Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Update on the earring

In February, I got the cartilage pierced in my left ear. Just in case someone was considering doing the same thing, I thought I'd give an update.

My ear was very sore for the first two weeks or so. I also had ringing in my ear, I'm guessing from the swelling. The swelling went down and my ear got much better, but I wasn't able to sleep on my left side until about two weeks ago. Even then, I have to shield my ear from the pillow with my hand. So, I thought my problem might be the earring post and back getting in the way, catching on my glasses, and generally keeping the area sore. Today I bought a nice sleek hoop that's small and makes a perfect smooth circle when it's closed. I figured it would be perfect.

I've had this piercing about 11 weeks now. The instructions said to keep the original earring in for 8-12 weeks, so I figured I was fine. It was kind of hard to get out because the earring back was "locked" on from the piercing gun. When I did get it off, my ear immediately swelled up. Great. I cleaned everything off really well, including the new earring, and started to put it in. But, the new earring is rounded, and the hole had swelled too much for me to easily put it in. At this point, I started to feel faint. :) I called Jon in to figure out what to do. After a few more attempts, we decided it was simply not time to put a new earring in, so back went the stud.

Maybe I'll try again in a few weeks. I do think the new ring would help keep it from getting knocked, which might be one reason it hasn't healed. On the other hand, I mentioned the soreness to a girl I bought the earring from today, and she said that could last up to a year! So maybe this is just normal.

It's not infected, and in almost every situation I don't even notice it, but I will be glad when it's healed. And I'll be glad when I can put the new earring in, because I like it.

So to all of you considering cartilage piercing, 3 months into it I like it, but I'm not sure it was worth it. I certainly wouldn't get another one. However, I do think I'll keep the one I have.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Japanese Gardens

Last Saturday Joe and Leanna came out to visit the Japanese Gardens with us. It was tons of fun, and we got lots of neat pictures. Lea, if you want any of these full-size, just let me know!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


There are a couple things going on that I wanted you to be aware of.

First, there is a new movie called Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. A documentary by Ben Stein, Expelled seeks to open up conversation between those who believe in Evolution and those who believe in Intelligent Design. To do so, he brought in the most polarized scientists from each camp. That has stirred up some controversy, because there are many "middle ground" campers. However, taking a view to its logical conclusion often leads to the very view of the polarized group. To illustrate the point, Stein interviewed Richard Dawkins, a staunch Darwinist and athiest. He argues that evolution, taken to its logical conclusion, means that there is no God. Another scientist whose name I can't recall, exultantly stated (in paraphrase), "There is no God, there is no life after death, there are no moral values, there is nothing!" That same scientists was also in favor of euthenasia, which is another logical conclusion of evolution. If we are just cells smashed together by chance, here for ourselves and no one else, then why live after it's not fun any more?

The real revelation from the movie is that both scientific theories--Evolution and Intelligent Design--come through their own world views. A world view is, simply, one's belief about the world that affects one's decisions. The important word is "belief." Evolution requires a belief system for it to work, and yet Intelligent Design is invalidated for that same reason.

All in all, it's an excellent documentary. I would highly recommend it no matter your beliefs. I would caution you, however, on your discussions after the movie. The point of the movie is to open calm, thoughtful conversation between the two sides. However, this is an issue where emotions run high, and rational thought is easily put aside for less productive words. You can find evidence of that all over the internet; I encourage you to do some sleuthing on both sides. Find out if the movie is showing near you!

In other news, many of you have probably heard of Oprah Winfrey's new "cult religion." Oprah has started a webinar series on the book A New Earth written by Eckhart Tolle. In typical Oprah fashion, the book is very New Age. And also in typical Oprah fashion, what she touches turns to gold, and thousands have joined in on the webinar series. I read a blog post that had some very good comments on what is going on, and I will encourage you to read it as well instead of me rewriting what's been said. I'm not an Oprah watcher, but I know many people who are. Be aware of what's happening so you can discuss it with someone who might be duped by it.

It's good to be informed about these kinds of things: origin of life discussions and support of a New Age movement by a very influential person. As much as I'd like to duck my head in the sand 'til Christ comes back, I know that won't do the Kingdom any good. And it won't help the people who are lost and seeking.

Get informed and get in the conversation!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Showerhead Innovation

I ran across a new kind of showerhead today, and I thought I'd pass it on. There is a whole line of showerheads made by Evolve that preserve water when you're not using them. How many people (or people's spouses) turn on the hot water to the shower, then go off and do other things waiting for it to warm up? Shave, pick out clothes, check the mail.... When you get back, the water is nice and warm. But how long was it running nice and warm?

The Evolve showerheads have an auto-turnoff that reduce the flow of water to a trickle once the water hits 95 degrees. That will indicate that it's hot, and if you're in the middle of something, you don't waste any more water! Some people like water hotter than 95, and the showerhead does not prevent it from getting hotter; the designers evidently figured 95 was a comfortable temp to start, at least.

Check out the site! Only one of the showerheads is a low-flow design; the others are normal flow just like what you're used to. The cheapest one is $40, which is more expensive than the cheapest you can find at Wal-Mart, but really pretty on par with other showerheads. There's also an adapter which looks like it fits between your existing showerhead and shower arm, just in case you just bought your dream showerhead and are now finding it lacking. The site says the showerheads are available at The Home Depot, so we may go check them out. I know this would be useful at our house!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Step

Today I've signed up to donate my photography to an auction whose proceeds go to a Christian school here in town. I'll be donating a sitting and a 16x20 portrait. I had started to donate an 8x10, but that's not going to be very impressive over someone's mantle, s0 a 16x20 it is. I'm giving about a $150 value (yes, those new prices I've yet to really use), and hopefully someone will bid more on it than that so that the school will make lots of money. And also, hopefully, this will be good publicity for me, too. I'll get to have my business cards set out as well as a sample of my work.

As far as a sample goes, I have two options for family portraits. One is the Sapp family. The other is the Schield family. The Sapps are a little older, with two grown boys, while the Schields are a mixture of ages (though they're all siblings except Mrs. Schield). The Schields is a more colorful picture, but I like the lighting in the Sapp portrait. What do you think? Let me know which one would make you bid for a portrait sitting for yourself.