Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Routine Random Ramblings

I finally have some new pictures from several recent events posted on our family web page. You can check them out here: http://www.thelomonacofamily.com/pictures.html, under the "2008 Events" column.

I've been listening to a great series about spiritual warfare after another blogger recommended it. It's from a church in Seattle called Mars Hill, and it is some crazy stuff. Maybe it won't surprise you and maybe it will. Heck, maybe you won't believe the stories, but I for one do. http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/spiritual-warfare. Highly recommend.

This is an interesting commentary from Pat Buchanan about the media's double standard for politics: http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=78921

I used to go daily to a website called Parents Behaving Badly. The stories are often horrific and it's not uncommon for me to get both angry and a little watery eyed when reading them. But besides depressing myself, I make it a point to pray for the people in each of the stories. Since they haven't had an update since June though, I started to go to Bad Breeders instead. Unfortunately, there has been no shortage of stories there lately. If you're a Christian reading this blog, I encourage you to check it out if you can stomach it (no gore, just sorrow), and pray for people (both the kids and the parents) in the stories.

Adam Sandler's new movie "You Don't Mess With the Zohan" was pretty funny, even if it did almost completely revolve around sex with old ladies and had entirely too much screen time of his naked arse.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Last Night

Last night was the last class in a series that Amanda and I have been taking called Love and Logic.

I think we were already pretty good parents (who doesn't though), and our kids are really well-behaved (everyone who watches them affirms this). But this parenting class gave us a few really good additional tools and approaches that I am absolutely certain will help us out over the course of the next 18 - 20 years of child rearing.

They offered some small ideas that could make big differences not only in how conflicts are handled but also in the training of our kids to eventually become capable, self-sufficient adults. I highly recommend this class to any parents.


On a different note, there is a man in the class who I found out is an MMA fighter and trains at Marinobles, which is the gym that I go to once in a great while. But last night I noticed he was walking a little stiffly, like he was sore and/or in pain. And I couldn't help but be a little jealous.

That's right, jealous. MAN, I miss that feeling. I LOVE that feeling - of being sore and in pain from sparring. Of being bruised and battered, but also strangely purified in a way, like Proverbs 20:30 states. Or maybe it's manified. You've tested your will and your body, and whether you win or lose it's the act of voluntarily testing yourself that feels good.

It's been a while, but Monday evening I'm planning on going to Marinobles again. So thanks for the unintentional inspiration Rick. My lazy butt needed it.


I tried my second energy drink ever last night - Monster. The first was a low-carb Full Throttle that had a helluva nasty after taste. The Monster had a much better flavor and similar kick to it. I probably only drank 1/3 of it though, just enough to keep me attentive through the class.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Men's Retreat Results

Last weekend I attended a men's retreat at our church. The 14 of us camped at Sycamore Ranch campground from Friday to Saturday afternoon.

It was great to be in the outdoors, especially this time of year. And while there were other people at the campground, the park was spacious and spread out enough that our group could be all by ourselves. I had brought my own small tent too, so I didn't have to listen to snoring next to my ear or step over anyone to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.

The majority of the retreat was spent in fellowship hanging around the campfire - talking, joking, and eating. But we also had a brief study led by our pastor, Brad. The best part of the retreat though, spiritually speaking, was having solitude time on Saturday.

The idea was to find an isolated spot and spend an hour and a half by ourselves. Since I didn't have a watch though, my pastor was going to whistle when the time was up. Well, I found a spot that was probably the furthest away out of the group, down an embankment by the edge of a nearby river.

The weather was beautiful, so I took off my shirt and shoes, wrote in my journal a bit, prayed, thought, reflected, and observed God's creation that was all around me. After a while, I started to get a bit restless though, so I decided to move a little closer to the direction of the campground, just for a change of scenery. Not too much later I heard my name being called, and I looked back to see Brad waving his hands from the path toward the campground.

Realizing the time was up, I began to head back. As I approached him, has asked me "You do realize it's been 2 and a half hours, right?" Actually, no - I had no idea. It did seem like a long time, but since I have never had solitude time like that before, I thought that it could have only been 15 minutes but still have seemed like a lot longer.

So I had 2.5 hours of time with just myself and God. And I never did find out if Brad had forgotten to whistle or if I just didn't hear him.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Thoughts About CA's Prop 8 (the marriage amendment)

I have been in favor of Proposition 8 from the beginning, but admittedly not passionate about it at all. I think Hollywood and society's mockery of marriage does more to damage our family structure and to the institution of marriage than homosexuals do. And the Libertarian in me thinks that if two consenting adults want to get together then that's their business, even if it isn't a preference of mine.

But I also know that clearly God doesn't like homosexual relationships period, and encouraging them is definitely not what I want either. My friend Nathan sent me a link to a YouTube video that helped solidify and encourage my opinion on the matter though. You can check it out here:

The video is pretty simple, straightforward, and explanatory. It demonstrated how legalizing gay marriages can potentially affect my life and my kids' by showing some of the cases that are occurring in Massachusetts as a result of legalizing gay marriage there.

At first I thought that since California is a predominantly liberal state, failure for the proposition is more or less a predetermined outcome. But my friend Tyler reminded me that the voters did pass Proposition 22 in 2000 (by 61%, but the CA Supreme Court decided it was unconstitutional).

Since California is such a large and somewhat influential state, if this passes then it can make a big difference not only for our state, but also possibly nationwide. So I'm enthusiastically voting yes for proposition 8.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Meeting Minutes

The great thing about being in a meeting where 90% of what is discussed doesn't pertain to you is that it gives you time to think about random stuff (and doodle too). Today I decided to write some of the random stuff down on paper. And sometimes these random thoughts lead to interesting realizations...

I realized that the majority of Amanda and my fun as a couple consists of reading, watching The Office, and having sex. As much fun as these three things are, that's pretty limited! Amanda and I only go out together maybe once every couple of months at best, and that's only because we trade babysitting duties with another couple so each of us can take a turn on a date night.

I remember before we had kids how we would go out all of the time, to see movies, walk around at an outdoor shopping plaza, walk around downtown, play pool, and whatever else we could think of to do. Now, I would be happy just to go out to see a freakin' movie once in a while. Sure, we have plenty of fun as a family (going to the park, the zoo, playing with toys, reading books to the kids, etc). But very rarely as a couple.

I just had another realization. It's very rare that our whole family all plays together, except on Sundays. More often than not it's one of us parents playing with the two kids, while the other one is cooking, cleaning the kitchen, doing a chore, checking email, etc. I guess that's proof that God knew what He was doing when He instituted the whole Sabbath idea - to make sure we purposefully set aside a whole day to all be together as a family.

I miss being with other friends too! It seems the only time we are with other people is either at church, a Bible study, or at a kids' birthday party. I want to just sit around and hang out with friends, maybe have a beer, and/or play a board game without interruption from little ones needing attention.

Well, that's all the whining I'll do tonight. Don't worry though, there will be more soon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Why Sac-town is Better than O-town.

I started this a while ago, but just never got around to publishing it. Recently though, someone who we know from Florida (but now lives elsewhere) mentioned having a potential opportunity to move to the area asked me what I like about it. So here is the answer.

For all of you who live in the Orlando area, I apologize for criticizing your hometown. Maybe to be fair I'll also post a blog soon about the things that are better in O-town, although don't be surprised if it is much shorter.
  • Climate:
    • We actually encounter seasons, with colors changing in the Fall (the leaves are just starting to turn colors now), and lots of blooming in the Spring. While the Winter is chilly, it's not brutal (no snow/ice). Summers are as hot as O-town, but with...
    • ...No humidity!
    • The temperature drops 20-30 degrees at night, making Summer evenings much more enjoyable.
    • The weather is much more predictable. If the forecast says it isn't going to rain, you can reliably leave the top down on a convertible.
  • Nature and Sightseeing:
    • A large variety of foliage (not just Oaks, Pines, and Palms).
    • The topography rises in three directions (North, East, West).
    • Flowing water vs stagnant water. Florida has an abundance of lakes. Here though, rivers and small streams are much more common, probably because of the runoff from all around us.
    • Plenty of trails and parks, both locally and regionally.
    • The ocean to the West.
    • Snowboarding/skiing to the East (Tahoe).
    • We can get in the car and drive in any direction to see something interesting and new. Not that Florida doesn't have things to see, but because it's a peninsula, you're much more limited to how far you can go and what you can find.
  • Sports:
    • NFL : 49ers. Raiders
    • NBA : Kings
    • MLB : Giants, A's, River Cats
    • NHL : Sharks
    • Arena Football : Sabre Cats
    • People here seem to have more passion for the home teams, perhaps because the population isn't as diverse in its origin (in Florida, almost everyone was born elsewhere, then moved South). For example, River Cats games are almost always packed, even though they're a minor league team.
  • People:
    • Stronger sense of community here, probably in part because of the large population of tourists and snowbirds in Central FL.
    • Both have similarly conservative political climates (inland anyway).
    • Both are similarly friendly and family oriented.
  • The City:
    • OK, the downtown area of Orlando is much cooler for single people, with a much better centralized strip of bars, clubs, restaurants, etc. than the city of Sacramento. I'll grant it that much. Lake Eola is pretty nice too.
    • But then again, our downtown area is much more family friendly, because of the following, right in the heart of downtown and within walking distance of each other:
      • A really impressive Capital building, not to mention the extensive and impressive park land that surrounds it.
  • Misc:
    • The traffic here is nowhere near as bad as Orlando. It is extremely rare for me to be stuck at a light for more than one cycle. Sure, the main highway (I-80) can get a little slow during rush hour, but it's leaps and bounds better than I-4. Not only that , but carpooling solves the problem almost completely, because there is a separate carpool lane for the busier parts of the highway, and they take it seriously here (very few violators).

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Trying to Concentrate, and Not to Laugh

Last week at work, I arrived for the day and did a double take. My boss had gotten a new haircut - and while he's always had longer hair, he now has it nice and short everywhere - everywhere that is, except for the back. So it's a perfect mullet!

What makes it so surprising is that this is a man whom I respect. He's a pretty good boss, a genuinely nice guy, has a cute family with 4 kids, and he's really smart too. So what gives? It's like a big, muscular, hairy dude wearing a Richard Simmons outfit every day - it's wrong under normal circumstances, but this takes it to a whole nutha' level!

Since he and I are working on a project together we were talking a lot about it during the day. But I was so distracted by his hilarious hair that I sometimes had a difficult time concentrating on what he was saying. I really had to restrain myself from at least just asking him "Have you ever heard of the term mullet?". Or perhaps mumbling under my breath the phrase "Business in the front, party in the back. " "What was that?" "Oh, nothing.", then repeat later.

I have heard that there are some tattoo artists who will refuse to give you ink on your face, simply because they know that it will completely screw up your life (socially, economically, etc). And while a haircut isn't as drastic by any means - Ron, if you're reading this, I love you man, but - you need to find a new barber, one that cares enough about you to just say no to the mullet.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Pieces of Politics

I have talked to several people of the liberal political persuasion who have criticized Sarah Palin's lack of international experience, as well as questioning whether being the Governor of a state with such a low population makes her qualified to be the Vice President of our nation.

To this I have come up with the following question - Before he became president, wasn't Bill Clinton the Governor of Arkansas? And isn't he arguably the most loved Democrat President of this generation?


This is a pretty interesting and informative video:
counter stats