Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


Go Irish!

The 2007 college football season ensues tomorrow for the Irish, and until now, I've been quiet on the issue, content to merely gather and read what others are saying. I'm excited about this season, even optimistic. Last year at this time, a lot of the talk seemed just that -- talk -- while there were hushed, almost fearful whispers about several key issues. The offensive line wasn't looking very strong, the team didn't seem very fast, and depth was a concern.

All of these hushed whispers turned into loud groans about halfway through the first quarter of the Michigan contest.

Fast-forward to the last day of August, and the whispers are no more. Sure, the Irish have lost some of their most celebrated and, statistically-speaking, accomplished players in their storied history. But what of it? The offensive line, while not laden with the "experience" of last year's starting five, are bigger, stronger, deeper, and more talented. The defensive backfield is faster, deeper, and more talented. The running backs? All five of the guys are quality backs, and all of them will see significant playing time, unlike last year. Freshman are going to see the field, but mainly because they're talented, and not just because the upperclassmen are entirely inept. Sure, there are still reasons for skepticism, as the defensive line is lacking a behemoth at nose guard, much less a backup for their starter, and the linebacking corps does not yet have the benefit of two solid recruiting classes at linebacker to provide the talent and depth their new 3-4 defense requires.

But you know what? I'm fine with all of that. The pundits aren't expecting much on the field from the Irish this year, as nobody has pegged them as being Top-25 material. Nor, for that matter, should they. Charlie Weis and company haven't proven jack squat on the field this year, and everything that was done in the past two years was done with the help of a guy now donning a jersey for the Cleveland Browns.

I don't necessarily expect a whole lot in the W column this season, but I do expect to be pleasantly surprised by the guys whose names aren't known by people who don't follow all things Irish. What's more, I do expect that those names, the names that I've been following for years now, will not only be well-known, but also loved and loathed with the same passion and vehemence that I've come to expect for those who don the golden helmets.

Aaahhh...kickoff is just around the corner...

...and I'll be playing the inaugural game as the captain of my frisbee team.


Go Irish!

posted by Bolo | 10:27 PM
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Nasally Speaking

The whole nose-size thing was blown way out of proportion.


Figuratively, too.

posted by Bolo | 10:41 AM
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posted by Bolo | 3:27 PM
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If Peter is the New Guy, what are we going to name the new guy? That Ethiopian Sidamo is way, way, way too delicious for my safety or sanity. What happens when I run out? Seriously, Mon, rotate the pics before you upload 'um! Even though Glen Moore was declared a mooch today, what made it noteworthy was that I was the moochee! We lost our league game tonight, but I think that was due to a lack of chemistry on our part, for which I mostly blame the setter. I don't think Andy will ever get Karen lunch. Wait, I'm our setter, aren't I? If the score of the Scrabble game is 164 - 35 after two turns apiece, I guess I don't blame her for not really wanting to play it out. Since Mon finally updated her blog, I've come to a conclusion: cute never gets old or goes out of style. Smythe and I managed to have breakfast together without a single signature Smythe moment. There's no flippin' way Stephen really hit that pen. Ok, maybe he did, but I only believe him 'cause he claimed that Szrama pitched it and Mantooth caught it on the fly, and both of them backed up the story. Bedtime.

posted by Bolo | 12:25 PM
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I'm not responsible for what happened to Szrama's truck.

No, really, I'm not!

posted by Bolo | 6:32 PM
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Who's the Mooch?

Glen wanted coffee, so Glen sent Sunshine over from the other office to get coffee from me. As I handed the thermos to her, Sunshine declared with negligent distaste, "He's such a mooch!"

Did you hear that, ladies and gentlemen? She wasn't talking about me!

posted by Bolo | 11:49 AM
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Ow. I. Am. Sore. And. It. Is. Morning.


posted by Bolo | 8:45 AM
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posted by Bolo | 10:39 PM
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I got back to my desk yesterday afternoon and found that my coworkers had left me a little nameplate for my desk. I think it looks a little tacky, but I won't be picky.

The jerks :)

posted by Bolo | 8:32 AM
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Three batches of Brazilian coffee, sitting in the pan and cooling. One batch of Honduran sitting in two pans on top of the pan with the Brazilian. They're waiting to be bagged, the Brazilian in one, the Honduran in another. What do I do?

Dump the Honduran beans into the pan with the Brazilian beans.

Flippin' genius, I tell you.

posted by Bolo | 10:49 PM
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More Stuff

posted by Bolo | 5:14 PM
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Ugh. 'Tis morning, and it snuck up on me.

posted by Bolo | 8:50 AM
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Questions, Answers

I find myself asking a lot of questions these days. To be clear, this is nothing new, but what is new is the frequency with and circumstances in which I am doing the questioning. I suppose another way of looking at this is to say that I'm reevaluating everything. Questions abound, and they do so without granting quarter: Why did I do what I just did? How am I doing what I'm doing? Why did I do it that way? Why am I prone to doing it this way rather than that way? What are my desires in this? Was I being selfish when I thought that, did this? Am I being selfish now? Where in God's Word do I find a mandate for doing this? How close to the gospel is this teaching? I know that Christ is enough, but how is He enough?

I suppose it's fair to say that I try to see things from different angles, from unique perspectives. Always have, truth be told. A Floridian Friend of mine once asked if I only saw things through the lens of a camera. While the answer to this is a firm "no," I will grant her that I'm constantly itching for new eyes to see life afresh, for a new heart to understand life's pains and joys.

Still, I feel silly for even trying.

I once wrote about knowing my Father. Anyone who's been a Christian for a while, if honest, will speak about the pains and struggles of life in very intimate and personal terms. We know we don't deserve grace, and we know we keep screwing up. The questions keep mounting, and strangely enough, God's answers don't change: My grace is sufficient for you. It is not you who lives, but Christ lives in you. The love with which the Father loves the Son is the love with which the Father loves you. Your hope is an anchor for the soul, being one that is sure, steadfast, and enters within the veil.

In all my questioning, I keep being driven toward the cross of Christ. The irony in this is that I continually feel, the more and more I live, less and less deserving of God's grace. Yet, perhaps because of this growing awareness, I continually become all the more aware of how tightly gripped I am by that very grace. Wow.

posted by Bolo | 11:18 PM
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One More

Another shot from the other morning...I like to stare at it and think about feeling really, really, really tiny in a world far too big for me to understand.

Hmmm...that's far closer to the truth than I realize, isn't it?

posted by Bolo | 12:47 AM
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Minty Madness

Mrs. O: I forgot all about it, and I was letting the vehicle melt. Doh!

posted by Bolo | 8:58 PM
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posted by Bolo | 4:25 PM
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Man Night

Sweet turkeys, amazing burgers, frog hairs, Zassenhaus mills, 10 or 22, a shirtless Tim, great coffee, a shirted Tim that got catcalled, and some killer ice cream from Graeter's. All in all, a nice evening with the guys. Have fun in Chicago, Tim!

posted by Bolo | 11:54 PM
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I'm glad the Stupid Statement Syndrome remained on the couch last night. Frisbee nerds that said you would sign up, go and sign Just a thought, but I wonder if I'll see things differently if I listen to music while I shoot. As it is, I feel pretty immersed in the moment when I don't, but the background noise may change things up a bit. Boss has hit the big one, and 'Drew's just around the corner...whoa. I find it humorous that I'm "signed up" to play volleyball this afternoon, even after I clearly said I would not. I should make a list of rules concerning interactions with John might actually be helpful, and not merely humorous. Is sixteen games of Scrabble too many to play at once? I don't think so, personally.

posted by Bolo | 10:09 AM
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New Dew

This morning, on the way out to the car, this little shot presented itself to me. To really do it justice, click on the image for the full-size file.

posted by Bolo | 11:36 PM
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Rain, Rain, Ben Goes Away

So. It was raining the other morning. This means that Ben's car, which does not quite have all the necessary components for a fully sealed, watertight sunroof, was prone to a little leakage. Thus, he took a precautionary measure and put a little plastic cover over the leaky spot:

Unfortunately, that wasn't good enough. So, Ben being Ben, he decided that he would, ever so gracefully, saunter out to his vehicle and cover it up with a bigger piece of plastic.

What he didn't count on was the tremendous help his friends wanted to give him :)

posted by Bolo | 8:38 AM
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Cheat Sheet

Guys are stupid. I'm a guy. Therefore, I'm stupid. Part of our stupidity comes from the fact that we foolishly and repetitiously commit the same verbal errors over and over and over again. Some of these errors come out of sheer naïveté, while others stem from the fact that our stupidity and sensitivity to all things feminine, particularly feminine emotion, are mutually exclusive.

The following, therefore, is a cheat sheet for guys everywhere. These statements should not be said, nor, for that matter, should they even be thought. If they are thought, try, try, try to squelch them as soon as they pop up. If they refuse to be squelched, bite your tongue. Hard. If the taste of blood in your mouth does not awaken some sense of sensitivity and sensibility and propriety toward the fairer sex within your conscience, do what all men have done since the days of our fallen father, Adam: run from the situation.

10. "You have very handsome features."
9. "Hey, don't worry, you look great for your size."
8. "You're pretty stout."
7. "No, that doesn't look too bad on you."
6. "Don't worry, you've still got a great personality!"
5. "Huh? Her? No, I wasn't checking her out, I just thought I knew her from somewhere."
4. "No, there's nothing wrong with you, it's me."
3. "He asked you out? No way!"
2. "I like you, but..."
1. "Dude, you're a beast!"

posted by Bolo | 10:56 AM
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S.D.'s father in-law was reportedly tortured by a certain Hawaiian's mug of delicious and aromatic buzz brew while they were seated just a few spots away from one another the other day...*grin*. Seeing Ben do his rain dances is well worth the effort of getting up out of my chair. Our LUFA league team may be much better than I initially thought. Has Glen's desperation for good coffee really stooped to the level of sending his minions in search of a better brew? I think it has. Speaking of a better brew...I think I need some coffee...

posted by Bolo | 5:05 PM
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The following lyrics come from In the Valley, written by Bob Kauflin:

When You lead me to the valley of vision
I can see You in the heights
And though my humbling wouldn’t be my decision
It’s here Your glory shines so bright
So let me learn that the cross precedes the crown
To be low is to be high
That the valley’s where You make me more like Christ

Let me find Your grace in the valley
Let me find Your life in my death
Let me find Your joy in my sorrow
Your wealth in my need
That You’re near with every breath
In the valley

In the daytime there are stars in the heavens
But they only shine at night
And the deeper that I go into darkness
The more I see their radiant light
So let me learn that my losses are my gain
To be broken is to heal
That the valley’s where Your power is revealed

I've had several conversations in the past several days that have made me more aware of how easily man is exposed in weakness and pain. I don't like pain; it's not something I crave. At the same time, I don't necessarily like exposing my pain, especially when it feels shameful to me.

Yet, there's a greater glory in all of this, isn't there?

posted by Bolo | 8:00 AM
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Brew Buzz Fuzzled

This is what I get for laughing. Really, I deserve this. It's a nasty retribution, but it's fitting.

I left my grinder at home this morning, rather than bringing it into the office. Not a big deal, since we have one in the office that has served us in a pinch in the past. Well, the problem with this burr grinder is that it has a bunch of old grounds sitting along the grinding and dispensing path, and yours truly neglected to clean it out appropriately before grinding up that aged Sumatra and tossing those grounds into the press. The resulting brew was perhaps the nastiest, most disgusting brew I'd had in a long, long time.

Nasty, nasty, nasty.

posted by Bolo | 11:00 AM
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Brew Buzz

You know what I find amusing? Walking into a Starbucks, talking coffee with the employees, and hearing them wax nostalgic about the quality of the coffee at Sunergos.


Ok. I know. I shouldn't be so darned snobby. But...I can't help it...really I can't!

posted by Bolo | 12:41 AM
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Odd Optics

posted by Bolo | 12:11 AM
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What He Longs For

Today at lunch, I shared with Joseph what Jim had once told me: "Don't drag your heels; the LORD longs to be merciful to you."

I thought about that once more just now, and in doing so, felt astounded by the depth of God's mercy. I realized anew that my concept of God's affection for me is so incredibly tiny in comparison to reality, and furthermore, that the way I live my life reflects that.

Jimmy Scroggins preached a message in Dorm Meeting last semester, one that I think I need to revisit. In the message, he gave a wonderful illustration on grace. Thinking back on it now, I remember how clearly God's grace seemed to me that night. I also remember feeling much like that child did, wanting to pay his father back, wanting desperately to make everything right. I also remember listening to Dr. Scroggins convey with incredible clarity something I feel more and more every day: I have no means to fully appreciate the cost of God's glorious grace. Does the LORD scorn me for my inability, for my shortsightedness? No!

God's grace is free. It is given joyfully. It is infinite, sufficient, meeting our every need. Just as an earthly father delights in granted his children good gifts, everything from an ice cream cone to a college education, so our Father in heaven delights in granting us everything from our daily bread to our eternal salvation. Nothing is too great or small for Him, for He longs to be merciful toward us.

posted by Bolo | 5:34 PM
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Ring Tones

Here you go, Popples...

posted by Bolo | 6:44 PM
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The remarkable, unbelievable, rare, inexplicable and wonderful has just happened: Andrew and I conversed.

It was the first time in...well...a long time. It was excellent, truly excellent to converse with the guy.

posted by Bolo | 6:18 PM
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Felt the itch to shoot something today...

posted by Bolo | 10:51 PM
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Ben just killed a Ben-sized fly, and said Ben-sized fly's carcass is now sitting on Szrama's monitor. I hear that little Zayney is going to have a little visitor today: his cousin, Kavin. Stephen just came in and left again, 'cause Baby Secret is on her way. The Harar in my cup is nice, but I'm still in love with that Kochere District Yirgacheffe. The phone rang in my room last night, and I was there to answer it...three times. Mrs. Ryherd told me that she was trying to hunt me down on campus last night, and kept finding people who'd recently seen me, but did not actually know with certainty where my person was to be found. Bummer. Due to Mr. S.D. O'Neal, Malia asked me one of life's eternal questions: "Do you have a roommate?" Despite what certain people/persons may think, I do require sleep, and I do sound tired upon occasion...after I finish roasting coffee.

posted by Bolo | 10:15 AM
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I Brew? Or He Brews?

When discussing his Hebrew class with Mr. Jeffrey Cavanaugh, I informed him that I have no Hebrew skills to speak of. He, quite graciously, disagreed. "No, I hear people talking about your coffee all the time: 'He brews...' "

posted by Bolo | 10:27 PM
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Despite the fact that I don't feel incredibly guilty over the fact that I forgot my nephew's birthday, I still miss the little dude. Kavin is now two, and I seriously doubt he remembers me all that much. Oh well. He likes me. I know he does. He has to. I'll lick his eyeball if he doesn't.

posted by Bolo | 6:42 PM
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In Man vs. Mantis IV, it was Ryan Szrama who took on the office pet, Mr. Mantis. Who won? Well, let's just say that there won't be a monkey mating call heard in here for a long, long time.

posted by Bolo | 8:32 AM
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Pondering Possibilities

When Jesus spoke of taking up our crosses and following Him, He spoke of dying to the World, of severing our reliance upon and loves for things other than Him. This is, to be honest, difficult. I rely far too much upon myself, and I love the things of this world with a passion that easily cools the fervor I feel for my Lord.

Tonight, as I pondered what Paul lays out for those who desire to be elders, I felt with an even keener sense of intensity the difficulty of attaining that standard. In fact, in just thinking of what it is to be a man of God, I felt overwhelmed. How can I be that man? God's call upon me feels so far from reality!

'Drew and I used to talk about living our lives for just one thing, just one passion, one desire. The more and more I live, the more and more I feel the weight of life lived in this world: my sin, the responsibility and freedom to love, the severity and gravity of each moment; all beckon, all weigh on my mind. Thus, it is all the more shocking that Jesus, the same Jesus that would command us to love our fellow man as no other Man ever had commanded before, would call us to forsake all others to follow Him.


In looking at the call of Jesus upon the believer's life, I'm struck by two things: the impossibly high standard, and the infinitely precious cost. Often times, I confuse the two. You see, the standard for the Christian is high, extremely high. Yet, the standard by which I must live is not the cost of gaining Christ's love. Why? The cost of His love for me was the cost He paid when He was forsaken by the Father at the cross. The standard, therefore, is not the means by which I gain His love, but rather, it is the means by which I can and do live because of His love.


Allow me to put it this way: when Jesus tells me to take up my cross and follow Him, He's commanding me to live in such a way as to reflect the fact that I am His, that He has indeed graciously made me into a new creature that now loves that which is most lovely, namely, Him, and is no longer satisfied by earthly things. Does this mean that I do not enjoy life here on earth? Hardly! Rather, life is enjoyed with a much grander view in mind, and with a much deeper appreciation than ever before. Sin becomes more and more distasteful and heinous, and goodness becomes ever more and more savory to the soul. Is this difficult? Yes. Is it impossible? No! In fact, the life that is so effected is the life that God calls us to, and, difficult though it may seem, is indeed possible.

posted by Bolo | 11:46 PM
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Happy Birthday?

So, I think I found out yesterday that I forgot Kavin's second birthday. What gave it away? Well, the email from Lisa entitled, "Kavin's Birthday Pics" sort of provided me with a clue.


posted by Bolo | 8:29 AM
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'Drew, Boss, and Kev all need to update their blogs, and don't even get me started on Brit's. I'm experiencing massive Surf Crew MIA right now. I think we'll need to do an Office Sports Day sometime this Fall. It could even incorporate events Stephen would possibly do well in. That Sumatra we brewed up last night at Ben's? Freakishly good, man, freakishly good, with hints of aromatic spices and a rich, full body. I've got some serious volleyball needs right about now. I need to shoot, too. While I'm speaking of needs, if the wall at Kewalo's was within a few hours of travel time, you'd better believe I'd be there. Hehehe...I know who just got engaged!

posted by Bolo | 10:29 AM
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posted by Bolo | 9:44 AM
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Tonight, as I walked from the gym and back across campus toward my room, I realized something: I don't understand why I feel the way I do. In fact, I don't even understand what I'm feeling at the moment.

This sort of feeling is strange. It stirs within me a desires both to ignore and to delve deep and unearth the roots of my emotions. A part of me yearns for answers; another part is afraid of the process, or still more, of what I'll find.

I'm brought to reflect upon the famous decree found in Jeremiah 2, that which lays out the two evils God's people have committed against Him: forsaking Him, the fountain of living waters, and hewing for themselves broken cisterns that can hold no water. I see my soul chasing after vapors, the tiniest tendrils of fleeting moisture, when right before me, indeed, springing up from within me, is a well of water that satisfies like no other can or will. I'm reminded of the cry of the psalmists in Psalm 73, "But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works," and of Psalm 17, "As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake."

Perhaps that stirring within my soul is dissatisfaction. Perhaps it is Christ's Spirit crying out, working to answer His prayers in order that I might be sanctified in the truth of the Word. Hmmm. Perhaps.

posted by Bolo | 10:21 PM
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In Thailand, Mothers' Day does not fall on the same day as Mothers' Day does in the U.S., which meant that just a few minutes ago, yours truly was freaking out that a phone call home did not happen at some point yesterday. Why? Because yesterday, the 12th of August, is when Mothers' Day goes down in Thailand. Scared me so much that my eyes got distinctly un-Asian for a second.

That would've been bad, even for me.

posted by Bolo | 1:33 PM
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Out of Doors

posted by Bolo | 12:58 AM
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Stuff From Today

posted by Bolo | 1:34 AM
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Free Hit
Dell Coupons
Blogging Buddies
Old School
Bug Me