proper. I scream No. Then I unplug. Ding. I hear you. Is it a cry from not being disconnected properly, or joy from being done. I don’t know. i don’t care. Give me the error, tell me to eject properly next time..guess what..I won’t. Why. Why… because you have my file saved and ready for transport. That is what I care about. File is transferred and back to the desk you go. They call you Flash for a reason. You flash my Heart with transfer greatness. As for the removal who cares.

The Deserted Isle

Hello….

Hello man all alone with your blinker on, stranded on your deserted island in the turn lane… I see you, I am your friend. But, I am merely the inside lane traffic holder. I am doing my job. I will continue for at least 13 more seconds, with diligence. You only need one kind, decent person to pause…pause for just a second…wait, is it you Mr. UPS?..no..wait…is it you Mr. green truck…no…surely it is you Church Van..no…
I glance in my rear view, I see anger from the cars behind me…I can only wait so much longer. I am feeling doubt, concern, anger, hurt…my emotions are taking over..I want you to be able to turn, but I can not hold much longer.
Eye contact with you, and you see my concern. I whisper “I am trying, trying so hard” a slight nod of your head tells me you know, and at this moment we are one. I look back in my mirror sweat rolls from my brow, I look back at you as I start to roll my car to a slow crawl, still hoping one person, just one will join me on this quest to help you in the other lane to cross traffic.
Eye contact. I whisper “I am so sorry” you smile and say “It’s ok”. Thank you lone survivor whomever you are and I hope 2 brave heroes allow you to get your Starbucks …soon..

The Number that’s not just a Number

Hello,

Hello there numerical digit. Oh your not just any number are you? Your the first. The first number in an infinite string of numerical bliss. If settling to be the number 1 wasn’t good enough for you and your all mighty highness…they made you red. Not just a normal red…but a deep, heart throbbing, soul taking, blood like red. Who are you? Who is hiding behind your shining glory. Are you a wishful approval of an earlier link about the snow fall before Thanksgiving? Are you a reply to my ultimate check in at the local Grocery store? I don’t know, but you are there, I must check…soon. Sooner than later, because I know my fate if I don’t..you will transform to a 2, then a 3. I have to know. You are hard to touch with the same hand I hold my device with, but you will not get away..I have another. Left hand up, pointer finger extended. 6 inches away…5…4…3…2.. No one call, no one need anything from me for one more second. One more small moment. I can feel the screen, the heat sensors accepting my digit. What friend awaits…..sweat drops…comment?…like?… What, Who, are you? /sigh ……..game invite….disappointment sets in.

The Three Eyed Monster

Hello…..

Hello three eyed monster hanging in the distance. I see you and all of your green shining Glory. You are still a good distance away from me, but I know we see each other. 3 eye to 2 eye …contact. I begin to hear your evil laugh rumbling as if you are sitting next to me. I am going 45 miles per hour. You know my braking distance…you must…all you see are cars all day long with the occasional worker in a box lift to change your bulbs. You begin your evil plot, your evil scheme, we both know what your plans are. You are no longer a friendly light, but one who is out for vengeance.

Foot on pedal, increase speed to 50. You are not winning, I am. I am watching your every green led glare. There is no way the turning time has reached its end. 40 yards green, heavy breathing, 30 yards green, I got this, 20 yards green eyes glare, I sit up in my seat. Then laughs turns to hate…hate leads to..

Yellow!!!! Brake , Gas Pedal, back to break, do I stop, Go, stop no! Go go go…emotions pour, anxiety sets in, tense legs, heart pounds,looking for cameras…Punch it! Punch it! Change, rear view glance… Flash! Flash!

You win again, until next time my fake friend..until next time.

A Friend and a Jacket

A Friend and a Jacket

They say angels can come in any shape, size, race or gender. I agree with that. I probably have meet one or two in my time, and I hope I made them proud.

There is a local gas station that I frequent a lot for different reasons. I come in contact with all kinds of people there. Friends, family, clerks I know, but today I saw two people that stood out. I saw two people I did not recognize. Two homeless looking men (being completely honest) one white and one black. Both of them seemed so out of place. At first glance, I saw them from a distance, sitting near the front door. My first impression raised the question in my head… what are those two guys doing? Their clothes were dirty, and their jackets seemed old and frail. As i continued to mentally judge them, I saw one attempting to fix his zipper of his coat to zip it up. As I began to walk towards the door, I continued to watch them. The closer I got, the more judgmental I became. Their clothes seemed more worn and I noticed now that one of them had a backpack. A green backpack with a water bottle, and other items that was probably all he had to his name. I began to think of the last homeless person that I had seen at this same gas station. He was intoxicated, rude, and non appreciative. I immediately put these two guys into that category. I was wrong.

I went inside the store, purchased my items and began to leave. As I came out, the two men were still in the same spot, but I noticed something. I noticed their clothes, even though they did not show a name brand, not freshly washed or matching, they were neatly tucked into their pants. I noticed a smile from the black male and his teeth appeared to be freshly brushed. The white gentleman who was working on his jacket zipper was now half way zipped and had gloves on. The other had put a toboggan on and gave me a slight head nod with a polite. “Hello sir”.

I’m not sure what clicked, or what happened next but I stopped and said, How are you? He replied with ” I am blessed to have a coat and a toboggan, it is going to be a cold night”. I smiled and said, yes it is chilly. My curiosity aroused. I was close enough to smell alcohol, but didn’t smell anything. I was close enough to hear his voice, and I knew what he was saying was truthful. He was thankful. I asked the only question that was on my mind “Do I know you from somewhere?”

I asked him this question because he was so familiar to me. His face was so recognizable, and his eyes silently said gave off the feeling of someone saying…hello old friend. After my question, his smile got bigger. He giggled as he said “I get that a lot” I immediately asked if he was from around here and he replied, “my whole life”. By now, his friend had stood up and walked near enough to hear our conversation. I asked them where they were heading and the other said they were going back towards the shelter. I said Shelter? Obvious to them I had said in a manner that sounded like a question, the one I had been speaking with said, “Yep the shelter, my mom kicked me out of the house and I am trying to get on my feet”. He goes on to tell me that he had met the other man the first night at the shelter when someone tried to steal his coat while he slept on a small portable bed. His new friend had prevented the theft from occurring. About the same time, the other man let out a “We have to take care of each other” I then immediately understood why he was proud to have that coat because that was the only one he had and it almost was stolen from him. He continues to tell me he had interviewed for a job nearby and was passing back through going back to the shelter. Passing through I thought, just like we all are.

I introduced my self by name and reached my hand out to shake his hand. He told me his name was Matt and his friend was Roger with a firm handshake then the introduction was over. He talks again about the cold weather and makes the comment, “it is not as cold as I thought”as he begins to walk away. I start to walk back to my car thinking about Matt and Roger. I began to wonder what their story was. Why did they seem so different and why did he give that smile when he responded that he gets that a lot when I asked if I knew him. I shrugged it off and went on with my day.

I think about that interaction that day. I question my premature judgement of who they were before I came out of the store. I question why I saw them so differently walking into the store versus walking out of the story. I remember distinctive qualities about their clothes and backpacks but one thing that is blank to me now is their face. I cannot remember their face. I remember the one I spoke with was a black male, and the other a white male. I remember how familiar he looked but now less than a few days later I can’t remember what he actually looked like.

I think back to our conversation and how I can remember it so vividly and remember thinking how thankful he was for his friend and his coat. He had probably been looked down on before. He had probably been laughed at, ridiculed, made fun of and more. I am glad I caught my judgmental actions before I left. I am glad I cleared my negative thoughts and learned a valuable lesson that I want to share with you.

Sometimes we forget that everyone doesn’t have it as good as we do. We have jobs, stable relationships, supportive spouses, roofs over our heads and healthy kids. We over eat and leave food on our plates, judge others that are not like us and do this why we are angry over trivial meaningless things. We don’t know what storms others have been through. We don’t know the paths they have taken, or do we realize how quick we could be on those same paths.

The experience reminded me of Gods love. Who were those two men? Will I see them again? I don’t know, but I do realize …No matter how big you are, how small you are, no matter if you make a ton of money, or struggle to pay the bills …just be thankful. Thankful not to be so judgmental. Be thankful for what you have. Be thankful to have a family that loves you. Be thankful for the roof over your head. Be thankful for the meals you eat. Be thankful for your health. Be thankful for being able to live your life with freedom.

And most importantly be thankful for a friend and a jacket, someday that may be all you have…

Who’s life will you touch today?

The love of power vs The power of love

I just finished reading a motivating article about a pastor who dressed himself up as a homeless man before they announced him as the new pastor of the church. He walked around the parking lot for 30 minutes before the church, asked a few people for food before coming inside church. When he came in, he sat in the front only to be told by elders to please move to the back of the church. After the church announcements, they introduced the new pastor. As everyone clapped and waited for the pastor to come on stage, the homeless man stood up and walked to the front. He revealed to the church that he was disappointed in the way he was treated but before he did he quoted “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

What a great lesson for people to have their eyes forced opened that morning in church. How did they feel after they knew the truth? Do you know people who treat others with dis-respect instead of respect? I often wonder how they feel about their thoughts or actions. Do they know who the person really is that they are judging so harshly? Are they basing their decision off the love of power instead of love from their hearts? They can answer that question better than I can, but it doesn’t make it easier to swallow if you or someone you respect is on the receiving end of negative actions.

I encourage you to be better than that. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and no one is perfect, but at the start of your day ask yourself…… How can I do better today than yesterday? Challenge yourself to this daily. Remind yourself that your heart was made to love others, not hurt others. If you let negativity become the only thing others hear from you, then that negativity will push people away. No one wants to be alone with only negative thoughts and being avoided like the plague, so why be that way? Leaving your legacy doesn’t mean you are leaving what you feel others think, but you are leaving what others think of you. Remember to spread Gods love for everyone and remember that person you asked to sit in the back of your church could be your pastor one day:)

Everyone can change, Change for the better.

Gratuity don’t forget it…

Grateful, what a lovely word.

A friend of mine shared a couple news articles with me that I found very interesting. The articles were stories about a horrific event. An event so horrible it would make anyone feel sympathetic. As I was reading them with grief in my heart, I couldn’t help but notice how many times I was seeing the word Grateful or a reference to it.

How could this be? Grateful is defined as .. To be deeply appreciative of kindness or being its received, to be thankful. How could anyone be greatful about anything or even be thinking about thankfulness to anyone at such a time of great sorrow. Every reporter, every interview, every sentence, every word….all with the general feel of gratuity. Why?

Why not anger for the answer? Why not inquisitive on who did what wrong? Why not hate?

Anytime I ask why enough, I go to the bible, and I then get a better understanding of what I am searching for. So as I was questioning how can someone be grateful at such a horrible time, I finally did it. I wanted the answer so I prayed and researched the Holy word. Of course I found something…

Colossians 3:17 – And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God for everything.

That helped me. That verse helped me understand that God has a plan. A plan for each of us and to give thanks and be greatful for all we do. To have faith in him and to give him the glory because we don’t understand his plan.

Do the right thing. No matter how you may feel about the issue. Just do the right thing. Turn to God and ask for his direction in prayer. He is always there for you. He will lead you in the direction that you need to go. And when you get there don’t forget to stop and say thank you. Thank you for the love, compassion and warmth that he is always watching over us and will guide us if we have faith in him.

Life is about moments. Good, bad, happy or sad. We all have moments. Make of them what you wish, but remember be thankful. Noone may ever know what road you traveled to get to the moment where you realize that we are not in control, but when you get a glimpse,,,,just a glimpse of Gods love for others, why not be grateful? Be greatful and show thankfulness to others because God is always with us during every moment.

I will never have the opportunity to meet you here, but I did get to know those around you. The loved ones that cared for you regardless of your faults. I am thankful for the new friendships and with the lessons this incident has taught me. The reminder of living for God and having faith in his path.

Lead with love, compassion and gratuity but always remember … We work for God.

Thanks for the reminder:-)

To love as he loves us….

I would like to stretch out of the norm for a minute of usually useless information that I am know for sharing to share something that touched my heart this morning. I call it a good reminder of the meaning of love.

 On my way to work a side job this morning I got stopped by a red-light.  My first thought was dang, I could have made it! As i abruptly stopped my car before the line, I slowly looked up at the light.  It was one of those times that for the first few seconds after you stop,  you realize how far under the light you are and have to lean forward just to see the light.  Well I had to do just that.  As I mumbled in my head about my decision of stopping, something caught my eye and my heart.

I was not far from an low income government subsidized apartment community that some would call run down, dirty, old, ugly and probably more derogatory words.  Truth be known, I have probably thought those same thoughts before having to remind myself to not be judgmental.  As these thoughts ran through my head of the times that I had been in that apartment community, and the bad things I had seen with my own eyes, Spiderman got my attention.  

This Spiderman was on the back of a new, clean backpack of a little boy being carried by his mother walking.  She had him all bundled up with a jacket and a toboggan, with gloves and holding him tight against her chest.  This is a congested area of work commuters, that probably are not paying attention to what is going on around them…just as I was, until Spiderman captured my heart.

As I sat there and waited, I looked over to the car beside of me.  This mother still carrying the love of her life was now in front of this car as the light turned green.  I saw the look in the drivers eye .. it was as if I could hear what he was saying in his mind.  Almost like a thought bubble over his head…..Hurry up woman! Gosh I am late! This Starbucks coffee is horrible this morning! Dang i wish this woman would hurry!… As I looked back away from the driver, The loving mother holding her proud Spiderman was now almost in front of my car.  She made eye contact with me and knew she was in the intersection at a bad time with the light turning.  I motioned her to pass in front of my car without hesitation.  At this point, my heart was filling with enough love to get out and stop the whole intersection myself.  The look she gave back was a thank you.  With heartache in her eye from the daily stresses of life, I thought to myself .. Who are you? What is your story? What are you doing?

She passed my car and made it to the corner, where I saw her stand under the KAT bus pick up sign.  That is when I realized what she was doing.  I began to pull through the intersection and looked through my rear view mirror.  She was still holding him, but he had turned his head to look back at the intersection.  The innocence in his face screamed at me.  It Screamed, this is my mommy.  She takes care of me.  She holds me close when it is cold and puts on extra clothes along with my gloves to keep my hands warm.  She makes sure I put on my Spiderman backpack for daycare and I know she loves me.  

I continued to think.  The mother was dressed as if she was working, and her son was dressed as if for daycare, no old enough for school.  Emotions flooded my heart with how this little boy doesn’t know struggles or pain that the woman holding him is going through.  The pain having to ride a bus to her work, and not having a car.  He doesn’t understand why he has to get up a little earlier than other kids, so they can make the nearly half mile walk from his apartments to get on that bus.  At this point, He doesn’t know that there is any difference in his run down playground, than the playground at McDonalds. All he knows is that he is loved.  He has friends that he loves to play with, He has a soft pillow for bed time and he has a mother who bought him an awesome Spiderman Backpack. Love, that is what he knows.

I said a quick prayer for that mother.  A prayer for strength and for God to show her that she is doing great.  That life throws curve balls, and from the love I saw in 45 seconds, she is doing everything right.  

It reminded me of Gods love for his children.  For all of us.  She held him tight, she was keeping him warm, and she was caring for all his needs to the best of her ability.  Just as God Loves us, holds us and is with us regardless of where we live, or what we do.

It was a humble reminder that our God is an awesome God.

John 13:34-35

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 

Matt Black vs Computer Speakers

I often get asked the question, what are the best speakers for my laptop. My first response usually starts with, is this for in your car use? The reason behind that is if it is for use in your car, look for an audio input on your stereo. This is usually a standard 3.5mm input that lets you connect external devices to be heard through your stereo speakers. With the growth of I pods, this is coming to be more common in car audio systems. All it takes is cable that has a 3.5mm jack on each end (Usually about 10 bucks via Walmart, Radioshak..etc). Connect one to your headphone jack on your laptop, and the other to the input on the car stereo. Change your input selection to the audio in jack. Then all audio played through your computer will be heard through your stereo speakers.

If you are just looking for external computer speakers then there are several things to consider. Standard speakers on a laptop are usually less than optimal. Due to power and size restraints, a lot of people purchase external speakers to help with laptop sound. You’ll find 2.1-channel speakers starting around $20. But these won’t be the most powerful speakers available. You’ll need to spend more to get better ones. You want powered speakers. These plug into a wall outlet. Or, purchase a pair that connects to your computer via USB. Both sound and power will be delivered over the USB connection. You’ll want to pay attention to watts when buying speakers. The more watts, the more powerful the speakers and remember a speaker system is labeled with its ENTIRE wattage. Dig a little deeper into the specs. You’ll see the watts for each speaker, or channel. Now, you may be perfectly fine with a 9-watt system. Or, you may need something much more powerful. It just depends on how you will use the speakers. Maybe you just want to listen to music while you surf the Web. Or, you could just use them to hear feedback from your computer. You don’t need particularly powerful speakers for these tasks. But you might want to use your computer to watch movies. You could also want to use your computer as a stereo. In either case, opt for more powerful speakers. I don’t recommend buying speakers online. That is, unless you know exactly the model you want. Rather, head to an electronics store. Test the speakers out individually so you will know what wattage you may be looking for, then shop for that wattage of speaker. After all, personal preference comes into play when buying speakers. You might also consider surround sound speakers. You’ll find 5.1-, 6.1- and 7.1-channel systems. But your computer must support surround sound. This probably won’t be the case with a laptop. Check with the manufacturer and if your computer doesn’t support surround sound, you can always add a sound card. This can attach to your computer via a USB port. Or, look at ones that fit into a PC Card or Express Card slot.

How about wireless speakers? You’ll find wireless options that use Bluetooth. That’s a wireless networking standard. It is most commonly used for cellular headsets. But it can do much more. You can stream music in stereo over a Bluetooth connection. Both the source and the speakers or headphones must support the A2DP profile (don’t worry about understand A2DP technology unless you are really serious about wireless connections) Implementing Bluetooth speakers shouldn’t be terribly difficult. However, your laptop may not have built-in Bluetooth or the built-in Bluetooth may not support A2DP. In either case, you can purchase a Bluetooth dongle (about 20 bucks). Bluetooth speakers or headphones will support A2DP. A2DP will work with stereo speakers. There are also 2.1-channel Bluetooth speakers. But you won’t find Bluetooth surround sound speakers. You’ll need a wired connection for surround sound.
Now you can also use a media hub. You would attach it to your stereo or home theater. It also connects to your network to stream music and other content. There are wired and wireless media hubs. They’re great for listening to music or watching videos. But they won’t work for playing system sounds, but maybe something fun to play with!