Category Archives: Personal

Starting over. Again.

Hola, amigos. How’s tricks? I know it’s been a long time since I rapped at ya…

So, yeah. Life has been an adventure, like always. In just the past year, I’ve lost a dog to cancer, Aimee got a promotion and relocation to a different city, we bought a house and moved, took a trip back east, and now I’m moving hosts for my site.

I moved this site manually. While it took some time, I have restored full functionality on a new host and had to troubleshoot many issues. But the experience was great! I learned so much more about WordPress, got my hands dirty with some basic PHP coding and tinkering with the database to get the bugs worked out. Not to mention the fun stuff with CloudFlare and DNS.

I keep thinking about the direction for this blog. I realize that ‘consistent direction’ has never been applicable here, and maybe that’s not a good thing. So, I’d like your ideas. Especially if you’re a Facebook friend, you have seen what I consistently write about, and you know what you enjoy reading. Please answer the poll below, or leave a message below. Thanks for your time!

What should Bubba write about?

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Category: Personal, Uncategorized

Back to the oven

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I’ve been in Wisconsin for more than four months…and have to admit that I have not found a job that would allow me to make enough money to get my wife to quit her job and move up here with me. Therefore, we’ve made the decision to have me move back to Arizona. Apparently, my time wandering around in the desert has not been completed.

Aimee and I are still planning on moving to Wisconsin to partner with Luke and TCF, learn how they are serving their community, and then possibly plant a church somewhere in that region. Our eventual goal hasn’t changed, but we have to take a step back to regroup.

Even though our primary goal has not been accomplished, God has done so many other things in our lives that neither of us see this as a failure or loss. Aimee was able to do so much at her job, gaining a tremendous amount of respect from the executive team at her company. Additionally, this has been a season of emotional growth and healing for me as I have dealt with the death of my mother and other past hurts which have hindered me from making strong relationships with other people.

I have also gained a lot of love and respect for the folks here in the Thorp, Stanley, and Boyd areas. People are genuinely nice, and would do anything for you if something was needed. In less than five months, I have people telling me how sad they are that I will not be staying in Wisconsin. Additionally, Trinity Christian Fellowship is a church with few resources meeting some very large demands from the community. They feed the hungry, visit the sick, and meet other needs. In other words, they are doing the work of Jesus–work that is near and dear to my heart.

Here’s the plan: I have put in my two weeks’ notice at the station. In less than two weeks, Aimee will be flying into the Cities to join me. After staying in Stanley for a couple of days, we will drive to Columbus to attend the National Conference. I will then drop Aimee off at the airport after getting to see family for a couple of days. Finally, I’ll drive back to Stanley, pack up, and drive back to Arizona.

I have made many memories and built relationships with friends I will not forget anytime soon. I would mention names here but don’t want to out of fear I would leave someone out and offend them. Nonetheless, I will miss all of my Wisconsin friends, and promise to visit again soon. As my friend Michael says — it’s not goodbye, it’s see you later.

Until next time, enjoy this sample Arizona forecast.

hot-weather

Category: Christianity, Personal

Merry Christmas, 2014

This has been an interesting holiday season, to say the least.

It all started when I left my position at PayPal. I knew that it was the right thing to do, but I also know that it was going to hamper our ability to give Christmas gifts this year.

Then my uncle passed away. His death was not totally unexpected but definitely came a bit sooner than some expected. I rushed to purchase a ticket to fly back to northern NY to attend his funeral and spend time with family. Because of the holidays and a last-minute decision to fly, the only airport with semi-reasonable fares was Cleveland, Ohio…which was normally a seven-hour drive (that turned into 8+ hours because of lake-effect snow). I ended up giving the eulogy at the funeral service, and spending some quality time with family members that I haven’t spent nearly enough time with.

While all of this was going on, my sister was in a hospital in Detroit and wasn’t doing so well. I won’t share any details, but it was bad enough that I made the decision to drive to Detroit to lend my support (and possibly some advocacy) to her. Because I went through Canada to get there, I had to have Aimee overnight me my passport. However, I’m glad I went. My sister is fighting a fierce battle, but she is improving and expected to make a full recovery.

So now, I’m sitting in the hospital cafeteria at 5:22pm on Christmas Eve afternoon (or night if I pay attention to the total lack of daylight outside) writing this post just to touch base with my friends and family who I am ignoring (temporarily) to attend to others. Here’s what is next:

  1. Christmas cards have been made but are still sitting in my office/bedroom. Aimee and I will try to get those out when I get back.
  2. Gifts are just not a possibility this year. While I feel somewhat bad about this, I am extremely grateful to get to spend time with family members and support those who have lost a father, a husband, and friend.
  3. I will go up and say goodbye to Kim after writing this…then drive to Cleveland to catch tomorrow morning’s flight back to Arizona. It’s going to be a long night…but I can’t wait to see m’girl and the critters.
  4. After I get back I have to get busy in my job as web developer — I have a site to build. Earning money is a good thing.

If you’re reading this, please accept my warmest wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I am looking forward to what God has in store for us in 2015. May God bless you and yours during this season and the upcoming year.

Category: Personal | Tags: ,

Goodbye, Cappuccino

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This weekend was a sad weekend as m’girl and I made the difficult (and necessary) decision to put an end to our cat’s suffering.

Cappuccino lived almost 17 years, and my wife was her owner for almost all of her life. To hear my mother-in-law talk about the first meeting, Cappuccino was the one that adopted my wife when, as a kitten, she hopped up on her cowboy hat and wouldn’t let go.

Cappy (as we have called her) moved from her birthplace of Texas to Arizona about 12 years ago. Since we’ve only been together for about 2 years, I don’t know much about her early life…so I’ll blather on about the time I had with her.

When I moved in with m’girl, Cappy didn’t warm up to me quickly. I started calling her “The Grumpy Old Curmudgeon” because when she wanted to be fed, she let me know. And if I tripped over her because it was dark, she reacted in a way that I imagined her calling me 4-letter words.

But like fungus, I eventually grew on her. She started rubbing up against my legs like a normal cat, and liked it when I petted her. But she didn’t turn into the nicest cat, either. She had a particular way she wanted to be petted…and if I didn’t follow suit as ordered, she’d try to nip me. She wasn’t mean, per se, but she had NO problem letting me know what she didn’t like.

Later, we moved her bed out from the closet to the corner of the bedroom next to my side of the bed. However, after finding out that MY big recliner was in front of HER much smaller bed…well, she’s a cat. She took over MY recliner.

And when I say took over, I don’t mean she just laid there on the seat. Every time I passed by, she made a sound closer to a growl than a meow. I may not know how to describe the sound, but I knew exactly what she was saying. “Pet me, dammit!” It didn’t matter if it was 9:00pm, 2:00am, 10:00, whenever. Every. single. time.

A couple of months ago we noticed she would make a weird howl at random times of the day (and sometimes the night). Concerned about any suffering she might be experiencing, we took her to the vet. After a few hundred dollars of testing, all they knew is that her kidney functions were getting worse.

Some time later, she started getting much worse. We went back to the vet to learn how to give Cappy subcutaneous fluids much like an IV but just under the skin, and not necessarily in a vein. That helped for a couple of days…but not for long.

After coming back home from Tucson on Saturday afternoon, we found that Cappy had been vomiting, and was now hiding under the bed and would not come out. When I went to retrieve her, I knew the end was near. We spent the night cleaning her up from a couple of accidents, and just held her.

Sunday morning we knew it was time. I won’t go into details except to say the Goodyear Animal Hospital went absolutely above and beyond what they had to do to accommodate us. We received a card in the mail yesterday, signed by everyone that was there that sad morning, expressing their condolences.

Today was the day I picked up the final step in our journey with Cappy. After we left, they made an imprint of Cappy’s paw in clay, fired it in a kiln, and painted it with her name.

cappuccino-paw-print-320x200

 

With moist eyes and a heavy heart I say goodbye to the second cat we’ve lost during our short marriage. But I’m glad I knew you, you grumpy old curmudgeon.

Cappuccino

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Category: Personal

Mother’s Day, Bubba Style

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I have always found family holidays like Mother’s Day a bit of a challenge. However, after years of lamenting that my family is more than a little dysfunctional, I’ve come to the realization that everyone has their challenges in this area. No longer are we the country that has mom within driving distance, or has both parents still married “after all these years”.

This year, I am going to celebrate Mother’s Day by telling you the four mothers I am blessed to have.

First of all, there is the woman that gave me birth. If you have been reading this for a while, you know that she lives about 2-3 hours away and is the closest blood relative that I have. I would talk to her and go see her except the fact that she wants nothing to do with me because, in her words, I am “strange.”

After four and a half decades of life on this earth, I have made peace with the fact that I may never see her again. The decision to estrange herself from me is hers, not mine; all I can do is accept it for what it is.

That being said, she is the woman that gave me life and for that she has my respect and my love, if not my presence.

The next woman that comes to mind on Mother’s Day is my stepmother. She married my dad over 25 years ago and has stuck it out with him for better and for worse. To say we didn’t get along when I was growing up is an understatement. I resented the fact that I didn’t have my “real” mother anymore, and I’m sure she resented the fact that she had four more kids in her house when my birth mother abandoned us by leaving us at our grandmother’s house for almost two months before dad drove eight hours to come get us.

Nonetheless, this is the woman I call “mom” the most. Not only has she stuck it out with dad all this time but she took care of us kids in the best manner she knew how to do. We were never forced to call her mom, but even then I recognized the sacrifices she made to guide us to adulthood.

For this, she is the main person I think of when I think of “mother.” And not only does she have my love and respect but my undying gratitude for filling a tough, demanding, and certainly thankless role.

The third woman is my ex-mother-in-law. Counting the time we dated, I was with her daughter for seven years. She always did her best to make me feel welcome when we were together. After we both got divorced in the same year, we became friends and support systems for each other. I was really worried about her when she divorced her husband of 37 years; she had always been a stay-at-home wife and mother and her identity was her husband’s wife and her children’s mother. Finding her identity has been a struggle, but she has grown tremendously since.

I am proud to call her not only friend but mom.

The last person that serves the role of mother to me is my current mother-in-law. To say this woman has the gift of hospitality would be an extreme understatement. She came to Arizona from Ohio when we got married, and spent almost every hour either baking cookies or doing something else to make things easier on everyone else.

My father-in-law has some health issues that require her to provide assistance every day, and she performs those responsibilities admirably. On top of all of that, she’s just a good person and friend.

For that, she’s someone I am proud to call my mom.

I guess I could still focus on the dysfunction of my life and have a negative attitude. Or I could recognize my situation for what it is: extremely blessed.

Thanks to all the moms: mine, yours, and everyone else’s, for making this world the wonderful place it is.

Family pic 2010

Category: Personal

Breast Cancer: A Male’s Perspective

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One of my female Facebook friends asked if we were thinking about breast cancer…specifically about how to help in the fight against it.

I have to say that the past three years has changed my perspective on breast cancer. When I enrolled in the Breast Cancer Three Day Walk in 2008,  I only knew one person that had breast cancer. Cathy battled it for 12 years before succumbing to the illness the winter before.

As I started training for the event, I started wearing t-shirts with pink, t-shirts with Race For The Cure, pink bandanas as a head scarf, and other things that indicated I was thinking about breast cancer.

Over time, women started coming up to me thanking me for my involvement. But then, something else started to happen: they started telling me they had breast cancer. “I was just diagnosed.” “I had it three years ago.” “My mother died from it.” It was almost always in a hushed, whispered tone…like they were telling me the most deep, darkest secret they had ever told someone else.

I was always amazed by the way someone told me their battles with breast cancer. I understand that breasts represent many things – including sexuality – and I believe that may be one of the reasons why men are not aware of the women in their lives battling this killer. Sure we’re aware if our wives are ill, or a close relative…but guys, you probably know a handful of women that either have or have had breast cancer. But you may never know it unless they can trust you.

My point in writing this: guys, if you don’t know a woman with breast cancer…get involved. Raise funds for research, go on a walk, a race, or just raise awareness. You will miss out if you don’t.

The 3 Day Walk

Race For The Cure

National Breast Cancer Foundation

Category: Personal

Facebook https:FAIL

I haven’t seen this talked about anywhere else…so I thought I would bring this up. Please leave a comment with your findings, whether you experience the same thing I have or not.

As you have seen on many posts by now, I enabled the Facebook account option to use secure browsing (https:) when possible. However, as someone that plays games on Facebook, apps have proven to be a bit troublesome. When I go to Mafia Wars, Bejeweled Blitz, or some other app, I often get this message:

Not secure warning messageWell, I guess I understand. We can’t assume that Zynga or PopCap have configured their apps for secure access. Because I’m addicted to these games (just like you, admit it) I click on continue.

However, I guess I expected Facebook to switch me back to secure browsing after I was done with my time-wasters.

Nope.

I even made a bookmark for https://facebook.com and used it whenever I wanted to return to the home page. But when I went back to account settings, I found that the option for secure browsing was now unchecked. I have to assume that when I agreed to switch to a regular connection, it changed it permanently.

Is it really that hard, Facebook, to switch us back when we’re done playing games?

Until then, fellow gameaholics, if you play games, you will have to go back to account settings and reselect secure browsing.

Category: Personal

We Are No Longer A Democracy Reason #441

I apologize in advance, but Bubba is wearin’ his grumpy old curmudgeon hat this morning.

With a hat tip to Bluegrass Pundit, I found an article in the News & Observer this morning  about a citizen concerned about traffic conditions, prompting him to create a proposal to install two new traffic lights as part of a “planned widening” of a road.

Apparently, David N. Cox put a lot of time and effort into this proposal. So much so that when Kevin Lacy, chief traffic engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, saw the proposal he forwarded it to the NC Board of Examiners. The possible violation? “Practicing engineering without a license.”

Cox says that they were trying to “express our view about this.” He assembled an eight-page proposal to convince the state to reconsider their decision not to install the two traffic signals Cox and his neighbors thought was needed.

However, Lacy has a different point of view about Cox’s proposal. “Lacy says he filed the complaint because the report “appears to be engineering-level work” by someone who is not licensed as a professional engineer.”  Lacy goes on to say in the article that “”when you start applying the principles for trip generation and route assignment, applying judgments from engineering documents and national standards, and making recommendations,” that’s technical work a licensed engineer would do.”

Apparently we’ve all forgotten how to play nice. Or use our brains in a manner that would make sense.

So, Mr. Lacy, let me apply a little extended thinking to this. If I can do so without you charging me with practicing something without a license.

Mr. Cox is a citizen unhappy with the state’s decision not to install traffic lights. As a citizen, he has every right to do so. Why did you have him investigated? Seriously, would you have been happier if he had used crayon and poor grammar in his proposal? I would think that, in your position, you would rather read something well-written and researched than something based solely on opinion.

According to the article, Lacy advised the group headed up by Cox to hire an engineer to make their case. Mr. Lacy, not everyone has the money to hire a professional to express their concerns. Are you saying that if they don’t hire an engineer, don’t bother?

I will start out saying I do not advocate any action that will lead to overthrowing the government. However, actions like these are the reason people start considering radical actions. As Americans, we will find a way to make our voices heard. If government starts punishing people for voicing their opinions, they will find a way to make themselves heard. Whether you like them or not, today’s Tea Party has gained momentum because as a group these citizens feel disenfranchised.

In other words, North Carolina, tread very carefully if your actions can be interpreted as squelching dissension.

Category: Personal

What is the internet?

It has been 17 years since this clip. 17 years is a long time in some ways, sure. But today, if someone on TV asked “what is the internet?” they’d be institutionalized.
Category: Personal

Online Loss and Gain, family style

I wasn’t really sure how to title this…or even really had an idea what I was going to say.

But I’m gonna write.

Tonight I got the news that Frank Jannotti passed away. I didn’t know Frank, and had never met him.

The only reason I got news of his passing is because I communicated with his brother, Jim, on FriendFeed.

Other than our conversations on FriendFeed, I had never met Jim either. However, when I heard that Frank had lost his battle with cancer, I cried. Along with a few dozen of my closest FriendFeed friends, most of whom I had never met in person.

But regardless of the lack of personal familiarity with each other, tonight I am mourning the loss of someone we had never met with a group of people I haven’t ever met. Bible verses, feelings, and virtual hugs were thrown around as we attempted to support Jim in his grief while dealing with our own.

In this day and age, this isn’t a horribly new story. And even though this group of people isn’t new, I feel that what we have here is something rare. FriendFeed is a group of people that share life, get pissed, delete our accounts, create new accounts, block people, unblock people, and generally care too much.

I can directly blame one person for getting me hooked on FF, and she knows who she is. Once I started interacting, though, I haven’t left.

There are people on here I like, people I don’t, and everything in between. But the best way I can describe the group of folks on FriendFeed isn’t a bunch of friends. It’s more like gaining a new family, complete with laughter, arguments, crying, shouting, cussing, and pain. But when the chips are down, I have to say that I feel the love in FF more than anywhere else on social media.

Someone on Quora asked if anyone still used FF and why. This is why. Because we’re family.

Category: Personal