Took a lot of pictures this evening from Rosslyn and Washington. Still trying to get the perfect artsy DC photos to hang in my office. Not convinced that I’m there yet, but still enjoyed a beautiful evening out and about. Photography is definitely one way that I worship. Also gotta love being minutes from the nation’s capital.

By Chris, 23. September 2008, 23:01 o'clock

Had an awesome time last night with the G703 leadership talking about prayer and, more importantly, praying. Definitely looking forward to being part of what God is going to do this year!

Now to him who is able to do more than we can ask or even imagine to him be the power in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 3:20-21

By Chris, 11. September 2008, 07:11 o'clock
The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight

Back in 2005, I wrote about Batman Begins, which truly blew me away. I left believing that I could be Batman. Ever since seeing the trailer for The Dark Knight a couple of months ago, I’ve been waiting to see the next installation in the series. Finally made it out Friday night. A week since the release, yet the showing was still sold out. I would have rather seen it in IMAX, but didn’t want to wait at least another week to get tickets.

The movie didn’t disappoint. If it doesn’t win best picture this year, I’ll be shocked. Outstanding acting. Great story. Plot twists. A seat gripper for the full 2.5 hours. The movie is open for a sequel, but I have to say that I don’t think it should get one. I can’t picture anyone but Heath Ledger as The Joker and can’t picture a sequel without The Joker. Hollywood, if you make a sequel, please do Heath’s memory proud.

As I’ve become quite a fan of Netflix, I probably won’t buy the DVD. But I suspect that I’ll see this movie again. And I’m going to rewatch Batman Begins.

By Chris, 27. July 2008, 20:55 o'clock

I’ve updated this site to the latest version of WordPress (the software I run), which also meant updating my gallery software, most of my WordPress plugins, and fixing a corrupted table in my WordPress database.  But now I’m up to date!

My main incentive for getting all up to date was to enable mobile blogging on my iPod Touch.  You say, “can’t you just email yourself posts and add them later?”  Yes, I could.  But the simplicity of just being able to get posts set up exactly how I want them from offline is the Holy Grail in mobile blogging.  Expect to hear from me more frequently.

By Chris, 27. July 2008, 20:39 o'clock

I’m currently in Jacksonville doing training sessions for work. After training today, I made it out to Jacksonville Beach and then enjoyed the downtown riverfront at night. Today, I’ll share some beach pictures.

Jacksonville Beach Jacksonville Beach Jacksonville Beach Jacksonville Beach

By Chris, 14. May 2008, 21:47 o'clock

I live in a town. In Virginia, towns are located inside counties and are below the county level of government. It appears that Fairfax county (which contains 3 towns and roughly 21,000 voters – ~1 million total county population) requires all town candidates to run as independents. I was planning to vote in the Vienna election today, but I logged on to find out about the candidates. I like the mayor, but didn’t know anything about the council members. This is what I found:

Town of Vienna

Sample Ballot**

Mayor

Registered Voters – 10,703

M. Jane Seeman 600 Blackstone Terrace, NW Vienna, VA 22180 janehome1@cox.net

Town Council (Elect three)

Laurie Genevro Cole 706 Spring Street, SE Vienna, VA 22180 lgcole-vienna@cox.net
Edythe Frankel Kelleher 706 Park Street, SE Vienna, VA 22180 efrank01@yahoo.com
Michael J. Polychrones 1411 Patrick Circle, SW Vienna, VA 22180 polychrones@verizon.net

Polling Location:

Vienna Community Center 120 Cherry Street, S.E., Vienna, VA 22180

I think it’s safe to sit this one out.

By Chris, 5. May 2008, 23:11 o'clock

You call a plumber for an estimate on some work and they refer you to another plumber.

The main sewer line in my house needs replacing.  It’s going to be an expensive job, so I’m trying to be an intelligent homeowner and get some quotes on the work.  I’ve been told by a commercial contractor what the job “should” cost, and the only company that has come through on an estimate wants essentially double that.  Ouch.

By Chris, 25. April 2008, 11:35 o'clock

VT HopeIt’s been a year. It feels so far away, yet it could have been yesterday. The day that my quiet little town of Blacksburg became the center of the world.

From the first I heard – a phone call from my sister saying that something had gone terribly wrong in her dorm – blood everywhere, it seemed unreal. Nothing in the news yet. The suspense was unsettling. Surely something that had my sister so upset would be at least mentioned in the news. Finally, an email. “A shooting incident occurred at West Amber Johnston earlier this morning. Police are on the scene and are investigating.” I never knew so many words could say so little. Perfectly written PR mumbo jumbo. Still nothing in the news.

I’m still not sure what to think when another email arrives. The composure of the first email long gone. The subject was “PLease stay put” with a brief panick-stricken message: “A gunman is loose on campus. Stay in buildings until further notice. Stay away from all windows”. This is not just a shooting incident. God, what is going on?

The day brings back memories of September 11, 2001. A day spent in shock. The pentagon, less than nine miles from where I sat in high school, was the victim of terrorism. I had studied terror, but it was something that happened overseas. This was America after all. In much the same way, I sat in my black office chair staring at the computer screen. Continually pressing the refresh button to see what was going on. Reading news coverage from hundreds of miles away about events going on just blocks from where I was sitting. It seemed the number of the dead just kept rising. First it was one, then four, soon 14, finally rising to 32. The worst massacre in the history of the nation was unfolding in the kind of town you came to in order to escape senseless killings.

As I joined others to reflect that evening, emotions ran raw. There was a lot of crying, even more hugging, and certainly a lot of praying. Still, the whole thing felt artificial, like a movie. Was this really happening? My connections to those who were confirmed dead were limited – just friends of friends. Which kept me somewhat insulated from the events. Don’t get me wrong: I was very glad that my friends were safe. But things still felt unreal. I was able to help support those who were hurting, but I hadn’t grieved for me yet.

A couple days after the massacre – I don’t remember exactly when – everything came together for me. I was looking at more news, watching campuses from across the nation overflow with Hokie spirit. The only way you can understand Hokie spirit is if you spend some time in Blacksburg. It’s something that goes beyond sports and school loyalty. Something I’ve never felt anywhere else, and I’ve been on a lot of college campuses. It was amazing to see the whole country get caught up in a glimpse of this spirit. But the one thing that did it was when I saw a picture that would come to mean more to me than any others over the coming months.

The picture was simple. Not something that you’d want on your living room wall. A picture of a storied bridge two hours up the road. The Beta Bridge in Charlottesville, home of The University of Virginia. One place where Hokies usually aren’t welcome, even though that’s more trash talk than truth. When I saw this picture, I lost it. I cried all those tears that the previous few days had stored up in me. If Hokie spirit can touch UVA, truly anything is possible. I can’t even explain exactly why this picture gets to me, but I still tear up today when I see it.

Beta Bridge

As I grieved and continued to do my best to meet people where they were at, things started to change. I have never felt such a palpable spiritual change in my life. We had seen evil. On that day, there was no denying that evil exists in the world. An evil so dark that we can’t explain it. But what we saw after that is that there is a God who has overcome evil who is in the world. As people started to return to the new normal, people came together. People who had wanted nothing to do with God were suddenly seeing God in the midst of tragedy. The people of God came together and prayed. And on those days God poured out his blessings on us because we simply asked.

Less than two weeks later, many groups from across campus came together to declare that we truly are all here because we’re all needed parts of the body of Christ. A powerful night when many people were finally able to experience true worship again. I will never forget standing on the side of that hill in the heart of downtown Blacksburg where we sang these always powerful words that will never be the same to me again.

Savior he can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever, author of salvation
He died and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

Those words were challenging at first to sing on that crisp spring evening. And sometimes they still are. I teared up every time I heard this song even during the summer.

As I reflect on the massacre a year later, I remind myself that evil is very real in this world, but I know a God who has conquered evil and the grave for eternity.

By Chris, 15. April 2008, 23:24 o'clock

I was in the west wing of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

By Chris, 3. January 2008, 21:12 o'clock

So this past Thursday was my company’s Christmas party. As part of our bonus, we all received an iPod Touch. I still love my black 5th generation 60gig iPod. Too much music for the Touch. But being able to blog or surf anywhere with wifi sure is cool. Still getting used to the screen keyboard, but I think this will make me one cool PDA.

By Chris, 16. December 2007, 22:18 o'clock