Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Cool Idea

Sometimes I get machinery design magazines at work that have some cool ideas in them.

This is no exception... check out SkySails.

Like the kids say "Old School is New School"

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

Today I have been married to my best friend for fourteen years!

Here is fourteen random reasons I love my wife:

  1. She loves the Lord
  2. She loves me
  3. She is a great mother to our children
  4. She laughs at my jokes
  5. She is an amazing cook
  6. She is a beautiful woman
  7. She makes me laugh
  8. She is very intellegent
  9. She is organized and disciplined
  10. She is diligent in all she does
  11. She is a great friend to me and others
  12. My family loves her
  13. She loves a good book
  14. She loves my chocolate chip cookies

Here's to us and another fourteen years. I couldn't ask for a better partner in life. Thanks for loving and supporting me.

I am proud to be your husband and best friend.

I'll love you always Kathi.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Chasing After The Wind!

I am reading through Ecclesiastes. There was no particular reason I picked this book. Maybe it was a nudging from the Spirit. Not really sure.

At first I thought that it would depress me with all the talk of meaninglessness and the like. But I have found it to be very uplifting. Here are some of my favorites:

3:11 "God makes everything happen at the right time. Yet none of us can ever fully understand all he has done, and he puts questions in our minds about the past and the future." CEV - This gives me hope.

6:9 "It's better to enjoy what we have than to always want something else, because that makes no more sense than chasing the wind." CEV - I need to strive for contentment.

7:19 "Wisdom will make you stronger than the ten most powerful leaders in your city." CEV

7:26 "Here is what I discovered: A bad woman is worse than death. She is a trap, reaching out with body and soul to catch you. But if you obey God, you can escape. If you don't obey, you are done for." CEV - makes me glad I married a good one ;-)

8:16-17 "Day and night I went without sleep, trying to understand what goes on in this world. I saw everything God does, and I realized that no one can really understand what happens. We may be very wise, but no matter how much we try or how much we claim to know, we cannot understand it all."CEV

9:7-10 "Be happy and enjoy eating and drinking! God decided long ago that this is what you should do. Dress up, comb your hair, and look your best. Life is short, and you love your wife, so enjoy being with her. This is what you are supposed to do as you struggle though life on this earth. Work hard at whatever you do. Youu will soon go to the world of the dead, where no one works or thinks or reasons or knows anything."CEV

11:13-14 "Everything you were taught can be put into a few words: Respect and obey God! This is what life is all about. God will judge everything we do, even what is done in secret, whether good or bad."CEV - A great way to end the book.

While reading this book I feel as if the author knows me and knows my thoughts. It was written thousands of years ago and man has not changed. The same thoughts and struggles Solomon was dealing with are the same thoughts and struggles people deal with today. The key to this is in verse 15 of chapter 3 "Everything that happens has happened before, and all that will be has already been- God does everything over and over again."

God remains the same yesterday, this day, and tomorrow. What a comfort that is. Life is short, enjoy it knowing that God is in control.

Friday, May 19, 2006

New Tunes to Check Out!

Check out...

found via... Blogstar

Not new but classic... Holy Soldier

The Road... sounds like the lead singer of The Barenaked Ladies singing a Big Daddy Weave style song... would like to hear more... this was a random myspace find

SonKissed... love the intro to "Tomorrow" any thing with the sax just rocks... another random myspace find

Candlefuse... good stuff found on

I've just heard snippets of these bands (except Holy Soldier, which I own all the albums) but like what I hear. I love to search the net for new sounds... I encourage you to do the same if you like music. There is some great undiscovered bands out there.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Happy Birthday Alex!


Happy fifth birthday buddy! You gotta stop growing so fast. I am going to really miss these days of picking you up and tossing you around and carrying you on my shoulder and wrestling.

I love your spirit. You are a funny little guy with amazing amounts of joy inside of you. God has truly blessed me with a boy after my own heart and I thank him everyday for you. I look forward to the years to come.

!..! ROCK N' ROLL !..!

With all my love,


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Happy Birthday Brianna!


Today is your ninth birthday. Wow! Time flies fast. It seems like yesterday I was holding you in my arms for the first time. You have come along way from the little wrinkly baby I saw for the first time nine years ago.

It has been a great nine years. What a joy it has been to watch you grow into the beautiful little girl you are today. I am as proud of you as any parent can be. God has really blessed my life with you and I thank Him for you constantly. I look forward to the years to come.

I hope today is a special day for you.

With all my love,


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Walk for the Homeless

Today my family and our good friends the Villas participated in a charity walk for the homeless in Portland. The walk was put on by the Portland Rescue Mission and sponsored by some local businesses. We could not have asked for a better day, it was sunny and cool in the morning and warmed up as the day went on and I've got the sunburn to prove it. This was the first charity walk put on by this organization. As successful as it was I'm sure it won't be the last.

The walk consisted of two miles through beautiful downtown Portland. We started at Pioneer Courthouse Square and headed south to the park blocks and Portland State. There we hit the crowd at the Portland Farmers Market and plowed right through. That was a little awkward. Many of the shoppers appear bewildered at the sudden surge of people.

Along the way we talked and laughed, but mostly we corralled the kids. You know kids, they need to climb through and on anything and everything. If it was up to them the walk would have taken all day instead of an hour.

Then it was east through the lovely apartments and parks to head back to the Square where it all began.

Back at the square they announced the prizes for the highest sponsorship and the grand total. The event raised over $52,000 for the Rescue Mission. One girl who looked about 10 raise over $1,000 in sponsorship. Impressive. Once the financial were done we were treated to a concert by Rescue, a local accapella group. They were pretty good.

For those of you who sponsored either me, my wife or one of my kids we thank you. For those that feel jipped that we didn't ask and you are thinking it would have been nice to have been part of this, guess what? It's not too late, just click here.

After the walk we walked some more. We headed to the Saturday Market and then down to the water front. All in all a great day to be out and about. Thank God for the sunshine it was great.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

30 Sugar-Free Days

Today is day 31. No sugar, that is processed sugar, for 30 days.

Was it easy? In a certain way it was. Am I running to the candy jar? By no means. My intention is to limit my intake from here forward. I've lost a couple pounds over the last month which is a beneficial side effect of not eating sugar laden sweets. But the true benefit is that I have proven to myself that I am not a slave to the sweets. Sugar does not own this boy.

Tonight as a celebratory act I will be making some chocolate chip cookies. A modified Toll House recipe that I have been using for years. It's all about the butter... if the butter is just right the cookies come out perfect.

Next... cutting out TV for a month. Now that is a challenge. I am cheating a little because I refuse to start unit this seasons shows have ended. And I haven't decided if this will include movie rentals.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Welcome Colton

Welcome to the world Colton Gately!

Born today at about 12:30pm.

I'll see you tomorrow.

~Uncle Brian

PS. Congrats Kevin and Julie and big brother Cade
What if?
What if we were all the same?
What if we all drove the same car?
What if we all liked the same food?
What if we all had the same hair color?
What if we all thought the same things are funny?
What if we all had the same favorite vacation spots?
What if we all looked like Brad Pitt or Angelina?
What if we all had the same favorite color?
What if we all like the same clothes?
What if we all loved the LA Angels?
What if we were all the same?
What if?


Thank God for diversity!


Thank Him.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Oprah or Osteen?

This is a funny link... or sad... depending on how you see it.

Try to match the quote to Oprah or Osteen. I didn't do too well.

Where've You Been?

I don't consider myself much of a traveler. My wife found this cool little mapping thing so I thought I'd do it too. You can see hers at Just Visiting Here. Sad to say that a number of these states were just drive throughs but I counted them just the same.

My favorite state is my adopted home state of Oregon. If you haven't been here come, see, visit and then leave... that is the motto of the state. We have a lot of Califoregonians that are taking over. Okay so I happen to be the son of one but that makes me an involuntary usurper... right? California sucked me away for 10 years with its Hollywood glamour, nice beaches, and In-n-Out burgers but Oregon accepted me back just the same.

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

My country visitation list is even more pathetic. Seriously... just check this out.

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

If I ever hit it big, retire early, or win the big lotto I'll buy an RV and tour the country Clark Griswald style, or see the world Bond style. A married Bond that is and one that prefers Scotch over Martini's, dry not wet. If I was on the Amazing Race the world would be red... I call that seeing the world Phil style.

Happy trails.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Customer Service Anyone?

Sir, may I help you? How can I serve you today? Is there anything I can do to make your stay any better? Would you like that to go? Is everything tasting good today?


Hang on while I get somebody... I am on break. Sorry, but we don't do refunds. No that is not included in the advertised special... you need to read the fine print. Sir, there are people waiting in line for a seat are you almost done?

Customer service. We are all familiar with it, both the good and the bad. I am one who is hyper-sensative to it. Why? Because it is what I have done since I got my first official job delivering newspapers for the Tigard Times.

I've worked retail, I've been a product rep, I've been a missionary, and now I am one of the forefront voices for a manufacturer in a tough industry. In retail I've sold clothes, donuts, gas & beer & cigarettes, shoes, cameras, text books, gadgets, and numerous other things. Throughout my experience I have learned the right and wrong on how to treat people and react to situations. But the key to my education on how to treat people came from my parents. As a child they drilled into my being the Golden Rule. I know you all know it... "treat others how you want to be treated." It is by this rule that I observe, judge, and rate those that provide me with customer service. And it is how I treat those that I deal with at work on a daily basis.

So this all boils down to my reason for this post. Lately I have made an observation about one industry that has consistently good customer service. Coffee shops. Consistent, excellent, top quality customer service. One of my favorite stops is Sip City in Newberg, the city in which I work. This is a locally owned drive up shop located in the parking lot of an auto parts store. The ladies that work this shop are great. Most know me as a regular, call me by name, and often have my 20 oz. latte ready by the time I make it through the line of cars. Lately they have had some new people join the team, which at first made me nervous, but then I am comforted by one of the veterans peeking through the window and pointing me out as one of their best customers. Don't get me wrong... I don't go everyday... but barely once a week... yet I am "one of their best customers". Those are just the right words to make me feel valued and appreciated, not taken for granted. Great work ladies.

It doesn't seem to matter if I am at Sip City, Dutch Bros., any given Starbucks, or a local coffee shop in any city, the customer service is top notch. I am given my choice of coffee with a quick, smart conversation and a sure smile. The few times I've complained about my coffee not tasting right or being too cool it has been quickly remedied with a new cup with out question or hesitation. That is great service.

Thank you mom and dad for instilling in me the golden rule as I am doing likewise with my children. It is better to kill somebody with kindness than to shoot them with a dirty look.

To all you brave people in the service industries I salute you. And I beg you to heed the Golden Rule as you approach your boss... the customer.