Monday, June 30, 2008

But I'm too young for the C word!

As I begin this post, I'm not sure that I am going to hit publish when I'm done. If you're reading this, then I guess I did.

Tomorrow and Wednesday are not days I'm looking forward to. Why? Well, a doctor wants to be safe and run a special procedure on me to be sure everything is OK. What is the procedure? OK, pay close attention because I am only going to use this word once because it is such an ugly word. If you are young or easily disturbed, stop reading now. The word is "COLONOSCOPY". (Heretofore known as the "C" word).

I thought all along that I would not have to have a (C-word) until I was 50! That way me and all my aging friends could joke with and harass each other about having to have "that" done. No, I'm special. I get to have my first one when I'm 41. Oh joy.

This is all because I had some bleeding there about a month ago and they just wanna have a "look-see". A "look-see" involving a liquid diet, a gallon of intestinal "Drano", my unavoidable humiliation, and long unspeakable tools of, shall we say, "exploration?" Let me tell you, this mission to boldly go where no one has gone before is more than just a little unsettling. I wouldn't mind a bit if my "final frontier" remained a mystery a few years longer.

Anyways, tomorrow I begin an all liquid diet. Emily bought me, like, 2 GALLONS of apple juice, plus white grape juice and apple cider. Tomorrow night I have to drink 8 ounces of some potion every 10 minutes for 2 and a half hours. I doubt I'll sleep a wink (unless its sitting down if you know what I mean!)

I figured this blog is about the good, the bad and the ugly of my life, and I might as well take you along for the ride. If I didn't write anything I'd feel weird, and if I only wrote about a "private medical procedure", I'd go crazy answering all the private questions, so I'll just put my cards out there and tell you what is what.

I'm 41. I'm having a (C-word). If you don't like it, if it's "Too Much Information", then kindly read some other blog for a couple of days. I promise no graphic details and absolutely no live video streams (Ewwwww....) (OK, I think I crossed a line there, better wrap this up)

Just me, keeping it real and honest.

Peace, Love, and "The END",


"Eh, Your pikcha in da papah"

I keep getting comments from people who saw my photo and article in the Midweek. It was about the Geek Meet which happened quite some time ago! Here's a link to the article:

MidWeek: Calling All Geeks of All Kinds

Friday, June 27, 2008

Richfuel Utterz a few words from Kualoa

Mobile post sent by Richfuel using Utterz. reply-count Replies. mp3

Camping Out for Field Day

I'm not sure I'm thinking straight today.

I woke up, still sick, but I am determined to go camping tonight at Kualoa Beach Park.

My radio club, the EARC, is participating with another club, the KARC, in the biggest radio event of the year, the ARRL Field Day. This is when hams all over the world gather and make contacts over a 24 hour period. Points are awarded for all aspects of operation and equipment. Some folks take it really seriously, and some folks gather for the fun and camaraderie.

Last year I camped out with the boys and although we had fun, they weren't that into the radio side of things. It was a little hard to participate in Field Day and keep them fed and entertained. This year, since my boys weren't so hot on joining me this year, I decided to go on my own, small scale. Last night I packed up much of what I need and loaded it all into the truck. I still wasn't feeling hot, but I was hoping the next night's rest would finally kick the bug out of me.

It didn't.

I awoke this morning still feeling sick but still determined to attend and camp out. I knew if I was going camping tonight, I couldn't skip work today. So here I am at work, with a headache, making plans to get everything I still need at Safeway in Kaneohe and sleep at the park in my new Hennessey hammock-tent.

I've really been dying to field test this new tent since it arrived. I have wanted one of these Hennessey Hammocks for several years. I need to get through Safeway and get to the park with enough light in the sky to still setup my tent without a lot of difficulty. Then I can heat up a nice warm backpackers dinner and visit a little with friends. I want to get up early so I'll want to turn in early too.

So for better or for worse I'm sleeping outdoors tonight. I figure I can always abort to my truck if things go badly, and if I take a turn for the worse, I can always just drive home at any point with just my ego bruised. Hopefully this will partially fulfill the "wander-lust" that has been simmering in my soul for the last month.

More updates from the beach I hope. Look for an Utterz (cellphone audio) post sometime tonight, if there is descent cell service.

Peace, Love and "Sleeping at the Beach",


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

28 DC - Day 2 - DISASTER

Day 2 I woke up feeling terrible. At first I was just very tired, and I assumed it was just my caffeine-lessness slapping me around. It wasn't long though that I realized I wasn't just tired. I felt sick. That kinda surprised me because, although I've been fighting off a sore throat, I felt fine the night before.

I knew I had our small group tonight, so if I was going to exercise, I had to do it now. I took a very easy walk around the block and woke up enough to realize I was actually sick. I still thought I'd just shake it off though. I took some "daytime" cold tablets and kept on schedule. "Man up and take it", you know?

On the bus I sleepily listened to an audiobook, grateful that I brought a sweater. I didn't take the sweater off all day, because I never felt hot.

Luckily for me work was not too demanding and I could mostly hide at my desk and keep busy on my own. I realized my challenge goals were shot for the day, so I'm gonna suspend this effort and start again when I'm feeling better. (Set a date, say July 1?) Basically, I'm NOT gonna exercise and I am gonna emphasize sleep and rest. I'll still avoid the caffeine and pointless sugar, because way back in my head, I wonder if coming off those things affected my immunity. I don't know. I don't usually buy into all the "body toxins" rhetoric stuff. Sounds too much like those silly Kinoki Foot Pads commercials.

Anyways, I WILL accomplish this goal, as soon as I'm well again.

Peace, Love and "Pass Another Tissue Please",


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

28 Day Challenge - DAY 1

I did it!

I did all 7 items on my challenge list today. I'm aware of how easy it is to do on day 1 when my enthusiasm is high. I'm sure it will be harder come day 14 or so. You might hear me say something like "I meant 28 HOUR challenge".

I started the day at 5:00am (an hour and a half earlier than "normal") and went for a walk. Everything I read tells me to start easy and slowly build up to avoid injury. I think that is good advice, so I'll be walking for most of my "challenge". The key for me is going to bed in what I plan on running in the next morning.

After I get back it is a quick small bite to eat, vitamins, and cleaning myself up in time to make the 6:30 bus. On the bus I caught up on some reading. Lately I've been going through "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn, but it takes me forever to go through a traditional book. Hopefully the bus rides will get me through it faster.

Once in town, I called my South African friend via ham radio, then went to "This Is It" Bagels and Sandwiches for my quiet time and a bialy. I read through 2 Kings 11-12, 2 Chron 24 and 1 Tim 6.

From there I went to work and got things rolling there. It was a very quiet day so I had no problem slipping in a Sudoku to complete my mental challenge for the day. It was harder than I thought!

I also wrote my friend Peter, who I had lost touch with, and it was great to trade some news with him and let him know I still thought of him and his family.

I definitely missed my soda at lunch and the occasional visit to the vending machine during the day. In fact, by mid day I had a headache and my energy level was crashing. I guess I DID have a caffeine dependency thing going.

Lastly, when I got home, I washed all the dishes that had accumulated throughout the day and I can honestly say that as I go to bed, the sink is clean.

Whew! We do it again tomorrow. I hope I can keep going as the novelty wears off.

Pease, Love and New Patterns,


Monday, June 23, 2008

My 28 Day Challenge

It has been a while since I have taken a good long look at my lifestyle. Recently I've noticed I have been getting lazy and undisciplined. I don't like that. But when it comes down to doing something about it, I'm too lazy and undisciplined to do anything about it! Well that vicious cycle ends now. I'm gonna change a few things and here's what they are:

1. Change my attitude and self talk. I AM NOT lazy and undisciplined. I can change anything I want about my life.
Measurable goal: I will successfully accomplish 3 things on this list within 28 days.

2. I want to deepen my time in God's word every day.
Measurable goal: 30 minutes everyday undistracted with a Bible and notebook (PDA OK).

3. I want to get back on an exercise plan.
Measurable goal: 30 minutes everyday spent moving something heavy, like my body (aerobic walking) or weights (resistance).

4. I don't want any dishes in the sink when I go to bed. This is both for me and as a service for my wife.
Measurable goal: 28 days of washing dishes by 9:00pm

5. I want to be in control of what goes in my body.
Measurable goal: 28 days of no candy, no caffeine, no nutrition-less calories (sugar), no soda, eating only when hungry and stopping before I'm stuffed. Not eating when I'm not hungry, or when I'm bored or in a "creative" mode. (a bad habit). Vitamins everyday.

6. I want a daily mental challenge.
Measurable goal: Each day do a sudoku, or a crossword, or read a math textbook and do the exercises, navigation, electronics, memorization, SOMETHING that is mentally or academically stimulating.

7. I want to maintain my social relationships.
Measurable goal: I will write or telephone a different person every day for 28 days that I have not spoken with in "too long".

7 areas, 4 weeks, 28 days

The challenge begins tomorrow and the last day of the challenge will be July 21.

Any hints, tips or ideas are all welcomed!

Anybody else want to join me with their own 28 day challenge? Comment below.

Peace, Love and Healthy Challenges,


Monday, June 16, 2008

Our Guests

We are enjoying the Hickenbotham's visit! It has been great to catch up with them, bridging the gap from when they lived here 7 years ago! We are having a great time and great meals! Mmmmm.... eating too much!

Some of you may only know them from a video testimony I did years ago for mother's day. Their daughter Faith had a very rough start when she entered this world, and this testimony was a powerful one about trust in God when things don't go as expected. You can still see it here:

It was compressed a long time ago, and technology wasn't what it is today, but it is still worth your time even so.

Peace, Love and Good Friends,


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day Reflections

As I drove to church today, I was reflecting on Father's Day.

My first response was to think of my heavenly Father. I reflected on His grace and provision for me, as well as his guidance and discipline in my life. He teaches us to call him Abba, which translated basically means "Daddy", but he also wields the power and authority of the King of Kings. He exercises his power and authority not in a cruel way, but in a way that builds us up.

My thoughts then turned to my own Dad. He is a great dad! He taught me about hard work and responsibility. He took me hiking and sailing and diving all over these islands. He knew everything! He was my "Google", before there was a Google. I always felt safe with him around. He was always on my side and my protector. He fought for the best in me, even when the "enemy" was my own lazy or disrespectful attitudes. I owe so much to my dad.

Naturally, I began to think of my own parenting, my own "dadship" if you will. I care so much for my boys. I am proud of the young men they are becoming. I want them to develop and grow into the high-integrity men that God has designed them to be. I want them to know my love and my expectations are not connected. Their performance measured against my hopes for them has no bearing on how much I love them. I love them completely and totally, no matter what. Successful or not, prosperous or poor, they will always know the love of their daddy.

Which reminds me again of the love of God for us. No matter what we've done or not done, the love of our heavenly Father is assured. Even when we reject him, he never stops loving us.

We are living in times where fatherhood is under attack. Fatherlessness is rampant. The traditional family is becoming rare. No matter what kind of dad you had growing up, you've got a perfect one in Christ. Get to know your heavenly Dad, and you may be surprised someday when someone notices a resemblance!

Peace, Love and "I Love You Dad!",

(Ham radio call sign)

P.S. Don't worry Dad, you'll always be my Google! Ha Ha!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fuel Depot gets a face lift

I fussed a little with the template and, as you can tell already, have landed on a slightly fresher look for this blog.

The photo in the headliner is absolutely gorgeous! I use it as my desktop at work. It is so peaceful and serene. The only problem is... it has NOTHING to do with a fuel depot. But hey, what would you rather see, a bunch of industrial holding tanks or a peaceful boat!

Let me know what you think.

Peace, Love and a New View for You,


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Blog Roll Call" upgrade

Hi Gang,

I know a lot of you use my "Blog Roll Call" section as a launching point for catching up with mutual friends blogs.  Well "Blogger" has released a new upgrade that allows that section to have a few more features.  (Look lower right of this blog)

They will now be arranged in the order of update, with the most recently updated blog being at the top.  You'll also see the title of the most recent entry under each blog.  It makes the section a bit longer, but really easy to get caught up with recent changes.

If you know of any of our blogging buddies that aren't included, let me know and I'll add them in.

Peace Love and Updates,


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

iPhone Announced

Well it has been announced! The new 3G iPhone will be available July 11th (our anniversary!) It DOES have GPS, 3G internet connectivity and a flush-mounted headset jack. It's biggest splash may be it's price point. Only $199 for an 8GB model and $299 for the 16GB.

I think I am ready to jump in.

Emily complains about how terrible my phone sounds. She usually calls me on my office line now. I am very excited about the phone's capabilities, and what apps are going to be available for the phone in the coming remainder of the year. What does it not have? No video conferencing mentioned, same 2MP camera as before, no internal FM transmitter for playing music on nearby car stereos, and I'm unclear what it's Bluetooth capabilities are and whether it can play music through a wireless bluetooth headsets, or serve as a 3G modem for my mac.

There is also a new service being announced. It is called MobileMe. Because we are .Mac users we are being automatically upgraded. It provides all the linking and syncing capabilities to keep the iPhone, our home macs, and even my work PC always updated, automatically. It looks really cool.

For more about the 3G iPhone, click here.

For more about the MobileMe service, click here.

Peace, Love and iPhone anticipation,


Thursday, June 05, 2008

Pacific Club

Yesterday, I was graciously offered to join my family for lunch at the Pacific Club in downtown Honolulu. We were celebrating my niece's 6th grade graduation, and her family are members there. After lunch they were going to enjoy the pool.

I arrived on time and greeted and hugged everyone as we were waiting for our table. I was already looking forward to the smoked salmon sandwich I saw in the "Specials" board.

There was some discussion up front, and we were led to a corner table where I was motioned to sit in a specific place. I was planning to have my children sit on opposite sides of me (to keep them on best manners) and we indicated that to our host, but they were indicating
a different arrangement. I think Emily said, "If it's no problem we're going to have Rich sit in the middle". As I was sitting down I heard "There IS a problem. You're wearing jeans."

In that instant, I saw it all. No one else there was wearing denim. We were sitting in the corner-most table, and me and my boys were sitting in the corner-most seats. Quickly, we scooted in all the way under the table cloth and put our napkins strategically on our laps.
I was so embarrassed. I could feel my ears turning red. Here we are at a wonderful place to focus on and celebrate my niece's accomplishment, and because I wore jeans, we are routed to an outer-table, and a very uncomfortable "air" settled over our party. I wanted to scurry away, or turn invisible, or suddenly receive an emergency call from work and excuse myself. My addition to the lunch was sort of a last minute offer and in that moment, I wished I had
not accepted. I worried that perhaps plans had been made for a special table, but because of my attire, we had to sit elsewhere.

What can you do but muddle through in situations like that? I glued my butt down under the table cloth, tried to make some light conversation, and really did enjoy the meal and the company. It was all very good, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I had diluted the celebration.

When the meal was over, I thanked our host, said bye to my family, then quietly stood and slipped out, down some stairs at the back of the dining room, around the pool and workout area and out to the parking lot.

I pulled out and finally relaxed a little as I drove back to work (a little late).

A quick check of the Pacific Club website reveals that there is a very clear dress code and I really wish I had checked before I left home in the morning.

Peace, Love and Dress Codes,


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Working weekend

This was a busy weekend for me. I got up Saturday and worked all morning in the front yard. Now it looks nice again. I took a break during the hottest part of the day, and then went in back to do the back yard. It still needs work. I set up video for church and pretty much came home exhausted. I checked in to the net and called it a night.

Today I got up early for church and had a great time serving. I got to REALLY talk with Mike, my ministry partner today, and get to know him more and learn about the things going on in his life and family. That was great.

After lunch I did get a nice nap in, before I went out to work on the mobile tracker in my truck. I wanted to wire it into the 12v system, so I no longer have to worry about changing batteries. It ended up being totally different than the way I thought it was going to end up, but it works and I'm happy.

Emily is out tonight at a meeting and the boys have been playing World of Warcraft all evening long. The parental controls I set up are going to kick in soon and they will be booted off the system. Hee hee... (evil parental laugh)

Peace Love and Busy Weekends,