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



This cup of Sidamo is, to be blunt, glorious. O'Neal: we're in the Program Files now. The new Nalgene is well on its way toward being stickered up properly, and I just found another one that can go on it. Nice! The Shreve wedding was one of the more pleasurable events I've been a part of in 2007. Only the guys in the office would get this, but it got a great reaction out of Andy: "What, Andy, two-day shipping to California?" I got a gash in my knee. From my computer. I'm dumb. Pappycake, you know you love me. Down to under a week Moon Pie's reaction last night was stinkin' fabulous. Rev's face will be even better.

posted by Bolo | 5:41 PM
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Shots Snapped

posted by Bolo | 1:20 AM
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Double Doh!

The Irish lost today to drop to 0 - 5, and Off White seemed to be a little off kilter in our second straight loss of the season, bringing us to 3 - 2 on the season. *Sigh*...there's always next week, friends!

posted by Bolo | 4:27 PM
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Simpson made me promise not to post some of the shots that were taken...I don't remember if these were among them...


posted by Bolo | 1:26 AM
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Do the Dew

I know, I know, they're two very similar shots, but I like 'em both. I guess there is something worth waking up early for. I dig the water droplets, especially when the sunlight shines through them.

Hmmm...kind of like Jesus shining through us...

posted by Bolo | 7:11 PM
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Colossians 1:15
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

On mornings like this, it's easy to wake up and go about my day as if there was no God, as though I were ignorant of Him. The alarm clock rang way too early for my tastes, making my body even more aware of its need for physical comforts; still more, the lack of simple joy makes me aware of my lack of an awareness of God.

I sometimes feel like asking God, "You sent Your Son, and He is Your image, but why do I still feel so blind?"

If I think about it, and I'm not so daunted by God's bigness that I actually sit in humble contemplation, I realize anew that the one character of God that best describes Him is His holiness. He is holy, utterly different, utterly unique, utterly different. He is not as I am! As such, the more I get to know Him, the more I realize that there is more of Him to see, so much more than I feel prepared to grasp.

posted by Bolo | 7:58 AM
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Kit & Kaboodle

Upon walking into the office at 9:20 this morning, my coworkers gleefully greeted my tardy self with a slew of thrown pens. I think they thought they were auditioning for the sequel to House of Flying Daggers, Office of Flying Bics. All bad jokes aside, I do believe that it was Mr. Benjamin Hedrick, servant that he is, who took it upon himself to provide me with an aid in waking up on time.

Jerk :)

posted by Bolo | 10:27 PM
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Yes! Stephen just said "'P' as in, 'psychology'" on a sales call. I feel so...p...p...powerful!

posted by Bolo | 2:50 PM
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Woopsie Daisy

Waking up at 9 isn't necessarily a good thing when you start work at around 8.

Just an observation...

posted by Bolo | 9:42 AM
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Shut It

Listening to Snow Patrol's Shut Your Eyes gives this shot a whole new feeling.

I know what you're thinking...shame on you!

posted by Bolo | 2:28 AM
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Psalm 119:169 - 176
Let my cry come before You, O LORD; give me understanding according to Your word. Let my supplication come before You; deliver me according to Your word. Let my lips utter praise, for You teach me Your statutes. Let my tongue sing of Your word, for all Your commandments are righteousness. Let Your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen Your precepts. I long for Your salvation, O LORD, and Your law is my delight. Let my soul live that it may praise You, and let Your ordinances help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I do not forget Your commandments.

This last stanza of Psalm 119 ends on an honest, vulnerable note, one that echoes clearly within my soul: I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I do not forget Your commandments. I know the commandments of God, I know His word, yet still, I find that I am oft astray, often in need of finding once more.

Ryan once said in a sermon that our congregation is one that, by and large, knows its duty. We know the word of God, and we are not shy about embracing that word. What becomes difficult, however, is knowing what and how to heed His word.

When He tells us to stand upon the Christ, the rock, the sure foundation, we try to lift that rock, that foundation and bear its unbearable load. When He tells us that He delights in us, that He remembers our sins no more, that our old selves have died and been buried with Christ, we go to the graveyard and dig up that which is dead, powerless, and without pleasure. When He tells us to come and feast, to partake of the Living Water and the Bread of Life, we find ourselves content to nibble upon Satan's sugary, sickening sweets.

What I find at the end of Psalm 119 is a reminder that, while I know God's commandments, His most wonderful command is to come to Him for mercy in time of need, to call out in weakness, lostness, loneliness, and despair. Yes, His sheep tend to go astray, but He is the Good Shepherd, and His sheep know His voice.

posted by Bolo | 11:08 PM
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Mom told me that Makana called her the other day, unbeknownst to Mon. Conclusion? My niece is better about calling my mom than I am. New volleyball court shoes are in order. I'm thinking I'll be going with Ethiopia Sidamo for the wedding on Saturday, but I'm not yet sure which roast I'll go with. Maybe something a touch lighter, so as to bring out the delicate, sweet herbal hints. Smythe and I reflected on the fleeting, forgetful nature of Man this morning, and we both decided that we're a couple of weaklings. That match last night was pretty stinkin' good, but I hate losing. Speaking of losing, team Off White is looking to get back to our winning ways this Saturday, so feel free to find yourselves at Seneca Park at around 2 in the afternoon. Just look for the team in...well...white. It's payday! If Marlene starts telling me, "Juliet Kilo!" I'm going to blame...someone.

posted by Bolo | 9:29 AM
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For all you astronauts, would-be astronauts, or astronaut wannabes, take a galactic glimpse.

Hmmm...I'm thinking this will have to be on the next order.

This one just pulls you in.

Everyone who lives on campus knows that the bandwidth available to's evil. Heh...get it? Resident...evil? *Awkward silence*. Anyway, if you really feel like harrumphing in front of your computer, do so with Mr. T.

posted by Bolo | 8:54 AM
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Straw Man

Dang. He noticed.

posted by Bolo | 3:18 PM
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Super Straw

Three minutes ago, I stuck a straw on Ben's shoulder. I don't think he knows it's there :)

posted by Bolo | 3:13 PM
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posted by Bolo | 10:54 AM
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'Twas another Jack sort of day. I say it's hard to say who's doing more sanctification stalling, Simpson. Off White is now 3 - 1, having lost to those crazy, unrelenting goblins in green, 15 - 7, but believe me, we have absolutely no shame in our loss. As John put it, we didn't beat ourselves, we made them beat us. That 8' 0" is twice Boss' size, I swear it is. Was Moon Pie talking about the downstairs mix-up when he said that those were big? Brit, I got just one word for you: haole. This is hard for me to believe, but I think I'm actually one of the two best hitters on our co-ed team. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing yet. Maybe Joel will finally get his request granted and we'll talk about that elder thing. Daddy Rev: congratulations, you've spawned a creepy one. It's one in the morning, and...well...among many other things, I'm hungry. Go figure.

posted by Bolo | 1:08 AM
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Dave wrote this to me as a means of encouragement. Thanks, brother.

Who really is Christ suited for?

who is better suited for a Fortress than someone who has no strength?

who needs or loves a Physician than the really sick?

who desires a Shepherd more than those of us who are constantly getting lost?

who wants a perfect High Priest who ever lives to intercede more than the one who daily sees their need for forgiveness?

is the cross, is the gospel really for the likes of you?

who is looking more intently at the Morning Star than the one who has wandered in the darkness?

who better than those who feel the deadness and coldness of their soul can more appreciate the One who is the Ressurrection and the Life?

who stares at the Bridegroom more than the one who knows a bitter loneliness?

who is more suited to be loved by the Hope of Glory than those who are in utter despair?

is Christ for the likes of John Letoto?

who needs a Rock, a Cornerstone, more than the man who is shaken to the core?

who loves a Prince of Peace more than the restless and the weary?

yes, John Letoto - the Cross is for the likes of you - in fact, nothing in the universe is more fitting, more suited, more perfect for your salvation, your life and your soul, than the Lamb of God.

you were created and sustained and pursued and regenerated and purchased and brought near and loved and perfected and justified and set apart - to know this truth - that Jesus Christ came as a man, suffered, died and rose again not just for the likes of you - but for you... John Letoto.

posted by Bolo | 3:53 PM
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posted by Bolo | 2:28 AM
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Bee Movie

posted by Bolo | 7:46 PM
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The Precious Blood
Peter Gagnon

Before the cross I kneel and see
The measure of my sin
How You became a curse for me
Though You were innocent
The magnitude of Your great love
Was shown in full degree
When righteous blood, the crimson spill
Rained down from Calvary

Oh, the precious blood
That flowed from Mercy’s side
Washed away my sin
When Christ my Savior died
Oh, the precious blood
Of Christ the crucified
It speaks for me before Your throne
Where I stand justified

And who am I that I should know
This treasure of such worth
My Savior’s pure atoning blood
Shed for the wrath I’d earned
For sin has stained my every deed
My every word and thought
What wondrous love that makes me one
Your priceless blood has bought

A crown of thorns, pierced hands and feet
A body bruised, and Mercy’s plea

It is far too easy for me to forget that His precious Son, Christ, and not I, am the center of the Father's affection, and yet, the affection He has for me is truly His affection for Christ. At the same time, I don't remember very often that Christ, while being the center of the Father's affection, also became the center of His wrath when He suffered on the cross. This, too, was so that I might not taste death, but rather, that I might come to esteem and holds precious the Son as the Father esteems Him and holds Him as precious.

posted by Bolo | 1:08 PM
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The Office

It's hat day!

posted by Bolo | 2:04 PM
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There it is again...

...morning :/

posted by Bolo | 9:33 AM
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posted by Bolo | 8:08 PM
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A one-hour nap turned into a two-hour nap last night, which meant that I woke up just in time to see that my league volleyball match at OVVC had just started. Ben had a really guilty look on his face this morning when I walked in and saw him using my French press and water kettle to make just enough coffee for...himself. It's probably a bad sign when a friend hears someone mention 1997 and she thinks to herself, "Hey, I was in the seventh grade in 1997," then immediately follows that up with, "and John Letoto graduated in 1997." Ouch. Still doing the three-mug dance on my desk this morning. I'm hungry. The itch to shoot things has become greater, but the time I have to do so seems to have lessened. Katie Vaughn gave me high praise when she said that the SEC could always use a fan like me. Thanks, Miss Vaughn, but I'll be stickin' with the Irish. Team Off White plays the goblins in green this Saturday, and we could definitely use all the cheering we can get, as we'll quite possibly get our rear ends handed to us on a platter...a plastic one at that. They're good, we're not so good, and that's the story.

posted by Bolo | 9:03 AM
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F-Stop Favorites

I've been meaning to toss up some of my favorite pics from the past couple of years, ones that have been buried in the archives for a while. These shots, for the most part, were taken outside, which tends to be my favorite shooting environment.

If you click on the picture to see the high-res image file, you can see the finer hairs on the abdomen of the bee.

Christmas Morning, 2006, just before Andrew, Sandi and I paddled out at Canoe's. White Christmas? Heck, no!

This one makes me tilt my head from side to side and squint my eyes.

Strange sight, this, but the colors draw me in again and again. It gives off an isolated, introspective feel.

Walking off into the sunset? Indeed.

This one came on an early morning sometime this past winter. I'd been switching between using Kyle's 35mm Nikon and my S70 when the sun came up just above the tree line. I still haven't developed the film from the Nikon.

Amazing what light does to bring out the intrinsic beauty in the ordinary.

Fall is achingly beautiful. Too bad it serves as Winter's predecessor.

Feels like there's all sorts of movement going on, even though there's not.

Heh. Never intended this one to look this good. That's usually how it is, though.

If memory serves me correctly, I was flying back to the 'Ville from Detroit while on a recruiting trip. Dr. Brand was also on the flight, and he was squished in next to another big dude. I think I enjoyed the flight more than he.

I was eating in the cafeteria when the setting sun presented my lens with a beautiful view. I was happy about that.

The tiny water droplets only heighten the fine, delicate details of the feather.

I kept tossing leaves up into the air in order to get this shot. Lots and lots and lots of leaf tossing that day, believe me.

I like how the sun is mirrored in the water.

My shadow, Scott's shadow.

posted by Bolo | 5:54 PM
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posted by Bolo | 12:22 AM
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We love to tease Stephen about saying silly things over the phone. He once said, "'P' as in 'purgatory,'" which has gotten the rest of us a lot of mocking mileage. While he claims that he's really saying, "'P' as in 'purchase order,'" we still think he's lying. Today, I informed Stephen that he should now say, "'P'" as in 'psychology.'"

posted by Bolo | 4:52 PM
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I was up by 99 points over Larue when he places down "REEFING" for 91 points (triple-word score plus the 50 bonus points for using all seven of his tiles) to go out and end the game, which meant that I had to subtract the 5 points I had left on my rack and give it to him, putting him up by 2. He won. From 99 points down. Donkey. The cooler weather around here provides a wonderful combination of wardrobe experience and tanning. I guess it's probably a discomforting thing to feel the air whoosh by your hand when you're holding something that someone is pounding in with a sledgehammer. At least, Andy sounded discomforted when he described how close I was getting to his hand. I should start awarding cat stickers to girls who lament their seemingly perpetual singlehood aloud. So great is my desire for S.D.O. to play frisbee today that I told Mrs. S.D.O., "My heart will be filled with a bitter sorrow the oceans could not dissolve should he decide not to play." For about the one-thousand, seven-hundred and ninety-eighth time in my life, someone jokingly claimed that, based upon my wardrobe tendencies, they had suspicions about my "orientation."

posted by Bolo | 1:38 PM
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Three mugs of coffee sit on my desk. The one closest to me has a brown stain ring in it about an eighth of an inch above the coffee level. The mug just beyond the first has a ring roughly three-eighths of an inch above its coffee level. And the last mug? I think the stuff at the bottom of that one is ready to go into the kiln. Hopefully, I won't grab either the first or the second when I reach for my fresh cup of coffee obtained from Sunergos, the one I had to get because I forgot to roast last night.


posted by Bolo | 8:46 AM
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posted by Bolo | 7:33 AM
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He's Back

Looks like a certain Vermont native is home. This was the email my family got from Mon this morning:

Makana and I were able to greet Dave at the airport on Friday late night/Saturday early morning. :) Thank you for your prayers during his deployment. We are soooooooooo happy to have him home! Makana has enjoyed 2 days of playing with Dada!

Glad to have you stateside again, Captain Merrifield!

posted by Bolo | 9:23 AM
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From Today

posted by Bolo | 2:29 AM
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Over the course of this week, I'll attempt to churn out some thoughts on God's love. The reasons for this mini series are many, but at the core of it, I find a growing desire to ask the Lord for grace to gaze upon His countenance and see His love in the gaze I find there returned. As such, I think that reflecting upon His love by actually thinking through various aspects of it is a great way to do just that.

posted by Bolo | 2:31 PM
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posted by Bolo | 8:49 AM
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Not Mine, His

John 17:13
"But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves."

I find my affections for God to be lacking, both in power and in purity. When Augustine said that a man "loves Thee too little, who loves Thee together with anything, which he loves not for Thy sake," I think he would not have been in error to have had me stand as an example of such failing love. Many is the day when I find myself close to despairing of my lack of love for my Lord, when I begin to long for heaven not because I might see my Savior face to face, but because I am simply weary of displeasing Him, crushed under the weight of His holy Word.

Yet, is that why my Lord would have me long? Is His burden truly so crushing? Hardly!

When I look to the Word, I find that I often go wearily, despondently, dutifully. I find that joy is an alien emotion, a savored flavor that I once experienced long ago, one I speak well of with others but secretly wonder, "Where has it gone?" Nevertheless, Jesus clearly declares His purpose to us by praying that His joy would be made full in us. His joy! Can you imagine the irrepressible joy of God? I can't. I've been accused of being a grumpy old man far too many times to count, and rightly so. God may be accused of being grumpy, but he's never seen a sunrise He didn't like, never felt an emotion He didn't have an answer for, never went through a day that He didn't sovereignly orchestrate to His glory.

That doesn't describe someone who's grumpy.

That describes a joyful being.

That joyful being desires for His joy to be our joy, too.

posted by Bolo | 1:43 AM
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Way, Way Off

Katie Vaughn, huge 'Bama fan that she is, was quite helpful. When she commended me for reading Sibbes' The Bruised Reed, I told her that it may be helpful in dealing with the pain of being 0 - 3.

The Irish have yet to win a game, much less score an offensive touchdown, and they still, I believe, have given up more sacks than they've garnered yards rushing, but I still hold to the same state of non-panic. Why? I have no other option. Either Charlie Weis is the answer or he's not. If he is, then there are a bunch of things that have contributed to this season's demise, and not all of them are things that are his fault. If he's not, then the next coach is going to inherit a very, very talented team next year.

By the way: no sane administration at ND would even consider a coaching change at this point. That's preposterous. Those calling for Charlie's head due to the poor start are just plain ignorant of the direction he's had the program headed in while operating in less than ideal circumstances.

posted by Bolo | 7:54 PM
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Way Off

So we're now 3 - 0, which is far better than I thought we'd be at this point. We also have a team name: Off White, in honor of the team captain, yours truly.

Yeah. It wasn't my idea, but since I'm not surfing at the moment, I figure it's somewhat appropriate. Heh.

posted by Bolo | 4:21 PM
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I have before me a scenario I had not envisioned: ND and UM are both 0 - 2, while our frisbee team is 2 - 0. Cereal in the morning is great, but milk with it is better. I still think it's preposterous that I'm eating "red berries" rather than "strawberries" in my cereal. Maybe it's due to some sort of female psychology I'm not privy to; after all, this is Kellog's Special K we're talking about. Speaking of Kellog's, did we or did we not have an "'Ello, Guv'nah!" moment on Monday? I think we did! Daddy Rev would surely agree. Speaking of the Revells, I told the elder son that despite my convictions against social gatherings with my social butterfly-self as the social fulcrum, I somehow managed to get cajoled into "planning" no less than two forthcoming events, and being host to part of another. Hmmm. My ten-year reunion is today. Heh...Black and Gold, indeed. Oh, and what the heck is Kamana doing in the EST? Just got told that our flag football team is playing at 1 PM. Back to bed I go.

posted by Bolo | 9:51 AM
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Psalm 113:3
From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the LORD is to be praised.

posted by Bolo | 6:44 AM
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Why does morning have to be so darned early?

posted by Bolo | 8:30 AM
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Passing Time

Waiting for food at Founders' Cafe? If it's at the right time of day, the view can help to pass the time.

posted by Bolo | 10:45 PM
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