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to whom it may concern


About Me

Jeff Watkins
Age: Still alive
Occupation: Too many things
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Previous Posts

My first trip to Austin, Texas!Went to the biggest...
A Piece of Me Has Died
The fucking USPS
Today's Haul

DCFC - The Barsuk Years
Ornette Coleman - "Tomorrow Is The Question!"
Hanging out, pushing buttons
My jazz collection

Blogs I Dig

His beautiful eyes...
Melissa's Journal
Mosaic Life
Morse Coded Signals
Of Folly and of Vice
Words Are Not Enough

Soundtrack of my Life

The Appleseed Cast
David Bazan
The Beatles
Johnny Cash
Alice Cooper
Miles Davis
Death Cab For Cutie
Bob Dylan
Ben Kweller
Professor Longhair
Pink Floyd
Stretch Arm Strong
The Who
Brian Wilson

Pop Culture interests

All Music Guide
Dr. Mohler's Radio Program
Hollywood Jesus
Monsters in the Morning
View Askew
XXX Church

Reading the Classics

Christian Classics Ethereal Library
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy


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© To Whom It May Concern 2002-2010, except for cited or source material.


Friday, August 30, 2002

A Day Or Two

I have this weekly assignment for Theology class to study a particular attribute of God. This week's attribute was God's spirituality. This study includes looking at the passages that give insight to His attributes, self-reflection, looking at and understanding the definition, and memorizing one of the verses that shows this attribute in the Holy Scriptures. Here are my thoughts:

Attribute: Spirituality

Personal Reflection on Attribute:

This attribute seems like it should be a key element to my Christian faith. God being God has all knowledge of everything. God’s immutable qualities are unlimited. He has all the power and authority over all the earth. The immaterial and non-physical nature of God just represents His awesomeness even more. God doesn’t fit in a box. God isn’t a tangible object. You can’t touch God. However, he’s everywhere at once and able to hear my cries and anyone else’s at the exact same time. We consider it obvious to think about this quality but it really is a harder attribute to understand. How can God not be a touchable thing, entity, or being? Yet, have all the power to be everywhere at once. Sometimes I forget to think about God’s invisible abilities, attributes, and qualities. But we know from Romans 1 that they have been clearly seen so that all men are without excuse. In my walk, when I pray for needs, wants, concerns, and worries I need to remember just how awesome God is!

Personal Prayer:

Dear God, as these words flow from my heart, mouth, and fingers I pray that I might come into a new understanding of just how great you are. I am so unworthy of your love and grace, yet you freely give it to me everyday. As I think about your spirituality I should strive for your perfection. It is that perfection that your son Jesus Christ modeled while he walked on this earth and the perfection that we should strive for in our daily lives. Even though I will never meet perfection in my strides, I should live holy and strive for the best. Dear God, as I live out this week and I try to do your will be with me and help me to understand your attributes. For only in my knowledge of you will I grow and come into a deeper understanding of you. Thank you for saving me when I wasn’t worth saving and still am not. Help me in my tasks and duties. I love you; praise you, and thank you for everything…

"Wherever any precept of traditional morality is simply challenged to produce its credentials, as though the burden of proof lay on it, we have taken the wrong position."-- C.S. Lewis The Abolition of Man

posted by Jeff Watkins at 2:20 PM

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Wednesday, August 28, 2002

The Calendar Says Wednesday, But It Still Feels Like Tuesday

I'm too tired to sleep. If that has ever happened to you, this could be your life. My conscience is clear as to what I need to do. My heart and feelings are telling me otherwise. Why do they just serve as distractions? A band by the name of Tantrum Of The Muse once said, "The heart is a two-headed sperm." Undeniable deception in emotion. I'm starting to believe in the biblical idea of circumcision of the heart. Even though I have known it for so long, practice is the undeniable act of learning or understanding something anew. I have something very important to do this week. It involves a friend. I'd appreciate your prayers for guidance and strength from God...

“There goes today. What about tomorrow? Conformity, I'll never swallow. The world today full of pain and sorrow. Apathy, I'll never follow. Can we return to the golden age? To the goals we set and promises we made. Do you recall when we were friends? Just you and me to the very end. Can we return to the golden age? To the goals we set and to the promises made.”
-Second Chances by Stretch Arm Strong

posted by Jeff Watkins at 3:56 AM

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Monday, August 26, 2002

Another Day, Another Dollar

Today turned out to be another one of those inevitable Mondays. I woke up around 7:15 A.M. I decided that was much to early to be up. So, I blew off my classes today. So many people yelled at me, saying I'm never gonna graduate. Just wait... I mean, I know last week was the first week of school and all, but I made it to everyone of those classes! I guess I just had a case of the Mondays (Office Space reference). It occurred to me that I should go to my Theology class considering it is one of my harder classes, but I ended up just sleeping until 2:00 P.M. I woke up and walked over to the cafeteria to see what was going on. I ended up telling Jamie I would work for her, so that was good. One day, versus my no hours last week or any the rest of this week. My paycheck this week will have a whole six hours on it. Yay for money. I got to watch a little of WWE Raw tonight so that's cool. I have about five or six poems that I need to post, so be anxiously waiting the unveiling of that junk. Let us see, what else is there. Nothing...

P*S* this is how I feel about girls right now:

"Your House" by Jimmy Eat World, from the record Bleed American

When you're on, I swear you're on
You rip my heart right out
You rip my heart right out
I think the whole room can hear me clear my throat
You rip my heart right out
You rip my heart right out
If you still care at all, don't go, tell me now
If you love me at all, don't call

Then out of nowhere, put me right back there
Rip my heart right out
You rip my heart right out
And we know what happens when we get to your house
Rip my heart right out
You'll rip my heart right out
If you still care at all, don't go, tell me now
If you love me at all, please don't tell me now
If you still care at all, don't go, tell me now
If you love me at all, don't call

Oh, I throw away everything I've written you
Oh anything
Just keep my mind off of thinking how I had you once
No, I can't forget that
Sometimes I wish I could lose you again

You're winning me over with everything you say
You rip my heart right out
You rip my heart right out
When I let you closer I only want you closer
You rip my heart right out
You rip my heart right out
If you still care at all, don't go, tell me now
If you love me at all, please don't, tell me now
Yeah, if you still care at all, don't go, tell me now
If you love me at all, don't call
If you love me at all...

posted by Jeff Watkins at 11:13 PM

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Sunday, August 25, 2002

Sea of Faces

Can you look past the sea of faces and see me there?
I'm the one waving
I wish I could show you how I feel
Since telling you is so hard
Would you notice me if I showed you
Or would I be screaming in deaf ears?
I suppose it doesn't matter now
Everything is sinking in my mind
Can you look past the sea of faces and see me there?
I'm the one drowning

posted by Justin at 3:58 PM

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Saturday, August 24, 2002

A White Guy, A Black Guy, And A Beatle

Today our friend Reggie stopped by our place. Reggie is the local hearing impaired and mute fellow who visits our campus quite a bit. He's a really nice guy, but it's hard because the only way of communicating with him is writing to him with pen and paper. The encounters are usually time consuming and he seems to show up at the most inopportune times, but we try to be nice and chat with him. We saw him last night at Adventure Land in Dothan and he said (or wrote) that he would see me tomorrow. I guess I didn't take him seriously. As he was writing to Michael (Milks, my roommate) today, we put on The Beach Boys record. So, basically we were listening to The Beach Boys with a hearing impaired guy. Milks told me that Reggie had "heard" (did you catch that) that the new coffee shop in town, Frank's is open. Reggie stayed for a bit and then went on his way. It was a good chat we had, the black guy who's mute and hearing impaired, the Beatle, and myself.

posted by Jeff Watkins at 8:03 PM

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Friday, August 23, 2002

A Sucker For Happy Endings

The first week of school is almost over. Just one more day left. Friday. I was talking to a chat buddy earlier on AIM and she lives in Australia. It was already Friday and about 4 P.M. in the afternoon. I was thinking about that in these early morning hours and I realized at that time tomorrow my entire day would be done. My duties will be finished. My obligations will have been met. I will feel relaxed and at ease for the first time in five days. Before I can experience these wonders and joys, I have to actually start the day. In about 7 hours I will be walking into my first class. As I sit here, I wonder what I could do to make it better or worse. What if I go and stay up all night, reading and rereading my assignment thoroughly over so that when I get in class I would be the most prepared I could possibly be. And my maximum learning potential will be at its fullest peak? What if I go and stay up all night and just skip out on the class and not worry about it. Will the absence of my presence cause any certain reaction to anyone’s day? Will the absence of my being better or worsen anyone’s certain inevitable day? I don't think either way I'll be making a significant contribution...

"And the piano sounds like a carnival. And the microphone smells like a beer. And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar. And say 'Man what are you doing here?'" - Billy Joel, Piano Man

posted by Jeff Watkins at 12:59 AM

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Thursday, August 22, 2002

A New Thought

We here at To Whom It May Concern have a friend named Lori Lindsey. She will be leaving this Saturday to attend the University of Memphis in Tennessee. Her and I have been friends for a long time now. Not really, but as far as seeing someone just about everyday, it feels long. Even though we might only see each other tri-weekly now. It has been about two years since our first encounter at Dakota’s Coffee House. That night, I was a complete jerk and idiot. I said a lot of things to her that, at the time seemed relevant and fitting. However, I was in error. I prejudged her for the music she liked (and still appreciates), the clothes she wore, and her attitude toward things. I did all of this before I took the time to sit down and find out what she was about. And believe it or not (sarcasm), she really despised me after that night. I can't blame her, I'm just glad she gave me a second chance. Anyway, the point is, I do this so much and it's really starting to frustrate me. God is changing me so much, and it's right before my eyes. I see the way I acted two years ago and think, wow, I was an idiot. I see the way I acted one year ago and I'm still amazed at how immature I was. I now sit here and look at myself and realize that yesterday I was a complete jerk. Yet, yesterday was a stepping-stone in my life; much like every day prior. Each day is a continual process of growth for us as humans. And, as Christians, each day is a recurrent growth process in our spiritual walk with God. We will never get there because we are depraved, but we are commanded to strive for holiness because He is holy.

Sorry, I got off on a tangent there, but it's something that God is working out within me. As I was saying, Lori and I have this friendship that has just blossomed into full bloom. Even though, there are a lot of times that Chase, Lori, and myself would do things together, we still had our own friendship. Much like she and Chase do. Lori and I opened up to each other amidst reliance in our own self-caution. Lori is a friend I can now say (sorry it took so long) that I fully trust. That's really hard because deep down inside, I don't "fully" trust too many people. Tonight I called her up and told her I just wanted to hang out and talk. Chase, Lori, and I just saw Signs last night and peed our pants and got a little teary-eyed also (at least I did), so I wanted tonight to be a dry evening. Get it, dry... wet.. uhh... yeah... uhh... We just went to Wal-Mart and spent most of the evening there. We had dinner at Ruby Tuesdays and just chatted about our history, friendship, and everything else that popped up. She told me that she was proud to tell people that she was going to hang out with her friend Jeff Watkins (as I am proud to call her a friend). That makes me feel really special. And that is always a good thing to feel ;)

"A Friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of Nature."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)

posted by Jeff Watkins at 2:14 AM

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Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Comment Leader Board

So, today sucked... But, the fact that I'm # 1 on DYL's Comment Leader Board makes me feel better:

The Comment Leaderboard
This leaderboard takes into account the last 100 comments.

1. Jeff Watkins (11)
2. The Dane (10)
3. Rich Clark (10)
4. esteban (10)
5. Corrie Dukes (6)
6. Ryan (6)
7. Mike (5)
8. Krystle (4)
9. rex (4)
10. Sean (4)

posted by Jeff Watkins at 12:12 AM

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Monday, August 19, 2002

First Day of School

I'm not sure how to start this off. I remember when I was a kid and my mom would take me school shopping for supplies, clothes, and shoes. I used to love that feeling of new clothes, my cool new shoes, and the anticipation that the first day of school brought. Call me a nerd, whatever; the first and last days of school were always the best. Well, my folks didn't take me clothes shopping this year, but they did manage to cover my $2,500 school bill. So, that's better. Yay for Mom and Dad, I love you guys (I act like they read my post).

After just 4 hours of sleep last night, I figured classes would provide me with the first day anxieties that I've come to know. I had Psychology 301 at 8:00 and Psychology 310 at 9:00 and my day started out all right. I thought seeing some people I hadn't seen or talked to in a while might make me a little timid and it did. But, it seems fine now. I made it through the morning without any complaints, except for all the work I'm going to have to do this semester. I went to chapel and heard a Word from God no doubt. Our beloved (hehe) President, Dr. Tom Kinchen spoke to all those attending and it was awesome. I say awesome because he touched down on areas of sin that I always struggle with. It felt good to be, in some sorts threatened, if that makes sense. God is always here, with us, but sometimes we act like he doesn't exist. This morning, I felt those words coming out of Dr. Kinchen’s mouth and as daggers they were hitting me right square in the eyes. I am cheif among sinners.

After a delectable meal from the new food establishment in the cafeteria, I headed over to Theology 301. But, prior to class I was greeted by my boss, Tammy Simpson (whom also attends college at BCF). She informed me that work was going to be kind of slow for the next 2 weeks. It turns out that we are doing well, but we're just waiting for the red-tape to be dealt with on all our projects. What that means is that only the top-producing employees will be working these upcoming weeks. I am not of this descent. It's my own fault I guess, that I don't produce enough, but man... I felt like crap after that. I'm being laid off from work temporarily. Does that make sense? I'm gracious to still have a job, but I need the money too. Bill collectors don’t care, but I guess I got myself into that one too. I know God will provide, but I know I won't act like it or have faith that he will, which is also my sin. After I got the news, I felt like someone just told me that my girlfriend was fixing to break up with me, but before she could get to my house to tell me, she died in car accident. I know that's harsh, but my insides are hurting because I take pride in my work, as most men do. So, I'm here at Justin’s house now, just trying to find solace in the quietness. I went for a drive to calm my nerves. Oh yeah to finish my first day. I didn't really feel like listening to the workload I have for Theology in class and I kind of acted like a prick to Mike Godfrey, who was only asking me a question. Jeremy Cook has had a pretty miserable day as well. We joined in unity and harmony (flat and sharp) and sang Age-Six Racer by Dashboard Confessional seeing is how the summer is now over and the pressures of being a college student have arose. But hey, it beats being a responsible adult... I hear that's even harder. Thanx Jeremy. So, with all the new free time on my hands I’ll be sure to start studying and I'll be writing a lot more. Look forward to some more of my crap, but at least it's new crap. As for me, I want to be unnoticed for a little while...

posted by Jeff Watkins at 2:46 PM

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There's No "I" In Team

music and lyrics by Taking Back Sunday

Well I can't regret,
can't you just forget it?
I started something I couldn't finish
And if we go down,
we go down together
best friends means,
well best friends means

And I've got a twenty-dollar bill
that says you're up late night starting
fist fights versus fences in your backyard
Wearing your black eye like a badge of honor
Soaking in sympathy
from friends who never loved you
nearly half as much as me

Broken down in bars and bathrooms
All I did was what I had to
Don't believe me when I tell you
it's just what anyone would do
Take the time to talk about it
Think a lot and live without it
Don't believe me when I tell you
it's something unforgivable

Well I can't regret,
can't you just forget it?
I started something I couldn't finish
If we go down,
we go down together
best friends means,
well best friends means

You never knew
well i never told you...
Everything I know about breaking hearts
I learned from you, it's true
I've never done it with the style and grace you have
But I've made long term plans
based on these mistakes

Broken down in bars and bathrooms
All I did was what I had to
Don't believe me when I tell you
it's just what anyone would do
Take the time to talk about it
Think a lot and live without it
Don't believe me when I tell you
it's something unforgivable

Is this what you call tact?
I swear you're as subtle as a brick in the small of my back
so let's end this call,
and end this conversation
there's nothing worse...
(that's right he said, that's right he said it)
I swear, you have no idea
The jealousy that became me thinking
(that's right he said)
that you always had it way too easy

Broken down in bars and bathrooms
All I did was what I had to
Don't believe me when I tell you
it's just what anyone would do
Take the time to talk about it
Think a lot and live without it
Don't believe me when I tell you
it's something unforgivable

Best friends means I pulled the trigger
Best friends means you get what you deserve
Best friends means I pulled the trigger
Best friends means you get what you deserve
Best friends means I pulled the trigger
Best friends means you get what you deserve
Best friends means I pulled the trigger
Best friends means you get what you deserve
Best friends means I pulled the trigger
Best friends means you get what you deserve

Best friend thinks I pulled the trigger!!!
Best friend thinks you get what you deserve!!!

<- a song that fits my hurt and rage ->

posted by Jeff Watkins at 2:33 PM

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Saturday, August 17, 2002

Postponed Feelings

I've never really been one for posting random things about my life on this site (who knew). Right now, it's 8:35 P.M. and I have nothing to do. This is a good feeling because it means I'm not slacking or procrastinating on anything, yet. However, my room is still in shambles from moving in two weeks ago. I guess I could start on my twenty-page paper I'm going to have to do for Psychology 301, but I don't know what it's going to be on. My class schedule hadn't changed any since I last talked about it in April, but here it is anyway:

Psychology 301 ~ Psychology of Religion
Psychology 310 ~ The Psychology of Learning and Teaching
Psychology 330 ~ Marriage and Family-Life Education
Psychology 404 ~ Clinical Pastoral Training and Practicum
Psychology 420 ~ Mental Disorders and Their Treatments
Evangelism 201 ~ Personal Evangelism
Theology 301 ~ Christian Doctrine of Revelation, God, and Soteriology

Yep, I'm taking 7 classes and 20 hours. I only will need like 15 required hours plus whatever electives I need for my last semester. I'm still not done figuring out them exactly but I'm pretty sure I will be able to graduate in May of 2003. Which excites me very much, yet scares me a little more. Graduate school is next on the list and trying to decide where to get my degree from, what to get it in, how to pay for it, and all the other details that go into it (jeez, I thought picking a college was hard enough).

I'm listening to Billy Joel's greatest hits now and I'm totally digging the stuff I know. Piano Man and She's Always A Woman have got to be in my top twenty favorite songs, but I'm sure I say that about hundreds of songs. I'm going to try to come up with my 50 favorite songs of all time. This is going to be tuff and I know I will forget something so... it won't really matter; it'll just be interesting to try.

From Part III of Robert Frost's A Boy's Will

Now Close The Windows
It is time to make an end of speaking

Now close the windows and hush all the fields;
If the trees must, let them silently toss;
No bird is singing now, and if there is,
Be it my loss.

It will be long ere the marshes resume,
It will be long ere the earliest bird:
So close the windows and not hear the wind,
But see all wind-stirred.

I guess that's about it for my randomness. It made for a pretty long post, so I'm happy. Does anyone else not like Lord Of The Rings. I'm sure they're all going to be spectacular and phenomenal movies but I'm just not the fantasy guy. I'd much rather prefer watching something with a little more realism, like the new Masters Of the Universe cartoon we watched earlier, haha. I might be making a Wal-Mart run later with some friends so I need to get a few things done. Until we meet again...

"You can say the human heart is only make-believe. And I am only fighting fire with fire. But you are still a victim of the accidents you leave. As sure as I'm a victim of desire." Billy Joel Don't Ask Me Why

posted by Jeff Watkins at 9:35 PM

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I Used To Hate Cell Phones But Now I Hate Car Accidents

lyrics and music by Norma Jean

From The Record, Bless The Martyr And Kiss The Child

run far away from what you have created
you have created this drama
my god rain down the power
my god rain down fire war
with these diamonds you cut your throat
code red. cut throat victim
the outside looks so good
it is so simple and yet they do not find
it is so simple and yet they do not mind
the tragedy is the ignorance
behind the clean casket
on the outside they look so good
they are walking
to wall street in a straight jacket

posted by Jeff Watkins at 2:34 AM

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Thursday, August 15, 2002

TV Repair Guys

Just call us the TV repair guys. Last night after a tasty trip to the local Waffle House, Bo Hamilton, Nathan Ziegler, Jay Mudd, and I came back to school to watch a movie. It ended up just being Jay and myself trying to watch Office Space. Jay grabbed his roommate’s VCR and I jacked a chord from Chase and proceeded into the dayroom of Smith Hall to watch it. Well, I tried to connect the patch chord from the VCR to the TV, however I messed up by pushing the cable jack partially into the TV. We were able to get it partway out, but after several failed attempts we could not get it to stay. Then Jay went and pushed the cable jack into TV all the way. At this point we realized we were going to have to do some surgery. I asked Jay to unplug the TV and we tried to get the back open. I went to get my tools and Jay got his Swiss Army Knife. We kept trying to just take the back off, but it didn't work. Jay then grabbed the plug out of the wall outlet and said, "It'll be good if we unplug it." I asked him what he unplugged earlier and he said the VCR. I was glad we weren't dead. I showed Jay these bolts we needed to take off. So, we got the wrench and after about 5 minutes of trying to find the right sockets and socket extension we finally got half the back off. We then continued on with trying to grab the jack. Jay got his hands on it and I was holding the back of the TV down with all my might. Jay finally pulled it up. We had victory, but that was shattered when we realized that Jay had pulled the entire jack out and the technically named piece that actually plugged into the TV. Well, since we already had half the back on, we figured why not take the rest of the back of the TV off. All of sudden the door opened and we got into one of those guilty-but-trying-to-act-like-we-weren't-doing-anything-wrong positions. Bo just laughed at us and joined in the effort to fix the TV that we had so very much broken. After undoing four bolts, we got it off and found the object in which we had to put the plug back into. The adhesive from the back of the gadget had come off, so it wouldn't stay. That was the problem that we had from the beginning. Well my friends, this time we had a solution. Duct Tape! So vigorously trying to get it on there without letting the tape touch anything else but trying to hurry up without getting caught we finally got it on. We put the TV back together and that took five minutes or so. We plugged in the TV and prayed that it work. It did! This was a success. Then we took a good five minutes just to laugh at the fact that there was now duct tape in the TV. We had broke the TV but fixed it for future generations of BCFer's to use. You now owe us $105.97...

posted by Jeff Watkins at 10:12 PM

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I shall not be outdone

What Flavour Are You? I taste like Peanut Butter.I taste like Peanut Butter.

I am one of the most blendable flavours; I go with sweet, I go with sour, I go with bland, I go with anything. I am practical and good company, but have something of a tendency to hang around when I'm not wanted, unaware that my presence is not welcome. What Flavour Are You?

posted by Justin at 6:47 PM

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I don't like many quizzes,but this is an exception.

What Flavour Are You? I taste like Menthol.I taste like Menthol.

I am refreshingly different; some people don't appreciate that. My sharp honesty gets up some people's noses, while others really enjoy it. I am something of an acquired taste. What Flavour Are You?

posted by Chase at 11:37 AM

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Boredom Tastes Like...

What Flavour Are You? I taste like Beef.I taste like Beef.

I taste like beef. I'm probably made of beef. You are what you eat, they say, and if the title didn't mean something else, I would be a beefeater. I think red meat is good for you. Puts hair on your chest. What Flavour Are You?

posted by Jeff Watkins at 2:32 AM

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Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Falling Under Conviction

Have you ever see those signs? You know, watch for falling conviction. The next 5 miles of road is under conviction. You know why you never see those signs, because intimate objects never experience conviction. But, guess what? I had mine today. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Well, that statement is not totally true because everyday is like that. I made myself get up today before 2:00 P.M., but it still wasn't as early as I should have gotten up. I really need to get back into the routine of going to bed semi-early because I have 8:00 o'clock classes again starting next Monday. Who am I kidding? I never had a routine. I got to see my Uncle Ken and Aunt Linda today for a couple of hours. They've been missionaries to Paraguay, South America for a long time. It was a swell time and they even took me out to lunch so I got some free food (Circle Grille incase you were curious). I was sort of anxious at first because they're really godly people and are not always the easiest to just talk to, you know what I mean? It ended up being good and I'm glad I got to hang with them. They just retired from the field, but they've been traveling the states since 'retiring' telling of their adventures with any church that will have them. They have an awesome ministry.

Tonight, I ate dinner with Rebekah Fries and Jamie Echols. It was nice of Rebekah to fix food for me, but she's just that kind of girl. So on with my conviction. My heart was broken by God, which under the circumstances is a good thing. The Holy Spirit brought to my attention something that was erroneously wrong with my walk; as opposed to the normal times when He tells me I'm doing all right (insert sarcasm). Actually, this is a sin of mine that has been a thorn in my flesh for 8 years or more. This is definitely not the first time I've felt conviction for it. There have been times that I've gone days, weeks, or months without falling susceptible to it. The funny thing is, when I go a day without a particular sin, I sometimes view that as deliverances. In a sense, I have been delivered because God has taken it away from me. But, Satan will be there tomorrow with it in a different form, shape, or color to tempt me. It's my choice to sin. It's my choice to put myself in a predicament that might cause me to stumble. It will be a daily struggle, but what isn't? But, hey, I have Jesus' help. His crucifixion gives me the strength to sustain any measure of strife, hurt, or sorrow that the enemy can hurl my way. To be more accurate, there are many things that God is working out within me. I say that because God is fixing my ideas, beliefs, statues, ideologies, fears, and expectations to what He wants them. I'm just being patient and saying, I probably should have taken care of that when you tried to tell me I was messing up the first time. For the record, having quiet times help. So many things to do. I'll let you know what that is later, maybe. I'm off to make a phone call.

"Where did our respectable convictions go?" -The Get Up Kids

posted by Jeff Watkins at 12:37 AM

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Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Moments Caught In Time By Words

Some Quotes I've been thinking about:

"I'm just an average guy, is that hard to accept?
I live a normal life I've got no regrets.
Don't make me out to be something that I'm not.
I never said I was anything, so don't expect me to be."
- Your Problem My Emergency by Mike Herrea of MxPx

"it takes too much to hate someone.......
then you're always thinking about them and ways to get them
back or how they've hurt you....
and you can't focus on anything or do anything you want to do!"
- Erica Wray (a friend with a live journal)

Nighty Night Night

posted by Jeff Watkins at 1:37 AM

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Sunday, August 11, 2002

Shallow Hal(s)

Justin Mcleod, Eric Linton, Jed Marczewski are shallow...

posted by Jeff Watkins at 11:27 PM

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Bells Will Be Ringing

Ok, I know that is a line from a Christmas song, but I figured it was a good title considering that I went to a wedding this weekend. Wedding bells and all were with me as I drove to my hometown of Melbourne, Florida on early Thursday morning. I woke up at 4:30 A.M., got ready, checked my car out, grabbed some breakfast and headed home. I made it there by early afternoon. I got a haircut and took some clothes to the dry cleaner, so I got a few things done. I enjoyed spending the evening with the folks and let me tell you that is always a delight. On Friday afternoon I took my Grandma grocery shopping. The whole reason for this trip was because a couple friends of mine, Jeremy and Dallis Gibson (now) were getting married. My friend, Lori Lindsey asked me to be her date to the wedding rehearsal and dinner so I had to meet up with her at 5:00 P.M on Friday. We met up and I got to meet this girl named Christy from Madison, Florida who was a bridesmaid (she was really cool) and this girl named Ariel who was the other Maid of Honor (Lori was the other). We got to the church and I got to talk with Jeremy and Dallis. We were there for a couple hours "rehearsing". Actually, I wasn't doing anything but sitting there. We went over to the building where the dinner was. It was a luau theme and it was interesting to see everyone in his or her finest Hawaiian gear. It was a cool dinner. We had Buffalo wings, veggies, and fruit. They had all the traditional wedding dinner stuff. At the end of the evening they had the time where people wish Jeremy and Dallis blessings and that actually made me get teary eyed; it was really nice. They had a slide show with pictures of both of them. Overall, it was an excellent evening. The wedding was the next day at 1:00 P.M. I got to sit with some BCF kids; Neil Blacher and Greg Williams and some former BCFer's Rob Clark and Jeremy McDermont. The wedding was really nice. I had a friend ask me if I was feeling wedding fever and I said yes. I'm at the point where I'm ready to start thinking about it and maybe even looking, but who kind of isn't all ready if you're above 21. I got sick late Sunday night and threw up. To the smallest degree, I now know what contractions feel like. I have these sharp pains in my stomach. I hope I start feeling better tomorrow because this is going to be a busy week. Well, sorry To Whom It May Concern has been inactive but be prepared for some new stuff (or some old stuff we're going to call new).

"...Chronicles Of The Heart..."

posted by Jeff Watkins at 11:18 PM

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Thursday, August 08, 2002

3,000 Hits Strong

We are finally at 3,000 hits since January 2002. I know other sites have more hits and that's because they are better all together. They have better layouts/templates, more writing, neat stuff to look at, and etc. Well, To Whom It May Concern is just about being real. We keep it real. We maybe low budget, but hey, we're who we are. So, I would just like to say thank you for everyone who has ever stopped by, read something, commented on something, gave us a suggestion, gave us a critique, whatever... We write on this site because we enjoy it. But, we also do it because we enjoy letting you guys read it. Thanks so much again, we really do appreciate everything!

From All The Writers Of To Whom... Thank You

posted by Jeff Watkins at 10:58 PM

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Poem in Progress

I have been trying to write a new poem centered around this one line I came up with. Here it goes.

Kissing the fire of her lips melts the ice around my heart

I thought it was a good line, so the poem is under construction.

......beating writers block like a redheaded stepchild.....

posted by Justin at 10:37 AM

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Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Today I had to pay a $50 deposit on my apartment. My wallet hates me now. This little cash depletion has gotten me one more step closer to broke. Go me! Well tomorrow is my 23rd birthday, so everyone should wish me happy birthday! I hope the celebration of my birth will somehow spark some new and exciting posts for the site, since I am really tired of not posting. On a side note, Jeffs last post was really really long! You will be happy to know that he made an "A" on the paper though.

.......being 22 for the last time....

posted by Justin at 11:07 PM

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Tuesday, August 06, 2002

A Cheap Post (To Whom It May Concern's Longest Post, Really)


By Jeff Watkins

Often times in western civilization, we as Americans have been compared to many great nations before. Maybe the key to our success as a nation has been the fact that we’ve modeled not only England’s system, but other countries as well. However, we invented our own system of government (modernized monarchy). We’ve taken what was good, right, and decent and combined it with our own thinking and turned it into the United States of America. Of course, we have had our share of problems that we’ve had to overcome; thus far we have been successful. A historical look at a similar nation would be looking at the nation of Israel. They had many up’s and down’s during their pilgrimage in search of the Promised Land. A great example of this is during the time of the book Judges.

In efforts to show the example of how America compares to the nation of Israel, I will present my ideas according to how the Israelites acted and reacted to different circumstances, troubles, tasks, blessings, and cursings. Through the cycle that Israel practiced during those days, I will compare it to the influences on a church today. I will take the story of Samson and show the cycle through that example. The three sociological perspectives will be applied as well as pondering the four questions of sociology. I will address the lessons we can learn from this Biblical history and how we can apply them to the church today. The purpose of this paper is to show in comparison how America in our current state is not all that different from the Israelites during the time of the judges.

The ability to understand the book of Judges comes from understanding a key verse in the book. From the very last chapter and the last verse of the book, there is much insight as to seeing the meaning behind those words. “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25, King James Version). That verse summarizes up the entire book of Judges. At the beginning of the book we see that Joshua has died and Israel is looking for someone to lead them on. Without leadership, Israel will fall into sin and fall victim to the covenant curses. Israel cries out for deliverance and Yahweh delivers them again and again.

Much to our dismay, there are a lot of the same events not only going on in our country today, but also in our churches. Unger’s Bible Handbook gives us a brief description of how the times were back in the days of chaos. “Judges is a record of the dark ages of the declension and apostasy of Israel in the land. The people forsook the Lord (2:13); the Lord forsook the people (2:23)” (Unger 1967, 169). You might think that times are different now, but there were some pretty crazy instances going on in those days. Examples of human sacrifices (Judges 11), women raped and cut up (Judges 19), and relatives kill each other in war (Judges 20). So the tradition lives on. Even in our churches today we hear several cases in a single month of marital infidelity and adultery with adults and children. The situations and circumstances that influenced the Israelites are the same things that influence us as Christians 3,500 years later. Sin is still sin; some sins are obviously more popular today than they were back then. It all comes down to us as a nation, as a church, and as a people group who choose to do things on our own. Then when we get into trouble we pray for God to redeem us. I guess we’re really not that far along as we once thought we were.

“The record of Israel’s failure in the land covers about 350 years—from Joshua to Saul. Seven apostasies, seven servitudes, and seven deliverances may be traced. The book of Judges begins in compromise and ends in anarchy and confusion” (Unger 1967,169). In trying to examine the Israelites pattern of constant repetitious actions, there is a certain four-fold approach to seeing the cycle that Israel possessed. The first of these is that the Israelites would go against God and sin. Then next in line for the cycle is that the Israelites faced oppression because of their sins. Followed by the fact that the Israelites would see their sin, they would come into a time of repentance. Finally, the conclusion to the cycle is that God would definitely deliver his people.

A good example of this four-part cycle that the Israelites dwelled in is found in the story of Samson in Judges 13-16. Samson was born of a sterile woman under special conditions that he would be a Nazarite (Judges 13:1-5). The requirements for a Nazarite were as followed: 1. Drink no wine or other fermented drink. 2. Do not eat or touch anything unclean. 3. No razor may be used on his head (Judges 13:6-7). During the three chapters that the Bible talks about Samson’s life, they’re many things that he does wrong. He coveted a forbidden wife (Judges 14:1-7). He coveted honey from a dead lion (Judges 14:8-9). He stole the garments from the thirty Philistine men (Judges 14:19). He burned their crops for giving his wife away (Judges 15:3-5). He murdered many people for killing his wife (Judges 15:7-8). He killed one thousand Philistines who had come after him (Judges 15:11-17). Samson committed a lot of sins against the God who had set him apart from birth and faced oppression in various ways. Yet, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob still forgave him and delivered him as in Judges 14:19 “Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon in power”(Judges 14:19, New International Version). The Israelites sin is still definite, but the Lord can take wretched sinners and get His will done and receive glory and honor.

The point of asking a question is to retrieve some form of an answer that is valuable and relatable to the original point of interest. In sociology there are four questions that need to be answered when assessing a situation. In this instance I will take the book Judges and apply the four questions of sociology to the history. The first question is What is going on here? I think that the New Bible Commentary summed up the first question best when it stated “The book of Judges is part of the Bible’s account of Israel’s history from its entry into the land of Canaan (in the book of Joshua) to its eventual removal from it (at the end of 2 Kings)” (New Bible Commentary 2000, 261). In this period of time, there are many different things happening. Again, Judges 21:25 best shows exactly what is going on: “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25, King James Version).

The next question that must be answered when pondering the four sociological questions is Why is it happening? “The book of Judges covers the period from the death of Joshua to the dawn of the monarchy. Political and religious turmoil accompanied Israel’s attempts to occupy the land that had been conquered and divided by lot under the leadership of Joshua” (Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary 1994, 328). That gives a good definition in making sense of the events and how they relate the Bible and the church, but there is still more to see. “Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord. They served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and the gods of the Ammonites and the gods of the Philistines. And because the Israelites forsook the Lord and no longer served him, he became angry with them” (Judges 10:6-7a, New International Version). The central point behind the reasoning for the Israelites sin was the actuality that they wanted to use their own strength of character, instead of accomplishing Yahweh’s will. This resulted in Israel’s numerous captivities.

Moving on, the next question that has to be answered is What is it like for the people living in it? Well for the judges themselves, their roles were not what most would consider to be normal. “The ‘judges’ (sopetim) of the book Judges do not fit the modern conception of a ‘judge.’ This is, they did not normally hold court, listen to complaints, or make legal decisions. (Deborah is the exception in 4:4-5.) Rather, they were primarily leaders of Israel, delivering the nation from foreign threat or oppression” (Howard Jr. 1993, 108). Not that the quote embraces the actuality of the problem, but more so in the area of understanding what it was like. We know that the people were making their own choices and suffering for their decisions. The judges that God called to help lead Israel would face diverse challenges in their lives. I do not think it’s a coincidence that two chapters both start out with the phase “In those days Israel had no king” (Judges 18:1a; 19:1a). The judges themselves were facing an open-ended situation looking toward Israel’s future and did not know where God would lead them.

Finally, the last question relating to sociology and how the time of the Judges molds into that is How good or bad is it for humans? This quote sets the standard for the objective and evaluation of the outcome: The era of the judges was a period in which the Israelites as God’s covenant people were frequently in need of divine deliverance. Through Moses the Israelites had experienced release from Egyptian bondage and received the divine revelation as recorded in the Pentateuch. Under Joshua the next generation partially conquered and occupied the land of the Canaan. As subsequent generations succumbed to apostasy and idolatry which resulted in oppression, they appealed to God for deliverance. Once more the mighty acts of God were displayed as a number of judges responded to the call of God to lead the Israelites in military exploits to rout to the oppressing nations (Wycliffe Bible Dictionary 1999, 974).

I think it’s fairly easy to assume that we see both rejoicing and sorrowful times in the period of the Judges. “On that day God subdued Jabin, the Canaanite king, before the Israelites. And the hand of the Israelites grew stronger and stronger against Jabin, the Canaanite king, until they destroyed him” (Judges 4:23-24, New International Version). When God delivered his people over king Jabin, Israel rejoiced but that would slowly be forgotten. “Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites” (Judges 6:1, New International Version). Some time after they received a blessing, the turned around and received a cursing. So, to say the Israelites were experiencing a good or bad time is an error. They definitely had an equal share of good and bad times. Probably the most liked conclusion is they received more bad than good. It could be said that the situation of life was very bad for the Israelites during this time. A task that now arrives is how to see where there is a comparison between America now, and Israel during the time period of the Judges. In trying to understand how these two totally isolated times in history can be drawn together in a comprehensive relationship, one must compare the two events and see how they measure up. A good way to take this approach is by applying the three sociological perspectives to the time of Judges and compare that to the current state of America. The three perspectives of sociology are conflict, functionalist, and interactionist.

The conflict perspective would say that the time of the judges serves as a period in history to help us understand how the Israelites went against God and sinned. Still seeking the prize, no matter how many times it had been attempted before. The judges were supposed to lead the people of Israel on into battles, victories, loses, and of course the promise land. During this time there is a constant social change that occurs. “After the time of Abimelech a man of Issachar, Tola son of Puah, the son of Dodo, rose to save Israel. He lived in Shamir, in the hill country of Ephraim. He led Israel twenty-three years; then he died, and was buried in Shamir” (Judges 10:1-2).

The next perspective that is involved is the functionalist perspective. One might agree with the conflict perspective except that their view of society is not so structured. In the time of Judges, we see that there is a definite order to things and that looks to help maintain cooperation. It could be said that each person is a member of their own Israelite society because each person stands accountable for their own actions. The events of those times go to show how there is a steady predictability during that time period and that is often emphasized by the sin cycle. Once again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and because they did this evil the Lord gave Eglon king of Moab power over Israel. Getting the Ammonites and Amalekites to join him, Eglon came and attacked Israel, and they took possession of the City of Palms. The Israelites were subject to Eglon king of Moab for eighteen years. Again the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and he gave them a deliverer—Ehud, a left-handed man, the son of Gera the Benjamite (Judges 3:12-15, New International Version).

The last perspective of sociology that we will examine is the interactionist perspective. This view is best understood through an individual perspective. Each member of society is living by his or her own individual standards. Personal interaction such as when they met in the tabernacle is how they influence the directness and maintain collectiveness as individuals. One member has their own roles and those are dependent upon the individual’s self. Much like the other perspectives, this emphasizes unity, but only through individual unity will the Israelites grow as a whole. A good example of this perspective is the story of Micah and his idols. How his mother wanted to bless him even if he did wrong. Then Micah said to him, ‘Live with me and be my father and priest, and I’ll give you ten shekels of silver a yea, your clothes and your food.’ So the Levite agreed to live with him, and the young man was to him like one of his sons. Then Micah installed the Levite and the young man became his priest and lived in his house. And Micah said, ‘Now I know that the Lord will be good to me, since this Levite has become my priest’” (Judges 10:13, New International Version).

In view of all of those paradigms, I believe that the functionalist perspective best describes the book of Judges. So much occurs during those three hundred and fifty years that it’s almost unbelievable. That perspective best sums up the actual society of that time. In comparison with America today, we are not all that different. Take the tragedy of September 11th for instance. Just like Israel, we as Americans have sinned. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, New International Version). Christians set a bad example of Christ. Then much like Israel, America faces oppression. We have done something to make the Arab nations mad, even if it was just practicing our rights and freedoms. “Everything is permissible—but not everything is beneficial” (1 Corinthians 10:23, New International Version). Israel would go into a time of repentance when they realized they needed help, just like America did right after the Twin Tower attacks. “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Luke 13:3, New International Version). Lastly, God grants deliverance to the Israelites very similar to the way he will deliver us from this bondage of terrorism. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, New International Version).

What is the influence of all of these things that occurred so long ago and are reoccurring memories for today? That answer is sin. Nothing but self-seeking, self-righteous, self-serving, and just plain ol’ selfish sin. We can take small segments from the book of Judges alone and see how we are supposed and not supposed to act. God punished his chosen people, so why wouldn’t he choose to punish us. I think it’s critical that we learn obedience from our forefathers of the faith and understand that we will sin, but we don’t need to wait for oppression to get back to God or we might go through some of the same things that plagued the Israelites during those days of chaos. Its purpose is the same exalted one running through Joshua; i.e., to draw from history lessons concerning the righteousness, faithfulness, and lovingkindness of Yahweh that will help hold his people true to their covenant with him. The sin, the shame, the punishment, and the repentance of God’s people are described over and over so as to bring out these great lessons (Watts 1967, 138).

This paper has showed you how to understand the book of Judges by figuring out what to look for and how that relates to America today. Through that, understanding how and why the Israelites sinned. Seeing the insights to the pattern of sin in which the Israelites partook and discerning how we do the same as American Christians. Trying to encounter the cycle of sin in depth, we look at the story of Samson’s life and see how it encompasses the four questions of sociology while looking at an overall perspective of the times through the three sociological perspectives. In doing this we compare and contrast the times from yesterday and today and see what we can learn from it. The object of this is to somehow turn and break this cycle of sin that we known to be our own for so long. If we don’t, we our destined to be in the same circumstances that the Israelites faced for such a long time. We can gaze and make out where the future may lye just by looking to the past. Then, much like the very popular 80’s movie we need to go ‘Back To The Future.’ We, as Christian Americans need to desperately come into a time of repentance and revival so that the lives of the people in this country can see hope in God and see that he will deliver us. “…If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

posted by Jeff Watkins at 9:55 PM

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Useless Movie Quote For Early Tuesday Morning

From The Movie: And The Band Played On

Dr. Don Francis: "What do we think? What do we know? What can we prove? I'm so sick of that. I mean, the only thing we know for sure is that we don't know anything, which also happens to be the only thing we can prove."

posted by Jeff Watkins at 2:03 AM

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Monday, August 05, 2002

Useless Movie Quote For Monday Night

From The Movie: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

J. Pierpont Finch: "[A]n emotional involvement can only lead to getting involved . . . emotionally."

posted by Jeff Watkins at 10:35 PM

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Sunday, August 04, 2002

Ultra Blue

Lyrics and Music by Thrice

Unabashedly pursue, the truth that we cannot deny.
A revelation shining through, orchestrating adonai.
A revolution ultra-blue, and a melodic battle cry.
And though you say there'll be no coup.
We'll never know unless we try to see it through.
And find a different point of view
One where faith is not taboo.
And we'll all learn to see the world as new.
Sometimes things that we've held true are proved to be an outright lie.
But it seems we always knew, in some unspoken lullaby.
I'll see you at the rendezvous, we'll raise our voices to the sky.
And though some say there'll be no coup, we'll never know unless we try.

posted by Jeff Watkins at 12:57 AM

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Triple W

Tonight, Chase and I rode to Chipley to enjoy some food from the local establishments. I had this crazy notion to eat at Waffle House and Wendy's in the same evening (at this point I'm sure your wondering why you are still reading). Chase and I both had waffles and the waitress flirted with us. The latter is not true, but sounded good. Then between meals we went to Wal-Mart. We walked down the clearance aisle because, well, it's the clearance aisle. Chase looked at a lot of music and I saw Rebekah Fries, Megan Reece, Peter Thompson, Melissa Mann, and Chris Cartee. I chatted a bit with them and I also got to play the new NCAA football game on the demo Xbox. That was fun. I always love playing the game systems there. If I could just pull up a chair and cook some popcorn, there would never be a reason to leave the electronic section at Wal-Mart. Well, except to use the restroom, and to eat, and to… you get the point. After Wal-Mart, we headed over to Wendy's and I ate again (just a burger and some fries). Chase and I had a real good conversation about how sometimes we turn into music snobs. We made a point to agree about music. Also, we decided to try and not to be snobbish. If someone likes Brittany Spears, whom am I to say that person does not have a good grasp on reality. We shared thoughts on new and old artists such as Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, and Marvin Gaye (I guess that’s all old guys). It was also a good time. That's it for this post...

"...presupposing the underestimation that was justified through the nature of rationalization..."

posted by Jeff Watkins at 12:50 AM

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Friday, August 02, 2002

Punk Rock Humor

If any of you guys have ever heard of or even know who Fat Mike and NOFX are, this might be funny to you as it was for me to read in the Fat Wreck Chords email newsletter. It was recapping the highlights from the Warped Tour 2002:

"The show is located next to a Race Track called River Downs and Timmy the Turtle won 20 bucks on the last race, but he bet on the favorite. I'm about to place a bet on the next race, then I gotta play a half hour set at five. After the show we all got tickets to go to the water park next door. Big water slides are fun when it's 95 degrees. Except for all the rotten screaming kids. After water fun we're going to see the Dodgers play the Reds. Tickets we're comped (free), is this punk? I'm not sure, but I don't think punk rock is supposed to be this much fun. It never used to be this much fun in the 80's."

"Winning money from punk rockers on tour is like shooting fish in a barrel." Fat Mike of NOFX

posted by Jeff Watkins at 11:29 PM

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Thursday, August 01, 2002

Movie Night

Tonight I was able to see Road To Perdition. I went and saw it after work tonight, and it was nice to have some time to myself. The movie itself proved to be really good. Sam Mendes has become one of my favorite directors after I saw American Beauty for the second time. Tom Hanks did an excellent job as always. This is also the first movie I have seen all year that could get a Best Picture nod. Go see it.

....on the road as always....

posted by Justin at 11:30 PM

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