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Aug 6 2011

Yard day

Jamie Barrows

Today is a Yard work day.

I didn’t mow my yard last weekend because we were visiting family in Atlanta, and I can’t mow it next weekend because I have a wedding to go to. So unless I want to have a jungle in my yard, I really need to mow it this weekend.

Of course today is supposed to be one of the hottest days we have had all year. So I fully expect to be covered in sweat and be totally worn out by the time I’m done.

There is something really satisfying to me about working on a garden/yard. Maybe it is because I work in an office all week and don’t get to work with my hands all that much. My job consists of writing reports, designing data management screens, and coding SQL statements all day. And I enjoy what I do, but there are times when doing something that is totally different is actually relaxing. So getting out and mowing my grass or weeding my garden is a good way for me to unwind and clear off stress.


Aug 4 2011

Hoarding

Jamie Barrows

It’s summer, and there isn’t all that much on American TV to watch during summer. So I end up hunting through Cable channels to find things to watch. One of the shows I’ve found is called Hoarders.

It’s fascinating to me to watch the way stuff has completely taken over people’s lives. These people have let the collection of things (often worthless things) ruin their homes, families, and livelihoods. And they can’t let the stuff go. They fight the cleaners and organizers over every item that gets thrown away. And most of it is junk.

Apart from the entertainment value of watching them attempt to take back control of the “hoard,” the show has really made me look at how much “stuff” I have. Don’t get me wrong, my house isn’t cluttered or too full of stuff. But if I really took an inventory of all the things in my house, I would have to say that there are a lot of things I haven’t touched in at least a year. And if I haven’t touched it in a year, do I really need it? How many shirts and pairs of pants do I really need? I have pants and shirts I haven’t worn in years and I should just get rid of. I have bookshelves full of books that I have read and probably will never read again.

Even though my stuff hasn’t taken over my house, I really have more things than I need. So I’m going to try to get rid of anything I don’t really need.


Aug 3 2011

The 30 day project

Jamie Barrows

I watched the following video yesterday, and was really inspired by it.
There are lots of things that I really want to do but it seems like I can never manage to set aside the time to start them. And when I do start a project, I never manage to stick with it for very long. The idea of doing something for 30 days straight seems like something I could do. Putting a specific time limit on a task or hobby, makes it easier to keep doing it even when I don’t feel like it or when it is inconvenient.

So what 30 day task am I going to try first?
Your looking at it. I’m going to try to get back into blogging regularly. I used to post to this blog more frequently, but in recent years I’ve kind of slacked off and I’ve always regretted it. So starting with this post, I’m going to try to do 1 blog post every day.
If I’m busy or traveling, the post might be very short. But regardless I’m going to try get a post out every day for the next 30 days.


Apr 13 2010

Church Update

Jamie Barrows


It has been a while since I updated this blog and I thought I should post a note giving a status. Especially in light of the Church Hunting post that was my last post.
My wife and I have found a wonderful church that is the perfect combination of not too big and not too small. And more importantly, it has solid biblical preaching without all the “extra” stuff that isn’t really biblical but rather preference. Grace Community Church seems to be what we were looking for. It was a long and frustrating search, but it was worth it.


Aug 14 2009

Dependencies – A new one

Jamie Barrows

New iPhone
A few years ago I wrote a post on here about modern dependencies. In that post, I was referring to Internet access and how dependent I had become. And now I have yet another dependency that crept up on me when I wasn’t looking. And annoyingly it is one I should have seen coming. Especially since it is related to my previously mentioned Internet dependency.

I’m talking about my iPhone. Specifically the always on internet connectivity and email it gives me. So I guess the dependency is really a mobile internet dependency. The actual phone is not really the issue. Most likely any halfway decent smartphone would fill my new need. It just happens to be that the smartphone I have is an iPhone.

As with the Internet dependency, I feel cut off when I can’t get a decent connection. And old non-smartphones, that I previously would have been perfectly satisfied with, now feel excessively limited. All of the information and communication advantages of the Internet are now with me 24/7. And I’ve become used to having them around me all the time.

What brought this realization on, was buying a new phone for my wife. We went to the store and picked out a phone that was well rated and had a great looking design. It wasn’t a smartphone, but it was a highly advanced text messaging phone with a full keyboard and a touch screen. Just a few years ago I would have loved the phone. But my standards have changed since then, and what I expect from a phone is very different from what I expected then. So when we got it home, and started actually using it, we found it to be frustratingly limited. It had all the technical specs of a smartphone, and yet it had a crippled non-smartphone OS. Email was clunky, web browsing was limited, and there were no applications except the standard ones that were built into the phone. It just felt too limited. And that is when I realized that I could never go back to a “normal” phone.

The end result was that after keeping the phone for a week, we took it back and got a smartphone. And we are much happier than we ever were with the other phone.


Aug 7 2009

Married life

Jamie Barrows

Wedding Rings
Well, its been about a month since I got married. And you know what? I highly recommend it.

While the wedding part was a bit of a pain, I can tell you with great certainty, that being married is the best thing that could have happened to me.
It has involved a few adjustments to my lifestyle, and I’m sure that I’ll have to make a few more. But they are all worth it.

The past month has been wonderful and I’m really looking forward to spending the rest of my life with my beautiful wife Kierra.


May 13 2009

Reputation: You vs. The other you

Jamie Barrows

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I read an article the other day on Scott Adam’s blog titled The Other Scott Adams” In case you don’t know, Scott Adams is the creator of the Dilbert comic. A comic that helps all of us office workers keep a little sanity. And ever since I found his blog, I’ve been enjoying his daily(ish) comments on society and current events.

So anyway, back to the article. The gist of it was that in this day and age, if you have a common name, your reputation ends up closely tied to the actions of the “other” you(s) that are out there. This isn’t really a new thing. Throughout the history you can watch the popularity of names rise and fall based on the actions of prominent people. After all, no one wants to be named after a mass murderer or even have themselves associated with one via their name. What makes today’s name associations different from those of the past, is the ease with which those associations can be found.

In the past, it was unlikely that someone(with the same name) else’s actions would ever be noticed by your friends, coworkers, and relatives unless they became famous/infamous for them. These days those other you’s are a simple Google search away. And as people search engines(which I mentioned in a previous post) become more common and better at finding details about individuals, those other people with your name are going to be noticed by you and your friends even more.

So try it. Google your name and see how many other you’s there are in the first two or three pages that come back. Unless you post a lot online under your own name, you will probably be surprised at how many other you’s there are in the first three pages. Now ask yourself, is it likely that people who don’t know you very well or are potential employers likely to be able to tell which of those “you’s” that come back are really you?


Mar 10 2009

Finding things Out

Jamie Barrows

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I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way.
Franklin P. Adams

Read the above quote the other day and thought it was particularly true in the Internet Age. How often do you go online to find a bit of info, only to learn 10 different things that you weren’t even looking for?

I know it works that way for me.


Feb 20 2009

Busy

Jamie Barrows

freeway
Found the following on the 22 words blog. I thought it was worth re-posting.

“I’m busy” is generally an acceptable excuse.
I think “I’m not busy and want to keep it that way” should be too.


Feb 2 2009

Remembering God’s Faithfulness

Jamie Barrows

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My pastor, Josh Lipscomb, preached a very good sermon this past weekend, and I thought I would post the main theme here. I’ll start off with the main passage that the pastor used.

Psalm 77:1-15

To the Chief Musician. To Jeduthun. A Psalm of Asaph.

1 I cried out to God with my voice—
To God with my voice;
And He gave ear to me.
2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;
My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing;
My soul refused to be comforted.
3 I remembered God, and was troubled;
I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah

4 You hold my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5 I have considered the days of old,
The years of ancient times.
6 I call to remembrance my song in the night;
I meditate within my heart,
And my spirit makes diligent search.

7 Will the Lord cast off forever?
And will He be favorable no more?
8 Has His mercy ceased forever?
Has His promise failed forevermore?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah

10 And I said, “This is my anguish;
But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
11 I will remember the works of the LORD;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
12 I will also meditate on all Your work,
And talk of Your deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary;
Who is so great a God as our God?
14 You are the God who does wonders;
You have declared Your strength among the peoples.
15 You have with Your arm redeemed Your people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

When things are darkest, and when the future looks bleakest, remember what God has already done for you. And trust that if he did that for you, he will be faithful to you in the future. Be grateful for everything he has already done. Believe that he will guide and protect you as he has done in the past.

Too often we (me included) forget to be grateful for what we have already been given. And we don’t trust God to bring us what is best for us.

We get depressed when things don’t go the way we think they should. A depression that, as the author of the psalm says, can bring us sleepless nights and crushing worry. But like the author, we can look at the wonders that God has already done and know that he can and will provide in the future.