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"It seems to me what you lose in mystery, you gain in awe."
Sir Francis Crick

Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives."
--William James

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Here We Go

Just got back from our Africa mission trip gold party.  We made almost $500 in donations and money from the buyers.  Everyone who sold gold was very surprised at the price paid by the buyers.  We got commission for every gram bought.  We also should get more from a seller who is planning a party.  Not bad for a Sunday afternoon.  Please continue to pray for our group, visit our blog often and if possible consider supporting our mission financially.  

Watching some UNC basketball (vs. Oklahoma).  I have to pull for the ACC, even if I am not the biggest UNC fan in the world.  Should be a great game.  Very windy today, at least the rain has stopped.  I think we got almost 3 inches since Tuesday, which is very welcomed considering our extreme drought.  The lakes and creeks still need more.  There is rain in the forecast for the week; but, for now it's nice and sunny with the wind drying everything that was a little soggy. 

Speaking of soggy, that drive home from Boone on Thursday was another difficult drive.  Driving on 321 to and from Boone is never easy (lots of curves on the side of the mountain) but throw in some seriously thick FOG and major construction and I can tell you that my travel pay was not nearly enough this week.  Promise you that.  On the travel note, I take off for a site near Dayton, Ohio on Tuesday (out of Charlotte).  Luckily, business is staying steady and we are gaining new sites, always nice for the bonus.  We have our biggest trade shows in the next 2 months (HIMSS in Chicago and MUSE in Vancouver, B.C.)  that usually means a lot of extra work for us in terms of data and testing during the shows and for leads and new customers.  I am the monkey behind the curtain back home during the shows, which is fine with me.  These conferences are designed for the marketing folks, I prefer the support and implementation approach.  So far, things are holding steady for our applications and we are hopefully regarding the stimulus money for healthcare IT.  

My trip to South Dakota will be 22Apr to 25Apr.  That should be interesting.  Haven't been to Sioux Falls since my 1996 trip from Tacoma to Portland, Maine with my buddy Matt Joy.  
Matt and his wife sent us a beautiful coconut/sea shell wind chime from Thailand this week.  We hung it in our bathroom above the bathtub.  Looks great.  Thanks Matt!  Matt and Marcia were the couple I gave me the Germany/Amsterdam tour back in 2007.  

My Allman Brothers moogis run is now complete.  It was a great time and I really enjoyed the ability to hang out at home watching one of my favorite bands celebrate their 40 years of making music.  The line-up now continues to create some magic on stage and pays homage to the legacy they have established.  I am also happy to know that I  can watch these shows any time I want during the next 6 months.  I have recorded some of the audio to listen again on my car stereo and so far the results have been really good.  It will take a little time to record the shows I want; but, I have 6 months!!!! Yahooo!!!!

Well, that's the weekend update.  Hope you have a great week!  Enjoy the spring and take time to remember that every moment is precious and we should never take it for granted.  As we get closer to Easter, that thought stays with me.  We are blessed and we have been given new life through the sacrifice of the Savior.  We need to tell God we are thankful for that ultimate love too.  Do it today!

See ya!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Room

Much better now that I am in a new room. My eyes were burning, my face burning, not good. They knew exactly what I was talking about at the desk.  Tone down the Cl - there buddy.

 I think I am going to watch some Survivor, call Tricia and then hit the hay.  Good night to all!

We are going to get 1-2 inches of snow tonight.  The 30 mile drive in the morning is going be a challenge.  This is a R-U-R-A-L hospital and they are proud of it too!  

See ya!

Fog in Boone, Traffic Court Fun

I made it to Boone this afternoon after a long, slow drive from Hendersonville, NC. I had to hit Hendersonville for traffic court to deal with the speeding ticket from January. The court was packed, evidently the cops in Hendersonville were busy in January. I got the ticket reduced, I think to 69 in a 60; but, I am not 100%. The scene was a complete cluster and the epitome of Carolina county-level bureaucracy at work. Proud of my people, don't you know! We had to respond as to how we wanted to deal with the ticket, I choose to ask for a reduction. The fine was reduced from $30 to $10; but, the court fees of $121 stayed the same. Well, $131 is better than $151 and I'm glad to have that behind me. I will have to see how the insurance deals with this in South Carolina. The fees and points are different even though NC will report to SC.

The fog on the trip to Boone from I-40 was unbelievable. I haven't driven in that kind of fog ever. Not a fun drive other than I got to listen to the Clapton and Allmans sets. That made it bearable. Made it to the Hampton, checked emails and then headed to the Sagebrush next door. Nice steak and dessert to wash it down. The only drag is the chlorine from the pool down the hall is really starting to bother me and I think I need to move rooms. Well, I know I am.

More later, if I get the chance. If not, good night all!

See ya!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

New Rose Bed, Zip Line Zen

I got my cinder blocks and worked on the rose bed yesterday in the gorgeous early spring sunshine. It took a good bit of digging to level the bed since it's on a nice slope. I didn't think the cinder blocks would go over well with the Home Owner's Association, so I took the abundant sandstone and granite rocks in the empty lots and around our yard and continued the theme. It's looks worth the sore back and legs (going up the hill with the rocks). I look forward to the smell of these roses in the summer sun. Bring it on!
Lots of fun today in the yard with Dylan and Miles. We even got Miles to do the zip line from the top of the fort. Believe me, it took all Dylan and I had in persuasion skills and when it finally happened, it wasn't the best form; but, it happened! He did it and had a little roll about half way down. Now he knows he can do it. I'm glad Tricia wasn't outside, it would have been a full blown trauma drama scene. He was way uncomfortable sitting on the ledge ready for take off and was sounding just like someone we know with the "Hold On, I know, I know, just hold on." Tricia and I got a laugh out of that later when talking about the scene. But, he did it and we helped him get over the fear. I knew once he got on the ledge, the easiest and safest way to get down was the zip line.
If anyone ever ask that boy what his biggest fear is, he should simply say "heights". Period, nothing closer. I remember when Tricia took him to Edventure in Columbia, she said he became uncomfortably frightened about climbing up inside the giant boys body. She got to the top and discovered Miles was at the bottom crying and being consoled by a stranger. He doesn't do heights, neither does Tricia. I remember taking Miles to McDonald's playland as a kid, he would be terrified of going across the horizontal tube that was suspended about 12 feet up. Dylan on the other hand has always been the monkey. Sometimes, to his detriment. Dylan has other fears, namely public speaking or being in front of crowd. Definitely, NOT something Miles has a problem handling. Isn't it funny how two brothers can be so different. No, it's not funny, it's amazing and how God uses us. I'm glad they are different. I'm also glad they are both my boys. I love them, fears and all.
See ya!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Random Ramblings

Sitting here watching the Tigers play Michigan.  Not sure what to think right now.  Looks like the Tigers are again playing under what they are capable.  I see some sloppy ball handling, poor shooting and lazy set-ups.  Coach P just called a timeout.  Hopefully, he can get them back in the game.  

Got another Allman Brothers Band show tonight.  I guess I will be watching basketball on 1 screen and the concert on the other.  Should be fun.

Found some MUSC friends on Facebook this week.  Nice to catch up with professors and others who were in my MHA program.    

Dylan had his first scrimmage for baseball today and the opportunity to try his new cleats. Unfortunately, the game/practice was canceled.  I guess we will wait for Saturday.  Also hope to have some friends over on Saturday to watch the ABB concert and share a dinner.

Working on Africa fundraisers this week, including the Gold Party.  This is a neat idea that allows folks to sell their old gold for cash and we earn money by them showing up and selling.  Hope it works!  But, I am confident God will make this trip work for all of us.  He has a plan and it will happen.

Watched NBC Nightly News tonight.  Is there a limit to how many drug commercials you can show in 30 minutes?  Do you need to have an over active bladder with rheumatoid arthritis  and enlarged prostate to go with your high cholesterol to watch network news?

Got the new Internet Explorer 8.0 today.  Not bad and I found it far more stable than Firefox lately as it's been crashing way too often.  I try to use Google's Chrome for most non-work stuff when working (to keep things separate).  I like IE 8 so far and I have been using the beta version for a month or so.  The official release came out today.  Check it out.

Looking forward to hopefully getting time and resources to build the rose bed this weekend.  Talked with some friends in our lifegroup and they like to build them with cinder blocks.  Makes sense to me and prevents the chemicals leaching into the soil from the usual railroad ties or treated lumber.  Plus, the cement blocks don't rot.  I can also decorate with sandstone rocks or some paint.  Much cheaper for supplies too!

Still having pain in my left shoulder that has bothered me since a crash on the ski slope in January.  I think I need to tell the doctor next week when I go see him.  It really only hurts when I left my arm to the side (like checking the mail or using an ATM).  It wakes me at night sometimes too.  Not good, I know...

I am probably going to Jefferson, NC next week for a quick 1 day consultation for a site that is a beta site for one of our handheld applications.  Going to Sidney, Ohio the first week of April and then off to South Dakota at the end of April. Looks like a busy month just around the corner.  

No credit card use other than my prescriptions in almost 3 weeks.  So far, so good!  

See ya!

Monday, March 16, 2009

1x1 = 3

Two things are going on here at the Johnson family home.  

1.  Dylan got a Multiplication Rocks DVD at the library on Saturday.  Just think of it as flash cards put to rock video. Lots and lots of flash cards and even more multiplication.  I think I witnessed a multiplication marathon on Saturday and Sunday.  I guess it could be worse and he knows the answers and Miles is catching on too.  Yes, I meant to write Miles.  Math and quick responses for math is not his strong point; but, he enjoys the music and the flash cards.  Did I mention the video has lots of flash cards?  I close my eyes at night and see 5 x 6...

2.  Speaking of  1 x 1= 3.  Miles went to a human growth and development seminar today. It was divided into girls and boys in different classes.  He thinks he is starting "his puberty" now.  He also learned more about body fluids, especially those associated with reproduction.  He's kinda embarrassed to talk about it too, so he spellls it out.  Like Dylan can't spell.  So, yes 1 x 1 does equal 3 or more...  Tricia and I have been trying to keep a straight face at the dinner table and behind the bedroom door.  God helps us, I feel like we are at the top of a roller coaster climb and just about to see the downward descent and pick up some speed.  For now, let's buckle up and make sure we stay focused on keeping our hands and feet in the car.  I know the 2nd round is going probably be a little rougher, that would be Dylan, so we will take this nice and steady.  

Watching the 6th night of the Allman Brothers Band LIVE from the Beacon Theatre in New York City as part of their 40th Anniversary celebration.  They take every Sunday and Wednesday night off (for church ?)  :-).  Nice and rested and they came out firing on all cylinders with a "Statesboro Blues" tonight.  

Nice to see Clemson got a decent seed for the NCAA, now if we can only get to the 2nd round.  Go Tigers!  

I think we are done on the rain for now.  There's a lot of soggy red clay around these parts right now and Keller is looking a little red himself.  But, the rain is always welcomed.  I did some more yard work today and have the front flower bed looking nice and purty with pansies and fresh red mulch.  Next up, the new rose bed for the 3 Abraham Darby roses I have ready to transplant.  It's gonna be in the 70's by the end of the week and the pink peach blossoms are ready to kick it into overdrive.  Me too!

See ya!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

R.S. Hornsby

I have been a Bruce Hornsby fan for a long time and have seen many a Bruuuuuuuce show.  I was just listening to some Bruce today and recollecting on one of my all-time favorite shows that Tricia and I went to up in Asheville on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate in 2005.  The last song in the 3 song encore was "Across the River" into "Morning Dew" then back into "Across the River".  It was such an incredible version and still puts goosebumps on my arm with intensity and feeling.  I listened again today as I was driving home from a meeting at $tarbucks with the Africa 2009 team. I found myself thinking about what Bruce is up to these days and went to his site.  I was floored to see that an integral part of that band and those concerts, Bruce's nephew, R.S. Hornsby, was killed in a car accident on January 15th.  He was 28 years young and was an amazing talent.  He had a very "Jerry" sounding guitar sound and played with great technique and transparent feeling.  I still can't believe I am writing about him being gone and the July 2009 show at the Biltmore (or Biltmo' as Bruce calls it) just won't be the same with R.S. there over Bruce's shoulder.  This is a tragic loss for the world and I really feel hollow right now.  

Here's some sites to check out about R.S. and hear some tunes (some of the ones posted are my recordings) and watch this video he and Bruce doing "Standing on the Moon".  

May you forever rest in Peace R.S and thank you for some of the most incredible nights under the Carolina stars at the Biltmo' that I won't soon forget.  That night in 2005 with the moon coming out from behind those dark clouds and the sky clearing by the time that magical encore started will forever be a moment in time for me and Tricia.  Thank you!

"Across The River" by Bruce Hornsby

She moved back around here
thirty-five weeks ago today
Oh down the lane
At night she walks on the banks
and remembers how she
Dreamed of rowing away
And how she left one day
She left with a driven look in her eyes
Came back around with it still inside
They said give it some time and
you'll forget about it too
We know they always do
Well I know

Some fine day
You will find your way Across the river
Row down slow
There's a long way to go
Across the river

She was proud and so strong
And she tried not to listen to idle talk
Downtown where she walked
They sit around and they say
That she came back with her
tail between her legs
Like they always said she would

Well I hear it's better on the other side
They say you'll never do it
so don't even try
Well you may be beaten down
with your closed mind
But don't try and make it mine
Well I know

Some fine day
You will find your way Across the river
Row down slow
There's a long way to go
Across the river

"Your wild days are
through" is what they said
I dreamed she came, when I was down and
I walked where she led

Standing on the shore
She looks to the west with a look of longing
To where the grass seems greener
There's a hard and distant prize
It probably won't happen
but I think I'll try
Well even if it doesn't happen for me
It still beats hanging around here
Well I know

Some fine day
You will find your way Across the river
Row down slow
There's a long way to go
Across the river

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Night 3 and Oh Well

Watching my 3rd Allman Brothers Band concert of the week and sitting right here in my office.  This Moogis thing is the real deal.  It's almost better than front row seats (no smoke and drunks to deal with either and that's an important thing these daze...).  So far, great playing from the band and Gregg sounds fantastic.  Lots of guests, sitting here watching the legendary Buddy Guy tear it up with them right now.  In the first two nights the guests were Los Lobos (Cesar and David), Levon Helm (The Band) and Taj Mahal and look out, here's Trey and Paige from PHiSH walking on the stage right now.  Gotta watch this, be right back...

Wow!  That was cool. They ripped into Southbound with Buddy and Trey and Paige.  Lots of jam on that one!  I still can't believe how good the video quality and audio quality is for this online venue. Seriously, Tricia even commented on how good the video looks for online video.  It's just as good as TV quality and the sound on my 5.1 speaker setup is good but I will be on headphones for the 2nd set as the boys have hit the hay.

Speaking of hitting the hay and the boys.  While Tricia and I were at Lifegroup last night, Miles and Dylan got into a wrestling match and one thing lead to another and Miles ended up sitting on Dylan's face (or so the story goes) and giving him a nice bloody nose.  I think the Wii will have a nice week off and Miles has about 100 sentences to write this week. It's not like we have never mentioned "no wrestling" when we are gone.  Poor Gracie felt so bad about it. But, she gets another chance tomorrow night as Tricia and I are heading to a friends to help celebrate a birthday and have a fun game night with Mia and Scott and friends from Freedom.

Some good news on the Africa trip, I got a scholarship from the South Carolina Baptist convention that covers almost 20% of my trip.  Thank you God!  That will come in handy and at the right time.  Others are also helping out!  Thank you sister Amy!  Working on Krispy Kreme and Pizza Inn fundraisers here too.  Still have lots to do and the price of the flight is still hovering above $2000 right now.  Keep us on the prayer list!

The "Oh Well" in my subject title?  Seems the Clemson Tigers have completely run out of gas for the basketball season.  The last place Ga Tech Yellow Jackets booted them from the ACC tourney in the first round today.  Not a pretty sight as the team looked totally exhausted.  I'm not sure how well we will fair in the NCAA, if we get selected.  We have been on a slide since that loss to VA back in February.  I'm sure UNC will take the ACC again this year...

On the work front, looks like I am heading to Sioux Falls, South Dakota in April and I have another new contract in Ohio that was signed this week, near Dayton.  Full speed ahead at work and that is a good thing, considering the state of the economy.  But, I do see signs that some hospitals are starting to end their spending freezes and more contracts are coming in this month than the last 3 months combined.  Keep on moving!

Well, I gotta get ready for the 2nd set and for my men's group Bible study in the morning before the 2nd set starts.  We are finishing Job this week and I want to be prepared.  Have a great weekend!  Hope this chilly weather moves on out soon, Dylan had a very chilly baseball practice tonight.  Brrrr....

See ya!

Monday, March 9, 2009


Tonight I am watching a LIVE Allman Brothers Band concert from New York City online. In fact, I am going to be doing this for 15 nights from the same theater in NYC as the band celebrates their 40th anniversary. Many guests are expected, including many of the musicians who have joined the band onstage and in the studio over the many years. What is cool is this is a High-Def video and audio feed. I subscribed to the service at the start and got in for a ridiculous $100. Not bad for 15 concerts that I can watch any time I want for the next 6 months. The show starts in a few minutes. I have invited many friends over to join me the next 2 weeks for some great music and video from my favorite band. This is gonna be fun and I don't have to travel to NYC and spend way too much money to do it!

I have also been enjoying Phish's free soundboard downloads from their reunion shows in Hampton, Virginia. The band made all of the shows available for free within hours of the shows (each night) and they sound great. The band had disband in 2004 and these are the first shows in almost 5 years. Glad to see them getting back together with positive energy and doing the right thing for the phans. Gotta love their jams and energy. Almost as good as being there, well, almost...

Clemson limped into the post season yesterday with a loss at Wake Forest, hope we can make something happen in the ACC tourney, which starts Thursday via Ga Tech. We are entering the "One and Done" stage of the season. Hope we can make it run!

Well, I got a concert in NYC to catch!

See ya!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Just hanging out today, doing some cleaning and honey-do's.  It's been a busy week, despite the snow days for everyone else.  It went fast for me!

Just finishing up on some Africa mission support letters and taking it easy while everyone else is out shopping and hitting the library.  Don't worry, we are still very much on the Dave Ramsey budget and Tricia is taking cash envelopes to stay in focus.  I did the same thing last night at Wally World for the milk.  It feels good to turn this corner and know it will get easier and easier as we change the paradigm of thinking about our finances.  It's definitely made communication between us more open.  That's always a good thing.  We are blessed and we need to start living like it and not taking it for granted.

One of the coolest things ever in my life as a parent happened yesterday.  Dylan has been talking a great deal about becoming a Christian and taking the first step of giving his life to Jesus for eternal salvation.  Well, he came home from school yesterday and boldly told his Mom he was ready to make that step.  Tricia and Dylan were in the kitchen and I was wrapping up work.  As she asked the questions, he answered sincerely and then she lead him in prayer.  It was an awesome thing to hear and I waited until he was done so as to not interrupt.  I went in to congratulate him and he was all smiles and so was Tricia.  It was a proud moment for all of us.  I made sure he knew that was just the beginning and the start of his journey.  He assured me that he knew that was the first step.  I compared it to starting Jedi Knight training, he knew exactly what I was talking about.  It was awesome.  Writing this made me think about Father's Day in 2007.  That was the day Miles was baptized at Alice Drive and I was invited into the pool and was able to ask Miles of his Christian confession.  That was awesome too!  We look forward to Dylan taking that step later this year at Freedom Fellowship!  God is Good.  I told you I was blessed!!!

Enjoy these great warm pre-spring days and don't forget to set the clock ahead tonight.  I am on call so I hope the computers do the right thing around 2am EST on the way to EDT.  

See ya!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New Africa 2009 Blog and Gray Whale video from 2009

We have a 2009 Africa blog going here. Can't wait for what God is going to do this year and beyond through our missions there. I can feel the momentum starting to build and some of my own anxiety (cost of the trip, what God wants for me in Botswana, etc). Please keep our team from Freedom in your prayers: Nancy, Julie, Jason and me. We are also going to team up with another group from Alice Drive while on the mission. That will be awesome. Check out the blog and keep up to date on this year's trip.

I posted a fun video on YouTube today of a Gray Whale watching trip I took with Amy, Susan and Aunt Jo (my Dad's only sister) from back in 2000. Susan and Aunt Jo came out to spend a week with us before we moved back. It was a fun trip and a great day for whale watching.

The family was home again today due to the 2nd snow day (just ice and crunchy snow today) and they have a 2 hour delay tomorrow. Short week, aye?

Clemson won their last home game of the year and right now Maryland is beating Wake. That is Clemson's last regular season game, at Wake this weekend. Go Tigers!

Got the new U2 album for $3.99 from Amazon mp3 store today. Sweet deal and I am still getting into the songs. Very murky, muddy sound and a little more non-verbal Bono than I would know the sounds he makes between lyrics, makes me think he didn't have a good lyric so he just makes noises. Also, some of Edge's guitar licks are starting to sound like retread. But, still I paid $3.99 :-) I would love to see them on tour again... someday!

See ya!

Monday, March 2, 2009


No school today as we woke to find about 2-3 inches of crunchy snow on the ground. The boys and Keller had a blast going up and down the hill. We just got word, no school tomorrow either. Lots of water out there and some snow and the temps are going to be in the 20s. I guess Greenville County schools is going to save some money and some lives :-)

The videos are with Tricia's camera, which is why the quality isn't that good; but, you get the idea!

See ya!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Blue Belt Graduation, Snow?

Miles got his Blue Belt yesterday. He did great at the graduation. He is getting close to half way to the black belt.

The Tigers lost, again... This time to Florida State. It was hard to watch this one as I could see that FSU was going to make us pay for the sloppy ball control (again). We have 2 more ACC regular season games and we are now 8-6 in the conference. Hope we can get at least 1 to stay above .500.

It's possible we may get 3-5 inches of snow by Monday. It's been raining every since Thursday and the team is supposed to drop. Should be fun.

I'm going back to bed. See ya!