Personal

Living in Community

 A couple of weeks ago, I moved. I had been living in an apartment in Oakland for about a year, and was getting ready to think about moving back into a community house setting - my definite preference for how to live. I wasn't sure at all where that was going to be. But ... it turned out that a house I'd known about, and had been thinking about a little (but I thought the timing wasn't right) had a room open still. So, I checked it out... and here I sit.

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Inner callings (or why I sold my TV)

In 2005, I felt a call to go to seminary. I wrapped up my non-profit technology work, sold or gave away most of what I owned, and moved across country to go to Pacific School of Religion. For reasons you can read about here, I left seminary, and went back to technology work.
I think I would say that was a calling to substantially change the structure of my life.
Now, here it is, 2010, and I'm feeling another calling, or maybe it's the same calling, but it is manifesting very differently. I feel a strong desire to simplify my life - to strip away distractions. I've made radical changes to allow better work/life balance (I now commute to work most days to an office, allowing me to dismantle my home office - something I've not done for a very long time - and I've never really been a typical commuter before.)  And I'm in the process of shedding again - selling or giving away a lot of what I own that I feel is unnecessary. 
Ruth gave me a quote from Hans Hoffman which fits perfectly: “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”

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An entry from my tech blog

 Title: External, alienated, busy-busy

As you might know, almost a year ago, I made a big change in my use of social media - I segregated my social graph - work related stuff moved to LinkedIn and Twitter, and personal friends only on Facebook. Now, I have taken the next step, and made somewhat of a momentous decision. I'm not alone - Jon Stahl did this before me, and I know there are others. There are plenty of people who never entered these waters at all.

I have been fairly conflicted about this for a while. There are things I really like about Twitter, Identi.ca, Buzz, etc. I like being connected to the nptech community, and learning what's happening. I really like reaching out and getting questions answered. But, being on those networks has taken it's toll on me. It's time spent I need for other things. It's an influx of information in my brain that I really don't need. And I'm sure people really don't need to hear what I think or what I'm doing in 140 characters or less.

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Welcome to the new blog

I moved my blog, from WordPress to Drupal, at the same time as I consolidated my varied online presences into one. For those of you that think that previous sentence made no sense, not to worry - it just means that from now on, my blog and all of my personal stuff will be in one place, here.

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My Novels

Many of you know that I write science fiction. I've been writing science fiction since the summer of 2006, when I wrote my first novel - it was designed to be the first in a series of three. I subsequently wrote the second (which is mostly complete) and started the third about a year and a half ago. Over the entire time I've been writing, it has been a struggle to figure out what to do with it. On one hand, it would be nice to have the recognition that published authors get.

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Foodie Heaven and other great things

I have a friend who has a blog (called Recipes for Trouble), that intertwines life and food in a really cool way. Sometimes, since I love to discover new foods to cook, I think I'll share them here, but I never have. Until today. Ruth and I had a friend over for lunch, so we took the occasion as an opportunity to go to the farmer's market that happens in downtown Oakland (at Jack London Square) on Sundays.
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Counting the Omer: Christian Orthodoxy vs. Orthopraxy

I came upon a stray tweet from someone I follow, which lead me on a search that led to an interesting blog entry asking "Why don't Christians count the Omer?" Counting the Omer, if you don't know, is a Jewish tradition of counting the 50 days between Passover (the liberation from slavery) and the holiday, Shavu'ot, which commemorates the giving of the Torah to the people of Israel.
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Slow blogging

As is obvious, I haven't blogged since Inaguration day, more than 3 months ago. Mostly, it's because I've been crazy busy. I moved, again, within Oakland, from Fruitvale to Millsmont. I found a new business partner, and we are busily building a business. I found a new church home, and I am beginning to become involved in varied activities in my East Bay and Bay Area community.
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My Christmas Letter

I always think that I'll get my act together and write a letter that I send out to all of my friends, that summarizes my year, etc. And I never actually get to it. So this year, I figured I'd blog it, and hopefully many of the folks I'd want to send it to will end up reading it. It's been a hectic year of change and upheaval. One year ago today, Ruth and I were having dinner at my parent's house in NY. That October, we'd just moved into our house in Shelburne Falls, thinking we'd be there for a while.
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What I need from Obama

I wasn't going to blog about the election. Mostly because I don't really have anything especially articulate to say about what happened on Tuesday that hasn't already been said, not only about Obama's win, but about the passage of Proposition 8 in California. I talked with my parents election night, and they said they could have never imagined a Black man as President in their lifetimes. Even I found it hard to imagine, even with Hollywood's suggestions.
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