Vasa Deferentia Abrumpo, Inter Magis…

… Or, “Say goodbye to my little friends,” among other things.

Today was one of those monumental days. And here’s the short list as to why (in chronological order):

  • The first “official” men’s morning Breakfast/Bible study for our church
  • Launched a massive minor-point version release of our survey software at work
  • Got a vasectomy
  • Downed an Oregon Blackberry shake
  • My two oldest kids had a piano recital

Wait. What? I got a what?!

Yes, a vasectomy. I went to see the doctor today and let him use sharp surgical instruments on my netherlands, but more about that “down below.” First things first. My monumental day started out before the sun woke up. And now here’s the short list made long under the influence of vicodin.

The Trail

Just over a month ago I went to the men’s retreat our church, Flatirons Community Church. This took place at a good time in my life. Getting away for a weekend is therapeutic enough, but my defining moment was waking up from a nap at dusk on Saturday. A nap! That kind of rest for me is scarce. Anyway, at the retreat an announcement was made about an upcoming four-week-long men’s Friday morning bible study, which started today. We learned this morning that connecting to God happens in very different ways from one person to the next. This comes from a book called, Sacred Pathways. Now, this will seem like a well, duh! moment once it’s explained — like all things that just make sense once you discover the underlying truths.

We learned that there are three high-level categories that can be applied to how people best connect to God (the book talks about nine, but Scott summed them up into three primaries). Of course when talking about people and categorical systems, multiple categories can apply simultaneously in varying capacities. And what system wouldn’t be complete without its positive and negative facets? So today’s categories are: Mind, Body, and Soul. Meaning,

  • “Mind” people feel disconnected if they are not studying, thinking about, or learning new things about who God is. The search for knowledge about Jesus and what he taught (and still teaches) puts them on their path to experiencing God in their lives. The dangers here can be pride and arrogance with that knowledge, as well as a lack of putting that knowledge into practice.
  • “Body” people find their path in the form of service and action; volunteering and taking care of people. “Faith in action” kind of stuff. The dangers for these people can be wasting time doing the wrong things out of a drive to constantly do something.
  • And then there’s “Soul” people. Soul people find their path in contemplating God’s majesty and creativity and are inclined to the “be still and know that I am God” moments. The danger here is worshiping the creation vs. the Creator.

Why is this so monumental? Aside from the celebration of our God-given individuality and freedom to not try to “be like that” for fear that that is what it looks like to worship God? This gave me uncanny insight into the disconnection I sometimes feel between Jen and me. She’s very much a service-oriented, volunteering, taking-care-of-people kind of person. So much so that I sometimes resent the things for which she volunteers. In my lack of understanding, I feel hurt and ignored and angry. But knowing now that she’s just responding to how God designed her, I can better help her on her path.

And being able to recognize that I fit best with the “soul” description makes so much sense in retrospect of my life and the things and ways I feel most on my path with God. I see God in things like patternless cloud formations, the marvelous way our bodies are constructed, and conversely in intricate patterns in nature and math and art. Speaking of math and patterns…

SurveyGizmo v3.1.5

We’ve been working like mad dogs for the past month on a “one week” iteration that grew to a substantial version of our online survey software we rolled-out today. In just this release alone, we fixed more bugs and annoyances than I care to admit, along with a complete overhaul of our reporting suite, multi-lingual translation system, response browsing fine-tuning, and survey pagination navigator. There were dev nights (where we stayed at work until super late) and some of the guys pulled weekend duty. Normally we all sit in separate offices, but for this round we commandeered one of the conference rooms and camped out together. It was like peer-programming all day. That makes for better code :)

We all worked hard — fueled by tea & coffee, doughnuts, bagels, steak sandwiches, beer, root beer, root-beer floats, pizza, cereal and a wide variety of Nerf weapons. Speaking of weapons…

V Day

I learned something new about my body today. I saw part of my vas deferens tubes and they are a translucent-white color… interesting. So, Jen married me back in 1998. We have three beautiful, talented, incredibly creative kids, who fill our lives so much we decided to permanently be a party of five. The procedure took about an hour and the doctor was adept at his craft and now my beautiful, talented, incredible wife can stop the on-and-off (mostly on) 12-year-relationship with the pill. She pushed three watermelons through a napkin ring. Spending an hour with a very skilled man wielding very sharp tools, and a weekend camping out on my couch is the least I can do.

This whole marriage thing is a two-way street and I’m happy to take over now in the birth control department. And to debunk a vasectomy myth: this does not cause your voice to be higher; however, it does make for some sore berries for a little while. Speaking of berries…

The Blackberry Shake

Good Times. ‘Nuff said.

I Heart Piano

For the past month, Malakai and Zoë have been taking piano lessons from a good friend of ours in exchange for Jen watching her three boys while she gives piano lessons. Tonight was the recital. The kids were to perform the recital while dressed up in their Halloween costumes. This year, Zoë is a cowgirl and she totally pulled it off, braided pig-tails and all. Malakai found an awesome police man costume at the last minute. I wished so badly to be there but thankfully Jen captured them on video. By the way, check out this camera phone recording of a composition Malakai made up on the spot about 5 months ago in June of 2010. It’s a little rough, but his raw musical ability astounds me.

Of all the musical instruments, the piano has the biggest hold on my heart, followed closely by the cello. There’s just something about the fullness of the sounds and the depth of range that just rips open my chest and holds my heart up. I think the piano was invented to give a voice to the things we feel which would otherwise be eternally trapped in isolation and silence.

Monumental Ending

To my wonder woman: No more fretting over forgetting to take the pill! Your body can get back to it’s natural way of things. I love you and thank you so much for what you’ve endured for all of us. Thank you for the mother, friend, lover, and helper you are.

To my brilliant piano players: please accept my apology for missing your monumental first recital, in all your Halloween-costumed glory. I’m recovering from an alteration to ½ of the tools it took to make you.

To my comrades at work: I’m sorry I had to leave early today and couldn’t be there for this monumental rollout we’ve all worked so hard on… I had to leave early so approximately ¼-inch sections of my vasa deferentia could be surgically removed with sharp steel instruments, electrically cauterized, and then clamped so as to nullify the probability of another supernova in my wife’s uterus.

To Good Times: Thank you for making good food with real ingredients, like bacon.

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