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Quarter Century

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:10 AM

A week ago, I passed the quarter century mark. It strikes me as an interesting number. I cannot say I feel any different, but there is something fascinating when I think about the number. Perhaps more than feeling older, I do feel sort of like I should have accomplished more thus far than I have.

Many of the great poets had written their master works by the time they were 25. On the other hand, many of the great poets were dead within ten years of their twenty fifth birthday. Keeping that in mind, perhaps it is quite good that I keep plowing along, slowly but surely. ;)

Revisiting a Bad Day

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 4:49 AM

September 19, 2005 was one of the worst days of my life. I am reminded of that day today, partly because it was 3 years ago today and partly because like that day, I've been fighting a cold (or allergy attack) for the last few days.

I keep coming back to the issue of time on my blog. Time fascinates me. Three years ago seems like such a long time ago, and yet I can picture September 19 almost as if it were yesterday. Perhaps in part that is because that which became unsettled on September 19 remains unsettled — more so than I expected, then — even to this day. In some ways, perhaps time's distance is not so much about the amount of minutes that have passed by; rather, it is about how relevant and active a given time is to the present time.

September 19 is still quite relevant.

One of the things I like about blogging, especially when I am on an active posting spree, is that it leaves markers of days like today. Looking back to the post I linked to above, I received a snapshot of what I felt by my own words then and not by three years of framing things in my mind. That's rather interesting.

Blogging will certainly change the way we remember things in the decades ahead, I suspect.

Customer Service

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:27 AM

I've spent far too much of the last two days talking to customer service representatives. What have I accomplished? Not one iota. Normally it takes forever, but I get something done. But dealing with customer service at two different companies this week has not worked out for me. I was making myself feel better having delusions of sending the companies bills for my time. ;)

Anyone else having fun with those who consider your call important?

Tim Russert Dies at 58

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 4:11 AM

One of the few really good journalists of this era has died today. Tim Russert, by the estimation of pretty much everyone on both sides of the aisle, was a journalist's journalist. His work was, whenever I encountered it excellent — well researched and fair. His reporting was an encouragement to strive for excellence. It is a sad day for the nation, as one of the real keepers of the Fourth Estate has passed away.

How sad too, for his family, particularly right after a celebratory vacation for his son's graduation from college.


By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 10:04 AM

I was just awakened by an earthquake. 5.4, centered in West Salem, Ill, about 130 miles from here.

Update (10:42 CDT): They downgraded it to 5.2, but we just had a fairly large, estimated 4.5, aftershock. This is the first noticeable aftershock after a series of 1.5-2.5 magnitude shocks. What a morning… They are also forecasting severe storms today

The Burial of the Dead

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:44 AM

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

—T.S. Eliot

Sometimes I think Eliot is right on this. Certainly I agree with Chaucer that April is a month of longing. I think it can be a cruel longing at times. Perhaps part of that is from my past, rather than anything intrinsic to the month. But, at any rate, I walked around the neighborhood surrounding Covenant for about thirty or forty minutes this morning taking in the spring weather. It was great. And yet, something was missing. A few years back, I walked around Lindenwood on April days much the same way, but then joined by a dear friend I have mentioned here before. The quiet seriousness of Lindenwood's gothic architecture amidst the linden trees, and we would just walk and talk — about nearly anything. This time was solo.

Thursday afternoons are my “Marriage and Family Counseling” class. It is a great class. There has been lots of practical advice on counseling, thought provoking ideas and I appreciate Dr. Zink's humor and anecdotes. It is also a hard class. Not in terms of workload, but rather emotional toll. It is interesting, while discussing problems with marriage, the class has actually had the opposite impact on me you might expect. I mostly find it highlights in my mind my status as single and makes me wonder if I should ever be otherwise. Not only do we hear problems, but we hear solutions to many of those problems. The class has made me more optimistic about the prospects of a healthy marriage, and yet…

I have to say sometimes I wonder what God's will is for me. Sometimes, I wish life were like a book with nicely titled chapters. Even if you could only preview the table of contents, you could get some idea of where things were going. I do not think I would really want that, but I have to say there are some chapters it would be nice to know were only a couple chapters ahead.

Some days, at least. April days, certainly. April is the cruelest month.


By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 6:06 AM

This semester has really started out with a bang. I'll need to have three papers and a 25-minute sermon turned in within the next two weeks. So far I've already finished one book and am knee deep into a volume of Herman Bavinck. I'm hoping the semester slows down a bit sometime soon.

Too Often

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 6:08 AM
“Too often I let time pass me by as I wrap myself up in projects.”

— Me, May 2006

After finding a good deal on a copy of iLife '08 on eBay that was still sealed in the box, I decided to jump into the newest version of Apple's digital hub. The main point of interest to me was iPhoto '08, with new features such as auto event division and easy thumbing through of thumbnails attached to each event that make it easier to manage the nearly 40,000 photos on my computer. So far, it is doing just that, and as I played with iPhoto '08 tonight I ran into a lot of favorite photos I might not have otherwise.

I saw pictures of friends I haven't seen in years, of family members now with the Lord and favorite places that I'd like to go see again. I also ran into a letter I had written and photographed so as to save a copy in case I was curious what I had written later. It was a letter to one of the aforementioned friends whose photo I had run into, one who was graduating from Lindenwood and moving out-of-state at the time I wrote the letter.

I read that letter for the first time since I had sealed the envelope it went into. That quote I included above stood out, and it is certainly one I don't keep in mind enough. My friend often took the time to yank me out of whatever I was going to work on and just enjoy the moment for a bit. Perhaps I should remember my own observations about myself more often. Time's winged chariot cruelly moves onward ever faster.

Snow Day

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 6:31 AM

Well, disappointingly, my first day of Marriage and Family Counseling class was canceled today due to the snow. My morning classes, which had already met on Tuesday, continued on schedule, as did a required homiletics lecture with Dr. Chapell (although Dr. Chapell reduced his hour and forty five minute lecture down to twenty two minutes). Thanks to Dr. Chapell's speed, I could have slipped out at 1:00, but initially Marriage and Family Counseling was going to be shortened rather than canceled, so I ended up at Covenant until about 2:15. So I gained a couple of hours and avoided rush hour in the snow — thankfully — but still ended up out in the snow.

This all seems terribly unfair. Why? Because there may be a snow day tomorrow, and I don't have any classes schedule tomorrow anyway! It almost seems like I should sign up for some class, just so I could enjoy the snow all the more. ;) Of course, it's good it isn't on a day that I have a bunch of classes too — I really don't like missing classes…

Help me raise $100 (or more) for the Huckabee campaign by giving a Buck for Huck here. Right now we need just $74 to meet the asisaid challenge goal of $100 dollars for the best candidate for president. Won't you join me in supporting Governor Huckabee with a buck for Huck?

What's Done and What's Not

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 7:16 AM

Well, I doubt I am even going to come close to accomplishing everything I wanted to over Christmas break, but at least I'm starting to catch up with some of the major points. I've been working on some projects that needed to be done for church, cleaned up Open for Business a bit, merged some mailing lists I operate, spent time reading Shakespeare, enjoyed some “off time” playing games and taking pictures… in general, I have less regrets about what I've done over this six week period than I typically do as a vacation ends. I am regretful about a few things that have happened over break, alas, but not things I've gotten done.

I had hoped to write a quiz software program for a project I'll talk more about later, address the dusty and catch up a bit more on reading, but, hey, one cannot get everything done, right?

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