Rockin Vegas  

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We got totally hooked up with a room for our stay in Vegas. One of our vendors knows someone at Mandalay Bay and got us a 2 bedroom suite on the 60th (read penthouse level) floor for the same price as some of the crap rooms off the strip. Here is the view from the side of my bed looking down the strip. I can't wait to see it lit up tonight.

This is the room Clayton and I are staying in.

Here is the common area between rooms with the bar, bigscreen, sofas and table.

Here is a view of Jim's room, he looks out over the airport and pool. I like my view better but I have to share a room.

Check out their pool, it's like whitewater park. Wave pool and little hooch!

Here is another shot of our room, everyroom has a wall mounted plasma, including the bathroom!

Anyway, we are having a great time so far. I'll keep updating as time permits.

Travel Notes  

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There is a reason we try to fly first class on flights over 2 1/2 hours or so. I'm not a snob but I've been spoiled on long flights. I fly coach most all of the time, no complaints but 5 plus hours in the middle seat is rough. It was an exit row and I made it alive, I can't complain to much. Now if I could just get my baggage to appear.


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On the plane waiting to take off. CTIA here I come.

Blog Changes  

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I cannot find a theme for my blog that I am happy with and I dont have time to create my own. This one is marginally cool but I'm still shopping. Also, registered and got it going here today. I've been trying to get but some squatter has it doing absolutely nothing with it. Maybe they will respond to my emails and not want a fortune for it. Let me know if this theme sucks.

Here we go again!  

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It's official, Baby number 2 is on the way! #2 is due October 5th. I'm excited yet terrified, all at the same time. More details on Baby #2 blog.

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- Easter service at Fusion was awesome today. We had an early service for the volunteers and then everybody got busy getting ready for the main service. It was a very cool feel having 99% home folks there only. I think there was a feeling of freedom that may not normally happen when outsiders are present. I would love to have a worship only service on a Friday or Saturday night for the home folks to just go crazy, that would rule. The worship team killed it today and completely dominated "Running on Empty". It was cool to see Zach singing backup from the drum throne. As good as worship was, Tony was absolutely on it today with the message. Not only was he connecting with me, but I could tell he was on a roll and really getting in the groove with some of the visitors. I could really feel God working and there was such an incredible vibe in the room with everyone, really cool.

- Today was also my birthday. We had Steph's parents in town and the rest of her Dad's side of the family came over along with some friends from church and we did it up. Hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill, kids running crazy in and out of the house, egg hunt in the back yard (I did no planning related to this but assigned Scott to distributing the eggs and told Nathan to get some music going), threw the football till my arm hurt, sat outside on my patio and shot the breeze for hours in the great weather, and just basically had a great time hanging out with everyone. I got a new stereo for my truck from my beautiful wife and a cool remote control Tony Stewart race car from Ethan. All in all, it was an awesome day.

- Yesterday was the last day of our fast at church so I got to eat meat today and I did not mess around. Ham biscuit for breakfast, hamburger and hotdog with chili for lunch and two hamburgers for dinner. I'm full and I still love meat.

- Cool to see this guy at service today. He's got a lot going on, I'll keep you in my prayers dude.

- Got this yesterday, NewSpring has their new Unleash site up here. Check it out, there are some cool picture up there but whether you went or not, the good stuff is here under the media link. You'll find the full sessions from Perry as well as detailed notes from all of the breakout sessions. Worth watching again and again and again, a ton of good material in there.

- We did our Egg Drop last week and thought we had a lot of people, Revolution Church did theirs yesterday and I can't even begin to describe it. Pastor Gary Lamb has some preliminary posts about it and promises more to come. I've heard some of the details but I can promise, you'll want to read it straight from the horses mouth when he gets it posted. I mean, 12000 people at the event and another 5000 outside trying to get in?!?!? I'm feeling it for this guy.


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Pray for the guys at Revolution Church in Canton. They are having their egg drop tomorrow at Boling Park in Canton. After our our experience last week, which was freakin awesome, we would not have pulled it off without a lot of prayer.

10 Commandments  

Posted by Stephen Lowe

I just finished listening to the 5 part series from Northpoint Church called The Sinai Code. It covers the 10 commandments and really gets into the intended meaning of them from 3000 years ago and how they apply to us today. I really got a lot out of it and would highly suggest it.

One of the things continuously hit on throughout the series, was the fact that the commandments are not conditions for a relationship with God, they are confirmation of a relationship that already exists. This freaks a lot of people out that don't understand what it means to be a Christian because based on this principle, being good doesn't connect you with God or get you into Heaven. You already belong to God and the relationship is there for the taking you just have to take it. The analogy used was if you have kids, you have rules in your house for them to follow. The rules don't determine whether the kid is yours or not, and if the kid doesn't follow the rules, unfortunately he is still your kid.

My favorite section was part 3 that dealt with the 3rd commandment "You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God" or what we typically refer to as taking the Lord's name in vain. Most people think of this as swearing using the Lords name but the real implication is much farther reaching. It really had to do with using God's name to further a cause or get something done that is not of God. Andy used the analogy of someone using your or your business name to get something done for themselves, without your permission or consent. This really transcends everything we do. What are our intentions? Who am I doing this for? Who's name am I doing it in?

After Fast Food Planning  

Posted by Stephen Lowe

I don't know if this is a good or bad thing, but I find myself fantasizing about the meat I'm going to eat after the fast. I have thoughts of steaks grilling, I can hear the fat sizzling as it drips onto the burners. After carefully thinking through possible locations to go next week for the meat mania, I think Fogo de Chao is the clear choice. For those of you who aren't familial with Fogo de Chao, they specialize in meat on a stick. Not just beef either, lamb, pork and chicken, all served on huge skewers with various seasonings and sides. While the price of admission is a little steep, the best part is that it's all you can eat! Mmmmm.... Meat.

Fast Food List  

Posted by Stephen Lowe

My wife wrote up a list of items for me to eat that are in the fridge and stuck it to the front. I'm very visual (apparently), if I can't see it, it probably wont get eaten. I like this system, it may become a requirement going forward, fasting or not. My typical mode of operation is to open the fridge or pantry and stare blankly for a minute and then ask her if we have anything to eat. This is usually met with a response that may or may not be benificial to feeding me, but points out my lack of being able to see the obvios. This system makes it a lot easier for me (and her) to see whats available and self serve.

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Cool Robot  

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I saw this on another site and had to share. I can't help but remember Tony's post about surviving a robot uprising while watching this. Very cool technology.

Egg Drop Articles and Links  

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Here are the articles I could find regarding our egg drop, pre and post event. Let me know if I missed any.

Access Atlanta

Access North Georgia

Duluth Weekly

AJC Gallery

Gwinnett Daily Post Front page Article

Gwinnett Herald

Holy Hunger  

Posted by Stephen Lowe

We started our fast at church yesterday. We were instructed to gorge ourselves at lunch after church as that would be our last real meal. I ate at Chili's for lunch and had steak fajitas with all the toppings, sweet tea and one of their insanely good chocolate shakes. The party is over now though. I had salad and green beans for dinner last night at my business partners birthday party. For breakfast today, I had a fuji apple, a peach and an orange. For lunch I just finished a salad and most of a can of field peas. I'm still starving. For me, fruit doesn't classify as a meal. No matter how much I eat, I still feel hungry. Veggies generally last a little longer, but not much. I'm hoping the peas will stick a little longer. Anybody else out there on the fast have any suggestions for something that's a little more filling? I think we are having potatoes and other heartier veggies for dinner, I'll let you know how that goes.

I will say this, every time I think about food in general, can I or can't I eat this, it's an immediate reminder of why we are doing the fast. It brings instant reflection on the meaning and causes you to stop, think and pray. Very powerful.

Car Sold!  

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More good news today, I've been trying to sell my car for a while now. I had a guy call me yesterday about it and as much as I was wanting a nap after the egg drop today, he came up and we got the deal done. It was crazy, he left his wife here while he drove his week old truck up to the gas station to park under the covering while it hailed here for 10 minutes. Then he came back and we finished up the deal and he split. I am so going to miss that car, I called it my street legal go-cart. The guy that bought it does solo racing so it will get put to good use. Crazy, crazy, crazy day. But definitely a blessed day.

The Eggs have Dropped, God Rules!  

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The egg drop is done and it was AWESOME! It is always rewarding to see hard work and planning pay off in such a huge way.

With that said, I don't think there is any doubt in anyones mind that God's hand was just all over this thing. As I was driving down 985 this morning around 6am, praying like crazy, I actually had some hail hitting my car amidst the massive lightning strikes. My phone was lighting up like the strip in Vegas with calls from team leads. We got to the field, it was dark, cold, wet, scary, everything that says we should not be having this event. 15 minutes after arriving at the field, the rain began to soften. Another 10 minutes pass and the rain is basically stopped, you could see breaks in the clouds above. The Parks and Rec person arrived to make a determination about the use of the field and she basically said, go for it if your crazy enough. We started unloading around 7:30, around a half an hour behind schedule. By 8 I had my sunglasses on and it was beautiful out. I was running around yelling "Did you think we'd need our sunglasses today? This is Awesome!" The beauty of this whole situation was that due to the rain, baseball was canceled completely and soccer was delayed until noon. We had the entire park to ourselves! All of the issues we were worried about with parking and having to shuttle people over from another lot, Gone, we still had people parking in those lots but nothing like the numbers we thought. To put it in perspective, the park only gave us 329 parking spaces in the park to use. Once they canceled the other activities they let us use the rest of the lots, we now had around 1100 spaces. I think we had around 50 cars park at the other lot.

We completely jammed out the park, it was crazy when everybody went to leave. I was guessing we had between 2500-3000 people but the police officers we hired for the event told me after they directed traffic out of the park, they thought there was closer to 4000 people there. It took over an hour for the lots to clear. Get this though, at 1, the rain came back in and we had to rush to get everything back on the truck and trailers. Talk about timing, God always has a plan, you just have to trust in his timing, not what you think should be the right timing. I would have loved to have gotten up this morning and seen clear skies, but we would have had to contend with the baseball and soccer crowds. Had that happened, we would have been hosed, the shuttle bus thing was not working even for the 50 or so cars we had to get over.

I am humbled, amazed, and grateful. God rules!

Laser Tagged  

Posted by Stephen Lowe

You would think that I would have been able to remember some of the advanced laser tag tactics from when I was a kid given that I still have this stuff hanging around. Unfortunately, Nathan dominated everyone there. I think he may be a secret agent, or maybe he used to be a secret agent and lost his memory but is still a programmed killing machine, Jason Bourne style. My legs are killing me and my back is bruised from doing dive rolls with laser gear on digging into me. I think I spent most of the time running or walking in a crouch, my quads are blasted. It was fun being able to shoot Chad though, he had it coming. As much fun as we had, I'm thinking laser tag growth group.

Happy Birthday Andy! I had a blast.

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1 month with ubuntu  

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I took an older Dell laptop I had and set up the newest version of Ubuntu linux on it. I've been using it as my home web machine for about a month now and so far it has been an enjoyable experience. It does a great job of doing the basic things I like to do while chilling out on the couch at night. I generally read news feeds in google reader, check email, do some blog posting and other general web surfing. I don't have many gripes so far with the machine and it gives a great user experience even with 3-4 year old hardware. I like a challenge and it has been a little bit of one getting some of the software functioning correctly. Luckily, ubuntu comes with a package/software manager that makes this much easier than traditional linux platforms. You just go in, search for the software you want, check the install button and the system does the rest for you. It's not fool proof and you're bound to spend some time at the command line but it is leaps and bounds ahead of my linux experiences from the past 5-10 years. The coolest feature of this machine is being able to open the lid from standby and be logged in and searching google within about 20 seconds. I'm able to use evolution mail to check my corporate exchange email as well and it's a workable solution. Unfortunately there are too many applications that won't run on this machine to keep it out of the office but as a home, light duty machine, you can't beat it.

I Can Predict the Future  

Posted by Stephen Lowe

As a follow up to my prior rant about how Toyota is going to dominate Nascar this year, here is an interesting article regarding this from Nascar's website.

Harvick, Roush Concerned with Toyota Horsepower

I love this quote from Jack Roush:
"They've (Toyota) got a history of spending their money wisely, and in quantities that outspend or outstrip the other manufacturers," Roush said. "And I've got every reason to believe they'll do it here. It's been their practice to do that in Formula One and open-wheel racing."

Hmmm... Sounds familiar, Look honey! I was right about something!

About Me

My name is Stephen Lowe. I'm a Christ follower, Husband, Father, Technologophile and Metalhead. This is where I dump my observations and opinions on whatever strikes me as noteworthy. Enjoy, discuss, disagree, I'm cool with whatever.

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