Sunday, November 18, 2012

Football Schoolin'

I didn't know it but I was sitting on winning loto tickets - in a sense.

I had four tickets to the Baylor vs. Kansas State football game last night. Two of my family weren't interested in going, so David and I invited a couple of friends.  My friend, Brad, has coached football, played football, and I think, on occasion, actually eats footballs.  He is immensely more familiar with the game than I am.  Going to the game with me was, for him, like going to the Republican National Convention post-convention baseball game with European socialist tourist that only speaks French.
Brad and I in the cheap seats
OK, I'm not really sure what that meant, but let's just say it this way: he knows the game, I do not.

For instance, as we were in the Whataburger drive through getting some dinner before the game, he excitedly said to me "I can't believe you invited me to see the number one team in the nation!"  I knew enough to know that he was not referring to Baylor.  

"You mean Kansas State is ranked number one right now?"  I honestly had no idea.

Coughing on his double-meat double-cheese with no lettuce, Brad refrained from the opportunity to belittle my manhood.  I was grateful.  But I was also a little discouraged, since I figured that meant Baylor would lose badly.  This was the only game I planned to attend this year, and I didn't want to have my team down by, like, a hundred points or something.

You see, I am enough of a fan to watch Baylor play, but not enough of a fan to care about any other team.  I care about the school, not the game.  Well, that's not true. I also care enough to smile a little when Texas A&M loses.  Last year A&M abandoned century-old rivalries to join the SEC and get a more lucrative television contract. I think that represents the worst in collegiate athletics.  That and I think maroon is just plain ugly.

At any rate, Brad patiently schooled me on football during the game and I enjoyed it more because of it.  

And they played spectacularly.

And Baylor defeated the top-ranked team in the nation for the first time in school history!  I could not believe it.  I loved it.  It was the most fun I have ever had at a football game.  Thanks Baylor! Thanks Brad!
David watches the Baylor fans storm the field after defeating Kansas State 54-24.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

6:8 technologies, a new direction

Oh Middle-Aged Fat Guy, what are you up to this time? Why haven't you been blogging? Why aren't you funny anymore?  

I have no explanations for the decrease in humor other than middle age and finally kicking that pain-killer habit. As for what I am up to, read on citizens, read on. 

Here's something really new in my life: I have graciously accepted an offer to join a well-respected local non-profit organization called Mission Waco/Mission World. For 28 years MW/MW has been practicing a holistic Christian ministry with the homeless in Waco, Texas. In addition to this, they do work in Mexico, India, and Haiti with long-term indigenous partners. They let me join up with them because I told them I could juggle and pick locks.  But of course, this is a lie.

In the town of Ferrier, Haiti, MW/MW has been working doing clean water ministries by helping locals drill water wells, maintain human-powered water pumps, and get access to water chlorinators and ceramic water filters. One of their main goals is to keep children under five years old from dying from water-borne illnesses. Sadly, this is too common. I'm eager to learn how they go about this and see if there is any way I can help. 

Perhaps, if the need is there, I could help them establish a solar battery-charging station for the chlorinator equipment or help with some other energy needs.  At this point I don't know how, exactly, I can help them, but I am willing and able to try. I am going on my first trip to Haiti next month to explore, support, and begin some new relationships.  Well, technically, I have been to Haiti once before in 1976, but that hardly counts on account of me being nine at the time. That's like saying you have been to all the states but really you only changed planes in Wisconsin. It didn't really count as "being there" unless you spent the night or got a movie from a Red Box.

So there will be a new program at MW/MW called Six Eight Technologies and I will be the program director. The name is in reference to Micah 6:8 - do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. If technologies can bring justice, if technologies can express mercy, and if they can bring people closer to God, then that's what we're about. In this role I will be supporting the other MW/MW works, especially in Haiti, and will be developing some training materials to help people learn how to do the same in other locations. I will have other blog posts about what this might look like later.

I used an online logo generating website to come up with a logo for 6:8 technologies.  I think it's pretty awesome. It looks like an 8. It looks like an infinity (think eternity). It looks like rolling waters. It even looks like sixes, all interwoven and twisty. 

After I pay a fee, the online logo service will give me a cleaner copy without the blue squares in the background.  But I kinda like them. They make it look like it is drawn on engineering paper. Reminds me of lock-picking school back in the day. Nostalgic sigh.

More to come...