Compromise

It’s been hard for me to write consistently on this blog. I miss you all and I hope it doesn’t seem like I dropped off the edge of the world (well, I kinda did for a while but I’ve been back lately). Because of the challenge I’ve made compromises in how much I write and I created a new blog – walkthrough.blog – to help me share more regular updates – the kind of stuff status messages and tweets are made of – except in my own flavor.

As I write this I’m cruising through Germany from Freiburg to Berlin where I’ll be visiting a couple friends. A friend from Tucson and a former co-worker (unrelated) are both going to be in Berlin at the same time – what are the odds?

My bus ride should be around twelve hours long; it’ll be longer due to a distance where we crawled along at about 5mph behind an extra-wide truck carrying something important. Twelve hours? Not really a problem, a few hours of work then a night’s rest. As I ride cross the countryside through the night it’s a reflective time for me and Ill be trying to share more here on this site as I figure out the right compromises.

That is, in the milieu of my daily life, I promise to try harder to write you all, my dear friends, and share my adventures and wanderings.

April Fool

The biggest prank is that Jesus rose again from the dead, at least that is one of my core convictions (his resurrection, not that it was a prank). The internet is full of Easter-related discussion; that’s good to talk about as the Jahresuhr (the year) turns ’round and we reflect on it and reset. I am deeply thankful for the opportunity to visit church with a friend in a place far from my home – I guess that seems to be my new tradition on Easter.

“We have too many Christians who have Lent without Easter,” the pastor quoted (or something close to that, supposedly from the Pope). To those unaware the “season of Lent” is a time of fasting and reflection leading up to Easter, the day we celebrate that Jesus came back to life after being dead in a tomb for three days and thus sealing in the hope we place in him. “We are Easter people,” he continues, “and alleluia is our song.”

So I come into this church and reflect on God and his nature and pray out the liturgy with the congregation: “I reject evil…I renounce the sin in me…help me, O God, to be your servant of peace.” I reflect on the consistent ways I fail, the things I never grow through, the temptations to which I repeatedly return. And I know God sees me. I proclaim his goodness and say “God is great!” yet while I struggle inside to love the very creation he made in me. And here was this man, this divine man who came and empathized and conquered where I have fallen short and I realize that on this April 1 I am the fool. God knows the very thin line separating the innermost from the outside and he sees what lies behind it.

So as we direct ourselves to think on Ash Wednesday to consider that we are dust and so as we focus during Lent to refrain from worldly distractions then so do we celebrate on Easter that God saw our disgrace and he loved us anyway; he saw our repeated, infantile, willful, and horrifying failures and took us in anyway; he saw the fool in me and he lifted me up anyway.

In all my running to seek affection and to seek being wanted, when I’m tired, hungry, angry, or sick, in my trained misbehaviors, and when I’m foolish I can be reminded to celebrate, because the very God who conquered death – death in the body and death in the soul – didn’t flush me out with it. He saw strength hiding behind my weakness and beauty behind my tears, he saw victory charging through my retreat and he saw Jesus when he looked at me. God I reject evil and defeat, please lead me away from it.

My friend, I have seen many things, been on many adventures, suffered excruciating loss, faced my own malice and insufficiency, and from the best of times to the worst of time I can say that I am alive because someone saw the fool in me through it all and decided it was worth saving. There is no greater story in my life than that quintessential act of kindness. Today I celebrate the freedom I have from that fool because of that act. Today I celebrate that the things that I have messed up in this world have hope because of that act. Today I celebrate, and I hope you do too.

2017 year-end

another year passed and i like to share interesting statistics and thoughts from the year so here they are in no specific order

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over the past year i slept in or spent the night in forty different beds, five couches, four planes, three busses, twice in my car, one beach, and on the floor of one of the old Voice of America radio stations. that’s fifty six different places to spend the night for an average of more than one different locality per week.

Places-in-2017
the color of the dots corresponds to when in the year i was at the location

although i was on the run most of the year several of my travel statistics are down from the past few years: i visited ten countries (including the US) and about forty places total but only flew around 60,000 miles. because of their loyalty program I flew almost exclusively with American Airlines; it’s nice to have a reward status with an airline.

my reading and writing metrics are off the charts even though i have only shared a smidgen of what i have written; there’s been an abundance of quiet alone time.

despite that, i went out of my way at least fifteen times in order to visit and spend time with dear friends of mine.

oh, and i got on two separate boats for the express purpose of eating.

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lessons from USAF brutalism

IMG_6264

yesterday i spent a couple hours at the national museum of the air force in dayton ohio. military design and engineering is always a fascinating topic because of the varied constraints they deal with which are much less important for civilian designs.

websites are obese and getting heavier and there’s a fascinating trend which piques my interest called brutalism – inspired from brutalist architecture which itself was a response to more optimistic and opulent styles of previous designs.

in many ways the goals of brutalist web design follow those of military aviation – herein are scattered lessons i learned while touring the museum as they relate to software.

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